Thursday, April 24, 2008

Galactica Log: The Ties That Bind

I'm not going to waste time building up to it: Cally is dead!

I can't say I've ever had any strong feelings about the character, though I liked her well enough, still, I can't imagine anyone having anything but praise for Nicki Clyne's performance. She took Cally to one of the most horrific places a mother could go and still held on to her audience's pity. After a losing battle with mental illness, she discovers her husband's terrible secret and comes unglued. The only complaint I have is that it was brought on too suddenly. Her marriage to Galen Tyrol had been going through some rough waters, but until this episode there had never been any indication that she might be suffering from any problems herself. Nor was there any sign that she was hopped up on meds. With the Britney saga dominating the news the way it has been, it is no stretch at all to sell some form of post-partum depression to the viewers. Or maybe she was just depressed. It was only a short while ago that the Admiral was going to shoot her for mutiny if her husband didn't end a strike. And she had a near death experience with the sudden decompression of an air lock. She didn't like life in the service and she wanted something new for baby Nicholas, but, and this is my problem with the episode, she was always a fighter. She knew what she wanted and she held to that. So when did she start to need the meds? It's a development that needed some foreshadowing. It was all too much like Kat's death. Kat had gone from being a civilian pilot to a nugget to Kara's equal (certainly in attitude). In a single episode she was revealed to have been a drug runner and killed. No build up, no foreshadowing. Just a sudden left turn and bam! She's dead.

In Cally's case, events started with another fight with Galen. He takes off, saying he's needed at work, but she's finds a napkin that she takes as evidence that he's really at the bar. Flimsy, perhaps, but right. He's at the bar, with Tori. She's about to give him a piece of her mind when she becomes violently ill. It's our first clue that her health has gone south. She's now convinced that Tori and her husband are having an affair, and when she finds a note telling Galen about where to meet someone, she goes to the place and makes a discovery that turns her already fragile world upside down: Tigh, Tori, and Galen, the three meeting, are all Cylons! The circumstances of her being able to spy on them strains the story's credibility. The meeting is in the weapon's store room 1701D - that's a Trek reference for those who are a little rusty - and she manages to get around the security by going through the equivalent of a Jeffries, something we haven't seen before. She goes back to their quarters and arrives just before her husband. Not realizing she knows, he attempts a reconciliation, assuring her he isn't having an affair with Tori. In her mind she sees their whole life together. She knocks him out with a wrench and takes the baby to an airlock. She is going to kill herself, and Nicolas too. Tori sees her, follows her to the airlock, and talks her down. Yes, I'm a Cylon, but I'm not evil. She takes the baby from Cally and then sends her out the airlock! I wonder what was going through Tori's mind. Did she save the baby because he was a hybrid, or did she save him because she only saw Cally as the threat and wouldn't want to hurt a baby?

Meanwhile, on the Demetrius, Kara's mission is going no where. Has Starbuck lost her feel for Earth? The crew Helo picked for her includes a lot of familiar faces - proof positive that this trip will be an important subplot. We have Anders and Seelix. Including Anders makes sense. He's her husband and neither of these two pilots takes much away from the fleet's strength. They're both nuggets. We also have Gaeta. He does not believe in what they're doing, but he has always been the man they turn to when its time to plot a difficult path. He can be counted on to remember the way back � to Earth and to Galactica. Two surprise members are Helo and Athena. Helo has had many important positions on Galactica, but as he's never been tied to one for long, I guess we shouldn't be surprised to see him in another. I couldn't help but wonder, though, where's Hera? I can't imagine them leaving her in the care of another. As we're introduced to life aboard the Demetrius, they've been travelling for more than three weeks and have had a 'course correction' every two or three days. The crew is disillusioned and maybe Kara is too. She's presented throughout these scenes as cut off, isolated from the rest of her crew. When Sam goes to her he is subjected to a stream of verbal abuse; and he takes it, of course. Kara always crosses the line and she always gets away with it. Insubordination doesn't seem to be helping now, though. As a leader she has always been under the immediate thumb of a superior. Now she's spending all her time in her room, painting on the walls, trying to recapture that intuitive sense of where Earth is. Things are not looking up.

Meanwhile, among the Cylons, last week's civil war comes to a harsh conclusion. Cavil is revived, with a kiss from Boomer, the hound dog!, and immediately sets about evening the score. He concedes to all the demands made by the Sixes and Eights. They will bring back the D'anna models and find out what she knows about the Five. They will stop lobotomizing the Raiders and learn to live with the newly independent Centurions. He makes it clear that he isn't happy with the changes, but they've reconsidered and decided to accept the new order. Everyone will rendezvous with the Resurrection ship and get started on unboxing the Threes. We learn that the revolution wasn't fleet wide, but was limited to the one ship. We also learn that the Sixes, Eights, and Leoben models are all on that one ship, which goes to the planned location and is utterly destroyed. It was a stupid move, really. Every viewer seemed to know better than to trust Cavil. Maybe it was the scale of his actions. Three complete model line have apparently been destroyed. Even his newfound ally, Boomer, is taken aback. The Sixes aren't completely gone. Caprica 6 is a prisoner on Galactica. The two Eights we know, Boomer and Athena, are both alive. But none of these are in a position to turn things around. My money is on Leoben. The implication is that he was destroyed along with the others, but he didn't actually appear in the episode. It seems a bit much that such an important character would be killed offscreen. We also know that the D'anna models will be unboxed. Perhaps Cavil and the others will be satisfied with winning this second round and will move to restore normality among the rest of the fleet.

The fourth plot thread in the episode centered on Colonial politics. Roslin isn't happy about having to cover for the disappearance of the Demitrius and Lee isn't too happy about the condescending way he's treated by her. Just what Zarek wanted to see. He passes a confidential memo off to the new representative, detailing the creation of a new legal system, operating under the control of the executive branch. Roslin, that is. Lee challenges her about this at a meeting of the Quorum. It's tabled for the next meeting, but I don't think anyone should mistake that as the end of it. Lee's earnestness has often led people to underestimate him, but he was constantly at loggerheads with his father when he was in the military. Now I suspect Roslin will fill the role his father once did. Probably a good thing for his relationship with dad, but his relationship with the President is on a slippery slide.

And so the season continues down the path of factions and division. The Four have one member off on a long term mission and a second has killed the wife of a third. Kara got what she wanted, only to see is turning to ashes. How long before her crew decides she doesn't know the way to Earth? The Cylon's genocidal tendencies have turned inward, and Roslin's authority as President is going to be severely tested. It looks like things are gong to get a lot worse, before they go completely off the rails!

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