Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Someone To Watch Over Me

Last week I complained that Battlestar needed to find a happy medium between crammed full of details ‘No Exit’ and the mostly filler ‘Deadlock’. Now it looks like someone listened, got into the Way Back machine, and produced a very strong episode. This time we cut back and forth between Kara’s search for meaning and Galen and Boomer‘s reunion.

We start with Kara. It’s morning. Again. She gets up only to see her dead self reflected in the mirror of her locker. She’s the CAG again and very bored. They’re doing Viper-heavy raider team-up searches, looking for a new home. Today Kara has a prize for the winning planet hunter: the last tube of actual toothpaste in the universe. Everyone is exhausted and there’s nothing they can do about it. The mutiny has thinned their ranks too much to give anyone a break. Which is a very important bit of information. We now know that the consequences went beyond Zarek and Gaeta. Meanwhile Kara is lost. She has only her work, the bar, a brain dead husband, and her confusion about her death and return.

Galen, meanwhile, has a lot of work on his hands, trying to save the ship with Cylon tech. He warns Roslin and the Adamas not to expect a miracle. The repairs will buy them a few more jumps, that’s all, and he doesn’t know how many. Caprica 6 is there. She is now a member of the Quorum. She says the first thing she’ll do is demand that Boomer be turned over to them. Adama says forget it, she shot him two times, but Caprica explains herself. She doesn’t want Boomer released. They see her as a traitor for siding with Cavil. The Cylons want her dead. Galen is shocked. And we should be too. What exactly are the Cylons trying to do? Punish her for excising her right to vote? Will all the Cylon models still be expected to vote as a block not that they’re a part of the government? That could go a long way towards exercising influence in elections. And when it comes to the civil war, didn’t that start when the 6s refused to accept the vote, removed the inhibitors from the Centurions, and set off a blood bath? No one really cares. Not the humans, not the Five, and, stranger still, not Boomer, who says nothing in her own defence. No. If the day is to be saved, it looks like Galen will have to do it.

The bar recently added a piano and Kara complains about the piano player. He explains his playing of the same notes over and over by telling her he’s composing. We haven’t seen the pianist before. She tells him that if he wants to be an ‘immortal composer you’d better learn to play that thing first.’ Of course, he starts playing a song. She goes over to the Agathons. Helo has something for her. When she died, her things were auctioned off. I don’t know why they weren’t just given to Sam. Helo has pulled a lot of strings, but he has found everything. She doesn’t want it. She does, however, accept a gift from Hera. It’s a series of stars, painted in a variety of colours. She complemented her on it when she came in. Hera’s thank you is her first line that I can remember. She’s goes back to the pianist. She’s trying to be conciliatory now and it is obvious that they are both moving towards the same point. She recognizes the piece he’s working from. Her dad used to play it. Turns out that he was a musician and he taught her a few songs. At this point viewers start to wonder, is the pianist really there or are we entering Kara’s head?

Galen is remembering his time with Boomer, including her murder. Her last words were, ‘I love you, Chief.’ He goes to see her. He says he doesn’t know why. She tells him that she has thought about him everyday since dying in his arms and that the important things are that they know who they are and that they make the most of the time they have left. Their hands touch through the cage wires and suddenly they are on their dream home on Picon, the one they planned to build once they were out of the service. It’s a Cylon projection and it frightens him. He leaves in a panic. He finds the other Four and asks for their help, but they aren’t interested. He goes back to Boomer and joins her in the projection. The house is something they talked about a lot when they were secretly dating. She has added a kid. A girl, about eight.

Kara is walking in a hanger and sees the piano. Her younger self is playing it. She touches her younger self’s shoulder and when the child turns around all she sees is her burnt remains from Earth. She asks the pianist about it. She’s telling him everything. There you go, he isn’t real. Given the tragedy all the survivors have gone through, you have to wonder how many of them are emotionally unbalanced. Enough, apparently, that someone talking to them self, night after night isn’t thought strange. He tells her that sometimes lost is where you need to be, and that just because you don’t know your direction doesn’t mean you don’t have one. Okay. Actually, he sounds a lot like the Leoben she saw when she died, in the third season episode ‘Maelstrom’. They talk about the past. He left his wife because she wanted him to stop playing the piano, just like Kara’s father. She’s still angry because of her father’s abandonment. She stopped playing when he left. So, is she talking to her dad? This new information about her father and his leaving certainly adds a new insight into the time her mom smashed her hands in the door. Goodbye piano lessons.

Galen pleads with the President, asking her not to sign document that will turn Boomer over to the Cylons, but she signs anyway. She tells him they’re done, he is dismissed. He goes to where the Cylon workers are, picks up a wrench, and somehow manages to switch one 8 for another. We’re not told how. There is some sort of technical glitch at the brig and presto Boomer is now free.

Boomer finds Athena at her home. She beats up her look-alike, ties her up, and dumps her in the closet. Up to this point it all makes sense. She can’t access a raptor as Boomer, but she can as Athena. Then Helo comes home feeling amorous. She pushes him away, but things start moving forward anyway. Athena, still tied up in the closet, can see them. Afterwards she picks Hera up from the daycare, making some excuse. Next we see her and Galen loading a trunk onto a raptor. They say good-bye. She asks that he come, telling him that whatever happens, to remember that she meant everything she said about the two of them. They kiss and flash back to the house. Obviously, she’s going back to Cavil, with Hera, and, obviously, that was the plan all along.

The pianist is encouraging Kara to play the song her dad taught her. She uses the stars Hera drew to represent the song’s musical notes. It’s All Along The Watchtower. Tory and the Tighs are in the bar. They demand to know where she learned the song. Suddenly she is alone with nothing but the painting from Hera. She tells them her father taught it to her. Yep, she’s Daniel’s daughter.

Helo is giving a dogfight seminar when Athena comes stumbling in telling him that Boomer is loose and has taken Hera. Boomer, posing as Athena, is waiting for flight clearance. They know who she is and, once Adama calls her Boomer, she knows they know. It turns into a game of chicken. She turns her engines on. If she jumps inside Galactica, that could kill them both. It will certainly do irrevocable damage to the Battlestar. Orders are given to retract the flight pods, to prevent her from leaving, and to shoot her down should she succeed in getting out. She warns them that she has Hera. Boomer is a skilled pilot. She makes it outside and immediately jumps, causing a huge amount of damage, but getting away clean.

As she jumps Roslin awakens, says ‘Hera’ and collapses.

Galen learns of Hera’s abduction while working on the damage. He runs through their dream house. It’s empty. Abandoned. The kid’s room is empty too.

A strong episode, with implications for many of the characters. The ship itself will probably not last the few episodes we have left, and if it does it will be firmly stated that its lifespan is over. Galen took it on the chin again. The man cannot get a break. I want to trust Boomer, yet I am never surprised. The idea that a jump inside the ship could do so much damage is interesting. I wonder why the Cylons didn’t try. Didn’t they get a heavy raider onboard once? My reading is that Cavil didn’t want to risk mucking about with Ellen’s brain, so he devised a plot that will not only get the Five together, it will give him a bargaining chip they can’t ignore. If they want Hera, they will need to build another resurrection facility.

The episode implied, heavily implied, but never actually stated, that Kara is the daughter of Daniel, the number 7 model. We only know two things about the 7s. First, that the line was destroyed so that they could not download or resurrect. The prototype may well have escaped into the human population, married and fathered a child. His disappearance may have had something to do with Cavil, and not because he wanted to pursue his music, which is what Kara understood to be the reason. The second thing we know is that he was an artist, though Ellen never explained what that meant. Musicians, of course, are artists. How would Kara's father know of a song from Cylon Earth, if one of the Five hadn't taught it to him? This might also explain Kara's drawings of the Eye of Jupiter. Hera has also drawn pictures of things related to the over all plot (specifically of the 6s). But why have they gotten rid of two Cylon babies, Nicky and Liam, only to introduce another child? Will they even need Hera, now that they have Kara? I suspect so.

The biggest question now is, with only three episodes and four hours to go, can they bring everything to a satisfactory conclusion? I am not even going to hazard a guess.

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