All Along The Watchtower

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Battlestar Galactica Review/Recap

The Captain's Hand
I was looking forward to watching this week's Galactica. See, Friday evening I babysat my neice and nephew. My brother-in-law just got a brand new, 50 inch high def plasma TV and the thought of seeing BSG on a plasma set in high def just sent my inner geek into orbit. So, after a couple of hours of having fun playing with my neice and nephew and then wrangling them into bed, I sat down to watch BSG in what I hoped would be all of its HD glory. Alas, it seems that Sci-Fi doesn't have an HD signal or if they do, it's not available in Nashville (believe me, I spent 20 minutes surfing the HD menu looking for it). So, while I did get to see Galactica on the giant TV of doom, it was just the standard signal and not the HD that I'd hoped for all week.

But while the picture wasn't in HD, the story sure was.

The arcs are back boys and girls--and it's about time.

Let me echo Sarcastro's comment earlier about how it doesn't pay to be the commander of the Pegasus. First of all, it's a pretty thankless jobs and second of all, it seems as though everyone who takes command of the ship gets a complimentary red shirt. At least the latest commander got to run things for about a month before he went to the great Pegasus in the sky. Though I do wonder how the promotion of Lee from major to commander in a little over a month is going to sit with the fleet as a whole. Also the fact that he's Aadma's son and gets this huge promotion to command the Pegasus could lead to some questions being asked in the upcoming election. We also have to consider the fact that Tom Zerick knows some of Lee's struggles from "Black Market" a few weeks ago, which I think we can all agree he'll use against Lee. You know, they can redeem the suckitude of that episode by having Zerick use that against Lee or as a political stepping stone in the upcoming election. It would almost make that hour wasted worth it all if we get something like that.

All that said, I still am not sure Lee is exactly the best option for taking command of the Pegasus. He's less than six months removed from wanting to not be rescued and having a death wish. Seems to me that he's not exactly the most solid or stable commander for the ship--not that any of the other Pegasus commanders have been exactly model commanders either. I think Lee still has some issues and those could rear their ugly head when it comes to being in command of the ship.

I did find it interesting that being the commander of a ship gives you the right to be obsessive about getting your men back. I found it really compelling that the new Pegasus commander was doing nothing different than what Adama did last year in the search for Starbuck, but here we were seeing the other side of it. Last season, we all knew Adama was right becuase Starbuck can't die, dammit! This year, we're on the other side where it's a lot more people in danger but we don't know any of them. It's a lot easier as an audience to go--well, let's not fall into the trap or endanger the fleet. I found myself agreeing with Adama that the fleet's safety should be put first, whereas last year I wanted them to find Starbuck no matter what the cost or consequences. Good job to Ron Moore and the writing staff for that little twist.

Speaking of twists--anyone else's jaw drop at the end?

That thud you heard from Smyrna was my jaw hitting the floor. Baltar played Roslin like a violin. He sets her up to come out on against abortion, despite her own personal convictions and political history and then completely undermines her, coming out as a candidate in his own right. The best thing I can say about this moment is that I should have seen it coming a mile away, but when we got there, I was totally shocked by it. Roslin traded on her political clout and the thought that she was safe--aliennate one group but since there's not really another good choice, you're (for the most part) safe. Then, in comes Baltar, who's not had much to do these past few weeks. He sweeps in, undermines her in front of everyone and takes a stand to win power so he can gain favor with Six. That, my friends, is how you pull off a jaw dropper. I mean, that is seriously from the Joss Whedon school of unexpected twists that are completely set up and looking back there's no other way the events could have played out.

About the only part I didn't like was the Lee and Dualla scenes. Man, that Lee Adama, he's quite the male slut of the fleet. In the last couple of months, he's hooked up Dualla and the prostitute girl from "Black Market" and then there was the aborted hook-up with Starbuck. Man, I have no idea what this man has to be depressed about because apparently if you're exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide and are female in the fleet, you'll hook up with Lee Adama. You've got to think some of the other pilots are going to get a bit bitter since Lee is lowering the odds of them finding true lust since Lee is taking the hearts and beds of all these women....

So, I got an HD story. I'll take that any time over the cool bells and whistles of an HD picture with no story behind it.


At 6:40 AM, Blogger Barry said...

I continue to dislike the contemporary Earth references and dilemmas the Galactica folks seem to keep experiencing. Abortion? Is that really such wide-spread problem it would affect the survival to such a degree Roslin has to issue an Executive Order? I understand what Baltar said about 18 years, but surely accelerating the birth rate isn't going to solve that single-handedly...

And I'm not even going to comment on Lee's "let's think outside of the box" comment, except to wonder if any of the pilots were playing Lingo Bingo at the time...

Dualla/Lee. Ugh. Urp. Gag. Billy definitely deserved better than you, you bad woman. Lee, so do you. I would image she'll be going after Adama next. Or more likely Tigh. Please, let's move on., Commander Adama (why does that sound familiar?) is now in charge of the Pegasus. Makes some sense from the fact that he saved their bacon in battle, and the Admiral can better keep it under his thumb. I don't think the crew will have a problem obeying Apollo's orders, really. But seriously - he's a fighter jock and a CAG... does he have the line officer chops to command a battleship? I still think they ultra-logical choice is to give it to Tigh and make Lee the Exec on Galactica.

More later.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Michael said...

But I think Tigh showed earlier this year he is not a fit commander...

At 7:49 AM, Blogger Barry said...

If he wasn't a fit commander, he still wouldn't be the exec. He just wasn't a fit commander when Adama's not around. With Adama looking over his shoulder, I think Tigh would be a competent commander of the Pegasus. However, Adama should be able to see by now what a liability Ellen is to Saul and his leadership abilities, and take some kind of steps to keep her from influencing him.

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Sarcastro said...

You can't have BSG without at least ONE Commander Adama.

Nice how he got to skip being a Colonel, though.

There is a new HD channel on Nashville Comcast called UHD, I believe. Last night they showed the Lucy Lawless episode in all its digital glory.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww, man......I missed the HD goodness!

At 6:03 AM, Blogger Barry said...


HD, what's that? *sniff*

At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Jon said...

Oh man, my background as a snipe (engineer) in the Navy had me loving this episode. A snipe captian, if anything in engineering is true it is run by the book, they even have scenarios and orders of precedence in the damage control.

The snipe captain went off the book to fix the FTL, he should have taken care of the leak first. (IMO, a spaceship is like a submarine, leaks are deadlier, though he was behind a hatch, so it is a toss-up.) Maybe I just wanted more William Hurt snipiness in contrast to Admirial Adama's leadership style.

RE: Commander Adama, a pilot is a line officer, so he does have the right creds for command, in fact, since he is a pilot (at least in the real Navy, IIRC) he has more chops than a pure engineer, because he knows the pilot side of the equation. A snipe's role in combat is damage control, and I call a big BS in the whole, "I need to go down there!" line. Though dramatic, the snipes in the hole would be linked with what needed to be done, and a command from the bridge (from the former CHENG) would be met with an Aye-Aye. The same command from a fighter puke would have been met with a bit of resistance (we need to get 1. hull integrity first... following procedures, etc..) but to question that to the former CHENG? I'm pretty sure he'd be able to make his reasons known. Though to be fair, maybe he wanted to 'see the board' to judge for himself the casualty situation.

Baltar certainly played Roslin like a fiddle, but Roslin can play politics with the rest of them, and Baltar has now earned absolutely zip-zero-nada trust. They'll undercut him next time, and the political drama will be heat up.

And Whedon... he'd have blown up the Pegasus with Major Adama at the conn (oh btw, conn and command different things... Maj. Adama shouldn't have take command until he was aware of the Captian's death. In this situation he is incharge of the navigation and fighting the ship, in the captain's absence.) Whedon may have left Starbuck out in the blackness til next episode... but he wouldn't blink an eye at destroying the Pegasus with a major character on board.

At 6:51 PM, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I continue to dislike the contemporary Earth references and dilemmas the Galactica folks seem to keep experiencing.

I'm with Barry here. It is starting to bug me, because I want to see more about striving to find earth and less about mimicking Earth's current quandries.


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