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Battlestar Galactica 2K: "Resurrection Ship, Part 2"

One of the biggest thrill rides I've been on in a long time -- probably since ENT's "Twilight." Careening from one peak of tension to the next, gasping for breath, trying to figure out what would happen next and never getting it right and yet each event was completely believable as it unfolded. And then there were 10 minutes left yet to go!

Please pardon the great number of semi-rhetorical questions in this one; not everything was neatly tied up at the end.

Usually when an episode starts with something out of left field. and cuts to "X amount of time earlier," you expect that whatever was in the teaser will be fairly close to the end and the climax of a large plotline; firefly's "Out of Gas" is the most recent example which leaps to mind. To have it extracted from the middle of the episode and as one secondary plot among many was a surprising choice. I guess it's a launch for a character arc for Lee? I'm a bit confused because Lee's suicidal surrender took me aback -- I would have expected a few more signs, a little more buildup than just his shocked conversation with Adama about the assassination order and his dumbfounded stuttering that Roslin was in on it. "I didn't want to come back alive"? Where did that come from? He says to Kara in the next scene (although it's not chronologically next) that only trust sets humans apart from/above the Cylons. Does he feel that his father and Roslin somehow betrayed that trust by giving assassination orders? He murmurs an apology to Kara while floating in space, as though he has betrayed her trust. Is he referring to not being there to back her up, or to taking his hand off the hole in his suit and choosing to die? I guess it makes for good drama that the (former) CAG and the Commander's (now the Admiral's) son is simply not tough enough for the military, or at least for the military situation in which they're currently in, but I'm not necessarily happy about it. He is Apollo, after all; he's one of the stars of the show and one of its heroes. Flaws are fine. I don't want him to give up.

Chief is going to be so pissed that the Blackbird was trashed. On the other hand, it gives everyone an excuse to build another one, with shinier parts from Pegasus.

Chief made the mistake of forgetting that the Pegasus crew isn't like Galactica's -- they bring guns to back up their bullying. It's not an honest fistfight, it's sanctioned torture -- putting a "please disturb" sign on the cell of other Colonial crewmembers. Jack at least draws the line between torturing the enemy and torturing Colonials, but the question really is why is torture allowed at all? We come back to this over and over. Is it okay to torture an enemy combatant to get information? Is it okay to torture someone who, if freed, will systematically murder her way from stem to stern across the ship?

After Cain's long "don't flinch" speech, I was really expecting it to be a bookend to the assassination, with one or the other noting that Kara didn't flinch in shooting her. Is this the source of Kara's later eulogy? Cain is a tough woman who embraces a certain amount of wildness and lawlessness; does Kara see what she might become, and like it?

We like Sharon. We want to like Sharon. She's cute and sympathetic and pregnant and plays helpless and was legitimately assaulted. Then she says in that sweet little voice that maybe humans as a species don't deserve to survive, because we're "a flawed creation" and murderous and petty, and we remember what she is: a member of a species who wants to annihilate us. (and beautiful sound editing to drop the FX of a gun battery in the wake of that statement!)

So two battlestars with Vipers can take out two Cylon base stars and a sack of Raiders. Granted that humanity is low on numbers, but doesn't that bode well for future encounters? Or did they use up more ammo than they normally would?

The battle itself was marvelously framed and shot and rendered. The Vipers sailing sideways as they blasted the Resurrection Ship, the grim rain of Cylon bodies shooting into space, the two basestars being pounded by Galactica and Pegasus, Lee watching the distant battle in a daze -- and it wasn't even the focus of the episode, it was merely a plot point. (Which is why I kept thinking that the "resurrection" was something to do with Pegasus, not a Cylon vessel.)

The next twenty minutes, cutting among Jack and his Marines, Adama and Tigh, Kara, and Cain, were some of the tensest and most powerful TV I think I've ever seen. The anticipation of horror, of how it could go any possible way, the potential for death and betrayal and discovery, whose pawns are in place, will Kara get there in time, will Jack break, will Cain flinch, the staggering relief of nothing happening -- and then Gina starting it all up again -- I felt like I needed a shower after all that!

Lee is ejected into space and starts his mental lake float (in the crucifixion position) about the same time we return to Gina and Baltar. She wants to die to be free of the pain the humans have visited on her. When Baltar gives her an opening, she says "suicide is a sin" and begs to die, but then Baltar gives her a chance to escape Pegasus altogether and she chooses life and goes off for revenge, or justice. Lee wants to die -- I'm still trying to figure it out, but I guess to be free of the pain of being betrayed by Roslin and Adama? -- and eventually takes his hand off the punctures in his suit and allows his oxygen to leak out entirely, choosing to die. When he's zapped back (resurrected -- meaningful?), he later expresses regret. Even though the assassination didn't happen, he's still devastated, while Gina gets off a quip to Cain before killing her. An interesting counter-melody.

What did Six think Baltar was going to do about the destruction of the Resurrection Ship? She didn't try to stop Gina from telling him or him from telling Cain and Adama what it was or its tactical potential. Did she expect him to fling himself onto the Bridge and order them to abort the attack?

Why did Baltar use Six's words on Gina? Is there any echo between the two Cylon women, in that those sentiments are common to that personality, so Gina (at least partly disconnected from the groupmind, or maybe it's that Six isn't connected) would be pleased to hear those phrases because they were originated from another unit of her model? (Moogie had a moment of freakout when he thought that Baltar had actually been the one to go to the Triad games, and that we were going to learn that Six has been an alternate personality of his all this time. But I don't think so.) Is Gina, rather than the incorporeal Six, going to be the "mother" of the cybrid baby? What happens to Pregnant Sharon and Helo? Is Baltar using Gina to get back at Six, to prove he's not her lapdog? (Notice she goes from "Are you going to help this abused woman, Gaius?" to "You think that broken woman can offer you even a fraction of what I can?") Does he feel something for Gina as an individual, or is it transference? Does he see her as a reincarnation (a resurrection?) of the physical woman who died on Caprica? He can touch Six, after a fashion, so I can't imagine that's driving it. Maybe her religion -- "God forgives all," rather than Six's ranting "God will not forgive this sin" of killing tens of thousands of Cylons on the Resurrection Ship -- is less fundamentalist? Could he possibly care about that? His eyes were brimming with tears as he recited Six's reflections to Gina. Was he mourning Six? Feeling for Gina? Trying to redeem himself and make up for his offenses by offering her a reason to live?

So why did Cain pull back? Adama listened to the various voices of his conscience (Lee and Sharon, in this instance) and concluded mere survival was insufficient. What changed the Admiral's mind? Did each leader sense the plan of the other, and when Kara handed the phone back to Cain without incident, Cain decided not to take the plunge after all?

ooh! I didn't see that the first time! Cain flinched just before Gina fired!

I was sort of surprised that they left Jack in charge of Pegasus. That means the SOB officers and crew still have one of their SOB leaders in command, and the structure which condoned rape and torture is still partly in place. Gina is still out there -- I don't think Adama is going to look very hard for her unless she makes trouble -- and if she's found by the Pegasus crew first, it'll get ugly again.

Adama smooches Roslin?! On second viewing I think it's mostly kindness and affection, not attraction. And Admiral Adama? Lorne Greene is smiling somewhere...

Can I just comment on how fantastic the background music is for the show? Eerie, adrenalized, haunting, tense, mournful all in turns.

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