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Battlestar Galactica 2K: "Sacrifice"

A decent episode, executed better in the details than the overall plot, I think -- Billy's death was telegraphed from the Highlight Reel music, for pity's sake. And it was unnecessary. Why not have a romantic triangle? (for a little while, anyway.) Why not have Dee struggle with two very different men, with different goals, skills, and flaws? Why not weave in potential conflicting loyalties as she gets closer to Roslin's side of operations through Billy? If Billy had to die a Stupid Heroic Death, why not leave Dee in the lurch and feeling guilty about having the choice between them made for her? Combining the abrupt triangle with the hostage situation was too pat and too formulaic.

And Kara -- she oughta be demoted, pronto. The woman's never met a risk she couldn't take, consequences be damned. She was ordered to send someone on a recon mission. She didn't even bother to ask for volunteers among the Marines. She went in armed. She knew Ellen Tigh was in the room, and even if she didn't know Ellen's particular frailties, Ellen is a civilian in a hostage situation and cannot be counted upon in the tactical sense to behave in a military (i.e., controlled) fashion. Kara should not have banked on keeping her cover. Engaging in a firefight did take out one of the kidnappers, but it also cost her two Marines' lives, injured a third, and severely injured a Viper pilot who just happens to be her former wingman and just happens to be the son of the officer who ordered her to do a recon mission and not go in firing! Friendly fire isn't. If she had followed orders and one of the Marines had gotten the lay of the land, they might have been able to figure out a better tactical solution which would not have cost lives.

Since I do pause to read screens, I was annoyed that Abinell was murmuring her list backwards as she was typing. What was she writing if she was reading back up the list she'd already written? And "sleep deprivation" as an assault tactic of the Cylons? Where did that come from?

Now we know, at least, that the Fleet did finally figure out that Pregnant Sharon is aboard, although I'm not sure if they know that she is pregnant. If they knew, all they had to do is look for the baby bump on the corpse, never mind the autopsy Y. But Abinell lists "impregnation and reproduction" as one of the MO points, so maybe they know about the Farms?

Are Adama and Roslin going to take Billy's very good advice and come clean about their tactical goals? (I wouldn't mention the cybrid sprog, though...)

A proposal? Boy, that really came out of left field. Maybe I'm just accustomed to Trek romances being a lot more obvious, but these two have hardly been in one another's company for months. We have very little clue what their relationship is. Last we saw was a cuddling date -- how do we know it's advanced beyond that? And there was the business with Lee -- was she dating both of them? I thought she was just acknowledging an attraction and then dealing with it decisively. In fact, until Billy came up to them in the restaurant, I didn't know there was an actual triangle. I thought she'd been pretty clear and forthright with both of them and not left either one hanging. I'm disappointed. I really thought that for once, we had one character who was upfront about what she did and what she felt and wasn't going to get involved in any soap-opera dances.

A jalapeño pepper in a martini glass? What kind of drink is that?

I guess Tigh is used to it, but I still think it's weird for a married woman to get dressed up and go out, alone, to a bar to hang out and drink. And again we have the faint metallic stink of arbitrariness, that it just happens to be Ellen (Tigh's wife) and Lee (Adama's son) and Billy (Roslin's heart-son) who are all hostages.

Speaking of hostages -- what did Abinell and her friends think was going to happen to them after they took out the Cylon? Did they not expect prison time? Or did they not care? This isn't the first time we've had a standoff at gunpoint in the series either, which either means the Colonials typically joined the NRA at age five or the writers have a limited bag of Drama-Creating Tricks.

Actually, that led us into a discussion about why the civilians had guns in the first place. Moogie asked, why aren't all the guns kept locked up, only to be used by security personnel? Why isn't everyone searched when they come on board a ship? My response was that if the Colonies are based on the U.S., which they seem to be thus far, then they have the equivalent of the right to bear arms. There is currency, there is a black market, there are objects and people of high value, and they all have to be protected. People will demand the ability to take care of themselves because even two battlestars don't have the personnel to be policing everyone everywhere. Fifty-thousand-odd people have to be spread over a few hundred ships. By sheer numbers, there just isn't enough to go around, so people have to be able to protect themselves against the inevitable lawless element (or possible Cylon boarding party). And if Galactica can't control the medicine and food stores among the fleet, how in hell could they possibly control all the guns? Also, some ships are going to be stricter than others. Cloud 9 is an open port (which apparently has sloppy security). Some ships will probably be like the "boomer" ships on ENT were supposed to be -- generational long-haulers who govern themselves for the most part. Those people will have spent lifetimes together. The captain will say that s/he knows the people and trusts them to keep their guns and behave rationally. So I didn't find it odd that a few civilians would have weaponry.

Regarding the interstitial promo with the cybrid baby: I would just like to point out that the only times we've seen a Cylon spine light up is when Sharon and Six were gettin' busy with their respective human boytoys. Do we really need to know that much about fetal sex life?

Um, dry ice in a drink? isn't that extremely bad for you?

Ellen says "let me talk to them," meaning the kidnappers. Then all she does is screech and wail for her life! This is her idea of talking to them? Was it a drunken show of bravado for Lee?

I'm sort of torn regarding Pregnant Sharon and how Adama treats her. On the one hand, one has to imagine even Cylons have limits, and at some point Adama's doubts are going to piss her off and she's going to stop cooperating. On the other hand, a person who turned on her race is a person who turned on her race -- can she ever truly be trusted? As I mentioned in a prior commentary, she has a habit of only revealing critical information when it's convenient to save her ass. They do need to treat her with a certain respect as a tactical source, but if they give her too much leeway, she can indeed play them. The kidnappers aren't wrong to be worried about Adama, and thereby the rest of the fleet, being taken for a ride. We still don't know if she cut herself off from the groupmind by choice and can therefore reconnect.

Sharon grabs her stomach when the baby kicks (from what I hear, that's not supposed to be painful. Maybe the kid's titanium skeleton hasn't grown a covering of tissue yet?), then when she's standing up, her right hand is just slightly out of view. Did she just lean on her knee to stand, or did she slip something under the table and attach it? We weren't sure.

If Gaeta knows that Kara and Lee are both on Cloud 9, plus the nameless Marine redshirts, why don't they know Dee is there also? She's a petty officer (i.e., she's not a non-commissioned officer or a plain crewperson) and a Bridge officer. The others were there on R&R just like she was. Isn't she worth worrying over?

I was surprised not to hear some comment about "so-and-so is a soldier and knows that s/he might die in the service of the Colonial fleet blah blah" when discussing killing hostages. But then, given that my major complaint about this ep is that it's formula, I suppose it's a good thing that they chose not to throw in the typical line.

They're in a bar. There's all that ice for the drinks. Think that might have been a good thing to put on Lee's wound?

Adama curiously asks Sharon "If I asked you" to identify the various Cylon agents in the fleet, rather than directly asking her. Like he doesn't want to force her to lie, or put her in a bad spot, or make her choose sides. So: why doesn't he? Why not make her declare her allegiance? Why not ask her why she's helping them? For Helo? For the sprog? It's easier to trust someone when you know her motives.

I thought Adama's gamble was pretty good -- I would have gone for the same thing -- but they could have taken a minute for Doc Quack to put some fake skin and a little makeup over the autopsy incision. They can't assume the kidnappers are that stupid not to pull back the sheet beyond the corpse's chin. And if they kept going and saw the big bullet hole where Cally shot her, Abinell had the press clippings of the Jack Ruby moment, so she would know immediately which corpse it was.

So why did Roslin lean over oddly and touch the morgue wall with her fingertips before leaning over Billy? I thought she was collecting condensation for some kind of Last Rites, but then she touches her face and then brushes a few stray bangs off his face. If she wanted to clean blood off his forehead, she would have used spit and a handkerchief like a mom.

Okay, the blocking, framing, and light on Kara as she leaves Sickbay looking over her shoulder at Dee and Lee is exactly the same blocking, framing, and light as was used on Lee when he walked out of the gym looking over his shoulder at Dee and Billy. C'mon, folks.

What was the final shot of Sharon about? I am completely confused.

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