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Battlestar Galactica 2K: "Eye of Jupiter"

When Adama gives the clearance to launch nuclear missiles at the spot where his son, daughter-in-law, surrogate daughter, her husband, and his chief engineer are all currently standing and there's no tension, something's gone a wee bit awry. But other than that, pretty interesting episode.

ARG! That business about the "inexhaustible food supply" (what the frak?!) and "the food manufacturing system" and "this algae can keep us alive indefinitely" are REALLY IMPORTANT! That all should have been in the aired episode last week. Those are big details! How does that get relegated to the Previously Reel? It really ticks me off when they edit so badly that critical story elements have to be jammed in after the fact. C'mon, you're telling me thirty seconds of pilots yelling at orange radiation fog couldn't have been trimmed to slip those lines in?

Anyway. We thought Tyrol was hearing Cylon Raider engines over the hills -- certainly sounded like it to me.

Is there an actual link between the twelve Lords of Kobol/signs of the zodiac and the twelve Cylon models, or is it just that the human society from which the Cylons came operated with twelve as a sacred number (like we tend to think of seven as being important or "lucky") so that's what the Cylons picked?

I am officially disgusted with both Lee and Kara. Lee is more of a disappointment, because at least he's owning up to his feelings, his bad behavior, and his guilt, and he's willing to get a divorce. But Kara? "Marriage is a sacrament" but it's perfectly okay to "bend the rules"? I want to smack her. I can't even say I'm appalled, because she's repeatedly shown her immaturity and hedonism, and how she chases the moment, adrenaline, risk, the thrill, with very little thought to the consequence. I seriously doubt she's given much thought to the idea of "the sacrament of marriage." It's probably a concept she grasped vaguely as a child and hangs onto now as a nebulous kind of "but it's always been that way," without ever actually taking it out and examining it in daylight as an adult. She certainly has no moral compunction about violating it, or her "vow in the sight of the gods," as Lee correctly points out. (and then Anders wearily tells Lee "what, you think you're the first?" ouch!...) They both either need to get divorced or stay the hell away from each other. And PLEASE, Ron, for the love of little green apples, DON'T turn this arc into another endless Soap Opera E-Plot. Please.

And while you're at it, try not to turn all the nonbelievers devout, okay? Even in a pagan society, there should be room for atheists.

You know, all the Sharons have pin-straight hair, and Helo has fairly straight hair. Why is Hera's hair full of adorable little curls?

Let's consider this "Temple of The Five" thing for a moment. It's mentioned in the Kobolian scriptures, and the physical structure dates to about four thousand years prior. The assumption here is that the 13th Tribe left Kobol, heading for Earth, and left markers along the way. But unless they already knew the way to Earth, they would have had to get there, turned around, and come back to Kobol and leave directions as they doubled back again, because there's no point in leaving instructions for someone to follow you if you don't know where you're going! In any case. "The Five" is a concept in the Kobolian mythology. The five what we don't know. Five of the twelve lords? Five daughters or sisters or sons of someone? (For example, the constellation we know as "The Pleiades" is also called "The Seven Sisters," representing seven daughters of Atlas, the guy who holds up the world, and a sea nymph. Amusingly, the word for "pleiades" in Japanese is Subaru, thus the logo. But I digress.) Now, the Cylons happen to have this breakoff group of five models about whom the other seven don't speak. Remember that so far as we know, the humans invented the Cylons as mechanical servants. Whichever individuals left, they created twelve models -- not twelve sects, but "models," templates -- which they used to make endless body copies. So based on the seven we know, these five are also likely clones. The seven we know took on human form (and stuck an eighth face on the hybrid, but apparently that doesn't count). The other five could obviously be anything. But no matter what form they took, they started forty or fifty years ago as human-built robots. Even if the missing five took on aspects of the human deities to become literal deii ex machinae, gods in the machines, they are at best fifty years old. I'm just pointing this out so we're not expecting the missing five to be part of the human pantheon or something, because the Kobolian mythology is four millennia old and the Cylons are not.

Why do Threena, Brother Cy, and Boomer want to negotiate with the Colonials? Brother Cy has a pretty good point from the Cylons' tactical view. What good does it do them not to wipe out Galactica? If Baltar is to be believed, he talked really fast to get Threena to agree, but why did she? (And Rebel Six is pointedly not in this group. The Leoben in the High Council comes and goes, but Rebel Six is pretty consistent. Are Threena and Baltar shutting her out, or was there some reason a Six shouldn't be on Galactica?) And not for anything, but Threena was really showing off her cleavage in that outfit. If that neckline had plunged any lower we could have seen if Lucy Lawless is an innie or an outie.

Boomer seems to have gotten over her human life. Or was she only pissed because Tigh ordered the Marines to guard her and wouldn't let her near Adama? Or is she cranky and sleep-deprived over taking care of some other Eight's kid? Interesting how she and Athena each glared like the other was the traitor.

Given Baltar's general scumbagness, I think his words to Roslin about "it's good to see you, Laura" were an excess of his own sentiment about returning to Galactica, which quickly sours when she doesn't show him the respect he thinks he deserves for saving her life "again," as he insists. Meanwhile, it's all she can do not to rip off his head and beat him to death with it.

"We come in peace," intones Brother Cy. Legions of Trekkies sing in unison "Shoot to kill, shoot to kill, shoot to kill, we come in peace, shoot to kill, Scotty, beam me up!"

Do we know for a fact that the Eye of Jupiter is a thing, and not, for example, Hera? Do we know that it's a thing and not an event like the supernova which Gaeta conveniently predicted? Which is going to happen while Threena is down on the planet, because she refuses to leave when both Cylons and the Colonial team get out? (And which side is going to snag Baltar?)

This scene has a few examples of narrative shortcut. How does Brother Cy know that Roslin is to be called "Madame President" again? Assumption, given her presence, or was that included in the diplomatic briefing somewhere? And Threena tells Adama "you want to find Earth as much as we do," but she shouldn't know the Colonials know that, and she shouldn't tell them if they don't -- that's a big tactical reveal, so far as she knows. Even if they're monitoring Colonial newscasts, that particular tidbit wouldn't be public knowledge. I realize that at some point you just have to move the story forward with what the audience knows, but occasionally we trip over things.

We still don't know why both parties want Earth. I could see Adama protecting it just to keep the Cylons from killing other humans, but he could have easily have said "I have no problem blowing it up because we don't need to go there -- we can go anywhere we want." And the Cylons really have no need for that particular planet. The dramatic push feels a little arbitrary.

Kara doesn't get it -- she can't ignore Anders for weeks, knock boots when she's bored, take off again to frolic with Lee, and then expect that she can make puppy eyes at Anders and control his temper when he gets angry with Lee. She loses the right to puppy eyes and pleading when she walks out on her husband. He's clearly a dope for not divorcing her, serial adultery and all, but that's on him.

Why does Lee have that bizarre lump on his left jawline? He looks like he's storing nuts for the winter or something.

Why did Cally mention missing her son? Foreshadowing: a valid literary technique. (Moogie thinks he's going to be ransomed somehow for Hera, but I'm not sure how that would work.)

What truth is Threena chasing? Is it just religious claptrap? Some vision she's seeing between repeated downloads? What does it matter who the Five are if she can't get to them while she's still alive and in a body? (And remember, no matter what the hybrid is babbling, oracles never speak plainly. Every utterance has another interpretation. Besides, there are at least two other Chosen Ones.) She also heard the hybrid wrong. The hybrid says, "The Five Lights of the Apocalypse rising, struggling towards the light, sins revealed only to those who enter the temple." She does not say "the Five Lights will be revealed."

Baltar is really despicable here, but as always he's most interested in himself. If Threena can prove that he's one of the Five, that he's a Cylon, he can stop feeling guilty about his past actions. Never mind what Rebel Six has done for him; his own skin (or in this case his conscience) is his greatest priority. Even though Threena appeared to be in agreement with Brother Cy back on Galactica a few hours earlier that they could dump him back off with the Colonials in exchange for the Eye of Jupiter, he goes with her version of his "destiny" because it suits him better to think about it.

Speaking of Rebel Six, though, she tells Threena and Baltar that she loves both of them. Wasn't the whole idea that Love was something the Cylons were having trouble experiencing? That they had to pursue it in humans to grasp it fully or to feel it at all? She told Threena back on New Caprica "If you'd ever been in love, you wouldn't have to ask" if it was worth the risk. So Threena had clearly not experienced Love at that point. But introduce a human to the triangle and now she can? And now she can love another Cylon? Or does the word mean something different when it's applied to each species?

For a species which objects to individuality, they have adopted quite a few human names for the individual personalities in the models, haven't they? Caprica, Sharon, D'Anna, Cavil?

Aha, so Adama didn't know about Hera! I didn't think he could pull off that level of deception given how close he and Athena got. From the brief shot it doesn't look like Athena is blaming him, but she's still pretty cranked, and I can't blame her.

The problem with the cliffhanger is that it doesn't hang, so to speak. We know that Kara isn't dead, despite her Raptor going down, and we know that even if the missiles are launched, Lee is not going to die either. Dee, Anders, Chief, Cally, all the redshirts are potentially expendable -- leaving it wide open for Anders to sacrifice himself to save Kara, freeing her from the marriage and saddling her with more guilt -- but there's not much to worry about over the break. We're not even concerned about serious injury, to be honest. But it's only a month or so between seasons, so I guess they didn't have to go crazy doing something to coax people back.

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