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His own worst enemy?

December 24, 2008

Was it suicide or murder?

Lt. Gaeta wonders: Was it suicide or murder?

So, in the spirit of the British tradition of horror stories on Christmas Eve (think of all those ghosts of Christmas past, present and future in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol), our latest webisode installment, The Face of the Enemy # 5 brings us yet another murder mystery Lieutenant Felix Gaeta had better solve and quick, or he might be the next victim. That is, if he isn’t the killer himself.

As you may recall in Webisode 4, Pilot!Eight got electrocuted and the crew decided they had to jettison her body before it starts emitting poisonous gases. So Webisode 5 opens with a shot of the crew in their airtight pilot suits, doing just that. We get a rather somber shot of her body in a loose fetal position, floating off forever into open space.The whole while, Gaeta watches the other Eight carefully for clues, and notes that she seems to be tearfully mourning her dead sister.

Is she? Or did she kill her sister Cylon herself?

In this webisode, the characterization of the surviving Eight (whom from now on, i will simply refer to as “Eight”) seems to be turning more complex, away from the almost unfailingly creepy and stalkerish, and towards maybe actually having been in love with Gaeta on New Caprica. We see flashbacks of them engaging in what seems like a genuinely loving kiss as they discuss the list of prisoners Gaeta has given her to try and liberate. (In this webisode, Eight claims to have found and released some of the names on the list, although we get no outside evidence of this and Gaeta doesn’t ask for any.)

However, she still is engaging in some very sketchy behavior in the present. For example, she watches Gaeta secretly shoot up morpha while everyone’s apparently sleeping, and rather than confront him, pretends to be asleep herself. She says nothing to him about it until later, when Specialist Brooks turns up dead with two of Felix’s spent morpha doses near his body. Either he killed himself with an overdose, or someone murdered him.

Again, just like in Webisode 2, when she waited for the chaos to begin before dropping on Gaeta the “I was the one you knew on New Caprica” bomb, in this Webisode, Eight waits for the paranoia over Brooks’ death to hit the crew before she turns to Gaeta and tells him (in not at all a low voice) “I won’t tell them. I saw you moving around. I won’t tell them.”

What is this Eight up to? I’m beginning to wonder if this Eight’s whole mission here has become to frak with Gaeta’s head. Cylons like to do that, you know. Think of Leoben. Think of D’Anna. Cavil, Simon.

But the writers are really piling on the suspicion on Eight here, to the point where it seems so obvious, that I’m starting to wonder about their real intentions. The fact that no one in the Raptor no on hears the Eight say “I won’t tell,” and questions Gaeta about that also seems a little fishy. They’re trying to leave room for Gaeta to have committed murder in a morpha-induced haze. Now, my bias for Gaeta is showing here, but I am starting to hope that all this fishy behavior on the part of the crew, and a number of other odd details popping up means that this is all actually nothing more than a very dark hallucination/dream on Felix’s part.

But if the Eight is the culprit? Why? What does it get her? And why throw suspicion on Gaeta? What does that get her? Is this some plot to make Felix think he’s a Cylon? More and more, the “Face of the Enemy” title is filling me with a sense of foreboding.It doesn’t help that in the enhanced version of Webisode 5 (with commentary by webisodes co-writer Jane Espenson), Espenson describes these webisodes as a “very dark little story.”

Anyway, another major development revealed in this webisode is that Eight’s secret plan to get their stranded Raptor home is to sync herself up with the Raptor’s computer (much like Lt. Sharon Agathon did back in Season 2’s “The Flight of the Phoenix”) and find the corrupted coordinates that made them jump to the wrong place. Her reason for not telling Gaeta about this plan until the other people were asleep: If people saw her doing it, they’d assume she was sabotaging the ship. She also conveniently turns out to be carrying a scalpel so she can cut into her skin to make the connection. When everyone else is asleep, she wants Gaeta to stand guard while she hooks herself up with the ship.

However, this plan may become much more complicated after the discovery of Brooks’ body, since the crew have now tied up her wrists so they can sleep in peace (heh, good luck with that).

In my opinion, Pilot!Eight’s electrocution could very well have been an accident, but I do NOT believe Brooks killed himself. And there’s no way Gaeta killed him, because he’s obviously never displayed violent behavior on morpha before, or Hoshi would have stopped getting it for him.

Poor Felix Gaeta does NOT need more guilt in his life at this point, but BSG seems determined to give it to him. I mean, even if he didn’t turn out to overdose Brooks himself in some morpha-induced haze, you just know he’s going to blame himself for bringing that morpha on board. For the sake of poor Felix’s mental stability, I’m again hoping that this is all one big morpha hallucination on Felix’s part, and at the end he wakes up in the lap of luxury on the Zephyr, with Hoshi feeding him algae grapes.

But whatever is going on here, clearly Gaeta needs to switch out his morpha shots for No-Doz.

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2 comments

  1. Nice review.

    Girly!Eight has moved to Crazy!Eight, Creepy!Eight, and now possibly TylerDurden!Eight. You’re right, something about this certainly doesn’t hold water. A few further points about Brook’s death: if it was suicide, where did he get the morpha. He might have brought his own: we don’t know, because we haven’t yet see Felix check his stash. That seems unlikely, but if the show doesn’t stop to check, we have to leave this possibility on the table, just as we don’t know if Pilot!Eight’s death was murder or accident.

    Maybe the story here is one of shit going wrong piling up on more shit, and there is no villain, just bad luck and compounding circumstance. After all, with dwindling oxygen, everyone is getting loopy. Brooks might have responded with some kind of delusion heroic fantasy, or suicidal ideation, or even just figured that a shot of morpha would help him sleep, and, being a bit hypoxic, took two.

    If it is murder (and showing us that the morpha had been Felix’s would do that, I think), then we have a different set of questions. How could it be Felix? This seems completely unlike the earnest, idealistic, empathetic, and kind man we have seen over 3.5 seasons. What possible motive would lead him to do commit such crimes? Madness induced by narcotics and/or thin air also seem dubious to me. The morpha should make him docile and unconscious, not murderous.

    Which leaves our remaining Eight: she’s got means and opportunity. However, motive becomes truly baffling. Why does she want any of them dead, much less all of them? How much of what we have seen so far did she actually do? Did she arrange for the false alarm that triggered the corrupted jump? Did she mess with computer? Did she sabotage the CO2 scrubbers? Did she strip the plyer handles? Did she inject Brooks with a morpha overdose?

    For her to do any of those things is puzzling, and the further back in the chain we go, the more we must boggle at HOW she did it, much less why. Let’s suppose, just for a moment, that she only did the last thing: kill Brooks. Why? And more: why stop there? Felix didn’t notice her taking the morpha. Brooks didn’t notice the injections, so why would Shark or Easy? True, there were only four ampules left, not enough to OD all of them, but she could OD Brooks, and still hit both of the other two with enough to knock them out. She could then kill them all at her leisure. So why doesn’t she?

    So many baffling questions. Fortunately, the brevity of the episodes (half way through and it’s at what? 20 minutes running time?) has kept me in suspense, instead of annoyed.


  2. Yes, understanding these deaths really does come down to that old detective mantra – means, motive and opportunity. So far, none of these are at all clear. I too am finding it intriguing and not annoying. At least not yet.

    So far, the only way these irrationalities you mention make any sense is if this is a dream – dreams have no obligation to be rational, or else if Eight is trying to play with Gaeta’s mind for some reason purely of her own. Could it be that she truly loved him on New Caprica and he was actually playing her all along in order to get her help in freeing the humans? What if this is her revenge on him for leaving her high and dry on New Caprica?

    If this is Gaeta Tyler Durdening, as you put it, I agree. Why? The show will have a lot of explaining to do on that front.

    Thanks for your comment!
    Otherwise, I am out of ideas.



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