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Was it all for nothing?

February 8, 2009
It will never be your desk, Felix.

It will never be your desk, Felix.

Our usual reviewer, millari, is off at NYCC this weekend (Yes, we are all jealous but yes, we expect a con report), so we get a different point of view this week.

What follows is a review of “Blood on the Scales” by Gem.  Contains Spoilers.

In an episode filled with mass executions, near executions, and one dead DRADIS monkey (thank you millari), was anything really accomplished by this mutiny? Will Adama and Roslin learn from their mistakes and consult with fleet leaders more often, or will they continue to leave everyone in the dark? When left in the dark, one will inevitably seek out light. Unlike Adama and Roslin, Gaeta and Zarek provided the fleet with answers and reassurances (and, yes played on their fears), but their coup was nearly successful because of it. However, Zarek being, well…Zarek, went too far and ended up appointing himself judge, jury, and executioner. Not a smart decision on his part. The former Vice-President has consistently put his needs above all else, therefore he could never be the man at the top, even if he is the man with the plan.

I’d be the first to admit the Admiral and President have not been the leaders they once were, be that as it may, it is not wise to back either of them into a corner. Gaeta and Zarek were the ones that ultimately found themselves in a corner (or an airlock as it were). Adama and Roslin are by no means perfect, despite that fact, they are humanity’s best hope for survival. Accepting cylon technology is essential at this stage of the game. The crack in Galactica’s hull seems like a strong indication that the “bucket” requires a serious overhaul.

Speaking of Laura Roslin, I was thrilled to see Madame President back in action. Mary McDonnell was terrific in this episode. Of course, she’s always amazing, but it was especially enjoyable watching Roslin throw her weight around on the cylon baseship. Besides that one moment when Tory, undoubtedly, convinced the cylon fleet to jump away, Roslin was in complete command. And, Zarek, you fool, don’t tell Laura Roslin you killed Bill Adama and expect not to feel her wrath. Roslin’s grief turned to rage in a matter of seconds. Seriously, how many presidents threaten you with their own eye teeth? Scary!

I wasn’t sorry to witness Tom Zarek’s demise, particularly after he executed the entire Quorum. Ok, so none of us loved the Quorum, that’s a given. Hell, their inability to take turns while speaking was down right annoying, nonetheless, there was no way of justifying Zarek’s order to kill them. Whatever truth he had on his side was lost in that moment. So, good riddence, Tom. Richard Hatch, on the other hand, will be missed.

So, my question is, now that the Quorom are no more, does this mean Adama and Roslin are officially King and Queen of the battlestar? Granted, they’ve basically been dictators for quite some time now,  however I’m still curious to see what becomes of the government at this point. Will another Quorum be assembled? Will Lee become Vice Prez?

On a happy note, welcome back Romo Lampkin. It always makes things more interesting when Romo gets involved. Turns out he can do some serious damage with a pen, and not just by writing legal briefs. Stupid marine never should’ve taken his sunglasses. Lucky for Kara (and Anders) that Romo came along when he did. It would appear that Sam has seen better days. What will become of him in the next episode?

While we’re on the topic of the Final Five, Tyrol got a hell of a workout during the Coup d’etat. For awhile there I was wondering where he was going, but as it turns out, the Chief was just doing what he does best, saving the day. Failed access codes won’t keep him from shutting down the FTL. I hope he takes charge of the hangar deck again, especially considering the Galactica is now deck-chiefless. RIP Laird.

Surprise, surprise. Baltar found himself in bed with a new Six. It’s really comforting to know Gaius can still find time for a little TLC during a crisis. His conscience did surface, though, and he made the decision to return to Galactica after realizing he had once again narrowly escaped, leaving his people behind. After spending the past four seasons loving to hate this character, I now catch myself routing for his transformation.

In the end, I did have sympathy for Gaeta, albeit not nearly as much as I would’ve had he died prior to this season. I understood his POV, and believe most of him wanted what was best for the fleet, but I also think his thought process was clouded by bitterness, allowing him to rationalize acts the old Felix never could have accepted. Yeah, he had a lot of crap thrown at him, but who hasn’t in this fleet? In my opinion, the best Gaeta/Baltar scene of the series was the one preceding Gaeta’s execution. It’s quite evident that Gaius will always feel some measure of responsibility for Gaeta’s actions, and until the end, believed Felix to be a good man. James Callis did a marvelous job expressing Baltar’s torment over Gaeta’s impending death. And, Alessandro Juliani, well he was just spectacular throughout the entire mutiny story arc.

Now that the mutiny has wrapped up, the Galactica crew will be on to another crisis in the next episode, No Exit. Will some of our longstanding questions be answered? Will Anders survive? Will Tory die? Ok, so she’s not in any immediate danger, but a girl can dream, right?

-Gem

* Not to fear, millari will be back next week *

5 comments

  1. I think Gaeta’s death was “earned” and though he died in shame, in many ways he accomplished what he set out to do. Roslin and Adama stepped back up the plate, which they needed to do.

    Baltar is so fascinating, isn’t he? Who is this new Six and why is she important? And why did Sharon allow the pregnant Six to run away with Hera in her arms, when she had so recently been willing to shoot another model for just daring to kneel down and talk to her daughter?

    A great episode. Thanks for the review!


  2. Well a lot has happened since Sharon shot that particular Six, this was an entirely different situation. Also, notice the Six Baltar was in bed with, clever use of makeup, no? She is starting to look more and more like Helen, the Final Cylon. I think that’s what that particular makeup job was all about especially since seeing the “resurrection” of Helen. With no current resurrection ship how does that happen? It will be interesting to find out.


  3. What a great review on a great episode.
    This two parter has got to be my most favorite episode of the series. Gaeta was such a loved character because of his stance on what was right. It’s funny that that is what turned him into a villan in the end.
    Wow such a powerful powerful episode.


  4. Thanks so much, Gem, for filling in for me this weekend as I was off at NYCC. You know, Felix Gaeta has been my favorite character on this show for years now, and I’d thought that I want to be the one to review the episode where he died, but now I’m glad I wasn’t faced with that task, because it would have been very hard for me not to make the whole review simply an elegy to Felix Gaeta, who always followed his moral compass, even when it put him in danger or resulted in him doing questionable things like this mutiny.

    This is a nicely balanced review that asks some important questions about the future of this Fleet, ones I hope that Adama and Roslin will ask themselves now that they have wrested control back from the mutineers. I also agree that it was nice to see Romo Lampkin back in action, and that he mentioned Jake the Resistance Dog! He was *so* Han Solo in this episode, with his roguish wisecracks, his speaking truth to power and his inability to suppress his conscience to ignore Kara and Sam’s plight.

    And I was blown away by that Baltar/Gaeta scene you mentioned. Gaeta spent so much of the series chasing after Baltar’s attention or else cleaning up after his messes, and it felt like Baltar finally felt some remorse about never really acknowledging Gaeta for all that. Gaeta looked at peace in that scene, and looked happy to make up with the man he’d thought of as a mentor, and it was great to see them interacting as equals for the first time ever. All that gave me some comfort as I start to contemplate a BSG ‘verse without Felix Gaeta.

    “No Exit” doesn’t sound like a promising episode, does it? *sigh*


  5. I agree, millari, “No Exit” doesn’t sound like a pick me up kind of episode…if there is such a thing on BSG. It’ll be interesting to see what Adama does with the mutineers. Will it be business as usual on the Galactica?

    I’m curious about the new Six too. What could this one offer to the storyline when we already have a pregnant Six who shares visions with Roslin, Athena, and Hera?



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