Friday , May 24 2024
In which the Cylons fight each other and the men of Galactica make some poor fashion choices.

TV Review: Battlestar Galactica – “Six of One”

The second episode of the fourth season, "Six of One", set a couple of events in motion that will propel the saga forward in a big way as the season progresses.

For starters, we witnessed the resolution of Kara's assault on President Roslin, which ends, predictably, with Kara back in the brig. As expected, she elicits the maximum love/hate response from Adama, who nearly chokes her to death in her cell and then later… well, we'll get to that in a moment. One of the things you have to love about Adama is the depth of his feeling — he tends to be pretty hard on the people he loves the most, and in spite of the fact that he's disowned Kara before, the fact is that he does love her like a daughter and responds to this situation accordingly.

Kara's return from the "dead" — or wherever or whatever it is that she's returned from, if she is in fact the real Kara — has pretty much spun him out of control. He and Roslin argue about Kara's return and her insistence about having been to Earth. They take plenty of psychological swipes at each other along the way. While we know that Adama likes to kick back with a drink at the end of the day, in this scene he wavers uncharacteristically on the point of drunkenness. He's not only spinning out of control about Kara, he's also contemplating Roslin's impending death from her returned cancer, and Lee's departure from the military.

Speaking of Lee's departure from the military (he's been asked to take a seat on the Quorum and he's accepted), you'd think that, given the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it thing, there'd be some kind of stop-loss policy in effect among the fleet. With a dwindling population and that whole "the Cylons are going to extinguish the human race" thing going on, you'd think that ace fighter pilots with command experience would be at a premium, but instead Lee gets to resign whenever the hell he feels like it. I don't find that scenario especially realistic, but I'm going to file it along with a lot of other things I like to wonder about (like why they were experiencing a food shortage but never seem to run out of stuff like booze or toothpaste).

Kara and Lee share a special farewell moment in the brig that feels like a real goodbye for them. I had the sense that they were simultaneously acknowledging their love for each other and recognizing that they had separate destinies to pursue at this point. The crew of Galactica turns out for a formal leave-taking ceremony as Lee (nattily attired in a god-awful pinstriped suit with a collarless shirt underneath — did I mention that the men on this show tend to look better in uniform?) departs the ship. He and Dualla have a scene here where they lay their dead marriage to rest in an amicable way, but that, too, feels as though it fell too neatly into place.

Meanwhile, back at the Secret Cylon Clubhouse, the newly revealed four continue (along with the rest of us) to wonder who the fifth is. It's apparent to all of them that getting close to Gaius Baltar might be one way to get some information, and since we all know that Gaius has a weakness for the ladies, Tory draws the short straw by default. Tigh tells her she needn't go all the way, but the implications are clear. Later on, Tory strikes up a conversation with Gaius, who for some inexplicable reason is wearing what looks like a Members Only jacket. That and his new 'do conspire to make him look like he escaped from the '80s, which throws my whole mental timeline for this show out of whack. Tory and Gaius end up in the sack, Tory cries while they do it, and whether this will have been worth it remains to be seen. Oh, and while he and Tory are chatting, he's visited by Imaginary Gaius, who seems to have taken the place of Imaginary Six. What these visitations mean about him we have yet to learn; the possibility of him being the Fifth and Final Cylon certainly exists, but it seems too obvious.

On a Cylon basestar, an argument is in progress over whether Cavil had the right to re-program the Raiders (effectively lobotomizing them). His decision stems from the fact that the Raiders refused to continue firing on the fleet once they recognized that Anders was among them; clearly the Raiders recognized his Cylon-ness, which in Cavil's view makes them less than effective (he doesn't want them thinking about the Final Five, which is something the other seven models have been programmed not to do). Feeling among the Cylons over this issue is split right down the middle (which leads us to believe that there are equal numbers of copies of each model) with the decision deadlocked until Boomer breaks with Cylon precedent and votes against her model to side with Cavil.

As the Cylons argue among themselves over the issue, Six (the Natalie version) summons a couple of Centurions into the room (she's removed an important piece of hardware from them that keeps them from thinking for themselves), who lay waste to Cavil and his cohorts in a bloody shoot-out. This turn of events is one of the major ones I alluded to at the beginning of this review. We now have the Cylons splintering into what appear to be at least two distinct factions (among the six "human" models), and we also have the possibility of independent action arising on the part of both the Raiders and the Centurions. We have some Cylons going against their own programming and thinking quite a bit about the Final Five — and with Natalie's move, we're looking at an outright insurrection.

The other major event I alluded to is the resolution of Kara's story. She's taken (in handcuffs) from the brig and marched into Adama's presence. He informs her that they've found her a garbage scow and that Helo has handpicked her a skeleton crew. Adama's got an official cover story for her mission, but the bottom line is that he's giving her permission to go off in search of Earth. The father in him — the one who wants to believe in Kara because she is his daughter, spiritually if not biologically — has won the argument. The show seems to be headed off in two distinct directions now, as Kara's search will take her far from Galactica, at least for a while.

While the acting on BSG is always above par, Edward James Olmos and Katee Sackhoff really stand out in this episode. The emotions from both of them, ranging from rage to love and hitting a lot of places in between, are nearly palpable. On the surface, this episode seemed more talk than action, but the storylines that have been set up here are big ones and will reverberate throughout the remainder of the season.

About Lisa McKay

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