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January 23, 2006

Battlestar Galactica 213 - Epiphanies

President Roslin is dying, triggering a whole sequence of events. SPOLIERS AHEAD

Quite a packed plot. We have the President ordering the termination of Sharon's human/cylon baby, we have the emergence of a "peace" movement and we have the impending death of President Roslin.

Another episode about which I have mixed feelings.

Good bits:
I liked the dying scenes, and the flashbacks to before the Cylon attack, and I loved the ever increasing glimpses of Baltar in the background. As usual I also loved Baltar, especially his face when he realised he was going to be President. (And Adama telling him to at least pretend as if he could handle it!). The whole plot about Number Six organising the peace movement was pretty cool too and then Baltar going to see her. He shouldn't trust her though, I reckon she's devious, errr...oops he's just given her a nuke.

Bad bits:
The abortion issue and the war issue both seemed preachey. I know that both are big issues in the US but it just annoyed me. The implied analogy between the peace movement and the Cylon war and the current Iraq war seems wide of the mark, because let's face it there is no analogy. The rescue of the President by Baltar's genius was mildly annoying, not because of the solution but because I think it would have been good if she had died.

But overall a good episode and it ended great, Roslin trying to say that Baltar knew a Cylon and Baltar patting her hand and saying there, there. Made me laugh.


Unfortunately, I think this episode may mark when BSG jumped the shark. We're discussing it over on my blog if you'd like to join in:

I always say that BSG holds me with apt suspense -not so much as to what's going to happen next in the story, but rather whether or not the writers are deviously brilliant or just all-around horrid.

Though I enjoyed some of those bits you mentioned in this episode, in the end I was throwing chips at the TV and yelling "oh, come on!" "bullshit bull-fucking-shit".

There are two colossal reasons to stop watching the show:

1. Consistently comes off as Republican Propaganda.
Oh, there's "discourse" but it's like the writers have no frakkin clue about the real world. Good SF is grounded in a deep understanding of ALL political extremes. BSG keeps showing events as if the world worked the way the suburban-enclave right-wing first-worlders think it does. "OF COURSE space hippies would bomb the Galactica to pursue peace with a fascist force that DENIED humanity's unconditional surrender. Of course they'd do that. They're stupid. Everyone knows that. They don't actually have any frakkin intelligence behind their stance against US imperialism/invasion Iraq. So why should we bother writing smart motivations for them? They're just frakkin hippies. They always crop up." Jesus Christ. Before BSG I didn't really know there could be non-libertarian, non-leftist "sci-fi". Because SF writers aren't that frakkin stupid or insultingly glib. They expect their audience to have half-a-brain. Insofar as a Sci-fi show can be said to have any political alignment (we usually consider ourselves above that), BSG really seems all around… conservative. There are a few hints that they may be simply holding cards back (Hatch shows flashes of being a FAR better person than all the other characters make Zarek out to be), but still.

2. Not even bothering to keep the story consistent.
Out of fucking nowhere: Abort the fetus. Just cause we need some drama. No frakkin good reason why. No build up. No justification in character. We’re just lazy writers. There’s so many holes and out-of-character actions in this episode. I think we’re all smart enough to realize them. Regardless of whatever the writers may think of us.

And there’s only ONE clear cut good reason to continue.

1. Grace Park. But pregnant women just don’t do it for me and she looks to be getting a whole lot less screen time.

My impression was indeed that this episode was a bit right wing.

However, I'm sure that the focus for the scripts is keeping it entertaining and keeping viewers. Therefore I'm happy to forgive the odd bit of crazy plotting.

For example, the Presdent being ill. They decided that they wanted to keep the character so they had to do something. Similarily the cylon baby. Why would they not kill it?? So now they have a reason to keep it.

Personally I'd be happier if the politics was a bit lower in the mix though.