One of the drawbacks of ending Resurrection Ship, Part 1 in such a jaw dropping fashion is the worry the conclusion won’t live up to its predecessor. Though Resurrection Ship, Part 2 (★★★) did disappoint me in one particular area, which will somewhat skew the stakes of the entire show to a safer ground, the episode works on enough levels, and the series is so good as a whole, I can forgive it this one, big drawback.
from Battlestar Galactica Wiki
At the end of Resurrection Ship, Part 1, Baltar is gaining the trust of Pegasus Six, Roslin is succumbing to cancer, Helo and Chief are waiting to be executed and Adama and Cain were plotting the others’ demise.
This is probably my fourth or fifth viewing of this episode and this is the first time it has occurred to me that Cain knows Adama has tapped Kara to assassinate her. Apparently I’m not the savvy television viewer I think I am. In the conversation between the two, it sounds as if Cain is daring Kara to go through with it, to not flinch.
Lee is crushed that his father has ordered the assassination of Cain. He’s even more devastated when Adama tells him that he and the president are in on it together. Lee is such an idealist, he is a poor fit for an organization that requires unquestioned obedience. This episode marks the beginning of the end of Lee’s military service though don’t worry, it is a long process.
If so much wasn’t going on with the characters and interpersonal relationships, the battle between the battlestars and the Cylons would be the highlight of the episode. What we see of it is beautiful, but there is no drama in it. There’s no doubt the humans will prevail though you do wonder if Lee will survive after his ship is destroyed and he is ejected. We see the battle from his point of view, as he floats off into space and tries to plug the hole in his flight suit with his finger so his oxygen won’t vent before he is rescued. As Lee watches the destruction of the Cylons he gives up, unstopping the hole and floating away. Did he give up because he has lost faith in his father and Roslin? Because the line between right and wrong has become so blurred? Knowing Lee and his navel gazing proclivities, yes.
Once all those humanoid Cylons are killed, Kara does her walk of dread to Pegasus’ CIC to kill Cain. If Cain doubted the exsistence of Adama’s plan, Kara’s lack of euphoria and enthusiasm after the destruction of two base stars and the resurrection ship should clue her in. “I am so proud of you,” Cain says to Kara, almost like a mother. Adama and Cain make the necessary calls to congratulate each other and Adama asks to speak to Kara. She’s dreading the signal and is relieved when he backs out. Cain sees what happens and her better judgement prevails. Neither decide to go through with their plan.
Gaius and Pegasus Six are sitting alone in her cell while the battle rages. She can feel when they destroy the resurrection ship. Gaius lures the guard into the cell and Six kills him, taking his gun and giving it to Gaius to kill her. He refuses. She insists, saying suicide is a sin but she wants to die. Who knew? The Cylons are Catholic. Gaius tells her she needs justice and gives her the gun. Somehow, she manages to walk through the Pegasus without being detected and into Cains quarters, where she kills the Admiral.
From such a shocking end of the previous episode to this satisfying but rather pedestrian ending. Everyone gets what they deserve, I guess. Pegasus Six gets her revenge and escapes into the fleet with Gaius’ help. Gaius has a corpreal version of the woman he lost. Helo and Chief are released. Lee is saved (though he wishes he had died) and Roslin promotes Adama to an admiral, the correct rank for someone who commands two vessels. The only one that will have lasting effects of the events is Lee, who will have a hard time coming to grips with life once he gave up on it, though there will be repercussions for Gaius’ actions, as there always are. But, part of me feels like everyone got off pretty easy.
Which is my major problem with the episode. Everyone got off easy. By my count, six people were in life or death situations (Lee, Adama, Cain, Helo, Chief and Six). One person died. The guest star. Now, don’t think I’m bloody minded like Roslin and want these characters to die. But to have that many people on the cusp of death and have none of them die? That is what you call lowering the stakes, my friends. From this point on, you should never really consider it possible that a main character will die because it isn’t going to happen. I’m sorry to spoil you like that and maybe you don’t care. Maybe it is a relief that everyone is relatively safe for the run of the series but I don’t know. I feel like it’s kind of cheap.
- It always bothered me that the only human Cylon model you saw in the Resurrection Ship was Six. They could have included Sharon, Leoben, Simon (doctor from Caprica) and Doral (PR man from the mini). It isn’t like the whole thing wasn’t CGI and images couldn’t have been manipulated from earlier episodes. I’m not one to deeply question some of the stuff they hand wave away, but things like this irritate me. Seems lazy.
- It was his conversation with Sharon that changed Adama’s mind. She is brought to his quarters and he asks why the Cylons hate the human race so much. She brings up his speech at Galactica’s decommissioning (no idea how she knows about it) and says he asked why humanity deserves to live. She said, “Maybe you don’t.”
- Though Cain suspected Adama’s plan, I don’t think he had any idea her XO was in the CIC after the battle to kill him.
- It’s curious how Pegasus Six is able to walk through such a secure ship without being noticed. Kara had to show her ID just to get into the CIC and she had been there numerous times. There is also no explanation as to how she got off the ship. The show glosses over stuff like quite a lot.
- Kara gives a speech at Cain’s funeral that is surprisingly positive for the Admiral considering just a day before she was prepared to assassinate her.
- Of course, one of my favorite scenes is between Adama and Roslin when she promotes him. She looks awful, poor thing, and when she rises to leave, Adama kisses her. That moment was improvised by Edward James Olmos. He thought it felt right and did it, surprising Mary McDonnell and everyone. They liked it so much they did other takes, to get multiple angles. Nothing was as good as the first take, which is what we see.
- It’s a shame that Emmy voters don’t ever, and I mean ever, reward sci-fi shows because Mary McDonnell deserved an Emmy for the slow demise of Laura Roslin. Tricia Helfer also deserved award recognition for her portrayal of all the incarnations of Number Six. They are both stellar in this episode.
- “Do you drink, Thrace?” “Only to excess.” Cain and Kara, drinking and talking about not flinching.
- “Do not flinch.”
- “She’s made of sterner stuff than she’s given credit for.” Adama, talking to Lee about Laura Roslin.
- “Suicide is a sin, but I need to die.” “What you need is justice.” Pegasus Six and Baltar
- “So, where do we go from here?” Sharon to Helo, when he is freed for killing Thorne.
- “Congratulations, Admiral Adama.” Roslin after promoting Adama.
- “I never gave up hope but I just stopped trying to get them a long time ago.” Adama on being promoted.
from Battlestar Galactica Wiki
Flashbacks are a tricky device that can work well or be a total disaster. A new show I’m watching, Ringer, is using flashbacks with middling success, as is another new show, Revenge. In fact, the entire series of ˆ is a flashback, if I’m not mistaken. Battlestar Galactica did them at least once or twice a season, if not more, and were successful more often than not. One of their best uses of flashbacks is in Epiphanies (★★★).
When we first meet Laura Roslin in the mini-series, she is getting the news that she has a very short time to live. Then, the world ends and she has to take up the mantle of President of the Twelve Colonies and discover her destiny as the dying leader that will lead the human race to earth. Whew. That’s quite an agenda for anyone, let alone someone with terminal breast cancer. She’s kept it hidden, used it for political gain, fought through it to lead a jungle expedition but is finally succumbing.
I’m thrilled they followed through with Roslin’s cancer, that they didn’t sweep it under the rug, letting her linger on with treatment for months or years. Here we are, halfway through the second season and she is on the cusp of death. I remember when I watched this season “live” I was freaking out that she might die. She and Adama quickly became my two favorite characters, probably because I can relate to him as a flawed parent and I dream about being a high-powered important woman like Roslin. I was going to be crushed if she died. After watching Resurrection Ship, Part 2, I had my doubts that she would. On the other hand, this is Mary McDonnell. She is a critically acclaimed actress on a sci-fi cult show. If anyone would leave for bigger roles, it would be her or EJO.
So I watched this show with trepidation and half a mind, one focusing on what was going on and the other on Roslin’s fate. That means, basically, I didn’t pay a hell of a lot of attention to the “Let’s work for peace with the Cylons/Sabatoge the military” subplot. I should have, because it comes important at the end of the season. It is a better than average subplot, with the nuke Adama gave Gaius in season one coming into play and the explanation as to where this “Make Peace With the Cylons” idea that will be important later on is coming from. It’s Gina, better known as Pegasus Six.
The more interesting story in my mind is Laura’s slow descent to death. As she is fading in and out of consciousness she flashes back to the last day on Caprica, when she got the horrible news and she left for the Galactica. Let’s just put my hair obsession aside (I hate her hair in the mini-series and it is inconsistent throughout this episode, as is her wardrobe) and focus on the part of the day that we didn’t see in the mini-series, namely her meetings with President Adar and a representative of the striking teachers union. We learn a few key points in these flashbacks: one, Roslin was having an affair with Adar; two, she was willing to take charge and go out on a limb for something she believed in; three, Adar asked for her resignation as Secretary of Education before she left for Galactica; and four, she saw Baltar with Six that day but didn’t realize it.
Flashbacks are most effective when they flesh out a character or reveal important plot points. These flashbacks do both. They show Laura as a strong politician with initiative, something that will be vital just a few hours later. The knowledge that she was less than a day away from being ousted from her cabinet role makes her elevation to president all the more astounding. The revelation of the Adar affair humanizes her in a way that the cancer diagnoses cannot, as a sexual being. Now, to many that might be an ewww factor, since for the younger viewers she is more like their mother than anything else. But, for older viewers, it is a natural part of life that many shows choose to gloss over or ignore altogether with their mature characters. Finally, her discover of Baltar’s relationship gives at least one character the knowledge that the viewer has had since day one. What will that mean? Nothing if she doesn’t live.
Enter Baltar, Cottle, Sharon and her baby and, to a certain degree, Gina. Cottle discovers abnormalities in the baby’s blood, which leads Roslin to make her final act as president be the destruction of Sharon’s child. Baltar doesn’t know quite how to save the baby, so he takes a bit of time out to go get a little nookie (he hopes) on Cloud Nine from Gina, who he has been hiding there in the weeks since the destruction of the Resurrection ship. She is pushing him to be the bridge between Cylon and human peace when he becomes president. He realizes, almost simultaneously, that he doesn’t want to be president and the key to saving Roslin might be in the Cylon/human baby’s blood. Needless to say, it works and Roslin lives, but not before she fully realizes that Baltar was complicit in the destruction of their world.
- Shockingly, I don’t have any “other thoughts” for this episode.
Next up, one of the worst episodes of the series, if my memory serves. BBC is taking a break from BSG for a couple of weeks, to premiere a new show. I am going to try to watch a two-part mini-series based on Pegasus’ time before they met Galactica and review that. For some reason, it isn’t available to stream instantly on Netflix like the series is. Weird.