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'Battlestar Galactica' recap: Regime change

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Edward James Olmos, Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
09/06/06

‘Battlestar Galactica’ recap: Regime change

Hey, everybody. Hope y’all had a nice week off, one that was filled with barbecue, beer, and paying tribute to our honored dead. But we’re back in Galactica-ville, having strapped in to an episode in which stuff happens. Which is no small feat in modern television, given the corporate desire to keep everything as status quo as possible, so as to not strand, isolate, or annoy viewers.

Whether any of the jaw-dropping changes that took place in ”Sine Qua Non” stick is a matter for Battlestar Galactica TV Watches to come. But for now, for this episode, leaders stepped down and stepped up.

ADAMA: TWISTING IN THE WIND

As of late, the Good Admiral has been swinging like a pendulum between his usual hard-ass self and a softer, more caring version of the Old Man: the one he saves for Laura. But we’ve never seen him swing this far into both extremes.

The loathe-on he had for Athena, when he dressed her down for murdering Natalie Six, was remarkable. I mean, no one gives angry face like Edward James Olmos, but it looked like he was gonna break that sourpuss frown, he was working it so hard. (And is it just me, or whenever Adama lays into someone he loves, does it bring to mind being, like, 13, and getting yelled at by your dad?)

And Dad, it seemed, had as little patience for visions as I do. Really, ”I shot her because I had a vision” is a crazy-person excuse. Why doesn’t anyone in this world realize that? And beyond that, why don’t they see that every vision anyone’s ever had has led to nothing but heartache, pain, and disaster?

If Adama weren’t peeved enough at Athena’s betrayal of his trust, when he found out about Tigh’s conjugal visits to Caprica Six, he blew his stack. I got the sense that Adama was so frustrated by everything — the disappearance of Roslin (and most of his fighter wing), Athena’s homicidal vision quest, and the prospect of President Tom Zarek — that he needed someone to hit. And Tigh, ever the executive officer, knew it. I think Tigh let himself be manipulated into that fight, because he kind of needed it, too. Maybe just to see if he’d kill his oldest friend if they got in a full-blown fight.

These two old warhorses, both in love with women they shouldn’t be in love with.

And that’s the other extreme that Adama swung to, signified by his open admission that he can’t live without Laura. (He loooooooves her.) He put the entire fleet in jeopardy to search for the president of the Colonies without thinking twice — and when the folly of the situation was pointed out, he gave up his command. Bill ”Husker” Adama put on a jock smock and took off in a Raptor, to sit by himself in deep space, waiting for the woman he loves to return. (Sniff.)

NEXT: Is Tigh a Cylon baby daddy?

TIGH ROLLS A SIX

So, Caprica Six is pregnant. By Saul Tigh. Huh. Just so we’re clear, haven’t we been led to believe that a child could only be conceived with a Cylon if the mate-ees were in love? Wasn’t that the lesson of occupied Caprica, with the ovary harvesting and Boomer and Helo running around in the rain? Love was the ingredient that the Cylons couldn’t manufacture. And if that’s the case, I don’t buy that Tigh loves Six, or that she loves him, either. Besides that, shouldn’t one of them also need to be human? (Or, perhaps, Caprica’s been getting a little on the side….)

Once again, Tigh got control of the fleet. Which went so well the last time — remember the massacres, riots, and military coups? Good times. And now he knows he’s a Cylon. It’s gonna be an awesome time to be in the fleet.

LEE’S IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

With the admiral unwilling to acknowledge the newly sworn-in President Zarek, Lee Adama took it upon himself to find a replacement president, and he turned to legal eagle Romo Lampkin — the man who got Baltar off the hook — for help.

Hey, I dug ol’ Romo back when we first saw him, at the tail end of last season. I liked having someone who could outsmart the smartest people in the galaxy. I liked a dude who wore sunglasses when there was no sun anywhere. But it didn’t really make much sense to me to have him back. He’s a lawyer; what makes him qualified to hunt for political candidates, aside from an obvious love of the sound of his own voice?

Didn’t you see the Lee Adama-as-president thing coming from the very beginning? The minute they started bandying about names, you knew what was gonna happen. There was about as much surprise to that ”development” as there was to the ”Could Shia LaBeouf be playing Indy’s son?” gambit. If you’ve ever seen any form of mass entertainment before, ever, you had to have predicted that.

What one couldn’t have predicted was the idea that Romo Lampkin, the logical attorney, would go bat-frak crazy because someone killed his cat. And if that was an elaborate ruse to get Lee to embrace the idea of making selfless decisions for the good of others, it was the most unconvincing ruse in the history of ruses.

So, President Leland (!) Joseph Adama. As the son rises, the father sets. What do you hear? Nothing but the rain.

A flawed episode — the Romo stuff felt forced, and we’d better get some explanation for the Cylon fertility inconsistencies — but a momentous one.

What did you think? Will Lee be willing to return the presidency to Laura when (and if) she returns? Will she take it, knowing that she’s not much longer for this world? (Do you think it was a head fake when the previews for next week showed D’Anna apparently telling Laura she was one of the Final Five?) Did Natalie reach for Doc Cottle because she simply needed to make a connection with someone as she died, or did she maybe recognize something as she was fading away? (He is, for the record, my pick for the Final Cylon.) If Tigh isn’t responsibly for Six’s delicate condition, who might be the baby daddy?