'Battlestar Galactica' recap: Make room for daddy
Starbuck goes on a trippy journey down memory lane with her father, while Boomer's trip down memory lane with the Chief has serious consequences
And here I thought frak was only true curse word in Battlestar Galactica. But this week we caught a glimpse of another one, if only for a moment. When Starbuck gives her briefing to the assembled pilots — and, for the first time, it seems that there are more Cylons than humans in the ready room — she offers a prize to the pilot who finds a habitable rock: the last tube of Tauron toothpaste in the universe. And the name of the toothpaste? Felgercarb. Which, if you’re a fan of classic BSG, you know was their word-equivalent of bulls—.
Now, one half of ”Someone to Watch Over Me” was all kinds of awesome — both progressing the plot toward its inevitable conclusion, while deepening our understanding of the characters involved — while the other felt like so much felgercarb.
With a Six newly installed as a member of Lee’s new ship-captain-based Quorum, she explained to Roslin and the Adamas that the Cylons wanted to have Boomer extradited to the baseship. Not to rescue her from prison, but to try her in a Cylon court for treason. And, if she were found guilty — which you know she would’ve been, given that she did, yes, side with Cavil during the Cylon Civil War — she would be executed.
This didn’t sit too well with the good Chief Tyrol, who found himself rediscovering that the feelings he once had for Boomer — you know, before she went and plugged then-Commander Adama in the chest — are still there. And what’s more, she felt the same way…despite all her efforts to either forget Galen or hate him during the New Caprica debacle. If they knew then what they know now and so on….
Even though Boomer was stuck in the brig, the two got to ”consummate” their love, thanks to that handy-freaky Cylon projection thing — which I still don’t really understand, but I buy as a sort of shared illusion. (Essentially, it’s an intra-cranial Holodeck, which explains why I don’t like it; residual hate of that storytelling crutch and all.) And the illusion they share is one that Boomer created just after Cally killed her: the suburban idyll Galen and Sharon always imagined they’d have together on Picon, complete with Ikea cabinets and a preteen daughter.
It’s not a life, the existence these two would have together, but it’s better than the cold finality of death — which is exactly what’s awaiting Boomer when Roslin signs the extradition warrant, despite Tyrol’s heartfelt pleas. ”Personal feelings are what Sharon Valerii preys upon,” Roslin warns. But Tyrol doesn’t listen. And as a result the felgercarb hits the fan.
First, Galen clubs a random Eight working on refurbishing Galactica and, using one of the handy power flickers, he springs Boomer from the brig, installing the dead Eight in her place.
And Boomer moves like a woman possessed. Because, as we’ve been told since the very beginning, the Cylons have a plan. Even if the plan is a bad one, even if its frakked from the start, they always have one. And Boomer’s plan is to find Athena, knock her out, and then make off with Hera. Slutting it up with Helo is just a bonus. (But I don’t get why Helo couldn’t tell that he wasn’t sleeping with his wife. He must have a way of differentiating her, given that he’s surrounded by Eights all day. It’s gotta be like being married to an identical twin…he’d have to learn the idiosyncrasies.)
NEXT: Sing me a song, I’m the just-in-your-head piano man
Finally, poor Tyrol helped Boomer onto a raptor with a Hera-filled crate in tow, and she made her escape, but not before tearing a hole in Galactica‘s hide with her FTL jump.
I’d always thought that the Sixes were the emotional manipulators and the Eights were quicksilver with their allegiance. But Boomer must’ve taken some courses, because she played Tyrol like a really-easy-to-play fiddle. And Cavil worked one hell of a long con, allowing Ellen Tigh to escape solely to reinsert Boomer back into Galactica, just so she could make it back with the most powerful piece on this interstellar chess board: Hera.
Maybe in an episode where the A-story is substantially less cool than Boomer’s Run, Kara Thrace’s little conversations with her dead father stuff wouldn’t have felt so slight. Sure, Katee Sackhoff is a strong enough actress to make Kara’s emotional journey register, from her ire at the pianist’s repetitive composing to her soft memories of learning to play at her father’s side.
Yes, it was kind of sweet, Kara reconnecting with her childhood and, by extension, with the first man in her life. But damn if I didn’t see that ending coming from an FTL jump away. And by the time we got to Kara sitting at the piano by herself, I was just pissed. It was as if the producers thought I was so unsophisticated a viewer that I couldn’t have figured it out. I’m a Battlestar Galactica watcher, fer chrissake…give me some friggin’ credit. Especially if you’re gonna drop boulder-size clues like a cassette tape called ”Dreilide Thrace: Live at the Opera House.”
The worst part of the whole ”songs in the key of life” bit was that it didn’t tell us anything new about Starbuck or her father. We don’t know why she resurrected, or how; or if, indeed, Dreilide Thrace was the Daniel of legend.
The only thing of any import was the fact that Hera knew the sheet music to ”All Along the Watchtower” and that Kara learned the same song as a girl…which underlines the fact that they’re both hybrids. But it was a long way to go to get to that.
All in all, this was a good episode…one that could’ve been great if the Kara harmonies played more with the Boomer melodies. I know television is a lowest common denominator medium, and you try to make sure that the dumbest guy in the room can understand what’s going on, but I’ve come to expect that Battlestar Galactica will treat me with the same respect that I treat it. When it doesn’t, and thinks I can’t see an imaginary friend from across the room, I get a little pissed.
What about you? How hard is Adama gonna come down on Tyrol for his role in Boomer’s escapade? Is this gonna be the straw that breaks Galen back to the baseship? Is this really the end of the line for Galactica herself? Should we start calling the show Battlestar Baseship? And did Hera’s abduction really kill Laura Roslin?
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