Gaeta pulls the pin on his mutinous plan to take over the fleet, but Adama and his core crew of loyalists aren't going down without a fight
Battlestar Galactica, Edward James Olmos, ...
Credit: Carole Segal/SCI FI Channel

‘Battlestar Galactica’ recap: Mutiny onboard

Lemme get this out of the way right up top: I probably should’ve registered some surprise, last week, upon the reveal of Bill and Laura getting all spoony — much like Tigh is surprised by the couple’s morning rituals at the beginning of ”The Oath.” It’s just that, in the back of my head, I guess I’d always thought they were intimate, ever since they were sharing what seemed to be a post-coital joint on New Caprica way back in ”Unfinished Business.” But even if the Mommy and Daddy of the Colonial fleet had consummated their relationship, apparently no one else knew. So, my bad.

One of my favorite episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation was called ”Brothers.” In it, Data — urged by some nascent programming — single-handedly shuts out the rest of the crew and takes control of the Enterprise. He knew exactly how that ship functioned and what the response to his actions would be, and so he was able to parry any attack with a mere flick of his hand on a keypad. Felix Gaeta’s mutiny reminded me of that: He knew who to approach for support, who needed to be taken out of the way, how to get Tom Zarek out of the brig and back to Colonial One, how to make what he and his team were doing sound like system glitches, and, most importantly, what to tell Adama to trigger the events that he wanted. It was a heist, really — the stealing of Galactica with her commander right there at the helm — and it was actually a beautiful thing to see.

Of course, not everything can go exactly to plan: Zarek takes matters — in the shape of a wrench — into his own hands and kills Laird, Tyrol’s replacement as Chief of the Deck. It’s easy to forget that before he put on the suits, polished his silver tongue, and slipped into the vice presidency, Zarek used to be a terrorist. He has killed before. Some things never fade.

For me, that’s what this episode was all about: a rediscovery of who these people truly are. A reminder of what makes them such titanic characters. Just think: How long has it been since Kara Thrace was a force to be reckoned with? And how great was it to get the badass Starbuck back? Not that I don’t appreciate the emotional turmoil she’s gone through, lo these past few years, but to see her on that flight deck, pistols strapped to her hips, getting her Van Cleef on…man that was a sight for sore eyes. ”Take a breath, Lee. Feels good to be alive, doesn’t it?” Indeed.

NEXT: Adama kicks butt

And just because Adama’s been beaten into submission by the fate of Earth, soothed into docility by Laura, doesn’t mean that he no longer has the teeth when backed into a corner. A sleeping wolf is still a wolf. There was something so satisfying watching Adama shout down the mutineers in the CIC, and even more so when he and Tigh took out the wayward soldiers escorting them to the brig. Just when I despair for the future of Cylon-human relations, these two manage to put aside their differences and remember that it’s experience that bonds, not genetics. We can’t choose our family, but we can decide whom we want at our backs when the piper needs paying.

Even Baltar is back to the Self-Preservation is Job One mindset. Trapped in his boudoir with his cult loonies — and Tyrol, who seems to be the only sane person in the flock — Baltar has a way off of Galactica, and as a parting gesture, he grants Roslin one final use of his wireless broadcast rig, allowing her serene, logical voice a chance to work on the divided fleet.

As for Laura Roslin — mama just put her fighting hair on.

From there…well, you know what happened: Bill and Laura had a smoochy goodbye before she got into the escape raptor and took off for the Cylon baseship. Lee, Kara, and Tyrol disappeared into Galactica to fight another day. Adama and Tigh got ready for their Alamo.

To be continued. Frak.

Conflict of the soul is one thing, but conflict of the moment is something else entirely. The Season 4.5 premiere, ”Sometimes a Great Notion,” was all about conflict of the soul. And while I may have been a bit harsh on the episode when I first TV Watched it, I stick by my statement that while it was powerful, it wasn’t dramatic. Conflict of the moment, though, is what made me fall in love with this show in the first place. It was the first episode of the series, ”33.” Sure, all of these people were reeling from the very immediate destruction of everything that they knew and held dear, but they had to deal with the matter at hand — in that case, the Cylon strike force that jumped into weapons range every 33 minutes. And that’s why this is my favorite episode of all of Season 4: Because it brings back these characters that we love, as they were when we first fell in love with them.

I know; you can’t go home again. But you can visit.

What did you think? What’s Gaeta’s plan for his Cylon prisoners? Use them as bargaining chips, as Athena suggested? Or does he have something else in mind? (And is Anders really the pick of that litter, or is it Hera?) Couldn’t the Admiral have bid the President a quicker farewell and been able to join Lee and Kara, instead of having to make what looks like a doomed last stand? And where the heck is Cavil?

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