Battlestar Galactica: The Oath

How’s that for a change of pace? While “Sometimes a Great Notion” and “A Disquiet Follows My Soul” were full of character revelations and quiet moments, “The Oath” is all action, all the time.

Standard warning: If you haven’t seen the show, or the most recent episode, and you care about that sort of thing, don’t click to the next page. There be spoilers, and lots of them; you’ve been warned.

First off, let’s welcome back some old friends: Badass Starbuck and President Roslin. Missed you both, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll do next. Seriously, all it took was gunfire to give you both some clarity of purpose? Worth it. And Soldier Lee was a nice bonus.

It’s strange to think it only took four hours to topple the great Admiral Adama from his own ship. A better title for this episode might have been “The Reckoning,” because this is clearly what the Adama-Roslin leadership has wrought. Yes, I love them, separately and together, but it’s important to remember that while watching. This is a hell of their own making. His efforts to regain control and her speech were great, lovely moments, but sheesh guys, if you had done that a few days earlier, maybe we could have avoided this whole mess.

Gaeta and Zarek’s faction has a legitimate grievance with their officials over the alliance with the Cylons (and over the larger questions of the faux-democracy experiment that’s really a dictatorship); they also had a lot of issues with their leaders even before they discovered Earth was a craphole planet. But mutiny, and the large body-count that’s going with it? Sorry guys, I’m not backing that play. But you have to give credit where it’s due; Gaeta put an impressive amount of characters, red-shirts and regular faces alike, together behind his cause, which again points to just how badly our leaders have failed.

Everyone is broken and dying from lack of hope, and while Adama and Roslin were dealing with their grief in private, Gaeta stepped up and gave the people what they wanted, a chance to vent their rage at the leaders who led them to this place.

The mutiny is the opposite of Baltar’s trial, where guilt was presumed and he was found innocent anyway. To preserve the souls of the fleet, of humanity and their civilization, Baltar the scapegoat was freed. Here, everyone is guilty, there’s nothing left worth saving (“the world is frakked” indeed), and the only way to get justice, vengeance, is to kill everyone in sight. It’s Gaeta’s way of giving up; better dead than here. Zarek may want to seize power to help their situation (emphasis on the may, I never know where that guy’s coming from) but this is where Gaeta’s journey has led him; he’s nothing but hate and it will kill him, body and soul.

And let me just say that the whole running-around-the-ship-chasing-enemies storyline (“Valley of Darkness”) and busting wrongly imprisoned leaders out of jail (“Resistance”) was a lot more fun when Tigh was running things and I sided with the mutineers. Just goes to show that this really has all happened before. And curse you BSG for that cliffhanger. Uncool, even if it totally worked. Stay tuned; I know I will be.

 A final note on next’s week preview, and hope for all Tigh fan’s out there. I watched “Alias” for all five seasons; only believe they’re dead when you see a body. And even then, remain skeptical because hey, he’s a Cylon; even death might not stop him.