Battlestar Galactica: Valley of Darkness

Picking up from last week, the Galactica must deal with the boarding party of Centurions running loose on the ship. On Kobol, the stranded crewman lose another member. On Caprica, Helo and Starbuck make a pit stop at her old digs and just take a break from all their running and fighting.

A note to first time BSG watchers; these aren’t the reviews for you. I plan to write about the show with the ending in mind. If you haven’t seen the show, you will be spoiled on stuff that happens at the end. You’ve been warned.

Once again, Tigh demonstrates that he does have the chops for command, something his misses always knew; he immediately recognizes the Centurions’ plan and dispatches his troops to deal with the crisis. As much as I want to (mainly because he just so unpleasant to be around), I can’t really find fault with him or his actions; Adama likely would have the made same calls here. That won’t be true in the next episode, but so far, Tigh is doing himself proud.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Crashdown down on Kobol. He doesn’t know how to lead, fair enough, but what pushes him over the edge from incompetent to awful is his inability to adapt and learn from his mistakes. Part of being a leader, good or bad, is accepting that people under your command could (and are likely to) die.

Sometimes, like Socinus, it just happens, and it’s no one’s fault, wrong place, wrong time. Other times, like with Tarn, you make a bad decision (not listening to Chief when he made a good point) and the subordinates pay the price. Instead of trying to learn from this mistake, Crashdown will again refuse to adapt and puts his team at risk. Crashdown will pay dearly for his mistakes, but I just keep thinking that it didn’t have to end this way.

Unlike “Scattered,” “Valley of Darkness” is more of an action episode, and while a lot of the urgency is stripped from it in repeats viewings, I’ve always liked it. It continues the budding romance between Billy and Dualla (sniff); has a divine intervention moment for Roslin, which draws another Galactica crewman to her side, and puts a decent wedge between Baltar and the other humans.

Season Two is largely built on stuff from these early episodes, so I can’t be too hard on this one, even if I don’t think it’s going to be a favorite.

Next up: “Fragged”