Battlestar Galactica: Resistance

Col. Tigh, ignoring his better angels and listening to his wife instead, cracks down on the resistance to martial law in the fleet and tragedy ensues. Seeing just how bad things have gotten, Roslin and Lee Adama plan a jailbreak (with some surprising help). Having returned from Kobol, Chief is thrown in jail with Boomer on suspicion of being a Cylon. On Caprica, Helo and Starbuck meet up with a group of resistance fighters.

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.

Damn, that was one jam-packed episode. There’s a lot to talk about in “Resistance,” one of my favorites from Season Two.

God help me, I love a good jail break. Several years down the road, we’ll get echoes of the jailbreak and escape in “The Oath,” which coincidently enough will also involve Gaeta. It’s interesting to compare the two; in this first mutiny/escape, it’s pretty hard to pick sides. Sure, I know I’m in the Roslin camp, but it’s not a cut-and-dry case of right and wrong between her and Adama. In Season Four, it’s hard to sympathize with the mutineers because while they may make some good points, they’re largely crapbags.

Interesting behind the scenes story from “Resistance:” the actor who plays Billy, Paul Campbell, had to leave the show, which is why Billy doesn’t flee with Roslin, but after some thinking, I think it fits. He would help her escape because it’s his job, but he will not betray his principles and go with her, which jives with their conversation in “Kobol’s Last Gleaming.” Nice improve there, writers.

“Resistance” also marks the last time I really liked Cally. Once she discovers Boomer’s true nature, she becomes a full-on Cylon hater, which while understandable, is not cool. It’s a bold direction for the show to take (a likeable character goes down a dark road), but Cally is such an ugly character that I almost (almost) cheered her demise in Season Four. (I don’t mean physically ugly; Nikki Clyne is adorable, but Cally is not.)

On a Galactica Watercooler podcast, one of the hosts, Audra I think, said once that it can be hard to love Cally because she’s mostly in the background, and when we do see her, it’s mainly in moments like this, where’s she being a little too human for comfort.  Well said.

Tigh’s leadership just goes from bad to worse in one episode, which is a shame. He had the right instincts after his martial law declaration – the fleet was in chaos, something needed to happen, and he picked a path. He wanted to sit the ship captains down and discuss his reasoning (and I’m guessing the impermanence of his declaration) and try to calm things down.

Instead, he listens to Lacy MacTigh, and takes the hard-line approach and everything goes to Hell. (You’d never know it at this point, but Roslin will be a much more effective hardliner than he ever was.) Bad decision follows bad decision to the point where his entire crew ends up helping his prisoner escape. I’d feel bad for him, but he really can only blame himself (and, well, Boomer).

But all hope is not lost for our intrepid colonel. He does make one good call; he lets Lee and Roslin’s raptor go. He knows he shouldn’t, it’s only going to lead to more trouble, but when there are only 47,000 people left, you don’t arbitrarily kill them. Granted, he would never kill his BFF’s son, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, just this once.

Re-watching this episode, I can really see why people don’t like Ellen. Despite my love of mean girls, I don’t even like her here.

We see from the beginning that Tigh loves Ellen, that no matter what else happens, he always wants to be with her, but until the New Caprica arc, all we see of Ellen are the manipulations and scheming (not unlike Cally). She sees the greatness in that man, and she tries to damnedest to force it to the surface, regardless of the cost to him (or anyone else).  I can love her for that down the road, but she does not make the journey easy.

“Resistance” is a big episode for the Chief; he finds out his lover is a robot and that he inadvertently helped her carry out her nefarious plans (which seems to be an unfortunate pattern for that man). We’ve watched this play out before: He’s angry at her and disgusted with himself, but like Helo, he was unwilling to hate her. Had she survived the episode, he would have been standing up for her and who knows, they could have ended up together (better for the show that they didn’t). 

There is a reason that he will be with Helo to protect Athena from Lt. Thorne and his goons in “Pegasus.” Despite everything that happened, he always loved Boomer, “not wisely, but too well. ”

Poor Chief.  

Next up: “The Farm”