Battlestar Galactica: Epiphanies

As her cancer reaches a critical level, Roslin has a series of flashbacks of her last day on Caprica, including one stunning and unexpected memory. In the B plot, Galactica crew has some run-ins with a terrorist group of Cylon sympathizers, led by an old friend.


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.

It’s a miracle.


Laura Roslin has beat terminal cancer. Sure, the odds were long against her, but she won, thanks to a crafty scientist and a half-Cylon, half-human baby. Moments before, Laura had ordered the military guys to kill the child, but Baltar being Baltar, he comes up with a save to both side with humanity (this time at least) and to avoid the public responsibilities of being president of the colonies.


OK, it’s certainly a miracle, even if the explanation is a bit more on the ‘magic’ side than the ‘science’ side. But I can forgive it simply because the characters and their actions, including Baltar’s Hail Mary to save Roslin, makes sense for the story.


But really, that’s not the important stuff here; while I can admit to being a little worried the first time through, all rational thinking people knew the female lead wasn’t going to bite it in the middle of the second season. What is important is how the characters, including Roslin herself, deal with her impending death (and miraculous resurrection).


Roslin, naturally, hunkers down and spits out one last directive: kill the Cylon fetus. The tests are inconclusive, the mother is possibly not a threat, but Roslin will take no chances with the safety of her human children, so the baby must die.


It’s a bit hard to watch someone, even a fake someone, being that ruthless to another person, but Roslin has not reached Helo’s level of awesome. She doesn’t see Sharon as a person, so what of it, kill that thing’s baby before the child can hurt any of her *real* charges. And in just a few episodes down the road, that thinking with lead Roslin to kidnap Hera and let Sharon and Helo believe she’s dead.


It’s cruel, it’s heartless, and it makes perfect sense. Roslin will eventually come to love that child, but now, all we get to see is her fear on display.


Speaking of fear…Oh, Baltar.


I can forgive Baltar for his role in the Cylon attacks; he was really more pawn than player, but here, he’s reckless and angry, and he gives a nuke to a terrorist group. A nuke that goes off, kills a bunch of people, brings the Cylons to New Caprica, who then kill a bunch more people.

It’s crap like that that makes me unwilling to see his side of arguments, even when he’s right. What the Colonials never knew was that New Caprica was all his fault, and here begins his greatest sin. Because Roslin gave him an honest assessment of his character, and he was so ashamed of his faults (how could he have any faults), he chose to embrace all his faults, give up on his people and side with Cylons.


Unforgivable. I’m glad it never came out (the Colonials would have killed him for certain, and he’s too juicy a character to lose), but yeah, I’m certainly never going to love him.


Now, I don’t really have much to say about the flashbacks, other than to share how shocked I was to learn about Roslin and Adar’s affair (and that that storyline was Mary McDonnell’s idea). But I won’t leave you hanging; if you really want an in-depth reading of Roslin’s experience here, check out Jacob’s recap. Yes, it’s long, but it’s one rare time I can say I would rather read his recap than watch the episode (as much as I love Laura Roslin, the episode’s flaws are numerous). No joke there; it’s all true. 


Here’s something worth noting that I’ve missed in previous viewings; in season three’s “Dirty Hands,” Roslin and Adama come under fire for drafting civilians to work on the tylium ship. But, all the way back her, Lee casually mentions how some civilians were *brought in* to handle the grunt work, like our terrorist Asha Janik.


Talk about good planning, but it begs an interesting question: We never really get to see the civilian fleet (I’m guessing money played a big role in that), but what do they do all day? No wonder there is so much unrest; with 48,000 bored people laying about with nothing to do, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more unrest.


No wonder they embraced New Caprica so readily.


Next up: “Black Market”

  • Jim

    I remember not really caring for the story line of Roslin and Adar’s affair. I think you’ve told me before that it was Mary McDonnell’s idea, but that doesn’t make me like it anymore. :)

    Can’t wait to see your thoughts on “Black Market.”