This is it. All the planning has led to this episode: The rescue of New Caprica.
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.
Rescue has come to New Caprica. Sure, not everybody made it, but for the most part, the admiral’s plan was a success.
The decoy boogie’s distracted the Cylon basestars long enough for Galactica to get in position.
With his atmosphere jump, he shepherded the viper jocks to the surface, allowing them to safely shoot-out the guard towers and let the folks on the surface get to the ships.
On the ground, Tigh and Tyrol lead the charge to the ships, losing some fighters, but clearing the way for the civilians behind them. Anders takes a team to bust open the prison and release the citizens kept there (which, while he obviously wants to find his wife, made my heart happy that the plan included freeing the prisoners).
It all goes well, even better than it should have; Lee Adama finally gets what the Old Man was talking about when the admiral said he couldn’t bear to leave his people behind again. Lee shows up with his Beast and gives the Galactica time to get free of the Basestar onslaught and survive, and Admiral Cain’s ship is given the chance to redeem her sins. The Pegasus is lost forever, but not before taking out two (TWO!) Basestars.
It’s a triumph, a miracle, but this is “Battlestar Galactica” we’re talking about. It can’t be happy for everybody. For a handful of people that we love, they will never leave New Caprica.
Now, I’m just speaking metaphorically here; everyone we love was rescued, but their deliverance came with a price.
Felix Gaeta is just one oddball character; he’s a little weird, but friendly enough. He’s often on the right side of things, and he’s not afraid to lie to protect a friend (“Resistance”). He’s a good guy who has a talent for bad decisions; he loved Gaius Baltar, he believed that Baltar’s vision of a new beginning was what the fleet needed, and Gaeta made it happen by calling out Roslin’s election theft.
For over a year, he watched his belief get tarnished, little by little, and when the Cylons showed up and Baltar relented, Felix Gaeta’s heart broke on New Caprican soil, and it never recovered. The story got worse and worse for him, until he started a mutiny and was executed for it. For our poor broken-down officer, his death must have been a relief.
Starbuck was held prisoner in a dollhouse, with a fake husband included. Leoben told her he loved her, forgave her when she killed him, and he never stopped trying to make her love him, but he only succeeded when he kidnapped a little girl and told Starbuck Casey was their daughter.
And Starbuck fell for it. She was winning before that; she would not move toward his frakked-up version of love. She could take imprisonment, but she could not take watching a kid suffer (like she had to suffer as kid). She saw this perfect little girl, and discovered that she could be a mother, that she’s not destined to recreate her own childhood.
She should have known better, but she had no defenses against a child’s love. When she opened her heart to this fake child of hers, Leoben won a little bit from her. Sure, she didn’t mean it when she said she loved him, but she said it, something she swore she would never do. She kissed him, twice, because her daughter needed rescuing.
She gave in. She bent. She’ll never get over it either.
Tigh is another who will never recover from New Caprica. He lost his eye in the prison, but he lost his heart in the end.
Saul Tigh loved his wife so much that when it came time to punish her for her betrayal, he did it. He gave her a poisoned drink because she loved him too much. Ellen Tigh was willing to do anything to save him, and she did. She tells him her story, and how every horror she went through only made her love stronger.
But still, she betrayed them, and hours before their rescue, her husband killed her. She doesn’t get to be saved. Her body will rest in the tunnels of New Caprica forever, alongside her husband’s heart, and the broken dream of a new beginning.
Next up: “Collaborators”