Battlestar Galactica: Razor

It’s time to go back to the Pegasus, when Lee was commander, and Lt. Kendra Shaw, the protg of Admiral Cain, was looking for a way to make up for her choices and also, get some cool flashbacks to the first Cylon War.

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.

We’re back, back in time, back in space, going back to a time when the story was a bit simpler, the characters a bit less complex, and the bad guys a little easier to judge. We’re back with the Pegasus crew, who lived through so much in order to become more beastly than the monsters they were hunting. And we’re back with Admiral Cain, the cautionary tale our heroes seem to have forgotten in the present day.

“Razor” is a brief return to the dark days of Season Two, which while certainly being dreary, had a measure of hope to them compared to our story at the end of Season Three. They haven’t been to New Caprica; they haven’t embraced suicide bombers as a tool of war; really, they haven’t decided that the only way to live is to shed pieces of their humanity until the fight is done.

Admiral Cain knew all about that way of life, and she is a scary reminder of how far they could have gone. Even Adama, a man of unending compassion (at least at this point), will admit that without Roslin and Tigh and Lee, he might have become her. Way back at the beginning, he wanted to; he saw the wreckage of their civilization and wanted to fight a losing war, to regain land they can’t even use.

Cain fought the war Adam wouldn’t, and proved that victory and revenge were more important than survival, but I wonder if Kendra Shaw would agree?

Shaw is alive because of Cain, but a lot of people are dead because of Cain. Cain sent her soldiers to their deaths for meaningless victories; she executed her XO because he refused to follow an order; she ordered the deaths of civilians who didn’t want to be left for dead. Shaw herself killed some of the people who wouldn’t give up their lives so easily, and she found out just how hard it is to live as a razor after the war ends.

Shaw changed herself, choose to become a weapon when the world ended, and in the end, she couldn’t stop being one, and she gave up her life to save others, the best death possible for a weapon (although a sad one for a human). She found her forgiveness, even if it’s just from a Cylon Hybrid (and just maybe from us). It’s so much easier to forgive someone who seeks it.

Stray thoughts:

         “Razor” really does age well. In light of Season Four, and all the hardships the fleet is about to face, a look back at the hardest one of them all provides a sharp contrast to the people they used to be. First time through, I didn’t think too much of our first movie ‘episode,’ but I love it now, even if some cast members are a bit shoe-horned in to the show.

         The Hybrid is spot on about Kara, although really, but why is he treating that as a bad thing? The human race is ripe for some change, don’t you think???

         I’m willing to look a bit more kindly on our disgraced admiral, if nothing else for what she went through during the first Cylon war, but I really can’t get to forgiveness for all the wasted lives on her head (not to mention what she did to a woman she once cared for). Guess Adama is just a better human than me.

         And one final kudos to the writers for showing how the leadership styles of our admirals are so, so different. He authorizes a crazy mission to rescue his people from horror and death. She authorizes a crazy mission to make a point that doesn’t need to be made. It says a lot, and sorry Kara, but I don’t think the fleet was safer with Cain around. She’s better dead.

Next Up: “He That Believeth in Me”