Battlestar Galactica: The Ties That Bind

In this plot-jammed episode, Callie starts getting suspicious of Tyrol, Cavil and his faction push back against Natalie’s side, Lee takes over as the Caprican Quorum delegate and encounters veiled resistance from President Roslin, and Starbuck clashes with her crew looking for Earth.


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.

I guess it’s a testament to how good this show can be that an episode this packed with plot still manages to shine. Seriously, I was trying to figure out which section is the A plot, and really, there isn’t one; there’s just four B plots that all get various amounts of attention, so we’ll attack them like that.


Captain Starbuck

It’s been roughly three weeks since Kara and her crew left to find an alternate way to Earth, and it’s really not going so well. Kara is (again) acting suspiciously; she’s hiding in her room, giving them endless course corrections and little explanations, working on this painting that may be the key (alright, it totally is the key), yada yada yada.


I can’t blame her crew for getting a bit pissy about this tedious (and so far fruitless) search for a unique system that sounds too absurd to really exist. With Helo’s direction (and his orders), they are trying to be helpful, but we can already see the corrosive effect their derisive comments are going to have down the road.


Oh Kara, shame you never paid attention in diplomacy class. Even though it mostly works out for her, she probably could have made things easier on the people around her.


Civil War

Natalie’s faction is another group having a bit of a rough time. They won the battle when they *cleansed* their ships of the Cavils, Dorals and Simons; they even got their enemies to agree to stop lobotomizing the raiders, but they stopped fighting the war too soon.


We know now that Cavil has so much to lose if the Final Five are discovered (although we will never know it, I suspect the Dorals and Simons would have ditched him as soon as they found out what Cavil did to their parents). He’s threatened, and he’s fighting for keeps. He wants to keep his secrets and keep his family the way it always was, even if that means killing half of them. He’s only focused on the forest, frak the trees.

President Roslin

Ok, so we’ve known for a while that in her second term, President Roslin has gotten a little scary, but here is our first hard look at her administration and all I’ve got to say is…yikes.


She’s bringing up some painful (and not-too-distant) presidential memories, and it’s not a good look back. She’s dismissive of the Quorum delegates, and in the politest way possible is downright hostile to Lee (yep, she’s still keeping that trial grudge close), and is secretive to a scary degree.


Zarek wasn’t wrong when he said she’s trying to save everyone, because she is. She wants to find Earth for her people, but until they get there, she’s going to be making all the decisions and determining the course of their lives, whether or not they want her to.

She will do whatever it takes to get them home, even if it kills them. She’s only focused on the forest, frak the trees.


Callie Tyrol

If there was an A plot to find in this episode, Callie probably comes closest.


It’s been three weeks since they entered the nebula, and three weeks since her husband discovered his Cylon heritage. She didn’t know, but something changed, and she knew that. She couldn’t sleep, she couldn’t handle the baby, and at the end of the day, she couldn’t handle the truth.


Callie was finally forced to take that long deep look at her life, and she saw the deep cracks in it. I believe Chief loved her, and while it was good enough for her, it wasn’t the love she really wanted (or really deserved). Her dated her and married her because it’s what she wanted, and after he beat her up, he felt so guilty it was the only way to make it up to her.


She got back at him, with the fights and the nagging. She even cuckolded him, and while it’s not totally believable considering how much energy she spent trying to take him from Boomer’s memories, I bought it. She found someone to give her the attention she wanted, and she got a son out of the deal. It’s horrible, but we often hurt the ones we love.


But still, she’s my least favorite character on the show, and I’m not going to deny that I’m happy she’s gone (and still somewhat unhappy that Tori didn’t get away with it). As Jim pointed out the first time we watched this episode, Callie is so mean and so hateful that when she finds out her husband, the president’s aide and the admiral’s number two are all Cylons, her first thought is to kill herself and her child; she didn’t even think to tell anyone else.


I’ll give her a bit of a pass because Tori did talk her down from suicide, and she even realized that she didn’t want to kill her child and she didn’t want to die, even if it meant living with her second-greatest fear.


It’s a sad end for a character who deserved a shot at redemption. And I weep for Chief too.



Stray thoughts

        This is the last time we see Laura Roslin with her real hair. Enjoy it while it lasts.

        She’s not in the episode too much, but Tori is becoming quite the Cylon. She’s the only one embracing her new destiny, and she’s showing a side we never saw before. She was always cunning (election theft, anyone?), but she’s the only one who pieces together the open panel to Callie. Like all good Cylons, when she sees a threat, she takes care of it with no fuss and no moping.

        But damn, when she pushed the button…it was downright chilling.


Next up: “Escape Velocity”