Battlestar Galactica: The Road Less Traveled

Something finally happens on Kara’s crazy mission – her crew comes across a wounded Leoben, who has an interesting offer for Kara and the fleet. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Chief goes to some scary places in his grief.

 

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.

Imagine yourself as a crewmember on the Demetrius. You’ve been picked for this mission that has a deadline, but no real parameters, other than follow Kara “Crazypants” Thrace’s instincts until something happens.

 

It’s cramped, it’s smelly, and for two months, you’ve seen nothing but empty space. You and your fellow crew have been following orders, but as the days mount and the orders call for more tedium and more meaningless searches, irritation levels rise all around you. And to top everything off, your captain is a recluse, holing up in her room, not even making the effort to bond with her minions, preferring to give orders through her XO.

 

And finally, something happens – you all pick up an enemy agent whose ship accidently explodes, killing one of the crew – but again, the boss makes all the wrong moves, and all those whispered suspicions and half-baked theories come to the surface. Boom, you’re at a mutiny; even the beleaguered XO joins your side after one boneheaded decision.

 

I love watching mutinies and all, but even with knowing how it all turns out, I can’t blame them for what they did. Not unlike Gaius Baltar, Starbuck has a habit of being right in the most wrong way possible. She pushes her crew to the brink and never thinks about what they’re going through. Even after one of her own died, she didn’t see the trouble she was in until it had already happened.

 

And typical of this show, I can’t really blame her either. She came back an angel burning with direction and purpose and she just doesn’t have time to worry about the little things. She’s got her destiny to fulfill, she has to find the song that will lead her back to Earth, and little things, like unrest and unhappiness, just aren’t as important (just ask Roslin about that kind of thinking).

 

What’s going to happen is a tragedy that could have been avoided by both sides, but real life is just like that, two sides recklessly headed toward disaster, never knowing what will come because of the race.

 

On the other side of the world, Baltar’s fans are growing in numbers, but he’s upset to learn that the people listening to him don’t matter in the fleet (welcome to cult life, baby doll). He’s still Baltar enough to be hurt that the popular kids don’t love him, and he even goes so far as to try to woo Chief Tyrol to his side in the most disgusting way possible.

 

But, I have to give him credit, he has changed. After Chief attacks him, Baltar has the character to meet Chief and apologize. He knows he hurt this man in his vain attempt to gain a (stronger) presence in his crowd, and he cares enough to fix it. Sure, he’ll get something out of it too, but old Baltar wouldn’t have bothered to try to comfort this grieving widower. Well done show.

 

Stray thoughts

        We’ve finally reach the point where Chief shaves his head, and damn…some men can really rock the bald look, but Aaron Douglas just looks terrifying. It’s a totally in-character transformation, but I do miss the cuddly Chief (that Chief is gone for good).

        And kudos to Douglas for such an understated performance in his second scene with Baltar. He doesn’t say a word, but he has such a presence that he doesn’t need to. Dude knows  how to work his eyes into every emotion.

        And speaking of Chief, he knows that Tigh has been dallying with Caprica Six, which means probably everybody is aware of it. Guess Adama is just last on the gossip chain.

        One final word on the episode; the woman who died up top was Gunny Mathais, a minor character who first showed up in Season Three’s “Exodus, Part 1.” She wasn’t a big part of the show or anything, but she had a name, and she occasionally had lines, and I don’t know, I liked having her around (so did Baroley…did you see her crying?). She’ll be missed, by me at least.  

Next up: “Faith”