We flashback to two days ago and learn the fate of Roslin’s baseship and the fragile Cylon-human alliance.
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.
Laura Roslin was a person once.
She had a satisfying career, sisters, a mother and father, everything she needed if not everything she wanted. Then her world ended with a car crash, and little by little, she became less and less herself and more and more soulless.
She survived the end of the world to find herself president and a cancer patient. She died and came back thanks to Hera and committed a lot of questionable deeds in the name of safety and protection of her charges, which mostly succeeded. She acquired mystical visions that showed her people a way to a new life, and she saw them reject it for a chance at happiness in the moment. She lost her position and then got it back by making a shady deal with a shady man. She pardoned all the fleet (minus one) for their New Caprica crimes , and from then on she slowly punished her people for losing faith in her and her path.
She’s still in charge, still distrustful of her people and still making their lives miserable with the promise that if they endure, paradise is just around the corner. She’s not evil (thanks to the writers, no one on this show is evil), but she’s so far from the person she once was that it’s killing her. The cancer growing in her chest is seeping into her soul, and here we see her last chance to come back, to be a person again.
Lucky for us, she succeeds.
After an explosion wounds Baltar, Roslin finally gets the thing she always wanted from him: a confession of guilt. In his delirium he begins to preach to her about his one true God (wrong audience, Baltar), and tells her how he let go of his soul-crushing guilt and learned to live again. Since he survived his guilt and the bombs (and everything else), Baltar surmises, God must love him and forgive him for his crimes (true and true). And being Baltar, he takes it one step further and absolves himself from any Earthly repercussions because God has already forgiven him.
I don’t blame Roslin for the rage, even if she forgot her own words from “Hero” way back when; Baltar’s not the only one to blame, but he played a major part in the genocide of her people, and he is (partly) responsible for what happened to them all.
But there comes a point when you have to look around and see the truth; their situation doesn’t suck because of Baltar, it sucks because the people are being sucky (including Roslin). Whatever happened, happened, and now it’s up to the people left behind to improve or harm their new world.
But she can’t see that. All the election and New Caprica hatred comes rushing back to her, and she decides to let him die as punishment for his crimes. She decides her world is better off without him, and she even has the gall to pray for absolution after her monstrous deed.
Elosha manages to reach her before she kills what’s left of her fragile soul by showing her what she’s missing: love. It’s simple really; she gave up love for fear and hasn’t looked back, even when love has been hanging around her, in one form or another, for four seasons now. At her darkest moment, she’s embraces what’s always been hers and loves.
She’s saved. She’s whole. And she’s in love.
Helo played an interesting role this week. He tried to be Roslin’s conscience, which didn’t quite work, but he also got to be the human liaison to their Cylon allies and spend some creepy one-on-one time with an Eight who downloaded Athena’s memories. Cylons probably do stuff like that all the time, but even Helo, Cylon-loving Helo, is freaked. Can’t say I blame him.
And just to stay in the creepy mood, that shot of all those empty Sharon bodies, just waiting to download, was one of the more disturbing visuals of the entire series (right up there with Ellen Tigh and Cavil mid-coitus). It’s something Cylons see every day, but I can’t imagine a human not flinching at the sight. Sorry poor, doomed Eight; we’re not the same, even if we’re all on the same level now.
D’Anna is back, for better or worse (definitely worse). She’s a volatile player to have around, because you really never know what’s she going to do. Just the kind of person you want running the Cylon side of this alliance, right?
Next up: “Revelations”