Battlestar Galactica: The Face of the Enemy

We take a break from the regular show to hang out with Felix Gaeta and some friends in a lost raptor, with some tragic outcomes.

 

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.

Felix Gaeta wanted to be a hero.

He is one character on this show of moral ambiguity who has a strong, unwavering moral center that more often than not gets him in trouble. He wants to believe in people, humans and Cylons, and he wants to believe that everyone, everywhere will do the right thing when called upon.

 

But, as he has learned over the past four seasons, the world doesn’t play by those rules. People, humans and Cylons, are cruel and selfish and manipulative. They can act only in their best interests, and they often don’t think about the consequences of their actions.

Most of the time, that’s ok for Gaeta. He’s still himself, and he’s resilient. Sure, he gets more and more scarred the longer he goes through life, but it’s not all bad. He lost his leg, but he gained a lover. Deep down, he knows he is a hero.

Until he doesn’t.

He was never a hero. He did the right thing, time and time again, but people kept suffering and dying because of his moral certainty. He gave Baltar the election (after Roslin stole it) because it was the right thing to do…and 10,000 people (roughly a fifth of the ever-diminishing population) died. He conspired with an enemy Eight to free prisoners in the New Caprica detention center, and he set them up for execution by showing his enemies how valuable those people were.

He helped Roslin escape, further dividing up his family. He tried to kill Baltar and only ended up getting the frakker sympathy points. He tried to stop Starbuck’s crazy plan to follow the Cylons and loses his leg for his troubles. He makes his own path, switching sides when necessary, looking the other way at times to keep himself sane. But he can’t run from his past forever .

His Eight, with the friendly smiles and the sad, sad eyes, comes back into his life and tears it to pieces before she dies. A part of him always knew that he betrayed his own people on New Caprica (check out his reaction to Baltar’s taunt in “Taking a Break From All Your Worries”), but he never wanted to believe it.

He boarded that raptor thinking he was a hero and he departed knowing he was a traitor. Idealism is not a sin, but ignorance, especially the levels he took it to, was.

And he will pay for it.

Stray thoughts

  • This was the best of the webisodes produced for the show, and I guess it’s just a complaint about the format, but when you watch them all together, there is so many scenes unnecessarily repeated that it diminishes the final product. Ah well, I still love it.

  • I will say that I appreciate the ending here better this time around; when they first aired, with that somewhat inert ending, it felt like the producers were just screwing with us for kicks (which, hey, they probably were). But since we already know Gaeta’s plan (and his sorry fate), all is forgiven.

  • One last shout-out to Grace Park. When the show started, she was probably the weakest among the actors, but she has grown so much that when she plays two Eights in the same raptor (or the same flashback scene), you always know who is who. She became a great actress on this show, and she certainly deserves more kudos than I have to offer.

  • Now, when is this coming out on DVD???

Next up: “Sometimes A Great Notion”