Battlestar Galactica: The Oath

Mutiny rips through Galactica; beloved characters turn violent and the tensions of the past few weeks burst open with some shocking results.

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.

This is the world they have created.

Years ago, when they were still their uncomplicated selves, Roslin and Adama made a vow to find Earth. It was a lie, but their people believed them, believed that no matter what, their leaders would find them a new home.

Somewhere along the way, the idea of Earth consumed them all. They waited and prayed and hoped for a way out of the mess their lives had become. They sat back and watched their lives and the population get smaller and smaller and their supplies get lower and lower, and they endured. They knew that this pain and suffering would end soon; Earth was still out there, waiting for them to come home.

 

Earth was real, but they couldn’t live there. This long and hellish journey had been for nothing. And while anything probably would have sparked this mutiny, the alliance and Cylon modifications to their ships (for all purposes, their homes) was the final push.

It was bound to happen, but I do wish this mutiny could have been handled with the care the last one was.

One of the reasons this show grabbed hold of me the way it did was because the writers thrived on making things murky. No situation was really right or wrong, black and white, but everything was gray and opaque. Even when the Cylons were *just* killing machines, there was this idea, way back in the distance, that there was more to them than a need for vengeance. They became as complex as their human counterparts, and we viewers are much better for it.

But here, not so much. The writers took the easy way out and put all the douchebags and frakkers on the mutineers side and left all the others on the *good* side.

Now even I know it’s not that simple, the people on Zarek’s side are all there because they can’t let go of their hate, blah blah blah. They did the best they could, but at the end of the next episode, most of Zarek and Gaeta’s faction will be dead or imprisoned, and they will not be missed. Time was running out, and the writers took a shortcut to the finish line of this necessary (and short) mutiny.

It’s a shame, because it still manages to be a pretty tight, well constructed episode. Even with a giant flaw in the middle, my show can still shine. Just not as bright.

Stray thoughts

  • One of the things that makes this episode work is these little moments in our fleet – Chief Tyrol saving the day, getting Roslin and Baltar off the ship (just because it’s the right thing to do; Chief doesn’t need another reason, and that’s why he’s awesome!). Starbuck saving Lee (again), then making out with him (classic Starbuck). Roslin’s urgent (and too late) plea to the fleet, followed by eerie silence as she’s cut off (seriously, what are the colonials thinking during this crisis? Shame we never find out).

  • And of course, Roslin and Adama. Cute married couple in the morning hours, hopeful but departing lovers in the late morning. Their goodbye, love before war, kiss is one of my favorite moments in the series (the reactions of the bystanders are also hilarious). I’ll stop here for now, but yeah, hopeless ‘shipper over here. Just move along.

  • I think the moment Zarek’s cause lost me was when, right at the beginning, he murdered Laird. Dude survived Admiral Cain, New Caprica, Frakkin’ Earth, and then he’s felled by some power-hungry zealot on a killing spree. Sorry Zarek, you might have a point in the long run, but I’m not going to be on your side after a move like that.

  • We’ll talk more about Gaeta next week, because, well, yeah…

Next up: “Blood on the Scales”