Battlestar Galactica: Revelations (S4/E11)

Battlestar Galactica: Revelations (S4/E11)

Rating: ***

Written by: Bradley Thompson & David Weddle
Directed By: Michael Rymer

 

Only one Three remains. Not only is D’Anna Byers now mortal, she’s the last of her model, the remainder having been left behind to be, well, “toasted” on the now destroyed resurrection hub. Whatever purpose the Cavils and Boomer had for unboxing her, they’d better hope that a single DB can do the job.

If sabotaging the fragile alliance between the Colonials and the Conoy/Six/Sharon Cylon faction was that purposed, I’d say it was fulfilled quite nicely:

After the rebel Cylon baseship rejoins the Human fleet, D’Anna sparks a standoff by seizing Roslin, Baltar, and their entourage as hostages. She announces that she will hold these hostages aboard the baseship until the four Cylons hidden in the human fleet return safely to their own people. Tory Foster defects immediately, but the other hidden Cylons keep quiet.

Back in command aboard the Galactica, William Adama consults with Lee, who is still acting as President in Roslin’s absence. According to prophecy, the hidden Cylons will reveal the route to Earth, and Roslin has secretly ordered Adama to destroy the baseship — even with her aboard — if that’s the only way keep the Cylons from claiming Earth for themselves. The Human leaders thus face two grim alternatives: if the hidden Cylons defect, the Humans must destroy the baseship to prevent the Cylons from finding Earth, but if the hidden Cylons stay underground, the hostages will suffer. As if to prove this point, D’Anna executes a hostage and threatens to kill more unless the three remaining Cylons join her. In response, Lee orders Kara Thrace to plan a hostage rescue mission.

It’s been a while, but now we remember what set the Threes apart from the other Cylonoid models: her blend of the Twos, Sixes, and Eights’ obsession with the “final five,” and the ruthlessness of the Cavils, Dorals, and Simons. D’Anna doesn’t pass judgment on or even opine about her siblings’ actions in triggering the Cylon civil war or joining the Colonials on their Earth quest; she simply wants the final five – or, rather, the four of the five she says are in the ragtag fleet – and recognizes that with a large handful of Human hostages, she has the ready-made means of obtaining them once and for all.

Which, since they didn’t actually do the D’Anna unboxing, gets Roslin and Adama off the hook for what would otherwise be their latest strategic debacle, as when the base ship returns to the ragtag fleet, it isn’t just the Humans aboard it who are hostages, but the fleet itself as well.

I would call this a needless return to already over-plowed Cylon-Human conflict ground, but for, I have to admit, the genius of how the motivations underlying this scenario have been constructed. D’Anna is simply the catalyst. It is Tigh, Tyrol, Anders, and Tory Foster who now hold the fate of the Human remnant – and perhaps Earth itself – in their hands.   And all they have to do is give up the secret they’ve been trying to keep all season long. Only thing that surprised me was that it wasn’t Tory who ultimately spilled the identities of the other three.

One other thing is implicitly revealed in Act II about the identity of the twelfth Cylonoid model. See if you can figure it out by the end of this review.

Genius, however, does have its limits. The expression on Tigh’s face when D’Anna spaces one of her hostages conveys all too effectively the pressure that he and Tyrol and Anders are now under. But where is the logic for D’Anna in turning the screws so precipitously? Yes, Tory revealed herself, but she was right there on the flight deck when D’Anna gave her ultimatum. Has the Three really not considered the possibility that the Colonials don’t know the identities of the other three, and that perhaps her “siblings” aren’t nearly as eager to “go home” as Tory was? What if the Humans aren’t refusing to comply, but are unable to?   And what if they get pushed to the extremity where they gamble on a counter-strike of their own?

As preparations for the dangerous mission get underway, a Cylon musical signal summons Tigh, Tyrol and Anders to the mysterious Viper that Kara flew back to the fleet after her mystical journey to Earth. Intrigued, Tyrol and Anders ask Kara to help them examine the Viper. Tigh, meanwhile, resolves to stop the impending bloodshed at any cost: he finally tells Adama that he is a Cylon. Adama breaks down in fury and grief, incapacitated by this unimaginable betrayal. Lee takes charge and orders Tigh marched to an airlock to await execution. There, Tigh reveals the identities of Tyrol and Anders, who are arrested before Kara’s horrified eyes. As Anders is dragged away, he begs his wife to study the Viper. Stunned, she retreats into its cockpit and starts flipping switches.

Lee radios D’Anna that if she doesn’t release the hostages, he will execute Tigh, Tyrol and Anders. His resolve is steely despite the painful shock of seeing such well-known faces awaiting death at his hands. D’Anna similarly refuses to back down, targeting the civilian ships with the baseship’s weapons. If the three Cylons die, so will thousands of Humans.

Convenient how the final four of the final five start hearing that staticky music again, huh? And that it draws them (minus Tory, of course) to the mysterious Starbuck’s mysterious Viper that she mysteriously flew to and back from the mysterious Earth. And that it prompts them to seek out the mysterious Starbuck to see if she can tell them why their artificial craniums are trying to dial in a 10,000 watt radio station from just over the horizon that only her mysterious Viper’s car stereo seems to be picking up. And that it drives Tigh to confess his true identity to none other than his best friend “Husker”.

Can’t knock the tactical, um, genius of Tigh recognizing his value as a counter-hostage against the Cylons. I don’t know that hiding his true nature was a bad idea as he claims; other than Tory, who got inured to it, he and Tyrol and Anders never lost their souls or their allegiance. Fear of precisely that is what’s been driving them nuts ever since the Ionian Nebula, but that very fear also seemed to provide its own answer. Tigh’s offer to sacrifice himself confirms it.

On the other hand, who knew what their buried programming imperatives really were? Boomer didn’t, after all, until she had put two bullets into Adama. Perhaps it was that delay in confessing what he is that Adama took as a “betrayal,” Tigh and the others having left open the possibility of being witting Cylon tools in the fleet’s midst. Because otherwise I can’t see how the term really applies, seeing as how being “Cylon” has long since reached the point of equivalency to being “Lithuanian” for all the taxonomical difference it makes. A fact completely lost on the Admiral, who spends the remainder of the scene howling in anguish, trashing his office, and punching mirrors in a display of contrived overacting that would leave William Shatner agape.

Ironic, though, that it sends Adama on a drinking binge that looks like it’ll out-pickle Tigh before the end of the series.

And how ludicrously place-trading it is to see none other than Mr. Idealist himself, His Accidency, the Acting President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol, Lee Adama, turn back into a ruthless SOB brinksman willing to space Tigh and his two companions and blow up the entire base ship with President Roslin on it if D’Anna doesn’t back down. Did you buy that? I sure as frak didn’t. I guess this is another one of those “terrible things” he was talking about on the witness stand back at the Baltar trial. Another product of the permanent state of emergency the Human Diaspora has been in going all the way back to episode #1.

But with the Admiral having been reduced to a weepy, blubbering old woman, I suppose there simply wasn’t anybody else to fill that role, and the story would have expired right then and there without it.

So what do the writers do when they’ve twisted characters’ personalities into pretzels in a frantic attempt to build a forced confrontation whose foundation is only partially there? What they’ve always done – stomp on the accelerator. Tory assures D’Anna that Lee is bluffing; Baltar shows up to assure D’Anna that he’s serious as a heart attack. D’Anna orders the base ship’s nuclear weapons targeted on the ragtag fleet. Lee prepares to space Tigh first. Baltar makes a religious appeal for peace. D’Anna replies that God will never forgive the Cylons for wiping out the Twelve Colonies. Baltar replies that force has never worked for D’Anna before, so why will it now?   Lee inserts the “open launch tube” key.   An Eight tells D’Anna their nukes are ready to fire. Tigh, like the man he’s always been, looks at Lee and tells him to do it. Lee starts turning the key.

And at the Last Possible Moment [tm], the mysterious Starbuck bursts into the launch tube control room, stops his Accidency, and tells him about the scratchy Viper signal: it’s a signal from Earth. Only I thought Roslin had ordered Adama to blow up the base ship with her on it if necessary in order to keep the Cylons from finding Earth themselves.

Oh, by the way, Roslin can’t be the final Cylon. But then D’Anna told her that last week. So yes, that was a trick tease. But then, who is it? If it isn’t in the fleet and not with the Cylons, then where could it be?   Hmmm….

But never mind. The contrived conflict now over (for the moment), we arrive at the reason why we sat through it all in the first place:

Seconds before an apocalyptic battle erupts, Kara discovers that her Viper is receiving a locator signal that no other ship in the fleet can detect. If it’s from Earth, then Anders and Tyrol have fulfilled the prophecy by giving her a crucial clue to the planet’s location. Faced with this awesome possibility, Lee and D’Anna hesitantly make peace. Lee offers amnesty to Tigh, Tyrol, Anders and Foster, and D’Anna releases her hostages. Then, with Lee and Roslin’s help, William Adama pulls himself together and orders preparations for a jump.

Jump they do. And sell the hell out of it as well. It’s the climax Voyager’s “Endgame” should have had. Galactica and the ragtag, fugitive fleet have made it to Earth. There’s wild celebrating amongst all the different groups and factions.   The CIC erupts in joy. The Adamas and Roslin embrace. So do Fundamentally Oral Gaius and his flock.   Ditto the flight deck crew and the tyllium ship workers and the pilots, the Agathons, and the final four of the final five (along with Starbuck informing “Cat,” all in their own solitary, reflective ways).   The triumphant music swells to a crescendo. It’s a massive, cast-wide group hug. Heck, Roslin was so choked up she could barely give the order to jump in the first place.

And what they find brings the entire concept of hope into the ultimate disrepute.

The original Battlestar Galactica only lasted one season. I don’t know how many seasons Glen Larson had in mind, but the sequel series Galactica 1980 cut straight to the end to answer the question of what the Colonials found when they ultimaty located Earth. And that answer was OUR Earth circa, as the show title witlessly suggested, 1980.   An Earth that obviously wasn’t ready, socially or technologically, to offer a haven for the ragtag fleet or to even be made aware of extraterrestrial Humanity. If there had been both the creative inspiration and the budget for it, this concept could have made for very interesting storytelling possibilities, examining our own current events through the prism of both Kobolian and Cylon outsiders and perhaps exploring the effects subsequent disclosure would have had on Earth civilization.

In a fanfic sense, every scifi geek dreams of seeing what would happen if Galactica had arrived at the Earth of the Star Trek universe in either Kirk’s time or Picard’s. What direction would they have come from? Would they have run into the Romulans or the Klingons first? Would they have avoided encountering the Borg? Would the Federation have taken them in? The inter-franchise “smashup” scenarios are endless.

But that isn’t what the Colonials and the rebel Cylons find.   What they find is what, realistically, should always have been kept in mind as a possibility, but which nobody wanted to even consider, lest it lay waste to their last remaining shred of purpose for continuing to live.

Earth, the goal toward which all parties have been struggling for four subjective years, is a lifeless wasteland, a burned-out cinder, the site of an all-out nuclear holocaust sometime in the past. And the cast, all of them having been so recently in joyous, raucous celebration, wonder around in contrasting states of shocked disbelief, Humans and Cylons alike united in the psychological devastation of the physical devastation all around them, perhaps realizing that the demons that brought about the Twelve Colonies’ destruction were far older than any of them imagined, and just as inescapable.

It is a stunning climax. Or, rather, anti-climax, since Earth was to be the end of the journey.   With no salvation to be found there, and the planet uninhabitable, where do they all go from here? And what of the questions this outcome raises? Who nuked Earth? Did the Cavils, Dorals, and Simons jump ahead and destroy it first?   If the devastation was self-inflicted and the final five were from Earth, does this explain why the other seven models are not to even speak of them? Was the thirteenth tribe actually Cylonoid, and Earth the birthplace of the skinjobs in the first place?

But…is this planet really Earth? We never do get a full-on look at it to identify continents and such. We, the viewers, only know that THEY, the characters, think it’s Earth. And could the fact that it was Starbuck’s Viper that picked up the signal be part of the hybrid’s prophecy that she would lead her people to their end?

The “final episodes” begin in January. I really hope Ron Moore answers these questions before it’s all over. But I suspect that in the meantime, the metastasizing insanity has only just begun.

 

Next: The triumph of despair.

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Battlestar Galactica: The Hub (S4/E10)

Battlestar Galactica: The Hub (S4/E10)

Rating: ***

Written by: Jan Espenson
Directed By: Paul Edwards

  

Well, we know that those who were left behind didn’t handle things so well; how about those who were “snatched up”?

Having just arrived aboard the rebel Cylon baseship, Roslin and Baltar are shocked when the ship’s hybrid abruptly begins making jump after jump away from the Human fleet. The hybrid is panicking because she senses that Natalie has died. Eventually, however, her jumps regain focus. She begins searching for the resurrection hub so that the allied Human-Cylon forces can complete their original mission: to rescue the boxed Three/D’Anna model and destroy the hub, which is defended by Cylon forces belonging to Cavil’s faction.

During all of these jumps, Roslin experiences visions in which Elosha, her priestess who perished on Kobol, shows her a hospital bed where she — Roslin — lies dying. William Adama keeps a loving, grief-stricken vigil by her bedside. Lee and Kara stand sorrowfully nearby. Observing this scene, Elosha urges Roslin to relax her self-inflicted Presidential isolation and allow herself to love — both for her own sake and for her people’s.

Interestingly, Roslin only experiences the visions during each FTL jump. Which is odd given that these jumps are supposed to be subjectively instantaneous.

Sooooo, from where, and whom, are these visions coming?   Is it her own subconscious lambasting her as a cold, aloof, hostile, well, “barracuda,” or her Cylon programming masquerading as her better nature? And, for that matter, since when has Laura Roslin been “isolated” and “unloving”?   She’s let in Bill Adama, and though it’s never been shown on-screen (yet, mercifully), it’s quite likely that they got to know their respective bodies a little better back on New Caprica.   But there are limits to how many a president can allow to get close, just as there is a valid purpose to “self-inflicted presidential isolation” – particularly in times of crisis. Good presidents know this. Which helps explain why the late Elosha was a pagan priestess and not a political consultant.

Between jumps, however, Roslin resolutely acts like her normal self. She and Baltar try and fail to converse with the enigmatic hybrid. Meanwhile, Helo and an Eight develop a bond as they work together to plan and prepare their uneasy crews for the coming battle. Helo is thus especially upset when Roslin gives him a secret order: he must transport D’Anna directly to Roslin, who will interrogate her with no Cylons present. Helo warns Roslin that the Cylons, who expect mutual cooperation, will see this as a betrayal of the alliance. Roslin coolly insists that Helo follow her orders.

In other words, Baltar was the ep’s comic relief.   Something, indeed, that has not been seen on this show for quite some time. Nice change of pace, if only for a few moments.

“Meanwhile,” Helo and the Eight do a bit more than just “develop a bond,” if you know what I mean. Or at least the Eight tries to light Karl’s pilot light by giving him his favorite back massage he always gets from Athena, one memory amongst all of Athena’s memories that the Eight helped herself to after Mrs. Agathon’s last download.

Helo is a little creeped out by it, but I don’t buy that he would be. Fact is, a lack of true intimacy would be the legacy of any Human who married a Cylonoid. Your Cylon spouse would not be a unique individual, but rather one copy amongst millions of that particular model. You could have nothing with her/him that was just between the two of you. Even if s/he remained faithful, one or more of his/her “siblings” could always tap into those sweet nothings and steamy encounters for whatever reason.   You marry one, you marry ‘em all.

It also doesn’t appear that Helo grasps the positive side of that particular coin: He could bugger as many Eights as he wanted and it wouldn’t be cheating! After all, they aren’t “siblings,” or even “identicals” – they’re duplicates. The Eight that was rubbing Karl’s shoulders and several minutes from then could have been on her knees in front of him rubbing somewhere else is Athena, just like Athena is Boomer and Boomer is this Eight. Something I’m sure Mrs. Agathon can’t not be aware of, even if her doofus hubbie can’t wrap his mind around it.

“Open” marriage by design. Plus the eventual, inevitable sorrow that would come with any functional immortal giving their heart to a mortal whose limited lifespan will be over all too soon. Makes you wonder if Athena thought through marrying Helo after all. No wonder she supported the mission to destroy the resurrection hub.

As for Roslin’s secret order to Helo for a private interrogation of the unboxed Three, the words “plausible deniability” come to mind.   She has her own personal agenda for that Q&A session and a perfectly reasonable cover justification. But then I have no problem with self-inflicted presidential isolation; I suppose the late Elosha would have Laura give Karl a shoulder rub instead.

The baseship reaches the hub and a chaotic fight begins against Cavil’s Cylon forces. Helo and the Eight sneak aboard the hub, where they find D’Anna already awake. Cavil and Boomer have resurrected her, but she has killed Cavil, and Boomer has fled. Helo, the Eight and D’Anna escape from the hub in a Raptor. Then the Human pilots unleash a barrage of nuclear missiles. The hub — the Cylons’ wellspring of immortality — vanishes in a blaze of light.

Alright, this makes no sense whatsoever. Cavil and his Simon and Doral allies know damn good and well that the D’Annas were the first model to go against the programming imperative forbidding any seeking out of the “Final Five”. Their “boxing” is what removed the Conoys, Sixes, and Sharons from majority control in the first place. The Cavils, most of all, are supposed to be the “voice of reason” model. So what possibly deluded them into believing that the D’Annas could be persuaded to take the side of the Ones, Twos, and Fours in a Cylon civil war that the Threes did more than any other model to ignite? Even desperation doesn’t explain it, and up until now the Cavils, Dorals, and Simons have had the upper hand in this intraspecies conflict.

The plot-driving answer is that Helo and his wannabe Eight “mistress” wouldn’t have had time to sneak aboard the resurrection hub to revive the D’Annas AND get any of them out before either their base ship or the hub or both were destroyed. Helo was right about that. But the story demanded that they bring back a Three, so Cavil has to pay the price in character credibility. No wonder Espenson booked his side to do the job in this battle.

Back aboard the baseship, an explosion during the fight has injured Baltar. Roslin gives him morpha and staunches his bleeding as best she can. Then, under the drug’s influence, Baltar confesses what she has long suspected: that his actions helped enable the genocidal Cylon attack against the Twelve Colonies. After he complacently explains that his faith in God frees him from all guilt, Roslin strips away the dressing she has put on his wound. He guesses what she’s doing and begs her to stop, but she steps away. Laura Roslin is about to let Gaius Baltar bleed to death before her eyes — but it’s not just his life on the line. It’s her soul, too.

NOW we’re talking. This is a polemical payoff four seasons in the making, and almost pulls Battlestar Galactica back over the shark “Sine Qua Non” jumped it a week ago.

I’m at a loss to explain why Gaius, after all this time, feels free to confess his sins, especially since Roslin told him he wasn’t going to die, so it wasn’t a deathbed confession. And I don’t buy the “under the drug’s influence” excuse, since you’ll recall from “Taking A Break From All Your Worries” that Roslin and Adama had Baltar pumped full of a sodium pentathol-like interrogation drug and the latter didn’t spill his guts, so why would a hit of morphine loosen up that double-tongue?

Perhaps a clue is to be found in the tone and tenor of the confession itself. For starters, confessing that he was the patsy that Caprica Six used to sabotage Colonial defenses in the face of the Cylons’ genocidal attack is only the prologue for yet another “evangelical” sermon from Fundamentally Oral Gaius.   He speaks of his notorious role in his civilization’s eradication as a good, a positive, a blessing that showed him “the path to God,” and, naturally, revealed to him the “messianic” role “God” had planned for him.   Including, of course, persuading Roslin to end her “self-inflicted presidential isolation” and “teaching her to love”. It was downright creepy in its self-satisfied, dare I say self-righteous smugness. Kind of like a Barack Obama stump speech.

As a witnessing gambit, I’d say this one left a great deal to be desired. Judging by Roslin’s reaction, atheistic hatred never looked so good. She doesn’t display glee or anger or cathartic satisfaction at getting to be the person who carries out the sentence she knows Baltar deserves for the crime against humanity she has always known in her heart he committed. At this point, after all that’s happened, and with her own life inexorably winding down, she’s beyond such petty emotions. Indeed, it almost seems to be a burden to her, but one she knows she must bear if some measure of belated justice is to be done.

It certainly doesn’t help the condemned that he begs her “don’t do this to me” over and over again. If Gaius were truly “born again,” his soul truly saved, he’d have acknowledged his guilt even knowing that it had been forgiven by God. He’d have realized that he deserved far worse punishment for his grievous sins from which God had spared him, and accepted this comparatively minor act of penance knowing that he was soon going home to his reward. And it would have been a far better witness to Roslin than his trademark begging for his life, which suggests that if anything, he has morally regressed (if that’s even possible) since he “got religion”.

But no. The base ship jumps away from the destroyed resurrection hub, Laura has one more Elosha vision, and when she comes to she replaces the bandage and saves the Worthless Piece ‘o Garbage’s life. Hence the “almost” inserted into the shark-jumping comment above. But what the heck, we still need the comic relief, right?

Still, the President’s new-found lack of presidential isolation doesn’t extend to letting the Three off the hook, which guarantees that the Eight won’t be Helo’s pussy-away-from-home on this mission.   Nothing much else, though, as D’Anna, mistrustful of everybody (and who can blame her?), clams up until the base ship makes it back to the ragtag fleet.

I bet Helo still doesn’t realize the opportunity Roslin cost him.

I’m also betting the Admiral recognized his, though.   Hope that Raptor has a big enough back seat.

 

Next: One more helping of metastasizing insanity before journey’s end.

Battlestar Galactica: Sine Qua Non (S4/E9)

Battlestar Galactica: Sine Qua Non (S4/E9)

Rating: *

Written by: Michael Taylor
Directed By: Rod Hardy
 

From the SciFi.com synopsis:

As Natalie dies amid a haze of visions, Admiral Adama banishes her murderer, Sharon Agathon, to the brig. Meanwhile, the rebel Cylon baseship has jumped away inexplicably, carrying Roslin, Baltar and many of Galactica‘s pilots. Have Roslin and the others have been kidnapped? That’s the consensus.

Eh; reasonable, as far as it goes. Though when the ragtag fleet eventually locates the Cylon rebels and their hostages, how is the rebuilt trust prerequisite to the inevitable resolution of this ill-conceived plot line to be plausibly depicted?

I was impressed with the scene where Adama confronts Athena – again, though, only to a certain point. His barely restrained rage at her betrayal of his trust and the jeopardy into which it has placed the ragtag fleet, as well as the pilots, including her husband Helo, all over a Hera-napping vision that kinda-sorta resembled the scene she beheld before she blew away the Natalie Six (and we all know how Adama feels about metaphysics) is classic Olmos Adama. It definitely has a powerful impact upon Athena – though not to the point of causing her to regret her actions.

But again, that dramatic power is mitigated by the transparency of what is really troubling the Admiral: that his girlfriend, Rosie the Cylon, was on the base ship. One gets the feeling that he’d sacrifice the entire fleet just to get her back – as, come to remember it, he admitted way back in season #1 he would to save Apollo’s life. Is this where that dialogual piper gets paid?

The President’s absence creates an especially chaotic leadership vacuum because Adama doesn’t trust Vice President Tom Zarek. With Zarek’s grudging permission, Lee Adama recruits eccentric lawyer Romo Lampkin to seek an interim president that the Admiral and the Quorum of Twelve will follow.

Er, didn’t we already go through this once before back on Kobol? Or New Caprica, for that matter? I certainly don’t blame the Admiral for not trusting Vice President Zarek, but how he feels about the individual who’s next in line is irrelevant, right? Like it or not, Zarek would become at least acting president until such time as Laura Roslin’s fate was ascertained. That is, if the democratic façade of their civilizational remnant is still worth the parchment on which it is festooned. A fact with Zarek himself, ironically, points out to Lee.

But then, if Adama didn’t trust Tom Zarek, why in all the worlds would he trust Romo Lampkin to play king-maker? I don’t care if he was ultimately persuaded by the ambulance-chaser to spring Gaius “worthless piece ‘o garbage” Baltar, it’s just not believable. Which makes Lampkin’s ultimate choice of Adama The Younger all the more day-glo obvious.

Hell, maybe it’s Lee who’s been working everybody all along with this whole “reluctant hero” gimmick.

Adama is quietly agonizing over Roslin’s fate, but he has no idea where to start searching for her until a battered Raptor jumps into view. It’s the same one that carried Roslin to the baseship, but pilot Eammon “Gonzo” Pike is the only one aboard, and he’s dead. Adama angers the Quorum by jumping the Galactica to where Pike’s Raptor came from, leaving the fleet undefended.

Remember Adama’s reaction when Starbuck was seemingly lost on that gas giant planet and he sank into a sentimentality & guilt-fueled obsession to find and rescue her, no matter what the cost? Remember his answer when Lee asked him what he’d do if it were #1 son missing instead of his surrogate daughter? Remember what I wrote about it?:

Well, frak me and frak the Human race if this is the mindset of the co-leader of surviving non-terrestrial humanity. He’d never leave? He’d defy the President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol herself? He’d let the remaining fifty thousand survivors of his civilization’s destruction be massacred? All in an insanely futile quest to find his son’s corpse? This is a suicide complex. At the very least it raises questions about Adama’s command fitness. I don’t know if Galactica‘s CMO is authorized to relieve him on medical grounds, but if I were Colonel Tigh I’d keep this incident in mind and perhaps make some contingency plans with the President to take Adama out should another such set of circumstances ever recur.

Welcome to the recurrence. Only now, of course, Tigh is a Cylon, bringing his own motivations for such a contingency into serious question. And, of course, he has his own embarrassing, soap opera-esque problems just straining at the leash to splatter into public view.

There, the Galactica discovers wreckage from Human and Cylon ships, and possibly from the elusive Cylon resurrection hub itself. Tigh speculates that the hub was destroyed and the Humans lost in a battle, but Adama refuses to accept that Roslin is dead. Although Adama returns to the fleet, he leaves Raptors behind to continue the search, straining resources and risking lives.

Last time Adama went off on such a soft & sloppy emotional bender, if you’ll recall (or follow the above link), it was President Roslin who read him the riot act and yanked him back into proper command perspective. Thus lending a thick layer of irony to this teeth-grindingly malevolent assault on what had been a pillar character of this series.

Note, though, the self-serving undercurrent of Tigh’s speculation. The last thing he wants is to be anywhere near any situation that might expose his, Tyrol’s, Anders’, and Tory’s secret.

Which doesn’t remotely prepare him for the aforementioned splatter surprise, nor the viewers for the appalling spectacle it led to:

Next, Doc Cottle drops a bombshell on the overburdened Admiral: Caprica Six is pregnant. Knowing of Tigh’s interrogation sessions with the Cylon prisoner, Adama guesses who the father is and furiously confronts Tigh. Tigh — shocked by the news that he may be a parent — fires back, accusing Adama of letting his emotions rule his decisions regarding Roslin. The fight escalates and the two men come to blows before wryly reconciling.

Oh. Good.  Lord.  I suppose in retrospect this is something we all should have seen coming, but speaking for myself, I think my subconscious was protecting me from the malignant “EWWWWWWWW” factor that would have otherwise sent me into paroxysms of gagging. Or giggling. Or both.

This is a shark-jumping moment if ever I saw one.   Just consider all the questions it gives, um, “rise” to. Like how is it that Baltar never managed to knock up Caprica Six in the two-plus years they were frakking each other like rabid rabbits? Or how is it that ol’ man Saul never sired any offspring with his late wife Ellen (that we know of)? Was it a monumental case of blue balls that overpowered the Six’s contraceptive subroutines? Or did she deliberately engineer the conception? And if so, for what conceivable purpose? Pity? An age fetish? Charlie Chaplin syndrome?

We already had at least two Human-Cylon hybrids toddling around (Hera Agathon and Nicholos Tyrol). Now we have an entirely Cylon child to go with them. And doesn’t that speak to how day-glo obvious it is that Cylon “skinjobs” are not machines but Human clones with psychological conditioning and perhaps some minor degree of cybernetic implantation?

And that doesn’t even get into Adama and Tigh getting into a junior high school slap fight over their respective groan-inducing romantic dalliances, and ending up with Tigh evading Adama’s question and Adama admitting he doesn’t know what he’ll do if they do find Roslin. Which undermines the entire premise of the episode.

And, come on, the Admiral can’t understand why Tigh would frak Caprica Six? Sheesh, I thought it was Tigh who was half blind.

With voices on all sides warning him that he is too emotionally involved in the search for Roslin, Adama eventually decides to relinquish his command until the President is found.

….to a Cylon! So he can venture out alone and search for the new love of his life who is….a Cylon! All together now: “I’m a Cylon, you’re a Cylon, he’s a Cylon, she’s a Cylon, wouldn’t you like to be a Cylon, too? Be a Cylon, EVERYONE’s a Cylon….”

Soon afterward, Romo Lampkin tells Lee that his hunt for an interim President is over: He has decided that Lee himself would be the best candidate.

Well, OF COURSE he would! And to think that Adama once told Lee he was giving him command of the late battlestar Pegasus because “I need someone I can trust.” Talk about a “ShaZAM!” way of engineering your own coup de tat! And, of course, Lee is far too dedicated to serving “the people” to disagree.

Then Lampkin, an unstable man filled with grief and guilt, pulls a gun. He demands to know why the Human race, imperfect and doomed, deserves to have hope. At gunpoint, Lee defends his idealism, insisting that he can help lead humanity to a better future. Lampkin spares Lee’s life, and the younger Adama is sworn in as the interim president of the Twelve Colonies.

Suuuuure he does. C’mon, that’s BS only a sap like….well, Lee Adama would buy.   Lampkin is about as unstable as….well, Admiral Adama used to not be. About what has he got to be aggrieved or guilty? He’s a lawyer, for frak’s sake; if he ever had a conscience, he carved it out like a tumor years ago.

No, he just wanted to make sure that Lee knew why he was usurping the presidency before he formally usurped it. Or to make sure he implanted within Lee’s subconscious the reason Lampkin wanted him to think was the reason he was usurping the presidency before he formally usurped it. My only regret is that the springer of Gaius Baltar didn’t stick the gun in his mouth and blow his twisted head off. You know, perform a public service and christen the Adama Accidency with a complimentary murder scandal.

After the ceremony, Admiral Adama formally turns command of the Galactica over to Tigh. Adama isn’t going to stop searching for Roslin, but he will no longer endanger the fleet to find her. Instead, he has a new plan that will risk only one life — his own.

Awwwww; it’s that sweet?

So let’s tally this up: President Roslin and half the Galactica’s pilots and interceptors are still missing; Admiral Adama has gone completely off his nut and is about to go AWOL himself; the Galactica is under the command of a Cylon; and the fleet is under the control of the most dangerous man alive.

Would just letting Vice President Zarek take over for now really have been that much worse?
Next: the other side of the “JUMP!” May it be even slightly less excruciating than this one.   So say we all.