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.

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