I considered trying to have interesting titles for all of my posts, but… that’s a lotta titles.
I discovered on watching this just how much of the detail I have forgotten, which is quite pleasant actually – it makes rewatching it seem more worthwhile. In this episode – officially the first of the series – the Galactica and its ragtag band of civvie ships has made 287 ftl jumps, every 33 minutes, only just escaping the Cylons each time. They’re all on the ragged edge, and you just know something is going to happen. We also flash to Helo, on Caprica, and get a fair bit of Baltar being lovey-dovey and insane with Six.
Of course, forgetting details also means that you have to go through the agony of (re)discovering horrible things, like…
The Olympic Carrier. It wasn’t until Dee announces with surprise that the Carrier was back with the fleet, after being left behind on the last jump, that I remembered what happened. And oh boy, that’s unpleasant. Yet again we have the President and the Commander having to make dreadful, heart-wrenching decisions. (And as we find out in the next ep, it’s Apollo that seems to suffer most from doing it).
The crew after 100+ hours sans sleep is a fascinating study in character. Tigh just bulls on through, Starbuck gets wilder, Adama gets grittier, and everyone else does ragged and near-crazy exceptionally well.
And finally, we get Helo on Caprica, getting ‘rescued’ by a Sharon. Doesn’t that just put the cat amongst the pigeons, so to speak? Especially when she kills a Six in order to do so….
The thing I’ve paid closer attention to on this watch, aside from the plot, is the character relationships. The one I really noticed this time is that between the Chief and Callie: at this time, he’s involved with Boomer, but eventually of course these two get hitched. It’s interesting to see them at this point, where it’s very much a master/apprentice relationship. And, of course, Apollo and Adama continue to be a fascinating study in parent/child attitudes. I love them more this time than last.
Oops. Boomer wakes up and discovers she doesn’t know where she’s been or what she’s done. And then there’s an explosion – oh no! – and lots and lots of water is lost. Then we go water hunting. We also get back to Helo and Boomer on Caprica.
Put like that, it sounds like a boring episode – and for the second in the series that seems quite weird. But it sets the scene: aside from battling Cylons, the point of the show really is the day to day minutiae, the little things that make it possible for not-quite-50,000 people to survive in space while being hunted down. And water is, of course, utterly essential to that survival. So I like that after the adrenaline rush of 33, we get an episode focussed on something no less vital, but way less sexy.
This episode makes me realise I am not a huge fan of Boomer. I think this is partly because I don’t really rate the actress, Grace Park, that highly, and also because I find this iteration of her a bit too whingy; curiously I think Athena – the one who is currently with Helo – is more interesting. On one level this makes no sense, while on another it’s a great tribute to the writers of the show in differentiating members of the same Cylon model.
We get more lovely moments of Roslin/Adama here: they bond over books, they have misunderstandings that at least this time are resolved quite gracefully, and in their individual interactions with Apollo they demonstrate fascinatingly different takes on leadership. Adama says ‘suck it up and take it like a man’; Roslin says in private, at least, learn from your mistakes and be honest with yourself.
Finally, we get more of Six banging on (heh heh) at Baltar about religion, which really started in 33. There are things here about monotheism vs polytheism, and attitudes towards God/the gods, that I still haven’t got my head around. Hopefully I’ll be able to do so over the course of the series.