Let’s go toaster shopping

The start of season 2! Oh the excitement, the dread! Will Adama survive? What will happen on Caprica?

2.1 Scattered

The episode starts with a flashback to Adama and Tigh as rough young things, when they first join the Fleet. It then cuts very quickly to the present Fleet jumping away from the Cylon attack… but Galactica finds herself all alone. The Fleet is missing. Oh no!

Cut then to the downed Raptor on Kobol; the survivors are seriously not coping. The Lt is charge is totally out of his depth, and the Chief is too much a military man to try and go against a superior, although he does give advice when and how he can.

Yet another cut, and it’s Caprica: Starbuck and Sharon are at odds, and Helo is a bit helpless in figuring out what to do.

Back to Galactica, and Tigh is hitting the bottle hard. He beats up Boomer, at least partly to soothe his own feelings of helplessness at not being able to help Adama. Meanwhile, Gaeta comes up with the idea to network the Galactica’s computers so they can try and find the Fleet faster than otherwise possible, and Apollo is allowed out of the brig on parole, at least until the Fleet is back together again. The end is cliffhanger-y: trying to find the Fleet, Galactica gets attacked by Cylons and although they fight them off, a Cylon ship manages to crash into Galactica; we still have people on Kobol; and we still have people on Caprica. This is a Not Good Situation.

The most interesting part about this whole episode – aside from seriously earning the name ‘Scattered’, as we jump from one set of beloved characters to another – is the insight into Tigh’s soul, and his friendship with Adama. It’s not made entirely clear, but I think the suggestion is that both of them got out, or washed out, of the Fleet as young men; Tigh got bitter, but Adama refused to give up. He eventually got back in, and he then kept his promise to Tigh by bringing him back, too. So really, Tigh owes his entire career – and, probably, his life, since he seemed already about to drink himself to death – solely to Adama. This goes a long way towards explaining his ferocious loyalty and protection of the man. It’s dogged, it’s bloody annoying, but it’s also admirable.

2.2 Valley of Darkness

Having problems with your electricity? If you’re on board Galactica, that doesn’t mean Gremlins; it means enormous metal men with really scary guns. Yes, who would have guessed? The downed ship offloaded Cylons onto Galactica. Also, there’s a virus in the system, left by the nasty Cylons after they tried to penetrate all of Gaeta’s clever firewalls. The Cylons spend this episode attempting to take over the ship, or at least disable the important bits. Like life support. Roslin is freed by Apollo because the brig is in the way of the Cylons; he and various others attempt to hold off the Cylons. Which they do, although there are some casualties. Roslin ends up back in the brig at the end, though; Tigh is a hard, hard man. I love Roslin’s grace in this episode; she is a very proud woman and refuses to break under pressure.

Flick to Caprica: Helo and Starbuck are together, Sharon having nicked off somewhere. They find Starbuck’s old place: it’s filled with random art, piles of unpaid bills, and a very unsavoury frig. They listen to some music and then head out together in Starbuck’s army-surplus Hummer. I love this insight into Starbuck; we so rarely get a look back at what our people were like before the attack. She’s so quirky – the flat is nothing like I would have expected. Especially the art, which was done by her.

Meanwhile, down on Kobol, things are going very badly. They forgot some of their medication; the Chief takes a couple of people to retrieve it but they get ambushed, and one of them dies; and when they get back to the team, it’s too late to save the injured man. And they euthanase him. This vignette of the remaining humans is a stark depiction of attitudes and reactions while under pressure. The officer doesn’t cope; Baltar is next to useless, distracted by Six, and the vision he has of a baby – his baby, apparently; and the grunts are totally bewildered, which is understandable.

It’s a chaotic episode, but a good one.

2.3 Fragged

Much of this episode focusses on Kobol. The survivors discover that the Cylons are building an anti-aircraft battery, clearly to take down the expected search and rescue mission from Galactica. The Lt decides they need to attack it – which kinda makes sense, but yo, consider your people! A civvie, two grunt deckhands, and the Chief… not exactly brilliant military material. He really, really falters under pressure. What’s fascinating is that he’s shown going, step by step, through the things he’s been taught to do as an officer. But he doesn’t adapt them to the situation; he’s incapable of being innovative and flexible. When Cally balks, he pulls his gun on her… and Baltar shoots him. It’s a fascinating moment: has Baltar done it to save Cally? If so, why? Was it almost accidental, out of fright? I think it’s impossible to get a read on Baltar at this moment. It just further complex-ifies him. And as a result of the shooting, Six says she is proud of him, because killing makes you human. That’s one helluva bleak view on humanity. Then they get rescued, and everyone lies about the Lt’s death….

Meanwhile, Tigh is making more and more of a hash of things. I think he realises that things are going badly, but he just keeps on digging that hole. He declares martial law, insults the Quorum of Twelve, and is generally realising just how hard command is. Of course, he never wanted to be in command… not that Ellen wants to hear that. Dear Ellen goes to visit Roslin in the brig, where the President is having serious withdrawal issues – she hasn’t had her medication in a while. As a result, Ellen convinces Tigh to let the Quorum see the President, to get them off his back. Of course, because Billy is a resourceful young fellow, he gets her the drugs just in time so that Roslin is perfectly coherent when the politicians visit. Coherent enough, in fact, that she tells them about her visions. And that she is dying. This causes quite a stir – and most of the Quorum believe her. Tigh is left looking like an idiot.

This is one action-packed episode. Even the seemingly-quieter moments, with discussions of faith and politics, are incredibly tense.

BSG stats:

  • Starbuck in the brig: 1
  • Baltar in the brig: 1
  • Women Baltar shows interest in (not including Six): 4
  • Women Baltar actually gets to sleep with: 2
  • Baltar religious conversions: 2
  • Different sexy dresses worn by Caprica-Six: 11
  • Apollo sides with President against Dad: 3
  • Number of Cylons viewers know about: 4
  • Number of Cylons humans know about: 2
  • Roslin has a vision: 3
  • People deliberately thrown out the airlock: 1 (+1 threat)
  • Ships lost: 1
  • Ellen gets suggestive: 3
  • Starbuck and Apollo do fisticuffs: 1

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