BSG rewatch: Unlimited access

2.8: Final Cut

This episode interweaves the repercussions of what has become known to the Fleet as “the massacre on Gideon” – when Tigh sent marines in to get their supplies, and they opened fire on civilians – with the sort of episode I didn’t think we’d get on BSG: the behind-the-scenes, daily-life one. Both of these strands are made possible by a new character, D’Anna Biers, played by Lucy Lawless.

D’Anna is investigating the ‘massacre’, and will potentially put out a very damaging (for Tigh, and Galactica) report. To counter this, Roslin and Adama invite her on to Galactica, with unlimited access to the crew, so that she can get a sense of what it’s like for them – and report on that to the rest of the Fleet.

This is a very clever thing for Roslin and Adama to do, of course; the theory is that finding out that the pilots who protect you are human, and have their own fears and dreams, will make the Fleet more sympathetic towards them and more forgiving. It’s also a clever piece of writing for the show, because unless you introduced a psychologist character, or showed them having fairly uncharacteristic D&M conversations with each other, showing the sort of emotional turmoil we get here would have been very difficult indeed. As a result, we get to hear why Cat has been taking stims by the fistful, and we get to see Dee trying to put a brave face on everything, as well as a few other character insights. I love Felix Gaeta more and more with each episode – he’s so competent, and calm, and yet in this episode, he talks quite frankly about why he smokes and what his plans had been before the attack. Oh, and seeing Baltar so desperate to get interviewed is quite frankly.

Meanwhile, Ellen has been terrified by some graffiti in the cabin she shares with Tigh, and a shuttle Tigh was meant to fly on develops a problem that would have killed him and the crew if it had taken off. It turns out that the man who led the Gideon mission has been sent a little bit nuts by the event and its repercussions, and is seeking vengeance through Tigh. It’s an interesting insight into the ramifications of acting as a soldier, and the conversations had by various people about how to react to the events – from Adama, and Tigh, as well as others – show that the writers were not trying to paint anyone as wholly good or bad. I was a bit disappointed with just how patriotic and triumphalist the episode got in the end, though; it verged on nauseating.

The very, very end of this episode is chilling. A theatre, with the human-looking Cylon models watching D’Anna’s footage… and D’Anna there, reassuring them that yes Caprica-Sharon is doing well, and the baby is still alive.

CYLON!!

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: 14 (and one sports outfit)
  • Apollo sides with President against Dad: 4
  • Number of Cylons viewers know about: 6
  • Number of Cylons humans know about: 2 (and Starbuck an additional one)
  • Roslin has a vision: 3
  • People deliberately thrown out the airlock: 1 (+3 threats)
  • Ships lost: 1
  • Ellen gets suggestive: 3
  • Starbuck and Apollo do fisticuffs: 1
  • Starbuck and Apollo kiss: 1

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