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April 11, 2008

Battlestar Galactica: Six of One Discussion Thread

Whoops, I almost forgot. Feel free to discuss in the comments. I won't be checking in until after the show (Pacific time), so please behave.

Spoiler Policy: Anything from the miniseries and the show up to and including tonight's episode is fair game; no need to warn or in some way obscure text for anything that comes from that material. However, anything you may have heard about future episodes should be kept to yourself. Thanks.

So does anyone else think that they used up their special effects budget with last week's opening two acts? When do we get Three back? And for how long will they drag out the question of the Last Cylon?

My consideration of the episode is in the extended entry.

First, if these two episodes are any gauge then Season 4 is finally giving us the interaction between women characters that it's been missing all along. This show has been great playing the men off of each other and, of course, Roslin and Adama's relationship is one of the most important elements of the entire series (not to mention Starbuck & Apollo, Baltar & his Sixes). But I've always thought that the women are never given enough time to play off of each other or to develop the kind of deep relationships that mixed pair or male pairs have. They may have scenes, but there's always a man participating or hanging around in the background.

So far we've had Roslin and Caprica and tonight's excellent scene between Roslin and Starbuck, both of which will hopefully get follow-ups in coming episodes. It wouldn't kill them to put Athena and Caprica back in a scene together. They already have some history, and it's probably got to be an fraught situation for Caprica.

Second, today was a breath of fresh air after last week's literal script. Last week, everything they said was an obvious and literal truth; it was superficial. Things were back to symbolic goodness this week--enough to spend the next week picking through if a person chose. We got lucky though. Tonight's episode was written by Michael Angeli, the same guy who absolutely destroyed the character of Helo (among various other disastrous decisions) in two of the worst episodes of the entire series, A Measure of Salvation and The Woman King. Today's episode could have gone very badly.

Third, this one qualifies as another Cylon-heavy episode, so I automatically love it. My favorite episode of the series so far is Season 2's Downloaded, which gave us the most information about how Cylons behave around other Cylons. All the way through last season's New Caprica episodes I would have liked to see more of how the Cylons came to decisions. We got that glimpse today and it was very satisfying.

It's interesting to see that the Cavils seem to have slid into the position in the power structure that Three held. They come to him and he tells them how it's going to be. That was Three's thing before Cavil boxed her. Her word always seemed to hold the most weight. She certainly thought her will was most important; it's what got her in trouble. Cavil is the new King Cylon and he's loving every minute of it. Well, almost. Doral opened a terrible doorway when he shot Caprica in the head.

Now the new Six has opened her own Pandora's box. She gave the machines reason. Whatever they tell themselves, they're still following in the footsteps of their parents. No one ever learns.

Fourth, Roslin seems to be slipping into the same pattern as before: the closer she gets to death, the harder she becomes. Every time she looks at someone now--even Adama--you can see that airlock behind her eyes. She doesn't have time to mess around anymore. Adama wants to sit and wait on the whole Starbuck/Earth question, but Roslin can hear the clock ticking. This is also the most confrontational we've seen her and the admiral since Season 2. It's comfortable for us because it's familiar territory. But you can tell it really hurt the two of them. Marriages are hard.

Finally, a question that's more a wish than anything I expect to happen. Let's assume for a minute that the Last Cylon is a character who we believe has already died (e.g. Billy, Crashdown, Cain, Cat, Ellen, etc.). If you could pick who you want to come back, who would it be?

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:04 PM

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