Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Felix and Tom's Bogus Journey

Well, that was certainly an eventful nine hours. 

At once, we see the failure of idealism, in the form of Gaeta, and the failure of the outright cynicism of Zarek's autocracy. Sure, had Gaeta followed Zarek's entreaty to execute all of their opposition outright, their bloody revolution would probably have lasted a whole lot longer: they would be in command of the only ship in the fleet with guns (once they separated themselves from the Cylons), and they were already in control of the tyllium ship, without which any dissenters would be left behind to die a horrible death. 

But even so, Zarek's fleet would have brought the people of the fleet to a whole new level of despair, worse than their current status quo, if that's at all possible. Eventually, his troops aboard Galactica would grow to resent their new overlord, and take him out. But this new fleet would be without help from the Cylons, and would have executed the best and the brightest among them.

As it stands, it was Gaeta's idealism that caused their revolution to collapse. He insisted that everything be done "right." But without a real system of justice, after ordering the execution of the rightful head of government, who is Gaeta to appeal to what is "right." 

Romo Lampkin, in a much more worthy return after last year's Sine Qua Non, was able to cut right through Gaeta's kangaroo court. He points out the utter nonsense of trying to have a real court-martial among an illegitimate command, and knows full well that Gaeta would be better off saving time and executing Adama early on. In a wonderful nod to Season Three's  The Son Also Rises, Lampkin steals a pen from Gaeta (like the pen he stole from Baltar, and the numerous other little objects he was compelled to steal) and uses it to take out his guard. He also gave us another Earth cultural reference to throw on the pile when he called his guards Wynken and Blynken.

Also, very appropriate that in the episode where we get a proper use of Lampkin, we get the return of Captain Kelly. Just to jog your memory, Kelly has been around since the miniseries. In Season Three, he was put in the brig after killing two of Baltar's previous attorneys and attempting to kill Romo Lampkin (killing several bystanders in the process). It was Romo's kleptomania that eventually brought him down. How ironic that now, he can't bring himself to kill a Cylon, chief Tyrol, and works to bring down Gaeta's mutiny and restore Adama to power. Seems he's been doing some thinking in his long tenure in the brig. 

Roslin, aboard the Cylon base ship, shows that her leadership skills and powers of persuasion, transcend the human race. Make no mistakes, the rebel Cylons will never again underestimate her will.

Finally, the penultimate scene, between Baltar and Gaeta, provides a needed sense of closure for Gaeta, although the scene is presented in a very strange way. First, it's set in Gaeta's quarters, not in the brig. You would think that as the ringleader of a mutiny, Gaeta would be sequestered in Galactica's dankest cell. At first, I thought this scene, and Gaeta's resolution, was taking place in his mind (Gaeta spends the scene sitting in his chair in his quarters, and then we cut to him sitting in a chair in the launch tube, awaiting his execution), but the official statements about the scene would tend to indicate otherwise, with no mention of the scene being imaginary, but with a mention that they intended to misdirect the audience:
The scene is kind of wicked, too. We’re supposed to believe that Gaeta’s been spared. It takes place in Gaeta’s quarters (Ron’s idea). And Gaeta speaks of himself in the present tense, how he wants people to know who he is, or something to that effect. 
Just a few quick notes to wrap up:
- According to Michael Angeli (in the same interview cited above), there was enough excised material to fill a whole other episode. Hopefully, that footage will make its way onto the DVD.
- Also from Angeli, the Six who sleeps with Baltar is named "Lida." Might this be a reference to "Leda," the Queen of Sparta who, according to myth, was impregnated by Zeus, who came to her in the form of a swan? Something to consider, since she's just slept with Baltar.
- Speaking of Baltar, interesting to see him finally come out and let us know where he stands with his whole "turn," and whether or not it's genuine. 

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