BSG S4.5E012: A Disquiet Follows My Soul

Date: Sat Jan 24 2009 Battlestar Galactica
It's so good to have the hiatus over with and have BSG episodes to write about. On the other hand that means there are only 8 more episodes to go putting the end date sometime late March 2009. Anyway, where S4.5E011 was a kick in the gut this episode was calmer. Sort of.

This episode is clearly occuring after Mr. Gaeta's fateful trip to the Zephyr that went awry and he discovered just how deeply had been his betrayal by his Cylon buddy. I'm talking about the revealing points in the webisodes. At the end of the webisodes is shown Mr. Gaeta having decided to upend the status quo of a Human-Cylon Alliance, and in this episode he is continuing that plan. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

There was an issue in S4.5E011 which I did not discuss previously, and it's very present in this episode as well. Namely, the depth of doubt that many of the characters have to have experienced. They had had several years of hoping for an Earth that was awaiting them as a new home. They as a people had believed for over 2000 years that Earth was inhabited by Humans and was a paradise. Reality was entirely different, however.

In S4.5E011 was shown the beginning of an unraveling of the fleet. "Frak Earth" and all that. All the assumptions were made false. This is playing out as a crisis of confidence across the fleet and it's causing, um, issues. In this episode they have a scene showing 20 or so ships in rebellion against military orders, and an 11-1 vote in the Quorum stating that each captain of each ship has the right to decide on their own whether Cylons are allowed to board that ship. And that Quorum decision is apparently seen by Adm. Adama as something to dispense out of hand, ignore the right of the Quorum to make such decisions, and to claim it's a matter of military necessity.

Adm. Adama has been using this "military necessity" phrase for a long time and expecting absolute obediency to military edicts. The fact is these civilian vessels are not military assets but civilian. For Adama to claim them as military assets puts him in the same class as Adm. Cain whom had been portrayed as having committed war crimes for stripping civilian vessels and killing their crews claiming "military necessity". Just how long can Adm. Adama keep up this pattern to obedience to military necessity? He's been ignoring political gaming for a long time expecting something like military style obedience but isn't that only going to lead to resentment and resistance?

In this situation Adm. Adama is proposing an alliance between Human and Cylon. Perhaps there is some wisdom to doing so but it would be like in the U.S.A. right now proposing an alliance with al Qaeda. All through this show the Cylons have been presented in the same demonized light as the U.S. government has painted on al Qaeda, and the remaining human population rightfully sees the Cylons as murderous and dangerous enemies. Perhaps there is military potential for an alliance but does that make it the correct course of action? Especially given the revealing information we saw in the webisodes that the Cylons may portray themselves as partners but they do not have unity of opinion and some Cylons are still itching to kill all humans.

In S4.5E011 the phrase "This has all happened before and it will all happen again" was demonstrated very deeply. At least two times before Humans and Cylons had attempted to live in harmony only to end in a bloodbath and nuked remnants of a planet. And what do the humans do in the wake of this? They're now attempting to begin a new phase of Humans and Cylons attempting to live together in harmony, and the question is where will this lead?

Mr. Gaeta is clearly now intent on leading a mutiny to overturn the proposed Human-Cylon alliance. And no doubt his friend, Sweet 8, has compatriots who also intend to not honestly pursue an alliance but instead to simply use it as short term advantage while still seeking the long term goal of killing all humans.

Clearly such a situation will eventually result in more bloodshed and killing rather than entering a phase of peace and harmony that they all hope for.

There is also the pattern of cycles of violence. In S04E10 and S4.5E11 we've seen several forms of people deciding to get off the cycle of violence. Pres. Roslin burned her books etc and is now claiming "I have played my role in this farce" claiming she has a right to live a little before she dies. Lt. Duala killed herself, and D'Anna Biers decided to consign herself to the ruined Earth rather than being chased down only to die in the cold of space. Adm. Adama flipped out and tried to get his best friend to kill him. etc..

I especially like how Lee Adama portrayed a conscious choice to choose differently in S04E10 but in the current episode this conscious choice was nowhere to be seen.