BSG S4.5E019: Daybreak pt. 1

Date: Sat Mar 14 2009 Battlestar Galactica
I apologize to both of my readers for missing blogging about the previous episode. It was such a yawner though I couldn't get motivated to write anything. This episode, well, let's just say the last few episodes have not lived up to the quick pace of the earlier ones. It seemed they had a big amount of story to jam into a few episodes, but this episode and the couple preceding ones are not following the pattern. In any case there are some items of interest so let's get started.

I'm more than a bit irritated with this episode. The first 20 minutes or so are (it seems) full of previews of a coming TV movie, The Plan. Huh? They had promised us these 10 episodes were jammed with BSG story and closing off the story arcs. So why all these flash-back-forward's to The Plan? For example they show a scene with Adama in a business suit in a meeting, there's no connection between that scene and anything else in the episode or any other episode. Why is that there?

One of those previews of The Plan was a bit interesting. I'm thinking of the Elder Abuse scenes between Dr. Baltar and his father. It's sad but in a way not at all surprising that Gaius would be doing something like that. It's surprising that 6 would step in like that with human-like compassion, except that she probably saw it as her avenue to get into Dr. Baltar's life in order to accomplish her mission. Elder Abuse is such an ugly thing, and unfortunately it happens.

The unfortunate presence of previews of the Plan aside, it's a pretty decent episode with some interesting turns of events.

They're going ahead with dismantling the ship and in a way that brings closure for us viewers to e.g. see the hall of photo's bare of the photographs. So many important scenes happened in that hallway, and now it's just a hallway again.

The scene between Helo and Tyrol was confusing. I'm still not sure which was in the brig and which wasn't, but I think it's Helo who was in the brig. Why? What for? He hadn't done anything to deserve being in the brig, that we've seen. Tyrol's explanation of being an idiot for being 2000 years old and unable to remember that Cylons are machines, well, doesn't that describe himself? I'm confused.

Are you 2000 years old if most of that time span was due to time dilation?

The exchange between Baltar and Lee Adama was rather honest, I felt. Is Baltar truly having moments of real honest openness? Lee challenged him to recall one moment of worth, and Baltar said "you're right, I wouldn't trust me either". An act which, by itself, might be a demonstration of the sort of worth Lee Adama asking for him to demonstrate. Except that Lee probably didn't understand.

And while we're on Lee Adama being Presidential. A few episodes back at the end of Season 4 (episode 10) I had written about the cycle of violence and the way Lee's actions represented a choice to step out of the cycle of violence. This "this has all happened before and will all happen again" mantra is in part a simple recognition of human psychology and our tendency to recreate conflict over and over. It can be mapped as a cycle with a series of arrows connecting a series of events of the sort which recreate new cycles of violence. And one can choose to jump out of the cycle of violence which I thought I saw Lee Adama doing. But there's no evidence of this any longer.

The story doesn't seem any longer to be about the question of whether it's a good thing for humans and cylons to live together. The story now seems to be about the imminent loss of the ship, the Galactica, as personified in Adm. Adama's personal imminent loss of the two main women in his life, the ship and Laura Roslyn.

Except... the fate they had started to give Galactica, to go to sleep quietly in the depths of space, is not now their goal. Their goal now is to attack The Colony and most certainly the Galactica is going to meet its demise pursuing that goal. If the Galactica survives the jump, they have gravitational stresses from being next to a Singularity, and they face a battle with multiple base stars and the defenses of the Colony. The Galactica is bound to face destruction.

On the one hand I carefully noted that Baltar was having a moment of panicked decisioning over whether to join the rescue party or not. But in the end he has chosen to not go on the rescue mission, presumably his followers chose likewise. Additionally Lee Adama and other government officials chose to join the rescue mission. This likely leaves Baltar in position as the surviving political leader and it appears he is popular among the fleet.

Just how did he become popular airing those crackpot broadcasts?

In any case during the episode Head 6 said to him humanities final chapter was about to be written, and that he would be its author. Here he is, in position to become the political leader because the other political leaders are heading off to a glorious final battle presented as a two hour special finale of an award winning TV series. If only he knew he was a primary character in an award winning TV series, do you think he'd have a better opinion of himself?