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Battlestar Fodder

Battlestar Galactica: Episode 2.14 - "Black Market"

by Shannon Nolley, Sci-Fi Fodder Editor


Black Market
Episode 2.14
27 January 2006

In case you're wondering, this is a very Apollo-centric episode. We learn a lot about Captain Adama here. In "Resurrection Ship, Part 2," when he admitted to wishing he had not survived his mission, we learned that Apollo isn't made of the icy steel he puts up as a front. Though this episode doesn't reveal everything about him, it gives us some juicy insight into this increasingly complex character.

We open with Apollo in a bar, holding a gun on a black man. The man says he knows Apollo won't shoot because Apollo isn't like him. Talk about tension right off the bat!

Apollo in bedWe jump to Cloud 9, forty-eight hours earlier. Apollo is in bed with a hot woman! We don't know her, but apparently Apollo knows her VERY well. They are naked. The woman reaches to pick up her clothes from the floor. Apollo tells her not to go. He then realizes what time it is and says he should have been out of there an hour ago. He doesn't want to hold up the Raptor - Tigh will have his ass (looks like someone beat him to it, Lee).

AdamaBack on the Galactica, President Roslin, Baltar, Commander Fisk, and Admiral Adama are meeting to discuss the fleet's dwindling supplies. Fisk says that the civilians are big whiners. Roslin replies that people are turning to the black market to meet their needs. Billy even had to trade liquor to get antibiotics recently. The criminals are taking over and Roslin wants the government and the military to be in control of the supplies, not the thugs. Fisk - never ceasing to pop grapes into his mouth - volunteers the Pegasus to "run these dogs down." Adama says he will take care of it. The meeting breaks up. Fisk and Baltar walk down the hall together, talking. Fisk is buttering up Baltar. He asks Baltar if the President is always so "in your face." Baltar says that her renewed health seems to have invigorated her and since she's got Adama's support for the moment then her policies will stand. Fisk agrees and says then of course he supports her as well - for the moment. Fisk then asks if Baltar received the cigars he sent over. Baltar says he not only received them, but he enjoyed them as well. (Ick. Such a slimy little exchange).

We go back to Apollo in the unknown woman's bedroom. He is staring long and hard into a mirror, past his own reflection. He's remembering something. A woman. Not the woman he's with, but a pretty blond woman, likely on Caprica (the memory has that blown-out fuzzy look that all memories of Caprica seem to have - what, did they have three suns or something?) Apollo is brought back to reality and sees the woman looking at him in the mirror. He looks down at the dresser as he continues to dress. He picks up a bottle of pills curiously and the woman says she got them "from a friend." We aren't told what they are yet. The door opens and a kid walks in to the room. Her name is Paya, she's the daughter of the woman. Apollo says she seems taller every time he sees her. (How long has this affair been going on?) He holds out his index finger to her, which she shies away from. It's apparently their normal "handshake." He has brought a doll for her. It's kinda scary looking - only has one eye - so the girl runs off into another room. Ah well. He tried. Apollo tells the woman that he's not sure when he'll be able to make it back again. She says she understands. She'll need an extra 100 because he stayed the night. WHAT?!?!? Apollo turns over what looks like to be coupons or something to her (they aren't cubits, that's for sure). Wow. Our clean-cut, perfect captain is a regular customer of a lady of the evening. Sweet! Why is he with her? Fewer complications? No emotional attachments? If that's the case, then why bring a doll for the daughter? Who is the woman in the fuzzy memory? So many questions!

FiskWe go now to Fisk who is entering his quarters. As he starts to undress, we hear a cigarette lighter open and close in the dark. Fisk turns around and doesn't seem surprised to see the man. Fisk says he was wondering when he'd pay him a visit. The man is the black man that Apollo had his gun trained on in the beginning. From behind Fisk, another man pulls out a wire from a wristband that looks like a watch. He grabs it with two hands and throws it over Fisk's head and around his neck. He begins to strangle Fisk. We look back at the other man, seemingly the "boss" who is smoking a cigar while we hear Fisk being strangled in the background. Is it just me or does the Pegasus need better security on their officer's quarters?!?!?

[The opening and our first break!]

We return with Apollo on the Raptor heading back to Galactica. He is flashing back to floating in space after the Resurrection Ship mission. He flashes to the blond woman on Caprica again. He's got a lot on his mind, it seems. Then to Doc, Adama and Tigh. Doc, while smoking a cigarette, is just starting to evaluate Fisk's body. It's pretty obvious that the deep gash around his neck had something to do with his death. Doc opens Fisk's mouth. Hmm. Something verrry interesting. He fishes out a cubit. Adama recognizes it as someone sending a message to them. Then, we're in Adama's quarters. He's called Apollo to discuss Fisk. They have no idea who killed him, but Adama wants Apollo to lead the investigation. Adama needs someone he can trust. Apollo comments that not long ago he would not have been Adama's choice when it came to a matter of trust. Adama says he hopes they have put their problems behind them.

BaltarApollo heads to the Pegasus to inspect Fisk's quarters. Upon entering we see blood everywhere! Apollo starts snooping around and finds a stack of cigars and lots of jewelry and other precious items hidden in Fisk's closet. Apollo finds a bracelet with "E.T" engraved on it. No, there's no phoning home here. Apollo pockets the bracelet. Outside the room, Baltar is indignant with the guards and demands to be let in. Apollo tells the guards to let him in to which Baltar replies, "They were going to let me in!" Baltar has come on a social visit. He doesn't know Fisk is dead. Six appears to Baltar and warns him that their suspicions are re-emerging. Apollo asks what the nature of his social visit was. Baltar replies that Fisk had his doubts about Roslin's position on the black market dealings and he came to assuage any doubts Fisk had. Six is antagonizing Baltar over him letting Apollo browbeat him. "What would Gina say?" Baltar lashes back at Apollo and asks if he requires an alibi. No, no, but Apollo does instruct the guards to escort Baltar to his ship.

ShevonAdama, Tigh and Apollo meet in the hangar. Rumors of Fisk's death are flying. Apollo discovered that Fisk was rerouting supplies and keeping high value merchandise. He was trading heavily on the black market and was getting greedy. His trading partners got mad and likely killed him for it. But how do they find these partners? Apollo remembers a night with Shevon. Her daughter was sick and coughing. He says he'll bring her something on his next trip. Shevon says that could be weeks. She mentions the trading going on around the fleet. Things are getting worse and folks will do just about anything to protect their kids.

tighNext we go to Tigh's quarters where the Colonel we love to hate is drinking. Apollo drops by to pay him a visit. He's holding the bracelet with the letters E.T. and asks if Tigh's wife (Ellen Tigh) is around. Apollo tells Tigh he found the bracelet in Fisk's quarters. We flash again to Apollo's memory of Shevon and the ailing Paya. Shevon says she hasn't been able to get any antibiotics because they've all be rationed out. Back to Apollo in Tigh's quarters. Apollo comments that there are shortages everywhere but Tigh still is able to find fresh fruit and liquor. Tigh admits to trading the bracelet to Fisk. Nothing illegal about that. He turns the tables on Apollo and says that he hasn't done anything that anyone else on the ship hasn't done - hint, hint, nudge, nudge. Apollo flashes to giving Shevon the coupons. (Is it just me or does Tigh look like he's getting thinner? A little worse for wear?)

deeNext, we're in the Galactica's gym. Apollo is beating the crap out of a punching bag. Dee enters (looking very hot and buff). She asks him if something has changed - is this "thing" between them going anywhere? (Remember the hot, steamy training scene between them a few episodes back). Apollo gives her the confused "I didn't mean to lead you on" look and says he's not sure what she wants him to say. Kaaaay. Dee says then don't say anything at all. WOW! Is this show turning into Bootystar Galactica?!?! NICE! We've got to get some more hot guys in here, though. Apollo shouldn't be the only one to have his choice of partners. Maybe Helo can get a "pass" from Sharon. Maybe we can miraculously rescue Anders from Caprica - he's hot. At the very least we need some more scenes in the pilots' quarters where they're running around in towels again.

apollo in dangerAnyway.... (phew!) back to the show. Apollo is paying Shevon a visit. My gods! She's got a black eye. She says "they" know about her and Apollo. A blond man comes barging in and attacks Apollo. Another man (the wire man from Fisk's quarters) grabs Apollo from behind and throws some wire around his neck, holding him tightly in place. The "boss" from Fisk's quarters enters. The wire is tightened around Apollo's neck. The boss tells Apollo to drop the investigation or they will send Shevon back to him piece by piece - and then they'll start with the kid. He then delivers a swift kick to Apollo's head and Apollo is dropped to the floor in a lump.

Still unconscious and on the floor, Apollo is having a dream within a dream. He is recalling a night with Shevon while remembering the blond woman on Caprica. Apparently he loved her and he hurt her. He made her (blond woman) cry. We still don't know why. Apollo wakes up to a smashed room. He calls for a medic and a security team to Shevon's room (#1258 for those of you counting). Behind him, the man with the wire lies dead on the floor. He's been shot in the head - presumably by his partners.

Next, we spend a few minutes away from Apollo and join Baltar on Colonial One. The President has called for him. Baltar enters as Roslin is at her population board (the number is currently at 49,597). Roslin plays nice - though undoubtedly still remembering her epiphany of Baltar making out with Six on Caprica before the attack. They pass back some pleasantries and Roslin says she knows of Baltar's intended meeting with Fisk. Baltar gives her the same line about assuaging Fisks' doubts. Roslin says she is grateful for him saving her life but she senses unease about assuming the presidency and wants to offer him an "out." She says that he should resign and she will return him to his science related duties. She says "Consider it a second chance like the one you gave me." It's a one time offer. Baltar declines. In fact, he (finally getting some nerve?) says that he's never wanted to be president until this very moment - now he can't think of anything he wants more. Let the dueling begin!

ZarekNow, back to Apollo. He's talking to a security agent in Shevon's room when Tom Zarek drops in! He says he was in the neighborhood attending a Quorum meeting. Uh huh. Surrrre. Naturally, Apollo presses him on what he knows and about his involvement in the black market. Zarek says he's not involved and, in fact, was getting squeezed by Fisk when he refused to cooperate. But, Zarek says Apollo must be careful. These people are dangerous (duh). He said that these people gave Apollo Fisk's killer for a reason - to give him a way out. Apollo just gets more annoyed. What does he know!?!? Zarek just knows rumors - about a rogue freighter that's gone off the radar of sorts. If you want something, you go there. It's run by an ex-military guy named Phalen (the "boss"). Of course, Zarek has to get a little dig in and says "I hope she's worth it!"

Apollo heads to the Prometheus (flashing on the blond woman as he goes). He is greeted by a crazed, chaotic market - cigarettes are shoved in his face. Everything is for sale - including antibiotics (like the ones Shevon had on her nightstand). Apollo walks through the crowd and finds a door with a mesh window. Children are coughing and whimpering behind it. Paya is in there. Apollo calls to her, extending his index finger for their standard greeting so Paya will know it's him. He promises to get her out.

PhalenNext, Apollo's in a dark room with a bar and some tables. The blond guy is behind him now and pushes him towards Phalen who is sitting gangster-style with his back to the far wall. After some brief discourse, Shevon enters the room with another man. Phalen says that she is one of his best. Yes, that's right. She's in his employ. "A good escort knows when to listen and when to call for help." Phalen says they forced her to call Apollo, to use him because she needs them. Despite what Roslin says, the citizens of the fleet need the black market. Everyone has needs. Some are just more demanding (we flash to the kids locked in the room). Apollo approaches him. One of Phalen's men has a gun on him. Apollo says that the Galactica has tracked his ship to the Prometheus and will not hesitate to vent it into space at his command. He wants Shevon and Paya. Phalen refuses. With a few swift ninja-like actions Apollo takes the gun away from the thug and trains it on Phalen.

As we return from our last break, Apollo still has the gun trained on Phalen. Apollo says that there needs to be limits. Some lines shouldn't be crossed. Phalen says that he won't shoot (this is where we started the episode, folks). Apollo thinks about it for a second. He thinks of the blond girl. Then BLAM BLAM! He shoots! No one in the room can believe it. Phalen dies. Shevon walks to the bar. Apollo turns to the goons and says that it's done. The fleet relies on the black market, so they're still in business for now. BUT - if there are any more killings or they hold back essential medicines - or they touch another child.... Apollo turns to Shevon to comfort her - it's all over. She stops him. "I can't be what you want me to be. You want me to be her. That's what this has always been about." Despite Apollo's denials, she says she knows her job. She's a replacement for the things men have lost. Shevon reveals that the blond woman wanted to give Apollo a baby (and may have been pregnant based on the camera shots of her abdomen) but he pushed her away and ran. Then the Cylons attacked. Shevon closes with "I'm not her. Paya is not and never will be your child!" She exits. Apollo is left teary eyed.

Now to Colonial One. Apollo and Adama are telling President Roslin of their conclusions. They have caught the men responsible for Fisk's death and the crew of the Pegasus has accepted their findings. What about the Prometheus? They will keep an eye on it. Roslin doesn't like this. It's not what she had wanted. Adama supports Apollo's conclusions. Apollo explains that he supports her trade policies, but there will always be some kind of black market whether they like it or not. This way, they know who they are and where they are. Roslin isn't exactly pleased but gets it. She gruffly says "Thank you gentlemen, I'm busy."

Meanwhile Zarek is on the Prometheus with the blond guy that had been with Phalen. Zarek it smiling and greeting people as he passes through the crowd. Could this have been a plan by Zarek all along? Have Adama and Roslin do away the with competition? Is he in charge of the black market now? After his time on the prison ship we'd be hard pressed to believe that he doesn't have his finger on the pulse of the underworld. Has he finally gotten one up on Roslin?

Back on Galactica, Dee is working out with Billy. Apollo looks on as Billy rewards Dee's pushup with kisses (ewwww). Finally, Apollo is in Adama's quarters. They are having a drink. Adama tells Apollo that he's been different since he ejected from the Blackbird (during the Resurrection Ship mission). He's harder to reach. Apollo says we've all be through a lot. True, Adama says, but "you should have told me about the woman." Apollo looks at him surprised and raises an eyebrow. He says nothing.

Wow. I liked that we got much more insight into Apollo in this episode. I'm not entirely satisfied with what we learned about the blond woman, though. Is the reason we didn't know about her before because Apollo was estranged from Adama and Starbuck in the beginning of the series? Who do we know from Apollo's past that he was close with consistently through his time on Caprica, the attack and the present? I can't think of anyone. What other secrets is Apollo keeping? It just goes to show that we really don't know him at all. I look forward to finding out more!


Next week - Episode 2.15 - "Scar." It looks to be a Kara-centric episode. Will we find out what the Cylons did to her during the mysterious surgical procedure in "The Farm" episode? I've been dying to find out! (So that means they'll probably drag it out another season or two).

Note: Copyright to all images is held by SCIFI Channel/Universal Pictures

Posted by Shannon on February 5, 2006 2:01 AM
Permalink | Email to a Friend | Add to | Digg This

Sorry in the delay in posting this, folks! I moved 3500 miles over the last week and have been a bit behind. Now, if only my furniture would arrive so I could settle in to my new digs. At least my 'net connection works!

-- Posted by: Shannon at February 5, 2006 2:30 AM

Wow! I could not even guess about it)) Not bad.

-- Posted by: Connor at February 1, 2013 9:46 AM

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