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Battlestar Fodder

Battlestar Galactica: Unfinished Business

by Shannon Nolley, Filmfodder Editor

Anger, guilt, regret, redemption and forgiveness are the themes of this episode. Old grudges surface as officers and crew battle it out in the boxing ring. As men and women go head to head to blow off steam, events during the time on New Caprica (before the Cylon occupation) are revealed. There's some serious repressed rage between Tyrol and Adama, Roslin and Adama get closer, and we FINALLY learn what caused the rift between Apollo and Kara.

Per usual, at the end of this entry is a section called "Observations, Thoughts and Questions" to further focus on particular plot points and enable specific discussion on, well, things I want to talk about. If you've seen the episode and just want to discuss what happened, skip to that section.


Unfinished Business: Episode 3.09

Population count = 41,422 survivors (one up from last week)

Apollo vs. Helo & Starbuck takes on Anders

We join our heros this week as Apollo and Helo battle it out in a boxing ring. Other officers and crew members are around the ring cheering while some are throwing their dog tags in a box. Helo lays a good punch on Apollo. Instead of stars, Apollo flashes back ... to Kara.

Cue the "Lost"-esque backstory swooosh noise. We see a shirtless Apollo waking up on the ground (presumably on New Caprica). Then he's spinning and dancing with Kara. He walks quickly up to Dee and kisses her.

Meanwhile, Starbuck is in the officers' quarters having a booty call with Anders. "That's just what I needed," she says. "Glad to be of service," he replies cautiously. He wants to get back together with her. He wants a "real marriage." She asks what will happen if she's not ready for that. He says reluctantly that if she's not ready now, she never will be ... because he's not what she really wants after all. She doesn't respond to that. She finished dressing and says she's late for "the dance." As she exits, she says to Anders, "Don't forget your boots on your way out, Sammy."

She walks to a catwalk above the boxing ring. She pauses a moment and then realizes that it's Apollo who's in the ring fighting. Swwooosh .. she has her own flashback waking up on the ground on top of a naked bare chest. (OOOOHH! Naked... ground... Apollo?!?)

Then back to reality - she runs down the stadium stairs and cheers Helo on to kick Apollo's ass. Helo and Apollo go at it again. Athena comments to Starbuck that if Apollo had a "cooler head, he might have half a chance." Helo and Apollo continue to throw stinging blow after blow as Apollo relives moments from New Caprica (discussed more below). Helo lands another solid punch, knocking Apollo to the mat and into the ropes. Apollo tries to get up as Starbuck tells him to come on. Doc enters the ring, checks out Apollo and calls the match. Technical knock out. Helo wins. Apollo is pissed. Starbuck looks pleased.

Tigh (who is serving as referee) calls another name to fight in the ring.

After Apollo exits the ring, Starbuck approaches him with a swagger saying, "Bit off a little more than you could chew." Apollo, trying to ignore her, searches the box for his tags. He's done. Starbuck goads him on. She puts her dog tags in the box - showing off Anders' wedding ring, still hanging from her tags. Apollo's eyes fixate on the ring. Apollo gets in her face as they glare at each other. They stand just a breath apart. Apollo throws his tags back in the box. Dee looks on with worry.

Hot Dog vs. Starbuck

You can almost cut the tension with a knife. Roslin approaches Adama at the side of the ring. Roslin comments that her dad always liked the fights, so she does too. She asks about the rules of this particular game. Adama explains that these fights are tradition - they let officers and crew blow off steam. Rank doesn't matter. As long as the dog tags are thrown in the box, everyone is fair game. Roslin asks if he's signed up. No. Adama didn't throw in his tags, but he wishes he had with all the frustration he's harboring.

Tigh calls Hot Dog to the ring. Hot Dog names Starbuck as his opponent. Starbuck is surprised, but enthused. She's ready to fight. Poor Hot Dog. He lays a couple of punches, but Starbuck basically kicks the crap out of him (as she continues to have flashbacks of Apollo on the planet). After the fight, she takes a victory swig from Tigh's flask and then glares at Apollo who glares back as he's getting his shoulders massaged by Dee.

Adama vs. Tyrol

Figurski approaches Tyrol next to the ring. He's got some repairs to do on one of the Vipers, but Tyrol tells him it's ok - they can take a break and enjoy the fight. Adama, who is standing nearby, overhears this and is not pleased.

Swwooosh... (here's the whole flashback pieced together so it makes sense.)

18 months ago - Adama and Tyrol are in Adama's quarters on the Galactica. Adama is congratulating Tyrol on the soon-to-be birth of his son. Tyrol, cautious, tells Adama that he and Cally want to move to the planet and have their baby there. They want him to breathe fresh air. Adama flatly refuses to dismiss Tyrol and Cally from their duties on the Galactica. Tyrol is unhappy, but what can he do? Later, on the planet, Tyrol is talking to Cally about the situation. He's trying to convince her that having the baby on the Galactica is better. Doctors, sick bay, etc. Ever-willing to do what Tyrol wants, Cally happily agrees that the Galactica is better.

Everyone heads to the planet for Baltar's ground breaking ceremony. Even Adama has made the trip. Roslin finds him on the ground cheerfully playing in the "alluvial deposits" (dirt). He actually seems happy. Roslin stays and they chat.

After the ceremony, Gaeta is talking to Adama and Roslin. He gets distracted by another important person and darts off. They're relieved he left. From behind their back, they pull out cigarettes that they had been hiding like high school kids at recess. (According to the Podcast, the cigarettes they are smoking contain psychoactive drugs. Nice!) Adama and Roslin smoke and sip on drinks. "So, it It grows around here," Adama says. Roslin wants to build a cabin near a stream where "it" grows.

Later, Adama and Roslin are laying on their backs on the ground looking up at the stars. (Curious ... wasn't the planet shielded by a nebula that would block out their view of stars?) "Maybe we should just enjoy this," Roslin says. "I am," replies Adama. "No.. I mean for now. We've got a break. The Cylons may come, but for now we've got a break," she says. Adama mentions that he's got people asking him if they can leave the ship and move to the planet. Roslin snuggles him and says, "Well, what are you gonna do?" They continue to lay there.

The next morning, Adama and Roslin approach Tyrol and Cally. Adama tells them that the Galactica is no place to raise a child. "We're gonna miss you, Chief. Good luck. Best to both of you. Have at least a dozen." Tyrol and Cally are overjoyed. Adama and Roslin smile back.

Now... back to present -

Adama, glaring at Tyrol, hands his glasses to Roslin and enters the ring. He calls out to Tyrol "Get your fat lazy ass up here!" Tyrol doesn't think Adama's serious, but he enters the ring anyway. Tigh asks Adama if he's sure. Adama says nothing and just glares. Neither man has thrown in their tags, but that doesn't seem to matter here. Tyrol enters the ring and quickly receives a hard punch from Adama that knocks him to the floor. Adama leans over him. "Get up Chief, we're just getting started," he spits. "That's how you fight for your life? Show me you're a solider!" Tyrol, now pissed, gets up and starts swinging. He sends a blow to Adama's gut. Adama staggers back. Tyrol goes in for another hit but Adama was just playing him! He gives Tyrol two solid punches and lays in to him for some more.

"COME ON DAD!" yells Apollo. Starbuck snarks to Apollo that Adama knows when to hold back. "Not like his son," she says.

Tyrol lays in to Adama and gets him against the ropes. Adama falls and spits blood. Tigh calls them to their corners. Doc helps Adama to a stool. Doc wants to call it, but Adama just tells him to stop the blood. Roslin steps in and takes the role of coach. She gives him advice on which punches to throw. "You want to win?" she asks. "I'm not going to win," Adama says firmly.

After that, Adama lets Tyrol pound on him. It's getting out of hand. The crowd gets quiet as Adama takes blow after blow. Tyrol obviously working out his rage. Adama is slow to get up. Tyrol approaches and help him. Standing together, Adama looks at him and winces in pain. He stands back and begins one of his rousing speeches - rather effective this time since he's spitting blood. "When you step on this deck, you be ready to fight, or you dishonor the reason why we're here. Now remember this; When you fight a man, he's not your friend. Same goes when you lead men. I forgot that once. I let you get too close, all of you. I dropped my guard. I gave some of you breaks, let some of you go, before the fight was really over. I let this crew and this family disband, and we paid the price in lives. That can't happen again." Everyone is silent. Admiral Adama has offered his penance for letting Tyrol, Cally and the others leave the fleet and settle on the planet against his better judgment.

Tyrol turns to Figurski. "Let's get that bird back on the line," he says and leads the engineer towards the hangar.

Tigh calls "the dance" over. Starbuck isn't happy. She hasn't gotten her turn to pound on Apollo. "HEY!" she yells to the exiting Apollo. "Where the frak do you think you're going? You can frak another man's woman, but not fight one? I wonder if Dee knew what she was getting. Sloppy seconds!" That's all he can stands, he can't stands no more! PUNCH! Apollo connects his fist to her face. "You want a fight?... You got it!"

Apollo and Starbuck

Dee looks on in disappointment as Apollo and Starbuck finally take up fists against each other. Starbuck dances in the ring, laughing and dodging Apollo's blows. "Afraid to hit me? Or you can't?" she prods. Naturally, he hits her square in the face. She decides this is now a kick boxing match and throws a kick at him.

Anders enters and stands behind Dee as the fight rages on. "It looks like they're trying to kill each other!" he says. "That's one perspective," Dee responds. They both realize this is a different kind of dance.

Now... here's the big flashback swwooooosh we've all been waiting for (again, condensed so it makes sense) -

New Caprica 17 months ago - 8 months before the Cylon occupation.

Dee and Apollo are on New Caprica, walking around camp. Apollo comments that he prefers a warm bunk on the ship to the muck of the planet. Dee says she got a transfer from the Galactica to the Pegasus so his bunk will be warmer. Apollo is pleased and they embrace. Kara and Anders approach. They talk about Baltar's ground breaking ceremony and that the "real" reason they're going is the open bar.

At the ceremony, Baltar sticks a shiny shovel in the ground on a podium. They've broken ground for "a new tomorrow," he says. Everyone celebrates. Let the drinking begin! Anders drinks and laughs with Tigh. Ellen and Tigh exchange loving looks and then later some snuggling.

Kara slides up to Anders. "Hi Baby," she says. "Hi!" he returns. Anders goes back to chatting with Tigh. Kara glances towards Apollo who is standing at the edge of the dance floor looking back at her.

After much drinking and much dancing, the party breaks up. Anders is passed out on the ground. Apollo brings Kara a drink and they joke about Anders' condition. Apollo mentions that Dee has gone back to the Galactica to pack. It's just the two of them. Unsupervised.

Kara leads Apollo to the plot far away from camp where she intends to build a house. She's going to give up flying. "The war's over.. So's all the good stuff," she says. Apollo asks if she intends to marry Anders. She says she's not getting married. "Where are we going with this?" she asks. "That's the point," he returns. "Where are we going? If this is the rest of your life, is this where you want to spend it and who you want to spend it with?" He closes in on her. They kiss.

They don't stop there, though. Next we see Kara naked, on top of Apollo, climaxing! (Yay! More Bootystar!) They kiss and she rolls off. "Well, that makes things more complicated," she says. "Yeah," he smartly returns. "What are we going to do?" Kara asks. "What are we going to do? We accept it. I tell Dee. You tell Sam," he says. "Just like that?" she asks. "Just like that. We tell them how we feel. Shout it to the skies. You don't think I will?" he asks.

A very naked Apollo stands and shouts to the heavens "MY NAME IS LEE ADAMA AND I LOVE KARA THRACE. I LOVE KARA THRACE AND I DON'T CARE WHO FRAKING KNOWS!" She tells him to get down. He says he'll keep doing it until she does it. Reluctantly, she stands and yells "KA..KARA THRACE LOVES LEE ADAMA!!!!" They kiss. She looks worried and afraid.

Apollo wakes the next morning alone. He swaggers back into camp, looking pleased. He runs into Adama who tells him he missed all the excitement. "Kara got married." Adama said. "She found a priest, went to the river and got married." Lee is devastated. He looks like he's going to throw up. On cue, he sees Kara walking arm-in-arm into camp with Anders. Adama tells Apollo that he's given Kara permission to move to the planet.

Apollo staggers towards her, obviously broken. Anders approaches him, puts his arm around Apollo and recounts how Kara woke him up that morning and dragged him down to the priest. It was Kara's idea. "Congratulations," Apollo chokes. "Good luck. You're going to need it." Apollo walks to the shuttle where Dee is waiting. He walks swiftly to her and kisses her passionately.

Memories of all the good times they've shared over the past three seasons flash. Hugs. Long looks. Kisses. Apollo and Starbuck.

Now... back to the present-

Apollo knocks Starbuck to the ground. Helo cheers her on. Starbuck throws a kick and knocks Apollo's legs out from under him. He gets up and she kicks him again. He goes at her again. Pound pound pound. She kicks him again. More punches. They are both staggering and hurt. They continue to throw punches until they're holding each other up. They've nothing left. Everyone in the arena starts to leave. Anders says to Dee "I'm out of here!" Dee stays, though, but looks sad and dejected.

As they hold each other, Starbuck tells Apollo, "I missed you." "I miss... (he drools blood down her shoulder).. I missed you too," he replies. Finally, they hug and smile bloodied smiles.

The end.

SciFi EXTRA bit

Visiting the website at the end of the show, a two minute clip from next week's episode was revealed. It showed Doc talking to Adama, Helo and Roslin. Doc says there's only about 7-10 days worth of food left. Sharon is off on a dangerous mission in a high radiation area looking for a funky algae that will sustain them. Meanwhile, the pilots are rationing and sharing what little food they have. Suspicions mount as Starbuck suspects Kat of hoarding protein bars.

Observations, Thoughts and Questions

Is that it for Apollo and Starbuck or will they rekindle their "thing"? What is it that they missed about each other? Just the friendship or more? David Eick said in interview way back in May that "It's just not a simple relationship, and I think in that way it's much closer to a lot of male-female relationships that remain mysterious for years and are never entirely resolved to be one thing or the other. I think there's always a bit of murkiness about that. And we intend to continue to investigate that timeless male-female dynamic." So, I suspect that there will never be a "simple" answer for this one. Ahh the ever popular ongoing sexual tension - will, they, won't they be a happily-ever-after couple? Mulder & Scully. Tony & Angela. Scarecrow & Mrs. King. Dawson & Joey. Buffy & Angel. Good sexual chemistry really does keep us tuned in, doesn't it?

Will Dee stick around after this display? She obviously knows something more than friendship is between Apollo and Starbuck - even if she doesn't know for sure that they had an affair. She would seem the fool to stay if she felt in any way that she was his consolation prize once he couldn't have Starbuck. There's always been tension between Dee and Starbuck. Was that the source of the coldness Dee demonstrated at the end of Season 2 when she told Apollo it was "HER" (Starbuck) calling for him? Or was it that she suspected Apollo's infidelity? Who knows? Apollo could have told her all about it. He didn't say Dee didn't know. Maybe Dee and Starbuck will go at it in the gym one day. Now THAT would be a good fight. :)

Yay! Tigh has left his room and rejoined the ranks! He's still drinking, though. I guess a little nip now and then won't hurt if he can repress his guilt/rage over Ellen's death. Of the characters this season, I think Tigh is becoming my favorite. We're at least seeing new dimensions to his character - things I never would have expected from him way back in Season One.

What will happen between Adama and Roslin? They were much closer on the planet than we've ever seen. I'm hoping this will resume now that they've been reunited in the fleet. Maybe if they engage in a little more funky plant smoking, we can get some Roslin and Adama action!

As for the show itself, dissatisfaction is growing over the quality of this season. Wired did an interesting list of ten signs that the show is in trouble. I can't say that I disagree with all of them. While I much preferred this episode over last week's, I'm still not thrilled. Next week they run out of food and Starbuck gets in Kat's face again. That just doesn't sound all that gripping to me. Obviously, we know that the fleet doesn't starve to death and Starbuck is getting a little too bitchy to enjoy.

The next episode, "The Passage," airs December 8 at 9pm ET.


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

Posted by Shannon on December 6, 2006 10:35 PM
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Once again, a great recap. I really enjoyed this episode (and not just because of the many shirtless Apollo scenes, but those did help), and its always fun to read the recaps for a different perspective.

Quick note, when Kara put her tags into the box, was it Anders' wedding ring on the chain? I assumed it was Zach's ring, the one she'd previously been wearing as a thumb ring. I hadn't seen it in a while, so I figured that's where it went.

-- Posted by: Cat at December 7, 2006 1:03 AM

I guess it all comes down to personal preference. I am still in love with this show, and this was one of my fave episodes of the season, possibly of the series. I was on an emotional high with this one.

And, Shannon, it might help you to know that Jane Espenson wrote next week's episode! Looking forward to it now? :-)

-- Posted by: perrin at December 7, 2006 9:51 AM

Well... at least I got my wish, and was granted a tantalizing peek back into life on New Caprica before the Cylon occupation. I only pray this wasn’t a one-shot deal, and that Ron et. al. have plans to continue exploring what our heroes have experienced before the exodus. Admittedly, this was one of the better episodes this season. Why? Character development. It's no coincidence that the most interesting character this season so far has been Tigh. The man's been through the emotional ringer, and his character has developed a depth that few other characters have achieved in season 3. (Baltar might be second in this category, but he's still a bit too looney to care much about. I'll reserve judgment until he gets command of his own Basestar.)

I absolutely agree that Starbuck needs to get some scriptwriting that allows her to explore dramatic range beyond “pissed off” and “annoyed”. Her one-note performance this season is starting to get really, really old.

-- Posted by: Three Eyed Toad at December 7, 2006 2:07 PM

Thanks for another great recap/review Shannon!

Overall, I thought this episode was mediocre.

While I LOVED the flashbacks to the New Caprica and am thankful they decided to fill in some of the 16 months they skipped over, I thought the whole boxing concept (and all of the time devoted to it during the episode) was a complete waste of time. It just didn't do anything for me. The boxing stuff felt gimmicky and it felt like "one-off" episodic filler, as opposed to serial, as the boxing stuff didn't really do anything to advance any story arcs, like several other episodes this season, by the way.

Speaking of story arcs, what IS the deal with Hera? That Wired article/top 10 list you linked to was interesting by the way. Thanks! As they said, how can they leave that subplot hanging for so long? Why wasn't the kid even mentioned by the Cylons or Baltar on any of those episodes that showed us life on the Basestar?

Regarding your comment ["Curious ... wasn't the planet shielded by a nebula that would block out their view of stars?"], I think your observation is 100% correct. This looks like another error made by the production team this year. (As I've mentioned before, some of the sloppiness is unforgivable, like editing out the scene where Jammer miraculously escapes from the room where the bomb goes off and Cally's two totally different runs away from the firing line.) By the way, was it just me, or did all of this episode's flashback scenes on New Caprica depict a much brighter (w/blue sky) nice weather environment than any other time we ever saw the surface of the planet. It was always grey and dreary when the showed it before.

-- Posted by: Hurley88 at December 7, 2006 5:57 PM

Loved this episode. Love the series. Overall have been extremely pleased with the season. Can't get enough of it. Disagreed with Wired posting. If people want bang-bang-shoot-em-up all the time they can watch something else. I really enjoy the meaningful balance of action, drama, character development etc. the writers and director bring to BSG!

-- Posted by: prairiegypsy at December 8, 2006 1:36 PM

I agree 100% that if people want bang bang shoot em up all the time, they should watch something else. What made me fall in love with the show during season 1 and 2 is that it was a good drama with great writing and great acting that happens to be set in a sci fi universe. I loved the character development and interpersonal relationships between our heroes. However, my gripe with season 3 so far is that I think the writing has gone down the tubes. Thus far, it doesn't compare to the high standard of writing they set in the previous two seasons. Story-wise, they just haven't been able to recover from the decision to jump forward a year and four months in time. A lot of people (including me) were worried when they did that, but definitely tuned in to see where they were going to go with the show. Clearly, a lot of people are dissatisfied. No one can dispute the dissatisfaction, as the ratings are down. That said, I remain hopeful (and cautiously optimistic) that they'll get back on track in the second half of the season. However, if they don't, they are going to continue to lose more fans, including me.

-- Posted by: hurley88 at December 8, 2006 5:59 PM

I think they need to bring out the sister in Dee and have her and Kara go at it. A winner takes all (Lee) match. Then after Dee throws out some kung fu on the bi--- and kicks Kara's butt she needs to walk over to Lee with her Beyonce on and tell him"To the left, to the left,..." as in "don't you ever get to thinkin' you're irreplaceable."

-- Posted by: Deb Findeis at December 20, 2006 4:54 PM

I think they need to bring out the sister in Dee and have her and Kara go at it. A winner takes all (Lee) match. Then after Dee throws out some kung fu on the white girl and kicks Kara's tail she needs to walk over to Lee with her 'Beyonce' on, and tell him "To the left, to the left,..." as in "don't you ever get to thinkin' you're irreplaceable."

-- Posted by: Deb Findeis at December 20, 2006 4:56 PM

I saw a ppreview to the next half of the season. I personally liked the Dee character but to see her give up on her marriage without a fight has really disappointed me. I hope she hooks up with a good guy later on like Helo maybe. Til' then I'm truly thinking about ending my affair with BSG. Darn just when it was getting interesting. Just call me Dee.

-- Posted by: Deb Findeis at January 1, 2007 10:58 AM

so informative, thanks to tell us.

-- Posted by: DedoVioheds at September 29, 2010 5:59 PM

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