The episode every one of us had been waiting for all week finally arrived, and boy did it ever deliver - with guns blazing! It's been a while since we've seen our beloved characters kicking ass and taking names, and there were moments this week that I was literally jumping out of my chair in triumph.
As I have been want to do this season before kicking off my review, here's a quote from Mark Verheiden on his final written episode for BSG (from Maureen Ryan's excellent interview):
Regarding the necessity of Gaeta's violent mutiny:
"Gaeta tried to raise objections, but he was summarily shut down in the previous episode. Basically, his back was against the wall. What intrigued me when writing this episode was the idea that Gaeta and Zarek were, in fact, "right." Looking at the situation from the outside, the alliance with the Cylons was crazy and dangerous. And the revelation of the "final four" didn't help. Adama's best friend and first officer was a Cylon, Roslin's aide was a Cylon, Chief Tyrol, Starbuck's husband Anders, suddenly it was clear the entire command structure on Galactica had been infiltrated. On top of that, no one in authority was taking time to explain how this alliance was going to help the crew or the fleet. Gaeta's motivations were pure, he was trying to save the human race, and that's the real tragedy of the story.
Of course all that begs a larger question, which is whether mutiny is ever justified. I remember impassioned discussions about this, because while mutiny is the stuff of many dramas, in "real life" it's an enormous step to take, especially for a loyal officer like Gaeta. But it certainly seemed to me that after all this time on the run in space, in the wake of the disappointment (to say the least) of Earth, mutiny might just happen."
Now that the tone is set, let's look at this week's key points:
- The Mutiny
I have to admit, Gaeta's plan was pretty clever. Stir up enough crap and confusion on board, cut off the lines of communication, get all of your followers organized with weapons, take out the key players - brilliant planning, plain and simple. Even the fact that he got Zarek released and back to Colonial One without setting off alarms was a master stroke, allowing Zarek to sow seeds of doubt into Lee's head under the pretense of an official release by the Admiral.
The biggest stick in my eye regarding this whole ordeal is the relationship between Gaeta and Zarek. I can't help but feel that Zarek is merely pulling Gaeta's strings for his own agenda, and will give up his "partner" in mutiny at the drop of a de-cornered hat.
Acting in pure righteousness or not, Gaeta has now turned a dark corner from which there is no return. The epitome of this is on display in the show's final moments, as he orders CAP to destroy the fleeing Raptor.
- The President's Hesitant Return
Thankfully for all of us (oh, and the fleet, too, ahem), Roslin's iron resolve resurfaced in the wake of hearing that Zarek was responsible for the mutiny. In fact, many of the Colonials, wandering adrift in previous episodes due to the shattering of their dreams of Earth, were given new purpose - a call to action in the face of violence.
Roslin's move to hit the airwaves over Baltar's pirate radio was a clever move, but you have to think that it was too little too late at this point. She and Adama should have addressed the fleet much earlier to assuage their fears over an alliance.
- Starbuck is back - and she's kicking ass!
It did my heart good to see Starbuck walk into that hangar deck with guns ablazin' - I've missed the old girl! Seeing her and Lee moving deck to deck covering each other as gunfire rattled around the halls not only made my blood pump, but recalled Starbuck's former glory as a character with chutzpah imbued with life! There's no telling how long this will last (she still has to discover what she is, after all), but I'll eat it up as long as the writers will give it to us.
Don't forget that Lee, Tyrol, and Starbuck are still aboard Galactica. Who knows what the hell they're going to do with such chaos, but we know it will at least be entertaining.
- Adama is...Adama!
Holy crap. Remind me never to cross Adama - not even in a game of Go Fish. The man scares me. When he turned to Gaeta and said "You'll die with nothing," my bones tried to creep right out of my body. Zarek is right - you've got to take Adama out of the picture, because if you give that man an inch he is going to make sure to hit back so hard your parents will feel it.
That said, Adama and Tigh wielding guns was possibly my highest testosterone moment of the show. And you've got to love Tigh, unwavering in his loyalty and support. Whatever he may be, I don't have an inch of doubt concerning his friendship with Bill having stood the test of all these years. The previews for next week better be misleading us in his regard.
And if you thought this week was crazy, get a load of what composer Bear McCreary said on his blog:
"Believe it or not, The Oath is actually smaller and less action-packed than next week's Blood on the Scales."
Um, what?! Good lord, time to get my scotch ready - I don't know if my nerves can take it!
Here's a hint of things to come:
Just as an FYI, I'll be traveling for business this Friday, so unfortunately I won't be able to watch the new episode until Saturday night. You'll know when I start watching - my twitter updates will suddenly be fueled with faux-profanity!
What did you think? Leave your comments below!