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Battlestar Fodder

Battlestar Galactica: Key Points from "Blood on the Scales"

This episode could be considered the final part in a trilogy that began with "A Disquiet Follows My Soul," grew bloody in "The Oath," and then devolved into a bittersweet ending by the end of "Blood on the Scales."

Here is a snippet of Maureen Ryan's interview with Michael Angeli, writer of this episode:

In response to the title "Blood on the Scales":

"I'm sure I was influenced by the title of Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" album and the whole "Watchtower" tie-in. But thematically, it was an oblique signature of Gaeta's fate and his conundrum. He starts out as the good soldier/idealist, becomes disillusioned (even stabs his hero, Baltar, with a pen), then the loss of his leg colors his perception of Kara and the Cylons. His embitterment eventually grows its own limb - the mutiny. He wants to do the right thing but the, er, scales of justice are tipped not only by the bloodshed of innocent people, but by Gaeta unable to silence his own humanity (his love for Adama), the blood running through his veins, etc."

You'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't read Ryan's weekly interviews. Great stuff indeed!

Enough setup, let's get to the episode key points!

- Previously, on Battlestar Galactica

Last week, after the mutiny was in full swing, Roslin and Baltar escaped in a Raptor, and Gaeta orders the Raptor destroyed. This week's episode picks up right where we left off, with Viper pilots Narcho and Hot Dog flying in hot pursuit of the Raptor.

What interests me about this section is that Hot Dog apparently still has a conscience (is Daddy-hood getting to him?), for he won't open fire on the Raptor since it's not identifying itself. Narcho, however, has no such qualms. He moves in ahead of Hot Dog and at Gaeta's order fires missiles at the Raptor, which a #8, piloting the ship, manages to avoid. The Raptor lands safely aboard the Cylon base ship.

- Cylon Down! Cylon Down!

In this episode, we get to see where Starbuck and Lee headed after leaving Tigh and Adama behind to protect the launch of Roslin's Raptor - off to the Cylon holding cell. Once inside (after a classic moment where Lee tosses a dead grenade and fails to inform Starbuck about it), they discover Tigh and learn, to Lee's chagrin, that Adama is not with them. In the ensuing rescue, Anders gets shot, and the wound looks pretty severe. Starbuck is going to have to take him to Cottle.

The entrance of Lampkin at this point (how he got there we'll get into in a moment) makes for an interesting twist in that he first refused to help, but feels compelled for some reason and turns to give Starbuck a hand. And don't worry, Lampkin lovers (myself included) - he retrieved his sunglasses from the guard he took out!

As seen in the previews for next week, Anders' wound is not happenstance, as we've come to expect from this show. Apparently the injury is going to lead to more revelations - but we'll have to wait until the next episode to find out what those are!

- Mutiny Undone

And here we get to see the tragic downfall of someone who trusted too much in his effort to try and bring about the things he believed in - Felix Gaeta. We all smelled a rat when Zarek became the leader of the mutiny. Even though his aims have always supposedly been for "the people," we know that Zarek is in it for himself. And that's why it became all the more frustrating to see Gaeta blinded by his own righteousness in looking for a leader of the rebellion.

Zarek's execution of the Quorum was startling. I figured he would move around any pawns that he needed for his chess match, but I never figured he would destroy them altogether. It is at this point, with Gaeta's discovery of Zarek's horrible deed, that Gaeta finally realizes he is in too far over his head.

Indeed, later in the confrontation with the Cylon base ship, with Zarek spouting off orders left and right, no one responds, all having realized how deep they've gone down the rabbit hole. Gaeta's remembrance of Adama's words - "One day soon there's going to be a reckoning" - signals the end of the mutiny before Adama and his men even storm the CIC.

And how about the return of our favorite lawyer, Romo Lampkin? Actor Mark Sheppard's portrayal of this character can go toe-to-toe with Olmos, and his entrance to the show reminds us of the trial in which he participated with Adama as judge, and now the twist on those events having now to defend Adama in bringing about Gaeta and Zarek's brand of "justice." His refusal to cooperate appears to get him sentenced to execution himself, but he kills his guard with a poetic twist - the pen is mightier than the sword, indeed - and then turns to help Starbuck with the wounded Anders.

I felt myself at odds with the executions at the end. While I could certainly see why they deserved it (especially Zarek), I found it unfortunate that Gaeta had to die. Adama is certainly always true to his word, but I found myself wishing that he would have discovered at least a little sympathy given that the human race is quickly dwindling in numbers.

And finally, the revelation of where Tyrol was crawling the entire episode was great dramatic form. Since we'd never really seen the engine room before, watching Tyrol render the FTL useless was exciting in more ways than one. The structural damage Tyrol witnesses does not bode well for coming weeks - but do we expect anything less from our belovedly brooding show?

And with that we come to the preview for "No Exit":

Leave us your comments below!

Posted by Perrin on February 6, 2009 7:59 PM
Permalink | Email to a Friend | Add to | Digg This

Well whatever it is.. I still find Battlestar galactica the best.. the characters play great roles for the movie/show to become more realistic.

-- Posted by: Battlestar Galactica at February 18, 2009 1:15 AM

The execution, while sad, was well handled, and most certainly necessary.

Zarek's slaughter of the Quorum did seem a little off - I could see him doing something like that, but it just seemed awkward. I found it a little tricky to believe the marines would comply as easily as they did. It would have been more believable if Zarek would have offed them all himself.

I only started watching the show from scratch a few weeks ago, but quickly caught up as it was ever so awesome! Great review!

-- Posted by: shikotee at February 23, 2009 1:00 PM

so informative, thanks to tell us.

-- Posted by: DedoVioheds at September 29, 2010 6:57 PM

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