Following the events of ‘Water’ I found myself getting into some murky moral matters in ‘Bastille Day’. In this episode the crew of Galactica are pondering whether to use the fleet’s 1,500 prison inmates – all kept in cages aboard prison craft the Astral Queen – as helpers in the water mission. President Roslin isn’t too chuffed about the idea of endorsing slave labour so she sends Apollo to the Astral Queen. Events soon take a turn for the worse and the inmates gain the upper hand. With darker shades than the season’s previous two episodes, this instalment had me gripped due to the tense dilemmas it presented. I also have high hopes that Tom Zarek, a terrorist with complex ideals, is brought back into the fold in later episodes.
Next up was ‘Act Of Contrition’. The first of a two-part saga, this is by far my favourite episode so far in the series. This segment centred on Starbuck and the problems she has coming to terms with her part in Zak Adama’s death. There’s a great midway point in this episode where Starbuck comes clean with Commander Adama; immediately she is no longer the apple of his eye as he utters the chilling line: “Get out while you can still walk.” This threat soon comes to life when Starbuck has to bail out of her jet during a scuffle with some Cylon fighters. Naturally this cliffhanger was sufficient enough to have me leaping straight to the next episode, which is ominously titled ‘You Can’t Go Home Again’. In this concluding part I got to witness a real power struggle between Adama and Roslin. The military – bar Colonel Tigh, that is – are sticking to their guns and refuse to leave a man behind (in this case, Starbuck), but Roslin and her aides stand against the decision to waste resources on a downed pilot. Juxtaposed with Starbuck’s own adventures on a baron moon, this emerged as another enthralling episode.
My viewing sprint barely slowed down when it came to hitting the play button on ‘Litmus’. Beginning with a pre-credit sequence that featured a suicide bomber attacking the Galactica, this episode powered through displaying some deep political allegory and social observation. I found myself getting angry at the witch-hunt that Sergeant Hadrian was conducting, and I was genuinely sorrowful at the painful decision Chief Tyrol has to make at the end. These themes are expanded upon in ‘Six Degrees Of Separation’, when Dr Baltar is stitched up by Caprica Six and put on trial for his part in the destruction of the Twelve Colonies. I particularly liked James Callis’s performance in this episode; he was jittery but you always had a feeling that he would come through unscathed. It soon panned out that this trial was a planned event, one that Caprica Six hoped would give Baltar some religious enlightenment. I thought this was a neat touch, but I wonder how long it is until Adama and his crew find out Baltar’s big secret. Also, along with all the political elements in this episode, another major theme was that of god and religion
So I’ve passed the season’s halfway point now and am loving every minute it. Head back next week to hear my thoughts on the second half of BSG’s first season.
To read my previous entry in this blog series, hit the link.