Battlestar Galactica #59: Resurrection Ship, Part 2

"It's not enough to survive. One has to be worthy of surviving."
SO SAY WE ALL: Galactica and Pegasus engage in an all-out battle to destroy the Cylon Resurrection Ship, as a prelude for dueling assassinations of the two Battlestar commanders.

REVIEW: Like the audience, the showrunners are much more interested in resolving the assassination plot than the battle which we know they will win. Showing us the whole plan with models in the last episode allows this one to start in the middle of things, backtrack, and yet still come back at a late stage in the attack. The main tension builder here is that Lee has to eject from the Blackbird when it is destroyed (aww) and imagines himself drowning as his suit leaks air. He's rescued, bummed that he let Starbuck down more than anything, the two of them in what we might call a suicide pact to go after Cain (despite his own personal problems with it, as moral center of the show). Space battle fans aren't exactly left wanting anyway, with gorgeous explosions filled with fire and naked bodies, dealing a major blow to the Cylons.

The twin assassination attempts are huge tension builders and really where it's at in terms of drama. There's a lot of irony at the front end, as Starbuck and Fisk, the two would-be assassins, cross paths and wish each other happy hunting. Cain gives Kara a big speech about never hesitating, never flinching from the difficult tasks, seemingly ordering her own death (more irony). Neither assassin is comfortable with the order, and when the time comes, they're sweating through the minutes leading up. We're on the edge of our seats. Adama gets first call, but he doesn't go through with it. Cain, who must surely know she just dodged a bullet just from Kara's expression, also - amazingly - relents (I do wonder if Fisk would have been able to do it). Some few minutes later, Baltar frees the suicidal Six from the brig, and she kills Cain. Same result, but our heroes are off the hook. After all that build-up, does that work?

Well, let's back-track a little bit. Adama starts the show committed. His visit from Jimin-Lee Cricket doesn't seem to move him. Still, he meets with the twin of HIS assassin, Sharon, to ask her why the Cylons hate humanity so much. The point she makes isn't that they hate humanity, but that humanity hasn't earn the right to survive. She reminds him of his speech in the pilot, where he asked that very question, and that's what ultimately moves him to cancel his order. And that's a crucial point. What Cain dismisses as a wrong-headed way to do things - leading with empathy and an understanding that you can't save humanity while losing your own - is what saves her life. And while we're not in her head, it might also change her mind. We will never know if this would have led to a new understanding between the two crews, but I would tend to doubt it. It's still an episode where the gang rapists show up at Helo and Tyrol's cell to give them an illegal beating, and I expect that even if Fisk was less problematic, folding Pegasus into the fleet will cause trouble. Indeed, rifts are already forming, with Starbuck's eulogy for Cain basically calling out Adama for his indecision and suggesting the fleet is less safe without Cain. And perhaps she's bitter that the only person who wanted to recapture Caprica (and save Anders) is now off the table. Complex feelings.

Speaking of feelings, let's talk about those for a bit. First, Baltar using Six's story about going to pyramid matches to gain Real Six's trust. It's not clear if this connects with her programming or what, but it is definitely a symbolic transference of his feelings for Head Six onto this flesh and blood version. Head Six begs him to stop telling it, and when he's done, she's gone. Suicide being a sin, this Six cannot take her own life after she somehow feels the disconnection from the Resurrection Ship, so he offers her sanctuary. Release isn't what she needs, justice is. It seems like she picked up on the wrong bit of that and went out to commit "suicide by cop", but she apparently escaped and is likely being hidden by Baltar. Well that seems like a mistake. Smaller moments include Dualla eavesdropping on Lee and wishing she were a reason for him to live, and Sharon laughing with relief that Helo is alive. The real shocker, however, is Adama affectionately kissing Roslin. It's not romantic, necessarily. He just seems moved by her courage, and Olmos really sells it. I'm not crying, YOU'RE crying! They are really pushing the idea that she's rapidly deteriorating at this point, and that we may lose her soon. Their conversation is about determination and hope, so we should put our faith in the latter. But wow, some great acting there, and it's made possibly by a show that requires its characters to feel intensely all sorts of ups and downs simultaneously. What should be a punch-the-air moment - Adama becomes Admiral and mean old Cain is dead - is turned into a tearjerker and fill us with dread.

CAPRICANADA: Lee is floating in the water in the Indian Arm on the Burrand Inlet, north of Vancouver.

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: In the original BSG, "The Living Legend" ends with Cain and the Pegasus remaining behind to fight a losing battle with Cylon base ships, but its final fate is left ambiguous and indeed, the showrunners had plans to bring them back. Here, Cain is killed and the Pegasus joins the fleet.

HUMAN DEATH TOLL: Starting at 49,604, we see two specific deaths - the guard Six steals a gun from, and Cain - but more people must have died on Six's way up and out, and more than probably during the attack on the Resurrection Ship. The next head count will tell.

REWATCHABILITY: High - This whole multi-parter has been top notch. This one is probably the weakest of the three, but the bar is so high, that scarcely matters.

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