Battlestar Galactica #68: The Resistance

"Hey! We're not playing pattycake here. These bastards burned up twenty billion of us, you gonna say that's our fault, too? Instead of bawlin' like a little girl, you should focus on getting some payback."
SO SAY WE ALL: 10 webisodes made available during lead-up to Season 3, showing how humanity resists the Cylons on New Caprica.

REVIEW: I did it the first time around, and I did it again. I watched the Season 3 opener, Occupation, before realizing there was an interstitial series of webisodes that led up to it. And I wasn't entirely sure if one order was better than other, honestly. On the one hand, I like that Occupation throws us into the deep end, that time has passed, and we have to accept things are different. On the other, there are moments in Occupation that are confusing, like anything that relates to Jammer, who the camera treats as important, but we have no context. Seeing as, in the final analysis, the only thing that's really spoiled by The Resistance is that Tyrol and Cally have a baby, and that Jammer and Duck's roles are better explained through the webisodes, I'd say it's worth the prior watch.

It's the 67th day of the Cylon occupation and we follow a small cast through the business of getting a resistance group together. It's not going well, in part because people have started families and have too much to lose. Tyrol is more fervent, risking his wife and child for a better tomorrow, but it's not for everyone. He and Tigh are thick as thieves and willing to go much farther than anyone else to accomplish their goals. And that's where Jammer comes in. A pilot skulking in the background since early Season 1, the 10-part (27-minute) story is really how he becomes disabused with the resistance's methods and will end up betraying them (although that's not necessarily resolved, even in Occupation). They hide weapons on sacred ground (where the Cylons have agreed not to go) and he asks the Gods for forgiveness. It draws Centurions there and his best friend Duck - who they are trying to recruit - loses his wife in the ensuing massacre (Cally and her baby almost get killed too). And of course the resistance is to blame. So when he's picked up for questioning, of COURSE he's going to see it his interrogator's point. The information was obviously leaked, and probably by a resistance member trying to create unrest to fill its ranks. And it's working. I love how Five subtly throws the Centurions under the bus, suggesting taking them off the street and replacing them with human (collaborator) police is an end in and of itself. We don't see Jammer warning the Cylons of the attack that could threaten the nearby hospital, but we can be sure he does (though he apparently never gave up any names).

As for Duck, the loss of Nora means the loss of hope, and though at first you think he'll blame the resistance, it ends up strengthening his resolve. They lose one soldier, but gain another. Although he could be problematic too. His big move is joining the human police force so he can find out who the leak was. And if we believe Five - and I was believing his conspiracy theory before he even said it - then Duck's answers could be devastating for the group. Except it won't feature at all, or perhaps that's why he's given a suicide mission. Maybe things will be spelled out later, I dunno, but I don't mind the ambiguity. Speaking of conspiracies... When Tyrol comes to get Jammer at the detention center, he says Boomer told him he was coming out. So one of the Cylon leaders chats with one of the Resistance leaders, and no one bats an eye? Obviously, there should be a relationship there - it's love for him that has kept her on-task - but one wonders what the relationship could be now that she's an invader, and he's married to Cally. They don't hint at any of this in Occupation, but then, there's another couple months between this time frame and the season opener.

Bonus points for using what little time they had to show us a bit of the Colonial religion and rites. People attend services, the baby is baptized, and so on. It adds a little depth, and the makeshift temple well serves the massacre, the mayhem followed by wine/blood dripping onto a candle and extinguishing it.

CAPRICANADA: Jammer's been around since Litmus, but as he takes no a bigger role here, let's mention that he's played by Dominic Zamprogna, an Ontario-born actor who has sine landed on General Hospital (that's STILL going on?!). Duck, for his part, is played by another Canadian actor, Christian Tessier, who was a regular on You Can't Do That on Television.

HUMAN DEATH TOLL: The previous episode told us there were 39,192 people in New Caprica City. People are starting to have babies, including Tyrol and Cally, but the Cylons are also routinely taking people away, their fates unknown. We only know that someone called Charlie was killed for having a weapon stash. Then, the temple massacre claims the lives of 10 people, including Duck's wife Nora. Tigh puts a number on the Colonies' destruction: 20 billion people.

VERSIONS: Though it seems the Webisode subseries was to be known as Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance, the episodes are actually titled Crossroads (parts 1 to 10). That's a title that will be repurposed as the two-part season finale, so for clarity, I've just called it The Resistance here. It is still not to be confused with the episode entitled, simply, "Resistance".

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - I don't know how much we care about Duck and Jammer, and there's little closure as there's still a wide gap between the webisodes and the next episode, but the resistance/terrorist cell's moral quagmire makes this more than promotional padding. Here's hoping they follow up on it.

2 comments:

LiamKav said...

I almost made the same mistake in viewing order, as for some bizarre reason this is on disc 2 of the season 3 blu rays rather than disc 1. (I made the same mistake with the special lengthened version of Pegasus, as that version was on the next disc and I didn't realise it existed until I'd already watched the standard version.)

Siskoid said...

Same and same.

 

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