Battlestar Galactica #83: A Day in the Life

"What if rough patches are all that's left?"
SO SAY WE ALL: On the day of Adama's wedding anniversary, Tyrol and Cally get trapped in a leaking airlock.

REVIEW: The title refers to Adama specifically, and a very specific day, in order to explore his family life before the events of BSG, and by extension his relationship to Lee. Taken in isolation, the conceit of having the "ghost" of Adama's wife hover over his shoulder and have conversations with him apparently every anniversary, works well. As part of the show's grammar, it's a little dangerous, especially considering how much speculation the fans were doing. If it's played exactly like a "Head" character like Head Six and Head Baltar, what does it mean? Is she also one of these "angels". Is Adama one of the Final Five? Etc. A couple episodes before, they used a dissolve while on Galactica and I was like, hey, hey, HEY! That's for the Cylon ship! Hand out some memos, Mr. Moore.

Formal problems aside, what's important is that we're in Adama's headspace and we learn a lot. Not just about his doomed marriage, but about who he is now, because the part of his conscience that animates Carolanne Adama comments on his habits, and exposes his doubts. Adama has always been very close to his crew, and here we find out he has memory exercises to remember every crewman's name. This contrasts with his more distant relationship, which caused his marriage to fail, and still stands between him and Lee. In fact, when Roslin proposes Lee should act as the judge in Baltar's trial, Adama says Lee never showed any interest in the law. But as it turns out, he did. But then this is a family that was broken up early enough that Lee resents his father for leaving him with an unstable mother, Carolanne portrayed as having (undiagnosed?) polar disorder, at times neglectful, at others abusive. Adama is still completely in her grip, and putting this particular ghost away is required if he's ever to have a future with Roslin (they sweetly admit to it, but table it until the fleet arrives at destination), and Lee's anger destroys the image he's created of the woman he loved. Because if he misread the most important person in his life this badly, what other mistakes as he made? Boomer comes to mind readily, and I'm sure we could go back through the series to date and find other examples (most recently, the thing with Helo), so there's an accumulation of doubt there, in a time when there can be no doubt or people die. I think Lee's contention that Carolanne never loved his father is a touch harsh, perhaps the one clunky moment in the whole story.

The more external plot concerns Tyrol and Cally trapped in a leaking airlock, and it's something of a metaphor for THEIR failing (but salvageable) marriage. Tyrol certainly feels trapped by his family and just wants things to be like they were before New Caprica. The baby's in the way, which is more why he spends so much time in the bar than Cally herself. In this episode, the baby is sent to day care not because its parents MUST go to work, but because Tyrol has decided to volunteer them because he wants to spend time alone with his wife and friend. Either way, they're suffocating. Things get worse and worse and a crazy plan is hatched to create a bit of excitement against Adama's internal drama. And it works because though Tyrol is important to the series, Cally might not be and could have died. There's tension, and there's relief.

Sidenote: Helo is flying again, no explanation, undermining the previous episode even more. Had to mention it.

CAPRICANADA: The Adamas' house (and that marvelous pond) are a private residence in North Vancouver.

HUMAN DEATH TOLL: Headcount is now 41,398, up 2 from what is should be, indicating two births. I guess they do need day care now.

VERSIONS: A deleted scene shows Gaeta gossiping about Adama and Roslin with Dualla, and their laughing it off as gross and ridiculous. They get dressed down by Tigh, leading into his knocking at Adama's door. A leaked script for this episode revealed that Lee was conceived out of wedlock, implying Bill and Carolanne precipitously got married because of him.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - Hits some strong emotional notes at the end, and that makes all the difference.

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