Battlestar Galactica #93: The Ties That Bind

"Bitter and sweet, tinged with regret. I'll never be free of her, nor do I wanna be, for she is what I am. All that is, should always be."
SO SAY WE ALL: Cally discovers her husband's secret. A Cylon civil war erupts.

REVIEW: A lot happens in this episode as various characters get sectioned off to their own subplots, but the big one is Cally's story. As the wife of our of the revealed Cylons, she no doubt became a problem for the writers, consistently in the way of Tyrol's arc. Well, Cally was living on borrowed time since the first season when she was supposed to have gotten killed on Zarek's prison ship. It doesn't reduce the impact of her descent into madness, potential suicide, and eventual murder at Tory's hands, however. This entire strand is nicely built on head spaces. The spinning mobile in the Tyrols' quarters acts as a metaphor for Cally's state of mind, her head spinning, her paranoia growing, throughout. Tyrol's voice sounds metallic after she discovers his secret. When Adama tells Tyrol she died - everyone will likely believe the suicide theory for now - the dialog is muffled, as we get into HIS head. And of course, there's Tory's mind, unknowable, alien, evil. Tory who knowingly touched Tyrol in view of his wife to accentuate her fears. Tory who made a strong speech about Cylons being people like everyone else, but then brutally killed Cally and stole her child. She really is the member of the Final Four best primed to go bad because she's the character we know the least (and who was perhaps already the most ruthless, as a political operative?). And so she does. Is she saving Tyrol's child for his sake? Because hybrid children are important to the Cylons? Whose blueprint is she following? Her own? Baltar's? God's? We lose Cally, but we perhaps gain more drama in the long term.

Elsewhere in the fleet, Zarek is, I think, disappointed with his boy Lee Adama who, as a member of the Quorum of Twelve, is having zero real impact. Not for lack of trying, but Roslin runs circles around him and seems to have all the answers, which goes a long way demonstrating that Zarek is quite correct about her tyrannical rule. The point about how she would choose her own judges in case of impeachment alone... And then there's the secret of the Demetrius, Kara's ship, which Roslin is closed-lip about. Cut to that ship where Starbuck is ALSO closed off, frustrating her crew (which includes Gaeta, Seelix, Sharon and Anders) with her apparently random (but intuitive) course changes. She stands above them, watching them through a grate, backlit like an angel, and paints her visions on a wall... She seems crazy. Later, after she and Anders have rage sex, she admits to feeling disconnected from her body, and Anders pulls what Tory did in the previous episode - he thinks Starbuck is a Cylon, because her words seem to suggest it. We're still missing the Final Fifth, after all.

As for the Cylons, we find that though the "goody" models have consolidated power, the "baddies" weren't boxed (it's probably impossible on that scale) and are relegated to their own ships. Confirmation that Boomer has taken the lead Cavill as a lover, which should make you squirm. I don't personally know what to make of it. But he plays the negotiation card and agrees to terms, which could include unboxing the D'Annas. We'll see if they go through with it, because betrayal is in the wings. A Resurrection Ship jumps away and the baddies attack the goodies, with what looks like permanent death on the agenda (so Boomer and Sharon could become the last of their model). We may in fact never find out what D'Anna had to say about the Final Five...

A quick word about the music. I have all of the BSG soundtracks on DVD and the fourth season's is undoubtedly the best, and the one I most return to. I'm reliving those days where I listened to it on a loop with Bear McCreary's driving strings in this episode. The soundscape for this final season is just amazing.

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: Cally goes to a locker marked 1701D, which isn't the first 1701 reference on the show, but it's certainly the most obvious. It was, of course, the Enterprise's number during The Next Generation. Maybe BSG should be a little more subtle about its winks back to Moore's previous shows, I dunno.

Headcount holds steady at 39,676, but then goes down one with Cally's murder.

VERSIONS: A deleted scene shows Tyrol's full inspection of Cally's sleeping form before he tries to kill her. Is it a dream (his), or an alternate, much darker version of her murder? (Kind of a mirror of Ellen Tigh's death.) In the broadcast show, his stroking her is part of her memories or imaginings.

- With everyone separated, it feels a little all over the place, but authoritarian rule acts as a theme and gelling agent, and there's no question the big events are indeed BIG.


Devin Clancy said...

" Maybe BSG should be a little more subtle about its winks back to Moore's previous shows, I dunno."

In the commentary you can basically hear Moore roll his eyes on that one. He says if he'd known about it he would have had them change it.


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