Battlestar Galactica #105: Blood on the Scales

"This isn't a trial, this is an asylum."
SO SAY WE ALL: Adama and his crew deal with Gaeta and Zarek's coup.

REVIEW: The episode starts where the other left off, at 10:41, and by 15:32, the mutiny has been squelched. Quite a day. With Tyrol, Lee and Kara still skulking around the ship, the Cylons still prisoners, and now Adama too, Roslin's party - including the generally unhelpful Baltar - only make it to the base ship because Hot Dog isn't in on the coup. She'll spend most of the episode trying to get through to the fleet to warn them about this illegal action while simultaneously keeping the Cylons from jumping away. One of the games Zarek likes to play is telling people their loved ones have been killed, but instead of it demoralizing Laura, it just makes her more fierce. (Adama will have a similar reaction.) Baltar, rather more leisurely, has sex with a new Six, but comes to the realization that his people need him and he has to go back. He might finish this trip a hero after all...

Meanwhile, Zarek bristles at Gaeta's decision to give Adama a trial rather than execute him, and he himself has no problem assassinating the entire Quorum of Twelve for not immediately accepting his leadership (calling him Mister VICE-President sealed their fate). There's excellent tension between the two leaders of the revolt, Gaeta still a Colonial officer who believes what he's doing is right, Zarek just grabbing power any way he can (but he can't break that military chain of command, as we'll see in the climax when Gaeta gives up and he's suddenly powerless). Lampkin is dragged in for serve as counsel for Adama's kangaroo court, but he's surplus to requirements because Adama is having none of it. Rejecting the would-be regime's authority over him, he mocks the entire process and never ever gives in. We're led to believe he gets executed, but it turns out to be Baltar's nightmare. In the end, the execution will go the other way, the two conspirators giving each other a look before the end, and a bit of dark irony there, Gaeta's leg stops itching seconds before he is shot. It's a memorable moment, top to bottom. And even before that, Gaeta has a human moment with Baltar that takes us back to the young, naive Gaeta we met in the pilot, and exonerates him for his participation in these events.

In the action department, Tyrol proves to be the MVP of the episode, going down dirty conduits (a real-world response to Star Trek's immaculate Jeffries tubes) and eventually sabotaging Galactica's FTL drive (shown for the first time) in the nick of time. One wonder what those dark streaks are that he's looking at afterwards though. Out of the frying pan... Not to say the other action jockeys don't get anything to do. Lee gets a nice bit with an unprimed grenade, and Kara rescues Anders only to see him get shot in the neck, and it doesn't look good. We do get a darkly comic theme out of it. Lampkin is asked to help, and only does so against his better judgment. The same thing happens to wavering conspirator Kelly, who first lets Tyrol go, then joins the resistance. It's possible, even probable, his faith was shaken by Zarek's murder of the Quorum. Even Gaeta orders Adama's death against his better judgment, but there's a cool reveal that the situation has already been taken in hand by Tigh and the other freedom fighters. Well, the coup has failed, but the consequences haven't all come in.

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: Zarek tells Racetrack a (her word) gross joke about pedophile priests, which evokes Catholic Church scandal in our own time frame.

HUMAN DEATH TOLL: Headcount starts at 39,603, which means 41 have already died in the last four hours. Over the course of the episode, many more get killed, but it's impossible to ascribe a specific number to it. We know the 11 members of the Quorum who aren't Lee Adama are massacred and that after the rebellion is squashed, Gaeta and Zarek are executed. Presumably all the officers loyal to them who didn't switch in time (like Kelly) have met the same fate. There are certainly some exceptions as Racetrack, Skulls and Narcho, for example, show up again later, having only been imprisoned. In terms of ships, there are 35 in the fleet, the first count we've had since New Caprica, more or less a loss of half the fleet in fleeing that planet.

Deleted scenes include Roslin taking Baltar to task for his cowardice; the actual massacre of the Quorum, blood spraying on the Colonial seal; Baltar and New Six (off-screen referenced as Lida) having sex and discussing the act afterward; Lampkin crossing paths with Seelix and Connor; and Zarek's last line on the show, about it being a mistake keeping Adama alive.

REWATCHABILITY: High - An exciting end to the mutiny two-parter, and things will never be the same again.



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