Battlestar Galactica #107: Deadlock

"How many dead chicks are out there?"
SO SAY WE ALL: Ellen returns to the Galactica to find her husband has gotten a girl pregnant.

REVIEW:
Though the theme of a mixed human-Cylon enterprise is at work, Deadlock seems a rather scattershot assembly of scenes that don't really fit the A or B stories, and one gets the sense that, this close to the end of the series, the writers are just putting things on the board (or removing them) to satisfy what they've now decided would be the final few episodes. Kara notes there's now a piano (ha, "notes") at the bar, which will become important soon. Roslin accosts Caprica and mentions the visions they've both stopped having. Uhm, okay? Tyrol watching Boomer sleep in the brig. Anders waking up. The main action is often interrupted with Adama walking around the ship tiredly, perhaps drunkenly, looking at the Cylon resin being gunked into Galactica's frame, mourning for the loss of his ship's purity. This at least fitst the theme. As people fear a blended human-Cylon crew, Adama has personified his ship and sees her turn into a hybrid monster, a literally blended ship. Meanwhile, with part of the crew imprisoned after the mutiny, we have Cylon raiders as part of the Viper patrols. And at the end, he and Laura realize it's already happened. Cylons are putting pictures of the people they lost in the Memorial Hallway. Adama always reaches acceptance, but it's never an easy process for him, and here we see that he has just as much of a problem with alcohol than Tigh does (but pills too). I love Roslin's look when he hands his flask to Ellen. I think it's become a problem between them. This is all quite well played, with an improvised feeling that makes Adama's reactions and questions feel real. But it's in the Cylon plot the theme really comes into focus.

Ellen's return of course throws everyone for a loop, and despite her new motherliness and greater sense of self, it seems she and Tigh have always had a toxic relationship. He's got a girlfriend at home and a baby on the way, but seems to forget all that as he and Ellen go at it like rabbits. New body or not, she's still an alcoholic and sex addict. And quite vindictive, finding his knowingly bedding a Six, one of his CHILDREN, a real problem (I say knowingly because she did the deed with Cavil), but it's not quite true that he knew when it began. An old wound is opened - and of course, it has to be shit-stirrer in chief Tori who blurts it out before Tigh manages to get it out - as it seems Tigh and Ellen were never able to have children (dating back to Earth, presumably). Her entire being seems dedicated to hurting Caprica and Tigh after that, with a deliciously threatening scene between the two women, and her kneejerk decision to vote with Tori and Tyrol to bring all Cylons - whether they want to or not - to the base ship and jump away. She only does it to cause problems, and it does, because she knows she can force Caprica to come, and thus expose Tigh's true loves, Adama and Galactica. It's true he would never leave, and she's jealous of that (and probably resentful, since this is really the layered human identity talking). There's been a lot of talk about LOVE being required to conceive children, so it's perhaps not a coincidence that when Caprica's belief in Tigh's love is shaken, the pregnancy develops complications. That's when Ellen comes to her senses and sees once again her ultimate goal in sight - a blended future for humans and Cylons is the only way to break the cycle of violence, not just between them, but with each other (as Cylons did annihilate each other on Earth). But despite heaping love on Caprica, the 4-month-old fetus nevertheless dies. So love is not enough. A pure Cylon baby is non-viable. Seems like this revelation was the reason they took Tyrol's fatherhood away, but it seems cruel to introduce this Cylon child and, for lack of a better word, abort it to make this point. It's still a sad and touching moment, and who doesn't love Adama taking his friend into his arms like he does?

And there's Baltar's clunky story. First, let me say I love the idea of him coming home to find, to use Head Six's words (and great reveal of her behind Baltar) "the sheep have a new shepherd". It's Paula, and she's hoarding food, being insolent with her former pastor, and waving guns about. In true Baltar style, his decision to distribute the hoarded food to the starving refugees of Dogsville (after we saw marines abandon the provisions meant for them to escape a riot organized by the Sons of Ares) is without a doubt to dismantle Paula's new consolidation of power. And that he liked being a philanthropist and wants to do more is a nice, believable sea change. That he then get the food snatched by the Sons of Ares and their much bigger guns keeps him in a losing position (he's the show's punching bag). It's even amusing that he lets himself be fed lines by Head Six again, and just as his message of hope seems to take us within a stone's throw of the true message of God, it turns into "let's get more guns!" Oh, Gaius. However, since the mutiny lasted 9 hours, when did Paula get the chance to change the Church's focus? Had she been working at this for a while? If it's been several days, where was Baltar? It can be explained (more sexing with that new Six, for example), but there's just a discontinuity there. Similarly, his plan to get more guns seems to involve convincing Lee, Roslin and Adama that he should spearhead a militia more palatable to the human population than Centurion security. Well, a civilian militia may be a useful idea (if a bad one, as it goes against the theme of the blended fleet), but giving automatic weapons to BALTAR and his zealots? The show just doesn't give me enough of his arguments to make me believe this righteous trio would ever trust him with that. And the way Paula fondles her new gun, I'm probably right.

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: The arrival of Ellen Tigh in a Raptor, with the camera initially focusing on her legs, parallels her introductory scene in Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down.

HUMAN DEATH TOLL: Headcount stuck at 39,556. In other words, Ellen does not count. Liam is stillborn and will never add to the number. Though there is violence in Dogsville, no one is killed.

VERSIONS: Deleted scenes include more of Adama walking around the affected parts of the ship; the reason Caprica was in Dogsville (to get medicine for her nausea, which might have been removed so we wouldn't think the meds caused the miscarriage); more of the food riot and Adama being told about it and trying to react to the situation by pulling marines off other duties and fighting Lee's suggestion that Centurions be used; more of Ellen's debriefing; more of Ellen's post-coitus conversation, where he can't imagine himself as a Cylon scientist, and she tries to guess who he fracked; Caprica finding Tigh just after his encounter with Ellen and asking for a back rub; and more of Ellen's reunion with the other Five, asking the humans to leave and leave them alone.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Some stand-out scene and for the most part follows an important theme, but makes me feel like the story is artificially being shaped into something conducive to the final act, and it doesn't all feel organic.

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