Battlestar Galactica #8: The Magnificent Warriors

"I made a promise to court her. I didn't say where. It certainly won't be in front of the entire Fleet. Now let's make ready, and get this over with."
SO SAY WE ALL: Adama goes on a date to get seeds from a besieged town.

REVIEW: As I've said before, I like it when Battlestar explores what it means to be trying to survive in space while on the run, and this episode does. The fleet has three agro ships where crops are grown to feed what remains of humanity. The Cylons specifically attack them (well, they are called agro), which drops that number to one, and that one lost its crop. Now they need seeds, which the heroes will try to get at a farming settlement not too far called Serenity, on the planet Sectar. Don't know about you, but it doesn't feel like that's much of a replacement going forward. I was stoked to see the greenhouse ships, but they seemed familiar. Let me confirm here and now that they are indeed reused shots from Silent Running. Thought so.

But that's fine. The reuse that isn't so fine is that this is yet another space western set in the same backlot town as The Lost Warrior. The one was Shane, this one is a neutered version of The Magnificent Seven where the banditos aren't quite as dangerous. In a most unsubtle move, these Borays look like humanoid pigs and are driven by gluttony and laziness. But you know what? I don't think their human counterparts are all that virtuous either. They're desperate for a new constable/sheriff to fight the Orcs, so they steal Starbuck's trading goods and let him win a special badge in a card game, a badge that makes him constable for life. It's ridiculous, but these are good moments for cocky Starbuck. He knows these guys stole from him, and means to put the financial screws on them. I saw the final solution coming - giving the badge to the Boray leader who can easily act as peacekeeper so long as he kept in the slop - though it's one that would have worked a bit better if the perks of the job had been made clear, and if the legal ability to give the badge away (so long as someone else accepts it) had likewise been spelled out. It's okay, it's just a bit messy.

If Starbuck comes out ahead in this one, Adama puts in a very poor performance. It's not just his inability to negotiate with the Boray either. No, the problem here is his insistence that the energizer they should trade with the farmers shouldn't have colonial markings in case the Cylons - who just attacked your ships, dude! - could figure out where the fleet is. And the only such energizer belongs to Siress Belloby, a woman prone to sexual harassment who will only give it to Adama if he goes on a date with her. Even if humanity's survival is dependent on her compliance, she apparently can't be ordered. Cue Adama acting like a nervous schoolboy who's afraid of women. Silly. THEN he compounds the problem by bringing her to Sectar to get that date out of the way and let it play out away from the prying eyes of the crew... except for the four warriors he brings, of course, AND Boxey, who once again wrangles a spot on the mission (Apollo agrees it's not dangerous) and mostly acts as a chaperone for Siress and Adama. She will manage to steal kisses from both him and Starbuck, but also become a damsel in distress. Boxey is actually more useful, if only because where he goes, so does his robot dog who can then track the not-so-baddies to their cave. In other words, the civilians (and even Adama) are on this mission only because the plot couldn't find a way to get to its necessary beats. And Adama does so poorly overall that the over-acted Siress drops him like a stone at the end. Solves that problem, but it's not a great look.

SPACE DISCO: Siress Belloby is one groovy swinger.

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: It's the second time in a very short while that a Colonial warrior has been forced into the reluctant sheriff role.

HUMAN DEATH TOLL: Two agro ships are destroyed by the Cylons; presumably with all crew lost. On the planet Sectar, Rance Howard's doomed constable is killed by the Borays.

VERSIONS: A deleted scene would have made clear that Adama had a history with Siress Belloby, and that she was still sore at his choice of wife.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-Low - It's watchable (especially Starbuck), but quite dumb.



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