Battlestar Galactica #122: Retribution

"Who are you? What kind of man have you become?"

SO SAY WE ALL: After a botched bombing, Clarice hunts down Barnabas's cell. The GDD recruits Amanda. Graystone strong arms his company's board members.

REVIEW: Told over less than 24 hours, as a storm brews then explodes, covering the screen in heavy atmospheric rain, Retribution really is a tempestuous piece of television, where lightning threatens to smite one character or another. The tight time line gives the episode some urgency, though one may question the amount of terrain Clarice covers.

She's back from Gemenon with permission to punish the guilty, but not, as one might have expected, any kind of army behind her. There's talk of a GDD plant (and certainly, Duram has trouble getting traction with his superiors) which might be keeping her safe, but otherwise, it seems to be just her and husband Olaf (Nestor has survived the car bomb according to the newspaper, but maybe he's injured, we don't see him). She still cuts a dramatic swathe through Barnabas's cell, the night of a botched spaceport bombing. She may grieve for her students, but she's still quite scary when she does the deed. Barnabas finally meets his end, essentially handcuffed to one of his own bombs, his reckless power grab terminated with extreme prejudice after he kills Keon for HIS disloyalty. He and Clarice aren't dissimilar at all. Only Lacy survives, probably because of her ties to Zoe, but she also deserves to, unwilling and unable to bomb a port full of people, and the only one ready to speak truth to power.

On a similar rampage is Daniel Graystone, sending mobsters to board members' homes he can blackmail or strong arm them into voting to reinstate him at Graystone Industries. He gets not joy from it, but is in too deep to do anything else. Soon, one of those executives commits suicide rather than see his secrets exposed and his family destroyed, and Daniel is ignoring grieving widows in the street. It seems he can do this, but not without attracting attention.

And then there's the righteous, represented by Duram and Amanda, the former begging the latter to become an informant and to use her proximity to Clarice - who he suspects but can't touch - to bring the STO to justice for what they did to the city and to Zoe. Much of Amanda's story is intercut with flashbacks of her time in the hospital, not entirely necessary except that it creates a stronger bond between her and Clarice, her only friend during this crisis time. So when Duram's words ring in her head and she goes back to Daniel's house to get a gun, it seems the betrayal is unbearable and that she's rather more ready to become a murderous avenger than a C.I. There's a lot of ambiguity in Clarice's attitude that night. Does she show her grief because she senses Amanda's edge, or is it sincere? Either way, Amanda relents and asks to hear everything. C.I. it is.

CAPRICANADA: Southern British Columbia is very rainy so a day like this seems natural, though for production's sake, and because rain doesn't show up well on film/video, rain machines were undoubtedly used to keep the storm going. Caprica Interplanetary Spaceport is played by Surrey's Central City development (as was Vergis Corp). Coal Harbour Community Centre is used for a couple of scenes - Lacy calls Barnabus from the waterfront there, and Daniel is assaulted by the angry widow at the Harbour Parkade. Duram meets Amanda at Oceanic Plaza, Clarice at Hornby Plaza, and Director Singh at Guinness Tower. Lacy gets out of the terrorists' car at West Pender and Burrard.

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: A ship of the same type as Colonial One is seen lifting off from the Caprica Interplanetary Spaceport.

VERSIONS: There's an alternate edit of the scene where Daniel sees the robot. In terms of deleted scenes, Duram watches Clarice from afar; she meets Olaf who accuses her of making it personal (her grief for her dead students is shown to be sincere).

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Clarice and Daniel sink deeper into villainy, to some effect, but did Lacy's subplot end satisfyingly, or did it just need to end?

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