Battlestar Galactica #125: Blowback

"I'm so sick of people making bad decisions in God's name!"

SO SAY WE ALL: Lacy goes to Gemenon. Graystone gets a deadline. Duram finds the GDD mole.

REVIEW: Blowback is the episode that keeps lying to us, and it's annoying. The main plot concerns Lacy's recruitment into the STO's school for troubled teens. All the new kids - including Odin, who has essentially been sent to indoctrination camp against his will by his parents, and could serve as her romantic interest abroad - get thrown into a hostage situation while on their way to the Church/camp, but it's a hoax, a test to see how they'd react under pressure. It makes Lacy a super-star when she fights back, and seems to reinforce her faith, which was flagging at the start of the incident, so it's not without value. But it does sap the tension out of most scenes on a rewatch. (First watch, or if you've conveniently forgotten the details, it's pretty harrowing, actually.) And yet, with Odin at her side to possibly keep her grounded, and her catching sight of the kids that failed getting executed outside the temple walls, there's still hope for her. She also sees a Cylon there, which she might think is Zoe after it looks up at her, but the audience would be forgiven thinking this is a lie as well.

How is it on Gemenon? Well, Daniel Graystone has discovered that the Ha'la'tha has been stealing robots from the factory floor and selling them to the STO. Doesn't sound very prudent, and it's especially alarming to Sam Adama who has just been rebuked about helping Tauron rebels. The Guatrau is fine with helping the terrorists responsible for killing his niece, but not their own people?! At this point, it's almost a race to see which Adama brother will turn against the Guatrau first. Joseph looks real conflicted when the boss calls for the murder of Graystone once he's done with the resurrection program. And Daniel's only been given two weeks to come up with something, during which time black market robot sales will be put on hold to give him a chance to prove that's where the real profits are. Not sure how he can do it in two weeks though, and perhaps the Guatrau is counting on that. Here, he deletes all his Amanda files because while she's getting good at faking being real, she still isn't. Late in the episode, he seems to have created a real Amanda who's more intuiitve and is a stern truth teller, but she still wants to have sex with him. This is another lie, because a scene from the next morning proves this was the real Amanda after all. The reconciliation kind of comes out of nowhere (but time heals all wounds, and a new enemy - Clarice - may have helped the process).

Amanda is of course still spying on Clarice, gets caught by the even-vigilant Mar-Beth, and has to spin all sorts of yarns. (Someone needs to explain to me, however, why Clarice is described as having trained herself not to vocalize while on a holoband call when we can hear her speak.) Clarice, for her part, asks her GDD contact for Zoe's pin (which is indeed chipped with her avatar-making program) and while there's absolutely NO question in our minds the GDD mole is Director Singh, the episode goes through the motions of hiding his face and so forth so we're treated to a shocking reveal. Well, there's no shock. Amanda's position is made more precarious by the fact that Singh insists Duram tell him about his Confidential Information if he wants access to spycams and the like. But Duram is soon onto Singh and lays a trap that will solve several problems. We're with him too much to believe that he would give Singh Amanda's dossier, even if the show really wants us to believe he has. So there's little surprise when Clarice, informed of the identity of a spy in her house, goes out and kills her wife Mar-Beth. But the episode really wants to confound us, so it has Amanda go to a meeting in the same area where Clarice is lurking with a knife. She's going to Duram's dead drop of surveillance equipment, but the scenes are intercut to make us think she's in danger. It's not playing fair, and you're aware of the confusion because you don't believe for a second Duram sold her out even accidentally. Like I said, annoying. I do like that Duram comes out on top, exposing his boss as the mole, getting him off his back, getting a bug into Clarice's room, and removing Amanda's main obstacle in the house.

CAPRICANADA: Burnaby Lake Rugby Club is where Clarice kills Mar-Beth. The Vancouver Central Library plays the role of the Gemenon spaceport. Duram meets Singh just outside the same building. BC-born actor Christopher Heyerdahl plays STO captain Kevin Reikle; he was Bigfoot in Sanctuary, and has had recurring roles in Van Helsing, True Blood, and Stargate: Atlantis. Winnipeg's Ryan Kennedy (Odin) was Cosmic Boy on Smallville. Calum Worthy, who plays the first failed recruit, is also Canadian; he starred in the brilliant Bodied and American Vandal.

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: The Gemenese language will return as Romanian once humanity inhabits our Earth.

VERSIONS: The DVD includes a deleted scene of the Graystones in bed talking about taking a vacation/escape.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Some important things happen, butthis episode does not play fair with the audience, and seems to think we're not paying attention. If anything, fans of the modern BSG franchise are the opposite.

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