There was a point in season 2 where my excitement about Battlestar waned, but this two part episode really picked it back up again.
Our CAG and Commander’s son is frequently on the periphery of the action throughout this series. He may be involved in the plot, but we’re never following his story; he is simply adding to the story of another, such as Starbuck or Commander Adama, or even his dead brother. Which, in hindsight, is pretty weird as he’s set up to be a main character, but he’s fairly one dimensional. This episode attempts to change that a bit and opens with Apollo floating in a lake, wearing some sweet, sweet early-2000s shades, and it’s sunny, it’s real sunny. Oh wait, he’s floating in space. Shit. How did we get here? Let’s rewind 48 hours. I like when Battlestar takes this narrative style as it raises the level of mystery and audience engagement in the story…and this story takes us back to Starbuck confiding in Apollo regarding her mission, her mission of assassination, in which he agrees to back her up, she can trust him. And according to Apollo, all they have that sets them apart from the Cylons, is that trust. Which seems weird. Does Apollo know Cylons can’t trust one another? Are they all just stabbing each other in the back? In the robot back? Anyway, during the attack on the resurrection ship, Apollo is forced to eject from Blackbird and winds up floating in space, with a leak in his suit, and little desire to be rescued. By the end of the episode. after his rescue, Apollo is confiding in Starbuck, confiding the fact that he didn’t want to make it back alive. Is it because his father looked him in the eye and told him he was the kind of man that settles his differences with his superiors through assassination? Is that enough to break a man?
Commander Adama meets with Sharon and his change in attitude towards her continues to be apparent; he’s no longer angry and filled with hate towards her. But what he wants from her now is to tell him why the Cylons hate them, the humans, so much. Sharon isn’t sure how to answer and tells the Commander hate might not be the right word. She focuses on Adama’s speech from after the Cylon attack, the speech where he spoke of how humanity is a flawed creation, how humans still kill one another, how petty jealousies and greed run rampant, how humans never ask why they deserved to survive. And according to Sharon, maybe humanity doesn’t deserve to survive. Look at what humans have done to the Cylons in their midst: murder, rape, and torture.
3. Following orders
Starbuck is used as a military officer in this episode, no backstory, no complicated motivations, no drunken escapades, just an officer following orders. She fights in the battle to destroy the resurrection ship, and, despite her strong reservations, plans on following Adama’s orders to kill Admiral Cain. The complexity of a life in the military must be overwhelming at times – dealing with life and death – carrying out orders you do not agree with on various grounds, yet going through with them, and here, Starbuck, and even Admiral Cain’s XO, are willing to murder based on a command from their Commander and Admiral, respectively, despite their deep, personal reservations.
4. Resurrection ship
Let’s name two episodes after this resurrection ship, make the purpose of the episodes destroying this resurrection ship, but let’s barely focus on the ship at all; let’s focus on humanity. YES. SIGN ME UP. This raises the stakes for the Cylons. Nothing will make them more human than being able to die…forever.
5. Pegasus Six
Remembering the surprise in this episode did diminish the enjoyment of the conclusion in some ways, but I remember little about Pegasus Six’s character, except for her relationship with Cain, which is pretty obvious once she pulls the trigger, killing the Admiral. Absolving Starbuck of the task is satisfying, and adding this element of Six is shocking, in the best way possible.