Sunday, February 26, 2006

Battlestar Galactica –Downloaded

The upshot: The reincarnated Cylons Number Six and Sharon (now known as Number Eight Cylon model) who shot Commander Adama become heroes of the Cylon back on Caprica but have trouble coping with their roles in the destruction of humanity. Meanwhile, the human-Cylon hybrid child of the other Cylon Sharon and Helo is born on Galactica.


Spoiler Warning—We really, really mean it—if you are planning to catch Monday night’s encore of BSG, don’t read any further and spoil the holy frak moment during the first two minutes of the show.

As the viewer has been told in past episodes, the when a Cylon dies, their consciousness (or their soul for more spiritual folk) is transferred and downloaded into an identical body elsewhere.
“Downloaded” begins with the reincarnation of the Number Six Cylon (Tricia Helfer) who seduced and tricked Dr. Baltar into granting her access to the defense mainframe of the 12 colonies, allowing for the Cylon sneak attack and the resulting nuclear holocaust and genocide.

This was an interesting look at the previously unknown Cylon society and a further glimpse of their plans for Caprica now they have eliminated most of the humans from the planet (but for the resistance…which we see later in the episode).

The Holy Frak moment comes moments after Number Six comes to back to life in a Cylon reanimation chamber. She had previously been with Baltar at his home during the nuclear attack. She awakens frightened and disoriented…and she sees Baltar.

This moment had us out of our chair as we believed Holy Frak…Baltar is a Cylon…but no—even more clever, Number Six and only Number Six can see Baltar…holy ironic reversal.…she is the ONLY one who can see Baltar...in her head.

Lucy Lawless returns to BSG as the Cylon we now know as Number Three who is the apparent leader of the group. She dispatches Number Six to help Cylon Sharon, who was shot aboard Galactica and reborn on Caprica. Once programmed as a sleeper agent and unaware of her Cylon roots, Sharon is having trouble adjusting to the truth.

Number Three reveals that if Sharon can’t get it together soon, they will be forced to “Box” her or to put her memories into cold storage. During their chat, Sharon tells Number Six that Baltar is not only alive but he is Vice President of the Colonies.

During an attack by the human resistance, Sharon and Number Six realize that Number Three plans to “Box” the both of them anyway. Why? Because they are both “heroes of the Cylon” and in a culture based on unity, war heroes present a threat to the collective agenda—especially of those war heroes have come to question the wisdom of the attack on the humans.

They kill Number Three and resolve to use the time while she downloads into a new body to affect change among the Cylon.

Meanwhile aboard Galactica, the other Cylon Sharon gives birth to a baby girl. President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) is pained in trying “what to do with the baby” but she knows that allowing Sharon to raise the child would be out of the question.

Even Roslin isn’t tough enough to order the death of a child that’s at least half human. So at her orders, the baby’s death is faked and the child is given to a mother who had just lost her own baby—unaware of the child’s true origins.

With the child believed dead, the Cylon agents aboard the fleet won’t make a play for the baby but even Roslin knows that her action will return to bite her on the ass at some point. The seeds of many future plot twists have been planted in this episode.

Stargate Atlantis – Michael

The upshot: Dr. Beckett’s attempt to transform a Wraith in to a human has disastrous consequences.

This was an unusually provocative episode of Atlantis. Connor Trinneer—who is the most recent Star Trek alum to take refuge at a sci-fi franchise that’s still on the air—plays the wraith who is tricked into thinking he is human as part of the team’s experiment to test a Wraith-to-Human serum as a potential bio weapon and defense against the Wraith.

We were actually feeling sorry for and maybe even rooting for the Wraith. He asks point blank what makes being a Wraith better than being a human. Even brushing aside the moral implications of superimposing one race’s genetic makeup over another, realistically it was a dumb plan…how long did they think they could fool him into thinking he was human?

Worse, he escaped and was picked up by more Wraith who now know that Atlantis wasn’t destroyed. The season finale is coming.

Stargate SG-1 –Arthur’s Mantle

The upshot: Carter and Mitchell find themselves trapped on another dimensional plane, unable to be seen by anyone. They go after an assassin using a similar cloak who is striking out atthe Sodan.

We thought this episode looked familiar and turns out we did see it before—in 1992 but it was on Star Trek: The Next Generation –“The Next Phase” where Geordi LaForge and Ro Laren are in an accident that forces them slightly out of phase—causing them to become undetectable to everyone but each other.

We suppose after a decade on the air, original ideas at SG-1 are hard to come by and it wasn’t a full rip off of TNG although we knew going in that of course they would find a way out of the jam.
The folly did reveal the existence of a weapon able to kill ascended beings, including the Ori, so the day wasn’t a total loss.

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