Saturday, February 11, 2006

Battlestar Galactica–Sacrifice

The upshot: A group of militants take civilians—including Apollo, Duella and Billy—hostage aboard the Cloud 9 luxury ship and demand that Admiral Adama handover the Sharon Cylon to be executed.

SPOILER WARNING!!!! –If you missed BSG on Friday and intend to catch the encore broadcast Monday night at 11 p.m….read no further.

That said…Oh my God! They killed Billy….those bastards!!!!

You know just how good of a show BSG is when they can take that old television plot standby—the hostage situation—and make it seem fresh.

Dana Delaney continues the array of top-shelf guest star talent that BSG has been able to attract. Delaney plays the widow of a man slain during a recent Cylon attack. Her grief finds expression through the persistent rumors throughout the fleet that Galactica has been harboring the Sharon Cylon model.

Her grief plus outrage at discovery of the military’s secret harboring of the Cylon prompts the extreme action of the hostage taking.

Before the action begins, Billy Keikeya, President Roslin’s boyish yet loyal aide appears to find his voice in firmly but respectfully advising Adama (Edward James Almos) that he needs to go public and explain his actions behind keeping the Sharon Cylon prisoner. Even Roslin (Mary McDonnell) is impressed.

Billy is more than an aide to Roslin but the closest thing she has left to family. Billy’s good fortune turns as Duella flatly turns down his marriage proposal, unbeknownst to him that she has developed feelings for Apollo.

Aboard Cloud 9 for some R&R, Billy runs into Duella and Apollo but the confrontation is interrupted by the militants taking the bar hostage and they announce their demand for Sharon Cylon or else they kill hostages.

Back on Galactica, Col. Tigh, Adama and Roslin are all resolute that they can’t negotiate with terrorists but it’s a position that becomes much more difficult to maintain when they realize they each have loved ones at gunpoint—Col Tigh’s wack-job wife Ellen, Apollo/Capt. Lee Adama and Billy.

Starbuck is dispatched to take charge of the hostage situation. In another twist of the old impersonate a maintenance tech to take down the bad guys trick—Starbuck is discovered, a firefight ensues, she accidentally shoots Apollo before retreating.

In shock, Starbuck confesses Apollo was hit by “friendly fire” from her. Adama coldly receives the news—an uncomfortable déjà vu as Starbuck was indirectly responsible for her fiancée’s/Adama’s younger son’s death.

Under pressure, Adama agrees to handover Sharon, but he pulls a fast one by sending in the corpse of the first Sharon Cylon—enough distraction to allow the Marines to storm the bar.

Billy, still fuming over Duella’s betrayal, feels the need to prove himself by making a grab for a bad guys gun, shoots another bad guy to save Duella’s life before being fatally shot himself. Delaney’s character is also killed in the assault but her actions have repercussions.

Delaney’s character took extreme action but she had a point in that Adama and Roslin’s secrecy regarding the Cylon, now revealed, have further sown the seeds of distrust between the civilian fleet and the military.

Relationships are also fractured as a result of the stand off. Adama’s son will live but Roslin’s surrogate son is dead following Adama’s “calculated risk” to storm the terrorists. Between Adama and Starbuck, he does not seem too concerned about assuaging her guilt for what was clearly an accident in shooting Apollo.

FBW is very disappointed at Billy’s death. We liked Billy. Unlike most of the other characters, Billy was the everyman in the cast…not the military leader or the hot shot pilot.

But BSG is anything but predictable. We didn’t want to see Billy die so that’s what it makes it so good…because the show isn’t afraid to kill off storied characters, which only adds to the sense of risk and uncertainty. These frackers don’t frack around.

Stargate Atlantis-The Long Goodbye

The upshot: Lt. Col. Sheppard and Dr. Weir, both possessed by aliens, threaten Atlantis as they strive to kill each other and anyone else who gets in their way.

The team finds two escape/stasis pods floating in space. Upon examination in Atlantis, Weir has her body taken over by an alien who cons Sheppard into allowing his body to be “temporarily” possessed by the other alien so husband and wife can be together one last time.

Turns out they aren’t spouses but deadly enemies—the last survivors of long forgotten war determined to be the last survivor. The body possession is temporary so the mind-controlled Sheppard and Weir have a short time to kill each other before they die for good.

This episode is an amusing cat and mouse game but it’s nice to see Weir having something to do besides giving orders. However, even when possessed by an evil homicidal alien, she still comes off as a tight ass. The gal needs to lighten up.

The interchange between Dr. McKay and Col. Caldwell, a recent victim of body possession himself, is funny as he and McKay briefly argue as to who is in charge.

In the end, nobody dies. Weir and Sheppard get their bodies back. No muss no fuss.

Stargate SG-1 –Off the Grid

Turns out Ba’al is sealing stargates in attempt to regain his lost empire. The team goes after him, with the help of the new Earth interstellar ship The Odyssey—which is on a shakedown cruise.

The team sneaks aboard Ba’al’s ship, firefight ensues, they steal the stargates back, narrowly escape the ships destruction. No muss no fuss. An amusing waste to time.


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