Monday, October 30, 2006

Battlestar Galactica--Collaborators

The Upshot from the Sci-Fi Channel: Chief Tyrol's (Aaron Douglas’) sense of right and wrong is put to the test when he takes part in a secret tribunal that tries and convicts in absentia humans who collaborated with the Cylons on New Caprica — and then secretly executes them for treason. Only Tyrol has the courage to ask the questions everyone fears: What if the tribunal makes a mistake? What if they put an innocent human being to death?

Well the show is back where it belongs, in space looking for Earth. But even with the rescue of (most of) the colonists from New Caprica following what has come to be known as the Second Exodus, all is definitely NOT forgotten nor forgiven by whose who suffered under the Cylons.

Even with the fleet (and the human race) down to 41,435 survivors, there is a small but determined bunch who have decided that those who collaborated with the Cylons must be made to pay while payback is still a viable option during the time they have.

Col. Tigh (Michael Hogan)
leader of the resistance on Cylon-occupied New Caprica, is now fronting “The Circle” a shadow court that performs the time-honored judicial trifecta—filling the roles of judge, jury and executioner.

The episode opens with Jammer (Dominic Zamprogna), bound and hooded on “trial” in a Viper launch tube. Jammer has been found “guilty of crimes against humanity” for his participation in the New Caprica Police—the Vichy-like force of humans who enforced the law on New Caprica at the direction of the Cylons.

For watchers of webisdoes, BSG: The Resistance, viewers got to see how the one-time resistance member Jammer had his doubts exploited by the Cylon Doral who eventually convinced him that joining the NCP was the best way to save lives.

It’s hard not to feel for Jammer who was by no means evil but just a guy caught in a vice of powerful forces as he tried to do the right thing yet knowing it was the wrong thing to do.

Having been found guilty, the Circle shoots Jammer out an airlock into space. No muss, no fuss—he’s gone, just like a number of other collaborators since Galactica’s rescue.

Meanwhile, Tom Zerek (Richard Hatch), acting President of the Colonies following the abdication of Gaius Baltar (James Callis), tells former President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) that he will put her name up as Vice President then resign the presidency—in effect handing her back the office.

Zerek can read the writing on the wall. Admiral Adama (Edward James Olmos) can barely tolerate sharing the same solar system with the former terrorist/freedom fighter (depending upon your point of view). A Zerek presidency would not have the backing of Adama and the military.

Yet, we see a bond of respect forming between Zerek and Roslin. They BOTH were slated to be lined up and shot during the occupation. Acknowledging Zerek’s courage for standing up to President Baltar during the occupation, Roslin offers Zerek the vice-presidency. This feeling of good will and trust won’t last long however.

Aboard Galactica, Col. Tigh becomes enraged at the sight of Felix Gaeta (Alessandro Juliani). President Baltar’s former chief of staff should have no place aboard ship. Even Adama can’t get Tigh to back down—an ugly scene ensues and we see that a wide, perhaps unbridgeable rift has formed between these two friends—one who suffered so much during the occupation.

Speaking of Baltar, we see him in a gilded cage aboard a Cylon basestar. You see Baltar is also on trial of a sort. The Cylon is in the midst of deliberating whether or not to allow Baltar to continue to live with them or to live at all.

Turns out its Number Six (Tricia Helfer) who is the swing vote and the jury is still out. It seems she regrets having fallen in love with him. It has prompted her not only to protect him but to work to initiate the now ill-fated Cylon occupation of New Caprica instead of sticking with the original plan of wiping out all of humanity.

It seems that these two are toxic to each other—as bad as they are for one another, Baltar and Number Six appear to need each other all the more.

Meanwhile, Gaeta is selected by the Circle for judgment, Tigh, Tyrol and Starbuck being unaware that it was Gaeta who was their secret source inside who fed them the government death list, the list of NC Police collaborators and most important, the frequency in which they could contact Galactica and affect the rescue.

Gaeta, having enough of being treated like a leper and to his credit, refused to beg for his life. It’s only by luck as Starbuck (Katie Sackhoff) is nearly taunting him about his previous statements about his behind the scenes efforts does Chief Tyrol put it together and the group realized what a horrible mistake they nearly make.

It turns out the Circle and the secret tribunals were at the legal direction of President Zerek, who was determined to purge the worst of the worst collaborators before he handed power back to Laura Roslin and avoid years of public trials and forcing open the wound of New Caprica.

Roslin is appalled as is Adama, costing Zerek some of that trust and respect so recently won. Easy come, easy go.

President Roslin, upon re-taking the oath of office, is moved to announce that instead of seeking and investigation and prosecution of collaborators on New Caprica, she instead initiated a Truth and Reconciliation Commission coupled with a blanket pardon of “all human beings” involved with Cylon collaboration—a fresh start.

We don’t think this will be the end of the matter but stay tuned.


Anonymous Capitol Ideas said...

This show never ceases to amaze. The writing gets stronger and stronger with every episode. And credit the writers for bravery for holding up a mirror to our own uncertain times and the questions that we're unwilling to ask ourselves.

1:58 PM, November 02, 2006  

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