Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Battlestar Galactica—A Day in the Life

The Upshot from The Sci-Fi Channel: Weeks without Cylon contact has the Galactica crew breathing easy. As Admiral Adama (Edward James Olmos) reflects on the life he’s lost, below decks a tragedy unfolds as Chief Tyrol (Aaron Douglas) & his wife Cally (Nicki Clyne) get stuck on the wrong side of an airlock with their air leaking away.

We REALLY liked this episode not only for the tension and drama but despite the episode’s dark premise, at its core was life and hope.

As we discussed the episode today, FanBoyWonder’s best pal Kemosabe observed that some of the best BSG episodes have been those where the Cylons are nowhere to be found—we think his point has some merit.

This episode we see A Day in the Life of Galactica, a day in which 48 other days without a Cylon attack preceded it and a day which happens to be the wedding anniversary of William and Caroline Adama (guest-star Lucinda Jenney). It turns out that on that day each year, Adama pulls out their wedding picture and converses with his deceased ex-wife in his head—mourning the life he lost long before the Cylon nuclear holocaust.

Meanwhile another married couple in the here and now—Tyrol and Callie—argue about how to balance the demands of their jobs and family while working to fix an airlock. Their argument quickly becomes unimportant as the airlock's systems sense a pressure change caused by a small leak into space. The doors automatically slam shut, locking Cally and Tyrol in.

With the locked chamber now hemorrhaging atmosphere, Tyrol and Callie have less than half an hour before suffocation, depressurization, and hypothermia combine to kill them. Adama launches a daring rescue plan ordering Apollo (Jamie Bamber), Starbuck (Katie Sackhoff) and Athena (Grace Park) to quickly fly a Raptor outside of the ship to the airlock doors.

Just before Adama blows the doors, it was telling to watch the endangered parents debate who should care for their child should they die. Tyrol opted for Apollo and his wife Dee but Cally was adamant—“no pilots.” She didn’t want their boy to have to risk losing another set of parents and a child without parents in the fleet doesn’t stand much of a chance.

It was also touching to see Adama listen to the couple express their love and regret for fighting as well as renewing their commitment to each other—if they survive—just before Cally asks Adama to ensure their child is placed with a civilian family.

The rescue is a success and they are rushed to sickbay—to our surprise they both lived. Given the dark nature of the show and how significant characters have been killed off this season (Ellen Tigh, Kat), we were pleasantly surprised to find that they both survived.

We found the interaction between Adama and the “ghost” of his ex-wife interesting. As someone to tightly disciplined, we found it telling that he permits himself this kind of introspection as he reviews where he went wrong as a husband and a father and even more telling that he only allows himself one day a year to do it. Adama placing his wedding photo deep within a drawer was an apt metaphor.

In other fleet business, President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) has asked Adama to assign Apollo to supervise a committee of lawyers devising an unprecedented trial for former President Gaius Baltar (James Callis).

It also turns out that Roslin and Adama have been finding many opportunities—real or conveniently manufactured—to spend time in each other’s company. We’re not sure where this is going but it’s nice to see that they are least acknowledging, however tacitly, that they hold an attraction to one another.

And that’s the lesson of both the Adama and Tyrol/Callie storylines—live for today for tomorrow you may be totally fraked by a Cylon.


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