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'Battlestar Galactica' Recap: Deadlock

February 23rd, 2009 4:50pm EST
Battlestar GalacticaThis week's Battlestar Galactica episode, "Deadlock", had some good moments, but unfortunately didn't quite keep the fire of the last three weeks burning. After two episodes of bloody mutiny and life-or-death character moments, and then last week's heroin overdose of information and backstory, simply watching Ellen Tigh work her usual manipulations didn't have quite the impact to provide an adequate follow-up. We've seen it all before with Ellen; the only difference is that now she's a jealous, catty, sex-crazed, selfish shrew, and a Cylon. I suppose it's comforting in some small way to see Ellen behaving like, well, Ellen, the one we know and love to hate; she has been this woman for two thousand years, and she always will be, no matter how many times she downloads or how many human lifetimes she lives. Ellen Tigh and Saul Tigh will always get drunk and have hate-sex and bicker, no matter what exactly their bodies are made from. They do love each other, even if it's not the kind of love that makes a baby-perhaps it's just the kind of love that comes from recognizing themselves in each other, from being the same sorry brand of messed up. I sort of hope that this is the end for Caprica and Tigh, because Tigh and Ellen belong together.

Battlestar GalacticaOn to more exciting reunions: BOOMER AND CHIEF 4EVER. I'm usually of the opinion that Grace Park is the weak link in the cast, but her entrance into the hangar bay-the nervous way she stepped out of the Raptor in full view of Adama & Co., knowing they'd know exactly who she was, finally ready to face the past-was so very Boomer, and not Athena or any other Eight, that I found myself duly impressed. Throwing Boomer in the brig was a foregone conclusion, but I hope this poor creature won't have too many more trials to suffer before everyone finally just lets her be, and re-admits her into the family from which she was ripped away so unfairly. One of the themes most central to this show is that of free will, and in Boomer is the only character who has never really had a fair shake, who has been manipulated beyond her control and never able to break free. Rescuing Ellen from Cavil's basestar-rejecting his attempts to make her a more perfect machine, and embracing humanity instead-was the first time Boomer really made her own decision, became her own person. Now let's see everyone cut her a bit of a break, hmm? Tyrol's immediate recognition of her as, yes, THE Sharon, his Sharon, was a nice touch. I suppose I'll have to wait until next week for the inevitable "Hooray, we're both Cylons now, let's go back to doing it in empty storage units!" conversation between those two.

The Caprica storyline was bothersome, mostly because it seemed a bit pointless to create and then kill off the first pure Cylon baby; and to hedge by placing the cause of the miscarriage into question seemed a bit too false-mysterious and self-conscious, meant to muddle us on purpose--LOSTish--to really be enjoyed. Actions need clear consequences if we're going to buy the story. If love is really what's necessary to create a Cylon baby, well, that's a bit silly and nonsensical, but it's your thing, writers, so run with it. Don't put Caprica into the middle of a brawl in the beginning of the episode and keep that around as a possible reason for the baby's death, instead of her doubting Tigh's love for her. Own your choices. On another note, I don't think I love the choices they're making with the Caprica character in general. She's a bit too timid, a bit too unsure, too quiet. This is the woman who engineered the destruction of the Colonies, snapped a baby's neck, threw Baltar up against a wall and violently ravished him on the daily; for her to be tiptoeing around Galactica like some lost little girl seems off. Speaking of Baltar, the part where hezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Okay, to be fair, Crazy Paula is a little interesting, just because I'm waiting for her to snap and blow everyone away with her new guns; in general, though, Baltar's storyline is snoozeville. What happened to this character? Where is the payoff for the delicious but forgotten first-season-finale Opera House scene? Where is any explanation of Head Six? If the prevailing theory on the internets is right--that the Head Characters are the "angels" Anders was talking about last week, that Tyrol and Tory saw before the destruction of Earth-then is Baltar indeed Daniel, the lost Number Seven (I don't think so, just for the record)? Caprica and Baltar are supposed to have the kind of crazy, destructive, epic, timeless love that Tigh and Ellen share--have we even seen these two characters speak to each other this season? I'm pretty sure the writers have given up on trying to make Baltar's mythology make any sense, and are just using him for comic relief until the finale.

Battlestar Galactica- Someone to Watch Over Me Preview



As much as the Caprica storyline rubbed me the wrong way, Michael Hogan pwned. His Emmy reel is set with this episode-between the scenes at Caprica's bedside, and the beautiful scene with Adama at the end, it'll be a crime if he's not at least nominated come awards season. Incredible work by one of the best actors on television.

Oh, and Anders is apparently not a vegetable? Maybe? Just give us one scene where he puts together a Cylon talent show, Bob Dylan-style, to distract everyone from the reality that Cavil is coming to kill them all and also they have no home, and all is forgiven, writers.

Favorite moment: A tie, between Roslin's "Oh my Gods, it's Ellen Tigh" (read: "Motherfrakker, of all the people who have died, she had to come back?!"), and Tyrol's "Yeah, uh, guys, your baby drama aside, can we get back to the whole issue of abandoning the fleet and shizz?"

Least favorite moment: Would Tyrol really choose to leave? Really? That's not our Chief.

Next week: Freaky Starbuck visions, joy! Maybe they'll give us more paint sex-one can only hope-but at least we'll probably find out what the hell she is. Little Girl Starbuck sitting at her father's piano certainly seems to validate the most popular Daniel theory out there. I'll just be happy if next week Adama does something besides worriedly stare at Galactica's Cylon-ized walls, lost in the writers' hastily shuffled-in pathos.

Meghan McCracken
Story by Meghan McCracken

Starpulse contributing writer