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Battlestar Galactica: Scar

by Keith McDuffee, posted Feb 3rd 2006 11:21PM
bsgSometimes when a show uses time shifting in an episode, it adds something. It makes sense. We already know I took issue with the last two episodes using this trick, and now they do it again. However, unlike that past two times, this episode just didn't gain anything from it.

Here we had a completely Starbuck-centric episode, one that showed us her continued feelings toward Enders and hightlighting her reasons for being enthused to head back to Caprica to take back their planet. As an episode that stood to spread out the primary plot of the season, I think it worked well.

Two big happenings tonight. First, we learn that Cylon Raiders are also capable of reincarnation, just like the humanoids. Second, we finally see some Apollo-Starbuck action, though it doesn't happen like either of them would ever had wanted. What Starbuck learns about the Raiders is definitely something for them all to consider dangerous since, as she also learned, they learn by dying and never need retraining.

I really liked the Scar storyline and how a Cylon Raider could actually have personality and individuality. It's strange to think that what's essentially a mass of metal and guts could be a living, breathing thing.

One thing that had bothered me in the past about this show was how little attention was paid to the dead. We hear of pilots biting it all the time, but they seemed to be casually brushed off. In this episode, we see more of the shrine of the fallen, and get attention paid to the dead in Starbuck's toast. The writers definitely need to do this every once in a while, giving us viewers a sense of what it means to lose one of the very few left of their population.

Current fleet population: ~49,593

(Make sure you check AOL for their exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes commentary)

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Montgomery Lopez

Scar was one of the better episodes for the past several weeks.

Going back to Ephinanies, Black Market and Scar, each character, President Roslin, Apollo and Starbuck each had a great deal of flashbacks while on Caprica. I believed President Roslins flashback about seeing Baltar on Caprica was legitimate without being forced. When we watch Galatica we want to see a pay off or follow-up from a seed planted from the beginning and we got that, most of the time. Roslin mentioned that she had a feeling that Baltar was involved in the attack and then a season later, we get a glimpse of where she had those initial feelings. Although it was not a wow or mind blowing scene it does the job to move the rift further between Roslin and Baltar.

With Lee in Black Market, with all the flashbacks with a woman who wanted to have his child running parallel to the Shevon and Paya never gelled for me. When Shevon rejects Lee in the end because after all she was just a replacement did not have the impact or the a-ha moment to say this is why Lee is doing this for that reason. I really felt cheated by the use of flashback because if it was important to the character to remember this should have been important enough to tell the story or even simply hint at a secret pain Lee was hiding.

On Scar, we see a growth in Starbuck that we know she is capable of. We know that beneath the bravado she is human like anyone else who feels loss. However, she does not show the emotional scars to anyone. She does not want to even remember the names of those killed by Scar. To say the names is painful to her as the broken promise she can not even fulfill to the freedom fighter back on Caprica and both pains are equal in merit. Not until the very end when Starbuck reads off the names of those killed by Scar, we see Starbuck admitting to the sense of loss without having to be anyone less than Starbuck. The use of the flashback on Caprica strengthens the story much more effectively than the past two episodes.

February 11 2006 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

Wayne, you and Ron should get together and watch the show together. I can't believe that you are kind of "countering" my arguments with a bunch of stuff you have made up. Its hillarious to me. All I am saying is, based on what we have been told, this show is increasingly not making sense. You seem to be able to go somewhere in your head and make up the missing details. If that makes the show more enjoyable for you--good for you. Keep it up. But I am dealing with the script, the plot, the active storyline, and I'm not making anything up. Everything you propose, if it were true, could have been written into the show. Why not show a straffing run at the mining operation turned back by the vipers? Why not have Adama explain to President Roslin that Sharon won't work again a second time? And your theory about the Resurrection Ship, that's about as valid as me saying, "I have a theory that Starbuck found a magic wand in the tomb of Athena, and she's using it to protect the fleet." You can make up any little detail that gets you through in your mind, but I'm telling you, the show as WRITTEN is really weakening and is illogical and doesn't hold water.

February 10 2006 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wayne

Tom:

I definately think that there is a ressurection ship near caprica. There is evidence of that in the miniseries where No. 6 and Baltar are talking outside near a fountian, and she says she has to go meet someone, and he says he does too. When he leaves she turns around and says under her breath (with a pinch of urgency and annoyance) "its about time you got here" or something like that.

My theory is it was the ressurection ship (as well as the cylon fleet) that arrived, taking the pressure of actually dying off of her.

I'd have to say Cylons are smart. They probably are taking it easy after a realtively huge loss of the first ressurection ship. And if they have another ship near the planets, they probably need them there to deal with the leftover human threat. There are probably scattered people all over the colonies, not just some ballers on Caprica. And I doubt that the Cylon Home world is near enough to the 12 colonies for uploading.

And we only saw one day of the month of battles at the mining fields. So we don't know if the vipers were always getting their butts kicked. I'm sure that the other non-Scar raiders were ass-kicked by some of the viper pilots on a day-to-day basis.

For one thing, if she sent a virus back, which she did, I am sure that the raider's computers were updated, much like the vipers were after the initial disabling attacks by the cylons that completely disabled the human computer systems.

For another thing, there is still the issue of giving a Cylon total control of the ships systems every time they would hook Sharon up to the optics cable. Maybe Gaida could create some wall that she couldn't get through, but, her being a cylon, I doubt it.

February 10 2006 at 11:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

Ron, I agree now that not going back to Caprica at this stage has some very definable reasons, whether its your theory of multiple resurrection ships (which I love because if they have more than one why not quickly replace the one they just lost and continue dogging the fleet) or my thought that they don't need them that close to home (which we have been told in the show). But whether Sharon commanded the Cylons to go dead or sent a computer virus--either way, why doesn't she do it again? I don't understand your logic on that one.

As for the mining operation, it sounds like you have a mind that tries to rationalize what you are told instead of question the logic of what you are told, and that's o.k. too. But I stand by my comments, you can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't show cylon raiders beating the crap out of vipers, but then claim that they are unable to get through. Watch the show--it just isn't logical.

February 09 2006 at 11:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ron

Tom, you bring up many points and plot holes, but many of them were answered if you carefully watched the previous episodes. Sharon never "commanded" the raiders to go lifeless, she sent a virus back to them. Like most half organic, half robots in sci-fi, one cannot function without the other half.

As far as turning back to the colonies, that would be suicide. I'm pretty sure the cylons set up resurrection bases near or on the tweleve colonies. Afterall, there were many cylon agents living on the colonies that would've been killed permenantly during the nuclear attack if there wasn't one.

The cylon raiders weren't attacking the mining colony because there were vipers patrolling. Obviously they set up some sort of perimeter around the operation. Maybe there was a decently sized "clearing" between other asteriods that if a raider went after the mining operation, they would be easily spotted, who knows? Also I'm pretty sure the mining operation has some defenses (i.e. mounted guns) and may be pretty deeply embedded in the asteroid. I don't think all the pilots named at the end were lost just in defending the mining operation. Some of those names sounded familiar; I think some died in previous episodes. I can't confirm this, but that's what I thought.

February 09 2006 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim McCleese

Tom and Wayne: You guys have raised some good points. I have an idea that the reason Sharon does not immobilize the cylon raiders is because the cylons would have been on to this by now. I know I would! The cylons probably have reconfigurated their computer programs to be alert and extemely wary to all incoming signals by now. It's just a thought. Last Friday's episode was a step in the right direction as far as the quality of the writing goes and I hope that My babe Sharon gets more air time! Tim.

February 07 2006 at 10:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wayne

Well there's the Sharon that didn't know she was a Cylon. Some switch she could not control was flipped (maybe by some signal at that base star, or just the fact she saw a bunch of herselfs) and she then knew her mission had to be done.

It isn't too far a stretch to see the Cylons as both autonomous entities that are ressurected and can learn AND as tools of some higher purpose that can be manipulated and controled. That's the cool thing about being a machine.

But the other part I do agree with, why the hell doesn't she do that cool shit everytime. The Doc could put a permanent port in and everything (so she wouldn't have to cut her fraking arm open every time.)

Of course, she would have total control of the ships systems every time she did them that service, a huge security breach.

February 07 2006 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

Here, here, with regards to more Lucy Lawless! Tons of possibilities.

I want you all to know I love this show, and I want to see it continue to do well.

That said, I watched some of the shows aired on SciFi channel today. Loved 'em. But it raised more questions. You know the part where Sharon sends the signal/virus out to the attacking cylon fleet and they all go dead and the vipers blow them out of the sky? Why doesn't she send the same signal to Scar and the other Cylon Raiders? Why don't they ask her to do that instead of losing a pilot a day?

And why have they tried to show the Cylon Raiders as reincarnate-able individual entities, and also automated fighters that respond to Sharon's commands and just go "lifeless?"

Seriously, people--THIS PISSES ME OFF! What the hell do these writers think we are--STUPID?!!

February 07 2006 at 7:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wayne

D'ja guys see that Lawless is on cast for next season! AWESOME!

I thought this episode was good. And I was very happy with it when it was over. At least it was better than last weeks.

I agree that these episodes are probably just a lull before the storm, setting up for bigger things.

I think the fact that we have seen very little of Baltar/Gina/No. 6, Helo, Sharon is because things are building up to an explosion.

Hopefully more than just an explosive fart, but I have more faith than that.

February 07 2006 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jorge Hellmer

I would have to say the show has taken a slower pace but hasn't dropped off. I find the story arcs a little more intriguing. I am watching the first season in between Fridays trying to get caught up. I think the whole set where Starbuck had to use a walker are incredibly weak. I mean who sends a crippled space pilot out to protect delegates when you have able-bodied marines? I would love to see a story developed on the marines. How do they train new marines is there a boot camp going on? I would love to see how they are training new Viper pilots. It looks like Pegasus is not only building vipers but has shouldered much of the training regiment there as well. Yet Pegasus should be a true full functioning battlestar. Where as Galactica only seems to have one hanger (the other one now holding a museum and gift shop?) Which brings the question. Why hasn't Galactica melted down the museum, had a half price sale at the gift shop and reclaimed their second hanger? You could use it for viper construction, or to house the training wing, or to house one of Pegasus' wings while they train.

I get the ore needs. Build vipers. Plug holes in the ship. I mean they had to sacrifice metal when boomer blew the water supply. And I even get the mining colony not getting the full attack, (With the asteroids no dradis ability). The cylons can't confirm if Galactica is in there (or where it is) and if Pegasus is in there too. Cant be easy to commit a BaseStar into an asteroid field either. So it looks like the cylons are using more of a "guerilla" warfare tactic. Or maybe scar is the wing commander using his recon wing to pick off vipers.

Starbuck's fall from grace ahs been good, But I hope they pay us off with an equally good climb back. They must have felt handcuffed making her, the be all end all pilot (and best shot in the fleet, and a sniper, and a secret service agent) so now they bring us some characters who can relieve her of some of these titles. Apollo was great in black market, but this week he is back to "I don't want to offend anyone" Apollo. I think he should have fracked Starbuck and when she tried to be all-cool about it. He should have been a Jerk to show that he has his own demons to deal with.

I would have rather seen some hot shot from Pegasus come in and give Starbuck a run than Kat. The Pegasus jock could have used more of a "this is how Pegasus does things" approach. Instead of a talented pilot afraid of pushing it all the way (maverick from top gun)

The biggest plot hole i can think of is the nuke they gave to Gina. That thing should be setting off every alarm in the fleet. Maybe Gaius neutralized it, or shielded it but gives us a clue.

Also total disappearance off Chief, Helo, and Kalley. Make them at least stand in the back ground every so often. Helo did train with Starbuck in the end, which was a nice finish. But maybe a Terrell and Kalley having to discuss rebuilding the stealth would have been nice.

Also build a stealth. You know it saved your tails, so get another one. Ok that was hella long
see you next Friday. Dana Delaney is on? (Oh well she was all perverted in that "east of Eden" movie. And it was ok. As long as it isn't Kim Delaney I hate her. She should have played Tigh's drunken wife. A natural role for her.

February 06 2006 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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