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Battlestar Galactica: The Ties That Bind - VIDEO

by Keith McDuffee, posted Apr 18th 2008 11:01PM
battlestar galactica
(S04E03) At the conclusion of last week's episode, I made mention of how quickly things were moving along, specifically with the Cylon Centurions' evolution. I thought for sure things would settle down this week, but they gave me a surprise. Hell, I think they gave everyone a surprise. Sorta.

By "sorta" a surprise, I mean the death of Cally. As I was taking notes watching this episode, I was going to mention how obvious it was that Tory would eventually get rid of Cally. She had some newfound Cylon-ish motive to take Cally out of the picture, and she just seemed ... suddenly evil. What surprised me was how quickly Cally was done away with, as I figured for sure it would happen in a future episode. You just knew what was going to happen when Cally so foolishly handed Nicky over to Tory.

Speaking of Tory's evilness, if we keep seeing Cylons taking such pleasure in harming or killing humans, how are we ever expected to sympathize or side with them, if that's what's meant to happen when all's said and done? They seem to be the embodiment of evil, whereas I don't recall humans enjoying killing Cylons (with the exception of Starbuck.) Could it be that there are just some "bad apples" to the bunch, just as there are with humans?

From a half-naked Sharon last week to a fully-naked Cavil this week. Yeesh. Y'know, even though Cavil had a half-naked Sharon dancing for him last week, I was still surprised at the kiss in this episode. That Number 8 is sure turning out to be the slut model of the Cylons. Or is it Number 6? Who can tell.

Maybe it was mentioned last week that the ship Starbuck would be on was named the Demetrius. I guess I should have made the connection, as it was a ship we saw being built during the BSG set visit last year. What surprised me most was the crew that was on-board with Starbuck. Anders was a surprise, even though he has a relationship with Starbuck. He mentions that "some" of them volunteered to accompany her on the ship, but Gaeta?! Doesn't he hate Starbuck? Isn't he crucial to the operations of the Galactica, especially should it come under fire? Maybe someone can explain to me why that made any logical sense at all.

I thought for sure we were going to get more answers regarding the final Cylon tonight, as I swear the promos said "all will be revealed" for this episode. It's possible to overanalyze Cally's death and how the Resurrection Ship wasn't with the Cylon Basestars. Was it transported somewhere closer to the Galactica fleet? I doubt it. Cally is gone for good, though every time I saw Doc Cottle ... I'm keeping my eye on him.

I need to rant one last time about this -- they use "frak" way too much. In fact, I'd be less offended if they used the honest to gods, Earthly curse word "fuck." Every time they say "frak," I cringe just a little, because it's silly. And when they say it ten times in one scene? I have no problem suspending disbelief for most everything else on this show, but this one gets to me. I'll get over it.

There's not a whole lot to say about Starbuck's journey right now. Her conversation with Anders makes you wonder how long she's going to be kept in the dark about what he is. Clearly she seems nuts to everyone, and there's a lot of foreshadowing of a mutiny. I suspect that as soon as they are within range of Earth, the crew will be on the verge of taking over the ship when, suddenly, "what's that on the screen? It's a gas giant with rings!"

Some final thoughts:

  • How does Tory, a presidential aide, know how to operate what should be a complicated (and guarded!) airlock? And what are her plans for little Nicky? Remember, she still knows about Hera too.
  • Baltar was totally absent from this episode. It's interesting how people either hate or love the guy, usually nobody in between.
  • Lee is already showing his strength in his new position, though is he more of a puppet for Zarek? Roslin seems to be overstepping her bounds and is going to have a little mutiny of her own soon.
  • Could it be that some of the Cylon models are now dead at the hands of Cavil? It's as though Cavil is the Roslin of the Cylons; his way or the highway, bub.
  • Some commenters keep bringing up the "ship of lights" from the original series, and I'm starting to wonder if that might hold water, after seeing Starbuck's vision. Please, please Ronald D. Moore, make it not suck.

Current fleet population: 39,675 (-1 for Cally)

Quote of the episode:

Cavil: "We're machines dear, remember. We don't have souls."

Did Starbuck envision a "ship of lights?"
Yes.189 (51.9%)
No.175 (48.1%)

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I think that the final Cylon will be a "big" reveal. No Gaeta, no Zarek...a big name. Someone that shouln't be one. Roslins' my pick and I'm sticking to it.

April 24 2008 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim McCleese

Tom: I for one hope that BSG does not conclude with the "Adam and Eve" premise. It's not that the premise is not witty and ironically based, its just that it has been done to death over the years in various genres. And IF BSG ultimately does do that "ship of lights" storyline....they MUST do it better than TOS did it. They must. As long as the writers keep it believable then it will be fine. Your expanding universe theory interests me because I have always been intrigued with that subject. That idea could even fit into the bibles' passage "There is nothing new under the sun". You know I love to read all these interesting theorys about this show. Can you imagine the fun the writers are having if they read the various posts? But in the end, no matter how clever we are in the guessing game we are at a massive disadvantage. We are basing our theories on real science...known facts. But we cannot build a logical premise upon an imaginary base. The writers can change the parameters of the game....at any time, and make it work. But....it is still a quid pro quo arrangement. We get to have a hell of a good time....and the writers bask in us trying to figure it out.

I had forgotten to notice Tom, that number 7 was the final cylon spot....I suppose it is probably because the only cylons I care about is number 8!

April 23 2008 at 11:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watched the episode a second time and did anyone notice that when Cally first came in with the baby looking for the cheif after she found the napkin, Tory saw her first before the cheif in a mirror and only then did she start rubbing his arm. Was Tory counting on that pushing Cally over the edge?

April 22 2008 at 6:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought, from this episode, Cally could be the final Cylon.


April 21 2008 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Am I alone here in the feeling that the episodes this season seem to have lost that *something*, the spark they once had in the first and second seasons? As someone who was skeptical about the show in the first place and then hooked by the pilot movie and have been a fan ever since, lately I find myself stepping back and wondering: if I wasn't already a fan and just watched this season purely looking for a good drama, would I really think this show was special like Time and Entertainment Weekly said it was? Here's to hoping it gets better - or here's to drinking whatever kool aid most of you seem to be on since I haven't heard anyone feel this way.

And BTW, the frak overuse is indeed getting silly and indulgent. It's like the writers are doing it b/c they can, not b/c it makes sense in the script

April 21 2008 at 10:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some of the friends i've hung out with, we used "fuck" so much it wasn't a word it was a comma.

let's not forget, they're all basically in the Navy. there's a reason the cliche saying "curse like a sailor" is around.

April 21 2008 at 5:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't feel anger. Just shock, and a kind of lostness. I've lost friends before, this is what it feels like to me. MST3K mantra and all that, but...

I liked Cally. She was the "Mrs. Brown" of Galactica, a personage often missing in SF. My roommate and I would debate the ethics of BSG, and I pointed out that Cally spans the human condition...from the raw bestial violence of bitting a threat's ear off to the tender forgiveness and love she showed Chief when he broke her jaw. She was, more than anybody else, Folks.

This episode had some subpar writing in it, yes. Tigh's revelatory line was badly staged. Questions arise about the presence of Gaeta and the Agathons aboard Demetrius. Cally's decline and fall would have been better handled with more space...I realize she was having hard times at home, but the last time we saw her, she was reconciling with her husband and clearly on the up. In a single episode, she's been addicted to sedatives, secretly masochistic, discovered an affair, discovered her husband was a Cylon, went spare, and got murdered. That's a hell of a lot of work! I can *believe* it all, but it felt rushed. If we'd seen her visit with Cottle in last week's episode, or even shots of her at home with the medicine bottle, I'd have an easier time of it.

It also had great writing. I've never seen anyone establish a thematic development by quoting a (fictitious) pulp novel before. The carefully calculated unreadability of Tory during the last half of the episode worked perfectly. Cally's development, though rushed, still held together...I liked how they used her small, svelte stature, echoing back to the commentary that she can crawl around in the Raptors easier because of how tiny she is.

I work in government journalism, son of two government journalists. I've sat in the Quorum meeting on Cloud Nine before. I have sat in that Quorum meeting in this episode. That is all.

I don't think I'll be able to watch the episode again, but not because of the writing. I don't think I'll be able to watch the episode again for the same reason I can't watch Grave of the Fireflies: The side effects are worth it. Once. After that, I just don't feel like losing someone again.

April 21 2008 at 3:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Byron Hastings

I didn't notice the Orion constellation someone mentioned, but I do know that our constellations would remain pretty much the same on planets orbiting nearby stars. A planet orbiting Alpha Centauri (or Beta or Proxima for that matter) would have almost the same exact constellations we see. Actually, I believe Sol would appear in Cassiopoeia (not sure on that one). If those baseships really did show up on screen with Orion that would mean that the Cylon fleet is pretty close to Earth, but maybe not so close to be able to find it. We probably already knew this, since being close to Earth was the whole premise of the first episodes, but presuming the Cylon fleet is still trying to track the Colonials, both fleets haven't gone so far to make finding Earth impossible.

April 20 2008 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey Geraci

I am pretty sure that the airlock was already prepped by Cally before Tory got there. And no, I will chime in with the crowd in saying that I don't see "evil" in Tory's actions. Definitely, she has newfound feelings for Tyrol, combined with the fact that Cally knows what they all are and has a history of ardent hate for cylons and even killing Cylons who she knew well as human before, along with almost killing her own child and her general instability, made Cally far too much of a threat. I was surprised that Cally was killed in this episode though.

Did anyone else think that Tory knocking Cally down the airlock with a back hand was a little show of Cylon superstrength??

Also, I think Tyrol will ultimately come to terms with Cally's death when he finds out what she was about to do to their son, but I think any simmering attractions between Tyrol and Tory are on ice indefinitely.

It will be interesting to see where Starbuck's storyline goes. Apparently, turning back in the direction of the signal in her head was not enough for her to get a clear guide towards where Earth is (or even where she thinks it is), and she if flailing to get regain her direction. I would have thought that she would go right back to the nebula to retrace her steps.

April 20 2008 at 10:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim McCleese

"encyclopedia Galactica"....I love it!

April 20 2008 at 8:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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