Oct 7 2011 5:46pm

Watching Battlestar Galactica: WTH, Humans?

Jamie Bamber as Lee Apollo Adama in Battlestar GalacticaThe Team H&H Battlestar Galactica (re)watch continues!

MEGAN AKA THE NEWBIE: Okay, my burning question has only had its flames fanned even more with these episodes:

Why does Commander Adama suffer Colonel Tigh aboard his ship?

Each and every one of his decisions is suspect, is wrong, misguided, and entirely governed by his precarious emotional state.

I respect Adama as a commander, certainly, but I feel as though he’s got a big-ass Achilles’ heel in terms of his second-in-command.

Whew. That felt good. Back to what we’re talking about, namely my watching—for the first time—the glory of Battlestar Galactica. Including the infamous Towel Scene (shake my hand, Lee!).

Jamie Bamber and Katee Sackhoff as Lee Apollo Adama and Kara Starbuck ThraceSince watching up to and including “The Farm,” I’ve seen “Home: Part 1,” “Home: Part 2,” “Final Cut,” “Flight of the Phoenix,” and “Pegasus.” I’ve slogged in the mud along with the skeleton crew on Kobol, tried not to cheer when the annoyingly one-note religious leader was offed, wondered just how literal an entire race had to be to hinge their hopes on an actual arrow (they do know religious imagery and language is usually metaphorical, right?), and then forced to ponder the differences between “us” and “them.” Answer: Not much.

The Kobol deviation, with hopes to find Earth, were interesting plot points, but it didn’t feel right to have the crew split between the ship and the planet. So I was happy when Commander Adama saw the error of his stubborn rift-supporting ways and went down to reunite his little dysfunctional family. I didn’t get why Helo was so shocked everyone wanted to kill his baby mama—I mean, hello!, does destruction of one’s race get a pass when True Love comes into play?

But this brings up the elephant in the room: If these Cylons can feel emotion, pain, give birth, cease to exist, believe in ideology and morals, what the hell makes them so different from us? Besides their wanting to exterminate our entire species, that is. I know that is one of the big “You’ll find out!” looks I get from redline_, but it seems so obvious, you’d think one of the smart cookies on the battlestar would’ve raised the question by now. Maybe Gaius?

Who, speaking of, is STILL seeing fake people, and his fake person is now telling him he’s crazy. I just think he’s megalomaniacal, but what do I know? I liked seeing Number Six in her casual sweatpants outfit when she was telling Gaius she was a fig newton of his imagination.

The “Final Cut” episode was so predictable. But it did have the Towel Scene, yowza, so that was fun. But the ultimate resolution was so hackneyed in terms of story that I rolled my eyes.

Aaron Douglas as Chief Tyrol in Battlestar GalacticaThings got better with the next episode, “Flight of the Phoneix,” which had mistrustful Adama, Cylon Sharon (why is she helping them, anyway? They are keeping her captive and are mean all the time. I don’t get it), Kara and Lee high on no oxygen, and Chief going all “If I build it, they will come” on the ship about the ship. Oh, and Tigh thinks it’s all a bad idea. SHUT UP, TIGH! I HATE YOU!

I’m not sure if it was this episode or another of this group, but there’s a scene where Lee and Dee are sparring, he’s teaching her self-defense, and there’s an awkward sexual moment between them, which is about as real as Colonel Tigh’s wife’s boobs. Which is to say: NOT REAL AT ALL. I didn’t buy it, and I think I know some of what might happen in the future (I got accidentally spoiled), and I will pre-predict that I will not believe it then, either. When two betas get together, they kill each other. In fish, at least. For these two? No sparks. None.

Michelle Forbes as Helena Cain in Battlestar GalacticaAnd then, and then! It turns out there’s another ship out there, full of humans! That’s the revelation of “Pegasus.” As soon as I saw actor Michelle Forbes, however, I knew there would be trouble. When has she ever not played a hard ass? The coroner on Homicide, the bitchy wife on In Treatment, the whatevershewas on True Blood—all take-no-prisoners parts. So, yeah, it was obvious she and Mr. Slow Stare Commander Adama were going to butt stubborn heads.

I’m still hooked on the show, growing more hooked, but already feeling trepidation about the final season, which redline_ always makes a face at. But I have many stars to cross and Cylons to kill before I get there.


REDLINE_ AKA THE FANGIRL: Oh, where do I even start? Okay, actually, that’s pretty easy:

THE TOWEL SCENE! I’m so glad you finally got to that part. Ridiculously hot, y/y?

And then there’s Lee/Dee. I guess I should address them next because your comments made me laugh and laugh:

When two betas get together, they kill each other.

Kandyse McClure and Jamie Bamber as Dualla and Lee in Battlestar GalacticaI can honestly say I hadn’t thought of it that way before! Without giving anything away (I hope), I have to say that yeah, the fact that both could be the Alpha type but neither prefers to be seems like it’d be a big problem. And incredibly—

Sorry, fell asleep there for a sec. Boring. Incredibly boring.

As for the Kobol arc, you know, that’s one of my favorites in terms of plot. I’ve always been fascinated by Greek mythology (*why* didn’t I take that class in college?), so I enjoy the literal interpretation of it here, especially since the RTF’s whole world (12 worlds, really) was founded on it. In the past I was never big into hard-core sci-fi/fantasy with lots of complicated worldbuilding, so BSG was a nice bridge.

With the exception of Homicide, you have to remember that Michelle Forbes filmed all those projects after playing Cain in BSG. So it was unique to us then, and most of fandom loves that character...or at least loves to hate her. Cain is a neat foil to Starbuck; they have some fantastic scenes together. You still have “Resurrection Ship” parts 1 and 2 to watch, so I’ll just say that I’m still on the edge of my seat whenever I re-watch those episodes.

Tigh and Baltar... I can’t believe you’ll never like them, so I’m going to go on assuming you’ll soon discover they’re an acquired taste.

MEGAN AKA THE NEWBIE: I am so happy I’ve been validated in the Lee/Dee thing (plus also, did no-one think about how dumb that sounds? Of course, I have a friend Nicole who is married to a Nicholas, so things like that do happen.

Kate Vernon and Michael Hogan as Ellen and Saul TighBut I am hoping I am wrong about Tigh and Baltar, too, but in Baltar’s case, I doubt I will ever get over thinking he’s a slimeball. A SMART slimeball, but a sliimeball nonetheless. In Tigh’s case, I just want his wife to take herself and her Mandee’s clothing offa that ship and leave him alone to make his own bad decisions—she only makes them worse.

More viewing this weekend, likely, and then onto the “Resurrection” epis, which sound like they’re gonna deliver all kinds of hoopla.


Megan Frampton is the Community Manager, Romance, for the HeroesandHeartbreakers site. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and son, and wishes she had her own callsign.

redline_, aka Heather Waters, is the production associate, and lives in Queens, NY.

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Liz Maverick
1. Liz Maverick
#1 That first picture is insanity. How do you expect me to work?

#2 Beta fish: Best way to describe the Double-E Downer I've heard in a long time.

#3 Lauren Bush Lauren.
2. taragel
Lol. I appreciate Megan's impatience. But oh boy your tolerance is really gonna be strained as we go forward. /cryptic

I will say, and this is not a spoiler, this:

"If these Cylons can feel emotion, pain, give birth, cease to exist, believe in ideology and morals, what the hell makes them so different from us?"

is never explored to my satisfaction in the entire span of the show. :( It was a key question that they just didn't bother to answer. And I thought the obvious answer to it....was something they very narrowly missed the boat on at the end of the series. It was RIGHT THERE and they didn't use it.

OK enough cryptic remarks... I really enjoyed the humor of this recap (both parts) and Lee/Dee not working because they're both betas--great point. I think that kind of pairing can totally work in real life, but in's just not dynamic enough to engage.

I think it also speaks to why people find Kara/Sam more satisfying of the two alterna-ships. Kara is dynamic enough for a whole colony of peeps. ;)

I kinda love your Tigh hate. It's a refreshing change from fandom who adores him/them.
Christopher Morgan
3. cmorgan
There's alot I want to say about the Tigh/Adama bromance, what can I say I got an eye for them, but I'm not sure when you find out what.

I remain and will forever be a Baltar fan, the man is awesome, you say slime ball, I say survivor.

I'm with everyone else, Beta Fish reference is best ever...
Myretta Robens
4. Myretta
I know you're surprised to see me on this post, Megan, but I just have to respond to your burning question: Why does Commander Adama suffer Colonel Tigh aboard his ship?. And my response is this: Aren't they on a ship somewhere in space without a planet in sight? What's he (is Adama a he?) going to do with him (is Colonel Tigh a him?)? Okay, I have probably now revealed the depths of my Battlestar Gallactica ignorance and will now depart.
Megan Frampton
5. MFrampton
@TaraGel: "him/them"--does that mean Tigh is a Cylon, too? Or does 'them' refer to the Tigh-lovers?

@Myretta: Good point. I'd stow him in the brig, personally.
6. CindyS
Oh Tigh - how I hated him. Keep watching ;)

I would like to know Taragel's take on what makes them different - to me it was about a single creator vs. tolerance but I could be way, way off.

I think there is a mini-movie about Pegasus - I remember squeeing and buying it on the spot and watching it. Yes, I'm one who thinks BSG is all awesome - up till this one point ;)

I think the best thing about this show was that nothing was off limits - there were so many things that would just blind side you while watching. Meanwhile there are other moments where you're thinking 'ohgoodGodno!!!'

Rachel Hyland
7. RachelHyland
@ Megan

"SHUT UP TIGH! I HATE YOU!" You make me laugh. And I totally agree, though I also agree with CindyS: keep watching, they certainly do interesting things with his character. Not necessarily good things, but interesting things, nonetheless.

Loving your recaps!

@ redline_

Even prior to Homicide, Michelle Forbes was known for her awesome: she played Ro Laren on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The first Bajoran we ever met (they later became one of the main foci of Deep Space Nine), Ensign Ro was a former freedom fighter who piloted the Enterprise, had a fling with Commander Riker, and then ended up joining the rabble-rousing crusaders known as the Maquis--who almost caused a Civil War within the otherwise peaceful Federation. The Trek folks like Forbes as Ro so much that they gave her the chance to star in both DS9 and Voyager (which had a Maquis element), but she turned them down.

And, oh, I dunno: Lee and Dee aren't so bad. At least they're no Tyrol and--oh, wait, that would be spoilery at this juncture, wouldn't it?

Tell me, Megan: are you planning to watch Razor, the TV movie that serves as a kind of prequel to the whole Pegasus storyline? 'Cause, I think you should, in the interests of completion, but I do recommend you watch it in the order in which it aired on TV -- after the third season. For that matter, the webisode series Razor Flashbacks would seem to be essential viewing also, and should be watched post-Season 3 but before Razor. (Hey, Adama as a youngster!)

Indeed, BSG potentially has more webisodes on offer than any other show, like, ever. Make sure you check 'em out!
Heather Waters
8. HeatherWaters
@RachelHyland -- Oh, I don't doubt Forbes has always been awesome. But I agree with Megan that once you've seen her most recent characters, Cain doesn't pack as much of a punch. She did when the Pegasus arc and Razor first aired, though.

We'll have to agree to disagree about Lee/Dee, and probably Kara/Sam too, because I can't be rational about those pairings. At all.
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