Episode Reviews (27)
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Justice or Vengeance? While lacking action, "Collaborator" ends up being one of the best transition episodes in television history, giving the viewer closure but creating more potential plot lines then any fan could ever hope for. Spoilers inside.
Following the events of Exodus, we see the people of the Battlestar hunting those who betrayed the human race during the cylon occupation. The question of Vengeance versus Justice is raised and the fates of many characters is revealed. The episode shows a major evolving of Gaeta and the death of "Jammer" to the death squads. Gaeta is revealed to be the inside source to resistance on new caprica but the evolution up to this revelation is played out rather well. While it was easy to guess that something like that would occur the actors played their roles extremely well and we see Gaeta regain his post on the battlestar in the end. The episode also acts as a stepping stone closing the New Caprica story line and opening new ones. Roslin is president again, Saul is dealing with the death of his wife at his hands, Baltar is with the cylons which could be extreemly revealing and Starbuck is dealing with the fact that Casey was not her child. Collaborator brings an end to one story line and starts a new one while showing us new sides to characters and creating potential plot lines for the future. While lacking action, this transition episode ends up being one of the best in television history giving the viewer closure but creating more potential then any viewer could ever hope for.moreless
Collaborators was an extremely entertaining and perfect episode of Battlestar Galactica and I really enjoyed watching because of all the character and plot development. Many deep emotions were touched or triggered in this episode which asked how to deal with traitors, though they may have only done so out of survival instinct or fear. It was interesting to see the different characters points of view. Tigh had some great lines and scenes. Roslin becomes President yet again with the assistance of Tom Zarek who had his own idea of justice for the Cylon collaborators. It was suspenseful watching Gaeta being discussed and headed for execution. Tyrol has some serious dilemmas to work through and made the right choice. In the end Roslin pardons the remaining Cylon collaborators in hopes of moving forward, and it was touching to see Tyrol sit with Gaeta in the Mess Hall as he was alone. I look forward to seeing things work themselves out between the former collaborators and every one else. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
Hopefully the simplistic vengeance-fueled hostility will no longer be a focus after this episode.
This episode moved at a slow pace, suggesting that the plot was intended to be suspenseful, but nothing that happened felt particularly exciting or surprising. The threat of execution (for Gaeta and others) did not feel like a dramatic conflict, since it was easy to determine right from wrong, and so I felt like I was waiting for the tribunal to be faced with the negative consequences of their actions and relent, or else to be shut down. I would have liked to see a more compelling conflict than forgiveness versus mindless revenge.
Starbuck's story also left me wanting more. Her actions were characteristically chaotic, but it was more difficult than usual to figure this mercuriality out. Tigh, too, seemed to be spiraling out of control faster than I would expect from someone who made a conscious decision to betray his betrayer wife.
In all, "Collaborators" was a passable episode, but I would like to see more complex challenges for the characters now that they are back on Galactica.moreless
It was going to be about vengeance and pain...
I had a little longer brake than I usually prefer between this episode and previous one and so I had time to think what the story is going to be and I think I figured most of it out - I knew it was going to be about that Jammer and Gaeta will have his turn and that there will be a lot of trouble with people on different sides - and I most say it is a stunning storyline, the idea - how they worked in different sides and now have to manage to be together on the same side again.
And the way they talked this episode - showed Tigh and his anger - everyone on the circle - the whole thing going on between Starbuck and Sam. I just think there is no way to describe it - very emotional, atmosphere creating and very dark episode. I loved it.moreless
Still great writing.
I recently read somewhere where the networks preferred that Battlestar series would be better served if there were more single story episodes and not one big long season story. I would gather this is one of the first attempts of this new line of thinking. The story unfolds as the fleet is back underway on the search of earth. I really like the idea of a secret council and how it is used to find all the people who helped the cylons. The idea of flushing people out airlocks is not unique but effective. No traces or even evidence since most people don't even look outside. The final solution although flawed seemed unique way to deal with the problem. Given the circumstances of the last few episodes it is normal that this episode would be a bit slow in action but still interestingmoreless
Justice is meted out against the Cylon collaborators by a Jury of six set up by the President. Laura Roslin knows nothing about this.
This episode dealt with the aftermath of the Cylon occupation on New Caprica. Eleven people disappear after being charged with collaborating with the Cylons and found guilty. It was extremely chilling to watch Jammer being spaced after being found guilty of crimes against humanity. I hoped that the Chief could somehow turn the tide but it was not to be for Jammer. Kara Thrace inadvertently saved the day for Gateta with her outburst against him. She is obviously in pain from her treatment at the hands of the Cylons and is looking to take it out on anyone available. I hope that Anders doesn’t give up on her as left alone I can see her sinking into a bottomless pit of despair. It was a revelation to discover that President Tom Zarek had signed off on the secret prosecutions and although his reasons seemed to make sense, I much preferred President Roslins way of dealing with the matter. I’m just glad that Zarek stood down as president. This was an extremely dark episode and I imagine the repercussions of the Cylon occupation and the parts played by many will reverberate for quite some time.moreless
A New Day Requires New Thinking
With the survivors of the Cylon stronghold now safely back with the fleet, and the ‘collaborators’ onboard too, things start to heat up as both are thrown into a tightly crowded Galactica, still recovering form the rescue mission and struggling to find normality as it once was over a year ago. ‘Collaborators’ takes us on a journey through that transitional period, showing us the cost of such brutal captivity. It shows us that even as the humans are freed from their cells and prisons, their minds are still very much bound to the past and held captive by their lust for vengeance. Some are more willing to move on than others however, and so the battle ensues.
The episode begins with the execution of Jammer by the newly founded ‘circle’ which consists of Tigh, Tyrol & Anders amongst three others whom I didn’t necessarily recognise. We immediately are led to believe that such proceedings are happening legitimately because of these characters involvement but there is certainly a stench of seediness and darkness about the whole thing that doesn’t seem right as soon as we see the environment and the hear the words the circle speak. As we have followed Jammer’s path throughout the past 5 weeks (most prominently in the webisodes) we do feel a certain degree of sympathy for him. In the end he begs for his life with forgiveness and the circle reject his pleas behind a plane of glass that distances them both even further. One member eventually presses the airlock release button and Jammer is sent out to death. We are shown the circle’s reaction to the event and there is definitely some questionable emotions on display but by the rules the six members follow, their emotion of good can’t overcome their sense of ‘justice’. It raises an interesting question that I won’t go into here but nonetheless, deserves some thought. When exactly should emotion be implemented when dealing out ‘justice’? Never? Always? And if so, then what emotion, positive or negative? Both?
Baltar then awakes from a rather amusing dream involving himself, Adama, Tigh and Roslin. He finds himself on a Cylon base ship, looking around confused yet at the same time knowing exactly what he has done. It’s effective in that Baltar has woken from normality in his dream and been thrown into a nightmare which is real and that he himself has created.
Following this we get a short scene where Kara is unpacking her things as Anders tries to talk to her. We immediately get a sense of rejection from Starbuck towards Sam, as she tries to distance herself from him. It obviously has something to do with the child she ‘lost’ and the ‘love’ that she forced into on New Caprica. It would seem that maybe she seeks a new start, wanting to forget the past yet again, in an attempt to move on. The scene is performed brilliantly by both actors and starts up a small arc for the episode that reaches its conclusion later on.
Now we are introduced to the new president of the Colonies Tom Zarek (gasp!) talking with Roslin on board the Colonial One. I thought this idea was far too rushed and subtle, especially for introducing the audience to the new president. Especially seeing as a whole double episode that ended the second season was centred around the election of Baltar. On the other hand however it is suited to the restraints the episode places such as it being 3 days after the escape. It turns out though that Zarek is offering up his position to Roslin after a certain amount of short time in trade of being vice president. It’s an interesting move in itself to be honest, but not one that I can figure out the reasons for. Hopefully there will be resonating effects in the future as a result but as of now, his actions remain mysterious.
On board the bridge of the Galactica, Gaeta reports to fix telecommunications under the order of Adama. Tigh notices him and begins to hurl comments on his collaborative actions back on New Caprica. It’s not exactly constructive criticism to say the least but that isn’t really Tigh’s thing is it? It’s also quite comforting to see that Tigh is back to his old self, probably half drunk and asserting his power wherever he can as ‘big bad ass Colonel Tigh’. “Do you know where my eye is?!” he questions Gaeta to which he remains quiet and reserved. He knows he is on dangerous waters and he doesn’t want to make them any worse, especially with Tigh who is no doubt taking it all a little too personally through his injury and loss. Adama enters and orders him to cool off before Tigh rejects it, even refusing a form of comfort from Adama which echoes friction in both characters both personally and professionally. You can tell from this scene that there is a lot to talked about and resolved between the two friends and co-workers; Adama knows it too from the look on his face as Tigh walks away.
Back in the company of ‘the circle’, a meeting is being held where all members quickly vote guilty on a collaborator. One of the low-profile members of the group makes an abashed statement that makes him sound like he cares little for any facts, but simply wants to stamp ‘guilty’ on any collaborator’s head. Tigh is quick to correct the man, pushing his head down on the desk explaining that what they are doing isn’t revenge and takes time before they can implement any justice. I wanted to believe his words but as an outsider looking in, I know that even though these people did commit terrible acts of betrayal to the colony, there’s more to take into consideration than words on a sheet of paper. Next up on the execution list comes Gaeta, a situation that forms the real foundation and focus point of the episode’s major theme. Immediately Tigh states that Gaeta was the real person responsible for the collaborations, assuming that he was the ‘brains of the operation’. He and most of the people take his premature assumptions as truth and even decides that ‘everyone knows it’. Tyrol however questions Tigh’s beliefs asking him if has even seen him doing such things, if he has any proof. Tigh cunningly strikes back with a signature from Gaeta himself, on the execution list that had Cally’s name on it. It’s just another instance of many throughout the episode’s scenes with the circle that we hear personal issues arise as some sort of justification for justice, that instead cloud their vision to one of revenge and hatred. Tyrol reacts just as any man would, in disbelief that his doubt in a friend had come true and he becomes suddenly speechless. It’s perfectly performed by Aaron Douglas and portrays Chief’s sense of shock effectively. Eventually conflict gets the better of the group and an argument ensues leaving the circle one Anders short and a decision half-baked.
Meanwhile Baltar is visited by D’Anna onboard the Cylon base ship. I didn’t particularly enjoy this scene and felt it perhaps the weakest of ‘Collaborators’ mainly because D’Anna plays too much like Six throughout the encounter and it comes off as forced. Lawless certainly tries to pull it off but ultimately it just falls flat on its face and seems like a dream in itself. In fact I think Baltar’s dream at the beginning of the episode was more believable than this sequence and I’m not joking. I don’t know what the director was thinking at the time but I think there was some sort of cog missing when it came to film this. We learn that a similar vote is being held on the Cylon ship as to whether or not Baltar can stay on board. One has to question where the other 5 models are and where they’ve been all this time. Hopefully when they are revealed it won’t be as tacked on as season two’s revealing and they will have some sort of reasonable reason why we hadn’t seen them before with the others. It’s ultimately a useless plot device and fails in creating much tension because we know that more than likely, Six will turn the vote in Baltar’s favour. I would have rather seen the tension created from the acceptance of Baltar by the majority of the vote. That could have been interesting but instead we’re told to wait with Baltar more or less alone for the episode which in turn isn’t too involving.
We are taken to a dining area where Gaeta sits alone in a crowded room. Kara spots him and sits across from the subdued Gaeta and a conversation ensues where Kara eventually accuses him of turning a blind eye to the suffering of his people and not doing anything to stop it. Eventually Gaeta cracks and his reign of silence comes to an end when he tells Starbuck of all the things he done to help the resistance. As Kara knows more or less nothing about the rescue operation and all involved, this doesn’t have that much of an effect and she simply replies with a typical Starbuck dose of sarcasm naming him “a frakkin’ hero’’. It’s certainly a heated argument that takes place but you can no doubt tell Gaeta is holding back from speaking his mind in order to avoid even more punishment for his misunderstood actions. Instead he stands up and walks away, solitary through a group of on-looking crewmembers and we feel the loneliness involved with conviction. We also see through Gaeta the restriction conviction employs on a person, when they fear that speaking their true opinion will only anger the vengeful more and make matters worse. Most of all we witness the ugly side of Galactica again, full of heated revenge, quenched by nothing but grudges and pain. The scene ends with one of the circle members witnessing the event and we sense that we might just be seeing Kara in the next meeting. This is bad news for Gaeta but even worse news for my respect and belief in this system of justice taking place. Now it seems members are chosen because of their current alignment and opinion of the colaberators; People who are blinded and stricken by their grievances rather than by pure fact and belief.
Our suspicion is certified when we see Kara in the next meeting, eventually voting guilty on Gaeta. The vote finally rests on Tyrol during which Tigh makes an interesting speech. He claims that the Chief won’t vote guilty because he sees him as a ‘good guy’. Tigh then proclaims and reminds everyone that his wife whom he liked a whole lot more was executed because of her actions, which in turn makes a very solid case for Tigh. What Tigh does wrong however is that he uses it to persuade Tyrol. Would Tyrol have done the same to Cally? I sincerely doubt it, even though he is military minded, I don’t believe he is as closed off to emotional attachment as Tigh, so there is deffinate difference that should have been reminded to Chief too, but it wasn’t and so in the end he is swayed by Tigh’s story of ultimate justice and votes guilty.
Meanwhile Anders and Kara share words outside the meeting taking place where Anders is questioning why she took his place when it is obviously a corrupted system. Kara claims that someone has to pay for the Cylon’s crimes and the closer they were to the root, the better. She then goes on to calmly explain that she sees the world differently now; that she has changed. She confesses to just wanting to hurt someone and most shockingly she would hurt Anders just for the sake of releasing the urge. What did Anders do? Well, nothing but practically save her. It’s clear here in this scene that we truly see that Kara just wants someone to pay, it doesn’t matter who or why, she just wants revenge bitter and sweet. It’s all played brilliantly by both actors and I felt a strong sense of something coming to an end, even though I never really felt for their relationship, the ending of it really did strike some emotion in me. They share one last kiss before Starbuck walks away. Always in control came into my mind as I saw it happening; Kara seems to be a nicer person when she’s weak.
The circle eventually kidnap Gaeta and take him to the holding bay that Jammer was executed in. We get a real sense of Déjà vu as all the actions are carried out in the same manner only this time we feel more involved and dread in what is about to unfold because we have seen what does on here. We also feel closer to the character having known him since the very beginning instead of around 10 minutes scattered around a few episodes. Tyrol urges him to talk and plead but as was the case with the two scenes earlier, we know that Gaeta already evaluated the situation in the ship and what his words mean inside it. Instead he remains dignified as he proclaims the worthlessness of speaking and that he won’t beg for their mercy. It’s a real juxtaposition to the opening scene and it does it well with some great acting, direction and dialogue. In this very moment, Gaeta stands taller on his knees than the six members of the circle do standing on top of each other and we see clearly the two oppositions for what they really are. None are bad, and none are good. Simply put, both are just scared. Kara then demands that he beg for his life before going over all the things Gaeta told her in his defence as a way to mock him. It’s a powerful moment where Kara is at her most ruthless and sadistic, seeking nothing but revenge for her loss. Chief overhears the things he done for the resistance and realises Gaeta was the inside man that was feeding information. A sense of relief comes over us as Tyrol cuts the restraints off Gaeta and even more so it seems with the rest of the circle, particularly the Chief who looks as if he almost killed himself. Gaeta walks away from the executors but not unscathed. Meanwhile the rest of the group stand still, not knowing where to look as the questions arise in their heads and their sense of pure justice seems to fade. Finally it seems justice has been served properly but certainly not in the manner the circle originally envisioned.
The show comes to an end with Roslin being sworn into presidency again and as her first actions she halts all further proceedings and trials of the collaborators. Throughout her speech of moving forward, we are shown both Tigh and Kara hanging up their past in closets, rather symbolically reflective of what they must do in order to move on with their lives without the past clouding their minds. Finally in the dining room yet again, Gaeta sits alone as he eats his food before Tyrol comes in and takes up a seat beside him. Both never look each other in the face nor share words but it serves as one of the most powerful scenes of the episodes conveying the act of forgiveness, compassion and understanding perfectly marking a new beginning in the fleet.
As an episode, ‘Colabertors’ does well in resolving key issues that episode four ended with still intact, and does so more often than not, to perfection. The greatest thing about the episode was certainly the performances by the majority of the cast and the quality of script. As I discussed earlier, the direction could have been better at some points and certainly Baltar’s moments on the Cylon base ship could have been far more dramatic and involving. As a whole however, 'Collaberators' is a great hour of characterisation, plot development and moral debate to engage with.moreless
Tigh, Tyrol participates in a secret tribunal that convicts humans that collaborated with the cylons during the occupation period. This episode reflects world war 2 again, when european citizens collaborated with the nazi during hitler's conquest of western europe. Many of those citizens who chose to side with the enemy were rounded up, many were executed. This story examines the very nature of a negative human condition that takes place during and after the war. It's mixed with fictional storytelling, but the essence of the real human drama feels quite horrifying. Baltar is now with the cylons, but he tries to survive being with them as much as he is running from the humans who want him dead for being a traitor.moreless
The line between revenge and justice is discussed
and the circle veers towards revenge
A episode that makes people think about the nature of injustice and how far people would go to settle a score.
The acting president Zarek conviens a circle of people designed to administer drumhead justice to the traitors on new caprica.
Jammer is blown out an airlock as are several others.
(it is stated the assult on the temple killed many humans and jammer is blamed, but he was not a member of the police at that point in the webisodes)
Tigh the head of the circle wants Felix Gatea next on the list.As he seved as baltar`s chief of staff and is the highest ranking collaborator left.
This is a classic episode of hatred and score settling masquerade as justice and in the end are revealed to be imposters.
Gatea is revealed as the mole But didnt gatea and tyrol have a take about secret information during the ocupation?
Tyrol ask gatea how he can stomach working for them.
Unless tyrol is retarded he should have figured out that maybe he could have been the mole.
Lt Gatea and Chief tyrol have lunch at the end with no one else sitting near themmoreless
The fleet, still haunted by the harrowing events on New Caprica, find various ways to deal with their personal losses and feelings of guilt.
Before I launch into a tirade, I just want to say that this was a great episode. The acting, the dialogue, the story are all top notch. It was, above all, believable. The plight of Jammer, the obstinance of Gaeta when faced with a 'jury of his peers' that he knew to be a farce, and, most of all, the interactions between Starbuck and Anders were pitch-perfect. There is none of the awkwardness that I notice in some scenes in the last episode (is it just me or do Dualla and Lee have no chemistry?).
OK, time to complain for a bit: This episode, much like the one before, seems to be hurrying to close up the New Caprica saga into a tight little bow. While this episode, taken individually, is fantastic, I'm concerned about how the writers seem to be scrambling to return everything to how it was before the decision to set up life on New Caprica. Why the need to do this so quickly? It seems to me like they had fertile ground for great plotlines during the occupation and dealing with the consequences of it. However, with 'Exodus' episodes quickly resolving the occupation and this episode effectively closing off any official action dealing with the issues brought up during the occupation, it seems like they're just closing things off, patching wounds, and moving on. Maybe this is the best choice, but, right now, it seems a little hasty.moreless