BSG explores the dark side of humanity in this tale of mutiny and revolution. A so-called "freedom fighter" like Zarek is far more terrifying than a six-eyed alien or a cartoonish action-movie villain. This story shows what real terror is.
BSG takes a break from the mystical questions about the Final Five Cylons to return to the hard-nosed political side of the series in this episode. Tom Zarek plays a featured role. He's been a mysterious and eerie figure ever since the character was introduced early in Season 1. In the previous episode, he and Lt. Gaeta led an uprising against President Roslin and Admiral Adama because of the alliance with the rebel Cylons. The two learned that others shared their ongoing hatred of the Cylons, enough to help them take over the Galactica and capture Adama and the Cylons onboard the ship.
I won't cover all the plot details here since it plays out much better onscreen than in mere words. But I will say that I'm glad that Zarek and Gaeta got executed at the end. (I'm assuming they actually were shot.) It was a necessary close to the mutiny. Gaeta's actions were consistent with his character. He acted similarly on New Caprica when he thought he could do some good as Baltar's assistant. I know he turned and began helping the Resistance. The failed experiment on New Caprica is what turned Baltar against the idea of cooperation with the Cylons.
I hope Gage was executed. There was already enough reason for him to be imprisoned before (because of his actions on the Pegasus). Now that he was one of the prime actors in the mutiny, I don't see how he can escape the firing squad. He's clearly in favor of raping human-form Cylon prisoners so the audience is meant to hate him. This was clear when he made the comment to Helo in "The Oath" about having fun with Athena, a clear reference to the near rape of Athena in the "Pegasus" episode. Fighting for survival and killing deadly enemies is one thing. But to relish the rape of one's enemies, whether a personal enemy or an enemy of one's country or people, is another matter entirely. To enjoy rape displays a moral depravity unnecessary even in fighting a war.
Back to Gaeta, I know he was doing what he thought was right but I grew to despise the character in the last two episodes. He should know that the fleet is too fragile to withstand a mutiny and yet another division. He also had to know that a mutiny would involve a lot of bloodshed. That's a fundamental part of revolution. I'm glad that this part of the mutiny was not played down like it is in many other shows. The uprising was portrayed as something brutal. Students of history know that most revolutions in real life turn out to be extremely bloody, with the American Revolution being among the few exceptions.
Yes, there was an extended war but there were no mass executions and extended slaughters associated with the American Revolution, not on the scale of other major revolutions in modern history. The French Revolution, which started out with such lofty and noble ideals as liberty, equality and brotherhood, turned into the "Terror", with thousands of people being killed for not following the new regime. The Russian Revolution was meant to free the working classes and foster a new era of the classless society. Instead, it turned into a feeding frenzy led by the paranoia of Stalin who ended up murdering and starving out millions of his own people. The Chinese Revolution ended up with tens of millions of deaths from forced starvation and mass executions along with the cultural cleansing of "counter-revolutionaries". The same thing in Cambodia where the Khmer Rouge killed off over 20 percent of the population of the entire country in just three years. I think it's useful on occasion to show exactly what being a revolutionary means. For some reason, figures like Che Guevara have become fashion statements for 20-something hipsters nowadays but he and others like him (on both the left and the right) represent repression and the unleashing of powerful forces of bloodlust and mass murder, all in the name of supposed ideals of liberty, justice and equality.
Tom Zarek was a chilling portrait of the revolutionary and supposed "freedom fighter" at work. He's always been a complicated character. He was intended to be a mix of real-life figures like Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Mao Tse-Tung, Joseph Stalin and others who fought against oppression but mixed it up with some more nefarious elements. Before anyone jumps on me for including Mandela in the list, keep in mind that he associated with some questionable figures like Qaddafi and the PLO (before they somewhat reconciled with Israel).
Much of what Zarek has said in the past has made sense. For example, he fought to make the Colonial government a true democracy, with open and contested elections. However, almost from the start of his new political career in the Colonial fleet, he has been willing to do almost anything to achieve his ends. He planned assassination attempts against Roslin and Lee Adama in the past. He did help to fight the Cylons on New Caprica but that ferocity turned to the dark side again after the shock of finding a devastated Earth.
I'm really glad that Richard Hatch played such a controversial and powerful character. I think most viewers always felt uneasy when Zarek was onscreen because they always knew he was plotting and calculating. He had monstrous tendencies that were never far from the surface. This was clear when he had the entire Quorum assassinated in this episode. Richard Hatch ties in this series to the original BSG series in a significant way. The previous BSG was not as dark, dramatic or paranoid. It was a great move to cast Hatch in one of the most dark and paranoid characters on the new series. Hatch was one of the early critics of the new BSG series but when he finally came around, he came through with the scary character of Zarek, scary because his character is so real. There are a LOT of people like him in real life, and not just in places like North Korea, Afghanistan or in the former Soviet Union. You can see aspects of Zarek in many political, economic and social figures in the U.S., left and right. I'm not saying that they are brutal killers like Zarek but I wonder if they were put in desperate situations like the Colonial fleet is in, would they also resort to savagery like Zarek did? I've been around some people who I think have more than a little Zarek in them and they are supposed to be "respectable" and in positions of power. Now THAT'S really scary, more scary than a stuntman in a zombie suit in some supposed horror movie.
Gaeta's feelings about the alliance with the Cylons can be seen as an exploration of the situation in the West immediately after the Cold War. It took a while before many people were comfortable about calling the former Soviet states, allies of the U.S. Likewise, Gaeta, Zarek, Narcho, Gage, Racetrack and the others were unwilling to move on past the war with the Cylons. They have good reasons to harbor resentment towards the Cylons but they have even more reason to try to get past those feelings, to help ensure the survival of the remnants of Colonial civilization, especially now that Earth did not turn out to be the Promised Land.
I'm enjoying the flow of this final half season of BSG. I'm also glad I didn't spend too much time speculating on the identity of the final Cylon and trying to sort out all the twists and turns of Colonial and Cylon history. I'm interested to see how it all gets resolved but that has never been my main interest in the series. I like the powerful dramatic stories that cover both the personal and the political (without getting too preachy). So much of the political content is chilling on this show because it reminds me so much of various real-life situations from history and the present day. The conflicts are shown in a harsh, unvarnished manner. War, politics, coups, assassinations and revolution are not pleasant, not like they were sometimes portrayed in some of the lesser James Bond movies of the past. They are bloody and savage. It's not usually portrayed this way on TV. That's why I find the BSG approach refreshing, if unsettling at the same time.
Blood on the Scales was a perfect episode and follow up to what was happening in the Colonial Fleet. There was action, suspense, drama, intrigue, and some great character moments. I couldn't believe that many men and women would stand with Gaeta and Zarek, but it was interesting to see those who were still on the fence. The President was aboard the Cylon ship making broadcasts and when she threatened to come after each and every traitor I was in awe of how powerful she sounded, as were the Cylons. There were some shocking moments, and things were pushed to the limit, though in the end the world has been turned right side up, and things seem to be back in order. There were heavy losses, and it was sad to see people treat their own this way. I wonder why the President or anyone didn't reveal the larger truth of Earth, or why it's not discussed more. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
Michael Angeli picks up quite admirably from where Mark Verherden left off with the second instalment of this two parter and continues Battlestar's current trend of high quality episodic entertainment. Much of the strength of 'The Oath' is inherent in 'Blood on the Scales': the continuing use of time as a predicate for narrative progression works wonderfully in keeping the dramatic tension levels stoked. The wealth of action is also encouraging. We are barely given a chance to pause for breath as first Adama is being given the most hokum trial known to man, then the Quorum are ruthlessly slaughtered by a completely barking Zarek, then Anders is shot and lies bleeding to death after Eugene Tooms murders a rebel with a pen and then Bill is before a firing squad, facing summary execution for his apparently 'treacherous' activities. This is unrelenting, difficult stuff, refusing to bow to narrative convention or attempt to sugar coat the brutality of what is truly going on. Kudos to the production staff for being brave enough to take this complete about turn in the mechanics of the plot to its logical conclusion and not 'chicken out', if you will, from presenting the viewer with the consequences of a failed revolution. One gets the distinct impression that nothing will ever be the same on the show now that two thirds of the crew have rebelled against their leader and he's back in power. Racetrack doesn't simply bow to Adama's will: he is reticent, holding firm in his beliefs. And Zarek and Gaeta... well, we all knew Tom would hold out until the bitter end but Felix? That was a surprise, but a pleasing one. He doesn't atone, there are no epiphianic, revelatory speeches. Instead, Angeli gives us a quiet, reflective scene with Baltar that somehow manages to encapsulate the essence of the character... and then shoots the poor bugger dead, execution style. It's a harsh fate for someone so misguided, perhaps, but then, it's the only logical one within the confines of the show's pre-established militaristic politics. To have merely reprimanded him just wouldn't have seemed right. You may not want him dead but you know it's what you should get.
The writing staff certainly weren't exaggerating when they said in pre-season interviews that this would be a climate-changing, gigantic curveball of a decathlon and that, at times, it may make for somewhat harrowing viewing. However, it's all executed so elegantly, with such poise, style and sophistication, that you just cannot help but be swept along for the ride, regardless of just how damaging to your mental health it may be. Another tough forty five minutes then but like all good car wrecks, you just can't look away. Even when Roslin screams "I'm coming for you!" in the most unnecessarily hyperbolic tone imaginable.
These last two episodes feel like too much of a waste of time and I felt like the producers/writers were treating the viewers like idiots.
Rebellion - decent idea. Gaeta running it? You've got to be joking.
Rebellion execution - garbage. Rebels who are afraid to shoot and kill any main characters (the important ones to kill!), last second reprieves, Lee and Starbuck saving the day almost single-handedly, rebel marines so weak that they can't escort two unarmed men without being distracted and disarmed by their "Oh, you're making a mistake, marine" chatter. Come on, total crap! The one bit of balls the writers had in having the Quorum executed was badly let down by the rest of the plot. You knew, absolutely knew through both episodes, that none of the main characters were actually in any danger because the writers wouldn't have the balls to follow through with actually killing them off. It makes for very boring and predictable watching.
Adama's march through the ship to reclaim CIC, gaining supporting stragglers as he went, was cringeworthy to watch. Utter cheese.
With only a limited number of episodes left, these two were almost a complete waste of space story-wise, we're just about back to square one. Give us some proper cylon interaction! Move the story forward! Give us a storyline that's believable in that it follows through with it's threat!
This was an astounding episode - truly gripping, painful, and wrenching to watch. The entire episode had me on the edge of my seat, terrified at what was going to happen. It took quite an emotional toll on me over the course of an hour. One of my favorite episodes this season, easily. Very well acted, brutal pacing, incredible acting (as expected) - quite the emotional rollercoaster. The ending is beautifully and unexpectedly staged. It wasn't until the end of this episode that I appreciated the whole mutiny story arc, which at first seemed like an annoying distraction from the events of the season designed to engross the audience in something other than the critical plot lines (which, still doesn't seem that far from the truth), however it ended up being extremely potent and a powerful reminder of how this show has achieved greatness.
It is a shame to me that so many people I talk to lump this show into the category of just another sci-fi show. This episode is exactly why this show has been one of the most critically acclaimed shows for the last 5 years. The way that this show unfolds in such a distinct manner, but yet ties in some relevant current topics is simply brilliant and unseen on most of the rest of the tv schedule. Any episode that can tackle racism (ok against robots), murder, treason, and executions all in one episode and continue to lead us towards the grand finale is a perfect example of the quality with which this show is made! Bravo to the people of Battlestar for making one of the best episodes of any show this year...bar none!!!
Of course we all knew Adama and Tigh were going to make it! This episode was exciting... it was so good to see Romo take action and help Kara with Anders. And what about Zarek getting rid of the Quorum wow i felt like it was way out of character for him, I mean yes he's a revolutionary but not a cold blooded killer, and Felix realizing he was no match for Roslin, in the end they both got what was coming to them; but what about the others what will Adama do with them? Will he really have no mercy for them?
It's been a couple of amazing episodes -this one and the part one last week. Things are now moving forward at a very fast pace, with perfectly aligned music a significant part of making that happen. Outstanding performances by all the cast members. In particular, Mary McDonnell (President Roslin) - she had a couple of powerful scenes in which her character shows incredible passion and resolve. Some truly shocking things happen in this episode - it makes me reflect on the inevitabiities of armed revolution and also leaves me wondering what can possibly happen next. I'm very intrigued by what was partially revealed about Gaeta re what he told Baltar about himself. This episode was way beyond my expectations and I'm so happy that the final half of the season is turning out to be right up there with the best of BSG.
The command center has been seized and Admiral Adama sends President Roslin to the Cylon Baseship; right after the President leaves on a Raptor, Admiral Adama and Colonel Tigh are captured. Lt. Gaeta order his fighters to shoot down the Raptor with the President on board. Using communications, she is able to stop it from happening. This is all in the opening sequence. For a large part of the episode there is a lot of deception from Tom Zarek and Lt. Gaeta. In one scene Zarek has the whole quorum shot and killed for not agreeing with him. With the help of Starbuck and Lee the Cylons being held are rescued. When Zarek finds this out he tells Admiral Adama that Colonel Tigh was shot trying to escape. Adama is sentenced to die in a bogus trial with Zarek as the Judge. As Admiral Adama is about to be executed, Lee Adama, Colonel and their team stop it and gain control of the situation.
During all this time the Chief has been crawling through air vents and passageways to get to the FTL drive and shut it down. He cannot logon with his account because it has been disabled. He proceeds to pull out the FTL drive just seconds before it is encaged.
After Admiral Adama is rescued, they all take control of the command center and Galactica. The fleet is back in control of the President and Adama.
The final scene is the business of executing Lt. Gaeta and Tom Zarek.
At this point in the series, is it really any surprize that people start to crack up? I'm glad the writers took the time to deal with that reality.
If I were in a similar situation, I'd behave as Dee (suicide) or Roslyn (surrender). As Roslyn is a major player, I'm sure others would behave as Gaeta (rebel) or Zarek (attempt a coup).
It is logical to turn inward and view your own misfortunes rather than outward and provide support to others and yet in the group is to move forward at all, we really need leadership to provide inspiration. While I sympathize for Zarek, he always seemed more interested in whining and grabbing power than leading. When did he ever really care about a group? I don't always agree with Adama's decisions either but if I were Zarek, I would state why, ask the needed questions and offer some alternatives. I never heard mention of plans to rebuild ships, provide self-sustaining water and food sources, provide education to young or most importantly continue to defend against possible future attacks. It is rather naive to assume that only Humans and Cylons exist in the universe while traveling so far. It is also rather naive to think that a military isn't necessary given that the Cylons are now in two teams and only one team is chatty with Humans. I wasn't surprized by Zarek's move and I'm glad he's out.
Gaeta obviously feels bad about losing his leg but like everybody else, he has to deal with rationalizing the past war, the surprizing turn of events and the many possible futures. Would he feel so angry at Kara if he knew that she had seen her own dead body yet hasn't been switched on yet so like Baltar, she is constantly questioning her own motives and behavior? Would he feel so angry at Adama if he knew that he had been friends with Saul for well over a generation, they had fought together and supported each other's personal lives only to suddenly discover that Saul is now the enemy? In a better environment, there would a ship's psycologist to monitor tensions and provide faith and hope. This crew even lacks spiritual guidance. Snapping and fostering a coup d'tat is not an unexpected behavior although in the end, it doesn't help anybody.
What's truly missing is a voice of reason, inspiration and hope. Where's Obama?
Hmmm.... another dramatic and gripping episode in terms of its content, very well played-out (if somewhat predictable in terms of arc and certain key characters) - but again I'm left wondering exactly what purpose it serves in the wider story arc....
Yes, I know we needed closure to the whole Zarek thing, but as I stated in my review of "The Oath", while I did indeed find "Blood" dramatic, I cannot help but wonder if the tie-up of this arc really warranted what has effectively been three of the final ten segments (taking "A Disquiet..." as the set-up the the two-parter of "The Oath" and "Blood...")? While it doesn't plumb the depths of false premise established by the "black market" mini-arc enmeshed in episodes such as "Scar" (again, amazing how the Pegasus went from martial command to epicentre of a fleet-wide rackeetering ring in a single bound), the entire uprising still leaves an unsatisfactory taste in my mouth. Certainly, there is a feeling of "been there, done that...." to it, given that the subject of uprisings and attempted coups have been the subject of previous arc elements. OK, none have gone as far as this, but still, the feeling of retread is still there. And it was a major disappointment to see Zarek's character act so predictably and become so totally shallow compared to how he has been previously constructed. Yes, we know him to be power-hungry, but we also know he is a realist and pragmatist, and his treatment of the Quorum - which was very much anticipated from the outset of "The Oath" - came not so much as a moment of shock....but as a moment of deep disappointment that the character would be allowed to revert so thoroughly and so rapidly in order to make his eventual demise more palatable to us. And Zarek's actions weren't only easily predictable - Kelly's doubts and switching allegiance was never really in question from the moment he resurfaced; anyone who couldn't see either this or Zarek's condemning of the Quorum coming well ahead of time could only have been out of the room for most of both "The Oath" and "Blood...". Again, don't get me wrong - the story was dramatic; I enjoyed it - and seeing Romo lampkin one more time was a joy...but by the closing credits I was STILL left feeling the segment could have been put to better use deeling with broader issues. The two things that give me hope for this mini-arc leading to something bigger are:
a) Sam Ander's "vision" role - hinted at in "the Oath", and teased-at in the spoiler for "No Exit". b) The weird gouges Galen Tyrol discovered in the FTL engine bay of the Galactica.....
In some comments to my review for the previous episode, I noted that the Zarek/Gaeta revolution was doomed from the beginning based on its own nature. As right as Gaeta might have been in his accusations against Adama and how the admiral has changed over time, and as right as some of the dissention against the Adama/Roslin Caprican power bloc might have been, neither of those considerations were at the heart of the coup.
A revolution is seldom successful without a unifying ideal and vision. It has to be about fighting for something, rather than simply fighting against the status quo. There must be a unifying goal and dream, married to a solid philosophy, or the revolution becomes little more than directed mob action.
Zarek and Gaeta had personal reasons for wanting to overthrow the current power structure within the fleet. For Zarek, it was a matter of taking what he felt was rightfully his to take. Adam and Roslin used Zarek on several occasions, and never gave him the authority and trust that the legal electoral system granted him. The recent installation of Lee Adama as president in Roslin's absence was just the latest insult. Zarek tried to work within the system, and he was left with the unfortunate conclusion that Capricans were still lording over those from other colonies.
Gaeta was overflowing with hate and remorse, based on his personal experiences on New Caprica and the choices he made. His reasons for hating the Cylons were rational enough, but he never laid out the argument to anyone. He just took action out of a mixture and righteousness and revenge. Such things are powerful motivators, but in this case, they were also deeply internal. So those driving emotions never became a true rallying cry to the revolution.
Because Zarek was using Gaeta to achieve a personal power play, and Gaeta never truly offered anything more than rage and hate as the basis for his coup, the revolution was little more than a large-scale outlet of negative emotions. There was no rallying philosophy or plan to replace what Adama and Roslin were offering; there was simply anger over the realization that Earth was not the answer to all the problems.
The revolution never offered an alternative, however, and while uncertainty demanded a degree of chaos, it was the kind of fire that burns fast and hot. The entire revolution lasted a few hours at most, and within that time, it took mere minutes for Zarek to start lying to Gaeta to pursue his own power play. If anything, the end result (including the slaughter of the Quorum) galvanized the power structure even more around Adama and Roslin.
Adama and his followers have been tested by revolt, and they were equal to the task. They simply won't be challenged again on any meaningful level from within the fleet. Roslin managed to bend the Rebel Cylons entirely to her will through force of personality alone. It seems like the Cylons were willing to put their survival on hold for the sake of Roslin's agenda, which has some startling implications. It certainly supports the notion that the Rebel Cylons aren't the threat they used to be.
It also seems as if Baltar's conscience is finally beginning to manifest itself. Instead of reveling without guilt in the lovely arms of yet another version of Six, Baltar rails against his own tendency to run away from personal responsibility. Baltar's association with Adama and Roslin in this crisis will of course be noted, and it could be that this will transform the nature and purpose of his cult into something vital to the survival of Humanity.
One unexpected side effect of this coup is the realization of just how far gone the Galactica is. The ship has been through absolute hell since the Cylon attack, and there's only so much that can be repaired on the fly. Based on what Tyrol saw in the FTL drive compartment, the Galactica is on its last legs. Cylon upgrades may be more than just a perk; they might be vital to fleet survival. In essence, this cements the notion that Adama and Roslin were right about the alliance being the only hope for the future.
This could lead to the general recognition that Adama and Roslin are making the right call out of necessity, not out of some semi-mystical sense of prophecy. The realities surrounding Earth have led to a general distrust of prophecy, so pragmatic concerns could rule the day. This all depends on how the truth about the Final Five and Kara plays out. The writers have been knocking it out of the park for the last several episodes, so for now, they've earned a measure of trust.
While still as emotionally charged as "The Oath," I think it was obvious to some that this insurrection would end with the deaths of Tom Zarek and Felix Gaeta. I called it myself, there was no turning back for them, and they got what they deserved.
Now that I've had time to think about it, I do still hate him for his actions, but in the end we were reminded that Gaeta was still human. When Zarek coldly ordered the deaths of the Quorum of Twelve, Gaeta really began to cringe over the mutiny, and realized just how deep he had gotten himself. As the episode rolls on, we get to see that there was a method to his madness. Roslin had ordered the Basestar to hide within the Fleet because she knew he wouldn't dare attack them and risk innocent lives. Gaeta also wanted to give Adama a trial, with Romo Lampkin as his lawyer, a great plot device. Zarek wanted to just kill him and get it over with, but his partner wanted to make this revolution legit in some way, so he could live with himself. Gaeta's final scene with Baltar was oddly touching, and a sign that regardless of what they did to each other, they were ready to put it to rest. Baltar wanted give his old aide some closure, his way of forgiving him, even though Gaeta stabbed him with a pen and almost had him airlocked, but who's bitter? Speaking of Baltar, for once this guy wants to man up. By running to the Basestar he was doing what he always did, save himself, but this time he truly regretted it. Despite his private loathing of his followers, he chose to take responsibility for them and return to Galactica. He even rejected a Six sleeping with him. Will someone please tell me what the deal is with the Six model and Baltar?
For the first time since Earth, Laura Roslin looked like a woman with a purpose. Her status as the religious figure meant to lead humanity to Earth was all for nothing, but she knew she couldn't let Zarek succeed and so she repurposed herself with a passion unlike anything ever seen before. Bravo.
Did anyone notice the irony of Samuel Anders taking a shot in the neck? Michael Trucco was involved in a car accident on December 2, 2007 that almost left him in a wheelchair, but instead left a scar on his neck. Ron Moore, it looks like this was your way of making perception meet reality.
The big question is, what now? Aaron Kelly might get a pass, but what about the other traitors? What's gonna happen to them now that the mutiny has been ended?
I get the distinct feeling that the Galactica itself will not survive the final episodes. Tyrol's disabling of the FTL (I always wondered what the drives looked like) revealed several cracks in one of the ship's walls. Anyways, this was a marvelous example of how great a show BSG really is.
Things are definitely ramping up to a big finale. The episode was fast paced and had some edge to it. This show is going to go out with a bang, not a whimper.
Parts I particularly enjoyed:
The Quorum finally standing up for what's right, although they paid the ultimate price. I loved it when the delegate says" you should leave, Mr. Vice President" One line that tells Zarek that there is no way they are backing him on this.
Adama-the little looks throughout-relief when he knows Roslin is on the baseship, some pride when they move the baseship into the fleet to protect it, the grief in his eyes when Zarek tells him Saul is dead and the defiance when he deals with Zarek and Gaeta. I've come to believe that if anyone else were in the role of Adama other than Edward J Olmos the character wouldn't have worked.
Roslin-if you thought she was tough before-now that she thinks of Galactica as her home("the Hub") and admitted she's in love with Adama she is even more protective of them. When she says she will use everything down to her eye teeth to fight Zarek- I just said WOW.
Lee and Kara-the scene getting Tigh and all out of the brig-he was right, if it had been Kara that hadn't pulled the pin she would've thought it was funny.
Tigh and Tyrol-cylons or not, they will always be members of Adama's crew first when the tough stuff starts.
Ok, does this episode leave most problems answered from the last episode? Yes. But this is why it feels like part 2 of any two part Star Trek Next Generation dual episode. The ominous reset button (minus two characters and a Quorum) struck.
Trust me. I love BSG (all you need do is read my previous reviews to see so). But I was a bit underwhelmed by this episode after the last one brought us to such a peak. I definitely wanted Gaeta and Zarrick (excuse if my spelling is off) to fail but at the end of "Blood on the Scales" the only thing really gained is hopefully a more engaged president, legal counselor, and Starbuck.
There is much good in this episode. There were lots of feel good moments like when Adama retook the ship, when Tigh and Apollo stop Adama's execution, and when Baltar finally begins to get why his life is so empty. The Quorum shooting was a surprise. But the Cylons on the base ship aren't very engaging in this episode, the results all fairly predictable, and unlike so many episodes....this one leaves us with no real questions.
I know I am going against the flow here. Lots of high ratings for this episode. People like action. But action isn't necessarily what makes BSG great in my book.
What an episode. Never have I felt such suspense and raw - almost childish - excitement since the Exodus episodes, which to my surprise were rated equal to the show's average rating. The show started with question marks, continued with the development of two opposing camps fighting for justice and the survival of humanity, hit some heart-stopping and almost cruel moments, and ended in joy and sorrow. Yes, joy and sorrow, opposing feelings and human conditions that we BSG fans experience simultaneously throughout this show; two opposing feelings that meet one another to send shivers down our spine; two opposing feelings that run in parallel with the themes of the show: death and survival, love and hate, and sense of loyalty and disloyalty. And Battlestar Galactica is sadly, or perhaps for the better, the only show that can make us feel this way.
Neither Gaeta nor Zarek are evil. They're both flawed, much like the rest of the characters, both humans and cylons. Their actions were flawed. Their difference stood only on Gaeta's naivete and Zarek's cold prudence. What was NOT flawed, however, was that feeling of hate and distrust that they shared towards the cylons which drove them to plot and carry the coup. After all, the cylons did kill their friends, families, loved ones, and almost the entire human race. And yet, some of the cylons now stand with the humans as friends and allies, and some of the humans who fought for the survival of their race are executed and killed as enemies.
The show still has a lot of questions to answer, and it is doubtful that all will be answered. Too bad that it will soon end.
To say that 'Blood on the Scales' didnt do 'The Oath' enough justice would be a misinterpretation of the story as a whole..
This episode was about justice and justification. About cowards and hero's and about a revolution. A landmark to confirm and further strengthen the relations between humans and cylons. Adama being the revolving door. Everything rises and falls with him, revolves around him. (This being a character/actor combination that is a rare find nowadays, such harmony and such control. Pure acting power, pure class and believability, no lose ends if you will). We see in him and Laura Roslin human salvation and hope They are symbols. But eventhough hope is restored, the future is still uncertain, With Cavals forces still on the prowl and the fleet in devide, the modley crew has some repairing to do. I am curious if the writers will keep up the tension of this seasons arc, because there is still alot of lose ends that need resolving soon. I can't wait for next weeks episode. ADAMA PREVAILS!
So picking up from last week, the flash bomb stuns Tigh and Adama who are then taken into custody. Tigh is thrown in with the cylons, where he comforts Caprica (and his unborn child)
Tyrol, meanwhile is just awesome, crawling through the ducts, talking Kelly into ditching the mutiny, disabling the FTL at the last minute to save the day. And laughing quite a bit.
Lee and Kara run around doing their Apollo/Starbuck routine awesomely, while Roslin brings the majority of the fleet back under her wing using the wireless from the basestar. Meanwhile on the basestar, Tory and company all want to jump away before Gaeta blows them all to hell. And there is a new Six with Natalie hair who Baltar is now having sex with.
Gaeta soon begins to realize that Zarek's ideas do not necessarily mesh with his when Zarek kills the whole Quorum for disagreeing with him. Gaeta, it seems, really just wants Adama to admit that he screwed up. Unfortunately for him, Adama and his loyalists take back the CIC, and Zarek and Gaeta get shot.
Oh and Sam got shot in the back of the neck. Last we saw, Romo and Starbuck where dragging him to sick bay. Jury's still out on whether or not he survived.
All in all, pretty awesome episode, though I think the first part was a bit better. But pretty amazing still.
These last 2 episodes have been amazing, I don't think i've been this engaged in the story since the Pegasus storyline in season2.
I've always liked Gaeta's character in the past so to see him go this direction is cringeworthy, but Just like real people, the characters on BSG are deeply flawed and perfectly capable of making huge mistakes and Gaeta's a perfect example of this. His and Zarek's punishment was more than deserved for their actions, exspecially Zarek's on Colonial 1, that was the cruelest most grotesque thing i've seen since the brutal execution of Alex on Lost. I mentioned in the last discussion thread that I predicted Baltar would be the one to finally kill him, during that final scene between Gaius and Gaeta I was totally expecting an impromptu bullet to go flying into his head while they were talking either by one of the guards (if there were any) or Baltar himself. Looking back i'm glad they kept it as a character scene and let the two resolve their tensions with each other because that was an amazingly touching scene, exspecially Gaeta's last words about wanting to be remembered as "something more" than his last actions. They couldn't have ended his character any better than that.
Also glad to finally see a triumphant return of Romo, I love his character!
Another outstanding episode! Tom Zarek was one evil SOB in this episode and you could absolutely feel his evil coming across on screen! This man was in a desperate drive to eliminate all who stood in his way and he couldn't stand the fact that Gaeta was not as driven to get to a revolution in the same way.
I loved the whole scenes of Galactica being taken back over. The scene where Gaeta says "There will be a reckoning" as he acknowledged his soon coming defeat was amazing! Laura's scene of rightful wrath was wonderful as well and well acted. You could definitely feel the seething anger coming through her voice! And of course the final scene was righteous and well played as Tom and Gaeta simply acknowledged their end with a smile!
Keep it coming BSG you are riding off into the sunset in a blaze of outstanding glorly!!!
This was truly a great episode and a good ending for the mutiny storyline. I couldn't believe that Zarek actually took out the Quorum as useless as it often was. Zarek has always been an interesting character that you were never sure of. I liked how she started as a terrorist and basically ended as one. He was who he was. I think that was what that last smile was about. "Them's the breaks kid." Gaeta is a whole other ball of wax. He's been a tragic figure pretty much since New Caprica. Picking one bad horse after another. He's just picked the wrong leader to follow and even when he tried to be the leader he just couldn't lead. He's made too many costly mistakes and it was bound to cost him in the end and going up against mom and dad was a fatal mistake. I liked the final conversation between him and Baltar. Gaeta isn't a villain. He's just a man who has made bad choices.
I loved Tyrol is this episode, crawling through pipes. His conversation with Kelly was right on the money; the thing about Tyrol is that he's never been anything but Galen Tyrol. Not even finding out he was a Cylon could change who and what he is. A good man.
Starbuck and Apollo are back in true form. I missed you both,
Bill and Roslin were truly amazing to watch. Even when all seemed lost neither was willing to waiver from who and what they were. They were both willing to fight to the bitter bitter end. Roslin's "I'm coming to get you" speech sent chills down my spine. I have never loved her more. Roslin leader of the Cylons….and interesting idea. Warlord Roslin? Anyone? Anyone? Oh and it looks like Galactica is falling apart. This can't be good.
Well, with only seven episodes left, we knew that the Gaeta/Zarek coup couldn't last too long. By the end of the episode, it looks like this storyline is wrapped up nice and neat with a little bow. The Gaeta/Zarek alliance started to splinter when the latter made the executive decision to murder the entire quorum. At that point, Gaeta realized that Zarek was a power-hungry psychopath that did not have the best interests of the fleet at heart. By the time that the Admiral was rescued and on his way to the CIC, Gaeta had already seen the writing on the wall. The coup was over. (Presumably, Gaeta and/or Zarek gave the Admiral the coordinates for the 25 ships that jumped away so that they could re-join the fleet. That's going to make for some awkward moments in the halls!)
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Finally, the tensions within the Galactica crew have burst out and come to an end in this very moving episode for Felix Gaeta.
Yes, I know that many viewers hate him but as he was one of the most complex and righteous characters in the series, I will stand for his defense during my review.
As explained in "The Face of the Enemy", Felix was an idealistic, who believed in the wrong people, and whose hope was betrayed many times by Baltar, Number 8, and now Zarek.
Each time, he thought to see light in them, but refused to see how blind he was.
Adding the loss of his leg (shot down by an ally who releaved later to be a Cylon), you can understand his growing anger and, eventually, madness who led him to put a coup-d'état against the Admiral and the President.
Gaeta has never been a revolution monger like Zarek, or an opportunist like Baltar. He was just a young and honorable officer who gone crazy after all these sufferings and deceptions.
His final scene with Baltar concluded very well his story "I know who you are, Felix".
In the end, there are no good revolutions, nor wars, just good people corrupted by butchers.
Well, even though in this show you never know, it was a foregone conclusion that the mutiny would fail. As I stated in my previous review, Gaeta wanted to die, he did not want to lead. he had no plan other than to rage against the people who brought him to his dispair. Poor Zarek only figured that out in the last minute before Adama retook the CIC. Gaeta did what is called suicide by cop, where someone does something intentionally criminal and points a gun at a cop hoping he will get shot (usually because they lack the courage to put it to their own head). The "Trial" was intentionally a farce as Gaeta was railing about the decisions Adama made but was really about Gaeta and how he got screwed by life..lol "Why did you leave on new caprica" etc.. was more about Gaeta than Adama. Gaeta knows (in his head) why the ship left new caprica, but he does not care now as since they left he was stuck there as Baltar's VP and that turned out to be horrible for him. Sataruck and Anders shot him and that took his leg, being betrayed by the eight model etc.. His mutiny is against life and he had enough
The mutiny was by the people in the fleet who will never except an alliance with a cylon, they either don't care or don't believe that the rebel cylons changed and would rather go down fighting them to the end. And that is what they did. As the gaurd told Adama after he was saved from the firing squad, he respected Adama, but could never follow him now. I don't think Adama will kill all these people, as that is not in his nature, but they will either be put in the brig or given non military jobs. But it looks like the ship is about done as it is falling apart.
Loved the action sequences, especially with Apollo and Starbuck back together again. I thought some of the plot points were contrived and trite, like Tyrol just happening to crawl out at the FTL drive and pulling the plug just before a jump, and Adama being saved right before execution, but I guess you will have that in these kinds of stories. I also felt Anders being shot was anti-climatic for the viewer as we know the final five cannot die. Even if he bought it, he will only be resurrected. Even though Kara doesn't know that, we do so it wasn't compelling to me.
Finally, loved Gaeta and Zarek's little smile at each other at the end, it was like Zarek saying "well, we knew it would probably end this way" lol Zarek was always a terrorist, and we finally saw him as he really was in this episode. Unlike Gaeta, I don't believe he had a death wish and really wanted to be in charge. They made quite a pair, both did evil for different reasons. Gaeta wanted it to be noble, but he got alot of people killed for his blind rage, so in a way he is just as bad as Zarek's naked stab for power.
I had my hopes very high for this episode as the previous one was mind blowing and first it did not looked like it will get the same level as it was taking some slow motion.. but.. It was again - building up the tension, getting it all up to the end and that was powerful.
I really adored the way they showed their message and this one had more than one - first the truth of Zarek. It was sure from the third episode that there will be trouble with that man and it was the culmination - but before that he managed to show something that is really true - the history will be told by those who are left to stand.. and if they had succeeded... the history would have remembered them. It is something we all wish that isn't - that truth is truth but like this episode shows - it is all very subjective.
And then there was the bound of those people. Adama not giving up his believes even if he knew they will kill him. Standing for what he believes. And getting Lampkin involved again in process of justice.
And then those sacrifices they had. I most say I have to wish I had not seen the trailer - that seemed to promised a totally different episode than it was in the end and maybe that was part why I had different result in the end that I expected.. anyway.. sacrifices.. When they shot Anders, oh. That probably one down.. And killing all of those colonial represents.. What were they ready to do to win that.. and it all became so much about anger and hate that they forgot - they were human against human.
Anyway, a brilliant episode with deep thoughts and dark meanings.. and that stunning atmosphere.
You know you got one hell of an episode at hand when Adama is no longer commanding the Galactica, Roslin is in with the cylons, Zerek kills several of innocent (and important) people, and Lee and Kara are running around shooting people. Regardless if it sounds like one hell of an episode, it has to be executed correctly. It was executed near-perfectly (face it, nothing is flawless, well actually maybe this episode), and this is "Grade A" golden television. The acting by Mary McDonnell is also very superb (Emmy Worthy!), along with Edward James Olmos. Hell, the entire ensemble turned in great performances this episode. Not to mention, 2 characters finally got the write off they finally deserved. Great episode.
In general, this episode was terrific. Excellent finish to the mutiny aboard galactica, the moment in which Adama had a squadron of several marines, was the moment I started getting more excited by the second. This episode, was incredible. Tyroll disabling the FTL drive, I was kind of wondering what the Frak he was trying to do, but my god, he really pulled this one off, and saved everyone from a frakked up future, I suppose.
The whole Adama execution, was extremely, extremely well executed. I knew this wasn't where Adama was to be killed off, but I still thought that it may be possible. Luckily, this was not the case, and it seems that Zarek and Gaeta have recieved proper punishment for their crimes. Thanks, guys, you brought life back to the show, but now, I think you two are gone for good.
It was nice to see Romo once more, and the whole "Adama trial" was well played, and not too long. It would have been painful to have to wait a week to see how this trial turned out, but there's no more stalling left in this show. Everything seems to be pointing in a straight direction towards jaw-dropping action, and an explosive finale.
Next week's episode, and all the other few episodes that remain in this series will undoubtably be some of the best we've seen in the past few years. It's sad to see it all coming to and end, but it feels like this season was the perfect place to bid adieu to the whole series. Excellent episode, Excellent final episodes so far. Buckle up, and enjoy the ride. I have a feeling that fireworks are stirring up.
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