Battlestar Galactica

Season 3 Episode 5


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Oct 27, 2006 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (27)

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  • Collaborators

    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!!!!!!!!!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 interesting
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Great episode

    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.
  • 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 them
  • 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.
  • ...and in the blink of an eye (well a week actually) the season shifts focus, and shows its greatest strength - to compress the action and allow us to explore its characters.

    We\\\'ve had the special effects festival in the last episode. BSG\\\'s ability to present the audience with genuine, superbly-written and acted dramas, that just happen to be set in space, explain just why this is an adult-orientated tele-play, that probably stretches its \\\"12\\\" rating a bit thin.

    In Collaborators, as with \\\"You Can\\\'t Go Back\\\" we learn there is more to Ms Thrace than just the simple gung-ho pilot. The Occupation has left her severely damaged, seeking revenge, and twisted-up to the point that she can\\\'t respond to love. In a similar fashion to the treatment of collaborators in France 1945, all reason has gone, and that lack of humanity is what makes this episode so riveting. But it is Peter Zarek who provides the biggest surprise; as temporary President and former freedom fighter, he is damaged to the point that he is more than willing to challenge fundamental human rights. Once again Laura Roslin displays the political guile and vision that the current (real) President seems to lack, in a move reminescent of Nelson Mandela. I recorded this episode and watched it twice in a week and you need to - there is so much going on, so much to make a mental note of. Unlike most TV dramas, BSG doesn\\\'t insult its audience by explaining every plot twist in torturous detail (like a comedien having to explain his/her jokes) - the joy of watching BSG is to recognise those twists and meanings. Collaborators was a challenging but hugely rewarding episode.
  • Starbuck: "My gods, the whole thing is like a bad dream. Only we woke up and the traitors are still here."

    This episode started out with a bang and didn't let up.

    A theme with our characters this episode was to not forget the past, and it is obvious that many of the characters won’t let that happen any time soon. There are a lot of scars still around from life on New Caprica, and this episode did a good job exploring the emotional baggage characters have been carrying around with them since the rescue, while treading sensitively around a controversial subject.

    It's times of crisis that bring out the best and worst in humans. Someone should pay for the deaths that happened on New Caprica, but with no real way to examine the context in which decisions and actions were made (plus, there's hardly enough humans left as it is - they shouldn't start killing off one another) the executions just didn't feel right.

    I was a bit confused when the tribunal said the executions were legal. I should have known Zarek was the one signing off on the executions. Roslin did the right thing as her first act in office. With such uncertainty and times of unrest, amnesty really was the only way to go. Jammer helped Callie escaped and he was killed, and the tribunal almost killed of Gaeta, the one man responsible for our characters making it back to Galactica. Colonel Tigh said the tribunal was only killing people they were certain committed treason, but in reality they really were never 100% sure on any of the deaths.

    The Cylons are at a disagreement at whether Gaius is beneficial and should be kept around, or if he should be disposed off. Surprisingly, Six was undecided on what to do with Gaius, mad at him because his love clouded her judgment. It looks like Gaius is going to have to prove his usefulness to the Cylons if he wants to stay alive. And here Gaius thought he was going to get an easy ride, sitting back and sipping margaritas. Okay not exactly, more like lying around in an isolated, chrome colored room, equipped with a centurion guard and laser beams.

    It looks like Starbuck is heading towards a breakdown. From yelling at Geata to beg for mercy, to her promotions for violence ("someone has to pay" "I just want to hurt somebody"), it is obvious that there's a lot of negative feelings brewing up inside of Starbuck; surprisingly enough to cause her to break things off with Anders. Man, just when I was warming up to the guy. It looks like she is on a downward spiral right now, along with Tigh who didn’t appear in a happy place this episode either.

    Final Notes and Quotes

    - I feel bad for Gaeta, having to endure isolation, insults, and beatings from fellow crew members.

    - The survivor number is back in the opening credits (41,435).

    - D'Anna said seven cylons voted on Gaius’ fate. Where are the other five models? Are they all sleeper agents?

    - Jammer's death was more effective then I expected. Got to give credit to those web-episodes for that.

    - I was surprised Chief was on the tribunal; a year ago I doubt he would have been able to condemn people to death like that.

    - This was the first time I remember Tigh talking back so blatantly to Adam before. I predict he’ll be brewing up more trouble soon enough.

    - There were crowded living conditions on Galactica this week. Did they loose some ships?

    - I found it a little strange for power-hungry Zerek to step down so easy from the presidency. Did life on New Caprica change him?

    - Roslin: "Everyone by law is entitled to a trial with representation. Everyone. It is not an option to be discarded at the president's whim."
    Pretty big political statement there. An obvious reference to Military Commission's Act and Habeas Corpus.

    - Six: "Don't make me angry Gaius."
    Adama: "You wouldn't like her when she's angry."
    That's the truth.

    - Caprica Six: "I'm a Cylon, Gaius. Somehow I lost sight of that."

    Final Rating: A powerful episode. 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.

    - Tim Bronx
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  • Filled with gritty and powerful imagery, this episode stands as a powerful testament to the impact possible by a finely crafted and perfectly executed script. If you are not watching this show, you should be!

    Rarely has a television show touched on so many visceral, base and powerful emotions. Those that have tried usually fall victim to "formula" story archs, or worse, outright pandering to a cause. What do you do with those who collaborate with the enemy? Who passes judgement and what should that judgement be?

    Consider these issues from dispassionate, blind justice and it is likely you will come up with one set of conditions and guidelines.

    Ponder them from personal impact, experience and pain and you will probably modify the terms.

    React to them from rage, induced by loss and emasculation and you are handing out justice of a completely different kind.

    Now ask yourself what happens when the first possibility is all but impossible. Remember everyone in the fleet is affected by every single situation they encounter and deal with.

    That leaves option 2 and 3. Still your dilemna is much easier if those to whom you are asked to pass judgement are people you either don't know at all, or hardly know.

    Contemplate what you would do, if you were asked to pass judgement on someone who collaborated, but also turned out to be your friend. Someone you knew well, someone you worked closely with, someone you felt connected to.

    Forgive me if you don't watch the show, I may spoil some things if you read further.

    Last week's episode, when Col. Tigh killed his wife (Ellen) over having collaborated, it was poignant and powerful. Yet, I remained distant to it. First I never really cared much for Ellen and although she did redeem herself in her final days, she wasn't all that easy to really like. Also it was just expected that Tigh would be willing to kill her for collaboration. He has always been a gruff, no nonsense, agressive man. His overwhelming grief at taking her out (played very well), was compelling and evoked compassion. Yet, I wasn't shocked by it.

    This week, things really changed. The circle is charged with rooting out and passing judgement on any collaborators and they are working under a deadline. They know when Tom gives up his presidency, that their work will probably cease. The circle is comprised with at least 2 members who are operating only on "rage and revenge." This perspective problem, coupled with the sense of urgency leads to some pretty tense moments.

    When the issue of Gaeta's guilt/innocence is being weighed, I was completely engaged. I found myself pondering how plausible it was for such a system of justice to really wind up in operation and simultaneously shuddered at my own, brief, stupidity.

    IT IS happening today. These issues are playing out around us. That is the beauty of this show. It is contemporary, and yet, it (most often) avoids being preachy about it. It is political without becoming pedantic. It is compelling without pandering and it is thought-provoking without all the answers.

    It leaves you to consider how you feel about it all. Sure you can easily find someone who you personally agree with on the show, and yet, the arguments made by the opposing point of view leave you facing the stark reality that little is truly black or white.

    We live in shades of grey, with human frailty, tempered by subjectivity and colored by experience. A good show causes you to consider other points of view, and a great show either causes you to re-consider your firmly held belief system or entrenches it even further.

    Battlestar Galactica is not for the meek, it is not for the young, it is not for those seeking light entertainment. It is for those who enjoy being challenged, who can think "outside the box" and those who are capable of intellectual debate.

    Of all three seasons so far, of all episodes, this one is my new "Number One."

    10 out of 10
  • Consequences: the mark of a truly great story being told

    It would have been easy to skip over the consequences of the New Caprica Occupation, especially with everyone back on Galactica and dispersing throughout the Colonial Fleet. But the writers for “Battlestar: Galactica” have seldom taken the easy road, and it would be unfortunate to ignore the effects of the Occupation on the general population. This episode manages to explore those effects on a number of individuals while providing a logical excuse to put the Occupation behind them as much as possible.

    In the most general terms, this is a case of politics serving the worst impulses of humanity. Zarek’s political goals, taken objectively, make a great deal of sense. Roslin will clearly resume her presidency, but her term of office would be dominated by the search for traitors and the need for justice and revenge. Zarek takes a draconian approach to the matter and creates a “jury” to weigh the evidence against apparent collaborators and execute them quickly and quietly.

    One way or another, it seems that Zarek understood that some members of the fleet would be more willing to see the process through than others, so he lets Tigh run the show and pick the jury. On the face of it, using the members of the resistance makes sense, but it is a bit obvious. There’s little doubt that Roslin and Adama will know who stood on that “jury”, and so will a lot of people in the fleet. Why not choose less visible members of the resistance, if the idea is to help clear the air?

    Roslin’s solution is purely political, because policy will not and should not change the hearts of the people. She sets a good example, but it’s definitely a case of following through on Zarek’s intentions. Roslin’s hands are clean, and now any action taken against the former collaborators will be illegal. The tensions should remain, however, until something happens to unify humanity once again.

    All of this serves the greater purpose of exploring how individual characters are dealing with the post-traumatic stress. It’s not pretty, to say the least. Tigh has returned to some bad habits, but with a streak of resentment that puts him at odds with any moderating authority, including Adama. Part of it is a defense mechanism, because he doesn’t want to admit that he has regrets. But part of it is a belief that his actions were justified. The Occupation has left Tigh a far more interesting character.

    Kara is also a complete mess, and it’s painful to see her deal with the self-loathing. Kara is angry for letting her emotions get the better of her, and she’s punishing everyone else around her as a result. She doesn’t feel worthy of happiness, so she acts in a manner that makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Within that psychological space, her quick and cruel end to her marriage with Anders is hardly surprising.

    In keeping with his characterization this season, Tyrol tries to be the voice of reason. I’m not quite sure how Tyrol and Gaeda could have set up the information exchange without some kind of initial contact, but that’s a minor point of contention. Tyrol tries to find a way to make the process fair and moral, much as he did on New Caprica. He ultimately helps to save Gaeda, and perhaps that’s enough to assuage his conscience. It’s interesting to note, however, that he is the only one of the “jury” with a young child; he cannot help but consider the future consequences of his present actions.

    Overall, this episode continued to explore the consequences of the Occupation, paving the way for the next turn in the season arc, which should come in the next couple of episodes. The subplot on the Cylon Basestar will inevitably lead into that next plot turn; otherwise, in terms of this episode, it was a somewhat unsatisfying excuse to explain why the Cylons permit Baltar to live. It will only work if the writers are willing to make it an important plot point. Given how they’ve done so far this season, that shouldn’t be a problem.

    (As a sidenote: I also have a podcast associated with my various reviews called “Dispatches from Tuzenor”. Current episodes cover “Battlestar: Galactica”, so it might be something of interest. Go to if you want to listen!)
  • This is one of a very special episode I have seen. It seemed uncanny to me how they illustrate this episode to very close to our reality.

    From what I seen and understood of this episode, I could not help but see the resemblance between this one episode and what we are facing in our reality. I could see particularly who was the unsung heroes were in this episode and how they are the jack of all trades. I could not help but feel for those who sacrificed their lives on this show to be executed by means of others that let their emotions cloud their judgement to be able to judge who lives or dies. I must admit, at first I was kind of mad of where this episode was going, but eventually the story turned around and those six people realize what they were doing was wrong and they were no better than the Cylons themselves. At least I hope they were thinking that.
  • Best episode of season three

    One of the things I've come to love about the re-imagining Battlestar Galactica is that every action on the show has consequences. There have been epic storylines on this show and situations that stretch the characters to their limits, but some of the most satisfying epiosdes of the show have been those that dealt with the fall-out of those epic storylines and big events. Last week, we had the big event--Adama and company rescuing the human colonists from the Cylon occupation on New Caprica. But instead of just now continuing on the quest to find Earth and escape the Cylons, the show takes an hour to deal with the effects of just what happened.

    And, for the most part, it is not pretty.

    It's interesting that now with the Cylons not there as the main enemy, how quickly humanity turns on each other. I loved how the circle that served as judge, jury and executioner for the alleged Cylon collaborators took the moral high ground, justifying what they did because they were on the "winning side." You have to recall that just three weeks ago, Tigh was approving the use of suicide bombers to try and take out Baltar. Tigh said there were costs to everything in war and sometimes people die. He was willing to sacrifice the innocent then to further his cause. But yet now he looks down on those who took a different method to survival than he chose. I think a lot of this may be influenced by his experiences last week--not just having to poison Ellen but also the fact that Adama got all the credit for rescuing the fleet while Tigh was left to obscurity. In the war, Tigh has lost a lot, from his eye to his wife and possibly more. As Ron Moore said in a podcast last year, when it hits the fan, Tigh is someone you want on your side, but he's maybe not cut out to be the same kind of leader Adama is. For Tigh, there is only black and white. He's not willing to consider shades of gray as much as Adama is.

    It's also interesting how is in on the circle--it goes all the way up to Tom Zarak, the acting president of the colonies. The scene with Zarak telling Roslin and Adama what he did and why he did it may have been the highlight of an episode that was full of highlights. It does make me wonder something--will Roslin accept Zarak as her vice-president now? Can she take back that promise now? And if she does, how will Zarak react? Zarak has become a supporter of Roslin, but could easily go back to being her biggest critic and a thorn in her side. I'd like to think the experience of being on New Caprica maybe helped Zarak seek a bigger picture than his only interests and gain, but I'm not sure. He may see it short term, but I bet it won't be long before old habits return.

    And it was not a good week for couples on this show. Starbuck and Anders look on the outs and it appears that Six is breaking up with Baltar. I loved the scenes of Baltar being held prisoner on the Cylon basestar as his fate was decided. I found the parallels of Baltar and Gaeta's fates being decided by some type of appointed group compelling. Though I did question more if Gaeta would make it to episode's end and then we'd find out later that he was innocent. I'm not sure that isn't too dark a place for this show to go though.

    And then we have Roslin's first decision as the new president. She pardons everyone in the fleet. At first, it seemed like an easy out to me, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. It really was the only way to hopefully bring the fleet back together and move them forward to the future. Otherwise, everyone will continue in-fighting and turning on each other. And the real threat lies from without with the Cylons. And after four months under the rule of the Cylons, I'd bet everyone there needed a little forgiveness--some more than others.

    That said, there are still some huge lingering questions. What is the chain of command like now? We've got a lot of people who are now used to their positions of power in the show and that could be an interesting clash in the coming weeks.
  • With all the action of the esacpe then characters are falling back into old roles.

    With all the action of the esacpe then characters are falling back into old roles.

    Starbuck and her issues with mem. Tyrol and his drinking. The Old Man trying to keep them all together. It\'s nice to see some old familiar bits come back since things have been so froreign so far this season. Plus I can\'t wait to see what happens when you finally get Kara and Apllo in a room alone together.
  • Immoral Tribunals

    “This isn’t revenge, its justice,” is a quote attributed to a character in the movie “The First Wife’s Club” but it just as well could have been attributed to Tigh, Zarek or any of the members of the Circle. In both cases, however, it is a lie.

    After first viewing, I was prepared to give this episode a ‘6’ but as I started to write the review, I realized that nothing about the characters seemed out of place, the acting was superb and the subject matter is relevant and filled with consequences. My consternation with the episode stems more from personal beliefs and identification with Jammer and Gaeta.

    Tigh claims that “This isn’t about revenge” and yet the members of the jury all have a personal stake in the outcome that compromises their judgment. Tigh is haunted by his execution of his own wife for collaborating, Conner’s son was killed in the assault on the temple, Kara was imprisoned and tortured and Tyrol was betrayed by Jammer. Hardly a jury that is going to hand out fair and impartial decision.

    Anders and to a lesser extent, Tyrol, pick up on this. What happened between humans on New Caprica are largely acts of war but the tribunal, although legalized by President Zarek, is immoral with no justification other than expediency. It is why Anders quits the jury.

    Like it or not, the New Caprica storyline ends here, President Roslyn’s blanket pardon is effectively a firewall against revisiting events from the occupation if the writers so desire. Hopefully, we will get to see more of Tigh’s grief and Kara’s anguish but the rest of the characters may go blithely along as if nothing had happened.

    Good writing, great acting but the main plot thread, dealing with the collaborators, doesn't seem to have any life beyond this episode.
  • Revenge is a dish best served cold.

    Whether you're Khan Noonian Singh or Choderlos de Laclos, you've gotta admit that revenge can be pretty cool. In this episode, however, we find out that revenge can sometimes be bittersweet.

    The Circle is ready to mete out justice upon those who collaborated with the Cylons during the occupation, but when the traitors are familiar faces, the choice can become a hard one to make. When Gaeta's "trial" comes up, the Chief seems to be looking for a way to keep from having to say guilty. There is some hesitation during Jammer's execution as well. Where was the guilt and compassion when they were carrying out the 12 or so other executions?

    And how does Anders make it through all those executions, only to suddenly get high and mighty, and decide to take the high road. Sure, I can understand the accretion of feelings of guilt and uncertainty, but once you kill a baker's dozen, you might as well go all the way to 57, right?

    The crux of the story is that the colonists need to forgive, if not forget, and move on with their lives. Otherwise, they turn on each other, devolve into a Stalinist nightmare of denunciations and mock trials, and lose the final shreds of humanity that they are clinging onto. And then, the Cylons will have won.

    Inasmuch as I am a fan of vengeance, I applaud Roslin's decision to seek out reconciliation and to put an end to retribution. Besides, if they killed everyone who collaborated, who would they get to clean the toilets on Galactica?
  • Painfully good, the darkest episode yet.

    This episode was painful to watch, not because it was bad, but because it was a day of reckoning for those who collaborated with the Cylons. None of these people liked the enemy, but they found themselves in difficult positions fending for their own lives, and trying to justify their actions by hoping they would have long term benefits. This episode was so well done, that you ache with the characters, and want vengeance and justice for them, but not necessarily in the way they seek it. Battlestar Galactica is expert at muddying issues, and making the right course of action seem always elusive. I find myself glad that I do not have to make the choices that the characters in this show have to make. All I know is that war sucks. Also in this episode was the introduction of life on a Cylon basestar. The set is intriguing and I am excited as always to see what comes next. If you have any interest in this show, start watching now!
  • Harsh but realistic approach to an after war setting. The (SPOILER) opening scene was not easy, is the murderer of a murderer not also a murderer? I got chills just watching the poor guy trying to get some sympathy, but now way. An eye for an eye.

    Harsh but realistic approach to an after war setting. The (SPOILER)opening scene was not easy, because; is the murderer of a murderer not also a murderer? I got chills just watching the poor guy trying to get some sympathy, but now way. An eye for an eye.

    The acting is absolutely top notch and I wonder how its possible the get a cast like that, where every single caracter is played by such great actors... I can rate a BSG episode in how fast time runs. The great ones feel like 10 minutes and I am always surprised when the end titles start running? Already over???

    I don\\\'t want to ramble on and on but this is one rare piece of quality on TV these days. Too bad here in Holland they still didn\\\'t start season 2 (the network did buy it so...).

    OK, the wait for next friday has started, now, now, NOW!
  • A very good episode that shows how much everyone has changed and what the planet did to everyone. It also shows a new side to the Cylons and how we might get a story from them.

    A great episode that I think is a big turning point in story lines for the BSG crew. But it also I think is a new step in bringing a full story line with the Cylons.

    I hope the BSG makers can keep everything running as smooth as this and we may get another 3 seasons out of them. Fingers crossed.
  • Best episode yet.

    I think I'm in love with Michael Hogan. He may chew some scenery, but my gods can he carry a scene, or maybe even a series. And he is in top form in "Collaborators" like never before. Righteously angry, a constant reminder of the horrors committed during the occupation, staring down those who oppose him with an unblinking, accusatorial eye. What a terror to have as first mate.

    So here's how it stands: the fleet has left New Caprica behind, and now a secret presidential order has established a clandestine tribunal to punish those who collaborated with the Cylons. Right off the bat they get a guy we know to be guilty, if sincerely contrite, and make him disappear. Then they move on to their next target: Felix Gaeta. After risking his life on a daily basis to feed information to the resistance movement, this brave man is now, in what he must surely consider to be a hugely ironic twist, being tried by the very people he was passing said information to. And then the judges, jurors, and executioners start to have some doubts. Can they convict a man with so little evidence? Will killing humans heal the wounds that the Cylons inflicted on them? Sam Anders, who never fails to astonish me with his continued survival, grows weary of the bloodshed and takes leave of the court, only to be replaced by his dear wife Kara Thrace, who finds that punishing humans may not be the same as punishing Cylons, but it's a pretty good substitute. Laura Roslin, once again the unelected President, disagrees. In what can only be called a move of extraordinary political bravery, she pardons everyone (or every one of the humans, at least) and sets the fleet on a course towards healing. It's the kind of move that could destroy a lesser leader's career, but it was the right thing to do, and it was exactly what I expected from her. I can't imagine it'll sit very well with everyone, particularly Col. Tigh, but it's about time the humans did something good, lest they prove the Cylons right.

    And in an interesting little parallel plot, Baltar finds himself aboard a Cylon basestar where his fate is being decided by a jury of the human models. I can't imagine what use they might have for him, but at least he's where he was always destined to be. I wonder if Caprica Six is still haunted by visions of him? Perhaps he won't be able to do so much damage from a Cylon basestar as he did from the highest seat of power, but I wouldn't put it past him.

    What I really dug about this episode was that everyone's actions were entirely believable and entirely relatable. I believe that Tigh wanted to bring those people to justice; I believe that Tyrol and Anders were conflicted; I believe that Roslin wanted what was best for the fleet. What I don't believe is Tom Zarek. It was strange to hear a man who went to jail screaming about the injustices that had been inflicted on the people by the government deny these accused collaborators the same chance he was given. Another thing I loved about this episode: very little Lee Adama, and no Grace Park. A couple of pretty faces that just can't hold their own against the heavyweights in this series. Like Saul Tigh.

    This episode recharged my batteries for the show. The New Caprica episodes went on a little too long for me. Not only was it well written it seemed to me that every actor was on their performances. If I had to pick a farvorite it would half to be Katee Sackhoff's. In certain parts of Collaborators, she really took Kara to the edge. At times reminding me of Glen Close in Fatal Attraction. I think it is one of her best performances. I also thought that this was one of Richard Hatch's best as well. The scene I liked best was his admission to the presidential order authorizing the "a jury of his peers". Especially when he ask Laura which way she wants her new campaign to be remembered.

    Cant wait until the next episode.
  • WOW - another great installment (spolier alert)

    Despite the wrong wording in the synopsis - the President (Tom ZareK) created the coucil to exact \"justice\" on the collaborators that were working with the Cylons during the occupation - this was also one of his back-handed ways to get himself out of office and put Roselyn back in! Which was brilliantly played out by Miss McDonald (love her).

    The collaborators were friends, lovers, wives, husbands, people you know, worked with closely and respected - so how far will you go to make them pay for the deaths they may have known about and not stopped?

    We find that Tigh is INSANE with the death of his wife, that his anger is focused at anyone near him, and the confrontation in the CIC is well acted between two powerful lead actors.

    Starbuck - changed by her dealings with the Cylons takes on an unexpected role and looses the man in her life.

    Tyrol - still liked him better with the beard - shows the conflict that evolves when you pit neighbor against neighbor, kudos on the acting - Aaron Douglass is so under appreciated!

    Baltar - living 3 days on the cylon ship has given him more time to think about what he has done to the human race - and can the cylons relay on the number six model to make the final vote on his fate - given her romance with him over the last two nice to see the red eye of the cylons prevelant in the ship on which baltar is being held.

    The show ended on a quiet note - the swearing in of Roselyn, her speech to forgive the collaborators and live in peace with one another during this time of war was very well done and delivered with the typical style and grace that we have come to expect from Roselyn.

    Now...we just need to see more of the cylon world and the other models....nice to know that Jammer isn\'t a Cylon - or is he? after this episode, he had better not show up again or the answer to his identity would be established...i prefer to know at least two more cyclon models - lets see how they interact with the humans and report back - or sleeper models within the CIC at least!
  • A secret jury convicts collaborators without assistance of a judge or defense counsel. Chilling scenes with Jammer and Gaeta; Kara reveals the depths of her rage. One of the best episodes of the entire series!

    I was wondering where the story would go after the New Caprica sequence. I'd have to say that this is one of the best episodes of the entire series. Similar to "Downloaded," it was a low key story with no special effects, but an incredibly powerful and dramatic one. Seeing the characters that we've known for so long facing imminent death at the hands of fellow humans had a lot of emotional impact, both Jammer's scene and Gaeta's scene.

    I like how the entire plan was thought up by Zarek. That makes complete sense for his character. He is an expert in the matters of martyrdom, casting himself as a martyr for years in the time before the initial Cylon attack on the Colonies. I also liked how Roslin and Adama responded, especially Roslin's general pardon at the end. I guess Roslin and Adama were right to force Zarek out of office. He probably would have become as tyrannical as Baltar was on New Caprica. Zarek is only good at fighting. He isn't really good at leading a peacetime government.

    This is the first time this season that I've really been interested in Kara's story. I never felt her desperation before, but in this episode I did. Her scene with Anders at the meeting of the Circle was downright chilling. She seems to have surpassed even Tigh in the depths to which she has sunk.

    Again, an outstanding episode, not just for the show but for television in general. A true drama classic! And the first time I've ever rated an episode a 10.0 on
  • The summary is wrong. The President ORDERED the tribunals

    The summary is wrong. The President ORDERED the tribunals. President Tom Zarek, that is. With Baltar gone away with the Cylons and now living on a Basestar(Number 6 is WAY hotter than the original series Baltar's straightbot Lucifer any day) Tom Zarek is now the legal president of the Colonies, but only temporarily, as he plans to name Roslin as his new Vice President and then step down once she's confirmed.