Battlestar Galactica

Season 4 Episode 16

Deadlock

1
Aired Friday 10:00 PM Feb 20, 2009 on Syfy
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

8.1
out of 10
Average
385 votes
  • Revealing.... but clumsy.....

    7.5
    I seem to be out-of-step with many of the commentators here where it comes to BSG. The whole "reveal" of the Cylon heritage didn' quite work for me while others found it deeply satisfying; the "uprising" seemed overly drawn-out to me, with much of the action somewhat "forced", while others found it compelling....

    ...And now we have Deadlock. "Filler!" seems to be the rallying cry around this one. Well, while there is undoubtedly Not Much Going On in any physical sense, I would suggest that the story here is rather more than simply filling time as we draw closer to the finale. No, I'd actually classify it as rather revealing. Because when it comes down to it, the segment ultimately reveals just how close to humanity - with all its flaws, faults and hang-ups - the Original Five really are (and by extension, their entire race). People have commented that it is a "shame" Ellen reverted once she reached Galactica, or that it "didn't make sense" for her to do so after everything shown in "No Exit". But the fact of the matter is, it made perfect sense, underlining as it did that the Ellen we've come to know and loathe is one and the same person as the Ellen who showed such brilliant compassion in "No Exit": all we'ver seen are two different sides of the same potentially brilliant (given she did lead the Original Five in their endeavours) individual who is flawed by and almost crippling lack of self-worth and jealousy. The jealous / vindictive Ellen has nothing to do with Cavil/John's manipulation of her memories or personality - it is actually exactly who she is, and always has been. A small hint of this was given in "No Exit" in her question to Cavil regarding booze on his base ship. The bottom line is, she's a deeply passionate woman, and that passion can lead her as much into acts of destruction (her toying with Tigh and others on her first arrival on the Galactica, and now her vindictiveness towards Caprica Six and Tigh) as it can lead her to the heights of understanding and brilliance (her ability to bring a team together capable of resurrecting the resurrection technology). And if this is true of Ellen, then again, what you see with the others - Tyrol's moodiness, Tigh's alcoholism - aren't fabrications created by Cavil before he sent them to humanity - they are their natural temperaments. And it is the single aspect of the Five that reveals them as being all too human - and as such, very much a part of the fleet around them. No, the problem with this episode is not that people seem to be "out of character" - they're not. The problem with this episode is simply this: it is clumsily written and poorly executed. Others have mentioned the repeated shots of a worried Adama inspecting the Cylon repairs going on aboard his ship - and i have to agree; the message was loud and clear the first time we saw it, and while a further shot would be acceptable to cover in case people missed it the first time around, the 3rd and 4th, etc., shots were really belabouring the point to sledgehammer/nut proportions. This is the most obvious demonstration of the carelessness inherent in the story. Then there is a the whole "Dogsville" situation. Exceuse me, but when, exactly, did Galactica become the home of the disposed and unwanted, with sections of the ship now seemingly lifted directly out of Babylon 5's Brown Sector? Baltar's little nest of followers never really did sit well....but seeing these kinds of conditions apparently rampant across the ship just didn't work, and again smacked of one of those 3:00am "good ideas" writers will thrown into a script. And don't get me started on the sudden and apparently drastic food shortage in the fleet. Gee, maybe it's just as well Zarek DID have the Quorum shot - if he hadn't, we'd have had to have all those pesky politicos screaming and shouting about food shortages, rationing, etc. Now, with them well, dead, there's no need to get bogged down with all that reasonable extrapolation stuff and nuisance backstory plotting....

    Without a doubt the core message of this segment really could have been handled a lot better and in a more fitting manner than unfolded here. Certainly, the pacing was certainly off, and while the further revelations on the real nature of the Original Five (anyone for the slogan, "more human than humans"?) did largely work, one still has to ask was it really necessary - I think it fair to same most of us Get It when it comes to the nature of humans and the nature of the Original Five. One can only hope that - with the piano, Thrace's return to moodiness, Sam's brain kick-starting itself - we're now about to start the final rollercoaster to the finale. Even so, it's really hard to see just what, in the overall story arc, has warranted this season being extended by an additional episode (with "Daybreak 2" being a "double" episode in length) - other than a nagging fear that we have more clumsy / lazy writing to come.
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