Battlestar Galactica

Season 3 Episode 16

Dirty Hands

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Feb 25, 2007 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (44)

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out of 10
674 votes
  • Agenda episode

    Ugh. This is such a lame episode. It is like the producers were paid by the unions to make this garbage. We get it, everyone works hard.
  • Losing Interest Fast!

    A "look at the working class of the fleet" ??? What the heck does that have to do with science fiction? We don't get enough of Hollywood's politics crammed down our throats everyday, they need another venue? I agree with the other person who said the writers have run out of material. This gets less interesting with each new episode. Don't think so, just look at the week by week ratings here. It's definitely swirling the bowl.
  • Dirty Hands

    Dirty Hands was an amazing look at the background characters who keep the Colonial Fleet running and operational by undertaking the "dirty work". It was interesting to see that Gaius had been able to influence people with his book and how things really did appear to be going the way he claimed. This was a perfect story to focus on Tyrol and he was very impressive in his ability to manage and communicate. It would be scary to be a young and put in a situation with out a choice and forced to do a job you would never consider and then have a terrible accident. In the end Tyrol and the President talk about solutions and come to terms, wrapping things up nicely. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • A show about labor relations.

    I thought that this episode was very good. It shows what happens in a society that is on the run and needs to have vital needs met but the conditions under which the goods are produced are just horrific. In this episode we see that Tyrol was at first very pro Message from the president and the admiral. When he sees that the conditions are just deplorable and that if the people have no hope of ever rising above their station then people start to loose all hope their children having a better life than they had. If you don't have any hope then you don't care what you do since you don't care what happens to you.
  • I would like the so-called fans who toss around the word "Filler" like it's candy to read this one.

    I have tried, really..I have struggled to maintain an "everybody has a right to an opinion" attitude toward fans who have been calling the majority of third season episodes fillers. But some reactions to this episode take the cake. This series, people..for those who have not been paying attention for the..mmm..what is it now ...almost five years since the mini-series NOT a sci-fi show. I'll say that again..IT IS NOT A SCI-FI SHOW! Can ya hear me now? Good. It is , as Ron Moore pointed out before the min-series even aired, (and that's a year BEFORE the mini-series, so that's actually six years, for whoever's counting) is a DRAMA, that happens to take place in a sci-fi universe. That means it's about people first. It's not about the scenerios cloaked in the action, suspense, tragedies, special effects,'s about how those events effect the people, the characters, that we have grown to love. Every time one of these episodes comes around which do not deal with Cylons, traps, attacks, or the suspenseful plots, twists and turns which this series so well presents, then it is automatically crap, right? These reviews seem to be posted by people with the attention span of a sound bite, and a scope of intelligence just as vast. In the last episode, it was stated that it had been just under 50 days since the Cylons had last been seen. So we've been taking a refreshing look at the people in the fleet too seldom seen. The little people, the people who in fact are the life-blood of the fleet. The people without whom, the fleet could not survive. It's one of the things I love about this show, and frankly, what separates it, and distinguishes it from the rest of the sci-fi drek which numbs itself under the guise of a lot of tech. We were given a glimpse of the underbelly of the fleet. It showed, in-your-face style, things that are seriously wrong with the society, and need fixing, badly. If society ignores these issues, than what are we staying alive for, fighting for, and indeed..dying for? It was also a shining moment for Tyrol. One of the biggest challenges for all the people in the fleet, is to find a way to keep their sanity and humanity, sometimes scratching and clawing to keep it, in the face of madness, and a constant shadow of death and destruction. As Agathon demonstrated in "The Woman King", (another episode designated as filler by so many), Tyrol demonstrated that, in a culture that has lost almost everything, sometimes the most important thing, and indeed, maybe the only important thing we have left, is who we are, what we believe in. What is right, and what is wrong. This, my friends and fellow fans is at the very core of the show. It doesn't matter if it's Cylons, or dogfights, or personal conflicts, or labor disputes. It's about hanging on to, and fighting for, what you believe in. That's what Tyrol did. And it brought a hell of a drama to the episode. This was a well acted, very dramatic and , yes, very suspenseful episode. Those of you looking for the same plotlines, twists and turns, action etc., every single episode are unrealistic and silly. This is the most human type of story. And now that we've spent the last small handful of them dealing with this type of human exploration, we can look forward for the thrills and chills to resume. And indeed, we can appreciate them that much more.
  • Good points but..

    In the level of idea - I loved the episode.. all that Tyrol proved this episode - working with that heavy machinery and the situation of people around the fleet and those hard works and no free time - and how there is difference of people - are you a military or deck hand.. and your son will follow your path and this will be the only way. And I specially loved when he asked (I think it was he) if there will be anyone else leading this fleet than man named Adama.

    So, there were really great points and the story - it had some very similar lines with real life events and things happening, the class difference and that all.. but.. oh.. it missed something on the other hand - it was not emotion for sure - as there was so much anger and hate.. but there was something missing..
  • Another great dramatic episode.

    Once again the writers of the show tackle a hard subject of forced labor. If one person, who was a mechanic in his life in the colonies, is destined have the same profession? Will his children be subject to the same career or does one has a freedom to choose? This is the main topic of the episode. It sort mimics what happened in Medieval time where a family of farmers will always be a family of farmers. Another point that they made is something of a principal that most governments have today. Never negotiate with terrorists. I like the way Adama handled the situation and the subsequent results of his decisions. The look on Tyrol's face at the end was priceless.
  • Fueled by Baltar's(?) Socialist Manifesto(!?), inhumane conditions on a trillium refining ship get the workers riled up. Adama & Roslin flaunt their power like thick-skinned aristocrats. The Chief gets invovled with the union and is crushed and humiliated

    I am not one of the sci-fi purists who dislikes BSG's forays into socio-political issues. In fact, that's what makes this show so riveting, its ability to function as fable and mirror contemporary issues in a fantastical fictional setting, complete with GUT-WRENCHING ROBOT WARS! So you'd think I'd be a sucker for this episode with it's class warfare themes, and I was drawn in, the story had some merit. I could forgive the clumsy visual references to early 20th century industrialism, but the episode was rife with plot and character inconsistencies I couldn't stomach. Problem One, Baltar's socialist manifesto: no one who endured his stint on New Caprica would give it any credence. Problem Two,Adama and Roslin sit around sipping wine like French aristocrats, blowing off complaints from key crew members - definitely outside the parameters of their characters. Problem Three, the story is developed quite well, then the writers realize they have 10 minutes to wrap it up and do so in a jumbled mess. Adama threatens to put Cally up against a wall and shoot her? The crew he considers family? Get a grip, this extremisim is not believable. Roslin does a complete inexplicable flip flop, burbling and cooing to The Chief about the union and democracy and what not? We witness the call but not the fall-out from the Chief's phone call to Cally when he tells her to call off the strike. The premise for this episode was decent - too bad it went up in smoke.
  • The fleet faces social upheaval and widespread unrest after the release of Baltar's manifesto.

    Quite simply the best of what makes this series great. The acting was stupendous, the topic was meaningful and it added depth and texture to what was already a realistic portrayal of a civilization on the edge. There's no doubt in my mind that this episode will get the same criticism from certain fans that other episodes low in Cylons and explosions have gotten; that its boring. But that's being too short sighted. Its only because of episodes like this that episodes like Exodus are so great. When the fleet has to fight or face a Cylon crisis they approach it with the urgency of people that have something to fight for. That wouldn't make sense unless we saw why they fight. Unless we saw what they are sacrificing on a daily basis to keep their very way of life, not to mention their lives.

    I like the turn that Baltar's character has taken. Portraying himself as a political prisoner who has the interests of the people close to his heart (while not nearly true) is much more interesting than just being they guy that sold everyone out. The scene with him and Tyrol when he slips into his native accent was riveting. And so was the episode's conclusion- Tyrol and the President forming the worker's union. Dealing with social issues like this, and having the writers address them rather than leaving huge gaping assumptions and leaps of faith makes me appreciate the series that much more.
  • The summary is better described already, so I'll leave out most of it. Basically, the Chief helps lead a class-struggle/union battle.

    I think it is unfair that some people are writing this episode off as "filler." It is episodes like this that make BSG real for so many people.

    In my opinion, the best part of BSG lately has been the ability of the writers to portray social issues in controversial ways and still keep it interest. It is also a great way to get people to watch the show that may be otherwise turned off because without the socio-political story lines, the show would literally just be any other sci-fi show like so many out there already. I can actually get people that aren't into science fiction to watch BSG because of episodes like this.
  • "daily galactica, while Cylons are sleeping"

    since 6 episodes now, it becomes harder to watch battlestar. the series have focused upon a few character, and are again leaving the main plot behind.

    of course, learning about characters is fine, and focusing in different subjects around the main plot is important.

    But it needs skills to make both of these interesting.

    In the previous seasons, the writters managed to keep it going, but now it feels like they only serving us some refills of known issues.

    Scenes like the chief feeding is baby while talking to the captain may add a "realistic" touch, but maybe beeing "too realistic" is not really the aim of a sci-fi tv show.

    (chief by the way is starting to be the protagonist of the series...)

    Great subjects "are strikes mutiny in time of wars" are always interesting to treat, but perhaps after giving us what we want first:

    plot steps
  • Union leader/military NCO- yeah ok!!

    This was the worst episode yet and I am seriously worried about the long-term viability of this series. First you have Baltar going from the most despised person in the fleet to being a leader of a movement. Ok, maybe it could happen but it aint going to happen overnight and with one crappy book. Have a trial 1st, let him make some speeches that somehow make a case, then have him write a book and then MAYBE someone could believe this - I mean how fickle can the civilians (and military) be. This guy conspires with Cylons, kills and imprisons hundreds of humans, escapes with the cylons and is recaptured...then he writes 1 book and 1/2 the fleet thinks he is the next Martin Luther King. It is beyond dumb.

    Then you have the 'labor' movement. In the 1st two thirds of the episode Adama and the President are like completely deaf to any grievence, problem or issue coming from the workers and then (for no real explained reason other then they have to wrap up the episode in 1hr), they are bending over backwards to be fair and acommodating. Leading to the all time dumbest conclusion where a military NCO is suppossed to all serve as the labor representative for the workers. Frankly I am sad, I loved this show and I think its coming to the end of its run
  • The was filler and too soap opera-ish

    I like this episode. However I think it was a filler episode. Everyone is waiting for the trial of Gaius Baltar. In this episode, to me it was too soap opera-ish. A ship whose sole purpose is dedicated to producing fuel for the fleet is a good idea. However, for the chief of maintenance on the Battlestar Galactica to get involved with the crew on the ore-ship with out ever making contact with that ship’s captain shows a breach and neglect of protocol. Its fine if the chief wants to be the voice of the dirty workers or the little people, but lets keep things in perspective. I know, this belongs in the nick-pickers guide to Battlestar Galactica, But I just needed to express this. I like BSG but sometimes I think they try to hard make the show real.
  • great episode

    Labor disputes inside the colonial fleet causes space vehicles to malfunction. When Chief Tyrol goes to the refining ship to inspect the site, he figures out that people working there are not getting enough shifts to maintain a quality work schedule causing the workers to become very negligent of their duties, they are also rebellious. When Tyrol looks deeper into the matter, he realizes that there is a caste system in the fleet. The ones from the rich colonies get better jobs while the ones from the poor colonies get menial jobs. This episode mirrors the class systems of the real world, it's dramatized in this episode, it's well done.
  • After a problem on the refinery ship the Chief takesover and gets involved in a work stoppage.

    DUDE this was such a great ep. I have been reading really bad reviews about this all over the net and I don't get it. It was such a great ep. It shows problems that people always have and how in a small group you could actually overcome those problems. It was a great discussion throughout the entire ep about who ends up doing what, and how we can change it.
    Yes it had no Cylons. No Dogfights. But what a good story. The previous reviews that hated this ep, I just fail to understand. My friends and I had some great discussions about this ep. Wonder why others hated it.
  • May be a filler episode, but important to the struggles the humans in this series are facing.

    Because of the situation all the humans are in, after cylon attacks, there are specific jobs that NEED to be done by many people to keep the entire fleet alive. This episode examines this. Unfortunately, for most societies to survive, there are a number of dirty jobs that need to be done and if they aren't, then all of society will suffer and most likely perish.

    This episode shows how the elite, or privileged can sometimes take for granted their lives and not realize that without the grunts and gophers, they may not have things so well off. Not that the pilots or politicians necessarily have an easy life, but from the deck hands and factory workers, it does sometimes appear that way.

    I really enjoyed this episode. and look forward to more action episodes.
  • A yorkshire accent for baltar??? Is there realy a colony in deep space where people sound like compo (last of the summer wine)

    Baltars book has been spread through out the fleet.
    As is always the case with baltar im not sure if its his genuine attempts at influencing society for the better or another scam to create sympathy and get himself off the hook.

    His words strike a cord with the fleet.
    The ruling class of goverment officals and military officers are all from affluent colonies (Caprica)
    The people of the mining/refinery ship
    start to think they are slaves with there children condemned to the same fate and no hope for the future.
    A general strike is called and cally is threatened with
    excution for particpating.
    Tyrol calls an end to the action and is sat down infront of the president to discuss a farer system of work allocation.

    A fine episode with lots of real world parallells.
    Since the unions of the 70s and 80s were forcible broke by
    regan and thatcher ,upward moblity has decreased.
    There is less chance of our children rising in the class system than there has been in 40 years.
    Upward mobilty is dead and the crew of the fleet find that intolerable as should we.
  • Chief: "You're doing important work down here, just as important as sitting in a cockpit." Seelix: "Thanks, Chief. I'm going to go and deliver some more important laundry."

    It was interesting to receive a glimpse of life on Galactica from the view of the kunckledraggers. We always see life through the eyes of the pilots and commanders, the ones who spend plenty of R&R down at Joe's, drinking the night away, but we never get substantial screen time from the ones doing the truly dirty work nobody else wants. Work down on the refinery ships, although it may not require the skills flying a Viper does, is very arduous and demanding. The crews down there are the ones who truly keep the human civilization afloat, without their fuel and food there would be no fleet, and they never get the credit they deserve. Nobody lives an ideal life in the fleet, but this episode made it clear that some have it substantially better than others.

    Although I don’t believe it was the right route to take, I completely understood the strike, and where Chief and the rest of the knuckledraggers were coming from. Xeno did have a point. Roslin and Adama hardly listened to Chief when he first complained to them about the living conditions in the refinery ships. It wasn’t until after the strike when Roslin was wiling to negotiate. The workers really do deserve a break; 18 hour shifts suck. And Chief was right when he said that the lower-class citizens shouldn't be the only ones enduring it.

    Would Adama really have killed Cally to cease the strike? I just don't believe it. No matter how cold an exterior he puts on, we all know he forms emotional attachments to his crew, and I just don't see him knocking one of them off so callously. His "no exceptions" rule was a little hypocritical, when I believe it was less then a year ago (at least on BSG's timeline) that his own son led a mutiny, broke a prisoner out of jail (Roslin) and was then welcomed back with open arms.

    Despite being a pile of crap (Baltar could care less about the people), Baltar's book did have some truth in it. No matter what Roslin likes to believe, Galactica is not a democracy, but how can it be? Adama and Roslin can't please everybody; they have to think about the big picture, which is keeping the fleet alive. They're the ones making the tough calls that nobody else can make. They’re busy enough struggling to stay one step ahead of the Cylons, and as a result, they don't have time to spend making living conditions more comfortable, or to worry about things such as compensation. The human civilization is on the run for their lives for frak’s sake. I do strongly believe, though, that Roslin and Adama should set aside time to listen and solve some of the problems the civilians are facing. It’s the only sure way they can keep a mutiny off their hands.

    Next Week: The episode everyone's heard so much about. Are the spoilers actually true? I'm almost dreading watching it.

    Final Notes and Quotes

    - Survivor Count: 41, 400

    - Good hook, with a raptor flying into Colonial One. Wish we could have seen the crash play out.

    - We already knew Caprica and Picon were considered higher-class colonies, but Cally added that Vergon and Torgon were, as well, with Aerolon, Gemenon and Sagittaron considered lower-class.

    - Great cinematography for the inside of the refinery ship.

    - I didn't agree with the lottery. Were they forcing people to work? Tyrol wasn't so off then when he called it slave labor.

    - We learned Gaius was raised as a farm boy on Aerolon.

    - I cringed when the boy reached under the belt to fix the jam. I just knew blood would follow.

    - I was happy Seelix finally got her wings. I loved Starbuck as her hard ass trainer. - Adama: (to Roslin) "If the quarters become cramped, you're always welcomed to come stay in one of my beds."
    (Roslin looks up suddenly)
    Adama: "In a manner of speaking."

    - Roslin: "Compensation, if you can believe that. We're on the run for our lives and the guy wants to talk about over-time bonuses."

    - Roslin: "'My Triumphs, My Mistakes' by Gaius Baltar. I'm thinking of having a good old fashioned book burning."

    Final Rating: A strong 3 out of 4 stars.

    - Tim Bronx
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  • This was about the reality of life in a fleet on the run, military reality and the civilian population trying to keep it together.

    I wonder with each passing episode why people want to see the fleet in a death destruction with cylons blasting them from every side, when this seems much more engaging and more revealing about mankind and our own truth. In the end it was as it had to be, Adama had to show a military strength and a military code of justice. It was mutiny and with any hard core military mutiny has only one response. However, Madame President could take the softer approach because that is who she represents. Both had to follow the logic of their positions, he is the strength of arms while she is the political savy of negotiation. And then there is Baltar stiring the pot desperate to find some justification and in some ways revealing his own desires. He does not want to be who he is, he wants to recreate his own mistakes so that people will believe that he is a creation of the society rather than a freak who gave into the cylons. As a defense it might even work and it could once more divide the colonies, only time will tell.
  • A class struggle is about to start within the fleet.

    I think this is one of those episodes that you either hate or like, but whether you like or hate it, the episode shows that Battlestar Galactice is no longer (or perhaps never was) a simple science-fiction series.
    This episode deals with class struggles, the conflict between the working class and the officer's class, it deals with working conditions and the lengths people will go to to get what they want. It discusses how society views people based on their background, where they come from, even their accent.

    I thought the storyline was well-written, Chief Tyrol was great in this episode and desptie the difficult subject matter, they managed to have a happy ending, more or less, for once.
  • Crap! yet another boring espisode...

    This show can do better than focus on labor disputes, and it is another example of the "funk" the show has been but it will get better for the remaining 4 episodes. "Dirty Hands", was slow and had a very boring story I thought they should have shown Baltar more and set-up for his trial instead of focusing on Tyrol and the tilium workers. The only thing I did like was learning about Baltar's Aerulan backround and how the Capricans are the elite class and they are the doorstops. It also hinted that maybe starbuck might die or be a cylon because of seelix becoming a viper pilot? who knows? I guess we will see on sunday.
  • Has a big of a flaw, but kind of work.

    First of all, Baltar - being hated by everyone for suspicion of working with the Cylons in New Caprica and later - would never be listened, even less have help to spread his word through the fleet. That's my opinion and the worst part of the episode idea, but ignoring that:

    We have a fleet that is breaking apart from the inside. The long period of time without a Cylon contact has made people forget why they are there and start to focus in more selsfish aspects of their lives. This is not fictional. It's the reality of the human nature.

    Furthermore, we see Adm. Adama turning to be more and more alike his precedent, Adm. Cain: ruthless and cruel. At the same time President Roslin is becoming a tyrant. Truth be told, in army things are like that, but in the case of Adm. Adama character, he was coming from that path to a more mercyful one whilst President Roslin is really down the road for some time, although in her end scene she comes close to a regress to her former self.

    Lastly, I read this in a novel one and this episode is fruit of the same kind of thinking. the worst enemy is the inner one. And for Baltar, with a mind like that, not even have controled visitors is grave mistake.
  • This show is going steadily down.

    I think BSG got a fourth season prematurely based on the quality of the last few episodes. I could have well done without seeing them at all.

    It seems like the writers are believing all the hype and getting big ideas about themselves, whilst all they are coming out with is mediocre drivel.

    Gaius Baltar writing his version of mein kampf! Pur-leeeze!

    Spot the pseud that starts comparing BSG to (the well-overrated), propaganda-fiction poster boy - yeah you got it - Eric Blair , (Oh OK, pretty boy George Orwell). That last name leaves a nasty taste in the mouth for most of us Brits these days

    Plotlines worhty of the original cheesy series.

    Sort it out! We want more Cylons!
  • Excellent episode, bringing even more depth to the series!

    These kinds of episodes, with more story than action, give depth to an entire series. The SF genre is not all about space battles, space ships and epic battles, but also about imagining an entire society, with its ground rules and regulations, and creating plots within the boundaries of these rules and regulations. The same goes for a quality Science Fiction book, and, with shows like this, the Science Fiction genre on TV comes closer to a good SF book than to a two dimensional, "fly in - shoot - fly away and everyone is happy- the end" type SF show.
  • reunion?

    This episode, although what I consider a filler episode, played out fairly well and kept me entertained. I still think they need to develop different plot lines and integrate them into the episodes to keep things moving. The character Chief stayed true to form. With only 4 episodes left, there aren't too many exciting plotlines that will lead to a cliffhanger finale...they better get working!
  • This is getting old.

    I really love the show, I really do, but the last couple of episodes were really painful to watch. I have been following the show from the beginning. I was happy about how determined the producers were to create and fight for their vision of the future, but recently, they appear off track. All this pseudo-religious mumbo jumbo about death and existence and political turmoil... It's like in the future, there is nothing at all happening. Character development is one thing, but this season, Balthar had too many scenes, as well as the love triangle and the Admiral Adama storylines. I hope they will get back to the roots soon, because this is turning into just another Star Trek show: Quitely moving into nothingness...
  • An episode for the worker bees. Also, Baltar is writing a book, when did that start happening?

    Galactica is one of the best acted series on television so there really is no such thing as a throw away episode. This show touches on the "classism" in the fleet. But as good as all that is...most of us have seen it before. Maybe Star Trek didn't tackle it but shows like Babylon 5 did.
    And speaking of doesn't get enough props. If it weren't for all the goofy alien makeups that show would be held in much higher regard. Galactica avoids that for the most part (and Edward Olmos has said he'd never do "monster of the week" stuff). But past the alien makeups they are thematically very similar. Roslin is similar to Delenn and it seems Baltar is heading down G'kar's road. Again though, the acting saves the day. The scene where Roslin takes the writings from Baltar is just awesome. But, was there any build up to Baltar deciding to write?
    Did I miss an episode? This seemed rushed.
  • Frakking Awesome!

    An excellent episode for the chief it trully shows how a working man can struggle against his upbringing and become what they want to be no mater what society tells them what there suppose to be. a true man of the people and i hope in future episodes they show more of the struggle that this society and class system thats forming on board the ships of the fleet. and the role that baltar is assuming is hilarius for all his genius he still cant stay out of the spotlight how can the man that almost commited genocide be a man of the people
  • Worst Galactiva episode ever!

    A lot of series have these "Filler Episodes", and I believe filler episodes like this are ok most of the time, though a few too many seem to be coming through, not enough storyline episodes. This particular episode is the worst Galactica episode ever in my opinion, not really much point to it. Towards the end of the season of series, I think its better to have more storyline based episodes to build up to the season finale cliffhanger.

    This programme, I believe, though, still has a lot to offer, but episodes such as this don't add to that and I hope there's no more like this in the future.
  • This Series has run it's course.

    *Yawn* first it was the never ending escapades of ultra-skank Starbuck, now it is stock left wing, pro-union propaganda. Clearly we see with this episode the writers have run out of material and are resorting to using a "sci-fi" back drop as Hollywood's latest vehicle for advancing their political agenda. With the "Eye of Jupiter" episode as the lone exception there hasn't been much of anything resembling sci-fi since they escaped from New Caprica. What's next, an episode about socialized medicine and how it relates to the inner workings of fleet sewage processing? Hey, it was fun while it lasted, but this series is gasping its last dying breaths. Definitely won't make a point of watching next week, maybe record and watch later, maybe not.
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