Battlestar Galactica

Season 4 Episode 3

The Ties That Bind

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Apr 18, 2008 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (27)

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  • Cally learns a secret. Roslyn's hubris grows. Zarek plays games.

    Once again we have an episode that deals with the question of identity - and perception. Cally, her marriage to Tyrol already in trouble, drifts further away from him, finding comfort in drugs.

    Tory, coming to terms with the fact she is Cylon, discovers she has a new freedom...a break from her past - and a break from the moral codes she has (from what we've seen of her in the past at least) held as important. Kara continues to question who - or what - she is and in doing so, prevents Sam from completely burying his own self-doubts. Elsewhere, Roslyn continues to isolate herself from those around her. It is now very evident that following-on from the collapse of Baltar's trial, she no longer believes in the democratic process (a rather idelogical concept in the first place, given human kind's overall condition in the series), and is now certain of only her own counsel and her own ability to do what is right. Similarly, her relationship with Adama continues downhill. Not only has he voted to acquit Baltar, he has now released Kara Thrace to find Earth her way. It is easy to see this is a double blow to Roslyn, and one that may yet have deeper repercussions within the fleet. Of all the people she probably felt she could rely on to do the "right" thing where Baltar was concerned, Bill Adama must have been top of her list. What's more, for most of the final episodes of the last season, he very much appeared in full sympathy with her. Yet, at the 11th hour, her undermined her. He voted for an acquital. As Zarek says in this episode, Laura Roslyn does not forgive or forget. Again, this is reflected in the subtext of her confrontation with Adama in his cabin as they discussion Kara Thrace in "Six of One". Now, Adama has gone one step further. Not only has he should against her "politically" in voting in favour of Baltar's life, he has sent Thrace to find a potential alternate route, and in doing so has (to Roslyn) questioned both her visions and her overall leadership. The cracks in their relationship that began last season are now almost as wide as the fissures that lay between them back in the first season. Many has stated here that they don't like this episode due to the "unncessary" focus on Cally. To them I would say, go back and watch it again. Yes, Cally has never been a well-developed character (hence the belaboured re-tread of the fact she was drawn to Tyrol after he had beaten her, just in case we'd forgotten). But even allowing for this, using Cally as a focal point for the core action cleverly raises new questions.

    For example - what of little Nicky? Until now, the only "known" human / Cylon hybrid by natural birth has been Hera. Now we have a second such child. How will this affect both humans and humano-Cylons should the new become common knowledge (if indeed the series can even contain an exploration of this arc)?

    Again, what was the purpose behind Tory's act in the Viper launch bay? OK - so it is clear that in her new "liberated" state (and following-on from her bedding by Baltar) - she has achieved a new sexual freedom (among other things). This has caused her to make a play for Tyrol on at least one occasion (Joe's bar).

    But this doesn't explain why she killed Cally. Similarly, to say that she killed Cally because the latter discovered the truth about her, Tyrol and Tigh doesn't actually work. Why? Because in neither case is there any reason for her to save baby Nicky. Yet she does. Is this because her human upbringing somehow draws a line at murdering an innocent child while at the same time rationalising the need to kill a human adult? Or is it because the Cylon in her recognises the uniqueness of Nicky, and has the same drive to protect the child as evidenced in Natalie/Six's response to Hera?

    Be interesting to see if they cimply try to bury Cally's death as "suicide", when surely the evidence must point to murder (unless Tory found some miraculous way of getting the key back into the launch bay override controls, and opening the bay to space once more without killing herself in the process).

    It's good to see Zarek back so early on. again his presence ups the ante around Roslyn. Is he once again scheming, or is he genuinely concerned? Such is the complexity of his character, one can never be entirely sure until Zarek starts playing more cards. In either case, his choice of Lee Adama as either ally (if Zerek really is concerned) or patsy (if he is again playing games) is a clever choice. Who better to further undermine Roslyn's position than the one man of influence who has, by-and-large, stood by her right from the original mini-series?

    Certainly, from his confrontations with Roslyn in the Quorum meeting, Lee seems willing to play his assigned role - be it ally or patsy. Time will tell as to which, but his is once again standing as possibly the only moral centre within the entire ensemble - doing what he believes to be right and for the good of the people. Right now, after 3 episodes, the production crew have set up a lot of questions that need to be answered if the series is to conclude with full and complete satisfaction, and it is good to see that they are not over-egging the mix: Baltar's absence in this episode was felt in many ways, but to try and shoehorn his particular arc into this episode would have been a mistake. And I know I've not touched on the Cylon arc that much...but I said a lot last time around. All I will say is, the real threat to Natalie/Six, Vallerii/Eight and Leoben/Two does not come from Cavil et is right there in their midst in the form of the free-thinking Centurions.

    All-in-all a much better episode than some might give credit for. Yes, tere are a few mis-fires within it, but overall it building strongly on "He That Believeth" and "Six of One". And thank you, guys for even taking the time for another nice little tip-of-the-hat to Ron D's Star Trek roots. Weapons Locker 1701D was a very nice touch!