Battlestar Galactica

Season 3 Episode 14

The Woman King

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Feb 11, 2007 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (32)

Write A Review
out of 10
664 votes
  • The Woman King

    The Woman King was a perfect episode of Battlestar Galactica and I really enjoyed watching this episode because it was a side story focusing on great characters deserving of the attention. I thought the story was well written and perfectly timed giving viewers awesome entertainment while delaying the larger season long story arcs. Helo was amazing and truly is a good person though by human standards he may be strange for marrying a Cylon. Sharon or Athena has earned her place among Galactica's crew and it was great to see her interacting as one of them. It was heroic and courageous for Helo to follow the right path and see it through and in the end it really payed off, making others really think about the man that Helo truly is. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • Helo Centric


    So in this episode we take a breack from the explosions, space flying and deadly robots and focus more on the survie-ing last remaining living humans left in the world (so yeah this will be depressing)

    After making it pass the Star Cluster back in episode 'The Passage', the fleet loses two or three civilian ships so the ex-passengers of those ships have to be intergrated to another ship , but most of them are already overful. Except of course for the Galactica, one of the biggest ships in the fleet. So the Civilians are foursed to take up quaters in the large empty unoucpied space of a military war ship which is nicknamed 'Dog-Town'. Since it is still a military ship the people of Dog Town are forbided from going into certain areas, but they have to be taken care of or at least have their Complaints heared. This episode shows the true importace of the pilots misson to guide the ships pass the Cluster, which makes Captain Kat's sacrifice all the more heroic. (RIP Captain Kat)

    So Helo has been named mayor of Dog Town which has no percks what so ever to the title. To make matters worse it seems some of the Dog Town people are dieing due to not getting proper medical attention. Now all the victims are Sagittaron's which should seem odd but apearently Sagittaron's have been known to refuse medical treatment because it goes against their religious beliefs. No one in Galactica is giving this any second thought, or time to properly investigate this event, except of corse for Helo.
    The problem with that is...well it's Helo. everyone doesn't act surprise when he stands up for the Saggittaron's due to his constant defending of his cylon wife and hybrid child, so Helo has to go all out even putting his status and relationship with his family on the line to prove that a racist doctor from killing more innocent people.

    Now of course Helo is sucessful, but it wasn't as easy as I said. I like this episode because we get to see a main charecter that all of us have come to love have an episode of his own were he progress or at least does something differnt. Ok he's still standing up for the beat down race people, but this time he has a honest and pure motive (aside from it being about the women who he loves and sleeps with). I kida wanted a more revealing episode were we leared a little bit more about Helo's life before the Fall, maybe get a little back story on his relationship with his own father.
    But this was a good episode.

    I find what the doctor's motives for killing to be complely disturbing and above all racist. I hate that even when the world has endded and all you have for survial are the people around and you still find something to discrimanate against!

    I reallyenjoyed this episode, but I have to point out a few flaws. For starters I think Helo was worried for nothing when the murdering doctor did a check up for Dee and his daughter Hera, and he was afaid he'dkill them.
    Dee isAdmiral Adama's daughter-in-lawfor goodness sake! Even if she is a Saggittaron, if she dies the Admiral and Lee will be wanting some answers and that would get the killing Doc expose (Plus Dee isn't even religious, at all)
    Second, ok I get that a father should be consired if his child (esspeacially one that's been missing for over a year, and just recently returned home) is in the presents of a potential murderer! But again like with Dee, that would just get him exposed. If he's lucky, because if Hera died in his arms Helo would open fire on him before or after Athena rip's his limbs off. beside the Doctor only killed Saggittaron's and while Hera is a cylon (and every human hates them) she's still half human and since her daddy Helo, is Caprican (or some other coloney not counting Saggittaron) they she doen't fit the Doc's M.O. .

    Most people didn't like this episode because it didn't have and action or speacial effects, but if you watched to the previews you should have known that their was no hint of action or effects in this episode. And that's not a bad thing people!
    We need a little dram that fits in with the storyline so the series actually makes since and seems real to us. (Ok not counting all the syfi and cultural stuff, but you know what I mean)

  • Filler, but good fluff.

    Bruce Davidson. Need I say more? As a big fan of X-Men,and his role on Lost's episode "Dave", I was excited to see him in this episode. And it was also good to see Doc Cottle back. This is an episode much in the vein of Black Market, but I still enjoyed it. It won't be found on any 'essential BSG' lists, but it's worth rewatching.

    I enjoyed the scene where Helo punched Tigh. I like Tigh, but that guy deserves all the punches he receives. He can really piss me off sometimes. I need to get a hold of the bonus scenes, the preview of the Adama/Helo scene looked pretty interesting.
  • Another decent episode, it could have used more action sequences.

    One great thing about this show is the topics it tackles. A lot of the topics deals with religion and morals. This episode clearly is about religion. While the colonies had a dozen planets than banded together there was one planet which the other planets considered an outcast. Their belief system was clearly different than the others. One of them was hygiene, another was medical treatment. In this episode one of the doctors seems to always have patients that die under his care. Helo must decide what to do with this doctor even though it looks like the doctor is doing everything possible to care for his patients. It becomes more a trying situation when it involves the care of his daughter.
  • What a boring episode, one of the worst of this season!

    What a boring episode, one of the worst of this season! There happened nothing, not even at least character developement. We just have a doctor who kills some people and gets caught, whoa, what a fun! There is noch story developement, no action, no special effects, i guess when you open a vocabulary by the word "filler", you would see as an example "Woman King, BSG S03". Thanks to the production team of BSG, that we have such great episodes as "Exodus, pt.2". What do i have to say? Maybe there was a contract about exactly 20 Episodes and they had enought plot only for 19, i don't know. Fact is - thts episode s**ked!
  • Quite plain storyline..

    So.. this one goes for Halo - to show that he do has miserable life and cannot cope the new way things are going on.

    The episode promise much, I think - the whole mystery doctor thing, people dying, facts not going together and noone believing Helo.. sounds intriguing but sadly it does follow a very predictable way - I think I managed to guess almost every plot turn going on with that doctor case.

    What else we had - they promise us trial - but it is not coming yet and I like Zarek being worried - something new from him.
  • Tigh: "You may as well take whatever credibility you have left and chuck it out an airlock."

    This episode was a mixed bag for me.

    It didn't bother me having an episode solely about Helo. He's a strong character that always stands up for what he believes in, even if his decision isolates him. He rarely gets adequate screen time anyway, so the episode was a welcomed change.

    What bothered me was that the episode was basically a half-assed attempt of the writers to lazily slap together a filler story. Okay, maybe I’m being too harsh. But seriously. When did hundred of Sagittaron refugees get cramped on Galactica? When did Helo suddenly get placed in charge of them? Kara was teasing him at the beginning of the episode about being in charge of dogtown, so it felt as if the situation had been that way for awhile, but we’ve never heard anything of it before. Plus, where did all those Sagittarons come from? The whole situation just wasn’t explained thoroughly. And the previously (not) on Galactica with five scenes that have never aired, didn't help me out either. If the writers didn't have enough time to fit the full story into their allowed 40 minutes, why not just make it a two-parter? The storyline was certainly engaging enough.

    Dr. Robert screamed “bad!” from the very beginning, which only made me root for Helo even more. I wanted Helo to prove Tigh, Cottle and even Adama wrong. This episode was a good exploration of prejudices, and truth be told, we all know there are people like Roberts in the world. The episode just would have been a lot more effective if we had been adequately introduced to the Sagitarrons’ situation earlier.

    Final Notes and Quotes

    - Survivor Count: 41,401.

    - I loved Six making out with her imaginary Gaius while Roslin watched.

    - Six's imaginary Gaius didn't have a beard. How will the writers cover that next week with the real Gaius? James Callis can't grow his hair back that fast.

    - In Joe's Bar, Dualla and Lee looked fairly happy playing darts. I'm sure that won't last for long.

    - I'm really hating the bonus scenes. Do we now assume that Adama knows about Helo, or since the scene was technically cut, do we just ignore it? If the writers can't fit the full scene into the episode, why not just wait and put it in next week’s?

    - Adama: "There’s hate, and there’s allowing hate. Two sides of the same coin, really.”

    - Tom Zarek: "Baltar will get his trial and this is what you'll get: a hurricane. The media will descend on you and watch and scrutinize and question your every move. You will have sectarian violence. You will have assassination attempts. You will have civil unrest on a scale we've never seen." Come on, let's just get to the trial already. The writers are probably saving it for the season finale, aren't they?

    - BSG has been renewed for a 13 episode fourth season. Sci Fi would have been crazy not to.

    Final Rating: Good story, but if I examine the episode as a whole...2 out of 4 stars.

    - Tim Bronx
    Find this and many more reviews at:
  • Like "Unfinished Business" - a challenging, self contained drama possessing the extraordinary high standards of writing, acting and directing that only BSG is capable of.

    Once again all other US-sourced TV drama is left embarrassed, with its pants down in the face of "The Woman King". For many, perhaps used to crash-bang-wallop telly (24 being the worst example) watching this episode would be a horrifying prospect - in BSG the audience isn't being constantly insulted, having their intelligence questioned to the point that every detail or revelation or even joke has to explained labouriously.

    Great to see Tahmoh Penikett allowed the opportunity to stretch out over an entire episode - and the wonderful scene with Roslin watching Caprica air-kissing was just poetic. I thought "Unfinished Business" was the greatest piece of US-produced TV drama of the last 30 years. "The Woman King" managed to match it. I can understand many despairing at both these episodes - but BSG is breaking new ground in TV drama, painting characters in multiple dimensions that cruelly expose the cardboard cut-outs that most dramas provide.

    It'll be entertaining to watch the members of the Academy of Television Arts and Science try to wriggle-out of awarding either "Unfinished Business" or "The Woman King" best drama episode. No doubt some utterly pointless randomly-chosen episode of some syndicated show will win, but its director, whoever the lucky soul is, will be reminded over the years to come that they were never deserving of it.
  • A nice side story staring Helo.

    A just love Helo ! He's not only the sexiest one, he's also the kindest and loving one. I enjoyed a lot its journey on occupied Caprica with Sharon "Athena", and this episode shows once again how good and caring this man is. He's now my favorite character (just before Adama and the incredible Gaius).

    Helo is the one with heart and balls. Always listening to its feeling, and always making the good decisions. I like a lot its relationship with Sharon. He's really the man apart, in love with one of the enemy, father of some kind of "cybrid".

    I hope to see more about Helo in future episodes, because even if I liked a lot the relationship between Starbuck (my previous favorite) and Lee, it was getting old none the less.

    My conclusion : a side episode, but as always with Battlestar Gallactica, a really nice one (if only Lost had followed the same quality path).
  • Nice episode.

    The Sagittarons come down with a deadly disease and they are relying on the Galactica doctors to deal with their sickness. As a number of the Sagittarons die after getting treated, Helo investigates if the doctor has something to do with it. This episode explores a race relation theme that mirrors the issues that people deal in the real world. It's a mind boggling episode, that issue is dramatized for the whole episode, they pull it off really well. Even though there's no space battle this week, I still enjoyed it with the nicely directed episode, it's a good storyline.
  • This was a very decent episode about humans being humans, but it felt like the next few episodes will be more pivotal.

    This was a very decent episode about humans being humans, but it felt like the next few episodes will be more pivotal.

    Many ugly traits of humanity were pictured in this episode devoid of Cylon activity... Could it be because when there is no need to be heroic, humans can tend to be mediocre?

    A genuinely scareed Tom Zarek warns the president (and us) to brace for the mess that Balthar's trial will create, and Six's presence is suspiciously well timed with the rest of these events.

    Maybe the bonus sequence with Helo admitting he killed the sick Cylons to prevent a genocide on the regeneration ship should have made its way into the final cut?

    No matter... we got to see it anyway!
  • No matter what, humans are humans.

    The great thing about this episode was my impression that when everything was incriminating Bruce Davinson's character I thought: "It can't be him. It's too obvious and dull. It must be the vaccine reacting with the conconotion the Sagittarons take." But I was wrong in the end and the storyline was only a reflection of our own present prejudices, which is valid, but still not as good as the other one.

    Anyway, no Cylon whatsoever threatening the Colonial Fleet by the second episode in a row and just as that nothing truly happens.

    Hence the best moment in the episode is the clash of arguments between President Roslin and Tom Zarek concerning. Funny how President Roslin is showing symptons of conscience after so long and so many harsh decisions through insisting in Baltar's trial. To quote myself in my last episode review: "even if it is a major plot development, it's silly that you can waste your time in a trial while running for your life. Trial by the way which can divide the entire fleet once again".

    Another good achievement is Gabrielle Rose's performance as Mrs. King. Truly believable.

    Stay tuned! This season finale promises.
  • Trust issues and racism.

    I enjoyed this episode.The plot itself wasn't so great, but what it revealed about the characters was good.

    Exploring Cottle and Helo...and even Dee (without her boy toy.)

    And of course, Tigh ended up getting something special "thrown" into the mix.

    Bruce Davison (or Davidson?) as the ethics challenged doctor was a wonderful, if obvious, choice. He did a fine job.

    I think the episode was stretched longer than it needed to be. Possibly less Dr. Roberts/Sagittaron stuff and a little more Baltar/Six/trial stuff would have made it a truly excellent episode. ...But, that's the problem with these "hero" episodes (we all remember Black Market from Season 2) Episodes that deviate from the main story and focus on a single character's strengths in a single episode contained story. This year it's Helo. Subplots are wasted in Hero episodes...but the scene with Zarek was excellent. A little more of that would have been nice.
  • Back to season 1, dealing with fleet problems, character development everything we missed about Battlestar Galactica.

    For a long time we were not told about what was going on in the fleet. The show basically focused on cylons and earth for the last few episodes(not 3x12 it was totally out of story) of course thats where the storyline belongs but having these kind of episodes shows us the drama and the drama of the series was basically kept alive by the fleets struggle for survival. Season 1 made me and everyone else a fan to the show where the the story was basically about humans trying to survive from cylon attacks and the natural problems that they face with.

    This episode was about the Sagitarions, Dr.Roberts and Helo, the concept racism amongst humans was the plot. Although it was the first time we saw the character Dr.Roberts, by Bruce Davison's great acting we understood what kind of person he was. Helo was just the perfect character to deal with the issue that Sagitarions had, he was just the opposite character of Dr.Roberts. he was the one who gave up his seat for Baltar, he was the one who prevented the cylon genocide, he basically was the right one to help Sagitarions. And I am glad that he and all the others finally accept Helo as being a Captian, not just a soldier who is married to the cylon. He is an interesting character and will continue to be. We didn't know racism to the Sagitarions was that intense, it was mentioned in some older episodes but for sure we didn't know that people hate them this much. Actually Dr.Roberts was really a complex character, what he did (for some people)couldn't be considered as racism, he was doing what he think is supposed to be right. Sagitarions were rejecting to have medicine and in his perpective why bother to waste medicine to people who dont even ask to be treated. But still it is racism...

    Having these kind of episode ones in a while helps us understand what is going on in the fleet and in Galactica. We shouldn't be shown only Human vs. Cylon episodes. There should be episodes like this one showing us the problems of humans, cylons and even characters singly. It will help us how thing are going within the races.
  • You could call this week’s Battlestar Galactica installment a filler episode. And while it didn’t advance the overall story arc of the show in any significant way, I think it set up some things for the final run of epiosdes this year.

    You could call this week’s Battlestar Galactica installment a filler episode. And while it didn’t advance the overall story arc of the show in any significant way, I think it set up some things for the final run of epiosdes this year and it gave us some nice character development for Helo. Of course, part of the problem with the show was it was completely mis-promoed by SciFi. If you tuned in expecting the trial of Gaius Baltar, you’d be sorely disappointed. It looks like that event won’t be coming for several weeks, but I did enjoy how they’re building up to it. Any time you bring in wild card Tom Zarak is good in my book. For a character who I originally thought was nothing more than a olive branch to Richard Hatch, I have to admit Zarak has grown on me, so much so that I look forward to seeing him on screen. His conversation with Roslin here about how the fleet will react to Baltar’s trial was great and it’s an interesting bookend to his justification earlier this year for having a secret tribunal for those percevied war criminals on New Caprica. Meanwhile, we have Helo, was was front and center of the episode. A few weeks ago, I wondered if Helo’s actions (killing the Cylons, helping Sharon download) would come back to haunt him. Here we see that those actions have made him lose a lot of face in the command structure of Galactica. It’s clear that Adama is keeping him close and giving him the least flashy assignments. Cleary Helo is working on building back some trust, though Adama and company don’t know he was the one who killed the Cylons rather than let them be used to take the virus back to the basestar. That said, I think they suspected. (Though the deleted scene at episode’s end has Helo confess. I can see why it was cut).

    Helo wants to not just be defined by his choices. He wants to be listened to, taken seriously and accepted as an officer. But his personal choices keep coming back to bite him. Even though he’s done morally the right thing, he’s not done what the socially acceptable thing and we can see that haunting him here. The near-fight with Tigh was great and it’s interesting to hear Tigh berate Helo for not following orders. It’s not like Tigh has exactly been the model soldier and follower himself. But what it comes down to is that Tigh’s loyalty to Adama is beyond question. The question here is–what are Helo’s loyalties?

    All of that said, I wish we’d have a better plotline for these issues to come up. I assumed long ago that there had to be more than one doctor in the fleet but it might have been nice to have heard about him before now. Here’s a character that was down on New Caprica, but we never saw him. Also, making him such a bigot and out to destroy the Sagittaran race made him a bit too Syndley Whiplash for my liking. It’s hard to see the character in shades of gray as the story clearly wanted us to do when we’ve only just met the guy. Add to it that the story follows a pretty standard storyline to the inevitable conclusion and you’ve got the big reason why this episode disappointed me. I know that Battlestar is constrained by the standard elements and cliches of television drama, but what I’ve come to love about the show is how it will take them, put a new spin on them or do something unexpected with the standard plotlines. Not the case here.

    As a main plotline, it didn’t thrill me. But like I said, I still like the direction the story took Helo’s character. That said, it might have been an interesting choice here to kill Dee off at this point. It would have been an unconventional move, especially in the light of the episode not focusing on her. I don’t want her dead, but it might have been a nice way of getting Adama and company to take Helo’s accustations a bit more seriously and it would have worked well within the plot.
  • Helo on the side of right for a change? surley some mistake

    A group of 300 civilians is re housed in galactica`s hangar bay.(why now, they lost those ships ages ago)It quicky resembles a shanty town and among them are 50 Sagitarons who refuse medical care as a blasphemy against the gods.
    A civilian doctor and an old friend of tighs notices a case Mellorak Sickness.Easily curable but of course the sagitarons will refuse treatment.
    When a young male dies even after recieving the cure helo`s spidey sense starts tingling.
    More deaths follow and helo take his suspicions to the senior staff.Who very quickly shout him down and attempt to bully him into keeping quite.
    Cottle tells helo later to drop it the dead sagitarons did have the cure in thier system they were just too far gone.
    Apollos wife ,Lt Dualla ,falls ill and goes down to the launch bay for treatment.As she is a sagitaron ,helo belives she is in immediate danger and races down thier to get her to Doc cottle.Marines are called in Helo starts throwing punches as guns are drawn.Tigh and Cottle arrive and supriseingly take helos side asking him to arrest the doctor.Cottle confesses he didnt run the autopsies until a few hours ago none of the sagitarons had the cure in their system,some where even poisoned.

    i hate helo this season
    Maybe the promotions gone to his head
    his little moral crusade against everyone else in the fleet was super annoying and his action during the attempted genocide of the cylons were just stupid.
    But here we find him on the side of human life for a change and with everyone and his wife telling him to "drop it " he carries on regardless until he unmasks the bigot
    Helo the Hero?
    Maybe ,but i cant let go of my prejudices ,either.

    A good episode and we needed one after all the below average fillers recently.
    The guest doc is a fine actor
    and turns from sympathetic to creepy quite easily
    God bless senitor kelly
  • Helo bores me, no surprises in this episode

    Really low on action, and not the typical weaving of the numerous subplots into the episode, which really for me makes this show what it is. I love the drama, but you could see where this one was going a mile away, which took quite a bit wind out of the sails of the surprise ship. Helo is a pretty boring character all around....Starbuck and Apollo- now there's tension.
  • Helo becomes a suspicious of a doctor treating Saggitarian refugees, who seem to have an alarming mortality rate relative to other humans. Veteran Bruce Davison plays the doctor.

    Although I think it's well worth establishing the differences between the colonies, in this case the apparently luddite Saggitarions, I really found this episode a bit derivative and boring. Helo is an important character, but was this really the way to explore him? I don't think so, and I was somewhat disappointed with this installment. Almost all major characters appear on vacation as well, which is OK except there is a lot of things going on in the plot of this show, which makes this pure filler.

    Still, the performances were good as always and there will probably be payoffs down the line with regards to Helo and Sharon.

    Nothing much happened really as far as the main storyline goes - Cylons were taking the day off somewhere.
  • To combine some of the previous reactions: Filler, but a GREAT filler and more importantly everything that makes great drama was here.

    It's interesting to see how some people give it a low grade because it was not SF enough, but people - what great hour of suspense! The strength of BSG does not lie (only) in space battles and Cylon intrigue - its amazing power is in the DRAMA, and it remains the top drama show on TV today. Fight of a few (in this case one) against the many with so much on the line and your closest doubting you is the cornerstone of heroism and it was magnificently done here, especially with the switch of Sharon in this case. This is IT guys, this is the ultimate character drive, and for a filler episode, it truly rocked.
    Now, assuming Season 4 gets ordered in the next few days, I hope the writers can give themselves some room to advance the epochal human/Cylon/religion hybrid storyline which is, to me, in top 3 storylines ever in TV history.
  • Filler, but a really good filler.

    I had my doubts when I saw the preivews about the strength of this episode. It is obviously a filler, as I believe this Sunday's episode is as well. However, this was a really powerful episode in my opinion. First, I like the way that they paint the Saggitaron issue. The writers did a great job with the racism issue. In fact, I think it's more religious discrimination, since the Saggitarons do not believe in medicine or science. The fact that this obvious pre-existing prejudice hasn't gone away and in fact has intensified as a result of the New Caprican occupation shows just how much humanity hasn't changed for the fleet. Helo is just a great character. I was a little annoyed by his character in earlier seasons, but I believe he has developed into a fine character. He has become the defacto moral compass for the leaders of the fleet through his words and actions.
  • Sorry, but this episode ROCKED. From start to finish....

    ... I understood what was happening, who was motivated by what and I found myself really engrossed in the story, depsite the fact that I've only start watching this show at the end of last season and I'm way behind. I loved Helo's problem. Stuck in the middle between his desire to please and not make waves vs standing up for what's right. Laughed a few times outloud, too, especially when President Laura is watching the Cylon woman air-kiss. Great stuff. Bravo!
  • this episode was pointless

    ONCE again we are stuck with a dumb filler. I am even more mad about this episode than the boxing because at least in the boxing episode they gave you the right preview. Last week all they talked about was Baltar's trial and how he was going to get it, and in the preview they talk about Baltar's trial. And then we get stuck with this dumb episode about disease and sagitarreons. Give me a break. Get this series back on track, give me some war scenes with the cylons, show some more clues about earth and forget these DUMB FILLERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Not a good episode.

    How can I sum up this episode with a word?


    The general plot was boring. I'm usually glued to my screen for BSG, but I got through 3 sudokus while watching this week!

    That nutter of a doctor? Reminiscent of our own Dr Harold Shipman. For those unfamiliar with his handywork, he used to kill off old ladies with a syringe of morphine. Sound familiar?

    Thought the end tied things up just a little too neatly. They should have left out the why.

    As for the rest of the episode, no real action, no real character development - except for Helo. Anyway, weren't we all hoping for the baltar trial this time after the last teaser trailer?
  • It may be a filler, but it does give vievers a very interesting insight on the racial tension that aren't normally seen on the Galactica.

    Quoting Broadway's Avenue Q, "It sucks to be me." or in this case, it sucks to be Helo...he's gone from being stranded on a nuked out Caprica, to being ostracized on Galactica because of his relationship with Athena, to being XO during the stint on New Caprica, to being kicked out of his position as XO (even if it was only temporary anyways) to being the director of the civilian population on galactica.

    And to top it all off, Helo now has to deal with a doctor who apparently doesnt like the Sagitarion's all that much... and when Helo tries to tell his superiors that Dr. Robert is killing patients, no one believes really stinks to be Helo...

    Though it was fun watching him punch out reminded me of a certain incident in the miniseries between Tigh and a certain viper pilot...except Helo didnt get arested like Kara did...

    But in the end, Adama apologizes to Helo for not listening to him, and it seems that Helo might be on the road to forgiving him for the 'little' incident involving Hera's 'death' Quoting Avenue Q one more time, it seems like "everyone's a little bit racist" too...Poor Sagitarions...
  • The unfortunate victim of rewrites and a lack of direction

    Writing is always an organic process. This is definitely true when dealing with a medium like television. Long-range plans are changed based on external factors and the realization that certain ideas don’t necessarily pan out as one might have hoped. In the case of “Battlestar: Galactica”, we happen to be witness to one such situation.

    As Ron Moore and others have already mentioned in podcasts and elsewhere, the original plan was to center the upcoming trial of Gaius Baltar on a messy situation involving a group of Sagittarons on New Caprica. Gaeta, Zarek, and others would be implicated. Scenes had been filmed in earlier episodes to develop and lead into the circumstances of the trial. However, when the time came to work out the details, the writers realized that the Sagittaron subplot wasn’t panned out as intended.

    This led to an interesting revision of existing, completed episodes. For example, in “Taking a Break From All Your Worries”, Baltar confronts Gaeta with something in his cell; this was originally supposed to be related to the Sagittaron subplot. Similarly, this episode contains a number of references to Sagittarons that seem out of place, as if the issues had been gathering steam over time.

    In fact, many of the scenes in the recap in the teaser related to Helo’s current assignment and the bigotry towards Sagittarons never made it into previous episodes. This tactic is quite annoying, because it doesn’t play fair with the audience. It creates the impression that the issues in this episode were developing over time, when they were purposefully cut out of the story. That starts the audience off on the wrong foot.

    All of that said, the episode itself manages to recover from this lack of context. Sure, the negativity towards religious Sagittarons feels like something out of left field, because in essence, that’s what it is. Why there would be an influx of Sagittaron refugees this long after the flight from New Caprica is never explained. More to the point, the most religious colony had previously been Geminon. All we know about Sagittara is that Zarek and Dualla come from that colony. (For that matter, it should be interesting to go back to the first issue of the recent “Zarek” comic mini-series to see if the details are remotely similar.)

    The Sagittarons in this episode are similar to extreme versions of Christian Scientists who reject modern medicine. As mentioned already, the venomous bigotry that results is a bit awkward because this detail was never discussed in previous episodes. But this does present Helo with a particularly simple case of right vs. wrong, a situation where his unpopular moral fortitude can be justified. As someone clearly sidelined for violating orders in previous situations, Helo gets a simple opportunity to play the hero and uncover something to restore his standing in the fleet.

    Because of all the changes to the overall story arc, the episode seems a bit out of place. Bereft of any real connections with the overall progression of the story, it becomes an isolated character piece for Helo. His character development doesn’t particular go anywhere, either, since the story relies on a fairly conventional plot about exposing hidden prejudices. It’s interesting enough to see that applied along religious or ideological lines rather than simple racial or gender lines, but it does come across as overdone. Ultimately, the episode has some interesting and worthwhile scenes, but the end effect of too many rewrites left it less than satisfying.
  • Usually, I lurk but the mouth is a terrible thing to waste. Perched on my soapbox, I have to say, given the material and the nature of "Woman King" I wouldv've given it an 11...

    Feeling, character-wise, and in its' sensibility, here is an episode that has very little in common with most BSG episodes -- and I fRAKKING LOVED IT. It changed pace, with the Zarek scenes. It amused with Laura watching Caprica Six air-kiss with no one there, and it had a hero -- Helo.
    He stood up, tho he was in the minority, a boy who cried wolf kind of thing, and he stuck to his guns. The producers, Eick & Moore should get a tip of the hat for going out on a limb.
  • Filler? I don't quite understand what that means. This episode was a compelling, self-contained story that hit the mark on many different levels.

    It's been said before, but evidently bears repeating. If every show of BSG must involve some Cylon epiphany or goo-swimming, or dogfights between vipers and raiders and all that military jazz, 163 people whould wathc the show. I love Helo. This was his story. Listen to Mr. Moore's podcast. He succeeded in telling a tense, wonderful tale about a man who I would consider the moral conscience of this series.
  • But what fine filler it is.

    This episode was an excellent example of how to craft a stand-alone installment of a show. It took its roots from previous developments we've seen while revealing some unfortunate, and all too human, predjudices from the more carefree Colonial era. The tribal aspect of the Colonies is reinforced and we viewers were given a very believable peek inside the nationalism that existed before the Cylon attacks as well as the differences that set the Colonials so far apart. That this history is augmented by a quality character building journey of the idealistic Helo, who is beginning to feel he is losing his way, serves to make this quite the interesting episode. Fans of the series can also rejoice in the return of Tom Zarek!
  • A good Helo show - but the writers' just couldn't leave well enough alone could they!!!!

    All in all, I thought this was a good episode. Some good character development on Helo. It was filler in a way, I do agree, but it was good filler in that it concentrated on one specific character and we learn a lot about him.

    Especially good were the scenes between him and Tigh, and between him and Adama.

    And none of Helo is why I gave this a 7. Hell, it could have been an 8, or maybe an 8.5, but the writers' just had to do it didn't they? It was only for a second, and hasn't been as bad and cheesy as the past couple of episodes, but there it was, that lovelorn, lovetorn look from Starbuck at Lee and Dee having fun at the bar playing Pyramid X.

    And just for that, I penalize you 1pt!!
  • An O.K episode.

    There are moments in the Battlestar Galactica series when the story told within the episode seems random and doesnt contribute to the overall plot. Well, this was one of those moments. I might have been spoiled with numerous episodes which has truly kept me on the edge of the seat, but this was not one of them. The episode itself is O.K, its not good, nor is it bad. But you don't walk away satesfied and longing for the next episode. We all know that MOST series need some of these episodes, and I recognize that. But let us hope that the number of them is rather limited.
< 1 2