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precarious since 1997 | by maryann johanson

‘Battlestar Galactica’ blogging: “The Ties That Bind”

(lots of spoilers! assumes you’ve seen the episode!)

(previous: “Six of One”)

See, here is the damnedest thing about Battlestar Galactica: When a secret Cylon skinjob commits coldblooded murder, you just can’t tell whether that means that all the secret skinjobs really are soulless evil machines after all (even after they finish telling you that they’re not), or whether Tory would have killed Cally by flushing her out the airlock anyway to protect herself even if Tory were actually 100-percent old-fashioned flesh-and-blood unprogrammed human being, and not a secret Cylon skinjob at all. The show has simply never been so black-and-white that you could say “Cylon = coldblooded murderer” and “human = not.”
Cuz Tory didn’t kill Cally’s baby, right? And she could have. Or was saving the baby just more ruthless machine-style calcuation, to ensure that it seemed like Cally committed suicide (though a suicidal woman certainly might have killed even her own baby as well, right?) So maybe Tory’s just a bad, merciless person, whether she’s human or Cylon. On the other hand, she did tell Tyrol that she’s “being flooded with new sensations, new feelings” and that “in some ways I don’t hate this,” this being the whole discovering she’s a Cylon thing.

And then we also have the resurrected Cavil telling the resurrected Boomer — as they massacre a whole ton of Cylon Sixes and Eights (maybe even wiping out their capability to resurrect? I think that’s what we’re supposed to take from that bit) — that while the Sixes and Eights have their god to take care of their immortal souls, they — Cavil and Boomer — are just “machines, we don’t have souls.” Ah, so not all the Cylons share Six’s religion. So has this whole civil war thing been brewing since long before the Cylons even nuked the colonies?

Geez, it’s bad enough I can barely keep up with all the layers of culture and religion and politics happening among the humans and the Cylons today — now I gotta rethink everything that’s already happened?

Cuz it’s happening — the falling apart, the schisms, the mistrust — in the human fleet, too. Why does Tom Zarek look like he’s sizing up Lee like a slavering wolverine ready to eat him up? Is it obvious to everyone except Lee that he’s being used by Zarek and maybe even by Roslin… and that poor Lee is going to be ripped to shreds in the end? Has Starbuck finally gone round the bend, painting murals (of Earth?) on the bulkheads of her garbage ship and insulting poor Sam as foreplay? What the frak?

There maybe some folks actually still alive and physically breathing by the time they all find Earth, but their shrink bills later are gonna be enormous…

Random thoughts on “The Ties That Bind”:

• For a population of less than 40,000, the percentage of people who are journalists seems to be extraordinarily high.

• Starbuck is using paper maps and compasses (the mathematical kind, not the find-magnetic-north kind) — I think I saw a slide rule there too — on her quest to find Earth. That cannot be a good indication that the outcome of this quest will be positive.

• Centurions doing housekeeping? Only if you ask nicely, I guess, and say “please.”

• The secret skinjobs meet in weapons locker “1701D,” which was the registration number of the new Enterprise. Coincidence? Or are the Cylons actually the life’s work of Dr. Noonien Soong?

(next: “Escape Velocity”)

(Watch full episodes and get recaps at Sci Fi’s official site for the show.)

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