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BSG 4.03: "The Tie That Binds"

Yay! Finally a new episode I'm excited about!

This is one of those television hours that it pays off for the viewers to abstain from knowing anything beforehand.  If I had known what was coming, the thrill would have been less, I'm sure.  So note to self: avoid spoilers by all means from now on.

I quite loved what Lee did in this episode.

Once again, Lee acted boldly.  He 1) practically put the words in Mdm Prez's mouth, in front of the Quroum, that she should keep her mind open on other possible route to Earth; and 2) forced Mdm Prez's hand to put her secret Executive Order 112 on the table for open discussion.

It was exasperating, for Roslin in particular, how everyone was so fixated on Demetrius.  But, there was a good reason for the public interest.  Based on the rumors regarding its mission, people were worried the fleet was either about to run out of food again, or had no idea where it was going.

That's where Lee came in.

He understood the legitimacy of people's concern.  Thus he tried to placate them by confirming the rumor that Demetrius was indeed searching the way to Earth.  However, Lee didn't say the direction in which the fleet currently headed was wrong.  He explained Mdm Prez and his father were merely being prudent by eliminating other possibilities.  Lee's words effectively eased the anxiety of those who were present in the room.

Well, everyone except Roslin, who wanted none of that, as it turned out.  In fact, she didn't appreciate Lee's explanation at all.

Demetrius' mission was not Roslin's idea.  That was Adama's "pet project", and Roslin had her own reason to keep it a secret.  She could not afford anyone, herself included, to ever doubt her as the prophesied leader.  She wanted to believe she was the one, foretold by Pythia, to guide the people to their new home; and there was no other way to get there except following the road map she had discovered.  Thus she flatly rejected Lee's helpful words.

Roslin calling Lee a "junior delegate" was harsh.  It was designed to put him down and trivialize his opinions in the eyes of his peers.  It showcased just how condescending Mdm Prez could become.  Lee was appointed to the Quorum as the delegate representing Caprica -- one of, if not the most important colony amongst the Twelve. The way I see it, the only thing junior about Lee was his age.  Yes, he lacked experience, but that surely doesn't make a politician's position any less important!

I think Lee was peeved by Roslin's jab towards him.  Personal insult aside, Lee was concerned, rightfully so, that Roslin no longer seemed interested in maintaining transparency of her administration.  From Lee's perspective, it looked like she didn't feel it was necessary to answer to people on what she was doing.  On top of that, Lee must have thought Roslin intended to sideline him, as she did Zarek.

I'm thrilled Zarek is getting some screen time in this episode.  He is an interesting character, especially played off against Lee.  When putting these two together, they reflect each other rather well.

Zarek was ambitious, no doubt.  He's also someone who's highly perceptive.

What Zarek said about Roslin was dead-on, I think.  He warned Lee Roslin was well on her way to become despotic.  However, he also pointed out Roslin does not crave power. She was merely driven by the need to save everyone.  Only, that could make her even more dangerous, in my opinion.  Her noble cause could largely disguise her fallacy, making it that much harder for anyone to question her decisions.

It was interesting Lee argued with Zarek that "a benevolent tyrant is what you need sometimes".  It's almost as if he wanted to convince himself of that.  In fact, I think he tried to believe it ever since he learned and accepted the fact Roslin wanted to assassinate Cain.

But ultimately, he couldn't do it.  He couldn't easily abandon his principles, especially when justice was on the line.  Lee could not standby and see the judiciary system become a mere "extension" of the executive branch without a good fight.  So challenge Mdm Prez he did!  Lee brought Roslin's classified EO 112 to everyone's (Quorum members) attention.

Zarek's hand in this whole business was not without an ulterior motive, I think.  While he was worried about democracy and all that, Zarek had a harder time staying on the sideline, a situation forced upon him by Roslin.  So he wanted to thwart her from amassing too much power.  Yet he knew he lacked the necessary clout to openly challenge the President.  Besides, why should he, when there was someone else who could do the work for him, and bear the brunt of the fallout should there be any?

So he brought Lee into the mix.  With Lee, Zarek recognized the same ideology he possessed and fought for. He also sensed Lee was driven by beliefs, not ambitions like him.  I suspect Zarek's objective was to have Lee challenge Roslin, while he stand back and reap the benefits from the clashes.

Thus, when Lee got up for the second time, Zarek fought very hard to have Lee's voice be heard.  With that classified folder in Lee's hand, Zarek sensed what Lee was going to say.

However Roslin, a seasoned politician, surprised everyone by cunningly claiming EO 112 was a "work in progress".  Ha!  WIP my...  She's lying through her teeth!

I think Zarek spoke the truth when he said more and more of Roslin's EO's were stamped with the "Classified" seal these days, effectively bypassing the public scrutiny.  If her other classified EO's were enacted without debate, why would she open this one for discussion? Especially when she wholeheartedly believed her decision was made in everyone's best interest.

With her death looming over the horizon, I think Roslin has less patient with inefficiency.  She wants to get things done, without the fuss.  If it means she has to do them under-the-table, so be it!  Secrecy is not something that bothers Roslin.  In fact, she is someone who's used to operate in it, i.e. her clandestine relationship with the late President Adar, her scheme for Cain's assassination, and her underhanded election rig...

I realize I'm making Roslin sound horrible.  The truth is I really feel for this character, almost as much as I do for Lee.  I think like Lee, she's deliciously human, with all the wisdoms and weaknesses a human can have.  I also see her as the mother figure of the fleet.  How many times would a mother ask her child do things without explaining herself?! ;)

Anyway, if Lee hadn't spoken up, I think EO 112 would have quietly slipped under the "radar".  However, Roslin stole Lee's thunder by putting forth a slick comeback.  I don't think Lee minded that part very much though, so long as he prevented EO 112 from happening.  Lee seemed satisfied with Roslin's consent to openly discuss how to establish the judiciary system.  On the other hand, Zarek seemed disappointed with the outcome.  He seemed less than thrilled the Quorum failed to see the totalitarian Roslin has become.  Interestingly Roslin, though skirted around the issue, seemed very annoyed with Lee for forcing her hand.  No, she didn't like that one bit!  In my opinion, this "round" ended in a 3-way tie for now. I'm excited to see what would happen next.


Having enthused so much over the things I liked, now is the time to list those that didn't quite work for me.

I was shocked to see most of Galactica's important personnels went with Kara.  The flip side of it was the relief that Helo did not resume his duty as CAG!  Heh, does that mean Hotdog is now the "King of Pilots"?

When I saw both Helo and Athena on Demetrius, my first reaction was -- but, but, but... What about Hera?!  Did they bring her along as well? Given how their daughter was stolen from them before, did they entrust her with someone else on Galactica?! ::aghast::

As to Kara, all I got from her segment was the affirmation that her emotions were directly tied into her impulses.  Her line "I only married you (Anders) because you were safe and easy" made me cringe and giggle out loud.  It sounded like a line lifted directly out of some cheesy K/L fanfics!  ::roll eyes::

I was not even surprised that after announcing Anders didn't mean a thing to her, Kara all but propositioned him to frak her brain out.  Reincarnated or not, Kara is consistently inconsistent.  I'd be surprised if she would actually make sense these days.  In a nutshell, she hasn't changed a bit -- she's still impulsive; and oblivious to other people's feelings.

By the way, Anders is such a milquetoast.  He "jumps" every time Kara hollers.  Grow a pair of balls already!  Good looking or not, I could never see the attraction of this character.  But Kara fantasized about being married to him!  Heh, she just wants to get them all... *g*

I'm also vexed by the naivety of the Sixes (6's) and the Sharons (8's).  They knew Cavils, and etc. were downloaded to the Resurrection ship after being driven off the Basestar.  But they never suspected Cavils' side would take control over that ship?  The 6's and the 8's were the ones who started the shooting game, yet they didn't expect the other side to shoot back?  Tsk, tsk, tsk...

Anyway, either that brunette Six (she looks much prettier than Caprica Six without the blonde wig) was not Natalie, or they survived the attack after all. Here's my question: if it took that little to box the 3's, why didn't Cavil box the 6's and the 8's as well? After all, these 6's and 8's not only openly discussed the Final Fives, they had also started what amounted to a cylon civil war!

The dialog between Cavil and Boomer as they watched those 6's and 8's dying was peculiar to me:
Cavil: "They can trust their god to watch over their immortal souls."
Boomer: "And what about us?"
Cavil: "We are machines, we have no souls."
Wait a minute, those 6's and 8's are not machines like Cavil and Boomer?!  ::scratch head::

On a lighter note, here's something else that's odd:  when Demetrius first showed up in this episode, the caption on screen reads "Day 22".  So it's logical to assume it's been 22 days since the end of last episode ("Six of One").  Yet, the Centurions were still cleaning the blood off the walls on the Basestar?!  They aren't very efficient, are they?  Or maybe since these Centurions each got a reasoning chip thanks to Six, they figured why should they do the menial work while Sixes and Sharons sat around and looking pretty?  Heh, I have this mental image of the Toasters hanging around in that fancy lounge while the furious Six and Sharon stormed into the room demanding they clean up their messes!

Overall, this Cylon in-flighting story arc didn't make much sense to me. The more I see them, the less threatening these machines become. To think they were once this oppressing, omnipotent force in the mini and "33" was surreal.  I long for the feel of dread and danger the red-suited Six induced as she cat-walked into the Armistice at the very beginning of the series.

Which brings me back to what excited me the most about this episode -- Tori killing Cally!

I totally did not expect that.

I was thrilled.  Don't get me wrong, I felt quite sorry for Cally (and Chief).  I don't dislike her.  I think she loved Chief very much, always has been.  Even after she found out the truth about her husband, and consequently felt being used, Cally still protected him.  She'd rather kill herself than betray Tyrol's secret.  Yes, it was wrong for her to take the baby with her to commit suicide. But I cut her some slack for being so overwhelmed that she wasn't thinking straight. In fact, toward the end, she was saying sorry to Nicky, and changed her mind.  But Tori took the baby and silenced her...

The way Tori killed Cally gave me chills.  She did it in such a coldblooded way, without any remorse whatsoever.

When the identities of the Final Four were revealed, because Tigh and Chief were well established "good guys", I had assumed these last cylons were ALL good, that they would fight with the humans, not against them.  But Tori surprised me!

One of the problems I had with the show since season 3 was that the imminent danger was gone -- the cylons were no longer that evil, they weren't even that smart.  But Tori changed things for me.

All of a sudden, I realized it was wrong to assume the Final Fives would all mean good, and they would help the humans.  I'm not saying they would all turn out to be bad, but the certainty was removed, and anything can happen at this point.  Now, there's the danger lurking from within (the fleet), and the menace resumed!
 

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