BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Recap: The Oath - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


January 31, 2009 by  

Gaeta is a douche. (And that poetic opening illustrated why I will never be a proper TV writer). But seriously, Gaeta is a douche.

In this chaotic yet wonderfully paced episode, mutiny ruled as Zarek and Geata seized power of Galactica. Rosalin gave up on fighting her cancer but ultimately came back swinging in the eleventh hour. Kara smooched Lee, and killed a few people.  And Adama and Bill were left for dead.  How’s that for an hour of TV? Nobody does it like BSG.

While watching this episode a favorite movie quote of mine kept running through my head. Indulge me while I quote some Sorkin here, but I think it holds true: “…in the absence of genuine leadership, [they’ll] listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.” And of course the counterpart to that is, “People don’t drink the sand because they’re thirsty. They drink the sand because they don’t know the difference.”

With Rosalin defeated and in seclusion, and the appearance of Adama siding with Cylons (who up until this point everyone was taught to hate as their mortal enemy), the people were left desperate and confused.  The despair over the despondent Earth and a fractured leadership made way for an uprising based in fear and fueled by Zarek’s insatiable ego.

I found it fascinating that the writers could layout this story in such a way that we know who is in the right, but at the same time we can also empathize with those fueling the rebellion.  As is the case in our present day world and much of our history, this uprising and fight is not really about what it appears to be on the surface.  This is not about fighting against an alliance with the Cylons, this is about the hopelessness and fear of the people.  Tom Zarek recognizes this fear and exploits it for personal and political gain. But when you to go to war you need an enemy, and for people aboard Galactica their enemy has always been the Cylons – and now that enemy also include Cylon sympathizers.

What’s missing from Zarek and Gaeta’s grand schemes is the next step.  What are they going to do that is different than what the Adama/Roslin administration was doing? We are already starting to see hints that Gaeta wasn’t fully prepared for what he has brought on despite how hard he tries to convince us and himself otherwise.  Soon I think that Gaeta will see that Zarek is only interested in gaining power, and he will start to regret his role in the uprising, but unfortunately for Gaeta it will be too late.

The return of order to the ship lies in the hands of President Roslin.  She, like many of the others, wallowed in the despair after finding Earth.  And when the leader gives up hope, what’s left for the people?  Nothing.  But in this time of chaos and fear it will be Roslin’s voice that will be heard above the others.  At the time when the rebels should have been their most eager and strong, you could sense that just hearing from Roslin made some of them stop and take a breath.  A few more collective breaths and that could lead to a moment to think; a moment to think could lead to a moment of clarity and that clarity could lead to the revelation that what they are doing is not only wrong but also pointless.

In this time of fear some fall in line like lemmings because they don’t know where else to turn, while others rely on their own instincts as an act of self preservation.  For Starbuck it’s all about taking on the fight. No holds barred. She gets the guns. She kisses the guy. She tries to kill the traitors.  It’s very simple for her right now. For someone like Baltar, he does what he knows to do as well, and that’s cower, run and hide. He’s not a brave man, but I do think his remorse over his past actions will guide him to do the right thing.  Calling Gaeta was something he didn’t have to do, but he knows from personal experience that actions like this have consequences that can’t be seen in the present. For Laura, her instinct to do the right thing for her people came above her personal issue, although perhaps a few minutes too late, but at least she showed. This self sacrifice is what will ultimately prevail.

For some of the people/Cylons aboard the ship, the uprising wasn’t the only major life event taking place around them.  For Six and Tigh it was about seeing pictures of the first ever Cylon/Cylon baby.  To date no two Cylons had ever produced a child despite all the times they tried.  This is where someone better schooled in BSG lore and theory can help me out.  Why do you think it is that in all these generations of Cylons they could never reproduce but now it all of a sudden can happen?  This certainly helps support my personal (but probably wrong) theory that they are all Cylons (for more on my theory check out the latest TV Talk Podcast).  Cylons have been reproducing for years, but all just assumed they were human births.  Hmmm.

Speaking of offspring of the Cylons, tonight we found out that Hot Dog, and not Galen, is the father of Nicholas.  Cally and Hot Dog had an affair right before she married Galen.  The two men fight but soon Galen takes him to see Nicholas, who was hospitalized, and tries to teach him what it means to be a father.  Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but there is a part of me that thinks that Galen is a tiny bit relieved that Nicholas is not a Cylon/human hybrid as now his ‘son’ is in less danger.

Hera, the only known hyrbid, is currently in custody along with Six, Sam, Sharon, Helo and others.  Once again Sharon is threatened with rape by her Pegasus captors (what is it with those guys?).  Six thinks they are all going to be executed, but Sharon thinks that they will be used as pawns against Cavil and the rebel Cylons.  She believes that Zarek and co. think the “new” Cylons know more than they do.  She tells Sam to fake it until he makes it…so to speak.

We end with Bill and Tigh standing up against an army of rebels, ready to die for their cause. It’s the two of them against the world, and the world just whipped a grenade at them.  BOOM! and then …to be continued.  FRAK!

Overall another fantastic episode of BATTELSTAR GALACTICA.  The dreaded “TBC” at the bottom of the screen that made me instinctively want to wish the next week away until its once again Friday.

I’ve babbled on long enough, let’s hear it BSG fans.  What did you think of this episode?  Your thoughts on the actions of the characters? Spill it.


8 Responses to “BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Recap: The Oath”

  1. olddarth on January 31st, 2009 11:10 am

    This would have been a great episode – two seasons ago. I want the show to explore the mythology and the quest to find a new home.

    The whole rebellion ie if we don’t all get along we’re all gonna die mantra has been covered enough in the previous seasons. Don’t get me wrong, these second half Season 4 episodes have been just as well as done as before but that is my main beef. Its been done before on this show.

    7 episodes to go and no closer to the show end game. And next week’s episode is going to be mired in the rebellion stuff again.

    Here is to hoping the show moves into new territory with the remaining half dozen episodes.

  2. Jen on January 31st, 2009 12:58 pm

    OMG Kathy, Brills Sorkin quote. It fits so well with where our characters in BSG are at. 🙂 I loved last nights episode SO MUCH. What an amazing hour of television.

  3. Dawn on January 31st, 2009 3:49 pm

    I couldn’t disagree with olddarth more. Yes, we all want to see where they find a new home, but this episode touched on so many realistic political/personal struggles that resonate with us today (racism, the inability of people to deal when they are told their sworn enemies are no longer their enemies, etc.). And I don’t think “this has been done before.” Yes, some of the themes are recurring, but I don’t think that’s a sign of weakness. The “in search of a home” theme is a also a recurring (4 seasons even) thing, but that’s the whole point of the show! I doubt you would’ve said in season 2, gosh, why won’t they just find a home and end the show already, they keep doing the same thing. If anything, they’ve added a whole new take on the “live together or die alone” idea. Never, ever has there been as serious a threat to the government/military as this one. Never have rebels come so close to destroying the fleet from within. Adama and Tigh have lost control of Galactica!! Not just psychologically, but physically! Even during the Adama coma episodes, there was some semblance of order and control of the fleet, because Tigh was there. This is terrorists taking over and taking their leaders as hostage. Relieving Adama of his post – wow. I think this episode was incredible.

  4. JJ Mace on January 31st, 2009 6:20 pm

    This was the best episode of BSG ever. The writing, the acting it all came together like never before. I was in tears. This is the endless human tragedy will we survive our own attempts to destroy ourselves. We sow the seeds of our own destruction with the best intentions. Will we ever learn that we are our own worst enemy. Can we save ourselves from ourselves. The only thing that saves us is that some of us are at our best when things are at there very worst.

  5. OldDarth on February 1st, 2009 12:00 am

    Glad you enjoyed Dawnit . I know I’m in the minority on this. You see the material as new. I’m solid with saying they did this in the first two seasons. The show is treading water right now. But then its done that a lot since the end of season 2.

    The first 2 seasons were frakking amazing.

  6. Frankie on February 1st, 2009 11:09 am

    Wow. Great summary GMR!!!

  7. Holly on February 1st, 2009 8:10 pm

    This is one the best BSG recaps I’ve read. I thought the episode was really amazing. Old Darth, I definitely see the point you are making, but at this point in time I think the writers know exactly which stories to tell to get us where we need to be for the finale. I don’t think they are going to waste one episode. Many of the things that happened on Friday night might have a profound effect on the series finale. I can’t wait to see where everything ends up.

    This is my first time to this site but I will definitely be back.

  8. Jeremy Owen on May 11th, 2009 3:46 am

    Wow. I love this frakking show. (Are their 2 k’s in frakking?)
    Anyhoo, I’ve gotten into it after the finale and have had the luxury of watching the entire series in a little over a week. And this episode…. wow. Wowow.
    As for Olddarth’s assertion that we’ve seen this before, I couldn’t disagree more. This is the culmination of several character arcs; Gaeta’s (what a douche) and Zerick’s specifically.
    I was also I was sad to see Jaffy go. I know he was essentially a red shirt, but dammit, Adama memorized his name and everything.
    Speaking of Adama, seeing his and Saul’s friendship strengthen again these past few episodes has been a real treat.
    I’m going to keep racing through these until the end, and then the regret will sink in.
    Thanks for the awesome recap, I really love reading spoiler free analysis as I go along.