Ladyghosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica, Episode 2.15, “Scar”

This week on Battlestar Galactica, I’m recapping “Scar,” which is, if my memory serves me, primarily a Starbuck episode. Thank goodness, because as much as I love Jamie Bamber, last week’s all-Lee episode was a bit much, as several commenters pointed out. As this recapping is my third time watching the series, it’s both sweet and sad to see these comparatively early episodes, before everything really goes to hell for certain characters. So let’s dive in, shall we?

Previously on Battlestar Galactica, Starbuck realizes that the Cylon raiders are actually alive, and Boomer Sharon explains that the raiders are Cylons themselves – more animal than human, perhaps. Starbuck is sick of Kat, who is starting to crack from all of the pressure; she’s been taking tons of stims. Ooh, also, Anders, from the resistance back on Caprica! Starbuck thinks we have a duty to go back and get the people they left behind.

Currently, Starbuck and Kat are flying a patrol around a mining ship, and Kat can’t remember the name of Riley’s girlfriend. Riley, we learn, was a fighter pilot shot down by Scar, a Cylon raider who seems to be a specific threat. Kat can’t remember the name of Riley’s girlfriend, and it’s weighing on her, which Starbuck mocks.

Two new ensigns, fresh from training, come in to take the bunks of Riley and Beano, and Starbuck, Kat, and Hot Dog explain to them who Scar is – the deadliest Cylon raider out there. Scar hides in debris fields and asteroid belts, and jumps out from nowhere, destroying Vipers, and then jumps away. Starbuck and Kat jab at each other in the rec room, arguing over who’s going to kill Scar, and insulting each other for their various vices – Starbuck’s been drinking a lot these days, it seems. Starbuck’s got a special beer stein with “Galactica Top Gun” emblazoned on it, and Kat bets her that, if Kat takes down Scar, she’ll earn the title of Top Gun, and take the stein away from Starbuck. Starbuck suddenly remembers her recent time on Caprica, and Anders, and in the midst of all the revelry, tears up a bit.

It's all fun and games until you remember that guy you love back on Caprica.

So apparently, in this episode, we’re going to jump back and forth between Starbuck and Kat’s patrol mission, during which they are hunting Scar, and, well, the 88 hours preceding it. We’re back in flight, and Kat thinks she’s shooting at Scar, though we find out she’s wrong; Scar’s lurking behind a big rock, and is now right on their asses.

Hello, Scar. You seem angry.

Hey, credits! Are you frustrated yet with my constant complaining about the credits appearing 8.5 minutes into the show? Because I am still frustrated that we’re a fifth of the way through the program and just now seeing that, oh, Caprica was nuked, and this show stars Edward James Olmos. I get the importance of a cold opening and all, but seriously, can we at least get the credits before a quarter of the show’s gone by? Please?

Back in the spacefight, Kat’s shooting at who she thinks is Scar, but he’s not behaving the way Starbuck expects Scar to. Yup, Scar’s behind them, and Starbuck’s hit.

And we’re 81 hours earlier, and Kat is showing the nuggets (space-newbs) the footage from Beano’s camera when he was killed by Scar. Kat, again, promises to kill Scar.

Up on the helm, President Roslin is explaining that the mining ship is going to need to spend another eight days, as they’ve both broken a drill bit and found a load of essential metals needed to build new ships. Tigh would like to know if they can build new pilots as well. Starbuck explains that the fleet is out of harm’s way, under Pegasus’ protection, so it’s just Galactica to babysit the mining ship, and because of all the metal-laden rocks, the DRADIS (radar system) can’t tell enemy ships from rocks full of the materials that become enemy ships. Starbuck tells the Viper pilots that they’re going to be patrolling the area. Kat repeatedly interrupts Starbuck, who apparently isn’t on top of her game.

When will people start trusting Sharon? Please?

In the brig, Sharon explains that Scar has died and reincarnated dozens of times, and that Starbuck may have faced him before. Sharon tells Starbuck that, with the resurrection ship destroyed, the fighters are being more cautious, because if they die, then that’s it. Starbuck tells Sharon that it’s hard for her to think of Sharon as a Cylon sometimes, and Sharon replies with a warning that Scar hates Starbuck as much as Starbuck hates him.

They’re training the nuggets, in one of those spinny chair things that is supposed to simulate vertigo. Starbuck, apparently, holds the record for the most accurate shooting after time in the chair – four shots right on the bullseye after being seriously disoriented. Kat takes a spin in the chair, and then manages five direct hits on the target. Show-off.

Back in the dogfight, Starbuck’s hit, Scar’s on her tail, and Kat doesn’t know where Starbuck is. Starbuck tells Kat she’s going to take Scar out on her own.

And now, for a lovely Starbuck and Hot Hot Helo scene! (They’re working out. They both look frakkin’ gorgeous.) Helo brings up Anders, asking Starbuck if she thinks about him.

One of the nuggets is about to go out on a patrol, and asks Starbuck for some last-minute advice. She tells him, don’t run, or you’ll die. Kat takes him aside, comforts him, and is encouraging. And then she bitches out Starbuck for not being more supportive.

As said patrol is finishing up their run, some Cylon Raiders attack. The nugget (BB, apparently) is told to turn around, and that the next squad will take care of the Raiders, but because Starbuck told BB to never turn and run, he refuses to go back to Galactica. Starbuck and Kat are both six and eight minutes away, so there’s nothing they can do, so BB’s dead and it’s vaguely Starbuck’s fault, which, back on Galactica, Kat rubs in pretty hard.

Lee and Starbuck are drinking alone, talking about how they can’t remember names and faces of Viper pilots who have been killed.

Starbuck says that President Roslin says we’re saving humanity for a bright shiny future on Earth, and that they (Lee and Starbuck) are never going to see Earth, because some Cylon will take them out long before that. They drink to right now, and over my yells of “MAKE OUT” they, well, start going at it.

Why can't these two wind up happily ever after? I know. Lots of reasons.

Starbuck’s moving faster than Lee’s comfortable, with, and also flashing back to Anders. They stop, Starbuck yells there’s nothing between them, and that she’s hung up on a dead guy (Anders) and doesn’t know what she’s doing. Lee replies she’s fine with dead guys, it’s the living ones she can’t deal with, and Starbuck slaps him, kisses him, and storms off.

She proceeds to watch footage from BB’s Viper while chugging a bottle of”¦something? How strong are we supposed to think their booze is? Anyway, we’re back in the cockpit, and things are not going well. Starbuck’s playing chicken with Scar, which is a bad idea. We jump back, only three hours earlier this time, and Starbuck’s hung over, giving the flight briefing, and we find out that Jojo, the second of the nuggets from the beginning of the episode, has been killed by Scar. Kat, useful as always, points out that Starbuck was scheduled to fly that mission, but what, was she hungover? Again, Kat blames Starbuck for the nugget’s death. Starbuck kicks everyone out, and lays into Kat, who gives as good as she gets. She calls Starbuck an embarrassment, and challenges her to hit her. Starbuck points out that Kat’s act is a cover, that Kat is scared she’ll die and be forgotten, and Scar scares the crap out of her.

Kat socks Starbuck.

And then Lee walks in! And tells Kat and Starbuck that they’re paired up on a mission, leaving in less than an hour.

Memorial hallway! Um, is that Kal Penn?

Kat wanders through the Memorial Hallway, which is huge at this point, and pins up Riley’s girlfriend. She and Starbuck get strapped in for their patrol, and we’re back where we started ““ Starbuck’s hit, flying irrationally, playing chicken. Starbuck’s in her “I have nothing to lose, I’m already dead, I’ll never see Anders again” bad mental place, and then the thought of Anders reminders she has something to live for.

Starbuck tells Kat that she’s going to put Scar right in front of her, and she better not miss him.

Kat takes Scar out, and there is much rejoicing.

Despite the fact that Starbuck basically gave Kat the kill, Kat still humiliates her in the breakroom later, asking for a refill of her now-claimed Top Gun stein. Starbuck obliges, saying Kat earned it. Starbuck then raises the bottle aloft and lists ever pilot they’ve lost – it’s a long list, and who knows if it’s even comprehensive. So Say We All, says Adama.

A LOT of Viper pilots have died, and Starbuck remembers them all.

Later, Starbuck and Helo are working out again, and Starbuck relates that she could’ve taken Scar out, but wasn’t sure she’d survive. She says she didn’t do it because she can’t get Anders out of her head. As Helo says, she’s got something to live for now.

Thanks to Monchichi for the fantastic recaps!

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CherriSpryte

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3 thoughts on “Ladyghosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica, Episode 2.15, “Scar””

  1. I liked this episode because it made me think about memory. The scene in the memorial hallway where the picture of Riley’s Girlfriend is put up: When you imagine that this is a civilization that had 31 Billion people spread across 12 worlds, and then it’s reduced to a paltry 50,000…Riley was probably the last person alive to know his girlfriend’s name, how her laugh sounded, how she liked her coffee, and all the myriad of little and big details that mark a person as having existed.  And now Riley is gone, and there is no longer anyone alive who even remembers her name.  She’s just a picture in a hallway and thinking about the story arcs of Kat and Starbuck later on in the series, eventually there will be no one for which the photo means anything, period.

    I can see, based on later episodes with Kat, why she was so preoccupied with trying to remember the girlfriend’s name.  And the scenes about Riley’s Girlfriend become more poignant after having seen the final episodes of the series, where Kara says she doesn’t fear death, but rather she fears being forgotten.

  2. While much less grating than “Black Market,” I didn’t enjoy this episode as much as I expected to.  I love me some Starbuck, and I hated the turn from complicated and a little troubled to straight up asshole.

    And I never warmed up to Kat aka the poor woman’s even-more-wooden Michelle Rodriguez, I was rooting for Scar.

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