Ladyghosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica, 2.18: “Downloaded”

We’re nearing the end of the second season, folks! Just two more episodes – or rather, one two-part episode – and that’s it! So, clearly, things are starting to get even more complicated, if that were possible. This week, my opinion of President Roslin takes yet another heavy hit (and after last week’s episode, that’s saying something!) and we’re treated to the softer side of Cylons. It should go without saying, nothing but spoilers ahead. 

Previously on Battlestar Galactica, there were still resistance fighters on Caprica, fighting the Cylons! And then we got Sharon’s background story: sleeper agent, shoots Adama, CALLIE SHOT SHARON, Caprica Sharon shows up, is pregnant with Helo’s baby, except HeadSix tells Baltar that Sharon’s carrying their baby, and Sharon explains to Starbuck that dead Cylons download their memories and regenerate. Whew.

Oh boy – we’re starting out NINE MONTHS EARLIER. Hey, day of the attacks! Six explains to Baltar that when she dies, her memories will be put in a new body. There are 12 Cylon models, she’s number Six (hi, Six! Also, related, didn’t Adama nearly kill Sharon over how many Cylon models there are? And Baltar knew the entire time?) Anyway, boom goes Caprica.

The Cylon Regeneration Tub.
Now, would this be a goo-filled oversized goth bathtub or a goo-filled oversized sci-fi bathtub?

And Six has regenerated! She’s in a goo-filled oversized goth bathtub, surrounded by fellow Cylons. She’s pretty freaked out, and worried about Baltar. And, whoa, Six has a HeadBaltar! HeadBaltar warns Six to not tell anyone how important he is to her. A Three model (Lucy Lawless, for those of us keeping track) tells Six that the attack was more successful than they could have hoped it could be, all thanks to her!

Ten weeks later, we’re on Galactica, (if we’re going to be travelling through time AND space this week, I’d at least like a TARDIS, please.) Anyway, we see for the 3rd? 5th? time that Callie shoots Sharon, so I’m guessing we’re going to see her regeneration as well – yup! Sharon comes to life, coughing and shaking and screaming.

Credits!

Okay, back to the present day and, apparently, Cylon-occupied Caprica! Hello, old friend! The Cylons seem to be rebuilding the city – if you’ve never seen a toaster plant a tree, now is the time! Six is talking to HeadBaltar when Three comes over, and Six says that she’s having trouble getting used to the new body. Three points out that it takes time, and also goes on at length about what a war hero Six is, and a Doral comes up and says the same. (Dorals are Fives, I think? I’m not sure.)

Back on Galactica, it’s baby time! Doc Cottle is surprised that Cylons haven’t improved the female reproductive system. Also, the baby needs to come out now, or they’re going to lose them both.

Caprica again – Three points out that Six-that-seduced-Baltar is being called Caprica Six, which I am going to latch on to, because damn it is hard to tell all the Cylons apart. Again, Caprica Six is a hero, et cetera. People turn and stare as she walks by. Three asks Caprica Six to help another Cylon reintegrate after regeneration – it’s clear Three is talking about Boomer – but Caprica Six is hesitant, she’s going through a lot of her own issues. HeadBaltar is along for the ride, and it’s amusing to watch him play the role HeadSix has played for Baltar: sarcastic, insulting, occasionally seductive.

Sam Anders! You look so much like Lee Adama! Let's not read anything into that.

HEY SAM ANDERS HEY! WHERE YOU BEEN BB!? Also, hey redheaded girl who doesn’t have a name! Look everyone, it’s the resistance fighters! They’re scoping out the park that Caprica Six and Three have been hanging out in, and are planning something.

On Galactica, we’ve got a baby! A little one, who needs to be put in an incubator, due to underdeveloped lungs, but still, alive and yelling!

Caprica Six goes to visit recently regenerated Boomer, who is living in Sharon Valerii’s old apartment. Sharon’s working out, blaring music, and has a kick-ass apartment, mostly furnished by Ikea. Sharon’s bitter and furious

Caprica Six gets a HeadBaltar, just like Baltar gets a HeadSix! Equality!

that she’s a Cylon (aside: is HeadBaltar wearing eyeliner?) HeadBaltar is directing Caprica Six’s every move and word, the way HeadSix does to Baltar sometimes. Caprica Six tells Sharon that she’s more like Sharon than she is like the other Sixes – fell in love, et cetera.

The resistance is planning on setting off some sort of bomb, to send the Cylons the message that nowhere is safe, and unless they want to keep dying, they ought to get the frak off the planet.

Back to Caprica Six and Boomer – Caprica Six (and it’s interesting to hear her perspective on the Six/Baltar relationship) is feeding Sharon lies that she hopes will help Sharon get over her attachments to Tyrol and the rest of the Galactica crew. Sharon asks Caprica Six who the man she loved was, and when Caprica Six responds, Sharon is outraged to know that it was Baltar, who betrayed the human race. Caprica Six, meanwhile, is shocked to find out that Baltar’s still alive – hell, he’s VP of the Colonies!

President Roslin, taking away women's rights wholesale last week, retail this week!

Speaking of which, Adama, Roslin, Baltar, and Tigh are sitting around trying to decide what to do with Sharon’s baby. Roslin utters the perfect “If I wanted to toss a baby out an airlock, I’d say so.” Which is nice in the “we’re not going to murder this child” thing, but they’re also convinced that Sharon can’t be allowed to raise it herself. Baltar advocates strongly for the baby, but Adama and Roslin think that it’s a threat.

Meanwhile, Sharon and Helo finally get to meet their baby, whom they’ve named Hera. Adorable moment.

On Caprica, Anders and 2 others break into a parking garage. Somewhere nearby, there’s a Cylon café, and it’s kind of funny to watch dozens of Threes, Sixes, Eights, Fives, and whatever number that Doctor and Leoben are, just wandering around, getting coffee. Caprica Six and Boomer discuss why Three would pair them up – it’s obvious that Boomer would tell Caprica Six that Baltar’s alive, making life complicated for her. Three pops up out of nowhere.

Head Baltar pops up and says that they’re going to box Boomer – put all of her particular memories into permanent storage so she doesn’t regenerate again – it’s the closest thing to death they’ve got.

Sam and Friends are indeed below the café, and their bomb is set to go off, hopefully killing the 40-odd Cylons getting their caffeine fix.

Boomer tells Three that she’s willing to move out of her apartment, which was the goal of Caprica Six’s talking to Boomer, but it’s half-clear that Boomer and Caprica Six are just saying this to avoid bringing up the “why did you put us together” topic and their newfound distrust of Three.

As Three, Boomer and Caprica Six climb the stairwell to Boomer’s apartment, several hundred feet below, Anders is about to clear out to avoid being blown up by his own bomb, when he sees a toaster, who’s bound to notice the explosive device. The bomb goes off, but Anders is still in the car park.

Doc Cottle: most feminist character on the show? Discuss.

On Colonial One, Roslin has made a decision: Hera will not be raised by Sharon. (Which, ugh, fuck you, Roslin! DISAPPOINTING. START TRUSTING SHARON ALREADY.)

Roslin has decided that Hera will be fostered by another family, who don’t know that she’s half-Cylon. Doc Cottle doesn’t like it, but knows he has to comply.

On Caprica, our three Cylon friends survived the explosion, because they were in a stairwell. Caprica Six is in a ton of pain. Three offers to kill her, but Six says no. They hear coughing and pull Sam Anders out from the rubble. Three is about to kill him, but Boomer and Six talk her out of it. Boomer notices that Sam’s got Starbuck’s dogtags with him.

Doc Cottle tells Helo and Sharon that Hera’s dead, complete with what certainly looks like an actual dead newborn in an incubator. Sharon asks who ordered the baby’s killing and accuses Cottle of murder, attempting to strangle him. Tyrol and Helo take a Raptor and scatter what they think are Hera’s ashes. Baltar apparently doesn’t know that Hera’s been fostered out, and he thinks she’s dead, which means HeadSix thinks she’s dead, too. Apparently, the entire human race is going to suffer God’s vengeance. (Except maybe not, because Hera’s not really dead?)

Speaking of which, Hera’s being handed off to Maia, a woman whose newborn just did actually die. They tell Maia that the baby’s the daughter of a high-ranking Pegasus official, and Roslin says she’ll be dropping in occasionally to check on the kid. Roslin then thanks Doc Cottle for his help in all this, saying that it’s a very good thing that the Cylons think the baby no longer exists. Doc Cottle doesn’t look like he’s okay with any of this.

That license plate totally reads "SEXYMOM"

Back in the recently-bombed parking garage, Anders comes to in front of a car with an interesting license plate. He’s also with Three, Boomer, and Caprica Six, and apparently Cylons are on their way to rescue them. Three tosses his gun back to him, teases him a bit, and when Sharon tells Three to lay off, Three lays into Sharon instead – she’s a murderer, et cetera. HeadBaltar tells Caprica Six that Three wanted her to work with Sharon so that they’d both go crazy and have to be boxed. Caprica Six rages at Three, saying that she and Sharon are standouts in a culture that emphasizes uniformity, and that their different perspective makes them dangerous – as does their love of human men. Sharon says they’re threats because if the other Cylons listen to them, they might realize that the slaughter of mankind was a mistake. As more debris falls down, Anders, who’s just been listening this whole time, makes a grab for the gun and tries to shoot Three. Sharon gets the gun away from him, Three grabs it again, points it at Anders, says “˜God loves me” “¦. And Caprica Six bashes her brains out with a huge rock. Sharon and Caprica Six tell Anders to get the hell out of there and give him back his gun.

Caprica Six says that it’s going to take a bit of time before Three’s downloaded into a new body, and it’s enough time to show the rest of the Cylons a new way to live – one less about hate and more about love. In what seems like some spectacularly bad acting, Sharon joins Caprica Six, and they get rescued.

Far far away, Hera is taken by her foster mother to her new home.

Thank you Monchichi for the screencaps!

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CherriSpryte

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10 thoughts on “Ladyghosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica, 2.18: “Downloaded””

  1. Okay wow, it was really great rewatching this episode. It’s really an important episode, and we learn a lot about the Cylons.

    First off, BabyGate. Ooh, it’s so hard to watch Sharon and Helo believe their daughter is dead, when we know she’s not. The dead infant in the incubator kills me (I’m also still wondering where they got that from. Did another woman conveniently have a miscarriage around the same time and let them take her dead child? Do they have an incredibly gifted prosthetics maker on board who knows how to make fake babies that look and feel incredibly real in a short period of time? Did the Twelve Colonies have Reborn dolls?)

    Here’s my opinion: knowing what they know about the Cylons, there is a legitimate concern about Hera, and Adama brings it up– that this is the only child ever born to a Cylon, so the Cylons will probably come for her. His concern is about protecting the fleet, and also Hera. Roslin, on the other hand, says that Sharon herself can’t raise the baby because it would be “disastrous.” What makes her think that? I think Adama’s reasoning is sound; I think Roslin’s is not. Could there have been a different solution? I don’t know. I’d like to think so.

    I really like the comparison between Head Baltar and Head Six. Head Baltar reminds Caprica Six of her humanity and plays on her human emotions (particularly guilt and love). Head Six, on the other hand, makes Baltar question his humanity, making him wonder if he’s crazy, or, even worse, if he’s a Cylon himself. It’s as though they are bridging the gap between what makes a human and what makes a Cylon–a theme we see a lot in this episode. In fact, we see more instances of Cylon humanity in this episode (Sharon and Caprica Six’s humanity, Caprica Six saving Sam) than humanity from the humans, who make some questionable decisions in this episode (giving Hera away and allowing Sharon and Helo to think she’s dead). Really, most of the episode features parallel events in both human and Cylon lives– most notably birth, death, loss, and betrayal. Both sides deal with these events in a remarkably similar manner. It’s not the first time that we’ve been exposed to a “gray area”  in terms of the “Humans are good, Cylons are bad” mentality, but the gray area is certainly growing. And Caprica Six killing D’Anna is certainly a game-changer.

    Can’t wait for the next recap!

  2. Oh god I’m halfway through Season 3 right now and I am desperate to talk to someone about it! It’s so damn good! And oh man, the chemistry between Starbuck and Apollo is so hot you could fry an egg. Yes, I happen to be at the scandalous point of their relationship. :)

  3. In today’s potentially useless BSG trivia, the redhead’s name is Jean Barolay. I only know this because I have some incredibly obsessive friends.

    Roslin, Roslin. These are not your best moments.

    I think Leoben is either Two or One, but I’m leaning towards Two. I forget what Doctor Simon was, though.

    I love Head Baltar, eyeliner and all.  It’s been a while since I watched this ep, but did he rock a velvet smoking jacket?

    1. Known Cylon models at this point:

      Number Two: Leoben

      Number Three: D’Anna (Lucy Lawless)

      Number Four: Simon/The Doctor

      Number Five: Doral

      Number Six: Tricia Helfer (duh)

      Number Eight: Sharon/Boomer

      I’m so excited that you do BSG recaps here, too! Gonna pop my DVD in now and return with my reactions.

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