LadyGhosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica: 3.06: A Measure of Salvation

We’re getting excitingly close to my all-time-favorite BSG episode – it’s two weeks away! This week’s episode, at least, is much easier to take than previous ones have been – except, of course, for Baltar’s plotline. But we’ll get to that – and much more – below the jump! Previously on Battlestar Galactica, A LOT HAPPENED. Baltar blusters that he does know the way to Earth; the baseship that was sent out based on Baltar’s advice has gotten an infection that could possibly destroy all Cylons, so Baltar volunteers to go investigate it; he sees a beacon left by ancient humans, which is clearly the source of the infection, and then claims he has no idea what happened, even though Caprica Six spies the beacon in a photo Baltar took; and Racetrack finds the Lion’s Head nebula, complete with ill baseship.

Athena looking scared and cautious on the base ship
PUT A HELMET ON. THEY HAVE AIRTIGHT SPACESUITS, DON'T THEY?!

Currently, our friends on Galactica go check out the sick baseship. Lee and Athena are piloting, which should make us all yell NO ATHENA DON’T YOU COULD GET SICK AND DIE! ATHENA PUT YOUR HELMET ON! Lee, Athena, and a bunch of Marines explore the ship and find dead Cylons. Athena links into the data core, which – isn’t it usually just kind of flowing water? Here, it’s dirty-looking sludge – which makes lots of sense. WHOA, NOT ALL THE CYLONS ARE DEAD! There’s a weird zombie-like thing happening. Lee’s calling for everyone to hold their fire. Athena goes over to another Three, who calls her a traitor. The dying Three then tells her to stay away from the other Cylons and that the beacon carries a disease. Lee contacts Adama Sr. and tells him that they’ve all been exposed to this disease.

Credits! Almost nine minutes in! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!? (I tried to not comment on this, really, I did. But we’re a quarter of the way through the program!)

Hey, Doc Cottle’s on the bridge! Who let him out of sick bay?! Cottle would like the beacon to be brought aboard Galactica, or at least some of the diseased Cylons. Which, weirdly, they agree to? As the Raptor pulls away, the base ship explodes. Good timing! But also, the beacon is forever lost, so let’s hope whatever info was in there isn’t, you know, important or anything.

D'Anna and Six face away from the camera in the foreground, looking towards Baltar in the background, as a metal Cylon comes towards him.
THIS WILL ONLY END POORLY.

On another, unexploded baseship, Baltar is being questioned by D’Anna and Caprica Six. They want to know how long he’s been betraying them – they know about the beacon. And they think the virus was planted by Galactica and was planned in advance. Baltar grovels, tells the truth – he didn’t tell them about the beacon, because he thought they’d blame him for it (which, you know, they are), and he’s very very sorry. Two metal Cylons show up as D’Anna tells Baltar they intend to find out what else he knows. Baltar quite literally goes to his happy place – Head Six on a beach. He’s in a lot of pain back in reality – strapped to a chair, with some sort of electrodes? It’s too much for Caprica Six to watch. Baltar tells Caprica he loves her?

In sick bay, everyone’s chilling out in quarantine when Doc Cottle comes in and announces that the virus doesn’t affect humans. Lee responds to this with “nice job, people!” as if they just won a soccer match or really were at all personally responsible for being immune to the disease. Athena, unfortunately, needs to chill out in quarantine for a while longer. Doc Cottle hasn’t done her bloodwork yet. Oh dear. Doc Cottle goes and gets the “furthest-gone” of the infected Cylons (there seems to be one of each model, weirdly enough) and Doral’s the sickest. Doc Cottle reports that while he can’t cure the sick Cylons, he can keep them alive indefinitely. He can make a vaccine for the sickness, but due to an antibody the Cylons have, they would need regular injections of this vaccine to survive. Lee wants to know if there’s a reason to keep them alive; everyone else basically says yes, to get information out of them, via bribing them with the vaccine.

Galactica's leadership stands around a Four, who is in shackles.
This is a really effed up visual. Deliberate, y/n?

A Four is selected for questioning, and I must say, while it’s pretty messed up every time they use the shackles and neck-poles to transport prisoners, it’s supremely fucked up when said prisoner is a black man, being controlled by white men.  I wonder whether that was a deliberate choice. The Four explains that the virus infected everything – base ship, raiders, Centurions, etc, until they were abandoned. If one of them dies and is resurrected, it will infect the resurrection ship and kill everyone. Also, they were in the area, and Baltar sent them to the nebula, helping them find earth. Yeah, Baltar’s not dead, and he’s helping the Cylons. Adama is not amused. Lee giggles. He’s had an idea, an idea that will destroy the entire Cylon race.

Lee presents his plan to the President: Galactica jumps to a Cylon-heavy area, kills the Cylon prisoners, who will infect the Resurrection ship, and boom, no more Cylons. Helo asks if we’re now in the genocide business, but everyone disagrees and thinks this is a good idea. He says “This is about right and wrong, this is about losing a piece of our souls” which is an amazing line. Roslin says she’ll consider his opinion, but it doesn’t really sound like it.

A closeup of Baltar and Head Six's faces, presumably mid-coitus.
Head Six, fucking the pain away.

Baltar, it seems, is still getting tortured for information. Head Six tries to help him through it, telling him to disconnect his body from his mind. (P.S. Why do they have torture machines on the baseship?) Baltar starts going on about religion, poking holes in D’Anna’s faith, and promises to help her. D’Anna goes back to torturing Baltar, this time with something nasty in his ear,  but Head Six is quite literally riding him hard, and Baltar starts yelling to D’Anna in response to Head Six’s ministrations. Baltar yells that he believes in “you,” he loves “you” with all his heart, etc. While he thinks he’s saying this to Head Six, D’Anna thinks its directed at her and stops with the torturing. (Authors who haven’t admitted to their mothers that they’re writing this column might well go into a side note here about the intersection of pain and pleasure when it comes to the body’s responses to sexual activity, but I don’t know anything about that.)

In less squicky plotlines, Athena doesn’t have the virus! Because she was pregnant with a half human child, apparently. Convenient. (Speaking of, where the hell is Hera? We haven’t seen her for awhile; presumably, she’s on the Cylon baseship?) Also, Helo and Athena have sweet married-people quarters now, which is nice. More importantly, Helo tells Athena of the plan to kill the Cylons once they’re within range of a resurrection ship.

Adama tells Roslin that, apparently, Roslin needs to sign off officially on the use of biological weapons, so the decision to wipe out the Cylons is in her hands. He also says that Helo’s right about that whole “genocide destroys our souls” thing. Roslin doesn’t care – the Cylons tried to do the same to the humans. Helo and Athena have pretty much the same conversation, and Athena seems to be pro-genocide, as well. Adama’s thinking about how this is going to look when it’s written up in the history books, and Roslin points out that that will at least mean that the human race has survived that long.

A closeup of Helo's face, looking determined.
Helo's kind of the conscience of the program, isn't he?

Galactica jumps to an area known to be popular with the Cylons. Everybody’s scrambling to get Vipers in the air, but Helo’s doing something else – unplugging a bit of wiring? In space, Cylon baseships and a resurrection ship show up. The order is given to execute the prisoners.

Hey, Starbuck’s back in the cockpit! Where you been all episode, bb?

Lee and some Marines go into the brig, where all of the Cylons are already dead! They died before the resurrection ship was within range; they missed the window to infect the entire race. Galatica jumps away before the Cylons can do any damage. Helo’s freaking out – they must be coming for him. He loves the ship, is not a traitor, etc. Roslin and Adama have a drink in Adama’s cabin, and Adama explains how the Cylons died – the air filtration was reversed, so the air was removed from the cabin. Adama’s not going to investigate. He also thinks that the virus on the beacon was accidental. And, oh, that it’s an exact match to a virus reported over 3,000 years ago, right when the 13th tribe was on its way to Earth. Both Roslin and Adama agree that they’re on the right path, and this beacon was left as a signal. They’re on the right path to Earth – but so are the Cylons.

Thanks to MonChiChi for the screencaps!

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CherriSpryte

CherriSpryte wants you to know that The Great Pumpkin loves you.

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