Ladyghosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica: 4.04 “Escape Velocity”

Previously on Battlestar Galactica, Baltar is performing miracles, curing sick kids… and sleeping with Tory. Whoa, Tigh poisons Ellen, Tigh says that the last thing they need is for Cally to find out that they’re Cylons, and then Tory airlocks Cally.

Cally's memorial service - candles circled around an altar, which has several statues on it. People rim the outside of the circle.
Oh, we needed to make religion a thing? How convenient to need to have a funeral.

We open with Tyrol saying what I’m assuming is a religious funeral service for Cally. He’s heartbroken. Everyone’s there – Roslin, Adama, everyone. Roslin tells Adama that she likes this service, and she wants Adama to know that. Lots of religious statuettes, candles, altar. Tyrol grabs both Tory and Tigh as they walk out, without saying anything.

Tigh goes down to check on the monitoring of Caprica Six, and then goes in to talk to her. AND THEN SUDDENLY CAPRICA SIX HAS ELLEN’S FACE AND VOICE AND IT’S CREEPY AND WEIRD. Tigh looks spooked, and Caprica mentions that Tigh’s visited every day for a while now.

Tigh stands in the background. looking upset. Tyrol sits looking up at him, away from the camera. Tory is standing opposite Tyrol (the 3 form a triangle.)
I LOVE the blocking here, it says a lot about power and control.

Tigh and Tory go to visit Tyrol. Nicky won’t stop crying. Tyrol’s kinda becoming unhinged. Tory tells him that he’s perfect, that he doesn’t need guilt, that they were made to be perfect. She says she shuts down guilt. Tyrol says no – we’re still the same people. Tory says they’re stronger. Tigh, as a representative from the dead wife club, tries to console Tyrol, but winds up making it about himself. Tory says Tyrol should think about what they are, what they can do. She seems a little too happy about being a Cylon, to be honest.

Closeup of Baltar's face, he looks alarmed.
Gaius Baltar, master of the side-eye.

Back at Baltar’s lair, Tory surprises Baltar when sleeping, and she does a whole thing about pleasure and pain, and wants him to confirm her idea that if people are one with god, they can never do wrong – Baltar stops her, saying no, humans aren’t perfect. And, oh, then the lair gets busted by weird para-military types, the place is destroyed, they’re hitting the women, and demanding to see Baltar, but the women don’t give him up. An official-sounding security alert is heard, and the attackers disperse, vowing to come back and find him.

On the flight deck, Tyrol is having flashbacks to times with Cally while he’s reparing Racetrack’s Raptor, and tells her to go ahead, distracted as hell. Racetrack takes out her Raptor, and something misfires, and she makes what looks like an incredibly hard landing. Oh dear.

Half of Tyrol's face in the foreground, with Racetrack and Skulls looking at him angrily.
Racetrack and Skulls! Alive! But angry.

Baltar is demanding to be taken to the admiral, but whoever is overseeing the investigation into the vandals doesn’t seem to be interested. Head Six points out the graffiti the group left, “Sons of Aries” – they’re trying to protect the old gods, it seems. Even within their group, Baltar finds a lady who still has a metal representing an old god.

Racetrack and Skulls (her co-pilot, he has a name!) are alive and well, but Skulls is angry that because of Tyrol’s mistake, he nearly died. Racetrack says it’s okay, Tyrol’s only human, but the Chief demands to be told that he frakked up. Figursky tries to suggest that Tyrol take some downtime, but he’s not having it.

Baltar stands behind an altar to the Gods of Kobol. He is yelling, his arms raised.
“Don’t worship these false gods, WORSHIP ME!” (Religion Fail.)

Baltar and Head Six are talking – Baltar wants to simply be a man, Head Six says that a man that will take on the gods must be larger than life, a god himself. Baltar doesn’t like that idea, so he walks through the women rebuilding the camp, and stops them and, well, makes himself even more vaguely god-like, as he and his followers storm into a religious ceremony for the Gods of Kobol, and literally overturns the altar. Fights break out, and Baltar is restrained by Marines and carried out.

Somewhere else, Adama goes to visit Roslin to read to her during a medical treatment, and he’s brought his favorite book – such a favorite, he’s never read the last chapter, because he doesn’t want the book to end. Roslin doesn’t remember how it ends either. Also, Baltar’s back in the brig, and Adama’s got nothing on the Sons of Aries. Roslin and Adama don’t want a religious war on their hands, so Roslin’s going to go talk to Baltar. This should end well.

Tigh’s back talking to Caprica Six, asking her how it feels to have killed millions of people. Caprica says she feels it, it’s not like she can turn it off. She’s the same as him – and now she’s Ellen again! Tigh kicks out the Marines who had their guns pointed on Caprica. (As someone who is bad with faces, I FIND THIS VERY CONFUSING.) Caprica’s face is her own again, and she offers to help him fix whatever’s hurting him. Once Ellen’s face disappears, Tigh leaves.

Somewhere else in the brig, Roslin visits Baltar. She tells him that she’s wearing a wig, and she’s dying. She doesn’t want Baltar’s pity, and moreso, she’s limiting the size of pubic gatherings and taking other steps to protect his group. But also, apparently, she’s read that when people are close to death they care less about rules and laws – this isn’t a threat, just an FYI. She’s apparently not in the mood to indulge him any longer. And, oh, he’s being released.

Adama and Tyrol sit at the bar.
Look how well they’re getting along! Why couldn’t things have stayed like this!?

Adama goes down to Joe’s Bar and sits with the Chief. He offers him either more time off or more shifts – whatever else he needs. Adama then says that she just couldn’t take it, being married to a Cylon, being the mother of a half-breed abomination. We’re meant to realize that this is Tyrol hallucinating, as Adama then says that she was a good woman. Tyrol reminds Adama that he once put her up against a bulkhead and threatened to shoot her, but that’s okay, because Tyrol contemplated doing the same. And then he wonders how many people wind up with the partners they’re supposed to have. He brings up Boomer. And then snaps, and insults the hell out of Cally, and says that it was fine, because this is the life he has, but it is not the life he picked. Adama tries to calm him down, which doesn’t work and TYROL DON’T SAY THAT YOU’RE A CYLON. Tyrol warns him to not turn Cally into an angel, and then essentially dares Adama to demote him. Which Adama essentially does – now is not the time to cross the old man.

A long table, with people sitting on either side - the Quorum meeting. Lee is standing halfway along the table, Roslin is at the head.
These meetings, much like the religious services, never happened until we needed them to!

Hey, Lee at the Quorum – he’s questioning Roslin’s decision to limit gatherings. Lee seems to be defending Baltar’s right to have a cult. Other representatives are worried that Roslin’s legislation will be applied to other religious groups. Roslin says no, and if they put this law to the vote, they all need to think twice about whether you want to give Baltar the ability to have religious followers, considering how well he did in New Caprica.

In a far creepier plotline, Caprica Six wakes up to Tigh staring at her face. Tigh asks if Caprica can turn off pain, emotions. She says she wants the pain, it’s how she learns. She says she fell in love, and then it’s Ellen again, with Ellen’s voice, talking about the man she fell in love with, and the words could apply to both Tigh and Baltar. And then something shifts and it’s Caprica’s face again, and she starts talking about Baltar, specifically his fragile body in her hands, and Tigh has had enough. He wants to see Ellen in her face, clearly, and doesn’t realize that he’s just been given independent confirmation that Roslin was right, Baltar was involved in the initial attacks on Caprica. Tigh storms out, kicks out the guards, turns off the cameras, goes back, and Caprica tells him she can make the pain stop – Cylon brains are based on human brains, so she knows a lot about how to make them work. Tigh sits down on the cot in the cell, next to Caprica, and Ellen’s face shows back up, that person puts her hands on Tigh’s face, and removes his eye patch.

Caprica Six's face in closeup, and the back of Tigh's head
So this is Caprica Six …
Ellen Tigh's face with the exact same makeup and hair as Caprica Six.
AND THIS IS ELLEN TIGH. SORT OF?

Baltar tries to go home, but there’s a Marine guarding the lair – there are 12 people inside already, and that’s the limit for gatherings. Head Six tells him that if he stands up to the Marine, nothing will happen. He listens to her, and the Marine socks him.

Back in Caprica’s cell, Caprica is herself, not Ellen, and Tigh yells at her to get her hands off of him. Caprica responds by punching him repeatedly, knocking him to the ground and punching him again, then asking if he can feel the clarity.

Head Six holds Baltar up by the armpits, forcing him to face a Marine.
This bit cracks me up.

Elsewhere, Head Six is forcibly picking up Baltar as the guards keep knocking him down. And then Lee shows up? The Quorum has returned the right to assembly. Baltar is carried back into his lair.

Roslin and Adama sit in sick bay, discussing Lee’s decisions. Roslin admits Lee’s doing the right thing, but the right thing can have dangerous consequences. This apparently is too stressful a conversation to be had during the medical treatment, so Adama reads from the book – things about not being afraid to die, and being empty inside.

In the brig, Caprica Six says she’s made a mistake, this isn’t what Tigh needs – so she kisses him.

Baltar, with blood on his face, stands among a crows of supporters.
Nothing good can come of this.

 

Baltar’s speaking to his followers, and tells them that something in the universe loves him. He’s calling it God, and they all have a spark of God inside them. He’s parroting Tory from earlier, about God embracing faults, and the importance of loving yourself. We see Tyrol and Nicky, and then we visit the Demetrius, where Kara’s asleep or passed out over some maps, and Sam goes to her. Baltar’s talking about seeing the truth in all people, and Lee sees Tory listening to Baltar. God only loves that which is perfect, and God loves you, so you’re all perfect, just as you are – pretty much exactly what Tory said earlier. Rapturous applause from Baltar’s followers to this very dangerous way of thinking.

Thanks to monchichi for the screencaps! They’re Baltar-rific!

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CherriSpryte

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

3 thoughts on “Ladyghosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica: 4.04 “Escape Velocity””

  1. Aaaaah this series is so weird. The whole Caprica Six / Ellen thing freaked me out and was very unsettling, because it wasn’t clear if it was a hallucination? Or something that Caprica Six was doing? And the consent issues were wibbly wobbly and it made me feel uncomfortable.

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