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LadyGhosts of TV Past

Ladyghosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica: 2.17 “The Captain’s Hand”

I suppose I should have told you this earlier, but I never watched Battlestar Galactica when it first aired. I don’t know what I was doing wrong, but it took some heavy campaigning on my best friend’s part to get me to watch BSG (and, pretty much every other favorite television show of mine. She gives good advice). Anyway, she sold me on BSG by telling me that it was essentially The West Wing in outer space – something I’ve heard over and over again, from many sources. This week’s episode, possibly more than any other, is The West Wing in outer space. So let’s go see a guy about a thing, shall we?

Previously on Battlestar Galactica, Starbuck shoots Lee accidentally, Dee’s in love with Lee, BrunetteSix tells Baltar that he ought to run for President, and Pegasus is a mess.

Topless Lee Adama.
Yes, every time there is shirtless Lee, I will be posting it.

We’re running Pegasus training exercises, but over on Galactica, Lee and Dee are sleeping together. Lee’s bullet wound has healed, but not completely – it’s been a month or so since last episode. Lee, apparently, has been transferred over to Pegasus because Starbuck is causing problems, and also, he’s been promoted. Despite the tired fighter pilots locked out of their sleeping quarters pounding on the door, it looks like Lee and Dee are off for another round.

Down on the flight deck, Callie saw something moving in a shipping container that fell open. Callie wants to wait for some Marines to show up before they investigate, but Chief Tyrol heads in and finds a young woman, who puts her hand over her belly and asks for Doc Cottle. (OH GOD THIS EPISODE. Right.)

Back on the Pegasus training, there’s some sort of interference, and they can’t be heard on the bridge. They might be declaring an emergency, and then they disappear off the Dradis. Oh dear!

Lee’s on Pegasus, and Starbuck shows up to say “Hi.” Starbuck (who is now head of flight training on Pegasus) didn’t know there were missing Raptors, so she heads down to the bathroom to demand answers. One of the pilots tells her they’ve been told not to share information with non-Pegasus staff, and the order came from Garner, the Pegasus’s third commander. Garner and Lee, as it turns out, are talking about Starbuck at this very moment. (Garner, if we remember, was Chief on Pegasus, a former civilian and engineer.)

Hi, new assistant! Welcome aboard.

On Colonial One, President Roslin still misses Billy, and there’s a new woman working as her assistant, and perhaps a reelection consultant? They’re gearing up for reelection, and the new assistant has conducted a poll of Roslin’s popularity throughout the fleet. And good news! She’s got lots of support.

Oooh, Tom Zarek! He’s apparently running for president, except he knows he wouldn’t win – so he wants Baltar to run in his place! Science instead of religion, and all. Zarek would support Baltar, as long as Baltar “remembers his friends” which clearly can’t mean anything good.

On Pegasus, the fighter pilots, led by Starbuck, are mocking Garner. Lee would like us to focus on the fact that there are two missing Raptors and gives Starbuck a hard time.

Back on Galactica, the woman who was hiding in the shipping container, Rya, would like an abortion, which is something the Gemenese, one of the more religious colonies, are against. Doc Cottle explains to Adama that he’s been quietly providing abortions for women on the fleet for some time now. Adama talks to Maya, who would just like to have her abortion in peace. Adama calls her a stowaway, and Cottle, badass as always, points out that she’s a victim of political persecution and could apply for asylum. Maya jumps on this and quickly says she wants asylum.

President Roslin, deciding to throw women's rights under the bus.

Adama takes this to Colonial One, where he, President Roslin, and the Forum’s Gemenon representative have a debate on women’s right to choose. Abortion was legal under Colonial law pre-attacks, so it’s legal now. The Scrolls (of course) say abortion is a sin, and that they won’t support Roslin in the upcoming election if she’s pro-choice. Roslin says flat-out that she’s not banning abortion. Adama, in what I honestly find to be his most despicable move in the entire series, points out that this is a battle for human survival, and as Roslin said, “If we want to save the human race, we better start having babies.” He does point out that he hates to say this, but he says it anyway. Roslin responds that she’s fought her whole life for women’s right to choice (because Laura Roslin is awesome like that), but she still clearly takes Adama’s words into account.

On Pegasus, Starbuck looks over the last transmission from the missing Raptors. It’s fragmented and garbled, but she thinks it means the Raptors received a distress call and went to investigate. Starbuck takes this to Garner, who lays into her and restricts her to her bunk. Lee shows up, and what the hell’s happened between them in the past month? They’re incredibly antagonistic to each other and get into quite the fight – oh right, Starbuck shot Lee last episode.

Pegasus sends out Raptors to where the missing ones were last seen, and the Raptors hear a garbled distress call. Lee tells Garner that “there’s a theory” that the distress call is a trap of some sort, but Garner ignores him and prepares to jump the ship to the distress call’s location. They call Adama, who, presumedly without talking to Starbuck or Lee, says it might be a trap. Adama asks his son flat-out what he thinks, and Lee breaks with his commanding officer to agree with his father that yeah, probably a trap. Garner doesn’t take the betrayal lightly. Adama orders five Raptors sent out rather than the entire Battleship jumping away.

In squickier matters, Roslin goes to see Baltar to inquire about population projections for the fleet. Baltar says that, assuming they stay on our present course, the human race will be extinct in 18 years. So Roslin gets on the radio and outlaws abortion. Adama, for what it’s worth, looks troubled as he listens to this. Rya and Doc Cottle are in sick bay, listening.

On Pegasus, Garner seems to be ignoring Adama’s orders and preparing again to jump away. Garner and Lee get in each other’s faces, and both order the other relieved of duty and arrested. Some poor Marine shows up, and has to decide who’s going in the brig – and he picks Lee. Bad choice, obviously.

So Pegasus jumps away, and immediately, the two lost Raptors are found. Unfortunately, as soon as the rescue Raptors get close, we learn that the crews on the formerly lost Raptors are dead. And then three Cylon Baseships jump in! And they start nuking Pegasus! The FTL drive (which I realized entirely-too-recently means “faster than light”) is immediately knocked out, so they’re stuck.

At least we’ve got Starbuck leading the Viper pilots in their attack on the Cylons, and, oh, nevermind the brig. Lee’s back at the helm!

Deep breath, baby. Yeah, you're commanding a Battlestar.

Pegasus is getting clobbered. Garner puts Lee in charge, and heads down to fix the FTL drives himself. Lee realizes he’s in charge of a frakking battleship in the middle of a pitched battle – you can see him take a deep breath and count to three, and then he starts giving orders.

Garner, meanwhile, is in the belly of the ship, and it’s time to remember he was an engineer and chief mechanic long before he was a commander. Lee manages to take out a Baseship, probably mostly because his last name is Adama. There’s some technical nonsense, but basically Garner goes in to open a valve that will allow the FTL drives to function, against the protests of another mechanic. Garner requests a wrench, a spanner, and for the airtight door to be shut behind him – there’s a hole in the ship, and they’re losing oxygen. Garner gets to whatever piece of machinery he needs and starts turning handles, changing lights from red to green – clearly, they all have to go green, but he’s running out of oxygen. With literally his dying breath, Garner fixes what I think was the coolant, and therefore fixes the FTL drive. Lee calls the Vipers and Raptors back and they jump away. Whew!

Adama is reviewing Lee’s report of the incident and then names him Commander of Pegasus. CUE THE EMOTIONAL FATHER-SON VAGUELY IRISH MUSIC!

On Colonial One, the Quorum delegate from Gemenon is demanding that Rya be returned to her parents and prosecuted for breaking the new anti-abortion law. Roslin responds that Rya’s abortion happened before the law was passed and, basically, don’t push it, super-religious delegate. Roslin looks physically pained by all this, but I don’t really see how her anguish helps the women of the fleet who have suddenly lost autonomy of their bodies.

Back on Galactica, Lee packs up to move over to Pegasus, and Starbuck hangs with him as he packs. She congratulates him on his promotion, and they make up and hug.

Gaius Baltar's running for President. This should end well.

Ooh, President Roslin’s press conference! Baltar steps up, and at first it appears as if he’s going to support Roslin’s decision to outlaw abortion, but then we hear the HeadSix background music, and Baltar starts to wax lyrical about how freedom is what separates the humans from the Cylons and declares himself a presidential candidate. Roslin and co. leave the press conference as the press corps throw questions at Baltar and HeadSix applauds in the background.

As always, a hearty thank you to MonChiChi for the screencaps!

By CherriSpryte

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

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