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Ladyghosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica: 3.01, Part 1: “Occupation”

Welcome to Season Three! As the first episode of this season is an hour and a half long, and as the ability to be concise is not one I possess, I’m splitting this beast of an episode in half. As millions of things happen, it’s probably for the best. So, when and where are we?

Previously on Battlestar Galactica, Starbuck interrogates Leoben The Cylon; Lee is promoted to Commander of the Pegasus; Racetrack finds a habitable planet, but Roslin thinks settlement on it is the worst idea ever; Baltar won the presidential election and established settlement; Ellen Tigh wants to settle on the planet. A year later, the Cylon fleet shows up; Lee (with Dee) jumps away in Pegasus, while Adama (with Helo) jumps away in Galactica with the rest of the fleet, leaving Starbuck, Tyrol, Callie, Tigh, Ellen, Gaeta, Baltar, and thousands of people we don’t know to be taken over by the Cylons. Baltar surrenders, and Leoben finds Sam Anders with pneumonia and demands to know where Starbuck is.

Speaking of Starbuck, I’m going to switch to calling her Kara Thrace for a little while, as it just makes more sense for the series. For clarity’s sake, I’ve tried hard to stick with one name per character, as there are so damn many characters with so many different names, but seeing as she’s out of her Viper at the moment, Starbuck is now Kara.

Credits now. If the new trend is just to put the credits right after the “previously,” I will lay off my obsessive cataloging of how far into the show the credits occur.

Anyway. We open with some short, confused scenes, all of which feature hands. A man, huddled on the ground of a tiny prison cell, a blonde woman having sex, candles being lit, wires being attached to something, a small model of a Raptor, and plates put down on a table. The man in the prison cell has one eye – IS THAT TIGH?! Ellen, it seems, is the blonde woman having sex (and NOT with Tigh); Roslin is lighting candles and praying; Adama’s moving the model Raptor before throwing it across the map; the wires seem to be part of a bomb, assembled by Tyrol and Anders; and Kara’s setting the table for dinner.

If that sounds disjointed and confusing, that’s because it was. There’s a woman chanting/singing over all of it, and each scene is a few seconds.

Kara picks up a fork, testing it for sharpness. Tigh in prison hears someone yelling – Tigh looks horrible, by the way, bruised and as if he’s been there for quite some time. A Cavil Cylon comes in, and tells him that every time they take Tigh out, someone messes with the hash marks Tigh has been carving into the floor. (I’d assume it’s a calendar of sorts.)

Back with Kara, Leoben comes in (!!!!!!!) and serves her dinner. There is something incredibly weird and wrong happening there. Speaking of weird and wrong, Ellen, it turns out, is fucking Cavil. Leoben cuts Kara’s meat for her, as she’s apparently not allowed a knife. Ellen asks Cavil when she gets what she wants, and he informs her that it’s happening right now – Tigh, it seems, is being let out of prison. Ellen’s waiting for him as he walks out. Anders and Tyrol set off a bomb at what looks like a Cylon transit hub, which Kara can see out the window of her weird living situation. Leoben, creepy as fuck, tells her that she looks lovely. She responds by taking two metal pointy things – chopsticks? Knitting needles? And stabbing him through the neck. She then grabs his knife and stabs him repeatedly, and then calmly goes back to dinner. Oh Starbuck, my dear, what have they done to you?

Oh, hon.

Roslin is apparently journaling the occupation. She tells us it’s been 134 days since the Cylons took over. Galactica has had no contact with them since the Cylons arrived, the insurgency has been striking back whenever and however possible, but since the Cylons resurrect, killing them makes no difference. They need to strike a high-profile target. The Cylons are in complete tight control; Baltar’s government is nothing more than puppetry.

Let's use fear to bring religion to the masses! That always works well!

To continue with the much-needed plot exposition, Cavil, aboard Colonial one (Baltar is in the background), discusses with his fellow Cylons the reason they’re here – to bring the word of God to humanity, apparently. Cavil, sarcastic and cynical as always, suggests they do so via fear. Cavil suggests they start rounding up people and executing them, publicly, namely to stop the insurgency. Caprica Six and Boomer point out that they’re here to bring peace, which Cavil shuts down as a fantasy.

Back to Roslin’s journal – apparently the Cylons have recruited humans to form a human police force, carrying out the Cylons’ wishes. Hundreds of people have been in detention, tortured, and have vanished. Someone within Baltar’s government has been feeding important information to the insurgency, flipping over a dog bowl to signal new information. We see this happen as Roslin narrates, but don’t see his face. Tyrol goes to pick up the information – it’s the plans for the graduation of the human police force. Tyrol then goes home, apparently to Callie and their baby! Tyrol heads out again, and Callie worries that one day he’ll never come back.

"The eye is gone."

Tyrol, it seems, heads to a meeting with Anders and Tigh. Moonshine for everyone! Tigh’s eye is most definitely gone. It’s not coming back. PIRATE TIGH! Sorry. Tyrol tells the others of the plans for the graduation that they’ve gotten, and how Baltar will probably be there, though it might be hard to kill him without civilian casualties. Tigh gets enraged, and says anyone working for the Cylons doesn’t count as a civilian. They’re also trying to communicate with a Raptor, which Sam doesn’t believe is out there. Tigh swears it is. There’s no word on where Kara is, by the way.

Speaking of Kara, she’s sitting in a bathrobe, and a new Leoben shows up – it seems this is the fifth time she’s killed him. Leoben says he’s just trying to help her. She says she knows, she apologizes, and Leoben tells her to put down the knife. Which, yes, she was holding. Leoben, it turns out, seems to be waiting for Kara to embrace him and tell him that she loves him. Kara says this is never going to happen, that he’s insane. Leoben says he’s going to bed, and she should join him. And that he loves her. Kara stays where she is, then notices the door to the apartment is open and runs out. The apartment door, apparently, is behind locked bars, and she screams that she doesn’t belong there, let her out. What the hell has she been through in the last four months?

LET HER OUT.

Oh, hey, we’re back on Galactica. Everything looks empty, and Racetrack and Kat are leading practice maneuvers. Kat is apparently the CAG, Helo’s XO, and Adama wants them to try the mission again. Lee, who is naked from the waist up and has grown quite the adorable belly, hears this command and calls his father. Adama’s concerned that they can’t do simple maneuvers, Lee’s worried that they’ve been out practicing for too long. Then there’s some sort of collision between two Vipers and everybody comes home, much to Adama’s frustration.

Lee and Adama have it out, Adama takes his frustration out on his son, and Lee is quite literally told to get his fat ass in gear. Cause fat people are lazy and undisciplined! Thanks, BSG!

This dude. Right here. Suicide bomber-to be.

On New Caprica, we learn that they’re planning a suicide bombing for the graduation ceremony. Tyrol thinks they’re going too far, Tigh disagrees – it’s their best chance to take out Baltar. Anders explains things to the bomber-to-be over a pyramid game.

Adama’s talking to Sharon, and they’ve somehow become BFFs? Sharon talks about her own guilt – Adama says he doesn’t do guilt. Sharon says, for her, she had to forgive herself before she could move forward. She thinks Adama needs to forgive himself in order for everyone to survive.

Lee vents to Dee about his father’s yelling at him, and Dee thinks Adama Sr. is right – Lee’s gone soft.

The government source gives the insurgents information about the radio frequencies – there is a Raptor out there! And hey, it’s Racetrack and her co-pilot again! Tyrol gets the radio signal working! Racetrack reports back to Galactica – they’ve made contact. Adama tells himself that everything’s going to be okay.

Roslin and Tory are trying to identify the members of the police squad – there are about 200 of them. Our insurgent suicide bomber-to-be (who I thought looked familiar – he was a fighter pilot, as was his wife, whom the Cylons killed) prays and asks for protection from the gods.

Gaeta fetches Baltar (he seems to still be his assistant) to bring him to the graduation ceremony. Baltar announces he’s not going,due to security concerns. Gaeta excuses himself, and then goes running through the town.

Ladies and gentlemen, the leaders of the resistance.

Tyrol is already suggesting they call off the strike, but Tigh says no – if the Cylons are distracted by an uprising, it’ll be easier for Galactica to come in. Tigh says that if the inside source says that Baltar’s not going to be there, then they should cancel. Tyrol checks the drop point, but there’s no new message. Seconds later, Gaeta shows up – of COURSE he was the inside source! He leaves a message saying that Baltar won’t be there, but it seems like it’s too late – the suicide bomber has already strapped a bunch of explosives to himself and heads toward the headquarters. Duck, his name is.

De’Anna makes a speech, and as she hands out diplomas, Duck sets off his explosives, killing himself and everyone in the room.

Let’s stop here, shall we? It’s literally exactly the halfway point, and we’ve just had a huge explosion. Tune in next week for the second part of this incredibly complicated and vaguely heartbreaking episode!

Thanks as always to MonChiChi for the screencaps!

By CherriSpryte

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

11 replies on “Ladyghosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica: 3.01, Part 1: “Occupation””

Ughughghgughughfjgejlkjjfgjef I’m so glad my English teacher suggested it to the class. I’m the only one that decided to pick it up on a whim, and we talk over Facebook about the episodes because BSG brings people together.  This season. I kind of hated the very end of the second season because everything was hopeful and then everything had changed and become cylon-occupied. But this episode was frakking phenomenal. It seems like the writers had been trying to milk every small scene the previous plotlines could get, but there was so much plot and character development here. I don’t know if it’s because the season is a year later when things and people have changed so it’s more interesting to see where they are now, or if it’s because of the change of scenery and faces (it’s so nice to be off Galactica for once).

i can say with a lot of confidence that the first four episodes of season three are my favorite out of the entire series.  I am intensely fascinated by themes of resistance, collaboration, treason, and the usage of violence to either oppress or to attack the oppressors. The decision by members of the resistance to engage in acts of terrorism made for some compelling and complex television. You see who the hardliners are (particularly Tigh and Roslin) and who the more idealistic members were (Tyrol).

I’m incredibly fascinated by resistance movements as well (undergrad thesis on the Warsaw Uprising, hell yeah. Also, sort of, my career choice.) so I of course love Tyrol SO MUCH for the role he takes in all this, but at the same time, I don’t want to let him off the hook for beating up Callie? Though she has clearly forgiven him. I don’t know. I’ve always been a big Tyrol fangirl, but had somehow completely forgotten the beating scene?

Oh, so many suggestions. But first, what is it exactly that you liked about BSG? The politics and maneuvering? The outer space travel? The complex personal relationships? The way the writing tears out your heart and stomps on it?

I suppose, if you answer to all of those is yes, you should go watch Firefly, if you haven’t already.

There are lots of BSG and vaguely BSG spin-offs, of varying quality, as well.

So far, my list of favorite sci fi shows is: Farscape, BSG, Firefly, Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5, and Fringe. I like the politics, the relationships, the crazy hijinks, and creative storytelling that these shows were so great at.

I’ve seen all the other Joss Whedon shows and, while they were good, they aren’t in my favorites. I also liked Journeyman (during the brief time it was on). I loved the West Wing, which isn’t sci fi, as well as Alias during the first 2-3 seasons. I tried Lost, but my interest fizzled out during the second season. I loved Chuck until its fourth season. I watched Criminal Minds, NCIS, and Supernatural for a while.

With that in mind, do you have any suggestions?

One show to consider would be Dollhouse. It’s a Joss Whedon show that lasted two seasons.  But I’ll caution you, it’s a problematic show because it often seems schizophrenic most likely due to Joss wanting to take it in one good direction, and the executives trying to force it into another.  Dollhouse explored some very fascinating concepts even if they were not always executed well or fleshed out.  Even though Eliza Dushku’s character Echo is the center of the show, she’s kind of a blank slate (in acting as well) and every other character around her is amazingly compelling, even the ones I love to hate. IMHO, once the show was cancelled and Joss had free reign to finish out the second season without having to waste time on filler episodes, it was frakking amazing.

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