LadyGhosts of TV Past

LadyGhosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica, 3.13, “The Woman King”

Much like last week, I have NO IDEA what the tie in for this episode’s title is for the plotline. You would expect “The Woman King” to be President Roslin-centric, right?! And yet she’s barely in two scenes. Is it something obvious again? Let me know in the comments! But first, let me tell you what happened! 

Previously, on Battlestar Galactica, lotsa Helo! Tigh’s resentful that Helo was the XO, Helo’s shooting Athena (so she can get Hera back), and answering to Roslin for it; in other news, Caprica Six has been thrown in the brig; Baltar wants his fair trial; and Helo is now in charge of overseeing a civilian camp that has been created on an unused corner of the flight deck. (WAIT, when did that happen? I haven’t skipped an episode, I know that, but this is still part of the “previously” and I have no memory of that scene – this is not a good sign for my brain.)

Anyway, currently, Helo and Athena are in bed, but Helo ain’t sleeping (it amuses me a little that, now that there are a bunch of married couples on board, there are suddenly several “family” apartments.) The next morning, Helo has to deal with 300 new members of “Dogsville” – the civilian camp – and gets teased by Lee, Starbuck, Racetrack, etc, for his new job as “Mayor of Dogsville.” Athena defends him, but he’s still separated from his old friends and dealing with what seems like a thankless job.

Doctor Roberts - a white man in his fifties, with floppy white hair, wearing scrubs.
Hi Doc Roberts! Where'd you come from?!

Down in Dogsville, Helo welcomes the newcomers aboard, and then we shift to a doctor who’s not Doc Cottle who wants to examine someone’s child. The woman says that because she’s Sagittaron, she doesn’t believe in medicine and doesn’t want her kid examined. Dee comes over and attempts to neutralize the situation ““ New Doctor is Doctor Robert, and Dee, as a Sagittaron herself, vouches for the doctor, that he’s not going to do anything they won’t be comfortable with. This isn’t strictly true, as the woman and her child (who is, like, 15) quickly pull away from the doctor, saying “That’s enough.” Doctor Roberts looks around, and all he sees are people coughing, sneezing, and looking sick. Tigh shows up, and Roberts tells him to get out of here – there’s some sickness going around. There’s a commotion, and the sick teenager from earlier has collapsed – Doc Roberts takes him away as Dee calms his mother. Helo looks around at all the new sick people (many of whom, it seems, are from Sagittaron and, therefore, anti-medicine) and the super-stressful drums play. (Not to be confused with the drama drums.)

Doc Roberts and Tigh sit on a couch in Adama's quarters
Oh, also, these two are BFFLs. Which makes sense, because we've seen so much of Roberts!

Doc Roberts explains what’s going around Dogsville – Melorac sickness, which, if you don’t treat the first symptoms, will kill you within 3 ““ 5 days. It’s not super-contagious but is kinda contagious and spreading among the Sagittaron civilians. It’s curable, but there’s kind of a limited supply of the meds. Adama mentions that most of the Sagittarons are going to refuse the medicine, and Tigh says that Sagittarons hold on to ancient traditions and distrust medicine.

So, of course, we cut to the Sagittarons in Dogsville, who are burning incense, and brewing”¦something.

Zarek, in a suit, on Colonial One, talking to Roslin.
This man is freaked. out.

On Colonial One, Roslin is explaining to Zarek that there is indeed going to be a trial for Baltar. Zarek warns her that the media’s going to go crazy, there will be massive civil unrest – the trial will bring the entire fleet down. Oh, whoa, remember he’s VP!? Right. Zarek advises Roslin to declare martial law during the trial. After Zarek leaves, Roslin comments to Tori, her assistant, that she’s never seen Zarek that scared before.

Helo’s listening to complaints, and the rest of the Dogsville population wants something done about the Sagittaron population, before everyone else gets sick. The mother from the opening scene shows up, telling Helo that her son is dead. Helo lectures her – she made a mistake, you need medicine. The mother says no – she went to Doctor Roberts and her son took the medicine, less than 12 hours after symptoms appeared (the boy should have been fine.) The mother (get a name, please, lady?) blames Doc Roberts for her son’s death.

The mother of the deceased boy - tearful, angry, white woman in her, what, 30's or 40's?
PLEASE GET A NAME. Also, sorry about your son.

Helo goes to talk to Roberts, and Roberts says that no, the boy had advanced symptoms, it wasn’t Roberts’s fault. Roberts vaccinates Helo, which – aren’t they supposed to be rationing the vaccine? Roberts isn’t worried, and also, if Helo got sick, that would be a problem.

Hey, Joe’s Bar Scene! They seem to have skeeball? Tyrol gripes about Sagittarons over a game of Pyramid, partially because Sagittaron didn’t get involved in the resistance on New Caprica. Dee’s there, so Lee tells her to lay off. Dee says no, and complains about Sagittarons – as she is one, she’s just as frustrated with their refusal of modern medicine.

Head Baltar and Caprica Six, in the brig.
I do like Head Baltar. Possibly the suit and the omnipotence.

In a completely different plotline, Athena goes to visit Caprica Six, and whoa, Head Baltar! Head Baltar would like to know what they’re doing here. Athena gives Six some advice – her best chance of getting out of the brig is to cooperate and give them dirt on Baltar. We pan out, and Roslin and NAME are there, listening. Head Baltar tells Six that they’re there because she wants to be human. He says that in order to be human, you must think only about yourself.

Oh dear. Bit of a riot in Dogsville, with people attacking the Doctor. Helo comes in and restores order. Helo talks to Roberts, and Roberts admits that he immunized someone without the consent of the patient – and that patient still died. Helo goes to talk to Adama, Cottle and Tigh, and tells him of both Willy King, the boy who died with the upset mother (we can call her Mrs. King now!) and this new dead guy. Cottle says that they should be immunizing everyone without their consent. Helo accuses Roberts of treating people unethically and of killing people. Tigh thinks that’s going too far (there was a throwaway line about Roberts and Tigh being drinking buddies earlier). Adama tells Helo that he’s got too many things to worry about – Baltar and Six and the overcrowding and the illness, and could Helo please do his job and stop making unfounded accusations.

Helo, making an angry sort of face.
For future reference, this is what Helo looks like when he's about to punch his superior officer.

Tigh comes after Helo, and tells him to lay off, again. No one likes Helo, according to Tigh, except for Roberts. Why does Helo want to stand up for outsiders? Ah – on New Caprica, Roberts worked with the resistance, patched up Tigh’s eye. Tigh insults Athena, so Helo punches him in the face. TIgh seems more impressed than anything else, but Helo needs to shut up about Roberts.

In Dogsville, Helo wades through the crowds, and sees Athena – Hera’s sick! Roberts gives her the immunization, which Helo’s clearly not cool with. Roberts also gives Helo a bracelet to give to Mrs. King – it was her son’s. So now Helo’s got to wander into the Sagittaron district and talk to Mrs. King. After giving her the bracelet, he asks why she let Doctor Roberts treat her son, especially since she had apparently been warned against him. She says that she couldn’t believe that anyone would be so hateful. And that this conversation is over.

Helo talking to Doc Cottle
And THIS is what Helo looks like when he knows he's right and everyone else is wrong.

In their quarters, Helo snaps at Athena; he’s upset. Maybe this current job is a punishment for, well, being on the outside (a.k.a. marrying a Cylon)? Athena stays really chill throughout Helo’s yelling, which clearly infuriates him, so Helo goes for a walk. I’m not sure where he is – sick bay? Some records room? But he pulls the files on Doctor Roberts and we get ominous drumming – Helo’s going through paperwork, and Cottle surprises him in the middle of his researching. Helo says he’s got proof that Roberts is deliberately killing Sagittarons – out of the people he treated on New Caprica, 12% of his Pikon patients died, 6% of his Caprican patients died, but 90% of his Sagittaron patients died. Cottle says he’s not going to listen – Roberts is overworked. Cottle asks what Roberts is doing wrong; Helo says he doesn’t know but instead begs Cottle to do an autopsy on Willy King. Cottle says that he did, that the boy died of Melorac sickness and had the vaccine in his system.

Dee goes down to Roberts (IS THIS A TRAP?!) saying she doesn’t feel well and asks for the vaccine.

There’s banging at Helo’s door in the middle of the night, and its Mrs. King – she tells Helo that Dee went to Roberts and that’s no good. Helo gets dressed, despite Athena’s protestations. She doesn’t want Helo to be further ostracized, because they get enough flack already for, you know, Athena being a Cylon.

Helo lunges at Roberts, restrained by guards.
Okay, sometimes I just post the funniest Helo face.

Helo runs through Dogsville – full-fledged drama drums! – and finds Dee. She doesn’t look too good, in that she looks vaguely dead. Which she is not! She says Roberts gave her something, and she feels horrible. Roberts shows up, Helo says he’s taking Dee to Cottle, just in case, and Roberts calls for security. Dee’s saying she doesn’t want to go anywhere, Helo somehow takes a swing at a Marine, and Tigh and Cottle show up.

Whoa, Tigh yells at Roberts! Cottle says that Dee’s okay, just heavily sedated. Cottle says that he didn’t check Willy King’s blood until a few hours ago, and, actually, he didn’t have the vaccine in his system – he had a toxic poison. Which was the same poison that killed the other dude. That, plus a more careful examination of the records Helo turned up, proves that Roberts has, indeed, been killing Sagittarons. Roberts responds that Helo should be grateful that they had enough vaccine for Hera. He also says that, when supplies are low, why help the Sagittarons, who won’t lift a finger to help themselves or anyone else, as opposed to giving the vaccines to Viper pilots? Cottle asks what happened to “first do no harm.” Roberts responded that the Sagittarons are going to die anyway. Tigh says that he hates being wrong. He orders Helo to arrest Roberts, and we get a good quick moment between Mrs. King and Helo – she seems, if not happy, at least satisfied.

Mrs. King looks satisfied.
Its nice to think that good triumphs over evil in this world, eh?


Helo goes to see Adama, who apologizes for not supporting him. Helo goes home to his wife and child, and all is well, at least for a moment.

By CherriSpryte

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

16 replies on “LadyGhosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica, 3.13, “The Woman King””

I loved SG:U, but I seem to be in the minority on that one. I actually kind of enjoyed the fact that everyone was kind of awful about at least one aspect of their lives, but most of them were really awesome in another. The Colonel was awesome at running the ship, but kind of shit at his love life. Rush was an inconsiderate evil bastard nine times out of ten, but genuinely kind and good to the disabled woman he was in love with. I think Eli was the only one who was pretty cool most of the time. I think the only characters I was really unimpressed with were the darling in love couple (I don’t even remember their names…)

I mean, I guess they had to put him somewhere after Tigh returned as XO, but couldn’t he just have gone back to being a pilot? Or, like, sharing CAG duties with Lee and Starbuck, depending who’s misbehaving which week? One thing I should probably have touched on more was the fact that this episode brings up the animosity between those who were on New Caprica and those who stayed on Galactica – part of Tigh and Cottle’s loyalty to Roberts stems from the fact that he was on New Caprica with them, and the distrust of Helo definitely has some of its many roots in the fact that he stayed on Galactica.

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