LadyGhosts of TV Past

Ladyghosts of TV Past: Battlestar Galactica, 3.19, “Unfinished Business, Part 2”

Okay, so if you have not yet seen Battlestar Galactica and are planning to, or are currently watching it, and do not want to be spoiled, PLEASE STOP READING NOW. A LOT is revealed in this episode, and even scrolling through quickly to comment might result in you seeing something you’d rather not.

Previously on Battlestar Galactica, we’re coming up on the Lion’s Head Nebula. Also, Tigh, and Anders seem to be hearing a song, which is in the frakking ship. People would like Baltar to bless their children; Roslin accuses Baltar of signing a death warrant, and then we get flashbacks that prove that true; Roslin is taking chamalla because her cancer is returned, and Lee and his Daddy are in a fight. Lee resigned.

Adama’s shaving – HOW IS THERE STILL SHAVING CREAM?! WHERE DO THEY GET ALL THESE PRODUCTS?! He cuts himself, and the phone rings. It’s Roslin, and she requests that he yells at her to get her out of bed. It’s adorably couple-y, if that sort of thing doesn’t make you vaguely nauseous. Roslin doesn’t want to face the day and the trial, and Adama advises her to not let them see her sweat.

Shirtless Anders and scantily-clad Tory are shown in profile, about to kiss
Get it girl! (I’m not sure who I’m addressing here, possibly both of them.)

Tyrol wakes up and hears the same song from last week – whoa, Sam’s sleeping with Tory! Tory hears the music, too, but they’re soon interrupted by Seelix and some others – Seelix seems a bit jealous of Tory. Tyrol stands in front of a huge piece of machinery, hearing the same music.

Lee announces that they should try for a mistrial. He says they’re losing. He seems to be taking out his anger with his father on Baltar and Lampkin. Lee quotes his grandfather’s lawbook, advocating a mistrial. Baltar is anti-mistrial, as he “can’t physically take” going through all of this again.

Racetrack, on the short list of “pilots who are still around,” is training the nuggets. Sam and Tyrol both aren’t doing too well. Sam (when did he hurt his leg?) notices that Tyrol’s humming the song, and Sam goes over, says that he’s been hearing the same song. Tyrol gets a little freaked, and he and Sam realize they’ve been hearing the same song, in the same fashion – bits of it, and its seems faintly familiar. Racetrack calls out Anders for dawdling, and the conversation is over. (Anders is a nugget now?)

In Caprica Six's prison cell, Athena and Roslin question Caprica. The three women form a triangle, equidistant apart from each other.
Okay, so Roslin’s on chamalla, how are the other two having these vision/dreams?

In sick bay, Doc Cottle gives Roslin a dioxyn treatment, and as it’s finished, Roslin has another Opera House dream – or really the same one? It looks like last time, except Baltar shows up at the end. Roslin screams, and Athena screams, too – she’s in sick bay, too, with Hera.  Roslin and Athena go and see Caprica and questions her – did she just have the same vision? All four of them – Athena, Hera, Roslin and Caprica – were just mentally in the same place. Roslin asks if Caprica’s trying to take Hera, and she says no, she just knew she needed to protect Hera with her life.

Tigh goes to Adama and tells him the Cylons are sabotaging the ship by making it play music. Adama throws some side-eye and dismisses it – Tigh doesn’t look too good. (Maybe its just cause he’s scruffy and unshaven?) Tigh says, “There’s too much confusion” during this conversation, and after Adama leaves, he mutters, “There must be some way out of here.”

Which brings us to the song. The song, if you were not raised mostly ignorant of American culture pre, oh, 1995, is “All Along the Watchtower,” a Bob Dylan song. And both “There’s too much confusion” and “There must be some way out of here” are lyrics in the song. The version of the song used in the show is here, if you’d like to listen to it:

All Along the Watchtower – Bear McCreary (this is only the first two minutes, but its all you need!)

The Battlestar Galalctica Wiki (warning: spoilers in there!) tells me I’ve missed other quoted lyrics – Tyrol says “some way outta here” in his conversation with Anders, and Anders says “No reason to get excited” when Racetrack yells at him to move it.

So this song, it is important.

Baltar at the trial, looking distressed.
Baltar is not pleased by the current turn of events.

Back to the episode – Gaeta’s testifying at Baltar’s trial! The death list is being discussed. Gaeta says he saw Baltar sign it. He says that the Cylons prepared the list, and that Baltar signed it without question. Baltar flashes back to the signing – he protested quite strongly, and eventually a Doral held a gun to his head to get him to sign. Lampkin goes to cross-examine Gaeta (who looks smug as fuck) but then changes his mind and says he has no questions. Lampkin seems to have quite the limp from the explosion. He says they have to change their strategy. After a recess, Lampkin calls for a mistrial, which Baltar immediately protests. Lampkin says one of the judges has already decided on the outcome – Adama himself. Lampkin calls Lee to the stand – Lee says he won’t testify against his father. Despite this, Lee takes the stand and won’t answer as to whether his father said Baltar doesn’t deserve a trial or not. Lee says that he himself does believe that Baltar deserves a trial, and just when Lee is about to leave the stand, Bill Adama says that he’d like to hear Lee’s testimony.

Lee, in a suit, on the witness stand. Lampkin is in the extreme foreground, facing away from the camera and towards Lee.
This went far better than anyone except Lampkin thought it would.

So, here we go. I love this speech, so you’re getting a lot of it: Lee says that Baltar should be aquitted because the evidence does not support the charges. Baltar made mistakes, yes, but he didn’t create treason – it was an impossible situation. What would you have done? President Roslin, he says, issued a blanket pardon for all New Caprica-related crimes – suicide bombings, murder of officers – all forgiven. Lee then confesses his own crimes – nuking that civilian ship ages ago, jumping away with Pegasus when the Cylons arrived, etc. – all forgiven. Lee says we’re not a civilization, we’re a gang on the run, and we have to break rules to survive. He’s doing, I might add, a damn good job. Why are we holding Gaius Baltar to a different standard? This case is based on emotion, anger, vengeance, guilt and shame. We’re trying to heap all of that on Baltar, and then flush him out an airlock, so we can live with ourselves. That’s not justice.

The prosecuting attorney lodges an objection, which is noted, but Lee’s testimony stands. The defense rests.

Baltar, in a black buttoned shirt, in his cell, looking confused.
“Funny faces and good clothes: the Gaius Baltar story”

The judges return with the verdict – 3-2 says Baltar’s not guilty!!!!!!! Roslin peaces out real quick, and there is quite the uproar. Baltar immediately gets snotty, there’s a bit of a riot, and while Lee’s quick to issue orders, it’s not clear if the Marines are listening to him or just doing the obvious right thing. You’re not an officer anymore, bb. Post-trial, Baltar’s super smug, although the man does wear a black button-up shirt pretty damn well. Lee gets in Baltar’s face, telling him to not push it. Baltar turns to Lampkin, asking for assistance in publishing his book, and Lampkin essentially tells him to frak off. Baltar suddenly realizes that he has no support or means of survival, and again, gets brushed off by his former legal team. Lee asks Lampkin if he knew what would happen when Lee took the stand. Lampkin walks away, leaving his cane behind.

Roslin and Adama in profile, with the bridge in the background

Meanwhile on the bridge, Roslin and Adama Sr discuss the verdict. Roslin can’t believe it, and Adama says that he voted for Baltar’s acquittal – the defense made its case. Roslin says Baltar’s a traitor, regardless of the trial. Adama responds that they have to look toward the future and gives the order to jump to the Ionian nebula – the next signpost on the way to Earth.

All of a sudden, the entire fleet loses power. Tigh’s listening to the walls, hearing the song. Galactica has no power, no auxillary power, and Baltar freaks out. The woman who showed up at Baltar’s cell, asking him to bless her son, shows up and says she’s taking him to his new life.

We’re with Caprica in her cell for a second, and its time for another Opera House dream/vision – she and Baltar, who’s carrying Hera, approach the same scene D’Anna saw back at the temple. The final five are in the balcony, wearing hoods and appearing completely white.

Tigh, Anders, Tory and Tyrol stand in the middle of the gym, staring at each other.

Tyrol’s giving orders on the flight deck when it seems for him that everything slows down, and he hears the music. He says, “There must be some way out of here.” Back to Tigh, who says, “Said the joker to the thief.” We visit Anders, who says, “There’s too much confusion here,”  and then we’re with Tory, who says, “I can’t get no relief.” The first lyrics to “All Along the Watchtower.” We follow these four as they stumble about the ship in semi-dark, as the song gets louder and more powerful. They all wind up in the gym, freaking out. Tyrol says it’s finally happening, Anders says no, we’re not, Tory starts humming the song. Tigh just looks freaked out as they all pick up the tune, and finally shouts. Tigh locks the doors and starts muttering about 40 years in the service, two wars, the dungeon in New Caprica, Ellen – what about Ellen? Anders says no, not after all this. Everybody’s freaking out, and Tyrol finally says it – they’re Cylons, and they have been from the start. DUN DUN.

Back in the bridge, there’s a simultaneous fleetwide power outage.

And, oh, massive inbound Cylon fleet.

Down in the gym, Tigh says that the ship’s under attack, so they’re going to do their damn jobs. He’s Saul Tigh, an officer of the fleet, and that’s the man he wants to be. Oh Saul. <3

Lee’s lost and confused for a moment before heading to grab his pilot gear. Tigh’s on the bridge, telling Adama he can be counted on. Tory says the same to Roslin, as she stares at Tigh.

Kara Thrace, aka Starbuck, alive and well in her Viper.

And then we get the actual song, with lyrics, as the Vipers take off and the firefight begins. Lee announces he’s in the air, and going to go check out an unknown ship that keeps appearing and disappearing. AND THEN HE FINDS IT AND IT’S STARBUCK AND SHE IS BACK AND ALL IS RIGHT IN THE WORLD. KARA JUST SAID IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY. Also, she’s been to Earth, she knows where it is, and she’s going to take them there. She’s also kind of glowing? BUT STARBUCK IS BACK AND FUCK YEAH FOR THAT.

And then we zoom out and away from the fleet and all through space, and end with a shot of what is VERY CLEARLY Planet Earth, focusing on Florida, the southwestern US, and Mexico – probably the most easily identifiable part of the planet for Americans. THEIR EARTH IS OUR EARTH.

A shot of Earth from outerspace - most of the United States is visible. A bright light is in the upper right corner.


Thanks to monchichi for the screencaps!

Okay, so, I have to ask – I watched BSG for the first time a year or so after it concluded, and the internet being what it was, had many key points spoiled for me. But if you watched it as it aired – was it a mindfuck (mindfrak?) to see Earth be Earth? Did you know that was coming? Did you guess?

Since this is the end of the season, I thought it would be a good time for some feedback – is there anything else you’d like to see from these recaps? More thematic analysis? Less? More Hot Hot Helo? (The answer to the last question is always, obviously, yes.)

By CherriSpryte

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

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