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Battlestar Galactica: Episode 4 13: Blastin’ Fools

January 31, 2009

And so the mutiny against the fleet has begun, as Gaeta shows how much weight he carries by single handedly making it possible, providing an escape from jail for Zarek, getting weapons to the mutineers to dismantling the ship’s communication systems.

This episode was mostly action and leaves little to discuss or haggle about. As far as mutinies in space – or on ships – go this one was pretty conventional in terms of how it played out in the first half of the two parter. The writer served up a lot of clichés throughout, like Adama’s first and foremost concern being about his crew to his “It’s an honor to have served with you” line (or was that Tigh?). Starbuck caught on quick, and Lee figured out something was amiss when Zarek appeared on Colonial One, and pretty soon they were back on familiar turf, swapping spit and blastin’ fools.

The mutineers were mostly Xenophobic cardboard figures, though the writer wanted to give each a bone of contention with the Cylons, whether it be Gaeta’s attempt at redemption (for being a sellout) or revenge (see the Webisodes, if you’re bored).

Roslin pulled her wig out of the mothballs and got back in the game with a speech she hoped would settle things down (down with dope, up with hope).

Baltar attempted to reason with Gaeta. It’s nice to see they aren’t going to turn Baltar into a Jim Jones figure, and it wouldn’t have made sense for his character anyway. Though it appears that his motivation is self-interest always, I think his role, however conventional, is that of the morally conflicted priest figure. Even as a secular man of science on Caprica, his role was more guru than academic, so after his betrayal of humanity he’s always been moping about like those failed men of the cloth you see in fiction. It’s just that now the writers have made the link more explicit. Callis continues to make him interesting in spite of the conventional aspect.

I would have been less interested in the outcome of this mutiny were it not for the people in the roles of the besieged. I’ve been interested in Olmos as an actor and activist for years, so despite the cornier aspects of this episode I was pulling for him (not like he won’t make it out of this alive). It’s fortunate the series better actors (Callis, McDonnell, Olmos) were on the side of the righteous. Otherwise I might have been hoping for the mutiny to succeed.

Sidenote: I was flipping through cable the other night and noticed Kandyse “Dee” McClure in a non-speaking role in the sad Jet Li vehicle Romeo Must Die wearing booty shorts. You know who else was in a non-speaking part in the movie? I know you nerds and pinkertons know. Grace Park.

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