Monday, February 9
"I will use every weapon down to my own teeth to end you."
Season 4, Episode 14 - "Blood on the Scales"
It's the final stretch for Battlestar Galactica (I still get all teared up every time I realize this) and it's pretty palpable that all bets are off. Ever since season 4.5 started, it has been downhill for the men and women of Galactica, which has reached a boiling point with the discovery of a parched, radioactive Earth. Directionless, now unhinged from the promised land, betrayed by the scriptures, and demystified of the prophesies that acted as an interstellar map, the Cylons and humans have banded together to search for a new home. Of course, it will never be that easy. After a controversial announcement to install Cylon FTL drives in the colony ships, an uprising erupts. The violence and heartbreaks rooted in the New Caprica arc and the TV-Movie "Razor" culminate in a bloody coup led by Felix Gaeta in this week's "Blood on the Scale."
I've always had a soft spot for Gaeta. Always quiet, meek, but wildly intelligent. His character's journey from tactical officer to guilt-burdened New Caprica Chief of Staff to then President Baltar to masterminding a coup d'etat with Vice president Tom Zarek is so far the show's most tragic character turn. I kept telling myself that No, not Gaeta. But yes, he ordered the execution of Admiral Adama and President Roslin. He accepted the assasination of the corum. He singlehandedly coordinated the takeover from his seat in the CIC. In one of the most painful moments of the show, Gaeta, after the arrest, confesses to Baltar that he's alright with the fact that he lost but hopes that someday everyone will understand who he was. He is ultimately executed by firing squad, seconds before which he utters, "It stopped," referring to the recurring phantom leg pain.
Lots of great charcter moments in this episode too. President Roslin goes totally badass after being told by Gaeta that Admiral Adama has been executed and delivers the best line of the season so far: I will hunt each one of you down or something then..."I will use every cannon, every bomb, every bullet, every weapon I have down to my own eye teeth to end you! I swear it! I'm coming for all of you!" That just took my breath away. Also, Sam can't be dead. Please? Starbuck cradling him in her arms is such a heartbreaking reunion. Cylon or not, she does love him, only not as much as she loves Apollo. Frak.
It's all these journeys, these intersecting drama and destinies, the too real entanglement of religion and politics, desire and despair, that elevate Battlestar Galactica from a great sci-fic drama show to a revered study of the darkness and light of the human heart.