30 Days of TV – Days 06 & 07

Day 06 – Favorite episode of your favorite t.v show

Galactica has a ton of great episodes: the mini-series, roughly the entire first season, all the season finale cliffhangers, Kobol’s Last Gleaming, Lay Down Your Burdens, the totally badass atmo hotdrop in Exodus (2), the amazing ending to Revelations… there’s a reason this is my favorite show, after all.

I’m going to cheat and chose two, even though they’re closely related, highly intertwined, and yet ones that I don’t think are as popular: The Oath and Blood on the Scales. (From here there be Spoilers.)

You could also argue that A Disquiet Follows My Soul is part of this, leading into and setting up these two great episodes, but then you’d have to follow that back to The Ties That Bind when Gaeta gets shot, and from that back to the season 3 cliffhanger, when Starbuck returns, and that back to Maelstrom, when Starbuck blew up, but that would be getting dangerously close to just claiming the entire show as my favorite episode. So I’ll stop while I’m behind.

Chunks of seasons three and four were spent building up the Cylons (at least, the splinter group) as likeable characters, opening the possibility for some kind of peace/truce and ending the senseless cycle of violence (particularly after the revelations in Revelations). However, the Cylon rebellion doesn’t go so hot, and they run to hide under Galactica‘s skirts, begging to become citizens of the fleet in order to get Galactica‘s protection.

Now, most of the movers and shakers are rather skeptical about this, and rightly so—these are robotic monsters who’ve just blown up the human homeworlds and pursued the survivors so deep into space that it’s well beyond sensible. So nobody welcomes them with open arms when they show up and go “Yeah, sorry about that whole about killing all you held dear and attacking you constantly for the past few years, we were wrong, so now we want you to cover our asses since picking a fight with Cavil/Cylon Number One wasn’t a smart move.”

Still, the Cylons are genuine about putting the past behind them, and for all his bluster Adama still has some idealism at heart, so the Cylons aren’t airlocked, in the hopes that things can mellow. Still, a large part of the fleet isn’t happy about any of this, and a few—Lt. Felix “Alessandro Juliani” Gaeta and Tom “Richard Hatch you might know me as the original Apollo” Zarek—decide to take matters into their own hands and mutiny.

We’ve seen mutinies before—seasons one and two were filled with them—but here, we actually get a feeling that these people are doing this for a reason. A human reason, based purely on emotion, and not a particularly good reason, which makes them all the more sympathetic. Zarek in particular is a great character, because of reasons this episode embodies: he doesn’t always do the right thing, but he does what he believes is the best interest for humanity. This, sadly, puts him (and Gaeta) at odds with the series’ protagonists, which does not bode well for them.

A great episode (pair of episodes, so sue me) with a lot of action, palpable human drama, and a great ending when mustache Adama executes them both, right as Felix’s “phantom leg” itch stops. It set up the countdown to the finale perfectly, while keeping the middle of season four interesting.

Day 07 – Least favorite episode of your favorite t.v show

There really aren’t that many god-awful episodes of Galactica, but there are a few stinkers. Worst was Black Market; it was oddly self-contained, so spoiling it doesn’t spoil any real episodes.

So, Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber) is sleeping with prostitutes, probably because of his messed-up relationship with Starbuck. Particularly one prostitute with a young daughter, who shares the same name as some chick Lee was banging on Caprica or something, as he’s torn up about losing some past love (who was never previously mentioned, and who we’ll never hear of again).  Meanwhile, Roslin, Adama, and Tighe are bitching out Commander Fisk on the Pegasus (man, that dates this episode) because of the rampant black market going on within the fleet.

Fisk is murdered by some thugs he was doing illicit business with, and Lee Adama is chosen as the most likely candidate to investigate it. Let me get this straight. The admiral’s son. Ace Viper pilot. Commander, Air Group of Galactica. This is the person they thought most qualified to play detective in some wretched hive of scum and villainy? Maybe they figured he had a leg up on the illegal scene, knowing all the local prostitutes and all.

So Lee gets jumped when he goes to see his hooker friend, and told to keep out of it as Fisk’s killer is dead right outside the prostitute’s place, and Tom Zarek sows up and tells him the black market’s a necessary evil which the fleet needs, while also giving him the location of the black market den. It’s a good idea: conditions are pretty terrible on the fleet, and has some interesting implications for a fleet whose economy is in shambles, and whose production is nonexistent. A “people want things that remind them of home” vibe, which could have been interesting, and instead goes nowhere.

Next, the hooker’s daughter goes missing (gasp! shock!), so Lee goes to the black market and frees her, kills the head honcho, and tells the mooks that the black market can continue  if it stops trafficking children. (Seriously? I’d think someone might notice a group of chain-gang children, or that there was an endemic of missing kids. And what do you use a dozen stolen kids for? Is Galactica really playing the pedophile card, or do they expect us to believe that some evil crime lord is setting up his own sweatshop?) Lee tells everyone that the killer’s been brought to justice, and while the market will continue Lee will personally play the McGruff the Crime Dog role in keeping it… less black? (The gray market?) Needless to say, Roslin is less than pleased, but decides to roll with it.

This episode is a mess. Its plot-points and characters are never mentioned again, not even the black market; it doesn’t impact the plot, doesn’t have to do with jack shit in the big picture, and is far too contradictory. A mystery in space could have been cool. An episode dealing with supply problems within the fleet could have been interesting. Instead, we get an episode that even the production staff (namely Ron Moore) apologized for as a failed episode, crushed by time constraints so that they couldn’t do rewrites and all that. The only good thing to come out of it was Jamie Bamber as a detective.

Spoiler/Preview/Recap:

Day 01 – A show that should have never been canceled – Jericho
Day 02 – A show that you wish more people were watching – Fringe
Day 03 – Your favorite new show (aired this TV-season) – Game of Thrones
Day 04 – Your favorite show ever – Battlestar Galactica (2004)
Day 05 – A show you hate – various micro-rants
Day 06 – Favorite episode of your favorite t.v show – The Oath/Blood on the Scales
Day 07 – Least favorite episode of your favorite t.v show – Black Market
Day 08 – A show everyone should watch
Day 09 – Best scene/episode ever
Day 10 – A show you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 11 – A show that disappointed you
Day 12 – A TV show you’ve watched more than 4 times
Day 13 – Favorite childhood show
Day 14 – Favorite male character
Day 15 – Favorite female character
Day 16 – Your guilty pleasure show
Day 17 – Favorite mini series
Day 18 – Favorite title sequence
Day 19 – Best t.v show cast
Day 20 – Favorite kiss
Day 21 – Favorite relationship
Day 22 – Best pilot episode
Day 23 – Most annoying character
Day 24 – Best quote
Day 25 – A show you plan on watching (old or new)
Day 26 – OMG WTF? Season finale
Day 27 – Favorite series finale
Day 28 – First t.v show obsession
Day 29 – Current t.v show obsession
Day 30 – Saddest character death


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