TV Article

Going Viral

On ''Battlestar Galactica,'' Baltar investigates a virus on a Cylon baseship, while Tigh spreads dissension on Galactica

James Callis, Battlestar Galactica | MALPRACTICE Dr. Baltar said he saw nothing on the baseship
MALPRACTICE Dr. Baltar said he saw nothing on the baseship

''Battlestar Galactica'': Contagions on both sides

There are always more questions, aren't there, in the Galactica universe. Every answer leads to a new query. Now that we've seen the inside of a baseship, we want to see more. Why is a naked Boomer doing tai chi? Is their ''projecting'' more than just the work of active imaginations? What exactly is ''the hybrid''? Was she a model that went wrong? Her ramblings of disconnected fact punctuated by words of import sound an awful lot like a person with autism. Is she a savant Cylon? Why don't they talk about the other five models? (Please, don't let Baltar be a Cylon. I know that's long been a theory, but it would just be too easy. Let him be humanity's Achilles heel because he chooses to be, or because he's too weak not to be, not because he's been programmed to.) Was there a Cylon civil war? Above all, why are the Cylons so intrigued by Earth? And what will they do if and when they get there?

There's been a lot of debate over what would happen if the Galactica ever reached our Big Blue Marble. Some wouldn't put it past executive producer Ron Moore to have the Galactica jump into orbit only to have President Bush blast it from the sky with a barrage of nukes. But wouldn't it be so much more interesting if the Cylons were the ones who found Earth, as abandoned as Kobol, and founded the 13th colony? What if we were the children of Cylons? Chew on that for a while.

Did Lee get demoted, and by more than his pants size? (And, really, I completely don't buy that Lee lost all that weight in the time he did. It takes people months, if not years, to get a six-pack like that. Not that I dug Fat Lee, but for a show that holds itself to something of a ''reality'' code, come on.) I guess he did, judging by the ''Major'' on his Viper's fuselage. Then again, how many commanders do you need on one battlestar? Clearly, Adama needs only one XO, and it's driving Tigh crazy that it's Helo and not him.

(Hey, where's Anders? Just asking.)

Just as everything looks like it's back to normal, nothing remains the same. The pilots are out doing training maneuvers, as always. Tigh is drinking heavily. Kara is a gambling fiend who's reckless in and out of the cockpit. (Maybe it's me, but I'm not loving the return of the suicidal Starbuck. I know there's a totally valid reason for it — like, the last four episodes — but we've been down this road, and I was hoping that her depression would manifest itself in a more interesting way.) But there's a gulf between those who were on the surface of New Caprica and those who weren't.

The entire episode, when you break it down, is all about the space between. The space between Baltar and the Cylons. The space between the veterans of the ground war and those who remained in the heavens, above it all. The space between Adama and Tigh, who can probably never get back to being the friends they once were because they're no longer the men they used to be. Above all, the space between the past and the present, and how so many would like to look to tomorrow while others are unwilling to let go of yesterday.

And, as always, more questions. Just what'll happen with that techno-virus that devastated the Cylon baseship? (Will Roslin, as intimated by the teaser for next week's episode, use it on them, doing the same thing to them that they tried to do to us?) How will Baltar talk his way out of discovering that phage-carrying satellite and then lying about it? Did Sharon catch something just being in the same vicinity as that contagious baseship? Where will Kara go to find herself? Will she reconcile with Anders? And what'll happen to Tigh, now that he's out of a job, a wife, and a best friend?

Originally posted Nov 04, 2006