‘Battlestar Galactica’ recap: Family reunion
Before we get into the events of this week’s episode, ”Deadlock,” I want to share some news that came over the wire last night. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Universal Studios, in their infinite wisdom, has decided that they want a Battlestar Galactica movie. Makes sense, right? The Peabody-award winning show has helped to redefine science fiction and, as it rides triumphantly off into the sunset, why not capitalize on the goodwill of a thankful geek nation? Sure, the ratings have never been through the roof, but this is the same Universal that made Serenity, so the Powers that Be over there have been known to trust their collective gut.
There’s only one problem: Universal’s gut wants Glen A. Larson — who created Battlestar Galactica back in the mid-’70s — to write and produce it. Not Ronald D. Moore. Not the guy who won that Peabody. Not the guy who took a low-rent Star Wars knock-off and spun it into an apocalyptic human drama of unprecedented depth.
Not the guy who thought that one of the penultimate episodes of his show should be about a man torn between three women, and the painful loss of a child.
And that man is Saul Tigh. The three women: Ellen Tigh, Caprica Six, and William Adama, er, Galactica. Let’s take each gal one at a time.
Free from John Cavil’s clutches, Ellen arrives back on Galactica in a manner that plays right into the show’s ”all of this has happened before, all of this will happen again” conceit. The hatch opens, we see nothing but legs, and hear a silken voice purr, ”Aren’t you gonna help a lady down off this thing?” And, once again, Adama realizes that her coming means trouble. Boy, is she ever. After the Boomer that escorted Ellen to Galactica is thrown into the brig, Ellen barely makes it through her cursory debriefing by Laura, Bill, and Lee before she gets to debriefing (or maybe deboxering) the man who killed her.
It felt like Ellen was waging a tiny war within herself, fighting between the lesser angels and greater demons of her nature. Between her ”duty” as the matriarch of the Final Five, and her unholy desire to wreak havoc on Tigh for falling in love — and impregnating — Caprica Six. (Though I don’t understand her disgust at Tigh sleeping with one of his ”children,” a model he helped create. After all the swirling around she did with Cavil, she should know better than to judge those unaware of their true nature.)
And so Ellen does what Ellen does: She stirs the pot. Double, double toil and trouble. She provides the deciding vote as to whether the Five permanently leave the fleet and get their Cylon Nation on, knowing full well where Tigh falls on the issue. She visits herself upon a fragile Caprica Six, astonished and angry that Tigh and Caprica were able to do that which Ellen herself could not — carry Saul’s child. And she forces Tigh into an impossible choice, between Ellen and Caprica; between duty and desire, between who he is and what he is.
As usual, Ellen rends the status quo asunder. Ellen is the poison apple.