Production 7
Direction 8
Characterisation 8
Storyline 9
Acting 8
Fun/Sexy/Cool 8

I rate Fragged a decent score out of 10 for this episode (with lost of points taken off for crappy spoiler adverts)

Summary 8.0 great
Production 0
Direction 0
Characterisation 0
Storyline 0
Acting 0
Fun/Sexy/Cool 0
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Summary 0.0 terrible

Battlestar Galactica: S02E03: Fragged

I’ve got to admit, I didn’t get excited to see this episode. It must be that scifi just has been doing a poor job recently with their commercials for upcoming episodes. A quick glimpse of Tigh declaring martial law, isn’t really psyching me up for Friday night. Instead it just does a great job of spoiling me, for something that happens in the last scene of the frakking show. Want to know why the ratings are lower-than-normal Sci FI Channel? How about making some decent commercials!

But I digress, much like the last few episodes, this one starts out only minutes after the previous episode. Well it’s supposed to anyway, there were some bloody obvious continuity errors!

Dr. Cottle arrives on the Galactica ready to operate on Adama. He passes Billy in the hallway who pesters him about Roslin’s condition. Cottle blows him off, and immediately starts working on Adama. He even tells Tigh to frak off whilst preparing for surgery.
Tigh joins the rejected Billy in the hallway. Billy starts bugging Tigh about Roslin’s condition, but he snaps at him (too much hooch) and asks him, “Why aren’t you in the brig”?!

“Because nobody put me in there” he replies.
In the lone moment of comedy in this episode, the very next frame, shows Apollo in the CIC planning an op with a few other pilots. In the background Tigh yells very loudly “What the hell’s all this? Why aren’t you in the brig?”. The very drunk Tigh forgot that Apollo is on duty planning the rescue operation for the downed raptor on Kobol. He even forgot about the raptor!Here’s the major continuity error for this week. In that same scene we see Dualla in the CIC. But since an hour or less has past since last week, Dualla should still be recovering from her concussion in sick bay. Or frakking Billy in sick bay. Or recovering from frakking Billy in sickbay!

Once Tigh has remembered the downed pilots, Gaeta is there to remind him that the reporters want to be released from the Galacctica to get back to their respective ships. Tigh tells Gaeta to tell the reporters to shove it and wait.
Dualla also gets on Tigh impatient whisky soaked nerves by telling him that the Zephyr is preparing to dock. The Zephyr carries the Quorum of Twelve who demand to speak with him about Roslin’s arrest. Tigh angrily orders them to wait in the ward room after they arrive.In the brig, Roslin is starting to act strange in her cell. She’s muttering all sorts of prophetic verses and acting like a wonky godfreak. Cpl Venner asks Billy what’s wrong with her. He doesn’t really answer him, but he knows that it’s because Roslin is going through chamalla withdrawal.

Things aren’t shiny either on Kobol. The survivors have buried the bodies of Tarn and Socinus in a makeshift cemetery. When they’d find time to recover Tarn’s body? #6 shows up just to say that their souls will find oblivion because they died on Kobol, the planet god turned his back on, like New Jersey. Baltar doesn’t buy it.Later that day, they encounter the Cylons disassembling a heavy raider, and turning it into a surface to air missile platform. Crashdown figures that they must destroy or disable the weapon, lest their rescuers will be shot out of the air. So he sends everyone out on recon, to figure out a plan for taking out the cylons and their missile platform.

Baltar and #6 have some more of their alone time in his head. Baltar is distressed by the constant killing and is worried about bringing his daughter into such a chaotic world, and why god would let her be born into such a universe. #6 explains that god wants to give everyone salvation, if they’ll accept it. Gaius can get that if he will act as a guardian to his daughter. Baltar doesn’t think he’s up to the job, so #6 tells him to just be a man.
Everyone reports back with their surveillance. Including Baltar who had to report on the DRADIS dish. However Baltar gave a misleading report. He dropped his binoculars toward the end of his recon, and missed when the Centurions left the area. This will prove fatal later.

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Back on the Galactica, Tigh is reluctantly meeting with the Quorum of Twelve. They demand to see the President, and Tigh gives them the party line, Roslin committed treason, instigated mutiny, blah blah blah. Zarek speaks up and bluntly asks if Roslin’s arrest was a precursor to a military junta.

Tigh replies “Absolutely not. I know for a fact that the old man hated the very idea of martial law. He believed in freedom and democracy and all that good stuff.”

In the sprit of all that good stuff, Zarek moves that the Quorum be allowed to see Roslin immediately. The Quorum all agree, but Tigh blows them off by saying “I will take your “demand” under advisement”.

Elsewhere Ellen pays a visit to Roslin, and learns that Roslin is now absolutely insane. The encounter shows Venner how bad Roslin is, and it helps Billy to convince him to score Roslin some chamalla extract immediately.

Ellen later tells her husband that Rolsin is literally out her mind. Tigh doesn’t take her seriously at first, but it eventually gets through all the booze he’s been drinking. Ellen then says that the Quorum and press should be allowed to see Roslin in her current state, because it will cement his position to arrest her. And later make it easier for him to control humanity. But Tigh is a pussy and doesn’t want to command an rebukes the notion of it.

On Kobol, Crashdown tells everyone his plan. A very by the book plan! He wants to attack the cylons, and take out the missile platform before the raptors arrive. Everyone thinks it’s stupid. But Baltar is the only one to publicly denounce it. When Tyrol tries to point out the futility of the plan to Crashdown in private, he erratically calls the Chief an insubordinate idiot. Crashdown’s plan calls for having an unarmed Cally act as a diversion while he and Sellix charge in with rifles to take out the Centurions and control station. Baltar and Tyrol will supply cover fire with hand guns and bazookas respectivly. This plan must’ve caused some ire with fans who have a thing for Cally, much like how it caused some problems for Cally.

When the survivors hear the sonic booms of raptors coming to the rescue, Crashdown knows that its time to act. A quick surveillance however shows that there are more centurions than first expected. Tyrol figures the extras were the centurions “guarding” the dish and wants to double back to just take out the dish, hence making the missiles impotent. Crashdown doesn’t like that idea since it requires moving a click in the opposite direction, and acting intelligently. Meanwhile Cally has frozen, and won’t act as a suicidal diversion. Crashdown orders her to move, tries to reason with her and even begs but it doesn’t work. So he pulls out his gun and points it at her head.

He gives her to the count of three. After Tyrol fails to reason with Crashdown, he pulls his own gun on him. Mexican Standoff! At the count of three, we do hear a gunshot, and a brief pause, before Crashdown falls over dead. The shooter… Baltar! Everyone pauses to take in what just happened, they’re all relieved. But it’s short lived, as the gunshot alerted the cylons to their presence and they start shooting at the humans.
The humans run toward the DRADIS dish. They know that they have to take it out soon or the raptors will be destroyed by missiles. Sellix is hit, but Cally is there to help her up and carry her away. Tyrol also takes a bullet to the leg, and drops his bazooka.

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In this distance the Cylons launch a dozen missiles at the nearing raptors.Dr. Gaius “Rambo” Baltar is there to pick up the bazooka and give it to the Chief whilst taking aggressive shots at the centurions. Tyrol takes aim and blows the dish to hell. Now the missiles can’t get a lock and the raptors are safe. The humans on the ground aren’t though. They take defensive positions, but the Centurions are gaining ground. It looks pretty hopeless, so Tyrol stands up, and wishes to go down in a blaze of glory. He pulls out a pistol and starts taking hard (but impotent) shots at the cylons. And after the fourth shot, they all explode! He turns around to see that a raptor fired a missile into the group of Centurions.

They’re saved finally.When the raptor lands to collect them, Apollo sees just how bad the death toll his when Tyrol gives him the dogtags. Apollo asks how Crashdown died, and before the Chief could say anything, Baltar says “Leading the charge. He gave his life in the– in the finest tradition of the service.” Everyone else agrees, it’s just easier that way. Unless they find the body with the colonial pistol wound in his back!Before Baltar boards the raptor, #6 appears to him and calls him a man.

#6: I’m so proud of you Gaius.

Baltar: Why? ‘Cause I’ve taken a life?

#6: It’s what makes you human. Baltar: Is it? Not conscious thought? Not poetry or art or music, literature? Murder. Murder is my heritage. Is that the lesson I’m supposed to pass on to our child?

#6: Shh. It’ll be all right, Gaius. I’ll be your conscience.
I gotta get some use out of those transcripts 😉  Tigh moves the Quorum into the brig to finally see Roslin. At first she’s a bit out of it, but soon thereafter she speaks up and denounces her imprisonment. She admits publicly for the first time that she believes that she is the messiah of Pythia who will lead humanity to Earth. She also reveals that she has terminal breast cancer and will die in a few months. The more religious of the Quorum (Porter of Gemenon) confirms it, many of the Quorum kneel at her cell and beg her to guide them all. Tigh has them all immediately removed from the brig.

Politically Tigh is boned, so he announces a press conference for the first time since Roslin’s arrest. His short speech:

The events which took place aboard Colonial one are unfortunate. Laura Roslin’s actions in suborning mutiny and sedition among the military could not be tolerated. Therefore commander Adama was left with no choice other than to remove her from office. Miss Roslin is now resting comfortably aboard this ship, where she will remain until such time as the commander deems otherwise. As it appears obvious that the government cannot function under the current circumstances, I have decided to dissolve the Quorum of Twelve. And as of this moment, I have declared martial law.

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The press erupt into a clamour, and start protesting as well as asking questions. Tigh also orders them off his ship.And so it ends. If it weren’t for that commercial, this would’ve been a real shocker, but what can I say, spoilers suck. If I didn’t have to see a few to maintain this guide for other fans, I’d avoid them myself.

I rate Fragged a decent 28,862 out of 10 with 10,000 points taken off for crappy spoiler adverts.

Dissecting the Episode:

What was Crashdown’s malfunction? Why did he keep evoking the memories of Socinus and Tarn?Crashdwon wants to keep as few people from dying as possible. He wants to make sure Tarn and Socinus didn’t die in vain and frequently evokes their names and memory to achieve this goal, albeit a suicidal goal. The problem is that Crashdown is inept.

He’s basically a radio operator/pilot, with no true command experience. He’s trying his best, but he’s clueless, and insults others to hide it. Thank goodness we don’t have any inept leaders today who invoke the memories of innocents lost to further their own goals while under the delusions of having actual leadership traits.

Why did Tigh declare martial law?Politically he was out of options. He couldn’t keep Rolsin indefinitely, not after the speech she gave to the Quorum. It would’ve have only been a matter of time before the entire fleet demanded her release and had her put back into the Presidency. It was going to be an out of control situation. Tigh doesn’t like those, he drinks to escape the chaos, while at the same time the drinking creates more. His previous leadership style was to bully and force others to do what they’re told. It usually worked, Starbuck being the exception that proves the rule. Plus there was always someone above him to tell him what to do, so he wouldn’t have to think, just act and respect the chain of command. Now that he controls everything, he has to do what comes naturally to him to survive. Hence declaring martial law, so that everyone would just do their job, and life would return to normal as quickly as possible. At least in his mind.

What happens when Adama wakes up?I don’t know yet. But I imagine the fallout from martial law will keep him occupied for a while. This will cause most of the fleet to distrust Adama and the military, even if he installs the civilians government immediately after he wakes. Who knows, the fleet might not heed Adama’s advice in a future combat situation, and possibly cause a lot of loss of life…

Why did everyone lie about how Crashdown died?Too much paperwork. They would have to have explained how Cally refused orders, Tyrol pulled a gun, and the Vice President killed and officer. Then at their court martial they’d have to point out that Crashdown was insane and prove it, and claim he pulled a gun on Cally, and tear that guy further apart. It would’ve just been a giant bureaucratic and legal clusterfuck. It’s just easier if they say he died heroically.

Chamalla has some pretty nasty side effects? Yeah that’s right kids, don’t do drugs.

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Battlestar Galactica reviews are © 2005 Ryan Bechtel
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

Battlsestar Galactica names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of Sci-Fi Channel, NBC-Universal and R&D Television.

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