Battlestar Galactica: S02E05: The Farm
For the first time in the series the Caprica Arc has taken center stage in an episode. Whilst some action did take place back on the Galactica and the RTF, most of what we saw in this episode occurred in the same room on Caprica. Personally I don’t think it was a very strong episode, but it did finally end the Caprica arc with has long since been a source of “WTF” for most fans.
It’s Adama’s first day back on the job and the entire crew is excited to see him back in command. My first impulse to is say it’s because of their loyalty to “The Old Man”, but deep down I think everyone is glad to see that Tigh is no longer calling the shots while doing shots! The crew chant “Ah-Dah-Mah! Ad-Dah-Mah” as enters the CIC again for the first time in a week or so. Baltar is present and even gives an obligatory clap for the commander, despite how much Baltar so irrationally distrusts him.
It isn’t long before Adama gets down to business of finding the President and her co-conspirators. Gaeta tries to explain that their position has long since been lost, and he politely referrs to Roslin as the former “President”, but Tigh is quick to correct him by saying “fugitives”. Gaeta reluctantly uses the term. Adama recognizes how bad the situation is, and orders quarantine procedures for the fleet.
Intership travel is now prohibited. Each ship will be searched by Galactica crew. When it is declared clean, it will be moved in a safe area until teh fugitves are found. However intership travel is still prohibited between clean ship until that time.
On Caprica we see that Anders did get lucky that night. Starbuck awakes in the same bed as him and tires to get dressed and escape before he wakes. It doesn’t work. He stops her and asks her to help the resistance, explaining that they don’t know any real tactics and are just copying what they saw in movies. Y’know those bad movies that Sci Fi Channel airs on Saturday nights. Starbuck explains that she has to remain on mission, and get back to the fleet. But she promises to come back with support as soon as she can.
Later that day; Anders, Helo, Starbuck and the Resistance have parked in the woods not far from a Cylon spaceport. Their plan is set off a lot of explosions to destroy the Cylons and take control of a raider to get back to Kobol and deliver the arrow. But their plan is short lived because they are ambushed in at their pit stop. Starbuck takes a bullet to the stomach and drops in a daze. The rest of the freedom fighters are forced to fallback into the woods to avoid a similar fate.Starbuck awakes in a dingy hospital room. A dark, confident, attractive doctors stands over her checking on her condition. That of course makes him a biocylon! Simon, the doctor, explains that she was wounded and brought in a couple weeks before. After surgery he managed to stop the bleeding and save her. Starbuck asks who brought her in, and Simon says that it was Anders, who died later of a trivial wound, that Simon missed.
Starbuck cries herself to sleep after hearing that her newest frak-buddy has been killed.She awakens later to see Simon checking on her again. She knows what we all know already, that he’s a cylon. She questions him about it, and he doesn’t really answer her questions. Starbuck isn’t fully convinced but has to live with it. She can leave at any time, but first has to be physically well enough to get out of bed. Simon gives her another shot of happy pills and she falls asleep, again.
Back in the RTF; Roslin, Apollo, Zarek and Elosha are still hiding on the Kimba Hut, the ship they boarded after arriving on Cloud 9. The Kimba Hut contains the last stores of meat in the fleet and therefore is one of the most protected ships. However it is a meat locker, so the fugitives are hiding in a very cold room. I’m surprised they’ve lived long in those sub zero temperatures. They’ve just learned that Adama is back in command, much to Apollo‘s glee, and that quarantine procedures are in place. It’s only a matter of time before they are discovered. Zarek recommends Roslin starts garnering support amongst the other ships in the fleet. He thinks it’d be a good idea if Apollo denounce his father as a symbolic gesture to move people more toward their cause.
In the next scene we see Apollo taking into a recorder denouncing his father: My name is Lee Adama. Until recently I was the commander of Galactica’s air group but when Commander Adama, my father decided to stage a major military coup against the president. I could no longer support him or his actions. I love my father. I respect him. But in this he is wrong he must be apposed. I call on all free thinking people in the fleet, I….
Before he paused at the end, I was thinking, that he is really burning any remaining bridges with his father. I mean, that would have seriously been the end of the classic Adama-Apollo dynamic. Apollo could never return to active duty after that. But Apollo refused to go on and ejected the cassette tape and pocketed it, much to Zarek’s dismay.
Roslin steps up and decides to play the religious card. More details on this later. She says that she will use her position as “prophet” and “guide” to get the rest of the fleet to side with her. She steps up to the tape recorder and tries to input a tape and start recording. Like most people today, she can’t figure out how to use the arcane recorders.
Back on the Galactica, Tyrol visits Adama to pleads for Cally. Cally is currently in the brig for killing Boomer. Adama isn’t so much concerned with the crime as he is with how they could have all been fooled by Boomer. He asks Tyrol if he loved her and Tyrol reluctantly says yes. Adama wants to know how anyone (including him) could love a machine. Tyrol doesn’t know either. We are led to believe though that Adama comes to the conclusion that is possible and that the biocylons are slowly becoming more human to him. Adama dismissed Tyrol by saying that Cally will be in the brig for 30 days for discharging a firearm on board without permission.
Starbuck and Simon are still having their occasional meetings. She always wakes up just has he comes into her room. They have a chat, with the conversation usually being about how suspicious Starbuck is of her surroundings. Simon just shrugs it off every time and dopes her back to sleep.
On one of these occasions, Starbuck noticed a new wound on her stomach. Simon says that she needed another operation, and while in there he found a cist on an ovary near her wound. The conversation shifts immediately as Simon explains that childbearing aged women are humanities greatest resource now. Starbuck says that she doesn’t want kids, but Simon is clear on how important it is. He is so a cylon! He tries to explain that her lack of maternal want is because of her abuse as a child from her mother. Sounds like Leoben, totally a biocylon! Starbuck tells him to frak off and leave. He tries to press the issue but she only gets more belligerent.
Elsewhere on Caprica, the resistance returns to the attack site to find Starbuck and Sue-Shaun missing. This disproves Simon’s earlier allegation that Starbuck has been out for a couple weeks. They can’t find them. But they do find Boomer! Or rather she finds them. She explains that she has been observing them the last few weeks and knows where Starbuck is and how to get her and off world.
On the Galactica, Adama reads Roslin’s underground message to the fleet:
It seems I have been chosen to help lead you to the promise land of Earth. I will not question this choice I’ll simply try to play my part on the plan. Therefore, at the appointed hour, I will give the signal to the fleet. All those wishing to honour the gods and walk the paths of destiny will follow me back to Kobol it is there we will meet the Gods’ servant with the arrow of Apollo.
He’s outraged at her chutzpah and slams the clipboard down against a console, breaking it in half. He believes that no rational person will believe her crap.
Next up is Astral Queen when Roslin is seen reluctantly blessing some of the crew/passengers. How the frak did she get on the Astral Queen during quarantine?! The crew swear to follow her to Earth. Soon after they launch a signal flare and jump to Kobol. Twenty four ships follow them. So much for rational people in the fleet.
In the hospital on Caprica, Starbuck awakens yet again to find another wound on her body. It’s near her bullet wound and suspiciously near her ovaries. She is now totally suspicious of the hospital. When Simon comes in to be a smart ass and dope her again, Starbuck is prepared. She crimps her IV and feigns sleep until he leaves the room. With new found strength she goes out into the hall to explore the facilities. She soon finds Simon and #6 at a nurses station talking about some test, conceivably about her and her ovaries. Starbuck rushes back to her room to cry, again.
Simon enters her room the next morning, but is surprised to see an awake, alert and extra smug Starbuck. He checks her IV and finds it nearly full, and questions her about it. Starbuck complains about some pain and when Simon comes closer she stabs him in the jugular with a broken mirror. But before he dies he says “You can’t kill me”, and bleeds out dead.
Starbuck takes his keys and leaves the room to explore the hospital. She comes across a very Star Trek like room with all sorts of tubes coming out of women leading to a fancy machine. In Dune these are called Axlotl Tanks, but in BSG they are called CPD’s, contrived plot device(s)… The women are hooked up to some weird breeding machines. Starbuck finds Sue-Shaun attached to one and tries to get her out but it’s hopeless. Sue-Shaun asks her to destroy the machine (and her with it) so that future women can’t be harmed by it. Starbuck does so by smashing it. This causes all sorts of sparks to fly and lights to blink, which in movies means that the machine is broken. In reality this never happens, trust me, it’s never that obvious.
Starbuck leaves the room and tries to escape from the hospital. Before she leaves though, she see #6, and takes the liberty of smashing her head in with a fire extinguisher. No cat fight this time. Boo! She makes her way outside only to find Simon ready to intercept her. But Simon’s interference is short lived, because the resistance shows up and shoots him, several times.
Starbuck makes her way across a field toward the resistance fighters. At the same time centurions arrive to kill all of the humans. It looks pretty crappy for the humans, until a heavy raider shows up and injects dozens of rounds into the centurions. Boomer lands the heavy raider and recovers the resistance fighters.
They all arrive back at camp to discuss what just happened. Boomer explains that procreation is one of gods commandments, but so far the cylons haven’t been able to do it themselves. Helo and Boomer is the first time it worked. They (the cylons) suspect love is required, since god is love, hence why they were set up to fall in love and get knocked up. Hundreds of “Farms” have been set up around the planet (and I suppose the other worlds too) to try to impregnate human women.
In other words, rape camps. Starbuck is outraged by this and vows to stay on Caprica to destroy all the camps, she’s largely upset because she knows one or both of her ovaries has been removed. Anders reminds her of the mission, and gives her the Arrow of Apollo to take back to the fleet. Meanwhile he and the resistance will take out the farms as they can.
Starbuck restates her promise to come back with help. She then gives him one of her dogtags as a sign of love and intent to keep her promise. After that she, Helo and Boomer board the heavy raider and take off for Kobol, and the new struggles that await them.
Lastly Adama, visits Boomer’s corpse in the morgue. Adama is a biocylon necrophiliac! This is the second time he’s come to the morgue to talk to one of the dead biocylon bodies. This time, instead of nearing breaking its head in with a phone, he cries over Boomer’s frozen cut up corpse.
This drowsy episode receives a shot of 26,925 cc’s out of 10.
Dissecting the Episode:
What is Roslin’s feelings about her role as a prophet?It’s very unclear from this episode. I blame the script. In previous episodes, Roslin has embraced her “destiny” as a prophet and the one to lead the people to Earth. While she has been reluctant to tell others about it in the past, she has never outwardly seen it as a purely political move. In fact her claming to do it in this episode contradicts her action in Kobol’s Last Gleaming, where she sends Starbuck to retrieve the Arrow of Apollo. That mission, which has placed everyone in the mess they are in now, was made solely on Roslin belief in the scriptures and her belief that she can best help humanity. But by claming that she wants to pull a Dubya or “Play the religious card”, she acts as if her role is false. A major continuity error.
Something else out of character from that whole situation was Elosha’s reactions. Elosha didn’t appear disdainful after Roslin claimed that she wanted to play the religion card. In fact she embraced it, by telling Roslin that she had to bless the kneeling prisoners on the Astral Queen, becuase its their way. This whole situation played out more like the government/politic controlling clergy of the past (and present), rather than the sincere clergy we come to expect in most SF&F.
Roslin can’t work a tape recorder!?Neither can I. Who the frak still uses cassettes anyway. Who here can still remember how to play an eight-track?
How did Roslin get onto the Astral Queen? How did Galactica know about it, and not try to apprehend her immediately?CPD and deleted scenes. It’s a major plot hole to have the fugitives just appear on the Astral Queen during quarantine without explanation. Even worse when the Galactica knows their current whereabouts and did nothing to stop them. The defectors would have more resources at their disposal on the Astral Queen than on a flying meat locker, and they should have been apprehended as quickly as possible.
Love is a necessary part of reproduction? WTF?Not in my universe and not in the Colonial universe either. But apparently the Cylons think so. Although tempted to, I will not provide any religious answer, nor any answer involving forced sex, both of which are sure to get some very nasty and heated emails sent my way. Fill in the blanks yourself. But for the sake of comedy I’ll give a pseudo science/Star Trek answer; The emotion of love triggers a bio-chemical release in biocylons. During sex, this release of some chemical (insert long technical-pseudo latin bs name here) enters the bloodstream and reproductive cells that allow the chromosomes in biocylon reproductive cells to merge with the other parents cells to start the process of life. Or some such nonsense, I don’t do biochemistry! The chemical hasn’t been fully explored by the cylons, because it hasn’t been detected in their cold emotionless environment. And despite being human clones, the artificiality creation process of those clones inhibits the regular release of that chemical.
The chemical is normally produced in the marrow of the spine. Since the biocylons can’t release this chemical during sex, pressure builds up in the porous region and heats the chemical, burning it. This causes a red light in the spines during sex. The brighter the light, the more of the chemical that is burned, and less that is released to the egg/sperm. Therefore in no light or low light in the spine, as seen with Helo-Boomer indicates a release of the chemical and the possibility of successful conception. Luminosity alone may not always be a good indication, as hotter sex, produces a brighter glow, and lame sex is a dim glow. Of course both intensity of sex and love factor can be a role in brightness.
This joke is way longer than planned!
Can Starbuck still have children?I would think so. Human women have an ovary on each side of the body. Starbuck only had a scar on the left side, which indicates that the right ovary is still present. I’m not doctor but I think reproduction is still possible with only one ovary. Somebody let me know if I’m wrong. Let’s see where the show will take this though.
How did Simon now Kara’s callsign?While Starbuck never told him her callsign, she was wearing her dogtags, which likely included her callsign. I could be wrong, any military folks around here know better? In the end though, it didn’t matter what excuse she used before she killed him, because, she was going to kill him regardless.
Edit, a former British commando emailed me to let me know that callsigns do not appear on UK or US dogtags/id discs. Thanks! Since the Colonial Military is based on these two militaries, we can assume that callsigns are not listed on Colonial dogtags either.
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Review is Copyright Ryan Bechtel 2005
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