Battlestar Galactica: S02E07: Home Pt.2

Home part two was a better episode than its predecessor, but in my opinion is still contained some filler. More on this later. But for this sadgeezer, the highlight of the episode came when the whole debate of #6: chip or hallucination came to a close. Despite being totally removed from the episode plot, it works well in the story. one could hardly tell it was only used as a device to lengthen the episode.

The episode starts off with a collage of scenes showing Roslin’s party climbing up a steep hill in the wilderness of Kobol, and the Galactica command staff and Tyrol, looking over survey maps of the planet. Adama and his team want to figure out where Roslin and her team are trying to go and from that determine what direction they’d go to get there.

Most of the staff are pretty cynical about Roslin’s search and her chances of success. But Adama’s near death experience has given him a new outlook on the situation and he chooses to sympathize with Roslin. Adama understands that Roslin is a few cents short of a dime and but still needs his help. After figuring out the party’s most likely position and trajectory, he orders that fleet to stay put whilst he, Tyrol and Billy take a raptor down to the planet to bring them back to the fleet, dead or alive.

On the surface of the planet, the group is largely relying on Boomer to guide them to the find the tomb. She’s doing a pretty decent job of quoting scripture and other unknown sources to help lead them to the Tomb of Athena. Expectedly her efforts are met with skepticism, which results in a drawn out argument about cylon and colonial religion.

Finally the truth comes out, we learn of #6’s origins. I personally thought they would have milked this out for the entire series, but in one short scene it all came all. Baltar is talking to himself in what would have been Boomer cell on Galactica, about how depressing it is. #6 appears sitting backwards in a chair… naked.

This is yet another scene where #6 uses sex as a tool to steer Baltar away from having any logical thoughts. As a healthy straight male, seeing a naked Tricia Helfer can hardly be described as a bad thing, but these scenes are starting to get repetitive. I could write a quip about how unoriginal the whole concept is, but recycled and contrived plots are a staple of porno movies. How is this any different?

Baltar brings up that he and #6’s baby can’t possibly exist since she isn’t real/corporeal. #6 then tells him that it’s a metaphorical child, but Baltar doesn’t bite. He replies with typical British sarcasm. Suddenly #6 appears before him as a mundane woman in a sweat suit. At first #6 almost looks like Starbuck! I understand that this is how Tricia likes to normally dress, as opposed to glamour outfits. She laughs at him and explains that he is simply insane, and that she doesn’t exist. There is no chip!

To quote #6 and get more mileage out of these transcripts:

I’m you. I’m your subconscious frakking with your mind. Okay. Check it out. You helped the cylons commit genocide against your own people, and your fragile little mind couldn’t handle it. So poof, I appear and start telling you how special you are. How god has chosen you. Yeah… right.

Baltar doesn’t want to believe her. So she tells him to have a brain scan to confirm that there is no chip.

Zarek’s conspiring continues on Kobol. He and Meier still think it would be a good idea if they kill Apollo. They agree to not do it until after they find they tomb and to somehow place the blame on Boomer. Later Meier goes to talk to Boomer and plant the seeds of dissention.

But their chat is interrupted when they and everyone else in the camp hear someone coming towards their campsite. Everyone takes defensive positions However instead of Cylons bursting into the campsite with bullets flying, it’s Adama. He and Apollo share a brief Caprican standoff. After lowering their weapons everyone greets each other. Except for Boomer, who stays hidden for a while. When she does make her appearance, Adama goes apeshit and throttles her. However he has an anxiety attack and falls off her long enough for her to escape.

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Back on the Galactica, Baltar has Cottle perform an MRI on his head. #6 however still likes to frack with him, and gives him a handjob in the scanner. This forces him to move/bang his head a few times constantly forcing the scan to start over. Head straps must not exist in the Galactica universe. The scans confirm that there is no foreign object in his brain.

On Kobol that night the episode is stretched a little longer by showing various members of the search party talking with one another and discussing various odds and ends. Hardly worth repeating each one here. For instance there was an awkward reunion between Tyrol and Boomer. Another is of Zarek telling Meier to give up on assassinating Apollo. With Adama there, it just won’t work anymore. More on this later…

I was starting to get bored and like many scifi fans, I started to MST3k the scenes in front of me. Below is a conversation between Boomer and Helo. In italics are what I shouted back at the TV.

Boomer: So Cally kills Sharon… and the old man gives her 30 days in the brig.

Helo: 30 days for murder.

Boomer: They don’t see it as murder, Helo. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. That’s what you’re not hearing. To him, to the president, to all of them. Cylons aren’t people. I’m not a person to them. I’m a thing.

And this is where she tricks him into killing everyone.

Helo: I won’t just stand by and let them kill you like the other Sharon. Okay?
frakkin’ boyscout.

Boomer: I believe you, Helo. I do. But if we’re gonna have any future together, any at all… I’m gonna have to take matters into my own hands.

We’ll kill them all…

Helo: What are you talking about?

And he’s hooked.

Boomer: Do you love me?

Don’t fall for it loverboy.

Helo: Yes.

This is really starting to get old.

Boomer: Do you trust me?
I need you to first kill Adama and then nuke the RTF.

Helo: Yes.

Gullible douche

Boomer: Then don’t ask me what I have to do.

Don’t listen to her! Ask questions. Don’t rollover like the white house press core!

Helo: Sharon, what the frak are you talking–

I’ll do whatever you tell me mistress, I am yours to command.

Boomer: Trust me. Trust us.

I’ve got him by the balls!

Needless to say, I found this weeks plot and writing lacking.

The next scene shows Boomer and Meier’s conspiring near the entrance to the Tomb of Athena. They agree that Boomer will take out Adama and Meier will pop Apollo when everyone is distracted. Except things don’t quite go as planned. Everyone is distracted and Meier does pull a gun on Apollo. But instead Boomer shoots Meier and then another one of Zarek’s cronies. Her next target is Adama, she says to him,

I need you to know something. I’m Sharon, but I’m a different Sharon. I know who I am. I don’t have hidden protocols or programs lying in wait to be activated. I make my own choices. I make my own decisions. And I need you to know this is my choice.

She surrenders her weapon to Adama. Tyrol soon determines that its an older weapon that it had to have come from Meier.

The team has finally made it to the entrance to the tomb. But they are a little clueless how to get in. Starbuck tries waving the arrow around the entrance, but that doesn’t do anything. It’s up to the men of the group to show some force and push open stone door. It opens. Adama orders that Tyrol stand guard outside the tomb. Zarek, Boomer and Helo are also to remain outside. Starbuck, Apollo, Billy, Roslin and Adama enter the tomb.

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Inside they find twelve sarcophaguses, with some damaged statutes near each one. The tomb looks to have been badly damaged eons prior. However they do find an intact statue of Sagittarian the Archer. Starbuck places the Arrow of Apollo in his bow. The door to the tomb closes on its own and the room gets very dark.

The team appears in a grass field at night. They are surrounded by 12 monoliths. Each has a star constellation above it and a corresponding jewel constellation in the monoliths themselves. Roslin determines that the constellations are the ancient’s symbols of the twelve nations (colonies). Starbuck recalls some scripture that says “when the 13th tribe landed on Earth, they looked up into the heavens and they saw their 12 brothers.” Apollo notices that in Scorpio is the Lagoon Nebula. With that information the RTF should be able to better narrow down where Earth is.

I don’t know how they got out of the constellation field and out of the Tomb. But apparently they did because everyone appeared unharmed on the Galactica’s hangar bay for Roslin’s reinstatement ceremony. Apparently that fact wasn’t that important because the producers thought episode time would be better spent on a minute long applause for Roslin.

It appears that things are finally back to the status quo. It only took 7 episodes to fix what happened in Kobol’s Last Gleaming Pt2. I could complain that it took too damn long. But if it hadn’t, I know it would have only been replaced with filler. Like the next two episodes!

The episode concludes with Helo talking to his love, Boomer though the glass in her new cell. Baltar and #6 look on at the lovely couple. Balter realizes that the hybrid baby will be born in that cell, as #6 predicted. This takes him away from reality and back to his fantasy world. #6 is back in seductress dress. Baltar no longer accepts that he is insane and asks #6 who she really is. Her reply, “I’m an angel of god sent here to protect you. To guide you, to love you.” Her purpose, “To the end of the human race.” And the repetitive teasing continues…

Was Adar an idiot?

The line about Adar being an idiot was just comic relief and as a way of not inflating Billy’s ego too much. But I’d like to explore why Adama would say that. Adar was the guy in charge when the bulk of humanity was exterminated. Such leaders who sit idly by while attacked, or while entire cities destroyed are rarely looked upon favorably. Besides being a bastard, Nero will always be known as the imbecile who watched Rome burn. And in modern times, Bush is taking a lot of heat for staying on vacation several days before/after Katrina washed away New Orleans. Despite advanced notice and excellent communications. It’s hard to find the positives of a leader after such occurrences.

Beyond that though. Adama was an old guard in the military. He knew that computers could not be networked so long as the cylons were a threat. Adar’s administration oversaw the refitting of the colonial forces, including a fully networked defense system. After such a horrible experience in the original Cylon War, it is likely that Adam would find any leader who tried to network the computers stupid.

Nitpick of the week:

Adama and Billy were facing each on the raptor to Kobol. When it entered the atmosphere, both of their faces were compressed back toward the back of the heads. However the gee forces acting each were opposite. only one of their faces should have been pulled back. Whereas the other should have had their head/body pulled forward.

How long could it take to locate earth now?

It shouldn’t be long at all. Assuming the star maps of the galaxy are complete and accurate in the Galactica’s computer, it could only take a few weeks max with today’s technology! Likely only a few hours with their computers. Considering the use of FTL jumps, and general need to navigate far from the base Colonial system, I would be incredibly surprised it the star charts weren’t complete. The RTF has one known vector. That is that the Lagoon Nebula is in the middle of Scorpio. A second know point along that vector would greatly reduce to the calculations necessary. A good guess is if one assumes that earth is somewhere between Kobol and the nebula. This makes a straight line with very little variance. Instead of looking at a given radius over the surface of a sphere to only a small surface of that sphere to allow for uncertainty in the exact location of the nebula. Earth could then be found by checking at which point along this line/vector satisfies that all the other constellations can be found in the proscribed order about it in all lateral directions.

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One hold up would be if they had to account for stellar drift. The star charts would have to be updated to reflect conditions a few thousand years older. This could take a lot of time. However with their advanced computers, this shouldn’t take too much time. Unlike modern earth where such an endeavour could take months or years. Another delay could result if the group didn’t take accurate measurements of the constellations in the Tomb, or if no such diagrams exist in the fleet.

If it’s unknown if stellar drift can be neglected, great uncertainty in the shape/dimensions of the constellations, or location of earth relative to Kobol, than many solutions could arise for the location of earth. These locations could be on very opposite sides of the galaxy. This would cause the RTF’s journey to last a very long time as they system hop across the galaxy looking for earth and other supplies. This seems most probable to me, for both the scientific (uncertainty) reasons and that finding an actual earth could mean a premature (?) end to the series.

Why did Adama have Tyrol wait outside the tomb with Helo, Boomer and Zarek?

The most obvious answer is to keep those three from entering the tomb and relaying that information to the cylons and/or using it for their own purposes. Adama probably doesn’t trust Helo, who has just reappeared after being assumed for a couple months. And it doesn’t help that he’s in love with Boomer. The reasons for wanting to keep Boomer and Zarek out of the tomb are obvious. Another theory for Tyrol though is that Adama might not completely trust him either. Tyrol did once love Boomer, and her return might cause the chief to do something he might normally not.

Why did Zarek tell Meier to call off the assasination of Apollo?

With the return of Adama, and his active cooperation, it meant that the fleet has been reunited. It also means that Roslin and/or Adama would remain in charge. His old plan called for him being the right hand and later puppet master to Roslin. With the situation brought back to “normal”, he could no longer become the top man in the fleet.

At Dragon*Con, Richard Hatch (Zarek) explained that his character does still want the best for humanity. Even though Zarek has been disenfranchised with the government for so long, and even acted as a terrorist, he still realizes how fragile the human existence is.To kill Adama would leave Tigh in charge of the fleet, clearly a bad thing for humanity. To also lose Apollo, the fleet would lose one of its greatest fighters. Which would also reduce humanity’s chance of survival. Zarek is patient, and he’ll wait for when the time is right to make his ascension to power, and change humanity for the better.

I rate this episode a drawn out 16,710 out of 10

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Review is Copyright Ryan Bechtel 2005

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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