Battlestar Galactica: S02E08: Final Cut
Things are finally back to normal on Battlestar Galactica. With no imminent plot lines needing to be resolved, it’s time to roll out the filler and concept episodes. Final Cut is just that. Final Cut has no real plot, which makes it a real bitch to write a review.
There is still some fallout from the Gideon Massacre, a few episodes earlier. In the opening scene, a reporter D’Anna Biers and her camera man are editing a news piece, showing some newly recovered footage of the massacre. This new video shows a soldier shooting a man with a camera filming the marines. It’s pretty damning evidence against the Galactica. And just like in any good drama, the marines come to arrest her and her group soon after they finish editing the news piece.
Biers is brought aboard the Colonial one to meet with Roslin and Adama. They know that she has the damning video tape, and ask her to hold off on airing it. Instead she will have unrestricted access to the Galactica to film a piece on what military life is during a time of war. After some more banter, she agrees.
The above happened very quickly and was slightly contrived. Where was Biers at the other press conferences or even during the episode Colonial Day? I guess it can be excused considering the “big name” guest star Lucy Lawless. That all said, I’ve come to expect this sort of lazy storytelling from the last few episodes.
I honestly wasn’t expecting much from this episode. Press/News Coverage episodes are never exemplary episodes. “The Illusion of Truth” from Babylon 5 comes to mind. It’s all exposition. The same can be said of other concept episodes that feature some new guest stars, as a way of showing the characters from another perspective.
Biers and her cameraman, Bell, tour the Galactica taking shots of the interior and interview several members of the crew. These interviews didn’t do a lot for the story line. But they did give us some more insight into the B actors. For instance Lt. Felix Gaeta got a little drunk one night, and let himself go by getting a tattoo. Or that Dualla’s first name is Anastasia.
At first Biers came over to the Galactica to portray the crew in a harsh light. During an interview with Tigh, she tricked him into drinking some alcohol on camera. Biers asked him some ambiguous questions that could very easily be taken out of context if cut properly for a news story. Tigh recognized this and stormed out of the interview, pushing her out of his way when she tried to stop him. Of course this was later cut in such a way to make him look bad.
But as the episode progressed she started to see how bad things were on the Galactica and how much stress everyone was under to keep humanity alive.
For instance Kat was under so much stress, she had to take stims to stay awake and nearly killed herself during a landing. To say nothing of how the stims made her short with those around her. The cameras were there as Kat was rescued from her viper and taken to sick bay,
In sick bay, Biers spied Boomer in an operating bay. She tried to zoom in with her camera, but a marine stopped her. Remember that the whole fleet is aware that Boomer is a cylon. Biers was detained. Adama came by later to talk her out of reporting that Boomer was held as a prisoner, and to be sure took her tape of the incident. Naturally Biers hid the real tape in her bra and gave Adama a fake.
There was also a scene where two cylon raiders jumped into RTF space. Vipers were scrambled to destroy them. Rather than see the dogfight, the reporters cameras focused on the reactions of the crew in the CIC and hangar bay as they listened to the melee on the radio. It was excellent to see how the crew react to these frequent cylon attacks. Even if it was a way to save money on special effects.
The A-B’ish plot for the episode was that somebody was stalking and threatening to kill Tigh for what happened on the Gideon. This part of the episode was pulled off rather poorly. Palladino, the officer responsible on the Gideon, was stalking Tigh. It led to a standoff where Palladino wasn’t man enough to kill Tigh, and eventually surrendered.
At the apparent end of the episode, Biers debuts the episode to Roslin, Adama, Tigh et al on the Colonial one. While it does show how bad things are, it ends with a montage of scenes from this episode and others that highlight the crew’s efforts to preserve humanity. It’s a good propaganda montage showing off the Galactica. Toward the end, the background music is the Colonial Anthem, aka the theme to the original Battlestar Galactica.
Here’s how Biers ended her news story during the aforementioned montage:
I came to Galactica to tell a story. In all honesty, I thought I knew what that story was before I ever set foot here. How an arrogant military let their egos get in the way of doing their job safeguarding the lives of the civilian population. But I found the truth was more complex than that. These people aren’t cylons. They’re not robots blindly following orders and polishing their boots. They’re people. Deeply flawed, yes, but deeply human too. And maybe that’s saying the same thing. What struck me the most is that despite it all– the hardships, the stress, the ever-present danger of being killed– despite all that, they never give up. Never lie down in the road and let the truck run them over. They wake up in the morning, put on their uniforms, and do their jobs. Every day, no pay. No rest. No hope of ever laying down the burden and letting someone else do the job. There are no relief troops coming, no Colonial fleet training new recruits every day. The people on Galactica are it. They are the thin line of blue separating us from the cylons. Lieutenant Gaeta told me a remarkable statistic. Not a single member of Galactica’s crew has asked to resign. Not one. Think about that. If you wore the uniform, wouldn’t you want to quit? To step aside and say, “Enough, let someone else protect the fleet.” I know I would. But then, I don’t wear a uniform. Most of us don’t, most of us never will. The story of Galactica isn’t that people make bad decisions under pressure. It’s that those mistakes are the exception. Most of the time, the men and women serving under Commander Adama get it right. The proof is that our fleet survives. And with Galactica at our side, we will endure. This is D’Anna Biers, Fleet News Service.
Everyone except Tigh, thinks that the news piece is excellent. It is aired to the entire fleet soon thereafter.
The episode actually ends in a theatre on Caprica, where we see Doral, #6, Boomer and another biocylon watching the same news. They also watch the quick scene showing Boomer in sick bay. The biocylons are happy to see that Boomer is still alive and still with child, including the other biocylon, Biers.
Discussing the Episode
Did Dualla help transmit the newstory to the cylons?
Possibly. We saw a breif scene where she was finishing repairs on an old transmitter device for D’Anna Beirs. By reapairing this device, It’s likely that Dualla could have helped the biocylon to transmit information back to Caprica.
If Biers report was completed after the raiders attacked, how did the cylons recieve the report during the attack?
Bad contiuity error! But to in continued efforts of bullshitting my way through this section: The raiders were carry signal boosters. In the debris of the wrecked raiders was a long range transmitting/and or radio signal storage device. Biers would transmit a signal out into space, appearing to be from her broadcast. The cylon device would either transmit it elsewhere, or store the message. After the fleet jumped away, as thhy always do after a cylon recon mission, the cylons would jump in a recieve the transmission from the devices hard drive.
I rate this episode a conceptual 25,241 out of 10
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