Number Six appears on board the Galactica– and she’s not a hallucination (or implant, or whatever Baltar has been seeing).
Title: “Six Degrees of Separation”
Cast and Crew:
Edward James Olmos as Commander Adama
Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin
Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar
Grace Park as Sharon “Boomer” Valerii
Aaron Douglas as Chief Petty Officer Tyrol
Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama
Bodie Olmos as Hot Dog
Michael Hogan as Col. Tigh
Tahmoh Penikett Helo
Tricia Helfer as Number 6
Kandyse Mclure as Dualla
Writer: Michael Angeli
Director: Robert Young
Number Six arrives on board the Galactica to accuse Baltar of being a traitor and explain some points of Cylon theology. The evidence appears to be rigged– but Baltar also knows he’s guilty. Boomer, meanwhile, finds “Cylon” written in her locker.
On Caprica, the relationship between Helo and another Boomer heats up.
Baltar realizes that Number Six isn’t only in his mind anymore.
While Baltar can be annoying, his emotional instability proves an interesting plot point, especially as the others become more aware of it. He is, however, an emotionally unstable genius. Would he really act as guiltily as he does? His actions in the washroom and the lab are not merely the sign of an unstable man; they’re stupid.
(Aside: Six, of course, also behaves suspiciously. Perhaps she doesn’t really understand human nature– but the episode hints that perhaps she wanted to be discovered, for reasons as yet unknown).
Originality: 4/6. The show heads in interesting and unpredictable directions.
Story: 4/6 I’m willing to overlook the incompleteness, because the series tells a larger story than any episode can contain. The episode, however, contains bigger problems. Its pacing drags in places. And, only one episode after the Galactica has realized the need for tighter security, Gaius is able to wander into a lab which should be secured because someone leaves the door unlocked. Furthermore, his plan rests on the assumption that the door would be left unlocked.
Acting: 4/6 While the acting generally remains strong, Tricia Helfer doesn’t do nearly so well as the rest. She works fine as a Cylon seductress, but this script requires her to do more, and she doesn’t quite deliver. Some of the other performances in this ep seem rushed.
Emotional Response: 4/6.
In total, “Six Degrees of Separation” receives 31/42
Additional Comments and Points for Discussion:
1. Why do the interviews with the President look so much like a contemporary White House press scrum? The surviving human population equals that of a smallish city. Why would they need so many reporters? Even if every ship forms a mini-community that wants its own source of news, could they really each afford the unnecessary loss of personnel every time the President speaks?
2. The humans believe in a pantheon, while the Cylons worship one God. Furthermore (according to Number Six), they believe their God is the God of everyone, that all beings must develop a relationship with God or lose their immortal souls. The Cylons are on a crusade.
These theological concerns cover a wide territory, and one which could be discussed from many perspectives. I don’t believe that this show should be interpreted allegorically. Still, you have these specific concerns being expressed in a 2004/2005 tv season. You add to them a man accused of terrible crimes. He is, in fact, guilty of a terrible crime, though the evidence against him is manufactured and the reality differs from the accuser’s claim.
We also have a reference to a “No Fly” list.
I find it difficult to ignore certain loose parallels with a certain contemporary situation.