Starbuck interrogates a Cylon; Baltar tests the Cylon detector.

Title: “Flesh and Bone”

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
Callum Keith Rennie as Leoben Conoy
Aaron Douglas as Chief Petty Officer Tyrol
Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama
Tahmoh Penikett Helo
Tricia Helfer as Number 6

Kandyse Mclure as Dualla

Writer: Tony Graphia

Director: Brad Turner

Plot:

A stowaway Cylon claims (echoing a widespread post-9/11 rumour) that a nuclear device has been planted on board a ship in the fleet. Starbuck is sent to interrogate the prisoner, and almost immediately resorts to torture. The Cylon, meanwhile, discusses theology and apparently predicts the future.

Elsewhere, Boomer presses Baltar to make her the first test subject for his Cylon detector; the results take him by surprise.

On Caprica, the Cylons give some indication that we may soon learn why they’re toying with Helo.

High Points:

Callum Keith Rennie’s performance.

The final twists: Starbuck grows to doubt her techniques and their results, while the President comes on like Amnesty International but then cooly throws the prisoner out of an airlock.

Low Points:

I know human resources are limited, but why would a hotshot pilot be sent to interrogate the prisoner? Her past experience with Cylons, in fact, makes her far more useful helping with the repair of the “Viper-Cylon” than presiding over “Battlestar Guantánamo.”

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6. Not everything can be original, and the notion of the interrogator/torturer who loses perspective, finds the tables turned, and risks losing humanity is old. This show does it well, however.

Effects: 5/6. Minimal, but effective. The dream sequence was a bit cliched, but that is forgiveable.

Story: 5/6 Strong but, of course, maddeningly incomplete.

Acting: 5/6 Rennie handled his part very well.

Emotional Response: 5/6.

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 5/6

In total, “Flesh and Bone” receives 34/42

Lingering Questions:

1. How much of what the Cylon claims is true, even from his perspective?

2. Has Baltar not informed anyone about Boomer? If not, why not?

3. Almost everything about the Cylons’ theology and their intentions towards humanity. These aspects of the show rank among the most thought-provoking, and I hope the eventual answers will be equal to the time they’ve spent leaving us in uncertainty.