Battlestar Galactica: “Secrets and Lies” aka “Tigh Me Up, Tie Me Down”

The tests for human-seeming Cylons begins, just as Adama starts behaving suspiciously and Colonel Tigh’s troubled and troublesome wife surfaces.


Title: “Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down” aka “Secrets and Lies”

Cast and Crew:

Edward James Olmos as Commander Adama
Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin
Michael Hogan as Col. Tigh
Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama
Kate Vernon as Ellen Tigh
Tahmoh Penikett as Helo
Tricia Helfer as Number 6
Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar
Grace Park as Sharon “Boomer” Valerii
Bodie Olmos as Hot Dog
Aaron Douglas as Chief Petty Officer Tyrol

Kandyse Mclure as Dualla
Paul Campbell as Billy Keikeya

Writer: Jeff Vlaming

Director: Edward James Olmos

Plot:

Tigh’s annoying wife turns up alive and draws suspicion on herself, just as Baltar begins testing for Cylon infiltrators. Meanwhile, a wounded Cylon Viper causes trouble for the Galactica. Is it a source of intelligence information– or another Cylon trick?

On Caprica, the Cylons lose track of Helo and Boomer, who seems to be actively trying to help the human.

High Points:

The show handles suspense over the wild card elements well. We didn’t know what that Viper was going to do, and we still have a number of questions about Ellen, even if the secrecy surrounding her results from an artificial situation.

On Caprica, Boomer’s motivations become increasingly complicated.

Low Points:

My low point is not the fact that Baltar betrays the fleet by faking the test results, but the fact that he CAN do so. Firstly, he would have an assistant. Too much is at stake. Someone would help him run the tests, because then (1) they could run them around the clock, (2) someone could ensure the integrity of the tests, and (3) someone would know how to run the tests in the event of Baltar’s death. Secondly, his eccentric behaviour and the crew’s understandable paranoia over Cylon infiltration would guarantee that no one would work alone and unchecked on such a sensitive project.

Beyond that, his reasoning, even for a crazy man, seems weak, especially as we know that he has already permitted one Cylon, Boomer, to remain on board. He’s going to deliberately now betray his people, putting all of them and himself at serious risk? Why?

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6. The paranoia over the humanoid Cylons is getting a little old already.

Effects: 6/6. This episode features some effective space shots.

Story: 3/6 This is one of the series’ weakest episodes to date, and the entire plot hinges on a matter addressed under “Weak Points.”

Acting: 4/6. Generally good, but this group handles drama better than comedy. Tricia Helfer, meanwhile, doesn’t measure up to the rest of the cast.

Emotional Response: 4/6.

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 4/6

In total, “Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down” aka “Secrets and Lies” receives 30/42

Additional Comments

Starbuck catching Baltar with his pants down was amusing, in a crude way. The big comic scene in the lab didn’t really work for me, for any number of reasons. This is the sort of thing that Firefly would have handled well; it seems out of place on Galactica, and the poor communication between the President and Adama just came across as annoying and contrived.

22 replies on “Battlestar Galactica: “Secrets and Lies” aka “Tigh Me Up, Tie Me Down””

  1. Jethro says:

    Blah
    Baltaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar!

  2. Espy says:

    Paranoia
    In his commentary, Ron Moore says this one was supposed to be a high-tension riff on Crimson Tide with Adama and Tigh at each other’s throats. I’m glad they went with this version, although I don’t have a problem with the paranoia.

    I agree with the Low Point, although I would suggest that they are low on personnel, and that Lt. Gaeta, who is 3rd in command and has other duties, is the one who’s supposed to be working with Baltar.

    SP

    • nkuzmik says:

      Re: Paranoia

      In his commentary, Ron Moore says this one was supposed to be a high-tension riff on Crimson Tide with Adama and Tigh at each other’s throats. I’m glad they went with this version, although I don’t have a problem with the paranoia.

      I agree with the Low Point, although I would suggest that they are low on personnel, and that Lt. Gaeta, who is 3rd in command and has other duties, is the one who’s supposed to be working with Baltar.

      SP

      I watched the end scene with a friend who owns a management consulting firm, with clients spread across the continental United States and Europ. We looked at eachother and agreed that he could use that scene as an example of a failure to communicate.

      Okay, I’ll stop talking… for now.

  3. J_W_W says:

    Re: Baltar
    Baltar went from interesting character, to villan that needs to be spaced in this episode. His little “visions” are only going to get harder to watch. Everything with him in “Hand of God” was the low point of the next episode.

    I don’t care, Baltar and Six isn’t interesting anymore, hes not a shade of grey anymore, and that was the only thing making his weak (in more ways than one) character worth watching. The fact that everyone else needs to act out of character like a bunch of idiots so he doesn’t get caught doesn’t help either. I agree with the review. By now Baltar has shown that he should be under constant survelliance by SOMEONE (someone other than six that is).

    • FarmerBob says:

      Re: Baltar
      Do Dr. Baltar’s visions happen in real time? If the ones that are in his dream world are near instantaneous it would explain some of the leniency he gets. Also, they might figure that he must have been just as crazy when he was working without supervision on the defense networks, so they give him just as much of a free hand at things. He does get results (as demonstrated in the next episode), and some of them act like they think he’s so smart they can’t even comprehend his thought processes (he points, and boom! it works!).

      That still doesn’t explain why he doesn’t have a full time assistant (Lt. Gaeta cannot be a full time assistant). With no personal assistant, Dr. Baltar could have easily changed the original quick accurate test to something that takes forever and only shows the results secretly to him, and hide what he did from Lt. Gaeta.

      Also, it should be noted that the Cylons have done everything in their power to make Dr. Baltar look credible. The only doubt is his initial reactions on seeing the real Six, and how Six’s accusations are obviously flawed.

      • TomSwiss says:

        Re: Baltar

        That still doesn’t explain why he doesn’t have a full time assistant

        Presumably they’re as short on qualified scientists and technicians with security clearances as they are on pilots (and fuel, and water, and everything else).

        • FarmerBob says:

          Re: Baltar

          That still doesn’t explain why he doesn’t have a full time assistant

          Presumably they’re as short on qualified scientists and technicians with security clearances as they are on pilots (and fuel, and water, and everything else).

          What happened to training replacements? One of the first things I would do as President, especially a President that was formerly the Secretary of Education, would be to establish a training system to quickly get new scientists and technical personell.

          • Espy says:

            Re: Baltar

            What happened to training replacements? One of the first things I would do as President, especially a President that was formerly the Secretary of Education, would be to establish a training system to quickly get new scientists and technical personell.

            Presumably, actually surviving takes precedence.

            SP

            • J_W_W says:

              Re: Baltar

              What happened to training replacements? One of the first things I would do as President, especially a President that was formerly the Secretary of Education, would be to establish a training system to quickly get new scientists and technical personell.

              Presumably, actually surviving takes precedence.

              Ironically, wouldn’t finding out who are Cylons in the fleet greaty increase their chances of survival? Once the Cylon detector is designed, training someone how to operate it shouldn’t be that hard (ie. lab workers at a hospital don’t need to know how to build their test equipment, just how to run it).

              • hitch says:

                Re: Baltar

                What happened to training replacements? One of the first things I would do as President, especially a President that was formerly the Secretary of Education, would be to establish a training system to quickly get new scientists and technical personell.

                Presumably, actually surviving takes precedence.

                Ironically, wouldn’t finding out who are Cylons in the fleet greaty increase their chances of survival? Once the Cylon detector is designed, training someone how to operate it shouldn’t be that hard (ie. lab workers at a hospital don’t need to know how to build their test equipment, just how to run it).

                that’s great & all, but baltar already designed it to give passing grades to everyone and log the real results to a file only he can see. so it’d be *real neat* to train someone else to run the machine, but the fact remains that it doesn’t really matter.

                but someone is eventually going to find that private file. I’d stake my foreshadowing cred on it.

                • FarmerBob says:

                  Re: Baltar

                  What happened to training replacements? One of the first things I would do as President, especially a President that was formerly the Secretary of Education, would be to establish a training system to quickly get new scientists and technical personell.

                  Presumably, actually surviving takes precedence.

                  Ironically, wouldn’t finding out who are Cylons in the fleet greaty increase their chances of survival? Once the Cylon detector is designed, training someone how to operate it shouldn’t be that hard (ie. lab workers at a hospital don’t need to know how to build their test equipment, just how to run it).

                  that’s great & all, but baltar already designed it to give passing grades to everyone and log the real results to a file only he can see. so it’d be *real neat* to train someone else to run the machine, but the fact remains that it doesn’t really matter.

                  but someone is eventually going to find that private file. I’d stake my foreshadowing cred on it.

                  You are metawatching. Just because Baltar hid the real results and the file doesn’t mean that a technician can’t run the tests for him. Only Baltar knows that everything will come up positive.

                  • hitch says:

                    Re: Baltar

                    Ironically, wouldn’t finding out who are Cylons in the fleet greaty increase their chances of survival? Once the Cylon detector is designed, training someone how to operate it shouldn’t be that hard (ie. lab workers at a hospital don’t need to know how to build their test equipment, just how to run it).

                    that’s great & all, but baltar already designed it to give passing grades to everyone and log the real results to a file only he can see. so it’d be *real neat* to train someone else to run the machine, but the fact remains that it doesn’t really matter.

                    but someone is eventually going to find that private file. I’d stake my foreshadowing cred on it.

                    You are metawatching. Just because Baltar hid the real results and the file doesn’t mean that a technician can’t run the tests for him. Only Baltar knows that everything will come up positive.

                    yes…yes, I am…but I also thought that the purpose of this discussion was to say why he couldn’t get away with this sort of BS.

                    also…since we saw last week that it takes, like, 1 minute per person, why did he inflate the amount of time that much (9 hours, was it?) if he was going to whine and moan about it?

                    • J_W_W says:

                      Re: Baltar

                      Ironically, wouldn’t finding out who are Cylons in the fleet greaty increase their chances of survival? Once the Cylon detector is designed, training someone how to operate it shouldn’t be that hard (ie. lab workers at a hospital don’t need to know how to build their test equipment, just how to run it).

                      that’s great & all, but baltar already designed it to give passing grades to everyone and log the real results to a file only he can see. so it’d be *real neat* to train someone else to run the machine, but the fact remains that it doesn’t really matter.

                      but someone is eventually going to find that private file. I’d stake my foreshadowing cred on it.

                      You are metawatching. Just because Baltar hid the real results and the file doesn’t mean that a technician can’t run the tests for him. Only Baltar knows that everything will come up positive.

                      yes…yes, I am…but I also thought that the purpose of this discussion was to say why he couldn’t get away with this sort of BS.

                      also…since we saw last week that it takes, like, 1 minute per person, why did he inflate the amount of time that much (9 hours, was it?) if he was going to whine and moan about it?

                      I think the timing of the tests is set to whatever the writers decide is appropriate for the plot.

                      This is my biggest gripes with this episode is that instead of giving the viewers a working detector and a payoff of telling on Boomer being a cylon (as well as clearing suspicion for everyone else), the writers create for themselves an “anyone can be a cylon for free” card to use at any later date. All of the drama and buildup of the cylon detector with respect to Boomer is thrown out the window in this one episode. I really hated the fact that the writers pulled these stunts with Baltars character in this one.

                    • joe__gee says:

                      Re: Baltar

                      This is my biggest gripes with this episode is that instead of giving the viewers a working detector and a payoff of telling on Boomer being a cylon (as well as clearing suspicion for everyone else), the writers create for themselves an “anyone can be a Cylon for free” card to use at any later date. All of the drama and buildup of the cylon detector with respect to Boomer is thrown out the window in this one episode. I really hated the fact that the writers pulled these stunts with Baltars character in this one.

                      Baltar has positioned himself to be the oracle, even if the oracle in this case only ponders a mirror. :) This is not a spoiler, only speculation, but I think you can bet that the next person who accuses Baltar of being a traitor will be a “Cylon,” whether or not they really are. Remember the ship that went missing in “33”, the ship that had the fellow on board who wanted to speak to the president about Baltar. I think it’ll be interesting seeing how the either the Cylons manage to quash the next revelation, or how the revealer manages to escape the Cylon machinations.

                      My ongoing question is, how in the Hell do these people continue? They’re really in a pressure cooker, and things just keep getting hotter, and hotter. For me that’s the primary reason I can excuse things like a lack of a real, trained assistant for Baltar. There are so many things going on for each of the main characters, day to day things like keeping 45,000 people fed and somewhat pacified, keeping the fleet relatively safe, allocating resources, keeping limited personnel relatively fresh, that I could easily see someone saying “you handle this”, and handing off incredibly important tasks to whoever they felt was most capable/qualified. They’re spinning around in circles. In this episode they actually realize it.

                      From the beginning we’ve been led to believe that “Doctor Gaius Baltar,” the Caprican equivalent of Steven Jobs (with a dash of Thomas Edison and the looks of David Copperfield, and the power of Bill Gates), probably has enough celebrity cachet coming into this to command the level of trust bequeathed to him by the president and the commander. In addition, I’m not sure of the time frame involved in this arc we’ve seen. If it’s only a few weeks, I could understand a continued trust in his work/methods. There may not have been time yet for the implications of Baltar’s methods to register with the president and the commander.

                      The president and Adama *are* professionals. *But* then again, the aged commander of a scheduled-to-be-retired relic (why didn’t he ever get promoted to admiral?), and the 43rd in line of succession to the presidency (education, now there’s a position only slightly more qualified for the presidency than agriculture, or perhaps fitness) may have been more capable of doing rather than thinking, and this breaking-in period might be expected.

                      What I like about this series is we get to see imperfect people making imperfect decisions. It’s not whitewashed, a la Star Trek, where everything will resolve itself in the next 45 minutes, or cartoonish like some other sci-fi series. It’s the West Wing meets Terminator 2, in space, with characters that would be more comfortable in supporting roles.

                      Instead of the plucky, rebellious, survivalist-trained kid protagonist from Terminator 2, let’s grab one of the other kids from the arcade, the nerdy one with taped glasses and a TI programmable calculator in his pocket, the one who just got five bucks for mowing his neighbor’s lawn, and promised his mom and dad to be home by six so he could study algebra for tomorrow’s test. Let’s see how he faces down an indestructible villain made of polymimetic metal alloy. :)

                      Plus it’s only TV. :) I’m not picking on you J_W_W, this is just the best place to position this comment. :) *And* I know if you answer I’ll get a thoughtful reply. :)))

                      Hope your week is going well,

                      -Joe G.

                    • J_W_W says:

                      Re: Baltar

                      … It’s the West Wing meets Terminator 2, in space, with characters that would be more comfortable in supporting roles.

                      -Joe G.

                      LOL, that’s a pretty good comparison. And a great reply otherwise as well.

                      The next episoe thankfully didn’t have too much Baltar, and his actions in it didn’t disturb me too much either, but it did continue to set him up as even more of an egomaniac. I mean as a scientist he should have been able to just guess at where the raw (or whatever grade) ore was being stored, and be likely to be right. With knowledge, even wild ass guesses can turn out correct a lot of time. Although six really does suck him into believing he’s the hand of God. The fade out on Baltar at the end of the episode really shows his lost touch with reality and show his dillusion of granduer .

                    • white.roses says:

                      Re: Baltar
                      Every episode seems to push Baltar towards megalomania, no matter how small the shove. And while I am, as well, starting to wonder just how the hell the rest of the fleet is missing all of this, I have to keep in mind three things:

                      1. We, the viewers, are granted omniscience, so we’re privvy to actions/conversations that are largely completely unknown to the rest of the fleet’s personnel
                      2. We have no idea (UK people know, we don’t yet) what’s going to happen to Baltar later
                      3. The writers seems to do things for a reason on this show – I find it to be pretty fat-free, as it were

                      But if Baltar doesn’t get a short drop and a quick stop at the end of the season, I’ll begin to wonder. I don’t mean he should be dead. Just dead to the rest of the fleet.

                    • joe__gee says:

                      Re: Baltar

                      The next episoe thankfully didn’t have too much Baltar, and his actions in it didn’t disturb me too much either, but it did continue to set him up as even more of an egomaniac. I mean as a scientist he should have been able to just guess at where the raw (or whatever grade) ore was being stored, and be likely to be right. With knowledge, even wild ass guesses can turn out correct a lot of time. Although six really does suck him into believing he’s the hand of God. The fade out on Baltar at the end of the episode really shows his lost touch with reality and show his dillusion of granduer .

                      If you think about it, Baltar has been preserved by the Cylons. His being in the fleet is no accident, after all he was “discovered” among the Caprican survivors by a Cylon — Boomer. At the same time, hey presto, Six did her first “now you see her, now you don’t, now only Baltar sees her” during the time Baltar was associated with Boomer’s raptor. His being there, with his Lovely Disappearing Assistant, is not by chance.

                      I think the Cylons realized Baltar was too useful to discard after he had helped them sabotage Colonial defenses, so they kept him alive, and positioned him where he could do the most damage, *if* the humans somehow managed to completely avoid extermination. Baltar was not only the Cylon key to destroying the human homeworlds, he is also one of several contingency plans to deal with the survivors, and the beauty of Baltar is that even if someone independently creates and begins using a working Cylon detector, Baltar is is human. :)

                      The problem with Baltar is that Six has messed with his mind so much that he now seems to be disintegrating. I don’t know how much longer he’ll remain a viable tool. I wonder what will happen to him when he is no longer useful? I wonder who Six will use as her new host/tool/plaything? Maybe Tigh’s wife really is human. I think Mrs. Tigh would willingly cooperate with Six, just for the chance to screw with Adama on a new level. :) Tune in to the next episode of “As the Cylons Scheme.”

                      Man I hope humans *do* start to win some battles soon, because as you said, “Cylons Toying with Humans” would become difficult to watch. I’m hopeful the writers are just setting us up with season one’s intensely bleak foundation to make the occasional human victories in the coming season(s) seem all the more cheer-worthy.

                      -Joe G.

                    • J_W_W says:

                      Re: Baltar

                      The next episoe thankfully didn’t have too much Baltar, and his actions in it didn’t disturb me too much either, but it did continue to set him up as even more of an egomaniac. I mean as a scientist he should have been able to just guess at where the raw (or whatever grade) ore was being stored, and be likely to be right. With knowledge, even wild ass guesses can turn out correct a lot of time. Although six really does suck him into believing he’s the hand of God. The fade out on Baltar at the end of the episode really shows his lost touch with reality and show his dillusion of granduer .

                      If you think about it, Baltar has been preserved by the Cylons. His being in the fleet is no accident, after all he was “discovered” among the Caprican survivors by a Cylon — Boomer. At the same time, hey presto, Six did her first “now you see her, now you don’t, now only Baltar sees her” during the time Baltar was associated with Boomer’s raptor. His being there, with his Lovely Disappearing Assistant, is not by chance.

                      I think the Cylons realized Baltar was too useful to discard after he had helped them sabotage Colonial defenses, so they kept him alive, and positioned him where he could do the most damage, *if* the humans somehow managed to completely avoid extermination. Baltar was not only the Cylon key to destroying the human homeworlds, he is also one of several contingency plans to deal with the survivors, and the beauty of Baltar is that even if someone independently creates and begins using a working Cylon detector, Baltar is is human. :)

                      The problem with Baltar is that Six has messed with his mind so much that he now seems to be disintegrating. I don’t know how much longer he’ll remain a viable tool. I wonder what will happen to him when he is no longer useful? I wonder who Six will use as her new host/tool/plaything? Maybe Tigh’s wife really is human. I think Mrs. Tigh would willingly cooperate with Six, just for the chance to screw with Adama on a new level. :) Tune in to the next episode of “As the Cylons Scheme.”

                      Man I hope humans *do* start to win some battles soon, because as you said, “Cylons Toying with Humans” would become difficult to watch. I’m hopeful the writers are just setting us up with season one’s intensely bleak foundation to make the occasional human victories in the coming season(s) seem all the more cheer-worthy.

                      -Joe G.

                      Total speculation laced with assumed spoilers:
                      What I’m beginning to wonder is if Caprica Boomer will actually catch up with the Galactica. This would cause some interesting things to happen.

                      1) It will cause a very uncomfortable moment for Baltar, when Boomer Galactica says “But he tested me and said I’m not a Cylon!!”.

                      2) I think Boomer C might actually want to help the humans if she catches up with them. She seems to have had a big break with the other Cylons, espically Six.

                      3) I think Boomer G could go full Cylon mode and go bad on them. Of course she’ll be in the brig. but it would be interesting to see the turn.

                      4) Boomer C’s child (man hasn’t that been the worst kept spoiler from our British friends ;-) ) might end up with the humans as well.


                      Its something to ponder.

                    • Espy says:

                      Re: Baltar

                      I think the Cylons realized Baltar was too useful to discard after he had helped them sabotage Colonial defenses, so they kept him alive, and positioned him where he could do the most damage, *if* the humans somehow managed to completely avoid extermination.

                      Same reason the Colonials are keeping him around: he’s useful. Ron Moore’s commentary for episode 11 sheds some light on this subject. (He also mentions that it’s only been a couple weeks of show-time since the mini-series)

                      SP

                    • quantaman says:

                      Re: Baltar

                      Ironically, wouldn’t finding out who are Cylons in the fleet greaty increase their chances of survival? Once the Cylon detector is designed, training someone how to operate it shouldn’t be that hard (ie. lab workers at a hospital don’t need to know how to build their test equipment, just how to run it).

                      that’s great & all, but baltar already designed it to give passing grades to everyone and log the real results to a file only he can see. so it’d be *real neat* to train someone else to run the machine, but the fact remains that it doesn’t really matter.

                      but someone is eventually going to find that private file. I’d stake my foreshadowing cred on it.

                      You are metawatching. Just because Baltar hid the real results and the file doesn’t mean that a technician can’t run the tests for him. Only Baltar knows that everything will come up positive.

                      yes…yes, I am…but I also thought that the purpose of this discussion was to say why he couldn’t get away with this sort of BS.

                      also…since we saw last week that it takes, like, 1 minute per person, why did he inflate the amount of time that much (9 hours, was it?) if he was going to whine and moan about it?

                      At the rate of 1/min that takes only about a month to test the entire fleet. What happens if they turn up a cylon who passed the test after that? By making it 9 hours he greatly reduces the chances that someone he testing will later be revealed as a Cylon, knowing he had to do it doesn’t make it any less annoying for him (he may be worried about letting a technician screwing around with it). As to the “everyone passes” I’m guessing he’s just doing that to avoid assasination attempts by the Cylons.

                • nkuzmik says:

                  Re: Baltar

                  I’d stake my foreshadowing cred on it.

                  You want to talk foreshadowing? Let’s talk about snakes. The Pithian Prophecy mentioned in Hand of God refered to snakes, number two and ten. I can’t exactly rewatch the ep while I’m at work, but I think the priestes may have used the term, "vipers."

                  Let’s look at the possible correlations here. We have fighter craft, called Vipers. We have 12 colonies. And here is the best part, we have 12 Cylons!!!! The other item to consider is that snakes are almost never a good sign in a prophesy. So if you have a vision of 12 snakes and they are a sign of things to come… Well, lets just say that I’ll be upping my life insurance.

                  Okay, I’ll stop talking… For now.

                  • Espy says:

                    Re: Baltar

                    I’d stake my foreshadowing cred on it.

                    You want to talk foreshadowing? Let’s talk about snakes. The Pithian Prophecy mentioned in Hand of God refered to snakes, number two and ten. I can’t exactly rewatch the ep while I’m at work, but I think the priestes may have used the term, “vipers.”

                    Let’s look at the possible correlations here. We have fighter craft, called Vipers. We have 12 colonies. And here is the best part, we have 12 Cylons!!!!

                    Not only that, but there are 12 Lords of Kobol, and after Hand of God there are 12 working Vipers. :)

                    SP

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