Battlestar Galactica: Colonial Day

Tensions mount when Zarak gets elected to the Council of the Twelve, and an assassin gets uncovered who may or may not be connected to the one-time terrorist leader.

Meanwhile, on Caprica, Helo and Boomer reach their goal, only to make a startling discovery. and it’s about bloody time, too


“Colonial Day”

Cast and Crew:

James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar
Edward James Olmos as Commander Adama
Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin
Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama
Richard Hatch as Tom Zarak
Michael Hogan as Col. Tigh
Kate Vernon as Ellen Tigh
Tricia Helfer as Number 6
Grace Park as Sharon “Boomer” Valerii
Tahmoh Penikett as Helo

Writer: Carla Robinson

Director: Jonas Pate

Plot:

The colonists finally hold elections to the Council of Twelve. Baltar takes the position for Caprica. Zarak gets the Capricans’ goat by shooting for and getting elected as the Sagitarran rep, and then becoming a candidate for vice-presidency.

Back on Caprica, Boomer and Helo reach their destination, as Helo reaches some frightening conclusions.

High Points:

The conclusion of the episode, when Helo realizes the truth about Boomer, and we realize that Boomer almost certainly has broken from the other Cylons, makes for a dramatic ending, and changes the direction of the Caprica plot.

Low Point:

I recognize that Baltar’s ascension creates excellent dramatic possibilities, but I do not for a nanosecond accept the circumstances under which it happens. He gets elected to the Twelve without even knowing? And, already one of the busiest people in the fleet, the only person who knows how to operate the Cylon detector upon which so much supposedly rests, he must now take on the responsibilities of public office?

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6. The political intrigue thickens on Galactica, and this episode will definitely have far-reaching implications. While the events bear no direct parallel to any real-life events, the similarities to several unsavory political doings, past and present, are clear, and worth pondering.

Effects: 5/6 I thought they did an admirable job of making an actual outdoor setting look like an artificial outdoor setting.

Story: 4/6 Save for the “Weak Point,” I thought this was a strong story which raised, once again, the series’ sense of realpolitik. Ethical issues get raised, and the show does not posit simple solutions.

Acting: 5/6.

Emotional Response: 5/6 The bar fight, the handling of the assassin, the revelations in the final moments…. We have another strong episode, as Galactica’s first season winds down..

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 5/6

In total, “Colonial Day” receives 34/42

Lingering Questions

If Valance was working for Zarak, then Zarak had a reason to have Valance killed, and Ellen appears to have provided the necessary leak. But if he is telling the truth when he said he had nothing to do with Valance’s death, then…?

19 replies on “Battlestar Galactica: Colonial Day”

  1. Espy says:

    Low Point
    There doesn’t seem to be any campaigning for being elected to the Twelve. Baltar is probably the most well-known and the most popular person in the fleet, let alone among the Capricans, so he’s guaranteed to get votes. Since he is extremely busy, I buy him not knowing about getting elected.

    Now, letting him go off and play politics when he has other things to do is another matter. It would have made more sense if Adama had met with Baltar and "suggested" that Baltar resign, only for Baltar to say smugly, "The public calls, and I answer," or something. It would have made a good deleted scene.

    • Radish03 says:

      Re: Low Point
      My thought regarding Baltar is that while he’s running the cylon tests, those take eleven hours and most of that time can be spent doing something else instead of sitting there watching the progress bar tick forward. Plenty of time to be VP, play cards, and do whatever else it is he does.

  2. madhack says:

    Semantics

    But if he is telling the truth when he said he had nothing to do with Valance’s death, then…?

    His exact words were, “I didn’t kill Valance. I wonder who did.” Semantically speaking, that may be true. Ellen could have done it (and may have been willing to, either because she’s a Cylon or because she’s a manipulative bitch — or possibly she’s both!) using Tigh’s access, and I’m sure Zarak wouldn’t hesitate to provide “proof” of Tigh’s involvement when the time comes.

  3. roseblood says:

    Revisting silly false spoilers
    Semi-spoilers for FUTURE episodes follow, they’re fake, but way too close to what really happens.

    Re: Story lines

    posted by roseblood on February 13, 11:57 pm

    > But with BG i have no idea what will happen because the only thing that can happen is for them to make a bad situation a little better. And that is the makings of a great show! :)

    Yeah, I mean, the terrorist from Bastille Day might get a cylon pregnant, the guy stuck on caprica w/ the cylon might become the V.P. of the colonies, Baltar might assasinate Starbuck, The Chief from the flight deck might find out Adama is a Cylon, and Adama being a cylon will assanate the new VP (the terrorist from Bastille Day.)

    PS: these are NOT real spoilers.

    I know, tooting my own (not so clever) horn. Now you have to wonder how I twisted the rest of the season around.

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: Revisting silly false spoilers
      No, ‘way too close to what really happens’ would be-

      Nah, I’m not going to say. The next episode is good, keep watching.

      What am I saying, all the rest of the episodes are good! Roll on season two!

  4. hitch says:

    alright…
    am I the only one who’s sitting here watching they cylons build baltar up into the sort of guy that, one day, is going to develop a penchant for wearing capes and yelling “AHA! BUT I BETRAYED YOU TO THE CYLONS! I DELIVERED YOU INTO THIS, BECAUSE IT WAS DESTINED FROM GOD! BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP ME! BUAHAHAHAHAA!”?

    and suddenly, everything more or less starts to make sense in several contexts. I could be wrong, but every week the more it looks like I’m right. at that point, the cylons would also more or less have to take him to their ships or bases or whatnot to keep him from getting torn apart – assuming they cared. but every week he looks a little more like the character my wife tells me he was in the first series.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: alright…

      but every week he looks a little more like the character my wife tells me he was in the first series.

      Well, so long as he doesn’t have a low-angle light shining into his eyes to make him look evil, and a dopey advisor Cylon named Lucifer who speaks with Dr. Smith’s voice, I might accept that.

      • joe__gee says:

        Re: alright…

        Well, so long as he doesn’t have a low-angle light shining into his eyes to make him look evil, and a dopey advisor Cylon named Lucifer who speaks with Dr. Smith’s voice, I might accept that.

        By your command, excellency.

        :)

  5. nkuzmik says:

    Character Development and Audience Response
    I happen to think that RDM is doing some interesting things with the way he is manipulating our feelings about certain characters.

    Consider Baltar for a moment:

      As we begin, he is a brilliant, albiet egotistical man. He screws up, to such an extend that his name should become a verb in the colonial langauge for just such an action. As the show progresses, we watch Six mess with his mind. As he gets more and more out there, my desire to see some Marine just pop his head right off his shoulders grows every episode. RDM is making him a pathetic characte. I sort of feel sorry for the twerp. Assuming that I’m not a minority here, his death would bring both a sense of satisfaction, that the annoying, whack-job, traitor is gone, and almost a sense of relief that he’s been put out of his misery…

    Let’s take a break from Baltar, and look at the Boomer’s for a moment. Actually let me put this whole section in blackouts, lest I spoil anything…

      I’ll start with Boomer-G: What we are seeing with her is what Lucas should have done with Anakin in Epp 2. First we are introduced to Boomer in such a way that we are meant to like her. Then we find out she is a Cylon. As the season progresses we get to see her human side, the part that we came to like, go through an emotional roller coaster. We are forced to sit and watch as an inocent(as much as any soldier can be) person is torn apart by an intrinsic aspect of her nature. Furthermore, no one even knows that aspect is there!!! All the audience can do is sit there and hope this tale of schaudenfraude has some kind of happy ending.

      Now let’s examine her Caprican doppelganger. Unlike her “innocent” counterpart, this Boomer is fully aware of her origins. At first she is simply following the plan, jerking Helo around, watching his reactions, studying him. Then we see her come to love him. We watch her defy, and even kill her fellow Cylons for him. The parallel example of Boomer-C discovering her humanity at the same time Boomer-G is discovering her inhumanity is especially poignant. Boomer-C’s growth and self-discovery only serves to manipulate the audience’s hopes about Boomer-G. Every act of rebellion by Boomer-C gives the audience hope that Boomer-G might be able to demonstrate similarly heroic acts of personal strength.

      Back to Boomer-C, like her Galactican counterpart, we are watching her struggle with her nature and her loyalty to her race. Because we don’t like that race, and while you may not like this particular couple, people tend to like seeing the the girl get the guy(or whatever juxtaposition you prefer). But ultimatly Boomer, and the audience cannot have it both ways. The only way for her to truely defy the Cylons and be with Helo, would be to come clean. The snag here is that revealing the truth will drive Helo away. Once again we are stuck watching as two freight trains are speeding towardst their respective brick walls and there is nothing we can do but watch.

    Oh, I think we can predict which Boomer will live, without resorting to reading spoilers. Remember that RDM is a writer. Trouble in the story-world is material for a writer to work with. That said, unless he plans to keep both Boomers, which I just doubt, one of them has to go. Now the question is which one will cause the most trouble next season?

      Boomer-G will be trouble because there will be that whole “you decieved all of us” vibe, countered by her “I didn’t know,” thing. She and the Chief could have some real awkward patching up moments. Helo, if he gets back to Galactica, which I just think he will, will be constantly flashing back to his time with Boomer-C. Boomer-G will have to go to extraordinary lengths to prover her loyalty. They can do the Star Trek II thing where Boomer-G is the only one who could survive some enviornmental(I cannot, for the life of me, spell that word) hazard long enough to save the ship, but possibly at the expense of her own life. Assuming she survives, barely, this might prove her loyalty to some, even remind Tyrol why he loved her… But it will also serve to clearly illustrate her non-human nature.
      Boomer-C coming to Galactica, assuming Boomer-G is dead will have it’s own problems. Tyrol will be constantly reminded that his Boomer is gone. Furthermore, he will be left to question why his Boomer wasn’t able to defy the Cylon’s too. He will begin to wonder if she might still be alive if he hadn’t pushed her away. All kinds of guilt going on there. As with the other example Boomer-C will have to prove to everybody that she can be trusted, so that will be lots of drama, and maybe even some trauma.
      But the biggest wrinkle in this senario is the potential… Wait a sec… I think I smell something burning… Did I leave a bun in the toaster oven?

    So, which senario do you think will give RDM the most meat to work with next season? I’m thinking that Boomer-C is more likely to survive.

    I’ll stop talking… For now.

    • roseblood says:

      Re: Character Development and Audience Response

      Oh, I think we can predict which Boomer will live, without resorting to reading spoilers. Remember that RDM is a writer. Trouble in the story-world is material for a writer to work with. That said, unless he plans to keep both Boomers, which I just doubt, one of them has to go. Now the question is which one will cause the most trouble next season?

      Boomer-G will be trouble because there will be that whole “you decieved all of us” vibe, countered by her “I didn’t know,” thing. She and the Chief could have some real awkward patching up moments. Helo, if he gets back to Galactica, which I just think he will, will be constantly flashing back to his time with Boomer-C. Boomer-G will have to go to extraordinary lengths to prover her loyalty.

      Dude, Boomer-G is so getting gunned down on the bridge of the Galatica, or alternatively tossed out an air-lock and used for gunnery practice for point-defence weapon crews (given the President’s history.) Is it safe to assume everyone has finaly caught up with the UK and seen the season finale yet? There’s no way Boomer-G will see anything but the wrong side of an airlock or if lucky, the inside of a cell.

  6. Jethro says:

    High Point
    YES! Finally. I was pretty happy when Helo finally figured it out. Well, it was kinda shoved in his face, but still. Woo!

    As usual, anything to do with Baltar annoys me now, but it did all kinda fall into place this episode. The TV interview he gave (whih was NOT prompted by #6) did show the glimmers of his own genius showing through.

    • hitch says:

      Re: High Point

      YES! Finally. I was pretty happy when Helo finally figured it out. Well, it was kinda shoved in his face, but still. Woo!

      As usual, anything to do with Baltar annoys me now, but it did all kinda fall into place this episode. The TV interview he gave (whih was NOT prompted by #6) did show the glimmers of his own genius showing through.

      indeed. he is, first and foremost, a showman. That’s why he’s a FAMOUS genius and not some brilliant scientist that got blown up on caprica. Put him out among some people who want to be an audience, and let him run. he’ll be an excellent politician.

      • Jethro says:

        Re: High Point

        indeed. he is, first and foremost, a showman.

        Oh, I don’t think that he’s consiously doing any of that. I think that he became… not really famous, but a ‘household’ name after the attacks (perhaps cylon agents spread the word that The Incredible Doctor Baltar survived?), and that cylons/#6/his subconsious have been pushing him toward further ‘greatness’ ever since. Rumoursabout what a magnificent genius the guy is must be flying around like crazy – remember how everyone knew about the Cylon Detector?

        I do agree, though, that it is all falling into place quite nicely. I kinda hope he doesn’t turn into Old Series Baltar, what with living inside a Cylon mothership and all… but that might be what the cylons are doing on Kobol!

        (So where’s the SG1 discussions? (; )

        • FarmerBob says:

          Re: High Point

          (So where’s the SG1 discussions? (; )

          Because you insist…

          I don’t get why Carter insists on not changing anything. The StarGate writers used the many-universe theory in the first season and in these episodes, so she should know that is impossible to create a paradox. The only thing wierd about these episodes are that 2 different groups from the very different paths that were created by interference with the past (the revolution could not have happened without SG1’s interference somehow) were able to go back to the same point. Together, they were able to create a third path that was similar to the original. If Carter hadn’t insisted on not doing anything because the writers thought it would be a nice plot device, they could have skipped the second universe all together as it’s a given that SG1 did interfere with the past anyways.

          Summary: Carter acts out of character and messes everything up. No one belongs to the Campaign for Real Time

          The 2 part episode with the replicators moved as fast and had as many plot holes as a Harry Potter movie. Production on this season sucked so much I may not buy it.

          The long episode wrapped everything up so completely it seemed like a series finale. I don’t see how they are gonna do another season of SG-1, and I can see why Richard Dean Anderson wants out.

        • joe__gee says:

          Re: High Point

          indeed. he is, first and foremost, a showman.

          Oh, I don’t think that he’s consiously doing any of that. I think that he became… not really famous, but a ‘household’ name after the attacks (perhaps cylon agents spread the word that The Incredible Doctor Baltar survived?), and that cylons/#6/his subconsious have been pushing him toward further ‘greatness’ ever since.

          In the pilot miniseries, when Six is first introduced, she walks into Baltar’s home on Caprica, where he is doing an interview for a television personality, and we are lead to believe by the interviewer’s fawning and cajolery that he is indeed the “famous Doctor Gaius Baltar.” :)

          -Joe G.

        • hitch says:

          Re: High Point

          (So where’s the SG1 discussions? (; )

          I was actually going to leave it until next season…
          but if you want I’ll put up a forum tonight.

  7. Trekkie says:

    Nice.
    Very plot twisting episode. It’s nice to know the human need for power is alive and well when there is only 47K and change left to keep in control.

    The wife thing was really interesting. With Tigh seemingly oblivious to it all one has to wonder how that game will play out.

    I really like how Richard Hatch is playing in this, however I wish they’d have flash backed to his henious act so we could see it a little. Maybe have had the pre-credit portion be a ’15 years ago..’ flashback to see what happened to understand why some would hate, and some would rally behind type of thing. But that’d probably be better suited for a book.

    All in all a good warm up for the end of the season, enough un-answered questions to leave you wondering. The Kobol arc certainly started out with a bang and can’t wait to see your review.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: Nice.

      I wish they’d have flash backed to his henious act so we could see it a little. Maybe have had the pre-credit portion be a ’15 years ago..’ flashback to see what happened to understand why some would hate, and some would rally behind type of thing.

      It would make a good story, but until they do it, we can easily imagine the situation. Remember, we have twelve colonies. It’s likely some dominate– Caprica currently does because of their connection to the Galactica, but we’re not certain if it’s always been that way. In any dispute where one side has greater power, someone will resort to terrorist acts, and the person committing them will earn Zarak’s status. Some will hate him; others will cheer him on. I’m certain you can think of real-world examples.

      Also, we see in this ep that Zarak runs things like an old-time political boss. Boss politics were especially prominent in 19th and early 20th century urban North America, where the boss often had more than a few criminal ties. However, he served the needs of immigrant and poor communities who (often correctly) believed that more “legitimate” politicians ignored them. You wanted something done? You went to the boss. In return, you gave him your loyalty, and you certainly did not see him as a criminal simply because the mainstream had labelled him one.

      • joe__gee says:

        Re: Nice.

        It’s likely some dominate– Caprica currently does because of their connection to the Galactica, but we’re not certain if it’s always been that way. In any dispute where one side has greater power, someone will resort to terrorist acts, and the person committing them will earn Zarak’s status. Some will hate him; others will cheer him on. I’m certain you can think of real-world examples.

        Some do dominate, remember in the first episode where we meet Zarak, and he is talking about the oppression of Saggitarum, then Petty Officer Dualla makes the reference that there were problems, but Zarak does not speak for *her*. Apparently, Saggitarum was (or felt like) a second-class colony. I think the colonies that felt dominated were the ones that backed Zarak in this episode. Zarak was their chance to bite back at the colonies who they felt were their opressors.

        -Joe G.

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