Battlestar Galactica 3×06: Torn

This review is very late and rather brief because I’ve been very busy with the Real Life thing and also National Novel Writing Month. We’re concocting plans to avoid the rest of November’s Galactica reviews being so delayed.

Cast

James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar
Edward James Olmos as Admiral Adama
Mary McDonnell as Laura Roslin
Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama
Michael Hogan as Col. Tigh
Tricia Helfer as Number 6
Grace Park as Sharon “Athena” Agathon/Boomer

Tahmoh Penikett as Helo
Aaron Douglas as Galen Tyrol
Luciana Carro as Louanne “Kat” Katraine
Kandyse McClure as Anastasia “Dee” Dualla
Callum Keith Rennie as Leoben Conoy
Nicki Clyne as Cally Henderson
Christian Tessier as Tucker “Duck” Clellan
Michael Trucco as Samuel T. Anders
Alessandro Juliani as Felix Gaeta
Rekha Sharma as Tory Foster

Synopsis

The Colonials recommence the search for Earth based on Baltar’s abandoned research. On the Cylon Basestar, Baltar uses this knowledge to buy his life, but the Cylons encounter a virulent disease after following his suggestions.

High Points

  • Gaeta’s summary of why they could trust Baltar’s research into Earth’s location: his instinct for self-preservation. We, of course, have observed this since the first season. It’s nice to see a character seeing it.
  • People may disagree with it (one of my friends definitely does) but I found the information about Cylon perception and ‘projecting’ to be extremely interesting, and leads to some interesting questions about the Six in Baltar’s head — and the Baltar in Caprica-Six’s head, if he’s still there.
  • Admiral Adama has a scary way of making his officers behave. I really hope he doesn’t do that again.

Low Point

  • Why hasn’t Adama thrown Tigh out of an airlock yet?

The Scores

Originality: 5/6

Effects: 6/6

Story: 5/6. A bit slow, but otherwise excellent.

Acting: 5/6. Nothing exceptional, nothing bad.

Production: 6/6. I particularly appreciated the seamless transitions between Baltar’s perception of the Basestar, and Six’s projecting perception of the forest.

Emotional response: 4/6. Nothing huge here.

Overall: 5/6, but I expect this to be disputed. People I know don’t seem to like this episode as much as I did.

The grand total is thirty-six out of forty-two.

11 replies on “Battlestar Galactica 3×06: Torn”

  1. joe__gee says:

    The hybrid
    We met her for a reason, and our question about the other five models was answered: they’re "special". Maybe they’re one-offs, maybe they’re designed and not yet put into production?

    Anyways, back to the hybrid, I found her very similar to the precogs in Minority Report. It sounded to me like she was speaking in something similar to high level machine code, unless "end of line" means something dissimilar in Cylon-speak, which it might.

    As for Baltar, his "clarity of spirit", the reason Caprica Six loved him, is exactly why he is now plotting treachury among the Cylons. He’s a poison pill that almost destroyed the humans, now he’ll do it to the Cylons too. There’s that clarity of spirit, he’s predictably self-serving no matter who he’s around.

    he may very well be one of the other five models. I’d bet he at least tries to convince Caprica Six that he is. :)

    -Joe

    • pythor says:

      Re: The hybrid

      As for Baltar, his "clarity of spirit", the reason Caprica Six loved him, is exactly why he is now plotting treachury among the Cylons. He’s a poison pill that almost destroyed the humans, now he’ll do it to the Cylons too. There’s that clarity of spirit, he’s predictably self-serving no matter who he’s around.

      he may very well be one of the other five models. I’d bet he at least tries to convince Caprica Six that he is. :)

      -Joe

      What I’ve been thinking since watching this episode is "What happens if a cylon downloads into a different body style?" and/or "What happens if a cylon downloads into an already occupied body?" I’m beginning to think that Baltar and Six are vicitms of one of these two possibilities.

    • roseblood says:

      Re: The hybrid

      We met her for a reason, and our question about the other five models was answered: they’re "special". Maybe they’re one-offs, maybe they’re designed and not yet put into production?

      Anyways, back to the hybrid, I found her very similar to the precogs in Minority Report. It sounded to me like she was speaking in something similar to high level machine code, unless "end of line" means something dissimilar in Cylon-speak, which it might.

      As for Baltar, his "clarity of spirit", the reason Caprica Six loved him, is exactly why he is now plotting treachery among the Cylons. He’s a poison pill that almost destroyed the humans, now he’ll do it to the Cylons too. There’s that clarity of spirit, he’s predictably self-serving no matter who he’s around.

      he may very well be one of the other five models. I’d bet he at least tries to convince Caprica Six that he is. :)

      -Joe

      To go on about the "hybrids" . . . anyone ever play the Activision game Homeworld? See the TV show Farscape? A living ship. Then again when boomer took the nuke into one of the base ships it did have a sort of organic look didn’t
      it? Does she babble or what? JUMP! that was clear enough. Did anyone notice Baltars first non-dream scene featured the hybrid from some base star or another. Don’t they (visually) remind you of the Precogs from Minority report(as Joe suggests)? Or maybe the MCP from Tron?" END OF LINE!"

      Now for my ramble . . .

      Wow, the light in the 1st Baltar and Head Six scene. That was lovely. Big points for the production score there.

      I want to get in on whatever Lee (MAJOR!!!!!!!!?????? You all saw his bird right?) Adama is using to loose weight. He’s doing more than jumping rope!

      Starbuck really needs to chill with the kid. She can be weirded out, but just be honest with the kid and her mom. Don’t bite their heads off. Okay, by the end of the episode she does. I didn’t expect that to happen before the end of this episode.

      Yeah, the next scene with Apollo "slim", I want in on whatever he is doing.

      Good on Gaeta getting back into the action.

      "Have you ever daydreamed and imagined you have been somewhere else?" Baltar keeps a straight face when answering. While on the stroll though the base ship . . . no doors? no privacy. no nudity taboo?

      Athena the goddess of wisdom and war. She’s not Caprica Sharon turned Galatica Sharon anymore.

      Starbuck raises a glass to Tigh. It’s amazing what shared adversity can do to bring people together. But look how it splits the remainder of the crew. Cat(Kat?) calls it. It’s like the men who used to argue who fought hardest, those in the pacific or European theaters. I love that Tigh safed the weapon before going back to quarters.

      Love the look of the Cylon bridge.

      The disease that has infected the base ship . . . it persists across resurrections (maybe?) . . . not a physical pathogen . . . more of a . . . computer virus that infects their software? Or was the threat of the disease persisting after download just a theory on the part of the uninfected cylons?

      Crap, the cylons have raptors . . . IFF will be very important in the near future methinks.

      Baltar maybe a cylon . . . one of the five missing models. Those who called out Baltar as a cylon during the first two seasons stand up and be recognized, the writers like the way you think and are obviously reading your newsletters.

      "There is no resurrection ship nearby" – – – so there is a limited range to the download/resurrection process.

      The human device . . . the beacon … the marker . . . how about that . . . the 13th colony have an effective resistance against the cylons? Is it biological? Software? Has it infected Athena? You all remember that the blood of Athena’s hu-lon baby can cure cancer . . . watch it turn out to be the key to the cylons reaching earth.

      The actor that plays Baltar is really impressing me. Him and Tigh are delivering the two most impressive performances thus far.

      All is not so honkey-dorrey in the cylon family.

      Caprica Six seems to be willing to stay quiet about about Baltars deception . . . but for how long? More importantly . . . Why? Will the directors cut have a Head-Baltar scene to explain it?

      So, they shave(Elder Adama, the Cheif.) They loose weight. They cut their hair. What the hell is Tigh going to to?

      As for the review specifically – – –
      5/6 for acting if it’s "Nothing exceptional, nothing bad." Shouldn’t that be 3/6 (half points) or 4/6.

      "Why hasn’t Adama thrown Tigh out of an airlock yet?" Becase that’s Rosslin’s ballywick. Adama seems to prefer the brig.

      END OF LINE! JUMP!

      • y42 says:

        Re: The hybrid

        Baltar maybe a cylon . . . one of the five missing models. Those who called out Baltar as a cylon during the first two seasons stand up and be recognized, the writers like the way you think and are obviously reading your newsletters.

        The nuclear explosion that destroyed Baltar’s home and killed his 6 left him with nothing but a few scratches.

        And he projected the HELL out of the ruins of Kobol, when he saw "the shape of things to come", i.e. "our child" said the Cylon to a man, neither of them being actual parents, but at least one of them being a cylon, this being the first cylon baby.

        And 6’s love for Baltar is taboo, but replica-Sharon was an attempt to get a human to fall in love with a cylon, as was the mind game played on Starbuck.
        Funny how they try real hard to get humans to fall for cylons, but it would be BAD for Baltar and 6 to be in love.

        • J_W_W says:

          Re: The hybrid

          Baltar maybe a cylon . . . one of the five missing models. Those who called out Baltar as a cylon during the first two seasons stand up and be recognized, the writers like the way you think and are obviously reading your newsletters.

          The nuclear explosion that destroyed Baltar’s home and killed his 6 left him with nothing but a few scratches.

          And he projected the HELL out of the ruins of Kobol, when he saw "the shape of things to come", i.e. "our child" said the Cylon to a man, neither of them being actual parents, but at least one of them being a cylon, this being the first cylon baby.

          And 6’s love for Baltar is taboo, but replica-Sharon was an attempt to get a human to fall in love with a cylon, as was the mind game played on Starbuck.
          Funny how they try real hard to get humans to fall for cylons, but it would be BAD for Baltar and 6 to be in love.

          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When Baltar is revealed as a cylon, BG will have jumped the shark, period.

          He’ll go from the human screwing everything up for his race to an idiot savant cylon unwittingly helping them at every turn. It would be an awful thing for the show to reveal Baltar as a cylon. And I feel like they’re going to do it this season….

  2. J_W_W says:

    Extreme low point
    I have an extreme low point with both this episode and the one for this week.

    How the frak do they transmit a frakking virus through a download??!!!!?? I mean we don’t know how downloads work exactly, but you are talking about downloading another organism along with the cylon. I just doesn’t make any sense. Downloading should be the cure not a cause for transmission.

    The only explanation I have would be that cylons somehow can manufacture viruses within their bodies and that after the download they mistakenly manufacture the deadly virus. Although having this "feature" makes almost no sense for the cylons.

    This problem is really jarring me out of being engaged in the episodes. I think its a really big miss. Last week I attributed it to the fact that the virus could have been a computer virus, but they through that out this week.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Stuff they should’ve thought about

      How the frak do they transmit a frakking virus through a download??!!!!?? I mean we don’t know how downloads work exactly, but you are talking about downloading another organism along with the cylon. I just doesn’t make any sense. Downloading should be the cure not a cause for transmission.

      The only explanation I have would be that cylons somehow can manufacture viruses within their bodies and that after the download they mistakenly manufacture the deadly virus. Although having this "feature" makes almost no sense for the cylons.

      It’s like the problem of Cylon "skinjobs" being nearly impossible to distinguish from humans. If they can download consciousness, there’s a major difference between us and them.

      Mind you, compared to, say, most Treks, the number of questionable-to-dumb things we have to ignore to enjoy the show are relatively few.

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: Extreme low point

      The only explanation I have would be that cylons somehow can manufacture viruses within their bodies and that after the download they mistakenly manufacture the deadly virus. Although having this "feature" makes almost no sense for the cylons.

      This week it was mentioned that the virus also has an electromagnetic component that affects the Cylon neural pathways. This virus is an encephalitis. It infects neurons. It is theorized in current science that memories are encoded in proteins.

      It is possible that at the time of download the mechanism for reading a Cylon’s experience, rather than sorting through and making sense of the individual synthetic proteins that encode the Cylon "soul" this system "simply" takes a snapshot of all of the Cylon’s neural pathways, proteins and the whole she-bang, and sends it off into the ether.

      When the Cylon neural system is recreated in its vat, it is recreated with its raging viral infection, and the process continues. To me it is strongly hinted that the virus perpetuates because of the Cylon resurrection mechanism.

      Even though the Cylons may fnd a cure for this virus, the fact that this vulnerability exists means that the infection potential exists for other diseases to be similarly transmitted.

      Killing the entire Cylon species with a virus is now a viable military option.

      -Joe

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: Extreme low point

        The only explanation I have would be that cylons somehow can manufacture viruses within their bodies and that after the download they mistakenly manufacture the deadly virus. Although having this "feature" makes almost no sense for the cylons.

        This week it was mentioned that the virus also has an electromagnetic component that affects the Cylon neural pathways. This virus is an encephalitis. It infects neurons. It is theorized in current science that memories are encoded in proteins.

        It is possible that at the time of download the mechanism for reading a Cylon’s experience, rather than sorting through and making sense of the individual synthetic proteins that encode the Cylon "soul" this system "simply" takes a snapshot of all of the Cylon’s neural pathways, proteins and the whole she-bang, and sends it off into the ether.

        When the Cylon neural system is recreated in its vat, it is recreated with its raging viral infection, and the process continues. To me it is strongly hinted that the virus perpetuates because of the Cylon resurrection mechanism.

        Even though the Cylons may fnd a cure for this virus, the fact that this vulnerability exists means that the infection potential exists for other diseases to be similarly transmitted.

        Killing the entire Cylon species with a virus is now a viable military option.

        -Joe

        Thanks for trying so hard to come up with an explanation.

        It sounds… plausible.

        You have to hand it to Galactica for leaving some stuff to figure out ourselves, but this one is quite a stretch.

  3. TwistyHat says:

    Or
    Just avoid galactica reviews entirely ;)

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