Battlestar Galactica 3×07: A Measure Of Salvation

A disappointing episode given the strength of the season so far, but is it inevitable that some episodes must be weaker than others? Quite possibly. Read on for all the details.

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
Dean Stockwell as Brother Cavell
Richard Hatch as Tom Zarek
Kate Vernon as Ellen Tigh
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

Galactica investigates the infected Cylon Basestar. The Cylons, convinced that Baltar betrayed them, turn to unpleasant methods to extract more information from him about the infection.

High Points

  • The interplay between reality and Baltar’s mental world while he’s being tortured.
  • Helo standing up for what he believes in.

Low Points

  • The disease was resolved rather too quickly, particularly in Athena’s case. It felt too easy.
  • Everything wrapped up rather too neatly during the episode.

The Scores

Originality: conceptually this episode and last week’s share an idea with the ending of The War Of The Worlds, that human diseases would be fatal to the enemy. In this case, of course, it’s a lot more plausible as the Cylons are clearly based on human biology. Four out of six.

Effects: another visual feast this week. The sight of a Cylon fleet jumping in is never going to get old for me. Six out of six.

Story: as I mentioned in the low points, I thought everything wrapped up rather too neatly this week, and it felt far too self-contained, almost like… dare I say it… a filler episode. It wasn’t of course, we know this is important stuff in the arc, but it did wrap up too easily. Hopefully there will be repercussions later, but at the moment I cannot give the story more than four out of six.

Acting: our expectations are now so high that nothing short of an exceptional performance will move us. This week we just got the normal. Five out of six.

Production: I have no complaints. Five out of six.

Emotional response: although there are some very high-tension moments, the overly-convenient wrapup defuses rather too much of it and the overall carthartic experience is somewhat spoiled as a result. Four out of six.

Overall: I’m going to give this episode a four out of six overall. It’s good for most of the way through, but wraps up leaving a slightly sour taste in the mouth. I feel almost cheated by how not even one major disease-related plot element has been left for next week.

And so the grand total is thirty-two out of forty-two, which my addled brain believes to be the lowest score so far this season. It’s still better than most everything else out there, though.

67 replies on “Battlestar Galactica 3×07: A Measure Of Salvation”

  1. roseblood says:

    My thoughts
    Just tagging the whole thing. Better safe than sorry.

    Those Raptors are tough little trucks. See it bumping the Cylon Raiders aside? No warship (other than a Tank) could do so with suffering damage for it (even heavy Naval vessels get their hulls bent.)

    Those marines pack some very compact weapons. 9mm SMGs at most. I guess they have better bullets/propellants than we do in our modern era. It doesn’t take much armor to stop a 9mm and the centurion models look to be decently armored. (Remember the episode where only the explosive rounds were effective?)

    Really, if I were one of the marines there I think I would want to be sure the "dead" skinjobs really were. They put fireteams on every entrance but had the enemy amongst themselves in the form of the downed skinjobs. Then, they turn out to be alive. If any had weapons on their persons those marines could have been in a world of hurt. Then again, they wouldn’t have gotten the intel that they did.

    Can ANYONE every get quarantine vs ISOLATION right? At least the BSG crew isn’t alone on this . . . medical shows <COUGHouse><COUGH ER> get this wrong all the time.

    The disease in an honest to god bug. It infected the Centurion models . . . there is biology inside them somewhere? Brain in a mechanized body? Cybermen(Doctor Who)! Titans(ala DUNE)!

    The bug messes up their minds . . . their resurrected minds would infect others . . . okay . . . it’s sci-fi after all. Suspension of disbelief now cranked up a notch. At least I don’t have to turn it up to StarTrek levels.

    Wow, put the black actor into that overly done chrome bondage gear . . . geeze anyone else feel guilty for being a non-black citizen of North America?

    Again RSM mixes the good and the bad. Genocide. Bio-terrorism. Genocide in retaliation. We die or they die. In that situation is there a line you do not cross? Your child, your spouse, your family, in deadly peril, you can save them, but the price is high, can you pay the price? "At least someone will be alive to hate us for it." There you are. It’s decided and it’s a stunner. "So say we all."

    I couldn’t justify wiping out the skinjobs, they are self-aware and capable of self-determination. Too bad just Raiders, Cenurions, and baseships(Hybrids) can’t be the only things infected. That would be convenient.

    "If we all knew God’s will then we would all be Gods."

    Head-Six appearing to be as God from the Xena model is great. This human she tortures calls out his faith to her God when under torture. "I believe in you!"

    FRACKNG HELO! At least he had the courage to follow his convictions. Too bad he’s going to spend the rest of the series in the brig. Caprica Sharon is never going to get to spend any significant amount of time with her husband is she? Then again, they never could figure out who did the bombing in Water (Season 1) could they?

    <neo>Woah</neo> no investigation. How convenient. I agree this has the makings for a low point.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: My thoughts

      How convenient. I agree this has the makings for a low point.

      I agree. The episode introduces a difficult moral dilemma: under these circumstances, would genocide be justified? Now, in some ways, the episode’s scenario is even more of a cheat than the “ticking bomb” scenario some people have used to justify torture: a real-world equivalent to this specific predicament doesn’t seem possible. However, the dilemma is real on this show, and I understand why the decision is made. Unfortunately, the writers then cheat. The Galactica administrators make the fateful decision; Helo prevents it from happening. Then Adama and Roslin agree, for reasons not fully explored, to conceal the truth so we don’t have to explore the issue any further.

    • babasyzygy says:

      Re: My thoughts
      Remember, they’re armed for combat IN SPACE. They don’t want bullets that will easily penetrate ships’ hulls… and when the factories were turning out weapons, Cylons hadn’t been heard from in a very long time.

      • roseblood says:

        Re: My thoughts

        Remember, they’re armed for combat IN SPACE. They don’t want bullets that will easily penetrate ships’ hulls… and when the factories were turning out weapons, Cylons hadn’t been heard from in a very long time.

        Remember that the hull of their craft has taken hits by Nuclear Warheads and the entire crew didn’t end up sucking vacuum.

        A few .380 inch holes in a bulkhead isn’t going to ruin their day.

        Hell, Pegasus was holed and it took along time for that one engineering compartment to vent into space.

        • nkuzmik says:

          Re: My thoughts

          Remember, they’re armed for combat IN SPACE. They don’t want bullets that will easily penetrate ships’ hulls… and when the factories were turning out weapons, Cylons hadn’t been heard from in a very long time.

          Remember that the hull of their craft has taken hits by Nuclear Warheads and the entire crew didn’t end up sucking vacuum.

          A few .380 inch holes in a bulkhead isn’t going to ruin their day.

          Hell, Pegasus was holed and it took along time for that one engineering compartment to vent into space.

          They might be more worried about internal damage, rather than hull breaches. If you damage a high pressure pipe, it can rupture without warning at some later date. If the pressure is high enough, a hairline crack can cut a man in half. There are also fuel systems, water, and million electronic systems to worry about. But on the Cylon ship, they don’t really care about the wallpaper.

          • roseblood says:

            Re: My thoughts

            Remember, they’re armed for combat IN SPACE. They don’t want bullets that will easily penetrate ships’ <**********>hulls<**********>… and when the factories were turning out weapons, Cylons hadn’t been heard from in a very long time.

            Remember that the <**********>hull<**********> of their craft has taken hits by Nuclear Warheads and the entire crew didn’t end up sucking vacuum.

            A few .380 inch holes in a bulkhead isn’t going to ruin their day.

            Hell, Pegasus was holed and it took along time for that one engineering compartment to vent into space.

            They might be more worried about internal damage, rather than <**********>hull<**********> breaches. If you damage a high pressure pipe, it can rupture without warning at some later date. If the pressure is high enough, a hairline crack can cut a man in half. There are also fuel systems, water, and million electronic systems to worry about. But on the Cylon ship, they don’t really care about the wallpaper.

            I think the words between the <**********> tags will make the subject all clear.

            Really though, they could have been facing centurions. Those things are armored. If you don’t want to wreck physical infracture then fight with an EMP or other energy weapon that works more towards wrecking electronics than hurling hards bits of metal at high velocity. Given the liberal use of nukes I would suspect that the cylons are hardened against EMP anyway. They might also have those six outlet power strips to protect them from voltage spikes :P

  2. octa says:

    .
    Was it explained why they couldn’t just put the virus in a test tube or something and launch the sucker at a raider or covertly enter a basestar and release it there? It would be hard, but if it meant winning the whole war then why not?

    I did not like the ending at all. I hope the make up for it next episode.

    • Radish03 says:

      Re: .

      Was it explained why they couldn’t just put the virus in a test tube or something and launch the sucker at a raider or covertly enter a basestar and release it there? It would be hard, but if it meant winning the whole war then why not?

      I did not like the ending at all. I hope the make up for it next episode.

      Heck, why just that virus? If this one human virus can infect the cylons, why not other viruses? Get a collection of deadly human viruses, and use them as biological weapons against the cylons… that is if the humans could find it in themselves to actively create a biological weapon, instead of having one conveniently dropped on their doorstep.

      • Cerberus7 says:

        Re: .

        Heck, why just that virus? If this one human virus can infect the cylons, why not other viruses?

        I haven’t re-watched this one yet, but I think I remember the doc saying something along the lines that the virus was a strain that was thousands of years old. Perhaps it is this unique strain only, and its existence is a happy accident for the 13th colony as well as the refugees. I think the way it’s going, Earth will be inhospitable to standard cylons, Earth humans will be lethal to them, but hybrids and humans will be fine.

  3. joe__gee says:

    I don’t think they’re anywhere near done with the virus!
    I watched the episode twice. I didn’t get the idea that they’re finished with the virus, at all. This attempt was foiled, but they have the virus, and have the capability to use it in the future if they are pressed (capture a skin job, infect it, kill it, and they’ll know next time to be on the lookout for Helo.) They also know that the Cylons have this vulnerability, other viruses might be engineered that do the work even better.

    This is one of those reviews where I wonder if I watched the same episode as the reviewers. :)

    Baltar has just really shaken up the Three that was torturing him. Roslyn’s question to Adama was remarkably similar to Baltar’s question to Adama at the end of the last season. Helo finds out that Sharon is more than he thought she was — "a Cylon’s oath is binding."

    Regarding other comments, remember Starbuck hollowing out a space for herself inside the crashed raider she piloted back to the Galactica in season one? Yes, there are biological components even in the mechanized units.

    Hera’s cord blood saved Roslyn, why couldn’t it also save Sharon (who is not Boomer, Boomer blew up the water storage tank early in season one.)

    Finally, as for the virus being transmitted as part of downloading see a comment I left in the previous review discussion. This is not a far-fetched idea.

    Since Cylons are distinguishable only by spectographic analysis, not by dissection, that leads me to believe their nervous systems would be similar at least down to the molecular level. It’s probably safe to assume Cylons are similar enough to humans to encode memories similarly. Because the download process must be quick, it makes more sense to take a snapshot of the entire central nervous system and reproduce the whole thing, rather than trying to separate out the engrams protein by protein from everything else. In such a scenario an *encephalitis* just might be capable of being transmitted.

    I have no problem with the virus being transmissable by "download". This is one of the more intelligent ideas I have found in science *fiction*.

    It works for me as well as an FTL drive, and no one is in here saying that all shows involving FTL travel are poorly written.

    -Joe

    • roseblood says:

      Re: I don’t think they’re anywhere near done with the virus!

      Helo finds out that Sharon is more than he thought she was — "a Cylon’s oath is binding."

      I think this really draws a bright line that Caprica Sharon (Athena) will not cross. If this idea is reinforced then a potential plot conflict between Admiral Adama and Athena over Athena’s child will be diffused before it even becomes an issue.

      On the virus – Hera’s blood seems to be a cure-all. The cylons have Hera. Once they realize (Baltar tells them) what they have on their hands a bio-weapon will no longer pose much of a threat.

      • jesusX says:

        Re: I don’t think they’re anywhere near done with the virus!

        I think this really draws a bright line that Caprica Sharon (Athena) will not cross. If this idea is reinforced then a potential plot conflict between Admiral Adama and Athena over Athena’s child will be diffused before it even becomes an issue.

        I have only two things to say:

        1) It wouldn’t be BSG if we resolved things that way. :)

        2) "Adama wouldn’t lie to me."

        • roseblood says:

          Re: I don’t think they’re anywhere near done with the virus!

          I think this really draws a bright line that Caprica Sharon (Athena) will not cross. If this idea is reinforced then a potential plot conflict between Admiral Adama and Athena over Athena’s child will be diffused before it even becomes an issue.

          I have only two things to say:

          1) It wouldn’t be BSG if we resolved things that way. :)

          2) "Adama wouldn’t lie to me."

          I’ll say one thing:

          1) RDM said so in his podcast.

    • bombadil says:

      Re: I don’t think they’re anywhere near done with the virus!

      Since Cylons are distinguishable only by spectographic analysis, not by dissection, that leads me to believe their nervous systems would be similar at least down to the molecular level.

      The show is inconsistent on this point. If the Cyclon skin jobs are so similar to Humans that an autopsy couldn’t even reveal the difference, then how could Sharon jam a cable into her arm to interface with the ship’s computers?

      • jesusX says:

        Re: I don’t think they’re anywhere near done with the virus!

        The show is inconsistent on this point. If the Cylon skin jobs are so similar to Humans that an autopsy couldn’t even reveal the difference, then how could Sharon jam a cable into her arm to interface with the ship’s computers?

        They have incredible control over their bodies and while they look the same, we’ve been shown then have superhuman strength, stamina, etc. It’s not a leap to think their nervous systems can be controlled to graft onto communication wires. After all, they’re half machine anyway. :)

      • Cunning_Linguist says:

        Re: I don’t think they’re anywhere near done with the virus!

        Since Cylons are distinguishable only by spectographic analysis, not by dissection, that leads me to believe their nervous systems would be similar at least down to the molecular level.

        The show is inconsistent on this point. If the Cyclon skin jobs are so similar to Humans that an autopsy couldn’t even reveal the difference, then how could Sharon jam a cable into her arm to interface with the ship’s computers?


        A guess: some kind of nano-tech. I mean, how else do they control their baseships by just sticking their hand in a puddle of water with pretty lights in it and thinking really hard (or something…)? 8p

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: I don’t think they’re anywhere near done with the virus!

        Since Cylons are distinguishable only by spectographic analysis, not by dissection, that leads me to believe their nervous systems would be similar at least down to the molecular level.

        The show is inconsistent on this point. If the Cyclon skin jobs are so similar to Humans that an autopsy couldn’t even reveal the difference, then how could Sharon jam a cable into her arm to interface with the ship’s computers?

        This is the elephant in the room. My belief is that the absolute "nuking" :-) of the cylon detector in season 1 was done specifically so that at least one of our main characters can be found to be a cylon. Either Baltar, Adama, Roslyn, Apollo, or Starbuck.. Hey thats five! How convienient, there are exactly five cylon models that we haven’t seen. I really hope Ron Moore will blow this idea to hell on a podcast, but he hasn’t done it yet.

        There are gigantic plot holes in the story if _any_ of the five I listed are cylons. But I think the shark jumping fear is justified because of the fact that what I believe we could do very easily with our technology (detect cylons) can’t be done by a group of people who have mastered FTL travel.

        I know regulars here have heard this rant by me before, but I won’t truly stop worrying until all five of the "extra" cylons have been identified and are not any of the main characers.

        • TomSwiss says:

          Re: I don’t think they’re anywhere near done with the virus!

          …that what I believe we could do very easily with our technology (detect cylons) can’t be done by a group of people who have mastered FTL travel.

          Turn it around. The Cylons have mastered FTL travel, so their human-mimicing technology should be very advanced.

          Indeed, if their biotech is so advanced that they can create synthetic organisms capable of breeding with humans, I’m pretty sure they could fool us, and not surprised they could fool a single Caprican scientist working with limited tools.

          • J_W_W says:

            Re: I don’t think they’re anywhere near done with the virus!

            …that what I believe we could do very easily with our technology (detect cylons) can’t be done by a group of people who have mastered FTL travel.

            Turn it around. The Cylons have mastered FTL travel, so their human-mimicing technology should be very advanced.

            Indeed, if their biotech is so advanced that they can create synthetic organisms capable of breeding with humans, I’m pretty sure they could fool us, and not surprised they could fool a single Caprican scientist working with limited tools.

            Sorry, but the detection of cylon differences is a plot device that is being turned on and off by the writers.

            In one episode they can’t tell who is a cylon or not and in the next they find special antibodies in the cylon-human hybrid’s blood.

            They spiked the cylon detector on purpose because like it or not it leaves the space open for one of the major characters to be a cylon.

        • roseblood says:

          Re: I don’t think they’re anywhere near done with the virus!

          a group of people who have mastered FTL travel.

          "Mastered" indeed. Ask the opinions of the Raptor crews that jumped into the middle of a mountain.

  4. Babbster says:

    Weak compared to other BSG, but…
    I was just glad they [finally] seemed to draw the line (based on the last conversation between Adama and Roslyn).

    This reminded me of a Star Trek: TNG episode that I coincidentally just caught as a Tivo recommendation last week: "I, Borg" (refer to your favorite episode guide if you need more info ;-]). Ronnie D was a producer on the show by that time, too.

    Anyway, I actually liked the resolution here in BSG much better than the one in the TNG episode. In fact, as I was watching the TNG episode, I was shocked that the crew were actually implementing Picard’s clearly illegal order to create a computer virus to destroy the Borg race. While it’s nice and all that Picard changed his mind and decided not to do it, I found it chilling that "good and pure" Starfleet officers/Federation citizens would be willing to commit genocide.

    With BSG, at least we’ve already established that the humans are deeply scarred by their experiences and can thus be expected to have some problems with their souls, not to mention the fact that they simply aren’t capable of building any "proper" defense against the cylons who have them outnumbered and outgunned. So, if they decide that all cylons should be exterminated, we can at least sympathize even if we don’t approve.

    Anyway, I liked the episode overall. It’s certainly not an original concept but I did like the way it was handled overall. Add in the interesting positions of Athena and Helo, mixed with some Baltar development, and I was happy by the end.

    • J_W_W says:

      Re: Weak compared to other BSG, but…

      I was just glad they [finally] seemed to draw the line (based on the last conversation between Adama and Roslyn).

      This reminded me of a Star Trek: TNG episode that I coincidentally just caught as a Tivo recommendation last week: "I, Borg" (refer to your favorite episode guide if you need more info ;-]). Ronnie D was a producer on the show by that time, too.

      Anyway, I actually liked the resolution here in BSG much better than the one in the TNG episode. In fact, as I was watching the TNG episode, I was shocked that the crew were actually implementing Picard’s clearly illegal order to create a computer virus to destroy the Borg race. While it’s nice and all that Picard changed his mind and decided not to do it, I found it chilling that "good and pure" Starfleet officers/Federation citizens would be willing to commit genocide.

      You have to remember that many of the crew were in grave danger at the hands of the Borg in "Best of Both Worlds". I would contend that most of the "good an pure" Starfleet officers knew exactly what was on the line and were operating with much the same sentiment as Roslyn and Adama.

      Roslyn’s logic is a perfect match for that of Ender in "Ender’s Game". It was very well thought out and something that fit the story. When all is on the line you have to fight as hard as you can.

      The line that really struck me from last week was when the cylons said they are coming to Earth. That particular thought really had a different, scary, feel to it. As in what if they came _here_? I think that concept helps sell the viewer on Roslyn’s choice.

      As for the concept of the virus, I feel it was week (even with joe_gee’s excellent extrapolation… :-). I think a computer virus from the probe would have been much more interesting.

      • Babbster says:

        Re: Weak compared to other BSG, but…
        You’ve got a point about how much danger The Federation was in from the Borg, and how the crew might react to their personal danger (and the deaths of their friends at Wolf 359) but the truth is that they managed to stop the cube from taking Earth without killing all Borg, so there were other options available.

        Keep in mind also the reaction of Captain Sisko and others on DS9 when it was revealed that Section 31 was attempting genocide against the Founders during the Dominion War. Those folks were in near-constant danger of being killed, and certainly the whole Federation could have fallen, yet they felt Section 31’s actions were wrong – perhaps it was because Section 31 used their friend to deliver the viral payload, but I’d like to think that they believed they should hold themselves to a higher standard.

        It could be a lack of imagination on my part in that I would find it hard to conceive of aliens actually coming to wipe out humanity. Maybe if that was an actual threat, rather than something I might read or see in a science fiction story, I could accept the "do anything possible" concept. As it is, though, I was cheering for Helo all the way, and not just because the series would end if the Cylons were all dead. :)

        • Cunning_Linguist says:

          Re: Weak compared to other BSG, but…

          You’ve got a point about how much danger The Federation was in from the Borg, and how the crew might react to their personal danger (and the deaths of their friends at Wolf 359) but the truth is that they managed to stop the cube from taking Earth without killing all Borg, so there were other options available.

          You also have to remember that it was just one cube. If just one cube managed to do that much damage, imagine what a whole fleet would be able to do? That, above all else IMNSHO, is what makes the difference.

          Keep in mind also the reaction of Captain Sisko and others on DS9 when it was revealed that Section 31 was attempting genocide against the Founders during the Dominion War. Those folks were in near-constant danger of being killed, and certainly the whole Federation could have fallen, yet they felt Section 31’s actions were wrong – perhaps it was because Section 31 used their friend to deliver the viral payload, but I’d like to think that they believed they should hold themselves to a higher standard.

          See my earlier comment about what, IMHO, most of the people (on both shows) believe to be a difference in how to treat/fight what they consider to be a race of beings and bunch of complex machinery.

          It could be a lack of imagination on my part in that I would find it hard to conceive of aliens actually coming to wipe out humanity. Maybe if that was an actual threat, rather than something I might read or see in a science fiction story, I could accept the "do anything possible" concept. As it is, though, I was cheering for Helo all the way, and not just because the series would end if the Cylons were all dead. :)

          I was actually hoping that they would find, stop, and kill Helo as he is one of the characters that I just don’t like but, that’s just me. 8p

      • joe__gee says:

        Re: Weak compared to other BSG, but…

        As for the concept of the virus, I feel it was week (even with joe_gee’s excellent extrapolation… :-). I think a computer virus from the probe would have been much more interesting.

        Aw shucks. :)

        I was just rationalizing for the writers, justifying on behalf of my favorite show, and explaining why I can handle the idea of a living virus infecting a machine. :P As for a computer virus, they *did* say there was an "electromagnetic component" to the virus.

        Thanks for the compliment. :)

        -Joe

    • Cunning_Linguist says:

      Re: Weak compared to other BSG, but…

      … I found it chilling that "good and pure" Starfleet officers/Federation citizens would be willing to commit genocide.

      With BSG, at least we’ve already established that the humans are deeply scarred by their experiences and can thus be expected to have some problems with their souls, not to mention the fact that they simply aren’t capable of building any "proper" defense against the cylons who have them outnumbered and outgunned. So, if they decide that all cylons should be exterminated, we can at least sympathize even if we don’t approve.

      This is assuming (never assume; you end up making an a… you know what I mean 8p) that you consider exterminating all Borg/Cylons genocide. For that to happen, they would have to consider them to be a race of beings and not simply very complex machinery. I believe that the majority of people don’t consider them to be more than machinery (on either show).

      Anyway, just my $0.02

      • Babbster says:

        Re: Weak compared to other BSG, but…

        This is assuming (never assume; you end up making an a… you know what I mean 8p) that you consider exterminating all Borg/Cylons genocide. For that to happen, they would have to consider them to be a race of beings and not simply very complex machinery. I believe that the majority of people don’t consider them to be more than machinery (on either show).

        Well, at least in the case of Star Trek, Picard had already fought for the "human" rights of Data, an entirely mechanical creature. In his case, though, I had some sympathy for his extreme feelings about the Borg.

        I guess it didn’t sit well with me more on Star Trek because it seemed almost like we were dealing with entirely different characters. Maybe I would have been more accepting if the episode had taken place sooner after Locutus/Wolf 359. As it is, these nice people, with no immediate threat, were suddenly willing to participate in the extinction of a race. The best example would be Dr. Crusher – a physician who, presumably, operates under an oath at least similar to, if not the same as, the one medical doctors take today. She should have at least done nothing to assist, and probably should have actively obstructed Geordi and Data.

        Who knows? Maybe the writers explored this issue more in the original discussion/drafts and had to toss stuff out for time. Or, maybe, I’m just purposely ignoring the main point of the episode, which seemed to be that killing people from a distance with whom you can’t connect emotionally is much easier than killing people with whom you might have direct contact (or something like that). ;)

        BTW, sorry to everyone for being offtopic, going all ST in a BSG discussion.

  5. rickyjames says:

    Cyborgs, Not Robots
    Several interesting ideas this ep. I too have no problem with the upload of the virus but thought they missed a good bet with the "bioelectric field" technobabble. No. The whole point of an "upload" is to capture the memories and experiences of a dying body, otherwise what’s the point? And those memories are by definition some sort of chemical encoding in the neural tissue. Such a "scan" could catch a neural-tissue-based virus like this while it was capturing all the chemically based memories as well. If you buy the whole conceit that Cylons are indistinguishable from humans in the first place (THAT’S the ridiculous concept) and can be "downloaded" without scanning equipment like a transporter being in place (another ridiculous concept, but at least is in keeping with the religious aspects of just what a "soul" is) then downloading a virus is not a stretch at all.

    The interesting implication of this ep is that the "brain" of all other Cylons is neural-tissue based. Thus all Cylons are cyborgs, and none are true robots.

    As an aside, in keeping with the Iraq War parallels, I think we’re building up to seeing the mysterious split between the unseen five Cylon models and the on-screen seven models being involved in a deadly religious split a la Shiite / Sunni. The losing side is fleeing and wants to hide on Earth as much as the Humans do.

    • it_wont_work says:

      Re: Cyborgs, Not Robots
      Not only that: the Toasters are clearly female below the waist. The walk gives them away.

      • rickyjames says:

        Re: Cyborgs, Not Robots

        Not only that: the Toasters are clearly female below the waist. The walk gives them away.

        The network censors dictated that, and wouldn’t allow male brains below the waist to be shown. ;-)

    • nkuzmik says:

      Re: Cyborgs, Not Robots

      As an aside, in keeping with the Iraq War parallels, I think we’re building up to seeing the mysterious split between the unseen five Cylon models and the on-screen seven models being involved in a deadly religious split a la Shiite / Sunni. The losing side is fleeing and wants to hide on Earth as much as the Humans do.

      I’ve been thinking along those lines. But yeah, it sure seems like the Cylons are running from something.

  6. rickyjames says:

    Genocide Vs. Extinction
    Just a point. Our current concept of genocide is effectively the mass killing of a race, not a species. We call what happened in Nazi Germany or Darfur or Rwanda genocide, but humans as a species in these instances are not in danger of going extinct, only a subgroup within humanity.

    In contrast, humans are quite capable of making entire sentient species extinct. We’ve done it in the past, with Neandertals, and we’re well on the way to doing it now ith orangs, chimp and gorillas. Anybody think there’s gonna be any orangs or gorillas left in 200 years? Is that genocide?

    • Babbster says:

      Re: Genocide Vs. Extinction

      Just a point. Our current concept of genocide is effectively the mass killing of a race, not a species. We call what happened in Nazi Germany or Darfur or Rwanda genocide, but humans as a species in these instances are not in danger of going extinct, only a subgroup within humanity.

      In contrast, humans are quite capable of making entire sentient species extinct. We’ve done it in the past, with Neandertals, and we’re well on the way to doing it now ith orangs, chimp and gorillas. Anybody think there’s gonna be any orangs or gorillas left in 200 years? Is that genocide?

      I don’t think I’d call it genocide unless people are operating with the goal of making these species extinct. How about the phrase "chimpslaughter" instead? ;)

      • rickyjames says:

        Re: Genocide Vs. Extinction

        "chimpslaughter"

        OOOOooo….so close to a newly coined word. Google shows two previous usages. "Apeslaughter" shows one previous usage. But wait… "apeoside" …. lemmesee….YES!!! Google shows no previous uses of "apeoside", so I hereby declare it a new word!!!

        Apeoside = the extinction of an ape species such as Neandertals or orangs or gorillas or chimps caused by humans and human activities.

        • rickyjames says:

          Re: Genocide Vs. Extinction

          "apeoside"

          Great. No sooner do I coin a new word do I proceed to misspell it.

          Apeocide = the extinction of an ape species such as Neandertals or orangs or gorillas or chimps caused by humans and human activities.

          • Timeshredder says:

            But how did Neanderthals get to be apes?

            I hate every ape I see
            From Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Z
            –"Stop the Planet of the Apes," The Simpsons

            • rickyjames says:

              Re: But how did Neanderthals get to be apes?
              Neandertals were an ape species by definition. So are many other pre-human ancestors. Blow $4 and check out this GREAT book I’ve been reading:

              http://www.amazon.com/Lucy-Language-Donald-Johanson/dp/0684810239

              • TomSwiss says:

                Re: But how did Neanderthals get to be apes?

                Neandertals were an ape species by definition

                Neanderthals were genus Homo, and the argument continues on whether they were a distinct species, or a subspecies of Homo sapiens. If they’re apes, so are we, and homocide (which would cover any member of genus Homo, wouldn’t it?) is just a special case of apeocide.

        • Babbster says:

          Re: Genocide Vs. Extinction

          "chimpslaughter"

          OOOOooo….so close to a newly coined word. Google shows two previous usages. "Apeslaughter" shows one previous usage. But wait… "apeoside" …. lemmesee….YES!!! Google shows no previous uses of "apeoside", so I hereby declare it a new word!!!

          Apeoside = the extinction of an ape species such as Neandertals or orangs or gorillas or chimps caused by humans and human activities.

          Hehe. Well, I think "chimpslaughter" is a much cooler word because it has the word "chimp" in it. For some reason, it makes me chuckle every time I say it. ;)

          • roseblood says:

            Re: Genocide Vs. Extinction

            Hehe. Well, I think "chimpslaughter" is a much cooler word because it has the word "chimp" in it. For some reason, it makes me chuckle every time I say it. ;)

            To think it isn’t even monkey Tuesday. Wait! It is Monkey Tuesday!

  7. Fozzy_Bear says:

    2 pin connector
    Sorry, but I just had to get this off my chest.

    WTF is up with a battleship design where a single 2 pin connector slipping loose would cause the death of anybody in a compartment??!!??

    Colonies of Humans elsewhere in the universe … Fine
    Cylons worshiping God… Fine
    FTL travel… Fine

    But a plastic connector failing and a battle-designed ship killing crewmen… the just BS

    • Cerberus7 says:

      Re: 2 pin connector
      Hah! I thought the same, until I considered that maybe Helo just disabled the monitoring system, and then went on to do the real damage.

    • bombadil says:

      Re: 2 pin connector

      a single 2 pin connector slipping loose would cause the death of anybody in a compartment??!!??

      They clearly stated that the doors/vents are supposed to auto-open when the air fails. The pulled connector was on the door/vent auto-release. A separate, unseen, act of sabotage was done to remove/damage the air in the cell.

      • Fozzy_Bear says:

        Re: 2 pin connector


        They clearly stated that the doors/vents

        A separate, unseen, act of sabotage was done to remove/damage the air in the cell.

        Well, now that you mention that, I do seem to remember something to that affect. I guess I need a re-watch.

        It’s curious that they left that part unseen though. Maybe since the writers knew that there would be no investigation, (and thus Helo would be around) that they wanted to keep the audience sympathetic to his no-so-humanitarian actions and not show him actively killing a half-dozen of what he himself was argueing to be as people. In the end, and from his point of view, what he did was kill a small group of people to save a larger group. That’s always slippery moral ground to stand on regardless of the circumstances – unless you’re Vulcan… but now I’m mixing stuff up ptreey good ;)

        • Babbster says:

          Re: 2 pin connector
          I don’t think its slippery ground at all, especially if you believe that those cylons would have chosen death knowing that a) they were going to be killed regardless and b) living any longer could destroy their race. It could only be a slippery slope if it weren’t such a unique, bizarre situation.

          • nkuzmik says:

            Re: 2 pin connector

            I don’t think its slippery ground at all, especially if you believe that those cylons would have chosen death knowing that a) they were going to be killed regardless and b) living any longer could destroy their race. It could only be a slippery slope if it weren’t such a unique, bizarre situation.

            I don’t see what Helo did as so much a "difficult choice" as a really "crappy but obvious choice." I am of ignoring the minor issue of treason for the moment…
            But lets have a little pole here… Somebody gives you 2 options.
            a) sit here, wait for someone to walk in and kill you, thereby killing millions of those you strive to protect.
            b) take this pill, die peacefully and save your friends, family, neighbors, boss… well maybe not your boss….

            Even from the prisoner’s standpoint, it’s still a sucky call, but the choice is pretty obvious

        • paulm says:

          Re: 2 pin connector

          It’s curious that they left that part unseen though.

          Hardly. Watching someone tool around with a bunch of wires and so forth for ten minutes would make for rather boring TV.

          I don’t think there was a "seperate" act of sabotage, we just weren’t shown the entirety of the one act.

    • ViperDriver says:

      Re: 2 pin connector

      Sorry, but I just had to get this off my chest.

      WTF is up with a battleship design where a single 2 pin connector slipping loose would cause the death of anybody in a compartment??!!??

      Colonies of Humans elsewhere in the universe … Fine
      Cylons worshiping God… Fine
      FTL travel… Fine

      But a plastic connector failing and a battle-designed ship killing crewmen… the just BS

      (puts on Logistics TV show hat) Well, from one point of view…they made their point. They showed Helo deliberately sabotaging something related to Galactica’s systems in a quick, unambiguous scene. Adding another scene where additional work was done (see other comments) or more elaborate work was done, with no other characters present to ‘explain’ what was going on to us, really would only serve to burn up precious runtime. There isn’t all that much time available in an episode, and if it’s not being used to advance the plot or the characters, I personally would prefer it be left out – satisfying my notion of Galactica’s innards by showing me something I’m perfectly willing to assume happened offscreen doesn’t make the cut.

    • Cunning_Linguist says:

      Re: 2 pin connector

      Sorry, but I just had to get this off my chest.

      WTF is up with a battleship design where a single 2 pin connector slipping loose would cause the death of anybody in a compartment??!!??

      Colonies of Humans elsewhere in the universe … Fine
      Cylons worshiping God… Fine
      FTL travel… Fine

      But a plastic connector failing and a battle-designed ship killing crewmen… the just BS

      Is it just me or did that thing look like the connector between a FDD/HDD and a PSU in a standard ATX case?

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: 2 pin connector

        Is it just me or did that thing look like the connector between a FDD/HDD and a PSU in a standard ATX case?

        No, it wasn’t just you.. :-)

    • rickyjames says:

      Re: 2 pin connector

      WTF is up with a battleship design where a single 2 pin connector…

      That’s not battleship design. That just shows how much of the special effects budget has already been blown this season.

  8. justdrew says:

    but the cylons WOULDN’T ALL BE DEAD
    only two base ships and a resurrection ship would be taken out, the main body of the cylons remain back wherever they came from and cylonising the 12 colonies, etc.

    Only the pursuing forces would have been wiped out. Those two remaining base ships and resurrection ship are NOT the entirety of cylon ‘life’.

    so the whole ‘genocide’ question is a bit weak if you ask me, and that is my only complaint with this ep.

    • Babbster says:

      Re: but the cylons WOULDN’T ALL BE DEAD

      only two base ships and a resurrection ship would be taken out, the main body of the cylons remain back wherever they came from and cylonising the 12 colonies, etc.

      Only the pursuing forces would have been wiped out. Those two remaining base ships and resurrection ship are NOT the entirety of cylon ‘life’.

      so the whole ‘genocide’ question is a bit weak if you ask me, and that is my only complaint with this ep.

      I think it would depend on how they maintain their supply line, which is where they said they were taking Galactica. Imagine, for example, if they have resurrection ships spaced at intervals that would allow them to usually (barring specific explorations, such as what happened to the infected basestar) have resurrection ships within range of each other. If they’re doing something like this, it could also explain why they seem to lag a bit behind the human fleet (though that could, of course, simply be part of the "plan" we’re told they have).

      Even if we can’t make the above assumption, there’s still the question of intent. If we relate it in earthly terms, realistically, Hitler couldn’t possibly exterminate every Jew (at least, not without simply killing all humans). It would be impossible. But, if he believed in his twisted mind that he was doing so, the crime is still [attempted] genocide.

  9. Jethro says:

    Admit it
    Come on, who else enjoyed watching Baltar get tortured a bit?

    Now, Baltar is the one human the cylons know the best. They must think we’re all freaks.

    I was expecting two shark-jumps this episode, and neither of them happened. First, I thought Athena-Sharon would buy it. Second, when the toasters showed up for Baltar I expected a hail of bullets and Baltar waking up in a resurrection tube. Glad those two didn’t happen.

    You know what I think? I think we should have the Ultimate Shark-Jumping form Hell. Yeah. The Cylons make it to Earth only to be greated by The Prometheus and/or Dedalus. Then have Hiro freeze time so we can send the radioactive exploding guy on board. And for good measure, have The A-Team show up, too. Who’s with me??

    • Babbster says:

      Re: Admit it

      You know what I think? I think we should have the Ultimate Shark-Jumping form Hell. Yeah. The Cylons make it to Earth only to be greated by The Prometheus and/or Dedalus. Then have Hiro freeze time so we can send the radioactive exploding guy on board. And for good measure, have The A-Team show up, too. Who’s with me??

      I just got off the phone with Mr. T. He told me, "I ain’t gettin’ on no spaceship, fool!" Considering George Peppard has passed and Dwight Schultz took a position at Starfleet Headquarters, I expect the A-Team’s potential involvement to be limited at best…

    • roseblood says:

      Re: Admit it

      Come on, who else enjoyed watching Baltar get tortured a bit?

      Now, Baltar is the one human the cylons know the best. They must think we’re all freaks.

      I was expecting two shark-jumps this episode, and neither of them happened. First, I thought Athena-Sharon would buy it. Second, when the toasters showed up for Baltar I expected a hail of bullets and Baltar waking up in a resurrection tube. Glad those two didn’t happen.

      You know what I think? I think we should have the Ultimate Shark-Jumping form Hell. Yeah. The Cylons make it to Earth only to be greated by The Prometheus and/or Dedalus. Then have Hiro freeze time so we can send the radioactive exploding guy on board. And for good measure, have The A-Team show up, too. Who’s with me??

      More likely the Cybermen and Daleks have it out and wrech the fleets of Cylons and Men as collateral damage. The Doctor then pulls some stunt and the Humans are back on Caprica and the Cylons and Cybermen end up in the recycle-bin. (And the mixed bits resurrect and upgrade eachother until you have a Windows Vista PC, and the world comes to a painful end.)

  10. quantaman says:

    Implications of virus
    If I recall Cylons are immune to all the ordinary human diseases such as cancer. However this virus, which humans have been immune to for thousands of years, they are suseptible to.

    Now one possibility is the cylon immune system is an ordinary human immune system with some kind of manual override for the extra cures. This would appear to conflict with Hera’s blood curing Rosilin unless this extra immunity was triggered by Rosilin’s desire to be cured. The other idea is that the response is purely automatic that the white blood cells are superpowered on their own, however this has the problem that one could very easily use a petrie dish as a cylon detector (maybe this is what Baltar did and no one else has bothered thinking about it enough to realize this obvious test).

    Either way I’m guessing a lot of the original human immune system remains, which means that Cylons should of been immune to this disease. Now there seem to be only three ways that they could of gotten it.

    1) The neural component that went with the upload some how caused them to override their human immune system so it wouldn’t fight the disease.

    2) Manufacturing bug (I would consider this a cop-out).

    3) The humans they based their skinjobs off of didn’t have the immunity.

    Now the fact that all the cylons (including centurions) can get the disease suggests 1. However, I consider the most interesting of these possibilities to be 3. First this means that ALL of the cylon models are based off of human DNA, this makes some sense since the basestars are part human which suggests the raiders could be too. Second, the probability that their sample set of humans would be from the modern colonies and would all lack the immunity is extremely low. Thus the implication is that the Cylons based their skinjobs off of another group of humans, one who forked off the colonials thousands of years ago, before they developed immunity…

    • roseblood says:

      Re: Implications of virus

      First this means that ALL of the cylon models are based off of human DNA, this makes some sense since the basestars are part human which suggests the raiders could be too.

      This isn’t too far fetched. All the "breeds" of dogs we have today are all canines. We selectively bred them to get specific traits. They have a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

      Imagine adding a bit of advanced bio-tech and a human could be bred to have a greater aptitude for three-dimensional maths, good reflexes, low mass . . . great pilots. Then whatever shape you get you make your air/spacecraft to conform to. If the result has four legs then the pilots seat is made to accommodate that. If the result is a pseudopod slug like creature then build for that.

      Kara ended up pulling and tugging on slimy stuff to manipulate the raider she found on some planet . . . were they parts of the raider pilot anatomy(living ship, blows this theory to hell), or parts of the raider that were in close contact with the raider pilot and got splattered by the remains of the pilot(works, imagine the cockpit of an aircraft where a 20mm round impacted the crew or passengers), or perhaps parts of the craft that were inserted/attached to the pilot(in this last cast think of Pilot and Moya, except the raider itself is not alive.)

      It isn’t too hard to imagine a large slug-like critter laying in the space Kara was in.

      • quantaman says:

        Re: Implications of virus

        Imagine adding a bit of advanced bio-tech and a human could be bred to have a greater aptitude for three-dimensional maths, good reflexes, low mass . . . great pilots. Then whatever shape you get you make your air/spacecraft to conform to. If the result has four legs then the pilots seat is made to accommodate that. If the result is a pseudopod slug like creature then build for that.

        Kara ended up pulling and tugging on slimy stuff to manipulate the raider she found on some planet . . . were they parts of the raider pilot anatomy(living ship, blows this theory to hell), or parts of the raider that were in close contact with the raider pilot and got splattered by the remains of the pilot(works, imagine the cockpit of an aircraft where a 20mm round impacted the crew or passengers), or perhaps parts of the craft that were inserted/attached to the pilot(in this last cast think of Pilot and Moya, except the raider itself is not alive.)

        It isn’t too hard to imagine a large slug-like critter laying in the space Kara was in.

        My belief is that the pilot and ship are essentially one organism, i.e. that removing all the metal "ship bits" would cause the pilot to quickly die. When kara shot the raider she effectively lobotomized it but it was still alive, her pulling and pushing manually triggered muscle reflexes that the raider used to fly.

        As to the raider being a human fork that makes sense since the cylons would be familiar with the human genetic code already and would thus have an easier time customizing it.

  11. Stash says:

    Sharon Issue
    Maybe I am missing something, but when it was determined that the humans were immune from the virus, what possibly could have been the need to keep Sharon in isolation?

    They let the others out, but Doc wanted her kept in for some more time….what is the fear of letting her out?

    If anything, it seemed she could have been let out and if she was a carrier of the virus (even if her immunities stopped her from being susceptible) she could possibly infect and therefore identify any unknown skinjobs elsewhere in the fleet.

    For that matter, why not take this virus throughout the ships and see if any of the as of yet unidentified skinjobs start showing symptoms.

    At worst, this virus would be the perfect "cylon detector" they could have hoped for…

    • Kaki says:

      Re: Sharon Issue
      I like your new cylon detector. Very nice.

    • roseblood says:

      Re: Sharon Issue

      At worst, this virus would be the perfect "cylon detector" they could have hoped for…

      I thought about the same thing when reflecting upon the miniseies. The enviroment around space station was bad for the Cylons. Was it some material there or some form of radiation? Assuming it was a material, get it into the ships of the fleet NOW. If it was radiation then find whatever the material it is that decays to release the radiation and keep that in the fleet. This works assuming that the radiation is from a decay process and not from a stellar process (must be a royal pain to keep a star in tow . . . gotta ask the Magog about that.) Back to the point, this would make cylons "sick" and any people showing the right sickness can be detained for examination.

      An infected Sharon (or even the rest of the crew now that they have been exposed to the virus) will eventual spread the virus about the fleet. It will infect the humans, but their imminue systems will keep it in check. They are now carriers.

      • Timeshredder says:

        Cylon Repellent!

        An infected Sharon (or even the rest of the crew now that they have been exposed to the virus) will eventual spread the virus about the fleet. It will infect the humans, but their imminue systems will keep it in check. They are now carriers.

        So infect all humans with the virus?

    • octa says:

      Re: Sharon Issue
      Wow, very well thought out. That’s a huge plot hole. The writers must explain!

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