Battlestar Galactica Review: “Deadlock”

Ellen Tigh returns to the Galactica, and the Final Five clash over whether they should stay or they should go. Will combat rock the ship once again?

Title: “Deadlock”

Cast and Crew

Written by Jane Espensen
Directed by Bob Young

Edward James Olmos as Admiral Adama

Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama
Michael Hogan as Colonel Saul Tigh
Kate Vernon as Ellen Tigh
James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar
Grace Park as Athena/Boomer/Number 8

Tricia Helfer as Number 6
Mary McDonnell as Laura Roslin
Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace

Aaron Douglas as Chief Petty Officer Galen Tyrol
Rekha Sharma as Tory Foster
Lara Gilchrist as Paulla Schaffer
Michael Trucco as Samuel Anders

Premise

This episode features several plot arcs, tighed tied together by the presence of Ellen and the theme of racial “purity.” The Final Five debate their future. Adama nervously observes the integrated, new world order emerging on Galactica. Caprica Six experiences complications with her pregnancy. In his efforts to regain prime position with his flock, Baltar can’t decide if he wants to be Jesus or Hitler.

High Point

I don’t have a specific high point for this episode. It features many good moments, including Saul and Ellen’s reunion, the Chief’s recognition of Boomer. and Adama’s observations on the changes to his ship. Baltar, meanwhile, realizes it’s not a good idea to believe one’s press releases, but he quickly adjusts his strategy.

Low Points

Baltar can make worthwhile arguments, but I find it difficult to believe that Roslin and Adama would go along with his plan. It feels like a forced set-up for a future plot development.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6.

Effects: 6/6. This episode features fewer effects than other recent ones, but they work.

Story: 4/6. The closest this episode has to a contained plot involves the effects of Ellen’s return to Galactica. Mostly, we see the development of ongoing story arcs.

Acting: 6/6. This episode provides the actors with a number of strong, frequently smaller, moments, including Olmos’s depiction of Adama’s ongoing, uncomfortably realization that the human/Cylon union is already very much underway.

Emotional Response: 5/6.

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 4/6.

In total “Deadlock” receives 34/42

Notes

This episode confirms that Earth’s population consisted of Cylons—though we do not know for certain if Cylons settled the planet, or took control of it at some point.

The show advertises only “four more” episodes, but the final one consists of three-parts.

25 replies on “Battlestar Galactica Review: “Deadlock””

  1. x00 says:

    Error
    In the "Premise" section you meant Caprica 6 I think, not 8.

  2. J_W_W says:

    Low Point
    My low point this episode is the Chief’s vote to leave with the Cylons. He’s spent the past few episodes working his but off saving the Galactica. I can’t believe he’d actually vote to leave. I think is was contrived to create conflict even though it made no sense.

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: Low Point

      My low point this episode is the Chief’s vote to leave with the Cylons. He’s spent the past few episodes working his but off saving the Galactica. I can’t believe he’d actually vote to leave. I think is was contrived to create conflict even though it made no sense.

      Exactly. My thinking was the old man just made you his Chief again, he trusted you to rebuild his ship — YOUR ship — and you abandon her that easily? You piece of crap. VERY contrived.

      My personal high point was the "reunion" of the five with the fighting and bickering. :) Can you imagine what two or three thousand years on their space ship must have been like? I kept thinking "thank God they had resurrection technology, because they were probably all killing each other constantly."

      And here I made the mistake of thinking Ellen was only a bitch because of the memories Cavill gave her. Wow. If anything, the stunt she pulled with Saul and Caprica was the most terrible thing she’s done yet. It was karmically fulfilling, but it was terrible.

      If the pregnant Six had been any Six other than Caprica Six I might have been more broken up, but I kept thinking back to the baby on Caprica that particular Six directly killed ("their necks are so weak"), not to mention the billions she helped murder indirectly. Karma is indeed a bitch.

      What sucked for me was the way it hurt Saul. "I know it’s not like Zach, but his name was Liam." Cylon or not, Saul Tigh, for me, is the soul of the show. Laura’s its heart, Bill is its fists, Lee is its brain, and Galactica is its body.

      I think I finally get the mystery of the Opera House. All of the women who share the Opera House vision are directly, or indirectly, mothers. Caprica is the mother of a new Cylon race. Laura is the mother of humanity. Athena is the mother of the hybrid race, and Hera is the mother of the future. Baltar is the Baltar in Caprica’s head, a "companion" Sam mentioned in the previous episode. Now what those mothers are doing? I think Caprica Six is going to try to steal Hera.

      I am surprised that with all of the revelation of the past few episodes the show doesn’t feel that diminished. I don’t see anyone in here saying "was THAT what all of the fuss was about?" :)

      It bodes well for me.

      -Joe

      • joe__gee says:

        Re: Low Point

        I don’t see anyone in here saying "was THAT what all of the fuss was about?" :)

        Whoops. Change that to "I don’t see MANY people saying …" Someone just posted something to that effect below. :)

        If doesn’t effect my feelings on the show. I guess I just expected more people to be nonplused, and I’m not seeing it. :)

        -Joe

        • octa says:

          Re: Low Point
          The show has never been known to reveal its mysteries very easily. So to be force-fed answers to some of the most pressing questions was a bit of a surprise. I think they’ve handled it well for the most part, but when you’re coming down to the last 5 episodes of the whole freaking show I would expect something more than what, for all intents and purposes, seems like a "filler" episode.

          This was a soap opera side plot. On top of that, showing Ellen’s character to be so short sighted and vindictive just throws the whole concept of her being the "brains" behind the 5 and the resurrection technology as something very far fetched.

          Meh, I guess I was expecting more answers and pew pew action :/

          • Fozzy_Bear says:

            Re: Low Point


            On top of that, showing Ellen’s character to be so short sighted and vindictive just throws the whole concept of her being the "brains" behind the 5 and the resurrection technology as something very far fetched.

            Ellen was never said to be the BRAINS of the operation. Tyrol has always had that job. Ellen made the "intuitive leap" that helped plug the final holes in Tyrol’s theories.

            As per Ander’s description of the events while he still had a bullet in his head.

      • jayhawk88 says:

        Re: Low Point

        My personal high point was the "reunion" of the five with the fighting and bickering. :) Can you imagine what two or three thousand years on their space ship must have been like? I kept thinking "thank God they had resurrection technology, because they were probably all killing each other constantly."

        Keep in mind that it was only 2-3k years from the perspective of everyone else in the universe, not the Final Five. They were in a ship traveling at relativistic speeds, meaning time passed normally for them in the ship. Granted they were probably still in there for a very long time, but not thousands of years.

        • joe__gee says:

          Re: Low Point

          Keep in mind that it was only 2-3k years from the perspective of everyone else in the universe, not the Final Five. They were in a ship traveling at relativistic speeds, meaning time passed normally for them in the ship. Granted they were probably still in there for a very long time, but not thousands of years.

          Good point. :) Still, I’m not sure Ellen could last 2-3K minutes without at least *some* recreational mind-fraking. :)

          -Joe

          -Joe

  3. octa says:

    .
    I wasn’t too impressed with this episode, especially after the bombshell they dropped on us last episode. I really hate the Ellen character. A lot.

    What does this mean for the series with the death of the pure Cylon baby? Further affirmation that a pure Cylon colony would not survive? I find that kind of hard to believe… but whatever. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how they are going to close up all the plot points by the final episode :/

    • J_W_W says:

      Re: .

      I wasn’t too impressed with this episode, especially after the bombshell they dropped on us last episode. I really hate the Ellen character. A lot.

      What does this mean for the series with the death of the pure Cylon baby? Further affirmation that a pure Cylon colony would not survive? I find that kind of hard to believe… but whatever. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how they are going to close up all the plot points by the final episode :/

      I agree. This episode was flat. After noticing the plot contrivance I mentioned above. I couldn’t get that out of my head for the rest of the episode. It’s a poor episode, very weak. It also felt like killing the cylon baby was just an easy way of getting rid of a loose end they’d have needed to tie up otherwise…

    • jayhawk88 says:

      Re: .

      I wasn’t too impressed with this episode, especially after the bombshell they dropped on us last episode. I really hate the Ellen character. A lot.

      What does this mean for the series with the death of the pure Cylon baby? Further affirmation that a pure Cylon colony would not survive? I find that kind of hard to believe… but whatever. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how they are going to close up all the plot points by the final episode :/

      I think Ellen reverting back to "Scandelous Ellen" so quickly, and especially being such a reasonable and calm person in her dealings with Cavil we saw last week, speaks volumes about the Final Five in general. Clearly they’re just like humans: they aren’t anyone’s saviors, they don’t have some master plan, they’re just trying to get by with the same limiting flaws that humanity has.

      Likewise, the pure Cylon baby not surviving I think is perhaps foretelling the fact that Cylons won’t be able to make a go of it themselves, or at least have enough trouble with reproduction that trying to do so would be foolhardy. Everything the show is doing at this point seems to be pushing us towards a "Cylons and Humans must live together" conclusion.

    • smeep says:

      Re: .

      I wasn’t too impressed with this episode, especially after the bombshell they dropped on us last episode. I really hate the Ellen character. A lot.

      See, the Ellen from last episode, I liked. She seemed like a different character completely. Then, this episode, the stupid reset button got pressed again. That’s the one flaw with this series, I find. They hit that damn reset button far too often (less so the past 2 seasons than the first 2 seasons).

  4. visionary_coward says:


    A low point of mine; how did Boomer find the fleet?

    -vc

    • studmuffin says:

      Re: …

      A low point of mine; how did Boomer find the fleet?

      -vc

      YES! I was actually coming here to post exactly that.

      I *adore* this show, more than any man should adore anything. However, the whole ‘who has who’s baby’ feels a bit more like "As The Battlestar Turns" than the quality, hard sci-fi show we know and love.

      I am confident, however, that this crew can pull it off.

      • TomSwiss says:

        Re: …

        However, the whole ‘who has who’s baby’ feels a bit more like "As The Battlestar Turns" than the quality, hard sci-fi show we know and love.

        When you’re talking about whether or not a species survives, "who has who’s baby" takes center stage. IRL, look at all the fuss about whether pandas get pregnant. It’s been part of the series since Roslin outlawed abortion early in the series.

        As for how the Chief would vote, see
        http://community.livejournal.com/aarondouglas/150842.html?thread=972858#t972858

    • octa says:

      Re: …
      I assumed that Ellen knew the way to Earth so had Boomer jump there.

      • TheDawgLives says:

        Re: …

        I assumed that Ellen knew the way to Earth so had Boomer jump there.

        Either that or Boomer just asked the other 8’s. Can’t each model communicate telepathically with the others of the same model, or am I just dreaming this up?

  5. valen1260 says:

    high point
    I loved the exchange between Roslin and Caprica in the hallway. I especially liked how Roslin began, "I haven’t had the chance," but corrected herself, "I haven’t taken the opportunity."

  6. Centurion says:

    The Final Five
    Here’s my take on the whole thing. Spoilered massively.

    The Final Five are not ‘Cylons.’

    Ok. Two thousand years ago, the 13th Tribe, on Earth, invented mechanical beings. They treated them poorly, and were the first up against the wall when the Revolution came.

    Some of these humans had been working on brain taping; the ability to transfer conciousness. They used this to escape the nuclear war into an orbiting space ship.

    They head to Kobol, then to the other 12 Colonies, to warn them about treating mechanical constructs poorly. Whoopsie, they get there just a bit too late.

    The ‘Final Five,’ and this refers to the fact that they’re the Final Five members of the 13th Tribe, tell the Colonial Cylons that they’ll give them the ressurection technology, *and* bio-mechanical bodies, in exchange for not whacking around the Colonies anymore.

    Note that the ‘Centurion’ style Colonial Cylons were already trying to achieve the bio-mechanical bodies part on their own. These experiments lead to the Basestar hybrids, amoung other things.

    They, the Final Five, construct 8 ‘skinjob’ Cylon models. One, Cavill, is pissed; he feels lessened by not being an actual machine. He brainwipes the Final Five and puts them on the colonies.

    What does this all mean? First of all, the Final Five are not, and never were, ‘Cylons’. They’re humans. Admittedly, humans who used ressurection technology, and probably some form of cloning, to survive 2000 years. But humans none-the-less.

    Second, Tigh and Caprica 6’s baby isn’t a pure Cylon baby. It’s a hybrid, like Hera.

    Third, the Colonials could make use of ressurection technology, one way or the other.

    • octa says:

      Re: The Final Five
      I had a similar theory before watching this episode but I thought confirmation of them being Cylons came when someone (forgot which character) said "we tried that on Earth and it didn’t work" or something to that effect when talking about a pure Cylon colony.

      So I think it’s fair to say that there was a pure Cylon tribe that left Kobolt, colonized (or recolonized) Earth, found the ability to procreate and so "forgot" how to resurrect.

      • TheDawgLives says:

        Re: The Final Five

        So I think it’s fair to say that there was a pure Cylon tribe that left Kobolt, colonized (or recolonized) Earth, found the ability to procreate and so "forgot" how to resurrect.

        Correct. In the episode where they are on "Earth" they say that all the remains of all the "people" are Cylons.

        • Centurion says:

          Re: The Final Five

          So I think it’s fair to say that there was a pure Cylon tribe that left Kobolt, colonized (or recolonized) Earth, found the ability to procreate and so "forgot" how to resurrect.

          Correct. In the episode where they are on "Earth" they say that all the remains of all the "people" are Cylons.

          This begs two^H^H^H several questions:

          1: Why would bio-mechanical Cylons feel the need to create fully mechanical Cylons?

          2: Why would the bio-mechanical Cylons then treat the fully-mechanical Cylons like crap?

          3: Why would the bio-mechanical Cylons care about humans (not bio-mechanical Cylons) getting into trouble with their own fully-mechanical Cylons?

          4: ‘All this has happened before, and will happen again’ takes on an ominous tone when you remember Cavill going on about lobotomizing the Raiders and the look that the fully-mechanical Cylon Centurion somehow managed to get on it’s utterly immobile face when Cavill started treating it like a peon.

          • Timeshredder says:

            Re: The Final Five

            4: ‘All this has happened before, and will happen again’ takes on an ominous tone when you remember Cavill going on about lobotomizing the Raiders and the look that the fully-mechanical Cylon Centurion somehow managed to get on its utterly immobile face when Cavill started treating it like a peon.

            So was the battle on earth between the bio-Cylons, who started behaving like people, and the mecha-Cylons, whose remains we also see on earth? And, again, will the point be that, in the end, the difference between Galactica‘s humans and Skin Jobs may not be that significant?

  7. Damien says:

    No hulu for a full week
    Hulu.com won’t be showing future BSG episodes until a full eight days after they’re originally shown, rather than the next day. Bummer.

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