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BSG Season 1: You Can’t Go Home Again Ep. 5 May 13, 2008

Posted by Chris in Battlestar Galactica (Re-imagined).
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How Does She Do It?  Starbuck Saves Herself From Herself Again

Picking up where the last episode left off, this one follows through on the action and themes developed previously.  Starbuck has crash-landed on a moon with a limited air supply.  As she struggles to hold out as long as possible for rescue, Galactica launches an all-out, overwrought, desperate, visual search of the moon’s surface for her.  So while Starbuck has just put her life on the line for the love of her fellow pilots and the remaining Humans of the fleet, she’s suffering the consequences of her love and sacrifice.  The theme of love leading to sacrifice leading to personal disaster continues with depressing consequences. 

Meanwhile Adama and Apollo are driving Galactica’s crew hard to find Starbuck with a damn-the-depressing-consequences attitude.  Love is again implicated as a Human weakness, as it drove Starbuck to the brink and now drives Humanity’s last hope to waste fuel, time, and makes them all vulnerable to Cylon attack.

Back on Caprica Helo and Sharon are hold-up in a fallout shelter, enjoying a few creature comforts.  Their mutual affections continue to grow.  As Helo goes upstairs to make breakfast (toast!), Cylon Centurions enter the building.  While hiding from them, the toaster he was using pops, a supposedly clueless Sharon comes upstairs (she’s a toaster too, who pops up from the bunker), and the Cylons (“toasters”) start shooting (popping) all at once.  While not terribly profound, this sequence is interesting in its use of recurrent themes of how machines and Humans relate to one another.  A relatively harmless machine that is presumably under Human control for Human benefit, the toaster betrays its Human master — just as the Cylons did — at the same time Sharon reveals their presence as well.  So two toasters reveal betray Helo to a third.

After the exhausting search of the moon’s surface for Starbuck yields no results, Roslin confronts Adama and Apollo, accusing them of wasting the fleet’s resources and putting them all in danger.  Interesting that Roslin, the president who pressed Adama to love humanity enough to save the survivors of the Cylon’s attack, now argues that he needs to ignore his feelings of love for Starbuck and give up the search.  Adama and Lee relent.  As they’re preparing to jump away, Starbuck shows up in a Cylon raider she shot down in the fight leading to her crash.  While it seems unlikely that the Raider would survive the same fiery descent through the atmosphere of the moon that her Viper couldn’t, and while I doubt that the Raider’s internal, biological flight controls would could be worked by pressing on it’s internal organs (squeeze this brain-part and fire the guns!) we willingly overlook these technical shortcomings.  All-in-all, Starbuck’s ability to save herself from herself is welcomed with open arms by us (the viewers) as a lovable character trait, and as we’ll see in future episodes and seasons, a theme integral to the development of the series.

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1. Kym - May 13, 2008

Yay!!!
I was getting desperate for my fix.

Why the love as weakness being played out over and over? Sharon2 apparently falls in love with Helo and ends up back on the Battle Star– Great for humans bad for Cylons. The theme continues of love making us betray our whole race. At the same time the writers are obviously make the audience love the characters more because of this “weakness”

Why do care about Gaius? because he cares about Six. Why do care about Odama? Because he cares about his crew.

Why is the second in command less appealing? because he tends not to care. But his love for Odama and for his wife (so far she is the only relatively major character with no redeeming features) makes us, in turn, care about him.

It is only love that separates from the toasters. Like Pinocchios, the Cylons are at their most sympathetic when Six loves Gaius or Sharon loves Helo. They are also (without knowing the plan) when in love, most likely to betray their race.

Theme: Love is Bigger than Survival–??

2. Chris - May 14, 2008

Love is bigger than survival…that sounds pretty good! Maybe that’s the path out of the existential woods we’ve been caught in. Otherwise, we just have to believe the writers are depressives.

It also lines up well with Adama’s speech in the miniseries where he talks about how it’s not enough to just survive — we have to ask ourselves whether we deserve to survive. Perhaps love and sacrifice are the proof of our worthiness.

3. Kym - May 14, 2008

i forgot about that speech. You’re right! Maybe that is the Cylon’s plan? Maybe they are trying to see if humans deserve to survive?

4. Chris - May 14, 2008

You’ve taken it even further…I hadn’t thought that that might be the Cylons’ plan as well, not just the uber-message of the writers for the series. Very interesting!


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