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BSG Season 1: Six Degrees of Separation Ep. 7 June 17, 2008

Posted by Chris in Battlestar Galactica (Re-imagined).
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Baltar tries to Regain Trust by Betraying It

To this point, we don’t know whether Baltar’s visions of Six are delusional, religious or some sort of telepathic communication with the Cylons.  In a pattern repeated throughout the series, this episode presents challenges to Baltar’s reputation and sanity.  Suggesting his visions are a Cylon transmission, his “Imaginary Six” grows disgusted with his half-felt belief in the Cylons’ one true God and abruptly exits his vision.  Immediately thereafter, Baltar is accused of treason by a Six posing as an assistant to the doctor who was killed in “33” aboard the Olympic Carrier.  Is this his imagination or a religious story of destiny?  Baltar finds himself asking these same questions as he fights for both his reputation and life in the face of the Six’s accusations. 

The rest of the fleet is decidedly less willing to entertain these existential questions.  First they take away his security clearance then they they throw Baltar in the brig.  But before they do, we have a number of laugh-out-loud scenes where Baltar is trying desperately to save himself, in that sniveling way only he can.  First he tries to convince Gaeta, while sitting in the next bathroom stall, to let him analyze the evidence against him.  Gaeta escapes this onslaught (Baltar to Gaeta as Gaeta hurries from the bathroom:  “You forgot to wash your hands!”) just as the Shelley Godfrey/Six enters.  Baltar takes the opportunity to accuser her of being a Cylon, yelling at her in her bathroom stall, “…you have not heard the last…no more Mr. Nice Guias!).  Baltar is like a lone outpost of comedy and human frailty in the midst of a show that at all times, takes itself very seriously.

Once he’s in the brig (after trying to destroy the evidence against him) Roslin pays him a visit.  Following her gut — as we are learning is indicative of her character — she confronts him with her conviction that he was involved in the Cylon attacks.  Baltar plays it shocked and offended, but not with as much aplomb as he is normally capable.  What’s left of the world is closing in on him, and he’s in a panic.  He has a dark night or two of the soul, where he’s praying and speaking directly to the Cylon God.  Simpering away, he tries to cut a deal with God, prosmising to dedicate his life to carrying out his “Divine will.”  Once he makes this commitment, his Imaginary Six returns and tells him everything will be alright.  Just then, Gaeta enters his cell and tells him he is free — that the evidence against him had been falsified.

Running throughout this episode and the series as a whole is idea of trust.  Can Baltar trust his Imaginary Six and himself?  Can Helo on Caprica trust Boomer and his feelings for her?  Were Roslin and Adama right to trust Baltar?  Can they trust Baltar’s accuser?  Roslin sums it up nicely when confronting Baltar when she says, “But here’s where we are, Doctor.  If anyone can be a Cylon, and it’s hard to tell us apart, then we only have one thing to trust.  Our instincts.”  Perhaps this is where trust begins.  Perhaps this is what makes the Humans different from the Cylons. 

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Comments»

1. Kym - June 17, 2008

First, YAY!!! Good to have you writing.

Balthar is an odd character for the show. Most of the main characters are likable and even admirable but him, not so much. I think you hit the nail on the head saying he is a “lone outpost of comedy…” He is like one of Shakespeare’s clowns, leavening the story.

2. Chris - June 18, 2008

Yay! Back to writing…I’ve been writing a lot lately, but all for work and it’s not as much fun as this.

I love Baltar’s character even though he has no backbone. He’s the perfect representation of humanity’s weaknesses, and that’s why he’s funny. While it’s hard to see through all the gloom of this show, if you’re paying attention to Baltar, you can’t help but laugh at him.


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