Battlestar Galactica “Litmus”/ “Six Degrees of Separation” Review (1×06/1×07)

30 May


“LITMUS”–Season 1, Episode 6

This is probably the weakest episode thus far, as the show hammers home its point at the expense of a compelling story. I don’t find the atmosphere surrounding the investigation–or the idea behind starting an investigation, for that matter–to be unrealistic, considering the circumstances and the way the show loves to draw parallels to our post-9/11 fears.

The problem is that the execution of the episode is extremely clunky; on the surface, the interrogation scenes provide enough tension to be mildly compelling, but at the end of it all, there isn’t much substance to the proceedings. I suspect that’s the point, but there has to be a smoother way to reach it.

There are compelling scenes included, though: Adama making sure that Tyrol knows his responsibility in Socinus being sent to the brig, for one, and the final one between Tyrol and Sharon, if only for the possible implications that the split will have on the latter.


This episode nicely captures the chaotic nature of Baltar attempting to clear himself of suspicion, featuring a great performance by James Callis and some truly hilarious scenes: him and Gaeta–their relationship is really nice–in the bathroom, “No more Mr. Nice Gaius!”, etc., etc. The religious aspects begin to feature more prominently, but I don’t have too much of a problem with them here because this is just who Baltar is. He’s a narcissistic man who’ll do anything to save his own skin, so “converting” is his way of doing so. It’s worked out for him before, so why not try again?

GRADES: “Litmus” (B-), “Six Degrees of Separation” (B+)


-Starbuck. Ya gotta love her, and also, not enough Starbuck.

-Roslin overdosing is a nice touch in the second episode, as it says something about her vulnerabilities; some of the traits that make her such a good president also are her flaws.

– “All I know is every day you spend in that bed is another day that I have my opinion of you confirmed. As you were.” Well, that was a good one, Tigh.

-Next up: “Flesh and Bone” and a little bit on “Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down”

Photo credit: Syfy, Battlestar Galactica


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