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Battlestar Galactica “Collaborators”/ “Torn” Review (3×05/3×06)

10 Jun

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EPISODES 5 and 6–“Collaborators” and “Torn”

There’s essentially been a reset of location, but there certainly hasn’t been a reset of characterization. “Torn” deals with the effects of the New Caprica occupation from different points of view: those on the ground like Tigh or Starbuck, and those who participated in the rescue mission from Galactica. These differing experiences are placed side by side until they inevitably clash, and we see damaged people lashing out at each other, looking for someone to take out their anger on, and the Admiral’s eventually forced to put Starbuck and Tigh in their places. Of course, as Tigh spits out at the end, the man Adama knew no longer exists; simply put, people have changed, and relationships that were going strong beforehand are no more.

These personal conflicts are played out on an even larger scale in “Collaborators” with The Circle, a group of six jurors who vote on whether or not supposed Cylon collaborators should be put to death. They attempt to maintain some sense of honor and order, but in reality, we all know that they’re not impartial. There’s no way they can handle this fairly because the presumption of guilt takes precedence over any presumption of innocence; so, the question is whether the context here dictates the law or whether our notions of the law transcend the context. Gaeta sees clearly that his former friends have already convinced themselves of his guilt, so all he says is “I did the best I could”. In this moment, he’s also doing the best he can.

Eventually, Roslin pardons everyone, and her decision at the end of episode 5 is reminiscent of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission implemented after apartheid (her reasoning is also reminiscent of Ford’s). It makes sense, and it’s, in essence, another form of public trials, just without many of the problems Zarek mentioned.

Elsewhere, the one major storyline I haven’t mentioned is that of the Cylons in “Torn”. We learn quite a bit about them here, and the information is doled out amidst the use of interesting imagery, a shift in aesthetics that comes with the exploration of the inner workings of the Cylon Basestar. We learn that Cylons can get sick, we see a Hybrid for the first time–although having seen Razor beforehand, that’s not the case for me–and we learn about the concept of projection. Throughout, McCreary’s score and Anne Cofell Saunders’s direction provide a unique, albeit a bit distracting, look at the Cylons, and the two major storylines of the episode are nicely contrasted visually.

Now, it looks as if the two plots are going to intersect once more. Earth, after about a season-long break, seems to be the focal point once again.

GRADES: “Collaborators” (A-), “Torn” (B+)

OTHER THOUGHTS

-People would kill for that jump rope. I don’t know how much time passes between the two episodes, but Lee is somehow back to normal again. What did we learn from this profound storyline? Well, for one, fatness is a symbol of bad things.

-RIP, Jammer. I’m happy I watched the webisodes. Those are becoming even more important in hindsight.

– “To be continued…” Ooh. Tell me something I don’t know.

-I guess I have to remember to call Galactica Sharon “Athena” now.

-Katee Sackhoff’s face as she’s holding Kacey… 😦

Photo credit: Syfy, Battlestar Galactica

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