Battlestar Galactica
A Measure Of Salvation (2)

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 2 USERS: A
When The Know-Nothings Get Control

Adama offers Roslin tea in his office; this time she's not having it. "The prisoners died of asphyxiation," he explains. He neglects to point out that this is the first time in the history of the Fleet that the asphyxiation was not happening to his son Lee. I wonder if it'll happen again, now that he's gained himself all that weight and suffocated himself again and now he's over it? "The air purification system was reversed, sucked the oxygen out. When this happens, the deadbolts are automatically activated on the door. Someone did this manually." Roslin snorts at the "someone." "Seems to me there's only one or two likely suspects. Who will head the investigation?" And I guess it was Adama's turn this week, for the big forgiveness: "No one. I'm closing the book on this." She rolls her eyes -- "How convenient" -- but she knew he'd say that before his ass walked in. And somewhere she's grateful for Helo's action. For the way all their vectors combined and came up with a small measure of grace after all.

The story wasn't going to end, obviously, with the extinction of the Cylon. And the story wasn't going to end with everybody coming to what I facetiously call "their senses" when what I mean is "the same conclusion I did." So it had to be messy. People had to act in accordance with their feelings, with their guts. Every viewpoint balanced against every other viewpoint, checks and balances, resolving down to a simple precept: With malice toward none, and charity for all. If only Three knew how close her secret Helo came to fucking it up this round: if Gaius hadn't followed Six's instructions to the letter, he'd probably be dead. There was no other way this could happen, but it doesn't mean I'm not grateful, and it doesn't mean I'm not grateful to have seen it happen. Battlestar Didactica is a true and good and funny joke, and God knows we've all thought it, but I think its timeliness -- especially this week -- is better expressed in Cylon terms, in Hybrid terms, than ours: This has all happened before, and it will all happen again. And the choices we make, every time -- not just when we're on top and not just when we're getting screwed -- are the choices we live with, after the threat has passed away again.

Adama hands Roslin Cottle's report on the virus: "He thinks that it was simply an accidental contamination of the beacon we abandoned on the sick baseship." (Which somehow mutated, or carried within it, the strange RNA markers that made it Snow Crash and made it unfixable.) "Somebody sneezed, maybe," says Roslin, and they both chuckle. "Yeah," he riffs, "An entire race almost wiped out because someone forgot to wipe their nose." Don't quit your day job for the Improv, baby doll. Laura laughs politely, both of them horrified, both of them whistling in the dark, and takes off her glasses. "According to Cottle, the virus was an exact match to one reported over 3,000 years ago -- right around the time that the Thirteenth Colony left Kobol." This is unnecessary, this is phlebotinum, feldercarb, fan service, hanging an unworking lantern on a confusing concept, except that it's not: "That beacon was a signpost to Earth," Roslin realizes. They smile and put their arms around the Lie of Earth, now becoming real. It's a load off your back to find out you're not actually dancing around as fast as you thought. It's a possibility of forgiving yourself for the things you've done and have yet to do: a sign pointing home.

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Battlestar Galactica




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