Battlestar Galactica
Black Market

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: D | 5 USERS: D+
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"Yeah, you're probably right about everything," says Lee. "You, me, Fisk. Nobody can stop it, and maybe nobody should. But it needs limits. There's lines you can't cross. And you've crossed 'em." Again with the kids. This is not the heart of it. Tigh was the heart of it. Apollo's not saying anything Tigh didn't say better. "You're not gonna shoot," Phelan says. "You're not like me." Siobhan stares, Apollo stares, everybody stares and thinks for a while. We flash again to the girl on Caprica, and I guess the point is that Apollo did this girl wrong enough that it's his most guilty thing. Like, everybody has their one thing and they don't think or talk about it, but it's there, and when Phelan says, "We are both the same amount of in the mud," Lee thinks of this. Which is characteristic of Lee -- that he would equate child prostitution with anything normal -- because this whole time he's been pretty much textbook clinically depressed, which is where one takes the personal apocalypse and puts it above everybody else's because they don't look as bad on the outside as he feels on the inside, so it stops being about ego ("My pain is bigger than your pain") and starts being about subjective fact ("There is no way your pain could be this big or else you couldn't stand up"). Apollo shoots, Phelan dies. Siobhan goes "Huh," and wanders off, freaked out. Instead of shooting Apollo's ass, the thugs stare at him noncommitally and wait patiently for him to explain a bunch of shit to them. They actually put away their guns. "Fleet relies on the black market. Much as we'd like, we can't wish that away. So, you're still in business. For now. But if there are any more killings, if you hold back essential medicines, if you ever touch a child..." He just stands there, weirded out. I don't know, though. Does the Fleet rely on the black market because it's inevitable and widespread, like Orwell and Zarek said, or because the trains aren't running on time, like Gorbachev and Phelan said? One's about the human condition, the other is about why socialism fails, and they're not necessarily exclusive -- but in this story, they kind of are, which is confusing, because the story just keeps shooting stuff at you. Maybe saying "pressure valve" was the tie between the two? "We hoard because we love."

Apollo sees a disturbed Siobhan and walks over to her where she's sniffling at the bar, like thisclose to pulling her ragged dress around her shoulders to hide her exposed nakedness so that Apollo can give her the trenchcoat of chivalry. She shrugs him off not because she's not interested in being a tired, played-out fake male empowerment fantasy in a sub-par Marlowe ripoff, but because she's spent the last scene worrying -- not about her child who is now in whoredom, or the fact that she and Lee were both about to die the whole time -- but in fact about whether or not she can truly fulfill Lee Adama's huge, gaping, all-important emotional needs: "Stop! I can't be what you want me to be...You want me to be her. That's what this is about. That's what this has always been about...I know my job. I'm a replacement. For a lot of things. Things that men can't get anywhere else. Things they've lost. She wanted to give you a child. But you were afraid, so you pushed her away and then you ran. And you didn't stop running until it was too late. Well, I'm not her! And Paya is not, and will never be, your child." Fucking gag me. And the thing is that everybody -- Siobhan, Bamber, the editors, music -- works triple-time to pull this load of crap off. It's one of Bamber's finest performances, reacting to this, trying to interrupt, trying to stop her, trying to tell her it's not true, having to admit that it is, balking at the whole thing. The editing cuts ruthlessly between this speech and somewhat literal flashbacks to the Caprica truth of this story she's telling. Everybody does their best to make up for the crappiness of this entire scene, and that's a bummer, because you should only have to bend over backwards and kiss the Emmy when you're actually going to be earning it. If you're going to infodump exposit like this, at least have the grace to earn it from the inside like, say, Dualla, rather than have it all come spilling out of this random woman we've never seen before and will never see again. Unless they find her in a refrigerator next week or something.

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Battlestar Galactica

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