Battlestar Galactica
Black Market

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: D | 6 USERS: D
YOU GRADE IT
BattleNoir Redactica

Tigh's in the Galactica hangar reporting to Adama about how the "wireless" is going crazy about the now-famous Fisk murder. "When we lose a command officer aboard a warship," Adama explains, "people are going to be concerned about their security." I see his point, but I might put it more like, "When somebody can waltz into your home and slice your neck with piano wire, regardless of your military commission that is scary." Apollo walks up as Tigh's expositing the concept that when a crew's commander is killed, they can get weird. Lee gives them the latest: "[Fisk's] personal log shows that he was rerouting supply runs, on- and off-loading freighters without command authorization." Cut to Tigh feeling itchy and sad/guilty on any number of levels. It's a great reaction shot. Apollo adds, "He raided the McConnell, and at least a dozen other ships, in the last week. I also found a small warehouse of high-value merchandise in his quarters." Adama realizes the obvious -- that Fisk was working (and apparently creating?) the black market -- and Tigh is weirded out and sick. "Well," says Apollo, "half the Fleet's working it. Fisk was getting greedy." Adama gets sad because of the opportunistic streak that exists in humanity, but that's the point we keep coming back to: barter system okay, artificial supply control bad. Got it. "If he crossed one of his suppliers on a deal, that would explain the cubits that Cottle found," Adama says (I guess he's been watching the TV procedurals with the twins), and Tigh wonders who would have done this, though. Lee, I think picking up on how thrown Tigh is by all this -- and having figured out that Tigh's hands aren't exactly free-trade clean themselves -- turns so that he's facing them both, bringing Tigh into more of an equal place in the conversation. "And they wouldn't be hard to find, even on Galactica."

In fact, they're closer than we think. Flashback to Cloud 9, where Siobhan is complaining to Lee about Paya's worsening cough. "I'll bring her something on my next trip," he valiantly promises, and Siobhan notes that, pending another Cylon attack, this could be weeks from now. Lee's clearly affected by the coughing in the other room. Siobhan: "I keep hearing about shortages on the other ships -- people trading anything they can for food and for medicine." Lee's so shocked to learn this obvious thing that he will subsequently forget it again until the scene before this one: "Really?" Siobhan looks in awe of Apollo's naïveté, as one so often does: "Have you seen all the new working girls outside?" The ones who only just now have managed gainful employment? What were they doing previously? There's currency and a capitalist system in place; it's the scarcity that creates the black market, not necessarily any kind of socialism. Maybe the rent is paid, because the numerator is apparently way over the denominator in terms of survivors/berths -- I can see that. But capitalism can cover the rest, and I think it's just the vague language that made this more confusing than it should be. Maybe it's the West Wing factor again, and we're only ever seeing the story at the level of, say, the Federal Reserve, which makes it look like Roslin's responsible for the disposition of food, coffee, etc., when it fact it's just a matter of fair trade between ships. Maybe these are dumb questions, and the truth is staring us in the face, but we shouldn't have to ask them in the first place. It's distracting, and takes a line or two. But we've hit a whole other kind of exposition depot: "Lee, when your baby's crying because it's hungry, you'll do anything to make it stop." Anything? Even...prostitution? Like you were already doing? Apollo comforts Siobhan and they snuggle to the sound of Paya coughing up a lung. He sadly watches her tend to her daughter because it's so, so rough when a black market forces even prostitutes to turn to prostitution.

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Battlestar Galactica

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