Battlestar Galactica

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: C | 17 USERS: B
YOU GRADE IT
When Will The Work Be Done?
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

ELLEN TIGH

In Islam, it's called riya: the showy performance of our own salvation. Lee looked Gaius in the eye and told him to commit it, gave him a logic loop, a puzzle to tease out: prove yourself by doing something selfless, and in so doing make it selfish. And the crew stepped across the red line, and looked across it at each other. And Gaius stood in the middle, shaking. Unable to commit that mortal sin. And the port looked to starboard, and starboard looked to port. And having chosen their sides, could no longer reach across. You can see them all at once, across the line.

It's a strip club: boys and girls, dancing for boys and girls. In the middle of these illusions of intimacy, they've come to talk. Caprica City by night is a rainbow of neon, coded decadent, music pumping. (The song the strippers dance to is called "When Will The Work Be Done?" it's by Brendan McCreary, Bear's brother that sang "Watchtower" the first time, and it's about fleeing Caprica for Earth, the Exodus, the Fleet. Pretend you didn't notice; it wouldn't be the first time this man's voice sang impossible things.) Caprica by night has churches but the windows are all dark. Saul Tigh haggles with a stripper, who reminds him Caprica is not Picon. They settle on forty cubits, for a lapdance for Bill, who is considering retirement. She begins to settle herself on Bill and he laughs, and he tells her to keep Saul's money and walk away. She does.

Saul and Bill discuss the life Bill could have, if he takes this job: "One hour of your time, and then you have a whole new life! A life without midnight watches, or drills, or Fleet politics, or inspections, or any of that crap!" He was cute once, when he drank. Bill sips, and Saul yowls suddenly, yipping at him: "Life! You could be here every night!" It's one of the good times. Saul is happy, and young; Ellen drapes herself across his shoulders. "He won't be here every night," she laughs. The sad old stick in the mud, who can look around this neon heaven and see only what it is ugly in it: "Can hardly get him here once." Skin on skin, the sweetish smell of ambrosia. Nasty laughter. Ellen Tigh was born for this city, by night: She was made to love it. Made.

But him, too: the way she feels about him, nobody could explain. Past-life love. Forever love, that burns too hot. She's loved him for two thousand years, and forty years, and only a handful. And if Bill retires, she knows, Saul will follow suit. "To retirement," Bill says after a silence, and she cheers him on. All three of them down a shot, and Saul Tigh crows.

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Battlestar Galactica

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