Ace reporter D'Anna Biers is offered unrestricted access to the Galactica. Yeah, it's one of those episodes. Through an octagonal lens, Biers captures the usual amount of bickering and angst, and an awful lot of Apollo's skin. Meanwhile, Tigh receives a poetic death threat and, when he tries to attend a conference on the Astral Queen, his Raptor is sabotaged. Ellen frets that Adama is going to sacrifice Tigh to the gods of PR. After giving us a few glimpses of a laid-back Gaeta, and Dualla's parental traumas, Biers tries to ambush Tigh in an interview, but he doesn't fall for it. Well, mostly. Then Kat freaks out while trying to land her Viper. It turns out that she's developed a little stim problem. While chasing Kat's gurney to sickbay, Biers spots Boomer receiving treatment for her own medical emergency. Adama confronts Biers and takes away the tape documenting their pet Cylon -- or at least he tries to, but he falls for the old "switched tape" routine. Baltar's attempt to do an interview that will win the hearts and minds of his people is, luckily for him and us, interrupted by the cheapest space battle ever. Two Raiders approach the Galactica and are quickly shot down by Apollo and Starbuck. While trying to edit her story together, Biers spots A Vital And Convenient Clue just as Tigh is attacked. It turns out that Hammerhead is way bitter about his role in the Gideon massacre, and that's why he's after Tigh. Tigh obligingly presses his head against Hammerhead's gun, and Hammerhead backs down just as Biers turns up with some marines. In the end, Biers puts together a heartwarming piece about what heroes the Galacticans are, and, in lieu of yet another standing ovation, she closes it with the original Battlestar Galactica theme song. Aw. The episode ends with some delighted Cylons watching the show back on Caprica. They're even more delighted to find out that Boomer is alive and on Galactica. Yes, Biers is a Cylon.
Previously: we learned that you should never get in between soldiers and their coffee.
We open with footage of the Gideon riot. The footage is fuzzy and the corners of the frame are cut off to make an even-wider-screen octagonal image. And it's even shakier than their usual shaky-cam. Hammerhead screams, "Cease fire," and suddenly there's a Marine pointing a gun directly at the cameraman and shooting. Oopsie. There's a cut, and now the camera is lying on the ground as another civilian falls nearby. Hammerhead calls for a medic. Then a kid shouts, "Daaaaad?" and wanders into frame. The kid stiffly calls, "Oh my gods, oh my gods," and kneels down and looks directly into the camera. For half of the episode I was expecting to find out that this was faked footage, because yeesh. In the podcast, Moore admits that he's not exactly satisfied with this scene. There's a cut in the footage, and the moppet is replaced by Lucy Lawless. She explains that this is "recently discovered footage from what's become known as 'the Gideon Massacre.'" Do you think there are folk songs about it? She reminds us that four civilians died, and that no charges have been filed against the Marines or their COs. She winds up by helpfully saying, "This is D'Anna Biers, reporting."
We finally learn that Biers and her cameraman are looking over this footage in a makeshift editing room. Biers declares, "That's gonna blow this thing wide open." It was at this point that I began to suspect that this episode might be just a tiny bit clichéd. She tells the cameraman that they need to insert "some stock footage of raging Marines." They're interrupted when a pair of Marines tromp into the room, ignoring the protests of another flunky, and ask Biers to come with them. Biers asks if she's under arrest, and they say no. She asks, "And what if I refuse to go?" Her rather attractive cameraman looks back and forth between the marines and Biers. But he says nothing. I think he might be mute.
By way of an answer, we cut to the Colonial One. Hm, that's not an answer at all, is it? And it was an interesting question, too. Odd. The marines escort Biers into the Prez's office as the Prez steps out of her quarters, followed by Adama. Greetings are exchanged, and based on the Prez's delighted grin, she's either trying her best to charm Biers, or she and Adama were bringing their fleets together, if you know what I mean. It's probably the first thing, since Adama immediately demands to know where Biers got the tape of the Gideon massacre. Biers credits "an anonymous patriot," and smirks, "Is this a social call, or are we on the verge of another coup?" Adama says, "Funny," and doesn't mean it. He uses a level one glare, and Biers reacts with level one nervousness as she asks if they're unhappy about her story. Adama says, "What happened aboard the Gideon was a tragedy. But it was not a massacre." Exposition ensues, and Biers complains that her requests for interviews with the soldiers involved have been denied. The Prez says that's going to change, and explains that Adama will give Biers and her crew unlimited access to the Galactica. Biers says that she won't do a propaganda piece, and the world shouts, "Liar! Liar!" The Prez says that they don't want that. And again: "Liar!" The Prez says that people don't trust the military, and Biers snarks, "With good reason, Ma'am." The Prez loses her grin and snaps, "In some cases with good reason." She says that she wants the people to see what life aboard the Galactica is like: "And I need you to do it now, before we tear each other apart." No pressure.