Battlestar Galactica
Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Nein Kampf

Fade in on the next chapter -- which is awesome -- Gaius on Colonial One, looking over a confidential report as Admiral Adama debriefs his President: "We suspect the warhead was stolen from your lab, then smuggled aboard Cloud 9 by a Cylon agent." Their positions are reversed, now, and now Baltar is the one in power, the one who says what does and does not get investigated. He's sick at Gina's death. "I don't suppose I could interest you in a cup of tea, Admiral?" he manages. "Ambrosia? A biscuit?" Adama warns that this explosion might be the first step in a coordinated Cylon attack, but Gaius knows better. Adama advises that they should focus on internal security, but Baltar's got tears in his eyes, and speaks as if in a trance: "Our first priority is to the people. See that they are safely established on New Caprica. Once that's accomplished..." he sniffs, and actually wipes away a tear. "We can put this tragedy behind us." Adama protests that Baltar's not listening, but Baltar slowly looks up at him: "I don't have to listen. I'm the President." Which is I think a callback, in addition to being an external reference, but I can't find it. He sips his tea for the fourth time in the scene. I don't think he's got a lot of tea in there: "The settlement begins, and it begins now." Adama leaves, and Gaius stares at him. We back away from the President, not in a smooth track but in a couple of cuts, and consider him, all alone in Colonial One, Gina dead, his head in his hands. He sighs, and a new song begins to play. It's beautiful. Violin and percussion, piano. He breathes into his hands. How come Gaius always gets the best music? We track back in on him, focusing closer and closer, until it's just the thatch of his newly-conditioned hair.

...And fade back to his hair, some more. Gaeta's voice rings out: "Mr. President. President Baltar. Good morning, sir. Good morning, sir." Baltar groans and raises his head, and looks twice as shitty as ever. "Mr. President, the Union needs their answer," needles Gaeta as, behind Baltar, a hooker in the bedroom suite gets dressed. The doorway to Baltar's private chambers is hung with opulent swags; he's replaced Roslin's functional teacher furniture with very manly oak desks and tables; he's replaced the White Board with a portrait of himself. "The union," he groans. "If it's not the union, it's the Quorum. If it's not the Quorum, it's the people's council." We take him in, and learn that it is ONE YEAR LATER. And that's not a joke, or a dream, or anything other than the next step in a wonderful adventure. "We survived a nuclear holocaust, Mr. Gaeta. And the people complain about the weather." Gaeta's hair has gone gray; I bet that didn't take a year, working for this jackass. "Sir, it's hardly the weather," Gaeta starts, but Baltar waves him off: "Well, whatever it is." He leans back, looking snaky, looking angry, looking self-satisfied. Looking kind of blotto. He shares a cigarette with the hooker, who has nasty fake boobs and is somewhat more dressed. "How many Cylon attacks have there been since I took office?" he asks, raising his voice. "How many?" Gaeta looks at Baltar, at the woman, back to Baltar: "None, sir." "Precisely. So why do the people complain? Tell the union to get off their fat asses and do some fracking work for a change, or I'll start rounding up their leaders and holding them in detention. I doubt they'll like that very much." Gaeta's so grossed out. "I'll tell them, Mr. President," he says, and takes off. The prostitute takes a seat on a couch, with a blonde woman, to whom Baltar addresses a grunted "'Morning" before going looking for his pills. He thumbs open the bottle and snaps a couple back. Out the window, as crazy music plays, we see a settlement. A tent city, from here to the horizon.

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Battlestar Galactica

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