Battlestar Galactica
Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II

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

Immediate cut to the humans, on either side of a street through the settlement, as Centurions march down, in unending numbers, moving slowly and terribly, just silver and clanking all the way back. Saul and Ellen watch them progress, her hand over her mouth. Roslin stares, barren and full of rage. The Raiders continue overhead, lacing a contrail grid over the city. Cally and Chief stand with Kara: "What do you want to do now, Captain?" And we close up, drums going crazy, on a different Caprica, but the same Starbuck: "The same thing we always do. Fight them until we can't."

THE END. Immediately as the credits start to roll, a SciFi promo hits the screen; a woman's voice over shots of the cast, and all the Cylons we know, set to poundy drums, breathtaking in its enormity:

"Humanity has surrendered, the war is finally over. We must now fulfill our true destiny -- so we will love them, and take care of them. Show them the glory of peace. And, like God, our infinite mercy will be matched only by our power. And complete control."

Whoa. I get kind of choky just looking at that. It's a big deal. Too big. I don't necessarily see a distinction, or a contradiction, between the end of "Downloaded" and what we just saw happen. The only line that sticks out is the "go our separate ways" one from the Cavils, and even that was immediately contradicted by the "we have new plans" stuff. I think we're getting a new beginning, all right, one without jealousy, or murder, or vengeance. I think the Cylon are making up for their apocalyptic mistake the best way they can: by doing what they were built for. By serving mankind, by showing them the way, by giving us all a way to live in God's love, without hate or lies. What it said on the tin, basically. You can crush a people with love just as easily as with hate, if that "love" is a blunt instrument you don't truly understand. Or, as with Baltar, or even Cally, if that "love" is more about establishing who you are, if you haven't figured that out yet. Their God, their rules. They're a young race. I think it was fun pretending the Fleet, or the Geminese, or at least Pegasus, was ugly America, the scary part of America. But take it to a global level, and you have to reverse it. I just don't like to see anybody caged. I hate it, because I don't want them hurting. I don't want to know how bad it was, that year. How dirty and sad and terrified they were, or how many fell sick, or how nasty the weather could be. I don't want to know what happened between Kara and Lee, or why she left the Fleet, or why Laura knuckled under and gave up her political clout and prophet margin, or how long Anders has been sick, or what they did to Sharon, or how much it hurt Gaeta to see politics in action, or what happened to make Dualla so shiny and hard, or when exactly Lee stopped working out and started eating constant noodles, or what forced Chief into this position of righteous anger and frustration, or how sneaky Laura acted about Maya and the baby, or what strips of hide Gaius got in return for the election hijinks, or what they did to Cavil, or what awful shit Zarek's up to, or what the Geminese did after a couple of months of hard living and no salvation, or what the surrender monkeys got up to once they got bored, or how Gaeta could face Tigh, or Laura, or Dualla, or Adama. I don't want to know that stuff. I don't want to know how bad it's going to get, in October, when the people we love -- who are already entirely different people, but who we still love -- have been thoroughly caged. I don't want to see this dirty haven turned into a concentration camp. I don't want to see Bill and Lee cut off from everyone else they love. I don't want to see Laura disappointed. It hurts too much to even think about, and I don't want to know. But I need to know, and you do too. I love it, too, because it's awesome. It's shaking things up at the top of the game, before this looks like desperation: what's interesting is if they lose. What's interesting is if this continually developing, evolving, complex story turns back on itself, and asks a new question. These are the denials that make it matter -- knowing that we're never going to get the whole lost year back, knowing that none of it matters now, because they're all made new, and their circumstances have just changed pretty violently, and the whole game has changed, and knowing this: every love story is, first and foremost, a mystery.

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Battlestar Galactica




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