Battlestar Galactica

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 2 USERS: B+
Queen Me

(All Pawns become Queens, if they live long enough. They always were. Redemption is primarily an act of memory, not agency: remembering you already were redeemed. When you hit that end of line, when you become Queen, you realize the boards all at once, and can see in every direction. Ellen's the first -- since Kara forgot what she learned in Heaven, and Boomer's still ricocheting around the board -- but she won't be the last.)

Ellen goes calm and still, and slicks her hair back, and looks kindly on the Centurion watching her, in this secret tank room. "Will you help me up, please?" It's nervous; this is one savior, the primary savior, of his race. Her race. Its race. "It's okay. You can do that much." It walks to her and holds out one toaster hand, fingers like needles, meant to injure like a razor. She looks on them, gently remembering, and he curls them back, embarrassed, into soft human digits. "Thank you," she smiles. "You're very kind." She takes its hand, this recapitulated human form, the story in miniature from both sides -- soft now and chivalrous, all war forgotten -- and stands. Like a queen.

Eighteen months later, the man (once a loving friend, who played songs for her across eons, who spent days on the beach with her because she loved the water) who ordered her death lies in sickbay, brainwaves wigging on the screen, head shaven, lines drawn for a surgery that John Cavil recapitulated for Ellen. In both cases, we crack the skull and draw out what we need, rendering the vessel of revelation silent and dead, for what he knows and can't stop saying. Because we view it as a sickness, okay? To tell the truth, on this layer, is to risk being called crazy or worse. Kara knows, and it's just one of the things Sam will scream at her before this is over, but think about this: Cavil's convinced himself the truth, the soul, our joined history, is a psychosis. And Cottle and Gerard, even in this context, have a medical duty to react the same way even though they basically know -- like Cavil, but for different reasons and in a different context -- that this shit is for real.

(Here's Tom Wolfe, who has provided prophetic episode titles for us before, from Look Homeward, Angel, the title of which alone could be the subtitle of this show ... but which is even more fucked up when you think about the fact that its title comes from a poem by Milton, whose Paradise Lost provides a narrative map to this episode, this show, most stories and shows in the last hundred years or so, postmodernism/poststructuralism, Gnosticism, Ellen's life, Kara's and Cavil's relationships with their respective mothers, and who influenced Sartre more than he would ever admit), and which Sam is, in parts italicized by yours truly, quoting, but whose every word was a mystery and a door:

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Battlestar Galactica




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