Battlestar Galactica

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: B | 3 USERS: B+
YOU GRADE IT
The Garden Of The Scar


BROKEN PLACES

"I backed your play, now what?" President Leland stands in Adama's Offices with Kara and Tigh and Adama, looking at his father, drinking him in. "Starbuck goes to work on a plan to get our people back by force." Bill tells them what Laura said, about blowing the Baseship if the Cylons manage to get the Four free and clear. "Half our guys are over there!" says the Colonel.

But tell me chair: tell me about Saul. He is a man, strong accent, beautiful; a man most comfortable as a frak-up, weak and strong, unable to hold power in his hands but the greatest in its service. He is of a certain height, a certain weight, and his hair is faded to silver. He replaced Bill briefly; threw a military coup and nearly divided the Fleet forever for the man he loves most in the world, and had his heart broken. He made love with Ellen as she danced herself apart, and put the cup into her hand. He put his heart back together when it was broken on the wheel; he spends every second praying that this last hump was the last hump. These are all mere qualities, a resume less grand or honorable than the heart that beats within him; these are all qualities but they aren't the point. They begin to contradict themselves, even: He is a member of a dangerous society/He has discovered a bedrock of strength and power that will take him on the next step of his journey, past fear and hate and into glory/He has entered into a dangerous fraternization with the enemy/He is the enemy. Saul is a cat in a box; he is many things at once.

"It's your call, Mr. President," says the Admiral, as he reclaims his wings from Saul. Lee is surprised, but after a moment's thought he speaks through clenched jaw: "Roslin's right. We lose those Four, we lose Earth. If everything goes south, we destroy the Baseship and everyone on it."

Imagine two stones, black and white. The space between is the story we make. When you have two groups at war, or in a cold war, which is what this has become, and an equitable trade seems unreachable, who makes the call? Lee and Three knew, even if Roslin supersedes the truth: the only people who can make the call, ethically, are the ones in contention. But indecision is decision: this is a cold war balanced on the heads of three men, one of whom is in this room, one of whom is participating in an arms race that could end humanity forever.

But Saul's heart lies in the Fleet. It's sitting in this room. The Fleet's heart is Saul, sitting in this room. Tory jumped across space into darkness, but at least she jumped toward something; at least she defined it for herself as extraction. Tigh's always compared himself to Boomer and soon he will again, but that's the story: from home, from Bill and his miraculous child with Caprica, into the abyss. Locked in a strange cold world with aliens and no love ever again. This cold war is balanced on the tip of his nose, like a dog starving, and his only absolution -- for the things that he's done and the thing that he is -- has now maneuvered itself into the worst place imaginable. He is either the savior of the Fleet or its weak link; this has always been true. The cold war breaks on him one way or the other. His heart begins to tear; Saul is too many things at once.

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Battlestar Galactica

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