Battlestar Galactica

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
The Stockdale Paradox

Gaius Baltar remembers science, the hard joy and truth of simple facts. "Low-level radiation. Definitely in the water and the food chain. Put word out not to eat or drink anything down here." Tory stares at this new man; at the landing site Helo reports these findings too: this world ended 2,000 years ago. Bill Adama takes off his glasses, and Laura Roslin speaks in a tired, dark voice: "It's perfect. We traded one nuked civilization for another." Bill hustles them away, back to the ship.

Anastasia finds a watch in the sand: Who made it? Who left it here, without anyone to attend to it? Who would build something of such crystalline, intricate beauty, and then just walk away? What kind of watchmaker would do that? What sort of creator deserts His creation in the moment of its destruction? And nearby: a child's set of jacks, a rubber ball half-buried in the sand. So many children's games are about creating order out of chaos: can you gather them all, find a place for them all, before time runs out? Can you bring them home, into your hands, keep them safe before the ball drops again? She picks them up one by one, holding them in her palm like children do. She can't hold them all. She begins to weep.

On the Raptor it gets the best of her, and she begins to shake. What if the rough spots are all we have left? Cally knew; Galen knew too, when he told the President they must plan for a future, forever running, a nation in the sky. What do you do, where do you go when you can't get out? She gave up so many things to get here, shaved off parts of herself and took risks and gave up ethical ground, compromised herself, gave her new family strength at every turn. How much is left?

"Just don't give up. Just don't give up. Don't fall apart," she says, trying to give herself the pep talk that always saves the world. Calling herself home. She can't hold them all. Helo speaks softly to her, from the pilot's seat, calming her down with that voice he uses; she stares at her reflection in the Raptor windscreen and adds his strength to hers. She goes quiet. She goes dark. She holds it together. She can't hold it all.

II: Every Question Asked

When the Raptor doors open, they're all standing there: deck crew, pilots. Waiting, with the look of a people who cannot take one more failure. Who have watched everyone they know die, slowly and softly, quickly and painfully, to get us to this place. They are children in this moment, the surviving orphans, waiting for their President to speak. To somehow call them all home again, tell them it's a joke, remind them of their mandate. It is all around them.

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Battlestar Galactica

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