BATTLESTAR GALACTICA “A Disquiet Follows My Soul”: No One Elected Leo McGarry

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Well–Hot Dog’s got it going on. Who woulda thunk it?

One little fact like that isn’t a lot to cling to in a particularly confusing episode. Some of that confusion is the bad kind–the last shot we saw in last week’s episode was Tigh figuring out that his dead wife was the Fifth of the Final Five Cylons, yet we open this week seeing him holding hands with a Six as they gaze at the sonogram of their alleged Cylon-Cylon baby. Is he using his newfound Cylon projection skills to project Ellen onto Six? Or does he only obsess with Ellen when the plot requires it?

More serious, perhaps, and more fun is the confusion over the shift in power from Adama and Roslin, who are responding to despondency and mutiny in the fleet with jogging and boot-knocking, to Tom Zarek and Gaeta. Oh, Gaeta–he was always the brain of the Galactica, while Dee was the heart. With the heart ripped out last week, the brain isn’t doing so well, and a mutinous alliance is born. While we’re supposed to have faith in Adama and Roslin–they’ve gotten the Fleet this far–their curious combination of caring more about feeling good while trying to impose military will on the people without the consent of their elected representatives is creepy at best. Roslin threatens to put her resignation on Adama’s desk? How about handing it in to the Quorum, which was elected to govern? Adama says he won’t hand over the presidency to Tom Zarek? Since when was it his to hand over? It brings to mind Toby Ziegler’s furious reaction upon finding out President Bartlet had MS on The West Wing, wondering who was in charge and pointing out that the staffers who took power when the President had been shot weren’t elected by the people. It’s the same uncomfortable mix here–we know we should trust Adama and Roslin, and maybe their overall plan (such as it is–besides the sex, I mean) might even be the one we prefer. It’s certainly less racist. But the way they’re going about it is troubling, and even if we’re not sure Zarek and Gaeta would be right in the end, they’re not wrong about the threat of imposed military power. It’s upsetting and confusing–who’s right? Who’s wrong?–but in the best possible way. I do worry about Gaeta, though–much as Dee finally had so much stripped away from her that she couldn’t find a scrap of hope to hold onto, it’s painful to see the character who refused to see an election stolen driven so far that he’s willing to lead a coup. The Adamaites are doing the right thing in all the wrong ways, while the Zarekites go down the wrong road but for potentially right reasons. It’s hard to imagine this ending well (which is half the fun, of course), and that makes disquiet follow my soul.

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