Battlestar Galactica & Caprica Reviews

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BSG - Season 4 - Episode 18

BSG - 4x18 - Deadlock - Originally Aired: 2009-2-20

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.1

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Synopsis
Humans and Cylons have begun working together to repair the Galactica using Cylon resin. But Ellen Tigh's unexpected return causes a rift in the current unity of both races. Saul, transfixed by Ellen, fails to mention that he and Caprica Six are expecting a baby together — the new life that's believed to be the future of the entire Cylon race.

And in order to maintain this future, the surviving Cylons, who are living aboard the Galactica, gather at Sam Anders' bedside with a proposition for Saul and Ellen to all return back to the Cylon baseship together. During this meeting, Saul and Caprica Six's secret of pending parenthood is revealed and Ellen is heartbroken, enraged and confused. Yet, having no regard for Saul and Ellen's lover's quarrel, the others push her to move past her emotions and make a decision. Her vote will be the deciding factor for whether or not they will all return home to the baseship together or continue to live aboard the Galactica, as circumstantial citizens, estranged from the other Cylons.

Meanwhile another homecoming ensues when Gaius returns to his cult of followers. And in order to keep their complete trust and adoration, Gaius ensures them that it was God, and not he who abandoned them. Yet his rhetoric falls on deaf ears of one of his former followers, Paula, who has now assumed the position of power amongst the group and suggests that he and his teachings are a farce.

Knowing that he must halt the possible damage of Paula's claims, Gaius seeks to regain control over his flock. After meeting a hungry woman Naia, and her son, Gaius, in the trading post, Baltar gets the idea to begin rationing off food to the hungry civilians hoping to regain the people's respect and love. But his self-vested plan backfires when the Sons of Ares show up and rob them of their supplies, leaving the group uncertain of whether Gaius is a reliable leader, and Baltar grasping to find a way back to the top of his throne.

In a quest to maintain her own power, a scorned Ellen votes to go back to the baseship, knowing that Saul would risk being separated from Caprica Six and his pending son, Liam. Angered that she cannot win his compliance, Ellen affirms to Caprica Six that the one Saul truly loves is Bill Adama. Then amidst the calamity, Caprica Six, stunned that Saul would choose the fleet over her, is crippled with pain in her stomach and is rushed to Doc Cottle.

Remorseful, Ellen and Saul gather together at Caprica's bedside, but it's too late and Caprica has a miscarriage. The hope for what the Cylons thought would be their future is lost and the certainty for tomorrow aboard Galactica, the baseship and beyond remains to be unknown. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 39556. No deaths since the previous episode.
- Bear McCreary (the show's composer) was one of the extras in the background in Starbuck's and Tyrol's bar scene.

Remarkable Scenes
- Ellen returning to the fleet. I like how Ellen's reveal aboard the raptor so closely visually paralleled her reveal aboard the raptor in Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down.
- Ellen revealing what she now knows and telling her story to Adama, Tigh, Lee, and Roslin.
- Ellen: "Imagine instead of 50,000 survivors, there are only 5."
- Tigh seeing Caprica Six in Ellen's face as they made love.
- Baltar's reception upon returning to his flock.
- Baltar giving food to people in dogsville.
- Roslin reaching out to Caprica Six and failing.
- Ellen confronting Caprica Six in Tigh's quarters.
- Baltar's cult's food being stolen by the Sons of Ares.
- Tigh and Adama drinking and discussing together.
- Head Six motivating Baltar into delivering his help others and hope speech.
- Tigh regarding Ellen trying to get all the Cylons to go off on their own: "It's petty and vile."
- Tigh regarding majority rule: "Apparently we invented majority rule, but I don't remember it so frak that!"
- Ellen to Caprica Six: "There is something in the universe that he loves far more than you and me and that's Bill Adama."
- Caprica Six' baby dying.
- Baltar appealing to Adama, Lee, and Roslin.
- Tigh being consoled by Adama over his baby's death.
- Roslin and Adama noticing that the rebel Cylons have been posting their own photos on the memorial wall too.

My Review
"Petty" is exactly the right word to describe much of Deadlock's plot which focuses way too much on Ellen still being the same old Ellen. I suppose it's easy to appreciate on some level she'd be the same person she's always been, but I find it hard to suspend disbelief on the matter of her being willing to put everyone in jeopardy over an irrational and fleeting feeling of Saul's betrayal, especially if she can say to Saul, "so who'd you frak?" and then "it's okay, you thought I was dead," then get all pissed off when she discovers Tigh had been seeing Caprica Six and had in fact impregnated her.

As previously noted, much of the episode hinges on this irrational myopia, but the annoyances don't end there. Hearkening back to The Farm's sins, much of this episode's storytelling seems to heavily imply that love, or lack thereof is the principal cause of the death of Caprica Six' baby. Obviously the plot leaves room for any number of perfectly rational causes rooted in science rather than mysticism, but this recurring overtone is irritating.

Then of course, there's the plot hole regarding how Ellen and Boomer could even locate the fleet in the first place not being satisfactorily explained. (Well, not explained at all, really.) Did they get that information because Cavil knew where the fleet was all along? If so, why hasn't Cavil attacked the fleet already? Speaking of plot holes, did anyone else feel like eliminating Caprica Six' baby was another less-than-subtle slight of hand by the writers to make Hera more important, like the Cally retcon? (Though perhaps less annoying.)

However, the other half of the story concerning Baltar was a refreshing and interesting change of pace. It seems while Baltar was away, his cult made a deal with the Sons of Ares. They work to earn a food surplus, then give some or most of it to the Sons of Ares in exchange for being left alone. Baltar, unaware of this, tries to regain control of his cult from Paula by doing the noble deed of feeding the underprivileged on the lower decks and is quickly made aware of the new arrangement shortly thereafter.

The most interesting part though is how Baltar responds to this. Instead of letting his survival instinct kick in to protect him as usual, he sees the bigger picture; he sees the writing on the wall. His appeal to Adama seems to be rooted in preventing another uprising, one which he sees as more dangerous than Gaeta's mutiny. Somehow, he manages to convince Adama of this offscreen and is given a cache of weapons.

While it's also a bit irritating that the next (perhaps final?) plot arc aboard the Galactica looks to be the fermenting of yet another uprising as this is starting to feel somewhat redundant by now, I enjoyed the theme of the episode closing on the note of Adama being surprised to realize that the societal integration of the humans and Cylons has already happened on some level as evidenced by the final scene showing us a physical representation of that mutual blending on the memorial wall. With the ship too being infused with Cylon blood both literally and figuratively, Adama's final challenge will be to finish the work he's already begun mending the fences between these two peoples.

Overall, this episode isn't anything spectacular, though not necessarily a stinker either. The petty plot concerning the final five drags the episode down below average, but if it had focused less on this pettiness and more on Baltar, the ship's condition, and even the yet-another-uprising plot threads more, it might have been above average.

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