BSG - Season 1 - Episode 08
BSG - 1x08 - Flesh and Bone - Originally Aired: 2004-12-6
A Cylon, who calls himself Leoben, is discovered on one of the ships in the fleet. Commander Adama sends Kara to interrogate him, or rather, it. The Cylon tells Kara that he planted a nuclear device on one of the ships. Although she doesn't believe it, Kara passes on the warning.
As her colleagues search for the device, Kara engages Leoben in a battle of wills. Theological debates about souls and the humanity of Cylons lead to mind games, threats, and, ultimately, torture. Taking a personal interest in what Leoben has to say, President Roslin joins the interrogation.
On Galactica, Sharon asks Baltar to try out his new Cylon-detecting technology on her.
Meanwhile, on far-off Caprica, another Sharon conspires with her Cylon associates Doral and Number Six to convince Helo to remain on the planet and start a new life. [Blu-ray] [DVD]
- How did Leoben know so much about Starbuck's past?
- Leoben claims he is god in this episode. It is not clear if he is doing philosophical double talk, as Adama would call it, or if there is more significance to the line.
- Boomer claims to be from the city of Troy (which is presumably on Aerelon). But Six claims that's a lie.
- The current survivor count on Laura's whiteboard can be seen to read 47954 in this episode.
- Leoben: "To know the face is god is to know madness."
- Six: "Wonder why the call her Boomer?"
- Leoben: "Do you realize I could kill you before they came back in the room? I could get to my feet, rip your skull from your spinal column, crash through that door, and kill the guard in less time than it's taking me to describe it to you?"
- Leoben psychoanalyzing Starbuck and accurately predicting her family history.
- Baltar discovering Boomer to be a Cylon.
- Leoben: "Each of us plays a role; each time a different role. Maybe the last time I was the interrogator and you were the prisoner. The players change, the story remains the same. And this time, this time, your role is to deliver my soul unto god. Do it for me. It's your destiny. And mine. And I told you I had a surprise for you. Are you ready? You are going to find Kobol, birthplace of us all. Kobol will lead you to Earth. This is my gift to you, Kara."
- Leoben declaring to Roslin that Adama is a Cylon.
- Roslin ordering Leoben thrown out the airlock.
- Roslin: "President Adar once said that the interesting thing about being a president is that you don't have to explain yourself to anyone."
Like Litmus, this is another episode which does little more than simply advance the running plot arcs a bit, but this one does so in style. Leoben is one of my favorite Cylons because he's just so interesting to listen to and watch. It's kind of annoying that all his spiritual talk in this episode seemed to lack an overall purpose and significance, but at least some of it was interesting. His prophesying that Earth actually does exist and that the humans will find it has some interesting implications. Is it true, or is he just messing with them? His creepily detailed and accurate read of Starbuck's past and psychological profile was also of distinct interest.
Indeed, what makes this episode shine is the interplay between Leoben and Starbuck, as well as toward the end of the episode the interplay between Leoben and Roslin. Watching Leoben interact with people was utterly fascinating, for his character is shrouded in so many layers of mysterious intent. On one hand, he's most definitely trying to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt. On the other hand, he does tend to mix his lies with truth as Adama said. The Cylons are experts at misdirection and Leoben is a prime example of this.
On the Boomer-Helo front, I'm not sure what to make of the events of this episode. It seems quite clear that the Cylons want Boomer and Helo to stay on Caprica and start a life together. But it also seems pretty clear that Boomer has betrayed the Cylons' plans for them. Why? This much is not made clear.
In the end, as much as I liked this episode from a stylistic point of view, there is next to nothing concrete that can be retained plot-wise from the episode. So while one of the more entertaining and thought provoking episodes of the season, I can't grant it a high rating due to its ambiguous purpose. There's not necessarily anything wrong with that, for it may enhance a future, more pointed episode in the future. But I can't rate episodes based on what might be.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From -_Name_- on 2013-06-18 at 2:20pm:
This was a great episode. The ambiguity is superb - how much of what he said was some kind of calculated disinformation algorithm, intended to confuse and paralyze, and how much was heart-felt? Interesting either way.
The only real problem is how Adama agreed with the president's order to interrogate the Cylon... He could've made a very convincing case that this was a military decision and that it was too dangerous and futile to bother, especially after his own experience... So: weird that he didn't bother to argue, and come to think of it weird that he would send Starbuck (recently rescued and walking with a cane) instead of going himself.