Battlestar Galactica & Caprica Reviews

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BSG - Season 2 - Episode 01

BSG - 2x01 - Scattered - Originally Aired: 2005-7-15

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 5.24

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Synopsis
With Commander Adama fighting for his life after being shot by the Cylon infiltrator Sharon, and President Roslin languishing in the Galactica's brig after losing the power struggle with Adama, Col. Tigh is thrust into the unfamiliar role of the sole leader in a time of crisis.

The situation worsens quickly. First, Tigh sends Lee to the brig for siding with Roslin against Commander Adama. Then an emergency jump to escape an incoming Cylon force goes wrong, leaving Galactica alone in space, separated from the rest of the fleet and from the medical help needed to save Adama's life.

As Tigh struggles to come to terms with this crisis, he thinks back on his relationship with Adama, who saved him from oblivion and from his own fierce temper, and tries to tap into some of the wisdom that his old friend offered him.

It soon becomes clear that to reconnect with the fleet, Galactica must jump back into danger over Kobol and network its computers, a highly risky move that will make the ship vulnerable to attack from both the Cylon fighters and their crippling computer viruses.

Meanwhile, on the surface of Kobol, Chief Tyrol and the rest of the downed Raptor crew fight for their lives against an unseen enemy while Vice President Baltar seeks solace in his visions of Number Six, only to find those visions turn dark and haunting.

Light-years away, on Cylon-occupied Caprica, Kara and Helo must find some way to bring the Arrow of Apollo back to the fleet, but first they have to get it back from the avatar of Number Six who has found it in the Delphi Museum. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- Sure is a shame every time they update the jump coordinates, the old ones are not kept around just in case of situations like this... but then we can chalk that up the list of Gaeta's mistakes as well, can't we? ;)
- A shot of viper 1104 is erroneously mirrored in one scene.

Factoids
- This episode received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing For A Series.
- Captain Kelly appears to be third in the chain of command, after Tigh. However, it is possible that Apollo would have been next in line after Tigh should he not have been arrested.
- The American broadcasts switched over to the UK version of the main title starting with this episode, which features different music, and a Hindu mantra, the Gayatri Mantra, taken from the Rig Veda. The words from the mantra are: "OM bhūr bhuvah svah tat savitur varēnyam bhargō dēvasya dhīmahi dhiyō yō nah pracōdayāt" which roughly translates to: "May we attain that excellent glory of Savitri the Goddess / so May she stimulate our prayers."
- The main title was also shortened, the second half with the scenes of the episode you're about to watch was removed because people complained about the scenes being spoilers.
- Starting with season 2, the main title includes a survivor count.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 47875.
- The musical piece "Passacaglia" first featured in Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 1 is played again in this episode during the opera house scene.
- The medic who does emergency surgery on Adama is played by Jamie Bamber's wife (Kerry Norton).
- Adama and Tigh served aboard a freighter after being discharged from the military after the Cylon war. Adama hated this life and desired to get back into the Colonial Fleet. Eventually, through his new wife's connections, he managed to do this, and brought Tigh with him.

Remarkable Scenes
- The craziness of the teaser, climaxing with the Galactica losing the fleet after the emergency jump to escape the Cylon attack.
- The second half of the opera house scene.
- Baltar hallucinating the crib in the forest on Kobol as he and the Raptor crew move into the treeline.
- Starbuck confronting Boomer and Helo.
- Starbuck regarding Boomer being pregnant with Helo's child: "My gods men are so painfully stupid sometimes!"
- Starbuck: "Bitch took my ride."
- Tigh interrogating Boomer.
- The Cylons attacking Tyrol, Cally, and Tarn.
- Tarn's death.
- Gaeta regarding his software firewall: "Best I can make it, sir. Wish Dr. Baltar was here." Tigh: "To hell with that. I'll take your work over that shifty son of a bitch any day."
- The sight of the Cylon raiders launching from the Cylon Basestar. We'd never seen that before, it's an impressive piece of visual effects.
- The battle.
- The emergency surgery on Adama.
- The Cylon heavy raider bearing on Galactica.
- Galactica finding the fleet.
- Tigh's flashback depicting him one step away from burning his uniform when he was informed that he'd been reinstated in the Colonial Fleet with the rank of captain.
- The scene depicting Cylon Centurions exiting the heavy raider that crashed into Galactica's gift shop.

My Review
True to the season one finale, none of the momentum of the cliffhanger is lost. Immediately we're thrown into the chaos that is the aftermath of Adama being shot. The Cylons jump in and attack Galactica and an emergency jump is made. In the midst of the chaos, Gaeta makes a mistake and Galactica jumps to the wrong place. This forces Tigh to start making hard decisions regarding tactics, ultimately culminating in Galactica being forced to go toe to toe with that Cylon Basestar for several minutes while Gaeta plots the correct jump to find the fleet. Special mention goes to the visual effects during the battle; it was absolutely breathtaking to watch Apollo stray into Galactica's engagement zone.

This story is told to the backdrop of Tigh's own insecurities. Through his flashbacks and his own declaration, we know that Tigh never wanted a command. He never even wanted back into the military, but Adama was a proud military man, Tigh and Adama were friends, and that was just the way it was going to be. Sometimes you make hard life decisions and/or sacrifices to be with someone you care about.

Speaking of people caring for each other, Helo does an about face now that he's learned Boomer is pregnant, which I find fascinating. Starbuck tries to kill Boomer in a most wonderfully powerful emotional scene and Helo stops her. "I'm not going to let you kill her. She's carrying my child." That's all it takes for Helo to lose his hatred for the Cylon who manipulated him for weeks. I think that speaks volumes about the character. It's also interesting to note that Baltar is being groomed by Six to care for the Cylon baby just as much as Helo has been.

Adama's surgery scenes were definitely tense to watch, especially given the fact that a lowly medic was forced to perform the surgery. I can only imagine how disgusted Dr. Cottle will be when he sees the amateurish work. Speaking of amateurish work, it seems Six was right about Boomer being weak. She assassinates people about as well as she attempts suicide. I'm glad they're keeping this theme with Boomer being a weak Cylon model, and I hope it is explored further.

The deleted scenes are of unusually high importance to this episode as well. Tigh's flashbacks give us some vague information about how Adama and Tigh met. We know they served aboard a freighter and became friends. But one deleted scene in particular gets very specific about how they met. Whether or not this scene has remained canon is uncertain, but this is my favorite deleted scene so far, and I think it speaks volumes about both characters. Essentially what happens is some guys in a bar start picking on Tigh for being a washed up war veteran, and Tigh gets in a fight with them. Tigh is one step away from breaking one of their necks when Adama shows up with a gun. Adama diffuses the situation by protecting Tigh from getting picked off from behind and convincing Tigh to let the man he's got in the headlock go. This is a scene I really wish could have been incorporated into the episode. And this is just one deleted scene. All the deleted scenes for this episode about Tigh and Adama are marvelous. I highly recommend you go watch them. I hope this stuff makes it into a future episode at some point.

In any case, I spoke in Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down about how Adama keeps Tigh around because he knows Tigh is a good officer. Adama sees this in him while probably nobody else does. Never is Adama's faith in Tigh better validated than in Tigh's actions in this episode, for Tigh really does know how to handle a combat situation, and the Galactica fares well under Tigh's leadership here.

Finally, there's no reset button. Other shows like to clean up situations left by a prior cliffhanger in a single episode and I'm glad they're not doing that here. The discovery of Kobol, the deposition of the president, and the assassination attempt on Adama are all very major events which it appears are going to play out over a longer period of time than just a few episodes. This is a very good thing.

While Scattered is not as pointed a piece as its season opener counterpart 33, it's every bit as entertaining and really, it doesn't need as large a central theme as 33 did. The episode is titled Scattered after all, so you expect a certain amount of chaos. But in the end, Scattered is presented in an extraordinarily captivating way that makes it special and among Galactica's top episodes.

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