Battlestar Galactica & Caprica Reviews

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BSG - Season 2 - Episode 05

BSG - 2x05 - The Farm - Originally Aired: 2005-8-12

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 4.36

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Synopsis
Commander Adama returns to a hero's welcome and an unenviable task: In order to maintain control of the fleet, he must track down his son, Lee, and President Roslin, who have escaped (with Tom Zarek's help) into hiding somewhere in the fleet. Adama orders all ships in the fleet searched.

Meanwhile, Lee and Roslin prepare to send a message to the rest of the fleet seeking popular support. When the time comes, however, Lee can't bring himself to publicly condemn his father.

With no other choice, Roslin plays "the religious card" to save the human race. She declares herself to be the voice of the prophet Pythia. Her announcement sends shockwaves throughout the fleet's population.

Finally, unable to hide any longer, her ship makes the jump back to Kobol, where she plans to seek the road to Earth. To the surprise of many on the Galactica, and to Roslin herself, nearly one-third of the fleet follows her to Kobol.

Far away, on Cylon-occupied Caprica, Kara goes on a recon with the resistance fighters and is wounded in a firefight. She finds herself being nursed back to health by Simon, an attentive doctor who tells that she can better serve the human race by having babies than by fighting Cylons.

When Kara awakens with a new scar, though, she begins to suspect that neither Simon nor the hospital are what they seem. Sneaking out of her locked room, she discovers that Simon is a Cylon, and she kills him. Making a bid for freedom, she stumbles upon a chilling sight: a room full of women, including resistance fighter Sue-Shaun, wired up by the Cylons to serve as baby machines. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- The so called theory that maybe the one thing the Cylons were missing in their procreation efforts was love and is the reason they can't procreate is utter rubbish and I sure hope that this assertion dies with this episode.
- It's said that 24 ships is almost a third of the fleet. But in the miniseries there are said to be only ~40 FTL capable ships. So how many ships are there?

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 47857. (A loss of four from the previous episode, who all died at Gideon. Boomer was not counted.)
- The second half of the main title returns to us starting in this episode, depicting clips from the episode you're about to watch.
- There is a ship in the fleet called Kimba Huta which is suited for cold storage. It is described a meat locker. However, it is unclear if there are actually ships in the fleet producing meat by raising and butchering animals. A deleted scene seems to indicate that meat is scarce and what remains is all that's left.
- This episode establishes that Boomer has been aboard the Galactica for two years.
- This episode confirms suspicions from Flesh and Bone that Starbuck has been the victim of physical abuse as a child.
- There's a cute detail when Simon enters Starbuck's room for the final time, you can see the number on the door is 254. This scene takes place in season 2, episode 5, act 4. ;)
- According to Boomer, although "procreation is one of god's commandments," the Cylons cannot fulfill it. They've tried.
- Despite having betrayed the Cylons, Boomer is still able to "access data" somehow, such as details regarding Leoben's interrogation of Kara.

Remarkable Scenes
- Adama's return to CIC.
- Adama discussing Boomer with Tyrol.
- Adama: "You'll see her again, chief." Tyrol: "Excuse me?" Adama: "There are many copies. You'll see her again."
- Simon: "We have 223 patients at the moment, 2 doctors, and 5 teachers masquerading as nurses." Starbuck: "I know a teacher masquerading as president."
- Simon talking about Kara's childhood, striking nerve with Kara.
- Boomer showing up.
- Starbuck killing Simon.
- Starbuck discovering the baby factory.
- The Cylon heavy raider taking out the centurions.
- Boomer to Starbuck: "You have a destiny."
- I like the music ("A Promise To Return" on the soundtrack) in the scene when Anders gives Kara her Arrow of Apollo back and tells her to go find Earth.

My Review
The Farm is the second major weak episode. Picking up on the resistance movement on Caprica in full force which was already a fairly annoyingly presented plot thread, it degenerates even further when Kara is shot and captured by the Cylons. It's all too obvious from the beginning the Simon is a Cylon, though this seems intentional, so the question becomes what's his plan? In the end, we get the great revelation that the Cylons have farms of humans where they are trying to create human-Cylon hybrids, but the details leave much to be desired.

The whole "love theory" idea is absolute rubbish. This episode leaves us with the distinct connotation that the human-Cylon breeding farms have been unsuccessful exclusively because there's no love involved, and that the only reason Helo's and Sharon's experiment was a success was because they were manipulated into falling in love. This is an extreme disappointment of a revelation, because it makes the Cylons look like idiots. Prior to this episode, we could speculate that it was a psychological experiment, but nope, it's all about biology. And biologically in the BSG universe apparently love is necessary for conception. It's as if the writers have never heard of a raped woman becoming pregnant.

Boomer did say that the Cylons were interested in various different ways of attempting to create hybrids. Some couplings are by choice and some not by choice. So it's possible the episode wasn't really trying to imply that love plays a physical, biological role in human-Cylon conception. I sure hope this is the case, but official statements from the writers are not encouraging, nor is the prevailing aesthetic of this episode. Thus my problem with this episode is much like my problem with Six Degrees of Separation. This episode has an enormous, show stopping technical problem which gets in the way of the drama. It's hard to take it seriously when they get the science wrong.

A similarly annoying detail but not necessarily a show stopping problem was Anders and his resistance group deciding to stay on Caprica. They could have easily crammed everyone aboard the heavy raider and taken them back to the fleet, but they all decided to stay. Why? To continue a hopeless fight against the Cylons in which surely most of them will die? I mean, I get the idea that they want to take out as many farms as possible, but choosing to stay on Caprica is ludicrously stupid. As Starbuck said, they're on the losing end of this fight.

Aside from that, however, this was an excellent character piece for Adama and Starbuck. Katee Sackhoff did an extraordinary job playing Kara and Edward James Olmos did an equally extraordinary job playing Adama. In particular, seeing Adama wrestling with the various betrayals that he has had to deal with was quite compelling; going everywhere from angrily throwing a clipboard in CIC to crying over Boomer's corpse.

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