Battlestar Galactica & Caprica Reviews

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BSG - Season 2 - Episode 15

BSG - 2x15 - Scar - Originally Aired: 2006-2-3

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.57

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Synopsis
The colonial mining ship Majahual has been working around the clock for a month extracting essential metals from an asteroid. The fleet has moved on, leaving Galactica behind to guard the miners from persistent Cylon raids.

The viper pilots' deadliest foe is an enemy Raider that they've nicknamed "Scar," the combat-savvy reincarnation of countless Cylon warriors that boasts a growing list of human kills. Hiding out in the asteroid belt, Scar is a master of hit-and-run attacks that are decimating the war-weary Viper squadrons and forcing them to throw inexperienced replacement pilots into the fray.

The shaken pilots, led by Capt. Lee "Apollo" Adama, cover their distress at the mounting casualties by adopting a hardboiled demeanor. But neither booze nor a lustful encounter with Lee can vanquish the battle-fatigue or the demons that haunt Lt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace.

Tempers explode between Kara and Lt. Louanne "Kat" Katraine, who insists that Starbuck is dangerously off her game. A fierce competition ensues as to which of them will obliterate Scar.

But when Scar traps both Starbuck and Kat in an ambush, Kara must swallow her pride and support her brash young rival in a climactic dogfight against the Cylons' top gun. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- Starbuck and Kat fly Mark VII Vipers in this episode, but when we watch their launch sequence, the visual effects scene depicts stock Mark II footage. Update: this was fixed on the DVD release and will likely be fixed for all future TV viewings as well.

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49593.
- The Pegasus is capable of constructing vipers.
- This episode establishes that Cylon raiders reincarnate just like the human models.
- Baltar and Six do not appear in this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- The teaser outlining what Scar is and the conflict between Kat and Starbuck.
- Kat: "One Tigh on the ship's enough."
- Starbuck's meeting with Boomer. Starbuck: "Raiders reincarnate." Boomer: "Makes sense, doesn't it? It takes months for you train a nugget into an effective viper pilot. And then they get killed. And then you lose their experience, their knowledge, their skill sets. It's gone forever. So if you could bring them back and put them in a brand new body, wouldn't you do it? Death then becomes a learning experience."
- Starbuck: "Not bad. At least you hit the target." Duck: "Yeah, that's a lot better than I did the first time. I think I took out that clock over there."
- Kat beating Starbuck's record in the vertigo test.
- Starbuck: "We go out over and over again until someday some metal motherfrakker is gonna catch us on a bad day and just blow us away."
- Starbuck's seduction scene with Apollo.
- Starbuck and Kat confronting one another in the wardroom.
- Starbuck: "I am gonna put him right in front of you. Do not miss you frakkin' stim junkie!"
- Kat taking out Scar. I love how Scar explodes in a ball of blood.
- Starbuck attempting to salute every pilot they've lost, but being unable to remember all the names.
- Helo, regarding why Starbuck didn't take out Scar like she said she could have: "So why didn't you do it?" Starbuck: "Probably would've died in the process. Bastard was too good. Couple months ago, I wouldn't've even thought about that. Woulda just gone for the glory hoping I could pull it outta the fire somehow."

My Review
Scar is another episode which makes heavy use of flashback storytelling, which is kind of annoying, but I let it slide here somewhat because the visual effects depicting the battle with Scar really were fantastic and watching them again and again is definitely not something to complain a great deal about. I did feel there were some pacing issues toward the end; some of the battle scenes felt redundant. Especially the one when Starbuck plays her game of chicken with Scar. We saw the setup for that at least, what, three times? That's pushing it. But whatever. It was still a fantastic episode that was amazingly visually spectacular.

This episode is all about Starbuck dealing with her personal demons. She's feeling profound guilt over breaking her word to Anders, being unable to convince Adama and Roslin to plan a mission back to Caprica to rescue him and his resistance group. It would have been nice to have seen more scenes depicting Starbuck actually approaching Roslin and Adama about this, but the implication is nevertheless clear.

Another demon Kara is dealing with is Kat. Kara trained another Starbuck, for Kat's starting to rival her skill. This is both a good and a bad thing; it's nice to have another amazing pilot, but Starbuck's got an ego to protect which breeds an immature but fun to watch conflict. Kara being as pissed off as she is in this episode also leads to a long awaited sexual encounter with Lee, for all the wrong reasons, which doesn't really go anywhere. I really liked that scene. There was a certain vulnerable honesty to it that was interesting.

Finally, there's a certain conventional fun to this episode. It's a story we've seen many times before. The ace enemy fighter steps into the ring, slaughters good guys, and we get to see him blow up in a bloody confrontation in the end. There's something satisfying about episodes like this and there's also something great about being able to immerse yourself in fighter pilot culture during an episode like this. Overall, Scar is not very deep but it's still a very successful and entertaining episode.

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