Battlestar Galactica & Caprica Reviews

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BSG - Season 3 - Episode 13

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.62

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Synopsis
Gaius Baltar, captured on the algae planet and now imprisoned aboard the Galactica, stealthily knots a makeshift noose as the fleet sleeps around him. Then, urged on by the Six in his mind, he hangs himself. Losing consciousness, he imagines awakening in a new body aboard a Cylon resurrection ship, proving that he was a Cylon all along. The Sixes who greet him there, however, declare that he is human after all — and then they try to kill him. He revives back aboard the Galactica to find that unexpected visit by Felix Gaeta exposed his suicide attempt and saved his life. He's back in his cell, facing interrogation about his knowledge of Cylon operations.

Hoping to make Baltar talk, Roslin pretends to lose her temper and orders him summarily executed for treason. Although Roslin's fury is uncomfortably sincere, Baltar only begs for a fair trial; he doesn't confess Cylon secrets. Adama and Roslin then order Doc Cottle to inject Baltar with a dangerous experimental cocktail of hallucinogenic drugs that the military once tested for use in interrogations.

Meanwhile, Apollo and Tyrol discuss their marriages over drinks at a makeshift bar aboard the Galactica, but later, when Apollo returns drunk to his quarters, he balks at having the same discussion with Dualla. Certain that Apollo loves Starbuck, Dualla believes that her marriage is over.

Starbuck and Anders also confront their similarly dysfunctional marriage. Anders still believes that they fought so hard to be together because they were meant to be together. Nonetheless, he gives Starbuck his permission to go to Apollo — if she truly loves Apollo.

Apollo and Starbuck try to discuss their plight and end up arguing. Though they remain drawn to each other, they aren't able to trust that their future together will be worth destroying two marriages. If they can't commit to a decision soon, however, their uncertainty will cost them both their spouses and each other.

Baltar, lost in a drug-induced hallucination, finds himself struggling to stay afloat in a dark, watery abyss. His only lifeline is Adama's voice. The Admiral stands over Baltar's hospital bed and promises to save him from drowning if he shares information about the Cylons. Terrified, helpless, and physically near death from his suicide attempt and the drugs, Baltar talks.

Freed from the drug-induced stupor, he is taken to a clean, well-lit room for a friendly conversation with Gaeta, his friend and former adviser. Unfortunately for Baltar, he still doesn't say exactly what Gaeta needs — or wants — to hear … and he might find out only too late that Gaeta is no longer his friend at all. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- This episode leads us to believe it doesn't take place too long after the previous one because of how Baltar is handled, but Starbuck's hands are completely healed. Either an unreasonable amount of time has passed with regards to Baltar's incarceration and interrogation, or Starbuck has had an impossible miracle healing done to her hands. Either way it's a technical problem.

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 41403. (The survivor count goes up by two in this episode. Possibly one can be attributed to Baltar's return, but the other? Hera perhaps?)
- The title of this episode is a reference to the theme song of Cheers.

Remarkable Scenes
- Baltar's suicide attempt in the teaser, complete with a disturbing lullaby.
- Apollo: "You and Cally had a fight?" Tyrol: "Didn't you hear us? We figured we could've sold tickets. Ah. To marriage. Why we build bars."
- Drunk Apollo coming home to Dee and fast crashing. Snoring even in the middle of her speaking to him about how a proper marriage involves interaction between the couple.
- Roslin deliberately paralleling Baltar's interrogation of her on New Caprica, down to the glasses gesture.
- Roslin: "Just wondered if you recognized even one of these faces. Did any image get through to you on the rare occasion when you ventured out from behind your sandbags and your razor wires to see what was happening to your people?! Your people! I need to know! Now!"
- The shouting match between Roslin and Baltar as she ordered Tigh to toss him out the airlock.
- Baltar: "Caprica... Caprica Six. She saved my life. Shielded me from the explosion." Roslin: "Doctor, did you conspire with her to subvert our defense system?" Baltar: "Conspiracy requires intent! I never intended."
- Baltar waving to the security camera.
- Gaeta attacking Baltar.
- Adama decking Gaeta.
- Adama: "It's not too late for him to just disappear." Roslin: "We can't do that. For all his crimes he's one of us." Adama: "So what happens next?" Roslin: "We give him his trial."

My Review
Taking a Break from All Your Worries mashes up the running love quadrangle story with Baltar's return and subsequent interrogation. Unfortunately, the love quadrangle story was its usual flop, so pairing it with Baltar's return to the Galactica only served to diminish that part of the story too. I won't say too much about the love quadrangle this time, as I've already said it better in previous reviews. Simply stated, it has become tedious and it's being drawn out far too long.

However, even Baltar's story alone is not without its own flaws. The scene depicting Baltar waking up in a Cylon resurrection chamber was sort of a cheap ploy. We all knew already he wasn't a Cylon. Playing up the drama of whether or not he is one for so long serves only to bore and possibly annoy the audience. Furthermore, Baltar's interrogation went on way too long. The episode essentially ran out of steam after Roslin's heated shouting match with Baltar, which is easily the most riveting aspect of the episode, for which I grant an extra point.

The drug induced interrogation was bizarre and served little purpose other than to confirm Baltar's unintentional collusion with the Cylons for Roslin. The same effect could have been achieved by simply prolonging the shouting match between Roslin and Baltar, keeping the tension high.

An additional weakness of the episode was that there was little to no Caprica Six, depending on how you look at it. A "bonus scene" was featured on BSG's official website (and included as a deleted scene on the DVD) depicting a scene where Roslin speaks with Caprica Six. In this scene, Roslin promises Caprica Six she won't be airlocked. Caprica Six equates that promise to the one she made to Leoben in Flesh and Bone, which she broke. Six then offers to be Roslin's chief witness if Roslin agrees to give Baltar a fair trial. This is a nice touch, but nowhere near enough.

Some details I did like was the clear implication that nobody knows Baltar is back so that the option to quietly execute him is always available. There are also a number of interesting juxtapositions between Baltar and Roslin. In addition to the obvious interrogation parallels, such as the glasses touch, Roslin says to Adama that a change in tactics for Baltar's interrogation is required stating that it necessitates the use of the "carrot" rather than the "stick" which parallels Baltar's similar line to Admiral Cain in Pegasus.

Another interesting detail is the way Adama and Roslin treat Baltar is diametrically opposed to their position on human life in Collaborators. Throughout the episode, they resort to as many dirty tactics as they have at their disposal to get what they want; and only after all of those tactics fail and Adama proposes Baltar's death does Roslin finally come to her senses and declare that he shall receive a fair trial.

But aside from advancing the plot somewhat and the opportunity to see a few decent character moments, this episode has little to offer. It's not unlike this season's Exodus, Part 1, season 2's Flight of the Phoenix, or perhaps most closely season 1's Litmus.

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