Cable for One: Battlestar Galactica – 4-03

“The Ties That Bind” continued an unfortunate trend of season four. Once again there were lots of intriguing and/or exciting developments, but at times the motivations behind those developments ignored character consistency, common sense and/or logic.

The workings of the Cylon political system continue to confound me. Apparently after the Six-led coup, the fleet split down the middle. Which is odd because if the Sixes were removing the inhibitor chips from the Centurions, one assumes that would be done on all the ships. In order for the fleet to be split in half, all the Twos, Sixes and Eights must have taken control of only half the ships for some reason. Then, the Cylons had a big off-screen trade, shipping models back and forth so that everybody was on the ‘right’ side. I could understand the coup missing a handful of ships or something, but there is no real logical reason for the fleet to be split in half after the coup. There is a story arc reason (so we can have a Cylon civil war), and there’s a reason for Cavil to start the war after the Sixes actions, but there’s no in-character reason for the fleets to have been divided as they were.

Of course, this is one of those cases where how we got there is not as important as where we are as we’ve finally gotten that Cylon civil war that has been building since season two. Also, even though it was only a brief moment of the episode, we got our first hint of Centurions making use of their newfound free will. I suspect the Cylon civil war may come to a hasty end when the Centurions turn on their former masters in the not-too-distant future.

As it was happening, I was thinking the whole Cally thinks Tyrol is cheating on her storyline was pretty contrived. Given their position, people are probably under a lot of stress just about all the time in the fleet, and with the added stress of the Chief finding out he’s a Cylon, it made sense for Cally and the Chief to be fighting. And even for her to wonder if maybe he was having an affair. But the events that lead to Cally first suspecting an affair and then learning about the Cylon connection left far too much to chance. First, she wakes up in the middle of the night and notices her husband is missing. Then she checks the bar to see if he’s there. Not only is he there, but Tory just happened to run into at the bar as well and Cally came along just as Tory was touching the Chief in a manner that could definitely be taken as affectionate.

A second series of coincidences was required for Cally to learn the truth about Tigh, Tory and Tyrol. First, Cally had to find Tigh’s note (given that the Chief shares his quarters with his wife, it’s probably a bad idea to knock when leaving an uncoded secret note, even if it you are sticking it in the door frame). Also, since Cally took the note with her, the Chief had to randomnly run into Tory a second time so she could tell him about the meeting. Then there had to be a relatively easy way for her to spy on the people inside the weapons locker.

It also made no sense that Cally would even try to leave her hiding place before the others left. She didn’t move from the spot she had been eavesdropping in until it was clear that the meeting was over. And yet she was somehow able to move, through the narrow space in the wall, all the way back to the access hatch. Open the hatch. Climb out the hatch. And spend a few seconds trying to put the hatch cover back in place before the door started to open. Even if Cally had been stupid enough not to wait for the three to leave before she made her exit, it seems unlikely that she would even get back to the hatch before the door opened and the three Cylons left. It was yet another case of something happening soley because the plot requires it.

As soon as Tory saw the discarded hatch panel I had a strong suspicion she was going to kill Cally. That suspicion only increased when Tory turned up in the airlock. The second that Tory asked Cally to hand her the baby, suspicion became certainty, so Cally’s death, while chilling and effective, was far from the shocking moment it was perhaps intended to be.

I am curious as to why Tory risked her own safety by saving the baby. Obviously she killed Cally to ensure that her identity wasn’t compromised. But by saving the baby, she increases her own chance of being caught. At this point, it’s hard to know if she saved the baby to keep that death off her conscious or if she had a more sinister motive.

We didn’t get to see what actually happened with Tory after she killed Cally but there are a number of choices. She could have left the baby in the control room (thus risking questions about why Cally would put the baby there before killing herself). Tory could have taken the baby back to the Chief’s quarters (risking both being seen carrying Cally’s kid by any number of crew members and the possibility of the Chief finding out the kid was missing before she could return him). The third possibility is she could try to hide the baby. If the baby is missing and Cally apparently blasted herself into space, then people are likely to assume that Nicki was killed as well (it would be extremely difficult to find the tiny body of a toddler in the vast reaches of space so the lack of body wouldn’t be an issue). Of course, this one still requires Tory to risk being spotted with the baby and requires her to have some sort of way to quickly hide a baby.

Of the three options, I think Tory hiding the baby makes the most sense. Tory is well aware of how important Hera is to the Cylons. Nicki’s also a hybrid so it makes sense that he could be just as valuable to them. I don’t think Tory’s aligned with the Cylons (at least not yet), but I think she saved the baby because of his possible importance. If she only saved the baby because she couldn’t bring herself to be that cruel, why interfere with Cally’s suicide at all? It’d be even easier on Tory’s conscious if Cally had just committed suicide.

We didn’t really see a lot of activity on the search for Earth front. We did get a better idea of just who is along for the mission however. It looks like they’ve got enough major and minor characters on board the Demetrius to have an extended story arc focused on the Demetrius’ quest (especially in light of the fact they even provided the ship with Vipers. Vipers which will be awfully awkward to reach given they seem to be stuck to the outside of the hull, exposed to space). Even the fact we spent so little time on the Demetrius’ story this week lends itself to the fact it is likely to be a prolonged arc.

It will be interesting to see where things go next. Will the Chief suspect Tory’s involvement in the airlock incident? What did Tory do with Nicki? How will the Cylon civil war play out? And how much higher are tensions going to rise aboard the Demetrius? Hopefully “Escape Velocity” will answer some of those questions.

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