Battlestar Galactica – Episode 4-17 Review

When I first watched “Someone to Watch Over Me” it left a bad taste in my mouth. The plot, as presented, required too much suspension of disbelief and had numerous holes in it. After taking a couple of days to mull it over, my opinion on the episode has mellowed somewhat. It still has plot holes, but they may not be as bad as they seemed at first glance.

“Someone to Watch Over Me” seemed like it was going to be a very predictable episode. From pretty much Kara’s first conversation with the piano player I immediately suspected he was A) Kara’s father, B) Daniel, the supposedly murdered Cylon model, and C) not actually there physically.

The Boomer plot seemed like it was headed in a similarly predictable trajectory. Boomer and Chief were sharing lots of sappy “in-love” moments while Boomer was facing execution. I thought that there was no way that the Boomer plot of the episode would end with anything other than Boomer’s execution. Even with the unexpected escape it wasn’t until Boomer grabbed Hera that I realized she was actually going to get off of Galactica alive. Unfortunately, unexpected plot doesn’t necessarily mean more engaging plot.

If we take Ellen’s assumption as correct, that Boomer helped Ellen escape specifically so that Boomer could kidnap Hera for Cavil, I cry foul. There are an almost mind-bogglingly number of variables required for the plan to work. First, Boomer had to be initially held on board Galactica. Second, the rebel Cylons had to petition to extradite Boomer. Third, the Chief had to still have feelings for Boomer. Fourth, the Chief had to fail to convince anyone that Boomer should be kept in Galactica’s brig instead of being shipped over to the basestar. Fifth, Hera had to have lost the ability to distinguish between Boomer and Athena. As you may recall from Hera’s time among the Cylons as an infant, she refused to accept Boomer as a surrogate mother. Six, Boomer had to be able to get from the brig, to Athena’s quarters, to the daycare, and to the flight deck without being spotted by any other Cylon (even though the ship is filled with them). There are just too many obstacles standing in the way of it being a viable plan.

Now it is possible that Boomer was not always planning to kidnap Hera. She may have simply wanted to help Ellen Tigh and it wasn’t until she learned that she was to be executed that she decided she would flee. In that case, Cavil is obviously going to be pissed at Boomer for freeing Ellen. If she went back to him without Hera, she would probably be facing another execution. And since nobody knows of any other habitable planets, without Hera Boomer would have nowhere to go. She would just end up dying a slow and painful death in deep space. Boomer may have seen kidnapping Hera as the only way to avoid death.

Either way, if Cavil was willing to go with a real long-shot plan, or Boomer was just that desperate to survive, I didn’t buy the success of the plan. I already mentioned that Hera probably should have known that Boomer wasn’t her mom, and that someone should have spotted Boomer sooner or later, but I also thought it was odd that Helo couldn’t tell the difference between Boomer and Athena. It was totally in character for Boomer to sleep with Helo right in front of Athena like that; Boomer has always hated Athena for being given everything that Boomer lost. But you would think Helo would have some way(s) to easily identify his wife from other Eights, especially now that there are so many Eights on board Galactica. The webisodes showed that Gaeta (a human) had little trouble identifying an Eight he became involved with on New Caprica, yet here Helo seemingly had no clue that anything was amiss.

Also, how is it that the Chief hasn’t already come under suspicion for Boomer’s escape? There’s virtually no way that Boomer could have pulled off her escape solo. And if you start looking for people who may have helped her, the Chief is obviously going to be at the very top of the list. This is one complaint that can be addressed later though; just have the Chief under suspicion (or outright confessing) next week and everything will be fine.

The Starbuck plot, as I mentioned above, was predictable, but enjoyable. There was little doubt in my mind that Starbuck was talking with her father, Daniel throughout the episode. The only question is if it was an internal hallucination or if it was caused by something external (like with Baltar’s hallucinations). My money is on external, but it could work either way, really.

If we suppose that Daniel was Starbuck’s father, then the connection between herself and Hera makes a lot of sense. They are both human/Cylon hybrids.

One thing I have been curious about for a while now is the status of the mutineers. There hasn’t really been anything addressing their fate, aside from the executions of Gaeta and Zarek. This week we learned that the “mutiny has thinned [their] ranks,” but there was no indication if the missing pilots were in jail, dead, forcibly retired, etc.

I noticed Hot Dog was among the pilots. He seemingly went along with the mutiny, but he also refused a direct order to fire upon the president’s raptor. So presumably that’s why he hasn’t been punished. Still no word on any of the other pilots that were part of the mutiny though. Hopefully it’s something that will be addressed in some way before the finale.

I really didn’t like “Someone to Watch Over Me” on initial viewing. The Boomer plot relied far too much on good fortune and seemed to exist solely so that Hera’s importance could finally come to light. But I’ve given it a couple of days to digest and my opinion has softened somewhat. I still think it was unrealistic for Boomer to escape like she did, but I’m more and more of the opinion that it was a spur-of-the-moment decision on her part. That is far more palatable than the idea that Cavil designed and was able to carry out a plan so heavily reliant on luck.

Prediction for Next Week:

Last week I predicted Starbuck as the target of Hot Dog’s “Don’t do it!” So I pretty much blew that guess.

The trailer for “Islanded in a Stream of Stars” really doesn’t give a whole lot to work with. There are a couple shots of people being sucked into space, but it’s not like those people will end up being major (or even just previously introduced) characters. The main plot seems to be centered around having to abandon Galactica. There aren’t really any “out of the limb” predictions that spring to mind, but surely they won’t be abandoning the ship, not with two episodes left after the next

Trevor MacKay is the sci-fi/horror/fantasy/cheesy/random geeky stuff guy. If something is geeky and/or unbelievably cheesy, he’s there.