Friday, September 23, 2005

Nowplaying Mag's Review of Pegasus

Nowplaying Magazine has posted up their review for the Summer Finale, which airs tonight at 10 EST. Caution, spoilers:

Battlestar Galactica - “Pegasus”

Written by Scott Collura
Friday, 23 September 2005
When the Galactica’s draedus picks up an incoming ship – a big incoming ship – the crew immediately prepares for a jump, assuming it’s the Cylons. But the signal turns out to not be Cylon at all, but rather the Battlestar Pegasus, previously believed destroyed in the Holocaust along with the rest of the fleet. Commanded by Admiral Cain, the Pegasus’ surprise arrival – indeed, it’s very existence – gives the people of the Galactica fleet a reason to rejoice. But when Cain assumes military control over the fleet, and the methodology of the Pegasus crew proves questionable, Commander Adama must decide whether this new arrival is actually friend or foe.
Of course, it makes absolute sense that Admiral Cain (promoted – and sex-changed – from her previous incarnation in the original series) and her crew would turn hyper-militaristic, even semi-barbaric, in the aftermath of the war. It’s amazing, in fact, that Adama’s crew haven’t become equally violent as a result of their desperation in the face of such overwhelming odds. With nowhere to go, little or no supplies, and a devastating enemy lurking everywhere, wouldn’t there be no choice but to turn into, essentially, space-Nazis in order to survive?
So no fun and games for this battlestar reunion then. Aside from the V-E Day-esque moments when the Pegasus shows up and the crews first meet, the new chain of command that results from Cain’s (an excellently cold Michelle Forbes) outranking Adama almost immediately causes mayhem for the Galactica crew. Though the admiral claims to have no wish to interfere with Adama’s command, that’s exactly what she does: Starbuck and Apollo are transferred to the Pegasus, where Starbuck is grounded and Apollo is kicked down to the “humiliation” of co-piloting a Raptor; the Pegasus XO confides in Tigh – and then recants on his story – that Cain executed her previous second-in-command when he refused to engage in a near-suicidal attack on the Cylons; President Roslin very quickly finds herself out of the loop once Cain takes over, with the admiral “not even taking” Roslin’s phone calls; and Baltar, on the Pegasus to study that ship’s Cylon prisoner, finds a disturbing scene indeed.
It seems that torture, and rape, are a common methodology for Pegasus’ chief interrogator, and the result is that their prisoner – a Number Six model – is now a shell of a woman, traumatized physically and emotionally. And Sharon, the Galactica’s Cylon prisoner? She’s next to receive the same treatment, leading to a shocking scene that truly drives home how different these two crews are. It also leads to a particularly unfortunate situation for Helo and Tyrol, the unlikely team who will defend Sharon to their dying breath – a notion which very well may come to pass soon enough.
The most interesting aspect of this episode, beyond the geek-thrill of seeing two battlestars side by side, one new, the other old, is the respective crews’ attitude towards the Cylons. Cain clearly sees them as the enemy and as sub-human, but the Galactica crew, despite themselves, have slowly come to a different take on their enemy. And when Helo and Tyrol actually side with a Cylon here against their fellow humans, the line is clearly drawn between the two Colonial ships. The result of that inevitable battle between battlestars? Check back right here in January. A-

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