Wednesday, February 08, 2006

NPM Review of Scar

NowPlaying Magazine has posted up their review of Scar:

Battlestar Galactica - “Scar”

Written by Scott Collura
Tuesday, 07 February 2006
Four weeks ago, the Battlestar Galactica stumbled upon a rich deposit of much-needed metals and ores in an asteroid field which will be the key to replenishing their diminishing core of Vipers. With the mining ships of the fleet assigned to harvest whatever they can from the asteroid belt, it falls to the Galactica and her Viper pilots to protect the miners from the hit-and-run attacks of the Cylon Raiders that have been showing up on the scene. In particular, a nasty fellow the Galactica pilots have come to call “Scar” seems unbeatable. And the grudge Scar holds against the Colonials may just be the result of a previous run-in Starbuck had with a Cylon Raider.
The implication here, of course, is that Scar is the reincarnation of the Raider Starbuck hotwired last season when she found herself stranded on an inhospitable planet and in desperate need of a way home. Yes, as Sharon reveals in this episode, the Raiders – which are essentially the Cylon version of beasts of burden – do get reincarnated, or downloaded, or whatever you want to call it, after death. So this could be Starbuck’s downed Raider, which would account for its apparent grudge against her and her pilots. Or it may not be. We’ll never really know, and it ultimately doesn’t matter, because whoever or whatever Scar is, the only certainty is that it won’t stop until it’s destroyed.
Like last week’s episode, “Scar” is a distinctly non-arc outing for Galactica, and it’s nice to have these kinds of segments and to take a breather from the heavy multi-episode stories that tend to dominate this series. Of course, this episode still relies on what has come before – Starbuck’s affair with Anders, Kat’s drug addiction, Scar’s is-it-or-isn’t-it back story – but it’s also the kind of episode that a new viewer can jump in on and not feel overwhelmed by plot details. Ultimately, “Scar” is about Starbuck and Kat’s battle with the titular Raider, Starbuck and Kat’s’ battle with each other, and Starbuck’s battle with herself, all of which are plotlines newbies should be able to tune in to cold.
The continued and increasing presence of Kat is great, but also worrying, because she seems like the perfect character for the writing staff to kill off at some point in place of having to sacrifice a major player. Still, her conflict with Starbuck, where she proves that she can actually out-bitch Kara, makes for an interesting counterpoint to Starbuck’s own internal struggle. As Kara points out, the reason why Kat is always riding her is because she’s afraid: afraid that people will notice how scared she is, and afraid that she’ll wind up just like the recently dead pilot Reilly’s girlfriend – “some little forgotten picture that nobody really remembers.”
Starbuck is scared too. Scared that she can’t go on without Anders, who she left all the way back on Caprica and promised she’d return to – or is that lied to? She’s afraid that Anders is dead now, and that she and Apollo and everyone else she cares about will wind up dead eventually too, the result of a lucky shot from Scar or one of its brethren. But the dead who have all gone before are remembered, we realize, even if it’s in a way that might seem disrespectful to some, but is the only way people like Starbuck and Apollo can cope with. Apollo can’t remember the lost Viper pilots’ faces once they’re gone: “There was Flattop, who bought it on his thousandth landing,” he half-laughs. Kara says she doesn’t even remember their names. But she does. A-

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