However, the episode wasn’t without its surprises … including the true return of Ellen, Galactica’s resident Jezebel.
It appears that even being one of the founders of an elite race does not prevent Ellen from being a manipulative *censormode*.
In truth, I don’t think we’d be happy if Ellen had changed from a snarky, drunken slut to an enlightened saint. In fact, her return to true form didn’t surprise me. What does surprise me and has for a few weeks now is Tigh’s transformation.
I think it started with “The Oath”—when we saw Tigh and Caprica holding hands and cooing over the ultrasound monitor. That just doesn’t compute. It continued last week with the reveal that Caprica is living with Tigh in the XO’s quarters and that they appear to be a happy couple. His personality shift spiked this week with not only the return of Ellen and their impromptu welcome-home-frak, but his tears at the loss of his son.
The only thing Tigh has never wavered on—and Ellen rightfully pointed out—is his dedication to Adama, the Fleet and Galactica. However, if we are to believe that Tigh truly loves Caprica (and that’s how they were able to get pregnant), then I don’t think him welcoming home Ellen with sex is behavior in keeping with his new direction.
To be fair, Tigh has never been my favorite character, however, I do think he serves a very specific purpose on Galactica, Cylon or not. He has always been the unwavering, black and white lightning rod that Adama has needed. Not in his personal life, mind you, but within the Fleet. Even his handling of the Gideon massacre in early season two was technically “by the book” (you don’t have to explain yourself in the military). However, I feel that the Tigh we’ve seen in season 4.5 oscillates between the stalwart, drunken colonel we saw until now and a family man capable of love that we rarely, if ever, glimpsed before.
Overall, this episode left me with a bit of a “meh” feeling. Granted, following “No Exit,” the episode would pretty much have to explain what the frak is going on with Kara (which it looks like we might get next week), to even begin to hit the “Oh my Gods” factor of last week.
There were a few touches that I loved. The reveal of Ellen in the Raptor, with the door opening slowly and a close-up of her legs is almost the exact same shot as her reveal in “Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down”—the callback to that introduction was genius. Jane Espenson provided some terrific dialogue for many of the characters including this exchange between Roslin and Caprica:
Roslin: That’s funny. I’ve never called you by a name before.
Caprica: I’m sure you’ve called me some names.
This episode also saw the return of Gaius, not only to his flock, but a more prominent role on the show. Again, the allusions between Gaius and Jesus Christ seem to be mounting. When he returned to Dogsville to “feed the hungry,” I fully expected him to be toting a basket of bread and fish. There’s also the idea that Gaius will lead by offering hope and inspiration. Granted, he’s once again being fed lines by Head Six, but his message of peace brings his followers back into the fold—until he convinces Lee and Adama to arm them. I’m still not exactly sure what Head Six’s endgame is here. My guess is that if there’s a raid on Galactica by a baseship, that she will try and enlist the help of Gaius’ people and their shiny new guns to beat it back. But still, I haven’t quite nailed the bigger picture on this one.
The lack of Starbuck in this episode was disappointing. Obviously, her comment at Joe’s about the piano was a device to set-up the importance of the piano in next week’s episode. Not bad, but I think she’s wasted here and I’m really hoping that “Someone to Watch Over Me,” episode 4×17, really showcases Kara—and Katee Sackhoff. Ditto on the lack of Lee/Jamie Bamber. I miss Apollo and Starbuck, I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the loss of Liam (Caprica and Tigh’s baby), underscores the entire theme of this episode—the melding of two races and cultures. It started last week with Adama’s realization that in order for Galactica to survive, it will need an infusion of Cylon “blood” (much as Roslin did in season two). This week, the joining of two species is brought into sharp relief with the loss of Tigh and Caprica’s pure Cylon baby and Gaius’ assertion that Galactica has become a blended ship. Survival will require a mixture of Cylon and human; attempting to maintain purity in either race will result in disaster. Is this really the case? Or is it simply what the Final Five, the 6s, 2s and 8s want the humans to believe?
Only time will tell. Of course, we only have four more episodes, so time’s going to have to get a move on.