Sunday, April 03, 2016

Battlestar Galactica: The Eye Of Jupiter (S3/E11)

by JASmius

Rating: ** (out of four)

Written by: Mark Verheiden, David Weddle & Brad Thompson
Directed By: Michael Rymer

Is it just me, or are Ron Moore and his crew getting more than a little bit carried away with what then-Commander Adama once referred to as “this religious crap”?

You remember the reason why the ragtag fugitive fleet is at this class-M planet scraping off algae scum for Human consumption, right? All their food got contaminated during the “second exodus” (or is the third of fourth? I’ve lost track…) and they had to make a harrowing and hazardous journey through the irradiated gauntlet of a tightly packed star cluster, costing them at least one ship and a former drug runner. So this would seem to be an uneventful next few days, right?

Must have seemed that way to Apollo and Starbuck, who followed up the street fight over their New Caprica frak that Kara wouldn’t allow to be anything more than a meaningless fornicative tryst with a meaningless adulterous frak behind the backs of their respective spouses (now-Lieutenant Dualla and Sam Anders) who are fully aware of what their spouses are doing, which puts Dualla and Anders one up on Apollo and Starbuck, who don’t appear to have any idea what they’re doing, even though they can’t stop doing it.

I’ll pause now to breathe, and to opine that one long run-on sentence is a very appropriate way of bulldozing past this soap opera crap as fast as humanly possible.

Well, okay, I can’t let go Lee’s and Kara’s frakked up moral fretting. Kara is just fine with cheating but won’t hear of getting divorces so she and Lee can marry, and cheating is giving Lee the nervous complaint. Frankly, Lee’s is the more honest of the two brands of hypocrisy, which is probably true to the characters. Which only makes me wonder all the more what the devil he sees in Kara; can she really be that good in the sack, or is Dualla that bad?

Ugh. Let’s get to the part where Chief Tyrol goes AWOL.

Well, alright, he left his post, and nobody seemed to care that he did. He’s taking, um, five (a pun that will make sense eventually) and starts looking around at the scenery. He gazes at a nearby butte and gets this dreamy, faraway look in his eyes. He starts walking toward it, climbs it, and hunts around for a passage into it, like he’s being guided by an Outside Force, or maybe a Higher Power. Once he finds the way in, he finds himself standing in a temple. And not just any temple, but the fabled Temple of Five referenced in Kobolian ancient texts

I guess that was Tyrol’s Damascus Road Moment. We learn that he’s been pretty much an atheist, or at least agnostic, his whole life, never paid much attention to those ancient Kobolian texts, and evidently never thought he’d find himself standing in the presence of the Kobolian equivalent of the Ark of the Covenant. Now he’s seen her face, and he’s a believer. Or words to that effect.

Suddenly this routine algae scraping mission is another frakking religious quest. Which as you probably expected, brought Baltar and the Cylons in-system, almost on cue.

Why are Baltar and the Cylons interested in the Temple of Five? Well, the Cylons are (and the Humans as well) because of what the Temple is said to hold: the “Eye of Jupiter,” another milepost on the magical mystery tour that is the road to Earth. Which shows that, one way or the other, the thirteenth tribe had one hell of a twisted sense of humor.

Baltar, and his new girlfriend, #3 (aka D’Anna Biers), want the Eye because Biers is obsessed with identifying the five unidentified Cylon humanoid models, which she’s been suiciding over and over and over again to try and see in between downloads. Five unseen models – Temple of “Five”. Get it? The pun, I mean. Why there would be five unknown Cylonoid models, why the other seven wouldn’t know them, why the five would be unidentified, and why this would evolve into a religious quest intertwining the Cylons’ monotheism with the humans’ pagan polytheism is a pretzel I don’t think the writers even understand, and something I don’t think I want the answer to. Which is a good thing since I highly doubt we’ll ever get one.

The Cylons let the ragtag fleet jump out, and why not, since Galactica is the main prize in any case. They can’t just destroy her, though, because Adama, as he bluntly tells the Cylon envoys (including Baltar), will obliterate the Temple and the Eye with it if they make the attempt, or attempt to take the Eye themselves.

The Cylons decide to call Adama’s bluff and send several raiders toward the surface. Adama promptly readies his nukes and begins the process of nuclear release. The Cylons detect it and decide not to press their luck – all except for D’Anna, who refuses to recall her raider arguing that Adama won’t go nuclear in response to just one ship.

Next: Will Adama's nuclear bluff be called?  Yes, that is a rhetorical question.

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