Sunday, May 01, 2016

Battlestar Galactica: A Day In The Life (S3/E15)

by JASmius

Rating: * (out of four)

Written by: Mark Verheiden
Directed By: Rod Hardy

Star Trek: The Next Generation did an episode like this one called “Data’s Day.” It chronicled a day aboard the UFPS Enterprise-D as seen through the eyes of Lieutenant Commander Data. Chief O’Brien and Keiko Ishikawa are about to be married, and Data’s uncertainty of what to get them for a wedding gift gives us some amusing character glimpses into Lieutenant Commander LaForge, then-Lieutenant Worf, and Dr. Crusher (where her nickname “The dancing doctor” was born). But there’s also a serious plot line of a Vulcan Federation ambassador, T’Pel, proving to have been a Romulan spy, and the Enterprise serving as her unwitting courier home. Data discovers the subterfuge, and when the attempt is made to recover T’Pel, the Federation flagship finds itself surrounded by Romulan warbirds. “Some days you get the bear and other days the bear gets you,” Commander Riker whispers to Captain Picard on the bridge as this time the good guys are forced to retreat to fight (OK, this was TNG, so “fight” probably isn’t the right verb, but you get the idea) again another day.

I don’t know that this was necessarily a typical day for the Enterprise crew. More like taking a high-ranking officer’s log entry and using it for an episode script. As such, though it certainly wasn’t groundbreaking, it worked as a decent standalone TNG installment.

“A Day In The Life” seemed far more likely to be an average day aboard the battlestar Galactica, in the sense that it pretty much bored the viewer right out of his tits.

There are only two things that happen in this ep, and neither of them were worth spending an hour of my time. One, Mr. and Mrs. Tyrol go to work together, get trapped in a leaky airlock and almost suffocate to death, all the while moderately bickering over what to do with their infant son Nicholas during the day; the other, Admiral Adama conducts his annual ritual of mourning his dead bitch of an ex-wife by hallucinating more of her insufferable hectoring and nagging.

Sorry, ladies and gents. I wish there was more to discuss, but that’s pretty much it.

Oh, alright, I suppose there IS a scene where President Roslin asks Adama to pull Apollo from his CAG duties to supervise the legal tribunal that will conduct the trial of Gaius Baltar, which is the device by which we get what was no doubt intended to be a deep familial discussion between father and son about the latter’s dead bitch of a mother.

I guess that might sound like a cruel, insensitive description of the late, former Mrs. Adama. But the admiral’s curious, self-flagellating regrets aside, the woman that inhabits his annual hallucinations is an aggravating, infuriating, abusive, psychopathic shrew. I had no problem understanding why the admiral took every assignment he possibly could to get out of the house and away from that shrieking hag.

Maybe what he was really regretting was abandoning his two sons to her (okay, she did have a name, “Carol Ann”) un-tender, drunken mercies. Lee tells his dad as much, describing her booze-filled tirades and physical abuse of him and Zac, evidently in an attempt to reassure the older man that he really has no reason to mourn that dead bitch. Still, Adama remains stubbornly inconsolable, somehow convinced that Carol Ann became a bitch because he wasn’t around enough to be the bastard she needed.

Or something like that. Personally I would really like to see the members of this cast stop hearing voices in their heads. When it was just Baltar it made sense as an insight into both his psyche and that of the Cylons. Now it’s just getting tiresome, and more than a little weird.

Was there any connection between Adama’s melancholy maunderings and the Tyrols’ imminent peril? Logically, no. Not that Mark Verheiden didn’t try a link anyway. Near as I could tell, the admiral didn’t want li’l Nicholas to be robbed of his parents the way he’s convinced himself he fractured his own family by his choice of career. So what was his solution to their problem? Blow them out into space….and into a waiting Raptor.

Did it work? Do you have to ask? Did it make this much of a jeopardy premise? Do you have to ask that, either?

One other fact we learn here is that it’s been seven weeks since the fleet last saw the Cylons. Which means that whereas the Human diaspora was in constant danger of sudden, fiery death before, now their biggest threat is slowly encroaching mass tedium.

Maybe the Cylons do “have a plan,” after all.

Next: Look for the union label – even if it kills them all.

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