Lilith’s TV From The Crypts Mission Part 2: Battlestar Galactica Season 2
Yes folks, in just two weeks Lilith has pounded out two seasons of Battlestar Galactica, now neck and neck with Biff in the competition to see who finishes their quest first. So this week I bring you my take on Season 2 of this phenomenal retired TV show, folks scared of spoilers beware, you have been warned.
I left you all last week with my impression of Season 1, which I will admit it took me way too long to get invested in this series. I mentioned that Season 1 really embraces war-time, with a witch-hunt to discover more cylons impersonating humans and a lot of focus on tough military decisions in times of war. So if you had to pick one character that plays probably the most important role in the entire first season, I would naturally say it is Commander William Adama. It’s not surprising that Season 2 takes an about face when the last scene of Season 1 involved Adama being shot by Sharon, our favorite cylon sleeper agent.
Season 2 has a whole new feel to it, one more of hope and love instead of war, sacrifice, and fear. The first part of the series deals with two major stories running side by side: a raptor crew has been stranded on Kobol, the legendary founding planet of humanity, and we follow this small group as they struggle to be saved. At the same time Starbuck has traveled via cylon raider ship to the destroyed planet of Caprica in an attempt to get the arrow of Apollo so that she can help President Roslin open the map on Caprica that will lead the surviving human race to a new home planet on Earth.
I really think the first quarter of Season 2 embraces hope because of these story lines. Adama is just trying to survive surgery and the bullet wounds, but we find the human race uniting to try to find a new path so that they can move beyond these cylon wars. And we start to see the story of Helo and Sharon, the cylon now pregnant with his human hybrid, develop quite a bit as well. Starbuck finds love in Samuel Anders, a renegade human survivor on the planet Caprica. It almost confuses me during these episodes when the cylons attack, since we get the impression that they are trying to make some sort of coalition with humans.
But probably the most disturbing of all of these episodes involves this alternate plan of the cylons, one involving creating human-cylon hybrids. On Caprica many female humans are captured and placed in farms where they are restrained and forcibly impregnated with cylon babies. Starbuck ends up in one of these farms during one episode and when she discovers what it is she is able to escape with the help of pregnant Sharon, but is forced to euthanize several suffering female humans in the process.
The story really does seem to focus on these two storylines, but while all of this is happening Adama is recovering, leaving Colonel Tigh in command. And boy what a job he does of it- declaring martial law, dividing the fleet and claiming President Roslin is a religious zealot (which in a way she is). This was definitely the season’s low point, and on several occasions I found myself hoping Tigh would be murdered. But sadly he lives, and eventually our fearless leader is able to awaken from his bullet-induced coma, taking the reins and reuniting the fleet.
Once our group of Kobol adventurers find the map to Earth they set their human minds on accomplishing the quest. And now comes the middle of the season, which basically was a chop-job of individual, almost stand alone episodes that do have some importance in the greater plot line. During these episodes there was a lot of character development that I found interesting.
Adama is again not in the spotlight as much as he was in Season 2, but he continues to now be a staunch supporter of Laura Roslin. Starbuck, who was a previous favorite character of mine in Season 1, has a bit of a meltdown, becoming a bit of an idiotic drunk that makes a lot of wrong moves.
Interestingly one character that really grew on me was Gaius Balter, who in the prior season seemed like a slimy, selfish asshole. In the second season all of those adjectives could probably still be used to describe him but he started to grow on me. He is perpetually haunted by visions of the blonde Cylon #6, his prior girlfriend before the war, and his relationship with this fake woman as well as the cylons as a race develops quite a bit. He probably feels more pity for them than any other human, even Helo, in the whole fleet. And despite his prior womanizing ways he seems to truly care for #6, wanting to help her and any copy version of her as much as possible.
Another character that does an about face in my mind is Laura Roslin, the president of the colonies. I was a huge supporter of her in Season 1, but in Season 2 she goes a little off the rails. Of course, she does get about 30 seconds from death but the crew is able to find out that the cylon-human hybrid’s blood can cure cancer, so she is miraculously saved in the last minute. You would think that a near death experience like that would make you change your perspective on life, especially with a cylon creation being responsible for her survival. But sadly no, she becomes quite an abrasive leader- banning abortion for the sake of the human race, punishing cylons relentlessly, and eventually rigging the first free election of the colonies in her favor to maintain a hold on the presidency. While I loved her in the first season I felt pain watching her decline in the second.
My absolute favorite episode of the entire season is actually close to the end and focuses on cylons in Caprica. We have heard before that when cylons die their memories are uploaded to another copy of themselves so that they can keep on living and learn from their mistakes. My favorite episode has us following Caprica’s #6 and the Chief’s Sharon as they are uploaded in to new bodies. What’s interesting is #6 has her own hallucinations much like Gaius has of her, but Gaius is the one appearing to #6, helping her make decisions to unite the cylon and human species. It’s quite touching actually, as the two both have their own imaginary significant other that whispers similar messages in each others ears. But we find that Sharon and #6 plan to conspire against the cylons as they feel humans too deserve to survive, and genocide is not something they want to partake in anymore. I see a lot coming in the future from this episode….
After the middle section of the season where the various small stories combine to a big finale, we end up suddenly with Gaius Balter as our new president, and the humans are in the process of establishing a pathetic little colony on a recently habitable planet they have found. This last episode jumps from Balter taking office to 1 year later. The year later is quite weird- many of the characters we knew have taken up residence on this shabby little planet, people we never thought would be together are together and pregnant, Balter has returned to his womanizing ways, and Captain Lee Adama is fat like his father (WTF?). But we are left with quite a sight in this last episode- the cylons have found the humans, and since almost their entire fleet has been forced to take refuge on the planet they are mostly defenseless. The battlestar fleet in the air jumps away to safety, leaving everyone on the surface of the planet victim to cylon occupation. Well, if you wanted to convince me to pick up Season 3 you have gone above and beyond BSG, I will be starting Season 3 tonight!
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Posted on December 13, 2013, in TV, TV From the Crypts and tagged Battlestar Galactica, Cylon, Gaius Baltar, Laura Roslin, starbuck, TV From the Crypts, William Adama. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.