So I’m a little late on the ball, I apologize. But still, what better time to write and read a review about what is arguably the best show on television then right now? Probably two days ago when I could clearly remember the episode. Spoilers. Duh.
Sean’s take: “A Disquiet Follows My Soul”, the second episode in Battlestar Galactica, takes a different path then the intensely epic premiere. Following the revelation that Earth is a frakked up, nuked-to-all-hell planet, the future of the fleet is looking grim. Almost every main character has taken a turn for the worse. The President has gone AWOL, the Vice President is a raging separatist. Admiral Adama doesn’t give a shit. The humans and Cylon are discussing the possibility of an alliance. You see Chief Tyrol standing up for the Cylons, while Tigh sticks to his XO guns. Gaeta takes the biggest shift.
The once bright-eyed tactical officer on board Galactica, has taken a complete 180. The loss of his leg was just the start, and with the current “alliance” with the Cylons, he’s turned bitter. It’s a Gaeta that I don’t like to see. Now that Dee is gone, who will be that bright eyed young officer? But it’s a good twist for the character. Bitchy Gaeta doesn’t hold back. In the only Starbuck scene, he baits her and threatens her, egging her on. When she leaves in a typical Starbuck huff, we’re led to believe Gaeta wants to talk mutiny with the rest of the crew.
The tone for this episode is drastically different to the season premiere. While in the premiere, so many questions were answered and so many characters changed (okay…all of them), this focuses more on the Politics and Bureaucracy of the fleet. We’re still dealing with the fallout, but unlike the Sometimes A Great Notion we don’t see this as a tragedy. Now, the fleet has accepted their fate and given up. Lee (now just a Quorum delegate), again, seems to be the only one trying to hold the fleet together but with Zarek in full blown cylon hating mode it’s for naught; the Quorum easily buys into the fear leaving Lee on the wrong side of a political argument.
From the possibility of the human/Cylon alliance comes what is essentially racial tension. Yes, it’s always been there, just look at the occupation on New Caprica, but the alliance brings it to a new level. Under the alliance, the Cylons want to be considered part of the fleet. Given the same rights, the same protection, in exchange for Cylon FTL technology. Of course, most of the fleet would consider killing the Cylons a better option. Zarek leads the fleet in a anti-cylon frenzy. The “racial” issue will surely be one that is developed more over this season, and the Gaeta-Zarek alliance of the bitches will add an interesting aspect to the show. The New Caprica arc dealt with the effects of an occupation and terrorist versus freedom fighter debate; this new racial tension will focus more on the after effects of war and how all the dehumanization of your enemy stands as a barrier to normalizing relationships.
Also of note, this was Ron D. Moore’s directorial debut. He didn’t knock your socks off with his directing (though he does have a foot fetish) but does an adequate job. The episode does have a “first time director” vibe, but not of a young film student who just grabbed a camera. If Moore continues developing his directing skills, he’ll certainly be a formidable director. For now, the shots are little predictable, set-ups you can see coming and the visual symbolizes is a bit heavy-handed. However, his writing skills and the acting chops of the cast make this moot. Kevin Smith once opined that Galatica only needs someone to yell “action” and “cut”. This episode shows us why, but also makes us appreciate what the damn good directors do on the show.