To paraphrase Voltaire, the enemy of the great isn’t mediocrity; the enemy of the great is good enough. Living each day, and going through the monotony can be the greatest detriment to your job, relationships, or life. This week on ‘Battlestar Galactica’ we see how potentially devastating such a mindset can become. As the fleet goes through the same routine for 40 plus days, things are bound to slip. The episode also takes place on the anniversary of Admiral Adama’s wedding to his ex-wife Carol Ann. Even as things enter a deep rut, we see for a brief moment that Lee is truly stepping up as his father’s son.
Chief, bored with the banality of duty, simply wants to spend time with his wife. The life they had dreamed of, and the family they wanted to have is just not working out the way the Tyrol family planned. Of course, anyone should be able to tell them that sometimes that’s the way life goes. In the moment, you’re not analyzing your actions. So, when Chief orders Callie to join him in the repair of Hanger Bay 12 there’s really no need to question the call.
While in the Hanger Bay, the airlock doors close. This signals that a pressure leak has occurred, which in turn means the men who did the patch job on the hull got lazy. As the couple struggle for life, Adama and a team come up with a daring rescue plan. Because of the damage to the ship, the manual override for the doors is not responding. The only way to get them out before they die is through the front door. A Raptor is sent out to wait with open arms. The hatch is blown open, and Chief and Callie are sent out the airlock. Instead of the desolation of space, they are caught by the Raptor. Chief is the first to begin recovery, and when he takes Nicky over to see his mom in the hyperbaric chamber he promises his wife that they will find a balance and raise Nicky together.
For most of the day Adama is preoccupied with thoughts of his ex-wife. The woman we meet throughout the episode is a part of his imagination, and the Admiral’s thoughts are of the loving kind. We don’t get a true sense of who this woman was, but we do glean a bit about how she affected Adama. When Lee tells his father that after Adama abandoned them things were not great, the Carol Ann in the great Commander’s memory shifts. Apollo lets us in on her other side, that she was a heavy drinker and prone to wild mood swings. As much as he loved his wife, the chaos she brought was intolerable to him. I enjoyed watching as Adama reminisced about they’re time together, even as he realized that it wasn’t all good. It really brought forth the relationship that is beginning to develop between Adama and Roslyn.
If Carol Ann was uncontrolled, then Roslyn is her polar opposite. At the end of the episode as the two leaders sit and talk about their fondest memories of New Caprica there’s a real connection between them. But it’s when Roslyn acknowledges that at the moment they have duties to perform where I think Adama consciously begins to realize that this woman is not the mess his ex-wife was. The President of the Colonies knows when and where duty takes precedence over personal matters, and that’s something Adama can respect and understand. It’ll be interesting now that they’ve begun this journey to see where it takes them, if anywhere. The pressing needs of the fleet may keep them apart for the foreseeable future. Then again, Roslyn does want to have that cabin.
Throughout the show’s run we’ve seen examples of great leadership from both these characters. The requirement of putting aside their personal lives can weigh heavily on any leader. We see, this week, that Adama takes at least one day of the year to reflect on his own life. Even though there isn’t the time right now to do what you want, there’s hope that at some point there will be. When Admiral Adama sends his son the law books that belonged to grandpa Adama he includes a note that says, “For that day when we all have the time.” It’s a touching moment where we see in Lee’s face the truth of his father’s love. Most of us try and strike a balance in our lives, for people like Roslyn and Adama the scales will always be tipped. Yet, there’s always a mystery novel to get them through or the promise of one day letting themselves enjoy a day together at a cabin, and all that entails.
This week’s episode of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ was a nice personal one. Not much really happened, but we did get to enjoy some familial moments. Unfortunately, I did feel the whole thing came across as a bit wishy-washy. Hey, I thought the episode was good but I can’t help but remember some older episodes where such a storyline was handled a little more expertly. Seriously, I’d like the show get back to the space chase. It’s the episodes that blend the sci-fi with the real world problems which work the best.
In terms of moments, for me the best was Lee’s speech to the pilots. He berates them for counting the days since Cylons were last seen (not counting Six and Athena of course). “One is the only number you should be thinking of,” he tells them. It was a small thing, but in the face of the boredom that’s come over the fleet seeing Major Adama’s comprehension of the disaster that may occur tomorrow and stopping it today was great. As Admiral Adama said, Lee is really coming into his own.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Are you ready for the chase to get back under way? Do you think that someone should draw a glaring eye on Col. Tigh’s flesh colored eye patch?
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