When the story jumped ahead at the end of season 2.5 we had to figure out who was with who, where everyone stood, and what the frack happened. It was frustrating, but as events were revealed it looked like everyone ended up where they belonged. There may have been nagging worries plucking at our brains, but overall things seemed good. Callie and Chief ended up as a perfect pair, Kara was appropriately married to Anders, Tigh was with his wife on New Caprica, and Lee was wed to Dualla. I admit to not questioning any of this too much, except Lee and Dualla. There was something growing between them previously, but Lee still obviously loved Kara. So how did everything end up as it is? This week’s ‘Battlestar Galactica’ hung up the Cylon war, and instead focused on the internal battles of the crew.

Present day takes place in a boxing ring as crewmembers battle each other to get their frustrations out. During the fights we flash back to New Caprica and learn where relationships stood, and more importantly where they turned.

We begin with Apollo versus Helo. Lee wakes up on the ground alone, looking around for someone, and then he flashes to what looks like he and Kara doing a boxer dance with each other. The imagery is clear, some major emotional battle occurred between the two that has led them to the present. Lee then flashes to a moment when he walks up and passionately kisses Dualla.

Kara, in a dismissively post coital mood, tells her husband, “That was exactly what I needed,” as she abruptly gets up to leave. Anders says he wants his wife back, but Kara asks, “What if I’m just not ready for that?” Anders replies that maybe he’s not what she really wants after all. She then leaves to go to the fight. When she gets there she flashes back and we see her lying on presumably Lee’s chest.

As the Apollo vs Helo fight continues we see snippets of this whole saga play out, but nothing is completely revealed. Later on, Kara challenges Lee and they fight. The battle reveals the truth to the viewer, but as Anders and Dualla look on things become clear to them as well. Kara and Lee have missed each other.

Seventeen months ago on New Caprica there was a groundbreaking and a party. Lee and Kara eye each other throughout, and when Anders passes out drunk and Dualla “packs it in,” Lee makes his move. He and Kara go out into the middle of nowhere and have a night of passion. In the night air Lee shouts that he loves Kara, and reluctantly she does the same. He decides they should go with their feelings and let Anders and Dualla know in the morning, she agrees. But when he wakes up in the morning on the ground, he’s alone.

When he returns to camp, his father informs Lee that Kara and Anders were married that morning. This information rocks Lee and when he finds out it was Kara’s idea, he walks away. I usually rave about Michael Hogan as Col. Tigh in my recaps, but watching Jamie Bamber’s face in this scene was heart breaking. His pain at being told the woman he loves, who he just spent the night with, has married another man was a subtle shift from happiness to purest emotional pain. Lee looked as if the ground he was walking on had abruptly been yanked away.

So now we know what happened. There isn’t a will-they won’t-they story out there that is handled better. The dynamic between Kara and Lee is amazing, and her caustic treatment of what could be a real relationship is brilliantly handled.

There is one other great fight in the episode. When Chief is insubordinate towards Admiral Adama, the commander challenges him to a match. Chief Tyrol, not taking the fight seriously, is sucker punched by Adama. In the ensuing fight we flash back to Galactic and New Caprica.

Chief requests that he and Callie be given an early leave to raise their child on New Caprica, a request Adama denies. In a flashback to the night of the party, Adama and Laura are laying around smoking the equivalent of marijuana and talking. As they look at the stars, she asks if this is how they will spend all the rest of their days. She tells him, “Maybe we should just enjoy this…Enjoy being here on this planet as long as it lasts. Maybe the Cylons come back, maybe they don’t, but for now right now we’ve got a break.” Adama says he has people who want off Galactica to live on New Caprica, Roslin says she can’t blame them.

So Adama goes to the Chief and tells him he and Callie can have their leave. But back in present day we can see that the decision to let Chief, Tigh, and the others leave haunts him. After he is soundly beaten by Tyrol, Adama speaks to his crew. “When you stand on this deck, you be ready to fight,” the commander tells them, “Or you dishonor the reason we’re here…When you fight a man, he is not your friend. The same goes when you lead men. I forgot that once, I let you get too close. All of you. I dropped my guard. I gave some of you breaks, let some of you go. Before the fight was really over. I let this crew, and this family, disband. And we paid the price in lives. That can’t happen again.”

Adama continues to blame himself for everything that’s happened. The Cylons were still out there, and he let all the years of becoming a crew fall to the side. He abandoned his post as commander to make the people he loved happy. He failed them by becoming a friend and forgetting his own post as leader. Chief, for one, takes the lesson to heart and goes to work on a downed ship.

If you’re a newcomer to ‘Battlestar Galactica’ you probably enjoyed the episode, as it was one of the best character episodes the show has to offer. However, the episode dealt with a lot of back-story and history. The writers balanced things well, and even if you hadn’t been witnessing the dynamic between the crew over the last 2 seasons you still felt the emotional turmoil bubbling up. That being said, I really think this was an episode to be enjoyed more by long time fans.

The boxing aspect worked fairly well. It was well choreographed and fit into the storyline. But it was a trade off for not having to endure a season of “Colonists Under Tyrannical Control.” The episode shined in the flashbacks, and was of good quality in the present. I don’t begrudge the producers this, as an episode that was simply a long flashback would have been jarring. Aside from Adama’s speech, Gaeta taking the bets, and Dualla’s look of suspicion and understanding, the present based Galactica stuff was annoying filler.

I’d also like to comment on the look of New Caprica in this episode. The sunny quality of the place made you remember that this is where mankind went to lay down their burdens. With all the pain and misery that came later, it’s nice to see that for a moment there was hope and happiness.

What did you think of the episode? Is Kara going to be able to let her guard down to be with Lee? Will she show Anders the respect he deserves, or pull one of her childish stunts? Is Dualla, who knows Lee so well, going to forgive him for turning to her for solace and not just love? It’s about time the tight knit crew of Galactica got back on track. Oh, and did Adama and Roslin get their freak on under the stars?
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