Battlestar Galactica Round Table: “No Exit”

After a week’s absence due to the New York Comic Con (in which we actually managed to assemble an actual round table at the con to discuss last week’s episode, only to be thwarted by atrocious audio recording conditions), we’re back with the round-table style discussion of this week’s episode of Battlestar Galactica, “No Exit.” The participants this week are Theresa DeLucci, Rajan Khanna, Pablo Defendini, and newcomers Jordan Hamessley and Robert Bland. The conversation starts after the cut, and there are many spoilers. So if you haven’t seen the episode, please stay away from this post!

Pablo: Well, we sure got a lot of exposition this episode—it could’ve been called “Info-Dump”! I love seeing Ellen back, even if Kate Vernon is playing a very subdued version of Mrs. Tigh. Somehow I don’t think we’ll be seeing Ellen-the-lush anytime soon, wake-up drink notwithstanding.

I like the way the backstory for the Cylons is developing. While they’re still clinging to the mystical aspects of the story somewhat, it’s certainly a trend on the wane, and everything seems to be internally consistent, so far. I have to really sit down and parse the timeline, and figure out if the chronology makes sense, but it’s working for me so far.

The Daniel bit bothers me—why add another Cylon, unless maybe it ties into Starbuck somehow? Is Starbuck a re-engineered reincarnation of Daniel? Daniel was “artistic”, and Kara paints….

And! Jon Hodgman plays himself on BSG! And doing brain surgery, no less!

Raj: I agree about the exposition, though I understand it. There are only five episodes left, they need to get the answers out and quickly. However, it came as a bit of a surprise as I’m used to the slow pace of the reveals.

Again, I was struck by the role reversal with Tigh and Adama. Tigh comes back and asks where the booze is and Six tells him that it’s been weeks since they’ve had any around and he promptly forgets it because of the baby. Adama, on the other hand, is downing glasses and pills in the same swallow and it’s clear that things are taking a toll on him. I don’t see a good end for him now.

As to Daniel, yeah it came out of nowhere. I didn’t see it as a connection to Starbuck, but maybe? It was introduced then immediately downplayed, but I have a hard time believing that something that was so big a retcon (13 models?) is going to be insignificant. Maybe you’re right, Pablo, and the model was redesigned somehow to create the singular Starbuck. In a meta way, that would also play with the notion that the character was once a male.

I’m still not sure on the particulars even though they’ve spelled them out in terms of the plans of the Five. Or at least it will take some digesting. I feel like they had to work against what they already had demonstrated in the show and so the explanation wasn’t as good as I would have liked.

Jordan: I used to hate Ellen. Now I love her. I’ve always thought that Cavil was a mean dude, but it was really great to get some insight into him. He REALLY just wants to be a machine. Can the centurions taste dark matter? Does he really just want to be made of metal?

I’ve been waiting for a reveal of a 13th cylon for a long time. It seemed like it had to happen. The 13th tribe always intrigued and for some reason I got it in my head that there was one last model. I am praying that the “7”, Daniel, is connected to Starbuck. We only have five episodes left (eek!) to find out exactly what her deal is. I’ve heard rumors that annoy me, but I’m hoping that Starbuck is the offspring of Daniel.

This episode was all exposition, but I was ok with it. I needed some answers and I got some… and now more questions.

I want to see Boomer reconnect with Chief now that they are both totally aware of their “cylon-ness”. Happily ever after for one couple? Maybe? Please give me a happy ending somewhere in this show! And please don’t let Tory screw it up once she remembers her old life with Chief back in the day.

Can’t wait for the Final Five episodes. The ships is falling apart, they have to find somewhere to live eventually, right? Right?

Rob: Wow. A fascinating info-dump, but it was an info-dump episode with style. They should have called it the “magic bullet chronicles” because as soon as the bullet was taken out, gone were the stories. But what great stories. So: the ship has cancer. The concept of a single, loving god comes from the centurions (which I hope they go further into), the Final Five (FF) are the creators of the 8 cylon models, and model 7 has never been on the show—unless Starbuck is indeed some modified or reincarnated version of Daniel. Clearly, there’s some connection between the missing #7 and Starbuck. The emphasis on Daniel being an artist was just too heavy-handed to ignore.

I, too, was thrilled to see Ellen back. Curiously enough, I was so emotionally invested in her death on New Caprica, I never even put two and two together (in terms of her being resurrected) when Tigh realizes she’s the 5th. So watching her come back via the resurrection ship was a fun surprise given my oversight.

Poor Adama seems to be losing it. If he takes another swig of that synthetic booze my liver is going to burst.

I loved the scene in the middle of the show where Tigh is trying to come to terms with the repercussions of their acts as the Final Five. I liked how he drew a parallel between what they all have wrought by creating the “skin-job” Cylons and what the humans have wrought by creating Cylons in the first place. That scene was a nice touch amidst all the exposition and body convulsions.

I’m a little fuzzy on why the centurions would stop the war against the humans if the Final Five promised the centurions skin-job models with resurrection abilities. I’m assuming it has to do with their concept of a single god. Not sure. Anybody have any thoughts on that?

Cavil’s acerbic wit and his all-consuming hatred for what he is (and for what he’s not) is so resounding that it triggered flashbacks of Agent Smith in the first Matrix movie. Normally, I don’t like it when I’m brought to another story franchise like that, but somehow I didn’t mind. Cavil is still very much his own person.

I presume that Ellen is on her way back into Tigh’s life since she’s escaped Cavil. I can’t wait for that!!

Theresa: I loved that new opening and Kate Vernon’s great performance throughout this whole episode. For—as everyone’s said—a huge info-dump of an episode it was still damn exciting. I wonder how Ellen will tie into the forthcoming Caprica series. The mother of all Cylons, huh? I buy it. Loved Cavil’s angry monologue lamenting his limited senses = very Matrix, I concur. And, yes, I was a little annoyed at more ret-conning in the form of new, mysterious Cylon #7, Daniel, the artist. Yeah, I’m guessing that could be Kara’s absent father. If memory serves, he was a talented musician. I don’t believe Ellen said Daniel was solely a painter.

I cannot believe we only have five episodes left. I agree that they need to ramp up the urgency a little more, and no that they’ve got a huge chunk of needed exposition out of the way, they can do just that. An admiral is his ship, and Galactica’s deteriorating hull is a great metaphor for what’s been happening to Adama personally and the Fleet at large. And the ship can’t safely jump until the cracks are fixed. I sure as hell hope that Cavil comes looking for Ellen now. We haven’t seen a good dogfight is ages.

Robert – I think the final Five helped stop the original Cylon war by agreeing to help the Centurians develop flesh bodies if they would stop fighting (which lead to that forty-year disappearance.) However I was a bit unclear on how the Centurians developed the concept of the One God.

Lastly, how could Lee really be surprised that Roslin sees him as her replacement? There’s no one left! I do like the idea of the Quorum being reassembled with individual ships’ chosen representatives. How many ships are left anyway?

One more thing: John Hodgman’s cameo was weirdly meta and distracting. But also awesome and unexpected. So answer me this: do Cylons run Vista?


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