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It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time – Battlestar Galactica 4.13/4.14 Review


The mutiny on the battlestar goes boom — and I call shenanigans.

MAJOR SPOLIERS AWAIT… read the full review!

“The Oath” and “Blood on the Scales” was a two-parter that told the story of Felix Gaeta and Tom Zarek’s attempt at a coup. As I’ve stated here before, Adama and Roslin have brought this on themselves, so I was very pleased to see a mutiny happening on the Galactica — it just makes sense storywise. What doesn’t make sense it what happened in last night’s episode, after Gaeta and Zarek have taken control of the ship.


Okay — so I’m supposed to believe that Tom Zarek, an uncompromising revolutionary who has no qualms about blowing away everyone on the Quorum, wouldn’t have killed Admiral Adama the first chance he gets? Adama is the number one threat to the coup (and in Zarek/Gaeta’s minds the survival of the human race) yet they suddenly feel compelled to keep him alive? For some bullshit court martial? What a joke. 

When Adama and Tigh are escorted to the brig, they are accompanied by only two — two — guards! Gee, I wonder how they’ll get out of this one! 

I started these two episodes with a feeling that anything was possible — there’s a few episodes left, people are dying left and right, major stuff is going down, and no one is safe. But things started taking a turn to the conventional when Kelly spared Tyrol after a “tender moment” of insulting Cally’s reputation for getting around. What a load of crap.

That’s when I realized that there were a core group of characters that were untouchable (Adama’s clan) and suspense was thrown out the window… And so it was that Adama, Roslin, and Tigh escaped imminent death and waltzed back into command of the fleet in a tidy 90 minutes of television. 


Despite the lame moments (Romo killing a guard with a pen, Tyrol pulling out a pipe to dismantle the FTL drive, Adama leading the crowd of supporters through the ship to take back control — I was expecting them to burst out into song ala High School Musical), there was a lot of good stuff here, particularly the final scene. 

The look Zarek and Gaeta share before being executed was nice — as if they felt justified about the choices they made, despite the outcome. I’ve always thought Zarek was an underused character, but also knew that his story arc wasn’t going to end well for him. Gaeta was a wonderfully complex character who grew throughout the series and it was tough to see him go, especially since I really wanted to see him bitch slap Starbuck at some point…


Is it me, or was last night’s episode the first time Gaius ever turned down sex? It seems that Baltar is tired of always dodging responsibility and wants to own up to his actions for once in his life. It’s not just that he’s grown fond of all his brainwashed cult kittens, but that he is opening himself up to true connection with people — we see this in the final scene with Gaeta. It looks as if his heart is truly breaking for Gaeta when he tells him, “I know who you are”. 

This was my fave scene from the episode. The acting is top notch. James Callis and Alessandro Juliani totally bring it. The only thing that could of made it better is if Gaeta asked for a KFC Frak Pack as his last meal.


After Chief Tyrol was done playing Die Hard by crawling through all those air ducts, he discovers a huge crack in the FTL engine room. Perhaps the ship itself is the “dying leader?” How many jumps does the Galactica have left in her?

This is a really interesting development — don’t you think?


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  3. Boston Matt says:

    As far as Zarek not killing Adama… here’s the thing. He NEEDED Gaeta. You can’t have a coup without controlling the military, and i doubt any in the fleet would have blindly followed Zarek, but Gaeta had control over (at least a large chunk) of the military. Gaeta wanted a trial (and this is VERY in Gaeta’s character. He does things for, in his mind, the good of everyone, and he would want a trial for Adama) and Zarek was forced to go along with it, because at this point in the coup he needed Gaeta on his side.

  4. JrzRob says:

    The Hybrid said that the dying leader would know the truth about the Opera House…

    How can the Galactica know the truth about the Opera House?

  5. Nar Williams says:

    JrzRob: Lol. Maybe the ship has trippy ass dreams too?

    Boston Matt: Fair point, but Gaeta isn’t this soft either. He ordered the raptor with Roslin in it to be shot down, didn’t he? It’s hard for me to believe he’d be so “fair-minded” to Adama in the heat of a hostile takeover with Tom Zarek at his side.

  6. murdoc829 says:

    For Gaeta, I think it was more about proving something to Adama. He wasn’t really being fair-minded (even Gaeta couldn’t believe that that “trial” was anything other than a farce); he was making a point, and perhaps hoping to see the old man crack, admit SOME fault, something to acknowledge that Gaeta alone did not bring them to this position. Besides, Gaeta had to believe he was the good guy here.

    I actually hated the final moment between Zarek and Gaeta. They were never really on the same side; Zarek was after power, Gaeta after justice. The second Zarek had the Quorum executed, he lost any claim to nobility or sympathy. Gaeta, on the other hand, broke my heart.

    I completely agree that to put so many core characters in danger only to kill NONE of them (with the possible exception of Anders, may it not be so) was bs. It’s the end of the series, people; now is not the time to pull punches. And it’s especially cheap to end last week with a cue-ominous-music cliffhanger imperiling Tigh, Adama, and Roslin and then have them all come out of it hunky-dory. Plus, Baltar’s Adama-execution dream was stupid. It’s okay to pull that kind of thing once (ala Xena telling Roslin she was one of the Final Five), but it was unnecessary here.

    All in all, while I agree that a mutiny makes sense in the grand BSG narrative, I feel like they didn’t really commit to it. And I never thought I’d say it, but I’m actually getting tired of Touching Moments with Adama and Roslin. Maybe it’s a Moonlighting thing; I liked them better when they were platonic.

    This episode made me cranky. But I still love the show!

  7. Ron says:

    I believe Zarek should have been killed long ago. With 40,000 people left, there is no room for 500 reporters, 12 reps from each colony, and democracy. I love the show but I like the position Adama had in the original series. There is no way with everything going on that the military would even allow the “drama” bullhocky power plays that went on especially Baltar. Enough ranting.
    With 6 shows left, they have much to cover and it should still get even more crazy with Ellen coming back.
    I thought the crack in the engine room was interesting and can’t wait to see how that plays out.
    I would like to see the show end with the other Cylons attacking, Galactica and the rebel cylons defending, and then the Earth force jumps in with serious weapons and numerous ships, and just lays down the law. John Luc uses the Enterprise F to create the Jordie shield around the fleet and….
    Man, I need to lay off the shrooms!

  8. Soul says:

    Soul’s BSG conspiracy theory #1452:

    Adama didn’t kill Gaeta in the airlock. I think he may have only shot Zarek, or perhaps spared them both just to prove that’s not how he does things. Reason: when confronted in the airlock the first time by the leader of the guards about to kill him (“I’m sorry sir, but I hate the cylons… and I can’t fight with someone who trusts them”)… he does what? Spares his life (“Tie him up!”). Also, there is selective cutting when it comes to the whole “AIM!” line at the end, and also not showing their actual deaths.

    Of course, the wobbly fucker did just try and take over the big guy’s ship… so he might just be a little sore about it, but that’s my guess.

  9. Jules says:

    Admiral Adama:
    Yes it would a semi-major curve ball if Adama got killed off.
    I believe Zarek did not kill Adama right away because he wanted break him before killing him. Take away a person’s hope, friendships, love, support and leadership and for most people who would have a broken person. You saw the look in Adama’s eyes when he was told his XO/ BFF Tigh was dead. Zarek wanted to make Adama suffer just a bit before death. I believe this is why Adama was not killed right away.
    *In my small group of BSG Friends we are STILL split on who the dieing leader is. Roslin or Adama.*

    The Cat Fight We All Wanted To See:
    I so wanted Gaeta to take off that fake foot and “kick” Starbuck in the face. In BSG I think there was this mini unspoken competition to see who was a bigger slut and could frak the most guy’s in the fleet. Starbuck or Gaeta. It would make perfect sense to have them exchange a few bitch slaps.”
    **If you didn’t know Gaeta was gay before you do now. I can also prove this point as well**

    Baltar just said no?!
    Yes, Gaius Baltar said no to a good old fashioned fracking. Gaius Baltar is by far the most complicated character in BSG. He start’s off as a Playboy who is 100% about science and fact with a side of hot fracking. After his trail Gaius Baltar becomes a Playboy / Man of religion because he can’t do anything else really. Plus making Baltar the head of a religion with cute single women made for some good humor and awesome development of Baltar. Now, maybe the religious cult girls got deeper under Baltar’s sheet’s and skin. What awaits Baltar in the next few episodes? I don’t know for sure, but can’t wait to see.

    Got Crack?:
    The Galactica was supposed to be out of commission in the first episode of the mini series. So the fact that Chief Tyrol found the crack was not big ‘shocker’ for me. The Galactica needs to be retired just as much as Adama and Roslin do.

    I’m sad to see all this come to an “end”.

    At then end of Issue 21 of Buffy Season 8: Harmony Bite’s one of the main writers of BSG said we will be getting a BSG Movie!!!

  10. excentric says:

    Adama had a dream sequence about a crack in the Galactica some time back. I think it was after he found out Tigh is a Cylon. This has to be significant somehow.

    I’ve been rewatching from the beginning, and was just appalled at the part where they were going to forcibly abort Sharon and Helo’s baby, even though it didn’t happen. I don’t remember such a strong reaction when it first aired, but now I find myself applying the scenario to our previous administration’s treatment of so-called ‘suspected terrorists’. It is horrifying to even contemplate, because if it can be done to ‘them’, it can just as easily be done to us.

  11. tommy says:

    That’s twice Adama’s been killed in “dreams”, plus the time he got shot for real and the battles he’s seen in two wars. He’s got more lives than a cat.

    Gatea: “I just hope… hope that… people realize… eventually… who I am”
    Baltar: “I know who you are Felix… I know who you are.”

    No more hunger for redemption, the way I see it. :)

    What did you think of the Lee-pulls-a-Starbuck joke Nar, funny or not?

  12. Nar Williams says:

    Tommy: I thought the Lee-pulls-a-Starbuck was fine — I actually think Apollo is one of the most interesting characters in BSG. I would much rather see him leading the fleet than his douchebag dad. As you pointed out, they’ve teased Adama being killed so many times I wish they’d do it already.

    Soul: Interesting theory, but I don’t think so. Those dudes are dust. And if Adama spared them (and the others like racetrack) after all the threats he spat at them, then he’s even lamer than I thought.

    Jules: Great comments. I think the mystery of the dying leader is over. It was clearly Roslin: she’s dying and she helped lead them to Earth. Just because Earth was a radioactive wasteland doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, right? As far as the prophecy goes, it’s complete.

    Murdoc829: “…it’s especially cheap to end last week with a cue-ominous-music cliffhanger imperiling Tigh, Adama, and Roslin and then have them all come out of it hunky-dory.” My sentiments exactly. Baltar’s nightmare of Adama’s execution was pointless and lame. Did it fake anyone out?

    Excentric: Watching the series from the beginning sounds like fun — I’m gonna wait until the end to start over and see how it all works together.

  13. Ken says:

    Quote: “I think the mystery of the dying leader is over. It was clearly Roslin: she’s dying and she helped lead them to Earth. Just because Earth was a radioactive wasteland doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, right? As far as the prophecy goes, it’s complete.”

    Well, actually, it is not complete. The original prophesy said the dying leader would not live to see the final destination. Well, she saw Earth so Earth cannot be the destination. Or perhaps the planet they found is NOT our Earth (although the star charts indicate otherwise).

    As for the coup, it was necessary but it was also necessarily short because there are only 6 more episodes to go and soooo much that still needs to be resolved. I too hated the glances at the end. To me, it didn’t really fit. Zarek seemed too at peace.

    I also thought it was weak to have Adama and Tigh in the secondary hangar protecting the launch. Wasn’t logically necessary.

    I agree that Zarek had no choice but to keep Adama alive for the time being. He was humouring the needs of Gaeta because he needed Gaeta’s support. The military traitors would never have listened to Zarek without Gaeta… and you could see it in Zarek’s eyes that he was losing patience with Gaeta’s need for some sort of absolution from Adama. He even said as much when he originally found out Adama wasn’t dead, indicating that if it was up to him, Adama would have been dead to get rid of loose ends. Gaeta needed Adama’s recognition that Gaeta’s actions were just and Adama knew it, saying he would never give Gaeta what he was seeking. Gaeta was much more willing to have Roslin’s raptor shot down because 1. he didn’t have to be the one doing it and 2. Adama’s acknowledgment of his actions is much more significant to him.

  14. Ken says:

    And Gaeta isn’t gay. He’s bi, as he also had a thing with the 8 on New Caprica.

  15. Tory says:

    You really don’t have a clue, do you? Is “lame” your go-to word?

  16. Seif says:

    the prophecy say that the dieing leader will lead them to earth but wont get to see it..

    that couldn’t have been earth… if the prophecy is true.

  17. Nar Williams says:

    Tory: Actually, “nerdvana” or “geektastic” are my preferred go to words. I also say “awesome” a lot.

    Seif & Ken: I’m glad you pointed out that the prophesy may not really be fulfilled… I’m sure RDM & Co. will wrap this all up very nicely before the end. They’ve got 6 eps left to do it!

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