Battlestar Galactica – “The Oath” and “Blood on the Scales”

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The two most recent Battlestar episodes have attempted to return to some of the issues of the series earlier story lines about the relationship between the crew of Galactica and the rest of the fleet. It makes sense that the alliance between the humans and the cylons, which would probably seem like a sudden and confusing turn of events to the rest of the fleet, would need to be dealt with at some level. I am not sure what I think about arc’s placement after the discovery of earth and the unfortunate realization that its an uninhabitable wasteland was the best time to do it. With so few episodes left, I wonder what the rationale for placing this story at this point within the larger arc might be. Perhaps once it all comes together and upon secondary viewing of the entire series it will make more sense. These long breaks between seasons really affect the narrative flow. It’ll be interesting to see how the a second viewing without the long gaps will affect my reading of the series. I know watching all seven seasons of Buffy concurrently over the course of a few months enhanced my experience of the series.

The arc did offer an interesting take on how information looks different depending on your point of view. As viewers we are privy to far more information than the members of the quorum, let alone the rest of the fleet, and so certain decision make complete sense to us. The knowledge we have limits our ability to commiserate and sympathize with the characters who disagree with that position.

Despite my feeling that this arc feels a little out of place within the larger the two-episode arc is probably one of the best in the series. I was particularly taken in by the struggle between Gaeta and Zarek that represented a larger ideological struggle between justice and power. Gaeta needs a trial, otherwise his actions become meaningless and no different from what he’s accusing Adama of. He sees his mission as righteous whereas Zarek is using the illusion of moral indignation to grab power. He’s the Cheney of the BSG universe in that way.

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