Three Meals Away from Anarchy

We’ll have another podcast out to you tomorrow with lots of discussion about webisode eight, but I couldn’t wait to weigh in with a few thoughts. First and foremost: What? Aaron’s sorry that they killed 10-or-so “innocent” humans in the temple? If he’s sorry about that “tragedy” he must be downright apologetic about murdering 20 billion back on the colonies.

I’ve talked quite a bit in our podcasts about Cylon sentience, and here on the blog I’ve questioned whether or not peace is possible with the Cylons. However, I’d just like to make it clear that regardless of whether peace is a possibility at some point in the far (maybe even theoretical) future, I don’t think any peace is possible in the near term.

Anyone who kills 20 billion and then apologizes for killing 10 is lying. And that’s exactly what Aaron is doing in webisode eight — he’s lying to Jammer, trying to convince him to rat out his fellow humans and (unconsciously, maybe) become a collaborator. (Of course, the fun part will be guessing whether or not he’ll do it, and I’ll leave that to the podcast tomorrow.)

Yes, I was wrong in my speculation that the drink might be some kind of physical trap, but it is a trap for Jammer. Aaron brought it in for the purpose of demonstrating the true power of what he has to offer: an opportunity to stop running. We already know this is a very, very powerful concept as Baltar used it successfully to win the election and create New Caprica back in the season 2.5 cliffhanger.

It’s been said that the western world — consisting of (mostly) well fed, well rested, happy people — is nevertheless just three meals away from total anarchy. And that’s what the Cylons have been taking from the colonial fleet since the first BSG episode (“33”) — their comfort. They’re low on water, low on fuel, low on sleep — and now they’re low on opportunity and personal freedoms. Things are going to get crazy on New Caprica, and people are going to do things that you wouldn’t imagine they’d do in better times.

Will Jammer cave? Maybe the deeper question to ask is, “Will we forgive him if he does?”

One last thought: I’ve suspected since the beginning that Tigh did indeed plant the guns in the temple for the purpose of causing a Cylon attack there. (More importantly, I suspect that even if he didn’t do it on purpose, he would have if he’d have known how successful it’d be at upping recruitment into the resistance.)

I mentionedthe possibilityin podcast two and likened it to the tactics used by insurgents in Iraq. This drew a couple of emails and other feedback suggesting that I was “letting my political views” seep into our commentary. I’ll admit: I’m definitely guilty. Who can shut off their political ideas just for a podcast? But it’s ironic that it came up in this context because I my analogy didn’t stretch to the reasons behind the insurgency — just to the methods in use. In fact, these methods have been used have been used throughout time for good and evil. In my (hopefully obvious) opinion: Tigh’s use = good. Iraqi insurgent’s use = evil.

But even when these kind of actions are taken for the greater good, the people involved aren’t going to fare well in the rearward-facing eyes of history. I’m becoming more of a Tigh fan every webisode, but I feel sorry for him — even more than when we first met his wife.

3 Responses to "Three Meals Away from Anarchy"
  1. Jon Davis says:

    With regard to Aaron lying about his remorse when they killed billions on the colonies I would have to say it really depends… Has the “plan” changed? Obviously it’s not just about annihilation of mankind any more. If the plan has changed, then indeed the Cylons with any feelings may be remorseful to some degree due to a change of attitude towards humanity. That’s not to say that I think Aaron is totally genuine, he is being manipulative.

    It really makes me wander if their original plan was really total annihilation or were they simply attacking humanity to see who God would allow to survive, to fulfill his divine plan? Six makes reference to Gaius being spared by God. It would seem they knew they would not kill all of humanity – whether that was by design, imperfect implementation or divine destiny… we’ll just have to speculate.

    Regardless, this reinforces to this concept of Cylons wanting to become human. By studying those who God deems worthy, rather than studying and assimilating the entirety of humanity, they can come closer to becoming that which he will favor. This reminds me of the struggle Cmdr. Data from Next Gen faced in his endeavor to become “more than his programming”. Is this the goal of the Cylon plan – a way to really cross the software/hardware boundary from engineered cells to become real flesh and blood with a soul? Maybe they believe they don’t have a soul and that’s why they’re trying to become human.

    Back to the webisode… To me it just seemed like a good idea to hide weapons in a place the enemy won’t look. In the aftermath, Tigh was just being opportunistic in bolstering his resistance movement. Tigh doesn’t seem to be that much of a social/political mastermind or people person (as was evidenced by his decision to declare martial law in ‘Fragged’). He just doesn’t have the panache at leading or manipulating people. Tactically minded? Absolutely. I agree that Tigh is still an interesting character nonetheless.

    I totally agree that taking away human creature comforts will result in some rather monstrous behavior even from the meekest of individuals. Add to that desperation and we’ve got a recipe for some truly barbaric actions.

    I also agree that peace is not going to be an option this early. Which is why we are seeing the Cylons simply dominate and govern humanity. Remorse or not, the Cylons will absolutely be sowing seeds for collaboration anywhere they can. I definitely believe, as you guys mentioned in the last podcast, that the lines between enemies is going to blur… Cylons collaborating/sympathizing with mankind, and people collaborating/empowered with the Cylons. I expect lots of shades of grey in the upcoming season.

    And your closing paragraph is right on it… the question this season will be, how far can we go with in-humane acts justified by survival, yet maintain our humanity?

  2. Jay says:

    My question is, How relevant to the first episode of season 3 do you really think these webisodes are? Not all bsg fans will be able to watch these episodes. galactica is a television show. their primary medium for showing this show is on television. It would be naive of the bsg writers to assume that every galactica fan will visit scifi.com to actually watch these shows. I doubt that Ron Moore would take such an assumption and risk alienating a large percentage of bsg fans by making these webisodes a must-see in order to follow the plotline of the premiere of season 3. I have a feeling that these webisodes are just a way to give hardcore fans such as myself, a way to get ready for the big premiere, without really affecting the plotline of the firstr episode. They must have some way in mind to bring those fans who haven’t seen the webisodes up to speed on what went on,

  3. Jay says:

    My question is, How relevant to the first episode of season 3 do you really think these webisodes are? Not all bsg fans will be able to watch these episodes. galactica is a television show. their primary medium for showing this show is on television. It would be naive of the bsg writers to assume that every galactica fan will visit scifi.com to actually watch these shows. I doubt that Ron Moore would take such an assumption and risk alienating a large percentage of bsg fans by making these webisodes a must-see in order to follow the plotline of the premiere of season 3. I have a feeling that these webisodes are just a way to give hardcore fans such as myself, a way to get ready for the big premiere, without really affecting the plotline of the firstr episode. They must have some way in mind to bring those fans who haven’t seen the webisodes up to speed on what went on, I have a feeling that these are just cannon-fodder. They serve a purpose, but are inconsequential in the big scheme of things. Everything covered and learned in these webisodes must be somehow covered in the actual show itself.

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