I mentioned in podcast #8 that at least four weddings between main characters have taken place off-screen since the fleet’s settlement on New Caprica: Starbuck and Anders, Chief Tyrol and Cally, Dee and Apollo, and…Helo and Sharon. In the Season 3 premiere episode Sharon is formally inducted into the fleet (again), given a uniform, and sworn in as Sharon Agathon.
I’m fascinated that while political strife has played such a significant role in the series (on issues such as religion, abortion, martial law, prisoner treatment, and warfare), the politics of marriage has entered into it very little. The president, the military, and the Quorum of Twelve seemed in the past to negotiate most major issues. However, unlike in our present society, the humans of BSG seem unconcerned with what could be called non-traditional marriage. Now, it’s possible that few people know of Helo and Sharon’s marriage – but assuming a fair number do know, it’s amazing that their union seems to be accepted in a world that only a year before defined the very same Sharon as a “thing” and a “machine.”
Compare this extraordinary change of thinking with a historical example: during the time of human slavery in the U.S., slaves were considered property, chattel, and subhuman. Even though they looked like many free people, they were forcibly identified and separated. Slavery became illegal in 1865, and it was arguably a good 100 years after that that marriages between black and white people became fairly accepted in our society. In BSG, it appears that this evolution of thinking took place in about a year.
Would the same people who condone Helo and Sharon’s marriage approve of other human-Cylon unions? I wonder if it will indeed become a political issue later in the season, with detractors arguing against the unions, and even more blurred lines as to whether people can be married and how people make their decisions to support or oppose the idea.