We didn’t get a chance to spend nearly as much time on this in the last podcast as I’d have hoped, so I suspect it’ll pop up next time as well — but I couldn’t wait that long. What’s going to come of Tom Zarek?
I’ve always liked Tom more than I could really justify to my partners in crime here at GWC. While we all agreed early on that Tom was out for Tom and Tom alone, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more to him than we wanted to accept. When we first met him on the Astral Queen in Bastille Day, there was a moment after the “showdown” with Lee when Tom shook his head in frustration at the waste of the whole situation he engineered — and I think we saw his “human” side poking out into the light.
Again on Kobol when he “rode the line” with his homicidal buddy, refusing to take the next step to kill Lee, he seemed (at the end, anyway) to grasp the fact that even his ambition paled in comparison to the survival of the human race — a fact that separates him dramatically from Baltar.
This is a concept that the occupation clearly drove home to him. In Exodus, Pt. 1 we see him talking honestly with Roslin, admitting that he sees the error of his ways — and passing on the fact that even he has limits, having stood up to Baltar and been cast out of Colonial One. When he handed his gun to Jammer (of all people) and asked him to protect Roslin, I for one believed that he truly meant it — that he wanted to see her safe because she was the right person to lead the colonies, not just because there was some specific power gain for Tom.
So what does all this mean in the coming episodes now that the fleet’s back together again?
Well, as we mentioned in Friday’s podcast, Tom might well be the current president of the colonies. We know that he was Baltar’s vice president, so if we assume that he continued to hold that office even though he was “ejected” from Baltar’s presence, he would now ascend to the presidency since Baltar is with the Cylon.
Then again, Roslin sure looked comfortable in that chair at the end of Exodus, Pt. 2. And would Tom dare to suggest that she not take up the role where she last left off? He does know that Roslin fixed the election, but would he use that — if necessary — to hold on to power? Would it work if he did?
I suspect that he’s not going to do anything of the kind. I suspect that he’s going to become Roslin’s new vice president, and they’re going to bea powerful team.
But as Sean pointed out in the last podcast, I’ve been wrong a bit lately. Maybe we’ll find out this Friday.