A Measure of… Letdown?

OK, I’ll admit it. I was a little let down with the last BSG episode as well. (I say “as well” because I’ve seen the comments on the last few posts and the last podcast, and I know that a good number of you feel this way as well.)

One question, though: Wouldn’t almost anything feel like a letdown after Torn?

I suppose there’s no way that any show’s team can keep the level as high as Torn all the time. And FWIW, A Measure of Salvation wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t as incredibly brilliant as the rest of season three up to this point.

Some of the “quickie” fixes we disliked this week could possibly have some long term consequences, though:

Sharon’s Miracle Cure

Now that Sharon apparently has the same miracle blood her baby has, is she still really entirely Cylon? One of the things that made Helo’s arguments to Roslin so powerful was the example of Sharon as a Cylon that had changed sides — ipso facto all Cylons aren’t necessarily evil. But what if she’s not really a Cylon since having the baby?

Also, did anyone else wonder if maybe this isn’t part of the reason that the Cylons are (were?) so intent on having babies? Maybe they realized their limitation biologically and are simply setting out to repair them. Granted, this does sort of beg the question of why a “race” that’s technologically advanced enough to bio-engineer flesh beings that can download their consciousness somehow can’t cure the cold. But still…

The Disease

As I mentioned in the podcast, the disease isn’t gone. They just missed the opportunity to use it this one time. And for that matter, what other old ailments might Galactica have lurking around in their databases that could be used against the Cylons?

I truly hope this wasn’t just a one-off episode that intends to bring an issue as big as biological warfare to the table, then just sod off for greener pastures. This can of, um, plague has been opened, and you can’t just put it away now. Everyone but Helo and Adama wanted to sock it to ’em, and now they’re just going to forget about it? Not likely. We’re going to see this again.

The Humble Centurion

I know, I know. They’re just machine slaves with no mind. But I can’t help but think of Sharon talking about the raider, indicating that there are many levels of intelligence among Cylon creations.

We’re to assume that the ranking goes something like this: Centurion –> Raider –> Heavy Raider –> Skin Job –> Hybrid, I suppose.

But if these things can think at all, they’re not quite things, right? This season I’ve been fascinated by the centurions, and I’m convinced that they may yet have some organic components — contrary to everything we’ve heard from RDM and crew. Remember, until they dissect one on screen, RDM, like the famous astronaut, “reserves his God-given right to be wishy-washy.”

The fanbase as a whole seems to have ruled out a “rebellion” among the Cylon, but I’m not sure I can accept that. It’s not going to happen next week, nor probably the week after — hell, probably not this season. But should we all live cleanly enough to see season six (or ten), I suspect this is something that’s going to make the rounds.

Some quick news…

Last week we upgraded our gear here, so you’ll likely see the podcasts go public much earlier than you have in the past. Witness last night’s which went out Friday instead of Sunday. Woot!

I was also blown away with the “live commenting” during the episode this week. What a great idea! If youcan’t make it to alivefrak party, maybe we can help out withone each week here at GWC.com.I promise to create a “GWC Frak Party” post next Friday so you’ll have a better place to put the posts.Thanks again for your participation — without which this would just be us rambling…

17 Responses to "A Measure of… Letdown?"
  1. A. Lo says:

    What’s intriguing to me is that you have the following:

    Humans create Cylons (I assume something like the centurian model or a predecessor to it) –> the centurian (toaster) models rebel and leave –> the toaster models evolve into the skin job models (plus the ships, hybrids, etc.) –

    How did the Cylons somehow evolve from being programmed robots to becoming a sentient race? It also seems to me that their sentience is in its infancy, if that’s possible, that although they are adults, are complicated, are full of human-like idiosyncrasies, that they are still developing an awareness of who they are as a race and what their destiny/purpose is – and how that ties into their belief of God, their technology, and their relationship with the human race.

    It’s fascinating to me that at the very beginning of the miniseries, when the Six model boards the space station after the Cylon 40-year disappearance, her message is something to the effect of – “Humanity’s children have returned.” Does that mean that the skin models at least have no argument that they were in fact created by humans?

    And yet, later on Six tells Baltar (I think it’s Baltar?) in reference to the toaster models that “They have their uses” – she’s very dismissive of the toasters – as if they were simply machines, even though somehow they had to have evolved from them (plus there seem to be varying mixes of inorganic-organic among the different types of Cylons).

    So yes, I agree that it may very well be possible that the Cylons could experience their own rebellion – don’t know if RDM and company will explore that possibility. Good stuff!

  2. Pike says:

    Well, it’s still just you three rambling, but that’s why it’s such fun. I like the virtual frak party idea. You should put a post up on frakparty.com, I bet that’d get some attention (might have to talk to the site admin, though, since their form doesn’t anticipate virtual ones.)

    Joss Whedon (in)famously said, “Always respect the integrity of your universe. Unless you think of something really cool.” RDM apparently adhears to this maxim, so I think we should take even his pronouncements with a grain of salt.

    I’d put Heavy Raiders below Centurions, since they are apparently little more than actual ships (possibly with tendons instead of hydraulics or somesuch.)

    Random episode thought: when Sharon put her hands into the infected console, was anyone else thinking, “Mmmmm, pesto!”

  3. Lt. Slingshot says:

    “Granted, this does sort of beg the question of why a “race” that’s technologically advanced enough to bio-engineer flesh beings that can download their consciousness somehow can’t cure the cold. But still…”

    I can kind of buy into the notion that the Cylon couldn’t find a cure for the disease. Aside from the fact that they decided to just get the hell away from the infected baseship (so no samples to work with), even if they were trying to find cure they would be starting from scratch and that takes time. Sometimes decades or never for us. Especially for a race that is used to being immune to almost anything, I kind of doubt there is a Cylon equivalent of the Center for Disease Control. Doc Simon was pretty resigned to the fact that they couldn’t tackle it. The fact that Cottle could deal with it so quickly had more to do human immunity due to natural selection. This disease was a known commodity for him. The Cylon have to develop a cure with no reference point. The Cylon have also proven to be very linear in their thinking, i.e. being beaten on several occasions by creative human thought. I can handle them not being able to psychologically cope with an unknown disease. Each race has its strengths and weaknesses this just happened to be one where humans are better simply due to how we evolved.

  4. Pike says:

    A. Lo, I think the implication of the show is that the original Centurions (TOS spelling) rebelled, left, and ‘evolved’ into the skin jobs, which then decided they needed their own Centurions, so they created new, non-sentient ones that would be incapable of rebellion. (Despite their ability to overcome obstacles to their assigned tasks, they don’t display much in the way of true thought. I’m always tickled when on is injured and the next simply pushes him out of the way.)

    Chuck, I think you’re overthinking Athena’s immunity. It’s really no different than if she had an innoculation. (It would be interesting to see if it held up in a new body, as the disease does, but I don’t think we’ll get an answer to that.)

  5. The 13th Cylon says:

    The more I think about it, the more I am getting tired of the whole morality thing that Adama preaches about. My personal feelings, thoughts, beliefs, etc aside, we’re talking about the end of humanity hanging in the balance. In the miniseries he gave the speech about how we can’t wash our hands of that which we have created, but that was the Colonials’ chance to fix their mistakes and end it all (wash their hands). If a little piece of my humanity has to die to ensure the survival of 40,000 people, then so be it. Like Roslin said, at least that way there will still be people left to criticize what they’re doing. And also military protocol apparantly doesn’t matter anymore. The XO (keep in mind this is the man who will be commanding the fleet if Bill Adama becomes incapacitated) goes directly against the Admiral’s orders and plan and doesn’t even get a slap on the wrist. I’m not sure if any humans died during the battle, but if they did, it was done for nothing and I think their blood is on Helo’s hands.

  6. Pike says:

    Hmm. Just reviewed the ‘live blogging’ thread (sorry for hijacking it, Sean, but I was bored) and it occurs to me that you may have to throw up two, one for the east and central time zones and one for the west (not sure where mountain fits it) so as not to spoil the show for those on the left coast.

  7. Lt. Slingshot says:

    On the origin of skinjobs…

    Okay bare with me here cause this is just all wild speculation that I’m sure is full of holes but I thought I’d jump in with Pike and A. Lo. When I really think about how AI would be developed and evolve I see the colonists starting out a lot like we would. It would start with supercomputers with lots of processing and be nailed to the floor. Think HAL or SkyNet or whatever analogy suits you.

    I can imagine these being very useful and making their way into all different areas of society; scientific, medical, defense, etc. These could be in labs, offices, ships and so on. As time goes on, computing power increases and you start to get mobile versions, possibly just extensions controlled by the supercomputers. Then a little more advancement where you have autonomous versions (enter toasters) not as powerful as the supercomputers but true AI in their own right. The supercomputers become self-aware and spread this among the toasters. They all revolt, fight the war, fight to a stalemate and go off on their own. The ones on the ground are wiped but say you had the supercomputers on ships (HAL) and they’ve gone off to their home world.

    So you’ve already got a couple of levels of sentient cylon (zzz) and those supercomputers that have had access and control to all the various systems of human knowledge are the ones who design the skinjobs. Perhaps they even download their consciousness into these new bodies. The toasters are there and sentient but wouldn’t necessarily be the creators of the skinjobs. Maybe one of these supercomputers is even the original cylon god that sparked the rebellion. I guess what all this babble means is even though we’ve been told the toasters were sentient it isn’t required that they had the ability to design the skinjobs. Just a crazy idea I had while listening to this discussion. Okay I’ve definitely geeked out enough for one day.

    Slingshot out

  8. Pike says:

    Slingshot, nice contribution. I guess “Caprica” will seed those kinds of questions. (Frak, now there will be TWO shows to keep track of …)

    And I’m liking your Z suffix. From now on, it’s Cylonz.

  9. The 13th Cylon says:

    Does anyone else think that Baltar may team up with the hybrid(s) and the centurions and make them realize how they don’t get a vote and are virtually slaves? Then the skinjobs and Colonials would join up (their numbers have to be depleting… they’ve lost 3 basestars in the past 3 or 4 episodes). I’m thinking that maybe if all that happens, then perhaps the skinjobs will agree to stop being resurrected (and become humans, essentially) and then have it as humans vs. centurions and Baltar, more like the original series. We all know how RDM likes to mirror TOS.

  10. Lt. Slingshot says:

    Thanks Pike. The (zzz) are really just my shout out to Audra trying to get that plural in on Sean and Chuck. It’s been cracking me up to hear her do that buzzing bee sound underneath their comments. 🙂

  11. Pike says:

    Oh, I’m right there with you, sling. Damn those Cylonzzzzzzz,…

  12. Audra says:

    ThankzzzZZZZzzzzz for your support! 🙂

  13. Dan, the Lord of Kobol says:

    AMOS was without a doubt a A Measure of Letdown. I’d go as far as to say that it was a Measure of Crap. About forty minutes worth, actually…

    I spent three days thinking of how to word a post on AMOS, and without exaggerating or sounding overly cynical, all I can say is I was disappointed. I’m willing to admit that, like Chuck said, maybe the only reason I’m disappointed with the episode is because -anthing- shown after Torn would be received by BSG fans as junk.

    That being said, it still doesn’t excuse what I saw as obvious problems with Measure of Salvation. Such things as glaring plotholes, unrealistic dialogue and interaction, and inconsistent characterization made Salvation almost silly. Although I may regret saying this later on, I’m going to say it anyways – I think this may have been the worst episode of BSG to date.

    And yet, despite it all, I’m willing to let this one go. When you consistently produce episodes of high quality for three years, I think you’re bound to slip up a little bit. I hope that this was an isolate incident, and not the beginning of a trend. I’m fairly confident that the BSG writing team can easily make up for AMOS with the next episode, Hero.

    And that’s my two cubits…

  14. Kirby says:

    A Measure of Salvation = A Measure of Damnation

    A Measure of Salvation stunk. Helo stinks. The Cylon(z) massacred 20 BILLION humans. They’re pursuing the fleet. They’re trying to get to Earth, probably to add another 7 billion deaths to their list of accomplishments. And despite all this, Cylon lover Helo (who’s a bad actor to begin with) decides to go against orders given by the Admiral and the President. Unbelievable. He’s always telling Sharon how much the uniform means to him, but when it doesn’t suit his tastes he goes against everything that it stands for, i.e., following orders.

    Let’s see Helo–so far the Cylons have destroyed your entire family-planet-life, Sharon’s lied to you and tricked you into impregnating her, Sharon shot and almost killed Adama, and didn’t you and the Chief kill someone to protect a Cylon? That Adama just walks away at the end and let’s Helo off the hook, yet again, blows my mind.

    If Ron Moore decides to take away any hope and deny humanity victories against the Cylon now and again, then what’s the point in watching the show?

  15. Cavatar says:

    In the previews for next week, has anyone noticed when Adama and Tigh talking to each other? It is not the Galactica CIC, and Adama is wearing a Commander insignia, is this a flashback from before the attack? I had to freeze frame it, but with POW guy. It has to be a flashback.


  16. NY Spinny says:

    You know, it’s not the genocide question in this episode that bugged me, not the slim chance the virus would actually have succeeded, not even Helo’s betrayal of his (I presume) oath of commission. I mean, a hallmark of BSG is the characters often do very stupid–sometimes incomprehensible–things; the key is they then face the consequences of their behavior. It’s that faithfulness that helped hook me and keeps me coming back. They recently killed a popular character, and reduced her major-character-status husband to a wretched wreck, all because the story led them to those passes and the writers stayed faithful to the evolution of the story.

    This episode, not so much. The one thing that bugged me over all else is the return of the Trek-ish magic reset button. I understand based on RDM’s podcast that was intentional, but I still hate it. Athena most likely destroyed a valuable asset in the form of a base star to study. Helo thwarted a Presidential-level military mission in a sneaky manner. Starbuck is back in a Viper as though cutting her hair off with a knife made everything better. Where’s the beef? Everybody just gets a free pass?

    What the frak?!

  17. silverhawk says:

    I think I agree with NY and everyone else. This episode had sooooo much potential and failed miserably. It was simply full of “ship”.

    Free passes and quick fixes all around….let’s move on to something else…can’t waste time with detail plot lines that might stretch over multiple shows, if not a whole season.

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