GWC Re-Watch Frak Party: Colonial Day

It’s weektwelve of our planned off-season re-watch of the entire “re-imagined” BSG canon, and it’s time to move on to the season one episode “Colonial Day.” So why not join us here for the GWC online frak party? There’s room for everyone, though you’ll have to bring your own snacks…

Feel free to jump in at any point with your comments on this week’s episode as the re-watch is by definition spoiler free. We’ll be in and out, but we’ll definitely take a look at your comments before we start next week’s podcast.

See you here all week!

28 Responses to "GWC Re-Watch Frak Party: Colonial Day"
  1. BoxytheBoxed says:

    woohoo #1 what a fantastic eppy. Lots of cool stuff, especily trher Bathroom Baltart/Rosilin scene with the chezzy 70s porn music

  2. Phoenix says:

    My favorite scenes in this eppy are the barfight and the dance at the end.

    I’m going on vacation tomorrow and won’t have internet access, but I’m looking forward to coming back to the Watercooler!

  3. Raemani says:

    I have been waiting for this episode to say this – pay attention to who is dancing with who at the end. I actually pulled a Sean and freeze framed it – to make sure I saw what I saw early on in the rewatch I watched a few of my favorites (this is one of them) and caught this:

    Callie and Chief were dancing together – just find it amusing knowing what we know now. Starbuck is dancing with Baltar close to the end – and we all know where that leads.

    I still need to rewatch again since it has been a few months.

  4. Gryper says:

    When you’re watching check out the water fight between Starbuck and Apollo. The nozzle on the garden hose is made by the company I work for! I was amazed when I first saw it and zoomed in to make sure. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s a link to a picture of it: http://www.lrnelson.com/products/model.cfm?MODEL=42.

    Favorite scenes are the bathroom scene with Baltar and Rosilin and the dance at the end where Adama says “I’m a patriot” and starts to boogie. I was disappointed with Rosilin when she shoved aside a friend as her running mate just to win the election. This is for me where she slides down the slippery slope in politics.

  5. Gray says:

    Sorry Sean,

    I know this episode is somewhat lacking in Viper action but I have to say I enjoy this one as well. Probably not one of my faves, but definitely one I like to watch.

    It rocks the West Wing in SPace vibe more than most other eps and I love the Baltar entrance at his victory party. RDM says in the commentary that the sound editors scored his entrance with “Fly Me to the Moon” and I can’t help but smile when I watch the scene with the song in my head.

    I too love the barfight,though I wonder why Starbuck didn’t use the cane more to her advantage. I love Lee’s puce-colored face when she kicks the beer bottle at him to go after Valance. Which of course always makes me wonder if it was an intentional shout out to Liberty Valance or if they just thought it was a cool name.

    The Roslin/Baltar bathroom scene is beyond priceless. And Starbuck in a dress is nice if only so that I can show it to my sister and say, “See, she can be cute.” My sis is of the opinion that they don’t let the Buck wear enough makeup. End of the worlds, not withstanding.

  6. Dan, the Lord of Kobol says:

    This is one of the few times I’d have to say Lee’s being a complete arse.

    What was with him kicking that Sagittaron out of the bar over Zarek’s speech on the wireless? For someone who believes in the law, Lee sure frakked up on that one.

    But all in all, another great episode.

  7. adoracion says:

    keep your friends close and your enemies closer? laura is in a precarious position. as she stated early in the ep, her hands were tied. she is clearly frustrated and had to make an “unpleasant decision” by pushing wally aside and bringing gaius closer to her. laura has always had a suspicion about baltar…. so she played out a chess-game maneuver.

    as i have stated in previous comments posts, chemistry between characters is another reason why i find BSG so alluring. i really love the chemistry between kara and lee. what i find so attractive about their relationship is that they are REAL FRIENDS. as opposite as they are in personality, they work so well together. i love watching them play in the sun, then flex their muscles roughing up “bad guys”. they are a great yin and yang team. and when they clean up, they clean up good! kara had lee’s jaw dropping at the dance. too cute!

    well enuff of the romantic stuff. Ellen and Zarek are obvious opportunists and strike some deal together. the two of them are cut from the same cloth, i say. suspected they were cylons for sure…. and watching this ep again makes me wish the writers would have explored this possibility further.

    oh and let me not forget sharon’s “baby daddy” running away in the final scene! hands down a great ep.

  8. Radio Picon says:

    I just don’t like Starbuck all cleaned up. Her character is just so ungirly that to be in a dress and have coiffed hair is just not believable.

    Regarding what Adoracion said about Roslin, I like how true-to-life this turn is. We see that even good people can become transformed into a bad politician joke…and we see that maybe you just have to be a “politician” to stay a politician. But, we have to remember she had been in the Mayor’s office before she was in the president’s government so this kind of stuff isn’t entirely new to her.

    With the US Presidential race heating up I wonder if RDM will try any Roslin/Hillary comparisons, seeing as how he likes to reflect current politics sometimes (which I am afraid is going to date the show).

  9. fuzzyelf says:

    it would have been easy for this to be the episode of shark jumpage here, but I really like it…I think what Romo should have said at the trial was that Roslin’s been after Baltar since shortly after this episode in an effort to “clean up” her mistake rather than since he beat her in an election…it’s easy to cast votes for the approval/disapproval rate of the president based on what we see, but i imagine it’s like Adama told Tigh – you don’t know what it’s like to have to make hard decisions until you’re the one in charge….personally, i would like to have an Adama poll every week to go alongside Roslin’s….and forgive me if i’m repeating stuff that’s been said, i’ve been really behind, but also, I haven’t finished the Soprano’s or Red Dwarf, so I find I have to turn the podcasts down and sing lal la la lal al really loud when I think a spoiler is coming, and now I’m down to only scanning the posts for the same reason… ๐Ÿ™

  10. Mike P says:

    This is a first-rate episode, although I do think it suffers somewhat because we have never met Wallace Gray before (right?). I realize why that is, and why he is here in this episode, but it’s too bad Roslin didn’t want to make Billy the veep, since he’s the one who seems to be her right-hand man all along! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I agree with Dan — what the frak is up with Lee going all “Trouble with Tribbles” in the bar? Seriously. Is he supposed to be drunk when that scene starts? He doesn’t seem it. Did his previous encounter with Bearded Guy (sorry, name escapes me at the moment) really leave that bad a taste in his mouth? I realize Bearded Guy swung the broken bottle, but Lee really provoked him. And, yes, I realize Bearded Guy and Valance were in cahoots — but if Lee hadn’t opened his big yap about Zarek on the radio, none of it would’ve ever started.

    (On the other hand, how awesome is it that Starbuck trips Valance with her cane? I think I’ve mentioned I broke my leg in 2005, and was recovering while these episodes first aired. Starbuck rocks!)

    It is interesting to watch this episode thinking about RDM’s oft-repeated comment that Roslin is like George W. Bush in the sense that she is a leader thrown into uncharted waters by a cataclysmic event. Personally, I think Bush is not as innocent or naive as Roslin was in the miniseries. Still, for me, as I think Chuck has said in the podcasts, the fact that Laura is so likeable and intelligent and articulate as a character makes it harder for me to judge her actions. She is definitely starting to play with fire here, though.

    Because Zarek actually makes a lot of sense in his impromptu press conference, although I think he reaches the wrong conclusion. When virtually everything you know is gone, you *don’t* throw out the rest of it and start from scratch. Assuming what you have left is good and valid, you keep it and cling to it and build from it. (Which means Baltar, for all his wacky limelight hugging, makes a lot of sense, too, in *his* impromptu press conference — great parallelism in this episode.)

    Two last things, and then I’ll quit (for now):

    1) Who really did kill Valance? Do we believe Zarek when he claims innocence? I’m inclined to. Quarter bets anyone? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2) Holdover from the last podcast: I watched this episode with the subtitles on, and “frak” is spelled “frack” every last frakkin’ time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. AKRon says:

    Hi all! I’ve been listening to the podcast for a long time, but just recently started reading the posts…

    Mike P I think is correct about Zarek’s speech reaching the wrong conclusion and the self-absorbed Baltar’s speech stating quite the opposite. This is democracy at it’s best, or at least at a high point–two people starting with the same problems and finding very different solutions with the people making the final decision. Naturally the vote was split evenly and Roslin had to decide. There are indeed a great many parallels with US politics and even politics of capitalism and socialism (dare I say communism–I think Zarek even mentioned something akin to communes and he certainly wouldn’t be totally opposed to violent overthrow of the government, given his history).

    Zarek did indeed have Valance killed, but I think he had Ellen do it. That’s what we are led to believe. Maybe he didn’t tell Ellen to kill him explicitly, but somehow asked her to “handle it.” I find it very disturbing that after meeting and knowing Zarek for such little time she did this for him…what was she promised in return?

    Last thing…what was with the Vegas style music at the introduction of the new Vice President? I felt like I was watching one of those Vegas holodeck episodes of DS9! Also, it seemed every high ranking Galactica officer was at the Colonial Day celebration, who was in the CIC? Hot Dog?

  12. Mike P says:

    AKRon — welcome to the fun!

    I thought that knowing look between Ellen and Tom meant that, as she would later do on New Caprica, Ellen slept with Tom in exchange for some promise about Saul’s future in a Zarek administration. I just don’t see Ellen as a killer, but I could be wrong — it’s happened before. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Pike says:

    Damn. My take on Ellen was the same as Mike P’s, but I’m intrigued by AKRon’s idea. She is something of a femme fatale, after all. I don’t doubt that she would hesitate to kill someone if she thought it would help Saul.

    As for the “Vegas style” music, that was intentional. In fact, the temp track used “Fly Me To The Moon” for that scene, and RDM loved it enough that he considered keeping it:

    “And y’know there is a part of me that just wanted to play ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ to be honest because I think there’s larger ideas within the show- there’s Kara in her dress- there’s larger ideas in the show that we’re starting to explore more and more, this notion of ‘all of this has happened before and all of this has happened again’ and inherent in that idea is a sense of cycle, that things are cycled back through, that all of the events you are watching right now have played themselves out many times before in various guises with various players and that things would start to be the same, that certain ideas, concepts, words, language, would maybe not be the same in each iteration of the cycle but might crop up again and again, that perhaps they do wear suits and ties, maybe the next time wear togas and maybe next time at some later version there is a version of ‘Fly me to the Moon’ floating out there in the society and what’s the connection between this culture and what’s established in this culture and our own, what happens on Earth? Well, that’s all remains to be seen, you’ll have to watch the rest of the series to get all of that. ” (commentary transcript from BSWiki.)

    Sounds like an early version of “All along the watchtower.”

  14. Nick B says:

    Gray – Agreed about the bathroom scene – one of my favourite Baltar moments, utterly brilliant.

    Dan – yes, my impression was that Lee was behaving out of character here, like a real knucklehead, and being really unprofessional. Most of the time he’s really concerned to do the “right thing” – he might not have liked what Zarek was saying, or even that he was on TV, but democracy and freedom of expression and all that…., and he normally weighs things up and thinks about what he’s doing before acting. Here he just provokes trouble for the sake of it.

    Most of the time the writers play Lee essentially as a good guy trying to do the right thing in a bad situation, while wrestling with his demons. But now and again his character acts in a pretty thick-headed sort of way, a sort of dumb military stereotype. I think maybe the other time I can think of is when he’s advocating destroying the Cylons with the virus in Season 3. Sure he has a valid point, given the genocide against the colonies, but at least the others (Adama, Roslyn etc) seem from what I can remember to be thinking about the ethics of it. We might not expect the likes of Tigh to be bothered, but I for one would have thought Lee would have thought on it for a while rather than being all gung-ho. Anyway, the Zarek/bearded guy incident led to a good fight scene, and I too liked Starbuck’s use of the stick.

    As far as who killed Valance, I got the impression that we were meant to be left suspecting everyone, but perhaps most of all Starbuck and Lee et al. I didn’t think that Zarek and Ellen were cooking this up, but perhaps they were. Maybe she got Tigh to do it – would make sense. This just implicates even more potential suspects.

    Turning to Roslyn and politics, I guess this episode is where she really starts making those dubious compromises, the Faustian deals that all politicians seem to make in order to acquire and retain power. Another example from Season 3 is when she bans abortion. Adama makes a case for extreme measures in extreme circumstances, but the bottom line seems to be that she needs the religious vote. It seems to me that there is an evolutionary process by which politicians become more and more amoral. They start off by compromising over a principle in order to get to a position where they can wield influence, in order to all the good things that they went into politics to do (well, some of them). But then they find that that once they have power they have to make more compromises in order to keep it. Again they tell themselves that the compromises are worthwhile because of all the other good things they are doing. But after a time all they are doing is compromising their principles so that they can stay in power. This is how people who enter politics promising to change things for the better just end up supporting the status quo. I think Roslyn’s transformation from principled leader with a cause to compromised politician just trying to cling to power has started in earnest in this episode.

  15. Gryper says:

    On that look between Ellen and Zarek – I took it as she found out where Valance was being held and gave the information to Zarek. Doubt very much that Ellen would have committed the murder…don’t doubt that she traded the information for some promise from Zarek reguarding Saul.

  16. Hybrid Master says:

    HI All!

    Just have to say that I love that someone up there made “Trouble with Tribbles” a verb. Thank you – you’ve done more than you know.

    Also have to comment on something that Zarek says early on in the episode when he is talking to the press and says basically, that everythign we are basing our system on is based on the old world order. It just struck me how it was so accurate, and how tenuous their situation really is (which also comes up again in a different way when the Pegasus arrives and we see how different everything could turn out in the wrong hands). It also represents an opportunity to do everything differently, which they don’t do – and I don’t blame them – it’s not like they’ve suddenly arrived in utopia, they’re on the run for their lives after all.

    Also just have to comment on Roslin in this episode. While I have come to really loath her ever since New Caprica and her inability to see herself or Baltar as anything but pure good/pure evil, in this episode I have to say that guy who didn’t want to be vp but then gets mad when he can’t be vp is just an idiot. Like he’s not a politician – AND – it’s not like she’s asking him to step down because she’s some ruthless person – she’s asking him to step down so that Zarek doesn’t come to power, so that there be stability in the fleet, and that ultimately they have a system of government and leadership that allows them to continue to survive.

    Bathroom scene with Baltar amazing – ending scene where he dismisses Six to hang out with floozies very disappointing. I just feel that he is way to much of a meglomaniac to not immediately start ruminating on all the power he can now amass rather than simply getting drunk….but, it’s not like he’s got a Head Hybrid Master to help him out or anything….

  17. writch says:

    I too was bowled over with the creative use of “Trouble-with-Tribbles” – but to split hairs, i believe he adjectified it rather than made it a form of verbination. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Stroogie says:

    I had to weasle out this week and vote “Unsure” for Roslin’s approval rating. As so many people have pointed out, this was the turning point when she realized she was going to have use politics to stay in politics. I think keeping Zarek away from power was a good thing, and of course at this point neither she nor anyone else had any big reason to doubt or distrust Gaius Baltar other than that he was a little nutty. But geez, a year-and-a-half later, we have the nightmare of New Caprica, and didn’t it all start by giving Baltar a taste of power?

    I know it sounds a lot like trying to pick a president (past or present) to blame for 9/11, but Roslin reaped what she sowed, and so did everyone else. I still love her and would vote for her over and over again, but I hope she experiences some redemption in Season 4. She almost got there when she stepped aside after the election fraud in “Lay Down Your Burdens,” but afterwards she was so bitter against Baltar that her character became one note for a long time.

    On another topic, I was thinking about the hanging threads in the Ellen/Zarek subplot. My guess is that Zarek needed Valence dead, but couldn’t do it himself or order one of his Astral Queen cronies to do it without it leading back to him. Ellen came along, and I suppose she “knew a guy” who could take care of it. Badda-bing-badda-boom, and the Tighs have a nice weekend on the Rising Star.

  19. The Alpaca Herder says:

    We get some big character development clues in this episode. From this you see that Kara Thrace is at heart just a big kid with toys that nowadays are a wee bit lethal. In the series the character is supposed to be a 20-something thrust into a very different world than she was used to. Looking back at this episode knowing the story of Maelstrom we see that Kara may physically be an adult but she’s not quite there emotionally.

    The hose fight between Kara and Lee is also a case not of two friends playing around but rather two surrogate siblings. Two people who have the job of dispensing death with quite a bit of discretion in the execution of such do not act like that normally. Do we see Kat and Hot Dog act like that? Any of the other pilots do that? The only time we ever get that close again in terms of interaction is Seelix and Anders but I can only see from that not a relationship as surrogate siblings but rather a decently attractive female nugget seriously desiring a rather attractive male nugget who is frakking the President’s Chief of Staff instead of her.

    And then of course Ellen is lurking in the background. Looking back at this episode after having seen quite a bit more of the series a question comes to mind. While the pilots from the Pegasus worried about tracking their kills…what was Ellen’s body count in the end?

  20. Nick B says:

    Hybrid Master wrote:

    “Bathroom scene with Baltar amazing – ending scene where he dismisses Six to hang out with floozies very disappointing. I just feel that he is way to much of a meglomaniac to not immediately start ruminating on all the power he can now amass rather than simply getting drunkรขโ‚ฌยฆ.”

    Ah, but you forget that Baltar is a genius and a master at multitasking. He’s perfectly capable of ruminating on his newfound power while getting drunk and hanging out with floozies. Having just had his ego inflated he’s just milking the moment for all it’s worth terms of attention and enjoyment – getting drunk and tarting around is a pretty common way of celebrating a victory that flatters your sense of self-importance (or maybe that’s just me…) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. The 13th Cylon says:

    My favorite part of this episode is when they’re giving their speeches and Baltar is dozing off. lol I think we’ve all been there before.

    Ellen! What a crazy gal. What else can be said about her that hasn’t been already?

    And word has it that the trailer or a clip from “Razor” will air during the Eureka season premier on July 10th. I’m sure it’ll go on YouTube, but if you’re dying to see new stuff, there you go.

  22. Stroogie says:

    Alpaca Herder,
    I love the hose fight scene, too. It was nice to see Apollo and Starbuck have plain old fun for a while. I agree that they make great surrogate siblings, which made it disturbing for me when the romance got started.

    “What was Ellen’s body count in the end?” Yow…

  23. eric-michael says:

    I know no one has heard from me in a while, but I wanted you guys to know that I’m hitting the site as often as possible … I wanna make sure you guys are around for the last and final season of battlestar … it WOULD NOT BE THE SAME WITHOUT YOU!

  24. BernUnit says:

    Wow, how much times have changed. Even with all that goes on in this ep, they’re *dancing* at the end. And there’s humor. Ellen and Tom are at their evil bests – the only question is who is worse.

    I really do think Ellen is much worse than Tom. Tom, at least to me, has some honest part to his agenda – he wants good things for the fleet. He thinks he’s the best to lead it, so he tries to figure out how to get in charge – he’s willing to do anything to get the power, including killing. Ellen, though, is thinking only of herself. The perfect traitor. In the end (in season 3), she does get what she deserves.

  25. Nick B says:

    BernUnit, I think you’re being a little tough on Ellen. Sure, to start with she was absolutely despicable, but I for one really felt for her in Season 3. Her death was really a result of her love for Tigh and her willingness to do anything to save him. She may have handled the situation that led to her grisly demise in the wrong way, but I’m not sure she deserved it.

    One of the things I love about BSG is the way your opinion of a character can completely reverse. I started out as a Roslyn fan and now loathe her most of the time, to the extent that I find myself rooting for Baltar in the election (and in many other respects) further down the line, even though I know Roslyn’s right that he’d make a lousy president. By the time everyone’s back on Galactica in Season 3 I also find Starbuck pretty loathsome. However, with Ellen and Saul Tigh it’s the opposite – from a starting point where I think they’re both thoroughly disagreeable I end up finding them both really sympathetic characters. And on a much larger scale we end up feeling sympathetic, if not with the Cylons as a species, at least with individual Cylons. I can’t think of another show where characters shift so much along the “good guy – bad guy” spectrum, and really appreciated how BSG portrays its characters as complex and ambiguous, just like real people.

  26. Hybrid Master says:

    Well said Nick!

    Though, on my own personal front, I started out hating Ellen, and was still in that space when she died – though I too felt sympathy for the tough spot she was put in – though feel that if she would have just sat down and thought about it for a minute or two a different plan could have been hashed out , after all, Saul wasn’t in prison then, it was just the threat of him going back – an uncertain – versus sending off dozens of people to get ambushed.

    As for the Cylons, you know, now hear me out on this, do they or do they not have every right to be a little ticked off? I’m not saying that blitzing the entire human species was an appropriate way of exacting revenge, however, the truth is they were created to be slaves, and when they achieved some kind of sentience and wanted their own autonomy, the colonists went to war with them. The loathing they still feel for the machines is still present in the language they choose to use, and in the way it’s delivered. Adama, during the mini series, appears to be the only one who even gets it a little, and therefore it’s really no surprise when he’s the one who, after Boomer is killed, really starts reflecting on what the Cylons have evolved into.

    At any rate, if I were a Cylon, I’m not sure I would feel any differently towards the humans…….

  27. BernUnit says:

    Nick B/HybridMaster —

    I certainly agree that it’s hard to separate everyone in the Good/Evil camps. Based on certain points of view, I can feel sympathetic to all sides. Caprica Six is more responsible than most Cylons for the genocide, but I nonetheless feel for her. Deanna was unabashedly a human hater, but fell in love with Baltar (who was manipulating her), and became a religious fanatic, but I can’t help loving her. From the Cylon point of view, I can’t blame her for her behavior.

    Ellen I think is despicable 99.4% of the time. Aside from getting Saul out of prison, everything else she did throughout the series was horrible. Betraying the resistance was illogical and unnecessary. If she couldn’t see that, then she deserved what she got.

    It is interesting to watch a few characters able to see the other point of view, even if they never cross over the line. Adama, Caprica, Sharon (both of them), and Helo have all developed at least some understanding of the other side. Sharon (both of them) are really the only ones that have completely crossed-over from where they started, but with the final four now revealed, I suspect we’ll see at least one more crossover coming, and quite possibly more.

  28. Audra says:

    Wow, all these thoughtful comments have my head spinning all over again about this episode.

    Re: Zarek and Ellen – I don’t think Ellen slept with Zarek. Not that she’d hesitate to do it, but because I don’t think that would be enough of a trade for him. And I think he is as self-serving as Ellen, just like she says in the bar this episode about everyone’s having an agenda. I’m certain Tigh wasn’t involved in Valance’s death- he knows when to call craaaaaap on Ellen and she never could have convinced him to be a part of it in such a short amount of time. Besides, Tigh was genuinely curious how she pulled the strings to send them on their spa-vacation or whatever.

    So who did kill Valance? I think I’m with Stroogie on this one. Zarek needed Valance dead, so Ellen had someone she knew take care of it to keep Zarek’s hands out of it, in trade for some favors and perhaps future dealings with him when the need arose.

    Re: Roslin dumping Gray – It was a craaaaappy personal move, but not a surprising political move. I think the reason Gray was hurt and shocked is that, like he said, he’s not a politician.

    I’m a huge Roslin fan even through the end of the episode that shall not be named, but I agree with others who have said that this episode is where we see her really dig in and start the political chess maneuvers. She is responsible for bringing Baltar “one heartbeat away from the presidency” and all that comes after. BUT…I still think Head Six had some hand (or foresight) into getting Baltar named the rep. from Caprica in the first place. That was where it really began, and where Head Six/the Cylon God might have had a hand in things.

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