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Black Market

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For information on the black market itself, see: black market (organization).


Black Market
"Black Market"
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season 2, Episode 14 (discuss)
Writer(s) Mark Verheiden
Story by
Director James Head
Assistant Director
Special guest(s) Richard Hatch as Tom Zarek
Bill Duke as Phelan
Production No.
Nielsen Rating 1.8
US airdate USA 2006-01-27
CAN airdate CAN 2006-04-15
UK airdate UK 2006-04-04
DVD release 19 September 2006 US
28 August 2006 UK
Population 49,597 survivors (Population decline. 1)
Extended Info {{{extra}}}
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
Epiphanies Black Market Scar
Related Information
Official Summary
R&D SkitView
Podcast TranscriptView
Continuity Errors PresentView
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
[[frakr:{{{frakr}}}|Satirical view of this episode on WikiFrakr]]
Promotional Materials
Watch this episode's promo (on-wiki)
Online Purchasing
Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition
iTunes: USA | Canada | UK


Contents

Overview

Captain Lee Adama, battling haunting demons of his own from a spurned love lost on Caprica, investigates the murder of new Pegasus commander Jack Fisk, and uncovers a black market that strains the resources of the Fleet.

Summary

  • The recovered President Laura Roslin, discusses her plan to eliminate black market problems within the Fleet in Adama's quarters with Admiral Adama, Pegasus Commander Fisk, and Dr. Baltar, since they hold back on the majority of some needed supplies.
  • Fisk appears adamant to help stop them during the meeting, but is dissmisive of any success it might have after the meeting is over.
  • When he arrives back in his quarters on Pegasus (Admiral Cain's old quarters) Fisk sees a familiar face and starts conversing with him, but is suddenly chocked from behind. A well-dressed "businessman" comes out of the shadows and merely stands there and lights a cigarette as Fisk dies.
  • Lee Adama, severely depressed since his ejection from the Blackbird, has apparently been nurturing a relationship on Cloud 9 with a woman named Shevon, who has a young daughter named Paya.
  • He has brought a toy for Paya, but it appears all mangled, which spooks Paya.
  • In a "morning after" talk, Lee and Shevon talk in tones that hint towards his wanting of a serious relationship. Shevon appears to dodge these, and requests 100 extra cubits as Lee is leaving because he "stayed the night" indicating that she is a prostitute.
  • In flashback scenes, we see a past love of Lee's on Caprica. The scenes revolve around a rendezvous between Lee and this girl, which resolves with her running away. The details and intensity of these flashbacks increase as the episode progresses.
  • Admiral Adama meets with Apollo and assigns him to investigate the death of Fisk even though it occurred on the Pegasus. He feels he wants someone he can trust rather than a crew member from the other ship who might be biased.
  • While examining the room where Fisk died Lee finds a small fortune of luxury goods in Fisk's closet, including a gold bracelet with the monogram "E.T." on it.
  • Gaius Baltar, who was unaware of Fisk's death, comes seeking him out and is shocked and worried that he might be implicated. After a few moments of awkwardness, he manages to talk himself out of trouble and leaves.
  • Back on "Galactica" Lee confronts Colonel Tigh in his quarters about the bracelet which he had realized was Ellen Tigh's. Tigh says that it was he and not his wife who traded it to Fisk for liquor, fruit, etc. for Ellen and himself. Tigh explains that Fisk was deeply involved in using Pegasus as a hub to fence black market goods.
  • Dr. Cottle's autopsy finds cubits jammed in Fisk's mouth after his death most likely as a warning to others. Adama realizes that Fisk was trying to undercut one of his black market suppliers, and they punished him for it.
Lee with Shevon.
  • On Colonial One, President Roslin, piecing together her near-death recollections of Caprica, becomes aware of Baltar's pre-holocaust contact with a copy of the Humanoid Cylon known to the Fleet as "Shelly Godfrey" and "Gina Inviere." She candidly asks Dr. Baltar, her vice president, to resign. Offended by her request, Baltar begins to walk away, but Roslin stops him to say that it's an offer she will not make again. Baltar replies that while he never wanted any political power in his life or even the office at first, he wants to remain vice president now more than ever.
  • While Lee Adama is exercising in Galactica's gym, Anastasia Dualla comes to him to bravely ask if the flirtations they exchange during training are leading anywhere. Adama tells her he has no idea how to respond, and Dualla leaves visibly upset.
  • Lee Adama rushes to Shevon's room on Cloud 9 after she calls for help. He finds Shevon and Paya bruised, and decides to take them to Galactica, but is ambushed by thugs, who nearly choke him to death. As he is held within a breath of his life, he is confronted by the same "businessman" who was present at Fisk's death. He warns Lee to back off of the investigation. Moments later Apollo is knocked unconscious
  • After coming to, Apollo notices the corpse of a man in the room. Tom Zarek drops by the room moments later, and discusses the black market with Apollo.
  • Zarek points out that the black market does get supplies where they are needed. Nonetheless, Zarek mentions the central hub of the black market, Prometheus, a ship so lawless it's practically "off the grid," where you can supposedly get anything. Zarek gives a name to the "businessman" -- Phelan -- and tells Apollo that he probably took Shevon there. Additionally, he points out that Phelan has given Apollo Fisk's murderer -- the thug with a bullet in his head -- and that it should be considered "a way out."
  • Ignoring Zarek's advice Lee Adama boards Prometheus and while making his way to the center finds Paya and other children locked up.
  • Apollo encounters Phelan in Prometheus's bar where he warns him that Galactica is fully aware of his location, and that the battlestar can vent Prometheus's air into space unless the black market is shut down.
  • Phelan counters that the Fleet needs the black market explaining that it is like a pressure valve. Whenever a ship falls behind in the supply schedule, the black market fills the need. Phelan states that they sell all things to fill all wants, including children used as prostitutes which Adama finds completely objectionable. To make his point, Phelan has Shevon is dragged out who admits to having lured Lee to cloud 9 by pretending to be attacked.
  • Snatching a gun from one of Phelan's guards, Adama threatens Phelan who does not believe he will shoot him and is shocked when Lee does.
  • Apollo then turns to Phelan's guards, also in shock, and tells them that he's not going to shut down all black market trade because the Fleet needs it for vital supplies whether he likes it or not. However, they must continue their business at his whim only. If there are more killings, if they hold back essential medicines or exploit children, he will annihilate them without restraint.
  • Apollo then tries to make up with Shevon but she rejects him. She makes Lee realize that he is simply using her as a replacement the girl he left on Caprica.
  • Back on Colonial One, Lee Adama with William Adama presents his report to the President. Roslin is upset that Apollo did not shut down the black market, but Apollo counters that they will never have a perfect system and there will always be a black market but at least this way they know where it is and therefore it can be monitored and controlled.

Notes

  • Ron D. Moore admits in his podcast that this episode did not live up to his expectations. A long complaint about failed goals he made in his blog is actually about this episode.
  • Survivor count for this episode is 49,597. That is one less than last week's episode, "Epiphanies" in which a suicide bomber attacks the tylium refinery. However, bodies are seen blasted into space, and Adama actually says in dialog "people are dead," so more than one should have died. However, this number is occasionally offset by new babies born in the Fleet, which can account for some small discrepancies. That said, however, prior to her meeting with Baltar, Roslin is shown standing by her tally board, with a pen in her hand, suggesting she has just updated the number; this suggests the new count is intended to reflect the assassination of Fisk.
  • Zarek notes that he is the representative of Astral Queen, although in "Colonial Day," he was elected to represent the colony of Sagittaron. Given the nature of the conversation, however, he may have been speaking of his status as de facto leader of Astral Queen instead of his political position.
  • As seen in "Final Cut," there are occasionally meetings of all the ships in the Fleet.
  • Bill Duke (Phelan) also appeared in the sci-fi film Predator, and played Bolivar Trask in X-Men 3.
  • Prostitution was legal in the Twelve Colonies; this is a nod to socialators of the Original Series (Podcast:Black Market).
  • Apollo pilots a Raptor alone to get to Prometheus. As also seen in "Pegasus" and "Resurrection Ship, Part I," he is qualified to fly both Vipers and Raptors.
  • John Mann, the actor who portrayed Jackson Spencer, the original Galactica CAG in the Miniseries, makes a second appearance in this episode (in a deleted scene) as Linden, who directs Apollo to Phelan.
  • Much of the regular cast, including Kara Thrace, Sharon Valerii, Karl Agathon, Felix Gaeta, Galen Tyrol, and Cally do not appear in this episode.
  • The scenes with Lee Adama and Gianne on Caprica where filmed at the same location as the ones with Roslin's doctor in the Miniseries. This is evident from the spiral staircases.

Analysis

  • This is the third episode to use a "flash forward" introduction to the storyline as a hook (in medias res); this was also used just two episodes previous in "Resurrection Ship, Part II." Ron Moore has said that the device was added after he was disappointed with initial cuts of the episode, as a way to add suspense. The narrative technique also appears in "Act of Contrition."
  • To some viewers, Apollo's recent angst may appear as rather hastily added to the character. However, another facet of it is addressed in "Resurrection Ship, Part II" when he admits to Starbuck, "I didn't wanna come back alive."
  • The Apollo-Dualla relationship, a story thread running since "Resistance," appears to have been stopped very abruptly, with only Adama's emotional state as an excuse in ending their flirtation. The manner in which Dualla and Adama speak to each other seems out of character. Dualla later appears with Billy Keikeya, where he says little, and Dualla seems ready to give Adama up and continue things more seriously with Billy.
  • Ron Moore stated the relationship was introduced because the writers thought it would make an interesting love triangle.
  • It is interesting to note Shevon's final reaction to and rejection of Adama. Given the dire straits a person in her position would find themselves in, one might think that she would be grateful for the patronage of a (relatively) powerful and generally decent man like Adama, regardless of whom he saw her as a substitute for.
    • Shevon's rejection may merely have been choosing to be used on a level she was familiar with (working in the black market) as opposed to an unfamiliar or discomfiting one (as Adama's replacement girlfriend by proxy).
    • Despite her limited screen time, Shevon is a multi-dimensional, believable character. While Ron Moore may not have thought about it, Shevon's moral compass has told her that she cannot accept Adama even if it gains her freedom from her way of life. Shevon remains in her profession instead of being with Adama because she believes it is the right thing to do.
  • Like many murder mysteries, the episode appears to be without a special point or purpose other than to unravel the mystery. Perhaps the writers were attempting to stress the 'realism' of living in a "ragtag fugitive fleet" of civilians, in that there would probably be organized criminals carving out fiefdoms in which they would run drug, medicine, and prostitution rackets. The solution is self-contained, as the "good guy" promptly kills the leaders and shuts it down in its current state. All in all, the story merely serves as a vehicle to explore Lee Adama as a character.
  • The show takes a really dark turn when it makes mention of child prostitution, even if this isn't anything that several modern police-dramas haven't done already, and nothing is "shown"; a character only mentions in dialog that he runs a child prostitution ring.
  • The storyline of Apollo's pregnant girlfriend on Caprica is unusual in that this episode is the first mention of such a crucial backstory thread. Considering the extent to which the memory seems to weigh Lee down, it seems contrived to introduce it so late in the series, especially when there are other circumstances that could have been used to explore his emotional turmoil. In addition, confusion arose concerning Shevon's line about Adama's old flame "want[ing] to give you a child." That is, many viewers may not have understood that Adama's old love was actually already pregnant.
  • Jack Fisk being killed as easily as Cain is implausible. Admiral Adama is now escorted by Marines at all times. With Cain's killer still on the loose, it would rational for Fisk to have some paranoia.
    • Phelan and his men clearly had access to Fisk already and might have boarded Pegasus claiming to be on official business.
    • Considering that an attempt on William Adama's life has already happened once, Marines should have been escorting him from the very beginning. With Fisk and Cain now both dead, there may be a standing Fleet or Colonial military order in place that automatically activates, similar to such real-world orders.
  • The scene between Baltar and Roslin is interesting in its scripting and acting. Roslin is determined to be extremely polite, forceful, and cheery despite the fact that she is making a power play and now knows Baltar had something to do with the Fall of the Colonies.
  • The episode incorporates several recognizable plot elements of Film Noir : the murder mystery plot, the central character as a "detective," a femme fatale character, the flashbacks to a lost love, the exploration of the darkness of humanity, and its ultimate acceptance of that darkness in a morally ambiguous ending.

Questions

  • How were the black market henchmen able to penetrate Pegasus's security and murder its second commanding officer in a short period? Were they able to enter and leave without notice, because Fisk's dealing with them was general knowledge? Or did enough crewmen aboard Pegasus assist them to get them that far?
  • At the end of the episode, Zarek is walking in a crowd on Prometheus, with one of Phelan's old men nearby. Is Zarek going to try to fill the power vacuum left in the wake of Phelan's death? Or is it just to show how everyone needs to use the black market, even someone like Tom Zarek who claims to wash his hands of involvement with it?
  • Did Zarek somehow set up the entire incident to get Apollo to kill Phelan for him, allowing him to take over control of the black market?
  • At the end of the episode William Adama tells Lee Adama, "you should have told me about the girl." Is it Shevon, the prostitute (the obvious, close-at-hand issue)? Or, is it the woman back on Caprica (the deeper-seated, much more affecting issue)?
  • Why has Roslin not openly accused Baltar of collaborating with the Cylons after "Epiphanies"? Is it because she lacks proof?
  • Who will take command of Pegasus following Fisk's death? (Answer)
  • Where does the black market get all of its goods, given the finite supplies on the Fleet?

Official Statements

  • In an interview in issue #197 of TV Zone, James Callis (Dr. Gaius Baltar) said: "Mary and I had a great deal of fun doing a scene where the President tells Baltar in no uncertain terms that she doesn’t like him and wants him to resign. He’s not very happy about that."

Noteworthy Dialogue

  • During the discussion about the black market:
Commander Jack Fisk: Civilians wouldn't be civilians unless they had something to bitch about.
Phelan: It's hard to find the moral high ground when we're all standing in the mud. I'm not like my old man, Captain, and you are not like yours.
Phelan: You're not gonna shoot. You're not like me. You're not gonna--(Apollo shoots him in the chest midsentence)--Uhuhhh...

Guest stars

External Links




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