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Precipice

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Precipice
"Precipice"
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season 3, Episode 2 (discuss)
Writer(s) Ronald D. Moore
Story by
Director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Assistant Director
Special guest(s) Lucy Lawless as Number Three
Production No. 302
Nielsen Rating 1.8
US airdate USA 2006-10-06
CAN airdate CAN 2006-10-07
UK airdate UK 2007-01-09
DVD release
Population survivors
Extended Info {{{extra}}}
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
Occupation Precipice Exodus, Part I
Related Information
Official Summary
R&D SkitView
Podcast TranscriptView
[[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

After the suicide bombing, the Cylons institute stricter controls on the human population on New Caprica. Aboard Galactica, plans for the rescue from New Caprica move forward now that communication with the resistance has been established.

Summary

Teaser

  • Gaius Baltar visits Laura Roslin, who has been detained by the Cylons. In order to appear friendly, he hands her back her glasses, but then expresses his outrage and disbelief at the suicide bombings carried out by the resistance. He demands that he and Roslin publicly condemn these actions. Although Roslin initially expresses understanding for the resistance, when Baltar presses her to condone their attacks, she remains silent. Baltar tries to make her understand that order and policing is necessary and denies Roslin's allegations of random searches, arrests and torture. When he leaves, he again emphasizes that the situation has deteriorated to a dangerous level and orders the guard to release Roslin.
  • At night the New Caprica Police prepares for an operation. Cavil arrives and asks Captain James Lyman if he understands his orders and assures him that the Centurions will provide support if necessary.
  • In the resistance's underground hideout, Galen Tyrol asks Saul Tigh about another planned suicide bombing, objects to the targeting of innocent civilians in the market, and questions which side they're fighting on. At his computer, Tyrol has established contact with another Raptor sent by Galactica and delivers a status report.
  • New Caprica Police members don night vision goggles and arrest people on a list provided by the Cylons, including Cally Tyrol. Galen Tyrol later finds his son alone in his tent.

Act 1

  • On Galactica Admiral Adama, Lee Adama, Karl Agathon, Louanne Katraine, Anastasia Dualla and other discuss their rescue plan. Agathon notes that the resistance is lacking in strength. When Katraine mentions that they need to determine which pilots will fly the ships off the planet, the Admiral points out that the resistance must first retrieve the ships' launch keys, which the Cylons have removed. Katraine suggests supplying the resistance with weapons, but Lee Adama objects that this would only tip off the Cylons that Galactica has been in contact with the resistance and is planning an impending rescue effort.
  • On New Caprica, Galen Tyrol talks to Felix Gaeta. Both men are unaware of each other's role as resistance leader and informant, respectively. Tyrol asks for information about Cally's fate, but Gaeta is unsure if he can do anything. Tyrol can't understand how Gaeta can work for the Cylons, and Gaeta tells him that he will try to help him.
  • In a street, Jammer is picking through some belongings scattered around by his raid, thinking about what he has done. Tyrol notices his troubled state and asks if he is OK. Jammer replies that everything is fine and mentions that he heard about Cally, saying that he is sorry. Referring to himself without revealing his membership in the force, Jammer says that some policemen probably believed they could do something good, but are in over their heads now. Tyrol tells him that the police force - and Gaeta - are collaborators and one day they will be strung up, while people like he and Jammer will cheer.
  • The Leoben copy keeping Kara Thrace imprisoned introduces her to Kacey Brynn, claiming the child to be another Cylon-human hybrid bred by fertilizing eggs from Thrace's ovary stolen by the Cylons. Thrace's immediate reaction is to deny Kacey is her child, treating her as an "it."

Act 2

  • On Pegasus, Dualla reads a communique and can't believe that Admiral Adama wants to release Sharon Agathon from incarceration and send her to New Caprica to establish contact with the resistance. Equally disbelieving and furious, Lee Adama orders a Raptor be prepared so he may meet with his father. However, the admiral believes he can trust Agathon and refuses to listen to his son's advice. Lee believes the plan too risky, arguing they should focus on protecting the two thousand civilians who escaped New Caprica with them rather than risking the future of mankind on a gamble. The admiral acknowledges Lee's argument to a point and decides to alter his plan: Lee and Pegasus will stay with the Fleet, while Galactica returns to New Caprica alone.
  • In the apartment on New Caprica, Conoy tells Thrace more about Kacey and eventually leaves them alone. Thrace is as distant as ever, wanting to have nothing to do with the child.
  • In a tent, Laura Roslin talks to Colonel Tigh, demanding that he stop the suicide bombings. When Tigh asks if she works for the Cylons, she slaps him, but apologizes quickly. Tigh says that none of it matters anymore and argues that the attacks aren't any different from sending soldiers on suicide missions. He tells Roslin to stop being naive and moralizing until she is back on Colonial One again, and leaves.
  • At the Detention Center many humans are brought in with bags over their head. Sharon Valerii tells Number Six that their actions are just causing more resentment and violence. Outside, Jammer is overseeing the prisoners and asks to speak to Valerii, questioning whether she can find out what happened to Cally Tyrol.
  • In the apartment, Thrace watches Kacey play with disinterest and rebuffs the child's attempts to interact with her. She goes to the bathroom to calm down. When she comes back, she finds that Kacey has fallen down on the stairs and is bleeding. Worried, she calls her name.

Act 3

  • In a hospital, Thrace and Conoy watch over Kacey's bed. Conoy apparently is glad that Thrace has finally connected with the child.
  • Valerii visits Cally Tyrol in her cell. Not really knowing what to tell her, she says that she is happy for Cally and her husband, despite her previous relationship with Galen. However, when Tyrol learns that Valerii can't release her, she tells her to frak herself and asks how many times she has to kill her.
  • Another suicide attack destroys a power station, killing many Cylons and humans. On Colonial One, the Cylons agree that harsher measures against the humans are necessary. Number Three gives Baltar a document authorizing summary execution of the detainees and tells him to sign it. Baltar objects, and Caprica-Six vigorously defends him in front of the other Cylons. Since Baltar is not cooperating voluntarily, Number Five threatens him by holding a gun to his head, again demanding Baltar's signature. Caprica-Six continues to take Baltar's side, shouting "This is crazy!", and Five responds by shooting her in the head. Baltar is shocked and afraid following the sudden death. He abandons his resistance with the persuasion of Messenger Six and signs the order.
  • On Galactica, Sharon Agathon is sworn in as an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Afterwards, her husband tells her that he is glad for her and that it means a lot to him. She says that she won't betray the uniform. On the hangar deck, she asks Admiral Adama how he knows that she won't betray them. He responds by saying that he doesn't know, but is what trust is.
  • On New Caprica, Cavil and Ellen Tigh finish having sex. Cavil says the Cylons know her husband is the leader of the resistance and threatens to again detain, and possibly kill, Saul if Ellen does not provide the time and place for a high-level meeting of the resistance.

Act 4

  • Tyrol tells Tigh about the planned rendezvous with the Colonial Raptor, and Tigh is equally incredulous that Adama sent Sharon Agathon on this mission. They are reviewing a map of the meeting place when Ellen Tigh arrives. After Samuel Anders memorizes the location, Tigh prepares to burn the map, but his wife takes it from him purportedly to put in the fire for him, but instead pockets it.
  • On Colonial One, Gaeta angrily confronts Baltar about the death warrant he signed. Baltar is dejected about the whole ordeal and sits quietly on a couch. He replies that he knows what he has done and that he read the names, but didn't have a choice.
  • The New Caprica Police storms through the city and arrests more people, including Laura Roslin. The prisoners are put on trucks, where Roslin meets Tom Zarek, who has spent the last four months in detention.
  • The resistance makes its way to Breeders Canyon where two Raptors jump into the atmosphere.
  • At the hospital, Kara Thrace prays to the Lords of Kobol to spare Kacey's life, admitting that it was her mistake that resulted in the child's injuries. Conoy tells her not to worry and that it was just an accident. Both are happy when Kacey wakes up.
  • Cavil has the convoy of trucks stopped, telling the guards to let the prisoners "stretch their legs". Zarek tells Roslin that he would have preferred if her election fraud had been successful.
  • Sharon Agathon meets with Anders and his resistance fighters and are making plans when they are ambushed by Centurions.
  • The prisoners are waiting near the trucks when Jammer, disguised by a mask as all police are, cuts Cally Tyrol loose. He tells her to run and she obliges climbing down a ravine and running into the woods. As she is escaping, Centurions come into sight, preparing to open fire on the prisoners. Gunshots are heard.

Notes

Story

  • Felix Gaeta's given name, first revealed in "Final Cut", is spoken out loud for the first time.
  • Caprica-Valerii has married Karl Agathon and taken his last name. Exactly when this occurred is uncertain, nor is it explained at this point how they were allowed to wed in the first place. In "Occupation" it was shown that Sharon was still confined to a cell, albeit now more comfortably furnished; depending on when she married Agathon, it remains to be seen at this point whether she remains in the cell or moves into quarters with Helo.
  • Sharon Agathon and William Adama continued to develop the rapport which they established in "Resurrection Ship, Part II" and which was shown to have evolved into friendship in "Occupation".
  • Baltar's internal Six appears only after Caprica-Six is shot in the head.
  • Lee Adama states that there are about 2000 civilians on the ships that escaped New Caprica, which would mean that after accounting for an unspecified number of military personnel (and an unspecified number of said personnel that were left on New Caprica), at least 5500 people were killed in the destruction of Cloud 9 as well as the other ships destroyed by the nuclear warhead in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II".
  • Another four humans are killed in the suicide bombing at the power substation this episode. It is unknown whether or not this figure includes the bomber. Additionally, 23 Cylons are critically wounded; 14 of them are euthanized. Almost half the city is left without power, with repair estimates standing at a minimum of two weeks.
  • Tom Zarek's role in the Baltar administration is finally revealed: he was indeed Baltar's running mate, and was elected Vice President in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II". (This was implied in the last three episodes of season two, but not stated explicitly). He refused to be party to the Cylon occupation and was detained shortly thereafter, until his execution was ordered in this episode.
  • This episode and "Exodus, Part II" are the only ones in which all twelve humanoid Cylons appear.

Other

  • "Occupation/Precipice" was awarded the IGN.com Editor's choice award, following a review in which it received a rating of 10/10.
  • This episode was nominated for "Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series" in the 2007 Emmy Awards.
  • "Occupation" and "Precipice" were edited as one 2-hr episode with only one introduction. However, in the podcast, Ronald D. Moore indicates the "beginning" of "Precipice" as the scene with Baltar and Roslin in the detention cell. On the Region 1 DVD set for Season 3, the episodes are presented as two distinct episodes.
  • However, the episode is slightly cut for the DVD release (and possibly the syndication airings as well). Likely in order to make more room for a second intro, the conversation between Sharon and Karl Agathon after her taking her oath is shortened. Missing is one of Helo's lines: "O­ne of the first things they taught us at the academy was that symbols matter. Uniforms, flags, banners, even mascots. They're like pieces of your heart you can look at."
  • This episode has the second highest number of guest stars. Only the Miniseries has more credited stars.
  • In the podcast, Ronald D. Moore states that references to "The Twist" and "The Swirl" are a homage to Seinfeld. The episode in question is "The Fusilli Jerry."
  • The apparent shooting of the captives at the end of the episode is a homage to The Great Escape and Battle of the Bulge; especially the latter as it features a survivor's escaping in a similar manner to Cally Tyrol's.

Analysis

  • Apparently a single humanoid Cylon copy can speak for his or her particular model. The phrase "We agree" is said by several models. A Six adds "most of us do, anyway", indicating that disagreement in the ranks of one model is unusual. Interestingly, Caprica-Six fails to dissuade her "sisters" from voting to execute the dissidents.
    • This consensus within the copies is done invisibly. Similar communication between Cylons of a single model has been witnessed in several prior episodes:
      • In "The Farm", the copy of Simon which Kara Thrace encounters outside the facility shares the memories of the one she has recently killed, although insufficient time has passed for a resurrection of the type witnessed in "Downloaded".
      • In "Home, Part II", Caprica-Valerii reveals to Galen Tyrol that she has some of the Boomer copy's memories.
      • At the start of "Occupation", the Cavil model interrogating with Saul Tigh knows of his wife's work to free him.
    • This contact is apparently strictly voluntary. According to Caprica-Sharon in "Home, Part I", "I'm not wired in. It doesn't work like that," and her presence on New Caprica is not considered a security hazard.
  • As one of the Cavils notes, adherence to the Cylon creed has become increasingly perfunctory. The Cylons seek the president's signature as a mere formality.
  • Number Three's claim that Caprica-Six's assault on her was the first case of Cylon-on-Cylon violence in their history is false. While Boomer's actions as a sleeper agent can't be considered to apply here, Caprica-Valerii shoots another Eight in "Colonial Day" and a Six at the end of "33". However, strictly from Three's point of view, her statement may be true, since she either may not know about these events or who exactly shot that Eight.
  • Ironically, a Five shoots Caprica-Six in the head shortly after Three's statement. Cavil indicates, however, that she won't be "boxed," as Caprica feared in "Downloaded".
  • The same Number Three that is killed in "Downloaded" by Caprica-Six is present on Colonial One, referencing the incident; it is this same Three who questions Six regarding her love of Baltar.
  • If Leoben Conoy's story is true, Kacey Brynn can't be older than 16 months [1].
  • While Ellen Tigh's actions seem as reprehensible as ever, her motivations this time around are rather more laudable. These two episodes show that she truly does care for her husband.
  • Cavil informs Ellen Tigh that they released Saul Tigh so that he might continue leading the resistance, thereby ensuring attacks against the Cylons, such as the two bombings that followed his release. These bombings and their results reinforce Cavil's argument that instilling fear and exerting total control over the population is the only viable solution.
    • It also might be possible that the release of Tigh might play into the faction of Cylons who continue to hold a strong prejudice towards humans. Caprica-Six and Boomer are clearly shown to be a diminishing voice amongst the Cylon leadership as evidenced when Number Five shot Caprica-Six in the head. This faction of Cylons may very well be attempting to destroy the experiment that Caprica-Six and Boomer convinced the Cylon population to undergo.
  • The Cylons' condemnation to suicide bombings is strikingly hypocritical, in light of the fact that a Number Five used the same tactic after boarding Galactica in "Litmus", and Gina Inviere's nuclear detonation on Cloud Nine in Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II.

Questions

  • Given that she was ordered to face execution by the Colonial Government, where would Cally Tyrol be able to run to? (Answer)
  • Why did the Cylons abandon their plan for a public execution?
  • If viewers are to assume that the gunfire at the end of the episode is not from the Centurions, then who is firing? (Answer)
  • Is Gaeta showing rather unusual behavior? If so, how much will his role as "inside man" be affected?
  • What is the role of the five unseen Cylon models in the occupation? Are they present and simply remaining off-camera for the benefit of the audience? Have they attempted to hide themselves from the Colonials? (Answer)
  • Why do none of the Leoben Conoy copies attend the meeting on Colonial One regarding the execution order?
  • Cally Tyrol and Sharon Agathon both took their husbands' names upon marriage, as did Ellen Tigh, Caroline Adama and Sesha Abinell. Are Anastasia Dualla and Kara Thrace now Anastasia Adama, and Kara Anders, respectively? (Answer regarding Kara Thrace)
  • What is the relationship between Caprica-Six's shooting and the reappearance of Baltar's Internal Six?
  • On the topic of internal manifestations, what happened to Caprica-Six's internal Baltar? Will he ever show himself again? Has he disappeared much like his counterpart in Baltar, now that the real-world Baltar is in Caprica-Six's midst? (Answer)
  • Now that the Sharon Agathon has landed on the surface of New Caprica, how can she be distinguished from other Number Eights there? (Answer)
  • How will humans identify Sharon Agathon should she ever leave their sight? How, for example, can she safely return to Galactica? (Answer)
  • How does Jammer identify the particular Eight he talks to as "Boomer?"
  • If the Centurions are incapable of distinguishing between individual copies of a model, why would they fire on Sharon Agathon, who should be just another Eight to them? (Answer)
  • Why didn't Duck tell Tyrol that Jammer had joined the New Caprica Police?
  • Did Kacey fall down the stairs or was she pushed?
  • As Zarek wanted nothing to do with Baltar's puppet administration, who replaced him as Vice President? (Answer)
  • Given Zarek's imprisonment for four months, what has become of Zarek's various supporters? Do they still exist on New Caprica or in the Fleet? If so, what of them?
  • What has become of the Demand Peace movement?
  • Is Kacey Brynn all that Leoben Conoy claims her to be? (Answer)
  • Since Felix Gaeta is one of the top people in the Baltar administration (indeed, Baltar's staff seems to consist primarily of Felix Gaeta) and was once a Colonial officer, why doesn't Tyrol consider the possibility that Gaeta may be his inside source?

Noteworthy Dialogue

Agathon: How do you know? How do you really know that you can trust me?
Adama: I don't. That's what trust is. Good hunting, Lieutenant.
  • Discussing suicide bombings:
Galen Tyrol: This is crazy. You know, we need to figure out whose side we're on.
Saul Tigh: Which side are we on? We're on the side of the demons, Chief. We are evil men in the gardens of paradise, sent by the forces of death to spread devastation and destruction wherever we go. I'm surprised you didn't know that.
  • After having watched surveillance footage of the suicide bombing at the power plant:
Number Five: Twenty-three Cylons critically wounded. Fourteen had to be euthanised.
Boomer: They had casualties too. Four human dead.
Cavil: Who gives a frak about that part?
  • After being arrested, held without charge and carted to a remote location:
Tom Zarek: Laura...That election last year. You tried to steal it, didn't you?
Laura Roslin: Yes, Tom. I did.
Tom Zarek: (laughs) Ah...I wish you'd gone through with it.
Laura Roslin: Me too.
  • Cally Tyrol in her cell to Sharon Valerii who visits her:
"...frak you Sharon, you stupid frakked-up toaster. How many times do I have to shoot you anyway?"
  • Colonel Tigh after being slapped by Roslin for accusing her of working for the Cylons:
Tigh: You see, little things like that, they don't matter anymore. Fact, not too frakking much really matters anymore. I got one job here, lady, and one job only. To disrupt the Cylons, make them worry about the anthill they stirred up down here so they're distracted and out of position when the old man shows up in orbit. The bombings, they got the Cylons' attention, they really got their attention. And I am not giving that up.
Laura Roslin: We are talking about people blowing themselves up.
Tigh: You know, sometimes I think that you've got ice water in those veins. And other times, I think you're just a naive little school teacher. I've sent men on suicide missions in two wars now, and let me tell you something. It don't make a godsdamn bit of difference whether they're riding in a Viper or walking out onto a parade ground. In the end, they're just as dead. (pauses) So, take your piety, and your moralizing, and your high-minded principles, and stick 'em some place safe until you're off this rock and you're sitting in your nice, cushy chair on Colonial One again. (stands) I've got a war to fight (leaves).
Karl Agathon: Looks good o­n you. Belongs o­n you.
Sharon Agathon: You know what this means to me.
Karl Agathon: O­ne of the first things they taught us at the academy was that symbols matter. Uniforms, flags, banners, even mascots. They're like pieces of your heart you can look at. This uniform... it means a lot to me, Sharon.
Sharon Agathon: I know it does, Helo. It means a lot to me, too. I won't betray it. (They kiss.)
  • William and Lee Adama have a confrontation about the right course of action:
Lee Adama: You are gambling with the lives of everyone o­n this ship. And everyone o­n my ship.
William Adama: I don't need a lecture from you about the responsibilities of command. We're done here. (Leaves. Lee follows him into the corridor.)
Lee Adama: I'm not finished. This entire plan is a reckless gamble. And, yes, you certainly have the right to risk the lives of the men and women under your command. But that's not the issue. The issue is that you are risking the lives of the entire human race.
William Adama: I'm trying to save the human race.
Lee Adama: No. No, you're not. That's what you're not seeing. Right now, the human race? Well, that's the 2,000 people huddled in those civilian ships that managed to get away when the Cylons came back. They're the safe bet. They're the o­nes whose survival we should guard. Just like we did after the attack o­n the Colonies. [...] Remember what Roslin said: "Our first responsibility is to the survival of humanity." We can't lose sight of that. Over the last year, we've lost sight of almost everything. We got...soft. But if we go back to New Caprica now, and we lose, it's over. Humanity just stops. And those admiral's stars don't give you the right to make that gamble.
William Adama: You're right, son. You should make plans to resume the search for earth with the Pegasus and the civilian fleet.
Lee Adama: With Pegasus? What about Galactica?
William Adama: I know why we left those people behind. And I know it was their choice in the first place to be down there. And I realize that the survival of the human race outweighs anything else. But this time... I can't live with it. Can't face it. Maybe I'm a coward. But I'm going back.
Lee Adama: Dad, you won't have a chance.
William Adama: I'm going back, son.

Guest Stars

References

  1. As of this episode, it has been about 27 months since the fall of the Colonies. Kara Thrace's incarceration at the farm on Caprica took place about two months after the Cylon attack.




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