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Torn

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Torn
"Torn"
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season 3, Episode 6 (discuss)
Writer(s) Anne Cofell Saunders
Story by
Director Jean de Segonzac
Assistant Director
Special guest(s) Lucy Lawless as Number Three
Production No. 305
Nielsen Rating 1.5
US airdate USA 2006-11-03
CAN airdate CAN 2006-11-04
UK airdate UK
DVD release
Population 41,422 survivors (Population decline. 13)
Extended Info {{{extra}}}
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
Collaborators Torn A Measure of Salvation
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

Kara Thrace and Saul Tigh create divisions between those who suffered under the Cylon occupation of New Caprica and those who stayed with the Fleet. Meanwhile, Gaius Baltar tries to prove his worth to the Cylons.

Summary

On Galactica

  • Galactica's air wing runs exercises with the Viper pilots who settled on New Caprica and are thus out of shape. Starbuck deliberately breaks formation and collides with Narcho's Viper, forcing an end to the exercise and causing now-Major Lee Adama - who has resumed his post as CAG - to remove her from flight duty. Starbuck is told by Adama that if she wants to die, he would open up an airlock for her.
  • In his quarters, Saul Tigh is drinking in excess. He believes he hears Ellen say "I can't believe you did that to me". He looks out into the civilian-crowded corridor and follows a woman who he believes to be Ellen, only to grab a mid-aged woman who is talking to a young boy, presumably her son.
  • Upon Thrace's return to her bunk, she is met by Kacey and her mother, whom she dismisses, telling Kacey's mother not to visit her again.
  • Karl Agathon congratulates and encourages Apollo for losing all the excess fat he had gained during the New Caprica era. Apollo asks Helo to ensure to remind him to never let that happen again.
  • Felix Gaeta meets with Laura Roslin and William Adama to discuss Baltar-related matters. During the year before the Cylon Occupation of New Caprica, Baltar was obsessed with analyzing the data from Kobol to find the path to Earth. Based on passages in the Scrolls of Pythia referring to the caravan of the heavens being watched over by a lion's head with a mighty blinking eye, red and blue, Baltar identified a nebula and two associated pulsars he believed to be a landmark on the road to Earth.
  • In the pilots' rec room, the crew is still busy celebrating their victory at New Caprica
  • Lieutenant Sharon Agathon has settled in nicely with her fellow pilots. Even Racetrack is friendly with her.
  • Hot Dog christens Lieutenant Sharon Agathon with the callsign "Athena" after she points out that, despite appearances, she is not "Boomer".
  • A bitter Thrace and Tigh begin to sow dissent between the survivors of New Caprica and the crew that stayed behind on Galactica.
  • Helo and Kat try to get both of them to shut up, but to no avail. Helo finally goes to Adama with his concerns about the damage Starbuck and Tigh's words are doing to the crew's morale.
  • Adama confronts Thrace and Tigh on their behavior. He challenges them to shoot him, as their constant complaining is tantamount to pulling the trigger. When neither do, Adama calls them both cowards for not having the guts to go all the way with their dissent.
  • When Starbuck starts to mouth off again, Adama literally kicks her out of her chair and tells her that she's gone from being his daughter to being a cancer. He tells her to pull herself together or get off his ship. Starbuck beats a hasty retreat.
  • Adama then turns to Tigh and tells him that he knows Tigh is still grieving over Ellen's death. However, he won't have a bitter one-eyed drunk sowing dissent amongst the crew. Adama orders Tigh to either shoot him or get back in his quarters and not come out until he's ready to act like the man Adama has known for the last thirty years. Tigh responds that the man Adama knew is gone and that he won't be seeing him again. Tigh then leaves.
  • Spurred by Adama's words, Thrace cuts her hair and appears to return to duty. Later, in uniform, she visits Kacey Brynn and her mother.
  • Meanwhile, Tigh returns to his room and begins drinking to excess, finishing off one bottle and starting another.
  • In a Raptor, Athena and Racetrack jump into range of the Lion's Head Nebula, and are excited to find what the Scrolls described (an eye that blinks red and blue). They quickly realize, however, that they have jumped right next to the dying basestar.

On a basestar

  • Gaius Baltar, aboard the Cylon basestar, is having another hallucination. On a sunny beach, Gaius praises Six for returning to him in his time of need, and states that he enjoys having conversations with her. Six implores him to learn anything and everything about the Cylons, as he will need the information in the days ahead. Baltar presses Six again to tell him what she is, either a hallucination or the result of some sort of implant - Six tells Baltar, again, that she is an angel of God.
  • Having allowed him to stay on the basestar, Caprica-Six and Three talk with Baltar later on, inquiring about the location of Earth. Baltar initially denies having any knowledge of where Earth is, but then reveals that he does have clues as to where its probable location is. He then finds out that the Cylons intend to find Earth so they can use it as their new home.
  • Offscreen, Baltar gives the Cylons the same information about the "lion's head" nebula that Gaeta deciphered on Galactica, and a basestar is sent to investigate.
  • Baltar is apprehensive about helping the Cylons, and Caprica-Six tells him that the Cylons are also leery as to whether his intentions are true or not. Caprica-Six leads Baltar through the ship, telling him that she uses a projection of a forest to navigate the ship. In his mind, Baltar realizes that his form of projection is similar to what the Cylons are using, causing him to question whether he is human or a Cylon.
  • Caprica-Six informs Baltar that his rescue of Hera and his assistance in finding Earth has made him a valuable asset, and has gone a long way in impressing the Cylons. Baltar asks why there are only seven models on the ship, and inquires about the remaining five models. Caprica-Six tells him that they don't talk about them. He asks whether they would recognize one of the others, but their conversation is interrupted by Three before she can answer.
  • Three informs Caprica-Six that there is a situation, and a Five states that the basestar that went to check the pulsar has not reported back. The group head to a control center, where Baltar finds out that the missing basestar has been infected by a disease. The Cylons speculate that any Cylon who dies and uploads to a Resurrection Ship might spread the virus even further. As a precautionary measure the Resurrection Ship is kept out of range. On the urge of his internal Six, Baltar offers to board the infected basestar and collect scientific information.
  • Before he leaves on his mission, Baltar encounters the Cylon Hybrid that controls the functions of the basestar. The hybrid is hooked into the ship's systems and continually vocalizes her seemingly nonsensical thoughts. Caprica-Six tells Baltar that it is thought by most of the Cylon models that the Hybrid has gone insane from being connected to the basestar and that her words hold no meaning, however the Leoben model considers the hybrid's words as coming from God.
  • The Cylons provide Baltar with a Raptor to board the baseship, and when he arrives, he finds numerous Cylons, either dead or dying. He collects blood samples and takes pictures of the area to bring back for analysis, and also finds a large man-made object in the hold of the ship. He then finds a dying Six model with black hair, who informs him that the device the Cylons captured was a probe left by the Thirteenth Tribe. Even though Baltar offers to bring her help, she believes he has led them into a trap and tries to attack him in her delirium, and he strangles her to death to stop her accusations.
  • Upon his return to the basestar, he denies finding anything that could have caused the outbreak of the virus, but Caprica-Six notices the probe object in Baltar's picture.

Notes

Characters

  • Lee Adama has been demoted back to major, and has resumed his old position as CAG, with Louanne "Kat" Katraine and Brendan "Hot Dog" Costanza as senior pilots under him. Kara Thrace is back in duty as well, until Lee Adama revokes her flight status for reckless behavior.
  • Cally Tyrol is shown working the flight deck alongside her husband, showing that she is once again active in the Fleet.
  • Noel "Narcho" Allison is now a pilot on Galactica.
  • The Vipers use targeting lasers in place of their gun mounts during the combat exercise (previously not seen during a similar exercise in "Act of Contrition"). This is a somewhat humorous use of energy "weapons" in a series that deliberately uses projectile weapons instead.
  • The podcast notes that Katee Sackhoff really cut her own hair at the end of the episode.

Cylons

  • The phrase "end of line," uttered by the Cylon hybrid in this episode, is an homage to the film Tron, in which the Master Control Program finishes its sentences with "end of line."
    • This may also be a play on the episode title. Torn is an anagram of Tron.
    • End of line is also a computing term, referring to the character used to signal a new line in text-based protocols.
  • The idea of using living creatures as central processing units of large ships has been visited before in both literary and filmed science fiction. For example the pilots in Dune serve a similar function while under the influence of the Spice. In Norman Spinrad's novel The Void Captain's Tale, some women become pilots because they wish to achieve insight into god's creation, thus having a spiritual experience. This is similar to Leoben's beliefs about the Hybrids. Recent television series with living CPUs include Babylon 5, with human telepaths in the Shadow vessels, and Farscape's Pilot, though in the latter case, Pilot is more like a conduit between the crew and a sentient ship in its own right.
    • The idea of a living being serving as CPU for a space vessel is explored, in detail and from the ship's perspective, in Anne McCaffrey's Ship Who... series of novels and short stories. The first of these was published in 1961 and may well be the inspiration for the other examples cited above.
    • The anime series Outlaw Star also had a character called Melfina, bio-android, who acts as a navigation CPU for the ship.
    • In the PC game Homeworld, Karan S'jet integrates her physical body into the mothership to serve as its living CPU (Although S'jet chose to do so voluntarily, and it is unlikely, from comments by Three, that the Hybrids were given a choice). The backstory to the game's sequel Homeworld 2 describes S'jet as undergoing a similar metaphysical experience while integrated with the mothership as Caprica-Six describes of the Hybrid.
  • According to the podcast for the episode, the Hybrid's visual look was inspired by the precogs in Minority Report.
  • Cavil is absent from the episode's basestar scenes, aside from a brief closeup from a previous episode used to illustrate Baltar's thoughts about the seven models he has seen. It should be noted that the Cavil model was neither seen on Caprica in "Downloaded" nor on the scenes set on the baseship we have seen so far. While this is likely due to the fact that actor Dean Stockwell was not available, it should be noted that there were no stand-ins used to indicate the presence of the Cavils, as it happened with Simon and Conoy in "Downloaded".
    • Also, with the exception of Tricia Helfer and Grace Park, all the actors playing Cylons are guest stars and not members of the regular cast. As this means that having all seven Cylon models present in an episode will drive up its production cost, it is unlikely that all Cylons will be present in many episodes. (Simon had only a handful of lines in "Occupation" and "Precipice", and Three was the only non-regular Cylon to appear in "Collaborators".)
    • It should be noted that Dean Stockwell is a prominent actor, an Academy-award nominee, and most likely the highest paid regular guest star on the show outside of Lucy Lawless. This is the most probable reason why he has not appeared as frequently as other guests.
  • More parallels between the Cylons and humans are drawn with the revelation that Cylons make use of such safety features as distress calls.
  • Baltar correctly deduces that basestars have a supply of Colonial vessels that they have obtained during the attacks. The exact source of these vessels is left unspoken, though it's possible they may originate from the Colonies themselves, or have been salvaged from destroyed battlestars.

Production

  • The name of the director, Jean de Segonzac, is misspelled in the on-screen credits. He is listed as Jean de Segoznac.
  • A scene depicted in a promotional photo showing copies of Number Six, Three, Five, Eight and baby Hera in a projected church was cut from the episode.

Changes

  • Originally, the episode was meant to focus on the relationship between Kara Thrace and Kacey and the title is an allusion to that. Since the writers felt that Thrace would still be too scarred from her ordeal with Leoben, that storyline was changed and became the episode's B-plot. The title still refers to the differences between the people who escaped New Caprica and those who stayed behind (Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion Season Three).
  • Lee Adama's rapid weight loss was not intended to play out like shown. He was supposed to join the Marines and become a spartan soldier, which did not work out however. When the writers realized that they didn't know what to do with the storyline, it was wrapped up quickly (Season 3 Companion).
  • In the podcast, Moore notes that some scenes had to be highly altered from what was initially planned. For example, the opening conversation of Baltar and Six had to be redubbed (which is the reason for the light covering their mouths) and in the original script Thrace simply ran out of gas, instead of crashing with another Viper.

Other

  • The new survivor tally, 41,422, is down 13 from the previous episode, accounting for the 13 individuals executed as noted in "Torn".

Analysis

  • Lee Adama's demotion fits with the real-life practice of brevetting.
  • Narcho is flying in Red Team with Apollo and Starbuck. If Red Team is composed entirely of pilots who didn't get any flying experience during the colonization of New Caprica, this could indicate that he settled on the planet. This setup of the groups can't be confirmed, but is somewhat implied by Kat's "Let's show these lazy fraks how it's done".
  • Gaeta appears to have inherited Baltar's mantle as the scientific adviser (it is unclear whether he holds any additional positions), and is focusing his efforts on refining a course for Earth.
  • Following her actions during the Battle of New Caprica, Sharon Agathon seems to have garnered some degree of acceptance among the Galactica air group, including humorous, even affectionate choices for her callsign by fellow pilots.
  • "Athena" is the name of Adama's daughter in the Original Series. Sharon Agathon has gained (at this point) a daughter-like trust equal to that which William Adama once gave Kara Thrace before this episode.
  • The baseship hybrid appears to be viewed by the Cylons in the same way as the Centurions and Raiders. The Hybrid has no vote in the Cylon decision-making process, despite its ability to express its thoughts and feelings, after a fashion.
  • The Cylons have a Raptor and flight suit at their disposal, acquired during the occupation of New Caprica or from captured Colonial military assets on the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. Given their past history of infiltration, it should not be surprising that the Cylons have these small Colonial ships in their possession.
    • From a production point of view, using a Raptor is also a convenient way to get Baltar to another basestar, as no interior set exists for the Heavy Raider.
    • Furthermore, any Heavy Raider sent to the disabled basestar would also have become infected by the virus that had wiped out the other Cylons; a captured Raptor provided a viable alternative.
  • Given Admiral Adama's conversation with Tigh in the rec room, Adama clearly doesn't know of Tigh's hand in executing his wife for collaborating with the Cylons. (Resolution).
  • Despite having found the map to Earth in the Tomb of Athena story arc, Admiral Adama still displays a level of skepticism towards finding Earth. It isn't until Gaeta begins linking the prophecies with actual star chart data[1], such as the red and blue pulsars, does Adama's facial expression change to a mild expression of surprise.
  • Despite claims made during his bid for the presidency, Baltar worked on finding the location of Earth during his time as president, likely hiding his notes from the Cylons after the occupation. During his discussion with Adama and Roslin regarding Earth's location, Gaeta surmises that Baltar likely pursued the research as he wanted to get there himself eventually.
  • In "Resistance", Boomer claims that there were eight Cylon agents left in the Fleet. After the occupation of New Caprica, it is unlikely that any of the known seven models was able to maintain its cover within the Fleet.
  • While smaller vessels such as Vipers, Raiders and Raptors are portrayed with more realistic space-flight dynamics than has been typical of much filmed science fiction and space opera, they are still under several circumstances portrayed as behaving like aircraft. An example crops up in this episode during the discussion after Starbuck's collision about landing a Viper on empty tanks. In actuality, as long as the Viper and its battlestar wouldn't have greatly differing relative velocities, there really is no need for the Viper's main engines to be running at all. As long as it has some RCS fuel it will be able to maneuver to a safe landing based on the principle of inertia.
  • Adama calls Kara Thrace a "cancer"—the very term Thrace's mother often referred to her as. It is unknown if this was intentional or not. However, Adama's choice of words apparently moves Thrace to shape up.

Questions

Answered Questions

  • Would it be possible for the Colonials to salvage the derelict basestar for their own purposes? (Answer)
  • What has happened to the remaining five Cylon models? Are they so secretive that none of the other seven variants have any knowledge of them? Did the Cylons permanently box the other models because they were dissenters to the cause of the Cylon race? (Answer), (Answer 2)
  • If the known seven Cylons don't speak about the "Final Five", why does Caprica-Six mention the existence of twelve models in the first place? Did whatever happened between them occur after the Fall of the Colonies? (Answer)
  • What is Caprica-Six going to do now that she realizes Baltar may be withholding critically sensitive information? (Answer)
  • Cally and Galen Tyrol are both seen working on the hangar deck. Who is taking care of their baby? Has a system been put in place to take care of the crew's children? (Answer)
  • Is Athena infected with the Cylon virus? (Answer)
  • As the probe is supposed to come from the Thirteenth Tribe, and is affecting Cylons, does that mean that Cylons have been in existence since the time of the Thirteenth Tribe? Or is it accidental that the probe is viral for Cylons? (Answer)
    • What is the "genetic pool" that the human form Cylons all come from, and has it existed for longer than the Cylons themselves? (Possible Answer)
  • Is the virus biological or technological in nature? The "inevitable once we took human form" and "genetic pool" lines indicate that the Cylons think it is biological. On the other hand, their speculation that it could survive through a download process implies that it could technological in nature (i.e. computer virus). Or is the virus both biological and technological, like the Cylons themselves? (Answer)
  • Why does Hybrid have a humanoid body when it is essentially the CPU of the entire ship? Why would the Cylons go to such elaborate lengths to create a semi-humanoid form Cylon just to have it connected to the entire ship? (Answer 1, Answer 2)
  • Why are the Cylons searching for Earth. (Possible Answer)

Unanswered Questions

  • If Baltar was able to extrapolate the location of the Lion's Head Nebula just from reading the sacred scriptures, can it not be assumed that someone else could have conducted the same research at an earlier date?
  • Is Boomer the Number Eight in the control center of the basestar with Baltar? If so, is her involvement with the Cylons on that basestar to find a map of Earth an indication that she has finally accepted her identity as a Cylon and disassociated herself from humanity? Does she think that peaceful coexistence with the thirteenth tribe would be possible, despite the failure of New Caprica?
  • How do the Cylons know for sure that the probe was left by the Thirteenth Tribe?
  • Where is Cavil?

Noteworthy Dialogue

  • On Galactica's flight deck:
Chief Tyrol: (checking Thrace's Viper) Captain, how did you land this thing?
Kara Thrace: Pointed it towards the deck and stopped when I got here.
Brendan Costanza: Bone-dry, she says. Landed the bird without a drop of fuel.
Lee Adama: (walking up to Kara) If you want to die, I will open up an airlock for you, but you are not taking one of my Vipers with you.
Thrace: The bird's on the deck. I'm on the deck. I don't know what you're bitching about.
Adama: I don't give a frak what you do, Starbuck. You're done flying.
  • Gaius Baltar sees and hears the Hybrid for the first time:
Hybrid: Two protons expelled...
  • In Galactica's rec room:
Karl Agathon: (referring to the rescue on New Caprica) Hey, we all made sacrifices.
Saul Tigh: Is that so?
Agathon: Yes, that's right.
Tigh: Well, while you were pinning wings on your Cylon girlfriend, our people were strapping homemade bombs to their chest, doing what they could to take the bastards out. So forgive me if I don't get all misty over your sacrifices.
  • Adama's feelings towards, and regarding, Thrace:
William Adama: You were like a daughter to me once—no more. You're malcontent and a cancer, and I won't have you on my ship. So you have a choice—you can figure out how to become a human being again, and an officer; or you can find another place to live, off of this ship. You're dismissed.
  • Adama's feelings towards, and regarding, Saul Tigh:
William Adama: You're full of bile, hatred, and I know it has something to do with Ellen. I'm sorry for that. And if you need time Saul, you take all the time you want, but I gotta run a ship. And the last thing I need is a one-eyed drunk sitting down here, sowing discontent and disobedience. So I'll tell you once again, Saul, you can pick up that weapon and kill me. Or you can get your ass back into your quarters and not leave... 'til you act like the man I've known for the past 30 years.
Saul Tigh (picks up weapon and unloads it) That man doesn't exist any more, Bill. And you won't be seeing me again. (drops gun on table, hobbles out of room)
  • The Hybrid's objection to leaving the infected Basestar behind:
Hybrid: Mists of dreams drip along the nascent echo, and love no more. End of line.
  • When discovering the dying basestar:
Sharon Agathon: When God's anger awakens even the mighty shall fall.

Guest Stars

References

  1. The star chart Gaeta consults, marked as from the Pegasus, is a real chart of the sky (SkyAtlas 2000.0 by Wil Tirion and Roger W. Sinnott) as seen from the Solar system. The Lion's Head nebula is supposedly located near 95 Ceti on chart 11 of the SkyAtlas. Gaeta also has a negative (inverted color) copy of SkyAtlas chart A which indicates the position of Barnard's Star, the Pleiades, Proxima Centauri and celestial poles of Earth. However, this causes a continuity problem as the stellar positions of SkyAtlas are from the year 2000, or some 160,000 years after the events of the TV series.




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