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Difference between revisions of "Epiphanies"

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
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(→‎Questions: No. Did you see "Flesh and Bone"?)
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**According to Ron Moore's podcast, the nuke storyline will be dealt with in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I" and "...Part II" to end the season.
 
**According to Ron Moore's podcast, the nuke storyline will be dealt with in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I" and "...Part II" to end the season.
 
**How much of the device was used for Baltar's "Cylon Detector"?  Has it been dismantled to restore the explosive?  
 
**How much of the device was used for Baltar's "Cylon Detector"?  Has it been dismantled to restore the explosive?  
***Baltar requested a warhead because he believed he wouldn't get it and therefor have an excuse for not managing to build a detector ([[Bastille Day]]). Probably the warhead was not used for the detector and is fully functional.
 
 
*Why aren't there posters of [[Gina]] scattered all over the fleet to inform everyone of her Cylon identity, making it difficult for her to hide, let alone lead a Cylon-sympathy movement?
 
*Why aren't there posters of [[Gina]] scattered all over the fleet to inform everyone of her Cylon identity, making it difficult for her to hide, let alone lead a Cylon-sympathy movement?
 
**Ronald Moore did admit during his podcast that this was Gina's "Clark Kent" disguise and it was very shaky the way they played it off that nobody would recognize her.  Will this loose end be tied-up in some future story line when they get further into the Colonial underground story lines that the next few episodes are supposed to follow?
 
**Ronald Moore did admit during his podcast that this was Gina's "Clark Kent" disguise and it was very shaky the way they played it off that nobody would recognize her.  Will this loose end be tied-up in some future story line when they get further into the Colonial underground story lines that the next few episodes are supposed to follow?

Revision as of 20:04, 30 April 2006

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"Epiphanies"
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season , Movie {{{movie}}}
Writer(s)
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Nielsen Rating {{{rating}}}
US airdate USA {{{US airdate}}}
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UK airdate UK {{{UK airdate}}}
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Population {{{population}}} survivors
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R&D Skit – [[R_and_D_TV (Season {{{season}}})#Epiphanies|View]]
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Listing of props for this episode
[[frakr:{{{frakr}}}|Satirical view of this episode on WikiFrakr]]
Promotional Materials
Online Purchasing
Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition
iTunes: [{{{itunes}}} USA]


Overview

Admiral William Adama questions whether or not Sharon Valerii's pregnancy should be aborted. Meanwhile Roslin's health declines rapidly as a pro-Cylon peace group attempts to sow violence and discontent within the Fleet.

Summary

  • President Laura Roslin is brought on board Galactica. She has days to live.
  • Captain Kara Thrace and Lieutenant Louanne Katraine are conducting Viper tests. During a test of the Viper's projectile systems, Kat's port gun is destroyed and a piece of it impacts on Thrace's cockpit.
  • Cally and CPO Tyrol discover that several rounds of ammunition from the damaged Viper are unusually light and fragile. These rounds break and misfire, leaving the projectile lodged in the barrel. When the next round fires, the overpressure destroys the gun. They determine the ammunition has been sabotaged.
  • The sabotage investigation quickly leads Lee Adama and Kara Thrace to Asha Janik, one of the recent civilian hirees in Galactica's armory. When they apprehend her, she declares her allegiance to an organization claiming to want peace with the Cylons.
  • Vice President Gaius Baltar is given the presidential tour by Billy Keikeya in preparation for his assumption of the Presidency. Billy reveals a letter from Roslin, to be opened upon her death.
  • The new peace movement, led by Royan Jahee, gains momentum as the civilian population begins to realize that victory against the Cylons is impossible and questions the fleet's 'attack-and-retreat' tactics.
  • An infusion of Sharon's fetal blood ostensibly destroys the cancerous masses in Roslin's system. Sharon's pregnancy is allowed to continue for further research.

On Caprica Prior to the Cylon Attack

  • Roslin finds out she has cancer.
  • Roslin meets with President Adar to discuss a teacher's strike, and his response.
  • Roslin meets with the leader of the educational alliance, Naylin Stans, and strikes an agreement.
  • Adar disagrees with Roslin's methods and results, and asks for her resignation.
  • Roslin refuses to resign and departs for Galactica's decommissioning ceremony.
  • Roslin sees Gaius Baltar with Number Six in her dream state. She then seems alarmed to see Dr. Baltar when she wakes up and tries to say something to him.

Questions

  • Kara Thrace is flying Mk. II vipers with Galactica's pilots again. Is she still the CAG of Pegasus?
    • According to interviews with RDM, Starbuck is still the Pegasus CAG. There's nothing to say she couldn't just continue flying joint missions with Galactica, etc.
      • Indeed, Kat remarks that Starbuck is "late" for flying the CAP, presumably the patrols are now a joint effort between the two Battlestars, possibly as an attempt to boost intraship morale after they nearly destroyed one another.
  • Now that Roslin recalls Baltar's involvement with a Cylon agent on Caprica, what will she do about it?
  • Will there be any consequences for Helo's near-mutiny?
  • Will Roslin's attitude toward the Cylon fetus change following her recovery?
    • Ronald D. Moore's podcast implies that her urgency was only prompted by her lack of faith in Baltar's ability to handle the situation. Will she be content to let to Sharon carry to term now that her survival is no longer in question?
  • Roslin's recent series of Machiavellian orders (Cain's assassination in "Resurrection Ship, Part I", and the forced abortion here) appear to have been facilitated by her belief that, given her impending death, she wouldn't have to deal with the ethical ramifications. Will this alter her relationship with Admiral Adama in the long term?
  • Is security really so lax that Baltar (whom Adama does not consider especially trustworthy) would be able to smuggle one of Galactica's very few nuclear warheads off-ship?
    • He didn't steal it from the armory, it's the one he used to build the Cylon detector; he's got 24 hours a day unrestricted access to it.
    • Raptors are capable of detecting radiological devices. Why wasn't the bomb noticed in transit? If it's possible to effectively shield a nuclear device from detection, why don't the Cylons do this to their own warheads? Is it even necessary for the Cylons to shield their nuclear weapons given that the short time between launch and detonation of the weapon gives so little time to respond.
    • Alternately, is the nuclear device actually functional?
    • According to Ron Moore's podcast, the nuke storyline will be dealt with in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I" and "...Part II" to end the season.
    • How much of the device was used for Baltar's "Cylon Detector"? Has it been dismantled to restore the explosive?
  • Why aren't there posters of Gina scattered all over the fleet to inform everyone of her Cylon identity, making it difficult for her to hide, let alone lead a Cylon-sympathy movement?
    • Ronald Moore did admit during his podcast that this was Gina's "Clark Kent" disguise and it was very shaky the way they played it off that nobody would recognize her. Will this loose end be tied-up in some future story line when they get further into the Colonial underground story lines that the next few episodes are supposed to follow?
    • On the other hand, Gina does not appear to be leaving her room on Cloud 9 that much, and the humans who do see her are Cylon sympathizers anyway.
  • Does Gina "remember" Number Six's memories about having a relationship with Baltar on Caprica, or even after? In "Pegasus", she did not seem to know him, as Baltar introduced himself to her and explained that he had a relationship with another Cylon copy of her model. Here, however, it sort of seems like she remembers having a physical relationship with him, but isn't "ready" to go back to that after her torture. Then again, her lines also be interpreted to mean that she really never "knew" about him before she met him on Pegasus. The process of Cylon memory-transfer and systematic updating isn't very well understood at this point.
  • Why is it that in the last episode, "Resurrection Ship, Part II", Sharon is not noticeably pregnant even when wearing a close-fitting tank top, but is now suddenly visibly quite progressed in her pregnancy?
    • The same may be said of the physical condition of Gina. She now has no noticeable scars or other markings from her ordeal on Pegasus. Baltar does comment when he sees Number Six in the corridor, however, that it has been several weeks since he saw her last. This could help explain the noticeably pregnant Sharon.

Analysis

  • The survivor count this episode is 49,598, a net loss of six since Resurrection Ship, Part II. Admiral Cain and the Pegasus marine killed by Gina account for two. Presumably the remaining were pilots or crew lost during the attack on the Resurrection Ship.
    • This seems to be extremely good fortune, as the two battlestars engaged in a major fleet action for an extended time.
  • Roslin's affair with Adar was suggested by her comment in the miniseries that "he had a way about him... you just couldn't say 'no' to him."
  • Naylin Stans implies that he believes the teacher's strike is a cause worth dying for. This claim is ridiculously hyperbolic.
    • The fact that President Adar was willing to use the military to enforce a back-to-work order seems to indicate that the protest must've been more serious than simple wage issues.
  • Roslin's medical chart showed her name and other information such as date of birth, but this information was too blurry for viewers to read.
  • Roslin's recollections of Baltar on Caprica do not match the same scene in the Miniseries. For example: Baltar and Six did walk together and kiss, and she was carrying the same case in her left hand, but they did not "make out" against a wall. Each character did end the miniseries scene by saying they were meeting someone else, however.
    • Logically, it wasn't the same scene. Baltar and Six were on Caprica for a while, and they could easily have been making at a different time on the same day. The episode actually makes no attempt to establish that Roslin is seeing the same scene of Baltar and Number Six (that we the viewers saw in the Miniseries), from a different angle.
  • Watching closely during the early scene when Starbuck and Kat are flying the CAP, it seems probable that actress Luciana Carro (Kat) said the real "F word" instead of the ersatz "Frak", which was then dubbed over (it's a closeup so you can tell her lips don't quite correspond to it). She actually seems to have done this in the past on many occasions.

Serious Technical and Storyline Issues

  • Roslin's cancer cure was pure "deus ex machina." While many viewers may find Roslin's cure a necessary one as she has become a pivotal character in the show, the method of her cure leaves too many medical mistakes and is too easy of a cure.
  • Cancer is not a viral disease, like AIDS or the common cold, but an invasive destruction of tissue by mutated cells, which usurp the function of healthy cells. For the cure to work the way it did would require it not only to destroy free-floating cells and metastasized tissue, but to repair any organs with healthy tissue.
    • The human immune system does have some ability to suppress tumors, so a biological cure is not entirely implausible.
  • As cancer is not curable here on Earth, for the show to invent a cure at the last minute may feel contrived by some.
    • Some cancers are curable, especially at early stages (e.g. childhood leukemia, early cervical and types of skin cancer). Some cancers are caused by or associated with viruses (cervical cancer, Kaposi's sarcoma in AIDS). However, it would have been more plausible to have the cancer held at bay or even remitted but not necessarily cured for good.

Major plot elements that form a resolution in the show's past were generally introduced and left "in the air" for suspense over several episodes while both viewers and characters learned their significance.

  • These include:
    • The search for the Arrow of Apollo and the search for the Tomb of Athena
    • The Experiment with Helo on Caprica (Season 1)
    • Adama's survival after his shooting

The "epiphany" of Baltar's cancer cure could have been worked over at least two or three episodes while he and Cottle studied Sharon Valerii's child, which is a logical way to work a cancer cure. Baltar is a tinkerer--the miracle working viewers saw in this episode would be best left to other characters in science fiction where such "magical" inventiveness might be expected. In "Battlestar Galactica", this sudden resolution of the second major plot element in the series (we hear of Roslin's terminal cancer diagnosis when we first see Roslin in the Miniseries) that has dire ramifications for the Fleet should not be resolved with the proverbial swipe of a writer's pen in a single episode.

It should be noted that the cure might not be permanent and the cancer may return in the future (as hinted by Ronald D. Moore in the podcast for this episode).

For more analysis on this and other scientific matters of the Re-imagined Series, see the article, Science in the Re-imagined Series.

Other technical issues abound in this episode.

  • A nuclear warhead was smuggled from Galactica to Cloud Nine. How would such a device possibly get past the various radiological sensors throughout the Fleet? This was a plot complication used in "Flesh and Bone" as well when a copy of Leoben Conoy claimed that a nuclear device was hidden in the Fleet. The writing element was difficult to believe in that episode, and it far less believable in this episode. Both the battlestar and the Raptor on which the freed "freedom movement" member left the ship are military vessels designed to sniff out hostile devices.
    • A significant dissent for Baltar's weapon contribution may be that the weapon he gave to the Demand Peace movement may not have any radioactive material inside it; Baltar gave them the warhead, but not the fissionable material inside. This reasoning has strong merit and precedence: (1) Baltar serves himself above all others. He wouldn't give away a weapon's plutonium which he is still personally accountable for, nor would he give such material away to people that could turn around and blow up the Fleet (and himself). (2) Baltar still needs the radiological material for his Cylon detector if a test is asked. (3) If show creation principles hold true for this episode, conventional bomb materials (such G-4 or sidearm ammunition) would NOT be detectable by radiological scanning. Either bomb types used on real-world Earth (fissionable-material bombs such as uranium or plutonium bombs, or fusion bombs such as hydrogen bombs) use conventional explosives to activate the trigger that creates a nuclear explosion. At best, the device that Baltar gave the Demand Peace movement may only be as dangerous as the makeshift explosive they used on the Daru Mozu.
    • Like any device, radiological sensors are only effective when they are online. It is possible that these sensors are intelligent enough to ignore known radioactive sources, such as Galatica's existing stores of nuclear warheads.
  • The explosion of the bomb on the refinery ship is powerful enough to create a sizable hole on the ship. While space is a vacuum and so shock waves do not carry as they would in an atmosphere, the Raptor that flew close to the ship and was not very far from the explosion should probably be damaged from flying debris.
    • Raptors, being warships, presumably have some shielding against shrapnel.

Notes

  • This episode begins 189 days after the Cylon attack on the colonies. There is a 48 hour gap between Roslin's deathbed treatment and her conversation with Royan Jahee. The number 189 given in this episode, as well as "six months" in the previous one, contradict the timeline which BattlestarWiki has developed to track dates. See the Talk page on the Timeline for a full breakdown.
  • Lee Adama is once again a Captain, and has been reinstated as Galactica's CAG. His authority apparently extends to the Pegasus squadrons as well. This is consistent with Cole Taylor's authority over Galactica's air wing, when Pegasus was the flagship.
  • Gina has joined the Cylon sympathizers. The other members of the resistance are apparently unaware she is a Cylon agent.
  • Roslin was in an intimate relationship with President Adar.
  • Roslin now recalls witnessing Gaius Baltar's affair with a copy of Number Six on Caprica, prior to the attack.
  • The radiation symbol used by the colonials is different from the one used in reality, but is still easily recognizable.
  • Galactica has been recruiting civilians to handle "grunt work" on the hangar deck.
  • Baltar was aware of the Demand Peace movement prior to this episode.
  • At least three bodies can be seen being vented into space after the explosion onboard Daru Mozu.
  • The file photograph of Number Six is of Shelly Godfrey, seen in the episode "Six Degrees of Separation".
  • The nuclear device Dr. Baltar gives the resistance is the same one he was given to create his Cylon detector in "Bastille Day".
  • Pegasus is barely featured in this episode, and none of her crew or interior locations are seen, except in the pre-episode recap.
  • Admiral Adama continues to wear his commander's uniform with new admiral's rank insignia at his collar.
    • Adama is a pragmatist who tends to eschew ceremony.
  • This episode, which contained the issue of abortion, was aired on January 20th, 2 days before the anniversary of the United States Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision of 1973.
    • The issue of abortion was not, however, directly addressed—very few, if any, real-life abortions happen because of the national security implications of giving birth to a human-robot chimera.

Noteworthy Dialogue

President Richard Adar: "One of the most interesting things about being President is that you don't have to explain yourself. To anyone."

  • Roslin earlier attributed this saying to Adar in the episode "Flesh and Bone".

Secretary Roslin: "I am on my way to the Galactica to represent this administration. When I return, if you still want my job, be prepared to fight."

Official Statements

Guest stars