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Final Cut

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
Revision as of 14:31, 24 January 2006 by WeiSein (talk | contribs) (→‎Questions)
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"Final Cut"
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season , Movie {{{movie}}}
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Overview

An investigative journalist for the Fleet News Service makes a critical documentary on Colonel Tigh's conduct during a shooting incident reminiscent of the "Kent State Massacre" in 20th Century Earth history.

Summary

  • Reporter D'anna Biers is preparing a special report on what she's hyped as the "Gideon massacre", when she is escorted by Marines to Colonial One.
  • President Laura Roslin and Commander Adama meet her, and she complains that all of her requests to interview Marines involved with the Gideon incident have been denied. Roslin and Adama tell her that all that is about to change: they want to mend the relationship between the military and the civilian fleet by allowing D'anna to shoot a documentary on life on Galactica, with unrestricted access.
  • D'anna and her cameraman Bell are flown to Galactica with Adama in Racetrack's Raptor. On Galactica, Petty Officer Dualla is given the task of showing them around, pointing out fairly everyday things like carbon dioxide scrubbers for atmosphere and vegetable refrigeration units--information that D'anna ignores as trivial.
  • D'anna starts filming one-on-one interviews with several crewmen. She asks Dualla why she joined the Fleet, and she says her father didn't approve but she wanted to believe in something.
  • D'anna and her cameraman are walking through the halls when Hot Dog and Kat chase each other out of the showers wearing towels. D'anna follows them into the senior pilot's locker room, where Lee Adama, (who nearly drops his towel accidentally) tells her to respect their privacy and get out. Kat moons the documentary camera, and gets yelled at by her CAG.
  • Ellen Tigh calls Col. Saul Tigh down to their quarters, where someone has left a threat for Col. Tigh by writing a line of Caprican poetry in red paint on their mirror.
  • D'anna then interviews Apollo, and she accuses him of thinking the pilots deserve preferential treatment. He tells her that he does think they deserve such treatment; they risk their lives every day for the fleet, and while they don't need pity, they do deserve respect.
  • D'anna interviews Pvt. Scott Kelso, one of the Marines that was on the Gideon. He insists that he and the other Marines were just doing their jobs, and that the "unarmed civilians" were attacking them, and that he has a scar on this head that required ten stitches to prove it. At the same time, Kelso thinks the whole thing was a "command frak-up"; that the Marines weren't trained for crowd control, and he isn't surprised that someone wants to kill Col. Tigh.
  • D'anna then interviews a disheveled Lt. Felix Gaeta, who is smoking a cigarette while displaying a level of frustration and fatigue that he doesn't normally show.
  • On the Hangar Deck, Kat yells at Tyrol when her Viper malfunctions, although it wasn't the Chief's fault. Starbuck breaks it up (as D'anna follows her) and Kat storms out.
  • D'anna is then allowed into the CIC, where Commander Adama orders Tigh to go to a big meeting of civilian leaders on Cloud Nine, which Adama thinks will be a good chance for them to vent their frustration instead of seething at Tigh in private. However, as his Raptor is about to depart, it malfunctions and smokes until a damage control team can put it out. Tigh gets out and Tyrol tells him it looks like someone sabatoged the Raptor with a hammer, and if they had gotten into space the atmosphere inside would have vented, killing him.
  • Racetrack lights a candle for her lost loved ones in the memorial hallway, and is then interviewed by D'anna. She tells D'anna that she assumes that she's already as good as dead going out on missions, and she just hopes she can kill as many Cylons as possible before her day comes.
  • D'anna also interviews Helo, who says that in combat you're supposed to turn off the human part of you because it will get you killed, but that nothing is that easy to do.
  • Helo then visits Caprica-Valerii in the brig, where she in unresponsive in her bed until pulling a blood-stained hand from under her sheets and sobbing. Helo calls for Doctor Cottle to come right away.
  • Kat gives an interview to D'anna in which which is emotionally unrestrained. She then freaks out while attempting to land her Viper, and despite Capt. Kelly and Thrace trying to talk her down, she misses three passes, then on the final try crashes her Viper into the Landing bay. D'anna follows Starbuck and Apollo to the flight deck. Getting out of her Viper, Kat is incomprehensible and disoriented. Starbuck reaches into her sleeve pocket and finds Stims: Kat had been taking them by the fistful to stay alert, and now she has overdosed. Kat is forcibly strapped down to a gurney while kicking and screaming and taken to Sickbay.
  • D'anna follows Kat to Sickbay, where she accidentally goes behind a curtain and sees Doctor Cottle arguing with the terrified Sharon Valerii; Cottle is trying to save her baby before Valerii has a miscarriage. D'anna is then shoved away, but not before catching this second Valerii on film.
  • Later, Commander Adama arrives in Sickbay and demands that D'anna hand over the tape. D'anna notes that the woman she saw looked exactly like the deceased Galactica-Boomer, and that news that Galactica is harboring a Cylon aboard could turn the Fleet against him. Adama counters that, after the Gideon incident, this new revelation could devastate morale in The Fleet, and whether that even matters to D'anna. Reluctantly, D'anna gives him the tape and he leaves. When Adama is out of sight, D'anna pulls the real tape out of her shirt.
  • Baltar begins a less than great interview with D'anna but is interupted when an action stations alarm goes off. Two Raiders are on a collision course with Galactica. D'anna heads to the CIC to film there while her cameraman covers the flight deck. We only see the fight from the perspective of those on the ship listening over the radio; the Raiders are destroyed.
  • Tigh returns to his quarters to find Ellen tied up. It turns out that his would-be murder is Joe Palladino, who is upset that Tigh's orders resulted in innocent people being killed by men under Palladino's command. He pulls a gun on Tigh, but Tigh presses the gun to his forehead and talks Palladino down, and Marines take him away.
  • D'anna is reviews the footage, and recognizes the book "Katara" being read by one of the flight crew.
  • Back on Colonial One, Roslin, Adama, and Tigh review D'anna's finished documentary. Adama decides that he likes the accurate portrayal that she did, and lets them broadcast it across the entire fleet.
  • In the documentary, D'anna does an ending voiceover where as the music swells in the backround she explains that the story of Galactica is that they'll never give up. We see people watching it on monitor screens throughout the Fleet.....
  • We see the humanoid Cylons watching the documentary as well in an abandoned movie theater on Cylon-occupied Caprica. A copy of Number Six is impressed at the resilience of the humans, and asks about the fate of Caprica-Valerii's baby. A second, Caprica-based copy of D'anna Biers then turns around (D'anna is now revealed to have been a Humano-Cylon the whole time), and tells her that both Caprica-Valerii and her baby survived her near-miscarriage. Aaron Doral says that the baby must be protected at all costs, and they must proceed with caution.

Questions

  • The Cylons deployed two Raiders to Galactica to transmit D'anna's video documentary back to Caprica. Does this mean the Cylons know exactly where The Fleet is, and have simply chosen not to intercept it? Is keeping the Fleet alive part of their "Plan"?
    • Possibly, in the "de-briefing" towards the end of the episode, Caprica-D'anna meant the two Raiders transmitted the footage she cut from the documentary (showing Helo's Boomer in the Sickbay). It is likely they meant that they picked up the whole "show" from fleet transmissions and the snippet from the two Raiders.
    • Or, are the Cylons now refraining from sending in a full basestar and Raider wing to attack Galactica because they are worried that a direct attack on Galactica will result in the death of Caprica-Valerii and her hybrid daughter? That is, they would have attacked it if this Valerii wasn't on board, but was sending two Raiders in now simply a reconaissance mission? The Cylons did say that they want to proceed cautiously.
    • Then again, the two Raiders didn't jump in to the Fleet's vicinity, they flew in normally. Perhaps the Cylons actually don't know exactly where the Fleet is, and these Raiders may have been searching for days to find them. Seeing as the Cylons on Caprica weren't aware that the Caprica-Valerii was still alive, perhaps they also trully aren't aware of the Fleet's location, and other Cylons in the Fleet cannot transmit messages back to Caprica because they are out of range (though a nearby Cylon ship might be close enough). (Answer)
    • In light of all this, have the Cylons not been using their entire strength against the Colonials in combat? Have they, in effect, been "toying" with them? This could explain the relative lop-sidedness of the Colonials' military victories since the initial destruction of the Colonies.
  • Did Biers discovery of pregnant Caprica-Valerii on Galactica alter her intended goal with the documentary?
    • Would the documentary have presented Galactica and her crew in a more negative light and thus perform a journalistic hatchet job on how the rest of the fleet perceived Adama and the military?
    • Would Adama and Roslin still have allowed the documentary to be broadcast if it had been 'negative?'

Analysis

At the end of the episode, D'anna says that the Cylons "lost two Raiders relaying the images back to the Fleet" from Galactica. She didn't say "from Galactica back to Caprica". Does this imply that there is a main Cylon fleet following Galactica? (That is, as oppposed to many Basestars spread out across a large region of space in a search pattern). (Answer).

Notes

  • Population count is now 47,853, a loss of two since Home, Part II, to account for the two Tom Zarek henchmen killed in that episode.
  • Onboard Colonial One, Roslin is no longer surrounded by her Presidential Security Service agents, but rather by Galactica Marines - Adama's insurance against any more misbehavior, perhaps?
    • Perhaps they were only there to escort Commander Adama while he was off of Galactica.
  • D'anna Biers makes the same comment about Baltar that Roslin made in 33.
  • We finally learn Dualla's first name as she is interviewed by D'anna Biers: Anastasia.
  • Gaeta's first name is revealed as Felix. He also showed a wild side in the form of a tattoo on his chest he got when he was drunk. He's also taken up smoking. Perhaps this isn't so much a sign of a previously unrevealed wild side, but a sign that Gaeta's composure is starting to get frayed from constant stress. (This is confirmed in the following episode, "Flight of the Phoenix".)
  • The ECO known as Racetrack has a full name: Margaret Edmonson.
  • The music aired at the end of the documentary is the Colonial Fanfare last heard in the Mini Series: the theme from the original "Battlestar Galactica" TV series. In the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, it is apparently the "national anthem" of the Twelve Colonies.
  • Adama uses the phrase "warts and all." This was invented by 17th-Century English dictator ("Lord Protector") Oliver Cromwell.
  • Timeline-wise, Col. Tigh says there's been no Cylon contacts for 10 days. Col. Tigh was in command of Galactica for "over a week" (from "Scattered" to "Resistance").
  • Colonial video feeds are octagonal, but video screens are (oddly) rectangular.
  • Capt. Kelly appears fulfilling his duties as Landing Signal Officer by coordinating Viper landings. This scene further explains the "where was Kelly between the Mini-Series and Season 2" question: Kelly doesn't work in the CIC, but in the port flight pod itself.
  • Roslin and Adama have not only buried the hatchet by this episode, but are working jointly and appear to have developed a comeraderie.
  • This episode contains the first scene on Colonial One since "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II".
  • Cultural/Linguistic oddity: Apollo refers to Kat and Hot Dog as "tweedledum and tweedledee", a reference to Lewis Carroll.
  • Dualla states that Galactica's carbon dioxide scrubbers run "24 hours a day"; this would seem to establish that the Colonial Fleet operates on a 24-hour day. This could possibly be based on Caprica's orbital rotion (where the seat of the Government was located); still, all 12 Colonies couldn't possible all have the same axial rotation time. This 24 hour day might seem an automatic assumption, but keep in mind that on other scifi series set in space there isn't always a 24 hour say: For example, on [Wikipedia:Deep Space Nine], space station Deep Space Nine actually runs on a 26 hour day, because it follows Bajor-time (which has a 26 hour rotation period).

Noteworthy Dialogue

  • After meeting Dr. Gaius Baltar for the first time:
    D'anna Biers: What a strange little man.
  • D'anna Biers is filming an interview with Apollo:
    D'anna Biers: You seem to think that your pilots deserve special consideration.
    Apollo: Actually, I do. Like everyone else, my pilots have lost their families, their friends, everyone they ever cared about; but on top of that they're asked to put their lives on the line every single day, for a fleet that seems more interested in what they do wrong than in what they do right. They're not asking for your pity, but they damn well deserve your respect.
  • D'anna Biers is interviewing Racetrack:
    D'anna Biers: Are you afraid when you go into combat?
    Racetrack: First thing they tell you is to assume you're already dead.
    D'anna Biers: Well that sounds ghoulish.
    Racetrack: Yeah, maybe. But dead men don't get scared and freeze up under fire. Me, I'm just worried that hell's gonna be a lonely place, and I'm gonna fill it up with every Toaster son of a bitch I find.
  • D'anna Biers is interviewing Lt. Gaeta. Gaeta is slightly disheveled, and is smoking a cigarette:
    D'anna Biers: Does that help you cope with the stress?
    Lt. Felix Gaeta: Not really. Look, um, all that I ever wanted was to be an officer on a Battlestar, okay? I trained my whole life, I trained harder than anyone in my unit. Basically, I put my life on hold until I was assigned to Galactica. Then the Cylons hit and I realized that this is all that I know: tech manuals, commands, and tactics, you know? I'm not saying that I'm unhappy...I'm just wondering if there's something more.
    D'anna Biers: And what have you discovered?
    Lt. Felix Gaeta: ...[takes a long drag, coughs]...I hate cigarettes. Ambrosia's good with a chaser. And, if you have enough Ambrosia...[Gaeta pulls back his shirt to reveal an ugly tatoo of a tiger on his upper right chest]...it don't hurt that much.
  • The closing voice-over narration to D'anna Biers' documentary on the Battlestar Galactica, which runs over a montage of images from the ship. The Colonial Anthem tinkles in the backround and gradually builds to up to a grand swell:
    D'anna Biers: I came to Galactica to tell a story. In all honesty I thought I knew what that story was before I ever set foot there: how an arrogant military let their egos get in the way of doing their jobs, safeguarding the lives of the civilian population. But I found out that the truth was more complex than that. These people aren't Cylons. They're not robots blindly following orders and polishing their boots. They're people. Deeply flawed, yes, but deeply human too, and maybe that's saying the same thing. What struck me most is that despite it all - the hardships, the stress, the ever present danger of being killed - despite all that, they never give up. They never lie down in the road and let the truck run them over. They wake up in the morning, put on their uniforms and do their jobs. Every day. No pay, no rest, no hope of ever laying down the burden or letting someone else do the job. There are no relief troops coming, no Colonial Fleet training new recruits every day. The people on Galactica are it. They are the thin line of blue that separates us from the Cylons. Lt. Gaeta told me a remarkable statistic; not a single member of Galactica's crew has asked to resign, not one. Think about that. If you wore the uniform wouldn't you want to quit? To step aside and say "enough! Let someone else protect the fleet"? I know I would. But then, I don't wear a uniform. Most of us don't, most of us never will. The story of Galactica isn't that people make bad decisions under pressure, it's that those mistakes are the exception. Most of the time the men and women serving under Commander Adama get it right. The proof is that our fleet survives. And with Galactica at our side, we will endure. This is D'anna Biers, Fleet News Service.


  • The camera pulls back to show a movie theater on Cylon-occupied Caprica, where the humanoid Cylons are watching a copy of the documentary, as D'anna Biers' ending narration finishes:
    Aaron Doral: That was shown across their entire fleet.
    Number Six: Their resilience is remarkable.
    Sharon Valerii: Play the footage that was cut. [camera footage plays of Helo's Sharon in Galactica's Sickbay]
    Sharon Valerii: I'm still alive?! She's still alive! I told you.
    Number Six: That's incredible. And the baby?
    D'anna Biers: [speaking without her usual New Zealand accent, but with a general American accent] It was saved. We lost two Raiders relaying the images back to the Fleet, but I think the sacrifice was worth it.
    Aaron Doral: We must proceed with caution. The child's life must be protected at all costs.
    D'anna Biers: Yeah. Truly is a miracle of God.

Official Statements

Statistics

  • The original airdate was to be September 2nd, 2005. However, SciFi Channel ran a Stargate SG-1 Viewers Choice Marathon for the Labor Day Weekend.
  • Nielsen Rating: 1.9 household rating
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