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'Battlestar Galactica': The coup's fatal flaw

February 7, 2009 |  8:20 am

FelixSo many people dislike "Battlestar Galactica's" Felix Gaeta, that you know Alessandro Juliani and the writers must be doing a pretty good job with the character and the whole coup situation.

The insurgency, and Gaeta's misguided attempt at justice, was a great way to reignite the fires that were a bit dormant at the cores of a lot of the characters.  Roslin's leadership, Adama's toughness, Baltar's instability, Tigh's loyalty, Zarek's shiftiness, Tyrol's resourcefulness and Lee's soldiering and devotion to his dad were all qualities that caused us to follow this show unflinchingly.

And Starbuck. Oh Starbuck. She wasn't looking at colorful patterns or questioning who she was and why she was here. She was walking up behind guys at a urinal in space and smashing their heads up against the wall when they looked down to do their business.

RomoThe unlikely helper/lawyer Romo Lampkin, after participating in a joke of a court marshal for Adm. Adama, joined Starbuck as they tried to save her husband, the injured Anders, while Lee, Tigh and the others raced to save Bill Adama from a firing squad.  We don't know if Anders will be the first of the final five to fall, but it looks that way.

As it became increasingly clear that Tom Zarek was the revolutionary voice behind the coup, we had to wonder if the past Gaeta, the smart guy doing all he could to help keep the ship's computer systems afloat, would revert back to the good guy who just wanted to help.  That was severely tested when crazy Zarek decided to disband the quorum by killing them all. "Shoot them." What?! Where?! Huh?!

This was a misstep, meaning by the writers. Gasp! Yeah, I said it. Though Zarek has been shown to be a ruthless and power-hungry guy, he has not been shown to be an unconscionable murderer.  There was always the sense that he really believed what he was doing was right, though under it all you knew he just wanted to be in charge.  Or at least, that's how it seemed he was set up.  When he killed his fellow representatives, he crossed the line from the people's man to the political butcher and doomed Gaeta in the process.  Obviously, the "Battlestar" story crafters wanted a dramatic shift to occur during the coup, but it felt like a little more than just "doing what had to be done."


Even then, Gaeta had a chance for redemption.  Arrest Zarek and turn back over control of the ship.  But the situation had taken on a life of its own.  The itch of Gaeta's amputated leg would bother him no more after a newly rescued Adm. Adama and his followers took back the ship and executed Gaeta and Zarek.

Other tidbits:
-- Baltar's dream sequence -- the execution of Adama -- was mean!  Misleading, cruel ... but great.  Had me going for a second.  And Baltar's guilt is catching up to him again.  At least his rambling makes sense.  His heroic tendencies seem to be turned on a little late, but they're now there.

Tyrol_2-- Chief Tyrol's redemption, to himself more than anything or anyone else, was good to see.

-- Wonder if the Cylons still think it's cool to hang out with humans who seem as if they will always fear and hate them?  Definitely bears watching, especially as the fifth cylon awakes next episode (and if you don't know who she is by now, you're just not paying attention).

Felix Gaeta: "I hope that people realize eventually who I am."

Sadly, I don't think they ever will.

-- Jevon Phillips


-- Did you know SHE was the final Cylon?
-- Richard Hatch didn't throw popcorn!
-- Michael Hogan, surprised to be a Cylon
-- 'Battlestar Galactica' on Hero Complex