31 Day Challenge: Battlestar Galactica, Day 13: Favorite Season Two Episode

The friendship between Caprica-Eight/Athena and Admiral Adama is one of my more favorite ones on BSG. It starts out rocky, since Adama has yet to get over being shot by Boomer (fair), but ultimately, she becomes his mentor and confidante. He tells her things he could not possibly reveal to anyone else, even Roslin, and she, despite his complicity in covering up Hera’s survival later on, feels comfortable providing insight into his – and her own – humanity.

And this is why “Home, Part 2” is my favorite Season Two episode. There is so much tension, but none is more poignant than the tension between Athena and Admiral Adama. He assaults her shortly after she is revealed to him on Kobol, resulting in her saying, “And you ask why?” referring to the question he asked the corpse of Boomer back on the Galactica. Meier, one of Tom Zarek’s men, tells her that not only was Boomer murdered by Cally, but that Cally only received 30 days in the brig as punishment for the unauthorized shooting of a gun in an attempt to convince her of the danger she faces. She’s obviously concerned with this – “Cylons aren’t people,” she states sadly – but then she takes matters into her own hands.

Now, as a backstory here, Tom Zarek and Meier were planning on killing Lee in some way so they could get some leverage with Roslin, but once Adama shows up on Kobol, they have to alter their plans. They seem to have wanted to use Caprica-Eight as a tool, probably thinking she was simply another version of Boomer, but Athena sees right through this ruse and makes her choice, knowing full well the consequences.

Anyway, as they approach the Tomb of Athena, Caprica-Eight “colludes” with Meier, telling him to handle the son while she takes on the father. The rest of the group arrives, and Caprica-Eight aims her gun right at Adama’s chest, a la Boomer, while Meier proceeds to hold Lee at gunpoint. Of course, Caprica-Eight shoots Meier, only to return her aim at Adama, saying,

“I’m Sharon, but I’m a different Sharon. I know who I am. I don’t have hidden protocols or programs lying in wait to be activated. I make my own choices. I make my own decisions, and I need you to know this is my choice.”

She allows Adama to take the gun from her, and before he dies, Meier confesses to a saddened Zarek that he was just trying to make sure that Zarek got what was due him.

This very moment marks the beginning of Adama and Athena’s friendship. She spends much of her time over the rest of the season proving that she is an ally to the humans, actions that are ignored by quite a few people. It isn’t until well into the third season that she’s accepted as a member of the Fleet, even after she’s commissioned as an officer to assist in the rescue on New Caprica. Cally accuses Caprica-Eight of planting a bomb on a Raptor, which was actually the work of a fellow human trying to kill Romo Lampkin, Baltar’s lawyer during his trial for treason. Adama places her in the brig again after she shoots Natalie, a Number Six model, an action driven by a vision she had that showed a Number Six taking her daughter away from her. But eventually, Caprica-Eight is viewed as trustworthy and also, more importantly, a member of humanity, not just a “thing.”

I’d argue that this episode is more so about character development than it is plot development. Sure, A Lot happens. We see the fleet reunited, albeit tenuously, and the Tomb of Athena does point the human survivors in the direction of Earth. In the middle of that, though, relationships are tried and strengthened, which of course furthers the plot into the second half of the season. Roslin and Adama start calling each other by their given names for the first time, and Baltar starts to really see that his Head-Six might not be as full of shit as he’d assumed – despite the overwhelming evidence that she isn’t, but whatever, he’s a “logical” man – after overhearing Helo and Athena talking about their unborn child, or what he deduces is the prophesied child Head-Six had been referring to. Even Helo gets some character development past his “I’m a good guy” persona, where his loyalties to the fleet and to his future-wife come into conflict; she asks him to trust her, to trust their love, something he struggles with for the rest of the series.

Overall, this is just a great episode and is one that I usually use to show people how incredible BSG is, especially when it’s focusing on characters instead of whatever it was they did in “Black Market” or in the fourth season.

Okay, so I really need to get to bed so I can be at work at midnight tonight without feeling exhausted. So … wish me luck, and see y’all tomorrow!

Art Credit: Wikipedia

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