The new Battlestar Galactica
continues right in the midst of the refuge situation that has evolved over the season. With the ships that were lost leading up to the New Caprica exodus, more and more of the fleets civilians have become displaced and a tent-city has been erected in the hanger bay of Galactica. Man in charge of the operation: Helo.
I felt a little odd for this episode at first, I like Helo’s character, he has an interesting background on Battlestar Galactica
having fathered the first Cylon/Human hybrid child and barely escaped execution at the hands of the wild eyed Commander Cain. He’s got some intense subplots, but that is all they have been. For the first time, Helo must carry an entire episode of Battlestar Galactica
on his own. Without foreshadowing too much, let me say the gamble paid off.
After ‘The Woman, King’ I suspect a lot of Battlestar Galactica fans will be asking for – no – demanding more Helo. ‘The Woman, King’ is intensely plotted and well acted, and above all proves that Helo is more than just the window dressing for Battlestar Galactica’s more bizarre plot twists. Back to the episode.
Helo is in charge of the tent city which is about to receive a shipload of Saggiterons. In case you haven’t picked this up, Saggiterons are kind of like gypsies… they actively oppose any medical care and in fact see medicine as a spreader of disease rather than a cure. They have very superstitious life-styles and rely on natural remedies. They also abhor violence. It’s noted more than once in this episode that the Saggiterons did not take part in the resistance on New Caprica.
The issue of Baltar’s trial is brought up again. Zarek is petrified that giving Baltar a trial is going to bring some widespread upheaval to the fleet. Pres Roslin meanwhile, is all about the kangaroo court principle saying Baltar will have a chance to say his piece, will be found guilty, and summarily executed. Justice is dead on Battlestar Galactica. Zarek is pressing for Roslin to declare martial law during the trial.
In the tent city, trouble is brewing as a treatable, yet deadly, virus makes its rounds. The virus is easy to cure but the Saggiterons refuse medicine. Trouble brews when one of them finally relents and is killed. The kids mother accuses the Doctor, Roberts, of murdering her son. Helo becomes increasingly suspicious but finds out the doctor has some friends at the top that don’t like Helo dragging his name through the mud.
We also catch up with six, who is being prepped by Athena to help the humans. The best chance for her survival, Athena tells her, is to help the humans convict Baltar. But this six has a fantasy Baltar just as Baltar has a fantasy six, and he’s all about protecting the real Baltar’s behind.
Helo does finally uncover the doctor’s plot. The whole thing carries eerie similarities to the Iraq war, again, in terms of ethnic cleansing and racial tension. The whole incident does not carry with it any long term ramifications for the series, other than establishing the fact that Battlestar Galactica needs more Helo!