In “No Exit,” I was happy to have Ellen Tigh back on Battlestar Galactica. After her resurrection, Ellen calmed down and spent the episode showing a rare maturity, treating Cavil as a mother would treat her child. She was a real adult, and for a while, I thought discovering her Cylon nature had changed her.
Then in “Deadlock,” Ellen came back to the fleet and immediately got back into her old rhythms. She flirted like a cat in heat, got drunk for the heck of it, and cracked jokes the whole time. Suddenly I remembered why I hated Ellen Tigh in the first place.
Perhaps “hate” is too strong a word. I simply felt like she never fit. Back in the early seasons when Ellen showed up, it was a jarring contradiction to everything Battlestar Galactica stood for. The show was a somber space opera about humanity’s quest for salvation. Then a quick-witted alcoholic sexpot came in and turned the show into a farce every time she showed up on screen.
There’s certainly a place for some comedic relief on such a dark series, but Ellen wasn’t right for that, She was a character plucked out of an entirely different genre, and I always felt she was a bit of a distraction.
On New Caprica, that changed as the horrors of war and enslavement made her a far more serious person, and her death was haunting and beautiful. But as soon as she stepped foot on the Galactica this past week, it was as if all that never happened.
BSG has been outstanding this season, from the discovery of Earth’s secrets to the attempted mutiny of the Galactica. But “Deadlock” put a halt to that momentum and gave us a completely subpar episode that simply disappointed me. “No Exit” offered so much promise for the return of Ellen Tigh, but her sexual nature, love of alcohol and constant mind games simply left me tired.
At its best, Battlestar Galactica is one of the finest shows on TV. Unfortunately, episodes like this one stand out that much more because of the typical level of excellence the series achieves. With only four more episodes left until the series finale, I hope they won’t waste that much more time on the wacky antics of Ellen.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of the Sci Fi Channel)