Monday, October 09, 2006


Friday's season 3 premiere of Battlestar Galactica was excellent. A few comments:

- Making Tigh a one-eyed mullah was a nice touch.
- The fact that Jammer survived a bomb explosion ten feet away from him suggests that he's a cylon.
- Starbuck as The Prisoner: brilliant.
- I appreciated The Great Escape reference at the very end.

The most compelling character in the premiere for me (and one should watch the webisodes to gather the full story) is Duck, the first suicide bomber. Duck's pregnant wife was killed in a Cylon attack on a temple where the resistance was storing weapons, before which time Duck had little interest either in religion or resistance, and after which he becomes a devoted religious warrior. Duck is who we should think of whenever we here Bush talking about "fighting them over there" so we don't have to fight them here, as if there were some fixed number of terrorists and once we kill them all, we can declare the war over. A good portion of the people fighting and blowing themselves up in Iraq and Palestine, probably a majority, are people just like Duck, people who would very much prefer to be settled down with a wife and kids and a boring job, responding to events in the only way that makes sense to them, with vengeance and death. (If BSG wanted to be really topical, they'd have a Charles Krauthammer-esque Cylon newspaper columnist who condemns Duck's baseless, culturally-imbued anti-Cylonism.)

It's unfortunate, if not completely surprising, that this is the only television forum where such ideas about occupation, resistance, insurgency, and terrorism can be offered without drawing down the condemnation of the right (and time will tell about that). Not even knowing for sure if Adama is returning, Tigh makes war against the Cylons to make war against the Cylons. Keeping them "off-balance" is an end in itself. He resists to resist, and, by turning to suicide bombing, he effectively conscripts every other human in the cause. It will be very interesting to see how Adama eventually deals with this.

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