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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Battlestar Galactica 2.14: Utopia vs. Reality

In this episode we find out that Apollo has some serious mental issues and that illegal operations are useful.

In a departure from the primary narrative of the Cylons versus the Humans and the Fleet’s quest toward Earth, this episode treated viewers with a realistic glimpse in the realities of creating (recreating?) a society. Everyone has speculated at one time or another that if given the chance, they’d be able to rebuilt society into an utopian existence. Don’t lie, we’ve all done it. We all reckon ourselves to be rational creatures with the ability to determine what is correct and what isn’t and it’s with these skills that we think we can surmise what is needed and isn’t needed in a society.


The President is one of these people. When she decrees that ALL black market trading should cease immediately, she is taking those conversations we all have and utilizing them. There is an inherently fatal flaw in this however; when we have these theoretical conversations there is always the stickler that we cannot know what everyone else desires and we cannot decide that for them. It is this fact that Apollo realizes when at the end of the show he decides to allow the black market operation to remain functioning, save for the trafficking of children and medical supplies. In a sense, he believes in the invisible hand which will guide the will of the people’s demands. He realizes that there will always be a demand which the Fleet cannot supply and for this, the black market exists.


The episode was definitely a one-off, done to showcase the humanity of the fleet. It was by no means a bad show, just one of those shows you never see on network TV. Most of these shows skip over the humanity aspect of these situations and cut straight to the sensational story lines, which in this case is the battle between Humans and Cylons and the quest to find Earth. I’m glad that the writers feel these stories need to be told and for that fact, it makes the situation of the Fleet more palpable. The reality of the situation hits in with this episode. It’s no longer the battle against the robots that look like humans as the main focus of the show. It’s the battle between the humans amongst themselves to recreate society and it’s a battle that has been fought throughout history whenever old societies crumble and new ones replace them. And it always faces the same question: How do we make this society better than the last one?


For this, I cannot fault the President. She finds herself in an unique situation where she cannot pass up the chance to finally take all those conversations and actually implement them. But it’s her inability to realize that with the good of humanity also come the vices. And humanity will always find itself indulging in those vices. It is no coincidence that we find Apollo in the company of a prostitute when the show opens. No one is above their vices, and no society is either.

2 Comments:

  • i feel horrible saying it, but i thought this episode was awful and boring. the sad part is, the thing i found most irritating were those flashbacks that didn't tell us anything! they kept flashing back to that damn girl and she would run a few steps each time, but we never found out who the hell she was until the prostitute told us. the flashbacks didn't even tell us! i hate unnecessary scenes like that...i really do...and it ruined the whole episode for me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:45 PM, February 04, 2006  

  • The episode was a purely filler episode. I think they went a bit on the far end in regards to the cinematics of it all, but I enjoyed seeing Apollo not being squeeky clean.

    By Blogger lampy., at 1:47 AM, February 05, 2006  

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