Soap Opera Weekly: Night Shift 3/2/09

Big doings on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA this week for Starbuck and Boomer — and DAYS OF OUR LIVES alum Roark Critchlow had a rather significant guest role: He portrayed the mysterious piano player Kara called “Slick,” who tickled the ivories in Joe’s Bar. It has been some weeks since the mutiny, and Kara was back to serving as Commander, Air Group (CAG), delivering the daily briefings to the Viper and Raptor pilots, who now include a significant number of Sixes and Eights working as planet hunters and flying Combat Air Patrol (CAP, protecting the fleet). In a rare bit of humor, Kara offered the first pilot to find a habitable world “the last tube of Tauron toothpaste in the universe,” labeled Felgercarb. This is especially funny because “felgercarb” was, like “frak,” a made-up cuss word in the original 1979 series. Whereas frak was a fun replacement for the f-bomb, felgercarb stood in for the s-word. Kara was wearing down from the endless grind, and found herself spending more time in Joe’s Bar, where she encountered “Slick” (real name unknown – or is it? Read on…) Kara initially complained about Slick’s attempts to compose a song, but he eventually drew her into helping him, sharing memories of her composer father along the way. (The only item she valued among her possessions was a recording of her father’s performance, called Dreilide Thrace Live at the Helice Opera House.) She realizes the song Slick is “composing” is the exact same tune her father worked on — one that comforted her as a child. Eventually Slick is able to tease the tune out of her, and we realize it is… “All Along the Watchtower”! And, just as Kara and Slick revel in playing the entire song, Saul, Ellen and Tory confront Starbuck — but Slick is no longer beside her! Egads! He was all in her head! He was either a total hallucination, or a virtual being, like the Virtual-Six that appears in Baltar’s head. So why? Could he be her father? It would make sense… she loved playing that song with her father. And Slick claimed he left his family because his wife wanted him to quit playing piano — exactly like Dreilide abandoned Kara and her mother, Socrata. And here’s where it gets really freakkin’ complicated: Remember back when the fleet landed on the blasted Earth a few episodes ago — Anders claimed he wrote that song there for the woman he loved 2,000 years ago! Kara said her father used to play the song and it made her happy — so is she the reincarnation of the woman Anders loved — is she a previously unknown 13th Cylon model? Or perhaps a new incarnation of the permanently-boxed Daniel line?

Reincarnation — or, more precisely, downloading — played a big part in Boomer’s story this week. A new Six, called Sonja (still Tricia Helfer), was elected to the Quorum, and petitioned that Boomer be turned over to the rebel Cylons so she can try for treason for siding with Cavil — and execute her! Tyrol begged Roslin to refuse extradition, but the president refused. In fact, she signed the extradition order right in front of him! How cold was that? Obviously, Roslin was holding a grudge for Boomer (Grace Park) shooting Bill at the end of season one, but we can hardly blame her (Bill hasn’t forgiven Sharon, either). Tormented by memories of Boomer dying in his arms after Cally pulled a Jack Ruby and killed her, Tyrol visited Sharon, who told him, “I thought about you every day from that moment I died in your arms.” To prove it, she used Cylon Projection to show him an image of the home on Picon they dreamed of back when they were lovers; a home that included a daughter called “Dionne.” Determined not to lose her again, Tyrol attacked an Eight from the work crew, and staged a power outage to swap out Boomer. Dressed as the worker Eight, Boomer went to the pilot locker room where, unfortunately, Athena recognized her, forcing Boomer to take her out. Helo entered and mistook Boomer for Athena, so Boomer took the opportunity to get physical with Karl. That was highly ironic, because Hera was conceived on Caprica when the Sharon who would eventually take the name Athena pretended to be Boomer and tricked Karl into making love to her. So here, Boomer pretended to be Athena and had sex with Karl. Then she went to daycare and spirited away Hera. Boomer then coldly attempted to use the child as a human (well, half-human) shield to cover her escape from Galactica. As Boomer tried to flee, she clipped a wing on the hull! Sharon originally got her callsign, “Boomer,” not because of her sexual reputation, but because she was known for loud and clumsy landings; here it was her takeoff that went “boom.” And then she made things worse by jumping in close proximity to Galactica — with devastating results! Galactica was already suffering significant structural damage due to aging (the battlestar is well over 50 years old). The spatial distortion from the jump ripped vast holes in the battleship’s hull. Can Galactica be saved? As Boomer disappeared, Roslin shouted “Hera” and collapsed. What was that about? What was the entire plot about? Ellen figured it out: Boomer “escaping” with Ellen was all a plot by Cavil to get Hera. He was willing to lose Ellen to get the hybrid child. But why?

Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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