You keep my planes flying. I need my planes to fly.
Will Adama to Galen Tyrol
Once again, spoilers are noted below, so easy on the scrolling if you haven't seen this...
What was already getting messy gets downright slovenly in Episode 6 of Season 1: Litmus. However, I think this episode might have been a misnomer, since there's really not a lot of litmus-ing going on. It just barely touches on Gaius's "project", which is actually much more of a topic in the successive episode(s). Although this episode isn't of a lower quality by any means, it's more of a go-between, almost a little break from the action, from previous episodes to the latter part of season 1. It's more like a "business as usual" kind of episode where the crew seems to have settled in to their situation a bit more. I needed this episode to happen now and I think it was good timing in the production of the season. Even us fans can only take so much excitement before our devoted little fan-hearts give out. Don't get me wrong; this episode isn't a total sleeper by any means. There are several shocking moments to be had. I guess it's just that in Litmus, the action isn't as non-stop as it has been in the series thus far. Phew! Finally the crew (and I) can relax for a moment. Not!
This episode touches on a little bit of politics and law, as well as loyalties and humanity. Of course that last subject is the very foundation of this show. One of the highlights of Litmus is that it really gets us (me at least) thinking about this humanity thing, and what it is that really seperates the humans from the Cylons. The differences at this point are starting to look more like the conflicts between nations at war, which of course is a completely human phenomenon. Basically some more story development goes on here, and my oh my - some very UNcomfortable situations are starting to boil over. As if a whole civilization going into exile from it's home world and being constantly chased by an unpredictable and not always identifiable enemy wasn't uncomfortable enough...
*LITMUS AND SEASON 3 SPOILERS*
This episode might be even more interesting to those who have seen the entire series thus far, particularly concerning events that tie in all the way through season 3. For one, it's hard not to wince when we see Boomer and Tyrol consummate in that back room and think about all the different levels their relationship would have been unproductive. Heh heh. I mean really unproductive. Boomer is still a sleeper at this point too, but you would think she must know by now, especially with all the hub-bub around the ship and all the weird things she's been going through. Basically she seems to be in a major state of denial. More like a clinical state of denial, which, along with everything that Sharon becomes later in the series, makes me question just who is more human; the humans or the Cylons, who are the children of the humans?
Jammer! Oh poor, poor Jammer. It is good to see him again, but I get shivers thinking about his fate. *gasps*
Even though Doral was exposed as an agent way back in the miniseries, and Tigh was one of the select few "in the know" about the skin-jobs until this episode... what I know now about Tigh from the end of season 3 makes me a little hyper aware about how quickly Tigh recognized Doral before he done blowed himself up. It's just kind of cool to think about it all again in retrospect to the beginning of the series. I really believe the final 5 are with the humans to somehow help protect them from the other Cylons, and to look back on what Tigh has done in that respect makes him, and the other final 3 we know of now, seem more like super heroes. Man... who the heck IS the fifth of the final 5?
Even though I'm a girl, I got a little thrill out of seeing Number Six beat the crap out of Sharon, although I probably enjoyed it in a different way than most male fans would. It's just pretty cool to see girls kick ass, even if it's each other's, and even though they're not really human. It was a nicely shot scene, as so much is in BSG. Add photography as another strong point in the production value of this show. I'm having a hard time finding weak points. One little spot might be with a few moments where Grace Park is becoming less convincing as "on the ship Boomer". But geeze! I can't even imagine ever doing the acting job she does, and furthermore, I am more convinced that her degrading performance as "on the ship Boomer" is completely intentional. She's really starting to act more distant as she becomes more isolated from everyone else, as everyone is to each other at this point with the witch hunt and all. But Boomer is really just starting to talk like someone who is controlled by a base ship. A little more like "on the roof with the other Cylons Sharon". In the meantime, "on the roof with the other Cylons Sharon" is doing a fantastic double acting job of interacting with Helo on Caprica. As we know from later in the show... "getting into character" has so many more levels of meaning now with Sharon/Boomer/Athena/Mrs. Agathon/#8.
This episode ties in with season 3 on many levels. The whole idea of the litmus test, and that it wasn't really supposed to work anyway (but then again, it did), all the issues of humanity, the wooden ship Adama is playing with becomes a very symbolic prop later on (isn't that shown in the season 3 episode Maelstrom?), the whole thing with Tyrol and Boomer... okay, NOW we know how Cylons make babies!
*END OF SPOILERS* (unless you follow the links below)
Litmus at scifi.com/battlestar
Litmus at battlestarwiki