Battlestar Galactica

"Crossroads, Part 1"

3.5 stars

Air date: 3/18/2007
Written by Michael Taylor
Directed by Michael Rymer

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

It seems the second-to-last episode of a BSG season has become the slot where we get the progression of the ongoing plot, but also new developments of bizarre and disturbing ominousness.

Last season's "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 1" had an opening teaser where Sharon sensed a cold feeling, and Tyrol suddenly awoke from a nightmare and beat Cally to unconsciousness.

First season's "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 1" had Sharon, who had been teetering on the brink all season, shoot herself because she thought she was about to do something terrible. She survived.

Both episodes opened with musically scored montages of crosscutting. "Crossroads, Part 1" has no such opening sequence (a shame), but it does have what might be the creepiest portending to date, because it's not in what characters say or do, but in what seems to be in their minds. Helo, by the end of the hour, is sensing the doom in the air: "Weather's changing, Felix. We need to be ready for it. There's a storm coming."

Roslin's dreams might be predicting that forthcoming storm. For the first time since the cancer, Roslin has a mysterious vision. It involves Six grabbing Hera in the ancient opera house on Kobol. Anything imagined/envisioned/prophesied at that opera house — or more accurately, Opera House — has automatic meaning in the BSG universe.

In "Crossroads" we've also finally reached the beginning of the trial of Gaius Baltar. Tory tries to push the prosecutor, Didi Cassidy (Chelah Horsdal), into charging Baltar with genocide for the original attack on the Colonies. In classic Law & Order style, the prosecutor explains that she'll try the case she can prove, not the case that the political/societal machine might want.

The trial sequences are very much in the style of contemporary TV courtroom drama like L&O. The crucial difference, of course, is that the witnesses, judges, and defendant are major characters in the larger picture, and the details of the trial involve stakes that become deeply personal as well as legal and societal.

Those proceedings begin with the opening arguments. It's worth mentioning that Cassidy's argument isn't particularly compelling. Certainly, the numbers are significant — 5,197 went dead or missing on New Caprica during Baltar's presidency — but they don't get to the heart of Baltar's guilt or innocence. Certainly not the way Lampkin's defensive argument does. His fiery attack on the "justice of the mob" is far more compelling material, delivered with far more feeling. Indeed, Lampkin's defense makes a good point about Baltar's decision to surrender to the Cylons: He simply had no choice. The only other alternative would've meant death. (Cassidy's argument might've been better had she mentioned that it was Baltar's ill-advised decision to colonize New Caprica in the first place. Of course, no one knows the truth behind the nuclear bomb that took out the Cloud Nine, which was also Baltar's fault.)

The simple fact is that no one is going to out-lawyer Lampkin. Cassidy is competent but colorless. As audience members, we already have far more invested in Lampkin as a personality. It's an interesting way of setting our sympathies; even if we are in favor of Baltar being found guilty, our attraction to Lampkin's arguments help balance the scales.

Interesting things start to happen when the witnesses testify on the stand. Tigh gets on the stand partially drunk, and his guilt over Ellen — which has been brought back to the forefront in a memorable scene between Tigh and Six in which the interrogator has unexpectedly had the psychological tables turned against him — ends up with him confessing the killing of his wife in open court. The testimony has the effect of making Tigh's bitter hatred of Baltar look completely personal and not objective.

Meanwhile, a sense of dread begins building behind the scenes. A woman visits Baltar in jail and begs him to bless her son. She's the fifth such visitor. Why does she seem to worship Baltar? And is there a significance to the fact that she's the fifth visitor?

Down at the bar, Anders can hear mysterious music in the static of a radio. So can Tigh. So can Tory. But no one else seems to hear it. At one point, Anders and Tory share a stare that's chilling in its mysteriousness. What do they have in common? Is the music a warning? A strange Cylon communication? What?

Tigh's incident on the witness stand has launched him into a drunken mess. Adama helps the poor guy into his rack, who sadly notes that he can no longer smell Ellen's scent on her clothes. Tigh has become a tragic warning of a battered life of warfare. Let me quickly add the performances of Michael Hogan should never go overlooked.

Meanwhile, Galactica's tailing Raptor learns that the Cylons have discovered how to follow them and are catching up. The theory is that a radiation leak on the tylium refinery might be traceable by the Cylons. Before fixing the radiation leak, Lee comes up with a plan to throw the Cylons off track: Send the tylium ship on a different path before rendezvousing with the fleet. It's a plan that's as smart as it is simple.

So there's a lot of percolating dread in the background. The main drive of the story, however, is Lee, and what his association with Baltar's defense is doing to his relationships with his shipmates, his father, and his wife. Following Tigh's debacle on the stand, Adama and Lee have a conversation that shows just how quickly their relationship has deteriorated since Lee joined Baltar's defense. Adama doesn't trust his son anymore, and flat-out accuses him of having leaked Tigh's secret about Ellen to Lampkin. (Ironically, the truth is that Lee didn't even know about it.) Lee resigns his post, saying he won't serve under an authority who questions his integrity. Adama accepts his resignation, saying he has no integrity. As I watched this scene, it seemed to me that Lee was practically baiting his father into this course of action. It's such a cold, cold scene between father and son that it's almost painful to watch.

Why is Lee doing this, anyway? Is it merely to stick it to the old man, as Lampkin contends? Lee thinks he may have information about Roslin that could potentially damage her testimony over Baltar's signing of the New Caprica execution order, but he's loath to share it. Lampkin essentially tells Lee that it's time to put up or shut up: Either he's really working for the defense, or he's simply acting out a charade to annoy his father. Lampkin, a brilliant strategist, knows just what buttons in Lee to push to get the right reaction.

The episode's crucial turning point comes when Lee cross-examines Roslin. Seeing Lee in a suit rather than a uniform makes for an effectively jarring little moment. Jamie Bamber's performance is finely tuned in how it reveals Lee's obvious nervousness in standing up and cross-examining the president in court. (Unlike Lampkin, he has not done this before.) The power of this scene comes in its implications. It's not merely that Roslin is forced to admit that she has resumed taking chamalla and that her cancer has returned. It's that she's forced to admit this in open court when it's an attack on her credibility — by someone who was once close to her. When she whispers to Lee, "I feel so sorry for you," you realize just how deep a hole Lee has dug for himself.

The scene shows Lee passing a point he might never recover from, burying himself in alienation. That night, Dualla leaves him. When Lee attempts to defend his behavior on behalf of "the system," she frankly says the system should be taken apart, and we realize that this trial is not simply about one man, but a possible referendum on the legal system itself (such as it is).

I love how unflappable Roslin is in the face of an inquisitive press corps. She keeps her cool, and has a sardonic wit. Reporter: "Madam president, how long do you have to live?" Roslin: "How long do you have to live, Karen?" It's a cooler head than Tory's, who calls the reporters "vultures" to their faces. Later, Roslin tells Tory to get her act together and to relearn the functions of a comb. I love these little details. Yet they still service the ominous foreboding. What's wrong with Tory, anyway? And with Tigh? And Anders?

The episode ends with Tigh alone in his quarters, hearing that song and concluding: "It's in the ship!" The scene is eerie as hell, and proves that the confident setting of tone in storytelling can sell the notion that Something Big Is Coming. Even if we didn't have Helo telling Gaeta to beware the coming storm, we'd still be getting the point. Beware.

Previous episode: The Son Also Rises
Next episode: Crossroads, Part 2

◄ Season Index

30 comments on this review

Brian
Mon, Mar 24, 2008, 6:06pm (UTC -6)
You know, I've thought from the moment this episode aired that it was "a four star episode if there ever was one", and for a time I thought it was better than part two.

Lee's questioning of Roslin, her pleading for him to stop along with, and the look in her eyes just before he makes her say she is taking chamalla again... was just the most affecting piece of television and/or cinema I have ever scene.

Michael Hogan's performance in this episode was also one of the series' best, both his reaction to what Six says in the cell and his behavior in the stand.

And, of course, I was cheering when Roslin revealed she had cancer (boy that makes me sound to cruel out of context). Although season 3 is my favorite seen based on its overall fluidity, the deepening involvement of the mythos, the beginning and closing arcs, and the fact that ALL of this flows inexorably from the New Caprica arc, it is a seen with problems. Most of these problems are with the standalone episodes forced on Moore, but I think the other problem has been that Roslin has had a reduced role this season and without cancer or her Presidency-In-Jeopardy/New Caprica story, she hasn't had much to do. Part of this, I think, is because characaters such as Tigh, who became my favorite character this season, Starbuck, and baltar that were most affected by New Caprica have had the most material flowing out of the arc and thus have the most development.

The revelation that Roslin has cancer, and that she's back as a major player now that she is once again the Dying Leader, was just one "great plot" thread that this two parter sets up.

I'm also going to take this moment to just say the other episodes that have ratings I disagree with:

Tigh Me Up, Tigh me Down: 2.5 (to me,a 2 isn't as enjoyable as this is)
Resurrection Ship, Part 1: 3.5
Scar: 3.5 (I did buy the foundation)
Torn: 3.5 (The Tigh-Starbuck story is first rate and the direction/style of the episode is something I really love)
Rapture: 3.5

A superb beginning to a superb ending of an overall superb season.
Luke
Tue, Jul 13, 2010, 3:51am (UTC -6)
This was definitely an interesting episode. I thought one especially poignant moment was that after Roslin admitted to taking Chamaala, she wanted to continue to explain why. Lee's initial refusal really drove home the point that justice depends on context. If he had not allowed her to provide context, it would have been starkly unjust. What a fine line to walk.
Nick M
Mon, Nov 22, 2010, 10:47am (UTC -6)
Maybe it's me, but just how beautiful, and dare I say it - but sexy - did Madame President look in the Opera House? In a series with some amazingly beautiful ladies, that scene...well, I would love her to spend time in my office too. :-)

(I really need a girlfriend LOL)
Brruceling
Mon, Jun 20, 2011, 8:06am (UTC -6)
I hate to say this but I'm becoming very disheartened by Admiral Adama. Here is a man who single-handedly saved the remainder of the human species, calmly and coolly handled all of the shitstorms that arose in the aftermath for two years, and suddenly seems to have become a hard-assed bastard who cares more for his position of authority than the actual well-being of the people around him. The only credit I can give this is that it largely was foreshadowed by his 'realization' in Unfinished Business that he shouldn't be friends with his crew. I think it's crap.

What happened to the man who stayed behind to find Starbuck at the risk of the fleet, and said if it was Lee he'd never leave? He was simultaneously too human to be a good commander, and the best man for the job for that very reason. As the military man in charge of the remainder of humanity, we saw what his soft touch was really worth when Admiral Cain appeared on the Pegasus. He seems to have gotten his panties in a bunch because he let people settle on New Caprica instead of remaining a hard-ass and blames himself for their inability to defend the planet, but he only allowed a couple of people to go based on personal feeling - obviously most people would have been gone regardless and they would not have been any more prepared to fight off the cylons.

This marks a significant loss of the qualities which made Adama a great and interesting character. A man who threatens to murder Cally in cold blood rather than listen to the concerns of some strikers is no better than Admiral Cain.

Otherwise, a great episode, and I ultimately have to side with Lee. Baltar is not guilty of any of the things the prosecutor claims - he did not actively seek the deaths of anyone. He is not a murderer. He is just a truly pathetic man.
Nick P.
Mon, Jul 18, 2011, 12:04pm (UTC -6)
Riveting episode. Easy 4 star. and the next one.

But I really wish people would quit saying he is pathetic, I still find him the most likable sympathetic character on the show. (Tigh is getting up there however). Would any person have acted any differently under Baltars' circumstances. NO. Of course not, and if they did, he would be dead. He is a poor kid from a poor planet who became a famous scientist. It is not his fault he was blinded by a hot blond. Come on?

Anyways, there were only 2 minor complaints I had with this episode. Daula left Lee for his defense of Baltar?? WHAT??? He has been having an affair for almost a year and she stays, but leaves over f-ing BALTAR? Stupid. And I think the moment where Roslin asked lee to ask her WHY she was taking Chamalla, Lee should have immediatly denied her request anjd dismissed her. Anyone could see that trap she was laying.

But man, is this 2 parter watchable!!!! Fine performances from all!!!
Nic
Wed, Oct 5, 2011, 8:36am (UTC -6)
Nick P.:

Baltar only cares about himself. That's not a quality I find very endearing. He may not have willingly participated in the genocide on the colonies, but he gave a NUCLEAR WARHEAD to a known Cylon agent, which not only ended up killing thousands but also allowed the Cylons to find New Caprica. And although none of the characters know it, he also gave the Cylons important information about Earth.

You don't sacrifice hundreds of lives to save your own. If doing the right thing causes you to die, then you should die. I would do it, and I'm sure most of us would. In my mind, he'll always be a villain. A complex and interesting villain, but a villain nonetheless.
Michael
Sat, Nov 26, 2011, 2:55pm (UTC -6)
The prosecution made a major mistake trying to pin genocide on Baltar. There's no way that could ever be proven.

He didn't personally kill anyone. He didn't issue orders to kill anyone of his own free will.

He did, however, continue to preside over a puppet regime under which 12% of the mankind was exterminated.

By staying in office following cylon occupation, he lent a human face to an occupying regime. So long as that regime did no more than provide a civic structure and maintain civilian infrastructure, there was nothing wrong with that. But when that regime began implementing hostile, even murderous, actions against your own population, he should have packed it in.

He signed somebody's death warrant. Yes, it was under duress, but it is inexcusable. Whether his signature actually had any weight or not, whether the executions would have taken lace with or without his consent, whether he had to choose between his own life or the life of even one other, innocent human is all immaterial.

He is not guilty of genocide. He may be guilty of cowardice but that is not a civilian crime.

He IS guilty of treason and he should hang.

Anyway, compelling viewing. Made me sit up and watch and absorb every minute, and incited strong feelings and passion in me, which hadn't been the case since the start of Season 3.
Nick P.
Sun, Nov 27, 2011, 9:49am (UTC -6)
Michael,

Although we generally agree on this show, I am curious why your negative opinion of Baltar? I have conisistently found him the most sympathetic character on this show, and I really don't see how anyone in his position under the Cylons on New Caprica would have acted any bit different. Had he done anything else he would be dead and the cylons still would have committed their crimes. Cowardice, ?maybe? even then I don't know what he could have done to ?save? anyone?

Further, you often mention treason, but where does this come from? Even from the miniseries he did NOT openly aid the enemy, he let a hot chick have "some" access to the defense mainframe, but again, that is not treason. Again, I think this implies Baltar singlehandedly built and maintained the colony defense mainframe, which he did not, he was a piece. Again, six would have simply moved to her next target.

He could be charged with un-knowingly abaiting the enemy, but as for treason, I don't get it?
Michael
Sun, Nov 27, 2011, 10:30am (UTC -6)
Hey Nick:

You're right, I don't like Baltar. Never did. Part of it is his accent, silly and shallow though as that sounds. Another part is his stringing everyone along for the best part of Season 1 and then giving a cylon a nuclear device. Not endearing. Also, he's "slippery": He always manages to wiggle himself out of every pickle he finds himself in. Plus, he got to rack up Six and a string of other pretty women so, yeah, I'm jealous of the summabitch :-))))))))

But I'm looking at this from a purely legal viewpoint and my conclusion would be the same whosever ass was on the line.

Now yes, you're right that most people would probably have instinctively acted the same way he did on N.C., but that doesn't excuse him. He found himself in the same situation as Gen. Petain as the head of the Vichy government (not sure if you're familiar with that chapter of WW2). "[C]onsciously or purposely acting to aid [one's country's] enemies" is the definition of treason, and he did that, by staying on as president and allowing himself to be used by the cylons as an instrument of legitimizing the occupation. Of course that his resignation or even, in effect, suicide would not have altered anything, but his actions were tantamount to collaborating with the enemy. GUILTY! :D

I don't begrudge his early history, i.e. facilitating Six's access to the defense mainframe. He had no idea she was a cylon and he could not reasonably have, so that's not at issue at all.

On another note, the Bonnie Taylor in me is desperately searching for a "hero," i.e. someone who's dependably positive and principled, and doesn't turn out to be some screw-up. It used to be Adama whom I idolized but he let me down majorly. The closest I'm thinking of is Tigh although he's a boozer and flaky.
Michael
Sun, Nov 27, 2011, 12:51pm (UTC -6)
Of course, I meant "frack" or "frak," not "rack," and no "up" up there. I need another weekend break!
Caleb
Mon, Jul 30, 2012, 1:56pm (UTC -6)
I agree with Michael, he is guilty of treason. That said, I love the dude. He's by far my favorite character and I can't help but sympathize with him.
Teejay
Mon, Aug 26, 2013, 6:14am (UTC -6)
One question about this episode that bugs me, even if it's a minor detail is Anders. Did I miss him enrolling to be a viper pilot in an earlier episode or was this just revealed in this episode almost as an afterthought?
beej
Fri, Oct 4, 2013, 2:03am (UTC -6)
I don't think Roslin's statement that her cancer has returned damages the defense at all. Yeah, I mean it's great she's not just some druggie getting her kicks with chamalla, but the side effects are what they are regardless of why she's on the stuff and that was the important point.

I do hope Baltar is going to be found not guilty in this trial. He's a great character, and while his list of actual crimes is incredibly long, trying to pin New Caprica on him ... yeah, he embraced settlement as a political ploy, but the reason it worked is because the people wanted it. The occupation itself and the toll in lives was not preventable once that course was decided upon.
Tloser
Tue, Oct 29, 2013, 9:30pm (UTC -6)
I have to agree with others who don't think the charge of treason on the original attack can stick on Baltar. If BSG treason is anything like U.S. law, then wrongful intent and an overt act are needed. I don't think Baltar meets either of the elements. However, there are certainly lesser charges that could be proved on Baltar opening the mainframe backdoor, albeit unintentionally. Maybe a charge where recklessness or negligence is an element? In terms of the execution order, I am not sure if duress could be a valid defense. My understanding is that duress is never a defense for murder. But the defense would point out that Baltar did not commit murder but only signed a piece of paper which was used by the Cylons to place the blame on him. To me, this trial is not black and white, and I would definitely not convict on treason or genocide, maybe on lesser offenses. I don't think I even know what the specific charges are being pressed by the prosecution.
Cureboy
Tue, Jan 7, 2014, 10:19pm (UTC -6)
Oh my heart broke for Colonel Tigh when he was on the stand. The actor turned in a great performance. I am really thinking he's a Cylon. What a horrible fate. To be one of the creatures you hate so much. Does this mean Anders and Roslin's press secretary is one too?

I hadn't realized how attached I've become to these characters in the past month. The scene with Lee and Roslin on the stand. How she once confided in him. And then Roslin admitting her cancer had returned. It felt like a punch in the gut. I am guessing Hera can't help this time.
SPR
Sat, Jan 25, 2014, 9:47pm (UTC -6)
I agree with some of the other commenters. I think this is an easy 4 star, and the best is season 3 so far.

The courtroom scenes with the examinations of Tigh and Roslin were wonderful and riveting. Absolutely phenomenal scenes.
zzybaloobah
Thu, May 21, 2015, 12:24am (UTC -6)
My biggest disapointment is with Lee. He can be so idealistic AND naive -- and that's a dangerous combination. He lets Lampkin (a brillant character by the way) lead him by the nose and ends up seriously compromising himself. Lampkin tells him: "The system requires you to tell what you know about Roslin". Really?
Is that why Lampkin tried to talk the Six out of testifying?
Lampkin certainly isn't above abusing the system. Lampkin is a consummate player of the game. Lee becomes, essentially, a spy for the defense.

If Lee wants to work for the defense, fine, but he should openly announce that fact and not be allowed access to CIC, Adama, Roslin, etc.. As is, he ends up looking like a turncoat with a massive betrayal of trust.

(Minor spoiler)
Nice speech at the end about everyone else getting amnesty. He left out one detail: Why didn't Baltar get amnesty? -- he was off collaborating with the Cylons at the time (why wasn't that charged as treason?)


In the BSG universe, I think showing Roslin taking chamalla strengthens her case. The first time she did it, she had *accurate* vision. In the world we live in, we dismiss people with visions. But her visions came *true*. I'm enough of a realist to acknowledge that the world is the way it is, not the way I'd expect it to be. So, the defense has just shown that Roslin has access (through some unknown process) to accurate information not available to others. In any case, her testimony was about events on New Caprica, when she *wasn't* taking chamalla.


Let's see what actual crimes we, the audience, can pin on Baltar:

Leaking classified information when he allowed Six access to the defense mainframe. Not treason, but enough to get him locked away for a long time. And, given the ultimate impact, I'd give him the maximum sentence possible.

Identifying Sharon as a Cylon, then not telling anyone. That's willfully helping the enemy. Treason

Giving Six a nuke. Treason

Helping the Cylons find the Eye of Jupiter. Treason.

He's GUILTY, even if the prosecution can't prove it.

Sympathetic? Really? Entertaining, yes, but never sympathetic. I understand we look at fictional characters differently than real ones, but I always try to think "if Baltar was someone I had to interact or work with, what would my feeling be?" I'd hate the fracker.

One of my favorite lines in the whole series, one I just can't get out of my head, is when Tigh refers to "Gaius Fracking Baltar". I can't help but hear that every time I think of Baltar.


What's really interesting about this is the HUGE range of opinions about Baltar. We've all seen the same things, including his inner discussions with Six, yet our opinions of him are all over the map. It probably says something really good about the ability of the writers to create a complex character, but it seems to also say something disturbing about some pretty huge differences in how we evaluate people. Would some of us look at, say, a Charles Manson and see a sympathetic character? Would others look at an Abraham Lincoln and only see a unscrupulous tyrant?
Why the huge range of opinions about Baltar?
Wes
Fri, Oct 23, 2015, 12:10pm (UTC -6)
The idiots on NC got what they deserved. There were warned about the consequences of electing baltar, and his entire platform was the thing they were warned about.

They didn't listen. They voted for a fantasy, they have only themselves to blame.
Lupe
Mon, Sep 4, 2017, 9:23pm (UTC -6)
Just a quick thought: a few eps back Jammer (I think) brought up the question of whether, by now, people ought to be aware of Baltar having conversations with an invisible friend. Isn't this the episode where he has a conversation with Caprica, alone in his cell? Given that the cell is presumably still bugged, this ought to have put it beyond doubt.
Edward
Thu, Dec 27, 2018, 11:28pm (UTC -6)
really nice start of the wrap of season 3

bet Dick Wolf was watching when casting for L&O: UK
Ellen
Wed, Jul 3, 2019, 9:09pm (UTC -6)
WTF are these people talking about "Baltar didnt have the guts to stand up to the cylons?" How? With what means? With his secret Jedi mind shit? They were completely surrounded, outnumbered and outgunned. They held a gun to his head. He didnt have a choice. How do they think he could have stood up to him?

Also, are they going after him for cowardice or intent? Cause there is a difference. It cant be both. If Gaius intended to collaborate with the enemy then that makes it a whole different thing. But he couldnt also have been a coward who failed to stand up to them. Failure to stand up means he had no intent. But they are arguing intent. Legally speaking that line of reasoning doesnt make sense. You cant condemn a man for not having the "guts" to stand up against a formidable, brutal enemy and as a the commander in chief, which Gaius was, make a tactical decision that resulted in saving more lives than extinguishing them.

When Roslin testifies that Baltar ordered the execution, why didnt Baltar tell his attorney that he was held at gun point, describe the exact scenario, how hes was sobbing and refusing and how the cylon put a gun to his head and said he'll pull the trigger? Why didnt they subpoena Roslin's journals where she admits that Baltar's government is a puppet one. I really dont get why the defense did not make that case and was instead grappling to find their way out.

Adama admitting that he doesnt think Baltar should even have a trial showed his true colors. These people are hurt and angry and also feeling guilty for having voted for Baltar and pushing to go on this planet in the first place, and instead of taking responsibility and looking at Baltar'a actions from within that context, they are just wanting to throw him under the bus to pay the price they are not. If you ask me, the only cowards in this scenario are the people on that tribunal and everyone who blames Baltar.

I have to point out the irony of Dualla leaving Lee, not because he cheated on her, not because he disrespected her or doesnt love her. No. Because he did his job and asked a perfectly legitimate question of a hostile witness. What an idiot.
Booming
Thu, Jul 4, 2019, 5:12am (UTC -6)
@ Ellen
It is what collaborators always say. I had no choice. I only followed orders. I tried to make the best of a bad situation but what they really do is enjoying a better life than the rest while making it easier for the occupiers to control the population.

Let us not forget that Baltar was the main reason the Cylons could wipe out humanity, then he was responsible for an atomic bomb exploding in the fleet and to top this all of he was responsible for the decision to colonize that frozen rock even though he knew and was warned repeatedly that the Cylons could find them which they did because of that very atom bomb Baltar gave to a Cylon. Plus Adama and Roslin all know this but cannot prove it. So, yeah I can understand why Adama wants him dead.
Timothy
Thu, Jul 4, 2019, 6:07am (UTC -6)
"It is what collaborators always say. I had no choice. I only followed orders. I tried to make the best of a bad situation but what they really do is enjoying a better life than the rest while making it easier for the occupiers to control the population. "

I really don't like that word, "collaborator". Aren't we all collaborators to some extent? When we enjoy a better life than the homeless guy on the street, we collaborate with the system that has taken the land, food and natural resources that rightfully belong to everyone, divided them up and put them in the hands of those deemed more worthy of them. I really don't see any difference. The concentration camp begins with the policeman.
Booming
Thu, Jul 4, 2019, 6:14am (UTC -6)
I guess you never lived under a military occupation. I'm fairly certain that the people in occupied France during WW2 saw it quite differently than you do.
There is a difference between living under an unjust economical system and living under military law, where soldiers can kick you door in at any minute because you have the wrong cousin.
Let us not start a debate about anarchy. That will lead us nowhere.
Ellen
Thu, Jul 4, 2019, 2:50pm (UTC -6)
@Booming:

being a willing participant and accomplice to a genocidal regime is very different from a having a brutal, military force that just annihilated billions of your people occupy your colony and, literally, put a gun to your head and say "sign this/surrender or else". You saw the scene. Baltar had NO CHOICE but to sign the execution orders. I doubt Roslin would have done anything different unless she wanted to eat the bullet.

And when the Cylons arrived, the colonists were also outgunned and outnumbered. Going down with guns blazing and getting everyone killed may be your idea of successful resistance or heroic, but it is not. Gaius saved these people. Had he refused, the cylons would have just ordered rounds of executions and kept doing it until they comply. That is the reality.

Going by your logic, Adama is just as culpable because instead of staying and fighting as you say, he took off leaving those people to die.

Plus, since we are talking about doing bad things: what about all those people who engaged in vigilante justice and flushed people out of airlocks? What about Tigh manipulating one of his people to wear a suicide west and get over 30 others killed? he did what he had to do, and so did Gaius. And actually Gaius got no one killed, unlike Tigh and the vigilante team.

It is like Lee said, people have committed all sorts of crimes and been forgiven. Roslin herself issued a blanket pardon for all collaborators. But somehow that doesnt seem to apply to Baltar. Why? Cause these people are cowards looking for a scapegoat instead of taking responsibility for their own part in this.

Maybe Baltar's idea of settling on Caprica 2 was ill conceived. But then again, the PEOPLE voted for him based on that. No one made them. So why not blame them for their shortsightedness and idiocy? Why just dump it all on Baltar?

And I mean really, I did not see Roslin refusing to leave the ship due to legitimate concerns that cylons would attack. On the contrary, she was making long-term plans like building a cabin etc. Doesnt sound like someone who is scared.

The people you reference who say I was only following orders, i..e Nazis, was very different than being under a military occupation by a hostile power. And even then I want to know who, especially among the lower rungs in nazi germany, could have just "resisted" without being taken out back and shot. Most people cant even stand up to their abusive bosses yet here you are all cavalier about resistance against a brutal military force and think it was oh so easy for Gaius to just say no.

Finally, Baltar unwittingly gave the defense codes to Caprica 6. He was pussy whipped and self absorbed and likely didnt think much of it. But there is no evidence of intent and that matters. He was a useful idiot to the cylons. In fact, it seems like Baltar just makes bad choices and doesnt think things through, like when he gave Gina the warhead because he was Irritated by Roslin's perceived ungratefulness. He didnt give it to her hoping she would use it on the crew. He isnt a cruel man or a sociopath. His actions have to be understood within a context. In fact, he likely wouldnt even have run for president if Roslin hadnt been such an asshole demanding he resign. Baltar has an ego, true, but that doesnt make him the evil monster who deserved to die. Fuck that dictator Adama for even saying that. Lee's speech at the end summarized it all nicely.
Booming
Fri, Jul 5, 2019, 1:28am (UTC -6)
@ Ellen
" Baltar had NO CHOICE but to sign the execution orders. I doubt Roslin would have done anything different unless she wanted to eat the bullet. "
Of course he had a choice. He could have refused. Maybe they would have shoot him. We will never know. Same goes for how Roslin would have reacted which is even more hypothetical because they would have never colonized that planet. Baltar was always a coward.

"And when the Cylons arrived, the colonists were also outgunned and outnumbered. Going down with guns blazing and getting everyone killed may be your idea of successful resistance or heroic, but it is not. Gaius saved these people. Had he refused, the cylons would have just ordered rounds of executions and kept doing it until they comply. That is the reality. "
This is a TV show but alright. Baltar saved nobody but himself, as always. If he had refused and they had actually shot him then what? They would have just found another collaborator.

"Going by your logic, Adama is just as culpable because instead of staying and fighting as you say, he took off leaving those people to die. "
Are we talking about the logic you imagine I have? Because I never said that they should have fought to the death.

"What about Tigh manipulating one of his people to wear a suicide west and get over 30 others killed? he did what he had to do, and so did Gaius. And actually Gaius got no one killed, unlike Tigh and the vigilante team. "
You do understand the concept of terrorism, don't you? That whole suicide bomber sequence was brilliant because back then US Americans thought that suicide bomber was something only crazy Muslim fanatics would do. Turning it around, making the good guys the terrorist willing to do everything was a stroke of genius.
And let's not forget. Baltar is responsible for the Cylons wiping out humanity and so much more.

"Maybe Baltar's idea of settling on Caprica 2 was ill conceived."
You might be onto something here.

"Why just dump it all on Baltar?"
Because he knew that it was wrong and how did Baltar govern before the Cylons arrived? Did he really commit to doing good for the people he lead to this god-forsaken rock? No, he was having drug fueled parties with prostitutes? while not giving a shit at all. That only highlights what a despicable person he is. Not only the Cylon occupation, his whole time in office was a disaster of his own making. Leaders got shot for far less.

"And I mean really, I did not see Roslin refusing to leave the ship due to legitimate concerns that cylons would attack. On the contrary, she was making long-term plans like building a cabin etc. Doesnt sound like someone who is scared."
Why would she stay on board of the Galactica. She is no state official, she isn't military. Why should she have stayed on the Battlestar? She is a teacher. Should she teach algebra to Adama? Counting wall panels?? Good people go where they are needed.

"The people you reference who say I was only following orders, i..e Nazis, was very different than being under a military occupation by a hostile power. " I wasn't talking about German Nazis, I was talking about french collaborators. The French killed more than 10000 collaborators, including many of the officials of Vichy France. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89puration_l%C3%A9gale
So only charging Baltar was actually an act of almost baffling mercy.

"Most people cant even stand up to their abusive bosses yet here you are all cavalier about resistance against a brutal military force and think it was oh so easy for Gaius to just say no." Not to blow my own horn to much but we had a vote back in school about who would resist the longest in case of an evil regime taking over and my classmates voted for me almost unanimously. I'm also a corporal of the reserve. So I do know a little about fighting.

"
Finally, Baltar unwittingly gave the defense codes to Caprica 6. He was pussy whipped and self absorbed and likely didnt think much of it. But there is no evidence of intent and that matters."
Well, not really. If you sell an H bomb to somebody who tells you that he/she will only use it to spread love and understanding but then blows up a big city. Are you innocent? No.
He gave away the codes that left humanity defenseless for money which made the genocide possible. But you are right. His intent wasn't to kill 99,99% of humanity. What a hero!

"he gave Gina the warhead because he was Irritated by Roslin's perceived ungratefulness. He didnt give it to her hoping she would use it on the crew."
Oh, I see. The guy who played a major role in the annihilation of humanity thought that Roslin was ungrateful and therefor knowingly gave a nuclear warhead to a Cylon who *gasp* didn't use it for good?!

"He isnt a cruel man or a sociopath"
Well, he is crazy and before the war he was certainly a narcissist.

"Baltar has an ego, true, but that doesnt make him the evil monster who deserved to die."
- responsible for the death of 99,99 % of humanity
- responsible for the destruction of several ships and thousands of people.
- main collaborator with the Cylons during the occupation which killed another 15% of what was left humanity.

No wonder that Baltar estimated that humanity would go extinct in 18 years.
He was still alive.
And nothing is leading to a quicker end of humanity than Gaius Baltar.
Ellen
Fri, Jul 5, 2019, 8:50pm (UTC -6)
"Of course he had a choice"

--> no he did not! he really did not. We all watched the scene. The cylon wasnt bluffing. he would have shot killed him without batting an eye (I mean they did it with billions of humans already) and then yeah, dragged another human in there to sign. And if he had refused, then on and on. Cylons have no qualms killing humans. In fact, when they arrived they said surrender and we will nuke you.

Dying is not an option. First of all he did say no and refused, he hesitated, but the Cylon was aggressive and he would have killed him. To say he had a choice when the choice meant taking a bullet in your head, is preposterous.
------
"This is a TV show but alright"

--> Umm..yeah it is. But it doesnt mean it needs to be stupid either. The great thing about BSG is that it is trying to realistically depict human action and interaction. To excuse bad plot points by pointing out "this is a TV" is also pretty preposterous. Good grief.

-----------
"Are we talking about the logic you imagine I have? Because I never said that they should have fought to the death."

--> Dont change the goal post. You said Adama and Roslin have every right to want to see him dead since he collaborated etc and I am pointing out if that is the logic then you need to be consistent and also apply it to Adama and demand that he be executed for having left the colonists when the Cylons arrived. But you are not. You are like those people Lee was talking about, willing to forgive all and every transgression EXCEPT for when it comes to Baltar.
--------
"Because he knew that it was wrong and how did Baltar govern before the Cylons arrived? Did he really commit to doing good for the people he lead to this god-forsaken rock? No, he was having drug fueled parties with prostitutes? while not giving a shit at all. That only highlights what a despicable person he is. Not only the Cylon occupation, his whole time in office was a disaster of his own making. Leaders got shot for far less. "

--> yes he is a lousy leader. But 1) that is what the people voted for!!! I mean when you give people the choice to vote for their leaders you have to make room for them voting for the wrong person. Sure Baltar was a shitty leader but again the people voted for him, so they made their bed and 2) IT DOESNT MEAN HE DESERVES TO DIE/BE EXECUTED! Dont you understand that? No one is saying he was a good leader, the point he didnt deserve to be executed. Plus, blame the stupid masses for voting him in. That's on THEM!

And no leaders dont get executed for less. Not in democracies, only in autocratic shitholes.
---------

"Why would she stay on board of the Galactica. She is no state official, she isn't military. Why should she have stayed on the Battlestar? She is a teacher. Should she teach algebra to Adama? Counting wall panels?? Good people go where they are needed."

--> Why would she stay? Gee, I dont know, maybe cause she KNEW, as you claim, that the Cylons were coming and she didnt wanna die? There is plenty she could have done on the ship. I doubt Adama would have ordered her away. But she didnt stay, which begs the question of whether her objection to go based on fear that cylons may attack was ever legit to begin with.
-------------
" I wasn't talking about German Nazis, I was talking about french collaborators. The French killed more than 10000 collaborators"

--> Well then the French were wrong. Plain and simple. You cannot blame anyone for not wanting to die and agreeing to collaborate with someone who holds a gun to their heads or threatens their family.
---------------
"He gave away the codes that left humanity defenseless for money which made the genocide possible. But you are right. His intent wasn't to kill 99,99% of humanity. What a hero!"

--> I didnt say he was a hero. I said it doesnt make him a genocidal monster who had intent. That doesnt mean I think he is a hero. You made it out like he was the architect behind the attacks and did so with intent and glee when in reality he was a useful idiot used by the sex pot cylon. That makes him a tool who is easily manipulated but not a monster. Or hero.
--------------------
"Oh, I see. The guy who played a major role in the annihilation of humanity thought that Roslin was ungrateful and therefor knowingly gave a nuclear warhead to a Cylon who *gasp* didn't use it for good?!"

--> Umm...yeah. Baltar is impulsive, doesnt think things through and makes bad decisions. That doest make his a genocidal murderer who willingly participated in the end of humanity. It sure hell doesnt mean he deserves to be executed.
-------------
"Well, he is crazy and before the war he was certainly a narcissist."

-->> I dont think he is crazy. But he is certainly a narcissist. Which is not the same as the murdery sociopath you make him out to be
--------------
"- responsible for the death of 99,99 % of humanity
- responsible for the destruction of several ships and thousands of people.
- main collaborator with the Cylons during the occupation which killed another 15% of what was left humanity."

--> wrong on all accounts based on the above. Taking stuff out of context is hot a fair way to assess and analyze a situation. Again, he was an unwitting participant to the genocide when he gave away those codes. He didnt think. Intent and context matter, not to you, but to anyone who wants to fairly asses a situation.

And again, he wasnt collaborating with the cylons. HE HAD NO CHOICE!!!

The reason humans would go extinct is not because of Baltar, but because of Adama and Roslin whose solution to every crime is execution. That and their consistently bad decisions that lead to deaths as well as in the end themselves collaborating with the genocidal murderers (oh the fucking irony) who annihilated their race while executing Gaeta and Zarek. The cylons would be better off staying away and just letting Adama and Roslin rule everyone into extinction.
Booming
Sat, Jul 6, 2019, 1:01am (UTC -6)
@ Ellen
I don't know what your fanboy/fangirl obsession with Baltar is but I highly doubt that anybody can cure you of that notion. But it is early and the press is not producing much worth reading so I will answer you one last time.
By the way, I read how you i another thread equate Baltar's fate with structural discrimination of black skinned Americans. WOW. That is all I'm going to say. Just WOW.

"Dying is not an option."
I guess you don't believe in sacrifice, then.

"To excuse bad plot points by pointing out "this is a TV" is also pretty preposterous."
Again you turn your imagination into knowledge. You wrote " That is the reality." I was just pointing out that it isn't because BSG is not a documentary.

" You said Adama and Roslin have every right to want to see him dead since he collaborated..."
Again, I don't know if you lack reading skills or have the amusing ability to turn imagination into knowledge. I only wrote that I can understand that Adama wants to see him dead.

" willing to forgive all and every transgression EXCEPT for when it comes to Baltar."
Under different circumstances more trials probably would have happened but people are rare so just get the main perp and convict him and be done with it.

" Plus, blame the stupid masses for voting him in. That's on THEM!"
I guess you don't understand the difference between direct democracy and representative democracy.
Here.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representative_democracy

"And no leaders dont get executed for less. Not in democracies, only in autocratic shitholes."
Come on. Are you serious?! Read a book for gods sake! After WW2 (and I could certainly find more examples) collaborators were executed in France, Belgium Greece, Norway to name a few.

"But she didnt stay, which begs the question of whether her objection to go based on fear that cylons may attack was ever legit to begin with."
Yes, it was all a ploy to convinces Jesus... I mean Baltar to not go ahead with his election promises. Roslin was lucky that the Cylons actually found them, if not then she would have looked pretty stupid.

" Well then the French were wrong."
I will call France immediately to tell them that!
*phone rings* Hello. France? Yes, it's me. Ahem... Ellen thinks that you shouldn't have executed all those Nazi collaborators... oh yes... ok... no... sure... sure... yes they were traitors...ok... ... but... yeah, I guess.... good point .Ok, Bye.
Sorry. They disagree.

" Umm...yeah. Baltar is impulsive, doesnt think things through and makes bad decisions. That doest make his a genocidal murderer who willingly participated in the end of humanity."
First, it shows that he already collaborated with the Cylons even before the occupation. He helps a Cylon to escape and then provides that very same Cylon with a nuclear warhead which that Cylon uses to kill thousands. With the defense code you can say that he became a traitor just for the money and didn't know that he was giving the codes to the Cylons but here he definitely knew that she was a Cylon and he gave her a weapon of mass destruction. Again, it also shows a pattern of collaboration with the Cylons LONG BEFORE THE OCCUPATION.

" I dont think he is crazy."
Sure, he only has visual and auditory hallucinations but apart from that he is fine.

"Again, he was an unwitting participant to the genocide."
No he wasn't. As explained above. Knowingly giving a nuclear warhead to a Cylon is as far away from unwitting as one can be.
Through the entire show he is exhibiting a pattern of collaboration with the Cylons. Without him Humans would still sip tea in the 12 colonies.

And your last paragraph. ehh... what Humans were executed by Adama and Roslin apart from Gaeta and Zarek who were traitors?

Did you see how I AGAIN went through all of your arguments while you were cherrypicking your way through mine...

I guess it is not a coincidence that your nick here is that of one of the Cylons.
Have a nice one,
Ellen.
Ellen
Sun, Jul 7, 2019, 8:41pm (UTC -6)
@Booming:

look buster I have no fan boy obsession with Blatar. In fact, I actually dont particularly like him as a character. He is weak, he is cowardly, he is shortsighted, he doesnt think things through and is a total narcissist. But I DO have a problem with Adama/Rolsin's authoritarian tendencies and trampling over the rule of law and democratic norms as they see fit and their treatment of Baltar is no different.

Moreover, I did not compare Baltar's situation to that of "structural discrimination of black skinned Americans". The comparison was to demonstrate that regardless of your skintone, if you do not provide those who are released from jail/prison (baltar wasnt even a convicted criminal) with a way they can legally support themselves (such as via education, employment etc) then you basically relegate them permanently to a position where all they can and will do is commit crimes to get by. I stated quite clearly that Baltar becoming a religious nut job was because of Roslin/Adama's move to just kick him to the curb, not provide him with any means to support himself (shelter...) and so they drove him into the arms of those radicals. It was their fault!! They make bad choices, radicalize people and then are dumbfounded when things go bad. Same here.

I dont know if you have a reading comprehension problem of some sort but it is clear from your responses that you give bullshit answers that are rooted in ignorance, half truths and misreading what is said and then act butt-hurt when called out.

But here, let me level with you once again:

"I guess you don't believe in sacrifice, then"
--> No actually i dont. I dont believe in killing anyone for any cause nor do i believe dying for any cause. And in this context, not that it is about me, Baltar taking a bullet in his head would have done NOTHING to change the situation of the people on Caprica 2. Maybe in your mind being a corpse is some romantic glory to seek out and welcome, to most people it isnt. Since, as Roslin admitted in her damn journal, Baltar's government was a puppet one, they would have just installed another one to rubber stamp their execution orders so Baltar dying wasnt going to accomplish a damn thing.
------------------
"That is the reality. I was just pointing out that it isn't because BSG is not a documentary. "

--> good god you really do have a reading comprehension problem. When I said "this is reality" I meant it in the context of the realities at hand FOR THE PEOPLE ON CAPIRCA 2. I didnt mean this was reality as in a documentary. Urgh.
------------------
" I only wrote that I can understand that Adama wants to see him dead."

--> ummm...no, that is not what you said. I mean it appears as though you cant even understand the crap you write. You listed a bunch of things Baltar did out of context and then said "I can see why Adama wants him dead" and I corrected you on all counts. In other words, your assertion that you can understand why Adama wants Baltar dead was based on fiction and misinformation, so your conclusion was wrong, which is what I corrected you on.
--------------
"Under different circumstances more trials probably would have happened but people are rare so just get the main perp and convict him and be done with it."

--> Yeah i can see how an authoritarian aficionado like yourself would think running kangaroo courts was justice but it is not. The point of Lee's speech, and which you keep missing, is that if we can forgive genocide, vigilantism, murder and all sorts of horrid things, to all of a sudden hold Baltar to the highest standards is hypocritical. And here's another thought: not having enough personnel, doesnt mean you run speedy trial and take suspects you dont like out back and shoot.

I can see why you support Roslin and Adama, you have about as much respect for the rule of law and democratic norms as those two. Enough said...
................
"I guess you don't understand the difference between direct democracy and representative democracy. "

--> lol. This wasnt a Representative democracy and even if it was, so the fuck what? The point is, and that is established fact, Baltar ran on colonizing the planet and the public voted for him (directly or via quorum) because THEY WANTED TO SETTLE ON THE PLANET. I mean that was only the whole point of him winning!! Duh. So to then blame him for settling on Capirca 2 and conveniently leaving out the stupid voters is once again hypocritical and taking things out of context to support your bias.

You are truly grasping at straws here with your so-called reasoning, if one can call any of this that. Stop before you keep embarrassing yourself man.
------------
"Come on. Are you serious?! Read a book for gods sake! After WW2 (and I could certainly find more examples) collaborators were executed in France, Belgium Greece, Norway to name a few."

--> we are not talking about collaborators, you said LEADERS and i corrected you.
Again with you changing the goal post and misrepresenting your own words. wow. Plus, we JUST established Roslin issued a blanket pardon for collaborators. So why the hell do they get off the hook but not Baltar? Get outta here....
-----------------

"Roslin was lucky that the Cylons actually found them, if not then she would have looked pretty stupid."

--> really? well then she should be giving Baltar a medal, not wanna execute him...
---------------
"Sorry. They disagree."

--> again not the point. You made it sound like the French executing collaborators was gospel and i pointed out they were wrong executing people who wanted to protect themselves. Has nothing to do with them agreeing with me. What a childish, stupid response.
---------
"Again, it also shows a pattern of collaboration with the Cylons LONG BEFORE THE OCCUPATION."

--> no it does not. It just exposes a self adsorbed, useful idiot who was easily manipulated. I seriously doubt that the destruction of humanity was ever his goal.
Plus I can understand why he helped Gina escape after what they had done to her on the Prometheus.
-----------
"Sure, he only has visual and auditory hallucinations but apart from that he is fine."

--> oh you mean like your kingpin Roslin? lol
-----------
"Through the entire show he is exhibiting a pattern of collaboration with the Cylons. Without him Humans would still sip tea in the 12 colonies. "

--> Man you really havent understood this show. Did you at all pay attention to the part where Adama shot down a cylon craft or something near their territory and thought this may have provoked the war? Furthermore, intent matters. Even in a court of law. I know your hatred for Baltar is big but to seriously think he intended to erase humanity is just not true. Go rewatch the show dude.


Finally, yes you really showed me by comparing me to a cylon....lol

Now run along....
Booming
Mon, Jul 8, 2019, 12:49am (UTC -6)
Thanks Ellen for giving the answer I expected you to give.
This could be a moment for you to rethink your use of the English language.
Using derogatory language is often to the detriment of ones argument.
Admittedly, in Trumps USA it is, I guess, probably encouraged to give into your darker impulses but that doesn't mean you have to.

Anyways, it has been a pleasure. :)
Farewell sweet prince*ss

PS: and please excuse my thin grasp of the English language. It isn't my first language.

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