Battlestar Galactica

“The Ties That Bind”

3.5 stars.

Air date: 4/18/2008
Written by Michael Taylor
Directed by Michael Nankin

Review Text

There's a lot going on in "The Ties That Bind," and if there's a unifying theme, it's that friction and dissent in all the storylines seems ready to explode. In some cases the ticking bombs keep ticking for another day. And in other cases they do, indeed, blow up.

In Plot A, we have the Secret Four (actually three, since one is currently off the ship) still trying to come to grips with their discovery. There's a fork in the road, and that fork is whether to resist the road to Cylon-town and continue as a human, or to embrace new discoveries as an opportunity to start from scratch and do what you feel. The seeds of the episode's dark climax are sown right up front with Tyrol and Tory sitting in Joe's Bar and discussing their grappling with this new problem.

Tyrol's marriage is on the rocks (and thrashing upon massive shards of broken glass, for that matter) and he's approaching his Cylon problem like a man who has learned he has a secret illness about which he can discuss only with members of a support group sharing that illness. Tory, meanwhile, seems to approach Cylon-hood as a newfound gift: Hey, now I can throw away all the crap that used to be my life and start again as something else. Tyrol's take on the matter is just the opposite, and very honest and simple in its Tyrol-ness: "I don't do well with change." Some of us don't.

What I love about the fact that these people are Cylons is that it's treated in terms of the human condition. It's not simply a plot element; it's a personal crisis and the story is about how to live with it. Like I said in my "Six of One" review that I posted last week (har, har), it's like a psychological condition because it has no other (known, as of yet) symptom other than the fact that some people might be willing to kill you for having it.

Cally sees Tory and Tyrol together and assumes they're having an affair, which has a cascading effect of suspicions and accusations, climaxing with her finding a note (left by Tigh, about where the Secret Three are to meet), which she follows to Weapons Locker 1701D (a cute touch worth a grin) and hears the conversation that confirms not her worst fear, but something far worse — that her husband is a Cylon, and her child is thus ... something.

In Plot B we have the Demetrius, a ship helmed by Kara and supplied the oh-so-simple mission of "Find Earth." Kara's role as commander seems to consist mostly of locking herself in her quarters and painting dreamlike images on the walls in a desperate attempt to remember where Earth might be, if in fact she actually was there. The ship (whose crew includes such notables as Helo, Anders, Gaeta, and Seelix) is brewing with tension, as multiple malcontents grumble aloud their doubts concerning this dubious mission and its even more dubious commander. This is gonna be a problem.

And you thought Kara and Anders had a dysfunctional, volatile relationship before she died. Kara pretty much tells him that their marriage is a joke (which was never exactly a secret), before then telling him that "I just want to frak," which they do, angrily. So to recap: He's a Cylon, which she doesn't know. And she's back from the dead and now experiences life like a disconnected, out-of-body dream. Sex must sure be interesting, though perhaps not very fun. Their feelings, whatever they may be, are helplessly confused and complicated by not only their present situations, but their messy history.

In plot C, we have governmental politics brought back to the forefront in a way not seen for quite some time, and perhaps not with quite this overall feeling/tone since the first season. It begins with Roslin forced to field questions about the Demetrius, which she has to downplay; the whole situation has put her and Adama at slight odds, even though Adama still reads to Roslin as she lies in her hospital bed. (What a great, complex relationship these two have.)

I like that the series is gearing the political machinations back up, and thrusting Lee right into the middle of it feels like the right choice. Lee is installed to the Quorum, and we've got VP Zarek back in the mix giving advice to Lee that may be motivated by Zarek's own agenda. This should prove to be an interesting dynamic. Right off the bat, Zarek is sounding the alarm about Roslin and her increasing secrecy in conducting government under the label "classified," and he urges Lee to push back against it where appropriate.

Push back Lee does, but perhaps not in the way Zarek expected: In the list of curious secret executive orders, Lee brings up "Executive Order 112," which I believe is the order Zarek gave (and Roslin did not know about, and vehemently disagreed with when she found out) in "Collaborators" to enact secret tribunals to dispatch with the New Caprica traitors. Lee could be a thorn in everyone's side here, which might not be what Zarek had in mind. Interesting how this particular instance backfires on Zarek.

In plot D, we have the Cylons and their divisions. Dissent among the Cylons is still split down the middle following Six's violently bold statement at the end of "Six of One." Cavil reluctantly agrees to negotiate, saying violence is not the answer. Meanwhile, the Centurions want to hear the word "please" when they're ordered around. Cavil warns of the can of worms Six has opened, and Six says she wants the D'Annas unboxed to make the deciding vote over whether to seek out the Final Five. As a footnote in all this, Boomer is the lone Eight to stand apart from her model.

This aspect of the episode gets perhaps the shortest shrift, but that's okay. It does what it needs to, culminating in the reveal of a ruthless deception by Cavil as he initially seems to acquiesce to Six and unite the splintered Cylon fleet, only to lure them into a trap with no resurrection ships and open fire on them. Six seems blindsided: "They're really trying to kill us!" This move constitutes a game-changer in the series' factional makeup. Here we see a Cylon civil war with the Colonials relegated (temporarily, at least) to the sidelines.

It's perhaps a blessing that Plot E, Baltar's Religious Cult, is kept off-screen for the hour. In a story so jam-packed with goings-on, I doubt another storyline could've been sustained.

What will be remembered most about "The Ties That Bind" is how Cally's story ends with dark, tragic consequences. As I said, the opening scene sets the stage, and the closing passage writes the inevitable (in retrospect) conclusion. Cally is aghast at learning the truth about Tyrol, and it leads her to the brink of flushing herself and her half-Cylon baby out an airlock. The one who steps in and stops her is Tory, and what happens between them is interesting because of how telling it really is.

The story approaches this problem from the personalities and psychologies of the characters: Cally as a hopelessly distraught woman who had already reached the end of her rope; Tory as a born-again opportunist who now feels she can write herself a license to do whatever she can get away with. Cally can't see beyond her own invectives of Cylon skin-jobs who are the enemy, even if her husband is one of them. And Tory talks Cally down from suicide just long enough to get her hands on Cally's son and then flush Cally out the airlock anyway.

The episode's most intriguing line is Tory's, when she assures Cally, "We're not evil." Perhaps not. But Tory does commit a clearly evil act. The point here, is that it's not "a Cylon" that murders Cally. It's Tory, a woman with free will, who turns a corner and makes a decision because she has this new knowledge that she is a Cylon, and that knowledge itself allows her to commit evil. It's a fascinating turn of events. Would Tory have done what she did if she didn't know she was a Cylon? No. But I suspect she would've been just as capable of it. It may be that the knowledge of being a Cylon will simply reveal to the Secret Four what their true colors always were.

Footnote: I stopped watching Sci Fi's ridiculously spoiler-prone trailers after the one for "The Ties That Bind," which basically showed Tory airlocking Cally. I understand the need to market your show, but if you give away the shock ending to your upcoming episode, you've clearly crossed the line.

Previous episode: Six of One
Next episode: Escape Velocity

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Comment Section

57 comments on this post

    Yay! New review! And better than ever. Great to see you back Jammer.

    Excellent review. Agree 100%

    I stopped watching the previews after the end of Crossroads part II, which had Tyrol saying "so it's true. We're Cylons." And given who was acting strange in part 1, it wasn't hard to figure out who "we" was. You never, ever, give away the bombshell of a cliffhanger like that!

    "Like I said in my "Six of One" review that I posted last week (har, har)"

    LOL. Love your style, Jammer. Great review!

    Let's hope you can get the ball rolling now. I'm eager to hear your take on the rest of the season.

    Yay! New Reviews! I'm in complete agreement regarding Tory, and how their using the cylon revelation as a personal issue/challenge to each character.

    Kick ass review, jammer. Looking forward to more, as they always give me lots to think about.

    Wait, I think I'm on the wrong site. I'm looking for the one that endlessly reviews Six of One?

    Sad thing is its been so long since I watched this ep, that I don't know if I agree with the review or not, except in its broadest points.

    Yay, a new review. Reading your stuff was the only thing that kept me half-way paying attention to "Enterprise" back in the day, Jammer. (I love BSG and pay attention to it anyway, which makes me even more eager to read your take on it.) This was one of my favorite season 4 episodes, dark and frakked up as it was. The end to Cally's story is so terrible yet so right, given her character's journey throughout the series.

    Yes, an excellent episode - intense, character-driven, but also moving the plot forward.

    Some time ago, I watched the whole BSG on TV, one episode per week. Recently, I watched it again, but in a quick succession - even several episodes a day. Interesting how the show feels different when you watch it that way - better than before. I guess, when a show is so heavily serialised as this one is, waiting a whole week for just 40 minutes of content can feel very frustrating at times, giving the feeling, at least to me, that not enough is going on. But, watching it as you should, as a one big novel, or a series of novels, the impression is fantastic.

    Good review. I have to say there was one thing in this episode that kept pulling me out of it - that baby crying. Ugh. ENOUGH! Look, I am a father of two and I also have two step-children, and I love babies, but that constant annoyed me and made me think several times, "I wish the director had done something to stop the crying." I know there were a lot of people who disliked "All Along the Watchtower" and felt it broke the fourth wall (for the record, it didn't bother me and I actually really liked it) - but damn, that screaming, I finally yelled, "SHUT THAT FRAKING KID UP!" (yeah, I really said that) at my computer.
    Maybe a minor complaint about a series I have come to really love, but I stand by it. :-)
    Have a great Thanksgiving everyone, I mean it (my second in a row here in Iraq and third in four years! Whooo Hooo!) and please be safe.

    Great review, I really enjoy reading your stuff. I hope you can get caught up in time for the last ten episodes.

    Personally, I don't think Tory is like the other "three." Tyrol, Tigh and Anders have all gone through lots of on-screen turmoil. I haven't seen much from Tory, and what I have seen seemed like an act, to convince the other she was "as messed up as they were." Airlocking Cally just confirms it for me. I think Tory has known all along what she was, and is just playing the other 3...

    Thanks for the new review, Jammer. I know overcoming the inertia of your reviewing hiatus was tough. I hope you enjoy writing them as much as we enjoy reading.

    Hurrah! Finally a new review, and one so well written in keeping with the standard you have already established. Great to see you back.

    In Tori's defense, she worked side by side with a tough as nails, do what it takes President. Surely some of that rubbed off on her (or she had those traits in the first place, which is why Rosalin employed her). That same President has made a hobby of spacing Cylons, so Tori had every reason to fear discovery. And let's not forget that Tori spaced a woman who had shot a former friend-turned Cylon, a woman who was moments before trying to kill her own child for its Cylon heritage. Yet somehow we all sympathize more with Cali than Tori.

    Great to see a new review... It's been a while since the last one, but the show's taking its sweet time to re-appear, so the new reviews will help as a refresher for when BSG FINALLY comes back.

    Well, it's officially been 2 weeks since the last review. So much for 1 review a week!

    We just bust your ass because we love what you do and want more. You do what you got to, and we'll be hear when you're ready with the goods.

    "I said an "average" of 1 a week. Besides, just gimme a break."

    Well, you have to admit that your 'breaks' do tend to be quite long ;-) Just kidding. Take your time. This site rocks. I can't believe I've been reading it since Voyager. Time sure flies.

    I'm very much looking forward to your review of Escape Velocity.

    I frakkin' loved it. So fascinating on every level.

    But I can see how you could give it a mixed review.

    Great episode.thought it odd however that Cally
    would hand over her baby to a cylon. small complaint really.Watching the show on dvd at the moment, works better that way.Hope they dont mess up the "final" season.

    That's kind of annoying.

    You won't need to count to 5. The next review will be posted in hours, not days.

    Tick Tock...

    Tick Tock...

    Tick Tock...

    JK man, take your time, I'm patient! Good stuff is worth waiting for.

    Good review for a very good episode. I personally found it to be one of the strongest of the season, and probably among the top 15 or so of the entire series. There's something about the way it (and also Six of One) handled so many different storylines so adeptly and keeping the perfect amount of focus on each without making a clutter. This episode reminded me a lot of the episode "Resistance" from season 2 in that respect. Very tight writing, in my opinion.

    Cally's death left a real sour taste in my mouth, mostly because i expected it, that death of characters seems to be the 'easy' way to end conflict, and what i percieved as a lack of consequences in other eps. but it's interesting thinking about it many months later, it's pretty much the only way the story could have gone with a character as duplicitous as tory, and sends tyrol down a dark path for the rest of the season. i only hope there is some resolution down the line.

    Hey Jammer, a good review for a great episode, but ... I think there's half a star missing, at least for me it's a safe 4. The last few minutes with Cally were on par with the series' greatest moments (like Adama turning against Cain in Pegasus) ... for me, there was no single bad moment in this episode...

    The only thing I could criticise is the fact that two of my favorite side characters (Cally and Tory) are no more ... (well, and the stupid idea of wasting the crews most capable officers on a flying bucket)

    I never liked Cally, her mousy face, her impulsiveness. And I really hated her for killing Boomer (which let to the end Cylons' Plan #1 and launched Plans #2 and #3).
    Still, over the last 2 seasons, writers made us like Cally somewhat more. And, she really didn't deserve to die this episode. But, I guess, with the entire human race wiped out "deserve" doesn't mean much.

    I really liked Cally throughout the show, which makes her descent into what she becomes all the more disturbing. She was this innocent girl in the miniseries but the war and the baby degraded her spirit and made her lose hope. This episode was powerful, but really disconcerting.

    This was a good one. It made me squirm so many times, and when you are squirming, the director is doing his job!

    Tory is easily the most "cylon" of the 4. And because of that I knew what was going to happen as soon as she entered the Airlock. It is logical. The cylons are programmed to protect hybrids, and if Cally lived, she would out the 3 known cylons to her. Killing Cally and saving the baby was the only logical way of going about it. I also wonder if she was aware of it? the same way Boomer was not really aware of shooting Adama back in season 1. Tory had some "instinct" the child was in danger.

    Overall, one helluva episode.

    Sorry, I don't buy it. Cally's untimely demise in this episode reminded me of Kat's death in "The Passage". Though I must say I never really bought her character since she would fall in love with the guy who beat her to a pulp (regardless of the circumstances). And what was the point of the scene with Cottle that implies she's been taking opium? Did the writers really think that finding out her husband was a CYLON wouldn't be traumatic enough on its own? That she needed to be a drug addict too? And then, she is actually convinced by Tory to give up her baby?

    On the flipside, we've got a Cylon Civil War! I've been waiting for this since "Downloaded". In fact, season 3 seems more and more like an almost-pointless interlude now. More than ever this season, I'm enjoying the Cylon storylines a lot more than the Colonial storylines.

    One last point:
    "Lee brings up "Executive Order 112," which I believe is the order Zarek gave (and Roslin did not know about, and vehemently disagreed with when she found out) in "Collaborators" to enact secret tribunals to dispatch with the New Caprica traitors."

    Are you absoloutely sure about that? I didn't get that impression at all. It sounded more like a Bill that had not been passed yet. If Lee has his hands on a copy of the order, I'm sure there's a date on it, so he would know if it had been passed while Zarek was still president. This seems like another Bill entirely.

    Oh, and boy are the Final Five stupid. The first rule of a secret meeting is that you don't write its location on a piece of paper that can easily be found. You tell everyone in person, or at the very least in code. Did they unconsciously want someone to find out about them?

    This was a good show; one thing that jarred was the Kara angle. I mean, she's obviously off her rocker and the circumstances of her disappearance and subsequent reappearance were never investigated or answered satisfactorily. That given, to then provide her with her own vessel AND crew comprising some of the most important people of Galactica) is just plain stupid and self-destructive. Adama really dropped the ball on that one, putting his feeling and premonitions ahead of an objective assessment of the situation.

    I'm an excited as Nic to witness the nascence of a cylon civil war. It's been a while coming, but it might be just what the show needs to pick up after a very torpid third Season.

    I liked the ambient voice rendition of Tyrol's when he returned to Cally after her discovery. She was in a state of very surreal shock, and Tyrol's disembodied voice plus the eerie and somewhat decadent musical score depicted that impeccably.

    Now, Cally I never warmed up to. She was always pretty much a non-entity, plus--someone mentioned it already--I could never comprehend how the hell she (or anyone!) could ever shack up with a guy who beat the holy smokes out of her, regardless of how it happened. I also did not get her assaulting Tyrol and then automaton-like meandering the halls of Galactica toward an airlock, instead of hauling ass to Adama.

    Really glad to see a semblance of "old" B.S.G. that I knew and liked slowly returning.

    I was at my "dumb bimbo" limit by the end of this episode. What with Kara wasting everyone's time with her bullshit, and Cally deciding to kill her own kid rather than, oh, I dunno, telling Adama about the meeting she witnessed?

    And don't get me started on Roslin; it never fails to enrage me when she gets caught (usually by Lee) trying to pull a fast one, and then has the nerve to give him that "how dare you, sir?" look. Listen, bitch; stop trying to pull all this devious shit and you won't have to be humiliated when you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

    If I was a woman, I'd be totally offended by these writers' insistence on making every female a blowhard, a hypocrite, a bitch, or some combination thereof. As it is, I'm just offended by the nonstop insulting of my intelligence in expecting me to buy into it all. But, then, this show makes less and less sense all around with each passing episode, so...

    The last likable character on the show at this point is Baltar. I've liked his tragic, messed up tale right from the beginning, and now more than ever, given his antics of late.

    My first pointless comment: Why'd it take until her very last appearance for Cally to have a decent hairstyle?

    My second: i really don't get all the whining about the timeliness of these reviews. It's not like it's your horoscope and you've really got to know right away. Geez.

    @joshiah: "the baby degraded her spirit and made her lose hope" i shouldn't laugh but that sounds really funny to me.

    @nic: "Did the writers really think that finding out her husband was a CYLON wouldn't be traumatic enough on its own? That she needed to be a drug addict too?" I completely agree. I also agree somewhat with Nic's comment about Season 3. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a pointless interlude but the middle of that season was a muddle. Some of those stand alone episodes bogged down the momentum and some of the story arcs didn't flesh out as I've liked, but you can't satisfy everyone, right? That said I reluctantly began watching BSG and have been hooked pretty solid. It hasn't gone off the rails enough for me to give it up. In that regard I'd compare it to the Sopranos. I know many will balk, but Sopranos was the same way - a bit inconsistent and every season there'd be a good chunk of episodes that didn't meet expectations only to be followed by some amazing writing/acting/storylines and when all was said and done, still head and shoulders above most tv fare.

    @nic again: "Oh, and boy are the Final Five stupid. The first rule of a secret meeting is that you don't write its location on a piece of paper that can easily be found." Seriously.
    And I hate Tory. I always have. She has been rather cylon-ish before we or she even knew it. And Six becomes less and less the cylon we expect. Hurrah! I'm liking this switcheroo.

    Michael: I don't think it was so grievous to give Kara her own ship, but the crew selection doesn't make any sense. Supposedly some were volunteers, but Gaeta, for example? He surely didn't volunteer, and i don't know why Adama would assign him. I don't buy it.

    @Ryan: "If I was a woman, I'd be totally offended by these writers' insistence on making every female a blowhard, a hypocrite, a bitch, or some combination thereof." Whoa, Brother. Your panties are on way too tight on that one.

    I don't know if i agree that tory changed that much. She was pretty amoral to begin with - remember, she is the one who rigged the election. She somehow got promoted as a political fixer when billy died, and while we don't have her backstory she sure didn't seem to be there because she was an idealist. It's a small leap that she could kill when her own life was threatened, as it was here.

    This was a great episode, even though it made me hate Tory. She turned into one crazy bitch after embracing her Cylon-ness! I guess it makes sense that not all of the Final Five will want to cling to their humanity as Tigh, Tyrol, and Anders do.

    I always disliked Cally (for reasons that previous commenters have already listed) and I still disliked her in this episode, and yet I also felt sorry for her. Why didn't she go to Adama with what she found out? I can only guess that she no longer trusted anyone - not even Adama. After all, Tigh and Tyrol were the two resistance leaders on New Caprica, and she probably trusted them more than Adama. Then she finds out that the two most anti-Cylon men she knows are Cylons themselves! That means that anyone - even Adama - might be a Cylon.

    The Starbuck storyline is as frustrating as it was upon first viewing. She annoys the hell out of me sometimes. Others have already noted that it's odd that Adama sent so many important officers with her. I was specifically surprised that both Helo and Athena were on board. Come on, there is no way Athena would leave Hera alone on Galactica, knowing that if the Demetrius was lost or destroyed, Hera would be orphaned!

    One final observation - it was ironic that Boomer was feeling guilty for helping the Cavills destroy her own line (her sisters, the Eights). It's ironic because Athena similarly has sided with the humans against the Cylons and has opted to help them destroy her own race. The Eights share this common trait - their willingness to "go rogue" against their own kind.

    I just want to point out that Adama clearly states that only some of the crew are volunteers. I'm sure Helo volunteered and Athena went to be with him. Gæta was no doubt drafted.

    Wow. If the rest of S4 is as good as these early episodes, it's a great return to form for the show. The end of this episode was gut wrenching.

    Cally has always been one of my favorite characters and I don't know why. I couldn't help a half tear at the way she went out and the thought of how she must have been feeling.

    And honestly I was convinced shed be saved by tyrol or something ntil the moment the airlock door opened.

    The ending was really terrifying for me to watch. The potential of Nicky or her mother dying was just tough, and Cally did end up dying. It's not that I really liked Cally, but it's the fact that Nicky lost her mom. Watching a baby grow to a toddler is one of the most amazing times that parents' can have, and it's so disheartening to see that family destroyed like that.
    I propose that others give Starbuck some slack. Her messed up relationship with her mom and then the Leoben mind frakking would scar anyone. Plus now she has the weight of the entire world on her shoulder knowing that she is the only one who could find earth and no one really believes her or can help her. I mean what else could she do? I assume that her painting the nebula was a way for her to try to connect with that feeling she has about earth to aid in its location. Starbuck deserves a Kit Kat break (I should've used that one for when Kat was still alive).

    Great post and comments. My take;

    Tory: Tory is not acting out a program. Just like Saul and Tyro, aren't. They are individuals. They have no program. Saul is a loyal soldier. Tory is opportunistic, amoral and murdering was done in "self-defense." Learning she is a Cylon, just allowed her to fully express her sociopath nature. And it was done in "self-defense."

    Cally: Cally was alway a place-holder more than a character. If anything, she was the victim of poor paling on the writers part. Think about it: Hera is the Special One, right? Well, Hera ain't so special if Nik is around. So, I guess Nik's gotta bit it too.

    Nice Destiny they got going there....

    Civil War: First, AWESOME! Second, how dumb is Six? If you're gonna play power politics, you got to think. Totally walked right into it.

    You're enraged by Roslin, you want her to "stop trying to pull all this devious shit...." but Baltar is the only likeable character left? Now there's a character who's always on the up-and-up.....

    Roslin clearly admits that Order 112 is draft legislation she's working on, not some hold-over from Zarek.

    Kara -
    Maybe people should cut her some slack, she's always been messed up, particularly since New Cap. But, sorry, she's the CO. She doesn't have the luxury of being messed up. She acts like this, sooner or later she'll have a mutiny.

    I *liked* Cally. No, she wasn't a main character, she was just sketched in, not fully developed, but she was the young innocent who just signed up to get dental school paid for. And she did her job. Better than many.

    Cottle did not imply she was taking opium. She was taking anti-depressants, and he (in his usual acerbic way) wanted her to stop taking the meds, go home, and get some sleep.

    Clearly, she should have gone to Adama. But, she's totally sleep deprived, her life has just gone from a nightmare to her worst nightmare, and she's totally strung-out. Had Tory not shown up, she probably would have calmed down and gone to Adama. (Oh, here's a deus-ex-machina -- how did TORY find her -- how did Tory even know to look for her? Jammer calls this the inevitable conclusion and I don't disagree -- but it's a plot hole you could fly Colonial One through....)

    I was really sorry to see her airlocked.... and I was feeling neutral about Tory until this.... now I'm ready to see her roasted over a slow fire...

    I really hated Cally. Tyrol's description of her as having vacant eyes and smelling like boiled cabbage is apt and made me laugh out loud. She just appears quiet and innocent but behind that mousy exterior is a mean, annoying stinkin' little rodent. I was actually glad to see her go. I hated how she killed Boomer and then got high fives. Watching her be flushed out that airlock was the highlight of this episode.

    10 years later and we still come to this blog as the go to review

    So here's the thing with Roslin: if she wants to be a tyrant, then fucking BE A TYRANT. Declare martial law, have your boyfriend put boots on the ground, dissolve the quorum, take dissidents out back to shoot and go full on dictator. I mean she even said "I would love to be able to control the press." Ok, fine. Fair enough. You hate Democracy, you find having to explain yourself to the people you are in charge of governing is a waste of your time, you wanna be able to have secret tribunals and a shadow government operating outside the normal process, you want to keep stuff from your people, then MAKE IT SO.

    The fact that she is operating under the cloak of Democracy and democratic norms pretending to give a shit about the quorum and all that makes it all worse and keeps exposing her as the autocrat she really is. Now I dont think she is power-hungry. I think she really thinks times require a different form of governance - not a democratic one for sure. And if that is the case, then she needs to go with that. If she doesnt, then it's cause she knows she cant get away with it, which means that she needs to then stop being an autocrat and embrace this whole democracy and transparency business instead of repeatedly getting caught with her hands in the cookie jar and then feigning outrage at whoever exposes her.

    Person above complaining about the crying baby. Yes it is irritating but I think it's important for us to see and hear the bawling baby as imagine how Cally must feel cooped up with a bawling infant all day/night long. She's getting very little sleep plus is doped up on whatever anti-depressants Cottle has given her. So she isn't really in her right mind, discovering the truth about Tyrol tipped her over the edge. Very handy for Tory as Cally's going out the airlock will make sense as the actions of a suicidal woman.

    Oh and what would hurt Tyrol the most - taking the baby with her. I'm not sure if she was taking the baby with her because he's half Cylon or to punish Tyrol. I know she isn't in her 'right mind' in this episode but I never liked the Cally character.

    Can't say I was sorry to see Cally go. Her character was really written into a corner -- an annoying, whiny one. Killing her off removed some of the dead weight. Seeing her die was only shocking because of how it was carried out, and how carefully Tory deceived her. On its face, it looks like Cylon mastery over psychology, but because Tory is unlike the other Cylon models we've seen, one can only conclude that it was free will, and not devious programming, that allowed her to commit such an act.

    The Cylon civil war's opening salvo of an attack on the Twos, Sixes and Eights, committing them to the "true death", was utterly horrifying. To me that had the biggest impact in the episode, even though it had some of the shortest screen time. Cavil really is a huge problem. He blames the Sixes for instigating it, but really it was the Cavils that did... and the whole reason for that will be revealed later.

    I'm not sure why the four secret cylons need to keep meeting. I guess it's a support group? Seems like they're just asking to be discovered by slinking around all the time.

    Starbuck sure is a dick to Anders, but I suppose he's a sucker for punishment.

    Cally, Cally, Cally - you think maybe you could, I don't know, relay some vital information you just found out about? Why are you going straight to the airlock? Does your brain think Adama and the rest of the crew are just going to force you to stay married to Tyrol? Why would you want to murder your kid along with your own suicide? "I won't let you have him!" [her son] Okay, well, maybe after one more minute I'll just willingly hand him over.

    Shows tend to have a couple of parallels in each episode, and clearly the one here was that someone does a ridiculous flip, either from the prior episode or just the prior minute. Caprica 6, how were you not the least bit suspicious of Cavill's sudden turn? The guy just suddenly caves on pretty much every single demand and you don't find that even a little sus?

    BSG is really taking a turn for the dark, depressing, nihilistic here -- it's not pleasant, not particularly what I want to see, but it is intelligent, intriguing, and compelling from an objective point of view. Lot of subplots in this episode, but overall it's a step above the prior 2 episodes.

    I liked Jammer's review for "Six of One" and what I totally feel as well here:

    "Personally, I'm beginning to think that being a Cylon has reached the point that it might as well be a psychological condition, because it's about what you think you are and whether you might act on impulses outside your control. It's less and less so about whether you are a "machine," because at a certain point, what's the difference between a perfect biological machine with thoughts and feelings, and a human being? Sure, Cylons can be "programmed," but can't people be brainwashed? What, honestly, at the end of the day, is the difference?"

    I think this is at the heart of this episode with Tory mainly, but also Tyrol to a much lesser extent. Cally has been to hell and back with Tyrol -- she's pretty messed up.

    Tory talks to Tyrol about all these new sensations. So I think Tory is basically a soulless fiend - she deceives Cally and then blows her out the airlock as she knows Cally has found out her, Tyrol, and Tigh are skin jobs.

    I liked this Cylon civil war here with Dean Stockwell pulling a fast one on #6 and #8 -- he's pretty deceptive himself in agreeing to their terms and luring their baseships for reviving the Lucy Lawless model. So #6 wants to unite all the 12 models once and for all, but Stockwell doesn't want to think of the final 5 models. His view is the Cylons have no souls and are machines. But Stockwell did owe #6 some form of revenge...

    Kara being crazy on the Demetrius is nothing special but there's one moment I thought was cool when she talked about sort of an out-of-body experience and Anders knew what she meant.

    Tom Zarek is back and he has an important role to play with Lee now in government -- liked how he points out Roslin's authoritarian streak and how he wants Lee to push Roslin on transparency, democracy. But I also like how Roslin handles these situations -- not getting ruffled and like a seasoned politician.

    3 stars for "The Ties That Bind" -- there's a lot of meaty, good stuff here in all the subplots but it's mostly pretty dark. Tory has become quite a character from just being Roslin's aide. But if I can piece together anything of these 4 new skin jobs (mostly based on Tory) it might be that they can be amoral sociopaths at the flick of a switch while mostly appearing to function normally. Now S4 has some serious threads to follow.

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