Friday, July 21, 2006

Six Degrees of Separation
Battlestar Galactica Part 3

In Part one of this story arc we saw how the brilliant scientist, Dr Baltar was conned by the beauty and charm of the humanoid Cylon agent, Number Six. In her masquerade Six made out to be an employee of a rival computer corporation and Baltar slipped her computer secrets from his defense work and this ultimately led to the destruction of most of humanity. Troubled mentally by his fear of anyone discovering his betrayal and the guilt that he felt over his unwitting role in this genocide, Baltar continued to be haunted by visions of Number Six, with whom he conversed often. Then in Part two we saw how Number Six under the name of Ms Shelly Godfrey and masquerading as a human from another ship, betrayed Baltar for unwilling to take up the belief in her God. Based on he accusations that Baltar was the traitor who betrayed the humans, he was put under house arrest until the evidence was evaluated.

A number of interesting interactions between the various characters follow as Baltar wages a lonely battle to prove his innocence. He explores every possible way of trying to get out of this rather uncomfortable jam. In one scene, he calls President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) to tell her that he believes Godfrey may be a Cylon and to plead his innocence. However, due to an overdose on her cancer medication she collapses during the call.

Ms.Godfrey visits Adama and behaving in typical Six fashion, subtly attempts to seduce him, leaning in for a kiss as she tells him how lonely she is. However, Adama doesn't bite and her coming on to him only raises his suspicions of her. Now wary of this stunning stranger the Commander orders covert surveillance on her while her evidence is analyzed. He calls Tigh (played by Michael Hogan).

"Do not, under any circumstances, allow Shelly Godfrey to leave this ship. Put her under surveillance, discretely. I want to know everybody she's talked to and everywhere she's been."

As Gaeta works on enhancing the image, Baltar becomes more and more desperate for news, even following Gaeta into the head (the restroom). He takes the stall next to him, and starts to flatter him. Both stall doors are closed but the cameras keep showing close-ups of their eyes through the slot in the doors.

"I know this is an awkward time, but it occurs to me that I never really told you how invaluable your assistance has been to me the past few weeks," explained Baltar.

Baltar then asks Gaeta in an increasingly desperate whisper how's it going over there referring to the photo enhancement and not his business in his There's a long pause and then Gaeta says he has a few hours to go.

"Has it ever occurred to you that the photograph, the disc itself, could be fake?" asked Baltar.

"I've already authenticated the disc," replied Gaeta.

Baltar then tries to smooth talk Gaeta into letting him spend a few minutes with him in the lab where they are decoding the photo that will prove his guilt or innocence however Gaeta doesn't think that it's a good idea.

"For God's sake, Gaeta, my life is on the line, my reputation is at stake," explains Baltar.

"Yeah, so is mine, Doctor," replied Gaeta.

Godfrey enters and walks into a stall [yes, it's a coed restroom]. Gaeta flushes and leaves quickly, without washing his

Baltar truly confused by thoughts that this can't possibly be the same woman he has been having an affair with, decides to confront her. He leaves his stall and pushes her door open.....

"I didn't plant any bomb, anywhere, at any time, and you know that.....Let's just entertain the notion, just for a moment, that you are not the woman that I see everywhere. You are not Shelly Godfrey either. You're a fake. You're just a copy. Another Cylon copy," Baltar frustratingly says to Godfrey.

"Get. Out," she replied as she shuts the door.

"Stuck a nerve, have I? Which I find rather impossible to believe! You think this is over? This is not over! You have not heard the last," losing his cool and raging one of Battlestar Galactica's most memorable quotes, "All right, that's it! No more Mr nice Gaius!"

A security guard escorts Baltar out of the restroom.

Baltar visits the Commander to charge that Godfrey is actually a Cylon agent. Adama wants to believe Baltar's innocent but is now more conflicted. Baltar's behavior is definitely beyond eccentric, he leaves in a state of high anxiety.

As the time required to enhance the image draws to a close, in desperation Baltar sets off a fire alarm as a distraction and breaks into the lab where Gaeta has been working and attempts a direct (and futile) assault upon the computers processing the photo enhancement. He is horrified when he sees the picture of himself holding explosives on the monitor. He tries to delete the disk, but nothing works, he just can't remove the picture of himself on the monitor.

Adama enters the lab and sees Baltar trying to tamper with the evidence that proves his guilt. Baltar is arrested and thrown into the brig to await his sentencing.

President Roslin visits Baltar in his cell and he initially thinks that she has come to oversee his release but instead, she expresses her disappointment in him. She is uncharacteristically vindictive.......

"I wanna believe you. I wanna believe that I haven't made such a profound error in judgment in trusting you, in asking your advice. But here's where we are, Doctor. If anyone can be a Cylon, and it's hard to tell us apart then we only have one thing left to trust, our instincts, our feelings. And the moment they told me it was your face in the photo I knew I believed it. I believe you were involved in the attack... somehow. I feel it," said President Roslin.

"You'll forgive me, Madam President, if I don't wish to be executed based solely on your gut feeling," replied Baltar.

"May the gods have mercy on your soul," replies President Roslin.

Realising his plight and that he will most certainly be executed as a traitor, Baltar sees his only way out is to do what Six had been urging him to do: give himself over to God's will. He gets down on his knees and starts praying to God to help him out of his predicament, vowing that he accepts Six's God as the one and only God and that he will dedicate his life to God's service if he is freed from the situation. He repeats his prayer several times and suddenly the "real" Number Six appears telling him that everything will be all right; she and God are with him now.

Gaeta then enters the brig and throws Baltar into a wild panic. He is convinced he is about to be summarily executed. While calming Baltar, Gaeta tells him that he is a free man as in fact Godfrey's photographs had proven to be fakes. Baltar's prayers had been answered!

As Baltar is released, Adama learns that Shelly Godfrey had literally vanished, her watchers reporting she turned a corner in a corridor, and when they got to it, she had simply vanished without a trace, making Adama suspect that she was a Cylon spy after all, trying to discredit Baltar for his work on the Cylon Detector.

The President holds a press conference publicly exonerating Baltar in front of the entire fleet making him more powerful than ever.

Baltar quickly slips back into his fantasy world and has passionate sex with Number Six, like he always used to. She points out that he is now next to invincible: he's been through a trial by fire, and no-one would dare accuse him of acting against the Fleet again. She then starts stripping as she climbs the stairs to the bedroom.

Following her, Baltar can't help asking her one question: was Shelly Godfrey ever really here? She responds with a coy smile.


  • This has been a long post....three in fact so getting to the point quickly, I have one question and would love to hear your thoughts. Why was the 7th episode of the TV series of Battlestar Galactica named "Six Degrees of Separation"?


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