Sunday’s Episode of BSG wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected and even had a surprise or two that tied it into the main plot. No surprise that it was written by Jane Espenson, of Buffy/Angel credit. I was poking around on Television Without Pity and discovered that the writer of the episode that I hated,”The Woman King” also wrote the one where Saint Helo decides to kill the Infected Cylons in a fit of righteous indignation, thus preventing them being used as biological weapons. The guy seems to think BSG is the Helo show. I wonder if he’s ever sat down and watched any of the previous seasons? It would probably help his future scripts a little to know what show he’s writing for, rather then continuing to turn in episodes form the Universe Next Door, where BSG is just another Star Trek rip off, staring a cardboard cutout wearing Helo’s uniform. As to why Ronald Moore thought that episode was worth shooting rather than just burying is beyond me (which isn’t entirely true. I understand shooting budgets and you have an allotment of episodes that have to delivered by date X and you can’t do an instant rewrite and necessarily get something better. Even Ron Moore admits that the previous two episodes were Black Market week). Listening to the podcast, I get the notion that they had intended for there to be a sub-plot involving the Sagittarans but that it got dropped and added and drooped and added until it eventually backed into the script ass first, which is just clumsy. And I can see what they were shooting for with “Day In The Life,” but it didn’t come off well. which is fine. They can’t all be winners.
Meanwhile, Jane Espenson knows how to float a subplot and make it work. Chief got to play Cesar Chavez, we learned something interesting about Baltar (that may or may not be true– see, ambiguity works!) and it segways into the pending trial and overall thrust of the greater story, about people in horrible situations doing the best and worst they can for reasons that are not always ethical but are always human. Chief got to be a hero, but only after having his family threatened and he never once came off like a petulant super brat like Helo did two episodes back. That’s how to write a show!