The Patriot Resource - Battlestar Galactica


Episode Name: The Woman King
Episode Number: 313
Written by: Michael Angeli
Directed by: Michael Rymer
Original Air Date: 2/11/07 on SciFi Channel
Review Posted: 2/17/07

It's been a while since it last happened, but we're treated to "previously" scenes that never aired before. There's one which indicates that Helo is in charge of refugees down on the starboard deck and another in which Gaeta reports the arrival of 51 Sagittarons with the latest batch of refugees. Apparently, a pair of deleted scenes needed to be resurrected to set the stage for this episode.

The episode opens with Helo unable to sleep. Amazing how he and Athena as well as Dee and Lee get spacious quarters to themselves, while Tyrol and Cally not to mention Kara (and Anders when she has a yearning) deal with cramping sleeping arrangements. You'd think that at least some of the officers would get to double up in the larger quarters. We're treated to a gratuitous moment of Athena in her underwear as she holds Hera and stands over Helo who has fallen asleep in a chair.

Later that morning, Athena and Helo walk and talk. They run into Kara, Lee and Racetrack. This is only one of two scenes in which Lee and Kara appear. With Kat getting killed off, one has to assume that Racetrack will get more screen time. Athena and Helo continue to talk and she's concerned about the stress that Helo is showing. He lies and says he's okay and then she plays wife by telling him to check on Hera. The gist of the scene is to establish that Athena and the other pilots have it "good," while Helo is stuck with a lousy job looking after all those refugees.

Next up, Helo greets the arriving refugees. As soon as the first Sagittaron gets feisty, Tigh immediately appears to gruffly enforce Helo's directions much to Helo's chagrin. The next sequence introduces Dr. Robert and Sagittarons Mrs. King, Willie King, Buckminster and his father. Robert is a civilian doctor, who has a friendly past with Tigh. He comes across as a kindly doctor, while the Sagittaron come across as unnecessarily paranoid especially after Willie collapses and Dr. Robert moves in to take the stricken Willie to his clinic.

The Teaser immediately establishes that Tahmoh Penikett will have to carry this episode. Helo immediately interacts with his wife, Lee and Kara, as well as Tigh and several guest characters. Though most of the material is clichéd, Penikett quickly demonstrates that he has as much acting ability that Katee Sackhoff, who has had (with mixed results) to carry several episodes. Even though the early scenes are meant to be uncomfortable for Helo and the audience, this reviewer isn't grating his teeth while watching Helo unlike most of Starbuck's scenes going back to at least Season 2.

Act 1:
In a heavy exposition scene, Dr. Robert names the fictional disease that the Sagittarons have brought onboard. It's established that the disease can be treated within forty-eight hours after the first appearance of symptoms, which means it takes longer than that to kill those infected. However, the disease is easily treatable with medication, which is in short supply. Prejudice appears from almost everyone in the room: Adama, Tigh, Cottle and Robert, over the Sagittarons' religious beliefs that make them refuse medicine. It's made apparent that if the Sagittarons would just take the medication immediately, this outbreak would be over before it started.

Adama does remain neutral enough to not insist that the Sagittarons be immunized over their objections. Because of the shortage of medicine, it is agreed that it will only be administered to those who want it (i.e. anyone but the Sagittarons) after the symptoms actually appear. Even though he's in charge of the refugees, Helo is mainly passive in the scene. His one suggestion about undertaking sanitary steps with the Sagittarons to slow the spread of the disease is shot down by Dr. Robert.

Back down on the hangar deck in Dr. Robert's clinic, Helo notices a strong odor. As Buckminster tends to his sick father nearby, he listens to Dr. Robert and Helo talk. Dr. Robert explains that the Sagittarons are treating their own with something derived from a root. Helo and Dr. Robert's conversation takes a clearly condescending tone from Robert and even a hint of it from Helo. Meanwhile, Buckminster basically leers at them, just as he had when he first arrived with his father in the Teaser.

A Zarek sighting! Can someone explain how he's back to being Vice President? That whole power exchange in "Collaborators" was murky and largely unexplained especially after a political system was developed. Anyway, he rants about the doom and gloom that Baltar's trial will bring. He feels it'll bring civil unrest and suggests martial law. the very thing that he railed about when Tigh did it following the attempted assassination of Adama. There are a couple of tidbits from the scene. Roslin does seem to give some weight to what Zarek has to say. Roslin also sounds like she has something "special" in mind for Baltar's trial, which means it's likely to be a show trial, rather than a fair trial. It's great to see Zarek again and hopefully this means that he'll be back in some role in the season ending arc.

Helo is in his office hearing out the issues of the refugees. One wants the Sagittarons moved anywhere else. A frustrated Helo points out that there is nowhere else to put them. Mrs. King now turns up and accuses Dr. Robert of killing her son and that she'll tell everyone else about what Dr. Robert did. Helo, in a most respectful way, tries to say that Willie died because he needed real medicine (as opposed to the treatments that the paranoid Sagittarons use). Mrs. King immediately shoots down Helo's argument by saying that Willie was sick for only twelve hours. This immediately raises suspicions with Helo and the audience since he was told that the disease takes forty-eight hours to become untreatable.

Continue to Act 2

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