I thought the humans, Lee included, were a little slow to catch on to the fact that the Cylons had been infected by a disease. But hey. It was very interesting to watch Lee command the team that visited the infected ship, especially since that team included Athena. So far we haven't really seen Lee in a plot where he has close contact with Cylons, but I'd assumed his feelings towards them were standard to the rest of the military--suspicion, hatred, conviction in their 'otherness'--and this was confirmed in this episode. The fact that he called Athena Sharon first and then Athena suggests that he still thinks of her as Sharon (who shot his father and was revealed as a Cylon). Her status in the team is obviously one that many humans would be uneasy with at this point in time. Although we haven't seen that directly, I was comfortable assuming that. And her 'otherness' was in evidence on the infected ship. Of course it made sense to bring her, but her compassion for the dying Cylons set her apart from the others. she was drawn to the Cylons and you could see the humans being wary around her. And Lee completely freaked out when she went over to the other Eight model.
The contrast between Helo and Lee was very interesting. Both of them have severed as officers very well. Both strive for the objectivity necessary to do their jobs but at times hit a point where they can't continue to follow orders. In the opening scene we saw Helo advocate 'taking no chances' with the live Cylons and Lee advocate holding fire--at the tactical level a reversal of what we later learnt their approaches were at the strategic level.
I found Helo very sympathetic, and while Roslin accused him of not remembering who the enemy was, I don't think it was completely fair. When Lee first asked why keep the Cylons alive, Helo replied 'to interrogate them for evidence'. His response was unemotional--and a good tactical decision. I don't think, under battle circumstances, he is influenced that much by his relationship with Sharon. However, no matter how hard everyone strives for objectivity, individual's personal experiences do influence their decisions on the big matters--as we saw with Helo, Roslin, Adama and Lee in this episode.
Helo is a more vehement spokesperson against genocide than Athena. Athena could have gone to Adama and pleaded but she would never do that--she's made a commitment to Galactica and it's very very important to her. But in order to be with her Helo's had to rationalise things for himself to such an extent that the 'humanity' of the Cylons is not in doubt to him. And therefore to him it is genocide.
Adama also has a more complicated view of the Cylons--he trusts Athena absolutely and he's always been willing to explore the similarity and differences between the two races with open eyes. So I wasn't surprised he handballed the decision on genocide to Roslin. He's fighting a war and he'll fight it until his dying breath, but deciding to wipe the Cylons out completely is a radical move for him and one that he'd find difficult to make on his own. Following orders he can do.
In this episode we saw that the time on New Caprica has toughened Roslin to the Cylons. She hardened against Helo when he brought it up. Though even before New Caprica she may have been more willing to consider genocide. She's always had the survival of the human race as her first and foremost objective, and her one-eyedness in this is matched by Lee's.
Lee makes an exception for Helo's child, but he didn't state how he justified Athena. This led him into direct conflict with Helo, and my sympathies were split. I think Helo's right that the humans would be collectively losing part of their souls if they wiped out the Cylons. And he's also right that the others don't want to say it, don't want to face it, would rather HE carry that burden for them. Adama's silence and later non-investigation implies some comfort with Helo's actions.
Poor Helo though! He must have felt so incredibly alone in arguing that point of view, especially arguing it against the Admiral's son. And I loved Athena's speech--'this Cylon will keep her word even if it means being the last Cylon in the universe'. I also love that although she kept her word herself, she stayed with Helo. His heart, his compassion is his strength. I like that he doesn't define himself as a traitor, even though that's how others will judge him. In his own way, he's serving the human race by protecting its soul. And I'm glad he has Sharon.
OMG! Gaius! Just when I stop hating the little rat he gets tortured. Wouldn't you know it?! It's fascinating to see how his standard lying and bullshitting doesn't wash with the Cylons. And as I expected his brain had to kick into a new gear to get out of the situation. I found the torture itself very hard to watch but was riveted to his projection with Six-in-his-head. And Six obviously still has some feelings for him judging by her squeemishness about the torture.
Gaius's torture was nicely paralleled to the humans' treatment of the infected Cylons--both races are carrying out attrocities on each other now and both display disdain for each other. However, the responses of the tortured were radically different--the Cylon told the truth promptly, whereas Gaius had already lied so much he had to dig out a more complicated manipulation. And a very strange one it was too--I was reminded of knowing the face of god being equated with madness for the Cylons. So fascinating.
- The humans know Gaius is alive and think he's working with them--interesting.
- Roslin telling Lee that 'they may be ready to die but it doesn't mean that one of them won't jump at a second chance' was kind of odd. Shouldn't Lee know that better than anyone?