However, overall I liked it. I liiiiike Helo. I know he's not the world's brightest spark, but he's all heart. And I'm really glad he got a solid episode to himself--I'm pleased for Tahmoh, who did a great job here, I felt.
I liked the style of episode as well--a real problem and issue being explored and overcome, casting light on various characters. Plus I found it easy to empathise with Helo, who apart from looking spectacularly awesome (yes, please pad around half-naked some more!), was facing a bunch of cranky old men closing ranks to protect one of their own. Yuck! The doctor was seriously squirm-enducing and I don't know whether I was more annoyed at Tigh for being a prejudiced (dangerous) old sod or Adama for trusting him over a loyal officer who was open-minded enough not to ignore something that smelled fishy just because of old prejudices. Grr!
I liked the way Dee was used in this plot--it fleshed out her character a little more to hear her talk about her frustrations with her fellow Saggitarons. Seeing her and Lee spending downtime in the bar together was important too--so he's following through on his promise--good! And I loved that he called the Chief into line for offending Dualla, even though she didn't mind too much. Good boy! There was, of course, more than a dash of bravado in the demonstrative PDAing, but that was expected. I liked seeing Lee (and Dee) happy for a change, and Kara the uncomfortable one. (Yay reversal!)
Having Dee fell sick provided a strong climax to the episode and I loved Helo's attempted rescue of her. One thing that did irk me was Athena's 'she's got a husband'. URGH! What does that mean?! Her husband is her caretaker so noone else has to give a frak?! As Helo pointed out, Lee was off flying. Not to mention the fact that Dee was working with Helo AND they're friends! Damn, if I heard one of my colleagues had fallen ill with a potentially deadly virus, I'd rush down in the middle of the night to ensure they were ok too. I wouldn't say 'meh, they've got a boyfriend!' *stabs* That was a stupid line--it made it sound as if there was some jealousy issue when there was no reason for there to be one.
I found the scene where Helo got teased by the pilots a little ... odd. Perhaps I was distracted by the fact that it looked like Lee was checking Helo out. ;-) But everyone was just a little too cheery in that scene. The good-natured ribbing (um, what happened to Lee being pissed with Helo?), Kara slapping Athena cheerily on the arm (er, since when?!) ... it was just a bit too pat for me. But perhaps it was really meant to show that they were more accepted by the pilots now, and we simply haven't had an opportunity to see that before.
Apart from that scene, I found this episode a timely exploration of Helo's position within the fleet. He's swallowed being the reviled outsider for a long time now and he's bitten his tongue and both he and Athena have taken a 'serve anyway' approach. They may not be gaining the respect of others but it doesn't matter--their motivation is internal. Except that's been a real strain on Helo. He used to be 'an insider', whereas being married to a Cylon has cast a long shadow over even his closest friendships. I thought his speech where he broke down and got angry about being the guy that 'crosses the line and everyone knows it' very interesting. I actually strongly wish that we'd got more of a sense of people suspecting him (or Athena) for the deaths of the Cylons in custody. I think that would have worked well in this episode with his paranoia. And then that 'bonus' scene wouldn't have been so out of the blue (maybe they could have even kept it in the ep!). I felt Adama's apology was necessary, but I liked Helo's restraint in the cut that made the episode. That 'bonus' scene makes me really conscious of the loose thread though. But if it was going to happen in show canon it was cut way too short. *frown*
The Caprica Six scene was really interesting. Athena called her 'Six'--interesting! Is that how she's viewing her? As one of the Sixes, not as a differentiated individual? I thought the dialogue between them tread a thin line between being formal and genuinely caring. Getting the insight into Caprica's paranoia through Head!Gaius was really helpful. I'm really drawn in by Caprica's journey, almost more than by Gaius's at the moment.
Some other random thoughts:
- Hera's mobile is very cute!
- The Roslin/Zarek scene was a little odd (and random). It probably belonged in the ep before this one, but got bumped here instead. Foreshadowing?
- Roslin watching Caprica kissing the air was inappropriately creepy/sexual.
Still... *happy sigh* I liiiiiiike Helo!