>A Measure of Salvation
If you were presented with the option to completely wipe you an enemy that was, for all intents and purposes hell-bent upon your destruction and/or extermination would you do it? Could you do it?
That’s a question that’s been asked by two shows Ron Moore has worked on–first Star Trek: The Next Generation and now Battlestar Galactica.
If you’ll remember, back in season five of TNG, the Enteprise stumbled across a lone Borg, cut off from the collective. He’s taken on board the ship and slowly begins to regain his individual identity. The only problem is–the crew comes up with a computer virus that could be implanted in Hugh. Send him back to the Borg, have it uploaded to their collective consiousness and the universe is free of the Borg. The question becomes though–as Hugh slowly begins to exhibit a personality and an individual identity, does the crew have the right to do this to an enemy that up to this point had been pretty much all about destroying the way of life of the Federation.
The answer there was Picard defied orders and sent Hugh back, hoping that the Borg would catch some of his breaking away from the collective and that would lead a revolution.
And while it’s certainly in keeping with Star Trek‘s much more hopeful view of humanity, close to ten years after it first aired, I’m still not sure it was the right choice. (Esp. in light of how the Borg changed after all this happened, losing a lot of their terror and appeal).
But now we’ve got Battlestar Galactica, essentially asking the same question. Only this time, it goes a bit deeper. Instead of one episode to get to know a member of the enemy who has broken away, we’ve had two and a half years to meet, know and maybe even like Sharon. Yes, she’d survive the virus being sent to the Cylons, but as we hear Helo’s impassioned speech as to why the Cylons should be spared, it’s hard to disagree with him on some levels. At what point do we give up “part of our soul” to win the war? And would the ends justify the means?
And while you can argue that Galactica’s choice was made that much more compelling because it would use a biological weapon, I still see it being the same choice Picard had to make. And while TNG didn’t really delve as deeply into the repreccusions of what Picard choose, I think Galactica will. Helo certainly seems to think that as he stands in his quarters, ready to submit to the police squad he knows must be coming. He may not get arrested for what he did and there may be no concrete way to prove it, but could this come back to haunt him and the fleet? This being BSG, I think it will. Whether it’s Adama stripping him of some command authority or promoting somoene like Tigh over him, I’m not yet sure.
But it will make for compelling, interesting television.
I did like there were no easy answers to this question. I suppose you could argue the ending was a bit of the no harm, no foul way out, but it rang a lot more true than the miracle cure for Laura’s cancer early last year. I am guessing there is little the Cylon-hybrid’s blood can’t do at this point, though it might be interesting to see a storyline where Sharon could have her blood used to save someone and refuses (ala “The Enemy” from TNG‘s season three). Or to see it somehow fall short. I got this profound sense of relief on the part of everyone involved that while they knew they had to possibly commit genocide of the Cylons that it hadn’t worked. While it may be the right thing, I wonder how that decision might have haunted Roslin had it come to pass and gone the way originally planned.
Meanwhile, over on the basestar, things are starting to go badly for Baltar. He’s allowed to live but at what price? And I’ve got to wonder–can this man talk his way out of anything? He seems to find just the right way to get inside the skin of those he needs to manipulate to save himself every time. I wonder if at some point D’Ana will try to create a relationship with him like Caprica Six seems to be spurning and what might do to the Fantasy Six inside his head. And I loved how Fantasy Six helped Baltar turn pain into pleasure. On how many levels is that relationship just dark, twisted and totally watchable? (And not just because of nearly nekkid Six, though that does help).