It’s been six months since the final episode of the first half of the final season of Battlestar Galactica. Three weeks remain until the first episode of the second half of the final season. In the meantime, we have Battlestar Galactica: The Face of the Enemy, ten webisodes written by Seamus Kevin Fahey and Jane Espenson, marking the first new BSG material since June 13, 2008. As of this writing, only the first three parts have streamed (via the Sci Fi Channel website and, thankfully, Hulu). Part four is due today.
There already are a couple spoilers worth dispensing with, both for the end of the first half of the season and for the start of the second half to come. You’ve been warned. [Ed note: He’s serious, there are some general BSG plot spoilers so be careful.]
The Face of the Enemy flatly indicates that the devastated planet at the end of Revelations indeed was Earth. What’s more, since Espenson has said that the webisodes occur within the events of the next actual Battlestar Galactica episode, it’s clear that the fleet does not stay at Earth for very long.
But those are just incidental artifacts of when the events depicted in the webisodes happen to occur. Important, in the larger scheme. But what about the events of the webisodes themselves?
The Face of the Enemy is a murder mystery. Six people, including Lieutenant Felix Gaeta (Alessandro Juliani) and two Eights, are trapped in a raptor that’s been separated from the rest of the fleet after a jump. By the end of Webisode #3, one of the six is dead. To complicate the situation, Gaeta discovers that he already knows one of Eights, a revelation which sets up a second mystery: Why was Gaeta, as shown by the briefest of flashbacks, apparently helping this Eight back during the Cylon occupation of New Caprica?
Remember: After the escape from New Caprica, Gaeta almost was executed by a secret tribunal for collaborating with the Cylons, only to have Chief Tyrol realize that Gaeta had been feeding information to the resistance. The new flashback clearly is meant to make us wonder if Gaeta really was a collaborator after all.
Espenson was responsible for this season’s episode “The Hub,” one of the best things the show has ever done. I’m less familiar with Fahey, but Espenson’s strength lies in her ability to make plot and character inseparable, an approach already evident in the first third of The Face of the Enemy.
The advance buzz about these webisodes was the reveal that Gaeta and Louis Hoshi are involved in a romantic relationship, the first male homosexual couple to appear in the show. I’ve all but ignored it here because in terms of story, the important part is that Gaeta is involved, not that he’s gay. Far more important are the two mysteries deftly established in these first three parts. My suspicion is that the public mystery of the murder is but an excuse to examine the private mystery: Just who is Lieutenant Felix Gaeta anyway?
[This guest article was written by Tubefilter reader and BSG fan, The One True b!X who can be found online at PIE SPOILERS!!! wherein he muses and pontificates upon not pie but television. He also has some super rad prints of his original photos for sale.]