“Blood on the Scales” Episode
Ah yes, order is restored, for now. Of course, the problem of there being NO quorum is a little disconcerting. Funny how that quick little event made me so uncomfortable. As much as I dislike politicians, I’m not sure I would approve of a revolutionary taking a machine gun to our entire U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Last week’s episode had three fabulous spiritual connections, and since this week’s episode is already upon us, I will simply note them and see what the crazy lady (Ellen) has to say in the latest installment. Hopefully, as the fifth Cylon returning from the wasn’t-that-destroyed?-resurrection-ship, she will show some interesting new depth of character.
“I must go back. They’re my responsibility.” - Gaius Baltar
Baltar escaped Galactica when the coup went full force, but he soon admitted that he didn’t do it out of fear. He simply wanted to escape this crowd of religious followers. I imagine it would be difficult to be the ringleader for a new faith, and particularly draining to live among them with no privacy or reprieve. Jesus had the same problem. One account in the Bible tells of Jesus taking his disciples to a remote place to escape the crowds because they had been so busy that they didn’t even have time to eat. Another tells of Jesus dismissing even his closest friends so that he could pray all alone. The pressure and tension of daily ministry must have been enormous. He was surrounded by constant need everywhere he went. And if he managed to escape the crowds, they always seemed to track him down and follow him to his place of solitude. If only he had a viper ship…
Baltar captured the heart of Christ beautifully in this episode. No matter how draining and frustrating they were, no matter how tired he was, they still depended on him. He realized he had left them all alone and confused, like sheep without a shepherd. Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it.
“So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” - Mark 6:32-34
“One day soon, there’s gonna be a reckoning” - Felix Gaeta
I’m so glad that Gaeta “redeemed” himself in this episode. While I could understand his bitterness at the Cylons after watching the 10-part webisode, the change of character was killing me. Could he really have crossed the line so far as to be in Zarek’s category of rebel? Thank goodness, no. He knew the lines were being crossed, particularly with the quorum massacre, and he at least voiced his differences. Still, obligated to finish what he began and dealing with an unrepentant Admiral Adama, he had to continue on with the coup. When the jump to escape Cylon gunfire didn’t happen, his response was perfect (Excellent performance by Juliani!). He knew he had been beat. To prevent further deaths, he admitted that he would have to answer for his crimes. He said the lines above before Adama even showed up in the control room.
“[Adama] He is alive. He is alive. And he will take command of this fleet again. And when that day comes, he’s gonna know who stuck with him and who ran. Now who do you want to be?”
Seriously. Did Roslin really say that? I’m not sure there is a much more prophetic line in the season so far. But don’t take my word for it.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left…Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” - Jesus’ words (Matthew 25:30-33, 46).
The interesting thing about this passage is that if I issued the same challenge that Roslin issued, “Now who do you want to be?,” you would think me at best a confrontational, narrow-minded, fear-monger. Those words would probably not elicit a sense of allegiance, faithfulness, and inspiration in you. Rather, the words “eternal punishment” would suddenly appear in bold print and your emotions would veer toward anger. But I argue that we all want to stand with Adama because we have seen his track record. We are convinced of his allegiance to the fleet. We are sure that he will serve and protect, even to the point of his own death. Did Jesus do anything less? Maybe we just don’t know his character well enough to stand with him.
If you aren’t comfortable with Jesus, I encourage you to take time to get to know him. Pick up a Bible and read it. Read what he said, see what he did, read between the lines to understand his motives, and see his track record for yourself. You just might be surprised that “eternal punishment” didn’t top his list of vocabulary words.