NFB Re-Watches Battlestar Galactica Season Four: “A Disquiet Follows My Soul (Extended)”

To be alive, you have to let go.

Air Date: NA

Director: Ronald D. Moore

Writer: Ronald D. Moore

Synopsis: Amid the crisis brewing around the Cylon alliance, Gaeta confronts Tigh, Baltar discusses how to approach his flock with Six and Adama expresses his anger at the state of Galactica.

Review

Our first extended edition since Razor, this is a cut that presumably grows out of the fact that it is Ronald D. Moore’s first, and only, time behind the camera directly. Unlike other extended cuts, this one doesn’t seek to re-focus the entire experienced or offer a completely new perspective – like the extended version of “Unfinished Business” – but instead is a more simple expansion. It adds things here and there, and fleshes out what the TV version presented, in a manner that is educative without being revolutionary. Which is not to say that the extra eight or so minutes is superfluous: there is plenty to see which makes the exercise worthwhile, even if there’s an undeniable feeling that these scenes could have been a DVD extra without the overall experience losing much.

The political crisis plot is among those to get some additional meat on the bones. We get a scene where Apollo tries, failingly, to get the Quorum to acquiesce to the Cylon FTL upgrades ahead of Zarek’s motion which I thought was quite important to emphasise how isolated Lee has become: the whole legislative body is against him. Plus the gun is very much put into the political sphere by the sight of Zarek hiding one in his desk drawer, something he turns to after the scene with Adama and Apollo plays out. Adama’s response to the tylium ship’s departure is also more militant, the Admiral content to push for a deadly response. It’s not an enormous amount of new material, but it does showcase a greater amount of tension and danger to the whole affair, adding to the atmosphere of distrust and anger that the TV version established. Literally speaking the situation is just a pull of a trigger from devolving into violence entirely.

Gaeta, of course, is another focus. I was struck on watching the extended cut by how little interaction we have seen between him and Adama in a long time. Given everything that has happened to Gaeta recently, you would assume the Admiral would make some time for him, but we never see it. His main interactions with superiors seem to come with Tigh, an adversarial relationship if ever there was one, and not Adama. What has happened to the idea of the crew as a family for Adama? His tears over Dee in “Sometimes A Great Notion” certainly signified that this was still something Adama still felt, but Gaeta has been left out in the cold. It’s Tigh who confronts him over his disrespect of Adama, while the Admiral walks away. Gaeta doesn’t blink either in that instance, another sign of his increasingly brazen attitude.

The most significant amount of new material is given to Baltar, and a returning Head Six, the latter of which I don’t think we have seen in a good while. This material is a great elaboration on the speech we see Baltar give in the TV cut: essentially he is rebelling again, propelled by disillusion, and this time not even the cajoling of Head Six is going to bring him back into line. Like everyone else in the Fleet, Baltar is in crisis, expected to be a saviour, but having just undergone a profound demonstration of God’s apparent disdain for his followers. Six encourages him to continue preaching to his flock, and Baltar’s message is one of a certain amount of disdain of his own. In the battle for Baltar’s soul, Head Six seems to find all of this shocking, and even worrisome: this time there appears to be no divine intervention to change Baltar’s mind as we have seen before, as far back as “33” and as recently as “He That Believeth In Me”, indicating that God isn’t listening right now. Baltar starts the episode at sea, and ends there too, his own faith shattered, but arguably Head Six’s situation, left without tangible follow-up from the entity she claims to represent for the first time, is even more fascinating plot-wise.

Most of the remaining extra material is dedicated to Adama. It’s bits and pieces – see below for my thoughts on the odd second here and there – but one that does stand out is an angry exchange with Figurski, who has apparently been promoted to Deck Chief. Tying into the discoveries of rubbish that the Admiral keeps finding throughout the ship, the scene sees Adama getting furious with Figurski owing to a number of sick calls from deck crew and ten Vipers being out of commission. The TV version showcased some of Adama’s growing frustration with the state of the ship, the resistance of the civilian Fleet and Roslin’s choices, but it’s here we get to see him really explode. It has been a little while since flat-out anger of this kind has been exhibited by the Admiral: he did get into a brief fracas with Tigh in “Sine Qua Non”, but this seems more considered, and thus more vicious. It’s an excellent addition to give us an insight into Adama’s mindspace, ahead of his confrontation with Roslin.

“A Disquiet Follows My Soul (Extended)” has a bit of a time for a few others things, like a slightly expanded look at the baby Tigh and Caprica Six are somehow bringing into the world, and the same approach for the Tyrol/Hot Dog plot. It’s nothing major, just a few additional lines and cuts here and there, but it does enough to flesh them out without things becoming bulky or unpalatable. In some respects this extended edition might be the least notable of the four we have examined so far, with a lot of new material that doesn’t seem especially vital, but it does enough to justify itself in the elements dedicated to Zarek, Adama and most especially Baltar. BSG has set the stage very well for the following episodes, and I can’t wait to re-visit the mutiny.

Not yet

Notes

-For some reasons Adama’s morning routine gets an extra two seconds or so of him walking around in his quarters.

-Tigh and Caprica Six’s child is revealed to be a boy in the extended cut. I wonder if that was picked so he would prove a replacement for Nicholas?

-Ishay’s reaction to Six’s words on her baby being the saviour of the Cylon race is moved sooner, and I’m not sure I see the point.

-The press conference scene is longer, with Playa getting the chance to ask additional questions about Tigh.

-Zarek’s got a gun, and fingers it intently after Adama leaves, like he’s thinking about pulling it out and shooting the Admiral in the back. It ups the tension significantly.

-Baltar’s cult is distributing pamphlets – that have the cover from his book – and wiring up speakers for people to hear him. The evolution is noticeable, as is the ever growing size.

-Baltar wonders if he should tell the people that “The coaster’s come off the tracks” in terms of his faith in God, his latest bit of bitter sarcasm.

-When pressed on God’s plan, Baltar says “And dying out here in the trackless wastes of deep space seems to be part of that plan”. In line with Apollo’s comments on fuel and food, it makes you wonder if supply in the Fleet is becoming an issue.

-As Baltar suggests that he might go out and tell the world what he really thinks of God in this moment, Head Six has a new look on her face I’m not sure we have seen before: fear. For the first time she seems worried about Baltar’s potential actions.

-Nice shot here of Head Six centre frame among the Cult, dressed all in white and looking very purposefully angelic, not unlike “Kobol’s Last Gleaming (Part Two)”.

-A good addition to the feel of the episode comes as Helo asks Tyrol how his son is doing. It makes it more of a living universe that all these plots don’t exist in their own vacuums.

-Tigh and Gaeta have had plenty of back and forth down the years, as far back as “Flight Of The Phoenix” as I recall, and the XO’s confronting of the Lt here is swimming with tension the moment it begins.

-Tigh asks if Gaeta has anything he wants to say to him. “Not yet” is the greatly unnerving answer. I can see why this was cut, as Tigh would hardly let this kind of mutinous talk stand.

-Tigh and Tyrol are significant parts of this episode, but where are Anders and Foster? Given that much of the drama is driven by the Cylon alliance, you’d think they would be involved.

-This cut includes a few more shots of Roslin stretching out, which seemed unnecessary.

-Apollo is very magnanimous and formal in his speech to the Quorum: “My friends and fellow delegates” he opens. But are they his friends anymore?

-Lee has to break off his speech when Zarek makes a motion, and sits down reluctantly in the face of procedure. It’s like he has to be reminded of the rules of the game.

-Awoken by a phone call, Adama lies and says he has been “up for an hour”. Is the stress of the last little while getting to him?

-Whatever has occurred on the phone, Adama is angry enough to mutter a hilarious “Motherfrakking bitch”.

-“Your people are not sick!” shouts Adama. He’s probably not wrong, but his lack of understanding is eye raising.

-It’s hard not to think on “Unfinished Business” when Adama exclaims “This fraking cannot happen!”. He was aware of loosening standards then, an now the situation is worse.

-In a line that calls back to Adama picking rubbish off the floor, he reprimands Figurski for letting the deck “look like a garbage skow”. It’s good there was a bit of a full circle on that.

-Nice comedy line inclusion as Adama sees Roslin running around the ship: “You gotta be kidding me”.

-Head Six suggests that Baltar is letting his anger blind him, but I’d say he and the rest of the human race are entitled to a bit of anger in the circumstances.

-In the aftermath of Baltar’s speech, Head Six remarks that his flock will follow him “even into blasphemy”, indicating his continuing power. Baltar is nonplussed, remarking simply that “flock is appropriate” for the mindless sheep that make up the Cult.

-In a great exchange, Head Six warns Baltar about showing a “father’s contempt” for the Cult, since he just railed against just that. Baltar replies “If I’m their father these people are in for more trouble than they know”.

-In this cut, Adama tells Athena that she can use “deadly force” to bring the tylium ship to heel, which ups the stakes significantly.,

-In the extended cut, Tyrol makes clear his willingness to guide Hot Dog into parenthood: “We’ll make it work”.

-This cut includes Tyrol warning Hot Dog “don’t move from that fraking chair”.

-When Adama enters the cell to speak to Zarek, we get a few extra seconds of his entrance, which again seems a little superfluous.

Overall Verdict: Where the extended editions of “Pegasus” and “Unfinished Business” added huge amounts of material or offered substantially different cuts, the one for “A Disquiet Follows My Soul” is a bit more restrained, with this cut perhaps more a reflection of who was writing and directing than anything else. The additional material for Baltar is to be welcomed, by far the most substantial bulking up of the original TV broadcast but the rest, while not unwelcome, doesn’t add as much to what was already said as you might think that it would. Next up, Gaeta makes his move.

To read more entries in this series, click here to go the index.

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2 Responses to NFB Re-Watches Battlestar Galactica Season Four: “A Disquiet Follows My Soul (Extended)”

  1. Pingback: NFB Re-Watches Battlestar Galactica: Index | Never Felt Better

  2. Pingback: NFB Re-Watches Battlestar Galactica Season Four: “Deadlock” | Never Felt Better

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