Walking on Water

I think it’s remarkable that a series like Battlestar Galactica would care about such prosaic issues as a water shortage. Star Trek would never care about such things. The Enterprise could suck moisture from space, it seems. Another reason why BG is so cool.

I have less to say about the writing and direction of Battlestar Galactica’s latest episode, entitled Water. I think that’s a good thing. The series is starting to settle into its groove.

There were no spectacular revelations, no arduous character conflict and none of the other remarkable plot elements that made the mini-series pilot and 33 so strong. But on the other hand, enough was there to make me sit and pay attention to the television for the full hour. If Water is an example of the workmanlike Battlestar Galactica episode, then we are in for a treat.

What does stand out is the character of Boomer. Previously, she played second fiddle to the tremendous cast of characters above her, but here she gets a chance to shine. The actress, Grace Park, rises to the occasion, drawing the audience in with the depth of her confusion, doubt and fear as she wakes up dripping wet with a bomb in her bag. The directorial touches are neat as well — the fact that she remembered to pack a towel and a change of clothes is just darn creepy.

Even as she slips into the mode of a Cylon zombie, the girl emotes. Grace Park carries the climax as the Cylon inside her struggles to prevent her from seeing that her ship has detected water, and then struggles to set off the bomb charge. The fact that I was on the edge of my seat, cheering for the human side of her to surface, even though that human side was false, says that the show did something right.

And that makes me care all the more for the events on Cylon “occupied” Caprica. When we see Boomer’s shuttle crawling with Cylons and Boomer explaining that she had to go back for Helo, a theory popped into my brain (I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to think of this): what if the Boomer helping Helo is the “real” one, the human one, and the Cylons have miraculously pulled a switcheroo? The Cylons look human and act human, so perhaps they’re modelled after unsuspecting humans?

Other interesting points about Water

  • Nice to see that the hard decision of 33, the downing of the Olympic carrier, is still haunting Apollo.
  • What was the point of the poker scene between Starbuck and Baltar? Was Baltar putting the moves on Starbuck? Don’t get me wrong: the two characters struck sparks off each other in this scene, but I’m just interested to see where the show’s producers are taking us with this. I’m assuming they will take this somewhere.
  • The dynamic between the President and Adama is simmering along nicely. I especially liked the little character touch shared between the President and her Aide, when he unwisely comments that, although she has only three change of clothes to her name, her dress “looks fine”.
  • Interesting that they altered the credits. American readers: do they do the same with episode three? The back end credits are also altered, to humourous effect.
  • Read more from Ron Moore’s blog

There is such a depth to this show that I wonder how the producers can keep things moving along without having things pruned. All of the elements that I’ve seen, on the other hand, are so interesting, I’d hate to have them pruned. I hope that this new Battlestar Galactica is given time, and episodes, to develop and fluorish.

Did not go into Toronto to deliver copies of the :Trenchcoat Farewell Project: yesterday. To do so would have been stupid, if not suicidal. It’s a shame, as renting the car for another day negates whatever savings I would have made by hand-delivering copies, but what can you do? The sky is clear today — another cold, prairie-style winter — and the roads should be clearing up as well. It looks like a beautiful day for a drive.

It looks as though the federal surplus is going to come in higher than expected again: $10.7 billion instead of the $8.9 billion predicted. Hat tip to Bound by Gravity for this information.

Unlike Andrew, I view this as good news, and I sincerely wish that the surplus was higher. Back when surpluses started to materialize, I did a quick calculation: if we maintained a steady stream of $20 billion surpluses, our (then) $600 billion debt could be paid off in 30 years — not an unreasonable amount of time for a hefty mortgage.

And assuming that the federal government was being charged an average of 5% in interest on our debt, each $20 billion surplus would realize a $1 billion reduction of interest charges the following year. Each $1 billion would be available every year, could be applied to tax cuts or spending increases without increasing the debt, and would be followed by an additional $1 billion assuming that the $20 billion surplus was maintained.

This may be a minority view, but I do not believe we are overtaxed. I’d like to see lower taxes as much as the next person, and I would like to see more investments in urban infrastructure, the future of our health care assured, and decent money poured into our military, but working down the $500 billion burden around our necks is a good political choice, and one that offers the prospect of more choices rather than less in the future.

As shoddy as the Liberals have been these past few years, with frivolous waste now standing at $2.5 billion or more, the government has by and large maintained the economy well, improved our fiscal situation, and increased the opportunities for our future. Now, if I could only be sure that they don’t wizz the whole thing away through arrogance and incompetence, I’d be far more comfortable about voting for them.

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