Battlestar Galactica “Black Market”

Cool: Though the show’s producers reportedly weren’t at all happy with this episode (the in-media-res open was supposedly one way they tried to strengthen it), the detective mystery conceit works pretty well, with Apollo playing the part of a Raymond Chandler gumshoe getting in over his head in a complex criminal underworld. He even gets attacked and threatened by the bad guys (“You tell Adama to let it go”).

Cooler: Do-gooder Apollo’s realization that there are sometimes shades of moral grays. He decides to let the black market operate as a necessary evil rather than trying to stop it, knowing full well no one can ever stop the demand for such a service. Then he bravely defends that choice to newly-irritable Roslin (see “Huh?” below).

Coolest: The implication that perhaps Zarek was pulling the strings all along, manipulating Apollo into offing Phelan so he could get control of the black market ring.

Huh?: President Roslin’s seems to have gained some edge since her miraculous cancer cure in the last episode. Note here her abrupt handling of Baltar in asking/demanding his resignation. That moment is satisfying in that it’s good to see someone finally taking Baltar to the woodshed, but it doesn’t ring true for Roslin’s character.

Good Line: “It’s hard to find the moral high ground when we’re all standing in the mud.” – Black market kingpin Phelan suggesting Apollo not get too high and mighty since he’s been known to regularly visit a prostitute.

Better Line: “Did you really expect some utopian society to rise from the ashes?” – Zarek explaining to Apollo humanity’s penchant for corruption and greed.

Rising: Apollo, whose cold-blooded murder of Phelan is the kind of thing we’d expect from Starbuck, not a clean-cut goody-goody like him.

Falling: Phelan’s henchmen, who just stand there after Apollo shoots Phelan in cold blood right in front of them. What kind of bad guys are these? Is it that they’re just so stunned by Apollo’s decision that they can’t react? It seems strange that not even one of them tries to kill Apollo in revenge. They even step aside so Apollo can have a private “moment” with his hooker girlfriend Shevon. Weird.

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