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Battlestar Galactica – “The Ties That Bind”

“The Ties That Bind”

April 18th, 2008

Speaking to a friend ahead of this episode, I said the following:

“I’m curious to see where it goes from here – the human plot has kind of hit a roadblock, so it’s going to be up to the Cylons to carry the dramatic weight I fear.”

So, considering these expectations, I should have been really frustrated with “The Ties That Bind,” an episode where almost all of the dramatic weight was founded on Cally, one of the most maligned characters amongst certain populations of the show’s fans. While there were a series of intriguing and fairly fantastic revelations on the Cylon side of the coin, it was ultimately a footnote in the episode compared to our central drama.

Now, I’ve never been on the side of Cally haters per se, but rather of the mind that Cally’s character was never given a justifiable reason to exist outside of her relationship to Tyrol. The character was never asked to carry any dramatic weight outside of either being beaten to a pulp or being placed in mortal danger – as a result, we got a lot of screaming and crying, but little in the way of nuanced emotion or any such things.

I’m not saying that what we saw from Nikki Clyne last night was revolutionary performance, but Michael Taylor managed to draw from her past in order to craft, at the very least, an intriguing point of representation. Cally, through anti-depressant fueled journeys, becomes a loose cannon – she is suspicious and paranoid in her altered state, and begins to suspect Tyrol is hiding something. Upon investigation, she stumbles across his biggest secret, and all of a sudden Cally has gone from nuisance to all-out ticking time bomb.

And then it went off, much sooner than I think any of us expected.

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