Jon Sauder, this is for you.
WARNING! HERE BE SPOILERS!
Okay, now that we’re safe, welcome to the blog post. For the sake of speed, I’m assuming that you’ve seen Battlestar Galactica through where I am, which is Episode 1 of Season 3.
The last episode of Season 2.5 was rushed, in my opinion, but it put the characters on a new planet (New Caprica), lowering the humans’ defenses and scattering the crew of the two battlestars. Then, suddenly, the Cylons show up in force, capturing New Caprica and enslaving the humans. The fleet is caught off-guard and jumps to regroup elsewhere.
As a result, Season 3 opens with some of the characters being with the fleet, while others are part of the resistance on New Caprica. And this is where I realized that this season of Battlestar Galactica is about Iraq.
So, we have a collection of characters whom we care about in the position of being resistance fighters, or, as both humans and Cylons label them, the “insurgency”. Hmm, where have I heard this term before?
In their attempts to suppress the insurgency, the Cylons have various detention centers, where suspected insurgents are “detained” and “interrogated”, even tortured. One shot of these people being rounded up included a prisoner tied with plastic zip-ties, similar to what the U.S. military uses.
Moreover, we have the beginnings of a human police force, being set up by the Cylons, so that the Iraqis–I mean, the humans–can police themselves. Of course, members of this police force are viewed as turncoats and are targeted by the insurgency.
Indeed, the latest target of the insurgency is the graduating class of the police academy, which is blown up by a man who agreed to be a human bomb. And, in case you missed the point, the scene where the bomber agrees to the mission is accompanied by Arabic-sounding music.
We are made to feel the emotional impact of being on the other side of the Iraqi war. Invaders have entered your home, and you are fighting back by whatever means you can. They outnumber you and have superior technology, and still you fight back. And, by this point, we already care about these characters, so the insurgency is humanized. It’s easy to denounce “terrorism”, but it’s hard to denounce Chief Tyrell when he is fighting Cylons to protect his family.
I’m not sure where the rest of the season will go, but color me very, very intrigued.