Battlestar Galactica season 1 episode 9 review: Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down

Colonel Tigh steps into the spotlight, as Adama brings his wife to Battlestar Galactica...

9. Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down

At the end of my write-up of the previous episode, Flesh And Blood, I was left wondering whether any of the threads would be picked up this time round. The answer, as it turned out, was yes and no. The aftermath of Starbuck’s brutal interrogation isn’t picked up again, but Donoy’s comment in the last episode that Adama is a Cylon is stamped right the way through Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down.

The early parts of the episode see Roslin keen to determine once and for all whether Commander Adama is a Cylon, and with that in mind, she suggests him to be the first to go through the now-complete Cylon detector test that Dr Baltar has been working on. After a little jousting between Adama and Roslin, he agrees, and his suspicious behaviour seems to put further seeds of doubt in Roslin’s mind.

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Adama, we discover, has been making secret calls, and then he leaves the ship altogether. This proves to be the moment when a Cylon Raider appears on the screen, while Colonel Tigh is in command. However, just when it looks like the Raider may be about to do its damage, it attempts to jump, and repeatedly does so, giving the impression that it’s got a problem. Tigh orders that the Raider is investigated, to try and glean some intel from it.

But then comes the bombshell of the episode, when Adama returns to Battlestar, and a quick shot reveals that he’s got a woman who at first glance looks like Number 6 on board his Raptor. Only it’s not. Instead, it’s Colonel Tigh’s wife, who he had assumed was dead. Roughly 15 minutes into the episode later, you suspect that Adama wouldn’t be too bothered to discover that she was. He’s taken the precaution of ensuring that her blood sample gets tested by Dr Baltar first, which stuns Roslin when she finds out that Adama’s own test has been put on hold while Tigh’s wife is checked out.

There’s a lovely, bubbling mix of paranoia and conspiracy going on in this episode, which once more threatens to blow the lid off the proverbial pressure cooker here. Roslin confides in Tigh as to her suspicions about Adama. Meanwhile, pretty much the world and his wife seem to think that Ellen, Tigh’s wife, has Cylon tendencies, although Adama has seen much of the behaviour she exhibits before.

That said, Ellen clearly knows a few things, and it’ll be interesting to see how all this ultimately pieces together. Considering she’s apparently been out of action, and only appeared to medical staff in the past week, she’s very up to date on certain events, yet isn’t aware that Zack Adama is dead. Is this Cylon probing, or worse, human manipulation?

Ellen starts to bring out the worst in Tigh, too, and this I found an interesting part of the episode. We’ve had hints about Tigh’s drinking before, but in the company of his wife, his behaviour degenerates. In the early episodes of the show, it was Tigh who was the formal, hard-ass military man, and as each episode goes by, the cracks are beginning to show.

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Ultimately, Baltar declares that, surprisingly, Ellen is actually human. But soon after, another proverbial bomb is lobbed into the mix, as we discover that he’s set up his test to show that everyone will come back as human. This is as a result of the splendid manipulation of Number 6, where she convinced him in the previous episode that outing a Cylon could mean that it would turn on him.

There was still more going on elsewhere, too: the Caprica Boomer seems to be less and less Cylon, and to the worry of Number 6 and Doral (at least the versions of them down on the surface), she’s experiencing real emotions. Number 6 in particular doesn’t like this at all, and we leave Helo and Boomer looking to get to Delphi to steal a ship.

I really liked this episode, and thought the character of Ellen was an excellent, and unpredictable, addition to the people on board Galactica. I’d wager hard cash that she turns out to be a Cylon, although would possibly like it more if she turned out to be human. I’m guessing I won’t be finding out one way or another for a while yet, though, and for once, I don’t really mind, as I’m intrigued to see how all this plays out, and its impact on Tigh.

It’s good this show though, isn’t it?

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