Three words. Kara Thrace badass.
(UPDATE: the season 3 preview is now at http://www.scifi.com/firstlook/battlestar_03/)
Some thoughts on the opener and the preceding “webisodes” below the fold… including why I might find myself rooting for the collaborators!
The basic theme of the webisodes was about resistance ethics. This has obvious parallels to world events, but here the resistance fighters are characters you identify with and are rooting for as heroes, so it is kind of disturbing in a sense to find yourself making excuses for them that you know you wouldn’t be were the – to name an example – Hizbollah. (granted, Hizbollah cheerleaders are cuter).
The basic plot here is that the resistance, led by Col. Tigh, decides to hide their dwindling weapons cache in their Temple to the Gods. The Temple had been left alone by the Cylons on the premise that it was a place of worship. Tigh makes the decision to take advantage of this – and this leads to tragic results, including the death of (former Viper ace) Duck’s wife.
Numerous questions are raised. Are innocent lives fair currency for the greater good? Jammer becomes a voice of conscience, arguing that the innocents lost their lives because of direct provocation by the Resistance. The Resistance, in his view, is the one that is morally responsible for their deaths. However from Tigh’s perspective, they are martyrs, whose deaths galvanized the apathetic population and has led to immensely increased recruitment for the cause.
The main difference here – apart from the casting of heroes in the traditional “terrorist” role and temples in place of mosques – is that the Cause in this case is driven by a genocide over 300 times worse than the Jewish Holocaust. Tigh points out that 20 billion innocents were exterminated by the Cylons, and calls Jammer a crybaby for his religious sensibilities and arguments. However one might also argue that as the colony of New Caprica is the sole remnant of humanity, that the loss of innocents (and from their own cultural perspective, avoidance of further hubris against the Gods) is now indeed too high a price to pay.
Ultimately, the moral tension facing Jammer comes to a head when the Cylon Doral invites him for a brief meeting. A meeting in which I found myself actually agreeing with Doral.. and one in which I find myself looking forward to Season 3 with sympathy for the collaborators, ie the Vichy Government, rather than the Resistance.