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Recap / Battlestar Galactica 2003 S 02 E 14 Black Market

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Season 2, Episode 14:

Black Market

Roslin is still recovering from her near-death experience and infusion of blood from Sharon's unborn child. In Bill's quarters, she tells him, Fisk and Baltar that the fleet has been having problems with a black market ring that provides certain supplies. Although Fisk is adamant that they can take down the ring, he then states afterwards that he's not sure what good it would do anyway.

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Fisk returns to his quarters aboard the Pegasus, and is confronted by an unseen individual who he talks with casually. Suddenly, Fisk is garroted from behind and strangled to death as the man steps out of a doorway, smokes on a cigar and watches.

Lee is revealed to be seeing a prostitute named Shevon after his near-death experience during the Resurrection Ship battle, and he goes to visit her and her daughter, Paya, onboard Cloud Nine. After spending a night together, Lee suggests taking their relationship to the next level, but Shevon is uncomfortable with it. At the same time, Lee is seeing flashbacks of himself and a woman on Caprica.

Back on Galactica, Lee meets with his father, who informs him of Fisk's death and asks him to investigate the murder. Lee heads to the Pegasus and examines the murder scene, then discovers a cache of valuables in Fisk's closet, including a bracelet that has Ellen Tigh's initials on it.

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Lee confronts Saul in his quarters and asks about the bracelet, to which the latter responds that he traded it himself without his wife knowing for goods from the black market. Tigh further explains that Fisk was also using the black market for his own means. Later that day, in Galactica's gym, Lee is exercising with Dualla when she asks him if their interactions during sparring are going to lead anywhere. Lee doesn't know what to say and leaves, causing her to be upset.

On Colonial One, Baltar goes to visit Roslin, who has realized that she saw him and Six together during her near-death experience. She doesn't reveal what she knows, but instead asks him to resign. Baltar is again offended, but promises to work even harder than before to do his duty as vice-president.

In Galactica's morgue, Cottle reveals that Fisk had money stuffed into his mouth, and Lee realizes that it was done as a warning to others because Fisk was trying to undercut his suppliers. Soon after, he gets a distress call from Shevon and rushes over to Cloud Nine to help her.

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Once he arrives at their room, however, he is ambushed by men who nearly choke him to death. The same man who watched Fisk die enters the room and tells Lee to drop his investigation just before the latter is knocked unconscious.

When Lee wakes up, he sees a dead body and a weapon in front of him. Moments later, Tom Zarek arrives and sees the scene. He tells Lee that the black market is operating from a ship called the Prometheus, that Shevon and Paya were taken there, and that the man who was talking to Lee is named Phelan. He also hypothesizes that Phelan gave Lee Fisk's murderer as a token of his generosity, and for Lee to drop his inquiries. Lee ignores Zarek and makes his way to the Prometheus.

Once there, Lee discovers Paya and other children locked in cells, then comes face-to-face with Phelan and his guards. Lee warns Phelan that the fleet is aware of his location and could destroy the ship easily if they wanted to. Phelan counters that the black market is necessary because it helps fill the void for ships who lack certain resources.

Phelan caps his speech off by saying that children are being prostituted, before revealing that Shevon was working for him and lured Lee to Cloud Nine in the first place. Incensed, Lee grabs a weapon off of Phelan's guard and threatens him. When Phelan counters that Lee won't shoot, the latter puts a bullet in him, then tells his shocked guards that they will continue to conduct their operations under his watch, as well as release the exploited children, or be destroyed by the fleet. Before leaving, Lee goes to Shevon, where it is revealed that he was using her as a replacement for his deceased girlfriend, Gianne, who died during the attack on the Colonies. Shevon tells him that he can't keep using her that way and leaves with Paya.

On Colonial One, Bill and Lee tell Roslin that the black market will continue to operate. Despite Roslin's concern, Lee points out that while they may never have a perfect system, keeping the market in place allows them to control the flow of goods.

Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: Kara, Gaeta, Tyrol, Cally, Helo and Sharon are all absent in this episode.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Subverted. Shevon is set up to be a sympathetic figure who's making ends meet to provide for her daughter, and has some interest in Lee. However, she later turns out to be working for Phelan.
  • Infinite Supplies: Discussed. Phelan explains that whenever a ship is lacking in needed supplies, the black market steps up to fill the shortcoming. Where the black market gets all their supplies from, and how they can continue to operate with such a massive stockpile of goods, is never elaborated on further.
  • In Medias Res: The episode begins with Lee confronting Phelan, then flashes back to show how he got to that point.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Phelan, who is halfway through saying that Lee won't shoot him when the latter does just that.
  • Killed Off for Real: Colonel Fisk.
  • The Lost Lenore: Gianne. Notable in that it is a plot twist that comes out of nowhere.
  • Mythology Gag: The character of Shevon appears to be a nod to the Socialators from the original series.
  • Recycled Set: The flashback scenes with Lee and his girlfriend on Caprica is the same filming location where Roslin's first scene took place in the miniseries.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Lee is revealed to have had a girlfriend named Gianne, who went heretofore unmentioned by Lee and other characters until this episode.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After Lee rescues her daughter from a lifetime of prostitution, Shevon gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and treats him like a monster for using her as a Replacement Goldfish for his never before mentioned dead girlfriend.
  • You Look Familiar: John Mann, who played Galactica's original CAG, turns up as a hustler in this episode, albeit in deleted scenes.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Phelan to Apollo. It doesn't work.

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