As always people, look away unless you're up to date Galactica-wise. I don't want any wailing or gnashing of teeth going on over this stuff.
So, there I was, checking up on people's responses on tonight's episode, and everyone's all like "Gaeta is a dick!" and "Adama should space Gaeta!" and so on.
These people are fools! Well, not entirely; I'll grant that spacing Gaeta is going to be necessary, since he's committed mutiny and all. But c'mon, people; Felix has some pretty damn persuasive reasons for all this Mutiny on the Bounty shit! Don't be a Gaeta hater!
Look at it from his position. He got burned by an Eight on New Caprica who had promised to help release people from detention but was actually doing the vast majority of them in. And now a whole bunch of Eights have shown up, promising this time they'll be good. Yeah, sure. They would say that, though, because they only have one Basestar left, and it's bollixed. They're just one big floaty target, if the Loyalist Cylons find them they're dead. Right now they need us, but only as extra targets. A fighter pilot probably values the chaff they can use to distract incoming missiles, but that's not an alliance, because at the end of the day the chaff is still going to get a missile to the face.
What the rebels really need isn't the humans at all, it's their ships. That way they can spread themselves out a bit, have their eggs in more than one basket. How to get them, though? Machines sit and think, their cogs whirring.
The answer comes: "How about we go aboard the ships, fit shiny new FTL drives to "help out", and then just jump basestar and civilian vessels simultaneously!" That would be pretty easy, what with the awesome Cylon tech we already know they have! Even if Galactica could track them, puny colonials travel at a third of the speed, leaving plenty of time to massacre the civilians and swipe their rides.
Nah, they wouldn't do that, would they? They're allies now.
Plus, let's not forget that Gaeta was almost flushed into the void because he couldn't prove he helped the resistance. Now the actual machines that wiped out fifty billion people need help, and Adama's all like, "Yeah, sure, have a cigar. Remember when you exterminated humanity? I'm so glad we can all laugh about it now."
So it's not like Gaeta's position makes no sense. Other people are more hung up on the idea that someone as nice and fluffy as Felix would never dream of starting a coup d'etat. I can see why it would come as a surprise to anyone who knew him, but it's not like the seeds weren't planted for this long ago. Think about it: Gaeta did the right thing by reporting the election fraud and ended up working for the worst president imaginable. He risked his life dealing with the resistance and still almost got spaced. He tried to help save people from the detention centre and apparently managed to get most of them killed. He voiced opposition to Kara's lunatic plan to help the Cylons, and his leg is now quite some distance from where it's supposed to be.
I think, somewhere in Gaeta's subconscious, there's a voice telling him that every time he tries something, he fails at it, because he didn't go far enough, or he didn't break the rules enough. No-one is giving points for fairness, or for restraint, or for trying.
Well, frak them, then. This time he's going all the way. Because nothing else has worked, and he's sick of it. Look at Zarek, for Gods' sakes. Whilst Gaeta has taken blow after blow, Zarek has gone from convicted terrorist to Quorum member to Vice President to (briefly) President. How are the rules working there? And sure, Roslin offered a blanket amnesty to everyone who collaborated with the Cylons, but pardons and forgiveness aren't the same thing, and in any case it would have come to late to save him had a chance comment from earlier on not happened to save his ass.
Lee's speech during Baltar's trial about forgiveness was obviously about Gaius himself, but I wonder if a little light didn't come on in Felix's head too. Felix wasn't forgiven, he was tolerated. Allowed to live and walk free (though these days "walking free" is probably something he's come to appreciate a good deal more) as the cost of keeping the fleet together. Helping Zarek is the final irony, the last middle finger to this ridiculous idea of "fairness" that people only ever quote when they've already gotten what they wanted. If you're going to break the rules, then who better to have on your side?
And there's more. Remember that little scene last week when Gaeta was pissed that the Cylons were getting medical attention before he was? I wonder whether there was a subtext. Maybe he was just thinking "Damn, how come those Cylons get cutsies", (see Kimmy, not knitting a sweater, honest!), but it's at least arguable that he was remembering (even subconsciously) that the reason they didn't return to the fleet in time to save his leg was that Starbuck was too busy helping the Cylons. And what did they get out of that? Earth. A shattered ruin that killed Dee, one of the only people on Galactica Gaeta had ever given any indication of caring about (along with Hoshi, obviously, a man so wet it's a miracle he doesn't evaporate). He lost his leg, his best friend, and his hope, only to have more hope retroactively stripped from him, and meanwhile a bunch of people who were never really people reveal themselves to be Cylons and everyone's going "Hey, how's that kid of yours? He has the cutest little RAM drive!".
Help the Cylons: get spaced. Fight the Cylons, but not obviously enough: get spaced. Be a Cylon: get a sonogram for your Cylon girlfriend.
Start a mutiny? I'm amazed Gaeta didn't personally eviscerate the Admiral.
At least, that's how I think Gaeta sees it. I don't necessarily agree with his methods, but it's not like it's at all hard to understand how he ended up in this position.
Update: Kimmy reminds us in comments of that little matter of perjury back during Baltar's trial. I'd forgotten that when I wrote this last night, but I think it ties in with my larger point. Help Baltar: almost get spaced by six psychopaths. Be Baltar: get a proper trial with lawyers and witnesses and "exceptions". Which can't possibly work, because the only real witnesses to Baltar's actions were the Cylons, who aren't available for comment (well, Caprica is, but calling her in would be a fairly boneheaded move). It's down to Felix to to what has to be done.
So he does, and it still doesn't make any difference. Gaius gets off, and the next thing anyone knows he's buried in more space-totty than he knows what to do with. Gaeta goes back to watching the DRADIS screen. Yay.