Home » Battlestar Galactica » BSG, the last webisodes, and being gay in the rag-tag fleet

BSG, the last webisodes, and being gay in the rag-tag fleet

As a dedicated Battlestar Galactica fan I can’t wait for the final episodes to start in January and I’m already enjoying the countdown webisode series, ‘The Face of the Enemy’ which features Felix Gaeta, two Cylon Eights (Sharon’s model) and a few very desperate, very lost, BSG crew.  The first webisode went live today and sets up an pretty engaging storyline. It also featured one other bit of story that’s sure to get a reaction:


On his way off the Galactica, to catch a raptor to another ship of a bit of leave, Felix Gaeta says goodbye to Hoshi and they lock lips which is the first visible and openly gay male relationship in the series.  (There are other mentions of gay couples, although the most notable lesbian relationship was between Admiral Cain and the poor Six who eventually turns up horribly tortured on the Pegasus; this left more than a few questionable readings possible about the consequences of non-heterosexual relationships!) I’m very much in two minds about the outing of Gaeta; I’m delighted that his sexuality is basically treated as completely normal – the big issue is Hoshi smuggling some painkillers to Gaeta, while their relationship seems normalised (or as normal as anything gets on the rag tag fleet).  That said, I wonder if Ron Moore and the producers are playing it too safe leaving this sort of material for the webisodes?  Their nature as online add-ons might just mean that the writers are allowed to push boundaries they can’t during the actual episodes (and kudos to Jane Espenson and Seamus Kevin Fahey for writing this webisode series), but for this to be a powerful and clear statement about the normalisation of same sex relationships in the world of Galactica, I’d really like to see this thread continue into the final episodes and actually screened on television, not just pushed to one side on the web.

For international viewers, we’re once again victims of the tyranny of digital distance as the webisode are geo-locked and only visible to those with US IP addresses; there will be lots of workarounds, no doubt, but for a short time until it’s pulled, the first webisode is available on YouTube.

Update: Apparently in the run of webisodes we find out Gaeta is bisexual, not gay; I’m not sure if this depletes the overall message or not … probably not.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Actually, in episode 9 they basically imply that he’s gay, not bisexual. Evil Sharon tells him “I’m a woman. And I cylon. I didn’t seduced you, hope seduced you”. It’s subtle, but I think what she meant was he fell for her not for sexual reasons, but because she represented the last shred of hope he had left.

  2. Thanks for admitting the possibility that a bi character might be just as genuinely queer and important as a gay character. Seriously, whereas most gay men and lesbians seem to see us bi people as somehow inferior or even dangerous in some way, and spend a lot of energy telling us we don’t either don’t exist or we’re just pathological freaks, most straight people just see us all as queer and pretty much the same thing – so, for most of the BSG watching world Gaeta being bi is as big a statement as him being gay. He’s in a same-sex relationship, and no-one seems to think it’s any different than any other relationship. Whether he’s gay or bi, it’s a huge deal. We don’t have much in the way of queerness in mainstream sci-fi, unless it’s of the straight male masturbatory fantasy version of female bisexuality. The only queer characters in BSG so far have been Admiral Cain (no mention of whether she is bi or gay, as there’s no sexual history to go on; and it’s unclear whether the 8 had any sexual interest in women, given that Cain was just a job to her), and hints about D’anna and Caprica (though their relationship looked more like poly relationships I’ve seen between two straight women who care for one another and share a man than two women involved with a man AND each other).

    It does hurt deeply to be treated that way by people you feel are your natural allies against bigotry. So any sliver of hope that someone out there in Gay & Lesbian Land thinks I might be a real person is inclined to induce a certain crazy euphoria.

  3. Yeah, I kind of agree with Tama here – after reading some interesting stuff on queerness and time last year, I’m a little suspicious of plots that seem quite happy with queer characters in tangential storylines (especially ones that look backwards in diegetic time or sideways in teh case of webisodes, and perhaps slash spinoffs), but are apparently unwilling to incoporate these into the metanarrative.

    What I’m trying to say in that last, massively overload sentence is that narrative closure in lots of cases can work to preclude a queer reading, and I think that might be happening here. I’d stop short of reading Gaeta’s untimely demise after his shortlived rebellion as a consequence of his intimated gayness, but all the metaphors about dismemberment, shortlived uprisings, and the execution we’ve seen in the last episode (sorry to anyone who’s not seen it yet) kind of jar with my critical sensibilities.

    Sounds like a killer idea for a conference paper, though!

Comments are closed.