Helo/Boomer, Battlestar Galactica (TNS)
AUTHOR: Kat (angel_kathryn
DISCLAIMERS: Battlestar Galactica and all associated characters, situations etc do not belong to me. They belong to Ron Moore.
SPOILERS: For the entirety of the first one and a half series of Battlestar Galactica (2004). In other words, spoilers for every aired episode (in the US) of this show, in particular the Helo-Boomer moments. I have discussed pretty much every H/B moment in the two series. If you haven’t yet watched the show, go do so! Now!
Author’s Notes: There is a certain emphasis on Boomer in this essay, but there is a reason for that – Boomer’s part in the pairing is the complex part, while Helo’s is the simple part. Helo loves Sharon; it is that simple for him. However, for Boomer, there are more complications. She is a cylon. She starts out intending to seduce Helo. She is not supposed to love him. In addition, a large proportion of the online fanbase at least believe that Boomer is “playing” everyone, but especially Helo. This essay, I hope, rebutts at least some of their assertions.
And a warning. This is a long manifesto. It nearly hit the word limit.
Battlestar Galactica - the show
:: “Truth is, if something happened to you I wouldn't know how to deal with it.” :: [Karl ‘Helo’ Agathon, episode 1x07 “Six Degrees of Separation”]
Battlestar Galactica (BSG) is a ‘reimaging’ of a popular ‘70’s show of the same name.
In this show, humans are living in the Thirteen Colonies. They are polythiestic, worshipping the Gods of Kobol. Earth is a mystical place, a long way away. Humans created cylons, robot-creatures initially designed to serve humans. However, as the each episode's introduction states,
“The cylons were created by man. They evolved. They rebelled. There are many copies. And they have a plan.”
The cylons retreated and hid themselves away, developing out of the sight of humans. They then returned with devestating force, massacring millions of humans across the Twelve Colonies.
Those who could, fled on transports, to form a fleet, led and protected by Battlestar Galactica. Among those left behind, however, was Karl ‘Helo’ Agathon, a pilot from Galactica, who was stranded in the colony of Caprica.
As the introduction stated, “there are many copies”. This refers to the 12 human-like models of cylons, of which there are several copies of each. These have the appearance of humans, and can pass for them – we are told in episode 2x01 (“Scattered”) that there are 8 such models hidden amongst the Colonial Fleet. One of these models is Sharon ‘Boomer’ Valerii.
Sharon ‘Boomer’ Valerii
:: “Even if it's software instead of an emotion, it's real to her.” :: [President Laura Roslin, episode 2x06 “Home Part 1”]
The true motivations of Sharon are the subject of debate in the BSG fandom. I don't have time to go over those debates here, suffice to say, there are those who believe Sharon is playing the humans, there are those who believe that she is a sleeper agent for the cylons, and there are those who believe she is truly on the side of the humans.
If there is one thing that should not be doubted about Sharon, however, it's that the girl has guts. She's very determined - she knows what she wants or wants to achieve, and she's not afraid to go after it. In early season 1, this sees her seducing Helo. Later, her desires, her feelings, her fear for Helo's life lead her to betray her fellow cylons. In mid-season 2, she pulls off a ruthless double cross to gain time and some security for herself, Helo, and their baby.
Sharon is a character who has been forced into extreme situations, and this has had a profound impact on her. She is an emotional person. (The Boomer model is known to be more emotional, more human than the other models.) She laughs, she cries, she feels pain, and she does all of these openly. It is very easy for the audience to sympathise with her. Season 2 forces Boomer into even more extreme situations - I challenge you to watch the 'interrogation' scenes in 2x10 "Pegasus" and not be emotionally affected by Boomer's situation.
Karl C. ‘Helo’ Agathon
:: “He knows she's a machine. He doesn't care. He loves her anyway.” :: [Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace, episode 2x07 “Home Part 2”]
Helo, at the start of the miniseries, is 'one of the boys'. I get the impression that he was a fairly popular guy, from his interactions with other pilots in the miniseries.
He's a nice guy, and also loyal to a fault - to his friends, and to his girlfriend. He stands by his girl, even when everyone - his friends, his comrades - thinks he is at best an idiot, at worst a traitor. It is the opinion of myself - and many of members of the hidden_elysium - that while Apollo is hot, Helo would make a better boyfriend!
Several people have asserted that Helo is "dumb" for trusting Sharon - an opinion with which I disagree. To be clear - I don't think that Helo is the smartest kid on the block - but, I do think that he's reasonably intelligent.
Why I ship them
:: “Helo. You're the father of my child. You're the first in my heart, and nothing is ever going to change that.” :: [Sharon ‘Boomer’ Valerii, episode 2x09 “Flight of the Phoenix”]
Quite simply, I ship them because the first time I saw them on screen together, I thought they could work as a couple. Throughout season 1, I was hanging out for the (all too brief) Helo/Boomer scenes. As the season went on, as we saw more of the characters, as we saw the sacrifices and the concessions they were making to be together - how could I resist?
Helo/Boomer ~ in canon
:: “Trust me. Trust us.” :: [Sharon ‘Boomer’ Valerii, episode 2x07 “Home Part 2”]
There is plenty of canon evidence for this ship – most notably, they are a couple! However, at the start of the miniseries, they are not even close to this. Boomer is a rookie raptor pilot who is having an (illegal) affair with mechanic Galen ‘Chief’ Tyrol. Helo is an experienced pilot, who has a crush on Sharon, but is nowhere close to acting on it.
However, everything changes when their raptor lands on Caprica immediately after a cylon attack that has killed nearly every human. A group of human survivors surrounds their raptor, demanding a rescue. But they cannot take everyone; it would weigh the raptor down and they would not be able to make it. After a ballot in which the lucky people are chosen, Helo sees Gaius Baltar, brilliant scientist, and – unbeknownst to the rest of humanity – cylon collaborator, standing in the crowd, about to be left on Caprica. He gives up his place in the raptor for Baltar, leaving an upset Boomer to pilot the raptor back to Galactica without him.
However, the Boomer I have been referring to above is not the Boomer who forms a part of the ship Helo/Boomer. She is a character who I shall, from now on, refer to as “Galactica!Boomer”. Caprica!Boomer will simply be referred to as Boomer or as Sharon.
Boomer makes her ‘first’ appearance in the first episode of season 1, entitled “33”, when she rescues Helo from the cylons, including a model of Number Six who Boomer shoots in front of Helo’s eyes. Helo is stunned by her reappearence on the planet, asking her “What are you doing here?” Boomer’s – believeable – cover story is that she returned to rescue him. The discovery that her raptor has been ‘found’ by cylons scuttles Helo’s hopes of being able to return to Galactica.
Throughout episodes 1x02, 1x03, 1x04, 1x05, and 1x06, Helo and Boomer make a limited number of appearances. For the most part, they are simply shown fleeing through Caprica. However, during this time, it is very obvious that there is a spark between them. Much of their conversations consists of playful banter. On Helo’s side, it is clear, there is no duplicity. As for Boomer … well. Does she love him, even this early in the piece? I would be inclined to say “Yes”. However, I will have to acknowledge that there is no certain answer to this. There is no conclusive evidence to prove one side over the other.
However, there are three different ways to explain the situation from Boomer’s side: she loves Helo, she thinks she loves Helo, or that she is playing him. Initially, the third option is true. However, there is sufficient evidence to show that over time, this changes. Over time, it becomes extraordinarily unlikely that the the situation is a set-up. For Boomer to confess to Helo that she is a cylon is a huge risk – and one that is unnecessary for as long as she is a part of the cylon fold. Even if a confession was used to attempt to gain sympathy – still an incredibly risky ploy – why would Boomer need to stage a scene like the one in “Flesh and Bone” with Six and Doral, where she flees when confronted with the prospect of having to kill Helo if he does not love her? Surely the other cylons would be a part of any such plan; to me, it makes no logical sense to make such a plan and keep it from the other cylons. Pretty much every other event can be twisted to fit such a theory; the argument with the other cylons is one piece of strong evidence that supports the first option – that Boomer loves Helo – or the second.
However, there is one large piece of evidence that supports Boomer’s feelings for Helo, and is independent of her. This is the reaction of Number Six to the situation. Number Six reacts reasonably normally to another Boomer model in the episode 2x08 (“Final Cut”); what is it about this (Caprica) model of Boomer that makes her react badly? Why does she treat her with the condesencion and mistrust evident most especially in the middle episodes of the first season?
What, in other words, is the differentiating factor between these two models which has such a radical impact on Six’s treatment of them?
The difference is Helo.
How do we know that Six doubts Boomer’s loyalty before Boomer betrays them to save Helo? Six discusses the situation with Doral. She states that she thinks of Sharon as “one of them”. Later, she tells Doral that Sharon “thinks she loves him [Helo]”. But, if Sharon “thinks like them and acts like them”, then why would she only think that she loves Helo? Six does not think as humans do. She does not understand love – it is not a part of her programming. I would argue that it is therefore natural for her to believe that Boomer is deluding herself into believing that she loves Helo – the alternative is too strange for Six to actually believe.
“Six Degrees of Separation” (episode 1x07) and “Flesh and Bone” (episode 1x08) are two of the pivotal H/B episodes of the first season (I’ll get to the later episodes in a moment). In “Six Degrees of Separation”, Helo finally comes clean with his feelings for Boomer. He begins with a simple statement that made my heart melt: “Truth is, if something happened to you I wouldn't know how to deal with it,” to which Boomer responds: “I feel the same way”. Helo then continues with a fumbling speech about respecting Tyrol’s feelings for Boomer, and Boomer’s feelings for Tyrol.
This speech is abruptly cut off, through the best possible means – a kiss from Boomer. The scene ends, but what is about to happen is very obvious.
“Flesh and Bone” marks a change in the relationship, as Boomer makes her choice. When Six mocks her, challenging her with the idea of killing Helo if he refuses to settle down and live with her, Boomer snaps. It is in this moment, I believe, that she really realises that she loves him. She flees from Six and Doral, back to Helo at their campsite. Helo is surprised, but reacts immediately when he sees how desperate and panicstriken she appears. They flee immediately, away from the cylons behind them.
The young couple flees into the sunset to live happily ever after? Not quite.
The next few episodes lay the groundwork for Helo’s discovering that Boomer is a cylon. In “Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down” (1x09) Helo comments that Sharon never gets tired; Sharon argues that it is just adrenaline. In the next episode, “Hand Of God”, Helo sees Number Six leading a group of cylons searching the area; he is shocked and confused, because this is the “woman” he saw Sharon shoot when she rescued him (in episode 1x01, “33”). Boomer, who is shocked but not confused, tells him “We’ll figure it out later”, and they flee once more.
Then we come to episode 1x11, “Colonial Day”. And by the end of this episode, it looks bad for Helo/Boomer:
Helo: I've been trying to make sense out of the two women we saw with the Cylons.
Helo: I can't fathom why anybody would wanna help the toasters. And they just happened to be twins? That's too weird.
Boomer: You got a better explanation?
Helo: You think the Cylons could be messing with human D.N.A.? Cloning people or something?
Boomer: Could be.
Helo: That would explain how they took us by surprise. They had these replicated humans infiltrating the colonies laying the groundwork for a surprise attack.
Boomer: You know, if they were human clones that means they're capable of-- of complex emotions, maybe even love. Maybe they were misguided in the way they were indoctrinated, but—
Helo: Whatever they are, they're not human. No human could do the things that they've done. Killed billions of innocent people. They've gotta be fraking Cylons, just like the rest of them.
Sharon is rather unsettled by this exchange, although this attitude of Helo’s is understandable. The cylons did massacre billions, and Helo has yet to see another side of cylons – remember, he does not yet know that Sharon is a cylon. However, it is also clear from the above that Sharon is trying to find a way to explain herself to Helo. She is intending to “confess” her true nature to him.
Unfortunately for Boomer, she does not have time. The following morning, as Helo and Boomer are exploring the the city of Delphi looking for a ship that so that they can escape Caprica. They reach the spaceport, and the unthinkable happens – they run into another Boomer model. Boomer shoots the other model, but it is too late. Suddenly, everything makes sense in Helo’s mind. He hits the jackpot with his first assumption – Sharon, the woman he loves, is a cylon.
I don’t think that anyone could begrudge Helo this reaction, given everything he has been through. He has had a terrible shock, and to run is a natural reaction. That sequence ends the episode, with Sharon running after him as the screen fades to back.
Episode 1x12 (“Kobol’s Last Gleaming Part I”) picks up where “Colonial Day” leaves off. Eventually, the chase ends, with Helo holding a gun on Boomer. He screams “Don’t come any closer”, before firing once at her. Boomer is hit, and immediately falls to the ground and rolls down the stairs. Helo approaches slowly.
He, however, is not without sentiment. He simply could not entertain the idea of shooting the woman he loves in cold blood, no matter what the circumstances are. For, as we discover, Helo has only shot Boomer in the arm; she is injured, but not killed. As she lies on the ground, she begs him to “just do it”.
That night, Helo and Boomer sit in an alleyway. It is raining. He is still holding the gun. Boomer attempts to explain herself, but Helo does not want to hear it. He fires one shot over her head as a warning, before telling her “Sharon was a friend of mine. Whatever twisted thing you are, you are not Sharon, you got that? The only thing I want from you is a way off this frakked-up world, that's it.”
In the next episode – 1x13, “Kobol’s Last Gleaming Part II”, the season finale of Season 1 – Helo and Boomer are exploring a museum, which contains the Arrow of Apollo. We see more of the “snark” of old, before Helo attempts to regain control of the situation by threatening Boomer – again. However, Boomer – in one of her best moments – is having none of it:
Boomer: Why don't you just shut up for a change? You're only alive because I've kept you alive. If it wasn't for me, you'd be dead by now. So, whether you like it or not, I'm your only hope of getting off this planet. So, if I were you, I would take that tough guy attitude of yours and shove it up your ass. We can't move around the city during daylight. So we hole up and wait 'til dark.
However, despite all appearances, the ship is not dead. Both of them have had valid, emotional reactions to the events of the past few episodes. However, it is also clear from the depth of the hurt that they are both feeling – especially given the strength of Helo’s reaction – that their feelings for each other are definitely still there. All that is needed is a catalyst.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the catalyst: Sharon is pregnant.
Later in episode 1x12, Helo is, once more, attempting to assert his control over the situation. Sharon, once more, will have none of it:
[Boomer is tapping her foot nervously on the ground]
Helo: Stop! Stop that.
Boomer: I'm nervous.
Helo: ( Sighs ) Like anything scares you.
Boomer: Things scare me, Helo, I have feelings.
Helo: You-- you have software.
Boomer: I don't know if you can hear this or not, Helo, but what we had between us was important. It was very important.
Boomer: Because it was the next step. Because it brings us closer to god.
Helo: Don't mock the gods, okay? It's a human belief, I'm human, they're our gods.
Boomer: But, beyond that, I just want you to know that I genuinely feel something for you.
Helo: I don't care. I don't love you. I loved what I thought was you.
Boomer: Helo, I think there's something else that you should know. I'm pregnant.
Naturally, the scene ends here, leaving us in suspense. However, based on Helo’s attitude to Sharon later on, it is clear that this announcement has had a huge impact on him. And why wouldn’t it? He has not, despite what he said, gotten over his feelings for Boomer. He still loves her.
Later that episode, Helo and Boomer run into Starbuck, another pilot from Galactica who has returned to Caprica looking for the Arrow of Apollo, under the instructions of the President Roslin, who hopes that the Arrow will lead the fleet to Earth. She has just fought and killed another model of Number 6.
Helo: Okay, okay, come here. Okay. I can't believe it. You are like the last person I expected to see.
Starbuck: I could say the same thing about you.
Helo: [Laughs] You okay?
Starbuck: [Grunts in pain]
Starbuck: Oh, I missed you.
[Starbuck sees Boomer; she pulls out Helo’s gun and tries to shoot Boomer]
Helo: Hey, I...
Starbuck: She's a Cylon!
Helo: [Grabs Starbuck] No, no, no! You can't, you can't... she's pregnant.
Starbuck: [Screams; she is shocked, and breaks down in tears]
There is a very, very, obvious change in attitude here from the Helo we saw earlier this episode, who was threatening to blow off Boomer’s head if she did not stop tapping her foot on the ground, to the Helo we see now, who stands between Starbuck’s gun and Boomer, risking his life to save her.
My interpretation of this change in attitude is this: Helo still loved Boomer, even after he found out that she is a Cylon. He felt betrayed. He felt wronged. He did not believe that there was any chance that Boomer felt any genuine feelings for him. The Cylons are the enemy, though, and he did not wish to give his enemy any advantages. So, he goes to the opposite extreme. He threatened her. He verbally abuseed her. He shot her. He went out of his way to tell her that she is the enemy, and she could expect no mercy from him.
However, when Boomer reveals that she is pregnant, Helo knows that she is not lying. He can’t explain why, but, in his words: “I know, all right? She is not lying.” In that moment, he believes her story. He can’t really explain to anyone why he believes her story, why he believes that she genuinely loves him, but he does.
Helo strikes me as a very honest person. It seems to me to be very unlikely that Helo would be able to pull off such a deception as pretending to simply “know” that his Cylon girlfriend loves him, especially when he would have to keep up this pretence for the benefit of the entire fleet, when he returns there. It follows, therefore, that he is not pretending – that he genuinely does believe Sharon’s story – that he knows that it is Sharon, not Sharon’s programming, who loves him. He trusts her implicitly.
As for Sharon’s attitude at this point in time, my main argument – beyond personal feelings – for Sharon’s feelings for Helo being genuine comes back to the “Why would she have admitted it?” argument. Yes, Helo did discover it through the existence of another copy of Boomer, but the only reason that they were in that area was because Boomer had betrayed her own people, had fled, and was leading Helo to Delphi for the purpose of finding a ship. If this was all part of the Cylon’s plan, why do they need to search for her? Why the need for conversations between the cylons – without Helo there – discussing Boomer and her state of mind? Why would Boomer and Helo need to go anywhere near Delphi? Or the Museum, for that matter? It seems to be all up too complicated and risky a plan to be workable. It follows, therefore, that if this is not an extraordinarily – and unnecessarily – complicated Cylon plan, then Boomer’s feelings for Helo are not a fabrication being constructed for the sole purpose of producing a child. It follows that she has genuine feelings for him – love.
Season Two picks up where Season One left off for the Helo-Boomer show. Boomer tries to convince Starbuck and Helo that they need to leave immediately. Starbuck reacts badly to being ordered around by a “cheap, knock-off copy”, and once more attempts to shoot Boomer. Helo grabs her and restrains her, protecting Boomer.
Helo: I'm not gonna let you kill her, okay? She's carrying my child.
Starbuck: My gods, men are so painfully stupid sometimes! How do you know that?
Helo: I know, all right? She is not lying.
Starbuck: They lie about everything, Helo, their entire existence is a lie. They're not human, Helo. They're machines. You can't have a baby with a machine. I don't know what to tell you. Okay?
Helo: But I believe her. I-it's hard to describe. We've been together a long time. I mean, I know what she is, but she is not like the others. She is not.
[They hear an engine starting]
Starbuck: No, no, no, no, no! [They run out the front, just as Starbuck’s Raider flies away, piloted by Boomer, who quietly slipped out during the confrontation] Bitch took my ride.
First of all, it is incredibly obvious that Helo loves her. That he trusts her word so completely as to believe in it without any proof to support it, and even with proof against it, such as the way cylons “lie about everything”, according to Starbuck, is indicative of a true depth of feeling.
However, secondly, if Helo loves her, if Boomer is pregnant, if Boomer is different to the other cylons – why did Boomer run?
This issue is not ever fully explored in the show, however, I believe that there is a simple explanation – Boomer knows that at that point in time she has little chance of convincing Starbuck that she is genuinely trying to help Helo. Words will mean nothing – she has to somehow convince Starbuck – and hopefully, through her, Adama, Roslin, and the others in power – not to kill her, her baby, or Helo.
In the following episodes, Starbuck gives Helo hell for loving a cylon. He apologises – time and time again. Helo is starting to loose faith in Sharon, however, it is clear that he is still in love with her. He calls her Sharon once, before Starbuck glares at him, and he corrects himself with a weary sigh: “Cylon Sharon”. He also says: “I fell in love with a machine. That's stupid. So just call me an idiot, and let's be done with it.” This is no “I loved what I thought was you.” This is “I feel in love and I’m still in love.”
(And, on a side note, I have to say that I do understand where Starbuck is coming from – she has seen no evidence that Boomer is on their side, and she has already had some hellish experiences with the cylons herself.)
Helo and Starbuck find a group of rebels, but are ambushed by cylons. Starbuck is kidnapped and taken to a ‘farm’ where cylons are attempting to produce human-cylon babies by forcing captured human women to fall pregnant, so far – according to Boomer – without success. Boomer reappears in episode 2x05, “The Farm”, as Helo and the rebels attempt to work out where Starbuck has been taken.
However, as is revealed, Boomer and Helo were set up to be something very different than the women in the Farm:
Sharon: We’re different.
Starbuck: What the frak is that suppose to mean?
Helo: They have this theory maybe the one thing they were missing was love. So Sharon and I… we were set up to—
Starbuck: To fall in love?
The fact that Helo knows this and can talk so openly about it indicates that some kind of conversation about this must have taken place between him and Sharon, that was not aired as a part of any episode. Helo is very comfortable with this concept. Surprisinginly comfortable, in fact, with the idea of being used in such an intimate manner. How can he be so comfortable with this idea?
I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, I am sure, but the answer, to me, appears to be clear – he loves her. He trusts her. He knows that she is different to the others.
2x06 (“Home Part 1”) adds an extra element to the story, as Helo, Boomer, and Starbuck make their way back towards the fleet, and end up on the planet Kobol. There, they find a group of rebels. However, these rebels are rebelling not against the cylons, but against the martial law that has just been imposed on the Colonial Fleet, and they include the President of the Colonies Laura Roslin, and Captain Lee ‘Apollo’ Adama, son of the Commander of Battlestar Galactica. Unfortunately for Sharon, Apollo was witness to an attack by Galactica!Boomer on his father Commander Adama, which left Adama seriously injured. Galactica!Boomer was subsequently murdered by one of the crew; however, this has not had any impact on the depth of Apollo’s hatred for the Boomer model of cylons; the moment he sees her, he pins her to the wall with a gun to her head, despite Starbuck’s plea: “Stop! She's with us!”
Helo responds immediately to the threat – he puts his own weapon to Apollo’s head, and demands that Apollo release Boomer, prompting Apollo to ask if he, too, is a cylon. It’s an attitude that Helo will have to get used to.
This sequence is quite significant – it shows the lengths Helo will go to to protect Boomer – he will commit mutiny to save her.
President Roslin intervenes, ordering both men to lay down their weapons, and assures Helo that Boomer will not be harmed. However, the moment Helo stands down, Roslin orders the guards to “put that thing out the airlock”.
Helo is held back by two other guards. “You said you weren’t going to hurt her!” he screams, then “Kara! For the love of gods! Sharon--this Sharon saved our lives back on Caprica. Tell them! Tell them”. Boomer protests too, telling Roslin: “I know how to find the Tomb of Athena! Do you? Kobol's a big planet! You don't find the tomb, you don't find Earth!”. However, in the end it is Starbuck – Starbuck, who tried to kill Boomer in an earlier episode, who gave Helo hell for loving a cylon – who saves Sharon, by showing Roslin the ‘Arrow of Apollo’. Roslin changes her mind, and Boomer is saved.
We get a wonderful glimpse into Boomer’s psyche throughout her talk with Roslin, and her motivation for helping the Colonials is clearly stated: “Because I love him. And because I'm carrying his child.”
Roslin, when talking to her assistants and supporters, initially tells them that “She claims to love Lieutenant Agathon. She says she loves the baby she's carrying.” However, she later reveals that she used threats on Helo’s life to ensure that Boomer would not lead them astray in the search for the Tomb of Athena – and this threat worked.
Roslin: I've told her that unless we return from Kobol with a map to earth that Lieutenant Agathon will be put out the airlock as a Cylon conspirator.
Meier: Is that true?
Roslin: Doesn't matter if it's true, she believed it. She saved them, both of them. She didn't have to. She could have saved her child and let them die. Why didn't she? Because I believe that she's telling the truth about one thing. She thinks she's in love. Even if it's software instead of an emotion, it's real to her. She wants her baby to live. She wants Agathon to live. We used that. (Emphasis is mine)
The Colonials – with Boomer – are ambushed on Kobol by a group of cylons. Near the end of fight, Boomer starts running. Apollo, Starbuck, the entire group believe that she is attempting to escape. Apollo dives after her … only to see Boomer seize a weapon and shoot the last cylon.
And in that moment, it occurs to him – and many of the others – that Boomer might just be on their side.
“Home Part 2” (2x07) sees some absolutely gorgeous Helo/Boomer interactions, which make me very happy, but do not really advance the ‘ship beyond showing that they most definitely are very comfortable around each other.
Later, Apollo watches as they sit and talk quietly together – they are, very obviously, in love.
Apollo: Gives me the creeps seeing him acting like that with her.
Starbuck: He loves her. And, yeah, he knows she's a machine. He doesn't care. He loves her anyway. (Emphasis is mine)
As for the quotes I have highlighted - in stating why they are so important to this ship, I am using (with permission) the words of repr0b8 - "The thing that catches me about those two quotes, is that they are both coming from outside observers. The love these two feel for each other is so strong, that despite everything, people are unable to deny that it is real." (Thank you for giving me permission to use that quote, and for saying this so succintly!)
Later in the episode, Meier tries to enlist Boomer in a plot against Apollo, by giving her a gun after telling her of the fate of Galactica!Boomer – shot and murdered by one of the crew, who was then given only 30 days in the brig for “unauthorised discharge of a firearm”. Boomer is obviously horrified by this.
Helo – with the help of Starbuck and Roslin – succeeds in protecting Boomer from Commander Adama, after he arrives to “put the fleet back together”. Boomer then tells him of the fate of Galactica!Boomer – Helo, too, is horrified. He promises never to let that happen to her. Boomer's response does not really hearten Helo:
Boomer: So Cally kills Sharon... and the old man gives her 30 days in the brig.
Helo: 30 days for murder.
Boomer: They don't see it as murder, Helo. That's what I'm trying to tell you. That's what you're not hearing. To him, to the president, to all of them. Cylons aren't people. I'm not a person to them. I'm a thing.
Helo: I won't just stand by and let them kill you like the other Sharon. Okay?
Boomer: I believe you, Helo. I do. But if we're gonna have any future together, any at all ... I'm gonna have to take matters into my own hands.
Helo: What are you talking about?
Boomer: Do you love me?
Boomer: Do you trust me?
Boomer: Then don't ask me what I have to do.
Helo: Sharon, what the frak are you talking -
Boomer: Trust me. Trust us.
As it turns out, Sharon is referring to the double cross she pulls on Meier - shooting him dead and then proceeding to hold a gun on Adama while she explains:
Boomer: I need you to know something. I'm Sharon, but I'm a different Sharon. I know who I am. I don't have hidden protocols or programs lying in wait to be activated. I make my own choices, I make my own decisions. And I need you to know this is my choice. [She gives up the gun.]
It was a desperate play - but, as Sharon clearly appreciates, most people are not going to believe that she is on the side of the humans. She is going to need to convince them that she is - for her sake, for her baby's sake, for Helo's sake.
Episode 2x08 ("Final Cut") sees a new threat - Sharon nearly miscarries. Helo is visiting her in her cell on Galactica - he sees Sharon lying on the bed, deathly white and her hands covered in blood. She is rushed to the medical bays, where the Doctor saves her baby - but not before a film crew, including a cylon who may or may not be a sleeper agent have filmed her. The footage is transmitted back to the cylon base on Caprica, where it is watched by four cylons, including a different model of Sharon. It is soon clear that these cylons had no idea if Sharon was alive or dead before seeing the footage:
Other!Boomer: I'm still alive. She's still alive. [to Doral] I told you.
Boomer is clearly not still "wired in" to the general cylon consciousness - this supports her assertion that she has, indeed, betrayed her own kind willingly and knowingly, and also that she is not connected to them even without her knowledge - a blow to the "Sharon is a sleeper agent" theory.
In 2x09, a cylon virus - implanted in the colonial fleet previously - activates, resulting in several near fatalities. In an attempt to destroy the virus, Adama orders that Helo show Sharon a printout of the virus.
Helo: All right, we have to get to this. Dr. Baltar said it's some sort of cylon logic bomb. Do you see anything?
[Helo holds out a clipboard with a printout of the virus]
Boomer: [concerned]Can you flip? [Helo flips the page over; Sharon keeps reading, but she is obviously horrified by what she's seeing.]
Helo: Sharon? Sharon, what's wrong? Sharon!
Boomer: I need to talk to Commander Adama. Right now.
Boomer: It's a cylon virus, all right. It's been learning your systems, testing, adapting, finding weak spots.
Helo: For what?
Boomer: So they can turn Galactica's systems against you. Crash you into other ships, detonate your weapons stores, suffocate the crews.
Helo: What about you, the baby?
Boomer: I'm a liability to them, a mistake. Helo, this logic bomb will run its course in a matter of hours. once it does, the cylons will be on top of us. They're gonna kill us all
In a bid to stop the progress of the virus, Sharon offers to destroy it herself. She is brought to the bridge, where she thrusts a data cable into her hand and accesses Galactica's computer systems, turning the virus back on the cylon fleet which has arrived to destroy Galactica. Despite her efforts, however, Adama's view of her has apparently not changed - he orders the marines to "take this thing back to its cell."
However, Helo has also had an important plotline this episode, for in it we see, for the first time, his interactions with many of the crew of Galactica, following his return. Many of the crew are hostile towards him, or ignore him outright - his attempts to join a card game with Starbuck are rebuffed, as despite Starbuck being friendly towards him, the other pilots clearly consider him a traitor.
The significance of Starbuck's statement about Helo and Boomer's relationship back in 2x07 ("he knows she's a machine. He doesn't care. He loves her anyway") comes back into play here, when she defends Helo; firstly, with:
Starbuck: You know what? I don't care who or what he fraks. He saved my ass down there, all right?
Starbuck: I'm going to go find Helo.
Racetrack: Good idea. Maybe that cylon whore taught him a few tricks.
[Starbuck slams her head into the table]
That Starbuck is defending Helo is surely indictative of the simple fact that she believes the relationship to be genuine. She was initially skeptical, and for good reason. But, she has changed her mind. She has watched Helo and Boomer together and apart, and she now believes that their relationship is genuine.
Helo also confronts Tyrol about the situation. Tyrol is bitter and angry, Helo is apolegetic, but not to the point where he will allow Tyrl to insult his Sharon. A fight breaks out, which ends with Tyrol holding a spanner about Helo's head, ready to strike - and dropping it, as he realises that Helo is not the enemy. His voice breaking, Tyrol says "My Sharon is dead."
By the end of the episode, Helo has redeemed himself with the other pilots, as one of his ideas leads to the successful creation of Tyrol's new Viper. It's clear from the handshakes he receives that the other pilots have decided to accept, or ignore, "who he fraks".
"Pegasus". The finale of the first half of Season 2 (the second half is set to air in January). This episode caused some controversy and large amounts of discussion, and Sharon - and through her, Helo - was at the centre of it. The Galactica encounters another Colonial ship, Battlestar Pegasus. The crew of the Pegasus have been less than kind to their own cylon prisoner, who was the victim of a brutal gang rape, lead by the Pegasus's cylon interrogator, Thorne - the same interrogator who is 'released' on Boomer in this episode.
Tyrol and Helo, alerted to Thorne's interrogation methods by the crude talk of the crew of the Pegasus, rush to Sharon's rescue.
Boomer: [Crying] What the frak? [Thorne hits her, knocking her face down onto the bed.]
Thorne: Hold her. [The marines grab her arms, holding Boomer down. Thorne grabs his pants.]
[Cut to Tyrol and Helo running through the corridors towards Sharon's cell.]
Helo: Get out of the way! Get out of the way!
Tyrol: Move, move, move, move!
[Cut to the cell.]
Boomer: [screaming and crying] No! No!
[Thorne is pulling his trousers down. Helo and Tyrol burst into the cell; Tyrol throws Thorne off Sharon. Thorne hits the wall. After a short scuffle, the marines recover, and point their weapons at Helo and Tyrol.]
Marines: Freeze! Freeze! Don't you frakking move!
[Sharon, crying, pulls a blanket over her head. Helo, kneeling nearby, stares at her, distressed. Tyrol stares angrily ahead.]
Marine: [checks Thorne's neck for a pulse.] He's dead.
This is one of the most emotionally intense sequences on BSG - it's almost impossible to watch without being affected. But what shines through it the lengths Helo (and Tyrol) will go to to protect Sharon - and the seriousness of her plight; she is not viewed as human by most of the fleet, and therefore, in some people's eyes, she is "fair game".
The ending of the episode is sombre - Helo and Tyrol have been taken to the Pegasus and are to be executed for mutiny; Adama is about to launch an attack from Galactica to retrieve them.
Helo/Boomer is, however, likely to last well into the remainder of Season 2. (Or, at least, it had better.) It's a strong relationship, and unlikely to be shattered by anything less than the death of one of the characters - which had also, better not happen. (I could be proved horribly wrong on this, but I hope not!)
Helo/Boomer ~ in fanon
:: “I know what she is, but she is not like the others. She is not.” :: [Karl ‘Helo’ Agathon, episode 2x01 “Scattered”]
First up, I would recommend going straight to the Helo/Boomer LJ community, hidden_elysium. I admit to not being terribly up to date with Helo/Boomer fic; I’ve not had the time as yet to fully immerse myself in that aspect of the ship, but I know that there are some fantastic writers out there.
If you're after more fanfiction, try bsg2003fics. For fanvids, make your way over to galactica_vids, for icons, go to galactica_icons. There are also more fics, as well as discussions, over on Ragnar Anchorage.
The official homepage of the show is here; it's also worth a look. There's a list of some more general BSG links here.
~Thank you for reading :) And if you made it this far - well done!