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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down

Battlestar Galactica

"Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down"

TV episode

Written by Jeff Vlaming

Directed by Edward James Olmos

Original air date: March 4, 2004


Colonel Tigh’s ex-wife is found alive in the fleet; President Roslin clandestinely investigates Adama’s actions, fearing he might be a Cylon. 


Read the story summary at the Battlestar Wiki Clone


Notes from the BSG chronology


This episode opens 3 days after the events of "Flesh and Bone", 28 days after the annihilation of the Twelve Colonies.


Didja Know?


The title of this episode is a play on that of the 1989 Spanish dark comedy, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, about a psychiatric patient who kidnaps an actress in the hope that she'll fall in love with him.


This episode was directed by Edward James Olmos, the actor who plays Commander Adama.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


Commander Adama

President Roslin

Lt. Gaeta

Billy Keikeya



Head Six


Colonel Tigh

Ellen Tigh





Chief Tyrol

Hot Dog


Didja Notice?


During the "Previously on Battlestar Galactica" sequence, the shot of Colonel Tigh burning a hole through his wife's photograph is based on a scene from "Serve and Protect", but the photograph has been replaced with the current actress playing Ellen Tigh, Kate Vernon. The original photograph featured Jennifer Birchfield-Eick, the wife of series co-producer Michael Eick.


The Galactica has an observation deck with a view out into space that is in high demand by crewmembers and civilians of the fleet as a means of relaxation. An observation deck with much more immense windows into space is later seen in "Bringing Back the Dead".


The opera music Baltar listens to in his lab is a piece written by series composer Bear McCreary called "Battlestar Operatica". The lyrics, sung in Italian, are directly relatable to Baltar, as seen at the Battlestar Wiki Clone site.


Lamenting the immense and time-consuming task ahead of him in testing everyone in the fleet with the Cylon detector, Baltar states there are 47,905 survivors in the fleet. This is down 49 people since "Flesh and Bone" just a few days prior. It's possible Baltar's numbers are off or a recount of the population corrected some errors.


Baltar's calculation of 21,956 days to test every person in the fleet at 11 hours each is accurate, given a 24-hour day.


When the lone Cylon Raider jumps into the fleet's presence, Apollo and Beehive are on patrol and go after it. This is the only appearance of Beehive.


With Commander Adama away, when Tigh leaves CIC, he gives Lt. Gaeta command.


At 16:53 on the Blu-ray, a Cylon Heavy Raider flies over the surface of Caprica in search of Helo and Caprica-Valerii. This is the first appearance of a Heavy Raider in a TV episode, but others appeared in the comics, most recently in "The Red Line".


Helo wonders why the Cylons are suddenly sending such a large force against him and Sharon (Caprica-Valerii). It's likely this is because Caprica-Valerii has gone rogue on them due to her love for Helo, but to cover up the fact that she's a Cylon, she tells him that they're after her because she overheard their plans for using the Caprican city of Delphi as a base of operations while she was their prisoner; it's kind of a flimsy excuse, but Helo seems to buy it. Delphi was previously mentioned as the site of the Delphi Convalescent Institute in the Caprica episode "The Imperfections of Memory".


Ellen remarks to Roslin that some people wonder "if a kindergarten teacher is really the right person to be president". This implies the Colonies had a kindergarten grade of schooling for children. Kindergarten translates from German as "child garden". Roslin was a schoolteacher before becoming the Secretary of Education and, after the annihilation of the Twelve Colonies, the President; it's never been stated what grade level she taught.


Baltar decides that all the blood tests in the Cylon detector are going to come up human, because he doesn't want to spend all the time running test after test, "no muss, no fuss". Apparently he's so selfish, he doesn't even give a thought that the ones who are Cylons may harm the fleet! Interestingly though, he now knows that the first two people he tested, Boomer (in "Flesh and Bone") and Ellen here, are both Cylons (Ellen is not revealed to us as a Cylon until Season Four in "Sometimes a Great Notion").


Memorable Dialog

if you're a Cylon, I'd like to know.wav
a Cylon duplicate.wav
are you a Cylon?.wav
if a kindergarten teacher is really the right person to be president.wav
how lucky for us all.wav
we're all in a lot of trouble.wav
Adama doesn't know where Earth is.wav
it's complicated.wav
she thought you might be a Cylon.wav
that's why I need you, Saul.wav
don't frak with me.wav

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