Ah, Felix Gaeta. After so many years of wondering about your love life, we finally got to see it — and this being Battlestar Galactica, the fantasies were probably better. Spoilers for the webisodes ahead.
(In case you missed it yesterday, all of the webisodes, except for episode nine, were leaked early on Amazon, and should be easy to find elsewhere now as well.)
The thing that won me over about "The Face Of The Enemy," despite a bigger-than-usual dose of melodrama, was that Gaeta changed as a result of these events. And also the fact that Gaeta didn't have to view these experiences the way he chose to.
Here's what happened: a few days after the fleet found Earth, some of Cavil's Cylons showed up. (Can we call them Imperial Cylons, as opposed to Rebel Cylons?) The fleet jumps away, but one raptor, containing Gaeta, two Sharons and an assortment of redshirts, gets lost. They're running out of oxygen and the jump calculations to rejoin the fleet have gone "non-linear." So it's basically the classic lifeboat situation.
People start dropping dead, and it soon becomes clear there's a murderer aboard. Everyone suspects the one remaining Cylon, but Gaeta had an affair with her back on the planet of New Caprica, when she helped him save people from the prison camps. Oops, it turns out the Sharon really is the killer, and she also didn't help Gaeta save people — she took his lists of people who needed saving, and made sure those people got executed instead. Gaeta kills his ex-lover, and prepares to die alone, covered with blood and surrounded with corpses.
But there's a happy ending! Gaeta's current lover, Hoshi, has been searching for Gaeta in another raptor. And even though it's hopeless, and he knows he's just wasting time (and precious fuel), Hoshi refuses to give up. And he finds Gaeta, with minutes to spare.
So you can look at this story and derive a few different morals: True love conquers all, since Hoshi's love saved Gaeta. Or, be careful whom you trust, since Hoshi was trustworthy and Sharon wasn't. Or even, some Cylons are nicer than others, since this Sharon killed for the occupation while Athena was fighting to destroy it.
Instead, the emotionally scarred Gaeta leaps for the bleakest reading: you can't trust any Cylons. And love is a luxury he can't afford, because the Cylons are about to hit the fan.
At least, after Gaeta goes and bitches out poor Saul Tigh for being a Cylon, and demands to tell Admiral Adama that the alliance with the Cylons was a mistake, he then has a conversation with Hoshi where he appears to dump him, and tells him to keep his head down. And reading between the lines, it sounds as though Gaeta is on his way to meet with Tom Zarek about fomenting revolution against the Roslin/Adama regime.
(By the way, how can anyone think the Cylon alliance was a bad idea? The humans got to destroy the Cylons' Resurrection Hub, preventing the Cylons from resurrecting ever again, assuming the Cylons were telling the truth. They found out who four of the final five were, eliminating a potential security risk. And they found Earth, whose condition wasn't the Cylons' fault. The humans got way more out of it than the Cylons did.)
In any case, if this had been a regular episode of BSG, instead of an episode-length story split into ten bite-sized parts, it would have been a middling installment. Pretty good, not great. Better than "The Woman King" and the episode that killed off Kat. It definitely gets a bit too melodramatic, and the bit where the evil Sharon tells Gaeta "You HAVE to face reality. You HAVE to see the world for what it is," wasn't Grace Park's finest moment.
As for Alessandro Juliani, he does a pretty great job, especially in the last webisode, where he has to carry the whole thing without any dialogue for a bit. (Except more of that singing, of which the less said the better.) The whole sequence where he covers his face with blood, surveys the corpses all around him, and almost kills himself but then doesn't, is pretty awe-inspiring. The rest of the time, he has a bit of his usual deer-in-the-headlights thing going on, but he mostly carries the romantic lead pretty well.
I have a feeling, from the clips we've seen so far, that these webisodes will add to your appreciation of the show's final episodes, even though they were added afterwards. We've already seen a clip of Gaeta lecturing a slightly scared-looking Baltar about his restaurant ideas, and we know that Gaeta and Baltar have unfinished business.
Oh, and the consensus online seems to be that Gaeta's chances of being the final Cylon have gone down considerably after these webisodes. (Bear in mind, they could be a deliberate misdirection, and he could still be our guy.) But if he's a Cylon, he definitely doesn't know it yet, judging from the venom with which he talks to Tigh at the end. Poor Tigh — he's pretty much the only person I feel sorrier for than Gaeta.