Berserker Cast has a reason to celebrate with this next installment of the podcast! We got a real life reunion of the surviving members of the Berserkers, and though it was under less than ideal circumstances, Darrell and I feel validated in the namessake of this podcast! We discuss Season 5 Episode 4 “Pope Breaks Bad”, which originally aired on July 19, 2015.

For all the havoc Pope could have wreaked, I was surprised at the more methodical approach he took to raising hell. Since the arrival of Sarah’s character almost a full season ago, the writers have been very intentional about making Pope a more willing participant in the 2nd Mass and I can’t help but wonder if it was all for the very purpose of standing in opposition to Tom here at the end of the series, right before the final battle.

Based on the first several seasons, it comes as no surprise for Pope to be the voice of dissent, to raise havoc and cause people to question Tom’s leadership by drawing out marginalized facts. What we have here is nothing more than a dirty election campaign, wherein the incumbent finds himself having to face down the choices he’s had to make over the course of his tenure. How many former presidents would be willing to put a gun into the hands of the opposite party, point it at their own head, and tell them to pull the trigger if they honestly believed them responsible for all of the pain and anguish experienced over the course of their presidency?

We became used to Pope being the complainer, the one who is willing to state half-truths, chide at leadership, and piss on every idea. When Sarah came along and asked him why the heck he bothered to stay with the 2nd Mass, he came to realize just how good he had it. He got to do the dirty work. He got to face down skitters and kill the hostile alien creatures that invaded their planet. Now… Now! Now that Sarah is gone, his rose-colored glasses have come off and he’s back to old tricks again, but worse.

The highlight for me in this episode was the interactions between Cochise, Anne and Ben. Learning about the Volm’s custom, Exchange of Silence, and having Cochise share that with Anne was incredibly powerful and moving. We’ve talked quite a bit on Berserker Cast about what Earth will look like at the resolution of this intergalactic conflict–will there still be national pride? Will race and issues of social justice still divide us?–but we’ve neglected to discuss the mark left behind by the aliens, good and bad. Though the Espheni will be remembered as the Destroyer of Worlds, the Volm have become allies and with this scene between Anne and Cochise I am so pleased to see that the humans will not be prejudiced against every alien race.

Darrell and I cover a lot in the episode, from Nasca (or Nazca) lines to foreign rituals to mourning. I always leave a podcast enjoying the show more, and we hope you feel the same!

Next Week
Season 5 Episode 5 “Non-Essential Personnel” (HALFWAY TO THE END! AHHH!)

We want to hear from you! We are halfway through the season and so close to the end of this show’s run and we haven’t yet left Savannah. What do you think that means for the end of the season? What sort of resolution can humanity come to in the time that remains? Let us know your reactions and theories each week by using our handy dandy feedback page where you can type up an email, attach an audio file, or use the SpeakPipe widget.

We record Berserker Cast to a live audience on Tuesdays at 8/7 Central. You can watch and chat with us by going here!