Sharon Valerii, aka Boomer, is a fascinating character because she plays so many variations of herself. There are two main Valeriis in season one – the one on Galactica who has no idea she’s a Cylon and struggles with Cylon instincts, and the one on Caprica who knows she’s a Cylon but struggles with human emotion.
Boomer is a competent pilot who’s judgement is clouded because of her involvement with a senior officer, Tyrol. When a commanding officer to both of them forces Tyrol (as the more senior of the couple) to call things off, which he does, she storms and sulks. This could have been portrayed as a stereotyped female thing, but came across more as an inexperienced, immature person being denied what she wanted. Grace Park is twenty-seven, but Boomer seems younger than that, and is meant to be one of the most inexperienced pilots on the fleet.
And Tyrol and Boomer’s relationship is shown to have negative consequences. This was insanely refreshing after years of too-tidy allusions to O’Neill and Carter’s relationship in Stargate, especially when Janet died.
The Boomer on Caprica is shown to battle with her conflicting Cylon instincts and human emotions; another make of Cylon comments that Boomer’s make was always weak like that, but it’s this battle that makes her a fascinating character. She seems to genuinely be in love with – or at least fond of – Helo, the Galactica Boomer’s co-pilot who was stranded there, and devastated by his rejection of her when he realises she’s a Cylon.
Meanwhile, the Galactica Boomer has to come to terms with her growing realisation that she is a Cylon. The character provides a fascinating example of the chasm between robot and human – a chasm which sometimes seems little more THAN a pothole.
Rarely is there a sense that Boomer is “˜weak’ and when we see that, it comes across (to me, at least) as related to youth and inexperience – or just a bad model – THAN gender.