Sharon Valerii, played by Korean-Canadian actress Grace Park, is a young, pretty, highly educated Asian woman who has a white boyfriend, a steady job with a large organization, and is on a professional fast track. This is all-too-familiar figure in Asian American popular culture: sites such as bitterasianmen.com complain, well, bitterly about the preference of Asian women for white men and vice versa. The assimilation of Asian American women through intermarriage is a familiar theme in American media since World War II. In Battlestar Galactica, however, Asian women are literally unassimilable due to their biological differences. Sharon is an artificial life form, a Cylon, and thus an enemy alien. The identification of Asian women with digital machines (her “programming” made her shoot Commander Adama at the end of Season 1, despite her conscious loyalty to him and to the ship) is made especially clear in this clip from Season 2’s “Flight of the Phoenix.” Sharon proves her loyalty to her human captors by interfacing directly with the ship’s computer to disable an alien virus. The gory insertion of a fiberoptic cable into a wound on her wrist evokes horrified reactions from all of the crew, even the famously selfish Dr. Baltar, who has presumably seen blood before. In a show that frequently depicts all sorts of torture, including rape, this is a prolonged gross-out moment that visualizes the differences between humans and Cylons, who are derisively referred to as “toasters.” While the torture and rape of the blond and beautiful Cylon Number 6, and, in the next episode “Pegasus,” near-rape of Sharon herself effectively erases the differences between human and “artificial” women, evoking pity, empathy, and horror in the viewer and the characters, Sharon’s coupling with the fiberoptic cable makes her more alien than ever. She is indeed, in this scene, a “toaster”: a peripheral appliance that can help reformat the ship’s “hard drive” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toaster_%28disambiguation%29 for a wikipedia entry that lists both “Cylon” and “Video Toaster” as “disambiguated” alternate meanings for toaster. Only on the Interweb!) Does this scene encourage current media images of Asians as always-already digital, as “good with the computer” but not good at being loyal citizens, and as an alien threat? Does Sharon’s obvious suffering during her service as a network peripheral challenge this reading?