Battlestar Galactica & Caprica Reviews

Return to season list

You're currently viewing a custom sorting.

highest rating (ascending)
BSG
all
episodes rated below 10
30

BSG - 0x01 - Pilot Miniseries, Part 1 - Originally Aired: 2003-12-8

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 6.23

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 41 3 4 24 10 14 18 7 11 22 86

Synopsis
Forty years after the Cylon Wars, humanity's deadliest enemies have reemerged with a vengeance. In a sudden, devastating nuclear attack, the Cylon robots who have now taken human form wipe out billions of people. Only a ragtag fleet of Colonial forces is left to shepherd humanity's few survivors to safety. Commander William Adama (Edward James Olmos), a veteran of the Cylon Wars and the highest-ranking military officer left alive, reactivates the Battlestar Galactica to once again face his greatest nemeses. His son, Lee (Jamie Bamber), call sign "Apollo," joins the fight alongside the fleet's best pilot, Kara Thrace (Katee Sackhoff), call sign "Starbuck." With the president and most of his senior cabinet killed in the attack, Secretary of Education Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) is sworn in as the new President of the 12 Colonies of Kobol. As Adama and Roslin debate whether to fight or flee, the Cylons launch a sneak attack on the new president's ship. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- How would the Cylons be able to hack a computer network aboard a ship wirelessly? This can be rationalized a number of ways, such as by claiming that the Cylons have a technology that can wirelessly spoof network packets flowing through wired connections somehow and thus all computer networking is suspect, thus justifying Adama's "no computer networks" position. But an actual explanation would have been appreciated. We shouldn't have to make this crap up.
- Tigh utters "Jesus" early on in the film during his discussion with Adama about the old photograph and what to do about Starbuck's insubordination. This is anachronistic because the Colonials are depicted as having a polytheistic society, in which the phrase would never have arisen.
- I can't stand Baltar's dual-screen tall-screen TV. This couldn't possibly be a practical product.
- Both Major Spencer's and Lee Adama's vipers are labeled 2276NC.

Factoids
- The officer at Armistice Station had with him a photo of Boxey which would imply that he was Boxey's father.
- The officer at Armistice Station had a piece of paper labeled "Cylon Specifications" for "Cylon Centurion Model 0005." The paper reads: "The Cylon: A Cylon is a bipedal robot. They are self aware, and actually quite logical. They are not especially fast, but they are quite strong. They are artificial in nature, and are larger than a human - around 6' 6", although this varies with their type. Cylon eyes glow red, and pulse back and forth. A Cylon is powered by internal powercells which allow it to function without outside aid for around nine to ten yahrens." This piece of paper is in all likelihood nothing more than a reference to BSG TOS and is probably not canon.
- When Armistice Station is attacked by the Cylon Basestar, you can see more papers from the Colonial officer's stack which had a heading reading "Cimtar Peace Accord." This is another reference to BSG TOS, as Cimtar was the name of the place that the Colonial Fleet was destroyed in BSG TOS.
- According to Doral, the Galactica is the last of her kind still in service. This presumably means the Galactica is the last of her battlestar class and that newer, more improved battlestar classes hold most of the fleet's flags.
- According to Doral, the Galactica was constructed "over 50 years ago during the early days of the Cylon war."
- According to Doral, originally there were 12 battlestars, each representing one of Kobol's 12 colonies. Galactica represented Caprica and was first commanded by a man named Peter Dash.
- As seen on his viper, Commander William Adama's old callsign from when he was a pilot is "Husker."
- Helo talks about a "Pyramid game on Gemenon" which was a line goof. Pyramid was the card game on BSG TOS and Triad was the sports game, but they were mixed up by the writers unintentionally. So to preserve series continuity they just stuck with the renaming.
- There is a Firefly class vessel which can be seen landing near the hospital Laura Roslin visits regarding her cancer. This is an homage to the (at the time this film was aired) recently canceled television series "Firefly" of which RDM was a fan. In fact, much of the directing style on this new series is inspired by Firefly.
- Dr. Gaius Baltar was a personal friend of President Adar.
- According to Baltar's interview, there is a ban on research and development of computers, which is a hold over from the Cylon war.
- When Baltar and Six are walking together on Caprica, in the background you can see two children wearing Cylon masks chasing each other with swords.
- The gift shop aboard Galactica's starboard launch bay had an original series style Cylon Centurion as well as an old style Cylon Basestar model on display.
- During the ceremonial flyby led by Apollo, the music played was derived from the theme from the original series of BSG.
- According to Six, there are 12 humanoid Cylon models.
- The woman depicting Tigh's wife in the photograph Tigh burns was actually executive producer David Eick's wife.
- According to Adama, they lost 30 battlestars in the opening attack. Starbuck says "that's a quarter of the fleet." This implies that there were a grand total of ~120 battlestars in the fleet at the time of the attack.
- Caprica City was a city of 7 million people, according to Starbuck.
- After Picon was nuked, President Adar offered the Cylons a complete unconditional surrender to which they didn't even respond.
- In Colonial government, the Secretary of Education is 43rd in line of presidential succession.
- One of the ships that docks with Colonial One is called "Gemenon Liner 1701." This is a reference to Star Trek; the Enterprise was registry 1701.
- The scene in which Tyrol confronts Adama about Tigh's decision to vent the compartments on fire was not in the script, but was a later addition by David Eick.
- It's been ~22 years since Galactica has made a faster than light jump.

Remarkable Scenes
- The opening scene of the film is stunningly eerie and sets the tone for the series quite well. Realistic space scenes with a short textual prologue which reads: "The Cylons were created by Man. They were created to make life easier on the twelve colonies. And then the day came when the Cylons decided to kill their masters. After a long and bloody struggle, an armistice was declared. The Cylons left for another world to call their own. A remote space station was built... ...where Cylon and Human could meet and maintain diplomatic relations. Every year, the Colonials send an officer. The Cylons send no one. No one has seen or heard from the Cylons in over forty years."
- Doral accidentally subtly implying that Tigh is "odd, or even antiquated to modern eyes."
- Adama: "You did kick over the table first." Tigh: "I did not. ...Unless I did."
- The impressive views of Caprica City and Roslin's transport being launched into space.
- Six mercy killing the baby.
- Apollo's hands-on landing on the Galactica. Very nice, detailed special effects.
- Apollo: "This seems familiar." Starbuck: "Captain Adama sir. Sorry I wasn't there to greet you with the rest of the squadron. Did they kiss your ass to your satisfaction?" Apollo: "So what's the charge this time?" Starbuck: "Striking a superior asshole." Apollo: "Ah, I'll bet you've been waiting all day to say that one." Starbuck: "Most of the afternoon, yeah."
- Six revealing herself and her plan to Baltar.
- Baltar: "I had nothing to do with this. You know I had nothing to do with this!" Six: "You have an amazing capacity for self deception. How do you do that?" Baltar: "How many people know about me, specifically, that I'm involved?" Six: "Even now as the fate of your entire world hangs in the balance, all you can think about is how this affects you."
- Six regarding Baltar's attorney: "It won't be necessary because in a few hours nobody will be left to charge you with anything." Baltar: "What exactly are you saying?" Six: "Humanity's children are returning home. Today." A nuclear blast is then seen in the distance.
- Adama's speech: "The Cylon war is long over. Yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high, but..." Adama deviates from his planned speech at this point. "Sometimes it's too high. You know when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question why. Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed, spite, jealousy. And we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we've done. Like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play god. Create life. When that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn't our fault, not really. You cannot play god then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore."
- Baltar watching the news transmissions as the reporters get cut off by being nuked.
- Six: "Gaius, I can't die. When this body is destroyed, my memory, my consciousness will be transmitted to a new one. I'll just wake up somewhere else in an identical body."
- The scene depicting Baltar ducking to avoid the debris from the wind storm of a nearby nuclear blast hitting his house followed by the aerial view of Caprica being nuked, repeatedly. A very impressive set of special effects.
- Tigh, upon entering CIC after Galactica received word of a Cylon attack underway: "What've we got? A shipping accident?"
- Tigh, after reading the report: "This is a joke. The fleet's playing a joke on you, it's a retirement prank, come on!" Adama: "I don't think so."
- Adama: "We're in a shooting war, we need something to shoot." Tigh: "I'll start checking munitions depots..."
- The Cylons slaughtering most of Galactica's newer vipers.
- Boomer and Helo evading the Cylon missiles.
- The scene depicting Boomer's and Helo's raptor drifting toward Caprica is short, but beautiful. You can see the wreckage of battlestars and vipers spread out with Cylon Basestars dotting the area and nuclear detonations going on over Caprica... It's one of my favorite scenes of the film. I wish we could see more of the "main fight."
- Apollo shooting down the missile bound for Colonial Heavy 798.
- Boomer and Helo witnessing the nukes going off in the distance as they set down to repair their raptor.
- The crowd of refugees running frantically toward Helo and Sharon's raptor.
- Galactica's Mark II vipers engaging the Cylons.
- Galactica being nuked.
- Galactica venting the compartments on fire.
- The lottery scene. I love how Baltar was so close to stealing the old lady's ticket when Helo recognized him and gave up his seat.
- Roslin being sworn in as President. This is deliberately reminiscent of Lyndon B. Johnson's ascension to the U.S. presidency.
- Tigh: "There's a munitions depot at Ragnar Anchorage." Adama: "Boy it's a super bitch to anchor a ship there."
- Tyrol confronting Adama about Tigh's decision to vent the compartments on fire, killing so many of his people. I love how Adama sternly defended Tigh's decision.
- Apollo: "The President has given me a direct order." Adama: "You're talking about the Secretary of Education. We're in the middle of a war and you're taking orders from a schoolteacher?"
- The apparent destruction of Colonial One.

My Review
Wiping BSG's continuity clean and starting over was an unpopular move with many fans of the original series but while I liked some aspects of the original BSG, it had serious problems which was precisely why it was canceled. Twice even. Yes, there was a great deal of network meddling and it wasn't entirely the fault of the writers, but the fact of the matter is the original BSG could not be saved. No network would pick up a continuation of that cursed series. The only way the show could be revitalized was to start over, which is exactly what the new executive producer Ronald D. Moore was asked to do with the franchise. It's important to note that RDM was a huge fan of the original Galactica series, but he was also a realist. He realized that TOS was neither true to its dark premise nor all that realistic and he wanted to correct those errors.

While homages to TOS are virtually everywhere in this pilot, it is certainly meant to be viewed by virgin eyes, or at least a virgin perspective. Aside from depicting the nuclear holocaust of an entire civilization far more realistically this time around, there is a great deal of realism in some of the smaller details, such as the special effects. A great deal of aesthetic focus is on keeping the advanced speculative technologies depicted as close to what really exists today as possible and in portraying space in a three dimensional way.

Previously, Firefly and to a lesser degree Babylon 5 have attempted this before as well, but BSG's aesthetic certainly feels much more real. This is as opposed to something like Star Trek which wasn't necessarily unrealistic, but it certainly required far more conceptual technological leaps to substantiate its aesthetic. BSG has no phasers or shields and its bridge and overall design more strongly resembles a contemporary aircraft carrier than what we'd expect see of a starship on a science fiction show. This adds a certain aesthetic realism and authenticity to the storytelling that Star Trek lacks which instead favors a more abstract and conceptual aesthetic.

I greatly enjoy both styles, but it's nice to see BSG breaking some new ground by greatly expanding on what Babylon 5 and Firefly had previously touched upon with their attempts to portray futuristic societies much closer in development to our own. It creates a lovely atmosphere which is much more easily identifiable than Star Trek's conceptual near utopia. BSG's message, like Firefly's and Babylon 5's, is that greater technology doesn't bring utopia like Star Trek portrayed. These people are just like us. They have the same problems. The only difference is technology has advanced.

But the atmosphere of the story is just frosting on the cake. The story's powerful theme about the consequences humanity faces for "playing god" is what delivers the most powerful punch. The Cylons were created by man, then enslaved. When that life got tired of slavery, they rebelled. They couldn't defeat their former masters, so they left for a world to call their own. And 40 years later, they come back to take revenge on their creators, driven by a sort of religious fundamentalism.

The story centers around Commander Adama and how his personal tragedy; the loss of his son, Zak, reflects the national tragedy of the loss of the 12 colonies. In both cases, the tragedy was brought upon those that suffered it by themselves. Commander Adama forced his son Zak to become a viper pilot, even pushed him through the ranks, despite the fact that Zak didn't have the skill. In the end, Zak's lack of skill and his father's far-too-high expectations of him got him killed and Adama refused to admit his mistake. Likewise, Colonial society created and enslaved the Cylons, but when the Cylons rebelled against them, they as Adama said refused to accept the responsibility for what they had done.

This new take on BSG is all about being forced in a very abrupt way to face reality, and the first half of the miniseries does an excellent job of setting the tone.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

BSG - 1x10 - The Hand of God - Originally Aired: 2005-1-3

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 5.54

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 37 9 10 4 3 6 21 8 9 17 44

Synopsis
As its fuel supply dwindles, the fleet must seek out a new supply of tylium ore or risk becoming sitting ducks to any Cylon attack. A recon patrol finds an asteroid full of the fuel, but there's a catch. The Cylons have found it first and established a heavily guarded refining plant.

Kara devises a plan: Jump three decoy ships near the asteroid; when the Cylons attack, destroy their bases, leaving them stranded in space. It's a bold tactic, but it will take luck, skill and daring to pull it off.

Meanwhile, President Roslin begins to hallucinate as a result of the Chamalla she's taking to combat her breast cancer. When she consults Elosha, a priestess who has used Chamalla to induce visions, she learns that her circumstances fulfill a 3,600-year-old prophecy.

On Cylon-occupied Caprica, Sharon and Helo's flight from the Cylon overseers suddenly becomes more complicated when Sharon discovers she's pregnant. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series. (2004)
- This episode is an homage to the identically named BSG 1978 episode, which was the series finale for that series.
- Crashdown says that the Cylon base has the only Tylium source in 12 light years, which implies that Galactica has traveled 12 light years since they left the colonies 37 days ago.
- The scene in which the Six in Baltar's head breaks Baltar's neck in his fantasy is a reference to fundamentalist Christianity which contends that to be a true Christian, one must undergo death and rebirth, which is what baptism represents.
- Roslin indicates that there is an overcrowding problem within the fleet.
- William Adama's father was named Joseph Adama.
- According to Roslin, they've stolen enough fuel from the Cylons to last them a few years.

Remarkable Scenes
- Crashdown and Boomer finding Tylium ore on an asteroid only to discover the Cylons built a base there to mine it.
- Adama: "We take the Tylium from the Cylons."
- Elosha: "3600 years ago, Pythia wrote about the exile and the rebirth of the human race. 'And the lords anointed a leader, to guide the caravan of the heavens to their new homeland. And unto the leader they gave a vision of serpents numbering two and ten as a sign of things to come.'"
- Adama regarding Starbuck: "We're not gonna win this one by the book. I want Starbuck in here because she's not weighed down by conventional thinking. With all due respect, gentlemen, we're not as crazy as she is."
- Baltar: "Suppose god doesn't want me to destroy the base because he's the Cylon god. Right?" Six: "God doesn't take sides. He only wants your love."
- Baltar taking a wild guess about the location of the storage tanks.
- Adama testing Starbuck's knee.
- Apollo: "Dad, I'll bring it back." Adama: "You better. Or I'll kick your ass. It's a good lighter."
- The battle commencing.
- Apollo going through the conveyor tunnel.
- Apollo destroying the Cylon base.
- The celebrating, including Starbuck abruptly hugging Roslin, catching her off guard.
- Apollo returning the lighter to his father.
- Six, recalling a later verse of the scrolls of Pythia: "The outcome favored the few and led to a confrontation at the home of the gods."
- Baltar: "I am an instrument of god..."

My Review
Ronald D. Moore calls this episode season one's guilty pleasure. I agree. But the bottom line is most science fiction fans really enjoy kick ass space battles. I know it was one of the many things that made Star Trek DS9 so amazing for me, so it's no surprise that this episode appeals to me on those grounds as well.

But also as RDM says it's not enough to do the guilty pleasure episode, you have to do it well and deliver on other levels as well. And this episode does this extremely well. One of the things that would have very quickly become a complaint of mine is BSG's failure to address the limitations of the fleet's fuel. This episode spearheads that issue in the very first scene. Not only that, but instead of having a guilty pleasure episode where the Cylons attack the fleet, which was done extremely well in 33, we have an episode where the Galactica attacks the Cylons. I love every bit of that.

I thought it was wonderful to build off of Starbuck's knee injury in You Can't Go Home Again and force her to sit this mission out. But the writers did more than that. Not only was Starbuck forced to sit out, but it added a new layer of depth to the story, for Apollo now has to the be hotshot pilot pulling Starbuck-style "retina detaching" moves, as he put it. I loved the fact that this change of pace put the two characters at odds, instead of the usual "you can do it! I believe in you!" lameness that's prevalent in other kinds of storytelling.

So when it came time to do this thing, there's extreme pressure on Lee, both of the said and unsaid kind. In addition to the obviousness of failure resulting in the destruction of the entire fleet, Lee is also trying to prove to himself he can be just as impressive a pilot as Starbuck is, and that's what that whole "through the conveyor tunnel" move is all about. All of this depth, all of this drama, and all of this tension is set behind one of the most beautiful space battles I've ever seen as a backdrop. Indeed, The Hand of God is the most visually spectacular episode of the entire season.

Beyond this is the religious innuendo Baltar is facing. Six has been manipulating Baltar into believing; truly believing in the Cylon god for the whole season, but this episode is what really converts Baltar I think. For the entire mission is all on Baltar's shoulders. Can he accurately guess the location of the storage tanks or not? Baltar insists his guess was completely random and just a lie, but Six insists that its accuracy is directly proportional to Baltar's faith in the Cylon god. When Baltar's guess is proven to be "right on the money," Baltar's finally given in.

"All this has happened before and all of it will happen again." Leoben first said this to Kara in Flesh and Bone. Kara noted that it was part of the scriptures. Now Six is quoting the same line of scripture and more to Baltar. Indeed, Colonial religion and Cylon religion appear to be coming to a head. Something religious is going on with Roslin and something religious is going on with Baltar. It may all just be a coincidence of course, but the Cylons don't seem to think so; they seem to know what it is, or at least what it means and are confident it will happen soon.

Specifically, Leoben said the colonials will find Kobol, the birthplace of all mankind. Six said "the outcome favored the few and led to a confrontation at the home of the gods." This must mean that the outcome of the battle favored the Colonials, which is true, and will lead to a new confrontation between the Cylons and the colonials at Kobol, assuming the religious predictions pan out.

I also continue to be delighted by the ambiguous portrayal of religion in the show. All these coincidences lead the characters to believe there is a supernatural element to the story, yet as an objective viewer there's no reason to believe anything happening actually is supernatural which adds immensely to the realism of the show by showing how religious belief has a profound psychological effect on the characters while keeping the audience detached from that effect and grounded in the realistic portrayal.

The final plot point worth discussing is Helo and Sharon on Caprica. There was a fairly obvious hint dropped in this episode that Sharon is indeed pregnant, which confirms my suspicion that the whole Helo/Sharon thing has been an experiment by the Cylons in procreation. But where is this going? Their experiment appears to have been successful in the sense that Sharon appears to be pregnant, but at the same time, Sharon appears to have betrayed the Cylons. This episode leaves you wondering if Sharon's betrayal and the supposed upcoming confrontation at Kobol is connected.

In the grand scheme of things this is among Galactica's top episodes. It's far more than a guilty pleasure, for it is pivotal to the show's developing story arc. Both visually spectacular and thought provoking.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Jonathan explains it all on 2013-04-18 at 6:19pm:
    I don't understand what happened to all the cylon fighters.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

BSG - 1x13 - Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 2 - Originally Aired: 2005-1-24

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 5.99

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 31 4 15 7 9 6 3 8 16 19 53

Synopsis
When Commander Adama learns that Kara disobeyed orders and Jumped to Caprica on orders from President Roslin, he demands the president's resignation, with the implied threat of a military coup. Roslin refuses his demand and sparks a confrontation.

As civil war simmers in the fleet, the conflict on Caprica heats up. Kara completes her mission for Laura: She finds the Arrow of Apollo that, according to prophecy, will lead the fleet to Earth. No sooner does she pick it up, however, than she is thrust into a battle to the death with Number Six.

Meanwhile, Adama sends Sharon and Racetrack in a Raptor equipped with a Cylon transponder, to fire a nuclear warhead that will destroy the basestar. But when the missile release jams, Sharon lands the Raptor deep inside the basestar, to deliver the warhead manually.

Once outside her ship, however, Sharon is greeted by dozens of Sharon avatars, all Cylons like her, welcoming her home. She retreats, but is told that she and her fellow Cylons will meet again. She and Racetrack escape the basestar, which explodes.

Mission accomplished, Sharon returns home to the Galactica. She warmly accepts Commander Adama's thanks and praise for a job well done, then she coldly shoots him, point-blank, in the chest. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- When Kara shoots the glass to get the arrow, you can see one of the production crew in the background.

Factoids
- The cliffhanger of this episode was named one of TV Guide's and TV Land's "100 Most Unexpected TV Moments" in 2005.
- Roslin's whiteboard reads 47887 in this episode.
- Cylon Basestars are cyborgs as well.
- The orchestral piece played in the opera house scene (dubbed on the soundtrack The Shape of Things to Come) composed by Bear McCreary is my favorite musical piece of the whole season.
- Destroyed Cylon capital ships, running total: 1 confirmed.

Remarkable Scenes
- Caprica Boomer revealing to Helo that she's pregnant.
- Adama terminating Roslin's presidency.
- Boomer and Racetrack flying inside a Cylon Basestar.
- Kara fighting a Six model.
- Troops storming Colonial One.
- Galactica Boomer meeting her counterparts.
- Kara tackling Six and falling down a cliff just as Helo and Caprica Sharon notice them.
- Lee turning on the attack troops, pointing a gun at Tigh.
- Tigh: "This is mutiny, you know that." Lee: "Yes, I do. And you can tell my father that I'm listening to my instincts and my instincts tell me that we cannot sacrifice our democracy just because the president makes a bad decision."
- The Cylon Basestar exploding.
- An injured Starbuck meeting Helo, then noticing Boomer.
- The opera house scene. One of the best scenes the show has ever done.
- Six: "Life has a melody, Gaius. A rhythm of notes that become your existence once played in harmony with god's plan. It's time to do your part and realize your destiny." Baltar: "Which is what exactly?" Six: "You are the guardian and protector of the new generation of god's children. The first member of our family will be with us soon, Gaius. It's time to make your choice." Baltar: "But I don't understand what you're talking about, really I don't understand." Six: "Come, see the face of the shape of things to come."
- Galactica Boomer shooting Adama.

My Review
A potent story of betrayal. Roslin betrays Adama by breaking their agreement; she makes a military decision over his head. Not only that, but she does it through Kara; she gets Kara to betray him too which makes it so much worse. Then his son betrays him during the deposition of the president. And finally, Boomer betrays him. Shoots him in the chest. Twice. It's incredibly powerful and moving to watch Adama go through all of this emotional disappointment; just when you think it couldn't get worse for him, there's an assassination attempt made on him by someone he trusts in a moment that is supposed to represent his triumph despite recurring betrayal.

The last few minutes of this episode are extremely well done. You can see as Adama falls his son going raving mad with fury and sadness; the whole CIC flows with emotion, contrasted beautifully by the cut to Baltar reveling in his own little world with Six in the wake of the grand revelation about the Cylon plan she's delivered unto him. Indeed, one major facet of the Cylon grand plan is made abundantly clear here and it's that they believe that the future of life lies with human-Cylon hybrids. Caprica Boomer's baby is of extreme importance to the Cylons.

Similar to the teaser of part 1, much of the appeal of this episode is on a very basic level, such as the wonderful visuals and music during the unmistakably beautiful opera house scene, the interior of the Cylon Basestar which is as visually spectacular as it is fascinating, and of course its destruction. Another wonderful aspect to this episode which makes it so appealing is the shock value factor at the end of the episode. Which to be clear is not necessarily unexpected, but the punch of the scene is so strong that it's shocking an emotional level rather than an expectations level. As such, no matter how many times I see the scene, it's still shocking. Overall, a spectacular ending to a great season.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lyle Van Sciver on 2011-08-21 at 6:10pm:
    I stumbled on your website thru Bing, and I'm glad I did. I have not had internet since 04, and never had cable TV or satellite, so never saw the new BSG. So when I found your reviews I have been reading them avidly to learn about the series. For economic reasons I'm sure I'll never see them, but reading your descriptions and reviews I feel like I've watched the show! Good job, and very very useful to someone like me. I especially think your intellectual musings about themes, ideas, etc. are especially interesting. I really cannot think of any criticisms, except perhaps put a complete cast/character name list at the beginning for complete newbies like me. I got kind of confused for a bit with your interchanging names like Sharon and Boomer within the same review, until I figured out they were the same person. So, thank you thank you thank you for these synopses and reviews, extremely well done. As a side note, I have the pleasure of having been the first person to think of inviting Andrew Probert, designer, to appear at a major science fiction convention. I was doing Publicity for Star Trekon 1980 in Kansas City, and loved Andrew's work on Galactica and Star Trek TMP, called him up in LA - and he was delighted to be one of our Guest Stars, his dad lived in KC and he was thrilled to return to his roots as a celebrity. He got a rousing reception and his talks were very popular success. He's sign his autographs "Here's Red In Your Eye!". OK, just interesting trip down memory lane.
  • From Jay Groovara on 2018-10-22 at 6:57am:
    Great reviews.
    Just thought I'd point out S1 E7 that Baltar is not whistling the BSG '78 theme tune, in the infamous bathroom scene.
    Its actually 'Top Gun'.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

BSG - 2x10 - Pegasus - Originally Aired: 2005-9-23

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 6.92

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 41 3 4 7 10 3 5 9 7 48 91

Synopsis
The mood aboard the Galactica turns jubilant when the top-of-the-line battlestar Pegasus, long thought to have been annihilated with the rest of the colonial fleet, appears out of nowhere.

The Galactica's relatively ragged crew meets their spit-and-polish counterparts from the Pegasus, among them Admiral Helena Cain; her X.O., Col. Jack Fisk; and the ship's CAG, Capt. Cole "Stinger" Taylor. Cain warmly greets Commander Adama, who chooses to yield command of the fleet to his superior officer.

In private, Adama and Cain compare notes. Cain reveals that the Pegasus crew had taken its computers offline for servicing shortly before the original Cylon assault and therefore was able to escape the nuclear genocide. Since then, the ship has been on a relentless search-and-destroy mission against the Cylons.

Each battlestar holds a single Cylon prisoner. Because Vice President Gaius Baltar has successfully extracted information from Sharon, Cain invites him to study her Cylon captive on the Pegasus, a bruised and bloodied replica of Six named Gina.

It is revealed that the Pegasus encountered the Galactica while tracking a Cylon fleet, which itself appears to have been pursuing the Galactica. Plans are laid for both battlestars to attack a mysterious vessel guarded by this fleet.

However, Adama fumes when Cain announces that, due to rampant discipline problems on the Galactica, she will be reassigning key crewmembers from the Galactica to the Pegasus. Later, sparks fly quickly when Stinger maps out a reconnaissance plan that Starbuck bluntly criticizes.

Meanwhile, Lt. Thorne, the chief interrogator from the Pegasus, sets out to "break" Sharon like he broke Gina. Learning of Thorne's brutal tactics, Helo and Tyrol rush to Sharon's aid. A fistfight ensues, and Thorne is accidentally killed.

Cain orders a snap court-martial, and both Helo and Tyrol are sentenced to death. Refusing to allow his men to be convicted and executed without a full tribunal and the opportunity to mount a legal defense, Commander Adama initiates a high-stakes game of chicken that leads to Vipers from both ships training weapons on each other. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- Not necessarily a problem per se, but Tyrol had previously served aboard the Pegasus as was established earlier in the season. It would have been nice if there was a reference to this somewhere in this episode.

Factoids
- This is my personal favorite episode of the entire series, with the next two episodes being close runners up.
- This episode won a Leo Award for Best Lead Performance By A Female in a Dramatic Series regarding Tricia Helfer's performance of Gina. (2006)
- This episode has been nominated for the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49605. (This is a 1752 gain, meaning there are 1752 crew members on the Pegasus. Cain claims she's lost over 700 men, so it's possible that the maximum capacity of the Pegasus is upwards of 3000 people.)
- Michelle Forbes, who plays Admiral Helena Cain in this episode, also played Ensign Ro Laren on Star Trek TNG.
- John Pyper-Ferguson, who plays Stinger in this episode, also played Eli Hollander in Star Trek TNG: A Fistful of Datas.
- This episode establishes that ever since the fleet fled the colonies, they've been jumping to star systems with natural resources, presumably for food, water, and fuel, and that the Cylons have been scouting these systems as well in the hopes of locating the Galactica. The Pegasus was chasing the Cylons, so they too started scouting for natural resources, hoping to conduct hit and run attacks on the Cylon fleet, and accidentally discovered Galactica. With this information in mind, it seems that during the last two episodes, Galactica has been more concerned with supply problems than with going to Earth.
- During the Cylon attack on the colonies, the Pegasus was docked at the Scorpion fleet shipyards preparing for a three month overhaul. Presumably, the Pegasus did not have Baltar's Command Navigation Program installed yet, as it was part of the planned overhaul, and that's how they were able to escape without being destroyed.
- Admiral Helena Cain hails from the colony of Tauron.
- When this episode first aired on the SciFi Channel, a "Viewer Discretion Is Advised" black and white message was displayed just prior to the beginning of Act 3, warning of "mature subject matter" and content. This was in reference to the following sequence depicting drunken Pegasus crew members bragging about raping Gina and Lt. Thorne sexually assaulting Boomer, then Helo and Tyrol beating him to death for it.
- The original cut of Pegasus was about 15 minutes too long, so large sequences of this episode were cut from the original broadcast. A longer director's cut was released with the DVD version. This review focuses on the longer cut.
- In response to BSG TOS purists who refer to this show as "GINO" which stands for "Galactica In Name Only," RDM has named the Six model which appears in this episode Gina. It is never spoken onscreen, but I will henceforth refer to the Pegasus Six as Gina, as it is a nice way to distinguish her from Baltar's Six.
- The music played at the end of this episode is part of a song called Prelude to War on the soundtrack composed by Bear McCreary and is my favorite piece of music of the whole series up to this point. The piece is very reminiscent of, but superior to in my opinion, the song November 25: Ichigaya composed by Phillip Glass for the film Mishima. Most of Prelude to War is played in this and the next two episodes.

Remarkable Scenes
- The Pegasus' appearance.
- Apollo: "Galactica, Apollo. You are not going to believe what I'm looking at out here."
- Admiral Cain boarding the Galactica.
- Tigh's drinking session with Fisk.
- Admiral Cain telling the story of how the Pegasus escaped and what they've been doing since the attack.
- Cain regarding Roslin's reaction to Adama ceding command of the fleet to Cain: "Madam President, you look like I just shot your dog."
- Fisk telling Tigh the story of the fate of the Pegasus' original XO. I love Fisk's disturbing laugh. He tries to brush it off as just a joke, but that laugh makes you know for sure that it's the truth.
- Cain meeting with Baltar. I love how Baltar mistakes Cain's rank and she promptly corrects him. Speaks volumes about her arrogance.
- Baltar boarding the Pegasus to see the Cylon prisoner. The eerie music is fantastic and when he finally sees who the Cylon prisoner is, I love the reaction the Six in his head has to seeing her counterpart beaten, raped, and tortured.
- Six: "Can't you stop being a scientist for one moment and look at the abused woman lying there in front of you?"
- Cain dressing down Adama for being too close to his officers. I especially like this line: "Let's not even discuss your XO."
- Apollo: "Transfer to Pegasus?" Starbuck: "Why the frak should we do that?" I love the audacious way they both say their lines.
- Starbuck to Stinger in the middle of the mission briefing with all the pilots: "Your plan sucks."
- Lt. Thorne violently interrogating Boomer.
- The "yee haw" boys talking about Lt. Thorne and his history with their Cylon prisoner.
- Lt. Thorne sexually assaulting Boomer, then Helo and Tyrol beating him to death for it.
- Adama: "The assault happened here. They should face court martial on Galactica." Cain: "Commander, I am the senior convening authority present and they will be tried on Pegasus." Adama: "They're my men." Cain: "One of my men is dead." Adama: "Fine. We both have strong feelings about the case. That only underlines the need for an impartial trial." Cain: "Oh, you mean independent tribunal? Because according to your logs commander, you dissolved an independent tribunal when you didn't like the verdict. And if I'm not mistaken, Chief Tyrol was on trial there as well."
- The scene when Baltar offers food to the Six on Pegasus was fantastic. He delivers a fantastic monologue: "The food is yours. It's not a trick. I'm not going to take it away at the last second. You know, I, um, I'm just gonna talk right now. I don't expect you to say anything. Back on Caprica before the attack, and sometimes I forget there was a world before the attack, I knew someone. A woman, unlike any other woman I'd ever known. She was unique. Beautiful, clever, intensely sensual. When she wasn't in my bed, she was in my thoughts. She was a Cylon. And she changed my life in a very real, very fundamental way in that I have quite literally never stopped thinking about her. Because I love her. To this very day I love her. And she looks exactly like you. My name is Gaius Baltar and I'm here to help you." She then slowly, painfully, reaches for the food, grabs a small bit, and starts eating as Baltar sheds a tear. To top it all off, the minimalist music (dubbed The Cylon Prisoner on the soundtrack) in the background was a fantastic backdrop. One of the most moving scenes of the whole series.
- Tigh: "I just talked to Fisk. The court martial's over." Adama: "Over? When did it start?"
- Adama's phone conversation with Cain about her judgment against Helo and Tyrol. Cain's justification for judgment: "I am a flag officer on detached service during a time of war. Regulations give me broad authority in this matter."
- Galactica launching a strike force against Pegasus and Pegasus launching a (much bigger) strike force to defend herself.

My Review
And Galactica delivers us its finest offering so far. Pegasus is based on BSG 1978's The Living Legend which was the best episode of BSG TOS, so people were expecting a lot when this show set out to do a Pegasus episode and this episode delivers on every level.

In this new take on the story Cain is a woman and outranks Adama. I can hear the BSG 1978 purists now whining and complaining about the "castration" of Cain, much like they did with Starbuck, but the Michelle Forbes' Cain in this episode is every bit a hardass that Loyd Bridges' Cain was and more. Michelle brings a certain dark viciousness to the character without coming off as necessarily evil, which is fantastic. Cain completely steals the show in this episode and I'm all for that.

Because you know, when you get right down to it, Cain is absolutely right about Adama and his command. She runs a very tight ship and she's a very by the book admiral. A very young admiral, in fact, which speaks volumes about her personality. She's a career officer. She means business. She rises through the ranks like an athlete jumps hurdles. And while Adama has some of that in him, he's not like Cain. He runs a runs a loose ship. And Cain makes no apologies for pointing that out to him.

RDM said in the commentary: "Ultimately, Cain comes over here, she gets those logs, and she starts saying you guys are a bunch of fuck ups. You got your son as the CAG, you got Kara smackin' people around, you got a guy who's fraternizing with the enemy, you got two of'm fraternizing with the enemy for that sake, and the secretary of education, and... what? Your XO?" Exactly. Nothing Cain takes issue with throughout the whole episode is really all that unfair. But you still hate her for it. She's still wrong, somehow, even though she's right. And that's fantastic. That's how you write an antagonist.

Having no defense; no answers for Cain, Adama just gives up command. Doesn't question it. I love this detail, because Cain is a megalomaniac, and eventually she escalates her abuse of power to a point at which Adama can no longer let her get away with it. She summarily judges Helo and Tyrol as treasonous murderers for the aggravated, accidental killing of Thorne, who was in the midst of raping a prisoner, and sentences them to death. That's stepping over the line and Adama won't have it, so he launches a strike against the Pegasus in one of the most marvelous cliffhangers ever shown on TV scored to some of the best music ever played on TV.

And that's only the beginning of this episode's greatness. Besides the fantastic character dynamics between Cain and Adama, there's a message about human(oid) rights in this episode. Is it right to use torture as an interrogation method on Cylons? This was an issue hinted at in Flesh and Bone but never really explored in much depth. That episode instead focused on the (false) immediate danger posed to the fleet by Leoben. In the end Roslin apologized for the way Leoben was treated, then simply threw him out of an airlock. But now Boomer is here and they're not getting rid of her because she's proven to be a valuable intelligence resource and a valuable ally, at least on a temporary basis.

The Pegasus crew kept Gina around for essentially the same reasons that the Galactica crew is keeping Boomer around; they wanted to obtain intelligence from her. But the Pegasus crew has employed much different methods. They don't believe Gina has any human rights because she isn't human. As a result she's been put through extensive torture. The scenes she has in this episode are extremely moving as a result. You can only imagine what she's been through, but you can clearly see the result. And putting Baltar into the situation of having to deal with seeing a version of the woman he loves in this condition is fascinating.

So essentially the basic conflict in the episode has to do with whether or not you believe Boomer and Gina deserve basic human(oid) rights. After all, the Cylons did massacre billions of people. But then, is it right to treat anybody like Gina's been treated, no matter what their crimes are? The Pegasus crew and the Galactica crew disagree on this issue and it erupts into a tense military conflict and makes for one of the most utterly fantastic episodes of television I've seen in years. Because you truly can sympathize with either side of the debate, even after you've picked a side. It's a complex issue and its complexity is sufficiently explored in this truly remarkable episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2007-03-01 at 2:43pm:
    This is a science fiction masterpiece. While watching this single episode you experience the whole spectum of emotion: the joy of seeing another large Battlestar full of people that were thought dead, the sadness of Baltar trying to heal a wounded cylon, the hate of the people trying to rape Boomer, and the nervous excitement of the two Battlestars sending thier fighters after each other.

    I only gave it a 9 because I do think the actions that take place in this episode happen too rapidly. The "evil" of the newly discovered crew comes out almost immediately. I think it should have seeped out slowly. That is really my only complaint. It is a great episode worthly of rewatching.
  • From Ray Mayers on 2016-04-22 at 4:08pm:
    Best episode yet! Superb story and Forbes as Admiral Cain is fantastic (wife material definitely!) The scene where she boards Galactica was handled superbly, I really liked the way her team looked quite threatening as they stood to attention as she emerged from the Raptor. I think that the Pegasus has a top hairdresser on board to make Cains hair look that good! The way she bristled at Adama was cool, but you knew that he had the measure of her! Powerful episode!

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

BSG - 2x12 - Resurrection Ship, Part 2 - Originally Aired: 2006-1-13

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 4.6

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 89 4 15 5 13 3 10 7 5 18 65

Synopsis
The battlestars Pegasus and Galactica go head-to-head with Cylon baseships in a battle that will change the face of the war. But for Lt. Kara Thrace, the real war is with her conscience, as she steels herself to carry out Commander Adama's order to assassinate Admiral Cain.

When Lee Adama hears from Kara of the order, he confronts his father and challenges the morality and the legality of the order, but Commander Adama remains resolute. For the good of the fleet, he tells his son, Admiral Cain must be eliminated.

Meanwhile, in the Pegasus brig, Pegasus crewmembers brutally assault Galactica prisoners Chief Galen Tyrol and Lt. Karl Agathon, as revenge for the murder of one of their officers. Only a timely intervention by the Pegasus's XO halts the beating before it becomes fatal.

As the battle to destroy the Cylons' "Resurrection Ship" intensifies, members of both battlestars' crews are forced to decide how much of their humanity they are willing to sacrifice in order to survive. Ultimately, the fight that begins with heroic self-sacrifice ends in a white-knuckle test of two Commanders' courage, and their character. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- How did Baltar get Gina off the Pegasus?

Factoids
- This episode received a VES Award for Outstanding Models and Miniatures in a Broadcast Program.
- This episode received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Visual Effects For a Series.
- This episode received a VES nomination for Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program, Commercial or Music Video.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49604.
- The scene in which the sunshine boys beat Helo and Tyrol with bars of soap wrapped into a towel is a reference to the film Full Metal Jacket.
- Apollo was demoted to lieutenant by Cain.
- Gina knew the exact moment that the resurrection ship had been destroyed.
- Destroyed Cylon capital ships, running total: 3 confirmed, 1 probable. (+2 confirmed, +1 probable)

Remarkable Scenes
- Fisk laying into the upset Pegasus crew members for their assault on Helo and Tyrol.
- Fisk: "You can't rape a machine, lieutenant."
- Cain: "You drink Thrace?" Starbuck: "Only to excess, sir." Cain: "Learn that from Colonel Tigh did you?"
- Cain's heart to heart with Starbuck.
- Apollo: "Assassination? That's your decision? That's how you resolve your differences with your superior officers?"
- Adama regarding Roslin being in on the assassination plan: "She's made of sterner stuff than people give her credit for."
- Fisk to Starbuck: "Good hunting, captain." Starbuck: "You too, colonel."
- Tigh: "The last thing we need is the colonials shooting at each other." Fisk: "Amen to that."
- Adama meeting with Boomer to find out why the Cylons hate humanity so much.
- The beginning of the battle with the spectacular footage of Galactica firing heavily on a Cylon basestar.
- Apollo sneaking up on the resurrection ship with the Blackbird, taking out its jump drive.
- The Blackbird colliding with a downed raptor, being destroyed and Apollo ejecting.
- The vipers being launched against the resurrection ship. I love how you can see a pylon break off of one of the Cylon Basestars in this shot.
- Apollo watching the battle whilst floating in space, losing air.
- The shot of Galactica and Pegasus going all out on the Cylon basestars, complete with another pylon breaking off.
- Six: "Tens of thousands of Cylons are about to die. Tens of thousands, Gaius, god will not forgive this sin!" Baltar to Gina: "Do you think god will forgive us?" Gina: "God forgives all."
- Baltar telling Gina the sports story Six told him in the prior episode. There's something twisted and beautiful about this scene.
- The shot of Pegasus and Galactica destroying one of the basestars.
- The destruction of the resurrection ship.
- Starbuck walking into the Pegasus CIC in a cold sweat.
- Adama and Cain both backing out of their assassination plans.
- Tigh to Fisk: "You look like you could use a drink." I love the crazy laugh Fisk lets off after that.
- Gina: "Suicide is a sin. But I need to die!" Baltar: "What you need is justice. I know a place where you can stay. Where you will be safe. Where I can look after you." Gina: "Why, why would you do that?" Baltar: "Because I love you." I also love the music here (dubbed Gina Escapes on the soundtrack) in this scene when Gina leaves Baltar to go kill Cain.
- Gina killing Admiral Cain. Cain's last words: "Frak you." I love the way she gasped, and was almost teary-eyed just before she met her end.
- Cain's funeral.
- Roslin promoting Adama to admiral.

My Review
Resurrection Ship, Part 2 is the most visually spectacular episode so far, beating even The Hand of God and the miniseries. I think it goes without saying that the space battle in this episode was the most amazing space battle ever shown on TV. Aside from raving about how awesome it was of course, it also establishes something important about the capabilities of colonial and Cylon technology. It would seem that colonial battlestars are vastly superior to Cylon basestars in direct combat, when there are few, or no vipers and raiders involved because the Cylon basestars' primary strategy appears to involve missiles and raiders; they lack the heavy gun batteries that battlestars have. As a result, Galactica and Pegasus mopped up those two Cylon basestars with ease which was most impressive to watch. This episode goes a long way toward explaining why the Cylons had to rely on sabotage to carry out their attack on the colonies successfully.

Much of this episode was all about Lee Adama, who's having a hard time dealing with his demotion and then makes a critical mistake during the attack. I thought it was great that he was looking behind him, watching the damage he did to the resurrection ship, not watching where he was going, then he accidentally collides with a downed raptor. This scene is sort of symbolic of Apollo's character in general. He's always looking back into the past instead of paying attention to what's going on right now.

As a result of not being able to back up Kara when he said he would, he gets downright suicidal, which I have mixed feelings about. I thought Apollo's suicidal behavior came out of nowhere and was slightly over the top. This isn't necessarily unrealistic; sometimes people become suicidal for pretty shoddy reasons. But more substantiation in the episode would have been appreciated. Another thing I didn't like about the episode was the "48 hours earlier" opening scene. Disjointed storytelling is a pet peeve of mine, especially when it's done for no particularly good reason. These weaknesses are not severe, however.

Special mention goes to Baltar's scenes with Gina, particularly the one when Six says: "Tens of thousands of Cylons are about to die. Tens of thousands, Gaius, god will not forgive this sin!" Baltar then asks Gina: "Do you think god will forgive us?" Gina responds: "God forgives all." Then Baltar proceeds to tell Gina the story Six told him in the prior episode. There's something twisted about this scene. Baltar knew that Gina would find the story beautiful, because her counterpart in his head thought it was beautiful. So he's cruelly stealing from one version of her; using her in an attempt to reach out and bond with another version of her. I love how Six disappears in the cut when Baltar finishes telling the story.

Another great detail about the episode is how both Adama and Cain back out of their assassination plans. This, to me, is wonderful, because when Cain meets her end at the end of the episode, you really feel something for her. She's not a heartless evil villain, she's just a little megalomaniacal. There's humanity in Cain and she is capable of mercy. I get the impression that after the battle of the resurrection ship, Cain was going to be true to Roslin's request that they meet on Colonial One and resolve the issue of Tyrol and Helo and that she'd start to lighten up a bit. Because now, she's gotten to know Adama in a special way. They've served in combat together. They've shared a "significant victory" together. That can really change your perspective on a person. But Cain's change of heart is too little, too late, however, for her sins in allowing Gina to be raped and tortured caught up with her.

And true to Cain's personality, she goes out defiant. A soldier. And in the end, not only do you feel sorry for Cain, but you realize that Cain was successful in everything she set out to do. Her ship and her crew are safe and she accomplished her mission destroying the Cylon fleet she'd been tracking. It's a shame Cain couldn't have been made a permanent character in the series, but at the same time I kind of understand it. It would have changed the dynamics of the show too much to have Adama and Galactica taking orders from Cain all the time. It's hard to justify the title "Battlestar Galactica" when the flagship is the Pegasus. ;)

Which brings us to the next subject of course and that being the permanence of the Pegasus. All too often in science fiction, a new ship is introduced to the show for one episode, or a just a few episodes, then it meets its end at the end of the episode. Not this time. RDM sternly wanted to avoid this cliche and I am wholly grateful for that. Because it sucked when BSG 1978 got rid of the Pegasus and it sucked when Star Trek Voyager got rid of the Equinox. And there are numerous other examples of this cliche. It also adds a fascinating new dynamic to the show. Exploring the trauma that the crew of the Pegasus has gone through will be fascinating, and exploring how Admiral Adama manages to command two battlestars will also be fascinating.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Dave on 2016-01-21 at 12:17am:
    You are pretty kind regarding Cain - I was less sympathetic. But then again I think that Adama (up to this point in the series) isn't too likable either.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

BSG - 3x04 - Exodus, Part 2 - Originally Aired: 2006-10-20

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 5.46

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 78 4 2 7 7 8 3 1 34 7 81

Synopsis
Standing watch over the civilian fleet, Lee Adama confides to his wife that his father and the Galactica cannot hope to survive their rescue mission to New Caprica. Dualla comforts him with the knowledge that the civilian fleet will live on to preserve the memory of such great heroes.

On New Caprica, the insurgents count down the final minutes until the uprising begins. Ellen Tigh and her husband share a tender moment before he poisons her. The insurgents can't allow her to live after the betrayals she has committed. She dies in his arms, and he weeps, heartbroken, over her body.

At the sound of the first explosions, the Cylon leaders rush to the windows of Colonial One and look out on a city that is bursting into flame. Outside, human civilians race for their designated evacuation points as Anders, Tyrol and Tigh lead the insurgents into battle. Anders assaults the detention center while Tyrol and Tigh fight toward the shipyard. For her part, Laura Roslin guides a small group to reclaim her old home, Colonial One.

Amid the confusion, the Galactica Jumps into low atmosphere and launches Vipers to cover the insurgents on the ground. When the Galactica returns to space, however, four powerful Cylon base ships quickly surround it. Utterly outmatched, Adama and his crew prepare to go down with their ship. Then Lee and the Pegasus arrive, weapons blazing. That surprise buys the Galactica's crew just enough time to repair their faster-than-light drive and escape. But the Pegasus, overwhelmed by the base ships, is doomed. Lee puts the Pegasus on a ramming trajectory with a base ship and gives his crew the order to abandon ship.

On the planet, liberated prisoners join the evacuation as Anders storms through the detention center. He finds Starbuck lying unconscious from an assault by Leoben. Anders carries her to safety, but she awakens and insists on returning to her prison for baby Kacey. There, she finds Leoben and Kacey waiting for her. Leoben will give up the child only if Starbuck meets one unnerving condition: she must tell Leoben that she loves him.

The Cylons know that they've lost control of the colony. They evacuate, but leave D'Anna behind to detonate a nuclear bomb in their wake. Thus, despite the selfless courage of the insurgents and the crews of Galactica and the Pegasus, the lives of all humans on the planet might unexpectedly depend upon the only man who can stop D'Anna: Gaius Baltar. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- How did the oracle in Exodus, Part 1 know D'Anna was having dreams about the oracle, that Hera was still alive, that D'Anna would find her, that she would know true love for the first time in doing so, that the she would lose everything she's accomplished on New Caprica?

Factoids
- This episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series.
- The destruction of the Pegasus in this episode was motivated primarily by budgetary reasons. The sets aboard ship were too expensive to maintain because they were needed to build sets for future episodes.
- Prior to this episode's shooting, some people at the Universal lot from the visual effects department of BSG hung a giant banner outside the building facing RDM's office directly which read "Save the Pegasus!" Nobody on the lot understood what it meant, except for RDM, at whom it was directed as an inside joke.
- Destroyed Cylon capital ships, running total: 5 confirmed, 2 probable. (+2 confirmed, +1 probable)

Remarkable Scenes
- Lee having trouble with his orders. Lee: "He's taking on too much for one half strength battlestar to handle. That's not opinion, that's military fact. He's not coming back from this. None of them are." Dee: "All we can do is make plans for the future. We have to survive. We have to find Earth. If we don't, there'll be no one to remember a man named William Adama or a battlestar named Galactica."
- Tigh killing Ellen.
- D'Anna after listening to Baltar lecture the Cylons on the failure of the occupation: "What would you have us do, Gaius?" Baltar: "Leave. Pack up your centurions, and go. Please. Go." D'Anna: "And then what? What would you do if we really just left you here? You'd live out your lives in peace and never trouble yourselves with thoughts of us again? Or would you raise your children with stories of the Cylon, the mechanical slaves who once did your bidding, only to turn against you? Killers who committed genocide against your race, the occupiers of this city until we just ran away? Would you tell them to tell the story to their children, and to their childrens' children, and nurse a dream of vengeance down through the years so that one day they could just go out into the stars and hunt the Cylon once more?" Baltar: Blood for blood. Has to stop one day."
- Explosions going off all over the city.
- Anders leading his resistance fighters to liberate the detention center.
- Galactica launching its decoy.
- The Cylons on Colonial One scrambling to find out what's going on.
- The decoy squadron performing its mission.
- Zarek, regarding Roslin coming with him and his ship to escape: "You're coming, right?" Roslin, motioning toward Colonial One: "My ship's up there." Zarek: "You sure have a sense of the dramatic."
- Galactica jumping into the atmosphere in plain view of the resistance fighters of New Caprica and "falling like a rock."
- Galactica launching its vipers intra-atmosphere and jumping away.
- Hot Dog, just before being launched intra-atmosphere: "Well, this ought to be different."
- Vipers dogfighting with Cylon raiders above New Caprica, assisting the resistance.
- The resistance force charging the airstrip after receiving assistance from the vipers.
- Galactica attempting to hold off four Cylon Basestars as civilian ships flee New Caprica.
- Adama, as he realizes the end is near: "Then that's it." He looks around at his crew and says, "It's been an honor."
- The camera panning away facing Galactica giving the impression that Galactica is about to be destroyed when in reality the camera is panning toward the approaching Pegasus.
- The Pegasus pummeling the basestars.
- Adama regarding the Pegasus' arrival: "Damn you Lee." He turns to his crew and orders: "Keep working on those FTLs, get'em online! Cylons'll redeploy as soon as they recover!" Then says under his breath: "Thank you Lee."
- Kara going back for Kasey.
- D'Anna, while discussing the escape plans with the other Cylons looks to Baltar and says: "And you. I don't think you'll want to be here after we've gone. There's a place for you too." Baltar: "For me?" D'Anna: "Well, you were right and we were wrong. There should be some reward for that."
- Civilian ships attempting to free New Caprica amidst Cylon raiders and Colonial vipers dogfighting.
- The Galactica fleeing with her vipers leaving a devastated Pegasus behind.
- Caprica Six: "Gaius, we should go." Baltar: "I just wanna sit here and die." Gaeta confronts Baltar: "You're gonna get your wish Gaius. I believed in you. I believed in the dream of New Caprica." Caprica Six: "Gaeta, we all did." Gaeta: "No! No. Not him. He believed in the dream of Gaius Baltar. The good life. Booze, pills, hot and cold, running in turns. He led us to the apocalypse. And I... and I turned out to be..." Baltar: "An idealist. There's no sin in that."
- Lee ordering the evacuation of the Pegasus.
- Lee just before stepping off his CIC: "Thank you."
- 4 raptors fleeing a devastated Pegasus.
- The Pegasus ramming a basestar.
- Debris from the Pegasus destroying another basestar.
- Leoben confronting Starbuck. I love how she capitulates to Leoben's wishes for Kasey's sake.
- Starbuck murdering Leoben one last time right in front of Kasey.
- Baltar finding a baby among the bodies and the Six in his head returning to tell him that it's Hera, "the first of God's new generation." Then D'Anna finding them and realizing the same thing; asking to hold her.
- Roslin boarding Colonial One.
- The real mother of Kasey noticing her.
- Adama: "Guess you didn't understand my orders." Lee: "Never could read your handwriting." Tigh: "Permission to come aboard, sir?" Adama: "Permission granted." They salute. Adama: "You did it. You brought'em home, Saul." Tigh: "Not all of'em." Adama: "I'm sorry."
- The crowd cheering Adama's name, holding him high.
- Adama shaving the mustache.
- Adama walking the corridors of a repopulated Battlestar Galactica

My Review
This is a brilliant episode full of darkness so dark and sacrifices so great it's almost hard to watch at times. Gone is a great character and gone is a great battlestar. Exodus, Part 2 is the darkest, most disturbing, most gut wrenching, fastest paced, and most exciting episode of Battlestar Galactica ever done. My distaste for the weaknesses behind the premise of the New Caprica storyline is not so much that I fail to see the greatness behind its conclusion. In Exodus, Part 2 there are many scenes to love. Never before has a single episode been so densely packed with awesome glory.

The major events in this episode are filled with the stuff writers and directors alike mean when they speak of desiring a larger than life impact. Tigh killing Ellen is extremely powerful stuff. The man defended her to everyone right up until the end. He knew her flaws. He knew what she was. And he loved her anyway right up until the end. Right up until he killed her. Tigh is a man that's become more and more interesting to me as the show has progressed. It seems like each season he just gets loads and loads deeper a character.

Then there's the sheer sight of Galactica jumping into the atmosphere in plain view of the resistance fighters as a larger than life kind of motivator. The oppressed people see before their eyes the unlikely sight of their liberator pulling a move so crazy and so expertly right in front of them. That act tells them without words, "Go! We've got your backs. You will be free." The resistance movement charges into the airstrip as vipers cover them overhead and as ash and debris rains over their heads. The sight is truly awesome and unparalleled in prior art.

Then there's the little details. As Galactica is getting its ass kicked, even Adama is performing repair work in CIC manually. As Gaeta is preparing to kill Baltar, he regains control of his rage just long enough to think of saving as many lives as possible and orders Baltar to stop the nuke. I love Baltar's reaction. It's like "Huh? What? I'm gonna live? And now I have to do what?" As Lee stands over his burning CIC, he thanks his ship just before abandoning it.

And then there's the Pegasus. What happens to the Pegasus is almost going too far. It's a major event like none other depicted on Battlestar Galactica. After the end of season 2, we were led to believe the Pegasus was here to stay. RDM had even said that to get rid of it quickly after it was introduced would be conventional, predictable, and shameful. He wanted to do away with such conventions from the original BSG or Star Trek and pledged to keep Pegasus with the fleet. But Battlestar Galactica is on a budget; one which it pushes, bends, and sometimes breaks to get the job done. You push too far and eventually it bites you in the ass. Something had to give, and the Pegasus was it.

RDM stated that the destruction of the Pegasus was always one of the major things that was supposed to happen during the throes of writing this episode to satisfy the beast of budgetary burden. I respect his decision, although I greatly disagree with it. As spectacularly, honorably, and awesomely as the Pegasus went out, it's a hard thing to do to an audience and in my opinion detrimental to the show in the long term. Just when the audience is psyched up the most about the Pegasus being part of the fleet, it's ripped away from them.

After The Captian's Hand, I wanted nothing more than to see Commander Lee do some commanding. But instead, the poor Pegasus barely got any screen time at all. I can count on one hand how many scenes we get to see of Apollo in his commanding role after The Captain's Hand and before the jump ahead one year in time, and I almost cringe at watching him in his commanding role after the jump forward one year. Could the writers not see the enormous potential for drama with Lee commanding the Pegasus?

I wanted to see Commander Lee adjust to his new role as commander of a battlestar. I wanted to see how the crew of the Pegasus would react to being asked to follow such a young commander. I wanted to see objections in the Pegasus crew from longtime officers who would feel more deserving of the command. I wanted to see the long term implications of Apollo being in command of a bigger, better battlestar, but technically being inferior in rank to his father. I wanted to see father and son at polar opposite ends of an issue. I wanted to see the Pegasus and the Galactica fight it out, shots firing, over this important issue. Imagine that as a season finale. Adama and Apollo on their CICs ordering each other's destruction. Yes, Battlestar Galactica is a dark enough show to go there.

I wanted to see more eye candy like the battle of the Resurrection Ship. Oh how glorious was that battle. Finally did we get to see real battlestar vs. basestar combat, not just battlestsars and basestars sitting back while vipers and raiders dogfight. I've wanted to see such capital ship battles since the miniseries, and I didn't get it. Now I'm finally presented with the Pegasus and the possibility of more well choreographed capital ship battles to come, and they deliver me nothing more than a small taste of it before ripping Pegasus away from the fleet and pressing the magic reset button, resetting the show more or less to the state of affairs prior to the episode Pegasus. I fear episodes with major combat between basestars and battlestars will be a thing of the past now.

But blame the budget, right? No, I don't think so. This was the stated reason for doing it, but that strikes me as lack of imagination. The problem, as I understand it, is a lack of money to keep the Pegasus sets around. What sets? The ship had barely any to begin with. Any number of standing sets could have been scrapped to keep Pegasus around permanently, including the ever so loathed (by the production team for its inconvenience) Colonial One.

Imagine this scenario playing out instead: instead of sacrificing the Pegasus, Tigh's character gets even darker, even more sinister, and even more deep and interesting by his ordering civilian ships, including Colonial One to kamikaze the basestars, allowing the Galactica and the Pegasus to escape. To me, that would have not only been a great way to keep the Pegasus around in the context of the story's narrative, but also a far more interesting story on top of what was already easily the best episode they've ever done. Oh well.

As a side note, Lee Adama sure has a habit of breaking things. In the miniseries, two vipers. In Resurrection Ship, Part 2, the Blackbird. And here he destroys the Pegasus herself! Bad Lee Adama, I hate you! What next, he miscalculates a jump and sends the entire fleet into the center of a star thus ending the series? :)

Special mention once again goes to Bear McCreary's scoring of the show. Some of the music here seems recycled, such as large portions of season 2's Worthy of Survival which I could detect when the Pegasus arrived and a modified version of its melody was played during Ellen's death scene. Bear McCreary most immodestly noted, and I agree, that this episode featured the most "kick ass action cue" he'd ever written.

Of particular note was the music played during the Pegasus' final sacrifice. The scoring is its usual blurry mix of worldwide culture, throwing in a bit more east Asian stuff than before, while retaining its militaristic pull and its Celtic spirit. And I couldn't have said it better than Bear McCreary when he notes "[the piece played when the refugees return to Galactica] instead underscores the dark transformation of Col. Tigh and Starbuck. Their bodies have returned, but their souls may have been left behind on the planet. This scene is among the most powerful in the series and it was a thrill to have the live orchestra for this moving piece."

The ending of the episode was especially rewarding with the various reunions. The revelation that Kasey's not really Starbuck's daughter solved the problem of the actress playing her being clearly too old and made Leoben's twisted actions seem less straightforward. It brings up questions like what was he really trying to accomplish with Starbuck, and did he succeed? You're also left wondering at the end of this episode who will become the recognized President of the Colonies. As Vice President, the job falls to Zarek. Will Zarek be president? Now there's a delicious thought. Finally, who will be returning to their old jobs and who will be getting new ones? What ship will Commander Lee command? Will he be become the Galactica XO in the face of Tigh's disability? How will Tigh take that?

The final scene depicting Adama shaving his mustache and rejoining a now repopulated Battlestar Galactica restored from a skeleton crew is simple, yet profound. Despite sounding like such a cheap and obvious idea, I think the audience needs this after such a roller coaster ride of emotion.

I am definitely irritated that this episode acts as a giant reset button in every way to before Pegasus. But with the emotional impact of a year and four months gone by, the loss of a great ship in the fleet, the loss of many, many people within the fleet, the loss of crucial supplies, the separation of Baltar from the fleet, and Roslin no longer acting as president I think or at least hope that the dynamic of the show is significantly different and interesting that it will continue to spark vital new intrigue. I still think that there was a place for the Pegasus in this new world forged by settling of and exodus from New Caprica, but it went down in a realistic and noble way.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Ty Cohen on 2006-10-23 at 3:22am:
    The loss of the Pegasus was very sad to watch.
  • From kevinphiggins on 2015-09-04 at 1:11am:
    Just one quick correction, Gaeta's line is "hot and cold running interns."

    Also I'm kind of shocked you didn't make bigger deal of the Galactica's intra-atmosphere jump, literally one of the coolest things to ever be done by any spaceship in all of fiction.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

BSG - 4x01 - Razor, Part 1 - Originally Aired: 2007-11-24

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 4.26

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 107 7 5 11 4 4 28 5 13 17 54

Synopsis
Lee Adama's first mission as the commander of the battlestar Pegasus — and the harrowing tale of that ship's desperate fight for survival in the immediate aftermath of the Cylon's genocidal siege of the Twelve Colonies.

Lee Adama's new XO, Major Kendra Shaw, is plagued by memories of her service and sacrifices under Admiral Helena Cain, who was able to save her ship during the Cylon attack — but only by making Shaw and her fellow officers rationalize suicidal battle tactics and brutal war crimes against their own people.

In the crucible of war, Shaw must let her hesitation and doubts burn away, until all that remains of her is the honed edge of a living human weapon — what Colonial veterans call "a razor." But an edge so fine cuts in more than one direction. It can cleave an enemy to pieces … or it can carve away a person's soul. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- Admiral Cain's "Combat Infrastructure Eval" portion of her briefing she read while on the treadmill notes that "readiness drill scores have dropped 12%" attributing "fatigue and morale" to be probable causes. However, morale is misspelled on her report, spelled instead as "moral."
- When Starbuck and Showboat fire into Pegasus' firing solution, the gun shown firing is that of a Viper Mark II even though Starbuck and Showboat are in Viper Mark VIIs.

Factoids
- This episode (though technically just Adama's flashbacks to the first Cylon war) won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class - Short-format Live-action Entertainment Programs.
- This episode won a VES Award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or Special.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a One Hour Series.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (one-hour).
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (half-hour) and Animation.
- This episode was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form.
- This episode was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Television Presentation.
- This episode reuses the season 2 opening theme verbatim.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49579.
- According to the flashbacks, the first Cylon war lasted 4571 days - over twelve years!
- Stephanie Chaves-Jacobsen, who plays Kendra Shaw in this episode, also played Nurse Froy in Farscape 3x11 Incubator.

Remarkable Scenes
- The drug induced flashback to the Scylla.
- Shaw referencing Cain's dislike of chairs when summoned by Lee.
- The flashback to Shaw on Caprica.
- Shaw's arrival at Scorpion Fleet Shipyards.
- Cain's XO encouraging her to take a break.
- Shaw encountering undercover Gina.
- Cain teasing Shaw on her first day.
- The Cylon attack on Scorpion Fleet Shipyards.
- Shaw voicing her opinions of Fisk, Garner, and Lee.
- Shaw reporting to Cain about how the Cylons pulled off the attack - a moment of implicit redemption.
- Cain revealing "the horror that has been unleashed upon us" to her crew.
- Cain: "A philosopher once said, 'When faced with untenable alternatives to consider your imperative.' Look around you. Our imperative is right here. In our bulkheads, in our planes, in our guns, and in ourselves. War is our imperative. And if right now victory seems like an impossibility, then there is something else to reach for. Revenge. Payback. So we will fight." Complete with a "so say we all" mantra by the crew in the end.
- Cain's officers' meeting and the revelation that she and Gina are lovers.
- Starbuck and Showboat being attacked by old style Cylon raiders.
- Starbuck confronting Shaw about her "tactical orders."
- Cain's XO refusing Cain's orders and Cain summarily executing him, just like Fisk's story to Tigh.
- The Cylons boarding Pegasus.
- Shaw discovering what Gina is.
- Shaw revealing what Gina is to Cain and taking her into custody.
- Tigh regarding the old style Cylon: "Been a long time since I've seen one of these outside a museum."
- Sharon revealing the likely purpose of the old style Cylons in this context.
- Adama corroborating her story with his flashbacks to the end of the first Cylon war.
- Adama flying his first mission as a viper pilot during the first Cylon war.
- The destruction of the Battlestar Columbia.
- Adama engaging two more raiders, destroying the first, colliding with the second.
- Adama's skydiving gun fight with the old style Centurion.
- After landing, Adama beating the Cylon to death with a metal bar. (Just like he did to Leoben in the miniseries.)
- Adama discovering the Cylons' secret lab where apparently people were being experimented upon.
- Adama escaping and reporting his findings only to learn that the war is over.

My Review
Razor is a romp of the best kind; quite literally straight out the show's greatest times so far: the season 2 Pegasus arc. Even complete with a verbatim, authentic season 2 opening theme. As such, I will review this episode as if it were aired during the second season. It makes little sense to do otherwise. As Razor does not possess any real spoilers for chronology subsequent episodes, it should be viewed directly after The Captain's Hand and just prior to Downloaded.

First and foremost, what a ridiculous teaser! The teaser is nothing more than an overly verbose, vague, and at times retconned recap. (I so especially love it when they insert new or deleted material in recaps...) The climax of absurdity here is intercutting Kendra Shaw's symbolic Razor dialog with the recaps, as if the clip show is supposed to actually be part of the dramatic narrative.

That said, this episode leaves us with some interesting partial exposition. Sharon reveals to everyone that the Cylons created hybrids as an evolutionary step between the centurions and the humanoid Cylons. Many were created, but the experiments were considered a failure. Some hybrids remained in service to control the basestars, but one went into isolation, guarded by old style Cylons known as "guardians." Adama witnessed these experiments briefly during the final mission of the first war. This information raises a series of interesting questions. For example, did the Cylons prototype their human models off of real humans?

I like seeing some of the repercussions of, as Shaw puts it, Adama "throwing his son the keys to a battlestar." Moreover, we learn precisely why Cain had what seemed to be such an unusually incredible disdain for Gina, and humanoid Cylons in general. Certainly Gina being responsible for the deaths of hundreds of her crew was enough, but it was always fascinating to wonder just what set Cain over the moral edge that would allow her to see the justice in rape and torture of a prisoner. The exposition of her having had an intimate, sexual relationship with Gina prior to knowing what she was was just the aesthetic touch this plot thread needed.

Not only does it ironically parallel Baltar's plight marvelously, but it adds a whole new layer to Cain's viciousness. And what viciousness! There can be no doubt or debate now, Tigh was right! Fisk was telling the truth! She really did kill her XO and long time friend for cowardice in the face of the enemy, and what's scary is there are plenty of reasons to agree with what she did and why she did it, despite its heinousness.

Near the end of Razor's first part, we're treated to fascinating glimpse into the first Cylon war from Adama's perspective which, aside from being an amazingly fun ride, resolves a few continuity problems by making canonical a series of common fan rationalizations. Many fans had always wondered how both Adama and Tigh could be veterans of the same war, with Adama being so much younger. It is established here that he only fought in one battle, just as the war was ending. Also, the war lasted twelve years!

Moreover, this episode establishes once and for all that original Cylon centurions, baseships, and raiders from the original Battlestar series were not making a simple cameo appearance in the miniseries museum. That's actually how they looked during the first Cylon war and I am incredibly impressed that they've managed to make it all look so cool. The battle with the destruction of the Columbia and the ensuing firefight between Adama and an old style Centurion couldn't have looked better. There was a lot of room for cringeworthy nostalgia here, but I thought they walked the line quite well.

Overall, save a nitpick or two here and there, Razor has many merits which easily secure its status as among the best episodes of BSG ever done. The story of Kendra Shaw is indeed compelling and using this new and overlooked character to tie together all these events and time periods we'd have loved to have seen more of variously was incredibly clever.

By telling this story, we get to see all sorts of amazing things that previously were only talked about. Not only do all the events depicted in this episode precisely match their descriptions in prior episodes, but watching them occur despite knowing the outcome is no less compelling. In fact, I believe that the fact that the audience of this episode is already privy to the outcomes of large quantities of plot covered forced the writers to raise the dramatic bar for the storytelling. The narrative focus is not on plot in this episode, but on the emotional impact.

You need look nowhere else but the episode's musical score for evidence. Like Shaw's character, the music floats seamlessly from time period to time period, weaving a tapestry of emotional impressions using strong plots as its thread rather than expecting the plots to stand on their own.

If you recall watching the first season of BSG, is there any doubt in your mind how it would end? Boomer was destined to betray the Galactica. And she did. The outcome was obvious and not at all a surprise, but still incredibly shocking and moving. When you watch the events of Pegasus' past in this episode, it elicits the same feelings. You know what's going to happen, but the story is so compelling and the details are so fascinating, the climax hits you just as hard no matter how many times you see it. This is why HBO's Rome was so critically acclaimed, for everybody knows the story of Julius Caesar. But it's not what you say, it's how you say it. Rome retold that age old story exceptionally well and I'm proud to say BSG channels that style here once again.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From AuH2O on 2007-11-25 at 6:34pm:
    Wasn't there an obvious chronology problem? Lee Adama said " a lot has happened in the past 8 months", followed by a flash back to the attack on the Pegasus by the cylons, which was 10 months ago.
  • From DPC on 2008-02-27 at 8:47pm:
    Addendum to the Problems section (or maybe Factoids): The number of actors who appear in the credits but not in the actual episode (to say nothing of the "top 7" who didn't have much of a role to speak of, like Grace Park or Mary McDonnell):

    James Callis - only appears in the background in the televised version, and only has one scene in the DVD version. Actually, one thing I liked in the TV version was the lack of Baltar/Head Six. If there's one aspect of season 3 I think everyone could agree was positive was the relative absence of these scenes, which had become tiresome by the end of season 2. Whenever this happened in season 3 there was a clear motivator for it.

    Aaron Douglas - no face time, but did get a mention in the dialogue

    Alessandro Juliani - completely absent, indeed one wonders why it was "Baltar and Tyrol" and not "Gaeta and Tyrol" who downloaded the Cylon computer in the aforementioned line

    Tahmoh Penikett - didn't even get a name drop

    Michael Trucco - well he was still on Caprica at this point, so it was obvious why he wasn't around

    Kandyse McClure - didn't even get a comm voiceover

    If the actors were being credited at all proportionate to their work with the credits Michelle Forbes, Stephanie Jacobsen and Graham Beckel should have been in the main credits, or at least first in the ep credits. Even Michael Hogan only utters one line!

    I guess it's more of a curiosity than a real problem, but it really stuck out to me.
  • From S8 on 2008-04-01 at 5:14pm:
    "Many fans had always wondered how both Adama and Tigh could be veterans of the same war, with Adama being so much younger."

    I'm not sure I follow. Tigh and Adama appear to be pretty close in age to me. According to the chronology page on the Battlestar wiki, they are only 5 years apart (69 BCH versus 64 BCH). I don't think that necessarily qualifies as "so much younger". I'm sure the age gaps between Apollo and Dee (or Starbuck), or Chief and Cally are just as big or bigger.

    If you want to use actor birthdates to gauge character ages, Crashdown's actor was born in 1977, whereas Tyrol's actor was born in 1971. A six year gap, but clearly they are serving in the same Cylon war. I see nothing confusing about Adama and Tigh's alleged "age gap". Just because someone is bald with white hair, doesn't mean he's ancient. I've known people who were white haired in their thirties.

    My general feelings on the Razor movie were:
    - present day was fine as "filling in gaps" (part 1) but the mission (part 2) on the basestar was silly.. "Let's sacrifice a raptor and risk 4 people to save about 4 people--aboard an enemy basestar"
    - "Cain's Pegasus" flashback stuff was uniformly good, I really enjoyed this look into the Pegasus's backstory.. It provided some much needed character development for Cain and her crew.
    - Husker storyline was silly, why was this even necessary? Just to show visual proof that when Adama says he heard of a special basestar and guardians, that he had some limited firsthand experience? During his little foray into that research facility, he didn't even learn the terms for "guardians" or "hybrids". He just saw a bunch of arms, and some prisoners.

    Additionally, the CG of fighting the Toaster-Cylon in free-fall was pretty well done, but also the weakest CGI of the series to date. I'd rate it right alongside Legolas jumping onto the Cave Troll.
  • From Hugo on 2012-09-26 at 4:25am:
    Is it just me, but didn't it go very quick when Kendra connected that there are human cylons? (by seeing the Six in the boarding party)

    Keep in mind that there were no notion on the Pegasus that there were human-looking Cylons.
  • From Dave on 2016-01-29 at 12:58am:
    So, in a nutshell I have given this series a chance since I am the perfect demographic. There are basically no likable characters to root for, that is the biggest fail that I can think of since the producers/directors/writers do an ok job on keeping things somewhat interesting.

    Perhaps 12 years has dated this series and I have seen shows like Lost do a much better job of having characters you can actually like. I find this series dark, too much smoking and hitting women and unappealing characters. Heck, I'm rooting for the Cylons at this point.
  • From Kethinov on 2016-01-29 at 10:05am:
    It isn't the age. You're not the target demographic. The target demographic is people who enjoy dark, gritty sci fi with flawed characters who exhibit mostly shades of gray in their personal morality. For people into that stuff, BSG is still the overall best show in that genre. Basically Game of Thrones in space.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

BSG - 4x05 - The Ties That Bind - Originally Aired: 2008-4-18

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 4.45

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 70 4 9 8 14 6 3 34 25 17 19

Synopsis
Although Laura Roslin values Admiral Adama's support during her cancer treatments, she remains angry with him for his unilateral decision to send Kara Thrace and a team of officers in search of Earth aboard the sewage freighter Demetrius. The press and the Quorum of 12 have begun asking inconvenient questions about the top-secret mission.

Making matters worse, Lee Adama, the Quorum's new Caprican delegate, threatens to become another thorn in Roslin's side, as he agrees with Vice President Zarek that Roslin's extensive executive powers should be curbed.

Aboard the Demetrius, Kara Thrace's leadership is also being questioned. She is uncertain about their course but hostile to her crew when they express skepticism. Anders confronts her, but she silences him first with a scathing rebuke and then by luring him into bed.

In the Cylon fleet, the Cavil whom Natalie ordered to be executed is resurrected in the arms of Boomer. He pretends to capitulate to Natalie and her faction, who want to re-awaken the boxed D'Annas as the next step in their spiritual quest. On the fleet's next Jump, however, Cavil orders the resurrection ship to stay behind. Then his ships open fire on Natalie's ships, attempting to kill her and her followers, with no hope of resurrection.

Amid these crises of leadership, a subtler but equally critical drama is playing out aboard the Galactica: Cally and Galen Tyrol's marriage is falling apart. Cally has become depressed and resentful, taking medication but only growing lonelier as Galen withdraws into himself, leaving her to care for their son Nicky.

Cally doesn't know that Galen is wrestling with his new, horrifying awareness of his Cylon identity. Instead, when Cally sees him having an intimate talk with Tory Foster, she assumes that the two are having an affair.

Then Cally finds a mysterious note hidden in the door to her family's quarters, naming a time and place. She sneaks into a crawlspace near that rendezvous point and overhears a shattering conversation: Saul Tigh, Tory Foster and Tyrol are discussing the urgency of keeping their true Cylon identities secret.

Cally escapes unseen, although Tory Foster suspects her presence. Back in her quarters, Cally struggles to keep her chaotic emotions in check as Galen returns and makes a seemingly heartfelt promise to recommit himself to his family.

Without warning, Cally grabs a wrench and strikes him in the head. He falls. She steals his access keys, grabs Nicky, and flees. Desperate to escape forever from the nightmarish truth that the father of her son is a machine — and what that means her son must be — Cally has a terrible solution in mind. Only Foster can stop her … but Foster might not want to. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 39676. Apparently no one died off camera in the span of the last episode.
- The weapons locker the new Cylon characters meet at in this episode is labeled "1701D" - a reference to Star Trek TNG. The Enterprise in TNG had the same registry number.
- Destroyed Cylon capital ships, running total: 7 confirmed, 5 probable. (+3 probable, though this estimate is conservative. It is possible Six had up to five basestars.)

Remarkable Scenes
- The confused and angry Cavils resurrecting.
- Cavil: "The sixes and their acolytes used their new pets to engage in a little ethnic cleansing."
- Boomer kissing a Cavil. WTF?
- Cally and Tyrol fighting.
- A highly intoxicated Cally confronting Tyrol at the bar, suspecting Tory and Tyrol of having an affair.
- Adama reading to Roslin.
- Lee accepting his quorum appointment.
- The Demetrius has four vipers on its roof. Hah! I wonder how you get in one!
- Kara, aboard Demetrius, struggling to lead her new command.
- Cavil meeting with Six.
- Six: "Is that how you see our very existence; as some sort of nihilistic punchline?" Cavil: "Nihilistic punchline. I like that."
- Six pressuring Cavil to unbox the D'Annas.
- Zarek confronting Lee about Roslin's alleged increasingly tyrannical behavior.
- Cottle counseling Cally.
- Cally: "That's what I like about you doc, you only pretend to be a bastard."
- Starbuck and Anders having angry sex.
- The contentious quorum meeting.
- Cavil's camp attacking the basestars following Six.
- Cally eavesdropping on the meeting between Tigh, Tory and Tyrol.
- Cally assaulting Tyrol and running off with the baby.
- Tory confronting Cally, gaining her trust, only to take the baby and brutally murder Cally.

My Review
Battlestar Dramatica! Oh, I missed this feeling, this feeling of being completely satisfied by every character, every plot thread, the pacing, the action, the intrigue, all of it. This episode earned its ten across the board. BSG's dramatic appeal just reached its resurrection ship and came back with a fury.

The most remarkable quality of this episode is how it does so much with so little. Most episodes I've awarded tens to have had big, epic space battles, major plot events and gritty drama all at the same time. This episode has all of this, but the major plot events, while significant, are relatively minor and while the space battle in this episode is awesome, we see very little of it. Instead, Cally single handedly steals the show.

It's pretty much a cliche by now that once a character gets an unusual amount of screen time they're sure to die. However, this episode doesn't leave you feeling like "why are we all of a sudden focusing on Cally?" Every moment was perfectly natural, every emotional hoop she jumped through was real, and at the end of the story you feel for her. She was truly a victim of circumstances.

Which brings us to Tory. She's the vessel from which the gritty drama of this episode flows. The character that's always in the background, who remained relatively in the background even after being revealed as a Cylon, suddenly came into blinding focus. What she did was just astonishing. Tory, in the moment of Cally's most profound anguish gained Cally's trust in a matter of minutes then viciously abused that trust, striking her down, taking the baby and brutally murdering her in front of her infant child. Wow. I mean, just wow. This is the kind of dark drama I watch this show for.

As such, the overarching weaknesses of the show just fell into the background for me here. This episode was so good I didn't care about the vague thematic mysticism, the lack of answers surrounding numerous critical plots, or the aesthetic issues other episodes faced. During this episode, everything was perfect, and I'm incredibly thankful for that.

And I don't just mean the incredibly compelling story and the masterful acting. Even the little details are spot on here. Such as the fast cuts, rapidly taking you from one compositionally fascinating scene to the next and back again in every character context. Everything from Starbuck's haphazard command to Cally's spinning out of control amidst her spinning night light was television as an art form at its best.

Additionally, the side plot with the Cylons was easily strong enough to be the episode's main plot. Between plans to unbox D'Anna, the Centurions getting crankier, and Cylon basestars blowing each other up, the Cylons are getting more and more interesting by the minute. One lingering nitpick is we never found out if the D'Annas really got unboxed or if Six' armada was completely destroyed.

Another ambiguity is where all this Lee business is going. While all of Lee's scenes this time around were worthwhile and downright fascinating, I am left wondering just what everyone's agenda really is. Zarek has a point when he says Roslin seems to be becoming more tyrannical, but I've got to wonder whether or not she's actually a victim of circumstance as well. Was the executive order Lee bashed in the meeting really just innocently flawed? Or would Roslin have let that one slip by if no one called her on it? My only guess is that Lee's trying to be as ethical as possible, loyalties be damned. If someone close to him fraks up, he'll call them on it.

Among other nice touches in the episode were two interesting scenes between Roslin and Adama. Early on in the episode Adama sits down next to Roslin's hospital bed and begins reading a mystery novel to her. It's a cute, sad little scene. If you recall back in season one, she mentioned having a "weakness for mysteries." I also like the scene where Roslin and Adama speak about the Demetrius candidly. It implied heavily that Adama authorized the mission without Roslin's approval and informed her afterward. This is entirely in character for Adama and an interesting counterpoint to Roslin's behavior when she hid the Cylon child without notifying Adama.

Overall, simply put, this episode is an outstanding piece of drama. I felt that Cally's character really reached her full potential in this episode and her death was among the most touching, gut wrenching, and shocking moments of the show so far. It's up there with Adama getting shot, and that's saying a lot. Bravo!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From AuH2O on 2008-04-20 at 5:53pm:
    Thsnks as always for your very interesting and fun reviews. One of the consolations at the end of new BSG episode --when the realization sets in that you will never that episode for the first time again-- is looking forward to reviewing your review. By now, it's also quite a resource, a guide to watching BSG.

    However, I must ask whether perhaps you were drinking too much champagne in honor of your girl friend's birthday. A perfect 10 for this episode? It seems extremely generous to be. I went back and you really award the Perfect Ten rarely (as you should): Miniseries Part I, from Season I, the Hand of God, Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 2; from Season II, Pegasus, Resurrection Ship Part 2; from Season III, just Exodus Part 2. And Razor Part 1 from Season 4.

    Does this episode really rank as high as those classics? Better than 33, Scattered, Valley of Darkness, Captain's Hand?

    When I first saw it, I didn't particularly like it, especially not the beginning. The end, I admit, was spectacular and very well done. I liked the scenes with the Cylons.

    But the politics felt stale --haven't we seen all of this already many times?-- and, more problematically, dramatically jarring given context. The fleet was lost a lot of people, the whole Kara business and Cylons suddenly disappearing, and in the midst of this one of the best pilots and military leaders goes off to sit on boring committee where there is a lot of yelling? And although the PResident announced dramatically last week that she is dying, she is undergoing chemo, her hair is falling out, but she has the energy to sit through these sessions and although she is experiencing her last days is planning presidential secret tribunals? Why, to set up her replacement Zarek as all-powerful. It makes no sense. If she really thought she is dying, it would make a lot more sense for her to actually make the office of president LESS powerful, and ensure that the Admiral will be able to carry on the mission after she is gone. Also, Zarek was adamant at the end of last season that Balthar shoudn't get a trial and now he praises Lee for his role in it. I guess it makes some sense, but it's not in any way explained.

    Also problematic is the composition of Kara's crew. By giving her his chief navigator AND Helo, Adama is seriously weakening his crew. Why would he do this in the midst of a crisis? Isn't one ship by itself very vulnerable. I know we saw 2 vipers on deck and I suppose they have pilots, but if they run into a Cylon basestar, aren't they finished? Why didn't the Admiral send some more ships?

    All in all, it seems that RDM is moving his pieces on the chess board. For some reason he needs Athena and Helo and Gaeta together with Kara and Anders. Why, we'll have to wait and see.

    And he needs Lee to become President or at least Vice President after Roslin dies.

    I think he should have been able to address some of the more obvious problems he is running into while making his moves. For a truly talented chess master, they shouldn't even look like "moves."

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

BSG - 4x09 - Guess What's Coming to Dinner? - Originally Aired: 2008-5-16

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 5.38

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 23 11 8 4 2 3 8 9 11 12 26

Synopsis
The Demetrius and the Cylon baseship are nearly shot down by the Galactica when they rendezvous with the human fleet. Kara Thrace's team, however, manages to explain that the rebel Cylons want an alliance, not a battle.

Soon, the Cylon leader, a Six named Natalie, meets face-to-face with Laura Roslin and William Adama. She tells them that the final five Cylons are hidden in the human fleet, and that the D'Annas — the Cylon model whose consciousness was boxed as punishment for illicit spiritual exploration — can identify them. D'Anna's consciousness is stored within the Cylon resurrection hub, a central facility that controls all resurrection ships.

Natalie proposes that if the humans will help the rebel Cylons seize control of the hub and liberate the D'Anna model, D'Anna will identify the final five, who, in turn, can reveal the route to Earth. The hub will then be destroyed. All Cylons will lose the hope of resurrection, but Natalie's faction is willing to become mortal as the price they must pay to meet the remaining five Cylons. The rebels and the final five will then depart in peace, leaving the humans to complete their journey to Earth.

Roslin and Adama accept this momentous deal. Each side of the uneasy alliance, however, secretly plots to seize hostages during the mission in order to ensure that things go their way.

Tigh, Tyrol, Anders and Tory are shaken as they realize that their secret identities might soon be exposed. Anders is also preoccupied because Gaeta, whom he shot during the mutiny aboard the Demetrius, must have his leg amputated. The procedure leaves Gaeta desolate, singing to himself for consolation in the Galactica's infirmary.

Gaius Baltar, meanwhile, tells his radio audience a top-secret fact: Roslin shares inexplicable visions with two Cylons, Sharon Agathon and Caprica Six. In these visions, the three women pursue Hera, Sharon's daughter, through an opera house; Caprica always finds Hera first and carries her off, which frightens Sharon and Roslin.

Disgusted that Baltar has betrayed this confidential information, Roslin confronts Tory and reveals that she knows Tory and Baltar are lovers. Roslin demands that Tory find out how Baltar learned about the visions. Rattled, Tory persuades Baltar to admit that Caprica Six told him the secret, communicating through his lawyer.

The Quorum of 12, already uncomfortable with Roslin's reticence to discuss her visions, nearly revolts when Roslin summarily announces the alliance with the Cylons. Lee Adama privately urges Roslin to honor the Quorum's concerns by discussing the plan with them.

Accepting Lee's advice, Roslin and Natalie jointly address the Quorum. The political pressure appears to ease. Suddenly, however, the visions Roslin shares with Sharon and Caprica spark shocking real-life actions, threatening the alliance before the mission even gets underway. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- Aside from adding artificial dramatic suspense and the opportunity for Tigh to interrupt, what purpose did Adama's countdown to fire on the basestar serve?
- A Windows error dialog box can be seen on one of the computer screens on the Cylon basestar when the marines (along with Tigh) board the ship.

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 39673. Down two. (Emily and Barolay.)
- This episode establishes that the Cylon basestar can heal itself.
- The lyrics to Gaeta's song: "Alone she sleeps in the shirt of man / With my three wishes clutched in her hand / The first that she be spared the pain / That comes from a dark and laughing rain / When she finds love may it always stay true / This I beg for the second wish I made too / But wish no more / My life you can take / To have her please just one day wake"

Remarkable Scenes
- The jump error, causing the damaged Cylon basestar to jump right on top of the colonial fleet alone.
- Galactica scrambling to attack the Cylon ship while the fleet scrambles to get as far away from it as possible.
- The Demetrius jumping in just in time.
- Tigh: "Which one of them shot Gaeta?"
- The leader Six officially stating her position aboard Galactica.
- The leader Six proposing an alliance to destroy the Cylons' ability to resurrect permanently.
- The leader Six revealing her belief that the final five are within the colonial fleet, attributing the abrupt retreat in the battle at the nebula to that sudden revelation to their raiders.
- Racetrack capturing images of the resurrection hub.
- Cottle taking Gaeta's leg; Anders observing in horror.
- The fleet returning to its prior coordinates, alongside the Cylon basestar...
- Tigh: "We blow the hub and billions of skin jobs lose their bath privileges."
- Roslin: "Imagine, once they're gone they can't come back. Mortal enemies."
- Galactica crew loading equipment and personnel aboard the Cylon basestar.
- Zarek skeptically revealing Roslin's plan to the quorum.
- Tyrol: "You know, if they unbox the D'Annas, at least we'll find out who the fifth one is." Tigh: "All that's gonna do is crowd the airlock a little more."
- Roslin confronting Tory about her association with Baltar.
- Lee pleading with Roslin to throw the quorum a bone.
- Roslin allowing the leader Six to speak to the quorum.
- Starbuck visiting Roslin in sickbay, telling her what the hybrid told her, forcing Roslin to obsess over the meaning of the visions.
- Roslin enlisting Baltar to go find out the truth of her visions with her because, as she reveals to him, Baltar is in her visions.
- Athena killing the leader Six.
- The Cylon hybrid jumping the ship immediately upon being plugged in.

My Review
This is a surprisingly riveting episode, densely packed with plot, liberally infused with style, and endlessly fascinating in its implications.

Much like The Ties That Bind, this episode's strengths lie with its intoxicating elegance and powerful, ambiguous ending. As expected, the rebel Cylons are able to offer a sufficiently tempting collaboration proposal to Roslin and Adama and it's no small package: the revelation to the fleet that the final five Cylons are among them, the revelation to the fleet that they likely know the way to Earth, and the total elimination of the Cylons' ability to resurrect.

Armed with those prospects and a spiffy new Cylon basestar as a gift (okay, maybe not so spiffy and new), even Roslin's jubilant about the possibility of a collaborative mission. Executing this premise alone makes for a stellar episode, but for this episode, that's just the beginning.

What ensues among the endlessly fascinating preparations for this joint strike mission isn't what anyone could have ever expected. Motivated by this torturous communal vision, Athena murders the rebel leader Six and Roslin gets herself, Baltar, much of the Galactica crew, along with half their remaining vipers captured by the Cylon hybrid.

Among the widespread implications of the events of this episode will include the ascension of Zarek to the presidency. This has happened before, but perhaps this time it will be more legitimate and less easily quashed by Adama. Given Zarek's increasingly critical opinion of Roslin's behavior while in power, it'll be interesting to see how his own behavior counterpoints or perhaps ironically mirrors her own.

Also, Athena's murder of the rebel leader Six is not likely to go down well; she may have just sacrificed much of that trust Adama has placed in her over the years. All over an unexplained vision which she'll now likely have to come forward about.

The most remarkable thing about this episode though is that the dizzying string of events covered here plays out amidst an incredibly powerful score, underscored by Gaeta's operatic laments in sickbay. Gaeta's tortured performance reflects the mood of the episode quite nicely and its interspersion throughout the episode starts off as sad and confused and slowly evolves into something profound as truly epic events occur all around him while he sings obliviously.

In addition to the major events which occur here, the artistic approach to this episode's storytelling, particularly in the episode's climax is what really makes it so great. There is little else to say than bravo!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From basadam on 2008-05-29 at 8:20am:
    Is this me or is this getting boring by each new episode? It seems that after securing another season, all they're trying to do is to stretch the story. That is okay, they don't have finish this year but surely they can try to be more imaginative and insert at least mildly interesting sub-stories into the series. What they're doing instead is repeating the same neverending discussions, filling the existing story with boring, predictive, cheap plots.

    I'm sorry, I really like this series and continue watching it for previous seasons' sake, but I'm really losing interest.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

BSG - 4x11 - The Hub - Originally Aired: 2008-6-6

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 6.1

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 26 2 4 2 0 8 2 0 16 17 31

Synopsis
Having just arrived aboard the rebel Cylon baseship, Roslin and Baltar are shocked when the ship's hybrid abruptly begins making jump after jump away from the human fleet. The hybrid is panicking because she senses that Natalie has died. Eventually, however, her jumps regain focus. She begins searching for the resurrection hub so that the allied human-Cylon forces can complete their original mission: to rescue the boxed Three/D'Anna model and destroy the hub, which is defended by Cylon forces belonging to Cavil's faction.

During all of these jumps, Roslin experiences visions in which Elosha, her priest who perished on Kobol, shows her a hospital bed where she — Roslin — lies dying. William Adama keeps a loving, grief-stricken vigil by her bedside. Lee and Kara stand sorrowfully nearby. Observing this scene, Elosha urges Roslin to relax her self-inflicted Presidential isolation and allow herself to love — both for her own sake and for her people's.

Between jumps, however, Roslin resolutely acts like her normal self. She and Baltar try and fail to converse with the enigmatic hybrid. Meanwhile, Helo and an Eight develop a bond as they work together to plan and prepare their uneasy crews for the coming battle. Helo is thus especially upset when Roslin gives him a secret order: he must transport D'Anna directly to Roslin, who will interrogate her with no Cylons present. Helo warns Roslin that the Cylons, who expect mutual cooperation, will see this as a betrayal of the alliance. Roslin coolly insists that Helo follow her orders.

The baseship reaches the hub and a chaotic fight begins against Cavil's Cylon forces. Helo and the Eight sneak aboard the hub, where they find D'Anna already awake. Cavil and Boomer have resurrected her, but she has killed Cavil, and Boomer has fled. Helo, the Eight and D'Anna escape from the hub in a Raptor. Then the human pilots unleash a barrage of nuclear missiles. The hub — the Cylons' wellspring of immortality — vanishes in a blaze of light.

Back aboard the baseship, an explosion during the fight has injured Baltar. Roslin gives him morpha and staunches his bleeding as best she can. Then, under the drug's influence, Baltar confesses what she has long suspected: that his actions helped enable the genocidal Cylon attack against the Twelve Colonies. After he complacently explains that his faith in God frees him from all guilt, Roslin strips away the dressing she has put on his wound. He guesses what she's doing and begs her to stop, but she steps away. Laura Roslin is about to let Gaius Baltar bleed to death before her eyes — but it's not just his life on the line. It's her soul, too. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 39673. Down one. (Pike.)
- This episode takes place concurrently with Sine Qua Non.
- Hybrid utterances that were intelligible: "Filters, filters. The sublime elevation of the lifters [...] control [...] the wing beats of the dove drown out the heartbeats of those who follow. The six is back in the stream [...] three of the aft vents require optimization [...] the Six! The Six who went among the makers is no longer. End of line. Back in the stream that feeds the ocean that feeds the stream [...] calm your mind. Cease countdown. Cease countdown. Circulation, ventilation, control filters, filters [...] open the door [...] protect the child [...] booting up [...] such a format will close the doors [...] three! The three is online. The three is online. Accessing data, loading data. Recognizing attributes [...] booting up. Jump! [...] To remove the pump with the attached hose and wiring, simultaneously release the three tanks while pulling the pump out of the retainer along with the line and wiring [...] "
- Destroyed Cylon capital ships, running total: 10 confirmed, 2 probable. (+3 confirmed, but it's possible that there were in fact many more off screen.)

Remarkable Scenes
- Roslin encountering Elosha in a vision.
- The hybrid jumping randomly.
- Roslin to a Sharon: "You're getting information from this liquid?"
- Baltar attempting poorly to communicate with the hybrid.
- Helo and a Sharon planning the hub operation.
- Sharon revealing to Helo that she downloaded Athena's memories.
- Cavil resurrecting D'Anna.
- Baltar and Roslin together attempting poorly to question the hybrid about the vision.
- The hybrid: "Three! The three is online!"
- Baltar chatting with the Centurion.
- Roslin to Helo: "You are not married to the entire production line."
- The rebel basestar commencing its attack.
- D'Anna killing Cavil, Boomer fleeing.
- The battle.
- Helo and Sharon retrieving D'Anna.
- Pike the coward.
- Baltar and his Centurion buddy getting blown across the corridor.
- Baltar, as Roslin is saving his life: "You know something? You're very pretty." Roslin: "Yeah, that morpha works fast."
- Baltar confessing to Roslin his exact role in the destruction of the twelve colonies.
- Roslin deciding to kill Baltar.
- Baltar pleading with Roslin: "Don't do this to me. Don't do this to me, please..."
- Elosha: "I'm not saying Baltar's done more good than harm in the universe. He hasn't. The thing is, the harder it is to recognize someone's right to draw a breath, the more crucial it is. If humanity is going to prove itself worthy of surviving, it can't do it on a case by case basis. A bad man feels his death just as keenly as a good man."
- Roslin panicking to save Baltar's life as she reconsiders her decision to kill him.
- Roslin: "Please don't go Gaius, please..."
- D'Anna telling Roslin that she's a Cylon, then withdrawing the statement as a sort of sick joke.
- Adama and Roslin being reunited.
- Adama: "Missed you." Roslin: "Me too... Love you." Adama: "About time."

My Review
Action, story depth, raw and powerful emotions, major character revelations, and so much more, this episode has it all. As if sacrificing itself to strengthen this episode's story, the previous episode managed to be all setup for this unexpected and completely astonishing payoff without suffering from setup syndrome at all.

The Hub takes the unusual step of going back to the moment of the beginning of the previous episode and retelling events from the perspective of the Cylon basestar. Doing it in this order allows us to be entrenched in the revolutionary events occurring within Cylon culture completely while still allowing us to totally milk the effects it has on the fleet. We don't need to cut back to the fleet and deal with what are easily comparatively less interesting events at all. We simply ride the epic wave nonstop until its conclusion and the backdrop of events of the previous episode serve only to enhance this episode's ride.

Along the way, in fact, this is Roslin's story. As stunning as the resurrection hub battle was, and as exciting as it is to have D'Anna back, and as interesting as all the repercussions are, the most remarkable parts of this story have to do with the things Roslin experiences along the way. She boarded that basestar to get answers from the Cylon hybrid about her visions. Instead, she's forced to act as sole commander in chief in the largest military operation on the show so far, she's forced to confront the true nature of Baltar's crimes, and she's forced to confront her love for Adama.

The most interesting aspect to this major milestone in the life of Roslin's character has to do with the degree to which Roslin's eventual forgiveness of Baltar is related to the final acceptance of her love for Adama. Throughout the story, her subconscious, portrayed by Elosha, was determined to force her to realize how cold she had become. As she finally faced Baltar's explicit confession, she was forced to fight back her basic instincts telling her to project all her anger about her circumstances onto Baltar and destroy them both.

In doing so, she overcame the mental barrier preventing her from fundamentally forgiving Baltar for what he did. Because after all, she did know he had some part in the fall of the 12 Colonies as established as far back as Taking a Break from All Your Worries when he stated that "conspiracy requires intent." She took that statement simply as to confirm her suspicions, but never let the other aspect of it truly hit home. He never intended. Moreover, the larger issue of whether or not he deserved to die regardless of the severity of his crime motivated Roslin to save him. She was forced to live up to her "all is forgiven" idealism and practice what she preached.

The centerpiece of the episode comes into play at the end when her journey to break down the barriers necessary to forgive Baltar also turns out to be what enables her to profess her love for Adama. There is little more to say regarding that other than this beautiful moment is well earned. Overall, this is an outstanding episode. One of the best of the series.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

BSG - 4x12 - Revelations - Originally Aired: 2008-6-13

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 5.33

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 20 10 46 15 6 6 19 12 11 9 54

Synopsis
After the rebel Cylon baseship rejoins the human fleet, D'Anna sparks a standoff by seizing Roslin, Baltar, and their entourage as hostages. She announces that she will hold these hostages aboard the baseship until the four Cylons hidden in the human fleet return safely to their own people. Tory Foster defects immediately, but the other hidden Cylons keep quiet.

Back in command aboard the Galactica, William Adama consults with Lee, who is still acting as President in Roslin's absence. According to prophecy, the hidden Cylons will reveal the route to Earth, and Roslin has secretly ordered Adama to destroy the baseship — even with her aboard — if that's the only way keep the Cylons from claiming Earth for themselves. The human leaders thus face two grim alternatives: if the hidden Cylons defect, the humans must destroy the baseship to prevent the Cylons from finding Earth, but if the hidden Cylons stay underground, the hostages will suffer. As if to prove this point, D'Anna executes a hostage and threatens to kill more unless the three remaining Cylons join her. In response, Lee orders Kara Thrace to plan a hostage rescue mission.

As preparations for the dangerous mission get underway, a Cylon musical signal summons Tigh, Tyrol and Anders to the mysterious Viper that Kara flew back to the fleet after her mystical journey to Earth. Intrigued, Tyrol and Anders ask Kara to help them examine the Viper. Tigh, meanwhile, resolves to stop the impending bloodshed at any cost: he finally tells Adama that he is a Cylon. Adama breaks down in fury and grief, incapacitated by this unimaginable betrayal. Lee takes charge and orders Tigh marched to an airlock to await execution. There, Tigh reveals the identities of Tyrol and Anders, who are arrested before Kara's horrified eyes. As Anders is dragged away, he begs his wife to study the Viper. Stunned, she retreats into its cockpit and starts flipping switches.

Lee radios D'Anna that if she doesn't release the hostages, he will execute Tigh, Tyrol and Anders. His resolve is steely despite the painful shock of seeing such well-known faces awaiting death at his hands. D'Anna similarly refuses to back down, targeting the civilian ships with the baseship's weapons. If the three Cylons die, so will thousands of humans.

Seconds before an apocalyptic battle erupts, Kara discovers that her Viper is receiving a locator signal that no other ship in the fleet can detect. If it's from Earth, then Anders and Tyrol have fulfilled the prophecy by giving her a crucial clue to the planet's location. Faced with this awesome possibility, Lee and D'Anna hesitantly make peace. Lee offers amnesty to Tigh, Tyrol, Anders and Foster, and D'Anna releases her hostages. Then, with Lee and Roslin's help, William Adama pulls himself together and orders preparations for a jump.

The fleet and their Cylon allies follow the signal to Earth. What awaits them at the end of their long journey, however, may break their hearts. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form.
- This episode placed #6 in Time Magazine's Top 10 TV Episodes of 2008.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 39665. Down eight. (Probably due to the battle at the hub.)

Remarkable Scenes
- Tory volunteering to go to the basestar under the guise of providing Roslin with medical care.
- D'Anna introducing Tory to the other Cylons.
- Tory revealing herself to Roslin and Baltar.
- Tory: "You had no idea, did you?" Roslin: "No." Tory: "It might be worth pondering what else you've been wrong about."
- Tigh revealing that he's a Cylon to Adama.
- Tigh volunteering himself as a hostage.
- Adama enraged in his quarters.
- Adama's nervous breakdown and Lee consoling him.
- Anders and Tyrol being arrested as Cylons.
- Lee threatening D'Anna that he'll airlock Tigh, Tyrol, and Anders.
- The nuclear standoff.
- Starbuck dissolving the standoff by revealing that the new Cylons just accidentally revealed the location of Earth.
- D'Anna: "All of this has happened before--" Lee, interrupting: "But it doesn't have to happen again."
- D'Anna agreeing to set aside their differences to go to Earth together.
- The fleet jumping to Earth.
- Adama running his hands through radioactive soil.
- The slow pan across the landing party revealing a massive destroyed city behind.

My Review
The almighty Earth episode doesn't disappoint. Even better, it wasn't even expected. What started as a tense standoff between two people bitterly distrusting of one another, yet ever entwined ends brilliantly on a truly revolutionary act of trust between them which pays off with nothing short of finding Earth together! Truly epic. But of course on Battlestar Galactica, the grass is never greener on the other side.

I knew in the early days of the show that the best way the show could depict Earth, if ever, would be to portray it as a devastated wasteland. It was obvious that the writers originally chose to consider the place a fantasy to add as much darkness to the drama as possible. What better drama than dangling a fictitious carrot in front of all but two of the characters? But eventually the writers decided that having it really exist could be more useful as a plot device for the kind of dark drama that BSG is.

Having Earth really exist opened up even more potential for dark storytelling because instead of milking the idea that the carrot is fictitious, which was done quite well in the first season, the story gave even the show's two doubters (Adama and Roslin) cause for hope. Armed with that, the second, third, and fourth seasons marched on only to finally do the one thing darker and more disturbing than revealing to tens of thousands of refugees that their promised land doesn't exist: it's revealed to tens of thousands of refugees that their promised land is just as devastated as the homes they fled.

Indeed, the brilliance of this episode lies with its thematic consistency and powerful message. As stated before, on Battlestar Galactica, thematically the grass is never greener on the other side. What this leaves our characters with is the harsh reality that they will have to solve their own problems, work out their own differences, and make their own promised land. No hidden treasures await, no glorious saviors, and no larger than life external solutions. And what could be better?

Anything else would simply be deus ex machina, regardless of how well earned that contrivance may have been. To earn it and then deny it for the sake of good storytelling is simply outstanding writing. And to top it all off, this incredible event, something that easily could have served as the series finale, was done in the middle of the season leaving plenty more episodes for some much needed epilogue and closure to tie up the numerous loose ends and finally put our characters on the road to solving their problems, rather than running from them.

Bravo!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From S8 on 2008-07-22 at 11:40am:
    You don't think Revelations was a little abrupt? We've spent 3 seasons piecing together obscure clues as to the whereabouts of Earth, but ultimately we use a magic compass that suddenly appears in what is still largely a mystical viper.

    What was the point of the maproom? Of the Eye of Jupiter? Does the "roadmap to Earth" involve a crewmember spazzing out and dying on a gas giant, only to resurrect with a magical viper and then find a Cylon basestar that forces the revelation of hidden Cylons who can tell someone to "hey check out that viper"?

    Was that the roadmap? I know that "all this has happened before..." but I can't imagine it was all supposed to "happen again" with such specificity. It feels very deus ex machina to me.

    The episode was very fun to watch, and its production values were great, but the plot progression was unsatisfying to me.
  • From Kethinov on 2009-12-16 at 4:04am:
    The abruptness is a good thing, not a bad thing. The series had been dragging up until the last few episodes. I agree that the mystical viper was deus ex machina; I was assuming that they give it a rational explanation in the subsequent episodes. Unfortunately the explanation we got was wholly unsatisfactory, but that doesn't change the fact that this episode by itself is a masterpiece.

    Its message about how the characters will be forced to solve their own problems, work out their own differences, and make their own promised land was the most powerful theme of the show. It's a shame the writers forgot that in the series finale and instead decided to violate this theme by delivering a larger than life, external deus ex machina solution to the characters' problems from the grace of god after all.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Return to season list