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Monday, August 29, 2005
TV Round-Up
Battlestar Galactica: Home, Part 2
You know, after nine plus weeks of storytelling, I was really kind of prepared to be let down by this one. Nine weeks of building, layering, moving things into place for this episode. Surely, the cynical part of me said, it won't quite live up the expectations.

But wonder of wonders if this one didn't not only live up to expectations but exceed them in just about every possible way.

I'm still sitting here, stunned at how good all of this was.

First up, I have to talk about the wonderful new twist given to Baltar. Baltar tries to cut himself off from Six, saying she is no longer his fantasy woman and Six ups the ante--oh yeah, I'm not really a chip in your head. You're just plain mad and you've had a mental break because you can't handle the guilt of having sold out the human race to their enemies. Watching Six reveal this and then slowly twist the knife was one of the highlights of this story. And watching Baltar slowly try to come to grips with the fact that he just might be crazy and have actualy sold out the Colonies of his own idea and volition...wow, that is great stuff. I know it won't ever happen since this show is on SciFi, but I'm officially taking up the banner to get James Callis an Emmy nomination next year. His work here alone was superb and I've loves seeing how his choices and what he does to bring Baltar so vividly to life.

I also loved how Six messes with him by her choice of clothing. She comes to him first wearing nothing, then once Baltar berates her as not being his fantasy woman, she changes to the comfy sweats and the hair in a ponytail. Only in the end when she wants to further have Baltar question his sanity does she go back to the red dress that has become pretty much a part of the character at this point. I love seeing Baltar had to doubt if he has a destiny or a calling from God and then the idea that Six is an angel sent to guide him....it should be interesting to see how this is all explored as the season progresses. (And if there's one thing I've learned, it's that this show is not going to drop any really interesting plot threads).

Meanwhile, down on Kobol things are simmering to a boil. Starbuck is eager to go back to Caprica to rescue the resistance while Roslin is hell-bent on finding the tomb of Athena. Adama shows up and begins the reconcillation of the family and the fleet. We see him embrace Lee and then hold out an olive branch to Roslin. The scenes in the tent where Adama states that Roslins' decision to leave the colonies was the right one was a nice scene, in a story full of them. Then, to see Adama have to face down a copy of Sharon and then to see her hold a gun on him...great moments. I did wonder why Sharon so quickly went along with the plan to take out Adama and Lee. I mean, I can see that she is trying to find a way to prove her worth and loyalty to the fleet and crew. But it makes you wonder--if Tigh was willing to lock up and interrogate Tyrol because of his connection with Galactica-Boomer, what will be done to Helo when the rest of the fleet finds out that they are an item and expecting a child together. And if push comes to shove, where will Helo's true loyalties lie? I am glad they didn't ask him to make the choice here of joining the conspiracy or not, but at some point this question has to be addressed.

So, it looks as if the season one cliffhanger has finally been resolved. And I must say I'm impressed at the nine-episode run. And it certainly left me hungry for more and thinking--man, there can't only be three more new eps this year. We have to have miscounted and we're going to get a few more.

Oh, it's going to be a long two week break for new episodes.

The 4440: Mommy's Bosses
Well, you certainly can't say they won't have some material to start with as next season begins. I guess we figured if one cliffhanger is good, then four must be better becuase wow, those last five or so minutes were packed with plot revelatoions. I just hope this show doesn't pull an Alias next year and introduce some interesting concepts for sake of a suspenseful cliffhanger and some positive buzz and then totally ignore these developments after an episode or two.

I will admit I was happy to see at least some closure or progression of the Kyle plot. It seems as if for weeks, we've had a lot of angst swirling about because of his role in the killing of Jordan Collier. Of course, since it now appears Jordan ain't dead has Kyle gone and thrown his life away for nothing? I mean, he's come out that he killed Collier and while we now see Collier is alive, Kyle still got a gun, went up on a roof and shot the guy. Yeah, I don't see that as something I'd be putting on my resume...but that's just me.

Also, what exactly did Sean heal Kyle of? Why the huge explosion? And did it work? And why'd it take Sean so long to get around to it? Is part of Sean's power that people have to WANT to be healed of whatever afflicts them? Or will this be something that I think of here and think it's uber-cool but will never be addressed by the show? (I mean I assume they're making the show for more than just the audience of me)

And why did Isabelle suddenly go sit-com child on us and grow up real fast? Is it related to Jordan's return? Does she oppose Jordan and his agenda to help the 4400? I get the feeling that Isabelle is not all she seems. We heard her referred to as the Rosetta stone for figuring out the secrets of the 4400 last week and then this week she's all grown up and walking about naked. This one has potential to either be really interesting or to get really bad really fast. I mean, as much as I liked Enterprise, the temporal cold war plotline got convoluted quickly as to who was with who and on whose side...and this could get equally complicated just as quickly.

And fianlly, I have to wonder if Dennis Ryland has brought about the conflict he was trying to avert with his firewall program. Yes, he made a decision based on the data available to him at the time and it turned out wrong. But I have to think his motivation wasn't necessarily evil or bad...just one of circling the wagons and protecting both sides. But he did go to some extraordinary lengths to cover his tracks and he did create a conspiracy of sorts. And for somoene who was as determined and convinced of the apparent rightness of his cause, Ryland sure did give up awfully easily when Tom confronted him with evidence. It felt like the writers wanted to have a great, dramatic act break but had no idea how to get out of the corner they'd painted themselves into.

I will admit there wasn't quite the sense of head-scratching or an empty hollowness to this year's finale as there was last year's. Of course, when you have at least five cliffhangers, that's not always going to be a problem....

The Dead Zone: Saved

Walking away from "Saved" my biggest question was--why is Mirnada Harris so pivotal in the vision Johnny has for the coming armageddon? When she is missing and presumed dead, Johnny's vision of the future when touching Stillson changes and yet when she comes back and agrees to marry him (more like forced into it to protect Johnny), the visions of destruction return. It makes me wonder--what is her role and why is she so pivotal? Is it because she has some feelings for Johnny and this leads to some greater conflict down the road? Also, a few weeks ago, Johnny and Stillson agreed to not cross paths again and yet I get the feeling this promise won't hold true as the series continues to unfold. Johnny and Stillson are linked somehow in the events that are to play out and we can only watch and see how this connection continues to unfold.

And whereas The 4400 had approximately that many cliffhangers, The Dead Zone went for just one and it's far more effective. It's not something that has to be dealt with immediately when the series resumes, but it is something that should play out as the stories progress. I do admit that I am encouraged that The Dead Zone already has a renewal and a continuation of season four guaranteed so I won't have to wonder how these things all play out. It'd be far too interesting to throw in the towel as it were.

I'm still also very impressed with how the writers are able to kind of play with the vision of the week mystery this late in the game. Yes, it's been cliched at times this year, but the past few weeks, they've taken the basic premise and really spun it off and twisted it into some new directions. It's not breaking any new ground, mind you, but where the stories are going character-wise makes it worth the ride.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 8/29/2005 12:28:00 PM | |
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