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Saturday, April 05, 2008
TV Round-Up: Battlestar Galactica
"He That Believeth in Me..."
Oh, Battlestar Galactica, how I've missed you. Thank heavens you're back. The withdrawal pangs were starting to get a little painful.

Yes, "Razor" helped a bit. It was a nice little snack in the long wait between seasons, but it's not the same as the promise of a long stretch of all new episodes.

And now, you're back...at last.

And it's like you never left. Picking up about five seconds after the end of season three, "He That Believeth in Me..." took about three seconds to suck me and remind me why I love this show so much. Before the opening credits, we had the newly revealed Cylons trying to a handle on who and what they are, an epic-space battle and a whole new layer and mystery in the overall series storyline.

And after that, we had 45 minutes to go.

This episode took the series' theme of identity and ramped it up. We have a lot of people questioning who they are now. It's interesting to see Starbuck returned in a brand-new Raptor and only have been gone six hours from her own timeline. She's been to Earth and while several characters are happy to see her, there are a whole lot of others who are suspicious of her, questioning is she's really Starbuck. By episode's end, Starbuck is asking the question of if she's who she thinks she is or is she a Cylon or some kind of clone. Watching her breakdown at the wall of the dead, going more and more desperate to convince herself that she's not a Cylon and that she's been to Earth was nicely done. And the whole scene is infused with subtext for the audience as she talks to Anders, who the audience knows is a Cylon. But Starbuck has no clue. And I loved Anders conversation on how he'd love her if she was a Cylon and Starbuck replies he's a better person and if he was a Cylon, she'd gun him down. Makes me eager for that revelation to come to light.

I also enjoyed the conversation between Adama and Lee about if it was Lee's brother coming back from the dead, they'd just accept him and it wouldn't change their feelings or love for him.

It's interesting that after the initial space-battle and action of the teaser, that the episode became a lot of superb conversations between these characters. Of course, watching all the conversations that involved the newly discovered Cylons and their looking at each other as things were said were a nice bit of subtext and a good added layer to the show. And that scene in C in C when Tigh saw himself shooting Adama...even though I knew it had to be a fantasy, it was still shocking in that it could happen based on the history of this show.

And I haven't even got into the storyline with Gaius Baltar and his struggle to find his new identity. Last year, we had hints that a cult of personality was building around Baltar and his book, but it's here that we see it. And to see how Six is manipulating the events to undermine the basic Colonial belief structure was interesting. Is this part of the Cylon's ultimate plan? Is one hope to create chaos and discord among the Colonials by creating a religious rift? If so, it's an intriguing idea and one I hope we'll see explored.

And, of course, we did get a whole lot of questions brought up for the new season. Here's a few that jumped out at me...
  • So, what happened when the Cylon and Anders made contact? Does the ship know? Do the Cylons know that these four models are active? Why were they activated now? Are there other copies of each of them?
  • Where was Starbuck in between Earth and the fleet? And what is her mysterious connection to the nebula that causes her pain with each jump away? Given what we learned in "Razor", this becomes even more intriguing.
  • Why doesn't Six like to think about the final five?
  • Does Starbuck really think pulling a gun on the president of the colonies is going to make a more compelling argument? And does she really think that killing Roslin will make Adama sit up and listen to her? (I'm going to say a bit no). And how did Starbuck figure out that Laura is in Adama's cabin?

OK, I think I've raved enough. I'm having a hard time deciding how much I liked the episode because it's been so long I wonder if part of my enthusiasm is "holy cow, we've got new episodes." But the more I think about it, the more I realize it's a solid return that promises great things for season four. And it left me eager for next Friday to see where the story goes next...

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/05/2008 08:47:00 PM | |
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