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Saturday, April 12, 2008
TV Round-Up: Battlestar Galactica
Six of One
While this week's episode didn't feel nearly as urgent as last week's season premiere, there's still a lot to like about it and the directions season four is taking.

Before I jump into all of the things I liked, let me express one small, nagging dissatisfaction. While I'm fascinating (though not surprised based on SPOILERS that came out in August) about the storyline of the Raiders and Centurians beginning to question their place in the scheme of things, I do wish we'd seen a bit more set-up of this. I found myself wanting to jump back to season three to see if there were hints of this to come, but based on what I can recall, last week was the only real week we saw any kind of open defiance by the Raiders. The thing is that Battlestar has been very good about creating retroactive continuity over the show's run and making it feel like this was something Ron Moore and company had intended to be there the entire time (interviews they've given have pointed to this not being the case). And while I love that that newly awakened Cylon models are creating controversy among the Cylons and this latest plot development, I wish it felt a bit more authentic and organic within the entire context and run of the series.

That said, the scenes on the Cylon ships were absolutely riveting this week. And part of that has to be that you could have Dean Stockwell come in and read the yellow pages and he'd just find a way to make it compelling to watch. And it does raise some interesting questions for the rest of the season--the biggest being is there a Cylon civil war brewing? And what are the bigger implications of one model of the Sharons rebelling and voting to lobotomize the Raiders? And why exactly have the Cylons kept the Raiders and Centurions as some kind of slave to their will? And why is this just coming up now? Again, is it tied to the final five? And what is it about the final five that bothers or scrare the other models so much?

It's interesting that the opening tease has replaced the text that the Cylons have a plan with the fact information on how many Cylons there are? Do the final five somehow represent a threat to the plan the Cylons have?

And isn't it interesting that when we first met the Cylons they had a single purpose--to bring God's love to humanity or wipe them out. And now their agendas are starting to fracture a bit. Could it be exposure to humanity that's done this?

Meanwhile, back in the fleet we have a lot of compelling stories unfolding as well. It's still not clear where Starbuck went, but I'm starting to have doubts about her story. Last week, she said she lost time, was at Earth and took some photos before heading back. Now, it appears she was on the planet. Her story of what happened isn't making much sense. I suppose we could chalk it up to a muddled memory because of what happened, but I think there is something more going on here. From Razor, we know that Starbuck is leading them on a path to destruction. So, what will happen as she and Helo try to find their way back to wherever Starbuck was?

You know, as we have characters going in several different directions and in several different places, I'm reminded of the end of season one and the start of season two. And if they can pull off the kind of incredible storytelling that all comes together as well as that did, I will be one happy fan.

Of course, Starbuck isn't winning any supporters among the fleet with how she acts. Except for Adama, who wants to believe her. I really liked the scene between Adama and Roslin in his quarters where they discussed the dilemma he faces--he doesn't want to admit he is losing those close to him. And his response that she can stay in his quarters but stay out of his head as he continued to refill his glass was great.

And here's a random thought--have we seen Tigh really binge-drink since the revelation he is a Cylon? Is part of that his not wanting to lose control and fulfill the vision he had last week? Or that we just haven't had time to see Tigh drunk in these two episodes?

Meanwhile, the revealed four (at least to us) are trying to figure out who they are and who the final Cylon is. It seems like a lot of people are curious about this these days. Was this something that woke up in the Cylons when these four were revealed to each other? And is that what led to the revolution within the Cylon fleet?

And finally, we have Baltar. Baltar who is looking to unsettle the faith of the colonies. Baltar who is apparently enjoying his role as a cult leader. Baltar who is now talking to a copy of himself inside his own head. How fantastic were those scenes? Kind of gives you a new respect for James Callis for pulling that off, doesn't it?

And with that, season four is off to a great start. We're two for two in terms of quality episodes. And while this episode did have a few more problems than last week's, it's still great.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/12/2008 11:53:00 AM | |
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