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Wednesday, January 21, 2009
TV Round-Up: Battlestar Galactica
Sometimes a Great Notion
Outside of the series finale of "The Shield," I can't think of an episode of any TV show this year that's had as many jaw-dropping, "holy cow they just did that" moments as the triumphant return of "Battlestar Galactica." They were all so huge that I've held off posting about them for a few days simply to let them continue to sink in. Also, my good buddy Sam set off a firestorm on the Slice of SciFi web site when he put up a poll this week about the death of Dualla. (Just one of many moments in a superb episode).

Last time we saw the "Galactica" crew, the war was over and we'd found the way to Earth. The music swelled, full of hope and everyone went down to the planet, full of hope that, at long last, the nightmare journey to find a new home was finally over. And just like that Ron Moore and company socked us in the gut as we found Earth a radioactive wasteland. Which led to a lot of questions...and a lot of time to speculate.

"Sometimes a Great Notion" continues the story and shows its impact. What happens when you pin all your hopes on something and it falls very, very short? What happens to the characters?

For Laura Roslin, she retreats into herself. Her faith is rattled and she no longer can find comfort in the prophecy that had led her for so long. She can't and won't address the quorum because she can't figure out what should happen now. In many ways, it appears that Roslin is handing over the reigns to Lee Adama, who steps up here and acts like the leader the fleet needs. Just as his father and Roslin did in the wake of the Cylon attack on the colonies. If anything, this episode is about passing the torch of leadership from one generation to the next.

Becuase it's clear that Bill Adama was ready to pass along that torch. Adama takes a gun, goes to Tigh's quarter and tries to get his friend and XO provoked to a point that Tigh will kill him. Interestingly, the Tigh we saw in season two is gone--the one who nearly led the fleet into self-destruction and only by Adama's pushing himself back into leadership were things saved. Now, we have Tigh acting like the leader that Adama can't be--or doesn't want to be. Tigh refuses to kill Adama, knowing it will destroy more than just one man, but possibly the entire fleet itself. Without the "Old Man" to tell them what to do next, things will get a lot more bleak.

And they are pretty darn bleak. To the point that some can't imagine going on any more. Like Dualla. I have to admit, that until the moment Dee pulled out the gun, I never saw it coming. What a stunning moment for the show. And the impact it has on all the characters. And it's such a raw, unflinching look at suicide and the impact it has on those left behind. Hearing the conversation between Lee and Bill Adama about how they never saw this coming and trying to make sense out Dee's actions was one of the more powerful scenes in a show packed full of powerful moments. And I have a feeling Dee's death is only the first of many we're going to see in the coming episodes.

Meanwhile, we've got a new mystery. What is Starbuck? Is she a ghost? An echo? Is there time-travel involved? A time loop? Or is she a clone or a Cylon from this 13th colony? (How cool was it to see the old school Cylon faceplate? I hope we see them again...) It brings up the question of where was Starbuck (or when) when she saw the fields of green? Clearly it's not Earth as it is now. And what exactly happened on Earth to destroy it. Will we find out? Will we stumble across the other members of this colony? Will they be old school Cylons? I have to admit some deep geeky part of me would LOVE to see that...

Finally, there's the big reveal of the hour--the identity of the final Cylon. I'll go ahead and say I liked the choice. And I like that Ron Moore and company went ahead and answered the question now rather than letting it linger. Had it continued too much longer, it could have taken away from the final episodes in my opinion because the whole series finale build-up would be all about that. And we'd not get to see the impact it will have on the characters--esp. Tigh. The irony that Tigh is a Cylon and he killed Ellen for betraying the resistance to the Cylons....goosebumps.

And since Ellen was killed before the Ressurection Hub was destroyed, odds are we could see her again. A scene between Tigh and Ellen over his killing her....that has some amazing potential.

Man, I love this show....

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/21/2009 01:00:00 PM | |
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