Battlestar Galactica Episode Guide: Season 4.5

Battlestar Galactica Earth

Battlestar Galactica Episode 11: Sometimes a Great Notion 8.0

In this first Battlestar Galactica episode after a long hiatus, while the crew of the Galactica processes the news that Earth is a devastated, uninhabitable planet, more surprises are under way for both Lee and Starbuck. Meanwhile four of the final Cylons begin to recall memories of their past lives.

Best Moment: There was a lot of “what the frak” moments, but I suppose my favourite would have to be the reveal that Earth was a Cylon planet. So wouldn’t that mean that the 12 colonies were also Cylon? How would they know that the planet was a Cylon planet? I guess Baltar did have that Cylon detector…. But then, if they are all Cylons, well, then the “Cylon detector” wouldn’t work so well, would it?

Verdict: A pretty decent mid-season opening overall. They made some very cool reveals, which only means more questions to be answered over the next few episodes, such as what’s the deal with Starbuck? And is Ellen really the final Cylon? But like most Battlestar Galactica episodes, it is marred by some really slow parts (Roslin dealing with the news about Earth) and awful cliché moments like Adama and Tigh going at it, with a double gun facedown.

Battlestar Galactica Episode 12: A Disquiet Follows My Soul 6.5

Adama plans to form an alliance with the Cylons in exchange for Cylon technology. Tom Zarek is in an uproar over the plans and encourages ships of the fleet to rebel against this new alliance. Meanwhile Roslin picks a fine time to start taking “me” time.

Best Moment: Adama, in very Un-Adama fashion, saying “Sometimes I hate this job.” Gaeta and Zarek joining forces. I’ll be interested to see where this goes.

Verdict: I didn’t hate this Battlestar Galactica episode but I didn’t love it either. There’s clearly a lot of side-choosing going on right now, and it’s interesting to see what’ll happen there. The Tyrell subplot better be going somewhere because frankly it seemed pointless. I was hoping he’d find out that Callie was murdered; instead he finds out that his kid isn’t actually his. I feel like we’re being handed soap opera instead of substance. And even then, they didn’t do much with it. He and Hotdog duke it out and then they’re “okay.” Speaking of duking things out… Adama and Tigh fight and now all’s good. Tigh, a Cylon, still gets to be second in command of Galactica. It seems a little odd to me…

Battlestar Galactica Episode 13: The Oath 7.0

Gaeta and Zarek implement their plan for an uprising aboard the Galactica pitting Adama and company and the Cylons against Gaeta, Racetrack and a surprising number of other crew. Will an uprising be enough to make Roslin reclaim her place as President? Is it too late?

Best Moment:Weirdly for me it was Baltar. This was a heavy episode, and so Baltar and his natural instinct for self preservation added some much needed humour to the proceedings.

Verdict: I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but this was another Battlestar Galactica episode that I neither loved, nor hated, partly because everything went down so quickly. We went from last episode, planning a mutiny to this full scale attack. I guess I needed the build up. Additionally, while there was certainly a lot of action, it didn’t look that good. Holding two guns is never practical people! The showdown in CIC is another example of poorly blocked action. And it was so blatantly obvious that Adama was gonna stay with the ship. What I did love though was Gaeta throughout. Alessandro Juliani is definitely one of the most underrated actors on Battlestar Galactica. Gaeta’s picked a side, and even though he knows it’s the right side for him, he’s having trouble with all this bloodshed. I liked that.

BSG Season 4

Battlestar Galactica Episode 14: Blood on the Scales 7.5

In this sequel to last weeks’ Battlestar Galactica episode we find out what happened to Tigh and Adama after their “last stand” at the end of the previous episode, although it was fairly predictable. Meanwhile Zarek makes quick work of the Quorum and plans to make quick work of a captured Adama while Adama’s few allies rally to support their admiral.

Best Moment: Tyrol crawls into the arms locker and finds himself nose to gun with a marine. It was nice to finally see some waivering on the part of the mutineers, especially given how brutally the Quorum was disposed of.

Verdict: Better than last week’s episode, possibly because it built upon the tension of last weeks episode (although, please, please, no more two-guns sideways firefights!!). It was nice to finally see some of these mutineers as people. Obviously Gaeta is meant to be seen in shades of grey, but it was nice to see others realizing this may not have been what they signed up for, like the marine who decides to join up with Adama. The disposing of the Quorum was brutal, but would’ve made more sense had it been some of Zarek’s goons doing the shooting. As for the end, I thought that was a poor choice on the BSG writer’s part. Yes, its poetic justice, but given that Baltar, whom Roslin firmly believed had been responsible for the attack on the colonies, was given a trial, it made little sense that they wouldn’t grant Gaeta and Zarek a trial also.

Battlestar Galactica Episode 14: No Exit 8.0

Following the mutiny from the previous episode we see Roslin hand the presidency over to Apollo (in all but title) and Anders making it to Doc Cottle only to find that his bullet in the brain has helped uncover memories of his life on Earth. Oh, and Ellen Tigh resurrected and being kept a secret (although not a very good one since apparently the Boomer and possibly the Simon’s know all about her) by Cavil/John.

Best Moment: Seeing Daily Show regular John Hodgman make an appearance.

Verdict: I know a lot of people had problems with the exposition in this Battlestar Galactica episode, and yes, between Ellen’s conversations with “John” and Anders’ bullet in his brain, there was a lot of convenient information being fed to viewers. But finally, some answers! Sure it threw up a lot of questions: Who’s the 7? I have to wonder about that. It feels too, well, “planned” having yet another mystery final-final Cylon for fans to go debate about in the forums. And while I didn’t see Anders going brain dead, I figured he was either going to survive and have no memories or just die with no resurrection ship. Still, it was an interesting episode and frankly I’m just glad for some explanation, even if they did throw up more questions.

Battlestar Galactica Episode 16: Deadlock 7.0

Ellen returns to the Colonial fleet with Boomer only to find that Tigh is shacked up with Caprica Six and she is having his baby. The Final Five become split, trying to decide whether to stay with the fleet or leave now that the pure Cylons are able to conceive on their own.

Best Moment: Baltar meeting “Gaius” and assuming that the child was named after him, because he’s just that full of himself.

Verdict: This Battlestar Galactica episode would’ve been fairly decent if it wasn’t part of the scant handful of episodes left until the series is over. I didn’t feel like it dragged, but at this point in the story (if this were a novel) this should be the part where things really heat up. Also, when will the powers that be aboard Galactica learn that guns are not the answer? Baltar of all people comes to them (just two episodes after a mutiny) and they decide to give him a crate full of weapons. Really?? And what was with Tyrol voting to leave Galactica? That seemed completely out of character for him- more of a plot device than a natural choice for the character.

Battlestar Galactica Episode 17: Someone to Watch over Me 7.0

In this Battlestar Galactica episode an encounter with a mysterious pianist forces Starbuck to come to terms with her father issues. Meanwhile, as Tyrol finds himself reunited with Boomer, plans are made for Boomer to be handed over to the renegade Cylons and tried for treason.

Best Moment: Hearing the little original series riff on the piano, and seeing the felgercarb toothpaste.

Verdict: What started out as an extremely slow first half (I was afraid the Galactica writers were giving us another filler episode) ended up packing quite a bit of punch, ending with Boomer escaping with Hera and Roslin collapsing while the Galactica also begins to collapse. I won’t go into the ludicrousness of Helo and Boomer getting it on in the middle of the latrine in a military vessel except to say that Boomer is downright evil. I thought it interesting that Tyrol helps Boomer to escape by maiming, possibly killing another 8, thus trading one life for another. It seems that Tyrol, once one of the few “good guys” on Battlestar Galactica is turning more and more Cylon, whatever that means. No big shocker that the music Kara is trying to remember is the song, but definitely did not see the whole Hera/music notes/drawing coming.

Battlestar Galactica Episode 18: Islanded in a Stream of Stars 6.5

We see the fallout from last week’s Battlestar Galactica episode as the crew of Galactica struggle to save her after the damage Boomer inflicted on her. Meanwhile, Boomer and Hera “bond” while Starbuck comes to terms with her discovery back on Earth.

Best Moment:Sam singing “there’s a hole in my bucket…”

Verdict:Well, not a whole lot of anything happens in this episode. All we see are the various characters reacting to the situations set up in last week’s episode. Except Tyrol. Where is he at? I feel like the writers have had a lot of wasted moments with Tyrol. He has yet to find out how Callie died (although apparently it doesn’t matter since he “settled” for her) and now this stuff with Boomer and what he inadvertently did to Hera. Certainly, there’s still some opportunity for this to be answered in the last three parts. But surely the writers can give us something. I didn’t feel like this episode was bad filler exactly, but I honestly felt like I could have missed that episode and still know exactly what was going on next week. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing…. Except when you are into your last four episodes, ever.

Daybreak BSG Finale

Battlestar Galactica Episode 19: Daybreak: Part One 6.5

In-between flashbacks which show us what the major characters from the show were doing before the Cylon attacks, Adama gets the information he needs from Hybrid-Anders and makes the decision to rescue Hera.

Best Moment:Baltar’s father and the reference to Baltar changing his accent. Don’t ask me why, but it was just nice that the writers were aware of some continuity in Battlestar Galactica.

Verdict:Again, not a whole lot happens in this episode. In all honesty, the Battlestar Galactica producers could’ve combined Daybreak Part One and Islanded in a Stream of Stars into one Battlestar Galactica episode. We know that the writers are supposedly building up to something great, but why the poor pacing? The only thing that happens is that by the end of the episode, Adama decides to rescue Hera. The fact that he takes so long to decide this is just bizarre. How many days has it been since she was taken? The rolling out of the red tape to draw a line was typical Adama OTT. And a one way rescue mission is hardly very much of a rescue mission. Additionally, apparently the fleet admiral, the president and the vice president are all going after this little girl. What precisely will happen to the fleet in the meantime? In-between the actual story is a lot of Lost-like flashbacks that may have been helpful several episodes ago, but now seem like pure filler. Meanwhile, some true character moments with Chief Tyrol are being completely passed over. We never really see him come to terms with the horror of what he did by helping Boomer. Instead, he’s in and out of the brig before you can blink. Apparently Hot Dog is caring for Nicky full-time. Is Tyrol okay with that? I find it interesting that one of the most likeable and human characters in the series can be so transformed into the most machine-like (yes even more so than the dastardly evil Cavil).

Battlestar Galactica Episodes 20 & 21: Dabreak Parts 2 & 3 7.5

Continuing on from the where the previous episode left off, we see more flashbacks as the Galactica prepares to hit the Cylon colony culminating in the Galactica crashing into the Cylon vessel and Starbuck and Apollo leading a crack team in search of the child that is humanity’s future.

Best Moment: When Head Six and Head Baltar appear to Caprica and Gaius. Since I’d given up hope on Ron Moore explaining what had happened to Head Baltar, this was a very nice moment. This moment is probably closely followed by Tyrol’s expression as he realizes precisely what Tory did, and the shot of the moon’s craters, when you know it’s our moon and you’re just waiting for them to show “our” Earth.

Verdict: A fairly decent finale for Battlestar Galactica actually. I think the writers ended it as well as they could have. Was there more that they could have done? Absolutely. The Kara Thrace idea was concluded far too quickly with a swift “she’s really an angel” as she goes ‘poof’. That felt very unsatisfying. There were plenty of corny moments too. Racetrack’s hand hits the “fire” button at precisely the most convenient moment. Also, who didn’t know that Baltar would choose to stay behind? And it seemed to prove that the whole female army/harem thing was purely filler since we see nothing more of that plot point. There were some plain silly parts: Lt Hoshi and Lampkin are left to take care of the fleet. Lampkin? He wasn’t even remotely elected, why choose him? For that matter, shouldn’t Lee have stayed with the fleet in the first place? Or Roslin, one or the other!

The flashbacks, while sometimes mildly interesting, went on for far too long. Looking at the previous episode and these episodes together, the Battlestar Galactica writers passed “indulgent” at least a mile back! And they probably spent a tad too long showing how things work out for everybody on Earth. I couldn’t help but noticing that there were no astonishing deaths either. Everybody who did die was no surprise. But there were definitely some nice moments in there. They had a fun turn on the whole Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy take of getting back to a prehistoric Earth.

The ends for most of the characters were fitting enough. I laughed at the idea of Galen Tyrol being the precursor for ancient Britons. Some endings were less satisfying. Apollo comes to mind, as does the ever complicated relationship between Tigh and Ellen. What’s Tigh to do without his bromantic partner, Bill Adama? The very ending was fun, 150,000 years later. And how about that sinister exchange between Head Six and Head Baltar, "silly me," followed by a cut to the rise of the machines. And so it will happen again.

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