Battlestar Galactica & Caprica Reviews

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BSG - Season 4 - Episode 11

BSG - 4x11 - The Hub - Originally Aired: 2008-6-6

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 6.36

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Synopsis
Having just arrived aboard the rebel Cylon baseship, Roslin and Baltar are shocked when the ship's hybrid abruptly begins making jump after jump away from the human fleet. The hybrid is panicking because she senses that Natalie has died. Eventually, however, her jumps regain focus. She begins searching for the resurrection hub so that the allied human-Cylon forces can complete their original mission: to rescue the boxed Three/D'Anna model and destroy the hub, which is defended by Cylon forces belonging to Cavil's faction.

During all of these jumps, Roslin experiences visions in which Elosha, her priest who perished on Kobol, shows her a hospital bed where she — Roslin — lies dying. William Adama keeps a loving, grief-stricken vigil by her bedside. Lee and Kara stand sorrowfully nearby. Observing this scene, Elosha urges Roslin to relax her self-inflicted Presidential isolation and allow herself to love — both for her own sake and for her people's.

Between jumps, however, Roslin resolutely acts like her normal self. She and Baltar try and fail to converse with the enigmatic hybrid. Meanwhile, Helo and an Eight develop a bond as they work together to plan and prepare their uneasy crews for the coming battle. Helo is thus especially upset when Roslin gives him a secret order: he must transport D'Anna directly to Roslin, who will interrogate her with no Cylons present. Helo warns Roslin that the Cylons, who expect mutual cooperation, will see this as a betrayal of the alliance. Roslin coolly insists that Helo follow her orders.

The baseship reaches the hub and a chaotic fight begins against Cavil's Cylon forces. Helo and the Eight sneak aboard the hub, where they find D'Anna already awake. Cavil and Boomer have resurrected her, but she has killed Cavil, and Boomer has fled. Helo, the Eight and D'Anna escape from the hub in a Raptor. Then the human pilots unleash a barrage of nuclear missiles. The hub — the Cylons' wellspring of immortality — vanishes in a blaze of light.

Back aboard the baseship, an explosion during the fight has injured Baltar. Roslin gives him morpha and staunches his bleeding as best she can. Then, under the drug's influence, Baltar confesses what she has long suspected: that his actions helped enable the genocidal Cylon attack against the Twelve Colonies. After he complacently explains that his faith in God frees him from all guilt, Roslin strips away the dressing she has put on his wound. He guesses what she's doing and begs her to stop, but she steps away. Laura Roslin is about to let Gaius Baltar bleed to death before her eyes — but it's not just his life on the line. It's her soul, too. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 39673. Down one. (Pike.)
- This episode takes place concurrently with Sine Qua Non.
- Hybrid utterances that were intelligible: "Filters, filters. The sublime elevation of the lifters [...] control [...] the wing beats of the dove drown out the heartbeats of those who follow. The six is back in the stream [...] three of the aft vents require optimization [...] the Six! The Six who went among the makers is no longer. End of line. Back in the stream that feeds the ocean that feeds the stream [...] calm your mind. Cease countdown. Cease countdown. Circulation, ventilation, control filters, filters [...] open the door [...] protect the child [...] booting up [...] such a format will close the doors [...] three! The three is online. The three is online. Accessing data, loading data. Recognizing attributes [...] booting up. Jump! [...] To remove the pump with the attached hose and wiring, simultaneously release the three tanks while pulling the pump out of the retainer along with the line and wiring [...] "
- Destroyed Cylon capital ships, running total: 10 confirmed, 2 probable. (+3 confirmed, but it's possible that there were in fact many more off screen.)

Remarkable Scenes
- Roslin encountering Elosha in a vision.
- The hybrid jumping randomly.
- Roslin to a Sharon: "You're getting information from this liquid?"
- Baltar attempting poorly to communicate with the hybrid.
- Helo and a Sharon planning the hub operation.
- Sharon revealing to Helo that she downloaded Athena's memories.
- Cavil resurrecting D'Anna.
- Baltar and Roslin together attempting poorly to question the hybrid about the vision.
- The hybrid: "Three! The three is online!"
- Baltar chatting with the Centurion.
- Roslin to Helo: "You are not married to the entire production line."
- The rebel basestar commencing its attack.
- D'Anna killing Cavil, Boomer fleeing.
- The battle.
- Helo and Sharon retrieving D'Anna.
- Pike the coward.
- Baltar and his Centurion buddy getting blown across the corridor.
- Baltar, as Roslin is saving his life: "You know something? You're very pretty." Roslin: "Yeah, that morpha works fast."
- Baltar confessing to Roslin his exact role in the destruction of the twelve colonies.
- Roslin deciding to kill Baltar.
- Baltar pleading with Roslin: "Don't do this to me. Don't do this to me, please..."
- Elosha: "I'm not saying Baltar's done more good than harm in the universe. He hasn't. The thing is, the harder it is to recognize someone's right to draw a breath, the more crucial it is. If humanity is going to prove itself worthy of surviving, it can't do it on a case by case basis. A bad man feels his death just as keenly as a good man."
- Roslin panicking to save Baltar's life as she reconsiders her decision to kill him.
- Roslin: "Please don't go Gaius, please..."
- D'Anna telling Roslin that she's a Cylon, then withdrawing the statement as a sort of sick joke.
- Adama and Roslin being reunited.
- Adama: "Missed you." Roslin: "Me too... Love you." Adama: "About time."

My Review
Action, story depth, raw and powerful emotions, major character revelations, and so much more, this episode has it all. As if sacrificing itself to strengthen this episode's story, the previous episode managed to be all setup for this unexpected and completely astonishing payoff without suffering from setup syndrome at all.

The Hub takes the unusual step of going back to the moment of the beginning of the previous episode and retelling events from the perspective of the Cylon basestar. Doing it in this order allows us to be entrenched in the revolutionary events occurring within Cylon culture completely while still allowing us to totally milk the effects it has on the fleet. We don't need to cut back to the fleet and deal with what are easily comparatively less interesting events at all. We simply ride the epic wave nonstop until its conclusion and the backdrop of events of the previous episode serve only to enhance this episode's ride.

Along the way, in fact, this is Roslin's story. As stunning as the resurrection hub battle was, and as exciting as it is to have D'Anna back, and as interesting as all the repercussions are, the most remarkable parts of this story have to do with the things Roslin experiences along the way. She boarded that basestar to get answers from the Cylon hybrid about her visions. Instead, she's forced to act as sole commander in chief in the largest military operation on the show so far, she's forced to confront the true nature of Baltar's crimes, and she's forced to confront her love for Adama.

The most interesting aspect to this major milestone in the life of Roslin's character has to do with the degree to which Roslin's eventual forgiveness of Baltar is related to the final acceptance of her love for Adama. Throughout the story, her subconscious, portrayed by Elosha, was determined to force her to realize how cold she had become. As she finally faced Baltar's explicit confession, she was forced to fight back her basic instincts telling her to project all her anger about her circumstances onto Baltar and destroy them both.

In doing so, she overcame the mental barrier preventing her from fundamentally forgiving Baltar for what he did. Because after all, she did know he had some part in the fall of the 12 Colonies as established as far back as Taking a Break from All Your Worries when he stated that "conspiracy requires intent." She took that statement simply as to confirm her suspicions, but never let the other aspect of it truly hit home. He never intended. Moreover, the larger issue of whether or not he deserved to die regardless of the severity of his crime motivated Roslin to save him. She was forced to live up to her "all is forgiven" idealism and practice what she preached.

The centerpiece of the episode comes into play at the end when her journey to break down the barriers necessary to forgive Baltar also turns out to be what enables her to profess her love for Adama. There is little more to say regarding that other than this beautiful moment is well earned. Overall, this is an outstanding episode. One of the best of the series.

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