Battlestar Galactica & Caprica Reviews

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BSG - Season 4 - Episode 22

BSG - 4x22 - Daybreak, Part 2 - Originally Aired: 2009-3-20

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 4.36

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Synopsis
Back in Caprica City before the fall, Bill Adama, Saul and Ellen Tigh are in a strip club drinking. Bill is still debating on whether or not he'll take the government assignment that's been offered to him. Reasoning that it will only be an hour out of his life, they drink to his retirement, assuming that the future will be hopeful for them all. On the other side of town at Zak and Kara's apartment, Lee begins explaining his commitment to the service and affirms that he is nothing like his father, although he appears to be going down the same professional track. Zak jokes that Lee is a cynic at heart, who doesn't believe in the Service and would rebel if he could. Laura Roslin finds out that her date Sean used to be her student. Ignoring this fact, and her initial apprehension, they decide to let the night unfold naturally.

In present day aboard Galactica, Laura Roslin gets an injection that contains enough medicine to last her for two days, while the convoy mission takes place to find Hera. She becomes emotional and thanks Doc Cottle for saving her life and extending her chances of survival throughout the years. In order to find the Cylon Colony, the Final Five believe that by plugging Sam Anders back into the Galactica's, DRADIS, FTL and C3 systems, his mind will be able to directly communicate with the colony's hybrids once they jump. Theoretically, his mind should be able to control the Baseship's commands and slow down their response time. They also conclude that plugging him into the CIC will allow him the greatest source of energy. Believing that this will be his last battle, Bill Adama gives Hoshi command of the fleet and Romo Lampkin becomes President of the Colonies.

Rather than going with his flock, Gaius Baltar decides to stay on board Galactica to assist with the mission. He tells Paula that the group belongs to her now. In sickbay, Laura Roslin helps nurse Ishay prepare the area for those who will be injured during the battle. Nurse Ishay tells Roslin to mark those who can't be saved with a black "X." Preparing for the fight, Admiral Adama makes a ship announcement that this will be Galactica's last battle, he commands, "if we succeed in our battle, Galactica will bring us home. If she doesn't, then it didn't matter anyway." They prepare for the jump and land successfully on top of the Colony. The Cylon guns open fire at the ship yet when Sam and the Hybrid connect, the Colony ceases fire and Galactica is able to strike. With the enemy defenses down, Galactica's main guns pound the Colony, which still can't fire back, and the ship's flank curtain is able to keep most of the raiders at bay. Adama commands the raptors to concentrate on taking out the Cylon battery. Meanwhile, despite the battle that's occurring around him, Simon continues to run tests on Hera, stating flatly that the humans don't stand a chance and that in the end it's all about mathematics. Knowing that she will be deemed a traitor, Boomer follows her heart, breaks Simon's neck and gets away with Hera. When Cavil, another Simon and Doral discover what she's done, they agree that when found, Boomer must be killed.

Awaiting the enemy attack in the halls of Galactica, Caprica tells Gaius that she's proud of him for staying behind to be a part of the fight. Looking lovingly into one another's eyes, they realize their need for each other. At that moment, the omniscient presences of Gaius and Caprica appear and inform them that they'll both be the future of the Cylon race. Caprica and Gaius are shocked because they assumed that their consciences were only imaginary images that lived in their heads — not figures visible to other people. Just as they have this epiphany, the Cylons blow a hole in the door of deck 21. Aboard the Cylon Baseship, Boomer comes face to face with Helo, Athena, Kara Thrace and the others. She willingly gives them Hera and says to tell the Admiral that she owed him one, referring to the time that he gave her the chance to improve her piloting skills when she was a rookie. Not able to fully trust her, Athena kills Boomer, then escapes with her team and Hera.

Aboard Galactica, Roslin is overcome by the amount of death around her. She injects herself with a cocktail of drugs to numb the pain and this gives her the insight that the moment that she, Athena and Caprica all shared in dreams before, is happening now. As Cavil enters Galactica, crossfire between humans and Cylons ensues and Helo is shot and Hera runs away. It becomes a frantic escapade with Cavil, Athena and Roslin all trying to find Hera. Then in the aft hallway, Gaius realizes that he's "been here before" and the revelation of his and Caprica's destiny becomes clear. With Hera in tow, they go to the CIC where they see the Final Five standing on the landing above them, just as they had in their visions. But Cavil shows up, snatches Hera and puts a gun to her back, declaring that, "this thing is the key to my survival and I won't leave without it." In his newfound selflessness Baltar is able to talk Cavil out of killing Hera, saying that by trusting in God, there are other ways for survival. Saul decides to give Cavil and the rebel Cylons resurrection in exchange for a permanent armistice between humans and Cylons. Cavil agrees and gives orders to end the fighting. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One Hour.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series.
- This episode, which was aired with part 3 as a single double-length piece, did not feature an opening title sequence.
- The rebel Cylon baseship looks fully repaired.
- Destroyed Cylon capital ships, running total: 11 confirmed, 2 probable. (+1 confirmed, but it's possible that there were in fact many more off screen.)

Remarkable Scenes
- Roslin discovering that her date is a former student.
- Drunk Zak.
- Roslin thanking Cottle. Roslin: "Don't spoil your image. Just light a cigarette and go and grumble."
- The army of allied, red striped centurions marching down the hangar bay.
- Galactica jumping right on top of the colony and getting immediately pummeled.
- Sam disrupting the colony's defenses.
- The raptors in the gift shop hangar deck jumping off the ship, blowing a series of holes in the flight pod.
- Galactica ramming the colony in order to board it.
- The vipers engaging the Cylon raiders.
- Racetrack's luck finally running out.
- Lee leading the ground assault on the colony, complete with centurion vs. centurion action!
- Caprica Six and Baltar seeing each other's head people.
- Boomer returning Hera to her mother and Athena executing Boomer anyway.
- Boomer: "Thank you sir. I owe you one." Adama: "You and a lot of other people owe me one, but you know what? Very few people ever pay back, especially the ones that owe you their lives!" Boomer: "I'll pay you back one day sir. It'll really mean something." Adama: "You do that."
- The chaos in the CIC.
- Lee to Baltar: "Doctor, you did good!"
- The opera house visions reflecting the reality of Hera's frantic wandering into the arms of Caprica Six and Baltar.
- Baltar's angels and god speech to Cavil.
- Tigh offering to rebuild resurrection for Cavil in exchange for the war's end.
- Cavil agreeing to Tigh's proposal and calling off his forces.

My Review
The last great space battle of the series doesn't disappoint. Regardless of whatever happens to the Galactica in the third and final part of the series finale, we can now definitely say that the old girl has gone out in style. It has single handedly gone toe to toe with the Cylon homeworld! How delightful. And in doing so, has effectively ended the war with the Cylons in the process. At the end of part two the story is essentially over, however as I've repeated over and over again for the whole season there are still many questions to answer which will require a great deal more exposition.

The list of questions has been stated already ad nauseum, however one which I am afraid we will never get a satisfactory answer to at this point is how exactly Hera was supposed to be Cavil's key to his people's salvation. Frankly, the whole plot would have made much more sense if Cavil had abducted her with the explicit and stated motive as using her as a bargaining chip to get the final five to give him resurrection. For that matter Cavil could have just jumped on over to the fleet and asked for the final five's help. "Give me resurrection, and I'll stop chasing you!" But alas, that would be too rational and distinctly not dramatic, and we needed a plot device for a gorgeous space battle!

Speaking of irrational, Baltar's angels and god speech was among the most groan inducing monologues I've heard in a science fiction show since Sheridan's "get the hell out of our galaxy!" speech in Babylon 5. Baltar says events have been occurring which can't be explained rationally by any of the characters from their perspectives. Okay, that's fine, but why not at least provide rational explanations for the audience? Otherwise, it just feels awkwardly preachy and reeks of deus ex machina.

The list of poor aesthetic choices does not end there though. Once again, the flashbacks remain largely unable to make a coherent point. For example, Tigh, Adama, and Ellen at the strip club was a bit much and Boomer's flashback quite jarringly broke up what was an otherwise very nicely intense action sequence. I have mixed feelings on Boomer's flashback though because it seemed to be the only flashback to add something relevant to the episode. In fact, it was laced with irony. Boomer paid Adama back numerous times throughout the series with both betrayal and repentance. And ultimately, she paid him back with her life too, just as Adama had alluded to. Finally, ultimately, it did in fact really mean something.

Another rather mixed highlight was how the opera house premonitions ended up coming together. While it's most gratifying to see they were actually going somewhere with this beyond the confused but fun independent manifestations of these visions we've seen before, the visions still remain completely unexplained. They ended up being a fascinating and beautiful visual metaphor scored to a beautiful, almost overwrought piece of music, but it is implied that they have a much greater significance than what we are actually clued into in the sequence of the plot. Likewise, the revelation that Baltar and Caprica Six can see each others' head people is significant in a yet undefined way.

Overall, thanks to Cavil's never quite adequate motivations and the still unattended to pile of loose threads, the climax of BSG's finale is just short of being worth a perfect score. Now off we go! Let's go get some closure. Stay tuned.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Lennier on 2009-04-05 at 3:01am:
    Why was Sheridan's "Get the hell out of our galaxy" speech groan-inducing?
  • From Kethinov on 2009-04-05 at 5:51am:
    Because he ended the entire Shadow war by lecturing the Vorlons and the Shadows as if he were a father breaking up a fight between his son and daughter. Aside from being horribly anticlimactic, it was poorly written and even worse acted. The scene is embarrassing to watch every time I rewatch Babylon 5.
  • From Lennier on 2009-04-05 at 12:11pm:
    I guess I see your point...

    However, JMS felt that the Shadow War's inherent idealistic conflict between Vorlons and Shadows couldn't be resolved with just a huge battle where everything blew up, but rather the younger races coming to a decision that their age, the Third Age, would be ready to dawn. Even if you feel that this was conveyed in a clumsy manner, the event in and of itself is very powerful, in my opinion. The cycle of war among the First Ones is stopped, and in a million years, Humans become the next Vorlons.

    Anyway, JMS also felt that he would give more of a pure action ending to the Earth Civil War, and he certainly did at that.

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