Battlestar Galactica & Caprica Reviews

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BSG - Season 1 - Episode 05

BSG - 1x05 - You Can't Go Home Again - Originally Aired: 2004-11-15

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.36

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Synopsis
When Lt. Kara Thrace goes missing in action after encountering a Cylon patrol while on a training mission, Commander Adama feels responsible, especially in light of her recent admission that she blames herself for his son Zak's death.

Both Adama and Lee devote the full resources of the fleet to search for their missing fighter ace, causing some to wonder if it's worth risking the lives of 45,000 people to save one downed pilot. When President Roslin questions their motives and points out that Kara's oxygen was exhausted hours ago, they reluctantly call off the search.

But they haven't counted on Kara's resourcefulness and courage. Stranded on a red moon, her knee a twisted wreck, she struggles to relaunch a damaged Cylon fighter and return to Galactica. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- If I were Helo, I'd seriously be wondering about why the Cylons captured Sharon but left him alive.

Factoids
- This episode establishes that Cylon raiders are cyborgs.
- The scene where Starbuck and Apollo waggle their ships deliberately resembles a similar scene in BSG 1978's The Hand of God.
- The director of this episode, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, had never directed an episode of TV prior to this episode, only films.

Remarkable Scenes
- Colonial officer gives rank insignia to someone count 5. Apollo gives a viper badge to Hot Dog for his bravery in defending Starbuck.
- Starbuck being dragged around by her parachute resulting in her breaking her leg on a rock.
- Adama to Roslin regarding Starbuck: "Frak the odds, we're gonna find her."
- I love how the toaster tipped off the Cylons that Helo was hiding in that building.
- Starbuck stumbling on the Cylon raider she shot down.
- Adama screaming at Tigh.
- Starbuck: "So I guess the only thing flying you, is you!"
- Adama throwing Tigh out of the CIC.
- Roslin dressing down Adama and Apollo for their irresponsible behavior.
- Starbuck flying the Cylon raider off the planet.
- Starbuck and Apollo waggling their ships just like in BSG 1978's "The Hand of God."
- Tyrol to the Cylon raider: "Now your ass belongs to me!"

My Review
The sequel is another fairly mixed bag. What I really loved about this episode was everything that had to do with the Cylon raider. The whole idea of Starbuck fixing the thing, then stealing it and flying back to Galactica with it was just fascinating and played beautifully. Interestingly, one of the biggest complaints about this episode is just how plausible it was for Starbuck to do all these things with the raider and even survive being attacked by Lee.

To that, I respond Starbuck is special. Starbuck is the extreme, larger than life character that the writers are allowed to do these things with. It was something of a tradition in BSG TOS, and it's a tradition I respect that they're repeating in this show. Because after all, it's not that anything she does in this episode is impossible, it's just extremely unlikely. Not only did she have to be super-skilled to pull it off, but super lucky as well. And that's how it was.

The mixed bag comes into play when we start talking about character dynamics. This episode really shakes up various characters' relationships with one another, which is a good thing, but what really bothered me was how Adama and Lee were being complete assholes to everybody and making irrational decisions left and right over their personal feelings for Starbuck. I know what it means, I understand its realism. I get it. But it was overdone.

There was some good stuff in there. I really liked how Adama took out his frustrations on Tigh, and I loved the scene when Adama said to Roslin "frak the odds, we're gonna find her" in a most unprofessional way. But in addition to these gems were a number of smaller scenes that essentially are out to make the same point but do so less effectively. Perhaps the episode would have been better if more time were spent on Caprica, or given the similar drawn out feel of Act of Contrition, perhaps the episode would have been better if it were compressed into a single piece instead of two.

In any case, special mention goes to the apparent role reversals of Adama and Tigh. It's rather amusing to note that Tigh always walks around the Galactica like he owns the place, yelling at people, barking out orders, and so forth. Tigh rules with a firm hand. On the other hand, Adama has always been very calm and very collected. Now Adama goes berserk, and Tigh is forced to be the calm and serene one for a change.

A very special mention goes to the scene when Roslin confronts Adama and Apollo about their irresponsible behavior. She completely dresses them down and tells them how horrible they are, and they just kind of stand there and take it. Then she leaves the room, like there's nothing more to say. And the two men just kind of look at each other and silently acknowledge that she's right. What an amazing scene.

Finally, it seems clear that the Cylon plan for Helo is to force him to fall in love with Sharon and, most likely, to get them to produce a child. Think about it. The two themes the Cylons have made clear so far are their devotion to their monotheistic religion and their desire to procreate. Granted, they haven't come out and said "our mission is to procreate with humans," but given Six's line about how "procreation is one of god's commandments" and given how much she is devoted to the Cylon god, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that Helo and Sharon are a procreation experiment. It's the only explanation for why they're messing around with Helo rather than just killing him.

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