Battlestar Galactica & Caprica Reviews

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BSG - Season 3 - Episode 03

BSG - 3x03 - Exodus, Part 1 - Originally Aired: 2006-10-13

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.06

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Synopsis
To the Cylons' dismay, the humans have anticipated their latest deadly plans. At her rendezvous with Anders and his team of insurgents, Sharon Agathon predicts the Cylons' ambush and plants one of her own instead; her people kill the Cylons as soon as they attack.

Similarly, Tyrol gets wind of the Cylons' plan to execute hundreds of insurgents, including his wife, Cally. With a small team he attacks just as the firing squad is set to begin. His people kill the Cylons and free the prisoners, including Cally, Laura Roslin, and Tom Zarek. These successes, coupled with the news that the Galactica is standing by for a rescue mission, bring new hope to the beleaguered humans.

Still, uncertainty reigns among humans and Cylons alike. Gaius Baltar wrestles with personal and political impotence while his Cylon overlords, realizing that they might never be able to control the humans, debate whether they should destroy the troublesome colony with a nuclear weapon.

Meanwhile, the insurgents discover Ellen Tigh's complicity with the Cylons; Kara Thrace comes to terms with her new role as mother of baby Kacey; and the usually self-possessed Cylon D'Anna succumbs to a series of bizarre dreams about the precious human-Cylon baby, Hera. These dreams inspire D'Anna to believe that the child, contrary to everything she has heard, is still alive, and she becomes determined to find her.

The Galactica resonates with personal and formal good-byes as the ship and Admiral Adama launch their dangerous rescue mission to New Caprica, leaving behind Lee Adama, the Pegasus, and the civilian fleet. Lee and his father hope to meet at a rendezvous point in eighteen hours to celebrate the mission's success. But they are also painfully aware that they might never see each other again.

As the insurgents plan a massive assault to coordinate with the Galactica's arrival, Roslin makes special preparations to ensure that Hera and her adoptive mother, Maya, will be escorted to safety when the evacuation begins. Meanwhile, Sharon steels herself for an essential mission: to go undercover among her fellow Cylons and retrieve all the launch keys to the Colonial ships that are grounded on New Caprica. Without the keys, the ships can't take off and carry evacuated humans to safety when the Galactica attacks. The Galactica's crew and the resistance fighters on New Caprica, poised to strike, can do nothing but wait and
hope for her success… [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- At the end of Precipice, Cally is seen running in the woods when the gunfire goes off. In the retconned scenes at the beginning of this episode, she never makes it to the woods before she's saved by Tyrol.

Factoids
- This episode won a VES Award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series, Commercial, or Music Video.
- This episode establishes that downloads have at least a profound psychological effect on the Cylons if not some sort of physical effect. Cavil complained that each time he downloaded, the experience was more painful.

Remarkable Scenes
- Tigh putting on his eye patch. Chilling to see the missing eye.
- A Cavil model being left to die slowly after the ambush.
- An apathetic, self-loathing Baltar lamenting to Caprica Six in bed.
- Oracle Selloi: "Zeus sees all. Sees you, Number Three. Sees your pain. Your destiny. All the gods weep for you." D'Anna: "There is no Zeus. No other god but God." Oracle Selloi: "Oh, you don't believe that anymore. You don't know what you believe and that is why you're here." D'Anna: "That's not true. I don't even know why I'm here. Stupidest thing I ever did." Oracle Selloi: "It's your dream that brings you to me." D'Anna: "How do you know about that?" Oracle Selloi: "I have a message for you from the one you worship. He speaks through me to you. Just as he speaks in your dreams. Message is the fruit born of two peoples is alive. A child named after the wife and sister of the all knowing Zeus. Hera lives." D'Anna: "That's not true. That child is dead." Oracle Selloi: "You will hold her in your arms and you'll know for the first time what it is to feel true love. But you'll lose everything you've done here."
- Adama: "Attention! Commander Pegasus departing!"
- D'Anna's conversation with Cottle.
- Cavil describing the suffering ordeal he went through before he finally was able to commit suicide and download.
- Anders regarding Maya and Hera/Isis: "What's so important about this kid?" Roslin: "She may very well be the shape of things to come. That's either a blessing or a curse."
- Anders confronting Tigh about Ellen's disloyalty.
- Sharon Agathon going undercover. I love the advanced Cylon computer.
- D'Anna confronting Sharon Agathon and informing her that Hera lives.
- Sharon Agathon regarding Hera: "Adama wouldn't lie to me."
- The Galactica and the New Capricans preparing for the rescue attempt.

My Review
Exodus, Part 1 suffers quite a bit from being sandwiched between Occupation/Precipice and Exodus, Part 2. Basically the purpose of this episode is to setup for all the major events that are presumably to occur in part 2. Kind of like how Resurrection Ship, Part 1 served as a pickup from Pegasus but a lead in to Resurrection Ship, Part 2.

An additional issue this episode suffered from was a sort of black hole in running time. Roughly 20% of the entire episode is replaying events from the last episode with retconned scenes to establish what Tyrol and Tigh are doing during the final parts of the previous episode to demonstrate how Cally, Roslin, and Zarek are all saved from death. Retconning scenes from a previous episode (even deliberately) to me is a sign of weak writing.

I have further mixed feelings about D'Anna's role in the story. While I'm glad her character's potential has been used well in this episode, I am slightly annoyed at the execution. Specifically, exactly how can the Kobolian oracle know Hera/Isis is still alive? Furthermore, why was D'Anna having dreams to that effect? This all seems like one big coincidence to me, and not in the good way. I guess there's always the off chance that Cottle did confession with Selloi, which then allowed Selloi divulge the information to D'Anna veiled religiously and that D'Anna's dreams were just a convenient coincidence, but this all is far beyond what disbelief I'm willing to suspend.

Beyond this the episode is quite straightforward and almost below average. There's more clear cut fragmentation among the Cylons. Baltar's apathy is nicely revisited again. The Cavil and Doral models remain pissed off and bloodthirsty. Starbuck is continuing to lose her stubborn defiance in the face of Kasey. The cliffhanger is simply that Galactica's about to jump to New Caprica, which also is slightly jarring in that the Pegasus is not going. This can only mean either 1. Adama's a moron for not bringing the most powerful battlestar he has into the fight, but will get lucky or 2. Apollo will go against orders and the Pegasus will join the fight.

So the episode could be characterized simply as "more of the same." There are quite a few worthwhile details though such as the drama surrounding D'Anna, Sharon Agathon, and Hera/Isis along with Roslin's fascinating line identifying Hera/Isis potentially being "the shape of things to come." Nice parallelism there. Six uttered that in Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 2, Adama uttered that a Six-induced dream Baltar experienced in Valley of Darkness, and now Roslin's said it. Finally, Tigh confronting his wife about her betrayal is quite awesome. Unfortunately we don't get to see what he does about it. But at this point I honestly wouldn't put it past Tigh to simply kill her. How marvelously twisted would that be?

So in the end, a decent episode with some nice details, but quite reminiscent in storytelling style of Colonial Day in that the plot is pretty straightforward and serves mostly as setup for a "bigger" episode to come.

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