Battlestar Galactica & Caprica Reviews

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BSG - Season 2

BSG - 2x01 - Scattered - Originally Aired: 2005-7-15

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 5.23

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Synopsis
With Commander Adama fighting for his life after being shot by the Cylon infiltrator Sharon, and President Roslin languishing in the Galactica's brig after losing the power struggle with Adama, Col. Tigh is thrust into the unfamiliar role of the sole leader in a time of crisis.

The situation worsens quickly. First, Tigh sends Lee to the brig for siding with Roslin against Commander Adama. Then an emergency jump to escape an incoming Cylon force goes wrong, leaving Galactica alone in space, separated from the rest of the fleet and from the medical help needed to save Adama's life.

As Tigh struggles to come to terms with this crisis, he thinks back on his relationship with Adama, who saved him from oblivion and from his own fierce temper, and tries to tap into some of the wisdom that his old friend offered him.

It soon becomes clear that to reconnect with the fleet, Galactica must jump back into danger over Kobol and network its computers, a highly risky move that will make the ship vulnerable to attack from both the Cylon fighters and their crippling computer viruses.

Meanwhile, on the surface of Kobol, Chief Tyrol and the rest of the downed Raptor crew fight for their lives against an unseen enemy while Vice President Baltar seeks solace in his visions of Number Six, only to find those visions turn dark and haunting.

Light-years away, on Cylon-occupied Caprica, Kara and Helo must find some way to bring the Arrow of Apollo back to the fleet, but first they have to get it back from the avatar of Number Six who has found it in the Delphi Museum. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- Sure is a shame every time they update the jump coordinates, the old ones are not kept around just in case of situations like this... but then we can chalk that up the list of Gaeta's mistakes as well, can't we? ;)
- A shot of viper 1104 is erroneously mirrored in one scene.

Factoids
- This episode received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing For A Series.
- Captain Kelly appears to be third in the chain of command, after Tigh. However, it is possible that Apollo would have been next in line after Tigh should he not have been arrested.
- The American broadcasts switched over to the UK version of the main title starting with this episode, which features different music, and a Hindu mantra, the Gayatri Mantra, taken from the Rig Veda. The words from the mantra are: "OM bhūr bhuvah svah tat savitur varēnyam bhargō dēvasya dhīmahi dhiyō yō nah pracōdayāt" which roughly translates to: "May we attain that excellent glory of Savitri the Goddess / so May she stimulate our prayers."
- The main title was also shortened, the second half with the scenes of the episode you're about to watch was removed because people complained about the scenes being spoilers.
- Starting with season 2, the main title includes a survivor count.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 47875.
- The musical piece "Passacaglia" first featured in Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 1 is played again in this episode during the opera house scene.
- The medic who does emergency surgery on Adama is played by Jamie Bamber's wife (Kerry Norton).
- Adama and Tigh served aboard a freighter after being discharged from the military after the Cylon war. Adama hated this life and desired to get back into the Colonial Fleet. Eventually, through his new wife's connections, he managed to do this, and brought Tigh with him.

Remarkable Scenes
- The craziness of the teaser, climaxing with the Galactica losing the fleet after the emergency jump to escape the Cylon attack.
- The second half of the opera house scene.
- Baltar hallucinating the crib in the forest on Kobol as he and the Raptor crew move into the treeline.
- Starbuck confronting Boomer and Helo.
- Starbuck regarding Boomer being pregnant with Helo's child: "My gods men are so painfully stupid sometimes!"
- Starbuck: "Bitch took my ride."
- Tigh interrogating Boomer.
- The Cylons attacking Tyrol, Cally, and Tarn.
- Tarn's death.
- Gaeta regarding his software firewall: "Best I can make it, sir. Wish Dr. Baltar was here." Tigh: "To hell with that. I'll take your work over that shifty son of a bitch any day."
- The sight of the Cylon raiders launching from the Cylon Basestar. We'd never seen that before, it's an impressive piece of visual effects.
- The battle.
- The emergency surgery on Adama.
- The Cylon heavy raider bearing on Galactica.
- Galactica finding the fleet.
- Tigh's flashback depicting him one step away from burning his uniform when he was informed that he'd been reinstated in the Colonial Fleet with the rank of captain.
- The scene depicting Cylon Centurions exiting the heavy raider that crashed into Galactica's gift shop.

My Review
True to the season one finale, none of the momentum of the cliffhanger is lost. Immediately we're thrown into the chaos that is the aftermath of Adama being shot. The Cylons jump in and attack Galactica and an emergency jump is made. In the midst of the chaos, Gaeta makes a mistake and Galactica jumps to the wrong place. This forces Tigh to start making hard decisions regarding tactics, ultimately culminating in Galactica being forced to go toe to toe with that Cylon Basestar for several minutes while Gaeta plots the correct jump to find the fleet. Special mention goes to the visual effects during the battle; it was absolutely breathtaking to watch Apollo stray into Galactica's engagement zone.

This story is told to the backdrop of Tigh's own insecurities. Through his flashbacks and his own declaration, we know that Tigh never wanted a command. He never even wanted back into the military, but Adama was a proud military man, Tigh and Adama were friends, and that was just the way it was going to be. Sometimes you make hard life decisions and/or sacrifices to be with someone you care about.

Speaking of people caring for each other, Helo does an about face now that he's learned Boomer is pregnant, which I find fascinating. Starbuck tries to kill Boomer in a most wonderfully powerful emotional scene and Helo stops her. "I'm not going to let you kill her. She's carrying my child." That's all it takes for Helo to lose his hatred for the Cylon who manipulated him for weeks. I think that speaks volumes about the character. It's also interesting to note that Baltar is being groomed by Six to care for the Cylon baby just as much as Helo has been.

Adama's surgery scenes were definitely tense to watch, especially given the fact that a lowly medic was forced to perform the surgery. I can only imagine how disgusted Dr. Cottle will be when he sees the amateurish work. Speaking of amateurish work, it seems Six was right about Boomer being weak. She assassinates people about as well as she attempts suicide. I'm glad they're keeping this theme with Boomer being a weak Cylon model, and I hope it is explored further.

The deleted scenes are of unusually high importance to this episode as well. Tigh's flashbacks give us some vague information about how Adama and Tigh met. We know they served aboard a freighter and became friends. But one deleted scene in particular gets very specific about how they met. Whether or not this scene has remained canon is uncertain, but this is my favorite deleted scene so far, and I think it speaks volumes about both characters. Essentially what happens is some guys in a bar start picking on Tigh for being a washed up war veteran, and Tigh gets in a fight with them. Tigh is one step away from breaking one of their necks when Adama shows up with a gun. Adama diffuses the situation by protecting Tigh from getting picked off from behind and convincing Tigh to let the man he's got in the headlock go. This is a scene I really wish could have been incorporated into the episode. And this is just one deleted scene. All the deleted scenes for this episode about Tigh and Adama are marvelous. I highly recommend you go watch them. I hope this stuff makes it into a future episode at some point.

In any case, I spoke in Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down about how Adama keeps Tigh around because he knows Tigh is a good officer. Adama sees this in him while probably nobody else does. Never is Adama's faith in Tigh better validated than in Tigh's actions in this episode, for Tigh really does know how to handle a combat situation, and the Galactica fares well under Tigh's leadership here.

Finally, there's no reset button. Other shows like to clean up situations left by a prior cliffhanger in a single episode and I'm glad they're not doing that here. The discovery of Kobol, the deposition of the president, and the assassination attempt on Adama are all very major events which it appears are going to play out over a longer period of time than just a few episodes. This is a very good thing.

While Scattered is not as pointed a piece as its season opener counterpart 33, it's every bit as entertaining and really, it doesn't need as large a central theme as 33 did. The episode is titled Scattered after all, so you expect a certain amount of chaos. But in the end, Scattered is presented in an extraordinarily captivating way that makes it special and among Galactica's top episodes.

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BSG - 2x02 - Valley of Darkness - Originally Aired: 2005-7-22

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 5.54

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# Votes: 43 5 7 20 6 14 12 8 13 39 38

Synopsis
The Galactica has succeeded in reuniting with the fleet, but it has paid a terrible price: A Cylon computer virus has penetrated its computers, robbing the ship of power, and Cylon Centurions have boarded the Galactica and are battling their way to the ship's vulnerable centers.

Lee Adama, in the brig with President Roslin, persuades some marines to release them. He orders Billy and Vedder to take the president to the sickbay disaster shelter, where she'll be safe, and heads off with a squad of marines to defend the ship's magazines.

In the CIC, however, Col. Tigh knows from bitter experience what the Cylons are planning. The Centurions aren't going to blow up the ship; they're going to kill the crew by venting the ship's air and then turn its guns on the rest of the fleet. And only Lee whom Tigh despises for his "disloyalty" to Commander Adama (i.e., support for the president) and his small squad of marines are in position to stop the Cylon boarding party.

Meanwhile, on Cylon-occupied Caprica, Starbuck and Helo break into her old apartment and fire up her old pickup truck.

Light-years away on Kobol, Chief Tyrol and his crew return from their risky mission to get medical supplies for Socinus, only to realize that the wounded man isn't going make it. Number Six warns Baltar that Socinus won't be the last of the stranded Raptor crew to die and that of all the humans, Baltar alone will live to see Earth. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- The line about how Dee and Billy haven't seen each other in two weeks is in error. They danced together on Colonial Day which was just a few days ago.

Factoids
- This episode received a Visual Effects Society nomination for Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Broadcast Program, Commercial, or Music Video. (Cylon Centurion) (2006)
- Survivors, according to the main title: 47874. (This accounts for Flyboy's death in the teaser. Apparently, nobody died in the battle with the Cylon Basestar.)
- According to Baltar, Kobol was supposed to be a paradise. Some place where gods lived with the humans in harmony.
- This episode establishes that the Cylons have been cleaning up the damage and the bodies on Caprica.
- Starbuck likes to paint.
- Starbuck's father's music played in this episode is actually Phillip Glass' "Metamorphosis One" from his "Solo Piano" album.
- There is a poem on Starbuck's apartment wall which reads: "Methodically / Smoking my / cigarette / with every breath / I breathe / out the day / With every / delicious / sip / I drink away the night / stroking my hair to / the beat of his heart / watching a boy / turn into a / Man"
- This is the first episode not to feature a scene with Boomer.

Remarkable Scenes
- Flyboy being taken out by the Cylon Centurion's razor sharp claws.
- Apollo, one step from being killed by the Cylon Centurion, saved by a marine with an explosive round.
- Apollo: "Remember, just head away from the sound of gunfire." Roslin: "What about you?" Apollo: "We're heading toward the gunfire."
- Starbuck to Helo: "Your girlfriend is from a lovely family. Good people, great values."
- Baltar's vision of Adama drowning the baby. I love the following wonderful exchange between Adama and Baltar. Adama: "Is this the shape of things to come?" Baltar: "That's my understanding."
- Baltar: "So the scriptures are all a lie. It's all just a lie, just a cover up for all this... savagery." Six: "Exactly. All of this has happened before, Gaius, and all of it will happen again." Baltar: "Adama." Six: "Mankind's true nature will always assert itself." Baltar: "So he will try and kill our baby." Six: "Only if you let him Gaius, only if you let him."
- Helo and Starbuck entering Starbuck's apartment.
- Starbuck playing her father's music.
- Cally: "Talk to me, you motherfrakker!" Tyrol: "Motherfrakker?"
- Dee regarding Billy's gun: "Okay, if you're gonna keep it in your trousers like that, you might wanna turn the safety on."
- Apollo's unit attacking the Cylons. The scene where the last Cylon charges the unit and leaps at Apollo and gets shot is utterly amazing.
- Apollo's and Tigh's conversation at the end of the episode in sickbay.

My Review
Valley of Darkness is a very special episode of Battlestar Galactica is it manages to be spectacular and impressive without actually moving the plot forward much at all. Adama is still out of commission, the people on Kobol are still getting killed by the Cylons, the Galactica is still dealing with the aftermath of the prior episode's battle, and in the end it sounds like a tedious setup. But what Valley of Darkness lacks in plot advancement, it makes up for in style.

There are two details about this episode which make it an absolute pleasure to watch. The first is of course being able to see Starbuck's apartment. The scenes where her and Helo take a break there are just wonderful, and the music played in the scene which is supposed to be a recording of Starbuck's father playing the piano is wonderfully suited for the episode as well as a marvelous change of pace. Indeed, as I've stated in my review of Kobol's Last Gleaming, this series is as much a musical masterpiece as it is visual and story spectacle.

But the crowning scene of this episode is the vision of prophecy Six gives to Baltar about Adama killing the human-Cylon child. You could jokingly argue that this series has a fetish for killing kids, but I think the horrifying events involving the death of children and babies in this series are a cold, hard measure of realism; one of the many facets in which this show is just plain honest. After all, isn't it realistic that should Adama be made aware of the Cylons' plan to create human-Cylon hybrids that he would do all he can to put a stop to it?

I talked in my review of Scattered about how Tigh is a capable military leader and this is why Adama keeps him around. Once again Tigh proves his value with his handling of the Cylon boarding party. He's an experienced war veteran who has seen this tactic by the Cylons before. When they board a battlestar, they don't go after the obvious, and well defended targets. They have a more clever plan, and this was certainly a very clever attempt made by the Cylons to take out the fleet.

Finally, special mention goes to the scene in which the last Cylon charges Apollo's unit. The visual effects were of Galactica's usual spectacular caliber. You really believe when watching that scene that this big, giant, metal Cylon Centurion is diving at Apollo. Indeed, the Cylon Centurions were a marvelous spectacle throughout the whole episode.

The only thing that bothered me throughout the whole episode is the question of why the Cylons Centurions were resistant to regular rounds. Helo didn't need explosive rounds on Caprica. So are these Centurions special because they were aboard the heavy raider? A specially armored boarding party perhaps?

Overall though, this is a marvelous episode that mixes brutal violence on Galactica, chilling prophecy on Kobol, and raw beauty on Caprica into a moving, flowing, impressive piece of television.

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BSG - 2x03 - Fragged - Originally Aired: 2005-7-29

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 4.27

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# Votes: 58 14 4 3 4 8 5 13 15 17 21

Synopsis
As Doc Cottle works to save Commander Adama's life, Col. Tigh is beginning to realize that there's more to being a leader than giving orders. The press is clamoring for answers, everyone wants a decision now, and he feels himself being drawn to his old friend and enemy, the bottle.

Worst of all, the Quorum of Twelve has arrived on the Galactica and is demanding to see President Roslin. Tigh resists, but his wife Ellen convinces him that the president has lost her mind and that letting her meet with the Quorum will only cement Tigh's power.

The plan backfires: Roslin's odd behavior was only a symptom of chamalla withdrawal, and when she meets the other leaders she has recovered her composure. She condemns Adama's action and announces that she is the leader, spoken of in the Scrolls of Phylia, who will lead the people to Earth. Livid, Tigh orders the Quorum off his ship.

Meanwhile, Lee Adama leads a search-and-rescue mission to find the Raptor crew lost on Kobol, unaware that the Cylons have set up a missile battery in anticipation of such an effort. It falls to the beleaguered survivors on the ground to knock out the Cylon artillery before Galactica's rescue team flies into the trap.

Unfortunately, Chief Tyrol has serious misgivings about Crashdown's plan to destroy the missile battery and about the lieutenant's ability to lead a team of non-combat personnel against high-tech killing machines.

Vice President Baltar has even graver doubts because Number Six has warned him that one of their number will betray the others on Kobol. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode received a Visual Effects Society award for Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Broadcast Program, Commercial, or Music Video. (Cylon Centurion) (2006)
- The title of this episode, Fragged, is military slang that refers to friendly fire on a superior officer in a unit that lacks discipline.
- This is the first episode in which Starbuck makes no appearance.
- This is the first episode in which Helo makes no appearance.
- This is the first episode in which there are no scenes on Caprica.
- Boomer also makes no appearance in this episode.
- Six says that because Socinus, Tarn, and Crashdown died on Kobol, they are denied entry into the afterlife.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 47862.
- Cally only joined the military to pay for dental school.
- This episode establishes that the Gemenese are a the most religious of the twelve colonies, to the point of fundamentalism. They interpret the sacred scrolls literally.
- Six says that god turned his back on Kobol, man, and the false gods he worshiped and that what happens on Kobol is not his will.

Remarkable Scenes
- Dr. Cottle's appearance.
- Tigh's "why aren't you in the brig?!" lines.
- Tigh: "The press?" Gaeta: "They demand to know how much longer we plan on holding them and when they can contact their home ships." Tigh: "They demand? They're in no position to demand anything. You tell them to shut their yaps. We'll get to them in due time." Dee: "Excuse me Colonel. Shuttle from the Zephyr just requested permission to enter the landing pattern." Tigh: "The Zephyr?" Dee: "Yes sir, evidently the Quorum of Twelve is aboard. They're demanding to see you." Tigh: "They demand?" Apollo: "Demanding job commanding a battlestar."
- Tyrol: "Basic ground assault was a long time ago for all of us. Those aren't training officers out there, they're programmed killing machines." Crashdown: "We don't have any choice, Galactica will definitely be sending a search and rescue party, it's just a matter of time and if we don't take out that launcher--" Tyrol: "We can't go up against an armed and defended position like that. They'll wipe us out in the first two minutes." Crashdown: "That's enough! Chief, look, under the circumstances, it's important that you keep your cool." Tyrol: "I don't believe I've lost my cool." Crashdown: "I disagree! Look, I don't wanna attack the launcher either but it's our duty. We owe it to the rescue party and we owe it to Socinus and Tarn." Tyrol: "I fail to see what this has to do with Socinus and Tarn." Crashdown: "Well maybe that's why I'm an officer and you're not. Dismissed."
- Six informing Baltar that one of the members of his unit will turn against the others.
- Crashdown pulling his sidearm on Cally.
- Baltar killing Crashdown.
- The Cylons hearing the gunfire and attacking.
- Tyrol taking out the DRADIS dish.
- Apollo blowing up the Cylon Centurions with missiles from his raptor.
- The Quorum of Twelve visiting Roslin and Roslin revealing her religious plan to them as well as her terminal breast cancer.
- Apollo: "How did Crashdown die?" Baltar: "Leading the charge. He gave his life in the finest tradition of the service." Tyrol: "Yeah. He was a hero to the end."
- Tigh declaring martial law.
- Tigh to a marine regarding the press: "Get those people the hell off my ship." I think there's a lot of significance in this line. By now referring to the Galactica as his ship, we're starting to see a profound change in attitude in Tigh.

My Review
This is another wonderfully multifaceted episode both on Kobol and on Galactica. Now that all the major crises on Galactica have been dealt with, the civilian population is going nuts over the deposition of the president. I love the wonderful twist in which Ellen Tigh visits Roslin and comes to believe that she's gone completely crazy, so she convinces Tigh to let the Quorum of Twelve see the president when they ask to. But by the time they get around to seeing her, Billy has convinced the guard holding Roslin in the brig to procure some chamalla extract for her, rendering her no longer crazy.

Roslin very clearly outlines her plan to the Quorum; Ellen Tigh's plan to discredit the president which would leave Tigh in unchallenged command of the fleet effectively fails. This pisses off Tigh, however, who believes that he must maintain control over the fleet and not allow Roslin to pursue her crazy religious plan, so he does the unthinkable and declares martial law. And to top it all off, he's drinking again. I can't imagine that this is leading to anything good.

In addition to having time to deal with the civilians, Galactica had time to send a search and rescue party to recover those who crashed down on Kobol. As hinted at previously, Crashdown's leadership is sketchy at best. He may be a good pilot, but he has no experience commanding a ground unit. So it's no surprise that his plan to attack the Cylons to prevent them from destroying the search and rescue raptors ends up being a colossal failure. I loved how he gradually lost his cool throughout the episode culminating to the point when he pulls a weapon of Cally for her cowardice. I also love how Baltar is the one who saves her life. Finally, there's something of a bitter irony to a character named Crashdown crashing down onto a planet and dying there shortly thereafter.

The Cylon Centurions themselves make another set of marvelous appearances as well. Hot off the heels of Valley of Darkness, the Cylon Centurions are depicted as very frightening and very real enemies despite the fact that they're done entirely by visual effects. There's something very different about this show's Cylon Centurions when compared to something else very visual effects heavy like the Star Wars prequels. The Star Wars prequels are virtually all spectacle, yet they don't look at all as realistic as this. I think that says a lot about BSG's visual effects artists and their skill.

The biggest weakness of the story is the issue of why the Cylons didn't send another basestar to Kobol. If they had, such as perhaps the one(s) that attacked Galactica in the prior episode, it would have likely prevented their military defeat in this episode. In particular it certainly would have made it so the Centurions didn't need to dismantle their ship. There are any number of reasons why the Cylons may not have been able to get a basestar there in time, but I would have preferred such a reason having been made explicit. Overall though, Fragged is another very successful action piece with some fantastic character moments.

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BSG - 2x04 - Resistance - Originally Aired: 2005-8-5

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.73

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 38 6 2 0 1 9 2 7 21 13 12

Synopsis
Col. Tigh's imposition of martial law threatens to split the crew and the fleet. He's thrown Chief Tyrol into the brig on suspicion of being a Cylon and his dismissal of the Quorum has provoked the other ships to refuse to send fuel and other supplies to the Galactica. His judgment blurred by drink and the goading of his ambitious wife, Ellen, Tigh sends armed troops to one of the ships to take supplies by force, a move that ends in disaster when civilians are killed.

Amid this chaos, Lee schemes to free President Roslin to establish a democratic opposition. He makes a break for freedom with Roslin, while Roslin's close aide Billy chooses to stay behind. Tigh threatens to shoot down the Raptor carrying Roslin away from the Galactica, but he can't bring himself to kill his friend's only surviving son, and Lee and Roslin escape into the fleet at large.

Meanwhile, Baltar uses Sharon's love for Tyrol to intimidate her into revealing how many Cylons are lurking in the fleet.

On Cylon-occupied Caprica, Kara and Helo find themselves in a standoff against other humans. Cooler heads prevail, and the pilots meet their new allies: a group of 53 survivors, led by Anders and Sue-Shaun, members of a professional pyramid team that survived the nuclear holocaust because they were training in the mountains. Kara enlists their help in her mission to get off Caprica. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- Tyrol's father was a preist. His mother was an oracle. He's served on battlestars since he was 18 years old, including the battlestars Pegasus, Columbia, Atlantia, and Galactica.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 47861. (This accounts for Crashdown's death in the previous episode.)
- As of this episode nobody believes that Baltar's Cylon detector works, even though it does.
- Boomer reveals that there are eight Cylons left in the fleet, but this is very possibly a lie as it is very probable Boomer honestly didn't know.
- Starbuck was up for pro pyramid, but her bad knee took her out of contention.
- The Gideon massacre was inspired by the Boston Massacre, an event which took place during American revolutionary times.
- This episode serves as evidence that some ships in the fleet are indeed "farm ships" as the Galactica evidently depends on the fleet for food. Or at least coffee anyway.
- Cally killing Boomer was deliberately reminiscent of Jack Ruby murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, just after Oswald was arrested for assassinating American President John F. Kennedy.

Remarkable Scenes
- Tigh interrogating Tyrol.
- Tigh: "You know what we do with Cylons, chief?" Tyrol: "I'm not a Cylon!" Tigh: "Roslin came up with the execution method." Tyrol: "I'm Galen Tyrol!" Tigh: "She put a Cylon out of the airlock." Tyrol: "My father was a priest! My mother was an oracle! I've served on battlestars since I was 18 years old! Pegasus, Columbia, Atlantia, Galactica!"
- Tyrol's decidedly hostile reunion with Boomer.
- Baltar: "I am the vice president. Legally speaking if the president is incapacitated shouldn't I take over her duties?" Tigh: "Legally speaking I've declared martial law. That makes you nobody."
- Ellen: "It just feels kind of touchy feely. You know, let's all sit down and talk about how we feel about martial law. Bill would never do that."
- Cottle to Tigh regarding the civilian massacre: "What'd you expect, genius, you put a pilot in charge of crowd control."
- Tigh and Ellen fighting and then making out. God I love that scene.
- Baltar forcing Boomer to admit that there are eight Cylons left in the fleet.
- Gaeta: "Things are pretty frakked up these days, huh?" Dee: "Well, things are pretty frakked up most days."
- Roslin making her case to the marine, pushing the marine's gun aside, and walking right past her.
- Roslin: "Well, Mr. Zarek, it would seem the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
- Adama showing up at Tigh's quarters.
- Cally shooting Boomer.

My Review
Resistance is a decent episode, but the first of the season to not be utterly spectacular. It is at the very least engaging, however, and it serves as a nice, well rounded character piece.

First and foremost to discuss is Tigh. He may have proven himself in battle, but at the end of the day it's pretty clear he's not the man you want leading the fleet itself. His drinking and the negative influences from his wife are ultimately what led to the massacre aboard the Gideon.

Adama returns to us in this episode, and I liked how the first thing Tigh says to him is "I frakked things up good," he admits his mistakes to Adama without sugar coating. Not only that, but Adama just accepts it and moves on, declaring that he and Tigh will pick up the pieces together. It's great how Adama just understands that Tigh had to make hard decisions and that he's human and can't always make the right decisions.

Ultimately, true to the title of the episode, the story is all about resistance. Resistance to Tigh's military dictatorship and resistance to the Cylon occupation of Caprica. However, I felt that the latter story was somewhat weak. It's cute and amusing that a professional pyramid playing team survived, and their survival excuse is valid, but I just kind of felt that introducing an organized group of survivors on Caprica resisting the Cylons was kind of lame. I mean, if they wanted to exploit that idea, why didn't they do it in season one with the group that Helo was with?

Instead, they just vanished and Helo had a solitary story with Sharon. Now the writers are trying to have it both ways and I just don't find it tasteful at all. Additionally, I felt that it is completely unnecessary to set Starbuck up to fall in love with Anders; it comes off almost as if finding the the survivors was an excuse to give Kara somebody to frak. While I'm not fond of that plot point on Caprica, I'm at least happy that it's made pretty clear that at least Helo and Starbuck have not forgotten that their mission is to get off Caprica. One can only wonder why the resistance group hasn't done so already.

The Tyrol and Sharon stuff is the best material in the episode in my opinion. There's so little of it, yet it says so much. Even after Tyrol disowns Sharon and treats her terribly all throughout the episode, when Cally's rage finally forces her to take Sharon out, she dies in Tyrol's arms. No matter how much he tries to hate her, he can't let go of the love.

So this episode comes off as a pretty mixed bag. There's some great stuff, some okay stuff, and some downright lame stuff. But in the end it's still a pretty engaging, nicely done episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From CSil on 2011-06-24 at 9:19pm:
    I think a problem is the way these people die so quickly when it's convenient and survive for quite a while when it's not. You don't die within 10 seconds after you get shot in the stomach - Adama got shot twice in his stomach and chest and survived for (relatively speaking) quite a while. But Sharon doesn't, after one shot. At least if you're going to do that kind of thing, shoot her in the heart or head to make it more realistic. That's just always bothered me, you see it everywhere.

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BSG - 2x05 - The Farm - Originally Aired: 2005-8-12

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 4.43

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Synopsis
Commander Adama returns to a hero's welcome and an unenviable task: In order to maintain control of the fleet, he must track down his son, Lee, and President Roslin, who have escaped (with Tom Zarek's help) into hiding somewhere in the fleet. Adama orders all ships in the fleet searched.

Meanwhile, Lee and Roslin prepare to send a message to the rest of the fleet seeking popular support. When the time comes, however, Lee can't bring himself to publicly condemn his father.

With no other choice, Roslin plays "the religious card" to save the human race. She declares herself to be the voice of the prophet Pythia. Her announcement sends shockwaves throughout the fleet's population.

Finally, unable to hide any longer, her ship makes the jump back to Kobol, where she plans to seek the road to Earth. To the surprise of many on the Galactica, and to Roslin herself, nearly one-third of the fleet follows her to Kobol.

Far away, on Cylon-occupied Caprica, Kara goes on a recon with the resistance fighters and is wounded in a firefight. She finds herself being nursed back to health by Simon, an attentive doctor who tells that she can better serve the human race by having babies than by fighting Cylons.

When Kara awakens with a new scar, though, she begins to suspect that neither Simon nor the hospital are what they seem. Sneaking out of her locked room, she discovers that Simon is a Cylon, and she kills him. Making a bid for freedom, she stumbles upon a chilling sight: a room full of women, including resistance fighter Sue-Shaun, wired up by the Cylons to serve as baby machines. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- The so called theory that maybe the one thing the Cylons were missing in their procreation efforts was love and is the reason they can't procreate is utter rubbish and I sure hope that this assertion dies with this episode.
- It's said that 24 ships is almost a third of the fleet. But in the miniseries there are said to be only ~40 FTL capable ships. So how many ships are there?

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 47857. (A loss of four from the previous episode, who all died at Gideon. Boomer was not counted.)
- The second half of the main title returns to us starting in this episode, depicting clips from the episode you're about to watch.
- There is a ship in the fleet called Kimba Huta which is suited for cold storage. It is described a meat locker. However, it is unclear if there are actually ships in the fleet producing meat by raising and butchering animals. A deleted scene seems to indicate that meat is scarce and what remains is all that's left.
- This episode establishes that Boomer has been aboard the Galactica for two years.
- This episode confirms suspicions from Flesh and Bone that Starbuck has been the victim of physical abuse as a child.
- There's a cute detail when Simon enters Starbuck's room for the final time, you can see the number on the door is 254. This scene takes place in season 2, episode 5, act 4. ;)
- According to Boomer, although "procreation is one of god's commandments," the Cylons cannot fulfill it. They've tried.
- Despite having betrayed the Cylons, Boomer is still able to "access data" somehow, such as details regarding Leoben's interrogation of Kara.

Remarkable Scenes
- Adama's return to CIC.
- Adama discussing Boomer with Tyrol.
- Adama: "You'll see her again, chief." Tyrol: "Excuse me?" Adama: "There are many copies. You'll see her again."
- Simon: "We have 223 patients at the moment, 2 doctors, and 5 teachers masquerading as nurses." Starbuck: "I know a teacher masquerading as president."
- Simon talking about Kara's childhood, striking nerve with Kara.
- Boomer showing up.
- Starbuck killing Simon.
- Starbuck discovering the baby factory.
- The Cylon heavy raider taking out the centurions.
- Boomer to Starbuck: "You have a destiny."
- I like the music ("A Promise To Return" on the soundtrack) in the scene when Anders gives Kara her Arrow of Apollo back and tells her to go find Earth.

My Review
The Farm is the second major weak episode. Picking up on the resistance movement on Caprica in full force which was already a fairly annoyingly presented plot thread, it degenerates even further when Kara is shot and captured by the Cylons. It's all too obvious from the beginning the Simon is a Cylon, though this seems intentional, so the question becomes what's his plan? In the end, we get the great revelation that the Cylons have farms of humans where they are trying to create human-Cylon hybrids, but the details leave much to be desired.

The whole "love theory" idea is absolute rubbish. This episode leaves us with the distinct connotation that the human-Cylon breeding farms have been unsuccessful exclusively because there's no love involved, and that the only reason Helo's and Sharon's experiment was a success was because they were manipulated into falling in love. This is an extreme disappointment of a revelation, because it makes the Cylons look like idiots. Prior to this episode, we could speculate that it was a psychological experiment, but nope, it's all about biology. And biologically in the BSG universe apparently love is necessary for conception. It's as if the writers have never heard of a raped woman becoming pregnant.

Boomer did say that the Cylons were interested in various different ways of attempting to create hybrids. Some couplings are by choice and some not by choice. So it's possible the episode wasn't really trying to imply that love plays a physical, biological role in human-Cylon conception. I sure hope this is the case, but official statements from the writers are not encouraging, nor is the prevailing aesthetic of this episode. Thus my problem with this episode is much like my problem with Six Degrees of Separation. This episode has an enormous, show stopping technical problem which gets in the way of the drama. It's hard to take it seriously when they get the science wrong.

A similarly annoying detail but not necessarily a show stopping problem was Anders and his resistance group deciding to stay on Caprica. They could have easily crammed everyone aboard the heavy raider and taken them back to the fleet, but they all decided to stay. Why? To continue a hopeless fight against the Cylons in which surely most of them will die? I mean, I get the idea that they want to take out as many farms as possible, but choosing to stay on Caprica is ludicrously stupid. As Starbuck said, they're on the losing end of this fight.

Aside from that, however, this was an excellent character piece for Adama and Starbuck. Katee Sackhoff did an extraordinary job playing Kara and Edward James Olmos did an equally extraordinary job playing Adama. In particular, seeing Adama wrestling with the various betrayals that he has had to deal with was quite compelling; going everywhere from angrily throwing a clipboard in CIC to crying over Boomer's corpse.

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BSG - 2x06 - Home, Part 1 - Originally Aired: 2005-8-19

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.44

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 46 2 2 13 6 26 6 9 23 9 12

Synopsis
Following the lead of President Roslin and Tom Zarek, more than one-third of the fleet has split from the Galactica and jumped into orbit around Kobol. Tensions arise within the rebel ranks on the Astral Queen as Zarek and his security chief, Meier, face off with Lee Adama.

Those tensions increase when Kara and Helo return from Caprica with Sharon, who is now pregnant and a dead ringer for the Cylon who tried to assassinate Commander Adama. Roslin orders Sharon put to death, but after meeting with her, she learns that the Cylon might be their best hope for finding the Tomb of Athena and the route to Earth.

Doubt nags at Roslin, however: Is Sharon motivated by love for Helo, or by a desire to betray her captors? Regardless, she's a key player in Roslin's team as it lands on Kobol. With Zarek and Meier plotting fresh treacheries, the prophecies continue to unfold in bloody fashion.

On the Galactica, Adama and Col. Tigh weigh their losses and rebuild the air group's chain of command, which has been plunged into disarray by the defections of Lee and Kara. Adama selects Lt. George "Catman" Birch to replace Lee as CAG (Commander, Air Group).

Birch's first day on the job begins with a harrowing mishap during a Viper-pilot training exercise, then he turns a routine refueling operation into a near-disaster.

Following an uncomfortable meeting with Dualla, Adama is forced to admit that there is no substitute for the people the fleet has lost. He orders a Raptor be prepped to take him and a small team back to Kobol, so that he can find Roslin and Lee and put the fleet back together. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 47858. (A gain of one since the last episode. Does this reflect Helo's return?)
- Some of the types of ships in the fleet were identified in this episode. 12 transports, 7 freighters, 3 construction platforms, 1 private cruiser, and 1 mining ship (the Monarch).
- One of the ships in the fleet, the Adriatic, is equipped with ship-to-ship missiles.
- Regarding whether or not Sharon is capable of communicating everything Roslin says to her to the Cylons, she responds: "It doesn't work like that, I'm not wired in."
- This is the first episode which does not feature an appearance of Tyrol.

Remarkable Scenes
- Elosha: "The scriptures tell us that any return to Kobol carries with it a cost in blood."
- Starbuck's appearance.
- Boomer showing up resulting in Apollo pointing his gun at Boomer and Helo pointing his gun at Apollo.
- Helo: "Should we do what the nice lady says?" Apollo: "She's the president of the colonies you moron. And yes, we're going to do exactly what she says."
- Roslin ordering Boomer out the airlock, betraying her word to Helo.
- Roslin, regarding throwing Boomer out the airlock, after realizing she needs Boomer to find the Tomb of Athena: "Tell them to wait a minute."
- Six regarding humanity: "They are masters of self destruction."
- Elosha: "The scrolls of Pythia do speak of a lower demon who helped the people in a time of crisis."
- The accident during the training exercise and Kat's impressive flying, saving herself.
- Elosha: "And the blaze pursued them. And the people of Kobol had a choice. To board the great ship, or take the high road through the rocky ridge--" Boomer: "And the body of each tribe's leader was offered to the gods. In the Tomb of Athena." Elosha: "Yes, precisely." Boomer: "And the great ship was the Galeon that departed from here where we're standing. And it took the founders of the 13 colonies to their destiny. And those that didn't board the Galeon took the high road."
- Elosha's death.
- The Cylons attacking.
- Boomer taking out the last of the Cylon Centurions.
- Adama discussing betrayal with Dee.
- Adama announcing he's going to reunite the fleet.

My Review
This episode is the natural evolution of the plot arc that was introduced in the season one finale. Roslin has now embarked on her quest to find the Tomb of Athena on her own, and Starbuck has returned to Roslin with the Arrow of Apollo as planned. Well, not entirely according to plan, but the end result is the same.

The episode opens with a great teaser. Showing us what's going on with Roslin's fleet, Starbuck appearing, and the confrontation regarding Boomer. The way it plays out is also wonderful. I love how Roslin betrays her word to Helo by ordering Sharon thrown out the airlock, then reconsiders when Boomer starts talking about knowing where the Tomb of Athena is. My favorite line is when Roslin says, "tell them to wait a minute." The callous, nonchalant way she says that is just perfect.

Unfortunately the episode seems to run out of steam a bit after this. We get to spend a lot of time watching Birch screw up routine operations over and over. Then there's the immature pyramid ball scene. These details were nice, especially the visual effects regarding Birch's screw ups, but many of the character conflicts felt redundant to me. We didn't really need them, not really.

Originally, this episode was slated to not be a two parter. So that can explain why some of it seems to drag in places. But overall the episode is still fairly remarkable. The Cylon firefight was its usual spectacle to watch, the visual effects depicted in Birch's screw up missions were utterly fantastic, especially Kat's brush with death, and it was interesting to watch Adama slowly come to terms with what he needs to do.

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BSG - 2x07 - Home, Part 2 - Originally Aired: 2005-8-26

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 4.95

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 37 5 7 20 10 5 4 8 15 22 23

Synopsis
Following a firefight with Cylon Centurions and the death of her spiritual adviser Elosha, President Laura Roslin treks onward with her confederates in search of the Tomb of Athena. Heavy rain and Kobol's rugged terrain make the journey difficult for all except the tireless Sharon.

Tom Zarek again butts heads with Lee Adama, inspiring Zarek's henchman Meier to consider drastic measures that will clear the path to power for his old friend.

Meanwhile, aboard the Galactica, Gaius Baltar questions his sanity as Number Six toys with him, and Commander Adama mounts a rescue mission to Kobol.

Adama enlists presidential aide Billy Keikeya to join his quest for peace with the rebels. After discovering Elosha's grave on Kobol, the Galactica landing party continues its search and finally intercepts Roslin and her group. Putting aside old conflicts, Adama opens the door to peaceful reconciliation for all.

Meier, however, sees the détente between Adama and Roslin as a renewed threat to the rightful power of Tom Zarek, and he conspires with Sharon to murder Adama, Lee and the president.

Finding the ransacked tomb, the unified team struggles to unlock its secrets with the Arrow of Apollo. Before they can do so, however, Meier and Sharon spring their ambush, leaving everyone's fates uncertain as the triggers are pulled.... [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- Since the map to Earth was made from the perspective of Earth, the Lagoon Nebula should have been in the Sagittarius constellation, not Scorpio. However, if this series takes place deep in Earth's future or past, stellar drift could be an explanation for this supposed error.

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 47855.
- While it's impossible to be 100% sure, I'm fairly certain that Dr. Cottle says, "oh fuck," when Baltar first disrupts the brain scan and it simply slipped past the censors.
- Boomer knows her baby is a girl.
- The star patterns seen in the tomb of Tomb of Athena were on the flags of the twelve colonies back when the twelve colonies were called by their ancient names. The ancient names were identical to Earth's zodiac names.
- This episode confirms that the child Six was referring to since "Kobol's Last Gleaming" is actually a metaphor for Helo's and Sharon's child.

Remarkable Scenes
- The teaser was beautifully crafted in this episode. I especially love the little string piece that was scored for it.
- Adama: "And Zeus warned the leaders of the twelve tribes that any return to Kobol would exact a price in blood." Tyrol: "It certainly did for us."
- Boomer regarding the lords of Kobol: "We don't worship false idols."
- Boomer: "We know more about your religion than you do."
- Baltar: "So what's it gonna be this week? Don't tell me, I'll guess. The ship's gonna blow up! No, damn, damn, done that one. Done that one. So it's gotta be someone else. Me! It's gonna be me! I'm going to explode! God is going to make me spontaneously combust in a great big ball of flame and then the whole crew of Galactica can celebrate on Ambrosia and get really drunk."
- Tyrol getting frustrated with topography.
- Adama to Billy: "She thinks you'll be president one day." Billy: "Excuse me?" Adama: "That's what she said to me once. That you reminded her of President Adar when he ran for his first office." Billy: "I don't really know how to respond to that, sir." Adama: "Don't let it go to your head. Adar was a moron."
- Adama being reunited with Apollo and Starbuck, Roslin being reunited with Billy, and Adama confronting Boomer.
- Baltar's little middle finger quip to Cottle for his condescending attitude about Baltar's brain scan.
- Cottle: "Frakkin' hypochondriac. One on every bloody ship."
- Boomer thwarting Meier's plan, killing him, and making it clear to Adama that she's not what the other Boomer was.
- Adama, Roslin, Billy, Apollo, and Starbuck activating the hidden message in the Tomb of Athena.
- Adama: "The gods shall lift those who lift each other."
- Six: "I'm an angel of god sent here to protect you, to guide you, to love you." Baltar: "To what end?" Six: "To the end of the human race."

My Review
The exposition in this episode allows us to draw several interesting conclusions about BSG's setting. Incontrovertible evidence now says that Earth is real, not a myth as Adama and Roslin once believed. Since the map to Earth on Kobol is from the perspective of Earth and depicts our Earth, the one we're all living on now, we can conclude that the Colonials are mistaken about having evolved on Kobol since we all know humanity evolved on Earth.

Thus, the BSG universe must be set far into the future. Humanity left Earth at some point for Kobol. When the thirteen tribes left Kobol, twelve founded the Twelve Colonies and the thirteenth tribe returned to Earth, but created the map to Earth before they left. Over many years, all of this history was lost; only fragmentary religious scriptures document any of it. This raises some interesting possibilities indeed of what they will find when they reach Earth! Are there people still there? If so, is there society more advanced than the Twelve Colonies, or more primitive?

Unfortunately though, this episode only further complicates the Six in Baltar's head. We now know that she is neither a chip, nor is Baltar crazy. So what is she? An undetectable chip made from organic Cylon technology? Or did she simply upload her personality into Baltar somehow using Cylon technology on Caprica prior to the attack? The information in this episode is too vague to draw a conclusion. One interesting bit of dialog concerning Six however is her line about how Boomer is undeserving of the honor of bearing the first of the next generation of god's children. It's been made clear since early in season one that Six just plain doesn't like Boomer. Is it possibly because Boomer has been established as a "weak" Cylon model?

Also, it remains unclear why the Cylons didn't bother to send more reinforcements or another basestar to Kobol. Again, there could be any number of reasons why this is the case, but once again more reinforcements from the Cylons would have prevented their military defeat in the prior episode. Moreover, in this episode they seem to just let the Colonials merrily explore Kobol without interference in the slightest. Why?

Aside from exposition, this episode sports a teaser that's just as good as the one in Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 1 featuring another beautiful string piece by Bear McCreary. It's wonderful how simple visuals allows you to draw connections between the search party preparing for their mission to Kobol on Galactica and Roslin's party searching for the Tomb of Athena in the rain on Kobol. Much about this episode but especially the teaser is just stylistically spot on which make the episode a great pleasure to watch, despite the less than thorough exposition.

In the end, this is a fairly satisfying episode which turns the show's premise upside down somewhat. Now we're certain there is an Earth. Adama may have lied about it in the miniseries, but it seems there's more truth to the scriptures than the atheists thought. However, this episode would have been far better if the exposition were not so incomplete.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From EKH on 2007-07-04 at 4:48pm:
    Although it may not have been made clear enough, only the "Six is a chip in Baltar's brain" idea has been ruled out. Baltar could still be insane, there could be a chip implanted somewhere else in his body (Important nerve cluster, e.g.) or there could be paranormal abilities involved - Baltar could have a psychic connection to Six, or he could be clairvoyant in some way. Six could be Six's ghost, with only Baltar able to see her. Or, the entire series could be the psychotic inventions of a broken Baltar, unable to cope with the fact that he betrayed humanity. The possibilities are numerous, and IMO no solution has yet been ruled definitively out.
  • From szycag on 2010-01-07 at 4:28am:
    "* While it's impossible to be 100% sure, I'm fairly certain that Dr. Cottle says, "oh fuck," when Baltar first disrupts the brain scan and it simply slipped past the censors."

    Haha, pretty sure that was "Oh, for..." as in "Oh, for god's sake". Or "the gods sake", as it were. He just cuts himself off.
  • From Rob on 2014-12-19 at 6:23am:
    Why do you question who or what the Six is in Baltar's head?Six tells Baltar at the end of the episode that she is an angel of god sent to protect him, so she is neither a chip nor an hallucination.
  • From Kethinov on 2014-12-19 at 10:42am:
    1. Because she's an unreliable narrator. You don't take the antagonists with a history of deception at their word.

    2. Because the show is otherwise totally devoted to being as realistic as possible and the idea of supernatural beings existing in the show flies in the face of that in the most terrible way imaginable.

    Taken together, it made much more sense at this stage of the show to assume she was lying to Baltar to manipulate him as she had done so many times before.

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BSG - 2x08 - Final Cut - Originally Aired: 2005-9-9

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.77

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 22 3 9 6 26 2 12 15 8 7 13

Synopsis
Now that the fleet is reunited, old conflicts reignite. Criticism of the military reaches a fever pitch in the aftermath of the massacre on the Gideon. During the period of martial law, a team of Galactica's marines, led by pilot Lt. Palladino, had opened fire on civilian protesters aboard the civilian freighter.

Col. Tigh, commanding officer during the incident which left four civilians dead and a dozen others wounded, receives a death threat. Shortly afterward, he very nearly falls victim to an act of sabotage. It is decided that steps must be taken to ratchet down the rhetoric, on both sides of the dispute.

Intent on improving relations between the civilian fleet and the military, President Roslin and Commander Adama offer Fleet News Service reporter D'Anna Biers unlimited access to the Galactica officers and crew. With her cameraman in tow, D'Anna interviews a series of stressed-out pilots, crew hands and officers.

Gaius Baltar, urged on by Number Six, hopes to gain D'Anna's support in his political ambitions.

D'Anna stumbles onto one of the Galactica's most explosive secrets, however, when she encounters the Cylon prisoner Sharon, whose unborn child is saved by the quick actions of Dr. Cottle following a near-miscarriage. And when Louanne "Kat" Katraine, wired on stimulants, crash-lands her Viper, D'Anna must decide whether she'll fashion her report as a hatchet job or as a more nuanced portrait of life aboard the Galactica.

The arrival of two Cylon attack ships clarifies D'Anna's thinking, as does a potentially deadly ambush that puts Tigh and his wife in the gunsights of a crazed, would-be assassin. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- Why didn't Baltar administer his Cylon test to D'Anna since she was a not fully trusted visitor to Galactica?

Factoids
- If you count the pilot miniseries as four episodes (for its 180 minute runtime), as of this episode, BSG 2003 has exceeded the number of episodes of BSG 1978.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 47853. (A decrease of two, which accounts for Tom Zarek's two men which were killed in the last episode.)
- Lucy Lawless who plays D'Anna Biers in this episode, also played Xena in the show Xena: Warrior Princess.
- This episode establishes that there are 24 hours in a colonial day.
- Dualla's first name is Anastasia.
- Gaeta's first name is Felix.
- Racetrack's full name is Margaret Edmonson.
- The music played during D'Anna's documentary is derived from BSG 1978's main title.

Remarkable Scenes
- Roslin: "People are angry. They are distrustful of the military." D'Anna: "Yeah, with good reason, ma'am." Roslin: "In some cases with good reason." I like the disappointed look on Adama's face after Roslin says that.
- Adama finding copies of the "Caprican Life" magazine and ordering Racetrack to preserve them.
- Kat's "talking out of her ass" moment.
- D'Anna confronting a half-naked Apollo, almost manipulating him into dropping his towel.
- D'Anna regarding Baltar: "What a strange little man."
- Gaeta's interview.
- D'Anna getting Tigh drunk for his interview.
- Kat botching up her landing and the revelation that she's been taking stims.
- D'Anna catching a glimpse of Boomer.
- Palladino confronting Tigh.
- D'Anna showing her documentary to Adama, Roslin, and Tigh.
- The revelation that D'Anna was a Cylon and that the whole thing was an excuse to get a status report on Sharon's baby.

My Review
This episode has some nice details here and there but is largely a flop. Simply stated, the idea of doing a documentary of the Galactica crew on a show that's already executed in a documentary style seemed redundant. Thus, much of the episode felt like filler and the upbeat feel of the documentary felt more obtuse than true to Galactica's style.

The nice bits surround the minor characters. Also, it's nice that Tigh is dealing with the ramifications of the Gideon massacre, and given the premise on which the episode was built it was well executed. I especially loved the deliberate decision to not show the battle between the vipers and the two Cylon raiders in this episode to further the documentary feel; we've never seen this perspective before which makes it fresh and interesting while at the same time a clever money saving move. ;)

However, it was fairly obvious from the beginning that D'Anna was a Cylon. She was a character that came out of nowhere and was immediately up to no good which sparks immediate such suspicion.

Moreover I'm at a loss to understand why she wasn't tested by Baltar to see if she is a Cylon. In Resistance, Tyrol was tested by Baltar and passed which exonerated him of his suspected Cylon nature and of any wrongdoing. Yet it seems after that episode no Cylon tests were ever administered again, even after Boomer told Baltar there are eight remaining Cylons in the fleet. This to me seems like a gross oversight.

I'm at least pleased with the unusual nature of D'Anna's mission. The events of the episode aren't complete filler because the Cylons deliberately wasted two raiders and used a Cylon agent to get a status report on Boomer. This brings up some interesting questions; now that Galactica is harboring the pregnant Boomer, will the Cylons stop trying to destroy the fleet? They want Boomer's baby to live as much as she does. Also, it would have been nice to know why Boomer's baby was in danger. Overall though, Final Cut is an episode that has some nice details, but in the end comes off rather weak.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From -_Name_- on 2013-07-18 at 4:31pm:
    I have to strongly disagree with the reviewer. I thought this episode was exceptional. I think "fresh and interesting," to quote the review, describes the whole thing, not just the CIC scene (which by the way was absolutely brilliant, a very effective change of perspective). There's a bit of a documentary feel to BSG in general, but this was of a different order, and served a unique function. It's easy to get bored with the same characters in more or less the same roles and combat situations. IMHO, this showing was a breath of fresh air. It allowed some of the characters to say things they otherwise would never get to say, and gave them a little bit more depth and realism. I suppose this is what Kethinov meant by "nice bits surrounding the minor characters."

    This is going to sound like a weird comparison, but it reminds me a bit of the Star Trek Voyager episode where Neelix did a TV show (but nowhere near as silly). In both cases it makes the show feel a little more real, it suggests a real ship with a real crew, not just a set of lead characters and occasionally some extras to fill the background (mostly seen wandering the corridors or getting blown up in combat).

    Finally I actually thought the ending was surprising, in fact more than once - 1) I expected Adama to censor the whole thing 2) Once he agreed to let it air, I expected the end of it to be harshly critical 3) I honestly didn't see the D'Anna-Ceylon thing coming...I don't know if that's on me for missing the signs or what, but it came as a surprise to me.

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BSG - 2x09 - Flight of the Phoenix - Originally Aired: 2005-9-16

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.75

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 15 19 3 4 3 17 13 11 15 30 16

Synopsis
Commander Adama is keenly aware that morale is at a low point after what he terms "months on the run with little to show for it but casualties and deteriorating conditions."

Chief Tyrol, still haunted by his memories of the first Cylon Sharon, is in a bleak mood. He verbally spars with Capt. Lee Adama and gets into a drunken punch-up with Helo, who remains romantically committed to the current avatar of Sharon.

After sending one more dilapidated Viper to the scrap heap, Tyrol vents his frustration by attempting to build a new plane from salvaged parts. His seemingly impossible mission generates cynicism at first, then growing respect and eventually a full team effort that pulls in even the skeptical Col. Tigh.

Meanwhile, a Cylon virus penetrates the Galactica's computers. It wreaks havoc by creating dangerous power surges, an unscheduled engine ignition and a near-fatal oxygen shut-down. Once the virus is identified by Gaius Baltar as a Cylon "logic bomb," Sharon, who remains imprisoned in the Galactica's brig, is enlisted to defuse a threat that she immediately recognizes as the prelude to a Cylon assault.

Adama orders the fleet to jump to new coordinates while the Galactica stays behind to wipe the virus from its computers and contend with a massive assault by more than 200 Cylon Raiders. Though Sharon's motivations are in doubt, do the Cylons really pose a danger to her unborn child, or is she working some deep Cylon agenda? She turns the computer virus against the attacking Cylon fleet and enables the Galactica and her vastly outnumbered Viper squadrons to win the battle without taking any casualties.

Flush with the thrill of victory, the crew's spirits soar higher still when Tyrol's lab project takes flight as a powerful new model of stealth ship that they name the Blackbird. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- Galactica launched over 40 vipers in this episode which is way more than they could possibly have. Even if they have that many vipers, where did they get over 40 pilots?

Factoids
- The title of this episode is a reference to the 1964 novel of the same name in which the survivors of a plane crash attempt to rebuild the plane from the wreckage.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 47853.
- This episode establishes that the Cylons can directly interface with computer systems using fiber optic cables.
- This is the first episode to not feature Six. She did have one scene that was cut, however.

Remarkable Scenes
- Starbuck decking Racetrack.
- Helo and Tyrol fighting.
- Tyrol regarding viper 289 being unsalvageable: "If it was a horse, I'd shoot it."
- Cottle informing Roslin that she has weeks to live.
- Apollo and Starbuck barely escaping the shooting range as it slowly ran out of oxygen.
- Tigh: "Solvent my ass. I know a still when I smell it." I'll bet he does! ;)
- Boomer directly interfacing with Galactica's computers.
- Galactica's vipers slaughtering the Cylon fighters.
- Starbuck to the Blackbird: "Oh don't blow up on me, you bastard."
- Starbuck flying the Blackbird.
- Tyrol revealing that the Blackbird has been dedicated to Roslin; her name is written on it.

My Review
This episode would seem to contradict the idea that the Cylons want to keep the fleet around so that Sharon's baby can survive, unless, of course, the whole crisis of the episode was orchestrated by the Cylons to get the Galactica crew to trust Sharon more. Also, was it really wise to destroy all those Cylon fighters? Why not take them, blow the brains, and salvage them? Finally, they really fudged the viper count in this episode.

Those annoyances aside, one great thing about the episode was Roslin's scenes. First, she finds out she's got weeks to live. Then she returns Adama's gift (the book Dark Day) that he gave her way back in Water. This is true to the axiom that the dying (or the suicidal) always give away their possessions before they meet their end. Also, the dedication ceremony at the end was absolutely fantastic. Finally, there's some nice continuity with Scattered in this episode regarding the Cylon virus.

The best part of the episode though is of course the construction of a new type of viper, a stealth ship, and Kara test flying it. There was a short, but very awesome scene depicting Kara bouncing the Blackbird all over the place which I loved. Watching Tyrol build the thing was also very cool; I love the way the characters are all moody in this episode and kind of come together and find common ground, building the Blackbird.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From AuH2O on 2008-05-03 at 7:00pm:
    At first when I saw it, I had the some thought: why are the Cylons trying to destroy Athena's baby.

    But there is a logical explanation. They were not trying to destroy the entire fleet. Perhaps their plan was to try to take out the vipers and "liberate" Sharon.

    It's Sharon who tells Adama this is a prelude to an an assault. She didn't specify what they were planning to do. She could perhaps didn't want to alert the commander to the importance of her baby.

    So, although not addressed in the show, there is a simple theory that can explain this issue.
  • From John on 2011-12-27 at 8:12pm:
    "was it really wise to destroy all those Cylon fighters? Why not take them, blow the brains, and salvage them?"

    I wondered the exact same thing. Given the repeated references in this episode to a lack of fighters and raw materials, what was the point of destroying ALL the raiders. I guess you could argue that it would be safer to salvage them after they were blown to scrap, but we never see that or hear it mentioned.

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BSG - 2x10 - Pegasus - Originally Aired: 2005-9-23

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.19

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 31 3 4 6 9 3 4 9 7 42 88

Synopsis
The mood aboard the Galactica turns jubilant when the top-of-the-line battlestar Pegasus, long thought to have been annihilated with the rest of the colonial fleet, appears out of nowhere.

The Galactica's relatively ragged crew meets their spit-and-polish counterparts from the Pegasus, among them Admiral Helena Cain; her X.O., Col. Jack Fisk; and the ship's CAG, Capt. Cole "Stinger" Taylor. Cain warmly greets Commander Adama, who chooses to yield command of the fleet to his superior officer.

In private, Adama and Cain compare notes. Cain reveals that the Pegasus crew had taken its computers offline for servicing shortly before the original Cylon assault and therefore was able to escape the nuclear genocide. Since then, the ship has been on a relentless search-and-destroy mission against the Cylons.

Each battlestar holds a single Cylon prisoner. Because Vice President Gaius Baltar has successfully extracted information from Sharon, Cain invites him to study her Cylon captive on the Pegasus, a bruised and bloodied replica of Six named Gina.

It is revealed that the Pegasus encountered the Galactica while tracking a Cylon fleet, which itself appears to have been pursuing the Galactica. Plans are laid for both battlestars to attack a mysterious vessel guarded by this fleet.

However, Adama fumes when Cain announces that, due to rampant discipline problems on the Galactica, she will be reassigning key crewmembers from the Galactica to the Pegasus. Later, sparks fly quickly when Stinger maps out a reconnaissance plan that Starbuck bluntly criticizes.

Meanwhile, Lt. Thorne, the chief interrogator from the Pegasus, sets out to "break" Sharon like he broke Gina. Learning of Thorne's brutal tactics, Helo and Tyrol rush to Sharon's aid. A fistfight ensues, and Thorne is accidentally killed.

Cain orders a snap court-martial, and both Helo and Tyrol are sentenced to death. Refusing to allow his men to be convicted and executed without a full tribunal and the opportunity to mount a legal defense, Commander Adama initiates a high-stakes game of chicken that leads to Vipers from both ships training weapons on each other. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- Not necessarily a problem per se, but Tyrol had previously served aboard the Pegasus as was established earlier in the season. It would have been nice if there was a reference to this somewhere in this episode.

Factoids
- This is my personal favorite episode of the entire series, with the next two episodes being close runners up.
- This episode won a Leo Award for Best Lead Performance By A Female in a Dramatic Series regarding Tricia Helfer's performance of Gina. (2006)
- This episode has been nominated for the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49605. (This is a 1752 gain, meaning there are 1752 crew members on the Pegasus. Cain claims she's lost over 700 men, so it's possible that the maximum capacity of the Pegasus is upwards of 3000 people.)
- Michelle Forbes, who plays Admiral Helena Cain in this episode, also played Ensign Ro Laren on Star Trek TNG.
- John Pyper-Ferguson, who plays Stinger in this episode, also played Eli Hollander in Star Trek TNG: A Fistful of Datas.
- This episode establishes that ever since the fleet fled the colonies, they've been jumping to star systems with natural resources, presumably for food, water, and fuel, and that the Cylons have been scouting these systems as well in the hopes of locating the Galactica. The Pegasus was chasing the Cylons, so they too started scouting for natural resources, hoping to conduct hit and run attacks on the Cylon fleet, and accidentally discovered Galactica. With this information in mind, it seems that during the last two episodes, Galactica has been more concerned with supply problems than with going to Earth.
- During the Cylon attack on the colonies, the Pegasus was docked at the Scorpion fleet shipyards preparing for a three month overhaul. Presumably, the Pegasus did not have Baltar's Command Navigation Program installed yet, as it was part of the planned overhaul, and that's how they were able to escape without being destroyed.
- Admiral Helena Cain hails from the colony of Tauron.
- When this episode first aired on the SciFi Channel, a "Viewer Discretion Is Advised" black and white message was displayed just prior to the beginning of Act 3, warning of "mature subject matter" and content. This was in reference to the following sequence depicting drunken Pegasus crew members bragging about raping Gina and Lt. Thorne sexually assaulting Boomer, then Helo and Tyrol beating him to death for it.
- The original cut of Pegasus was about 15 minutes too long, so large sequences of this episode were cut from the original broadcast. A longer director's cut was released with the DVD version. This review focuses on the longer cut.
- In response to BSG TOS purists who refer to this show as "GINO" which stands for "Galactica In Name Only," RDM has named the Six model which appears in this episode Gina. It is never spoken onscreen, but I will henceforth refer to the Pegasus Six as Gina, as it is a nice way to distinguish her from Baltar's Six.
- The music played at the end of this episode is part of a song called Prelude to War on the soundtrack composed by Bear McCreary and is my favorite piece of music of the whole series up to this point. The piece is very reminiscent of, but superior to in my opinion, the song November 25: Ichigaya composed by Phillip Glass for the film Mishima. Most of Prelude to War is played in this and the next two episodes.

Remarkable Scenes
- The Pegasus' appearance.
- Apollo: "Galactica, Apollo. You are not going to believe what I'm looking at out here."
- Admiral Cain boarding the Galactica.
- Tigh's drinking session with Fisk.
- Admiral Cain telling the story of how the Pegasus escaped and what they've been doing since the attack.
- Cain regarding Roslin's reaction to Adama ceding command of the fleet to Cain: "Madam President, you look like I just shot your dog."
- Fisk telling Tigh the story of the fate of the Pegasus' original XO. I love Fisk's disturbing laugh. He tries to brush it off as just a joke, but that laugh makes you know for sure that it's the truth.
- Cain meeting with Baltar. I love how Baltar mistakes Cain's rank and she promptly corrects him. Speaks volumes about her arrogance.
- Baltar boarding the Pegasus to see the Cylon prisoner. The eerie music is fantastic and when he finally sees who the Cylon prisoner is, I love the reaction the Six in his head has to seeing her counterpart beaten, raped, and tortured.
- Six: "Can't you stop being a scientist for one moment and look at the abused woman lying there in front of you?"
- Cain dressing down Adama for being too close to his officers. I especially like this line: "Let's not even discuss your XO."
- Apollo: "Transfer to Pegasus?" Starbuck: "Why the frak should we do that?" I love the audacious way they both say their lines.
- Starbuck to Stinger in the middle of the mission briefing with all the pilots: "Your plan sucks."
- Lt. Thorne violently interrogating Boomer.
- The "yee haw" boys talking about Lt. Thorne and his history with their Cylon prisoner.
- Lt. Thorne sexually assaulting Boomer, then Helo and Tyrol beating him to death for it.
- Adama: "The assault happened here. They should face court martial on Galactica." Cain: "Commander, I am the senior convening authority present and they will be tried on Pegasus." Adama: "They're my men." Cain: "One of my men is dead." Adama: "Fine. We both have strong feelings about the case. That only underlines the need for an impartial trial." Cain: "Oh, you mean independent tribunal? Because according to your logs commander, you dissolved an independent tribunal when you didn't like the verdict. And if I'm not mistaken, Chief Tyrol was on trial there as well."
- The scene when Baltar offers food to the Six on Pegasus was fantastic. He delivers a fantastic monologue: "The food is yours. It's not a trick. I'm not going to take it away at the last second. You know, I, um, I'm just gonna talk right now. I don't expect you to say anything. Back on Caprica before the attack, and sometimes I forget there was a world before the attack, I knew someone. A woman, unlike any other woman I'd ever known. She was unique. Beautiful, clever, intensely sensual. When she wasn't in my bed, she was in my thoughts. She was a Cylon. And she changed my life in a very real, very fundamental way in that I have quite literally never stopped thinking about her. Because I love her. To this very day I love her. And she looks exactly like you. My name is Gaius Baltar and I'm here to help you." She then slowly, painfully, reaches for the food, grabs a small bit, and starts eating as Baltar sheds a tear. To top it all off, the minimalist music (dubbed The Cylon Prisoner on the soundtrack) in the background was a fantastic backdrop. One of the most moving scenes of the whole series.
- Tigh: "I just talked to Fisk. The court martial's over." Adama: "Over? When did it start?"
- Adama's phone conversation with Cain about her judgment against Helo and Tyrol. Cain's justification for judgment: "I am a flag officer on detached service during a time of war. Regulations give me broad authority in this matter."
- Galactica launching a strike force against Pegasus and Pegasus launching a (much bigger) strike force to defend herself.

My Review
And Galactica delivers us its finest offering so far. Pegasus is based on BSG 1978's The Living Legend which was the best episode of BSG TOS, so people were expecting a lot when this show set out to do a Pegasus episode and this episode delivers on every level.

In this new take on the story Cain is a woman and outranks Adama. I can hear the BSG 1978 purists now whining and complaining about the "castration" of Cain, much like they did with Starbuck, but the Michelle Forbes' Cain in this episode is every bit a hardass that Loyd Bridges' Cain was and more. Michelle brings a certain dark viciousness to the character without coming off as necessarily evil, which is fantastic. Cain completely steals the show in this episode and I'm all for that.

Because you know, when you get right down to it, Cain is absolutely right about Adama and his command. She runs a very tight ship and she's a very by the book admiral. A very young admiral, in fact, which speaks volumes about her personality. She's a career officer. She means business. She rises through the ranks like an athlete jumps hurdles. And while Adama has some of that in him, he's not like Cain. He runs a runs a loose ship. And Cain makes no apologies for pointing that out to him.

RDM said in the commentary: "Ultimately, Cain comes over here, she gets those logs, and she starts saying you guys are a bunch of fuck ups. You got your son as the CAG, you got Kara smackin' people around, you got a guy who's fraternizing with the enemy, you got two of'm fraternizing with the enemy for that sake, and the secretary of education, and... what? Your XO?" Exactly. Nothing Cain takes issue with throughout the whole episode is really all that unfair. But you still hate her for it. She's still wrong, somehow, even though she's right. And that's fantastic. That's how you write an antagonist.

Having no defense; no answers for Cain, Adama just gives up command. Doesn't question it. I love this detail, because Cain is a megalomaniac, and eventually she escalates her abuse of power to a point at which Adama can no longer let her get away with it. She summarily judges Helo and Tyrol as treasonous murderers for the aggravated, accidental killing of Thorne, who was in the midst of raping a prisoner, and sentences them to death. That's stepping over the line and Adama won't have it, so he launches a strike against the Pegasus in one of the most marvelous cliffhangers ever shown on TV scored to some of the best music ever played on TV.

And that's only the beginning of this episode's greatness. Besides the fantastic character dynamics between Cain and Adama, there's a message about human(oid) rights in this episode. Is it right to use torture as an interrogation method on Cylons? This was an issue hinted at in Flesh and Bone but never really explored in much depth. That episode instead focused on the (false) immediate danger posed to the fleet by Leoben. In the end Roslin apologized for the way Leoben was treated, then simply threw him out of an airlock. But now Boomer is here and they're not getting rid of her because she's proven to be a valuable intelligence resource and a valuable ally, at least on a temporary basis.

The Pegasus crew kept Gina around for essentially the same reasons that the Galactica crew is keeping Boomer around; they wanted to obtain intelligence from her. But the Pegasus crew has employed much different methods. They don't believe Gina has any human rights because she isn't human. As a result she's been put through extensive torture. The scenes she has in this episode are extremely moving as a result. You can only imagine what she's been through, but you can clearly see the result. And putting Baltar into the situation of having to deal with seeing a version of the woman he loves in this condition is fascinating.

So essentially the basic conflict in the episode has to do with whether or not you believe Boomer and Gina deserve basic human(oid) rights. After all, the Cylons did massacre billions of people. But then, is it right to treat anybody like Gina's been treated, no matter what their crimes are? The Pegasus crew and the Galactica crew disagree on this issue and it erupts into a tense military conflict and makes for one of the most utterly fantastic episodes of television I've seen in years. Because you truly can sympathize with either side of the debate, even after you've picked a side. It's a complex issue and its complexity is sufficiently explored in this truly remarkable episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2007-03-01 at 2:43pm:
    This is a science fiction masterpiece. While watching this single episode you experience the whole spectum of emotion: the joy of seeing another large Battlestar full of people that were thought dead, the sadness of Baltar trying to heal a wounded cylon, the hate of the people trying to rape Boomer, and the nervous excitement of the two Battlestars sending thier fighters after each other.

    I only gave it a 9 because I do think the actions that take place in this episode happen too rapidly. The "evil" of the newly discovered crew comes out almost immediately. I think it should have seeped out slowly. That is really my only complaint. It is a great episode worthly of rewatching.
  • From Ray Mayers on 2016-04-22 at 4:08pm:
    Best episode yet! Superb story and Forbes as Admiral Cain is fantastic (wife material definitely!) The scene where she boards Galactica was handled superbly, I really liked the way her team looked quite threatening as they stood to attention as she emerged from the Raptor. I think that the Pegasus has a top hairdresser on board to make Cains hair look that good! The way she bristled at Adama was cool, but you knew that he had the measure of her! Powerful episode!

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BSG - 2x11 - Resurrection Ship, Part 1 - Originally Aired: 2006-1-6

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 6.01

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 25 6 8 3 4 6 29 4 14 24 33

Synopsis
Lt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace prevents a potentially deadly face-off between the battlestars Galactica and Pegasus when she returns at the last second from her unauthorized mission in the blackbird stealth fighter, bearing stunning recon photos of the Cylons' "resurrection" ship.

Unable to resist this tempting target, Commander William Adama and Admiral Helena Cain establish an uneasy truce as they agree to prioritize the destruction of the resurrection ship, and table their personal and professional conflicts, for now.

Adama remains distrustful, however, when he learns that Cain's survive-at-all-costs attitude led her to order the Pegasus crew to abandon its own civilian fleet months ago. Disturbed by this news, President Laura Roslin suspects that, as soon as the resurrection ship is destroyed, Cain will jettison Galactica's civilian fleet, as well.

As he continues his power struggle against Cain, Adama must make an impossible decision, on the eve of a battle that could change the face of the Cylon war and decide the fate of the human race. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- When the vipers are swarming each other, I'm fairly certain I heard a Galactica pilot (possibly Hot Dog?) utter, "fucking frakkers" and it simply slipped by the censors.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49604. (This accounts for Lt. Thorne's death.)
- Gina was not a sleeper agent, by her own admission.
- The civilian fleet the Pegasus was with was composed of 15 ships.

Remarkable Scenes
- Starbuck doing the recon mission by herself in the Blackbird.
- The Galactica and Pegasus vipers swarming each other.
- All the vipers charging Starbuck.
- Starbuck transmitting photos of the Cylon fleet to Cain.
- Cain's meeting with Roslin and Adama. Roslin to Cain: "You wanna cut through it, fine. You have Pegasus, he has Galactica. Two heavily armed, very powerful warships. Now I am sure Pegasus would prevail in any fight--" Adama, interrupting: "I wouldn't count on that." Roslin, not sure exactly how to respond to Adama's interjection: "But certainly there'd be heavy damage and you'd take significant casualties. So you can go out there and fight it out or you can compromise. And those are the only two options on the table, period."
- Cain promoting Starbuck to captain and making her commander of the Pegasus air group.
- Cain: "I will say that our ultimate goal is that we should return to the twelve colonies and kick the Cylons the frak out of our homes. What do you think of that captain?" Starbuck: "I think that's the best idea I've heard all day, sir."
- Roslin to Adama: "I'm afraid this can only end one way. You've gotta kill her."
- Six: "You know what I miss? Sports." Baltar: "You're joking." Six: "No. I used to go to the pyramid court just before game time, scalp two tickets. If I timed it right, I'd just be sitting down at the horn. Sit back, let the energy of the crowd flow over me. Waves and waves of emotion. Like electric current." Baltar: "Why'd you get two tickets?" Six: "One for me and one for you. I knew I'd never get you to go, pyramid was far too low brow for you. But I always liked to feel that you were there with me."
- Cain to Baltar: "You know, this thing used to sit in our mess and eat our food and listen to our stories." Cain to Gina: "Didn't you? You just sat there, listening to us, pretending to be our friend." Cain kicks Gina in the face and screams: "Didn't you?!"
- Gina lunging at Baltar, then suddenly letting him go.
- Gina, crying: "I wanna die. Will you help me do that? Will you kill me please?"
- Tigh having another drinking session with Fisk, getting Fisk to admit that Admiral Cain stripped a civilian fleet of equipment as well as personnel who she deemed valuable, and had the families executed of anyone who refused to go.
- Baltar outlining the resurrection ship and its purpose to Admiral Cain.
- Adama: "What can I get you?" Roslin: "A new body. Perhaps one of those young Cylon models from the resurrection ship." Adama: "I can't see you as a blond." Also, I love the violin and piano music (dubbed Roslin and Adama on the soundtrack) played during this scene.
- Starbuck's mission briefing.
- The simultaneous assassination plots.

My Review
Hot off the heels of Pegasus, Resurrection Ship, Part 1 opens with a marvelously tense teaser with wonderfully complimentary music. The game of chicken the vipers were playing with each other was just fascinating to watch, and very original. I like how neither Cain nor Adama could quite bring themselves to fire on the other and that the situation was eventually diffused when Starbuck returned from her against-orders recon mission.

Gina has a few more touching scenes. I loved Cain's hostility toward her, then later Gina asking Baltar to kill her to end the pain. Finally, the scene when Baltar gives her some clean clothes and we get to see the terrible injuries she's sustained on her back (as well as the side of her left breast ;)) almost makes your own back kind of sting. I like how she was backed up all the way to the wall, keeping as much physical distance from Baltar as possible. It makes sense; someone who's been through that much abuse doesn't want to touch anybody for any reason.

Then of course, there's the nice plot point that Gina, being suicidal, does not want to be resurrected into a brand new body with her painful, horrible memories of her experiences aboard the Pegasus identifies for Baltar the function of the resurrection ship, hoping that Cain will be successful in destroying it so she can die and these bad memories will be gone forever. Finally, there's something delicious about how Roslin is the one who convinces Adama to kill Cain, and that Adama dismisses it completely until he learns the full extent of her megalomania. Also, it's worth noting that both Cain's and Adama's assassination plans take advantage of the lax security after a major military victory, which is exactly what Boomer did in Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 2. I find something fascinating about that.

Resurrection Ship, Part 1 naturally loses a little bit of momentum being the middle part of a three part story. It has to pick up on a cliffhanger then ends with another one. This lack of a definitive beginning and end to the episode makes it slightly weaker than Pegasus, but not by much. The episode manages to retain its profound origins while taking the drama further into a fascinating direction.

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BSG - 2x12 - Resurrection Ship, Part 2 - Originally Aired: 2006-1-13

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 5.04

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 73 4 5 5 13 3 10 7 5 17 64

Synopsis
The battlestars Pegasus and Galactica go head-to-head with Cylon baseships in a battle that will change the face of the war. But for Lt. Kara Thrace, the real war is with her conscience, as she steels herself to carry out Commander Adama's order to assassinate Admiral Cain.

When Lee Adama hears from Kara of the order, he confronts his father and challenges the morality and the legality of the order, but Commander Adama remains resolute. For the good of the fleet, he tells his son, Admiral Cain must be eliminated.

Meanwhile, in the Pegasus brig, Pegasus crewmembers brutally assault Galactica prisoners Chief Galen Tyrol and Lt. Karl Agathon, as revenge for the murder of one of their officers. Only a timely intervention by the Pegasus's XO halts the beating before it becomes fatal.

As the battle to destroy the Cylons' "Resurrection Ship" intensifies, members of both battlestars' crews are forced to decide how much of their humanity they are willing to sacrifice in order to survive. Ultimately, the fight that begins with heroic self-sacrifice ends in a white-knuckle test of two Commanders' courage, and their character. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- How did Baltar get Gina off the Pegasus?

Factoids
- This episode received a VES Award for Outstanding Models and Miniatures in a Broadcast Program.
- This episode received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Visual Effects For a Series.
- This episode received a VES nomination for Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program, Commercial or Music Video.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49604.
- The scene in which the sunshine boys beat Helo and Tyrol with bars of soap wrapped into a towel is a reference to the film Full Metal Jacket.
- Apollo was demoted to lieutenant by Cain.
- Gina knew the exact moment that the resurrection ship had been destroyed.
- Destroyed Cylon capital ships, running total: 3 confirmed, 1 probable. (+2 confirmed, +1 probable)

Remarkable Scenes
- Fisk laying into the upset Pegasus crew members for their assault on Helo and Tyrol.
- Fisk: "You can't rape a machine, lieutenant."
- Cain: "You drink Thrace?" Starbuck: "Only to excess, sir." Cain: "Learn that from Colonel Tigh did you?"
- Cain's heart to heart with Starbuck.
- Apollo: "Assassination? That's your decision? That's how you resolve your differences with your superior officers?"
- Adama regarding Roslin being in on the assassination plan: "She's made of sterner stuff than people give her credit for."
- Fisk to Starbuck: "Good hunting, captain." Starbuck: "You too, colonel."
- Tigh: "The last thing we need is the colonials shooting at each other." Fisk: "Amen to that."
- Adama meeting with Boomer to find out why the Cylons hate humanity so much.
- The beginning of the battle with the spectacular footage of Galactica firing heavily on a Cylon basestar.
- Apollo sneaking up on the resurrection ship with the Blackbird, taking out its jump drive.
- The Blackbird colliding with a downed raptor, being destroyed and Apollo ejecting.
- The vipers being launched against the resurrection ship. I love how you can see a pylon break off of one of the Cylon Basestars in this shot.
- Apollo watching the battle whilst floating in space, losing air.
- The shot of Galactica and Pegasus going all out on the Cylon basestars, complete with another pylon breaking off.
- Six: "Tens of thousands of Cylons are about to die. Tens of thousands, Gaius, god will not forgive this sin!" Baltar to Gina: "Do you think god will forgive us?" Gina: "God forgives all."
- Baltar telling Gina the sports story Six told him in the prior episode. There's something twisted and beautiful about this scene.
- The shot of Pegasus and Galactica destroying one of the basestars.
- The destruction of the resurrection ship.
- Starbuck walking into the Pegasus CIC in a cold sweat.
- Adama and Cain both backing out of their assassination plans.
- Tigh to Fisk: "You look like you could use a drink." I love the crazy laugh Fisk lets off after that.
- Gina: "Suicide is a sin. But I need to die!" Baltar: "What you need is justice. I know a place where you can stay. Where you will be safe. Where I can look after you." Gina: "Why, why would you do that?" Baltar: "Because I love you." I also love the music here (dubbed Gina Escapes on the soundtrack) in this scene when Gina leaves Baltar to go kill Cain.
- Gina killing Admiral Cain. Cain's last words: "Frak you." I love the way she gasped, and was almost teary-eyed just before she met her end.
- Cain's funeral.
- Roslin promoting Adama to admiral.

My Review
Resurrection Ship, Part 2 is the most visually spectacular episode so far, beating even The Hand of God and the miniseries. I think it goes without saying that the space battle in this episode was the most amazing space battle ever shown on TV. Aside from raving about how awesome it was of course, it also establishes something important about the capabilities of colonial and Cylon technology. It would seem that colonial battlestars are vastly superior to Cylon basestars in direct combat, when there are few, or no vipers and raiders involved because the Cylon basestars' primary strategy appears to involve missiles and raiders; they lack the heavy gun batteries that battlestars have. As a result, Galactica and Pegasus mopped up those two Cylon basestars with ease which was most impressive to watch. This episode goes a long way toward explaining why the Cylons had to rely on sabotage to carry out their attack on the colonies successfully.

Much of this episode was all about Lee Adama, who's having a hard time dealing with his demotion and then makes a critical mistake during the attack. I thought it was great that he was looking behind him, watching the damage he did to the resurrection ship, not watching where he was going, then he accidentally collides with a downed raptor. This scene is sort of symbolic of Apollo's character in general. He's always looking back into the past instead of paying attention to what's going on right now.

As a result of not being able to back up Kara when he said he would, he gets downright suicidal, which I have mixed feelings about. I thought Apollo's suicidal behavior came out of nowhere and was slightly over the top. This isn't necessarily unrealistic; sometimes people become suicidal for pretty shoddy reasons. But more substantiation in the episode would have been appreciated. Another thing I didn't like about the episode was the "48 hours earlier" opening scene. Disjointed storytelling is a pet peeve of mine, especially when it's done for no particularly good reason. These weaknesses are not severe, however.

Special mention goes to Baltar's scenes with Gina, particularly the one when Six says: "Tens of thousands of Cylons are about to die. Tens of thousands, Gaius, god will not forgive this sin!" Baltar then asks Gina: "Do you think god will forgive us?" Gina responds: "God forgives all." Then Baltar proceeds to tell Gina the story Six told him in the prior episode. There's something twisted about this scene. Baltar knew that Gina would find the story beautiful, because her counterpart in his head thought it was beautiful. So he's cruelly stealing from one version of her; using her in an attempt to reach out and bond with another version of her. I love how Six disappears in the cut when Baltar finishes telling the story.

Another great detail about the episode is how both Adama and Cain back out of their assassination plans. This, to me, is wonderful, because when Cain meets her end at the end of the episode, you really feel something for her. She's not a heartless evil villain, she's just a little megalomaniacal. There's humanity in Cain and she is capable of mercy. I get the impression that after the battle of the resurrection ship, Cain was going to be true to Roslin's request that they meet on Colonial One and resolve the issue of Tyrol and Helo and that she'd start to lighten up a bit. Because now, she's gotten to know Adama in a special way. They've served in combat together. They've shared a "significant victory" together. That can really change your perspective on a person. But Cain's change of heart is too little, too late, however, for her sins in allowing Gina to be raped and tortured caught up with her.

And true to Cain's personality, she goes out defiant. A soldier. And in the end, not only do you feel sorry for Cain, but you realize that Cain was successful in everything she set out to do. Her ship and her crew are safe and she accomplished her mission destroying the Cylon fleet she'd been tracking. It's a shame Cain couldn't have been made a permanent character in the series, but at the same time I kind of understand it. It would have changed the dynamics of the show too much to have Adama and Galactica taking orders from Cain all the time. It's hard to justify the title "Battlestar Galactica" when the flagship is the Pegasus. ;)

Which brings us to the next subject of course and that being the permanence of the Pegasus. All too often in science fiction, a new ship is introduced to the show for one episode, or a just a few episodes, then it meets its end at the end of the episode. Not this time. RDM sternly wanted to avoid this cliche and I am wholly grateful for that. Because it sucked when BSG 1978 got rid of the Pegasus and it sucked when Star Trek Voyager got rid of the Equinox. And there are numerous other examples of this cliche. It also adds a fascinating new dynamic to the show. Exploring the trauma that the crew of the Pegasus has gone through will be fascinating, and exploring how Admiral Adama manages to command two battlestars will also be fascinating.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Dave on 2016-01-21 at 12:17am:
    You are pretty kind regarding Cain - I was less sympathetic. But then again I think that Adama (up to this point in the series) isn't too likable either.

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BSG - 2x13 - Epiphanies - Originally Aired: 2006-1-20

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 5.46

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 12 6 3 5 19 10 21 21 12 13 6

Synopsis
Cancer-stricken President Laura Roslin lies near death in the Galactica's sickbay. Still lucid and in command, she orders that the pregnancy of the Cylon spy Sharon be terminated, after inexplicable properties are discovered in a fetal blood sample.

Dr. Gaius Baltar, who, as vice president, is poised to assume the presidency upon Roslin's death, protests that a half-human, half-Cylon child would make an ideal case study; the child's father, Lt. Karl "Helo" Agathon, also is outraged by Roslin's decision.

Admiral Adama is determined to carry out Roslin's final decree until Baltar discovers that the hybrid fetus's blood cells might possess fantastic healing properties.

Meanwhile, a secret group of Cylon sympathizers resorts to sabotage to demand that humanity sue for peace with the Cylons. Adama arrests their leader, Royan Jahee, but the group continues its violent revolt, bombing the tylium refinery ship, leaving the fleet short of fuel and vulnerable to enemy attack.

An even more ominous threat emerges when Baltar once again connects with Gina, a flesh-and-blood version of the Number Six who lives in his head. Gina has infiltrated the sympathizers' ranks, in an effort to promote the Cylon agenda.

Baltar realizes that President Roslin doesn't trust him to succeed her as president and that she might, in fact, know of his affiliation with Caprica Six, who sabotaged the Colonial defenses. He discreetly arranges for a nuclear warhead to fall into the hands of Gina and the Cylon sympathizers, placing the entire fleet in mortal jeopardy. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- Gina's half-assed disguise is stretching realism.

Factoids
- This episode takes place 189 days after the miniseries.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49598. (Four people died in the battle of the resurrection ship plus one more for Admiral Cain's assassination and the marine Gina killed to get his weapon.)
- Apollo was promoted back to captain in this episode, and reinstated as Galactica's CAG.

Remarkable Scenes
- The teaser, cutting between Roslin being rushed to Galactica's sickbay while she flashbacks to her life on Caprica, played over the backdrop of beautiful violin music (dubbed Epiphanies on the soundtrack).
- Kat's port gun blowing up.
- Adar to Roslin in a flashback: "One of the most interesting things about being president is that you don't have to explain yourself to anyone." This is a great reference to Flesh and Bone when Roslin said this to Adama at the end of that episode.
- The explosion on the Daru Mozu.
- Adama choking Royan Jahee. I love the creepy little smile Tigh lets out watching Adama do that.
- Baltar's surreal tour of Colonial One.
- Boomer fighting the marines.
- Helo pleading with Adama not to forcibly abort Sharon's baby and Baltar running into the conversation frantically.
- Baltar outlining a cure for Roslin's cancer to Adama.
- Baltar administering his cure. I particularly liked this bit of dialog: Cottle: "I don't like what you're doing. I think it's unnatural and damn dangerous." Baltar: "Yes, well, given the patient's current condition I am not sure that I see the downside." Cottle: "Maybe it's just her time." Baltar: "You know for once, perhaps I am the beacon of hope around here."
- Six, reading aloud Roslin's letter to Baltar: "President Baltar, I offer my sincere congratulations. I say that knowing we've had our differences and that you take office despite my many reservations. You may be the most brilliant person I've ever met, but your intelligence is unleavened by compassion. You must be reminded of your ethical responsibilities and challenged to rise above your own selfish needs. I don't write this to hurt you, but to beg you to open your heart. Understand that the people in the fleet look to you not only for leadership but for solace; justice. Find a way to give them that and you will be a great leader."
- Baltar giving Gina his nuclear weapon.

My Review
Roslin's cancer is at the very heart of the show's premise and Epiphanies simply hand waves it away deus ex machina style. However, if you accept the fact that that's just how it's going to be, then the episode itself is pretty likable.

Roslin's flashbacks back to Caprica were fascinating to watch. It was great to get a chance to see President Adar and the fact that Roslin is now remembering having seen Baltar with Six on Caprica and realizing the significance of that is a fascinating plot point.

Baltar himself puts on a marvelous show as well. It's great to watch him cure Roslin because you don't quite understand the motivations behind it. Does he want to avoid becoming president? Does he want to use the cure as a reason to save Sharon's child? The ambiguity behind his motives adds a lot to the story.

Unfortunately, blowing away the cancer deus ex machina style isn't the only gaffe in this episode. Another annoying detail is Gina and her role in the Cylon peace movement. It's a shame they had to create dialog stating that nobody in the peace movement knows what she is, because it is perfectly believable that they would harbor a Cylon, given their motives.

Sadly, however, that's not how it was written. Instead, we're asked to swallow the idea that her half-assed excuse for a disguise is somehow effective. Even harder to understand is why Baltar would give Gina a nuclear weapon after reading Roslin's letter to him. The dots just don't connect; it doesn't make sense.

In the end we get kind of a mixed bag. Without a doubt, watching Roslin struggle with her cancer was fantastically executed, in particular the scoring. But the last minute cure brings the plot thread to a rather anticlimactic close. It would have been a much more touching and satisfying story had Roslin died in this episode. I love her character, but it's a cop out to wipe her cancer clean just because we want to keep her around. This episode should have been true to her character's premise.

I can only hope that all those signs that her cancer is gone forever are some sort of misdirection and that her cancer is merely in remission and will return again some day. But if magic Cylon blood can send it back into remission any time we want, my hopes for this are more like grasping at straws.

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BSG - 2x14 - Black Market - Originally Aired: 2006-1-27

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 4.23

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 18 15 6 13 9 9 16 9 2 4 12

Synopsis
A thriving black market in food, medicine and luxury items has developed within the fleet, serving the rich and depriving the needy of essential goods.

When Pegasus's commanding officer, Commander Jack Fisk, is found brutally murdered in his private quarters surrounded by a cache of cigarettes, liquor and jewelry, Lt. Lee Adama is appointed chief investigator.

Lee discovers that Fisk was fronting a racketeering operation that ostensibly involves other prominent military and civilian authorities. The suspects include Quorum representative Tom Zarek and Vice President Gaius Baltar, who is angered by President Laura Roslin's suggestion that he resign, for the good of the office.

The investigation becomes personal for Lee when a gang of black-market thugs kidnaps Shevon, a prostitute with whom he has developed an intimate relationship, and her young daughter, Paya. The gangsters threaten to kill Shevon unless Lee abandons his investigation.

Intensifying his efforts, Lee tracks the gang's ringleader, Phelan, to the Prometheus, a renegade freighter packed with contraband. During a tense standoff, he brokers a Machiavellian deal with the criminals while gaining unsavory insights into human nature, including the true depth of his own depression and the burden of a guilt he has carried for far too long... [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- Adama promoted Fisk to commander.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49597. This is only one less than the previous episode, yet there were at least three bodies seen blown out of the Daru Mozu in the prior episode. However simultaneous births could account for this.
- Much of the regular cast, including Starbuck, Helo, Boomer, Gaeta, Tyrol, and Cally are not present in this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- Apollo scaring Paya.
- Commander Fisk's murder.
- Adama: "He was working the black market." Apollo: "Half the fleet's working it, Fisk was getting greedy."
- Apollo confronting Tigh about his black market trading.
- Phelan confronting Apollo, telling him to drop his investigation.
- Apollo's meeting with Zarek.
- Zarek: "Did you really expect some utopian fantasy to rise from the ashes?"
- Apollo visiting the freighter Prometheus and witnessing the black market.
- Apollo witnessing Paya locked in room with other kids, presumably being sold into sexual slavery.
- Phelan: "Without us, people would have nowhere to turn; the fleet would tear itself apart." Apollo: "And what about those children outside? How are they helping the fleet?" Phelan: "Everyone has needs. Some settle for cigars and liquor. You wanted Shevon. Others are more demanding. It's hard to find the moral high ground when we're all standing in the mud."
- Apollo shooting Phelan.

My Review
Black Market is an episode which largely comes off as incoherent, a collection of attempts at making a point, but none which really get driven home and succeed by and large. While the episode does have a few things going for it such as nice assortment of good scenes, an unusually refreshing tone to the the scoring (dubbed Standing In The Mud on the soundtrack), and a few other interesting tidbits, there's a larger set of little problems with the episode spread throughout as well.

Firstly, this episode is quite an abuse of flashback storytelling. It was kind of annoying in Act of Contrition and it was tolerable in Resurrection Ship, Part 2 but here it's over the top. We've got the ending shown in the teaser, then all these flashbacks into Lee's life on Caprica, and none of it makes any sense until the end of the episode, at which point none of it means as much as you'd hope it would. That, and certain details just don't make sense. Why didn't Phelan's thugs kill Apollo when he went for the gun, or after he shot Phelan? Why did Zarek have to tell Apollo about the Prometheus when everybody else seems to know about it? For that matter, why would Zarek bother to assist Apollo in the first place? And even then, wouldn't Apollo as someone who's already participated in the black market already know about that ship? So much just doesn't make any sense.

Next in the line of problems is the whole business with Apollo being depressed after having ejected from the Blackbird. I never really liked this plot point to begin with when it was introduced in Resurrection Ship, Part 2 and it wasn't sufficiently explored and further substantiated in this episode. Kara even directly confronts Lee in Epiphanies about the Blackbird ejection possibly causing his depression which he outright ignores and it's used as a sort of excuse for Lee's moodiness in this episode. It's also revealed that his regrets over a woman he lost on Caprica is a major contributing factor to his moodiness. It's just too much a jumble.

Another annoying plot point is how callously the Pegasus is handled. Fisk was an absolutely fantastic character that was killed off for no good reason. And his death was definitely far too close in the timeline to Cain's death. There should be repercussions for losing two commanders of the Pegasus in a matter of weeks, but it's not explored at all. Moreover, now we don't even know who's in command of the Pegasus at all. We're never told who succeeded Fisk. A gross oversight.

However, there's a certain realism to the whole concept of the black market on Galactica, and it's something I was hoping the series would explore. Phelan's character was particularly fascinating. I like how he just casually justifies child prostitution to Lee, like it's okay simply because there's a demand. I also like how Lee just summarily executes him without necessarily being provoked. Bold move, even if the consequences for it were grossly unrealistic. Overall though this episode is the biggest dud of the series so far.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2007-03-23 at 9:01am:
    This episode is poop. Two episodes in a row were about enemies within the fleet. First you got the Cylon sympathizers, and now you got the black market. None of which is as interesting as the Cylons. The episode is way too grim. The story about Apollo is a letdown, and the killing off of Captain Fisk was a waste of a good character.

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BSG - 2x15 - Scar - Originally Aired: 2006-2-3

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.75

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 4 11 3 6 10 27 12 20 10 12

Synopsis
The colonial mining ship Majahual has been working around the clock for a month extracting essential metals from an asteroid. The fleet has moved on, leaving Galactica behind to guard the miners from persistent Cylon raids.

The viper pilots' deadliest foe is an enemy Raider that they've nicknamed "Scar," the combat-savvy reincarnation of countless Cylon warriors that boasts a growing list of human kills. Hiding out in the asteroid belt, Scar is a master of hit-and-run attacks that are decimating the war-weary Viper squadrons and forcing them to throw inexperienced replacement pilots into the fray.

The shaken pilots, led by Capt. Lee "Apollo" Adama, cover their distress at the mounting casualties by adopting a hardboiled demeanor. But neither booze nor a lustful encounter with Lee can vanquish the battle-fatigue or the demons that haunt Lt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace.

Tempers explode between Kara and Lt. Louanne "Kat" Katraine, who insists that Starbuck is dangerously off her game. A fierce competition ensues as to which of them will obliterate Scar.

But when Scar traps both Starbuck and Kat in an ambush, Kara must swallow her pride and support her brash young rival in a climactic dogfight against the Cylons' top gun. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- Starbuck and Kat fly Mark VII Vipers in this episode, but when we watch their launch sequence, the visual effects scene depicts stock Mark II footage. Update: this was fixed on the DVD release and will likely be fixed for all future TV viewings as well.

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49593.
- The Pegasus is capable of constructing vipers.
- This episode establishes that Cylon raiders reincarnate just like the human models.
- Baltar and Six do not appear in this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- The teaser outlining what Scar is and the conflict between Kat and Starbuck.
- Kat: "One Tigh on the ship's enough."
- Starbuck's meeting with Boomer. Starbuck: "Raiders reincarnate." Boomer: "Makes sense, doesn't it? It takes months for you train a nugget into an effective viper pilot. And then they get killed. And then you lose their experience, their knowledge, their skill sets. It's gone forever. So if you could bring them back and put them in a brand new body, wouldn't you do it? Death then becomes a learning experience."
- Starbuck: "Not bad. At least you hit the target." Duck: "Yeah, that's a lot better than I did the first time. I think I took out that clock over there."
- Kat beating Starbuck's record in the vertigo test.
- Starbuck: "We go out over and over again until someday some metal motherfrakker is gonna catch us on a bad day and just blow us away."
- Starbuck's seduction scene with Apollo.
- Starbuck and Kat confronting one another in the wardroom.
- Starbuck: "I am gonna put him right in front of you. Do not miss you frakkin' stim junkie!"
- Kat taking out Scar. I love how Scar explodes in a ball of blood.
- Starbuck attempting to salute every pilot they've lost, but being unable to remember all the names.
- Helo, regarding why Starbuck didn't take out Scar like she said she could have: "So why didn't you do it?" Starbuck: "Probably would've died in the process. Bastard was too good. Couple months ago, I wouldn't've even thought about that. Woulda just gone for the glory hoping I could pull it outta the fire somehow."

My Review
Scar is another episode which makes heavy use of flashback storytelling, which is kind of annoying, but I let it slide here somewhat because the visual effects depicting the battle with Scar really were fantastic and watching them again and again is definitely not something to complain a great deal about. I did feel there were some pacing issues toward the end; some of the battle scenes felt redundant. Especially the one when Starbuck plays her game of chicken with Scar. We saw the setup for that at least, what, three times? That's pushing it. But whatever. It was still a fantastic episode that was amazingly visually spectacular.

This episode is all about Starbuck dealing with her personal demons. She's feeling profound guilt over breaking her word to Anders, being unable to convince Adama and Roslin to plan a mission back to Caprica to rescue him and his resistance group. It would have been nice to have seen more scenes depicting Starbuck actually approaching Roslin and Adama about this, but the implication is nevertheless clear.

Another demon Kara is dealing with is Kat. Kara trained another Starbuck, for Kat's starting to rival her skill. This is both a good and a bad thing; it's nice to have another amazing pilot, but Starbuck's got an ego to protect which breeds an immature but fun to watch conflict. Kara being as pissed off as she is in this episode also leads to a long awaited sexual encounter with Lee, for all the wrong reasons, which doesn't really go anywhere. I really liked that scene. There was a certain vulnerable honesty to it that was interesting.

Finally, there's a certain conventional fun to this episode. It's a story we've seen many times before. The ace enemy fighter steps into the ring, slaughters good guys, and we get to see him blow up in a bloody confrontation in the end. There's something satisfying about episodes like this and there's also something great about being able to immerse yourself in fighter pilot culture during an episode like this. Overall, Scar is not very deep but it's still a very successful and entertaining episode.

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BSG - 2x16 - Sacrifice - Originally Aired: 2006-2-10

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 5.4

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 1 12 7 8 6 13 8 12 13 8

Synopsis
Fleet-wide paranoia reaches a new peak when word leaks out that the Cylon Sharon is secretly being kept alive aboard the Galactica.

Sesha Abinell, a civilian who is grieving her husband's tragic death during a Cylon raid several weeks earlier, is incensed by the thought of a Cylon agent being trusted to provide intelligence to Galactica's officers. She is convinced that the Cylon is manipulating Admiral Adama and leading the fleet to its destruction.

Assisted by three sympathizers, Sesha takes drastic action. She pulls a weapon in a bar aboard the luxury ship Cloud Nine and holds its occupants hostage, among them Ellen Tigh and the uneasy romantic triangle of Lee Adama, Anastasia Dualla and Billy Kekeiya. Sesha's demand is simple: Turn over the Cylon spy Sharon Valerii to be executed, or else the hostages will die.

Lee is at first able to avoid detection; he tries to undermine Sesha and her accomplices by triggering mechanical malfunctions. He is soon flushed out, however, and Sesha makes it clear to Admiral Adama that if Sharon isn't surrendered to her, she will kill his son.

Kara Thrace makes a bold move in an effort to rescue the hostages, but the op goes terribly wrong and Lee is critically wounded. With time running out, Admiral Adama endorses a desperate plan to end that stalemate, with disastrous consequences. Sesha's wrath exacts a heartbreaking toll when an innocent human life is sacrificed on her altar of vengeance. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49590.
- Baltar and Six do not appear in this episode.
- Adama's "cut the wire" line doesn't actually mean anything. He adlibbed it and the writers thought it sounded cool so they left it in.

Remarkable Scenes
- The scene depicting Sesha Abinell's husband's death during a Cylon attack.
- Billy proposing to Dee and Dee saying no.
- Ellen hitting on Lee.
- I love Ellen's comment insulting Sesha's clothing.
- Apollo leading Ellen into the bathroom on false pretenses. ;)
- Starbuck accidentally shooting Apollo.
- Boomer refusing to tell Adama who the other Cylons in the fleet are.
- Sesha shooting the dead Boomer.
- The revelation that it was actually the corpse of the other Boomer.
- The shootout, resulting in Billy's death.

My Review
This episode is sad and kind of annoying. The big thing here is the departure of the character Billy. I understand why the writers offed him, the actor wanted out. But it should have been handled better than this. In the end, this entire episode's plot feels like an excuse to kill Billy which doesn't do much justice to the character. Manufactured danger.

Only small details redeem the episode. The best part of the whole episode was the scene in which Apollo is accidentally shot by Starbuck. Also, it was fascinating to see Boomer refuse to tell Adama who the other Cylons in the fleet are. But beyond that, what is there in this episode? A canned hostage plot based on rather trite motives. I can see the realism behind what Sesha was trying to do, but her point of view just wasn't explored deeply enough.

The whole episode boils down to threats and fighting. And really, it just feels too common. How many times have we really seen this story played out in other TV shows? This episode is just unusually unoriginal for Galactica.

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BSG - 2x17 - The Captain's Hand - Originally Aired: 2006-2-17

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 5.46

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 26 1 12 3 10 4 3 9 13 28 14

Synopsis
On the Galactica, movement inside a cargo container draw the suspicion of Tyrol and his deck crew. When the box is opened, a stowaway is found inside, a pregnant 17-year-old girl named Rya Kibby. Once in custody, she asks to be brought to Doc Cottle.

Meanwhile, a pair of Raptors from the Pegasus, out on a training exercise in a region of intense radiation that interferes with communications, relay a garbled distress signal back to the Pegasus, under the command of the recently promoted engine room chief, Commander Barry Garner. Before Garner and his crew can verify the Raptors' transmission, the Raptors jump away and vanish from the fleet's dradis screens.

Ratcheting up the tension aboard the Pegasus is the running feud between Garner and flight training supervisor Capt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, a battle of wills that is only made worse by the arrival of Garner's interim XO, Lee "Apollo" Adama, newly promoted to the rank of major.

Back on the Galactica, Rya Kibby's desire to exercise her legal right to an abortion, and the revelation that Doc Cottle has been providing this service to women in the fleet for the past few months, becomes an incendiary political issue. The fleet's pro-life Gemenon faction threatens to pull its support for President Laura Roslin unless she condemns the practice of abortion and makes it illegal.

Aboard the Pegasus, Commander Garner proves unequal to the responsibility of commanding a battlestar. He insists on mounting a quixotic rescue mission, despite Starbuck's insistence that the signal the Raptors followed was almost certainly a Cylon trap. But when Garner disobeys a direct order from Admiral Adama and orders the Pegasus to go after its missing aircraft, it's up to Apollo to take action and prevent the Pegasus and her crew from becoming the Cylons' next victims.

As the abortion debate flares throughout the fleet, Roslin is forced to take a stand on the issue. Recognizing that every potential life counts in a shrinking human population, Roslin ponders an executive order that will create a wedge issue, one which Gaius Baltar is almost certain to exploit as he launches his own surprise bid for the Colonial presidency. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49584. Seven people died in the previous episode, but the survivor count only went down by six. (A simultaneous birth in the fleet could account for this discrepancy.)
- This episode establishes that Mercury class battlestars (such as the Pegasus) do not need to retract their flight pods prior to jumping, unlike whatever class Galactica is.
- According to the podcast commentary, Steve Mcnutt, the director photography for this show complained to RDM about the whole "bucket" and "the beast" nicknames for Galactica and Pegasus. RDM was so "scalded" by the complaint from such an unexpected person that they never used the terms again.

Remarkable Scenes
- Tyrol discovering the young pregnant girl hiding in one of Galactica's cargo containers.
- Garner: "Nobody cut us any slack in the engine room. I can tell you that right now. But then, uh, I don't know, maybe being a snipe is different than being a viper jockey. No flashy stunts for us. No flying by the seat of our pants down there. The engine room is like a finely tuned watch; everything in it needs to be monitored and maintained in a very precise fashion. Nobody freelances. Everything is done in the proper way at the proper time in the proper order or there'd be no power. No lights. No hot showers for your flyboys. You know major, I think some of the people around here could learn a thing or two from the snipes."
- Adama meeting with Rya. I love the look Adama shoots at Cottle when Cottle suggests Rya apply for asylum. Cottle then just kind of tucks his tail between his legs and walks off. Then Adama just kind of looks back at Rya, hoping she didn't catch it. But she did. Adama's day just got a lot more complicated. ;)
- Adama reminding Roslin about her statement in the miniseries that if they want to save the human race, they had better start having babies, and how that statement relates to the abortion issue.
- Lee Laying into Kara.
- Kara: "Poor Lee, your life is so hard isn't it?" Lee: "You mean since I got shot?" Ouch. Below the belt!
- Baltar informing Roslin that the demographic projections of the fleet indicate that the human race will be extinct in 18 years.
- Roslin banning abortion.
- Apollo unsuccessfully trying to take command of the Pegasus after Garner went up against Adama's orders.
- The Pegasus jumping away, then 3 Cylon Basestars jumping to the Pegasus' position. An ambush.
- Garner placing Apollo in command so he can go take personal command of the engine room. I love how Apollo when assuming command just kind of stands there and says to nobody in particular, almost in shock, "I have the con."
- The sight of Pegasus firing her main batteries.
- Hoshi: "Base ship's turning away. He's, he's frakkin' runnin' major!"
- Garner's noble sacrifice.
- Adama promoting Apollo to commander.
- Baltar betraying Roslin and running for the presidency in opposition to her.

My Review
The Captain's Hand is a fantastic episode which shakes up the show quite a bit in a very good way. While granted it seems a legitimate criticism one could make of the show by now is that BSG offs Pegasus commanders faster than Star Trek offs redshirts, I think after the events of this episode, that isn't going to be happening anymore. And really, it kind of makes sense that Pegasus commanders would be dropping like flies until somebody level-headed gets the position and as much as I wanted to see Fisk stick around, having Apollo command the Pegasus is an utterly fantastic twist.

In addition to the Pegasus story, we've got Roslin going and banning abortion, which is a fascinating plot point. I mean, think about it. Adama's right. That population number doesn't go up very often. In the real world, we enjoy our rights to birth control, but we have billions of people on this planet. And indeed an overpopulation problem in many parts of the world. Now, Galactica may have overcrowding issues on some ships as well, though perhaps less now with the introduction of the Pegasus which seemed to only have fraction of the crew compliment that it could have, but the core idea is that in order for the species to survive, you've got to start having babies. This was an idea that was prominent in the miniseries, and I'm glad it's been tackled here so directly.

Special mention as usual goes to the visual effects in this episode. While the Pegasus battling three Cylon Basestars may have been a short sequence, it was a spectacular one. The sight of the Pegasus firing off her forward batteries was just incredible and watching Lee Adama command the Pegasus was an unexpected treat. I hope we get much more of this in the future. Finally, Baltar betraying Roslin and running for president was a fantastic twist at the end. So overall, The Captain's Hand is an exciting ride which shakes up the show quite a bit and certainly doesn't lose its spectacle with repeated viewings.

Continuity note: the next episode chronologically is the two part special Razor, Part 1 and Razor, Part 2. Razor was actually produced, shot, and aired at the beginning of season 4. However, Razor can and arguably should be watched directly after The Captain's Hand as it contains no real spoilers. If you are using my site as an episode guide and you're watching the episodes in sequence, I suggest you go watch Razor now, then come back to season 2 and and pick up on where you left off with the next episode as aired: Downloaded.

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BSG - 2x18 - Downloaded - Originally Aired: 2006-2-24

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.52

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# Votes: 17 3 4 3 3 5 0 6 22 28 19

Synopsis
On Caprica, the reincarnated Number Six and Sharon Valerii are hailed as "Heroes of the Cylon" for the key roles they played in the near-destruction of the human race.

But these are tortured heroes. Six's thoughts are haunted by Baltar, just as she haunts his thoughts on the Galactica. Sharon, meanwhile, has so fervently embraced her love for Tyrol and the fake human memories the Cylons created for her undercover mission, that the Cylon leadership, D'Anna and Doral, are thinking of "boxing" her: putting her consciousness into permanent cold storage, a living death.

Elsewhere on Caprica, the human resistance, under the leadership of Kara Thrace's lover, Samuel Anders, is preparing to strike a savage blow, however futile it might ultimately be, against the Cylon occupation. As the fates of Caprica Sharon and Sam Anders converge, the future of two peoples hinges upon an arbitrary twist of fate.

On the Galactica, the captive Sharon gives premature birth to Hera, the child she conceived with Helo. As the infant fights for her life, she becomes the focus of intrigue. President Roslin and the Cylons hidden within the fleet scheme against each other for control of the newborn girl, and to determine whether she will become a symbol of hope ... or a harbinger of human extinction. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- In the opening scenes, Cally shooting Boomer is labeled as "ten weeks ago," which is wrong. It should read "ten weeks later." Update: this was fixed in the DVD release and presumably will be fixed in all subsequent television airings.
- How did Dr. Cottle come up with a baby corpse, especially one that looked convincingly like Hera?
- Apollo is in a photograph in Original Boomer's apartment. But Apollo did not serve with Boomer until the miniseries, so it is impossible for such a photograph to have been taken and placed in her apartment prior to the Cylon attack.

Factoids
- This episode was nominated for a Hugo Award, Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form.
- This episode was nominated for a VES Award, Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Broadcast Program, Commercial or Music Video.
- This episode takes place nine months after the miniseries.
- This episode establishes that Caprica Six died in Baltar's house, protecting him from the windstorm created by a nearby nuclear blast. She probably got struck in the head by debris or something, then Baltar probably fled the house.
- D'Anna claims that the Cylon attack on the colonies was successful even beyond their most optimistic projections.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49579.
- This episode establishes that the D'Anna Cylon model is model number 3.
- This episode establishes that the Doral Cylon model is number 5.
- This episode establishes that the Boomer Cylon model is number 8.
- Anders refers to humanoid Cylons as "skin jobs" in this episode. This is a reference to the film Blade Runner.
- Boomer has named her child Hera.
- The musical theme played when Six hallucinates Baltar is actually the music that is played when Baltar hallucinates Six in reverse.

Remarkable Scenes
- Caprica Six being reborn.
- Caprica Six having an imaginary Baltar in her head.
- Original Boomer being reborn.
- The Cylon Centurions planting trees. Hilarious.
- Original Boomer freaking out to Caprica Six, angry about what she did and who she is.
- Caprica Six scratching her own face when Original Boomer broke the glass picture of her "parents" as a way to get Original Boomer to elicit sympathy among her own kind.
- Anders regarding the humanoid Cylons: "When they download, they remember everything. Right up until the end. These skin jobs are gonna remember being blown into tiny little pieces. [...] Sooner or later the message sinks in. There is no safe place, not even a cafe. So if you wanna quit living through hell and dying over and over again then get the frak off my planet."
- Caprica Six telling Original Boomer about her relationship with Baltar and Original Boomer informing her that Baltar is still alive aboard Galactica.
- Helo regarding the birth of his and Boomer's child: "Almost makes you want to believe in the Cylon god. Almost."
- Anders shooting at the Cylon Centurion that noticed his bomb shortly before the bomb exploded, taking out the centurion.
- I like how Anders thanked the Cylons for digging him out of the rubble.
- D'Anna, as she's about to kill Anders: "Humans don't respect life the way we do."
- Caprica Six: "Sharon and I. We're celebrities in a culture based on unity."
- Caprica Six killing D'Anna.
- Caprica Six and Original Boomer letting Anders go.

My Review
Continuity note: this episode takes place chronologically after the two part special Razor, Part 1 and Razor, Part 2. Razor was actually produced, shot, and aired at the beginning of season 4. However, Razor can and arguably should be watched directly after The Captain's Hand and before this episode (Downloaded) as it contains no real spoilers. If you are using my site as an episode guide and you're watching the episodes in sequence, I suggest you watch Razor just before you watch this episode.

This episode is most definitely an odd one and I have some mixed feelings about it. Ultimately, it comes off as a strong piece, telling us a lot about Cylon culture. But it also has some pretty sweeping and contradictory implications about what exactly Baltar's Six is which could possibly lead to a series of technical problems if we don't get some real answers soon.

In Home, Part 2 we learned for a fact that Baltar's Six is definitely not a chip in Baltar's head. At least not one that can be detected. But we're also given a very clear impression that she's not just a hallucination either. She's revealed things to Baltar over the course of the last two seasons that Baltar simply could not have deduced on his own. I fear the writers are letting the hallucination Six run away from them; that they're forgetting that she absolutely has to be something more and are simply writing her off as a hallucination because they don't want to go down that complicated road of explaining just what she is.

That said, I hope I'm just being paranoid. For all we know, nuclear radiation when the shockwave hit Baltar's house and killed Six forced Six's personality to bleed into Baltar's mind and Baltar's personality to bleed into Six's mind as she was transmitted away to be resurrected. Or maybe there's a chip in Baltar's head after all based on organic Cylon technology, rendering it undetectable, and Caprica Six in this episode was just plain crazy; that there is no real symmetry between the two hallucinatory characters.

The point is, it pisses me off that the writers keep making the issue of just what the Six hallucination is more and more complicated and are not giving us any answers. I feel this becoming a severe weakness for the show. Having gotten all that off my chest, let's talk about why I think this episode was otherwise fantastic.

It's very clear that there's no room in Cylon society for celebrities. D'Anna in this episode worked very hard to get a good reason to go ahead and have Caprica Six and Original Boomer boxed. But ultimately she failed, and these Cylon celebrities not only continued on, but united for a greater cause. What is their cause? What are they going to do to Cylon society? Are they going to convince the Cylons that the holocaust was wrong; that murdering humans was sin? Is there going to be some kind of Cylon civil war? The episode doesn't get into that, but it sets up some possible future Cylon dissension intrigue. Again, though, like my paranoia regarding Baltar's Six, this can only work if it is done right.

Boomer's baby is born in this episode, whom she's named Hera. Roslin had Hera's death faked, forcing Boomer and Helo to believe Hera had died, then gave up the baby to someone else. This is reminiscent of the story of Moses; indeed this sort of adoption story is pretty common throughout many works of literature and film. It's possible that Hera may parallel some of these similar characters in other works of fiction and history. Another interesting point is how Six reacted to Baltar after she believed Hera had died. She claimed that all of humanity will suffer god's vengeance for Hera's death.

Given the events of this episode, will there be a Cylon civil war? Some Cylons intent on wiping out the rest of humanity for apparently killing Hera while others are dedicated to changing their ways? I suppose we'll find out. But in the end, this episode stands very well on its own as an unusually unique and interesting piece.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Hugo on 2012-06-24 at 4:17pm:
    Decent episode - although not that much actually happened. Not so wild about how it presents Cylon culture - so they are sitting chatting in cafes?
  • From Rob on 2014-12-19 at 11:14pm:
    Kethinov! Why are you confused about who the Six is in Baltar's head? Yes, it was established in Home Part II that she is not a chip in his head, but it was also established in the final scene that she is an angel of god sent to protect Baltar. How could you have missed that?
  • From Kethinov on 2014-12-21 at 12:34pm:
    Because, as I mentioned in response to your previous comment on Home, Part 2, it was a ridiculous claim which flied in the face of the show's otherwise hyper-realistic overarching narrative aesthetic and we had no reason to believe it at face value at this stage of the show.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, which head Six was not providing. We didn't see hard evidence of supernatural bullshit until the show's final hours. Up until that moment, everything apparently supernatural still had the possibility of a rational explanation.

    Moreover, as I previously wrote here, the writing in the first half of the show makes it pretty clear that the writers had no intention of making Six a literal angel until they wrote themselves into a corner late in the series. If they had planned it this way, Six wouldn't have engaged in a whole host of nonsensical behaviors listed there that the ending now illustrates as clearly ridiculous.

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BSG - 2x19 - Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 1 - Originally Aired: 2006-3-3

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 6.01

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 5 2 3 9 18 8 5 10 22 6 13

Synopsis
Aboard the Pegasus, Capt. Kara Thrace briefs a room full of Raptor crews and marines for a dangerous, volunteer-only mission to Caprica, to rescue the civilian survivors on the planet's surface. Using information obtained from the captive Cylon Sharon, they've linked their Raptors' navigation systems to the superior navigational capabilities of their captured Cylon heavy raider.

Meanwhile, in separate private quarters on the Galactica, President Roslin and Vice President Baltar each prepare notes for their first presidential debate, to be televised to the fleet. As Roslin memorizes her talking points, Baltar is hectored by Six's religious exhortations to have faith that the election will unfold as "God intends."

As the rest of the fleet watches the start of the presidential debate, Specialist Cally finds Chief Tyrol asleep under a Viper. She reaches out and wakes him; and he explodes to consciousness, reflexively lashes out and pummels her with a raging, brutal assault. Then he regains control, is horrified by what he's done, and calls desperately for medical assistance.

After the first debate, President Roslin enjoys a commanding lead over Baltar in the polls. Then, as if in response to Baltar's sarcastic plea for a miracle, one of the raptors from the Caprica rescue mission returns early with stunning news: Because of a miscalculated jump, they've accidentally discovered a habitable planet, in a region of space that will hide them from the Cylons' sensors.

On the advice of Tom Zarek, Baltar uses the planet's discovery as a political wedge issue. He fans the civilian population's desire for a new home, a safe home, an end to the constant running. Popular opinion swings sharply against Roslin, who is unprepared to give up the search for Earth.

Tyrol seeks counseling from a priest named Brother Cavil, who gets the chief to talk about the nightmares that have plagued him for weeks. Finally, Cavil helps Tyrol confront what's really bothering him: Somewhere deep down inside, Tyrol is afraid that he might, like Sharon, really be a Cylon.

Light-years away on Caprica, the Colonial rescue mission reaches Sam Anders and his surviving resistance fighters. No sooner are Kara and Sam reunited, however, than they find themselves caught in the midst of a Cylon ambush. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
- There are some timeline issues involving the presidential election in this episode; it should have taken place earlier.
- Baltar is worried that he has no campaign traction on anything but slamming Roslin's religious position. What about the abortion issue from The Captain's Hand?

Factoids
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49579.
- Less than 20% of the new planet actually supports life. The plant and animal life is located in a temperate belt near the equator.
- Just before this episode was first aired on the SciFi Channel, a "Parental Discretion Is Advised" message was displayed. Probably a warning regarding Tyrol beating up Cally.

Remarkable Scenes
- Roslin: "What happens if the moderator doesn't have a pencil?" Adama: "Then you're pretty screwed."
- Roslin regarding the debate: "I'm going to wipe the floor with you, Gaius."
- Tyrol beating up Cally accidentally after she awoke him from his nightmare.
- Cavil talking about how useless prayer is.
- The sight of 19 raptors being launched.
- Racetrack's raptor jumping to the wrong place.
- Tyrol's recurring dream.
- Racetrack finding a habitable planet.
- Cavil regarding how he knows Tyrol is not a Cylon: "Oh well maybe because I'm a Cylon and I've never seen you at any of the meetings."
- The revelation that raptor 612 jumped into a mountain.
- Baltar slamming Roslin's "fear campaign."
- Roslin to Baltar privately: "Why don't you go frak yourself."

My Review
This episode is kind of a mixed bag which tries to be profound but comes off as somewhat underwhelming. This episode does do a lot, however, and parallels Kobol's Last Gleaming quite well in a number of ways. There's the discovery of an inhabitable planet again, Starbuck using stolen Cylon technology to return to Caprica again, a character contemplating suicide out of fear of being a Cylon again, and difficulties between Helo and Sharon again. Nice parallelism.

Cavil certainly brightened up the episode with his presence. There's something marvelous about a priest who doesn't believe in god. It's also fascinating to watch how Cavil slowly breaks down Tyrol's barriers, forcing him to confront his problems. He gets him to admit he's having recurring dreams, he gets him to admit his secret desire to kill himself, and finally he gets him to admit he's afraid he's a Cylon.

The Caprica storyline is a little ambiguous. I don't really get what role the computer from the Cylon heavy raider is playing. Supposedly, the heavy raider can jump all the way back to Caprica in a single jump, which is why using it was appealing. But the colonials instead rip the navigational computer out of it, install it on one raptor, and then do ten jumps back to Caprica.

Why did they need the heavy raider's navigational computer if they were just going to do ten jumps back to Caprica? Does the heavy raider's navigational computer make their jumps more efficient or something? Without it would it have been 50 jumps? There's nothing particularly wrong with this plot thread, but in my opinion it's left far too vague. I would have much rather seen the Cylon heavy raider than 19 raptors anyway. Why didn't they use that instead to perform the rescue? It would have been one jump back to Caprica and with the additional benefit of letting them blend in as Cylons.

The multiple raptors does, however, allow for the discovery of that habitable planet, which becomes a central campaign issue. It also allows for the cute little notion that one of the raptors jumped into a mountain on Caprica, destroying it. This is a nifty science fiction detail which is reminiscent of Star Trek transporter accidents.

The notion of permanent settlement on that planet is however ridiculous. Not because there's a chance of the Cylons finding it but because there are multiple Cylon agents in the fleet and all it takes is one agent to devise a way to alert the Cylons to the location and it's all over. The way this episode plays out it is looking like Baltar's going to win the election and that planet will be permanently settled. Gee, what do you think's going to happen next? You think the Cylons might just, oh, I don't know, find it somehow? This is all so insultingly obvious to the audience.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Hugo Ahlenius on 2012-06-29 at 4:57pm:
    I find it a bit odd that there is only one group of survivors on Caprica. Assuming that Caprica is roughly earth-size (is it?) there should at least be a few pockets of survivors/resistance, right? And what about the other colonies?

    But they only talk about rescuing Anders group.

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BSG - 2x20 - Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2 - Originally Aired: 2006-3-10

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.03

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 8 7 15 3 3 5 13 17 19 22

Synopsis
As the sun rises on Caprica, Starbuck and Anders discover that the Cylons have vanished. Brother Cavil declares it to be a miracle. But when the rescue team and civilian survivors return to the Galactica, the real reason for their survival become clear: Brother Cavil is a Cylon, his duplicate counseled Tyrol, and he has come here to deliver a message: The "Heroes of the Cylon" (Number Six and Sharon Valerii) have persuaded the Cylon leadership that trying to destroy the humans was an error. From now on the two civilizations will live apart, in peace.

At the same time, voting continues in the Colonial presidential election. President Roslin approaches Baltar and proposes that, whoever wins, colonization of the newly discovered planet should be postponed until further study is done. Baltar spurns her offer, so she confronts him about Number Six, but he remains unfazed by her accusation.

Panicked at the thought of Baltar taking control of humanity's fate, Roslin instructs her aide to take all necessary steps to steal the election. The plot, however, is discovered by Lt. Gaeta, and Laura and Adama must choose between denying the will of the people and letting a man they suspect to be a Cylon collaborator take power. For Laura, the question is difficult, but the answer is never in doubt: she and Adama allow their plot to unravel. Baltar wins.

As President Baltar is sworn in, his Cylon lover, Gina, enacts a final vengeance against the fleet, detonating a nuclear warhead that destroys the Cloud Nine luxury liner. Despite the tragic loss of several ships, colonization of the planet, dubbed "New Caprica," goes ahead over Adama's objections.

Time passes; more and more of the fleet's population relocates to the surface, leaving only skeleton crews aboard the Galactica and the Pegasus. Through it all, Adama remains uneasy; he anticipates the return of the Cylons. And a year later, his fears are borne out, as a Cylon invasion force jumps into the system and lands on New Caprica. Outflanked and overpowered, Adama and his son Lee order their battlestars out of the system, leaving the civilian colony defenseless as a Cylon occupying force arrives to announce the dawn of a new era.... [Blu-ray] [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Costumes For A Series. (2006)
- This episode was granted a special 60 minute runtime, which played out across 90 minutes of television.
- This episode does not feature a teaser prior to the main title, just a recap.
- Survivors, according to the main title: 49550.
- Tyrol's union speech is an almost word for word quote of Mario Savio's address during the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in 1964.
- Hera is seen on New Caprica in the same white cradle that Baltar saw in his vision in Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 2.
- New Caprica City's population is 39192.
- Boomer's baby has been renamed to Isis.
- James Callis stayed up all night and drank so he could look so hungover and damaged when the Cylons confront him in his office.

Remarkable Scenes
- Tyrol confronting Cally. She doesn't hesitate to forgive him and declares that she loves him.
- Cavil showing up on Caprica whilst being visible on Galactica as well; he's a Cylon.
- Roslin confronting Baltar about his campaign strategy and then his prior relationship with Six on Caprica.
- Starbuck revealing that the Cylon occupation is over and Tyrol realizing Cavil is a Cylon. Cavil's "take me to your leader" line is great.
- Cavil: "Would you mind telling me what's going on? I'm not a frakking Cylon, I'm not--" He sees his counterpart. Cavil: "Oh... well... okay then."
- Cavil: "There is no god."
- Roslin: "Throw them both out the airlock. Let them see if there really is a Cylon god."
- Tigh and Dee fixing the election.
- Baltar: "Laura Roslin is many things. But she's not corrupt and she's not dishonest."
- Gaeta discovering that the election was fixed.
- Roslin revealing to Adama that Baltar is working with the Cylons.
- Adama: "Do we steal the results of a democratic election or not?"
- The fleet jumping to New Caprica.
- Baltar's last meeting with Gina. I love how elated he looks. Positively dapper.
- Gina finally giving Baltar what he's desired from her since Resurrection Ship, Part 2.
- Baltar being inaugurated as president of the twelve colonies.
- Cloud 9 exploding in a nuclear blast.
- The jump ahead one year.
- Adama breaking the filter off his cigarette. There's something charming about that.
- Tyrol's union speech.
- Roslin as a teacher again.
- The Cylons showing up and the fleet abandoning New Caprica.
- The Cylon raiders flying over New Caprica City.
- Leoben showing up, asking for Starbuck.
- A Doral, Boomer, and Six model confronting Baltar in the presidential office.
- The Cylon Centurions marching down New Caprica City.

My Review
Boomer had an interesting line of foreshadowing in the prior episode. She speculated that "a dark time" was coming, and she was right. Certainly a dark time for the colonials, but what's going on with the Cylons? After the events of Downloaded, and given the events of this episode, could possibly a civil war have erupted within the ranks of the Cylons? What is their plan? Has their plan changed?

We get some mixed messages from Cavil. He said that the occupation of the colonies was an error, that the war heroes have managed to swing opinion over to their side, that the Cylons made mistakes, had become corrupt, and needed a new beginning. He said pursuit of the fleet was another error, that Cylon and man will now go their separate ways, and that the Cylons have other plans.

But then of course, as soon as the Cylons get lucky enough to stumble on the fleet and their new planet, they take over the place. Was Cavil simply lying to Roslin and Adama, or were the plans and ideologies that he outlined simply overruled eventually? Notably, the Cavil Cylon model claims to be an atheist. Purportedly, the Cavils have been telling the others that there is no god for years. But if the Cavil models and the heroes of the Cylons were responsible for the change in ideology, why does it appear that the war heroes were the ones who greeted Baltar on New Caprica in the ending? We're getting way too many mixed messages from the Cylons in this episode.

The election itself was interesting. Do you steal the results of a democratic election to prevent someone who is clearly the wrong choice from becoming president? The moral dilemma was nicely explored. There was great scoring during the election ballot counting scenes as well. Equally great was the scoring when Baltar was inaugurated president and Gina blows up Cloud 9. (Dubbed Something Dark Is Coming on the soundtrack.) Finally, the music played when the one year jump ahead ensued (dubbed One Year Later on the soundtrack) and at the end of the episode was also quite impressive.

Gina blowing up Cloud 9 was a bit of a confusing plot point as well. I understand why she did it. Certainly the root cause was her suicidal nature. Maybe there was also a secondary intention to provide the Cylons with a possible way to find New Caprica eventually. But what gets me is why Baltar gave her the damn nuke in the first place. It was a loose thread left over from Epiphanies and now we have our answer. And that answer still doesn't make sense. We have no idea what Baltar thought he was getting out of giving a Cylon a nuclear warhead, but whatever advantage he thought it would bring him, he was clearly wrong. For such an important plot point, it sure wasn't explored very well. That, and it's vaguely ridiculous that nobody thought the Cylons would find that planet, especially after the nuclear explosion. That's just unforgivable.

Moreover, why did Adama not attempt to depose Baltar when Cloud 9 was destroyed? He knew the nuke was stolen from Baltar's lab, so the logical thing for Adama to wonder at this point is why the nuke was detonated aboard Cloud 9 instead of Galactica. The only answer is that Baltar gave it away to somebody, since he's the only one who had authorization to do anything with it, and that it didn't fall into Cylon hands until after it was already transported off Galactica. If I were Adama, I'd be very suspicious of Baltar, especially given Roslin's recent admission of having seen Baltar in collusion with Six on Caprica. The last time the President of the Colonies did something fishy (Roslin ordering Starbuck to find the arrow), Adama outright declared martial law. Baltar being responsible for a Cylon setting a nuke off on a ship in the fleet isn't a comparable offense?

On top of that, why have no Cylon agents apparently been activated during the one year gap, such as the D'Anna model from Final Cut? Was she inadvertently killed when Gina blew up Cloud 9? Also one year later, Dee is mentioned as a lieutenant, yet is apparently the XO of Pegasus. Not a major problem here, but it seems Apollo ran a pretty loose ship. Is the ship full of nothing but ensigns now?

So it's pretty clear by now that as a season finale this episode was rampantly careless, but you'll notice my rating is pretty generous for a remarkably carelessly written episode, so what's so good about it? Well, the Cylon invasion of New Caprica is a fairly obvious but nice parallel the Nazi invasion of France and the fleet's escape is a nice parallel to the Allied evacuation of Dunkirk. Finally, Baltar's surrender a nice parallel to French Marshal Philippe Pétain's surrender to the Nazis. If this trend continues, New Caprica will become a Vichy France and a resistance movement will begin to take shape. This is kind of an enormous cliche, but I like it.

More importantly, the jump ahead one year and the Cylon occupation open up all kinds of fun possibilities for how season 3 stories will play out. I have an enormous respect for RDM and David Eick for having the bravery to shake up the premise of the show like this and I hope season 3 pans out as well as I imagine it will. But I must also certainly hope that the stories in season 3 are treated with more care than they were in season 2. There were a lot of technical and continuity goofs in season 2, along with some plot holes and some very important unanswered questions. Most of this stuff was of little importance, but it adds up. And at this point, I think the audience has gotten tired of all these little things that have added up.

So while Lay Down Your Burdens is a successful and entertaining pair of episodes, it doesn't compare at all to Kobol's Last Gleaming which just came off as a far more coherent, solid, and moving season finale.

(See also my analysis of the second half of this season.)

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Dennis on 2011-09-18 at 4:37am:
    I'm still a bit against the very notion that a nuclear warhead would give off a signal to the cylons. Assuming it is a nuke of similar design to our own, a nuclear warhead exploding would give off a signal that's barely audible given the amount of clutter and radiation producing materials in the galaxy. To get a good idea of what I'm trying to say, go out on a lawn, freshly mowed with all the grass cut. The cuts are uneven, some are taller than others, while some are little more than stems half a centimeter above the ground (it was a lousy lawn mower). Now go to a blade of grass and cut off a millimeter of grass. Now walk a few hundred meters in any direction and turn back. Can you tell which blade of grass you cut? Could you even tell the difference? The simple answer's no. The only way it could have given off a signal to the cylons would be if it was in a closed system. Since the galaxy is anything but a closed system, I can't help but call bad science fiction on this one. I'm sure someone can chalk it up to significantly more advanced sensors, but that seems cheap to me.

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