Battlestar Galactica: Home, Part 2

The conclusion of last week’s episode delves deeply into Baltar’s relationship with Six, and into human mythology.

Cast

James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar
Edward James Olmos as Commander Adama
Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin
Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama
Richard Hatch as Tom Zarak
Michael Hogan as Col. Tigh
Tricia Helfer as Number 6
Grace Park as Sharon “Boomer” Valerii

Tahmoh Penikett as Helo

Synopsis

Roslin’s party continue their trek to find the Tomb of Athena on Kobol. On Galactica, Adama decides to reunite the fleet.

High Points

  • The opening scene, alternating between Galactica and Kobol
  • Gaius and Six in sickbay
  • “Freaking hypochondriac. One on every bloody ship.”
  • “We’re standing on it. We’re standing on Earth.”

Low Point

To start with it looks like the Gaius/Six scenes are going to be extremely dull. This is an impression that’s unfortunate, because they’re not.

The Scores

As usual with Galactica it felt very original. It wasn’t entirely new elements – no story ever is – but the classic twists of betrayal, prophecy, self-doubt and a little bit of psychosis were woven together to make a plot which feels surprising and interesting at almost every turn. Five out of six.

The effects were flawless. Nothing particularly challenging in this episode of course – the hardest part was entirely CGI, and we know how good the people who do the space shots for Galactica are. Six out of six – you can see where they are, but not because they look fake, just because you know what they’re showing you is impossible.

As the second of two parts, the story had to deliver a worthy conclusion, and it did. Or at least, it delivered as much of a conclusion as you’re going to get in an arc-driven series devoid of filler episodes. It marks quite a milestone in the development of the arc, and will clearly influence the stories for the rest of the season. Certain lines from Boomer give us much to think about as well, and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Baltar’s confusion over what Six really is. I give it five out of six.

We have on Galactica the privilege of watching as fine a cast of actors as you’re likely to see in one show anywhere. Grace Park has been disappointing at times in the past – particularly in the first season – but in the last few episodes she has really found her feet and is delivering much better performances. Tricia Helfer is also showing herself to be entirely capable of her undeniably challenging role. The acting score is only let down by the supporting cast – particularly Zarek’s associate. I wasn’t entirely convinced, or perhaps it’s because his role was slightly generic. Five out of six.

The emotional response is always strong. This episode gave us several strongly emotional scenes, one of which is listed as a high point above. A good variety too – from relief to sympathy to amusement. Five out of six.

I couldn’t see anything at fault with the production. At no point do you ever think that they’re not really where they’re supposed to be. Six out of six.

My overall score is six out of six. This episode may well be the best so far this season, but it’s difficult to tell because they just keep on turning out episodes which exceed expectations.

Which leaves us with a total score of thirty-nine out of forty-two.

14 replies on “Battlestar Galactica: Home, Part 2”

  1. Damien says:

    Episodes 2×01 through 2×06?
    What about the rest of season 2?

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: Episodes 2×01 through 2×06?

      What about the rest of season 2?

      Basically, we dropped the ball. However, reviews should appear for the rest of this season.

      • majick says:

        Re: Episodes 2×01 through 2×06?

        Basically, we dropped the ball. However, reviews should appear for the rest of this season.

        I still have those episodes kicking around… if anyone’s interested, I could do those few.

  2. J_W_W says:

    Another high point
    I think that the reunion scene with Adama was also another high point. The reactions of that scene, were great. Adama went from one emotion to another, bang, bang, BANG. Olmos is an incredible actor. The other amazing thing about him is that the wounded Adama is different from the first season Adama, his mannerisms are different, his look is different, its like you can just SEE that his is different. Its some amazing acting…

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: Another high point

      I think that the reunion scene with Adama was also another high point. The reactions of that scene, were great. Adama went from one emotion to another, bang, bang, BANG. Olmos is an incredible actor. The other amazing thing about him is that the wounded Adama is different from the first season Adama, his mannerisms are different, his look is different, its like you can just SEE that his is different. Its some amazing acting…

      Absolutely. I stand in awe of Olmos’ abilities in that regard. However, while that nearly made it onto the list of high points, I realised I had most of the episode on the list, so I thought I’d better trim it down a bit.

      Can’t really stress this enough: this episode is very, very good.

  3. Espy says:

    Suspension of disbelief
    All right, I can let slide the fact that the solar system they came from has 12 habitable planets around one star. But the 12 Zodiac constellations all being in the same sky, each just above a corresponding giant stone with glowing lights in it, like some kind of mall window display? I think that’s a little too improbable for a major plot point. I love the series, and I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to suspension of disbelief, but that made me groan.

    SP

    • stemmetje says:

      Re: Suspension of disbelief

      All right, I can let slide the fact that the solar system they came from has 12
      habitable planets around one star. But the 12 Zodiac
      constellations all being in the same sky, each just above a corresponding
      giant stone with glowing lights in it, like some kind of mall window display?
      I think that’s a little too improbable for a major plot point. I love
      the series, and I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to suspension of disbelief,
      but that made me groan.

      SP

      First of all, I don’t recall anyone ever saying that all twelve of the
      colonized planets are in the same solar system. Since this society is capable
      of faster-than-light travel, they could be spread out over several relatively
      close-by solar systems.

      Secondly, They aren’t outside looking at the stars
      around Kobol. They are inside the Tomb of Athena looking at some sort of
      projection or illusion. That’s not exactly clear from the final cut of the
      episode itself, I think, but in the Podcast, they mention a deleted scene where
      Adama & company walk out of the Tomb after seeing the constellations.

      • Espy says:

        Re: Suspension of disbelief

        First of all, I don’t recall anyone ever saying that all twelve of the
        colonized planets are in the same solar system. Since this society is capable
        of faster-than-light travel, they could be spread out over several relatively
        close-by solar systems.

        It was mentioned in one of the first-season commentaries that all 12 planets are in the same system. I think Ron Moore called it a "conceit," a carryover from the original series. It wouldn’t make sense for them to have travelled via FTL, since Galactica’s jump in the mini-series was the first in 20 years or something. But it doesn’t really matter, since it’s not essential to the plot.

        Secondly, They aren’t outside looking at the stars
        around Kobol. They are inside the Tomb of Athena looking at some sort of
        projection or illusion. That’s not exactly clear from the final cut of the
        episode itself, I think, but in the Podcast, they mention a deleted scene where
        Adama & company walk out of the Tomb after seeing the constellations.

        That makes a lot more sense, but even so, giving the constellations without giving their locations in the Earth’s sky is almost useless–or, at least, far less useful than simply giving their locations as well.

        SP

        • Furry Moist Avenger says:

          Re: Suspension of disbelief

          It was mentioned in one of the first-season commentaries that all 12 planets are in the same system. I think Ron Moore called it a “conceit,” a carryover from the original series. It wouldn’t make sense for them to have travelled via FTL, since Galactica’s jump in the mini-series was the first in 20 years or something. But it doesn’t really matter, since it’s not essential to the plot.

          Actually, it was Galactica’s first jump in 20 years, not humanities. (I’m not sure if this is what you meant by what you posted since it was a little unclear, so I just wanted to throw that out there.) And because Galactica was one of the original Battlestars which were assigned to a planet, and since she was very old by this time, she seems to have stayed basically pretty close to her homeworld. And it does make sense to use FTL, since travelling at anything other then relativistic speeds still takes a while within one system.

          That makes a lot more sense, but even so, giving the constellations without giving their locations in the Earth’s sky is almost useless–or, at least, far less useful than simply giving their locations as well.

          SP

          The reason for this is actually pretty simple. It is for dramatic reasons. First of all, they needed a way to show the religious aspect of Earth being somehow special, where all of the symbols of the 12 tribes were represented in Earth’s sky. To do this accurately would realllly confuse the average viewer who has no idea about astronomy. I could picture them now wondering why only some of the stars were in the sky and not others. Also, giving the exact position of the stars wouldn’t really help them. It certainly doesn’t seem like they have the computing power to take the location of all stars in the galaxy and then figure out the one place in all of that vastness where the star patterns would match up. And also, the writers meant for their to be a little uncertainty in their journey. They know what direction, but not how long or exactly where to go. They wanted to accomplish this by having the tomb be an exact map which ended up being damaged by a Cylon attack (like in the first series), but budget and time constraints forced them to get rid of that idea. So I think it isn’t nearly as far fetched as you do.

          • Espy says:

            Re: Suspension of disbelief
            I thought the line from the mini-series regarding FTL was, "Nobody’s done that in 20 years." Oh well.

            I think the fact that the producers did it that way isn’t far-fetched at all, although I’d argue that it would have been easier to swallow if there’d been sky on all sides, no planet, with the full zodiac in its proper position (sorta "we are Earth," instead of "we’re on Earth"). But the only information the characters gain from the map is that the map exists, and that earth has particular star configurations. I’m no astronomer, nor have I watched the episode lately, but as far as I can tell, nothing gives them a point in space or even a direction in which to go. The only way they could extract more information is if they had a super-powerful computer, and a map of the galaxy. And all that assumes that they realise that the constellations aren’t actually where they seemed to be in the sky. I know the writers are hard on their characters, and a lot depends on how they write their way out, but really, it doesn’t seem that bright of the people who left Kobol to leave what appears to be a completely useless map.

            SP

            • Eldhrin says:

              Re: Suspension of disbelief
              I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that nebula turns out to be the key to it. They know where it is – if they go there, maybe they’ll find a big arrow that says ‘go this way’. Or something more subtle with the same meaning.

              • pythor says:

                Re: Suspension of disbelief
                As I recall, the quote was along the lines of "I recognise that nebula."
                Now then, there’s only two ways to recognise something from two different points in space. One is to be far enough away that the difference in your position has very little affect on how it appears. When your positions are literally light-years apart, that’s highly unlikely, unless the object is the size of a galaxy cluster. Otherwise, it’s so far away it only looks like a point anway.
                The second way is to travel on a direct line toward or away from the nebula. In this case, the only difference in view is apparent size, which they may even have mentioned. I think I remember someone saying "Yeah, but it’s much bigger here," or "smaller than I remember." Something like that, anyway. Either way, it gives them a direction to go in. If the nebula is bigger when viewed from Earth, head towards it. At each jump, check and see if you recognise any of the other star patterns on the map. If you do, you’re getting close. If not, keep going. Once you reach the one system that you can recognise all the 12 constellations from, you’re there. Look around for a planet you can breath on." The process is the same if the nebula looks smaller from Earth, only you have to head away from it, not towards it.

  4. joe__gee says:

    THE ENDING OF THIS WEEK’S EPISODE :)))
    The “classical” music playing at the end of the documentary, the final little twist, man I love this series. :)

    -Joe G.

    • J_W_W says:

      Re: THE ENDING OF THIS WEEK’S EPISODE :)))

      The “classical” music playing at the end of the documentary, the final little twist, man I love this series. :)

      -Joe G.

      Yep. Goosebumps, that part was very cool. Then they get your reaction going 180 degrees the other way 2 minutes later. Amazing show.

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