Apollo is assigned to work with the new Pegasus Commander, and Roslin must face an issue which puts her principles against the survival of the human race.

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
Michael Hogan as Col. Tigh
Tricia Helfer as Number 6
Grace Park as Sharon “Boomer” Valerii
Tahmoh Penikett as Helo
Aaron Douglas as CPO Galen Tyrol
Richard Hatch as Tom Zarek

Synopsis

Apollo is assigned to work alongside the new commander of the Pegasus, who is showing signs of instability. On Galactica, the arrival of a stowaway pregnant woman seeking an abortion forces Roslin to balance her ideals against the survival of the human race.

High Points

  • The ending of the episode was absolutely perfect. I’m at the edge of my seat wondering what the effects of this episode’s events are going to be, and the ending just reinforces that.
  • I’m glad the Quorum still have a part to play. They’ve been ignored far too much lately, and civilian life still goes on.

Low Point

It’s set a month after the previous episode. I’m not sure I like these increasingly large gaps between episodes; it feels like we’re missing out on things. We probably aren’t, but it loses some of the immediacy which we’ve had with the more tightly-packed episodes in the past.

The Scores

This episode is not hugely original, although as we’ve come to expect the tales told are given a treatment which rarely feels like we’ve seen it all before. Five out of six — more for the Pegasus storyline than the Roslin one.

The effects team treated us to some real visual feasts this week. I am, however, disappointed that they have succumbed to the temptation to make the DRADIS screens suffer interference that appears as static in an analogue video signal. Surely the system is interpreted by a computer, and thus bad data won’t result in bits and pieces of picture bouncing around the screen amidst a flurry of white noise. Unless this is some dubious visual indication of signal quality, of course. Five out of six.

There are two stories in this episode, and both are excellent. Neither feels cut down or wedged in alongside its counterpart; in fact, the balance between the two is just right. Six out of six.

Emotional response is strong this week as well, although not consistently enough for full marks. I can’t elaborate without spoiling the entire plot, so I won’t. Five out of six.

The acting was superb. McDonnell has always shown a strong talent when it comes to portraying Roslin having to make a difficult decision. Bamber shows similar ability this week, and Sackhoff treats us to a wonderful portrayal of everything which is the essence of Starbuck. I also felt that the new Pegasus commander was superbly cast. Six out of six.

The production can’t really be faulted, although I’m still dubious about the design of the Pegasus CIC. It seems unwise to have glass which can break during a battle in your ship’s command centre. Sure it’s nice on something like Cloud Nine, but Pegasus is a warship and as such shouldn’t scatter broken glass all over the place even when hit with a nuclear warhead. Five out of six.

For an overall score this week, I give this episode five out of six. It’s been a while since an episode was this tightly put together and gave us so much plot and character advancement. My only real criticism to add is that Dee was ignored throughout the latter part of the episode where her reactions should have been made known to us.

And that gives The Captain’s Hand a grand total of thirty-seven out of forty-two.