The review of this most difficult of episodes lies within. Unfortunately some minor spoilers have crept into it; I couldn’t do it justice any other way.

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
Dean Stockwell as Brother Cavell

Spoiler Warning

I’ve tried, but I’ve found it very difficult to write a review of this episode in my normal format which doesn’t have any spoilers in it. If you’ve not seen it yet, the final score is thirty-eight out of forty-two. Now please do not read any further.

Synopsis

Starbuck’s rescue mission is trapped on Caprica. In the fleet, the Presidential election results come in.

High Points

  • The cut between the two Brother Cavells praying
  • Starbuck: ‘We do the same thing we always do. Fight ’em ’til we can’t.’
  • Roslin and Baltar’s little chat in the Admiral’s quarters.
  • The loss of her baby has sent Sharon into a deep crisis, and this is shown well. Why should she trust them now?
  • Although they know the consequences, Adama and Roslin eventually uphold their principles.
  • Best high point: the moment Baltar realises he’s betrayed humanity again.

Low Point

  • Why didn’t Starbuck put her helmet back on before going out scouting? That’s an elementary mistake.
  • The swearing-in ceremony was irritating. I think I didn’t like the priest.
  • The Baltar/Six scene on Cloud Nine was a bit drawn out.

The Scores

Well. Originality. I certainlly don’t think anybody expected much of what happened this week. Five out of six.

The effects this week were generally excellent. I still don’t think the robot Cylons really fit into their environment properly, which feels like a recent thing, but we were treated to a stupendously good large explosion. Five out of six.

Last week I suspected that the story would turn out to be more than a two-parter, and I was right, as we again end on a cliffhanger. Where the story takes us between the two cliffhangers is quite unexpected. We’re seeing here a big shift in the Galactica story, and a radical departure from the old series. The perfect thing is that it’s all plausible and a natural outgrowth of what was already happening. Some people are bound to be upset by it, but I doubt we can get more than five episodes into season three without the situation changing again. Six out of six.

The emotional response wasn’t as high as I might have expected given the events and the characters. Perhaps I’m just getting numb. Five out of six.

A long episode is tough on the acting as well as the story, but everyone held together. Particular mentions for Dean Stockwell perfectly pulling off a monologue delivered by two of himself, James Callis for the perfectly decadent, despairing and utterly, utterly self-serving portrayal of Gaius Baltar, and Aaron Douglas, for showing where Tyrol’s real strength lies. We may also pause for a moment to contemplate how Tricia Helfer can show you which particular Six she is playing before she even says anything. Six out of six.

The production team had their work cut out again this week, but they did very well. Where they need crowding, they did it, and where they need squalor, there’s plenty of it. Five out of six.

Overall, six out of six. This will shift the direction of the show for the third season, and things are never quite going to be the same again.

And so the end of season two of Battlestar Galactica receives a grand total of thirty-eight out of forty-two.