Food shortages force the fleet to make a dangerous trip through a dense star cluster to a planet where they can harvest algae to replenish their food processors.

Cast

James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar
Edward James Olmos as Admiral Adama
Mary McDonnell as 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 “Athena” Agathon/Boomer

Tahmoh Penikett as Helo
Aaron Douglas as Galen Tyrol
Luciana Carro as Louanne “Kat” Katraine
Kandyse McClure as Anastasia “Dee” Dualla
Callum Keith Rennie as Leoben Conoy
Nicki Clyne as Cally Henderson
Alessandro Juliani as Felix Gaeta
Rekha Sharma as Tory Foster
Lucy Lawless as D’Anna Biers

Synopsis

With food shortages compounded by contaminated storage facilities, the fleet must make a dangerous passage through a dense star cluster to a planet where they can harvest algae to replenish their supplies. On the Cylon Basestar, Baltar and D’Anna work to find out about the final five.

High Points

  • Adama and Tigh talking about paper shortages
  • Starbuck and Kat’s confrontation
  • Starbuck’s visit to the medbay
  • The very final scene

Low Points

  • Baltar’s unnecessary reminder of what D’Anna has been up to, halfway through the episode after we’ve already been told what she’s been up to. A minor moment, but it jarred me out of my suspension of disbelief for a bit.

The Scores

Originality: I was almost convinced that they weren’t going to go one way, then I became convinced that they would and that they’d never take the story another way, but then it started heading that way… there are a few surprises in here, although there’s definitely some well-trodden material albeit with the usual Galactica twist. If you just read the premise, it is also reminiscent of an episode of the original series of Galactica, but doesn’t really feel like it once you sit down to watch it. Five out of six.

Effects: I wish I could watch this in HD to see the effects properly, because the shots of raptors and other ships in the middle of the star cluster with their hulls slowly burning away were absolutely gorgeous. There were also some wonderful visual moments around some of the jumps within the cluster. I should also mention the makeup. Six out of six.

Story: And so we come to what is essentially the story of Kat and how she got here and who she is. While the start of the episode springs onto us pretty quickly — it might have been nice if the food shortages had been mentioned last week as a growing problem — we’re quickly into the flow of things, and we certainly do come in at a tense and worrying point. The Cylon plot seems unrelated at first, but it’s clear that the two lines are heading for a collision fairly soon, possibly in a giant mid-season cliffhanger. The sense of impending doom is palpable. Five out of six.

Acting: Katee Sackhoff and Luciana Carro take the prize this week. Unfortunately Tahmoh Penikett didn’t do the worried husband role very well, preferring to stand about looking like he had something stuck in his teeth. Fortunately he doesn’t have much screen time in that situation. Five out of six.

Production: Some very well-chosen camera angles in the raptors during their escort runs through the cluster, and it’s good to see the hall on Galactica where all the photos are. It’s still a very powerful place, and I hope it continues to be used throughout the series. Five out of six.

Emotional response: There’s a lot of tension here, and the end of the episode is a particularly emotional one. Five out of six.

Overall: A much better episode than last week’s, and hopefully it will have regained the interest of anybody who flagged after last week’s disappointing showing. Five out of six.

And so The Passage gets a grand total of thirty-six out of forty-two.