The fourth season kicks off with several bangs and some shouting.

Cast

James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar
Edward James Olmos as Admiral Adama
Mary McDonnell as Laura Roslin
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
Kandyse McClure as Anastasia “Dee” Dualla
Alessandro Juliani as Felix Gaeta
Rekha Sharma as Tory Foster
Michael Trucco as Samuel T. Anders

Synopsis

The four newly-revealed Cylons try to cope with their newfound identities while still being true to who they want to be. Starbuck’s return raises more questions than it answers as she insists they’re on the wrong path if they want to go to Earth. As if that wasn’t enough to worry about, Gaius Baltar is rescued by a cult of the ‘one true God’ who treat him as a prophet, a role embraced by the Six in his head.

High Points

  • Baltar’s prayer for Derek and his subsequent acceptance of what it meant
  • “I don’t know why I’m here… yes I do.”

Low Points

  • Baltar’s rescued by a cult of beautiful women. Right.
  • Roslin’s interview with Six was too short. What did she say after Six’s little revelation?

The Scores

Originality: Some parts of this story are feeling familiar. I know the setup for Baltar being treated like Jesus Christ has been there for a long time, but I’m sure they can do better than a death, resurrection and bodily ascent into Heaven. Please. Four out of six.

Effects: Seeing jumps from Starbuck’s perspective is interesting and also an effective tool given this episode’s events, but the real effects wizardry this week is at the start with a space battle at least as lavish and beautifully rendered as the one which led to the destruction of the Pegasus. This episode must have been very expensive. Six out of six.

Story: Picking up exactly where the previous episode left off, this one resolutely refuses to resolve any questions other than ‘how are they going to survive more than five minutes?’, which was the immediately pressing question at the end of the previous season. Instead it shows us what’s turning into a conflict of prophets — Roslin, Starbuck and Baltar. An uneven conflict, since Baltar doesn’t know what he wants, but that could change. There are a lot of questions being raised, a lot of story still to tell. Five out of six.

Acting: Particular kudos to Katee Sackhoff this week for taking Starbuck’s confusion and displacement and giving it palpable life on the screen. She was, fortunately, backed up by the rest of a superb cast. Six out of six.

Production: It’s Battlestar Galactica in every detail. The only thing I felt jarred a little was the hideout where Baltar was taken. It seems a bit too lavish given the conditions in the fleet — and aren’t candles a bad idea on a spaceship, or does the Galactica have really stupendous carbon dioxide recycling? Who’d be making candles under those conditions anyway? Four out of six.

Emotional response: There’s a moment I thought my heart was going to stop. Fortunately the rest of the episode didn’t maintain that intensity, otherwise Galactica could become a leading cause of emergency hospital admissions. Even after the long season break, I still care about these characters. Six out of six.

Overall: A tremendous episode. How they’re going to work this all out in one season I do not know. Six out of six.

He That Believeth In Me kicks off the final season of Battlestar Galactica and wow. There’s a lot still to be done, but the ride’s going to be great. Thirty-seven out of forty-two.