Battlestar Galactica Review: Escape Velocity

Fortunately everything worked in good time this week.

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

Tigh has increasing difficulty with his status as a Cylon, while Tyrol has to deal with his grief and Baltar’s cult suffers increasingly violent religious persecution.

High Points

  • “We have thirty thousand people left and they’re not happy unless they’re kicking each other’s teeth in!”
  • Tigh’s meetings with Six
  • Tyrol and Adama in the bar

Low Points

I really don’t think there are any.

The Scores

Originality: The parallels with the modern and historic worlds are increasingly obvious. The story’s still fantastic, but the originality suffers when you see bits of human history being played out in this little fleet of spaceships (albeit with some… modifications). Four out of six.

Effects: The Raptor crash wasn’t as good as most of the exploding ship effects we’ve seen. Unfortunate. Four out of six.

Story: There’s an awful lot going on now, and it gives a wonderfully pacey episode with significant events almost continuously throughout it. The only problem with this is that there’s not time to visit all the threads in each episode, but at least we do get a suitably-sized piece of each one each time to make sure things are progressing. Six out of six.

Acting: James Callis has a lovely ‘I’ve-been-hit-in-the-head’ look, and a great way of giving sermons. Six out of six.

Production: There is some gorgeous incidental music in this episode. Bear McCreary is a genius. Roslin is also looking subtly but increasingly ill, and that’s very well done. Six out of six.

Emotional response: It’s not quite up there with the end of last week, but it holds the emotions up and there’s a lot to care about. Actually it’s probably a good thing it’s not quite up with last week, I’m not sure I could handle that every episode. Five out of six.

Overall: Another excellent episode. Six out of six.

Escape Velocity receives thirty-seven out of forty-two. More please!

15 replies on “Battlestar Galactica Review: Escape Velocity”

  1. Dark Nexus says:

    Almost too much going on
    I almost felt that there was too much going on, and that there was almost no progress because of that.

    Sure, there was a little progress in all of the plotlines that were in the episode, but it was scattered among them all and it ended up just feeling like baby steps with no overall progress.

    • Alexius says:

      Re: Almost too much going on

      I almost felt that there was too much going on, and that there was almost no progress because of that.

      Sure, there was a little progress in all of the plotlines that were in the episode, but it was scattered among them all and it ended up just feeling like baby steps with no overall progress.

      I concur! It’s a lot of build up, we’re obviously going somewhere, but isn’t it time to be at the top of that first roller coaster hill already?

      • Trekkie says:

        Re: Almost too much going on

        I almost felt that there was too much going on, and that there was almost no progress because of that.

        Sure, there was a little progress in all of the plotlines that were in the episode, but it was scattered among them all and it ended up just feeling like baby steps with no overall progress.

        I concur! It’s a lot of build up, we’re obviously going somewhere, but isn’t it time to be at the top of that first roller coaster hill already?

        yay it wasn’t just me then. I always worry my expectations are too high but this episode seemed rushed to progress multiple plot lines it was rather hard to keep up. Granted by this time of the night I’ve had a few extra drinks and getting a little hazy some times but this time I was sober and was really felt like I was breathless by the end of the episode.

  2. lost says:

    Baltar’s Six
    Was it just me or did it seem like Baltar’s Six was more than just a halucination outside the temple when he was being beat up by the guards outside the temple. When Six picked him up, it looked like someone was holding him up from behind. When they showed it from the perspective of everyone else, it still looked like he was being held up, but this time by an invisible entity.

    • octa says:

      Re: Baltar’s Six
      Yeah, it reminded me of that scene in Fight Club. It’s not necessarily conclusive evidence there’s a supernatural entity controlling him. Would be super cool if it did turn out to be that :)

      I’m in the same boat of "too much plot lines, not enough progress." A lot and a little happened (does that make sense?). At the end of it, myself and the girlfriend both said "where the hell is this going?" at the same time. Was a funny moment.

      I hope they can pull this off.

    • valen1260 says:

      Re: Baltar’s Six

      Was it just me or did it seem like Baltar’s Six was more than just a halucination…

      I noticed that as well. Also, that Six gave Tori an interesting look at the very end of the episode. Was it jealousy, "You’re one of the Five!", or something else?

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: Baltar’s Six

        Was it just me or did it seem like Baltar’s Six was more than just a halucination…

        I noticed that as well. Also, that Six gave Tori an interesting look at the very end of the episode. Was it jealousy, "You’re one of the Five!", or something else?

        It really did seem like they were standing there together, and not actually figment and real person, err cylon. That was a very well done and subtle shot.

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: Baltar’s Six

      Was it just me or did it seem like Baltar’s Six was more than just a halucination outside the temple when he was being beat up by the guards outside the temple. When Six picked him up, it looked like someone was holding him up from behind. When they showed it from the perspective of everyone else, it still looked like he was being held up, but this time by an invisible entity.

      I’m thinking Baltar’s head-Six is more than just a hallucination, as is Caprica Six’s head-Baltar. We now know they can move between the flesh/skinjob Baltar and Six. I am wondering if the two can manifest in one person/cylon at the same time? I’m also wondering if they can act as messengers?

      I enjoyed this very busy episode.

      As for Chief, he has proven to himself that he does have other capabilities — he pulled a 24 hour shift and didn’t need sleep. He did what he did so he would be removed from a position of responsibility on Galactica’s flight deck. He believes Cylon programming can override free will. He doesn’t want to be used to sabotage the fleet’s defenses.

      -Joe

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: Baltar’s Six

        Was it just me or did it seem like Baltar’s Six was more than just a halucination outside the temple when he was being beat up by the guards outside the temple. When Six picked him up, it looked like someone was holding him up from behind. When they showed it from the perspective of everyone else, it still looked like he was being held up, but this time by an invisible entity.

        I’m thinking Baltar’s head-Six is more than just a hallucination, as is Caprica Six’s head-Baltar. We now know they can move between the flesh/skinjob Baltar and Six. I am wondering if the two can manifest in one person/cylon at the same time? I’m also wondering if they can act as messengers?

        I enjoyed this very busy episode.

        As for Chief, he has proven to himself that he does have other capabilities — he pulled a 24 hour shift and didn’t need sleep. He did what he did so he would be removed from a position of responsibility on Galactica’s flight deck. He believes Cylon programming can override free will. He doesn’t want to be used to sabotage the fleet’s defenses.

        -Joe

        As much as I loved Adama’s response to the Chief’s meltdown.
        He’s now just the latest of the four to cease to be a person AND for me cease to be a meaningful character on the show. Everything hes done is meaningless. Tori and the Chief are now plot devices to move along the story. Not to say that’s bad, but thats what they are now. Anders character isn’t as deep as the chief and I predict his cylon meltdown to happen in the next episode and to be a key factor in stopping Starbuck from finding Earth. Tigh stands as the best character of the four left and really the only one who I think has a chance to stay human. Six’s games with him this episode are really interesting and I think she’s aiming at making him feel more human and not more cylon. I’m certain the way she was acting that she knows hes one of the five. If Tigh ends up melting down and betraying Adama, I’ll be really dissapointed.

        • joe__gee says:

          Re: Baltar’s Six

          He’s now just the latest of the four to cease to be a person AND for me cease to be a meaningful character on the show. Everything hes done is meaningless. Tori and the Chief are now plot devices to move along the story. Not to say that’s bad, but thats what they are now. Anders character isn’t as deep as the chief and I predict his cylon meltdown to happen in the next episode and to be a key factor in stopping Starbuck from finding Earth. Tigh stands as the best character of the four left and really the only one who I think has a chance to stay human. Six’s games with him this episode are really interesting and I think she’s aiming at making him feel more human and not more cylon. I’m certain the way she was acting that she knows hes one of the five. If Tigh ends up melting down and betraying Adama, I’ll be really dissapointed.

          I’ve been thinking about this all week. For me, when I review their stories I wonder what else these four might have done, or where they might have been. When I see how these four have found their ways into positions of power I wonder how they fit into the overall plan.

          Who wrote the "there are twelve models" note that Adama found in his quarters? Who wrote "cylon" in Boomer’s locker? Why did these four end up where they are? Someone among the "final five" may be an enemy, but someone is also a friend.

          I don’t see any of them except Tori turning against their previous lives or natures. I just see this as another revelation about their characters. I don’t see what we know or have learned about any of these characters as meaningless unless they completely betray their nature. Back to Tori, we never knew that much about her other than she was Billy’s replacement.

          In the context of the show, the "final five" will answer the question of Cylon self will. Can any of them ever really be trusted? Can any of them ever really break free of their programming? Can any of them ever be more than they were engineered to be?

          I think the show has always been about the Cylons. If they can truly overcome their nature, humanity survives. If they can’t, it sucks to be a Colonist.

          -Joe

  3. aarku says:

    A couple of things
    I was disappointed that they didn’t investigate Cally’s death at all. It stands out as a plot hole in my mind. Baltar’s propping up by Six was very interesting. Rewatching it, it looks beyond what someone could act out without some sort of rig propping up a heck of a lot of his weight. And it was a bit weird seeing Admiral pips on Tigh’s collar. I’ll chalk it up to a wardrobe mishap. It was entertaining enough of an episode, but I kind of think there still is too much noise and character 180s to the point of I doubt the writers have some grand scheme, it’s more trying to make each episode work together and hope it all connects enough at the end. I must say I used this a lot in my DnD campaigns, and it does a good job at keeping your audience/players interested until they figure out what you’re doing. :p

  4. Kiersten says:

    Religious overtones
    Is anyone else wondering where all the religious overtones are going to lead? Is it going to be another Robert Jordan where the show gets so thick with the battle of the beliefs that there is no other story left to tell?

    Is this bothering anyone else out there or am I alone in this particular aspect of the Galactica universe.. ;)

    I mean, I like the gods vs the one true god and such, but, to me, they are dwelling on it rather than tastefully hinting towards it.

    I sure hope the future ones are better… there are ways to tell a story with religious aspects without shoving it down viewers throats.

    jmo

    K

    • valen1260 says:

      Re: Religious overtones

      I like the gods vs the one true god and such, but, to me, they are dwelling on it rather than tastefully hinting towards it.

      Agreed. Plus, Xena already did that, and I can’t help drawing comparisons. ;)

      • Timeshredder says:

        Re: Religious overtones

        I like the gods vs the one true god and such, but, to me, they are dwelling on it rather than tastefully hinting towards it.

        Agreed. Plus, Xena already did that, and I can’t help drawing comparisons. ;)

        They’re drawing upon the same historical events, of course. The Battlestar galaxy not only has the Classical pantheon and a Judeo-Christianesque God, this ep also mentions a Mithras cult.

        • joe__gee says:

          Re: Religious overtones

          They’re drawing upon the same historical events, of course. The Battlestar galaxy not only has the Classical pantheon and a Judeo-Christianesque God, this ep also mentions a Mithras cult.

          Interesting reading about the Mithras cult:

          "This remarkable explanation of the tauroctony is based on two facts. First, every figure found in the standard tauroctony has a parallel among a group of constellations located along a continuous band in the sky: the bull is paralleled by Taurus, the dog by Canis Minor, the snake by Hydra, the raven by Corvus, and the scorpion by Scorpio. Second, Mithraic iconography in general is pervaded by explicit astronomical imagery: the zodiac, planets, sun, moon, and stars are often portrayed in Mithraic art; in addition, numerous ancient authors speak about astronomical subjects in connection with Mithraism. In the writings of the Neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry, for example, we find recorded a tradition that the cave which is depicted in the tauroctony and which the underground Mithraic temples were designed to imitate was intended to be ‘an image of the cosmos.’"

          From http://www.mystae.com/restricted/streams/gnosis/mithra.html .

          In the BSG universe, a reverse map from Earth to Kobol or the Colonies?

          -Joe

Comments are closed.