Battlestar Galactica Review: The Road Less Travelled

This is last week’s episode. Apologies for the delay in the review’s arrival.

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
Callum Keith Rennie as Leoben Conoy

Synopsis

Tensions run increasingly high on the Demetrius as they find a heavily damaged Cylon heavy raider with a Leoben on board, and their deadline for returning to the fleet draws nearer. On Galactica, Baltar attempts to make peace with Tyrol.

High Points

  • “They have thought about it.”

Low Points

  • One starts to wonder if Tory and Baltar ever talk when they aren’t lying in the post-coital glow.
  • Has everybody on the Demetrius really and truly forgotten that Athena is also a Cylon? Has Athena buried all that in her determination to be what Boomer wanted to be? I would have expected Leoben’s appearance to cause some cracks, but it didn’t. Maybe it’s just a sign of the feasibility of cooperation with the Cylons.

The Scores

Originality: There’s nothing surprising about a mad, possibly inspired Captain suffering a mutiny by a crew who don’t share that vision. Fortunately it doesn’t feel like a well-trodden road. Even when using classic story elements, Galactica makes everything seem new and interesting. Five out of six.

Effects: Explosions, some blood and injuries… not much in the way of effects this week, but they’re done well. Five out of six.

Story: Old hints and suggestions are starting to pay off now. On New Caprica the Cylons tried (rather badly) to work with humans. Now some of them are being forced to, and it feels like we might see the fruits of that soon. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the answer to the situation could well be in true human/Cylon cooperation. That’s likely to cause a lot of fireworks though. The cliffhanger at the end of the episode is placed in the expected spot, but it’s better to have it and then use next week’s time to tell the story properly. Five out of six.

Acting: Katee Sackhoff was for me the standout star of this episode. She is so believably Starbuck, holding a fairly tenuous grip on her sanity, but underneath still the ace pilot and Colonial officer she was a year ago. Six out of six.

Production: Would you want to live on the Demetrius? No wonder the crew are getting edgy. The creaking and groaning it makes and the set design differentiate it hugely from the relative comfort of the Galactica. We don’t see much of the life of the rest of the fleet these days, and this reminds us how a lot of the others live, as well as giving an obviously different setting for Starbuck’s crew to get angsty. Five out of six.

Emotional response: Five out of six.

Overall: Six out of six.

The Road Less Travelled receives a grand total of thirty-seven out of forty-two.

7 replies on “Battlestar Galactica Review: The Road Less Travelled”

  1. rickyjames says:

    Contrivances
    I dunno…this storyline is all seeming a little too full of contrivances to me. Forget the (heh) deux ex machina Leoben finding the Demetrius even when her crew barely knows where it is themselves. Earlier, I noted how the plotline was about isolating individual characters instead of showing interaction and building relationships between them. Now that we ARE building relationships again, they seem to be very odd and the wrong ones, somehow. Leoben and Kara snuggling up painting in her quarters? Tyrol brandishing a gun and then extending a hand to Baltar after the latter barges into his quarters? Adama and Rosylin reading aloud a book that Bill doesn’t even know the ending to during her brief time left in her quarters? Saul going for S&M sessions in Six’s quarters?

    Somebody queue Charlie Richno one knows what goes on behing closed doors

    • Cerberus7 says:

      Re: Contrivances
      I think Adama made note of plot contrivances when talking to Rosalyn. I don’t know if in-character awareness is acceptable license for contrived plot, though. I guess we’ll see how this goes.

    • babasyzygy says:

      Re: Contrivances

      (heh) deux ex machina

      Very cute.

  2. madgnome says:

    Boring Episode
    Not sure what is was about this episode, but I found it really boring. I was glad when it was over.

    Compare that to this weeks episode where I was on the edge of my seat for most of it.

  3. 3vi1 says:

    WTF.
    I am quickly coming to the conclusion the not only did they jump the shark in the final seconds of last season’s closer, but that the writers really have no frickin’ clue anymore.

    We were told that this season was going to be "ACTION ACTION ACTION!!!". What did we get? A bunch of people walking around in their own personal downward spirals and more talk about God and Gods than your average Sunday school class. Baltar’s the only one getting constant action this season.

    Last season was great, because: the characters were really interesting. It was fun to crawl inside and look at things from their viewpoint. Now, they’ve turned Starbuck and just about everyone else into an unlikable headcase.

    Yes, please give us more scenes of Starbuck laughing while she’s crying. She’s crazy, we get it already.

    I really wouldn’t care if the Cylons killed them all at this point.

    -J

    • babasyzygy says:

      Re: WTF.
      Huh? Everything I read about this season wasn’t "ACTION ACTION ACTION!!" but "dark Dark DARK!!!"

      • tsunayoshi says:

        Re: WTF.

        Huh? Everything I read about this season wasn’t "ACTION ACTION ACTION!!" but "dark Dark DARK!!!"

        I’m just getting tired of the tagline each week after they show the preview scenes

        "Watch these scenes from next week’s episode WHEN ALL WILL BE REVEALED".

        I’ve been waiting to see everything revealed for the past 3 weeks now…

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