Battlestar Galactica Review: A Disquiet Follows My Soul

Fissures develop in the fleet as the last remnants of humanity prepare to war on each other.

Cast and Crew

Written and Directed by Ronald D. Moore

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 Colonel Saul Tigh
Alessandro Juliani as Lt. Felix Gaeta

Richard Hatch as Tom Zarek

James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar

Tricia Helfer as Number 6
Aaron Douglas as Chief Petty Officer Galen Tyrol
Donnelly Rhodes as Doctor Cottle
Bodie Olmos as Brendan “Hot Dog” Costanza

Kerry Norton as Paramedic Layne Ishay
Grace Park as Athena

Premise

Adama’s alliance with the Cylons causes fissures among the fleet, and civil war looms.

High Point

Star Trek featured, say, two-tone aliens who provided commentary on human racism and alien conflicts as a means to examine terrorism. I can still enjoy these, but with shows such as Charlie Jade and Galactica, real-world political commentary in mass-media SF has grown up. These episodes demonstrate very plausible (if often stupid and destructive) human behavior. We see how civil wars develop, how prejudices take hold, why terrorism can appeal, and why people will sell out deeply-held, hard-won ideals under pressure. Heroes and villains cannot be easily identified, nor can solutions.

Low Points

The baby’s father conundrum may have an important part to play, and I thought they handled it well, but it paled next to the rest of the episode, and felt kind of soap opera—-what the Turkey City Lexicon calls “false humanity.” However, it’s a minor point, and one I’m willing to recind as a “Low Point,” depending on how it turns out.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6 Very little that is original happens here, though it happens well.

Effects: 6/6. I particularly liked the shots of the ships interacting. Galactica‘s visuals have always had a worn, workaday quality that supports its status a drama with an SF setting, rather than the typical media SF franchise.

Story: 4/6. It’s always difficult to fairly assess a portion of a larger story. This episode obviously sets the basis for some very significant developments that will occur over, likely, the remainder of the series. What I find worth mentioning is how plausibly and naturally the plot follows from the circumstances of the previous episode.

Acting: 5/6. The acting remains strong, though this episode has fewer standout scenes than last week’s, and they’re more subtle. I like the fact that even minor characters, such as Paramedic Ishay, receive their moments and play them well.

Emotional Response: 5/6.

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 5/6. This episode has me anticipating next week’s.

In total “A Disquiet Follows My Soul” receives 34/42

19 replies on “Battlestar Galactica Review: A Disquiet Follows My Soul”

  1. TheDawgLives says:

    Low Point
    I agree with the low point, but for a different reason. I felt like it was a complete reversal of the first 3.5 seasons. The significance of the hybrid was built up, even supposedly saving Roslin, and now we learn that it was all a lie? It felt like a cheap trick.

    • zocalo says:

      Re: Low Point

      The significance of the hybrid was built up, even supposedly saving Roslin, and now we learn that it was all a lie? It felt like a cheap trick.

      Different child. The one you are referring to is the child of Boomer and Agathon which is still presumably around somewhere, although now we also have the issue of where the new conception fits into the puzzle instead.

      • apetrovic says:

        Re: Low Point

        Different child. The one you are referring to is the child of Boomer and Agathon

        Athena and Agathon. Boomer is the messy one, a sleeper who shooted Adama and later betrayed other Sharons, maybe dead after the Resurrection ship destruction.

        Athena, aka The Most Trusted Cylon In The Universe, is Adama’s surrogate daughter (a nod to original series), the one who saved the entire fleet more than once, the one who can shoot allies under a truce and go with just a few days in a brig, and a Cylon that can lead military squad to bring down mutiny against Cylons on ships – which I consider very, very cool :)

    • jesusX says:

      Re: Low Point

      I agree with the low point, but for a different reason. I felt like it was a complete reversal of the first 3.5 seasons. The significance of the hybrid was built up, even supposedly saving Roslin, and now we learn that it was all a lie? It felt like a cheap trick.

      As the other guy said, that’s a different child. Also, RDM said earlier he wasn’t sure they’d be able to tackle the significance of Nicolas in S4, so I’m rather glad they did this. This leaves Hera as unique, and allows us to not have Nicky’s half human/half cylon nature ignored.

      • TheDawgLives says:

        Re: Low Point

        As the other guy said, that’s a different child. Also, RDM said earlier he wasn’t sure they’d be able to tackle the significance of Nicolas in S4, so I’m rather glad they did this. This leaves Hera as unique, and allows us to not have Nicky’s half human/half cylon nature ignored.

        OK, I feel better now.

  2. J_W_W says:

    Slllooooowwww episode
    This episode really seemed to drag on and on. The previews from last week made it seem like the Tilliam(sp?) ship conflict would come to a head, but that gets pushed off to next week.

    Lots of building conflict and angst and not much really going on this episode apart from Roslin and Adama sleeping together finally!

    My high point for the episode was Starbuck’s reluctant converstation with Gaeta. Every word out of Starbuck’s mouth was just laced with an edge of "go the frak away!". I was actually hoping during the scene that Starbuck would eventually stab him with her fork….

    On that note the writers have done an exceptional job turning Gaeta from a sympathetic character to someone I completely loath and despise.

    In the buildup to what will be the eventual rebellion, I keep thinking that if Zarek and Gaeta pull it off, everyone will end up dead. However, I’ve been thinking for a long time now that this series will end with everyone dead….

    On another note, I am actually really frustrated about the opening montage of this show. As it keeps changing season to season, the meaning of it just… goes away. First, in seasons one and two, the Cylons "had a plan". Then in season 3 their "plan" disappeared and now the humans were "looking for Earth". Now Earth’s frakked and they’re looking for "a home". Mind you the opening credits are following what happened in the show, but all along there is never any payoff. As for them fining a "home" we’ll see. The credit montage has never paid off yet….

  3. J_W_W says:

    Slllooooowwww episode
    This episode really seemed to drag on and on. The previews from last week made it seem like the Tilliam(sp?) ship conflict would come to a head, but that gets pushed off to next week.

    Lots of building conflict and angst and not much really going on this episode apart from Roslin and Adama sleeping together finally!

    My high point for the episode was Starbuck’s reluctant converstation with Gaeta. Every word out of Starbuck’s mouth was just laced with an edge of "go the frak away!". I was actually hoping during the scene that Starbuck would eventually stab him with her fork….

    On that note the writers have done an exceptional job turning Gaeta from a sympathetic character to someone I completely loath and despise.

    In the buildup to what will be the eventual rebellion, I keep thinking that if Zarek and Gaeta pull it off, everyone will end up dead. However, I’ve been thinking for a long time now that this series will end with everyone dead….

    On another note, I am actually really frustrated about the opening montage of this show. As it keeps changing season to season, the meaning of it just… goes away. First, in seasons one and two, the Cylons "had a plan". Then in season 3 their "plan" disappeared and now the humans were "looking for Earth". Now Earth’s frakked and they’re looking for "a home". Mind you the opening credits are following what happened in the show, but all along there is never any payoff. As for them fining a "home" we’ll see. The credit montage has never paid off yet….

    • J_W_W says:

      Re: Slllooooowwww episode

      This episode really seemed to drag on and on. The previews from last week made it seem like the Tilliam(sp?) ship conflict would come to a head, but that gets pushed off to next week.

      Lots of building conflict and angst and not much really going on this episode apart from Roslin and Adama sleeping together finally!

      My high point for the episode was Starbuck’s reluctant converstation with Gaeta. Every word out of Starbuck’s mouth was just laced with an edge of "go the frak away!". I was actually hoping during the scene that Starbuck would eventually stab him with her fork….

      On that note the writers have done an exceptional job turning Gaeta from a sympathetic character to someone I completely loath and despise.

      In the buildup to what will be the eventual rebellion, I keep thinking that if Zarek and Gaeta pull it off, everyone will end up dead. However, I’ve been thinking for a long time now that this series will end with everyone dead….

      On another note, I am actually really frustrated about the opening montage of this show. As it keeps changing season to season, the meaning of it just… goes away. First, in seasons one and two, the Cylons "had a plan". Then in season 3 their "plan" disappeared and now the humans were "looking for Earth". Now Earth’s frakked and they’re looking for "a home". Mind you the opening credits are following what happened in the show, but all along there is never any payoff. As for them fining a "home" we’ll see. The credit montage has never paid off yet….

      Frak, double posted again!! Arrgh!! My browser keeps throwing an error. Maybe it’s my firewall. Sorry.

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: Slllooooowwww episode

      On another note, I am actually really frustrated about the opening montage of this show. As it keeps changing season to season, the meaning of it just… goes away. First, in seasons one and two, the Cylons "had a plan". Then in season 3 their "plan" disappeared and now the humans were "looking for Earth". Now Earth’s frakked and they’re looking for "a home".

      Heh, the Cylons had a plan (eliminate humanity) until that plan met the real world and a small group of human resistance fighters. Then the Cylons changed their plan (contain humanity) that also did not survive contact with reality.

      Laura’s visions were strong enough, and Baltar’s conduct on New Caprica was slimy enough to convince surviving humanity that earth was a worthy goal.

      We met the four when a line in space was crossed. A question of my own, had that line never been crossed, would Tory, Tigh, Anders, and Tyrol simply continued on in their lives, eventually to die like Ellen?

      Personally I think we’re now being told the story of the lords of Kobol and the 13 tribes, which makes me wonder, Kobol was never nuked …

      Gaeta’s conversion is further clarified in the webisodes that lead up to the second half of this season.

      My high point besides Laura and Bill finally fraking, was Chief’s we / them explanation to Adama and company about Cylon technology.

      I also enjoyed watching Adama in his routine and how he reverted back to his daily grind. Adama uses routine to find his center. What may have been slow for some, to me, gave more insight into his character.

      We’re now seeing how each character copes with ultimate loss.

      Dee went through a meltdown. So did Laura. They’re just using different tools to accomplish the same goal. My hope is that Laura can be refocused to continue the fight and that Baltar will somehow become the dying leader, but a clue shown on the web site has the Last Supper picture with no Laura. What’s with Adama’s pill popping?

      The metal of Adama and Tigh, is very, very tough. Tigh didn’t really find himself until he realized his true nature, and realizing he was a Cylon seems to have been a gift that has freed him from the demons that hobbled him.

      Gaeta, being cornered, is like the dog that bares its teeth at anyone who comes too close, even friends.

      This is the end of the series, pay attention and don’t blink. :)

      -Joe

      • y42 says:

        Re: Slllooooowwww episode

        The metal of Adama and Tigh, is very, very tough

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mettle ?

      • jesusX says:

        Re: Slllooooowwww episode

        What’s with Adama’s pill popping?

        I think we’re lead to assume it’s a pain pill like ibuprofen or whatever, something over the counter, as Adama grimaces a lot. I also think that this is a foreshadow that Adama will become the dying leader. Laura will have beaten her cancer, and Bill will die as they find a new home. :)

        • Tekzel says:

          Re: Slllooooowwww episode

          What’s with Adama’s pill popping?

          I think we’re lead to assume it’s a pain pill like ibuprofen or whatever, something over the counter, as Adama grimaces a lot. I also think that this is a foreshadow that Adama will become the dying leader. Laura will have beaten her cancer, and Bill will die as they find a new home. :)

          I am with the guy above that said he thinks everyone will die. I also HOPE that everyone will die. I mean, it certainly would be different as most shows try to end on a heroic up note. This series has been so awesomely grim throughout that ending on that kind of note would be just perfect, in my opinion.

        • krilia says:

          Re: Slllooooowwww episode

          What’s with Adama’s pill popping?

          I think we’re lead to assume it’s a pain pill like ibuprofen or whatever, something over the counter, as Adama grimaces a lot. I also think that this is a foreshadow that Adama will become the dying leader. Laura will have beaten her cancer, and Bill will die as they find a new home. :)

          Or he just had a hangover headache, if this is immediately after the episode before.

      • Fozzy_Bear says:

        Re: Slllooooowwww episode


        I also enjoyed watching Adama in his routine and how he reverted back to his daily grind. Adama uses routine to find his center.

        -Joe

        I remember commenting out loud when I watched the ep…

        "Isn’t that like the fourth time he’s brushed his teeth this ep?"

        Just one of the little things that doesn’t seem like much when you’re watching, but when you look back makes you realize how bad all the other shows out there are for not including things like that.

        Was that last bit coherent?

        .

      • matthewd says:

        Re: Slllooooowwww episode

        On another note, I am actually really frustrated about the opening montage of this show. As it keeps changing season to season, the meaning of it just… goes away. First, in seasons one and two, the Cylons "had a plan". Then in season 3 their "plan" disappeared and now the humans were "looking for Earth". Now Earth’s frakked and they’re looking for "a home".

        Heh, the Cylons had a plan (eliminate humanity) until that plan met the real world and a small group of human resistance fighters. Then the Cylons changed their plan (contain humanity) that also did not survive contact with reality.

        I’m not sure that was the plan. I seem to recall the Cylons took up residence on Caprica and were doing reproductive experiments on survivors. They didn’t want to eliminate humanity completely (no test subjects). Which raises far too many questions that were never answered. Why did the Cylons decide to commit genocide? How does that relate to their apparent desire to obtain reproductive capabilities? Wouldn’t it have been easier to infiltrate human society to make babies? Were there any other pockets of survivors on Caprica or any other of the 11 planets? I don’t remember anyone checking much less asking whether we should send out scouts to find any other survivors. Why did the Cylons decide they no longer wanted to kill all humans on New Caprica? What’s the goal in "containing" humanity?

        Too much of what the Cylons have done is unexplained or inexplicable. And it seems like it is all because Ron Moore is making it up as he goes along.

        Compare the opening montages of BSG with Babylon 5’s. B5’s set up the story that was being told through the each season, there was a payoff as the story unfolded, and there were consequences that carried through into the next seasons.

        • Kiersten says:

          Re: Slllooooowwww episode
          snipped for brevity

          Compare the opening montages of BSG with Babylon 5’s. B5’s set up the story that was being told through the each season, there was a payoff as the story unfolded, and there were consequences that carried through into the next seasons.

          I miss B5.
          But that was a good point! Thank you for that insight! ;)

          Kris

        • Fozzy_Bear says:

          Re: Slllooooowwww episode


          Compare the opening montages of BSG with Babylon 5’s. B5’s set up the story that was being told through the each season, there was a payoff as the story unfolded, and there were consequences that carried through into the next seasons.

          If ya’ ask me… B5’s "Severed Ties" is the best hour of television ever produced.

          Then come the three hours of "War Without End", in reverse order.

          But to be honest, I put the return to New Caprica of the galactica right at number 5 in my book (don’t remember that EP’s name… but it’s the one when the Jumped into the atmosphere… simply awesome.)

          B5 rules, but the best of BSG can occasionally come close.

          JMHO.

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