Battlestar Galactica Review: The Oath

“You rebel scum!”

The original 70s Galactica ripped off Star Wars for television. Now the reimagined series takes us back to Lucas’s concept of a civil war in space– but it’s an entirely different look at that premise.

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
Bodie Olmos as Brendan “Hot Dog” Costanza
Grace Park as Athena

Premise

A rebellion breaks out on board the Galactica and elsewhere in the fleet.

High Point

Mass-media SF has often presented interstellar civil war, but rarely like this. Galactica gives us the Rebellion from the Empire’s perspective. We see plausible issues on both sides– issues that would sway people. While the Admiral and the President are not blameless, the show clearly sides with them. We’re seeing the dark side of self-proclaimed freedom fighters.

It’s also great to see the principal characters in Heroic Action again– though the outcome remains very much in doubt, and we may see things very differently in a few episodes.

Low Points

While I enjoyed seeing the Old Man and his Cylon sidekick leap into two-fisted action, their initial escape from the Marines seemed a little too John Wayne.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6. The characters have been divided amongst themselves frequently throughout this series, though never to this degree. However, as much as I like this episode, I cannot consider it terribly original. We’re dealing with a Space Rebellion. The Starbuck/Apollo plot plays like a videogame, though one with convincing characters.

Effects: 6/6.

Story: 5/6.

Acting: 5/6. The acting remains very strong in this show. Did anyone find Juliani’s performance a little too ratlike and shifty this week? Then again, maybe Gaeta would be.

I really liked the interaction between the President and Baltar. As a famous rebel once said, “Necessity never knew a good bargain.”

Emotional Response: 5/6. The final episodes, clearly, will take us on an unpredictable ride.

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 5/6.

In total “The Oath” receives 35/42

19 replies on “Battlestar Galactica Review: The Oath”

  1. joe__gee says:

    I loved this episode.
    The tension was very well managed. It was gripping. I agree with the reviewer, this will be one hell of a ride.

    After all of this time we are finally seeing these characters stripped bare. We’re seeing what they do when they’re cornered. It’s something. Laura is one steel-cored woman.

    My high point was Starbuck: "Follow me. Please." :)

    I love seeing Starbuck getting her fight back.

    -Joe

    • Alexius says:

      Re: I loved this episode.

      The tension was very well managed. It was gripping. I agree with the reviewer, this will be one hell of a ride.

      After all of this time we are finally seeing these characters stripped bare. We’re seeing what they do when they’re cornered. It’s something. Laura is one steel-cored woman.

      My high point was Starbuck: "Follow me. Please." :)

      I love seeing Starbuck getting her fight back.

      -Joe

      I liked seeing Starbuck take the "Shoot first, warn later" approach. The hardcore folks on TV are rarely seen being that upfront and direct.

      • Trekkie says:

        Re: I loved this episode.

        I liked seeing Starbuck take the "Shoot first, warn later" approach. The hardcore folks on TV are rarely seen being that upfront and direct.

        Yes this was one of the better points even after my slight rant below. One of the things that always annoys me about ‘bad guys’ on some TV shows.

        • J_W_W says:

          Re: I loved this episode.

          I liked seeing Starbuck take the "Shoot first, warn later" approach. The hardcore folks on TV are rarely seen being that upfront and direct.

          Yes this was one of the better points even after my slight rant below. One of the things that always annoys me about ‘bad guys’ on some TV shows.

          I agree. That scene with Starbuck rocked. she acted like a real hard core soldier and didn’t allow the typical TV standoff.

          Also at the end the rebels used maximum force instead of engaging in a standoff.

          Well I guess this week picked up the lace. ;-)

          • J_W_W says:

            Re: I loved this episode.

            I liked seeing Starbuck take the "Shoot first, warn later" approach. The hardcore folks on TV are rarely seen being that upfront and direct.

            Yes this was one of the better points even after my slight rant below. One of the things that always annoys me about ‘bad guys’ on some TV shows.

            I agree. That scene with Starbuck rocked. she acted like a real hard core soldier and didn’t allow the typical TV standoff.

            Also at the end the rebels used maximum force instead of engaging in a standoff.

            Well I guess this week picked up the lace. ;-)

            ooops. While picking up the lace might be good in an episode involving six. In this episode they picked up the pace….

  2. Trekkie says:

    I don’t know.
    I’ll be honest, I think the gaps between the shows airings have yanked me out of the storyline. I guess maybe I’ll watch the DVDs and mainline it in, but the rebellion led by Gaeta rings hollow to me in that I must be missing something because I don’t see him breaking that badly enough to kill even the president.

    It may be just me, or my disappointment in the end, or the disappointment in the giant gaps between episodes filtering in that I’m not near as emotionally vested in it as I was say when Season 3 started. I just don’t see the kick ass show we watched a few years ago. I do watch it, but the last three episodes have really been more of a ‘that’s it??’ than a ‘oh wow’ like it used to be.

    I’m not looking forward to the magic survival mechanism from tossing that grenade into a small room and the drama that will arouse based on the previews. Maybe I’m more of a ships blowing up kinda person than a drama person, I don’t know, but I just don’t feel the love anymore.

    • jesusX says:

      Re: I don’t know.

      I’m not looking forward to the magic survival mechanism from tossing that grenade into a small room and the drama that will arouse based on the previews.

      I presume it will have been a flash-bang and not a lethal grenade.

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: I don’t know.

        I’m not looking forward to the magic survival mechanism from tossing that grenade into a small room and the drama that will arouse based on the previews.

        I presume it will have been a flash-bang and not a lethal grenade.

        I think Tigh may have dove on it to protect Adama.

    • TomSwiss says:

      Re: I don’t know.

      the rebellion led by Gaeta rings hollow to me in that I must be missing something because I don’t see him breaking that badly enough to kill even the president.

      He doesn’t know who’s on that raptor.

      I’m not looking forward to the magic survival mechanism from tossing that grenade into a small room

      It doesn’t take a miracle to survive a flash-bang or a gas grenade, they’re meant to be non-lethal.

    • y42 says:

      "Yeah, semper frakking fi"

      I’ll be honest, I think the gaps between the shows airings have yanked me out of the storyline. […]
      It may be just me, or my disappointment in the end, or the disappointment in the giant gaps between episodes filtering in that I’m not near as emotionally vested in it as I was say when Season 3 started.

      It’s not just you, I felt the same the past two weeks.
      But this ep got me back on board: kick ass action, and people being nasty and human and everything.

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: "Yeah, semper frakking fi"

        I’ll be honest, I think the gaps between the shows airings have yanked me out of the storyline. […]
        It may be just me, or my disappointment in the end, or the disappointment in the giant gaps between episodes filtering in that I’m not near as emotionally vested in it as I was say when Season 3 started.

        It’s not just you, I felt the same the past two weeks.
        But this ep got me back on board: kick ass action, and people being nasty and human and everything.

        I think Gaeta’s turn to darkness is totally plausible. I’ve never really liked/trusted his character. I even thought he was a cylon for a long time.

        Had one of Ron Moore’s coin flips turned out differently, heck, he might have actually been one.

        • Jethro says:

          Re: "Yeah, semper frakking fi"

          Had one of Ron Moore’s coin flips turned out differently, heck, he might have actually been one.

          Heck had Ron Moore’s coin flip turned out different YOU might have been a Cylon!

          • jesusX says:

            Re: "Yeah, semper frakking fi"

            Heck had Ron Moore’s coin flip turned out different YOU might have been a Cylon!

            Only in Soviet Russia.

          • J_W_W says:

            Re: "Yeah, semper frakking fi"

            Had one of Ron Moore’s coin flips turned out differently, heck, he might have actually been one.

            Heck had Ron Moore’s coin flip turned out different YOU might have been a Cylon!

            Based on the shows interpretation of Earth, we all are Cylons.

    • ultraexactzz says:

      Re: I don’t know.

      …but the rebellion led by Gaeta rings hollow to me in that I must be missing something because I don’t see him breaking that badly enough to kill even the president.

      If you watched to webisodes, I think it’s pretty clear where he is coming from.

      My take is that He thinks the Cylons have a plan for him (having watched an eight kill 5 people to ensure his survival). He also learned that one of the eights was playing him on New Caprica, both by seducing him and by executing people he had thought he was rescuing. That, and he blames Starbuck (and her trust in the cylons) for the loss of his leg. Zarek saw an opportunity and grabbed it.

      The really appalling thing, to me at least, is that Gaeta had the balls to put on the diamond-shaped Commander’s insignia once he took over the ship. As much as I like the character, I think he needs to suck vacuum for this.

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: I don’t know.

      I guess maybe I’ll watch the DVDs and mainline it in, but the rebellion led by Gaeta rings hollow to me in that I must be missing something because I don’t see him breaking that badly enough to kill even the president.

      This is the first time the webisodes really expanded on a character to help along the main story line. The webisodes about Gaeta and the 8 are actually like a 2008 episode that they couldn’t find room for.

      Gaeta supplied names and information to the Cylons on New Caprica, probably more than his boss, all for a piece of 8. (Oh that’s priceless. :) )

      Gaeta was, and is, a weasel.

      -Joe

      • y42 says:

        Re: I don’t know.

        Gaeta supplied names and information to the Cylons on New Caprica, probably more than his boss, all for a piece of 8. (Oh that’s priceless. :) )

        OOOooooh! Pirate humour!
        How utterly appropriate :)

      • Fozzy_Bear says:

        Re: I don’t know.


        all for a piece of 8.

        -Joe

        Yes… Bravo, Joe. that was awesome.

      • Timeshredder says:

        Re: I don’t know.

        Gaeta supplied names and information to the Cylons on New Caprica, probably more than his boss, all for a piece of 8. (Oh that’s priceless. :) )
        -Joe

        As opposed to Baltar, who betrayed his people for a piece of…. Ah, sorry. Never mind.

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