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Battlestar Galactica “Kobol’s Last Gleaming, Parts 1 and 2” Review (1×12/1×13)

13 Jun

adama-shot

Father and son exchange blows. Pan up along two pairs of entwined legs, legs that belong to Starbuck and Baltar in a passionate bout of lovemaking. The former calls out Lee’s name. Sexy. Baltar doesn’t think so. It’s Galactica Sharon now, torn, with a gun in her mouth. It’s Caprica Sharon, shot and captured by Helo. He can’t bring himself to finish her off, and Galactica Sharon can’t do it, either.

This opening sequence is brilliantly crafted, and it’s both a culmination of various season-long storylines and a teaser for what’s to come. The episodes manage to service so many characters, pose new questions, and provide action, and they’re a showcase for some of the show’s best aspects. The discovery of Kobol sets all this in motion, and while I can’t help but be a little annoyed that the prophecies are all real, I also acknowledge that this development sets up intriguing character dynamics and moves the plot forward in ways we haven’t seen until now.

The finale brings the Adama-Roslin conflict to the forefront, with Adama’s military-based decisions clashing with Roslin’s civilian-based (and now, with more religious underpinnings than before) decisions. They’re both justified in their beliefs and unjustified in their actions, and while they are essentially fighting for the same goals, their ideologies don’t allow for compromise at this juncture; they each believe the other is bluffing, but neither is bluffing, and that’s why the situation deteriorates into a stand-off. It’s now up to Starbuck and Lee to make a stand.

Lee pulls a gun on Tigh during the stand-off, choosing to uphold what he said back in “Bastille Day” about democracy; like his father tells him to do at the beginning of part 1, he’s letting his instincts take over, but interestingly enough, is he really the one losing control here? Yes, you sometimes have to lose control to win, but if you’re met by an opposing force with an equal willingness to do what needs to be done, nothing gets accomplished.

You can only keep something hidden for so long, and as Starbuck ascertains through her conversation with Adama, that something is the lie he told about Earth. When she takes the Raider to find Oliver Queen the Arrow of Apollo, it goes against her Commander’s orders, but it isn’t necessarily for Roslin, either (just as with Lee pulling the gun on Tigh). It’s for herself and what she knows to be true: Kobol exists, and Adama lied to her; Adama realizes this, so he warns her not to regret her decision later, as the lack of regret is what allows him to live with it. When Starbuck finally finds the arrow and dispatches of Six in a thrilling fight, she comes face to face with Helo; it’s a moment of pure happiness that is later consumed by anger and panic at the sight of Boomer. Sackhoff is at her best here.

It’s similar to how Boomer herself, as she’s just about to detach the bomb, runs into a bunch of Boomers, all of whom are cleverly covered by shadows. It’s similar to how after she successfully blows up the ship–preceded by some lovely caressing of the bomb by one of the Cylons–and returns to the Galactica, she shoots Adama. Confusion is met with realization, and success is met with devastation. The final sequence of the episode transitions between Baltar and Six–embarking on a journey that takes them to Stonehenge 2.0 and to an opera house–and the events aboard the Galactica. It’s a thrilling way to close out the season, with fantasy and reality meshing and realizations abound, with chaos and desperation aboard the ship as William Adama lays there dying.

Everything’s changed, folks. It’s time to see how it all plays out.

GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-I really like the colors throughout the episode: the Galactica is, as always, Galactica-y, but Kobol (and Caprica, for that matter) provide some nice contrasts in imagery.

-What did Six and Baltar see? Presumably, a bunch of little Baltars jumping up and down professing their love for all things Baltar.

-Starbuck. Ya gotta love her determination during that fight with Six. Also, she wins.

-Hmm, so the episode raises more questions about Cylons and procreation and their biology in general. It looks like they have to make babies with humans. By the way, Sharon’s pregnant, and there are endless possibilities for this development (Cylon Babies is my new sitcom); this is sure to play a huge role in the Baltar/Six dynamic moving forward.

-I like the Adama/Boomer and Baltar/Boomer scenes very much. In the former, I actually read it as him knowing she tried to kill herself, with that playing a part in his decision about the mission. The latter is also a complex scene, as Baltar subtly tells her she’s a Cylon and nudges her toward attempting to kill herself.

-There’s some nice, subtle character work done with the Tyrol/Crashdown (what a fitting name, eh?)/Cally dynamic, even though we don’t see them very much.

-It would be hilarious if that arrow broke. They handled it like it was a cheap toy they found on the street. Six, with the assertive “throwing the precious arrow onto the ground” move.

-Baltar, your decision to not tell anyone about Boomer is looking even worse now.

-Good to see Billy questioning Roslin’s actions, because while I can understand why she might make the decisions here that she does, it also seems like a break from the level-headedness she’s had throughout the series.

-Speaking of Billy, the moment he shares with Dualla before the Roslin-Adama situation goes to shit is really great.

-Really excellent debut season overall. I look forward to what’s to come.

Photo credit: Syfy, Battlestar Galactica

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