Battlestar Galactica Season 4, Episodes 1-3 Review

2 Aug



“If my brother had climbed out of that cockpit, would it matter if he were a Cylon…if he always had been? When all is said and done, would that really change how we feel about him?”

With the reveal of the Final Five, the ideas of loyalty and identity become even more muddled. The series has tackled myriad questions about humanity in relation to the Cylons, but now, it’s clear that those questions are going to get even tougher; now, even a Cylon hater like Colonel Tigh is going to have to grapple with his own self-concept, and he’s intending to fight against himself at any cost. And of course, everyone’s wondering whether Starbuck’s a Cylon or not, and the reintroduction of her character is extremely well done in this episode. It begins with a stunning and marvelously crafted opening sequence, and it ends with a tense standoff between her and Roslin (followed by a stupid “To be continued”, as is the show’s staple).

As for Baltar, I recognize that this is a very interesting storyline for him: having to look at himself and all the stuff he’s done over the course of his life, having to grapple with his guilt and identity. However, I can’t really bring myself to care about the way the cult is included here; I’ll wait and see where it leads, but as fantastic as Callis is, I feel like the writing could use some work here.



First of all, it’s interesting how Baltar sees Chip Baltar in his hallucinations here. Second of all, this is definitely a character-driven episode, and although the foundation is a bit thin, it’s still largely carried by great scenes between great actors. In particular, the Roslin-Adama conversation about Starbuck is excellent, and the final line–“You’re afraid that you’re not the dying leader you think you are and that your death will be as meaningless as everyone else’s”–is an absolute gut punch.

With the Cylons, Cavil and Six face off over the Raiders’ lobotomies and the role of the Final Five, and it all ends with a big shootout when Six decides she’s had enough of this shit. The Centurions now have free will, and that’s definitely going to make the Cylon story even more interesting.



Cally is far from my favorite character, but the way she goes out here is certainly difficult to watch. The episode really hammers home just how rapidly her marriage is falling apart, and the process is catalyzed by her finding out that Tyrol’s a Cylon. She can’t see past her “us vs. them” mentality here, but Tory is eventually able to manipulate her into giving up her child before sending her out the airlock. It’s a chilling moment, and it’s one of the first instances of someone doing something due to knowledge of being a Cylon.


Photo credit: Battlestar Galactica, Syfy

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