Battlestar Galactica Season 4, Episodes 16-19 Review

25 Aug


EPISODE 16: “Deadlock”

I’m kind of disappointed there isn’t more mutiny fallout in recent episodes. I see what this one is trying to accomplish with its love triangle, but the hour is so full of melodrama and forced motivations that the message gets lost in the shuffle. Although the actors involved elevate a weak script, the complex questions at the center of the show are reduced to bullet points and Ellen Tigh regresses to her usual insufferable self. Of course, that’s the point the episode wants to make about change and identity, but coming after a character shift seen in “No Exit”, it’s a very disappointing move by the writers. However, I do like the way Liam’s death can be seen as Six’s action in the miniseries coming full circle.

EPISODE 17: “Someone to Watch Over Me”

This is the kind of character story that the show does better, and though the episode certainly has its fair share of flaws, it’s still more compelling to see into Starbuck’s story than into Ellen Tigh’s. From the first sequence on, we’re reminded of the daily monotony of life–the mutiny seemed to be a mini jolt for her–of the way these characters have to push through even though the light’s fading at the end of the tunnel. And by tying together the Starbuck and Tyrol storylines, the show creates a haunting, foreboding mood as the past continues to tear people apart from within. Starbuck’s Starbuck because of her painful past, but that doesn’t mean she’s without her vulnerabilities.

EPISODE 18: “Islanded in a Stream of Stars”

“Islanded” seems to revolve around the idea of endings, whether that be death or coming full circle or the actual finish of this series. It’s an hour filled with a funeral, talks of a suicide mission, a dead person walking, and the gradual decline of a great ship. It’s the calm before the storm, but we’re not quite sure how powerful this storm is going to be; maybe the ship will just fade into the darkness, floating toward the inevitability of its final days and leaving behind a trail of memories in its wake. In the end, Bill Adama finally realizes that the Galactica is soon to be no more, and in an extremely affecting final scene, he shares a final drink with one person who’s stood by him this whole time. The last time an episode closed with the two of them, they had their guns blazing and were ready to go down fighting. It’s a bit quieter here, but that doesn’t make it any less fantastic to watch.

EPISODE 19: “Daybreak Part 1”

A lot of this episode is setting up what’s going to happen in the next two, but it does feature some interesting flashbacks and an incredibly moving final scene. In particular, I really like the Roslin flashbacks–mainly due to McDonnell’s performance–and how they add to her character. We think that the attack on the Colonies would be the main event causing fundamental changes in peoples’ lives, but here, the deaths of Roslin’s father and sisters seems to be that event. The pain and heartbreak don’t all arise as a result of the attack; in some cases, they exist beforehand.

I also love that final scene in which Adama tells everyone to choose a side. Roslin crossing the line is a really beautiful image to see, and it’s a great way to send the show into the finale: with a scene that’s not so much a cliffhanger as it is a lovely character moment.

GRADES: C+, B, B+, B+

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