Tag Archives: Battlestar Galactica review recap

Battlestar Galactica “Daybreak, Parts 2 and 3” Review (4×20)

14 Sep

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“If there’s one thing that we should have learned, it’s that our brains have always outraced our hearts. Our science charges ahead. Our souls lag behind.”

Battlestar Galactica is, at heart, a series about the ways we interact as a people, about the ways we define ourselves and move forward as members of a civilization. It has its ideas about religion and science and technology and conflict, but what it continually returns to is the notion of humanity, humanity at both its best and at its worst. Through this well-developed cast of characters, the writers have assembled a group of people who have faced unending pain and heartbreak throughout their lives, yet still find solace and purpose in the flawed individuals around them. And when the show uses those individuals to convey the dark side of human nature, it oftentimes does so with the possibility of something better on the horizon. The capacity to destroy each other, the capacity to love someone else, the capacity to redeem ourselves…human beings have the capacity to do so many things, and it’s up to us to choose where we end up. Even though the execution of the final set of scenes runs dangerously close to the show taking sides about technology, the ultimate point I see for the series is that technology is not inherently bad; rather, what determines our fates is how quickly our souls can catch up to the science.

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Battlestar Galactica Season 4, Episodes 16-19 Review

25 Aug

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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.

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Battlestar Galactica Season 4, Episodes 13-15 + “The Plan” Review

21 Aug

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EPISODE 13: “The Oath”

This is one of the most well-made hours of action this series has produced, but what makes it even better is that it’s not solely focused on the mutiny; it sweeps across the whole fleet’s history, bringing people together and splitting them apart as the show portrays the final release of pent-up frustration and desperation. After all, the reason many people went along with various plans was due to that glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel: Earth. Now that the true sorry state of the planet has been revealed, though, the past is bubbling to the surface again; no longer can these characters hold it in anymore, and what results is a battle between people who used to work together. I don’t think Gaeta or Zarek really have a solid plan for what happens next–even though they make some good points–but what’s happening right now is that people are lashing out at the pain of the past and the bleakness of the future.

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Battlestar Galactica Season 4, Episodes 10-12 Review

18 Aug

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EPISODE 10: “Revelations”

This show is incredibly good at standoffs, but it falters a bit when it comes to payoffs. After all, as great of a series as this is, it’s been in a holding pattern for a while now, unable to fully allow real shit to go down because there were always more episodes to make. Now that we’re moving into the final 10 episodes of the final season, however, it makes room for a status quo shakeup, for a cliffhanger that feels less like a cheap “Watch the next episode!” plea and more like an intriguing “What happens next?” question.

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Battlestar Galactica Season 4, Episodes 7-9 Review

15 Aug

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EPISODE 7: “GUESS WHAT’S COMING TO DINNER?”

The series as a whole constantly deals with the question of whether or not the Cylons should be considered humans, but “Guess What’s Coming to Dinner?” narrows the focus to the concept of mortality. “For our existence to hold any value, it must end,” Natalie tells the Quorum. “To live meaningful lives, we must die and not return. Mortality is the one thing that makes you whole.” The Resurrection Ship is a big factor when it comes to the Cylon identity debate, so it’s interesting to see these Cylons delve into the idea of mortality. Of course, even though Natalie reaches out and gives this speech, it doesn’t mean she’s free from the ongoing struggle between human and Cylon. Eventually, she gets several bullets right in the chest, and the irony is thick as we see the life rapidly draining from her body.

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Battlestar Galactica Season 4, Episodes 4-6 Review

12 Aug

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EPISODE 4: ESCAPE VELOCITY

Let’s get this out of the way right now: “No, we are not going to talk about the fragile body of Gaius frakking Baltar!” is the funniest line ever uttered in this show. It singlehandedly makes a repetitive and dull storyline fairly tolerable, and it is perfectly played by Michael Hogan. I say repetitive and dull because it’s the show trying to turn a bunch of high concept visuals into a compelling story, when it would do well by simply focusing on the character aspect of the story. That’s why the Tyrol storyline is more compelling here. The ideas of guilt, the past, and identity all intersect in a fantastic scene between Tyrol and Adama at the bar, and Aaron Douglas does a great job of conveying the conflict brewing in his mind.

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Battlestar Galactica “Crossroads, Part 1 and Part 2” Review (3×19/3×20)

30 Jun

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“We’re not a civilization anymore. We are a gang, and we’re on the run, and we have to fight to survive.”

The trial of Gaius Baltar sets up a courtroom that is permeated by history, fraught with tension, and caught between shifting allegiances. For the first time since right around New Caprica, we get a sense of the toll the experience took on the fleet, a sense of the simmering tension that has been building up over the weeks. Director Michael Rymer has his camera pan over the crowd and linger on faces, underscoring the bitterness and betrayal, the desire for revenge, and when the words hit, they hit with an icy bluntness that strikes to the core of the show’s relationships and themes. This is a trial surrounding one man’s life, but the implications of a guilty or not guilty verdict–as well as of the legal process itself–are far-reaching.

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Battlestar Galactica “Maelstrom”/ “The Son Also Rises” Review (3×17/3×18)

15 Jun

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EPISODE 17-“MAELSTROM”

Well, that was surprising. I know she will be back, but I’m not entirely sure how this will play out over the remainder of the series; I have a feeling we’re going to get a ton of spiritual “destiny” stuff, which I’m not too enthused about. As a piece of drama, though “Maelstrom” is wonderful: beautifully directed and acted, and deeply affecting at the same time. Katee Sackhoff anchors the episode, and even though it’s not the sendoff you might expect for a major character like her, it works better than you might expect.

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Battlestar Galactica Season 3, Episodes 13-16 Review

15 Jun

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EPISODE 13: “Taking A Break From All Your Worries”

This is essentially two episodes in one, but the writers attempt to spin it so that the two storylines are connected somehow through some *Clever Editing*. However, the reality is that the Love Quadrangle of Assholes drags down the more interesting Baltar interrogation plot, which utilizes people like Roslin and Adama and Gaeta well while on the other side of the divide, Lee and Starbuck and Dualla and Anders are floundering. So, there’s predictably not much to say on the Quadrangle, but there are some interesting scenes with Baltar. The standout is Roslin as we’ve never seen her before, flying into a rage at the man to get him to talk; part of it is a bluff, but part of it is the buildup of so much pain and suffering amongst her people on New Caprica. She has someone to blame, and he gets all of her anger.

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Battlestar Galactica Season 3, Episodes 10-12 Review

11 Jun

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The Algae Planet Arc

EPISODES COVERED: “The Passage” (3×10), “The Eye of Jupiter” (3×11), “Rapture” (3×12)

This show is still entirely capable of crafting compelling, entertaining stories, but the foundation for those stories is oftentimes so flimsy that you can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. Take “The Passage”‘, for example, which pulls an entire backstory for Kat out of thin air–not to mention the food shortage as well–just in time for her to die of radiation poisoning. It’s a “Hero” concept all over again, and that only happened two episodes ago.

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