Battlestar Galactica: Faith

Leoben: "Don't expect the fate of two great races to be delivered easily."

As usual, they're not afraid of the big topics. The nature of life and death, Cylon retribution via sacrifice, the reconciliation of two warring races. Battlestar Galactica makes most other shows look fluffy in comparison.

Secret Cylon Anders was like us, the audience: the very picture of confusion, a sort of emotional yo-yo. We could tell that he literally didn't know what side he was on. Shooting Gaeta in order to support Starbuck's authority on the Demetrius. Drawn to the Cylon liquid computer interface, but not... quite... touching it. (I wonder what would have happened if he had.) Going ballistic when the Six killed his old friend Barolay. Comforting the dying Sharon. Originally rather boring, Anders has become a really interesting character; his emotional division is fun to watch. It's a bit like Helo being torn between his loyalties to the fleet and his love for Sharon Two, before she became accepted and Athena.

I actually thought that the almost entirely Cylon delegation from Galactica was a lot of fun, too. Starbuck, Athena, Leoben, and Anders – three, or possibly four Cylons – plus Barolay, who immediately felt like a red shirt (which was exactly what she turned out to be). Barolay and the Six she killed so horribly back on Caprica acted out the entire human-Cylon conflict on a small scale. The leader Six, whom Tricia Helfer referred to as Natalie in this week's extra, told the humans: "No resurrection ship. Do you understand? She's just as dead as your friend." The playing field has been equalized. I'm still finding it sort of amazing that the Sixes, Sharons, and Leobens, my three favorite Cylon models, are throwing in with the Colonials. It's just fascinating.

Roslin confronted her fear of death through an encounter with a woman named Emily, who was further along that very road. The ferry crossing the river was obvious symbolism not only of the afterlife, but of the separated humans and Cylons, parents and children, crossing the divide of unspeakable numbers of dead and coming back together. Roslin's final dream was quite moving. I'm not sure what I believe about the afterlife, but I've had a dream like that.

Personal segue paragraph – feel free to skip, if you like. My own mother, who wasn't elderly, died very suddenly in 1999, and I didn't have a chance to say goodbye to her. Not long after she died, she came to me in a dream and we had a long conversation; we even talked about her being dead. She told me she was all right and I believed it, because I could see how happy she was. When I woke up, I felt her presence. I know my mother. It didn't feel like a dream; it felt like it had happened. I'd never had a dream like that before. I know it was probably all in my head, but it's different when it happens to you.

So. Moving right along. Let's parse what the Hybrid told Starbuck. "Thus will it come to pass. The dying leader will know the truth of the opera house. The missing three will give you the five, who have come from the home of the thirteenth. You are the harbinger of death, Kara Thrace. You will lead them all to their end. End of line."

Roslin will find out what the opera house visions mean. D'Anna will be de-boxed (decanted?) and will tell the other Cylon models who the Five are. The Five come from Earth. (Really? They do? They sure don't remember it.) But Kara being the death of everyone is difficult to scan. If it weren't for that part, I'd think Kara would be the one to lead all the humans and their allied Cylons to Earth.

It's all so confusing and metaphysical. I keep feeling a bit like I did about the last two Matrix movies: hooked and fascinated, but sort of bummed at the same time. Like Emily said to Roslin, "I don't need metaphors. I need answers." It's time for answers. If the second ten episodes are scheduled next fall or even (gasp) winter, the wait is going to be terribly frustrating.

Bits and pieces:

— This week's survivor number: 39,675. One down. That was Sergeant Matthias. I kept track this week.

— The opening scene was visceral, and Gaeta's injury was shuddery. In fact, all of the gun play in this episode was shocking and effective.

— Athena had a little meet and greet with some of her sisters. They wanted to jump sides again, and Athena talked them out of it. Come to think of it, changing sides is a defining characteristic of the Sharon model, isn't it?

— Emily was played by Nana Visitor, who was one of the stars of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Her credit was buried at the end, which threw me. Why was it buried? She had a hefty, difficult part.

— Although Roslin's scenes with the dying Emily were well-done and moving, I kept getting distracted by how big Mary McDonnell's head looked in that bald cap. She reminded me of a character on Alien Nation.

— Natalie Six kissed the other Six goodbye. That could not have been an easy split screen shot.

Quotes:

Emily: "It's going to get a lot worse. Be prepared for that."

The Hybrid: "The children of the one reborn will find their own country. End of line. Reset."
One reborn? What does that mean?

Four out of four stars,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

2 comments:

Shaun Lott said...

"The one reborn" must surely be Starbuck?

Baz said...

Crazy stuff, and I don't know what to feel about Kara leading them to their doom. Who is they? Plus with this being BSG it would surprise me very much if it were as literal as the hybrid spoke it.

Onwards and upwards!