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Battlestar Galactica: Maelstrom

Starbuck: "The only destiny I have is as a world-class frak-up."

What just happened?

I was completely unprepared for the death of my favorite character. At the end, I just sat there feeling disturbed and frankly, pretty seriously pissed off. No destiny for Kara, huh? Did she hit the eject lever, after all? If she is truly gone, why couldn't she have gone out in a blaze of glory?

Leoben told her, "You're free now to become who you really are... I'm here to prepare you to pass through the next door, to discover what hovers in the space between life and death." The last thing Kara said was, "They're waiting for me." Sounds a lot like the Cylon mysticism that got D'Anna boxed. I certainly don't want Kara to be dead, because I can't imagine this series without her. But I don't want her to be one of the Final Five, either. So where does that leave me? Did my favorite show just jump the shark?

There was loads of symbolism. The Eye of Jupiter was everywhere: in the maelstrom, candle drippings, probably in swirlies in the toilet, for that matter, and it also represented her emotional state. Kara painted out the Eye of Jupiter, i.e., her destiny. She had hot sex with Leoben, who represented the seductiveness of death. The Cylon raider bogey probably represented her childhood and her lack of self-worth.

While actually in the maelstrom, Kara turned her head and saw her mother in the apartment where she died. That dream sequence whatever where she visited her dying mother was pretty obvious symbolism, too. And the little statue of Aurora probably represented Kara herself. She was the figurehead on Adama's model ship, the top pilot on the Galactica. Adama destroying the ship in his grief had obvious meaning, too. I can spout this analytical crap all day, but then you'd get bored and leave.

Should Lee have grounded her? Well, yeah. I bet he'll be rethinking that decision for awhile. But Lee was also right that being a pilot was Kara's entire identity, and grounding her might also have done her in. Flying her wing wasn't enough. Maybe they should have resumed their affair. And maybe that would have contributed to her already massive lack of self-worth.

Enough analytical ping-pong. Moving right along.

Bits and pieces:

— This week's survivor number: 41,400.

— Faced with the choice of seeing a shrink or a fortune-teller, Kara of course picked the fortune-teller. (She should have picked the shrink.) I noticed that the Oracle had tears rolling silently down her cheeks during that entire scene. Why? Did she see Kara's death coming?

— Kara's abusive mother was a non-com who died of cancer. Corporal Socrata Thrace. If there's a hell, I hope you're burning in it, Socrata. Or, forget the burning. Covered with spiders for eternity. That would do.

— Even Tigh looked stunned when Kara died, like someone had hit him. I know how he feels.

— This week's stupid bonus scene was Tyrol and Starbuck arguing about damage to the viper.


Leoben: "All this has happened before, and will happen again." We've heard that many times now. What the frak does it mean?

Adama: "What do you hear?"
Kara: "Nothing but the rain."
This is a quote from the miniseries, so it was appropriate for their final conversation. It might even have been the first thing we heard them say to each other. And there actually was rain when she died.

Kara: "After all we've been through, we are right back where we started. You're the CAG, and I'm your hot shot problem pilot. (pause) I guess that's all we'll ever be now, huh?"

Kara: "So. Where do you want to go when you bite the big one?" I thought she was being metaphysical, but no. She wanted her photo next to Kat's, and Lee promised to put it there. Guess we'll be getting that scene in the next episode. I don't want to see it.

This was a good episode, but as you can probably tell, I hated it. It's probably unfair to give it one star, so no rating this week,

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


  1. I am in shock. Of all the characters I thought they would kill off, Starbuck was definitely not one of them. I'm not convinced we've seen the last of her. All of that destiny stuff and Leoben not being Leoben has to mean something. Right?

    The scenes with Starbuck and her mother were incredibly difficult to watch, but boy howdy, did they explain a lot. I'm with Billie and the spiders. I have absolutely no time for people who abuse children in such a manner.

    Looking back on it now, we had the goodbye scenes with the three men (interestingly, no women) in her life:

    Sam: One last session in bed, but she seemed to be kinder to him than she has in the past.

    Lee: This one was anticlimactic. Is she really happy that he is happy(ish) with Dee or does she now regret the choices she made? The "I guess this is all we'll ever be" sounded mournful to me.

    Adama: Giving him the Aurora and doing the "nothing but the rain" speech. The look in her eyes told me that she knew what she was going into.

    The most moving bit of the episode was the scene in the CIC when they realised that she had died. Everyone's reactions set against near silence -- excellent filmmaking.

    Of course, kudos to Katee Sackhoff who has done a magnificent job throughout. We will miss you!

  2. So Starbuck is either dead or a Cylon and will be reborn. I don't know which option is better. I think the Cylon one. The worst would be a miracle that saves her beasue it would undermine the whole ep.

    Also it was miles better then the Kat death episode. At least they didn't assasinate the character before killing her.

  3. For a Starbuck dying episode this left me cold - which makes me think that she's not dead...

    There is no way they would kill off Starbuck without it being in a blaze of glory, taking out 16 base ships and a resurrection ship to boot... right? RIGHT???

    And now three episodes left of the season to tie up the trial plot which has barely even stared, and for everyone to deal with Kara's death... These last three episodes are going to be dense I think!

  4. apology for poor english
    when were you when starbuck gets died?
    i was sat at home eating smegma butter when pookie ring
    ‘kara is kill’
    me: ‘no’
    and you?????

    The groaning from the nose of Starbuck's ship before it exploded was just as satisfying as L O S T's scene where the tail-end of the plane smashes into the shore with the groan. I still think it's a weirdly sudden way (and impressively unsatisfying because it's seen as suicide/losing her mind instead of anything heroic) to kill her off but the shot of everyone witnessing and reacting to it was still really moving.

    It has kind of a similar beat to Kat's death. Refusing to pull away to safety and going all the way, except for seemingly no purpose.


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