Battlestar Galactica: You Can't Go Home Again

"Boy, when you take a souvenir, you don't screw around."

Definitely a two-hankie episode. I started getting mushy when Lee gave Hot Dog an instant field promotion for going after Starbuck. I started dripping when Adama told Lee, "If it were you, we'd never leave." And then I cried through that marvelous Adama/Starbuck scene at the end.

Alone and seriously injured on a desolate moon, running out of oxygen, no obvious means of escape – and Starbuck did it anyway. There was something so gritty and primal about the way she got down and dirty in the Cylon ship, cutting open the organic creature inside ("You bite me, and I'll bite you back"), figuring out how it breathed ("Even cockroaches have to breathe. How the hell do you?"), getting the ship in the air. She has such an amazing spirit. And she's even entertaining while talking to herself, and/or to God. Not to mention Adama.

Tigh was the unpopular voice of reason; perhaps he really was hoping she was gone. So what if he (and the President, and Lt. Gaeta) were right? She wasn't just the last tie to Zak; I think that one more death, one more major loss, would have been just too much for Adama. They've lost so many people already. They've lost too many pilots already. And of course, it's so much harder to lose someone when you have serious, unresolved issues with them. Adama had to be thinking that Starbuck died believing he hated her.

I knew she would think of something to keep them from shooting her down, but the taped letters on the hull were still a delightful surprise. And now they have an enemy ship to psyche out, which certainly can't hurt.

Bits and pieces:

— During the opening shots of Starbuck on the moon, I thought something was dragging her to its den for dinner.

— MBOC (Meanwhile, back on Caprica), Helo was having a grand time in the fallout shelter until he was almost done in by a Pop-tart. Toaster, toaster?

— Speaking of which, the electricity is still on on Caprica? How likely is that?

— This week's wardrobe note: Six showed up in a new blue nothing and a transparent pair of heels. I'm not sure what kept that outfit from falling to the floor.

— Where on earth did they film that moon sequence?

— I just noticed that Hot Dog is played an actor named Bodie Olmos. It would be an unbelievable coincidence if they were not related.

Quotes:

Starbuck: (to the ship) "One of us needs a bath." Later, she flirted to Lee, "You wanna give me a bath?"

Adama to the President: "Frak the odds. We're going to find her. (pause) Excuse me."

Lee: "It's got to be her. This thing is flying with some serious attitude."

While I was kvetching about them giving up the search, Dan said, "They have to. The needs of the many." And I countered, "But then again, there was the search for Spock."

For the rest of season one, Dan and I referred to this episode and "Act of Contrition" as "that incredible two-parter about Starbuck." Four out of four stars,

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

5 comments:

Patryk said...

Organic technology ships. Who would have though that the toasters now contain organic matter and require air. Cought me by surprise for sure.

Great continuation of a great two parter. My favorite episodes thus far. Right behind is 33 of course.

ChrisB said...

I really enjoyed this two parter. I always like backstories, and this one was exceptionally well done. The scene when Starbuck finally tells Adama the truth was so moving. It was hard to see such a tough character just dissolve like that. Both EJO and KS did a fantastic job in that scene.

The scene with Laura, Adama and Lee was brilliant. She was compassionate, yet calling them out at the same time. And, knowing what they did at the time, it was the right call. Would Abama Squared have risked the whole fleet for one other pilot? I doubt it.

I was cheering for Starbuck. KS just sells the girl so well. I really, really wanted her to get off that planet and watching her get the machine was fly was fantastic.

I liked your comment about Six: "Six showed up in a new blue nothing and a transparent pair of heels. I'm not sure what kept that outfit from falling to the floor."

I realised one of the reasons that she so winds me up is that I feel as though the producers and the writers are using her to appeal to young boys. In these two episodes, she was only on screen for the briefest of moments (thank you, gods), but she very nearly provided a 'Fatal Attraction" moment when she put her leg up on Gaius and her chest was spilling out when she leaned over.

Come on, boys. You can do better with a character in your show than provide soft porn for your young, male demographic.

PS: Bodie Olmos is EJO's youngest son.

Baz said...

Not much more to be said that hasn't been said before - great episode & my favourite scene is the taped letters on the Cylons wings. So very Starbuck, and Lee's reaction was perfect. I think that was the moment the character started to grow on me!

Marianna said...

You can tell this show is really great by the fact that I noticed some things didn't make sense but didn't really care. Like that she shoved her jacket in the hole and then went into outer space in it? Even if she later taped it, there's no way that's air tight. And she flew very impressively in a ship that she knew the location of four controls? And I guess she held her breath while taping her name on the bottom of the ship?

To be fair to the two Adamas, Starbuck isn't just one pilot; she's the best pilot. That maybe warrants a little more effort than a normal pilot?

magritte said...

I've gone back to BSG and I'd forgotten how many episodes I never saw. Back in the pre-streaming era, it was hit or miss if I happened to catch an episode or not. One thing I love about this site is all the reviews of older shows to follow along .

I'm really noticing that by modern standards it has a much more traditional episodic format, even though there is a longer narrative arc. Most of the shows I watch now would never have a "two-part episode". I'm kind of enjoying the way each episode has its own storyline that gets wrapped up in under an hour, as well as the sharp character writing.

I did think that the Adamas could have made clear to the president that it wasn't just personal feelings but also that Starbuck really is irreplaceable. Not only is she their best pilot and their best shot, but she's the only experienced combat flight instructor they have and they're in the midst of trying to train a buncyh of new pilots. Losing her would be a much bigger disaster than a typical officer. But yeah, the risk was frightening.