Battlestar Galactica: Revelations

D'Anna: "All this has happened before."
Lee: "But it doesn't have to happen again."

What on earth, pun intended, will they do now?

I was completely shocked that they actually found Earth, since I hadn't expected it until the end of the series. And then I was shocked that it was a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The soil was radioactive, the planet devastated, it was like Planet of the Apes but without the iconic, frakked up Statue of Liberty. But you know, they never do what I expect them to do. It was an interesting choice for them to make. A choice signaling that we are not going to get a pat happy ending at the end of the series.

Tigh, Anders, and Tyrol, without knowing how, gave Starbuck the answer: the location of Earth. But we still don't know who the Final Cylon is. D'Anna said that there were only Four in the Fleet, which suggested that Number Five was already on the base ship. Meaning it had to be either Roslin, Adama, or Gaius. Or possibly Hot Dog. But if they just found Earth, why would the fifth Cylon even be important any more? And what about "the truth of the opera house"?

If the Four had wanted to avoid detection, they wouldn't have all been on deck when D'Anna arrived. Maybe they were programmed to reveal themselves when the humans and Cylons finally came together. But only Tory immediately switched sides. She likes being a Cylon. The three guys still felt that they were human. Although Michael Hogan is an outstanding actor and has done a fabulous job, I never actually liked Tigh... until now. The way he confessed to Adama and deliberately offered himself as a hostage, his courage while facing death in front of the airlock, finally pushed me over the edge. I did almost expect him to die. It just felt like somebody was going to die. Instead, their hopes did. Bummer.

Adama's complete emotional meltdown shocked me, too. It shouldn't have. All this stuff with Roslin, followed by the discovery that his lifelong best friend was a Cylon? On the other side of the coin, Starbuck's reaction was surprisingly subdued. No ballistic meltdown. As I said before, she has changed a lot.

The relationship between Lee and his father reached its high point in this episode. During the conflict, Adama called Lee "Mr. President" and treated him with deference and respect, and vice versa. Later, Lee held his father in his arms while he cried, during what probably was the lowest point of Adama's life. After four years of father-son conflict, I found this very satisfying. Leoben told Starbuck back on New Caprica that for children to reach their full potential, parents have to die. But you know, Adama didn't have to die for Lee to come into his own. (Yes, Leoben meant humans as parents and Cylons as children, but still.)

And there were many other satisfying moments in this episode. Roslin and Gaius sitting quietly together as prisoners, their epic conflict finally over. Gaeta, on crutches and still looking pale, back at his post. Lee doing an absolutely outstanding job as president, both in conflict and in resolution. Lee and D'Anna shaking hands. The awesome music. And of course, that long shot in the end, starting with Adama holding radioactive dirt in his injured hand, and panning to show the entire cast wandering around on the surface of the earth, dazed and confused, devastated by disappointment.

And now the long wait for the final twelve episodes. If they really make us wait until next January, I'm going to throw an electronic tantrum. Frakking turkeys. Ah, well.

Bits and pieces:

— This week's survivor number: 39,665. Eight less than this week. I assume these were casualties from the attack on the Hub.

— "Revelations" was a great title. It carried the obvious meaning as well as an obvious Biblical reference to the apocalypse. Did Starbuck indeed just lead the human race to its end, but earlier than we expected?

— Was it really "our" Earth? And when? There were no familiar landmarks. The final shot ended at a piece of a bridge; I didn't recognize it, but maybe others have. We're only assuming it was our future. Remember that this has all happened before and will happen again.

— Tigh saved everyone. Come to think of it, so did Lee. And Gaius convinced D'Anna not to nuke the civilian fleet. Gaius has come full circle.

— We never found out who D'Anna put out of the base ship's airlock. Who died? Was it someone we knew?

— Adama destroyed the same desk that Lee considered to be a symbol of Adama's power and authority. I think that symbolized the death that Leoben spoke of, and Lee eclipsing his father.

— If I have a complaint, it was that this should have been a two-parter. It felt like the nearly catastrophic conflict with the rebel Cylons was over too quickly, and boom, there they were on Earth.

— D'Anna said that if the Four died, the entire human race would die with them. Why? The Final Five's connection with Earth must be the answer to everything. Maybe Number Five is a stranger, after all. Maybe Number Five is waiting for them, somewhere on Earth. In the Opera House. With a way to revitalize the Earth.

Quotes:

Tigh: "I didn't find out until the Nebula."
Adama: "Think about this. When I met you, you had hair."

Anders: "This is a wild guess. You told them?"

Another four star finale. What did you think? Comment below,

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

11 comments:

Matthew said...

Superlative episode, probably the best there has been? I would have voted 5 stars if it was an option to be honest!

Çağlar Çelik said...

The city, which we saw remains of in the last minute is probably new york, and the bridge is brooklyn bridge i think. The issue has been discussed in the battlestar sci-fi forums.

This makes sense in a lot of ways. The place shown is such situations is always north america, and it's a good choice they didn't show us the remains of the liberty statue.

Another interesting thing in the final scene is a metal structure, which is thought to be a skeleton of a car ! :) it's a pretty far guess, but it brings the question of the time. When exactly did our guys arrive earth? what was the year when mankind in earth nuked themselves?

Can't wait till 2009 :(

Jen said...

I also thought the wasteland at the end really looked like New York...This was an amazing episode

Anonymous said...

And so, Battlestar Galactica is reduced to a simple fable - we run from our past, believing the future holds something better for our species, while praying we can rise above our dark “human nature” before we do ourselves in. This episode was a mirror, showing how despite hope for a bright technological future, we’re simultaneously on the knife’s edge of destruction.

In one episode, Battlestar Galactica moved beyond the addictive, nit-picky details like “who is the last Cylon?” and “how did Tigh get Six pregnant?” and reminded me of the big picture - our irrepressibly hopeful yet frustratingly misguided humanity.

Enter Doctor Zee - The Fifth Cylon

“The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr

http://www.webomatica.com/wordpress/2008/06/14/battlestar-galactica-revelations/

Anonymous said...

I believe the ruins in the final scene are that of the Temple of Aurora and the surrounding city (as set up by the first scene of the episode).

--Kkat

catshoe said...

I re-watched "Revelations" and the teasers for the last series of episodes with one thought in mind: what did D'anna mean when she said the Final Fifth wasn't in the fleet? And there, at the end, was that picture of Cat on the bulleting board. That fracked my thoughts back to the Romo episode with the dead cat. And who let the "cat" out of the bag? Lee Adama. Cat could have been resurrected on a base ship and kept hidden by Cavil all this time. Cavil always seems to know more than he's willing to share; it would make sense that's he has a final coup in mind -- oh yes, he's still out there, slyly waiting for the pieces to fall into place so he can reveal the 12th Cylon himself.

Baz said...

ooooh comments! Was the week of June 15th 2008 the week you installed the ability to make comments Billie? :)

Excellent episode, one of my favourites of the entire series! Tigh and Gaius with some serious redemption, Tigh was a true hero for the second time - these four must have been programmed very differently tho, as Tory was ready to turn traitor very quickly.

If they had left it at the ships in orbit and faded to black I think that would have been the happiest ending we coul have hoped for... But that would have been too much to ask I'm sure!

I disagree about the three names you guessed at for The final Cylon - they could be with the other Cylon fleet - who were totally overlooked this week... I guess we shall see! :)

Billie Doux said...

Baz, that was definitely around the time I realized I needed to post on something commentable.

And btw, I'm still reading all of your comments. You're nearing the end!

Baz said...

Thanks Billie, it's nice to know you're reading them, even though I'm sure many of them aren't that interesting :). I just wish I knew what happened to Patryk :(

Anyway - I've been a long time lurker, posting here and there very occasionally, but have been reading your reviews since the TVTome days when I was trying to keep my brain wrapped around Alias' plot. (Phase One is still the best hour of TV I've ever watched).

I think knowing that there is someone behind the site that cares is what brings me (and many others) coming back to your site. It is a true community, and I wanted to say thank your for the 10 years (??) I've spent reading your reviews! Keep it up, you and the team are awesome! :)

Baz said...

And yes nearing the end of my BSG run - can't wait to see how it all turns out! I just need to figure out what to watch next. Maybe I'll do a run of Alias - I never got past season 4 I don't think :)

Billie Doux said...

That is just lovely. Thank you so much, Baz.