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October 20, 2006

Battlestar Galactica -- Exodus Part II

Click for larger imageAs long time viewers know (and have to remind themselves) is that BSG is not an "episodic" tv show. It does not follow the formula of setting the episode in the first 6 minutes before commercial, running 3 acts, concluding and getting everything back to status quo until the next week.

Nothing stays status quo on BSG.

One of its strengths is the writers' ability to find both the touch of the villain and the touch of the hero in every character. We can utterly despise a character for most of a season, to find some bit of redemption of him or her at the end.

This week we watched the end of Ellen, a grasping, venal maneater who followed her libido wherever it lead with a libertine enthusiasm. And yet, her last scene, as she told Tigh all of what she had done and how she calmly took the cup out of his hands and drank her death, revealed that part of her that only Tigh must have seen and loved. When he laid his head on her body and cried, we could understand.

The battle scenes were exciting, wonderfully directed with a few surprises. Crouched down with the humans waiting to rescue the hostages, we look up to see the Galactica actually dropping down into the atmosphere, its belly aflame with re-entry heat. A daring move to launch Vipers then jumping away.

It was quality worthy of any widescreen epic.

Kara never did fully succumb to Leoben, luring him one last time to a sixth death in an effort to evacuate Kasey. Another poignant, almost throwaway scene, as Kasey's real mother shows up on Galactica, profusely thanking a stunned Kara. Kara's face reveals warring emotions in kaleidoscope fashion -- loss, hurt, realization, and a deep chagrin at being fooled even this small bit by Leoben.

We also said goodbye to the Pegasus, as Lee started finding his edge again, in disobeying his father's orders and sacrificing the ship in order to save the Galactica and the fleeing human fleet.

The longer story arcs have begun. Gaius Baltar is fleeing with the Cylons as both sides abandon New Caprica. And baby Hera is now in Cylon hands. While D'Anna takes the child, setting off the nuclear bomb now forgotten in the love the Oracle foretold she would feel, we also know that Baltar will conspire to get close to Hera. Remember, at the end of season one, Six swept up Baltar in visions of "the shape of things to come" with the two of them raising a Cylon/Human baby.

The music was notable this episode, with haunting pipes at closing as Galactica filled with people long separated, now met, and stories exchanged on those that would not be returning.

A new chapter in this long saga next Friday. Please watch along with me. Best show on television.

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Posted by Darleen at October 20, 2006 10:12 PM


The whole arc with Tigh and Ellen was deftly handled. Her attachment to him, sacrificing everyone else for him, was ultimately selfish and human. I especially liked the contrast between Tigh's reception and Adama being feted by his people. One guy does the dirty work, and one guy gets the glory. Perfect.

Posted by: Chris at October 21, 2006 04:09 AM

I watch BSG with a group of friends and co-workers. We were cheering, laughing and cryiing together. Exceptionally moving piece of drama. Best show on television, seconded.

Posted by: Jason at October 22, 2006 02:51 PM

Best show on television? Nonsense. Season 2 of Galactica was turgid, uninvolving and a let down after the snappy new reality of season 1.
Season 3 is something else. It is simply the finest drama of any kind I have ever witnessed in any medium. It doesnt have Shakespeares dextrous prose or moral inevitablility, it hasnt the shocking newness of Beckett, it has occasional moments of disbelief unsuspended, but it invades those dark places where even Titus Androinicus feared to tread: infanticide, genocide, the love for a captive for her species killer and vice versa - such depravities and deformities of the human soul that benefit this new american century.

Ronald Moore will be looked upon as a minor dramatist because he writes "science" fiction. But the things Mister Moore writes are neither fiction nor science, they are truths untold and they bite. He writes with the emotional savvy of Jos Whedon, the savage misanthropy of Jonathon Swift and the breathtaking Scifi vistas of Ian M. Banks.

Posted by: Wisdo at October 23, 2006 12:45 AM