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Battlestar Galactica – Islanded in a Stream of Stars
First, it reminded us that the battlestar is falling apart. Near Boomer’s jump site damage, a big rent opens in the ship that sucks out 61 repair people, including both humans and Cylons. (As a side note, is it just me or did this suction scene kind of contradict some of the physics set up in earlier episodes…like when Starbuck repaired the hole in the Raider with just her jacket? Apparently the pressure difference in space thing is a myth, and it seemed like earlier in the show they made a point to debunk that. But maybe I’m misremembering?)
It also reminded us how the Cylons can interact with their ships; Sam is moved to the base ship so he can be plugged into the data stream. Turns out he was causing all the shortages because he had connected with all the resin being put on Galactica and through that the electrical systems. The attempted jump-start doesn’t wake him up, though; it just puts him into a hybrid-like state of speaking seeming nonsense that probably has profundity beyond the listeners’ comprehension, but without seeming aware of much of his surroundings.
It reminded us of how brutally practical Starbuck can be. She goes to visit Sam and asks to be alone with him. She starts talking about, “Hey remember when I said I wanted to kill you for being a Cylon? Well, when someone beat me to shooting you in the head, all I wanted was a way to get you back. Because you’re just Sam. My Sam. And that’s how I’ll always remember you.” And she pulls out her sidearm to shoot him.
Oh, frak yes, this is why we all love Starbuck. She’s the frakking John Wayne of Galactica officers–when you need to shoot, shoot, don’t talk style.
But her plan goes awry when Sam-hybrid wakes up enough to grab her arm and stop her from shooting him. Then he proceeded to remind us of what the hybrid in Razor said about Starbuck: that she is the harbinger of death who will lead everyone to their doom.
Doom doesn’t sound like such a good ending when it’s 3 hours away….
The episode reminded us that Baltar is both a scientist and, as per his usual MO, out to further his own cause. Starbuck asks Baltar to examine her recovered dog tags–in one of the funniest scenes all season, since she accosts him from one of the toilets in the head while he shaves. She leaves him with the line, “Whatever I am, I’m no angel,” and, in a brilliant piece of visual suggestion, then steps out with a brilliant white backlight. Which of course is very angelic looking with her blond hair lit up like a halo, only to reverse course when she is immediately shown stepping into the room with Sam, which is lit with the Cylon ship’s weird red data stream lights and gives her a red haze over her features. Very devilish to our minds as viewers, even though there hasn’t been an explicit discussion of Hell in either the 12 colonies’ religion or the Cylons’. So which is she, angel or demon? We still don’t know.
Anyway. Back to what it reminded us of Baltar: We watch him run some tests on the blood he scrapes off Starbuck’s crash-site dog tags. After the funeral for the crew lost in the accident, he makes a speech about the certainty of coming back because Kara Thrace has done so! He reveals that he analyzed the blood on her dog tags and found it to be from a dead body and to be a DNA match to her. It’s unclear what Baltar hoped to gain from this, other than a few more converts to his religion, but he seems to have a plan.
This revelation of Starbuck’s murky status prompts Lee Adama to remind us that he and Starbuck are in love with each other. He reminds her that he watched her ship explode, and reiterates that he does not care what she is–as he said when she originally came back.
We are reminded that Roslin is dying, as she was seen only in the hospital this time, and that she has some strange connection with Caprica Six and Hera. They are both having the dreams/visions again of the opera house. And it still ends the same way–with Baltar and his Six holding a baby, exultant.
Aside from the reminders, there was a lot of good acting in this episode. Lee Adama in front of the ships’ captains when he gets all mad that they’re requisitioning pieces of Galactica, and then when someone wonders what Gaius Baltar would have to say–his disbelief was exquisite. Helo, first with Athena trying to get her to talk to him and then when he’s begging Adama for a Raptor to go look for Hera. Athena with Helo and then Boomer at the end when Caval takes Hera away from her. Starbuck, for her wonderfully eloquent expression of betrayal and almost dainty refraint from ripping Baltar’s balls out and feeding them to him for revealing her secret. Lee and Starbuck both in the scene they share about all that matters is that they’re both still there–palpable tenderness. Adama when he flips out and throws paint all over his wall because he knows Galactica is dying.
By the end of the episode, three things of importance for furthering the story have happened. First, we learn that the Cylon colony–where they went 44 years back when they abandoned the war with the humans on the 12 Colonies–has been moved, so they have no way to find Caval or Hera. Then, at the end of the episode, Starbuck goes back to Sam and gives a speech about accepting that her old self is gone, and so is his, so their new selves are going to sit there and figure out what the hell is going on with the music. Presumably when he asks, hybrid style, for a new command, he will have an answer for her…but of course we don’t get to see it yet. And then the very last scene is Adama giving Tigh the orders to start stripping Galactica and offloading civilians–it’s time to abandon the grand lady.
Of course the scenes for next week prove that instead they’re going to take her on one last run, a one-way mission of mayhem, but it was a great toast they made there at the end to her.
To Galactica. So say we all.