Battlestar Galactica: Sometimes a Great Notion

Yes, I know that my blog is supposed to be about movies; but a blog is really what you make it, and with the return of “Battlestar Galactica” to the airwaves, I’m expanding my parameters.

And really, since I’m going to be thinking about this show nonstop anyway, might as well write about it too. Hope you don’t mind. And I’ll keep the movie reviews coming too.

If you haven’t seen the show, or the most recent episode, and you care about that sort of thing, don’t click to the next page. There be spoilers, and lots of them; you’ve been warned.

“It’s all black and white/Without the white”

- Stephin Merritt


That lyric, from The Magnetic Fields’ song “Infinitely Late at Night,” came to my mind after my second viewing of “Sometimes a Great Notion,” the first of the final ten episodes of my beloved show.

Some other words: Grim, bleak, dark, etc. It was not a happy hour, no matter how thrilled I was to see my show return (with made for some interesting cognitive dissonance). In the previous episode, the Ragtag Fleet arrived at Earth and discovered that it is an irradiated and inhabitable ruin of a planet. Their Promised Land, their goal for the last four years, has been all for nothing.

SAGN picks up right where we left the Colonials; bitter, disappointed, angry, etc. And I was right there with them, the shock of the beach only gets worse the more you look at it. It’s one of the saddest things I have ever seen.

But, aside from the general doom and gloom, a lot of crap went down in this doozy of an episode.

1)      Ellen Tigh, my most favorite boozy trollop in all of television, is the Final Cylon. It was so obvious, from day one she was a suspect, but I never guessed her (my money was on Roslin) because it just seemed too convenient. And while I will freely admit I thought the reveal was underwhelming, I don’t think any reveal would have been satisfactory (and since it wasn’t Gaius Baltar, I’m good). That being said, kudos to the staff for giving that gem away so early and letting us wonder where to go from here. Well played, show.

2)      Dualla’s suicide. I picked her to be the next one to die on the show, and when I saw her closeup in the opening scenes, I knew it was coming, but that still hurt. I loved Dualla from the start, all the way back to the miniseries, even though she never was much of a character. She was Galactica’s Wayfinder, always there to call the pilots home, who knew when to follow and when to betray, and who never gave up. Until she did. RIP

3)      Kara finds her dead body and freaky Leoben gets freaked out. I was sort of spoiled on this one, but the shock was still the same. What in the world happened to her, and who, or what, is Starbuck 2.0?

4)      Our broken leaders. For those who don’t know, I’ll just get this out of the way right now; Laura Roslin is my favorite character, and I tend to look for her in every episode. Even the ones that aren’t about her. But this time, what’s important is her absence. She locks herself away with her broken faith and faithless heart and refuses to come out of her grief. Admiral Adama has a similar reaction, but his best friend Saul Tigh, in his Cylon glory, pulls him together. No such luck for Madame President.

It was painful to watch this one (although I did enjoy getting to see Baltar back in his lab), and I know it’s only going to get worse for my characters, and I can’t wait. Nine more weeks to go.