Battlestar Galactica: No Exit

This week brings us the triumphant return of our lost Cylon, Ellen Tigh, some Hybrid-style ramblings from a critically wounded Anders, many revelations about the Cylon plan and the great ship Galactica falling apart.

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.

This episode, not a favorite. I might even go so far as to say it’s the weakest in Season Four. But, unlike say “The Woman King” or “Black Market,” it’s important to the narrative in numerous ways. The material and the revelations are fascinating as always, but endless exposition is, I suspect, impossible to love.

I understand that with so little time left, an exposition-heavy episode like “No Exit” is to be expected (what a waste of a great title), but I don’t have to be happy about it. “Battlestar Galactica” may be favorite show and all, but it doesn’t get a pass when it’s not up to par. However, when needed, I can be a forgiving person, and while this episode was 90% talking, that talking setup a whole host of possibilities for upcoming greatness.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, to the characters!

The best thing about the episode was, in my opinion, the subplot with Tyrol once again becoming Deck Chief and his quest to save Galactica from the inside out. Granted, it’s an over-the-top metaphor for the state of the fleet, but it works for me. Adama’s ship, his people, are rotting and the only way to save her (them) from certain destruction is to meld with Cylon technology. This is the man whose adamant refusal to network his computers saved humanity from extinction in the Holocaust, and now his beloved home must merge with the enemy, must become the enemy, to survive.

It hurts him (hence the booze and pills we’re seeing him indulge in), and it’s going to keep on hurting until the transformation is complete, but he knows that once he’s on the other side, he’ll be better for the trip.

The civilian side of things is in about the same state; Lee Adama, the last member of the Quorum, takes the radical step in suggesting that the Quorum shouldn’t be rebuilt. Lee sits in a room, with his mother (yes, Roslin is not his actual mother, but figuratively, she’s humanity’s mother), where the old ways were gunned down and sees the beginnings of something new and stronger. The old divisions (Caprican, Picon, Geminese, etc.) need to die as well because with no land to call home, the ships are where the people are from, what the people call home. Both sides are moving in the right direction and I want to see the evolutions of these storylines.

Now, back to the main plot; Ellen Tigh lives (and Kate Vernon is just spectacular in her new and improved Ellen Tigh), and she spends most of her new life on a Basestar arguing with Cavil about their roles and their history. The more important aspect of their intellectual warfare is that Boomer, our poor lost Boomer, is the real battleground here.

Cavil isn’t going to change his stance on his desire to be purely machine, just as Ellen isn’t going to apologize for giving him humanity and free will. Boomer makes the choice to embrace her humanity, to love people, and I hope this time it works out better for her (like Ellen, her beloved is still waiting for her).

Plus, apparently, that whole “All this has happened before, all this will happen again” prophecy is totally true; in his ramblings, Anders seems to have stumbled across some truth juice and gives away a bunch of information on why the Final Five our special, what happened to Model Number Seven (Daniel was his name), why the FF were living among the Colonials, etc.

“No Exit” packs quite the punch and there’s a lot of information to take in, which will of course be poured over obsessively by the fans, but between that and Ellen, the episode was all talk, all the time. But again, I’m letting it go. See you next week for hopefully a bit more plot and bit less talk.