Battlestar Galactica: The Hand of God

The Fleet is running out of “gas” (aka Tilium), so when they find a Cylon-occupied asteroid full of the stuff, they decide to bring the fight to the robots and take what they need. In the B-plot, Roslin and Baltar are both seeing evidence of God’s hand at work in their lives (hence the title). On Caprica, Helo starts to suspect something’s up, while Athena is getting sick at regular intervals.

A note to first time BSG watchers; these aren’t the reviews for you. I plan to write about the show with the ending in mind. If you haven’t seen the show, you will be spoiled on stuff that happens at the end. You’ve been warned.

In the podcast for this episode, Ron D. Moore referred to “The Hand of God” as the Big Mac episode; it’s largely an episode just about the battle, so they decided to just go all out and make some cheesy goodness out of it.

And they succeed; the battle is pretty good, although better ones are on the way, the plan was solid (with some nifty misdirection built in for kicks), and the crew managed to win the day, with unfortunate losses on the trip. They had the right idea to restrict these encounters as much as possible, but it’s good to see our team win occasionally. Although, I’m beginning to agree with Strega that the constant raa-raaing is getting old. It’s terrible, but I like them more when they’re all moody and depressed; it’s better storytelling.

So, that’s it for the A-plot; the sideline stories are actually more interesting in this one.

During a press conference, Roslin has a vision of snakes crawling over her podium and is noticeably freaked out by the experience. She consults a priestess, Elosha, about what this could mean (Chamalla is also used in religious ceremonies), and lo and behold, she’s hit with Pythia’s prophecy about a dying leader who has a vision of 12 snakes; the leader will guide the people to the 13th tribe but will die before they reach Earth.

It all adds up and in a couple of episodes, she’ll take drastic steps to see that prophecy is carried out.

Then there’s Gaius Baltar, who through blind luck, manages to pick out the spot to bomb so the Fleet can win the battle. It’s a miracle that all places, he would *know* the right one to obliterate. Of course, it’s not a miracle; he’s an instrument of God, as Head Six keeps telling him, but this is the first time he really sees that. He’s still Baltar, and he uses that revelation to inflate his oversized head even more, but it’s the truth.

This leaves us with one prophet whose goal is to get as many people as possible to a new world before she dies, and another prophet whose goal is to stay alive using any means necessary. They are both instruments, they are both Hell-bent on achieving their goals, and they are both so blind. As Head Six says here, and Gaius will say way down the road, God isn’t on any one side, and maybe there is more than one way, more than one plan, to *win.*

But the gods aren’t totally clueless; both profits need to survive the paths they are on, and these visions will help them both. They are the tools to help Gaius deal with the guilt of his actions (it’s far down there, but it’s there) and to give Laura the motivation to do something with the life she’s got left. Of course, both good and bad things come from these prophets, but that’s just the kind of show we’re watching.

Not bad for a Big Mac.

Next up: “Colonial Day”