The Colonials attack the Cylon fleet, with some surprising results. Gaius lets his villainy run wild by helping Gina, and both Adama and Cain display some humanity toward each other.
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.
Everytime I think of this episode, I only really remember two scenes: the battle, and Roslin and Adama’s scene at the end. Even now, almost a year after the show wrapped, I’m still surprised that other stuff was going on here.
First, the battle; while it lasts on screen for maybe seven minutes, this battle is still one of my favorites. If you can describe a battle as beautiful, this is it, with the mournful music, Lee’s unique view outside of the action (echoes of Midway), the ghastly imagery of the resurrection ship’s destruction (and all the empty bodies floating out into space), it’s really something spectacular.
Plus, this battle was the first time I really started paying attention to the music in the show; Bear McCreary is an extraordinary musician, and with the battle sequence themes and the Roslin/Adama theme at the end, I’m officially in his camp forever. FOREVER.
As I said, the battle is the focal point of the action, but there’s a lot more here than just the attack. Admiral Cain meets her end here, and while she’s a great character (written and performed), I think Starbuck is wrong in her assessment of Cain.
The Colonials were not safer with her around; sure, Starbuck doesn’t (likely) have all the facts about Cain, but here is a woman who murdered her best friend, sent her soldiers on suicide runs for a paltry victory, left civilians to die, and then abused and tortured an enemy soldier.
Starbuck sees a woman she admires, one who doesn’t dither or second-guess herself, someone who always acts. Starbuck loves Adama and Roslin, but she can’t help but feel that they aren’t the leaders she wants them to be.
However, I also think Roslin was somewhat wrong (and somewhat right) about Cain. Cain could back down; she had the opportunity to assassinate Adama/Tigh, etc., and she didn’t. Maybe, in light of their shared victory, she was more willing to see his position. Maybe she felt, strategically, it wasn’t the right time. Maybe she didn’t have the fight in her anymore. We’ll never really know, but like Adama’s choice, she made the right one (fortunately, Gina and her handy sidekick Gaius were around to clean up a future mess).
Speaking of Gaius, what an odd journey this second half of the season finds for him. He shamelessly lies to this damaged woman, in the hopes that she will become the flesh and blood woman he’s been missing. As always, he’s a man with an agenda that benefits only him (and his actions will affect thousands). People are going to die because of his relationship with Gina (starting with the deaths in this episode we saw here), and what makes him so despicable (but so compelling) is that he doesn’t think about anything but what’s happening right now. (All the good will he bought in “Pegasus?” Gone.)
Another person not thinking things through is one Lee Adama; I always liked Lee, but he’s too idealistic for his own good. He wants everything and everyone to be something they’re not, and when he’s confronted with some hard truths, he falters and breaks. In a few episodes, he’ll be so confused and disillusioned he won’t even recognize himself. He’ll be better for the hardship, but it’s not exactly going to be fun to watch someone rebuild themselves.
OK, I think I’ve rambled on enough about this episode that surprises me every time. However, as an unrepentant ‘shipper, I couldn’t let this review end without mentioning the final promotion scene between Roslin and Adama. After everything I’ve seen the two of them go through, that scene still gets to me.
She gives him his dream, he tries to give her hope. She promotes him in the Fleet, he promotes her in his heart. They both acknowledge how they feel, even if they can’t say it out loud. I never asked for that relationship, but it was, it is my favorite. And here it begins.
Next up: “Epiphanies”