Battlestar Galactica: Faith

As the mutiny winds down (with one tragic consequence), Starbuck embarks on her mission, hoping that she can trust Leoben. Back in the fleet, Roslin meets another woman who offers her a new way of faith.


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.

Faith is hard in the face of death. It’s easy to believe that someone is looking out for you, or even that some big being in the sky loves you, when things are going great in your life. Things get trickier in those moments when your life isn’t going great, like when your mother dies painfully after a long battle with cancer, or when your search has been fruitless for so long, or when you survive the end of the world only to die of cancer three years later.


Baltar doesn’t appear in this episode, but his voice and his message of the One True God do; Roslin’s new friend/hospital mate Emily (played by the thoroughly awesome Nana Visitor from “Deep Space Nine”) tries to teach our wary dying leader what Baltar brings to the table. Even Emily will admit he’s still a shit, but he’s not full of it. This new message of one loving god, Emily tells her, is just what Roslin needs, because here is a God worthy of the love of the people. This God gives even dying people hope for a better world beyond.


Powerful stuff, made even more powerful for a dying Roslin, who has lost most of her connections to her life (her sisters, her parents, Billy, Elosha) and who is set to lose a lot more. Even she’s beginning to have doubts about her place in this crazy world, and even she can accept that maybe, just maybe, Baltar’s message is worthwhile.


Starbuck and her crew are another bunch in need of some new faith. The action picks right back up this week with the mutiny (which is the second out of three for Gaeta) and its aftermath. Gaeta’s going to lose more than his leg this time around, but Starbuck too learns there is no shame in backing down. She flies off with some of her crew to find out the truth to Leoben’s story, and lo and behold, everything is as he said it would be. Starbuck even finds her song again, and the planet and the comet get thrown in for free too.


But this alliance isn’t going to be easy, it’s not meant to be easy, but both sides have to put their guns away if any progress is going to be made. It’s time to stop looking back at the wrongs and move forward, and it’s down to Starbuck and Natalie, two women looking to deal for peace but who are afraid to make the leap.


Starbuck has to watch her friend Barolay, her stalwart supporter, die on the ground over nothing, and Natalie has to kill her sister, a member of a dwindling tribe, for murder. It’s a moment made to break the fragile peace, but both our leaders pass the test and move on, not forgetting but letting go.


Leoben was right to come to Starbuck; Starbuck was right to follow him; Roslin was right to go to Kobol; Bill was right to follow her lead. So many great things have happened for our fleet because they believed in the unseen. Even Bill Adama is willing to believe, to hope, for Earth. Shame about that first Earth, but well, it worked out it the end…we’re here, right?


Stray thoughts

         Maybe it’s a little heavy handed, but the message in the episode, Faith=good, touches every story line, but a surprising one was with Athena. Long ago, she made a choice to side with humans, and while she’s been beaten down continually, her faith has never faltered in her decision. She never betrayed her newfound family, and even now, she’s still distancing herself from her old family by refusing her former sister’s dying request. A shitty move (what harm would it do?), but thankfully Anders was there to offer some comfort to a dying Eight.

         And this week, another death of a minor character. Jean Barolay survived being a rebel fighter on Caprica, being a resistance fighter on New Caprica, the Exodus and everything else to die here.  Humans joke about death all the time, even Emily and Roslin joke about it, but we can laugh because we never have to live through it. That damaged Six shouldn’t have had to survive her own brutal murder, and even though it’s their ultimate trump card, even the Cylons can see now just how wrong resurrection is. No wonder they would give it up.

         The comments about Zeus handing out destinies make a lot of sense in this world. You were born a farmer, you will always be a farmer, your children will always be farmers is just the type of thing a vengeful god would do to his subjects, and it’s just the type of thing a ruling class would impose on their less-wealthy neighbors. As always, Baltar turns out right, even if we hate the messenger.


Next up: “Guess What’s Coming to Dinner”