Battlestar Galactica: Sometimes a Great Notion

After finding themselves back at the beginning, the fleet takes stock of themselves and tries to find ways to cope with their losses. Some succeed more than others.

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.

So, Earth.

What can you really say? It’s a craphole; it’s a copy of the twelve worlds they left behind when they started this journey. It’s a planet filled with ghosts, but not human ones; the 13th tribe…all Cylons. And since we’re all about revelations this time around, Ellen Tigh, the booziest of the boozy trollups, is the last member of the Final Five.

 

Whew.

I remember the night I watched this; it was the first episode of BSG that I watched the night it aired. It also aired the night before my birthday. I had finished my series binge watch in the previous October, and I patiently (and impatiently) waited and waited for this episode, and I managed to break my brain after one viewing (the only other episode to do that to me was “Lay Down Your Burdens” – for obvious reasons).

 

Seriously, I got a minimal amount of sleep, and all the next day while I was gallivanting around Los Angeles, all I could think of was all the things revealed in one short hour.

But things have changed in the almost-two years since this episode aired, and while we all know the truth now, it’s a bit easier to get swept up in the drama rather than the revelations.

These people that we’ve followed and loved and hated and pitied and cursed have reached the end of their hope. Their promised land burned to ashes long before they were ever born, and now they are left with just each other, for better or worse.

The prophecies were all true, but turns out the Cylons aren’t so different from humans after all. The 13th tribe arrived at their new world and flourished and followed the same path the other 12 tribes did, and they let the end of the world happen to them too.


But it’s not the end of the story, and Lee Adama has the right words and the right message to send his people, even if they are not willing to listen. All season, the people have asked themselves who are we, who do we want to be, and now they have the chance to act on those desires.

Pythia has spoken, her words were true but they are too old for a reborn people. It’s time to forge their own past through the cold, dark stars and they will survive this.

Frak Earth. It’s time for a new era.

Stray thoughts

  • I’ve had this 4.5 DVD set since last Christmas, but because of this rewatch, this is the first time I’ve actually got to rewatch any of the episodes. I’ve missed them, and since I’ve seen these ones less than the others (and I’m the most removed from them too), I can’t wait to get to watch more.

  • This was also the first episode I reviewed for my blog, so it’s also the first one I’ve written about twice. Twice!

  • It’s probably the most heavy mythology episode to come (second only to “No Exit), but what really works here is the little moments – Dualla finding the jacks on the beach, Roslin finding the plant, Tyrol’s casual, soul-crushing smile at his shadow. BSG is a show that thrives on dark, but I don’t think the show has ever done bleak quite like this episode does. It’s monumentally devastating, and but quietly wrenching too.

  • While I will always give props to Edward James Olmos for going full-throttle with his acting, he was way over the top during his suicide plea, but he pulled it together for rest of the episode. And kudos to Michael Hogan for bringing Olmos (and Adama) back down to Earth.

  • Surprisingly (at least to me) though, the moment that got to me more than any other was Starbuck discovering her body. She knew something weird had happened, but she could always write it off, because she knew what had happened: she flew to Earth and came back to show her family the way, and frak them if they don’t believe her. It happened, but now she’s got another wrinkle to deal with. Her other body even manages to scare Leoben away, which I did not think was possible.

  • One last word on Dualla; she hasn’t been around much this season, and she was barely around before that, but she was always one of my favorites (probably having to do with identifying with her the most). She offered a reflection for other characters, and while she had her moments (including one of my favorites scenes in “Home, Part One”) she tended to stick to the background. She kept the hope alive, she brought her pilots home, and now she has gone on ahead. She will be dearly missed.

Next up: “A Disquiet Follows My Soul” (extended)