Episode Reviews (18)
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A Disquiet Follows My Soul
A Disquiet Follows My Soul was a perfect episode of Battlestar Galactica because it showcased what every one was feeling after discovering Earth and being served disappointment. The Cylons make a bold suggestion and the Admiral wants to utilize Cylon Jump Technology so the fleet can find a new home faster and more efficiently. This all causes an uproar among civilians and those in the service alike. It was also interesting to see Roslin dealing with things in her own way. Tyrol is given some surprising news and later gets into a fight, but in the end he helps Hot Dog adjust to becoming a Father. It was great to watch the Admiral bluffed Tom Zarek. Things seem to be heating up and I certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
Gallactica is going no where fast.
what was the point of this episode? sometimes this show feels like an outer space soap opera. you start to realize that they shot it on a sound stage with bad lighting and then it starts to feel cheap. they owe us some action & special effects after this long a wait. do something cool. we don't care about politics, cyclon babies, or smoking doctors any more than we care about grandma & grandpa's love affair. or grandma and grandpa's guilt. get over it. and why are they giving so much screen time to characters we dislike? it's as if the writers themselves don't know where to go with this after they discovered Earth.moreless
An intensely dramatic episode, dealing with the uprising in the fleet.
A pure drama episode; being called a 'filler' would insult it to the bone.
Very strong character developments and lots of build-up towards the mutiny aboard the Galactica. I'm actually very eager towards the next episode, to see how the action unfolds.
At the same time I'm disappointed at the lack of development on the various 'mysteries'. I'd really like to see more scenes about the final five and their memories, and learn more about what happened to Earth.
Overall this episode had a lot happening, but still felt like a lot was missing:
Kara - One amazing scene, left me wanting more of her.
Gaius - No god? Why's the sudden change of heart? And what about Head Six? She's been missing for too long.
Tyrol - Wooah, he's getting along with his Cylon buddies now? It came out of nowhere, kind of. I'm glad Niki is a regular kid, makes more sense about the importance of Hera. That story felt a little... thrown in, though.
Too many things to do in 45 mins, if you ask me. I don't expect the next episode to deal with anything but the mutiny, but I hope it's done better than this episode.moreless
Another side to Gaeta is revealed and Nicky turns out not to be Tyrol's. A big step down from last week this acts as set-up for future episodes
After last episode which was truly the best thing on television all week this was a major let-down. It sets events in motion for future episodes but sometimes haphazardly so. Out of the blue Gaeta in particular has become more bitter than he was, and the script and Allesandro Juliani performance felt a little rushed and staged, not in service of the character rather the plot. It's good to see Gaeta come out of the shadows as I like his progression over the last Season but why did it happen so hurriedly and with such malice (Starbuck more than holds her own in one of these scenes though).
As in tune with the end of last episode it seems Ellen is most definitely the Fifth. I will like to see where this goes once she returns. Also, it seems that Adama is taking pills, could he be the dying leader and not Roslin? Only time will tell.
Speaking of Roslin, she seems to have given up hope and is determined to let her cancer take it's course. She doesn't care anymore and would prefer to be selfish and in some ways Adama I think feels the same. Only unlike her he isn't going to give-up for the sake of his people's survival. Roslin's sudden fitness boom felt a little out of place but I guess she needs to occupy herself somehow.
Leaving Zarek in Charge (as is obvious by his past) was clearly going to be a mistake, where as this intersected with Gaeta's storyline it felt more true to the character and I liked it. It once again felt rushed though. Baltar's dissolution will obviously come back to haunt him however as Head-six will surely come back to preach the Cylon gods word to him. I liked this although if there was more time then more from Baltar would have been great. More from Tyrol as well should have been made as he finds out that Nicholas is not his Son. As it's revealed in a scene straight after Caprica's baby scan you can't help but feel that this revelation paves way for the new kid on the block however. Finally, the last 2 scenes come out of almost nowhere. Gaeta forming an alliance with Zarek and Adama in bed with Roslin feel plastered on to the end. So important set-up we may have here but in terms of a satisfying episode, not so much.moreless
Sometimes, this show blows us away. And, unfortunately, other times, like with A Disquiet Follows my Soul, it makes us wonder if the writers even know what they're doing. A tremendous fall after last week's spectacular premiere.
Battlestar starts off season 4.5 with one of its greatest outings yet. And then you have a disaster of remarkable proportions, like this episode, which really makes you question if the writers of this show have any idea, at all, what they're doing. It speaks to the horror of what's on the screen when the best thing to say about this episode is: "The season would have been ten times better if it simply disappeared from existence." The problems are far too numerous to count, but I'll make an attempt anyway.
Why the creators of the show would imagine that a political plot between Gaeta (a secondary character at best) and Tom Zarek (most definitely a tertiary one) would be interesting enough to hold our attention for an hour is mind-boggling. We are not invested in these characters enough to care so deeply, and attempting to (re-)characterize Gaeta now in season 4 by pitting him against characters we like (Adama, Tigh, and Kara) is all the wrong ways to do it.
But let's say they want to split the Fleet anyway, since this is good drama, right? And mutinies are always interesting, right? Then don't show it from a MILE AWAY. This is TV 101. Battlestar can get so wrapped up in showing how everything happens that they remove any iota of drama that could have been gleaned out of it. I was watching the previews for the next episode -- with Gaeta staging a mutiny in the CIC -- and the only thing I could think of was that that would have made a much better episode this week. Not only would they have skipped a lot of boring, terrible dialogue had they skipped this episode's events entirely, they would have also made the next episode's events that much more exciting because they would have been a plot-twist.
These problems are all compounded by horrible writing. Every second line that comes out of Gaeta's mouth is so bad I can't believe it was written into the script ("A pity frak's out of the question?!" he shouts), and his whole rant about how he almost died at the hands of the Evil Cylons & Wife in season 3 had me waiting for Kara's reply: "Yeah, and those are the same people that lead the Resistance and made sure you got off of New Caprica alive you ungrateful SOB." That would have put things in perspective... but it would also highlight the inconsistency in turning the likable Felix Gaeta into a ranting, raving lunatic.
And let's not forget Tyrol's part in this episode, which is a retcon of laughable proportions which only serves to make DIFFERENT scenes make no sense. Okay, so they didn't know back in season 3 when Chief and Cally had a baby that he'd be a Cylon, and that a half-Cylon child would take away from Hera's thunder. So now they have to retcon away that Tyrol's not Nicky's real dad (can someone get Maury?), emphasizing their earlier mistake by this crappy resolution. As if that's not bad enough, now Cally's attempt to airlock the baby in season 4 makes even less sense -- it was always questionable that she would try to kill herself instead of alerting the Fleet (at least before killing herself), but we could rationalize it by a desire to not confront the shame of bearing a half-Cylon child. But wait, she knew all this time that Nicky was human? So her first instinct was to go and kill a perfectly fine baby when she found out there were Cylon stowaways onboard the Galactica? Riiight.
So we spend half of the season 4.5 episode characterizing Gaeta and Zarek, and we spend the other half fixing a plot hole from yesteryears. And some other half breaks all sort of mathematical laws that we previously took for granted, to show that Roslin is getting on with her life. In a greater episode, that could have been a subtle, critical characterization -- in this one, it is simply more filler. Baltar's appearance attempts to redeem the whole mess, and even then, his destitute countenance only graces us for some thirty-odd seconds.
This show is not about Felix Gaeta or Tom Zarek, and it's far too late to change that. Which means that focusing on these two characters as they go about building a resistance for an entire episode has the dramatic depth of a random character, say, Helo, going about his daily routine, say, locking up crazy doctors. Didn't we already try that? It didn't go over so well. What they should focus on is the reaction to these events from the characters we do care about, and it looks like next week will be about just that. The question remains, "What in Gods' names were they thinking?" Additional points docked because this episode actually makes others (the next one; Cally's suicide; anything with Felix) worse on re-viewing.
Apart from appreciating the political action for its theoretical depth, there's just absolutely no way to positively look on this episode. This isn't bad Battlestar, which usually has very high standards... this is bad TV.moreless
If there's one single compliment I can give 'A Disquiet Follows My Soul' it would be the following (paraphrased) quote by J.G. Ballard: '[the episode] rub[s] the human face in its own vomit... and forces it to look in the mirror.'
Curiously, there seems to be rather a substantial amount of negative feeling towards this episode in the immediate aftermath of its initial airing. The general consensus of these criticisms is that 'A Disquiet Follows My Soul' is a 'filler' episode, barely moving the narrative forward in any 'satisfying' way and sidestepping the myriad questions that are still dangling, as well as the new developments that occurred in 'Sometimes A Great Notion'. To be fair, the absence of any reference to Ellen being the final Cylon (aside from Lee Adama's slip up when he addresses the Quorum) does rankle a little, given the gravitas of the repercussions of this discovery. However, this bitter, cynical, twisted critic loved this episode. Yes, the big action sequences are put to bed. Yes, the show's mythology is fairly unaffected by its events... but give it time. In order for the big dramatic developments to be satisfying and believable, we need build, establishment, background. Major events always have a context and, in case you hadn't noticed, Battlestar Galactica is giving you exactly that, right now, right before your eyes. Emotionally, the mood hasn't improved much since the cast collectively banged their knuckles off the airlock doors in last week's episode; everyone's still very much on edge, although Roslin's had a disturbing 360 and is now ludicrously chipper, doing her exercises and running the length of the ship. Not healthy. Adama's battle-torn and war-weary, tired of the knocks his people continue to receive and, really, just wants to get down to the dirty with the President. And then there's the Quorum. The fleet. This is an absolutely crucial piece of plot development as it begins to sow the seeds of anarchic discontent... and you just know it's going to get a lot worse before it gets any better. The resentment against the Cylons and, through this, against the Adama/Roslin administration is superbly handled as, really, it's all down to the subtle nuances in the dialogue. Ronald D. Moore does an absolutely stellar job of depicting exactly how that horrible worm in human nature begins to twist and turn when it is filled with fear... and that's exactly how the fleet is, and it's what Tom Zarek and, later, Gaeta are feeding off. As the lines between good and evil, friend and enemy begin to blur, so the 'understanding, compassionate' human race abandons its moral code and listens to its most base instincts: resentment, bigotry, hatred. It is these ugly creatures that we see being born in 'A Disquiet Follows My Soul' and, like last week's instalment, it's hard to watch as a result of how damn believable it is. This is largely a result of Moore's superlative writing and direction but credit must also go to Alessandro Juliani for a thoroughly believable portrayal of the embittered Felix; he almost outshines Katee Sackhoff in his confrontation scene with Starbuck. Almost. (By the way, in case you didn't realise, the events of 'The Face of the Enemy' take place between 'Sometimes A Great Notion' and this episode). Personally, I see absolutely nothing wrong with the current trajectory of Battlestar Galactica's narrative; in fact, I'm savouring every deliciously complex, harrowing moment of it. If there's one single compliment I can give 'A Disquiet Follows My Soul' it would be the following (paraphrased) quote by J.G. Ballard: '[the episode] rub[s] the human face in its own vomit... and forces it to look in the mirror.'moreless
Adama wants to outfit Colonial ships with Cylon jump drives to help the fleet. Not everyone agrees with the plan.
This episode is a welcome return to the human drama that drives this series. The logic-defying twists (the history of the ancient Cylon civilization) have been trying at best. Considering the tragic themes, perhaps "enjoyable" is the wrong term, but it is great to see more of the characters themselves again. The loss, disappointment and despair are all palpable. What's more is that this allows the audience to identify and care more about the characters than otherwise possible. That is why next week's episode (which will hopefully satisfy all of those who enjoy a bit of action) will truly mean something. The final scene with Adama and Rosalyn was also beautiful. The way it underscored that the only thing of any real importance, especially in the face of losing everything else, is the love shared with the others in our lives. I also agree with those who noted that it is finally nice to see some romance on TV between mature adults. Excellent episode.moreless
Holding the line against the darkness
One would expect things to calm down a little after the relentless events of the previous episode, but that's not quite what happens. Instead, the fallout continues, the body count mounts behind the scenes, and the delicate fabric of Colonial society threatens to tear itself to ribbons. More than that, we get a chilling reminder that the heroes of the story are hardly white knights.
Adama is walking around, picking up all the pieces, trying to maintain some sense of order, personal and professional, in the face of crushing loss and despair. Adama also doesn't seem to be doing so well physically; he appears ill. It's impossible to tell if that's just the result of his attempt to contain his psychological and emotional pain or something more medically serious. Whatever the case, Adama is just barely holding things together.
Part of his problem is Roslin's decision to abandon her duties as President. All things being equal, Zarek has every right to step up to the plate and pursue his own agenda in her absence. It's also hard not to see his point of view. Working with the Cylons and trusting in their technology, even when it holds the promise of aiding Humanity's survival, must sound like insanity. After all, as more than one person points out, Humanity wouldn't be fighting for survival if it wasn't for the Cylons in the first place!
All of this harkens back to Adama's initial questions about Humanity's worthiness to survive. Ever since the Cylon attack, Humanity has been at cross-purposes. On the one hand, they continually try to overcome their own worst impulses to fight the enemy and survive another day. On the other, the hope they've held for years now is deliverance. They've been striving to find Earth because, in the minds of many, Earth would have magically solved all their problems.
Of course, even if it had been inhabited by the descendents of ancient Colonists, how could it have lived up to expectation? Unless they were advanced far beyond the fleet's standards, they would have been in rather sudden dire straits. As it stands, Earth had become a symbol for the ultimate external solution to Colonial problems.
Yet isn't that what started this entire problem in the first place? Humanity sought to ease their burdens and externalize tasks and responsibilities onto the Cylons they created, never once thinking that their mechanical servants would turn on them. And this is despite a religious order that knew of prophecies and histories that warned of just such a fate! In a very real sense, the Colonists are best defined by their penchant for passing responsibility for their survival and well-being to others.
Which is why Adama, Roslin, and those following them have been portrayed as the heroes of the story, even though they've been terribly flawed and questionable in their methods. These are the people getting things done when the times require it. They're making the hard sacrifices. As a result, it seems unnecessary, even traitorous, for someone with Zarek's reputation to question their right to represent the fleet.
But the episode goes out of its way to show that Adama doesn't really have anything on Zarek. The man can be a rabble rouser, and he has some questionable connections, but Adama blackmailed him into getting out of the way of progress as Adama defines it. (And there's no question that this is Adama's call, not Roslin's; Roslin seems to be going along with it more than pushing for it). This ties back into the notion that some colonies, like Caprica, were more powerful and entitled than others.
Which, in turn, ties into one reason why permanent alliance with the rebel Cylons would be a rather good move. If Adama is serious about moving on from the disappointment of Earth and finding a new direction and path, then bringing the Cylons into the fold and giving them a voice (perhaps a thirteenth seat on the Quorum?) is the best option. It still won't be a perfect solution, because resentments will linger for generations to come, but all the signs point to the notion that merging the two into one society is the only viable course.
There is another source of pressure, of course, and that would be the child of Tigh and Six. Even as the "importance" of Nicholas is wiped out of the equation with an unexpected paternity switch (shall we drag Cally through the mud some more?), this new child points to two things: a possible future for the Cylons as an evolving species, and the unique nature of the Final Five.
The Colonists would be very wise to forge this alliance before the Cylons come to the odd conclusion that they don't really need the humans at all. Or they need to figure out what makes the Final Five so special, such as the strong possibility that they are the end product of the previous cycle's Human/Cylon genetic merge, ala Hera. And all of this has to come to light before the alliance pulls itself apart.
Fresh off the events of "Face of the Enemy", the webisodes devoted to Gaeta, we see him emerge as the fanatical anti-Cylon warrior under Zarek's tutelage. A lot of people in the fleet are going to be willing to march for that cause, and it is not going to be pretty. Gaeta is essentially plotting a coup, and those are seldom without bloodshed.
The wild card in all of this is the rise of Baltar's cult, still percolating in the background. Given his previous leanings, would he marshal his followers to back Adama's alliance with the Cylons? It seems like a reasonable assumption, but with Baltar, who can say? It would be rather interesting if Adama and Roslin were forced, by circumstance, to ally themselves with Baltar. The way things are going, however, anything seems possible.
One final word: Ron Moore did a bang-up job with the direction of this episode. He avoided the usual pitfall of trying to introduce "trick shots" to prove that he has a unique perspective to show, and his style meshed with what has been prevalent to date. Moore had some great comments to make about the experience on the official podcast, and I would recommend that to those interested. He also mentions that a longer cut of the episode will be on the eventual DVD set; something tells me that will be the case for most of these final episodes.moreless
Following last week's mind frak of an episode, the foundation is laid for the final eight episodes. (Spoilers ahead)
Make no bones about it, last week's episode of BSG was fantastic. This week's episode 'A Disquiet Follows My Soul' lays the foundation for the remainder of the series. Boy does it look like things will get much worse for the Colonial fleet before it gets any better. After conferring with my Plurp colleagues, I've decided that I WILL write spoilers. This is because I don't want to miss out on an opportunity to engage you, the reader in discussion. So if you haven't seen 'A Disquiet Follows My Soul', I would suggest you stop reading.
Admiral AdamaLast week's episode more or less closed off the first three and a half seasons of Battlestar Galactica. This week's episode is in effect, a new beginning. It lays the foundation for what is to come. And it definitely looks like things will get worse before they get better for the Colonials. It's not as good as last week's episode, but then again, how do you follow up the mind job last week's episode did to you? Overall, its a slower, more deliberate episode where the effect of the scorched Earth on the rest of the fleet is really shown. So what happens?
It looks like Tom Zarek is attempting to plan a coup to overthrow Roslin and Adama. A very bitter Gaeta will be helping him. Roslin has given up. She has decided that she deserves some happiness before she dies and as a result, turned her back on her responsibilities as President. Admiral Adama also appears to be quite lost in terms of what to do. The rebel Cylons want to join the fleet as full fledged members in exchange for Cylon technology. Of course this does not go over well with Zarek and Gaeta.
Now it wouldn't be BSG without some sort of shocker; so what was it this week? Tyrol is NOT the father of his child. Instead, the father is Hotdog. So that means that Helo's and Athena's child is the ONLY Human / Cylon hybrid. We also find out that Six's and Tigh's child is the future of the Cylon race. Let's not forget that Adama and Roslin 'get it on' in the final scene. The fleet may be falling apart, but they sure looked happy!
The biggest thing about this episode is that it looks like there could possibly be a civil war in the Colonial fleet before its all said and done. It's not hard to see why; although allowing the Cylons to join the fleet is essentially required for survival, they are the reason Humanity is on the run. When Admiral Adama tells Gaeta, all options are on the table, you know he's not kidding. I can't wait to see where things go from here!
The Good: Kara telling Gaeta she has no issues hitting a 'cripple'. Adama bluffing his way to the truth with Zarek. Baltar denouncing god to his followers.
The Bad: Gaeta, as time goes on, I only hate him more. What a douche bag.
The Ugly: Nothing really, BSG is good that way!
More at www.theplurp.commoreless
Ugh, enough with the political power plays.
This episode was a major disappointment. I mean come on, this is the last season of Galactica and the writers have the audacity to write a filler episode. And another thing, I am so very, very sick and tired of episode conflicts centered on internal strifes and dissention in the ranks. There is a bad guy the cylons, and I am sick of the bad guy always being us. That we are our own worst enemy. Think back to the best episodes of the series: 33 - survival was the focus, Galactica jumping in orbit to rescue their people, great stuff. We were together fight our common enemy. Was the enemy us, no it is the Cylons. This Gaeda and Zerick crap is tired and played out. And when did Tyrol get so comfortable with him being a cylon.
Get back to the action, not the crap dramatic studies of human nature.moreless