Episode Reviews (17)
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Deadlock was a really excellent episode of Battlestar Galactica and I enjoyed watching because of the intrigue, drama, and suspense. Ellen boards Galactica and eventually gets to see the other final four Cylons. It was great to watch the interactions with everyone. Baltar returns to his followers to perhaps rediscover himself and finds things have changed. I as a viewer can see how human the Cylons have become and find it interesting that more humans don't see it. It's strange to think of every thing that every one has been through, holding to their ideals, but that is no longer a luxury which can cause some tension. In the end Adama chooses progress and cooperation, which he and President Roslin discover in the end is the right way to go. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
Ellen returns to the Galactica and doesn't take to kindly to Saul and Caprica's relationship, especially the fact that she is pregnant.
Ellen returns to the Galactica and doesn't take to kindly to Saul and Caprica's relationship, especially the fact that she is pregnant. Gaius returns to his flock and gets a mixed welcome. When he convinces them to share with those less fortunate someone comes in with bigger guns and takes their stuff. He convices Bill Adama to give them bigger guns to protect themselves
Bill Adama is concerned abount the compound the Cylons are using to fix Galactica with. He is afraid that it may look like the Galactica on the outside, but on the inside it will be cylon.
Re remaining five cylons vote on whether to return to the Base Ship. The votes to return outnumber the ones to stay, but it remains to be seen if that return.moreless
Revealing.... but clumsy.....
I seem to be out-of-step with many of the commentators here where it comes to BSG. The whole "reveal" of the Cylon heritage didn' quite work for me while others found it deeply satisfying; the "uprising" seemed overly drawn-out to me, with much of the action somewhat "forced", while others found it compelling....
...And now we have Deadlock. "Filler!" seems to be the rallying cry around this one. Well, while there is undoubtedly Not Much Going On in any physical sense, I would suggest that the story here is rather more than simply filling time as we draw closer to the finale. No, I'd actually classify it as rather revealing. Because when it comes down to it, the segment ultimately reveals just how close to humanity - with all its flaws, faults and hang-ups - the Original Five really are (and by extension, their entire race). People have commented that it is a "shame" Ellen reverted once she reached Galactica, or that it "didn't make sense" for her to do so after everything shown in "No Exit". But the fact of the matter is, it made perfect sense, underlining as it did that the Ellen we've come to know and loathe is one and the same person as the Ellen who showed such brilliant compassion in "No Exit": all we'ver seen are two different sides of the same potentially brilliant (given she did lead the Original Five in their endeavours) individual who is flawed by and almost crippling lack of self-worth and jealousy. The jealous / vindictive Ellen has nothing to do with Cavil/John's manipulation of her memories or personality - it is actually exactly who she is, and always has been. A small hint of this was given in "No Exit" in her question to Cavil regarding booze on his base ship. The bottom line is, she's a deeply passionate woman, and that passion can lead her as much into acts of destruction (her toying with Tigh and others on her first arrival on the Galactica, and now her vindictiveness towards Caprica Six and Tigh) as it can lead her to the heights of understanding and brilliance (her ability to bring a team together capable of resurrecting the resurrection technology). And if this is true of Ellen, then again, what you see with the others - Tyrol's moodiness, Tigh's alcoholism - aren't fabrications created by Cavil before he sent them to humanity - they are their natural temperaments. And it is the single aspect of the Five that reveals them as being all too human - and as such, very much a part of the fleet around them. No, the problem with this episode is not that people seem to be "out of character" - they're not. The problem with this episode is simply this: it is clumsily written and poorly executed. Others have mentioned the repeated shots of a worried Adama inspecting the Cylon repairs going on aboard his ship - and i have to agree; the message was loud and clear the first time we saw it, and while a further shot would be acceptable to cover in case people missed it the first time around, the 3rd and 4th, etc., shots were really belabouring the point to sledgehammer/nut proportions. This is the most obvious demonstration of the carelessness inherent in the story. Then there is a the whole "Dogsville" situation. Exceuse me, but when, exactly, did Galactica become the home of the disposed and unwanted, with sections of the ship now seemingly lifted directly out of Babylon 5's Brown Sector? Baltar's little nest of followers never really did sit well....but seeing these kinds of conditions apparently rampant across the ship just didn't work, and again smacked of one of those 3:00am "good ideas" writers will thrown into a script. And don't get me started on the sudden and apparently drastic food shortage in the fleet. Gee, maybe it's just as well Zarek DID have the Quorum shot - if he hadn't, we'd have had to have all those pesky politicos screaming and shouting about food shortages, rationing, etc. Now, with them well, dead, there's no need to get bogged down with all that reasonable extrapolation stuff and nuisance backstory plotting....
Without a doubt the core message of this segment really could have been handled a lot better and in a more fitting manner than unfolded here. Certainly, the pacing was certainly off, and while the further revelations on the real nature of the Original Five (anyone for the slogan, "more human than humans"?) did largely work, one still has to ask was it really necessary - I think it fair to same most of us Get It when it comes to the nature of humans and the nature of the Original Five. One can only hope that - with the piano, Thrace's return to moodiness, Sam's brain kick-starting itself - we're now about to start the final rollercoaster to the finale. Even so, it's really hard to see just what, in the overall story arc, has warranted this season being extended by an additional episode (with "Daybreak 2" being a "double" episode in length) - other than a nagging fear that we have more clumsy / lazy writing to come.moreless
Adama's frustrated when using Cylon technology on Galactica. Ellen returns. Adama's frustrated when using Cylon technology on Galactica. The Cylons debate leaving the fleet. Adama's frustrated when using Cylon technology on Galactica. Tigh's baby dies.
What is there to say? The episode covered the necesarry points to move the plot forward. The theme that Cylons and humans must integrate in order to survive is reinforced especially through the death of Liam. While the plot points are necessary, the episode developed in a way that was a bit emotionally uninvolving. Basically, I'm glad I saw it to prepare for what's next but I don't have a lot to say about it and doubt much of it will stay in memory for long. One good point was the re-introduction of some humor. Have to love Baltar loading a magazine into his weapon.moreless
This feels more like a bog standard filler hour; a competent concentration on character intrigue, yes, but certainly not one of the final five big episodes.
Last week, Battlestar Galactica upped the ante. Hell, it far more than upped the ante: it damn well ripped it apart, stamped all over the remains and Roadrunnered into the distance, leaving the rest of us to pick up the pieces, windswept and shell shocked. It was a thoroughly thrilling feeling, watching the show give us a huge chunk of the answers we've been craving for the better part of four years and it seemed to truly reinforce the notion that we are actually on the final stretch, the last, desperate gasp before the finish line. The final sprint, as it were. Unfortunately, you really wouldn't know from simply watching this episode. If you'd missed 'No Exit', sure, there'd be a few plot points you might have trouble following, particularly in the character interplay, but you certainly wouldn't immediately be aware that we are building towards the end. Jane Espenson's script feels more like a bog standard filler hour, a competent concentration on character intrigue, yes, but certainly not one of the big final five episodes.
It is perhaps more a fault of scheduling than anything else. Arguably, any episode that followed such a heady fan-pleasing fest as 'No Exit' was bound to struggle to live up to its lofty heights... but it might've been nice if the production staff had actually tried. There is so much unresolved story still hanging in the balance, so many interesting places that Galactica's season-spanning narrative can still go, that it's almost a little insulting that they choose the throw the brakes on again and engage in a wee bit of navel-gazing. This seems to suggest that the final hours of the show, the four episodes that remain (series finale is two hours long, so we get five hours), are going to be bursting at the seams with plot and revelation, provided the writers follow through on their promise to tie up all the loose ends, and this, boys and girls, is a little worrying. The last thing we need is for Battlestar Galactica to sacrifice its cornerstone, the modus operandi that has caused it to be so successful over the years, and favour exposition at the cost of character development. The two need to be married: the show's best episodes see them working together in equal harmony. With so much story to get through (Roslin/Six's dreams, the Cylon/human child, the remaining Cylons who didn't rebel, STARBUCK, original Cavel, Final Five's roles etc. etc.), it's questionable whether the show can afford to produce episodes like 'Deadlock' that just seem to stall its overall progression.
The essential story can be summarised thusly: Ellen returns to Galactica and is forced to confront the changes that occurred among her fellow Final Five members. Baltar returns to his flock. Adama wanders around the ship a bit, pulling distressed faces and worrying about the morality of what he's doing. There's nothing essentially wrong with this triad as a series of narrative tropes but it certainly feels underwhelming given where we've been taken to in the past few weeks. Ellen's return, to begin, is nicely handled and Kate Vernon does an excellent job throughout, but her essential conflict becomes very tired, very fast. She reverts to the manipulative, selfish woman she seemingly was in the first few seasons and abandons the wise demi-God-esque insights that elevated her character in last week's episode. Now, okay, so perhaps this a telling psychological point: when she's around Sol, this is what she becomes. It is perfectly plausible that this is a deliberate character decision on the part of the writing staff; however, it simply rankles somewhat because we are forced to play out the frustrating 'jealousy over new flame' motif. And boy, do they play it out. Ellen is given a number of scenes that essentially echo each other vis a vis her opinion on the matter. By the time we get around to Six's miscarriage, we've been so battered around the head with Ellen's self-obsession that it is difficult to muster any empathy for the woman as she begins to repent, seeing the wrong in how she has been acting. Problematically, the death of Liam is rather telegraphed too, particularly as Ellen essentially determines, in her dialogue no less, that his existence rather rubbishes the point of Hara. Oh well, we'd better get rid of the pesky critter then. Can't have two plot vehicles vying for the same level of attention, can we? And the continued syntagmatic juxtaposing of Ellen and Sol's romantic machinations with Caprica Six's 'baby pangs' is just too obvious for words.
There are some very nice scenes in amongst all of this, of course: Ellen's interactions with her fellow Cylons tend to work rather well and Bill and Sol's two comparative sequences in which, first, Sol reassures his friend about the decision to amalgamate human and Cylon technology and then, conversely, Adama comforts his friend over the loss of his child, are both excellently played and considerably moving. The strength of the friendship between these two is always wonderfully illustrated by the sheer quality of the acting. Honestly, I challenge you to find a better, more achingly human relationship depicted on contemporary television. It's a shame that this is the only strength in Adama's function in the episode: elsewhere, he simply strokes his chin a bit while examining the changes that are occurring on his ship. Honestly, there are so many unnecessary ten to fifteen second silent scenes peppered throughout the hour, in which Bill simply looks at a Cylon worker or looks at some damaged part of Galactica, that I lost count. Now, perhaps Espenson included them simply to break up the Final Five's sequences and to remind us that, yes, Adama still exists. Frankly, I wish she hadn't. There's no way any one of us is going to forget Edward James Olmos in a hurry and while he is the central character, there's no reason why he can't take a brief breather and only appear in the one or two scenes in which he is actually relevant. We don't need to see him every six or seven minutes! If anything, it just makes the ship-as-metaphor-for-social-situation motif far too obvious. It's like we're being hit over the head with the point and I, for one, am not a fan of it.
And then there's Baltar, back with his fans. The jury's out on this one, kids. While there are some considerably amusing lines of dialogue in these scenes that illustrate subtly just how in-over-his-head Gaius is, the essential drive of the story is a little questionable. Sure, it seems set to give Adama the counter argument for his human/Cylon interaction policy, but do we really need to reignite the whole 'Baltar as religious intercessor' notion? It was kooky enough back when it was first introduced in the early stages of season four and just seems to smack of a distinct loss of something constructive to do with the character. I mean really, does anyone buy that he would successfully fool all of these people into thinking he is some form of Heavenly messenger? Especially after he jumped ship the moment things looked bad for everyone? Do we really think there would be one objection alone to his returning once everything has calmed down and not helping them during their hour of need? Oh sure, he seems to be slightly repentant now, feeding the needy and that, but this is largely to assuage the doubts voiced by the ONE OBJECTOR and regain his place as 'head of the tribe'. It doesn't comes across as true, selfless vindication and that's obviously the point, but the religious mumbo-jumbo that it's tied up with still rankles with me. Again, it's a distraction from the business of resolving the main plot and I'm not convinced it's the best resolutory arc for Baltar's character. But, as I said, the jury's out. We'll wait and see.
Something of a curious beast, this one. There is much to praise, particularly the stellar performances provided by the vast majority of the cast, and there are some superbly written scenes, but the whole feels rather lacking. Coming off the heels of last week's reveal-fest, the slow-burning character examinations that typify 'Deadlock' feel more than a little disappointing and out of place. It's as if they put their foot on the accelerator and then jerked to a sudden stop for no good reason. With such a wealth of unresolved plot points left to address and an ever-dwindling amount of time to do so, you'd think this kind of navel-gazing would've been a thing of the past. A season ago, hell, twelve episodes ago, this would've been a great, reflective instalment... now it's an unfortunate distraction.moreless
Ellen is back, and up to some of her old tricks.
Not as much action or revelation here but I believe it is the stage setting episode for the grand finale.
I had a hunch Ellen was going to be trouble for Tigh and Six and I hate that I was right. It seems she gets around Tigh and she reverts to a manipulative trouble maker. I would use a different word but clean is required!
The stage is set to learn what Boomer will do now that she is back on Galactica, and how will Tyrol react. If how he acted after Callie died is any indication he's still in love with her.
The groundwork is laid for more about Kara and Anders. Lifesigns spiking at the end may lead to some interesting stuff.
I think that Baltar's flock is going to be a key factor now that they are armed.
Some nice touches: the cylon memorial wall, Adama comforting Tigh after the loss of his son, and the constant monitoring of the repairs. I think that's a symbol for the new blending of human and cylon.moreless
Too much hysterical nonsense
After the mind-blowing exposition marathon of the previous episode, which left the fandom in a whirl of discussion over the true history of the Cylons, it makes sense that the implications would need time to filter into the final arc of the series. It also makes sense that the arrival of Ellen Tigh would force the revel Cylons to make a decision about their own future. As it turns out, that decision was already made; the Cylons, like the Humans, are simply resisting the inevitable.
The repair/rebirth of the Galactica is about as blatant a metaphor as it gets, but it works as an ongoing theme. Right after the mutiny, the Galactica is ready to tear itself apart at the seams. The only solution: use organic Cylon technology to fill in the gaps and bring it new strength. Which is a nice way of communicating what many had speculated as early as the second season: the Cylons and Humans will only survive if they forge a future together.
To prove that out, however, certain things had to be resolved. First and foremost, there was the small matter of Caprica-Siz and her unborn child, which held the potential for pure Cylon reproduction. The writers try to frame the loss of the Cylon child as something brought on by Ellen's typical destructive behavior, but it's far more likely that it was just the inability of the Cylons to mate. (And thematically karmic, given what Caprica-Six did at the beginning of the series, just before the Cylon attack.)
This brings up an interesting point of continuity. If Ellen held the belief that a Cylon/Human hybrid was the hope for the future of the Cylons, then is it possible that she and the Final Five intentionally designed the skinjobs as unable to reproduce biologically? Is it possible that the Final Five understood the principle that Tigh voices in this episode from the beginning, and the skinjobs were specially meant to be more compatible with Human genetics? (The cloning/replication process of the skinjobs aside, of course.)
After all, in her own way, Ellen admits that "pure" communities of either kind, Human or Cylon, will ultimately destroy themselves. Humans always seem to come along and build Cylons, and if Earth is any indication, Cylons eventually follow suit. If one accepts the theory that the Lords of Kobol were the surviving Cylons of an even earlier cycle, then Cylons themselves might have attempted to foster a pure Human society that could break the chain. But, as seen, the Humans disregarded the warnings and created artificial life, and the rest is history.
The "majority rule" concept has been around for a while, and ultimately led to the Cylon civil war, once it was thwarted by the boxing of the Threes. It helps to explain why the Cylons continued down the path of creating a biological hybrid, even after Cavil convinced them to eliminate the 12 Colonies. If Cavil had been fully in charge, it's unlikely that the breeding experiments would have taken place. If anything, Cavil would have pushed the Cylons towards more lethal and efficient mechanical forms. The fact that Cavil was unable to fully control the path of the Cylons coming into the decimation of the Colonies does much to explain his grab for control of the Cylons in the wake of the New Caprica debacle.
In terms of what's coming, the "blended future", Baltar's predicted role has come to pass, though a bit later than expected. It's certainly not an easy alliance to forge, given the histories involved, but it does make sense. Baltar has a massive following, and now that the old religion of the Colonies has fallen in the wake of the discovery of Earth's true nature, his movement is the natural (if disturbing) replacement. It's still not clear what his religion is all about, but it does bridge a philosophical gap between Human and Cylon in its talk about the one loving God. And as Baltar says, it is the only remaining Human solution to the breakdown of Human society.
If nothing else, it's a stopgap solution, something to help the Human population come to terms with what it will take to survive. The Cylons are becoming more and more Human as they adopt Human rituals. The fact that Cylons are putting pictures of their dead on the wall, right next to the pictures of victims of the Colonial holocaust, is a poignant sign. Perhaps most telling is the unspoken implication: there hasn't been a confrontation about it, and no one is tearing down the pictures. In other words, despite the friction between both sides, this new practice has been accepted. As Adama says, the process has already started. Lee and Laura don't have to voice their acceptance of it to make it real.
On the one hand, the likelihood is that this alliance and eventual "blended future" will allow Humanity to survive. On the other, that survival is, from a certain point of view, the final capitulation to the Cylons. In essence, the series will probably end with the rather dark notion that the Cylons did exactly what they set out to do. The fact that this allows Humanity to continue in some fashion doesn't change that fact. And that goes a long way towards explaining Adama's self-destructive binge of late.
Considering how much of the episode was actually focused on Ellen and her whirlwind tendency to disrupt everything, I haven't said very much about it. That's because Ellen has always annoyed the hell out of me, and I'm not convinced that her character logic adds up. Part of the problem is that the episode felt like it was edited using a blender. I can only assume that this is one of those episodes that had to be butchered to get it down to time. The producers made it clear at one point that many of the final episodes would need to run long or be cut dramatically, and based on the haphazard storytelling at play here, this would seem like a prime example.
Ellen seemed to be trying to prove a point about Tigh's true allegiance: Bill Adama, the Galactica, and the Colonial Fleet. He's never been particularly unclear on that point, so I'm not sure why it had to be reinforced under such circumstances. Perhaps Ellen wanted the other models to see that any decision to leave the fleet would only fracture them more? Whatever the case, Ellen's motivations seem like their all over the map, and that makes it hard to follow.
The Liam connection was very moving, of course, and it makes perfect sense. Bill and Saul have been carrying each other since the very beginning, which is why Adama fell apart so completely when Saul admitted that he was a Cylon. It also explains why Adama has been able to accept the notion of a "blended future". His dearest friend has been a Cylon all along, and chose not to abandon him or their friendship. How could Adama turn his back on that?
Ultimately, this episode suffered from two fatal flaws. The focus on Ellen Tigh and her chaotic, destructive personality is off-putting and frustrating, especially when there is so little time left for resolution. But more importantly, the episode just felt like it was crammed into an hour when it needed much more time to tell its story organically.moreless
Felt more like an episode of the O.C. rather than BSG.
Pretty much a filler episode. Nothing new happened. It felt more like an episode of the O.C. or 90210 or One Tree Hill or any one of those other teen soap operas. Although the past 3 episodes have been good, this one really tanked. Overall I find BSG in every 10 episodes of BSG, I find that there's is only 1 good episode. When it's a good episode... it's really good. However I hate having to sift through countless episodes of filler for just one really good episode. I hope the finale will be a "good" episode. No more OC-like episodes please.moreless
Too much soap and too little going on
In my opinion this was the weakest episode in this season. Not much was going on and that Ellen hasn't changed much if at all didn't come to a big surprise. There aren't many episodes left to wrap this gigantic story up and this episode felt like a lost chance to bring the story further. I also had a problem with Bill Adama. This is now the second consecutive week in which he re-enacts Saul Tigh from season one - being drunk as skunk. I get it. He is depressed. His girls (Galactica and Laura) are both dying and he can do nothing against it. We get it, now can he please sober up and figure out what to do with this whole Cylon/human mess? The best scene in my opinion was when Adama and Roslin strolled around and found out that the Cylons are also posting the pictures of the Cylons who have died since joining the fleet in the same memorial place as the humans do. It really made a point in regards of the nature of the ship and the fleet. Both have already started becoming hybrids. In any other series this would have been an outstanding episode but BSG is exceptional and is much, much better then this. This makes the episode okay but not good. Come one BSG only four more episodes to go. Show us what you got!moreless
Lame, lame, lame. Skip it.
Lame, lame, lame. Nothing happened, but worse, it jut feels like BSG has really lost its way. The original premise was so cool and so brilliant, but with all the revelations as to the identity of the Final Five, the focus of the show has shifted from humans trying to save the human race to these non-humans whose goals and desires are unknown and therefor impossible to identify with.
At this point, I can't even figure out why the Cylons nuked the colonies in the first place if they were all on the %$##ing Battleship. Hoping remain eps will be good, but glad show is ending before it gets strays even farther for its original awesomeness.moreless