Episode Reviews (22)
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Oh to be a cylon...
"Escape Velocity" is a tightly scripted episode with a lot of intriguing character turns that manages to zone in on internal conflicts, but fails to effectively web it into the bigger picture. As a result, there's an underlying feeling of over indulgence to the proceedings. While BSG has always been a show to mix it up, deciding to slow things down considerably at such a crucial point in the season is a little worrisome. I enjoyed Roslin's concerns that come with allowing Baltar the freedom to preach to blind followers, and I also enjoyed her sharing with Baltar that her concerns for what people think mean little to nothing to her now that she's dying. But there's very little else I would call memorable from this particular episode. I do find it odd that there has been no investigation to the death of Callie, and how everyone has seemingly accepted it was suicide, even if logic may say otherwise. Overall, a rather mute episode for the final season. Tigh's one-to-one with Six felt hammered into the script, and while it's neat to note Head-Six has physical impact on Baltar, his storyline is becoming a little repetitive already. So, an acceptable but by no means exceptional fourth episode from the final season. I'd probably cut this episode some slack if the writers were unaware that this was the finale year, but considering they did, this almost touches upon filler territory, even if it does explore the four of the five's budding curiosity of what it is to be a cylon.moreless
Escape Velocity was a perfect and entertaining episode of Battlestar Galactica and I really enjoyed watching this episode because Chief Tyrol is still dealing with Cally's death and he starts slipping, scaring the others he might reveal them by accident, Baltar rises to new heights amid a religious freedom scandal and The Admiral is forced to reassign the Chief. There was drama, intrigue, and lots of character development. Colonel Tigh seeks answers from the captive Caprica Six, which I thought would reveal him as a Cylon. Instead she beats him half to death to help him find the answers he seeks. I look forward to watching how things unfold in the following episodes!!!!!!!!!moreless
Once again this show falls aways from the story line, settles for padding out.
Isn't this show supposed to be about the survival of mankind against an over powering enemy? Aren't we supposed to be watching a scifi show about people trying to reach earth?
No, in this case, we are not. What we get to be subjected to is pointless drivel about how weak or strong some people are. Sure this might "set the mood" but it wastes a whole episode. Nothing actually happened.
If they want to pad it out, can't they spread one episode over two, and make something happen in each? This was so boring it hurt to watch.
Stop dragging it out. Finish the story before people can't be bothered watching anymore.moreless
The Cylons have split - now the Colonials may be splitting.
Identity continues to prevail as Season 4 unfolds, the canvas broadening on the Human side to encompass the questions of race and society. In doing so, it now mirrors what we have been witnessing among the Cylons. We open with Tyrol, grieving over the death of Cally - and the loss of Boomer - mixed with his deeper quest for his sense of self. The conflict of who he is compared to what he knows himself to be is brought to the fore by Cally's death, and in doing so undermines the last bastion he had against self-doubt: his work. Now he has nowhere to go except a spiral of self-loathing, mixed with a fear of his true nature being revealed and regret over events surrounding Boomer. Alongside him stands Saul Tigh, wrapped in a similar hell of regret and confusion, no-doubt fuelled by Cally's death, as he struggles to reconcile the fact he murdered his wife for being a Cylon collaborator....only to discover he is himself a Cylon. But while Tyrol descends into self-loathing, Tigh seeks absolution of a kind through the words of one of his "own kind": Six, who not only is a Cylon, but is also responsible for the near-annihiliation of the Human race. Standing in sharp contrast to them both is Tory. Of all the Revealed Four, she appears to have adopted most readily - and amorally - with her new "identity". Perhaps, as a politico, she always was amoral and manipulative. Now, through her exposure to Baltar and the ideas of "God", she has found a way of not only accepting what she is, but also of using it and "God" to place herself part from the humans around her. In doing so, she has not only been able to murder Cally - for reasons that may yet prove to be deeper than simple concern that Cally knew what Tyrol, Anders, Tigh and she are - she is able to absolve herself of any human guilt. Tory's actions in this episode are interesting in that they marker her out as quite possibly being in the same camp overall as Cavil, Simon and Doral among the other seven models. What's more, while it is never implied, one has to ask just how much influence she has over Roslyn's recent (and devisive) actions. I ask this because once again, we see Roslyn move further to the right to a point where her actions are touching the realm of the fascist dictator. This is not the Laura Roslyn we witness in the first two seasons of BSG - although the hints of this side of her nature were certainly there. Throughout season 3 and now here, she has become increasingly autocratic in her descision-making processes, more isolated in her position - and more convinced in her absolute "rightness". Is this a side-effect, as she suggests, of her impending death, or due (particularly in this episode) to her own negative obsession with Baltar or is it a combination of both, potentially stirred by Tory's quiet whisperings? Certainly, it is cause for concern. At a time when action is needed to hold the Humans together as a cohesive whole, Rosyln's actions are becoming increasingly devisive. And while she may have quelled her dispute with Bill Adama, there is only a thin skin covering the cracks previously opened in their professional relationship. Elsewhere, Baltar's Christ-like development continues, with strong parallels again between early Christianity here on Earth. Not only fo we see the open persecution of his followers in something akin to what more than likely happened to early Christian believers, we also see Baltar mirror Christ's visit to the temple. True, temple he visited had not be usurped in the manner described in the New Testment - but Baltar's outrage and actions have a direct parallel with Christ's anger at the market stalls and money lenders plying their trade in His Father's house. Other echoes of the Bible ring through this element of the story arc, with Baltar also coming over as a kind of BSG equivalent of Saul of Tarsus. While Baltar never outright perscuted or brutalised anyone, his self-centred ego nevertheless lead to the death of billions; similarly, his life has been marked in part by repeated demonstrations of contempt for those around him. Yet here he now stands, like Saul after his healing by Ananias, preaching the "gospel" he once vehemently despised.
And herein lay the seeds for perhaps the most lasting split within the Colonial ranks. It is hard not to see how this deep religious divide cannot become a wedge that cracks open the Colonial's unity. Certainly, it will be interesting to see how this plays into the clear and strong division now evident in the Humano-Cylon ranks....assuming Natalie/Six and her cohorts survive Cavil's whithering attack witnessed at the end of the last episode. Overall, "Escape" presents another dose of excellent personal and inter-personal drama. And in this is perhaps its one failing. coming as the forth installment of such microscopic examinations, this episode risks coming over as plodding - and at times the storyline does seem a little contrived. Also, the subject matter can, if not viewed carefully, seem like a re-tread of established themes and ideas. In this respect, one can understand why some would mark this episode down. I don't personally view it this way, and would urge those who do to go back and view "Escape" again - possibly after re-watching the first three segments of this season. A fine tune is being played here, and the strings stretch beautifully across the arc so far. Questions I'd still like / would like to see resolved:
- How is Saul Tigh's being a Cylon going to be reconciled? Everything up until his revelation as one of the final four (the original opening titles, the references to the first Cylon War, the events of Razor and the webisodes that sit alongside it) very clearly intimates human-Cylons were a product initially developed towards the end of the first Cylon War and likely during the 40 years following it. How then can Tigh, who fought alongside Bill Adama in the first war, be a humano-Cylon?
- Why isn't Cally's death being investigated more closely? Unless the Galactica has an incredibly weak series of failsafes, there is simply no way she could open the outer hatch of the viper launch tube from the control room and eject herself into space (not without depressuring the entire hanger bay). Similarly, it seems impossible Tory could return the keys to the override locker inside the tube after killig Cally without herself being exposed to the vacuum of space / depressuring the entire hanger bay.
- What is Baltar's Six? I've been fairly convinced she exists only inside his head...have even speculated that he is actually the very _human_ mind and soul of Gaius Baltar now inside a Cylon construct body (his essence having been uploaded to a resurrection hub with that of Six when his home was destroyed at the time of the Cylon attack on Caprica). But this episode apparently suggests she is something more. In the stand-off with the Marine on Galactica, not only do we see her (from Baltar's perspective) lift him to his feet after being struck - we also see two shots from other perspectives that seem to show him being held up by some invisible force. If this was intentional, this it makes "Six" capable of interaction with the corporeal world, and certainly not something simply inside his head. It will be interesting to see if / how this is played out.
Of course, nonne of these questions must be addressed before the end of the season - particularly the one relating to Cally's death (which could be considered as simply a plot point required to move Galen Tyrol into his new "role"). But it would be nice if at least some effort is made to answer the other two.moreless
Around the usual
So, somehow this is the aftermath to Celly and her death and chief's grief as he is not only have to deal with being cylon but lose of her wife and rising his son alone.. And he does not taking nothing easy - is it his cylon part but he crashes a raptor and ends up with scene in bar.. where he takes it out like she never cared for Cally..
Ok - and we have Tigh who is getting his own lessons of being cylon from cylon..
And I think the most interesting storyline was Roslin, Lee and Gaius - that Gaius cult is one weird thing but it seems to look like Tori is more and more slipping away on that side.. and Gaius.. I really started to scare a little when I thought - what Gaius will manage with that kind of religious power.. let's wait and see.moreless
Cally is dead, long live BSG
I rated this episode a 10, simply because they got rid of the worst plot of the whole show. I've wanted her to die since she came on. "My baby, my baby." If only lost could kill off the annoying blonde chick with a token baby that polls say will attract women viewers. Unfortunately, Starbuck won't be able to be killed (nice teaser though), although maybe Helo will get chopped too. This really is a 10 episode, because now we know each one will be just a little better. Its kind of rare shows cut the dead weight from their cast, but everything is better for it.moreless
oh oh, I knew having 4 on 4 excellent episodes was utopia...
Someone here already wrote about how "draged" the stories were in episode s4.04. Yes the parts with "Head-Six seeming to be real", the Caprica-Six-Ellen Tigh morph, Colonel Tigh's remourses, Tory's inreasing cylonism, Roslin's illness, Tyrol's problems, all are significant but not important enough to fill a whole episode, especially in a season that is the final one.
I missed to mention Baltar's and Lee's plots simply cause I find them utterly boring or even annoying and the only reason I tolerate them and didn't FWD their scenes is because I hope some of this might make sense in the future story development. Cause having Baltar getting l*id with everyone and keep wondering about his divine/religious destiny looses interest after a while, imagine how hard is to cope with it for 4 seasons in a row.
Or having Lee from being someone playing important part in the fleet's route and survival DEMOTED to a rather naive politician trying to control Roslin's power is painfull to watch.
I hoped the writers would stay focused in the LKAR characters instead we get whole episodes devoted on Tyrol and Tigh. I don't quite understand why Tyrol has taken so much focus the last two seasons while Athena's presense for example, has been so much reduced. As much as I like his character it is a SECONDARY one for a reason.
These are signs of the same poor writing we had in season 3 and I don't know how to feel about it. For the time being I will stay optimist and have faith that the rest of the season will give us mostly episodes as good as the first 3.moreless
A transitional episode uplifted by philosophy
Jane Espenson, the writer for this episode, was on the writing staff of the Joss Whedon cult favorite "Firefly", a series that is held in high regard among the Galactica production crew. In one of the episodes ("War Stories"), a peculiar philosophy is mentioned. In short, the idea is: by torturing someone to his or her very limits, that person's true self will emerge. That episode of "Firefly" immediately came to mind while watching the story unfold.
Because this is largely a transitional piece, the key to success was character exploration and, in turn, a philosophical theme. Almost everyone involved in this episode was tested by some kind of pain or strife. Tyrol, for example, was tested by the knowledge that his wife's "suicide" was anything but (though he doesn't seem sure), and the real man who emerges is not a pleasant sight. Tyrol's growing numbness could leave him vulnerable to Tory's manipulation.
Tory has done a fairly good job of turning herself into an agent of pain, using it to push Baltar's buttons (rather effectively, I might add). Though it's not explicitly stated, it wouldn't be shocking to discover that she's manipulating Tigh, Tyrol, and Roslin with equal deftness. As noted in the review for the previous episode, she is the one "new" Cylon who has embraced the benefits of her newly-revealed nature. There has always been an amoral aspect to Tory's character, but the moment of revelation has seemingly stripped away some of her internal checks and balances.
Tigh, like Tyrol, is struggling with the knowledge of his true nature, and his conversation with Caprica Six is revealing. I'm not sure I was completely sold on her actions and reactions in this episode; the characterization felt "off". Tigh's guilt and self-loathing came through very clearly, but her dialogue choices were too "perfect" for the occasion. Even so, this provided an interesting parallel between her and Tory; they both act upon others to help them "know themselves".
In addition to Tory's possible influence, Roslin's own recognition of her impending death has pushed her towards an even more fascist mindset. Roslin has always been an interesting character, because she has been willing to subvert the popular masses in the name of their survival. Her decision to stand up to Adama in the first season was all about saving Humanity, and as she says in this episode, as time runs out, she's less and less concerned about the opinions of others.
So Roslin is more than happy to change the law to frustrate Gaius Baltar and paint Lee Adama as naïve for questioning it. Adama, having a rather flexible definition of morality himself (particularly when it comes to his "family"), doesn't disagree. The episode itself suggests that Roslin might have been right to be concerned about Baltar, because the result of his trial is a renewed sense of confidence. Even Lee seemed concerned with the consequences of his decision.
Ironically, I'm still convinced that the survival of Humanity is through a blending with the Cylons. Baltar and his monotheistic cult could very likely be a part of that movement, along with Kara's search for Earth, and that puts Roslin as more of an impediment to survival than a benefit. Yet in very many ways, they never would have gotten so far without her, and it's quite possible that she's the final Cylon, acting from unseen and unrealized influences.
The episode gave me enough to enjoy on a philosophical level that the minor character and style choices didn't bother me as much as I initially thought. From a style perspective, I thought the arrangement of the episode, simply from the editing aspect, didn't always work for me. Taken with some of the dialogue, it left me feeling a bit bothered in a very vague sense. The transitional nature of the story also didn't help. But as a fan of shows like "Lost", sometimes all I need is a good philosophical hook, and this episode had that in excess.moreless
Baltar sets off a religious debate.
Let me just start out this review by say that as a whole I personally really liked this episode, and I found it both very exciting and intriguing. The main reason that I liked this episode so much is because Baltar has always been one of my most favorite characters on the show, so I couldn't help but love this episode since it mainly centers around Baltar. I especially enjoyed the scene between Baltar and Roslin when they are together in Baltar's prison cell. I think that James Callis plays the role of Gaius Baltar so well. Besides, Baltar's story line, I also really liked Number Six's story line. Tricia Helfer definitely plays the role of Number Six perfectly, and I think that this episode proves that. In closing, I absolutely loved this episode. I thought that this was a very well written and very well acted episode by everyone involved, and I can't wait to see the next new episode of Battlestar Galactica.moreless
there were many plot points in this episode. Six may not be in Balter's imagination. Tyrol is self destructing. Tigh is looking for meaning.
Many people might not like this episode, as it had many plots going at once. I have noticed the show is becoming more surreal, with obvious religious metaphors. The scene with Baltar getting "pulled up" by six was the first real evidence that she is more than in his head. Perhaps she is an angel (or demon)? His speech at the end was suprising well written nd with his healing the previous episode, it looks like he is becoming a christ figure.
Tyrol is self destructing and obviously is worried his cylon side may end up betraying the fleet like Boomer. I thought it noreworthy that the accident with racetrack and his mention of Boomer seemed to parallel. I believe he "blew up" at Adama specifically to get demoted by saying things that he knew Adama would not stand. He does not want the power to cause damage like Boomer did when her switch was thrown turning her into a cylon.
Tigh is one of the best characters in television. He deserves an emmy. He is picking six's brain for how to behave, and his conversations with six were very surreal.
Fianally, the scene of boomer kissing Cavil was certainly a suprise. Dean Rockwell must be loving this role. lolmoreless