Episode Reviews (19)
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Islanded In A Stream Of Stars
Islanded in a Stream of Stars was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Battlestar Galactica and I really enjoyed watching this episode because it was the prelude to great changes and had deep yet subtle character development along with story line progression. It was interesting to see the pieces of the bigger picture starting to come together, with Hera at the center of every thing. The future of Humans and Cylons alike are at stake and Boomer has made some questionable decisions, while Adama struggles with a difficult decision regarding the Galactica and the kidnapping of Hera. Helo tries to find a way to find his daughter only to be denied the chance which was sad. Boomer shares a secret world with Hera. There was so much going on and it was very entertaining. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
Not really entertaining at all, and dragging out 3 seconds worth of storyline over 40 minutes. What has this show, once top of the art, come to?
I simply cannot grasp what the writers were possibly thinking. Maybe: "We started into the season well; so much so that the fans almost started believing that the masterful scripts of season 1 could be back towards the finale, so let's show them that we can actually top the nonsense we gave them in season 3."? Apart from failing to deliver any of what made this series great and loved, in this episode not even the craft is above doubt (not the actors' craft, the writers'). The first and obvious question: How did they not deal with Chief Tyrols involvement in the Hera abduction? There is no explanation in the last episode, there is none in this one. Is it just implicitly understood the Chief is in the brigg now? If so, how, as a viewer, can I possibly guess that?
Anyway... that is just the tip of the iceberg. Another one? Gaius Baltar: last time round arming civilians and plotting mischiev, that plotline is nowhere to be seen now. Instead he is somehow back in a position to do cylon detection research. And the list of discontinuity and time-fillers go on.
Altogether: If you loved the miniseries and season 1, stay away from this one. If you never understood this show and found season 3 to be mindblowingly revealing and super: Here's one you'll love.moreless
Space battles have nothing to do with it.
These are tired storylines. I never watched the show for "thrill-seeking action", and just because you don't like the heavy drama (even though it's not nearly as heavy as it thinks it is) doesn't mean you're only about the action. Clearly, we've made it this far. But I feel that BSG has strayed away from what has made it so great. It builds. It surprises. It does none of that any more. It reduces its characters into these woefully boring shadows of their former selves, and by dragging out storylines to the nth degree (how long has the Starbuck mystery gone on now for??), the suspense dies. This isn't who killed Laura Palmer.
I'm sticking with it to the end as I've been one of its most loyal fans. I adore the show. But BSG tastes like a burger that has been on the grill for about two hours two long. The last three eps were overcooked. I am hoping the next couple episodes can salvage the flavor by throwing some A-1 sauce to make it somewhat digestable.moreless
The yawnathon continues.
I wanted to like this episode, I really did. The last 6 or 7 have been a big disappointment, but I put that to the side, got in a positive frame of mind and watched. I wanted this to be the episode that relit my enthusiasm for the show. And what do we get?...
Boring. Absolutely boring. Once again, very little happened, and absolutely nothing exciting happened. Nothing. The Starbuck dogtag thing, yeah ok, kinda adds another mystery to the mix, but not exciting. Boring. It's been dragging on so long it's now boring. I don't care if she's dead or not. Move on, writers, move on. Give us something to WOW about. Give us adventure, battles, intrigue, exploration, SCI-FI dammit, SCI-FI!
The sooner this ailing soap opera dies and Battlestar rediscovers the root of what made it a sci-fi masterpiece, the better. With only a handful of episodes left, I'm still hopeful, but doubt whether the writers call get this show back to its former glory.moreless
Please Put BSG Out Of Its Misery
Oi! With the exception of the first few episodes after (spoiler) the crew found earth, the second half of season 4 has limped along and is getting more and more absurd. We don't care about anyone, there are no stakes anymore and the mysteries remaining to be solved feel as if they've been made up as they go along anyway. These last few eps have felt like the writers padding out a tiny middle to get to - WE HOPE - a big kick ass finale. But if you're watching on DVD and getting bored, I think you could easily skip this one. The one before also had nothing happen, but at least it was stylish. Sadly this ep has one laughable, shark-jumpy moment when Adama has a "breakdown" in which he starts throwing paint all over a damaged part of the ship that's being patched - it's like a scene from a bad Lifetime movie when a victim decides to cut off all her hair, or breaks a mirror with a whiskey glass Uhg. Cliche and painful beyond believe.moreless
The circle closes
"Filler" isn't a term to describe this episode. Yes, Thrace is (for the most part) still moping around wondering at just who - what - she is; Adama is still wandering around his ship giving it looks to suggest he's feeling as much constipated as concerned; we're still hovering in space waiting for the final axe to fall - but....
But...let's examine what goes on - because it is actually rather a lot. We see that the importance of Hera finally comes to the fore - and if the visions shared by Roslin and Caprica Six are anything to go by, Baltar and (a?) Six still have a major role to play where she is concerned. We find out that while Boomer has indeed (and again) acted traitorously in taking Hera to Cavil / John, her conscience has not entirely deserted her. No doubt she will play a crucial part in the coming rescue attempt.
We see the way is now clear for Galactica's end. Despite his refusal early-on in the episode, Adama will now use the ship in one final mission: the resuce of Hera. It will be a mission from which she will not return - and one wonders if he will himself. We find out that the hybrid prophecy regarding Kara Thrace - that she is the harbinger of doom - is apparently still very much relevant. More than that - it is present in Ander's subconscious mind. Could be the words he speaks are simply an echo of what she hads told him in the past, an instinctive reaction to her attempt to shoot him? Certainly he is "aware" of the adrinal reaction that causes his body to respond (listen to what he actually says as he grips her arm); could it be his subconscious repeats those words to stun her into inactivity, or did they signify something deeper.....
Coming as it does before Baltar's revelation that Thrace has transceded death, I cannot help but think that again, her role as harbinger is not to be taken literally; rather that she will be the focal point of change for both humans and Cylons as much as Hera herself. What lifts this episode above being anything near "filler" status is the writing. Watch closely, and the key players are all given an important moment, and their dialogue at these moments is powerful and poignant. Then there are the "little" moments that demonstrate just how much Cylons and humans need one another: "Gina's" selfless sacrifice to save the life of a human crew member when the hull ruptures; Adama's tacit admission to Tigh that he knows of no-one finer as an officer or a friend. Tigh's steadfast refusal to heed Ellen and go against Adama; Baltar's willingness to extend help to the Cylons aboard the Galactica as much as the humans (Caprica Six isn't the only one "visiting" his area of the ship). Other moments shine as well: Thrace's confrontation with Baltar in his quarters is a masterpiece of direction. Witness how she steps from shadow into light as she asserts she is not an angel - the change in lighting very much suggesting she is... Could the storyline have been compressed? Very probably; some of the scenes did come across as joining-the-dots when the audience can already see the picture. And this is perhaps the biggest frustration with the last half of season 4. While every episode has contained the drama we have come to expect, it cannot be denied that at times they have failed to fire properly on all cylinders. But, even with that criticism voice, I still cannot agree with views stated elsewhere that this is merely a "filler" or that "nothing happened. "Islanded" is what is required at this point: a careful setting of the stage and positioning of the pieces ready for the final climatic finale.moreless
Prelude to the end
With only a handful of episodes left, and so many loose ends to resolve, time is of the essence. So it's hard not to feel like this prelude to the series finale wasn't a wasted opportunity. There were some vague hints as to the resolution of the series as a whole, but most of the time was spent on lingering character vignettes. As satisfying as they can be, and as in keeping with the style of the series it might be, it's still hard to temper the disappointment.
This episode was essentially the combination of character reactions to the Galactica situation, the abduction of Hera, and Kara's odd status quo. The net effect is a laundry list of the implications of the past few episodes and what the writers will need to tackle at the breaking of the day. As already mentioned, this almost works at cross-purposes. It's good to know that the writers have a grasp on the loose ends, but it's a also a reminder of just how much they'll need to cram into the finale.
A lot of time is spent on Adama's growing realization that saving Galactica is not a viable option, and the recent efforts have merely been delaying the inevitable. That process is painful, to say the least. For all that the Cylons have agreed to hand over military authority to Adama in exchange for a voice on the new council, it's still the loss of the most potent symbol of Human autonomy. Defense of the remnants of Humanity will now be dependent on outside cooperation, and a former enemy at that.
The previous episode tied Roslin's condition to the "health" of the Galactica, and that metaphor continues. The flashes of the Opera House, and the suggestion that Caprica Six is once again sharing those dreams and visions, point to an explanation for those elements since the first season. But the emphasis is on the notion that Roslin will probably die before the human race finds its new home (if, in fact, that prophecy still holds any meaning), and how that becomes a compelling impetus for Adama's decision to move people off Galactica.
In essence, Galactica is only good for one more mission anyway, and that's where the abduction of Hera comes into play. Hera represents the future for both the Human and Cylon people, and in that respect, she is a symbol of hope. The Cylons don't see a future without her, and The Humans don't see a future without the Cylons. Cavil is forcing a confrontation that he assumes he will win. For Adama and the Cylons, there is only one mission left: retrieve Hera by any means necessary or die trying.
Ander's situation has the potential of giving Galactica an unexpected edge. It could allow Adama to run the impending mission with a skeleton crew. It also had the benefit of reminding the audience that Kara has been termed "the harbinger of death", which I still believe is meant more in the classical sense of change. In other words, survival through mergence of the Human and Cylon people into a self-propagating population.
At least, that's how it's appeared to be shaping up; with the mystery of Kara's resurrection still on the table, it could really mean anything. The "Kara is a proto-Hera" theory is still viable, but this episode lends credence to those who see an outside agency as being the connective link between the Final Five activation, the Roslin/Caprica connection, Kara, and Hera. I'm still not particularly pleased with that notion, because it has a great deal of potential to fall into deus ex machina territory.
Some have speculated that this outside agency could be the Lords of Kobol. If the Lords of Kobol were, as speculated, the surviving Cylons of a previous cycle, it would at least fit the overall foundation for the series. Another offered possibility is the "beings of light" theory, referring to a story from the original "Battlestar Galactica". If that were true, it would be unfortunate, because while the effect has been explored in relative detail, there hasn't been much evidence of someone else beyond the Humans and Cylons lurking in the background.
Unfortunately, all of these plot and character threads, right down to Boomer's wavering faith in her actions and Baltar's little speech about Kara, could have been compressed into a lot less time. It feels like this episode was a bit too methodical for its own good. It's hard to tell, however, because it all comes down to the finale. If three hours of finale is enough to cover all the bases sufficiently, then this episode will be vindicated.moreless
''BSG is coming to an end and it's intending to go out with a bang, but it's making sure before it does, we're reminded why we love these characters, and this is the episode that showcases them in all of their glory.''
Having read most of the reviews before this, it's startling, and slightly hilarious, how viewers are treating this episode - a tour de force of some of the finest acting and storytelling to come from season four - calling it ''filler'' and boring.
Are we watching the same show?
I suppose I should break it down real quick, just so you don't have to read the rest of the review: if you only watch BSG for its space battles, well, I'm surprised you've lasted this long. If, however, like me, you watch it for stellar acting, compelling characters and fantastic script, then this is your episode.
It's a magnificent calm-before-the-storm that is the 3 hour finale, and it wastes no time in slotting these characters into place, propelling almost every main character into their positions that will drive them through the finale.
Kara is searching for answers about herself and the watch-tower song; Helo and Athena are searching for their daughter; Boomer is attempting to grasp onto remnants of her former self; the old man is preparing to lose the two women he loves most. And that's without mentioning the final five and the Caprica and Baltar!
Every main character is given a beautiful moment, and Kara gets some fantastic scenes (I especially loved the symbolism as she steps out from the bright light after telling Baltar she's not an Angel, and then walks into a dark room with red streaming through it with Anders reminding her she is the harbinger of death).
I have missed Boomer! And I gotta say, I'm glad we're getting her back, somewhat. The little girl playing Hera must be a fantastic actress, or else they pinched her quite often, cos she sold those scenes with aplomb. As did Grace Park, effortlessly portraying the conflicted Boomer and Anguished Athena with equal gravitas.
There are too many instances to mull over, but I will say that any of the scenes involving Roslin and Bill were just gut-wrenching to watch. This show is certainly coming to an end and it's intending to go out with a bang, but it's making sure before it does, we're reminded why we love these characters, and this is the episode that showcases them in all of their glory.moreless
Maddeningly, 'Islanded in a Stream of Stars' takes the same approach as 'Someone To Watch Over Me', choosing to wind down rather than amp up.
Maddeningly, 'Islanded in a Stream of Stars' takes the same approach as 'Someone To Watch Over Me', choosing to wind down rather than amp up, spending a little more quality time with our favourite crew before they all probably get blown to bits in the finale. This decision requires a deal of patience with the show, something that it would be completely understandable not to feel when one considers the scope of what we have to come. In this respect, it is rather like that other programme that Battlestar has so often been favourably compared to: J. Michael Straczynski's Babylon 5, in which the latter instalments of its fifth season were noticeably quiet rather than action-packed extravaganzas. At the time, it was a little disappointing but, on reflection, they work as acts of conclusion far better than any epic space battle would have. With that in mind, 'Islanded' perfectly pitches every emotionally cathartic moment: from Starbuck's 'outing' to the crew, forcing her to come to terms with the fact that, well, she probably isn't alive (or something) to Adama's need to let go of 'the love of his life' (as SFX describes it), his beloved ship. Granted, Olmos uncharacteristically overacts his 'breakdown' in the aggressive painting and decorating sequence but we'll forgive him this one digression in four years of perfection. Plus, he more than makes up for it in the final five minutes with one of his finest home runs as he says goodbye to Galactica with a similarly superb Tigh. Here's to a stellar finale...moreless
Glactica continues to fall apart. We found out some more about Starbuck. Great scene at the end between Tigh and Adama raised this episode to above average.
The mystery of Starbuck is slowly revealing itself (maybe too slowly for some of the reviewers on here) She is indeed human and is back from the dead. Baltar uses this info publically to make a religous speech. A great scene was Starbuck putting her own picture back up on the wall of the dead. I don't see a scientific explanation for all of this and it looks like god is directing everything. (whatever god is in this show)
A great scene between Tigh and Adama as they accept that Galactica needs to be abandoned, although it looks premature as the teaser for the final shows it has one last battle in her.
Anders was plugged into the computer to help "reboot" him, and he talks just like a hybrid and tells Kara the same thing the hybrid said. (she is the "harbinger of death") A dying eight says a lyric from all along the watchtower to Tigh, so the mystery of what the song means deapens since an eight knew it too.
All and all, a good but not great episode. Not complaining as t sets things up for the final. Cant wait to see it!moreless