Episode Reviews (23)
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Someone to Watch Over Me
Someone to Watch Over Me was a perfect episode of Battlestar Galactica and I really enjoyed watching this episode because it was rich with character development, story line progression and interesting clues. Boomer took advantage of the Chief's trust and escapes with precious cargo after stealing every thing from Athena. The Cylons want hear a familiar tune after Starbuck plays the song her father taught her as well as the notes randomly drawn by Hera. This episode seemed to have so little going on, when in fact it had multitudes of depth. I was very entertained and certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
Probably the best episode of the season, so far, and one of the best of the series. Incredible, inventive, and refreshing. A joy to watch.
As someone very interested in the cinematic aspects of TV-making, I highly enjoyed this episode. The imagery, metaphors, camera angles, lighting, and music were fanfrakkintastic! They told a story we rarely get to see, even on BSG.
I highly suggest everyone go read Bear McCreary's blog on how he made the music in this episode; it's amazing. Just search for his name on Google. What I find most fascinating is that the song in the show isn't even "All Along the Watchtower." It's a variation of it based on the "Final Five Theme." That was a stroke of brilliance.
This episode was in-the-making for a long time; they started making it a year ago (though I don't know exactly when they finished it, but it took almost a year for it to go from idea to finished product). The show's composer was even on set for the shooting, to get the music just right. Seriously, read the blog.
My favorite scenes were the opening sequence, which conveyed a beautiful brand of monotony, the dream sequence, which was chilling and even revelatory, and the reveal that the song Starbuck is trying to play is "All Along the Watchtower" (well, kind of). I also LOVED the reveal that the man was Starbuck's dad. It was so subtle and sweet, and it seemed to provide closure for Starbuck. This was very much so a Starbuck episode, and anyone who says it doesn't do anything for character development is missing the point of it.
I could go on, but I'll stop there. I can't say enough about this episode!moreless
The quite before the storm
This episode really was the quite before the storm, we got possibly the last joyfull and silent moments some of the characters will ever get. The show is ending and Kara did deserve a few hours drinking in the lounge, reconecting with something, apperaring to be her father...
Chief, the poor man, became a murderer for his love, how do you top betrayel with two holes into the old man? You put one hole into the old girl!
Grace Park did a tremendous job, I real saw two complete diffrent characters on screen... really amazing!
What is most amazing and terrifing in this show... is it's ability to take a joyfull moment and transform it into a terrible nightmare...
Finding earth - joy
Finding out its nuked - nightmare
Reconecting with Boomer - joy
Betrayel part two - nightmare
The second exodus - joy
Watching and expieriencing it through THE EYE of Tigh - nightmare
Hands down, another great installment... maybe the last rather piecefull episode... (not counting the end, wich was awesomeness materialized)moreless
This episode I'll admit made me feel sad, becaue it's probably one of the most tragic. Yes the main plot was on Starbuck which was really good. I always felt the main trouble with Starbuck was that she always seemed to be lost or running away from something mainly herself because she could never accept herself for who she is; at least that's what I think. The discovery of that body with her last name has made the dillema a bit more complicated. Some would think this makes her a cylon, though I think it could just be an ancestor; I don't know we'll just have to wait and see. But we see she's at least taking one step in acceptance if not full as the ghost of her father is bring out something inside her she long kept dorment. The interaction and dynamic between her and her father sort of reminds me a little of the Igmar Bergman film "Fanny and Alexander" which had to do with a boy seeing the precence of his deceised father. I though it was both sweet and a little sad.
But the main plot for me was with Galen and Boomer whcih is like a Shakespiran tragidy (well almost).
The parts where Galen and Boomer share a psychic bond and they spend time in that dreamhouse she constructed sort of reminds me a little of that dark fantasy film "Paperhouse" which was about two kids that have a psychic bond and constructed a surreal house in a psychic landscape. It was touching and a little heartbreatking at the same time because you feel as though the two could have a future together and that house along with the child could be real. This of course makes Galen act out in desperation to save the woman he loves, but there in lies the tragidy as we see Boomer commit an unforgivable act toward love which is betrial.
I think what makes betrayal truly terrible and the most hurtful is simly not knowing how far it truly goes. I can't help but wonder if her feelings for Galen at the beginning were lies as well and if she was aware of her actions, we may never know the answer to that. All the same seeing it made my heart sink.
Everything that went wrong went down like domonos. The Galactica has a hole through, Rosiln's hour of death is at hand, Helo and Athena have lost Hera to Boomer, but the person I felt sad for the most was Galen Tyrol as in the last scene which made my heart sink when he goes into that Astral Home again to find Boomer and talk to her, only to discover that she is not there nor is their possible child then he sinks on his knees and cries to discover the dream and the love with it was a lie.moreless
Given that we are only two episodes away from Battlestar Galactica's swansong, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the production staff might be upping the ante.
Given that we are only two episodes away from Battlestar Galactica's swansong, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the production staff might be upping the ante, spearheading the drive towards the hopefully explosive and revelatory closing hours with something rather more epic than this introspective, character-examining instalment. But then, that's Battlestar for you, confounding expectations and generally succeeding in giving us what we actually need, rather than what we think we do. 'Someone To Watch Over Me' is a beautiful piece of television, no two ways about it. The marriage of well written, believable dialogue for a soul-searching Starbuck with Bear McCreary's glorious soundtrack works wonders, and then the effect is multiplied by taking the latter from the diegtic to the mimetic, finding a suitably moving place for it within the plot. Granted, it really doesn't make all that much sense and you can bet your bottom dollar that any semblance of an explanation as to why the notes from a song that Cara's dad played her when she was young appear to be some galactic co-ordinates will be suitably avoided in the coming weeks, but hell, there's just so much to enjoy here that it hardly seems to matter. Amidst the quiet mood set by this storyline, and the corollary with Tyrol and Boomer, there is a wonderfully executed surprise too as Cavil's ploy to kidnap Hera comes to fruition and, like the Galactica crew, it almost passes under our noses. Typically fine, fine stuff.moreless
Someone to Watch Over Me
The more they reveal the more I wonder...
this episode really gets into the heads of some of the characters - Starbuck, Boomer and the chief. This is one of those times that BSG uses music so effectively, with nostalgic piano music woven through the episode and also being the focus of the Starbuck scenes and apparently tied into the whole big mystery of everything. Boomer is a bad, bad, bad cylon. I didn't quite grasp that before. I thought she was misguided. now i think she is downright evil. I guess this really makes the point that cylons have free will and are shaped by their choices since she is so different from Athena. And, I feel sorry for Chief Tyrol - he took a big hit this time!moreless
Thompson and Weddle hit the right notes....
Could this someone be "the one true god"? It's been intimated that the concept of the one true god was instigated by the Centurions created by the 12 colonies....but why would machines need belief in a deity? Could it be that rather than being an abstract concept, they actually _did_ find evidence of a "higher authority" (or at least higher intelligence that is ... leading .... human and Cylon affairs and the others are now just waking up to the fact?
Certainly, the underpinning theme of the episode is that of manipulation, specifically in the manner Valerii plays Tyrol. Not only is this beautifully played out from beginning to end, the manner in which this storyline is juxtapositioned against Thrace's story beautifully and subtlely underscores the revelation that dawns on Ellen at the end. As to Valerii's motives - well, this raises several interesting questions. Is she simply a tool under John/Cavil's influence? If so, this would suggest that the whole play about cutting Ellen's head open was merely a rouse to encourage her to go with Valerii when the time came. And just how did Valerii find the fleet so easily whilst "escaping" from John/Cavil? She must have had prior knowledge of the fleet's location - but if this is the case, and she is Cavil's tool, then he must have either provided her with the information or one would have expected her to volunteer it to him at some point - which begs the question that _if_ his hatred of all things flesh is that genuine, why hasn't he wrought down dead and destruction on the fleet already? If he knows the location of the fleet, he's had more than enough time to slip in scouts to ascertain the condition of the Galactica and the "rebel's" base ship....
But what other explanation could there be? It's awfully late in the day to start opening-up further subplots. Occam's razor does seem to point to her working for Cavil all along, and that she really was sent to the fleet to grab Hera. Certainly, this is suggested by her final words to Tyrol - that she does actually love him. That she was incarcerated in the brig simply meant he became the most obvious means for her to achieve her escape and grab the child. So in telling him of her love, she is trying to apologise for manipulating him. And it is true that part of me would like to think that she is acting under other influence than Cavil's. I've never seen the "real" Valerii as a cold-hearted traitor. Yes, yes, I know she shot Adama - but remember, immediately after she did so, she had NO recollection of what had happened. Go back and watch the scene: she is entirely robotic during the shooting, and immediately after, she seems to come out of a trance and is utterly confused and distressed. Afterwards her conscience almost drove her to suicide. Thus, it's hard to imagine - as some elsewhere have suggested - that her final words to Tyrol were yet more subterfuge, intended to net her "another" prize for Cavil....
Again, that Hera is important cannot be understated - back in Season 1 the Cylons did a hell of a lot to ensure one of the Eights conceived with Agathon. But again - if Cavil, as has now been revealed, find the entire concept of human-style procreation so reprehensible, this again doesn't actually make sense. Why would he allow his compatriots to go ahead with such work (and lets not forget that Doral and Steven - two of Cavil's "allies" in the Cylon "civil war") were both involved in the procreation attempt (Doral via direct involvement in the plan to ensnare Agathon, Steven through his own experiments, as discovered by Thrace on her return to Caprica). So yet again, deeper things seem to be going on here, and it might just turn out that whatever it is goes beyond Cavil as well. The one thing that didn't *quite* work for me in this storyline was this "new" ability for Cylons to directly transfer thoughts and feelings and sensations to one another - even when physically separated by a sheet of glass, as with the brig "walls". Obviously this ability was a device to more readily explain Tyrol's actions than anything else - and as such, it did come across as just a *tad* clumsy. So where do we stand, with just 4 segments left to tie everything up?
On the surface, it would seem that Thrace is Daniel's offspring...but is this really the case? The pros of the argument are:
- It is not explicitly confirmed by Cavil that he killed the "original" Daniel; he only admits to destroying the subsequent line
- Thus, the original Daniel could have been sent to the 12 colonies alongside the Original Five. If so, this would mean that all of them were sent back WELL before Cavil launched the attack on the 12 colonies, given that Daniel needed to time to meet a woman, fall in love, marry her, conceive a child and for that child to reach her mid-20s.
- The above WOULD be entirely consistent with the established facts that Adama and Tigh had served together outside and inside the Colonial military for some considerable time.
However, this is by no means iron-clad. The theme of the episode is one of manipulation, and the music that Thrace plays is the music that triggered the memories of the Original Five (well, those who were at that time still in need of "memory restoration"). Again, it's hard to imagine Cavil "programming" such a trigger into their minds, given he sent them to the 12 colonies to "die with the rest" during his all-out attack....
... So the music, like the "head characters", would seem to be something coming from a "higher authority", again as Ellen explicitly notes with reference to Hera at the end of the episode. And if the music does indeed come from a "higher authority", then this does potentially point the finger to Thrace _not_ being the offspring of a Cylon / Human relationship - but someone who is very much, as Leoben has said - has a higher purpose and higher destiny.
And this is what makes this episode so intriguing - because while answers are apparently given to questions people have been asking - it is entirely possible those answers are NOT as obvious as some think. Certainly nothing raised in this episode is outside the realm of being revealed and resolved in the remaining four segments. The only real care the writers need to take is avoiding a potential further cry of "cop out!"
Role on "Islanded"....moreless
Days of our Lives in Space.
What was once a great sci-fi show is now nothing more than an achingly slowly developing soap opera set in space. The sci-fi is gone, character development has stagnated, plot development over season 4 has moved at a ridiculously labouring rate. These last 8 or so episodes could have been done in 2 or 3, and would have left room for more of why we're here - sci-fi, excitement, adventure, interesting story, interesting characters, and a plot that develops and keeps us on the edge episode after episode... everything we loved Battlestar for.
Season 1, 2, 3 had it - exciting sci-fi. Season 4 has completely lost the plot. Nothing has happened since the start of Season 4! Extremely disappointing.moreless
Truth between the lines
This episode is a mixture of beauty and brutality, and in this instance, both are captivating. After the mess that was the previous episode, I was a bit worried that the writers were going to aim high and shoot low with the ending. This episode, however, makes it look more likely that the series will have a strong finish after all.
First, the beauty. I've always been aware of the role of music in this series, and that definitely helped to enhance my enjoyment of this particular episode. It set a mood of melancholy and foreboding from the very beginning, and it kept me spellbound throughout Kara's emotional and psychological journey.
It doesn't hurt that the essential thrust of the story appears to confirm my suspicion that Kara's father was the recently mentioned "Daniel", perhaps the only surviving Seven. That's not necessarily the only interpretation that could be made, but it is becoming the clear frontrunner. With so little time left, I have reservations at the writers could introduce anything else that wouldn't feel like a deus ex machina solution.
"All Along the Watchtower" provides a musical connective thread between the Final Five, Kara, and Hera. Where the Final Five seem to hear the music more directly, Kara and Hera experience it more subconsciously. For Kara, it comes out through a kind of Cylon projection, summoning up a version of her father to guide her to self-awareness. Hera's not in a position quite yet to explain how she knew the music, but this could explain why Roslin seemed to react to something in "Crossroads".
Presumably, this brings Kara closer to understanding her "special destiny". If her father was one of the skinjobs, then in a very real sense, she co-opts Hera as the first Human/Cylon hybrid within the Colonies. It would explain why Kara has always been searching for her place in the world; there's never been anyone quite like her.
There's still the matter of her resurrection to consider. That it took place on or near Earth appears significant; she didn't resurrect among the Cylon fleet, after all. This implies that Kara was resurrected by the same technology that brought back the Final Five after the annihilation of Earth. The location of that technology could be significant, because as we see in this episode, the fleet has been searching for a suitable planet to inhabit for weeks, and the constant grind is getting to everyone.
The anticipated Human/Cylon alliance is in full swing, with the Cylons now having a seat on the newly reconstructed Quorum (that we haven't actually seen). They're flying missions together, their working to keep Galactica space-worthy together, and they're acting in accord on critical items such as justice and survival. Between the mutiny and the Cylon civil war, neither side has what it needs to make it alone, and they've adjusted accordingly.
Internal to the story, Galactica is still falling apart at the seams, and even before the damage was done by Boomer's escape, it was only going to make it through one more jump. The implication is that this final jump would be to whatever planet they manage to find. Between wrapping up the mysteries surrounding Kara and the particulars surrounding the alliance, that might have been enough on its own to sustain the rest of the series. But there's still the small matter of the external conflict with Cavil.
It makes sense, based on the ease of escape in "No Exit", that Boomer was helping Ellen as part of a plot. Ellen made it clear to Cavil that Hera was the future of her plan, so of course his own success would hinge on controlling (and, logically, eliminating) that asset. Beyond what Boomer did in this episode to convince Tyrol to help her with her mission, using their past history as a pretext, I'm not sure how that was supposed to work.
Cavil couldn't have known that Boomer would have the chance to twist Tyrol's emotions, so the plan was essentially a last-ditch effort. It never should have worked. That makes it a bit of a plot convenience, but it's the kind that works because the audience needed a resolution to the Boomer/Tyrol thread. It also pushes the final confrontation with Tyrol into the short term, which allows it to coincide logically with the Galactica's final days.
There is a certain level of irony here. Athena seduced Helo by posing as Boomer on Caprica during the first season. In a way, Athena co-opted a life that could have been Boomer's. Boomer gets her pound of flesh in this episode, and it is not at all pretty. It's actually one of the more disturbing moments in the entire series run. Boomer beats Athena to a pulp, essentially forces Athena to watch her sleep with Helo, and then steals Athena's daughter.
What makes this so crushing is the realization that Boomer has been a victim for so long that her actions must seem justified in her own mind. Boomer's attempted assassination of Adama was programmed into her (presumably by Cavil). She tried to atone for that mistake in the past, but it always went horribly wrong (particularly the New Caprica experiment, which was clearly undermined by Cavil in retrospect). Boomer ultimately has been used and abused by Cavil in more ways than one can count (including their "affair" on the baseship).
This doesn't excuse Boomer in the slightest, but it does point to the notion that Boomer is still being used; she's still not acting out of her own personal agency. Either that will never change, and Boomer will end up being a tragic figure, or the moment that she takes control of her life will be a critical point of the finale.moreless
Without doubt one of the finest episodes of the show and a perfect addition to the already outstanding fourth season. A brilliant and subtle re-working of the series' drive: beautifully composed, sublimely acted and delicately paced.
The season has so far been outstanding and with the addition of this episode moves towards what one can only expect will be a fantastic season climax. The interplay of the various story lines here works beautifully and is orchestrated by relating the piano and the search for a missing section to the development of Sharon and Galen as characters. Their escapes into their own imaginary world, created by Sharon, prove to be full of melancholy and joy, as does Kara's relation to her father. The presence of the piano, which is not "Someone to Watch Over Me" (which rather refers to the various parental relationships deployed in the episode), is by turns foreboding and exhilarating. The acting, as always, is stellar, with Katee Sackhoff(Kara) and Aaron Douglas (Galen) putting in particularly impressive performances. Easily deserves to be in the top five episodes.moreless