Warning: Season three spoilers inside, as well as details on the first episode of season four. Read at your own risk!
When last we left the crew of the Battlestar Galactica, more than a year ago, things had gotten a little crazy.
An impending assault by the Cylons, four integral crew members were revealed to be Cylons, Baltar was deemed not guilty for trying to kill everyone, the fleet had suffered a massive power outage leaving most of the ships adrift, the shocking return of Starbuck, her blathering about Earth, and, of course, a cover of "All Along the Watchtower: that left most of America scratching their heads. To tell you the truth, I was a little frightened by what was happening to my beloved Battlestar. Well, this Friday marks the long-awaited return of the critically acclaimed series, and as you can imagine, they have plenty of explaining to do. Moore and the crew waste no time--the story picks up immediately where last season ended (no "one year later" here people), with Starbuck joining the fight against the massive fleet of Cylons and blathering about Earth.
Before I go on, I must say that the visual effects on Battlestar have become some of the best to ever grace the small screen. The opening battle scenes are amazing, and give movies like Return of the Jedi a run for their money. Believe me, I will be glued to an HD TV this Friday just to see it again.
Beyond just how pretty the battle is, it does serve as one of the more pivotal moments in the countless series of hit-and-runs by the Cylons. There is plenty of concern on the part of the four newly ordained Cylons as to whether they should enter battle at all and whether they can trust themselves. Two scenes in particular hint at the direction the writers seem to be taking in dealing with this new batch, and let me tell you, this is very different from Boomer’s journey. This seems like one of the most fertile arcs for the new season, as it brings Tigh to the center again, and who doesn't want to see more episodes about Colonel Tigh?
At the conclusion of the battle, most of the questions pertain to where exactly Kara, and her brand-spanking-new Viper, came from. She is, of course, continually blathering about Earth, but the possibility that she is a Cylon seems to be everyone's primary concern.
Baltar continues with his Jesus bearded fantasy, and we are shown the slightly fundamentalist side of our space-faring refugees. Staying true to form, Baltar beds the first doe-eyed adherent to his growing cult and begins to extol the virtues of a monotheistic system of religion.
While I expected far more action and resolution to last season's bigger questions, I can see how this episode establishes what is to come. Clearly Earth is fast approaching, and Kara, although not trusted by anyone on Galactica, is the only one who knows the way. But, the question as to who is the last Cyclon will most likely take up most of this season's episodes, and we have plenty of candidates after this one. All in all, it's a good premiere for a series that has far too much to deal with. But frak it, as long as it's not all Adama's dream, or everyone is a Cylon, or it just fades to black during a Journey song, I will probably be happy.
"He That Believeth in Me," the first episode of Battlestar Galactica's fourth season, premieres on April 4, 2008, on the Sci-Fi Channel at 10/9 Central.