There have been a lot of complaints that the second half of the season has been a bit slow. And while there is a bit of truth to that, I've felt that many people have sold the second half a little short. With the exception of perhaps "Taking a Break from All Your Worries" (with all of its "Star-pollo" soapy melodrama) and "The Woman King" (which was interesting but ultimately a little too ordinary), there has been actually a lot of great things that have happened. We have gotten to know our heroes a little better and have found out that they are not as noble and righteous as they think they are. The tensions are running high, and the flaws are running deeper than ever.
So now we come to what we have been waiting for since "Rapture", the trial of Gaius Baltar. And it does not disappoint. This is a great episode...perhaps one of the best of the season. There are a couple of big reveals in this episode that I do not want to spoil (one that completely knocked me out of my chair. In the words of George Costanza, I was "blown away...BLOWN") and the results of these revelations will alter the course of the series (which I applaud - change is good). The highlights:
- Roslyn's dream
- The confrontation between Six and Tigh.
- Michael Hogan's performance this week. How much better can he get?
- The visual effects, especially the overhead shot of the Raptor.
- Lampkin's opening remarks. A little over the top? Perhaps. But effective, nonetheless.
- The father and son discussion in the elder Adama's quarters.
- "How's the president?"
- Lee's decision
- The cross-examination of President Roslin.
- "Please...please don't do this..."
- "I feel so, so, sorry for you right now"
- "Finish what you started"
- "Weather's changing...there's a storm coming"
- The music...it couldn't mean what I think it means, does it? If it does, I want to know a lot more about it. And I mean, I want to know everything.
Writer Michael Taylor, who incidentally wrote "The Visitor" (one of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's finest hours) and director Michael Rymer do a terrific job keeping the court scenes tense and the dialogue smart. As stated before, the cross-examination of Roslin is effective not only because of what is said but the pace at which the scene unfolds.
Perhaps the only down part about the episode was the fact that the Sci-Fi network did not decide to make it a two hour event instead of a two part finale. That and the fact that the Sci-Fi network pulled a "24" in regards to the preview next week. Was there really a need for that tidbit at the end??
Regardless, the table is now set. One to go. Will we get a finale as incredible as last season? I'm betting we will.
Seven days and counting...