Battlestar Galactica

Season 4 Episode 4

Escape Velocity

3
Aired Friday 10:00 PM Apr 25, 2008 on Syfy
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
530 votes
22

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Gaius Baltar sets off a debate on religious freedom when he promotes his belief in a single God.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Escape Velocity

    10
    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
  • Oh to be a cylon...

    6.0
    "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
  • Once again this show falls aways from the story line, settles for padding out.

    3.0
    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.

    7.1
    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

    8.0
    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
Edward James Olmos

Edward James Olmos

William Adama

Katee Sackhoff

Katee Sackhoff

Kara "Starbuck" Thrace

Grace Park

Grace Park

Sharon Valerii/Sharon "Athena" Agathon

Tricia Helfer

Tricia Helfer

Number Six/Caprica Six

James Callis

James Callis

Gaius Baltar

Jamie Bamber

Jamie Bamber

Lee "Apollo" Adama

Keegan Connor Tracy

Keegan Connor Tracy

Jeanne

Guest Star

Leela Savasta

Leela Savasta

Tracey Anne

Guest Star

Lara Gilchrist

Lara Gilchrist

Paulla Schaffer

Guest Star

Michael Hogan

Michael Hogan

Saul Tigh

Recurring Role

Michael Trucco

Michael Trucco

Samuel Anders

Recurring Role

Kate Vernon

Kate Vernon

Ellen Tigh

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Goof: When Tigh, Tyrol and Foster are shown in the teaser, Colonel Tigh is wearing the rank insignia of an admiral.

    • Goof:
      The pendant Baltar takes from Lily does not feature the rod of Asclepius, which has only one serpent, but the Caduceus, which has two serpents. The Caduceus is associated with Mercury and commerce, rather than healing, but these two symbols are often confused in the United States.

    • In the "Previously On" segment, during the scene in which Cally listened in on the meeting between Tyrol, Tigh, and Tory, a shot of Sam was used, implying that he was present during this meeting and that Cally knew the identities of all four of the hidden Cylons. However, this was not true as Sam was onboard the Demetrius on the mission to locate Earth and was thus absent from the meeting.

    • When the Raptor crashes during the emergency landing, its nose and front section are torn off from the impact. When Chief Tyrol and Figurski are examining the wreck in the maintenance bay, the nose and front end are still attached.

    • During the Raptor crash, two bodies can be seen ejected from the cockpit as the wreckage slides across the landing bay after the front of the Raptor is torn off. The bodies are only visible for a couple of frames. This explains how Racetrack and Skulls were able to survive.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Tyrol: I buried my head in the sand, and I settled. I settled for that shriek with those dull, vacant eyes and that boiled-cabbage stench of her. And why? Because this is my life. This is the life I picked, and it's fine. But you know what?! It's not. I didn't pick this life! This is not my frakkin' life!
      Adama: What the hell's gotten into you? Don't do this. Don't do this to her memory.
      Tyrol: You know what? I'm sorry if I'm not gonna do this the way you want me to, or the way you might, but I will not make an angel out of someone who wasn't an angel. But I can see you have. And now you've come down to be in my club. But you're not in my club. You don't know what frakkin' club I'm in, 'cause you never asked the right questions.

    • Tigh: (about the death of Cally) Chief, what you're feeling is what a man feels when this happens. It's normal and it's human, and it's not gonna end anytime soon. It'll be there every day. You'll see her every day. You'll see her. Be a man, Chief. Feel what you've got to feel. But don't risk us!

    • Head Six: People have room in their hearts for one great belief. You or the old gods -- which one will it be?
      Baltar: Why can't I just be a man? Do I really need to take on the gods single-handed?

    • Baltar: (to his followers) Stop! Stop. This is unacceptable. We have been targeted because of what we believe by those who answer to faceless gods that bear no relevance in our world. They want us to be afraid, and I am tired of being afraid. The time has come to make a stand and that time is now.

    • Roslin: Searider Falcon. I haven't read it in years. I don't remember how it ends.
      Adama: I don't either. I've never read the ending.
      Roslin:You're kidding. It's your favorite.
      Adama: Well, I like it so much that I don't want it to be over, so I'm saving it.

    • Baltar: (to his followers) I'm not a priest. I've never even been a particularly good man. I have, in fact, been a profoundly selfish man, but that doesn't matter. You see, something in the universe loves me. Something in the universe loves the entity that is me. I would choose to call this something God, the singular spark that dwells in the soul of every living being. If you look inside yourself you will find this spark, too. You will. But you have to look... deep.

    • Caprica Six: Pain is how I learn from the guilt. There's wisdom there. Clarity. You know yourself there.
      Tigh: Pain?
      Caprica Six: (caressing Tigh's face) Our minds were designed based on your minds. We've learned things about how you work that you've never known. When you're in pain, (she changes into Ellen Tigh) that's when you learn who you really are. That's when you focus, sharp as the point of a knife. (takes off his eyepatch) I can give you that clarity again.

    • Adama: She was a good woman.
      Chief Tyrol: If you really believed that, you wouldn't have threatened to stick her up against a bulkhead and shoot her. It's OK, though. Thought about doing it many times myself. Believe me.
      Adama: Chief, let's...
      Chief Tyrol: How many of us ended up with the people we really wanted to be with? Got stuck with the best of limited options? And why? Because the ones we really wanted, the really loved, were dead, and dying, or turned out to be Cylons and they didn't know it. If Boomer had... (stops himself)

  • NOTES (6)

    • Cally's full name is revealed for the first time as Calandra Henderson Tyrol (according to the closed captioning). Only her nickname, Cally, had been revealed previously.

      She appears in this episode only in flashbacks.

    • Although credited in the main titles, Grace Park does not appear in this episode.

    • In a previous episode, Head Six appeared to smash Baltar's face into a mirror but it was not clear if Baltar threw himself into the mirror on his own. In this episode, Baltar seems to be held up and supported by Number Six in front of a crowd of onlookers. This is the first external sign that Number Six can have a physical effect on Baltar's body. However, Ronald Moore stated in the podcast commentary that the scene may misrepresent Head Six and her possible effect on Baltar. Moore says that the onlookers would not think that someone or something was holding Baltar up.

    • As of the end of the teaser, there are 39,675 survivors, one fewer than the total listed in the previous episode.

    • Aaron Douglas read the "Previously on Battlestar Galactica" line at the beginning of this episode.

    • This is the third episode of the series that Edward James Olmos has directed. He also directed the Season 1 episode "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down" and the Season 3 episode "Taking a Break from All Your Worries."

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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