Battlestar Galactica

Season 4 Episode 6

Faith (2)

Aired Friday 10:00 PM May 09, 2008 on Syfy
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The dying President Roslin and the aggressive Viper pilot Kara Thrace try to accept the new terms of the relationship with the Cylons.

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  • Faith

    Faith was another perfect episode of Battlestar Galactica and I really enjoyed watching this episode as the Demetrius crew come to terms with the Cylons and make some startling discoveries. It was really awesome to see Starbuck meet the Hybrid and listen to what she said, which was pretty cool. The President overhears another patient listening to Baltar's broadcast and starts talking with the woman, perhaps rethinking about some things which was interesting. This episode was full of character development, great special effects, and awesome story momentum with some intriguing and touching moments. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Possibly the best episode of the season to date

    As anticipated, this episode effectively ends the "introductory" phase of the season arc, bringing Kara's initial search for the path back to Earth to a close. It also takes the Cylon civil war into an unexpected direction, and Roslin receives an interesting challenge to her perspective from another dying cancer patient. Whether in active practice or quiet discussion, faith is at the center of the story.

    Previous episodes had the more "human" side of the Cylon civil war decimated without the presence of a resurrection ship, so as the weakened army, it makes sense that they would find a potential alliance with the Humans a viable option. It's also worth noting that the models in question have been represented by individuals with a particular brand of "love" (even if Boomer is playing for the other side now).

    From the pragmatic perspective, they need help to survive, and if the hardliners among the Cylon are taking control, the Humans could also use all the help they can get. From a metaphysical perspective, both sides are searching for the "Final Five", so there's a common cause. The lethal scene between a Six and Barolay is more than enough to remind the audience that it's still a tense and potentially disastrous arrangement. The wounds of New Caprica are evident on both sides.

    Of course, that is in and of itself intriguing. How many of the Humans have had the opportunity to realize that the Cylons are not all mindless copies? They may come from the same template, but their personalities derive from a mixture of shared and individual experience. Exposure to Humans has unlocked, at least for some models, Humans traits. It's been acknowledged in individual cases (as demonstrated by the trust given to Athena), but how will the Human masses, who were still isolated from most Cylons on New Caprica, deal with constant exposure? (Certainly Tigh, Tyrol, Tori, and Anders will have some interesting reactions.)

    The hybrid's jabbering to Kara ties in nicely with the final moments of "Razor", and seems to give a direction for the new alliance to follow. In fact, much of what is happening in this episode fits the prophetic words of the very first hybrid: "The denial of the one true path, played out on a world not their own, will end soon enough. Soon there will be four, glorious in awakening, struggling with the knowledge of their true selves. The pain of revelation bringing new clarity and in the midst of confusion, he will find her. Enemies brought together by impossible longing. Enemies now joined as one. The way forward at once unthinkable, yet inevitable. And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering. I can see them all. The seven, now six, self-described machines who believe themselves without sin. But in time, it is sin that will consume them. They will know enmity, bitterness, the wrenching agony of one splintering into many. And then, they will join the promised land, gathered on the wings of an angel. Not an end, but a beginning."

    The sleight of hand regarding the ringed planet and the comet was clever, lending far more question to the nature of Kara's memories than I had suspected. I still don't think Kara is the final Cylon, but she may be something apart from that entire discussion. After all, the Temple of Five on the algae planet ("Eye of Jupiter" and "Rapture") was dedicated to the five priests (analogues to the Final Five, or so it seems) who worshipped "The One Who Cannot Be Named". The natural assumption is that this "One" is the Cylon God, but what if it's something very different? Is it possible that, like the thirteen Human colonies with one quite apart from the other twelve, there is a being above and apart from the twelve Cylons?

    If the Final Five "come from the home of the thirteenth", then the theory that the Final Five are genetic descendants of the previous cycle's merging of Human and Cylon is further supported. If that process is possible, then Kara's genetic legacy might be connected similarly to this "One". The mandala, carried over the ages, could be a meme carried down through the genetic memory, bringing "death" in the sense of "change/renewal".

    The first hybrid's words seem to be following a chronological path. The "world not their own" could easily be the New Caprica situation, as "denial of the one true path" could have been the decision not to pursue Earth. The four, of course, are the four newly revealed Cylons. Kara certainly appeared to be in the "midst of confusion", after which Leoben found her. At this point, the enemies have indeed been "brought together by impossible longing". It would seem that the path forward is soon to be defined, and it will not be pleasant.

    As seemingly obvious as it seems, the one clawing "toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering" could certainly apply to Baltar. It could technically be Roslin, though she has always been in the role of the "dying leader". Of course, since these are obvious connections, it's likely that the revelation will involve someone else.

    Roslin's own journey through mortality seems to confirm her role as the "dying leader" (who, apparently, will soon learn the truth about the "opera house"). Considering how long the series has drawn the distinction between the Humans' "Lords of Kobol" and the Cylon "God", it's about time they had a deeper discussion on the subject. The interesting thing here is the underlying imagery that Baltar continues to utilize, which seems to connect to the collective unconscious of both Human and Cylon. More evidence, perhaps, that he is the final Cylon after all.

    In terms of Roslin herself, the discussions with Emily have actually led her to wonder if Baltar is not as nutty as he seems. Given her absolute disgust with Baltar and distrust in every word that comes out of his mouth, it's realistic for something like this, a confrontation with her apparently inevitable fate, to consider his words outside of that context. It would be a stunning turn of events if Roslin were to admit, on any level, that Baltar is right. Then again, with a basestar full of Cylons coming to visit, she'll likely have other things on her mind.moreless
  • We turn a corner, and on the Road Less Travelled, we catch a glimpse of the future - and the past.

    "Faith" continues directly on from the events of "The Road Less Travelled", and for those concerned about the "lack" of "progress" in this season, it is time to sit up an take notice. Throughout the first 5 episodes, the foundations for this final season were carefully laid out in terms of a study of what makes the individual. Through most of them, we see this in uniquely human terms as each episode focuses largely on the Colonials. We she how one's growth, one's hopes, fears, loves, losses and choices come together to create the being we each identify ourselves to be and how we will respond to the unexpected, the frightening and the downright unpleasant. Now the final aspect of what makes us who we are comes into play: the question of faith. Be it a religious faith or zeal as evidence in equal measures by the Colonial's broad belief in their gods, or the fiath in God as a metaphysicial being as held by Leoben, Six and herit group, or a philosophical representation of our potential, as already espoused by Baltar, or just a sheer, driving gut instinct to do what is "necessary", as seen in Kara Thrace, there can be no denying that faith (and sometimes a lack of it) shapes a part of our thoughts and actions.

    In a nutshell: - Thrace's faith in herself that she can find Earth is vindicated as her group find the "comet" and gas giant that sit as pointers on the road to Earth - although not quite in the manner she imagined

    - Roslyn's faith in herself, already subject to a degree of doubt as her treatment for cancer progresses, undergoes a deep challenge in the gentle words of another terminal cancer patient (brilliantly portrayed by Nana Visitor of Trek fame). - Baltar's faith, which he may see as someehat philosophical, having essentially described it as the goodness they lies within during a previous sermon, continues to grow and challenge (and change) all those who hear it.

    - Anders faces up to his biggest challenge as he finds himself in the midst of the surviving members of Six's breakaway movement. While his faith in his identity as a human remain pre-eminent, it is nevertheless weakening in a desire to know more about his origins.

    Two stories are carefully counterpointed throughout the episode: Roslyn's and Thrace's, with the other threads (Anders, Athena, etc.), carefully wrapped around both of them. This not only provides the epsiode with its core dramatic thrust and rich introspection, it also clever mirrors the fact that while these two women have taken vastly different paths to one another over the last four seasons, nevertheless their fundamental belief systems are not that far apart, and at the end of the day, they are still seeking the same thing: the salvation of their race - and both have used religion to further their search. Faith brings together all of the threads laid down to date in season 4 and weaves them together in a breathtaking tapestry - one that not only gives a hint as to the future direction of the season, but one which also ties neatly back into the past - specifically to the words of the "first" hybrid, as spoken to Kendra Shaw in "Razor". Not only this, but in "Faith" we begin to see some of the meaning behind the oft-repeated mantra from the Cylons that, "All this has happened before" and - even more intriguingly - the strongest hint yet as to the real nature of the "Final Five" is given, a hint that not only serves to explain how Saul Tigh can be a Cylon - but also to the revelations than may await us down the road as to the nature of the 13th Tribe.

    That there will be an alliance between the more "religious" or "human" Cylons and the Colonials now appears inevitable - and while it will be interesting to see how the Colonials react to having Cylons in their midst, it is also interesting to note the bridgehead between the two already exists within Baltar's growing movement. It is also interesting to note that the ideal of individuality plays itself out so perfectly in this episode through the Cylons themselves. Yes, as Cavil has stated, they are all made from machines and pre-programmed to operate along certain lines - but they are also more than this. Each of the twelve models is clearly able to learn, grow, adapt and change to the same stimuli as mentioned above and which go to make each human being a unique individual. This is most obviously expressed in Athena's situation, but it is also more subtlely shown through the blonde Six and her reaction to meeting the woman who "killed" her on New Caprica - and her own willngness (desire?) to die now. The blurring of the lines between "Human" and "Cylon" continues, and in doing so, also help prepare the way for the possible revelation that Earth is the home of a hybrid race of humans and Cylons together - or _will_ become the home to a hybrid, homogenised race formed from the two.

    Other tantalising hints of future episodes are also given here that both support the above and also raise interesting possibilities for future development / revelations:

    - The idea that the final five are themselves part of the "13th tribe" and will thus help take humanity on to Earth once they understand their fate

    - That Kara Thrace is still the "harbringer of death" is interesting and again hints at an another twist in the path she has chosen; but is her fate so clear-cut as defined by the "first" hybrid in "Razor". Then the warning was stark: Thrace would bring about the end of the human race as the "herald of the apocalypse" and the "harbringer of death". In "Faith", the hybrid again refers to Thrace as the harbringer of death", and her comments _appear_ to be linked to her comments on the discovery of Earth, suggesting that Thrace will be responsible for the destruction of humankind - but!

    - We know the words uttered by the hybrids are a form of riddle and that one comment may not directly follow-on from the last. Could it be that this hybrid's reference to Thrace's role as a harbringer of death is _not_ related to her previous comments about the human race, the final five, etc., - but are actually the start of a new message? Even with the developing alliance here, there is still a potent force of Cylons under Cavill's leadership to be dealt with...could this be an oblique reference to Thrace's role in their destruction?

    - And even if the hybrid did mean Thrace would bring about the death of the human this a physical death? A wiping out of humanity, or a more esoteric reference to the merging of human & Cylon lines once they have found Earth? The ending of the "pure" human bloodline...?

    - Or is this a clue that, despite all assurances to the contrary, Thrace is inded the final humano-Cylon, one so totally unique, she exists as a single entity, not a mass-produced model...? Remember the "first" hybrid's words from Razor:

    "....The way forward at once unthinkable, yet inevitable. And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering."

    Could it be that it is only through the destruction of humanity, Thrace can achieve her "redemption", her _true_ self-identity as a Cylon? If so...then this series promises to plunge some very drak depths indeed in the future. I'm very ambivalent on the above, and put it out speculatively, expecting it to be shot down; as taken in a wider context of all we have seen (and in this episode, heard), the "first" hybrid's words point the finger squarely at another individual as being Cylon No. 5....

    Giaus Baltar.

    His religious awakening is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it has given him a new purpose, a means to rectify the mistakes of his past (as he himself stated to Galen Tyrol in "The Road Less Travelled")...but also, it can only throw his role in the death of millions - possibly billions - in ever sharper relief as time goes on and he continues to preach about love, forgiveness and perfection. At the end of the day, the hardest voice to quell is the one that cries out inside our own heads, and when that voice is crying out "hypocrite!" or worse...

    Could it be that in the search for redemption upon which he has already started, only be completely through yet more suffering of those around him? Again, I raise the observation that if you watch the mini series closely, Baltar is apparently just 15 seconds from the epicentre of a nuclear strike on Caprica. What is more, and in difference to some here who insist his house suffered no more than "some broken glass and flying debris", the mini-series _clearly_ shows the house being blown in by a shockwave of massive proportions....

    ...Yet Baltar supposedly survived with little more than scratches by kneeling behind a human-Cylon whom we know can be knocked down by bullets - objects far less devastating than the shockwave of a nuclear blast. Doesn't really seem likely, does it?

    Again, I'm not myself convinced that he _is_ the final Cylon...although the overall irony is clear. I'd still like to see his survival on Caprica clearly explained (and have advanced theories elsewhere), but for now, I'm going to close these comments by re-stating my earlier words:

    Season 4 has turned a corner. We're well on our way along the road less travelled, one that is both shaped by all we've seen before and which may yet lead to deeper, darker and totally unexpected places as the rest of the season unfolds. Once again BSG has surpassed all that has come before in TV sci-fi, and has proven itself to be the most unmissable, throught-provoking show on air. And we'd better strap ourselves in for the rest of the ride!moreless
  • Roslin bonds with another patient in the hospital.

    Let me just start out by saying that I really liked this episode, but I definitely didn't love it. The highlight of the episode for me was definitely Roslin's storyline since she's my favorite character on the show. I thought that Mary McDonnell gave an amazing performance in this episode. I also liked that this episode featured some development with the whole storyline regarding the Cylons on the bay ship. What I didn't really like about this episode was the continuation of the whole Starbuck searches for earth storyline. I just haven't really cared for that storyline at all, and it's moving way too slow for my taste. Starbuck's storyline as a whole has been my least favorite storyline of the season, and I have not liked Starbuck's storylines for quite some time. Although, to be fair, I've never been a huge fan of the character Starbuck. I also really missed not having Baltar appear in this episode since he's one of my most favorite characters on the show after Roslin. In closing, I just want to once again say that I really enjoyed this episode, but I definitely didn't love it, and I'm really hoping that the storylines for this season of Battlestar Galactica really start to pick up the pace since this is the show's final season.moreless
  • In a welcome turn, Battlestar Galactica embraces the subtleties and finer moments that made it so essential in seasons past.

    Just when some of us were beginning to lose it, here comes "Faith" to set season 4 back on track with the sort of finer, subtle moments that its previous seasons were known and prized for. The show does so with such elegance and majesty that it is hard to believe these qualities were ever wanting.


    It is easy to mistake a simply decent episode for a great one when one has been starved of true cinema in so long, trudging through the barren dunes of space with only the faintest glimpses of salvation on the horizon. But this oasis is no mirage - it is the real deal.

    The mutiny aboard the Demetrius peaks when a panicked but determined Sam Anders shoots Felix Gaeta through the knee-cap (from behind) in an attempt to keep the ship from jumping back to the Galactica. In a season of Roslin spouting hypocrisies left and right and claiming monopoly on prophetic visions that are not influenced by Cylons, Sam's unwavering faith in Kara, even after her expressed threat to his safety back in "He who Believeth in me," is truly refreshing and engaging. Backed by Anders, Athena, and some woman I didn't recognize, Kara leads a party onto the ruined base-ship in an attempt to find a clue to the road to Earth. The scenes here are intense and surreal, seemingly feeding us answers and mysteries while drowning us in a sea of colors. Michael Trucco's performance as the hypnotized Samuel Anders is engaging and memorable, and long after the episode is over it is easy to recall him leaning in - as if in a dream state - to touch the water in the Hybrid's tank. This story - and his and Kara's performances - are alone enough to put the episode well above the rest of the season. Visits to Cylon ships are always dream-like and unpredictable, and "Faith" takes advantage of these qualities to maximum effect, killing one character and then another to 'even the scales.' Roslin's story is dragged out and inappropriate - we have already seen her preparing for her "imminent demise" two or three times. While this one is accompanied with a different religious experience than the usual one, it is hardly worth spending half of an episode on, especially when we know that this is just the beginning of this pre-death rambling. However, there is a magical moment in all of this, and that is courtesy of Gaius Baltar - for the first time since "He that Believeth in me" (closing speech) and to a lesser extent "The Road Less Traveled," where a misbegotten rant fuels character development on the part of both Gaius and Tyrol... for the first time Baltar's religious story is treated to a moment of surreal artistic beauty. The saving grace of the Roslin storyline is this subtle moment, and that is the calm, emotionless voice of Gaius Baltar droning on about religion in the background of every scene.

    This is how it should have been done from the beginning - it IS droning, and should have been treated as such immediately. Does it matter if everybody believes in many gods or in the one true Cylon god (tm)? We still don't know, and this reviewer doesn't feel much is at stake either way, so the sermons have grown tedious. But the approach in "Faith" - one that accentuates the tedious nature of sermons in a way that manages to find a hidden beauty even for a critic such as myself - manages to convey the ever-reaching presence of Gaius's faith throughout the ship better than any of his sermons ever did, in a manner much more subdued and poetic.

    It is disappointing that Adama, Tigh, and Lee are once again in such short supply; as is the fact that Helo seems to have forgotten about all the good times he'd shared with Kara, which is more than a little unfortunate. For a guy who speaks his mind and stands up for what he believes in - no matter the cost ("The Woman King," fighting for Athena's acceptance, turning down the genocide option in season 3) - he seems to have abandoned his friend Kara's cause pretty quickly. Is he so heavily invested in the President's visions that he won't give Kara the benefit of the doubt, especially when she needs a hand? Thankfully at least Sam is there to provide that support.. to give her that faith.

    And it's his faith, among all the other brilliant moments in this episode, that bring back the Galactica of yesteryear. A Galactica you'll think had never left. -pWmoreless
Mary McDonnell

Mary McDonnell

Laura Roslin

Jamie Bamber

Jamie Bamber

Lee "Apollo" Adama

Edward James Olmos

Edward James Olmos

William Adama

James Callis

James Callis

Gaius Baltar

Tricia Helfer

Tricia Helfer

Number Six

Grace Park

Grace Park

Sharon Valerii/Sharon "Athena" Agathon

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Emily Kowalski

Guest Star

Alana Husband

Alana Husband

Nurse Shashon

Guest Star

Tahmoh Penikett

Tahmoh Penikett

Karl "Helo" Agathon

Recurring Role

Michael Trucco

Michael Trucco

Samuel Anders

Recurring Role

Alessandro Juliani

Alessandro Juliani

Felix Gaeta

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Roslin: Bill, look at me. I'm right here. Right here. We're going to find it.
      Adama: Earth?
      Roslin: Together.
      Adama: I used to think it was such a pipe dream. I used to use it as a carrot for the fleet.
      Roslin: What made you change?
      Adama: You. You made me believe.

    • Kara: Barolay, I didn't ask for volunteers.
      Barolay: Yeah, you did. Back on Galactica. Look, I don't give a frak what the rest of them think. You've been kicking ass since day one. You say you can find Earth. I wanna be there when you do.

    • Roslin: But this God that Baltar refers to. It is the Cylon god. You know that, don't you?
      Emily: If he's the one and true God, he belongs to all of us. Otherwise he's not much of a god, is he?
      Roslin: Exactly. He isn't much of a god, he's a fantasy.
      Emily: Oh, Laura. And the Lords of Kobol are real? Reigning from a metaphysical mountaintop in those silly outfits? Zeus handing out fates out of an urn like, like they were lottery tickets?

    • Laura: But a lot of people in our predicament have dreams like that, Emily.
      Emily: No, I was there! I felt the cool breeze coming from the water, the spray from the bow. Maybe he's stumbled onto something, you know? He talks about the river that separates our world from the next, that there's more to this existence than we can see with our naked eye. There's a power we can't begin to understand.

    • The Hybrid: (as Kara walks in) ...not because it wishes harm, but because it likes violent vibrations to change constantly, then shall the maidens rejoice in the dance... structural integrity of node seven restored, repressurizing... the children of the one reborn shall find their own country... intruders swarm like flame, like the whirlwind, hope soars into slaughter, all their best against our hulls...

    • Kara: This is it. This is the place. I can hear it.
      Leoben: The unstruck music vibrates in all of us. Few can hear it. Kara's one of the few.

    • The Hybrid: Thus will it come to pass. The dying leader will know the truth of the opera house. The missing Three will give you the Five. Who have come from the home of the Thirteenth. You are the harbinger of death, Kara Thrace. You will lead them all to their end.

    • Number Eight: They call you Athena now. You wear the uniform like you're one of them. You're the first to say no.
      Athena: No to what?
      Number Eight: The entire plan. You joined the humans. You had a child. You showed us that we don't have to be slaves to our programming. We wanted the same thing, but it turned out to be a disaster. The Sixes have made one mistake after another. They have to be stopped before they get the rest of us killed.
      Second Number Eight: Ask.
      Number Eight: You could help us.
      Athena: You want me to lead a mutiny against the Sixes?
      Number Eight: It's the only way.
      Athena: You guys make me sick.
      Number Eight: Why?
      Athena: Because you pick your side and you stick! You don't cut and run when things get ugly. Otherwise you'll never have anything. No love, no family, no life to call your own! Now you guys can either help me or get the hell out of my way.

  • NOTES (5)

    • During the scenes with the injured Gaeta, the music to "Gaeta's Lament" (from "Guess What's Coming to Dinner?") is playing in the background.

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

    • Despite appearing in the opening credits, Jamie Bamber and James Callis do not appear in this episode. However, James Callis' voice can be heard on a lengthy wireless radio broadcast.

    • Mary McDonnell read the "Previously on Battlestar Galactica" line at the beginning of this episode.

    • Nana Visitor (Emily Kowalski) starred as Kira Nerys on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Ronald Moore served as a writer and co-executive producer for that series.


    • Baltar's radio broadcast contains a number of phrases from the "To be or not to be" soliloquy of Shakespeare's Hamlet, including "shuffle off this mortal coil," and "the undiscover'd country, from whose bourn no traveler returns." These phrases refer to death and the afterlife, respectively.