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.
This is just why I watch this show. It is now getting really dark and this episode will have just so many consequences that I can't even imagine how it's going to be from now on.
Starbuck IS RIGHT, there was something/someone waiting for her, but what does this make her? Is she a Cylon? Is she human? Is she more than that? Or is she just a glorified pawn?
Laura Roslin seems to be approaching to Gaius sermons, Anders is getting in touch with his cylon part and it's freaking him out, Athena is facing what she was and what all her sisters still are, and more important what she means to the other 8s, Agathon and Helo might very well have to give some explanations about a certain mutiny, etc...
And what is it with 6s and Leoben? What do they know about Starbuck? What was that Centurion reaction?
And, for heaven's sake, a cylon baseship jumping by the galactica's fleet!?!?
This week was one of the better show so far this season. There was not a lot of "Gaius and his religion " crap storyline to slow the pace down. The plot moved a bit forward this time around.
I do hope they start to really ramp it up space wise because it has been a while since we saw a good space fight in galactica. Most of the previous tensions are gone. There is no real sense of impending doom for galactica anymore which made the first 3 seasons so much interesting to watch. I do hope that the second half of the season moves at a faster pace to get things done properly.
Starbuck takes the team off to go and find a baseship in promise of Leoben that they will find Earth and they have limited time to jump back.. so - it all depends on that and Gaeta is running out of time too.
And they do find the baseship or what is left of it and they now know that the civil war is true.. and they have to work with the cylons .. or at least it looks like that.. I most say I liked the whole thing with hybrid - her riddles and then the one what actually made sense.. - and the warning about Starbuck.. what really happened to her?
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!!!!!!!!!
After some above average episodes to start the new season, this was the first great episode of season four. Roslin's battle with cancer and her friendship with another dying patient shows why this show transcends sci-fi. If fans want to show why they watch this show to new viewers, this is the episode to show.
The Starbuck storyline is finally coming to fruition, after several episodes where I did not think they had a clear idea. She finally hears from the hybrid about her role as the harbinger of death. (which we already knew from "Razor")
Sharon's meeting with her other models was also interesting. It is suprising she has such contempt for them. You would think she would hve some issues with switching sides so completely, but that is a minor quibble.
The scenes of the afterlife were truly amazing and mirrors greek mythology with the river styx separating this life from the afterlife. The boat is also from grek mythology (minus Charon the boatman), but it was an interesting update from the old greek myth.
Absolutely amazing episode. Anders is trying to discover what it is to be a cylon, and he alone of the four seems to be almost okay with it now. Trucco's acting was phenomenal in this episode. Kara is trying to come to grips with what she is, and what she has seen, and now has even more to come to grips with. Who knows what it means for her to be the harbinger of death? Athena, I don't know exactly what is happening with her and the other eights. Obviously they see her as some kind of leader, but I don't really think she wants that on her. But the best leaders are often the ones who don't want power. Roslin, is really not quite so sure of what she believes in anymore. Mary McDonnell's acting was stunning in this episode. She proves to be amazing at TV crying. Her conversation with Adama at the end was beautifully done. And now begins the countdown to next week so we can see just who is coming for dinner, and how that all plays out.
Well this is cute. Apparently, Kara's destiny to save the human race is ever so slightly different from what she had imagined. Instead of leading them to Earth, the Cylon hybrid seems to think that she's leading them to their destruction.
President Roslin is facing her imminent mortality and is questioning her faith in the Gods. In her own dream, she sees the metaphorical river that separates life from death, only to wake up and hear Baltar's broadcast describing exactly what she had just seen. Could he be right about the one God religion?
A cryptic message from the hybrid indicates how to find the missing five Cylon models that somehow hold the key to finding Earth.
This is turning out to be a very interesting story arc. I can't wait for next week's episode.
Okay, so the other episodes were either story-lite or philosophy-lite. This was neither, and boy was it a bomb.
I'm not going to run through what happened, and will try to discuss the main points raised.
Death/Roslin: Roslin (now bald) is getting more and more scared with her impending death, and talks to a fellow dying patient. She knows that the pain is only going to get worse, and that finding meaning in this is hard. So the talk drifts to religion, and the meaning to be found in death - mainly that it might not be the last thing - and that our souls somehow "live on" somewhere beyond the "dark abyss". Roslin begins by being contemptuous of this thought. But she then changes her mind, as it prefers hope to dread. This makes sense, given her fear.
Religion/Belief: The debate between the many Gods/Cylon "one true" God rages on - and is mentioned to be just this (for the first time) by Roslin herself. But the other woman responds saying that she does not care if it is a Cylon-recognised God - and that God is for everything. A good point, but one that does not escape its origins - i.e. a 6 in Baltar's damaged mind. Also, she speaks of the other Gods' indiscretions, while maintaining that hers is perfect. So the old "mine is better than yours" that many *children* use comes back again. Roslin counters by saying that Gods are metaphors for something deeper, but is floored by the argument that the woman does not *need* metaphors - she needs comfort. And the one God theory is somehow more comforting for her. Fair enough lady, whatever does it for you. And maybe it is simply a tool for dealing with the emptiness of death - and what harm can that do, given that it cannot be proven either way?
The ambiguity continues with the fantastic boat scene. Roslin sees the fellow patieint "cross over" and imagines her self there too. Then she says she is "not ready" yet. And wakes up to see the bed beside her empty and the radio on. Damn clever - we all know that the radio in our sleep gives us *freaky* dreams, but leaves open the "spiritual experience" angle.
Finally, Adama tells Roslin that the whole Earth thing was a "carrot" for the fleet when first concieved, but that Roslin makes him "believe". If the Man himself can be swayed by the unexplainable, then who are we mortals to disagree? But then again, maybe he was just saying things to make Roslin feel better. Mind frack.
Justice: 6 kills that *annoying* human because of the trauma of being killed herself. Anders gets *mad*, but is prevented from dealing out justice. However, another 6 sees that this will not slide by Athena (or the humans), so she puts down the 6 herself. Her line "is that enough human justice for you" was chilling, but heck - that fracking 6 had *no* right to kill the human in the first place. She was resurrected, after all, and it's not like danger is somehow removed from her job description. So yes - although traumatised, she did initiate the destruction of the human race, and so fracking deserved her fate.
The Base Star: ...is damaged, but in the hands of the humans! OMFG! And the construct also tells Starbuck that she is the "harbinger of death". A centurion shoots a Sharon model for disconnecting the construct. This is going to make things *interesting*, given that we don't know how many more of these "free will" robots-with-guns are left out there. And how will the humans handle these things when brought to the fleet?
One wonders how is Adama going to react to having his very own base star (however damaged)? And will he accept the truce being offered? Will the fleet agree to this? How about the blasphemous Gaius? Will his 6 try to force a revolt if things don't pan out?
Cylons: Are my favourite by a mile. Leoben debates of the necessity of the truce with the humans, and 6 clearly dislikes having to agree that there are no other options. Athena is also making hard choices. She points guns at her previous "sisters". She handles Starbuck without much care when told to do so by Helo, yet joins her on the mission. She refuses to forgive a dying "sister" model, but Anders does (what the frack is up with him?).
Can the Cylons be trusted? Can they sense the other 4? Was that part of Leoben's logic (one finds it hard to believe that he would have over looked this fact)? How will they react to finding out what Anders and the other 3 are?
Anders: Goes nuts in this episode. Shooting Gaeta was *drastic*, but his aggression towards 6 was unbridled fury. Finally, he shows care-bare-like compassion to the dying Sharon. Maybe he is not controlled by these guys, and his instability is compelling viewing. He also tries to touch a console, but is prevented from doing so - but given how much was made of it, it seems like it is only a matter of time before he tries to do so again. Will he be able to "see" things? Will it make him "switch on"?
Starbuck/Destiny: Once again, Starbuck makes a seemingly insane leap of faith in the name of "destiny", only to have the Razor guy's words repeated, and to be informed that her destiny would lead to the end of everything. Does this woman (if that *is* what she is) have free will? Or is she a pawn in some higher powers' plans?
This show is seemingly destined for greatness. And if episodes of this quality keep rolling off the production line *every week*, then no number of one true God(s) can stop it being so.
"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 race...is 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....
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!
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.
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.
HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!
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. -pW
A landmark episode, one of the best of the entire series! A combination of intense conflict, character development and a poetic look at the afterlife. Outstanding television! This is what every drama should be aiming to achieve.
After a couple of low-key good but not great episodes, this was a truly outstanding episode! I'd put it up there with "Downloaded," "33," "Exodus, Part 2," "Crossroads, Part 2," "Collaborators," "Pegasus," and a few others as one of the landmark episodes of the series, and of television drama in general. (Spoilers follow.)
This episode reached the level of visual poetry. Both of the alternating storylines hit on all cylinders. Laura Roslin's exploration of the meaning of life and the possibility of an afterlife was completely engrossing. Her quiet talks with Emily, the other cancer patient, brought out emotional depth and a new side to the mysterious religious element of the series. The dream sequence on the boat along the river was serene, comforting and melancholic, all at the same time. It shows that there is hope, for all of them. Hope for happiness and hope for the return of loved ones past and present. At the same time, it signaled Laura Roslin's impending demise. But at least we know that she will end up in a more peaceful place than the Colonial fleet.
Emily had an interesting perspective on Baltar's religious sermons and his "Cylon god." She said that He isn't the Cylon god. He is the god of everyone. She said that the old Lords of Kobol seemed cartoonish and vindictive. Baltar is a flawed prophet and he may not even believe much of what he preaches. But Emily seemed to show that the question of the existence of the higher power is much, much bigger than the qualifications of an unworthy person like Gaius Baltar. Baltar may be similar to a sham television preacher while Emily shows that there is real substance to the faith, apart from undeserving leaders like Baltar.
The shootout on the Demetrius added pizazz early on while we got loads and loads of mythology development through the story of the expedition to the Cylon base ship. I liked Athena's speech to the other Sharon models, that they had to pick a side and stick to it, instead of being so wishy-washy and trying to cut and run. Then the Hybrid told Kara that she was the harbinger of death who would lead them to their end. Kara had ignored all of the other complaints that she was crazy, but the Hybrid's words shook her faith in herself.
The scene with the Number Six and Barolay was chilling. Six was acting on very human emotion, a burning desire for revenge. She reminded me a lot of Gina and her desire to go out in a blaze of glory. There's a definite suicidal/murderous streak in the Six line. Then Natalie made an enormous sacrifice, killing the other Six copy in order to maintain the truce between the humans and the rebel Cylons. Cold, very cold.
There were so many spine-tingling moments like that in this episode. I have to admit that a couple of the previous episodes this season didn't hit me like that. They had a moment or two like that and a good story, but they didn't jump out at me as mind-blowing stories. "Faith" does. This is exactly why I watch this series, for the intense conflict, the spiritual exploration, the tough moral choices during a time of war, and the continuing story line that has revealed strong character development beginning with the December 2003 miniseries and carrying on into 2008 and probably 2009. Amazing writing, directing and acting in this one. They really hit the ball out of the park this time!
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