Battlestar Galactica

Season 4 Episode 7

Guess What's Coming to Dinner?

3
Aired Friday 10:00 PM May 16, 2008 on Syfy
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

9.5
out of 10
Average
599 votes
  • Galactica follows up the subtle "Faith" with a dramatic roller-coaster that pulls everyone along for a ride the likes of which we haven't seen since the season premiere.

    9.3
    It's been a long time since the entire cast had something meaty to work with for an entire episode, and it shows. They ate it up like starved dogs (and this reviewer does mean that in the best way possible), producing some of the finest drama this season.

    If the intensity of "Faith" came from its abstract qualities (no doubt induced by the base-star's neon lights) and hypnotic suggestions, then "Guess what's Coming to Dinner" must be a straight-forward traditional dramatic roller-coaster, full of ups and downs, twists and turns. And to the satisfaction of all, it seems our appetite was a fine match for that of the performers.

    HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!

    Kara jumps the commandeered Base-star back to the Galactica as the Demetrius, under Helo's command, attempts to do the same - and fails. As Adama (oh, how we've missed you in command!) orders emergency jumps for the civilian fleet and launches the Galactica's viper reserves, tragedy seems imminent, when at the last moment it is none other than Tigh that saved the day with a gut feeling. This reviewer was instantly reminded of the show's premiere - the episode "33" - when Tigh had likewise successfully acted on a gut feeling, just to be praised for his command. In truth, this minute but pivotal scene proved just how much we've missed seeing the Galactica crew doing what they do best - studying not amateur philosophy, but battle tactics. Practicing not rhetoric, but war. Roslin has lost the support of the Quorom of 12 entirely, and it is Lee who comes to her rescue by proposing a meet and greet with the resident Cylon commander, in order to facilitate the new alliance (which seems intent to break up under doubts and uncertainties from both sides before it even breaks out) to the representatives of the people. Laura tentatively agrees, and the Six makes her case -- the rebels can lead Galactica to the mother of all Resurrection Ships, the Hub, if, in exchange, the fleet will assist them in recovering D'Anna Biers, whose line was boxed in season 3. Of course, this brings with it a whole new set of complications -- Tigh and Tory, both present at the meeting, are in fact two of the Final Five, and the Six's request for the Galactica to hand them over upon reveal does not sound very enticing. The entire episode is built on a solid foundation of quality moments, but none seem to reach for the stars, and no unifying strand seems to tie the episode together into a single entity - until the ending. Kara turns a blind eye to Roslin's past transgressions and leads her and Gaius to sort out the visions of the Opera House the President had been having since "Crossroads," the season 3 finale. As Hero disappears, forcing Athena to hunt her down, the key players from the Opera House vision re-enact their moves like rehearsed dresses. Only instead of the new Six taking Hera with her, she meets an angry Athena... and a dead end. The music, the familiar-yet-mystical vision all builds up to create an atmosphere of grand art, and just as it seems the set up for the next week is complete... the Hybrid is plugged in, only to shriek: "JUMP." And the base-ship, along with Kara, Roslin, and Gaius, does. Starting with "Faith," it seems Galactica is truly on track heading into its mid-season finale, mesmerizing its audience with visuals that could stand toe-to-toe to the Beatles' most avant garde, throwing subtle pitches of atmosphere left and right, finally having created some true conflict between its grizzled cast.

    The problems dogging the episode are nothing new to the season - chief of which is Laura Roslin's descendt further and further down the slippery slope to religious tyranny. There's nothing inherently wrong with a character "going bad" - in fact, it can create for phenomenal drama! But when that character has never so much as done a thing to help any other character on the show, and has, in fact, seemingly gone out of her way to hurt others (insisted on keeping Hera from her parents, wanted to try Helo for destroying her means of genocide against the Cylons, attempted to overthrow an election, used torture on Gaius in season 3, wanted to see Gaius dead even though the evidence did not add up, etc...) starts calling Kara a Cylon for having visions of Earth when she in fact had just shared a vision with ATHENA and SIX, two known CYLONS, yet she never suspects herself. And then when she finds herself in a rut, it's Lee to the rescue with a plan to get her out of a tight spot. Then it's KARA to the rescue, of all people, when Laura wants to figure out her vision. She doesn't apologize for her behavior in the past, she doesn't attempt to make amends, she just asks for help and smiles. That's not to say that noble characters are the only ones this reviewer can stand - not at all! But if the character really is this nasty as we've been lead to believe, why is everybody else always standing up for her? Why is everybody protecting her? Every episode I watch I am waiting for somebody to accuse her of being a Cylon for the same reasons on the basis of which she publicly condemned Kara Thrace and sullied her reputation. Yet everybody is back at her side, and she is allowed to get away with murder just because she's on her death bed? Lately, the only times when Roslin proves a compelling character is as a foil to Lee, whom we cheer for and champion. Is that all she's become?

    This quibble may seem significant, but it is all too easy to ignore in this whirlwind of an episode. The resolution of the Opera House vision ties together a splendid episode, raising the sum over the quality of its individual parts, and Felix's mournful, haunting melody (actor Alessandro Julliani's opportunity to show off his remarkable singing talent), echoing over the fade to black, does not allow itself to be denied. If only Lee had come to see him, and not Laura.

    -pW
  • The imagery is getting intense!

    9.4
    Where to begin?

    After the inward reflections of "Faith", we now have the interpretation of prophecy and vision of "Guess What's Coming To Dinner". Between Starbuck's sense of destiny, Roslin's kamala-induced visions, the Cylon Hybrid's ramblings and Athena's dreams, I really can't see how the writers can reconcile all of the various versions of how the future is supposed to unfold. To make things even more complex, half of these premonitions are so couched in metaphor that they can easily be misinterpreted. The hybrid's warning to Starbuck that "You will lead them all to their end". Does that mean she'll lead the human race to their death or to the end of their quest? Could it mean that she may be leading the 3 rebel Cylons to the final 5 that they are so desperately seeking? I'm sure the discussion boards will be bandying these possibilities and more for the next two weeks.
  • An alliance is formed between the Cylon rebels and Galactica, and as the final season rolls on, everything turns on its head.

    9.2
    This, the final season of Battlestar Galactica, is supposed to be the reveal of the big mystery that the Miniseries, Seasons 1-3, and Razor have all been moving towards. We've gotten a lot of hints about said mystery.

    The Final Five could have come from Earth. Roslin continues to share her visions with Sharon Agathon and Caprica-Six. A vital target, the Resurrection Hub, is within reach, and by extension of that, D'anna's knowledge of the Final Five. Gaius Baltar now preaches the word of God, and there have been signs that his role in the series is deeper than we think. In fact, he is the most likely choice to be the 12th Cylon. If he's not, it would be the biggest red herring we've ever seen.

    The mere thought of the Final Five coming from Earth leads me to believe a theory that I've been cycling through my head many times over. Has anyone ever stopped to consider that Earth plays a bigger picture in this than we think? The Cylons don't even know who programmed them, or why knowledge of the Five has been blocked from their heads. Also, every clue leading to Earth: Kobol, the Lion's Head beacon, and the Temple of Five, all found in that order, gets progressively older. As Galactica reached the Ionian nebula, Saul Tigh, Samuel T. Anders, Tory Foster, and Galen Tyrol realized that they were Cylons, by means of a song that just played in their heads. It's possible that everything that's going on goes way beyond the creation of the Cylons. It's something much bigger than that.

    What really bugs me is that, after everything that's happened, Roslin still has a considerable amount of authority and support. She's supposed to be a public servant, the leader of a democracy, but her actions throughout the show leave much to be desired.

    I can't forget how many times she's trampled others to reach her goals. She usurped Admiral Adama's authority, divided the Fleet, hid Hera from her parents and didn't trust Adama in her plan, tried to rig an election, tortured Gaius Baltar, and let's not even discuss her attempts to circumvent democracy. What really gets me is that both Lee Adama and Kara Thrace risked their asses for her when they found Kobol, and then Roslin turns around and treats them like crap. She denounced Starbuck, and when Lee becomes a Quorum member, she tries to make him look like an idiot, even though he's just trying to uphold democracy. In this episode, they both help her, but she doesn't even apologize to them. She didn't really apologize to Adama, Helo, or Athena when her deception was revealed.

    After all that, why has no one even asked, "could she be the 12th Cylon?"

    Speaking of which, I really hope Ron Moore and David Eick don't take the cheap way out with this one. Personally, I think it's Tom Zarek, but we'll have to wait and see.

    Gaius Baltar's part in the shared vision has yet to be revealed, but apparently, he didn't experience it. Obviously he plays a part, but I'm more worried about Six's role. Caprica-Six stated a desire to protect Hera, but from what? The Final Five? Questions are piling up.

    I think that the Fleet, and possibly the two Cylon factions, will find Earth, but the big question is, what state is it in?

    This episode was hauntingly effective in its delivery. The tension between the Cylon rebels and Galactica, Gaeta's singing, Roslin and Baltar's arrival on the Basestar, the Centurions walking by the pilots, Natalie's speech, and for me, the biggest "WHOA!" moment came when the Hybrid jumped the Basestar.

    We are on the verge of something big. I hope that the journey was worth it.
  • It is all kicking off!

    9.5
    The powerful Faith episode is followed by this "must-get-everything-to-happen-now" episode - and boy are we happy!

    The Cylons' deal (to destroy the resurrection ship in return for D'Anna and the final 5) is accepted by Roslin and Adama. Lee feels left out of the process, and tells Roslin so. The quorom get a silly speech from number 6, and don't look too happy about it, but daren't say anything. Starbuck stands around feeling guilty about potentially leading the humans into a trap. So she decides to offer her help to Roslin and her insane visions.

    Then the Cylons, true to their ilk, decide they cannot trust the humans, so decide to set the centurions on the humans "as insurance". Leoben is fantastic in all his scenes - he steals them all with his screen presence, and looks every bit the cylon built leader.

    Gaeta sings beautifully - who would have known? Anders is racked with guilt about it.

    Roslin is all-powerful and oozing it. You cannot but fear and love her at the same time. Her dictatorial style - and the ensuing messiah complex - are compelling viewing. So is her semi-acceptance that the people need to be reassured about her knowing best. Shame that she then decides to go to the base-star (apparently without Adama's permission), with Gaius and plugs in the hybird - who promptly jumps away.

    Don't think Adama is going to like that.

    Also - double whammy that number 6 is shot by Athena (that name still rankles with me). Adama *definitely* won't like that, given that she was their only lead.

    Hera simply annoys me. She is simply not cute enough for T.V. Come on - you would think that Helo and Athena would produce fracking angels. She has no lines (more or less), and so screen presence is vital. But being the BSG, this minor detail is forgivable.

    The most wonderful bits of this episode were the politics of Roslin, and the visions. Two visions made a comeback - those of Starbuck (harbinger of death) and Roslin/6/Athena (Opera house). Although Starbuck's role is ambiguous, Athena's opera house is the Battlestar (or so we think), and she kills 6 for it. However, the interesting thing is that Chief subs for Gaius and takes Hera away. Will he keep her from Athena? One doubts is, but hopes that there was deeper meaning than shown on screen.

    A compelling episode, setting things up nicely for an action-packed episode. I love how the pace is *finally* picking up in this last season. It has been torture (the bad kind) until now - at least our imaginations get to run wild between episodes now!
  • "Hey boss. Look what I brought home!"

    10
    That was an amazing episode, although some parts were a little creepy. (Gaeta's singing and Hera in general) Personally, I'm getting the feeling that Gaeta is being set up as a red herring for the final cylon. Or I suppose he COULD be the final cylon, but it feels like a red herring to me. Opera house stuff is getting somewhat intense, although Athena shot the wrong Six if she wants to protect her daughter. She knows that Caprica is sharing the dreams, so it follows that she is the Six in the dreams. The drawings were quite creepy as well as the "Goodbye"

    Kara is back in her uniform!!! For some reason that made me overly happy. And with her hair tied back she looks very "season two Kara". So she's is getting all caught up in the destiny thing, and is now helping Roslin with the opera house vision. Tigh is going to start raising suspicions if he's not careful. Though I'm perfectly glad that he kept Kara, Anders, and Athena from getting blown up. Lee's storyline got a lot better this episode. I'm not really sure what it was, but I got to see the Lee that I missed. And was it just me, or during Natalie's speech did he and Kara keep exchanging glances?

    Natalie was awesome, though she might be gone now. But who knows. It looked like a couple gut shots though, and I doubt she'll be recovering from that. But her speech was gold. It was amazingly done. And I love how she was playing that Six vulnerability, which we've really only seen in Caprica, and Gina before this. And she just made a huge concession to the humans, giving them the coordinates.

    I am in love with the way Mary McDonnel delivers the "Well you're sleeping with him, aren't you?" line. Priceless. And now the hybrid has kidnapped Kara, Roslin, Baltar, Helo, and a bunch of cylons, and I believe some other Colonials. That should be interesting.

    Overall, absolutely amazing episode. And I have a feeling that the intensity this season is just starting to get revved up. As Ron D. Moore has said in his podcasts, this season is really one long continuous story, and I'm pretty sure we're past all the somewhat slow-moving intro stuff now.
  • Galactica gets kicked back into high gear with this - one of the best episodes of the entire series!

    10
    So far, Season Four has been very good in Battlestar Galactica. We had a great start with "He That Believeth in Me", "Six of One", and "The Ties that Bind". Then we faltered a bit with "Escape Velocity" and stumbled on "The Road Less Travelled". But "Faith" brought back the quality, and "Guess What's Coming to Dinner" now shows that BSG is back!

    There was a lot to process in this episode, with many events taking place. This episode served as a setup episode (setting up the future strike on the Resurrection Hub), but it also came with some suitably intense moments and great character moments. But everything in the episode was masterfully done, from the story to the acting to the music.

    I'll start with the storyline. As I said, the story is suitably advanced in this episode. We're given information on the Resurrection Hub, and we also see more of the visions being shared by Roslin, Athena, and Caprica Six. This visions are particularly well done and feel very strange and creepy. But the creepiest thing in the episode has to be Hera's "bye-bye" to Athena. Speaking of that, I may as well jump to the end. The ending act of this episode was probably the most intense conclusion to a Battlestar Galactica episode since Pegasus. It's not very often that I'm literally on the edge of my seat, but I was watching Sharon confront Natalie. I have to admit, I was extremely surprised that they shot (and seemingly killed) Natalie. She's a brand new character this season and was being given a lot to do. Her apparent death was very jarring and surprising. I also loved the sense of paranoia that accompanied Athena's scenes in the last act. It made the terror palpable as she was running around looking for Athena. But the stuff on the Baseship was cool too. I just loved the way she screamed "Jump!" at the end of the episode. I know that wasn't the actual end, but I'll get to it.

    Now I'll move on the acting, and of immediate note is, once again, Mary McDonnell. Last week, McDonnell gave an Emmy-worthy (heck, it was Oscar-worthy) performance when she recalled the death of her mother. This week, her performance was just as strong, but it was in a very different arena. This week, she played the tough and strong President who came down hard. She came down on Lee like a ton of bricks at the start of the episode, and her scene with Tory (yes, I'll say it) was an "Oh, snap!" moment. In both of those scenes, McDonnell played the hardliner Roslin excellently. Tricia Helfer should also get some credit in this episode. Her portrayal of Natalie was excellent, particularly in the scenes aboard the Baseship with the Two and the Eight. Her address to the Quorum was equally well done.

    Now you're probably wondering why I haven't mentioned Gaeta. Well, I decided to save the best for last. The thing that propelled this episode from being just a good episode to being an instant classic was "Gaeta's Lament". This is the song sung by Gaeta (and yes, Juliani really did sing it) after his leg is amputated. This song is beautifully haunting and wonderfully pieces the episode together. It becomes a form of repetition as it pops up several times throughout the episode. This piece will certainly be on the future soundtrack for Season Four. And if it isn't, protest!

    All in all, this is definitely one of the top 10 episodes in the series. It fails in no departments. The acting is superb. The story is well advanced. The music is flawless. Now why do we have to wait two weeks?!?! Just kidding. Anyways, great episode. Perfect. 10/10.
  • Now the fun begins...

    9.7
    So this season has been a little slow getting started... until tonight's episode!

    It always gets interesting when you climb into bed with the bad guys... especially when the bad guys are upfront about the fact that they need help for their own ends and plan to stay bad guys...

    It's like SG-1 working with the Goa'uld... Buffy working with Spike... Atlantis working with the Wraith... Whatever comparison you want to make... It makes for great TV!

    As great as this episode was for the first 55 minutes the final five minutes were AMAZING... totally shocked and caught off guard... I actually screamed "NO!" when the Hybrid woke up and yelled "Jump"... That's the mark of a GREAT episode in my book!
  • Finally the season its picking up its pace . It was a great episode.

    9.6
    A new great episode of BSG again, finally the season its becoming what shoulda been, action, drama, mistery,scifi, great special effectd, all that we like about it. This time the colonials join with the rebel cylon forces in an unsual alliance. Theres some character developments and we saw how nervous the final 4 we already know are, when the alliance comes with a plan to bring back the 3 that will reaveal the 5. Gaeta´s role in this episode whats great, I actually didnt care of liked much his character but on this episode it delivered. Also the creepy moments were great (Hera saying bye bye after the dream. and the Whoa moment at the end when the hybrid scream JUMP. Great episode, kuddos to BSG creators.
  • A new season on the path of pure awesomeness ! One of the finest episode of the series.

    10
    Because I loved Battlestar Galactica so much, I was quite afraid of this fourth season. What a fool I was. This new (last ?) season is sooo good that's incredible. How do the writers do to keep everything so intense while developing characters, mysteries and confusion ?

    An alliance with the Cylons ? Who saw that coming !?

    This episode is a beautiful and significant milestone in the story. And we can expect a great deal of back stabbing a head. And a probably some "space explode everything action".

    And who is the last final five ? All eyes are on Starbuck, but the president would be a nice candidate too.

    I just can't wait for the next episode !

    PS: I love Helo !
  • Gaeta's singing made this an instant classic. The last ten minutes of the episode certainly made this episode pivotal.

    9.5
    I agree with the other reviewers that BSG is picking up steam. Too bad there are only a few episodes left this year. I have not felt about a show like this since the Sopranos. Like that show, which only had ten or twelve episodes a season, by the time it gets good its over and leaves you irritated that that is all there is.

    Like "Faith" before it, this episode is one where you want to show your friends as to why you watch this program. All the actors are amazing, and what makes it even more amazing is that this is the Sci-fi network, where the vast majority of the actors were not well known, other than Olmos and McDonnell(with Dean Stockwell from Quantum Leap fame). This show should be shown in acting classes how actors can rise to the material.

    I have a bad feeling that Gaeta will be exiting stage left soon. His character seems to be heading to a bad end. At least he had his high note on this episode. His singing in the last scene after watching the jaw-dropping shooting of Natalie and the cylons jumping away made one wish the show wasn't going away so soon.
  • They aren't afraid to "go there"

    9.5
    At the end of season 2, Baltar was president, the humans had landed on New Caprica, and the Cylons had just invaded. The show showed us back then that they weren't afraid to change the story line. Now in its final season, the show can take bold steps without deus ex machina resolutions.

    What was nerve-wracking about this episode was seeing Roslin & Baltar on the base station; seeing Boomer assassinate Natalie; and wondering the mystery behind Gaeta's singing. The promos for the upcoming weeks were also awesome. Will Lee become President? What will the role of Zarek be in the new government? How will the humanoid Cylons and the Centurians respond to Boomer's act?

    This episode is an excellent example of exactly what this show is capable of achieving.
  • An unusual transitional episode

    8.0
    By the end of the first act, I understood the transitional nature of this episode, and I concluded that it would be better to sit back and enjoy the ride. After all, the introductory phase of the season arc had taken some time to build momentum, which finally came to fruition with "Faith", so it only makes sense that the complication phase of the arc would involve a bit of pawn-taking. Sure enough, that's exactly what happened.

    That's not to say that the episode was without action; it's just that it was more about careful consideration of specific plot points. It's very much like a chess game between the Humans and the Cylon Rebels, played out on several levels. And like a chess game, the true intrigue and fascination is not in the checkmate, but in the quiet and delicate movements long before the endgame. Because this season is more serialized than ever before, the nuances require careful attention.

    In the larger scheme of things, the proposed alliance between the Humans and Cylon rebels had to be contentious, and it's great to see all the complications emerge. It's now perfectly clear why the writers had to build up the tension between the Quorum and Roslin. Without that background, the depth of disagreement between them would have felt abrupt. Natalie's speech in front of the Quorum was one of the best elements of the episode.

    The Cylon civil war, and the deep philosophical differences at its core, was also necessary to explore in previous episodes, because now there's no question that finding the Final Five is more important to the rebels than the promise of eternal resurrection. This, of course, ties into the many prophecies regarding Kara Thrace. Her role as the "harbinger of death" could very well mean her role in bringing true death to the Cylons. In turn, this makes them more human, and sets the stage for their eventual mergence (in my speculation) with the Colonial survivors.

    The topic of Roslin's visions is also front and center, initially in terms of Baltar's sermons and then in a far more active role. It always seemed incredibly important that Roslin was sharing the visions with Athena and Caprica Six, but oddly enough, it never occurred to me that Hera would also be actively sharing them. Hera's dash through Galactica, leading to Natalie's horribly-timed death, was one of the more disconcerting elements. (The callback to Baltar's vision from "Kobol's Last Gleaming" is also a great continuity nod.)

    Taken in context with Roslin's vision and Gaeta's endless singing, it could be interpreted that Galactica itself is the "Opera House". After all, if the Final Five are supposed to be in the Opera House, and the Cylon rebels know they're in the fleet, it all adds up to that possible conclusion. And that makes sense, because if there's any stage where the final endgame should play out, it's on the Galactica.

    The sudden jump of the rebel basestar, with so many main characters now trapped upon it, should make for some interesting drama. The mission to the resurrection hub may still be viable, if the hybrid leaps to the previously programmed position, but the operation is no longer as relatively clean as it was. In particular, it puts Kara, Roslin, and Baltar all in a unique position to see their destinies unfold.

    Kudos must be given to the writers for letting all of the character movements play out with subtlety. Some of the character interactions are more powerful than the snippets of action for a reason. This is an episode that delves into the complex emotions of a sudden and unexpected chance to level the playing field. It might have been a bit better to see some reactions from the command staff regarding the mutiny or the crew of the Demetrius regarding Cally's death, but there's really no time for it. The attention is better spent on the varying reactions of the newly revealed Cylons to the new status quo.

    Kudos must also go to Mary McDonnell for her performance all season. I don't know if the actress is intentionally starving herself a bit to sell Roslin's illness, or if it's a masterful makeup job, but the effects of the cancer are pronounced. There's a visceral feeling, just from one look at Roslin, that the end is near, and it helps to sell the notion that her methods are truly driven by that relentless specter.
  • "And so it begins...."

    9.0
    SUMMARY - WITH SPOILERS

    - Thrace and Athena return to the fleet with the damaged baseship, only to have Tigh intervene to prevent Galactica blowing it out of the sky after Demitrius fails to jump

    - Natalie/Six meets with Roslin and Adama and persuades them into an alliance to destroy the Cylon reserrection hub; if the hub is destroyed, all reserrection ships everywhere will cease to function and the Cylons will know death

    - Baltar reveals that Roslin has been sharing her visions with Athena and Caprica/Six; it is revealed that Hera shares the visions also

    - Thrace reveals she knows about Roslin and the opera house and is enlisted by Roslin to help find answers

    - Fearing that the humans will not keep to their side of the bargain vis. the reserrection hub (allowing the Cylon rebels to leave with the "final five" after the mission), the rebel sset in motion a plan that _might_ undo the whole alliance

    - Felix Geata reveals himself to be the latest individual to be affected by music (Tyrol, Tigh, Tori and Anders when their true natures were revealed; Thrace while seeking Earth; now Gaeta in dealing with the loss of his leg), and his singing potentially reveals something about the story

    - Tori finds her new-found self-confidence following the murder of Cally to be a hollow thing; without Roslyn's trust and friendship, she collapses inwardly

    - In seeking answers, Roslin reveals to Baltar that _he_ is in her visions, and forces him to accompany her to the basestar to confront the hybrid

    - Confused by her daughter's apparent empathy with Natalie/Six, and terrified that she may (again) lose Hera, Athena shoot Natalie/Six (thus potentially thwarting the Cylon attempt to overcome their mistake in activating their Centurians)

    - In insisting the hybrid answer her questions, Roslin insists that it is reactivated - only to have it initiate a jump away from the fleet, taking her, Baltar and half the fleet's Viper wing with it and the onboard Centurians programmed to take over the baseship when it jumps....

    ANALYSIS

    This episode brings together the many threads that have been put out in the previous six eposides and, building on "Faith" clearly demonstrates that Season 4 of BSG is going to be the finest yet seen. While some decried the first five episodes of this season as "retreads" of earlier plots (which they most assuredly were not), it is fair ro say that without them, much of what "Guess What..." reveals would have come over as abrupt plot turns and (where the characters are concerned) out-of-character actions and reactions. As it is, "Guess What..." takes all of the themes established to date: the question of identity, the need for faith, the isolation of leadership, hubris, the broader events in ranks of both Colonials and Cylons, and weaves tham in a tapestry that promises much for the rest of the season. In particular, we now see why the growing rift between Roslin and the Quorum had to be played out, and why her growing hubris in her abilities as leader needed to be emphasized: without the former, the confrontation seen is "Guess What..." would not have played out so powerfully; similarly, Roslin's wavering in her own self-belief brought about by the events in "Faith", culminating here in her plea to Thrace, would also have rung hollow. Here is a woman who has come full circle; she still apparently has a pivotal role to play, but she now understands that, whatever front she presents to the Colonials as a whole, she is far from understanding everything - and her faith in scriptures and visions may not be sufficient to see her through. She still _needs_ people. And of all the people she should need, it is no coincidence that she again comes to rely on.....Kara Thrace...

    Thrace herself also realises she a bound to Roslin's fate; as Natalie/Six speaks to the Quorum, with Roslin beside her there is a moment of revelation for Thrace as a part of the hybrid's words click into place for her relating to the "dying leader" and the "opera house" - something that leads her to seek out Roslin in the ship's sickbay later, and to agree to help her.

    There is also a more subtle possible revelation as Thrace hears Natalie/Six's words to the Quorum. As well as hearing the hybrid's words relating to Roslin, Thrace also hears the words relating to her role as the "harbringer of doom"....at almost the precise moment Natalie/Six tells the Quorum the destruction of the reserrection hub will result in the humano-Cylons facing mortality. Could this been the fulfilment of the hybrid's words? It has been previously established that Thrace has a gift for out-of-the-box tactical thinking: will it be her plan that brings down the reserrection hub (given the baseship she is now on is isolated from the fleet)? If so, she is indeed bringing a form of "doom" to the Cylons: with the hub gone, they will have no option other than to face death - _just as all humans must_. And even if she does not plan the actual attack..it is very likely she'll be at the forefront (if not leading it, in her capacity as CAG); thus we possibly have the fulfilment of a part of the hybrid's "prophecy". And what of Roslyn's vision - and Baltar's presence in it? Theer are several intrigues surrounding this that may point towards future directions for the show, or actually help answer some questions.

    By including Baltar in the vision, we again have a reaffirmation of his still-to-be-defined pivotal role in the final events; a role that very much revolves around Hera herself. We also have a stunning throwback to Baltar's own "visions" as seen in "Kobol's Last Gleaming" - and while the child in the two visions is clearly different in age (Hera in Baltar's vision is a baby) - the similarity in the two visions is nevertheless stunning.

    Taken together, both visions seem to unequiocably point to Baltar representing something unique and special to both Cylons and Humans...that he not only unites them - he will carry them (in the form of the hybrid child) - into a new, yet-to-be revealed future (the light beyond the opera house doors), and in doing so will close the doors on the past and its divisions. If this is true, then it is fair to say that Baltar is _not_ the final humano-Cylon. He is potentially something greater. Could it be, in keeping with the messianic parallels we've seen to date, that he is actually "God made man"?

    Then there is the opera house itself...in Baltar's vision, we assumed it was a representation of Kobol and the linking o of the past to the future. Yet it features heavily in Roslyn's visions - and Kobol is far, far away....

    ....is the image of the opera house actually metaphorical? Three has seen the faces of the Five. The Five (or at least four of them) are aboard the Galactica. The incidental music for the series has, since "Kobol's Last Gleaming" become more orchestral over the seasons (dare one say, more operatic)...and here, bound with the visions of the "opera house" we have Gaeta singing - taking the notes of the incidental musics and giving them a voice.

    So...is the "opera house" a metaphor for the Galactica herself, and we'll see the final outplay of events and revelations not so much in orbit above "earth" (whatever that may turn out to be) but within the battered hull of our beloved battlestar?

    This would be entirely in keeping with the show and come as a fitting denuement to many of the the plotlines established over the last four years. And beyond this...what is the significance of the lyrics Gaeta sings...are they incidental or integral? They occur at pivotal moments as the episode unfolds - and are there right at the end. A hint that Gaeta is the fifth Cylon? Hmmmm....not sure on that. A reference to Hera herself; possibly. While the song appears to be a lover's lament, it possibly goes much deeper than that. Listen to the words and judge for yourself.

    Overll, "Guess What..." serves to move BSG forward in the most intricate and subtle of ways. In int we possibly start getting answers - or at least a glimpse of answers - to questions established through earlier episodes. At the same time it brings together tha finest nuances of acting, chanacter interplay, plot and action to demonstrate that, prior to comments from other on these pages, BSG is far from "dead" or "boring"....

    ...it is very much at the top of it's game.

    P.S. Has anyone else been wondering why there are two variants of the Six...subtlely different to one another?

    There is Caprica Six (the platinum blonde) and the Natalie / Gina ash-blonde variant. None of the other models exhibit such a glaring physical difference, and personality-wise, the Natalie/Gina variant seems somewhat less "spiritual" than the Caprica model.

    Also...has anyone wondered why the Natalie variant is standing behind Roslin with an accusative finger pointing at the Caprica variant in the promotional picture on the Sci-Fi channel's Battlestar main page?
  • FINALLY!The action has COME back to Galactica!!!

    9.0
    This review may contain spoilers...

    After a really disappointing start to the season i am finally starting to see the good and kick butt galactica stories that i liked. The pace as quickened, there is no more Gaius is god for half the episode crap going on. The usual twist and turns in the plot are back and this show is by far the best in the season.

    The show as started to have new life and i hope they kepp it this way until the end. On a side note I think Thigh sold himself out to Adama who may just have figured out just who Saul really is by not opening fire on the base star when it appeared....

    peace out and enjoy the show!
  • New kind of relationship with Cylons

    9.5
    Wow.. that was amazing episode - and I have no way where to start.. first the whole start - baseship jumps in but the trashship don't and they are all afraid to be blown out and saved in last minutes - and then cylons thinking about acting out but then they take Natalie to the core (I think it was called like that) to make those people see cylons should not be afraid and they working with them to destroy the hub is still on.. but then Natalie sees that they do not have to afraid people - but it all goes wrong when Sharon freaks out about Hera's drawings.. and she gets missing and Sharon goes after.. to find Hera running into the arms of Natalie..

    and President who went to baseship with Gaius.. and with all the other people - they get lost when hybrid jumps...
  • Kara and her crew return to the fleet-with a cylon baseship! Let the games begin!

    9.5
    This episode starts to take the series in a new direction-working with the rebel faction of the cylons. I chose "pivotal" to describe the episode for the following reasons:

    Despite being enemies, Natalie will trust Adama's word(sign of things to come?)

    Roslin bridges the gap between herself and Kara,actually asking for help.

    While each side plots to betray the other, a cylon(Natalie) is the one that wants to break that cycle.

    The final four we know are getting nervous. What happens when they get exposed?

    Roslin brings Baltar back in the mix by having him go with her to the baseship.

    I loved that they ended the episode with the baseship jumping away, with the President and half Galactica's pilots aboard. This show continues to create great story arcs that last several episodes rather than stand alones. It gives the time needed to tell the stories well and in detail.
  • Rosilen gets jumped away and athena shoots the cylon leader. Both sides are trying to betray each other.

    10
    This episode was one of the best I'd ever seen in my life. It totaly deserves a 9.6. This 9.5 business is crap! I loved the clif hanger and the way that both the humans and cylons planned to betray each other. Season 4 deserves better ratings than it got. The opera house is awesome so Awesome!!!!. I realized that gaeta was giving words to the backround music that had been playing all season. Its pretty cool. There needs to be some resultion to the baltar and gaeta thing. I cant get my head around the idea that gaeta hates baltar. It kinda kool anyway. This episode was the best ever.
  • Guess What's Coming to Dinner?

    10
    The episode "Guess What's Coming to Dinner?" was a superb episode of Battlestar Galactica and I really enjoyed watching because there was a ton of juicy character and plot development, great special effects, and awesome acting! The story was well written and played out perfectly. It was cool to see the Cylons and Humans working together. The ending was fantastic and a great surprise as the President is determined to speak with the Hybrid. Athena has another shared vision and afterward Hera really runs off and comes into the hands of a Six. Athena makes a drastic decision which was a bit shocking but not unexpected. I certainly look forward to watching the next episode to see what happens next!!!!!!!!!
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