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
600 votes
  • "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?
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