This was the episode that put it over the top for me. Too much baloney, too far fetched or near fetched for me. The finale last season was bad enough, now each week seems to contradict previous things we took for granted.
I am sorry, it should have ended last year, it is like the Soprano's going for the one last season to wrap up all the lose ends and that turned out to be horrible.
Their finale had people talking, and not in a good way. We felt cheated with all the wait to bad TV, the only saving grace for this show for me is that it is not on a premium channel that I have to pay extra for. This show gets a four swirly rating, it takes four flushes to get rid of all the crap they put in it.
Battlestar has set such high standards for itself that if not met, I get fracking angry. This one simply did not. It is irrational, but hey - that's the way it is with fans of BSG.
Warning: this review is more of a rant. Read only if you are willing to put up with the writings of a very angry fan.
In a nutshell:
Starbuck returns. Lee is confused but they join the battle with the cylons nonetheless. Anders is sent up, a cylon raider scans him and instead of shooting him, the *entire* cylon fleet retreats. Starbuck claims to only remember being away for 6 hours, and to have seen Earth (her pretty pictures prove it). She cannot explain being blown up, the time lag (months), how her fighter is brand new or how it has no flight navigational history. Yet she claims to know the way to Earth. Roslin does not believe her, and maintains the fleet fly the orignial course (which is different to Starbuck). People think she is a cylon despite being scanned medically and coming up as a human. In the heat of battle, Sol has a vision of shooting Adama, but does not. He and the other 3 try on convince each other that they are still human. The annoying Indian woman does not say anything at all. Apollo thinks Starbuck is human and also refuses to return to miliraty service (thinks he can do more as part of the government). Adama is understandably pissed, but says nothing. Baltar becomes a leader of a religious cult, sleeps with one of them, sees 6 again and "heals" a sick boy by being willing to sacrifice himself for the kid's sake. Starbuck talks to Adama about changing course, is turned down, so goes and points a gun at Roslin.
Okay - so Starbuck returns, and that is awesome. She acted as irrational as ever and believes in her plan so much she was willing to point a gun at Roslin at the end of the episode. But nothing is explained. And I humbly warn the writers now - if she is a fracking cylon, this will be by far the worst (and most easy) plot twist in the history of writing. I personally like the thought of her being a cylon-grown human (they did take her ovaries). And planting her back into the fleet would make sense if she was the only way back to Earth, and would never co-operate with the cylons (demonstrated by her insane hatred of Leoben). Dunno - but beats the hell out of the all-too-obvious "she is a cylon" theory.
Sol Tigh has a pathetic vision of shooting Adama on the bridge. I was *so* angry that they even tried something like this on us that I almost hurt my tv. I mean, if they want to pull a stunt like that again, why the hell not have the balls and go through with it? Now *that* would be a real twist. Bottom of the barrel stuff to show that, and then pull away from it. The only plus-side to all of this is that we are guaranteed more Sol Tigh excitement.
Baltar's entire storyline up till now simply bored me. First of all, they never explained how the bugger survived the nuclear strike (yet 6 presumably died/had never existed). Then there was the whole "oh, he let in cylons through the back door" thing, followed by his seeing 6 everywhere, the constant flip-flopping, his rapid political rise, the colonies, the stint on board a battlestar and then his return and the (awesome) trial. But the question has been banged in so many times that if he *is* a cylon, it had better be a fracking good reveal. Personally, I cannot see how the writers could ever pull it off - even if they weren't the baboons who wrote this episode. Deviations of the future aside, Baltar is now a religious leader (of complete morons). This is only mildly interesting, with possibilities to become something rather powerful later on (competing with Roslin and Starbuck on the insanity meters will be cool). Ignoring the sleeping with the follower episode, Gaius moved into exciting new territory - that of taking responsibility of his crimes and a willingness to sacrifice himself for another for the first time in his life. Also, it was good to see 6 back to her usual mind games, twisting human followers via Baltar to the Cylon "one God" religion.
Apollo refused to go back to being a pilot (thinks he can do more in the government), and brought up the Zack-as-a-cylon issue. Personally, if they did not immediately throw him out of an airlock, it would be ridiculous.
This season is meant to be better than all the others. And if the pace and writing quality does not pick up pretty damn soon, people are going to be *mad*. That said, BSG has given me so much, I guess that they deserve the grace period of one (relatively) awful episode. Praying to the cylon one true god for better tidings!
This new episode introduces people to season 4 but it did not had the intensity that characterizes a typical battlestar Galactica episode. The story was ok and it introduced a few plot devices for the new season that are gonna be resolved down the road but nothing much more. I tought we would be much closer to a resolution as to when Everybody would get to earth, but i guess it is gonna have to wait. Again while intriguing to watch the plot did not really move forward on this episode. We have no clue as to what is happening to Baltar, and sadly that plot device has been dangling form the start of the series.What is really Gaius' Role in all of this. The evidence keeps getting stranger and stranger with no answer in clear sight...And the crew going nowhere is...well we will have to see....
After waiting over a year from the very exciting conclusion to Crossroads, with the two huge reveals of the 4 Galactica Cylons and Kara Thrace returning from the dead, I had hoped for some plot point equal to at least one of those shockers.
Instead, we find out only that Starbuck's viper is brand-new, and that no one believes her when she says she has been to earth. We already saw the viper last year, and is it any surprise that she would be doubted?
Regarding Tigh, Anders, Tyrol, and Tori...none of them did anything shocking, which is fine. We did see that Tigh seems to be wound up pretty tightly when he imagined shooting Admiral Adama, and that Anders had trouble firing on a Cylon ship.
Oh, and Baltar has a cult following.
I am sure that as the season progresses this episode will hold its own. However, I wish the writers had put a little more meat on the bone to satisfy the appetite of the rapacious audience.
In the meantime, I suppose I'll have to entertain myself by continuing to try to figure out who the last Cylon will be. If it's not Starbuck (which seems like a red herring/too obvious), and I don't think it's her, I keep going back to Gaeta.
The fleet deals with all out attack, while Anders has an unusual encounter with a Cylon Raider. Starbuck come home to suspicion and doubt, and Baltar is also dealing with his new status as a religious figure.
The long awaited season premiere has all of the promise of a truly great hour, but ended up with a great episode. I know BSG fan were expecting a lot more flash and bang, but this episode concentrated on the characters and their new change of status. Tigh's dream sequence was very shocking even though I knew it was going happen that way. I can't wait to see how he handled throughout this season, given his hated of the Cylons. Anders is having the most difficult time coming to term with what he is. Starbuck is adjusting badly to being back. She obviously being used by party unknown and she hated being controlled. Out of the people that are going through changes, Baltar is adjusting the best to his new situation. I am very intrigued about the plan the Six in his head has for him. It is something big.
The only bad thing I could find is that the storylines didn't mesh very well, but it has been over a year since it has been on, so I will let that slide. Best Scenes: Tigh's dream sequence with Adama(it was very powerful and shocking!) Anders's encounter with the Raider(it was nicely done)
New Questions: Why did the Cylon fleet bug out when it had the advantage? What is Kara's purpose?
The beginning of this episode was a seamless continuation from season 3 making a nice change from the season 1 to season 2, 1 year later thing that so galled all we fans. And let's face it, starting with a really good battle will always be a winner. My only complaint about that was that it didn't go for longer…it was brilliant!
And then the battle was over and everyone had to deal with Starbucks' return!! Drama well done!
Now I don't know about anyone else, but I don't understand why it's such a great leap of faith to follow Starbucks revelation about having been to earth when they don't seem to have had any problems following Laura Roslin's drug induced visions up until now…and what's that brought them? If it weren't for hints and back handed help from the Cylons they wouldn't be any closer to finding Earth than they were after the initial Cylon attack.
Great episode and sets the scene for what is sure to be a bumpy ride over the next 19 episodes.
Let me just start out by saying that I absolutely loved this episode, and I'm so glad that Battlestar Galactica is back. I've missed the show so much. I enjoyed this episode a lot as a whole, but I would definitely have to say that Baltar's story line was my favorite story line in this episode, and I can't see how his story arc for the season as a whole unfolds. I absolutely loved Baltar's scenes with Number Six. I found them very entertaining just like I always do. In terms of Starbuck's story line in this episode, I found it boring and just not very interesting, but I am curious to see how her story arc for the season unfolds. I really liked the cliff hanger at the end with Starbuck and Roslin, but I hope that Starbuck isn't going to kill Roslin since Roslin is my #1 favorite character on the show. Another thing that I really liked about this episode was the fight sequence with the fighter ships at the beginning of the episode. The whole thing with Anders' encounter with the Cylon ship really intrigued me. All in all, I absolutely loved this episode, and after seeing this episode, I can't wait to see how the writers choose to end Battlestar Galactica as a series since this is the last season.
***Hurrah *** Its back! Man vs Machine in the infinite arena of space where no-one can here you scream - except the entire remaining human race!!!! Life, Death, Politics & Religion, and thats just the first 15 minutes....
We all love this show more than any other with this episode probably the most anticipated of all, but did it deliver the goods?
In my estimation BSG has never failed to provide the best of what you could ask for from the Sci-Fi universe. OK, so some of the episodes were aimed more at pushing the plot along rather than being amazing action scenes or being full of drama and adventure but nevertheless every one was well worth watching.
In the first 15 minutes alone:
The two fleets enter battle big time - Death and Destruction across the stars
Starbuck returns - From Earth apparently in a rather shiny looking Viper!
The Adama clan and the extended family that is the BSG crew manifest are again the sword defending the herd who are literally losing members by the minute.
Meanwhile the four new identified Cylon models fight their feelings and have to pick sides.
Giaus Balter discovers he has somehow got his own group of followers during his journey from unwitting traitor, refugee, scientific genius, politician, back to traitor and now reluctant religious leader!
Phew - thats a lot to take in in such a short time and you can see why some avid viewers fine the remainder of the episode somewhat off key!
I can honestly say that there is only one area i felt didnt feel right: Colonel Tigh's somewhat dubious vision of shooting Adama on the bridge. I could understand confused emotions (programming?) and if it had been a matter of Sol not seemly putting his all in or acting out of sorts then this would have been stood quite well considering his mini-speech at the end of series 3 ("My name is Saul Tigh. I am an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Whatever else I am, whatever else it means, that's the man I want to be. And if I die today, that's the man I'll be"). - but a 'dream sequence' shooting Adama - no-no-no-no-no
Of course the other momentus event is the return of Kara 'pain-in-the-ass' Thrace. This one was actually handled much better than i could have hoped for. No over-long speech's of the 'Hi I'm Home/Where have you been' variety. Simple massive outgoings of disbelief, followed by waves of joy, and finally understandable mistrust! (actually ended by the usual Kara moment of madness involving a hug, a fight and a will she/wont she kill the President moment - great! (but not perfect, why the hazy entrance to point the gun at Laura Roslin? it would have been much more threatening if it had been sharp focus seeing Karas Krazy (cylon?) eyes!)
Okay - so big fights and little fights and that is indeed somewhat awesome but what is happening elsewhere?
Baltar's life story continues along its winding path in ever decreasing circles. Following his trial it now appears his rise to Prophet has been confirmed within a small group of followers and he remains an outsider and unwanted by majority of the fleet. I do feel this could have been left to simmer until the second episode with more emphasis initially on the Battle and its aftermath....after all it wasnt just a few more dead bodies this time round it was hundreds including a whole ship gone and another severely damaged. Surely with only 39698 souls left the loss of 600+ in one instant would surely have been a more immediate concern for viewers, and a much more visual and active treat than the actions of one man hidden away in the bowels of the Galactica.
Another thing missing was the post-fight reactions of the four new Cyclons. Other than the Sol 'dream' and the Raiders 'communication' with Anders it was hardly touched up. What of Tyrol and Clly (and their child - a 2nd Cylon/Human hybrid. A playmate for Hera!) Hopefully a get together is in order soon as sideways glances between characters doesn't really fit the air of the program - it needs a good stand-off, airing of grevencies or a burst of tears - this program is all action and emotion so lets see some, after all this is what the Cylons wanted to program into their Human models.
Oh yeah - Apollo refused to go back to being a pilot, despite it being the first thing he did after giving up his wings! Rather do more in the government - i dont think so. what happens if hes in the CNC with Roslin during an attack, will he just stand there and take notes? Again i can understand the reasoning behin it from a human perspective but it just doesnt seem right from a viewers point of view.
So, is this season going to be better than all the others. Will it go out in a bang or a whimper?
Final thoughts - Great - but not perfect! Set up for a huge battle that barely got started and a 'pick up the pieces and count the cost' aftermath that seems to have been blurred out.
The visuals, acting, characters etc was all but perfect as expected.
The Human aspect - e.g. Kara, Giaus, Human-Cylon was either under or over played, not in the case of it was wrong or not liked, simply better placed elsewhere or needed fleshing out or tweaking.
10/10?......i think not
Maybe closer to 9/10 ......lose 1 for simply trying to fit too much and getting the balance wrong. It does however still wet my appetite for more!!!! EDIT:
Having read some other reviews i offer a final,final thought: - I hate it when reviewers simply give a score of 0 or 10/10 without giving reason or criticisms. For example - 'MovieMark' posts directly after this and gives 10/10, however he (or she) also says "So how does this premiere hold up? To be truthful, we've had better from the show". Sorry but that just grinds!!!!!!! How can it be perfect if it could be better?..................its the little things in life!
Oh.. the last season ending was stunning and now they continue that storyline - main surprise is Starbuck and everyone is happy to have her back.. until the moment she is arrested and more and more of her craziness stars to come out. Where she was, what happened - she does not know. All she says is that she found Earth and they are going on wrong way.. And Gaius.. he finds himself a place to hide and starts a dangerous road with those people - and finds his position getting stronger when they think he a mirical.
And we have Roslin.. she is somehow slipping away in wrong direction too.. who knows.. but there are many exciting storylines..
This episode started where the season 3 stoped. Battle was probably the best part of the episode. It was exciting, and it looked so good. Better than the battle from the Revenge of the Sith.
Story about Kara's return didn't move much further. I don't mind that becouse I know that by the end of season 4 we'll konow pretty much everything.
Another part of the episode is Baltar and his role of cult leader. His plot revolves around creation od monotheistic cult. Well, that's pretty much interesting and it creates certain issues like... does this mean that Baltar will be Jesus when fleet arrives to Earth. I'm pretty much confused where are they going with that religion thing...
Well, I wasn't disappointed 'till now, so I will continue to have faith in writers.
This episode was awsome, i hope they dont ruin this season, the last season just like the 3rd one. I cant w8 for the answers for the million questions. Anders is a cylon i think, but the other? I dont think so...
From the RAzor we know, that Kara is gonna doom their mission. I hope not.
The first few minutes was incredible. That space battle was almost like in Star Wars. So congrat for the makers. That Baltar line is not so clear for me, but i w8 for the next episode. So Im glad that this series is back...and I cant w8 for the next episode!!!
Fantastic Episode! This episode was so fast paced and I love how all the characters were on edge and very tense throughout the whole episode. The special effects were fantastic in the opening space battle, very chaotic and realistic. If the rest of the season can keep up with this episodes standards it will be the best season ever! There wasn't really any story development on the cylons (the 6's, boomer, D'anna Biers, Leoben, and that other guy). They did however cover a good amount of ground on the 4 of the final 5 cylons which of course is what we all were waiting for. I highly recommend this episode!
It was a good episode -- no question about that -- but it could have definitely been better. While I was ecstatic to finally see the show back on the air, I was also a bit baffled by some of the decisions. I just wish they would have spent more time elsewhere. Starbuck is obviously not going to kill the president, nor is she the last cylon. I think that her being the last cylon would be WAY too obvious, and if she did actually kill the president... then Moore has bigger balls than I ever gave him credit for. It just took up half the episode trying to convince us of something that's never going to happen. That annoys me.
Plus, the whole Baltar/Jesus angle. That's cool and all, I always love watching that psychotic bastard, but for a premiere with so many questions looming, we spend what amounts to an entire act with him and his hoard of sluts?
The good moments were good, but they were few and far between. Time could have been MUCH better spent elsewhere.
Still a good premiere, but slightly ill-conceived and still focused on teasing people without answering questions -- after it's been gone for a year, no less.
I was, however, waiting with bated breath when Saul shot the old man. I though that surely they didn't have the cajones to do that, but, as much as I like Adama, killing him, in that way no less, would have been a helluva shocker in the premiere that would have ushered things forward. Of course... then he'd only return in a new raptor in a few weeks. ;D
Great season opener didn't disappoint on any level. The show opens with the newly discovered cylons rushing to their stations to do battle and we see Balthar being ushered off to safety by his female cult. It was great the way we now see
Great season opener didn't disappoint on any level. The show opens with the newly discovered cylons rushing to their stations to do battle and we see Balthar being ushered off to safety by his female cult. It was great the way we now see the new cylons try to hide what they are and maintain their humanity. A wonderful scifi special effects and action sequence with Anders being "activated" as a cylon was done brilliantly. This was plotted quite well leading into the raiders and centurions being treated as equals and not just tools. The fact that the question was asked threw the whole cylon mightier than though civil rights stand on it's ear. They rebelled against humans for being treated as slaves but in turn took their own and now their slaves want equal rights. The other story of Balthars rise to messiah-hood had some great moments. Seeing Balthar come to a crisis of his selfish identity and as usual the show the question of coincidence or the hand of God was wonderfully posed. These instances and the return of Starbuck made for a great final season opener.
The only real bad thing about this show is the fact that it is ending after this season. It's great that they get to end the show on their terms and that the story is (or we think it is) coming to a completion. It's good to see that it will not be cancelled in the middle of a season leaving fans trying to guess what the hell happened.
The Sci-Fi Channel frustrates me though. I mean, season 3 ended over a year ago and they sat and twiddled their thumbs waiting until April of 08 to restart this thing. They seem to be proving that they really don't know how to handle a hit show. I think Ron and David need to consider letting another channel - maybe USA or someone - handle the Caprica series once it launches. They will likely get a better response from people who normally do not embrace they sci-fi genre (good example... "The 4400"). BSG would probably be an even bigger hit had it not been originally carried on the Sci-Fi Channel.
Starbuck is back from the dead? This is the big part of the
story that people want anwsers to. And to keep people watching they will drag it out for a long time. Thats good
writing. Is she a cylon? Thats what it looks like. But lets step back for a sec. The writer said, from the begining that he wanted this show to be real life like. No aliens. Well they took a really big step out of that box. The normel thing is everyone is asking questions. Baltar is the bad version of Jesus. And Six is an angel. And the four are so confussed they don't know which way to go. Anders in the one scene with the cylon shows that he is one of the four. Apollo is now on his way to being the next president. The fleet took a very bad hit. But one of the questions for gotten about is. Why did every ship in the fleet lose power in the first place? This stuff is great.
He That Believeth in Me was a perfect episode of Battlestar Galactica! All I can say is Wow! This episode was amazing from start to finish with action right away, drama, scandal, and intrigue. There was also a ton of character and plot development. The space battle scenes were phenomenal and beautiful. It was cool to see the Cylon Raider scan Anders or Longshot. The President urges that the fleet continue jumping and to follow the Nebula's path while Starbuck urges they back track to find Earth after returning under mysterious circumstances. The four newly realized Cylons continue to meet and discuss themselves which was cool, while Baltar lives among his followers and has some interesting experiences. I thought it was awesome how the Six in Baltars mind appeared and how it did seem that perhaps she is sent by God. I hope the show will end how I suspect, as I've never watched the last two seasons of the show at this point in time. I love to think about the possibilities. I'd like to point out the numbers, which all relate perhaps, 12 colonies, + 13th tribe, 12 Cylons, The Cylons One God unless it is one of them then it would be the +1, and then there are the 12 Gods of the Pantheon, or 13 maybe too depending on how one breaks it down. Watching Colonel Tigh hallucinate was interesting as were many other scenes like the ending when Starbuck takes her issues up with the President directly. I look forward to watching the next episode to see what happens next as I'm on the edge of my chair with suspense!!!!!!!!!
Well, after such a long wait it was really not ok to give us just one episode at once... why?
It seems as if almost every single person on that ship is on a new way in their life. It is almost like a new beginning, the beginning of the end. Dont get me wrong, I really liked this episode. I liked the writing, liked the amazing special effects and the good acting.
But after a year long wait, watching this was simply not enough. I know I have been waiting for this like for salvation over a time of one year, I know that what I have been waiting is not the second coming of JC... but this episode was simply a prologue to whats going to happen.
It should have been two episodes. Period. We nerds deserved it!
Major minus was the cliffhanger... the behaviour of Starbuck wasnt at the end to believable and the resulting cliffhanger was far from beeing a surprise... As a starting bonus, this one gets a ten... but the network should get its behind kicked! I want more and I want it now! And dont gimme that 10 episodes season crap!
Well the critically acclaimed BSG is back. This was a bit of a recap but with a lot of new stuff. First, by know we know four out of the five Cylons. The big question for this season among many is Starbuck (Kara) one of them?
All the clues seem to think so. In her last transmission she was seemingly blown away, then she comes out later and tells Apollo (Lee) that she knows the way to earth. Then when she finally gets onboard the galactica, her viper shows no signs of damage.
Madame President and Admiral clash over what to do but agree that Kara can't be trusted much to the dismay of Lee who seems to plan on not coming back to the military.
Meanwhile, Baltar has become of a Messiah for a group of other people. Of course by now he's been absolved of any wrong doing but he is basically an outcast. Lucky for him he's got a bunch of groupies (including a couple of hot chicks) who think he has a magical power to heal people.
For the first episode back it was good. They didn't beat around the bush much and right away we got the conflict we were expecting with Starbuck. Meanwhile the other Cylons, Tigh, The Chief, Anders, and other one were having a hard time deciding what to do.
I mean do they go on their regular routines (like the Cylons would expect) do they turn the gun on themselves in case they do something against the Galactica? All this was played well and with nothing resolved.
The next episodes should be great as the continuing conflict in this storyline remains unsolved. Needless to say Galactica is in top form here and I'am enjoying every minute of it.
The last time we watched an original episode of Battlestar Galactica was March 2007. Now, a year after, everyone was anticipating the show's return and it was worth the wait - the season premiere of BSG was amazing.
The premiere of season three was the premiere that disappointed me. This, however, simply reminded me of how much I looove this show. It started off with a brilliant space battle, which reminded of the opening scene from Star Wars III - great special effects. Then, we are back on the Battlestar, and things are chaotic, with 4 people learning their fates - that they're actually Cylons, a crew member returning after 2 months when everyone thought she was dead and now claims she's been to Earth, a former President of the colonies now a free man trying to hide from an angry fleet... It was exciting and nerve-wracking from the very beginning to the very end.
I re-fell in love with this show today. Television does not get better... It looks like it's gonna be one hell of a (final) season... =)
This season of Battlestar Galactica begins right where we left off in season 3, so there is practically no catching up needed. With Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) back from what we thought dead, the season kicks off with one of the most beautiful sequences i've seen from the show. The following battle will be one of the several moments that sticks with me for rest of days as close-ups of vipers in action with stunning textures keep me pinned to the screen.
After a very unusual encounter with a cylon fighter and Anders (Michael Trucco), the Cylons turn tail leave the scene. Now its time for speculation and fear. Speculation that another one of their own was a cylon...The fear of discovering Kara is a Cylon...Four loyal people's fear of being discovered.
With all of this happening, Baltar is taken away to the land of the women...sort of. Being seen as a sort of emissary of the one true god. These women mean business and it leads to some problems.
We finish the episode with Kara as a one woman army, taking out everything in her path (Non-lethal) and entering a cabin to find President Roslin (Mary McDonnell). Roslin, in a blurry haze can only see what's coming when it's too late.
To be continued...
Totally not cool...fridays don't come soon enough.
During an impending cylon attack, Starbuck comes out of nowhere and meets up with Lee. The cylons battle it out with the galactica fleet. Just as galactica suffers huge loses, the cylons make a retreat. Galactica does the same. When Starbuck lands inside the hangar of the galactica, Admiral Adama orders Starbuck to be detained by the marines. The four of the final five discuss about their roles inside their ship. This is a really exciting episode. The story opens up with a major space battle. The writers started out the story with a really exciting conflict. I can't wait for the next one.
It's been nearly a year since the end of the third season, and after such a long wait, it shouldn't be surprising that the audience would have high expectations. In fact, those expectations were nothing but heightened after the taste provided by "Razor" in November. It's practically a given that this episode failed to meet those lofty desires, but that may prove to be a good thing.
For some, the third season finale was all about throwing everything and anything against the wall, seeing the patterns that formed when it congealed, and using that as the roadmap to the series' conclusion. On the other hand, it also felt like a finale that was meant to shock the system, reinvigorating it towards the goal of a more frantic finish.
Three major items dominate this episode, all of them focusing on matters of faith. The Baltar situation is the most straightforward. Baltar finds himself among a small group of monotheists who consider him to be a prophet, even a savior. The fact that they are mostly young, attractive women does not escape his notice, and does take advantage of his new opportunities. Yet very quickly, his perspective turns more serious.
Baltar is brought a young child with a deadly illness, in the hopes that his prayers might save him. This leads him to a rare moment of honest self-reflection. He admits his own failing, his own weaknesses, and offers himself in place of the boy. It's not something that Baltar would have done in the beginning of the series. Shortly thereafter, during an attempt on his life, he is ready and willing to die in payment for his sins. Part of that is self-pity and guilt, but it does make one wonder if Baltar might become someone worthy of the adoration his harem provides. (Though I could easily see his most violent protector becoming a problem before much longer.)
Second, we have the situation with the four newly revealed Cylons. All of them are in a position of trust within the fleet, and in the face of Kara's return, none of them are suspected. Ironically, Anders effectively saves the fleet when a Raider seems to scan and recognize him. (This brings up an interesting point; are the more "primitive" Raiders more aware of the hidden Five than the humaniform models?). Tigh and Tyrol both reaffirm their own humanity on a constant basis, even as they all fear taking action against their apparent WILL.
What makes this interesting is the callback to the first season, when Boomer was caught between suspicions about her true nature, her programming, and her humanity. Not only does the audience know that she failed to overcome that programming, but we've seen Athena successfully chart her own course (at least, it appears to be so). Now we have the same situation but amplified by a factor of four, and with a more profound effect on the Cylons themselves.
The third and final aspect is directly related to Kara Thrace and her return from apparent death. Clearly she wants Adama to believe in her, but pragmatism is getting in the way. Also, the circumstances of her return are questionable at best, and given justified fleet paranoia, grounds for exactly the treatment she's given. In her nearly-religious assurance, she's completely dismissing everyone else's perspective.
Which is not to say that she's wrong, because it's far more interesting if she's absolutely right. Kara's bloodhound psychic alarms are remarkably similar to Roslin's reaction upon the fleet's arrival in the Ionian Nebula. Roslin's reaction was preceded by visions shared with Caprica Six. One could speculate that the "activation" of the four of the Final Five at the exact same time was a meaningful correlation.
In my comments for "Razor", I noted that the prophesies regarding Kara Thrace and her role in the destruction of Humanity may have been easily misinterpreted. What if Kara is meant to bring about the end of both the Human and Cylon races as they are, by bringing them together based on a common legacy? After all, in "Eye of Jupiter" and "Rapture", the Temple of Five was built by Humans over 4000 years earlier.
One theory I've had for some time is that every "cycle" of the story begins with Human and Cylon separate and at war, and ends with the two races merging into one species. They recover to the point of sending out colonists. The colonists struggle to find their own identity while the "originals" continue to evolve. The colonists are seeded with the genetic material necessary to survive the next cycle, while the "originals" help both of their "children" to find their way.
So by this theory, the Final Five are not constructed Cylons in the sense of the seven humaniform models, but rather, genetic Cylons: Humans embedded with ancient Cylon DNA. Tigh, Tyrol, Anders, and Tori would not have false memories of their lives because they truly lived them. They are Human, but a part of them is also Cylon.
Also by this theory, Kara would have been saved by the previous cycle's "humans", those now on Earth, so she could lead the fleet home. They would have been able to give her a new Viper and the sense of where to lead the fleet. It's possible that Roslin is equally "attuned" because of her use of the kamalla drug. On the other side of the equation, the Cylons may also be following such instructions through the guidance of the "hybrids" and Cylons like D'Anna and Caprica Six.
Of course, all of that speculation may be wrong, and that is the allure of the final season. This is the season where the answers should finally be forthcoming (albeit in chunks, thanks to the writers' strike and Sci-Fi Channel scheduling), and there will certainly be unexpected twists and turns. However, I do feel that the foundation has been laid in the previous seasons, and it all comes down to a matter of context. This episode is just the first step in that process.
If you think season 3 finale was awesome, well, this goes way beyond that.
Starbuck returns, claiming she's been to Earth, not knowing that everyone saw her blowing up in space, and she keeps saying they're going the wrong way. Baltar finds himself in the middle of a cult to his figure, which only gets him in trouble. Meanwhile, the four "new" cylons try to keep their lives going on as they were before.
Besides all that, the space battle scenes are among the best I've ever seen on tv.
In the 1990s, Babylon 5 ushered in a new form of science-fiction television - not only using the genre to tackle questions of relevance to the times, but also daring to define a series that was truly galactic in its extent. In doing so, and despite the wobbles of the 4th and 5th season, it set a whole new benchmark for television science-fiction that remained unchallenged.
Battlestar Galactica despite the screams of so-called "purists" who cannot get their heads outside of the 1970's precursor has taken the bar set by Babylon 5 - and shot it into orbit.
While BSG has had its own wobbles - notably for this reviewer that latter part of season 2 / start of season 3, where the producers seemed to have more episodes than they had story arc elements (hence the atrocious "scar" et al) - it has nevertheless repeatedly delivered the most outstanding and relevant television drama. Ever.
"He That believeth.." proves why. Aired in the UK as the first half of a "double header" season premier (edited together with "Six of One" to form a single 105-minute episode), it escalates the tensions from the end of Season 3 to new - and different levels.
- Kara Thrace has mysteriously returned from the dead
- The newly-revealed 4 Cylons (Tigh, Anders, Tyrol and Tory are forced to confront the realities of their own identities
- Gaius Baltar's transformation into a Messiah continues - but to what end?
- The cracks evidenced in the humano-cylon ranks start to open into fissures
- The fleet goes from facing almost certain destruction by an overwhelming Cylon force to the threat of internal factions ripping it apart
During the episode, the core arcs left from season 3 are continued - clearly most notably through Baltar and the "revealed final four", while new arcs are opened: who - or what - is Kara Thrace? How balanced is Laura Roslyn's judgment (first questioned during Baltar's trial)? What is happening among the ranks of humano-cylons? Indeed, such is the manner in which tensions are raised and new story arcs are opened, this reviewer did start to worry about how the production team can draw all these various strings together smoothly, and answer all the necessary questions to bring full, and proper, closure to the series in just 20 short episodes. However, such is the pace and subtlety of "He That Believeth..." that these concerns are subsumed by 42-minutes of top-notch drama. BSG has always fired best when dealing with intense character interplay interwoven with the central concept of the show: the struggle for survival. In "He That Believeth..." both are delivered in spades - and continued through "Six of One".
From the opening sequence - which picks up directly from Lee Adama's "discovery" of Starbuck calmly piloting her Mark II which closed the end of season 3 - we run the gauntlet of the Cylon assault on the helpless fleet. This latter brings out the fears and worries of the "revealed four", notably voiced by Anders, that they might yet betray the Colonials, albeit unwillingly - and confirmation of the fact that they truly are Cylons. This latter confirmation comes as Anders is scanned by a Raider - with the result that the attack on the fleet ceases and the Raiders systematically return to their basestars.
This in turn precipitates a crisis within the humano-cylon ranks. Six, Leoben and Valerii realise the Raiders have evolved: they have identified the location of the final five, and collectively opted to break off their assigned attack on the Colonials. The remaining three - Steven, Doral and Cavel - find both the concept of the Raiders evolving and the idea that the final five could possibly be among the humans respectively repugnant and impossible. At the same time, new potential crises are developing in the ranks of the humans: the growing cult (largely, but not exclusively, female) around Giaus Baltar. While this initially appears to be a cult of personality, as the story unfolds, it starts to become evident that this cult runs deeper: that the "philosophy" of the "one true God" is beginning to take root among the humans - and Baltar is obviously the Anointed Son. What is more, Baltar himself, fragile after recent events, starts believing it himself. This in turn will clearly, and inevitably lead to a further clash between Baltar and Roslyn - the question is, who will precipitate it? On past performance, one would tend towards it being Roslyn herself. In this, a crisis closer to home is looming: a potential and lasting rift between her and Adama. The catalyst for this is the return of Starbuck herself; the woman who has apparently exceeded Roslyn by not so much gathering clues to the whereabouts of Earth - she's actually been there. In her mistrust of Starbuck, Roslyn is both demonstrating what was first alluded to in Baltar's trial: her own absolute belief that she is "right" in all matters of leadership - and she is placing Adama in a cleft stick, essentially asking him to put presidential leadership before "family". And what of Starbuck? Who or what is she? A Cylon? One would hope not. We know one humano-cylon has yet to be revealed, and I hope to god it does not turn out to be Starbuck. This would not so much be a great reveal as it would be a telegraphed double-bluff ("look we're making you think she is a Cylon through her disappearance, then we're going to convince you she isn't - only to whammy you with the fact she is! Aren't we clever?!"). So if not Cylon - that what? How did she survive the destruction of her Viper in the gravity well of the gas giant? Was her ship actually destroyed? If not, what did Lee Adama witness....and how come Thrace returned to Galactica in what appears to be a brand-spanking new Viper?
Is she a clone? Possibly - but again, if so, who created her? Oddly, this does lead back to the Cylons...they certainly have the technology...and she was in their "care" long enough for them to collect sufficient cell cultures to generate a "new", fully-human Kara Thrace...and they have the capability to capture her essence at the point of death and return it to a new body....
But if that is the case...it would suggest the Cylons - or a faction therein - already know the location of Earth. Is this possible? Yes. "Razor" opened that door with the introduction of the Guardians. And the question of identities leads us to - for me - two of the most intriguing questions of all:
- Who - or what - is Giaus Baltar?
- What happened to the real Saul Tigh?
Baltar must have died back in season one. Why do I assert this? Simply because we know the humano-cylons are as fragile as the humans upon which they are modelled. Bullets can kill them, as can knives (or pens), they can be beaten up.
There is certainly nothing in them that can apparently withstand a nuclear blast...yet, in the mini-series that is precisely what we're being asked to believe....that Six somehow protected Baltar from the shockwave of a local nuclear blast during the initial attack on Caprica. So how did Baltar survive? There seems to be only one answer: his consciousness was taken with that of Six at the point of destruction, and downloaded into a new body.
So, does this make him the last of the final five? Actually, it might....but equally, it is entirely possible that the Giaus Baltar we now is (like Starbuck) a Cylon-created clone. Either way, the whole idea of his "resurrection" is entirely in keeping with his growing Messiah status / complex. Furthermore, the idea of him being downloaded / resurrected goes a long way to explaining how the Six inside his head is able to continue to have such insights into the Cylon's plans....and why the resurrected Six carried her own Giaus Baltar. Put simply, during the joint download process (and note how Six places her hand of Baltar's head just prior to the shockwave hitting his house in the title sequence), their mental essence combined, and a little part of each of them remained with the other during "rebirth". And in the case of the Six in Baltar's head, the link back to her group was possibly retained. Either way, if Baltar's miraculous survival isn't revealed by the end of the series (and "miraculous" opens up another possibility....), then it'll be something of a disappointment.
Similarly....how is it that Saul Tigh is a Cylon? At the time of the first Cylon attack, the Cylons were "walking chrome toasters" (to quote Baltar et al)...by the end of the war (as defined in "Razor") were apparently only just beginning the development of their human models.
Yet Saul Tigh fought in the original war. He has served alongside of Bill Adama for some 40 years in and out of the service. If he has been a Cylon throughout this period, then it is a substantial re-writing of all we've been lead to believe(and (given the producers have admitted they only settled on Tigh during the development of season 3), significantly alters the premise of BSG....that the Cylons evolved _after_ the cessation of the original hostilities. If Tigh has NOT been a Cylon all this time - then it begs the question...what happened to the real Saul Tigh? If the "real" Tigh were "replaced" at some point...could it be that all the humano-cylons are actually copied from "real" humans - and thus the memories of their upbringing, etc., are not so much implants as they are the memories of the original? Certainly it brings a whole new underlying meaning to Six's frequent references to her and her cohorts being the "children of mankind" a new potential meaning. Again, if the series is to have proper closure, these issues should be addressed. At the very least, IF the current Tigh is a copy made from a human original….it could link in with Baltar's and Starbuck's potential resurrections…
But that said...on a series that has had far more hits than misses, "He That Believeth..." has once again up the ante.
Ahhhhhhh, Battlestar! You're back...and in fine form I might add.
I'm glad to see that the mystery of Starbuck will be with us for some time. Is she a Cylon? Was she simply captured and brainwashed or is something more complex in play? Is she an agent of God (or the Gods)? Aside from these sci-fiesque questions, we are also left with the personal crises of the recently revealed probable humanoid Cylons. I say "probable" because until I see multiple Tighs and Tyrols standing side by side, I have learned that nothing in this show is a given until it's confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt. All of the four "Cylons" are having serious identity crises, especially Col. Tigh. He has been consistently the most ardent cylon-hater in the fleet, or at the very least the most vocal. Seeing as how he killed his wife, Ellen, for being a Cylon collaborator, how will he cope with the idea that he might, be a Cylon himself.
BRILLIANT!!! For the love of God this show is back in form and better than ever! Fast paced, excellent writing, amazing acting, SUPREME storytelling, and special effects to die for on a SciFi Channel budget. By the Power of Greyskull it's so damn good!
When the characters begin to deal with what seemed to be "implausibles" (i.e. Tigh is a Cylon?- but he fought in the FIRST Cylon War; Kara is alive?- does this mean SHE'S a Cylon and wouldn't SHE suspect that of herself? etc.) and answer them through fantastic writing and plot development, you can only feel safe in the master storytelling hands of Eicks and Moore! Welcome back Galactica. You've been missed!!!!!
Uninspired writing by the show's worst writers leaves much of the plot's emotional, dramatic and political aspects unexplored to the show's usual potential. This was still far better than the vast majority of other TV shows' best episodes, though.
Yet again -- with the exception of "Maelstrom" which was quite powerful and "Downloaded" which was heavily rewritten by Ron Moore -- Weddle and Thompson prove to be the show's worst writers, especially when it comes to dialogue and drama. They're the action writers, having some knowledge of military tactics, but their scenes never have the weight, innovation and raw power of Michael Taylor, Michael Angelli, Toni Graphia, let alone the awesome Ron Moore. I thought the interest picked up significantly in the last act, but several moments felt a bit predictable (Tigh "shooting" the admiral) or not as fully explored as they would have been by other writers (Lee pondering about how grateful he and father would be if Zach had come back, even if he were a cylon; the newly revealed cylons talking about how to believe in themselves or Anders talking to Starbuck about the same issue). These weren't bad scenes, but just look at the emotional power and subtlety of episodes written by the aforementioned writers and tell me they couldn't write those moments better!
Lastly, Baltar's reactions to the cult were great and this storyline will surely yield wonderful commentary on the nature of religion -- mostly in the hands of more capable writers. It still didn't feel as interesting as it should have and Baltar's interest in the boy wasn't persuasively conveyed; it just felt sudden and unexplained. His arc has been a complicated one in the show. He really began to emerge as a hero in the first half and a bit of Season 2, even saving Laura Roslin from cancer ambitionlessly -- until her put-downs drove him over the edge and into the blind ambition of a presidential bid. The character's turns felt understandable in Season 2, but this suicidal interest in the boy somehow felt unconvincing and a bit dull.
Still, the show continues its overriding political message of demonstrating how human history is full of instances of the dehumanization and the homogenization of "the other", and I'm proud of the show reestablishing that theme with this episode. Hopefully it will help persuade viewers to not needlessly do what they will to other peoples, as America has to those in the Middle East for decades with hypocritical moral justifications. This message would be well-heeded by any nation, though.
Now, I can't wait to see other writers do that at which Weddle and Thompson failed...
It is a Great episode. Brings me back to my love for BSG. The only thing that i didnt think was so good, was that the episode was too simple. It did not include as much BSG-lore as i love. But a very good episode none the less.
The Season start of BSG4 was well made. It did not bring as much BSG-lore as i had hoped. But it did bring me back to my love for BSG.
Kara is back, as we all knew would happen. All suspects her, except Lee and Adama, plus the undercover-cylons. That leads to all the intriques that one could suspect. But what was cool was the small details that atleast did come into this show. Example Kara´s description of what she think is earth, whith its yellow moon, man my heart was active. That was a great scene. Other than that, there was nothing out of the ordinary. The cylons conspire. All suspect Kara, no one suspects the actual cylons. Just like all the great plays of the past. I love it. Then there is Baltar. Baltar escapes to his few followers. But he then becomes a Prophet. A prophet that preaches one God: monoteoism. Unlike the Human Colonies Polytheoism. That was one of the coolest thing in this episode. The BSG-lore that i love. I woould like to see more of that in future BSG episodes. And talking about the BSG-lore:
In future episodes i do hope they will go more into the lore of BSG. The BSG-makers ofcourse have to explain the 13th colony and so on. But i also hope and expect they will go into the great question: WHY! Why do the Cylons hunt humans. Why are there 12 models of Cylons. Why do Humans believe in 12 Gods. Why do Cylons believe in one God! These are questions im sure will be answered in the rest of the Series. But here is a further theory on the further BSG-lore: we where told that there was 12 colonies, and that the 13th tribe was a myth. But then the 13th tribes was a reality! The why not 13 Gods or 13 cylons? Maybe the Cylons are the Gods! And that the 13th Cylon is the Imperious Leader, and maybe the leader of the Gods: Zeus! That could be a cool twist. And who are the God(s) then? Are they Gods or are they just an ancient and advanced race of Aliens, who seem as Gods to simple humans and cylons. Like what Glen Larson did in the original BSG. When the Galactica crew followed the scriptures they found Kobol, a map to earth, signs of the 13th tribe and the eye of Jupiter. If they could do all this by following the scriptures, if all this was true, then why are the Gods in BSG not true? That could be a cool twist. At any rate i really hope that we will get answers in the end of the series. The first episode delivered what we could expect, but not much more. It did bring a very cool story, and brought me back rambling about BSG again. So: IT´S BACK!!
I'm not going to try to get new convertees, since chances are if you're reading this, you've been following the show for the previous three seasons.
But for all you "old war horses", here's some great news. Not only is the pace still there, things have gotten BETTER. First of all, the fight scene at the beginning of the episode was so brilliant it boggles the mind. The subtle explosions, camera angles, it's a wonder to behold. I'll be the first one to tell you how much I hate when special effects are placed at the fore of anything, but man, this WORKS! Secondly, Baltar's character has absolutely bloomed. He still has that semi-tortured, semi-a$$hole thing going, but there is conviction there that wasn't there before. From the initial hilarious comment of recognition when he enters the disciples compound to the final resignation in the washing room, that is a grown character. And that's REALLY good news because he is the character I feel the future (i.e. efter the show is over) hinges on. It was suggested he may turn out to be Jesus upon reaching Earth. It may be far fetched, but does it ever keep the mind racing.
Everyone, EVERYONE is on their toes throughout the episode, especially Kara (Sakhoff), who must, or should, have a bright future as an actress - playing such a character role so well so early - wow.
In any case, this whole concept is about as huge as ever attempted on television and done with MUCH more feeling for drama than, say, Babylon 5. I'm just happy I get to see it evolve and reach its crescendo.
Way to start season 4!
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