A great start to the new (and final) season of Battlestar Galactica. The opening battle ranks up there with the best the show has ever done. (Spoilers follow)
(NOTE: "Battlestar Galactica: Razor" was an excellent movie that aired in November 2007, but it focused on a different storyline than the regular episodes do. So fans have been waiting for over a year to see the resolution of the cliffhanger ending of Season 3.)
For a few minutes, I thought the Baltar story was a little slow but then it picked up with two amazing scenes. First, the scene of him praying over the sick boy was very powerful emotionally, for the depth of feeling it revealed in Baltar. Underneath all of his arrogance, deceit and lying, he truly cared about that boy's health. There is still a human soul in that weaselly exterior.
The fight scene in the washroom provided some very tense moments, especially when Connor had his knife held against Baltar's throat. Baltar was willing to sacrifice his life a second time. (He offered his life when he was praying for the boy.) Perhaps part of his motivation was a weariness of the struggles he's been through, and maybe he just didn't care anymore whether he lived or died, but it still showed that Baltar can be selfless in certain moments.
I don't think the boy's recovery is supposed to show Baltar's healing powers. We were meant to focus on Number Six's presence in every scene where Baltar attended to the young boy. She is taking on the role of the evil or fallen angel again, like she did earlier in the series. Very interesting, and a bit different from where I thought the writers were going with this.
I like the new direction for Baltar's story. There are a lot of obvious parallels with the life of Jesus Christ. The subject matter is being treated with respect by the writers, not the scorn for Christianity that is often exhibited by certain Hollywood writers. At the same time, BSG is not a religious propaganda show. Not when there is a menacing figure like Number Six behind all of Baltar's actions.
The final scene with Kara was powerful as well. I didn't see that all-out attack coming. I wasn't expecting the closing scene in Roslin's quarters either. "Herald of the apocalypse"? "The harbinger of death"? Maybe...
A supercharged way to start up the new season, to resolve last season's cliffhanger ending, and to set the show on two new paths. The stories of Baltar and Kara Thrace promise to hold loads of mystery, drama, and intense action this season. Excellent episode!