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!