With Battlestar Galactica coming to a close, the writers finally start to pull things together for one last episode, before they can fully conclude all the stories that have developed over the years.
One of the most interesting stories this season has been Starubuck's story. She's had to deal with a lot this season, including finding out she is the "Harbinger of Death," finding her own dead body, dealing with Anders' near-death, seeing a vision of her father, and discovering that the song she was taught as a kid is the same one that triggered the Final Five's memory last year. In this episode, she is dealing with all of those issues, although didn't really give many answers to them, except Gaius confirming that she is not a Cylon. However, that wasn't the point. The scenes dealing with these issues were very well done, greatly developed her characters, and even got her to the point where she has accepted her resurrection. These scenes were very well done, and did a great job at showing her character develop.
And, speaking about Gaius, his character is finally starting to become more interesting again in this episode, after about half a season where his story was basically at a stand-still. In this episode, his story also comes full-circle. This episode shows that his new religious story isn't so far off from his original story. He says to the people who listen to him that angels are among them. That they take the forms of people who they care about the most, and he sees one every day. It is clear from the dirction of the scene that he is talking about his visions of Six, but it also seems to relate to Starbuck's visions. Can this be the start of answering the question of what these things are? Very possibly. It may not be angels like Gaius thinks, but I do have a feeling that it will be some kind of higher being that can appear to people whenever they want. The answer will have to wait though, but at least it seems that much closer than before. Also, his religious faith was strengthened as he found out about Starbuck's resurrection. "Death is not the end," according to him. Anybody who believes that there will be an afterlife will get one. But is this true? Or is Starbuck the only one who has the ability to resurrect? My guess is that everybody does, and it relates back to the beginning of the series, when Gaius and Six were in his home, and there was an explosion that could have killed him. We have been led to believe, or at least assume, that he just happened to survive. But if Starbuck had the ability to be resurrected, and not even know it until she saw her body, then it is very possible for the same to have happened to Gaius after that explosion. Another part of Gaius' story that I really enjoyed was the simple scene between him and Caprica Six. It did a great job at showing how much they have evolved, or in the case of Gaius' character, haven't evolved. They may have both gone through a lot of different experiences since the mini-series, but that one scene did a great job at showing that sometimes people can change due to their experiences, like Caprica Six, while some people remain the same despite their experiences, even if they turly believe they have changed.
Two characters who have already been brought full-circle before this episode are Helo and Athena. Their relationship from the start has been a comparison, and a contrast, to that of Boomer and Tyrol, and the previous episode highlighted that fact well. After the startling events that happened at the end of the last episode, their stories progress in a very natural way. They both grieve for their daughter, and both want to get her back. Helo hates himself for having sex with Boomer and blames himself for what happened. And because of that, he wants to redeem himself and chase after Hera. These scenes were a great continuation for what was developed in the last episode, and I really felt sorry for their characters. To have their child taken away like that, for whatever evil purpous Cavil wants her for, it was just so sad to see them going through that. I was hoping that either Adama would let him go, or he would sneak onto a ship and go after Boomer and Hera without his permission. I'm very interested in seeing where the writers take this tory in the last few episodes.
Throughout the series, a big part of Laura Roslin's story was that she was dying of breast cancer, and she had psychic visions. At the end of last episode, she collapsed, and in this one she's in the hospital, awake but dying. On top of this, her visions are back. Both of these things do a great job at bringing her character full-circle, and set up the rest of her story as well.
Finally, the near destruction of the Battlestar Galactica does a great job at bringing both Tigh and Adama full-circle. For Tigh, he's been so connected to the ship for most of the series, and closely connected to Adama. As pointed out a few episodes ago, his greatest love is Adama. But it wasn't just Adama that he felt connected to, it was the whole ship. Laura says to Adama that she's never really felt at home anywhere, excpet for Galactica. And it seems that is true for a lot of people, including Tigh. In fact, in a very beautiful scene between him and Ellen, when she asks him why he wouldn't go with her (the woman who he knew and loved since about 2000 years before), and their children (the other Cylons), he responds that he doesn't love her, and doesn't love the Cylons, nearly as much as he loves the ship and its people. He considers the people on the ship his family, not the Cylons.
Meanwhile, Adama deals with both the dying Roslin and the dying Galactica. As Roslin puts it, it must be hard for him to see the two women he loves the most dying before his eyes. He is put into a tough situation when he has to deal with the possibility of abandoning his ship, a possibility that he refuses to even consider at first. But as reality sets in, and as Roslin convinces him, sometimes you just have to let go of the one you love most, and he orders everybody to abandon the ship.
In the final scene, Adama tells Tigh of his decision, and at first he is very reluctant to accept it, but is slowly convinced that it has to happen. This is one of the most powerful non-cliffhanger endings that the show has ever produced, because it does a few things. First, it greatly emphasizes the frindship, and the understanding that these two characters have. They have gone through hell together, and gone through many changes, even ones that threatened their friendship (like finding out that Tigh was a Cylon), but after all that, they have not only remained friends, but actually grown much closer than ever before, and this scene does a great job at showing this. Second of all, it did a great job at really brining their characters full circle. Adama was forced into the role of leader of both the fleet and Galactica in the mini-series, but it's a role that he's growned into so well, and doesn't want to let it go. Tigh has also grown to love his life on the Galactica, and is even more reluctant to let go. But in the end, they both realize that it's for the best. But most of all, it greatly emphasizes the whole full-circle feeling that the entire episode gives throughout. It isn't just these characters that are going to say goodbye to the ship that they love so much. It's us fans as well. We feel it coming, now more than ever with this episode, and the 3 part finale getting closer than ever before. And this episode does an amazing job at playing with that feeling, giving us the knowledge that we can't go back from here, that this is the end.
After 4 amazing seasons, and an amazing second half of season 4, I couldn't be happier about what they did with this episode. They brought everything full circle, brought everything closer together, so that it is much easier to see that they will be able to conclude things in a satisfying way, and leaves us saying goodbye to these characters we've grown to know and love throughout the series.