Battlestar Galactica

Season 4 Episode 18

Islanded in a Stream of Stars

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Mar 06, 2009 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (19)

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  • The circle closes

    "Filler" isn't a term to describe this episode. Yes, Thrace is (for the most part) still moping around wondering at just who - what - she is; Adama is still wandering around his ship giving it looks to suggest he's feeling as much constipated as concerned; we're still hovering in space waiting for the final axe to fall - but....

    But...let's examine what goes on - because it is actually rather a lot. We see that the importance of Hera finally comes to the fore - and if the visions shared by Roslin and Caprica Six are anything to go by, Baltar and (a?) Six still have a major role to play where she is concerned. We find out that while Boomer has indeed (and again) acted traitorously in taking Hera to Cavil / John, her conscience has not entirely deserted her. No doubt she will play a crucial part in the coming rescue attempt.

    We see the way is now clear for Galactica's end. Despite his refusal early-on in the episode, Adama will now use the ship in one final mission: the resuce of Hera. It will be a mission from which she will not return - and one wonders if he will himself. We find out that the hybrid prophecy regarding Kara Thrace - that she is the harbinger of doom - is apparently still very much relevant. More than that - it is present in Ander's subconscious mind. Could be the words he speaks are simply an echo of what she hads told him in the past, an instinctive reaction to her attempt to shoot him? Certainly he is "aware" of the adrinal reaction that causes his body to respond (listen to what he actually says as he grips her arm); could it be his subconscious repeats those words to stun her into inactivity, or did they signify something deeper.....

    Coming as it does before Baltar's revelation that Thrace has transceded death, I cannot help but think that again, her role as harbinger is not to be taken literally; rather that she will be the focal point of change for both humans and Cylons as much as Hera herself. What lifts this episode above being anything near "filler" status is the writing. Watch closely, and the key players are all given an important moment, and their dialogue at these moments is powerful and poignant. Then there are the "little" moments that demonstrate just how much Cylons and humans need one another: "Gina's" selfless sacrifice to save the life of a human crew member when the hull ruptures; Adama's tacit admission to Tigh that he knows of no-one finer as an officer or a friend. Tigh's steadfast refusal to heed Ellen and go against Adama; Baltar's willingness to extend help to the Cylons aboard the Galactica as much as the humans (Caprica Six isn't the only one "visiting" his area of the ship). Other moments shine as well: Thrace's confrontation with Baltar in his quarters is a masterpiece of direction. Witness how she steps from shadow into light as she asserts she is not an angel - the change in lighting very much suggesting she is... Could the storyline have been compressed? Very probably; some of the scenes did come across as joining-the-dots when the audience can already see the picture. And this is perhaps the biggest frustration with the last half of season 4. While every episode has contained the drama we have come to expect, it cannot be denied that at times they have failed to fire properly on all cylinders. But, even with that criticism voice, I still cannot agree with views stated elsewhere that this is merely a "filler" or that "nothing happened. "Islanded" is what is required at this point: a careful setting of the stage and positioning of the pieces ready for the final climatic finale.
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