Going to get the one small negative thing I have to say out of the way first. My complaint of course lies with Roslin. I was happy to see she was smart enough to surrender, but she couldn't do it two minutes earlier and spare Apollo an act of mutiny? Obviously that's where they wanted to take the storyline but I think it could have been pulled off a little more convincingly. Alright, on to the good stuff, of which there was plenty.
My favorite scene was Caprica after Starbuck's fight with Six for the arrow. When she figures out Sharon is a Cylon by seeing her Caprica copy and hears she is pregnant by Helo, all in the space of a few seconds, she lets out this scream that was incredible. It perfectly expressed that feeling of ultimate defeat. How can we win if the Cylon's can procreate? What if there is one God and he's chosen the Cylons to "inherit the earth?" Why should we even keep fighting? All those thoughts seemed to be transmitted in that one shriek and the racking sobs that followed it. It was a sickly beautiful moment.
Sharon's visit to the Basestar made for some eerie scenes, and while I don't usually go in for special effects or CG(hence why I don't watch a lot of sci-fi), the shot of the Basestar blowing up was pretty...pretty, I would have enjoyed to see a few more seconds of it actually.
Baltar's scene with Six on Kobol almost rivaled Starbuck's moment on Caprica. I loved the contrast between the bruised, bloodied Baltar and his pristine surroundings, especially Six's virginal white dress and crib. It was also amazing seeing Baltar's shift from total apathy to true faith and a desperate want to understand the next step. The scene was elevated with another excellent piece of music. Bear McCreary, man. I'm gonna have to keep an eye on him in the future, seeing as he's also already done some fine work on The Walking Dead.
The final scene on board Galactica was executed extremely well. You could feel something was coming, the way the atmosphere feels before it starts storming. I think it was just Sharon's presence alone in the CIC. Even though she had a reason to be there it felt unnatural. Just enough to make the viewer anxious, not enough to give away what happened next. The shooting itself was done perfectly, I loved the way Sharon moved with such determination from the moment she raises her sidearm. How she takes a couple steps after the first shot to readjust her angle for the next one, it was very methodical and very creepy. It made me picture how she would have went about planting those charges back in Water as well. I've never been crazy about big cliffhanger season finales, but when they are done that well I don't mind them so much.
There was so much going on in this episode but yet at no point did it feel jumbled. All the actors swung for the fences and almost all of them pulled it off. And while it did lose a point for the Roslin/Apollo scene, it definitely got me excited for the second season.