Battlestar Galactica

Season 3 Episode 17

Maelstrom

3
Aired Friday 10:00 PM Mar 04, 2007 on Syfy
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews page 2 of 2

8.7
out of 10
Average
722 votes
  • Battlestar Galactica... is BACK!

    9.6
    I am pleased to announce, ladies and gentelmen, that after quite a few episodes in which the series has completely derialed, Battlestar Galactica is back with a BANG!

    Yes, the series has suffered through most of the previous episodes, but this episode was a huge relief! It was intense, exciting, shocking and evry single positive adjective you could possibly manage to write down in this review! This episode kept me on the edge of my seat throughout most of the episode, and it keeps me longing for more! I want more, and I want more of that we saw during this episode! Let us hope it continues this way, and that it will not go back to its old habits after this truly magnificent episode!
  • Not what it seems..

    8.0
    As with most Battlestar episodes, I liked this one, although it wasn't my favorite episode. I'm really not sure where they're going with this story line concerning Starbuck. I honestly don't think she's dead b/c that would make no sense. What was her the point of her 'destiny' if it was to just kill her in an accidental crash? Yeah.. there's something more to this story. I think she really saw the cylon fighter and since it briefly showed her hand on the eject lever- she actually pulled it and was picked up by the cylons after drifting for a while. Apollo didn't see her b/c visibility was poor and draedus couldn't pick up anything anyway. Yes, many people (including my fiance) really wanted Starbuck to die (I personally really like her, even though she is very self-destructive), but I just don't think she's dead. Good shows have good twists and great storyline and plot development, so I don't think everything should be taken at face value. Yes, her ship crashed, but it doesn't make sense to the whole 'destiny' plotline if she just died. That didn't fulfill anything.
  • Ok, I'm conflicted. I sat there, watched Starbuck blow up and I...don't...miss...her. But I want to.

    9.0
    It probably goes back to all my days of TV watching but I hate seeing main characters die. Usually, when that happens you know it's coming because you hear in entertainment news how "so-and-so is dissatisfied with their role and wants to be killed off" or negotiations broke down... they've been fired, or whatever. I did not expect Starbuck to die. At the same time, I don't miss her.

    This bothers me. I wasn't particularly fond of her, she was a decent character. Yeah, she had issues but I'm not sure they were worth her dieing over. Still, I have to admit, I don't think I'm going to miss her.

    Overall, the show was well done, though even with her death, this was a bit of a filler to me. Everything was well acted and Edward James Olmos did his usual supberb job; especially when he hears Starbucks ship get destroyed while in CiC, then later in his quarters. Overall, an interesting episode, especially in dealing with destiny. I always thought the swirly thing had to do with the Eye of Saturn and her being tied into that. Didn't see it as her knowing when she was going to die. Inspite of everything, it was well done. Now, hopefully we can move past these and get on to finding Earth and fighting Cylons.
  • Starbucks DONE!

    10
    Finally they don't have an episode that isn't a filler. I thought this episode was pretty interesting and i enjoyed see that other cylon again. Too bad starbuck is dead, NOT! I agree with the other review praising starbuck's death. She was always a brat and i could never stand her. Although i really dont think she is dead. I was reading an article i believe in entertainment weekly that said there was going to be some surprises about who the final 5 cylons are. So i think we will be seeing starbuck again. Just a hunch. Shes too much of a main character to be let go. Although annoying. Ten praises for baltar's trial next week!
  • Dawn also means Rebirth

    9.0
    A number of people asked me, after my review for “The Passage”, what I was actually looking for out of an episode that led to the death of a character. I had outlined in great detail how “The Passage” felt contrived, and how Kat’s death didn’t feel earned. The episode pushed very hard to establish a history for Kat that would make her sacrifice sensible, when it was unnecessary. Yet I was asked: how could it have been done better? “Maelstrom” is exactly the right answer to the question.

    In this episode, everything that leads into the inevitable final act is an extension of something that was established in a previous episode. In other words, this is an episode that relies heavily on character continuity and long-term character arc considerations. There was no need to manufacture a new side to Starbuck’s history or personality. Instead, the writers pulled the trigger on something already sitting in plain sight.

    Kara Thrace has always been a complicated character. Wounded and troubled, Kara was always on the edge of sanity. She’s also been a tool of destiny, as seen in the first season. Kara was devoted to the Lords of Kobol because she could feel, on some level, their hand in her fate. Yet she was also searching for meaning in her life, something that her abusive past (again, established in the first season) prevented her from finding. All that Kara had was her sense of superiority, her ability to control the skies and space in that Viper. Take away that sense of control, and a flameout is just a matter of time.

    The process has been a long one. It began early in the second season with “The Farm”, and continued in episodes like “Scar”. Kara lost control of her emotional detachment with Anders, which led further loss of control after her brutal treatment on New Caprica. She couldn’t leave well enough alone with Lee, and the revelation about the mandala in the Temple of the Five was the last straw. Kara was being pushed towards something out of her hands, and her flashes of Leoben in past and present were a representation of the hand of something greater than herself, pushing her towards destiny.

    From a storytelling perspective, Kara’s death can only be apparent. If she is truly dead, then the writers failed dramatically. This season’s arc only makes sense if Kara is, in fact, one of the final five Cylons. D’Anna’s entire character thread was devoted to the revelation of the final five Cylons and their nature, as revealed in the space between life and death. And that is exactly where the vision of Leoben was leading Kara Thrace.

    More than that, there is the prominent symbol of Aurora, Goddess of the Dawn. Aurora (and her many counterparts in the lore and myth) is also a figure strongly connected to Rebirth. The Dawn, after all, is the restoration of light after a period of darkness. Aurora is therefore a symbol of rebirth and resurrection.

    The final piece of the puzzle is Leoben himself. D’Anna’s character arc demonstrated that frequent resurrection could lead to revelations about the space between life and death, a place where the final five Cylons are revealed. This, in turn, leads to madness. Could that have been the source of Leoben’s unusual behavior? If Leoben knew that Kara was a Cylon, wouldn’t that explain his insistence that he understood Kara better than she understood herself?

    Just as Sharon/Boomer was used in the first season to explore the common ground between Human and Cylon, Kara would be the perfect tool for exploring the next level of that commonality. If some of the Cylons are unaware of their true identity, and if they believe themselves to be human in every way, what keeps them from being human in truth? Could a Cylon be given a set of memories so perfect that they never suspect the truth about themselves, until the time comes for them to be reborn in a resurrection ship?

    If so, then when Kara comes to the realization that her mother’s abuse and Leoben’s madness was leading her to her destiny, it could be true in some unexpected ways. Her mother may have been a construct built within her mind. Her memories as a child could have been nothing more than programming. After all, if Sharon Valerii could be a Cylon, despite her apparent human past, why not Kara Thrace?

    All of this rich narrative ground is predicated on the assumption that Kara’s story is not over, and that she is one of the final five Cylons. The writers could allow her to survive in some other way, since she could have ejected before the end, with equally satisfying implications if Leoben was there to rescue her. If the speculation is wrong and this is Kara’s final appearance, then it’s hard to imagine how the writers could possibly salvage such a misstep. For the moment, at least until the season finale, I choose to have faith.
  • Starbuck’s various problems and psychoses finally come to a head in this not-to-be missed episode. If you were hoping for a a fast-tracked trial however, you’re out of luck this week.

    8.6
    It’s not a big secrect for fans of the show, or Leobun for that matter, that even before her incarceration by him during the Cylon occupation and the Lee-Kara-Anders-Dualla love quadrangle, that Starbuck had a rather tortured relationship with a likely abusive mother. This week we got to see that ugliness and its continuing effect on her. As she starts crumpling under the weight of several different aspects of her past, both ancient and much more recent, the cracks in her façade become painfully visible, but very plausibly deniable to those who love, command, and count on her. Katee Sackoff does a marvelous job of portraying someone who’s sleep deprived, seeing things, and may or may not be losing it just a little bit, but struggling to maintain, not just her dignity, but also the infalible persona that she’s built around herself, and doing a good enough job to convince everyone but herself. It’s an excellent counterpoint to Edward James Olmos’ performance a couple episodes ago in ‘A Day in the Life.’ That being said, it’s a much better written episode than that one. Beyond being tighter and more cohesive, which it is, the show seems to recall here that it used to be good at this sort of thing, pre- ‘Black Market;’ showing a beloved, tough character gradually losing control, self-contained, deeply emotional, psychological drama, that sort of thing. In an episode where Olmos and Sackoff shone white hot, additional kudos should go to Kandyse McClure who despite not having any lines in this episode that she’s not parroting over the wireless, steals a scene with a wordless moment of very complex emotion. The writers of the last two episodes Bradley Thompson and David Weddle here, and Anne Cofell Saunders and Jane Espenson last week (‘Dirty Hands’) deserve credit too: They and the producers seem to have the show back on track after a fairly rough patch recently. All that, and I didn’t even mention the shocking ending, which I won’t spoil here. Watch it. It’s good. Rough, but very, very, good.
  • Kara "Starbuck" Thrace is plagued by nightmares and visions which speak of her destiny. She must battle with the memories of her late mother and the notion that she may be reaching her breaking point.

    9.6
    Simply amazing. Katie Sackoff did a wonderful job this episode and I hope it won't be the last we see of her character. The last few minutes were phenomenal, especially with Starbuck's coming to terms with her forewritten destiny and her eventual death. Adama's reaction at the end is moving and a big "bravo" to both Katie and EJO for their roles in this pivotal episode. This episode breeds new questions - could Starbuck be one of the Final Five Cylons, who are supposedly markedly different from the models we have so far met? What is the space between life and death that Leoben mentioned and was it Starbuck's destiny to come to terms with her mother's lessons? I only hope that Kara will return in later episodes... whether we learn more about her past through flashback scenes between her and others, or as a Cylon. It will be interesting to see how the crew of the Galactica deal with the loss of their best viper pilot and one of the most prominent characters on the show.
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