Huh. Talk about your fangeek fests. Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, this is fun. This week's instalment of the greatest science fiction show on television comes to you, dear viewer, in mind-addling mythological technicolor, throwing revelation after explanation after revelation into your face until you just can't take it any more. And then it carries on, laughing its bolshy, brash, overly confident face off with guiltless, unadulterated glee. Want to know how the Centurions became Cylons? Done: experiments in advanced technology. Want an explanation for resurrection? Gotcha: the Final Five invented it together. Fancy a comprehensive history of Sol, Galan, Anders, Tory and Ellen and their activities prior to becoming 'human'? Say no more. How about an explanation for the Five's lack of knowledge regarding who they are? Well, you only needed to ask, silly! The original number 1, named John, did it to the poor buggers as payback for his creator, Ellen, 'trapping' him in a human body. Oh, and what about the elusive 'number 7'? Need to know about him? You got it - named Daniel, effectively murdered by John out of jealousy regarding Ellen's affections. We don't actually get to see him, regrettably, but I don't doubt it will happen some time over the course of the remaining four episodes.
Phew. You'd be forgiven for feeling, well, a little overwhelmed by it all. The unravelling comes thick and fast and it only pauses to catch breath by interjecting a C storyline into the mix about Galactica's significantly run down status and how Cylon technology is going to have to be used to fix the ship (oh and Tyrol becomes Chief again)... which, obviously, is a nice metaphor for the situation on the character side of things. There's a nice little scene in which Lee effectively becomes President too but you needn't worry too much about that. By the end of the episode, a global collective of science fiction fans find themselves picking themselves up off the floor, dusting their windswept, battered and bruised selves down and trying to take stock of what they've just witnessed: to reconcile it, file it away and work towards the realisation that, yeah, Battlestar Galactica pretty much just gave us all about 80% of the answers we've been craving for four years. Next week: Starbuck, rationalised, piece by narratalogical piece. We can hope.
Frankly, I'm still recovering from this one. I'm not sure I've managed to process it all yet. I will say that it's a delightfully structured episode and that, in particular, the strand involving Ellen is wonderful: it's somewhat appealing to the fangeeks in the audience to see her activities in the last eighteen months predicated on the major events in the Galactica calendar. The only criticism I can really muster is that perhaps this is just too much for one episode and that the exposition is rather talky. A better storytelling decision may have been to narrate the Final Five's history through flashback in order to put it into context but then, really, we shouldn't grumble when the show is finally giving us what we all want. A bit of a whirlwind... but a very enjoyable one.