As the series starts to come to a close, things are starting to set up for the series finale. This has been true for previous episodes in the season, and it's true for this episode as well. This episode does a great job at setting everything up for future episodes, but it does so much more than this.
The episode works on two levels. The first level is the continuing story with the Cylons. As the conflict among themselves, and with the humans, continue to rise, the intensity rises along with it. There are plenty of great moments between the different Cylons, and many great twists.
The other level within the episode lies with the character Laura Roslin, and the characters around her. The episode starts with her, Gaius, Athena, and Helo on one of the Cylon ships, trying to get info from one of the Hybrids. However, the Hybrid keeps sending the ship into these different "jumps." Whenever one of the jumps happens, Laura goes into the future, and sees herself in her death bed, being accompanied by Adama. These "jumping" moments are briliant. I absolutely loved the directing, and the acting within these scenes, showing what could happen in the future. Meanwhile, back on the ship, Roslin and the others deal with different conflicts. One involving getting the information from the Hybrid. Another conflict is one dealing with D'Anna. There are also some other conflicts that they have to deal with, brought up throughout the episode.
The D'Anna story brought up a side-story with Helo, which was interesting. But for me, everything about this part of the episode always came back to Roslin. Her struggles to make certain tough decisions. Her dealing with her own cancer. Her going into the future. All of this was brilliantly done, and expanded her character much further than she has gone before. She has been one of my favorite characters since the middle of season one, but Gaius, Adama, Starbuck, and Saul Tigh have been a bit higher in my opinion. However, after this episode, she even matches Gaius (my favorite character) in my mind. Mary McDonnel did a great job with the character, and deserves an emmy for her role in this.
The Roslin story was a very emotional one, and had plenty of great character interactions, especially between her and Gaius, and her and Adama. The episode had a few action scenes as well, but instead of take away from the drama, it was used in such a way to make it even stronger. The writer did a great job at making everything seem just right, with the episode's use of action, drama, character interactions, and tying all the stories into one briliant episode. Usually, Battlestar Galactica's two-part episodes stand up above any single episodes in my mind, but this one rivals, and even beats those amazing episodes, standing out as one of the best episodes that the series has offered.