Battlestar Galactica did not simply beat the odds in 2003 as one of the few remakes that pale the original, it literally re-defined science fiction on television. I must say I always thought Ron Moore made the best written Star Trek of all times with DS9, but with Galactica, suddenly as if the ropes binding his hands were cut.
Episode 9 of season 4 worked on so many levels, I can't even list them all. Exceptionally written (kudos to Jane Espenson), directed and produced, getting the storyline to one of its most important events with an action packed yet thoughtful episode raising a number ethical and philosophical dilemmas. As with all good science fiction, the cinema quality FX (how do they stay on budget with this stuff?!) was a mere backdrop to the emotional struggle, the big human questions told through the faith of our heroes. Every camera angle, every cut, every reaction shot, every last line was spot on. (Maybe the Baltar/Centurion scenes felt a bit out of place though).
Yet, what really makes this one shine, was the flawless performance of the full cast, right down to the last CGI Cylon. Helo's struggle as he was torn between love and duty, loyalty and morality, dealing with his wife's copies - is she the same person, what makes a person? Old school sci-fi at its best. D'Anna's subplot - who will she support, the cold murder of her brother, her witty comments narrating the scenes almost like the chorus in a Greek drama. Lucy Lawless almost stole the show.
However, there can be no doubt, Mary McDonnell's performance, supported by the always wonderful Edward James Olmos (Adama) and James Callis (Baltar), were one of the highlights of this television season. Indeed, the character, President Roslin, and the actress, McDonnell, were the engine, the heart and the soul that made these 40-some minutes stand out from all the electric pollution filling our airwaves. Scene after scene, debating her subconscious/God(?), seeing herself die and witnessing the effect on the people around her, recognizing her role in the universe, in the big picture, learning Baltar's incredible secret only we, the audience knew since the first episode of the show and than watching her losing her mind in rage and vengeance only to come back trembling realizing what she's done - I had to make myself remember to breath. She was incredible. Period.
With the final scene delicately balancing between being cheesy and emotionally satisfying - never for a frame failing in the process - I kept asking myself, what will it take to get this show, this cast recognized by the "big awards"? Be it the Emmys or the Globes, for this episode, this writing, these performances: it's about time.