Friday, June 13, 2008

Battlestar Galactica Reveals a Big Frakkin Bummer!

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I take back all the bad things I previously said about Battlestar Galactica. It seems that this season, Battlestar Galactica seems to have found its way, not just back to earth, but also to the viewers. They got back on track for their quest for earth, and spent a lot less time on the inner anguish of its key players as it did last season. It all led up to a fantastic mid-season finale.

How do I know this? I know it because SciFi’s web site is streaming the mid-season finale episode – “Revelations” - on its web site today, before it airs on their network tonight. And that’s something that a TV junkie like me really enjoys.

Last week’s episode left viewers hanging with President Roslin (Mary McDonnell), and Baltar (James Callis) and other Galactica pilots on a Cylon Base ship when the Base ship “jumps” away. D’Anna (Lucy Lawless) has been reactivated and brought to the president in the hopes she’ll reveal the final five; Baltar is injured while Roslin struggles with a confession he made, and the Base ship jumps back to an area where Adama ( Edward James Olmos) dad is waiting.

So, do you want to know what happens next? I sure did, which I why I am glued to the computer screen watching the episode. Be wary because if you're waiting until tonight to see the episode, there are big spoilers here.

In "Revelations", Apollo (Jamie Bamber) is the acting president, and D’Anna decides to hold everyone hostage on the Base ship until four of the final five are turned over to her, and she knows they are on Galactica. She also wants Adama to go to Galactica with her to get them. Meanwhile on Galactica, Gaeta (Alessandro Juliani) gets a signal that the Cylon base ship has returned to Galactica’s air space. When D’Anna and Adama arrive, Apollo is happy to see them, but some on the ship – the secret Cylons – may not be so happy. Tory - who we know is one of the final five - says she needs to go the Base ship to give Roslin her meds. Apollo is not so sure about this, but Adama sees the chance of her being a hostage not a big risk at this point.

Apollo, Adama, and Tigh (Michael Hogan) are mulling over what to do next, but it’s generally agreed that if they lose the four Cylons, they lose the Base ship and earth along with it.

Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff), Boomer (Grace Park), Apollo, Tigh and Adama discuss the next steps. Meanwhile on the Base Ship, D’Anna, who has recognized Tory (Rekha Sharma) as one of the final five, introduces her to the other Cylons. And Roslin is finishing her patch up of Baltar after almost leaving him to die in the last episode.

Tory comes in with Roslin’s meds, and say she came back to be with “her people.” Roslin is stunned, but rationally appeals to Tory to try to convince D’Anna to back down.

D’Anna tells Apollo she just executed one of the hostages and will continue to kill more if they don’t cooperate and turn over the rest of the Cylons. Apollo tells Adama to go on with the rescue mission, but if it fails, destroy the Base ship. In the ship’s bay, Tyrol (Aaron Douglas) is hearing loud buzzing/humming noises, and so do Tigh and Anders (Michael Trucco) . Tory also hears the noise on the base star.

Tyrol, Tigh, and Anders converge on the viper that Kara flew on her alleged trip to earth and think a clue to Earth or the answer is there. Tigh then goes to Adama and tells him to scrub the rescue mission, and when Adama asks for options, Tigh tells him that the music he heard long ago was a signal – a Cylon signal – that switched him on and he can’t turn it off. He says he’s one of the five. Adama objects, “Quit frakkin with me.” Since he’s known Tigh for so long, after all, Tigh has aged and Cylons don’t. Adama thinks Tigh is deluded, maybe from a chip implanted in his head when he was held captive. Tigh seems to think that D’Anna will back down if Adama threatens to eject Tigh out of an airlock.

As Tigh is being led away, Adama has a major meltdown in his office, full of drink and destruction. Apollo comes to help and console him, telling him NO ONE suspected Tigh. Apollo tells Adama to pull it together, but also says he’ll take care of it. His "taking care of it" is to punch Tigh, and demands to know the identity of the others. D'Anna’s call interrupts him, telling him he’s running out of time. He counters by telling her that he’s going to flush Tigh out the launch tube. Apparently Tigh tells Apollo the identity of the others, as the military come to get Tyrol and Anders. Anders tells Kara it’s true, but also tells her to keep checking that viper to find something to help them find Earth. Tigh, Anders, and Tyrol are joined together in the launch tube, and Apollo asks for the Base ship on line. Meanwhile, Kara continues checking out the viper, looking for something, some clue, anything that would help them find Earth.

Roslin is told D'Anna is going to execute more hostages, but Baltar says he’s the one to go to her to try to talk her out of it. D’Anna wants to use the Base ship nukes to help “convince” Apollo. But Baltar presses the point that Apollo is not one to be toyed with. Apollo clears the tube of everyone but Tigh. Baltar continues to work on D’Anna to no avail, she’s determined to use the nukes. Apollo also has his hand on the air lock key, but Starbuck runs in and stops him from going through with opening the air lock, saying that the three Cylons just gave them earth.

Starbuck shows Apollo the signal she found on the viper, but Apollo is skeptical that this leads to Earth, and also doubts Starbuck’s feeling that a higher power is orchestrating this whole thing.

In a show of trust, Apollo brings over D’Anna and shares the information with her. Apollo reminds D’Anna all the 4 have been granted amnesty and they can stay or go – but where does everyone go from here? She agrees to release the crew, and they will all go to Earth together.

Apollo has the projected course, and asks Adama for orders to take them to their new home. But Adama is still not sure of himself and Roslin presses him. This is it – she says – it’s everything they’ve been working for. She wants to see him pick up that first fistful of earth. As Adama walks away, Apollo tells Roslin he’s had the shortest presidency ever, but she reminds him of how he is still needed. When Adama comes back, he seems to have a new resolve to make things work, and decides to go ahead and “roll the hard six” and all go together as fast as they can to the Earth coordinates.
So, as Roslin gives the order, the ships in the fleet jump to what they hope are the coordinates for Earth. And, as everyone arrives at the destination it looks like they HAVE arrived on Earth.

Adama addresses the fleet, and says they journey is at end and they have arrived at earth. There is much celebrating, everyone doing so in his or her own way.

The joy ends, though, as we see Adama grab a handful of earth on Earth…it looks black and lifeless. As the view widens, it appears that the Earth to which they have arrived is one that looks like it has been completely obliterated of all life. It appears there was a large city, now there are only the remains of twisted metal.
Major bummer.

Seriously though, this episode took all the past season of this series, and, while spending a season or so in the doldrums, have now really cranked things up a notch. Yes, they got to Earth – but the Earth of what time? It appears to be in our future – but is it also Galactica’s future as well? Was there a time component missing from those precious coordinates? Or, has so much time passed from when Galactica founding tribes went off and found Earth that we here on Earth have just blown it all to hell?

I had almost given up on this series with last season, and was somewhat skeptical as this season started out. But, they seems to have gotten themselves in gear, and realizing that the end was near for the series, decided to finally bring some closure to the Earth issue and the issue of conflict with the Cylons. Or – has another door just been opened and will there be new conflict and new challenges? Either way, I am now back on the Battlestar Galactica love train, and am really looking forward to the finish of this season. And I’m very happy with these “Revelations”

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