Battlestar Galactica – Episode 4-11 Review

It’s been a long, long seven months waiting for the second half of season four to begin, but if tonight’s episode is any indication, it will be well worth the wait. You know an episode is jam-packed when the dramatic and unexpected death of a long-time regular is the episode’s C story.

Finding out Earth was nothing but a barren wasteland certainly had a poor effect on morale. In the case of Roslin and Dee, the effect was pretty direct, but in Admiral Adama’s case, it seemed that it was seeing Roslin give up that drove him to despair.

Roslin was the first to fall apart. I’ve always been annoyed by the religious prophecy aspect of the show (not to mention Roslin herself), so I had no problem watching her burning her beloved scriptures. It was obviously meant to be seen as a bad thing though, so I’m sure we will get to see Roslin regain her love for inane prophecy sooner rather than later.

Dee took falling apart to a higher level with the whole shocking suicide thing. It definitely succeeded in shocking. Sure she was a mess when she was on Earth, but she seemed to get over it pretty quickly. And she seemed fully behind Lee’s bold message for the future. I was not expecting her to put a bullet in her head.

The way the scene was shot, with Dee at her locker, did kind of foreshadow what was about to happen though. I actually thought to myself, “You know, if this was a horror movie, something bad would be happening to Dee any second now.” As soon as I finished thinking that, she picked up the gun and shot herself.

Admiral Adama’s breakdown was the most unexpected. He’s had his moments of doubt, but he’s always been the one to hold everything together (other than when Boomer put him in a coma, at least). As I stated above, I don’t think it was the loss of Earth that pushed him over the edge. Sure, Adama eventually became invested in Earth as a goal, and not just as a way to motivate the fleet, but it was Roslin’s refusal to continue that really brought about Adama’s own crisis.

It fell to the second in commands to rise to hold the fleet together this week. First it was Apollo taking charge in dealing with the Quorum when Roslin refused to do anything. And then Tigh was the one to talk Bill down from giving up and putting a bullet in his brain just like Dee had. It is likely that if not for Apollo and Tigh the fleet would have been in an even greater state of disarray.

Starbuck had her own crisis to deal with, though it had little to do with Earth. As soon as Leoben found the piece of hull with a partial number that matched Starbuck’s own viper, it wasn’t really a surprise that Starbuck found her own corpse, but it was still pretty ghastly.

It’s tough to say just what the meaning is behind Starbuck’s charred corpse. Leoben was incredibly freaked out by it, at any rate. The body was still relatively intact (hell, it even still had hair) so it can’t have been there for very long. Unfortunately, since Starbuck burned the body there’s no chance of having it tested to see if it was really Starbuck or not.

In another big development, it seems like the 13th colony was a colony of cylons. And Tyrol, Foster, Anders, and Tigh lived on Earth before it was wiped out two thousand years ago. Plus Tyrol, Foster, and Anders, at least, seem to have known each other in their past lives. We still have no idea how they got to the 12 colonies though, nor why those people in particular were selected from a planet of (presumably) billions.

We also had the identity of the 12th Cylon revealed. Apparently, it was (is?) Ellen Tigh. We still don’t know how life works for the final five, and if they can be resurrected or not, so it’s impossible to know if Ellen should be talked about in the past or present tense.

“Sometimes a Great Notion” was one hell of an eventful episode. While some developments (like Ellen being the 12th Cylon) cannot be judged without having some time (and further episodes) to digest, this episode was a fantastic way to kick off the second half of season four.

Prediction for Next Week:

Seeing as BSG always has a very densely packed preview for the next week’s episode, I thought it might be fun to end each week’s review with a prediction about the next episode. I am basing these predictions on just the preview.

In the preview for “A Disquiet Follows my Soul,” Doc Cottle says, “This is going to be a shock,” to Chief Tyrol. Given that one of the other plot lines seems to be about a baby (Caprica Six and Tigh’s), I’m going to guess this plot is also about a baby. Therefore, Nikki is not really Tyrol’s son; Cally cheated on Tyrol and got pregnant that way.

Trevor MacKay is the sci-fi/horror/fantasy/cheesy/random geeky stuff guy. If something is geeky and/or unbelievably cheesy, he’s there.

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