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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Galactica: Exodus Part Two (spoilers)

I thought last night's episode of Battlestar Galactica (official Web site) was another solid installment. As I mentioned yesterday, I have been a little concerned about the resolution to the entire "New Caprica" storyline. On the whole, I was not disappointed last night.

One reason, as morbid as it sounds, is that there was collateral damage as a result of the Colonials' escape. It just stands to reason, in my opinion, that there would be losses during such a large-scale attempt. The scene where Tigh poisons Ellen was moving and powerful, and I am glad the writers chose to include it. I also love that the Cylons now have Sharon's child. I thought it was a great resolution to the impending nuclear detonation that D'Anna chose not to deploy the bomb because she found Hera. That made sense.

I also loved that Apollo had to sacrifice the Pegasus in order to save the Galactica. It was great (and expected) to see Lee come to the rescue, but it was much more meaningful that his heroics had a huge cost for the fleet: the loss of its strongest means of self-defense. I say that Lee's decision was expected because the previous episode and the early segments of this one foreshadowed it, but I still had to wonder as the Cylons bombarded Galactica. The visual display as the show's namesake vessel took blow after blow had me wondering, if only for a moment, if the writers were going to destroy the ship and Admiral Adama. The unfounded rumors months ago that Edward James Olmos (above) might be leaving the series crossed my mind immediately during this scene, but I was glad to see them proved false.

I didn't realize until last night how many Colonial vessels were on the ground, so understanding that situation made the escape seem more plausible. It was more a question of giving those ships room to escape than it was having to bring ships to the surface to retrieve people. I do wish there had been more scenes of the Cylons preventing people from leaving (violently or otherwise) and more emphasis on the anguish of having to flee without bringing everyone along. The scenes from the miniseries where Colonial One and other ships abandon ships that are unable to follow them is incredible, and I think it remains one of the best segments of the series even now.

Watching Baltar wrestle with his very limited options was also a pleasure. I am glad to see him take the (marginally) more appealing choice and stay with the Cylons, and I'm curious to see where this decision ultimately leads him. He is resembling the original series Baltar more and more at this point, although James Callis' performance exhibits angst and indecisiveness that John Colicos' character never had room to explore.

I can honestly say that I loathe Leoben, and that means that Callum Keith Rennie is doing his job. The scenes this season between him and Starbuck have been powerful and have been a great juxtaposition of their previous interactions in the first season (Flesh and Bone). I love that Kara exacted a measure of revenge by once again killing Leoben in order to escape but that Leoben had an even better answer when Kara discovered that Kacey was not really her child. Knowing that Leoben cannot die because he is a Cylon, who really caused more pain?

I thought this episode was excellent, and I'm excited that the series is headed back into space and away from New Caprica. I love that the writers have me and my wife asking, "Where will they go from here?" That's a big part of the wonder of this series: I honestly don't know. I hope at least that Galactica will have major repairs to struggle with and that the aftermath of humanity's despondent sabbatical on New Caprica will have many side effects. I am also very curious to see what the Cylons do to respond. Is there a shred left of their "plan" at this point?

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