Jammer's Review

Battlestar Galactica

"He That Believeth in Me"

***

Air date: 4/4/2008
Written by David Weddle & Bradley Thompson
Directed by Michael Rymer

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

At the end of the review, I wrote, "If you step back and look at 'Crossroads,' it is really a story about hope." That seems far less true after seeing "Razor" and now "He That Believeth in Me," which reveals far more trepidation than hope. Clearly there is a fork in the road here. There are questions to ask and arguments to make. And it may not be long before sides must be taken. (Surely you weren't expecting uplifting things to happen in a Battlestar season premiere? Ye of too much faith.)

Kara Thrace has returned from the apparent dead, which happens right in the middle of a battle zone in a nebula where the Galactica is vastly outmatched by the Cylons. Meanwhile, the four Cylons unveiled at the end of "Crossroads, Part 2" — Tigh, Tyrol, Anders, and Tory — proceed with business as usual, fighting as Colonial warriors, but fearing that they might very well be capable of turning at any moment. In a powerful moment of subjective internal point of view, Tigh imagines himself shooting Adama in the head in a crowded CIC right in the middle of the battle. More powerful than the shock of the image itself is Tigh's anguish in the immediate beat afterward. To be at the mercy of things completely beyond our control is among the worst of all fears.

The opening teaser is a tour de force of chaotic, beautifully designed space battle action. It may very well be the most elaborate and well-made CGI action yet on this series, and that's saying something. Still, despite all the hardware and explosions and visceral impact (a civilian ship is destroyed with 600 people on board) the most haunting moment is played out in excruciating slow-motion, as Anders, in his first flight as a Viper pilot, has an encounter with a Cylon Raider. His weapons misfire, and the Raider, rather than blowing him out of the sky, beams its sweeping red light straight into Anders' eye — and then the entire Cylon fleet suddenly withdraws from a fight where they had every advantage.

So what has happened here? Was Anders sent a program by a Cylon that recognized him? The close-up on Anders' eye as it briefly turns red can absolutely not be dismissed, but the story plays its hand close, and Anders proceeds on as if unchanged by the experience. I'm still holding out hope that the Final Five Cylons play by different rules than the other seven, but one can't rule out any scenario based on what we see here.

Then there's Kara, who believes she has only been gone for a few hours when it has actually been nearly two months. Roslin immediately smells a Cylon trick. Is Kara a Cylon? Kara brushes off the idea as absurd, but cannot explain away the many holes in her story, like how she traveled to Earth and then to the nebula without an FTL drive in a matter of hours (or even two months), or why her Viper is brand-new, with none of the wear it had before she died/disappeared, or why her flight log is blank. She has photos from her orbit of Earth, but that's about it.

Roslin immediately takes to the "Thrace is no longer trustworthy" camp and seems firm in that belief. Not only is she unwilling to follow Kara's alleged path to Earth (which Kara describes as a feeling more than a science), but Roslin would just as soon have Kara thrown in the brig, arguing that the crew's closeness to Kara would be exactly what the Cylons are counting on as an avenue of trust to exploit.

About that, I have my own questions. Why did the Cylon fleet jump away when they could've wiped out the entire fleet? Either the writers are toying with us (or letting themselves off the hook of their own cliffhanger), or destroying humanity is no longer the Cylons' goal, possibly because Anders and other Cylon infiltrators are now (apparently) known to them to be in place. Either way, the motivation of the Cylons seems a bit muddled. They come out firing and then they pull a 180. Their New Plan must really be something.

For that matter, everyone on Galactica should probably now assume that simple destruction is no longer the Cylon goal. The Cylons could've destroyed the fleet, but didn't. So what do they really want? Perhaps answers about Earth? What do the Colonials have that could actually help in that regard?

Perhaps Kara is a plan meant to take the fleet in the wrong direction while the Cylons continue in the right one. Who knows? All I can say is: Kara is sure she knows. She is convinced she can find Earth, and every FTL jump following the original course (the wrong one, to her) is like a shock to her system, and her internal Earth beacon fades. In a powerfully quiet scene acted with great precision by Olmos and Sackhoff, Kara makes an emotional appeal to Adama to believe in her. But he can't, because the evidence brings up too many unanswerable questions.

There's another quietly affecting scene in the pilot's ready room, where Lee repeatedly watches his flight video of Kara's death in "Maelstrom." Adama asks him, should we believe our eyes or our hearts? The scene reveals the full complicated nature of the two Adamas' relationship, with both the love and the strained hardship. Like that first scene between them in the miniseries, where Adama never even looked at Lee, director Michael Rymer uses the physical space to suggest the emotional distance; here Adama and his son sit in the chairs on the farthest opposite ends of the row.

Interesting that Lee does not accept reinstatement when Adama offers it to him. His life as CAG is apparently over, and he talks of a job opening in the government. He also asks his father a tough question: "If my brother had climbed out of that cockpit, would it matter if he were a Cylon — if he always had been? When all is said and done, would that really change how we feel about him?"

It's one of the series' big questions, and it's an intriguing one. (Note that it comes from Lee, who has previously been in favor of destroying the Cylons completely.) The hatred for the Cylons runs deep in such a seemingly monolithic way, but when push comes to shove — if Kara is really a Cylon — then does it?

Apparently it does for Kara, who tells Anders she'd put a bullet in his head if she ever found out he were a Cylon. Not something you want to hear from your resurrected wife when you've just found out you're a Cylon. BSG relationships sure are tricky...

I think the point here is that it's not even clear anymore what it truly means to be a Cylon. Certainly not for the recently self-discovered four, who know of no hidden motives or agendas, and vow to kill themselves before turning on their comrades (not that they know if they would even have that choice). And how about the irony of six people in a room discussing the possibility of Kara being a Cylon agent — when three of those six are, in fact, Cylons? Yes, the layers of identity crises are most definitely stacking up here.

What didn't work so well for me was the subplot surrounding Baltar's new life as the subject of worship by a cult of crazies looking for ... well, I'm not sure. Faith in ... something. In Baltar They Trust, although I have no idea why. (Is it because of his prison manifesto? It's not mentioned here.) While I found interesting Baltar's struggle with himself, his past misdeeds, and looking for some meaning or sign from God, I found the cult itself to be underwritten and too broadly played. Strange, how Baltar's cult is so overwhelming young, attractive, and female. (This would undoubtedly be for the same reasons Caprica Six can sit in a cell every day and still look like she's had her hair and makeup done by professionals.) Also curious is how these civilians have their own private area in a large storage room on Galactica, where they can come and go (and beat people to death) as they please. Wouldn't security have something to say about this?

One of the cultists offers her body to Baltar on behalf of, I guess, the Cult Welcoming Committee. (Baltar gets just the cult that suits him, conveniently appealing to his natures as an egoist and a womanizer.) I did find interesting Baltar's witnessing of a miracle in the recovery of a sick young boy. I also liked the inevitable run-in with comeuppance via the man prepared to cut his throat, where Baltar seems quite prepared to die for his sins. But leave it to Baltar (earlier, with the young boy) to use prayer not only during a genuine crisis of personal conflict, but also as an opportunity to perform on his stage for his new followers.

Undoubtedly, next week's episode will answer the question of what happens after Kara puts a gun to Roslin's head in an effort to force the fleet to follow her. Lines will be drawn.

Footnote: Is there a rhyme or reason for when "to be continued" gets used at the end of a BSG cliffhanger? Sometimes they use it (like here), and sometimes they don't (like "Precipice"). I could do without it entirely, because we know a serialized show is to be continued. Duh.

Previous episode: Razor
Next episode: Six of One

Season Index

84 comments on this review

Brian - Wed, Apr 9, 2008 - 7:49pm (USA Central)
From your review, I only seem to get that the Cylons leaving and the Baltar plots were your problems with the episode. So, about the Cylons leaving, what's wrong with them suddenly turning an about face after a Raider recognized one of the Final Five. I don't think they'd continue the attack knowing at least one of the five is in the fleet.

And about the Baltar plot, I agree that I was looking for more explantion about why they were following him, but overall I found it satisfying. Baltar is finally in a place where he is genuinely putting someone ahead of himself, willing to die for someone else. That is a legit arc, and a powerful one given how he started.

In fact, my biggest initial disatisfaction with the episode was how starbuck was portrayed. The way she was portrayed at the end of Crossroads and the beginning of the episode (still in the cockpit) she seems so... "I know something very special happened", rather than the "what? Someone's strange with me?" like she is at other times in the episode. However, when I viewed it again I didn't have that problem. I think that resulted from my own expectations from the episode, and this just went in a different direction (not that it changes the shift in tone between this and Crossroads).

The last sequence I think is quite amazing. The way Kara snaps... it's just a wonderful way to say "This Kara is different" which is reassuring. And, to quote your Kobol's Last Gleaming review, "this is something that can't be undone."

It's still not everything I had hoped for, but it's good. I might give it a 3 star rating, but for now I think it is 3.5 because my only real qualms are in the way the episode differed from what I expected.

I do think Six of One will be better though, because the previews seem to show some fascinating stuff on the Cylon end (I won't say what in case you haven't seen).

One last thing- I think it would have been nice for them to kinda say "I still wonder why we lost power in the nebula" just so we know they will in fact be addressing it later.
Joe - Wed, Apr 9, 2008 - 9:18pm (USA Central)
I agree with your "to be continued" point.

Also, I noticed that the actress who plays Tory has not been "upgraded" on the billing as Anders and Tyrol have been upgraded; she is only a guest star. How can a character who is one of the Final Five only be recurring at this point? I would really like to learn more about Tory this season. Right now, she is a bit of a shadow, albeit an attractive one...
Jammer - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 12:29am (USA Central)
Just to clarify, Anders (Michael Trucco) was "upgraded" to regular from guest star as of this episode (or perhaps "Razor," but I'd have to look), but Tyrol (Aaron Douglas) has been a regular from the first episode.

I agree that Tory (Rekha Sharma) should probably have been moved to regular, but that probably has something to do with the number of slots they have in the cast for starring characters. I honestly don't know how it works.

It's worth nothing that Cally (Nicki Clyne) was no longer listed as a regular character. Perhaps Trucco took over that slot.
Brendan - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 12:34am (USA Central)
I would agree with the 3 star rating. It was great to have BSG back but on reflection, it really was more of a re-settlling of the characters and not much new happened. Except Kara apparently going on a mission to kill Roslin and probably being on the wrong side - maybe probably maybe not?.

Anyway, I would disagree with the Baltar plot though. I agree it makes no sense that they worship him, but nonetheless I loved the entire story. Connor from Collaborators was a nice bit of continuity and Baltar continues to evolve. Its interesting how 1 day after trying desperately avoid execution he realized what his life had become and welcomed death at the hands of someone seeking vengeance for crimes he knew he was guilty of.

I also found many bits of that storyline to be really hilarious. I LOLed several times. James Callis is a god among men. Or maybe not, thats blasphemy of course since there is only one true god. Six told me so.

SO GLAD BSG IS BACK BABY
Scott A Newton - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 1:13am (USA Central)
Spot on as usual, Jammer. Glad to have you back with the new BSG season; as with Trek, the show wouldn't be complete without your reviews. I'm going to have to take your word for it on the opening space battle, though. It was hard for me to even see what was going on as I streamed it on that little 3x5 window, complete with stutters and commercial breakaways that truncated dialog, and so on. It was a rather pathetic viewing experience, and Hulu wasn't much better a couple of days later...
Greg M. - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 3:48am (USA Central)
Great review as usual Jammer.

I agree with you all the way on the Baltar storyline. It's too reminecent of DS9's Season 7 Pah Wraith arc which had Dukat a leader of a cult. I can't help but compare especially since Ron Moore was involved with that final season as well as this final season. I hope the fate for Baltar won't be the same as it was for Dukat, which was near character assassination.
Tom D - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 12:01pm (USA Central)
Notice the repeated use of the Cylons and the right eye? Tigh, evidently a Cylon, who has had his right eye plucked (by Cylons), shoots Adama in the right eye in his vision. The cyclopsian Cylon in the raider scans Anders' right eye (a Cylon), and seemingly activates somethign or sends/receives a message.
There must be a significance here, but darned if I know what :)
Brendan - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 2:00pm (USA Central)
BTW Jammer, it wasn't Lee who asked his father whether he should believe his eyes or his heart, it was Adama asking Lee.

Adama: Should I believe me heart... or my eyes?
Lee: Well, you know where I stand.
Austen - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 2:07pm (USA Central)
Definitely, the opening space battle was one of the most stunning I have ever seen. I would place it right up with the the fleet battle in Star Wars III, or the Borg fight from Star Trek: First Contact. Truly amazing.
Also can we call Tigh a "tigh-lon"?
just a thought
philadlj - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 4:09pm (USA Central)
That instant when Tigh shot Adama in the eye was a TRIP. Thank the Gods he was just imagining it, but still...

On another note, did anyone catch Colbert's weird Battlestar reference at the end of the Daily Show? Hilarious.
Alex - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 5:12pm (USA Central)
Something I took from the episode not mentioned in the review:

When Six and Roslin have a conversation, Six states that she feels the final five are close, but was programmed to not know their identity....

Perhaps, whoever does the "programming", instructed the Raiders not to destroy Cylons. A possible reason for the withdraw of the Cylon fleet. The teaser mentioned one of the Cylons labotimizing raiders, and it seems a Cylon civil war could begin. Only speculation, but it makes some sense as a direction for episodes.
Ryan - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 7:59pm (USA Central)
I'd like to chip in by saying that I had no problems with the Baltar plot. I think you're sometimes too hard on Baltar, Jammer; I saw no reason to interpret his prayer as any "performance." It felt very genuine. His last such apology was in Exodus, Part 2, when he was drunk and faced with imminent death. Absent of that he was still capable of honest, even more honest than the last time, and I think that's telling of how he's changed.

As for the Cylons: maybe we should consider that the Raiders, which we know to be living, if sub-sentient life forms, know something about the Five that the skinjobs don't?
Leif - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 8:03pm (USA Central)
Hey Jammer, thanks enjoyed your review.. just had one question similar to what others asked-- why just 3 stars and not 31/2 maybe? I agree with your Baltar opinion-- I had the same thought about how vague the cult's motives were for worshipping him. And as for the Cylons' withdrawal, I thought it was simply because now they know that the Final Five are somewhere within the fleet and they don't want their own killed? even if it's only Raiders and Centurions who can recognize the final five and not the human models --since Sharon doesn't recognize Anders or Tyrol and Six doesn't seem to know.. though one wonders why Roslin didn't ask Sharon too about Kara. Anyway, my complaint about the Cylon attack was actually the opposite of yours-- I questioned why they were attacking the fleet in the first place-- after the supposedly monumental change that led them to withdraw from the colonies in Lay Down Your Burdens and try to coexist with humans on New Caprica (though admittedly ruling with an iron fist and unilaterally) and then Simon saying in A Measure of Salvation "we want a new beginning"-- and the Cylons apparently looking for earth as their new home-- why not try to work out a truce with Galactica and work together to find Earth-- maybe they think humans will betray them or revenge runs too deep, especially after the potential genocide attempt in "Salvation.." but still their motivation seems to iffy either way.. has been for me for a while a bit unsatisfying in the series.. I really like Caprica and Boomer's growth in Downloaded but after that it seemed a little too black and white "Caprica and Boomer good Cylons (until Boomer in Rapture, that is)" and "D'anna Doral Cavil, etc. the evil "lets nuke the humans" bad Cylons. Hopefully, looks like next week's ep will shed some light on the Cylon's true motives and beliefs. Just wondering your thoughts on that Jammer...
Jammer - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 10:06pm (USA Central)
Ryan, you misread (perhaps not unjustifiably) my intentions when I mention Baltar's dual purpose in prayer. Yes, he genuinely is praying and is wanting his prayers to matter, but at a certain level I know that he knows that this makes him more sympathetic to his followers, and that he has no problem in taking advantage of the opportunity. I actually find that amusing and perfectly in line with Baltar as we know him.

I actually have no problems with Baltar in the Baltar cult storyline. I love Baltar and all his contradictions. What I think is superficial, however, is the cult itself, at least so far.
Tim - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 10:37pm (USA Central)
Good review Jammer. The most enjoyable aspect of the episode for me was looking at the events of "Crossroads" without the trippy, fourth-wall breaking Bob Dylan mindf*ck. I know you loved it, but it really undermined the drama of the Final Five reveal for me. This was a welcome return to form.
SarahMae - Thu, Apr 10, 2008 - 11:48pm (USA Central)
Like Lee of Kara, I don't care about the manner in which it came back. It's back! It's back! And it has my love despite its flaws.

I wonder when they'll break out Dr. Baltar's Fully-Functional Cylon Detector (patent pending). Tigh referencing it must have been intentional.
Jammer - Fri, Apr 11, 2008 - 1:44am (USA Central)
Brendan, you are correct about the Lee/Adama dialog. I will correct the error in the review when I get a chance.
Ryan - Fri, Apr 11, 2008 - 5:38am (USA Central)
Fair enough, Jammer. The other reason I really liked his story in this episode was that it's finally starting to solidify the "Head-Six/Baltar is/are God/an Angel of God" theory, as it's been seeming the most likely explanation for some time. With all the religious stuff going on, I'd be surprised if any of the big reveals weren't metaphysical.
Pinworm - Sat, Apr 12, 2008 - 1:10am (USA Central)
You'll be glad to know the latest episode more or less explains why exactly the raiders left, and makes it make sense. No spoilers, but it did fit, and answered the questions you asked about that.
Durka35 - Sat, Apr 12, 2008 - 1:20am (USA Central)
This episode reminds me of the 1st season of Babylon 5. The entire mystery of why did the Mimbari just suddenly give up in a battle with Earth, just when they were about to wipe out all humans. THe reason eventually was that the Mimbari found that humans had Mimbari dna/souls.
THis is very similar to BG now, with Cylons finding that humans have Cylon souls/dna among them and stop from wiping them out...
Boris - Sat, Apr 12, 2008 - 8:27pm (USA Central)
I agree with Durka 35's point about the similarity of Cylons finding Cylon souls in humans as the Mimbari in B5 finding Mimbari souls in humans.

Unlike Michael Straczynski who had the beginning, middle, and end of B5 plotted out ahead of time, I doubt that Ron Moore and his crew have the end of BSG thought out. IMHO, much of Season 3 after "Exodus" Part 1 & 2 was filler. And after the Galactica left the algae planet, the trial of Baltar could've been held with no delay. The filler episodes between "Rapture" and "Crossroads" Parts 1 & 2 were frustrating and dramatically static to me.

I feel this episode was good, but I am dubious of the payoff from the Colonials and Cylons finding Earth when it's leaked that [potential spoiler removed]. If the promo trailer for "Ties That Bind" isn't misleading, [potential spoiler removed].

I'm also dubious about four of the Final Five Cylons being revealed as Colonials, so the wait for the unveiling of the fifth Cylon leaves me ambivalent at best. Starbuck coming back from the dead in a pristine Viper bothers me along with her coming back from the dead.

If I'm not mistaken the producers told Katee Sackhoff to pretend to the world and the rest of the cast that her character had been killed off till she reappeared in the Season 3 finale.

Last year, the producers made such a big deal of killing off major characters, only to kill off secondary ones and bring Starbuck back in the season finale. I had a feeling she'd come back, but I thought it'd be in Season 4. Starbuck's resurrection strikes me as a dramatic cheat and a manipulation of the fans and the rest of the cast, who were upset at the revelation.
Jammer - Sat, Apr 12, 2008 - 9:41pm (USA Central)
Boris (and everyone), please don't post spoilers -- or even possible spoilers based on alleged leaked information -- about any episode that has not aired. I don't want to hear them (I go out of my way to avoid spoilers), and other readers also may not want to see them.

You are free to speculate based on what has aired, but please no spoilers or possible spoilers based on press info, leaks, etc.

I have removed the spoilers from your comment.

Thanks.
misterd - Sat, Apr 12, 2008 - 10:55pm (USA Central)
Good analysis, Jammer, though I wonder if you will have to update this review now that the Cylons leaving has been explained in Six of One. I understand not wanting to spoil the future episodes for readers, and also for preserving your "first take" for posterity or nostaligia, but maybe an "in hindsight" addition (with spoiler warnings, of course) should be added to some episodes.

As for Baltar's cult, I imagine they are little different than the lunatics who write love letters to Charlie Manson and David Berkowitz, which means most of them would be moon-eyed, soft-brained women (sorry if that comment offends someone, but I see few hard-headed, clear thinking men falling in love with male mass murderers). Many are probably leftovers from the "love the Cylons" saboteurs we saw back in Season 2 (the ones not blown up with Gina).
Jammer - Sun, Apr 13, 2008 - 11:23am (USA Central)
The reviews are written in the moment and reflect what I knew at the time. There's no need for updates, because the following reviews will serve that purpose. The "Six of One" review will make mention of what I've learned that I didn't know as of "Believeth."
Leif - Sun, Apr 13, 2008 - 2:43pm (USA Central)
Hey Jammer.. just wondering what your take is on my comments above about the Cylons' motivations.. thanks...
Boris - Sun, Apr 13, 2008 - 6:17pm (USA Central)
Copy that, Jammer.

I didn't know you didn't want spoilers discussed. I was also working on the assumption everyone knows about them.

BSG's remaining viewers are definitely watching the final season in part to its being the final season. I doubt the producers would've had enough material for a fifth season had SciFi given it to them. And I am distrustful of the producers for manipulating the fans and the cast with their Starbuck resurrection stunt.

Does anyone know of a forum, where viewers can give the producers their reactions?
Jammer - Sun, Apr 13, 2008 - 9:19pm (USA Central)
Ron Moore occasionally mentions the official Sci Fi boards in his podcasts. If there's a board the producers are watching, I'd put my money on that one.
Jammer - Mon, Apr 14, 2008 - 2:24pm (USA Central)
Leif, the Cylon motivation is that They Have a Plan. Just kidding. I'll get more into this in the "Six of One" review.
Jonathan - Mon, Apr 14, 2008 - 6:32pm (USA Central)
I found it, like you, to be a good episode overall. The cult of female Baltar worshippers is not very well developed yet, but like so much on this show, I'm willing to give it time. I am curious as to why they are on Galatica. This isn't the Enterprise, there aren't familes on board unless they are families of officers as far as I know. So, are these officers, or stowaways, and with all of the security checks and what not, how would they stay on there undetected? The President has to get permission before she boards, as we have seen in the past.

The Kara plot line didn't interest me a whole lot, and while I was saddened by a main character's death, I thought it was fitting and well done, and maybe she should have stayed dead. Starbuck's story arcs were getting old and repetitive, and maybe they will prove me wrong here, but unless she is a cylon, it's a little annoying to me that she was even brought back. I guess we will have to see. I think for the time being, your rating of this installment is just.
Jammer - Tue, Apr 15, 2008 - 12:06am (USA Central)
"Jammer - while I am sure that you will address specific plot points in upcoming episodes, you're reveiews of shows will be here for years. Don't you ever feel the need to re-evaluate an episode based on what follows?"

No, because once a review is written based on the show when it aired, that's it. The context of WHEN it was written is simply a part of it. There's no reason to pretend otherwise.

In the past, I've occasionally made changes to star ratings after the fact if I felt strongly about it, but I've done that less so lately. The text of the review I don't touch once it's "final," unless there's an obvious factual error or typo.

Once it's written, it's time to move on to the next one, or I would be editing and editing forever and there's simply no point to that. We will discover new things as the season goes on, and it may render what I wrote previously obsolete, but that's simply a part of the serialized and linear structure. In fact, it's part of the fun; you can see where my predictions were wrong.
Jonathan - Tue, Apr 15, 2008 - 12:16pm (USA Central)
Thanks for the follow-up Misterd, this is obviously a fact I looked over or forgot about since it has been so long since seeing a new episode. That help clears up a lot.
Occuprice - Tue, Apr 15, 2008 - 10:28pm (USA Central)
Jammer- I was just wondering what your opinion was about your thoughts on how the series as a whole has progressed. Some are unhappy with where it is now (but it's obvious that you are not of those people) while others think this is the best period of the series yet.

Do you think where the series is now is on par with how it began, better, or worse? And, if you have the time, what are some plot threads from early in the series you wish had been developed more/differently. Finally, when you first reviewed the show, you commented about how the show's realism was an excellent decision. Do you feel like this realism has faded in the past season? If so, do you think what we've gotten (greater exploration of the mythos) is worth it?

I understanding if you only have time to answer one of those, but I think that at the end of the series you should write a review like you do at the end of each Star Trek season where you can address these kinds of issues.

Thank you.
Mack - Wed, Apr 16, 2008 - 4:31pm (USA Central)
A couple of random thoughts.

Kara's clean Viper reminds me a little of the story line from the original series episode "War of the Gods 1 & 2". Apollo is seemingly killed only to show up on the ship of light in a stark white uniform. And now that I think of it the final 5 look alot like the angels in that episode as well.

Did anyone get the feeling that the cult might be using Baltar as a donor? Has Baltar been put out to stud and can you imagine a society of his lineage?

Thanks again to Jammer posting the spoilers warning. I watch these episodes 1 week after they air so any info on upcoming episodes is bad.
Jammer - Thu, Apr 17, 2008 - 10:32pm (USA Central)
A forewarning to readers: The "Six of One" review will be delayed. I am moving next week and have been dealing with related details for much of this week. Also, this weekend I'm the Best Man in my best friend's wedding and must write my toast in lieu of a review. Naturally, all craziness stacks itself into the same weekend.

Next week I move but will hopefully find time amid the chaos and boxes to write the "Six of One" review as well as catch up with the next BSG episode. But my timeliness, which may have seemed to be back on track with the season premiere, will need to be put aside for at least the next week or so.
Boris - Fri, Apr 18, 2008 - 10:37pm (USA Central)
Jammer, thanks for the pointer to the Sci Fi forum. I don't often participate in 'em myself.

misterd, you're right about Ron Moore doing good work in a spoiler hungry, high expectation TV environment.

Occuprice, I count myself as one of those dissatisfied with the current direction the series. My discontent started to take root after "Exodus" Part 1 & 2 and went full blown with "Taking A Break From All Your Worries."

Before Season 3 aired, I happened to speak to David Weddle and Bradley Thompson at a writers meeting on the Universal Studio lot. They said one can't have a war drama without major characters dying. From how Season 3 went, I'd say they wanted to eat their cake and have it.

IMHO, Season 3 wasn't executed as well as it could've been and it's had repercussions, which are driving Season 4 and prompted Sci Fi to withhold approval for Season 5.

I'd expected better from the people who produced Deep Space Nine.

I'm not against dark stories per se, but if things keep going in the direction they're going, we'll go from dark into an abyss.

IMHO, viewers are able to follow dark stories best if there's an indication of hope, which Ron Moore and gang are steadily taking away.

I don't expect everyone to agree with me, but that's how I feel.
Occuprice - Fri, Apr 18, 2008 - 11:12pm (USA Central)
Boris- just a little tidbit of information you may find interesting, but certainly won't change how you feel about the long-term plots established in season 3. Scifi actually told RDM and his staff that they needed to do more standalones because people would stop watching a serialized show. And, as RDM has said and SciFi has come to admit, BSG just doesn't work well as a standalone show. So, I don't really think the blame for individually weak episodes lies with the BSG staff.

But you are completely right about the long term goals being subjective. BSG has become a very different show, so it's almost like deciding whether you like a new show.

Just out of curiosity, is your comment about lack of hope in response to the very hopeful Crossroads part 2 ending being turned on its head with Razor and He That Believeth In Me? Or just in general?
Boris - Sat, Apr 19, 2008 - 7:59pm (USA Central)
Hey Occuprice,

I heard about the SciFi execs "persuading" the BSG staff to put in standalone episodes. It's one of the many ways in which networks wreck their own content. What I fault the BSG staff for is the conceptualization and execution of the Season 3 fillers, which to me were melodramatic and had low stakes. Showrunners can hurt themselves, too, without any help from the networks. Ex: "Alias," "Lost," and "Stargate: Atlantis."

I wasn't in a position to pitch a TV script and Ron Moore and company had already blocked out the stories they would tell. But one idea I had for a multi-episode arc with both serialized and standalone elements used a plot device from the original series: a totalitarian human spacefaring society that the Colonials run across on their way to Earth.

Who's to say the 13th tribe in Moore's reimagined BSG didn't have separations along their voyage to Earth also? With aliens taken out of the equation by Olmos' threat to quit, the story possibilities from interactions between the new humans, Colonials, and Cylons multiply geometrically in my mind. This is certainly something that BSG media tie-in fiction writers can play with when they're trying to think up novels.

Sadly, that didn't occur to Moore and company on their own--except in an alternate reality spawned from the quantum moment of divergence in which the necessary chain of occurences happened for that storyline to be conceived and incorporated by the BSG staff.

IMHO, the Colonial fleet is running out of significant factions who generate interesting episodes. For me, the Cylon Civil War has been the most interesting element out of all the storylines in the Season 4 episodes aired so far.

At best, I'm on the fence about the new show BSG has become. I'd say this is a bit like Dallas on a battleship in space. If the same staff is used for the upcoming Caprica spinoff, I won't be shocked to see some of these same themes used.

I would say that my comment about the foreshadowing of the lack of hope does come from "He That Believeth In Me" and the end of "Razor." Even without the prototype hybrid's warning to Kendra about Kara, I wouldn't trust someone who came back from the dead the way Kara did. I'm with Roslin on her reaction to Kara's ravings about Earth.

Anyhow, as viewers all we can do is watch. Moore and company have the creative freedom (to the extent given them by SciFi) to do what they like with the series.

C'est le vie.
Occuprice - Sun, Apr 20, 2008 - 1:30am (USA Central)
That idea I think could be very interesting under Moore's direction, but I also think that it just seems at odds with the series. In the original, I believe it was CERTAIN from the get go that Earth even existed. There weren't such assurances and now that there are, it's still a huge mystery. I think that running across such a faction would would be harmful to this show's concept of Earth.

I agree that Moore and Co could have done some of the shows better. Day in the Life is just down right hard to watch, and can't be blamed on it being a standalone.

And yes, the Cylon Civil War is the most interesting aspect of season for (at the moment, as I expect the final five story to really pick up after what happened in the last episode).

On the other hand, I'm also quite liking Lee's new role, partially because that story seems very much like the Roslin/government stories of Season 1, which have diminished since then.

For me, I'm expecting this season to be the best (maybe that's a little much to expect) because it continues all the plots established in season three that I found fascinating, has brought a civil war to the cylons, and won't have any stretch of standalones (!!!)to drop quality.

My only concern is that the final cylon won't have enough punch to live up to amount of hype surrounding it. But there's nothing to suggest that yet.
CTerry - Sun, Apr 20, 2008 - 11:59am (USA Central)
I disagree that the Colonial fleet is running out of conflict, look at what's happening with Roslin and the Final Five, all of whom are stunning I think.

I have to say I found 'He That Believeth in Me' a bit... unfulfilling but I've loved both 'Ties that Bind' and 'Six of One' and I'm practically clawing at the bit for more now.
Boris - Sun, Apr 20, 2008 - 6:24pm (USA Central)
The only tidbit we have about the 13th tribe so far is the probe that a Cylon base ship picked up and got infected by in Season 3, which was visited by Baltar.

Putting in a faction that split off from the 13th tribe could be interesting if they held lore/artifcats with navigational markers the Colonials and Cylons would need to continue the search for Earth.

Anyhow, it's not gonna be done (except maybe in fan fiction).

Lee's new role as a Quorom delegate is the twist among the Colonial storylines I've enjoyed the most so far.

Kara is back to her overly dysfunctional self at the moment. I see Moore starting to have Kara mirror Sisko's Season 7 absorption into his role as the Bajoran Emissary. I feel we need to see more of that. It'd also be nice to see a flashback of Kara flying over Earth after she was "killed."

I'm also dubious about the payoff when we finally learn who the fifth Cylon is.
Occuprice - Sun, Apr 20, 2008 - 9:36pm (USA Central)
Maybe it's just how I've envisioned the thirteenth tribe and such so that a splinter group wouldn't make sense, but it just wouldn't feel right to me.

It's hard for me to get really interested in the Starbuck story right now because at the moment I don't think we're close to figuring out what happened with her and we certainly aren't close to Earth. But given that over half the Galactica crew we are familiar with is on that ship, maybe it won't be long before that becomes a huge story or they return to the ship.

I wouldn't say Kara is back to herself, because she really seems to have taken dysfunction to a new level.

And yes, I really hope that at some point we get a flashback of Kara flying over Earth, hopefully in the same episode in which we find out what actually happened to her.

I also can't wait for D'anna to return. She's seen the final five, so she can't really return until after the final one has been revealed, but I hope it isn't that far off. I really liked her in season three.
Alex - Mon, Apr 21, 2008 - 11:41am (USA Central)
I think any show can be nitpicked and become disappointing when it doesn't live up to our own expectations.

But on an enjoyment level, I still completely enjoy the BSG series, I loved the 3rd season, although the 2nd is probably my favorite. This 4th season hasn't hooked me as much, but I've still been very entertained.

For instance, Day in the Life is mentioned above very negatively. Although the show is far from my favorite in the series, I thought it was an interesting character builder. I still enjoyed the hour I watched the show.


Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is, try to enjoy and be entertained by the show for what it is, instead of what you want it to be.

(Well unless the show completely falls off the cliff in terms of credibility and entertainment, a la Voyager. When I think of the time wasted watching some of the crappier episodes in that series, BSG seems oh so pleasurable to watch)
Occuprice - Mon, Apr 21, 2008 - 7:15pm (USA Central)
I love the show for what it is, and I sincerely believe that since its beginning and even up until now it has been one of the top three television shows ever. I would count it at number one, but shows like M*A*S*H could certainly have a case made for the top show.

A Day in the Life isn't so much a bad show, but an extremely disappointing show because it was battlestar galactica that had no memorable plot, other than WILL CALLY AND TYROL LIVE!?!? It just seemed like a slap in the face.

However, it is the only BSG episode I would categorize as such. Even Black Market (another show many dislike) I can still enjoy quite a bit.

I think season 1 has the best overall quality (probably because it didn't have to stretch over 20 episodes), and I think season 3 is my favorite partially because the opening and closing arcs are so phenomenal (New Caprica=w/o a doubt best story told on television)and partially because of the mythos and all of that which we delved deeper into. Season 2 is still a great season and just as good as the other two, but I can't say it struck me in the same way as season 3.

Here's to season 4, which will continue the mythos and plots established in season 3 without the standalones that detracted from that season's quality. New Best Season (hopefully).
Boris - Mon, Apr 21, 2008 - 11:13pm (USA Central)
Coming into Season 3, I had completely trusted Ron Moore and company. As it unfolded with its ups and downs, I found myself surprised, disappointed, and skeptical of the producers.

BSG is Moore's and company's baby to play with, but as an honest viewer, I call things as I see 'em.

When I think the show does something good, I'll say it. When I think a mistake was made, I won't gloss it over. But it's not worth getting my blood pressure up neither since it's entertainment in the end.

I want BSG to finish on a strong note, but I don't have the same trust I used to have in Ron Moore.

I do feel he'd be several orders of magnitude better to helm the upcoming Star Trek film than JJ Abrams, though. Too bad that's not gonna happen.
misterd - Fri, Apr 25, 2008 - 12:13am (USA Central)
If you'd seen Ron's Trek stuff, you'd know that he's good, but not perfect. If you listen to the podcasts, he'll flat out admit that shows like Black Market and A Day in the Life failed. I know of no show that managed to stay consistent in it's quality from beginning to end (The Wire was close, but it peaked in S4), and almost every show makes a wrong step somewhere at some point. I disliked the Apollo/Starbuck affair last season, I hated that they went in that direction, but I got over it easily enough. In fact, for numerous reasons, when I rewatched the S3 DVDs, I was surprised to see the storyline wasn't dragged on for as long as I thought it was. It also helped that I now knew there was a point to Starbuck's arc, which I couldn't be sure of then.
Occuprice - Fri, Apr 25, 2008 - 1:11pm (USA Central)
I have seen his trek stuff (by and large excellent) and I do listen to podcasts. BSG certainly has individual faults on an episodic level, but my comment is that from season to season, the quality is fairly consistent and that quality is superb.

I thought the Starbuck/Apollo plot was lukewarm. When it emerged in Unfinished Business I didn't expect it to start up; these people have gone to the extremes and back and now they're ready just to be friends again. When it emerged in Eye of Jupiter, I was fine with it cuz it was only a part of the plot. I thought Rapture ended their affair perfectly (them in the arms of their spouses with a lingering glance at each other) and I expected that to be the end. Taking a Break was a brilliant episode on the Baltar side, but that's when I decided that the Kara/Lee story was actually a waste of airtime. Like you, though, after seeing it again it was better. So, I think that the air time could have been filled by better scenes and/or plot, but what's there doesn't detract.

Moore's not infallible, but I do think he's the best mind in Scifi right now-- tv shows, movies, books (let's face it, scifi books aren't the same quality they were in decades past), etc.
Vqidolwz - Sun, Apr 27, 2008 - 4:57pm (USA Central)
It's funny goodluck
Ryan - Fri, May 2, 2008 - 11:57pm (USA Central)
Jammer! When is new review? It's been a month since 4x01. :(
Gary Cardno - Tue, May 6, 2008 - 2:01pm (USA Central)
Yeah Jammer
review review review!!!!!!
Jason - Wed, May 7, 2008 - 2:59pm (USA Central)
Of course....it's so obvious to me now! The final Cylon IS Bob Dylan!!!!
Jammer - Thu, May 8, 2008 - 4:33pm (USA Central)
Soon. The "Six of One" review is basically ready to go, but I'd like to get at least one more finished before I post it. If that doesn't happen this weekend (although I hope it will), I'll at least post the one review.
DJ Bladdered - Sat, May 10, 2008 - 6:57am (USA Central)
Reviews or not Jammer
I hop you agree is kicking some serious DARK ASS man
I thought it went off the boil a bit for long periods in Season 3, but its all rocking again now.
Baltar to do a Jim Jones.....?
Peace Bladdered
Niall - Sat, May 10, 2008 - 2:22pm (USA Central)
6 episodes in, as great as "Faith" was, I'm becoming more sceptical that the show will manage to pull everything together in a way that makes sense without it seeming like deus ex machina/Plot Gods. Theories regarding a Ship of Lights/monotheistic religion aside - however well they pull it off - I have a feeling it's just gonna seem, well... contrived.

On a different note, this final season of BSG seems to have a lot in common with the final season of DS9 in a number of ways. Baltar and his groupies is a lot like Dukat and his cult in DS9's "Covenant" - albeit much better done - and Kara is clearly taking on aspects of the Sisko/Emissary role. Based on the Leoben connection and the events of "Maelstrom" and since, I strongly believe that we'll discover her birth was "engineered" by the series's gods, as Sisko's was in DS9. Everything's pointing towards a big religious "revelation" in the second half of the season.
Niall - Sat, May 10, 2008 - 2:25pm (USA Central)
Oh, and I think Zac Adama is the final cylon...
misterd - Sat, May 17, 2008 - 12:07am (USA Central)
Of course it will be contrived. The whole series is contrived. Within the series, all evidence points to the current situation being manipulated by greater forces, which allows the writers to play the parts of the Gods (or the Final Five, or whomever is the one manipulating things).

As for DS9... (spoilers for DS9 and episode 4.7 of BSG follow!)

We have the skin jobs vs the Founders... shape shifting alien infiltrators...

Cylon ressurection vs Vorta cloning...

The leader of the fleet with religious visions vs the commander of the space station with religious visions...

Baltar vs Dukat... the narcissitic, opportunistic, yet often sympathetic, villains at odds with hallucinating leader...

Nog's leg vs Gaeta's leg...
misterd - Sat, May 17, 2008 - 12:16am (USA Central)
More DS9 vs BSG...

Blood tests for changelings vs Blood tests for Cylons (neither of which works)

Butch Cardassian/Cylon hater finds herself helping them in a civil war in the final season...

Now all we need is for Gaeta to belt out some Vic Fontaine tunes...
Niall - Sat, May 17, 2008 - 6:12am (USA Central)
Yeah, I forgot to mention the Nog/Gaeta thing, that occurred to me too.

"Guess What's Coming To Dinner" was an outstanding achievement of an episode, right down to the smallest details and character moments. Amazingly scored and great direction, and a real, gripping ensemble piece which aptly dealt with and built on a multitude of ongoing plots and character threads. Brilliant.
misterd - Sun, May 18, 2008 - 1:32am (USA Central)
One last one...

Dukat and Baltar, feeling guilty over their contributions to genocide, are haunted by visions
Matthew - Sun, May 18, 2008 - 7:28pm (USA Central)
The one thing that really makes BSG so amazingly different from DS9 (which is a great show in itself of course) is that the stories aren't bound by that horrible Trekkian moral code, which paints everything in lovely primary colours, no matter how depressing things got. As a result, the reaction we see of Gaeta to the loss of his leg is so much more powerful than Nogs, which ended up being wrapped up fairly neatly.

"Gaetas Lament" must be one of the best pieces of original music I've heard on a TV show in a long long time too, heartbreaking.
Niall - Mon, May 19, 2008 - 1:39pm (USA Central)
That's exactly why I prefer shows like DS9 and Babylon 5 to BSG. As good as BSG is, it's extremely bleak, and the writers have the tendency to go for the most shocking thing possible in most situations. BSG is compulsive viewing, but it has no lightness - DS9 and B5 achieved great things and had fantastic arcs and character work, but there was always some balance - moments of humour and warmth, and a sense that the characters were normal, reasonable people who you could rely on and get on with. The most we get of this on BSG is the Adama/Roslin relationship. This isn't a criticism of BSG as such, as obviously it's supposed to be like this, it's just that the DS9/B5 style is more to my taste.

BSG is essentially a bleak, pessimistic study of a collapsed society and its damaged members, with occasional moments of hope. Everyone on the show behaves erratically and only looks out for themselves or their own agenda - it's "every man for himself". Characters frequently change motivations and alliances, betrayals and deception are regular, and trust is a complete non-entity - would you trust anyone on BSG? They all just follow their own agenda or have their own ulterior motives. Of course, this all makes great drama, but at the end of the day, I'd rather work with Sisko and co or Sheridan and crew than be part of the human hell that is Galactica...
misterd - Mon, May 19, 2008 - 4:49pm (USA Central)
Matt, Nog's leg wasn't wrapped up all that neatly. They did take time to adress Nog's feelings over the issue. You can't quite compare Nog's finished story to Gaeta's when Gaeta's tale has only just begun.
Niall - Tue, May 20, 2008 - 5:48pm (USA Central)
> Nog's leg wasn't wrapped up all that neatly

No, there were bits of bone poking out and all sorts...

(Couldn't resist...)
Caradog - Thu, Jun 5, 2008 - 1:50pm (USA Central)
Actually I find the warmth in BSG in the small things. Adama reading that novel to Rosalin was extremely touching... all the subtle little interplay between them makes me grin. Even Baltar shows flashes of kindless. It's all vey human to me...
JackBauer - Thu, Jun 19, 2008 - 1:49pm (USA Central)
"That's exactly why I prefer shows like DS9 and Babylon 5 to BSG. As good as BSG is, it's extremely bleak, and the writers have the tendency to go for the most shocking thing possible in most situations. BSG is compulsive viewing, but it has no lightness - DS9 and B5 achieved great things and had fantastic arcs and character work, but there was always some balance - moments of humour and warmth, and a sense that the characters were normal, reasonable people who you could rely on and get on with. The most we get of this on BSG is the Adama/Roslin relationship. This isn't a criticism of BSG as such, as obviously it's supposed to be like this, it's just that the DS9/B5 style is more to my taste.

BSG is essentially a bleak, pessimistic study of a collapsed society and its damaged members, with occasional moments of hope. Everyone on the show behaves erratically and only looks out for themselves or their own agenda - it's "every man for himself". Characters frequently change motivations and alliances, betrayals and deception are regular, and trust is a complete non-entity - would you trust anyone on BSG? They all just follow their own agenda or have their own ulterior motives. Of course, this all makes great drama, but at the end of the day, I'd rather work with Sisko and co or Sheridan and crew than be part of the human hell that is Galactica... "



I agree 100% with this post. There cant be anything on this show that isnt damaged or happy. I was so hoping that the mid season break this year would be the crew finding earth and being overjoyed about it. But instead [...]. Its like they cant resist but to be negative.
Jammer - Thu, Jun 19, 2008 - 4:39pm (USA Central)
Of course the show is often bleak. It's about a post-apocalyptic scenario and survival in the worst circumstances.

But I think you're wrong that this show does not have hope. It's just that the hope is in the choices made by the characters and it's not necessarily always underlined. I think there is far more humanity, honor, and camaraderie in this series than you give it credit for, as evidenced by, for starters, Tigh's actions pretty much all through this season (and especially in "Revelations") as difficult as it has been for him.

I'll have plenty more to say when I finally get back to reviewing this season.

Also, I've edited out the season finale spoilers from this thread. I'd like to keep major spoilers limited to the pages of their respective reviews, or later. I know that my extreme delays make that currently difficult (sorry), but even so.
Mack - Thu, Jun 19, 2008 - 5:06pm (USA Central)
If you take the dark moments of this show it would turn into what we had with the original series. It wouldn't ring true.
Occuprice - Wed, Jun 25, 2008 - 1:53pm (USA Central)
I don't see how you can say this show doesn't have any hope and that's entirely bleak. Sure, it never gives you a victory without showing the price it cost or ending on an ominous note (Exodus 2 and The hand of God respectively), but that's often how life is and, dammit, it's far more compelling than "oh, we escaped new caprica scott-free!"

The show also happens to have the most outright hopeful (and best, imo) scene in all the television I've seen: the ending of Crossroads part 2. "I've been to Earth. I know where it is. And I'm gonna take us there." zoom out of the cosmos, zoom into Earth. Nothing could be more hopeful. (though, as Jammer points out in this review, that ultimately is less hopeful than it seems, but the point is that season 3 ended with a tremendous moment of hope)

Daft Punk - Wed, Jun 25, 2008 - 5:59pm (USA Central)
Hiya Jammer.

My first post here. Love BSG and your site. There may be a tiny boo-boo in the "He That Believeth in Me" review. Paragraph nine reads...

"Perhaps Kara is a plan meant to take the fleet in the wrong direction while the Cylons continue in the right one."

Should that be "Perhaps Kara is a plant..."?

Thanks for the great website. I found this place six years ago when I still lived in Singapore. Back then I downloaded an 80 Meg Enterprise episode every week, and viewed it on a 15-inch monitor. The video quality was often only fair. Yet there was no other choice, as the series was not available in the Lion City.

After viewing an ep, I would go to Jammer's Reviews and see what you thought of the episode.

Peace.

Marco
john crichtgon - Thu, Jun 26, 2008 - 1:11pm (USA Central)
Well thats a great point because I dont think were done with the "Kara Thrace will lead the human race to their doom" storyline yet.

PS: We want reveiws gods damn it!
John Crichton - Fri, Jun 27, 2008 - 2:03pm (USA Central)
Oh and id love to point out that some have seen the similarities between DS9 and BSG, so does that mean that really Babylon 5 is the cornerstone of all these shows since the ideas of DS9 were ripped off from B5?
HipsterDoofus - Wed, Jul 2, 2008 - 11:47am (USA Central)
> Oh and id love to point out that some have seen the similarities between DS9 and BSG, so does that mean that really Babylon 5 is
> the cornerstone of all these shows since the ideas of DS9 were ripped off from B5?

If you really *must* further beat this long dead, already pureed horse, I'm sure there are better places to do it.
Mack - Wed, Jul 2, 2008 - 5:25pm (USA Central)
I would expect more from someone using the name John Crighton. Lay off of DS9 you frelling troll!
:)
Max Udargo - Sun, Jun 27, 2010 - 11:44pm (USA Central)
My take on the Baltar cult was that it was analogous to the kind of following that serial killers sometimes inspire when they are put on trial. Murderers like Richard Ramirez sometimes attract groupies of a sort, young women who fall in love with them for some twisted reason and try to attend their trials, slip them notes, and then write them in prison and try to arrange prison visits. Baltar's cult had that vibe.
Brendan - Sun, Aug 1, 2010 - 5:29pm (USA Central)
Yeah, that was the idea Max according to the podcasts. But on some level it's so bizarre that even knowing these people might exist in real life doesn't seem to make it much more believable.
mike - Fri, Apr 29, 2011 - 10:22am (USA Central)
Interesting that Kara said she would shoot Anders in the head if he was a Cylon, yet she is willing to be friends with Sharon - unless this Kara (Season 4) is not the same as Seasons 1,2,3 Kara.
Nic - Fri, Oct 21, 2011 - 8:44am (USA Central)
Wow, a lot of posts here.

I have actually noticed a pattern in the use of "To be continued". Although it is a serialized show, most episdoes still end with some degree of closure. This one didn't, hence the 'TBC'.

So far, I don't hate seasons 3 & 4 as much as some people seem to, but I definitely think there has been a drop in quality since season 2. The first two seasons felt REAL. Now, the only answer I could think of to the question "Why does Starbuck point a gun at Roslin?" was "Because it's a TV show." It's still one of the better TV shows out there, but it no longer feels like it's actually happening (well, some parts don't, at least).
Michael - Sun, Nov 27, 2011 - 5:41am (USA Central)
How the mighty have fallen. I can't believe what B.S.G. has turned into... :(

One of its biggest selling points was realism, at least so far as human interaction and logical events happening in a logical fashion. This episode turned that on its head; it was like an L.S.D. trip to Alice in Wonderland with a smattering of sane moments thrown in. Kara's resurrection (couldn't they have at least explained it with a wormhole?), Baltar's "cult" (he gets to pork a lot of broads, quelle surprise), too many miracles all around.

Oh well, nothing good lasts forever... :(
Caleb - Tue, Jul 31, 2012 - 12:34pm (USA Central)
Watching this series a long time after the rest of you... but I sort of agree with Michael, in that I was initially drawn into BSG for it's incredible sense of realism. As the show has become more and more metaphysical, more and more "mysterious"... it's lost some of its grip on me. It's not that I have anything against that sort of tone in fiction - I'm a huge David Lynch fan, I just think BSG worked better when the metaphysical played a smaller role. To me the show peaked *very* early on. The miniseries is some of the greatest TV I've ever seen, and the likes of "33" and "Water" continued that trend. There are various other high points throughout the first two seasons. But starting with season 3, the show has gone from incredibly compelling to interesting and entertaining but not what it once was. That's just my perspective of course. It's still a good show at this point, I just think it's best moments are behind it unless the rest of Season 4 really surprises me.
Caleb - Tue, Jul 31, 2012 - 12:42pm (USA Central)
Although the start of Season 3 was great, the New Caprica arc is up there with the best - Occupation/Precipe is wonderful... but starting with "Torn" the show became less engaging to me.
Clint - Mon, Jun 24, 2013 - 7:39am (USA Central)
After the very bumpy road that was Season Three, I am very much enjoying BG's return to form in Season Four. I hope the forthcoming stories continue to be this strong.

I too found the Cult of Baltar (or "Gaius Fracking Baltar", as Tigh would put it) to be a bit odd. But not completely unbelievable. As Baltar himself put it, "Celebrity trials bring out the crazies." Or something like that.

I thought it was quite humerous when Baltar's followers turned out to all be quite female, young, nubile, and attractive. Oh, I guess there were a few guys thrown in, just for diversity's sake. But by and large, his followers are all young, hot women.

They just happened to look that good. Remarkable, isn't it? Maybe it's not coincidence. Maybe there is cult entry screening process. It's like in order to join, you have to rank at least a 7 out of 10 on the Hottie scale.

Baltar is wondering what he is going to do with his life. Well, shouldn't the answer be obvious? I think it is time he became a Porn Producer. Baltar certainly looks the part. And that's a sleazy job that would fit really well with his manipulative yet likeable personality. Also, he already has a full cast of young pornstars at hand, ready and willing. They even have their own private filming area!

I'm sure there's some demand for new porn on the Galactica's black market. I kind of doubt that all the good stuff that used to be stored on the internet servers on Caprica got saved from destruction. There's only one man who is right for this job: Baltar.

At this point, I'm still not so sure about "The Plan". You know, the Cylon's master plan? Their Overly Convoluted, Extremely Confusing, Doesn't-Make-Much-Sense Plan? At times, I feel like their only real plan is to have sex as often as possible. I find it kind of odd that supposed machines would have such an interest in the human biological reproductive process. I realize they wanted to have a baby, but good grief!

Anyways, all joking aside, I realize I am late to the party here, but great posts Jammer! I find most of your reviews to be spot on, and all of them to be enjoyable. Cheers :)
UADarthmaul - Tue, Jul 30, 2013 - 10:27am (USA Central)
Wait a second... people watched a show about rebelling robots chasing humans that jump through space for "realism"? Give me a break... I am more atheist than anyone I know... but religion was a huge part of the show right from the miniseries, and hugely present throughout the first season... were you people just not paying attention?
D. Albert - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 - 3:24pm (USA Central)
This is my first time watching the series, and I dislike the the lazy way in which the writers use Fate, Destiny, God, to patch up plot holes and poor planing in story line. I also dislike how the SciFi has degenerated into Space Opera and Space Fantasy.

The story is on the verge of becoming a cheap melodrama/spirit quest set in space. If it wanted to be Space Opera, fine. But instead of really delving into its own mythos, it just superficially exploits and banally borrows from various religious traditions. I'm see a very bad New Age bag of nonsense.

It could have dealt with the spirit quest in a much deeper and more appreciative manner, and actually learned something about the way the Ancient Greeks and Romans viewed their gods, how that view conflicted with their reason, and how it was eventually challenged by an alien monotheistic religion. It could have expanded on those themes and applied them to the advanced technological civilization of the Battle Star Universe. It could have had mystery cults as well. It could have really created an interesting, engaging, well though out spiritual/political universe. But instead it just slapped whatever Fate card was needed to move the plot -- such as it is -- forward. It relies on the viewers accepting Mystery -- but that is NOT what SciFi is about!



-- Learn

This overuse and reliance on deus machina




Not that
Michael - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 - 5:20pm (USA Central)
@D. Albert:
THANK, YOU!!!

You're the only one here who echoed and further articulated my own views about soap-operas, "spirit quests," and other such hooey infused into a sci-fi show to such an extent that it takes over. I also maintain that in a SCIENCE FICTION production SCIENCE comes first, whereas fiction comes second and is always in the service of science!

When I opined this a few times on the Star Trek: Voyager boards the others tore me a new one, accusing me of being shallow and failing to understand what they continually referred to as "character development." Oy!
Max Udargo - Thu, Jul 24, 2014 - 1:09am (USA Central)
@D. Albert

Excellent analysis of the fundamental problem that undermined the series at it moved along. The key word here is "lazy," I think.

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