Sunday, January 15, 2006

Battlestar Galactica --Resurrection Ship Part 2

The Upshot: The battlestars Pegasus and Galactica go head-to-head with Cylon baseships in a battle that will change the face of the war. But for Lt. Kara Thrace, Starbuck, the real war is with her conscience, as she steels herself to carry out Commander Adama's order to assassinate Admiral Cain, while Cain independently and simultaneously has plotted to assassinate Adama.

Spoiler warning!!!! Read below at your own peril. If you missed BSG on Friday, Sci-Fi usually broadcasts an encore of the episode on Monday night at 11 p.m. E.S.T. (check local listings).

Two words: Holy Frak! A downed pilot, prisoner torture and dueling assassination plots all before the first commercial.

During the previous week ending the 3 month long cliffhanger we had to wait to see what would happen when Vipers from Pegasus and Galactica were poised to go head to head. The timely intervention of Starbuck in the new stealth viper with pics of the Cylon cloning ship was enough to pull the two sides back from sparking a civil war.

Starbuck's "crazy ass stunt" despite its easy way out of a tough plot spot actually works because it’s consistent with her character to date. We've learned that Pegasus also had a civilian fleet after the Cylon attack on the twelve colonies but Admiral Cain ordered the ships stripped for parts and the civilians left to die.

President Roslin, with only days to live from terminal breast cancer, lays it out for Adama: "you have to kill her." Adama asks Starbuck, his surrogate daughter, to carry out the hit and his son Lee, "Apollo," to watch her back.

Both Starbuck and Apollo are torn by what's asked of them. Starbuck respects Cain and Apollo can't belief his father and the president would cross that line. You can see Apollo's world falling apart as he's been demoted, transferred and his moral compass is upside down because the rub is...both Adamas are right. That is in a nutshell is BSG and why it is so great.

In my posts about the Stargates, I had been lamenting at the limited character development. On BSG, character is king. So much so when a major space battle and turning point in the human/Cylon war is little more than a secondary plot point as we wait for the two military leaders to take a mob-style whack at one another.

After a chat with Boomer the Cylon prisoner and talking about why the Cylons hate humans, Adama relents and pulls Starbuck back. Meanwhile, the Pegasus XO back out and doesn't order the hit squad of ready marines on Adama and crew.

Dr. Baltar takes a step away from guilt ridden madness toward embracing the Cylon dark side when he stops listening to the Number Six Cylon in his head and professes his love for the Number Six model held prisoner raped and tortured on Pegasus. Baltar helps her escape.

I won't give it all away but from the frequent commercial teases, it's not hard to predict that Admiral Cain is number one with a bullet.

Michelle Forbes, formerly Ensign Ro of Star Trek: The Next Generation, does a masterful job with the role she is given. Just when we think she is a total megalomaniac, she does or says something that we can't help but agree with. She did wrong things but not for wrong reasons.

What she represented was the path that Adama could have easily taken but fought hard not to. Cain's demise felt inevitable and premature at the same time. It would have been interesting to see the conflict between the two officers with similar goals--humanity's survival--but with dramatically different methods--continue to play itself out.

The episode ends with a clearly deteriorating President Roslin promoting Adama to Admiral and the affection and friendship between them is touching. Since Mary McDonnell is not said to be leaving the show, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for the cancer stricken leader. Stay tuned.


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