Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Nightwing’s Latest & Greatest Status Quo and JSA’s Amazing History Of Will Everett

Sometimes reviewing comic books can be as much a curse as a blessing as there are some weeks when the words just don’t flow as easily as other weeks. This was one of those weeks as we had these reviews half written for days.

Yet for you our loyal reader, FanBoyWonder took a hit for the team and commenced to share our unsolicited opinion on the comic books we picked up for the week of Feb. 6. You’re welcome!

Nightwing #141

The Upshot From DC Comics: As the mystery of the disappearing bodies of heroes and villains continues, Superman pays Nightwing a visit. Meanwhile, Dick Grayson's personal life takes a few surprising turns, and a new base of operations for Dick gets under way with a little help from his super friends.

While other readers and reviewers were less than pleased with the bulk of this issue which set up Nightwing’s new status quo—the 3rd such set up in two years—we were quite pleased with this issue.

Although their gripe is not illegitimate, we think it helps to think of Nightwing #141—new writer Peter Tomasi’s second issue—as Nightwing #2.

That said, there were some aspects of this issue that worked for us better than others. The first few pages with Superman’s conference with Nightwing felt forced. What DID work for us on the other hand was the single page featuring Green Lantern John Stewart—architect to the DC Universe—along with the Justice Society of America lending a hand with construction and renovation of Nightwing’s new secret lair at the museum where Richard Grayson is the new curator.

Okay it was just one page but Nightwing and the JSA—YES!!!!!

We see what Tomasi is doing by using the admittedly plethora of cameos of different characters to re-establish Nightwing’s pre-eminent place within the DC Universe. As we see, Nightwing is the guy who is known by everyone and the guy for whom others will gladly go out of their way to do a favor.

Furthermore, Wally West/Flash’s appearance and the sight of he and Dick commiserating was a welcome but long overdue sight. These two former sidekicks are like two old World War II war buddies—they share a bond known by few others and fewer still could understand.

Perhaps DC should have rebooted the series with Tomasi making this Nightwing #2 in fact as well as in spirit but after the last few dozen issues of overmatched, under delivered or just plain incompetent storytelling, the Nightwing “brand” has been damaged to the point where a new Number One issue following the cancellation of the current series would NOT have been a given—especially given Dan DiDio’s recent editorial “hit” attempt during Infinite Crisis.

As always the art by Rags Morales and Michael Bair was top notch and it perfectly sets the mood.

Meanwhile this stolen corpse mystery really doesn’t float our boat as yet but given Tomasi’s efforts to renovate the house of Nightwing from down to the frame up, we’ll follow him on faith.

Justice Society of America #12

The Upshot From DC Comics: "Thy Kingdom Come" explodes as Jakeem Thunder returns! The Justice Society reaches out to the next wave of legacy heroes: the new Mr. America, Judomaster, Amazing Man and more! Plus, another face familiar to the Kingdom Come Superman makes his presence known.

What’s a writer to do when he has a book with more characters that one can possibly portray than in anything other than glorified cameo appearances? Go recruit even MORE characters. That’s the ticket!

There are enough JSA members standing around these pages to fill a second Justice Society book. But wait….there IS a second Justice Society book—JSA Classified. Too bad the second JSA title is being wasted telling instantly forgettable solo stories—usually of the same five characters—by junior varsity writers and artists.

While by no means bad, it just doesn’t feel like writer Geoff Johns, even co-plotting with Alex Ross, really has a firm grip on this book. Yet given he’s writing a few other DC books including Green Lantern which he has been hitting grand slams each issue of late, it’s not surprising that something’s gotta give.

Johns who usually is quite diligent to work within existing DC continuity (such as it is), this time he just pulls out of nowhere a second super-powered daughter of Black Lightning, as well as another grandson of Amazing Man.

Thanks to some helpful exposition from Power Girl to Kingdom Come Superman, we learn that Will Everett was more than simply the rare African American “Mystery Man” during World War II with the All Star Squadron but during the Civil Rights Movement on DC Earth, Amazing Man was second only to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X in importance.

A side note here to give kudos to Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway—the writer and artists respectively of All Star Squadron during the early 1980s for the creation of Amazing Man.

Will Everett was a good, if undeveloped character but given that the term “Black Super Hero” was almost an oxymoron back during the “Golden Age” it took a book published in 1982 to do justice to a Black hero circa 1942.

As a further aside, FanBoyWonder was in middle school when we read All Star Squadron and we credit Roy Thomas’ stories for educating us to some of the very basics of World War II history.
It was in All Star Squadron #31 that we learned that FDR “reluctantly” signed his executive order to imprison tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans who were neither charged nor convicted of a crime.

Roy Thomas also wrote a couple daring if understated issues dealing with racial unrest in World War II Detroit—Amazing Man’s hometown.

Given this history, we’re glad that Geoff Johns is giving Will Everett his props. Yet we are uncomfortable in mingling comic book characters and historical figures so closely. To the best our knowledge, Johns committed no historical slight to Dr. King or Malcolm X by allying the fictional Amazing Man to their accomplishments.

We can see a s**tstorm arising if a less competent, less historically knowledgeable writer attempts the same thing in the future and blunders. And don’t even get us started on Johns’ introduction of the great-grandson of FDR.

So far, Thy Kingdom Come has felt more like bait and switch as we are barely seeing Kingdom Come Superman but getting “legacy” heroes stuffed down our proverbial throat.

We’re looking forward to next issue with a more prolonged meeting between the two Supermen but we’re also bracing for a let down. It’s time to pick up the pace Mr. Johns.

Teen Titans Year One #2

The Upshot From DC Comics: The origin story of the Teen Titans continues as the focus falls on Aqualad, who must overcome his many phobias and get help above the waves when Aquaman goes rogue! Things aren't any better on land, as both Kid Flash and Speedy must confront the madness of the Flash and Green Arrow.

We have to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this book—both the writing by Amy Wolfram and the art by Karl Kerschl and Serge Lapointe is quite well done.

But as much as we love these characters—the original Titans—seeing these children of the Silver Age shoehorned into a post-millennial world it just seems odd to old readers like us.

That said it really is quite cute and anyone not saddled with so much comic book institutional memory such as ourselves we think will enjoy it a lot. We would go so far to say that this is a book we would happily allow Brianna the Girl Wonder to read without fear.

FanBoyWonder TV Spotlight: Jericho—Rising From The Ashes

FanBoyWonder has discovered a new favorite show of ours and we wish to spread the word about Jericho which airs tonight (Tuesdays) on CBS.

Here’s The Upshot From CBS: "Jericho is a drama about what happens when a nuclear mushroom cloud suddenly appears on the horizon, plunging the residents of a small, peaceful Kansas town into chaos, leaving them completely isolated and wondering if they're the only Americans left alive.

"Fear of the unknown propels Jericho into social, psychological and physical mayhem when all communication and power is shut down. The town starts to come apart at the seams as terror, anger and confusion bring out the very worst in some residents.

"Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich), prodigal son of the town's mayor, becomes a reluctant hero when a school bus crashes as a result of the explosion. Mayor Johnston Green (Gerald McRaney) is conflicted with the return of his estranged son, but is called to action when the town begins to riot. Johnston's wife, Gail (Pamela Reed), is the strong, savvy first lady of the town who runs interference between her husband and her favorite son.

"Attempting to usurp the mayor's power is Johnston's political adversary, Gray Anderson (Michael Gaston), who is not above putting his personal agenda before the welfare of the very community he wants to lead.

"Though the cloud appears in the distance, it affects all the residents in Jericho, including Dale Turner (Erik Knudsen), the 16-year-old trailer park kid everybody picks on, who finds himself in a position that could change his status; Robert Hawkins (Lennie James), a mysterious stranger who seems to be a jack-of-all-trades as he steps in to help restore order; Heather Lisinski (Sprague Grayden), a pretty young schoolteacher on the bus with her students returning from a class trip when the glare from the explosion causes a terrible accident; Emily Sullivan (Ashley Scott), Jake's high school sweetheart who lives outside of town and innocently goes about her business unaware of the catastrophe, Bonnie Richmond (Shoshannah Stern), a pretty 17-year-old who is hearing impaired; and Bonnie's older brother Stanley (Brad Beyer), Jake's best friend from childhood and an avid car lover who works on the family farm.

"In this time of crisis, as sensible people become paranoid, personal agendas take over and well-kept secrets threaten to be revealed, some people will find an inner strength they never knew they had, and the most unlikely heroes will emerge. "

FanBoyWonder caught the first four episodes of Jericho Season 1 last night during a mini-marathon on Sci-Fi Channel and we were hooked within the first half hour.

We were so drawn into this town’s struggle for post-nuclear holocaust survival that we totally blew off our normal 9 p.m. viewing of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Fox (we’ll catch up by viewing it on the Internet sometime).

What we saw of Jericho very much reminded us of Battlestar Galacticaa drama where nuclear holocaust and a community’s effort to maintain order and their humanity as society breaks down is only the backdrop but it’s the flawed and feeling characters that keeps us watching.

If Battlestar Galactica is basically an aircraft carrier in space then Jericho is Battlestar Galactica in Kansas.

The very fact that Season 2 of Jericho premiers tonight is thanks in no small part to original die-hard fans of the show who went “NUTS” at news of the show’s cancellation last spring—their outcry prompted CBS to give Jericho a second chance in the form of seven new episodes, as well as allowing Sci-Fi Channel to air Season 1 episodes in hopes of picking up new viewers.

It worked and we’re hooked.

As reported in today’s USA Today, the first-season cliffhanger, the start of a war between Jericho and a neighboring town, is resolved quickly so that the show can move onto new developments: the arrival of an Army major (Esai Morales) who changes the power balance in town; the return of Ravenwood, a malevolent private security firm; and the fate of an undetonated nuclear bomb, which is being hidden by Jericho mystery man Robert Hawkins.

Jericho Executive Producer Carol Barbee said she sees the new season as a fresh start, which she hopes will make Jericho inviting to new viewers as well as Season 1 loyalists. After a solid start in fall 2006, Jericho lost 2 million viewers when it returned last spring, but it could benefit now with so many competitors in reruns because of the writers' strike.

"I hope people will feel they can walk right in," Barbee told USA Today. "There are only a few things you need to know: We were attacked with a nuclear weapon, Jake's father was killed and Jake's not happy about it, and Hawkins has a bomb and people are looking for him.”

Jericho Season 2 premiere airs tonight (Tuesday) at 10 p.m. EST with Season 1 episodes airing on Sci-Fi Channel Monday’s at 10 p.m. (check local listings).

For more info, check out the show’s Website here www.cbs.com/primetime/jericho/

Monday, February 11, 2008

FanBoyWonder Mourns Steve Gerber—R.I.P.

FanBoyWonder was shocked but unfortunately not terribly surprised to hear just a couple hours ago of the passing of veteran comics scribe Steve Gerber.

As reported in Newsarama.com, Gerber passed way yesterday (Sunday) from complications due to a battle with pulmonary fibrosis while he was awaiting a lung transplant. He was 60 years old.

Given his lengthy and varied career in the comics industry, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Gerber we are honestly surprised that we had only just “discovered” him during his recent run creating the new Dr. Fate in DC Comics’ Countdown to Mystery.

As long time fans of Dr. Fate—including the most recent wearer of the golden helmet Hector Hall—we resented the change to another new Fate seemingly just for the sake of change. Yet Gerber quickly won us over with his rendition a Dr. Fate who was also named Kent Nelson, grand-nephew of the original Kent Nelson/Dr. Fate.

Gerber’s Dr. Kent V. Nelson was a flawed and broken man. He is the physician who could not heal thyself from clinical depression and acute alcoholism and it caused him to lose everything—his wife and child, his professional reputation and his will to live when he first encountered the Helmet of Fate.

One of Gerber’s last entries on his blog www.stevegerber.com/sgblog he had been working on the script for Countdown to Mystery #7 of the eight-part mini-series.

We can’t but help but be a little selfish when we hope that Mr. Gerber was able to finish at least the plot outline of his eight-part Dr. Fate story given what an impressive job he has done to date.

Yet if he did leave before his story was finished then perhaps that’s a metaphor for life—we all live our own story and even when we think we write our own script, the final edit is ultimately out of our hands.

FanBoyWonder would like to express our condolences to Mr. Gerber’s family and friends. Rest In Peace Steve Gerber.

Below is Steve Gerber’s obituary by Matt Brady at Newsarama.com http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=146401



After a battle with pulmonary fibrosis, acclaimed and beloved writer Steve Gerber died on Sunday from complications due to his condition. The news was confirmed by a close acquaintance.
He was 60 years old. Gerber was a comics fan all his life, having started the fanzine Headline in his early teens, and eventually finding work as a writer at Marvel in the early ‘70s, working under Roy Thomas. Amid the work that was coming out of Marvel at the time, Gerber found his own, unique voice which often mixed the usual superhero tropes with satire, commentary and an absurdist sense of humor.

During his early days at Marvel, Gerber is best remembered for writing The Defenders and Man-Thing, and of course, creating Howard the Duck and Omega the Unknown and having notable runs with many Marvel characters, from Shanna the She-Devil to the Guardians of the Galaxy, Son of Satan, and Tales of the Zombie.

In many ways, Gerber was 1970s Marvel. It was his unpredictable, groundbreaking work and strong desire to stray from the beaten path throughout the ‘70s that made Gerber a role model for the next two-plus generations of comic book and other writers, including Michael Chabon and Glen David Gold.
After leaving Marvel in 1979, Gerber became something of a journeyman in comics, putting in time with some of DC Comics heroes, but most notably, being present at the forefront of the “independent revolution” of the 1980s.
When it came to “mainstream” superhero comics of the time, Gerber was as loud a voice (or louder) advocating change and modernization as the legends of the day such as his friend and colleague, Frank Miller.
Many of Gerber’s larger plans did not come to fruition and, like many creators at the time who found that comics had seemingly passed them by, Gerber turned his attention to animation and television in the ‘80s, writing for Dungeons and Dragons, Transformers, Star Trek: The Next Generation (“Contagion”), G.I. Joe and Thundarr the Barbarian, which he created.
Following up on his independent work from the ‘80s, Gerber was one of the founders of Malibu’s Ultraverse, and for a period, found a home writing a handful of Image Comics titles. Gerber’s work throughout the ‘90s was an eclectic mix, always quirky and always very personal.
More recently, Gerber returned to Marvel to write a Howard the Duck miniseries for its MAX imprint. He had also recently returned to DC, where he had created the acclaimed series Hard Time for the publisher’s failed DC Focus line.
Since that time, Gerber had largely taken up residence in the DC Universe’s more “mystical” side, writing the Dr. Fate story which was contained in the Countdown to Mystery miniseries. Recently on his blog Gerber had been keeping his friends and fans appraised of his condition.
In an interview about Dr. Fate here at Newsarama in September, Gerber discussed his health with characteristic frankness and humor, saying:
“It’s just a fact of life, it’s something I have to deal with. Naturally, I’d be very happy if there were, you know, a ‘cure’ for this, but there isn’t. I’ve got fibrosis of the lungs, and it’s a…so far slow-but-progressive disease that, if not treated, will ultimately off me.
“I’m moving toward getting on the lung transplant list at UCLA. And, hopefully, I will have a newly-refurbished pair of lungs (laughs) to breathe with in a little while. We’ll see what happens.
“It’s almost funny…I really do have a sick sense of humor about some of this stuff. (laughs) Part of me wants to go for the sympathy ploy. Put a picture of me on the cover of Countdown to Mystery with a gun to my head, or a plastic bag over it, and the caption, ‘Buy this magazine or this writer will never breathe again!’ The old National Lampoon gag.”
Gerber’s last post on his blog was from a week ago, noting that he was working through the night on a Dr. Fate script. Newsarama extends its deepest condolences to Gerber’s friends and family. He will be missed.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Battlestar Galactica Season 3 DVD Coming In March

With the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica at long last poised to premier—on Friday, April 4 at 10 p.m.—the good folks at the Sci-Fi Channel and NBC Universal have seen fit to release the DVD of BSG Season 3.

Here’s the Upshot From NBC Universal: The adventure of one of television's finest dramas continues with Battlestar Galactica: Season Three from the immensely popular SCI FI Channel series, the Peabody Award-winning Battlestar Galactica.

The Colonies' survivors have found their hopes of eluding their Cylon pursuers dashed by an invasion and occupation of their new home. As the fate of all human life hangs in the balance, friends become enemies, enemies become unexpected allies, and decisions are made that will haunt some people for the rest of their lives.

Relive all 20 episodes of the season that challenges everything you thought you knew about the Battlestar Galactica universe. Presented in Dolby 5.1 surround sound, the 6-disc set features over 15 hours of extensive special features, including the DVD exclusive extended version of the episode "Unfinished Business" containing 25 additional minutes of never-before-seen footage.

Unlike the second season Battlestar Galactica DVD—which was halved forcing fans to shell out money for BSG Season 2.0 and Season 2.5 at about $50 a pop—this upcoming DVD is for the complete third season in one shot for only about $10 more.

Battlestar Galactica Season 3 DVD is scheduled to hit stores on March 18 with a suggested retail price of $59.98.

SPOILER WARNING—Read no farther if you wish to avoid spoilers about Season 3.

In FanBoyWonder’s modest opinion as someone who drank the ambrosia since the first hour of the 2003 mini-series, Season 3 was the best Galactica to date—in no small measure due the fact that by the end of Season 2—this new BSG had surpassed the original Galactica in terms of both seasons and number of aired episodes.

In a word, Season 3 was “dark”—like total eclipse dark. It started with (most of) the fleet under Cylon occupation on New Caprica with collaborators, suicide bombings, secret star chamber-like trials and summary executions and got decidedly darker from there.

Among the other bells and whistles the Season 3 BSG DVD includes the complete 10-part Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance—the series that “aired” on the Internet in 2.5 minute bites in the month prior to the Season 3 premiere.

Viewed as a whole, The Resistance featured two very ancillary characters—Duck (Christian Tessier) and Jammer (Dominic Zamprogna) as they followed very different but ultimately destructive paths.

Duck, grieving of the loss of his wife to Cylon occupiers, joins the resistance to eventually become a suicide bomber, while Jammer is in equal measure frightened, cajoled and persuaded into joining the New Caprica Police and thereby becoming a Cylon collaborator.

The Resistance was a nice preview for Galactica hungry fans between seasons but it was not vital viewing if you missed it. Yet the webisodes added so much context to scenes during Season 3—especially Jammer’s “trial” following the fleet’s Second Exodus from New Caprica and his execution (right out an airlock) in “Collaborators.”

During the last episode of Season 2, the BSG writers had jumped the series ahead in time by one year—a device that not only spared viewers watching the mundane tasks that would come with the fleet settling on New Caprica but the narrative fast forward forced the viewer to reorient to the new character dynamics as things occurred during the missing year.

Example: Starbuck (Katie Sackhoff) and Apollo (Jamie Bamber) were now both estranged from each other and also married to other people, while Starbuck and Col. Tigh (Michael Hogan), who once not-so-cordially detested each other, were now seen embracing like family.

Dramatically, Galactica was at its most powerful during the first half of Season 3 in dealing with the Cylon occupation of New Caprica, the Resistance, the escape and the aftermath—all of which consisted of the first quarter of the episodes this season.

With the destruction of the Battlestar Pegasus (taking three Cylon baseships with it) during Exodus Part 2, BSG had been returned to the show’s original status quo—a rag tag fugitive fleet and the last battlestar, Galactica looking for a mythical planet known as “Earth”—yet they were all so much worse for wear.

Kudos to BSG’s visual effects department for the kick arse battle scenes—Galactica jumping into the planet’s atmosphere to launch vipers was the coolest thing we’ve ever seen in sci-fi—as well as for the battle-damaged look of Galactica following so much cumulative pounding by Cylon weapons.

As good as Season 3 was, BSG clearly strained in its effort to produce a 20 episode season—helped not at all by the Sci-Fi channel’s programming decisions to pit BSG directly against all of the Network shows, and then to move Galactica mid-season to the Sunday at 10 p.m. time slot.

But when BSG cooked, it cooked. Mary McDonnell’s performance alone should have gotten her an Emmy Award nomination out of the deal for her always exceptional portrayal of President Laura Roslin.

Ditto for Michael Hogan who plays Col. Tigh should have not only gotten just a nomination but the gold statute itself for his performance in Exodus Part 2.

In the episode, Tigh is forced to deal with the fact that his wife Ellen (Kate Vernon) betrayed the resistance to the Cylons—to save her husband she says but the fact is her action got people killed.

Tigh had been the hard charger of the resistance, sending in suicide bombers and showing his enemy no quarter—and he couldn’t let this slide. So the Tighs’ most tender moment on screen became their last as Saul poisoned Ellen. As Tigh cried over his dead wife, it brought a tear to our eye as well.

One of clear stumbles in Season 3 was Hero which introduced Bulldog (Carl Lumbly) a pre-war Colonial pilot held prisoner all these years by the Cylons. His convenient existence and more convenient escape forced Admiral Adama (Edward James Olmos) to “realize” that it was HE who was responsible for provoking the Cylons into launching the genocidal thermonuclear sneak attack on the 12 colonies.

As an episode, Hero was a not ready for primetime and an idea that was too clever for its own good. The Eye of Jupiter two-part mid-season cliffhanger fizzled, as well. Another mistake was the soap opera love rectangle between Starbuck and Apollo and their hapless spouses Dualla (Kandyse McClure) and Samuel T. Anders (Michael Trucco).

The character of Starbuck suffered the most during all of Season 3. From her imprisonment and psychological torture on New Caprica and the aftermath following the Second Exodus, the Kara Thrace we all knew and loved was M.I.A. this season and replaced by a drunk, a malcontent, an adulterer and in the end, someone so toxic it was impossible to like or even feel sorry for her.

That is until the episode Maelstrom near the end of the season. This was the payoff where the viewer got to get into Kara Thrace’s head, watch why she is the way she is (it’s ALWAYS something to do with the mother), see her embrace her “special destiny” and her “death.”

That one episode and her appearance in the last 30 seconds of Crossroads Part 2 completely redeemed the abuse that Starbuck (and the audience) had endured by the writers.

Season 3 also allowed viewers to get up close and personal with the Cylons aboard one their baseships—from the point of view of former President Gaius Baltar (James Callis).

Watching Baltar being tortured by the Cylon D’Anna (Lucy Lawless) watching her fall for his “undying love” for her and the subsequent scene of Baltar, D’Anna and Caprica Six (Tricia Helfer) all sharing a bed together is—in a nutshell—what makes Gaius Baltar one of the best antagonist or anti-villain character EVER.

The second half of the season did suffer from the extended absence of the Cylon and their impending threat following the Eye of Jupiter but it was necessary as it helped re-establish the “phantom menace” mystery quality of the Cylon that only a long disappearance could achieve.

With no outside threat, the surviving members of the human race had time to turn on each other again. It was a mixed bag as Taking a Break From All Your Worries and The Woman King both fell flat while a Day in the Life and Dirty Hands clearly worked.

The latter two episodes both featured Chief Tyrol (Aaron Douglas) and he’s a big reason why the episodes worked. In Dirty Hands especially, viewers got to see how the other half lives as workers toiled to refine fuel and an unofficial but very real caste system has developed within the fleet.

Tyrol’s rise to preeminence as a labor leader was welcome and it was great to see near the end of the episode Tyrol being placed on equal footing in a scene with Mary McDonnell’s President Roslin.

The Trial of Gaius Baltar was in interesting diversion but we’re glad that the writers treated it for the sideshow that it was. Nonetheless, Lee Adama’s impassioned monologue during Crossroads Part 2 perfectly summed up the entire series up to this point.

Baltar, Lee argues, is little different than everyone else who went along with the Cylons rather than face summary execution by their occupiers on New Caprica. Lee further notes that following the second exodus from New Caprica, President Roslin issued blanket amnesty/forgiveness to all suspected Cylon collaborators.

Furthermore, then Commander Adama had once initiated a military coup against President Roslin and he was “forgiven.” Chief Tyrol and Helo (Tahmoh Penikett) murdered an officer on the Battlestar Pegasus (who was attempting to rape Sharon/Athena)—forgiven. Col. Tigh expended dozens of lives using suicide bombers on against the Cylons on New Caprica—forgiven.

“We’re not a civilization anymore, we’re a gang,” Lee says, as much to himself to the court. The 40-something thousand survivors of the human race are making up the rules as they go along all the while running for their lives everyday.

Jamie Bamber deserves Emmy consideration for a singular powerful performance in a season full of powerful performances by all of the different cast members.

With a Not Guilty verdict, Baltar is a free but still despised man yet someone with a Christ-like religious following now. We look forward to seeing how this plays out next season.

Yet the money shot comes in two equally stunning reveals. First that Tigh, Tyrol Anders and President Roslin’s aide Tory Foster (Rekah Sharma) are four of the final five Cylon models.

After all this time, the switch goes off just like that,” notes Tyrol.

This is indeed a shocker and it raises more questions than answers. The irony of this scene is that at the end of Season 2, Tyrol nearly had a break down fearing that he might be a Cylon and not know it—he was counseled by Brother Cavil (Dean Stockwell) who turned out to be a Cylon.

So this foursome is part of the final five Cylons—which means there is still one more “skinjob” unaccounted for.

We love the delicious irony that Tigh—the most rabid of Cylon-haters—is now a self-hating Cylon. But we strenuously disagree with the writer’s choice of Tyrol as a Cylon.

As one of the “knuckle-draggers,” Tyrol represents the everyman of the fleet and having just seen his aforementioned rise as labor leader, we did feel cheated by this.

Yet it all comes together in the last 90 seconds as Starbuck appears in a Viper next to Apollo. Seemingly back from the dead [We FRAKING KNEW that she wasn’t really dead!!!!!] a more contented Starbuck tells Apollo that “It’s going to be Okay.” She’s been to Earth. She knows where it is and she will take the fleet there. Holy Frak!!

The episode ends with the view of God point of view that starts with the two vipers and pulls back beyond the fleet to a quick zoom across the universe to the planet Earth.

With this incredible season ender, it’s been a long damn year waiting for Season 4 to pick up the story. We’re sad to this is BSG’s last season but it’s good that they will go out on their own terms.

So Say We All!
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