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23 October 2006 @ 12:32 pm
BSG awesomeness  
Just because this past Friday's episode of Battlestar Galactica was so, so good, I'm giving it its own journal entry.  I posted comments at W-I, but am c/p-ing them here, too.  Under the cut, of course.

Battlestar Galactica: 3.04 - "Exodus" - Part II

Yeah, so this episode was all kinds of jaw-drop worthy. To me, it's one of the best overall episodes in the series so far, especially with regards to the action and story progression - the plot gets a swift kick in the ass throughout the entire hour.

To begin, we get what amounts to kind of an "oh shit" moment as Col. Tigh steels his resolve and takes care of the 'problem' that his wife Ellen has become. We assume he poisons her drink, as she keels over and stops breathing after she takes a few sips. Tigh is understandably fraught with grief immediately afterward, but this is further evidence of his devotion to the cause of the insurgency for human liberation from cylon occupation. Regardless of Ellen's intentions - that she did what she did out of her complete love for her husband - it was at too great a cost in the big picture. As Sam elaborated to Tigh, she could have ruined the entire operation and doomed all of humanity, so she needed to be dealt with. Harsh but true.

And we also see that, as the Commander's wife (and now a lieutenant), Dualla has grown some balls and speaks her mind a little more readily now. As Pegasus stays behind to safeguard what's left of the civilian fleet while Galactica prepares to begin what may be a one-way trip, her pep-talk to Lee is important to keep him focused on what's immediately pressing - even if he does defy orders and save the day later. Lee's entire countenance and ways of thought have changed over the last 16 months, and this time of crisis actually is a strong motivator for getting him back toward the soldier he used to be.

Which leads to the most bad-ass sequence of a space-battle ever attempted on this show - of which there have been several.

The plan to use a swarm of drones launched from raptors to pose as two battlestars jumping into New Caprica's orbit was awesome, and gave way to the first "holy crap" visual - as Galactica jumped straight into the planet's atmosphere, in order to directly launch a squadron of vipers to take on the remaining cylon raiders. When Bill said "prepare for turbulence", he wasn't messing around. The shot of Galactica free-falling through the sky, as friction heats up her belly and the vipers launch from their bays through flames was just spectacular, and ends as the the ship jumps away at the last moment while her heat trail/silouhette is still visible - fucking sweet.

The damage that atmospheric jump and free-fall caused was extensive though, and as a total of four cylon base-stars begin hammering Galactica, I got nervous and almost a little misty. It did not look good (although F/X wise - it was gorgeous), and Bill seriously thought his ship was going down for good. I kept repeating "Show up, Lee. Show up, Lee. Show up, Lee." - no joke - and then we see the shot of Pegasus charging in and obliterating the first base-star right away. I almost cheered, I swear to God. The fact that Lee knew what would happen to 'his' ship was evident, in order to protect the over-matched Galactica and give some cover for the colonial ships leaving the planet. As Pegasus is evacuated while just taking barrage after barrage of attacks, and Lee quietly says "thank you", I welled-up something fierce, and then almost cheered again as the ship - set on auto-fire as everyone abandons - rammed into a second base-star, annihilating it as both ships break apart. The kicker was the large Pegasus section - the viper launch-bay, I think - taking out yet a third base-star, as Galactica manages to jump away to fight another day. The entire sequence was only a few minutes long, but was just a beautifully scripted and shot series of effects and action. Frak it - yes, I was misty.

Back on the planet, we see that Sam's group of men have gotten inside the prison compound, freeing the humans there, and he ends up finding Kara, only to have her go back for Casey. When Leoben stopped her - which, we knew he would show up again - I just wanted her to kill him again, child present or not. Which, of course, she does, and manages to grab Casey, telling Sam she'll explain the "long story" later.

I was glad to see Gaeta finally make his move to kill Baltar. Even after his espionage (in secret) for the insurgency, him getting to take the shot would have been at least some mild retribution for the shitstorm Baltar's caused for humanity, and the crap Gaeta's dealt with as his aide. But this comes after Baltar's desperate plea with the human-cylons to just leave, to spare the city and not detonate a nuke. Gaeta really has no choice but to let him try to stop it - or they're all dead, anyway. Sadly, we see that Maia didn't make it to her evacuating ship, and Isis (Hera) is still there. At least Baltar had resolved to kill D'Anna, who was off to do just what she threatened - until they find Hera on the ground. D'Anna's dream/vision ends up coming true, and Baltar gets a reprieve as the cylons take him with them.

The reunion of the fleet and the civilians aboard Galactica was wrought with much emotion, both good and tragic. Lee and his father get to see each other again, after fearing neither would, and the crew gets to come "home", and Sharon Agathon makes it back to Helo - after her leadership and strategy was vital to their survival - she's easily earned her re-instated spot in the crew. Her eventual learning that Hera is alive will be absolutely devastating. Tigh is just a walking shell, after achieving his ultimate goal of liberation, but now living with the high cost and very personal sacrifice. And the killer moment was seeing Kara having to give up Casey to her real mother. Kara had just come to firmly believe Casey was hers - and risked her life to go back and save her - only to find out it was yet another mind-fuck by the cylons to break her. Which, by many accounts, they may have done, as she is just stunned and near tears as Casey's mother gratefully takes her out of her hands. If Kara had hatred for the cylons in her very core before this, I would imagine she's going to be relentless in her determination to kill them all after what she's gone through.

I just found this to be a fantastic wrap-up to the New Caprica arc. I'm liking the fact that the search for Earth is still a priority - it's what Lee and the Pegasus crew were initially ordered to do as they stayed behind from the fight. As Baltar is now among the rest of the cylons - on their ships - seeing that aspect of their day-to-day operations should be fascinating, too.

Frakking awesome television.

Tonight's schedule remains full with the returns of Prison Break and Justice (on its new night), and also Heroes, How I Met Your Mother, Studio 60, and What About Brian.  It's kinda sad how I'm welcoming a few repeats and hiatuses to get some breathers in the lineup.