“Galactica” is not an action show. Ron Moore says this over and over in interviews, on the podcasts, at audience panels, probably even while he’s cleaning out the litter box. But as “Exodus, Part 2” showed, it isn’t that Moore and company can’t do action, but that they usually prefer to do other things.
Because this? This was like sixty straight minutes of “Hell, yeah!” Even though I expected most of the big action beats – the arrival of the Pegasus, Starbuck twisting the knife on Leoben one last time, Gaeta pulling a gun on Baltar – long before they happened, I still cheered them all. (The Kara/Leoben moment was especially tasty, because you knew she was playing him, knew he was too blinded by the crazy to see it, and knew that she was going to get out of that damn apartment for good.) I watched a version with extremely rough computer FX, but the image of Galactica descending through the atmosphere to get the fighters off so low to the ground was awesome even in the cartoony stage.
At the same time, there were almost as many chances to mourn as there were to applaud.
Tigh taking it upon himself to kill Ellen? Devastating. The Emmys are useless, anyway, but Michael Hogan deserves some kind of award for these first four hours. As if Tigh didn’t hate himself enough, now he has this on his conscience? Even if it may have been justified – and with the rescue attempt imminent, an argument could have been made to just bind and gag Ellen and deal with her back on the ship – you just don’t come back from having to murder your own wife, and for the crime of trying to save your own miserable alkie existence.
Katee Sackhoff was also superb, both in the aforementioned Leoben scene and the moment on the hangar deck when she discovered who Kacey(sp?) really was. A wee bit convenient that the poor kid’s mother happened to be right on Galactica at that moment instead of another ship in the fleet, but since I think we all knew Kacey wasn’t really her daughter, I’ll go with it.
That entire hangar sequence was just beautiful in its contrast of triumph and tragedy, of Adama and Lee hugging and being applauded while Saul walks off to be alone with his own pain and Kara stands to the side, unwilling to accept the full truth of what just happened to her. After having made peace with her own terrible upbringing and preparing to be a better mom to Kacey than her own mom ever was to her, someone literally snatches the kid away from her life.
Some other thoughts:
- “Damn you, Lee... Thank you, Lee.” Well, alright. I wonder if they teach you the whole “crash your Battlestar into a Cylon base ship at just the right angle that a big piece will fly away and crash into a second base ship” trick at the Caprica military academy. Now we know why Moore didn’t immediately get rid of the Pegasus the way the original show did, and I look forward to seeing the consequences of its destruction. This was the newer, stronger ship, not to mention the one with the facilities to build badly-needed new Vipers. So now the rag-tag fleet is down its strongest protector and the only place to have fun (Cloud Nine)? Something tells me the long journey to Earth is going to start feeling like those 8-hour road trips my family would take to Montreal where the only thing to pass the time was Mad Libs and the Geography game. Good times...
- Of course Roslin wanted to get away on Caprica One. That woman doesn’t mess around. Though, with Baltar gone, the ship technically belongs to Zarek, who was elected vice-president before the settlement.
- How horrible is Sharon’s meltdown going to be when she finds out that Hera is alive, and that the Cylons have her?
- Yet another parallel to Iraq/Israel/Northern Ireland/etc. with the scene where Baltar asks why the Cylons won't just leave, and they tell him that they can't afford to now because the humans are going to raise their children to hate Cylons, the cycle of violence will never end, yada yada. "Live and let live" seems to be a rapidly vanishing concept.