Friday, February 27, 2009

Battlestar Galactica, "Someone to Watch Over Me": Shoot the piano player

Spoilers for tonight's "Battlestar Galactica" coming up just as soon as I barter for some new soap...
"Let's make the most with the time we have left. Please?" -Boomer
Counting tonight's show, the time we have left with "Battlestar Galactica" adds up to five hours over four weeks. And I'm guessing that some of you -- maybe most of you -- aren't going to be happy that we just spent a good chunk of one of those hours on Starbuck re-learning how to play the piano.

And I might be troubled, too, if I didn't consider the characters -- especially people like Kara, Tyrol and Boomer, the center of this episode's two storylines -- at least as important to me as the mythology and the dogfights, and if I didn't feel fairly confident that the writing staff are explicitly saving the remaining seismic events for the Ron Moore-scripted finale.

For that matter, there's a lot more to "Someone to Watch Over Me" than piano lessons. The hour makes it pretty clear that Kara's father (first name starts with D, artistic temperament, either composed "All Along the Watchtower" or at least taught it to Kara) was Daniel, the missing eighth Cylon. It puts Hera back into enemy hands, revealing along the way that Cavil was willing to sacrifice Ellen in exchange for getting hold of the famous Cylon/human hybrid. And it tells us that the sentient Cylon goop won't be enough to hold Galactica's crumbling superstructure together -- especially not after Boomer's emergency jump, done too close to the big ship, sends massive shockwaves throughout the hull.

But let's talk piano lessons. This episode was written and directed by a trio of "Galactica" veterans: Bradley Thompson and David Weddle on script, Michael Nankin behind the camera. As Nankin did much earlier this season with "The Ties That Bind," he infuses this episode with the qualities of a nightmare. The montage of Kara going through the same routine (shower, pointless briefings about pointless recon missions for inhabitable worlds) makes it seem like she's just floating through her life at this point. She literally doesn't know who -- or what -- she is, the ship she loves is falling down around her, and like everyone else in the fleet, she probably suspects that she doesn't have much of a future. Kara Thrace is a frakkin' mess under even the most optimal of conditions; now that the end times are upon her, it's not hard to imagine her retreating into this fantasy(*) about her old man, and not even realize that's what she's doing.

(*) Now, is it a fantasy, or is it projection? I don't know that it's a coincidence that the other half of the episode brings us our first extended glimpse of Cylon projection in a while, especially if we're supposed to read all these clues about Kara's father as evidence that he's a Cylon and that Kara, not Hera, is the first human/Cylon hybrid. If Tyrol can project on his own with no real training -- and can do it without Boomer by episode's end -- then couldn't Kara be unwittingly doing that, assuming we're all right on the money about her true nature? Being a hybrid alone wouldn't explain the existence of a second, Extra-Crispy Starbuck that she and Leoben found on Earth, but I'm having a hard time believing she's anything else.

Now, whether or not she's a human/Cylon hybrid, Kara is definitely a hybrid of two cultures, daughter of an artist and a warrior, one who was very much leaning towards the world of the former until daddy ran away (or perhaps got boxed by Cavil?), and who then threw herself whole-heartedly into the latter. She's Starbuck, biggest, hardest, coldest bad-ass of them all, but her interactions with "Slick," and the glimpses we get of little girl Thrace playing next to her father, show us how much of Starbuck is an act of rebellion, and maybe even one of theater. No one would become that hard-core unless they were running away from the opposite lifestyle; she has to be Starbuck to prove that she's not daddy's little girl, that neither he nor anyone else can ever hurt her again. But we've seen from time to time, through her affairs with Lee and Anders, and through her relationship with Adama -- who replaced the father she believes abandoned her -- that Kara still has her vulnerabilities, no matter how she's worked to spackle over them.

With or without the "Sixth Sense" twist at the end, when you find out that Slick was never really there, and that Kara was playing "All Along the Watchtower" all on her own, with a little help from Hera's drawing (Hera, like Kara, is wired into the larger plan of the "Galactica" universe), this was still a wonderful showcase for Katee Sackhoff. We've seen the deconstruction of the warrior persona in episodes like "Scar" (also written by Weddle and Thompson), and before we get to the end, we get to see what made her that way.

Kara's story also worked nicely in parallel with the Chief/Boomer story, as both of them are characters who believed for a long time they were one thing, only to find out they were something else. And in the case of Boomer, I'm still not sure who and what she is.

Laura Roslin calls Boomer an emotional vampire, and based on the game she runs on Tyrol, and the emotional devastation she drops on Athena -- who not only has her baby stolen, but has to watch her husband obliviously have sex with the baby-stealer(**) -- Madame President is on the money. But how much of Boomer's behavior is her own at this point? Is there an independent Boomer at all, or is she being manipulated just as much by Cavil now as she was back in season one? We know Cavil has enough autonomy from the other models that he was able to pull off kidnapping his parents and erasing his siblings' memory of them; who's to say that he didn't arrange some kind of backdoor into Boomer's programming that allows him to pull her strings whenever necessary? It would explain why she sided against her line with Cavil to kick off the civil war, or even why she was so determined to hurt humanity on New Caprica when she seemed to so strongly identify with them in "Downloaded."

(**) There were complaints last week that the Tigh/Six/Ellen love triangle felt like a collection of soap opera cliches, and there's a part of me that felt that way about the Helo/Boomer sex scene, which was like the "Galactica" version of every evil twin plot ever done in daytime drama. But I thought the direction of it -- much of it shown from Athena's dazed point of view -- elevated it, as did the backstory. It's been established in the past that Helo has a wandering eye when it comes to other Eights, and also that only other Cylons can usually tell the identical-looking ones apart, so I bought that he'd fall for Boomer's ruse.

On the other hand, the idea that Boomer's mind isn't her own may not be that satisfying, especially with so little time left. There may be more revelations to come with her over the next four hours, but maybe she really was so soured by getting tossed in the brig and then murdered by Callie (who would then go on to marry the love of her life) that she's a willing and eager collaborator with Cavil.

Either way, she sure does a number on the Chief, who suffers a massive betrayal at her hands for the second time in the series. Aaron Douglas is one of those actors who seems to get better the less dialogue you give him, and so much of this episode's power was expressed through his eyes: the wave of emotion (half joy, half regret) at realizing that he and Boomer had a child in this fantasy life, the horror at discovering that he aided Boomer in kidnapping Hera, and, especially, the devastation at returning to the now-empty Picon house. Boomer's gone, the unnamed fantasy daughter's gone, and Tyrol's even still dressed in his flight deck coveralls, because the house is no longer the home he and Boomer might have built; it's just a fiction that he let himself believe too deeply in.

So, let's see where we are... Starbuck probably a half-Cylon, Hera missing, Galactica on the verge of disintegrating, Cavil ready and able to strike... Whatever reservations you may have about these most recent episodes, you have to believe that huge, huge things are coming over the last few hours -- and that few, if any, of the characters we love are going to make it out okay.

Some other thoughts:

• The hour was also an excellent showcase for Grace Park, who has me completely thinking of Boomer and Athena as different people.

• It's sometimes instructive to think of "BSG" as the show Moore would have wanted "Star Trek: Voyager" to be. The ship breaks down over time, supplies are hard to come by (they're down to the last tube of Tauron toothpaste in the known universe -- or, at least, the last non-irradiated tube, if Tauron's in the same shape that we last saw Caprica), and morale frequently breaks down. I saw a few publicity photos of Tyrol and Boomer in the Picon house and thought, "Oh God, I hope this isn't going to be like a holodeck episode," and while projection is sort of the "Galactica" version of the holodeck, it's not used as an excuse for goofy off-genre episodes, but for something much psychologically richer and more appropriate to the characters.

• They're starting to run out of new hairstyles for Tricia Helfer at this point, as Sonia, the Six who has apparently replaced Natalie as the leader of the rebel Cylons, doesn't look all that different from Caprica Six.

• Donnelly Rhodes still gets all the best lines as Doc Cottle, this week getting to dismiss the Cylon's suggestion of plugging Anders directly into their ship as "quack ideas."

• Slick was modeled on "Galactica" composer Bear McCreary, and at one point there was even talk of Bear playing the part, before everyone decided they needed a professional actor to play some of the emotional nuances off of Sackhoff, and cast Roark Critchlow.

• I loved the shot of Kara's marital tattoo in the mirror at the bar, with the reflection creating the illusion of the complete picture that's only supposed to exist when she and her husband have their arms entwined. She's all alone now.

• Tigh and Ellen mostly take a backseat after last week's drama, but we see how clearly Saul is hurting when he tells Tyrol, "We're all in Hell" and storms off to mourn Liam on his own.

Finally, Mo Ryan again let me piggyback on the questions she sent to the episode's writers, so check back here sometime tomorrow morning and hopefully I'll have some answers posted.

What did everyone else think?

104 comments:

MPH said...

While this episode had about as much plot development as last episode's, I really loved this one, though didn't much care for last weeks' Bickering Cyclons.

Shows great storytelling triumphs over bad mythology anyday.

And while it was fairly clear from the start that was Kara's father and that he was Daniel, have we established yet why Baltar can see Cylons via projection as well?

Also - fairly certain Galactica will be the "dying leader" at this point.

Anonymous said...

Excellent episode! After that lousy episode last week it feels like Moore and gang are back on track. Loved how everything tied together such as the extra food cases for the Raptors extended patrols introduced in the briefing scenes end up being used to smuggle Hera out.

Raz Cunningham said...

A lot of your comments were wonderful and insightful, as they always are, digging for that deeper meaning.

My only real question is just how "clear" is it that Kara's father is Daniel? (#7) If that's the case, then that's fine, although I think we, as the viewers and bloggers, analyze everything and look for these connections, that we might MIGHT be making this one ourselves. Its AN explanation of somekind (which would make Hera totally irrelevant as Kara would be the first hybrid, but again, i'm open to seeing it play out.

The song and the final five, hera and kara all some some connection now, what it is? no idea.

I expect that maybe Cavil will either attempt to dissect Hera now or hold her as a playing piece for the Final Five to rebuild resurrection and his threat to Ellen could have just been an empty threat and first part of the ploy.

I'm also awaiting answers for Roslin's visions, which may now have more screen time next week with her reactions tonight.

Anonymous said...

Now that the whole "Cylon Projection" element has developed, how does this apply to Baltar? It is quite clear that this is the same affect as ChipSix, which means that 1.) Six really is a Cylon chip implanted in his head; or 2.) Baltar is whatever Starbuck is.

Benjamin said...

I thought this episode was great. I don't have much to add. I've got no flaws here.

I do have one tech-ish bone to pick.

If a small ship doing an FTL jump close to Galactica is enough to bust a hole in it (in the same armor that has withstood multiple impacts from nuclear weapons), why didn't the Cylons ever just have a bunch of Cylon raiders do FTL jumps while flying in proximity to Galactica?

The magnitude of energy being released from an FTL jump, from a small ship like a Raptor, seems to come out of nowhere to me.

Plot and character-wise though, I thought the episode was great. I agree with the theory that Starbuck is most likely a Cylon hybrid, which could possibly explain would go a long way in explaining at least a component of how she's been able to resurrect.

Perhaps the fact that Hera and Starbuck are so important points to how essential it is that Cylon and human remain together rather than separate again.

Benjamin said...

Oh, I also want to add how gratifying it was for this BSG episode to rock so much after watching possibly the worst Sarah Connor episode of all time followed by a so-so Dollhouse.

Kensington said...

Hated to see the Chief go south like that. I understand, but surely he'll have to be locked up for his role in Boomer's escape. I don't see how it doesn't get traced back to him. Who else could they suspect?

Also, Michael Hogan broke my heart when he talked about "the little guy" and how his eyes were open, looking right at him.

jim treacher said...

That was pretty gods-damn amazing. To hell with the mythology mumbo-jumbo, here's the entire fleet trying to hang onto its sanity while their whole world is literally falling apart around them. Forget dilithium crystals, this boat runs on despair. I had it DVRed as usual, and I had to stop it several times because it was just too painful. I don't care about any characters on any show as much as these poor bastards, and sometimes it's just too much to bear.

Speaking of Bear. I thought maybe that was him, so I'm kind of disappointed that it was an actor. He was damn good, though. That little double take when Starbuck applauded him and he looked over and he realized, "Oh, frak, not her again," that was priceless.

Tigh's anecdote about looking into his dead child's eyes, trying to make a sick joke of it, trying play it off like the crusty old salt he wants everybody to think he is... Is there a better show than this on the air right now? Please give me a better show than this.

Aaron Douglas for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Series. I know it'll never happen, but it's just nice to see in print.

P.S. And it's not just toothpaste; it's Felgercarb toothpaste! I'd forgotten I ever even knew that made-up word.

Nicole said...

I liked this episode so much better than last week, even if it was probably just as talky. It worked because so many issues were raised, even if not explicitly stated, such as how does Cylon projection connect with Baltar's Head Six.

And I didn't catch a preview, but it did look like Laura might have dropped dead right at the end with Hera's departure. And with her joint opera vision with Six and Athena, could she be like Kara and Baltar and a hybrid herself? It was Hera's blood that initially helped her with the cancer.

And if Kara's dad is not Daniel, they really don't have many episodes to set up someone else.

Sean said...

I prefer to think that Boomer really is acting on her own now. Each season has been a different shade for her: Season 1 was about her betrayal, Season 2 was about coming to grips with her nature, Season 3 was her accepting that nature, and trying to atone for it, and the first half of Season 4 has been about her giving up on redemption, and just pushing Cavil's dogma because it made sense to her. But here in the 2nd half of Season 4, I think she's beyond even Cavil now, and she's doing bad things because she truly just wants to hurt everyone who has ever wronged her in the worst possible way - screwing with Athena, tricking Tyrol (again), hitting Adama where it hurts most (his ship), and kidnapping the supposed lynchpin of Cylon AND human future.

Amazing stuff with Kara tonight, though I did expect more. I thought Slick might have been a "visitor" like Head Six, like the people Anders said the Final Five saw before Earth got nuked, and what may well become the revamped version of the "Beings of Light" in the upcoming episodes. Kara's parentage notwithstanding, it still doesn't explain how she came back and I think it goes beyond any simplistic Cylon explanation.

medegnosj said...

Alan, did you catch that musical homage to the old Battlestar series, when ol' Slick was playing a "stolen" piano riff and Kara caught him..?

Nice touch, these writers (both in words AND in music).

William Kaminsky said...

Well, that was frakkin' tragic.

Maybe I'm just a sucker for beautiful actresses when they cry, but I thought the main thing that elevated the Boomer/Athena/Helo triangle was the utter agony with which Grace Park as Athena screamed and hit Helo as he held her after she finally escaped. Prior to this moment (and I suppose also the cue-the-waterworks moment when Grace Park as Boomer did the reaction shots to Tyrol fully enjoying their Pythia domestic bliss projection), I must admit I thought Ms. Park wasn't, shall we say, a terribly strong actress... at least relative to the rest of the cast. But those two moments convinced me otherwise.

On a nitpicking note, did anyone else think Helo sounded a little like a jerk when he issued the order "Call the CIC. Boomer's got *my* kid!" Dude! You got the physically and emotionally battered mother of your kidnapped child in your arms, and you have the gall to say *my* kid rather than *our* kid! I have a feeling Helo and Athena are going to need some major marriage counseling. :)

Dan said...

Um...I don't get that at all.

He's talking to CIC via an audio communication system and they can't see Athena.

I think a parent saying "my" kid is an incredibly common expression of speech. You've never heard that?

William Kaminsky said...

Uh, comment was made somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Oh, how I still cannot get words and emoticons to convey my thoughts accurately. :(

Anonymous said...

I thought this was very weak. Not because of the slow pace but because it was just so predictible. It was obvious the drawing Hera made was the notes Starbuck's vision was playing (although I must admit I did not realize it would be the "Cylon Song") and it was even more painfully obvious that the piano player was someone only Starbuck could see which made those scenes just draaaag.

I enjoyed the utter betrayl of Tyrol and found msyelf wishing that that was the focus of the episode and the wasted time with Starbuck end on the cutting room floor.

The other thing that bothered me is if jumping so close to Galactica caused so much damage, why didn't the Cylons have a Raider do that years before?

This series seems to move in fits and starts. A chain of greatness and then a couple of clunkers (e.g. the last two weeks). Here's hoping the gears shift next week :-)

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to apologize because many of my points had already been made but in fairnesss it was by people who liked the episode :-)

Weird BE said...

I missed it, but Chris Dahlen at The Onion pointed it out: The CD/tape/whatever from Starbuck's dad was an album title "Live at the Helice OPERA HOUSE"

Hmmm

Number Five said...

I say this every week, but...brutal. Just brutal. But also beautiful and haunting (Chief/Boomer more the former, Starbuck the latter).

It's a testament to how powerful Boomer's story is that they could bring back someone we had seen relatively little of since her "death" early in Season 2 but use everything we knew about her to show how she could find some initial amount of redemption with the Chief but then do all those horrible acts. I do think Boomer wanted to believe in the Picon house dream, but realized well before returning to Galactica it was cruel and unattainable (which makes Tyrol's initial revulsion more honest than his later joy, which is based on a certain level of deceit. Or is that too cynical?). Even the sweetest part of the first half hour, seeing the daughter in the projection, turned out to be a horrible foreshadowing.

I think it's important Boomer is doing this of her free will vs. a Cavil mind wipe. I guess she is bringing Hera to him, but I think under the assumption she'll get to raise her as her daughter. The key past scene is the Athena/Boomer/Caprica confrontation in the Eye of Jupiter episode (it ends with Caprica snapping Boomer's neck after she threatens to snap Hera's). It's like all the accumulated hatred between Cylons and humans has nested in Boomer, and she's especially driven to madness by the way Athena's life turned out.

Grace Park was amazing - all the Boomer stuff of course, but her primal rage as Athena when Helo held her was another great moment. Oh, and as much as my heart broke for Tyrol, he had killed a random Eight just to save Boomer, so even with his ignorance he committed murder. I liked the metaphor of committing his crimes in the darkness, both the murder and the brig switch.

Bear McCreary's phenomenal music has been a key part of the show going all the way back to the opening scene of Kobol's Last Gleaming. Piano music has been effectively used diegetically (Starbuck listening to her father's recording in her Caprica apartment) and non-diegetically (Baltar's stay aboard the baseship) and to see those combined here AND matched up with All Along the Watchtower AND Hera's connection was awesome. And while it was close to being a cliche, I liked that they had Starbuck find a tiny measure of peace without necessarily forgiving her father or everything that's happened to her. I guess the "music of the spheres" idea is extremely important now.

One minor complaint - I'm a bit annoyed that Roslin and Adama got to be right after Boomer, when I don't think from their perspective they should have known she had that capacity for evil in her. Maybe they were basing it off New Caprica or Athena told them what happened on the baseship, but to only mention shooting Adama suggests they're still hung up over that when it was a sleeper agent mechanism, not Boomer doing it. And is Caprica dead? I thought only the baby died last week, but I guess I was wrong?

Lots of other great small touches - like Alan, I thought the opening scene was great in that it combined the empty rituals we saw Adama going through (and another nod to real-life Naval operations) with the fever dream quality of Cally's final episode. A couple of good references to the mutiny thinning out the ranks and the new Quorum having been constituted. The idea that in the wake of losing Anders and Liam, the Final Five just want to be near each other but are sitting around without any direction like everyone else. And it turns out the bartender wasn't weirded out by Starbuck's excessive drinking but that she was critiquing a non-existent piano performer!

I love this show so much...how can there only be three episodes left?!?

Tyro.k.y said...

At this point there is nothing else to do but watch. There's only 3 episodes left, no? 1 next week on the 6th and the final two the following week.

groovekiller said...

I have a theory that I haven't seen mentioned yet about Boomer having sex with Helo.

Helo is the only confirmed human to have impregnated a Cylon. The #8 model is the only Cylon model to get pregnant and bring the baby to term.

Maybe Boomer just thought that it was worth a shot to get pregnant. If she were to get pregnant AND have Hera, she would be the most powerful person amongst Cylons & Humans.

Now why she had to show Athena that she was knocking boots with Helo? That's just because she's a straight up bee-yach.

Crystal said...

I loved how the entire episode lulled me into a calm, complacent state before blowing me out of the water. I thought the piano player was in Starbuck's head, and that Hera's drawing would, as usual, be significant. But I had no idea they were going to bring THAT song back right there, and the reveal washed over me in a cold chill. It made me realize what was going to happen to Hera. I think I've been programmed to make connections when I hear that song too. :)

Boomer's been off the deep end ever since she threatened to snap Hera's neck. She hates Athena for essentially stealing the life she had before she was switched on, and that whole scene with Helo was brutal because it was so personal. Athena punching Helo over and over afterwards was heartbreaking.

Did Hotdog survive the blast in his Viper? Are we going to have a ComaPrez for the next couple eps?

Master Prudent said...

Boomer wasn't keen to hurt the humans on New Caprica: She stood by Six in the meetings and opposed Cavil's desire to use more forceful tactics. She also tried to help Cally after Jammer told her about Cally's imprisonment.

It was only after her failure to raise the baby that she began to resent Athena and the humans. (My biggest disappointment with s3 is that much her post-New Caprica arc was cut.)

ACyclcUniverse said...

Wow. What an amazing episode.

One small nitpick before I go on my theory spiel: I'm not entirely sure we're supposed to assume that Kara's father was Daniel.

In fact, I think that he's something different altogether.

My personal theory regarding the overarching course of the show and its backstory is this:

Throughout time, the Cycle has always been. It has continued to barrel forward, bringing Genocide after Genocide, Re-Birthing after Re-Birthing, Diaspora after Diaspora, only to repeat the process when the sands of time erase all signs of its existence.

Throughout this Cycle, the 'head characters' have attempted to break the pattern and end the suffering. As far as we know, they tried on Earth, (Anders mumblings about 'Messengers' in No Exit) and failed. So they prepared the Final Five to make their celestial journey to the 12 Colonies, in the hopes that there may still be time to abort the destruction.

But once more, they failed. It had already begun with the First Cylon War.

So, 40 years later, as yet another holocaust approached, Head-Six appears to Baltar, manipulating him into varying positions of power until he finally assumes a religious significance in Season 4.

Head-Baltar similarly manipulates Caprica into convincing the Cylons that their willing compliance in the slaughter was a mistake.

Kara then experiences her own head character with Head-Leoben. Later, however, we find out that it was never Leoben at all, simply a mysterious entity meant to guide her on her path to fulfilling her destiny.

I propose that Kara's father, seen in this episode, is that very same entity. And now, he's had her play "All Along the Watchtower", a theme composed and heard only by Cylons.

And what is the purpose of all this manipulation? The blending of the two races, Man and Machine, and thus the ending of the Cycle. Baltar accepts the Cylon God, Caprica delivers empathy for humanity to the Cylons. Kara dies, is resurrected, and becomes something new, neither Human nor Cylon, further blurring the differences. And now she's playing a Cylon song.

Who should also know that song? Who is it that draws it, pulling from the ether yet another moment of chilling clairvoyance?

Hera. Hybrid. The Shape of Things to Come.

That's my 2 cents, sorry for leaving a novel! Great recap as always, Alan, it's become part of my BSG routine to check in here after every episode!

Anonymous said...

Number Five: Oh, and as much as my heart broke for Tyrol, he had killed a random Eight just to save Boomer, so even with his ignorance he committed murder.

I really didn't think that Eight was dead. Just very unconscious. However, I was briefly annoyed that Tyrol seemed to be setting that Eight up to be executed. Either way would be out of character, I think. Of course, when Athena recognized Boomer, it dawned on me that the Cylons, too, would recognize the Eight in the brig as not-Boomer, and Tyrol would know this. So, long story short, I'm satisfied that he is not by any means a murderer.

In conclusion, this was a fantastic episode.

Mrglass said...

What the frack!? - Tigh

Indeed.

So, that's how it's done. Let other people wonder why the last two episodes were relatively bad. I for one am glad that it looks like Galactica will finish very, very strong.

The sense of loss and despair was almost overwhelming through this episode, but it just felt right. Kudos to everyone involved.

Tyroc said...

Such a dark episode. Such a wonderful episode. Kudos to the entire writing staff for this baby (yes, some get the written by credit but TV writing is almost always collaborative.)

Bravo.

Bravo.

Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Great episode. A couple of people nitpicking on the FTL distortions doing damage to Galactica. Ummmm. The point is GALACTICA IS WEAKENED DUE TO WEAR AND TEAR and now can't put up with that kind of stress! Have you not been paying attention?

xyz said...

With this episode BSG has finally gotten its equivalent to Jack's tattoos episode. I am usually never bored by this show but this was like watching paint dry. Watching someone learning to play piano over the course of an hour is not interesting. Tyrol's stupidity continues to amaze me. What a bonehead! What he did tonight was something Peter Petrelli would do. I don't like any of these characters (except Helo and Anders who are all kinds of awesome) with their self-destructive behavior I could care less what happens to them. And by the way where is all this endless supply of alcholol coming from? They have run out of toothpaste but alcohol is as abundant as ever even though the characters drink like homeless drunks every episode. Let's hope they were saving budget in this episode for a kick ass finale. I didn`t wanna come across as this negative, I really like this show but these self-indulgent episodes esp this late in the game are not cool. The girl who plays Hera is totally adorable... as cute as a button!

Anonymous said...

As an opening comment, did anyone notice that on Kara's Dad's album or cd cover it said "Live at the Opera House?"

I know people have had mixed reactions about this and other Season 4.5 episodes but overall I have liked to loved them. This one is no exception.

I do not think that the writers are going to tie up every loose end nor answer every question. Instead, I think they are trying to "close the loop" - go back to the beginning (the mini-series).

Tonight was Boomer/Tyrol and Kara time. In the miniseries and most of season 1, Boomer and Tyrol had a hot but forbidden love affair going on (officers are forbidden to have sex with knuckle draggers). Once again they are venturing into forbidden territory - a love affair between someone loyal to Galactica and an enemy traitor.

Notice how the fact that they are both Cylons now is irrelevant. In Season 1, Tyrol rejected Boomer because she was a Cylon and a traitor. Now towards the end of the series, Boomer leaves Tyrol despite the fact that he is a Cylon and could be considered a traitor.

Kara had many resolutions tonight. In Season 1, we are told that her mother was abusive to her. Perhaps it was because of how her father left and more importantly, how much he clearly adored her. We also have a better understanding of where her artistic side comes from. Also, as someone pointed out, in the miniseries, we are introduced to a hard-nosed warrior. However, over time and now especially towards the end, we are seeing the duality of her nature - the softer, more romantic, artistic, caring side. I think that Kara is a hybrid but even if she isn't the complexity of her character does make her special and a great candidate for the special destiny that her mother always talked about.

To me, tonight and the earlier episodes have driven home the fact that being a human or cylon is irrelevant. It is the quality of a person's character that determines their worth and whether or not they are good or bad.

Anonymous said...

I was a bit disappointed when, a couple of episodes ago, Boomer saved Ellen. Although oddly satisfying (I want Boomer to be good), to me it seemed too predictable. Now we know her true motives and I'm glad to previously have been deceived. But now, I feel bad about Boomer again. Can she be saved?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Weddle and Thompson confirm that Slick is supposed to be Kara's dad (but not whether he's a ghost, or a head character, or a projection) in the combined e-mail interview Mo and I did with them.

Adam said...

Watched the original mini-series the other night and was struck by how much everyone aged in 5-6 years. Most notably Sackhoff. Originally I wasn't a fan of either Starbuck or Sackoff, but we've sort of watched Starbuck and Sackhoff become a woman on the show, she's a much more engaging character now, making this episode much better then it would have been three seasons ago. I thought the "evil-twin" plot was very Shakespearian, as is much of the shows writing. All and all, I loved it. BSG has a sign wave of tempo (necessarily) we had a HUGE up, need a little slow hill to climb before the big roller coaster plummets again. I have faith that as good of a narrative as its been, it will conclude well (which I agree with Alan means a lot of people are likely not to make the whole journey).

belinda said...

I loved this episode. Maybe it was really sappy and soap opera-ish to some, but I was left very satisfied at the end of the episode.

It was heartbreaking to see the Chief at the end in his empty projection house. I don't think the Chief can make it through all that, can he? He seems emotionally decimated, kind of like Adama.

Boomer as evil. Totally didn't see that coming, even though all signs point to her betrayal at the end. I guess, like the Chief, it was hard not to remember Boomer as the old Boomer. Though I think I'd be more satisfied that Cavil didn't manipulate her programming and it was all the doings of Boomer (and not to pigeon hole in yet one more thing Cavil's guilty of causing).

I didn't like the Starbuck portion of the episode as much, because it still fails to explain exactly what Starbuck is (Yes, so the pianist/Daniel is her dad, but that doesn't explain how she was alive, but I suppose we'd get to that soon enough), but on an emotional level, it hit all the spots.

Joey from Jersey said...

Loved the episode and how Kara and Chief's stories thematically mirrored each other (both longing for happier times w/ a loved one, and chasing an uncertain future where happiness likely won't greet them).

It seemed to be a microcosm of the series, or Galactica anyway, so I thought it fitting as one of the final episodes. It made me feel happy and sad @ the same time.

Mrglass said...

Just to add: why didn't Starbuck recognize her own father?

mjryan said...

It's been established in the past that Helo has a wandering eye when it comes to other Eights, and also that only other Cylons can usually tell the identical-looking ones apart, so I bought that he'd fall for Boomer's ruse.

Those are excellent points and you've almost convinced me. I still think it was a cheap direction and makes Helo look like an idiot.

Rob said...

Re: Voyager - I always felt that way about how the show handled the Pegasus. I was annoyed back in the day how the whole Equinox plotline was shoveled away, never to be referred to again. I guess Ron Moore was, too.

Anonymous said...

After watching possibly the worst episode of the series last week, it was great to see BSG return to form, and to be reminded of how compelling and profound this show can be. Although some people seem bored/exasperated with the Starbuck piano scenes, I thought they were beautiful and watching Starbuck struggle with painful memories of her dad and childhood was a top 5 Sackhoff acting moment for me (and something she would not have been able to pull off 4 years ago).

2 points to consider:

1) We’ve seen Chief on the brink of suicide before. Now that he realizes that he helped Boomer kidnap Hera, is it possible he’ll actually do it? If so, then this will be the first death among the Final Five, and we may get some answers about if/how they resurrect etc.

2) If, as someone has implied, Head characters and projection happen only for Cylons and possibly Hybrids, then is it possible that Baltar is also a Hybrid? We hear him mention his parents and growing up on one of the poorer planets but it’s always possible he was adopted, especially since he feels so disconnected from his family. If so, then Baltar as Hybrid would finally provide the character with some purpose, since I’ve felt the writers really haven’t known what to do with him since the end of his trial. Also, we see Adama “project” in a way in “A Day in the Life” when he recalls his wife and marriage. Could Adama be a hybrid too?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, re the first point above. I meant to say “If so, then this will be the first death among the Final Five since the Resurrection Hub was destroyed, and we may get some answers about if/how they can resurrect now etc.

JD said...

Great episode, I loved it and feel comfortable that Starbuck is a hybrid like Hera since they share the Bob Dylan/Cylon song memories. But also, have you noticed Kara has loved both a Cylon (Anders) and a human (Lee)? Seems almost like something Lost would do.

It was also nice to see Helo incorporated more into an episode since he was probably off filming the Dollhouse show during the earlier episodes.

Steven Q Stevenson said...

I find it absolutely bizarre that somebody said last week was the worst episode of the series. I guess I can understand not liking it, but to say it's worse than say, the black market episode, is mind boggling to me. Personally, I have loved every episode in 4.5 so far.

My favorite sequence last night was the All Along the Watchtower on the piano.

So let's see, we know that Anders used to play it on Earth. So I suppose the assumption has to be Anders taught it to Daniel, and Daniel taught it to Kara?

The only thing I wonder about now is if there is any actual connection to the real life All Along the Watchtower, written by ol Bob Dylan, or if this is set in some sort of alternate universe in which Anders is the Bob Dylan of BSG World.

Anonymous said...

Now that we understand the origins of the final five, the idea of Baltar being a hybrid is highly possible.

Personally, I think at the end we are going to find out that all humans are hybrid - they all come from descendents who intermarried (Cylon and Humans on Kobol). Some are more Cylon than others. Some are more Human than others. All due to the intermingling over time but ultimately, at a genetic level they all come from the same stuff -human/cylon mix.

If this is true, I think that the writers may be making a social statement about race relations and race wars. Down through the ages, there are people that say they are pure this and pure that and therefore, superior. However, scientists have recently shown that all of us living today come from mitochondrial Eve so we all have the same genetic (DNA) origin.

Moreover, the intermingly of race has been going on for centuries so no one is really a 100% white, black, asian, etc....Maybe this is why hybrids like Hera are called the future - no distinction between Cylon or Human so race will not be the catalyst for violence in the future.

Girl Detective said...

I loved last night's episode. Remember way back on Caprica when the Cylon doctor confronted Starbuck about the xrays showing broken fingers/abuse from the past? What "better" way to punish poor Kara for the departure of her pianist father than to break her fingers. *shudder*

I felt (and still feel) terrible about the Chief, and harbor a non-realistic hope that Boomer is gonna double cross Cavil too--she's clearly operating way out of everybody's orbit.

I've suspected Kara was a hybrid since her visit to Caprica. I think it's likely there are others out there--Baltar, Adama, etc. That still doesn't explain her resurrection, though. That's going to be a huge reveal that I hope will feel satisfying.

K J Gillenwater said...

I think I read all the comments pretty throughly...and I don't think I read any mention of the president's failing health related to the snatching of Hera. Did anyone think that her health was directly related to the presence of Hera?

What does that mean exactly? Is she dead? It seemed to me at the very end of the episode that she had died. But maybe I was tired and missed something indicating she was still alive?

I still believe at the end we will end up with just a handful of live humans/hybrids/cylons left to start a new world somewhere.

kishkeking said...

I really enjoyed this episode; maybe I watched it too late last night, but I totally bought that the piano man was real until I re-watched it again this morning. Since it was revealed that there was a number 7 cylon, I firmly believed him to be Starbucks dad and last night certainly seems to support my theory. We saw that his tape was recorded live at the opera house. Could it be that the opera house was where Daniel was taken away and boxed by Cavil? It all makes sense (well, not really) and that’s why I’m thinking right now that Daniel as Kara’s dad is too easy and too obvious. I give up and can’t wait for the final episodes. There is one thing that maybe others can tell me. I thought that when Ellen resurrected all her real memories returned. If that was the case, wouldn’t she know who wrote “Watchtower”? She seemed as confused as Saul and Tori when they heard Kara playing the music. If her memories had indeed returned wouldn’t she have said “oh my god(s), that piece was written by our poor boxed Daniel.” I guess that’s why I’m getting confused again.

Charles said...

I thought I posted this earlier, but can't find it now, so apologies if this shows up as a double post.

Couple thoughts:

-I've always assumed it was "Piscon," with a silent "s," i.e., a derivative of Pisces, in keeping with Sagitarron, Caprica, etc. Ya gotta make that "s" silent, otherwise it's pronounced Piss-Con, which sounds like a bedwetters' convention.

-I'm really starting to feel that Daniel is both Starbuck's father AND the "good" God in the Machine who is manipulating events from offstage, in much the same way that Cavil is the offstage "bad guy" orchestrating the bad stuff.

If this is the case, then Daniel would be the one who:

-Resurrected Kara after she died in Maelstrom. Meaning he has working Resurrection technology. (Perhaps on The Colony, which one of the writers hinted may not be a planet, IIRC.)

-Supplied Kara with a pimped-out new Viper, and loaded her up to re-connect with the fleet

-Fed the musical cue to the Final "Four" in Crossroads

-all the other stuff I can't remember now.

Some one or some thing is out there manipulating events . . . and Daniel seems like a likely candidate to me.

Number Five said...

Anonymous wrote: I really didn't think that Eight was dead. Just very unconscious.

I assumed she was dead because she had the open eyed look, which in TV visual language usually means dead. It would also be another parallel to Anders and Liam and open eyes (although of course Anders is still somewhere in the "space between life and death").

Alan wrote: It's been established in the past that Helo has a wandering eye when it comes to other Eights, and also that only other Cylons can usually tell the identical-looking ones apart

I'd characterize it slightly differently - I think we saw Helo being unnerved by the fact that a random Eight could rub his back in the same way Athena did, followed by her revelation that she had access to Athena's memories. I'm glad they kept the evil twin sex scene in (in the interview they said it was cut and then put it back in) because it took the idea to its logical conclusion, with devastating consequences for Helo and Athena. Of course they love each other very deeply, but if Helo couldn't instantly tell Boomer wasn't Athena, and there's an entire line of Cylons out there with access to Athena's memories, what does it say about their relationship? It's another twist on the questions of love and identity BSG has grappled with from the start.

kishkeking wrote: If her memories had indeed returned wouldn’t she have said “oh my god(s), that piece was written by our poor boxed Daniel.”

I think Anders wrote the song and Daniel maybe learned it from him? But yeah, Ellen should know that. I understand not dealing with it in this episode, but hopefully Ellen will speak up about what she knows in general next week.

K J Gillenwater wrote: But maybe I was tired and missed something indicating she was still alive?

The editing of Roslin's collapse was a bit rushed. I read so many BSG blogs/reviews I don't remember where this was suggested, but I like the idea that Roslin will slip into a coma and join Anders (and others?) in the space between life and death. and I agree with Raz Cunningham that next week will go in depth into the visions.

Speaking of those visions, looking back at who's in them, I wonder if it turns out we saw something different. Is that really Athena in the Opera House...or is it Boomer? And she's the real threat to Hera, not Caprica Six or Baltar. Now, Athena had the vision too, so maybe it really was her in there. But maybe it had a different meaning than we first thought, kind of like Starbuck leading humanity to its end.

Finally, amen to everything jim treacher said.

Anna said...
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Anonymous said...

Mrglass said...
Just to add: why didn't Starbuck recognize her own father?

MY QUESTION EXACTLY, like if that is her father, wouldn't she look over and recognize him? I don't get this part, some one please 'splain it real slow for me! Thank you.

(I loved the episode totally, btw)

Anna said...

Evil Boomer? I'm sorry, but NO. Even since being with Cavil, it was never because she was evil. It was because she was depressed and angry and wanted to kill her insides. The idea that she would manipulate and screw over the Chief is ridiculous to me.

Also ridiculous:

That the Chief wouldn't escape with her, especially after just last week when he voted to leave the fleet with the cylons while having absolutely nothing to gain from it.

And that Hera couldn't recognize that Boomer was not her mother. Forget Helo not realizing she wasn't his wife (which I guess I can't fault him too much for), but it was established that Hera was able to distinguish Athena from Boomer when she was a baby. But now she's suddenly lost that talent?

I don't think anyone will ever be able to convince me that that storyline made any freaking sense.

Joe said...

There's nothing to say Hera didn't recognize Boomer wasn't her mother. Hera is, however, a 3 year old child, and has no reason to conclude that Boomer is dangerous or even anything less than friendly.

Boomer also isn't "evil", but her loyalties no longer lie with humanity or the fleet. She may have been conflicted in the past, but she accepted her role as a Cylon and she chose her side, and she sides with Cavill. I don't believe her feelings for Chief are less than sincere. Before she left on the Raptor she said something to the effect of "Later, I want you to remember that everything I said, I meant from the bottom of my heart."

As for Chief not going with her, he may have wanted to go with the rebel cylons, but to go join up with Cylons who actively want to fight against and destroy Galactica, that's a different story.

Cylon Pete said...

yeah, hera hardly ever even speaks. What's she supposed to do, say "Excuse me pre-school teacher, this cylon isn't my mother, it's actually Boomer, who has apparently escaped from the brig! Please contact the CIC and kindly alert Admiral Adama that something sinister is afoot." ?

Anna said...

Or, you know, she could start crying or screaming when she recognizes the woman who once tried to snap her neck.

Mo Ryan said...

I loved last night's episode. Remember way back on Caprica when the Cylon doctor confronted Starbuck about the xrays showing broken fingers/abuse from the past? What "better" way to punish poor Kara for the departure of her pianist father than to break her fingers. *shudder*

Outstanding point, Girl Detective. How awful. No wonder Starbuck had to develop so many layers of armor. Her beloved father, who taught her to play the piano, leaves her. Then her abusive mother breaks her fingers. Gods.

Word to Jim Treacher's comments also.

A few people noted in my comment area that I didn't write about Roslin's collapse. It's because I can't even deal with what may be coming -- just speculation here -- for Roslin. Or for the Galactica.

Eric H said...

I hear you, Mo. And I don't even want to think of where the old man will go if he loses either of his "old girls." That said, I will be very surprised if this means the immediate demise of Laura -- if for no other reason than BSG cliffhangers like this very rarely turn out how they first appear.

Pandyora said...

Fantastic episode. Great direction by Michael Nanikin and Bear McCreary's score was simply outstanding.

I know RDM and company claim to have some sort of master plan, but I can't help think that the prevalence of musical oriented plots over the last two seasons (e.g. the Dylons in Crossroads Part 2, Gaeta's Lament in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner) reflect confidence in the talents of Bear McCreary.

Random thoughts:

- A little disappointed that Helo can't recognize his own wife, especially given there must have a whole bunch of Eights wandering around since the alliance.

- Nice touch including a row of Sixes in the CAG briefings. I wished we had seen a bit more of this integration before the mutiny plot took off.

- Are we to infer that Roslin is simply grieving or has had some sort of serious medical complication?

Anonymous said...

Number Five: I assumed she was dead because she had the open eyed look, which in TV visual language usually means dead.

Hmm. I've rewatched that scene, and I think her eyes are closed. They may be swollen from bruising, making them look partially open... I'm not sure, though.

Anyone else? I'd sleep better knowing that Tyrol is not a murderer (though not off the hook for what he did, of course).

Anonymous said...

I think the song is a key of some sort, like a constellation map or a trigger. I believe Daniel is alive or undamaged eithrer is in a location to be revealed or has been watching them all along.

The fact that Hera knows the song or its representation means she was implanted with the information. How did she get it? Maybe its genetic in all hybrids, maybe they can download it when the are born (from where ?) The fact is that she specifically gave it to Kara, me be is not by chance. In all this was a good episode and sad casue as another poster pointed out you can really see the effects of diminishing supplies, low esteem and the depression like if you have been working at a crappy jo way too long.

--Vini

a-Ron said...

- it isn't a stretch to think that a child who lost their parent at such an early age wouldn't recognize their parent as an adult. especially a child who ended up mired by such trauma. it's absolutely believeable.

- even if daniel is starbuck's father, that doesn't neatly explain everything away; mostly the resurrected viper and its ability to detect the signal from her prior one...plus a handful of other mysteries surrounding her.

- they're making it increasingly obvious that there is some outside force orchestrating some of the bigger arcs and themes. i think they're making it so obvious that no theory can be plausible unless it accounts for the intention of this outside "force": it seems possible that the six and baltar who take the child in the opera house are actually head-six and head-baltar, tools of the greater force. it seems possible that starbuck, baltar, lee, the old man and roslin all share some unique and special qualities necessary for the force's plot. starbuck for the obvious reasons, baltar for head-six and other reasons, roslin for her visions and connection to hera, lee for his possible ability to project demonstrated when he was floating in space, and the old man for his possible ability to project seen on the anniversary of his previous marriage. these last two might be somewhat of a stretch but i think the old man's is more plausible since his wife did talk back to him in his little visions or whatnot.

- no one is talking about the "lost" colony referred to by cavil when talking to ellen about resurrection technology. no one on in bsg and not enough people here. it was said with such casualness and never mentioned again that it seems almost too easy to forget.

- i definitely believe bsg will find some way to tie the show into earth as we know it, right here - right now, just like they ended the original series in some way. this could very likely be the "lost" colony. it could tie in somehow to both the outside force and cycle they keep drilling into our heads. hell, for all we know, head-baltar and head-six and the external force have their roots on our earth.

- i was started to get annoyed with the pace of the latest episodes but some have given good reasons as to why what they are doing is not only necessary but also going to be beneficial to the culimination. this episode was incredible for bringing things back into swing and the most honest parts of the episode were athena's outburst against helo after everything came into light, the childlike affection on starbuck's face as the audience realizes the nature of the piano player, and tyrol's reaction when he realized boomer had taken hera. impeccible acting.

a-Ron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
a-Ron said...

oh another thing - i didn't recognize the song that starbuck was playing as the one that "activated" four of the final five(the one anders played on earth) but rather the song that was playing in the final scene of crossroads pt. 2, when lee ends up flying next to "resurrected" starbuck's viper.

did i miss something...were those songs the same?

Kalin said...

It doesn't smell right at all. The writers have spent the last half-season systematically eliminating any competition for the special place in the mythology Hera held: the Tyrol-Callie non-love child & Tigh's "little guy." One of which - the latter - was extremely awkward in its overt retroactive rewriting.

So now, all points lead us to believe that Kara is a hybrid, essentially making meaningless all that world to ensure Hera's uniqueness. Furthermore, if Kara's hybridity predated Hera's, then why would Head-Six have ever bothered to say "She is the Shape of Things to Come."

There must be some further explanation to the Starbuck phenomenon. As "neat" as this Daniel=father explanation is, it doesn't fit the MO of the writers...

pete said...

@a-Ron

Yes, those songs were the same. They were playing the lead-in notes to the version of "All Along the Watchtower" used to trigger the final four. It's the chunk-chunk rock part, where the higher notes are a lead guitar/sitar/violin sound. The lower notes are what's actually recognizable as the original version of the song we know, the higher notes are part of the new interpretation done in the show.

Some other ideas-
Yes, "the colony" seems to have been brushed aside, maybe people didn't notice Cavil's comment when he was having his long chat with Ellen? Also, pre-coma Anders described that the final final resurrected into a research vessel in orbit around Earth. I am starting to wonder if "the colony" is actually "The Colony" - as in the name of a ship.

I was wondering why Hera would not be moving inside the container, and perhaps chief would notice (if you've ever tried to tranport a cat in a box, you know what I mean!). It occurred to me that she must have been unconscious. I highly doubt she has been physical hurt, but rewatching, you'll notice that Boomer gives her a bottle of water as she removes her from the day care center and says "come on, drink up baby" - I'm guessing she drugged her.

a-Ron said...

thanks pete
im going to have to go back and listen to last night again and then listen to the song that was playing during the scene in crossroads. dang.

novel idea about the 'colony' being their ship.

i never put anything past them...and i know usually the opposite of what i expect ends up happening. can't keep from trying to guess though.

pete said...

@a-Ron

I may have been stretching it a bit and only half right. It's technically a piece of the score that harkens to all along the watchtower. So to be clear, it matches the beginning when the final four all connect, but not the true "whole" version playing as starbuck is discovered and the camera pans out and then zooms back into earth.

you should check out Bear McReary's blog - he composes all the music for the show.

here's an excerpt - link is beneath:
"This riff was composed for Crossroads, Pt. II and since that episode has evolved into one of the most important thematic melodies in my entire score. Because it harkens back to “Watchtower,” both melodically and instrumentally, with the occasional presence of sitar, guitars and harmonium, it was an ideal musical theme to represent the secret cylons’ internal conflicts in the first half of Season Four.

But here, the theme takes on a whole new meaning. In fact, it’s no longer even appropriate to refer to it as the Final Four theme at all. In this episode, its scope and function have broadened to encapsulate not only the Final Four, but Starbuck, her father and Hera. This theme has leaked out from the confines of the soundtrack and become a major character in and of itself. "

http://www.bearmccreary.com/blog/?p=1597#more-1597

a-Ron said...

thanks pete. i feel better knowing that it contains elements of the crossroads song. i hoped my ear wasn't THAT bad.

MattB said...

I thought this was a really, really great episode. I loved how touching it was from the very beginning, with Tyrol and Boomer, Starbuck, etc.

And the reveal that the song that Starbuck and head player piano were playing was THE song? Astounding, I had to rewind that part about 5 times on the DVR.

As cheesy as "All Along the Watchtower" seemed as a choice the first time we heard it, how awesome has the song become with each repeated use? The point in this episode where Slick begins the "heavy" part gave me chills.

Tray said...

The "crossroads song" is a cover of "All Along the Watchtower", a famous song written by Bob Dylan but best known for the cover that Jimi Hendrix did.

Anonymous said...

That still doesn't explain her resurrection, though. That's going to be a huge reveal that I hope will feel satisfying.

Anders said that they put a resurrection ship in orbit around Earth; Kara crashed and died on Earth. Seems to make sense that she resurrected like Ellen did a couple episode ago. I don't think they have mentioned keeping copies of the final 5 around. Maybe the final 5 + one more resurrect in a more clone style??

Either way I'm sure Kara came back in that ship that's still in orbit somewhere around Earth.

Carl said...

No, the ship isn't still at Earth.

The entire conversation you are referring to described the following: the Final Five had a ship in Earth orbit, they died, they resurrected, they then traveled IN that ship to the 12 Colonies.

It's not still there.

Letter E said...

If a raptor using its FTL is going to create so much damage to Galactica, how come the raptors and vipers weren't destroyed when the Tillium ship took off a few episodes ago? They were practically on top of it when it winked out.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the damage caused by the raptor's FTL... at first, I didn't see a problem with that whole concept, because the FTL drive would generate a large quantity of energy. But, as Letter E points out, we've seen numerous scenes where ships have jumped while in close proximity to other vessels without any damage being caused at all.

As someone pointed out earlier, Galactica's thoroughly weakened superstructure may be to blame, but if something as small as a viper can withstand the wake from the Tillium ship's FTL, why couldn't the Galactica?

mjryan said...

I don't think that the possible revelation that Kara is a hybrid makes Hera any less special. After all, that would mean over the past 30 odd years, there have been two successful human/cylon pregnancy. I don't know, that seems pretty unusual and special.

However, and I don't want to overanalyze this before it's comfirmed/explained, but if Kara is a hybrid, wouldn't it have been discovered during one of her military physicals? Or during the trips to the hospital when her mother abused her? (assuming she went to the hospital, I guess) Why weren't the Final Five discovered earlier? Same reason - military physicals for Tyrol and Tigh. Or, is the physiology of the final five/hybrids so similar to humans that there is not discernable difference? Again, I don't want to overanalyze, but this seems like a rather basic question that needs to be answered, whether Kara is a hybrid or not. And, why hasn't any of the other characters asked this question before?

Hybrid vigor said...

The following relates to 'All along the watchtower':

One thing has been bothering me ever since the eps on Kobol. Since we are getting close to the end, I would like to hear if anyone has an idea about it. Why would there be a sort of three-dimensional map to earth on Kobol? To know how the constellations look like from earth (or nearly look like) you would have to know the location or been there. But if all started on Kobol and the thirteenth (cylon?) tribe left and was shown the way to earth by God on the way - why would there be a tomb of Athena on Kobol with the constellations? There must have been some way of relaying this info back? But why would it then be so important that they built a tomb containing this "map" in such an elaborate way? I think that it seems more likely that the humans (and perhaps together with Cylons) on Kobol came from our earth in the first place, that is, long before the exodus to the twelve colonies. They would have remembered the constellations and Gods of the old world and somehow incorporated this in their mythology, but would have forgotten their true history. Also, according to Pythia ,the leaders of the twelwe tribes offered their bodies to the gods upon exodus from Kobol - were they used as models for some original cylons?


What we see is then something taking place in 'our' future. Unless BSG is taking place in a parallel universe or a time loop (which would be lame) the only logical way a Bob Dylan song would be known is that it all is happening in our future. The central question then concerns what qualities of human existence will lead to the disastrous ends of civilizations (on Earth, Kobol, the Colonies, the 'Cylon Earth of the final five') and is there a way that humans will reach insight into this and 'evolve' with the help of cylons? This bigger question is then played out in the individual lives of many of the characters of the show -human and cylon.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think Kara's Head Daddy bears a resemblance to Leoben?

Carmen said...

mjryan asks:
Or, is the physiology of the final five/hybrids so similar to humans that there is not discernable difference?

Correct. Boomer, Tyrol and Tigh also all being in the military and military physicals never detected anything amiss with them confirms this. In season 1, Baltar had to construct a special Cylon detector to tell who was who (though we never learned what the difference between the species is).

Pandyora said...

@ Kalin: all points lead us to believe that Kara is a hybrid, essentially making meaningless all that world to ensure Hera's uniqueness.

Given the mantra "all that has happened before will happen again", I think we should assume that Hera isn't the first (or last) human cylon hybrid in the BSG universe.

I would not be surprised if the violence on Kobol stemmed from human cylon interbreeding, and given Cavil's long rants about Cylon purity, I think the issue will play out heavily in the endgame.

Which makes sense for a show that has always been about the nexus of issues of identity, exclusion and violence.

Eric H said...

Alan, although I also like the idea of Daniel being Starbuck's father and agree that the story seems to be leading to it, isn't it possible that her dad was human but simply learned the tune from someone - maybe Daniel, maybe someone else connected to Anders? Obviously we are meant to infer a cylon connection to Kara's past, but it doesn't necessarily mean a biological one. We know that Daniel/7th cylon was a recent (although elegant) retcon to fix a numbering goof, and as much as I hope the writers have taken the opportunity to create a really compelling new backstory for Starbuck, part of me wonders if we are in for a letdown in our expectation of an explanation for who she is. Mind you, I hope I'm wrong because I think I'll crazy without one.

Mo Ryan said...

Regarding the colony, here's what Jane Espenson said in the No Exit Q&A when she was asked about that:

Q: Will we get more information about the colony?

A: Oh, you mean The Colony? You're assuming it's a colony?

Inter Alia said...

Mo -- Hmm. I remember seeing Espenson's answer in your Q&A but it really didn't register at the time. So . . . is The Colony the name of the Final Five's ship they used to travel from Earth to the Colonies? Kind of the same gimmick as the black rock in Lost, which turned out to be a ship named The Black Rock.

Craig Ranapia said...

Not for the first time, I find it intriguing how hard people find it to accept even the possibility that 'Slick' is juts an induced psychotic episode. He's not real. He's not some avatar of Starbuck's glorious Cylonic apotheosis. But something is manipulating her, and using her most precious and painful memories to do it. I'd personally find that a damn sight more interesting than the 'Daniel' theories doing the rounds.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous & Letter E:

Exodus Pt. 2, when Apollo and crew abandon the doomed Pegasus, they jump away in their raptors right beside the battlestar. The Pegasus didn't look too healthy. But, despite their proximity to the hull of the battlestar, their jumps caused the Pegasus no damage.

This is a good example of why a series should never feature numerous and uninformed writers. That's when discrepancies like this appear and cause confusion!

MattB said...

This is a good example of why a series should never feature numerous and uninformed writers. That's when discrepancies like this appear and cause confusion!

Presumably said series has producers and other writers who review scripts for such details. I think it's less of an accidental discrepancy and more of a convenient plot detail.

Anonymous said...

ROSLIN IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DID ANYONE CATCH THAT?!?! THEY CAME IN AND CHECKED HER PULSE!!!SHES FRACKIN DEAD!!WHY DID THEY LET HER JUST SLIP AWAY LIKE THAT??

Chatterbox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grey said...

Anonymous & Letter E:

During Starbuck's monologue/lecture to the pilots at the beginning of the episode, one of the things she says is "Our mission is the same this week as it was the week before that and the week before that [...] Planet-hunters, make sure to draw long-duration provisions; if those clapped-out FTLs go down while you are out there, you could get mighty hungry".

This implies that the FTL drives in the Raptors are starting to glitch out from overuse during the planet hunt. Perhaps FTL drives don't usually cause this much damage, but they've become dangerous recently.

Charles said...

Regarding the FTL damage dustup, and why the Vipers and Raptor weren't destroyed when the Thyllium ship jumped--it seems to me that the writers and effects teams have actually been very consistent on this.

In my mind, it's a matter of mass and inertia. The Vipers and Raptors were tossed about like rag-dolls when the Thyllium ship jumped, precisely because they have so little mass that the spatial disruption "pushed" them away. They were also in holding patterns above the ship, meaning little or no directional inertia.

If Galactica could have similarly been "pushed" out of the way of the disruption, a similar thing would have happened; but the Galactica has far too much mass and directional inertia for that amount of disruption to pick it up and toss it about. In essence (and the physicists out there will cringe at this description, I'm sure), the Galactica "pushed back," due to its mass and inertia, meaning that nearly 100% of the disruption had to be absorbed by the weakened hull, with the results we saw on screen.

Does that make sense? One image that works for me is the difference between slamming your fist down on a pile of feathers versus a pile of play-doh.

The feathers will mostly be scattered, suffering very little, if any damage . . . while the play-doh, because it can't just flutter away, will absorb nearly 100% of the force of the blow, leaving a huge dent.

And, as to the Raptors leaving the Pegasus, I'm pretty darn sure they weren't as close as Boomer was . . . she was within feet of the Galactica's hull, PLUS she was in a nearly out-of-control flat spin.

YMMV.

Two other thoughts:

-Has anyone commented on the fact that the Rebel Basestar has been slowly rebuilding itself over the season? You can actually see, in some shots, the heat and light energy being given off along the various arms as they rebuild. As of last week, it's nearly completely rebuilt, as far as I can tell.

-The Galactica seems to be surrounded by a vague debris/mist field in some of the shots from last week, almost as if the ship is truly coming unglued. Either that or the Cylon goop is creating a bio-sphere around it.

Letter E said...

Charles, I'll buy that. And I did notice the episode before last the "arms" of the basestar seemed to be longer than usual.

Ryan said...

Charles... awesome explanation on the FTL debate. You have obliterated my skepticism!

And they have done a great job at slowly rejuvenating the Rebel Basestar. When it was apparent that the ship would be staying with the flight at least for a while, I was hoping that we would be able to observe its rebuilding process.

Archie said...

Number Five - I was so sure I was the only one who thought of the whole Boomer-or-Athena-in-the-Opera-House angle - guess you beat me to the punch!!!

Word to your entire comment-entry.

Charles Purvis said...

@Ryan--

Thanks for the comment. Glad that explanation worked for you.

Elric said...

Anonymous:"If, as someone has implied, Head characters and projection happen only for Cylons and possibly Hybrids, then is it possible that Baltar is also a Hybrid? "


Just a guess..
Based on the six in his head giving him actual info (that base they attacked in the 1st season), perhaps Baltar is Daniel...

Chatterbox said...

OK, this might be pushing it, but if you rearrange the letters in DYLAN, you get: DANYL.

Anonymous said...

. . . if you rearrange the letters in DYLAN, you get: DANYL.

I knew there was something odd about Zimmy!
- anonymoose

Larry said...

Glad I read this. I actually thought Boomer and Hera died when she tried to jump too close to Galactica with her ship damaged. I also thought that Hera was the girl the chief saw in his vision with Boomer especially when he went back to the house and it was empty.

Maura said...

I find it intriguing how hard people find it to accept even the possibility that 'Slick' is juts an induced psychotic episode. He's not real. He's not some avatar of Starbuck's glorious Cylonic apotheosis.

I think it's entirely possible. Kara is even crazier than usual now, so her having a psychotic episode isn't implausible. Also, I never assume anything about this show anymore.

Hybrid vigor said...

. . . if you rearrange the letters in DYLAN, you get: DANYL.

I knew there was something odd about Zimmy!
- anonymoose

Here is a comment by Bob Dylan in an interview I found while reading more about 'All along the watchtower'. I found it quite interesting and amusing considering the theme 'All this has happened before and will happen again':
Bob Dylan says:'I see pictures of the '50s, the '60s and the '70s and I see there was a difference. But I don't think the human mind can comprehend the past and the future. They are both just illusions that can manipulate you into thinking theres some kind of change. But after you've been around awhile, they both seem unnatural. It seems like we're going in a straight line, but then you start seeing sings that you've seen before. Haven't you experienced that? It seems we're going around in circles.' (this can be found http://www.interferenza.net/bcs/interw/florida.htm)

Athanyel said...

I had a thought on Helo and Boomer/Athena.

From what I can remember of the episodes in 4.5 so far, the Eights have all worn their own clothes or flightsuits while on Galactica. Only Athena has worn the colonial flightsuit.

Wasn't Boomer in Athena's flightsuit at when he found her in the head? If so, Helo would assume the Eight in front of him is Athena. He doesn't expect any of the cylons to be in colonial uniforms or for Boomer to be free.

VlaDimirC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

No talking about things from previews, or things on promotional websites, or gossip, or whatever, that in any way might give away something about upcoming episodes. Period.

Mike F said...

I was one of the more outspoken critic of the previous week's episode, the one where nobody acted like they should have in context.

I'm just going to mostly pretend that one never happened...

Really loved this episode and every Starbuck moment. This was great sci-fi. It felt deep, meaningful and gave us a great deal of insight into several of the biggest characters in the life of the show.

Bravo, BSG

mycybertuffet said...

I seem to be the only person out there with any sympathy for Boomer. I actually have a great deal of affection for the character. She's somebody who not only had everything taken away from her, she had her very identity, and her *entire* understanding of the world, cruelly yanked out from under her. It makes sense that she would regress to such a childlike state - she's unsure of anything, she has no ground whatsoever on which to stand. Having had all previous ideas and beliefs systems destroyed, she was a complete blank slate. However, she was, as is natural for many people who have their lives destroyed, desperately searching for something, and someone to believe in - someone to take all the questions away, and provide a complete, ready-made system of thought, belief, and behavior. In other words, she was a sitting duck for a dominating, controlling, manipulative person like Cavil. In some sense, I bet she's *terrified* to think for herself, because every instance in which she has, or thought she has, has either ended in disaster or crumbled to ashes. No wonder she clings to him! And at the same time, I thoroughly believed that her interactions with the chief represented her true feelings. For one thing, as I said earlier, she's currently very childlike - she doesn't have enough confidence for the sort of independent thought that such sophisticated manipulation would require. And I was *incredibly* moved by the idea that she was able to retain some shred of her own personal identity, some awareness of her own ideas and desires, that has survived even through Cavil's brainwashing.

I also can't blame her *too* much for what she did to Athena. Keeping in mind that she's essentially a child, easily overwhelmed by primitive emotions, it makes sense that she would be overwhelmed with rage at Athena. After all, Boomer was yanked out of her own life, complete with a job she loved and excelled at, friends who loved and respected her, a sense of place in the world - and a man she adored, who adored her back, and with whom she planned to have a child one day. Boomer got yanked out ... and Athena got plopped right into HER place and got everything that had once been Boomer's, or that she had ever dreamed about, right down to the adoring husband and child. I actually feel much more sympathetic towards Athena than you do; I think she's done the best she could with her circumstances. I also admire the way she's been able to establish such a strong sense of her own identity, place in the world, and ethical system. And Boomer's response was, admittedly, childishly primitive and cruel: "you took away the man I loved and my child, so I'm going to do it right back!" But at the same, there's a significant part of me that feels glad that Boomer got to vent at least SOME of her thoroughly justifiable rage and anguish at the person who had stolen her life.


Another aspect of the Eights that fascinates me is the way that the writers have explored how the same base "material" of a personality can be shaped so differently based simply upon how much choice, agency, agency a person feels they have. Athena's circumstances forced her into making the difficult decisions that led to establishing the core structures of her life. Boomer, on the other hand, was violated - yes, violated - in the most fundamental way imaginable - in a way that made it clear to her that she was utterly powerless, and was made to feel like she knew nothing and didn't have the capacity to make her own decisions or shape her world - a sense of helplessness that Cavil opportunistically seized upon, and has greatly exacerbated.

To put it mildly, I suspect a lot of abuse survivors out there can relate.

Same basic people, and yet so different - all because one had the gift of choice ... and the other was suddenly, horrifically stripped of it.

SharonLives said...

"that she's a willing and eager collaborator with Cavil."

I think Cavil exploited the emotional vulnerability of the Eights once again, and their being fairly easily manipulated if you know which buttons to push. Boomer realized she'd been had when she arrived on the basestar with the child and heard Cavil talk of her like she was just a piece of equipment. Her eyes said it all. I think she started to have regrets on the flight, actually.
At this point, seeing what's being done to Hera, I think Boomer is just one giant mess of regret. I wouldn't be surprised if she turns out to be instrumental in her final fate and I also expect her to turn against Cavil in the end.

"Either way, she sure does a number on the Chief, who suffers a massive betrayal at her hands for the second time in the series."

I think this is totally unfair, and incorrect.
The first Boomer did not betray the chief! In order to betray, you have to know what you are doing, and she did not.
If anybody did any betraying it was the Chief, who did not stand by her.
Unlike Helo with his Caprica-Sharon. Oh, he had the same reaction initially, but he came around. Maybe if Sharon hadn't been killed the chief would have, too, but I doubt it.

SharonLives said...

"Boomer got yanked out ... and Athena got plopped right into HER place and got everything that had once been Boomer's, or that she had ever dreamed about, right down to the adoring husband and child."

I don't understand this line of thought. Even though in the beginning it seemed that Helo and Sharon were somewhat close, Boomer later had a relationship with the chief, and it was him she saw in her future, not Helo. So Athena did not "steal" anything from Boomer, she did not take her place or take anything of hers. She did achieve something that Boomer wanted to achieve herself though, and I suppose that's what she's mad about.
It's not the same though.