Preparing for ‘Revelations’: Revisiting Battlestar Galactica Season Four Thus Far

It’s apparently streaming on SciFi.com, so I’m avoiding any and all discussion of anything even close to tonight’s midseason finale of Battlestar Galactica, “Revelations.” All signs point towards an intense and dramatic hour of television, so I’ll definitely be bracing myself for something engaging this evening. For now, however, thought I’d leave some links to my reviews of each week’s episode (With a pull quote!) so that we can remind ourselves what’s happened so far, and mentally prepare ourselves for what should prove a most stimulating forty three minutes.

After the jump, meanwhile, you can see how my views on certain episodes may have changed over time.

BSG Season Four So Far

“He That Believeth in Me”

“I actually quite loved the episode: laughed out loud, gasped in horror, loved the acting, etc. It’s just that after such a huge revelation, what was put on the screen was everything we had already imagined as fans of the series dealing with a year-long hiatus. And, well, that’s kind of a let down.”

“Six of One”

“You see, everyone’s a little bit Starbuck right now. Everyone sees a path ahead of them that they know they want to follow, and yet at the same time it seems as if everything is heading in the opposite direction. Everyone is worried about what will become of them if things don’t go their way: Roslin is worried about dying as the nobody she once was; Adama is worried about losing everyone around him and dying alone; Lee is worried about the runaway train he’s on away from his life, essentially; and the final four Cylon models are worried about, well, everything.”

“The Ties That Bind”

“I’m not saying that what we saw from Nikki Clyne last night was revolutionary performance, but Michael Taylor managed to draw from her past in order to craft, at the very least, an intriguing point of representation. Cally, through anti-depressant fueled journeys, becomes a loose cannon – she is suspicious and paranoid in her altered state, and begins to suspect Tyrol is hiding something. Upon investigation, she stumbles across his biggest secret, and all of a sudden Cally has gone from nuisance to all-out ticking time bomb.

And then it went off, much sooner than I think any of us expected.”

“Escape Velocity”

“…while certainly a lighter episode on plot than we are used to, there was nothing overly objectionable about its content. Considering that the themes of the season are very much returning to the opening of the second season and the division within the fleet along religious lines, it is good that we are seeing more of both politics and people relating to this development. While I do think that a few of the storylines felt like they were getting either too much or too little time, and that there were certainly some balance or editing issues to deal with, the end result is a decent setup for the things to come.”

“The Road Less Traveled”

“Last week felt totally wrong when it comes to the central conceit of the season: the blurring of the line between human and Cylon is integral to defining the series moving forward, and this week we return to the concepts of shared destiny and identity within the context of the series. The result is a sharper episode, one that feels like we are, indeed, traveling down a particular road as the two storylines missing last week converge.”

“Faith”

“I am kind of wary on “Faith,” if only because on a plot level it didn’t even live up to the low standards that I provided for it. It is one thing to spend a quarter of the episode with a very character/mythology driven story for Laura Roslin, that’s earned considering the show and Mary McDonnell’s respective pedigrees; the big problem is that the dramatic payoff to the Demetrius payoff was neither suspenseful nor dramatic on a broad plot level. We already knew what Kara Thrace learns from the Hybrid, we pretty well presumed what was going to be the end result of their journey, and outside of a random leg injury I never felt like anything was truly in jeopardy.”

“Guess What’s Coming to Dinner”

“Here, we have everything: the subtle character moments (albeit in smaller number than episodes past), the haunting thematics, the secret agendas, the political intrigue, the mythology of the series emerging, the cliffhanger endings, and most of all the kind of acting that you just don’t get on other shows these days. The episode leaves us with so many unanswered questions that you’d swear we are leaving for a lengthy break starting now as opposed to in (likely) a month’s time.”

“Sine Qua Non”

““Sine Qua Non” is an episode about losing control, or losing some element which is integral to existence. The latin meaning of the phrase, at least according to my extensive knowledge of using Wikipedia, is “without which (there is) nothing.” For various characters in our universe, this phrase has distinct meaning, and the episode does a strong job of emphasizing this fact in both subtle and broad fashions.”

“The Hub”

“it’s hard to screw up what the show does best, an intersection of human and Cylon combined with meaningful action sequences and a spiritual journey for humanity’s dying leader. There’s a certain diversity in the episode’s tone that could turn some off, with some strangely humorous or laid back sequences, but when much of it was given to Mary McDonnell and James Callis it was at least in good hands. By grounding itself in both the ongoing plot and the series’ central characters and themes, the episode can’t help but provide momentum into the final episode of the year.”

So that’s the season so far…but are all of these pull quotes still representative?

First and foremost, I was a bit too harsh on the premiere – while I certainly still think it was disappointing at the time, it was more than well enough executed to overcome any of those issues.

On the same note, I think that “Faith” deserves more credit for its work with Mary McDonnell – sure, I still think the Demetrius side of the coin is a bit all over the place in terms of its setup, but there’s some great stuff with Anders in there that should have been better appreciated, and the Roslin stuff has even more meaning the further we progress into the season.

However, of course, I was far too nice to “Sine Qua Non” – blame seeing it early thanks to SkyOne, but you only get a sense of my unease with the various storylines and plot points. Lampkin’s storyline was something I felt went way too far, but I really was too fascinated by Tigh getting Caprica pregnant to realize that Adama’s change of heart was a bit too quickly resolved against such actions. It will be really interesting to see how, tonight, we get a payoff to that episode’s events, and perhaps Tigh’s command will prove either so inconsequential or consequential that the episode will play better or worse.

So, what have you readers: any episodes that you felt have been changed by what happened afterwards? Or are you too focused on tonight’s to even care?

1 Comment

Filed under Battlestar Galactica

One response to “Preparing for ‘Revelations’: Revisiting Battlestar Galactica Season Four Thus Far

  1. Hossi

    Wow, I imagine Earth would be like they showed it but I cant wait until they show how did Starbuck got her Viper all fixed and all that, and what the heck ever happend to the Cylons that where living in the 12 colonies

    lol

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