April 25th, 2008
It was inevitable: after a monumentally eventful third episode for the show’s fourth season, we were bound to find ourselves at least mildly disappointed in “Extreme Velocity.” Written by Jane Espenson and directed by Edward James Olmos (Adama, for the unknowing), the episode was very slight: of the four plots that we picked up on last week, we abandoned two of them while the other two never really showed any new potential to the level that fans had imagined it.
In other words, we probably wouldn’t have conceived an episode that portrays a predictable Tyrol-like response to Cally’s death, and we wouldn’t have abandoned the Cylon Civil War in order to focus on not Baltar’s character, per se, but rather the emergence of his total religiousity. For others, it might hearken back to the unfortunate string of episodes at the conclusion of the third season that the show admits were desperate attempts to save an episode in the editing room.
I don’t think it is nearly to that level: 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.