Tag Archives: James Callis

(Mid) Season Finale: Battlestar Galactica – “Revelations”

“Revelations”

June 13th, 2008

Since New Caprica, Battlestar Galactica has been a series defined by the intersection of two races – of their people, their beliefs, their actions and their futures. At odds with one another from the moment the Miniseries began, humans and Cylons have slowly but surely centralized into two groups of people who are searching for a greater purpose and a greater understanding. When the Cylons occupied humanity on New Caprica, Caprica Six and the other Cylon leaders felt that they were meant to co-exist – of course, one cannot force such a peace as easily as they had hoped.

No, it takes the right moment for that to happen, which is perhaps the very definition the show’s purpose in the first half of its fourth and final season. It seems as if the search for Earth is, in fact, that point of intersection: conveniently for the series’ narrative, the human desire to discover a new home on Earth requires the discovery of the Final Cylon models, the discovery of which is the goal of the current batch of renegade Cylons. And so we have spent nine episodes bringing these two groups together, now finally reaching the point where all the pieces are in play.

We started the season with a mysteriously untouched viper and four newly found Cylons, and they return here to ask the question of everyone on each side of the conflict: are you willing to accept the intertwined fate of these two peoples, or will old wounds win the day? As the driving force behind a tense showdown with an infinite number of potential outcomes, “Revelations” proves something we knew all along: that few shows on television can have us questioning everything as easily as this one, and that no show on television can measure up because of it. Plus, after all the questions are over, we’re left facing an answer we never saw coming, and a future that waiting seven months for will be, well, a frakkin’ bitch.

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Battlestar Galactica – “The Hub”

“The Hub”

June 6th, 2008

[I’m filling in for fellow blogger Todd VanDerWerff over at The House Next Door this week (Thanks to Todd, and Keith, for making that happen!), so here’s an excerpt of this week’s episode review and a link to the site. Enjoy!]

Say what you will about “Sine Qua Non,” nearly unanimously considered the fourth season’s worst episode yet, but the dramatic undercurrent that has propelled the rest of this season was present in certain aspects of the episode. The episode was too blatant with its plot movements, no question, but there was also tantalizing hints of the story we weren’t seeing.

While there was dramatic purpose in keeping us in the dark to reflect the fleet’s confusion in the wake of the “Guess What’s Coming to Dinner?” cliffhanger, we were really waiting for “The Hub.” Written by Jane Espenson and directed by Paul Edwards, this story of the basestar’s quest to destroy the Cylon Resurrection hub and unbox D’Anna (Lucy Lawless) is the one that we wanted to see last week, which made those brief hints more frustrating than intriguing.

This is not the first time the season has done this – Espenson’s last episode, “Escape Velocity,” was coincidentally itself a divergence from the Cylon Civil War and the Demetrius’ search for Earth in favour of building Tyrol and Baltar’s interesting, but less pressing, storylines. Here, however, Espenson trades off, drawing the gig of writing the payoff for a change.

For the most part, she succeeds – 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.

Continue reading @ The House Next Door.

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