May 8th, 2008
If there’s anything that Battlestar Galactica’s latest episode asks for, it is certainly the episode’s title: faith in its vision, faith in its journey, and faith in its slow as molasses pacing. If there was any hope in this changing, then “Faith” certainly set the record straight: with still a large number of episodes to go, Ronald D. Moore is going to take his sweet time getting to “the point.”
Of course, I am not one to criticize this decision – the nature of this final season is that it is having to tie together three seasons worth of action, suspense and drama into something even bordering on conclusiveness. It’s the same problem that any series faces towards the end of a season, or the show itself, but one that is particularly tough when you have two distinct societies, with multiple destinies intertwined within each one, to deal with. Human and Cylon are both on a collision course with something big, but how they get there needs to be choreographed.
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.
But, in the process, there was a few key scenes that elevated the material, and a sign that even though we’re not moving as fast as some would like we are definitely on the water in the river between the past and the future storylines.