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Battlestar Galactica: Razor – Spoilers, Commentary and Discussion

Earlier today, I spent some time doing an “official” review of Battlestar Galactica: Razor. This was light on spoilers, and focused more on alerting people to its existence. Now, however, the geekiness begins. As mentioned, I am actually writing my thesis (partially) on Battlestar Galactica, specifically its ramifications on the longevity of medieval romantic tropes and heroic representation. And yes, it’s mildly crazy. However, in writing about the legacy of the Cylons and their complicated place within the idea of the heroic within the series, watching Razor has certainly opened a new portal of discussion. And, now, I want to be able to extend that discussion and consider the ramifications (or, perhaps, lack of ramifications) of this two-hour event on the series as a whole

[Warning: This discussion will feature major spoilers for Battlestar Galactica: Razor, and the series’ third season. Do not read if you wish to avoid these spoilers.]

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Review: “Battlestar Galactica: Razor”

As part of my thesis research, I have been watching parts of Battlestar Galactica’s second season. I think I had forgotten how much I really enjoyed this show, as its twists and turns felt just as fantastic now as they were before. I started listening to the commentaries provided by Ronald D. Moore, the developer and executive producer of the series, and on the one for “Pegasus” he noted that perhaps one day they would bring Michelle Forbes’ Admiral Cain back and tell the story of her ship’s journey in the post-attack era. Having watched Battlestar Galactica: Razor just before listening to said commentary, I couldn’t help but grin.

It’s important to note, however, that this doesn’t only tell the story of Admiral Cain. This is really the story of Kendra Shaw, a young officer who arrives on Pegasus just moments before the Cylon attack on Caprica. Much like Forbes before her, Stephanie Jacobsen flawlessly integrates into this cast. Her introduction helps us overcome the fact that it’s very difficult to surprise us – for better or for worse, we know how this story (which takes places, timeline wise, in the show’s second season) ends.

What Razor succeeds at is remaining an entertaining and interesting two-hour event even if, in the end, its resolution feels like a bit of a let-down. It takes the story of the Pegasus, told only in gripping conversations between Col. Tish and Col. Fisk (Pegasus’ XO) in the series, and plays it out in dramatic fashion. I can understand why some people might perhaps find this predictable, but I personally felt that this story was strong enough to justify a little fleshing out – its themes resonate through the entire series, so it certainly fits into the series’ motif nicely.

Plus, it’s not just about Pegasus: the story interweaves into three distinct timelines, and between them present an engaging and exciting “film” of sorts. And, really, that’s what we need to tide us over until the show’s fourth season begins.

[Warning: There will be some light to medium spoilers ahead]

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