Battlestar Galactica...how do I love thee?
When episode 4-1 ended, I was in the throes of utter agony. The rug had been ripped out. Characters I had grown to love were suddenly struggling with shocking new revelations about themselves that couldn't be resolved or made to go away with some clever writing. There are no take-backs once you find out you're a Cylon. The intro is different. Red Dress Six is now in a red business suit and somehow more sinister than ever. And what the frak is going on with Baltar? And we lost another ship and had our first major casualties leaving New Caprica. And can we please just have an entire episode about what's happening to Colonel Tigh? And the "I hate you SO MUCH" look on Adama's face when Lee tells him he's leaving the fleet. To become a lawyer. Which I still find rather incredulous, given how much the fleet probably needs ace pilots right now oh my gods the Cylons found us but whatever. And Starbuck.
Oh honey...I'm SO afraid you're going to be our last Cylon. Your ship, honey. Your ship is brand new. You conveniently don't remember how you got to Earth. And you have these bizarre-o headaches every time Galactica FTL jumps to a new position. You did this crazy karate-chop action on the guards and are holding Roslin hostage.
When this episode ended, the whole show felt like it had twisted into something monstrous. It was a nightmare. It didn't matter what scene you saw, something weird or awful was happening with SOMEBODY. The show had officially become a runaway train. And there was nothing to hold onto anymore.
Except Hotdog. He's still around, so that's something, I guess.
When episode 4-2 ended, I wasn't as wracked with woe as I was when 4-1 ended. Partly because we got a little resolution (Starbuck and Helo got their own little sewage ship and Adama's blessing to go off and find Earth. Somehow, I knew he'd work something out. ;) ).
But there were also diminishing woe-returns because there was a lot about this episode that was...unsatisfying. Lots of long back-and-forth but little payoff.
For instance--the bit about lobotomizing the Raiders. Yeah, we GET it. The Sixes think it's wrong, but the Ones (sitting in a very official-looking chair for someone who insists they're "not in charge") think it's necessary. Neither of them manage to put up a super-compelling reason for their opposing stances, beyond "things have changed". But it just kept going on and on and on. As a result, I found myself disconnecting from the debate and not really caring too much either way.
Until Six came in with her now-intelligent Centurions and ordered them to blast the conference room to smithereens. Frankly, given the Centurions pathetically bad aim throughout the series (they're really good at shooting the ground right in front of their targets though!) I figured this scene would take much longer than it did. I guess removing their Intelligence Inhibitors greatly improved their aim. Continuity crisis averted!
Or is it? Why were the Ones so concerned when the Centurions went all Mega Man on them? Why did the others (I can never remember their number. The Tour Guide guy from the mini-series) run for their lives in clear terror when they realized the Centurions we're locked and loaded? They'll just re-download into new bodies! Chill out guys!
Another example of this episode's buildup with kinda wonky payoff was Baltar's new fantasy. Nope, it's not Red Dress Six, it's his own damn narcissistic self. When it started, everything in me tingled with delight. "Oh MAN. This is gonna be CRAZY!" But once they had exchanged a few little quips...that was kind of it. Huh.
Still, 4-2 was by no means BAD. The scene where atheist Adama emotionally bitch-slaps Roslin while getting hammered (he's slipping!! NO! Not stalwart Admiral Adama!!) was brutal. As was Roslin's surprising conviction that Starbuck is a perfect Cylon model and her unexpected decision about how best to deal with this information (bang, bang) brought back the crazy side of Roslin that suits their whole desperate scenario like a robot hand in robot glove.
I had my doubts about the Final Four at the end of season 3. Maybe they were just misinterpreting what the song inside the frakking ship meant. But at this point, once you change the intro to feature these four characters under the "FOUR LIVE IN SECRET" banner, it seems like it's pretty much a done deal.
However, this is Battlestar Galactica. Just when you think you've got this show figured out, it throws you some curve balls you weren't expecting, so I'm holding out hope that at LEAST one of them isn't actually a Cylon. Maybe whatshername...Tori. Yeah. Who even IS she? It does beg the question...if the actor playing Billy hadn't wanted off the show, would HE have been one of the Final Four??
As to the final fifth Cylon, right now it's a toss up between Starbuck and Baltar. Well, toss-up...ish. Starbuck is feeling a bit too obvious. Something is definitely screwy with her, sure. Those weird headaches every time Galactica jumps the "wrong way" are just too bizarre, and her being a Cylon would certainly make sense of the time discrepancies and the fact that her ship is so brand new it doesn't have any log data on it. But I've read enough Agatha Christie to know that when even the characters on the show are saying she's the prime candidate for Toaster of the Year, the writers are up to something.
Which really just leaves us with Baltar. Six explained to him that Cylons can "project". Baltar's series-long descents into fantasy land and Red Dress Six's constant tormenting/real presence could very well be classic Cylon projecting. Also, his gradual coming around to faith in the One True Cylon God plays perfectly into Red Dress Six's desires for him all along. And the Hybrid that the end of RAZOR did say the final Cylon would awaken after much anguish and soul searching or something like that. Seems like Baltar's been doing plenty of that too. Right now, he's looking like our man. Er. Robot.
The final Cylon is Roslin. I trust the writers enough to believe that her Cylon blood transfusion wasn't MERELY a happy device to stave off her cancer until it was more convenient. The Pythian Prophecy stated something about a leader with a wasting disease who would lead his/her fellow humans to Earth, but leader wouldn't make it.
Because the human leader dies? Or because the human leader...isn't HUMAN ANYMORE?! TOASTER TIME, MADAME PRESIDENT! What if Roslin's blood transfusion not only healed her cancer, but filled her body with Cylon nanotechnology that rewrote her DNA? Or something?? We know everything about the Cylons is synthetic. What if Roslin isn't dying at all? What if she's in the process of transforming into the CYLON QUEEN who sits on a mechanical throne of toaster lies?!
It's BSG. Who the frak knows. Nothing is as it seems. And I've long held a belief that Roslin is NOT the Dying Leader of the Pythian Prophecy. So is there another character who may perhaps be unaware of having a wasting disease who could also lead the humans to Earth?
Well...there's always Starbuck...