Now Playing Magazine has reviewed the season finale:
Battlestar Galactica - “Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 2”
Written by Scott Collura
Friday, 01 April 2005
With the location of the legendary mother planet Kobol now apparently known, the Galactica fleet is in more danger than ever. Commander Adama and President Roslin can’t agree on a course of action, leading Roslin to go behind Adama’s back and recruit Starbuck to steal the fleet’s captured Cylon Raider and use it to return to Caprica in search of a legendary artifact. Meanwhile, Boomer is sent on a suicide mission in an attempt to destroy the Basestar above Kobol.
The season finale of Battlestar Galactica is already here, and while it sure feels like it came on too fast, “Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 2” also suffers from the tendency of many year-ending cliffhangers in that almost every plot thread of the season seemingly comes to a head all in a 45-minute span. On the one hand, it makes for a fast-moving and exciting episode – not to mention a revelatory one. But on the other, it’s a bit of a departure for Galactica, which is so grounded in the “real world” that it’s a bit off-putting to suddenly have so many huge developments happening at once.
The struggle between Adama and Roslin, which has been festering all season, certainly seems to reach a resolution here when Adama asks for the president’s resignation in the wake of the Starbuck incident. Roslin refuses, of course, and a schism results between the military and political wings of the fleet – with a coup apparently inevitable. This situation places Lee Adama, torn between his father and his president, in a precarious situation to say the least.
And while Adama is having to deal with these political machinations, he also has that Basestar to contend with. Once Starbuck goes renegade, it’s interesting to see that Adama asks Sharon to take on the high-risk mission of smuggling a nuke onto the Basestar. What is it about Sharon that leads Adama to choose her? Does he know something about her that he isn’t letting on about? And once Sharon makes it to the Basestar, she’ll certainly be learning a few things about herself as well.
As for the other Sharon back on Caprica, her and Helo have reached something of an agreement – even though he knows that she’s a Cylon – thanks to the revelatory bit of news that she has. And the Cylons too seem to be aware of the importance of the “Arrow of Apollo,“ the antiquity (conveniently located in a museum on Caprica) that Roslin requires for her mystical prophecies to come true. This leads to Starbuck running into some old friends, not to mention a copy of Number Six, once she arrives on Caprica. Let the catfight begin.
But that’s an element of the show that’s a bit disappointing perhaps: Starbuck’s ease in jumping all the way back to Caprica, with only a headache to show for it, seems a bit contrived. The heart of Battlestar Galactica was always about this lost fleet, far from home and unable to go back, but now if anyone can pop a couple of Advil and jump back when they please, it takes a bit of the desperateness out of the situation. Still, it’s quite satisfying to see Helo and Starbuck’s very real reactions when they learn that one another are alive.
And there’s more, not the least of which is the Galactica officers that are stranded on Kobol, and Baltar’s puzzling revelation (courtesy of Number Six) in the ruins there. Plus, the final moments of the episode lead to a positively gut-wrenching cliffhanger. But then again, that’s why you do a season two, right? A-