Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Now Playing Mag Review: Epiphanies

Nowplaying Magazine has posted up their review for episode 213:

Battlestar Galactica - “Epiphanies”

Written by Scott Collura
Monday, 23 January 2006
Laura Roslin is on her deathbed, with mere hours left before her cancer finally consumes her. Semi-conscious, the President flashes back to the day that the Cylons attacked the Colonies some three and a half months ago. Revisiting that day, Laura has an epiphany (as per the title of this episode). But she’s not the only one, as Vice-President Baltar proves himself remarkably selfless – by his standards – in searching for a cure to the President’s cancer. Still, can any act of altruism on the part of Baltar truly last?
That’s right, folks. We’re talking about curing cancer here. Ever since the Battlestar Galactica miniseries debuted two years ago, Ron Moore and his writing staff have run the risk, oddly enough, that their show would be so successful that they’d keep getting renewed for additional episodes – and hence have to confront some of the more “real world” issues that they set up for their characters in that pilot episode. Laura Roslin’s cancer is the best example of this, for while the fact that the new President of the Colonies was suffering from a terminal illness made for great drama and character arcs in the short term, it was inevitable that the issue would have to be resolved at some point. The writers have been faced with this question for some time now: Do they kill off Laura, which is what would happen in the real world, or is some magical cure to be found that keeps the President on the show?
Well, what do you think happens? Suffice to say, Moore and his gang do their best to ground this issue in reality, even while they dip into sci-fi territory that goes a bit too far into the realm of Star Trek than is comfortable. But they manage to do so while also remarking on the stem cell issue of our own world, since the Cylon Sharon’s baby’s blood is discovered to be the key to Laura’s cure. That is, if Baltar and Helo can manage to dissuade Admiral Adama from having the fetus aborted.
On the Galactica, Roslin spends most of her time this episode in a hospital bed and in a semi-delirious state, but this only gives us a chance to flash back to her life as Secretary of Education on that fateful day of the attack. There, we learn a bit more about Laura’s relationship with the often discussed, heretofore unseen President Adar (Colm Feore, not given enough to do alas). And her trip down memory lane also provides Laura with a glimpse of Baltar’s previous life, something which will no doubt come into play in future episodes – although Baltar doesn’t know it yet.
Meanwhile, a new radical faction has developed in the fleet which calls for peace – or would that be surrender? – with the Cylons. Sabotage and the revelation of who the unlikely leader of this movement is both follow, as does a decision on the part of Baltar at episode’s end that just might mean no turning back for the scientist from Caprica City. B+

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