Thursday, March 02, 2006

'Battlestar' ends its second season in stellar style

The Chicago Tribune has a review for the finale of Season 2:

Warning, spoilers follow:

When it comes to what to watch this weekend, one program stands out:
“Battlestar Galactica,” 9 p.m. Friday, Sci Fi: When he spoke to the Tribune in January, “Battlestar Galactica” executive producer
Ron Moore promised that the show’s two-part second-season finale would have “some pretty major changes in how we do business. It’s really going to catch people off guard.” He wasn’t kidding.
There are some mind-bending plot twists in “Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 1 and Part 2” (the second installment airs March 10), but what’s most impressive about both episodes is how they gracefully manage to convey a sense of elegiac foreboding. The direction, the cinematography, the empathic and original music, the acting and the stories all combine to create a kind of suspenseful poetry, and make the case that, right now, “Battlestar Galactica” is the best show on television.
To top all that off, the revelations that unfold at the end of the 90-minute March 10 episode are truly out of this world.

Much of the action in the first episode centers on the presidential election; the interplay between a desperate, determined Laura Roslin and the cynical, supercilious Gaius Baltar is a barbed, bare-knuckled treat. Baltar ends up grabbing onto the mother of all wedge issues (and don’t read the next bit if you don’t want to know a mild spoiler about Friday’s episode): A planet is found that can sustain — barely — the surviving remnants of humanity.
Should the Galactica fleet keep running, or put down roots on this new planet, which may be able to shield them from the Cylons for a good long time? That’s the question, and the debate between Roslin and Baltar on the topic gets quite pointed.
There are many other juicy stories in these two episodes; Starbuck’s quest to find her lover and his band of fighters on Caprica, Tom Zarek (Richard Hatch) acting as Baltar’s Machiavellian political adviser, and Dean Stockwell guesting as a man of the cloth who attempts to counsel Chief Petty Officer Galen Tyrol, an endlessly likable character who does something extremely unlikable in this surprising pair of episodes.
Nothing, however, in the first two hours of the “Battlestar Galactica” finale can really prepare you for what happens in Season 2’s final half hour. Many revelations are packed into the final few minutes, and to reveal a single one of them would be a base act of treachery.
Still, it’s astonishing how confident Moore and the “Battlestar” writers are. They clearly know they have many more stories to tell, so dropping dozens of revelations into the last few minutes of the season — and doing it skillfully, without flash or smoke and mirrors — is no problem. They make it look easy, and a show with this many moving parts is clearly not easy to make. In any case, by the last spoken line of the season finale, you’ll be on the edge of your seat — and once again wondering just how the Galactica fleet is going to survive.


Can't wait to see them!

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