Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Five Cylons You Meet in Heaven

Entertainment Weekly has the following article up as a review for Rapture:

The Five Cylons You Meet in Heaven
On ''Battlestar Galactica,'' D'Anna has a fatal vision in the temple; meanwhile, Sharon gets downloaded to recover Hera, and Starbuck comes home

By Marc Bernardin

Welcome back to you, the Colonial faithful.

Now, you knew that Admiral Adama wasn't going to nuke the planet's surface, didn't you? I mean, even for a show like this, which takes storytelling chances like I've never seen, that was just too big a leap for Wild Bill to take, to atomize his only surviving child. The power of the show, I think, is that it got you to believe, even for just a second, that he might.

And the battle of the biceps continues. Lee and Anders, fighting both for and over one woman. I can't help wondering, though: Is Starbuck really worth it? I've been watching this show from day one, and I love her as a character. And I'd love her by my side in a firefight. But never in my dreams is the woman of my dreams that frakked up. You can't hate her, I know that, but can you truly love her? Knowing what she'll do to you (which both of those gents do)? And, once again, poor Dualla. Know what? She should just divorce Lee and shack up with Gaeta. Now there's a loyal dude. If he can stick with Baltar as long as he did, he'll stand by a good woman like Dualla.

Did you see it coming, Helo killing Sharon? I did, and it still surprised me. Smart, though. He can't be brought up on charges (more than illegal discharge of a firearm, anyway), and it gave Sharon a fighting chance of bringing back Hera. But the cast-iron huevos of Roslin to even stand in that room, let alone berate Helo for his actions....

If this show is about anything, it's accountability, about having to live with the decisions you make. You completely get the idea that, push comes to shove, Sharon would've spent the rest of her immortality on a base ship if it meant that she'd get to be with her daughter. You understand (sort of) why Chief Tyrol didn't blow up the Temple of the Five, because that's something a preacher's kid, no matter how rebellious, just couldn't live with. And it totally made sense that the other Cylon models would vote to have the D'Anna model series boxed, their personalities and memories kept in cold storage. (One of the coolest ways, pardon the pun, to end a guest-star stint, ever.) She's been building to that for a long time, what with that serial-suicide solution to her ''I wanna see the final five'' problem. She's the Cylon that doesn't play well with others. It's probably Baltar's fault. Apparently, going to bed with him renders most machines incapable of obeying their programming. (Don't let him near your dishwasher. Not if you want clean plates. I'm just saying.)

And Caprica Six. Once again, we'll be treated to seeing a Six behind bars. Yeah, I know she'd probably get herself boxed right along with the D'Annas for killing a fellow Cylon and letting the fabled child escape, but what does she expect from Adama and Roslin? Sanctuary? A free pass? A comfy cell right next to Baltar? (Or maybe just to get within striking distance of the ex-president.)

As for the Eye of Jupiter, it was a teensy bit of a cheat in that you didn't need to be in the temple to see the signs of the path to Earth. You didn't even need to be on the planet. So the only thing it was good for was seeing the faces of the final five, which, of course, only D'Anna saw, and she didn't tell anybody who they were — especially not the one she recognized. (I'm guessing Baltar will tease the Colonials with that bit of info until someone launches a raid of sorts on the Cylon cold-storage database and hatches a new D'Anna so that she can reveal the familiar face.)

The worst part about these cliff-hangers is that for all the suspense they build, we always return to a status quo. Sure, there are revelations and discoveries and events of momentous importance, but we always revert back to our premise: humanity's ragtag fleet, running from the Cylons, trying to find Earth. Not that I don't love that premise, I'm just getting a little tired of the bait and switch, if you get my meaning — the dangling carrot of real, fundamental change. Maybe that'll come with the rumored ''Starbuck event'' that's been burning up the subspace chatter, and that whole Psychic Visions I Graffittied My Apartment With thing could be setting up something big. Something that ends with a different kind of supernova.

Don't get me wrong, this episode delivered on its promise. I just wanted a little something more.

What did you think? What'll happen to Baltar, now that he's back in Colonial hands? How will the romantic quadrangle (Starbuck, Lee, Anders, and Dualla) work itself out? Did D'Anna deserve to be boxed? And will Doc Cottle just diagnose Baby Hera with an extreme case of constipation and prescribe a little Pepto?

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