'Battlestar Galactica': Rolling a hard six
You know a show is great -- better yet -- you know a show's FANS are great when one of the loudest cheers at a screening comes when the writers' credits hit the screen. But that's how it is with "BSG," and that's how it was earlier this week at The Envelope's Screening of "Battlestar Galactica's" midseason finale at the ArcLight Theater's Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.
Before getting to the finale, we can/should talk about the panel -- Katee Sackhoff, Mary McDonnell, Tricia Helfer and show creator Ron Moore. Times reporter Geoff Boucher provided great moderation of a well-received discussion that touched on topics ranging from McDonnell's portrayal of a strong female leader stricken with cancer to Helfer's agnostic views and how her Cylon character has influenced her personally. Moore recounted pitching the story, and how perceiving Starbuck as a woman helped the whole series fall into place in the pre-production stage. And Starbuck herself? Well, Katee Sackhoff let an audience member know that she still prefers the old-fashioned f-bomb to the new-fangled 'frak.'
The screening itself was also a plea to get out the Emmy vote for our favorite BSGers. Eddie (as McDonnell calls him) James Olmos, McDonnell, Jamie Barber, Helfer and Sackhoff all received their "for your consideration" push as the crowd watched emotion-filled scenes from each. Click here for more on the screening series. (Another note: A fan near me asked if it was OK for her to write in Laura Roslin as her choice for president, and McDonnell replied that she could, but "only if I can have Hillary as my VP.")
Now on to the episode (here's the obligatory SPOILER ALERT) ...
It's pretty unfair to call this a midseason finale when the show is not returning until February of 2009. That's a long time to wait to see what "Revelations" (episode title) really ... reveals.
First reaction: What?! They find Earth and it's in ruins!?!? What the heck happened? Who did this? What time frame is this? Where are the other Cylons? I have to wait eight months to find out?!?!?
But I digress. We knew this was coming -- meaning the long wait -- so many of us have prepared for it (though some have lost their way). We've got our deep-breathing methods going, we may write songs like Alessandro Giuliani/Gaeta, could learn to play the card game, or we may just prep for Comic-Con to see the stars and eat bread from a "Battlestar Galactica" "toaster." You heard right.
But again, I digress. Leading up to the the discovery of the Blue Planet, all heck broke loose. As Deanna (3) returned to get "hers," the four Cylons were revealed. To everyone. Bill Adama took it a lot harder than I thought, totally breaking down. Lee took it better than I thought and took control of the situation, not hesitating to kill Sol Tigh if his people weren't returned. Definitely a gutsy move that, as said by Roslin later, won't "let him off the hook" now as being a leader of the fleet. The Viper conveniently leading the way back to Earth was a little gimmicky, but wasn't too over the top. You still wonder how? And why now -- questions to hopefully be answered next year. Other show highlights included:
- Adama's breakdown was unsettling. More so than a plot twist, it was downright jarring. Remarkably, it was understandable and believable when Adama wouldn't get up, though I was urging him to as much as Lee.
- Roslin's dilemma about whether to help Baltar or let him die was tougher to decide, at least for this viewer, than it seemed. This guy helped bring about the deaths of millions. But in the end, it's about what she could live with.
- Deanna's return gives the Cylons more structure, but will her new self-defense mode bode well for the rest?
- Capt. Starbuck has been awfully quiet for a woman who was crazy-obsessed with this planet. Sackhoff mentioned in the panel that Kara was trying to be cool so that people wouldn't think she was a Cylon. Well, we still haven't heard from No. 5.
And that's the big one. No fifth Cylon revealed and huge questions left unanswered that will plague fans for a long time to come. The delay is hopefully not 'rolling a hard six,' and I doubt the show will be forgotten, but it'll be interesting to see what kinds of things SciFi will be doing in the interim to keep the show relevant.
-- Jevon Phillips