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'Battlestar Galactica': Hera, Boomer and the sounds of a Cylon

February 28, 2009 |  4:45 am

Like a good basketBoomerball player, "Battlestar Galactica" lulled everyone to sleep, slowly dribbling the ball as we all tried to steal it. Suddenly, with the shot clock down to 5, it darted past us for a slam dunk. Two points, and even though many knew (or thought they knew) it was coming, there wasn't anything you could do to stop it.

Did we ever really trust Boomer? A little. Athena worked hard and gained our trust, and it's difficult not to trust someone who has the same face of someone you trust. Got that? The stupid Cylon projection trick, seeing Galen smile ... Boomer not only made him believe, but many of us may have thought, "Oh, maybe she's reformed and they'll still kill her because of her crimes" 'cause that's how the gritty "Galactica" seems to work.

That was reaching for the ball, and by the time we tried to recover and play defense, Boomer had given Athena a bathroom beatdown, frakked her husband Helo right in front of her, stolen Hera and escaped back to Cavil, leaving a big hole in the hull of a crumbling battlestar. Two points.

Before the episode scored, there was little physical movement. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (and there is an excellent interview of Katee Sackhoff here) epitomized the malaise with her monotonous beginning. And then she meets the mysterious piano player who reminds her so much of her dad. They have some nice moments throughout, all the way up until Starbuck begins to play a tune that makes the final five Cylons' ears perk up. It was the music that drew them all together in the first place, and it was music that Starbuck had learned from her father as a little girl -- and that had been written on a sheet of paper by Helo and Athena's daughter Hera. Curiouser and curiouser.


Come to find out that this piano player that we had all interacted with so well was a figment of Starbuck's imagination, much like Gaius Baltar's Six.  But at least Gaius knows when he's being played (by now), whereas Starbuck was most likely sitting drunk in the bar talking to herself while others watched. Very cool twist in the end with him not being there. It seemed to make it pretty clear that this piano guy was either the father of or a descendant from Daniel, the Cylon destroyed by Cavil, and who just happened to be Starbuck's daddy.

That would make Starbuck part Cylon, like Hera. Possibly the two most important beings on the show.

One of them will now be in the clutches of Cavil. Boomer's betrayal was well-orchestrated, though even my boss had questioned why and how Ellen Tigh managed to escape the base star so easily. It made no sense, and now it makes perfect sense.


Pity poor Galen, too. Chief Tyrol hadn't genuinely been happy in a long while.  Girlfriend's a Cylon, girlfriend's killed, wife is killed, he's a Cylon and his kid's not his.  But we got to see him at peace with Boomer for a while. Then she not only rips away Hera with his unknowing help, but also ransacks Galen's mental picture of their dream life together.

This whole episode was a great, very slow reveal, but because of it, just makes me more anxious for the building action to come. Will they mount a rescue attempt for Hera? That'd be interesting and could be the catalyst for the big confrontation everyone's waiting for. There are only a few more episodes left to lay out the mythology, and it seemed like not much of that was accomplished in this flashback-heavy episode. It still feels like there's a long way to go in the storytelling, but the end is, at least, in sight.


Piano -- Starbuck speaks! Katee Sackhoff on the final days of 'Battlestar Galactica'
-- 'Battlestar Galactica' strikes up a tune
-- Five reasons not to be scared of 'Battlestar Galactica'
-- Is 'Battlestar Galactica' a retelling of The Aeneid?

-- Jevon Phillips