Battlestar Galactica #47: Kobol's Last Gleaming: Part 2

"No one coerces Starbuck. Believe me, I've tried."
SO SAY WE ALL: When Starbuck goes to Caprica for the Arrow of Apollo, Adama is forced to arrest Roslin and find a new plan to destroy the Cylons over Kobol.

REVIEW: The first season's finale puts everything in disarray and with us wondering just how it's all going to be resolved, and that's a good place to leave things. I suppose the most dangerous part of the plot is Adama turning on Roswell and having her arrested for turning one of his pilots, thus putting the fleet (or at least the Raptor on Kobol) in jeopardy. It's the military coup Tom Zarek was warning us about, and it's a public one. Roslin makes sure of that, and it's exciting that both leaders call each other's bluff and neither was bluffing. This is who they are. Lee even turns on Tigh, almost putting an end to the coup before it can succeed, but Roslin gives herself up to avoid bloodshed. In any case, the episode ends with Roslin and the ever-moral (anf finally following his instincts) Apollo in jail. If they somehow regain their positions early in Season 2, we might feel cheated. And yet, do we really want this dark status quo to stick? And will Starbuck finding the Arrow of Apollo (there's that name again) make everything okay for Roslin and her followers? If so, can Adama's position remain tenable? Battlestar Galactica doesn't do reset buttons normally, so this is why I call it a dangerous path.

On Kobol, Starbuck joins Helo and Sharon - who have, a little confusingly, gone somewhere to talk about their future, so they're not where we think they'll be when Kara arrives - and of course, that means Starbuck now knows Boomer is a Cylon. But first, she has to fight a furious Six who seems to know entirely too much for her NOT to be in contact with Baltar's ghost Six. Doesn't it seem like she's propelled by jealousy here? Good, brutal fight, and Kara almost ends up spiked at the end of the Arrow. But now it will be time to bring Helo back to Galactica and end this Caprican subplot (I'm glad), and they'll bring Sharon with them or else the Cylon-human love child she's carrying would be for nought. And indeed, the other Boomer is quickly outliving her usefulness as a character. She just almost committed suicide, which makes me think Adama sends her on a suicide mission because he knows her wound wasn't the result of an accidental discharge, and he thinks he can use her state of mind to make sure she completes the mission. Or maybe that's too dark a take. After all, Racetrack is also along, and what has she done to deserve nuking inside a base star? The mission has a creepy moment where a bunch of Sharons walk in on Boomer setting the bomb to tell her they love her. In fact, it looks like they let it explode once their sister has left. Death doesn't mean the same thing to a Cylon that can reincarnate on another ship somewhere, but more than that, they're setting Boomer up for glory so she can complete her CYLON mission - shooting Adama in the gut. Now that's how you end a season! Cripes! And she doesn't even realize she's doing that. Creepy!

And then there's the Kobol stuff. For most of the duration, it's a survival story. Crashdown (jinx of a name) is the ranking officer, but he's green and panicky. He has to take direction from Tyrol, and there's a little drama there. What's more important is Baltar's role. Saved from the burning Raptor by a vision of Six, she brings him to the ruins of the Opera House where his vision expands to see it in its heyday. Promised answers to why he was chosen by God, he is shown a vision of a baby that will be the "first member of our family". Obviously, Sharon and Helo's, though Baltar doesn't have that information. He might think it's his even if that would require a physical Six to enter his life. Again, does this point to ghost Six being in contact with other Sixes? What it seems absolute proof of is that she isn't a figment of Baltar's imagination. Whether Cylon transmission or divine entity, she's knows too much for that. What's more important a revelation is Six's contention that life is a melody, its notes in harmony with God, and so, an opera house. The writers are putting themes into motion here without knowing where it will lead, but if you've seen the series in its entirety, you will know they used this moment to craft the ending. Music will play a part, and the recurring motifs in music can and should be metaphorically connected to the idea of things having happened before and happening again at the heart of the series' concept of fate.

CAPRICANADA: While the Delphi Museum exterior is on the UBC campus, its interior is played by the old Woodwards building in downtown Vancouver (the rooftop of which we saw the Cylons standing on in Litmus); it has since been torn down. The Opera House interior is the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver. As for Kobol itself, what we see is Widgeon Slough in Pitt Meadows, just outside the city, designated a National Wildlife Area. On the casting end of things, "Racetrack" makes the first of many appearances here, as played by Leah Cairns, a Vancouver actress most recently seen as Kathryn MacLaren in the time travel thriller Travelers.

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: Gaeta's Cylon transponders echo a similar tactic used by Apollo and Starbuck in the original series, when they launch an attack on a Base Star in The Hand of God.

HUMAN DEATH TOLL: Raptor 1 lose one crewman, which would put the full complement (still not counting Helo) at 47,886.

VERSIONS: The way the deleted scenes are arranged, Part II would originally have included Roslin convincing Starbuck to go to Caprica (and many conversations with others about her plan) and Kara's jump. Possibly, the cliffganger would have been the raptor crashing on Kobol.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - There's a lot going on, and I'm wary of the coup and how it might resolve, but the episode provides absolutely crucial pieces of the BSG puzzle.

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