Battlestar Galactica #53: Home, Part 1

"You missed a few catastrophes while you were away."
SO SAY WE ALL: Starbuck rejoins Roslin's fleet at Kobol, while Adama struggles with maintaining what's left of the fleet on his end and his rage over Roslin's betrayal.

REVIEW: Starbuck's back and needs to catch up on what's going on, but I find there's a lot of manufactured tension to her return. First, the fleet almost blows her up because she can make contact. No reason for this, and it's not especially convincing as a reveal for the audience. Second, couldn't Sharon stay in the raider while Helo and Kara explained why she was along? Instead, there's this whole big Mexican standoff (again) where Lee almost kills her and Helo almost kills him. Roslin orders her thrown out of an airlock after promising she wouldn't be harmed, forcing her to broker a deal for information about the location of Athena's tomb, and suddenly we hear about a "lower demon" who helped out according to the scrolls. It's not the smoothest piece of plotting, and it happens mostly because the characters are stupid. I will say it's brave of the show to make its heroic leaders unsympathetic. Roslin is ruthless beyond ethics. Lee is a real asshole to Kara in addition to his vengeful impulse towards their resident Cylon. And Adama, well... we'll get to him in due course.

I am so not interested in an Apollo-Starbuck romance, but now that it could cause a romantic triangle with Anders , it's almost par for the course. I just don't buy it. Kara comes back, he lands a kiss on her out of nowhere. Later, he's an impossible jerk, stealing her pyramid ball and playing the bully, but slipping in that he loves her (as a friend, in that context) and she teases him about it, obviously flattered. It's too light a moment on the heels of everything that went before. It's a school yard romance moment and I don't buy it. Almost makes me want to see Zarek and Meier succeed. They plan to allow Lee to become part of the "cost in blood" of the prophesied expedition (ironically, he hands them weapons), so Roslin has no other option to command the fleet than Zarek himself. They're not believers, but they know they have to keep Roslin around to keep her followers in line. Unclear what happens without Elosha's interpretative skills, since she IS part of the cost in blood, killed by a Cylon booby trap. Then the big lugs attack and Sharon proves her loyalty by killing the last one with her own super-soldier prowess. It's a pretty cool action sequence given that she's tied up, unarmed, and has Lee chasing her.

Back on Galactica, Adama is pulling off a fine Captain Queeg impression, but he's allowed. Think about it this way: Despite the military structure he represents, he's an emotional commander who sees his officers as friends and family. He lets things slide way past the point of what's appropriate with Tigh, and is hurt and angry when his children - biological and not - betray him. Kara betrayed him (causing Zack's death). Boomer betrayed him. Lee betrayed him. He gets close, and he gets burned. That puts him off the rails. He's talking about incarcerating the press, for Gods' sake! And though he talks about his "sons" as a unit (i.e. Lee is as dead to him as Zack is), there's no replacing Apollo - the newly-minted CAG Burke is loyal but not capable - nor the third of the fleet that's gone to Kobol. Another daughter, Dualla, is called in for a chat, and while we know she was Apollo and Roslin's confederate (another betrayer), he doesn't. He trusts her, but I think isn't expecting her to call him out. She crosses a line in terms of military protocol, but she senses she should and can. Dismissed summarily for her talk of reconciliation, Adama is nevertheless convinced. As the Celtic sounds of the Adama theme touchingly strike up, he announces it's time to put the family back together again. The Adamas. Humanity. Home Part 2 beckons.

CAPRICANADA: What we see of Kobol is Galleon Meadow, a gravel quarry. The mountain in the background where the path seems to lie is a special effect, but not the one in the foreground. Elosha dies in Lynn Canyon Park (another part of North Vancouver), near the Bear Trail. It looks like it's consistently raining, which is on-brand for British Columbia. At this point, I have to say how cognitively dissonant it is for "North Vancouver" to be a nature preserve when actual Vancouver is a city, but there you go.

HUMAN DEATH TOLL: The count starts at 47,858 (so adds Helo), but two people die on Kobol, including the priestess Elosha.

VERSIONS: Deleted scenes include Roslin's confederates asking her to lead them in prayer; and Elosha admitting she'd lost her faith before the Cylon attack, and that Roslin saved her soul.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - Though I have severe misgivings about the plot as it inorganically unfolds on Kobol, I can't deny a lot of important stuff happens, and Adama's final turn makes my chest swell.

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