Battlestar Galactica #54: Home, Part 2

"We may have gone down separately, but we're gonna come back together. Hopefully on our feet."
SO SAY WE ALL: Humanity is reunited just in time to find the Tomb of Athena and a map to Earth.

REVIEW: The second part of Home begins brilliantly, with a montage that shows both Roslin's party going up the mountain, and Adama preparing his own excursion, reading the scrolls, looking at maps. The way we move back and forth between them, they've already been reunited. The dialog is all on his end, but acts as narration - or should I say gospel - for the other side of the story. Only Adama could go to China, so he volunteers for the Raptor mission, and brings Roslin's former aide Billy. He's also found his sense of humor again, and lo and behold, when the two groups meet, there is immediate... forgiveness. There's no other way to put it. Tension, guns raised, people wonder what will happen, and they just embrace. There will be conversations later, relatively light-hearted ones leaving some things unspoken but clear. We're back. We should never have been apart. No more second-guessing. Let's just move on. It's beautiful and will in the end resolve with Adama making a speech not unlike that of the pilot mini-series, replacing his "So say we all" with applause for Roslin, forcing his lukewarm crew to put their faith in her full force. (She probably shouldn't feel as flattered as she looks, but it's a human reaction.)

Not everyone can be easily forgiven, however, and there is the matter of Sharon 2 to consider, and also Meier who isn't as ready to let go of his and Zarek's plans as Zarek himself is. Meier's been whispering sweet nothings into Sharon's ears, convincing her she'll be killed as soon as she's no longer useful. He DOES convince her, but she only plays the part he wants her to play. When they get to the Tomb of Athena, she uses the gun he lent her to kill him and another co-conspirator, then surrenders to Adama to prove she's no sleeper agent, and that she can be trusted. It's still weird. Adama almost kills her when they first meet, and she gives Tyrel a hug right in front of Helo even though they've never technically met. It's super, super weird. And she survives to be weird another day. That's twice on this mission she's used a weapon to save their lives then surrendered it, and she did lead them to the Tomb as promised (cue Tolkien moment). Inside is a virtual reality puzzle (you may choose to see it as a psychic vision instead) where they must realize they're standing on Earth so that the constellations named after the 12 Tribes are what we would see here. There's just enough there to guide them, but not enough to point to Earth too directly. I like that.

While everyone is making nice, Baltar is going a little mad. Six is telling him their baby will be born in a jail cell, and he's stopped believing her. So she amusingly changes gears. From naked vamp, she becomes a sweatshirted girl next door, and laughingly claims she can't do it anymore. She's just a part of his psyche, screwing with him. He doesn't believe THAT either. It would mean he's crazy. So what CAN he believe? There's a fun interaction with Dr. Cottle who for damn sure can't stand hypochondriacs, Baltar getting a brain scan, looking for a Cylon chip. There isn't one. As he falls apart, Sharon is brought into the cell, and he overhears her and Helo talking about the baby. How could he know this would happen? He couldn't. No Cylon device in him, and not madness. Then what? Six tells him she's an angel of God sent to guide him to the end of the human race... which really has more in common with Satan. But then Baltar WOULD be easy prey for the Devil, wouldn't he?

CAPRICANADA: The Gates of Hera are not a visual effect, they're real. They are actually called the Lions and are found in Capilano Park. The combined group then camps at Lynn Canyon Park before moving on to the Tomb of Athena. The vision of standing on Earth was filmed in Burnaby, in Deer Lake Park (monoliths added in post).

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: Though the surface details are different, the original Battlestar also found a map to Earth in a tomb (that one a pyramid) on Kobol. The ancient names of the Tribes are those we use here on Earth (Capricorn, Cancer, Pisces, etc.). If Six is a devil posing as an angel, is she the Count Iblis of the re-imagined program? (And what would Patrick Macnee think?)

HUMAN DEATH TOLL: We start the head count at 47,855, three down from the previous episode even though we only saw two people die. Either there was another victim in the Cylon ambush, or someone simply died off-screen in the fleet. In this episode, Meier and another of Zarek's men die, bringing us to 47,853 souls in the fleet.

VERSIONS: Among the deleted scenes, we find Sharon talking about her inherited memories; Zarek and Meier joking about Roslin; Starbuck telling Helo he and Sharon are in for a rough ride whether they find the tomb or not; Adama's group tracking Roslin's and finding Elosha's grave; Roslin sharing her doubts with Apollo; Billy confessing that he is an atheist; a funny bit where Kara makes a joke about the Adamas' therapy group for dysfunctional families and insubordinate officers; Starbuck digging out statuettes of the Lords of Kobol and starting a prayer in the epilogue, referencing the title by saying it's good to be home; and unnecessary conversations between various characters that would have been repetitive in the context of the two-parter.

REWATCHABILITY: High - I find the easy reconciliation of the two fleets impossibly touching, and love how Adama and Roslin are now somehow closer. Baltar's been in the background recently, but his little B-plot is pretty fantastic, at once funny and revelatory. Worth the dark and dank set-up.

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