Battlestar Galactica #100: Revelations

"All of this has happened before..." "But it doesn't have to happen again."
SO SAY WE ALL: The Final Four are flushed out and guide the alliance to Earth.

REVIEW: To start with the end of this mid-season finale (which would be followed by a 6-month wait) is pretty bleak. They get to Earth, but it's a radioactive wasteland. The 13th Tribe has fought a nuclear war and essentially committed suicide. Or had their own Cylon-like trouble, who knows. Point is, there's nothing there but ruins, and you can't live there. But it could have been bleaker. Had the ongoing writers' strike stopped the show from continuing, Revelations and the next episode were designed to be a true series finale. It doesn't tie up every loose thread, though this particular episode does, in montage, give everyone a moment, even poor dead Kat as a stand-in for everyone lost, but it would mean the show ended on the downiest of downers. Thankfully, there's another half-season, and I don't want to give anything away to readers who are following the show along with the reviews, but you'll note they're careful not to show any continents from orbit. There's a slim sliver of hope in that.

And, I suppose, in the way they managed to keep a Colonial-Cylon alliance intact through all this. It wasn't easy. If the show has a villain right now, it's D'Anna. Boxed as she was, she never debated and grew as a person the way the other Cylons have. She doesn't trust humanity, and goes ahead with the hostage-taking plan Natalie had desperately tried to stop. It creates a situation where neither side is bluffing, neither side can be expected to back down, and with D'Anna in particular, you just don't play chicken with an absolute nihilist. If she can't get what she wants, then let's blow the whole thing up. Tory, the one Final Model who defects, eggs her on, in part to spite Roslin who dared tried to use her as a pawn. She comes into her full power here. Baltar, of all people, will try to talk her down, but her impatience and incapacity to believe the other Final Fours might not want to join her makes the situation even more tense.

Over on Galactica, this forces Tigh to expose himself and turn himself into a hostage - maybe D'Anna will listen then - which sends Adama reeling. Again an example of his trusting the wrong person (but of course, he hasn't, even as a Cylon, Tigh is loyal), he gets angry and drunk and useless, and in a scene that evokes the story of Noah's sons finding him in a drunk stupor and showing him kindness (I've got the Great Flood on my mind since the previous episode), he gives Lee the reigns of power. Lee can be more objective, more ruthless, but we know him, he's also more ethical, and he'll be the one who pushes for amnesty (one that will cover Sharon and Caprica-6, judging by their appearances outside jail cells here). When Tigh isn't enough of a bargaining chip, he exposes Anders and Tyrol too, and just as they were about to crack the mystery of Starbuck's Viper too. So there's a bit of a race against the clock, with Kara figuring out it's instrumentation is detecting the signal to Earth, which brings a possible solution to the conflict (the Four are no longer needed, or have fulfilled the needs of the prophecy at any rate).

But speaking of prophecy, the show is going to be very careful with its last leg now, because there are two competing destinies in play. If the Lords of Kobol left clues to Earth, which Galactica has been following and which are proven to be exact here (constellations, etc.), but a higher power wants them to find a proper home which this Earth isn't, then why is the Viper and the signals playing in the Final Four's heads pointing the way to Dead Earth as well? For this to all work, then Dead Earth must be a necessary step towards a new home, either because the alliance is required, or Dead Earth provides clues, or the prophetic elements (whether Pythia, hybrid, or the Viper signal's recognizable beat) are simply misunderstood and have confounding dual interpretations. I'll say no more, but we'll have to keep this in mind going forward. Where do we go from here? Indeed.

CAPRICANADA: The role of Nuked Earth is played by Centennial Beach, exact address - Boundary Bay Road, Tsawwassen, Delta, British Columbia.

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: Galactica has gotten to a destination only to find a dead and inhospitable world before - Kobol (in both continuities), New Caprica, and now the home of the 13th Tribe.

HUMAN DEATH TOLL: The starting tally puts the fleet's population at 39,665, which means 8 pilots were lost (in addition to Pike) in the action against the Hub. D'Anna executes one more during the episode. Outside the fleet, it is revealed the 13th Tribe is all dead, its world a pile of radioactive rubble.

VERSIONS: Deleted scenes would have had Adama threaten to kill D'Anna on the flight deck, but Lee asking him to back his play instead; D'Anna wondering why the other Final Four haven't come over and Tory actually suggesting a hostage be killed to force Tigh to make a move; Tight reiterating he would rather die than betray the uniform; Baltar still worrying about being the Fifth Cylon; and the Leobens and Sixes agreeing with Baltar, against D'Anna, that cooperation is the course to take.

- Don't despair, it's darkest before the dawn. Big important moments, real tension, and makes you wonder how they're going to walk away from this? Review #100 certainly fell on a momentous one.


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