Battlestar Galactica #120: End of Line

"Welcome to the deep end... It's always deeper than you think."

SO SAY WE ALL: Zoe escapes the lab. Adama finds Tamara. Amanda walks off a bridge. Barabas goes after Clarice.

REVIEW: When you start at the end, and then do "20 hours earlier", it should be about creating a mystery. How'd they get there? I'm not convinced it works in this case. It tells us Zoe MUST escape the lab over the course of the episode, but that's not nearly as much of nail biter as the other story strands are. Caprica's sole season is split in two halves, with months in between, so the mid-point is a cliffhanger for about half the stories, while the other half get a resolution so it's not ALL up in the air.

Philo seems to be a bit less of a creep this time around. He might even be a bit romantic, now falling in love with "Rachel" and believable when he says it doesn't matter what she actually looks like. Of course, when Zoe panics - her father's gonna wipe her chip due to financial pressures on his end and Lacy is about a week away from securing transport for her to Gemenon - it's too much to ask for him to love a robot. He betrays her (but can we blame him?) and she accidentally kills him, jumps into a van and she's off on her suicide run. My question is: What does she do here that she couldn't have done in the dead of night?

That day, Graystone is finally forced to sell the Buccaneers if he's to deliver 100,000 Cylons by the end of the month. And then it gets worse. Enter Colonel Sasha Patel to tell him she knows it's a stolen chip and doesn't care, but now he must deliver in a week to avoid more of this bad pubicity, but also on the notion that if he can't reverse-engineer the chip in a week, it's not gonna happen in a month. I'm don't understand the tech talk or how it would actually make the chip work (else they would have done it already), but as it turns out, Sasha is in cahoots with Vergis to give him the contract when Graystone inevitably fails. He's making good on his promise. He's taken the Buccaneers, he's about to take the contract and sink Daniel's company, and he's compromised the Graystones' marriage too.

After spending days in bed, succumbing to addiction and depression (or "being crazy", the Colonies don't seem to be very woke in terms of mental illness), she dresses up for a date with her husband and confronts him about what Vergis told her. Daniel is honest-ish and she walks out. Flashing to a suicide attempt in her youth, she is led to a bridge off of which she jumps (cliffhanger!). As originally devised, Vergis would have been responsible for a little more than the decay of the marriage (see Versions), which might have strained credulity, but I think I would have bought it. He's playing everyone masterfully.

The Fates do seem to take a hand, with much of the action converging on the roads between Caprica City and the airport. Zoe's escape creates roadblocks and traffic jams, which forces Clarice and Nestor - headed to Gemenon to talk to the STO leadership - to stop. From that position, she sees Amanda job off the bridge, runs out of her car, and survives Barnabas's car bomb (not sure about Nestor though). This is the culmination of a turf war between the two cell leaders, Barnabas having completely gone off the rails and pretty much ready to faction off from the main STO. James Marsters is always good as the cocky villain ("I AM a bother"), but he has quite the edge here, tricking Lacy into putting a tracker that is actually a remote detonator on Clarice, then forcing her to pull the trigger on pain of death, Keon's death, and of course, the loss of transport for Zoe. The poor girl does it, but in that intense moment, no one notices Clarice leaving the car on the monitors. My question (I seem to always have one) is why they couldn't have put the detonator WITH the bomb in the trunk. The answer is probably just for cruelty's sake and to confirm Lacy's loyalties.

The one plot not taking to the road is Adama's. They actually filmed his reunion with Tamara two ways. See Versions for the other one, but I think the way they handled it in the end is a lot stronger. He's been in VR too long, he's gotten addicted to amps, he's not taking care of himself. His brother Sam and friend/possible romantic partner Evelyn are worried about him. Emmanuelle finds Tamara first and they discuss a reunion, and that's where it hits me - Emmanuelle is Evelyn (knew all about Heracles, both women are concerned for Joseph, and in terms of casting, one might as well be a youthful avatar of the other). I will be proven right by the end, which has Tamara shooting herself and seeming to die, then shooting her father to take him out of the game permanently. Instant closure (so long as he believes she did die in that moment, and if not, does it matter?) and properly heart-breaking. But does this put an end to the Tamara subplot? Where does Adama go from here?

Whether things end in a cliffhanger or get some resolution, the back half of the season must move on from the many of the plot threads it's been exploring to date.

CAPRICANADA: Vergis and Sasha walk down stairs at Oceanic Plaza. Zoe meets Lacy at Sasamat Lake in Belcarra Regional Park, which is also where she has her date with Philo. Amanda's jump-off point is Burrard Bridge in Vancouver, which she sees from the Seaside Bicycle Route near the Aquatic Centre.

The title is part of Cylon Hybrid dialog.

VERSIONS: There about 9 minutes of alternate material from the episode. Emmanuelle and Joseph follow a rumor that the Westies gang might have Tamara and they are joined by Sam in New Cap City. The Westies DO have her tied to a chair, and the gangbangers are impressed by the "famous Emmanuelle". All the bad guys get shot, but Tamara too, where she feigns death and de-rezzes, a set-up by Sam and Emmanuelle/Evelyn to make him let go. Tamara watches her father grieve for her before he leaves New Cap City. In terms of deleted material, there's more to the conversation between Vergis and Sasha, and it's revealed that the Darius Amanda keeps seeing is a lookalike in his employ (the producers thought the gaslighting of Amanda was uhm, a bridge too far and removed it).

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - An exciting mid-season finale, but not without its plot holes.



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