Friday, January 16, 2009

Galactica is back! And more depressing than ever!

"Battlestar Galactica" returned to the SciFi Channel last night after an extended hiatus, presumably so showrunners could figure out how to write the last ten episodes in a way that wouldn't come across as incredibly anti-climatic. Prior to the hiatus, the human survivors of the Colonies had made nice with the Cylons (at least the pretty ones) and arrived at Earth. Instead of the land of milk and honey, they found an irradiated wasteland. The new episode, "Sometimes a Great Notion," begins right where the last episode ended.

Spoilers below...

Previous seasons of Galactica typically fell apart in the latter half, mainly because the writers simply lacked the material for 20+ episodes (Remember the Apollo as hard-boiled detective episode? Sorry to bring that up). However, if the rest of the remaining episodes are like "Sometimes a Great Notion," Galactica may go out with a bang rather than a whimper.

For viewers who love the show's mythology, this episode is a dream come true. We finally get some concrete information about the Thirteenth Tribe (they're fracking Cylons!) and about Ellen (also fracking Cylon). But this episode raises just as many questions as it answers. How did the Final Five download/soul-transfer from Earth 2,000 years ago to the Colonies in the present? If Kara isn't the last Cylon, what the hell is she? Do the writers have a plan, or are they just making this shit up as the go along?

In terms of personal drama, this episode doesn't disappoint either. Rosslyn goes crazy with the book-burning, Dee takes the easy way out, and Adama gets drunk again. I love me some drunk Adama, but sadly there's no drooling this time. Every character has to deal with the fact that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and Adama's final solution is both true to his character and the spirit of the show. With nothing left to lose, he gives his people a reason to keep going.

My one slight concern is that, with nine episodes left, the writers may once again not have enough decent material to maintain the quality at this level. I don't want to sit through seven terrible episodes before getting a spectacular two-hour series finale. But like Adama, I'll keep hope alive, and get mad drunk.

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