Someone asked that I move the Galacticablogging over here. If the consensus is that this doesn't really belong at ObWi, I'll discontinue the experiment.
A week after I suggested Moore and company might have finally found their niche by changing from 'humanity on the run' to 'humanity resists the Cylons,' it appears I spoke too soon. Surprise. Last's night's episode, starting with the title, suggests that New Caprica will be only a brief way-station on the way to Earth, although I'll concede that all could changed based on what happens next week. Continued below the fold to allow readers to avoid spoilers.
The start of the episode was, quite frankly, a disappointment. Last week we cut away from two cliffhangers: the Cylons about to exterminate a group of humans and Boomer and Anders were under fire from Cylons tipped off to the meeting by Ellen Tigh. This episode gives us a 'one hour earlier' tag that explains that, conveniently enough, Gaeta managed to warn Tyrol that Cally and the others were going to be killed, so the Chief led a rescue team that saved them just in the nick of time, albeit with a continuity error as I'm pretty sure last week we saw Cally running away and head gunfire at the same time, which changed in this episode. Amazingly enough, Boomer's marine escort had also set up a counterambush for the Cylons before she initiated the meeting, so that ambush fails as well. I understand that both cliffhangers needed to go in the Colonials' favor, but the gimmick of showing that other things had been in motion strikes me as rather cheesy. Presumably Ron Moore was a fan of the Saturday afternoon serials as a child.
After the group containing President Roslyn was rescued, Tyrol mentions that the Galactica is coming to rescue them all soon. He says this despite the fact a Number Five is still alive at the scene, which seems decidedly unwise, but based on later events it appears he did not hear the conversation.
We then cut to Baltar, who is apparently suffering from impotence due to his guilty conscience. Number Six is unhappy with his constant self-recrimination, complaining that he doesn't understand what she has given up to be with him. Baltar bitterly responds that, with the occupation of New Caprica it's a little hard for him to worry about their relationship. Number Six is clearly at least nominally on the side of the humans, but interspecies relationships are obviously a difficult thing, and she may be coming to regret her love for Baltar.
Next up, it's another dream sequence/prophecy, this one for D'Anna Biers, who dreams of Hera, the human-Cylon hybrid child of Boomer and Helo. Biers goes out in search of the source of her dream (doesn't everyone) and discovers a human oracle who tells her that the child lives, and that Biers will hold it in her arms, but that it will cost her all she has built here, presumably on New Caprica. Perhaps this is foreshadowing that the Cylons will get Hera, but the rest of the humans will escape New Caprica.
Meanwhile, the Galactica is preparing to launch a rescue mission, while the Pegasus and the civilian ships prepare to continue the search for Earth. Adama tells Lee to wait 18 hours for them, then initiate the search. Raise your hand if you think that the Galactica will make it back within 18 hours. Keep your hand raised if you think Pegasus will leave without Galactica. If you're still holding your hand up, I just happen to have in my possession a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge that I'm trying to sell. The farewell between Lee and Adama is done well, as the crews perform a brief religious ritual, and Adama tells his son 'Don't make me cry on my own hangar deck' when Lee tries to say more.
Back on New Caprica, the resistance has secured Ellen Tigh, as they have learned she is the source of the leak to the Cylons. We also learn that Hera and her mother are being kept constantly on the move to keep the Cylons from finding them. While I suppose that is prudent, one wonders if it isn't also calculated to arouse suspicion among the Cylons, who all believed Hera was dead until D'Anna's dream. We also learn that the colonists have performed three dress rehearsals for evacuating the colony under the guise of natural disaster preparedness, a wise precaution that will serve them well if the rescue mission goes off as planned. Their plan is to hit the Cylons in multiple places at once in the hopes that will distract the occupation long enough for the citizens to escape. Given some 50,000 humans on New Caprica, it seems implausible any distraction could last long enough to get them all out, but I suppose there are few better options available to them.
Boomer, meanwhile, gets to suck up a little anti-Cylon prejudice, something she's apparently going to live with for the rest of her life, as she is proud of her service as a Colonial officer and clearly intends to remain on the side of the humans. Although that could all still change, as she runs into Biers when she infiltrates the Cylon base to secure the launch keys for the human ships, and Biers tells her that Hera is still alive. Boomer kneecaps Biers, telling her that 'Adama wouldn't lie to me.' That promises to be an interesting conversation, and how Boomer reacts should be fascinating. Her kneecapping of Biers seems rather vicious, though; it seems to me that it would have been far more merciful to simply kill her and allow her to download again than to cripple her in that way.
The episode ends with Adama giving his best 'Band of Brothers' speech, extolling the crew of Galactica to remember their comrades so they can tell their grandchildren about the amazing men and women with whom they served.
All in all, not a bad episode. As a soldier, I find the rushed nature of the rescue jarring; Adama sent the Pegasus away before he even knew that Boomer had the launch keys; what would have happened if she had failed and they needed to delay the mission? Rushed plans tend to go bad pretty quickly, and I suspect this one will as well. We see a lot of Boomer's development in this episode, which was terrific. Her reaction to human prejudices was played very well, and her pride in being accepted by Adama is clear, as is her frustration at not being fully accepted by the other humans. She has a hard road ahead of her, and she's beginning to realize that. Hearing Brother Cavil describe committing suicide in order to download after he was mortally wounded was an interesting look inside Cylon life, particularly his complaint that each new download was more unpleasant; a hint, perhaps, that the Cylons will become more leery of death despite their knowledge they are functionally immortal. The fleshing out of Ellen Tigh's love for her husband was quite intriguing as well; how will he react to the knowledge she betrayed the resistance in order to save him?
The key to this episode, though, will be what happens next week. The first three episodes of the new season have thrown a lot of balls in the air. Now they're going to need some time to explore the consequences of those changes, and that means they're going to need some episodes that are a lot less hectic than the current set. Next week won't be any less busy than this week, but I wonder if it will at least set up the promise of a little down time for the crew to explore their relationships some more.