Wednesday, January 24

Totally Frakked: I Spy With My Giant Eye... The Way to Earth!

Source: TV with MeeVee

Taking up residence in its new Sunday night time slot, Galactica returns in a big way in the first of nine fresh episodes. From the opening fade-in, in which we see the last Battlestar in orbit around Algae World facing off against the Cylon Base fleet, “Rapture” barrels ahead at full speed with weapons drawn.

To recap where we left off at the end of last month's midseason cliffhanger: The Cylon armada and Galactica were engaged in a nuclear staring contest high above the surface of Algae World. The planet is home to both a new source of food for the starving survivors of the ragtag fleet, and a mysterious artifact called the Eye of Jupiter that could hold the key to finding Earth. The harvesting team was trapped on the planet when the Cylons came knocking. Starbuck had been shot down in her raptor. Admiral Adama’s itchy trigger finger was poised above the button, ready to nuke the planet into dust rather than let the way to Earth fall into the hands of humanity’s merciless enemy. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there was also an impending supernova to contend with.

For those keeping score, the census board in the opening credits now stands at: 41,401.

Now, on to the action. Samuel T. “Macho Man” Anders and Apollo are still arguing about how to save Starbuck, with guns drawn and Centurions marching closer. As an anniversary gift, Apollo decides to send estranged wife Dualla to rescue the woman who’s been frakking her husband. D’Anna and Greasebaltar make it down to the planet with one of the Cavils, but those up top on the command Basestar are furious that she has defied their orders to abort the landing operation.

Aboard Galactica, Adama blinks and stands down with the nukes. Helo and Sharon-Athena emote over a plan to rescue little Hera. To Helo’s horror, the only solution is for Sharon-Athena to download, and just like that... BAM! He shoots, and blood spatters the walls of their quarters. President Roslin and the Admiral tour the scene of the crime, looking none too pleased. Rozz admonishes a gore-soaked Helo for putting the fleet in jeopardy. Towering over her, Helo reminds the President that they wouldn’t be at risk if she hadn’t staged the elaborate lie in the first place. The point is moot; Sharon-Athena awakens on board the command Basestar, with Caprica Six welcoming her back to the fold.

Down on the planet, Macho M’Anders sweats it out, waiting to hear back from Dualla. Starbuck’s downed raptor is pretty much intact, but she’s flambĂ©ed both paws and won't be able to fly it, let alone conduct repairs. Dualla reaches the raptor and jabs Starbuck full of pain meds. She then begins work on restoring the raptor’s avionics, firing off a few pointed digs at her adversary along the way.

On the Command Basestar, Sharon-Boomer has been caring for little Hera, whose medical condition is worsening. The screaming, curly-haired urchin quiets when Sharon-Athena arrives, but as is the trend of late, Sharon-Boomer flips out, screaming that it might be better for the Cylons if she just broke the child’s neck. Ironically, C-Six (who snapped a human infant’s neck in the opening minutes of the ‘03 mini-series) intervenes, giving Sharon-Boomer a taste of her own justice. Sharon-Athena and Hera escape in a captured raptor, as conditions on the ground and at the solar system’s sun reach flashpoint.

Centurions close in on Macho M’Anders, Apollo, and the rest of the impromptu resistance guarding the temple containing the Eye of Jupiter. Apollo orders Chief Tyrol to incinerate the artifact, but Greasebaltar, D’Anna, and Creepy Cavil storm in and yank out the detonators. Cavil realizes D’Anna is losing it, and decides to put her out of both her and the Cylons’ misery. Greasebaltar whacks Cavil first. D’Anna sees the eye mandala on the floor and steps onto it, just as the sun lets loose with a hell of a helium flash, the deadly warning sign that it will soon blow up. D’Anna has a vision in which she meets the Mysterious Five Cylon models that none dare speak of, and only the babbling hybrid has ever witnessed firsthand. One of those models, whose face the viewer isn’t allowed to see, is obviously somebody of importance whom D’Anna recognizes. But the power of this vision kills her, and she dies before revealing the truth to Greasebaltar. Worse for the sleazy former President of New Caprica, Tyrol returns to the temple and pistol-whips him unconscious. Also in the process, the Chief realizes that the nova itself is the actual Eye of Jupiter, as its pattern of light perfectly mirrors the mandalas depicted throughout the temple.

Like metal rats leaving a sinking star system, the Cylon Base fleet jumps away. The big flash arrives, and a sequence as elegant as the opening shot plays out, only longer. Raptors dash madly back to the landing decks, Galactica flares away, and hellfire rains down on the planet, burning it to bits. Chief Tyrol and company depart their raptor, carrying with them a body bag containing Greasebaltar’s still unconscious form. Colonel Tigh is sure to have a field day with this one! His guilty pleasure, however, is put on hold when Sharon-Athena disembarks another raptor cradling Hera -- accompanying her is Caprica Six, who is quickly rushed off into custody.

In CIC, Gaeta connects the final Eye of Jupiter dots. This nova mirrors one that occurred 4,000 light years ago, 13,000 light years away. The Colonial fleet hurries toward their next road sign pointing the way to Earth. Helo recognizes the image of the Eye as one of the drawings Starbuck doodled on the wall of her filthy apartment back on Caprica, where they took refuge from the Cylons way back when. For Starbuck, destiny awaits. For D’Anna, the future isn’t so rosy. She awakes on the Basestar and learns that every single D’Anna model is being boxed and sent to cold storage. Cavil pulls the plug, and Lucy Lawless’s run as the arrogant, messianic Number Three comes to its end.

Next up, the four-way between Apollo, Starbuck, Dualla, and Macho M’Anders takes center stage in “Taking a Break.”

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