Gooby Rastor, encouraged by finishing the other review, finally catches up and reviews Episode 4.06, a week late.
Wow, after last week’s episode seemed determined to drag plotlines, kicking and screaming, as far as they could in ~40 minutes of television (to mixed effect), Battlestar Galactica really seemed content to let their storylines float along a bit in “Escape Velocity,” which winds up being rather inaptly named. Not that stuff wasn’t happening, but it kind of felt like an athlete running in place, and jumping rope, in preparation (one hopes) for running the mile. Since there’s a little bit of movement in so many places, let’s just hop in and I’ll try to keep the review from getting too disjointed.
The Final Four (less Anders) were up to a lot this episode, weren’t they? We had to know that there was going to be some fallout from Cally’s death, and we get to watch the (soon to be ex-) Chief beginning to lose it. And you know what? It works.
Meanwhile, with Tigh’s scenes, we get a possible answer to a nitpick I had from the season opener. Now that Saul is hallucinating about dead Ellen, it becomes more possible, to my mind, that he’s engaging in a bit of toaster-style projection. If that’s the case, I’m willing to forgive the lapse of documentary-style shooting when Tigh dream-shot Adama in HTBiM. Tyrol, too, seems to have been engaging in the same, when we heard Adama casually mentioning
Right, sorry. Tigh and his Six scenes. Obviously, Tigh sees an opportunity in being a Cylon, just different from the one Tory sees. Tigh’s got a hunch that being a toaster means that pain has now become optional, if only Caprica can teach him the trick. Of course, this is also the time when Ellen’s ghost shows up to haunt Saul, spurring him on that much more. Ironic too, though not exactly out of character, that the first tactic which the Six tries to help(?) Tigh is beating him bloody. As an aside, I really like that they have Tricia Helfer showing Six’s glee at pummeling someone again. That model really likes doing that, ya know? It’s not a lot that we get with these scenes between Cylons, but they do seem to indicate where the character is headed, and that’s good.
Tory continues to have a character-establishment arc, involving such notions as her supplying Baltar’s notion of being “perfect just the way we are,” adopting the charming idea of turning off her sense of guilt, and possibly coordinating the attack on Baltar’s cult with the Sons of Ares. All right, I’ll admit that the last point is me extrapolating a bit, but what gave with her staring down Gaius after the thugs left? So we also see where she’s heading, but we knew that last week.
Baltar, on the other hand, I don’t know where they’re going with. I’ll admit however that right now, the Baltar storyline is the one that intrigues me most about this show, perhaps because I don’t know where it’s going, yet I feel certain that it’s going to go somewhere. This episode wasn’t just treading water with Gaius, either. At least, not as much as with the other plots. He rants à la Jesus in the
Anyway, Baltar’s situation also gives us a glimpse into the incremental movement of the political plot, where Lee and the quorum refuse to roll over for Roslin, despite her invoking the memory of nine-elev—New Caprica, I mean. There’s some notes of the current U.S. political situation; with Roslin scoffing at the naïveté of the young idealistic Lee Obama, but the pace of this storyline is still more C-SPAN than anything else, and I don’t know that I see it changing anytime soon.
So let’s take a quick step back to a storyline that, as mentioned, seems full of steam. Virtual Six continues to build up Gaius’ image to her own opaque ends, even lifting the poor guy up and back into the tender mercies of an unsympathetic soldier. If there’s a Cylon on the show who still seems to have a Plan, it’s the devil in the blue dress. The writers have promised us answers to what exactly is up with Six, and at least she seems to be a pretty integral part of the story this year. Virtual Baltar on the other hand, still goes woefully underused. I’m starting to think that the writers didn’t really think through exactly how to use that character, and just decided to stick him in wherever they thought it would look cool... and that’s a bleeding shame, because when they first introduced him in “Downloaded,” yes it was cool, but it also seemed to enjoy a symmetry with Virtual Six’s actions. I’m pretty surprised that the writers seem to have some block regarding this character, but I don’t know how else to explain his disjointed, random appearances on the show.
And now the words I’ve been waiting to type all season:
Starbuck wasn’t in this episode.
Okay, okay, we saw her sleeping briefly. But no Crazy Kara to distract us tonight. I never would’ve thought it, but I needed a break from the girl. On the same note, nothing on the Cylon front to report, but it looks like Leoben next week, so... that might just have something to do with Kara. Yippee.
Oh, and? That shot of Racetrack’s Raptor taking off from the Galactica was pretty good-looking; and the crash was intense, though I didn’t care for the way both she and Skulls got off injury-free. It wasn’t utterly implausible, but it was a little... they did explode a couple of times after all. (I didn’t really know where to put these observations. Sore Thumb Zone it is!)
“Escape Velocity” is a bit of a step up from “The Ties That Bind,” in that the show gives us fewer WTF? moments, but then, it also seems to be an episode content to tread water. (If this were Top Chef, this episode would be taken to task at Judge’s Table for not cooking to win, but rather cooking not to lose). Thankfully,
“C. Shows improvement, but still not up to usual quality. I know you can do better, young lady.”