Thursday, May 29
Bopone unveils his review of Episode 4.08, strategically avoiding having to finish it on a Friday.
FAITH is about the most powerful episode I have seen in Season 4. It is a very emotional story, both in its A and B plot-lines.
The A-plotline involves the Demetrius' mutiny resolution and the subsequent meet-up with the rebel Cylons. It stands out as Sam Anders' finest hour, for he is in many ways at the center of that story. In the prologue, Sam prevents the ship from jumping back to the Fleet (at the cost of shooting Mr. Gaeta in the kneecap--a very wrenching scene). But this does in a horrific way, clear the air for Helo and Starbuck to clear the air and figure out a way to work together again.
Once at the wreckage of the Cylon Fleet one of Kara's visions is revealed (the painting in her cabin with the comet & gas giant is revealed as the crippled basestar leaking a trail behind it while transiting a gas giant) thus carrying forward the mystical thread that has been strong in the late S3/S4 period of the show.
A good Athena scene happens right after arriving on Natalie's basestar where the bulk of the Eights (shocked at the downturn in their fortunes) want Athena to lead them in rebelling against Natalie's leadership (rebelling against the rebels, if you will). Athena spurns their offer telling them that "Because you pick your side and you stick. You don't cut and run when things get ugly. Otherwise you'll never have anything. No love. No family. No life to call your own."
Sam has a very nice wordless scene in the control station of the basestar, where he's strongly tempted to put his hands in the datastream to see what happens. What would happen remains unknown, as he never quite gets the chance.
The eye-for-eye settling of the killing of Sam's last Caprican teammate, Jean Barolay, is very well done. The actors all played the part perfectly. Sam couldn't let go the death of his last teammate (a fellow Buccaneer) who had been in sports with him, the Caprican and New Caprican Resistances, and now served in uniform with him. Starbuck seems to want to brush it aside in the name of the quest for Earth, but Athena says to her, "They kill one of us and you want to drop it?" And the scene where Natalie cuts the Gordian knot after bidding the unnamed Six good-bye is very well done. Both in this scene (between Natalie and the Six) and later in the show (between the Eight and Athena where Athena refuses to take her hand) implies that Cylons place a strong emphasis on touch.
Then in the Hybrid's chamber when the Hybrid finally tells Starbuck the Original Hybrid's prophesy "You are the Harbinger of Death, you will lead them to the End, Kara Thrace." As well as "The Dying Leader will know the Truth of the Opera House" and "The Missing Three will lead to the Five who come from the Home of the Thirteenth". For once we don't have to wonder and Natalie immediately conjectures that D'Anna (Model #3) can identify the Final Five (having seen them and been Boxed for it) and if the FF come from the home of the 13th (Tribe of Humans) they would know the way back. In the background you can see Sam having dual conniptions, as he doesn't want to be unmasked to Kara, especially as well as (I think) "Huh? I don't know the way to Earth!"
The other major plotline of the episode involved President Roslin's befriending of a fellow cancer patient, Emily (played by Nana Visitor). Emily has developed an affection for Baltar's radio broadcasts as his words match some of the visions Emily has been having. Emily and Laura talk about their cancers and lives. They have wonderful emotional raport with each other and are able share many of their fears with each other.
Emily is particularly taken with her vision of a ferry crossing the river to the next life, where her lost loved ones will meet her on the other shore. As Emily dies, Laura joins her in the vision (perhaps aided by chamalla) and when Emily gets to the other side, Laura sees her own mother and others waiting for her, but she tells them "I'm not ready, yet." The scene is very well done but it would have been completely over the top if they'd gotten Paul Campbell back to have Billy standing on that bank along with Laura's oddly Barbara Bush-looking mother.
The episode ends with another superlative Roslin-Adama scene, where Roslin makes a pact with Adama to hang on long enough to get the Fleet to Earth. The emotions that Olmos and McDonnell and the rapor that they have built up with each other allow the two to convey volumes of content with just a few words and glances.
All in all, one of the best of Season 4. I give it a 9/10.