Battlestar Galactica: Escape Velocity
B

Battlestar Galactica: Escape Velocity

B

Battlestar Galactica

Escape Velocity

Season 4, Episode 4
B

Battlestar Galactica

Escape Velocity

Season 4, Episode 4

Community Grade

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Good evening or perhaps morning, dear readers. Our regular Battlestar blogger, Chris Dahlen, is on vacation, so I'll be handling his duties. My BSG geekness doesn't run as deep as Chris'–sometimes I forget who's dead or feuding–but I do watch every week, with great joy. Anyway, to this week's episode, with that caveat.

It seemed inevitable that the final skinjobs would start to embrace their Cylon-osity, and of course it's the murderous Tory–we all knew she was bad news from the beginning, right?–who seems most ready to use her monotheistic God-given powers to set herself above the puny humans. (Even though she was herself a puny human not that long ago–or at least thought she was.) She didn't do anything horrible tonight–murdering poor Cally last week was enough, I guess–but she did try to seduce Gaius, which was a little off-putting.

Like lots of tonight's episode, that move was all about setting up more exciting action to come. That's our lot, we serial-television lovers: Sometimes entire episodes are used at groundwork for greater things. We've got to learn motivations and the scene must be set before those great explosions can occur. Last week we got a doozy, and next week looks pretty action-packed. This week: a little quiet.

Cally's funeral was a little weird, and I didn't quite understand why Tigh and Tory thought the Chief was giving away their secret; guess I'll have to rewind it later. In any case, Tyrol suffers a pretty serious meltdown throughout the episode, frakking up a repair on Racetrack's ship and nearly killing her, then throwing down for no reason with Adama–who, wow, reassigns him. That's pretty serious for a guy who's been on the crew that long, eh?

Meanwhile, Tigh has become obsessed with the Six model that's in lockdown, visiting her every day in some sort of desperate effort to learn more about his own Cylon-ness. She morphs into his dead wife–in his mind, of course–and tries to teach him about learning from the pain. It's unclear to me whether she knows he's one of the Five–does she? In any case, her teaching method is beating the shit out of him, then making out with him. (He has conveniently told the guards to leave and shut off the cameras.) There's more action coming there, to be sure.

Finally, on to tonight's A-story: Jesus, I mean Gaius Baltar. Just like Jesus, Gaius is attacked for his beliefs by the polytheists. He fights back by storming the temple and demanding freedom of religion, which just makes grumpy ol' Roslin institute some Patriot-style anti-assembly laws. (We're simmering a Patriot Act, Revolutionary War, and Bible stew over here!) Roslin, playing the iron fist, talks about how freedom isn't free, and basically threatens to kill Baltar by saying that people who are dying–like her–tend to not act according to conventional morals. It's a pretty badass moment.

In the least believable move, the Quoroum–incited by feisty Lee Adama–votes to override her anti-assembly order. Can we believe that a society like this one, under constant threat and dwindling daily, would really care that much about civil liberties? I'm not really buying it. Gaius makes a Jesus-like stand, eventually giving a big speech about everyone being perfect–yup, he means the Cylons, too–and the spark that dwells inside all of us. His coterie of fawning babes is seriously moved. And FINALLY, we get to see Starbuck, who is notably focused on just as Baltar talks about those that are different. To me, that's either huge misdirection or a giant flashing sign that says, "STARBUCK IS THE LAST CYLON."

Which leaves us with next week, when things look like they'll heat right back up again: A damaged Cylon ship docks with the Demetrius, and Starbuck looks like she wants to make friends. Her crew isn't having it. Until then…

Grade:B

Stray observations:

-- Cally was short for Calandra, eh? Who knew?

-- "People have room in their hearts for one great belief."

-- Adama and Roslin cozying up during her treatments is really slowing things down for me.

-- Cally smelled like boiled cabbage? No wonder she got killed.

-- Will people think the Invisible Six picking up Gaius was a miracle?

-- The quick flash of Tyrol with his head-shaved, looking all crazy was intriguing.

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