OK, BSG fans, can you honestly tell me that after the season finale of this series that you have no problem waiting until 2008 to see the final season? I thought it was a bad idea to wait so long before, and now after the season finale it’s going to be an excruciating wait. The final fifteen minutes of this episode were more intense and suspenseful than anything else I’ve watched this year. There are two parts to this episode that are equally important to the future of the series; Baltar’s trial and the fleet reaching the signpost to Earth.
Baltar’s trial has been the key to a major character arc for Lee Adama, and now as soon as it began, I’m afraid it might be over. Lee lost the respect of his father, his position as an Officer, and even his wife over this trial, over his belief that Baltar deserved a fair trial. The trial started in this episode with the testimony of Gaeta, Baltar’s assistant on New Caprica. Gaeta verified that Baltar did indeed sign the kill order but he also lied about how he knew. He said he was there, and that Baltar signed the document with hesitation. We and Baltar know that Gaeta is lying but for everyone else in the courtroom is Gaeta’s word against Baltar’s. Baltar’s attorney knows the game is lost unless he can pull one last rabbit out of his hat and he does when he calls his partner Lee Adama to testify. He wants Lee to recount a conversation he had with his father where the Admiral stated that Baltar is guilty and that he doesn’t even deserve a trial. During the examination if becomes clear that Lee will not testify directly against his father but he will answer questions as to why he believes Baltar deserves the trial in the first place. Lee then gets a lengthy monologue where he not only discusses the mistakes Baltar made during his time as President on New Caprica but he discusses the decisions that haunt him from that time and all the other crimes that were perpetrated during that time. While I felt this monologue was a bit on the cheesy side and in a court setting it would never have been allowed he did make a point about the pardon the President gave to everyone who did a wrong thing during the New Caprica era. If that pardon protected everyone else then why not Baltar? So of course, Baltar is set free. The real turning point is after the trial when Baltar is swooped up by some supporters and told he is on his way to his new life. I think I mentioned before that Baltar may find himself on another ship wielding power as a religious leader and it looks as if that is just what’s about to happen.
I mentioned that this may be the end of the new story arc for Lee because his little speech convinced his father to vote in favor of Baltar and when the Cylon fleet arrives at the nebula Lee grabs his uniform and jumps in a viper. The only thing we can hope for is that the residual effects of what Lee admitted to will affect him as a leader in season four. He admitted to trying to convince his father to take what few people they had on their ships and just keep moving back during the occupation of New Caprica essentially leaving the majority of the Colonials to die at the hands of the Cylons. Now, at the time this decision may have seemed to make sense but this has gotta tick some people off, especially those soldiers he is expected to lead that would have died on the planet’s surface. At any rate, Lee and Daddy are surely made up now and Lee will be getting those wings back.
While the trial obvious started a new plot thread that’s going to be integral to the series it’s what happened right after the trial that’s the most interesting about this episode. Tigh and Anders have been hearing this strange music, and now Chief and the President’s assistant are hearing it too. When the fleet makes its last jump to the nebula, the sign post to Earth, there’s a power surge throughout the fleet knocking out power and causing the ships to reboot. At this time the music becomes clearer and clearer. The song is an odd redo of Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower. Those that hear the song find themselves moving to a central location on the ship where they all finally meet, there are four of them. Immediately they believe they are Cylons, and at first I did too because they could be part of the missing five, especially after the reappearance of Starbuck (I’ll get to that in a minute). To further push this idea, Caprica, and I assume President Roslin, have a vision of the missing five in the opera house. Thing is, if these four are Cylons because they all heard this music then why didn’t Caprica Six and Sharon hear it too? I actually think these four have some deep connection to Earth, and they are part of the key to the rest of the journey. Remember Chief’s father was a religious man and Chief just sensed the location of the temple back on New Caprica. Whatever their eventual role in the series the following of the music and the decision after the Cylon fleet appears for the four of them to return to their duties was intense and extremely suspenseful. These sequences are why I watch BSG, just phenomenally executed and completely gripping.
Out in space, Vipers are grouping up to face the massive Cylon force, to hold them off until the FTL drives on the fleet ships can be spun up. I said before that we hadn’t seen the last of Starbuck and here she appears in her Viper telling Lee that she’s been to Earth and she’s here to lead the fleet there. I believed that she might be one of the missing five and that’s still a possibility, or she could just be appearing in Lee’s mind the way Caprica Six appears to Baltar. If that’s the case, she could still be a Cylon. The final special FX zoom from the nebula, into space, and too Earth as a stunning caper to the most suspenseful episode of the season. My minor complaints about Baltar’s trial are so overshadowed by everything else in this episode that they almost don’t even matter. I’ve been one of those that say that Battlestar Galactica is the best show on TV, and this episode is easily one of the best examples of why so many critics are saying that. This summer we are supposed to be getting a two hour movie that fills the gap until next season, when we are getting a full 22 episodes. It’s going to be a long, long nine months to wait….