"Battlestar Galactica: Taking a Break from All Your Worries" - Mania.com

TV Review

Mania Grade: C-

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  • Stars: Mary McDonnell, Edward James Olmos, Katee Sackhoff, James Callis, Jamie Bamber, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park
  • Directed by: Edward James Olmos
  • Created by: Ron Moore

"Battlestar Galactica: Taking a Break from All Your Worries"

By STEPHEN LACKEY     January 30, 2007

Battlestar Galactica Cast
© Sci Fi Channel

I am an unabashed BSG fan and I wear that moniker proudly.  Through its first three seasons, it has grown to become one of the best written and most compelling series on television.  With that said, I do still have memories of the less than stellar mini series that kicked the series off, so there’s always this little fear that the series will fail me.  With the most recent episode, “Taking a Break from All Your Worries” the series didn’t fail me, but it did stumble just a bit.   

In this episode, Baltar and Caprica are imprisoned on Galactica and President Roslin wants to know everything Baltar can tell her about the Cylons and what he might have told them about the fleet.  Getting nowhere with him by trying to use both threats and guilt, and even bringing Gaeta as someone Baltar might trust, she and Admiral Adama resort to using hallucinogenic drugs to get as much information as they can from Baltar without killing him.  They do learn a good bit, mostly that the Cylons weren’t actually concerned with Earth during the last encounter and that they were trying to discover the identities of the final five Cylons.  They also learn that Baltar himself believed that he might be one of these final five but he now doesn’t believe it. 

At the same time, Starbuck, Apollo, Dee, and Sam are trying to work out their feelings for each other.  Not long ago, Apollo offered to leave Dee for Starbuck but Starbuck refused saying she couldn’t break her vow.  Now, Sam believes that Starbuck must go to Apollo if she loves him and he shares these feelings with her.  So, she goes to Apollo and asks if that previous offer still stands, and of course, it does not.  I said it in last week’s review and I’ll say it again, this nonsense has to end before it destroys the series.  Having people deal with love and loss in this situation is not only reasonable, it’s required, but this particular story arc has fallen into soap opera cliché.   

Edward James Olmos directed this episode and he nearly grounds it under his boot, or maybe the editor is too blame.  Either way, this episode is the worst assembled of the series to date.  There’s an interrogation scene where Roslin is talking calmly to Baltar and she appears to turn and walk away, as if she might be leaving but instead there’s a hard cut and she’s suddenly tossing pictures from down on New Caprica at Baltar and screaming.  There are instances of cutting from Baltar to Apollo that feel just jarring and senseless throughout the episode.  There’s one example where Baltar gets to speak just a few words and suddenly he’s cut off to go back to Apollo.  Normally I love the shooting and editing style of the series and normally it’s expertly executed but in this episode the whole thing just comes off clumsy. 

At the end of the episode, there’s a bonus scene, and on the web the scene is extended.  The bonus scene answered a question for me, “Why aren’t they interrogating Caprica?”  Roslin even asks Baltar about the blonde woman she saw him with back on Caprica.  According to Roslin’s flashbacks, she got a fair view of the woman, fair enough to recognize her as the Cylon the have in the brig at that very moment.  Also, why didn’t anybody recognize her as the woman who accused Baltar of blowing up the security system back on Caprica?  In the bonus scene, Roslin talks to her very briefly.  The scene is even further extended on the SCIFI Channel website.  Seems to me this ended up being a bonus scene because Olmos and his editor couldn’t find a way to make it work within the confines of the messy episode they were assembling. 

Battlestar Galactica is a very complex series to produce and in the right hands, it is the best show on television, obviously in the wrong hands it can devolve into a mess.  There is a bright side though, Roslin and Adama know about the mysterious final five and in one scene Roslin even begins to draw connections with their religious writings.  This could open the door to some really fascinating story arcs to come, especially if D’Anna gets to come back.  I’m also happy to see Baltar back on Galactica.  As great as he was on the Cylon ship, he mostly came off as a pawn for Caprica and D’Anna.  In the end, that may be all he turns out to be but at least on Galactica, he can spare with Roslin again.  Many fans really hate the boxing episode, but I think this one is worse.  It can only get better from here. 


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larkcall_home 1/30/2007 6:32:40 AM
I didn't dislike this episode as much as Mr. Lackey. I would have given it a C . But compared to almost all of the other episodes it was pretty bad. I am sick to death of the Apollo/Starbuck storyline, and I think that if they continue with it the show will flounder. I have heard that a major character will be killed off (news article in Mania). I actually said to my wife that I hoped it would be one of them so that this terrible arc could just go away. It is the same thing that is killing Smallville (although that show was never in the same league as BSG).
jetpackjesus 1/30/2007 9:38:35 AM
I think they may have taken care of the love quadrilateral in this episode. Lee and Kara may just go back to being friends now because they both do love their spouses. They've just had a lot of shit happen to them and they're confused (especially Kara). Hopefully they don't return to that story arc and just let it go from here. As to the character leaving, my friend was telling me Katie Sackhoff has stated she wants to leave the show (I have not seen this news anywhere myself, however). In which case this problem would be resolved anyway. I'll tell you one thing, I about pissed my pants when Laura started screaming at Baltar and threatened to space him. Mary McDonnell is one hell of an actress because she was downright terrifying in that scene.
spacekicker 1/30/2007 12:00:56 PM
I was a huge Apollo/Starbuck shipper but they blew it. it could have been a really drawn out romantic thing, instead it just became a bit sullied by them lying to their respective spouses. And what was up with the torture scene. I'm so done with Baltar, and now we have to endure a trial? Ugh
bdd 1/30/2007 12:52:03 PM
I don't blame the odd editing and everything on anyone but the writers of the show. What the hell were they thinknig?! Sci-fi showed a clip online from when The President was talknig to Caprica Six. That was much MUCH more important to the story than that terribly writen love square / rectangle. The episode should have only dealt with Baltar and Six and how the top guns deal with that. Sadly half the time of the 42 minute episode is taken up with a lame love story that EVERYONE hates. Without that lame storyline the episode would have been a whole lot better because less would have to be edited out. Somehow they wrecked an amazing show and an amazing episode by adding this fluff love story. No wonder why Caprica the show is dead and that BSG might soon follow. Does anyone like the love shit? It used to be a nice tease, but now it's god awlful.
ponyboy76 1/31/2007 6:11:22 AM
Some of you guys are just so fickle. BSG has one subpar episode and that`s it, its over, BSG is going to be cancelled and blah blah blah. Every great show has had 1,2, and even 3 bad episodes in its season. It is bound to happen. The writing can't always be freakin perfect. Phenomenal shows with such great acting and writing are going to have off episodes. Its not the end of the world.
mbeckham1 1/31/2007 9:34:23 AM
I loved the stuff with Baltar. The seen with him in the ressurection tank surrounded by victims, presumably of Caprica or New Caprica or both, was haunting. And his admission that he thought he was Cylon was great for the reactions it got from Adama and Roslin. And In loved his scene with Gaeta. I have to wonder what he whispered in Gaeta's ear and whether it'll come up again. The whole Lee, Kara, Dee and Sam thing has indeed descended into soap opera. In the last episode, the tensions between Sam and Lee, and Dee and Kara added dimension to the combat situation where they depende on each other for their lives. Here it just laid on the deck like a dead albatros. I almost hoped Lee and Kara would get together just to so we could have a definitive end to this story. They deserve each other. Personally, I think Dee and Sam should run off together and leave the two screwed up people behind. And can we please have one half season where Lee doesn't go on some kind of bender or psychotrip. Or just have him turn serial killer and be done with it. Right the guy's making Tigh look stable and that's just scary. Seriously, Dee, examine your options carefully, this guy's not your safest bet. Speaking of relationships. Did I miss something? What's going on between the Cheif and Cally? Theire fighting? About what? Last I saw they seemed pretty cosy. It's not like going back to his ex would ever be an option. At least not in the forseeable future. I haven't even heard any potential subjects of dispute. Throwing that out there without any preamble may have been the sloppiest bit of story telling in this epsiode. That said I loved the tag scene. The tension betwwen Roslin and Caprica Six was just radiating off the screen and I can't wait to see more in the next episode. Just as long as they keep the love quadrangle out of it, for gods' sake.
AbuIlai 1/31/2007 9:46:07 AM
I agree- the editing was so bizarre it had me asking myself if I had missed something. While cross cutting between two separate dramatic events can be very powerful and can have a huge impact on the progress of each storyline individually, this time it was done very poorly and actually hurt the progress and the building of the tension. The contrast between Baltar's interrogation and the huge emotional impact it had on all parties involved and the (hopefully) climax of the Apollo-Strabuck mess, in terms of importance to the plot and the quality of the scenes, was too sharp and it ended up hurting both. That have been said, BSG is still by far the best show on TV.
jetpackjesus 1/31/2007 7:08:36 PM
I think Chief and Cally were just having the typical married couple fights. There was nothing marriage threatening about them. It was just the typical ups and downs of any couple. What came out of nowhere more than them fighting was them getting married in the first place. He beat her within an inch of her life when he was crazy. I wouldn't think someone would get over that so easily.
karas1 2/2/2007 3:24:05 PM
And there was NOTHING about Helo, Sharon and the baby. THAT's what I wanted to know and they didn't appear in the episode once. Yeah, Starbuck and Apollo are getting pretty dull. Of course, Apollo is usually dull. I miss Richard Hatch in the role. And what's Zarek been up to anyway since he resigned as president? I hope they get back to the important stuff next episode.


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