Get ready kids, the grand backstory of how a tart like Ellen is the 5th and Final Cylon is spooling up and probably at the end of the next ep, Blood On the Scales (or the one after that), we'll see that Raptor door open and there will be Ellen ... "Oh my god[s?z?]," Roslin reacts.

Love across time, piano-playing daddies, strip joints, Times Square ... I think I'm feeling nauseous.

- I'd sure like to "swirl" that


You know, I feel like I got roughed up and punched in the stomach (like Lee here) after this ep. Egads. The bad writing bug bit. I blame Moore and the entire writers' room. Of all the choices they could have made for where to take the story and how ... hmmm. Such gimmicks. Such uninspired storytelling.

Gaeta springs Zarek and has Marines and various others involved. He takes him to the flight deck and Racetrack creates a diversion to clear the area (the main Baltar groupie is there ?!!? and
sees what's really happening). The nerd who is now the Chief (from Pegasus) follows the letter-of-protocol so Zarek brains him with a big 'ol crescent wrench (that's gotta sting) ... another red shirt dead (get that whiteboard handy - you'll be lowering the number all night).

Gaeta fools his boyfriend Hoshi in C&C (sort of) who spots Zarek's unauthorized departure from Galactica on draedus ... Adama, Tigh, et al buy Gaeta's subterfuge. Cut to Lee holding court with the Quorum on Colonial One ... DuhDaDuhDa - in walks Zarek to take over the meeting.

Cut to Seelix talking with Anders - we find out they have backstory but it's really about distraction so some of the
Sons of Ares thugs can bag Anders and pummel him (including Nowart). Back to C&C - another diversion (a fake fire) - Cut to Kara and Hot Dog have a good little scene, then the fire alarm goes off and we see the interaction from one of the Clue clips where Kara deduces the ruse and follows soldiers as they loot an arms locker. Kara goes to her stash and arms herself to the nines - from now on for this review we'll call her Kambo. She calls up to C&C and Gaeta intercepts her call and hangs up on her - Kambo knows the whoozywhatzit already. Lee calls from Colonial One and Gaeta intercepts that call too (crafty little bugger!) ... back to Lee and now Zarek is playing him - toying with him like a cat with a mouse but a couple good lines of dialog in there. Building ... Gaeta lies to Adama, saying all communications are down - Eddie Olmos gives a great reaction shot (terse, in-the-moment and faraway all at the same time) ... somehow Lee lands on the flight deck [he got a Raptor ready and flew back that quick ???] - Sucker Punch by traitorous Marines (ooh, I taste lunch) ... KAMBO arrives - KaBlam! KaBlam! Two revolutionaries, er red shirts, down lickety-split. Corny "I died once," line and amazing aim - memories fuzzy but can Kambo aim a gun!

Athena and Helo are having Mommy-D
addy time with Hera, spoon-feeding her baby-algae when the din of a riot starts to filter into their hearing range and unsettles them. Hero Helo suits up for a looksee. Oop, too late, the thugs in uniform are there already and spirit Athena and Hera away before some macho talk about past perceived wrongs on Pegasus and double-thwack - a nice rifle-butt bloody concussion for Helo. That's what you get Cylon-lover

Lee and Kambo find a temporary safe-haven and she paces like a wild animal and aggressively kisses Lee and says, "I'm feelin' right for the first time in weeks" [er, shouldn't it be months? ... but I quibble] ... once again we are reminded that she's always had bigger balls
than him. Meanwhile .... Gaeta still has them all fooled in C&C but Adama finally sends someone to go put eyes on what's really happening ... Sharon, Hera, and an unconscious Helo are put in the brig with Anders and Caprica Six - who goes on a rant about how "the humans" fear their children (oh the irony!). Adama's lookout returns huffing and puffing and finally spills the beans that it is a ruse - Gaeta puts the hammer down and his Marines pop out of the shadows and - oops! They're trigger-happy and red shirt runner gets wasted and bullets fly all around. Cue macho showdown and Eddie Olmos growl. We get a reference to the titular "oath" they all took when they put on the uniform and Adama tells Gaeta that he will die with nothing and tells those taking part in the mutiny that there will be no amnesty this time.

Lee and Kambo make it to Roslin in Adama's quarters and she is there and unmolested but her Marine guards are gone. Roslin has on her glasses [cue Wonder Woman theme song] and wig and puts on her jacket and is ready for her part of the battle, "I have an idea about the wireless" she offers ... obvious. Back in C&C Gaeta is the man in charge and barks orders and keeps his people in line. He may only have one leg but he's got two big balls.

Meanwhile down in the Baltar messiah subplot zone they are moving around silk pillows or something and Tyrol is there ??? [groan] Baltar explains to his main groupies that he must flee. Really, are they that stupid? It is just tedious and insulting to watch at this point his contempt for them as a wink to the audience while he shmoozes the
m - this is so played out. This subplot must die. Tyrol has a walkie-talky so he kinda knows what's going on. Back to the corridors where some people just cower, others seem dazed and not knowing what to do, Kambo and Lee lead Roslin down to the Baltarzone and Tyrol allows Roslin to get to Baltar's pirate radio and tells Lee that if he can get his father Adama to the heretofore unknown "secondary storage bay" within the hour "I can get him off the ship."

Only Marines Nowart and Moldonado escort Adama and Tigh somewhere and in a well-directed scene Adama confronts them verbally and then gets close enough to go for M's rifle and rat-tat-tat he's dead Jim ... Tigh is impressed. [Now, if Tory suddenly realized she had great strength while making love to Baltar way back when, why doesn't Tigh just use his Cylon superpowers and take out these two? But I quibble ... again]

Back down in Baltarland a stupid exchange between Roslin and Baltar takes place and dumb-bunny groupie number 2 gets in the mix wasting like 2 minutes we could be finding out what the hell is up with Cavil, or what Head-Six thinks about things, or if D'Anna went for a swim on radioactive cinder Earth and if she's eating that rattlesnake weed ... the exchange does end with two good lines, especially Roslin's "Maybe we're both frauds and we have one last chance to atone," or some such.

Gaeta calls Zarek and they discuss the status of their coup when Roslin's voice - like a beacon in the night - gently rings out
true across the cacophony of fleet hails trying to find out what's going on. We still never see any of the other ships or the people there - are they in support of the revolt? Roslin makes her plea - ridiculous staging as she is positioned to look like a beat poet in a speakeasy down in Baltarcafe ... we see reaction shots from the Quorum and elsewhere to her words - Gaeta has to "find the frequency" [what's the frequency Kenneth!?!] himself since the I-wanna-rape-you-Athena Pegasus knuckledragger can't do it to end the transmission.

With all the pandemonium somehow Kambo and Lee happen upon Adama and Tigh - cue showdown over killing Nowart "they are not your men anymore, they are the enemy" Adama let's Nowart flee - and Kambo'
s amazing clone aim fails her this time.

In special holding room 2 - or whatever Tyrol called it - Roslin and Baltar cool their heels and discuss how they both made bad choices in selecting their aides d'camp (remember it from the Clue site clip?) Baltar calls Gaeta in C&C [guess communications are working again] and pleads with him to stop "this madness" - Gaeta, fully committed, hangs up on this tedious fool. Back in unknown-room-introduced-in-Act-III a Raptor docks and out comes a Cylon Sharon and Kambo, Lee, Adama, and Tigh enter at the same time and Poppa and Momma kiss for all to see. Kambo and Lee leave up a ladder for more fighting on another deck in the next episode [did Tyrol go with them or the Raptor - don't remember, don't care], and Cylon base ship Sharon takes Baltar and Roslin on the Raptor and th
ey skeedaddle. Butch and Sundance, er Adama and Tigh, hold the fort as the rebellious Marines approach. The Raptor takes off (for the Base Ship no doubt) and back in C&C Gaeta gets the first taste that things are going wrong ... but he orders that his Pegasus collaborator Nacho (oh, Narcho) to shoot it down.

We close with Butch and Sundance saying their macho goodbyes as they jump off the cliff into the river below - er, I mean shooting their automatic rifles into the small opening in the blast doors the traitorous Marines have opened - they respond with a flash grenade and we fade out.

Teaser for the next ep sho
ws Leoben growing some facial hair and looking fatter - guess finding the dead Kara caused him to blow a fuse and I was really wrong about some earlier posts where I thought it was a guest actor (but the eyes are a different color - maybe a filter effect from how they shot the scene). Some political jockeying goes on at the Base Ship and the game of brinkmanship [X37] has it arming weapons and the Roslin line "I'm coming for all of you." She's going to beat them with her wig?

Yikes, where to begin ... This episode, The Oath, was a waste of John Dahl's talents. The story choices are just becoming terrible. It's pretty clear to me now that Ron Moore and David Eick just lost interest in this show around the middle of the 3rd season. They both got their big production deals and high art like Bionic Woman beckoned. Once Moore got his damn Dylan song in there he was basically satisfied I think and has since felt put-upon to wrap up the show. The lofty brilliance of this incarnation of Battlestar Galactica has never come close to the heights of the miniseries and first season and a half save for a few eps here and there. We're three episodes into the final ten (so seven eps or eight 42 minute installments sans commercials to go) and it is underwhelming thus far. I would gladly like to be proven wrong in the next few eps.



[spoilery] I have this theory that this fellow is not Leoben but a pivotal character, perhaps the Xeno Fenner fella who shows up in the final episodes and/or is the mad-scientist-who-explains-it-all-to-you character since it sounds like most of the big questions the creators and writers have left dangling will be wrapped up in a single episode (other blogs and scifi websites have posited that it will be the Islanded In A Stream of Stars ep). Several visitors to this blog say that clearly it is Leoben, but if you look closely at the man's face it is broader, and he has golden-brown eyes (like the actor hired to play Xeno) not blue as Leoben actor Callum Keith Rennie does. This man is clearly standing in the Cylon base ship C&C and wearing the same color shirt as a Leoben, but I think this is misdirection - SciFi has finally learned how to tease future eps by juxtaposing images, dialog and sounds without being so literal and giving away the store to anyone with even rudimentary deductive ability. The still image of this man was pulled from one of the 4.5 short teasers. It is possible it is Leoben, shot with what is called "monster lighting" but I don't think so.

I'm not always right. I'm just a fan who created this blog for fellow fans for the fun of it. I was convinced that Roslin would be the 5th and Final Cylon. Really, she should have been - it would have given the story more heft then some smaller story about a couple (Tigh and Ellen) that wanted to stay together through time.

I keep hoping for a return to the lofty heights of the miniseries and first season-an
d-a-half - with its grand ideas, mysticism and high-style, but it seems I am hoping in vain. Moore and the writers, according to repeated statements by actor Eddie Olmos, are taking us on a very bleak and ironic journey to a bitter end - down the dark mineshaft of cynicism.



Kara heads ...

Oh, and the Thirteenth Tribe (of Cylons) may have had Centurions that looked like these ...

And I sure hope since they skipped Season 5 and are tying up all their loose ends they don't end up with a rush job that looks like this



This was an interesting episode. Show creator Ron Moore wrote the episode and made his directorial debut and created quite a cohesive, textured window onto the lives of our beloved characters. His stated belief that the characters are what drives the show, not the plot, was demonstrated in A Disquiet Follow My Soul. He achieved what he set out to do.
The Zarek coup subplot spools up and Gaeta descends all the way to the dark side of bitterness. Adama starts to get it together and seems to have dispensed with the alcohol for the time being in favor of pills - and notices again what's going on around him - there seems to be less recklessness and insubordination and he's picking up trash. Roslin, on the other hand, trashes her pills and skips her cancer treatment and seems resigned to just let nature take its course and die. She is uncomfortable in her own skin since the finding of cinder Earth and is humiliated from the tip of her toes to her eyeballs and just doesn't know what to do - so she's at least going to take charge of her own life/death.

Doc Cottle breaks th
e bad news to Tyrol that the kid ain't his, and a nurse with an English accent reacts with disgust at the attention being paid to the Cylons, in particular Caprica Six and Tigh's baby (which we see on ultrasound) - this nurse will probably figure in the coming civil war and line up against the Adama-Cylon alliance. The late Callie's baby is a cocktail weenie not a Cylon half-breed. At one of Baltar's annoying religious rallies (now he's challenging and mocking god and the crowd goes with it ??? ... and where-o-where is Head-Six?) there is a dumb fight between Tyrol and Hot Dog - the kid's real dad.

The Cylon Final Four now seem to occupy this strange netherzone of belonging to both sides and Tyrol tells the meeting of the brain trust (minus Roslin who is still AWOL) that if the rebel Cylons and Final Fours are g
oing to share their superior jump technology they want full rights ... and thus the ground is laid for the civil war to come. How and why the press corps still dresses in suits and is so formal about the process is a bit baffling after all they've been through. Lee, filling in for Roslin, tells the press that the Fifth and Final Cylon is dead, that "she" is dead ... which of course causes a frenzy that they run from. The meeting of the Quorum was the most effective yet - with a well-written and acted speech by Richard Hatch - doing a great job in the Zarek part (and he's getting his swan song).

A scene with Gaeta and Kara in the officer's mess is excellent, although the repeated denigration of Felix for being "cripple[d]" was a bit of odd dialog - Kara usually has more clever comebacks and one-ups ... perhaps her clone self isn't as witty as the original Kara? Overall though, it was a meaningful exchange - terrific work by the actors - and set the tone for
the lines being drawn between sides very well.

My favorite part of Moore's direction was his choice of point-of-view ... he either responded to the fans or, more likely (since he has in the past shown contempt publicly for fan preferences) wanted the same thing - a feeling of what these peoples' lives are like in the small moments, in the in between times, what it's like to really be there and be living in that situation. I also really liked that he chose different camera angles and differen
t perspectives on rooms and places we've seen many times - it felt fresh and much more lived-in. My great criticism of the Revelations episode is that the camera placement and points-of-view and static shots made it so visually dull when such momentous things were happening. In this episode, other than the coup subplot, smaller stories were being told yet there was much more visual interest to what was happening. Moore didn't go for high-style and kept a fairly muted color palette but did imbue his episode with just the right amount of movement and visceral energy.

Roslin starts to exercise and run and otherwise feel alive again, and Adama reminds her that her euphoria is partly due to her going off her meds ... she doesn't care and in a touching scene she tells Adama she wants a to "live a little before I die," and at the end of the ep they finally end up in a lovers embrace.



Baltar is clearly on the Jesus arc

... perhaps other characters are analogs to other human religions

Kara as Shiva? Tigh as Poseidon?

The Hybrid as the Lady in the Lake?

Apollo as Hermes?

Head-Six as Hecate?

Cavil certainly is Peter from the Christian arc ... the so-called "Keeper of the keys"

... 12 Apostles, 12 Cylon models ... perhaps the Cylons are the creators of the monotheism of Christianity/Judaism/Islam and their equivalent precursors such as Zoroastrianism and the "humans" are the progenitors of mystic faiths, paganism, meditative enlightenment such as Buddhism and the polytheistic faiths: Hinduism, Shintoism, and animistic belief systems



No, not a many-headed hydra

Kara, you may have something in common with
these guys:

Oh, and Kara, who's yer Daddy?


Superior. After the let-down that was Revelations, this episode absolutely soared, and reminded us again why this is a great show. The series' two best writers, Bradley Thomspon and David Weddle, wrote this episode based upon a Ron Moore story. It's almost hard to describe just how good this episode was and how many orders of magnitude it was better than Revelations. Perhaps that was the intent with what was originally intended as a two-part episode ... the windup and the punch. What a punch. What a series of punches.
[Review amended - see below]

[Side-note: SciFi finally figured out how to tease Battlestar, as it turns out most of their promos and "clues" these past weeks and months were amalgams - snippets of images and sounds and dialog that did not match up - so they actually threw you off the trail but kept you interested. It's about time. They also finally realized it's better to run the eps online after the air on the telly]

Click images this post for larger views

Fans of the show have already watched the episode and if you haven't you can catch it here on Hulu. I won't give the usual blow-by-blow account of the episode because it's simply better to watch it and absorb it. I'll highlight its special moments and single out a few actors for their superior work.

Mary McDonnell continues to amaze - like a world-class athlete, you find yourself asking while you watch her - how is it possible to do that? Kandyse McClure was simply amazing - her best performance in her most meaningful moments as Dualla. Touchingly written, beautifully acted. The perfect end for her character. Michael Hogan was stellar as Tigh, as always, and is becoming grounded again as the character we knew and loved from the beginning. The scene I feared would be a stupid mano-o-mano redux with Adama and Tigh was instead informed with real feeling and was transformative for both characters. Michael Trucco got to show new colors in his role as Anders as a flashback unleashed a different side to his character.

Fortunately we were spared the Baltar messiah subplot this episode and Gaeta's grinding and growing hatred for the Cylons simmered at just the right level (and the webisodes are most informative in fleshing out that backstory - if not all that entertaining). The tone of this episode is what was remarkable - it found that sweet spot on the tennis racket for maximum control and placement and power. Callum Keith Rennie was especially good this episode - and his surprise at finding the original Kara's body with the clone Kara was chilling. The scene I feared most - D'Anna's decision to remain on cinder Earth played out very well: she did what I had hoped the Cylons would attempt - to break the cycle of repetition - with her self-sacrifice ... and she foreshadowed the coming major conflict with the Cavil forces. I loved the D'Anna character and will miss Lucy Lawless doing terrific work in the part, but it was well written and works.

I was very down on Ellen as the Final Cylon but as written in this episode it works - the backstory of the Final Five in their earlier lives 2000 years ago on Earth in its pre-cinder days works. I still think a different story direction which would have had Baltar or Roslin as the 5th would have carried more weight, but I'll go with this Ellen choice for now - I'm sold so far.

There is a lot to resolve and it will be very interesting to see how they do it: who made the Kara clone and why? The Hybrid? Why is that particular place so important - Tory, Tyrol, Tigh and Anders all remembered their earlier lives in that specific place and Kara's burned out Viper and dead body were not too far off walking distance. The subplot with the Centurion artifacts (of a different type) and human bones which turned out to be Cylon was intriguing.

The malaise and bitterness which descended upon the people - as represented by slackers and fighters and graffiti on the Galactica worked and felt real. The crushed hopes were made manifest and one of my least favorite actors on the show, Jamie Bamber, delivered his best work this episode as well - with depth and nuance to his performance in his scenes with Kandyse McClure.

Wonderful episode. Hopefully this high standard will be matched in several more. Kudos also to composer Bear McCreary, who's score for this ep was perfectly restrained and evocative.

Amendment: Now that hours have passed and the entertainment value of the ep has worn off I am struck by how the reveal of Ellen as the Final Cylon completely re-frames the story. Elements that seemed so important now seem insignificant or diminished. All this hoo-ha about the Final Five pretty much evaporates in terms of their religious significance to the Cylons - in particular their mystical presence in the Opera House visions. The babbling of the Hybrid - of what value is it now? Cavil may be a menacing presence but he now operates from a position of ignorance yet we are told he is the "keeper of the keys." Weaving the story threads together into a cohesive whole that is elegant and beautiful will be quite a feat.