March 28, 2007

TV Review: Battlestar Galactica Season 3 Finale - "Crossroads Part 2"

Holy Frak! I just finished watching the season 3 finale for Battlestar Galactica, and it was quite a ride. This series is, hands down, one of the best shows currently in production. They continuously surprise me with what they are able to pull out. Sure, there is a sub-par episode every now and then, but even those are better than a lot of other television out there. This episode, "Crossroads Part 2," is one where they pulled out all the stops, and we are now left to wonder and wait, impatiently, for season four which is not slated to air until January 2008. Man, do they know how to deliver a cliffhanger.

For those of you whgo don't watch the show, you must. I do not care what types of shows you normally watch, you will surely find something to like here and become addicted, just like the rest of us have, and with the extended layoff, you will have plenty of time to catch up on everything on DVD. Now, if you haven't already seen the episode, you may want to stop reading now, as you may well have the surprises all spoiled for you, and none of us want that to happen.

This season has already had its share of surprises, from the Galactica breaking through the atmosphere for a dramatic rescue of the captive humans on New Caprica from Cylon control, to the spiritual crisis of a certain Cylon who ended up having her model boxed, to the return of Baltar and his incarceration, to the apparent death of Starbuck. All that and a lot more has gone down, all of it building towards the season ending trial of Baltar for crimes against humanity, treason, and whatever else they could lay on.

In "Crossroads Part 1," in a somewhat surprising turn, Lee joined the defense team, despite his despising the man he was defending. This led to him questioning Rosalyn on the stand, where he forced the reveal that her cancer had returned. Also in this episode was the appearance of staticy music heard playing throughout the ship, although only a select few seem to be hearing it, Tigh, Tyrol, Tory, and Anders. What does it mean? Hmmm, I wonder.... Could it be..... Cylons? We also got the return of the Cylon fleet, found to be following the colonial fleet from a distance, by a radiation signature from one of their vessels.

In "Crossroads Part 2" we start off with the trial of Baltar. If you have followed the series, you know how slimy, manipulative, and generally untrustworthy Baltar can be. You also know his involvement in the attack on the colonies and during the occupation. We all want to see him be found guilty (sort of, I love the character on the show and a guilty verdict may put a damper on that), but a not guilty verdict would be even more interesting. The trial goes on with Gayda on the stand, clearly lying about what he knows, telling a modified version of the truth. We all know of his dislike for his former boss.

Following Gayda's perjury, we get Lee put on the stand, much to the chagrin of the prosecution. Lee is allowed to testify, and gives a powerful speech as to why Baltar is not guilty. As he shows, reminding me and probably a lot of you, af many events for which the so called "good guys" are guilty, that they were forgiven. This speech can be directly thanked for the acquittal that is handed down, in a vote that includes Admiral Adama voting to acquit.

This is a big event, and one that is sure to have far reaching repercussions. As soon as it came down there was a near riot in the courtroom, which they have to quickly shuttle Baltar out. Now, Baltar has to fend for himself. What effect will this have on the fleet? I foresee Baltar becoming some sort of political/religious leader who will compete for control of the fleet before returning to the Cylons. Meanwhile, something else is happening, remember the music?

The four that hear the music are drawn to a remote room on Galactica. The foursome come face to face and have the dawning realization that they are, and have been since the beginning, Cylons. Now, I think it is still up in the air whether or not they really are Cylons. There is no proof that the music was a trigger, nor that the Cylons were even behind it, so there may still be something else going on. Still, it does seem as if these could be 4 of the final 5 Cylons to be revealed. Tigh, Tyrol, Tory, and Anders now have to decide what they are going to do. Can they be trusted? Should they fess up their belief to Adama or Rosalyn? None of them want to accept what they now feel to be the truth. Unfortunately, they do not have much time to discuss, or even think about the turn of events, as the Cylon fleet has somehow caught up to them and it is everyone to battlestations.

The four disband following an impassioned speech from Tigh about the man that he is and the man that he will still be, regardless of the Cylon reality. It sinks in with the others, and they head off to man their stations. Tigh arrives back on the command deck, pledging his faithfulness to Adama. I am sure they will have much to talk about in the near future.

The focus switches back to Lee, who handed in his stripes to his father when he decided to join the defense in the last episode. With all of the other pilots heading for their vipers, he grabs his flight suit and heads out to join the fight against the incoming Cylons. This leads to what may be the biggest moment in this cliff hanging episode. As Lee flies, he catches notice of an unknown ship in the nebula, he heads off to find out what it is. When he did this, and the way it disappeared from his scope, I had memories from two episodes back when Starbuck was seemingly killed while chasing a similar phantom.

As Lee looks around, another viper pulls up alongside him. He looks over at the other cockpit, stunned. The other pilot turns to return his stare, it's Starbuck! She says that it is really her and that all will be all right, she has been to Earth and will lead the fleet there. They fly on while a cover of "All Along the Watchtower" plays on.

The episode ends.

Wow. What else can be said? They pulled out all the stops and started up some great stories all wich got stopped before they began, all designed to make the break between seasons an interminable wait filled with speculation and impatience. The trial alone was a great story, and probably could have been drawn into a fantastoc cliffhanger on its own, but oh no. That was resolved, only to be followed with the potential Cylon reveal, and the cryptic return of Starbuck.

This series is so well written, acted, and realized that it is so easy to get drawn in and be just flat out captivated by the story that unfolds. I can not find the right words to describe just how wonderful this show is, but this episode is a great example of its television supremacy. I am just glad to know that we will be getting at least another 14 episodes come season four.

I can't wait!


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