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So the entire staff of Cinema Blend is apparently drinking it up at Sundance while I enjoy a quiet evening at home being a total geek over Battlestar Galactica’s return. And after bombarding the gang with random text messages all night, they finally realized I could write up the review of tonight’s premiere. I’ve learned my lesson about being social with my co-workers. Tonight’s episode should have been named "OMG" because the show is filled with them including the biggest one of all.
The show begins just as last year ended; complete and utter despair at what Earth is. I’m not much of a cinematographer but I love the somber hues that make up the shots on Earth. When life on Galactica seems more vibrant, you get the idea of how bad Earth is. The show begins with Tigh staring out over the ocean and quickly jumps to somber gazes from Baltar, Anders, Dualla kneeling, Apollo, and Laura Roslin picking a little planet as if she’s Wall-E. The rest of the crew is investigating the area for signs of life with none showing up. Kara is with Leoben and she picks up a signal and walks off in search for it. So what happened to Earth? Baltar quickly confirms that the planet was nuked 2000 years ago and as Roslin muttered “Great, we traded one nuked world for another”.
Of all the Galactica crew, Dualla is taking Earth’s fate the hardest. Dualla was almost an afterthought last season so maybe Ronald Moore decided to bring her back on more to up the "Who’s the 5th Cylon?" debate. Well, that’s at least what I thought at the time. After returning to Galactica, Roslin is devastated and cannot deliver the news to the crew and asks Admiral Adama to get her out of there as quick as possible. The utter devastation that the fleet must feel begins to show itself through the eyes of Laura Roslin
Back on Earth, Kara and Leoben find the wreckage of a ship with the code 757NC showing. Leoben notices that Kara seems bothered by this information and asks what is wrong with her. She informs him that her ship’s number was 8757NC. The show’s first "OMG," although many people predicted something was fishy with Kara. Now what exactly is it?
Cylon Six leads an excavation crew on Earth at many sites and finds bones and Cylon Centurion-like robots and delivers the show’s second "OMG" moment when it was revealed that Cylons were the 13th tribe that set out for Earth. Maybe I have been obtuse but I never saw that as a possibility. Brilliant.
The Chief experiences what I would call "deja-vu" on the beach when he sees a dark shadow on a wall fragment. He touches the wall and he sees a vision of himself walking around Earth the day of the nuclear attack. Something about how Tyrol is aimlessly looking at fruit adds more to the hurt that they all are going through. Little things like shopping at a market is something they would all give everything to experience again.
Dualla’s repeated appearances in tonight’s show had my cylon-sense tingling all night, although I’m assuming Lee was feeling a completely different tingle. (Hey now!) Lee doesn’t know what to tell everybody as acting President, but Dualla builds him up and reminds him that he’s Apollo. Lee asks his ex-wife to get a drink later and she accepts, so maybe the old couple will get back together.
Kara and Leoben find the rest of the wreckage of the ship that bored her number and the biggest confirmation from last year comes true. Kara’s decomposed body is in the ship. Well, the blonde hair and dog tags seem to confirm it is her and nothing leads me to believe it is not supposed to be her body. So if Kara is dead in the ship, the who or what is the Kara that led the fleet to Earth? An OMG moment indeed. What could possibly top this? Kara asks Leoben for answers but he’s totally freaked out about this and basically runs away from Kara. Men have a hard time with complicated relationships involving dead girls apparently.
Meanwhile back at the "beach," Anders finds remnants of an old guitar and has a Tyrol-like moment as he remembers the words to the song that activated him and that he once was living on Earth. Anders, Tyrol, and Tory reminisce about the good ol' days before the Empire. Before the dark times. Oops wrong Sci-Fi show. Anders asks a question that I hope we get the answer too. What made them re-awake in Caprica thinking they were human after 2000 years?
Roslin continues her despair be burning her religious papers and the prophesies that led her to Earth, and she discontinues her medical treatment even after Admiral Adama asks her to reconsider. She’s devastated by her "failure" and seems ready to die. On Earth, fake Kara burns Dead Kara’s body. Not that I can blame her. It’s not everyday you find out you are already dead. Both strong women are definitely searching for something.
Lee and Dualla’s date seems to have went quite well as they walk along the ship. Dualla asks Lee to repeat his speech of optimism to the fleet. She’s in a great mood and kisses Lee goodbye before entering her quarters. Once there, she talks to Lieutenant Gaeta about her night and stares at a photo of her as a child. Dualla makes quite the interesting comment when she says that she can hardly remember being that little girl. Is she the final Cylon? Gaeta leaves the room while she takes a look at her locket and removes her ring from her finger. Before I can even grasp what is going on, she grabs a gun and blows her brains out. OMG!!! Gaeta and crewmembers rush to the room. The despair was obviously too much for Dualla and the rest of the crew starts to crumble alongside her fallen body.
After a commercial, we find Lee in the morgue obviously pondering what in the hell went wrong in the time after he left her 45 minutes before. The Admiral comes to talk to him but he’s obviously been drinking since his last encounter with Roslin. Lee refuses to drink with his dad and he leaves the morgue. The man’s had a rough day for sure. The Old Man loses it once he raises the sheet and sees Dualla. His words “What did you do?” make you think he’s referring to Dualla but he’s talking to himself. He’s blaming himself for everything going wrong on the ship, with his family, and with Roslin. Adama marches with a loaded side arm to Tigh’s quarters and begins a "talk" with his XO. The Admiral starts insulting Tigh’s dead wife and Tigh pulls a gun on Adama which is exactly what the Old Man wants. He’s tired of being the leader. He tells Tigh that if he can’t pull the trigger he’ll do it himself. It was quite disturbing to see Admiral William Adama’s emotion tailspin at the hurt over discovering Tigh is a Cylon, Roslin dying, and the overall devastation of what Earth was. Tigh won’t pull the trigger and he eventually helps his old friend understand that the crew needs the Admiral and the XO to be strong for the entire crew. When Tigh pushes away the liquor, you know it’s serious. This scene was quite long and ranks as one of the best scenes in the history of the show. Tigh proves he’s more man than machine. Watch it for yourself. I can’t do it justice.
Admiral Adama and Tigh make it to the bridge, albeit a little wobbly and obviously worn out. The Old Man does what he always does. He pulls himself together for the fleet. He announces to the fleet that he understands that the past few days have been painful but that hope wasn’t gone. He announces that they are just like the 13th colony. They needed a home and they will find a home just like the lost colony. The man can give a speech if you haven’t picked up on that throughout the show. I was thinking the show was wrapping up the major moments when they cut back to everybody packing up on Earth and heading back to the ship. D'Anna tells Tigh she plans to stay on Earth because she’s tired of running and tired of history repeating. She asks Tigh if he just wants to end it and ride the tide out to sea. Tigh walks out into the water in as if he’s looking for something that he’s unsure of. He gets over waist deep and has his déjà vu moment finally. He sees Ellen trapped under rubble on Earth and he rushes to her. Bombing is going on all around. Helen is dying but she tells Tigh things will be okay because they will be reborn again and together. HOLY CRAP. And just like that Saul Tigh and all Battlestar Galactica fans realize that Ellen is the 5th Cylon. OMG indeed.
I never expected much from this episode but ended up with one of the top five episodes in Galactica history. Who even thought we would find the fifth Cylon tonight?Could this be a red herring? Before that bombshell was dropped I was already amazed at what we had learned tonight. What about you? Were you as blown away as me? Can I ask anymore questions?