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TV Review: Battlestar Galactica - Season Four Premiere

Battlestar Galactica: He That Believeth In Me

Creator: Ronald D. Moore

Starring: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber, Katee Sackhoff, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, Michael Hogan, Aaron Douglas, Tahmoh Penikett, Michael Trucco, Alessandro Juliani, Kandyse McClure

Premieres: Friday, April 4th at 10:00 pm EST on Sci-Fi

Important note about spoilers: There are none in this review. We want you to enjoy the episode fresh and clean, just like we had the opportunity to do. This is a review, not a recap. Recaps will go up, as they always have, AFTER each episode airs.

Battlestar Galactica returns for its fourth, and final, season much the way it left us a year ago. The battle for what seems to be the immortal soul of all mankind is back in play, as are those questions you may have about who is what and why is that happening. Well, those questions get acknowledged, but never answered. Battlestar Galactica, like other great stories on television such as Buffy or early X-Files is not interested in wrapping things up in slick action sequences. The four revealed Cylons from season 3's finale do not appear here as ass kicking humanoid robots that do ninja battle with marines.

The emotional turmoil the show is currently putting its characters, and damnit the audience, through is mind bending. For some it literally is a mind bender. But don’t let that fool you. BSG has a penchant for making you momentarily forget you’re watching an epic space opera with poignant moments like on in which a father figure quetions whether he should believe his heart or his eyes. At the same time set pieces and battle sequences continue to work in their inspired way. This season four premiere in particular has a battle sequence that may go down as one of the best “holy shit” scenes of the entire year. From Cylon raider blood being splattered across Vipers for the first time I can recall, to an end of the fight… which raises far more questions than those of us who are demanding answers may like, BSG returns exactly as promised, and it appears that the problems of mid-season 3 are all but forgotten.

Season 4 begins a moment after last year’s finale. There’s no time jump, no missing piece of the puzzle which we have to go back in aftermath and uncover. Cocksure Viper jock Kara “Starbuck” Thrace has returned from her two-month sojourn. Her disappearance, and an explanation for it, drives the major plot of this episode. But you know, as a good Galactica fan, there's so much more going on. There’s the dealing with a dead daughter’s return by Admiral Adama, while grappling misgivings about the situation. President Roslin still bristles over the verdict of Baltar’s trial, and is in no way interested in veering off course for Earth. Lee Adama must move forward with his choice to leave military life, and thus become a far more interesting part of the show. Chief, Tigh, Anders and Tory sit and wonder what their purpose is, and what’s to come now that they’ve been activated.

And let me just say this: Praise be to Gaius Baltar. The man, the myth, the cunning legend has returned. No longer the sniveling prick we’ve come to loathe (while still loving him, of course), Baltar is back in full arrogant form in the season four premiere. But his journey as a man, and an agent of God (or whatever Head Six is a representation of), continues on. If you’ve ever, even for a moment loved this character, his tale in the premiere will be most welcome. It doesn’t hurt that he has a horny collegiate harem of nymphs ready to bow to his messianic prowess.

Battlestar Galactica is truly back, and it’s back on course. This is a journey of people, not of space ships or blaster battles, and “He That Believeth In Me” is just the beginning of its final story. It is the tale that sets up the journey, and it is a wild ride that will bend your mind. The best show on television reconfirms its place in the pages of TV Legends once again with an episode wrought with the conflicts and battles, big and small, that we’ve come to love and expect.

Steve West

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.