Battlestar Galactica: Miniseries: Part 2
The second part of Battlestar Galactica starts off exactly where the first one ended. There was no credits, no opening music, nothing. Even Lord of the Rings flashes the movie title at the beginning of subsequent films, night two of the miniseries didn’t even give us that. I’m not complaining. After the tremendously pleasant surprise of how great the first part was, it was nice that they cut out all the crap and got straight to the story.
Meanwhile on the flight deck, Chief Tyrol is exasperated at how Starbuck damaged her ship. He shouts at the pilot, that his crew will have to replace nearly the whole backside of the craft. Starbuck leaves her ships cockpit, looks at the damage and shrugs it off. She’s seen worse, probably even done worse to other ships on purpose! Starbuck rather arrogantly yells back to Tyrol that a certain crewmember should be fixing a component on her viper. The chief rather sadly tells that the crewman is dead, a long with 84 others. With Starbucks foot lodged down her throat, she can say nothing, and begins to walk away. The tactless Tyrol, then asks her if she heard about Apollo. She hasn’t but infers his fate, and walks away on the verge of tears.
Back on the Command Information Central (CIC), the jump sequence has been prepared and Gaeta begins the countdown sequence. The crew of the ship takes their seats or otherwise brace for the faster then light (FTL) jump. After a rather long ten second countdown, the ships interior gets all wonky and warped. on the outside the ship disappears in a brilliant display of lights. The very next moment, the ship appears outside a large nebula. Lt Gaeta checks his figures and proudly proclaims that the ship has arrived precisely on target. The crew cheers and a few crewmembers come up and shake his hand.
In the next scene is the Colonial one. Which last time we checked, was nuked. I doubt a little transport like that has the armor of major battleship like the Galactica, which can withstand a nuclear device. It doesn’t. After the pilot and President Roslin come to, they immediately head down to the cargo bay to see what Apollo ran off to do below. As many people guessed, Apollo activated the EM generators in the cargo bay to fake the EMP wave that follows a nuclear detonation. The EMP knocked out the electronics on the nuke, and fooled the Cylons (and the Galactica!) into believing they were destroyed. This tactic was tried previously against the Cylons, in the first war, but it never fooled them. Feh, first time for everything. After a brief rejoice, Roslin orders Apollo and the ships pilot to begin searching for survivors of the Cylon attacks.
The Galactica makes its way into the nebula (Ragnar Expanse) and docks with the supply depot in orbit there. Tyrol and a group of crewman board the station and begin to search and salvage what they can to rearm their ship. Before to long, they encounter another human, at gunpoint. Leonen Conoy, a sickly looking solider demands that he be given safe transport off the station or he’ll open fire on the crew. Tyrol has no patience for this and offers the berk an ultimatum, “If you think you can get past us and the 2000 people on our ship then fine, otherwise get the hell outta our way!” Conoy knows it’s hopeless gives up his weapon, and stands down.
The Colonial one has made great progress in finding survivors. one ship they encounter is the raptor piloted by Boomer. Boomer and the refugees make their way off the small scout ship and onto the larger transport ship. Apollo finds Baltar immediately and escorts him to meet the new President Roslin. Upstairs he shakes hands with the novice politician and apologizes for not recognizing her. Roslin knows, that she was never really important enough to remember, and tells him that she takes no offense by it. She appoints Baltar in charge of science and intelligence of the Cylons. His first task is to find out how they were defeated so easily.
This is a rather simple task, as he already knows that it was his program, and Six’s infiltration that caused all of the colonial defenses to fail. Baltar says he’ll give it his all. In reality, he’ll try to find a way to not make this his fault. Schmuck! After some contemplation he begins to hallucinate again, or so he thinks. His own personal Harvey, err Six, shows up again and starts to talk to him. She tells him that it was all his fault and that he knew about it all along. At first we think that maybe his conscious is acting up, but then Six explains that she inserted a chip into his head so that she can always interface with him. So that’s what they’re calling it these days. Baltar doesn’t want to believe it at first, but reluctantly gives in to reality. He’s stuck with his cyber stalker Six, forever! Worse still, he can’t tell anyone about her without being tied to what he did.
The Galactica crew has wasted no time gathering supplies from the armory. Adama and a few other command level officers have boarded the station to investigate what supplies are there, and to question the neurotic quartermaster. Adama learns that Conoy was selling the arms on the black market, and that the he believed the Galactica was there to arrest him. The interrogation is cut short, because in their haste to load up the ship, some munitions were knocked over, setting off an explosion. Adama and Conoy are thrown into a corridor, with the door weld locking behind them. No one is hurt from the explosion, but people are shaken. Tyro comes over to the door to get Adama out. He informs Adama that he’ll get some people to open the door immediately. Adama says not to waste any effort on him, and to keep loading the ship. Adama then orders the sick Leonen to show him another way out.
Leonen begins walking Commander Adam up and down random halls, apparently leading him nowhere. All the while he is prattling on about how G-d is upset with the humans, and decided to give souls to other creatures, then command said creatures to kill off the humans. Adama sick of his nonsense replies “G-d didn’t create the Cylons, we did” Adama has become even more suspicious of the sickly Conoy. So much so that he soon divines that he is in fact a Cylon. He says that the nebulas radiation must be messing with his silicon replays, and that’s why he appears to be dying. Conoy doesn’t deny it. Instead he tells Adama that when he dies, soon, that his consciousness will transfer to a similar models body and that he’ll watch the destruction of the Galactica from that new body. Without warning, the dying biocylon, gathers enough strength and begins to wail upon Adama. After a brief but painful struggle, Adama manages to gain the upper hand and kills the biocylon.
Meanwhile, the President has done an excellent job of collecting as many refugees has they can find. After a few hours, they’ve managed to group about 70 vessels, with about 55,000 people. Roughly 50 of those ships have FTL ability. The decision is made to start loading people off of the sublights and onto the faster ships. But it’s too little too late. A Cylon scout ship jumps in and discovers the refugee armada, then quickly jumps out again. A decision has to be made now! Do they try to get as many people as they can onto the FTL ships before the Cylons arrive, or do they just abandon those ships and people behind and then jump to Ragnar? It’s a tough choice. Apollo simplifies it quite well. They must abandon the 20 sublight ships and several thousand people, to save the as much of humanity as possible. If they haste, the Cylons will jump in between the ships and detonate nukes, wiping out all of humanity. Reluctantly Pres. Roslin gives the order to jump immediately.
The radio is ablaze with angry pilots, demanding an explanation from Colonial One, as to why all the sublights and their occupants are being abandoned. one pilot asks to known where they’re going so they can follow in sublight speeds. Apollo says not to tell them, because if they are captured by the Cylons, their new hiding place will be compromised. Just before the FTL are to jump a dozen Cylon fighters jump in and launch missiles at the refugees. President Roslin meanwhile is sulking in the passenger cabin. She knows that she has just condemned thousands of humans to death, but is powerless to do anything. Just before the Colonial one jumps, a message plays over the radio, “I hope you all rot in hell for this!”
You think this review is dark? This is the happy version compared to the episode.
Luckily the 50+ FTL ships arrive safely at the Ragnar Expanse and meet up with the Galactica. Col Tyge, now in charge from Adama’s absence, is upset that he now has to deal with all the refugees. The Galactica is a warship, not a Red Cross hospital. Reluctantly he gives up two medical pods to help the wounded. Tigh then puts Dr. Baltar to work on trying to find a way to defeat the Cylons.
Baltar first instructs them that it’s his navigation/defense program that the Cylons took advantage of, and urges the Galactica to purge it from their computers. Truly, he is just having them delete all the evidence. Lt Gaeta comes over to Baltar to comfort him. Gaeta tells him that it was hi fault that the Cylons attacked. But Baltar isn’t listening. Six is too busy whispering in his ear, saying the exact opposite of the comforting lieutenant. Baltar makes up a rather lame and awkward thank-you for Gaeta. Lt Gaeta is weirded out and confused by his response, but just assumes it’s all the guilt, and walks away. Baltar wished he could do the same from Six. But the love obsessed Cylon won’t leave him alone. She goes on and on about how great he is, and how much she loves him. Six tells him, “We could have a real future together”. Baltar quips, “Yeah, that’d be special”. Six isn’t fazed by his sarcastic remark, and instead resorts to bribery. She points out to Baltar a weird Cylon device hidden in plain sight in the CIC. Baltar threatens to alert he crew of the device. But Six knows he can’t. He’s not supposed to know it’s a Cylon device, and can’t explain how he knows without implicating himself. Baltar says he’ll think of something and takes his leave of her.
Baltar gets up and investigates the odd device from a few meters away. He then returns to his previous seat. Six comes back again, and taunts him some more. Baltar says “it’s not a bomb, because it hasn’t exploded…”. “Yet”, chimes in Six, she then says that she was kidding and that she doesn’t know what it is. She’s gets bored of discussing Cylon technology with him, and decides to do something a little more interesting. She straddles the scientist and reaches down to his crotch and begins to play with him. Baltar says under his breath, “not here, not now”, but he is a dude, and gives in rather quickly. Aaron Doral, the civilian PR guy, walks in on the “encounter”. Doral gives Baltar the reports he requested and then asks “Are you okay? You look flustered.” Baltar breathlessly replies that he’s fine, and to let him get back to his reports. After the PR dude departs, Baltar tells Six that he will implicate Aaron, as a Cylon sympathizer. This way to spin attention off himself, and alert the crew of the strange device. Six says that the Cylons really must make a copy of his brain waves and make his personality into a Cylon. He gives her a look of both disgust and pride.
After Adama returns to the ship, he informs the command crew of the new Cylon threat. The doctor and Baltar are tapped to discover if there is anyway to detect the Cylons. It is soon discovered that while the biocylons are completely identical to humans. But after cremation, an artificial compound can be found. In the very next scene, Doral is thrown into a holding cell, being charged as a biocylon. Baltar stutters through his evidence of Doral’s deception, and throws in a small disclaimer that the test could be wrong. Then he announces that he’s seen Doral very interested in some device on CIC. Aaron is flabbergasted, he screams his innocence, and that he is a human. Back in CIC, the device is taken down, after it is determined not to be a bomb. It’s then sent to Baltar for investigation. Later on in the episode, Doral will be abandoned on the supply station.
In the next scene Apollo orders Starbuck on a recon mission. She is to go to the fringe of the expanse, and scout for enemy craft. Before she departs though, the two have a heart-to-heart. She tells Apollo that his brother failed the flight test. But because she was romantically involved with him, she passed him anyway. This comes as a shock to Apollo, who has been blaming his father, Adama, for his brother’s death all these years. Apollo is upset by the news, but can’t bring himself to hate Starbuck. But he can hate himself, who’s been angry at the wrong person all these years.
Starbuck then flies off and does her recon mission. To her dismay, she’s discovered that half the Cylon fleet is waiting outside the nebula for them. Rather then enter the expanse, they’ll wait for the humans to come to them.
The commander of the colonial forces, Adama, and the commander pf the colonies, Roslin finally meet. It’s not a happy meeting. The president thinks Adama will declare martial law, and Adama thinks Roslin is an ignorant fool. Adama soon dispels her belief that he will take command over the last vestige of humanity. Instead he will go out and find, then try to fight the Cylons. She tries to talk him into running, she argues that humanities best hope is to run. She proclaims “The human race is about to be wiped out, there’s 50 000 of us and that’s it. We need to get the hell out of here and start having babies!” But he won’t listen, Adama is about as stubborn as it gets.
After the meeting, Adama calls a command meeting. He, Col Tigh, Lt Gaeta, and Apollo begin discussing what to do. They know half the Cylon fleet is out there itching to destroy them. They start discussing if they should leave the fleet in the nebula. They can’t leave them there without having them be later destroyed, and they can’t take them with them, or they’ll like wise they’ll all be destroyed. Adama drowns out the strategy meeting and instead focuses on the flirting action going on between Roslin’s assistant Billy Keikeya, and Petty Officer Dualla.
It’s this display of humanity that forces him to realize that the war is over, and that they must run for safety. Adama orders Gaeta to plot a jump into far uncharted space. It’s asking a lot of the young lieutenant, but Gaeta agrees to plot the long distance jump. He then tells the other two officers that Galactica will guard the civilian craft at the entrance to the expanse, while they each subsequently make their own jumps to safety. His plan is a long shot, but if it works, humanity will be safe for a while.
Let the attack begin! The Galactica puts its plan into action. What follows is one of the most realistic and best choreographed space battles in all of sci-fi history. I can’t do justice to the battle, you’ll have to see it for yourself. But here’s a quick replay: At the entrance to the expanse, the Galactica takes point, and acts as a shield for the jumping ships. At the same time, the Cylon battleships begin pounding the Galactica with round after round of missiles that would have destroyed any of the weaker civilian craft. Meanwhile a huge dogfight ensues, squadrons of Cylon and Colonial craft go at each other without mercy. In the beginning the human vipers take a lot of losses. But after a few minutes, the humans learn how to counteract the Cylons, and fight like they were possessed! Cylon fighters are blown out of space two at a time! After the last refugee ship jumps, the Galactica calls in all the vipers. Of course the last two left out on the battlefield are Apollo and Starbuck. Starbuck got caught up in the moment and kept killing Cylons, meanwhile Apollo’s ships is too damaged to return to the Galactica. To help him out, Starbuck builds up speed and rams Apollo’s ship, wedging the two together. Whadda a hot dogging showboat! Starbuck then proceeded to land (read: crash) the two vessels onto the flight deck.
After the ships are safely aboard the Galactica jumps to safety.
A day later, a funeral ceremony is held for those lost during the Cylon attacks. It’s a very solemn ordeal. The attendees of the funeral are completely demoralized. They know humanity is lost. Adama will have none of it. He shouts at the crew, “We jump into uncharted territory, limited fuel, limited supplies, no allies and now no hope!” He then gives them an excellent half-time speech. He tells the crew that he knows the location of the lost thirteenth colony, Earth. He says that the journey to Earth will be a long and arduous one, but that they will make it. The crew, renewed with hope now have a reason to live. The last remnants of humanity will search for its final refuge Earth.
After the ceremony, President Roslin has a talk with him. She tells him that she knows that Earth doesn’t exist. Adama agrees, but tells her not to tell anyone for fear of destroying moral. Roslin agrees. They also discuss politics. She will command the fleet, but Adama will be in charge of all military decisions. Let’s see how long this arrangement lasts.
Meanwhile back on the Ragnar Anchorage, a rather sick looking Doral is in a fetal position, waiting to die. His pathetic whimpering is interrupted by the door to the space staion be ripped apart by two mechanical Cylons. In walk several sets of biocylons, including several Sixes, another Doral, and two Conoys. The sick Doral tells his counterparts that they must leave the expanse, because the radiation will destroy their circuits. Whaddya know, Baltar actually found a real Cylon. I wonder if Baltar knows that? He then tells them that he doesn’t know where the humans went. The other biocylons agree that they mist seek out the humans, lest they be destroyed by them later out of revenge. one of the Sixes says that tracking them down could take decades. After that is said, the prime biocylon enters the station and says that they will find the humans. That prime cylon is none other than Boomer!
I’d rate this miniseries finale an extraordinary but dark 38,261 out of 10. What did you think?
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Review is copyright 2004-2019 Ryan Bechtel
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