Battlestar Galactica: S01E12: Kobol’s Last Gleaming Pt.1
Wow! Just, wow. When I watched this episode last Monday, my day was completely depressing, thankfully Kobol’s Last Gleaming Pt 1, was there to pick me back up before I went to sleep.
The opening wasn’t a linear scene but instead a collection of mini-scenes all of which featured jaw-droppers and in one case, a jaw breaker. It started with “Previously on Battlestar Galactica”. It wasn’t so much a collection of short clips to bring viewers up to speed on the series, as it was a collection of deleted scenes. There were a few lines featured in there, that while implied, never made the Sky one cut of the show. I’m sure Sci Fi Channel will include them.
Following that was a scene of Adama and Apollo sparring in the gym. Next was a shot of two people engaging in another physical activity: casual sex. The camera pans up to reveal Starbuck getting laid by an unknown guy. Cut to Helo, who is still running from Boomer on Caprica. And then back to the Galactica where a very anxious Boomer has a gun in her hand.
Apollo gets a hard punch on his father, but Adama counters with several punches that are sure to leave a bruise or two later. Boomer catches up with Helo, but stores her gun in a gesture to show that she can be trusted. Helo shoots her in the shoulder anyway, what a nice bloke! Boomer (Galactica) raises her own gun, and points it in her mouth. Starbuck and mystery man have gotten into some harder drilling now, and Starbuck starts to cum, she shouts out somebody else’s name (my memory has blacked it out), and her lover rises to reveal himself to the audience. It was Baltar.
Adama throws a few more punches which then knock Apollo on his ass. Boomer spits out her gun. Next Starbuck hastily leaves Baltar’s quarters in shame over moaning out the wrong name. He gets out of bed himself, and walks over to chair and table set to have a drink of ambrosia. #6 is there silently waiting for him. She remains quiet the whole time, and looks straight forward, slightly away from Baltar. Baltar feels too guilty to make eye contact. Helo walks over to Boomer, and kicks her gun away. He points his gun down at her for the kill shot, but after some hesitation, decides not to kill her.
The credits came up, and I knew this was gonna be one helluvan episode!
After getting an MRI, Roslin learns she has a max of half a year to live. She tells this to Elosha the priestess. Elosha feels that Roslin is the prophet who will lead humanity to its new home.
The next scene features Baltar, Crashdown, Dualla and Gaeta playing cards. Yes you read that right, Gaeta was playing cards. He is finally making an effort to be social with his crewmates. Well he was trying to anyway. Even in a relaxed environment, his uniform was still mostly proper, and the man couldn’t even fold his hand properly. At least he was trying. Baltar goes over to pour him another drink but he declines, since he has the watch shortly. After a quick cut, the amount of liquor in the glasses changes (give yourself a Caprican cigar if you noticed that), and Baltar grabs Gaeta’s glass and pours its contents into his own. Since he toped off his own glass, he has to wantonly lower his head to suck out the contents. Baltar is quite drunk, and gets very aggressive when Apollo raises his bet. He tells him “You can’t compete with me, I always win”. Baltars calls, and surprise surprise wins the card game.
Starbuck drops into the card game. Baltar makes it into a very tense situation, informing her that she should address him as Vice President. He does invite her to join the game, but only as a way to remind her of her mistake. Starbuck declines.
We next find Baltar on the Colonial one. Roslin is desperately trying to explain the economic plan for the refugee fleet. Even if Baltar had the patience for politics, he couldn’t pay attention because a jealous #6 was there asking him if he loved Starbuck. It becomes a tough situation for Baltar since he must talk to both women at the same time. He fails miserably.
After some awkward conversation with the two of them he tells #6 (and accidentally Roslin) “Well quite frankly, I don’t give a flying frack if you believe me or not. I am, I am tired of being pushed and prodded around like I’m some sort of toy. I’m not your plaything!”
They both reply in unison “Plaything?!”
He continues “I don’t work for you, and quite frankly I don’t sit anymore and take this kind of abuse from either of you.” Realizes his mistake and frantically says “Either in here or either in there. Where ever it is, I don’t need to take it.”
#6 tells him, “I love you Gaius”
Roslin suggests that they take a break.
Baltar makes his way to the bathroom to calm down, as you do, but #6 is there to confront him. We he evades her questions, she slams his head into the mirror. #6 really doesn’t like that Baltar has strong feelings for Starbuck. After nearly giving him a concussion, she warns him that he shouldn’t be on the Galactica any time soon.
Supplies are starting to run low, and Galactica is sending out Raptors to scout out nearby planets for food. Boomer and Crashdown are sent on one of those missions. After they exit the jump, I see a big beautiful life bearing planet. The two crewmembers see it a as a giant gravity well that will kill them! The raptor is instantly caught my its gravity and starts to pull the raptor in.
Boomer grunts “Oh frak me.” After correcting the orbit, Boomer spits out “Gaeta the fracking idiot! You can’t plan a jump that close to the planet. What if we jumped into the damn thing”.
It’s not long before they realize what I did. They found a life bearing planet, and they begin to actively scan it.
Back on Caprica, Helo has sought shelter from the perpetual rain. He’s keeping Boomer as his prisoner, but outside in the cold rain. Boomer tries to explain the situation to him, but he won’t listen, and fires a bullet past her head to keep her silent.
Roslin, Billy and Elosha are going over the scans of the planet. They find some ruins that indicate there was a civilization there about 200 years prior. Which is the same time as human first left Kobol. Roslin looks at the map, and doesn’t see ruins, but intact structures. Structures that resemble ancient Kobol. Elosha now believes that Roslin is the prophet mentioned in the Sacred Scrolls who will lead humanity to their new home. All three are now in agreement that the planet is in fact Kobol.
After repeated viewing, I was able to see just how much Baltar was in this episode. Unlike previous episodes, it was well disguised since so many of the other scenes had such an impact on the plot. Baltar walks into the pilots quarters, and spots that Boomer has her gun in her mouth again. Baltar knows that she is a Cylon, and a ticking bomb, and goes over to help her. Help speed along her death that is. She explains that deep down, she feels that she will hurt someone one day, and that she doesn’t want to. She says that she doesn’t know who she really is.
#6 explains to Baltar that “this model is weak”, but that “she will eventually carry our her mission.”
#6 says that he can’t help her, but he can frak her. Jealous much? Baltar very sympathetically holds her and gives what is outwardly a thoughtful talk, but it’s really just a way to convince her to eat her gun.
He tells her to “Follow your heart. Embrace what you know to be the right decision”.
Baltar gives her a kiss on the forehead, and leaves the officers quarters. Moments later, he hears a gunshot. He pauses for a moment, then continues walking away. That was potentially the second darkest scene in the series.
Roslin and Elosha show their findings to Adama, Tigh and Baltar. Adama agrees that the planet may be Kobol, and suggests setting up a permanent residence on the planet. Adama wants to organize a research team of three raptors, to explore the planet. #6 shows up to remind Baltar to get off the Galactica. Baltar uses his new Vice Presidential powers to make sure he is part of those teams. He claims that as science advisor, he’d be better suited for the mission, than some enlisted underling.
It’s clear now why Boomer is a Raptor pilot and not a Viper pilot. She has no aim. She missed her brain when she attempted suicide! Instead the bullet went out through her cheek. She claims she forgot to upload her gun before cleaning it, but Tyrol doesn’t believe her. He visits her in medbay to try to give her emotional support. But she rejects it, because he sought to end their relationship a month prior. In the end, she orders him out of medbay.
Roslin wants to use the captured Raider, with an advanced jump system to jump all the way back to Caprica to get the Arrow of Apollo. According to Legend, the arrow will unlock a chamber on Kobol that will point the way toward Earth. Adama reminds her that the Raider is a military asset that can’t be wasted on a myth.
The three Raptors jump to Kobol, and there’s a big surprise waiting for them there when they arrive. A Cylon Basestar, with squadrons of Raiders. Immediately after jumping to the planet, one of the Raptors collides with a Raider, and is destroyed. Meanwhile the other two scramble to evade the Raiders. The Raptor carrying, Baltar, Tyrol, Cally, Socinus (I guess Adama let him out of the brig) and Crashdown is hit twice.
The first hit takes out the FTL drive. The next hit, goes through the hull and kills the pilot and cracks the windshield. The Raptor descends into the atmosphere, and starts to crash. Crashdown takes the controls, but when the windshield cracks, he can’t see well enough to pilot the craft. The third Raptor manages to jump back to the Galactica before taking any damage.
It was a terrifically done scene. The special effects were phenomenal, the direction of both CGI and live action was excellent, ditto acting. The editing was done perfectly, and for once the shaky camera work, actually worked!
Meanwhile, Gaeta has figured out what those Cylon devices do. Y’know the ones that #6 carried, they found on the bridge, and found with Leoben.
Apparently they are a sort of Cylon detector/communication device. When they get near each other they send signals to each other. These devices could come in handy later on. But the technobabble is short lived, as one of the Raptor’s comes back early, with bad news.
The Galactica needs to take out that Basestar. Off-screen, Starbuck explains a plan to Tigh, and Tigh mentions it during the briefing. This upsets Apollo, who confronts Starbuck about it. Apollo does not have a commanding personality and when he tries to be authoritative with her, it fails with her and the audience. Apollo tells her to explain all ideas to him first, before going to the XO. She then explains her plan to Apollo. She wants to hide a nuke in the Raider, put it on autopilot with one of the biocylon communication devices. She hopes that the Basestar will come collect the Raider, then when it’s inside, detonate, taking out the Basestar.
Apollo says its a good idea, but it might get her killed. The tension doesn’t end there and she asks if he would miss her. He replies that he needs all his pilots, “even the screw-ups”. He walks away and huff.
Roslin still wants to use the Raider to sneak back to Caprica to get the Arrow of Apollo. Billy, has finally grew a set. He outright yells at Roslin that her plan is stupid and that she can not do it, because it will likely collapse the government, or kill off humanity. He bluntly tells her that she has no right to risk humanity “for a drug induce vision of prophecy”. Roslin isn’t listening, and asks him to go get Starbuck for her.
Roslin explains to Starbuck about the Arrow of Apollo, her role in the prophecy, and her cancer. She tells Starbuck that she needs her to go get the Arrow from Caprica. Starbuck, like a good little soldier, tells her to sod off. Like a young child defending her father, she says that they don’t know need the arrow because Adama knows where Earth is. Roslin tells her the truth, that Adama made it all up. Starbuck still refuses to believe it. Roslin tells her to go ask him.
And she does. Adama doesn’t give her a straight answer, just something vague. She now knows the truth too, Adama was lying. She feels betrayed.
Starbuck was ordered to go take the Raider out for an autopilot test. But she has other plans. While in the Raider, she ask to speak to Adama directly. She calls him out, and indirectly tells him that she’s going to Caprica to get the Arrow.
Adama tells “I want you to remember one thing, I don’t regret anything that I did, be sure that whatever you do, that you don’t regret it later. Do you understand me”?
She says, “I guess we’ll find out”, and jumps away.
And then the episode ends, and what an ending too. It really pulls in the viewer, and makes ’em want to watch next week. When I watched this episode the first time, I was watching the clock, hoping it would never end, because I still wanted more. I predict it will be the same way when I watch the next episode, which depending on US ratings, might be the last Galactica episode. Although at the time of this writing, it appears that there will be a second season.
This episode gets an edge of seat inducing 48,419 out of 10.
Dissecting the Episode:
Baltar and Starbuck? Whu-huh?!It does seem rather sudden. But Baltar has been flirting with her for a while now, and at the end of Colonial Day, Baltar and Starbuck were dancing together. Given enough alcohol, anything is possible.
What about resources/food?This is the first episode that dealt with a potential food shortage. Before Boomer and Crashdown departed, they alluded to supplies running low. It’s been about 50 days since they left the Colonies. Food stores must be running low through the fleet.
Is Boomer a flawed model of Cylon?That would depend on your definition of flawed. The Biocylons on Caprica, alluded to how human Sharon behaved. This is an advantage to the Cylons who want to be more human. However as shown on Caprica with Helo, and Boomer’s attempted suicide, the model relates better to humans, than her own species. In that regard the model is too human, it works against the common good of the Cylons, and therefore is flawed.
What sort of implications does the advanced Cylon FTL engines have on the refugee fleet?If the Cylon Raider, a small space craft, can make a jump from about Kobol to Caprica, then their technology must be extremely advanced compared with the humans. By comparison, the refugees have had to make nearly 300 jumps to get to their current position. Plus if a Raider can make such a long jump, then Cylon Basestars should have a much larger jump distance. This has numerous implications.
Firstly, the Cylons could have a very large territory, one that mostly guarantees that humanity is stuck in their area of influence. Secondly the Cylons could have numerous base planets spread out so far away, that completely eliminating the Cylons is a near impossibility based on human technology. Or conversely they could be on one planet very far away, and control all their operations from there. Another possibility is that Humanity will never be safe, they can never settle down on a planet, because the Cylons will eventually find it (if they haven’t already mapped out many of the life bearing planets) and nuke it, just like they did the Twelve Colonies.
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Battlestar Galactica reviews are © 2005 Ryan Bechtel
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