Production 8
Direction 8
Characterisation 8
Storyline 8
Acting 8
Fun/Sexy/Cool 8

“Kobol’s Last Gleaming; Part II”
Well if the theme for Part I was “betrayal”, then the corollary of “heroism” holds for Part II.
Review by Frank Reddick

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Battlestar Galactica: S01E13: Kobol’s Last Gleaming pt. 2 (Alternate Review)

“Kobol’s Last Gleaming; Part II”
Well if the theme for Part I was “betrayal”, then the corallary of “heroism” holds for Part II.

Synopsis;
Once again we have the four part atructure from the first half to guide us;
-Lee Adama, in the conflict with his father, will have to choose to “let go”.
-Kara Thrace, in conflict with her “foster father”, William, will have to choose to “take control’.
-Laura Roslin as President in conflict with her military commander, the “Husker”, will have to choose how far she will “push”.
-And poor Sharon Valleri in both of her guises in conflict with her programming, will have choose her ultimate loyalty.

The Raptor party is in pieces on Kobol. Crashdown digs people out of the wreckage that was Raptor one. The last person he digs out is Zachary/Gaius. The malignant dwarf is in psychosis mode. he thinks it is the Heifer who guides him out of the wreckage. As the Raptor party stumbles around Gaius wanders off by himself.

There is an interesting side story where Tyrol and Crashdown lock horns over escape/evade tactics. It is blindingly obvious that Crashdown had better do an ego-check and let Tyrol run the show, while he takes the bows. Thus; it has always been with Second Loonies and their sergeants/chiefs.

Back on the battlestar, a very angry William Adama, about a dozen moves ahead of his confused second-in-command, confronts the President on the TBS(talk-between-ships). The confused Tigh hasn’t figured out what could cause Kara Thrace to mutiny. Adama hasn’t time to educate his naive friend in the ways of politics by explication, so he shows him.. When Adama talks to Roslin the ostensible issue is who suborned “Starbuck” and sent her off after the “Arrow of Apollo”. Laura plays her cards using the press as a bluff to back Bill off. Both William and Laura comment that they believe the other is bluffing. Laura doesn’t know William very well does she? Tigh is ordered to bear witness so he can learn. THIS IS IMPORTANT! Remember it.

Things for Caprica TOASTER MARK IV and Helo remain unsettled. Somehow, she nose-rings him to the museum where the “Arrow of Apollo” is.(Keep up with me folks, the Cylons have FTL communications built into them and Caprica Sharon has been getting intelligence downloads from the Cylons aboard the battlestar.) In the re-crimination fest that Caprica Boomer and Karlo Agathon exchange with each other she asserts the truth, that she has kept him alive, that the “Arrow of Apollo” is the way to Earth which Helo never learned in history, and that she is the brains of the team. Surprisingly, Helo adjusts well to this ego shattering series of revelations. There is a brains/heart dichotomy working here. Guess which one is the Cowardly Lion and which one is the Scarecrow?

The “Husker” has a full plate. He can’t do anything about Kara until she comes back, but he can cook Laura’s goose and fix the base star’s wagon at Kobol right now, which he proceeds to do. He has a suicidal Raptor pilot who happens to be just heroic enough to kamikaze that base star into the next epoch. He personally approaches Battlestar Sharon and offers her this chance to kill herself in style. She accepts. I wonder who the poor rider will be?
William sends in Saul, Lee, and the Colonial Marines (Under Tigh not Lee since the Husker does not trust his son to carry out the arrest.) to gather up Laura ostensibly on the charge of constitutionally abusing her office. Three Raptor loads of them latch onto Colonial one, breach the hull and conduct a boarding action.

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Laura, during the boarding action, urges the Press, her aides and the Press to seek safety in the cargo hold. Billy Keikaya to Laura; “We stand by our President!”

The confrontation goes as scheduled. The Presidential Protection Service(PPS) faces off against the Marines. At this crucial moment, Lee decides to let go. Colonel Tigh(good acting here here folks) shakes with fear as Lee puts an OICWS(objective individual combat weapon system) pistol to his head. When Tigh asks why, Lee tells Tigh to tell William, his father “that we cannot destroy our democracy” and that he, Lee, “is letting go.” What lousy timing! Roslin folds her hand and orders her people and Captain Lee to stand down..Roslin and Lee are now brigbound.

The Husker’s other action, proceeds as he plans. It is the Kara plan with Battlestar Boomer and a Raptor(With the only other functioning transponder) substituting for the Raider. The unfortunate rider with suicidal Boomer is “Racetrack”. She has no idea just how hard Battlestar Sharon is going to push it. She finds out. Right into the base star they go when the missile won’t fire off the rail. Sharon lands right inside the center hub cavity of the base star. Kamikaze Sharon decides she will Slim Pickens the bomb loose from its jammed shackles. Out she goes into the base star. She explores a little bit, after she works the bomb loose, CLANG!

Poor nutty Battlestar Sharon meets at least a dozen naked copies of herself after she is drawn into the base star’s guts by her own voice calling her name. “Sharon! We will meet you ,again. We love you, Sharon.”

CUCKOO!
They take her helmet.(!?!?!?)

Sharon returns to the Raptor. Racetrack asks “Where’s your helmet?”(Important!) Battlestar Boomer shags her off and spins ’em up and runs for it. The bomb, she left behind, is lovingly caressed by the other naked Boomers. BOOM! No more base star. Battlestar Valleri jumps back to the Galactica, “Mission accomplished!” Heroic Sharon relays to the battlestar command group and Dualla relays back to the Raptor, the permission to Battlestar Boomer to come aboard the Galactica..

Lets leave Battlestar Sharon for a minute and return to the other paragon of Colonial warriordom, Kara Thrace.

Poor little Kara has jumped into what looks like empty space. She looks around puzzled for a minute. Apparently her navigation gear is nonfunctional aboard the Raider for she has to rotate it to see the nuclear winterized Caprica. She has a brief moment of self-congratulation before she boldly sorties past three base stars and hundreds of Cylon smallcraft.

She makes it down to Caprica and lands outside the same Delphi Museum for which Caprica Boomer and Helo are headed.

Interregnum;

Brickthick Helo and Caprica Sharon have one more of those sessions of “secrets and confessions”. This time it is “I’m pregnant, Helo.”
While Battlestar Sharon demonstrates why she is the best of the Raptor pilots, Kara enters the Delphi Museum to retrieve the “Arrow of Apollo”. There it is in its glass case. She shoots the glass. Simple, take the arrow, go back to the Raider, jump to Galactica, make naughty girl heroic entrance, “bringing home the cat” and all is forgiven. Right?

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Wrong.

While Battlestar Sharon is fruitlooping with a chorus of her naked selves a couple dozen lightyears away, Kara runs into clone number five of Six, the Heifer. “Hello Starbuck….. Like what we’ve done with the place?”

Kara, stunned, tries to lead the rabbit, but the Heifer is quite a sprinter. In the initial tussle with the Heifer, Kara loses her sidearm. Bad move.

The Heifer proceeds to give Kara quit a lesson in street fighting Israeli style. kicks chokes, throws, a running headbutt into a statue and a few taunts later, “That all you’ve got?” and Kara spear tackles the Heifer into a hole in the floor. Down the two fall.

Look and behold, Helo and Caprica TOASTER MARK IV show up just as “Starbuck” carries the Heifer into a re-bar refit.(A hole punched through the Heifer’s heart by a rod of reinforcement iron.). Helo scrambles down to find Kara beaten to within an inch of her life.

He props her up and checks the Homeric “Starbuck” for broken bones. The two of them exchange heartfelt hugs of greeting. Then “Starbuck” sees “Boomer” and grabs for Helo’s gun. You see, unlike Brickthick, Kara Thrace has a brain with working wetware. “No Kara! She’s pregnant!” Mister Heart speaks. Kara collapses in tears. it been one hell of a two months!

(Spoilers for season two are in this paragraph.)
Did I mention that the Heifer in Zachary/Gaius Baltar’s head led him to the Temple of Athena ruins on Kobol (Insert Twilight Zone Music, here.) and showed him the vision of a girl child in a bright white cradle, the first of the new generation of God’s Children?
Meanwhile back aboard the battlestar, the Husker personally brigs Roslin.

He returns to the CIC (combat information center) to greet his handcuffed and disappointing to him son. The lesson he intends to shove down Lee’s throat is the one of loyalty to duty. He, William Adama, personally congratulates his returning kamikaze Raptor crew and salutes their heroism. First William shakes the hand of Racetrack, and then he extends his hand to Battlestar Boomer. She shoots him twice, and spreads his bloody body across the ship’s plotting table.

As Dualla kisses the fallen battlestar commander’s hand and Tigh tries to compress the bleeding wounds of his dying friend, the grief stricken “Apollo” weeps with his father’s head in his lap.

Battlestar Sharon is in complete shock.
The end of the episode shows a view of the ruins of the Temple of Athena.

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Good things.

Writing this episode continued in the same grim Homeric scale that it has since Part I.

Acting. With the exception of James Callis, who is a disgrace to this ensemble, the entire cast performs to the best of their now considerable abilities.

Standouts;
Tricia Helfer: surprise, surprise, the Heifer’s learning curve continues. She still slurs lines but she hit her marks crisply and her stunt work which was close-upped and couldn’t be faked as her earlier beating of Grace Parks in the series was was nearly flawless.
Grace Parks; She is technically flawless. As a dual role actress she manages to make for the most sympathetic Villainess I can remember in science fiction ever.

Katee Sackhoff: Move over Xena, and all the other putrid sci-fi fantasy heroines. Here is a Science Fiction HEROINE! She had to shine as much as Tricia Helfer in all of her scenes to make this episode work.

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Edward James Olmos; This was his episode. (See below.)
Aaron Douglas; Tyrol has little screen time but he used it well to establish the direction of the Kobol story and his part in it.
Kandsyee McClure and Paul Campbell (Dualla and Billy Keikaya) continue their series chemistry even though it is via TBS during the storming of Colonial one.

Alessandro Juliani has to be the Montgomery Scott of the Galactica. His part has got to grow!!!

Mary McDonnell turned in a nice counterpoint to Olmos’ point. It is kind of hard to think of her as a “villain” in this piece; but she is, and she keys it nicely.

The camera work was very good.
The CGI in this series’ first season has been considerably improved, from the mudwork of the mini-series. The crispness is a refreshing change and this episode continues that progress.
Bad things.

Somebody needs to take those sound engineers into a backroom and two by four them. Has anybody noticed that after the first two episodes of this series, Mary McDonnell and Edward Olmos started super-enunciating their lines so that the lousy sound mike work wouldn’t miss their words?

James Callis. The villain, who is supposed to be Baltar, just makes me laugh now. I find that others don’t share this view, but for me he is just a clown. It ruins a remarkable series when I see this shrimp “Doctor Zachary Smith” prancing around doing his Richard the Third comedy.bit. theonly thing missing is his hunchback padding for his back. He also mumbles.

The music. Will somebody hire a composer for this series please! Christopher Franke and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra would be a good start!

Curiosities:

We see a lot of strange secretive interchanges between characters among characters and by characters in Battlestar Galactica. In this episode we see Laura Roslin pocket something on her desk before she is arrested. In the scene, just before we see Battlestar Sharon shoot William Adama, Gaeta bumps up close to our confused Boomer and you would swear he puts something in that nutty Valleri’s hand.

The Cylon base stars are M&Ms hard shell candies with soft chewey centers. In other words somebody read Mike Wong’s Stardestroyer.net! Bio-organic technology was presented in a way that might make sense.

Did anyone notice that the base star’s innards looked like a cross between the wrecked alien spaceship from Alien and Moya from Farscape ?

There are now three identifiable Cylon small craft with the base stars.

There is the Wing Commander(TM) Kilraithi inspired Raider.
There is the Space Ghost(TM) cartoon Jan and Jace spacecar inspired Cylon troop transport. We see this at the Caprica space port in close up in Part I.

There is something that looks suspiciously like a Babylon 5 Earthforce deep space cargo shuttle also milling around the base stars.

There seems to be a master control node that handles all of those small fry on each base star. When Battlestar TOASTER MARK IV blows her batty nudist sisters to kingdom come(In a correctly CGIed twenty kiloton device I might add!) those small fry fall out of control.

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This Battlestar Galactica review is © 2005 Frank Reddick.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

Battlsestar Galactica names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of Sci-Fi Channel, NBC-Universal and R&D Television.

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