“Battlestar Galactica” had its mid-season spring premier Sunday, January 21, 2007. The episode entitled Rapture picked up where the fall season ended with Adama threatening to launch nuclear missiles at the algae planet where they had discovered a temple presumably containing the Eye of Jupiter. According to legend, the eye is a marker to show where the 13th tribe settled, which is presumably the planet Earth.
Down on the planet the Galactica’s Chief is racing against time to locate the eye within the temple. Apollo and Anders are battling the Cylon “toasters” while Apollo’s wife, Dualla, is attempting to rescue Starbuck, whose raptor went down in a Cylon attack. Everyone is rushing to complete his or her missions before the planet’s star goes supernova.
On the Cylon baseship D’Anna is bucking the will of the Cylon council. She doesn’t want to pull back the fighters headed toward the planet. However, she eventually gives in to most of their demands, insisting only that one ship be allowed through. She attempts to convince her comrades that Adama won’t nuke the planet over one rogue ship. She is correct. Adama backs down and allows the single ship, which carries Baltar and D’Anna, through to the planet.
On Galactica, Helo and Athena try to persuade Adama to authorize a rescue mission to bring back their daughter, Hera who is on the Cylon baseship. He declines his permission so Athena convinces Helo to kill her so that she can be reborn on the baseship and rescue their child. When she is reborn and makes it to her daughter, she finds the baby deathly ill. She attempts to convince Sharon (Athena’s duplicate) and Number Six, AKA Caprica, that the baby is going to die if she isn’t seen by a human doctor. Sharon threatens to kill the little girl if Athena continues to push her agenda, but Caprica kills Sharon in order to protect the baby.
What remains is a race against time for everyone involved. Can Apollo and Anders work together to save the crew on the planet and get them safely off before the planet’s sun goes supernova? Can the chief find the Eye of Jupiter before he is forced to blow up the temple to prevent the Cylons from gaining the information? Can Dualla save Starbuck for Apollo and Anders? Can Athena save her baby and get her back to safety on the Galactica? Will D’Anna and Baltar find the Eye of Jupiter? Will D’Anna discover the identity of the remaining five Cylon models?
I’ll give you some clues but for the remainder, you’ll have to watch for yourself. This episode is intended to be Lucy Lawless’s (D’Anna) last, at least for the time being. And the sun does go supernova, but not before everyone is safely back on Galactica. For the remaining answers, tune in next week.
While it seems that Galactica has been even more dark than usual this year, the series continues to break new ground with its intrigue and with the way it draws parallels between today’s world and the series’ fictional one. The writers of this series are some of the best in television, matched only by the quality of the cast itself and the show’s talented directors.
While I was uncertain that Edward James Olmos was the right choice for Adama when Galactica initially began, he has proven every other skeptic and me wrong. This year in particular Olmos he has taken control of the part and made it totally his own. Now, it would be difficult to imagine the show without him at the helm.
Likewise, Jamie Bamber has hammered home his ownership of Lee Adama, AKA Apollo. Of course many fans are still holding out for an Apollo-Starbuck match. I have to say that I like Lee just fine with his spunky and devoted wife, Anastasia Dualla, played with grace and dignity by Kandyse McClure. I think she is every bit his match while brining some calmness and balance to him. I also like Starbuck – – played with total control by Katee Sackhoff – – with her husband Anders. They have an easy, free flowing chemistry that is pleasant and electric at the same time.
I will miss Lucy Lawless as D’Anna. It is not so much that her role was necessary to the show, but that she brought so much interest and depth to a previously one dimensional Cyclon race. I won’t be surprised if they don’t decide to bring her back again sometime in the future. They left the door open for that to occur and I suspect fans may make their voices heard in order to insure her resurrection.
Now that Baltar, played with brilliant borderline madness by James Callis, has been captured, it will be interesting to see in what direction his story goes. I don’t really see how he can be redeemed at this point but I supposed anything in possible in the skillful hands of a good writer. And wherever Baltar goes, it is certain that the sexy, calculating, and equally brilliant Number Six (played with gleeful charm by Tricia Hefler) will follow.
It should also be interesting see where the human/Cylon/hybrid family story will go over the course of the remainder of this season. Can little Hera bring Cylon and human together where nothing and no one else can? Grace Parks’ multi-faceted performance of Sharon/Athena is nothing short of remarkable. She is equally believable as a humble, soft-spoken woman, a fiery, take no prisoners warrior, and a cold-hearted Cylon. And Tahmoh Penikett’s equally strong performances as Helo matches Park’s step for step.
While we haven’t seen a front and center story this season for Madame President Laura Roslin, safe in the capable hands of Mary McDonnell, I’m sure one is coming. Even if it’s not, this actress shines in every scene in which she appears; forcing the audience to notice her. She just has the kind of television presence.
Saul Tigh, played by veteran actor Michael Hogan, is getting a chance to shine this year. Finally his character resembles what fans know of Colonel Tigh rather than the previously whipped husband of a drunken traitor.
As is typical with this inventive, intriguing series it continues to raise as many questions in each episode as it answers. That is part of what makes it so much fun to watch. With its continued strong writing, direction and acting, I predict this spring version will be on the best yet.