BATTLESTAR GALACTICA - 'The Hub'


(Oh, why not! Gratuitous James Callis image. So, sue me!)

SkyHD - 10th June 2008 - 9.00pm

That's better. And about time too. After the decidedly weak Sine Qua Non, the series takes us back two days and shows us what exactly happened after the base star, together with Roslin and Baltar on board, jumped away. We'd seen trashed base stars and a morgue like Raptor as brief evidence of what might have happened in Sine Qua Non but this week's episode was less about the aftermath of civil war and the plan to grab D'Anna and more about Roslin's personal journey.

This was classic BSG - a kick ass, visual spectacle as a combined strike team of Cylon and colonial pilots trashed the hub and a bunch of basestars combined with a profound parable about what makes an individual's actions denote that person as either good or bad.

As the Bathing Beauty kept yellng "Jump", D'Anna was indeed unboxed by Cavill and his 'pet 8' as he believed she's the solution to the Cylon civil war. Whoops, ya got that wrong. D'Anna, in no mood for reconcilliation, promptly strangled Cavill and moved forward with her own agenda. Good to have Lucy Lawless back and in fine form whilst spending the episode clad only in a bathrobe. Costume designer on strike or something?

Meanwhile 'Pet 8' came over all chummy with Helo, trying to convince him she's capable of taking on Athena's memories and feelings in an attempt to further blur the boundaries between human and Cylon. Unfortunately, it all goes awry when Helo follows orders and obeys Roslin's desire to meet with D'Anna separately before the Cylon resistance can get their hands on her. 'Pet 8' was a tad upset by that. And she wasn't the only one - Helo's plan for a united human and Cylon assault on the hub generates enough tension and mistrust as it is, without his and 'Pet 8's' personal spats. Another grudging move towards a collaboration between the two races? Also, Roslin's betrayal of the original plan with the Cylons would surely have pissed them off big time yet this was glossed over with the brief scene between 'Pet 8' and Helo. D'Anna and Roslin may well have been left alone to talk but wouldn't the others, all capable of knocking seven bells out of anything or anyone, have forced an entrance?

But the core of this episode quite rightly belongs to Mary McDonnell and James Callis. As the assualt is underway Baltar and Roslin are left together and the drama gets very dark indeed. Baltar is injured and Roslin is forced to try and help stop him from bleeding to death. Pumped full of painkillers he confesses his part in the the original Cylon attack on the colonies. A collective mutter of 'about time' must have echoed through the hordes of BSG fans at this as this has been a very long time coming. 4 years to be precise. Roslin's immediate reaction is to rip off all the bandaging she's put on him and watch him die for his crimes. Yeah, too right, Roslin. I'm sure many of us were pretty much convinced that Baltar was going to be dead by the end of this and I'd have actually been rather glad. But that's exactly the reaction this scene is trying to provoke in the audience and in Roslin. It's superbly played by McDonnell and Callis. Compelling and satisfying.

However, whilst the base star had been jumping, Roslin was also having visions that reunited her with the priestess Elosha. Basically, the beturbaned one popped up just to say 'You has turned into a beeaaattccchhh, girlfriend. And no one loves ya.' Essentially, this week's moral is: all our good intentions often turn bad and vice versa and who are we to judge. Not sure if that would have convinced me to save Baltar, though. Roslin, mortified by this revelation, thus desperately rushes to Baltar's side. Roslin also sees her demise in a hospital bed with Adama at her side. A very moving and affecting scene indeed. And a lovely choice of head wear.

It's not all doom and gloom and big explosions going off, pretty as they are. There's some hilarity when both Roslin and Baltar try to fathom out what the Bathing Beauty is trying to say and are reduced to shouting at her. Baltar tries to do a religious conversion on a Cylon Centurion which may have some deeper ramifications down the line. Equally funny is the conversation between D'Anna and Roslin about the Final Five where for one minute D'Anna naughtily kids both the audience and Roslin that Roslin herself is the last Cylon to be revealed. And then she breaks into laughter. Priceless.

The final scene is certainly the icing on the cake and is a very emotional coda to the story. The base star reappears near Adama's waiting Raptor and he makes a rendezvous, fearing the worse. But he's reunited with Roslin and they both tearfully declare their mutual love. Awww. Another milestone reached after a very long courtship. Both actors were fantastic and Roslin has obviously heeded the words of Elosha. That lovely, gruff 'About time' from Adama was a fine touch too.

Good to have an episode showing the series getting back up to speed and moving the plot forward properly. The decision to drop whole strands of narrative over the last few weeks isn't helping the coherence of the story much. There are whole episodes where nothing much really happens and where sub plots involving Tyrol, Tory, Starbuck et al disappear too and that may be a distinct sign of stalling on the part of the writers. Mind you the landscape has completely changed now with the destruction of the Hub. Cylons can die - just like humans. That should give them pause for thought.

Next week is the finale before the mid-season break so I expect some further revelations and a decent cliffhanger to keep us interested.


Previous reviews:
Sine Qua Non
Guess What's Coming To Dinner?
Faith
The Road Less Traveled
Escape Velocity
The Ties That Bind
He That Believeth In Me & Six Of One

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