SkyHD - 17th June 2008 - 9.00pm

Oh, look. It's Gaeta. He's back, minus a leg and being a clumsy sod on the bridge. Sorry. I've missed him. Right, back to the episode. For a mid-season finale it managed to get back to the very heart of the series: the journey to Earth. In fact it seemed to happen all rather too quickly and after some far more satisfying, much deserved reveals.

As the basestar jumped back to the fleet, D'Anna, played with steely ruthlessness by Lucy Lawless, started laying down the rules. A hostage situation develops in which the fleet will hand over the Final Five in exchange for Roslin, Adama and the other crew members. There was that marvellous scene where D'Anna arrives on the Galactica and immediately twigs who the already revealed four are. And it was obvious that selfish old Tory would immediately jump ship. Of the four she's the one most convinced by her Cylon status and desperately wants to join her sisters and brothers. Get rid, I say.

As the tension mounts in this very satisfying episode, Tigh finally confesses his Cylon status to Adama. It's a wonderful scene between Eddie Olmos and Michael Hogan and lived up to its promise. How long have we waited for this? And Olmos does rage and betrayal very well. Adama smashes himself up and gets very drunk. Lee has to come in and sort the old man out whilst also calling the Cylons bluff by threatening to chuck Tigh out the airlock. Pity it wasn't Tory - she deserves it more.

Meanwhile, Anders, Tyrol and Tigh start hearing that crackling radio tuning in and out. They really must get some new batteries in it. How the hell do they expect to hear music? And as Anders and Tyrol are led to Kara's Viper, as the source, they get arrested and lined up for 'eating space' duty by a twitchy Lee Adama. Kara figures out that the cojoining of the basestar and the four Cylons is revealed as a signal to Earth. It's so simple when you know how. The most ridiculous bit of this is that she basically sprints several lengths of the ship to finally burst in on Lee and prevent him from spacing the Cylons. Darlin', just pick up the phone! That was a silly scene and a weak attempt to rack up the tension.

Kara seems to convince all and sundry that it is indeed a signal to Earth. You would be sceptical, I have to say. She is mad, after all. D'Anna shakes on a truce whilst looking as if she's sucking on ten lemons at once and off we go. Big visual effects sequence of the fleet jumping to Earth, very conveniently in one jump. How many bloody times did the basestar have to jump to reach the fleet again last week? Lovely shots of the fleet with shining Earth and backlit by the sun. Everyone cheers and hugs and the like. Bottom lips are trembling as they all congratulate each other. For one minute it looks like Lee is gonna jump on a table and rip all his clothes off. Oooohhh, yes please! What a heartwarming scene...yeah, right, we all knew there was going to be the bitterest of all pills to swallow, yes? This was just too darned easy.

Off they all trot down to the surface. Oh, it's grim. Oh, it's radioactive. Oh, they're back to looking miserable again, especially D'Anna and Tory who both look like they could spit razor blades. And look at the state of the place...oh, no...'you damned dirty whoever you've blown it all to hell!' Yes, Planet Of The Apes...consider yourself totally ripped off! A fitting 9/11 coda if ever I saw one. I didn't gasp in shock. I just sort of went...oh.

A good episode, memorable for many of the plot threads getting tied up and the four Cylons coming out of the closet and those terrific scenes between Olmos and Hogan and later between Olmos and Bamber. Well paced too, compared to some of the really uneaven episodes this season where for a while I thought they'd mislaid everything else as well as the plot. Please also put your hands together for Bear McCreary's incidental music which was utterly magnificent in this episode, full of Asian and Celtic harmonies and some lush, killer strings and his trademark drums.

But a somewhat odd conclusion. Yes, D'Anna, 'where do we go from here?' January 2009 is gonna be a long wait.

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

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