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''Battlestar Galactica'': A nuclear standoff

The midseason finale of ”Battlestar Galactica” leaves Adama facing down the Cylons over the Eye of Jupiter and his son squaring off with Anders over Kara

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Katee Sackhoff, Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica

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”Battlestar Galactica”: A nuclear standoff

Holy frak.

Leave it to Battlestar Galactica to follow a couple of uneven episodes with a swift kick to the astro-nards like this, an episode that finally brought together, or at least hinted at bringing together, all of the various plot threads. And much like ”Flight of the Pegasus,” the midway cliff-hanger for season 2, it left us staring down the barrel of a very large gun.

How is it that something that feels so inevitable can also feel so wrong? And how the heck did we jump from Kara and Lee beating each other bloody to humping each other numb? I guess that must’ve been one hell of a fortnight, between the discovery of the algae planet and when we pick up the story of this episode. People do always cling to the stupidest moral outcroppings, don’t they? Kara won’t divorce the husband whom she’s kicked out of her life, save for the occasional booty call, but she has no problem sleeping with another man. Lee is more than willing to ditch Dualla, but he refuses to keep cheating on her. Actually, maybe he and Kara are right for each other.

But why would someone as self-aware as Anders willingly stay with a woman who abuses him as often as Kara does? ”Do you think you’re the first?” he said to Lee. Michael Trucco, the guy who plays Anders, needs his own damned TV show. That dude’s a hero. I know it’d mean that he would have to leave BSG, but he’s so good. Funny, of all the people we’ve met in the last year or so on this show, it’s Anders whom I want to know more about. He confuses me. Apparently, I’ve got a man crush on him. Damnit.

Speaking of moral outcroppings, it’s very fitting that Chief Tyrol was the one who found the Temple of the Five, isn’t it? (For a second there, looking at that rock formation, I thought that maybe Tyrol had found out where Jan-Michael Vincent keeps Airwolf.) He who comes from a religious background but shunned it, and chose to work with cold, hard machines for the rest of his life. He who bared his soul to a priest who actually was a machine. He’s got a complicated relationship with religion, and in a show where so many other characters know precisely where they stand (Roslin is a believer, Adama is not, the Cylons are devotees, Baltar is a wiggly skeptic — though he’s looking more and more like Jesus every week), it’s actually refreshing to see someone who can’t reconcile his beliefs.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been so long since we’ve seen Gaius Baltar walk the corridors of the Galactica. He used to do it all the time, but now it looks both alien and familiar. Man, couldn’t you just taste the bile slipping up into Laura’s mouth when Baltar started to talk to her? I wonder why he feels so much for her, why he feels that he needs her forgiveness more than anyone else’s. And when she rebuffs him, he preens and puffs his feathers. He’s so in love with her.

Remember that old Warner Bros. cartoon about two guys, a short, fat one and a tall, skinny one, washed up on a desert island, who eventually got so hungry they started to see each other as food? That’s the look Tigh and Adama had in their eyes when Cavil offered up Baltar as a trade for the Eye of Jupiter. They could just taste his demise. And I love the little wink from Cavil as they left. He’s like Loki. The trickster Cylon, of a race of tricksters.

How, exactly, can one Cylon tell who is downloaded into which shell? I don’t think we’ve ever seen this before, have we? A kind of telepathy, perhaps? And how long, do you think, until we see a Cylon downloaded into a different body type? Why couldn’t Boomer put herself into a Leoben body? Interesting….

”Leave the final truth for the Chosen One to decide.” So sayeth the Hybrid. But who’s the Chosen One? I don’t know, but I’ll tell you this: Caprica is gonna get some payback. And that’s gonna be awesome.

You had to know that Sharon Agathon would learn about Hera’s survival the minute the Cylons boarded the Galactica. And you know that’s not gonna end well. But I didn’t realize that Adama didn’t know about Laura’s decision to fake Hera’s death and give her to Maya. There’s gonna be all kinds of fallout from this episode — personal, political, and maybe even radioactive.

This, folks, is how you do a cliff-hanger.

What do you think? Will Adama really nuke the planet? Has his trust in Laura’s judgment been damaged beyond repair? Who can really lay claim to Kara’s affections? Will Lee have Anders shot? Will Starbuck survive the raptor crash and the Cylon advance? Will the Eye of Jupiter turn out to be pocket-size? See you in January.