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'Battlestar Galactica' recap: Attacking the hub

As the Hybrid takes the basestar on a joyride, Laura Roslin has a crisis of conscience: Should she let Baltar die? And what should she do with D’Anna?

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Mary McDonnell, Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
09/06/06

‘Battlestar Galactica’ recap: Attacking the hub

Okay, let’s get it out of the way, right up top: We all knew that last week’s tease — which had D’Anna telling Roslin that she was one of the Five — was a deliberate head fake, right? So none of us was surprised by what transpired, correct? Good. I knew you all were sharp as the proverbial tack.

I liked this episode far better than I liked the last one for a host of reasons, not the least of which was that we had but one story to follow: Laura and the Lost Boys taking down the hub. Period. Yes, Battlestar Galactica can be a masterful show when it comes to juggling its various plot strands and keeping its vast and stellar ensemble busy. But there’s also something to be said for picking one tale and following it through.

So we opened the show on the rebel-Cylon baseship, just after the Hybrid was reconnected to the juice. (How should we refer to the Hybrid, anyway? She? It? Should we combine those two to form a shorthand term? No — that way lies profanity.) And as it surprise-jumped the baseship away from the Colonial fleet, we popped inside Laura’s head.

Now, you all know how I feel about visions — visions = muy mal — and I know that when Laura was tooling around a ghost-ship Galactica with the late priestess Elosha (Lorena Gale), she wasn’t having visions, per se. Still doesn’t mean that I had to like them. There was no clear explanation why they were happening (and only to her). Yes, I guess we can assume that something special was occurring in the space between spaces, in the time between the Hybrid-mandated jumps. But how? The why is an easier question to answer: because the producers needed to dramatize Roslin wrestling with her conscience. They needed to make the internal external. They needed us to follow her inner (and way too rapid) journey from terminal cast-iron ballbuster to a woman capable of empathy and, ultimately, forgiveness. And to do that, we needed to watch Elosha drop nuggets of dime-store Psych 101 wisdom like ”You just don’t make room for people, anymore. You don?t love people.”

But whenever Laura wasn’t spying on her own final deathbed breaths like George Bailey (with Elosha as Clarence, trying to earn her wings), ”The Hub” acquitted itself admirably. Baltar, especially, was in rare form. Watching him try to communicate with the Hybrid, shushing it like a fussy child — ”Hey…stop jumping the ship, all right?” — was all kinds of priceless.

As was the interaction between Helo and the Boomer who had accessed Athena’s memories from her last download and internalized them. Is a person who shares the same body, the same mannerisms, and the same memories as a loved one not the same as that loved one? I guess it’s sort of like watching the same TV show on a different set: What’s more important: the content or the box you’re getting it in? Helo always finds himself on the sharp edge of ethical dilemmas, doesn’t he?

And Roslin pointed another one at Helo when she ordered him to break the fragile trust they’d built with the Cylons. If Helo got his hands on the unboxed D’Anna, he was to bring her directly to Roslin for questioning, cutting the Cylons out of the loop.

NEXT: Laura lets Baltar bleed

The attack on the hub was another example of the positively world-beating work the Galactica effects crew does. Somehow they make each of the dozens of space battles different. Opiate for the geek masses.

While the dogfights raged outside, Baltar took the time to preach to one of the shellheads, stir the pot once more, seize another opportunity to believe his own hype — until a missile impacting on the rebel basestar sent shrapnel into his abdomen.

How fitting it was for Laura to be the one to minister to Baltar, as he lay wounded, drugged, at her mercy? Laura, who had actively campaigned for his death, was trying to save his life. That is, until he decided to come clean and give her the answer to the question that had been haunting her for years, the truth about Baltar’s complicity in the Colonial holocaust. ”God made the man who made that choice,” he said. ”God made us all perfect.” Was that faith on Baltar’s part, or rationalization? Did God really forgive him?

Even if He did, Laura didn’t — until her jump-induced conscience told her that killing Baltar would be wrong. ”A bad man feels his death just as keenly as a good man.” (Yeah, whatever.)

And Helo, ever the loyal foot soldier (except for the many documented occasions when he hasn’t been one — how does he decide when to have the courage of his convictions: flip a coin?), carried out his orders. He and Boomer spirited D’Anna from the hub just as the Cylon-Colonial fleet nuked it out of the sky. (Oh, pretty fireworks.) The Resurrection Hub is gone, and with it the Cylons’ claim on eternity.

After breaking Boomer’s heart, Helo brought D’Anna to see Roslin, and that’s where we got the made-for-the-teaser Laura, you’re one of the Final Five head fake. Of course we weren’t going to learn the identity of the last Cylon in this episode. The show is in the same position as D’Anna: ”Information is all I got, sweetie.” And this is information that’s too precious to mete out easily.

Finally, the basestar jumped back to where the fleet was supposed to be, to find Bill Adama, alone in his Raptor. And, finally, we got consummation: ”I love you.” ”About time.” Adama is such a Han Solo-style astro-pimp.

Like I said, once you excised Laura’s I’m learning stuff inside my own head routine, this was a pretty solid episode, one that brought the great emotional arc of the show — the Bill and Laura relationship — to its high point, and set the table for a whole host of confrontations, between Cylons and humans, between one president and another, and between five closeted Cylons and the rest of the fleet.

What did you think? Should Laura have let Baltar die? Isn’t that what she wanted, for so long? How far will the Cylons go to get D’Anna back? And what will the Final Four do when the Fifth is revealed?