Saturday, January 29, 2005

Battlestar Galactica, Fourth Episode

The new Battlestar Galactica is keeping me hooked. This week's episode, "Act of Contrition", is the weakest story thus far, but it works well enough as a transition from a good episode into what looks like an even better one. I've been trying to avoid any detailed reviews of the later episodes that have already been screened in the United Kingdom, but I figure it doesn't hurt to take a peek and get a preview of what is in store.

"Act of Contrition" centers around Starbuck, a character who does not particularly interest me. Starbuck lives with the guilt of having caused Zak Adama's death. Zak, younger son of Commander Adama, failed flight training, but never knew it because Starbuck, his flight instructor as well as his lover, passed him anyway. His poor flying skills led to his death. Starbuck suffers from flashbacks; she blows her new assignment, training new pilots, by flunking everyone on the first day; and finds herself having to admit the real reason for Zak's death to Adama. This episode was all about character development. I would have preferred seeing just about any other character take center stage for an episode like this; Starbuck is so unlikable that I find myself rooting for the John McCain-ish Colonel Tigh to deck her during one of their frequent verbal skirmishes.

The action picks up near the end with the sudden re-appearance of the Cylons. A small contingent of Cylon Raiders are handily dealt with by trainee Hotdog and instructor Starbuck, the latter of whom ends up ejecting from her damaged viper and landing on some mysterious planet. Next week comes the rescue mission. Guess who wants to leave her down there? Guess how I feel about it?

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