>TV Round-Up: Battlestar Galactica: Occupation/Precipice

>Battlestar Galactica’s hiatus was a long one. Season two ended in March with a gutsy cliffhanger and I’ve been anxious to see the story continue since. I’d even be so bold as to say that outside of Veronica Mars, there wasn’t a show I was looking forward to starting the fall season more.

I tried to not get too pysched about it, to not have my expectations be too high. I feared I’d be disappointed. I also have to admit I was worried the bold move by Ron Moore and company of pushing the time frame of the story forward a year might be a jump the shark moment for the show.

Well, all I can say is that after just two episodes of the new season that the shark is no where in sight and Battlestar Galactica is back and continuing to deliver just as it has the past two seasons. Best show on TV–possibly.

The two hour premiere picks up four months after the end of “Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2”. New Caprica is under Cylon rule and the fleet warped out to save themselves. As Tigh leads a resistance movement to try and disrupt the Cylons for when Adama comes back to rescue them, the rest of the cast has their various roles to play. Starbuck is held hostage by Lebonen, who desparately yearns to make her love him, Gaeta is working for Baltar, Baltar is president in name only, taking orders from the Cylons and signing death warrants. Meanwhile, out in space, Adama can’t forgive himself for not staying and fighting and Lee’s married Dualla and gone soft–literally and figuratively.

The Cylons invaded New Caprica to bring new enlightenment and the love of god to the humans. But the humans are resisting, leading to some conflict on just how to rule. Human police squads are set up to remove dissidents and keep order. Brother Cavill’s Cylon aruges that the human population should be whittled down to 2000 at most. (Interesting to hear that Lee’s echoes this, saying the fleet should abandon New Caprica and take the 2000 survivors they have and continue toward Earth).

One thing I found interesting was the Cylon’s attempts to find and understand human love. We’ve seen that Sharon has it from Helo, but the other Cylons seem desparate to find it. Six defends letting Baltar live and continue as a puppet preisdent becuase of her feelings toward him–feelings that the Cylons feel cloud her judgment. Lebonen yearns for Starbuck to love him, drugging her up and playing out some weird fantasy of a happy family life, despite the fact that Starbuck kills him and makes him re-download. And then we have Cavill who is having the physical side of a love affair with Ellen Tigh. As the episode begins, Ellen uses her feminine wiles to free Tigh. We later find out who is really screwing who as Cavill reveals he’s been manipulating her and continues to do so, blackmailing Ellen into a betrayal of the resistance movement. (And you can bet this will have huge consequences when Tigh finds out….and he will.)

We see the beginnings of the rescue of humanity and we’re forced to ask ourselves–do the ends justify the means. The humans begin to use suicide bombers in an attempt to take out Baltar. The mission fails since Baltar decides not to go. The Cylons feel they are offering love and can’t understand why the humans won’t accept it from them. Lebonen even goes as far as to bring out a child that he claims his and Starbuck’s to force Starbuck to love him. And it may be working since concern for her health brings the two together, with Starbuck offering him the human contact he so desparately wants as the episode ends. The look on his face when she took his hand was superbly done.

As if all that weren’t enough, we get a cliffhanger. A group is rounded up and taken out to be shot. A group including Roslin and Zarek. Now, I’m willing to bet Roslin escapes–not sure how, but I do think we’ll see the resistance gunning down Cylons. But I do wonder if the show would pull the trigger and kill Zarek. I’ve heard that not everyone makes it out of the season alive and Zarek would be enough of an impact character were they to kill him off. It’d be a bold, gutsy call and one I could see this show making. All I know is–the cliffhanger left me wanting more and wanting more now.

There are so many plot threads going here. We’ve essentially skipped 16 months over the course of three episodes. I am curious to see some of these gaps filled in. I am intrigued most by if and how Baltar can be accepted back by the Colonists. His signing of the death warrants of innocent people is fairly extreme and I wonder if Baltar will finally split off from the humans and travel with the Cylons, as he did in the original series. I realize that no one in the human camp knows that Baltar betrayed them to the Cylons to start this process, but his popularity has wanted. Even Zarek states that he wished Roslin had stolen the election..the implication being they might not be in such dire straights.

Also, we see Lee lose his drive. He’s content where he is and no longer takes risks. Is part of that not having Starbuck around to spur him on? It seems like that could be?

And what will the effects of the imprisonment and possibly finding her daughter have on Starbuck? And would this affect her relationship with Anders, her husband?

Oh, so many questions and a whole season stretching out in front of us to answer them. I can’t wait….

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