After a rather ho-hum premiere, Battlestar Galactica seems to be moving back in the right direction. Where He That Believeth In Me tended to rehash the season three finale without adding much to the running story – except for the development of the Starbuck-Roslin situation – Six of One is almost chockfull o’ stuff.
Six of One finds Starbuck aiming a gun at President Roslin; the four who are living in hiding convening to see if they can figure out a way to identify the Final Cylon; Lee getting a fine send-off by the pilots and ground crew he worked with from the inception of the series; Lee and Kara kissed [big honkin’ powerful, life & death kiss]; The four sent Tory to see if Gaius knew anything about the last Cylon model; Starbuck gave Roslin her gun and told her that she thought Starbuck was a Cylon to shoot her – and Roslin fired [but, fortunately, she’s not gun person, and missed], and Tory had sex with Baltar. That’s the fleet side of the ep, and would be plenty for most shows.
On the Cylon side of things: Cavil ordered the Raiders to be repaired – read lobotomized – after their breaking off the battle with the Galactica; Six insisted that the Raiders had evolved and become sentient – and that they had recognized the presence of the presence of the four in the human fleet; three of the unboxed six models voted on whether to “repair” the Raiders – and one of the Sharon Valerii models voted against her model and for the “repairs”; Six and two Centurions confronted Cavil, Doral and Simon and she begged them to reconsider but they refused; she ordered the Centurions to kill them and they did – the three models who had voted against repairing the Raiders had removed an inhibiting device from all the Centurions so that they would become self-aware, told them about what had been ordered for their fellow mechanicals and let them make up their own minds about what to do to stop it.
Whew! Now that’s a lot of action – and we haven’t even talked about Admiral Adama’s going behind the President’s back to outfit Starbuck with a ship and crew to see if she can retrace her journey and return to Earth. A crew that includes the program’s moral center, Helo.
What can I say? Six of One is a pretty decent rebound from the ennui that was He That Believeth In Me. The dialogue is crisp; the direction is crisper. The main theme of the ep seems to be betrayal, what with Admiral Adama going behind Roslin’s back to set Starbuck on her way; the impending civil war between Cylon factions [precipitated by one of the Boomer model betraying the rest of her series], and Starbuck’s feeling betrayed by the people she loves [though that betrayal, at least, is assuaged by Adama’s turnabout].
Another theme is change. The Raiders have changed/evolved and pulled away from the Galactica because of their recognition of at least one of the four models on the Galactica [though this happened last week, the actual acknowledgement of that change is shown this week]; one part of a model series has disagreed with the rest of her model; the Centurions have been allowed their own self-awareness/sentience; the seemingly solid relationship that has been developed between Roslin and Adama is fracturing.
I’m not sure if Tory’s sleeping with Baltar will become another betrayal, but she was told to get close to him to gain information – but that she wasn’t expected to have sex with him. And what’s up with her tears? Is she telling the truth about them, or is she feeling a spot of bother over changing sides, or what?
One thing that hasn’t changed is Roslin’s commitment to her vision. Her insistence that she’s the dying leader who will lead the fleet to Earth is unwavering – and despite missing Starbuck with that pistol, she avers that she’d try again, given the opportunity.
Which leads us to one of the big changes of the series [ranking right behind the major Cylon revelations]: Admiral Adama’s crisis of ego/conscience. Besides loving Starbuck like a daughter and wanting to believe her, he goes behind the President’s back because “she’s always right – and I’m tired of losing!”
Lemme hear yuh say, “WHOAH!”
Michael Angeli script is filled to the brim with all kinds of good stuff and yet, it doesn’t feel bloated; Anthony Hemingway’s direction may have a pretty frenetic general pacing, but he does a nice job of picking which parts of which more intimate scenes to linger over. The effects are, as usual, brilliant both in and of themselves and in the manner in which they serve the story.
To balance out the major revelations and betrayals, Angeli’s handling of Lee’s departure from the military provided a much needed bit of levity and some lovely character moments that didn’t come from a place of anger, angst or any other form of negativity. Both the farewell party and the moment on the hangar deck were handled with just the right amount of emotion – and it was nice to see that Lee And his father aren’t still torn up about Lee’s decision to go civilian – not that they won’t be at loggerheads in the future, their relationship just seems to work that way.
Overall, then, Six of One is filled with enough action, emotion, revelations and betrayals to make it an extremely good effort. Even though, like He That Believeth In Me, it is setting some much bigger bangs somewhere in the future, it has enough Good Stuff – in and of itself – to be considered a worthy addition to the BSG canon. It’s not the show’s best ep, or anything, but it’s better than most of season three and the season four premiere – and it points the way to the hella ride we’ve been expecting.
Final Grade: B+