Sunday, December 10, 2006

Battlestar Galactica - 'The Passage' (3x10)

When talking about Collaborators, I talked with concern about the fact that the episode seemed designed to return the show to the status quo. The next couple of episodes dispelled that for me, but this is another off episode, marking two out of the last three that just weren't very good. This slumping back to the status quo is even more noticable placed against the groundbreaking, phenomenal opening run of the season. I had no desire to see any more of these standalone military episodes involving jumps and keeping the fleet together, and I was hoping that we were done with this kind of stuff after the second season jump forward in time. However, we're back in first season territory with this one, an episode with a story I feel like I've seen twelve times already.

The show is frequently frustrating because there's such a dichotomy between the good episodes and the bad ones. The first four episodes of this season were as good as anything that's ever been on television, just phenomenally intense storytelling. And then an episode like this doesn't even have a chance of hitting those peaks. In serialized storytelling, there's bound to be peaks and valleys, but with so many potentially interesting storylines to tackle, why come up with the spotlight, then kill for Kat, backed by this lame, out of nowhere food crisis. The food crisis could produce some good storylines, but this didn't expand much on similar episodes we'd seen before involving a water crisis and other issues with moving the fleet.

In the main storyline, there were a couple of good moments. I really liked Kara giving her the sleeping pills and the awkward farewell as she knew Kat was going to die. And, the wall of pictures still holds a lot of power, but it felt like a contrived attempt to create emotion, the story didn't earn it.

So, I was basically waiting for them to get back to Baltar and the cylons. There we get some interesting progress, though I was left wanting more. We get the setup for a showdown on this planet, between humans and cylons, setting the stage for the big midseason finale. They always find a way to bring the show's quality back for the beginning and endings of seasons, it's just a matter of keeping the consistency, and this episode is so obvious weak and misguided, you're basically watching just for hints about what will come next week.

1 comment:

webomatica said...

Good points... I as well thought it was better than average, but still not as awesome as the first four. Plus, Kat was never a character I had much interest in.