Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Battlestar Galactica: 'The Son Also Rises' (3x18)

I wasn't feeling this episode as it started, the nebulous status of Starbuck made it odd to watch the characters grieve over her death. Sometimes, as on 'The Gift,' grief can really work, even though we know the character will come back. I can think of few things sadder than Spike crying over Buffy's body. The primary difference is that Buffy's 'death' felt final and conclusive. It was the climax of an epic story and would have worked as a legitimate end for the character. Starbuck just flew into a storm due to her personal psychosis, and the totally underwhelming nature of that makes it hard to buy the characters' reactions. If she really is dead, it's an even bigger mistake because then they're going for the true emotion, but the shoddy execution obscures the emotion of the scene.

But, once we get past that, things improve. The doofily named Romo Lampkin brings some much needed charisma and opposition to the show. He's a guy who can manipulate people, and it's fun to watch him take Lee under his wing, and gradually turn him against his father, or at least make him question the frequently authoritarian behavior of the government under Adama and Roslin. The scene with Caprica Six is great, and it's always good to see more Baltar. However, I do feel like Baltar loses some of his agency by being subservient to this guy's machinations.

The whole point of the episode seems to be to mvoe Lee into opposition with his father, and set up a major confrontation at the trial at the end of the season. So, there's not too much to say about this on an individual level. I think Lee is more interesting here than he has been in a long time, perhaps ever, and I'm hoping the trial works dramatically for the season finale. People talking in a courtroom isn't inherently exciting. But, this hour was strong, and I'm hopeful that they'll go out on a strong note. If nothing else, that scene with Caprica Six and Tigh in the trailer was better than anything in this entire episode.

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