Friday, November 14, 2008
Season 4 Episode 7
“Guess What’s Coming To Dinner?”
Written by Michael Angeli
Directed by Wayne Rose
Twelve Cylon models
Seven are known
Four live in secret
One will be revealed
“In our civil war, we've seen death. We watched our people die. Gone forever.
“As terrible as it was, beyond the reach of the Resurrection Ships, something began to change. We could feel a sense of time. As if each moment held its own significance.
“We began to realize that for our existence to hold any value it must end. To live meaningful lives we must die, and not return.
“The one human flaw, that you spend your lifetimes distressing over—mortality—is the one thing... well, it's the one thing that makes you whole.”
With “Gaeta’s Lament” running through much of this episode, this one’s yet another toughie, opening with a great, tense little sequence as the Demetrius and the damaged base star jump to the Fleet’s coordinates, only to experience a glitch, causing the Demetrius to fail to successfully make the jump, leaving the base star all by its lonesome, in the middle of the Fleet!
The civilian ships jump, Galactica scrambles its Vipers, and Starbuck and Athena and everyone else on board the base star look to be toast (as they have no wireless to communicate with Galactica).
Adama’s just ordered to open fire on the base star, when Tigh counters that order, and the Demetrius finally shows up.
Natalie puts the plan before the Fleet bigwigs: go over to the Resurrection Hub, and unbox D’Anna, so she can properly identify the Final Five, then destroy the Hub, thus eliminating the Cylons’ ability to download. The Five, who Natalie clarifies have been to Earth (and are not necessarily from Earth, as I’d understood from the previous episode), are then to be handed over to the Cylons, once the destruction of the Hub is achieved, and the Cylons go off on their merry Toaster way.
Simple (and brutal) enough plan, but neither side trusts the other, so Roslin (to bridge the “let’s trust the Cylons” and “let’s just frak everything, including the Boxing facility” factions—the latter led by Tigh, who’s clearly hesitant to have his Toaster ID revealed) suggests keeping the Final Five to themselves till they’ve reached Earth, then hand them over to the Rebel Cylons.
Meanwhile, Natalie and the Rebel Toasters (nifty garage band, that), plan to get the Centurions to take the base star over and to hold the humans who happen to be on-board hostage, following the Hub’s destruction, to force the Fleet to hand over the Final Five.
On other fronts, Felix indeed gets his leg amputated by Doc Cottle, and, while recuperating in the infirmary, takes to singing the “Lament” to help him through the pain and the trauma.
It’s a sad, sad song, and opera-trained Alessandro Juliani sings it heartbreakingly well. Hats off to Juliani, episode writer Michael Angeli, and Bear McCreary for that.
Baltar, on the other hand, reveals in one of his broadcasts, that Roslin is sharing her visions with Athena and Caprica Six (as we’ve already seen in the past). Lee tries to convince Roslin that she needs to address the Fleet, to deal with the issue, but they’re at loggerheads, and clearly still on semi-antagonistic terms (admittedly, most of the acrimony coming from Roslin).
The President does pursue the matter though, and speaks with Toaster Tory, telling her that, a) I know you’re sleeping with Baltar, and b) I don’t care how you do it, but I want you to find out who’s been telling Baltar these “lies.”
Funny thing is, I actually felt sorry for Toaster Tory at that moment, as she claims to have truly valued Roslin’s friendship and trust, but that she admits that she’s come to believe in what Baltar’s preaching.
Roslin will have none of it and just tells her she has a job to do. (Later on, she tells Lee that Toaster Tory should be “horse-whipped.”)
When Toaster Tory tearily wheedles the information out of Baltar, he claims that Caprica Six told him about it during his trial. (Did she, now?)
Later on, when the mission to the Resurrection Hub is set, the Quorum are none too happy that they weren’t even consulted, so Lee goes back to Roslin, and asks her to at least speak with the Quorum, to allay their fears, to “put a face to this mission,” perhaps even to let the Quorum hear the Rebels’ words.
So Roslin has Natalie speak before the Quorum, and Natalie tells them that she’s willing to sentence her race to mortality since this is the one aspect of the human condition that makes them whole, and that, for any life to have value, it must be finite.
Ironically, after speaking before the Quorum and feeling the hatred and the animosity, Natalie realizes she’s not as evolved as she thought she was, and that the whole “let’s hold some humans hostage to get our way” plan is the wrong thing to do.
But the plan’s already in motion, and if they tell the humans they had this underhanded scheme in the first place, they’ll never be trusted again.
So Leoben says, Just stall them, I’ll deal with the Centurions.
Roslin then has another vision, a vision in which she sees Baltar at the Opera House. We also then get the suspicion confirmed that Hera is also sharing in these communal visions. (In a chilling moment, she says “Bye-bye” to Athena; in the Opera House, of course, Hera is taken away by Caprica Six…)
Starbuck then reveals to Roslin what the Hybrid said (well, the bit about the Dying Leader and the Opera House, that is; the whole Kara Thrace, Harbinger of Death thing, she tactfully leaves unsaid), propelling Roslin to get to the bottom of the visions.
So Roslin has Baltar brought along to the base star, where she plans to have a little talk with the Hybrid.
And even as they ready to plug the Hybrid back in, Athena sees that Hera’s been drawing lots and lots and lots of Caprica Sixes in her kiddie sketch book. Hera then wanders off, and when a distraught Athena finds the tot, she’s found her way into the arms of Natalie, who’s being escorted by Tigh and some soldiers.
Athena points a gun at Natalie, and has Tyrol take little Hera away.
Athena then vows, You won’t take my daughter.
And even though Natalie assures her they aren’t trying to take Hera, Athena shoots Natalie!
Then, when the Hybrid is plugged back in, the Hybrid tells the base star to jump.
And it does.
And Felix sings us out of yet another excellent BSG installment.
(Images courtesy of SCIFI Channel, twitchfilm.net, and bearmccreary.com.)