‘Battlestar Galactica’ Countdown: “Islanded in a Sea of Stars”

Previously on Battlestar Galactica: “Someone to Watch Over Me”.

What follows, after the break down there, are a few thoughts on “Islanded in a Sea of Stars,” the penultimate episode, if you count both parts of “Daybreak” as the finale — which, for the purpose of live(ish)blogging, I intend to. Comments on those will go up tomorrow, or possibly tonight, once it’s all over.

This has been fun. Slightly frantic, but fun. When it’s all over, I intend to get a little more reflective, a little more analytic, and a little less recappy than today, which has been “Watch and post! Watch and post!” just about as fast as I can. Reaction — now! Go! Go! Go! But even in that semi-frantic timeline, it’s been fascinating seeing how this season fits together all at once – so I can’t wait to see how the whole series fits together when it ends in a few hours.

Thoughts on “Islanded” are a little briefer than previous posts.

This episode begins with one of those moments that doesn’t exactly change the show as we know it, but does introduce something we’ve never heard of, or had reason to believe exists, before: the colony (see also: the resurrection hub). “I guess you could call it home,” Ellen says of the place where Cavill has hidden out, and the place where whatever remains of resurrection technology is stashed. Adama’s sick and tired of destiny — even from Kara, who explains about the song that her father taught her, that switched on the final five, that led them to Earth — but even he can’t argue with the simple fact that they’re still alive, and that everyone agrees that Hera’s fate is important.

But his mind is only on his ship, which the new Quorum is already trying to claim, piece by piece. Other things happen in this episode — like Baltar trying to claim that Kara is an angel, a scene which leads to a lovely moment between Kara and Lee where he tells her he doesn’t care what she thinks she is; like Boomer finding, to her surprise, that she’s connection with Hera (and not just because of Cylon projection) on their way to the colony — but what it’s all about is everyone preparing for the end. For them, it’s not the end of the show; it’s the end of Galactica, their home, refuge and protector. It’s home, as Roslin says later when she tells Adama that she’s not sure she’s ever felt as home as she has on the ship — even though now, if he doesn’t let the ship go, they might both die on it. But who will Admiral Adama be if he’s not the captain of Galactica?

• Gaius talks about angels, a voiceover on the wireless, while we’re looking at Kara. I keep wondering if she was somehow one of the people who appeared to warn the five of the impending attack on Earth.

• Gaius and Caprica, having what I imagine is one last moment to show how far they’ve come — or not come — since their first moments together.

• A dying Eight muttering “Too much confusion,” to Tigh as she fades.

• Ellen telling Saul that while the child he almost had died, he already had children. Millions of them. And once again highlighting that the central friendship in this show is Tigh and Adama, the human and the Cylon, one of the two pairs around whom the entire show turns.

• Starbuck in a toilet stall, goading Gaius, who goads her back until they’re in a strange position where she almost has to ask him something, but being Starbuck, phrases it as a challenge instead.

• Starbuck, period. The show’s playing with us, backlighting her as she says, “There’s one thing I know for sure. I am not an angel.” Her scenes in this episode are mostly fairly quiet, but when she goes in to sit with Sam, determined again, on a quest that may have no ending, acknowledging that it didn’t matter after all that he was a Cylon, it’s only one of the moments here in which she starts accepting things as they are. Slick told her that sometimes it’s OK to be lost, and she’s taken that to heart.

• Gaius, still untrustworthy, still using someone else’s moment of vulnerability to his own ends. But I’m not sure what his point is here: to tell his flock not to fear death?

• Kara, putting her own picture on the memorial wall, like she’s letting go of herself.

• And at the end, the admiral and his executive officer, letting go of something that makes them who they are. But it’s not over yet. There’s one last mission.

I seriously can’t wait.

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