I, uh…I don’t know what to say. Honestly, I don’t. And that speechlessness isn’t borne of a place of a place of awe, nor does it come from a sense of outrage or disgust. Usually, while watching an episode of Battlestar Galactica I can twig to a theme or two, a thread of what the hour is going to be about. That’s been one of the great joys of writing about a show like BSG: Every outing has been about something. Whether I’ve liked what it was about, or agree with the manner in which it went about conveying it, is immaterial — with Galactica, there’s always a there there.
My method for doing these TV Watches is, I imagine, like many other writers’ methods: I take notes while the episode airs, jotting down lines of dialogue, important events, and burgeoning themes. This week, I found myself typing things like ”the recalibration of expectations” and ”the center can not hold” and ”the wheel in the sky keeps on turning.” All of which can be applied to ”Islanded in a Stream of Stars,” but none of which are the rose line on which this episode charted its course. And I couldn’t find it.
It felt more like a collage of moments, rather than a cohesive piece of penultimate storytelling. Don’t get me wrong, some of those moments were lovely and heartbreaking and fantastic — and we’ll get into those in a bit — but at this point in Battlestar’s run, I want to be going full-speed toward the finale, the wind of revelation blowing through my hair, without time for snapshots along the way, even if those snapshots are memorable. Like….
ADAMA, DONE WITH DESTINY
The minds of the fleet are gathered in Adama’s quarters to decide what to do about Hera, who Boomer likely brought to the Colony — the installation where, after the first Cylon War was cancelled, the Five brought the Centurions to give them resurrection tech. Kara explained that Hera might be the fulcrum upon which their entire journey pivots. ”I’ve had it up to here with destiny, prophecy, with God, or the gods, who’ve left us at the ass end of nowhere.”
HERA, BOOMER, AND THE RAPTOR RIDE OF HELL
Maybe it marks me as a bad parent, but I’ve been on the road trip where I wished I had a syringe full of something, anything that would stop the whiny crying. So I can relate to Boomer’s exasperation. I’m not saying it’s right, but I can empathize.
IS THAT A STARBUCK ON THE CRAPPER, OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE US?
Gods, I love Kara just sitting there in an open stall while Baltar shaved. Little things like that say so much about character — and they’re so true to hers. Even her conflicted feelings about Sam, the man she loved, cheated on, rejected, threatened to kill, stood by and, finally, tried to euthanize were perfectly in keeping with Kara’s conflicted nature.
THE HYBRID THEORY OF SAM T. ANDERS
Thanks to the Cylon goop-tech all through the ship — and the attempt to jump-start his brain by hard-wiring him into Galactica’s power grid — Sam is the old girl’s very own hybrid, spouting his version of the gobbledegook. Sure, he knows the favorites — ”You are the Harbinger of Death, Kara Thrace. You will lead them all to their end,” etc. — but he also tossed in a little something for the kiddies. ”There’s a hole in the bucket/Dear Liza, Dear Liza,” an infinite-loop German children’s ditty that conveniently ends right where it begins.
NEXT: A toke and a smile with Laura