The following contains spoilers for the most recent episode of Battlestar Galactica. Read at your own risk.
"Sometimes I live in the country
Sometimes I live in the town
Sometimes I get a great notion
To jump into the river an' drown "
- Goodnight Irene
There are events in our lives that we look forward to. We might find ourselves counting the hours and the minutes till that final moment, because when it's here, we know it will be memorable. A child's birth. That well planned vacation. Meeting with a long lost friend.
So what happens when it all falls apart?
I watched the last few minutes of "Revelations," and the chills ran up my arms as the joy consumed the screen, and then came that minute of truth. Earth was not this place full of green pastures and human beings ready to welcome the fleet with open arms. It was a scorched planet devastated by a nuclear attack. The 13th Colony was a tribe of Cylons, and they had destroyed their own planet in the same way the Cylons had nuked Caprica.
"Sometimes a Great Notion" begins with Earth's remains and takes with it much of the fleet's morale. Roslin can hardly speak, and by the end of the episode shuts down both physically and spiritually. Lee realizes that he has to continue standing in the leadership role, precariously teetering between returning to the manifestation of the man he became on Pegasus, or the one he's becoming now. And he does so now losing someone else he loves. How long before Lee too loses his composure?
The Final Four start remembering.
Kara and Leoben keep following the signal. Leoben realizes that perhaps their search should stop when Kara begins finding the remains of her viper. When she finds her corpse, he admits that perhaps he was wrong about her and leaves her. She burns the body in a moment reminiscent of Return of the Jedi.
Then there's Dualla, and because so much is focused on her, something was bound to happen. I wasn't a fan of Dee, but she always knew when to say the right thing at the right time, which is why Adama admired her honesty, and the pain on her face as she lifted the jacks from a ravaged Earth said so much with so little. "Not again." she said. It was only the beginning.
For some, the only way to deal with devastation is to get out, and Dee choose to end her seemingly good day by killing herself.
It was sudden, harsh, and came out of nowhere. Or perhaps it was to be expected. Everyone on the fleet was waiting for Earth. This was supposed to be the promised land, the place to leave all their worries behind, and yet it's not. It was all taken away as quickly as it was given. Frak Earth, they say.
How then are these people supposed to deal with their grief, their disappointment?
For Adama, Dee's death pushes him to drink and the desire for death, so he seeks the one person he thinks will help him end his own life, Tigh. But Tigh realizes that he and Adama have to hold the fleet together, so he doesn't fall for his friend's ruse. He helps Adama, who in turn offers up a little tale about foxes swimming out to the middle of the river and staying with the current. Is this the colonial fleet, lost in the great sea just waiting to die?
The episode ends as it begins with Tigh and the sea. It seems like he's going to let the water take him. He begins to hear voices, and debris surfaces with the waves. A flashback two-thousand years into Earth's past reveals the chaos, and a Saul who is looking for his wife. The wife happens to be Ellen, the fifth cylon, who tells her husband that she's set things in motion for them to be reborn.
I've seen this episode twice already, and the second time affected me more. Partly because I knew what was coming, and then also because I actually gave myself time to watch it. Noticed the details, listened, reacted.
My favorite moments are always between Adama and Tigh, and this one was a highlight. You knew something was up when Adama says, "Sit down, Cylon." Yet it never bothers Tigh. He's more concerned over the fact that Adama is sloshed. An occurrence that is rare and dangerous, evidence by the escalation in the Admiral's vitriol and movement. The only time Tigh does react is when Adama mentions Ellen, but that was a given. Even then Tigh has the sense to stop his friend, and my only complaint for that entire scene was that there was a commercial break. It cut the tension. I was so into the scene, and Adama had the gun to his temple, and then the scene was cut for a commercial. I hate that.
I also loved the graffiti on the walls. What better way to show despair than with two simple words: Frak Earth.
Here are some questions for you:
1. Is there a difference between the Final Five Cylons and the other 7, and if so what is it?
2. Will we see Ellen again?
3. Has the fleet left Earth for good?
4. Roslin burned the Pythian Prophecies. Do you think they still have a role to play? Is Roslin still the dying leader?
5. What is Kara?
6. Is this the last we've seen of D'Anna?
For more Battlestar goodies, be sure to watchlist nvbsg.
The next episode, "A Disquiet Follows My Soul", airs Friday night.
And here's a nifty article on Cylons and Metaphysics.