Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: S03E10 – The Passage

In the tenth episode of the third season of Battlestar Galactica, Kat deals with a resurgence from her past while on a dangerous, life-threatening mission, and Three’s visions in between life and death inspire Baltar to do something foolish. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Battlestar Galactica.

I love this show. I love it dearly, and I am going to be gutted beyond belief when it ends. I know that’s a weird thing to say because it has ended for most of you. You’ll never get another episode. (That makes me sad just typing it.) But I’m still in the midst of this massive, epic narrative, and even if in a real-time sense, this show is long gone, it’s not for me. I’m beginning to appreciate just how timeless this show is going to be. Yes, Ronald Moore and the team of writers have reacted to a whole lot of political issues and events from modern times, but they do so in a way that lacks the specificity that might makeBattlestar Galactica seems dated when you view it in another time period. (Which is not to suggest that I’m watching this in some alternate time FIFTY MILLION YEARS IN THE FUTURE.)

Yet I know this isn’t the only thing that’s keeping my interest and turning me into a gigantic stan for everyone and everything in this show. It’s the characters. That is a cliche to say these days in some circles because, as folks who are heavily involved in fandoms, we know how familiar it is to hear that claim. BUT IT’S THE CHARACTERS WE LOVE. But this cliche has an inherent truth in Battlestar Galactica, and it’s that the writers care so deeply for these portraits of pain, loss, and love that we are given complete people. Yes, their stories are ever-evolving, but they are whole people. And that even goes for the side characters, which is something that BSG does remarkably well.

I’m listening to Bear McCreary’s “Violence and Variations” on repeat, and I’m remembering how it felt to watch shows like LOST, or The X-Files, or The Wire, or Six Feet Under. Shows where the people on it began to eclipse any care you might have for the story. (Which is only really the case for the first two, since I don’t consider plot to be a problem on the latter two.) Obviously, I know these worlds are fictional. But it feelsreal, and it’s something that we, as fans of fictional worlds, begin to experience as we immerse ourselves into these places. The characters there are what help us believe that in some other world (or in our very own, in the case of The Wire or Six Feet Under orRubicon), these things are happening right now, or they already happened.

Battlestar Galactica feels real to me. Of course, one of the reasons why is the writers’ dedication towards discussing and elaborating on the logistics of a diaspora into space, but I am also fascinated by the way that these people interact with one another. (I do feel the need to acknowledge that things are not perfect on this show, and that there certainly have been unrealistic character turns from time to time, so I’ll be speaking in a more general sense about it.) It’s why I am interested by the way I interact with these characters, too, and it’s why there wasn’t a better choice than to make Kat the focal point of “The Passage.”

I made it a point to state how annoying Kat was, and “The Passage” forces me not only to confront my own feelings about her, but to realize why it was so easy for me to do so. At heart, Kat and Starbuck are not that much different from one another. Because I was introduced to Starbuck first, and because I fell grossly in love with her, any character that might have been propped up against her to highlight her flaws or act as a foil is one that I totally fell for on the Character Hate Train. I do think that Kat could be irritating outside of this, but “The Passage” brings back these very concepts to show how my view of her was flawed all along.

The plot that strings this all together addresses logistics: the Fleet’s food supply has been poisoned and, with the threat of starvation looming, Sharon sets out through a gas cloud full of radiation to try and locate passage to a nearby planet that hopefully has protein-rich algae to replenish supplies. And look, let’s not ignore that the plot of this episode is inherently stressful, frustrating, and intense as hell, which is what Battlestar Galacticadoes quite beautifully! In this case, both radiation and light are factors of tension. I am repeatedly blown away by the method with which this show uses various elements of the physical world to essentially torment our characters. In this case, the bright gas cloud that surrounds this planet not only blinds the pilots during their entry, but the radiation can have an adverse effect in a frighteningly short time.

Given this (and Sharon’s terrifying journey into the cloud), we have the set-up for “The Passage”: in order to assure the survival in the fleet, the Raptors of the Galactica will essentially guide skeleton-crew filled ships through the two jumps necessary to clear the atmosphere. And they’ll do it five times. Not one agonizing, complex trip through the atmosphere: FIVE OF THEM. The crew begins to prepare for this mission, and this includes a large number of civilians being dropped onto the Galactica. It’s during this process that Kat is stopped by one shady looking dude and he calls her Sasha. OKAY, WHAT. That is Kat. Maybe you don’t know names, sir.

But it’s that one line that truly begins the deconstruction of Kat’s character. This man knew her before, and she had a different name. Well, shit, your character just became more interesting to me, Kat. Why the name change? Why did this man seem so interested in her in the sketchiest way imaginable?

We don’t get our answer, and that begins to eat away at us and at Kat, though for entirely different reasons. The return of this man triggers memories we don’t see, and they magnify as they all set out on their mission to escort ships to the surface of the planet below. Battlestar Galactica is not afraid to take characters to difficult places, and even knowing this, I was still shocked that on the very first run, Hot Dog lost his ship, the Adriatic. That means that whole crew is gone, forever, never to be found again. Did they die of radiation poisoning? Did they jump out and are now drifting about space on their own? Anyway you look at it, it’s a horrifying thing for the show to do because it leaves their fate up to our imaginations. There are a million things that could go wrong, and there was one thing that could have gone right. And it did not, so they’re left to float amongst all those wrong things, and we’ll never know which one it is.

jesus christ.

I don’t think it was surprising that on a following trip, Kat was one of the ones to lose another ship, this time the Carina. It needed to happen to explore this sudden revelation that she might not be who she said she was this entire time. I’m fine with that; that’s what writing is, and it’s realistic that even the best pilots would be a victim of the gas cloud of that planet. From here, this episode shows us how Kat takes this loss extremely personally. And even without seeing Enzo again (LOL I HAD TO LOOK UP HIS NAME BECAUSE I COULD NOT REMEMBER IT), I think this would have happened anyway, but just not to the same degree.

I wasn’t exactly sure why Kat was taking this so hard. Obviously, it’s a ding to her pride and, like Starbuck, any sort of failure on her part, even an understandable one in a near-impossible situation, means that something is wrong with her. It’s an intense sense of disappointment. But still, something wasn’t right. Why would she risk exposing herself to radiation for that long? Why would she appear even more upset when Enzo tries to corner her again?

It’s Starbuck who becomes the acting force to bring forth the truth, and I adore that this episode does this. If there’s anyone else on this ship more haunted by their past, it’s Starbuck. But she herself is not aware of the dynamic of this situation at first, choosing instead to confront Kat out of anger. And part of me doesn’t blame her; Kat gave her an overload of grief the last time the two of them butt heads and I still maintain that Kat was kind of a hypocritical asshole about it.

Did I expect Kat to reveal that she used to be a drug runner? Or that she stole her name from a child? NO, I DID NOT. And with one person already living on the Galactica with a manufactured past (Boomer), it was an interesting choice for the writers to make. Kat’s identity had been cemented as a pilot throughout the show. That’s what she was to me, plain and simple, but now we find out that she was still a trainee. In that moment, laced with anger, Starbuck herself chooses to make a fascinating decision: keep Kat’s secret, but insist that she embrace who she “really is.” Starbuck is angry that Kat has lied, especially since she basically tricked her way into a crew that had spent time becoming what they were. To Starbuck, it’s like Kat cheated her way into her position. But I think her resistance to tell Admiral Adama the truth plays into what happens at the end.

Kat….jesus christ, Kat. As soon as she switched out her radiation badge for Helo’s, I knew she was walking into some sort of disaster. This could not end well, and as the Galactica begins to suffer from the heat, I could sense this was building towards forcing Kat to make a choice: would she remain in the cloud to prove a point to herself? Or to Starbuck? Would she relent and return back, feeling broken or as if she betrayed her crew? We had already seen that the radiation was having adverse affects on her, but now her radiation badge is black again, and in that moment, she decides that she is a pilot. It’s completely unspoken, but she takes Starbuck’s advice and embraces who she is: she is a Raptor pilot, and she is tasked with bringing the Faru Sadin back. So even when the fleet believes her to be dead and believes another ship lost, she brings them home.

She is a Raptor pilot. This is what she does.

I am just going to give you my thought process after Kat collapses. It’s the only way I know how to explain this to you.

  1. Oh my god, Kat looks so awful. Oh, her radiation poisoning is a lot worse than I previously thought.
  2. Oh, Starbuck. You actually apologized. This is really sweet.
  3. Wait, why did you just give her sleeping pills? Are you telling her to kill herself? She’s alive. She’s fine. She just has to deal with the radiation poisoning.
  4. Adama. This is why I love you: your fatherly sense of empathy is just a beautiful thing. OMG you don’t care what Kat needs to tell you.
  5. omg Adama made her CAG and Kat is crying and now I’m crying
  6. wait why did she just say she’s not leaving that room i am lost
  7. omg he wanted a daughter just end me now
  8. omg they are making her CAG on the chart WHY IS EVERYONE CRYING, THIS IS A GOOD THING
  9. oh.
  10. oh my god.
  11. oh my god how the fuck did i not realize this
  12. oh my god what is wrong with my brain HOW IS THIS SHOCKING TO ME
  13. OMG KAT.

Sometimes I don’t know what my brain does. I did not see this coming, despite how it was spelled out to me. And Kat is gone. She sacrificed herself to save one ship, and one that had a minimal skeleton crew. She wasn’t even saving hundreds and hundreds of lives. She gave up her life for a select few.

oh god BSG what are you doing to me


Look, it’s not like Kat’s story was boring, uninteresting, or distracting at all. If the entire story with Three, Baltar, and the Hybrid was not included in “The Passage,” I would still shower this episode with praise. It only makes it better that we are getting this glimpse of where the Cylon plot is headed.

AND WHAT A GLORIOUS PLACE THAT IS. We got that bizarre glimpse of something in Three’s vision between life and death, and now we find out that she is actively trying to determine what it is. Which…christ, that has to hurt. She’s killing herself over and over again to see this vision, and those deaths are cumulative for her.

I was excited to see Baltar take a bigger part in this as well because….well, he feels a bit underused so far. I don’t like a lot of his choices, but his character is just so intriguing to me. So it’s nice to have him inject himself into Three’s story, since he suspects she is doing exactly what she is doing.

I still can’t believe I didn’t make the connection to the final five Cylons, but I’m sort of glad I didn’t. It gave a powerful edge to Baltar desperately asking Three if he was one of them. It’s clear that Baltar wants to find meaning to what he’s done, and if he was a Cylon, then he hasn’t been betraying the human race this whole time. But I don’t think he’ll be given an answer that is this simple for him. He’s not a Cylon, and I feel pretty confident in stating that. I do think that these final five models are deeply important to the remainder of this show’s mythology, but we are only getting clues towards that now.

Those clues come from the Hybrid. I won’t lie: I was COMPLETELY LOSING MY SHIT when Baltar decided to touch her, causing her to begin speaking with some sort of regularity and sense. Is she really giving them clues to the location of Earth? Is it true what Baltar says, that everything she says is actually knowledge about…something?


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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81 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: S03E10 – The Passage

  1. I love this show.
    If you love it so much, why don't you MARRY it?

    Oh right, you did.

  2. elusivebreath says:

    Congrats on your new relationship, Mark! *toasts with champagne*

    After that last episode, what with the boxing and things (I was a little bored by it), this episode was a great way to start off the week! I was right with you on the Kat hate train, but after this episode, well, I might not *like* her, but I don't hate her anymore either.

    The Cylons. Every moment that the show chooses to focus on them is so endlessly fascinating to me! Seriously, the should could just be about that and I would still watch it, lol. And I know everyone hates Baltar, but I seriously love his character arc and would be totally ok with All Baltar, All The Time. It doesn't hurt that James Callis is adorable 🙂

    • monkeybutter says:

      I liked the last episode, but I was excited that we got back to the Cylons. We know so little about them, so it's always exciting to get more time on their basestar. Plus, I like Baltar better when he's not directly screwing up things for people on Galactica.

      • notemily says:

        I like Baltar better when he's being honest, and I loved his scene here where he talks about needing to discover his identity because it would change how he sees himself. One of the few times when I feel like he's just telling the truth, not bullshitting in order to cover his ass.

  3. redheadedgirl says:

    I really feel that The Passage is the true payoff for Scar. This is where Kat comes into er own, by sacrificing herself to do her job. And because she walked into her death with her eyes open, saved Helo from a similar fate, along with the ship she was escorting (she knew that she was probably toast when her hair started falling out- that's the universal symptom for "dying from radiation poisoning"), she's a hero in my book.

    I love her character arc, from scared nugget to competent pilot, to annoying cocky hotshot, to CAG, to grown up who, even though she's scared of the right path (to be afraid isn't a flaw, allowing your fear to paralyze you into permanent inaction is the problem) she takes it anyway…. I love it. I love her.

  4. @LarrikJ says:

    This is probably my favorite Jane Espenson-written episode of any series.

    I don't think this counts as a spoiler, but:

    At this point in my original run, I felt like Three was taking storylines that really should have belonged to Six, just because she was Lucy Lawless. That bugged me, given everything that Head!Six prophesized about her and Baltar doing this sort of thing together.

    • cait0716 says:

      I adore Jane Espenson! She's probably one of my favorite television writers.

      • BSGfan1 says:

        She wrote my favorite episode of Torchwood. Sadly she also co-wrote on my least favorites as well. But mostly I do love her work.

        • cait0716 says:

          Well no one's perfect, and I don't universally love everything she's written. But she has hit it out of the park a few times. I loved the episode she wrote for Game of Thrones (not sure how much credit I can really give her there, but there were a few scenes that didn't appear in the book that I loved). And she's responsible for most of my favorite Buffy episodes that weren't written by Joss (along with that one, fairly awful one)

      • John Small Berries says:

        Me too, normally, but her episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day were just awful. It's quite possible that they were the victim of executive meddling, but ugh.

    • @LizatLAX says:

      huh, that's a really interesting criticism to make about how D'Anna was taking what should have been Caprica's story. I'd never considered that, but I can certainly see an alternate version where it would make total sense to be her having this journey instead, if Three had been more a background model rather than Lucy Lawless. I suspect I thought was she was doing was so fascinating, it basically didn't matter who it was, as long as I got more of it.

  5. monkeybutter says:

    Aw, I'm surprised you didn't see Kat's death coming since it was one of your predictions. I liked her character, her story arc was complete, and she went out a hero, which is exactly what I wanted, so I was really satisfied with this episode.

    Is she really giving them clues to the location of Earth?

    I thought she was giving them clues to a clue to Earth, and that she was pointing them to a planet in the shadow of a star cluster, i.e. where the fleet is now. And maybe there's a clue about the Final Five there? I wanna go back and look at Three's drawings.

    I have one question about the premise of this episode. If the ships in the fleet are woefully under-shielded, won't the majority of humanity be screwed by the radiation exposure they're getting during all of this interstellar travel?

    • Noybusiness says:

      The majority of humanity was moved to the Galactica during the transit (in batches), while only skeleton crews remained on the ships to fly them.

      • monkeybutter says:

        I don't mean during the passage, I mean their entire journey from wherever they were when the genocide happened to Earth. One of the huge obstacles to long-haul space travel is radiation, and if these ships are only shielded for short trips amongst the Colonies, and not for long trips or nuclear explosions (like the ones that have been set off inside the fleet) then aren't the people on them in danger?

        • Noybusiness says:

          Oh, that. I guess the idea (scientific or not) is that the intensity of the radiation is what matters, not that they've been in space longer than intended?

  6. NB2000 says:

    (Which is not to suggest that I’m watching this in some alternate time FIFTY MILLION YEARS IN THE FUTURE.)

    Woah woah wait, you're not? Damn there goes my "Mark is secretly a Time Lord" theory.

    Oh Kat, it's sad to see one of the ensemble go. I may be forgetting someone but doesn't this mean Hotdog is the only one of the "Act of Contrition" Nuggets left? It's a sobering thought and shows just how dire the humans' situation is. The population just keeps dropping.

    The end of the episode, Adama sitting with Kat and telling her about his sons being born is so beautiful. Kat placing her photo on the wall, I believe right next to the pilot and his girlfriend (crap I've forgotten their names) from "Scar" is an equally beautiful moment.

    D'Anna's drawings are super creepy. I don't know if it's the actual drawing style or that there's some sort of weird lighting effect on the shots of them, it's almost like a blacklight effect, but they're so spooky.

    • redheadedgirl says:

      Rule Number One: Time Lords LIE.

    • BSGfan1 says:

      I confess. I rewound to freezeframe those drawings in the hopes I might figure out who the Final Five were. Yes I was obsessed. Like seriously.

      • bookyworm says:

        you don't have a a gif or a picture of it, do you? Because then we could all have a happy speculation party. (rira gubfr bs hf jub unir frra gur frevrf orsber fb jr pna puhpxyr gb bhefryirf nf crbcyr thrff.)

    • lyvanna says:

      The bit when Starbuck puts up Kat's picture next to the one of Riley's girlfriend is when I break in this episode, remembering all the talk in 'Scar' about being forgotten and people not even knowing your name… all the tears.

      Naq tbbqarff zr vg fgvyy jbexf ba zr va yngre rcvfbqrf jura xnen'f cvpgher vf chg hc ol Xng'f naq jura xnen fnlf, jr znqr vg xvq ng gur raq.

  7. BSGfan1 says:

    Mark, you are now LESS FRAKKIN" PREPARED than you were before:)

  8. cait0716 says:

    I love this show. I love it dearly, and I am going to be gutted beyond belief when it ends. I know that’s a weird thing to say because it has ended for most of you. You’ll never get another episode.

    My mom was watching this show in real time while I desperately tried to catch up with her using DVDs. But I remember that she recorded the series finale and then left it on her DVR for a month without watching it because she wasn't ready for the show to end. And for a while the idea of having one more episode to watch was more appealing than actually watching that last episode.

    I had a busy weekend and fell behind my viewing schedule, so I haven't actually rewatched this episode yet. But hopefully I'll get to it soon. I love Kat and the send off the show gives her is beautiful. You were right when you said that there wasn't a whole lot more they could do with her character, but damn if they didn't pull off a great ending for her story.

    • quenstalof says:

      And for a while the idea of having one more episode to watch was more appealing than actually watching that last episode.
      I am the same way. I still haven't watched the last few episodes of Caprica or of Pushing Up Daisies. How can they be over when I still need them to be on television? :-/

      • elusivebreath says:

        This is also why I haven't watched the second season of Dollhouse yet :/

      • chikzdigmohawkz says:

        It's weird – I'm like this with TV shows, but I have to skip to the end of books once I've become emotionally invested in the characters, just to make sure that everything turns out okay.

  9. BSGfan1 says:

    I love this show. I love it dearly, and I am going to be gutted beyond belief when it ends. I know that’s a weird thing to say because it has ended for most of you. You’ll never get another episode.

    I did not delete the last episodes for about a year off my DVR. I went on vacation and something happened to my DVR and it autod eleted it. I was crushed.

    I still miss this frakkin show.

    • BSGfan1 says:

      Ack. I don't know how to italicize here…Sorry …:(

    • Crackers says:

      It's so hard to let go of it. SO HARD. Harder than it's been for any other show I've ever loved.

      For the longest time, I refused to watch the finale. I refused to watch anything beyond 4.18 because it made me cry so hard and because I just couldn't deal with the idea of there being no more of this story and these characters, and I'd miss them so badly.

      And then I finally did watch it, and lost all desire to eat or sleep for days afterwards.

    • bookyworm says:

      I didn't watch it live, but I still kind of went through a withdrawl when I finished it.

  10. Narcissaa says:

    I really loved when you were so vocal about your dislike of Kat because I was the EXACT SAME WAY until this episode. The way they managed to completely change my viewpoint of this character to the point of absolute heartbreak when she died is ASTOUNDING.

    Favourite show ever.

    • elusivebreath says:

      I felt the same way about Ellen Tigh, actually. I could not stand her and I actually cried when Col. Tigh had to kill her 🙁

  11. Clare says:

    so after your prediction of Kat dying, with "what story does she have left to tell?" in it, how do you feel about your earlier statement? hehehe. because when I read your prediction list my mind went "OH GOD THE PASSAGE MARK IS SO VERY NOT PREPARED." I had the exact same reaction to Kat on my first watch – because of my love for Starbuck I didn't care for her. only for this episode to make me love her and cry bitterly into my cornflakes for the next week over her.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      forever ever ever unprepared. 🙁

      • Clare says:

        all the hugs from me

      • Crackers says:

        And you STILL haven't seen the worst of it.

        Best thing ever to come out of tv in the last decade but it will not just break your heart, it will rip it right out of your chest, tear the bloody remains to ten thousand little shreds and dance on them while Ronald D. Moore cackles in the background.

  12. Ryan Lohner says:

    So now that Breaking Bad's fourth season is over and you're ready to marathon, could you give us just one post about it? IMO it's the best season so far, and yes, that is a huge statement.

    "Paper shortage" was an ad lib, and you're really seeing Olmos and Hogan cracking up there. Always great when they can find a way to put stuff like that in the final cut.

    All the stuff about the Final Five was actually kind of disingenuous at this point, as Moore didn't make the decision about who they would be until the midseason break (after the next episode). But unlike the Lost writers, he was completely open about it, so I'm a lot more understanding.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I wouldn't mind reading Mark's Breaking Bad thoughts once he watches, either. If it keeps this up for its last season(s, but I don't want them to split it) it could be my favorite show of all time. It's already in a really close second.

      V ubarfgyl zbnarq naq fpernzrq ng zl gryrivfvba jura Thf jnyxrq bhg naq vg fybjyl cnaarq gb uvf snpr. Naq gur gvr. Naq gur oyvax. nxfswyut

  13. quenstalof says:

    Maybe you don’t know names, sir.

    Lolled so hard at this

  14. stellaaaaakris says:

    Godsdamn it. BSG has done it again. I was trying not to cry so badly. But there we go again, it's the third time this series has made me cry. First, when Boomer was flying away and we saw Helo still on the ground – something about people knowing they're going to die or sacrificing themselves gets me every time. Plus, Helo seemed pretty awesome for the few minutes he was around. Then Billy. I find social awkwardness adorable so of course I loved him. And now Kat. I didn't even like her, but there she went, sacrificing herself to help others and proving she's a good person and isn't defined by her past.

    This is why I hate the recaps at the beginning of the episode, you know something is going to happen with Kat and it feels you with a sense of foreboding. That said, I would like a Hot Dog centric episode where nothing incredibly bad happens, maybe he can get punched out in the boxing ring by Starbuck again and just lie on the ground while everybody walks around his unconscious body like they seemed to do in the last episode.

    Were Kat and Hot Dog dating? The way my closed captioning lined up, it had Kat look like she was giving Hot Dog crumbs and saying, "Eat this, baby."

    Who were the other two (or whatever number) leaders on the board? Apollo was CAG before Kat was. Starbuck was in charge of a group that included Helo and Hot Dog. Kat was in charge or something. Unless Athena is one of the other leaders, I don't think we've met anyone else who's good enough.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      I paused the video several times so I could get a good look at the leader board.

      There are two other leaders on the board, but the only one they showed was Ricky "Two Times" Richardson. Yeah, I don't know, either. Athena and Racetrack were definitely listed just below his name, on the same level as Helo and Hot Dog in Kara's group.

  15. TreesaX says:

    Ahh, the Final Five. Just.. I can't even begin to… Yeah.

  16. klmnumbers says:

    I have to tell you in all honesty..

    I ugly cried the first time I watched this episode. My sister and I had been watching the show together, and she was ahead of me. One weekend when she was out of town, I sat down to catch back up. I remember laying on my couch SOBBING. When I later spoke to my sister about it, she told me how happy she was I wasn't there when she watched it because she did exactly the same.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Be proud of your ugly crying!

      I remember when the sixth Harry Potter book came out and I got to read it before my sister (I'm a faster reader). When I finished I just walked into her room in total shock and silently handed her the book, in a complete ugly-crying mess. I've never seen anyone look so terrified of a book before!

  17. hassibah says:

    I love Jane Espenson. That is all.

  18. ChronicReader91 says:

    Bye Kat. I’ll miss you. I actually suspected she was a goner when I saw how much was devoted to her in the “previously on’s.” Not to say it was predictable at all- I was completely surprised by her backstory, and I didn’t expect her to make it back to Galactica on that last trip. Needless to say, I was crying all through Starbuck and Adama’s goodbyes.

    I won’t lie: I was COMPLETELY LOSING MY SHIT when Baltar decided to touch her, causing her to begin speaking with some sort of regularity and sense.

    Me too, especially when she grabbed him back. For a second I thought she was going to pull him under the surface of her tub thing, horror movie style, even though it’s all of three feet deep. I don’t understand my brain sometimes.

    The Final Five! That sounds like the name of a lame band, or an alliance in the WWE or something, but WHO CARES. I get the feeling this plotline is going to be a big part of the show. I also get the feeling that I am not remotely prepared.

  19. akacj18 says:

    well, technically Kat is a Viper pilot before a Raptor pilot, but im quite alright with your assessment. i mean, she was flying a Raptor for the mission.

    also, some day im gonna freeze frame the pilots board and look at all the call signs we don't know yet. i like nicknames.

    • Crackers says:

      Yeah, she's a Viper pilot first. Though Viper pilots do seem capable of flying Raptors too, when required. Racetrack and Athena are Raptor pilots, as was Boomer when she was in the Fleet.

  20. chikzdigmohawkz says:

    This episode is the one I have rewatched the most. I just identify so much with Kat towards the end. I mean, not the drug-running, people-smuggling and then stealing the name of a dead girl and reinventing myself part. That, I have not done. But the despair and depression and sense of worthlessness – she's spent the last three years (ish) running from her past and trying to be a better person, and in the end, she just feels like all of her achievements have been invalidated by the woman she used to be. It's heartbreaking, and every single time I watch this episode, I'm crying by the half-way point of Starbuck's angry speech. (I haven't even watched it in a while, and I was crying by the part of the review where Mark wrote about Kat's past – look, sometimes I'm a total sap, I admit this freely.)

    And for more sad times pertaining to this episode: Luciana Carro (the actress) found out about Kat's death when one of her friends read the script and told her what happened.

    From RDM's podcast:
    Unfortunately this is one of those situations where- that the actress actually found out that she was dying before we told her, which is a really big faux pas and a no-no, and I felt very bad about it. It was really just one of those things that fell through the cracks and David and I just had not actually called her yet and I don't th- it just blindsided us when, suddenly, she got the script and I think it was a friend of hers. She was in an air- I think she- she told me this story. She was in an airport, called home, and a friend was reading the script to her over the phone and she said, "Jump to the end, see what happens?" And she's dead. And she was like, shocked and devastated. It was just, "Oh my God." Then David and I got her on the phone and apologized and explained and said, "Well, oh my gosh. We're so sorry you'd find out that way." It's just like such a nightmare. It's one of those things that ha- that actors live in dread of is that they're going to find out some terrible bit of news like that. This- by just reading it in the script and it's a bad thing to have happen and I st- do this day I still feel very guilty about letting that happen to our little Kat.

  21. Kate says:

    In one of the opening chapters of "The Book Thief", there are dead bodies on the pavement. People who lost their lives. But we totally overlook and ignore them, because the spotlight is on the protagonist. Poor Liesel Meminger, who lost her brother and was separated from her mother. She's the only one we've been told about and therefore the only one we care about.

    By the end of the book, the situation couldn't be more different.

    This is how I felt about this episode as well. The spotlight has always been on Starbuck. Poor Kara who lost her fiancee and who keeps messing things up. And by definition, everyone else stays in the shadow and we don't care about them. Until we find out that maybe we should have, because in the end, they are even more tragic than Starbuck, we just didn't know about it, because we didn't pay enough attention. Happens in life as well…

  22. hassibah says:

    Oh, and btw the way Kat talks is the closest thing to what my brain classifies as a "Canadian accent." I don't know if anyone cares but yeah, I just thought I'd mention it since it's been discussed before.

  23. fantasylover120 says:

    Nothing coherent to say. Will come back later when I've recovered from this ep. Maybe. If I ever do.

  24. Jonathan says:

    Astronomy lesson time! That wasn’t a “cloud” around a planet. It was the remains of a supernova. When massive stars, or white dwarfs under specific conditions, die, they explode in a phenomenal way. For a brief period of time they can outshine an entire galaxy. Even millennia after their deaths, supernova can shine with the intensity of a thousand suns. What they were flying through was a planetary nebula composed of the gas and dust blown off by the supernova. The afterglow of the supernova is what was causing the radiation. The nebula stretched across a thousand light-years, making it impossible to navigate around in any sort of timely fashion. Thus their only way to get to the planet and prevent everyone from starving to death was to go through the radioactive nebula.

    Considering all the aforementioned was explained early in the episode, I’m going to assume you missed several other plot points that you need to be aware of:

    1) The radiation screwed with the guidance systems of the fleet.

    2) The Galactica and the raptors are hardened against radiation so they can survive nuclear warfare. This meant they could jump out, while the other ships could not.

    3) Because the nav systems were down, if the raptors didn’t feed them the coordinates in the nebula, they wouldn’t be able to jump out at all. Anyone on a ship lost in the nebula died.

    4) The ships are important because people actually live on them. The people in the fleet are already living on top of each other, so space is a a premium.

  25. Robin says:

    I have to admit I put this episode in the same basket as "Hero". Rather dull A stories with too much retconning and focus on a minor character, and a really awesome B plot about D'Anna and her addiction to death (what a cool concept). I mean, it's not a BAD episode or anything, just after the awesomeness of "Unfinished Business" it's one I always glaze over.

    • Crackers says:

      It’s still not as utterly pointless as Black Market though.

      And yeah, after UB this is a bit of a let-us-down-easy episode, though that last scene with Starbuck putting Kat’s picture on the memorial wall and Apollo standing at the end of the passage behind her makes me want to hug them both.

      *sigh* I miss this show.

      • echinodermata says:

        Identifying an upcoming episode by number (or name) and describing it, even by a single word, is considered spoilery. I would also advise against saying 'an upcoming episode is [description]' even if you don't specify which episode.

        Hence, edited out the part in question.

  26. Noybusiness says:

    It's so cute that you didn't get that a fatal dose of radiation poisoning was fatal. They said it right at the beginning – all-black is a fatal dose.

  27. notemily says:

    This episode is so bleak, and that makes the "paper shortage" joke even funnier. I used to eat paper as a kid so that made it HILARIOUS.

    I can't even deal with radiation poisoning. I can't watch most of this episode directly, I have to focus on something else because radiation terrifies me. I feel sick just watching it. I hope I'm not around for the apocalypse because that is going to be some harsh shit. I also hope I don't get cancer because, you know, cancer.

    Awww Adama wanted a girl.

    Kat's photo is right under the photo of the girl whose name she wondered about in "Scar." 🙁

    Also I wouldn't have sex with that skeevy guy if you paid me a lot of money. And I'm broke, so I could use a lot of money.

    Also also, why don't they have tinted visors for when they have to jump into really bright places? Come on. If they made Laura a pair of cute glasses, I know they can make tinted visors for the helmets.

    Also also also, this episode was written by Jane Espenson. <3.

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