In the eleventh episode of Battlestar Galactica, Tyrol stumbles upon a temple that may hold the next clue to the location of Earth, but the Cylons’ interest in this same temple creates a chaotic situation. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Battlestar Galactica.
oh HOW DARE YOU.
I’ll get back to that later. So, y’all remember when the humans were occupied by the Cylons on New Caprica? It’s been just six episodes since then, yet it feels like a lifetime ago. When I stop and think about it, a whole lot has happened in this season, and as we pass the halfway mark, it’s clear there’s a whole lot more that needs to happen before we reach the finale. I was reminded of the two-parter “Home” from season two more than anything else while watching “The Eye of Jupiter,” and there are a couple thematic similarities between the two. Obviously, the human fleet finds another sign post of sorts left behind by the Thirteenth Colony; Starbuck and Lee are still fighting because they’re the very worst adults of all time; and the crew faces possible loss for pursuing a mythological artifact to help find earth. But the similarities stop there, as this episode has a much more intense dynamic to it. I think that “The Eye of Jupiter” could have suffered from confusion or plot that was too heavy, but I was impressed with how well time was split between Galatica, Tyrol, and the crew harvesting algae. And the tone for this episode is also set just from the cold open: this story is going to be a huge chunk of mythology, and it is going to be painfully awkward.
I like the idea of Starbuck/Lee, but the execution of it by those two characters continues to be sloppy and disrespectful. I found myself cringing while they made out. Look, you bothâ€¦okay. Just stop it. Stop making out with each other even though you have spouses. It is just weird and kind of gross and I am a bit biased towards cheating. Also, Lee says he won’t cheat but he already did and I kind of count make-out sessions as cheating as well. I just want to go out of my way, though, to say that I’m not complaining about the writing. It’s just character frustration, because apparently I think these are real people who will listen to my advice.
But they won’t and they will continue to hurt their respective partners and it kind of makes me hate them a bit so LET’S TALK ABOUT TYROL. I was intrigued by the idea that someone who is not a believer would be subject to the weird pull of the Temple of the Five, so I want to know more about why Tyrol was the only one drawn to this place. And HOW COOL IS THAT TEMPLE. It’s so huge! And those things up on top of the main columnâ€¦are they the same things Three saw in her vision? OH GOD THIS IS ALL TOO MUCH.
Hell, I think that’s basically how I feel about “The Eye of Jupiter.” This is all so very much to handle. But it only continues to get worse. It’s like that first kiss in the cold open is the snowball gently shoved off a mountain, and every 60 seconds, that snowball continues to grow until forty-five minutes later, when it’s a fucking avalanche of awful. Because just when I get excited that they’ve found this place, four basestars jump into orbit of the planet. It is such a surreal thing to see these giant ships so near to the fleet and not see a slew of Cylon Raiders or vicious warfare following it. But the Cylons don’t attack the fleet, even after they all jump away aside from the Galactica. In fact, someone contacts the Galactica.
When the voice of Baltar came through on that line, I shrieked. OH, THIS IS GONNA BE SO GOOD. Look, I swear I am not joking, but I literally paused the episode and made a bowl of popcorn. It’s soothing to eat while you watch television! STOP JUDGING. And it’s honestly so ridiculously appropriate for this scene because the tension is so thick it hurts my whole body. The return of Baltar (along with a group of Cylons) is one of the best things ever. I love that Roslin just flat out refuses to talk to Baltar. I understand that Gaius does care about these people on some level, and that he probably does want to return to the fleet on that same level, too. But he arrives here with far too much hope for acceptance or forgiveness. That’s not a criticism of the way that Roslin, Adama, or Tigh treat Baltar; they’re absolutely justified in feeling nothing short of contempt for this man, especially when he waltzes onto the Galactica as if he is doing them a favor. Good for you, Roslin, for just leaving the proceedings! The very notion is offensive to her.
So when the Cylons decide to cut the bullshit and get right to it, I’m not surprised that they want the Eye of Jupiter. I knew this would be the set-up. I wasn’t shocked that Adama refused. Then Cavill offered Baltar in return, and EVERYTHING SUDDENLY BECAME FUCKING RIDICULOUS. What the fuck, WOULD THEY REALLY DO THAT? Of course they would! What else could Baltar possibly get them?
I was fascinated how this episode came to represent these powers bluffing to one another. Would the Cylons actually hand over Baltar? Adama, not content with this idea, gives Three an ultimatum: either they leave the humans alone, or the Galactica will nuke the whole planet. Do the Cylons believe him? Is Adama willing to destroy to the Temple of Five just to keep it out of Cylon hands?
But the worst bluff of all comes from Boomer. When she got separated from the group by Sharon Agathon, I didn’t realize what a disaster this was until it cut back to the two of them. Then I knew that the inevitable would happen, and it did: Boomer tells Sharon that her daughter is still alive. This bluff is entirely different, though, because we know that Boomer is telling the truth. Can Sharon accept the faith she has for the humans she decided to side with? Or does she know, deep down, that Hera is still alive?
Guess what? THINGS ARE STILL GOING TO GET MORE FUCKED UP. This is just the tip of the iceberg in “The Eye of Jupiter.” The events on Galactica sow chaos down on the algae below, as Admiral Adama orders that the Temple should be destroyed before the Cylons can get to it. Lee takes it upon himself to use Anders to help reign in the civilian force to fight against the oncoming Cylon force, and it’s basically the worst possible thing to stick on Anders. He already knows that Lee and Starbuck are doing something together, so the idea of taking orders from Lee is like dropping a match in a pile of gasoline of Anders’s anger. Even though Starbuck steps in to diffuse the situation, THIS IS ALL AWFUL AND NOTHING GOOD.
Are we at Maximum Suffering yet? Nope, not even close. D’Anna has taken it upon herself to follow the destiny that she believes is hers and hers alone. I can’t believe that Cavill suggests the only clear option for the Cylons and NO ONE TAKES HIM UP ON IT. I mean, if I was a Cylon (WHAT DID I JUST TYPE), why wouldn’t you just blow up that one ship and wait things out? It’s not like Cylons rust or anything. Wait that shit out!
Okay, I’m being ridiculous. But I could see a problem in what D’Anna was doing, and that problem was two-fold: Baltar is too interested in either being a Cylon, or taking the glory for himself. (He is literally the most perfect Slytherin in the entire goddamn universe, I swear. Salazar Slytherin is a fucking poser when you put him up against Gaius Baltar.) Secondly, she is acting in her own interest as well, and this means that she is separating herself from what we normally see from Cylons. But at the same time, would the Cylons excuse this if her destiny proved to be true? Hell, we might not even get to see that, because D’Anna’s actions throw a wrench into everything: she already sent a Heavy Raider down to the surface.
But let’s go back to Baltar. Because there’s one HUGE moment in this episode that isâ€¦well, it’s not looked over, but it lasts only a few seconds. D’Anna is convinced that it’s her destiny to see the Final Five Cylons, but I’m pretty damn sure that when the Hybrid starts talking about the “five lights of the apocalypse” and “sin” and the “chosen one,” she is looking at Baltar! Isn’t she??? I mean, I watched that part twice after the first time, and it’s clear to me that because D’Anna has her eyes closed, she doesn’t know who the Hybrid is looking at.
WHICH. OKAY. WHAT? Why would Baltar be the chosen one? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS, WHAT IS GOING ON. WHAT IS HAPPENING.
So, at this point of the episode, I feel like my brain is a maelstrom of confusion and excitement. It’s just all mixed up in there, and I don’t know what the fuck is going on, and I don’t know how this is all going to be resolved in less than ten minutes. Here’s the best part: SHIT HASN’T EVEN GOTTEN REAL AT THIS POINT. “The Eye of Jupiter,” in its final moments, sets up every single plot point we’d seen for utter disaster: Admiral Adama finds out from Sharon that Hera is still alive, confronts Roslin, and then WALKS OUT ON HER IN ANGER. Oh god, my beautiful ship is disintegrating before my eyes.
You ever had a kid try to explain the plot of something to you? This is what my mind turned into for the end of “The Eye of Jupiter” and it goes a little bit like this:
AND THEN STARBUCK AND DEE FIGHT
AND THEN IT WAS AWKWARD
AND THEN STARBUCK GETS SHOT DOWN AND IT IS REAL SCARY
BECAUSE SHE IS LIKE SCREAMING AND STUFF
AND THEN ADAMA TELLS SHARON THAT HER DAUGHTER IS INDEED ALIVE
AND THEN IT IS SO AWKWARD THAT LIFE HURTS
AND THEN SHARON DEMANDS TO SEE HER CHILD
AND THEN I WONDER HOW THAT IS POSSIBLE
OH AND THEN THERE ARE SOME HEAVY RAIDERS IN SPACE
OH AND THEN ADAMA WANTS TO USE NUKES
AND THEN I WANT TO CRY
AND THEN ANDERS WON’T GO FIGHT
AND THEN THERE’S A GUN POINTED AT ANDERS
AND THEN THERE’S A STAND-OFF BETWEEN THE CYLONS AND ADMIRAL ADAMA
LIKE HE WON’T ACTUALLY FIRE THE NUCLEAR WARHEADS WILL HE
OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING
I only just found out that the third season was split at this point. And I am just so, so, so sorry that this was something some of you had to experience in real time. I screamed FUCK YOU at the screen when I saw that “To be continuedâ€¦” message. I won’t replicate that experience, which is half the fun of doing this in this way. But my god, it’s like six thousand cliffhangers all rolled into one.
How the fuck is anyone going to get out of this?
PS: Everyone watch the hell out of this incredible cover of “Violence and Variations.”