Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: S04E10 – Revelations

In the tenth episode of the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica, everything is broken and everything hurts. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Battlestar Galactica.

I think that “Revelations” has me thinking about why I enjoy bleak fiction so much more than the joyous stuff. I know it’s a joke around here that I dearly love it when I am crushed and destroyed, or when all hope is extinguished. And it’s generally pretty funny and entertaining in a way, especially because I constantly have way too much hope for things, time and time again. Will I ever learn??? But the way in which I watch television through Mark Watches (and by the same extension, the experience is very similar for Mark Reads as well), I generally have time to get over things. I’ve come across a lot of particularly heavy-hitting things in Harry Potter, in Avatar: The Last Airbender, and in The Book Thief and The Subtle Knife. But there’s always been more after it. There’s always been a chance for the shock to wear off, for me to move on to the next episode, or chapter, or book, and I start to feel better.

It’s been 48 hours (almost to the very minute) since I finished “Revelations.” Occasionally, I like to sit on posts before I even attempt writing them so that I can work through some ideas in my head. I initially wanted to do another all-caps review, as there’s certainly no episode that deserves it more than “Revelations.” But I worried that it would diminish the narrative power of the episode, and half of the effect of this story comes from the quietest moments. Anyone who had watched this show up until this point had been waiting for these reveals for a long time. Who are the final Cylons? How will the colonials react to discovering they are people they’ve known for a long time? Where is Earth, and will the humans ever find it? How is Starbuck connected to the search for Earth?

I’ll start off by saying that even though I expected this show to deal with these reveals in a wonderful way, and that I was indeed immensely satisfied by the result, I was still ridiculously unprepared for all of this. I am reeling from this. I am hurt and I feel something worse than sadness. This is despair that I feel for these characters, who have been dealt–

Wait, I’m getting way ahead of myself again. That’s the problem I have writing about “Revelations.” I’m reminded of, first of all, “Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II.” How can you talk about the elections? How can you talk about the fractured relationship between Starbuck and Lee, or Shannon’s nihilism?ร‚ย  THEY FOUNDED NEW CAPRICA AND IT IS A YEAR LATER AND THE CYLONS HAVE RETURNED gods help me.

That’s the problem I have with talking about “Revelations.” As yet another example of why my spoiler policy needs to be so strict, no one even hinted to me that this episode was a mid-season finale, and even worse, it was planned as a series finale in case of the Writer’s Strike not ending. I’m used to watching shows that have a specific narrative flow; and there’s really nothing wrong with that pattern! I like a traditional narrative as much as anybody. Sometimes, the best stories have a slow build to a climax, hinting at what’s about to come next. “Revelations” reminds me of a few other shows (and that number is very small, as most shows don’t take risks like this) that chose to leap forward with their plots and characters in extremely unnatural ways.

(I’ll be using rot13.com to cypher these two spoilers because I need to talk about them, but don’t want to ruin these shows for anyone. Just paste these segments into the box at rot13.com and press Cypher! to decode them if you won’t be spoiled by them.)

Spoilers for The X-Files season 6: Va gur zvqqyr bs frnfba fvk, jr trg “Gjb Snguref” / “Bar Fba,” juvpu rssrpgviryl nafjref yvxr 90% bs gur dhrfgvbaf jr unq nobhg guvf fubj hc hagvy guvf cbvag, naq xvyyf bss nyzbfg rirel ivyynva gur fubj unf rire frra. Nyfb, vg vf nznmvat naq cresrpg naq V xabj gung gbanyyl, gur guerr rcvfbqrf gung pbzr nsgre vg ner ernyyl shpxvat jrveq orpnhfr fb zhpu unf unccrarq, OHG: V ybir nyy “Nthn Znyn,” “Zbaqnl,” naq “NEPNQVN” jvgu rirel bhapr bs zl urneg.

Spoilers for Fringe season 3: V ynetryl guvax frnfba guerr bs Sevatr vf engure tbqqnza cresrpg, ohg gur sybj bs gur svefg rvtug rcvfbqrf, fjvgpuvat orgjrra havirefrf naq tvivat hf n evqvphybhf ahzore bs “nafjref” gb gur znva zlgubybtl vf trahvaryl hayvxr nalguvat V’ir frra ba gryrivfvba. Vg’f fhpu n hetrag naq rkpvgvat eha bs fgbevrf, naq “Ragenqn” zvtug sberire or zl snibevgr rcvfbqr bs gur ragver fubj. Rira orggre, hfvat “Znevbarggr” gb or n fbeg bs zvq-frnfba svanyr jbexf VAPERQVOYL JRYY. WSP GUVF TBQQNZA FUBJ.

Even if “The Hub” hinted towards, at the very least, the revelation to the fleet of the four Cylon models hiding amongst them, I did not actually believe we’d see this happen until much later in the season. More so than that, from the very beginning of the show, right at the end of the miniseries, we’re given an overarching concept, one that you expect to last until the final moments of the show. It’s the whole drive of the show, isn’t it? It’s the end goal, the light at the end of the tunnel, the carrot at the end of the proverbial fucking stick, you know?

Over the course of “Revelations,” the entire story showed me that the writers of this show have no qualms about taking a traditional television narrative, throwing it out the window, lighting it on fire with a flamethrower on the way down, and then dropping an nuclear bomb on it just to make sure I don’t feel fine at all.

I’ll tell you the first moment where I knew I had to discard this idea that this was going to be like any other Battlestar Galactica episode, that it was time to stop hoping things would turn out fine: when Colonel Tigh walked into Adama’s office by himself. There could not be any reason for him to be there except for a confession.

I don’t know what I really imagined for this moment when Adama would discover that his friend, one he’s known for at least ten years, is actually a Cylon. I knew this show wouldn’t play it lightly, and I’ve been saying that it would destroy Adama. That was an understatement. I have never seen him worse than the moment Tigh is arrested and taken away. I don’t think I’ll ever see him in a worse state than that. I don’t think I’ve ever seen disappointment manifest itself in such a visceral, ugly way. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHOW DOING TO ME.

I was equally impressed that Starbuck’s and Roslin’s reactions to discovering the identity of the other Cylons were largely silent, something that speaks both to how these characters behave and how close they were to these people. Starbuck was married to Anders, yes, and I’m sure she’ll come to terms with having frakked a Cylon in a future episode; we even see bits of Roslin’s shock, disappointment, and dismay at Tory’s reveal, especially since Tory is rather abrasive about the whole thing. (She’s just mad that Roslin totally called her on sleeping with Baltar. STOP BEING BITTER.)

The truth is, though, that there really wasn’t a single thing that could “prepare” one for these scenes. You could have told me that Adama got drunkenly upset about Tigh, that Roslin nearly cried, that Starbuck slipped immediately into shock, and it would not have mattered. Witnessing these reactions, which all three actors sold so beautifully, is all that truly counts; there aren’t words to represent the heartbreak, the disappointment, and the confusion these people go through. Even further, I’m glad that the characters even address the absurdity of this, Adama in particular making a point to note the flaws. How can Tigh be a Cylon if he’s aged? How can he be a Cylon if he’s known Adama longer than ten years? Granted, I still don’t understand this myself, and it’s one of the things BSG has left to answer in the second half of season four. There has to be some sort of timeline for how these Final Five Cylons were produced.

But I’m more interested in the why. We come to discover (after a particularly awful segment in which Tigh, Tyrol, and Anders are nearly flushed out an airlock) that the ship Starbuck brought back from Earth, which was an impossibility in and of itself, was actually the trigger for the Final Four. That music they heard? It was caused by her Viper, which used a Colonial emergency locator signal to help locate earth.

WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON. I mean, who placed that in her Viper? And why? Why is it so important that the humans find Earth with the Cylons? What’s fascinating to me about this is that there does seem to be something–a power, a force, an entity–orchestrating this. I like that Starbuck uses that word: orchestrate. This is not a simple case of cause and effect. This is an elaborate, far-reaching…hell, I hate to use the word conspiracy. There’s not much about this that’s a theory anymore, is there? There are too many clues and signs and pieces to deny that something is at work here with these people. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON, I say! oh god don’t answer that i am so goddamn unprepared.

The thing that was entirely distracting about “Revelations” at this point was two-fold: first, the story we are given is one about reconciliation. I was pleased that Adama gave the Final Four amnesty. He was making a choice to avoid war and conflict, something so terribly unlike the Adama we’ve seen over the past three and a half seasons. Is this what this was all for? I started to believe that perhaps this was all orchestrated not to tear humanity apart, but to unite them for the first time since the beginning of the series.

And that leads to the second reason I was distracted so easily by “Revelations”: there was so much joy. It kills me now, and it will kill me every time I watch this show and this episode in particular again. The fleet rolls the hard six, and when Gaeta announces that the constellations match up, that cheer, that roar, that din of ecstasy and excitement and joy…it is palpable. I started tearing up. I didn’t understand this moment because I didn’t know how the fleet could find earth so early into season four. But I refuse to deny myself the opportunity to feel elated on behalf of these people. After three years of searching, of years of undeniable sadness and tragedy and loss, Earth was found. They found Earth. THEY FUCKING FOUND EARTH!

When the screen flashed to black, I though this was where it would end. We’d get that celebratory moment, and save the discovery for the next episode. If I was confused by the discovery of earth, at least from the perspective of those in the CIC, then I was downright bewildered by the shot of a collection of colonial ships and a few Cylon freighters flying towards the surface of Earth. They’re showing this now? OH SHIT AWESOME. THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME.

The very first shot of Earth is as Roslin promised: she wanted to see him pick up the very first fistful of soil, and he’s doing that. I watched this episode along with my friend Jessica, and I almost considered using our chat transcript as the whole review, but this episode was too important for that. However, I think this is appropriate:

Me: I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS SHIT. THIS IS AMAZING. OMG LOOK AT LEE

Jessica: I KNOW

Me: OMG GAETA IS HAPPY

Me: OMG THIS IS THE BEST

Jessica: I KNOW

Me: omg this is overwhelming

Me: omg

Me: i can’t even

Jessica: :nod:

Jessica: breathing is hard

Me: wait

Me: what

Me: what the fuck

Me: what the fuck is going on

Me: what the

Me: i am confused what is fucking happening

Jessica: what do you think is happening

Me: oh

Me: oh my god

Me: jessica

Me: jessica

Me: hold me

Me: WHAT THE FUCK!!!!

Jessica: holds you

me: WHAT THE FUCK

Me: ASDF;JKLADJADFS;KLADFSKJLADFS

Me: IUPOFSHKJPVSBD

Me: ASDFKLHJDFSAHJKLFASD

Me: YOU CAN

Me: TYOU

Me: YOU CAN’T DO THAT TO ME

Me: WHAT THE FUCK

Me: WHAT THE HOLY FUCK

Jessica: Well, see. There’s this show called Battlestar Galactica.

Jessica: and it’s purpose is to DESTROY YOU.

me: I CANT

Me: I CANNOT FUCKING DEAL WITH THIS

Me: WHAT THE FUCK

Jessica: do you have a small paper bag to breathe into? Because I nearly hyperventilated the first time I saw this.

Jessica: Because they give you ALL THE THRILLING JOY OF OMG YES FINALLY YES

Jessica: and then they give you a RADIOACTIVE WASTELAND WITH THE RUINS OF THE TEMPLE.

Jessica: and then they say “SEE YOU IN SIX MONTHS, SUCKERS”

Me: i can’t breathe

It’s been 48 hours since I saw this. It is no easier to deal with. I have never felt so much despair over a television show and I’ve watched Luther. I have never seen writers take such a risk with their show, to do something that will most certainly create unbelievably amazing stories from the wreckage of these people, but still risks alienating their audience.

I am not ever going to forget the image of nearly the entire cast of this show (those that are alive, that is) looking upon the wasteland that is Earth with varying degrees of disappointment, shock, anger, confusion, and, in the case of Tyrol, a detached satisfaction. (Seriously, was he SMILING?)

This is fucked up. This is a fucked up show. I feel fucked up. Holy shit, I was truly not prepared for this moment.


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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124 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: S04E10 – Revelations

  1. knut_knut says:

    WHAT THE FUCK DID WE DO TO EARTH?!

  2. enigmaticagentscully says:

    I think I just sat there for like ten minutes in shock.

    But I do love the fact that Tyrol did have a kind of smile on his face. I mean, the guy has gone through some shit so far in this show. I feel like at this point he's just like…'Yep. I didn't expect anything else.'

    • BSGfan1 says:

      I screamed at the TV. I really did. I just couldn't process what we were watching and since we didn't even know if it would come back…that was just too much.

    • robin says:

      Tyrol slays me in this episode. There’s this great black-comedy outlook he has going on. It starts when they come for him, and he realizes he’s outed. He’s just like, LOL OH WELL LOL MY LIFE IS A TRAGIC JOKE.

  3. BSGfan1 says:

    And there it is. I have been DYING to read this review. And guess what. You are still massively unprepared.

    Bear McCreary wins all the awards full stop for his Diasporo Oratorio theme that was played during the Earth celebration and trip to Earth. WhenI listen to that music now I still cry. I wept. Yes wept when they were celebrating. Then they juxtaposed Tyrol alone with Nicky, Tigh alone in his bunk with a bottle of liquor, and Lee alone in the CIC despite being with others.

    This episode devastated me for 7 months…

    Gods I love this show so much.

  4. evocativecomma says:

    My love, my darling, my own. A chunk of the chat transcript is me, not you:

    mark: YOU CAN'T DO THAT TO ME
    mark: WHAT THE FUCK
    mark: WHAT THE HOLY FUCK
    jessica: Well, see. There's this show called Battlestar Galactica.
    jessica: and it's purpose is to DESTROY YOU.

    Then, a little bit later:

    jessica: Because they give you ALL THE THRILLING JOY OF OMG YES FINALLY YES
    jessica: and then they give you a RADIOACTIVE WASTELAND WITH THE RUINS OF THE TEMPLE.
    jessica: and then they say "SEE YOU IN SIX MONTHS, SUCKERS"

    It was I who said that whole bit, not you–I don't think you were quite capable of entire sentences at that point. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. monkeybutter says:

    AHAHAHAHAHA three and a half seasons to find Earth, and it's a devastated wasteland. Beautiful. And this originally might have been the series finale? That certainly explains why the four of the Final Five were revealed, and we got to see that hellscape. When do the talking gorillas show up?

    I think Tyrol was wearing a grim smile, the kind you force on your face to hold in the rage. The kind that usually fails.

  6. guest_age says:

    So. many. questions. The biggest one on my mind, though, is how long has it been since this happened to Earth? Hundreds/thousands of years? Is that why the Colonials left? Or did they leave and the 13th stayed behind and then this happened? It feels like that distinction is important because if it's the former, then surely it's tied into all of this?

    kasljdfasf I DON'T KNOW I AM SO UNPREPARED.

    I almost cried watching Adama react to finding out that Tigh is a Cylon, though. Ugh, EJO, have all the awards, please.

    • BSGfan1 says:

      What got me was Lee trying to comfort Bill and telling him he would take care of it.

      Oh and Lee punching Tigh in the face. LOVE!

  7. cait0716 says:

    I'm reminded of the opening lines of Good Omens (rot13ed just in case) (but seriously, this quote is from basically the first page) (if you don't count the prologue) (it has nothing to do with plot or character specifics)

    Tbq qbrf abg cynl qvpr jvgu gur havirefr; Ur cynlf na varssnoyr tnzr bs Uvf bja qrivfvat, juvpu zvtug or pbzcnerq, sebz gur crefcrpgvir bs nal bs gur bgure cynlref (v.r., rirelobql), gb orvat vaibyirq va na bofpher naq pbzcyrk irefvba bs cbxre va n cvgpu-qnex ebbz, jvgu oynax pneqf, sbe vasvavgr fgnxrf, jvgu n Qrnyre jub jba'g gryy lbh gur ehyrf, naq jub fzvyrf nyy gur gvzr

    Clearly RDM/God/whoever's in charge is an evil genius who is at least a little bit sadistic.

    I was finally caught up to this point a week or two after the final half season had started premiering. My mom was saving them all on her DVR so, thankfully, I didn't have to wait and see what happened. I can't even imagine not knowing whether or not this story would get continued. That would have been pure torture.

  8. Jenny_M says:

    "One time Battlestar Galactica punched me in the face. It was awesome."

    "BSG's a life ruiner. She ruins people's lives."

    Yeah. That's all I've got in response to this episode.

  9. NB2000 says:

    And then they made us wait almost a whole frakking year. Don't get me wrong I supported the Writer's Strike but that wait was so awful.

    It kills me now, and it will kill me every time I watch this show and this episode in particular again

    I nearly teared up watching while waiting for this post. Seeing how happy most of the cast were and knowing they're about to have the rug pulled out from under them in the cruelest way. It's a nice touch that they managed to cover as many of the side characters and locations as they could like the little shot of the Tylium ship from Dirty Hands (at least I assume it's the same one).

    I say most of the cast were happy because some of my favourite parts of the reaction montage are Tyrol sitting alone in his room with Nicky, Tigh sitting completely alone and Starbuck visiting memorial hallway to think of Kat. Even in one of the mostly joyful moments we've been given in a long time we're reminded of how bittersweet this must be for people who have lost loved ones on the way.

    especially since Tory is rather abrasive about the whole thing.

    I do love the reactions of the other Cylons when D'Anna announces who she is. They look like they want to start poking her to make sure she's real.

    Okay the one teeny tiny little thing that bugs me is Kara running to stop Lee executing Tigh. Aren't there phones in most rooms of the ship and throughout the halls? Just grab one of those Kara! I mean yes it is more dramatic this way.

    • evocativecomma says:

      And then they made us wait almost a whole frakking year. Don't get me wrong I supported the Writer's Strike but that wait was so awful.

      Half a year. "Revelations" aired in mid-June of '08, and "Sometimes a Great Notion" aired in mid-January '09.

    • chikzdigmohawkz says:

      Yes, but if Kara used the phone, then Bear McCreary would have had no reason to compose 'The Signal'. The existence of that music is more than enough to make me willingly suspend disbelief.

    • @LizatLAX says:

      Lee was on the phone in the airlock control room at least part of that time anyway, and I don't think Kara was probably thinking clearly enough to call a room nearby and send someone to go tell him what she found. Or that she would have faith that some random person would actually go DO it or be believed. It would waste more time trying to get that person to listen and understand, than if she just ran herself. If she knew what was happening at all, she'd know there wasn't a lot of time (but there was a lot of danger), to Tigh and Tyrol and especially Sam.

      And yes, it was more dramatic, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. hassibah says:

    My strongest memory from this episode is Lee celebrating by taking off his blazer.

    I might be speaking too soon now but I really feel sorry for people who hate this season, this is seriously one of the most amazingly complex plots I've come across in a while. And Tigh wins all the awards.

    What more can I say about how much I hate the lack of thought that was put into Tory's development though-really not much-so here are some words that rhyme with Tory: story, quarry…uh, allegory.

  11. hassibah says:

    My strongest memory from this episode is Lee celebrating by taking off his blazer.

    I might be speaking too soon now but I really feel sorry for people who hate this season, this is seriously one of the most amazingly complex plots I've come across in a while. And Tigh wins all the awards.

    What more can I say about how much I hate the lack of thought that was put into Tory's development though-really not much-so here are some words that rhyme with Tory: story, quarry…uh, allegory.

    • elusivebreath says:

      There are people that hate this season? I can't believe I'm about to say this because I am a diehard Buffy fan, but this show is basically FLAWLESS (ok, thus far, since I haven't seen the end lol) and I think it is my new favorite show of all time.

      • hassibah says:

        Yeah, a while back when I mentioned that I was watching BSG for the first time I def remember people telling me not to listen to the folks that say the last season's bad. Huh?

      • knut_knut says:

        Before I started watching, people kept telling me Season 4 is really bad (Season 1 is the best and everything is downhill from there) and Katee Sackhoff is a terrible actress. So far I really like S4 and Katee's acting! Sometimes her angry face makes me giggle a bit, but given the complexity of Kara I think she does a damn good job.

        • shoroko says:

          My general experience has been that some people confuse "bad woman character" with "bad actress" (and further, "bad woman character" with "woman character who does things I find unacceptable to her womanliness"). And that, frankly, a lot of people were sort of into BSG for the action, not the myth arcs or even smallest bit of politics, and when that died down over the course of the following three seasons and the more elaborate plot arcs, religious angles, and social commentary became clearer, people didn't like it.

          Though I thought all that latter stuff was obvious from the first season, so that also confuses me a little.

          • Pseudonymph says:

            It's astonishing to me how often people conflate characters and their actors. They don't like the character and therefore hate the actor or think the actor is bad at acting. And even when I suggest to them that this is what they are doing and that they need to keep the two separate they still can't do it.

            Seriously strange.

            That said, BSG probably has the finest and most consistent acting I've seen on television. Every single actor just blows me away and they do it over and over again!

            • notemily says:

              I hated Tigh for the first season or two, but man is Michael Hogan amazing at making me hate him. Hee. And then my hate turned to love anyway because his character development is so amazing.

        • ChronicReader91 says:

          people kept telling me Season 4 is really bad (Season 1 is the best and everything is downhill from there) and Katee Sackhoff is a terrible actress.

          Who are these people, and what show are they watching, and what Katee Sackhoff are they thinking of?

          I too really like S4. In fact, I'm liking each successive season more than the last, but I realize that could be in large part shit is getting realer with each successive season and I usually only wait 1-2 days between episodes instead of weeks or months.

        • robin says:

          A lot of it I feel is… what story are you looking to be told? The people who came in for only futuristic military and action scenes, and then the people who were drawn in basically for the Starbuck & Apollo show and wanted to see most episodes strongly focused on those two characters… they might feel like it was a bait-and-switch. The show they thought they were watching in the mini-series and S1 turned out to be way different than what they thought they'd signed up for.

          But then viewers like myself, who love complicated myth arcs, the politics, social commentary, moral ambiguity, exploring alien (Cylon) culture & identity… the show ended up being exactly what they wanted. BSG became more and more of what I was looking for with every season. And even though I'm an atheist, none of the religious talk ever bored me (I dunno, it's alien religions. interesting!)

          But for other viewers, it went further and further away from their interests every season. The people who just wanted to watch a well written show about space pilots fighting Evil Robots.. they'd understandably despise S4.

    • evocativecomma says:

      I wish so much that Paul Campbell hadn't wanted to leave the show to do other things; there would have been nothing more astounding than to find out that Billy had been one of the Final Five. That's the only reason that Tory being a Cylon feels a *little* contrived to me.

      • BSGfan1 says:

        I think Roslin would have probably just offed herself if that happened. I really do…

      • notemily says:

        What I like is that for the previous episode with Roslin having visions of Elosha while they jumped, that was originally going to be Billy, but they couldn't get Paul Campbell because of scheduling problems. And they hardly had to change the script at all. Can you imagine how amazing it would have been to have Billy saying "just love someone"? Sigh.

    • Peter says:

      As someone who has seen the rest of Season 4, I can't say too much, but personally, I loved the fourth season. Many people indeed did not. I found myself fervently defending it at times. And I totally don't know what's up with criticism of Katee Sackhoff. She's the bestest (well third bestest because EJO and MM are just like EVERYTHING POSITIVE). On second thought, shoroko's probably right (about Sackhoff and also about why people disliked the final season).

      As for whether you like the fourth season once you've seen it through to the end, everyone's mileage may vary. But, I would say that being "dissatisfied" by the final season is an inherent risk you run of watching a show like this. One critic (James Poniewozik from Time Magazine) was writing about fan anger at the final seasons of BSG and Lost, and he made what I think is a really good point: the good and the bad on these shows come from the fact that both of them are incredibly ambitious; they took risks, like Mark said, that other shows would just be far too terrified to take. In other words, you can't have "Unfinished Business" and "33" and "Faith" and the Pegasus trilogy without having "Black Market" and "The Woman King," because they're part of the same consistent creative process that makes this show what it is. This isn't the best way to state this argument, but I can't say everything I want to yet.

      • hassibah says:

        I think with these types of shows part of the raeg is the expectation to fill out every loose thread and that's really not going to happen.

        I'm really used to most TV where there are a bunch of good seasons and then like at least 6 hella bad ones because the producers won't quit for as long as they have SOMEONE watching…but that was in the days before network executives realized that they can just make reality shows for way less money. Point is, my bar is low.

        Generally speaking BSG seasons seem to floor me for the 1st 2/3s and then kind of lose me with a bunch of soap opera-y episodes in the second half before the big finale hits, so honestly even if the second half sucks ass I think I'd prolly still rank it as good as the others, but I guess I'll have to wait and see.

      • notemily says:

        This is actually a good argument and it's what I like about Doctor Who–they reach for the stars every time, and while they often don't quite make it, I always admire them for trying.

    • threerings says:

      I think there are many reasons why people may say the 4th season sucks or they don't like it. Part of it, I can't talk about yet.

      But mostly I think there is a phenomenon that happens when people are watching a show week to week for years, discussing it online, picking it apart, building their identities on it, in short, being really active in fandom, that leads to ultimate dissatisfaction with a show, in excess of what someone watching it on DVD or in isolation might experience. (I know that sentence was horrible, but I hope it makes some sense.)

      And I've been guilty of this. But when you overthink everything, and have a LONG time to build up expectations and interpretations, eventually, you are going to be disappointed by your show, and fans tend to hold grudges based on what they perceive the writers' and creators' intentions to be. This tends to show up as "it used to be good, but then it started to suck."

      I remember reading lots of friends talking about how much they disliked BSG while this season was running, but I didn't watch it till later, and I generally loved it all. (Except for some specific things still to come.)

      • feminerdist says:

        I loved BSG's finale, and HATED the LOST finale, and I honestly wonder if it has anything to do with writing at all, or is because of the way I watched them.

        I was a Lost fan from the pilot, and I watched EVERY week, faithfully and theorized with the best of them, and went thru withdrawal waiting for each season to start. I watched BSG as season 4.5 was about to air, and I watched 4 or 5 episodes in a row and the only lag time I had was waiting for netflix discs to come in.

        Maybe it has something to do with anticipation and the buildup of a show, that makes fans have such strong reactions when shows end.

  12. clodia_risa says:

    The difference between happy endings and bleak endings is that happy endings end up largely the same: all the plot points get neatened and wrapped up, the hero gets whatever he or she wanted, the end. A bleak ending has infinite ways to mess up the characters and, by extension, the audience.

    • evocativecomma says:

      The difference between happy endings and bleak endings is that happy endings end up largely the same: all the plot points get neatened and wrapped up, the hero gets whatever he or she wanted, the end. A bleak ending has infinite ways to mess up the characters and, by extension, the audience.

      Ah yes, one of Tolstoy's most famous lines (the first lines of Anna Karenina): "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

  13. Megg says:

    My favorite moment in this one is actually the quiet moment between Roslin and Baltar. "I love living…". So good.

  14. BSGfan1 says:

    My favorite pairing

  15. Ryan Lohner says:

    I remember one guy on Youtube theorized that they had landed in Australia, juxtaposing a photo of a bridge with a similar landscape in the background. It didn't really help.

    • BSGfan1 says:

      I remember about eleventy billion theories. I think people tried to overlay every major metro area on the planet that was next to the ocean to prove or disprove where they were.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        I imagine it didn't help much with trying to allay people's concerns/panic.

        • BSGfan1 says:

          Not one little bit. Especially with the looming possibility of cancellation due to writer's strike. It was chaos I tell you. Chaos in BSG land.

  16. evocativecomma says:

    LOL NEVER PREPARED TO TRANSCRIBE

  17. stellaaaaakris says:

    My head still hurts from when I metaphorically headdesked in despair after watching this episode Saturday afternoon. I was feeling those warm, fuzzy feelings that TV shows rarely make me feel after Adama made the announcement that they had reached Earth. And then we cut to the devastated Earth. Oh my heart, and all you poor people.

    If I had been watching this show in real time and it didn't come back, I would have been so pissed not to find out who the final Cylon was and what happened to Earth. Too many questions to leave me with! My heart and brain wouldn't be able to handle all these feelings.

    I think Tory spoke more in this episode than she had in all her Seasons 2 and 3 episodes combined.

    Question: Should I watch the next episode tonight or the webseries?

    • NB2000 says:

      I think Mark confirmed, possibly in the post for The Hub, that he's doing the next episode tomorrow and the webseries Wednesday.

    • BSGfan1 says:

      Both ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Peter says:

      You should definitely do Mark's order. Episode 4.11, then the webseries after.

      Horribly, the Sci Fi Channel released the webseries before episode 4.11 aired, even though they're set between 4.11 and 4.12. I missed the memo, and watched them right after they were posted online. That was frustrating, and I was spoiled (not too much; mostly I was just confused, but still, you should watch them in the intended order ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. VoldieBeth says:

    Yup, I was all happy and cuddling with kittens and puppies at the end of last episode, but now my heart is trampled again. And BSG trampled with spiked shoes this time! I can't wait for more!

  19. shoroko says:

    I didn't say this last time, but I think "The Hub" was probably a perfect episode, on par with "The Eye of Jupiter." It managed to cram in just about everything, from the hilarious moments of Batlar trying to talk to the Hybrid and Centurion, to the action of destroying the Hub, and the really intense dramatic scenes of Roslin's dreams and her decision to save Baltar. It's really great.

    This episode… I have a weird relationship with, because the first time I watched it was on a really crappy television in a dorm lounge, so I actually didn't understand what happened on Earth in the end. Like, I literally couldn't see how the ground was basically all black irradiated rock and how upset everyone looked. I could see something was wrong, but I didn't really get it until I read the reviews online after. It was weird. So it was nice to watch it again and really see the contrasting images of the celebrating crew and the dejection and despair on the surface. Even if "nice" here means "soul-crushing."

    I will admit that neither time have I gotten that caught up in the drama of whether Lee would really kill Tigh. I think I was too distracted by Adama, and the general revelations for those who knew the Four. That this would eventually end with the humans and Cylons going to Earth together just seemed so clear to me that I never even felt that tested by what was going on, even if Bear McCreary's awesome music did its best to change that.

    (She’s just mad that Roslin totally called her on sleeping with Baltar. STOP BEING BITTER.)

    Can't really agree with this, though :\ I can't blame Tory for being bitter about being slut-shamed, especially when Roslin then proceeded to do exactly what Anders, Tigh, and Tyrol did – tell her to seduce/fuck Baltar to get information. I mean, I don't want to get too much into this because it's not good for me to argue character points yet, but those kinds of experiences would leave me disillusioned, too, even if it feels like the show has been treating them as acceptable.

  20. ChronicReader91 says:

    My reaction to this whole episode:

    (I really hope that works.)

    Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขll be back later with some thinky thoughts and more in depth feelings, as soon as Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขve collected and identified them. Yes, there are so many emotions Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm not even sure what Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm feeling anymore.

  21. Erica says:

    Yeah, I had been mainlining episodes one after another up to this point, and I had to take a break of a few weeks where I watched nothing but stuff with happy endings, because oh the despair.

    Naq gura, jura V svanyyl gubhtug, bx, V pna qrny, yrg'f frr jung unccraf arkg… vg whfg tbg jbefr. Bu, Qrr. Bu, rirelbar.

  22. chikzdigmohawkz says:

    Here, have some music:

    [youtube CIvppNWZUtc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIvppNWZUtc youtube]

  23. bearshorty says:

    So this was the third episode of the show I saw, which was a little confusing at the time, and that is why it probably did not have the same devastating impact me. It was more devastating rewatching it now my second time through the whole series.

    This was my history of the show. My friend and I watched the Miniseries (maybe when the third season was on tv) since we were looking for a new show to watch and we both love sci-fi/fantasy. And we were not that impressed with it since it was more military in space that sci-fi so we didn’t start watching the show. Then a year or so later I saw commercials for this episode and that is was going to be important and there was internet chatter and I had nothing to do so I watched it. And it was pretty good, I thought. Better than the Miniseries even if some characters weren’t too recognizable anymore. And the Earth twist was fascinating. And I knew who the Cylons were before watching the whole show – I so spoiled myself. Then later I ended up watching the show finale in real time and I knew how it ended. And I thought maybe one day I should watch the whole show.

    Then I heard about “Caprica” and I liked the concept and I read that Wnzrf Znefgref will be in it and I knew then I needed to catch up so I could watch this new show. So I got DVDs on Netflix and convinced my Dad to watch it with me. And we watched the whole “Battlestar Galactica” while I knew this episode was were it was all heading. And the show really grew on me.

    And now a year and a half later I’m watching it a second time and it turned from “I like this show very much” to “I love this show and these characters and all the risks the writers and actors take.” It is so much more devastating now.

    • echinodermata says:

      Rot13'd the Caprica casting spoiler since it's on Mark's 'to be watched' list.

      • Peter says:

        oh yeah!
        That's something to look forward to; I never finished Caprica; I stopped on what I think was the midseason finale (gur rcvfbqr jurer Nznaqn whzcrq bss gur oevqtr naq gur Mbr-plyba rfpncrq naq guvatf nyy jrag gb fuvg vs V erzrzore pbeerpgyl? V zvtug unir gubfr anzrf jebat?)

  24. bearshorty says:

    So this was the third episode of the show I saw, which was a little confusing at the time, and that is why it probably did not have the same devastating impact me. It was more devastating rewatching it now my second time through the whole series.

    This was my history of the show. My friend and I watched the Miniseries (maybe when the third season was on tv) since we were looking for a new show to watch and we both love sci-fi/fantasy. And we were not that impressed with it since it was more military in space that sci-fi so we didn't start watching the show. Then a year or so later I saw commercials for this episode and that is was going to be important and there was internet chatter and I had nothing to do so I watched it. And it was pretty good, I thought. Better than the Miniseries even if some characters weren't too recognizable anymore. And the Earth twist was fascinating. And I knew who the Cylons were before watching the whole show – I so spoiled myself. Then later I ended up watching the show finale in real time and I knew how it ended. And I thought maybe one day I should watch the whole show.

    Then I heard about "Caprica" and I liked the concept and I read that James Marsters will be in it and I knew then I needed to catch up so I could watch this new show. So I got DVDs on Netflix and convinced my Dad to watch it with me. And we watched the whole "Battlestar Galactica" while I knew this episode was were it was all heading. And the show really grew on me.

    And now a year and a half later I'm watching it a second time and it turned from "I like this show very much" to "I love this show and these characters and all the risks the writers and actors take." It is so much more devastating now.

  25. chikzdigmohawkz says:

    Here, have some more music:

    [youtube 6UgXIf9jhF4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UgXIf9jhF4 youtube]

  26. Noybusiness says:

    Actually, it was President Lee Adama that granted the amnesty. He said "I've granted them an amnesty".

    Good catch that the ruins were the same Temple of Aurora that Lee and Kara were looking at in the beginning. A lot of viewers didn't notice that until Moore confirmed it in the podcast, in fact you may be the first I've seen.

  27. Noybusiness says:

    So many good tracks in this episode! The Signal, The Alliance, Diaspora Oratorio.

  28. @mfperez20 says:

    OMG This episode was AMAZING!! I hadn't been so shocked by an ending since the season 3 finale of LOST.

  29. Geolojazz says:

    My husband and I finished our second walkthrough about two weeks ago. Watching this episode, I told him how worried I was about Mark getting to it. XD

    And again. YOU ARE STILL NOT PREPARED.

  30. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    Oh, good catch!

  31. robin says:

    The first time I saw this episode, and Lee & Three are toe to toe, and they CHANGE THE REFRAIN — all of this has happened before, but it doesn't have to happen again — *chills*. To me that moment is just as powerful as finding earth and then losing that dream again.

    Adama completely breaking down was so painful to watch, because it felt so authentic. The acting was just incredible.

    I felt like Starbuck's lack of immediate breakdown & her rush to save The Four is something she maybe only could do now, in S4. Now that she's been forced to question who she is and where she came from, she can make that mental leap easier than Adama can. After her mysterious reappearance, her worldview and definition of personhood have been forcibly made more flexible.

  32. Noybusiness says:

    And yet more:

    [youtube _KeWQ4mjG8Y http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KeWQ4mjG8Y youtube]

  33. acityofdoors says:

    I was totally expecting Earth to be either a wasteland or there going to be humans there but they would be hostile, so it's nice to finally have one of my predictions come true! Still, seeing the faces on everyone as they have just had wind nuked out of their sails really sells this episode.

  34. fantasylover120 says:

    BSG writers, you've now broken me. Are you happy? Damn, this is some fine television.

  35. Ryan Lohner says:

    One of the biggest things I took away from this one is that Edward James Olmos is an absolutely fearless actor. How many other actors would allow themselves to be seen as such a hot blubbering mess, after four years of playing the badass commander who always knows what to do?

  36. karate0kat says:

    Literally my favorite piece of music from the whole show. It took an entire month of listening to this song every day before I had conditioned myself to not tear up.

  37. karate0kat says:

    I now present to you Katee Sackhoff's non spoilery theory on how Kara will react to having a Cylon husband, which includes possibly my favorite Cylon joke ever.

    [youtube SipOGdPT8H8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SipOGdPT8H8 youtube]

  38. Sean Murphy says:

    When this aired I was, like Mark and the rest of humanity (both real and in the fictional fleet!), not prepared. Them finding earth so early in the season should have been the tip off really but nope the opportunity to find earth happens so late in the episode and then the jump there instead of a long journey over the rest of the season never allows you to process.

    My original theory post season 1 was that Earth would be advanced but not want to deal with the colonials, and VERY unpleasesed that they were leading a fleet of genocidal cylons (cavils group have been able to follow every other step of the way) to their planet. I mean Kobol was devastated and 12 tribes went one way and the 13th went as far as they could in the other direction, there had to be a reason for that, which caused me to run through many imagined elaborate back-stories until this episode when it was for naught.

  39. John Small Berries says:

    During the hiatus after this episode aired, I read some speculation that the ruins visible from the landing site looked an awful lot like a destroyed New York City as seen from the present-day location of the Watchtower Society headquarters near the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Not sure if it was ever addressed by anyone who worked on the show, but it would be a fantastic little touch if that really was the inspiration behind the art.

    • Peter says:

      I have definitely seen the New York speculation, too. But I've also seen somewhere that the background skyline is designed to resemble Sydney. It wouldn't surprise me if they combined elements from different cities to create the visual, thus keeping us all on our toes even more.

  40. @LizatLAX says:

    FYI, this could have been, but realistically speaking, wasn't going to be the series finale. They had already finished shooting on the next episode when the strike was called, so it was in the can (though it needed post production, which Ron and David couldn't oversee at the time). We also knew the episode existed because SciFi originally posted stills from the next episode with the Revelations group, even though it was held back from broadcast. So there would've been one more, at minimum.

  41. akacj18 says:

    my reaction upon seeing this episode:

    Fuck me! what are they supposed to do now?!!

  42. ChronicReader91 says:

    I rarely get emotional over TV/movies to the point where I cry, but in the space of 45 minutes, I cried twice. Once from sadness. (Good god, I never want to see Adama breaking down and sobbing on the floor again for as long as I live. CANNOT. DEAL.) And once from joy. The fact that there was actual, genuine joy on BSG- not just “oh, this isn’t quite as soul crushing as it could have been, so I’ll consider it happiness”- was amazing enough. There was a part of me that was wondering what the heck the next ten episodes would be about, since they’d reached their goal. There was a part of me warning that this was TOO good to be true, that there had to be a catch. But at that moment, I was too caught up in the emotion to care.

    I really don’t know why I didn’t make this connection, especially considering how many times they referred to earth as the “home of the 13th tribe”, but until the moment I saw the somber reaction on the planet’s surface, it never occurred to me just how much they had relied on the assumption that the 13th tribe would actually be there. I kind of adore that last, tracking shot, just for how powerful it is. The looks on everyone’s faces, ranging from shock and devastation to just blankness, the lighting that made everyone’s faces grey and ashen looking, and the dead silence, except for the sounds of the ocean, told me everything I never guessed over the course of 3 season in a matter of seconds.

    Other thoughts:

    • Poor Gaeta. Don’t they have prosthetics in the colonial fleet? Arts and Crafts people, what are you working on that’s more important than a prosthetic leg for Gaeta?

    • I have to give Tory points for being slick. She knew Adama wouldn’t refuse her if her reasons had to do with Roslin's health. Slytherin would be proud to have you, Tory Foster.

    • THE VIPER. MIND BLOWN. Of course, it seems so obvious now, but I never made the connection between the viper and the musical signal.

    • “All this has happened before-“ “But it doesn’t have to happen again.” This. I love this so much.

    • I actually yelled “Yes!”when Lee said he’d granted the Four amnesty. So all my anxiety about them being imprisoned/killed when they were discovered was for nothing.

    ETA: So D'anna confirmed that the final cylon is NOT in the fleet. Which basically destroys any working theory I had about their identity. So… where the hell are they then? Where the hellelse is there to be? Unless they're a survivor of the initial attacks, and have been living on one of the planets the whole time. Actually, that would be pretty amusing, especially if the humans and cylons have to travel all the way back to teh colonies just to find them.

    • notemily says:

      Arts and Crafts people, what are you working on that’s more important than a prosthetic leg for Gaeta?

      If I didn't have such an upper respiratory infection right now that laughing is painful, I would have LOL'd at this. The idea of a bunch of puzzled Arts & Crafts people sitting around a table trying to figure out how to make a leg from a bunch of cut-off corners from pieces of paper and tiny Viper models. This is totally my head canon now.

  43. BSG: The fourth season will be our final season.

    Me: Noooo! We can fly around in space forever, slowly winning over the Cylons one by one, and having awesome space battles, and dealing with interesting political problems. Why do we ever have to find Earth?

    BSG: Joy! Earth is found! Ha ha, just kidding, it's a radioactive wasteland of hopelessness.

    Me: I take it back! I TAKE IT BACK! Don't do this — look at their faces. How can you do this to me/them?

    BSG: Oh, and guess what, Adama learns that his best friend is a Cylon, crushing his soul into the deepest darkness he's ever known.

    Me: I hate you.

  44. notemily says:

    Parents have to die? BUT NOT THE SPACE PARENTS THEY DON'T HAVE TO DIE RIGHT??

    Of course Tory is the first Cylon to step up. *eyeroll* What I can't believe is that nobody realized what she was doing!

    Gaius is like "Thank you for saving my life" and Laura is like "I have no idea what to say to you. You're Welcome? No Problem, Anytime? Don't Mention It? I Still Hate You?"

    I'm glad Tory actually did bring Laura her meds. Kind of a dick move otherwise.

    Gaius is like "I'm not so surprised Tory's a Cylon, actually. She's been saying weird-ass shit."

    Oh no, who did they just airlock? What the hell? (Yeah I remember not so much of season 4.)

    THE VIPER IS A CYLON VIPER! Or something! A Cyper?

    Tigh's Determined Face as he walks down the hall to Do What's Right. You kill me, Tigh. And then he stands in front of the Intimidating Adama Desk of Childhood Fear AND HE STILL TELLS HIM. <3.

    "When I met you, you had hair." Hee, that cracks me up. So… the final five can age? I am not clear on this. Do the Cylons build in aging to some of the models so they can be better sleeper agents, or are the final five different in that way? Or have Cylons always aged and we just don't know because we've never seen it happen? Like, they die, they wake up in a new body, but if they don't die, does their body keep getting old? I suppose that makes sense.

    Poor Adama just looks like a kicked puppy here. I feel really bad for him. Tigh was one dude he could always rely on. ๐Ÿ™

    Ha, I love that Tigh's plan is "flush me out an airlock!" He hates himself anyway, so it's win-win.

    The scene with Adama losing it ๐Ÿ™ And then Lee comes and holds him and he just cries. I can't deal. I had a livejournal icon with that scene on it but I was hardly ever sad enough to use it.

    So maybe parents don't have to die for children to come into their own… maybe the parents have to let the children take care of them.

    Tyrol's smile when they come to take him away. Finally he doesn't have to hide anymore.

    Anders is like "uh, sorry Kara. I would have told you, but then you'd have to kill me."

    "He doesn't give a tinker's damn about those three." What's a tinker's damn? Or is it a tinker's dam?

    Gaius, use your weaseling powers for good!

    Starbuck's Viper saves the day! And the Tigh!

    "Vg qbrfa'g unir gb unccra ntnva. Abg vs jr znxr hc bhe zvaqf gb punatr." Gbb onq gur raq bs gur fubj pbzcyrgryl ehvarq guvf yvar, qhqrf.

    Who the hell is even in command of the Battlestar now? Tigh's a Cylon and Adama's having a breakdown. Who's third? Gaeta?

    Adama is like "Orders? I'm in my bathrobe." But of course Roslin will save him.

    Damn, Lee is hot in these scenes. Pinstripe suit, longer hair. I know some people don't like the hair but I love it. I also like that he's all calm and sure of himself and steely-eyed. Rowr.

    And now I start to get sad because I know what's coming.

    Guvf rcvfbqr vf fb nznmvat. Gbb onq gur erfg bs frnfba sbhe jnfa'g fb terng. :/ Naq ol "gur erfg" V zrna "gur bgure Rnegu." JGS.

    "Ivfvoyr pbafgryyngvbaf ner n zngpu." Yvne.

    I can't even watch this. STOP SHOWING US HAPPY THINGS. STOP IT. STOOOOP IT

    WHY DOES CAPRICA SIX GO OVER TO TIGH. WHY. GAIUS IS RIGHT THERE! DID SHE JUST FORGET ABOUT HIM? Whatever, show.

    This is one of the best episodes they've ever done, I think. Would have even been a great series finale if they'd had to end it here. Well, except for that pesky "final Cylon" issue.

    Fb… pna V oynzr gur jevgre'f fgevxr sbe gur raq bs frnfba sbhe? V oynzr vg sbe n ybg bs bgure fuvggl guvatf unccravat va zl snibevgr fubjf. Qba'g rira trg zr fgnegrq ba jung gurl qvq gb Mnpx ba Obarf.

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