I know you can't write about BSG without using the word frack, so just let me say from the outset: It's been a long, long fracking time since a new episode, Razor notwithstanding, and I'm glad it's back!
The season starts off with a bang exactly where the last left off and that's good. Who is not happy about the return of Kara (except the most literal-minded naysayers who will have us believe dead always means dead, even on television)? And Gaius continues to provide his trademark dose of nearly simultaneous comic relief and depth as his character proceeds on his meandering yet meaningful path. Even Anders provided something interesting in this episode (never thought I would say that, not ever) - a still open question of recognition vs control amongst the Cylons.
More than any of that, this episode suggests that we'll really be exploring the religious/philosophical angle for the final season: What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to act on faith? We meet the adherents of a new religion, with implications for both Cylons and humans. And because this is BSG, none of this comes out of left field, either story-wise or character-wise. These big questions have been an overarching issue throughout the series, particularly with those characters trying to eke out an existence in the borderlands where humans and Cylons mix - Sharon, Number Six, D'Anna, Gaius, Kara, and Helo (and now The Four). With this episode we're again confirming that this is what this show is all about at the end of the day.
Once the episode was over (cliffhangered, but we expected that), I felt a little let down, but maybe that's the year wait talking. That said, where they've been illuminated somewhat, I'm liking the direction that some of the characters are taking -- Kara's challenges now that she has returned, Lee's career choice, and especially where Gaius is going. And I'm curious what The Four will do (other than exchange meaningful glances), where intention and identity meet biology and technology -- always of course with Boomer's assassination attempt not far from the mind (particularly Tigh's, it would seem).
Finally, as a frustrated Lost viewer, it's nice to have a little faith that my questions (at least the big ones) will be answered by the end of the season. Nice, but of course, bittersweet.
PS I'm still gunning for Gaius as the final Cylon.
- ratgrrrl of cultitude