Everything louder than everything else! Just because this is the best show on television doesn't mean that it can't occasionally high-jump right the hell over the bar it has set for itself. The editing itself deserves a big sloppy Emmy-flavored kiss, and even that weird "Pegasus" New Age music flips itself inside-out into meaningful. Sorry to be all agog, but damn. I haven't felt this close to a myocardial infarction since I watched "The Resistance" through "Home " all in one sitting. I worried that the last recap, all that "the end of one chapter, the beginning of another" stuff, was being a little glib. It wasn't. Part of the issue is that it all hangs together, but not in a way that makes sense at all. I don't even know if I can encapsulate everything that happened tonight! That's so lame! I'll try. Random Plot Encapsulator Go! The presidential elections finally begin. Bill and Laura walk arm in arm, quietly laughing, hysterical and adorable. The even-more-brilliantly acted Chief (!) attacks Cally (!!) horrifically and somnambulistically, revealing his creepy serial suicide dreams, scared to death he's a Cylon and secretly digging the idea. All of this comes up in an ongoing counseling session with a grumpy/awesome Cottle-as-priest played by Al from Quantum Leap. A habitable planet is discovered. A fully lovable and sexy and nearly-redeemed Roslin tells Gaius to go frack himself (verbatim!) after he changes the abortion platform to a "Forget Earth" platform, in favor of settling the random planet. Zarek reveals his pro-Baltar influence publicly even as Chip Six is demanding a threesome with him, which, when one-third of your threesome is an invisible evil robot, basically amounts to dudes kissin'. Tory reveals a gift for rhetoric, but not yet her gift for being a total Cylon. I love her so much I'd rather be wrong. Noodle-slurping Lee and Kara continue the Longest Mutual Apology in the History of the Colonies, beautifully, and in a way that grants them both real grace for once. Racetrack might have shadowcatted a bunch of people into a mountain and then died. A huge fleet of Raptors and Vipers is dispatched to Caprica in order to fulfill Kara's promise to come back and rescue the Resistance. The very-awesome-throughout Kara is violently protective of Boomer, and later reunites with Anders, who has become cool, and all of them -- Kara, Sharon, Helo, etc. -- get pinned down under fire on Caprica for, like, the fifteenth time. You know I hate to fawn over the awesomeness of this show, but...I'm sure I'll find some problems for the full recap. I'll do my best. It doesn't stand alone as well as previous "Part I" episodes have done, but I can't really work up a complaint about that, because I am freaking out. And next week's ninety minutes.
This is a funny one, because while everything that happens, each piece of the episode, is awesome, nothing actually happens. It's a great episode; don't get me wrong. Pretty much everything that I've complained about is gone here. But it feels like such a setup that it's funny to take it apart and talk about it. I very much enjoyed every single second of it, for sure, but, like, I don't really remember anything that happens, after the fact, and there's so much momentum toward the finale that it's a strange little thing. Ron Moore -- whose wife, I think, is the best in the world -- said something interesting about that: basically, that endings are less fun to write than beginnings, because with endings, you have to wrap everything up and make it all click, whereas with episodes like this, you take every ball you have, and toss it in the air, and that's more satisfying to write. I get that, because he already knows where it's going. But we don't. So it's like when the window comes down at a peep show, at the end. Or so I would assume.
The following segment includes some violent content. Parental discretion is advised. They are not kidding. The previouslies are introduced by James Callis, and include Kara somehow having a conversation with Laura that takes place simultaneously on Kobol, in a forest, and on Galactica, in the sickbay. Apparently, at some point while Laura was on bedrest, they had this magical conversation and it changed Laura's mind about returning to Kobol -- even though that's the last thing she would have agreed to on her deathbed. I'm surprised Laura didn't airlock Starbuck's ass just for asking. Maybe she was distracted by the fact that she was suddenly in a forest and it was an entire season ago, and still with the cancer. I think it's probably best we haven't seen this conversation before, since clearly it would have been confusing. Or maybe next week we'll learn that Laura's back on the chamalla and it all came to her in a dream. The subconscious is a poor editor, but this show is generally brilliant on that front. This episode in particular, I think, is a standout precisely because of the editing. Normally, you don't notice good editing, because that's the point of good editing, but when it hits so many emotional and narrative points, like a thousand home runs in every act, that's a whole other level of good.
Anyhow. Welcome to the longest teaser in the history of television. I love this, because it gives you a whole insight into how this episode is going to go: lots of energy, cutting across fifteen separate lives like a razor. All the loss of faith in the audience suggested by the ham-fisted dialogue in "Downloaded" is repaid in this one, with interest. It's brilliant. This despite nothing really happening; everything that happens has the immediacy and the viscerality of life, and none of the follow-through of fiction. It's awesome.