Adama totally kisses the President. But that's at the end. We open on Apollo, ejected and drifting in space and watching the big fight against the Cylon fleet go down, which gives things a dreamy vibe. Then we jump back to where we stopped, basically, and follow up all the threads from last week. They're all pretty sad. This is a gorgeous, beautifully-shot, wonderfully acted and scored mess of hurt feelings from beginning to end. The fight with the Cylon fleet goes swimmingly, although the Blackbird sustains some damage, and we're treated to the haunting image of "tens of thousands" of Cylon bodies floating out as the Resurrection Ship finally goes down in flames. Admiral Cain -- doing a spot-on impression of Starbuck's abusive mother -- specifically tells Starbuck not to screw up or flinch when it's time for Starbuck to kill her. Apollo gets his own death wish and goes all spooky nihilist guy when he learns from his dad that Roslin is behind the assassination order. This is somewhat out of the blue, since he hasn't even talked to her in half a season, but it's Apollo: he's dramatic. Gaius Baltar sells out ChipSix for emotional ammunition with Gina, and she disappears, maybe forever. Boomer asks Adama why he -- or humanity -- even deserves to live, throwing back in his face that weird rambling speech he gave in the miniseries, and ultimately giving him the necessary ethical stuff to keep from giving Starbuck the kill order. Cain responds by not giving her XO the order to kill Bill, everybody cheers and hugs, then Gina escapes and surprises Cain in her quarters, killing her in as ignominious a fashion as possible. Starbuck's eulogy for Admiral Cain is creepy and vastly uninformed, and seems to presage lots more stress between her and the Commander. Who is now an Admiral! Roslin gives Bill a promotion, Fisk is the new captain of the Pegasus, and Adama pulls another bizarre ad lib out of his bag of tricks, planting one on the President and then stumbling back home in a fuss of tears and really intense smiles. It's pretty clear she is going to die in the next five minutes. Starbuck and Apollo process things at the end of the episode, with Dualla listening outside the door and feeling all kinds of emotions that indicate Apollo is really screwed. So: Apollo and apparently Starbuck are going to be weird and angry for a while, Billy's clearly screwed, Cain's really dead, the Pegasus is now part of the Colonial Fleet, Chief and Helo are of course pardoned (after getting assaulted by the rape-happy guys from the Pegasus, whom we assume-slash-hope will be getting spaced to hell under Fisk's new command), Chief bows out of Helo's love life, and Boomer cries with joy to see them both still alive. Such an intense episode -- and a good capper for a very, very intense three-parter several months in the making. Next week: Baltar invents Toaster Stem Cell research, and everybody gets crazy uptight about it.
Okay, seriously, every week. How do they do this? I mean, "Final Cut" wasn't that bad -- I liked it a lot, actually, and it's still better than most things you can see on the TV. If you continually reset the bar for yourself...I don't know what happens. I guess there's always room for improvement, but I don't understand how this show keeps getting better and better. Like next week. The only way next week could suck is if they kill Roslin, which is totally unlikely, and would in fact be so awful that it might turn around to good again. I don't know...it's just nice. It's nice to love something that is very, very excellent.
We open on Apollo, floating in an open lake with cliffs in the distance. You thought that maybe the cliffhanger would enter into this, didn't you? The whole thing where half of the cast is about to kill the other half? You were wrong. However, if the idea of a mostly naked Lee Adama floating around works for you, you're in luck, because that's half the episode right there. He stares up, and there's that zooming bomb Doppler sound coming out of the somewhat cloudy sky, and something plunging down from out of the sun, which then swerves at the last second to become a Raider in the middle of the assault on the Resurrection Ship. It's a very tricky little shot taking us from a nearly silent, calm, and sunlit place to a pitched battle in the middle of black space. Nice and jarring. We come back around on Apollo in his Viper suit, strapped into the Blackbird seat, having obviously ejected, watching the huge fight going on between the Vipers and Raiders and the Battlestars and the Basestars.
Jump back forty-eight hours, with Apollo and Starbuck discussing her planned (and seemingly suicidal) assassination of Admiral Cain. "They say shoot," she justifies, "We shoot." Apollo has trepidation to spare, and Starbuck's almost irritated that he's bringing her down out of the necessary military hoo-wah zone she needs to be in right now. "I could use some backup. I'll understand if you can't," she says, and you have to give her points for not sounding half as snitty as she could have. Apollo chides her that she knows better, and yeah, she knows he's got her back: "People have to have this, Kara. Trust. Your word and my word." Her eyes track his face. Maybe she's looking for the anvils, considering that this line works a lot better in context than it would if Apollo wasn't about to have a whole crisis of faith and trust, and Adama wasn't about to have a whole epiphany about the difference between Us and Them. "We don't have this, then we really are no different than the Cylons," Apollo adds. He turns away, bummed but resigned to saving Starbuck's crazy ass yet again, in the middle of the Pegasus and its whole armed and hair-trigger crew, after she shoots their captain. She grabs him awkwardly and they embrace like adolescents about to head into the fray. It's devastating. One of the things that doesn't really hit you right away about this is how totally about to die they both are.