FYI, this entire thing is spoilers and only spoilers, including the identity of the 5th Cylon. Don’t read if you don’t want to know.
Battlestar Galactica Official Site
The Time: Fridays, 9:00 PM, Sci-Fi Channel
In this reimagining of the 1978 space epic, the human survivors of the Cylon massacre of the Twelve Colonies struggle to survive in a ragtag fleet of ships led by the last human warship, the Battlestar Galactica. Shepherded by Admiral William Adama and President Laura Roslin, the Colonial Fleet are under constant threat of attack by the Cylon Armada, who seek nothing short of their extermination. Adding to the danger is the fact the Cylons have infiltrated the fleet with twelve models that look human. Eleven of those models have been discovered, but one still remains. The quest to find Earth, the mythical thirteenth colony, has just been fulfilled, with devastating results. As the joint human / renegade Cylon alliance discovers a destroyed planet, the question remains of what to do next as this storied television series counts down its final ten episodes.
• Edward James Olmos – Admiral William Adama
• Mary McDonell – President Laura Roslin
• Katee Sackhoff – Captain Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
• Jamie Bamber – Lee “Apollo” Adama
• James Callis – Dr. Gaius Baltar
• Michael Hogan – Colonel Saul Tigh
• Tricia Helfer – Cylon Model Six / Caprica / Natalie / Head 6
• Grace Park – Cylon Model Eight / Sharon “Athena” Agathon / Boomer
• Aaron Douglas – Galen Tyrol / Cylon Final Five
• Tahmoh Penikett – Captain Karl “Helo” Agathon
• Allessandro Juliani – Felix Gaeta
• Lucy Lawless – Cylon Model #3 / Deanna
• Dean Stockwell – Cylon Model One / Cavil
• Richard Hatch – Vice President Tom Zarek
The Episode: “Sometimes a Great Notion”
Kara struggles to come to grips with the Cylon Hybrid’s ominous prediction that she will “lead them to their destruction,” while Adama, Roslin and the Colonial fleet face despair over their shocking discovery that Earth is a wasteland.
Shocked is about how I feel after seeing this episode. There are no less than three major reveals of big time plot threads going back to the beginning of the show or very near it, and an even more shocking death. It’s been six months since we discovered that Earth has been turned into a planet-wide disaster area. “Sometimes a Great Notion” has some powerful stuff going on within its hour-long running time. As shitty as it’s been having to have had to wait until now to start getting answers to how things are going to turn out, at least the producers throw us a bone – several in fact – by answering some of those questions. Of course they almost bring up as many new ones as they answer.
On to the big stuff. Earth is destroyed. The inhabitants offed themselves the same way the Colonies were destroyed, by playing nuclear Risk apparently. The big reveal here? The 13th Tribe of Kobol were Cylons (wtf?). That’s right, skinjobs, all of them. Their bones are all over the planet. They also had models of Centurions no one had ever seen before, providing more evidence. Wow. Did not see that one coming. Another curve ball? The four of the Final Five used to live on Earth, some 2,000 years ago. Tyrol got his shadow burned onto a wall when the bombs hit, Anders used to play a guitar, and Tigh was in a building.
As for Starbuck, she finds herself on Earth. Literally. The Colonial signal the fleet followed to Earth is her destroyed Viper. Her charred body is in the cockpit wreckage. Leoben is just as freaked as she is. Kara wonders who she is if Starbuck is dead in a crashed Viper. Of course Starbuck actually exploded in space, so why would the ship be on Earth? Yet another question to be answered.
Dee has trouble accepting the reality of the fleet’s discovery. She gathers some jacks on the planet, then goes back up to the ship. She and Lee have a heart to heart, a perfect date and look to be reconciling. Then Dee shoots herself in the head. Cue jaw on the floor. The way the Adamas take it is also somewhat of a surprise. I would have expected reactions to be reversed. Still, wow.
Meanwhile, the entire fleet is also crushed about Earth, and none more so than Laura (okay, maybe Dee obviously). She burns the Prophecy of Pythia and loses it. She tells Adama he was wrong for listening to her. Everything is a lie, the universe sucks, pack it in, time to go home…oops, there is no home to go to. Curl up in a ball on the floor then till she thinks of something better.
Finally the Fifth Cylon is…Ellen Frakkin’ Tigh. Saul realizes this when he remembers his former life on Earth – with Ellen – and taking a dip in the ocean. They kept us guessing, and for some of you who undoubtedly had pools on this thing, collect your winnings if you guessed correctly.
It’s not often I say that a show has been worth the wait. Battlestar Galactica has been worth the wait, in spades. Writing, acting, pacing of the big reveals, the set ups, the intimate moments, the confrontations, all great. This is one of the best episodes of the entire series run. I can only wonder where the fleet goes from here, I only know that I’ve got to find out. If I’ve ever forgotten that I love this show, I all of a suddenly remember why.