Battlestar Galactica season 2 episodes 6 & 7 review: Home
An acclaimed two parter from the second season of Battlestar Galactica, Simon's a little underwhelmed by Home...
I must admit, I had to check up elsewhere on just how highly these two episodes were rated, because Home - while clearly vital to the ongoing narrative of the show - wasn't among my favourites. For the purposes of this overview, and my typing fingers, I've knocked both parts together in this one piece.
The overriding arc to the story is the continued search for the 13th colony, which has led President Laura Roslin and her gang of followers to Kobol. Before they get there, Starbuck and Helo meet up with them, as they flee Caprica. But, of course, they've got an unwelcome surprise on board, in the shape of the Caprica version of Sharon. Not everyone is pleased to see her, not least Apollo, who immediately sticks a gun to her head. Then, Helo points a gun at Apollo, and we have a good old fashioned Mexican stand-off. Ever the diplomat, Roslin defuses it, and promises not to kill Sharon, a promise she then breaks quickly when she orders her to be chucked out of an airlock. We've learnt it right there, folks: never trust a politician.
Sharon, though, earns a reprieve when she reveals she knows the location of the Tomb Of Athena. That's the magic words that tick the box in Roslin's mind, and her execution is quickly halted. In short, Sharon - who, by now, everyone knows is a Cylon - is joining the adventure to Kobol.
As is Tom Zarek. We've still not seen any real evidence of his supposed true colours on screen (I thought he was one of the calmer characters in the prison riot!), although it's clear he operates towards the darker side of the force. But here, we see him plotting with a new face by the name of Meier, with the two hatching a plan to bump off Apollo at the first opportunity on Kobol.
Things are equally fractious on Galactica. Adama is keen to appoint a new flight leader, and he picks Birch, a man who's loyal, but seemingly can't, er, flight lead. Part of this is inevitably to demonstrate how good Apollo was, but when Birch nearly gets one of his pilots killed, then fluffs another exercise, he's quickly on his way out. Galactica is clearly a lot weaker without both Starbuck and Apollo on board.
But it does have Dualla, and it's she that he turns to. She's a character who's lived in the background primarily thus far, but she figures, correctly, that Adama wants someone to talk to who won't challenge him, yet that's precisely what she does. She tells him that Adama has let them all down, explaining that he gave them hope, yet now the fleet is split in two. She hits a few raw nerves here, and after seeing Adama crying last episode, he's clearly a man some way from his best. Dualla, though, kicks him somewhere back towards normal, and he tells the crew that he's going to Kobol, and that they're going to reunite the fleet. That ain't going to be easy, I suspected, but it ultimately proves to be a little more straightforward than I thought. That said, it's not too hard to imagine that both sides would prefer them all to be united than apart and exposed.
Anyway, a bit of Baltar action, which spans both parts of Home. Firstly, Number Six tells him that he has a special purpose, a special destiny (and I don't think we're talking Steve Martin in The Jerk here), and this temporarily calms his paranoias. But they're off the scale when, in part two, she reveals that there's no chip in his head after all. He gets this confirmed, eventually, which throws open an abundance of questions as to just where Number Six fits in. We'll come to the answer given shortly.
Down on Kobol, President Roslin's expedition isn't going well, and she herself is clearly distraught by the death of the Priestess who she has been confiding in of late. Will we see another copy of the Priestess in the future? She's certainly on my list of candidates. That said, Galactica I thought would be a show about the search for the covert Cylons, but I find in the midst of most episodes that it's generally towards the back of my mind. Is that just me? I reflect on them afterwards, but as the complexity of the relationships between the human survivors intensifies, it almost seems moot at times who's Cylon and who isn't.
Adama, meanwhile, has taken a team down to the surface that includes The Chief, and Roslin's former secretary, Billy. He figures that Billy will be able to get through to her, and by the look on Roslin's face when she sees him, he's absolutely right.
Then we get the moment where Adama, still not entirely in control of his feelings, sees his assailant, as he spots the copy of Sharon who's travelling with Roslin's party. He thus does the only logical thing, and tries to kill her.
Sharon's character evolves a little more, though: she specifically says that she remembers The Chief, but this copy of her has never met him. How does that work exactly? Is there a shared memory bank somewhere between all the clones? We're not finding out yet, that's for sure.
Elsewhere, Zarek and Meier are still plotting, but this time the plan has changed. They decide to tell Sharon that the Galactica copy of her has been killed without trial, and then put a gun in her hands. It backfires, and she kills Meier instead, proving her worth to Adama in the process. But what was it we were told about this particular model? Weak, but gets her mission done in the end? She's certainly not coming to my house for Christmas.
Finally, Roslin finds what she's looking for, as the party arrive, and enter the Tomb Of Athena. We discover that the colonies are named after signs of the zodiac (neat touch, that), and when Starbuck uses the Arrow of Apollo, they find themselves transported - in a leap of faith, really - to a field, where they work out a way to Earth. How they've jumped there is never explained, and for once, I suspect it never will be.
Has faith restored them all, and brought them back together? For the minute, yes. Adama leads the applause for Roslin, and the Fleet is back intact, at least for the minute. But where are the Cylons? And what have they been up to while the Fleet has been split? The next episode, Final Cut, may have some answers. It might tell us more about the tantalising ending for Baltar too, when Number Six declares that she's his angel of God, sent to protect him, until the end of the human race. Crikey.
I was, ultimately, a little less impressed than usual by the Home two parter, which seemed to spend a lot of time sidestepping and doing some inevitable patching up, before it got to its revelations at the end. However, even Battlestar not burning on all cylinders makes for some smashing viewing. Until next time...