Battlestar Galactica season 1 episode 12 review: Kobol’s Last Gleaming

Simon finally gets to the first half of Battlestar Galactica's maiden season's finale...

12. Kobol’s Last Gleaming

Several threads start to converge in part one of Kobol’s Last Gleaming, the penultimate episode of the revived Battlestar Galactica‘s maiden season. And it takes little time to get going, as we see Baltar in bed with Starbuck. Before you can say “Apollo’s not going to be happy with that”, the younger Adama confirms his discomfort, and the relationship between him and Starbuck ices up.

That’s not the only problem there, though, because it turns out that Cylon Number 6 in Baltar’s brain is the jealous sort, too. And Baltar isn’t best chuffed when Starbuck calls out Apollo’s name mid-act. Blimey.

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President Roslin, meanwhile, discovers that her cancer is getting worse, and at the most, she has six months to live. Boomer, meanwhile, might not even have that long, given that we see her stick a gun in her mouth, ready to kill herself, as she fights the fact that she strongly suspects she’s a Cylon. She’s a weak model, apparently, but one who will see the job through.

The breakthrough this episode, though, is the discovery of what looks like the planet Kobol on a routine reconnaissance mission. This, in turn, then subsequently leads to Roslin getting another vision of what the Priestess confirms is the City Of The Gods. Even though nobody else can see it, Roslin is keen for it to be checked out. When she also gets visions of the Tomb of Athena, and the Arrow of Apollo, that will apparently point the way to Earth, she fully accepts the sacred scrolls. This, as you’d expect, puts her on a firm collision course with Adama.

Adama, however, is happy to see the discovery of Kobol, not least because it looks like an inhabitable planet. A survey is ordered, which Baltar – at the urging of the continually-terrific Number 6 – manages to land himself a place on. That survey hits problems quickly, though, when the three Raptors sent to Kobol encounter heavy Cylon forces. One crash-lands on the planet (the Raptor with Baltar on board – and, on a point of order, when the windscreen is kicked out of the ship, wouldn’t the air temperature have potentially frozen everyone fairly quickly?), one is destroyed, and the other legs it back to Galactica.

The stranded Raptor, however, can’t be rescued, given that there’s a Cylon Basestar in the way. Starbuck chips in with a cunning plan, to use the Cylon Raider they have on board Galactica to get close enough to said Basestar to do the necessary damage. But Roslin has another plan for Starbuck, and instead asks that she take the Raider to Caprica to hunt for the Arrow of Apollo. She does this by breaking Starbuck’s faith in Adama (something we saw temporarily happen in reverse earlier in the series), revealing that he doesn’t know where Earth is.

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Also on Caprica, incidentally, Helo shoots the version of Boomer down there, but doesn’t kill her. His emotional ties to her, though, are seemingly all but gone.

This felt like an episode of moving chess pieces around a board, fracturing many relationships between characters slightly in the process. The main thread for me was Roslin’s increased devotion to the prophecies, and I wonder if that’s what might come round and bite everyone in the backside come the season finale. I’ll be taking a look at that tomorrow…