Battlestar Galactica season 2 episode 13 review: Epiphanies

The fate of President Roslin takes centre stage, as a supposedly calm episode of Battlestar Galactica proves anything but...

There’s a little bit of the calm after the storm about Epiphanies, but even calmness in the world of Battlestar Galactica seems to mean that the fit is going to hit the shan somewhere along the line. In the case of this latest episode, it looks like President Roslin’s battle against her cancer is coming to an end, which if nothing else, gives Mary McDonnell another chance to show what a cracking actress she is.

It actually becomes something of an episode of life and death too, when Roslin, pretty much from her deathbed, orders that Sharon’s pregnancy be aborted, as she’s increasingly convinced that it’s not a good idea, and poses one hell of a risk to the remaining humans. She might have a point there, but for some reason, this child continues to live on. It’s clear, at least from where I’m sitting, that this child is going to be born, and then I suspect that the trouble really will begin.

This calm episode also has the small matter of sabotage to deal with, and it seems that amongst the fleet, a batch of Cylon sympathisers has been making themselves heard. There’s bound to be a Cylon behind them somewhere, but don’t ask me right now who it is.

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Anyway, these sympathisers sabotage some of the ammunition for the Vipers, and the investigation leads to one of the crew, who yells that they should demand peace with the Cylons. Part of the thinking here is the feeling that the Cylon war is unwinnable, and I’m inclined to agree. I’m over two seasons away from seeing the end credits of Battlestar for the last time, but I’d still wager that the population of the show left at the end is neither 100% human, nor 100% Cylon. Again, there’s no doubt plenty of egg being lined up to pelt my face with.

And then it’s back to Dr Baltar. With Roslin dying, it’s beginning to hit him that he might be President soon, a thought that surely fills anyone watching the show by this point with a requisite amount of horror. Urged on by Number 6, he comes up with a quick ploy to save Sharon’s baby, for scientific reasons, of course, and eventually he deduces that its blood cells could be the best healing medicine of all. As such, Adama agrees to stop the planned abortion, and Baltar gets to work.

And this is where it gets interesting. By basically injecting Cylon blood into Roslin, her cancer is cured in double quick time. But at what cost? There are no clues given here, but given we’ve spent umpteen episodes deliberating the ramifications of Sharon delivering her baby, and given that Roslin was pathologically opposed to anything that mixed Cylon and human blood in the same body, this surely has to have consequences. This being Battlestar Galactica, who knows when said consequences will rear their head.

Just as my head was working its way through that, then you get Roslin’s dreary-eyed dream of seeing Baltar back on Caprica with Number 6. They have good dreams in this show, and again, nothing is said yet, but the writers nonetheless have popped a potentially useful bullet in Roslin’s back pocket.

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To round off the serene and quiet episode, there’s still time to fit in another bombshell. Quite literally. The alternative version of Number 6 is one of those behind the attacks, it seems, and the Cylon sympathisers are showing little sign of wanting to stop. Until a gift arrives for the aforementioned Number 6 from Baltar. Which just happens to be the nuclear warhead that he blagged off Adama to help with his experiments.

Oh shit.

This may, in the grand scheme of things, be an episode of the show where once more some pieces get moved around the board, but it’s generated so many potential fresh new threads, not least surrounding Roslin, that it could yet turn out to be one of the more pivotal episodes