Battlestar Galactica season 2 episode 2 review: Valley Of Darkness

With Adama still in jeopardy more scars are inflicted as Centurions rampage through Galactica...

2.2 Valley Of Darkness

Not that I ever suspected there would be, but there’s no bottling of the cliffhanger at the end of Scattered in Valley Of Darkness. There is a party of Cylon Centurions, they are on-board Galactica, and they do indeed wreak havoc.

Things don’t kick off straight away, though, as firstly, we get to see that Galactica’s computer system is having problems. The system goes down, power goes down, the lights flick off, and while they do eventually scramble some power back, it’s clear that the networking of computers and the Cylon virus from the last episode has come back to haunt Galactica quickly. Given that the show is often content to logically leave its cliffhangers and threads until it’s appropriate to the narrative to do so (as opposed to something such as Lost, where I sometimes find that it’s just the writers playing games rather than any kind of master plan), it’s surprising to see this so quickly addressed.

I’m still banking on further repercussions, and for the wrath of Adama to be unleashed when he discovers what’s happened. But Adama spends the episode still critically ill, and on the table. Doctor Cottle is finally on-board, though, to perform life saving surgery. This is still, for me, necessary going through the motions, as I don’t buy that Adama is exiting the series here.

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His main appearance in this episode is down on Kobol, where, in a dream sequence, he takes Baltar’s baby and kills it. This leads into Number 6 telling Baltar of the frailties of humanity, as they sit surrounded by skulls. She also tells him that the scriptures – the ones that President Roslin now wholeheartedly believes and thinks she is part of (even more so when she sees the bullet holes in her clothing) – are completely false. Are they? Or is Battlestar making further points about the division and perception of religion? Looking forward to finding out.

Back on Galactica, then and the Centurions are on the warpath. And these are tougher beasts than we’ve seen before. They require explosive ammo to beat, and naturally, there’s a major scarcity of that. Thus, the Centurions begin a rampage through the ship, intent on taking it over and then turning it on the rest of the fleet. It’s yet another total life or death moment.

In the midst of this, Apollo liberates President Roslin from the brig, and then gets the order off Tigh to ambush the Cylons before they can get to their finally target, Aft Damage. If the Cylons get there, then they can decompress the ship, but after a bloody and effects-intensive gun battle, the Centurions are defeated. That said, they’ve clearly left scars, both physical and mental. And there are threads to pick up here, too: have they left anything on the ship before they attacked? How much damage have they done? And is their battleship still on-board, and can the crew of Galactica do anything with it?

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Furthermore, did Tigh say in the midst of all of this that he has seen the tactics that the Cylons employ – splitting into two groups, moving in completely different directions – before? If so, where? I’m still convinced that his wife is Cylon – and please don’t tell me, as I’m still wading through the series! – but where does Tigh fit into their master plans? Or is he, as I currently suspect, a flawed human being struggling to cope?

The immediate priority appears to be licking wounds, though, as Tigh once again shows the strains of command. There’s still time for him to cross words with Apollo, though, as both Tigh and Adama Jr agree that the latter isn’t fit to wear the uniform, albeit for differing, unspoken reasons.

Down on Caprica, Starbuck meanwhile, goes home and we get some insight into her. She’s broke, keeps getting her electricity cut off, but is surrounded by her drawings. There’s a calm before the storm feel here, as eventually Starbuck finds the keys to her truck, and off she and Helo go. No sign of Boomer, though.

The highlight of the episode for me, though, amidst the firefights and action on Galactica, was down on Kobol, as The Chief administers lethal medication into Socinus to put him out of his suffering. It’s a moving scene, and I’m warming more to the character of the The Chief with every episode.

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Next time? It’s Fragged. And we’ll see if Adama is finally about to wake up and see just how much more chaos is all around him…

Check out our review of episode 2.1 here.