Battlestar Galactica season 2 episodes 11 and 12 review: Resurrection Ship

Battlestar Galactica's stunning second season delivers an outstanding two parter: meet the Resurrection Ship...

2.11 Resurrection Ship

If my head was reeling after the arrival of the Pegasus last episode, the two parter Resurrection Ship, that I’ll cover in the one write-up, has just given it an even harder smack. It made me appreciate, though, that I was watching this on DVD, as waiting a week between the two parts would have driven me completely up the wall.

Anyway, there’s business to resolve from the last episode first, as the vipers from Galactica and Pegasus are set to do battle with one another over the issue of Helo and Tyrol’s impending execution. We get a frantic space battle as part of this, and one that’s only stopped when a ship suddenly appears to be advancing on them all. It turns out it’s Starbuck, with her pictures of what’s revealed to be the Resurrection Ship of the title. We don’t find out immediately, but this is a big floating ship where dead Cylons get downloaded into brand new bodies. In short, knock out the heavily, heavily defended ship, and the Cylons that are killed will die forever.

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Before it can be attacked though, Admiral Cain and Commander Adama have differences to resolve. Adama refuses the invitation to the Pegasus, for fairly obvious reasons, and they both meet on Colonial One, in the company of President Roslin. Roslin, rightly, is none-too-impressed that the pair effectively generated a civil war in the fleet, and she brokers a truce, that looks as steady as a television cabinet made out of tissue paper. Still, it buys Helo and Tyrol a temporary reprieve.

Admiral Cain then turns her attention to Starbuck. Kara had managed to fly right up the nose of the Cylon ship, and has brought back stunning images of the aforementioned Resurrection Ship. It’d be remiss not to take a minute to proclaim what a creation it is, too, a superb piece of design and effects work. Cain is clearly impressed too, because she promotes Starbuck to Captain. The plan is then put together to take out the Cylon ships, and it’s Captain Starbuck chosen to lead the attacks.

It’s Roslin, however, who fears the long game here. She sees where matters with the increasingly ruthless, yet clearly effective, Admiral Cain will lead, and warns Adama that she has to be taken out. Because already, there’s little doubt that she’d do the same to Adama, should the chance arise. We’ve also learned by this point that the Pegasus abandoned the civilian fleet it was supposed to be guarding, harvesting parts from the ships and killing anyone who didn’t want to join the Pegasus. Just who were supposed to be the Cylons, again?

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Over on the Pegasus meanwhile, Baltar is talking with the version of Number 6 in the brig over there, and very gradually earning her trust. She wants to die, but eventually helps Baltar identify the Cylon ship that Galactica and Pegasus are going after. Those two are clearly bonding, and the other Number 6 ain’t happy.

But then we get to that cliffhanger. Just to have the ships flying off to fight the Cylons would have got me back for the next episode, but here, we see both Cain and Adama issuing orders to Lt Fisk and Starbuck respectively. Neatly interspersed, Starbuck is on a mission to kill Cain, while Fisk and a shedload of marines are gunning for Adama. And that’s where they leave you. The gits.

Fortunately, I barely had to pause for breath before the next episode started up, and we see Starbuck asking Apollo to back up her on her mission. He’s not keen on it, and pops off to see his father, who reaffirms the order.

Over on the Pegasus, meanwhile, Helo and Tyrol are having seven shades whacked out of them, by a pair of its crew members who’d just been apparently watching Full Metal Jacket on DVD. The vicious beating is eventually stopped by Fisk, who clearly is no fan of Helo and Tyrol. But he interjects nonetheless.

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The big battle itself then gets underway, but I found this the least interesting part of the episode. Granted, on any other show such a showcase special effects workout – and this was truly impressive – would win me over every time, but I found myself keen to get to the human side of the story again. Still, nice shoot out, and the Resurrection Ship eventually gets taken down, although not before Apollo is left floating in space.

It’s a melancholy moment this; we’ve seen several characters appear to throw the towel in, but this is the first time that Apollo actually looks beaten. Still, he’s eventually rescued, but only after the paddles are applied to his chest. How much damage will that have done, I wonder?

Back on Pegasus, Baltar is still talking to the Number 6 in its brig, having earned some degree of trust off her. She, though, is in desperate straits, and asks him to kill her. He refuses, questioning whether instead she’d rather have justice. That’s something that’s going to have devastating consequences, as Baltar eventually helps her to escape.

Before that, both Adama and Cain are revealed to have abandoned the respective assassination orders. This seems to have put Starbuck through the mill again more than most, and she’s already been taking plenty of emotional hits. The show plays nicely on the fact that everything is in place, but I never really figured that this was a plot development they’d go through with.

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I never figured, though, that Number 6 would come along and shoot Admiral Cain, either. It was clear that someone was in Cain’s quarters when the moment came, given the tight camera angles and the revealing pans. But when it was Number 6, I was left thinking there’s no way out for Cain. Yet, surely the show wouldn’t have invested a couple of excellent episodes in building up the character, only to have her bumped off?

Actually, that’s just what they did, although Cain jumped to my Cylon suspicion list as a result. It’s confirmed when we cut to the funeral, and Starbuck gives a talk that seems to have hints of endorsing Cain over Adama. She then has a natter with Lee, who reveals he really did want to die after all. Yikes.

There’s some leftover business to deal with. Roslin promotes Adama to Admiral, with Colonel Fisk getting a promotion too. Then, out of the blue, Adama and Roslin very briefly kiss. Double yikes.

Resurrection Ship, then, proved to be an almighty two parter, once more all the more impressive for not doing what you’d expect it to do. I thought I was signing up for a couple of episodes of Cylon bashing, but instead, the line between Cylon and human continues to blur. Let’s see what happens to it next, with Epiphanies