Battlestar Galactica season 4 episode 4 (Escape Velocity) and episode 5 (The Road Less Travelled) review

Rachel's feeling like airlocking half of the cast...

Battlestar episode 5

Apologies for last week’s absence, however this week’s review will cover both last week’s and this week’s episodes. Let’s kick off with the search for Earth and Kara – everyone else seems to be. The crew of the sewage ship Demetrius, continually smeared with something I don’t want to think about, decide she’s finally ready to join Gazza in Bedlam (I’m still trying to decide whether she’d be better or worse at managing Kettering Town…) and mutiny. It’s hard to blame them – while she’s busy ‘finger painting’ with Leoben, his pranged heavy raider blows up and kills a sergeant, and she still wants to go and cosy up with the Cylons. Stockholm Syndrome, much? I’m finding all this very distressing. I love Starbuck, in a totally gay, totally obsessive way. She’s my desktop background. But this series has seen her character torn apart in the name of spiritual progress, as if Baltar’s fannying around isn’t enough.

Speaking of Baltar, he’s a bigger cock than ever (the only plausible reason I can see for his extensive clan of ‘girly groupie sex whatever they are’). Last seen hiding in his boho Playboy mansion as his followers were brutally attacked, he’s now quite clearly channelling both Richard Madeley and Derek Acorah as he sidesteps questions and gives rousing if utterly substanceless speeches about monotheism. And has sex with Tory. Frankly, it’s nauseating. The presidential aide, however, isn’t taking any of his bilge too seriously. She seems to agree with his ideas about one god, but regards herself as it – she’s completely adjusted to herself as a Cylon, and is relishing her powers more than ever, sadistically taunting Baltar and playing the President and him off against one another. We’ve already seen she’s capable of murder and remorselessness, and is clearly unsettled at Chief, I mean Specialist, Tyrol’s desire to find out what really happened to Cally. Right now, she’s probably the most dangerous person in the fleet…

On to Specialist Tyrol, played in this latest episode by Private Pyle. His major malfunction started with a demotion at the hands of Adama, although, depending on the time scale, it’s unclear as to whether the threat has been carried out. As mentioned before, Tyrol is still wracked with the pain and grief of losing his wife, and despite devastatingly thoughtful pep talks from Tigh, he can’t get it together. Tigh, meanwhile, produces one of the Battlestar’s finest moments when he changes baby Nicky’s nappy. I cannot stress how much joy this scene provided for me. However, despite playing daddy and spouting stiff-upper-lip speeches, Tigh’s emotions do seem to be getting the better of him. He’s been spending large amounts of time with the captured Number Six, questioning her about how she copes with the guilt of wiping out most of humanity. Interestingly, regardless of the fact that she can ‘feel’ the final five are ‘close’, Six either doesn’t know, or doesn’t show, that she’s facing one. Speaking of faces, Tigh’s guilt over Ellen is still going strong, as he spends these sessions with Six hallucinating; seeing her mostly with Ellen’s face. Creepy.

Do I seem a little jaded? Maybe. I have to say that after the fantastic opening few episodes, the foot seems to have been eased off the pedal a little. Kara and Leoben’s relationship, especially, feels tired and boring, while the time given to Baltar’s WestBattlestar Baptist Church is almost too painful to watch. Here’s hoping that this is just a mid season lull (yes, we’re five episodes in, and halfway through already… how?!) which will pick up for one hell of a cliffhanger in episode ten. So say we all? Comment your thoughts below, I’d love to hear what you people are making of the show at the moment…

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