Monday, January 22, 2007

BSG Mondays: Season 3, episode 49, "Rapture"




Midway through its third season winter premiere, the Battlestar Galactica episode “Rapture” reached all the way back to the pilot miniseries to reveal just how much a character who shouldn’t be able to grow had grown. Caprica Six (Tricia Helfer), the Cylon who snapped a baby's neck of a baby in the miniseries’ opening minutes, was involved in a tense standoff with Boomer (Grace Park) and Sharon (also Grace Park) over the life of Sharon’s child, the human-Cylon hybrid Hera. The child, quite ill, wouldn’t stop crying and needed the care of a human doctor, something the other Cylons weren’t sure they were going to let Sharon seek out (some of the misdirected anger at the child made it seem as if the Cylons, as a race, were suffering from post-partum depression). Boomer put her hand around the child’s throat, threatening to snap her neck. Six’s next move was quick and decisive -- she knocked Boomer out, then snapped Boomer’s neck. This reversal of that moment from the miniseries highlighted just how far Six -- ostensibly an unchangeable, programmed robot -- and all of the other characters had evolved during the course of a miniseries and two-and-a-half full seasons.

“Rapture” itself was kind of frantic, cross-cutting endlessly between political intrigue on the Galactica, a dire rescue mission on a planet’s surface, betrayal on the Cylon basestar, pseudo-mysticism in a long-hidden temple, a small group of soldiers trying to hold off a superior force, and a few bits of family and relationship drama. And then a star went nova. The hour might have felt too dense if the third season of the show hadn't been, thus far, rather miserly in its willingness to advance the overarching plot. The thickly plotted “Rapture” and its equally substantial predecessor, the midseason-ender "The Eye of Jupiter," went a long way toward rectifying that.

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