Monday, February 19, 2007

BSG Mondays: Season 3, episode 52, "A Day in the Life"

If “A Day in the Life” wasn’t Battlestar Galactica at its very best, it was, at least, one of the show’s better standalones in recent memory. It was the sort of solid story that used to link the show’s larger arcs in season one, and it actually gave us some information that was helpful to understanding a character we wanted to get to know better. It had its clumsy elements and strange ideas, but it was, all in all, a mostly successful hour, anchored by the exceptionally strong performance of Edward James Olmos.

The episode, written by Mark Verheiden and directed by Rod Hardy, took place over the course of a long day that just happened to be the anniversary of Admiral Adama’s (Olmos) marriage. In a slightly strained literary device, Adama “meets” every year with his ex-wife (who has since died), played here by Lucinda Jenney, a guest star on countless TV series, including lengthy stints on The Shield and 24. In their meetings, they discuss their marriage and how it fell apart. Adama seems to feel a considerable amount of guilt over this (as he does over many of his other personal failings, including his weak relationship with his son, Lee, played by Jamie Bamber), and that guilt hangs over the rest of the episode, manifested in a series of short scenes set back at the house Adama and his wife shared (Galactica is always good at this sort of thing -- the way memories of places seem more vibrant than the places themselves -- and the episode's visualization of Adama’s old home, lit through with sun and buzzing with the sounds of nature, was no exception).

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