Strap your nerd hat on tightly, won't you, and spend a few moments at The Park Bench as we count down the top ten most memorable moments of this past Battlestar Galactica season. These are in no particular order and were selected for no particular reason except that they stood out for me and have lingered on weeks and even months later. Let the nerd fest begin:
10) Roslin’s crazy-on for Baltar – Watching Laura Roslin go ape-shit crazy on Baltar in Taking a Break From All Your Worries was like watching a nun stage an armed robbery...and then shoot a kitten. It was so, so wrong and so, so scary. Mary McDonnell took quiet, level-headed, slightly Machievellian President Roslin and turned her completely, insanely inside out, and in the process, use her acting awesomeness to scare the bejeezus out of me.
9) Return of the dying leader – Why, Ron Moore? Why? Please don’t take my middle-aged girl crush away from me. Roslin, with her wonderfully sweet and increasingly Lady Macbeth-y ways, is one of the very best characters on television. If you kill her off before they reach Earth, I’m going to be very, very angry. And you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Wait, sorry, wrong show.
8) D’Anna’s death wish – There’s been no better use of the Cylon recycling trick than D’Anna’s never-ending string of suicides as she sought to learn the identities of the Final Five. Of course, in retrospect, maybe it wasn’t so much religious fervor as a desire to stop being a side order of fries on the Baltar-Six syphilis platter. Eww.
7) Starbuck’s return – In the immortal words of Cartman: “Sweeeeeeet.” Watching Starbuck sidle up to Apollo in her suspiciously new spacecraft, with her cool, unconcerned “Hey, Lee,” and her promise to help Garmin the fleet back to Earth should be enough to keep us occupied and confused for the next ten ungodly months. Welcome back, Kara. Way to make my head explode….
6) Kara Thrace and her special destiny – From the moment Starbuck handed Adama that Aurora figurine, I knew she was toast. And perhaps even a toaster. I was surprised at how affected I was by her demise, leading me to shake my fist at the TV and cry, “Why couldn’t it have been Lee?”
5) Unfinished Business – Saying you like this episode is like accidentally telling one of your divorced parents you like the other one better: shouting inevitably ensues. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I love it and I want to spend my Easter vacation with it. Its scenes of hopeful New Caprican settlers preparing for a future they’ll never have finally gave us the insight we needed to understand what was truly lost when the Cylons returned. It’s one of BSG’s most emotionally resonant episodes.
4) The Woman King – A deep and revealing episode exploring – ha, ha, just kidding. It blew.
3) Tigh executing Ellen – Much like Boomer’s shooting of Adama at the end of Season One, this was a moment that made me rub my eyes and go, “Wha--?” I had a hard time accepting that poor one-eyed Tigh really, truly ended Ellen, who committed treason simply to help him. It was an ugly, showing us just how much humanity had been stripped away from these characters.
2) Rescue of New Caprican refugees – Ah, space porn. That shot of Galactica blazing into New Caprica’s atmosphere and the ensuing battle with the Cylon ships was the sci-fi equivalent of an HD, widescreen Ron Jeremy marathon. Space ships shooting things up doesn’t get much better.
1) Revelation of four of the Final Five – First there’s anger, then denial, then bargaining and finally acceptance. I went through all those stages in the two minutes it took Tigh, Tory, Anders and Tyrol to finally realize they’re the fleet’s biggest Jimi Hendrix fans. Even though Crossroads Part I pretty much telegraphed the big reveal, it was still enough of a sucker punch to work. Best of all, it sets up what promises to be a major shift in this show’s concept of “heroes” as these stalwart characters cope with the fear of succumbing to their true motives.
Is it January yet?