Sunday, April 01, 2007

Battlestar Galactica: Top Ten Memorable Moments of Season Three

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?


Shan said...

Hey, great list! (Liked the April Fools joke about The Woman King, too. Yep, that was awful). In addition to the moments you listed, I'd add these:

The appearance and exit of Romo Lampkin. Or hell, just about any scene with Romo Lampkin.

The Hybrid, and particularly her interaction with a twitchy and narcissistic Gaius.

Gaeta in the airlock with the secret tribunal in Collaborators.

Love it or hate it (and it was hard to find a middle ground, but I loved it), the physical and emotional boxing matches of Unfinished Business.

Cally trapped in a leaky airlock, if only for the momentary hope that she'd be blown out into space and slide under the Raptor. In space, no one can hear you whine.

annie said...

I must be some kind of deaf (or was really into the episodes), because I didn't feel telegraphed about the final 5 until the minute the four were searching in the finale. Maybe because I hadn't fully grasped that it was the end of the season and something Big had to happen (although I was pretty sure about Starbuck, if not exactly how it would go down).

LOVE your descriptions of Roslin though. This whole post is a nice highlight reel of the season. Excpet that thing about The Woman King. I can't remember the episode from the title. Must not be that important!

Just don't forget that we have a 2 hour special later this year. Oh, space-oasis!

Liz said...

Shan, you cracked me up: "In space, no one can hear you whine." I had my fingers crossed that Cally was going to take an unexpected space walk the whole time. Ah, well, maybe next year!

Liz said...

Hey, Annie -- The Woman King was the episode that focused on the Sagittarans and Helo trying to get medicine for them. I thought it was kind of a big snore.

And I'm definitely looking forward to that two-hour movie this fall! Counting down the days....

Anonymous said...

I would like to respectfully submit the moment in Woman King when Helo got out of bed shirtless and a thousand fangirls squeed in mighty unison. Three years in the making, and not a glowing back in the way.

Shan said...

Liz, I'm really confused over Cally. I think Nicki Clyne is cute as a button, but I have no idea what kind of actress she is. Her BSG performances have ranged from grating to passable, but they often give Cally the worst dialogue and material. "I want to be a dentist/I'm Jack Ruby/I'm the henpicking wife/I'm a proletariat Marxist!" Yeesh. In my original blog wrap up of the airlock ep, I wanted Athena to pull a "Bill Buckner" and let Cally slide ride under the glove (Raptor) and into space. However, with the final reveals, both Clyne and the writers will be seriously challenged now that her hubby is a Cylon and her baby is a "half breed." I hope they're both up to it.

Liz said...

Shan, I definitely think this coming season will determine whether it's Cally the character who's not quite up to snuff or Nicki Clyne who's the culprit. If it's the first possibility, then it should be interesting. If it's the second scenario, then it might just be painful. Then I think we'll all be rooting for a Bill Buckner moment. :-)

jemiah said...

My most memorable moment is the bit where Three wakes up and she's in bed with Baltar and Six and she has that look on her face like, "I'll never drink vodka out of a watermelon ever again"...