What the frak just happened? We’re not sure what’s gonna happen next — or what the frak to say. We’ll try anyway. After the jump, Drew’s spoiler-heavy review. Sean’s take will come later. For the love of the Gods — don’t look if you haven’t watched it yet. Thanks to the awesome folks as the GalacticaBBS for taking really awesome screen grabs, like the above.
Drew’s Take: Talk about dire. A comment told to me earlier, completely encapsulates Sometimes A Great Notion: “This show is just sad. It’s always been dark, but now we’re at entirely different level.” We don’t open up with a big bang, get all the answers, or see the plot bound forward instead we witness the fallout. We’re used to our heroes struggling on despite every setback; for one simple goal: Earth. With that motivation gone — their entire worldview — what’s left? Ratcheting back and letting us watch the demise of the crew is horribly perverse. The episode is damning. Laura Roslin has serious doubts about her faith and her role; Dee struggles to see a purpose in a post-Earth life and kills herself; Adama goes into a drunken rage blaming himself for all the people he’s sent to die for apparently nothing; and Starbuck just has her life totally frakked up. Nobody gets back off the mat.
Only Lee, to an extent, manages to keep his head in the game. But even Lee admits he’s at a loss on what to do. He’s standing up because someone has too, and no one else seems interested. The writer’s (smartly) decide that Lee bumbling for words in front of the Quorum isn’t worth showing — all we see is the doubt behind the scenes. The only reason we know he’s the only one with his head on straight is the fact he’s the only one sober. When the Other Adama gets back on his feet, he’s still drunk as he walks into the CIC. His courageous speech, mirroring his Earth promise in the miniseries, lacks his normal confidence. It’s angry, distraught, and tired. There really is no recovering from a blow like this, at least not any time soon.
The character moments in the episode are complemented with what seems like a barrage of the new information opening up new questions. The 13th Tribe were Cylons, Starbuck finding her crashed viper and body, and Ellen Tigh as the Fifth Cylon. Really, we were only told 3 bits of information that most people surmised over the long hiatus. Still, watching the on-screen confirmation unfold, you’re stunned. Before you know it, Dee’s killing herself and you have no time to digest anything. This episode is like a jujitsu move — taking the momentum from the previous 4.5 seasons and sending us a whole new path.
I really don’t know what to say about Starbuck except: Holy Frak. When she finds her charred Viper and body, and Leoben runs away — the most mystic, psychobabble spewing Cylon in the show runs the other way — it takes the show to a new disgusting angle. Burning her own body is the twisted cousin of the “One Year Later” jump; we’re not turning back from this.
I think it’s too early to pass judgment on Ellen being the Fifth Cylon. It will depend on what happens in later episodes. This does add a whole new wrinkle to Tigh’s arc. Considering it was just in the closing moments we learn the secret there isn’t much to go on. I will say, that this episode, as stellar as it is, was hurt due to the long hiatus. It’s been admitted by Ronald D. Moore, and evident in how the episode unfolds, that episode was not built as a reintroduction. Revelations and Sometimes A Great Notion need to be seen back-to-back. Sometimes A Great Notion will hold up well, and probably even better, when watched at the intended pacing. This episode is one of the strongest of the series and a great reminder to the universe we’re coming back too.