The Last Gleaming of Kobol

BSG rewatch: 1.12 and 1.13 (Parts 1 and 2)

Part 1

This episode opens with a marvellous montage: Boomer contemplating suicide, Helo facing off with Caprica-Sharon knowing she is a Cylon, Starbuck and Baltar in bed together but she calls for Lee…. All very unpleasant things to confront our (anti-)heroes. Baltar kinda-sorta convinces Boomer to kill herself, but it doesn’t work, which is unpleasant. There’s a wonderful scene, too, where Baltar has an argument with both the President and Six, simultaneously. Very clever, and very funny too – telling the President not to think of him as a play-thing??

Then, of course, things get really serious when the President has another vision, and the planet that has recently been discovered is revealed as Kobol: the Garden of Eden-equivalent, where the Scriptures report that the gods and men lived together in harmony. Because of that, the President is adamant that Starbuck should jump back to Caprica and retrieve the Arrow of Apollo so they can find their way to Earth. Adama, nor unsurprisingly and not illegitimately, finds this an immensely hard sell. The President goes behind his back, requesting Starbuck do it without orders… which she does. This is more than just Starbuck being capricious and anti-authoritarian; our girl is deeply religious, in her own way, and the betrayal she feels when she discovers Adama doesn’t actually know where Earth is hits her hard. This has all sort of ramifications for the fleet, of course, as well as for the individuals as people and political agents. Which is why it’s a two-parter, I guess…

Part 2

Because Adama perceives the President as having interfered in military matters, he demands her resignation and when she refuses, he orders a boarding party onto Colonial One to take her into custody. This, of course, is a totally shocking move, given that he had initially said he had no interest in a military dictatorship; we like and admire Adama; and, as viewers, we are predisposed to assume that the President is right. And when the boarding party get to the President, and Apollo changes his mind and pulls his gun on Tigh? Outrageous. Putting the President in jail is almost an anticlimax after what was effectively a mutiny from the all-round good-military-guy Apollo. But that is of course where she ends up… and Apollo too.

At the same time as this drama is unfolding, there are four other narratives going on. One is that Caprica-Sharon, who is still with Helo although kinda his prisoner, reveals that she is pregnant. WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED. They end up meeting up with Starbuck, who has made it to Caprica, found the Arrow of Apollo, gets her ass seriously handed to her by a Six… and only isn’t killed because they fall off a ledge, and Six dies instead. So that’s all very exciting; it’s touching to see Helo and Starbuck reunited, as they’re clearly very good friends, but Starbuck’s reaction to Sharon is a bit overwrought.

Third, Boomer is well enough to undertake a very dangerous mission: blow up the baseship orbiting Kobol. She does so, but in the process ends up seeing her sisters and realises that she really is a Cylon. She has a great deal of difficulty with this discovery, of course, and is even more distraught when she gets back to Galactica aaaaand then she shoots the Commander. OOPS. Programming took over.

Lastly, we have the team that crashlanded on Kobol. This is all very stressful of course but the weirdest and most intriguing aspect is Baltar hallucinating the Forum as a complete building, and Six informing him that he will soon be looking after a baby. Baltar as a father?! Lords of Kobol, save us from our fate.

Thus ends season 1. I’m fairly sure that we didn’t have any time delay before getting to season 2 the first time around, and I’m awfully glad of that because this is SERIOUSLY a cliffhanger. Will Helo hate Caprica-Sharon forever? Can she actually have a baby? Is the Commander going to die of his wounds? How long will the President be in the brig? Will Starbuck get the Arrow back to Kobol? And will Starbuck and Apollo ever manage to get it on?!

BSG stats:

  • Starbuck in the brig: 1
  • Baltar in the brig: 1
  • Women Baltar shows interest in (not including Six): 4
  • Women Baltar actually gets to sleep with: 2
  • Baltar religious conversions: 2
  • Different sexy dresses worn by Caprica-Six: 9
  • Apollo sides with President against Dad: 3
  • Number of Cylons viewers know about: 4
  • Number of Cylons humans know about: 2
  • Roslin has a vision: 3
  • People deliberately thrown out the airlock: 1 (+1 threat)
  • Ships lost: 1
  • Ellen gets suggestive: 3
  • Starbuck and Apollo do fisticuffs: 1

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