‘Battlestar Galactica’ Season Premiere: Into the Ladies’ Den

“Shall we frak now or frak later, baby?”Photo courtesy of Sci Fi

After anxious months of geeky Web speculation over how Battlestar’s final season will conclude, the best thing about “He That Believeth in Me” was how it bypassed our feverish expectations and instead set up new central conflicts. “Look, freak out all you want on your spoiler threads,” the writers seemed to be saying with this deliberate episode, “but we know where we’re going with this and we won’t be pressured into rushing things, okay?”

They Have a Plan
The most intriguing tease thus far: What’s up with Starbuck? The now apparently alive bottle blonde returned to the Galactica with news that she’s found Earth. Never mind that she can’t explain the fact that everyone saw her blow up in her Viper — she’s convinced the fleet is going the wrong direction to reach Earth and pissed everybody assumes she’s a Toaster. Starbuck became a bit of a drip last season when she became obsessed with her touchy-feely “destiny,” and so let’s hope her reacquired badass attitude means her done-to-death childhood issues are gonna take a backseat.

And unless there’s some big twist coming, it seems pretty certain now that Colonel Tigh, Chief Tyrol, Sam Anders, and Tory Foster are Cylons. So who’s the last of the Final Five? Since all signs point to Starbuck, that has to mean it’s not her, right? Our money is on Lee Adama. More and more, he represents the “conscience” of Battlestar, and the idea that the show’s moral center is a robot would be a cool mind-frak to drive home the conceit that we and our enemies are more alike than we know.

Or maybe it’ll just be his dad.

Love Boat Galactica
Season three’s biggest letdown was the clumsy intersection of romances: Lee and Starbuck, Starbuck and Anders, Lee and Dee. Starbuck’s attraction to the similarly hotheaded Anders makes sense, but Lee’s marriage to Dee just seemed like a plot obstacle to keep him apart from Starbuck. Thankfully none of that melodrama factored into the season premiere — except for a brief reunion scene between Anders and Starbuck that had the same terrific tension that their exchanges always do.

We Are at War
Battlestar has packed brilliant post-9/11 parallels into certain episodes, but not lately, and not on Friday’s show — unless you count Baltar’s hiding out in the lair of cultlike female worshipers. Manson and Koresh come to mind, but the plotline’s probably paving the way for Baltar, a man of science, to adopt the Cylons’ one-god edict (hence, “He That Believeth in Me”). Another theory: It’s satirizing fanboy fantasies of being surrounded by busty young women who will sleep with them even though they’ve done nothing to earn it. —Tim Grierson

Earlier ‘Battlestar Galactica’ posts:
The Internet Teases — and Spoils — Season Four
How to Convince Your Girlfriend (or Boyfriend) That ‘Battlestar’ Is Not ‘Star Trek’

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‘Battlestar Galactica’ Season Premiere: Into the Ladies’ Den