Battlestar Galactica Newbie Recap: The Eye of Jupiter, Rapture


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I’m a sci-fi geek who has never seen Battlestar Galactica. Yes, I know, I know. 2013 is the year I change that, and I’m blogging as I go.

And with this, I am more than halfway through Battlestar Galactica‘s second-to-last season. Guys. I don’t ever want this show to end. These two episodes are so good.

The Eye of Jupiter

Turns out the planet from last episode is, in addition to being filled with algae, home to a super-special temple that the original thirteen colonists built while on a pit-stop during their journey to Earth. Tyrol—who, along with Anders, Cally, Starbuck, Lee, Dee, and some civilians, is on-planet to process the algae—finds himself drawn to the temple, known as the Temple of Five, by some mysterious force.

Roslin’s ears perk up at the news, since the Temple of Five is supposed to be home to the Eye of Jupiter, a mysterious artifact that will point the way to Earth. Hallelujah! Except then the Cylons, who as of last episode have also been looking for the Eye of Jupiter, show up too. Instead of immediately blowing the Galactica up they ask permission to send a group of envoys on board. No biggie. They’re just going to shoot the breeze, catch up on gossip, talk about genocide. You know. Normal stuff.

The humans aren’t in a position to refuse the Cylons’ request, since they’re outnumbered and can’t run away without abandoning the people on the planet. Plus there’s the small matter of not wanting the Cylons to get their hands on the Eye, which Tyrol and his crew still needs to find.

Handling the negotiations are D’anna, a Brother Cavil, Boomer… and Baltar. Awkward. He tells Head Six that he misses the Galactica, and that even if everyone onboard wants him to die in a fire it’s still his home.

Athena helpfully tells Tigh that they’re about to let the Cylon who shot Adama back into his presence, so he demands that Boomer stay outside during negotiations. That gives her a chance to let Athena, who’s guarding her, know that Hera is alive, and that she’s sick for some unknown reason. She was hidden in Roslin’s school on New Caprica, Boomer tells her other self, so it was probably Roslin’s idea to tell you your daughter was dead. That’s something you do to a thing, not a person.

The situation is hardly less tense in the meeting. Baltar manages to tick Roslin off by bringing up the many times he’s saved the human race from destruction. Yeeeeah, Baltar. While that might be technically true, I’m not sure “I could’ve almost gotten you killed so many other times!” is really going to work in this particular situation. Roslin walks out, so D’anna pitches her idea to Adama: If you give us the Eye of Jupiter, we won’t kill you. But wait, says Brother Cavil, there’s more! We’ll even throw in one free Baltar, shipping and handling included! Adama’s not too keen on the whole “letting the Cylons have the Eye” thing, but you can tell he’s definitely interested in Baltar being handed over to him.

The only one who’s not pleased by the idea is, of course, Baltar.

Adama proposes a counter-offer: How ’bout if you make any attempt to attack us or the people on the planet, we just nuke the whole place, Eye included? D’anna thinks he’s bluffing, but he doesn’t give an inch, and the Cylon contingent—including a panicked, “Holy-frak-I-just-dodged-a-bullet” Baltar—returns to the Basestar.

Let’s catch up with what’s been going down on the algae planet, shall we? First, since finally hugging and making up in Unfinished Business, Lee and Starbuck have begun having an affair. Lee says he can barely look Dee in the eye and suggests that Starbuck divorce Anders so they can finally be together. Starbuck refuses, saying marriage is a sacrament before the Gods—sure, she’s in love with another man and is cheating on her husband and all, but she’s not going to get divorced, geez. Cop out, Starbuck. Cop out. Lee responds that he can’t keep sneaking around like they have been. So he won’t cheat, and Starbuck won’t leave her husband.

Never before have I wanted to hit Lee over the head with a baseball bat more. Not even during Black Market. You frakker! If you’re so morally superior, did you ever think you might want to, uh, be honest with your wife about the affair? Lee is in love with—and sleeping with—another woman. Regardless of whether Starbuck divorces Anders, Dee deserves to be told. Hell, she already knows something’s up. She’s not stupid. But Lee is all “Boo hoo hoo, you won’t divorce your husband. Boo hoo hoo, I can’t look my wife in the eye anymore.” The complete and utter lack of consideration he shows for Dee’s feelings instead of his own is just…. I can’t….

After the meeting with the Cylons goes down Adama orders Lee to blow up the temple if it looks like the Cylons are going to get into it. Then the Cylons cut off their communications, so Lee and Starbuck have to put together a plan to protect the temple all on their lonesome. There aren’t nearly enough marines on-planet, so they have no other choice but to enlist Anders, Mr. Guerrilla Resistance Fighter, to command civilians. Anders is none too pleased, because he has no experience defending fixed positions. Though I’m going to say it’s his wife and her boyfriend marching in and giving him orders that’s really rubbing him the wrong way. He and Lee almost come to blows, but Starbuck steps in and breaks it up.

Back on the Galactica Gaeta has noticed some anomalies in the GLOW CLOUD that indicate the solar system’s star is on the verge of supernova. It could be in a day or a year, but whenever it happens, they’ll only have a short helium flash to warn them to get the frak out of there before the whole place blows up. I’m not one to look for signs, he says, but us and the Cylons showing up at the same planet at the same time, just as the star’s about to go supernova, is just too weird. Adama says he’s not religious, but if this is the work of a higher power they have one hell of a sense of humor.

I’ve been wondering: Is there some truth behind the prophecies and the coincidences other than “Welp, God did it”? Or are we, the audience, just supposed to accept that there are religious forces at work here? Either way’s fine; I just wish I knew so I could stop trying to figure out if there’s some God-related plot twist on the horizon. But hey, that’s what going into a show spoiler-free means. Guess I’ll just have to rewatch once I know what’s up. Oh, the hardship.

Back on the Basestar the Cylons are arguing about what to do. Brother Cavil wants to say screw it and blow the Galactica up, but Caprica and D’anna don’t want to take the chance that they might destroy the Eye. D’anna’s gone behind everyone else’s backs and landed a group of Centurions on the planet; once they’ve taken the Eye, she says, they’ll be free to destroy the Galactica.

That’s made things exponentially more difficult for Anders, who now has actual Cylons he’ll have to fight. Still, he steps up, giving an inspirational speech to the civilians that even Adama would be proud of. Lee tells him he’d make a good officer, and Anders counters “What, a good officer like you? Someone who makes an oath and knows how to keep it?” When Lee plays dumb Anders reminds him that, hello, he’s not stupid. Yeeeeah, Anders! What’s more, he knows his wife, and it’s not like Lee’s the first person she’s bumped uglies with in an extramarital fashion.

Lee’s face. Suck it, jerk.

Also: Anders has really started to grow on me. I wasn’t sold on him at first, because he seemed to be the standard “Let’s introduce this character solely as a love interest” trope, and as much as I love how BSG mixed things up by making that character a guy, not a girl, it’s still not really my thing. But this season we’ve seen more of his personality shine through, and I’ve really started to like him. Lee taking a nosedive into Douchebagville doesn’t exactly hurt, either. Anders looks great next to him.

There’s a quick detour back to the Galactica, where Caprica walks in on D’anna and Baltar plotting to go to the temple and discover the true identities of the Final Five. She’s a bit miffed that their OT3 has been broken up by the two them sneaking around on the side. Sorry, D’anna says, but Baltar and I have our own destiny, and you’re not part of it. Caprica begs them to tell her what they’ve been doing and says she loves them both, but in the end Baltar picks sides and leaves with D’anna.

Something tells me you’ve goofed, Baltar. Maybe you should’ve hitched yourself to the non-religious-fanatic Cylon’s star.

Meanwhile, on the Galactica, Athena has told Adama about how Roslin lied to her about Hera being dead. Adama, royally ticked, gets confirmation from Roslin and refuses to hear her explanations as to why she did what she did. He talks to Athena and Helo, telling them that he hopes they’ll eventually be grateful that their daughter is still alive. But that’s not gonna cut it for Athena, who demands to see Hera.

Starbuck, flying recon, sees the Centurions whom D’anna sent down to the planet. She alerts Dee, who earlier in the episode was being a bit snippy with her (but Starbuck’s boinking her husband. She’s allowed), and promptly gets shot down by some sort of surface-to-air missile. Anders is determined to go after her, but Lee refuses to let him, saying they don’t have enough people to hold their position and send a rescue party. Then screw holding their position, Anders says: They’ll use guerrilla tactics to take out the Centurions. Lee, again, refuses, holding a gun on Anders so he won’t set off to rescue Starbuck.

Up above the planet the Cylons have decided to test whether or not Adama is bluffing about nuking the planet by sending some Raiders out. Roslin and Tigh both assumed there was no way Adama would actually follow through, but now that’s not looking so certain, since he orders nuclear missiles to be armed and targeted. Meanwhile, a beam of light shows up in the temple, making it look like Tyrol must be mere minutes away from finding out where the Eye of Jupiter is.

Will Lee shoot Anders?

Will the Cylons order the Raiders to retreat?

Will Adama nuke the planet before  Tyrol can find the Eye of the Tiger Jupiter?

Will Lee ever stop being a raging jerknozzle?

Find out next time on Battlestar Galactica.


To answer the above questions:




Annnnd it’s not looking likely.

This episode begins with Adama mere seconds away from firing the nukes, which would obliterate the temple and everything around it, including Lee. The Cylons, except D’anna, are convinced that he’ll fire, so they fold and order the Raiders to turn back. Only D’Anna orders the ship carrying the other!Her and Baltar to keep going on the grounds that Adama won’t destroy the Eye of Jupiter because of one ship. She’s right, and Adama puts away his nukes, but that doesn’t make D’anna’s fellow Cylons any less angry that she blatantly disregarded the group’s decision.

Back on the algae planet Lee and Anders are at a stalemate: Lee refuses to let Anders go rescue Starbuck, and Anders refuses to let his wife go unrescued. “If she dies out there,” Anders says to Lee, “I’ll kill you myself.” His response? “If she dies out there, I’ll let you.”

Lee, you sanctimonious $^*@^(@. You just have to one-up him with your dramatic “Boo hoo hoo, I’m so moral and self-sacrificing and I love Starbuck so much!” It’s a fairly innocuous comment, but my strong reaction to it makes me think I have officially joined the Lee Adama Hate Club.

And this cements it: Lee phones Dee up and orders her and Fischer, her partner, to rescue Starbuck. Dee’s angry—because, y’know, her husband’s asking her to risk her life to save his girlfriend, and don’t even tell me he would do that if Starbuck were just another pilot—but she obeys, because orders are orders. Fischer gets his face shot off by a sniper within seconds, and Dee runs off into the hills.

With Starbuck’s rescue in Dee’s capable hands, Lee and Anders come up with a plan to ambush the Centurions and take ’em out guerrilla warfare-style, just like Anders wanted to do from the get-go. Unfortunately it’s less than effective, and as they’ll be unable to defend the temple Lee orders Tyrol—who’s made approximately zero headway in finding the Eye of Jupiter—to blow the place up.

Meanwhile Dee’s reached Starbuck’s crash site. She’s alive, but injured in such a way that she’s unable to repair the ship, so she instructs Dee on how to do it. An ashamed-looking Starbuck brings up the elephant in the room by telling Dee that Lee won’t cheat on her, because he’s too honorable, unlike Starbuck herself.

EXCUSE ME?! Except he already did cheat on her! And continues to do so, when you consider that emotional infidelity is a thing! Show, I want you to listen to me, and I want you to listen well: You cannot continue to treat Lee like he’s a paragon of moral virtue, at least not as far as his romance subplot is concerned. Between his growing camaraderie with Anders in this episode and the way Starbuck defends him, it’s like the show just expects us to ignore how Lee is A) cheating on his wife, and B) too chicken to man up and be honest with her about it. Dee has done absolutely nothing to come even close to justifying the crap way Lee is treating her. Starbuck has her issues, too, but at least the show admits that instead of trying to keep her as some golden girl.

Sakes alive, I need a break. Let’s go to another plotline.

Athena has decided that if she’s going to see her baby the only way it’s gonna happen is if Helo kills her and she downloads into a new body among the Cylons. From there, in theory, she’ll get Hera and bring her back to the Galactica. So Helo shoots her. He shoots her dead. Oh my God.

Naturally this upsets Roslin, because now a Cylon with information on their defenses and the situation on the algae planet is back among her own people, and while Helo and Adama are convinced she won’t betray them, Roslin’s not so sure. But Helo doesn’t really care whether Roslin agrees with what he did, since he wouldn’t have had to do it if she hadn’t Cybabynapped Hera in the first place.

Athena’s plan, remarkably, goes rather well: She wakes up in a new body, tells Caprica she wants to rejoin the Cylons, and is taken to see Hera. The Cybaby immediately recognizes her and stops crying, which is weird, since she didn’t recognize Boomer and the two of them are genetically identical. Athena right away figures out what’s wrong with her sick baby and demands that she be allowed to take her back to the Galactica to see a doctor. Boomer objects, saying it might be better if she just killed Hera. Dang, Boomer. I’ve had bad babysitting jobs, too, but I never wanted to throttle my charges! Not literally, anyway. Turn off the baby monitor and take a nap. You’ll be fine.

She does get a nap, of a sort: Caprica punches her out and then snaps her neck, giving herself and Athena a window in which they can commandeer a captured Raptor and take Hera back to the ship. What’s her game here? That’s two fellow Cylons she’s killed, and even though Baltar and D’anna have gone off in their own direction, giving herself up to the humans seems rather extreme.

Speaking of Baltar and D’anna: They, along with a Brother Cavil, have landed on the planet and are on their way to the temple so D’anna can see the face of the Final Five. Last episode the hybrid said it was only the Chosen One who would be able to look on their faces, and D’anna thinks that’s her, but Head Six shows up to tell Baltar that it’s actually him. D’anna expresses fear that seeing the Final Five will drive her mad, but Baltar reassures her that God will guide her to her destiny.

Baltar, D’anna, and Brother Cavil enter the temple just after Tyrol and his crew leave. They disconnect the bombs the Tyrol set up, so Lee’s more than a bit confused when he tries to detonate them and nothing happens. He’s then distracted by the system’s star starting to go supernova. Yeah, an exploding star will do that. Up on the Galactica Adama notes that the supernova will obliterate the entire planet in under an hour. The Cylon fleet nopes out of there, but the Galactica stays, opting not to leave their people behind until they absolutely have to.

Meanwhile, in the temple, Head Six shows Baltar a mosaic that she identifies as the Eye of Jupiter. He tips D’anna off, and Brother Cavil becomes aware that D’anna’s after something other than the location of Earth. Cavil pulls a gun on her, but Baltar shoots him instead, giving D’anna the opportunity to see the faces of the Final Five. She steps on the mosaic and is whisked away to some place where she does see their faces… but we don’t. Because of course we don’t. That would be too easy. Interestingly, D’anna recognizes one of them. Who is it?! Tell me!

D’anna comes out of her trance and collapses, bleeding from the nose and seriously mentally discombobulated. Baltar begs her to tell him whether he’s a Cylon, but she’s too out of it to say anything coherent. And then, seconds later, she dies. And as if that’s not bad enough (I feel like that needs to be this show’s official motto), Tyrol, there to check on the explosives, gets in a badass moment by walking up behind Baltar and pistol whipping him.

Everyone on the surface—including Starbuck and Dee, who’ve gotten the Raptor to work—make it safely back to the Galactica right before the planet goes kablooey. Back on the ship Tigh orders Baltar to be taken, in secret, back to the brig. Then the ship with Athena, Hera, and Caprica lands. Athena makes a token effort of defending Caprica, but in the end there’s not much she can do. She has to rush her daughter to see Doc Cottle anyway. So now Tigh has Baltar and a Cylon locked up. It’s like Christmas!

Starbuck and Anders have a happy reunion, as do Lee and Dee, and I don’t even want to talk about it because if you think Lee rushing up to Dee and hugging her is going to make me any less mad at him you have another thing coming, show, OK?!

While on the algae planet Tyrol noticed that the supernova looked exactly like the mosaic design all over the Temple, meaning the nova, not the mosiac, is the Eye of Jupiter. Roslin and the others agree, and Gaeta adds that at around the time the Temple was being built another supernova took place around 13,000 light years way from the algae planet. It’s possible, therefore, that the original colonists saw the supernova and left a picture of it in the temple to indicate to whoever might come along later that that’s the direction they were going in.

Helo recognizes the supernova from somewhere else, though: Drawings that Starbuck used to make when she was still living on Caprica.

Wait, what?!

Helo asks Starbuck for a picture of her drawing and shows her that it’s exactly the same as the Eye of Jupiter. He asks her where she got the idea to make hers, and she responds that it’s just something she’s been doodling since she was a kid. She then remembers something Leoben told her once: That she has a destiny, and it’s already been written.

Oh man. To quote the cinematic masterpiece Bad Boys II: “Shit just got real.”

The episode ends with D’anna waking up in a new body, only to be told by Brother Cavil that the other Cylons have decided that her model is fundamentally flawed, so the’ll need to “box” her. Her bodies, her memories, everything about her will be destroyed. She tells him she saw the Final Five, and one day he will too, right before he powers her down.

Is… is that it? Is there no more Lucy Lawless on Battlestar Galactica?

In an effort to avoid spoilers, comments on this post have been locked. However, Jill and Susana will be reading comments over at our Facebook page, so if there’s anything you’d like to say in response to this post head on over that way. Former Battlestar Galactica Newbie Recaps can be found here, and next week’s recap is here. Have a (non-spoilery, for the love of God) comment? Hit me up on Twitter.

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