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Battlestar Galactica 3.20: Crossroads, Part Two review

Original US airdate: 25/3/07

Written by: Mark Verheiden

Directed by: Michael Rymer

Rating:

The One Where: Lt Gaeta perjures himself to incriminate Baltar, but after Lee’s speech about forgiveness, Gaius is acquitted. Meanwhile, Tigh, Tyrol, Anders and Tory are all haunted by the distant strains of “All Along the Watchtower”, converging on the same room to the realisation that... they’re Cylons!

Galactica jumps to the Ionian nebula, encountering the Cylon fleet, and a mystery craft. It’s Starbuck! She’s been to Earth, and she’s gonna take them there!

Verdict: Holy cow, that’s a season finale! A season that’s had its fair share of sags this year comes good again with a vengeance with a featurelength episode packed with jaw-dropping moments, chief amongst which is the revelation of the identity of four of the final five Cylons. Who was expecting that so soon? Lost would have strung out the mystery for about two more seasons!

Given that Ronald D Moore and co didn’t know the identity of the Final Five back when Battlestar started, they chose wisely: none of the candidates are too obvious, or can be discounted because of their backstories. Making Tigh a Cylon is the cruellest twist of all: here’s a man who despises Cylons and fought them tooth and claw, even to the extent of murdering his own wife. Can’t wait to see his anguish played out. And of course, this means that Hera isn’t the only hybrid child – little Nicholas Tyrol is half-Cylon too! Season three’s final twist – shifting events a year into the future – was audacious, but this climax matches it. Indeed, it feels more satisfying, because it doesn’t come with the added sense that, as viewers, we’re missing out on something.

Speculation: Firstly, if the song is a Cylon trigger, how on earth do Cylons know a Bob Dylan song?! Presumably it means that Galactica is set in our future, but does it have any other special significance? When Starbuck does take them back to Earth, what timeframe will it be? Hey, maybe they’ll turn up at Woodstock...

Secondly, what’s the nature and purpose of these “Final Four”? Ronald D Moore says they’re “different” from the Cylons we’ve seen previously, but how exactly? Are they more advanced models? Is there only one copy of each? Are they mortal? And who’s the last one of the five? Baltar? Roslin? Jimi Hendrix?

Nitpick: Once again, where the hell is Tom Zarek?

Influences: The bit where Romo Lampkin suddenly stops hobbling along with a stick is a cute homage to Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects!

Did You Spot?: The courtroom is just a re-dress of the hangar deck set.

Best Line: “Get your fat, lazy ass out of that rack, Roslin!” (Adama)

Trivia: Early drafts of the script included the exposure of Gaeta’s perjury, and the deliberations of the tribunal.

Ian Berriman

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Available platformsTV