TV REVIEW Battlestar Galactica 4.01 "He That Believeth In Me

Original US air date: 4/4/2008

Written by: David Weddle, Bradley Thompson

Directed by: Michael Rymer

Rating:

Previously: Chief Tyrol, Colonel Tigh, Sam Anders and Tory Foster discovered that they are four of the final five Cylons. As a Cylon force attacked, Starbuck – believed dead, after her Viper was seen exploding – popped out of nowhere, declaring that she’s found Earth.

The One Where: The attacking Cylon ships withdraw after one scans Anders and recognises him as one of them... On returning to Galactica, Starbuck is surprised to be greeted with suspicion – she thinks she’s been gone six hours, not two months. Increasingly exasperated as Roslin insists on continuing on a course leading away from Earth, Starbuck ends up knocking out her guards and pulling a gun on Roslin.
Meanwhile, Gaius has fallen on his feet, taken in by a personality cult mostly consisting of female disciples who will do anything for him...

Survivor Count: 39, 698

Verdict: As an introductory episode for the season, this does the job, without ever threatening to scale the heights reached in season three’s “occupied New Caprica” opener. After the opening space battle is over it does feel a little talky at times since, of necessity, it has to concentrate on the debate over Starbuck’s experiences – but at least that leads into a great cliffhanger. Meanwhile, the Baltar subplot provides plenty of humour. Love his understated reaction when he spots a shrine devoted to him (“Right...”).

Star Turn: I’ve said it many times before, but I’m going to say it again: James Callis is a brilliant actor. It’s because of him that you can empathise with the thoroughly disreputable Gaius. And whether Gaius is sincere or not (you never can be 100% sure) he brings real conviction to the scene where he prays to be taken in the place of a sick child.

Speculation: Was Anders’s failure to fire on the Raider a schoolboy error, or Cylon programming asserting itself? I’m betting on the latter.

And is Starbuck a Cylon? Nah. I think it would be far too obvious a twist. She may have been conditioned though. Or could it be that she was returned to the fleet by... the one true God? Creating a box-fresh Viper wouldn’t be much of a stretch for Him (or, er, Her).

Influences: The title of the episode is taken from John 11:25-26: "Jesus said unto her, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die’."

Nitpick: The President isn’t very well guarded, is she?

Best Line:
Tracey (placing Gaius’s hands on her breasts): "Can you feel God’s presence?"
Gaius: "Y’know what, I think I do."

Ian Berriman

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