Battlestar Galactica 4.18 "Islanded In A Stream Of Stars" review

All good things must come to an end

Written by: Michael Taylor

Directed by: Edward James Olmos


Galactica’s condition worsens, Anders gets wired into the ship, Hybrid-style, and Boomer takes Hera to Cavil.

Not the explosive episode we were expecting, but on reflection this introspective outing feels right – and not just because another effects-lite episode is hopefully saving money for the mother of all finales.

After getting the action out of its system early on with a rather unpleasant decompression sequence, this episode’s main theme is closure. Mostly this centres on Admiral Adama’s struggle to come to terms with leaving the love of his life behind – the Galactica, not Roslin – and taking up residence on the Baseship. His dilemma almost brings a tear to your eye – it may be just a bucket of bolts, but the Galactica is as much a character as its occupants.

Things are also coming closer to a resolution for Starbuck. Now that the cat’s out of the bag about her death on Earth – thanks, Baltar – she’s finally accepting that she’s not the woman she used to be. (Though, as Hybrid Sam points out, she is still the harbinger of death).

While the pace is pedestrian, the episode is driven by some fantastic one-on-one scenes: Starbuck and Apollo at the wall of remembrance, Adama and Roslin in sickbay, Boomer rediscovering her humanity with Hera and, best of all, Adama’s final heart-to-heart with Tigh. Yes, we’re itching for some action, but after this week’s soul-searching you know it’s going to be worth that much more when it comes.

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Chief Tyrol’s not seen or even mentioned in this episode. What the hell happened to him after he helped Boomer escape? People working on the show have hinted he’s in the brig, but why don’t they tell us this stuff on screen? Following on from the unexplained absence of mutineers, this lack of information is getting annoying.

Cavil tells Hera she’ll have “all sorts of new playmates pretty soon”. What’s he planning?

Adama’s making a habit of destructive strops, but Edward Olmos’s angry painting and decorating is one piece of over-acting too far.

The old-school raider taking off in the Cylon Colony?

The Number Eight’s dying words in sickbay are “Too much confusion” – a lyric from the Cylons’ fave tune, “All Along The Watchtower”.

Adama: In other words it’s our destiny to go after her, right? Wrong. I’ve had it up to here with destiny, prophecy, with God or the Gods. Look where it’s left us. In the ass-end to nowhere. Nearly half of our people are gone. Earth a worthless cinder and I can’t even walk down the halls of my ship without wondering if I’m going to catch a bullet for getting us into this mess.

Richard Edwards

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