Battlestar Galactica 1.12 — "Kobol's Last Gleaming (1)" (here there be spoilers)

was listening to moore’s podcast for this ep and he said that it was originally intended as a 2hour single ep rather than a two parter. REcommends that the two eps are watched back to back to get the full effect.
Have to say that I liked the last two eps (saw them during the original brit release). Havnt had time to do the back to back thing, but I think Ill do so soon.

I watched the two final episodes back to back and let me say it is one hell of a ride. I’m dying for next week so I can fracking talk about the last episode. I don’t want to spoiler it because it is soooooo good. Edge of you seat excitement and some huge developments and a jaw dropping/shit your pants ending. Don’t look for spoilers, just watch it.
I’ve felt that all along that the cylons have either been leading or herding the humans towards Kobal. But I dont’t think the cylons know where earth is and they want the humans to find earth first so they can wipe them all out.

Eh, I think the need to resolve all the different story lines in one go (well, two, actually) blew the writers’ fuses: this ep was all over the map, plot-wise. Very unsatisfying, IMO.

Had an interesting impromptu experiment last night in which my sister, who happens to be in town for a few days and knows nothing of the original series or the remake, attempted to watch and make sense of this episode. It was hopeless; she wandered off bored within five minutes. Although a few of the earlier eps, such as ‘33’ and the one where they spend most of the running time interrogating the cylon agent, might stand alone well enough, this one depends so much on knowledge of the previous installments there seems pretty much no chance that someone coming in cold could make any sense of it.

With that said, while the stuff about Kobol was obviously the main story, the underlying theme seemed to be “total breakdown of the command structure”. Starbuck pretty much doing whatever she pleases, Apollo abusing his authority to give her a hard time about boffing Baltar, Boomer’s navigator dicking around and nearly dumping them into a planet, Boomer’s mental meltdown pretty much completely ignored by her superiors, Roslin going behind Adama’s back to talk Starbuck into get that silly arrow or whatever it is, Baltar demonstrating in myriad ways just how idiotic was Roslin’s decision to elevate him to Veep…once again, whether entirely intentionally or not, the series shows that continued incompetance will most likely get them all killed.

Other random semi-coherent thoughts:

Why were Chief Tyrol and his cute little assistant on board that Raptor going down on Kobol?

What was up with the Raptor smoking when it got hit? In vacuum, that is? Usually the FX guys have been more careful than that.

What are the ‘rules’ within the series for length of a FTL jump and how big is does a usable FTL drive need to be, anyway? From what we’ve seen so far, it appears that for a Cylon Raider raider at least, it’s ‘any length we need to for the story’ and the drive is about the size of my Subaru’s engine. After all the buildup about the hundreds of jumps the Rag Tag Fleet ™ has made, they can just jump right back to Caprica in one stage? Hmmm. I should say that I don’t have that much of a problem with it, if one assumes that most of the energy required for a jump is used in simply accessing hyperspace or whatever medium they jump through. If so, then the actual distance jumped is immaterial. I guess.

Did they repeat the season in Britain?

I thought the same thing when I saw it. He’s a grease monkey, not an explorer. Balter I can kind of see, the marines made perfect sense, but the chief?

I suspect they felt they needed some more recognizable faces on board.
There’s another, disturbing possibility that I hope doesn’t come to pass. That is, Once they get to the planet, everyone without a name becomes a red shirt.

Argh. I know.

I’ll confess that I was forced to work while watching 112 and 113, so I found a couple WTF moments in there.

Hopefully someone can explain them to me…next week.


For those of you who don’t know, or haven’t done it yet, you should really watch this week’s deleted scenes on the Scifi website. There are a lot of them, and some of them really add to the episode.

I can see Tyrol going. He’s the all-around fix-it guy. They need to survey the planet, take samples. Who knows? Maybe something down there will need some fixin’.

Well, the nice Raptor pilot already got redshirted. I wouldn’t get too attached to anybody who isn’t already an established character.

The arrow…hmm. Obviously something more to that since it is what it is, if you know what I mean.

Baltar is just flipping out totally. Hopefully he’ll reign it back in, because, although he’s a total slimy bastard, I do love the character.

I don’t think Boomer’s navigator was dicking around, I think that the guy who plots the jumps back on Galactica just messed up.

Chief Tyrol and his assistant being on board the Raptor? Only thing I can come up with is the thought that there might be something down there technology-wise that there might be some value to patching up. Digging out a hard drive to bring back for intel-purposes, something like that.

The FX on the Raptor smoking in the vacuum…well, there’s air on the ship, and if something is burning it’ll have fuel for a little bit. At least enough to get down to atmosphere where it can burn all on its own…

Finally, as for the FTL.

Well, from what I’ve seen the biggest deal with the FTL is making the calculations. They already know where they are relative to Caprica, so making a hop there doesn’t seem to be too big a deal.

We’ve seen what happens when your calculations are just a liiiiittle bit off and you’re headed for a planet. A little more and they materialze in the atmosphere and then what happens?

I suspect any of the ships could have made the hop if they’d had the energy. Keep in mind, though, that while the Raider’s engine is the size of your Subaru, the Raider isn’t particularly big. How much energy would it take to hop something the size of a passenger liner that far?

A spoiler question from episode 113 that I simply must ask before I forget it.

This is a spoiler (maybe minor, maybe not) for 113, so don’t look! I’m serious!

How did Starbuck recogize Boomer as a Cylon?


I have a couple of WTF moments of my own to bring up.

The beginning part of the episode that had the background violin(?) score was some of the best BSG I’ve seen yet.

I did have one problem with the shots of Starbuck getting her groove on. There are three distinct shots of it, and the first two shots include views of the back of the head of her partner who clearly has short hair. The last one reveals that she was actually having sex with Gaius. I though this was a bit misleading and cheap.

The other issue I had was with galacticaboomer. Did she intentionally screw up her own suicide? Personally I think she did. The reason is that if someone really wants to commit suicide and decides to eat a bullet, it would be extremely difficult to mis-aim and fire the bullet through your cheek by accident. It seems like you would have to intentionally try to aim at your cheek; simply putting the barrel of a gun in your mouth it kind of naturally points to the back of your throat. This is just my uneducated opinion by the way.

It was Gaeta specifically that plotted the jump. Crashdown, the ECO, thought it was funny. Why are those Cylon chicks so anal about their FTL jumps? “Ooh, ooh, we could have jumped into the plaaaaanet!”

Speaking of openings, is it unique to BSG to have an opening credits that starts the same every time but has a second half comprised of scenes from the new episode?

I’ll admit it took me an episode or three to notice it. I…think I like it. I don’t think I’ve had anything too ruined by it, yet.

I think it’s a matter of us seeing what Starbuck was fantasizing/imagining. Considering her cries of “Lee! Lee!” I think we can take a guess as to who the guy with the short hair was supposed to be.

Definitely. We have G-Boomer with two conflicting personalities fighting it out in her brain. One wants to do her job and protect her friends and “family” on Galactica. The other one wants to Follow the Cylon Master Plan which, as a sleeper agent, requires her to still have her head attached.

I’m pretty confident that Nurturing Boomer put the gun in her mouth and pulled the trigger while Sleeper Boomer twitched the gun aside at the last moment to keep her mission going.

Also, was Gaius pushing her into suicide in a sense of doing the right thing (with Six telling him, very clearly, that Boomer WILL do something very bad to Galactica) , in a desire to piss of Six, or an attempt to save his own ass because as far as he knows Boomer is going to blow Galactica’s reactor or something.


It’s an homage/ripoff from Space: 1999. They did the same thing.

Definitely a weird episode. I found myself wondering if I’d somehow missed some scenes. When the heck did Starbuck and Baltar go beyond flirting and hook up? When did Boomer turn suicidal? When did they find a second Mysterious Cylon Device and when did they discover that they serve as FOF transponders?

If the FTL drives in the Cylon raiders are NOT short range, then why the heck didn’t that Cylon patrol in the ice planet system jump back to the nearest base and lead an armada against the fleet?

How does Rosalyn expect to find ANYTHING intact on Caprica when most of the planet was nuked to ashes?

If Kobol is habitable, why was it evacuated to begin with?

I agree with Merijeek - the Cylon part of Boomer won’t let her kill herself. However, even if the bullet went through her cheek, I would have expected a lot more damage - she certainly shouldn’t have been able to talk afterwards.

TMI spoiler about someone I knew who tried to kill himself in a similar fashion:

This guy put an 18 gauge shotgun in his mouth, but somehow the shot came out through the center of his face. He now has a big hole where his nose used to be. He’s very difficult to look at. Unsurprisingly, he’s now an alcoholic.

The Boomerbot model apparently has extra damage tolerance. Helo gut-shot the one he was with, but she was able to sit right back up and have a normal conversation with him hours later.

There’s a UL that the reflexes and recoil involved with a head-shot suicide attempt can make some “victims” actually miss their own heads entirely. That scene showed me the incompletely-activated-Cylon and deludedly-human sides of Boomer’s Brain in conflict for control.

Tyrol’s on the away team? So what? How often did Kirk bring Scotty?

Roslin has mystical visions. She not only “knows” what the Arrow of Apollo is, but where to find it, and that it’s intact. (Yep, Starbuck’s gonna find Helo, gotta be. What else are they going to do with him?) The reason the colonists left Kobol is elsewhere in the oracles, and we’ll get to them in good time. Kobol might have been destroyed in a war - we haven’t seen enough of the ruins yet to know.

Gaeta’s figuring out the operation of the Cylon transponders was a gimmick unworthy of the writers. Isn’t he supposed to be running the detector while Baltar is VP’ing? And, if so, why isn’t he finding a few positives? And did anyone else enjoy his (Alessandro Juliani’s) guest role as an English-speaking ancient Egyptian on the Stargate: SG-1 season-ending cliffhanger on the same evening on the same channel?

Well, there’s 50,000 people, and there’s no need to test people like Boomer, Baltar, and others. Who knows how many don’t “need” to be tested again because they’ve been cleared. Supposedly. Besides, how much time has passed since he took over? A few days? A week or two at the outside? Not a whole lot of tests will get done in that time.

Alos, I don’t mind the transponder gimmick…if that gimmick has a larger function in the story. For example, that transponder being there to keep Galactica alive because Baltar planted it there (unconsciously), or some other agent placing it there to keep a ‘crop’ of humans alive. Where did they find the other transponders? If they’re there, who did the Cylons want to keep alive?


Don’t be picking on my Gaeta! I think he’s the closest thing the fleet has to a real genius. Remember, Baltar was celebrated as a genius at least in part because of his algorithms he developed for the defense main-frame. Six gave him those algorithms! Gaeta has got this hero worship thing going on with Baltar because he’s one of the few people who can follow just what he’s doing. Now that humanity is destroyed, he’s probably the only cute little geek who can follow what Baltar does, intellectually. And he doesn’t have a Cylon chip in his brain.

Remember back in the mini-series when Adama wanted to jump beyond the red-line and Gaeta said “it’s never been done before.” and Adama said “I know, but can you do it?” and Gaeta said “yes.” Hello? Genius!

Remember when Baltar was accused of treason and Six had photographic evidence and Baltar was all, “it’ll take forever” and Gaeta was like, “yeah, it’ll take at least… a day” and Baltar was “huh?!?”

As for why Gaeta hasn’t gotten into Baltars Cylon detector and figured out everyone’s getting negative results, well I don’t know. But who plotted Boomer on a course that almost had her FTL jump into a planet? Hm?

It’s no surprise to me Gaeta figured out the Cylon devices. I only hope the writers let him grow into what I think he is. The fleet’s true genius.

Aw, come on. It’s in a religious museum like the Shroud of Turin is on earth.

Wow, wow and wow. Did I say “wow”? That openning scene was fantastic. This show just keeps gettng better and better. I thought the tension between all the various characters was just spot on. Probably one of the best episodes so far, and I can hardly wait to see the conclusion. They definitely need to lock us Balthar, though-- the guy is a certified nut case…

Speaking of the trailer, what did Adama mean about “moving the bishop” in regard to the Cylon Death Star? Was that nothing more than a chess analogy, and if so, why bother showing it in the most tightly-edited part of the show?

After the dance scene last week, I thought it would take a while for the Apollo-Starbuck sexual tension angle to warm up. Moore didn’t waste any time, though.