“The Tie That Binds” – BSG Raw

From SciFi.com

Battlestar Galactica made its mark on cinematic sci-fi by taking an uncharacteristic sci-fi approach. The show has not been so much about going where no one has gone before or exploring strange new worlds. BSG’s focus has been doggedly and stubbornly turned inward, toward its crew and the basic conflict between themselves and their Cylon coutnerparts. Gone are the voice-command computers, isolinear chips, and even the obligatory happy ending.

Welcome instead to hell in space.

I wasn’t going to write about this episode, but for a different reason why I didn’t write about the previous one. I felt last week’s “Six of One” was a setup show, it built the suspense while keeping many details out. It gave us a chance to reacquaint ourselves with the core characters, it was a good show, provided a few nice surprises, but one I couldn’t add anything to compared to what you already saw.

But this, “The Tie That Binds”, was such a visceral and raw episode. Probably like yourself, I found it painful to endure. Which, paradoxically, is what makes the show so great.

It’s a well known device in story telling: create great characters, flesh them out, then send them to hell. Some make their way slowly, others take the A-train. For most, they’re given a reprieve with little room to spare, only because they have to recoup before they’re sent back again. And again. And again.

What’s worse than screaming like a lunatic saying you know were Earth is, and finally gaining the trust of your very skeptical adoptive father, only to fail and realize that maybe you are stark raving mad after all?

Or to find that lover is also your most bitter enemy? And that evil now taints your child?

Or, that your wife only married you because it was easy?

And of course that’s not the half of it. Nor, do I think we’re anywhere near the end of it. We’re less than half-way through this mini-season, and I dread what the last episode will reveal. Because the way they’re writing, it’s as if each episode were the finale.

Will it all be revealed? We’ll just have to wait and see.

And breathe. And endure.

Photo: SciFi.com

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