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11.21.2007

GALACTICA RAZOR

Galactica: Razor
Directed by Felix Alcala
Written by Michael Taylor








Frak me if the postapocalyptic sturm and drang of Ronald Moore's Battlestar rejig isn't still the seismic motherlode of current longform sci-fic TV
- - - as opposed to shortform sci-fic TV, which is what Doctor Who is, which is every bit as grand so far. Nowhere near series best, though,this recursive, supersized episode flashing back to the brutal goings-on aboard the Battlestar Pegasus under Admiral Helena Cain's watch means to hinge everything so far - - - the new signposts to where Earth is, New Caprica, the Baltar trial, the four new unmasked Cylons, the return of Kara Thrace and the repercussions of what she brought back with her, that Bob Dylan song and what it means- - - with its looming final leg and is so vigorously co-dependent on at least the last two seasons that it has no autonomy as a piece, is so of a piece , really, that rookies to the mythos - - -essentially a spacebound Book of Exodus but so much more than that - - - should back off and boot up with the pilot, suck in that aura of haggard doom then work their way here before all the backstories and foreshadowings and reveals start to pack brunt and bristle.

The choir of geeks it preaches to, though, is bound to shudder with glee - - -at what was going on between Cain and the Number 6 she had on board, at the old school Cylons and what they're guarding, at the eleventh hour revelation that darkens everything to come. It isn't so much the severity of the sociopolitical mirror this new Galactica holds up to the world as we know it post-911 but the way interpersonal dynamics mutate under such conditions that resonate more with me- - - less the space opera than the space soap opera. Cain has one line epitomizing her venomous temperament that somehow nails, too, what the show, at its core, is ultimately about: “Sometimes we have to do things that we never thought we were capable of, if only to show the enemy our will. When you can be this for as long as you have to be, then you’re a razor. This war is forcing us all to become razors. If we don’t, we don’t survive, and then we don’t have the luxury of becoming simply human again." * * *

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