BSG Twist

I just finished watching this week’s episode of "Battlestar Galactica" and I have to admit that while I wasn’t surprised by the ending, I was somewhat shocked by it. Do NOT read this entry if you haven’t seen "Maelstrom" yet.

I just finished watching this week’s episode of “Battlestar Galactica” and I have to admit that while I wasn’t surprised by the ending, I was somewhat shocked by it. The episode is called “Maelstrom” and focuses almost entirely on Starbuck. All the angst and madness since New Caprica (and even before) comes to a head as Starbuck is led toward her destiny. We still have no idea what that destiny really is but we know she is now squarely on the path to it.

The fleet is hiding around a planet that messes up sensors. Starbuck sees a cylon ship and takes off after it but nobody else sees it. She is nearly killed as she dives down the maelstrom at the centre of a massive storm but she snaps out of a trance state and reverses her dive before reaching the point of no return. She is plagued by memories and visions where her visions appear to her in the surrounding environment, somewhat like Six appears to Baltar or Baltar to Caprica Six. Eventually, Starbuck sees the cylon again and follows it down the maelstrom again, this time with Apollo following.

During the second dive, Starbuck has a vision in which she comes to terms with her mother’s death (by cancer) and her life to that point with the help of an apparently internal version of Leoben. We have a hint that her destiny lies between life and death. When she comes to, her conversation with Apollo indicates she has come to terms with life and death. We see her dive to the point of no return with Apollo in pursuit. There was something odd about the final scenes, however, as we see an odd light with Starbuck and we see the cylon ship from Apollo’s vantage point, just as Starbuck’s viper explodes.

It’s pretty clear that Starbuck died. Or at least it is supposed to look that way. The scene just played out a bit odd to me and I think there is something much more significant to it than the death of a primary cast member. There are hints elsewhere that seem to back this up (Dianna’s vision in the temple, for one). I am also reminded of the original incarnation of the series in which Starbuck’s fate was somewhat interesting as well. If I recall correctly, in the original (Galactica 1980), Starbuck essentially ascends (to borrow a term from Stargate) while saving a child who would later go on to save the fleet. I wonder if this episode wasn’t, at the very least, an homage to the original.

Dead or not, however, I fully expect we will see more from Starbuck, either in the season finale or next year. The producers are playing their cards tight to their vests so it’s impossible to say, really. And, with the unpredictability over the past several years, I have to admit that absolutely anything is possible.

Here’s to the producers of Battlestar Galactica for a powerful series that manages to avoid being totally predictable.

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