What the frak?

Finally, at long last, it’s back. The long awaited, much anticipated final episodes of Battlestar Galactica have come to a television near you, as long as that television has cable or satellite.

Finally, at long last, it’s back. The long awaited, much anticipated final episodes of Battlestar Galactica have come to a television near you, as long as that television has cable or satellite.

But, if you’re anything like me, you just curl up in the warm glow of your laptop and watch the new episode on SCI FI Wire, Hulu or some sort of pirated copy. They’re all viable options (if not totally legal).

Although, there is an option considerably less geeky than waiting till 11 p.m. on a Friday night, when the show has concluded network broadcast, and jumping on the net to watch the ongoing adventures of the crew of the Battlestar Galactica.

Seems the Bagdad Theater is hosting a weekly screening of new episodes as they air. Which means you can go watch Battlestar on a big screen with a bunch of other geeks, all while enjoying the benefits of a McMenamin’s theater pub: alcohol, food and a big screen.

You’re going to want to get there early for good seats, Battlestar is popular. I know, it came as a surprise to me as well.

You see, due to its fucking brilliance, Battlestar is well liked in mainstream crowds. It might be because the program is an illuminating commentary on the current geo-political climate and the complex role terrorism plays within that context, or it might just be that Tricia Helfer (Six) plays the sexiest damn robot I’ve ever seen.

Either way, Battlestar is a show enjoyed by fanboys, fangirls, fantrans and their non fan-prefixed counterparts.

Plus, Portland holds a special significance for the Battlestar faithful. Katee Sackhoff who plays Starbuck, the finest damn Viper pilot this side of Caprica, was born and raised in Beaverton.

Unfortunately, we’ll only get to enjoy Starbuck and the rest of the crew of the Galactica for nine more episodes as this season heralds the finale of the series’ auspicious run.

Yes, we still get Caprica, a SCI FI channel prequel series that explores the lives of Joseph Adama (Bill Adama’s father) and Daniel Graystone (not yet introduced), but that’s not ’til 2010 and they’re throwing out the whole space opera format.

Battlestar will be greatly missed but there are still plenty of secrets to be exposed. As the advertisements for the final episodes have touted “You will know the truth.” And indeed, you will.

Battlestar‘s return has brought with it a plethora of plot developments heavy enough to crush an armored tank into tin foil. And if the aforementioned developments are as abundant as in “Sometimes a Great Notion” (last week’s midseason premiere) you’ll wonder how Caprica could possibly have any mysteries remaining to be explored.

So, did Battlestar prematurely shoot its wad? Let’s hope not, but let’s look back at the series, and specifically at last week’s episode, to consider some of the many questions that have arisen.

A note of caution: I will attempt to avoid disclosing secrets, but given we are talking about the fourth season, you should know that if you are not up to speed on the show, THE REST OF THE ARTICLE CONTAINS A SHIT-TON OF SPOILERS. You have been warned.

A little catch-up: Galactica and the Cylons, after forming a flimsy truce predicated on Starbuck’s viper dradis’ detection of a faint signal leading the two fleets to Earth, find the planet devastated two millennia after a nuclear war.

Cities lie in ruins, the baked and cooled bodies of what were once humans lie amongst the remains of … centurions? Yes, the 13th Tribe had developed their own Cylons, and after some tests by Baltar, we learn something very interesting about the inhabitants of this world.

Additionally, we come to learn that the final five Cylons bear a unique connection to the charred citizens of the planet. Sam Anders, after finding a busted guitar, has a flashback of sorts and goes on to imply that he is the reincarnation of a certain Freewheelin’ singer-songwriter of the 1960s.

So pretty much everyone goes into the early stages of a severe wack-attack. It is clear that a highly dosed chill-pill must be administered, one that might bring about an Obama level of cool. And who better to administer the pill than Lee Adama?

But after luring us, the audience, into a false sense of security, we find that Dee’s wack-attack, far too advanced in its progression, could not be halted. I ask, why you sonnuva bitch writers? Why do this to Dee?

Oh and let’s not forget when Starbuck finds the source of the dradis signal inside the rotting skull of a dead pilot who bears a suspicious resemblance to … Starbuck. Ho-lee shit.

Of course, at the end of the episode, we learn the identity of the 12th Cylon, and in the tradition of Arrested Development, my initial reaction was a quizzical expression accompanied by: “her?”

This first episode back has generated a lot of buzz. A lot of secrets have been revealed, but in doing so, a lot more questions have arisen. Yes, they found Earth and it was fucked, but more importantly, did they find our Earth?

If you’ll recall at the end of Season 3, as that crazy Battlestar-ed version of “All Along the Watchtower” blares, the final shot is a monumental zoom-out, one that takes us far outside the arms of a familiar spiral galaxy, only to zoom in to reveal Earth. Our Earth.

Unmistakable as the sun rises on North America.

But in last Friday’s episode, there was never a reveal of landmass on a global scale, cloud cover in the space shots consistently obscured the continents, and the burnt cities were generic and unrecognizable.

So, did they find Earth? If so, what happened to … well … us? The answers lie in the last nine episodes.