Title: “The Eye of Jupiter”
First Aired: 12/15/2006
This week, Battlestar Galactica‘s intrepid humans delight in an all-you-can-eat salad buffet of global proportions. Alas, unexpected dinner guests are about to crash the party. Break out the Pepto!
In last week’s episode, the Colonial fleet successfully navigated the hellish star cluster that stood between it and a desperately needed new food source. Two vessels and numerous lives were lost en route to the promised land of the Algae Planet. Angst-ridden antihero-pilot Kat was one of the RIPs.
The weight of these tragedies is obviously taking its toll on several key characters. Chief Tyrol, in charge of the food harvest, starts hearing mysterious sounds reminiscent of the Taos Hum in the arid, stinky canyons surrounding the algae swamps. Lee and Dualla’s crumbling marriage is about to follow that of Starbuck and Sam Anders into the crapper.
Coincidentally, all four players in this extended four-way find themselves down on the planet. Anders, soaked in sweat and earning his rank among the hottest hunks in Sci Fi TV (second only to Stargate Atlantis‘ painfully gorgeous leading man, Joe Flanigan), toils on Tyrol’s team. So do Lee and Dualla, while managing to avoid direct eye contact with one another. After buzzing the encampment in a raptor that somehow escaped getting singed in the cluster, Starbuck shows up for a little touchy-feely time with Lee. Shame in the face of the gods is preventing Starbuck from getting an official divorce from Anders. Shame in the face of his wife stops Lee from continuing his frak-fest with Starbuck. The two players sulk away with a serious case of blue ones, their passions unfulfilled.
Elsewhere in the Cylon base fleet, the three-way between Caprica Six, Three, and Baltar has hit its own snag. Six finds herself the odd woman out as Three and Greasebaltar grow closer in their religio-sexual pursuits. Did C-Six think a man who would continuously betray his human brethren wouldn’t do the same if it turned out he was indeed one of the five as-yet-unrevealed skinjobs? Doctor Drew from Loveline could have told her that three-ways, while exciting, rarely work out in the long term.
Down on Algae Planet, Tyrol discovers the source of the mysterious hum — a towering 4,000 year-old temple built into the heart of a mountain by the Thirteenth Tribe. Hidden somewhere within is the Eye of Jupiter, a powerful talisman that will point the way to Earth. As the team searches for the Eye, the Cylons — also coveting the Eye — show up en masse in four base stars. Presumably, they’ve had to navigate the same star cluster as the Colonials, though their hulls don’t look any worse for wear. It must also be noted that the Cylons didn’t bring a resurrection ship with them, so any toaster whacked at Algaeworld will be deader than that four-slice jobbie being freecycled at your local transfer station.
The remaining two civilian ships in the Colonial fleet, containing the last 17 human survivors, FTL away. Galactica faces off against the base fleet as the ground crew packs up to rejoin them. Roslin correctly voices that the Cylons can’t be allowed to get their hands on the roadmap to Earth, so Adama decides to carpet-bomb the planet with nukes. The Cylons hold their fire and, for the very first time, open a direct phone line to the CIC, offering a truce. Understandably, Roslin and Adama are skeptical, but welcome an enemy delegation onboard as a stall tactic, so their people can find the Eye and escape the planet.
In typically arrogant Cylon fashion, Three, Greasebaltar, and the always repellent Cavil strut onto the Galactica to propose a truce. Also present in their party is Boomer-Sharon. (She’s the one who shot Adama at the end of Season One.) Athena-Sharon reports to a freshly reinstated Colonel Tigh. Tigh, talking tough and wearing a little triangle over his missing peeper, would have benefited from finding the Eye of The Lost Room. That way, he could have just zapped the Cylons into dust and rags, a la Karl Kreutzfeld. Instead, he informs Boomer-Sharon that she’s not going anywhere near the Old Man, setting up the inescapable revelation to Athena-Sharon that little Hera is alive over on the command base star.
Three tells Adama that the Cylons will trade amnesty for the Eye. Cavil even offers to throw Greasebaltar their way to sweeten the deal. Adama gets right in Three’s smug lemon-sucking face and tells her to take a leap into Algaeworld’s sun, which is mere days away from going supernova. If the Cylons land a single ship on the planet, he’ll unleash the Galactica‘s nukes on the temple. Boom.
More high tension plays out. Helo and Athena learn the truth behind Roslin’s deception and emote darkly. Too bad Helo didn’t realize the toasters were destined to chase down the Colonial fleet when Roslin planned to infect them all with that deadly beacon virus a few episodes back. Maybe Helo’s really one of the mysterious five as-yet-unrevealed skinjobs? Down on the surface of Algaeworld, Lee mobilizes the harvest team into a mini-resistance and puts Sam in charge. Starbuck’s raptor gets shot down by the sneak Cylon task force that slipped in under DRADIS during the base fleet’s arrival. A sweat-drenched, rabid Anders vows to rescue her despite Lee’s protest, which he delivers at gunpoint. Three and Greasebaltar test Adama’s threat and head down to the planet with six heavy raiders. Meanwhile, Algaeworld’s sun could blow up at any instant, seeming to fulfill another of the Book of Pythia’s religious prophecies while also providing a nifty way to dispose of four Cylon base stars.
Like “Pegasus” at last season’s halfway point, “The Eye of Jupiter” leaves Galactica outgunned and facing off against a powerful opponent. This episode isn’t anywhere near as riveting as its elegant predecessor, but it puts the series back on track after two tragic misstepisodes.
On Sunday, January 21, 2007, the Sci Fi Channel hopes to attain ratings “Rapture” when Battlestar Galactica moves to its new day and time. Dualla holds the key to saving Starbuck as the standoff between Galactica and the Cylon base fleet reaches flashpoint.