Good Tee Vee

Things are certainly looking up, what with Jack back and Heroes also making its return next week. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight the kick-off of the second half of Battlestar Galactica’s third season. The Sci-Fi network is running an all day marathon today and I just so happened to come in as they were airing “Unfinished Business”, which, in my humble opinion, is not only one of the best episodes of the series, but also one of the better pieces of tv that I’ve seen in the last year.

The episode is built around a boxing tournament but is intercut with flashbacks to the occupation on New Caprica that give each bout more emotional heft. Adama allowing himself to be beaten to a pulp by the chief would have been almost enough on its own, but the final bout with Lee and Kara and all of their considerable emotional baggage is fantastic, simply because it captures how powerful and destructive desire can be if left unchecked.

People who write the show off as simply science fiction are missing one of the better shows in recent tv history. One of the major plot lines of the early part of this season dealt with the remaining human population (aka “insurgents” in the view of the Cylons) resorting to suicide bombing to strike back at their oppressors. Surely this subject matter is influenced by recent world events, but by tweaking the situation just a little (by making us identify with the humans, the audience, in a sense, comes to view the bombings as necessary) it challenges the viewer to consider the idea of terrorism in a way they might not have before.

It’s a morally ambiguous show for morally ambiguous times, but it’s all the better for it.

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~ by uvasig on January 16, 2007.

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