<EM>Laguna Beach</EM> Laguna Beach

Battlestar Galactica
Now here's a situation I can identify with: the Cylon virus knocking out the main and auxiliary power on board, not unlike the many times that I blew a fuse with my AC while living in New York. Not that we had any auxiliary anything, you understand. We just had flashlights and basement fuse boxes that hung from their own wires. Enough about me, though. Yet another testament to how well done this show is the way they manage to make CGI Cylon warriors terrifying. You see exactly what it's like to run into one in a dark hallway, and it ain't pretty. And I didn't realize how freakin' big they were. Down on Caprica, Starbuck's laying into Helo. "Your girlfriend's from a lovely family," she says of Cylon Boomer. "Good people. Great values." Oh, c'mon. She's gonna give the guy crap when she already knows he's been on the run for months, one of only two humans (as far as he knew) on the entire planet? Well, yeah apparently she is. Meanwhile, Baltar can't figure out why Adama, in a dream, would want to drown Baltar and Number Six's baby. Just a guess here, Doc, but I'm thinking it has something to do with your kid serving the purposes of the guys who nearly wiped out all of human civilization. Crazy talk, I know. But who figured Starbuck for a painter, and not a bad one at that? Nice scene where she listens to the recording of her father playing classical piano, too. "Everyone I know is fighting to get back what they had," she says. "I'm fighting 'cause I don't know how to do anything else." Like I said, nice; just as the scene on Kobol, where Chief Tyrol has to deliver the fatal shot to the dying Socinus to make his death quick is painful to see. Great job cranking up the tension, too, when the last Cylon Centurions go for the aft damage-control room as the underarmed Apollo and his guys try to stop them. "We did it! We got 'em all! They don't look so big now, do they?" one guy screams after they get lucky and destroy the robots. "They were big enough," Apollo says. Good point all the dead people around him would likely agree. Once again, great episode. Maybe we can wait a little longer for Adama to wake up. It's been pretty interesting with him out of the picture like this (not that it wasn't good when he was up and about, mind you; I'm just saying especially since it seems to keep Tigh away from that pain-in-the-ass wife of his).  Michael Peck

Into the West
Whoa time for the casting switcheroo again. New Clara. Does Joanna Going really look so much older than Rachael Leigh Cook that we needed a new face rather than some makeup? I'll say it once more: The baby powder in the hair and lines around the eyes may not fool anyone, but it's a miniseries staple we've come to accept. I mean, they stuck with Irene Bedard as Margaret Light Shines, and that works fine for me. Moving on....What can you say about the tragedy of the ghost dance? As if the Indians hadn't suffered and seen their hopes crushed enough, here comes a new hope destined to be crushed and one that'll cost lives. "You just leave it alone, and likely as not the whole craze'll just die down on its own," Robert says of it, adding that locking up Sitting Bull will create the real problem that the dance isn't. Even then, I wonder if the problem might not have been so deadly had Royer shown everyone the bullet hole he blew in the ghost shirt, thus proving it couldn't stop a gun. "I've lost my center," Voices That Carry says. "The world has lost its center," Dog Star replies. Indeed it has, as we see when the slaughter begins anew. You'd think all the killing we've seen over previous nights might numb us a bit to the horror of Wounded Knee, but no such luck. They used cannons against unarmed women and children, and had riflemen lined up and placed to shoot those who tried to run away. Shameful and horrific. And once again, heartbreaking is the only word to describe Margaret breaking down and crying before she's able to make herself walk through the aftermath to photograph the carnage. A beautiful ending to the miniseries, though, as Loved by the Buffalo tells his people that "we live, and so we have hope." For his part, Jacob leaves a nice piece of parting wisdom, too: "We can't forget we're all part of the same wheel the hubs and the spokes and the felloes," he tells Jedediah. "You break one, you break the wheel." All too true. MP