The One Where Vala Leaves the Show began with Mitchell finally getting "the band back together" viz., the return of Amanda Tapping's Sam Carter (who, by the way, would look even better with a perm). Together the gang of five sought to prevent their latest enemies from gaining a beachhead in our galaxy by using an übernuke that would detonate the Ori before the Priors could come flooding through the Stargate to preach his putrid gospel of obeisance. But no the Ori used the energy of the weapons arrayed against them to create a HUGE Stargate that was disrupted only when Vala flew a cloaked cargo ship into its middle. The portal was destroyed (yay!) but Vala disappeared (boo!). Is she dead? Vala's unresolved exit gives Claudia Black the chance to return whenever her schedule permits and let's hope it's soon, because she has been the unquestioned highlight of the ninth season. I haven't quite gotten used to Louis Gossett Jr. as Gerak, although it was certainly novel to see the former Iron Eagle giving the "Run away!" order to his Jaffa ships. Maury Chaykin's Nerus, on the other hand, is one of the most entertaining gluttons since Mr. Creosote, and a heckuva lot more devious. But amidst all this universe-shaking hoo-ha, I couldn't help but imagine how neat it would be if the Ori were vulnerable to something utterly trivial, like banjo music. SG-1, perhaps abetted by TV banjo gods Peter Tork, Roy Clark and George Segal (Grandpa Jones, of course, ascended to a higher plane), could strum away like Mummers burple-durple-dur blum-blum-bum thus causing the chief Ori to fall to his knees and cry in an affected, Paul Lynde-type whine, "I can't stand it!" Now that's spacey. G. J. Donnelly
Here's something different for Galactica: grim. Things are looking grim. Don't let me fool you, though I love this grim and find it highly entertaining. Still, why can't Adama ever see the silver lining in things? I mean, so 18,000 people on 24 ships just joined Roslin's rebellion, according to what Dee tells Adama. But, hey look at the good news: You've got two thirds left! Not good enough, I suppose. Anyway, isn't it interesting that all these devout people who want to return to Kobol shut up when reminded that the Scriptures say going down there will cost blood? Piety wilts when you can't be sure it's going to be someone else's blood. And somebody tell Apollo it might not be the best idea to overplay his hand and lay a heavy one on Starbuck when he's not sure she returns his crush. D'oh, too late.
Say, Adama cracks walnuts with his bare hands. That's why he's in charge. But here's a question: Why is Baltar so paranoid about eight Cylons hiding among the humans in the fleet when he's already got one living in his head? Moving right along, now I realize why those big metal Cylon centurions freak me out. They have machine guns for hands, so it's not like being scared of a Smurf or anything. Not that fear stops Cylon Boomer from taking one down very nicely. Nor does stubbornness stop Adama from saying he wants to reunite the fleet. Which means I'm willing to forgive this show, which (again) I like a lot, for an episode that involves a lot of setup. After all, I knew what I was in for when I saw the "Part 1" in the title. So hands up: Who plans to miss Part 2 next week? Right... didn't think so. Michael Peck