Battlestar Galactica Three words (but you'll have to fill them in yourself, and no, one of them isn't frak): WTF? I've given the

Galactica producers and writers plenty of credit for reinventing the lame original and in the process putting together one of the best sci-fi shows to ever hit TV. I've also slagged them for giving us subpar installments this season with the hooker-out-of-thin-air/gangster and, to a lesser degree, Die Hard-in-space episodes. But all along I've tried to keep the faith that those were just minor burps, and the producers, just like the Cylons, have a plan. I gotta tell you, though, folks: This one leaves me wondering.

I mean, c'mon. After luring me into a false sense of security with last week's noirish beginning, then doing just fine this week while throwing the minor surprise of Dean Stockwell being a Cylon at us, they sweep the pieces off the board. They may still have the overall story arc mapped out, and they may know exactly what they're doing, but this is a pacing problem. We spend nearly two full episodes on an election, and then we jump ahead a year in the final half hour? I got tired enough of the "36 hours earlier" device, but now we get Adama with a 'stache, Starbuck with longer hair, a Cylon-declared truce and the expectation that we'd buy that Adama & Co. allowed Baltar to leave the last remaining humans in the universe completely exposed to a Cylon attack. As always, I still enjoy this series, and I know the Galactica folks have the juice to keep delivering a great show, but I think they're asking a lot here. That said, however, I still love that a sci-fi show has more cajones, political-commentary-wise, than anything else on TV these days. An out-of-touch leader who, after a devastating attack, misleads his people into making themselves more vulnerable than ever before? As my colleague Matt Roush wrote when discussing 24, where do these writers get their ideas? Michael Peck