OLD-MAN FIIIIIGHT! [Battlestar Galactica – Sine Qua Non]

‘Sine Qua Non’ can be likened to a bad dream – emphasis on bad. Every season has a clunker or two (last year’s included the inscrutable ‘The Woman King’), and this week’s patchy instalment proves the rule holds true for season four.

It’s not that I object to the storylines that unfolded, it’s just that nearly all of them felt… unearned. For starters, Lee is the president (for now)? I bitched after the last episode that he hasn’t had much to do lately, but this development seems like too much of a forced attempt to construct a story for him.

What bothered me most about this plot (even more than the fact it was totally obvious Lee would wind up president) was the awkward return of Romo Lampkin, who Lee recruited to help pick a replacement for Roslin. All that business with cat-corpse-carrying Lampkin pulling a gun on Lee still has me scratching my head – did he actually plan to shoot him, or was it just a psychotic test?

More inexplicable still was Adama’s decision to step down as admiral to catch up on his reading. This… makes zero sense. Sure, Adama is having trouble thinking straight with Roslin missing, but I don’t buy for a second that he’d abandon the fleet and navel-gaze in a Raptor. (Though I did get a kick out of his and Tigh’s ungainly old-man scuffle, and the ensuing irony when secret-Cylon Tigh was named admiral. Delicious).

And, maddest of all, Starbuck is back in charge of the CAG. The same Starbuck who’s spent the last couple of months dying, coming back to life, attempting to assassinate the president, cuddling up to known Cylons and leading ill-fated expeditions in search of EarthWhat?

It’s like the writers scrapped vital chunks of exposition in favour of legal talk-talk between Lampkin and the Adamas. I’m disappointed this is how they resolved the previous episode’s dramatic cliffhanger; perhaps next week’s instalment, which I guess will relive the basestar’s disappearance from Roslin and Baltar’s perspective, can pick up the pace.

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