This week's Battlestar Galactica
is the one we've been waiting for. Someone flies, and someone dies. Oh wait, that's pretty much every episode of BSG.
A major cast member's name IS set to leave the show after this week, though. Spoilers ahead!
After the last episodes that focused heavily on Chief Tyrol, this week's Maelstrom finally brings us back to everybody's favourite hotshot problem pilot, Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Katee Sackhoff.)
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The official TV Guide synopsis of episode 3.17 of Battlestar Galactica
"Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace questions her sanity when a dogfight with a Cylon raider ends unexpectedly, and later she has recollections of her abusive mother (Dorothy Lyman) and nightmares about her time on New Caprica."
Adama is going to once again question Kara's fitness for duty after the dogfight, presumably sending her to her bunk to have her nervous breakdown, where she has R-rated dreams about her Cylon kidnapper Leoben (Callum Keith Rennie.)
This plotline doesn't particularly sound that important, but according to the producers contains a shocking twist, wherein something that happens to Starbuck leads to a "major shift in the show's direction."
As the Chicago Tribune said, [BSG producers] "Eick and Moore don't want to use the word 'death' when describing what happens to Starbuck in 'Maelstrom.'" The previews also show a wormhole-like vortex, sparking fan speculation that Starbuck might go through it and not return until next season, if ever.
Rumours also abound on fan sites that Starbuck might be revealed as a Cylon, although how that would work is anyone's guess.
Somebody's certainly leaving; the opening credits are going to be different for the final three episodes of this season ("The Son Also Rises" and the two-part season finale "Crossroads," which all focus on the trial of Gaius Baltar) with one of the leads missing following this week's Maelstrom. For months now, the Battlestar Galactica producers have been pretty obviously hinting that it's Starbuck who's going, but is this all just misdirection? We'll have to tune in and see.
-Mel, BuddyTV Staff Columnist