For months, Internet-savvy Battlestar Galactica fans have known that today, March 4th, was an important day for the beloved Kara “Starbuck” Thrace. The rumors were that after this episode of Battlestar Galactica, “Maelstrom”, one of our characters would be leaving the show. The smart money was Starbuck, as inconceivable as it seemed. As the date grew closer, many Battlestar Galactica fans looked upon the copious Starbuck death rumors as red herrings, disinformation to shield us from a more shocking departure for Starbuck. Surely, the brilliant minds behind Battlestar Galactica would not merely kill Starbuck. If she were to exit, it would be in a way that resonated with hope for her return and left her in an intriguing place for the story. Read on to find out if the rumors were true, and if so, was Starbuck done justice.
First, let’s dispense with the low point of the episode. Starbuck did, indeed, die. Her death was not at all a part of a plot device that we can expect to see played out later. If they did happen to bring her back at some point, it would be one of those Bobby Ewing moments. Starbuck has been reduced to little more than stardust at this point.
Now, Battlestar Galactica fans will no doubt be mad that Starbuck’s candle was snuffed, I’m a bit annoyed myself. Unfortunately, that might eclipse the truly remarkable aspect of this episode; the finely nuanced story of how Starbuck came into her reckless ways as the product of abuse and a childhood, and adulthood, devoid of parental esteem. Too powerful to merely summarize, it is a story of deep effect which should overshadow any fanboy disappointment over the loss of a beloved character.
The story of the eye of Jupiter took a surprisingly forced turn here though. We’ve been wondering for weeks what her connection was to the mysterious sign. As it turns out, there wasn’t. Starbuck dies by flying too far into the gravitational pull of a gas giant, on that gas giant she sees a storm system which looks like the eye of Jupiter. This sets off a series of hallucinations and bad dreams where Starbuck is reunited with her Cylon keeper from New Caprica who takes her, and us, on a guided tour of the gloomy, nicotine-stained walls of her shattered childhood governed over by her oppressive and brutal mother.
In these bizarro portions of the story we have the seedlings of a larger event, talk of preparing Kara for the space between life and death. That is Cylon talk, isn’t it? Could there in fact be a larger story ahead after all? We’ll have to stay tuned to find out.
In the meantime, according to the previews it looks like Apollo will be Baltar’s defense attorney, so there will be plenty of drama there to fill the Starbuck-shaped hole in Battlestar Galactica as it speeds towards its finale later this month.
– Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy SCIFI Channel)