It’s been nearly eight months since the unbelievably awesome conclusion to the third season of Battlestar Galactica. It will be about four months until the next new episode of Battlestar Galactica. Seven two-minutes webisodes about a young William “Husker” Adama and a two-hour movie about Admiral Cain and the Pegasus hardly seem like enough, but after watching “Razor” there are plenty of jaw-dropping revelations, including one about the third season finale that will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew.
“Razor” begins with a quick recap of everything we already know about the Pegasus. It meets up with the Galactica, Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes) is a hard-ass who gets assassinated by the Pegasus version of Number Six (named Gina), and is replaced by two more short-lived admirals until Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber) is given control. Then “Razor” begins with Lee’s swearing in ceremony, while a disgruntled woman we will learn to be Lt. Kendra Shaw (Stephanie Jacobsen) listens in, playing with a switch blade, which serves as the titular razor.
Once in charge, Lee calls Kendra in to get her story. Cain spoke highly of her, but the other admirals of Pegasus had their troubles with her. We jump back to 10 months ago on Kendra’s first day at the Pegasus. She is directed to the CIC by Gina (Tricia Helfer). Kendra notes that her last name (Invier) is Geminon for “resurrection.” Nice. Kendra gets to the CIC where Cain is having fun torturing her, playing with her razor, the same one Kendra has in the future. While she walks away, the ship is attacked, and Cain quickly comes to the realization that the Cylons have broken the armistice. After slapping Kendra into consciousness, they return to the CIC where Cain orders the FTL drives to be spun up. Kendra is weary of making a blind jump, but since the alternative is to let Cylon nukes hit them, Cain orders it.
Back in the “present” of this story, Lee offers Kendra the XO position because he wants to restore the pride and legacy of the Pegasus to its crew.
In the aftermath of the Cylon attack, Kendra notices the computer virus Gaius Baltar (James Callis) built into the defense system that allowed the Cylons to attack, so she warns Cain against rebooting. Once she begins to understand the total devastation of the attack, Cain gets on the speaker and gives a rousing speech to her crew about how the Cylons have pretty much destroyed all of humanity. Unlike William Adama (Edward James Olmos), priority one for Cain is payback. This is greeted by a chorus of “So say we all.”
Cain sits down with her main crew for a dinner to discuss that, despite what she said, she won’t go gung-ho in seeking revenge, but will make a calculated plan of attack against the Cylons by finding their weaknesses. Unfortunately, Gina is invited to dinner. Even more unfortunate: Gina and Admiral Cain are involved! Romantically! You have to admire the sexuality of Number Six, able to coerce any person of importance (Baltar and now Cain). Also, the combined sexiness of the tough Michelle Forbes and the pure eroticism of Tricia Helfer makes for perhaps the hottest lesbian couple on all of television.
In the “present,” Kendra is leading a Viper mission, and Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) is none too happy about her erratic, dangerous style. Kendra warns Kara Thrace about defying orders.
In the past, Cain is planning an attack on an incoming fleet of Cylon raiders. There are a lot of them, and Cain’s XO thinks it’s a trap. He refuses to deploy the rest of their Vipers, and Cain asks for his sidearm. He reluctantly hands it to her, and she shoots him square between the eyes. Wow, I knew Cain was a bad-ass, but that was insane. Fisk is called forward and made the new XO. He, of course, follows Cains orders.
During the attack, a group of Cylon Toasters board the Pegasus. Kendra is shooting at them when she sees someone she recognizes – Number Six! It’s the blonde version, but she still is freaked out and shoots her right in front of a security camera. Kendra figures out the whole Cylon skin job thing pretty easily after this, and she returns to the CIIC and aims her gun at Gina. Cain is confused, but when she sees the dead Number Six, a look of fear washes over her, and she orders Gina be taken away. Gina tries to fight back, but is stopped by Kendra.
In the “present,” the Lee-led Pegasus finds some old-school Centurios. Sharon (Grace Park) identifies them as Guardians, a long-rumored fleet of out-dated Centurions tasked with protecting a Cylon Hybrid, something in between the toasters and the present-day skin jobs. It looks like we’re taking our first step in understanding exactly what the Final Five are. William Adama recalls a mission during the First Cylon War, and we flash back to the webisodes of Husker finding a Cylon laboratory with humans being experimented on and a vat of goo we know to be a Cylon downloading tank. Husker hears a mysterious, booming voice echoing the theme of the entire series: “All this has happened before, and will happen again.” Husker calls in to the Galactica to learn the Cylons and humans have signed an armistice and the war is over.
Kendra has mapped out a mission for Starbuck to do recon on these Guardians, and Lee is a bit worried about an incident Kendra was involved in where innocent people were killed.
Ten months ago, Kendra and Cain are reflecting on Gina and how they told her their secrets. Lt. Thorn is called in, and Cain, feeling hurt and betrayed not just because Gina was a Cylon, but because she was her lover, gives him a blank slate for torture. We all know where this goes, with Lt. Thorne complicit in repeated rape of the Cylon, ultimately leading to his death when he tries to do the same thing to Sharon.
The Pegasus find a fleet of humans, and Cain doesn’t particularly care about that, but orders her crew to board the 15 ships and take whatever they need. The other ships aren’t too happy when they realize the Pegasus will take some people and all the FTL drives, but leave the rest to die. Families resist, and when Fisk calls Cain, she orders him to kill the familieis of anyone who doesn’t comply. It’s harsh, but Cain is taking the call while staring at Gina, so common sense has completely left her mind and she’s making decisions on blind rage. Fisk obliges, and the method is awful, but effective, as the word spreads and there will be no more resistance.
Cain is sort of proud of Kendra, and tells her that becoming this hard and cold in the face of such tragedy turns you into a “razor” and that this war is turning everybody into razors. She says it with a resolved sadness while playing with her switch blade.
In the “present,” Kendra and Starbuck are on their mission which involves playing decoy for the Guardians. They’re successful, and we see some Guardians doing their awesome robotic talking about how they’ve succeeded and now heading for the Pegasus. On the Guardian ship, Starbuck and Kendra come across a group of humans being tested on by Cylons just like Husker saw during the First Cylon War. They take them away, but are quickly under Guardian fire. The Guardians capture one of the men, but Kendra kills him first so he’s not experimented on.
The detonator on the nuke they have to destroy the Guardian ship is fried, so Kendra orders a manual detonator be set up. The only option is to leave someone behind to set it off while the rest get on an evacuation ship to return to Pegasus. Kendra pulls a gun on Starbuck and orders her to leave so Kendra can stay behind and complete her mission. She’s a razor through and through, the only question is whether or not that’s a good thing. Kendra hears the booming voice that repeats the refrain Husker heard in the past.
She finds the source of the voice, and it’s an old man in a download tank, the Cylon Hyrid the Guardians are protecting. He’s possibly the “God” the Cylons talk of, the origin of the skin jobs. He asks Kendra if she wishes to be forgiven. She goes over to him and he grabs her and tells her a secret.
He tells her that Kara Thrace will lead humanity to their end. She is “the herald of the apocalypse, the harbinger of death.” If they follow her, they will all die. Wow, way to put a huge damper on the uplifting end to season 3. The Cylon Hybrid says that his life will end, and he will start anew, though he’s not sure how. “All this has happened before, and will happen again. Again. Again. Again. Again.” Then Kendra sets off the nuke.
In a brief epilogue, Starbuck suggests giving Kendra a commendation before moving back to the Galactica, while Adama tells his son to start writing this chapter of history.
“Razor” also included an awesome preview of Battlestar Galactica season 4, coming in March. Saul Tigh’s (Michael Hogan) actions are questioned. Baltar is believed to be a miracle healer. And everyone is surprised to see Kara Thrace is alive, but the question is whether they believe she knows the way to Earth.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of Sc Fi Channel)