Rating: **1/2 (out of four)
Written by: Michael Angeli
Directed By: Robert Young
If you ask me, “The Son Also Rises” is more about the death of Kara “Starbuck” Thrace than “Maelstrom” was. Why do I say that? Because the latter purported to show us why Starbuck committed suicide, yet failed in that very task, while largely ignoring the effects her downward spiral and explosive end had on those she left behind. They never understood the whys and wherefores of any of it, but we, the viewing audience, were supposed to. But we were left as much in the dark as the rest of the cast.
As “TSAR” opens, we see the quaking aftermath. It’s been two weeks. Admiral Adama is at his desk, going through Kara’s personnel file – by implication, the latest of many, many times. He sees her commendations, then rifles through her rather sizeable pile of disciplinary reprimands. Then he comes across a birthday card Kara gave him that includes a picture of her in Adama-like spectacles and a big, cheesy mustache. The caption reads, “See the resemblance? Happy birthday, young man.” The Admiral wipes away his tears while chuckling and muttering, “Yeah, I see the resemblance.”
Major Adama is also trying to cope with the loss of (perhaps) the only woman he ever truly loved (his wife, Dualla, included). He’s in the hallway where the pictures of the dead are mounted, contemplating where to put his pic of Kara. Before he can decide, he’s summoned to the flight deck, where Sam Anders is atop a viper, playfully and drunkenly flipping a coin. Lee tries to talk him down, which only causes Anders to break down, and then fall down (which, presumably, was what Apollo was trying to prevent). Sam bleats inconsolably, “She’s alive, right?” Lee quietly replies, “She’s gone, Sam.” “I know,” Anders sobs.
Even Colonel Tigh is affected. In the CIC, listening to pilot chatter, the hardass XO mutters, “I never thought I’d miss all of Starbuck’s yakking.”
The opening seven minutes was a better exposition on Starbuck’s death than the previous week’s entire hour. Something of this magnitude should have a lasting impact on all involved, and here we see that it is.
But we also see that live does go on. It is inevitable. And the shadow of Starbuck’s departure from this mortal coil has effects on subsequent events that nobody could have predicted.
The particular chain of events is kicked off when a bomb planted in Racetrack’s Raptor kills Baltar’s legal counsel....
Next: Apollo contemplates a bizarre career change.