We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Jane Espenson to the rescue! Full disclosure: I’ve long subscribed to the feeling that approaching God like a vending machine is problematic, so hearing Elosha say exactly that pretty much guaranteed this would be A+ territory for me. Mileage may vary on that point.
While falling victim to the season’s criminal pacing a bit (perhaps if we’d spent less time in previous episodes puttering around, Roslin’s epiphanies could have been extended a touch–and what a shock that D’Anna wants to go someplace before revealing the Final Five during the half-season finale next week), “Hub” finds Espenson righting the ship for the second time this season. Once again we see that both Cylon and human must stretch to a higher plane–becoming more like each other, perhaps, in the process–in order to have a chance of being saved. Roslin’s time between the molecules during the jumps takes us all the way back to Bill Adama’s speech at the end of the miniseries: she may have been squeezing herself dry trying to save humanity, but in the process she’s adapted the worst characteristics of the machines she’s fighting against, becoming cold, clinical, and isolated. Whether it’s the Cylons trying to figure out how to reproduce or the president who is the glue holding what’s left of humanity together, all they need is love–and in the end, the capacity to love is what will bring them together and make them worth saving.
I’ve been wibbling a bit this season about whether there’s a difference between enjoying this show on a macro level and enjoying it on a micro level, and I think I was wrong–the real difference is in being able to enjoy well-executed episodes and being disappointed by poorly-executed ones. When you can get even a committed non-shipper like me to be wailing “Kiiiiiiiiiiss heeeeeeeer!” through my tears during the Adama/Roslin reunion, you’ve got the micro right. When you’ve got Helo pausing to wonder about the Cylon bodies being destroyed, you’ve got the macro right. When you’ve got perhaps the final confirmation that Baltar is a genuine believer through his comedic attempts to convert the centurions, you’ve got the micro right. When you’ve got D’Anna swiveling every faction under her thumb, you’ve got the macro right. When you’ve got Baltar (finally!) confessing his role in genocide and Roslin (finally!) hearing that truth and then finding the link between earning humanity’s right to survive and her own in forgiving him, you’ve got Battlestar Galactica right. It isn’t that one can only enjoy the show from either a micro or a macro perspective–it’s the weaving together of the micro and the macro that makes this show special.
And if Mary McDonnell loses an Emmy to the likes of, I don’t know, Mariska Hargitay, I’m sending out the centurions. If The Sopranos got to whine and moan until episodes of theirs that were broadcast after the nomination deadline could be considered, I’d like to see “Hub,” broadcast less than a week “late,” available for Mary McDonnell to submit, please.