12 June 2010

TV Meme: Day 12 - Episode Watched 5 + Times

The thing is I tend to watch about every series I own a episode several times over, often to the point where I can't even keep track of how often I've watched it. Doctor Who's 2010 special "The End of Time, Part Two" is a good example of this - I have no doubt I've watched the episode no less than seven times all the way through (including commentary). So instead of picking "The End of Time" again, or the Angel episode "Not Fade Away" (which I'm gonna hold in my pocket until a later day), I'm choosing to show off my Battlestar Galactica lovin'.

Usually, if one's gonna watch a episode several times over, it's gotta have something that other episodes don't have. Or, rather, said episode majestically blends all these wonderful elements into one amazing coherent 43 minute experience that leaves you breathless at the end each time. Season 4 of Battlestar Galactica, as developed by Ronald D. More (Star Trek: The Next Generation), featured plenty of such episodes. However, there is one that I've watched many, many, many times because it is so freakin' fantastic: its rising tension, editing, performances, and jaw-droppingly beautiful score by Bear McCreary continue to keep me in a trance of awe no matter the number of viewings.

"Revelations", the tenth episode of season four, is a marvelous episode. Spoilers follow for those who haven't watched it (yet). Just as the title suggests, characters receive revelations that blow one another's socks off. This is the episode where all the cards are on the table, and a leap needs to be made or else everything will be lost forever. Possibly the most defining moment of the entire series is in this episode. In 43 minutes, the emotional equivalent of a depressing and simultaneously awe-inspiring 140 minute film extravaganza unfolds as our protagonists and antagonists merge in a common goal, and the icing on the cake is the gut-wrenching final seconds as the episode closes with gloom and doom.

I've watched it 5 + times because it is a exceptional episode. The art of editing is hardly something that is particularly noticed by a viewer unless it's a Christopher Nolan film, but here in "Revelations", one can't help but marvel at the utter precision, harmony, and fluency of how it's all pieced together. Additionally, in this single episode, I wouldn't hesitate to nominate and give Emmys and any other possible award to every member of its cast - and its one helluva big cast. Every actor in this episode displays sheer excellence in their nuanced performances, and its baffling to think that none of this is real - you're so completely sucked into the reality these characters inhabit and the impossible choices made every minute of every day.

A lot of stuff is crammed into this single episode, and it's a testament to the stellar writing team (and again, the editors) that "Revelations" doesn't become too big for its shoes (pardon the horrible expression). One thing that BSG has always got right is its emphasis on characters over the story. "Revelations" displays a beautiful coalescence of both. From a stand-off between the humans and the Cylons, Kara Thrace and her revelations, the revelations of four of the Final Five, the revelation of a new era being commissioned by humanity and its destroyer, and of course, the ultimate revelation of the mythological planet Earth.

I could go on and on about how awesome this episode is - and I'd like to if anyone wants to comment and discuss "Revelations" - but I should probably leave it at this.

If there's still folks who aren't sold on Battlestar Galactica Redux, just think of it likes Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. There's a higher storyline concept that may not appeal to you, but at its core, the characters that inhabit the screen are so rich and captivating that every second you spend with them is friggin' amazing. You're literally running to put the next disc in, and possibly being late for work as a consequence. Those are the shows I watch over and over and over and over - a crazy, out of this world, supernatural-ish subject as its main theme, but when you get right down to it, the characters and everything they do is just as captivating and enthralling as anything you do in reality.

Sheesh - that may make me sound rather sad...

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