The Essential BSG?
July 30, 2011 1:53 PM   Subscribe

The Essential BSG: I have a Sunday afternoon and evening and I want to revisit the reimagined Battlestar Galactica. Which episodes MUST I watch?

The miniseries and the three-episode finale are locked. Which highlight episodes of seasons 1-4 will remind me of the tonal range of the show and also cover enough of the pivotal plot points to make it a coherent and satisfying way to spend several hours? My memory of the plot and main character arcs is fairly solid. Also: my afternoon starts early, and my evening ends late...
posted by Hugobaron to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Honestly I don't know if it's possible to skip around...maybe just try to do all of season 1?
posted by radioamy at 2:01 PM on July 30, 2011

Best answer: I agree with radioamy - but I have to say that Crossroads Pt 2 (the Season 3 finale) is one of the most amazing hours of television I have ever watched.

posted by TheOtherGuy at 2:07 PM on July 30, 2011

Best answer: 33, Water, The Hand of God, Scattered, Pegasus, Scar, Revelations, Lay Down Your Burdens/Occupation/Precipice, The Son Also Rises, and Crossroads. I hated Season 4, which is why none of my episodes come from it.
posted by SMPA at 2:13 PM on July 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I think you're both right radioamy and TheOtherGuy. So yes, SMPA, I guess what I'm asking for is "stand-out" episodes, so I can choose based on how much time I have, and not necessarily based on my own memory of the show. I actually quite like the baroque-soap season 4 (when three years' worth of melodramatic invention gets out of hand). Believe me, I'd do the whole shebang again if I had the time, this isn't meant to be comparable to the complete narrative, more like a nostalgic refresher...
posted by Hugobaron at 2:20 PM on July 30, 2011

Best answer: From Season 4 I'd watch Revelations, Sometimes a Great Notion and Daybreak (I and II).
posted by Memo at 2:24 PM on July 30, 2011

Best answer: 33 and the four Occupation-arc episodes at the start of Season 3...
posted by gerryblog at 2:30 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I did this a few months ago, and I chose to watch the Pegasus sequence (Pegasus and Resurrection Ship Parts I and II).

Alternatively, I would say watch everything from Lay Down Your Burdens to Exodus.
posted by Handstand Devil at 2:30 PM on July 30, 2011

Best answer: The mini, 33, Scar, Downloaded, and the New Caprica arc (beginning of season 3), would do it for me.
posted by vorfeed at 2:32 PM on July 30, 2011

Best answer: I have to second TheOtherGuy's recommendation - the season 3 finale episodes (the last two ) are wonderful. The space battle done to the tune of Hendrik's "Watchtower" is just beautifully done

With that said - watching the bulk of season 3 would be a requirement unless you just wanted to appreciate the cinematic quality alone.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 2:43 PM on July 30, 2011

Pretty much anything that is prior to season 4 has a 90+% chance of being cool.
posted by bitterkitten at 2:47 PM on July 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

Right. And Season 4 is okay as long as you stick to the first half.

I must share the protest, however, that a lot of the episodes rely oN long developing character arcs. I'm concerned you won't enjoy the standout eps as much if you don't have the history to appreciate the reveals. My 0.2.
posted by cavalier at 3:18 PM on July 30, 2011

Best answer: I'm an ass. Missed "revisit" on my phone here -- errrm, yeah, I like Handstand's reccomendation.
posted by cavalier at 3:20 PM on July 30, 2011

Response by poster: No prob cavalier. BSG has happened before, and it will happen again. These recommendations already are great. I'm after representative highlights in 12 hours, not completeness - I know exactly how it all goes down...
posted by Hugobaron at 3:41 PM on July 30, 2011

Best answer: The miniseries and the three-episode finale are locked.

That's five hours right there.

Watch the miniseries.

Then Flesh and Bone, Final Cut, Lay Down Your Burdens #2, Exodus #2, Unfinished Business, and Sometimes a Great Notion.

and then finish with 3 hours Day Break, if you insist. But really, I'd watch the last two hours of Daybreak and throw Scar before Lay Down Your Burdens. The ending was so unsatisfying, it seems a waste to spend so much time on it. Also, I'd skip Peagus as it was the indicator that BSG was going to wind up unsatisfying, so why bring up bad memories?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:55 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

A lot of my favorites have already been recommended (Scar, the Pegasus cycle, the Occupation cycle)

Let me add Water and Unfinished Business to the list. Especially Unfinished Business, which has some truly wonderful character moments with a bunch of my favorites.

(Also, this thread is making me want to rewatch the entire series. Again. Yes, even the ending, haterade notwithstanding. Or, to kidnap the entire cast and crew and force them to make new episodes for my amusement)

(just kidding)

posted by EatTheWeek at 4:04 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: (ALSO: the one-two punch of The Oath and Blood on the Scales)
posted by EatTheWeek at 4:07 PM on July 30, 2011

My favorites were the ones that looked at life in the fleet.
"Unfinished Business (s03ep09)" is the one with the boxing ring that goes through all of the conflicts among the characters.
"Scar" (s02ep15) is also great and very self-contained. You could almost watch it without having seen the series.
"Dirty Hands" (s03ep16) is the one that examines the worker's conditions in the fleet

Also, "Razor" just because it's awesome.
posted by Raichle at 4:08 PM on July 30, 2011

Best answer: Seconding "The Oath" and "Blood on the Scales" from Season 4. The best two episodes of a fairly subpar season.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:07 PM on July 30, 2011

I'd do the episodes/films that were Hugo Award winners or nominees:

33 (winner)
Downloaded (Ronald D. Moore's favorite episode)
posted by grouse at 5:24 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

This question is impossible to answer. One must watch all of them to fully appreciate the series. Also the webisodes.

Completionists FTW!

(Oh but you're allowed to fast forward through any scene featuring Kat.)
posted by inging at 5:59 PM on July 30, 2011

Best answer: Purely based on my favorite episodes, the following list for you:

1) The Farm (Season 2, Episode 5)
2) Home: Part 1 (Season 2, Episode 6)
3) Home: Part II (Season 2, Episode 7)
4) Hero (Season 3, Episode 8)
5) The Woman King (Season 3, Episode 14) (---> priceless for Colonel Saul Tigh's never minced words: "That’s because they’re [/Sagittarons are] a bunch of stubborn, root-sucking jackasses holding onto traditions that are a thousand years old." Okay, actually, lines from each of the above episodes are quoted in my journal. I'm slightly not embarrassed by this fact.)

(...I really need a gifted DVD boxed set. : ) Happy BSG Sunday!
posted by simulacra at 7:55 PM on July 30, 2011

(Oh but you're allowed to fast forward through any scene featuring Kat.)

That is so funny you say that, inging, because one of my all-time favorite episodes is The Passage. The interaction between Starbuck and Kat is heartbreaking and ultimately, tear-rendering.
posted by msali at 9:35 PM on July 30, 2011

I think you need to throw in the two Kobol's Last Gleaming eps because there's a lot of stuff packed into those two hours that pays off later.
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:43 PM on July 30, 2011

Best answer: Seconding the suggestion for "Exodus Part 2" if only for "The Adama Maneuver," which was one of the most brilliant/awesome moments of the entire series.
posted by schmod at 1:47 AM on July 31, 2011

« Older A leisurely stroll through the Smithsonian?   |   Ruby vs Java, which wins? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.