Tonight’s the night Galactica fans have been waiting for. We finally get to see what happened to Pegasus during and after the Cylon attack on the colonies. It promises a return to the ‘one step from oblivion’ tension of the first season, and, for the most part, it succeeds.
First, the good stuff. Razor is well acted, with most actors turning in good to great performances. From a story standpoint, the tale of the Pegasus itself is told in flashback, but we do get to see some of what happened to her and her crew. Which brings us to the battle sequences. Tim and I were talking last week about space battle scenes, and I realized that Galactica, the new one, is chock full of great scenes. Razor is no exception. The attack on the space dock where Pegasus is undergoing repairs is awesome. The others aren’t quite as exciting, but they still manage to be visually interesting and well shot.
However, I did have some issues with Razor. Those of you expecting a lot of backstory on the Pegasus leading up to her encounter with Galactica, you’ll be a bit disappointed. The Pegasus‘s story is told in flashback form, centering on Kendra Shaw, who has become Lee Adama’s XO. We see the events that lead to the questionable actions of Admiral Cain and her crew after the Cylon attack, including the murder of innocents from a civilian fleet of ships running from the Cylons.
This is where the story falters. The flashbacks seemed very clunky to me, focusing on the wrong things. For example, in one scene, Cain gathers her officers together and states that, though they will fight the Cylons as long as they can, they won’t recklessly throw people at the Cylons. In the next scene, the Pegasus is attacking a base star and Cain orders the remaining Viper squadrons into what is a suicide attack. Her XO objects which leads to Cain executing him on the spot, even though he was right. No explanation forthcoming to explain why Cain went from reasonable but tough to psycho beotch from hell. She then continues to operate from the deep end, acting in an insane manner, with no real explanation. This leads to Major Shaw also taking questionable action during the encounter with the civilian fleet. Again, little explanation was given for why she would do what she did, or why she was the type of person who would be influenced by Cain’s actions.
Of course, it does setup the obvious tale of redemption that takes place during the ‘current’ time frame of Razor. A scouting mission from Galactica has gone missing, and Pegasus is tasked to find them. Of course they run into Cylons and must rescue the scouting mission from very familiar, but still rather cheesy, looking Cylons. Lee sends a mission to infiltrate a base star and extract the human crew. Which led me to ask why would you risk an entire battlestar, without backup, to rescue three people? Tactically, it doesn’t make sense. But from the redemption standpoint, of course they had to. This part felt forced, and not just for Shaw’s story.
It’s at the end, aboard the base star, that we learn the ultimate ‘fate’ for Starbuck and how it will affect humanity. If there had been no mission to the base star, we wouldn’t have had a chance to learn this secret. The way it was told felt forced, but it doesn’t really affect the impact of the information. What we learn makes season four much more interesting. Maybe we’ll even get to see how it ends.
Overall, while Razor is better than most of season three, it doesn’t live up to the tightness of the first season. Still, it’s well worth watching, especially for Galactica fans, who will be watching regardless.