Battlestar Galactica recap: “Sine Qua Non” (episode S4x08)

By Mike

May 30, 2008 Television No comments

Things are changing quickly on Battlestar Galactica.  The entire landscape of the series has evolved big time in the eight episodes so far in this final season.

My recaps always contain spoilers obviously, but there is going to be another one at the end that you should skip if you didn’t see the previews for next week’s episode. I feel the need to address it and I’ll mark it clearly so you don’t accidentally get something ruined for you.

Last week we left off with a massive cliffhanger in which Roslin, Baltar, Helo and a bunch of Viper pilots got kidnapped away in the busted Basestar when the Hybrid awoke and screamed “JUMP!”

I’m not entirely sure if we’re supposed to believe now that the ship jumped away because of Natalie being shot and thus the truce betrayed, or if there was some other reason. Either way, Natalie ends up dead, earning Athena the wrath of Admiral Adama, who locks her in the brig without her daughter.

A lone, damaged Raptor with a dead pilot named Pike jumps to the fleet, they figure out where it came from and the resulting recon mission reveals the scene of a heavy battle. Dead Vipers float in amongst the debris from a Basestar and what could be the Resurrection Hub. We don’t know yet for sure if it was actually destroyed or not, but we are led to believe it was. So the plan worked, but Roslin’s Basestar also appears to be have been obliterated.

President Adama

In the meantime, the government is in turmoil with President Roslin gone. No one knows her fate, so Vice President Zarek takes the interim role as leader of the remaining humans in existence.

But that doesn’t sit well with Bill Adama. He wont even acknowledge Zarek as President, and passes a message to Lee to tell Zarek: Go to hell.

Lee understands this wont work, so he brings to Zarek’s attention that the Quorum has the power to appoint an interim president in the time of a crisis. Of course he says he has no one in mind and that a search committee will need to be form. But we all know from the get-go that Lee is the man for the job. Who else could do it? Who else would Bill accept?

But Lee goes about it correctly and enlists Romo Lampkin to help him. You’ll remember him as the lawyer from the Trial of Baltar.

I really didn’t get into this storyline too much because the outcome was obvious and the personal struggles of Lampkin don’t interest me too much. He sees a dead cat walking around and when he finally “realizes” that Lee wanted the job all along, he pulls a gun on him in the name of giving up hope. Young Lee would give the entire fleet a new hope that they hadn’t had in a long time, and with Lampkin’s disgust with the way things are, he’d rather wallow in misery.

But Lee does get sworn in as President of the Colonies, which is a long way from his leaving Galactica at the start of the season.

Tigh and The Six

We find out something else tonight, another tidbit that I already figured was coming after SciFi put up some very obvious previews last week. More on those later in my special spoiler section.

Caprica Six is pregnant. That is an interested development because we heard in season 1 that Cylons couldn’t seem to reproduce together.

She asks Saul during one of his visits in which he wants to find out more information on the Resurrection Hub, if he loves her. He’s seeing the face of his wife still, so one has to wonder if he’s messing around with her because she is Ellen to him.

Either way, Cottle tells Adama about the pregnancy and he confronts Saul, which results in a pretty nasty fight amongst old guys. Bill’s model ship once again gets busted up, which marks the umpteenth time that’s happened.

Adama and Roslin

Bill’s love for Roslin becomes very apparent in this episode. He discovers the book he gave her, Searider Falcon, aboard that damaged Raptor and he longs to find her. He sends out pilots to search, leaving the fleet undefended and their missions dangerous.

So he makes a bold, rash decision. Admiral Adama steps down from command and passes it to Colonel Tigh. He dons a Raptor suit for the first time in A LONG time, and exits the ship to wait for her.

The show ends with Tigh jumping the fleet away to keep searching for Earth, while Adama pulls out the book to sit back and hope Roslin returns to where they think the fleet should be.


As I said to start off this recap, things change so quickly these days on Battlestar Galactica. Suddenly Lee is President, Tigh is in command of the fleet and Bill is in a Raptor jumpsuit.  Natalie is dead, Six is pregnant.

The last few episodes have been brilliant, but this one brought back that feeling of a rushed finish. So much has to happen to conclude the series and it’s almost as if they don’t have enough time to get it all told.  

Am I wrong on this, or do you see it too? I really felt like the Lampkin story was forced and unnecessary. We took a journey with him that resulted in a weak confrontation with Lee that we all knew would end like it did.

Other than that, the episode was good. Not as action-packed as before, but there was definitely some major character developments in Lee, Bill and Saul.

Sine Qua Non

The title of the episode was Sine Qua Non, which means…”without which not.

“Those things we deem essential, without which we cannot bear living, without which life in general loses it’s specific value.”

This was Lampkin’s reasons for wanting to kill Lee, because his life held no more value.

The Big Spoiler!

Again, like I said before, this section is talking about a spoiler seen in the previews for next week. So if you like to skip those, don’t read anymore!

So you are still with me, like I knew you would be. If you saw the scenes for the next episode, you might have had your socks blown off like I did, although I did it in an angry attempt to hurl them at my television set.

It appears that Deanna, The Three, is de-boxed. And in a certain scene where she is wearing a white robe and looking at someone, she says:

You know about the Final Five. But you don’t know that you are one of them.

And the next cut is to Roslin jerking her head towards a person just off to the left of the camera, in what appears to be a white robe. Deanna.

Did the SciFi channel just give away who the Final Cylon is? If so, are you annoyed like me? I really wanted that to be a shock that happened WHILE I watched it.

Now, it’s totally possible that they tricked us with it, but it’s not like they haven’t given away things before.

If it is Roslin, I like it…I’ve always felt that the Final Cylon needed to be someone big, someone who would make for a shocking discovery. And she fits the bill. It also makes her drive to find Earth and all her visions more meaningful. The fact that she shares dreams with two other Cylons also would seem reasonable now.

What do you think? What about the episode? Was it good? Did it feel slow?