GWC Re-Watch Frak Party: Hand of God

It’s weekeleven of our planned off-season re-watch of the entire “re-imagined” BSG canon, and it’s time to move on to the season one episode “Hand of God.” So why not join us here for the GWC online frak party? There’s room for everyone, though you’ll have to bring your own snacks…

Feel free to jump in at any point with your comments on this week’s episode as the re-watch is by definition spoiler free. We’ll be in and out, but we’ll definitely take a look at your comments before we start next week’s podcast.

See you here all week!

34 Responses to "GWC Re-Watch Frak Party: Hand of God"
  1. Timbuck says:

    This is such a great episode as far as character development goes. When Adama tells Starbuck it’s about giving up control and taking a leadership position you see her struggle wanting to be in the cockpit. The fact she is physically unable forces her to learn the command perspective; that objectivity that higher ranking officers need to make decisions like locking out 85 men to save the ship [Tigh, earlier episode-33?].

    The scene w her in the gym trying to rehab her leg is great too. He keeps adding those weight plates to the machine all while calmly describing the scenario. Awesome Eddie! It helps Starbuck through her “mourning” of her pilot status for the time-being.

    And proving she’s NOT a final five Cylon. She would have healed faster?

  2. Timbuck says:

    PHILLY-AREA GWC FANS. MINI-MEETUP this Saturday for the screening of “Serenity” at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute in the Philly suburbs. Looks like myself, Raemani and Mike P will be there. It would be great to meet others from the area!

  3. Chuck says:

    Timbuck: I dropped a full post to help you organize your meetup. If you need to exchange email with anyone new and they don’t want it public, just make sure both of you let me know and I’ll handle it.

  4. Gray says:

    I love this episode. This has been a favorite of mine since the first time I watched it.

    I am perhaps to empathetic a viewer, and struggle right along with Starbuck. I really hate that she can’t be in the cockpit for this even though it’s so cool when Lee does pull it out of the fire and (re)earns her grudging respect.

    I love the celebration scene in the hangar deck. I remember being really, really intent on finding out what that background music was. It added so much texture and it was something else we could latch onto because that Celtic sound is something we associate so much with heroism. Be it Braveheart or some movie like Backdraft or the Departed, we naturally group it with bravery and sacrifice.

    Like a big baby, I usually get choked up during that scene. The idea that the pilots are finally getting to celebrate something so significant after so much loss is really awesome and I think even if it is as RDM suggests, a “Big Mac” episode, it’s really well done. I don’t think it ever feels trite or cheesy because we see them celebrate so little.

    Favorite line of the episode is Starbuck calling Apollo a “magnificent bastard”.

    And the Bill/ Lee scenes are great too.

  5. Timbuck says:

    Thanks Chuck! Way to be there.

  6. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Timbuck wrote: “The fact she is physically unable forces her to learn the command perspective; that objectivity that higher ranking officers need to make decisions like locking out 85 men to save the ship [Tigh, earlier episode-33?].”

    Not 33 but instead the Miniseries. That was when 85 men working for Tyrol got vented out into space while fighting fires after the nuclear impact and prior to getting to Ragnar.

  7. Phoenix says:

    My friend who got me into Farscape told me I should check out this new show called Battlestar-something. Hand of God was the first episode I saw when NBC played some episodes on a Saturday night. I think it was one of the lowest nights for NBC’s ratings, but I was hooked immediately. This episode holds a special place in my heart.

  8. Browncoat_Bryan says:

    This is by far my favorite episode in Season One (yeah, it even beats out “33”). From the Viper action to Starbuck having to wait it out on the sidelines. It was just great.

    It was in this episode that Adama says my favorite line “Sometimes you gotta roll the hard six.” (well, next to “Keep jumping”).

  9. cdbluejr says:

    Baltar gets lucky once again with which building to destroy.

    I love the fact that they used the decoys to get the Vipers wide open.

    Gave Lee a chance to show off his flying ability, instead of Starbucks.

  10. TimH says:

    cdbluejr said “Baltar gets lucky once again with which building to destroy.”

    I took this as a continuation of Baltar struggling with faith. He doesn’t believe, but Head-Six keeps confronting him with evidence to the contrary.

    And at this point in the show, the viewers were struggling with the same question as to the validity of religion and prophecy in the BSG universe. Currently (as of season 3 end), it is pretty well accepted that religion is real in the BSG Universe, but it is interesting to see examples like this from earlier shows and ask if the were evidence of what we now think, or if indeed Baltar got lucky.

  11. The 13th Cylon says:

    Awesome Viper action! Need I say more?

    This is one thing I’ve always loved about BSG. They don’t have an endless supply of water or energy, but it doesn’t also just pop up in some random episode because the writers had run out of storylines. We have the water and fuel in season 1 and then we have the algae storyline and more fuel (kitty litter) issues in season 3. That keeps it realistic.

    I love the strategy stuff with the models on the glowing table. I’m oblivious to their plans lol, but it’s a really cool looking table. Supposedly, those models are the same ones for baby Hera’s mobile above her crib.

    Ah yes, this is also the 2nd time in the show Six snaps a person’s neck. First time was with the baby on Caprica and the third time is with Boomer on the basestar in Season 3. Yeah, I’m sure that thrills you as much as it does me. lol

  12. Shrekjdr says:

    Also this ep with Six still brings me to the Question what is she? Since she knows things that Baltars Mind wouldnt know? so are they pulling the god card and saying she really is there god and sent six to help baltar.. that brings up the Question if we were on galactica would we worship a god who has Baltar as there lead man! Scary thought!

  13. Nick says:

    This one was definately my favorite of the season. I remember when they first aired this episode they not only showed it on Sci Fi but they also aired it on NBC. I told all that they had to check it out and got at least 3 of them hooked.

    Vipers, cylons, battles in space… all the things that were missing in much of season 3.

  14. adoracion says:

    one of the best opening scenes–SNAKES ON A PLANE!

    ugh. what is there NOT to LOVE about this episode? the snakes, the toy ships, the music of Middle Earth…just lovely.

    “…all of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again…” lets hope alot of THIS will be what’s in store for season 4.

    as a side note, the affectionate glances between Starbuck and Apollo upon his return from this mission really does it for me. oh and of course the big hug between Starbuck and Roslin. oh the LOVE of this rag-tag fleet warms my heart…..

  15. Phoenix says:

    “ugh. what is there NOT to LOVE about this episode? the snakes, the toy ships, the music of Middle Earth…just lovely.”

    Hee! I always expect to see Frodo climb out of the Viper.

  16. Mike P says:

    LOL, adoracion. I can see Roslin going all Samuel L. Jackson on us now…

    I have a special place for this episode in my heart because, when it was first aired, I was recovering from a broken leg, just like Starbuck. Not fun!!!

  17. Stroogie says:

    This episode is so much fun! We get the bagpipes and poundy drum music for the first time, Apollo gets to show off his skills, Starbuck learns to grow up a little, Adama actually gives some love and pride to his son, Baltar’s egomaniaism (sp?) extends to believing he’s an instrument of God, and Roslin hugs Starbuck (how often do we get good moments of camaraderie between the female characters, huh?). As adoracion says: oh the LOVE of this rag-tag fleet warms my heart…

    I know RDM considers this the “Big Mac” episode, and it’s not quite as dark as the others, but I love it.

  18. Schism says:

    Hi all!
    Long time podcast listener, first time poster.
    “Hand of God” is probably my favorite and most watched episode. Great action and character development.
    The victory scene music was just masterful.
    I love the very end….
    Baltar “I was”
    Six “am”
    Baltar “…… instrument of god”
    Then he stares up in his sorta fem pose and the episode ends

  19. Hybrid Master says:

    Hi All!

    Had a mini-revelation last night when I rewatched this episode for the first time in a awhile.

    OK, stay with me here, it will be worth it I promise! This episode could very well be an important indicator of Baltar’s Cylon-ness. Yes, the idea most of us have completely thrown away. Why would I think such a thing? Here’s my logic: Baltar intrinsically knew where the target should be like Sharon intrinsically knew how many other cylons were in the fleet. When push came to shove the information was just there and comes out. He knows it, but becuase he hasn’t yet realized he’s a cylon/is a sleeper, his knowing comes through more layers – kind of like the difficulty Sharon had in saying she had found water on that planet.

    Remember please, I’m really good about bringing up interesting points and not so good about going anywhere with them, that’s for y’all smart folks out there with degrees and such, so cut me some slack…..

    I deeply love this episode. So much character and total story development. We learn that certain phrases/religous ideas are common knowledge and others are obscure to even the learned. What I wouldn’t give to get my hands on a pagan BSG bible!!!!!!

  20. Dainin says:

    I really like the episode except for one (1) thing…. Ewoks anyone? The return scene struck me like the end of “Empire’ It’s not that the scene itself was such, it’s just that the music seemed over drawn and out of place. It actually overpowered imho what we were watching. It seemed out of character.

    That piffle aside, we get to see the outlines of the Pythian prophecies and the hints of the Religion. Notable quote “God does not favor anybody, he only wants your love” from Six. An interesting perspective, esp. consiering the history of human war where God’s favor is so often claimed.

    Many great scenes, Viperlicious. One thing I am noticing is that Hotdog is really around more than I first thought. Not only Roslin/Starbuck lovin’ but Gaeta and Baltar givnig hugs…. oh what a tangeled web we weave. This goes back to our discussion about Gaeta’s testimony at Baltar’s trial. I think that this and many other little interactions underscore how much Gaeta admire’s and looks up to Baltar. Gaeta striles me who would value ‘intelligence’ and smarts. He’d naturally become a Baltar fan boy. Thus his bitterness against Baltar after new Caprica festers and reults in his willingness to lie under oath to see Baltar die.

    All in all a really meaty episode and starting numerous arcs (fore shadowing Kobols last Gleaming) and so much more.

  21. Mike P says:

    Huh, Dainin, that celebratory scene at the end never reminded me of the Ewoks, but I can see it now that you mention it. I’ll still take McCreary’s music over “Yub yub!” anyday… 🙂

    Did the “ten and two serpents” ever go anywhere? I cannot recall. There is the interpretation of it being the 12 Vipers used in the final attack, but, again, here is that magic number 12, and I thought maybe “ten and two serpents” could refer to the 12 Cylon models? 12 colonies, 12 Cylon models, 12 serpents, 12 jumps to Earth at the beginning of “Crossroads II” — I really hope that pays off somehow when all is said and done.

  22. Timbuck says:

    Not sure where this belongs…

    I was on the Sci-Fi website and found this link we could use to ask/beg/demand they air “Caprica”.

    If you have suggestions or comments for our Programming Department about the SCI FI Channel or any of its shows, please contact:

    We need to hammer this hard.

    So say we all!

  23. shrekjdr says:

    Hey Timbuck thanks for that email I just sent Sci Fi an email asking for Caprica… so if more people send them emails then maybe they will see they have enough of a fanbase to air the show!

  24. Dainin says:

    Same here: I told them in broader form:
    BSG has been a steady, critically acclaimed series

    it has burnished your channel’s reputation with a wider group of viewers than just their normal demographics.

    With BSG winding up, an opportunity to capture viewers to a new series.

    If you wait to long, those viewers will probably drift away and maybe difficult to recapture.

  25. Phil says:

    I think it’s an open question what Baltar could know and what he could intuit being the intelligent guy that he is. Armando and I were briefly discussing this on the PC#47 thread. At this point in the series I would still argue that it is possible that Head Six could be solely a manifestation of Baltar’s subconscious. Given his genius I think it is possible that he could have figured out (or reasonably guessed) the vulnerable point of the mining base. In addition, one of the last things Caprica Six and Baltar discussed before the attack in the miniseries was the belief of the Cylons in a one true god. Given his evident psychosis and guilt over the attack I could see how he would run with this notion into a full blown god complex.

    Having said that I think it is only a couple episodes later where Head Six starts revealing things that I would argue he couldn’t have possibly have known. Ultimately, I believe that she represents some interest other than Cylon and human….

  26. Gryper says:

    Is this episode the last one in which someone other than Racetrack finds something major? Go Crashdown! Loved this episode with all the vipers flying.

  27. Timbuck says:

    Dainin: Nicely put. The uberlords at Sci-Fi need to hear us and a colorful explanation only makes a stronger case.

    Let’s have some more pro-Caprica emails people! This could be the best way to get BSG movie post season 4. I know it’s Larson’s call but still…

  28. Cavatar says:

    I watched “Hand of God” the other day, and I liked it so much I had to watch it again. I don’t think I watched it since I bought the season on DVD and I forgot how great an episode it is. Looking at it now, I think I like it better than “33”.

    The episode title also reminds me a lot of the first series, which had “Gods” all over the titles. “Lost Planet of the Gods”, Part I and II, “War if the Gods”, Part I and II and lets not forget episode 21, “The Hand of God.”

    Also, in the first episode “The Hand of God” the original Galactica does a seen attack on the Cylons too.

    Having now seen the whole Jesus appearance of Baltar in the season 3, I wanted to add that I got that feeling again in the last shot of the episode. Baltar is in his projection house with Head Six, leaning on the railing in a robe of sorts, with his hands outward somewhat to his side. It reminded of a crucifix.


  29. The 13th Cylon says:

    Some thoughts on Crashdown:
    -Am I the only one who wouldn’t ride with a guy named Crashdown?
    -He lacks the awesome-ness and well timing-ness of Racetrack.
    -If someone hasn’t pointed it out already, his band is the Crashtones. Clever.
    -Hell, this is the guy who replaces HELO… Next!
    -He is the star (voice actor) of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game (Vader’s secret apprentice between Ep III and IV).

  30. Audra says:

    Welcome Schism!

  31. Audra says:

    adoracion gets credit for inspiring this:

    Elosha: What did you see?
    Roslin: Snakes. Lots of snakes.
    Elosha: Did you just read Python – I mean, Pythia?
    Roslin: What’s a Pythia?
    Elosha: You’ve gotta be frakkin’ with me.
    Roslin: That’s what I saw! Motherfrakkin’ snakes on a motherfrakkin’ plane!

  32. Cavatar says:

    Hey 13th Cylon…

    Kewl points about Crashdown…I wanted add to you post saying has anyone else noticed that he seems to always be pale white. It is as if there is no color to him at all.


    Who do you want the e-mails sent to for a pro-Caprica movie? I am all for a series or movie about Caprica before the holocaust. I would also think it would be cool to have some sort of story of those who were left behind on New Caprica. I have even thought about writing one myself.

  33. BoxytheBoxed says:

    wow audra. wow
    Samuel.L.Jackson:HOly S*** snakes on a Raptor
    SLJ:Pytha 25:17,tHe path of the dying leader is set on all sides bu the eniquitly of the cylons and the tyrany of Ellen and other men.Blessed is he who in the name of Kobol and EarthShepperds Cheif through the eppy. ‘Valley of Darkness’.For he is truely the Lords keeper and the finder of E-Arth. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengence and furbyies angered.Those who to attewmpt to poision and distroy my government and you will know that heis name is ZAREK.WHel he lay his poilitical genious upon thee BAMaBMABMABMABMthis has been a presentation of Daggit networks

  34. BoxytheBoxed says:

    BoxytheBoxed not only the coolest, but does the best SLJ quotes

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