Battlestar Galactica
Taking A Break From All Your Worries

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: B+ | 3 USERS: A+
States Of Union
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Previously, Starbuck and Apollo whined in a hell of their own devising, and Gaius signed execution orders while in his. I say it's your life, do what you want. Later, Chip Six told Gaius he might be a Final Fiver, and the Hybrid told him and Three that the chosen one would see the Final Five, and even though Three did and he didn't, Chip Six persisted in telling him that he was the chosen one. Three croaked, and then croaked for real, but before Gaius could do the same, Chief cold-cocked him. Elsewhere in time and space, though relative to all this we cannot say, the concept of enjambment was invented simultaneously with poetry. It would seem to have fallen out of favor in the thousands of years since then, considering how challenging this episode seems to be.

Now, God forbid I get up on my high horse or give you a tutorial in anything, but this show is ambitious on a bad day, and this episode is ambitious in an outsize way relative even to the usual, and it bums me out to think that a pretty simple poetic device, even used so obnoxiously/aggressively, could totally wreck the episode for you. I can see why, and I agree it's not a 100% success, but I pretty much love this episode and I'd like to share with you why. Hopefully using as few words as possible. Enjambment is from the French for "straddle," and it's when you end a line of verse before its time: think of Williams, or that awful dude with the punctuation jones. It's the second-most abused poetic grievance in crappy poetry, right after rhyme schemes, but done correctly (rather than arbitrarily), it's haiku brilliant. The point is to give you a second to run through every possible meaning that unended line could have, to let out the shapeless Hybrid nonsense your brain goes through, before the poet is forced to clamp down on the meaning in order to continue on the other side of the gap. A comparable example would be the visual of Three in the Temple last week, looking up at the Final Fiver: this paragraph is that kind of spiraling crazy talk that enjambment wants you to do, quietly and to yourself. It leaves a space of the unknown, a gap where the poem leaks out, and that's you doing the work of creating the poem's total meaning for a second, which makes you love the poem even as the next line adjusts your vector, because it's part of you now. Which is how this episode operates, from beginning to end: every line, every scene, every word's a cliffhanger. Everything has a gap in it, and you're invited to point all the fingers you've got.

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Battlestar Galactica




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