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Battlestar Galactica 4.10 “Sine Qua Non” Review and Analysis (SPOILERS)

Posted by Mister Random on May 28, 2008

Be aware there are major spoilers for Sine Qua Non in this Review so if you dont want to be spoiled dont read on

One Sentence Review

A good episode but we are still left hanging from last weeks cliffhanger, and there is a pointless subplot about who should be acting president

Episode Summary (SPOILERS)

The episode opens on Galactica with Natalie being wheeled into sickbay as she dies she sees a vision of a forest. In response to shooting Natalie Athena is thrown in the brig. On colonial one, there is confusion over what is going on and Zarek assumes the presidency, this leads to a pointless subplot where Adama ignores and bypasses Zarek and Lee and Romo search for an alternate candidate and the “shocking” decision is reached to make Lee Adama the acting president as he is the only candidate acceptable to everyone. The only thing of note in this subplot is that we see Romo’s cat running about yet at the end it is revealed that the cat has been dead for weeks (Romo sees the cat, Lee probably does not) and President Lee gives Romo Jake the dog (the New Caprica dog whose dog bowl was Gaeta’s signal) as a payment for his help.

On Galactica Tigh talks to Caprica 6 about the Resurrection Hub and it is revealed that only the Hybrids can locate it and only after it has completed a jump (Not sure if 6 is referring to the Hybrid or the Hub), Tigh again sees Ellen as 6 asks him if he loves her. A heavily damaged raptor from the rebel baseship jumps in with no one alive on board, after finding out the Raptor was the one which shuttled Roslin over due to Adama finding Searider Falcon in it. Galactica then jumps to the raptors last location and find signs of a massive battle with damaged Vipers, baseship fragments and evidence of destroyed resurrection technology indicating the Hub has been destroyed. In sickbay Cottle tells Adama that Caprica 6 is pregnant and Adama confronts Tigh about this leading to a fight between Tigh and Adama in Adamas Quarters. Due to his feelings for Roslin, Adama keeps on making reckless decisions leading to him eventually handing control of Galactica over to Tigh while Adama takes out a raptor and waits while the fleet jumps away in search of Earth.

My Thoughts

Overall I would say that this is a good episode and there is alot of development on the Galactica side of things. It did feel that most of the developments could have been fit into half an Episode, the Lee Adama and Romo subplot is the worst offender as from the moment it was clear that Adama would not accept Zarek as president it was clear that Lee would become acting president as he is the only known viable candidate and someone as politically astute as Zarek would realise this. The only alternative to this would have been Lee going back to command Galactica after Adama announced he would quit as Lee does have prior experience of commanding a battlestar and he would be willing to work with Zarek unlike his father and his command record is better than Tighs. Moving on to Tigh, I was shocked when it was revealed he had made Caprica 6 pregnant because even though it has been predicted by posters on the BSGCAST comments boards I thought with Tigh being a cylon and Caprica 6 being a cylon that it was not possible. The Tigh and Adama scenes were as a whole handled well and there was a nice nod to the number of times that Adamas model ship has been damaged and has needed to be repaired. There was also a moment when Adama gives Tigh command that I thought that Tigh might admit to Adama that he was a cylon. The main problem with this episode is that we learn virtually nothing about what happened on the baseship, we learn that they attacked and probably destroyed the Resurrection Hub but other than that nothing. I suspect that this episode and the next were originally one episode but at somepoint in the writing process it was decided to expand it into two episodes each concentrating on one part of the plot exclusively (one episode Galactica and the other the Baseship) with the Romo/Lee presidency subplot added to Sine Qua Non. I therefore expect a similarly pointless subplot in the next episode as well and to not see the fleet unless in the last 5 minutes, they may meet up with Adama earlier than that however.


  • The Caprica 6 pregnancy revelation
  • Tigh and Adama throughout the episode
  • Athena being thrown in the brig
  • Head Lance the Cat!!
  • A nice continuity nod with Laird (Deck Chief from Pegasus) being mentioned by Tigh


  • The whole Lee Adama and Romo subplot, it was not needed as Lee should have become President by the end of the first act
  • The lack of any proper information about the Rebel Baseship, Roslin and Baltar
  • The uselessness of the Quorum of 12

Questions Raised

  • Is the Rebel Baseship still intact
  • Did they complete their mission
  • How did one cylon manage to impregnate another cylon
  • What was going on with the Cat, was Romo projecting and did Lee see the Cat
  • How long will Admiral Adama stay alone on the Raptor for
  • How long before Athena gets out of the brig
  • How long will it take before Tigh declares martial law this time :-)

Episode Rating

7/10 – A good episode let down by a pointless subplot

Theories and Speculation

Firstly the fact that Tigh made Caprica 6 pregnant indicates that the final five do not have the same problem with reproducing that the Original 7 do, unless Baltar is the father and Adamas certainty it was Tigh seems to preclude that possibility. This also raises the possibility that Caprica 6 or her child could be the final cylon as labour is known to cause “Howls of Suffering”. Given the amount of suffering going on this Season (Gaeta, Athena, Cally, Natalie, Starbuck, Roslin, Adama, Romo) it is also possible that the part of the Hybird Prophecy referring to suffering does not refer to the final cylon suffering but rather the suffering that everyone seems to be going through. The pregnancy revelation also brings Cally and Helo back into contention as candidates for the final cylon and of the two Cally being the better candidate given her suffering and the irony of the biggest cylon hater being a Cylon.

There is also the question of Romos cat as it is clear from Romos actions that he could see the cat, but it is not clear that Lee did not see the cat though his dialog leans towards that being the case. Was Romo projecting similar to Baltar (Head Lance the Cat) is he the final cylon? Last week Gaeta this week Romo, Ronald D Moore seems to be making as many people as possible viable candidates for the final cylon

Finally the question is raised, where is the baseship? If the mission was a sucess why didn’t they jump back. If they suceeded in getting D’anna or even if they didn’t as the ship was not found at the battlesite it indicates it has jump capability, therefore it should have jumped back to the fleet. I predict the reason it hasn’t jumped back will be because it has found Earth. 

Note: BSGCAST finally have their page up for discussion of this episode, I would recommend checking the BSGCASTs out if you havent allready 







7 Responses to “Battlestar Galactica 4.10 “Sine Qua Non” Review and Analysis (SPOILERS)”

  1. gaseous clay said

    even more puzzling, why has Dualla been reduced to one-liners this season? I think she’s had 2 lines since the start of season 4.

  2. Random Remarks said

    Thats true, perhaps RDM is trying to make us forget about her before she is revealed as the final cylon, or maybe they just cant decide what she should be doing this season

  3. M. Ford said

    Weren’t Starbuck’s ovaries removed when she was a captive on Caprica? I bet her eggs or ovaries are involved with Six’s pregnancy.

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  6. Dina Roe said

    Incredibly great post. Honestly.

  7. Fx15 said

    thanks reply

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