I won't get into a length recap of what happened, there are tons of blogs with those around, but this movie pulled out all the stops (as usual) and is still one of the frakking best things written out there.
It was sheer pleasure to see more of what happened before (and maybe doomed to repeat its self?) as we got to see what happened all those months ago when the war began and how the Pegasus survived to finally meet up with the Galactica. Although the story wasn't centered on Admiral Cain (the great Michelle Forbes), we did get to see her slow descent into hell as she tried to balance survival, deceit and more moral dilemmas than you can possible imagine.
The revelation that Cain had been intimate with Six (aka Gina the network administrator) was one that I did not expect, and I have to applaud the writers for including a lesbian relationship that seemed completely normal and accepted by all around.... I think this is the first time we have had even a hint of a gay character (although you would think there are several of them on the show) but how accepting everyone seemed to this.... kudos to the writers. Once Cain and the others discover that Gina is a Cylon, Cain's coldness and dismissal of her shows how polarized she is, and her hurt over the betrayal is pushed even further when Cain tells the interrogator, “I want you to interrogate our prisoner. Pain? Yes, of course. Degradation, fear, shame — really test its limits. Be as creative as you feel you need to be.”
The development of the XO character, Shaw, and her struggle to deal with betrayal and the new world order was fascinating and heart wrenching. No other show deals with characters on such a deep and intimate level. I kept wondering exactly how close to Cain she had been, there were more lesbian undertones than you could shake a stick at in the film. Shaw's acceptance by Cain is highlighted when Cain says, “Sometimes we have to do things we never knew we were capable of, just to show the enemy our will. You have to drop all natural inhibitions and become a razor for as long as you have to be.” The juxtaposition of morality and survival is tested over and over again and the scene in the colonist's ship is extremely disturbing.
It was fascinating to see how the story wove so easily through the past and present, and it was a great shout out to the original series seeing older versions of the Cylons (including those who spoke in that mechanical voice) and the Guardian models, the first in the human/Cylon hybrids. The back story via the flashbacks with a young Adama were great, and the haunting voice that kept repeating “All this has happened before and it will happen again” that was repeated multiple times with different characters added another level to the mythology.
The big shocker at the end, with the hybrid saying that “Kara Thrace will lead the human race to its end — she is the herald of the Apocalypse, the Harbinger of Death. They must not follow her” makes me wonder if it is the end for the Cylons or the humans.... and now with the writer's strike we may not know for months.. frak!