New York Magazine has an excellent review of The Road Less Traveled:
There are flashier, more compelling characters on Battlestar, but deep down, the one we most admire is Helo. Noble, loyal, and levelheaded no matter the latest emotional ringer he’s being put though, he’s a good guy who’d make a great leader, except he doesn’t have the ego for it — which, of course, only makes him more appealing.
His steely calm was put to the test in “The Road Less Traveled,” trapped as he was between the increasingly kooky Starbuck and his concerned Demetrius crewmates who wanted to remove her from command. This season has been pitched a little too high emotionally, so it was a relief to watch Tahmoh Penikett (who plays Helo) deliver another terrifically modulated performance, balancing Starbuck’s nuttiness, the crew’s paranoia, and his own doubts about the wisdom of their wild-goose chase to find Earth. The episode was all about how people manage to maintain their basic decency in impossible situations, so who better to shine than the quietly heroic Helo?
MaryAnn Johanson of FlickFilosopher finds poetry in BSG and observes:
“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.” William Butler Yeats wrote that in 1919, and he could well have been describing the slow-motion collapse that seems to be happening on Battlestar Galactica. The crew on the Demetrius is mutinying against Starbuck’s seemingly deepening insanity. The fleet is being fractured by Gaius’s preaching. And if Leoben isn’t a lone renegade, some of the Cylons are considering allying themselves with the humans in an attempt to find Earth, which may well be the only hope for human and Cylon alike.
Frak me, but it’s starting to look like the only way humanity will survive is with the Cylons at their side, however uneasily. It didn’t have to be that way, and it may not be happening in the way that the Cylons intended (or maybe it is...) but if nothing else, there are already “humans” like Tyrol and Tighe struggling with figuring out who they are, and there are already people who are half Cylon and half human. Honestly, what difference is there, really between the skinjobs and the humans? Matters of philosophy only, it would seem.
Other reviews and recaps of the episode from: Zap2It, Athens Exchange, SyFy Portal, IGN, TV Fodder, and BuddyTV.