"Sine Qua Non" was a frustrating episode, and not necessarily for the designed reasons. No, we didn't get a single glimpse of the missing baseship (unless you believe the wrecked one that Racetrack and Skulls found was it), but that was the point of the episode: to show how such a calamity makes everyone in the fleet -- particularly its military and civilian leaders -- go nuts.
My problem is that, for an episode with a number of seismic plot developments -- Lee becomes interim president, Adama finally acknowledges his feelings for Roslin and gives up everything he cares about to find her, Tigh is placed in charge of Galactica shortly after finding out that he knocked up Caprica Six -- "Sine Qua Non" dragged in many spots, and didn't make a lot of logic in others.
MaryAnn Johnson of Flickfilosopher wrote:
Oh, poor Badger with his dead cat! (Yes, I know his name is Lampkin, but I when I look at actor Mark Sheppard, I see Badger, the awesome character he played in Firefly -- sorry). It’s not only all so poignant, it’s a little touch of what I’ve been talking about recently: it seems to me that these people, these few survivors of the near destruction of humanity, and certainly of the destruction of human civilization, should be way more traumatized than they seem to be. And here we have Badger with his cat, whom he doesn’t even like and yet can’t let go of. Very sad, and exactly the kind of thing we should expect from people who’ve been through pretty much the worst thing that could happen.
Everybody was acting particularly human -- in the way we use that word when we mean it as a synonym for “weak” or “flawed” -- in this episode, actually. I mean, geez, what has Tigh been getting up to with the prisoner Six? Holy crap, she’s pregnant? Has Tigh finally gone round the bend? “She has been more cooperative,” he tells Adama -- oh crap, he’s not raping her, is he? Or is she the one manipulating and using and abusing him? That does seem more likely, but still... And hey, if she is pregnant and Tigh is the father, that would make for a fully Cylon baby, wouldn’t it? A model that doesn’t already exist, right? Maybe the baby is the missing Cylon...
The Battlestar Galactica Review Blog concludes:
The main issue with this episode is not necessarily what happens, but how far the writers went to justify those choices. I personally think they oversold some of the plot turns, making them feel forced and unnatural, where a more subtle approach would have been in keeping with what has been seen. With this being the final season, and with expectations so high, maybe it’s a product of a desire to make every moment count.
Todd VanDerWerff for The House Next Door notes:
After two episodes full of deliberate but pulse-quickening pacing, Battlestar Galactica’s latest episode, “Sine Qua Non,” written by Michael Taylor and directed by Rod Hardy, feels a little scattered. Part of that’s by design (the fleet is thrown into chaos after the sudden disappearance of Roslin, Baltar and a whole Basestar), but some of it just feels like the show trying to cram a bunch of plot points in so it can get back to the basestar and answer the questions everyone has. Battlestar almost never exposes the hands moving its various chess pieces around, but tonight, those hands were too obvious in a few scenes. Still, the last act gave the episode a grandly epic feeling, even pulling back for a rare long shot (albeit, a CGI-enhanced one, but still). In its final season, Battlestar is almost taking on the feel of something romantic and sweeping, even as it remains committed to its vision of following a fleet full of people who are very, very frakked up.
Other reviews and recaps from TV Squad, Galactica Variants, TV Fodder, IGN, North By Norhtwestern, The Two Cents, Cinemablend, SyFy Portal, Buddy TV, and Hollyscoop.