4 Stars

The Long Patrol is the second-best of Battlestar Galactica's one part episodes (second only to The Hand Of God, curiously unreleased on tape or DVD), combining humor with action and some clever twists.

Dirk Benedict commands the role of Starbuck. His love triangle with Athena (Maren Jensen) and Cassiopeia (Laurette Spang) is captured in great fashion in an impromptu double date on the Rising Star during Act One.

Though humor permeates the episode (not only intentional in Starbuck's interplay with his girlfriends as well as CORA, but unintentional in the laughable Irish accents the prisoners and guards speak with), there is genuine tension, reaching its apex in one of the show's finest scenes - Starbuck finds that the cells are not locked, but the prisoners haven't the ability to free themselves because they feel it is their destiny to be prisoners.

CORA was partly inspired by Star Wars, and also by real life US Air Force experiments with similar voice-acivated computers. This angle raises some questions - are other vipers equipped with CORA systems? (Presumably) But more important, if a computer can outfly anything (though Starbuck helps talk CORA into outmaneuvering the Cylons), why can't the computerized Cylons outfight the humans? (As it is, this may have been a point Glen Larson hoped would rub off on Standards & Practices at ABC, with whom he was clashing.)

In any event, the episode stands as one of the show's best.

Enter Sheba's Galaxy