I figured out why this half of the season feels so weird to me. It has nothing to do with what's going on with the characters.
It's because they haven't been on any planets. All the action is confined to the fleet, unless you count the mining in Scar, which I don't because it was a plot point, nothing more.
See, it sounds like a simple thing, but I think it has a profound effect on both the narrative structure and the underlying FEELING of the show. On the downside, it means we are not being dazzled with storytelling as we were with episodes like Kobol's Last Gleaming, where four storylines (or was it five?) were woven together like some kind of epic ballet. On the upside (well, kind of...!) it gives the recent episodes a sense of crushing claustrophobia, which I think is totally thematically relevant and consistent with what it would really be like being off-world for so long.
Just a thought.