Saturday, March 21

Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak, Part 2 (series finale)

Source: TV Squad

"Frakkity, frak. Don't talk back." (Apologies to Lieber and Stoller)

After four years of some of the best and most adult sci-fi in the history of television, Battlestar Galactica draws to a close with a bang and then a whimper, with an overall satisfying ending that was as morally complex as any episode in the series.

Ron Moore was pretty good about wrapping up a good chunk of the remaining questions and storylines. But there are a plethora that weren't answered.

To begin, what circumstances allowed for Kara's resurrection? What is her background that she knew so much about the original Earth? How did Hera know the things she knew? If "All Along the Watchtower" wouldn't be written for 150,000 years, how did the Cylons hear it? After that disappearing act at the end, was Kara even human? If not, what was she? An angel? Why did Cavil kill himself when he lost resurrection? Surely he knew that he wouldn't get resurrected. Perhaps they're saving all those questions for "The Plan".

This episode was nothing short of a symphony and wrapped up the major themes of the show, about individuals and faith and faith-in-conflict. The denouement seemed a little long, but since we've been with these characters for four years, it was nice to give each a send-off that was longer than a minute.

Things that happened that were predictable based on the foreshadowing of the previous years:

* The Baltar/Caprica Six reunion
* The death of Tory at Tyrol's hand
* The death of Roslin
* Athena's execution of Boomer
* Boomer's repentance
* The survival of Hera and the human race
* The discovery of the second Earth
* Roslin smoking. Now we know how she got cancer


And then there were the things that surprised me:

* They discovered the Earth that is eventually us (150,000 years later)
* The human/Cylon hybrid and the Galactica crew became the missing link
* Helo's survival (I thought he died during the attack on the Cylon colony)
* Baltar and Six suddenly seeing each other's visions


Stuff I really enjoyed:

* The cameo of Ron Moore at the end reading a magazine
* The quick riff of the old Battlestar Galactica 1970's theme as the fleet flew into the sun
* The old-style Cylons in battle
* Adama's quick attempt to explain what the Final Five were doing with transmitting the resurrection data (which I took as a riff on Ron Moore's old bosses at the Star Trek franchise who excelled at technobabble).


Things that touched me:

* Mary McDonnell's performance and Roslin's quiet passing
* The last scene between Lee and Kara
* Baltar's willingness to finally do something for the greater good (although it could be argued he was doing it to win Six's affection)
* Sam Anders' noble death


Based on the ending, if I had to describe this series as a whole, it would be an attempt to bring a concept like God (or Gods, or some sort of divine presence) into a rational and reasoned world. Granted, Galactica had spaceships and robots, but it never had aliens or technology that seemed impossible (it is possible to fold space and "jump". Black holes fold space like that). Hell, they were using bullets when other sci-fi series use lasers or phasers or plasma rifles or whatever.

In an age where too much television tries to spoon-feed morality and lessons to us, Battlestar Galactica takes it above all that by trying to get viewers to think. While that sort of television rarely has high initial ratings, it's the sort of thing that can live forever in re-runs as people watch it again to determine its lessons.

Forgive me if I missed anything. It was a pretty dense episode and as of this writing I've only watched it once. I'm sure I would find additional themes upon a second viewing (which I plan to do for the whole series as soon as the last DVD set is released). If anybody remembers any interesting tidbits, please share. Kudos to Ron Moore and company for a job well done and a fantastic series.

So say we all.

2 comments:

Charlie said...

I love BSG, and this final episode was breathtaking. I've watched it 3 times now, and I'm still walking around in a daze, as though a beautiful and terrifying dream has come to an end. There are doors not quite closed however. Although the intention, as Ron Moore says, was that the Cylon Colony was destroyed, we don't actually see it destroyed, leaving open the possibility that it either survived, or jumped away. There's also the question of where the red stripe centurions will go, now that they're free. One thing that bothers me. At the end, when head Baltar and Six talk to one another, Six says something about God. Baltar says 'you know he doesn't like to be called that' and then Baltar adds 'Oh yes, silly me'. This sounds like a mistake in the writing. It should be Six who chastises Baltar and says 'you know he doesn't like to be called that' and Baltar replying 'Oh yes, silly me'. Unless God spoke to Baltar telepathically, and replied to him.
That's another thing...did Baltar describe God as a 'him' or an 'it'? I still can't quite make out what he said. On that, it has to be said that the sound editing on this final scene is glaringly bad. You can instantly tell that the actors had to re record the dialogue in a studio, and that its not the original recording from when the actors were outside on the set. If the first thing is simply a mistake, rather than a hint at a conversation between Baltar and God, I hope it, and the dialogue are corrected before the dvd / blu ray (?) release.

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