So, to end on a slightly happier note than horny teenage escapades, The Battlestar Galactica finale!
First of all, I’ve read a lot of feedback from people since the finale aired and there’s definitely a fair amount of people who both loved it and hated it, and ultimately I think I fall into the category of those who enjoyed it, although I will admit that it took me a while after to actually absorb what had happened to get to that point. Yeah, I can certainly see where there would be some contention for those true sci-fi fans who were hoping for a little more than “It’s all part of God’s plan…” for the biggest answers, but frankly, the way season 4 has been going so far and really even what’s always driven the colonists to Earth from the get go, I’m not sure that this should come as such a big surprise.
…and in my opinion, even not being a religious man myself, I think the final ending worked out just fine.
Now it’s probably easiest to work through things in the order they actually happened, and then follow-up with some final thoughts at the end…
Hera’s Rescue Mission from the Cylon Colony
If I had to critique this, all I can say is that it seemed like it was a little too easy – go in, Boomer shows up with Hera halfway, come back out. I expected more of a struggle for this prizeof theirs, and maybe the lack of defenses was simply a sign of the cylons’ arrogance, but if anything, you’d think that there would’ve been a few extra guards or something around when Simon was left with Boomer in the operating room!
Also, I wasn’t entirely clear that the nukes that were accidentally set off from Racetrack’s Raptor would’ve been enough to actually destroy the entire colony, but oh well.
And finally, although it kind of threw a hiccup in the plan, I was actually kind of glad to see Chief kill Tory because I never really liked her, anyways. Oh yeah, and Cavil’s random suicide when things started getting hairy seemed out of place, too.
Settling on Earth #2
Now this is where I struggled with the plot, I think because we get an awful lot dumped on us all at once. First, the decision to dump all of mankind’s technology as a presumed way to “break the cycle” after we’ve all just spent the last several years watching a show based on technology! Even with it already dying, the idea of watching the Galactica fly off into the sun was painful, not to mention everything else from medicine to guns to their other comforts of life. Was it really as probable as Adama said that the human race would be anxious enough for a clean slate after all they’d been through to jump back to tribal times? Me thinks that primitive life would be refreshing for maybe a couple of weeks, but eventually a mattress or even food from a can would probably be nice. Not to mention the amount of fighting that went on throughout the fleet – it is kinda hard to imagine those 38,000 people all just openly throwing it all away.
And the second part is, why the need for everyone to go their own separate ways? I can understand the idea of dropping off different groups on different continents to up the survival rates, but more so for our main characters, they pretty much pair off and go their own ways, which just seemed both odd and sad for me. I mean, sure, everyone could likely use some time on their own after living in space for a few years together and Adama needed his time with Roslin during her final moments, but eventually wouldn’t you think that old friends like Tigh and Adama would want to spend some time fishing together, or Lee would want to help his Dad build Roslin’s cabin? Instead, we see everyone split off in their own directions which just seemed lonely to me. Even the departure of Starbuck without so much as a goodbye to Lee seemed abrupt.
…and then there was Chief, who apparently goes off to become The Highlander – leave it to SciFi to milk as many spin-offs out of this series as humanly possible!
The Epilogue, a la Present Day Earth
And so with the flick of a montage, we leave our heroes with the image of Adama paying his respects to Roslin’s grave and pan up 150,000 years later to find that despite the colonials leaving all of their technology behind, modern society has managed to come up with all of it on our own anyways … oops.
Just a couple of quick things from this part – first, I don’t really mind Head Baltar and Head Six being angels … it’s not science, but whatever. Second, I’ve heard some suggestions that when Six and Baltar are reading the story of Mitochondrial Eve over Ron Moore’s shoulder, they’re actually giving him the idea for this series in the first place, but honestly I think that was just a cameo in the finale of his biggest work to date. That’s all.
Other than that, it’s a bit surreal to throw in the twist that the series didn’t actually happen in the future, but the past … with the trailing question of whether or not we’ll continue on with the same destructive cycle that challenged the human race in Galactica’s time. I’m sure some hardcore fans just groaned at this, but it kind of makes you stop and think when you consider the idea of fiction bridging to reality. I’d be curious to know if Moore ever had the inkling in the back of his mind that this was how he’d wrap things up eventually or if the entire final season truly was re-written once the writer’s strike had ended.
So there we have it. Sure, there were certainly still plenty of plotholes that either didn’t get closed or could’ve used more explanation – Was Hera’s only real purpose to get to Earth and die as one of mankind’s early ancestors? …or could it be argued that her DNA is part of what drove modern civilization back to AI today? What the hell actually was Starbuck? Did the rest of the cylons at the colony, or the other baseships in their fleet even, just wander off into the distance instead of continuing to chase down the humans? Would the colonists have been driven back to trying to recover their discarded technology after a few months of roughing it on Earth? Did Adama’s Raptor stay behind, or was it somehow driven by computer back to the fleet before they left for the sun? Who actually wrote All Along the Watchtower???
Lots of questions, but really, I’m not so sure that they could’ve even answered all of these without making a 5-hour long finale that would’ve likewise dragged on in the process anyways. Ultimately they did just enough to tie up most of the major storylines with the major characters, while still leaving plenty of room for speculation as to just what transpired over those 150,000 years in between. Then again, that also leaves plenty of room for more spin-offs, now doesn’t it?! I kid, but I also did groan a bit when I saw the promos for not one, but two spin-offs coming this fall and next year … I’m not quite sure what to think of those, but I guess we’ll just see if they live up to the standard or just pitter away when they come up.
For what it’s worth, though, I do think that The Plan is going to be better than Caprica, simply because it looks like it should bring back a lot of familiar faces.
Anyways, it was certainly bittersweet, but from the looks of the videos online and the special on Sci-Fi, everyone involved seemed pretty happy with the results so that’s good enough for me. It was definitely sad to not only say goodbye to the characters all individually, but then also their entirety as a crew as we leaped through time, but as they say, all good things must come to an end. Besides, I guarantee for those that hated what Ron Moore & Co. came up with, fanfic for alternate endings are probably popping up all over the place already…
Looking back, it’s hard to believe that I actually only discovered this show last spring and zipped through episodes pretty much as fast as my work schedule allowed! It’s definitely one of those series’ that’s going to go in my collection and get watched over and over again. My only question now – do I go out and buy the DVDs now or should I wait and see if they show up on Blu-Ray???