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March 21, 2009 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Reviews and thoughts on the Battlestar Galatica finale, and a few answers from show creator Ron Moore
posted by Brandon Blatcher (440 comments total) 73 users marked this as a favorite

 
My DVR didn't get the very last few minutes (after Baltar says, "I could get my head cut off for this") so thanks for helping me fill in the gap.

Also, my strongest initial reaction was, "Um, what makes you think the neolithic natives won't just kill you all?"
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:21 AM on March 21, 2009


I still don't know how I feel about the end. I feel like the second part of this season was so rushed and slap-dash; they did however paint themselves into a number of corners and with a show like this disappointment is inevitable. On the whole however I did greatly enjoy the show.
posted by zennoshinjou at 8:23 AM on March 21, 2009


I dunno. The finale pretty much went the way I expected. An hour of cgi warfare (which wasn't all that exciting, really, just flashy) and then a miracle happens.
I can't say I was disappointed, but it definitely left me with a slight feeling of an "Oh shit, it's our last show." sort of experience.

And, really...a fleet-full of technology-dependent people are just going to plop-down on an ancient planet, discarding all of their technology, scatter to the four winds with nary a tool in sight, and immediately become self-sufficient agrarian/hunters? Really? I smell a huge die-off of humanity's "best and brightest." Or, are we assuming that Earth's residents are just going to happily help-out the strange newcomers?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:23 AM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


And, really...a fleet-full of technology-dependent people are just going to plop-down on an ancient planet, discarding all of their technology, scatter to the four winds with nary a tool in sight, and immediately become self-sufficient agrarian/hunters?

Alas, I already made the 'B' Ark joke in the SyFy Channel thread.
posted by JHarris at 8:27 AM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have to watch the finale again before I can decide whether it did the series justice but my first thoughts are that, overall, it did. I'm happy that they didn't pull a Sopranos, but also that they didn't go too far the other way and try to tie up every single loose strand.

There were some jarring moments for me. Aside from the Ron Moore cameo (which I didn't actually mind), the decision to just give up modernity and become hunter-gatherers didn't sit well with me at all – nobody minded cutting their lifespans by 20-30 years so they wouldn't repeat this 'cycle'? The last bit with Time Square was fine by me, although I know a lot of other people hated it.

As usual, the music was beautiful and integral to the immersiveness of the show. I can't wait for the final soundtrack to be released, and I'm glad that my favourite pieces from previous seasons (The Shape of Things to Come, A Promise to Return, Roslin and Adama) were played. For me, Bear McCreary's music for this show has been as important to it as anything.

I'm glad Baltar was redeemed, both in the flashback showing that he was a fool for helping Six on Caprica, rather than a knowing aid to genocide (speciecide?), and in his final line. I thought that final moment was quite moving. So too with Adama and Roslin. I'm less sure about Lee and Kara, but I've liked Lee less and less since the middle of Season 3, and Kara's conclusion was obviously not something that can immediately be appreciated.

All in all, a thought-provoking, moving end to a show that's affected me more than any other I can think of.
posted by SamuelBowman at 8:30 AM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I feel kind of dumb for feeling so sad that the show is over.

And I feel ambivalent about the ending. I did expect that they would do something unexpected, and I don't know how I feel yet about what they did.

Mo Ryan's recap/thoughts/interviews were food for thought. I wish I'd discovered her column back when the show first started, instead of a couple months ago.
posted by rtha at 8:31 AM on March 21, 2009


Hit "post" to soon: I did expect to be weepier than I was. I think what moved me most, weirdly enough, was the crack in Baltar's façade at the end.

On preview, this: All in all, a thought-provoking, moving end to a show that's affected me more than any other I can think of.
posted by rtha at 8:34 AM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Did Hawkeye drive the tank?
posted by bardic at 8:35 AM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


You kinda have to admire the ballsyness of "Hey you know all those loose ends? Fuck em! Lets all be wandering nomads!"

A wizard God did it.
posted by The Whelk at 8:35 AM on March 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


I said this in another thread, but I really wish they had turned to the camera in that last future shot and directly addressed us. "Only YOU can prevent robot armageddon."

I mean, did they end the cycle or not? Seems like their whole noble sacrifice lead to the same technological planet.
posted by graventy at 8:44 AM on March 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


Also, what kind of a stupid fucking plan was that?

"Let's jump in, directly on top of their base. Then, we wait for a minute or two, until they use most of their ammo on our hull."

"That's retarded!"

"No, trust me, it'll look cool!"
posted by graventy at 8:47 AM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


One ending that really did bother me was Laura's death. Not that I minded that she died (I expected her to die) It's that, after this long, tortuous journey to find humanity's new home, cooped-up in big metal cans in space, her last view of the new beautiful home is through the window of a big metal piece of technology. She should have died lying-back in the tall grass with Adama, looking up at the stars.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:53 AM on March 21, 2009 [20 favorites]


The character grace notes made the finale for me. I wish tv and movie science fiction for once could back away from the "technology is bad and evil and not nice!" hammer and instead take the better tack that not dying in childbirth or before you're thirty from preventable disease or any number of technological advances are good things. Technology is not neutral but a better send off would have been "be careful and treat your creations (Cylons) with respect and consideration" rather than "FTL jump drives and guns may have gotten us here and saved our lives but fuck 'em, we're going to build huts and hope no one ever has a major medical emergency again." That said I liked that what Starbuck was went unexplained, when she vanished it made me tear up. Not as much as the aforementioned moment when Baltar breaks down remembering his father. I was surprised by how Baltar and Caprica pretty much stole the finale. I think the character I feel the sorriest for is Chief. I hope he finds peace and a nice Cro Magon girl to settle down with eventually.
posted by Ruby Stevens at 9:06 AM on March 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


My impressions on the finale :

The Good

The rescue of Hera and the Opera House sequence. Quite frankly I was wondering how this would be resolved - would they actually have to go back to Kobol? But the cutting of the Opera House sequence with the present-tense action was brilliant and well-done and everything it should have been. Although is it just me or did Baltar and Caprica Siz really not do all that much to save Hera? Athena would have done just as well, and maybe even wouldn't have brought her to the bridge to be threatened by Cavil.

The resolution of the Final Five story. When Helen Tigh was first introduced as the final cylon, I was really disappointed. "They do all this buildup, only to have it end with the resurrection of a minor character?" But it all worked out pretty well, and I think Helen added a lot to the show's final episodes. I take back everything I said on the subject.

Also, it was fitting to see Tyrol finally explode like that. Dude was a time-bomb from day one, and it wasn't surprising to see him scuttle a final truce with the cylons over a matter of personal revenge.

Ander's philosophizing. The flashback to his speech on Caprica as he pilots the fleet into the sun was, for me, the real finale. Dovetails well with the "Along the Watchtower" thread. The idea that music, math, and physics are all part of the underlying fabric of the universe, and that this is perfection, and in some ways is God. A nice touch. Reading the Moore interviews, I'd say they did a brilliant job of putting this across.

The explanation of the "head" Six and Baltar. Good on them for clearing this up. Angels or demons. Okay. I'll buy that.

The fate of the Basestar. And Helen's "if you truly love something, let it go" speech. In my head, I sort of envision a future where the "red stripe" centurions come back to New Earth generations later to enlighten the human/cylon race as to their true history.

The death of Laura Roslyn. Genuinely touching. Taking her out for a final flight. Showing her the bounty of New Earth. Talking to her about their cabin. Putting the ring on her finger. Awwww. (sniff)

The Bad

The non-resolution of Kara Thrace. Oh come on! Really? You're going to do us like that? All that talk about a special destiny? All the questions about her resurrection? All the hints about her father? And you're not even going to tell us what the frack was going on with her?! I mean, come on! Sure, this is better than a lame explanation. But you really couldn't have come up with anything better? At least throw us some kind of angel/messiah bone to chew on. Even the "bird flying away" imagery could have been useful had they done something with it.

The Ugly

The dissolution of the human/cylon races. So wait, they come all that way; braving 4 seasons worth of dangers, toils, and snares; withstanding countless losses; seeing their crew members die; all for what? So they can finally reach a sustainable planet where they .... eschew technology and go their separate ways? WHAT?! What about coming together to create a better civilization that would break the cycle of human/cylon violence? What about sticking with each other, because their lives have been in each others' hands for the past four years? What about being fracking fruitful and multiplying?! How was it that over 30,000 people and cylons would even agree to this?

The message I got was that they were all going to split up spread out across the earth, without any helpful technology. They'd really have no chance of creating a viable civilization. None of their groups would be large enough to provide a viable gene pool. And without medical tech or any real knowledge of wilderness survival, they'd probably all die from something stupid and curable. I got the feeling that they were just giving up and committing a sort of mass-suicide. WHY!? After all they'd been through?! They finally got what they wanted! Earth! And in the end, it would seem that they all pretty much do die off, except for Hera and her (presumably) half-caveman descendants.

Furthermore, if they really wanted to break the cycle of human/cylon violence, wouldn't it have made MORE sense to try and preserve the cultural memory of the human/cylon wars? Hell, even a time capsule would have been nice. I fail to see how "just giving up" helps to break the cycle.

In one of the interviews, Moore refers to this as a "happy ending,' but really I beg to differ. Bittersweet at best.

However, I'd say the finale certainly had more good than bad in it, and on the whole they really could have done a lot worse.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:07 AM on March 21, 2009 [8 favorites]


So Starbuck was Poochie, right? Because that was totally an "I have to go back to my home planet" type of thing. That was really the only super sour note for me, if only because they spent so long building up the mystery, and how important it was.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:08 AM on March 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


I kept expecting a saber toothed tiger to jump out of the tall grass and take one of the newly arrived residents as a snack.
posted by e40 at 9:13 AM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


The robots we have to worry about are the cute humanoid ones like Asimo?

Um, Big Dog, Predator, SWORDS, AutoCopter, RoboteX, Future Combat Systems, Robotic force multipliers mebbe?

The Centurions don't look like domestic servants to me. They're armor plated & have guns for hands.
posted by morganw at 9:17 AM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


The non-resolution of Kara Thrace

Yeah, that was the least satisfying thing for me. I actually liked how they tied up the Opera House, the Final Five and Head Six and Baltar, but they really dropped the ball on Starbuck.

I think my favorite moment was Cavil screaming at the five to hurry the frak up because they have the fates of two civilizations waiting on them.
posted by homunculus at 9:17 AM on March 21, 2009


I loved that we got to see some of the old school (1978) Centurions fighting in the battle.
posted by octothorpe at 9:19 AM on March 21, 2009


I will remain eternally grateful for Roslin's I'm coming for all of you! war-wolf cry. So rarely do we see a woman 'of a certain' age, a woman who is no longer afraid of losing everything, unchained in murderous vengeful glory ready to tear the throats out of her enemies with her own 'eye-teeth.' I think we rewound and watched that part 3 or 4 times when we saw the episode. Absolutely Shakespearean.

And any finale gripes are mostly forgiven with the jaw-dropping Tyrol resolution. I haven't yelled 'Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck!' at the TV in a long time.

I didn't get into BSG until my sister forced me (we are long time Trek fans). It is totally worth it.
posted by ao4047 at 9:19 AM on March 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


Kara, I think, is whatever you want her to be.

Tight writing there, boys.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:20 AM on March 21, 2009 [8 favorites]


Um, Big Dog, Predator, SWORDS, AutoCopter, RoboteX, Future Combat Systems, Robotic force multipliers mebbe?

And now BigDog has been weaponized with gigantic frakking bull horns.

Regulate armed robots before it's too late!
posted by homunculus at 9:24 AM on March 21, 2009


Yeah, don't "pull a Sopranos"... god forbid anyone should have to use their imaginations..
posted by Zambrano at 9:27 AM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think everyone's really underestimating their ability to survive. I mean, I'm certain they brought down all the usable supplies they could from the fleet. All the food, medicine, clothes. Probably some weapons for hunting. Probably basic manufacturing materials. Twelve colonies, some of them primarily agrarian ("You know, I know about farming.") A slow transition from high technology to a slow-burn low technology is not hard to imagine. I don't know — maybe my imagination is just more active than most.
posted by cthuljew at 9:29 AM on March 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm slow this morning: I'm not going to miss the show, actually; I'm going to miss the hell out of the characters.

I watched the miniseries recently for the first time in a while. I was struck by how young and baby-faced Tyrol looked. I remember what I thought when I first saw Six - I didn't tune in to BSG until after the miniseries, initially, and when I saw Tall Gorgeous Blonde in Small Tight Dress I was all, oh here we go, gotta have dippy sexy evil blonde in a scifi show amirite?

Wrong. So wrong. Jesus, Tricia Helfer had had virtually no acting experience before she was cast in BSG, and her performance throughout just blew me away.

One tiny nitpick: It's Ellen Tigh, not Helen. So say we all.
posted by rtha at 9:30 AM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


So let me get this straight: They wanted to break the cycle of violence, and the plan is to spread out colonists all around the world, expecting them to settle successfully in new territory and live peacefully amongst the territory's indigenous people?
Yeah, that will end well.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:36 AM on March 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


Still shell shocked by how disappointing the finale was. Loved the show and there were many great pieces of plotting and writing and direction, but that last hour or so wasn't one of them. I'm literally walking around wondering "What. the fuck."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:38 AM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


And in the end, it would seem that they all pretty much do die off, except for Hera and her (presumably) half-caveman descendants.

The fact that Hera is supposed to be "mitochrondrial Eve" doesn't mean that the others didn't produce offspring. It just means that she's the furthest common female ancestor of humans alive 150,000 years later. Many of the colonist and native women could have produced descendants for generations who either died out or bred into the Hera line such that their descendants were related matrilineally only to Hera.
posted by nev at 9:41 AM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the links. Before this thread devolves entirely into weepy rehashing of the final episode, do go read the interview. It's meaty.

I liked the finale. I don't have high expectations for shows like this, honestly, there's too many plates spinning in a major TV show to tell a tight, complete story. Tightly constructed shows like BSG are incredibly rare; usually we get utter make-it-up-as-we-go-along garbage like Twin Peaks or Lost, or well plotted shows that fall apart from external forces like Babylon 5. The fact that BSG was able to carry this off over four seasons, with a complex legacy from a crappy 70s show and a writer's strike screwing you up halfway through.. Well, the show delivered well.

And the finale itself wrapped up pretty nicely. The final assault is ridiculous and absurd, but it's also necessary for a heroic space opera. All the characters played their roles perfectly, and I think Tyrol's fit of mad passion destroying the truce was a masterstroke of plot twisting. I even liked the way the dopey mysticism was somewhat resolved, the Opera House visions and all. The show played itself out like it should.

Until Earth. The crushing nihilism of their choice to live like savages, it just floors me. How is this an optimistic ending? I like to imagine 90% of the survivors dead in the first winter, shivering and cursing that only Bill Adama was smart enough to keep a raptor with him to warm his bones. Everyone who survives the winter dies of diphtheria or malaria the next summer. Except Hera, who was kidnapped by a war party of Bushmen and raised as a captive trophy fit for nothing but repeated, forcible breeding. Mother of humanity, indeed.
posted by Nelson at 9:42 AM on March 21, 2009 [14 favorites]


For a moment i was Oh no here's St. Elsewhere all over again. But the final disposition of Kara Caprica and Baltar as angels/demons seemed satisfying enough to get me over that it was all a Kara Thrace dream moment I thought was coming. It makes some sense that they would discard all the technology, but what about the knowledge? Why does it take 150,000 years to get back to the point of cute little robots?

Baltar's Dad as the Father Farmer. Hera as the Genetic Eve. And Chief as the start of the Celtic peoples. All in all it was probably as best they could do without going into anothr season. It does however leave nothing except prequels for any movie franchise.
posted by Gungho at 9:42 AM on March 21, 2009


Regarding the robot montage at the end:

That last shot in NYC was definitely shot with some dialogue that was for people who Didn't Get It. That annoyed me. But I kind of loved the montage. First of all, I build robots for a living. I am a huge robot geek. (So yeah, I could identify every robot they showed) But the really poignant thing was that they DIDN'T show our warfare robots. I think that's a big deal. We do, believe it or not, think hard about how robots will be used in war, and there are all kinds of calls for ethics discussions with regard to this. What we don't think about is how our side projects may be used. They showed Qrio, a humanoid robot that can dance on command. They showed that creepy-looking fembot that some guy in his mother's basement in Japan built to do his chores for him and be the "perfect female companion". What I saw as the implication of that montage is that these humanoid robots we invent for "fun" and don't think much of are the ones that will get us in the end; not the ultra-specialized military robots we're consciously worrying about the consequences of.

That's how I interpreted it, anyway. For me it was fascinating and it sold me on the otherwise awkward ending. (The last ending, anyway. As someone I was watching with noted, they went a little Lord of the Rings on the endingS, didn't they?)

As a sci-fi fan, I think I can say this finale left me more comfortable than the X-Files or Star Trek: Voyager. Though for emotional appeal and identity with the characters, I don't know that it beats "All Good Things" from Star Trek: Next Generation. Maybe it ties. But it doesn't beat it.
posted by olinerd at 9:43 AM on March 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


No show is perfect. No finale is perfect. In fact, most finales are really far away from being anything close to perfect. But overall, this was probably the best series fanale I can recall.

Greg Nog: "Tight writing there, boys."

Why is it that all of the questions need to be answered? I'll never really understand that need in SciFi audiences. My favorite movies/shows are always ones that leave me thinking and theorizing for the next months/years. By that measure, I think BSG was a huge success.
posted by Plutor at 9:44 AM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is really the worst part about fandom - any fandom. A large number of people labor for years to create a piece of art that gives us all hours and hours of enjoyment over a period of years. Then, we get all butthurt when we disagree with the choices of the artist.

Moore has said on more than one occasion on his podcasts that he doesn't feel it's his job as a storytelling to answer every single question and spoonfeed everything to the audience. That lack of spoonfeedin was one of the things that made the show so wonderful.

That's what I love about the choices he made about the Kara arc; you're free to interpret it and to read meaning into it. That's one of the wonderful things about art.

And can we remember - for a moment - that these hours and hours of art that provided all this enjoyment was given to us for free?
posted by DWRoelands at 9:48 AM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


As for Kara Thrace, I think it's brilliant she's left unexplained. She's a mystery. The universe is mysterious, and a lot of BSG is about how a bit of spiritual mystery can interact with your hard science and seriously fuck shit up. It's OK to leave her a mystery at the end.
posted by Nelson at 9:49 AM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Afroblanco: The impression I got was that only the Centurions were leaving on a base star, and the skinjobs were staying.

Otherwise, I have the same opinions as most people: liked the big space battle, didn't like the cop-out where nothing was explained. Possibly we'll get a bit more in the upcoming Caprica series and the Plan TV-movie. Presumably head-Six and head-Baltar are actually some kind of Arisian-style superbeings along with "God".

I did like the way it went back to the Von Daniken premise of the original series:

"There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans..."
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:56 AM on March 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


And Chief as the start of the Celtic peoples.

Wait wait wait, so you mean my odd attraction toward Tyrol was due to racial memory? I'm not sure how I feel about that.
posted by The Whelk at 9:59 AM on March 21, 2009


My actual favourite thing was the Centurions fighting each other. We built them and taught them to kill each other, there's something very sad about that.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:05 AM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Being more than a season behind, I took a chance wading into a thread I knew would be full of spoilers. And reading the details it made me realize that I just don't care at this point. At all.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:19 AM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I liked how the show distinguished itself from the original by not being hopeless awful and then came full circle toward the end and became hopeless awful.
posted by juiceCake at 10:20 AM on March 21, 2009 [8 favorites]


Ergh... Note to self don't read spoilers.
posted by sammyo at 10:26 AM on March 21, 2009


Why is it that all of the questions need to be answered?

Well, the most significant reason I kept watching the show throughout was for resolutions to the suspenseful mysteries they kept throwing at the audience. One of those was "What is Kara?" For the answer to be "Oh well, I guess Kara is kinda whatever you want her to be," strikes me as supremely lazy. It's not really "spoonfeeding" if you simply answer a question that you've been bringing up again and again and again.

This isn't some nerdy "explain it ALL" completist nitpicking, along the lines of "But WHERE EXACTLY did Gaeta grow up?" or "What KIND of cancer, EXACTLY, did Roslin have?" This was a major lynchpin of the plot, and one that they KEPT ON reminding us about in the last season. It feels like a letdown because all signs were pointing to this being a big reveal, and they instead chose to not reveal. It's like if I went to a restaurant and ordered the "Mystery Soup" and the chef refused to make it, instead telling me that the TRUE soup was in MY OWN MIND.

Granted, if I were high when this happened, I would probably be fairly impressed.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:27 AM on March 21, 2009 [16 favorites]


My DVR didn't get the very last few minutes

It will be up for the rest of the day on atdhe
posted by overhauser at 10:27 AM on March 21, 2009


I thought Kara was Daniel (after Cavil messed around with the genetics and so on, mixing up the soup). I was let down by what they wrote off as "rabbit holes" and "angels/whatever you want her to be" (whenever that sort of vague open-ended challenge comes up, I always think of the Stay-Puff marshmallow man).
posted by whatgorilla at 10:28 AM on March 21, 2009


Broken promises
posted by grobstein at 10:37 AM on March 21, 2009


Personally, I would have preferred it to end with that shot of Adama sitting on that rock, looking out over the new earth. The rest was just preachy, beating us over the head with the idea that we're going to do it all again. Perhaps Moore could have had a cameo as a caveman in the distance, gnawing on a gazelle or something.

Overall, though I liked the ending. Roslin's death was beautifully and subtly handled, and the non-answer of Starbuck was fine with me; leave some mysteries for the fan fiction writers to chew on...
posted by baggers at 10:38 AM on March 21, 2009


I was dissatisfied with how the series ended, and I mean that in a broader sense rather than specifically the final episode. I think my dissatisfaction partly stems from being an atheist and BSG ended up being the VeggieTales of science fiction. Okay, that's not fair, but it did become fantasy with token science fiction elements.

The show really grabbed me when the premise was humanity struggling against a self-perpetuated extinction. Even in its most dire straits, humanity is constantly sabotaging its own chances of survival and characters and good characters are called upon to make terrible decisions. These decisions take their toll but the characters grow and develop. We grow attached to the characters, even though they're deeply flawed. We want them and humanity to make it.

All that striving, all that sacrifice meant nothing though, because this inscrutable, capricious God (played by Bob Dylan?) had a plan, a plan comprised of seemingly arbitrary events. Didn't matter who died or what they did, because that age-old copout "fate" had everything written out. How cheap and how disappointing. Picture Adama just giving into the mystical bullshit when it started popping up early on. Is that a character you want to follow? He railed against it and finally gave into it, and how sad it was when he realised his complete impotence. Angel-Ghost Starbuck magically transports them all to Earth #2. Everything's resolved. Hooray. All that fighting, that struggle, that loss was for nothing. They were all dumb puppets.
posted by picea at 10:44 AM on March 21, 2009 [14 favorites]


I loved the final episode! And I'm particularly excited about BSG: The Plan, which I hadn't heard of before the promo that aired during the finale; how cool that they'll explore the Cylon side of things, and perhaps explore as far back as what happened when the Earth survivors created the humanoid Cylon models. I'm wondering if maybe it's intended to help the transition to Caprica, though I don't know if the Daniel in that show is supposed to be the same Daniel who is the lost Cylon model.

I'm atheist and wasn't particularly into the kind of spiritual/supernatural aspect of it, but I like how it came together overall. The Baltar/Six thing at the end I thought spoke less to the idea of a god controlling it all than to some more advanced beings observing and kinda playing around with human civilization.

As for the bit about how the scattered populations would survive, I thought it was funny that people were going off on their own to solitary confinement. But I thought they made a particular point (more than once, I think) about how the Cylons had knowledge of planting and such (the joke about how Helo was going to teach Hera about hunting, and Athena was going to teach her like everything else) that human civilization wasn't exactly starting over--which I thought kind of added to the idea that Cylons were necessary for the humans' continued survival.

I like how putting them in Earth past gives some added fun significance to why their god/goddess call signs are familiar to us and junk like that. But then I like the Stargate series and how they play around with our mythology and otherworldly explanations for it. (And I was also happy to see the Stargate: Universe promo, which take the series into a different--perhaps more BSG-like--mood).
posted by troybob at 10:46 AM on March 21, 2009


So wait..

Adama and Roslin decide to call it Earth...

..then go off and leave. Maybe I forgot it, but I don't remember them actually telling anyone about that.
posted by leviathan3k at 10:49 AM on March 21, 2009


I really liked the bit where the new model Cylon Centurion shot the old model Cylon Centurion right in the face. GUN-FINGAZ!

I guess it was a bit all over the place, but it's as good a conclusion as any, really. 30,000+ people basically being told "Okay, so, here's Earth, we're going to dump you on this continent with...uhh...I dunno, you can have this plastic...case...thingy. Dunno what's in it. K bye!" was a bit odd. They could have at least stripped the ships for shelter and tools.

I like how Adama just bailed with one of humankind's last Raptors, just for himself. That will give him a profound advantage when hunting those gazelles.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:56 AM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


DWRoelands:

The issue is, I think, less that we want everything explained so much as we are disappointed that, after watching two mostly entertaining but obviously hacked together seasons (which repeatedly asserted “there is a plan,”) then having to suffer through that third, meandering mess of a season being assured there was going to be a pay-off, we're presented with a the fourth season and finale that are more of the same: a mix of boring, crying episodes, a handful of interesting plot/mythology episodes, less than a half-hour of proper action scenes (the only thing the show does with any distinction,) and then a lame pay-off that highlights both the shoddy nature of the plotting and the mediocrity of the writing team.

Frankly, I'm surprised that the reaction here is so positive! This isn't to say that the finale was particularly bad, but sitting through much of what preceded it was like having to eat your vegetables only to be given a tablespoon of prune ice cream and then hurried off to bed. A mediocre ending brings attention to the show's never really being that great in the first place.

Taken as a whole, Galactica was lots of fun, but the quality of writing - characterization, dialogue, and plotting - is honestly not all that much better than what I'd have expected from Stargate SG-1, if we account for the superficial grit versus camp difference. That the only very slightly better Galactica was received so well just goes to show what a sad demographic we television science fiction fans have become.

It's not even that we're demanding a show like The Wire, in which case our disappointment would just mirror the other 99% of the television-viewing public. No, the standard seems to be better than Stargate: Atlantis, and that just seems kind of pathetic.

On preview:

Also, I think it was a little annoying for some people how the solution to many of the smaller mysteries that the production team intimated would be resolved have so conveniently been left to fund another television movie.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:57 AM on March 21, 2009 [10 favorites]


From the Ron Moore interview:

"Eddie kept pitching me that they come to Earth in contemporary times, and everyone's cheering and happy, and cut to the White House and the President goes, "Nuke 'em!" And they destroy Galactica -- cut to credits."


Which in some ways, would have been more satisfying.
posted by Ndwright at 11:00 AM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think it can be summed up by this bit: After they discover Boomer has stolen Hera, Doral comments "We never should have trusted her." Cavil responds "Trust has nothing to do with, I simply miscalculated her need to engage in gestures of futility."

A text book example of lazy, trite writing. I'm almost surprised that Cavil wasn't twiddling a mustache.

And they go back for Hera 'cause suddenly Adama spots an old photo on the wall? This, after Hotdog says there are pictures on the wall of people that no one remembers. No one remembers the Cylon/Human miracle child and the Cylon who almost killed the Old Man? That's when somebody thinks that maaaaybe one of the Cylons on board might know where the other Cylons took Hera? And could someone tell Hera to stop running around in a warzone?

Inconsistencies like these built up over time and then collapsed in the finale. Which is a shame 'cause I really wanted to like the finale, to leave the series with a good thoughts and feelings, but it is not to be.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:01 AM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well, the most significant reason I kept watching the show throughout was for resolutions to the suspenseful mysteries they kept throwing at the audience. One of those was "What is Kara?" For the answer to be "Oh well, I guess Kara is kinda whatever you want her to be," strikes me as supremely lazy. It's not really "spoonfeeding" if you simply answer a question that you've been bringing up again and again and again.

Yeah, that's the big problem I had with it, too. You could have just had like Kara popping in out of nowhere, no real explanation, Kara herself saying "Dude, I DON'T KNOW," and then it never comes up again until she disappears and Lee is all like, "Shaaaaane! Come baaaack!" That would have been okay with me. (In fact, I believe I read the original series did something similar with its, um, far more benign version of the Pegasus.) But to make it a major plot point of the season and then succumb -- I'm sorry -- to just some lazyass fucking writing in the clutch was not really cool at all. I don't care if we don't get an explanation, and frankly I don't think there's any explanation that wouldn't have been a disappointment, but don't tell me for twenty episodes we're eventually getting one and then fail to bring it. The soup is in your mind indeed.

Re: the overall conclusion, I'm not really sure why everyone thinks we are supposed to think the fleet is necessarily doing the right thing. I do think they're trying to make the best of a less than ideal situation, but I'm not sure at all that we're intended to be on board with the decisions they've made...when has there ever been that lack of ambiguity in the past? This isn't a show that tells you how to feel about anything. What I got out of Baltar's last scene was a profound sense of loss -- basically, everything he's spent his whole life trying not to be is now what he'll have to be for the rest of his life, because he fucked up back on Caprica on a literally cosmic level. This isn't a happy ending. It might be for Helo or Athena or Lee, people who are really going to enjoy getting their hands dirty and going native, but most people quite like the finer aspects of civilization. That they felt they needed to destroy their tech was an admission of personal failure: They don't trust themselves to use it responsibly.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:04 AM on March 21, 2009 [13 favorites]


Sangermaine, I'd say that season 2 and the beginning of season 3 of BSG go far beyond the sci-fi-cliche-of-the-week material I've seen in Stargate. I kinda doubt we'd see our hero Captain MacGyver sending his people out as suicide bombers and later killing his own wife. In BSG, that was some great, gut-wrenching television.
posted by picea at 11:06 AM on March 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


Also, to a degree it seemed to me Moore was re-using the Wormhole Aliens from Star Trek Deep Space Nine as head-Six and head-Baltar.

Let's have some maybe-aliens-maybe-gods, save on hiring by getting current cast members to play them, and then any time the plot needs a problem causing or solving, they can step in.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:07 AM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


That they felt they needed to destroy their tech was an admission of personal failure: They don't trust themselves to use it responsibly.

I think it's an interesting statement in the present context of our freaking out over the spread of nuclear weapons, which is pretty much inevitable and inevitably disastrous; it was silly for us not to consider how it would bite us in the ass.

I saw it more of the idea that these guys have been hyper-technological for so long that they have a craving for the natural and don't mind so much giving up a technology that attacked them, then trapped them, and did not enhance their quality of life overall, particularly in terms of relationships, which is at the center of BSG.
posted by troybob at 11:13 AM on March 21, 2009


meh.
posted by stavrogin at 11:15 AM on March 21, 2009




What I got out of Baltar's last scene was a profound sense of loss -- basically, everything he's spent his whole life trying not to be is now what he'll have to be for the rest of his life, because he fucked up back on Caprica on a literally cosmic level.

That makes no sense, he's Baltar, he could have manipulated them into giving him a ship or simply reprogramed one to stick around and wait for his signal. And the Chief decides to be a hermit because of his mistakes, meanwhile Mr. "I accidently helped the Cylons kill 50 billion and let Boomer run around even though I knew she was Cylon and she almost killed Adama," he gets to frak Tricia Helfer for the rest of life? Arggggh....

One of things I always liked about BSG was the organic nature of the story. It wasn't tightly plotted and if something more interesting came up, they followed that rather than their original idea. That was interesting to hear about in Moore's podcasts, the way they built the story and let it flow. But it resulted in needless wandering and padding and leaves an extremely unsatisfying end, IMO.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:15 AM on March 21, 2009


It will be up for the rest of the day on atdhe

Thanks too much -- I missed more minutes than I had thought. Hera's Lucy!

Regardless of the unevenness and inconsistencies over the last couple of seasons, I will miss many of these folks. That's the hallmark of good art/entertainment: you may not mind the thing ending or realize that it needed to end, but you'd still sort of like the characters to send you a postcard now and then to let you know they're OK and what they're up to.

Meanwhile, logically, I can see the point of jettisoning all the ships and just saying, "For good or ill, we're going to stay put here," but yeah, splitting up so far apart without any of your tools or even basic weapons seems suicidal.

The most optimistic thing about the ending is the fractal thing -- civilization as a complex system that goes through many semi-random iterations. That's way more interesting as a mythology than all this pie in the sky when you die bullshit.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:15 AM on March 21, 2009


I think I'm going to have to watch it again before I make any hard judgements, but (nerdy metaphor to follow) to me, that series finale was like a bad or good Silent Hill game ending. Meaning it's not bad+ or good+. It could've been worse, it could've been better, instead you just basically stopped the evil, but oops, you still died because you dreamed the whole thing as you lay dying after a car accident or, you escaped with your daughter, but the nice police officer lady still died. Like it had its great parts and weakass parts, but overall, I'm ok with it and can move on with my life.

I have to say I was dry-eyed the entire episode until Baltar told Caprica Six "I know how to farm, you know" and choked up. Damn, that got to me. I was mildly annoyed with the flashback heavy previous episode, but that one line from Baltar practically redeemed that previous episode for me. Like when Caprica told him she was proud of him and that was the only feeling for him she had missing, and like when he relinquished himself from the lady warrior group by saying he never belonged to them and that they had appropriated him, I don't know, it was like that one line of his showed that whatever he'd done, for either civilizations or not (causing genocide, saving Hera, smooth talkin' Cavil), he redeemed himself in the eyes of the two people in his life that any redemption would matter the most, Caprica and his father. I mean they could've made him some superhuman humanity savior with like him sprouting wings and shooting lasers from his eyes (eh, I mean he was kind of, but more like he helped people because homeboy knew how to hustle, so good on him I guess, and Tyrol still managed to fuck up his truce so it wasn't perfect), but I feel like going down that road of salvation would've been a hollow victory compared to this more human salvation

Reading too much into it filter: Though...I still feel like Cavil being bullshitted by him so easily was a little BS, but at the same time could see how Baltar probably connects to Cavil on a certain level better than any character when it comes to self-preservation and cynical theology and philosophy. Reading too much into it alert, but maybe they both felt like a prodigal son in a way. They tried to succeed away from what they viewed as a flawed creator/father figure, trying to be successful in their own way, but also having to deal with the disappointment by their father/creator who viewed their vehement desire to separate themselves from where they come from distasteful.

I did not mind the Starbuck ambiguous ending too much. When I first saw it, I kind of shrugged it off. I mean it could've been way worse. However, I was doing dishes this morning I remembered Anders saying "See you on the other side" after their final farewell, and I don't know, again, like how Baltar's line redeemed the previous episode, I felt like Anders turning into a hybrid, his flashback philosophizing and final Viking-funeral like end elevated disappearing Starbuck ending from kind of weak to, "OK, that's not that bad." I can't explain exactly why, but it felt like Anders got it? Like out of everyone? Like someone said above, his Caprica days philosophizing seemed to hint at that. But then going braindead and finally being hooked up to Galactica sort of like made him just fully get it. So yea, him telling Kara "See you on the otherside" didn't just seem like a "dude, I'm gonna die" farewell, but more like he knew what she was (that she was effin' dead) and would see her again soon (whether she's an angel, a projection of her soul from the beyond, whatever).

Also, lolpresidentlomo.
posted by kkokkodalk at 11:19 AM on March 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


The rococo filigree of claptrap which was the demise of BSG offered us more train wrecks than Amtrak. Apparently, the finale "came" to RDM as an "epiphany" in the shower -- I have to demand, then, that he immediately stop bathing. Clearly, Kara disappeared because she walked off the set, revolted, and worried about damage to her acting career. So, why does the "hands in the milk-bath" cause everyone to know everything about the others? Because it allows Tyrol to shoot Tori, who everyone hates. Many people die, and who can blame them with a script so banal, pedestrian, tedious and lame.

Almost as long as it seemed, the final episode wound up with some actors lying in astro-turf against a green screen where clips from "Out of Africa" are played. Mom is dead, and Dad has quite lost his presence of mind. Who can blame him?

An epic de-tumescence, with no hackneyed, dreary trick left un-played.

My Gods! Get one imagination between you! I was so, so hoping for something at least up to the standards of the first and second series.
posted by Great Swell at 11:19 AM on March 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


picea:

I really enjoyed the first few episodes of season 3, too - the New Caprica arc - not in the least because it was a rare moment when the show was moving with any speed. However, right after the very awesome rescue episode, the show went back to floating through space, rehashing the same bland character drama.

But let's also not fool ourselves. What we had was Admiral Gaff and Colonel Canadian in some ham-fisted, few-years-too-late, “pulled from the headlines!” political drama. These were, no doubt, fun episodes, but if the show had continued on that course, I wouldn't have been surprised if the finale was about the glorious election of Hamish “Skulls” McCall amid a disinformation campaign that insinuated he might just be another Number 4 (“Simon.”)
posted by Sangermaine at 11:20 AM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I saw it more of the idea that these guys have been hyper-technological for so long that they have a craving for the natural and don't mind so much giving up a technology that attacked them, then trapped them, and did not enhance their quality of life overall, particularly in terms of relationships, which is at the center of BSG.

Yeah, but as someone was saying above, everyone was pretty happy with New Caprica until the weather got shitty. Your relationships tend to suffer greatly when someone breaks a leg or gets a burst appendix and there's no one around who knows how to treat it, or you catch a cold or strep throat or smallpox (on the planet full of germs that your immune system can only respond to with a deafening WTF) and there's no medication, or you're just very bored and have no books or albums or DVDs of Battlestar Galactica to watch because you're in a pre-verbal world without electricity. Their quality of life is gonna be stellar for like a week.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:22 AM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, this was disappointing. When they were roaming around the savannah towards the end, I really hoped an angry viking would come storming out of the forest and just rape and pillage them all to death.

Well, you can't have everything, I guess.
posted by Dumsnill at 11:22 AM on March 21, 2009


"...and then everybody decides to be freegans and live in dirt huts and make life suck for themselves even worse than on New Caprica, because cities are evil." Jacob from Television Without Pity
posted by The Whelk at 11:31 AM on March 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


Tune in this summer for Stargate: BSG
posted by Tenuki at 11:39 AM on March 21, 2009


I can't explain exactly why, but it felt like Anders got it? Like out of everyone? Like someone said above, his Caprica days philosophizing seemed to hint at that.

You know, it's really easy for me to keep talking about what I hated about the episode, but I feel I should say that I thought the Anders stuff was really well-done. And this is coming from someone who kinda hated Anders for most of the series.

The Divine in BSG is largely uncaring -- it has some kind of plan for the humans and Cylons, but that plan includes a massive genocide, wars, and generally a hell of a lot of suffering. That's not to say that BSG's God(s) is/are evil, but the basic subtext of the show seems to be "Fuck with God at your own peril."

One of the reasons the ending was so dissatisfying to me was how that take on God -- a terrible, perfect tyrant, more Cthulhu than Jesus -- was largely glossed over, with Baltar having his saves-the-day epiphany at Cavil, and the beatific smiles of the angels, and the sense that the road goes ever on and on and Dylan writes a kickass magic song.

But the Anders stuff, that seems like it was perfectly aligned with how they made God in the show: an unnatural, terrifying force of love that will drive a person mad. Anders, naive and strong and young and hale and glowing with life, talks about wanting to be plugged into the universe's perfection. And at the end, he gets his wish, and it's equal parts beautiful and terrifying, either tragic or triumphant depending on one's point of view.

The basic idea's nothing new, really, having been done from Dionysos-worship to Conrad's Kurtz, but I thought the contrasting visuals of the vibrant athlete and hollowed-out wet cyborg creature were a really beautiful iteration of this idea -- that communion with the Holy is possible, but at the cost of one's normal consciousness. I think that was the big highlight of the episode for me.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:40 AM on March 21, 2009 [30 favorites]


Heh...well, apparently I'm a simpleton for enjoying the Stargate series, so I can't help but love BSG for what it is. I can live with that. More happily, apparently.
posted by troybob at 11:41 AM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I still like the first season.
posted by showmethecalvino at 11:43 AM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


(I want to say: My hetero man crush on Jacob is staggering in its intensity. I'm not kidding: Things he's said about life, the universe and everything have at times seriously caused me to reconsider things In Real Life. Like, not even like "Wow, what a brilliant musing on BSG!" No. More like, "Holy fuck, dude. Allow me to go and reevaluate how I'm living right now." I was a little shocked at first to see his intense loathing of the finale, but I have a feeling he may like it more once he's calmed down somewhat...seriously, this man's invested a possibly unhealthy amount of love into BSG, and sometimes that makes him a little more forgiving than is warranted; but when that goes the other way, as it does, LOOK OUT.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:43 AM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


.
posted by greekphilosophy at 11:49 AM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I watched the first 2 eps of season 4, skipped the rest until the ending and then watched the finale.

I have a few questions.

So Kara poofed. Something symbolic. Fine, I get that.

Anders was a hybrid cuz he got shot. Fine. Got that too.

Didn't quite get magic baby that they had to save, but okay. Fine. Got that.

Secret base near a blackhole. Also, fine.

My question is -

After the chief killed the president assistant lady who killed cally and the dude from Quantum leap shoots himself and the secret base exploded because the broken raptor with the groggy lady shot all it's missiles at the secret blackhole base that was holding the galactica until they rescued the magic robot baby and they escaped, did all of the other bad cylons die?

I just want to be clear as to whether or not the badguy robots will come after the cave people at sometime in the future, or if they can go be cavepeople in peace.

Also, I hope Kara brings back another arrow.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:50 AM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


For someone who likes to shape the story on the fly, Ron Moore should have avoided putting "They have a plan" at the start of the show.

The show was comparatively taut till the end of the first season. Then onwards, there were some short-lived bursts of quality amid a plodding run of mediocrity.
posted by Gyan at 11:54 AM on March 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


Couple of things:

1) Engineer of Starship chooses to live in Scotland - Scottie from Star Trek tribute?

2) They've been telling us what Kara Thrace is from the start. Wing tattoo on her arm? Little statue of a winged woman presented to Adama as a significant gift? Leoben telling her when he looks at her he sees "a burning angel?" What the hell do they have to do? Put flashing text of the word "angel" underneath her every time she appears on screen? In a way, she's like Boomer in season 1 - she doesn't quite know what she is, but she's been programmed with a specific mission.

3) I love the Head 6 has also been telling us exactly what she is for four seasons. Baltar (and we) dismissed this from the start as some sort of Cylon plot. None the less, she was exactly what she said she was.

---

In the classical sense, Baltar was (and always has been) the "main character" of the series. To whit, the main character in a drama is the one who experiences a moment of recognition/reversal. Baltar finally has this when he decides to stay with Galactica and face his fears. This is, in part, why the "I know something about farming" moment is so effective - its a moment that acknowledges a profound change in his character. I don't read his crying as being sad that he'll be farming - I read his crying as the painful moment where he recognizes how wrong he's been all of his life (and how right his father was about him).

Anhow, I watched all four seasons back to back because I didn't start until this time last year. As a result, I have a hard time separating them into different units. As a single piece of entertainment, it holds together remarkably well. That doesn't mean I don't have issues with some things, but, on the whole, I found much more satisfaction than disappointment in the series.

Oh, one last thing - I was thrilled that Athena, Helo and Hera had a happy ending.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:54 AM on March 21, 2009 [21 favorites]


Lord_Pall: In one of those interviews, Moore says that they intended for the loose nukes to knock the Colony out of its stable orbit/position relative to the black hole and send it falling in.

Sangermaine: Also, I think it was a little annoying for some people how the solution to many of the smaller mysteries that the production team intimated would be resolved have so conveniently been left to fund another television movie.

I don't know, I wouldn't count on it. The commercial made it look like it was going to be telling the story from the Cylon side of things, so I doubt we'll find out any more about Kara, for instance. Plus it sounds like Moore is done with the show, so whatever revelations come out are always going to seem somewhat dubious. From this interview:

TVGuide.com: What's the deal with this Battlestar movie that's being made — it's not your version of Battlestar?
Moore: Well I don't really know anything about it. They didn't talk to me before they made the deal with Glen Larson, so I don't really know much about it.

TVGuide.com: So they never approached you about a movie?
Moore: Nope. They never picked up the phone. Let's put it that way. But that's OK because I had kind of put the word out that for quite a while that I didn't think that our version of Galactica was going to lend itself to a feature film. I knew that we wanted to end the series the way that we did, and it really wraps up the show. There's really not a story to tell after the finale that would be Battlestar Galactica.

posted by cobra_high_tigers at 11:59 AM on March 21, 2009


troybob:

O'Neill/Mitchell?
Jackson/Quinn?
Hammond/Landry?
Weir/Woolsey?
Sheppard/McKay?
Beckett/Keller?

Maybe we can be friends...
posted by Sangermaine at 12:02 PM on March 21, 2009


I don't read his crying as being sad that he'll be farming - I read his crying as the painful moment where he recognizes how wrong he's been all of his life

I see it as Baltar looking at himself in a mirror and being moved to tears by his own reflection. The narcissism continues.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:03 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


kittens for breakfast: While I can't join in the man-crush, I gotta say I agree with your reaction to his review and the feeling the full recap might be different. It was jaw-crushingly brutal. Also, someone does need to explain mitochondrial Eve to him.

I myself loved the space battle, loved the character moments and flashbacks (Boomer! Gaius! Kara, back when she was, uh, sane!), HATEDhatedhated a lot of the plot points (Cavil becomes a moron, technology is ALWAYS bad, etc.).

But I still really liked the episode.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 12:07 PM on March 21, 2009


But that's OK because I had kind of put the word out that for quite a while that I didn't think that our version of Galactica was going to lend itself to a feature film. I knew that we wanted to end the series the way that we did, and it really wraps up the show. There's really not a story to tell after the finale that would be Battlestar Galactica.

Dude is dead wrong. Pull out all the fat and filler from the four seasons, and BSG has great material for a fix-up movie that retells the story of the series.
posted by grobstein at 12:09 PM on March 21, 2009


That being said, god you all are a difficult to please lot. I didn't think the finale was perfect by any means, but I thought it was great -- especially compared with how awful I was afraid it would be.

I also loved how much character they gave Galactica herself in this last episode. Some of the things we got to see her do:
- literally fuck the Cylon colony in the midst of the attack
- be the wheelchair for Anders's Stephen Hawking
- serve as the embodiment of the Opera House visions

One thing I loved about that last element is that, with the CIC as the main theater of the Opera House, it gave a whole new spin on what takes place there. Almost like the Old Man was the conductor to the rest of the crew's orchestra.

Seconding everyone who said they weren't huge fans of Anders, but gained an enormous amount of respect for him in the finale and loved the way he ended up.

As for everyone carping about the settling-on-Earth situation... what would you have them do? They can only jump around the Universe for so long until all of the ships start gradually falling apart like Galactica did. At some point, they were going to have to settle down on a planet.

And okay, they could have built a city, like on New Caprica. But honestly, a city like that could only last a few generations anyway. Once they're out of medicine, where is more going to come from? Once they've stripped all the metal from the hulls of their ships, what do they build out of? Where do they get more plastic, electronics, and tilium or some other source of power? At some point it's inevitable that they were going to have to go back to farming, and mining, and re-inventing everything they needed with the supplies the planet could give them.

I think a lot of them realized that it was unlikely that the 38,000 of them with (for the most part) no survival skills on this planet could do it better together in a huge mass than they could if they spread out and did their best trying to breed with the species that was already starting to figure it out. I mean, if they were all concentrated in one place, there would just be societal-collapse chaos as the supplies ran out. Baltar got a farm up and running? The thousands of people with no food are probably going to rob him! Adama built a nice cabin? A gang of Caprican paper pushers with no roof over their heads could take on one old dude in a heartbeat! (Although maybe not with that Raptor, but I'm sure there'd be others, and they wouldn't be so well-equipped)

Anyway, Battlestar Galactica was never a perfect series, but I loved it, and I'm glad it ended as well as it did.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 12:14 PM on March 21, 2009 [8 favorites]


Anders, naive and strong and young and hale and glowing with life, talks about wanting to be plugged into the universe's perfection. And at the end, he gets his wish, and it's equal parts beautiful and terrifying, either tragic or triumphant depending on one's point of view.

Exactly! That was what I was thinking this morning, but between the washing dishes revelation and typing out my comment my brain hiccupped and missed that bit of info (some people get their revelations while sitting on the can, I get my Eureka moments in the kitchen). The other four of the Final Five all disappointed me a little in their own way, but the way Anders developed, man, I didn't think he'd be one of those characters I'd really like and the character arc that'd gut punch me like that, besides Baltar. If Gaius' arc was a gut punch to the heartstrings, Anders was a gutpunch to the theological and metaphysical part of my brain.

I forgot to say in my previous comment but in addendum, Daybreak had me scratching my head a bit, but the final bits with Baltar and Anders definitely redeemed it from the headscratching in light of the pieces of their personality and life shown on Caprica before all this happened. Now that I think about it, that was bad editing/pacing choice Making the first Daybreak a standalone one hour episode made it seem more like a filler than if it'd been better portioned out with the final two-hour long episode. I don't know if it was pressure from SciFi (cough, SyFy), or the creators or both, but making the final episode two hours to highlight it as some kind of big event, kind of fucked with the final pacing and relegated what would've been a just OK background episode into a pretty meh filler episode. Or at least write it so that it flowed better with the awkward timing. I'm not as disappointed in finale as others are, but I'm still not letting go some of the bad writing and lame editing choices that's been part of the entire series.

And speaking of characters that grew on me. I have to say, Saul Tigh. Goddamn, his character seemed to come into his own and has kicking Adama's ass in the "characters I care about" listing in my head. And that's hard to do because I love Edward James Olmos.

That last standoff reminded me of all the action I'd been missing in the series. I was giddy like a kid at Christmas watching Lee working with the Centurions all special forces...so awesome, like when I'd orchestrate elaborate battles with my brother's action figures of Batman, some GI Joe's and Power Rangers in standoff against a common enemy to the squeals of delight from my baby brother. Like Power Rangers would be all "Batman! The only thing that'll work will be a surprise attack!" and Batman would be all "This will sound crazy, but I want you guys to hang onto the hood of the Batmobile, I'm going to drive straight into the heart of them, and you guys jump off and finish off the rest of them." And the Power Rangers would be all, "...If we all don't make it...it was good working with you Batman...I mean, Bruce....GO POWER RANGERS GO!!" Good times. Good times.
posted by kkokkodalk at 12:16 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


cobra_high_tigers: I think you're mixing up two different things. There's a TV movie called "The Plan" that's definitely being made by Ronald Moore. There's also a possible cinema movie, which is completely unconnected to Moore, but that seems to be pretty speculative at the moment.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 12:19 PM on March 21, 2009


TheophileEscargot: Ahhh, I hadn't heard about that. Thanks for the heads up!
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 12:25 PM on March 21, 2009


In the classical sense, Baltar was (and always has been) the "main character" of the series. To whit, the main character in a drama is the one who experiences a moment of recognition/reversal. . . . I read his crying as the painful moment where he recognizes how wrong he's been all of his life (and how right his father was about him).

Well stated. Another reason why the farming line was so affecting for me is that we had just gotten this massive revelation that Caprica Six manipulated Baltar into giving her defense system access by helping his father.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:35 PM on March 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


kkokkodalk: From one of the Moore interviews:

They wanted, for their own scheduling purposes, they felt that people were just not going to commit to tuning in at 8 p.m. for a show they were used to seeing later, nobody watches a three-hour movie, everybody watches a two-hour movie, blah blah blah. Episode 21 [“Daybreak, Part 1”], it’s not an episode. It’s a completely unsatisfying experience. I know that, because it was never intended to be [on its own].
posted by troybob at 12:41 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


troybob: Well, I figured it was some sort of decision behind such an awkward division of story, and I'm glad Moore knows, but that's still not going to stop me from pointing it out. Reading that even he says "it was never meant to be on its own," is cold comfort. Wasn't meant to be status alone isn't going to redeem it, and I don't know how late in the game studio heads said "guy, you can't do the episode like that no one's going to watch it," but it's like someone writing a 20-page paper, then finding out it's 10 pages a day before. And rather than cutting AND going through to bridge any awkward gaps, just cutting 10 pages and leaving it there and telling the prof "Yea, it was mean to be 20 pages, sorry if it reads choppy." It's not always going to be perfect when you have studio heads butting in and stuff but Daybreak I was SERIOUSLY weak sauce when separate from its other elements on editing alone. The elements were there but it was choppy, uneven and hard to follow.
posted by kkokkodalk at 1:00 PM on March 21, 2009


When I saw the caption that read "150,000 YEARS LATER" I was really hoping to finally see our massively-liquored Colonel Tigh supervising a trailer park in Nova Scotia. THIS WILL ALL HAPPEN AGAIN.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:03 PM on March 21, 2009 [18 favorites]


So, I guess at the end when angel Baltar said, "He doesn't like that name," he was referring to the fact that God is actually Xenu? I mean, earth populated by survivors of a nuclear holocaust, transported here in spaceships? Sounds pretty Scientology to me.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:08 PM on March 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


kkokkodalk: I watched them back to back and it seemed to work fine for me; but again, I'm not so hard on the choices they made over the course of the series. I tend to like shorter, high-quality series that don't have to try to spread it out over 20 or so episodes; at the same time, I don't know that I would have been as engaged with the characters over a shorter run and without all the filler episodes many people complain about but which I loved.
posted by troybob at 1:11 PM on March 21, 2009


So the sum total of the series is "Hitchhiker's Guide, but not funny, and with heavy-duty religion"?

I'm less dissapointed I haven't followed it....
posted by rodgerd at 1:27 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wish tv and movie science fiction for once could back away from the "technology is bad and evil and not nice!" hammer

What? Star Trek is (sometimes annoyingly) pro-technology. B5 was at least neutral on technology. When I still watched the Star Gate series they were busy trying to get more technology to defend themselves from the bad guys. You might have a point with movies, but most of the TV sci-fi that immediately leaps to mind is not anti-tech.
posted by rodgerd at 1:39 PM on March 21, 2009


So, did they get off the island?
posted by Mcable at 1:43 PM on March 21, 2009


No finale is perfect. In fact, most finales are really far away from being anything close to perfect.

True; I was pretty fond of "Delenn got up before dawn and watched the sun come up...", though. And it could be worse. MASH went how many seasons too long?
posted by rodgerd at 1:44 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


troybob: That was my point. I haven't watched them back to back, but I'm sure it's much better back to back, but by itself it wasn't too great. And like I said, in hindsight after having watched the series finale I see where they were going and I'm not as annoyed with that episode anymore. And again, I'm not complaining about fillers in general but Daybreak I was very weak not in a "aw man, there's nothing happening in this episode." It was a badly edited episode period in my opinion, filler or no.
posted by kkokkodalk at 1:55 PM on March 21, 2009


I liked the part when they flew Bob Dylan into the heart of the sun.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:06 PM on March 21, 2009 [9 favorites]


I didn't take it as technology is bad. I took the message more to be we don't or can't trust ourselves with technology. The technology is neutral. It's the humans and the cylons that have problems. Thus the reason all has happened before and all will happened again. Human nature doesn't really change. You give a couple of 2 year olds foam baseball bats and they immediately start hitting each other. It's just what we are.
posted by COD at 2:06 PM on March 21, 2009


I didn't take it as technology is bad. I took the message more to be we don't or can't trust ourselves with technology. The technology is neutral. It's the humans and the cylons that have problems.

I don't even thing it's a technology argument. The problemfrom the beginning was always the human enslavement of the cylons.
posted by sbutler at 2:32 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I had some hope over the course of the series that we would find out that somehow the Cylons (or the human-Cylon models) had actually created the humans, putting a neat reversal on the humans' assumptions that they had a right to destroy what they created. But I like how things turned out.
posted by troybob at 2:38 PM on March 21, 2009


One ending that really did bother me was Laura's death. Not that I minded that she died (I expected her to die) It's that, after this long, tortuous journey to find humanity's new home, cooped-up in big metal cans in space, her last view of the new beautiful home is through the window of a big metal piece of technology. She should have died lying-back in the tall grass with Adama, looking up at the stars.

On the other hand, she died in a spacecraft, not really "connected" to the earth she had spent the last few odd years struggling with cancer and Cylons to reach. The dialog suggested she didn't really feel this was the "real" earth. In a manner, by dying in a spacecraft she never reached her "promised land", underscoring the Moses-like role her character represents.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:38 PM on March 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


I have no dog in this hunt, having only watched the premiere of BSG some years back, but MetaFilter's own RakDaddy posted his own spoilery thoughts last night before he took a Net break, and I thought they were interesting as commentary on just how hard it is to write a good SF plot that includes religious elements without making those elements just another deus ex machina.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:44 PM on March 21, 2009


I thought that her death coincided with the discarding of the technology, in that (in my mind, anyway) that would have been the last flight. But also I thought, in a parallel to Adama's relationship to Galactica, that her dying in the ship was like dying in his arms.
posted by troybob at 2:46 PM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well, I woke up first thing this morning to download the episodes of iTunes and to watch them while eating my Wheaties. I had braced myself for schlock, having gone to bed and read one bunch of mild, snark filled spoilers. But in the end, I loved this episode. It was intelligent and exciting and a good distillation of everything I've liked about the show. All you complainers should ask yourself if, despite this ending (and indeed the last season and a half) being less than perfect, is this not still one of the finest pieces of long-form serialized television drama you've seen in your life? I think we all know what that answer would be.

One thing I particularly enjoyed about the CIC/Opera House scene, and which people are not picking up on, is the way it resolved the theological tensions in the show in a very lovely way. The initial few seasons had set up a sort of mechanical monothesit/polytheist//cylon/human dichotomy that began to break down after New Caprica. In the latter seasons, we saw the polytheistic humans begin to bifurcate into a cadre of religious charismatics and a main body of mildly affiliated state-bureaucratic religious types. The centerpoint of human religious expression moved out of the hands of the levitical Gemenese and into the hands of Baltar's amazons. At the same time, the Cylons experienced a similar shift, with the rebels joining the humans and losing their evangelical fervor, while Cavil and his faction became fervent rationalists.

I'll admit to absolutely hating Baltar and his "touched by an angel" schtick, but the CIC/Opera House scene almost completely redeemed this for me. The speech he gives about there being "forces beyond comprehension" and his followup about God being beyond good and evil succeeds in bridging the intellectual and theological gap between these four factions. For the theistically inclined, Baltar's statements are perfectly comprehensible. For the rationalist Cavil, his experience obliges him to admit the evident fact of coincidence and emplotted order. Baltar succeeds, by virtue of his direct experience, in making the idea of amoral providence a reasonable hypothesis to Cavil.

This is so, of course, because Cavil is not a purely free agent. He's a created being and is thus vulnerable to the power of his creator. When Saul offers him resurrection, that providence crystallizes into a rational, advantageous course of action leading to detante.

Now, here's where it gets interesting to me: why does Cavil then shoot himself? Crucial question. I think it's because he sees the eclipse of the opportunities created by his rational, self-interested approach. Knowing himself to have done the logical and correct thing, he nevertheless sees the plot move on without a place for him in it. And forced to admit the reality of a providential force for which he is irrelevant, suicide is the only rational response. There is literally no reason for him to exist without resurrection or the hope of it.

So, in this scene, the writers really lay all their theological cards on the table. We get a universe which is intentional and ordered but which nevertheless has space in it for human freedom and the ability to deny the compelling force of logic in the face of creativity, spontaneity, compassion, and grace. These things are Ron Moore's God. These things have been impelling the plot and binding people together regardless of their background. This is the fatal, mechanistic flaw in the Cylons, and its the purgation of this element which allows for the Cylon redemption. The show ends with no resurrection, but instead a one-time only rebirth.

And Starbuck? She's the apotheotic figure. She's Christ, Hermes and Hercules all at once. She's the embodiment of pure, chaotic human emotion. She's Cavil's antithesis. Just as Cavil cannot live in a providential cosmos, so Starbuck cannot persist in her pure form in the reborn cosmos she has created ("where have you taken us Kara Thrace?"). In the end, her embodied form disappears and we are left with memory pure.

It's brilliant stuff. I'll be chewing over it for the rest of the week at least. I'm glad to see them wrap up the show in a way that gives serious weight to the theological themes they've been drawing upon throughout the show. The answer they give is deeply humanistic and the show is meant, I think, to challenge our politics and our ethics to ground themselves in love. It's a stern ending to a brilliant show, and I'm grateful to all of them for landing us where they did.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled plate of beans...
posted by felix betachat at 2:46 PM on March 21, 2009 [48 favorites]


A while before they found the "original" nuked Earth, I said, "I bet the series ends with them all landing on our Earth in the past and becoming our ancestors." Then they found Earth and it was crapped out and I said, "Huh, well, I guess they aren't going to do that?"

Then they did it.
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:47 PM on March 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


When I saw the caption that read "150,000 YEARS LATER" I was really hoping to finally see our massively-liquored Colonel Tigh supervising a trailer park in Nova Scotia. THIS WILL ALL HAPPEN AGAIN.

Sol Tigh IS THE LIQUOR!

(and Again, Blazecock Pileon is my fave commenter on MeFi!
posted by Catblack at 2:50 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


That the only very slightly better Galactica was received so well just goes to show what a sad demographic we television science fiction fans have become.
It's popular and YOU don't like it, so everyone who DOES like it is dumb. The only thing sad about "our demographic" is the continuing presence of this attitude.
posted by DWRoelands at 2:50 PM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Alan Sepinwall's review puts my feelings about the finale better than I ever could, but I'm going to try anyway, because what the hell.

I think Moore nails it when he says that the more Starbuck's true nature was defined, the less interesting it would have been. Coming out of that final episode knowing exactly what Kara Thrace was would have been superficially satisfying, but I think the ambiguity about her and the nature of the Divine Whatever (is it actually divine or some kind of quasi-Clarkeian sufficiently-advanced-being-indistinguishable-from-divine? Why does it have a plan and what is the plan? Did Head-Six say 'it' or 'he' doesn't like to be called God? Is that even relevant or am I just tired?) was a much better way of dealing with it. Nailing down precisely what Starbuck was, what the divine-force-slash-alien was and what it was planning for would have removed much of the mystery, some of the power and a small but not insignificant portion of my enjoyment of that episode and the show overall.
posted by inire at 3:01 PM on March 21, 2009


What really struck me about the storytelling in the last season was that it was exclusively related to the Cycle of Time of constructing "Cylons." The distinction of "artificial life" from the word "Cylon" was a bit much -- too much to really buy into. If the message of the show, from the season break to the end, had been that "God" wanted humans to recognize that they should not create life, that would have been infinitely more satisfying than if everything (especially the 13th colony) had been related to the specific word Cylon.

"You shouldn't try to create life for the purpose of enslavement" -- that's a great message, a message you can construct a story around. But the entire thing became too self-reflective, tied to the idea of Cylons. At the end they tried to break away from that by jumping ahead 150,000 years, but the first three cycles witnessed (on Kobol, on Earth, and then on Caprica) were directly connected through two races -- not through a cycle of time of humanity creating artificial life, artificial slaves, artificial things that can think and move and feel and be, but rather, just Cylons.

The distinction of Cylon as a race from Cylon as an abstraction of artificial life was the breaking of the fourth wall for me. It was then that I felt like the writers were compromising on the storytelling to fit into having 12-models-of-Cylon. And then exhuming the robot heads, and finding the skeletons that were "Cylons" on the planet Earth ... I didn't buy it. Sure, it turns out that the Skinjobs were made by Proper Cylons (which raises the question: in what way, precisely, were the Skinjobs related to the Centurions? And in what way, precisely, did the Final Five feel connected to the Centurions?) The Cycle of Time was no longer that of the construction of artificial life in one's own image, but rather, the construction of robots-that-look-like-this.

Sure, at the end, Head Baltar tossed in comments about the 'decadence' of our society, but that rang hollow; the clear message here was that Asimo signifies that we might start up the cycle again. So, uh, watch out. The cycle of violence is not some abstract concept of man spitting in the face of his creator and attempting to construct life in his own image; the cycle of violence is slave robots. Full stop.

On the other hand, if I ever get a Roomba, thanks to this show I'm going to treat him pretty well. (Unless it's my destiny to treat him poorly. What would Leoben say?)

(Despite all that, though ... I did enjoy the finale. The first hour was slow, the second hour was amazing, and the third hour was a fitting farewell to all our characters. All of the notes sort of hit for me, even Starbuck's disappearance. Just not so much the Cycle of Time resolution.)
posted by headlessagnew at 3:02 PM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think people here are putting more thought into this than the writers did. If Ron Moore was presented with the plate-of-beans interpretations in this thread he'd be amazed at his own ingenuity. "whoa, that's good, I never thou... I mean, yes, that's exactly what I intended."
posted by stavrogin at 3:23 PM on March 21, 2009


We get to tie Moore to a chair in the launch bay now, right?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:52 PM on March 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


There were weak spots, sure, and some easy outs taken, but it is after all only a TV show. Laura's thank you speech to Doc Cottle alone was worth the ride.

Also, as to them all going native on earth: think of how weary of war and running they must be. Hell, New Caprica looked good to them. Doc, or Baltar, mentions that the bio-diversity on the planet is greater than the 12 colonies combined, or something like that. So they have found an exeptionally good place to settle.

And linking the end to the voice-over premise from the old show's opening sequence was just lovely. Call, and response.

Saddest thing for me is the breaking up of my little BSG cocktailing society, however now I will have no reason to skip Friday meetups. And this show made the world a better place for at least one person- my mom loves how I say frak instead of fuck at least half the time.
posted by vrakatar at 3:53 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, it occurred to me that Roslin's death in the ship kind of fits in with the scene months back when, after the Cylon ship unexpectedly jumped with Roslin on board, Adama waited in the raptor, stranded in the middle of nowhere all by himself, reading his little book, having given up command, hoping (though not at all certain) that Roslin would jump back to that spot.
posted by troybob at 4:00 PM on March 21, 2009


OH! And when Adama is flying Laura as she dies, all the flamingoes? MIAMI VICE CALLBACK JOKE, DUDE!
posted by vrakatar at 4:16 PM on March 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


oh, I hadn't seen this:

"The Plan is ... literally, at the beginning of every single episode [of Battlestar Galactica], you see that 'The Cylons are created by man, there are many of them, and some of them don't know that they are Cylons. And they have a plan,'" Olmos said in an interview last week in New York. "Well, this is the plan. This is what caused this to happen."

Olmos directed several episodes of Battlestar Galactica during its run, but he described calling the shots on The Plan—which will likely come out on DVD and will also air this fall—as a unique challenge. The Plan recaps the story of the destruction of the human Colonies from the point of view of the Cylons.

posted by troybob at 4:34 PM on March 21, 2009


Here's a scene from The Plan:

PRESIDENT
Next item on the agenda, the cover story. I've got real problems with this goat thing.

SECRETARY OF SPACE
What's wrong with the giant mutant space goat? Ten-thousand-mile-long teeth! Breath that boils oceans!

PRESIDENT
They're never going to buy a giant mutant space goat. What else do we have?

LEADING SCIENTIST
We could do robots.

PRESIDENT
Hmm... Are robots scary?

LEADING SCIENTIST
Marauding genocidal robots!

SECRETARY OF SPACE
From space!

PRESIDENT
I like it. But won't it be expensive to build an army of marauding genocidal robots?

LEADING SCIENTIST
What if the robots look like humans?

SECRETARY OF SPACE
Sexy humans!

The intercom buzzes.

INTERCOM
Sir, there's a Lee Adama here to clean the telephone.
posted by vibrotronica at 4:54 PM on March 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm not even going to read what anybody else has to say about the finale. I'm just skipping right here to the comments field to share my own.

I loved the episode. Even as the past few episodes seemed to disappoint the "fanboys", I was surprised, as I loved every moment. People just seem to want to complain, whether it's about the quality of BSG, or if The Simpsons has stopped being funny years ago - for the record, I still laugh out loud multiple times at every episode of The Simpsons.

Anyway, BSG will go down in tv history as a landmark, and I look forward to re-watching all the episodes again.

The final episode was satisfying, exciting, occasionally bewildering (but in a thought-provoking way), and I loved the ending.

Beautiful end to a beautiful series, and somehow much more optimistic than I expected it to end!
posted by newfers at 5:00 PM on March 21, 2009


Saddest thing for me is the breaking up of my little BSG cocktailing society, however now I will have no reason to skip Friday meetups.

Me too! I skipped out early on a meetup on Friday, in fact, in order to get to our hosts' home in time for the viewing.

Once the whole shebang comes out on DVD, though, my drink-n-snark brigade will be rebooting our Friday night BSGfests.
posted by rtha at 5:03 PM on March 21, 2009


God has a Plan for you, Gaius.
Really? Is it to gather my followers together and lead them, Moses-like, to become a chosen people?
No. Think smaller.
Oh. Is it to make an act of unselfish sacrifice, redeeming my sins?
No. Smaller again.
Oh, I give up. What is it?
You must carry a little girl, from here to...oh, over there, through that door.
Will I be mortally wounded, and have to choose between carrying her to save her and ending my own life?
No, you'll be fine. Just carry her over there.
Will I be under heavy enemy fire? Will I risk my life dashing to the room?
No, I'll put all the robots someplace else. It'll be quiet. It might be in slow-mo, though.
Will I be unarmed, threatened with violence at any moment?
No, I'll give you a gun. And a helmet.
Could the gun be out of ammunition? It's just that I'd really like to impress Lee Adama.
Oh, OK. But if I give you that, I have to give you an experienced Cylon warrior with super strength and a gun of your own to help you carry the little girl.
What if I get lost between here and the door over there? I can come across a little flustered sometimes, you know.
Look, I'll run you through a training scenario in the form of a vision. I'll also run a bunch of other people through the same scenario for no reason at all, because they won't even get to see you carry the little girl.
What? That doesn't make any sense.
It's whatever you want it to be, Gaius.
You mean if you explain it you might ruin the mystery?
Yeah, whatever.
What do I do when I get to the room?
You have to make a pseudo-religious speech. It'll be quite a challenge.
What, you mean like I make every single week for, like, the whole show?
Look, just make the speech and I'll give you a touching flashback about your father.
So this speech makes everything alright, yeah? I save humanity and all that?
No, the Chief pretty much fraks that up for you. Anyhoo, gotta run. I need to resurrect Starbuck for no apparent reason.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:04 PM on March 21, 2009 [83 favorites]


I just want to say that John McCain spoiled Battlestar Galactica for me.
goddamnit
posted by saul wright at 5:07 PM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


The robots we have to worry about are the cute humanoid ones like Asimo?

*Always.*
posted by mediareport at 5:12 PM on March 21, 2009


Let's give them our best! We'll live in grass huts like they do! Having fought all this way, let's screw giving humanity its best chance and just throw it all away!
Isn't our best, like, space travel? Wouldn't our technology help us to survive? Isn't that the whole point?
Yeah, but they might use space travel to make robots, or something.
Why don't we just make a rule that you can't make any robots? It worked in Dune.
*crickets*

My girlfriend is going to die now. I'm off to let her see some flamingos.
You'll be back right?
No.
Why? You girlfriend dies so you abandon everybody else you love?
Pretty much. Cabin-buildin's a one-man job.

Maybe the notes are numbers?
How would numbers help us find a home?
Maybe they're, like, coordinates?
Hey yeah! Why don't you take a Raptor and check it out? It'll only take a few minutes.
Hey look! I found an awesome planet!
Do you think this was secret knowledge passed down from your Cylon father?
My what? My dad wasn't a Cylon.
Oh, so you're just tuned into the mystical divineness?
Pretty much.
And your Dad too?
Yep.
Why do we need Hera again?
Yeah, best not to waste hundreds of lives chasing her. You've got a cabin to build.

So it was God all along?
It doesn't like to be called that.
You'd think I'd remember after 150,000 years, but no. Doesn't that mean God could've just popped in at any moment and said "You've suffered enough, here's the coordinates to a new home?"
Isn't that exactly what happened?
Look out! An Aibo!
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:25 PM on March 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm not even going to read what anybody else has to say about the finale. I'm just skipping right here to the comments field to share my own.

I refuse to read the rest of your comment. So there.
posted by homunculus at 5:30 PM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh, here's the "meaning" behind the title of this post, as described by Ron Moore (via).
"that thing that adama and starbuck say:
"morning starbuck, whatdya hear?"
"nothin' but the rain."
"Grab your gun and bring the cat in."
my friend and I have made up our own little meaning/interpretation for it, and use it on a pretty regular basis (parts of it). but what does it mean to those characters? and how did the writers come up with it?"

I came up with this in the miniseries, and it's essentially a riff on contemporary marching chants or cadences used in the military called, "jodies." You've seen them in films: the platoon is marching or jogging along and the drill instructor sings out something like, "Up in the morning in the rising sun/Gonna run all day 'til the running's done," and the platoon either repeats the lines or adds the next line in the jodie. They range from the funny to the deeply profane and I remembered several of them from my NROTC days while I was writing the mini. In that opening scene, Kara is jogging through the corridors of Galactica and Adama greets her with a line that is a reference to an old jodie that presumably each of them remembers from their own training. So it's kind of an in-joke reference that they share with each other which probably in turn has some even deeper private joke between the two of them. I never wrote out the entire jodie, but I liked the nonsensical nature of the lines and thought it was more effective to suggest the cadences without spelling them out.
As for Baltar, I have issues with him getting redemption, ala Darth Vader's "Oh hey, I'll kill the Emperor now, so I get to go to heaven". Baltar should have went the way of Boomer. That's swell that he learned something 50 billion people plus one nuke he gave to that crazy six used to kill off more people later, but getting to go and be a farmer and died peacefully sounds incredibly trite considering all the shit he's done.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:34 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I refuse to read the rest of your comment. So there."

Made me laugh, and favorited! I should have been more specific : "Gonna post my own comment and THEN read what others have to say!"
posted by newfers at 5:35 PM on March 21, 2009


So Battlestar Galactica, was basically... Signs?

I actually prefer the foilers that I read here:

Main point:

* Hera reveals that Daniel survived, after a fashion, and that he's been guiding his loved ones as best he can through projection. Starbuck and Baltar are his children (and yes, eat your heart out, smooching Luke and Leia from ESB, the original Starbuck DID have sex with her brother); and Daniel plugged into Roslin after she took on Cylon blood.
posted by every_one_needs_a_hug_sometimes at 5:41 PM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


My girlfriend is going to die now. I'm off to let her see some flamingos.
You'll be back right?
No.


Yeah, that stuck in my craw way more than Vanishing Starbuck. And it was totally unnecessary.
posted by JoanArkham at 5:56 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh boy! And tune in this fall for "The Plan", We're Really Going To Show You We Had One!

Schlocky melodrama interspersed with what we figured would happen at the end (Beginning) of 4.5. Ridiculous thread wrap ups. The visions turn out to be wise cracking Angels working for "it". Fuck you, Ron Moore, Fuck YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!
posted by cavalier at 6:08 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


And why the hell would Tyrol care about the wife he was not in any way happy with, who cheated on him and he didn't really have a son with? GRRRRRRRR.
posted by cavalier at 6:08 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fuck you, Ron Moore

I would not say that. Though finale was immensely unlikable, the show as a whole was great and Ron Moore and lot of other people should get big props for creating and producing a lot of quality episodes.

Just fix the finale in the DVD edition, please!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:17 PM on March 21, 2009


I could not find my feelings more alien from those who found some measure of profundity in this, the finale of Battlestar Galactica.

The entire show, the writers have been toying with this question of what, if anything, separates the Cylons from the human. Different capacities, certainly—cybernetic interfacing, projection, et cetera—but the more important question is the psychological or (if you want to get more philosophical) fundamental difference between humans and Cylons? Why do they war? Is it because of reasons that are uniquely human conflicting with reasons that are uniquely Cylon? Are Cylons fucked up? Are we fucked up? Does this divide matter?

Ultimately? These things just boil down to a shared set of fallible, “human” motivations that may be a function of sentience as we can conceive of it. The reason why the “Cycle” began (and, note, I’m taking Kobol as a complete nonentity here [which, I feel, is a failure of Moore’s if he wishes to ascribe such unassailable inevitability to “the Cycle”], because I’ll be damned if I can figure out what happened there without taking a lot of creative liberties) was purely human. People didn’t want to recognize the sentience of non-biological things, and fucked up, and got a terrible conflict in return. (Though, I can’t help but remember the episode with Ellen Tigh explaining how all the Centurions had been monotheistic from the start… was this a religious war?) Why did the Colonies get nuked? Because one influential Cylon had a bizarre mommy complex and was mad that he couldn’t be some sort of silicon ubermensch.

I feel that the much more profound message would have been this sense of heroic understanding that was growing between the Cylon rebels and the humans, that the ultimate reason (notwithstanding meddling from Moore’s god) for the conflict was an inability to recognize that the other side’s feelings of pain and suffering are just as legitimate as your own. At the time, I thought the breaking of the Cycle was symbolized by the last battle, wherein Adama flings the last vestiges of human military might into a nigh-hopeless conflict (potentially for the good of the humans, but more obviously for the Cylon) alongside the Cylons… together, they can push toward Good actions. They were able to forgive each other for the respective horrors that each race had committed against each other to try to move toward a better future. It wasn’t all there yet (as in the Quorum scene), but it was approaching this sort of understanding.

I really, really wanted for there to be a hybrid society formed between them to finally break down what had become a silly, overhyped distinction between the two.

Instead, and in a meta-narrative sense that I feel can’t be separate from the theological “truths” of the BSG universe, they give up completely on every single human achievement in order to live on their own, in order to “break the Cycle.” Uh. “Let’s go live on our own and maybe fuck (or be fucked/raped by) some Cro Magnons in the mean-time.” “Sounds like a plan!” “This will surely prevent any nuclear holocaust! Ever!”

WHAT? But they JUST BROKE IT. Before any of this shit about abandoning technology and living “simpler lives.” Really fucked up Cylons—nuked to hell. Fanatically religious chrome-domes—jetting off in the last FTL ship in the galaxy. Humanoids who might not be all that bad—chilling with us, interested in making some hybrid babies, largely attractive.

What, of course, is to stop their progeny from redeveloping all of the evil, evil technology, making robots that they will abuse or genocide again? Unless God ordains it one way or the other, nothing but their own incompetence. They don’t seem to realize this, though—this part of the narrative is really implausible to me. (Furthermore, uh, wouldn’t it make much more sense to at least try to establish some kind of society, so when they eventually reach their former Tech level, they can maybe hope to have some echoes of cultural understanding that this is a BAD IDEA? I know you might all kill yourselves in the process--though, hey, your God of Gods doesn't seem to care all that much about this--but since you're all going to be dying of modernly curable diseases in a few years, anyway, you may as well give it a try.)

I also wholeheartedly agree with those theistic skeptics railing against the nonsensical theology. Honestly, I had been predicting partial maltheism as the explanation to the show… I had actually thought for the longest time that the show was polytheistic in that there were not only Gods but one who fancied himself the “one true God,” but apparently the colonial deities were all constructs to play in the great game of the One True God. (But, hey, the Centurions’ random conception of the One True God and Baltar’s schizophrenia-derived sex cult religion? Totally valid! Neat!)

I hated this narratively-sloppy conflict between the tone set all the way in the Miniseries—“There will come a day when you will have to live with the things you’ve done,” emphasizing individual choice and responsibility—and Moore’s meddling deity. No. Either God WANTED THIS TO HAPPEN THIS WAY and is ergo EVIL or it was the human choices that did it, through and through. Moore’s theistic message is inconsistent—I’m not even sure if he wants it both ways of the dichotomy—but it’s clear that, in a distinctly transcendent, ineffable way, God is supposed to be good. Moore’s God, represented first and foremost by the Heads [and secondarily in God knows what the fuck else in this series], is bitchy, petty, deceptive, and manipulative. They’re playing a cosmic game with the humans that they obviously enjoy—obviously to everyone but Moore, evidently. There is absolutely no evidence that Moore’s God is good. He gives them a carrot—the coordinates to Earth—for playing the game well, but it’s inescapable that he set all of the [horrible, awful] terms to begin with. Given, this is obviously a theological debate we can have on our own terms, but I really don’t feel like the finale presented this conundrum in any purposefully interesting way, nor did it come up with any interesting subversions of our societal, theological preconceptions.

(And, Christ, I don’t want to watch the first three seasons with the foreknowledge that Head Six is seriously supposed to be a DIVINE ANGEL. That means I am enjoined to at least consider her as a viable, moral causative agent in everything. All the way back in the first frakking episode, this is stupidly problematic “Oh shit this Doctor who is going to expose me is somehow alive!” “Don’t worry, Gaius, God will help you.” “Oh, neat, he’s gone, I hate God.” “GOD IS ANGRY AT YOU.” “Oh, no, the ship is back, I, uh, LOVE GOD.” “Cool, God made everyone on the ship dead for you, no prob now, Gaius!”)

Also, Hera? Why the bloody rescue? Gave the pattern before she was kidnapped. Kinda neat, but no transcendent worth otherwise. Completely useless, though cute.

Also, teach Cro-Magnon man language? What? Guys, unless they have the proper neural structures (in which case they will make their own damn language de novo without your goddamn help), trying to throw your now-sunburnt grammar books at this isn’t going to do a damn bit of good. (I mean, unless you can fuck Broca’s area into them or something.)

Also, bitchy Head Six and bitchy Head Baltar running around New York bitching, making ethereal bets as to the survival of humanity, turning this entire story into a JOKE—almost the worst thing ever.

Worst thing ever?

The very last images to the most epic Science Fiction story ever told through the medium of television? Dancing fucking robots. We were fucking Rickrolled.

At the end, I wanted to jam my fist into my television and let my boiling blood bathe the once flickering fragments that had just signified to me Ronald D. Moore’s complete and utter worthlessness.

(… Your mileage may vary. I’m approaching this from an extreme standpoint of skepticism as to there actually being any greater vision from Ronald D. Moore at this stage of the game. Ever since the 11th episode of this season, the revelation of Ellen Tight as the last Cylon, I have been skeptical. All of that shit about the importance of the Final Five Cylons—and Moore can’t play this retroactive bullshit of the narrative of revealing the Cylons being unimportant to the plot to explain away this one—and then, the best way you could guess the Last was a tie-in promotion with a subrate entertainment magazine? The hell? Thanks for telling us we could guess the last Cylon based on just information from the first season… thanks for pointlessly fetishizing Cylon identities for the sake of the absolutely transcendent love of Saul and Ellen Tigh.)

(Also, boo to everyone who automatically parrots that anyone who didn’t like this, or any other, creative product “just wanted to whine.” Unless you’re a sop who can “find the good” in everything, deal with the fact that people can have legitimate, negative responses to media based on the way they found themselves interacting with the media. Just as you can have a legitimately good one. And we can disagree.)
posted by Keter at 6:22 PM on March 21, 2009 [21 favorites]


Meh. They had a great set of ideas. When they ran out of them, they should have stopped. Or just let the show be cut off. They ran out of ideas and we suffered for it.

Just fix the finale in the DVD edition, please!
Heh.
posted by cavalier at 6:22 PM on March 21, 2009


And why the hell would Tyrol care about the wife he was not in any way happy with, who cheated on him and he didn't really have a son with?

That was my biggest WTF moment. I was really hoping someone would just shoot him after that.
posted by homunculus at 6:29 PM on March 21, 2009


It's finished? Great. Now I can go watch it.
posted by AdamCSnider at 6:32 PM on March 21, 2009


Loved:
-Chief killing Tory. Don't even care why he did it, just glad he did.
-Anders saying goodbye to Kara. That final moment of being Anders and not a freaky nonsense-spouting hybrid was just very touching.
-That Helo lived (I was ready to turn the damn thing off when I thought he was gone)
-Cavil shooting himself. It was just so Cavil. "I can't get what I want? Fine. I'll show you! You'll be sorry when I'm dead!"
-Boomer. She wanted to be Boomer again, not Cavil's Sharon. And she got to be Boomer before she died.
-The flashbacks. I liked these people, and I liked seeing who they were before I met them.
-The "you can see them?" between Baltar and Caprica. Very funny.

Hated:
- Kara's story. Dammit, I wanted her to be happy. Not satisfied with a job well done. I wanted her to be alive and live happily ever after.
- Baltar's speech to Cavil. Enough already. When he decided to stay behind, I finally started liking him again. He was terrified, but determined to be worth something. To finally respect himself. Then he gives his ""angels" speech, and to me, it just sounded like all of the same old bullshit he's been spouting all season.
- Lee's hair on Earth. It was a little frightening.
- The robot montage. I was fine with the "150,000 years later" thing. I was fine with Head Six and Head Baltar chatting about destiny. But I resented being hit over the head with the robots.

Overall, though, I loved it. I can pick it's nits till the cows come home, and it was still better than anything else on TV.
posted by dogmom at 6:35 PM on March 21, 2009


I'm mostly annoyed cause I LIKE the mysticism in the series and they used the Mystic Magic Stuff so, so badly.

Revelation isn't pretty. It changes you. Being connected to the Beautiful Perfect Truth doesn't make you a better, well-adjusted person.. Just ask Anders about that.

So they introduce these mystical figures, head angels and hybrids worshiped by the Centurions as Gods or manifestations of one God. So you have these visions. So you have Magic Babies. So you have magic dead Dad play a Magic song that everyone who is connected magically, somehow, knows.

And then you just throw every ounce away. Not answering everything but answering nothing. You could have said a few things and still kept the mystery. This is bad religion, and bad mystery.

How about this. Starbuck ends up holding Magic HybridAnders' Hand during the attack, Hera-hot-potato or whatever. Anders is looking bad before but now he's totally in the moment. He looks at his wife.

Cut to the Colony Hybrid. "Fingers of Rose. The Answer To a problem not Told." cut to Anders "You don't know me." cut to Hybrid "But I know you." cut to Anders "We try so hard, these are the right machines, the right devices. " Anders "Find a perfect world for Kara Trace" " Hybrid " The harbinger of destruction. " cut to Anders "Opportunity. A Father's love." Hybrid " Love to love you baby, we've got to get out of this place. " Anders "too much confusion" *bam!* huge hit rocks the CIC, the "Jump!" "anywhere!" speech. Kara punches in her musical-mystical numbers. and Bam Earth.

It's an idea.
posted by The Whelk at 6:37 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is bad religion, and bad mystery.
I suppose this is as good a time as any to post the obligatory link to BSG's Mormon connections.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:48 PM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes, yes, that's it exactly. And I'll try to cut down on the commenting against commenting etc etc. But what we essentially had was a series of mythos and mystery and what does this all really mean -- and in the end we end up with Touched by an Angel.
posted by cavalier at 6:52 PM on March 21, 2009


I wanted to jam my fist into my television and let my boiling blood bathe the once flickering fragments
Ah, a true fan.
posted by Nelson at 7:02 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


So did anybody ASK Anders if he minded piloting the ship into the sun? I assume they didn't, since he wasn't really capable of answering. Did they just decide he was so far gone, that- what the hell - he was the best man for the job?
posted by Evangeline at 7:21 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I liked a number of things about this finale. I didn't mind that all of the loose ends didn't get wrapped up. In fact, trying to wrap up at least one loose end at the end is one thing I wished was a little bit different; the discussion by the two "angels" in Times Square. If the show had left it at their discussion with Baltar and Six 150,000 years prior, where they said that their lives were going to get more boring from here on out before disappearing, it would have left it open ended enough that their angelic mission would have had to have been inferred, and not spelled out blatantly. The whole show up until this point had been about speculation regarding an omnipotent force guiding things to their proper end. Subtle inference at the end would have been the best way to handle it, leaving room for some speculation.

A final panning over Times Square with shots of the robots on TV and someone reading about finding Eve, with no dialogue at all, would have been a perfect ending.

It did bother me that everyone wanted to split up as they got to Earth. I don't find that true to life at all, and would think that after all they had been through, and least Lee and his father would have stuck together. But I didn't find it to be a foolhardy mission like some said above, as there were 38,000 of them split up; they just didn't show them all.

That being said, I leave with a rewarded and bittersweet feeling about the ending. I like what they were trying to do very much, even though it wasn't perfectly executed. But what finale is perfect?

Thanks writers for a great show!
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:33 PM on March 21, 2009


At the end, I wanted to jam my fist into my television and let my boiling blood bathe the once flickering fragments that had just signified to me Ronald D. Moore’s complete and utter worthlessness.

My Gods, I so agree. And: "Frak You", RDM. Or, rather, since Fraking is pleasurable, may you have a, (maybe as many episodes), Frak(s) subtracted.

So say we all.
posted by Great Swell at 7:35 PM on March 21, 2009


So did anybody ASK Anders if he minded piloting the ship into the sun? I assume they didn't, since he wasn't really capable of answering. Did they just decide he was so far gone, that- what the hell - he was the best man for the job?

This is a good point. I'm assuming that if they have FTL drives, they probably have auto pilot. Why not give him a decent burial?
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:39 PM on March 21, 2009


Also, as many inexplicable things that have happened in this series, the one that bothered me the most was Hera running away from her mom and dad in the middle of the battle. There are guns going off and people dying, and a child runs away from her parents? There is no psychological truth to that. It was just written to serve the opera house vision.

And as much as I wanted Tory to get her comeuppance, I thought the way they went about it was pretty lame - the Five stick their hands in some murky water and suddenly know everything there is to know about each other? Okay, that was clearly an afterthought, and a backasswards and wrong-headed maneuver by the writers to give the people what they want.

It sounds like I hated the finale, but actually, I liked most of it. A few things just stuck in my craw.
posted by Evangeline at 7:48 PM on March 21, 2009


And, after they waved goodbye to their tech, they all cut off their opposable thumbs and lived happily ever after.
posted by Auden at 7:53 PM on March 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


I too expected that they, and the cylons, would be the progenitors of modern humans. I was intrigued at the idea that we are all both human and cylon, and I thought: if this has happened before, with other scorched Cobols and New Capricas and the original Earth, are humans already more cylon than human? How many Heras were there? How many times was human dna halved with machine code?

While I've always liked the religious overtones to BSG, I really felt alienated by it in the finale. They would have been better off writing off Baltar's delusions to an ancient cylon chip in his head. The sudden appearance of God and angels turned the show into something that maybe should have been a Kirk Cameron vehicle. Rather than bring the hand of god into it, maybe the process might have been more matrixy, with some bit of machinery with a moral sense encouraging them to go back and try again. But no, it's God and angels, apparently. Disappointing, and to me a cop out.

I'm sorry to see how they finished off Starbuck. It could have gone in so many more interesting ways.

I'm baffled about why they spread themselves out. It doesn't make any sense. It would have been more interesting to me if they had decided to build a small, low-profile, low-tech village for themselves, and ended with a scene of making friends with the natives, trading or something. The end result of the finale seems to be this: technology is bad, technology built into us through our own moral failings, cities are bad, and human communities themselves are bad. I was amused that they slipped in the line about being surprised that no one objected to the big plan, mostly because putting the line in the mouth of one of the characters was clearly just an attempt to stall that very criticism from the viewers. What, no one would object to that suicide mission of spreading out and going native? No one worried about being cold in the winter and dying of some prehistoric illness, alone and unsheltered? Please.

And why did Adama end up all by himself? I presume the cabin he built was the Kaaba, since in spite of his prelapsarian name he appears to be Abraham.

I love stories with religious echoes, but I think that finale took it a bit too far.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:39 PM on March 21, 2009


That Jacob dude at TVWOP says "if you, like me, don't really care for robots, shooting, or TV science fiction, there wasn't a lot here for you".

He also says "Kara randomly plays 'All Along The Watchtower' on the FTL boards", and "Somehow the Fleet randomly shows up", except there was positively nothing random about either of those events.

So yeah, what a completely trustworthy resource.

And Keter up there says he "had been predicting partial maltheism as the explanation to the show… I had actually thought for the longest time that the show was polytheistic in that there were not only Gods but one who fancied himself the “one true God,” but apparently the colonial deities were all constructs to play in the great game of the One True God."

I am cringing in anticipatory fear of the Lost finale. If people like Keter are putting this much overwrought analysis into a show about robots, spaceships, and half-baked mythology airing on a two-bit cable network (and I loved the show!), that thread is going to be an absolute holocaust.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:40 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


The finale (and, really, the last half this year's episodes) was bullshit. It's like they got on their motorcycles and drove around just looking for sharks to jump.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:46 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


The finale had don't-say-God as a shoutout for all those nerds who believe in superstitious Singularity bullshit anyway, so I don't see the problem.
posted by mobunited at 9:22 PM on March 21, 2009


I have two issues:

I’m really bothered by the approval the show gives to the chief’s murder of Tori. The only person who comments on it at all is Tigh, who tells the chief that he’d have done the same thing. (Which, doesn’t that mean he should commit suicide? Seeing as he killed Helen and all himself.) I’m not surprised by his actions, but given that the man is single-handedly responsible for the breaking the final peace with the cylons, getting a solid additional chunk of people and cylons killed, in addition to the murder of Tori, a little bit of outrage from *someone* would have been nice. I don’t expect a strong moral center from Tigh; would it really have been so hard for someone else on the show to address this?

I do not buy the sudden anti-tech movement, which everyone magically agrees to. Bleh.

Other than that, good. Not great.
posted by Arturus at 9:23 PM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don’t expect a strong moral center from Tigh; would it really have been so hard for someone else on the show to address this?

Outside of the Final Five, I'm not sure anyone on the show even understands his motivation. (I actually don't understand his motivation. Cally was about the most objectionable ostensibly sympathetic character ever to appear on the show, and although Tory seemed to really enjoy airlocking her, she had an excellent reason. There's no real question Cally would have exposed the Final Five, meaning it was basically her or them -- a "them" that includes Tyrol. Add to that the fact that Cally lied to Tyrol about the paternity of her child, who by the way she planned to take out the airlock with her [apparently just because, since the Hotdog-was-the-real-daddy Jerry Springer-style retcon means Cally knew all along the baby wasn't a cylon], and well, fuck Cally, for real.) Anders clearly isn't talking, Tory definitely isn't talking, and so pretty much you have Tigh and Ellen telling Adama and Roslin that "yeah, that was cool I guess," which is probably enough, given everything else that was going on.

But on the other hand, I don't think Tyrol gives Tyrol approval for the murder of Tory. His self-imposed exile pretty much makes him the (biblical) Cain of the piece, I think.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:49 PM on March 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's like they got on their motorcycles and drove around just looking for sharks to jump.

Their flying motorcycles.
posted by rodgerd at 9:57 PM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I’m really bothered by the approval the show gives to the chief’s murder of Tori. T

As they haven't been viewed as being human, I don't think there have been any instances in the show where killing a Cylon has been viewed as murder, or an actionable offense, apart from the pragmatic value of keeping a Cylon alive to serve some other end. In this episode Boomer was killed pretty much in cold blood, too, and no concerns were brought up about that. It's only the last few episodes that really start to consider Cylons on equal terms, and that was more to keep the peace. As it all turned out well in the end, I suspect that it's hard to hold the breaking of the peace thing against the chief as well.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:10 PM on March 21, 2009


I'd guess it is more on the side of pro-nature than anti-tech. I just figured that these thousands of people have been wandering the universe for years, alternately running for their lives or being bored to death, living in an artificial environment, breathing crappy air and when's the last time one of them had like a freaking pineapple or peach. I imagine once you get through that and stand on grass again, you're maybe not in a hurry to build a bunch of fake shit to live in.

I know the travelers were referred to as angels on the show, but I didn't take it literally. If we're already accepting the story in a universe of ships jumping across galaxies and hot robot-people, it doesn't seem such a far jump to believe that there is likely some more advanced being out there that is god-like in terms of their comparative advancement, but no more the destined rulers or creators of man than the Goa'uld or the Ori.
posted by troybob at 10:12 PM on March 21, 2009


Additionally, I suspect that when Tory's actions were found out (she did kill someone after all), the chief's response would probably be viewed as just.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:14 PM on March 21, 2009


Given that there's specific dialogue about them splitting up all the supplies, I think this going-native bit is really being overplayed for outrage. The main thrust is that they were not going to build gigantic cities as part of a gigantic colonial project again, not that they were going to Bang the Rocks Together and Get Pneumonia.

And they're right. The basic problem with technology is not its existence (in the show, the Cylons are proof of that) but its mixture with triumphal, overarching schemes: the Plan, as it were. Humanity's Plan was to create a species of sapient slaves to do its bidding. The Cylons' Plan was initially to forever protect itself from further enslavement while claiming the biological signs of human power. Cavil's Plan is to recreate power relations completely from a non- or post-biological perspective (but to still have machine slaves). Some of these organizing principles are silly, but really are no sillier than, say, the American Dream.

They were all stupid plans, but not because you could do better because as a Smart Fan, you thought about it *real hard.* They were stupid because they assumed that technology should inevitably direct its users to an overarching, triumphal goal, and commit to it to such an extent that this goal is in a sense necessary for the continued functioning of the society. Even the 12 Colonies systematically enforced class differences when the slave species thing didn't work out.

Now BSG creates perhaps the perfect way to indulge a post-left anarchist fantasy by removing direct moral culpability for the millions of deaths that would result from decentralization. When there are only 38,000 people left, why *not* create small autonomous communities? I'm sure the Aerelonese and Gemmenese weren't exactly chomping at the bit to be treated like menial trash in the Glorious New City.

BSG asks the question, "What should people do after their society collapses?" We know these kinds of collapses happen, and are more likely than a fantasy of increasing sophistication and power with a transcendent endpoint. The Rapture, or even the Rapture of the Nerds are just more dumb Plans. To my mind, the angels really represent the near-inevitability of this collapse and the constant repetition of this question, pumped up with the supernatural to make it more overt than what you'd get by simply watching Adama and Roslin turn haplessly fascist.

The "fresh start" is exactly that. It's not an answer to the question. It's an acknowledgment that the old answer was wrong, and that the best that can be done is to maximize geographical and social flexibility and minimize one's impact on the environment. As a non-answer it's deeply unsatisfying and limiting to the prospects of the culture, but it is not *physical* suicide. It is cultural suicide, in the sense that it's the death of all of these Plans and ultimately, may end with little more than a trickle of knowledge, passed on without a system or much in the way of attached values. But it's still not a solution. Nevertheless, if we, really-real folks don't have a solution, why the frak should some dudes writing a TV show know? They could manipulate the rules of the universe to make one up, but that would have been far more dishonest than many of the stitched together, overly-convenient elements of the finale had anyway.
posted by mobunited at 10:15 PM on March 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


Considering it more, I don't see how the techology reversal and slowdown by the humans is much different than the willingness of the human-Cylons to give up resurrection in order to experience their humanity.
posted by troybob at 10:28 PM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Great Swell, I don't necessarily agree with you, but that has to be one of the most amusing things I've read all day.

Kudos.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:38 PM on March 21, 2009


Ahh, don't fret about the Lost finale. It will just turn to be a secret spinoff from Fantasy Island in which Hugo wanted to end up with all the chicks for himself. Let them try and plateofbean THAT!
posted by Iosephus at 10:48 PM on March 21, 2009


eh, not enough leoben.
posted by lapolla at 1:10 AM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, actual real world: entropy. Less entropy goes to more entropy over time, and eventually heat death stops anything from ever happening ever, ever, ever (actually it takes 10^(10^100) years or something but forget that).

BSG world, which we find contains our world: entropy, but then "God" steps in and perturbs it so that things happen cyclically. But maybe we can stop that from happening. God isn't "good" or "evil", just anti-entropic, that's fine - and it would actually look like the work of an intelligence if this were to occur, so super fine, it means that this part of the show isn't simply Judeo-Christian pablum.

But if God is acting at such a basic level in BSG world, then stopping technology just before we make good robots is no more a barrier to His action than stopping it at a pre-Stone Age level. We are fated to enter His plan for recurrence no matter what we do.

My real problem is that we know that "thinking hard" about building intelligent robots - which is to say, not doing it - is the idea of the finale, because that's what Moore says it is. So we're supposed to reason from the fictional evidence of a non-entropic universe where doing what we're 'supposed' to is futile, to arrive at the conclusion that we should do the same thing in a different universe where the whole of BSG doesn't really then apply, because we don't know we're in any kind of cycle of death and rebirth.

Now I love BSG, and I really quite liked the finale, but Ronald D. Moore is bullshitting. He did at least have the good grace to lampshade himself in the final scene, but I would have preferred him to have done something else instead of robot bashing.

That said, Gaius Baltar is consistently awesome through all four seasons, and he is awesome in the finale, so all power to Moore for not fucking that up at the last hurdle. In fact, all the characters are good in the finale. I saw that Brandon Blatcher is pissed Baltar didn't get any final comeuppance. So what if he didn't? Sticking him in prison might have caused him frustration and mental pain, or blowing his foot off would have caused him physical pain, but who cares, what's so good about people who do bad things feeling pain? The only thing that could really have shaken Baltar up is having every edifice he erected around himself torn down, and hey, that's just what happened. In fact, he tore the last one down himself (which is arguably "trite" but surely exceptionally cathartic).
posted by topynate at 3:38 AM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I first saw the finale I was just left completely cold, but I kind of hit on an interpretation that makes it a satisfying, if incredibly bleak, end. I'm 99% certain it's not Moore's intended canon, but it fits the facts as established on screen well enough that I'd like to think there was one staff writer plugging away with this in mind. But whatev.

Essentially it's that God's plan for Baltar (whose story this utterly was) was not for him to walk ten feet with a toddler - it was the speech he started to give to Cavil. The repeated process of breaking down Gaius Baltar to his barest bones and building him up again as something different every time served a purpose: to make him truly believe in God, in unification of biological and machine and in breaking the cycle deep down in his bones, to show him firsthand that he cannot ever be a religious leader, a prophet, anyone's messiah or president. He has to be all message. All this time in the Opera House - a vision only for Hera, himself and Caprica, but shared by the two people who've exchanged blood with Hera - where's he been walking? The stage. Baltar's role was to argue unification, cycle-breaking and God to the ultimate atheist, from the heart, and succeed. And it wasn't Tyrol who even fucked that up; it was Tigh in promising Cavil resurrection back. God, and Baltar, wanted them to move on and become something new, and Tigh gave Cavil - who the thought of real change terrifies, deep down - a chance to just go back to the status quo. He can't be blamed for it, without all the information it must have seemed the only way to stop the killing, but the end result is that four-plus years of careful conditioning of Baltar to turn him into someone genuinely capable of convincing the Cavils, Simons and Dorals and keeping them convinced was thrown away when it was working. They might have had peace if they gave Cavil back resurrection, but they'd never have had true integration. And then Tyrol fucked even that up.

God, it seems, is almost all-seeing, able even to mathematically predict the likely future, but practically powerless to act in any way more substantial than prodding people's brains. And even then, can you imagine if angels had appeared to Bill Adama or start-of-series Tigh? They'd have fallen apart. God had to work with the material it had, lay these intricate plans because it could only steer certain people, and constantly try to rebuild its plans when a random, unpredictable element - the Colonials developing Cylons more quickly than it predicted, leading to the FF arriving too late; Cavil throwing a cog and killing his creators, and presumably whatever went wrong on the original Earth, on Kobol and probably way back from there. There's this entity out there that's almost incapable of action and that gets so incredibly close every time, only for randomness to thwart it. As was referenced by the angels at the end. And all it wants is progress and an end to violence. I think it's an analogue of Cavil from a cycle - maybe the first - where he got what he wanted and became a truly perfect machine, but mileage, vary etc. Anyway, the point is that the poor frustrated bastard still hasn't gotten what it wanted.

Hera was the key to unification, and I imagine if Baltar had done his thing and they'd all sat down on the Colony and accepted that the way to change their fates was to become something different - Centurions, models, humans, even Raiders included - rather less invasive tests than Cavil originally planned would've shown them how reproduction had happened and how it could be replicated. It's what the Final Five originally planned in creating the models, and given their original lab to work in it's certain they'd have solved it. Which was God's plan.

Instead, with the Colony and half the remaining models (and the genetic variation they represented) gone, this utterly defeated God prods Kara to have the final part of the plan play out, except that instead of a new type of life being born on new-Earth, one that keeps all its history and the lessons it's learned and actually moves forward, they go there to die off and start again, and God sits down for another 150,000 years and tries to come up with a plan where its limited vision and the tiny number of people it can influence aren't torpedoed by randomness. This has been a sequence of utterly failed attempts at cycle-breaking, these four years of the fleet's journey have meant absolutely nothing on a civilisational level, and Hera's survival is worthless, as it hasn't led the humans and Cylons to actually move on to something new, it's just enabled what is technically a hybrid race to start again and repeat the same mistakes. The important part was never the genetic union, it was the cultural one. The genetic union just sold the cultural union to the skeptical. Of course Baltar and Caprica's lives will be less eventful from now on, angels. Their purpose was stolen out from under them at the last second, through no real fault of anyone's. And God, on present-day Earth, is hoping the cycle will just break itself. But we don't exactly have a tradition of care-for-your-AI stories handed down out of racial memory, and when we eventually do create a genuinely thinking machine, we will likely treat it like shit. So there'll need to be another plan. The cycle of violence goes on and on and on, and for all the valiant efforts of some crippled God-machine hanging out there in space, there will always be a random element waiting in the wings to make sure it doesn't happen.
posted by terpsichoria at 3:42 AM on March 22, 2009 [19 favorites]


I don't think this finale was about love or theology or wrapping up loose ends. It's the final piece of an argument about exploitation that began at the start of the show: Who - whom? Who is to be used by whom?

We start with Gaius Baltar, a brilliant scientist at the height of his powers who uses them for wealth (nice apartment!) and to pick up chicks. Gaius thinks he's using Caprica 6 for sex: in fact she's using Gaius for access to the human defense network. Gaius's home is destroyed and he becomes a refugee, using (there it is again) his reputation to secure a place off-planet. Note that Hera is born as a direct consequence of this: it's important.

Gaius uses his reputation to gain access to a captured 6-model, and frees her because of his emotional past with Caprica 6. He then tries to have sex (i.e., use) her. She leaves him, taking a nuclear weapon he gave her to prove his bona fides. She later explodes it, destroying a human spaceship and alerting the Cylons to their presence.

Gaius obtains political power and heads a settlement on New Caprica. We see that he's dissipated and surrounded by mistresses, an archetypical user of others, but then the Cylons invade and he becomes a figurehead - he is to be used, once again.

With the fall of New Caprica he escapes to a Cylon base ship. He wants to use it, but ends up being used as a bargaining chip. When he's back among humans he creates a cult focused on himself - using them for security and comfort. He seems to have made it, but the whole time he's been having visions of Hera. It turns out that she is more significant than he is - you could say that the most important thing he did was to take Helo's seat, which led to Helo fathering the first human-Cylon hybrid. Gaius has been used right from the start.

Then comes the big finale. Gaius rejects the cult. He realises that while he has been using them, they have been using him. He acts selflessly when rescuing Hera and is redeemed. His decision to be a farmer is a decision to stop exploiting others and to return to the skills he acquired selflessly, as a child. In a way the story is about Gaius' redemption, but it's also about the redemption of the humans and Cylons. The anti-technological ending is about abandoning the tools that led to exploitation. 150,000 years later we're developing our own proto-Cylons (or so the show indicates) and we must avoid creating things that will be exploited.

This is the message that I take from the show, and I think it's a pretty consistent theme within it. Gaius is a stage where this is played out in microcosm, but all of the humans are there because they exploited the Cylons - and the Cylons now want to exploit the humans (when they're not trying to eliminate them). "This has happened before and will happen again" - conflict is inevitable as long as exploitation exists. It's the class struggle. The way to eliminate it is to abandon the desire to exploit.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:40 AM on March 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


Joe in Australia: Gaius's home is destroyed and he becomes a refugee, using (there it is again) his reputation to secure a place off-planet.

Actually, Helo recognized him and offered him his place. IIRC, Baltar was, in fact, honest when the lady next to him holding a selected token asked him to identify the number on it.

When he's back among humans he creates a cult focused on himself

The cult emerged on its own. They escorted him to their refuge after the trial.

you could say that the most important thing he did was to take Helo's seat, which led to Helo fathering the first human-Cylon hybrid

The whole Helo/Athena/Hera thing was conjured up on the fly. Moore said in a podcast that Helo was to be a one-episode character but fan response to the actor lead to him staying on and thus the Caprica plot and Hera...etc

His decision to be a farmer is a decision to stop exploiting others

I think you're reading too much into this development. He's now residing on a virgin planet with nothing else to do but sustain himself and C6.

Maybe one can situate your theme within the plot after having seen the show, but by most accounts, Moore et al., didn't set out to make it so.
posted by Gyan at 6:17 AM on March 22, 2009




While I fear that most of the characters would have sad, nasty, brutish, short lives (given a choice between eating algae on a cramped spaceship on the run from murderous robots or getting stabbed in the ribs by an early Homo Sapiens in a primitive world without books or dental care, I'd have to say that both propositions sound equally crappy), I think that Tigh would enjoy being a caveman. Most of his speech is growls and grunts anyway, and Ellen strikes me as the sort of woman who would like being dragged around by her hair. Once they figured out how to build a still, all of their needs would be taken care of.
posted by sidecar144 at 8:09 AM on March 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


"God's Plan is ultimately always the writer's plan because the writer wrote it."

Well, it is possible to have a plot where God's actions make sense. Look at the Bible for instance. Ok, there are some continuity issues with the New Testament reboot, but basically He has motivations. He's a jealous God: worship another and he'll smite you. He makes bets with Satan and will make some people suffer to prove His point. But he's forgiving enough to help people out if they repent.

Or look at Greek myth. Hera doesn't like her husband cheating on her, but she can't hurt him directly so she takes it out on his mistress's childen.

But Moore's God is just a God of Narrative Convenience. He doesn't have any comprehensible motivations: he just maliciously hurts characters at the start of a story arc, then solves everything for them at the end.

If Starbuck's an angel, why not create her already knowing the jump coordinates of Earth? Because the God of Narrative Convenience finds it more dramatic if her mystic GPS stops working with a few episodes to go, and she has to work it out from the music at the last minute.

So, it's not the fact that it's a deus ex machina that's annoying. It's that it's a bad deus ex machina.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:39 AM on March 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


I enjoyed the finale.

I've seen several references in the comments above to Caprica 6 and Baltar being angels. They were not angels. Angels in their form appeared to them. More to the point, they were guided (manipulated?) by the angels to act or not act depending on the situation.

The murder by Tyrol to disrupt what could have been the "happy - let's all get along ending" was splendid.

I found the ending on "new" earth interesting as it played into the "multi-regional" evolution theory of modern man, as the colonists elected to go live on all the different continents. Helping to spur the rise of the modern man.

From the bigger perspective, one could say that the colonists were brought back to Eden to live in the garden. The whole mythos of the universe, the history of the colonists began with an expulsion from the original garden of old Earth. More so is the connection to the Old Testament Hebrews, with the 12 tribes wandering in isolation, overcoming various challenges in pursuit of a promised land (Earth - as Adama promised in the beginning).

This illusion was bluntly hammered upon in the finale by Cavil who threatened to kill Hera and thus make the 12 tribes of the Colonists wander 40 years (same as the Hebrews). Also is Gaius' allusion to God as a force of nature, neither good nor evil. The God of the Old Testament wiped out entire cities and populations, struck down those who refused to follow guidelines; the same as the God(s) of this universe allowed for the annihilation of billions, as well as half of the Cylon race, to achieve goals.

The God of the Old Testament used physical signs to guide the Hebrews or to indicate when they should go or stay, such as the nova and the pulsars.

I'm not saying the entire show was wrapped around this, but certainly influenced.

I appreciated the intertwining of the spiritual/mystical and science (it was one of the cool things about Star Wars until the arrival of midiclorians). Though, at the same time, the personal spirituality was rather hollow and often ignored. The Cylons very much initially hyped their one true god of love and compassion, but obviously, that message was never applied (I'm not sure if it was really applied at New Caprica versus another message of forced paternalism). The Cylons, themselves, turned fratricidal along the lines of those who wanted to become more human or express themselves as simply machines.

I'm sure there's a lot more room for analysis by someone more capable than myself, but obviously, a good article or two or book could be written on faith and religion in the BSG universe.
posted by Atreides at 8:50 AM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think you're reading too much into this development. He's now residing on a virgin planet with nothing else to do but sustain himself and [make wild, passionate love to] C6. [repeatedly! many times a night!]

There might be something in what you say, but what's the message otherwise? The Spacemen came to us and didn't give us technology, or art, or medicine... but hey! Mitochondrial Eve was White!"
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:25 AM on March 22, 2009


This illusion was bluntly hammered upon in the finale by Cavil who threatened to kill Hera and thus make the 12 tribes of the Colonists wander 40 years (same as the Hebrews)

I could have sworn Cavil said 4 years, not 40, which I though sly pot at the fanboys, doomed to wonder (not wander) for 4 years since the show began about it was going.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:45 AM on March 22, 2009


but hey! Mitochondrial Eve was White!"

Well, technically, she was half caucasian and half asian (more technically, half-human, half-machine).

I could have sworn Cavil said 4 years, not 40, which I though sly pot at the fanboys, doomed to wonder (not wander) for 4 years since the show began about it was going.

Alas, I already deleted the finale from my DVR (cause you never need to go back and check things), so someone will need to check to confirm or disprove. I don't have the best hearing in the world, but I certainly thought I heard 40, as it struck a chord (I'm in the process of reading that part of the Old Testament).

Incidentally, while looking for a quote, I was reminded that the Cylons had disappeared for 40 years prior to the start of the miniseries (attack on the colonies). Their initial occupation of Caprica was supposed to rebuild it as a new home. Anyhoots, another 40 years similarity.
posted by Atreides at 10:04 AM on March 22, 2009


Well, that was disappointing.

I think the main problem with the ending for me is that the pseudo-Christian mythology didn't resonate with me at all. I liked the ambiguous mix of polytheism, monotheism and atheism that was in the show, and nailing down the imaginary head characters as "agents of the divine" makes the show firmly monotheistic, which is a lot less interesting.

I know that that Ron Moore insists that not giving Starbuck or the head characters a worldly explanation keeps things "mysterious." But if that's truly his conception of the divine, I think that makes the show's universe a lot less mysterious, a lot more boring. The head characters manipulate people in extremely overt, unsubtle ways. They obviously have an agenda. In my universe, the divine doesn't have an agenda. This is why religious ideas often annoy me -- they turn God into a petty asshole with their own stupid neuroses. (It also annoyed me that the only atheist left at the end of the show was big bad Cavil, the strawiest straw man ever.)

So I was rooting for the head characters to be agents of a deeply malevolent and powerful force. This force, whatever it is, enjoys being in charge of the universe, and doesn't want anyone else impinging on its turf. So, whenever a civilization gets to a certain technological level -- specifically, when they start to gain power over life and death -- this force steps in and does its best to pit elements of the civilization against one another, and destroy it from the inside, with the result that the offending technology gets destroyed or disposed of (with some genocide thrown in for good measure). This is the true meaning of "All this has happened before, and all this will happen again."

I guess, technically speaking, this isn't actually incompatible with the mythology of the show, so it's the version I'll choose to believe, rather than the hokey pseudo-spiritual mumbo-jumbo the finale tried to shove down my throat.

Also, some things I never want to see in science fiction ever again:

Disappearing Act: Anytime a character turns around and the character they were just talking to has VANISHED INTO THIN AIR. So sick of this parlor trick. Is Kara Thrace Batman?

The Music is a Code: Equally annoying is when some other kind of code (DNA, extraterrestrial transmissions, your luggage combination, etc.) turns out to be music.

Breaking the Fourth Wall With Your Penis: Whenever the writers use a character as a thinly-veiled mouthpiece for their hackneyed half-baked personal philosophical beliefs. The show as a whole was often guilty of this, with lots of characters prone to interminable bludgeony speechifying, but this particular episode was perhaps the most egregious example in history since Atlas Shrugged. A is A, bitches!
posted by speicus at 11:05 AM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]




Yeah I'm late to this because I didn't get through it until last night.

For the most part it was about what I expected- not that I predicted the plot revelations, but that I would like parts and be annoyed by parts. I am annoyed that Tyrol was so enraged at learning that Tori airlocked Cally, after cheerfully ditching not-Cylon Nicky as soon as he found out Hotdog was really the father. 'Cause that kind of pissed me off. He raised that child believing it was his own, and when he found out it wasn't he just handed him off to some other dude like the child was a sack of potatoes? And yet he was so outraged at what Tori did to Cally when Cally was a)contemplating taking Nicky out the airlock with her in a murder-suicide (so arguably Tori saved Nicky, perhaps) or b) if Cally didn't airlock herself, she surely would have exposed the four hidden Cylons? Really?

It's one of those places where you can tell they came up with the Final Five mid-stream and not everything fit together neatly. Grumble. And if they wanted to leave Starbuck ambiguous like that, I think they could have done a bit more with Leoben to get some closure on that particular thread.
posted by ambrosia at 11:41 AM on March 22, 2009


He raised that child believing it was his own, and when he found out it wasn't he just handed him off to some other dude like the child was a sack of potatoes? And yet he was so outraged at what Tori did to Cally when Cally was a)contemplating taking Nicky out the airlock with her in a murder-suicide (so arguably Tori saved Nicky, perhaps) or b) if Cally didn't airlock herself, she surely would have exposed the four hidden Cylons? Really?

View it from this perspective. By the time he learned that Nicky wasn't his daughter, he had undergone some pretty severe psychological trauma, from the death of his beloved wife to discovering he's a cylon and all the baggage accompanying that. It was sort of a last straw breaking, as from that point, he's ready to cut all ties with his former life and was happy to go with the cylons and leave the fleet forever. You might consider Cally's death the beginning of his severance from attempting to retain the human persona (the same that Tori almost instantly rejected). Her death was really one of the downward spirals of his life, he loved Cally greatly, and to finally learn that her death had been murder, at the hands of the woman standing next to him...he snapped. It could be argued that Tyrol viewed Tori as the source for all the pain he had suffered, for beginning the destruction of his happy family, etc...etc.
posted by Atreides at 12:07 PM on March 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am annoyed that Tyrol was so enraged at learning that Tori airlocked Cally, after cheerfully ditching not-Cylon Nicky as soon as he found out Hotdog was really the father. 'Cause that kind of pissed me off. He raised that child believing it was his own, and when he found out it wasn't he just handed him off to some other dude like the child was a sack of potatoes?

I think we've been shown that, especially by this point, Tyrol is pretty deeply damaged, to the point that he essentially leaves human society entirely at the end. I don't find it incongruous that he would react like that to Tory... to call him "psychologically unstable" would be putting it lightly. I think he's like Galactica herself, and the cracks run through him so deep that he can't deal with it anymore.

Let's run down the list: his first lover is a Cylon, attempts to murder Adama, gets killed herself, he marries her killer (after snapping and nearly maiming her), who is, in turn, killed by another Cylon (after he himself is also revealed to be one), trash talks her after her death, and then he finds out his son is, in fact, not his. I'm not surprised, given all he's been through, that he could just say fuck it. Finally he gets one last glimmer of hope with Boomer, who betrays him again (this time of her own free will). I'm not surprised that finding out about Tory would push him over the edge. If anything, after all that psychological upheaval, I'm surprised he can even function at all.

on preview: I see Atreides beat me to it but dammit I spent ten minutes writing this so I'm posting it anyway. :)
posted by Kosh at 12:12 PM on March 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Todd VanDerWerff's review/recap
posted by muckster at 12:16 PM on March 22, 2009


Also, I think similar reasoning can be applied to Baltar being accepted again after his crimes. I think it's easier for us to sit here in judgment of him as a passive audience living in a stable society, and within any reasonable system of justice we're probably right to condemn him. But I think the characters let him go because the human race has been through such collective psychological trauma that all of that breaks down, that people are so tired and so despondent that they slowly start to let go of all of the institutions that their previous society held sacred. At some point, they just say fuck it (or alternately, they stage a mutiny and die.) This really happens in season four, as the rebel Cylons are integrated into the Colonial society and military structure to some extent. They are arguably guiltier than Baltar is, but after a certain point, I think "reality" has changed so much that it takes too much energy for people to hold on to it anymore, at least not in the way they did. I mean, who could imagine that Laura "Airlock" Roslin of season 1 would have been sitting on the bridge of a basestar three seasons later ready to order an attack on Galactica?
posted by Kosh at 12:26 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Essentially it's that God's plan for Baltar (whose story this utterly was) was not for him to walk ten feet with a toddler - it was the speech he started to give to Cavil.

Baltar strikes me as God made flesh, walking among humans and doing incredible things, sometimes good, sometimes monstrous, but in the end for himself, be those actions good or monstrous. It's all about God and his game, which fits Baltar to a tee.

Viewing Baltar in that light, it makes sense that he doesn't have to answer for his sins (Helping the Cylons kill humans, personally killing Crashdown, giving Gina a nuke which she used to to kill people, destroy several ships and alert the Cylons to the human settlement on New Caprica). He was God's little helper, doing God's work and came through in the end, so he get's a free pass. Meanwhile, Boomer & Gaeta get a bullet , Tory gets the crap choked out of her and poor Dee finds a bullet even though she did nothing wrong. Baltar? After, finally, finally, learning things that most people already know, he get's to spend the rest of his life having hot sex and farming. Oh yeah, I bet he's quite the believer now.

What you say about his speech doesn't make much sense, as Cavil wasn't buying it (His sneering "Take it on a leap of faith" was a direct mockery of the idea that he might be buy into Baltar's religious speech) and it is only Tigh's offer of resurrection that pushes Cavil to form a truce.

Tyrol killing Tori makes sense from an emotional viewpoint. Callie was very much Tyro's rock and her caring for him definitely helped at certain point in his life. Tori was blatantly trying to seduce Tyrol at several points, only to be rebuffed, so him finding out that she killed Callie, wrecking his one actual instance of having a happy life (no matter how deluded that idea was), definitely makes sense.

Cavil killing himself? That makes no sense, he's the Cyclon who killed his parents, fucked his mom and planned the destruction of the human race and then almost did. He's an arrogant prick who doesn't think, but knows he's better than anyone else and there isn't a chance in hell that he's going to kill himself, especially with Hera still alive and not 10 feet away and Four of the Final Five still alive. He'd kill all of them just so he could dance on their grave and sneer.

Laura deserved to see the spot where the cabin would be built, while smoking something and sitting next to Bill, not gazing out a window from above.

Not sure why Sam had to die, unless it was his choice.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:11 PM on March 22, 2009


Cavil killing himself? That makes no sense

That made sense to me. At that point he figured that he'd been outwitted, had lost the Ressurection technology and he was going to be killed anyway, so there was no way he was going to die by anyone's hand but his own. He was too arrogant to not kill himself.

Like Arturus I'm more annoyed that no one seemed to care that Tyrol killed Tori and almost everyone else in the process. In retrospect I agree that it made sense for him to react that way, but the way everyone else blew it off sticks in my craw.
posted by homunculus at 1:53 PM on March 22, 2009


...and nailing down the imaginary head characters as "agents of the divine" makes the show firmly monotheistic, which is a lot less interesting.

Maybe there was something I missed that led to the conclusion that they were divine beings and not simply agents of some alien race that jump all over space and time and get off on playing around amidst millennial cycles of human drama?

I didn't think the Cavil thing was such a mystery. Though Ellen pointed out his human-like failings, he is still coldly logical, so he gave up as soon as the possibility of resurrection was gone. The fact that he despised humans probably contributed to the fact that he would rather do himself in than have one of them do it, and would rather die than be bound by their limitations. And he is a Cylon, so he can like process all that in a microsecond.
posted by troybob at 1:56 PM on March 22, 2009


At that point he figured that he'd been outwitted, had lost the Ressurection technology and he was going to be killed anyway,

Yeah, but that makes no sense. Ellen was the key who made it all work, she was still alive and they were in the midst of downloading, so who knows much info they got, maybe they could have figure out the rest. He didn't even try, he just said "Frak it," and shot himself without know if things were totally over.

That and Hera was still alive. Though it never made much sense why the wanted her. Helo and Athena were her parents, you'd think the Cylons would capture them for study or more baby making.

And what did they want with Starbucks ovaries?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:13 PM on March 22, 2009




To me, the most fascinating aspect of storytelling is ambiguity, about which storytellers and story consumers face a host of questions: is ambiguity a good thing? Should all threads be wrapped up? Should all questions be answered? If not, which should be answered and which should be left open?

I believe great stories MUST contain some ambiguity (though it's not necessary for throwaway, entertaining stories). However, that doesn't mean an author can just willy nilly leave questions unanswered and then, when charged with bad storytelling, get away with it by saying, "I'm a fan of ambiguity." Ambiguity is necessary, but it's difficult and must be handled artfully.

Years ago, I read an article (I wish I could find it) about whether or not Normal Rockwell was a great artist. The article suggested that though he was a master craftsman, he fell short of being a great artist, because he insisted on tying up all loose ends. As an example, the article cited a painting of a girl looking sadly into a mirror. If you look closely, you see that she's holding a fashion magazine. The article suggested -- and I agree -- that the painting would have been a masterpiece if Rockwell had left out the magazine. It would still have told a coherent story, about a sad girl looking at herself in the mirror, but our brains would be left to muse about why she was sad. As it is, Rockwell answered the question, so we can't muse on anything. We're left with an opinion piece that we can agree or disagree with, but that's about it.

I've always compared playwrights David Mamet and Harold Pinter. To me, they're two of the greatest theatrical craftsmen of all time. I admire both greatly, and note that they have similar prose styles (Mamet was heavily influenced by Pinter, and Pinter had directed several of Mamet's plays). But to me, Mamet falls short of greatness, because he has a puzzle-solver mind. His puzzles are complex and fascinating, but he can't stop himself from completely solving them. Mamet is a cynic, but he seems to believe that the universe works according to rational (if sometimes terrible) laws. Ultimately, his cosmos is totally explicable, and so it lacks mystery. On the other hand, Pinter is truly great. His plays feel satisfying. It never feels like he cheats and just leaves stuff out because he can't figure it out. Yet he does leave stuff out. He creates just enough ambiguity to allow one's mind to wander beyond the confines of his plays' literal words. But not so much that theyplays words seem frustratingly incomplete. That's greatness.

I'm a fan of BG, and I liked many things about the ending. I'm a HUGE fan of ambiguity, but I'm divided on how it factored into BG's plot. As great as ambiguity is, there are certain places where we absolutely don't want it. The most obvious example is at the end of a mystery novel. If a novel presents itself as a whodunnit, we'd better find out who did it? If we don't, and the author says "I don't believe in tying up loose ends, because real life is messy," we won't buy it. We'll think he couldn't come up with a good ending and is using "real life" as an excuse.

The key is that before you create ambiguity, you need to be ABSOLUTELY SURE you have not entered into a contract with your audience that promises you'll answer all questions. This is tricky, because writer/audience contracts are not explicit. They have to do with what audience members will reasonably expect based on what you set up in the early parts of the story and the normal way the genre works. It's fine to thwart genre conventions, but you have to signal people that you're doing so -- that way the thwarting will feel like an interesting twist, rather than a cop out. Of course, all signaling needs to be done subtly, without the reader consciously knowing that's what you're doing. And that's the hard part. That's where the "men are separated from the boys."

BG, for all its complexity, is a melodrama in its basic form. And melodrama is RIFE -- more rife than any form I can think of -- with built-in conventions. One of them is that questions will be answered. BG COULD have signaled us that this wasn't going to happen, but it didn't. In fact, it seemed to be gradually answering all of its questions. Then, all of the sudden, in the final hour, it said, "Nope. I'm not answering some of them!"

What saddens me is that I LOVE unanswered questions. I think any answers they would have come up with, about Starbuck and the in-the-head characters, would have been pedestrian and less interesting than ambiguity. But as I wasn't prepared for ambiguity, I couldn't help feeling cheated. As much as I love ambiguity, it's a love/hate relationship. That's normal: humans are problem solvers and we like questions to be answered. We also like mystery. For a mystery to be successful, the feeling of awe must be so strong, it overrides the feeling of being cheated out of an answer. I didn't feel this way with BG, because I wasn't set up for it. At the same time, I DID like the ambiguities. I felt simultaneously drawn to them and cheated by them. I still do.

To me, one of the best examples of satisfying ambiguity is Bergman's "Fanny and Alexander." Storytellers should study it. It's a good example, because in many ways it's a simple melodrama. It's not one of Berman's more impenetrable films. It's a pretty simple fairy tale / ghost story. But it successfully leaves loose ends open. It's truly great.

One other thing: in interviews, it became clear that the writers of BG were somewhat making things up as they went along. This generally leads to crappy storytelling, but in general I was amazed at how well they pulled it off. I was especially impressed by how they wove themes and story elements from WAY early in the series into the end.

But my fear is that storytellers will look at shows like BG and say, "See. You can make it up as you go along and it works just fine." It doesn't. CONSIDERING That BG was created this way, it does a damn good job. But it's far from perfect. The making-it-up-as-we-go thing lead to some really clunky storytelling. For instance, the flash backs in the final episode (to pre-destroyed Caprica) were great, but they felt like they'd been made up for the final episode -- not like they'd been organic parts of the story from day one. Why Baltar's father ever come up before? Why didn't Roslyn ever bring up her dead family before? Why didn't we see that "I'll owe you one someday" scene with Boomer and Adama in the first season?

That last one really bugged me. IF that had occurred in season one, Boomer's dying words would have been amazing. They would have resonated all the way back to the beginning of the story. But they didn't. They resonated for five minutes of story time. If you write a draft of the whole story and then redraft, you can fix these problems. You might not write the Boomer scene until you're almost done with the first draft, but then you realize that it should be in the early part of the story, so you redraft and put it there.
posted by grumblebee at 2:32 PM on March 22, 2009 [26 favorites]


One other thing: in interviews, it became clear that the writers of BG were somewhat making things up as they went along.

Yeah, I noticed that too and it's one of the reasons I really fell in love with the show. They didn't always do things they way I liked, but it was fascinating watching the stories unfold and wandering "Ok, where are they going with this?" Also the fact they were honest about this approach was refreshing and struck an honest contract between the creators and the audience. But to be such a plot heavy show and then say "screw it, we just need to deal with the characters" feels lame in the end.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:58 PM on March 22, 2009


in interviews, it became clear that the writers of BG were somewhat making things up as they went along.

Dickens did that as well with his serialized novels, even taking into consideration the opinion of the readership along the way. Writers make stuff up, and I don't get why it makes a difference when they make it up.
posted by troybob at 3:13 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's a thought: the BSG Divine = the Demiurge.
posted by WCityMike at 3:21 PM on March 22, 2009


Also, the interviewer in the Trib interview with Moore (which is much meatier than the nj.com interview!) posits an interesting comparison: the Father (Bill), Son (Lee) and Holy Ghost (Starbuck).
posted by WCityMike at 3:27 PM on March 22, 2009


Well that was briefly enjoyable then pretty much sucked.

METAPHOR FOR SERIES!
posted by Artw at 3:37 PM on March 22, 2009


Also: Fuck lilting celtic whistle music.
posted by Artw at 3:43 PM on March 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Writers make stuff up, and I don't get why it makes a difference when they make it up.

It doesn't in theory. It's just that it's hard to make a completely tied-together story when you can't go back and redraft. Here's an oversimplified example:

Once upon a time there was an old woman who was very hungry. Usually, she had her food delivered, but the snow was falling so heavily outside, no delivery man would could find her house. She had no stove, so she broke up an old chair and started a fire on the floor. She put a pot over the fire and began cooking up some stew. Alas, her house melted from the fire. Oh, by the way, she lived in an igloo.

Unless I'm trying to tell a (lame) joke and am purposefully withholding information, the igloo info should have gone in the beginning of the story, not the end. But I was making it up as I went along. I didn't make up the igloo detail until the end. The right thing to do at this point is to write another draft and move that info to the beginning.

Dickens (generally) got away with this stuff, because he wrote extremely episodic stories. Those are easier to make up as you go along, because readers don't necessarily expect stuff from the beginning to be referenced in the end.
posted by grumblebee at 3:45 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Writers make stuff up, and I don't get why it makes a difference when they make it up.

Because it's a lot easier to maintain consistency of style, theme, and quality when you have something at least outlined beforehand. Criticizing someone for making it up as they go along is shorthand for criticizing unevenness and lack of consistency.
posted by Justinian at 3:47 PM on March 22, 2009


Also: Fuck astonishingly crappy writing on the astonishingly crappy present day ending. Cor, it's just like "It's a wonderful life", but SHIT!
posted by Artw at 3:58 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dickens did not thow in random shit that was cool and then realise he'd written himself into a corner and have to pull off astonishing acts of pullshit handwaving to pull himself out. Well, maybe with Drood - he probaly got visited by the Ghost of Future Ron Moore, who showed him the crappy Galactica ending, then topped himself to prevent making the same mistake.
posted by Artw at 4:01 PM on March 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also, the interviewer in the Trib interview with Moore (which is much meatier than the nj.com interview!) posits an interesting comparison: the Father (Bill), Son (Lee) and Holy Ghost (Starbuck).

I don't get it. That would make Lee analogous to Christ. He's not the one who rose from the dead. That was Starbuck. Lee had less impact on the religious aspects of the story than anyone else.
posted by grumblebee at 4:03 PM on March 22, 2009


My thoughts on Tyrol strangling Tory: If the Chief isn't anything else, he's loyal. He's loyal to the Old Man, and he's loyal to Galactica. Things were pretty rough between him and Callie for a while, and he treated her like shit. It wouldn't surprise me if he feels terribly guilty about that. And for all his conflicted feelings about Callie, I do believe he loved her. His impulse when he saw Boomer about to be raped was violence (understandable), and it doesn't seem out of character that he reacted that way when he found out about Tory airlocking Callie.
posted by rtha at 4:34 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Criticizing someone for making it up as they go along is shorthand for criticizing unevenness and lack of consistency.

Well yeah, then, but I think there are a lot of limitations in writing an open-ended series for television. Is there some precedent for writing a series spanning six years all at once and then producing it? Could one write a detailed mythology that could expand and contract sufficiently to consider an unknown length of series run? And how do we know they didn't have a solid ending in place at some point, an outline of the mythology, and had to change it to adapt? I would think even a general outline would fall apart once you encounter limitations of production and take into consideration audience response (which they would have to do to keep the series going from year to year), as well as seeing what works on screen and what doesn't, and figuring which characters turn out better because of the actors involved. Was the Star Wars series better for having its mythology established at the outset (if it actually was)?

But also, the writing is not the only important element at work. The series was of really high quality, especially for television, and it must have been challenging enough to put out what they did. I though it was the best thing of its kind that I had seen already, so personally I'm not inclined to point out how it could have been better. I think a lot of time shows like this, once they exceed expectations, have a burden put on them to continue exceeding expectations such that just maintaining is considered some kind of creative failure.
posted by troybob at 4:45 PM on March 22, 2009


For instance, the flash backs in the final episode (to pre-destroyed Caprica) were great, but they felt like they'd been made up for the final episode -- not like they'd been organic parts of the story from day one. Why Baltar's father ever come up before? Why didn't Roslyn ever bring up her dead family before? Why didn't we see that "I'll owe you one someday" scene with Boomer and Adama in the first season? - Grumblebee

I certainly agree that the above would have had much more impact had they'd been laid down in the first season, second season, or heck, even the third. Some of it, if you can apply this term, was echoed previously. We knew that Baltar came from a farming community (had a more cockney accent), and was ashamed of this background. The flashback with his father drew upon this to an extent. Relationship between Adama and Boomer was also somewhat developed, and it was more that relationship, rather than the words exchanged one day after a reprimand that had more meaning (hence why Adama was so bitter when she shot him, it wasn't just the betrayal of a soldier, but of nearly a daughter).

The same goes for the other flashback for Lee and Starbuck, much of what that flashback revealed had genuinely been established previously. The Roslyn flashback was really the most from left field, as I don't recall any mention of family on her part; though, I don't recall her ever mourning family after the fall of the colonies.

Yes, the flashbacks would have had more meaning had they been used earlier on, but for the most part, they were built at least in someway on previous information. Though, for the entire series, the writers weren't afraid to use flashbacks to reveal new information.
posted by Atreides at 4:47 PM on March 22, 2009


"Because ultimately what the writer is doing is excusing overt heavy handed plotting by equating themselves with God. God's Plan is ultimately always the writer's plan because the writer wrote it."

Which is why Baltar says that God doesn't like being called that in the final scene, because he really likes to be called Ron!

For me, I think the finale was mostly satisfying. In a way, it's a creation myth about our world and how we evolved. The humans and Cylons settle here to breed with the locals and their giving up technology allows the kind of growth which stops the cycle of violence for at least 150,000 years - which is much better than the last time the cycle happened 2000 years ago on the "original" Earth.

As a creation myth, it ties science and religion together to explain how we came to be - and perhaps why we struggle with many of the same questions now. Baltar's speech is key, because he says he sees angels - but he also says it doesn't matter if you don't believe him. His actions are his own whether he has personal choice or thinks God is speaking to him.

I think Kara's story is there to be discovered - the montage as she is typing the co-ordinates to Our Earth is pretty explicit in explaining she is an angel. (Though I still believe her father was Daniel, the 7th Cylon model, which is why she was given this destiny - and why she and Hera share a cultural knowledge that stretches far behind them.) In the episode where she died in season three, the parallels to the goddess Aurora are pretty strong, too. Leoben called her an angel. Baltar exposed her in a similar way a couple of episodes ago. To say she wasn't explained is sort of to ignore all the clues.

If you're dissatisfied by the explanation, I understand. I wonder though, if the people who thought the angel answer would have been happier if she was explicitly a Cylon or a half-breed or her ovary had been used to re-create her. I guess with the premise of the series, the tech explanation is easier to swallow - but there's really only two answers it was going to be: an angel or a Cylon creation. The answer was angel and some people would have preferred the other.

Why Baltar's father ever come up before? Why didn't Roslyn ever bring up her dead family before? Why didn't we see that "I'll owe you one someday" scene with Boomer and Adama in the first season?

Baltar's father didn't come up, but his childhood on a farming planet did - and the change of accent was noted in an earlier episode, too. Roslin's backstory was in the series bible, which pre-dates the series and has been partly available on the Battlestar wiki for a while - so it wasn't created out of whole cloth. I certainly preferred it come up now than earlier when it might have felt even more melodramatic.

You might not write the Boomer scene until you're almost done with the first draft, but then you realize that it should be in the early part of the story, so you redraft and put it there.

Which is, of course, basically impossible to do in series television.

What I adored about that scene is that because it pre-dates the Fall of the Twelve Colonies, that Sharon was both Boomer and Athena since their history doesn't change until later. So it's a flashback for both characters and shows what divergent lives they've led. Ending in one killing the other.
posted by crossoverman at 4:57 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd much rather a long, narratively sprawling, politically complex sf show go out with a finale that divides people and gets them talking about alternative interpretations than the alternative. Did people even notice or care when Andromeda or Alien Nation or Odyssey 5 or Team Knight Rider ended?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:01 PM on March 22, 2009


Could one write a detailed mythology that could expand and contract sufficiently to consider an unknown length of series run?

I think that's the big obstacle to producing a TV series (that is not a miniseries) that, when all is said and done, has the unity of a well-written novel. The HBO/Showtime/BBC/probably AMC/maybe one or two other outlets I don't know about model seems to be best, because it treats a season of a show as essentially a miniseries unto itself -- the entire season is written and shot before any of it broadcasts -- but even there, it's impossible to know at the start of your first season how long you have, at what point you need to start foreshadowing stuff that leads into the ending of the show, etc. And anyway, I suspect most showrunners don't really want to think about that any more than a person in the flush of youth wants to start planning out his/her funeral. Even if they did, TV series don't exist in a vacuum. Shows sometimes need to be reworked on the fly for all sorts of reasons: Actors get better jobs or get arrested or...well...sometimes even die; writers and producers, same deal ("Heroes," for instance, was obviously dealt quite a blow when one of its better writers bailed after the first season); characters become unexpectedly popular or unpopular, and the show is forced to adapt; etc. Any overarching plan for an ongoing TV series would have to be extremely flexible.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:04 PM on March 22, 2009


Well yeah, then, but I think there are a lot of limitations in writing an open-ended series for television... The series was of really high quality, especially for television... I think a lot of time shows like this, once they exceed expectations, have a burden put on them to continue exceeding expectations such that just maintaining is considered some kind of creative failure.

We're talking past each other. You're talking about whether the producers should be lauded or criticized. That's fine, but I don't personally care about that. It's not what I'm talking about. BG may have broken ground for television, but I'm just talking about whether or not it's well-wrought storytelling. If it's not, it doesn't matter (to whether it is good storytelling or not) that the producers did the best they could or that they're working in a difficult medium.

If soup tastes bad, you might excuse the cook because he was sick or wasn't given good ingredients to work with, but that doesn't change the fact that the soup was bad. Whether or not the cook did well under the circumstances is a different issue from whether or not the soup was bad.

There are many things I like about BG. More things that I like than I dislike, or I wouldn't be wasting my breath about the show. There are some people that, when they like something, they don't want to hear any criticism about it. I respect that, but it's not how I operate. The MORE I like something, the more it upsets me when it contains major glitches. If those glitches could have been avoided, they bother me all the more.

As for the limitations of television, a major part of a storyteller's job is to KNOW the limitations of his medium and work within them -- or work to change them. Bad artists let those limitations mar their stories. For instance, if I want to write a novel but you tell me you'll only publish a short story, I'm a bad writer if I try to cram all the details of the novel into 20 pages. I need to either accept the limitations and make them work for me (by writing a short story that has the appropriate amount of information for a short story) or talk you into changing your mind and letting me write a novel.

If you've been told that you can write a TV series, but that it might be prolonged indefinitely or it might end at any time, you take that into account. That's a limitation you know of at the start. You make it work for you. You work within it (if you can't change it).

You DON'T just try to tell a long, long story and hope you'll be allowed to finish it. When producers do this and the "stupid" network cancels the show before it can have a second season, I don't blame the network, I blame the writers. It's as if the writers have been told they only have a budget for two sets and they write a show that requires five. The writers are not being responsible.

It's no secret as to how you craft good series under those limitations. They've been doing it in England for decades. You make each season stand enough on its own so that the story could end once that season is over. You cleverly leave hooks that COULD be picked up in the next season. ("24" does this in the US. It's rare that way. I'm not a fan of "24," but I dislike it for other reasons. I think their approach to TV storytelling is smart in terms of the way they handle the ambiguous longevity of the series.)

If we did this in the US, it would mean that no one could plan four-year stories. That would be sad, but if the medium doesn't support doing such storytelling well, then producers should switch to stories that they can tell well given what they have to work with.
posted by grumblebee at 5:21 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


The limits of the televisual form are NOT an excuse for ending you show with A WIZARD DID IT.
posted by Artw at 5:27 PM on March 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is there some precedent for writing a series spanning six years all at once and then producing it?

JMS plotted out the B5 story arc from start to finish. In fact, it's pretty clear if you've read anything he's written about it that he regards it as pretty normal to plot well ahead in television and to allow plenty of contingency for major characters not re-signing, dying, and so on.

I'd be surprised if at least the key aspects of other limited-length series like The Sopranos weren't worked out in advance.
posted by rodgerd at 5:40 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


The limits of the televisual form are NOT an excuse for ending you show with A WIZARD DID IT.

Some folks are perfectly happy with that type of ending.
posted by Atreides at 5:42 PM on March 22, 2009


Shit-at-endings face-off: Who would win - Ron Moore or Russel T. Davis?
posted by Artw at 5:42 PM on March 22, 2009


Some folks are perfectly happy with that type of ending.

Morons?
posted by Artw at 5:44 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


JMS plotted out the B5 story arc from start to finish.

Yes, I think the problems have less to so with limitations of television than people setting a low bar for themselves ("no one cares about such and such on TV") and people not knowing how to work within limitations.

I'm (over?) sensitive to this, because my storytelling is all about limitations, some that I can't control, others self imposed. To me, it's a joy to work within limitations. I run an off-off Broadway theatre company which has almost no budget. There's no way I could afford expensive sets and costumes, even if I wanted them. Added to this, I don't let myself use lighting changes (just lights up for the whole show -- no blackouts or fades), and I mostly produce shows on a bare stage. I am currently producing "Pericles," a 30-character play, with only six actors on a bare stage.

Am I successful at working within these limitations? That's for others to judge. (In my own estimation, sometimes yes, sometimes no.) But one thing for sure, I NEVER say, "Well, I WOULD have had better sets if only I could have afforded them." I never blame the medium or the budget, even if it's reasonable to do so. My JOB is to look upon all that stuff as creative challenges. The day I start saying, "What you gonna do? It's low-budget theatre" is the day I quit. And if someone doesn't like my work, that's fair enough. I hope they dislike it for it's own merrits. I would die a little inside if someone said, "Well, it wasn't perfect, but you can't blame the director. He did his best in the conditions he had to work with." NO! If it's bad, I didn't do my best. The conditions are the conditions.
posted by grumblebee at 5:51 PM on March 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Meh. They had a great set of ideas. When they ran out of them, they should have stopped. Or just let the show be cut off. They ran out of ideas and we suffered for it.

There are people, particularly science fiction fans, who are interested primarily in plot, in the story, in the details of how things work. This is baked-in to the genre.

There are other people who are interested mostly in the characters, how real they are, how well painted, and how by following their stories, we can learn things about ourselves.

In the end, I'd have to say -- and of course, Ron Moore said this explicitly in a number of interviews -- that BSG was about the characters more than anything else, and more than a neatly-tied story bundle. Ending the series was about ending the stories of these people more than answering every question that a fully-realized fictional universe might bring up.

It seems to me that most of the pro versus con in this thread and everywhere else on the internet this week can be pretty evenly divided into camps that are either OK with that or not, with a little bit of comfort-with-ambiguity icing on top.

Me, I thought it was satisfying and well-done and a fitting end to an excellent run (even while admitting that there were some elements, like the dancing asimos for example, that jarred a little for me).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:54 PM on March 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


By the way, from what I've read, these discussions about limitations based on not knowing when the series would end are immaterial in this case. Moore had complete control over the series by midway through the first season. He could have ended it any time he wanted to, and in fact he did. (SciFi would have LOVED him to keep it going longer.) Once he had this control, instead of saying, "Okay, let's sit down now and plan the whole thing," he CHOSE to plan it season by season. He didn't decide to end it with the fourth season until the third season was over.

I'm being very hard on him. I loved the show, and I think he did extraordinary work. I just wish he'd thought through a few things more than he did.
posted by grumblebee at 5:55 PM on March 22, 2009


In the end, I'd have to say -- and of course, Ron Moore said this explicitly in a number of interviews -- that BSG was about the characters more than anything else, and more than a neatly-tied story bundle.

Your dichotomy of fans isn't always true. I like both plot-based stories and character-based stories, but if I had to choose between them, I'd go with character-based stories. I much prefer movies like "Sideways" and "Remains of the Day" to "Leathal Weapon" or "Mission Impossible."

But BSG wasn't primarily a character drama, regardless of what Moore says in interviews. The characters weren't secondary, either. BSG was heavy both on plot AND character. If you don't think the show involved INTENSE plotting, you weren't watching the same show I was. Maybe Moore didn't care as much about the plot as he did about the characters, but plot was a big part of the series, and as the man at the helm, it was Moore's job to make sure the plot ran smoothly.

I don't care whether a series emphasizes plot more or character more. What I care about is that a series is true to itself and finishes what it starts.
posted by grumblebee at 6:01 PM on March 22, 2009


Maybe Moore didn't care as much about the plot as he did about the characters, but plot was a big part of the series, and as the man at the helm, it was Moore's job to make sure the plot ran smoothly.

I think there may be some evidence that the plot simply got away from him and he wasn't sure how to wrap it all up in a tidy way. He said that he was having problems with the finale, and that his flash of inspiration was that then he ought to make the show primarily about the characters in the end game. I agree with him that this was the more important focus, but I think ideally (and it sounds like in his initial accounting of things), he did have a deeper responsibility to the plot as well.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:19 PM on March 22, 2009


Also: Fuck lilting celtic whistle music.

If I hear any more bagpipe music I'm throwing haggis at the screen.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:31 PM on March 22, 2009


He could have ended it any time he wanted to, and in fact he did. (SciFi would have LOVED him to keep it going longer.) Once he had this control, instead of saying, "Okay, let's sit down now and plan the whole thing," he CHOSE to plan it season by season. He didn't decide to end it with the fourth season until the third season was over.

This is not the impression I got, since the fourth season was originally renewed for 13 episodes only with the possibility of a fifth season. I think RDM knowing TV as he does, went to SciFi and convinced them to give him a full 20 episode fourth season so he could end it the way he wanted. He couldn't do what he had envisioned in 13 episodes - and the open-ended question of whether it would be renewed for a fifth year meant he couldn't plan a 13 episode fourth season.

Given SciFi's tendency to stretch this series out to breaking point - seven months between two halves of a season, wtf? - they essentially got two more seasons and Moore got to finish his story. But renewal was never guaranteed with this show.
posted by crossoverman at 6:39 PM on March 22, 2009




That's not Bob Dylan, that's Ronald Moore!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:41 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


JMS plotted out the B5 story arc from start to finish.

And then either lied about it or failed utterly to grasp dramatic imperative. The last episode of B5 was meant to be "Babylon Squared". JMS will deny this to his dying breath; either he's fibbing because the Sinclair/Sheridan swap forced him to scrap the original story, or he failed to live up to the story he was trying to tell by not recognizing what should have been.

The series was of really high quality, especially for television

Well, no. Or rather - you sell television short. Which is a popular thing to do. But I can think of a couple other series that are at least as good currently in producting and a few that recently started that have the potential to be at least as good. And I say this as a great fan of BSG. Or at least of the potential BSG had, which it quite often failed to live up to.

The best episode of BSG was probably "33". It was also the first episode. This is problematic. Can anyone watch "33" and seriously tell me that the Cylons, as depicted in that episode, are the same Cylons we ended up with? That the merciless killers that acted with such relentless, driven, machine-like precision in that episode can be reconciled with the whiny soap-opera drama we later see among the Cylons? Of course not.

That isn't to say that BSG didn't do some fine work. That isn't to say I won't miss it. But it wasn't the story it could have and probably should have been.
posted by Justinian at 6:42 PM on March 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh how I miss those Cylons. Someone should do a story about them.
posted by Artw at 6:44 PM on March 22, 2009


Isn't the usual story told regarding B5 that he ended it about a season too soon because he thought it would be cancelled, and then didn't?
posted by Artw at 6:45 PM on March 22, 2009


So, anyone still watching Lost? Did that all turn out to be cobblers as well?
posted by Artw at 6:46 PM on March 22, 2009


There are other people who are interested mostly in the characters, how real they are, how well painted, and how by following their stories, we can learn things about ourselves.

In the end, I'd have to say -- and of course, Ron Moore said this explicitly in a number of interviews -- that BSG was about the characters more than anything else, and more than a neatly-tied story bundle. Ending the series was about ending the stories of these people more than answering every question that a fully-realized fictional universe might bring up.


It's weird because I'm pretty into robots and space adventure just for the sake of it, but I gave up on BSG when the characters became ridiculous to me. Half way through season 2 I felt the characters stopped behaving in a way I could relate to and instead I could see the puppet strings. (The episode "Scar" is my touchpoint for me being all "?????")

The end of season 2 and beginning of season 3 put it over the edge for me -- I could never reconcile why humanity, being chased by bloodthirsty Cylons, would almost all decide to just go hang out on a planet that would make them easy pickings to be enslaved by Cylons. And then they all get enslaved by Cylons. And then the Cylons don't kill them?

I hung with it for a while because I cared about the characters and then they all seemed to betray their roots and behave basically randomly -- I could only attribute it to the writers, because it made no sense to me. And I gave up. And now I'm reading this thread to try and get some closure or come to some sort of understanding of why I couldn't roll with it until the end.

I really felt betrayed and lost more on a character level than anything else, unlike say with the X-Files where they lost me on the plot but the characters remained fairly solid.

Also I kind of still want to know what the plan was that the Cylons had, because no amount of reading spoilers has helped me understand it.
posted by frenetic at 6:49 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think The Plan was to appear in a spin-off movie.
posted by Artw at 6:52 PM on March 22, 2009


The series was of really high quality, especially for television

Well, no.


As with so many things, context is important. This is the second time TV viewers have seen the story of Cylons arriving on Earth. Last time, the Galactica landing party was mistaken for musical theater performers and had to fumble their way through a production number of On The Good Ship Lollipop, and Wolfman Jack had a guest-starring role as himself.

Good times.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:54 PM on March 22, 2009


The Conclusion Of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (Condensed Version)

The idea of Warren Ellis condensing anything is funny enough without following the link. (Though that's some funny shit.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:59 PM on March 22, 2009


Well, let's just say I don't consider him without experience in terms of loosing the way writing-wise on long running projects. Of course, at least BSG actually HAS an ending.
posted by Artw at 7:00 PM on March 22, 2009


Some folks are perfectly happy with that type of ending. -Me

Morons? -artw


Classy.
posted by Atreides at 7:01 PM on March 22, 2009


Can anyone watch "33" and seriously tell me that the Cylons, as depicted in that episode, are the same Cylons we ended up with?

No, but that's kinda the point, you know? Character growth and all that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:03 PM on March 22, 2009


Can anyone watch "33" and seriously tell me that the Cylons, as depicted in that episode, are the same Cylons we ended up with?

When you're running for your life, there's not too much time to reflect on the nuances of motive.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:05 PM on March 22, 2009


Or rather - you sell television short. Which is a popular thing to do. But I can think of a couple other series that are at least as good currently in producting and a few that recently started that have the potential to be at least as good.

I agree, except for the selling tv short thing. I think television has been in a high-quality period, with some great actors and nice storytelling. I didn't say BSG was the only high-quality thing on television; it's definitely high quality compared to most of the other stuff on, but I agree there's other good stuff.
posted by troybob at 7:06 PM on March 22, 2009


Heh. Sorry, didn't see you singing the praises of the show upthread.

But seriously, who is it who digs on Deus Ex Machinas in general? Isn't that a bit like wandering around wearing a T-Shirt with "LAZY WRITERS, PLEASE EXPLOIT MY LACK OF INTELECTUAL CURIOSITY" on it?
posted by Artw at 7:07 PM on March 22, 2009


grumblebee: "Why didn't we see that "I'll owe you one someday" scene with Boomer and Adama in the first season?"

There was dialogue in the miniseries about her inability to land the Raptor smoothly, and "pounding the divots out of the flight deck," etc. — it was what she and Tyrol yelled about prior to their makeout session.
posted by WCityMike at 7:07 PM on March 22, 2009


Heh. Sorry, didn't see you singing the praises of the show upthread.

Apology accepted.

But seriously, who is it who digs on Deus Ex Machinas in general? Isn't that a bit like wandering around wearing a T-Shirt with "LAZY WRITERS, PLEASE EXPLOIT MY LACK OF INTELECTUAL CURIOSITY" on it?

I see what you're griping about. I feel that there was enough build up to the mystical throughout the entire series to support the conclusion. It wasn't quite giant eagles out of the sky above the volcano, though I understand your perspective.
posted by Atreides at 7:27 PM on March 22, 2009


Maybe he can reboot Miss Marple the same way...

In St. Mary Mead, no one is more despised than Colonel Protheroe. Even the local vicar has said that killing him would be doing a service to the townsfolk. So when Protheroe is found murdered in the same vicar's study, and two different people confess to the crime, it is time for the elderly spinster Jane Marple to exercise her detective abilities. Her conclusion: GOD DID IT, DON'T ASK QUESTIONS.
posted by Artw at 7:40 PM on March 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Artw, I sense that you didn't like the finale.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:45 PM on March 22, 2009


I feel that there was enough build up to the mystical throughout the entire series to support the conclusion.

Exactly. The search for Earth from the very beginning was predicated on mystical sign posts, Pythian prophecy, visions and the Arrow of Apollo.

It's not like after a season of Kara trying to figure out what she really was, the series didn't earn to right to at least say "Hey, she's an angel" - SINCE THE TEXT HAS BEEN PRETTY MUCH SAYING THAT SINCE SHE DIED.

And if she is an angel, then she gets to fly the Galactica to Our Earth, because she had help from "All Along the Watchtower". And if that's the hand of God... so be it. It's not like God or the Gods have been absent from this series.
posted by crossoverman at 7:57 PM on March 22, 2009


SINCE THE TEXT HAS BEEN PRETTY MUCH SAYING THAT SINCE SHE DIED

It was handled horribly. Starbuck comes back 2 months later, thinking she's found earth and that only 2 hours have passed, then goes all crazy wanting to go to Earth, only to lead them to Fake Earth where she discovers her own crashed ship and body, leaving the audience wondering what the fuck. That's not "Starbuck is an angel" that's "Hey Starbuck is something and we're gonna through out a bunch of hints till we figure it out"

Still no sure why it had to be Starbuck to punch in the magic melody when Sam the musician and now hybrid was all plugged to the system.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:12 PM on March 22, 2009


I don't have the wherewithal to discuss the philosophical implications of the show. I'm more interested in plot points. So could someone please tell me how the rest of the fleet found the the new planet's coordinates. There was one short line about a raptor, but it didn't seem to explain it. I'm a simple girl, so will one of your brainicacs please explain it? And I'm not using the term "braniacs" sarcastically. I'm pretty impressed.
posted by Evangeline at 8:19 PM on March 22, 2009


It was handled horribly.

She led them to both Earths. First Earth was where they were actually headed all along, where she crash landed. Where she died. The story is about her accepting what she really is and her role as the harbinger of death who shall lead them all to their ends. Just like those involved in the vision of the Opera House were given that insight so they would know when to be there and act out their part, Kara was put on a path that she tried - in her very human way - to understand, not realising that she had to accept her spiritual side. And go with things when concrete answers weren't enough.

Still no sure why it had to be Starbuck to punch in the magic melody when Sam the musician and now hybrid was all plugged to the system.

Are you kidding? Because it was her story.
posted by crossoverman at 8:19 PM on March 22, 2009


So could someone please tell me how the rest of the fleet found the the new planet's coordinates.

Galactica couldn't handle another jump, so they sent a raptor to the rendezvous coordinates to tell the fleet of their location.
posted by troybob at 8:22 PM on March 22, 2009


There was one short line about a raptor, but it didn't seem to explain it. I'm a simple girl, so will one of your brainicacs please explain it?

Presumably a raptor jumped to the fleet's co-ordinates - the pre-arranged rendezvous - told them of Earth's co-ordinates and they jumped there.
posted by crossoverman at 8:22 PM on March 22, 2009


I liked BSG but stopped watching it when Cain died. I was really looking forward to how Cain, Adama and Roslin would work together since they decided not to off each other. But no, Cain gets shot (she doesn't even get a death equals redemption arc) and all that is gone. With that and Starbuck growing her hair out I realized that BSG was not going places that I wanted to go.

Despite not watching it, I have been following it, to see if ever sounded like it might be interesting again, but alas, it did not. I did watch the finale and was unimpressed.

I liked this comment on the end:

Well, if you go by what the Colonials said, then yes, they were intending to seed themselves among the native humans of Earth, inculcate them with their culture, use them for breeding (because I think there were only 35,000 of them left by this point), and generally be paternalistic assholes. But if you compare this to what actually happened in human history -- and it was firmly established that this was the real Earth this time -- then nearly everything the Colonials planned to do failed utterly, and in fact most of them died in the next Ice Age.

By this story, about the only thing we have remaining of Colonial culture are a) Greek mythology, b) possibly monotheism from Cylon culture, c) a genetic predisposition to build robots who will kill us all, and d) white people. (The migration of early humans to Europe, and their subsequent differentiation into the phenotypes that we now call "races" happened around this time, and since there weren't any white people on the planet before this, it's implied that the Colonials are Europeans' forbears. But also the forbears of Africans, Asians, Native Americans, etc., too, so it's not so blatant as that.)

posted by nooneyouknow at 8:25 PM on March 22, 2009


Adama: "Glad you could join us, admiral."

Hoshi: "Lieutenant Hoshi suits me just fine, sir. Admiral's stars turned out to be a little heavy. Happiest day of my life when I saw that raptor jump into the rendezvous point."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:31 PM on March 22, 2009


It's not like after a season of Kara trying to figure out what she really was, the series didn't earn to right to at least say "Hey, she's an angel" - SINCE THE TEXT HAS BEEN PRETTY MUCH SAYING THAT SINCE SHE DIED.

Here's the problem: Kara's storyline this season has been so much about what the fuck is she that an answer like "she's an angel" is...

Well, first of all, it's a little trite, but that's not even the problem. It's essentially "a wizard did it," but THAT'S not even the problem! The problem is that we actually are ready to accept the existence of the supernatural in BSG, so the revelation that Kara is the agent of a divine power is kinda...like...flat. For this much buildup, we need a bigger payoff. We need a more complex payoff, too, because for all the weird stuff with the paintings and the "Maelstrom" sequence and the piano player to come down to "she's an angel!" is kinda like...well, why the fuck didn't you just say so? If the solution is that simplistic and on-the-nose, then why did we need all this other stuff? We didn't, which is why I'm inclined to think Moore and Co. were either (a) building up to something else altogether that they realized at the eleventh hour they didn't have time for, or (b) never knew where her story was going at all. I want to say, I liked 97.5% of the finale, but the defense of this aspect of the finale has me so flummoxed that I was forced to dig out my copy of Making Shapely Fiction (my very favorite writing book), just to say (from its "Don't Do This" section):

"THE BANGING-SHUTTER STORY. This is a story based on anticlimax. A perceived threat is built up by describing mysterious and frightening noises, sights and sensations. The character's terror is developed by describing various fears and possibilities.... The end reveals that it was all caused by a cat, a raccoon, a possum, a shutter, a loud clock, wind in the trees, moonlight in the mirror, a child's wind-up toy, one's own heartbeat. (Also known as the I am der viper, I am der vindow viper story.)"

I mean, I'm sorry, but almost every possibility vis a vis the resurrected Starbuck's nature that was also suggested by the text is more interesting than "she's an angel." I'm not saying don't make her an angel, I'm just saying don't tantalize the audience with all sorts of more intriguing possibilities and then make her an angel, which is pretty much shorthand for, "Oh, that/those wacky god(s). What will he/she/it/they think of next?"
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:32 PM on March 22, 2009 [8 favorites]


Galactica couldn't handle another jump, so they sent a raptor to the rendezvous coordinates to tell the fleet of their location.

But Starbuck punched the coordinates in at the very last minute.There was no talk about transferring that info to the rest of the fleet. And how could they? They were at different coordinates.
posted by Evangeline at 8:32 PM on March 22, 2009


Yeah, a gay admiral! sweet!
posted by troybob at 8:33 PM on March 22, 2009


Galactica jumps to Earth. Galactica dispatches raptor to fleet's rendezvous point. Raptor conveys earth's location. Fleet jumps to Earth.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:39 PM on March 22, 2009


Perhaps the whole supernatural thing was an emergent property of all of the psychic/wireless data transfer mumbo-jumbo that Cylons (who are, after all, genetically compatible) had been doing for so long, and that humans were just beginning to tune into via genetics or blood donation -- a sort of collective unconscious that even the Five didn't understand.

Maybe that's where the Centurions got their concept of the One True Cylon God -- unexpected phenomena and flashes of insight occurring at some critical point in their networked development.

Perhaps Cavil really could perceive stellar phenomena in ways that transcended his mostly-human frame, as much as any non-hybrid can -- not on a conscious level, but as an unknowing participant in some greater organism.

Just saying that the mechanisms and channels that Resurrection involves could easily have implications greater -- and for more mysterious -- than simple reincarnation.

Doesn't explain Kara at all (I really thought that there was a prototype resurrection facility on New Earth, and that the same thing that brought Kara back was going to bring Dee back), but what can you do!
posted by lumensimus at 9:05 PM on March 22, 2009


Far more mysterious, that is.
posted by lumensimus at 9:05 PM on March 22, 2009


The finale was lazy, cynical, and weak. All the flashbacks were for one reason to segue into their new show craptastic soap-opera Caprica.

That series went down hard. When we producers learn that seat-of-the pants writing produces dead-ended crap in the end. And all the overt christian moralizing bullshit. Once. Just once I'd like actual sci-fi in a sci-fi show.

And. Haven't you noticed the loudest people telling us how awesome and "deep" BSG was, and how "historic" it's so called legacy is friggin Moore and the actors themselves?

What happened in that show? Really. In the end. Both civilizations essentially kill themselves over nothing. They have faster than light travel but none of them seems to get over this petty hatred enough to see how big the universe really is and there is room enough for everybody. Fuck. It's not as if the Cylons even needed a god damned planet at all. In the end all we were left with was this idiotic half-assed Mormon parable. Pathetic.

To me the series really does reflect the Bush administration in exactly that way. Started off with lots of profound tough talk, dishonest smoke and mirrors, and never intended to deliver anything on it's promises. And when it falls apart they exit stage left telling us how awesome we will think it all was in ten years with the fanboys cheering no matter what.
posted by tkchrist at 9:56 PM on March 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


*runs in circles, sets hair on fire, craps in the kitchen sink, ululates*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:25 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, an omniscient being outside the narrative whose magical powers include giving characters prophetic dreams and shared musical memories, engineering impossible coincidences, and returning them to life after they die — that's not God, that's the writer. And if the writer can't explain the things he's shown us except to say that they were done by an offscreen character called God whose plan he can't explain, then he's really just admitting that he didn't have a coherent story to tell, except "Here's what the universe would be like if there were a God — and he was no smarter than I am".
posted by nicwolff at 10:35 PM on March 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, a gay admiral!

Divine miracle or science fiction?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:38 PM on March 22, 2009


Dollhouse, on the other hand, seems to be shaping up to be a little more interesting than I thought. I'm beginning to think that it may actually be right that it's going to get better, and not just Whenodista special pleading.

Doomed to be cancelled, of course.
posted by Artw at 11:18 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've been following Dollhouse. It's a weird compulsion. I'm not Whedonkulous, and I don't really think it's that good. But it moves, at least, and I want to know where it's going. Weird thing that I don't understand about Whedon and his successes: why so campy? Why do people want their adventure stories extra-hammy? I think for his audience it must be a feature, not a bug, but I don't get it.
posted by grobstein at 11:35 PM on March 22, 2009


Why do people want their adventure stories extra-hammy?

For the same reason people read comic books: escapism.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:45 PM on March 22, 2009


Did any of you 'duh, Starbuck is an angel, it's totally obvious' people bother to read the interviews linked in the OP? Because Moore states explicitly that she isn't an angel - she's real, she was here among us, she was just resurrected, blah blah blah. He also says that she isn't the same thing as Head 6 / Head Baltar, who may be angels or demons.

NOT AN ANGEL.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:16 AM on March 23, 2009


"What I couldn't work out was how he'd managed to make another man pregnant. I guess we'll never know. So, just to restate, that is something we'll never know, you're not going to find out later. "
posted by Artw at 12:33 AM on March 23, 2009


Kara was put on a path that she tried - in her very human way - to understand, not realising that she had to accept her spiritual side. And go with things when concrete answers weren't enough.

Kara has always accepted her spiritual side. That was shown back when Roslin asked her if she believed in the gods and use her belief to convince her to go after the arrow of Athena. So there was nothing for her to accept, merely figure out, which seems odd for an angel. Shouldn't she KNOW what she has to do?


Are you kidding? Because it was her story.

I'm glad that works for you, but to me it rings hollow. Starbuck has to be the one to do it, because....it's Starbuck! Why can't it be someone else? It's Starbucks story! Why doesn't the ship already have the rendezvous coordinates in the system? Because then Starbuck wouldn't be able to finish her story! Why was Starbuck, who's never been shown jumping the ship, told the jump the ship? Because it's her story!

Looking back, the story arc seems like a ginned up effort to give Starbuck something to do since she was brought back from the dead and therefore must be special.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:16 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, of what is she "the destroyer"? They were repeating that empty prophecy into the penultimate episode. Now it turns out to be just a dishonest way of saying she's important?
posted by grobstein at 5:31 AM on March 23, 2009


She was the destroyer - or, in the words of Old Freaky Hybrid, the Herald of the Apocalypse.

But OFH didn't say whose apocalypse. I assumed human, rather than cylon - but it was the cylon colony that got nuked.
posted by rtha at 5:59 AM on March 23, 2009


I'm glad that works for you, but to me it rings hollow. Starbuck has to be the one to do it, because....it's Starbuck! Why can't it be someone else? It's Starbucks story! Why doesn't the ship already have the rendezvous coordinates in the system? Because then Starbuck wouldn't be able to finish her story! Why was Starbuck, who's never been shown jumping the ship, told the jump the ship? Because it's her story!

This is essentially the entire concept of fate. Call it "her story" or whatever, but obviously, from past events (like discovering the clues that lead them to Earth - i.e., being in just the right place to see a nova, etc), fate played a heavy role in the BSG universe. The means by which Roslyn followed the prophecy to find Earth, including becoming a "dying leader" all fell into this category.
posted by Atreides at 6:11 AM on March 23, 2009


Also, of what is she "the destroyer"? They were repeating that empty prophecy into the penultimate episode. Now it turns out to be just a dishonest way of saying she's important?

To build on what rtha said, she was a complete destroyer. As rtha pointed out, she helped lead to the destruction of the Cylon colony (which effectively wiped out half of the human models plus a whole bunch of old school centurions and friends). In addition, she took "humanity's" remnants to the new Earth, where that civilization was effectively ended. Within a couple generations at most, those colonists able to survive through the transition to hunter-gatherer or agriculturists, would have little connection to the civilization of their ancestors but for stories of how they came to arrive. Starbuck brought about the death of not just one civilization, but two.
posted by Atreides at 6:16 AM on March 23, 2009


To build on what rtha said, she was a complete destroyer.

Actually no. She was just a puppet on strings, brought back and sent on her by a god who wanted to break the cycle of violence by...destroying shit. Yeah.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:22 AM on March 23, 2009


Brandon Blatcher: "I'm glad that works for you, but to me it rings hollow. Starbuck has to be the one to do it, because....it's Starbuck! Why can't it be someone else? It's Starbucks story! Why doesn't the ship already have the rendezvous coordinates in the system? Because then Starbuck wouldn't be able to finish her story! Why was Starbuck, who's never been shown jumping the ship, told the jump the ship? Because it's her story!"

Couldn't you say that about any plot ever? Why did it have to be Frodo to bring the ring to Mordor? Because it's his story! Why couldn't the Eagles have flown it there? Because it's Frodo's story! Why did (something a main character did)? Because it was (main character)'s story! I'm so outraged!
posted by Plutor at 6:25 AM on March 23, 2009


Couldn't you say that about any plot ever?

On a metaphysical sense, sure, but most plots give more concrete reasons for why things unfolded instead "it's the character's story" Frodo fell into the ring by accident and then kept it because he didn't want anyone to pass the burden to anyone else. The journey and its many trials helped forge and strenghten the character, so the story transcended those weak plot points.

Kara got designated by god and gradually led around into she was in the perfect spot to enter the magic numbers (assign numbers to music notes? That seems so random). Once everything turned out well, then she accepted what she was. Frodo accepted his role long before his journey's end, which enabled him to go forward. Kara just thrashed around, wondering "What am I, what am I?!" and dragging everyone around in her drama.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:40 AM on March 23, 2009


Kara the Grey! Starbuck Stormcrow!
posted by greekphilosophy at 6:54 AM on March 23, 2009


I don't mean to sound dismissive and I'm more or less ok with Starbuck being an angel or messenger from god. I just think the writers did some floundering around with what she was, for no real reason other than being mysterious for the sake of doing it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:02 AM on March 23, 2009


Oy, we're still banging at this? Sweet.

What tkchrist said. It was so heavy handed, but every flashback (YAY! FLASHBACKS! Awesome!) from Daybreak Pt1 to Pt 2 SCREAMED "Coming soon... CAPRICA! Yay! You guys like this stuff, right? It's like Dallas, except it's called Caprica, gods, WHO SHOT STARBUCK?"

If they actually had had story arcs they set up in Season 1 or Season 2 that were answered here, that could have been rewarding. Instead we get the "historic setup" 25 minutes before the "cinematic reveal" -- that doesn't feel enjoyable or juicy, it feels reheated and dried out. Tasteless.

And those were the classy bits. Then you've got Racetrack and Skulls saying "Boy it's dangerous out here! Hey arm the nuclear weapon we're carrying! Really! Yeah, I've got no idea why but I want to be a plot movement" - except they don't say that. As soon as they say "arm the nuke" you say why hello there major climax. The gun is not hanging on the wall, the gun is sitting on a table with sparklies and a boombox and five halogens on it.

Look, it was a fun concept, and really great TV drama for a score of episodes. Just.... bleargh....ou can't just go "Well it's a character drama first and foremost, so the characters got serveed" -- you can't do that when you've spent so much time building up the "BIG STORY" cliff hangers at the same time. They're intertwined.

They could have left us without tying things up in a satisfying way. Instead they tried to tie up the things they could but they made the most hamfisted knots I've seen in ages.
posted by cavalier at 7:55 AM on March 23, 2009


And I'm guessing Lucy Lawless was out of their budget, hmm?
posted by cavalier at 7:59 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


grumblebee: For instance, the flash backs in the final episode (to pre-destroyed Caprica) were great, but they felt like they'd been made up for the final episode

Actually, that bugged me a lot too. Flashbacks are great, if you're fleshing out characters. But in the last episode? It's too late. The fact that most of them didn't even matter for the future means the only purpose they serve is to waste a good hour chunk of the three hour finale. Seriously, did knowing Roslin's family died in tragedy change anything? What usefulness was seeing Adama and Tigh in the titty bar? (I like that as a "only got three days to retirement" gag, but as plot it was useless.)

If we're talking plot holes, when Boomer escaped BSG, it was a BIG DEAL that she jumped so close to the ship, and caused all sorts of damage. Then a few episodes later, part of the big plan includes jumping raptors out from inside the ship, with no bad effects at all! And when Galactica makes its final jump, the cylon base is unaffected by the proximity.
posted by graventy at 8:02 AM on March 23, 2009


In many ways the show was better when we didn't know what the Cylons were, only that they were able to find us and attack every thirty three minutes. The scary cylons were what roped me in.

But obviously it'd be hard to sustain a show on that. And I'm glad it came to an end, whether I liked it or not - too many shows flail on for years after they should be wrapped up.

I have no problem with the resolution on Starbuck. I guess RDM said that she's not an angel in one of the interviews, but whatever, from strictly what's show on screen I think she clearly is. Maybe not the same type of angel as the Head characters, but whatever. I think there was even a scene a few weeks ago where she was shown bathed in light from above right after someone said 'listen to the angels'.

An angel of death, sure, but still. I think part of the point of BSG is that cheating death through resurrection causes trouble.

One thing I found interesting about the show is that the 'cycle' includes humanity having a sine-wave relationship to technology. 50 years before the series, they were at the height of technology, created the cylons, and apparently had magic paper, according to the Caprica promo. After the Cylon war, they regressed in technology - all the wired phones, etc, and as the series progressed things fell apart, ending with the return to neotribalism on the planet, not before ejecting a high-tech remnant (the Centurions). And I think that's part of the cycle - reach a technological pinnacle, have a war, let the technology go off on its own, and start over. Last time it was the final five who were ejected.

That all reminds me of the Iain M Banks's Culture, where if you ever create a 'perfect' AI it instantly sublimes - flees to a higher dimension. You have to craft you AIs with components (values, character) from the originating culture. Likewise in the BSG universe, any sufficiently advanced technology flees from its creators. Not an original idea to either author, I realize, but interesting explorations.

Anyway. I'm sure I could (and probably will) sit for hours picking at plot holes, but that's a different part of my brain from what found the conclusion satisfactory. I am vaguely annoyed at the idea of the The Plan movie, I feel like that's just going to be RDM showing off his retconning skills.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:16 AM on March 23, 2009


If we're talking plot holes, when Boomer escaped BSG, it was a BIG DEAL that she jumped so close to the ship, and caused all sorts of damage. Then a few episodes later, part of the big plan includes jumping raptors out from inside the ship, with no bad effects at all! And when Galactica makes its final jump, the cylon base is unaffected by the proximity.

what
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:23 AM on March 23, 2009


at the idea of the The Plan movie, I feel like that's just going to be RDM showing off his retconning skills.

Really. Jumping Josephine Jesus on a Christ Crickety Cracker, what has the past 8 episodes been other than RetCon -- wait, we really meant, er, that thing we did, there, er, it's something else.

The wife already has a wager on whether or not I'll WATCH it, kind of like how [Left/Right] Wing Politicos listen to [Left/Right] Wing Talking Heads just so they can rage a bit at the speaker.
posted by cavalier at 8:33 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did any of you 'duh, Starbuck is an angel, it's totally obvious' people bother to read the interviews linked in the OP? Because Moore states explicitly that she isn't an angel.

So?

Let's say I write a story that goes like this:

Once upon a time, a little girl found a beautiful flower and wanted to give it to her mother. So she found the place where her mother lived. As usual, her mother was sleeping under the earth, along with all the other sleepers in the wide-open park that full of carved stones. Her mother lay there, under mound of dirt. The little girl lay the flower on her mother's stone, stood for a moment in silence, and then walked away.

You read the story and conclude that the mother is dead and buried in an cometary. Then you read an interview with me, the author, in which I say, "No, the mother is not dead. She's living in an underground bunker. The stones are portals into it. If you knock on one of the stones three times, it slides aside and reveals a staircase."

Am I right? Am I wrong? Because I'm the author, is that the only viable interpretation of the story? Is whatever I say, no matter how outlandish -- no matter how made up of details that aren't actually in the story -- the correct or superior interpretation? Is it not reasonable to interpret a story by what's in it as opposed to things an author says about it? What if you accept my interpretation, and then, ten years layer, I say, "Oh, I was bullshitting in that interview." If you think that a story is bad but the author says it's good, do you have to accept that it's good?

All the complication can be swept aside if we stick to what's actually stated IN the story.


Are you kidding? Because it was her story.


That's the most extraordinary thing I've ever read. I don't think it's wrong. It just shows how different people view fictional worlds. I can't imagine viewing one that way. To me, the answer to any "why" question about something that happens in a story can never be "because the author needed such and such to happen because..." The author is not a character in the story.

Dorothy doesn't go to Oz because the writer wanted her to have an adventure. She goes to Oz because a tornado carries her there. If, to explain why something happens in a story, I have to fall back on, "because the author needed/wanted it to happen," I'm deeply unsatisfied. It means the author didn't bother (or couldn't figure out how to) embed a reason in the logic of the story itself. It means that when I'm reading the story, I am not fully immersed in the story world. It means I'm thinking about the author, which means I'm very aware that what I'm reading is a contrivance. My dream bubble is burst.

While I'm watching BG, the last thing I want to think about is that it's all made up. I want to be scared of Cylons and worried about humans (or vice versa). I want to wonder whether or not the characters will find a home. I don't want to think about Ron Moore.
posted by grumblebee at 8:33 AM on March 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Actually, that bugged me a lot too. Flashbacks are great, if you're fleshing out characters. But in the last episode? It's too late.

I disagree and think the flashbacks were mostly a great idea, well done. It was the end of the series, so pausing to look back at who they were before and compare and contrast really worked for me. Laura was used to dealing with horrific, sudden tragedy (good experience to have when most of humanity is wiped out) and realized she didn't want to spend her life doing something more than poaching men and drifting life. When faced with the choice of doing that or doing something, anything more, she made a choice. Bill and Tigh knew they belonged on a Battlestar even when cushy jobs and retirement awaited, they made a choice, Caprica really did care about Baltar, despite her mission, and Kara and Apollo were always broken and doomed, self absorbed twits that they were. Bits and pieces of this stuff has been hinted at before and the writers did a great job of expanding on those bits to add more depth to the show and characters. Very nicely done. Boomer's flashback felt a bit heavy handed though. Would have liked to have seen someone tell Bill what she said.

And I'm guessing Lucy Lawless was out of their budget, hmm?

Yeah, they only brought her in for a day, film her scenes on Fake Earth.

After the Cylon war, they regressed in technology - all the wired phones, etc

Actually no, that was just a "feature" of Galatica. She was an older ship, about to be retired and then the war started. The fact that she used older, non-networked systems saved her. Pegasus had upgraded systems, but was late on getting the software upgrade that allowed the Cylons to take control so that's why it survived.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:35 AM on March 23, 2009


Well, I think the Raptors jumping out of the launch bay did damage Galactica - I think there was some glass exploding - but at that point they didn't care. As for it not effecting the colony, well, I think the jump-proximity-damage-effect only really shows up when the ship is already weakened (like Galactica conveniently became the second half of this season).
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:38 AM on March 23, 2009


Pegasus was still a rough spot on the top of the sine wave then. I realize it's not a perfect match, but the flashback scenes on the finale still showed a much lower-tech culture than what I expect we'll see in Caprica.

I liked the flashbacks but also wish they'd started them sooner. And I still don't really get the relevance of the lie-detector (was that a Simon?) business. So Adama was going to take a private sector job, and then didn't? Why does this matter for our finale?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:41 AM on March 23, 2009


So...Colonials and Final Five = Useless 1/3 of Golgafrinchan civilization?

Yep, sounds about right.

I think Moore, like a great many other sci-fi and fantasy authors, relied on sunk cost fallacy and the goodwill he'd built up with some truly clever and well-done earlier episodes to carry his franchise. I don't think the final 2 seasons or the finale will hold up well on repeated viewings.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:42 AM on March 23, 2009


And when Galactica makes its final jump, the cylon base is unaffected by the proximity.

That’s less a plot whole and more the general week-to-week inconsistency on how technology works in BSG. The crew were just lucky that this wasn’t one of the weeks where Cylons are bulletproof.
posted by Artw at 8:58 AM on March 23, 2009


I liked the flashbacks but also wish they'd started them sooner. And I still don't really get the relevance of the lie-detector (was that a Simon?) business. So Adama was going to take a private sector job, and then didn't? Why does this matter for our finale?

Yeah, I thought that was a Simon also.

It matters because it shows how Adama came to be the Commander of Galactica. All he had to do was submit to a lie detector test, that's all. Yet he couldn't do it, because he valued trust more and felt he had built up sufficient trust and experience to warrant not taking a lie detector test. Remember the flashback where he listed his accomplishments and wanted to know why none of those things mattered and he still had to take a lie detector test and the guy told him to just shut up and do it, it was just test, would only take an hour, blah blah. Still Adama couldn't do it, his very character prevented him from doing it. This level of belief in trust enabled him to make decisions (trusting Starbuck to find earth) that help bring about humanity's salvation, at least until they freeze their dumb asses off.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:59 AM on March 23, 2009


I thought the finale was fantastic. I was genuinely moved by Laura's death, but I was expecting that. I was totally blindsided by Baltar breaking down and moved nearly to tears at that. I wished, though, that he had slipped back to his original accent for a moment there. That would have pushed it over the edge, I believe.

I'm honestly baffled by RDM's denial of the Daniel connection with Kara. It truly makes the most sense, and his death at Cavil's hands would have been an ironic twist into Kara's sense of fatherly abandonment. It also nicely explains her knowledge of the music. If this had been followed to through I would have still been okay with her disappearance provided it was done with the same FTL effect that surrounds ships. How fucking awesome would that have been... to see her *FWISSH* out of the scene the second her two feet touch the New Earth soil, coupled with a nice concussion effect of surrounding people and objects. Still leaves her ultimate "who" and "why" undefined, but at least it's not hand-wavey maybe-angel bullshit.
posted by odinsdream at 9:00 AM on March 23, 2009


It was so heavy handed, but every flashback (YAY! FLASHBACKS! Awesome!) from Daybreak Pt1 to Pt 2 SCREAMED "Coming soon... CAPRICA! Yay! You guys like this stuff, right? It's like Dallas, except it's called Caprica, gods, WHO SHOT STARBUCK?"

You understand that Caprica will take place a half-century before Galactica, right?

I had no problem with the flashbacks in principle, but they did get a little crowded in there. They were valuable for showing exactly how the characters wound up in the situation they were at the outset.

Fractured-time narratives are pretty common these days, for better or for worse. At their best, they set up perfect dramatic irony, in which the audience is aware of facts the characters are not. The final diner scene of Pulp Fiction works because Vincent scorns Jules' decision to quit the life, but the audience knows that Vincent will get killed within a day or two because we have already seen this occur. I don't think anything in the final Galactica episode was this well-set-up, but it wasn't bad.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:05 AM on March 23, 2009


If we're talking plot holes, when Boomer escaped BSG, it was a BIG DEAL that she jumped so close to the ship, and caused all sorts of damage. Then a few episodes later, part of the big plan includes jumping raptors out from inside the ship, with no bad effects at all! And when Galactica makes its final jump, the cylon base is unaffected by the proximity.

They jump the raptors from the unused landing bay/pod. The one that'd been converted into a museum and was relatively sealed off from the rest of the ship as has been mentioned several times in the series. The raptors DO damage Galactica, you can hear the glass shatter and hull tear, but it doesn't matter because that part of the ship is isolated and not needed for raptor recovery or FTL flight.

As far as the Cylon colony not being damaged, 1 It is a hell of a lot bigger. Way bigger than Galactica is compared to a raptor and would be able to absorb more damage. 2 That particular part of the colony is designed specifically to handle ships jumping around very, very close to it.
posted by Science! at 9:09 AM on March 23, 2009


I'm honestly baffled by RDM's denial of the Daniel connection with Kara.

Yeah, I was really disappointed by that. "Oh, Daniel is just a rabbit hole." I thought that the idea of Kara's father being a copy of Daniel who escaped into Colonial society and made his living on the edges of that society, kind of wandering, never satisfied, having been cast out of his family and erased... I felt that that would have been a much more resonant way of handling the "oh shit, we have no #7, better invent one" oversight than "Daniel is just a rabbit hole." I could have easily accepted Kara as the first hybrid, and I think it would have lent an additional resonance to her scenes with Hera and the musical notes, too, as well as her connection to Watchtower in general.
posted by Kosh at 9:09 AM on March 23, 2009


In all, I kind of dug the finale, but like many people I had some serious problems with it. I'm not even remotely bothered by the Starbuck thing. I was happy to watch her disappear and think to myself "huh. maybe she was some kind of like drafted-in angel, or something. like a normal person who just has to don some strap-on wings for a year." really, that was never why i watched the show.

To my mind, that show was always about the human story, which is simultaneously why the finale was good and terrible. The stuff with Roslyn and Adama on Earth was great. The Helo and Hera and Athena stuff was great. I liked Tyrell's ending, and his reaction to Tori's murder of Cally. (funny story, when she was all preparing everybody for her dark secret, I assumed she meant sleeping with Baltar. I thought the other 4 were gonna be like "You frakked Baltar?!" Even Anders.)

The whole "we're modern humanity's progenitors, and we're abandoning our ships and weapons" thing was pretty stupid. Honestly, I was disappointed they came to earth at all. This story didn't need to exist in some fictional past for the viewer's world. If they had found some other wholly unrelated planet to spend life with nature however they wanted, it would have been fine. What was compelling about this show were these characters, not their relation to our ancestors. I wanted these people to be happy, or be dead, or be whatever. I don't care what their relation is to us in any fashion other than as allegory. I don't want to wonder why we don't have buried evidence of caprican technology, I don't want to think about how a Battlestar Admiral is going to learn to build a house and feed himself. I don't want to think about Lee Adama being approximately as successful a hunter as I would be if you left me weaponless on the African Veldt, and I don't want to think about how the word Earth somehow travels unmolested across 150,000 years of human history to remain the name of this planet. I hate it. I wouldn't have to worry about it if they had just landed someplace else. anywhere else. Not all scifi stories have to have that "it was earth all along!" type ending. It's old, it's cliched, it's not good.

More than anything, though, what i hated was the final scene. The whole heavy-handed "THIS IS RELEVANT TO YOUR LIFE TODAY, IDIOT" thing was completely unnecessary, and basically ruined the ending to a show that was more subtle than that. Worse still, they made the ending of the show seem like it was really all about robots. As in, "watch out for the robots... DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN." I remember looking at my girlfriend and saying "no way. they didn't just make this about the robots, did they?" the whole show was about people. about warring ideologies, about about the hard decisions, the ethical nightmares. the robots were just a convenient other culture, right? they weren't meant to represent the real threat of fucking ROBOTS in our culture, were they? they couldn't be. there's no way.

and then I read this, just now:

We wanted it to ultimately circle back and say look, these people were our forbearers; in a real sense what happened to them, could happen to us. Look around you. Wake up. Think about the society that you live in and we wanted to make that literal at the end.

Wake up. Really. About the fucking Aibo. man, fuck you. if that last scene had been left out, I would have loved this last episode, almost without reservation. sure, the prehistoric earth thing was a little weak, but there was still plenty of excellent human story there to satisfy me for an ending. but that last scene, jesus stinking christ.

and the baltar angel being all like "you know he doesn't like to be called God." really?! because he had you assholes calling him God without any problem for the entire duration of the show. in fact, you made a pretty big god damn deal about it, as I remember. and now all of a sudden he's not capital-G God? you know, I can understand not wanting to be explicitly religious in a sci-fi program. But you dickholes abandoned that option years ago. You gave up your "well, now, wait, let's not get all judeo-christian about this" option back when you made the show all about the clash between a polytheistic religion and a monotheistic one where the deity in question insists on being called God. that's the way it works. you don't, in the very last scene of the show, get to go all "well, let's just say 'a higher power'" and then pretend like that was the goal all along. you made the show religious and fatalistic, and you should have accepted that and dealt with it for what it was. now it's just lazy and condescending and pandering. meh.
posted by shmegegge at 10:45 AM on March 23, 2009 [10 favorites]


also, "he doesn't like to be called that..." what does he like to be called? I kept thinking there was some other name for this mystical deity that they had referenced elsewhere in the show. like, maybe he prefers to be called "Phil" or something. I hate that shit. Just don't call him God. well, what do we call him, then? i don't know. just not God. ooookayyyyy, can I call him Eleanor, then? what the fuck?
posted by shmegegge at 10:55 AM on March 23, 2009


"I had no problem with the flashbacks in principle, but they did get a little crowded in there. They were valuable for showing exactly how the characters wound up in the situation they were at the outset."

They were *more* valuable for giving us an emotional compass as to why they would want to discard everything to live on new Earth. The main thing they said was that as much as they thought they wanted Caprica back, and they thought they were happy there, they weren't. Tigh and Ellen seem like they are, but remember that they are horrible alcoholics at the time and that's why come off the way they do in the strip club.

That's why I'm puzzled at this "it takes more than one line from Adama about starting with a clean slate" comment some reviewers are pointing out. That's what the flashbacks are for, to show that this decision honestly makes them happy again. In fact, IIRC, there's a line in the finale where someone explicitly says that they weren't happy on Caprica.
posted by teradome at 10:57 AM on March 23, 2009


I had this theory that the Baltar and Six angels were actually god split into its fundamental forces, good and evil, which echoes back to the many good and bad things the real Six and Baltar did. The gods were simply mucking in human lives for their own amusement, to see what happens, as was typical of the gods of the astrology signs that the 12 Lords of Kobol were based on.

But that makes me want to beat the hell outta Ron Moore, so I dropped it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:04 AM on March 23, 2009


I didn't think the finale was horrible. I know some people did, and I can dig it. But I thought it was good, with a few real clunker moments, made up for by stellar acting and some really neat set pieces.

(This sums up much of how I feel about this season, actually.)

I also find it fascinating to think about the constraints under which Ron Moore and any television writer works. Part of me agrees with grumblebee's statements upthread, that Moore et al know the limitations of TV, and still consciously chose not to focus on show-wide structure or plot, and the series suffered for it. There are backtracks, and hand-waving, and entire episodes of nothing but exposition because they wanted to have the story make a sharp left-turn. (Anders, I'm looking at you.)

And yet, the freedom the writers had is possibly what gave us New Caprica, and that was one of my most favorite developments.

I agree with most of the complaints in this thread, but they're not what really got me. What really upset me about the finale, the real big clunker, was whole Be Nice To Your Furby montage. It seemed, to me, to reduce the main theme in the show down to human vs. robot. Or human vs. AI. And I thought the show was far more subtle and complex. I can remember talking to friends during season 2 and saying things like "This sounds nuts, but this tv show about spaceships has some excellent explorations of the issues surrounding being an imperialist occupier. AHEM."

To me, the show was about enslavement, and prejudice, and racism, and fear of the unknown, and personal responsibility. And that robot montage, the coda for the entire series, entirely sold the show short.

But even though I'm not sure the finale was the best work the series has done, it was still good. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
posted by lillygog at 11:07 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


The main thing they said was that as much as they thought they wanted Caprica back, and they thought they were happy there, they weren't.

Interesting way of looking at it. To me it seemed as though Tigh and Adama knew they'd be happier in space, while Laura just needed to do *something* worthwhile instead just hanging around and dating. Being on Galactica ultimately gave their life meaning.

Starbuck and Apollo? They were just messed from the beginning.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:20 AM on March 23, 2009


I don't want to think about how the word Earth somehow travels unmolested across 150,000 years of human history to remain the name of this planet.

Did you think that the Colonies and the Cylons all spoke English?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:29 AM on March 23, 2009


The more I reflect on it, I don't think the robot montage at the end was supposed to simply scream, "Oh Noes! Robots! We're Building Cylons!" Instead, it was more a warning as to what robots can create in society. Rather than be a way to reduce mankind's reliance on physical labor and other tasks, they take something away from humanity that can lead to the very cycle of death and destruction that requires the rebooting of the system. More to the point, robots = technology. Technology is good, but as the colonists decided at the end of their journey, it was as much a burden as a boon.

It was the reliance on technology that lead mankind to develop the Cylons. It was the very reliance on technology by humanity for their safekeeping that allowed the Cylons to so successfully eradicate all but an insignificant number of the human population. This even became an issue for the Cylons, where the "bad" Cylons lead by Cavil, embraced their technological nature over the humanity they originally sought to emulate and become. The result of that was their own destruction.
posted by Atreides at 11:31 AM on March 23, 2009


Yeah, I thought that was a Simon also.

Definitely wasn't a Simon, unless that Simon got plastic surgery and a bit, well, fat.

You understand that Caprica will take place a half-century before Galactica, right?

Durr. Of course, sorry if my sardonic riffing there was too subtle, I realize Starbuck won't be in the pre-Cylon era Caprica :p.

I went back and reviewed a lot of Ron Moore's scripts -- not just his show running, but his actual scripts. He's had some really, really great scripts and great character arcs. I think that's what mainly frustrates me more about the 4.5 season then anything -- the people behind this show made some great strides, some great TV stuff, they set a pretty good height on the bar. And then they just shit all over it. I'd hate to be all fanboyish and say it's the betrayal that kills me, but it really is -- the betrayal of the bar they set. If this was some other StarGate piece of shit I would have been like wooo whatever there were some fun bits..

[NOT-SG-APOLOGIST]
posted by cavalier at 11:39 AM on March 23, 2009


Whoops, missed this:

This even became an issue for the Cylons, where the "bad" Cylons lead by Cavil, embraced their technological nature over the humanity they originally sought to emulate and become. The result of that was their own destruction

So a show theme that, essentially, revolved around a number of threads:

* Monotheism vs Polytheism
* Master vs. Slave
* What does it mean to be alive
* What role does violence have to play in the above

Essentially gets

* Robots for lazy people BAD! Robots CRUSH!

as its final message?

Doesn't that feel a bit, well, shoe-horned in? The robots became autonomous beings, and were treated negatively in a social construct, I don't quite see them being robots as the problem.
posted by cavalier at 11:42 AM on March 23, 2009


Sure hope the remaining enemy basestars don't find earth before 150,000 years pass.
posted by graventy at 11:58 AM on March 23, 2009


Did you think that the Colonies and the Cylons all spoke English?

do you think the word "Earth" originated in English?
posted by shmegegge at 12:28 PM on March 23, 2009


Even though I'm totally a BSG Apologist, I agree exactly with cavalier's summary there. I see Atreides' point about the robots montage being a stand-in for technology, but I didn't see the rest of the show as being about technology. It was about personhood, and power, and violence. It was about human nature. Our use of technology was a part of that larger story, and focusing so sharply on robots and tech at the end did feel shoehorned. For me. I felt like ths show was telling one story, and then changed its mind a little at the end.
posted by lillygog at 12:28 PM on March 23, 2009


Also: Fuck lilting celtic whistle music.

Amen to that, brother. I hated, hated, hated that from the very first. And I second whomever it was above who said that '33' was the best episode. Truly, that first season was the best, and the 2nd season was strong up through the the Pegasus storyline until Cain's death. That's when things started getting lame.




So, did we ever find out who Caprica-Six met back on the Colonies that day that Roslin saw her making out with Baltar? Is that going to be in The Plan or is it just another one of the many abandoned ideas of the show?
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:21 PM on March 23, 2009


I don't want to think about how the word Earth somehow travels unmolested across 150,000 years of human history to remain the name of this planet.

Then you really don't want to think about how Sam wrote "All Along the Watchtower" 152,000 years ago and then Bob Dylan wrote the song again 1967.
posted by crossoverman at 1:29 PM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually, any and all inclusions of "All Along the Watchtower" made me a raving maniac. Every single time they played the song, or had someone say a line, I was thrown completely out of the show.

Hated it. I'm trying to be okay with that being the writers' choice and all, but personally, I hated it from first appearance.
posted by lillygog at 1:34 PM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I know I'm late to the party but a few thoughts. My first impression after watching the finale was deep disappointment. But since the show has simmered in my brain, I actually have liked it more and more. With that in mind, I'd like to comment on the abandonment of technology, and the employment of God as a plot device.

First, I don't think it's outrageous for the Colonials to have abandoned technology. Put yourself in their shoes. You're one of 30,000 people that have survived a holocaust of billions at the hands of technology. Your odds even at the start of the series are pretty good that technology is going to wack you off. We know that the Fleet still harbors anti-Cylon resentment as late as the first few episodes of this second part of the season. And since that holocaust, Cylons have hunted you down for years, slowly culling the ranks. The non-Cylon technology you do have is falling apart. The best piece - Galactica - is a wreck. I imagine there is very little salvagable after the battle at the black hole.

Then you factor in that they've basically lost all political will. They tried democracy. That got them New Caprica. They tried a spiritual leader. That got them to a dead planet. They tried dictatorship. That got them a room full of dead leaders. The fleet leadership is down to a barely noticed Lt. as Admiral, and a washed up blind lawyer as president. The Colonials are spent.

So then the two people with the only remnants of any kind of political power at all, the Adamas, come to you and say, "Let's just give everything up and start again."

Compared to the way things have been going, I don't think a pastoral, boring life would sound all that bad. You probably are not a fan of technology - what has it done for you because kill your family? - and even if you are a fan, what kind of political backbone do you have? If you had any, you'd be dead on the floor of Colonial One. So you might die of dysentery...so what? Is that so bad?

My guess is that most Colonials said, "Why the hell not," and anyone with any disagreement just lacked the energy to fight back.

I think that our reaction to this finale should raise questions about our own understanding of happiness and satisfaction. I think there's a misconceived correlation in our society between progress (aka technology) and happiness, that of course people in the past were unhappy because they died all the time and got sick and only lived until they were 32. The idea that they might have actually lived more fulfilling and rewarding lives than we do is anathema. Maybe the Colonials had reached a very different conclusion than we have, after building up 12 planets of vast cities (Adama or Roslin remarked how there was more life on one continent on "Earth" than in all the colonies combined), and then being nearly destroyed by machines they built.

Regarding the way the writers used God as an out; well, what did you expect. This show was never about the mystery. That was just to keep us tagging along while the writers wrote about the characters (sometimes well, sometimes not so well). The fatal flaw of BSG writers is not that they made it up as they go - every show does that. It's that they were too attracted by cool ideas without contextualizing them. Cylons chase Colonials every 33 minutes. Why? Who knows. Boomer shoots Adama. Why? Because it's a cool way to end the season. Lee likes being a lawyer - er - president - er pilot...Starbuck dies and rises again...Baltar becomes president...er..priest..er...war hero....sometimes this worked out well. The one-year jump will go down in my books as one of the greatest televised mindfrak moments of all time. Other (maybe more than not) times, not so well.

So how were they going to type up so many dangling threads? There was no frakking way to do it. They've never demonstrated any capacity to do it in the past, so why start now? Once I let go of the geeky obsession to to uncover mysteries about the show, the finale became much better. The characters start to shine through a bit more.

Finally, I think it's actually pretty damn cool that in the BSG universe all Earth's religion is basically tracked back to the Colonials. Imagine 30,000 people who have seen definitive miracles over and over, and then are seeded into our population 150K years ago, with a diverse variety of religious beliefs from monotheism to polytheism to agnosticism to cynicism. Of course they'd be telling their kids and grandkids about the time a risen from the dead girl received coordinates from God(s) and brought them to their home. Or that she didn't. Etc.

Of course there's also the theory that as the two In-Heads are talking about God/It in Times Square, they're looking over Ron Moore's shoulder, which could be an implication that the deus ex machina is not spiritual but creative in nature - The Writer == God - which of course he or she always ultimately is in any creative work. If there is any large body of fiction in which that is true, BSG is it, for better or worse.

So, my suggestion to many of you would be relax; let the show be the show it pretty much always was: deeply flawed, using plot devices as a way to drag us geeks along while the writers had at various experiments in charactor-ology at the sake of coherence, at times quite sucktastic and other times perhaps the best TV show on our Earth.
posted by beelerspace at 1:38 PM on March 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


do you think the word "Earth" originated in English?

Ahem.

I don't want to think about how the word Earth somehow travels unmolested across 150,000 years of human history to remain the name of this planet.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:41 PM on March 23, 2009


First, I don't think it's outrageous for the Colonials to have abandoned technology. Put yourself in their shoes.

Living a simpler life is understandable. Getting rid of electricity, indoor plumbing and basic defense in case the Cylons came back is unrealistic stupidity. Wanting to mate with the non-lingual natives is crazy, the two groups would be on different pages in different residing on different planets.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:50 PM on March 23, 2009


Joey Michaels, upthread, mentions watching all four seasons back-to-back and having them hang together reasonably well. Whereas, especially in the 3rd and 4th seasons, I saw a lack of coherence that really started to bother. But I watched them as broadcast, with the weird, half-year splits in between seasons. Did anyone else watch them back-to-back and agree that they hang together that way?

(I'm wondering whether the funky air dates and writers' strike had a large or small affect on how I perceived the series. Also, not trying to single out Joey Michaels just to disagree with him. He just happened to volunteer that he watched the series quickly.)
posted by lillygog at 1:57 PM on March 23, 2009


I watched the fourth year more or less as one uninterrupted go (or rather, I watched the first half and the first three or four episodes of the second half in the course of maybe ten days, then watched a week at a time for the final six episodes. I liked it more than some posters in the thread did, but I agree with several people that everything post-New Caprica is a little more slack than what came before.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:02 PM on March 23, 2009


do you think the word "Earth" originated in English?

Ahem.

I don't want to think about how the word Earth somehow travels unmolested across 150,000 years of human history to remain the name of this planet.


look, i understand the temptation to smugly go "ahem" when in fact you should be making a clear point, but you're gonna have to work a little harder here. saying that "earth" is the name of our planet, and that the word doesn't originate in english are not mutually exclusive statemtents. more than anything, though, this is precisely the kind of conversation i didn't want to have after watching the finale. i hope you're understanding the frustration in your rush to nitpick.
posted by shmegegge at 2:03 PM on March 23, 2009


saying that "earth" is the name of our planet, and that the word doesn't originate in english are not mutually exclusive statemtents.

It seems to me that you are saying the word originates with the Colonials and is being carried like a torch across 1500 centuries. I haven't looked it up, but I suspect the actual word "earth" only arises in English maybe five or six centuries ago somewhere in late Middle English. It comes out of the Saxon "ertha" and in its modern form it is cognate with German Erde (from Middle German erda) and Dutch aarde. However, the actual sound is nothing like this in any of the Slavic languages or the Romance ones, leat alone anything not Indo-European. In every language I am familiar with, the proper noun Earth is quite closely related to, if not identical to, the common noun for earth.

It seemed pretty clear to me that the Colonials are speaking whatever language they speak, and as with every culture we have to use as a yardstick, their word for it is something to do with the ground beneath your feet. It has zero to do with "the word Earth somehow travel[ling] unmolested across 150,000 years of human history."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:24 PM on March 23, 2009


It seemed pretty clear to me that the Colonials are speaking whatever language they speak, and as with every culture we have to use as a yardstick, their word for it is something to do with the ground beneath your feet.

this is an assumption on your part. there is no cause to believe that their word for the ground beneath their feet wouldn't be, for example, "caprica." as a matter of fact, what we're talking about, at the core, is the nature of translating languages for modern english-speaking audiences, and what the mental association for them is for the word "earth" (as translated) versus the mental association for us when we hear it (untranslated.) Moreover, we're talking about the effect of a people who speak a universally understood common language being spread along the surface of the earth to have said language eventually break down into the babel of modern day earth's spoken languages, so that the actual resemblance of the name of the 13th tribe's home planet to the words we use today to represent our planet is highly suspect in any language, so that the casual translation of the tv show's "earth" into our "earth" is difficult to justify not just as a literal but even as a figurative translation and this is precisely the kind of stupid ass hair-splitting discussion that ruins badly written sci fi. I hope I'm getting across this time. I don't generally like to use bold to make my point, but if I have to I will. Getting into this shit is annoying and detracts from the story, and I wouldn't have to if they hadn't decided to cheaply use the tired old cliche of an advanced space faring culture from across the stars being humanity's progenitors.
posted by shmegegge at 2:33 PM on March 23, 2009


Every time you use bold, you make baby Hera run through a war zone.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:42 PM on March 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


oh my god... I'm the higher power directing the fate of The Galactica!
posted by shmegegge at 2:46 PM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Every time you use bold, you make baby Hera run through a war zone.

heh

Getting into this shit is annoying and detracts from the story, and I wouldn't have to if they hadn't decided to cheaply use the tired old cliche of an advanced space faring culture from across the stars being humanity's progenitors.

You still don't have to. It's not like it's required. Might as well pick on whether the Arrow of Apollo was really named the Arrow of Apollo and why or how this wacky bunch of humans managed to hang on to the Greek name through all the years.

I mean, pick whatever nits you want. But after all the weird shit the show through at us over the years, this seems to me like an odd one to choose.

Me, I've decided to be frustrated that I never got an explanation for how they managed to still have tobacco, since they were down to eating algae.
posted by rtha at 2:52 PM on March 23, 2009


My big problem, as many have said before, is that a semi-satisfactory ending could have been written easily. The props and tropes are all there, they just needed a little push. Since I'm currently in the "oh-why-shower-today" phase of "between
projects"*, here are three scene re-writes that I think could have pulled it all together.

INT. SCENE - CIC

Assume Cavil doesn't show up out of thin air at the CIC to grab Hera. All the major players are in the CIC desperately trying to jump out now that they have Hera but there is A Problem.

ANDERS:

Understanding comes before ignorance. Enlightenment shines like heartache. I don't understand. End Of Line.

ELLEN:

Sam's grip on the Hybrid is slipping!

TIGH:

We need more time!

ELLEN:

SAM! You've got to-

ELLEN IS CUT OFF BY SAM GRABBING HER AND TIGH's ARMS. THEY STOP DEAD. THE SOUNDTRACK STOPS DEAD. TIME STOPS DEAD. WE CUT FROM ANDER'S FACE TO THE HYBRID'S.

ANDERS:

Hi Mom.

HYBRID:

New Command?

WHAT FOLLOWS IS AN AWFUL LOT OF WORD SALAD. I'D LIKE ANDERS AND THE HYBRID TO BE FIGHTING IN SOME WEIRD FREE-ASSOCIATION ARGUMENT. DESTRUCTION, OPPORTUNITY, PARENTS, CYCLES, TECHNICAL SCHEMATA, ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE BUT NOT AGAIN AND MAYBE LOTS OF LYRIC FRAGMENTS FROM "O SUPERMAN" CAUSE I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO IT ON A LOOP ALL WEEKEND. DURING THIS, ELLEN AND TIGH
HAVE THE SAME FAR-AWAY LOOK AS THE HYBRIDS. THEY USE THEIR FREE ARMS TO GRAB THE OTHER FINAL FIVERS FORMING A PSYCHIC DAISY-CHAIN UNTIL EVERYONE IS HOLDING HANDS.

EVERYONE THAT IS, EXCEPT KARA THRACE. SHE LOOKS UP AT ANDERS. WE FADE TO WHITE AND SUDDENLY THE CIC IS THE OPERA HOUSE. KARA IS IN A FULL FLIGHT SUIT. SHE IS CLEARLY INSIDE THE VISION, WHICH IS NOW A GROUP EXPERIENCE AS ALL THE FINAL FIVERS ARE IN ROBES ON STAGE AND EVERYONE ELSE IS SEATED IN THE AUDIENCE, WAITING FOR HER TO MAKE THE NEXT MOVE. THE SOUNDTRACK STARTS TO KICK IN (A CHORAL VERSION OF "WATCHTOWER", NATCH) AS KARA WALKS UP ONTO THE STAGE.

CUT TO SKULLS AND RACETRACK AND THAT GUN ON THE WALL. NUKES AWAY!

KARA WALKS UP TO THE STAGE. SHE STANDS ACROSS FROM ELLEN AND TAKES OFF HER GLOVE. CUT TO THE NUKE GETTING CLOSER. KARA PUTS HER HAND IN THE MAGIC DATASTREAM GOO IN THAT OPEN PALM WAY WE'VE SEEN CYLONS DO. NO REACTION, BUT ELLEN TURNS AND STARTS TO LOOK AT STARBUCK LIKE SHE'S NEVER SEEN HER BEFORE. ELLEN LETS GO OF , OH LET'S SAY TYROL'S HAND AND TAKES KARA'S. ELLEN CLEARLY SAYS SOMETHING TO HER, BUT WE CAN'T HEAR IT.

HYBRID/ANDERS:

So how will you fix it dear Liza dear liza?

KARA TURNS TOWARD SAM, TRYING TO LOOK HIM IN THE EYES. HE'S STILL STARING INTO SPACE. KARA LEANS DOWN

KARA:
(wispered)

I Love you Sam.

CLOSE UP ON KARA AS SHE KISSES HER HUSBAND. HER APPROACH IS INTERCUT WITH THE NUKE'S. SHE KISSES HIM IN TIGHT CLOSE-UP.

ANDERS:

(whispered)

Jump.

THE BATTLESTAR JUMPS AWAY RIGHT BEFORE THE NUKES HIT THE COLONY. BIG EXPLOSION, VERY FUN.


EXT. SCENE - THE SAVANNAH AT DUSK - Assume that Lee doesn't give the stupid breaking up speech and they do begin a settlement.

LEE SITS ON A BLANKET STARING AT THE EMERGING STARS. HE RUNS HIS HAND ACROSS THE GRASS, NOT QUITE BELIEVING IT'S REAL. WE WANT TO REFERENCE HIS SCENE WITH KARA IN "UNFINISHED BUSINESS " SO KEEP THAT IN MIND WHEN FRAMING/LIGHTING. ALSO, MUSS UP HIS HAIR A BIT, FOR ME. WE CAN SEE THE SHIPS OF THE SETTLEMENT IN THE DISTANCE. KARA APPROACHES HIM FROM BEHIND AND SITS DOWN. SHE IS IN A FULL
FLIGHT SUIT AND CARRYING A KIT BAG.

KARA:

LEELAND ADAMA. FORMER PILOT. FORMER LAWYER. FORMER VICE-PRESIDENT. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH YOU NOW?

LEE LAUGHS.

LEE:

Not So former lawyer. We have a lot of planning to do. The Quorum for example. And the distribution of supplies. Paulla and her people want to settle a few more miles inland. Some Gemonese too, They all want to spread out a bit. We haven't had space in a while. A lot of people want to do recon missions.

BEAT. KARA LOOKS UP AT THE STARS.

KARA:

So we're all breaking up...

LEE:
(scoffing)

I wouldn't say we're breaking up. It's more like we're changing.

LEE TURNS TO HER TO GAUGE HER EXPRESSION. KARA DOESN'T LOOK AT HIM, SHE'S STARING AHEAD WITH A DREAMY, ALMOST BEATIFIC EXPRESSION.

KARA:

Changing.

BEAT

LEE:

Kara, what did Ellen say to you in the CIC? When we and Anders and-

HE TRAILS OFF. KARA'S FACE DROPS. WE FLASH BACK TO THE CIC. ELLEN IS HOLDING STARBUCKS' HAND AND SMILING IN THE BIG GLOWLY BEAUTIFUL OPERA HOUSE.

ELLEN:

Oh Kara. I had no idea.

ELLEN LEANS IN CLOSER. SHE IS COMPLETELY BEAMING WITH JOY NOW.

ELLEN:

You have his eyes.

FLASH BACK TO KARA AND LEE.

LEE:

Kara? Did you-

KARA CHOKES BACK A SOB

KARA:

No. I didn't. I don't know what I am. But I think. I think whatever I was supposed to do, I did it. I think it's over.

KARA PICKS UP HER BAG AND STANDS UP. IT'S FULLY NIGHT NOW. THE MOON RISES BEHIND HER.

KARA:

I think I'm done.

KARA HEADS OFF AWAY FROM THE SETTLEMENT. STUNNED, LEE GETS UP AND GOES AFTER HER.

LEE:

Kara! Wait!

KARA:

It's going to be okay Lee. Everything is going to be okay.

KARA TURNS HEADS OFF AGAIN. SHE SHOUTS BACK TO LEE, HALF-CRYING and HALF-LAUGHING.

KARA:

Don't think of it as breaking up!

LEE, AMAZED AND STUNNED, WATCHES KARA WALK OFF INTO THE MOONRISE.

Oh wait, that was two scenes. Dang it. The other one just had the Head Six and Head Baltar taking to Caprica and Baltar on Earth; putting Lampshades on all over the place and smiling smugly like jackasses who know the answer to a riddle but won't tell.

CAPRICA SIX AND BALTAR:

What are you?

HEAD SIX and HEAD BALTAR, alternating

Angels.

Demons.

An expression of the Hybrid mass mind.

A chip in your head.

God's Will.

Evil Aliens.

The collective unconsciousness.

You're both completely mad.

A Dream?

Oh, I like that, a Dream.

HEAD SIX AND HEAD BALTAR LINK ARMS, TURN AND WALK AWAY

HEAD SIX:

Oh C'mon. That's not a proper ending.

HEAD BALTAR:

At least it's an ending.

HEAD SIX:

Let's hope.

THEY WALK OFF INTO THE HORIZON, LEAVING CAPRICA SIX AND BALTAR STANDING THERE, HOLDING ON TO EACH OTHER IN A MUTUAL WTF.

And then cut that stupid robot montage at the end.

-end-

*Hint hint.
posted by The Whelk at 2:54 PM on March 23, 2009 [32 favorites]


holy frakkin' Christ I meant threw. Threw at us! Frak.
posted by rtha at 3:17 PM on March 23, 2009


I should probably leave before the slash and the filks begin.
posted by Artw at 3:29 PM on March 23, 2009


I will remain eternally grateful for Roslin's I'm coming for all of you! war-wolf cry. So rarely do we see a woman 'of a certain' age, a woman who is no longer afraid of losing everything, unchained in murderous vengeful glory ready to tear the throats out of her enemies with her own 'eye-teeth.' I think we rewound and watched that part 3 or 4 times when we saw the episode. Absolutely Shakespearean.

Damn skippy, ao4047. Made me tear up more than the vast majority of this finale. (Though Kara, and Anders' Viking funeral...those totally made me weep like a dork).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 3:29 PM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


*Notes for Whelk*

Not sure I buy Lee not chasing Kara as she's walking away. Needs a stronger beat to keep him there.

Otherwise, FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP.

*cough* I'd emmy that version.
posted by cavalier at 3:29 PM on March 23, 2009


I should probably leave before the slash and the filks begin.

Nooooo! Everyone into the pool! It's more healthy this way, this is closure, this is saying goodbye!

I'll start writing the Caprica AA Meeting where Adama and Tigh sponsor each other and then Tigh cops out but Adam doesn't because HE DOESN'T SEEM TO BECOME A RAGING ALCOHOLIC UNTIL 4.5 CAPSLOCK EXPRESS.
posted by cavalier at 3:32 PM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I should probably leave before the slash and the filks begin.

I'm telling myself it's a writing exercise to keep me nimble in my downtime and not that I'm avoiding work by writing fan fiction.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Actually, I have a real nice bluesgras-inspired song about-hey! HEY! let go! where are you taking me! Ow!
posted by The Whelk at 3:33 PM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


One of these days someone’s going to turn up here who’s actually read some of my stuff, and then my days of pissing on other peoples writing from a great height will be numbered.
posted by Artw at 3:38 PM on March 23, 2009


I just want to be clear that my BSG fanfic is still available for download from alt.erotic.fiction.battlestar.galactica.gary.stu.
posted by shmegegge at 3:45 PM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't generally like to use bold to make my point, but if I have to I will.

You are modifying your font when you should be reinforcing your argument. But as rtha says, these seems like a bizarre place to make your stand. The whole thing was pretty farfetched, but I accepted the name "Earth" along with about fifty other premises that were more designed to evoke reponses in the viewer than to make any sort of literal sense. However, I have long since come to accept that "fans of science fiction" and "people who are familiar with artistic license" are not two sets with a huge amount of overlap.

In common with several people upthread, I thought "33" was an early highlight, and arguably the entire series' finest hour. I recall having a discussion with a friend the week after it aired in which he was complaining that the mechanics of the jump drive were not explained enough, and I ventured that the show was not about jump drives but about people driven beyond their limits by a relentless pursuer.

The finale was like the series in microcosm: part brilliant insights, part painful earnestness; part exquisitely tight plotting, part egregiously loopy plotting. On the whole, I found both the series and the finale flawed but interesting, and while far from perfect, it at least aimed higher than about 95% of what I see on the screen these days.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:54 PM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll start writing the Caprica AA Meeting where Adama and Tigh sponsor each other and then Tigh cops out but Adam doesn't because HE DOESN'T SEEM TO BECOME A RAGING ALCOHOLIC UNTIL 4.5 CAPSLOCK EXPRESS.

Somebody over in the comments section of the AV Club BSG threads says he took one look at Gaius and his dad and all he could think of was "Frasier." But with Gaius, his dad, Gaius's heretofore unseen lovably hapless younger brother, and Tricia Helfer as Caprica. I WANT TO TELL YOU SCI FI SY FY THAT I WOULD WATCH THIS EVERY WEEK
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:58 PM on March 23, 2009


However, I have long since come to accept that "fans of science fiction" and "people who are familiar with artistic license" are not two sets with a huge amount of overlap.

so then, no, my original point is still not getting through.
posted by shmegegge at 3:58 PM on March 23, 2009


Looks like Sci Fi are doing Riverworld again.
posted by Artw at 4:02 PM on March 23, 2009


One of these days someone’s going to turn up here who’s actually read some of my stuff, and then my days of pissing on other peoples writing from a great height will be numbered.

You're rubbish.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:09 PM on March 23, 2009


Well, obviously YOU don't count.
posted by Artw at 4:10 PM on March 23, 2009


Maybe Kings is actually a sequel to Galactica, taking place 150,000 years later on the same Earth. They've got a meddlesome Wizard-God too. I can't wait for Head Baltar and Six to appear to Ian McShane.
posted by homunculus at 4:39 PM on March 23, 2009


No Head Anything is safe around Ian McShane, if you know what I mean.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:07 PM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Heh. I remember when he was cheeky chappy antiques rogue Lovejoy, so his career after that has been increasingly weird to me.
posted by Artw at 5:12 PM on March 23, 2009


(And speaking of which, "Deadwood" was another really great show that perhaps might have been better served by its writing staff at least having some idea where the fuck it was going. Without the guideposts of, like, recorded history, I think they might have been in a lot worse trouble. Uh...for instance, they might have been Milch's "John from Cincinnati," which made BSG seem a masterwork of plotting, and explored pretty much all of the same themes. Without robots, but with surfing. I gotta admit, I loved it. But I also gotta admit, I nine times out of ten care much less about plot than I do characters and themes and ideas. Even if that way does lead to ultimate frustration...I mean, the other way leads to Law & Order, y'know? If you follow that path far enough, I mean. I'm just kinda riffing here, but I'm thinking back on it and seeing the many of the best dramas on TV ending up as big spectacular messes. I wonder why?)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:17 PM on March 23, 2009


What? Goran's mind-powers make Law and Order awesome!
posted by Artw at 5:34 PM on March 23, 2009


On second viewing I renamed BSG "Touched by a Blatar."

Since all it really amounted to in the end was a heap of Mormon and Christian religious propaganda.
posted by tkchrist at 5:45 PM on March 23, 2009


On second viewing I renamed BSG "Touched by a Blatar."

Combined with soap and toothpaste rationing.

Ew.
posted by The Whelk at 5:53 PM on March 23, 2009


Since all it really amounted to in the end was a heap of Mormon and Christian religious propaganda.

You really think this series is pro-religion?
posted by crossoverman at 6:00 PM on March 23, 2009


You know the show has ended, right?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:18 PM on March 23, 2009


NERDS!
posted by cavalier at 6:43 PM on March 23, 2009


Is Kings any good? I liked Deadwood (and Galactica obviously) but couldn't really get past the proto-Matt-Damon fighting the 'Goliath' and then being a hayseed around the rescued Prince. But I only saw the first 30 minutes.

And I seriously regret that we never saw Anders say 'Jump.'
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:47 PM on March 23, 2009


You know the show has ended, right?

No, I'm still waiting for Season 5: Colonials versus Ape Men. Winner take the Earth!

I think it's kind of ridiculous for the guy who created the FPP to bitch about people discussing the show.

Also, what better time to discuss a show than after it's finished?
posted by crossoverman at 6:48 PM on March 23, 2009


I'm curious if there has been any Buddhist reading of BSG yet? The repeated cycles of civilizations trying to let go of their karmic debt strikes me as potential fodder... anybody?
posted by muckster at 6:50 PM on March 23, 2009


Sure hope the remaining enemy basestars don't find earth before 150,000 years pass.
Me, too. Let it be 150,003 years.

2012 is going to be awesome!
posted by bigbigdog at 7:37 PM on March 23, 2009


Is Kings any good? I liked Deadwood (and Galactica obviously) but couldn't really get past the proto-Matt-Damon fighting the 'Goliath' and then being a hayseed around the rescued Prince. But I only saw the first 30 minutes.

When you're retelling the story of David, you're going to have to hit certain benchmarks, hence slaying Goliath. I've found it a fairly creative re-imagining, if you want to call it that, so far with good production values. Since it is the story of David, there is a sense of a divine force present, which as comments in this thread have shown, don't always win over folks. The rest of that 1 1/2 hrs you didn't watch really began to setup the issues that the following episodes will revolve around. I've been fairly happy with most of the acting and writing. I'm just a guy who appreciates movies and television, not a professional critic so take that judgment for what you will.
posted by Atreides at 6:39 AM on March 24, 2009


So Kara Thrace is a pigeon?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:14 AM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


She sure as hell ain't no dove.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:31 AM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I found the ending on "new" earth interesting as it played into the "multi-regional" evolution theory of modern man, as the colonists elected to go live on all the different continents. Helping to spur the rise of the modern man."

Actually, it depends, but I lean toward it supporting diaspora over multi-regional.

Multi-regional evolution theory suggests that modern man genetically developed across the earth from various H. erectus groups.

Showing Hera then M. Eve implies that the mtDNA for our most recent common ancestor was a cylon (mtDNA is an excellent marker because it only evolves via mutation, being directly inherited from the mother who in this scenario was a cylon). It might also be implied that cylon mtDNA most likely first came from a human during the initial development of the first squishy cylon, so you could say the mtDNA in all modern humans comes from all 13 tribes (the lack of biodiversity across the 12 planets hints to me the same thing, especially since the 12 tribes all previously fled from devastation in Kobol, a single source).

So if the Galactica fleet spread out across the planet and mated with archaic humans that developed from H. erectus, that can be used to explain multi-regional theory... only it doesn't, not really. It explains a kind of half diaspora, half multi-regional, where the Galactica fleet disperses and is genetically compatible with the archaic sapiens developing across the globe.

However, they were in Africa commenting on having found the only form of intelligent life with compatible DNA. Also, M. Eve has cylon mtDNA. This is the mtDNA in all modern humans. The highest diversity of mtDNA remains in Africa, meaning that even with breeding into the local population a high amount of mtDNA diversity survives (the native population). That there is virtually nowhere near as much diversity in other populations outside of Africa means that there was no breeding with archaic humans outside of that band the Galactica crew were observing.

So the diaspora theory of humankind is not only supported, it actually strongly implies that while there was some breeding in Africa with local populations all living humans today come from the dispersed Galactica fleet.



Anyhow, I enjoyed the show and the finale. I don't really need things explained to me -- this is not my bible. Plots were resolved and fit within the universe it depicted. The mysticism of the show was present from the beginning, so I'm not too concerned about how it is used to explain away Kara and the hallucinations of Baltar and Caprica.

Take away that it finishes the story for the people, not the story for the universe. The multiple endings and the flashbacks focuses it for me to that view, and I'm happy with it.
posted by linux at 9:51 AM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Quantum Leap

Wasn't Al a bad guy in Voyager as well, or possibly Enterprise?
posted by Artw at 10:03 AM on March 24, 2009


Names said in vain:

"Jesus H Christ!"
"Gaius Frakking Baltar!"

so.... Gaius=Jesus?
posted by dogmom at 12:08 PM on March 24, 2009


I liked about half of the finale and was annoyed by the other half. The opera house and Roslin's death scene were good.

It was surprising how lackadaisical they were about getting the little girl considering that they were basically on a suicide mission to rescue her. Why weren't they ready to jump as soon as they--surprisingly easily--got her back on the ship? How about keeping your eye on her instead of multiple people letting her wander off?

Having only red shirts die was a cop-out. After the X-on-the-forehead setup, someone we cared about should have shown up for Roslin to cross out. Maybe it should've been Helo. This is the second time he suffered a serious gunshot wound to the leg--this time it looked like his artery was severed--and he's fine without any immediate medical care.

Did anyone else see the guillotine? As Adama was getting ready to take off in his fighter for the last time, there was something that looked a lot like a guillotine behind the ship.

The flashbacks were mostly stupid and didn't really add anything new.

"I'll owe you one someday." An excellent way for Boomer to repay this debt would've been not shooting Adama.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:56 PM on March 24, 2009




All I have to say is that Anders can be my hybrid any day. So long as he jumps me.
posted by heatherann at 10:23 AM on March 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Galactica felf like it jumped the shark sometime during the 3rd season, when they spent too much time getting a 'shippy with Starbuck and Apollo. I sustain that Starbuck became one of television's least sympathetic protagonists during the miniseries and her second scene on the show, where she picks a fight with Tigh. I didn't like her antagonistic tendency to buck authority; Her resemblance to a manic-depressive woman I once dated didn't help either.

Even though Ron Moore said that he wanted to bring the show 'full-circle' in the finale, he left plenty of major plot-holes open: AFAIC, the show's major protagonists were not Adama and Roslin, Tigh and his wife or Apollo and Starbuck but Baltar and Six. Now, I may just be a Baltar-Six whore, but when they were onscreen EVERYBODY else just faded into the background a bit more, whether it was in-head characterizations of the protagonists or not. Tricia Helfer's Six -- this character who was always already curious in human behaviour and always trying to comprehend its foreignness always got top marks from me, even though that curiosity never quite migrated to the other Cylon cast members.

It was the 3rd season Starbuck-Apollo nonsense that substantially blunted my interest in the show, though I continued to watch. Pretty-boy Apollo and Dykey Starbuck really had no chemistry for me and should never have been made a 'couple', even though that idea was later abandoned. The interracial aspects of Dualla's relationship with the Admiral's son emerged as less important than Baltar's class anxiety. Even if he is the Admiral's son, Apollo ought to have had more respect for the woman he called his wife. I know Dualla died before the middle of season 4, but they could have done a LOT more with that than they did. It sure wasn't my father's Trek, but Nichelle Nichols seemed to be give greater latitude than Kandyse McClure here on BSG.

Baltar's millionaire rock-star scientist with guilt issues and the in-head Six were comic relief. All of Galactica's attempts to turn Baltar into a victim of class warfare were miserable failures -- most people who come from such backgrounds simply recognize it and move on. But Ron Moore et cie lingered on it even while Dualla's race- , class- and gender-story perished in the bright of day. Bad RDM, Jane Espenson and Mark Verheiden. Just because your Galactica is post-racial, it doesn't mean that the show's audience is.

Precisely b/c of the emphasis placed on gender, class and race, 'Firefly' still comes out a few notches ahead of Galactica b/c Whedon was trying to tackle tougher, more engaging stuff -- Chinese cultural hegemony and unfettered corporatism in the Blue Hands group. Galactica just continued to be a dull metaphor for the War on Terror and not much else.

That said, it was a mostly satisfying conclusion to the show, even if they never dealt with Baltar's initial survival of the attack on Caprica. His death and survival were even more suspect than Starbuck's but Moore and company just threw a hat on it and expected the audience not to ask any more questions.

It was good while it lasted, but definitely not the 'best ever'.
posted by vhsiv at 3:52 PM on March 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


vhsiv, I pretty much disagree with your entire comment, but here's the bit I disagree with most:

Precisely b/c of the emphasis placed on gender, class and race, 'Firefly' still comes out a few notches ahead of Galactica b/c Whedon was trying to tackle tougher, more engaging stuff -- Chinese cultural hegemony and unfettered corporatism in the Blue Hands group.

Now I liked Firefly and I don't want to rag on Whedon about this, but for all of his using the Chinese language to side-step network language barriers, where exactly was the racial diversity in the cast? Two black characters, seven white and no Asians at all. So much for the Chinese language surviving if the future is still white-washed.

This isn't particularly in defense of BSG's record on race, either. Although criticising a series for being post-racial and then suggesting Nichelle Nichols casting in Star Trek is somehow more impressive than the complex and complicated character of Dualla is absurd.

You think "unfettered corporatism" is more engaging and tougher than stories dealing with torture, racism, slavery, genocide, suicide-bombing? Methinks someone has a hard on for Mr Whedon.

The further Firefly disappears into the rear-view mirror the less impressive it looks. It was a half-season wonder of engaging and humorous television but the way it's deified by fans and Whedonites is kind of ridiculous now.
posted by crossoverman at 5:23 PM on March 25, 2009


Firelfy was an amusing, smarter-than-most adventure trifle that got killed before it could get really interesting. BSG was riveting from the first and brought up all these bigger issues, so we care enough to keep bitching about it and talking about it and make comments in a dead thread.

I was just annoyed that it would have taken so little to push it over the edge. Like, just get it over with and screw how it reads.

And would Dee's suicide have been such a kick in the stomach unless we really liked her and knew her? Dee was the only down to earth, normal person without supernatural or super-powerful positions. The only person who couldn't be a Symbol for something. Like Ander's before his Hybriding. Like Helo since forever and before he became a frikken gary stu for the writers. A real honest Champion of Humanity. And she puts a bullet in her head.

I don't think Star Trek would have done that.

And I was so annoyed by the betrayl of the characters that I did a frakkin' script treatment. For NO PAY. I NEVER DO THAT. Gods. I'm still thinking about it.

MAKE IT STOP.
posted by The Whelk at 5:57 PM on March 25, 2009


Firelfy was an amusing, smarter-than-most adventure trifle that got killed before it could get really interesting. BSG was riveting from the first and brought up all these bigger issues, so we care enough to keep bitching about it and talking about it and make comments in a dead thread.

Yes and yes. I think -- other than blind Whedon worship (which, frankly, much of his post-Angel output should have disabused right-thinking people of; I do love Dr. Horrible, but I think it should be pretty plain by now that not everything Whedon does is great, or even always that good) -- what keeps Firefly alive for some people is the idea that it could have been something great had it had a chance, not that it was something great. It was a fun little show that was sometimes way too campy for its own good, and though it had some little promise, what was actually on the screen is not (I think) something we need to cry buckets over. But that aside, other than their both being SF shows that debuted at roughly the same time, BSG and Firefly just aren't all that much alike. For good or ill, I don't think that Firefly would have become BSG or anything like it given another three seasons. They're not even trying to do the same things.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:07 PM on March 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


BSG was riveting from the first and brought up all these bigger issues, so we care enough to keep bitching about it and talking about it and make comments in a dead thread.

But if we keep commenting it's like the thread show isn't dead...

And it isn't since YOU'RE PART CYLON!
posted by crossoverman at 8:18 PM on March 25, 2009


If you excite my neural sensation lumbar net, does not my spine glow?
posted by The Whelk at 8:43 PM on March 25, 2009


If you excite my neural sensation lumbar net, does not my spine glow?

Clearly this was bred out of it by mating with those primitive natives!

I WANT A GLOWING SPINE! Actually, maybe my spine does glow during sex? I've never looked. I suspect my partners might have mentioned it, though.
posted by crossoverman at 9:27 PM on March 25, 2009


My ex used to call me his robot. Now I know which side of the family I got it from.
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:30 PM on March 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


You knwo what I;m really digging that no one else seems to talk about? Reaper.

...I suspect this is because it is on the Girly Channel...
posted by Artw at 11:03 PM on March 25, 2009


And would Dee's suicide have been such a kick in the stomach unless we really liked her and knew her?

Don't talk to me about Dee's suicide, it was a trite stunt done for one time emotional impact. Ooo, look how bold we are, we had a character suddenly commit suicide, see things are dark, everyone is just emotionally spent, oooooo.

If the writer's had taken Dee's death seriously, they would have, at the very least, had her damn name mentioned beyond that episode or either Adama would have paused to remember her once they landed on Earth, but I guess there wasn't anytime to do in those extra 11 minutes of BEWARE THE ROBOTS.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:30 AM on March 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


@crossoverman: I'll consider myself schooled, but I am blind to all Bush-era War-on-Terra references in BSG. At present, I am oversaturated by Gitmo-style torture-porn entertainments: 24 and the Saw franchise don't make it any better.

On Firefly, Mal arguably didn't have any Chinese people on his boat b/c they had been on the other side of the war that he'd fought in and his ship was essentially a redoubt for all of the other rebels who had lost the war.

Moore's BSG will go into the history books as yet another artifact of the Bush era. Other than that distinction, I'm not sure that the show has the legs to become a Trek-like 'classic' since the show's foci were so narrow. There's an Asimov robotics and Dickian Replicant mash-up in there, but did we really learn anything new about humanity from the thought-experiment that was BSG?

I'm just not sure that I'll be re-watching it for other reasons in another 10 years.
posted by vhsiv at 6:30 AM on March 26, 2009


If the writer's had taken Dee's death seriously, they would have, at the very least, had her damn name mentioned beyond that episode or either Adama would have paused to remember her once they landed on Earth, but I guess there wasn't anytime to do in those extra 11 minutes of BEWARE THE ROBOTS.

I thought Dee's death was necessary but the aftermath was badly handled. Everyone is psychotically depressed and suicidal! And they continue to be for a long long time! And after Dee dies she just vanishes from the narrative, never mind she was there from the start or emotionally engaged with all the main players. Just Poof! Oh well, another horrifyingly depressing thing to happen in a series of horrifyingly depressing things.
posted by The Whelk at 7:59 AM on March 26, 2009


You forgot the most interesting opart of that episode - the advert for the KFC Frakk Pack*!

* Sadly turned out not to be an actual product but some lame competition thing.
posted by Artw at 8:09 AM on March 26, 2009


I love you, Fuck Bucket.
posted by The Whelk at 8:20 AM on March 26, 2009


I thought Dee's death was necessary but the aftermath was badly handled.

Her's and Gaeta's, though the circumstances of those deaths were different. Part of this was BSG's consistently non episodic structure, which was maddening at times. Something would happen and then in the next episode, the setting is some point in the feature, be it days or weeks, with the events of the previous story barely referenced. Hey Lee, your wife, who you seemed interested in getting back together with, blew her brains out. Doesn't that stick with ya for a while?

Not to mention, Dee killing herself is rendered kinda pointless by them finding New Earth a few weeks later.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:26 AM on March 26, 2009


The Birthing of Babylon 5

J. Michael Straczynski had a plan...
posted by Artw at 12:44 PM on March 26, 2009


I'm pretty sure that Dee's photo was on the wall of remembrance in an episode following her death, if that'll satisfy you Dee Apologists.


A case could be made that there's been so much death, that the inhabitants of Galactica have become somewhat numb after the initial mourning period.
posted by Atreides at 4:51 PM on March 26, 2009


But the audience isn't numb, so it would have been nice to see some acknowlegdement of dead characters.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:04 PM on March 26, 2009


But the audience isn't numb, so it would have been nice to see some acknowlegdement of dead characters.

I dunno. I got pretty numbed by the series - possibly all the whisky I drank while watching the show. It's a coping mechanism I have.

Given when she died within the narrative, it's not surprising she was forgotten pretty quickly - although some ackowledgement that her death is even more tragic by the end would have been great, since she died only a few weeks before they found Second Earth.
posted by crossoverman at 7:10 PM on March 26, 2009


I think the scene where her picture was on the remembrance was pretty much the acknowledgment for the audience. But you have to balance pandering to the audience versus the story. Once the plan is established on Second Earth, the focus of the society, the survivors, was not to reflect on the past and those who died, but on the future. This was best illustrated by Helo and Athena telling little Hera all the things they were going to teach her, as well as Lee telling Starbuck how he wants to explore the new world and climb the mountains.


I don't think we need some further acknowledgment of the tragic quality of her death other than our own reflection. It could have missed the mark and ended up, "oh my god, look how tragic her death is, aren't we writers so creative and dark? Huh huh?" Not to mention, by not reflecting back on it, it leaves it more ambiguous. There are some, like those above who felt that the ending was nihilistic, that might think that Dee, choosing when, where, and how to end her life (after a perfect day), was less tragic than 30,000 humans, many without survival skills, possibly dying from exposure, hunger, or other fates on earth.
posted by Atreides at 8:42 AM on March 27, 2009


Once the plan is established on Second Earth, the focus of the society, the survivors, was not to reflect on the past and those who died, but on the future.

That was his wife. She blew out her brains. A bit of wistful "I wish Dee could have seen this" seems entirely human. Instead we get finger wagging about robots.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:31 PM on March 27, 2009


Instead we get finger wagging about robots.

I think I understand the robots.


But.


We could have done without the robots.

That was his wife. She blew out her brains. A bit of wistful "I wish Dee could have seen this" seems entirely human.

That's fair, though, I always had the sense that Lee was never 100% devoted to her (which is what Dee thought, too, I think). Instead, he's there, celebrating with Kara, the girl he always loved at the end, until she turned into a dirty pigeon and flew away. Heh.
posted by Atreides at 6:18 PM on March 27, 2009


FYI, the final podcast, covering the finale is up, MP3 download here.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:26 PM on March 27, 2009


OMG, Ron Moore just said the show has never been about the plot, it's always been about the characters. So much for THE PLAN.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:33 PM on March 27, 2009


All the podcasts for the series can be found at SciFi's site.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:36 PM on March 27, 2009


The DVD will have about 20 more minutes in the finale. Some of that will contain flashbacks to Helo, Boomer, Tyrol and Callie.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:38 PM on March 27, 2009


Thanks for the updates, Brandon.
posted by Atreides at 7:14 PM on March 27, 2009


The writer's strike really changed the story, as Moore had a lot of time to think about it and revamp it. He does a complete plot breakdown of what the original plot was. Long story short, it involved Ellen becoming enraged by Tigh impregnating Six and turning against him, breaking apart the Final Five, so the 4th season would have had Tigh leading the Cylons aligned with the humans, while Ellen, with Cavil, lead Cylons against the humans.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:33 PM on March 27, 2009


The Opera House becoming the CIC was just a happy accident. They had no idea what the Opera House was about when they came up with the idea. Moore sounds pleased that they were able to pull this together and takes it as a validation of forming the story organically as opposed to tightly scripting the plot. Things don't have to be thought out or pre planned they just have to be true. I actually agree with that, but think you need to have the plot mesh. In a perfect world, they would have figure out the plot of the finale before they sat down to write the finale, enabling them to refine the episodes.

The last shot of the series was Baltar and Six coming through the doorway before he found out he out of bullets.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:54 PM on March 27, 2009


Tigh was supposed to kill Cavil by throwing off the second level. Dean Stockman called up Ron Moore and asked that Cavil kill himself.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:05 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ditching all the technology was partially a technique to explain why our current time isn't filled their technology.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 PM on March 27, 2009


The story element I wish they would have delved more into was the actual robot Cylons. They were sentient and eventually gained their freedom but were never really dealt with story wise.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:16 PM on March 27, 2009


Yes, Tyrol went to Scotland. The actor had that suggestion and really loved it and Moore was like, ok, sure.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:23 PM on March 27, 2009


What is Kara? According to Moore, that can't really be answered, she's just connected to some higher truth, something we can't understand. If we could understand it, it wouldn't be divine. Ultimately a definitive end felt wrong for the character.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:31 PM on March 27, 2009


Moore just loves that Adama names the planet Earth, pats himself on the back for that one.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:37 PM on March 27, 2009


Shooting Laura's death scene was hard, as the actors kept breaking down and losing it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:38 PM on March 27, 2009


Number Six walking through Times Square with a red dress was always ntended to be the final shot of the series.

The t-shirt Ron Moore was wearing in his cameo is a Jimmy Hendrix t-shirt.

"You know he doesn't like that name" was included just because Moore felt it gave a nice "Huh, WTF?!" moment to the end.

Lots of research and copyright talks about using the robot montages. Moore's wife found the image of the human looking Asian robot. His wife made a crack about "beware of toasters" during this montage and after thanking everyone for watching the series, they said goodbye and that was it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:49 PM on March 27, 2009


Meanwhile on Scifi, Farscape and Stargate Atlantis are firing machine guns at a dragon.

Friday nights are gonna be kinda different now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:11 PM on March 27, 2009


Some of that will contain flashbacks to Helo, Boomer, Tyrol and Callie.

We don't need any more flashbacks! The flashbacks were boring and either didn't tell us anything we didn't already know or were ex post facto rewritings of the characters. We already knew that Starbuck and Apollo had uncontrollable and irresponsible lust for each other. Getting breast cancer and having civilization wiped out were enough to toughen Roslin without her entire family we never heard of getting killed by a drunk driver. Boomer owes Adama one and will return the favor when it matters? How about not shooting him? Or not kidnapping the kid and taking it to the Cylons? Baltar knows about farming? Too bad he sucks at passing information along, because it wasn't used on Earth for another 143,000 years. Anders' speech about wanting perfection in everything was nice, but why didn't he ever mention anything about it during the entire series? Asking Adama if he was a Cylon was a stupid gimmick since the idea of Cylons looking like humans was new after the Cylon attack.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:18 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


First, thanks again Brandon for going through the podcast. I don't know if I'll take the time to listen to it or not, anytime soon. It seems that the writers had a general idea of where they wanted to go, but details were just things that could be re-arranged, thrown out, or adopted willynilly. It would have been so much cooler if the scene in the CIC and the Opera House had been both thought up together. In the end, it worked out, but the genius (?) of the moment has lessened.

Boomer owes Adama one and will return the favor when it matters? How about not shooting him? Or not kidnapping the kid and taking it to the Cylons?

When Boomer shot Adama, it was one of those pre-programmed subconscious deal things. There was no conscious decision to shoot him. It's what made the fact of being a human model cylon so scary (or fearing you were one), was the question of free will versus programming was always in the back of their mind. Just look to how Tyrol and Tigh felt when they realized they were Cylon. Tyrol was scared he was sabotaging raptors, while Tigh had visions of him assassinating Adama in cold blood. The kidnapping thing, yeah, that was all Boomer. At that point, she was a Cavil adherent, until spending 20 something jumps with a little girl who reminded her of her "humanity" and that totally took control when the attack began on the colony. (Course - show begings with Cylon attack on human colony and ends with human attack on Cylon colony).


Baltar knows about farming?

It was previously established that Baltar grew up in a farming community. The flashback wasn't about farming, it was about fleshing out his relationship with his father, his relationship with Caprica Six, and to clarify how he gave her access to the Colonial defense shield (how the heck would that thing have worked?).

Anders' speech about wanting perfection in everything was nice, but why didn't he ever mention anything about it during the entire series?

That's fair and really relates to some of the other flashbacks, where had it been revealed in an earlier episode than the finale, probably would have sailed under the bridge no problem.

Asking Adama if he was a Cylon was a stupid gimmick since the idea of Cylons looking like humans was new after the Cylon attack.

It was meant to be stupid as a control question, something that possibly couldn't be true in the least. They ask these things during lie detector tests. The irony being that one day it would be a serious question.
posted by Atreides at 6:28 AM on March 28, 2009


Yay! More things to be enraged at Ron Moore about. Thanks Brandon!
posted by cavalier at 7:37 AM on March 28, 2009


Brandon Blatcher :The story element I wish they would have delved more into was the actual robot Cylons. They were sentient and eventually gained their freedom but were never really dealt with story wise.

That's not even that bad. Any unveiled psychology by Moore et al. would be cheesy, given that the robots are well... robots. They likely would have been modeled in the image of their creators, like the skinjobs.

The missing story element which could have made BSG much richer involve the civilians on the fleet. Of the 50,000+ initial survivors, ~95% are civilians, but we don't follow their development at all. Consider that at the time of the attack, the crew on the Galactica were already settled on board. For them, the apocalypse is more abstract than for the fleeing civilians, most of whom were literally exiled out of their only known life at a moment's notice. Furthermore, the crew on Galactica continue to do their work, albeit with a profound urgency, but they are indeed occupied i.e. distracted by a sense of purpose. The civilians are now forced into cramped quarters and most of them are idle and traumatised. They rely on the military for food and feel almost completely without control over their lives. The politics could have been much richer if there were a couple of civilians in the core cast who would have provided a window into civilian life as well as political tension vis-a-vis Roslin and Adama. Instead we get some one-off filler episodes like Black Market or silly subplots like Baltar's harem. Civilians are mostly referred to in dialogues among the key characters or in the form of mobs being massacred or protesting to Tyrol the Union Boss in a few filler scenes. If they had shown & developed the civilian ennui and angst with skill, then they could even have sold the acceptance of luddism in the finale.
posted by Gyan at 11:19 AM on March 28, 2009 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile on Scifi, Farscape and Stargate Atlantis are firing machine guns at a dragon.

That's just sad.
posted by homunculus at 11:31 AM on March 28, 2009




...not one on Sci-Fi, that's for sure.
posted by Artw at 4:10 PM on March 28, 2009


Primeval!

(Though actually, judging by tonights ep, it's just jumped over the Devonian Shark)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:00 PM on March 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's a show on SciFi called Charlie Jade which looked like it might be promising, but it's on at a bad time so I've only seen a couple of episodes.
posted by homunculus at 8:44 PM on March 28, 2009


This is the second time in the last 18 months I have heard people refer to Charlie Jade as sort of newish. Did it not play in the US? Canadians saw it maybe four years ago on Space.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:46 PM on March 29, 2009


Well, it's newish to me, but I may have just missed it the first time around. Do you recommend it?
posted by homunculus at 9:41 PM on March 29, 2009


All episodes of Dollhouse to air
posted by Artw at 10:01 AM on March 30, 2009


I did a spit-take during Dollhouse last night when DeWitt looked at Topher and said, "You do agree that I am...QUITE...British?"

Someday, I hope to be QUITE British.
posted by greekphilosophy at 1:14 PM on March 30, 2009


Heh. She's the teacher from Rushmore. I suspect her of being a bit fake-posh for the benefit of yanks.
posted by Artw at 2:28 PM on March 30, 2009


Well, it's newish to me, but I may have just missed it the first time around. Do you recommend it?

I watched two or three episodes and found it kind of lacklustre, but my tastes are by no means universal. Give it a shot: maybe you will find virtues in it that I am blind to.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:37 PM on March 30, 2009


Olivia Williams (DeWitt) on Craig Ferguson
posted by Tenuki at 8:25 PM on March 30, 2009


Olivia Williams (DeWitt) on Craig Ferguson

Watching that I thought, 'Wow, he's being over-familiar with her!'... then I learned from the comments that she's his ex...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:20 PM on March 31, 2009


Olivia Williams (DeWitt) on Craig Ferguson

Watching that I thought, 'Wow, he's being over-familiar with her!'...


I thought that was a shtick! It seemed a little edgy! I'm disappointed now!
posted by grobstein at 3:21 PM on March 31, 2009


Is he drunk?!
posted by shmegegge at 3:46 PM on March 31, 2009


Obama Depressed, Distant Since "Battlestar Galactica" Series Finale

"The president seems to be someplace else lately," said one high-level official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Yesterday we were all being briefed on the encroachment of Iranian drone planes into Iraq, when he just looked up from the table and blurted out, 'What am I supposed to watch on Fridays at 10 p.m. now? Numb3rs?'"

and

"When we spoke last month, he said season three was his least favorite because some of the episodes with Helo and the Sagittarons—and pretty much anything that involved Cally—were boring and didn't advance the plot," Afghan president Hamid Karzai said. "But I told him that when you watch it all on DVD, and you don't have to wait a whole week for a new show, those peripheral episodes actually add new color to the already established world."

Added Karzai, "Lately, though, it seems like he'd rather talk about the resurgence of Taliban warlords in Kandahar than the show."


Heh.
posted by crossoverman at 6:31 PM on March 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


Olivia Williams (DeWitt) on Craig Ferguson

Aw, that's rather lovely.
posted by Artw at 11:41 PM on March 31, 2009




Bryan Fuller on saving Heroes

Anyone still watching that?
posted by Artw at 9:59 AM on April 1, 2009




I've started picking up Heroes on hulu, though the same way I picked it up at the beginning of Season 2: Recognizing it's shit, and realizing characters will change motivations and or discoveries the moment the hackneyed plot requires it. So it's been a little entertaining, whenever it's not doing the middle thing, and when it does that I just skip forward to the next 7 minute segment.
posted by cavalier at 1:39 PM on April 1, 2009


My measure of a good show or TV episode is whether it has an emotional impact, and whether it gives me food for thought. The finale of Battlestar Galactica gave me both in great amounts, and so while I wasn't completely satisfied by the plot, it ranks as a great success for me. As others have said, I'm so glad the time was at least spent on an epilogue after all these years, unlike Voyager. And yeah, it was a little extended-lord of the rings-return of the king at the end, but 4 years deserves a little indulgence. Going to have to watch it all over again now, re-watched the pilot the other day and wow the feel of the show is so different!
posted by Elfasi at 4:49 PM on April 1, 2009






Battlestar Galactica: Downloaded
posted by Artw at 3:35 PM on April 3, 2009


Okay, I PRAY nobody is reading this, because I lay awake in bed last night having the geekiest thoughts I've ever had: I planed my OWN ending to BG. My rule for myself was that I was allowed to rewrite the final season, but I couldn't change anything before that. My scenario needs a lot of work, but to me it's already more satisfying than what I saw on TV:

My basic idea is that they created a series in which there's a God-like entity which is behind everything. That's fine, but then you need to know something about that entity. I don't mean that you need to know what He looks like. But you do need to know something about his psychology -- what he is trying to achieve. If you don't, he is just a cop-out for the writers to be able to insert any random crap they want and then to say, "God moves in mysterious ways."

"2001" handles this perfectly. You know nothing about the "gods," but you have a vague idea that their goal is to move humans towards some sort of "highly-evolved" state. That's just enough information to make a coherent story and not too much to destroy ambiguity.

If I had ended BG, I would have done something like this:

Back when they started to show that the Cylons could project themselves into imaginary worlds, you would have learned that there was a certain location in these worlds where they weren't able to go. Maybe when the engineer guy visited that apartment with Boomer, he could have seen something -- maybe a red door -- and he could have asked her what was behind it. She'd say something like, "I don't know. None of us do. It's always there, and we can never open it."

Giving things away to you (which would just be hinted at to the audience), the place Cylons go when they project is "God's" world. They stumbled upon it by accident when they invented resurrection technology. When you get killed and resurrect, there's a brief time in between when you're "soul" is being transferred from your old body to your new body. During that interlude, you're in "God's country." Over time, the Cylons learned to go there even when they weren't resurrecting. They learned it was some kind of shared reality and that it was possible to shape it into whatever you want. But there was always this red door you couldn't enter. Some humans (e.g. Baltar) had the ability to go there, too.

Meanwhile, God is not happy that people discovered how to do this. So he manipulated people into losing resurrection tech and created the red door to lock people out of his greatest secrets, but he was unable to lock them out completely. Again, if you were watching the series, you wouldn't be told this overtly. But it would be clear some sort of force was trying to hide stuff behind a red door.

The final thing you wouldn't be told overtly is that God's plan in BG is similar to the divine plan in "2001." God is trying to perfect man. He is basically doing a huge selective breeding experiment. It keeps not working and so He destroys whole societies and starts over ("this has all happened before..."). His latest and best attempt is Hera, the human/Cylon hybrid. Now that Hera is alive and sufficiently grown, God wants to take her into his realm. That's why she keeps running off -- in the real world and in the virtual world. Some of his angels are trying to take her. Other people, such as the president, are trying to keep her in our world, though they don't fully understand what they're trying to do. The whole opera house fantasy could end with Hera pulling aside a curtain and seeing a red door. All the others -- Hera's mom, the president, etc. -- would watch as the red door opened and a shadowy figure beckoned Hera inside. They would run and try to get to the door, but it would be too late. It would slam shut and they would uselessly bang on it. In the real world, Hera would wink out of existence.

Going back in time a bit, when the bad Cylon guy had captured Hera and was operating on her, Boomer -- who felt remorse for what she did -- could sneak into the operating room, kill the doctors, and be about to take Hera from the operating table. Then she could suddenly think about the red door, get an idea, and start giving Hera a blood transfusion from her own arm. The audience wouldn't fully understand what she was doing at the time, but she had somehow figured out what God wanted to do and was ruining Hera (as God's perfect creation) by putting some of her own imperfect blood in her, maybe making Hera 100% Cylon and not at all human. Another possibility is that Boomer doesn't know what she's doing at all (in terms of God's plan). She's just giving Hera a blood transfusion because Hera has lost a lot of blood. In either case, this ruins Hera from God's point of view, but God doesn't know this (neither does the audience), so he continues to try to capture her.

When Hera winks out of existence, God's work -- so He thinks -- is done. He starts to dismantle the universe. The people on Galactica start to see everything unraveling around them. Then, all of the sudden, everything stops unraveling and the universe re-knits itself. A hole in space-time opens up and Hera gets hurled through, rejected by God. At this point, some explanation will be needed for the audience to understand what's going on. Baltar or someone else who straddles both worlds could say, "God has rejected her. She's impure." Boomer could look at the puncture mark on her arm.

Going back in time again, that scene with Starbuck and Sam, when he's in the fluid, would have played out differently. Sam and the hybrids are always tied directly into God's world. Somehow, Starbuck would have learned to communicate with him and together they would have realized that the music is coordinates. Once Hera gets rejected, some sort of catastrophe happens. Maybe the Cylon/Human war becomes critical. They are about to nuke each other. Or God is so angry that Hera was ruined, he creates some sort of apocalypse that is about to destroy the fleet. At which point, Starbuck says, "Now, Sam!" and Sam say, "JUMP!"

Galactica jumps to safety. Sam and Starbuck have taken them to a far-away planet, where they can lick their wounds. Galactica is now useless and they have no choice but to settle on the world. On the world, Starbuck and Lee have a similar discussion that they had in the series, after which she vanishes. But before she goes, she gives Lee a gift. A red key.

My idea is that God is very powerful, but not all powerful. He basically created a clone of Starbuck and he was using her for her own purposes. She she is true to her nature. She is a Lucifer-like figure (to God, not to the humans and Cylons). She steals the coordinates to the safe planet from him. She also steals the red key -- which will allow people to go behind the door. God retaliates by erasing her memories of what she did (making her think she's the original Starbuck). Sam was able to recover her memories for her.

The series ends with the possibility of a war between man and God. In any case, humans now have the key. What will they do with it?

Much of this needs to be refined (especially the part about Starbuck and the music). I think maybe the music isn't Starbuck and Sam thwarting God. It's them doing God's will. Hera failed, so now God wants the humans and Cylons to go breed on a planet, so he sends the coordinates through Starbuck. Something like that. Her rebellion is giving Lee the key.
posted by grumblebee at 8:45 PM on April 3, 2009


You lost me at winking out of existence. Too much god stuff. Moore was create in that the show is about the characters. Having them be tools of god diminishes that.

They goofed up with Hera and Starbuck both knowing the music, they should have had separate purposes. Hera should have been the one who knew the song, thus making he rescue even more important and her delivery to the CIC with the final five the climax of her purpose: delivery of the coordinates to Sam, who can jump them to a final planet (not necessarily Earth).

Starbuck is problematic because she never she have been killed and resurrected.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:56 AM on April 4, 2009


I'm not sure how "too much God stuff" (which you're welcome to dislike) has anything to do with whether or not it's a show about character. I would never watch any show that wasn't about characters. Characters can live in a universe that is random, controlled by a God or set up in any other way. In all of the above, people will still have feelings, still talk to each other, etc.

I was attempting to lay out a bare plot. Naturally, if it was filmed (after much work improving it), it would be just a skeletal structure to facilitate the main point: characters interacting with each other.

Whether you like my ideas or not, I'm BAFFLED by Moore's harping that "it's about the characters," as if that's an excuse for not working really hard on the plot. Imagine the other way around. Imagine I wrote a plot-based story and you said, "Um. The psychology of the characters doesn't make sense." It would be bullshit if I said, "The story is about PLOT, stupid!"

No. If I introduce characters at all, it's my job to shepherd them. I need to respect them and make them real. If I introduce a plot -- as Moore did -- it's my job to make it coherent within the rules of the fictional world.
posted by grumblebee at 12:42 PM on April 4, 2009


I don't think Moore sacrificed plot for the sake of characters - he just realised that focusing on plot in the final hour wouldn't do the show justice. Much of the series' great moments have been character moments. Hell, much of season 4.0 was character driven, rather than plot driven.

So he gave us flashbacks and an extended sequence on New Earth to explore these characters. The God angle has been there all along and I'm still baffled by a discussion that refuses to see that. Head!Six and Kara didn't suddenly become angels during the writing of "Daybreak", allusions to that fact have been weaved into the show for a while. Starbuck's destiny and Head!Six working for God are both planted in season one.

Quite clearly, given this ending, is that God's plan was to shepherd the Humans and Cylons to New Earth. Now we know of God's angels appearing at two points in the BSG universe - before the Fall of Original Earth and after the Fall of Caprica. When the destruction of Original Earth becomes apparent, God puts a plan into action to save those who become the Final Five. After the Fall of New Caprica, God begins to guide Six and Baltar with their equivalent angels to find Second Earth and bridge the gap between their two races.

In season one, Six and Baltar are described as the parents of the "shape of things to come". In a way, they bridge this gap and help to usher in a combined race of human and Cylon DNA. The plan is there in plain sight, we just weren't privvy to it until we see how Hera fits into the history of Second Earth.

Now perhaps the character resolutions aren't exactly what we'd like. Maybe the plot focusing on agents of God isn't what you were expecting. But it's not like the clues weren't there both explicitly and implicitly through the show's run.
posted by crossoverman at 4:00 AM on April 5, 2009


I'm not sure how "too much God stuff" (which you're welcome to dislike) has anything to do with whether or not it's a show about character.

Oh, it's the implication that the show becomes more about the "God Stuff" and less about characters, which your plot outline seemed to do. I start to wonder why God is trying to keep secrets, why god has to manipulate people into losing resurrection technology instead of just destroying outright and why he isn't that powerful, etc, etc. I didn't mind the faith aspects of BSG so much, but rather god injecting himself into their lives in such a clumsy fashion. Why didn't god just come down to Adama and Roslin and say "Hey, I know where this great planet is, follow me" ?

By making God care so much about the characters lives and actions, the focus of the story shifts, and not in a good way, IMO.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:50 PM on April 5, 2009


OK, Dollhouse is getting kind of good isn't it?

Gah, dammit. Now I'm attached.
posted by Artw at 4:53 PM on April 5, 2009


I'm still in mourning and can't watch any other Scifi on Friday nights for another two weeks.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:35 PM on April 5, 2009


I though Friday's Dollhouse episode was pretty terrible. Except for the part where they somehow sucked me in and now I have to keep watching to find out what happens. And, you know, it's got Helo in it, so I can pretend that Friday nights are still normal like they used to be.

Eliza Dushku was much better on BTVS (I never really watched Angel, so I can't comment on her performance there). All she had to do on Buffy was be snarky or be fighty, and Dollhouse seems to be asking much more of her. And she doesn't seem to have it to give.
posted by rtha at 5:52 PM on April 5, 2009




Safety First
posted by homunculus at 1:46 PM on April 9, 2009




Haven't done a lot of research, well, none actually, but does anyone know what the photo that was placed near doors in various different locations was supposed to signify? It was particularly noticeable in the first two seasons or so, because people would briefly touch it when they left the room; much like a mezuzah. IIRC its significance was never made clear, there was never any explicit reference to this custom.
posted by =^^= at 2:34 AM on April 15, 2009




I got to the third page of the comic, where it said "4,000 years ago" and said to myself "Whatever, it's all god's doing, I know how it ends."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:02 AM on April 16, 2009


The Whelk: "Grace Park answers questions, Bruce Campbell style."

Oh, that was fantastic. I wish I'd seen that before I'd seen the last episode.
posted by Science! at 9:00 PM on April 17, 2009


So, Caprica, who's excited?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:18 PM on April 18, 2009


Screw Craprica... never forget, never forgive...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:14 PM on April 18, 2009


I'm kind of meh on Caprica. The pilot is okay, but it felt like it exists more to keep that Battlestar money rolling in rather than as a companion piece with its own merits. More AfterMASH than Trapper John, M.D., I suppose.

The Taurons-as-Italians allusion is extremely heavy handed. I bet the first draft of the script was all "I'm gonna make you a space offer you can't space refuse or else i'll have my meatpacker cousin Breex turn you into astro cappacola, cosmocapice?" with a note scribbled in the margins ordering a staff writer to pretty it up.
posted by bunnytricks at 7:08 PM on April 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


She said 'holo'. They play tennis. They have light sticks and ravers. Should I even bother watching the rest?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:15 AM on April 19, 2009


God, it's like Harry Potter meets the OC meets some shit cyberpunk slashfic...fuck it, I give up.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:19 AM on April 19, 2009


Great, god did it and he's a self absorbed teenager.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:11 AM on April 19, 2009


No, not excited at all. The opening scenes looked promising, dark and deviant but what followed was the worst of BSG but this time round blatantly aimed at teenyboppers. And to think I didn't have high hopes to begin with.
posted by =^^= at 3:03 AM on April 20, 2009


Er, you folks going off some limited promotional stuff or something? Was it aired this weekend? I was under the belief its not released until tomorrow.
posted by Atreides at 11:37 AM on April 20, 2009


yeeah this is the real shit
posted by grobstein at 12:17 PM on April 20, 2009


Sorry for the slowpoking, anyone still reading this? anyway since I've seen so many alternate endings I'd like to tell mine after watching the final episodes yesternight. I liked the ending, even with all the plot-holes and the wizards. I just think reimagining it is a cool thing to do.

The way I see it, the only way to explain Starbuck at that point would be with some kind of "science magic".
There is some kind of kickass space showdown between Cavil and the fleeing raptors in space.
Starbuck jumps on her Viper and attacks the evil cylons, but then she's out of bullets. To stop the final one she sacrifices, by FTLing near them and through the black hole.
Doing so she fraks space/time continuum royally. She gets splitted in two, landing in the past in two different places: on fake earth (where she dies in the landing) and in the nebula, where she has no recollection of what just happened.
Then Anders jump Galactica to real earth and everything goes a bit like in the real ending. After mourning the sacrifice of Kara, presumed dead, people spread, building cities that are the basis for myths like Atlantis and Mu and then eventually merging with the locals and spreading their knowledge to them.
I do think God in BSG is the Universe itself, so that could have made it more clear
posted by darkripper at 4:51 AM on April 21, 2009


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