Why do the Cylons come every thirty-three minutes?
January 14, 2015 9:07 AM   Subscribe

 
"SO SAY WE ALL!"
posted by Fizz at 9:14 AM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I loved battlestar, and was even satisfied by the end in a way a lot of fans weren't. But it definitely was all down hill from "33" - best episode of the series.
posted by charles148 at 9:17 AM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


And an ending that ties with LOST for the worst let down in recent memory.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:17 AM on January 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


Does that include time for commercial breaks? Maybe it's an inverse of the protection postulate. But given that episodes are X number of minutes and follow a pretty usual formula of pacing ...
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 9:18 AM on January 14, 2015


Another point in "33"'s favor is that it didn't feature the series prologue, "The Cylons were created by man. They evolved. They rebelled. There are many copies. And they have a plan."

That last sentence turned out to be a promise to the audience that Ron Moore & Co. didn't have a hope of fulfilling (or even ret-conning).
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:19 AM on January 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Good hunting.
posted by valkane at 9:20 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


It started with such promise and (mostly) delivered. I'm in a bit of historical revisionism now, that public attitude is so against the show now that it can't have literally ended *that* badly. But I haven't had the guts to go back. I think it might actually have ended that badly.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:26 AM on January 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Also I got stuck for a few minutes in the article wondering why no prop person thought to cut the corners off that super important whiteboard.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:27 AM on January 14, 2015 [31 favorites]


At the time, this all vibed very 9/11—and if you watched Battlestar Galactica while it was airing, it will always be hard to separate the show from that milieu. […] But if you just watch “33” now, 10 years away from context, you can maybe appreciate it in the vacuum of pure storytelling.

It's amusing when a pop-culture critic announces as a deliberate ambition that they aim to have the historical memory of a goldfish, rather than leaving it as the tacit subtext of the job. 10 years ago is just so long, guys, some of that huge jumbled pile of political themes that Ron Moore threw at the wall has surely stuck as "pure storytelling" by now
posted by RogerB at 9:27 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's always refreshing to have a TV show where the character's decisions have consequences - moral, political, and interpersonal ones all at the same time.

I didn't really mind the ending, probably because I binge-watched the series and so the whole "fate/goddidit" angle didn't surprise me the way it did fans who watched it in real-time. Or maybe people expected the ever-present "Is it god???" question to be answered in the negative.
posted by muddgirl at 9:27 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


10 years ago, jesus.... ugh.
posted by odinsdream at 9:28 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why do the Cylons come every thirty-three minutes?

Oh, Rule #34 kicks in so hard!
posted by chavenet at 9:29 AM on January 14, 2015 [18 favorites]


I think that is exactly what angered so many, that the "Is it god?" question had the answer they didn't like or want. for the context of the shows universe it fit.
posted by charles148 at 9:30 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


the wonderful-but-extremely-strange final season of BSG goes Full Spirituality, and some people never forgave it for that.)

No, it wasn't wonderful, and yes, I am still so, so bitter.

this post makes me want to rewatch at least the first two seasons before cutting myself off, though....
posted by TwoStride at 9:31 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I also thought the ending was spot on. I mean, Starbuck for example had been hinted to be the thing she turned out to be for like two seasons. I thought it sort of wrapped up everything in the way it had promised.

On the other hand, yeah, this episode was the series high point. It's like after you change your main character into a bug on page one, where do you go?
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:32 AM on January 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


Doktor Zed: And they have a plan."

That last sentence turned out to be a promise to the audience that Ron Moore & Co. didn't have a hope of fulfilling (or even ret-conning).
Pretty sure "Kill all humans" is a plan.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:33 AM on January 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Actually, what angered me is that most of the plotlines dissolved into meaningless nonsense and then the characters all made a pointless mass decision for no reason.
posted by kyrademon at 9:34 AM on January 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


Loved the mini-series, loved the pilot, loved the series, loved the ending, NO REGRETS, NOR APOLOGIES WHATSOEVER.
And this is coming from a Star Trek fan of over 40 years.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 9:35 AM on January 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


BG started off strong - really strong - but I got to season 3 and it was already on the train to stupidsville.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:36 AM on January 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Battlestar was fun to watch. It wasn't hyperintelligent and taking the 'gritty' for 'smart' was a mistake a lot of people made, but it was fun.
posted by Fuka at 9:36 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


The ending of Lost works within the context of Lost, i.e., some titanic supernatural quasi-religious absurdity is going on.

The ending of Battlestar Galactica does not work within the context of the show, because the characters' actions do not fit their plausible motivations, and in attempting to achieve a poetic ending the show abandons all its previous attempts to facilitate suspension of disbelief. SPOILER: none of the characters had previously indicated their desire to wander off into a wilderness without supplies and die of a broken leg, nor to go have freaky intercourse with primitive alien tribespeople, nor to be voluntarily and permanently severed from their loved ones.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:37 AM on January 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


Pretty sure "Kill All Humans" is a plan.

Fair enough, but after the pilot episode it really should have been changed to "And they had a plan, but now they're kinda improvising on the end game."

I think part of the ire fans felt about BSG stems from that "They Have a Plan" thing; it suggested that the writers weren't doing the usual serial-TV "make it up as we go along, string things out from one Perils of Pauline cliffhanger to another." But that so clearly turned out to be bogus. I loved BSG and didn't actually mind the ending (ending serial TV well is almost impossible to do--it's an inherent contradiction in the medium)--heck, I even liked Caprica--but it was stupid to overpromise on the idea of a fully thought-through plot. The same problem, of course, plagued Lost with lots of early claims from the creators that there was a deep underlying rationale for the whole narrative--a check they simply couldn't cash.
posted by yoink at 9:41 AM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think that is exactly what angered so many, that the "Is it god?" question had the answer they didn't like or want. for the context of the shows universe it fit.

I am someone who complains when shows don't follow through on making their universe reflect the differences on a human level. This happens all the time, universes have magic or supernatural effects but the characters act as they would in our magic free universe. Watching BSG the second time around, pretty much on a binge basis, made me realise I was getting what I asked for and it made more sense. It was also generally more satisfying on the second go through anyway.
posted by biffa at 9:41 AM on January 14, 2015


Montage of robots. That's all I have to say.
posted by graphnerd at 9:41 AM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


However the worst episode is still the one where the crew constituting the last hope for humanity decide to start beating the shit out of each other in a boxing tournament
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:41 AM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


"The Cylons were created by man. They evolved. They rebelled. There are many copies. And they have a plan."
That last sentence turned out to be a promise to the audience that Ron Moore & Co. didn't have a hope of fulfilling (or even ret-conning).


I can only surmise that we all misheard that line and that what they actually said was "they have a flan".

'Cause, you know, robots need to consume lots of custardy things to, like, lubricate their circuit boards, and such.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:43 AM on January 14, 2015 [17 favorites]


However the worst episode is still the one where the crew constituting the last hope for humanity decide to start beating the shit out of each other in a boxing tournament

That's not the plot of "Black Market" so I'm confused.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:45 AM on January 14, 2015 [30 favorites]


However the worst episode is still the one where the crew constituting the last hope for humanity decide to start beating the shit out of each other in a boxing tournament

The worst episode is Black Market, but it's easy to forget that as the brain tends to treat it as damage and route around it.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:45 AM on January 14, 2015 [18 favorites]


They really don't get much better than "33," though they do come close every now and again. The series ended on a bit of a damp squib for me, and I suspect every fan of the show has a secret head canon ending that makes sense to them. I've always liked the ending that Edward James Olmos had in mind, where they show up on Earth, cut to the President who says "Nuke 'em" and that's how it ends.

We probably also should have had a warning that they really didn't know what they were doing when Moore revealed his original plan for the Season One ending. Dirk Benedict was going to show up to Baltar and say, "Hi, I'm God!" Cut to credits.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:45 AM on January 14, 2015


Pretty sure "Kill All Humans" is a plan.

Oh yeah? I'm going to make my own Battlestar reboot! With blackjack... and hookers... in fact, forget the Battlestar reboot!
posted by GuyZero at 9:46 AM on January 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


Great show though!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:46 AM on January 14, 2015


this post makes me want to rewatch at least the first two seasons before cutting myself off, though....

Funny, I only got about that far into it before I decided that its justification of torture and its objectification and dehumanizing of a religiously-motivated enemy had gone too far for me to really give a fuck about it because it all felt like propaganda.
posted by hippybear at 9:47 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I remember that one of the things that drove me crazy about the hardcore Babylon 5 fans I knew was they would never shut up about how the creator PLANNED THE WHOLE THING and how THE SHOW WAS SO WELL PLANNED. And I thought this was beyond tedious and overblown... until Ron D. Moore had tons of time--given the insanely long midseason break--to come up with anything other than "get rid of all antiobiotics and montage of Roombas" for a finale. And then, oh how I wished that RDM hadn't been just making up random shit as he went for years.
posted by TwoStride at 9:48 AM on January 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


Yeah, "Black Market" is in the running for worst episode... along with "The Farm," where Simon the Cylon rapes steals Starbuck's ovaries.
posted by TwoStride at 9:50 AM on January 14, 2015


BG lost me when the writers just seemed to forget that several of their Cylon characters had participated in a genocide that makes Hitler and Stalin seem like shoplifters.

"What if a handful of survivors from Stalin's purges had Stalin in a jail cell?" could be a great story or a terrible one, but BG's writers didn't even seem to realise that was the story they had set up.

Turns out those survivors are just militaristic assholes and Stalin is just a sad, gorgeous, noble victim.
posted by straight at 9:50 AM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Funny, I only got about that far into it before I decided that its justification of torture and its objectification and dehumanizing of a religiously-motivated enemy had gone too far for me to really give a fuck about it because it all felt like propaganda.

Did you make it until the Pegasus shows up? If so, consider me confused by this assessment of the show.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:50 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]



I'm okay with the God part of it. Just the whole giving everything up and going their separate way thing just didn't fit, though I understand what they were going for.

In my world they wandered around for a few days, realized how stupid it was and all came back for a gosh we were stupid reunion.

The boxing episode was actually one of my favorites because it reflected a real life experience I had with a group of people who had been living in extreme circumstances and shoved together for a time. Didn't manifest in physically beating the shit out of each other but in another sort of game. Beating each other up with subtext wouldn't have been to far off for some of those involved. It seemed very human.

Now I find myself re watching the first few seasons on binges. I never make it through the whole series though. It's not so much because I dislike the ending so bad but more because if I don't watch the end, then it doesn't really end. I do that with a lot of show I like when they're done. Sometimes I purposely don't watch the final episode but just find out what happened. I also find I can't watch good series that I know have ended prematurely.

Yeah I know, it's weird.
posted by Jalliah at 9:55 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Pretty sure "Kill all humans" is a plan.

"Kill all humans" is an objective, not a strategy.
posted by Mister_A at 9:59 AM on January 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Did you make it until the Pegasus shows up? If so, consider me confused by this assessment of the show.

I honestly have no idea where in the series I stopped watching. I got to the point where there was something going on with the humans being held in camps on a planet, and there was yet another scene in which the religious enemy (Cylons) had one of their members tortured for reasons I don't remember, and I just said "fuck this, it's all post-9/11 propaganda, I'm out".

I don't even care enough to do the research to figure out what episode that was. It wasn't for me.
posted by hippybear at 10:00 AM on January 14, 2015


Everybody complains about unanswered questions left hanging at the end of shows like this and LOST, but leaving the "Is it God?" question ambiguously unanswered at the end of BSG would have been the right way to go. The spirituality in the show was always at its best when it was plausibly deniable and possibly just a bunch of humans clinging too hard to it and reading too much into neat and tidy prophecies as a way to escape the reality that it was their own decisions and failures that caused all of the suffering. The show ending on humanity desperately clinging to the idea that all is okay and this is God's plan even though they had no concrete reason to believe that would have been a good thematic callback to Adama motivating them with the lie of Earth back at the very beginning, the things they tell themselves to survive.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:01 AM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


While certainly difficult to watch, I took those parts to be post-9/11 commentary, not some sort of attempt at justification of real-world abuses.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:02 AM on January 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


"What if a handful of survivors from Stalin's purges had Stalin in a jail cell?" could be a great story or a terrible one, but BG's writers didn't even seem to realise that was the story they had set up.

Turns out those survivors are just militaristic assholes and Stalin is just a sad, gorgeous, noble victim.


Well, it's more like, "What if a handful of survivors had Stalin's kid in a jail cell?" although analogies tend to fail. That's kind of the interesting thing about the Cylon race - should we hold unactivated or even activated Cylons accountable for the actions of their predecessors that they didn't even participate in? What does it mean to be an individual in a society where you (may or may not) inherit the memories of past lives, or your present actions may even be under the control of distant forces?

It's interesting to me, at least.
posted by muddgirl at 10:03 AM on January 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


"Kill All Humans" is a goal, not a plan. "Kill All Humans using combat robots and nuclear weapons" is a plan, and a pretty good one. Likewise, "Fly all of our technology into the sun so we can die of dysentery." is also a plan, but a bad one.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:05 AM on January 14, 2015 [16 favorites]


I have erased the finale from my brain and have replaced it with images of Starbuck taking a group selfie with everyone before flying off in her Viper listening to Sia's Breathe Me in her stereo while she looks into the future and intuits how everybody ultimately dies, including herself.
posted by onlyconnect at 10:07 AM on January 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


>Why do the Cylons come every thirty-three minutes?

Short refractory periods?
posted by Thorzdad at 10:08 AM on January 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


It seems cruel to say a series peaked with it's first episode, but it really did. Hey, at least there was a miniseries before that.
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on January 14, 2015


I loved the pilot, the ending, the dumb episodes and the great ones. I loved it all. I don't even remember what season it was but at some point everyone was dying and they had no food and shit was just so fucking bleak, and everyone was miserable and depressed and nihilistic, and I loved that portion especially for some reason.

Two things bothered me about the end: the implication that it would be sort of hard to build a civilization and survive (sort of hard rather than gruelingly difficult and probably improbable), and that Adama chose to give Roslin her grand finale in a metal box rather than down in the grass/earth/mud/trees. But those are just details. I feel like the show ended the way it had to.
posted by ORthey at 10:14 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Had a really interesting conversation with one of my friends who recently binge-watched BSG, never having seen it during its 2004-2009 run. Interestingly, she was unbothered by the ending or any of the other things which annoyed myself and others -- e.g. the final five, Kara Thrace's "special destiny", the New Caprica story arc, the nature of "head Six" and "head Baltar", the ultimate fate of humanity, etc.

Ultimately, I think BSG works better as a binge-watch. There were a lot of things that got built up pretty heavily but never really paid off. This is frustrating to a TV viewer, who's been waiting weeks, months, or years for a given "mystery" to resolve itself. However, to someone who's going through a binge-watch, these build-ups aren't nearly as emotional or climactic. So they may not care that some of the things that got built up never really paid off, because they never had to experience the pain of waiting.
posted by evil otto at 10:16 AM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


"SO SAY WE ALL!"
posted by Fizz at 9:14 AM on January 14 [+] [!]


I stopped watching Caprica a few minutes into their first episode because they used that line in a way that was all wrong vs. how I understood it as a military saying from BSG. Just couldn't trust Caprica after that
posted by Bwithh at 10:17 AM on January 14, 2015


"Kill all humans" is an objective

Goal: kill all humans
Plan: kill each human
posted by zippy at 10:19 AM on January 14, 2015 [31 favorites]


PLAN SUBJECT TO CONTINGENCY.
posted by Artw at 10:23 AM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I miss that show. It did decline in the last two years but I still enjoyed it more than any sci-fi series since then.
posted by octothorpe at 10:26 AM on January 14, 2015


hippybear: " I just said "fuck this, it's all post-9/11 propaganda, I'm out". "

My reaction was pretty much the opposite: I viewed it as holding up a mirror to some of the uglier aspects of post-9/11 America, and challenging assumptions about who the 'good guys' are.
posted by adamrice at 10:26 AM on January 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


If I were president, Gaius Baltar would have gone right out the airlock the first time he caused trouble!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 10:29 AM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


"What if a handful of survivors from Stalin's purges had Stalin in a jail cell?" could be a great story or a terrible one, but BG's writers didn't even seem to realise that was the story they had set up.

That's a major plot point in Razor, isn't it?
posted by bonehead at 10:32 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Something is wrong with me because I can't get over the fact that the link and everyone in this thread refers to 33 as Battlestar's pilot. It is not a pilot! It is the first regular episode. That isn't a pilot! A pilot is not the same thing as the first regular episode!.

OH GOD MAKE IT STOP.
posted by Justinian at 10:36 AM on January 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


By the time I made it to the end of this show I was calling it Battlesnore Octagonon.
posted by oulipian at 10:36 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh man, I remember that one of the things that drove me crazy about the hardcore Babylon 5 fans I knew was they would never shut up about how the creator PLANNED THE WHOLE THING and how THE SHOW WAS SO WELL PLANNED.

OK, that totally cracked me up, because I am totally one of those tedious Babylon 5 fans. (Like a lot of folks here, I realized BSG was made up on the fly around S3.)
posted by mordax at 10:40 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I realized JMS either wasn't being honest with fans or wasn't being honest with himself when he consistently denied that Babylon Squared was originally intended to be the final episode of the series.
posted by Justinian at 10:42 AM on January 14, 2015


Oh man, I remember that one of the things that drove me crazy about the hardcore Babylon 5 fans I knew was they would never shut up about how the creator PLANNED THE WHOLE THING and how THE SHOW WAS SO WELL PLANNED.

He planned everything except the bit where the creator and the writers went to 'how to write dialogue that isn't totally excruciating' classes.
posted by biffa at 10:48 AM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


it definitely was all down hill
That's kind of brilliant, though, isn't it? Recommending Battlestar Galactica to someone is like recommending Scrubs to them: you can simply say "Watch it in order, but if you get to three episodes in a row you dislike then just quit there." Then you've managed to give them a great recommendation. "Good" is subjective, but in the worst case scenario, they've watched three episodes they disliked, and they probably got to see at least a season full of stuff they liked first.

Someone mentioned Babylon 5 up above, which is the perfect comparison. I think it's a better show than BSG overall, but the best recommendation you can make for it goes something like "watch it in order; here's a list of a dozen first-season episodes you can skip if you must, but you really need to be up to speed on the plot and character development from the rest; I swear it gets good by halfway through season 2!" "Good" is still subjective, and here the worst case scenario is that they finish watching twenty hours of TV they disliked based on your failed promise, and now they're pissed.
posted by roystgnr at 10:48 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]



hippybear: " I just said "fuck this, it's all post-9/11 propaganda, I'm out". "

adamrice: "My reaction was pretty much the opposite"


I viewed it as talking about things that weren't actually simple. That the entire universe is one unexpected outcome after another.

Gang aft agley and alla that. ya' know?

PS: Loved the article!
posted by DigDoug at 11:02 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I realized JMS either wasn't being honest with fans or wasn't being honest with himself when he consistently denied that Babylon Squared was originally intended to be the final episode of the series.

I can't really see how Babylon Squared could be a series finale, unless you were to wrap most of War Without End into it, at which point its a completely different episode -- although, for what it's worth, I think JMS is on-record somewhere as noting that War Without End would have been much closer to the end of the series (if not necessarily the finale, although it, or a version of it, would fit well as that) had Michael O'Hare stayed on, so Babylon Squared was certainly intended to foreshadow (pun intended) plot elements that wouldn't have taken place until very, very late the series, but ended up being moved forward in time due to circumstances.

Which is of course the problem in trying to determine what the original plan for B5 really was: the casting changes coupled with the anticipated cancellation of Season 5 mean that we didn't get that plan, exactly, for better or for worse.
posted by cjelli at 11:04 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I liked all of it, even until the end. And I think it's OK to say the Cylons had a plan because sometimes plans change! Their plan just got derailed, everybody!

BUT.

Remember how there was all that mystery about Kara Thrace's dad and he taught her to play that song on the piano when she was little that Hera later drew on a piece of paper and then it led the way to Earth? And then how they talked about that one Cylon, Daniel, who got boxed because he was "too artistic"? How was that artistic Cylon not Kara Thrace's dad? HE TOTALLY WAS. Or should have been. I read an interview with Ron Moore after the episode aired and someone asked him if Daniel was Kara's dad and he said something like, "No, but that would have been an interesting idea." And I was like, wtf. How did you not think of that. It was so obviously the best idea. And it would have made a hell of a lot more sense to make her half-Cylon than a weird angel or whatever.
posted by something something at 11:07 AM on January 14, 2015 [18 favorites]


I watched every episode twice, the second time with Moore's commentary, and naturally via torrents. It completely changed the way I interact with TV media.
posted by odinsdream at 11:19 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Totally thought they were building to Kara Thrace being the actual first half-cylon without anyone realizing it - being sort of like the John the Baptist to Hera's Jesus I guess. I assumed that plotline was scrapped so the fact that it didn't even occur to the writers... damn.
posted by muddgirl at 11:19 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it's been a while since I've seen this show but I walked away mostly confused as shit about who or what Starbuck actually was.

I made the same inference that Kara's Dad was the boxed cylon, but it seemed like they forgot that they wrote the angle and just dropped it.

Time to look at some wikis, I guess.
posted by GreyboxHero at 11:23 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Since I'm a nasty fucker I really loved the episode (I think it was the last of the second to last season) where they think they found Earth and it's a radioactive wasteland. I would have loved this as the actual ending. But probably not many others of the audience.
posted by ZeroAmbition at 11:23 AM on January 14, 2015 [16 favorites]


ZeroAmbition - I also thought this was going to be the ending and that it would have made an awesome, awesome finale.

I binge watched it all though and wasn't too emotionally invested in anything.
posted by GreyboxHero at 11:27 AM on January 14, 2015


B5: It's my understanding that the fifth season was compressed into season four since they weren't sure they were going to get a final season. Which is why the finale was shot in season four but aired at the end of season five after the weird cast changes following the sketchy and poorly-explained midnight ultimatums.

As for Battlestar Galactica, those of you binge-watching miss out on the "joys" of watching in real-time. Like the 18-month break between episodes, or the truly insane KFC commercial break during season 4.

Maybe the true ending to Galactica is the one from Portlandia. "Ron, get all these white people out of my house!"
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:27 AM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Great pilot, great show, and no bad ending could ruin the many fantastic episodes that are in the series' run.

Having said that, Deus ex machina has been ridiculed as a lazy (or bad) writer's cure-all since it was invented in ancient Greece--and it's mostly ridiculed when it's not literally (a) god, but some happy coincidence, or a character happening to have the perfect thing to solve a problem in their pocket, or whatever.

For Ron Moore and team to hand-wave away the most significant mysteries created during the series with a literal God-did-it may be the laziest, dumbest plot resolution I have ever seen, and though I still enjoy the show immensely on rewatch(es), viewing is always tainted with the knowledge that, right at the end, the show's writing turned completely amateur.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:28 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


The best thing about the final (?) season (for me) was the reveal that the human-model Cylons had enslaved the mechanical models just as the humans had originally enslaved the first generations of Cylons. I would have liked to have seen more stories about that instead of the machine models going their own way (though I like to imagine they managed to break the cycle and their descendants eventually became like the god-thing monkeying around with events in the series—only being less of a jerk having, finally, learned their lesson about respecting sentient life as an end unto itself).
posted by audi alteram partem at 11:28 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


It seems cruel to say a series peaked with it's first episode, but it really did. Hey, at least there was a miniseries before that.

I'd disagree and say that after end of Season 2 is when things slowly started to go downhill. Boomer shooting Adama was a huge deal and the way the aftermath was handled hinted at the writers not have solid grasp on things. It wasn't that it was bad, but felt a tad disjointed and not as smooth. They had written themselves into a hole, it felt like, and didn't do a fantastic job of writing themselves out.

But I hell, I think Black Market and Boxing Day were great episodes, so what do I know?

I watched every episode twice, the second time with Moore's commentary, and naturally via torrents. It completely changed the way I interact with TV media.

Yeah, Moore's podcasts were a huge part of my liking the show. It was a brilliant look at creation of the story and wrestling with creation process. I may not have liked everything they did, but at least I understood where they were coming from.

Since I'm a nasty fucker I really loved the episode (I think it was the last of the second to last season) where they think they found Earth and it's a radioactive wasteland. I would have loved this as the actual ending.

They would have been great, but I did love the mutiny aspects in Season 4. That was high point of the season for me, because it made so much sense. Dee's suicide. Gatta's turning. After survivor the destruction of their way of life, being chased all over the universe, imprisoned by said captors, then rescued and having the promise of Earth ripped away, it made sense some characters just snapped.

I do wish more time had been spent with Pegasus though. Also, if people could stop talking about the ending that would be great, because I'm trying to keep my blood pressure down and just the mention of it is triggering....

This goddamn show. It's like your first love that ended badly.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:29 AM on January 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


I loved BSG as it aired. The pilot was great, the Adama maneuver was the most badass thing ever done in Sci-Fi TV. It was just a great show. I can't re-watch it though because I did feel like the ending never really delivered and it kind of ruins the experience for me. That's fine, I still regard it as one of my favorite TV watching experiences of all time, aside from some of the terribly long breaks between new episodes at times.

The comparison with Lost is obviously right on point. Both shows were incredible to watch week to week but when you look back on the whole, flawed. I kind of see both of them as existing in a transitional period in TV. Now serial drama that is well thought out is recognized as the best of TV, thinking of stuff like Breaking Bad that did deliver on a satisfying ending. Back then, it was still developing out of the Star Trek type expectation of reset buttons.

There are actually some things to be said for the week to week story model. "The Inner Light" doesn't necessarily fit into a serial story, but it's great TV. Every time they tried to work in single episode contained stories into BSG it felt like padding. It's hard to figure out just how much leeway you have when you also have a big overall story going on.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:31 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really loved the episode (I think it was the last of the second to last season) where they think they found Earth and it's a radioactive wasteland.

It's my understanding that the fifth season was compressed into season four since they weren't sure they were going to get a final season. Which is why the finale was shot in season four but aired at the end of season five after the weird cast changes following the sketchy and poorly-explained midnight ultimatums.

Actually, it was the writer's strike. Moore & Co. did not know if they were going to get an order for season 4.5 following the strike, so had to--at the last minute--come up with a false ending that could work as a series ending in case SciFi didn't order any more episodes. That is ultimately, at least in my view, responsible for the lackluster actual conclusion: while false Earth was a great twist, they didn't really know where to go following that.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:32 AM on January 14, 2015


The ending of BSG actually changed how I watch television. I now have a strict "Not until it's done" policy for big serialized television. I don't care how good it is now. I will watch it when it's over and you can tell me with a straight face that it holds up all the way to the end, or you can tell me when to get off the train and make up my own ending.
posted by Grimgrin at 11:33 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


...the Adama maneuver was the most badass thing ever done in Sci-Fi TV.

I long to be watching some other sci-fi drama, something completely unrelated to BSG and then have a character say "Initializing Adama Maneuver". This plane of reality would probably explode from the collective nerdgasm.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:34 AM on January 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


"Not until it's done" policy

I understand that, but for me serialized storytelling is in large part about the ride, the excitement, the NO WAY THEY DID WHAT?? moments that you can share with friends and speculate about between episodes, etc. In that light, the ending of any series is a sort of separate point, as how it stands as a complete narrative work is a different question than what kind of experience it offered in the course of its creation and original airing.

TV shows aren't movies or novels, you know? That they are created, made, and presented serially matters and makes them a different kind of creative work that offers its own kind of experience, however imperfect and unsatisfying that very format often makes endings to those stories.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:41 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Now serial drama that is well thought out is recognized as the best of TV, thinking of stuff like Breaking Bad that did deliver on a satisfying ending

Interestingly enough, my understanding is that Breaking Bad wasn't planned out very far in advance - that at most they'd go into a season saying, "this is where we should end up by the finale," and would work out how they got there as they went along. They're plans changed constantly.

It's possible that Vince Gilligan is just better at doing this than RDM, or that this is easier to do with a show like breaking bad that has a strong, clear narrative arc at the outset (Good Man Goes Bad).
posted by muddgirl at 11:42 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


TV shows aren't movies or novels, you know? That they are created, made, and presented serially matters and makes them a different kind of creative work that offers its own kind of experience, however imperfect and unsatisfying that very format often makes endings to those stories.


You do know that Charles Dickens published many of what we now call his novels as serial magazine fiction installments, right?
posted by hippybear at 11:43 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Since I'm a nasty fucker I really loved the episode (I think it was the last of the second to last season) where they think they found Earth and it's a radioactive wasteland. I would have loved this as the actual ending. But probably not many others of the audience.

I would have preferred that ending, though I hate depressing endings. It's kind of a fit for this show. Of course, to the degree BSG is supposed to be an Exodus or Mormon Exodus allegory having no promised land at all is kind of a weak twist.

The ending of BSG actually changed how I watch television. I now have a strict "Not until it's done" policy for big serialized television. I don't care how good it is now. I will watch it when it's over and you can tell me with a straight face that it holds up all the way to the end, or you can tell me when to get off the train and make up my own ending.

See, that's what I am disagreeing with when I say I still love the time I invested in Lost and BSG. Letdown in the end, sure, but so many hours of fun not just in watching the episodes as they aired but also discussing them online and with friends. That experience has value too. I guess it might not be the way we do things anymore in the Netflix era though.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:45 AM on January 14, 2015


You do know that Charles Dickens published many of what we now call his novels as serial magazine fiction installments, right?

Not an appropriate comparison, as so many factors were beyond Moore's control in his multi-million dollar production that required hundreds of people and several separate companies to create. Dickens had complete control over what came out of his typewriter (? pen?), and the only budget limitations on his storytelling demands were print space/word count. And there was no labor strike that forced labor stoppage on his work, possibly preventing him from ending one of his major works.

Having said that, yes, reading Dickens' novels as serials would be a different experience than reading them as novels, and--IMHO--likely much more enjoyable.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:49 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I only made it a few episodes past the escape from New Caprica. THAT, by the way, was an amazeballs bit of sci-fi television...but it had been somewhat morose before that whole high point, and then got even more morose, and showed no signs of changing.

There's so, so much about that show to love, but after a while someone just decided to take the fun out of it and seemed to have no plans of putting it back.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:52 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, to me, Breaking Bad is sort of the exception that proves the rule, and underscores just how fantastic Gilligan and his writing team were with that show. It's very, very difficult to stick a landing in serialized TV drama, and most of the reasons are inherent in the business side of making this stuff, not the creative side.

(Of course, all is in flux, as we're now finally seeing entire seasons scripted in advance and filmed all at once, so who knows what delights await us all. It's exciting.)
posted by LooseFilter at 11:54 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


33 is the source of some awesome Edward James Olmos trivia, too:

In the DVD commentary for this episode, Ron D. Moore states that during the scene when Dualla hands Commander Adama a set of reports that he reads aloud (including fuel shortages, dozens of crewmen breaking down from nervous exhaustion, etc), Edward James Olmos ad-libbed "and ten suicides" in one take. The production team really liked the ad-lib, and thought the way Olmos acted the scene was fantastic. However, there were concerns that the network would think this would make an already extremely "dark" episode far too dark and alienate the audience during the premiere, and the line was reluctantly cut.

I misremembered this as there being multiple takes in which Olmos just amps up the suicides each time, and Moore bargains Sci-Fi down from like 112 suicides to 18, Abraham saving Sodom style, but it's still pretty awesome. Olmos destroyed the boat exactly how I remember, though.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:54 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Listening to Moore talk about the episode on a podcast the week after an episode aired seemed like a natural outgrowth of reading JMS posting about an episode on USENET and maybe a prelude to Talking Dead, though I have no experience nor interest in the latter.

More behind-the-scenes stuff: one of the Galactica SFX guys used to post renders of works-in-progress after an episode aired, which was fascinating. (I also still listen to the hour-long dance remix of SF theme songs he posted from time to time, it's great.)

Speaking of music, the Galactica soundtracks are well worth listening to even now and deserve special mention. "Prelude To War" and the reimagining of the old episode's theme song into the Colonial Anthem still give me chills.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:55 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


fun not just in watching the episodes as they aired but also discussing them online and with friends. That experience has value too. I guess it might not be the way we do things anymore in the Netflix era though.

(And this is something I really like about how Fanfare is set up, I feel like if I ever do a first watch on an older show I will be able to check in on some non-spoilery discussion for the episodes and leave my own opinion if I want. It's not the same as a real time conversation on something that just aired, but it's a good substitute.)
posted by Drinky Die at 11:55 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, it's more like, "What if a handful of survivors had Stalin's kid in a jail cell?" although analogies tend to fail. That's kind of the interesting thing about the Cylon race - should we hold unactivated or even activated Cylons accountable for the actions of their predecessors that they didn't even participate in? What does it mean to be an individual in a society where you (may or may not) inherit the memories of past lives, or your present actions may even be under the control of distant forces?

It's an interesting thing to think about from the perspective of viewers who have seen the whole show (like maybe all the Sixes looking identical is a metaphor for the way westerners assume all Muslims are alike and in cahoots with Osama bin Laden), but the writers do a terrible job of depicting the limited knowledge of the characters and how it should effect their motivations.

The crew of the Pegasus are depicted as racists who mistreat their captured Six because they think she's a machine rather than a person. They should've been depicted as Holocaust survivors who think they've captured...It's not clear exactly what they would know about the Cylons. They don't know about the Six who used Balthaar to render humanity defenseless, or the Six who declared the armistice over. So maybe it's more like "take out our revenge on a random Muslim soldier" than "We've captured Osama!" but the narrative doesn't really care about their perspective. So there's no actual way for the narrative or any of the characters to really address the questions of, "Is this person actually a monstrous genocidal criminal? And if so, how should we treat her?"

And I think it's an enormous lack of scale and perspective to try to tell post-9/11 stories (examining America's response to a pretty small attack on the scale of global warfare, leaving most of New York, much less the nation, frightened but intact) against the background of an actual genocide, more horrible than any we've seen in real life.
posted by straight at 12:13 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I only made it a few episodes past the escape from New Caprica. THAT, by the way, was an amazeballs bit of sci-fi television...

Would totally have accepted it as an ending. Hey, let's all just pretend.
posted by Artw at 12:14 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


The second highest point of the show was insane, drunken, one-eyed insurgent Saul Tigh on New Caprica. The highest point of the show was any time Doc Cottle didn't take your guff.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:22 PM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Speaking of music, the Galactica soundtracks are well worth listening to even now and deserve special mention. "Prelude To War" and the reimagining of the old episode's theme song into the Colonial Anthem still give me chills.

Speaking of both music AND affirmational fandom, Bear McCreary did an episode-by-episode blog of seasons 3 and 4, talking about how he wrote the music for the show.
posted by muddgirl at 12:26 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


The crew of the Pegasus are depicted as racists who mistreat their captured Six because they think she's a machine rather than a person. They should've been depicted as Holocaust survivors who think they've captured...It's not clear exactly what they would know about the Cylons.

Admiral Cain, commander of the Pegasus has a relationship with Six, who was going by the name Gina Inviere. Sometime after the attack, as Pegasus was going around attacking Cylon outposts, Cain saw another Six and deduced what Gina was. Then the torturing and gang rape began.

So, it's clear that Cain knew the Cylons had developed humans versions and was really, really pissed about that. It was an interesting contrast with how Galatica formed a less military government. Makes you wonder how Adama would have reacted if he had found out sooner that Tigh was a Cylon.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:30 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Any time I see a clock at thirty three minutes past the hour, digital or analog, I hear Lt. Gaeta's voice in my head saying 'The clock is running... thirty...three minutes... mark."

So, I guess I got that out of watching all of BSG, two or three times over.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:36 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Looking back on Cain's episodes with respect to the torture and rape of the "inhuman" cylons, and given the context wherein Moore clearly intended much of this as social commentary on how the U.S. was waging the war on terror, it is stark to consider the torture that has now been confirmed to have been occurring exactly then, and for the reasons of dehumanizing its subjects.
posted by odinsdream at 12:37 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


And then how they talked about that one Cylon, Daniel, who got boxed because he was "too artistic"? How was that artistic Cylon not Kara Thrace's dad?... And I was like, wtf. How did you not think of that.

I think they didn't want to return to/talk about Daniel too much, since AFAICT he was a desperate and late attempt to explain why 8+5 isn't 12 (once you establish that there are 12 models, and that Boomer is "Number 8", and that five of the models are unknown, you've already started painting yourself into a corner. Once you introduce every model number from 1 to 8 except 7, you're really screwed).

So, yeah, Daniel might be a bit of an embarrassment to them, seeing as how he's a kludge for a problem in the writing which, really, really shouldn't have arisen in the first place.
posted by jackbishop at 12:47 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Looking back on Cain's episodes with respect to the torture and rape of the "inhuman" cylons, and given the context wherein Moore clearly intended much of this as social commentary on how the U.S. was waging the war on terror, it is stark to consider the torture that has now been confirmed to have been occurring exactly then, and for the reasons of dehumanizing its subjects.

I think those real-world parallels are severely undermined by not taking their premises seriously.

The crew of the Pegasus think their captured Six is a robot. They could've made a pretty strong moral case that "torturing" it is no worse than throwing shoes at a portrait of George Bush, a mostly-harmless way to vent their frustrations.

I've been hesitant to try to push an attempt to understand fictional characters by comparing them with real-life Holocaust survivors in hypothetical circumstances (because: gross), but comparing the Six who actually orchestrated the attack on the Twelve Colonies to Hitler is doing a grave injustice to Adolf Hitler.

There are no real-life people who have survived a genocide on the scale of the one in Battlestar Galactica, driven completely off the planet, locked into tiny metal boxes, remorselessly hunted. Trying to compare the things such people might do and their motivations for doing so with post-9/11 America is gross.
posted by straight at 12:59 PM on January 14, 2015


They could've made a pretty strong moral case that "torturing" it is no worse than throwing shoes at a portrait of George Bush, a mostly-harmless way to vent their frustrations.

Or no worse than shooting "people" in GTA might be a better analogy.
posted by straight at 1:01 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Trying to compare the things such people might do and their motivations for doing so with post-9/11 America is gross.

That's exactly the kind if thing fiction is for.
posted by Artw at 1:13 PM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


I really wish they had stuck the landing on BSG. Instead, I lump this in with all the others that tried to make it up as they went along, like Lost or the mythology eps of X Files. Yes, Babylon 5 had some truly horrible dialog but damn, it had a general plan and at the end of season four, they fulfilled it. Then of course they had to come back for season five to destroy all that goodwill but hey, not every show can be The Wire.

I keep hoping for someone to do a big story space opera or fantasy with some quality on TV. I had moderate hopes for Ascension but we all know what a clusterfuck that turned out. Now SyFy is adopting The Expanse and again there is hope. Which probably means it will be a clusterfuck.
posted by Ber at 1:15 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The way spaceship shows just flat out died as a genre is still a perplexing surprise to me.
posted by Artw at 1:22 PM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Why do the Cylons come every thirty-three minutes?

I love that we don't know, because it's the exact opposite of technobabble. It implies that there must be some technical explanation for what's going on, though neither the audience nor the Battlestar crew know what that explanation might be.

On Star Trek TNG Geordi would have told us that it takes exactly 33 minutes for the Borg betaron scanner to lock on to tachyon emissions from the quad field inverters of the warp nacelles.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:23 PM on January 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


I think that more than anything else about BSG, the parts that are a reaction to and rumination on 9/11 and the War on Terror are probably going to be the main things with lasting historical significance as a cultural artifact.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:25 PM on January 14, 2015


Am I the only one who hated BSG from the get-go? The first episode has an empire of killer robots who put a bunch of their robots on a space station and then blow it up with bots on board, for the sole purpose of seeing the surprised look on a human's face? Seems like a tremendous waste of resources for some hyper-evolved robots to gloat briefly. Cylons have infiltrated human society with no one the wiser, provided no one ever has sex with the Seductobot model from behind, where you can clearly see the "I AM A CYLON" neon sign tramp stamp that flares up? The ludicrousness just seemed to spiral out from there. I hatewatched the entire series because my roomies were enthralled, but it seemed like every single episode hinged on something equally stupid.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:26 PM on January 14, 2015


They could've made a pretty strong moral case that "torturing" it is no worse than throwing shoes at a portrait of George Bush, a mostly-harmless way to vent their frustrations.

I remember reading something about BSG that said it asked the question "it is possible to rape a robot?" The show absolutely does ask that question, and I think it's hard to come away from those Pegasus episodes without deciding that the answer is yes.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:26 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Then of course they had to come back for season five to destroy all that goodwill but hey, not every show can be The Wire.


That's exactly The Wire. :)
posted by Drinky Die at 1:28 PM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


The first episode has an empire of killer robots who put a bunch of their robots on a space station and then blow it up with bots on board, for the sole purpose of seeing the surprised look on a human's face? Seems like a tremendous waste of resources for some hyper-evolved robots to gloat briefly.

I thought the point of the Cylon plots wasn't that the Cylons were coldly logical, but that they were petty, vengeful, impulsive, angry, and way too convinced of their moral superiority, as were the humans. The whole show is about hubris.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:34 PM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


I laughed so hard when I found out Starbuck was a womanising dude in the first series that it would justify the whole show for me if it already wasn't great if flawed.
posted by ersatz at 1:39 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now I am imagining the "hyper-evolved robots actually act like hyper-evolved robots" version of BSG. It is one episode long, just like the Canadian version of "Breaking Bad." A human arrives at the demilitarized space station, where a Six waits to tell him that the Cylons have determined that humans and Cylons will eventually destroy each other, and so the Cylons have found a way to leave for a nearby alternate universe, where they can live in peace and prosperity without humanity. Goodbye and Godspeed says the hologram Six as it flickers out of existence. The end.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:44 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


That's exactly the kind if thing fiction is for.

Sure, but it's still possible to do it badly. Comparing the USA to the handful of survivors of a planetary holocaust being relentlessly hunted by an enemy with vast military superiority is exactly the kind of self-serving myth-making that America has been using to justify every terrible thing its done since 9/11.
posted by straight at 1:49 PM on January 14, 2015


Hah - alternative ends for BSG. Cavill decides not to be a miserable bugger and actually builds himself the cosmic-robo-god body he always wanted that defies piffly human limitations. The other cylons think that's a fab idea and do the same. A few of them encounter the 12 colonies having become, essentially, a collection of Minds. They subtly institute a post-scarcity society where every human gets an unlimited supply of the most adorbs knitted sweaters plus a comfortable basket for sleeping in.
posted by Sparx at 1:55 PM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I thought they did a good job of making it a contrast as much as a comparison. The quickness with which they adopted suicide bombing on New Caprica suggests they aren't meant to be a direct representation of America. They are people dealing with the circumstances the way people might. Maybe they are as much Iraqis as Americans and the whole idea of seeing them as Americans was a mistake from the start. And maybe people are just people, Iraqi or American.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:55 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I remember reading something about BSG that said it asked the question "it is possible to rape a robot?" The show absolutely does ask that question, and I think it's hard to come away from those Pegasus episodes without deciding that the answer is yes.

But think about the implications of Boomer thinking she's human for who-knows-how-long and then suddenly shooting Adama. That's fairly strong evidence that Cylons are not reliable sources of information about whether they are conscious free agents or just machines that can convincingly fake it.
posted by straight at 2:04 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Having said that, Deus ex machina has been ridiculed as a lazy (or bad) writer's cure-all since it was invented in ancient Greece--and it's mostly ridiculed when it's not literally (a) god, but some happy coincidence, or a character happening to have the perfect thing to solve a problem in their pocket, or whatever.

I'm going to disagree with this. Sure, just saying god did it would generally be a lazy get out, the difference is that in the BSG universe the power of the divine is well established as a force which has influenced actions, often cryptically, throughout the series.

In some ways it has parallels with 2001: the colonists are guided to Earth to influence development of the existing inhabitants, presumably by an unseen force which desires that outcome and after they have proved their mettle. This is established as prophecy throughout all five series, and these are prophecies which actually work! (Within the context of the BSG universe). Essentially, the series works better if you accept it is a universe where there is a working God (and I say this as someone who believes he lives in a universe without one). This of course pretty much follows from the story being influenced by Virgil/Exodus/Mormonism.

Of course, it was also prophesised by Patrick Macnee back in 1978.
posted by biffa at 2:05 PM on January 14, 2015


I know I'm late to this party, but BSG (and Lost and many other shows) fell into that very very common modern problem of getting popular enough to be extended beyond the original tight arc of the story it was trying to tell. so all of a sudden popular (with the audience) characters can no longer be killed, and lots of filler story lines are added to pad it all out. Sometimes this show did it pretty well, but IMO, if the writers had been forced to wrap it up by the end of the 3rd season we might have seen a satisfying ( even tragic) ending. Instead, they painted themselves into the corner (of the spirituality angle) and gave us what we got.
I still look back on the miniseries and the first couple seasons fondly, and would argue that there are several episodes that rose to or might have surpassed 33.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:05 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


alternative ends for BSG.

Everything stays the same, but in season 4 full on mutiny erupts across the spectrum, with metal cylons rebelling against the human cylons and humans rebelling against Adama and Rosline. Alliances across the spectrum at first, then everything that that looks humans join together against metal cylons. Blood battle ensues and the metal cylons win, but at horrific cost. They take the few remaining humans and leave them on Earth with a few sabotaged ships, so they'll have some technology, but not much. Then the metal cylons head for the stars and try to get as far away from Earth as possible. Last scene is a few humans watching the cylons leave and then turning around to face a vast Earth plain with mountains. They begin trying to organize themselves as primitives watch from the sidelines.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:05 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's fairly strong evidence that Cylons are not reliable sources of information about whether they are conscious free agents or just machines that can convincingly fake it.

That's about as human as it gets.
posted by biffa at 2:06 PM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


I know I'm late to this party, but BSG (and Lost and many other shows) fell into that very very common modern problem of getting popular enough to be extended beyond the original tight arc of the story it was trying to tell.

I'm pretty sure that Lost was entirely winged from episode 1. BSG dies suffer a lot from being developed at the height of popularity of Lost's arbitrary mystery box style of storytelling.
posted by Artw at 2:18 PM on January 14, 2015


The miniseries, first season, and the first half of the second season are probably my favorite hours of television, ever. I can't even begin to estimate how many times I rewatched "You Can't Go Home Again," "Colonial Day," or "Hand of God." Looking back, I think the magic was in the tightness of the timeline: from "33" to the end of the mutiny storyline was just 65 days (per the Battlestar Wiki). After "Home Part Two," the show became looser and less serialized, and it became increasingly easier to see where TPTB didn't have a plan. The writing got sloppier, until, IMO, it simply became a mess.

After New Caprica and definitely after the Final Five reveal, the show started to feel like something different, to me. The characters became less likeable; "A Disquiet Follows My Soul" and the whole exchange between Gaeta and Starbuck was right about when I realized I actively disliked most of the characters. The show stopped making me think, so much as try to make sense of the storylines. It wasn't fun. And I think it jumped the shark when non-Cylon Starbuck came back after "Maelstrom." For a show that prided itself on realism, on not pulling the punches, on leaving ships behind and destroying the Olympic Carrier and having most of the flight crew die in a freak flight deck accident, Starbuck magically/spiritually/whateverly coming back to life when no one else did (except the Cylons) was a different show. And it was one I didn't particularly enjoy. (And I still don't get why Undead!Starbuck was needed to help find Earth, when the Fleet could just go back to perfectly habitable Kobol.)
posted by coast99 at 2:24 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Let's take a moment to remember the KFC Frak Pack.
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on January 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


That's exactly The Wire. :)

Whaddaya mean? The Wire only had 4 seasons.

THERE! ARE! FOUR! SEASONS!
posted by orrnyereg at 2:40 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


S5 had its moments, the newsroom stuff just meant it was carrying a lot of dead weight as well.
posted by Artw at 3:47 PM on January 14, 2015


S5 had its moments, the newsroom stuff fake serial killer just meant it was carrying a lot of dead weight as well.
posted by muddgirl at 3:53 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


That does bring us the profile of the killer, though.
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I also thought the ending was spot on. I mean, Starbuck for example had been hinted to be the thing she turned out to be for like two seasons.

PISTOLS AT DAWN, SIR.

Seriously! Starbuck as a character, even with mumbo jumbo whateverthefuck, should not have left Lee. There is no indication in most of the episodes that she would make the choice she did, and it only ended the way it did because Katee Sackhoff smokes crack.
According to Katee Sackhoff, "That was a decision that we made, because I selfishly wanted her at peace, and the only way to do that was to have her with someone at the end, or to be with the person she wanted to be with."
And then the actor who played Anders, Michael Trucco, broke his neck in a fucking car accident and Katee decided that it should be Anders, because she felt bad and they were good friends.

And that is why that monstrosity of an episode aired. I, however, spit on that episode and the horse it rode in on.
posted by corb at 5:07 PM on January 14, 2015


The quickness with which they adopted suicide bombing on New Caprica suggests they aren't meant to be a direct representation of America. They are people dealing with the circumstances the way people might. Maybe they are as much Iraqis as Americans and the whole idea of seeing them as Americans was a mistake from the start.
Except, of course, that every single important character involved in the insurgency is quickly revealed to have been a Cylon all along. Despite the many other nit-picky complaints I have about a genuinely great show, the "all terrorists were actually Cylons" thing is the only choice I found genuinely disappointing. The ending was lame, but at least it wasn't a cowardly retreat from the chance to depict something complicated.

(Note, I'm definitely not claiming "seeing them as Americans" is either implied or convincing. Only that we should see them as characters written by people ultimately incapable of escaping a framework of rigidly defined good-guys and bad-guys. Which is a habit common, but not unique, to Americans.)
posted by eotvos at 5:38 PM on January 14, 2015


I remember reading something about BSG that said it asked the question "it is possible to rape a robot?" The show absolutely does ask that question, and I think it's hard to come away from those Pegasus episodes without deciding that the answer is yes.

Also, consider that the show convinced you that Six is an actual person with feelings and emotions, when in fact she is a fictional character with no inner life whatsoever, the product of a hive-mind consisting of the actor, the writers, and the directors. If they could trick you into thinking Six was sentient, perhaps a robot could do the same.
posted by straight at 5:45 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


consider that the show apparently convinced you that Six is an actual person with feelings and emotions, when in fact she is a fictional character with no inner life whatsoever, the product of a hive-mind consisting of the actor, the writers, and the directors

To be completely fair, that is a truth about any character in any motion media project from Casablanca to Downton Abbey and beyond and between.
posted by hippybear at 5:47 PM on January 14, 2015


Fictional characters are robots. WAKE UP SHEEPLE
posted by RogerB at 5:52 PM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Not saying i'll go to my grave thinking this, but at least for now i basically think anyone who is ok with the ending and even later decline of the series is either, or some mixture of:

1. Someone who didn't watch the show during its original run, and wasn't involved in the gigantic online fan community that swirled around every new episode(i still feel like even game of thrones doesn't have as fervent of fans and discussion). And therein, didn't spent weeks or months contemplating what had just happened and thinking about where it could or would go.

2. Thinks it's cool to have an unusual/unpopular opinion, some of it really just feels like contrarianism

3. Just didn't really pay that much attention or something. Like, put down your ipad and watch the show.

The characters stop being the characters past a certain point in it. They gradually, or abruptly just stop being who they've been built up or established to be and act in ways that just make no freaking sense at all. And "humans are unpredictable!" is a really dumb handwave here. It's like an entirely different group of writers started up with only cliffs notes, and hadn't watched the show at all beforehand(or if they did, didn't really pay attention or analyze it and think about it at all).

And the thing is, even until the very end it had its moments. But the problem was that almost all of the first good chunk of it(basically give or take, the part coast99 describes) was great. Not just good. It was very, very frontloaded goodness. Like better than the best bits of TNG and on par with any other Great TV. Probably the best scifi tv ever done. It wasn't perfect, but it was really fucking good.

And then it just... starts being less good. But you're pretty much ok with it, because it's like that second album from a band you really liked that isn't as good as the first one, but isn't crap either. The problem is that it's really hard to pull a reverse-TNG and be respected. It's one thing to start out shakey or even mediocre and take off. It's another thing to slowly slide in to the trash bin.

And this show did that and then suddenly drives off a cliff. It slowly got worse and worse, then abruptly they just pull down their pants and take a dump on your face while going "haha, thanks for watching!".

The character thing is fairly subtle too. It's one of those things where if you've just watched the later parts or end of the show, and go and rewatch the early bits it's pretty obvious though. Corb touches on it, but a lot of things that happen are just stuff it makes no sense for that character to do.

I still wonder how much of what happened was due to the writers strike, because there's a hugeeee disconnect between the earlier parts and later parts.

I'm still shocked at the ending though. I've read several really really good fan endings. One of them was posted on here, even. It just makes no sense to me that they really couldn't come up with something better than that.
posted by emptythought at 5:53 PM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


That does bring us the profile of the killer, though.
posted by Artw at 7:09 PM on January 14 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


Not saying it didn't have some moments, heh.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:49 PM on January 14, 2015


Much has been said of the story, but let us also remember the effects. BSG still has some of the most epic, literally-jaw-dropping space battle scenes I've ever seen. 4 Cylon basestars and 2 battlestars just SLUGGING it out with nukes and missiles blew my mind.

It wasn't just high quality CGI, which isn't really sufficient. It was that the combat was staged in some semi-realistic way (real momentum, slug-throwers, nukes) that matched the epic fantasy space battles I saw in my head when I read space opera as a kid, and also that I cared about the characters and their outcomes (so I guess it is the story again).

I just watched the Adama Maneuver bit again, and it gave me chills. "Then that's it. It's been an honor."
posted by jjwiseman at 7:06 PM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Thanks so much for the post, Brandon Blatcher! I loved this show and haven't rewatched it in years (kicking myself for ever believing it would just persist indefinitely on Netflix streaming) and it's been a delight reading through everyone's comments again, to relive what I loved about the series and what annoyed the piss out of me about it.

I already said my piece about the series finale in the (jesus, almost five-year-old) thread (tldr: it wasn't perfect, but I don't see what other choice the remaining humans had. Their ships were falling apart, they'd run out of tilium to power their gadgets at some point, so if they were going to make it long term they'd have to start from first principles at some point and re-establish agriculture, mining, machinery, etc. in a sustainable fashion on a new home planet. (...boning primates was a tough pill to swallow though))

But I wanted to take this opportunity, since I don't know when we'll have another thread like this, to drop some praise for my favorite post-33 episode, and probably the last time the show had me super-engaged until the final few episodes: THE PASSAGE! I haven't seen it get many shoutouts and I read some decidedly mixed reviews at the time, but god I love it. For one thing, it's just so goddamn bleak - the fleet's down to a few days' worth of food and people are gnawing on paper, command throws their hands up and basically says to the pilots "well, we don't condone the use of amphetamines but... do what you feel like you need to do to keep going," and the last hope for survival is going on a suicide run through a star cluster just blasting everything with radiation. Oh, and the pilots have to do that like five times in a row.

And god I love those star cluster scenes so much. Because while the pilots can only hang around in the cluster for like a minute before absorbing a fatal dose of radiation, and just being there is blindingly bright and mentally debilitating, each pilot has to keep it together and calculate the next jump coordinates, find the civilian ship he or she is tasked to escort in the middle of this just fiery hellscape, transmit the coordinates and get the hell out. But like some kind of nightmare, the ships have a tendency to just vanish without a trace into these massive fire clouds and reappear elsewhere, and if you can't find it within the minute or whatever, it's gone. That ship is lost, the crew is dead, there's one less previous starship left over forever, and you have to just carry that burden for the rest of your life.

But even more impressive to me was the way they pulled off the Kat storyline! God I could never stand Kat when she popped up in previous episodes, and somehow they pulled off a single-episode redemption story to the point where I teared up a little at the end when Adama's comforting her, telling her about the daughter he wishes he had, and then AGAIN later when he rearranged the org chart to make her posthumous CAG. The B-story was decent for this era of the series too, with one of the Threes chasing the dragon by repeatedly killing herself to try to glimpse the faces of the final five before resurrecting again, and Baltar clinging to hope that maybe he was a Cylon hero instead of a human traitor. But I didn't even remember that plotline until I looked up the synopsis of the episode, whereas the main plot has stuck with me for... 8 years now.

This episode immediately follows "Unfinished Business," the episode with the boxing match. The very next episode starts the Eye of Jupiter plotline that over time sends Starbuck spiraling out of touch into arts and crafts mysticism, becoming an angel, and drawing out the Demetrius vision quest that lasts four goddamn episodes. Later in the season, there's all the weird mystical Watchtower cover humming nonsense, way too much Romo Lampkin, and Lee gives up being a pilot for no reason so he can stumble into success as a lawyer briefly before stumbling into success as a politician in the first half of season 4, etc. This is the era when I really started losing patience/interest in where the show was going. But the Passage... that's an episode that has stuck with me.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 7:18 PM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh, and I will also never, ever forgive the writers for falling for the stupid Kara-Anders plotline which ultimately resulted in the humiliating subplot of Fat! Lee and His Pouty Bowl of Ramen.

So, so bitter that they put poor Jamie Bamber in a fatsuit for like half a season.
posted by TwoStride at 7:47 PM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


It wasn't just high quality CGI, which isn't really sufficient. It was that the combat was staged in some semi-realistic way (real momentum, slug-throwers, nukes) that matched the epic fantasy space battles I saw in my head when I read space opera as a kid, and also that I cared about the characters and their outcomes (so I guess it is the story again).

Yeah, I kind of feel like a kid when one of my major criticisms is "NEEDS MOAR SPACE BATTLES!" but they were just so damn good at it. The only space battle scene in all of film I would rate higher than what Galactica did is the first Death Star battle in Star Wars. The Wrath of Khan nebula battle is the only thing from Trek that deserves to even be in the conversation.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:54 PM on January 14, 2015


Probably the best scifi tv ever done. It wasn't perfect, but it was really fucking good.

The pilot miniseries really blew me away at how clever and thoughtful and well-written the premise, setting and characters were. The ban on networked computers, while a little bit fanciful, solved so very many problems that make other sci-fi shows hard to take seriously. After watching it, I couldn't believe I'd seen a sci-fi show like this where I didn't have to bracket big chunks of it as "OK, that part is stupid, but..."

And then in that first season, there are so many great performances. Olmos has unbelievable amounts of charisma and gravitas. I was consistently surprised out how compelling Balthar's selfish accidental saint business was. Roslin, Boomer, Starbuck, Tigh, Galen, Apollo, Cottle, Gaeta, all were so compelling to watch.
posted by straight at 8:41 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


To be completely fair, that is a truth about any character in any motion media project from Casablanca to Downton Abbey and beyond and between.

My point there was to use fictional characters as an example of how ready our brains are to ascribe agency where it clearly doesn't exist, as a way of saying I think the show shouldn't have so easily dismissed as mere prejudice the idea that Cylons might not actually be conscious thinking beings. The entire Pegasus arc could have been so much more interesting if the officers of the Pegasus hadn't been mostly cartoon villains.

They touched a little bit on all the things Galactica had done that might have justly horrified the Pegasus crew, and I think it would have been so much more interesting if there had been more balance in considering the right and wrong of what each crew had done up to that point.
posted by straight at 8:55 PM on January 14, 2015


TwoStride: So, so bitter that they put poor Jamie Bamber in a fatsuit for like half a season.

ahahahaha I never really liked Lee so needless to say I LOVED the Fat Lee character arc. It isn't entirely clear what he's eating in this scene but I always imagined they were cheesy poofs. So when I went as Fat Lee for Halloween back in 2012 I stuffed a giant pillow into an officer uniform and carried around one of those massive Costco tubs of cheesy poofs all night. (Only like 2 people all night got who I was supposed to be but the snacks were popular)
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 9:04 PM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


2. Thinks it's cool to have an unusual/unpopular opinion, some of it really just feels like contrarianism

3. Just didn't really pay that much attention or something. Like, put down your ipad and watch the show.


Oh, you're so right. Everyone who disagrees with you about anything is either lying or stupid.
posted by yoink at 9:30 PM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


I loved the show until the end when Kara turned out to be a sexin', poopin' disappearing angel. GRRRRRRR.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:35 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Resurrection Ship is far and away the best episode. Watch it again.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:38 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I loved the show but this:
Cylons have infiltrated human society with no one the wiser, provided no one ever has sex with the Seductobot model from behind, where you can clearly see the "I AM A CYLON" neon sign tramp stamp that flares up?
always really bugged me. Somehow sex in that universe is always missionary? Or everybody closes their eyes? And never does it in a dark room? And nobody ever walks un on anybody at an inopportune moment?
posted by nat at 12:29 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've just always assumed that Six's light-up spine in the miniseries is nondiegetic. Is there any reason to think otherwise?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:40 AM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I came around more on the ending the second time around. I also love the boxing match episode. Love it. Its a well written exercise in character and fits nicely in terms of the ongoing development of the crew's human qualities and the need for catharsis.

Somehow sex in that universe is always missionary?

If it was missionary you wouldn't have been able to see Six's spine.
posted by biffa at 5:34 AM on January 15, 2015


I've just always assumed that Six's light-up spine in the miniseries is nondiegetic. Is there any reason to think otherwise?

yeah, Ronald Moore said somewhere that was just a visual cue for the audience. But obviously that wasn't very clear. I don't think they actually used it much, because it made no sense.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:37 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is there any reason to think otherwise?

Well, yes--the complete absence of such radically expressivist nondiegetic techniques elsewhere in the entire series. If people's body parts regularly started to glow or grotesquely distend of change color or what have you without anyone in the storyworld apparently noticing we could read the glowing spine as somehow purely symbolic, but in the context of the broadly "realist" storytelling of the series it was obviously meant to be a "no, they're really, really not human, despite how they look" moment.

It really was a bizarre lapse, given how quickly they would arrive at the "and there's simply no way to distinguish them from humans!" point (and would need to). I was never that bugged by it, though, because it seemed clear that it was just a goof within that one episode--we obviously aren't being asked to believe in subsequent episodes that Cylons routinely start glowing during sex and no one notices.
posted by yoink at 6:54 AM on January 15, 2015


Now I desperately want someone to make a supercut of Gaius making frowny faces about how impossible it is to detect Cylons interspersed with clips of Saul, Boomer, the Chief, and all the other secret Cylons having sex with a glow effect added to their spines.
posted by straight at 7:51 AM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Seriously! Starbuck as a character, even with mumbo jumbo whateverthefuck, should not have left Lee.

Perhaps, but I liked the idea that she did. Especially since Lee was a bit of an entitled ass for most the show. Not a bad guy, but entitled. That's why I loved Black Market, it showed he was just as fucked up, if not more, than everyone else.

Plus Anders was good character, well formed, and it's easy to see why a woman might choose him over Lee

There is no indication in most of the episodes that she would...the actor who played Anders, Michael Trucco, broke his neck in a fucking car accident and Katee decided that it should be Anders, because she felt bad and they were good friends.

Goddamnit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:52 AM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


My point there was to use fictional characters as an example of how ready our brains are to ascribe agency where it clearly doesn't exist, as a way of saying I think the show shouldn't have so easily dismissed as mere prejudice the idea that Cylons might not actually be conscious thinking beings

By that logic, there's no way for the Cylons to know that humans might not actually be conscious thinking beings, so maybe their actions against humanity was merely akin to stamping out a troublesome ant hill, and not unjustifiable genocide. The show didn't explore this possibility either.
posted by muddgirl at 7:54 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The endings to BSG retroactively ruined the series for me. I wish I hadn't spent time watching that damn show now. I used to love it and was really wanted it to end well. But the show ended up some weird mishmash of scifi and fucking magical realism where it didn't make sense BUT also wasn't emotionally relevant. Man and the ending (and whole last season really) was such a cop out. I spent what was a lot of money to me at the time to buy it legally on itunes and I felt so betrayed.
posted by Carillon at 10:24 AM on January 15, 2015


By that logic, there's no way for the Cylons to know that humans might not actually be conscious thinking beings, so maybe their actions against humanity was merely akin to stamping out a troublesome ant hill, and not unjustifiable genocide. The show didn't explore this possibility either.

But it should have! If Cavail's whole deal was that humans, being mere animals, couldn't really be intelligent conscious agents equivalent to his programed intelligence, that would have been fantastic. I'm definitely not saying that human ideas about toasters were right, merely that the writers mostly forgot that those ideas existed, just as they seemed to forget that humans had more justified reason to hate Cylons than any victimized group in human history has ever had.
posted by straight at 11:21 AM on January 15, 2015


If there is literally no way to distinguish a Cylon from a human, then aren't they... human?
posted by jjwiseman at 1:53 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's kinda the point.
posted by bonehead at 1:56 PM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


The endings to BSG retroactively ruined the series for me. I wish I hadn't spent time watching that damn show now.

You know, I've felt that way for a long time, but reading this thread has kindled an interest to watch it again, just for kicks. I'll just point a point of skipping through the intro that has the "and they have a plan" bs and just try to enjoy all the wonderful beats and see if I feel differently about the mix of religion and science in the finale.

Probably not, 'cause it made no goddamn sense.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:56 PM on January 15, 2015


If there is literally no way to distinguish a Cylon from a human, then aren't they... human?

Except for the trace elements Doc Cottle found after cremating Leoben's body.

And on that note, no matter how bad I found the series becoming, I'd always look forward to the fleeting Doc Cottle scenes.
posted by audi alteram partem at 1:59 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


As an atheist who LOVED BSG, and liked the ending, I just have to say: There is NO deus ex machina. There is NO god. The final conversation, as well as several voiceover explanations at the beginning of episodes, make that clear. The human/Cylon(/former-rev Cylon) struggle is a failed cycle, not a Divine Plan leading to a reunion with Krishna, or Assumption into Heaven, or Paradise returned to Earth.

"All this has happened before, and will happen again"... because the supergenius being behind it all is convinced he will get it right this time, dammit!

... or because the being is part of the cycle, and can't sufficiently learn from the iterations (like Neo in the Matrix). (This is actually suggested by the importance of Ellen Tigh in the creation of the 12 Cylons.)

... or because the cycle is a splendid play in 1,000 year-long acts, entertaining the being.

... or...

It may be that it's simply not possible to end a 5-season series with satisfaction for the majority, any more than it's possible to create whole-cloth a satisfying new Tolkien character. The expectations are too high; the judgments become too polarized (as more story is consumed and examined).
posted by IAmBroom at 2:22 PM on January 15, 2015


I just watched the Adama Maneuver bit again, and it gave me chills.

I just watched that, and it reminded me why I never got into neo-BSG. The shaky-cam. In that entire video, there are maybe about two seconds where the camera is not moving around. If it's an interior shot of a guy looking at a computer screen, the camera is moving for no apparent reason. If it's a shot of just a computer screen, the camera moves around. If it's an all-CGI shot of a big space battle, the simulated camera is shaking, zooming, dodging and weaving, and generally not staying still. It's been described as giving the effect of "gritty realism". Realism? What, are they pretending that the film crew is a bunch of monkeys in space suits? To me the effect is unwatchable garbage. Bad as it was in the battle scenes, it's even more distracting when it happens during some quiet moment of dialogue.

It seems like it shouldn't matter, like I ought to be able to look past this little detail and see the other merits of the series, but nope; can't do it. I feel obligated to complain about it just to add my small part to the collected weight of all the other complaints in the hopes that it might somehow help others avoid this mistake in the future. They went way past the point where it could be merely annoying but forgivable. Too bad for those of us who can't stand that shit, because otherwise it seems like it might've been pretty good.
posted by sfenders at 7:52 AM on January 16, 2015


the film crew is a bunch of monkeys in space suits

I would watch this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:02 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


It seems like it shouldn't matter, like I ought to be able to look past this little detail and see the other merits of the series

Yes. Yes it does.
posted by yoink at 9:44 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


The shaky-cam.

It is a bit much, true.
posted by jjwiseman at 9:51 AM on January 16, 2015


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