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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

‘Battlestar Galactica’ blogging: “Daybreak: Part 1”

(lots of spoilers! assumes you’ve seen the episode!)

(previous: “Islanded in a Stream of Stars”)
Is someone dreaming of Caprica City “before the fall”? (That’s an interesting phrase: “before the fall.” Very biblical.) I mean, it seems like a dream, not a flashback, doesn’t it, the way it opens, all sort of impressionistic and, well, dreamlike.

Or it’s a Cylon projection? Someone has projected the whole thing, going who knows how far back? Back to the nebula? All the way back to Caprica City “before the fall,” or just at the fall?

I don’t really think we’ll end up with anything so clichéd as “it was all a dream.” But there’s something going on here

Is something making everyone dream about the past? Is it just the Galactica being torn apart that’s making everyone nostaglic? It’s the last piece of the old world, the last piece of the way things used to be (at least for those who’ve been living on Galactica), and when it’s gone, the old world is gone. The past is gone.

Oh, but this is cruel, seeing everyone so happy and pre-apocalypse. Well, Laura’s happy for a bit, and then is slammed with tragedy. And we know that Kara will be coping with Zack’s death soon enough. And Gaius… oh Gaius, who is so cruel to his father, difficult though he may be, that even Caprica Six is stunned.

(Somehow, Caprica Six’s reaction to Gaius’s father makes me think way back to the beginning, when she strangled that baby just before the nuke attacks, and how that seems like a kindness all of a sudden.)

And now, in the here-and-now, it’s Gaius, this terrible man with no apparent empathy, who is the leader of the last group with any spiritual aspect to it, a group trying to gain political power?

Aha: Sam was once all about “beauty of physics,” the “wonder of mathematics”? And now he wants to “find the perfect world for the end of Kara Thrace”? Is Sam gonna be everyone’s savior — is he gonna find a world they can live on and jump them there?

Drunk Lee trying to chase the bird out of his house, and doing more damage rather than leaving the poor confused thing alone… And did he maybe kill it? Is that what we’re meant to think?

Lee with the bird is going to be very important, I suspect.

This is not where I was expecting us to be in the final moments of this series — nowhere near. In a thematic sense, I mean, or a spiritual sense. Everything is in such turmoil that we can’t even talk about things like, “Is it gonna turn out to be too late to save Hera?” It’s more like, “Can anybody be saved?”

Is Adama’s decision to go after Hera — a hybrid human and machine, half of her made up of the people who destroyed human civilization — the key here? Is the decision to stop seeing the distinction between human and Cylon the important thing, even if no one survives beyond that?

That would be a truly depressing end.

Hera is going to be the little bird, I think, whatever happens.

It’s almost over… Nooooo…..

(next: “Daybreak: Part 2”)

(Watch full episodes and get recaps at Sci Fi’s official site for the show.)


MPAA: rated TV14-LV

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
posted in:
tv buzz
  • And they’re going to battle on the edge of a black hole, the universe’s most powerful engine of destruction.

    Cavil’s Cylon basestar looks particularly spider-like, stuck in the sweet spot of the gravitational web.

    Prediction: Spike dies. No one’s getting out of this alive. Just Like Starbuck… and that means something…

  • Actually, the baby’s neck snapped… and after seeing the miniseries 4 times, I remain convinced it was an accident. Not a kindness though, despite Six’s ambivalent reaction (knowing as she does that they’re all gonna die anyway) — there is a definite moment of “uh oh” in her eyes. She just wanted to find out whether the neck could actually hold that much weight.

    Daybreak pt 1 was amazing… but I don’t want next Friday to ever come. This state, right now, that we are all in together: this is Uncertainty. Schroedinger’s Battlestar. They’re all dead, and they’re all alive — they’ve found a home, and they’ve been sucked into a black hole. As fans of the show, we’ve got to revel in these moments of clarity… pure potential. And we must soak in the audacious rarity of a singular, shared experience.

    Well, it’s been fun, kids! I’d say it’s time to move on to the next thing, but I think we all know this is it for us. Galactica ends and the lights get dimmer.

    Grab your gun and bring the cat in.

  • I generally liked Daybreak, Part 1.

    However, considering how much happened in the last couple of episodes, really very little happened in it. It’s mostly a very reflective episode, except for Adama recruiting for the big suicide mission.

    But I liked the reminder of how mundane life used to be, and the reminder of how unlikely it is that Gaius has changed in any meaningful way.

  • Bart D

    So…. my prediction (having not seen the finale):

    – Baltar leads a contingent to another area, that (eventually) becomes the new 12 tribes. He writes the scrolls that become the equivalent to the scrolls of Kobol. Their fate is not resolved in the finale.

    – Galactica’s crew (those that crossed the line) fight Cavil’s gang and (the survivors) are sent through the vortex of the Black hole, lost to Baltar’s group. Those survivors- of which Hera (the original ‘clone’ mix- Starbuck (daughter of Daniel and her human Mom)- become the new 13th tribe.

    Battlestar Galactica is great- and am very sad to see it going away.

    Love your Blog! Keep it up!

  • Jasper

    Although I was less disappointed with Daybreak Part 1 than I had been by the two prior to that, I do feel the refleective aspects of the episode could have been condensed into about 15 minutes. Was that all a reminder to “the way things were”? Or better yet, the way the characters used to be? So much has changed in the last four seasons that re-watching the mini-series might shock us all (even seeing Kara with the shorter haircut).

    But I got it, now lets move on.

    I have extremely high hopes for the upcoming finale and agree with the original blog that we wont be subjected to a cop-out ending (it was a dream/projection, or worse a clip show), but I also am growing tired of having things set up.

    As much as I dont want Friday to come part of me (the nervously anticipating part) wants it over.

    Part of me never wants to it to end. But still cant wait for Friday night.

    We’re all Cylons.

  • I’m waiting next friday to see this one back to back with the … sob … last one !!!
    I can’t believe I just wrote that

  • Spencer

    Glad I’m not the only one experiencing tingles of “What the hell? These are the last four episodes and very few significant plot points occur?”

    All this means that a LOT of questions will go unanswered. That, or we’ll end up with a bloated, overblown Spiderman 3 to end the best series on TV since Firefly. Yipee.

    I like what someone said about wanting everyone to stay in this state of perpetual potential. There is an interesting commentary within that on the nature of entertainment, especially a medium like TV that asks viewers to spend literally weeks of their life watching four season’s worth of hour-long episodes. As much as I like dark shows, and dark movies, and grit and grime and seriousness et. al., I honestly think I want this to end happily(ish). I’m already a little pissed by D’Anna just chilling out on nuked Earth, waiting to die.

    I wouldn’t feel cheated by a happy ending since the setup so far has been “Anything can happen.” BSG has hammered that into me so much that now, a happy(ish) ending would almost be a twist, and there are enough tracks laid down previously to have it not be a sell-out or cop-out. Hell, the fact that the human race and the cast of major characters is still around is by itself enough of a setup for a happy(ish) ending.

    The bottom line is, who gets any sort of benefit out of investing so much time and emotion in a group of people only to see it all end in tears? Tragedies are great in 2 or 3-hour doses. It would be a very rare person who wants life (of which art is a representation) to be, at bottom, that tragic. And honestly, that is the only way that I would be able to justify enjoying a bleak ending.

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