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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

‘Battlestar Galactica’ blogging: “Daybreak: Part 2”

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

(previous: “Daybreak: Part 1”)
So, the venerable battlestar Galactica turns out to be… the Golgafrinchan B-Ark?

I think that perhaps — and I mean this in all good humor, and in the spirit of fannish adoration — that we should collectively (and metaphorically… metaphorically) punch Ron Moore and David Eick in the face for flat-out lying to us about whether that Earth we saw 11 episodes back was the “real” Earth or “our” Earth or however we want to describe it. They knew damn frakkin’ well what we wanted to know by asking about that, no matter how we phrased it, and they led us to believe that it was our Earth and the only Earth we were going to see.

But now we see that they were tricking us again, that they weren’t, strictly speaking, lying, because our Earth — the planet you and I are clinging to at this very moment — is not the “real” Earth, that it merely got graced with a name from the myths and legends of our good Galactica folk, the great-great-great-etc grandparents of us all. Bastards! Moore and Eick, I mean, for lying to us. Not Helo and Athena, who really are all of our great-great-great-etc grandparents, if Hera is the mitochondrial Eve. How cute is that? We’re all human-skinjob Cylons. I so totally called that.

Not that I’m not saying it wasn’t a good trick on the part of Moore and Eick, mind. The small gang of geeks I enjoyed the BSG finale with all barked out our combined dismay/pleasure when we saw that famous outline of Africa (one of continent designer Slartibartfast’s finest, I’ll say). We did that a lot, actually, during those final two hours. Cavil putting a gun in his mouth? Who was expecting that? Kara using the notes of “All Along the Watchtower” as jump coordinates? (“There must be some kinda way outta this…”) I thought it was gonna be Sam who did that. And I didn’t think it was gonna be this planet — the one you and I are sitting on right now — that those coordinates found.

I don’t know whether I wish that was one of the things BSG left up in the air. I just don’t know. I think we’re gonna be unpacking the fantastical pseudo-theological implications of how Moore and Eick wrapped their show up for a long time — and that’s gonna be a lot of fun — and we certainly wouldn’t have had that if it wasn’t our planet the fleet ended up at, and it wasn’t our ancestors Helo and Athena and Hera and the rest turned out to be. (Actually, maybe not the rest: If Hera is the mitochondrial Eve, does that imply that no one else left descendants? I don’t know.)

I like the idea of Galen going off to his cold island in the northern hemisphere and, I presume, inventing Ireland. I like the idea of the Old Man building his cabin right next to Roslin’s grave and spending the rest of his days sitting on his porch and yelling at those damn kids to get off his savannah.

I would have liked to think that Kara was going to shack up with Lee and start making babies, but WTF? She just disappears? So she didn’t download and resurrect on the other Earth — this new Kara was just… what? an angel? Like the Six and the Gaius wandering Times Square 150,000 years later?

I don’t know that I would like to think that a Six and a Gaius are watching over us.

I do know that I sobbed a lot during the last 20 minutes or so, and I’m not even sure why. Except that I knew it was all over, and I didn’t want it to be.

(next: Caprica)

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

MPAA: rated TV14

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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  • RogerBW

    Could have been better, could have been a whole lot worse.

    I did think the latter part of the episode (it felt like the second half when I was watching, but it was really only the last 35 minutes) dragged rather – lots of shots that went on just that bit too long, and all the false endings in the manner of The Return of the King. Still, a lot of stories to be wrapped up, I suppose.

  • j4yx0r

    What did you think of the coda tacked onto the end? I feel like I could have done without those last two minutes. Sure, it was campy and silly and thinky and a good send-off but the change in tone was jarring for me. After two hours of roller coaster, jaw-on-the-floor, emotional story telling we get smacked with something that – to me – felt very out of place.


  • Nathan

    My disappointment is so vast that right now there are 50,000 space refugees traveling through my disappointment looking for a home.

    None of it made any sense since the final Cylons were revealed but I stuck with it because I loved the characters so much, only to have those characters end up somewhere between the Hallmark Channel and the Twilight Zone going on a life-long camping trip.

    This show started off with giant, cast-iron balls and ended up a piece of fluff.

    My disappointment is vast.

  • Ryan

    It’s so weird to see a series that was so well written…and yet so poorly plotted. Every character was tremendous, and on a scene by scene level the finale worked as well as most of the rest of the series.

    It’s only when you step back, and watch the series as a whole…you think What. The. Frack. None of it makes any sense, whatsoever.

    Also extremely disappointed with the resolution for Starbuck’s character. (Or lack thereof)

    And, as a minor nitpick…clearly the continents had separated when the colonists arrived…so even though Hera was of Caucasian/Asian ancestory on an African continent…she could not have been the fore bearer of any native tribes, Native Americans, or Europeans.

    All in all, I was happy with the show, but I suspect I won’t get the DVDs to spare myself the retconning.

  • JasonJ

    I called a close variation of this ending on another forum back in June 08. It wasn’t perfect because of the Kara thing, but it satisfied my personal belief in the “Jesus was an astronaut” theory. I just can’t think of any better way to end the series. Now we get to wait until fall for that nugget The Plan. Can’t say I am excited about the upcoming Caprica thing, but I’ll give it a shot.

  • PaulW

    The mitochondrial Eve theory apparently involves a near-extinction event with a supervolcano explosion 70,000 years ago, at which point the gene pool shrank to about 1,000 couples, with Eve (also known as Lucy, and now known as Hera) a prime ancestor to that pool. As for the ancestry of Native Americans and Europeans, the Europeans can be linked to the Out-Of-Africa theory via the Middle East. And the Native American population was cross-bred (forcibly in a lot of cases) with the encroaching European settlers, there are few pureblood native tribes left. Oh, and also, this is a t.v. show, it’s make-believe. Eve is really a former telephone sanitizer.

    I am kinda disappointed in the finale, if only because it didn’t fit the way *I’d* have ended it (everyone dies and gets sucked into the Black Hole, but come back like Kara Thrace did). But it does wrap up the threads, and gives everyone the appropriate departure. I especially loved Cavil’s suicide: having been so high-and-mighty thinking he was so above pitiful humans, rather than be killed by one he did his own dirty work…

  • JasonJ

    Yeah, Cavil giving himself a gunpowder mouthwashing caused me to wonder if there was a resurrection hub we didn’t know about but I remembered there couldn’t be one.

    Or could there. Hmmm…

  • Ron

    Bottom line is that it was a tv show that actually had good production value. Performances were spot on, music was exceptional, special effects, etc. Thought Pres Roslin and Baltar were the best cast characters.

    As far as the plot and theories go, it’s just a show. (to quote William Shatner in the SNL skit chiding the trekkies at the convention). Let’s not make it a religion, for crying out loud. And as far as an Asian/Caucasion kid being mit. Eve in Africa…don’t get me started on the race thing regarding BSG. Only an American show would suggest intelligence entered the planet through white Americans from outer space. ROFL!

  • Brenda

    I feel that it ended the way it was supposed to except…. the WTF Moment with Kara disappearing into thin air. Does this mean she was a season long figment of EVERYONE’s imagination ?

    Even though the series was uneven in places I still contend that it is one of the best shows EVER. Let the prequels sequels proliferate!

  • misterb

    It seems to me that Ron Moore was winking at us during his cameo in the “coda”. We were hoodwinked by the darkness of the series to think that he wasn’t having us all on, but he was. At least BSG didn’t black out during “All along the Watchtower”. I have to say, I did stop believing.

  • (Actually, maybe not the rest: If Hera is the mitochondrial Eve, does that imply that no one else left descendants? I don’t know.)

    Correct. Mitochondrial DNA is passed down only from the mother — it doesn’t mix with the father like regular DNA does. Hence, it isn’t as complex and therefore not as difficult to trace backward in time toward our (meaning every current living human) common ancestor. ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ represents the single common ancestor for all humanity, that strain of mitochondrial DNA that survived from then until now.

    A great book that concerns itself with this very topic (among others) is “River Out of Eden” by Richard Dawkins. If you’re at all interested in this sort of thing, you’ll love it.

  • And, since so many of these comments are negative, I gotta say that this finale was just ridiculously wonderful and I loved every fucking minute of it. There are some plot threads that don’t quite make sense, but this show has never been about plot. The first hour of the finale was just breathtaking, and the second ground me into the dirt with sadness and (unexpectedly) hope.

    I loved the coda at the end, tying the Galactica universe to ours… it make the show feel real to me, in a very disconcerting kinda way. Like it kept me up for hours kinda way.

    Starbuck’s end made me so sad… but I am glad she wasn’t explained. While I’m not a fan of the idea that there is a god or gods or force or entity up there looking after us, guiding us, whatever… I think the way they handled it was wizard. Is that the right way to use wizard? It’s been too long since I’ve seen Juno.

    Anyway, every emotional beat was huge, and even though not all my questions were answered, I felt like I got some real closure with the show. But I also felt like a chunk of my soul was ripped out too. This is worse than when Firefly was canceled, which is saying something.

  • Seve

    I know that I shouldn’t be disappointed about the ending of a TV show, but I feel great sadness about the ending.

    First, the civilization of the 12 colonies did not persist; it died. All of the settlers died and left no descendants (except for Eve). (Sure, they named the gods, but big deal.)

    Second, it saddens me that the family that was the BSG crew disintegrates at the end. The Admiral abandons his relationship with his son and Tighe. They all go their separate ways. Very sad.

    Third…no frakkin’ way would a civilization abandon its technology. Nothing in the series forebode this abandonment.

    Finally, the Starbuck thing. Very disappointing and nonsensical.

    (Alien 3 spoiler coming.)

    Remember the beginning of Alien 3 in which everyone who escaped in Alien 2 was killed (except for the main character)? I was really ticked about that; it ruined Alien 2 for me which I had enjoyed so much a couple of years earlier. Why, in Alien 3, did they have to kill off the people who worked so hard to escape and for which many gave their lives in Alien 2? I feel the same way about the BSG ending (the last 30 minutes or so). The civilization of the 12 colonies was destroyed, in the end, not because of the Cylons but because of some bad writing.

  • Ryan

    but this show has never been about plot.

    I’ve never understood this. The plot is the story. If the story doesn’t make sense, then no matter how compelling the characters are, no matter how well written the dialogue is…it is all in service of a flawed device. All that proves is that the creators know how to manipulate emotions. I expected better from the guy who came up with Deep Space Nine…which is not my favorite show, but one that I feel resonated better on almost every level…from character growth through storyline.

    You can count me among those who have zero interest in Caprica…or as the adds have portrayed it; CSI: Caprica.

  • Ryan

    Third…no frakkin’ way would a civilization abandon its technology. Nothing in the series forebode this abandonment.

    Yeah, I loved when the ‘new president’ told Lee he was surprised how many people were on board with the idea of driving the fleet into the sun and settling with no technology.

    These are people who throughout the course of the show couldn’t agree on ANYTHING. But all of a sudden they find a pretty planet and they just decide to go native? It makes 0 sense with the direction of the show…even for several of the main characters.

    The doctors especially must have been going ballistic.

  • Jason

    The lack of more Cylon flashbacks in “Sometimes A Great Notion” and “No Exit” is forgiven. I see what they were saving their money for. The Colony raid is possibly the best action sequence they’ve ever done. I knew Galactica was supposed to jump in close to the Colony, but I didn’t expect it to be that close. I still wish they were more clear about Kara’s “I’ve been to Earth, and I’m going to take us there” storyline. If she died in the maelstrom, how did her body and Viper end up across the universe on Cylon Earth, already an ancient and charred cinder? She described the “Earth” she claimed to have come from as having blue skies and oceans and so full of life. Does that mean she was resurrected on our Earth (then just some random planet, which she mistook for the Earth from the Pythian prophecies), and reappeared in the fleet with coordinates to Cylon Earth hidden in her Viper and our Earth hidden in her memory? All of that seems so unnecessarily convoluted, as if they were still writing themselves into a corner after they decided they knew how they wanted to end their story. I don’t necessarily have a problem with the God/Gods angle that some people do; it’s like they’re tolerating the characters’ quaint and primitive religious beliefs for four seasons, but scream “Bullshit!” when asked to acknowledge them as something real, if only in the BSG universe.

  • S4 has seen some incredible moments, but ultimately I’m feeling the disappointment too. I think this season, because of its purpose of wrapping everything up, was plotted within an inch of its life. I disagree about what the “story” is meant to be. Many people fell off the bandwagon during S3, because besides the daring rescue from New Caprica, the series shifted into more character-driven material and how they reacted to the events and situations around them. I actually preferred S3 and its ability to get underneath the skin of the people and savor the results.

    S1 and S2 balanced character and plot quite handily. I think S4 was all plot, hurtling towards its conclusion, and characters got lost along the way. Not that the proceedings weren’t done well, and BSG still didn’t outpace everyone in dramatic television… maybe I’m just sad it’s over. :(

  • Keith Z-G

    I tend to agree with the folks that enjoyed it but felt that the Kara resolution (or rather, lack thereof) was disappointing. And yeah, myself too it wouldn’t’ve been the ending I’d have exactly wanted—actually, I would have been entirely alright with it if Anders would just have jumped, leaving it dangling with the fleet and a derelict Galactica out there somewhere in the universe. I think that would fit neatly with the Centurions also going their own way. Maybe I’m just a sucker for the idea of ancient derelict fleets floating in the void of space, though (oh, David Brin and your Uplift saga).

    Actually, maybe I’m more disappointed in it than I thought, because although I still think I really enjoyed it…well looking back on it, the episode of Terminator that night has more of a continued grip on me. The ending of BSG softened the punches but the Sarah Conner ep left me going “!”.

  • Magess

    At the end of it all… I felt alone. I’m not sure that that’s a way for a show that made me feel so involved to go out.

    But really. Vast expanses of empty territory for visuals.

    Lee is alone.
    Adama is alone.
    Galen is alone.

    Sure Tighe and Ellen go off and Baltar and Six go off. But who is Tighe without Adama?

    I don’t understand the purpose of taking this family and scattering it so they all are by themselves. With no one else around, they’ll just grow old and die in an empty landscape, which seems to me incredibly sad.

  • Ryan

    I have to add, my final thought, (maybe?) that I think the writers never exactly understood what they were going to do with the opera house scene. My belief is that they conceived it earlier on for some other purpose entirely…because as they played it out, it was–to quote Shakespeare–‘sound and fury, signifying nothing.’

    We are supposed to believe that Baltar and Six wouldn’t have picked Hera up and taken her to CIC if they hadn’t had the vision? And the president and Boomer running around the ship…OK…not significant to ANYTHING.

    The only way that puzzle piece fits is if the writers/directors are trying to say that Hera knew where to go because of the opera house projection. That’s pretty tenuous, but then…most retcons are.

    The Starbuck/New Caprica/Wait…one MORE cylon/Hybrids…not so significant after all/Earth, which Earth? retcons being the other most egregious ones.

  • Jason

    I think the writers never exactly understood what they were going to do with the opera house scene.

    I always thought it was going to be an actual opera house on Kobol or Earth or the ruins of Caprica or wherever the fleet finally settled down, and Caprica and Baltar would betray both the cylons and the humans and escape with Hera to who knows where to start the “All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again” cycle all over again. And then, The End.

    I wonder why Baltar never had those visions himself.

  • Jason (Sun Mar 22 09, 11:19PM) :

    I wonder why Baltar never had those visions himself.

    Well, the implication was that he did have the visions. Remember when Roslin asked him about them in the raptor back at the start of Season 4? He said he didn’t see the visions, but he was totally lying; it was all over his face!

    Also I believe Ron Moore mentioned something to that effect in the podcast for that episode, but it’s been a while.

  • Marshall

    I too liked the ending, though I had to think about it – but isn’t that what made the show so great? It made you think about it in ways that not many shows ever do. People are complaing about the opera house, but visions are up to interpretations – but in the end they never end up the way you think they will. The ending to me was bittersweet – in a good way. We’re so used to having doom and gloom from the show, of these people facing trial and conflict and coming out of it the worse off that when they finally get peace we feel cheated? However, it wasn’t exactly a happy ending either, and that theme has been consistent throughout the show. I wasn’t bothered by Kara disapearing. It lent creadence to the whole “god is a force of nature” idea – which I don’t mind either. I kinda liked the idea of these two races, Human & Cylon thinking that God or the Gods are on their side but s/he’s not. I also liked the fact that even with the manipulation that they did, nothing ever ends and its possible that the cycle can never truly be broken – only delayed.

  • Rosalind

    On Friday, I felt let down by some of the show’s mysteries not being cleared up. But as the weekend progressed, I found myself accepting the ending more readily. My two main beefs are:

    1.Hera not really doing anything amazing at the end. Brian keeps pointing out that she supplied the coordinates to Earth, but I thought the Opera House scene would be a lot more mind blowing than it turned out to be. When everyone was heading toward the CIC and you saw the final five on the balcony I got goose bumps, but then nothing really mysterious happened –just a big speech by Baltar.

    2.Everyone giving up all their technology and going off to play pioneer. They seemed to be filing out with one bag of supplies each. How would they have survived long enough to put in some crops? I suppose the weather wasn’t a factor –but still it really strained my credulity to think that this group of humans who couldn’t agree about anything for four seasons would suddenly all agree to give up their home comforts.

    Many things I loved:
    Starbuck typing in the song coordinates, and then the revealing shot of Earth past the moon.
    Adama saying goodbye to Starbuck and Lee and kissing Starbuck like a daughter.
    The death of Roslin was beautifully handled.
    The Opera House scenes with the overlay between vision and reality were very cool.
    The Chief strangling Tori (awesome to see Cally avenged)
    Boomer’s payback to Adama (although perhaps not shooting him might have been a better payback!)
    Seeing Athena, Helo and Hera walk away as a happy family.
    On Friday I hated this, but in retrospect I like that Starbuck just found peace and vanished (when I think back on the past few episodes, they were filming her with lots of back light and hinting that she was an angel).

  • Haden

    Actually, maybe not the rest: If Hera is the mitochondrial Eve, does that imply that no one else left descendants? I don’t know.

    Not necessarily. It just means that everyone alive today belongs to Hera’s extended family tree.

    The only way for none of the other settlers to leave descendants would be if Hera, and all of her descendants whose lineages survive today, bred with the natives, not with other settlers. That’s not very likely considering the language and cultural barriers which would have existed.

  • I’m so glad I’m not the only one that immediately thought “B Ark!” down to the guy in the bathtub on the bridge. B)

    I liked the ending. I can see why people whould find it slow, but I’m satisfied.

  • Bear

    I’ve been thinking about the finale since I first saw it and have been trying to figure out a way to describe it. “Mythic” is the word that keeps coming to mind. Nothing is ever quite what it seems on BSG, a point that’s made over and over again. As grounded in reality as so much of it is, we humans cling fiercely to our beliefs of things that can’t be proven or rationally explained, as Baltar himself stated during the climactic battle. The “reality” of BSG has always been to acknowledge the very human need to believe in the mythic. Not explaining Starbuck’s resurrection just places her squarely in the mythic realm of things that just can’t be explained. Clearly, she was there on Galactica, she entered the coordinates for Earth into the FTL drive so she wasn’t like Head-Six.

    Am I disappointed in the finale? Maybe a little but given how poorly some other series have finished, I’ll take this any day. It certainly wasn’t what I expected, but then again, this is BSG and we’ve come to, well, expect that our expectations frequently will not be met.

  • Mark

    Not explaining Starbuck’s resurrection just places her squarely in the mythic realm of things that just can’t be explained.

    It’s sounding more and more like BSG is really an anti-rationalist piece of science fiction. The important things — the good things — are fundamentally inexplicable, miraculous, and only understood in terms of divine intervention. Humanity is at its best when it throws away technology and everything it brings. Science leads to Cylons, which leads to apocalypse. To have what started as a great story end as a Eden metaphor is disappointing. To leave so many open questions answered by nothing more than a very literal deus ex machina is just a storytelling cop-out.

    Why can’t these great geek stories, told in the long form of the TV series, ever end well? I’m holding out hope for Lost, but I just don’t understand the creative choices made for BSG. A real shame.

  • Ryan

    the important things — the good things — are fundamentally inexplicable, miraculous, and only understood in terms of divine intervention.

    This is still driving me insane. That’s just another way of saying the writers were lazy and boxed into corners so they forced the audience to try and make the story fit FOR them.

    It would bother me less…but because of all the (often deserved) hype this show produced during its’ earlier seasons…everybody seems willing to play along with them.

    What everybody is dancing around is that the ending was extremely well acted, emotionally satisfying for the most part, and had extremely high production values. None of which made it any good. It was BAD.

    I do worry that Lost is going to succumb to the same fate. I thought that when BSG gave themselves an ‘end-line’ the writers could just simplify everything, and come up with some good ret-con. However, apparently when you paint yourself into serious corners with prophecies and revelations…no amount of back-filling can save you.

    Lost has an extra season, though, maybe they can retcon better.

  • Mark

    Sigh. It gets worse. Reading Ron Moore’s post-airing interview, it seems that Moore and the writers always intended Starbuck and the Heads to be agents of a higher power (or something of similarly vague theistic essence). What started as one of the best science fiction TV series ended as meaningless superstitious pap.


  • I don’t know what to think.
    All in all, BSG for me is always been about men, cylons and gods and religion: 12 tribe, a genocide,the cylons as prodigal sons, an exodus, sounds all very biblical to me.

    I think that the disappointment comes because it’s too easy to end it like this, even if makes sense, and a spiritual explanation, rather than a scientific one, was right in front of us since the importance of Gaius character and the epiphany of Kara Thrace, and her coming back from the dead with no explanation.

    Better this than a solution “It was all a Cylon projection or a Cylon simulation”, because could it well be ended in that way, and the disappointment would be much much worse.

    As for the refusal of tecnology, since their problems comes from developing robots, I sincerely can understand the ultimate choice of the colonies, as much as I understand the choice of every single member of the crew, going all their wat after four years of sorrow and fight and forced to live together in so tiny space… I would do the same, I think …

    The final touch is as ironic as it gets, with Baltar and Caprica finally revealed as GODS .. we all knew it, since the beginning, that roll the dice and play with our lives … It all sounds like the end of Matrix Revolutions, but in a good, ironic kind of way …

  • And no one can convince me that the song All Along the Watchtower, used by Kara to lead towards Earth, was a Ron Moore idea since the beginning.
    It’s too much a coincidence that the same song is in the Watchmen soundtrack …

  • charlie

    Re: Kara Thrace disappearing…

    Why not a “Starbuck as Jesus” metaphor?

    She dies, comes back to life in shiny new Viper, hangs out with the homeys for a while until she can save them all and ascends onto heaven. How about a “Dogtags as Nail wounds” metaphor, too?

  • Nathan

    The more I think about it the more I realize that BSG lost, for lack of a better word, it’s gravitas when characters started hearing All Along The Watchtower and that song was played as Kara returned and Earth was shown for the first time. I knew it at the time but refused to acknowledge it. BSG lost its epic character for me and entered the realm of pop. The sunshiney ending and the ridiculous Twilight Zone epilogue of two angels walking around the streets of New York and a reference to Mito Eve just finally brought home for me that the show had lost its original vision — or at least what I perceived as its original vision. The show had serious plot problems after Tigh was revealed as a Cylon and Kara returned inexplicably, but I think it was a shift in tone that was it’s ultimate failure.

    It’s not a spiritual ending; it’s a magical ending. And that makes me want to vomit.

  • Mark

    And no one can convince me that the song All Along the Watchtower, used by Kara to lead towards Earth, was a Ron Moore idea since the beginning.
    It’s too much a coincidence that the same song is in the Watchmen soundtrack ..

    It’s a pretty well-known song. And Snyder’s use of it in Watchmen was pretty ham-fisted and trite, whereas Moore wove it in to BSG in all kinds of subtle ways over the last year. And the BSG finale was filmed before Watchmen was out of post-production.

    Why not a “Starbuck as Jesus” metaphor?

    Because some of us were thinking that Battlestar Galactica was a piece of science fiction, not more fucking handwaving spiritual dreck. Because it wasn’t a metaphor; it was following the steps of the same messianic resurrection/rebirth myth that the Jesus story is a variation of. Except there was no causative structure behind it, so it failed to be either metaphorical or literal.

    The more I think about it, the angrier I get.

  • Jim Mann

    I had mixed feelings about the ending. I liked many parts of it. What I didn’t like:

    — Starbuck’s disappearing. (Did anyone like that?)

    — the silliness of leaving technology behind. As usual with people who think this sort of thing is a good idea, they didn’t follow through with the implications. Everyone has to become farmers or hunter/gatherers, an incredibly hard living, on the verge of constant failure/starvation. Essentially no medical care. And so on.


  • I was actually impressed at Starbuck’s disappearance. Really, I’d expected them to leave some things *more* up in the air, and to say, “*bam* Starbuck’s an ‘angel’ – deal with it” was a bold and obviously risky stroke. I think between Baltar’s speech and Head-Six’s “He doesn’t like to be called God” comment, we can safely interpret the ‘angels’ as working for a force of nature, not necessarily a God, gods, or ‘magic.’ They’d established pretty early this was going to be more mythic than straight science-fiction, so it didn’t bug me since it felt internally consistent to me.

  • Ryan

    [blockquote]They’d established pretty early this was going to be more mythic than straight science-fiction, so it didn’t bug me since it felt internally consistent to me.[/blockquote]

    I call pure bull on that. The first two seasons the ‘mysticism’ was all of the scientific variety. They found some star-maps left by ‘ancients’ and some religious works that hinted at their situation…but nothing like the last few episodes which hit us with one Deus Ex Machina after another.

  • Mark

    a force of nature, not necessarily a God, gods, or ‘magic.’

    What’s the difference? Forces of nature aren’t sapient agents with motivations and preferences. And they operate through regular, non-miraculous causation.

    Whatever you call it — “god”, “greater power”, “magical force”, “force of nature” — it’s a huge cop-out on the part of the BSG creators.

  • Mark (Tue Mar 24 09, 6:52PM):

    Whatever you call it — “god”, “greater power”, “magical force”, “force of nature” — it’s a huge cop-out on the part of the BSG creators.

    No. You’re talking about themes that have been woven into the fabric of the show since the miniseries. You can dislike it if you want, or disagree with it, but calling it a cop-out is blatantly disingenuous.

  • And the BSG finale was filmed before Watchmen was out of post-production.

    I didn’t know that …
    Maybe is the other way around, then.
    Who knows …
    About its use in Watchman, IMHO it works pretty well.

  • Mark

    I’m calling it a cop-out because it’s bad storytelling. Good stories — and especially good science fiction — don’t resort to crap like this. “All that weird stuff we never explained? Turns out it was just God! He’s so mysterious!”

    Weaving mythic (or mystic) themes into the show doesn’t give the storytellers cart blanche to use mystical handwaving to end their stories.

  • Ryan

    I’m calling it a cop-out because it’s bad storytelling. Good stories — and especially good science fiction — don’t resort to crap like this. “All that weird stuff we never explained? Turns out it was just God! He’s so mysterious!”

    Weaving mythic (or mystic) themes into the show doesn’t give the storytellers cart blanche to use mystical handwaving to end their stories.

    Exactly right.

  • Kenny

    I like the idea of Galen going off to his cold island in the northern hemisphere and, I presume, inventing Ireland.

    Scotland MAJ…. he said he was off to the Highlands. (Also this has been confirmed by Moore)

  • Ryan

    Television Without Pity took down the series finale far better than I ever could have. It boils down to the fact that there are at least 12 parts of this episode that have no internal show logic WHATSOEVER.

    The link for those interested:


  • Concerning the Opera House having less meaning in the finale (from the Battlestar Wiki):

    “Initially, Helo and Athena were supposed to die and Hera would be raised by Gaius Baltar and Caprica-Six. This would make sense as in the Opera House vision Baltar and Caprica-Six take Hera into the Opera House and Athena and Roslin don’t make it inside. It also lends well for a symbolical structure of the series: Caprica-Six kills a child at the beginning and raises one at the end, they destroyed one civilisation and then at the end they nurture the foundation of another one.”

  • Kenny

    A lot of people are saying they can’t imagine the survivors giving up their technology and starting over on this new world…

    But I think you’re all missing one of the major points. The fleet was falling apart. Before they got to the Algae Planet, they were literally starving. Galactica is a wreck, barely capable of in-system travel (I wouldn’t like to put the foot down given the state she looked to be in at the end..) and the vast majority of the civilian population had been living in absolute hovel-like conditions… basically shipboard-shantytowns for four long years. Given the state the fleet was in, is it even that likely they could have built a particularly effective technological society?

    They also had VIVID memories of attempting to build a city on New Caprica and knew exactly how fucked up that was even before the Cylons arrived.

    Given that kind of start… personally, I think I’d have found the idea of striking out somewhere, building a cabin and planting some crops to be blissful.

    Think about all the people who lived in technological poverty all across Europe (a kind of poverty very similar to the majority of civilians in the Fleet) who took a chance to strike out for the New World and settled in the middle of nowhere out West in America. They set a claim.. they built a cabin and they farmed.

    The colonials didn’t strip down to loin-cloths and go native… I don’t know if it was all that unrealistic.

  • Ryan

    The argument isn’t that people might want to stay up in orbit on the ships. It’s very believable that everybody would want to descend to the planet. What is unbelievable is that EVERYBODY without a vote, coup, etc. would just decide to scrap every ship, every medical tool and piece of machinery, and fly them into the sun.

    Using New Caprica is a bad example. New Caprica was a relatively barren and harsh world which Gaius managed to convince the people to settle on because it was surrounded by a nebula which would make it difficult for the Cylons to find the colonials there.

    Also on New Caprica it’s implied that a lot of the misery was due to Gaius’ mismanagement of the government, as well as the paucity of resources.

    Finally; the people in Europe who struck out for the New World brought as much of their technology with them as they possibly could. Rural plantations in the Carolinas were much the same as a rural plantation in France or England…and anyway, the technology they were sacrificing was almost nil, as the industrial revolution was still on the horizon.

    You’re setting up a lot of straw-men with your arguments.

    If I was living in the fleet, I would INSIST on using the ships and their tech systems to lay the foundations of a new city. Exchanging the slum-like conditions of the fleet for the hard toil of subsistence farming doesn’t seem like much of an improvement.

  • drew ryce

    The whole idea that techno cultured people can set up a Vermont style agricultural commune in prehistoric Africa (let alone Scotland)is just silly.

    Okay, lets say the new settlers have hundreds of pounds of viable seeds in their little backpacks. (They’ll need them because cultivated plants such as beans, corn and wheat don’t yet exist.) Let’s say that the new land is just perfect for those seeds. It won’t be, but what the frack, God or The Big Somebody will provide.

    How do you get acres of them in the ground without a domesticated horse or a steelbit plow? I didn’t see any picks, shovels, smelting equipment,etc. How do you hoe the weeds and fight the bugs and bring water to the field without rudimentary tools?

    Picture the beginning of 2001. That’s the true end to this story. In a few years, 90% of the colonists are dead and the survivors are living the short brutal lives of neolithic hunters and gatherers.

    I will say that there isn’t anything fundamentally wrong about Hera being the DNA Eve (Lucy). Modern anthropology has demonstrated that such a person did exist and that the vast migrations of people across the bering Straits land bridge easily accounts for the basic biological interconnection of all people. It also does not say that she is the only one with living descendants. Although we are all descended in some way from Eve/Lucy/Hera we are also descended from thousands of others that all contributed their little drops of DNA to the river.

  • Jean

    It should be noted that “Two riders were approaching” (one of the lyrics from “All along the Watchtower”) was the title of the part #10 of the “Watchmen” comic. Clearly, no one had to stretch their imagination very far to include it in the movie. Whether this fact was lodged in RDM’s geekish brain and brought out for use in BSG, I cannot speak to.

    About the BSG finale, I found it less and less satisfying the farther away from it I was. I agree with much of what had been said above, but my prime complaint was with the last two minutes. This whole show, the emotional ride and changes that we have been witness to, was to teach us to fear robots? I was staying with the last season because they seemed to have come so far toward the idea of breaking down the duality between human/cylon, and now we have Heads from God trying to tell me that robots are the enemy after all? Bleh.

  • Will

    I am amazed – I’ve been searching for comments about how incredibly sad the ending was for Bill Adama – Roslin’s death scene had me almost sobbing; I still tear up when I think about him putting the ring on her finger.

    Didn’t anyone else find that just really sad and touching and wonderful?

  • Didn’t anyone else find that just really sad and touching and wonderful?

    I most certainly did.

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