Sat
Mar 21 2009 1:30pm
Battlestar Galactica Series Finale Round Table: “Daybreak, Part 2”

Welcome to Tor.com’s round-table style discussion of the very last episode of Battlestar Galactica, the two-hour series finale “Daybreak, Part 2.” The participants this week are Pablo Defendini, Jordan Hamessley, Robert Bland, John Joseph Adams, Torie Atkinson, Rajan Khanna, and Theresa DeLucci. The conversation starts after the cut, and there are many spoilers. So if you haven’t seen the episode, please stay away from this post!

Pablo Defendini: Wow, am I dissappointed. It looks like they went ahead and did the one thing that I feared most: declared everything the work of god, and beat us over the head with a fucking deus ex machina. For a show that’s been all about being ballsy and hard-core darkness, I was very dissappointed to see an ending where pretty much everyone lives happily ever after (Roslin dying and everyone going native notwithstanding).

Jordan Hamessley: Let me start with this: I have lost a lot of respect for Ron Moore. From the point where he said the writers took a vote to pick the final five, to his giant misstep with the Daniel model (saying he has no connection to Starbuck and the fans blew it out of proportion) to appearing in his own finale. I’m done with him.

Robots are BAD. BSG warned us!

The first hour was awesome and as soon as they landed on Earth, it just went south. I’m pissed that Starbuck just disappeared. Even though they were total sluts back in the day, I wanted Kara and Lee to enjoy Earth together. Whatever, Lee has mountains to climb, right?

SO GLAD THAT TORY DIED. All the begging in the universe wasn’t going to save her.

I’ll buy the Head Six and Gaius being angels, but I don’t love it. I did enjoy Gaius and Caprica’s reactions to finding out about the voices in their heads.

I guess my biggest issue is that I never wanted BSG to end in OUR world. I always assumed there would a connection, but not one so heavy-handed and preachy.

This was an ending worthy of the SyFy network.

Starbuck as an angel felt like a total cop out.

Robert Bland: The last hour of BSG was the worst piece of crap I’ve seen in a long time. It was right up there with the last Matrix movie.

To put it mildly, I am greatly disappointed. The finale gave us answers, but they were the worst possible answers (from my POV) and it was all framed in the worst possible way: anticlimactic, didactic, silly—and cheap.

The show would have been better off if everybody had slipped into the frakkin’ singularity and died.

They couldn’t even kill off the ship in a satisfactory way. Cavil’s death was useless. Kara had always been dead (and, yes, was an angel), Hera is our Eve, the heads are angels, too—and I don’t give a flying fuck. Oh and did you know that Baltar can actually farm? Yeah, now THERE’S an answer I was looking for...

There was simply too much that I didn’t buy; stuff that was just too unbelievable to me: how everyone so easily disavows technology once they find earth. How they let the centurions go off and find their own destiny—and don’t get me started on how the fleet’s DNA is compatible with the natives of the planet—gimme a frakkin’ break. There were scenes that was so silly that it felt like the characters had become caricatures of themselves.

I’m not sure what was worse, the actual answers that they gave us or the story lines that they simply abandoned: like Daniel, for example. Model #7. Kara’s dad, no? Nah, they were just kidding...

I’m not amused.

And NOBODY died. Roslin died, sure, but c’mon, she should’ve died episodes ago. Everyone else survives or either pops out of existence. THAT scene killed me. Apollo and Kara: a romance never to be. Kara, were you just a dream . . . ?

I did feel Adama’s pain after Roslin died—but her actual death was anticlimactic and poorly done.

And don’t get me started about Earth 150,000 years into the future....that part was just too painful and silly. How many times can a show jump the shark in one goddamn episode?

I’m done. And this show is cooked.

John Joseph Adams: What a clusterfrak. I think maybe everything that was revealed in this episode was stupid. Let’s review.

Basically, the first hour of the finale was pretty good—it was almost completely devoid of any kind of answers, but it was chock-full of awesome space battles and action. The battle sequence when the Galactica jumps in to besiege the Cylon colony is insane and certainly one of the coolest space battles I’ve ever seen on screen.

Too bad they ruined it.

I was watching this episode with a group of friends—including fellow roundtablers Rob and Jordan—and man, there were so many times during the episode that either I or someone else in the group let out an audible expression of disgust or disappointment or disbelief at the stupidity of what just happened.

The finale was completely ruined for me once they get to Earth and it’s our Earth 150,000 years ago. I could hardly bear to watch after that. THAT IS SO FRAKKING STUPID. (I kind of don’t even want to use “frak” anymore.) I was beside myself at that point, and could hardly restrain myself from ranting during the entire commercial break following that reveal.

But here’s the thing: They ruined it even more after that—again and again and again. Starbuck’s an angel? STUPID. Baltar and Six both see angels? STUPID. The stuff they didn’t explain was all God’s plan? STUPID. Everyone—EVERYONE—from a super-advanced technological civilization decides to just give up everything and start over from scratch and live as farmers? STUPID. Hera is Mitochondrial Eve? STUPID. Angel Six and Angel Baltar in Times Square? OMFG SO STUPID. The last few shots of the series—A FUCKING MONTAGE???—focusing on real-life robots because OMG robots will be our new masters if we’re not careful. OMG SO FRAKKING STUPID.

Ron Moore is dead to me.

Torie Atkinson: All I can say is: wow. I’m with you all on this one—I found the first hour to be entertaining and enjoyable, and the last hour to be utter garbage. I, too, watched with a large group of people who continually groaned or shouted angrily at the television.

What I liked: I liked that we finally got to see what the Opera House was, and I really loved the moment of reconciliation between Caprica Six and Baltar. Her backhanded compliment that she’s always wanted something to be proud of about him was both sweet and painfully true, and their moment realizing they both see the Head characters was great.

I should’ve seen the God Solution coming from a mile (or four seasons) away, but I think up until the end I was really holding out hope that individuals would redeem humanity/cylonity, not the grace of god. What a shocking disappointment. All the mystical bullshit came true in the most pedantic, insulting, and moralistic ending imaginable. I really can’t express how disappointed I am in that. It felt like such a cop-out in every possible way—in the end, the Plan was God and God was the Plan. Give me a break.

I think I could’ve even forgiven that trite, tasteless ending if they hadn’t taken it so far as to make Starbuck an angel. I literally howled at the television. Apparently Ron Moore has said that she’s not a hylon, she never was a hylon, and that the Daniel bit was just a red herring he never imagined anyone would try to, you know, fit into the mythology he created. I mean, that’s just CRAZY, right? Turns out that she died way back in Season 3, and what we see is either some kind of resurrected Zombie Starbuck or, worse, some bizarre mass delusion on the part of the whole fleet.

And finally: the ultra-moralistic, irrational choice to shoot all of their technology into the sun. Can I just say, what the FRAK? The build-up after four years is that Technology Is Evil. All of those philosophical dilemmas about whether a cylon is human, about the fact that evil is a moral choice on behalf of an individual and cannot be attributed to a race or group, and whether the future of everyone will depend on our reconciliation and reunion, gets thrown by the wayside in favor of the most obnoxious ending imaginable: a moral tale about the evils of technological advancement. Are you kidding me? THAT’s the answer we get? That the cylons should’ve never existed? That it was evil and wrong and we should never do it, and maybe, on this earth, in this iteration of the Endless Cycle of Weak Writing, we’ll get it RIGHT and NOT create sentient robots? THAT’s where we went wrong?

I hope they saved some antibiotics from that ship that flew into the sun. You know, and maybe a manual on irrigation and animal husbandry.

What a joke. Did it bother anyone else that the only major characters who died were already dying (Roslin) or were “evil” and had it coming to them (Boomer & Tory)? I hope they don’t do Battlestar 2010...

Rajan Khanna: I don’t know if there’s that much more to say, though since it’s the last one of these, I’ll say it anyway.

I agree mostly with what everyone else has said. For the first 3/4 of the episode, I was at the edge of my seat. I felt bad for ever doubting Ron Moore, for thinking that the ending woudn’t work.

Then they landed on Earth.

I could have handled Earth, really. I didn’t treat that with the vitriol that others have. But Starbuck was the bullet that truly killed my enjoyment. I watched it with friends, too, and afterward I kept saying I wish they had just treated that idea with more respect for the audience. They could have left the idea that she was an angel ambiguous, dealt with her in a way that could have a mundane explanation or not, but instead she blinks out. And Lee just shrugs his shoulders and goes to find his backpack.

I agree there could have been more deaths (though I’m glad that Helo didn’t die). I actually liked Head Six and Head Baltar up until the end.

But what I’m continually left with, is this idea, from a show I’ve respected for a long time for its realistic take on modern day issues and events, that it’s all because of God. He/she exists and likes to tinker with starships and send angels into people’s heads. For me, no explanation would have been better than that one.

RK: I’m still not sure how something that was giving me such warm and fuzzy feelings turned so abruptly at the end. It’s like I was holding that second baby for V, thinking it’s all cute and starting to pick out names for it, and then it shoots out that freaky forked lizard tongue at me and I run away in disgust.

I kinda want to add my own scene to the finale where after Lee turns and Starbuck’s not there we then cut to a lion running off across the savannah with Starbuck in its mouth. That would work much better for me.

Theresa DeLucci: Yes, not much for me to say here, either. However, I think I’m the only one of the group who watched this alone. I’m wondering if that helped me not completely hate this finale. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t love it either, but I’m not filled with rage. Or maybe I’m just in denial and the horrible nature of this ending hasn’t hit me yet.

I wasn’t crazy about the “Before the Fall” flashbacks. It just seemed like retconning the characters to create extra, unnecessary import to the paths they walked. I actually preferred not being shown exactly what the characters were doing before the Cylon attack. Especially Tigh being the most annoying stripclub patron ever.

The beginning 3/4ths in the present was, as everyone said, great action. Feel like it’s been ages since we’ve seen a single Cylon raider. Loved the pandemonium of the sick bay, the shots of Galactica getting completely destroyed. Centurions. Hera running through the ship, then Caprica and Baltar reenacting the opera house vision. Loved that that bitch Tory finally got hers in the end. That was probably the most satisfying conclusion I got out of this episode. Then the episode kind of went to shit.

Why did Cavil shoot himself so abruptly? I only watched this episode once. Did I miss something?

Then...Earth. Yeah, what a letdown. Giving up all technology with not one single person protesting? All of the ships they let onto New Caprica and used as housing getting flown into the Sun? (I did enjoy Kara’s goodbye to Sam though.) I didn’t get quite the tearjerker moment I was hoping for when Roslin died. Normally Olmos and McDonnell are so good at selling me on this stuff. But I did get a little lump in my throat when he carried her to the Raptor and their theme music swelled up. But then—Adama never wants to see his son again? After all that, he’ll just leave Lee? For real? And then Kara is a ghost? Or an angel? Or a mass hallucination? I’m with Rajan—I will just imagine some lion came along and abducted her. Because the alternatives are crappy.

And everything is God’s plan? Yes, that was my big worry. We’d get answers, but they would be lame. A wizard did it! That’s all we get from Moore. I’ve always liked the more realistic, gritty side of BSG, not so much the mystical stuff. Especially since it’s so damn murky. Angels everywhere? That’s it? I liked Head-Six when I thought she was a manifestation of Baltar’s guilt over his part in the genocide and quite possibly some secret Cylon plot. But to be told unambiguously, the Head characters are angels? Weak!

And then the Times Square, 150,000 years later? One stupid summary after another. It was Earth all along. Hera as Eve. Oh no! Robots are everywhere and we’re going to repeat the story again? So cheesy. I would’ve been happier to just end on Adama alone on his hill. But, guys, come on, I thought Ron Moore’s cameo was okay. It’s his show, it was his last chance to be on it. Let him have it.

What I look for in a series finale is some emotional closure. Sure we saw what happened to the characters, but it felt like nothing was left to ponder about their personal journeys. And I’m with Pablo. If there’s anything I want from a series finale, it’s a reprise of the show’s tone. And a mostly happy ending with everything neatly explained away was not what I thought of when I thought of BSG. And I guess that’s what disappointed me the most.

128 comments
Jeff Soules
1. DeepThought
I believe The Simpsons said it best:

Oh my! I was wrong!
It was Earth, all along!
You've finally made a monkey
Yes we've finally made a monkey
Yes, you've finally made a monkey out of me!
Jason Henninger
2. jasonhenninger
Previously, on Biblestar Craptacula: Angels, god, suicide, god, farming, robots, god, the end.

-

I want to scream and punch people.
Jason Henninger
3. jasonhenninger
Or to paraphrase monty python:

"Hello, good evening and welcome to another edition of Blood Devastation Death War and Horror, and later on we'll be meeting a man who knows about farming."
Janice in GA
4. Janice in GA
I'm another who thought the suckage level here was pretty high. However, my husband (not a big SF fan) really liked it. So I suspect there may be an in-genre/out-genre divide here over how the episode worked for people.

At the very end, wasn't there a comment between the angel versions of Baltar and Six that mentioned god, and they went on to say something like "You know he doesn't like to be called that." Did I imagine that?

And if Hera is mitochondrial Eve, doesn't that mean that no other females survived to reproduce, or their offspring didn't survive? Wouldn't surprise me, because as they walked off I kept thinking, "Ok, they're all going to starve now."
Theresa DeLucci
5. theresa_delucci
One thing I liked and neglected to mention was Bear McCreary's score. He reprised pretty much every major theme of the show. Nicely done. I think my favorite was the original BSG theme over Galacatica heading towards the Sun.
Janice in GA
6. jere7my
Huh. I thought the Times Square conversation between Baltar and Six made it clear that it wasn't a supernatural God. "He hates being called that" suggested to me that we weren't dealing with YHWH here, but some physical human or Cylon being, with pet peeves and personality — someone immortal, with an elaborately developed shared vision technology. What other purpose would that line serve?
Torie Atkinson
7. Torie
@ 4 Janice in GA

What I took from the Eve thing was that she was the oldest bones they found--the first known instance of "our" species. She's the first, the oldest hylon, not the last. I think we're supposed to think everyone else went forth and multiplied, but that she was the first, the oldest.
Janice in GA
8. JJD23
Wow. You're all a bunch of fraktards. To say that the God answer is a cop-out is ridiculous. God has been in it from the beginning. Have you even watched this show?! The entire time they spoke of being guided by higher powers than themselves. Divine purpose and whatnot. And when they tell us that yes indeed that is the answer, you all cry foul?!

MORONS!!!

Personally, I think Starbuck's sendoff was perfect and beautifully poetic. Though I would've also enjoyed the Daniel as her father/hylon ending, this one took me by surprise and I quite enjoyed it.

The whole Earth thing was a far stretch, but who cares? Ultimately it was about the characters and I, for one, was glad to see that most of them had a happy ending (especially Helo/Athena/Hera).

But I get the feeling that no matter what ending you all would've been given, you would've still whined like a bunch of godless monkeys. Grow up. Let yourselves accepts worlds that aren't part of your tiny little spheres. I know you all think you could've done better (Ha!), but let's not kid ourselves.
Jason Henninger
9. jasonhenninger
@8

Fraktard. That's a new one.

Ok, so now we've heard from the one person who thought the whole series worked? Such an honor.
Jeff Soules
10. DeepThought
The real reason I was totally unimpressed with this episode -- even the parts that others were pleased with, like the Opera House -- was that it was crafted to fit the mythology, the stuff that Ron Moore set up and realized he had to explain or the fans would go ape. That makes the entire thing just some... improvisation. A shaggy dog story.

The writers didn't have a plan. They cannot craft an actual reveal, because there was never anything behind the curtain; and now they're just trying to cook something to order based on the corner they'd painted themselves into. None of this, none of those hints we got all through the years, ever really meant anything.
There just WASN'T an answer. The end. Even if they come up with one now, they've missed the boat. The writers' explanation for the Opera House is sound speculation on what it COULD'VE meant, but it's just speculation, even if it comes from people who can put it on television.


In short, this episode was so bad that it has made me rethink the very nature of privileged storytelling in a serial medium.

--

I now think that the ability to tell The Canonical Story isn't just the privilege of the writer. It's an agreement from the audience to accept The Story, if the Storyteller promises to know what the story is. If the Storyteller doesn't know, then that contract is broken. As surely as if the author died before finishing the book, there can be no canonical end to the story. (People will no doubt complain that that's not what canon means; that if the writers want to film Adama puking on a sidewalk, well by CyGod that's canon now--but I'm realizing, after watching this show, that I no longer accept that canonicity is that simple a concept.)
Torie Atkinson
11. Torie
@ 8

I'll have you know I'm quite proud of being a godless monkey! I say unto you, sir: "ook ook."

I also say unto you, sir: save your hate for the ideas, not the people behind them.
Blue Tyson
12. BlueTyson
8

Any godless monkey could have come up with a better ending. Any monkey could have. Pretty simple for even a simian to chop off the piece of shite second half and go and have a banana after they get to the moon.

Coz, you know, angels are everywhere. What sort of hack writes tripe like that?
eric orchard
13. orchard
Will you all yell at me if I say it seemed like a subversive ending for a genre that is historically secular(at least since Wells)? (I haven't seen it yet so i'm just responding to what I've read)
rick gregory
14. rickg
I'm surprised any of you are surprised. Of COURSE they'd find some kind of alternate Earth. The only other choices were to head back out into the sunset, er, space (and either find another planet or not) or to go out in some blaze of glory battle. The search for Earth was always silly. If they were going to settle on Earth and it was nuked they either needed to jump in the future, the past or an alternate universe Earth.

You're disappointed in a mystical/spiritual answer? Really? After all of the prophecy stuff? You expected some atheistic, rationalist ending? REALLY?

Come on folks, you rationalized all of the slow and uneven development of this season and then really expected the last couple of hours to make sense of it all WITHOUT some deus ex machina tricks? This 1/2 season never really did move toward some conclusion that made sense. It was, like much of the show, self-indulgent melodrama. The BSG universe simply didn't have enough to hang 4.5 seasons on from a plot point of view - it had to be character driven - and when they needed to make some sense out of it... the lack of their ability to actually plot showed itself.
Blue Tyson
15. BlueTyson
You, given all the psychic guff, that was obviously going to have something to do with it.

However, a literal Angel Ex Machina?

Didn't think we were watching Charmed, or anything.
Jason Henninger
16. jasonhenninger
@13
Certainly wouldn't yell at ya for the idea, but would like to hear more of it.
eric orchard
17. orchard
@16 I think in a genre whose readers are primarily secular humanists an ending of a spiritual nature could be viewed as deeply subversive~it obviously made people very upset. Since Wells and Shaw debated Chesterton and Belloc the genre has been populated primarily by very secular (or philosophic) writers and readers.However if the problem is that the ending felt out of step with the story then that's another problem entirely.
Janice in GA
18. gaygeek
Well, I saw the end episodes ata sprts bar witha large group of fans. The biggest cheers were with battle sequences and the robot on robot action. However, there was a also a sense of emotional closure at the end and I had to bring up the fact that this was Moore trying to pull off the nastiest, hoariest old cliche from the sc-fi hacks playbook. I think the anger is that he used an old cliche and did NOT use the other cliche that all of the gods/god/prophesy/mystical stuff was the result of advanced technology/ascended AI/whatever Stargate used that last time to get them out of a corner. even worse, the final statements by the 'angles' can be interperated that Ron Moore was the God figure, that he planned this the whole time, that he didnt plan it out but is saying so now, and the entire series was Deux Ex Machina from the frakking beginning.
So, the question is why does the end of a TV show upset us so.
James Goetsch
19. Jedikalos
I hear you, BlueTyson: a literal Angel Ex Machina was just too much. Kara just vanishing was plain silly in the context of this show. Something more subtle could have made me able to stomach their ending, I think: but some kind of "Saved by an Angel" moment (I expected Kara to have an Irish accent finally at the end)just took shark jumping to ludicrous speed over into the plaid. And the two head angels being in New York in our time, talking about God: reminded me of the movie where John Travolta was an angel who died but then reappeared later with his angel companion and went dancing off into the stars at the end. I wish this show had been canceled after the first two seasons, or even the first one now, so that it would at least be a good memory. Luddite deus ex machina foolishness, alas. What a letdown.
Adin B
20. adin
Ignoring everything post-moon (henceforth cursed as "The Atrocity"), why the FRAK did Cavil just shoot himself? He's always struck me as a "If I'm going down, I'm taking as many of those &^%*& humans as I can with me" kind of Cylon.

The Atrocity was so self indulgent and preachy, I felt like I was watching "Left Behind", not BSG. Wrong Channel. And the plot holes with Angels/YHWH are large enough to fly the fleet through.

I'm surprised that no one else has mentioned "The Plan". I'm holding out (a tiny, tiny sliver of) hope that the *REAL* answers will be given there and that The Atrocity was a huge punt. (YHWH Cylon God, etc)

We had to throw on "Zack and Miri" right after the finale as "Brain Bleach" for everyone; we didn't want anyone to go postal on their way home.
Theresa DeLucci
21. theresa_delucci
@8
I have no problem with believing in a Higher Power by any name someone wants to call it and take offense at being called a godless monkey. I'm certainly not.

But the finale was unsatisfying storytelling to me. Deus Ex Machinas suck and it just seemed sloppy to me. Like this whole season has been sloppy. So I guess it fits as a capper.

A mild spoiler ahead: I'll throw out the series finale of HBO's fantastic Six Feet Under as the best finale I've ever seen. The show was about how everyone dies, every living thing dies, and how we as living beings must confront and accept that knowledge. The last episode left viewers pondering their own inevitable death and let us see the most final endings possible for these characters we've (well some) have loved over the last five season. Pitch perfect for a humorous, depressing, existential, and somewhat pretentious soap opera.

Honorable mentions go to Angel and Farscape, cancelled before their time. Both shows went out with a bit of touching fan service and an up yours to the networks that cancelled them. Not going gently into permanent hiatus. Awesome and emotionally satisfying as a fan.

So those are the golden standards I measure all other series finales against. BSG didn't measure up. For me. It was bad, but not Jar Jar Binks bad. I don't think Ron Moore raped my childhood or anything. It's just a TV show. But the epilogue was like a bad aftertaste after an otherwise perfectly decent meal. And it's the last taste of BSG I'll have.
Janice in GA
22. NinaPB
I didn't think it was as bad as most of you. I agree with the person above that said the God aspect was given to us from the beginning. I've watched the complete series three times now. Once over the course of the past two years, once in a week's span before the episode No Exit aired, and once again in the past two weeks to get my Mom caught up (don't judge me), and so many times the Head characters said they were messengers from God sent to protect and guide them.

When Anders was telling the others about their time on Earth, he said they were warned by people no one else could see. A woman appeared to him, a man to Tory, and Galen thought he had a chip in his head. Just like Gaius did.

Since Leoben was interrogated by Starbuck they've been saying over and over that Kara was "special" and "had a destiny." I'm not sure what people were expecting with all that spiritual mumbo-jumbo going on for the past four seasons.

I do agree that everyone just deciding to give up their creature comforts was ridiculous. I like creature comforts, but I don't like creatures! Did they not keep any of their space guns for the random lion coming to eat their asses? And what up with Tyrol just deciding to go off and die alone?

I enjoyed it all, but definitely agree that the first hour and change was the best part. Who knew Centurions had such swagger?!

We're discussing/debating/recapping at my site blogitoutb.com

N.
Theresa DeLucci
23. theresa_delucci
@20
Yes, can anyone tell me why Cavil just shot himself? It was unintentionally hilarious.

I'll probably watch "The Plan" but just to see more Lucy Lawless and Dean Stockwell. I'm sure I'll give "Caprica" a cursory glance, too. Who am I kidding? TV junkie right here. I just don't trust that Ron Moore really knows how to tell a good story, so I won't overthink them.

Or watch them on the Syfy Channel. Imagine Greater English, dammit. Think Gooder Programming.
Janice in GA
24. NinaPB
And maybe you guys can clear something up for me...

Wasn't it Skulls that Starbuck shot when she saved Lee during the mutiny? Then she said, "Who's next? Racetrack? Colin? I can do this all day."

How were Skulls and Racetrack later down w/ the plan? Were they forgiven for their mutinous ways?

I know Adama said before that even people in the brig could volunteer for the final mission, but still.

Oh, and I agree with everyone else that Cavil going out like a bitch didn't make sense.

And where the hell did Adama hide his raptor?
Janice in GA
25. gaygeek
As for everybody giving up all tech..after years on spaceships, stuck in a techo-hell with ever diminishing supplies/resources, and the last time they tried to build something it went a wee bit pear-shaped... walking away from it all does make a certain sense. Also, when Cavil's brothers with those remaining baseships show up looking for Hera they wont find any tech, so they will just move on since they have less then 40 years to exact some vengance. So its no hippie dippie 60s tech is bad hairshirt green moralism, its pre-emptive fan complaint wrangling. Or just hack writing. Whatever.
eric orchard
26. orchard
Interesting that people got annoyed at Star Wars when the Force turned out to be less supernatural.
James Goetsch
27. Jedikalos
Now I will always think of Kara speaking with an Irish accent at the end, just before she vanishes off on another mission where others need to be saved by an angel.

Such a wretched ending. Jumping the shark with ludicrous speed, way off into the plaid before all our astonished eyes.
Janice in GA
28. no2pencil
Oh dear. Even behind the cloak of internets anonymy, it hurts to say I was so wrong.

Aurthur Clark's inability to defend his momentously superior celestial origin of hominid advance makes Moore's forgery of a dead man's signature on the BSG finale a cheap, lazy, and offensive cop out.

This our-world California hippie tree-hugging global warming catastrophe fantasy about abandoning all technology and industry as inherently flawed was dismissed to the satisfaction of every fan of Fight Club, and Moore's inability to resist it consigns our epic warriors to a "happy ending" of tooth decay, malaria, and the deadening barely-self-aware subsistence of agrarian primitives, without so much as the hope that their ancestors will one day extend the realm, without having to imagine sex with the guys from Quest For Fire. O M G.

Leaving the heroes alone on moutaintops and savannas leaves me, as their surrogate, numb, then crushed, by the weight of barren loneliness, alone with nothing but memories of when I had a quest, a reason to live, and most importantly, someone like Kara, or Roslyn, or for the chief, anyone, to share it with. Adama talking to his dead wife's grave? Imagine tomorrow, when walls of the cabin have to be built. Now look around. You are alone. Forever.

The nearly unspeakably obscene image of Hera growing up to have sex with Moon-Watcher? What did we do, Ron? Why have you punished us so horribly?

The only God in the series is the post-modern fourth-wall puncturing Moore himself, the only "higher power" projecting the head 6 and Baltar, the opera house, Kara's dad, who is himself the voice speaking through Kara's last lines rendering her nothing more than a Charlie McCarthy doll, a critical interpretive conclusion that could have been avoided right up until the moment he left no other choice by putting himself squarely in the frame.

By making himself God, Moore has rendered everything otherwise interesting and redemptive about the show's mysticism nothing more than cheap rerun boilerplate of the kind of "over to you, audience" gag that Rod Serling decided was worn out in 1964.

Writers, whatever else you do, resist the urge to put yourself into your story, because what we care about is your creation, and the last thing we want is to find we've been lured into a wonderful and instructive analogous world, only to find you've kidnapped us here to tell us to drink our Ovaltine.
Janice in GA
29. Abisashi
There was groundwork for Head Baltar and Caprica being angels, and Kara being an Angel, etc - but it was never truly set up. Five minutes of dialog (Kara talking to Lee-Oban about why he knew she was special, and one of the angels talking to Baltar) could have set up the ending and made it suck half as much, by giving us assurances that this really isn't a hard science fiction show like we still thought it might be.

The problem with the Angels is that their actions often didn't conform with what their end goal turned out to be; the most recent example being when Angel Caprica had Gaius get big guns. How did that further their plan?

Cavil killing himself was totally out of character.
Arachne Jericho
30. arachnejericho
@orchard #26 -

I think the Force in Star Wars seemed to fit better to most people as a supernatural effect because there were never any clues that it was anything else, nor did it fit the profiles of something with a scientific explanation.

I have no idea what to think of what happened in the last half of the finale with respect to the "was this planned all along and thus possibly okay after all" question. Just about everything that happened in the past could conceivably have been building up to a rational explanation; the spiritual "real" causes could take you by surprise that way. And did to a lot of people.

Comparing to Babylon 5: the idea of beings evolved beyond us to god-like planes of existence and power was alluded to from the beginning, and highly involved in seasons 3 to 5; thus people were generally happy with the finale.

So far, from scanning the blogosphere, the key to happiness with the BSG finale appears to be "remember all the good times" (of which there are, indeed, quite a lot of, including character moments at the end).

And also possibly, "It wasn't as bad as the Sopranos."
Jeff Soules
31. DeepThought
I think it's not that people are unsatisfied that It Was God. It's not the Deus part that is a problem; it's the Ex Machina.

If they got REALLY SUPER LUCKY and noise in the jump drive led them to Earth, I still wouldn't have been satisfied; it's still a payoff with no buildup.

Make God behind it all? Fine! But make God behind it all in a way that made sense. Not a reanimated-Starbuck-corpse as an amanuensis, taking marching orders from On High without knowing the score. Make Hera important for some comprehensible reason, rather than she's got a destiny to become mitochondrial Eve (wtf?) And so on.
Janice in GA
32. Radynski
I was personally very satisfied by the spiritual ending to the show. With all the religion and prophecy mixed in throughout the series, I didn't see any other conclusion.

I had suspected for several episodes now that Kara, Head-Six, and Head-Baltar was the actual hand of God taking an active interest in the result of this conflict. And as someone else said, in a genre so dominantly secular, it was a refreshing change of pace.

It was also inevitable that the show would be an allegory for our own times, with a sort of underlying warning to not let the robots take over. :) All of the Buddhist like statements the hybrids spout off about "All of this has happened before and will happen again" pretty much shouted to the rooftops that the series was going to end with them starting a new "Kobol" so that it would all start over again at some point.

Also, I really loved the flashbacks to before the fall. In specific, the Colonel Tigh/Adama scenes gave me a much deeper understanding and appreciation for Tigh and Ellen's relationship. For most of the series, we don't really like Ellen because she sleeps around and generally messes shit up. But by the end of the series you come to see how hurt she is at being number two to Adama and how much really loves Saul. That flashback showed us just exactly how much it must have sucked for her when she thought Saul was finally done only to have Adama pull him back when he can't go through with retirement.

Of course, that's not to say there aren't things I really disliked. The biggest problem I had with the episode was the final flashforward to our present day. For me, the show would have been *sooo* much better if they had just ended it with Adama on that mountaintop. Sad and poignant, that's the way to go out.

Instead, we got a really heavy-handed epilogue where they go out of their way to tell you quite clearly that God exists and that they were angels helping work out God's plan. I mean, I felt it was pretty obvious, but let's at least leave it open for debate and analysis. Very disappointing.

Also, I was a little discouraged to see the really cliche way that they brought it back to our planet, and how they are all our ancestors. I would have rather seen them go back to Kobol. And for that matter, why didn't they as soon as they found Earth desolate? Although I will say that I enjoyed the bait-and-switch nature with which they made us think that their Earth (the destroyed one) was our Earth.
Janice in GA
33. Rasselas
O sweet, sweet nerd rage. I feel like Cartman tasting the tears of unutterable sadness. I particularly like the self-pity and fear in the reaction to the repudiation of technology, but the loathing expressed at the glimpse of the traitor's image in his own work is pretty charming.

I wonder how many nerd fetishes identified by Stuff Geeks Love will have been renewed by the betrayal of BSG, when the dust settles.
Janice in GA
34. Radynski
Oh, and I felt Cavil killing himself made total sense. Although, I will confess that I laughed at it because it was unexpected.

Cavil was a really huge control freak. He managed to hide his leadership of the cyclons behind the facade of democracy and voting for a while, but it became clear that he was the leader after the split, and for that matter had always felt he was.

He was incredibly jealous and upset and vengeful. And he manipulated situations and events for decades so that his plan of revenge could go off perfectly. The conversation between him and Ellen says it all so well.

Now if you were that much of a control freak, and had been manipulating events for so long, only to see everything go to pieces in seconds, what would you do? Would you leave your fate up to those people? No, you take the bullet. You don't let others decide whether you live or die.
Arachne Jericho
35. arachnejericho
@Radynski

#32 -

I'm not a religious person, so "Hand of God" was never clear to me or, indeed, something that would have ever come to my mind.

#34 -

That is Cavil in an absolute nutshell.
Janice in GA
36. Patrick Rennie
Head Six isn’t an angel. She’s a devil.

Kara isn’t an angel. She’s Jesus. Born of woman and comes back from the dead only to disappear without dying again.

Cavil took a look at the human to Cylon ratio in the room and decided that nobody else was going to get the privilege of wacking him.

Humanity walking away from their tech? Well, in each episode someone makes a bad choice, usually the wrong choice. That was our wrong choice for this episode.

I assume the final Earth is an alternative universe Earth – one that required divine guidance through Kara to reach.

And four seasons in, you’re having a problem with the show finishing with a theological ending? After four years of God, gods, hybrid oracles, and visions? Really?

I enjoyed it.
Rajan Khanna
37. rajanyk
My issue with the Hand of God is that up until now, they've always played it very subtly. And then in the end, it's basically - God exists, he's why you're here and he's been pulling all the strings. But looking back, it doesn't seem like the plan was all that good. Did God really want Baltar give Gina the nuke? What did that serve? If the end result was a joint human-cylon society, wasn't that possible with other ways of getting there that didn't involve the destruction of most of humanity? The Cylons were down with the whole idea of one god from the start. Surely that means if God came to them to tell them to play nice with the humans, that would work?

It just breaks down the more I look at it, and I think the only way to feel satisfied with everything is to take a large view and blur your eyes a bit and try not to focus on the cracks.
Janice in GA
38. Patrick Rennie
Well, rananyk, the problem with giving people free will is that it makes it tough to try to be a benevolent god(s). You’re a jerk people are just puppets, but you’re also a jerk if bad things happen. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
ennead ennead
39. ennead
I have a great capacity for deluding myself into thinking that series or movies that I like end on a satisfying note.
So, I liked the episode because I convinced myself that:

- The God / angel stuff is bogus. It's all about Cylon projection done by a secret cabal composed of...
- Head Six, Head Baltar and Daniel (a.k.a "God") who have been engineering something from/for the future
- All the surviving humans have been brainwashed into abandoning technology because the cabal wants to hide its existence from future humans (okay, that's a tough one)

There's also a great spin-off series about the cabal and the problems they face across time in my mind, and it's a pretty good one because Moore is a genius.

Also, Veronica Mars never had a second season.
ennead ennead
40. ennead
There's also a reason somewhere why English is not the root language of humanity.
Maybe they were speaking Sumerian all along, which would explain why "frak" doesn't mean anything in English.
Matthew Velic
41. MVelic
Honestly everyone is surprised and disappointed? I said a few weeks back that they wouldn't just throw away all the work they put into the prophesies and myths. And they didn't. While the episode felt cheap to me, it was still a rather satisfying ending.

And with all the work that Moore put into Deep Space Nine a few years back, you're really surprised?
rick gregory
42. rickg
I still think they should have had Baltar wake up on a Mexican beach, a disheveled Caprica next to him, realizing it was all a tequila induced dream...
Scott Spaziani
43. Gundampilotspaz
Baltar did blatantly say that "god" is not defined. God could mean the randomness of the universe. But I can't believe everyone is so upset that mythical aspect played into the ending so much. Does no one remember them being guided by a prophet getting visions from the gods? It was no surprise.

They also tied everything up! I think all the "fans" were waiting to complain that they didn't tie everything up and when that wasn't the case they had to pass that rage onto something else.
Janice in GA
44. jere7my
Apparently Ron Moore has said that she’s not a hylon, she never was a hylon, and that the Daniel bit was just a red herring he never imagined anyone would try to, you know, fit into the mythology he created.

Her dad wasn't Daniel, but that doesn't make him a red herring. Her dad, the scruffy piano-man, was the Cylon God. He wrote the tune that triggered the Five and led Kara to Earth; more to the point, he fathered a savior who died, was resurrected, and disappeared without leaving mortal remains.
Jason Henninger
45. jasonhenninger
Just wanted to say, on the subject of god, religion, etc. It was never religion itself that upset me with this show, but the use of god as an escape from challenging storytelling.

Look at Himmel Uber Berlin, for example (aka Wings of Desire). One of the best movies ever made, if you ask me. And it's all about angels.

God as a cop out is lame, just as "it was all a dream" is lame and "he's actually insane!" is lame and "everything got blown up" is lame. That's not the same thing as saying that religion, dreams, insanity and violence are guarantees of lame stories.

In this case, god is just plot-putty spread over all the holes.
Janice in GA
46. sofrina
this didn't infuriate but it did leave me very confused and shocked. adama going off alone? wasn't this the guy who held the entire fleet in orbit around some planet searching for starbuck and told lee that if it were lee missing, he would never leave? i don't get it. laying down the burdens of responsibility for everyone else, sure. but leaving his family?

roslin has always been my kind of lady. she is steely. why couldn't the writers have found a way to kill her sooner and to weave her death into the religion and prophecies so that it was significant and a hammerstroke that bought the fleet a significant boon in their quest for a home? essentially something along the lines of kes' death in st: voyager. there was plenty of room for them to maintain (or rather, reaffirm) the core thread of roslin's religious convictions and the indisputable fruit they bore the entire fleet in locating earth.

the god resolution doesn't irk me because it was there from the beginning. the early adama/roslin power struggle was deeply routed in her conviction to follow the literal interpretation of their holy book. and adama began to come around when they found that "map" that was a starchart inside a crumbled temple where (correct my memory) baltar first had the vision of the opera house.

when i used to discuss bsg with the editor in the next office, my main questions were 'who is the cylon god' and 'how does head six always know exactly what's going to happen' and 'how is it the cylons always find these people; it's like the cylons already know everything that's going to happen and the humans are rats in a maze.' so , no the nature of the ending isn't the problem; it's the execution of the ending. with the exception of the fruition of the opera house vision - which tied in sweetly with the several iterations of it as well as d'anna's vision of the final five in the temple - things were heavy-handed, told instead of shown, inexplicable and downright unbelievable. starbuck's disappearance being the worst of these transgressions and baltar's ludicrous speech about the nature of god placing a strong second. why cavil even listened is beyond me. starbuck's end was so nuts i actually started rewriting it in my head. but no, starbuck cannot be likened to gandalf being sent back to middle-earth to finish his task. gandalf was stronger on his return and had to leave physically. she suffered quite a lot and if all of that was only ever in order to lead these people to a new world, i hope her heavenly reward is truly awesome.

chief tyrol's self-imposed isolation shocked me almost as much as adama's. he has often been a loose-end character, never properly fitting in once boomer was revealed. but seriously, alone in the scottish highlands forever?

on cavil's suicide: that was too pointed to be ignored and yet led nowhere. my take is that cavil had a little resurrection station somewhere and he opted to retreat. he was the one cylon who only sent ONE copy onto Galactica. you see copies of the doctor and the short guy all over the place, but only one cavil. no, the mastermind would not risk himself by sending his limited supply into the fray. furthermore, being the one who clipped ALL the other cylons's memories, cavil would always have had a backup facility and a stockpile of his own copies in an undisclosed location.

and frankly, the notion that he agreed to a permanent truce is ridiculous. he raged pretty hard about wanting revenge to ellen not too long ago. ain't no way he was gonna keep that truce.

the decision to quit technology shocked me, but i can certainly see where the chance to have earth, grass, fresh air, sun and rain would be worth the loss.

the codicil or whatever on the ending seemed tacked on and illfitting. it's strongly reminiscent of the similar ending to "gangs of new york" which states something like far in the future all these other people will live here and they'll never know you existed. a major ??? and i thought they meant cavil was god, when baltar said he doesn't like to be called that.


(no2pencil, you are on fire. hilarious!)
Janice in GA
47. jere7my
Ron Moore and some other folks go into some detail on the finale here:

http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2009/03/battlestar-galactica-daybreak-finale-moore-mcdonnell-olmos.html

I don't think it'll make anyone who was unhappy with the finale suddenly happy, but it might answer some questions.
Janice in GA
48. karenthology
I think I'm the only one here geeked out by the possible theological implications of Head-Baltar's statement (is it *really* "our" God?), or the concept of free will (Boomer) in the same universe as someone bound by a Calvinistic idea of fate (Starbuck), or the devil-in-a-red-dress inspiring Baltar to talk about the equality of humanity, or Laura/Moses never really getting to see the Promised Land, and it goes on, and on, and on.

I'm actually very happy with it all, because they leave just enough for it to not be a Deus Ex Machina at all, if you look at it very carefully.

But then again, I'm usually the only believer at the con, or the only God person in a crowd of geeks, so I'm used to being the odd one out.
Andrew Gray
49. madogvelkor
I loved it, though I think the last bit in Africa could have been shorter, and I thought the bit in New York City today was heavy handed and stupid.

I like a little of the divine in my SF, I suspect those who are more religious are more comfortable with God being an actually real presence in the story than those who aren't. BSG has been pretty consistent from the beginning with mystical elements in it, and religious themes. I never doubted that the Cylon's God would be the guiding force at the end.

And they never actually said what or who God was. There was some unexplainable things (Kara), and two beings that claimed to be angels. That doesn't mean they are.

I had some trouble with them going native at first, but then I tried to imagine how it would feel to them. They've spent 4 years crammed into ships that are falling apart, fleeing their own creation. They've found Kobol and Earth, and both have been destroyed by technology. The chance to give it all up and live in what must seem a paradise would be very, very tempting.

The Centurions being given their freedom was really up to the Cylons, I think they made the right choice. Apparently they have no interest in Earth, which makes sense since space would be a much better environment for them.

The ironic thing is that they really did destroy mankind, or at least most of the survivors. They dropped people all over the world -- the map had Africa and the Americas as landing sites. But as we know it would be over 100,000 years before humans lived there, so whoever got dropped there died out. Those left in Europe might have given rise to the Neanderthals, their final form evolved around that time frame -- so that's another dead end. And Gaius's plans to build a farm never amounted to much I guess, since agriculture won't come around for another 140,000 years....
Blue Tyson
50. BlueTyson
26

No, people mostly got annoyed at Star Wars for it becoming a pile of crap. :)


The people who are using the 'are you really surprised by a supernatural ending' aren't getting it. No, that is obviously no surprise, given visions etc.

The sudden in the last episode manifestations, though?

Basically saying, you can be as hopeless a bunch of screwups and genocidal maniacs as you like, but angels will save you in the end?

They could have all just stayed getting pissed on Caprica, and then been moved by said teleporting angels to where they wanted them to be.
Torie Atkinson
51. Torie
@ 50

Agreed. Those of us who are shocked by the religious ending aren't surprised that it was religious and spiritual (we all knew that was coming), just disappointed that four years of plotting culminated in such a hackneyed, deus ex machina ending.

To quote The Simpsons:
Frink: "Yes, over here, in Episode BF12, you were battling barbarians while riding a winged Appaloosa, yet in the very next scene, my dear, you're clearly atop a winged Arabian! Please do explain it!"
Lucy Lawless: "Uh, yeah, well, whenever you notice something like that... a wizard did it."
Frink: "Yes, alright, yes, in episode AG04-"
Lucy Lawless: "Wizard!"

That's what that ending felt like. The complexity of all these plots was handwaved away with "angels did it."
Janice in GA
52. JRego
I was just so relieved that the colonials made peace with the peoples of the gamma quadrant. What a surprise when Captain Kara Sisko became a living god and . . . shit, I'm having DS9 deja vu.

When we saw the FTL drive a few weeks ago, I started worrying. Jeez, it was right out of Galaxy Quest! Then they spent a month spackling Galactica's innards with Cylon goop--to no avail, apparently.

Meanwhile, character development came to a halt.

Yeah, the Battle of the Singularity was cool. But the magical musical clue to the location of the "new" Earth was bogus. And yes, I also find it hard to believe that every single one of the colonials was ok with destroying all the ships. Nobody wanted to start exploring the new neighborhood? Start twelve new colonies, maybe?

BTW, when they gave the basestar to the centurions, did they also give them back their free will? If so, weren't any of the centurions pissed off about being made to shoot at each other in the last battle?

There are elements to the story that I like. I didn't have a problem with the "circle of time" thing; since the original series was on, what other conclusion could you draw from a leader named Adama? I also liked the tie-in at the end with present-day New York--but maybe that was just the Jimi Hendrix. But I can't help thinking that a couple of script doctors should have been consulted.

But Katee Sackhoff is still the hottest thing in the known universe. What happened to her character sucked.
Megan Messinger
53. thumbelinablues
First reactions: I didn't think anything could make me lose respect for Bill Adama, but I was wrong. Kara being an angel is so nonsensical that I, like the primitive humans, lack adequate description. I will return with an attempt after I do something about these hives; I am allergic to heavy-handed cop-outs.
Tex Anne
54. TexAnne
I never did get into BSG, but here's what I overheard at lunch today, from a guy who didn't look fannish at all: "Yeah, it was pretty stupid. Kind of a Twilight Zone/Planet of the Apes thing. I thought it was pretty disappointing."

Go SyFy! Way to get the non-geeks to watch you!
Tudza White
55. tudzax1
Okay, for me a minor re-write is all that is needed:

Not our Earth, check.

End with Adama on the hilltop, check.

There, I fixed that for you.
Pawel Martin
56. pawel_z_wrocka
Right there with you, karenthology. And JJD23, though I wouldn't use the term "monkeys".

Actually, I am surprised at how many people are angry because the series ended with religious overtones. The whole BSG was religious all the time, people! I would have been very upset if the ending had done away with the mystical in favor of scientific.

I am also very surprised at how many science fiction fans seem to lean towards atheism. I have never really thought of science fiction that way.

As for the ending... The only thing I am unhappy about is the old man not staying with Lee. But then again, he left him with Kara, didn't he?
Janice in GA
57. Artemis
Good frakking lord, everyone on this board sounds like "Comic Book Guy" from The Simpsons.
Janice in GA
58. Brian2
I wasn't keen on the ending myself (and walked off muttering "So it all comes down to God and cigarettes?"). The problem wasn't the higher power stuff per se; it was that it came off as ad hoc rather than going someplace interesting, which I think it could have. Too many unsolved problems:

1. You can't really stick in an unspecified Higher Power and claim you thought of the idea all by yourself, and that it has nothing to do with existing religions. Not, at least, without strongly pushing the idea in another direction. "You know he doesn't like to be called " doesn't quite do it.

2. What is the cycle supposed to be? It isn't made very clear, but as far as I can make out, this part of the cycle consists of the Galactica crew going to Earth, as directed by the HP, and somehow influencing its development so that it comes out like Caprica. I have no idea what the actual mechanism is supposed to be, but the result is that once again a culture is faced with a conflict between humans and machines, though, since this is a complex system, maybe this time they'll break the cycle.

Right, so you're a Higher Power; why do you find this an interesting thing to cycle round and round about? Is it an experiment? And if the interest has to do with robotics or the relationship between the creator and the created, what does that say about the possible nature of the Higher Power? There's the germ of an idea here, but it never seems to get started.

3. Actually, it could have gone somewhere really interesting, for example if the cycle were looked at in a Hindu or Buddhist perspective, and in turn linked to the operations of a complex system. The title theme of the show is the Gayatri Mantra, so this was pretty much on the table to begin with.

4. So they get to Earth, and it already has genetically compatible hominids on it. And why, exactly? This is pretty much an inconceivable coincidence, and, sorry, saying God Did It won't fix it. And, as far as I can tell, the only thing you gain by introducing the natives is to make sure that you have a fossil record for the evolution of humankind.

5. Modern humans arose some 45,000 years ago, so where does the "145,000 years later" come from? Anyway, it just makes the problem of cultural inheritance worse. We're meant to believe that Earth resembles Caprica so strongly, even to the point where one of the Earth pantheons exactly reproduces one of the Caprican ones, because 37,000 people landed 145,000 years ago, discarded their technology, and then scattered? Not to mention genetic drift, not to mention ...

6. So a set of people who'd depended upon each other for their survival for five years would decide to split up as soon as they landed in a strange place? And they've thrown away their technology, and now they're going to live an idyllic life as subsistence farmers, without, apart from Baltar, any idea how farming works, and without resources to get them started? I suppose this solves certain logical problems about why there weren't cities back then, in a rather ad hoc way, but they aren't problems you need to solve, given what 145,000 years would do to whatever they might have built if they'd stuck together. (In fact, it just makes the problem of cultural inheritance worse; if they had stuck together, say in the Balkans, you'd have a better chance of explaining how they'd managed to have any influence at all.)

7. Modern invocations of God as agent tend to stick to "God works in mysterious ways," largely meaning that you can't really catch him doing anything overtly. It seem to work better with a little ambiguity. Getting clobbered with it seems a little, well, unsubtle, and it's hard not to think of Dave Langford's "The Well-Tempered Plot Device": http://www.ansible.co.uk/Ansible/plotdev.html

And so on. The problem is that there are so many "Huh?" moments, one after another, that it's hard to feel much about it except that the characters were being jerked around for the convenience of the writer.

I suspect, though, that it would work better the second time around, without the expectation that the ending will provide answers to the questions the series has raised. I like it that Moore tried to put things into an entirely different perspective, and wish that he'd pulled it off. I like it that Galactica did have an unlooked-for happy ending, and just wished I could have believed any part of it. He did have a lot of the right instincts, It just didn't come off, at least for me.

Maybe a longer cut of this would help. The episode felt a little truncated. And the rhythms seemed a bit off because of the constraints of television -- Part One was really not Part One, just the first hour, and it set up expectations that the ending was going to be one big fight. My guess is that it will come off better on the DVD.
Blue Tyson
59. BlueTyson
56

Read 50. Not upset with religious overtones, would have stopped watching a _long_ time ago, in that case. That should be pretty clear if you think about it for a second.

Upset because it was shit.

Maybe you are religious, but you ever been on a commando raid with an angel? Or had one strap into the cockpit of a fighter plane and nail some bogeys to save your arse? Neither has anybody else in the history of the planet, which, apparently, is the planet they are talking about.

57

Better than smelling like troll. :)

There's zero proof of the existence of angels, devils, deities, or whatever, so we are suddenly supposed to buy their appearance in the very last half of an episode of a long running tv show to explain everything? That is just woefully terrible writing. Especially if they do pretend to want to be taken seriously.

It is pretty obvious that people that are interested in science, and how things work, and evidence, etc., as far less likely to believe in the actual existence of the supernatural, and are far less likely to be disturbed by their own insignifance on a universal scale or lack of specialness, because, well, that is how things are.
Pablo Defendini
60. pablodefendini
@ pawel_z_wrocka #56
That's ok. I, for one, certainly am a "godless monkey." I don't see that as an insult so much as a badge of honour.

@JJD23 #8
I'm not, however, a "moron," in any sense of the word, thanks much.

Anyway, my personal biases aside, my problem with the ending to BSG wasn't so much that they employed supernatural elements as part of the explanation for events—the series has always played with religious/mystical/supernatural overtones, and I actually find that particular exploration of humanity very interesting, as I've mentioned in other BSG round-tables. I wouldn't go as far as to say that "BSG was religious all the time", since part of what has traditionally made the show compelling has been the push-and-pull between the rational and the irrational, best personified in the relationship between the Old Man and Roslin.

No, my problem is that RDM and company got lazy as writers. They decided that it was better to simply use the existence of a higher power as an excuse to hit the "wrap it up" button, instead of actually bringing their plot points to a close in a satisfying and well-thought-out manner. I do realize that for some people, this ending was satisfying, but I can't bring myself to think that—"Don't worry about it: god did it." is not an acceptable resolution for me. "God did it, and here's the motivation behind why s/he did it, and the mechanisms s/he used, etc, etc" would have been perfectly acceptable.

I could go on ad-nauseam about all the different way that the last hour of this episode just completely fell apart for me, but I don't think I'd say anything other than what has already been said upthread. However, what finally drove me bonkers was the last sequence, with Six and Baltar in Times Square. That was utterly and unnecessarily ham-fisted and heavy handed. I could have done without the final montage of modern-day robots, and the bullshit moralizing about the perils of technology. That particular SF trope has been done to death, and even even if it hadn't, it's a knee-jerk, alarmist attitude to take—and especially surprising given the philosophical nuances that the show has gone out of its way to portray. The last thing I ever expected BSG to do was to kow-tow to a reactionary, anti-intellectual constituency, but in my opinion, that's just what they did. Utter fail.

I dunno, I was generally disappointed. BSG has always been a thinking-person's show, and this ending was anything but.
Janice in GA
61. thekatwoman
Did anyone watch the "Last Frakking Speical"?
They had to vote on the final five. That means WE new what was going to happen before they did. They made it up as they went along.
I new in 1979 they were going to be on ancient earth. His name was APOllO, remember.
The best part of the whole last hour was Six and Baltar both seeing the angels together.
And lastly.. Head Six said "IT doesn't like to be called that" IT? That sent chills up my spine.
Janice in GA
62. Radynski
For everyone that's complaining that it was a deus ex machina and lazy writing, the common thread seems to be that you feel it was too lazy to write things off simply as "God did it".

So my question is: What did God do?

Seriously. As far as I can tell, God only did a handful of non-overt things to help *try* to influence events.

1. Sent Baltar and Six the angels.
2. Resurrected Kara and her ship.
3. Taught Kara "the song" and potentially triggered the Final Five with the very same song.

I don't feel like he transported them to earth, not overtly anyway. He merely gave Kara the tools with which to figure out the riddle, but it was still up to her to do it.

And Kara being resurrected doesn't mean she was the literal manifestation of God helping everybody get through to the promise land. Her journey simply hadn't been finished yet, and she was sent back out to complete it.

I never once got the impression throughout the series that these characters lacked free will. It was always up to them to make the choices, to find the correct path. They just got a few nudges along the way, in the form of the things I mentioned above. Looking back on it, I still feel like things could have easily gone to hell if slightly different choices were made.

I think the ending worked on a number of levels, and I don't feel like it was lazy writing in the slightest. There was no deus ex machina, this whole thing had been building for a very long time. And God didn't do much of anything to make this ending happen.

Once again, the only thing I disliked was the really heavy-handed epilogue in current day New York.
rick gregory
63. rickg
Pablo... yes it was lazy writing, but let's not pretend that it was a stellar half season aside from this. The writers had a lot of time to get from the "There's nothing here and it's been nuked so we can't even rebuild here" to some wrapup and the intervening episodes didn't do a good job of stage setting leaving it to the last episode to resolve a lot of things - that's a recipe for cheap, quick reveals.

In fact, that became part of my issue with the show. They succumbed to "Who shot JR" syndrome. Who were the final five... and the the final one? And who IS Kara? and... It relied too much on the "What's the answer to this mystery? Ok, got that? Now we have another one for you!" dynamic.



@59 - your insistence in 'how things are' is amusing - I love people who say they KNOW the nature of reality. But even if that's your outlook it doesn't matter since the show itself was most certainly informed by a mystical sensibility. Come on Resurrection Arks? A kid named Hera? Beings that appear to characters? Prophecies? If religious overtones in BSG bothered someone they should have bailed on this series a LONG time ago. The problem with the religious motifs for me is simply that they're all Christian and not really that original. A lot more interesting things could have been done that Kara = Jesus, Six is an angel, etc.

A belief in a destiny was one of the motivations for looking or Earth though, else why show the people who've just nuked you to the edge of extinction the way to the last planet of humanity? Why not simply settle on a nice class M planet somewhere? They needed some impetus to search for this thing they had no proof of.

When they decided to have a driving reason for the fleet to continue to search for Earth even with Cyclons on their tail, the writing team had another choice - let them succeed or not? Once you choose to let them find Earth, do you make Earth incredibly advanced and able to brush aside the tensions and threat of the Human/Cyclon conflict (Earth as Paradise?), or do you make Earth desolate or even destroyed? If you take the second choice, you then have to blast them off into space on a continuing journey, destroy them all or pull the alternate Earth ending. It's not like the choices at a high level were all that complex. We knew which way they'd gone in the Earth as Paradise vs Desolate Earth sweepstakes at the end of last season. The alternate Earth was always the most likely after that... this season just did a poor job of getting from point A to point B and focused, as usual, on the melodrama between characters.
Janice in GA
64. Alex Freed
I had mixed feelings on the finale--didn't hate it as much as many here, but it still didn't seem to work. Part of the reason may have been this:

Although the show has had religion in it since (almost) the beginning, it's never been about the spiritual. Religion was a cultural issue, not a philosophical or theological one--it was primarily a way to make humans and Cylons distinct, and create tension within the human community. The visions served primarily as mysterious plot devices.

There was very little about the actual relationship between god(s) and man, and what there was (Gaius) wasn't particularly interesting. No one really went through strongly spiritual experiences, no one came to embrace or reject higher powers--again, at least not in any meaningful way. There were crises of faith... but they were always crises that were about secular matters. Any spiritual crisis was essentially a metaphor for material affairs.

Take Kara's resurrection, for example. In a religious work, you'd see her start to realize what's happened, question it, fight or embrace it, succumb to hubris or go through a conversion or what have you, and see it all in the context of her relationship with god. What we actually saw was Kara suffering an identity crisis and a mystery plot point--the secular version, not the spiritual one.

But the finale only works if you accept it as being actively about faith and higher powers. The groundwork wasn't laid for that. An ending which used god(s)? Yes. But not one where that becomes the focus.

Of course, there were other issues with the ending, too: The truly awful coda, everyone packing up and deciding to give up technology, etc. There was also the usual tension where the show doesn't know what to do with the Cylons--are they a metaphor for humanity (another aspect of us, what happens when we dehumanize and oppress others, etc.), or are they Frankenstein's monsters, a cautionary tale of humanity playing god and letting technology get out of control? They really can't be both, and the show has always tried to have it both ways.
Dayle McClintock
65. trinityvixen
Besides the God stuff, I think it's easy to see how fucking lazy the writers were in other respects. The Final Five song leading to Earth? Oh, didn't we see that in the first half of season four? Baltar talks a misbehaving Cylon down from doing bad shit? Good thing D'Anna, er, CAVIL listened to him.

It's like the exact same ending, only stupider. You can't get much more lazy than that. (But, of course, "God did it" managed.)
Arachne Jericho
66. arachnejericho
@Radynski #62 -

I think #2 was a fairly huge thing for God to have done. Although I suppose resurrections are more normal to BSG than other stories, in my opinion that was still over the top rule-breaking.

For deities --- aren't resurrections at their hand supposed to be saved for very, very special events? So special that I didn't think the even the events of the BSG final necessitated it.

It may simply be a matter of opinion on the scale of God-in-the-machine's wrangling that pushes people on one side or the other of the love/hate line.

ETA:

Alex Freed #64 -

I agree with all your points here.
Janice in GA
67. sofrina
@Brian2, to your point #6 about the farming: well, they did previously set down on another planet with the intention of staying. so there must have been a feasible plan for food. baltar can't be the only person in 38K that knows how to grow food. and clearly they're also going to hunt game and fish.
Janice in GA
68. Mighty Marc
Yes, I'm probably in the minority here, but I thought the ending was brilliant. Well, maybe not brilliant, but far better than I was expecting or hoping.

The first half was exciting. It was thrilling. It was everything I wanted it to be.

The second half was the denouement. It was the chance to say good-bye. And they did it perfectly.

So what if there are problems with the details? BSG is/was a character piece. And, in the end, all the characters stayed true to form.

I'm especially happy with how it ended for Lee Adama. Full of hope, yet full of angst. Never fulfilling his chances for happiness. Incredibly sad and depressing, but so very true to form.

And Kara Thrace? It's better she disappeared than Ron Moore contriving some ad hoc story out of his ass to try to explain the unexplainable. Her ending is brilliantly poetic.

And finally, the whole "God's Plan" thing... Ron Moore created a universe that has a God. And angels. Good for him. I may not agree with the premise, but I'm not going to judge him for it. It's no better or worse than what I see/read in other Sci Fi shows/stories. Maybe a little less original, but it doesn't detract from what was, otherwise, a great end to a great series.
Janice in GA
69. Mighty Marc
One last comment.

Perhaps I was less annoyed by the ending because I had predicted something similar. I thought the Opera Scene was going to be played out by Baltar, Caprica Six, and a rescued Hera being the last survivors of humanity. I was expecting their survival to have been made possible by the Final Five and with Kara Thrace being the tool that got them away, perhaps in a raptor, to *our* Earth.

... And that would have made Baltar and Caprica Six our Adam and Eve, so to speak.

Perhaps that would have been a more fitting end. Everyone dies. And it ties into our universe. And RM gets to be even more spiritual.

But it still played out quite nicely, in my mind.

But what do I know? I'm not even a writer.
Melinda Snodgrass
70. Melinda
It was disappointing at the level of the script -- endless flashbacks at a point in the series when more explication of character is not indicated. It ended up feeling like they didn't have enough material so they started padding. Or they're off- setting the cost of the sets for the new Caprica series against Galactica.

The finale undercut the characters that had been established in the first two and a half seasons. These were tough, competent, clever, capable people. Yes, they had flaws and sometimes fought like caged badgers, but they supplied their own solutions. I found the "god saved them to be extremely" unsatisfying.

There were some nice personal resolutions. Particularly Adama and Rosalyn.

George R.R. made an interesting point -- why do science fiction shows always have to have some great mystery at their heart? We don't require that of a House, NYPD Blues, The Wire, or Sopranos, etc. but they were/are brilliant shows. Why do we always do this when chances are the resolution will disappoint.
Janice in GA
71. dcb
So they wanted to end with the colonials as our ancestors, which presents the problem of what to do with their giant spaceships and technology.

This is the central problem with the ending, not the goddit which yes has been a theme throughout the series.

There's just no way put the colonials on ancient earth without explaining away their civilization and there's no way to do that that's not utterly stupid.

The mitochondrial eve thing and the dancing robot montage just added insult to injury.

Ah well. At least the first half was awesome.
Janice in GA
72. dcb
"goddidit", even.
Janice in GA
73. Brian2
@Sofrina, thanks for the clarification. I haven't been watching BSG consistently, so there's a lot I'm unaware of. In general, it does make sense that if they left hoping to live on another planet, they would have made some provision for farming.

I do think that in showing an abundance of game BSG is implying that the future is rosier than it actually is. Hunter-gatherers of the time were highly sophisticated, and they tended to die very young anyway. And the vast majority of the survivors would be first-time farmers, with a limited support system, particularly given how widely they've spread themselves out. It isn't really the Garden of Eden.

Still, the main point is that we're being told that something good has finally happened to the survivors, and I'm glad Moore did that. The structure of the show -- the suffering of a closed group of people, framed by the perspective of Heaven -- isn't new. I do think it's an interesting, ambitious thing to attempt here, and in reading this board I was hoping to learn something from people for whom the denouement worked better than it did for me.

BSG was always well done. but what often made it great was Moore's fearlessness and integrity when it came to doing things that you might really hate. As in this case. It would have been easier to play safe, knowing that there are a lot of people who learn to track what a television show usually does and then get incensed when it doesn't do it all the time. It would also have been easier not to risk failing. Good for him.
Janice in GA
74. Capper
There was much not to like. One little thing that I did like was, near the end when the ships are about to be flown into the sun, there are faint chords from the original Battlestar Galactica theme music woven into the music. I thought that was a nice, little touch.

I am also very glad that it is over. To quote Gerald Ford, our long national nightmare is over.

I found the commercial for a new Battlestar two hour movie this fall, "The Plan," to be interesting. As demonstrated by many of the comments in the "Last Frakkin Special" from last Monday, it seems very clear to me that there was no "Plan" from the beginning and they were really just winging it even when it came down to who the last Cylon was. I feel unbelievably cheated for believing that the Cylons "had a plan" as the opening credits falsely stated for the first two seasons.

Oh well.

I wonder what is the "best SF show on televison" is now?
Janice in GA
75. JRego
Melinda @70, you make a great observation about scifi vs. other tv shows.

In the writer's guide to the original Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry explained that he would put scripts through a "Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, Naked City" test. If the plot of a script didn't make sense in any of those contexts, then it was no good for Star Trek either. Saying that something happens, "because it's science fiction," just doesn't cut it.

Having Kara be an angel doesn't make sense when she doesn't know what she is. Having the colonists give up all their tools and technologies really doesn't make sense.
Mitchell Downs
76. Beamish
I love the HATE in this thread for Ron Moore - but, shockingly, I do not Hate this Finale.

See...that is because I started hating BSG back with New Caprica and they have done nothing to make it up to me for over 40 episodes. For every great character moment there was a dozen moments of plot stagnation.

I was almost converted when Galen choked the life out of Torie and destroyed the "truce"...but then there was Earth and 150,000 years later and I just sat back to soak in all the pablum.

I can either scream against awful writing as I have for 40 episodes...or I can accept it as the trite morality play it became. I will live with the literal "deus ex" and the morality play since I will never get back those 40 hours of my life anyway.

Long Live Ron Moore - most over-rated hack since George Lucas.
Jeff Soules
77. DeepThought
@63 "Why not simply settle on a nice class M planet somewhere?"

Those are pretty uncommon in BSG-land. Remember how incredibly remarkable the Algae Planet was? And how New Caprica was the first remotely livable place they'd hit in years?


@62 "What did God do?"

Quite a lot, actually. God pulled the strings of the Kara Thrace Meat Puppet, gave Baltar an out-and-out crib sheet for YEARS, and convinced enough people that Hera was important that the Colonials managed to kill off the Evil!Cylons. But that's not even the problem--it's that nothing God does is all that interesting.

The problem is that the ending is pat in a way that doesn't explain anything except through circular logic. Starbuck has a Special Destiny (tm), ultimately, because of the stuff God manipulated her to do after she got rezzed, but God chose her because of her special destiny... Why didn't God just whisper in somebody else's ear (among the living)? Hera was important because she was Mitochondrial Eve, but that's just a retrospective classification which says nothing about HER being special. (Unless the other 35,999 Colonials on the planet--not to mention the native hominids--didn't manage to have ANY offspring, then it was Hera's kids several generations later who did the actual feats of survival). This role is underwhelming compared to what had been foreshadowed. Similar complaints follow on the other mysteries. God is perfectly welcome to take a role in my sci-fi, so long as he promises to do INTERESTING things, instead of just help out a writer who's fixated on a specific goal but can't find a path that's organic to the story.

and HMPH. In a body of colonials with such luminaries as Daddy Adama, Tigh, Tyrol, and even Balthar, I resent that I'm supposed to be descended from HELO, of all people...
Rajan Khanna
78. rajanyk
I would just like to say one thing to all the cries of "it's a character piece". Plot and character are not mutually exclusive. In truly great fiction, the line between them is blurred. Character choices create plot - plot helps to illuminate elements of character. I think that for much of the show, we saw that and that's what I think has disappointed some people in the end. That when Ron Moore said to his writers, "It's about the characters, stupid" he was overlooking what made the show great in the past, the interplay between those two things.

Also, I agree with what several people have been said - I'm not religious, but I don't have a problem with religion in the show. It's the way it was handled. Because it was all at the end, there was no chance to examine it within the context of the characters and the arc of the show. I think they were capable of dealing with it in a much better way.

I wish they would have planned the end of the show from the beginning of Season 4 - I think that would have helped improve how things ended up.
Janice in GA
79. Radynski
@#77

"God pulled the strings of the Kara Thrace Meat Puppet, gave Baltar an out-and-out crib sheet for YEARS, and convinced enough people that Hera was important"

See, I just don't agree with that. That's not how I see the events that transpired.

1. Kara was not some meat puppet, or the literal embodiment of God. She was just Kara, the same person we've known all along. Except she had been resurrected, and consequently left with a beacon in her head that led them to Leoban.

And why would you use a living person instead? Would anyone take them seriously if they suddenly started getting visions? Kara was special because she came back to life, and that (eventually) gave her extra credit.

And for that matter, you need to introduce the ship with the beacon locator, which I admit is an extra thing God did that I didn't list before.

2. With Baltar, I believe Head-Six was an angel, operating under instructions, but of her own free will. She did her best to guide (and manipulate) Baltar throughout the series, but it was still his choices. And really, its been really clear since early in the show that Head-Six wanted Baltar to believe in God.

3. I think the Cylons themselves convinced everyone of Hera's importance. I don't see how God had anything to do with that.

The point I'm trying to make though is just that God wasn't pushing the chess pieces around. He was just nudging them to try to get them to do what he wanted. In the end, I still firmly believe that all the characters had free will. And in that belief, the deus ex machina of "God did it" disappears.
Janice in GA
80. Pop-Monkey
I don't think the religious/God aspects of the ending are a cop-out, and I think they are indeed challencing concepts because humanity can never grasp the full scope of God's work. He wouldn't be God, if that were the case, so there will always be "plot holes" from man's perspective. That's the challenging part. You don't get things wrapped up in a complete package with a neat little bow. The series remains one of my favorites (as well as a critical favorite).

As for the "technology is bad" angle, I think most of you are missing Moore's point. It's not that technology is bad in itself, but holding up technological advancement as our "god" can and has caused gradual entropy to our humanity. Progress and evolution are not always good things. Is it good that our children are growing up devoid of concepts like selflessness, work-ethic, charity, social interaction, manners, respect, etc? Of course not. Is technology to blame for this? Not entirely, but it's playing its part (along with careless and lazy parenting). I don't think he was saying, "robots are coming and they are bad!" as some of you have knee-jerkingly interpreted. He was saying "you think the concept of Cylons is that far-fetched? Think again -- and here's a montage to help show how close we may be. Remember to not repeat the mistakes that these folks did." That's all.
Dayle McClintock
81. trinityvixen
@80: If that's the case, if the ending is not about approving a blatantly hostile anti-technology bias, then it is an agonizingly moralizing one with Ron Moore shaking his finger at us and going, "Now you kids behave or the evil robots are going to rise up and kill you all." ...which, actually? Is still anti-technology in that it assumes technological advancements/artificial intelligence will always produce evil.

Nowhere in either of those answers is the more plausible idea that, when creating life, you have a responsibility to respect that life. We accept that arrangement when it's a child or even a pet. So a better moral might have been that it's not technology that creeps up and surprises us with intelligence, but that we knowingly create that intelligence and are thus responsible for it. If Ron Moore is saying, "This could happen...TO YOU" in our "present" but all he shows of the people who lived the consequences of not respecting AIs is that they say "TECH IS BAD, SMASH IT WITH ROCKS," it is not sending the message he thinks it is.

There's also the question, unanswered, as to what level of tech is acceptable before society teeters on the brink to annihilation. Okay, no more sentient robots (other than the ones the Colonials were going to breed with, apparently), but is that the line? What about the rocks I mentioned to smash the ships and such? Rocks, after all, are tools. Tools are tech. No spacecraft, but we can have plows for farming? The only thing this ending proved is that technology is inescapable; ergo, "destroy all tech is not a solution, it's a stalling tactic that will cease to work after a few generations. Unless the Fleet went back to being hunter-gatherers, they're going to rely on some tech. (For clothing alone, they'd need to be able to shear sheep-like animals, card the wool, spin it, weave it and then sew it.) I see a blindness to this reality despite the all-glory-be-to-agrarian-society ending. Especially because the uber-ending shows that, regardless, it doesn't work and people don't stay that way.

However, if they'd found a way to acknowledge responsibility for creating technological life and impressed upon their descendants the need not to be assholes to robo-people? They would have avoided the cycle repeating that claimed Earth, the Colonies, and New Craprica. RDM gave a false solution or a needlessly nannying one without recognizing the better, cleaner, more difficult answer he'd otherwise been cultivating since the 2/6/8s managed to forge a peace with humanity.
Janice in GA
82. SteveNJ
I guess I must have walked in from an alternate reality because I enjoyed nearly everything about the finale. I thought it was graceful, at least a bit surprising, and it delivered on all the foreshadowing that's gone on, particularly in the past 2 seasons.

Do I feel that Cavil's suicide was a false note? Yes. Was I a bit befuddled by the total abandonment of technology on the new Earth? Yes, but only because it wouldn't make sense that every single survivor would follow the same course. Could Lee have responded to Kara's vanishing with a bit more than a bemused look? Certainly.

But to me, the God's Plan explanation makes perfect sense. (And, by the way, who's to say that God isn't Daniel?) Maybe all the dissenters are upset that, after all the mystical dialogue about God and Gods, after all the dreams and premonitions, after all the Cylon resurrections and human returns from the dead, in the end the finale turned out to be exactly what's been set up all along.

I think what happens when fans invest so much time and so much emotion for so many years is that they want something transcendent, something they never could have anticipated, some that comes totally out of left field but makes perfect sense. Yet when a creative mind delivers just that - even that causes massive angst. You only have to look to The Sopranos.

I guess I would ask - what would have been better?
Pablo Defendini
83. pablodefendini
@82

I think it can be argued that this was, indeed, RDM's homage to the Sopranos.

I was with you on Cavil's suicide feeling wrong, but after reading through some of the comments up-thread, it does kinda make sense (although the actual execution—if you'll pardon the phrase—was rather comical).

You ask what would have been better? I say pretty much anything: a completely rational explanation for everything would have been my own personal favourite way to go out, but barring that admittedly personal preference (which probably wouldn't have best served the story best anyway), something more than just "It was god's plan," and you don't get to question it because it's god's plan. That kind of circular logic may work for selling people on religions in the real world, but it does not make for compelling or well-thought-out storytelling (the irony, I know).

As stated above, I would have been perfectly happy with "It's God's Plan, and here's how that came about, or why it came about" or hell, it's science fiction, after all: why not "Here's God! Let s/him tell you s/himself what's going down!"

In short, as stated many times, it boils down to using that damned deus ex machina as a crutch in lieu of rigorous storytelling and world building.

Starbuck is actually the perfect example of this. Ok, fine, so Kara Thrace died, and came back as an 'angel' of sorts. But then, she's been interacting with the rest of the people in the fleet in a fundamentally different way than, say, the Head characters, who are also supposed to be angels. What makes her different from the Head characters? Why can she hold things, fire guns, talk to everyone, and the Head characters can't? And no, saying "because that's the way god planned it" doesn't cut it, buddy. It's that bullshit circular logic that apparently works so well in Sunday school, but falls flat on its face when held up to even a sliver of serious scrutiny. And yes, BSG is a serious show, has traditionally had serious writing, and should be held up to serious scrutiny.

A perfectly acceptable deity-centric solution to Kara's status, for example, would have been to state that, say, Kara couldn't handle the pressure of being a chosen one (as she very clearly couldn't, towards the end of Season 3), so she ended her life before she could fulfill her purpose. God, through his/her instruments (read: humans and cylons), then engineered things so that she could be brought back, by using the Cylons' resurrection capabilities, for example. Maybe bank on the very heavy hints as to Kara's nature (daughter of one of the skinjobs and a human) that the show has been dropping for a while, and take advantage of that to craft an explanation that actually makes sense within the context of the ongoing narrative. Instead, what we got was simply: "Ah, yes. all those hints we've been dropping? Psyke! Just a red herring! It's actually got absolutely nothing to do with that at all—it's this entirely different thing that has no precedent in the show!"

And before people jump on me for using the word precedent, no: despite all the mystical, spiritual, and theological concepts bandied about on BSG, there is absolutely no fucking precedent for a real, flesh and bone individual that everyone can see and interact with to just up and vanish onto thin air. As a matter of fact, even if the writers just wanted her to disappear, they could have handled it much more gracefully than just that silly "I turned-around-and-she-was-gone-so-I've-been-touched-by-an-angel" moment. EDIT: Actually, I take that back: There may be precedent to this, if one assumes that both Caprica Six and Gaius Baltar perished in the original attack on the twelve colonies, and that both Baltar and Caprica have always been this flavor of angel: clueless as to their true nature, and physically substantial throughout the entire show. But then, why wouldn't they have also popped out of existence once their work was done? My head hurts.

While I'm here, let me sorta-hijack the thread away from hating on the ending for a bit. I think we've been concentrating on the second half of Daybreak, which yes, was ham-fisted and hackneyed. But I will say that the first hour was absolutely badass. It was a classic BSG throwdown, and I had a blast watching it. There was a little comedy, and some "goodbye" moments which, while slightly heavy-handed, still worked, overall. The Opera House sequence was very satisfying. The special effects were well-executed, the music was wonderful—tip o' the hat to Bear McCreary, as always—and the acting was also excellent. As a matter of fact, the one saving grace for the second half, for me, was that, despite such a weak-ass script, the actors outdid themselves.
Janice in GA
84. Mr Wesley
Okay, I have a question for everybody:

Which space-faring TV show had a worse ending: Battlestar Galactica or Star Trek: Enterprise?
Mitchell Downs
85. Beamish
@84
BSG by far.

In short: Ron Moore and company actively wrote crap whereas the Enterprise team got screwed.

The BSG writers knew the show was ending and had 20 epsiodes to plot and develop their resolution...and their chosen solution was the worst writer's crutch. They may as well have ended it in a two hour movie instead of 21 hours of Season 5.

The "Enterprise" writers had a couple of episodes warning they would not be renewed and tried to give some resolution to stories they had wanted to arc over another three years. They had no choice but to tack on an ending that was necessarily abrupt and unsatisfying.

Look at Babylon 5, another famous story arc that was cut short - then inexplicably renewed. Season 5 always seemed weak because JMS had already crammed all the Year 4 and 5 story arc elements into Season 4 - which is continuous epic plot movement for 22 episodes.

The BSG crew had that same opportunity: you have 21 hours to wow us. And they delivered trite drivel.
Mary Fitzpatrick
86. mfitzz
I didn't get to see the end until last night.

I liked it.

It wasn't perfect, all the time spent in flashback felt intended to tweak and re-con things to make pieces fit into a nice box at the end. I agree that felt like lazy writing. Plus I found the strip-club scene was just endless.

The "It was God's plan" thing didn't bother me all that much, because regardless of whether or not we as fans believe in God, it has been obvious from the start that almost everyone in the BSG universe does believe in either God or Gods and is going to act accordingly. If you think you are part of God's plan, then you see his hand in everything. Take a good look at real history and see how often people act one way or another because they believe they are part of God's plan. In the BSG'verse there seemes to be more hand's on proof that God, or Gods, do take interest in events than in our world, which would just reinforce the "I am God's hand in this" thing.

Would I have found Pablo's suggestion at post #83 that Kara was resurrected by secret resurrection tech that worked on humans not just Cylons more satisfying? Sure... not because it takes God out of the picture, but because it's a more interesting idea. Had I been writing an ending for this series I would have made a logical technological solution God's plan from the start. There is no real reason for God to have to work through Deus Ex Machina. That sort of end would be both more open to interpretation and semi-subversive in a genre where faith/religion is almost always used to define/motivate the bad guys.

I thought the epilogue was sort of a nod to the hokey goofiness of the original series, so it didn't really bother me.

Having Hera as mitochondira Eve does not mean she is the only one who re-produced, it means that she and her daughters reproduced so well that today there is no one alive who does not have at least one female member of that line in his/her genetic past. Mitochondrial DNA only gets passed from mother to daughter which means in the Universe of this show all modern human women had cylon mitocondria.

Puts a whole new twist on the "Men are from Mars Women are from Venus" thing doesn't it?

I felt the take-away-lesson at the end wasn't that technology is bad, but that not accepting creating technology is part of what makes us human is wrong. To be whole and balanced we must embrace technology and its consequences, as equally as any other aspect of human nature.

The blending of human and cylon in a complete social/technological re-boot this time around instead starting another culture where cylons are tools/servants/toys or a separate tribe is what breaks the destructive cycle. Becoming one with the Tech, not the getting rid of it altogether is the road to salvation - That is God's plan.
Janice in GA
87. John L.
All right, dammit, here's how I would have done it. I don't really see a way out of here without some previously invisible third-party guiding things, but I'd have been happier if it was something tangible. This would also eliminate some of the inexplicable choices the characters made, by forcing their hand:

- Make Starbuck and Baltar hylons, children of two different Daniels. We might have to make Roslyn one too to explain her visions. They all learn this and believe their Head-Leoben/piano player/Six are a form of cylon projection. Starbuck's resurrection is partially explained by this (more below).

- Instead of making Hera the object of the rescue mission, make it the entire civilian fleet. Contrive a reason for Galactica to separate from the fleet, and have the bad Cylons arrive, capture the civilian ships, and take them to the Colony. We can put Hera on a civilian ship when this happens, so her personal rescue plays out the same. Also, have the bad cylons disable the ships' hyperdrives or offload the tylium or something.

- Now Galactica MUST perform the rescue mission. We see the awesome climax battle, where the civilians are rescued. Let's have them bunched on a dozen civilian ships -- the rest are abandoned, but most of the civilians survive, and come up with some pseudo-FTL science where they can physically connect to Galactica, like bees to the hive, and all jump away at once. Galactica is crippled; the other ships no longer have any jump drive capability. The fleet is out of tylium.

- Starbuck still deduces New (our) Earth's coordinates from the depths of her resurrected subconcious, although I'd do it after the civilian fleet disappears, during downtime before the battle. She knows they lead somewhere, but there isn't time to check them out (or they are out of Raptor jump range). She still throws them in the hyperdrive in the emergency escape jump as in Daybreak 2.

- We have a reveal that she learned the coordinates during her resurrection, which makes her death utterly necessary. There was a spare resurrection pod around Old Earth, I suppose. This would be a lot easier if she didn't return from her resurrection in her Viper. (I would have had Gaeta find Old Earth on his own, and, whoa, Starbuck is there waiting for them). But if we can't go back that far, I guess we'd still need a friendly third party -- possibly the last Daniel with his own old-school baseship. He learned Old Earth's position from the Final Five before Cavil killed them, and we'd need to come up with a legit reason for him staying in the background for the previous three seasons -- afraid of Cavil and his forces, I guess.

- Some catalyst leads Starbuck to recall Earth's coordinates now -- maybe dipping her hands in the water on the cylon baseship.

- Alternately, have Cavil also catch the last Daniel and bring him to the Colony. During the rescue, he provides New Earth's coordinates directly to his daughter -- probably with his dying breath.

- So after the battle climax the remnants of the fleet are orbiting Earth, badly damaged and unable to jump ever again. The ships that are left simply can't sustain all the survivors. Now they have no choice but to colonize New Earth in a low-tech way. Apollo proposes spreading out over the planet to increase chances of survival against uncertain environmental conditions -- to make this sensible, show Earth as both beautiful and harsh, instead of the enviro-utopia displayed during Daybreak II.

- Why send the fleet into the Sun? Eh, I guess more psuedo-science that the surviving bad Cylons may detect the ships if they are left anywhere in the system. Or leave them in orbits that will ultimately decay well before modern humans come along. Or perhaps, instead, they parked the fleet out in the asteroid belt, dark and silent ...

- ... and end 150,000 years later, in present day, with the announcement of the first telescope sighting of the derelict Galactica in the belt. It's small enough, and far enough away, that I have no problem believing we would have missed it until now. If you still want to make Hera Mitochondrial Eve, fine, you can do it in one of three ways:

1) Have a head-character or two appear and have the discussion, just like in Daybreak 2. But make this the FIRST sign they were real. And leave their origin much, much more ambiguous.

2) A straight-up text narration on a black screen. "In 2009, scientists made two discoveries -- an ancient, derelict spacecraft in the asteroid belt, and the skeleton of a women in Tanzania, who became known as Mitochondrial Eve, a common ancestor of all Humans. To her parents, however, she was known as Hera Agathon."

3) Have a humanoid cylon/hylon or two still alive, living among us, still secretly using resurrection technology: Say Six and Baltar. They can have the conversation. (Shoot, you could have a grown-up Hera herself, having the conversation with Mama Athena -- "look, they discovered my first body!")

- The other thing I'd do in this scene is find a away to suggest that ONLY our Earth, and not Kobol, is the birthplace of humanity, to do away with the silly "we're magically genetically compatible" contrivance. Somebody lifted some proto-humans from New Earth, took them to Kobol, and uplifted them. I'm fine leaving it a mystery who it was ...
James Goetsch
88. Jedikalos
Above all else I loved the characters and their stories on this show, and I think their resolutions were at best just silly in terms of their stories. Let's see, my favorites:

The Old Man: goes off by himself to live on a hill (or is he just waiting to starve to death? that is unclear), while talking to a grave

the Prez: inhabits said grave

Apollo: Goes off by himself to climb mountains and go backpacking after smiling wryly after the love of his life vanishes into thin air

Starbuck: Actually died years ago, and has been replicated in some way as some kind of being that wasn't sure what it was but nevertheless was some kind of agent of god that vanished *poof* like on some cheesy saved by an angel show

The Chief: turns misanthrope and goes off to live by himself in a colder wilder clime

Baltar: realized he has been on a mission from god all along, talking with angels, and will now be a farmer (what will he plant? grow? who knows?)

Six: also has been an agent of God and seeing angels, will be a farmer's wife

Anders: flies off into the sun piloting the whole fleet while muttering to himself about mathematical perfection

Tigh and long lost wife: go off by themselves on a permanent camping trip (will become farmers?)

Oh well I can't go on. Except for to mention Hera's fate: to be a caveman's wife.
Joseph Short
89. koinekid
So, the problem many people are having with the ending can be summarized as:

How dare a work of science fiction claim there is a God!

This isn't our universe, people. It is a fictional universe, and, in this universe, there is a God. And he directed certain events toward his desired outcome. If you really want a concept of God you can pigeonhole into your neat little sacred atheistic concept of science fiction, how about this: The BSG God is like Q. There, everyone happy now? Good. Now lighten up, huh?

We're not being treated to Ron Moore's Theology 101. This is how his universe is set up. As long as the universe is internally consistent, the story works. And for the most part, it is. There are a few bumps along the way, a few characters acting uncharacteristically, a few WTF? moments (like Athena shooting Boomer. I understand why, but it still felt cheap.), and quite a few episodes, especially during the latter half of this season, that didn't quite work, but on the whole, the universe--and its in-universe conception of God--is mostly consistent.

Would you criticize Star Trek because Warp Engines are possibly ludicrous? Or Stargate because of zat guns that vaporize bodies neatly on the third shot? Probably not. Because the universe sets up rules and these rules are treated consistently. And BSG's God concept, though revealed late in the game (it was,after all, one of the show's mysteries), is consistent.

That is all.

Oh, and Starbuck as Gandalf. Interesting.
Torie Atkinson
90. Torie
@ 89

Please read the rest of the comment thread. The general consensus is that the problem isn't with the "deus" part, just the "ex machina."

And the parallel to Q is a false one. Q had motives, goals, and a personality--he created the scenarios, but he didn't force or change anyone's actions or decisions. The outcome of his playing around with humanity was *always* up in the air and dependent on the choices Picard and his crew made--it was never set in stone.

By making "Angels did it" the final answer, it not only handwaves away all of the interesting questions and dilemmas, but takes away the characters' agency. Starbuck didn't save everyone because she chose to--she did it because she was resurrected for that express purpose. She was Meant To. She could not have possibly failed. Angels or God or whatever set all the pieces in motion, inexorably, such that there appears to have been a predetermined outcome. It felt like none of the choices the characters made meant anything except to fulfill some predetermined plot destiny.

In any case, I'm personally less irritated with that conclusion than with the absurd Technology is Evil moralizing. It absolves everyone of their own choices (humanity's choice to not take responsibility for its own creation, but rather enslave it; the cylons' choice to nuke humanity and make an enemy of the only other sentient beings in the known universe). It places the blame on the rebar instead of the engineer.
Pablo Defendini
91. pablodefendini
@ John L:

I think your outline is very compelling, much more interesting than the actual ending, and a perfect illustration of what frustrates me the most about the ending: the fact that there was plenty of groundwork laid out throughout the entire show to do a complex, engaging, and internally consistent ending, without necessarily revealing everything, and still leaving room for the divine.

@koinekid:

What Torie said. The "deus" part is fine—this is fiction, after all. It's the "ex machina" that rankles.
Mary Fitzpatrick
92. mfitzz
I'm not sure that God directing people to do things in the universe of the show was 100% guarantee that God's plan was going to be followed in the fine details.

People did have free will. I think that was the whole point of Boomer's speech about making choices. Obviously the civilization has gone through the create/destroy/create/destroy cycle a few times already. We know that the "five" may have seen angels on Earth before it got nuked, meaning that even folks guided my angels didn't always get things right. To me it seems like the hand of God just pointed a direction and people did or didn't go that way. They were not forced.

How often did Baltar not do what head 6 wanted?

Boomer didn't have help Hera escape.

Starbuck could have just drunk herself stupid in the bar instead of working out the code hidden in the musical notes. She did not come back with foreknowledge of what was going to happen and all the answers in her head.

There is no evidence God was guiding every bullet in the firefight on the colony ship, surviving that seems to have been random luck and individual skill.

If when people had treaded cylons as equals realized they were sapient would there have been a problem at all?

Was it God's plan that Galen would kill Tory?

Seems like the plan of having the final 5 give give the cylons who wanted it back resurrection and letting the ones who wanted to throw in with the colonists go off with them to create a joint culture might have also ended the destructive cycle.

It looks more to me like in the universe of the show God did the best with the material at hand more than predetermining things.
Janice in GA
93. Radynski
I agree with #92. I just don't agree with the argument that the end was a cop-out because "God did it." God doesn't seem to be all-powerful, or if he is, he just doesn't care that much.

Everything worked out in the end, but that's only because God was pretty good at manipulating people, not because it was all pre-destined. Free will was there in the series, very clearly. And that destroys the idea that "God did it".

@ John L. (#87)

I like a number of your ideas, although some of them I find really un-compelling. Mind you, I liked the ending except for the 150,000 years things, but I think I like yours better, with some other modifications:

1. Baltar and Starbuck being hylons isn't all that interesting to me, and really feels like more of a cop-out to me. Its the same feeling I get in season 2 of Heroes when I kept sitting there saying "Why does everyone have to be related to have super-powers?"

1a. Not only that, but making Starbuck resurrect much like the Cylons leaves a whole string of problems in its wake. Like where is the extra body? I really think its best to simply leave Kara's resurrection as part of the influence of God.

1b. Leave Daniel alone and dead where he belongs. Why are people so focused on this guy? He was a minor mystery (where's model #7) that got explained, and clearly illustrated deeper levels of Cavil's character. He was never meant to be more.

2. Starbuck's Dad teaching her the song, and her resurrection should be left completely unexplained, which I would interpret to be the work of God.

3. I like the idea of Starbuck figuring out ahead of time that the song might be coordinates, but that they don't get a chance to try it out before the rescue needs to happen.

4. I *love* the idea of the entire civilian fleet being captured which would force Galatica's hand. Sending so much of your army on a rescue mission for one girl put far more worth on Hera than I felt she ever deserved.

5. I also love everything that has to do with why they abandon their ships and head down to Earth. The ships connect up but they have no tilium... Galactica is dead... they lost all their worthwhile tech...

6. I think keeping the ships in the asteroid belt would be a perfectly reasonable explanation. Its so ludicrously huge that its easier to imagine us not noticing. Especially when an object that large is more than likely taking centuries worth of asteroid impacts. It's more than likely in pieces at this point.

7. Leave resurrection behind. For me, I really felt like that was the whole point. The cylons lose resurrection and become just like us.

8. Don't have Starbuck randomly disappear. Don't have the huge goodbye with the old man either. Leave their fates untold and we can assume whatever we like.

9. Don't flash forward for any reason whatsoever. End on the mountain-top with the old man.
Rajan Khanna
94. rajanyk
My issue with the ending has nothing to do with the fact that God exists or that he/she/it is responsible for everything. It's more that God's actions seem arbitrary and things seem to have happened just because. Starbuck, for example, appears to have been brought back to get everyone to Earth. But why Starbuck? What's so important about her? Why not put the coordinates in Sam's brain so that he could jump them all to earth? God obviously has limited powers. Why nudge Baltar that particular way? To me, after thinking about it, it's less that it's all God's plan, and more that God's plan doesn't seem to be very good. It just muddies things - what was free will and what wasn't. What was "meant to be" and what wasn't.

I'm not a big fan (anymore) of prophecies or destiny in fantasy novels, either. But if there is supposed to be one, I want it to be coherent and be one of those things that when you get to the end, you see how it all ties together. I didn't see much of that. It was an incredibly inept God that did this.

I don't know - I'm tired and my thoughts aren't coming out as clear as I'd like them to. But hopefully that made sense.
Mary Fitzpatrick
95. mfitzz
You have a good point, that if God did have a plan all the while it was muddied up along the way. Having Starbuck alone being returned from the dead is a great big speed bump for me, because we never get told why she is a special part of the plan. If we had been told why she, and only she could solve the music riddle in some way other than "God Chose her", then I could buy her being brought back from the dead. Since they don't do that having her be an "Angel" seems like a rabbit out of the hat trick. I have no problem with God choosing her, I just want to know why - and not just because "God's ways are not Man's ways".

All that being said, I still feel having God nudge things to one resolution rather than another was completely satisfying as a resolution to the series, because seed of that plot arc was there from the start. I don't think the writers did the best they could have with the story arc's resolution, they seem to have lost focus of where they were going with it, and let it wander around. But since no one is asking me to write TV scripts that's I guess my opinion on that is moot.
Mitchell Downs
96. Beamish
I actually like the "God did it" ending...but that has nothing to do with the show I watched for 5 seasons.

Whenever "God" was mentioned prior in the series it was either as an identifier for how the Cylons believe differently or as an instrument of Baltar's manipulation of people - "God" never played an actual role in the story; so to suddenly have him pop up at the end as the solution to everything was the literal application of the Greek dramatic tool.

This all goes back to the appearance that the writers either never knew where they were going or for some reason went somewhere completely different. For Moore to claim that the idea that Kara was a hylon born of the "artistic" Daniel was never meant to be implied borders on intentional obfuscation; and to suggest it was a red herring belies the weakness of the writing since the "true" answer was never even hinted at until it became time to reveal it.
Janice in GA
97. over&out
You all do realize that Ron Moore stated in an interview that Dean Stockwell (Cavill) called him and basically said "Hey, I think Cavill would eat his gun!' and RM was just like "Oh, yeah, cool!'.

I didn't loathe the ending like some folks, except the Starbuck deal (why oh why did they waste such a good plot device as the 7/Daniel??). I even saw God and Earth coming and was okay with it. However, if I had known that Moore lacked a true vision for the plot arc from way back in the beginning, I could have just mindlessly enjoyed the show rather than working myself into a frenzy over hidden clues!

I just think it sucks that BSG fandom put sooo much time into the most awesome theories and Moore could not be PAID to do the same. Jeesh.
Pablo Defendini
98. pablodefendini
@97

Ron Moore has stated the Cavil bit; he's mentioned that the writers voted on who were going to be the final five Cylons at the end of S3, he's also pretty much come out and said that he's been making it up as he goes along.

Which would be fine, if he had just stuck with the stuff he's established throughout the show. For example:

@93:

Re: 1a: actually, I can totally buy that Kara could resurrect even when other Cylons couldn't, if only because of the groundwork laid in Season 2, when a Simon model took one of Kara's ovaries. Remember that? They made a huge deal about that at the time, and then just dropped it entirely, when they could have combined it with the whole Daniel-is-Kara's-father bit into a rather convincing explanation for Kara's resurrection. But I suppose that was just another so-called red herring. Cause, you know, screwing with fans is more important than having a cohesive narrative.

By the way: when the hell did it become so verboten to use foreshadowing, that you have to actively go out of your way to prove your foreshadowing wrong? But I digress.

As a matter of fact, the more I think about it, and the more I think back to how much RDM likes to fuck with fandom, I get the sneaking suspicion that this resolution is his final "fuck you" to the fans who have apparently been paying way more attention to this show than was ultimately necessary.
Amy Sisson
99. amysisson
This isn't to say that I think the finale was perfect, or that I disagree with everything stated here, but I'm wondering if it's accurate to say they pulled a deus ex machina when the whole four years had been set up for this ending. It wasn't that a godlike-entity was pulled out of nowhere; rather the existence of a godlike-entity(ies) they'd been wondering about and talking about for the whole series was confirmed.

I would have preferred a non-religious explanation, especially because I am an atheist. However, in my mind this was science fantasy that I enjoyed it as the story that they had chose (from the beginning) to tell. I think many viewers made the assumption that because there were spaceships and robots, it absolutely had to be all hard science fiction rather than the science fantasy it was really set up to be.
Tim Hayes
100. LordDarkstorm
Hmm, while I can't say I was overjoyed at the way they finished it off. I am very pleased it had an ending. Far to many shows fade from existence due to lack of interest by over-milking a show to death.

I guess you have to watch enough anime to realize that bad endings are still endings, and having one is better than not having one.

Of all the parts, Starbuck disappearing and Appolo not caring bothered me most. Most of the rest didn't bother me, or too much interest me. It's done. I'm free!!!
Janice in GA
101. Christopher M234
@10 said it right
Janice in GA
102. RickSinanju
What can you expect from a series that had a “mid-season-finale” – AKA, milk the shit out of the series. Now they push a new series and a movie, each looking shittier than the ending. “oooh, let’s abandon technology, leave the Cylons as the only critters out and about with WMD’s, and go live with the Aborigines.” Starbuck just “poof” pulls a “Quantum Leap” exit, most of the Earth’s population goes walkabout, and Adama becomes the Hermit on the Hill?!?

Utter, total crap. Worst ending since the Soprano’s. Just proves what most SF fans have know for a long time. The SciFi channel can’s pick a decent show, can’t keep a decent show, and airs crap. Now, back to Mansquito…..
Amy Sisson
103. amysisson
P.S. Comment 96 states: "Whenever "God" was mentioned prior in the series it was either as an identifier for how the Cylons believe differently or as an instrument of Baltar's manipulation of people - "God" never played an actual role in the story; so to suddenly have him pop up at the end as the solution to everything was the literal application of the Greek dramatic tool."

I respectfully disagree. We didn't have actual confirmation that God or a god or gods did those things, but clearly the Sixes truly, truly believed that God was involved. And we had many supernatural occurences that many would believe had to be divine in origin. And then the explanation we got was divine in nature.

I may have missed some Moore interviews that say he was making things up as he went along, which would contradict my beliefthat he planned the divine interpretation all along. Do any interviews say that specifically in regard to this aspect? I ask because I could easily believe that he made up a whole lot of it while going along, but might have still intended the God ending. If the God ending indeed was not planned all along, then I'm wrong. I do still think, though, that the God ending works OK as the story played out for four years, and as science fantasy. It wasn't my preference, but there it is.

To comment 100, I think Starbuck disappearing didn't bother Apollo as much as it might have because he'd now known for some that she had definitely died, and had realized that all of this new time with her was an unexpected gift.
Janice in GA
104. Snark666
I agree the last ep was a copout .. but then I realised - Galactica was the 'B' ark from HHGTG. I missed Arthur and Ford but the rest of them fitted the telephone sanitizer job spec pretty well!!
There was a guy in a bath in the conreol room too - that proves it.
Janice in GA
105. chesoglin
Why would anyone expect anything different from RM? Has he ever demonstrated the ability to develop a complete arc from beginning to end, ala B5?

Has anything on ST ever lead you to believe he was into anything other than this quasi eastern mysticism religious belief?

He has written/directed some decent/good/ great individual episodes, but never done a series with a complete thought out arc

So that's what we got in BSG -

And the end was ok. Not terribly satisfying, but completely expected. If you had other expectations of RM, you have a lot of irrational faith
Rajan Khanna
106. rajanyk
@104 I was just listening to the HHGTTG radio play recently and I had the same thought. I kept wanting to shout, "You're a load of useless bloody loonies!" at the screen.
Janice in GA
107. aniera
I am pretty mad about a god solution and all that as everyone else. But what really bothers me is that since Hera is mitochondrial eve, that means every other person that had survived died. She was truly the only survivor of the whole thing and trying to save everyone else was such a waste of time. It is just so depressing to think that they all just wandered off and starved to death or some other grisly death. And also our sweet Hera would have to mate with one of the early humans who just so happen to have similar DNA to ours, which is ridiculous. Our DNA is 99% similar to chimpanzees and we cannot mate with them so how on earth could they be so similar. The probability is too silly to imagine. I wish they had come to earth and found out that we had originally fled from it from some catastrophe.
Janice in GA
108. John L.
Radynski (#93) raises a good point about Starbuck's new body, and I like Pablo's idea (#98) as an explanation -- with some tinkering to how/when/where Starbuck was resurrected, it could work well and wrap in one more loose thread!

Was it definitively established the resurrection baths don't somehow form a new body as an individual cylon downloads? It seems more plausible they have to clone the bodies and wait a while before uploading the cylon into it, but I can't recall if this was ever stated outright. In which case, was a spare Ellen warmed up and ready to go?

I agree Daniel had some intriguing potential as an anti-Cavil. He doesn't have to be a "good cylon" -- although the artist bit set him up as one -- but simply one with another agenda. But if you want him to stay dead, then how about another Cavil, with his own goals, pulling the strings from off screen until the end? We've been shown cylons can break from their number ... I can imagine a scene that ends with the Colony tumbling toward the black hole, the two Cavils with their hands wrapped around each other's throats.
Corby Kennard
109. paranoyd
I loved it.

Great ending to a great season of one of the best scifi shows ever to air.

Everyone's mad about God being in their scifi. Get over it. It's one series. You're just mad because you think the idea of God or religion is stupid and you feel betrayed that you enjoyed a show about it.

If you didn't realize this was where it was going to end, you just weren't paying attention.
Janice in GA
110. David Best
Several people have above have said something to the effect "at least it wasn't the Sopranos." I'd like to argue that a more Soprano's style ending would have been better.

With all the talk of Kara as leading humanity to its doom, I think an interesting ending would have had Kara figure out the coordinates, Adama order the jump, and then click - cut to the fleet jumping away. The End.

Did Kara's jump kill them all? Did they get to Earth?

I loved the series, but there was absolutely no way to wrap up the mess of open threads going into the episode.
Janice in GA
111. Steve-O
a few thoughts:

The Earth as Eden/Adam and Eve thing is the most overused Sci-Fi ending ever. Gave me flashback to reading one pulp after another in High School (between beatings)... I kind of expected this to be the ending however. I feel a bit cheated after being blown away with earth 1 at the end of the first half of Season 4. Also, is someone going to Earth 1 to tell they Cylons there that they don't have to live on that sh*thole.

Earth 2 (yeah it did remind me of the old TV show. Probably not what they wanted): Once they give up their technology what's to stop the "natives" from just going over and killing all these chubby pale guys out in the wild for the first time? To make matters worse, they all disbursed! The Chief in Iceland... Adama living in the woods alone? I give them about 2 months. Shouldn't they at least have started a community for safety? What if the winter is brutal... so many questions about why they all separated. Without technology the "natives" could pretty much have them all cooking on spits in a month. Remember the term "Circle the Wagons"?

The little girl is Eve? Weren't there like 30,000 survivors. How many kids did she churn out anyway? I don't see how she's Eve if there's so many potential mothers (not to mention an intelligent human race already on the planet!)

Also, if she is Eve. Fine. That means we're all part robot in the future. Therefore, what's with the warning about robots at the end? Is it really a warning or is Moore trying to tell us we're all robots anyway?

I would have been thrilled if during the 2nd part of the finale Starbuck transported us to Earth during the 1979 disco era. They'd then have to send down vipers to find a safe place for them to live and blend in with the Earth... Tigh could go to strip clubs, Lee could mountain climb and so on.
Janice in GA
112. Seth Merlo
Sorry to say, but that discussion was the biggest load of self-righteous bollocks I've ever read.

Ok, so I agree with a few minor points (such as 35,000 people unanimously agreeing to shoot ALL their technology into the sun), but I think you guys have totally blown the whole 'it was God's plan' idea out of proportion as well. Comment 8 mentioned how God and the idea of a divine plan has been central to the series from the beginning - it's the cylon faith for crying out loud! And in Baltar's little speech to Cavil in the CIC, he clearly says that while a divine force may be guiding things, its the humans and cylons who choose to continue the cycle of violence. Showing the robots at the end isn't so much a 'technology is evil' message as much as it is saying that something in human nature compels us to continue that cycle, and that *perhaps* something along the lines of divine intervention might not be such a bad idea after all, since clearly humanity is incapable of breaking that cycle on its own. I think the message is pretty clear - the world's problems aren't caused by God (or A god if that makes you feel more comfortable). At some point we have to take responsibility for our own actions. And anyway, humans and cylons did reconcile. Clearly, the race of 150,000 years later is the result of human/cylon interbreeding. What's the problem there?

The Daniels/7's were a red herring? So what! So Ron Moore & Co should've pursued this just because the fans, and myself, were speculating about this? Sorry if you had to shed a tear because this particular plot point wasn't dealt with how *you* felt it should've been. You know, it's actually ok for writers to do something unexpected.

The convenience of finding Earth? Lee shrugging his shoulders? Are you kidding? After what these people have been through, and going along for that journey with them, I was breathing a sigh of relief right along with them. Finally, the chance to settle down without the immediate threat of being killed.

Battlestar Galactica did things that no other SF television series has done, or really dared to do, previously. So there were some things you didn't like? Again, I say so what! There were so many supremely strong elements in this finale that I can forgive a few weaknesses. Ron Moore & Co, you did perfectly alright by me.
Meagan Brorman
113. nutmeag
Seth (#112) definitely makes some good points. Originally I was a bit upset and confused by the turn the finale took (as with most of you, issues with the ex machina rather than the deus). A second viewing and also reading the following from Alan Sepinwall changed my mind. http://sepinwall.blogspot.com/2009/03/battlestar-galactica-daybreak-part-2.html Although I still don't agree with everything Alan says, he did help me to see things a bit more clearly.
Janice in GA
114. WheelMan
I didn't completely hate the episode myself, but I haven't been an avid watcher over the life of the show, so it didn't mean quite as much to me. But even as a person who considers himself "spiritual", I thought the ending not only mocked the very nature of what made BSG so great, but it seemed to trivialize the true nature of spirituality too. I'd rather they had left it out altogether than treat it like some holy magic trick.

And the series should have ended after they discovered the true Earth was destroyed. This was a raw, gritty show about raw, gritty issues. The truth is that sometimes there is no paradise, no "They lived happily ever after." Either leave them on this devastated planet with a vow to somehow rebuild from the ashes, or have them wander off into space again, full of despair but vowing to go on only because there is no other choice.

I've heard that there is a prequel series coming soon? If this is true, didn't this lousy ending just destroy any possible enjoyment for that show as well?
Janice in GA
115. Warrencl
I think there is a lot that can be taken from the finale.

Does anyone else think that the Chief could be Merlin? Going to an island off the north continent where it's cold with all his knowledge about technology and theology sounds like a great side story. Not to mention, he is a cylon that doesn't age.

Does anyone else think that the natives are leftovers from past civilizations like the fleet? This could explain the matching DNA. After all, this has all been bone before.

I've enjoyed the show so much and am more dissapointed that this ending is "the ending".
Amy Sisson
116. amysisson
I have to kind of agree with Seth in post 112. I'm sure I've been guilty of the same behavior myself (um, I'm thinking Star Wars prequels), but in any case there seems to be an increasing trend of fans thinking they absolutely own the creations they love, to the point that it's a deliberate personal betrayal on the storyteller's part if his/her vision of his/her own story doesn't precisely match that of the fan(s).

I also think visual storytelling continues to evolve and get better, from episodic (original and Next Gen Trek), to ongoing arcs (Babylon 5, DS9, Firefly, Lost, etc.). So nobody has created THE ONE TRUE perfect show that lasted for four or five seasons. As Seth says, so what? First, to do that, there would have to be no actors who die or quit, no studio pressures, no writers' or actors' strokes, no problems OF ANY KIND. Maybe Joss Whedon's Firefly would have done it for most people, but look what he went through. And even if a creator got through five seasons with his/her original vision precisely intact, it STILL wouldn't be 100% perfect for many fans.

For me -- even though I am an atheist and I really would have preferred a non-religious explanation -- nuBSG has seriously come the closest so far.
Amy Sisson
117. amysisson
Um, that would be writers' or actors' STRIKES, not strokes. Sigh....
Torie Atkinson
118. Torie
@ 115. Warrencl
Does anyone else think that the Chief could be Merlin?

When I saw him go off to the cold, craggy, lonely hilltops my first thought was: oh my god, Tyrol is the Highlander!
Josh Kidd
119. joshkidd
I haven't jumped in here before--mostly because I agree with the general sentiment of this thread--but I'll put in my two cents now.

The best series finales, in my opinion, do not wrap up neatly. Picard and crew continue in the trial to prove that humanity is worthy of its existence. Angel continues to fight evil at impossible odds. Buffy is cookie dough that hasn't finished baking yet.

The characters on BSG, however, give up their quintessential struggle. They no longer need to figure out how to make peace between humans and cylons. They no longer need to figure out how to live with each other. They no longer need to figure out how to use their technology responsibly. All of this for no good reason. The questions don't get answered. They just go away. That was most disappointing for me because these questions never go away. Why are there no continuing conflicts between the humans and rebel cylons. Why are they not afraid that the centurions will come back and destroy them? How can they be so sure that all of the ones fours and fives are dead? Is everyone really going to be happy in a couple years that they shot all of their technology into the sun? Isn't that going to cause unrest amongst the survivors? Maybe these are all implied, but I didn't get that.

Also, apparently the best chance for our continued existence: the law of averages.
Pablo Defendini
120. pablodefendini
@112

Good points, all. But I take issue with one thing:
The Daniels/7's were a red herring? So what! So Ron Moore & Co should've pursued this just because the fans, and myself, were speculating about this? Sorry if you had to shed a tear because this particular plot point wasn't dealt with how *you* felt it should've been. You know, it's actually ok for writers to do something unexpected.

I actually think it's the other way around: Moore included the red herrings (or made them into red herrings post-facto, actually) specifically to screw around with the fans. Up until the very, very, very end of the show, all of the Starbuck material felt like groundwork for a very logical resolution:
her being harvested for her ovaries by the skinjobs;
the flashbacks to her mom telling her she's special, and treating her in the same way that, say, a mixed-race child might be treated by an abusive and bigoted single parent;
her constant visions, which could be construed as some flavour of projecting;
her death and resurrection (possibly in a previously undiscovered resurrection hub);
the implication that her father was Daniel, etc, etc, etc.

When you take in the macro view, it all pretty much leads in one direction. It's actually very well thought-out. It seems to me like RDM said "Hm. We've been building up to this particular resolution (Kara as a Hylon), but the fans, they've found us out. Let's disregard all the foreshadowing, world-building, and clues we've left throughout the show, and hit them with a resolution that makes no sense within the context of all that has gone before, just to fuck with them and give them a twist ending (or something). That it doesn't fit with all that has gone before, you say? No matter, those were just red-herrings."

And that, my friend, is—in my opinion—lazy, fan-service-ish storytelling of the worst kind, and hand-waving to the nth degree.
Janice in GA
121. Si1000on
Yes, it was an execrable ending, bad enough to sour my feelings regarding the work as a whole. My feeling is that it smacks of a pedestrian and sloppy effort that coasted on the charm of its characters to make up for a hackneyed plot -- so disappointing, you could call this ep "BSG and The Deathly Hallows". The little cartoon tag at the end of the credits alluded to "Easy Rider," another slapdash work that dressed itself in iconography but is only watchable after massive bong hits. I can hear Dennis Hopper saying, "Yeah, man, send the frakkin' fleet into the Sun."

One of the strengths of BSG was how it used the SF genre to look at our post-9/11 selves in ways that maintream media couldn't: the destruction of the Colonies, sleeper Cylons hidden in the fleet, fanatic Cylon monotheism, the New Caprica occupation and insurgency. But the final ep ignored the tropes of the genre, squandered what promise and power that could have been. And many viewers, as I am, are royally pissed because we know it could have been better.
Janice in GA
122. Seth Merlo
nutmeag (#113) - thanks for that link! I think Alan made a lot of good points. He reminded me about the series' parallels to current events, which got me thinking that if seasons 1-4.5 were a commentary on Bush-era issues such as '9/11, the Iraq insurgency, constitutional law being bent in the name of security and/or religion' (Alan's words), then the finale was very much in keeping with the optimistic, hopeful tone that Barack Obama brought with him to office. No, the issues don't simply vanish, but you can hardly begrudge people taking some time out and breathing a sigh of relief before getting themselves together again for the next lot of challenges. That's how I see Daybreak Pt. 2.
Janice in GA
123. Hieronymous
To most of you: What?!

1. Yes, the last half of the show was very mediocre. Lots of episodes were mediocre. Others were the best TV ever. Was the last half worth this hysteria that, with the swap of a noun or two, sounds like Sarah Palin's church? No.

2. No reason to consider BSG's "God" like our real-world monotheistic you-ain't-gotta-believe-in-him God. Lots of stuff in the series says he ain't. And shit, man, it's fiction. God in fiction is fictional, no matter what the writer believes, no matter the ontological status of God in the real world. Are people so FUCKED in their heads about God they spastically gotta clutch the furniture, hyperventilating, bleeding from the ears, when God is used in a TV show? Yes, some people are that fucked in their heads.

3. Starbuck an angel? Didn't get that sense at all. Maybe I missed somebody saying "She's a goddamn angel, goddammit." To me it felt like when she disappeared she was gone. Really Dead, to coin a phrase, a ghost that had ceased even its ghostly existence. At best she was a disposable tool of BSG's "God". And that was effing sad.

4. Operative word: feel. The show was always about emotion. Even its soft SF style ideas were touched on to cause US to do some feeling and thinking we might not want to, that might make us uncomfortable. That's something soft SF can do better than most any other genre. And BSG was soft SF. Very soft. Often very good...

Did the show or its last episode live up to its potential? Was it all we wanted it to be? No. No work of ambition ever, nowhere, not ever, is.
Blue Tyson
124. BlueTyson
118

Yeah, there was a bit of that sort of music floating around.

Also I think it could be 'I'm going to be the first grumpy Scottish engineer' sort of bad joke.
Arachne Jericho
125. arachnejericho
@pablo #120


I actually think it's the other way around: Moore included the red herrings (or made them into red herrings post-facto, actually) specifically to screw around with the fans.


I think any screwing around wasn't intentional. Moore comments in an interview a few weeks ago,


Daniel was definitely a rabbit hole, and it was an unintentional rabbit hole, to be honest... (Daniel) was always intended to be an interesting bit of backstory about Cavil, as a Cain and Abel allegory. And people started seizing on it as some major part of the mythology... and it was never intended to take that kind of load-bearing weight.


That sort of thing happens all the time. Including in the middle of dungeon delving. (Sometimes, it seems, especially in the middle of dungeon delving.)

(There's more interesting stuff at that link, too.)

For people commenting on the nerdpocalypse: it goes both ways. Some people on both the love-it and the hate-it sides have gone way overboard.
Janice in GA
126. scifidavid
What a great roundtable. I'm just sorry that I didn't discover it until the last episode of the show. The last hour was a terrible disappointment. I could probably eventually get over everything else, but the Starbuck blinkout (and Daniel red herring) was beyond grating. I can't believe how much my opinion of Ron Moore was lowered in one hour. Oh, and I'm still trying to work out why Admr. Adama will never see Lee or Col. Tigh again.
Janice in GA
127. Dave Klingler
Whenever a writer's brain is worn down to just a tiny nubbin, the barest little brain stem (and some in Hollywood do start out that way), he'll resort to either (a) God or (b) the Magic Hacker. The first time I saw that was in every other episode of Star Trek Next Generation, when the repulsively pasty and whiny Wesley wasn't snapping his fingers and channeling Billy Mumy. In every mainstream television series and motion picture since then with the sole exception of "Slum Dog Millionaire" (I looked), the magic hacker has saved the day.

BSG was the first series that actually induced me to post comments to someone's blog. I posted comments for the last three episodes on Tor.com's BSG roundtable, and with unquestioning faith in the Powers That Be of BSG I posted my best guess at the clever way things would end. It was easy. They had Resources, Big Ones. There was the orbiting resurrection station that saved the Five. There was Daniel. And there were the Centurions, who had enough intelligence to bargain with the Five for resurrection technology and human-like attributes. Obviously Kara Thrace was somehow related to Daniel, and the subtly-forgotten Centurions would be the ace in the hole for everyone without, repeat, without feeling like someone pulled an ending out of his sphincter. Such was my faith that I could barely contain myself waiting for the clever revelations that were to come in the finale.

Yeah...right. I've rarely, if ever, felt so ripped off. Having Ron Moore whip out God and roll Her up into a big gumwad with - no kidding - using Sam to hack the ship's hybrids was a bigger letdown than that whole Santa Claus debacle, and in fact even worse than when a Nobel-prize-winning physicist once told me that he could prove the existence of God and began with, "You just start with a leap of faith...".

Believe me, it was tough believing in Ron Moore after the ignominious pile of ink-stained deadwood that begat several years of really, truly terrible Star Trek scripts. Poor Gene Roddenberry's coffin has long-since passed jet-turbine speeds and has caused most of California's fault activity for at least a decade. Properly prepped by years of voting in U.S. elections, however, all it took was a few episodes of Mary McDonnell's iron-fisted schoolteacher and I forgave everything. I not only scarfed down the whole roach-infested BSG sausage, I begged for more.

I won't bother to mention every dirt-encrusted plot hole, well, okay, not beyond mentioning that boy, it sure was easy for Boomer to find the fleet, and well, sarcastically mumbling things like, "Honey, your spine is glowing! Did I hit a good spot? Kara's tape of her father...red stapler...did not receive my portion..."

Hence forth, no, really, I shall slap my forehead at least once a week, and remind myself, "Ron Moore is not a famous scriptwriter. He's a famous typist. I positively, absolutely won't get fooled again. In fact, no more TV."

Do I sound bitter? Quoth the Raven, "Nothing Moore."

Well...nothing Moore unless the Cylon goop ultimately works on Galactica and Sam wakes up as the Colony ship arrives, grabs the other ships and comes back...
Michael Burke
128. Ludon
I'm probably going to catch it for dredging up this old thread but I'm not worried because I know I'll catch even more when I say that I loved the ending - so there.

I loved the ending! I've rewatched various earlier episodes then rewatched the entire 4th season and that response has not changed. Rather than going off with a long list of points to support my reaction to the ending (many of then have been touched upon in this thread anyway) I'm going to talk about three points that I had expected to have seen in this thread. Questions leading to these points are here but they always fell short.

Mifitz @ 86 came close to one point when he talked about Hera's offspring but didn't quite get there. While I'm not sure how well the geological and biological timelines work with the 150,000 year period given, I think it is safe to say that there was at least one pinch-point or bottleneck during that period. Hera being Mitochondrial Eve does not mean that she and her offspring had more children than everyone else. What that means is that 10,000 years later, or 50,000 years later (or whenever) when a super volcano blew and most life on the planet was threatened with extinction, those people - those families who's liniage traced back to Hara were better suited to survive the climatic changes. There are genetic bottlenecks in our history and those bottlenecks do seem to be linked to geological events.

By the way. This could also be used to explain away the lack of evidence of ealier habitation in North America - the Yellowstone Super Volcano wiped everything out.

Now to the question of why would they give up their technology? Why would they be willing to walk away from everything? 39,XXX - I want to say 39,550 but I'm probably wrong on those last three digits. Does everyone remember the number appearing in the opening credits - always changing yet always seeing to be impossibly low? 39,550 Survivors! Now. Let me match this number with 35. Thirty Five ships - Thirty Seven if you count the Galactica and the Basestar. The number for the Blood On The Scales episode was somewhere around this number of survivors and in the dialogue it was suggested that there were Thirty Five civilian ships left in the fleet. Colonial One could land in one of the Galactica's flight bays so you can use that as a guage for the sizes of the rest of the ships in the fleet. Thirty Nine thousand people living, eating, pissing and crapping, getting sick, trying to get clean, breathing, etc. and this has been going on for four or five years (well - there was that break on New Caprica). No shops to go to to get new equipment. No fresh supplies of medicines coming in. How much of what they had could be counted on to continue working? How many people would really want to continue trying to live in those ships when there was all that space, all that fresh air and all that potential for a future down on that world. Even the people who didn't want to live with the Cylons would want to get away from those ships.

I had the impression that they did take what medicines they had and the portable equipment - that still worked - with them but they had the knowledge that those supplies were only to fill the gap until they learned to live in their surroundings. Even if they tried to scrap the ship and use the materials on Earth, would there have been enough material to go around? No. Making a fresh start was the best choice to make.

Any why send the ships into the sun? Surely not to hide their history from the future. I can't be sure why William or Lee would have made that decision but I like to think that it was a gesture to assure the Cylon Centurions - who would be checking on them from time to time - that they really intended to break the cycle and try to make a fresh start.

As I said. I loved that ending. I still love it because I didn't fully expect it but I realize that I should have. I loved it because it gave me things to think about. Heck. I even got to thinking about what the future held for the Centurians. In my mind they found ways to evolve their technologies and themselves. They may have found other pockets of Human survivors and kept track of them. Who knows? They may even have stumbled upon new levels in their technology and used that technology to spread a network of wormhole inducing devices throughout the galaxy. How's that for a crossover idea?

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment