off topic: Battlestar Galactica

bsgThe end of an era?

Not quite. Caprica is “coming soon” and this November we will be treated to BSG: The Plan. Can’t blame ’em for wanting to milk every last drop out of the ol’ cash cow. And I stand ready to do my part to help them.

The series finale for BSG ran on Friday. Now, three days later, I find I’m still processing what I saw and how I feel about it. You have to admit, it’s been a pretty complicated six years. First a little personal background: I was a huge fan of the original series (even at the tender age of six…) and I faithfully tuned in whenever it would pop up in syndication over the last twenty odd years. Although now, unfortunately, after the “re-imagining” I have some trouble watching it at all.

My favorite part of this reimagined rollercoaster ride has to be the miniseries. Of all the bajillion DVDs we own, that is what I pop into the player most consistenly. It fulfilled the promise of its premise and in the context of the series as a whole – and most significantly to me – it offered hope.

Which regrettably dwindled with the human population as the seasons marched inexorably along.

It’s safe to say I’ve been unhappy, or more accurately dissatisfied, with seasons 3 and 4. They pointed the Galactica in a number of disparate and really sooper dark directions that didn’t fly for me and made me feel they lost sight of some of the basics set up in the miniseries and the first season (hope, anyone?).  I was simultaneously bummed and relieved to hear season 4 would mark the end of the journey for our intrepid survivors. So many shows run for ages past their expiration dates and you end up not wanting anything to do with them in the end (The X-Files, anyone?). Needless to say, I’ve been curious as to how Moore and Eick planned to wrap up this epic journey.

It’s tricky. To me it feels like a whole lotta nothing’s been going on since January. I would’ve thought they’d use their limited remaining time more wisely and tie off plots lines that have been flapping around out there like unfinished macrame in the wind. They dealt brutally but effectively with Dualla and Gaeta. Personally, I’d’ve preferred that strong hand in several other areas. But then, this wasn’t my show to write.

I’m not going to indulge in the bitch slapping blow by blow of the finale that I’m sure is being handed out elsewhere on the web. But I will lay down some of my finale impressions:


The Flashbacks: Didn’t mind ’em. For the most part they were an effective tool in demonstrating how far these characters have come. In particular it was really nice to see the pre-Presidential Roslin. I didn’t get the Adama sequences – I couldn’t decipher what the whole “one hour” deal was supposed to be.

The Assault: Fantastic. Finally! Some action! We’ve been so starved for it this last leg of the journey. I highly approve of the method of the destruction of the Colony.

Earth: I’m satisfied. I’m happy that Kara’s musical note sequence wasn’t DNA (the running theory in my household) but rather the coordinates for the new Earth. I have a bit of trouble swallowing that 38k+ people were unanimously willing to trade every creature comfort they knew to get a fresh start on the green, green grass of Earth (flush toilets, anyone?), but I’m game. The spread of humanity all over the planet didn’t bother me in the least. Frankly, if I’d been cooped up in space with all those people the last 5 or so years, I’d be looking for as few neighbors as possible, too.

Starbuck: Ugh. Like most everyone else, this one is jammed in my craw. To be blunt I hated the whole vanishing into nothing. As a core character I felt she (and we) deserved better treatment and more respect. However, I think we’ve all had our fill of midiclorians and I can fully respect the decision to not demystify the myth they put in play. Having said that, I’m not particularly impressed with the myth they put into play. But again, not my show to write. Here’s what Ron Moore has to say about it:

We made a concious decision to say, “We’re going to leave this opaque.” You can certainly say that she’s an angel or a demon or some other form of life. We know from the show that she died a mortal death, she was brought back to life in some way, and then she fulfilled a certain destiny and guided them all to Earth. What does this mean? And who is she really? It was a conscious decision to say, “This is as much as we’re going to tell you, and she’s connected to some greater truth.” The more we try to answer what that greater truth is, the less interesting it becomes, and we just decided to leave it more of a mystery. I am sure there will be a cadre of people who are angry that they never got a more definitive answer, but we just decided not to do that.

Hera: Hera, Hera, Hera. Here is a perfect example of where that brutal hand should have been liberally applied. I liked the tie in to the Kobol opera house hallucinations with chasing her through the Galactica to the CIC. But then, like this particular thread has so many times before, it dropped off the face of things abruptly like a lemming off a cliff. It’s like it was simply a plot device to get that group of characters into the CIC. But why was it so important they be right there? I kept waiting for Hera to hop into the tub with Anders or even take over for Tory – something, for frak’s sake! Big old goose egg.

Six & Baltar: YES! With all that I didn’t get into the groove with, the choice to have ‘head’ Six and Baltar wander the streets of modern day New York discussing the evolution of the events that they set into motion was, imho, nothing short of poetic. Bravo, Moore! It revived that pesky hope but even more, the necessary humor that those two incarnations brought to the show.

R&D: Frakin’ hippies! ‘Nuff said.

We’ve been strapped onto this ride for a little over six years years now. To judge the whole by one fraction would be ludicrous. R&D set themselves up for a difficult journey. There was no way for them to please everyone, nor should there be a requirement for them to have to try. I do not agree with every avenue they explored, but I will continue to revisit the Galactica many times over, as much for enjoyment as for a learning opportunity. As a writer, what can I learn from the choices that they’ve made? Turns out, a whole helluva a lot.

I don’t know about you, but I hear nothin’ but the rain.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by km on April 3, 2009 at 12:51 am

    I’m with you, totally, on the whole lame Kara thing and I loved the end with Six and Baltar but…

    Kara- March 23rd???

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