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Recap

Battlestar Galactica Newbie Recap: Daybreak Parts 1-3, AKA the Series Finale


I’m a sci-fi geek who has never seen Battlestar Galactica. Yes, I know, I know. 2013 (and a little bit 2014) is the year I change that, and I’m blogging as I go.

I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE YELLED AT A SHOW LIKE THIS. I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU. WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU! HOW DARE YOU!

Daybreak (Part 1)

Aka the relatively boring setup episode before everything goes to hell. It’s been four seasons. I know how this show works.

We start off grooving back in flashback land, where Adama’s being told by higher-ups to do something he doesn’t want to do. Meanwhile Baltar’s off in a limo being a premium-grade entitled little shit to Caprica, whom he’s just met. They’re being all grope-y and flirty, and we almost learn what Caprica’s real/fake name is, and holy crap, I just realized we never heard Baltar call her, or Head Six for that matter, by the name she went by pre-genocide. I guess it’s not important. We have enough Six names anyway. Caprica, Sonia, Head Six, Gina, that journalist from back in season one. (WTF happened to her, anyway? That episode was stupid.) It’s enough.

Anywhoodle, in the middle of their macking Baltar gets an urgent call. Turns out his dad tried to stab his home health nurse. Not cool, Papa Baltar! Baltar has to go try and convince the nurse to stay, and as a result Caprica finds herself privy to some father-son bickering. We knew that Baltar has some issues with his home world—it was a backwater bit of nowhere, and Baltar changed his entire identity, up to an including his accent, so he’d be included among the fancy Caprica types—but in this scene we find out that he has some daddy issues, too.

Why am I not surprised?

Elsewhere in flashbacktopia Starbuck meets Lee for the first time when he comes over to have dinner with the ‘buck and her fiancé/his brother. There’s some foreshadowing where Zak ribs Lee about stealing his girlfriend. Roslin, wearing bright, airy clothes and looking like she hasn’t a care in the world, is seen recovering from a baby shower with her sisters, one of whom is pregnant. Later on a pair of police officers inform her that her sisters and father were killed in a drunk driving accident. There’s no crying or asking questions—she just shuts down and asks the officers to leave. Yeah, that’s more the Roslin we know. In a daze, she walks through the park and has a nice shower in the fountain, bystanders looking on wondering who this weird lady is getting all religious metaphor-y while they’re trying to play touch football.

From there we’re back to the present day. Roslin is still dying of cancer. Lee is overseeing the death (basically) of the Galactica. Adama is packing to the sweet, sweet sounds of bagpipe music.

Meanwhile Paula, the non-hippie hippie whose name I still have to look up even though it’s been like a season, chats with Baltar about all the political power they, meaning their cult, has. Head Six agrees with her, telling Baltar that humanity’s final hour is coming and he will be its architect, blah de blah blah. He puts his head in his hands, like he’s not ready to deal with this, thank you very much.

In another flashback we see the second meeting between Baltar and Caprica. The stealth Cylon, determined to wrap Baltar around her little finger and get the access codes to Caprica’s defense systems, breaks into his apartment so she can let him know she moved his dad into the absolute perfect nursing home, ohmygod. Most people would be exceptionally freaked out by this. Like, maybe send a text message asking if you want to have coffee? But they just met, and already Caprica knows Baltar better than that. He has women practically waiting in line to sleep with him. He’s a man who prides himself on his intelligence, so to reel him in one has to intrigue him.

Plus he’s lazy, or at least he hates making an effort when he can have other people do things, so dealing with his dad problem for him can’t hurt. Thus begins their epic manipulative romance.

Back on the Galactica Baltar approaches Lee about giving his cult group a voice in the government. The representative doesn’t even have to be me, he argues, even though if we’re being honest it probably will end up being me. Huh. Funny how that works out!

Lee is all

…because Baltar’s a self-serving asshole with a history of manipulating the system. And he wants to be a handed an official seat in the government? Really? All Baltar’s rhetoric about democracy and the people deserve a voice and we need a new way of thinking is just that: rhetoric. His devotees, as members of the fleet, already have a voice, same as all the non-cult members do. They’re not disenfranchised. This isn’t a theocracy. (Well with Roslin’s prophecies it kinda was, but whatever.) Baltar isn’t out for justice, he’s out for power, even if he’s managed to trick himself into believing otherwise.

Lee calls Baltar on his major personality failings and challenges him to name a single thing he’s done that didn’t benefit him in any way. Which Baltar admits he can’t do.

He gives a shifty little look as he leaves the room, though. What’s he planning?!

Helo has a depressing conversation with Tyrol, who apparently was either caught or turned himself in after helping Boomer escape, ’cause he’s in the brig now. Tyrol’s all “Skinjobs are all the same. They’re just machines, and you can’t trust them. I know that because I created them that way. Waaaaaaah. I’m a monsterrrrrr.”

Oh honey. Get over yourself.

Speaking Boomer, over on the Cylon colony she stands up for Hera, telling Cavil she’s frightened and misses her mom, so maybe that‘s why she hasn’t been eating. Just a thought. But Cavil doesn’t give two figs and is ready to move into the let’s-cut-this-cute-little-kid-open stage.

Oh, and SIMON HAS A LINE. But it’s generic expositionary dialogue. Of course it is.

Back on the Galactica Athena’s lost hope that they can save Hera. Helo tries to convince her otherwise, and I’m inclined to take his side, because he’s Saint Helo. (I do not mean that in a sarcastic, oh-yeah-he’s-just-so-perfect, Lee Adama sense. Helo’s really grown on me. How is he not boring? HOW?!)

Adama’s schlepping around the Galactica when he runs into Hot Dog, who’s coming back from the memorial wall with some pictures to take to the Basetar. See, most of the pics of the dear departed have someone to claim them, but there are still some where no one knows who the subjects are, because whoever put the pictures up have also died. It’s very sad.

Adama, struck by all the poignancy, goes off to stand in a conveniently placed shaft of light in a symbolic doorway. The doge meme isn’t dead quite yet, right?

Meanwhile Starbuck and a comafied Anders are still trying to figure out what the heck’s going on with Hera and those musical notes. Adama visits her and asks whether all that stuff about her having come back from the dead is true. She says it is, and he assures her that it doesn’t matter, because she’s his daughter all the same. Riiiiight in the feels.

There’s an interlude of Anders in flashback land, where he’s telling a reporter that what he likes about pyramid is the precision and the beauty of physics. I know this is some retroactive foreshadowing about Anders being a Cylon, but really, what I got out of it is ANDERS IS A MATH NERD.

And I dig that.

And I also miss Gaeta.

Anders has been doing his hybrid babbling, talking about how they have to “find the perfect world for the end of Kara Thrace.” While we were privy to Anders geeking out about angles, Starbuck and Adama came to some sort of decision about a super-important question they’d ask him. And there’s a DRAMA ZOOM, because every once in a while a show has to get its Supernatural on, OK?

Then we get a random flashback scene with Lee fighting a pigeon. Fine, fine, it’s supposed to highlight how the character’s evolved from drunk irresponsibility pre-series to the über-competent quasi-president he is now. Whatever. It was Lee vs a pigeon. I found this on Blingee and I can’t not use it:

Apparently Adama and Starbuck asked Anders about the location of the Cylon colony, and apparently his babbling self actually answered them, because now Adama’s all ready to charge in with the Galactica and rescue Hera. It’ll almost definitely a be suicide mission: Because of Science Reasons there’s only one way to approach the colony, and that’ll be heavily guarded by everything the Cylons have. Plus there’s the whole thing with the Galactica practically falling apart. But Adama’s determined to do it.

Oh, and RACETRACK IS STILL ALIVE. It comes out that she was locked up after participating in Gaeta’s mutiny (*sob*), but since Adama neeeds all the volunteers he can get for his rescue mission he lets the mutineers out.

There’s a BSG-style emotional scene where Adama gathers everyone on the hangar deck and asks them to decide whether they’re going with him or staying behind. The Final Five side with Adama, as does Caprica. Doc Cottle tries to go, but Adama tells him not to, because the rest of the fleet needs a Doctor. Lee and Starbuck are on-board. Roslin, who earlier got one final flashback about how she’s been a shut-in since her family died and she doesn’t want to go into politics, puts on her wig and leaves the hospital to go with Adama and the rest.

(Side note: She’s been rocking quite the high-quality wigs. Who had them in their luggage after the colonies got nuked?)

It looks for a second as if Baltar’s going to go—he looks at Caprica, almost like he’d go to prove himself to her. It still wouldn’t be that “selfless act” Lee was talking about, but that’s a moot point, because he decides to stay behind.

BALTAR’S GONNA WRECK SOME STUFF, MOTHERFRAKKERS.

Daybreak (Part 2)

Ways in which I did not expect an episode of Battlestar Galactica‘s three-part series finale to begin: Tigh trying to buy Adama a lap dance at a strip club.

I just… I have nothing to say to that.

(Except that Tigh tries to cheap the dancer out of her normal fee and makes this face. It’s pretty wonderful.)

Last episode Adama was offered a desk job by his higher-ups, and this episode Tigh convinces him to take it, even though it’s obvious that Adama’s heart really isn’t in it. The flashback sequences in this trio of episodes are all about their subjects—Adama, Roslin, Starbuck, Baltar, Caprica, Lee—placing themselves on the path they’re destined to be on. When a drunk Adama goes outside, vomits all over himself (lovely), and stares dopily at the stars, we know that the Galactica is where he’s meant to be.

Look at the stars…. look how they shine fooooor yoooooooou.

In their own flashback Lee and Starbuck, just having met for the first time, are getting along famously. There’s banter. There’s snarkiness. Zak brings up the Adama Drama between Lee and pops, and Starbuck’s intrigued by it. Later, after a lightweight Zak passes out, Starbuck and Lee proceed to do shots together. There’s a lot of bonding going on.

Back in the present day the human race is preparing to split in two: The majority will wait in safety at the rendezvous point while a smaller number goes off in the Galactica to rescue Hera or die trying. Baltar, who elected to stay behind, is getting his angst on, but Head Six pops up to tell him to cut that jazz out, ’cause he’s doing what God wants him to: Taking charge of mankind and leading it to its end.

That doesn’t sound ominous or anything.

Roslin, meanwhile, is getting ready to go with the suicide mission crew. Doc Cottle gives her enough injections to prolong her life by two days, but after that… well, she’s gonna die. Lee and Helo tell the marines and the Raptor pilots, respectively, about what the rescue mission entails. Adama tells his CIC peeps it’s not safe to use nukes or missiles (~foreshadowing~), so this’ll be a good old fashioned gun battle. The Final Five, for their part, will be helping out by plugging Anders into the Galactica so he can communicate directly with the colony’s hybrid and get them to slow down their shooting.

With Adama, Lee, and Roslin all going to their probable deaths, the fleet needs both a new admiral and a new President. For the former, Adama chooses Hoshi.

And as the new President we get none other than ROMO EFFING LAMPKIN, who doesn’t look too pleased at his new job, but hey, when has he looked pleased?

BACKGROUND CHARACTERS FOR THE WIN!

At the last minute Baltar decides he’s staying to help rescue Hera. Hippie Cult Paula doesn’t approve, but no one really cares about Hippie Cult Paula (too harsh)? Baltar’s selfless act: Achieved.

After one last inspiring speech from Adama the mission begins and the Galactica jumps to right outside the Cylon colony’s front door. Immediately the Galactica gets fired upon big-time, but Anders is able to link up with the hybrids and get them to cool their jets. But the good guys aren’t out of the woods yet. There are still Raiders coming, and the strike team led by Lee still has to get into the colony.

How do they get in? BY USING THE GALACTICA AS A BATTERING RAM.

That works.

Lee’s team and Starbuck’s team, which Athena and Helo are also a part of, storm around the colony looking for Hera, who’s being operated on at this very moment by Simon. Boomer asks if he might want to hit the pause button until the attack’s over, but Simon says nah. I know we’re gonna win, because we have the superior numbers. There’s no possible way this could end badly for me!

Cue Boomer snapping Simon’s neck and running off with Hera.

Oh, and also: Racetrack dies. We don’t see her die, but a rock comes through the window of her Raptor and crushes the head of her copilot Skulls. So yup. Out in space in a ship with a hole in it. She’s a goner. Pause for ABJECT MISERY.

Battlestar Galactica, if anything happens to Hot Dog now SO HELP ME!

Cavil, Simon, and Doral have found the body of the Simon Boomer killed, so they know she’s betrayed them and has Hera. As a result they decide to “go on the offensive” and invade the Galactica. Simon, the group’s Legolas, points out that they should be careful not to kill Hera in the crossfire.

Caprica and Baltar, meanwhile, are waiting on the Galactica with guns to defend the ship from Centurion invaders. Caprica tells Baltar she always wanted to be proud of him, and now she is. It’s a touching moment—when they kiss, it’s probably the first genuine kiss the pair of them have ever shared. Head Six breaks up the emotion by chiming in that “All the pieces are falling into place.”

But wait.

Both Baltar and Caprica can see her!

Head Baltar’s there, and both of them can see him too.

Boomer, carrying Hera, comes across Athena, Starbuck, and Helo. Boomer hands Hera over, but Athena’s not inclined to be too forgiving. Boomer understands that—she says she knows nothing can change the things she did, but they all make choices, and rescuing Hera is her last one.

Then Athena guns her down. Well then.

Lee hasn’t really had much to do this episode aside from run around the colony with his group of marines, hair looking like he’s straight off an ’80s romance novel cover. He meets up with Starbuck’s group and they head back to the Galactica, where Baltar shoots their Centurion guards, thinking they’re bad guys. Caprica figures out what’s going on and physically stops him before he kills any non-machines.

Baltar:

Roslin, who’s been helping out in sickbay, injects herself with her very last dose of medicine. That’s when she hallucinates herself into the opera house and takes off, because I have religious destiny stuff to do! Meanwhile Doral SHOOTS HELO, and oh hell NO you did not! While Athena’s trying to staunch the bleeding Hera runs away, because she’s worse than Carl from The Walking Dead. Helo tells Athena to go after Hera, even though if she leaves his might bleed out.

So now Hera’s running around the Galactica, and Roslin and Athena are trying to find her. Roslin gets to her and shields her from Brother Cavil and his band of merry Centurions, but when she turns around Hera’s run away again. Dammit, Hera. Same as in the opera house vision, Hera comes across Caprica, who picks her up and carries her to Baltar. Then Caprica and Baltar are in their own vision: The one where they saw the Final Five in the opera house. They make their way to front of the opera house, which in non-hallucination-land is the CIC. There they see the Final Five standing together the exact same way they saw them in their vision. Honestly, this whole sequence is striking, but I don’t get the point of it. Did their visions actually lead any of them to this point? Would they not have gotten there anyway?

Brother Cavil (Surprise, bitch. I bet you thought you’d seen the last of me.) uses the distraction of a minor explosion to pop up and put a gun on Hera. She represents the future of my species, he explains, and I’m not going to give her up. Baltar explains that she’s the future of humanity and of Cylon(ity) and proceeds to go into prime speech mode, rhapsodizing about how there’s some weird force working through Hera, and whatever it is—Gods, the gods, whatever—it can’t be explained by rational means. But it doesn’t matter, because it exists, and it has the destiny of both species in its hands. Everyone has to work together.

Cool speech, bro. But if this show’s entire explanation for all the crazy stuff that’s been going on—Hera’s musical notes, the shared hallucinations, etc—ends up being nothing more than “God did it!” I swear to a nebulous-yet-powerful supreme being I will break things.

Tigh steps in to offer a less flowery but more practical incentive for the Cylons to back off: Resurrection technology. The Final Five will reinvent it if Cavil gives Hera back and promises to leave humanity in peace forever. Cavil agrees, and both he and Adama order their respective forces to stand down. The episode ends with Cavil assuring Adama he’s as good as his word.

Yeeeeah, no. I have no reason to believe that’s true.

Music break:

Daybreak (Part 3)

The pigeon returneth!

And some other stuff happens.

Turns out Cavil didn’t get a chance not to be true to his word. Each of the Final Five know part of how to make resurrection work, so in order to bring the whole thing together they have to put their hands into hybrid Anders’ goopy bathwater and do a giant Cylon mind meld. When they do that each of the Final Five find out everything about one another… all their dark secrets… including, say, if one of them killed the other’s wife and made it look like a suicide. That sort of thing.

Tyrol has a moment of channeling Vincent D’Onofrio from Full Metal Jacket before he loses his shit, breaking off the mind meld and snapping Tory’s neck. So now Brother Cavil and the bad Cylons are like

and proceed to open fire. Shortly thereafter Cavil, realizing there’s no way he can win, kills himself.

…Even though he knows he can’t resurrect. I understand that he’d rather die than be taken prisoner; without Hera as a bargaining chip there’s no way he’s getting out alive. But still, his death is really abrupt considering he’s been the main antagonist for the past half-season. The last we see of him is a half-second of him going “Ah, frak it” and shooting himself in the head, unnoticed and un-remarked upon by the rest of the characters.

But on the plus side, at the very beginning of this episode one of the Dorals let fly this epic eyeroll upon seeing the corpse of another him. It is, bar none, the best thing in this episode.

The second best thing in this episode: Last episode Racetrack and Skulls were killed (*sob*), but not before they armed their nuclear weapons as a precautionary measure. When a chunk of rock jostles their ship Racetrack’s hand—or, well, the hand of her corpse—comes down on the trigger.

Am I sad that Racetrack died? Yes. Am I pumped that the last thing her character got to do was accidentally nuke the Cylon colony? Hell frakking yeah! Shine bright like a diamond you cynical, wonderful pilot you.

The fact that the colony’s blowing up right next to them is a pretty big reason for the Galactica to GTFO, so Adama orders Starbuck to jump the ship away. Only there’s no time to pull up the rendezvous coordinates, so in a fit of either religious inspiration or I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-else-to-do Starbuck plugs in the notes of Hera’s song—which she already translated into numbers in the hopes of finding some clue as to her identity—into the FTL drive.

Turns out Hera’s song? The song that also woke up the Final Five? Contains the coordinates to Earth.

But… we already found Earth. How are there two? Apparently that question isn’t deemed important enough to answer—even though it’s a pretty glaring question—because it’s never addressed. The characters don’t even realize that they’re on Earth. Once they get there Adama says that they can call it Earth because it represents their hopes and dreams. Really? No one recognizes that the continents look exactly the same? We’re never going to find out what the hell is up with this planet?

And also. Turns out “Starbuck’s an angel” isn’t a stupid placeholder explanation for the big mystery of Starbuck’s identity, but the actual stupid explanation for the big mystery of Starbuck’s identity. What the hell?! There are angels all of a sudden? What, are there Gorgons too? Titans? What are angels even supposed to be in the BSG verse?

We get some flashbacks to Starbuck and Lee’s first meeting, and they’re being all drunk and flirty and Starbuck’s talking about how she’s afraid, not of death, but of being forgotten. Later they almost have sex until they remember, whoops, that’s right, Zak. The implication is that they were meant to be together from the start or something like that, but I don’t even care because it’s all BS at this point, frak it, Starbuck’s a damn angel of all things and IT’S JUST SO FRAKKING STUPID I CAN’T—

Ahem.

The entire fleet lands on Earth, which is nice and verdant instead of nuked to a cinder. Hoshi gives Adama back his Admiral pins and scoots away, because he’s realized that being a main character on this show makes you do or be really stupid things. Turns out Earth is inhabited by prehistoric humans, meaning this is our Earth, where the nuked Earth was Cylon Earth. Not that that clears things up at all.

What’s left of humanity, plus the good Cylons, decide to stay there. But they’re not going to build a city. They’re going to scatter around the globe, acting as super-evolved Jedi Masters to the pre-historic humans and teaching them about language and tools and that sort of thing.

It’s a happy ending, and I like that the characters got that (yes, even Lee). But part of Lee’s whole speech about making a “new start” rubs me the wrong way. It’s the part about passing on the good parts of humanity, not the bad. The bad, in this case, are technology and science. It’s cute and idyllic, but… really? Abandon science and technology? Science and technology are not the bad guys. The way they are used is the bad guy. Will it be impossible to misuse it if it’s not there? Sure. Until generations down the line when humanity evolves again, anyway. But I can’t help imagining Doc Cottle being brought a pneumonia patient and saying “Well, ma’am, I wish I could help you, but some jackasses decided to fly a fleet filled with centuries of advancement in medical technology into the damn sun. Here, have some herbs.”

Romo expresses disbelief that humanity’s willing to leave their “creature comforts” behind, and Lee counters that people are glad to have a new start. After four seasons of everyone and their mother objecting to every single thing the government wants them to do (subtext: The stupid masses don’t know what’s good for them), I’m supposed to believe that no one has an issue with leaving behind such things as blankets and compasses and changes of clothes?

It’s way too convenient an ending. Almost like the writers realized they had only 20 minutes left.

A tearful Starbuck says goodbye to Anders, who musters a brief moment of lucidity after she leaves and says “I’ll see you on the other side.” Then he flies the fleet into the sun. The Cylons have decided to give the Basestar to the Centurions and send them on their merry way. There’s a chance that they might evolve and come back hellbent on vengeance, but Ellen says giving them their freedom will probably be enough to keep that from happening.

There’s another flashback to Adama turning down a desk job because he doesn’t want to have to deal with bureaucratic assholes. I don’t want to deal with this episode anymore.

Roslin’s right at the end of her extended two days of life, so Adama decides to take her up in a Raptor to get a closer look at Earth’s wildlife. She passes away peacefully while he’s talking about the cabin they’re going to build.

Moment of silence for Laura Roslin.

Adama’s excursion also doubles as him permanently going off to be on his own, leaving behind everyone and everything he’s ever known… including his son. Uh-huh. Yes, it was a very tearful goodbye scene between Adama and Lee. But is there any reason Adama couldn’t settle within a few days’ travel of his son? Does he have to go live alone in his cabin of angst and manpain? It’s very contrived. And it’s not even character development when you consider Adama not being there for Lee is kind of his defining characteristic as a father. It’s what all their Adama Llama Drama is based on.

Stupid character ending. Duuuuumb.

Lee and Starbuck say their goodbyes—Starbuck waxes rhapsodic about completing her mission, Lee says he wants to go exploring—before Starbuck literally disappears into thin air. For angel reasons.

We also get a flashback to the aftermath of the GREAT PIGEON BATTLE. And there’s another one of Roslin deciding to help future-President Adar’s campaign. Like I said last episode: People setting off down the paths they were destined for. For Roslin’s that politics. For DRAMA PIGEON (new favorite character), that’s getting away from this mess of an episode.

Athena and Helo walk off into the sunset with their daughter, arguing about who’s going to teach Hera how to hunt. Tigh and Ellen are seen going off together, too. Tyrol…

…wait, do we see Tyrol? There was his shellshocked look after he killed Tory, and then… nothing. Sorry, actor-who-plays-Tyrol. You really got the short end of the stick there.

Head Six and Head Baltar tell Caprica and Baltar that they did what God wanted of them, so now their lives are going to stop with the craziness. We then flash back to their setting-themselves-on-the-path-they-were-destined-for scene: Baltar giving Caprica the codes to get into Caprica’s defense mainframe. He tells her he loves her before backpedalling big-time and playing it cool. In the present day Baltar says he knows a place where they can go and grow some crops, because he knows how do to that and all. CHILDHOOD FARMING KNOWLEDGE TO THE RESCUE.

But there’s still one more Head Six/Head Baltar scene! We flash forward to our present day, 150,000 years after the Galactica arrived on Earth. The pair of hallucinations/angels/not like it matters anyway because we still don’t know anything more about them weave through a bustling Times Square talking about God’s plan, how all of this (robopocalypse, etc.) has happened before but it doesn’t have to happen again, because if a system’s repeated enough some variable, somewhere, is going to change. That, too, is in God’s plan. Baltar remarks that “it” doesn’t like the name God. We also find out that Hera would go on to become “mitochondrial Eve,” or the common ancestor of all of humanity. We end with a montage of robots paired with the sounds of “All Along the Watchtower” and my anguished screaming because that’s it? That’s it?!

General Thoughts/Ranting

Things were looking pretty good in parts one and two. And then part three, the very last episode… wow. What a cop-out. Nothing got explained! Like there being fricking angels of a sudden! And the second Earth. How are there two Earths? Why are there two Earths? What’s so important about getting humanity and Cylons to (our) Earth? I was very careful about trying to avoid spoilers, and I don’t regret doing that, but part of me wishes I’d known in advance that “God did it!” was all we were going to get in terms of an explanation for the coincidences, prophecies, and sometimes hamfisted metaphors I’d fondly eyeroll at (never forget) over the course of the show. Instead of taking those things at face value, I expected—reasonably, I believe—that the writers would actually have something good up their sleeves instead of the nonsensical, quasi-religious mess we got.

I mean, one of the implications of the finale was that whatever higher power is in charge engineered the entire plot of the show, INCLUDING THE DEATHS OF BILLIONS OF PEOPLE ON THE 12 COLONIES AND ORIGINAL EARTH, to get humans and Cylons to our Earth and kickstart evolution there…for some reason. Because all this has happened before and all this has happened again? But that’s meaningless.

It’s frakked up.

There are things about Daybreak that I do like. I like that there was an actual ending, even if said ending was hellaciously dumb. I really like the Galactica divebombing into the colony. But taken as a whole? What a mess. I don’t ask for every little loose end to be tied up, and I don’t need to be spoon-fed. But it’s just plain bad writing to introduce huge plot elements, bathe your viewers in the shock value of them, and then not actually put in the effort of constructing a story around them so they make any sort of damn sense. What is this, Lost? After three and a half seasons of excellent finales, I expected better. Did the chuckleheads responsible for this even have a plan?

Ah, screw it. I’m opening this mother up to comments. Tell me I’m crazy about the finale. Or agree with me. Let’s go wild! I also welcome any general comments about my recaps, positive or negative, though if it’s the latter I ask that you keep it civil, please, because I’m a person with feelings. Wanna gush about Romo Lampkin? I’m here for that. Wanna cry about Gaeta? You know I’m down. I just ask that you please refrain from posting spoilers about The Plan and Blood and Chrome, since those are the subject of my very, very last Battlestar Galactica Newbie Recap, to be posted next week.

It’s almost over.

Former Battlestar Galactica Newbie Recaps can be found here. Have a comment? Hit me up on Twitter.

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  • BruceKent

    Don’t worry, your response was pretty much how everyone I have talked to that saw the final said. Great first part but an wrap up that defied all logic. I personally have enjoyed your reviews 1) because its nice to see them reviewed again (for the first time as it were) and second because reading over your comments over all this time and remembering the final and what happened… Well there was a part of me that thought “Gee I would like to tell her cuz this is gonna end poorly” and another part that said “She’s gonna lose her mind about the ending.” Nice to see I was right, though sorry you had to endure it. Just don’t understand why they didn’t stick the landing after all that. But I will say “The Plan” was pretty good. Thanks for all the reviews!

  • Lex

    I’m with you 100% on the cop-out of the finale. I became a huge BSG fan and had many nights of staying up watching episode after episode because it was too thrilling to stop (season finales especially), but the ending was so awful that it’s hard not to be bitter. I haven’t been able to go back and watch them again because it’s all tainted by knowing it never really meant anything. But that said, I’ve enjoyed these newbie reviews a lot, because they’ve let me experience the fun and excitement (and pain) of watching it for the first time. You’re a very funny person and they’ve been extremely enjoyable :)

  • Samuel

    Tyrol went to Ireland or something I think, there’s a scene where he’s looking at topography and says “there’s some nice highlands up there, I’ll take a group of settlers up there.” So Tyrol founded Iceland/Greenland/Ireland. Because of course.

  • Anonymous

    You’re not crazy, that ending was lazy and weird and just plain dumb all over. I just pretend to forget about most of the last seasons. Except for that Roslyn speech about what happens when you mess with her boyfriend.

  • Lup Lun

    He did, yes. Funny story: when I first saw the episode, I didn’t make the connection immediately, so when he talks about going “up north” I took a look at his chief’s gut and his engineering skills and was like, “Wait, you mean Tyrol becomes Santa Claus?”

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Was that stated and I just missed it? There were several episodes where the “previously in Battlestar Galactica” included some clips I SWEAR we hadn’t seen before.

  • Samuel

    WAIT. What if Tyrol actually remembered everything about resurrection? What if he has a resurrection chamber at the north pole and all Santa’s are actually Tyrol, and he has Cylon elves to make all the toys and OH MY GOD YOU ARE RIGHT TYROL IS SANTA CLAUS.

  • Samuel

    It’s in there, but yeah there are definitely scenes from time to time that I just miss straight out. I actually think I missed the episode with all the exposition about Gaeta and Hoshi’s relationship and Gaeta/Sharon stuff. Except that episode is on the DVD’s my friend lent me, but not on Netflix for some reason.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    That was definitely a highlight. There were some good individual episodes, but the track of series as a whole was just messy.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    And he delivers toys to the world’s children because of lingering guilt/angst over not having his son anymore. YOU’VE CRACKED IT.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Thank you! I’m glad to know people have enjoyed the recaps. Yeah, it’s not bad enough that the last episode made no sense, but the show used to be SO GOOD, particularly at finales. I thought the writers had a plan. Why didn’t they have a plan?!

  • Sólveig Guðrún

    All through the series they were showing clips and flashbacks that I hadn´t seen before. It wasn´t until after I finished the finale and started googling to see what people were saying about it that I found out about the miniseries before the first season. Silly me decided to start with episode one of season one.

  • Samuel

    I bet all the helper elves are Doral’s, they always wear green anyways.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    There’ll be one more recap next week to wrap up w/ TV movies and webisodes, but yeah, it won’t be the same. :( I’ll miss ‘em too.

  • Anonymous

    I was curious to see what you thought about the ending, especially since I watched it for the first time last week. I got sucked into the series on Netflix and, much to the detriment of my reading habits, watched all four seasons in a month’s time. I loved almost everything about the series, but the way it all ended up being a supernatural cop-out really sucked. I wanted a better explanation about Starbuck’s fate and I wanted a real explanation about the paranormal Six and Baltar, not just some “agents of the one true god” mysticism. I would have rather Starbuck just died in the crash and they found a habitable planet in some other manner. It really did feel like, “Well, we have to finish this series somehow…” and the hand of god descends to fix the plot.

  • Anonymous

    there was a lot of mormon stuff in the series. quite a few of the speeches sounded exactly like how mormons talk about god. a lot of Moore’s on religious beliefs bled through into the writing. i don’t think that saying, “god did it” is a copout if anyone was actually paying attention to what was being said throughout the series.

  • Anonymous

    I figure Starbuck’s dad is one of those Beings of Light advanced lifeforms from the original series, making her half-being of light. Didn’t Leoben say she was bathed in light or something, at some point. It was all Daddy’s plan, apparently he goes to civilizations and teaches someone Watchtower to set events into motion. And he doesn’t like being referred to as God, or Robert Zimmerman for that matter, because he’s got a perfectly good stage name worked out.

  • Lup Lun

    Most of the fans I know had the same or similar reaction. Personally, I thought the conclusion was fine, because by that point in the series I was more interested in the individual character stories than the grand narrative. And on that note, the episode delivered in spades; all the characters (except maybe Starbuck) got an appropriate conclusion to their journeys. As far as the larger picture… it was kind of obvious that the end result was always going to be “The Cylon God Did It”; it had been foreshadowed since the beginning. The annoying part is that we never found out WHY he did it. They may have intended that to be explained in Caprica, but then that show crashed into the realities of the cable TV business and burned to the ground, so… yeah.

    The whole “abandoning are technology” thing was, admittedly, badly sold to the audience, but it makes perfect sense when you think about it. Technology requires a manufacturing infrastructure, and it requires an educated population. Say they decided to strip down their fleet and move everything they could planetside. Fine, but then what happens when that stuff get old and breaks? Coddle can prescribe drugs, but he can’t manufacture them. Tyrol could keep a nuclear reactor going, but not forever, and once that reactor breathes its last he can’t build a new one from scratch. Returning to agrarian living was inevitable; doing it now rather than holding on and riding that decaying tech into the ground is a way of taking their destiny into their own hands.

  • debijl

    I loved BSG. Maybe the ending was a mess, but I like seeing a show that aims high, even if it sometimes misses. I was interested in the characters and their struggles. I survived countless LONG hiatuses. I shipped Bill/Laura big time. Baltar cracked me up. It was a great ride.
    That being said, THE PLAN and Blood and Chrome were completely forgettable.
    I have loved revisiting this great series thru your eyes and will miss your recaps.

  • Vic Horsham

    One thing that pissed me off about the ending is, it’s clearly supposed to be a happy ending. The implication is that they succeeded, that our Mitochondrial Eve and her extended family helped usher in new humanity, and used their knowledge to push forward our cultural evolution.

    Except. Mitochondrial Eve lived somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago. And the first recorded use of agriculture was around 12,000 years ago. And stone tool use continued until around 6000 years ago.

    Which means none of the adults lived long enough to impart their knowledge onto the next generation, or had any more children with noticeably greater IQs or evolved brains than the already-present population on the planet.

    So it’s actually a really tragic ending, with them abandoning technology and promptly dying out from disease, injuries, eating the wrong foods and starvation and exposure. And Hera’s big contribution to our future ended up being… well, living long enough to reproduce a whole bunch. But not with the people who raised her.

  • Anonymous

    A while back, I reading something, I can’t remember if it was Ronald Moore or another producer, but it mentioned that Helo was never supposed to come back to the show after he offered his spot on the raptor to baltar. they liked his sacrifice so they kept him going and had him running around for a few episodes without a real plan. it was only then that they decided that the cylons wanted the dna and the possibilty of love to make a baby, which really didn’t make sense because it would have been way easier for the cylons to just hang out on the planet and make that happen instead of blowing it up first.

  • Anonymous

    in other words, i don’t think they started with a plan since that played to such a large part of the story after that..

  • Joni

    I hated the ending and really did feel like “god did it” was a complete copout. I so wanted to punch Ron Moore in his face when it showed up during that scene in Times Square.

    Then I read about his little epiphany and hated it more. http://www.tvguide.com/news/battlestar-galacticas-ron-1004256.aspx

  • Joni

    I have enjoyed your recaps. You have had many of the same reactions I did when I watched it, so it’s been fun and funny to read along. I have been dreading this recap in a way, because of how much it soured me and I was sad that you might be in for that as well.

  • http://anibundel.wordpress.com/ anibundel

    The use of the Tyra quote sums up the finale far more succinctly than most.

  • Erin Macdonald

    Yep, had the same reaction… Fantastic show, horrible ending. I felt soooo bad reading your reviews knowing the disappointment you would inevitably encounter. It’s been fun reliving BSG through your eyes… I keep wanting to re-watch it (I had to rewatch it when my partner had never seen it… but never again) and I get to mid-season 3 and remember that it all ends in the poo-poo palace and the ending is terrible. Sad times. Anyway, it’s been fun though. Thanks for all the laughs!

  • Anonymous

    All of the people yelling about “God did it,” completely and utterly fooled themselves while watching this show.

    Because BSG never lied to you once, not once about what it was.

    YOU just didn’t want there to be a sci-fi show that acknowledged a divine presence or higher power or advanced life form or what have you.

    People’s reactions to BSG’s allowance for the idea of God, or Gods, and Angels and other such things of a divine nature say much more about your own personal baggage than what actually transpired in the show.

    Let’s forget, for instance, that the show has ALWAYS had and shown a higher power at work, from the beginning of the mini-series.

    Let me take you back to Home, Part 2 in the second season.

    Baltar finally figures out that Head Six cannot be a figment of his imagination, nor can she be a Cylon chip. She knows far more than he does, and far more than the Cylons do, about the events that have transpired and will transpire.

    So he asks her, point blank, what she is.

    And what is her response?

    “I am an ANGEL OF GOD sent to protect you.”

    And he replies, “To what end.”

    And she replies, “To the end of the human race.”

    Seriously people, what part of this did you not understand? The show never lied to you, never tricked you, never did anything to fool you into thinking it was anything but what it always was.

    Your reaction to what it is is about YOU. You want your sci-fi to be boring and not really try to delve into the deeper questions of humanity and the nature of our lives and the nature of the violence in our souls? Go watch Star Trek The Next Generation, which told us we’re here because extra-galactic aliens seeded our galaxy with DNA.

    People yelling “God did it,” were not paying attention, and also, you’re not even factually right.

    God didn’t “do it.” Like Six explained at the very end, this was a complex equation set in motion where the moving parts decide the outcome. Is the higher power, or God, or divine being, or advanced life form trying to get humanity to see the error of their ways and stop the cycle of violence that they trap themselves in over and over again (all of this has happened before…)? Yes. But in the end, humanity always has the choice. God didn’t “do it.” The characters did it. The show is about these characters finally breaking free from humanity’s collective need to screw everything up.

    Sigh.

    I loved reading these reviews, Rebecca, and it breaks my heart that you can’t see the beauty of this show in its finale.

    God didn’t “do it.” The characters did. It’s all beautiful analogy to the idea that if there is a God out there, and that God does have a plan for us, it’s still up to us whether we see it through or whether we screw it up.

    I’m a historian. I may not work in the field, but it’s what my degree is in, and I can tell you the idea of a cycle of time is real. We continue, as human beings, to make the same mistakes over and over and over again. This show beautiful shows these characters doing everything they can to fight against their natural urges to screw everything up and perpetuate the violence that mars our race and to be better.

    As far as answering questions, the show answered many, many questions. I know RDM says the Kara that came back was an angel, but really, if you you look at it, she was much more than an angel. Kara was Jesus. Imagine that, for a site like The Mary Sue. An empowered female as Christ, as humanity’s savior.

    She suffered. She died. She was resurrected, body and soul (as was Jesus, not not at all like Head Six and Head Baltar who were angels). Like Jesus, she delivered humanity to their reward.

    And speaking of that reward, you’re confused about many things.

    First of all, go back and look at the first Earth. You never saw the continents. You never saw anything. You’re confusing that Earth with our Earth, which we first saw at the end of season 3, and then in Daybreak Part 3.

    The continents were not the same. They were different. It’s a completely different planet. The first clue goes all the way back to, again, Home Part 2. At no time can you see all 12 of those constellations appearing in the night sky at the same time on our Earth, which is the planet to which the song delivered them. On the first Earth, you could. That’s your first, best clue that the home of the 13th Tribe was never our Earth.

    Never once, people, did this show try to convince you it was something it wasn’t.

    Sigh.

    People… you just refused to see the show for what it always was. And that’s your own baggage, not the show’s.

    It’s a you problem.

    I don’t care what you personally believe about God or higher powers or advanced beings, but the show is the show. And if you can’t accept the narrative, which it never once tried to hide, simply because perhaps you don’t believe in any of that, then, well. again, that’s on you.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, this kind of ending is what made me the jaded viewer I am today. Though I wasn’t surprised when it happened because I’d seen it happen before (The Pretender), it only reinforced my conviction that show runners rarely have any idea what they’re doing, with rare exceptions like J. Michael Straczynski, and that when a show says to the viewer, “Ooh, isn’t this mysterious? Don’t you want to know what it means?”, that you should run for the hills because you’re being set up for disappointment.

    The writers lied in earlier interviews, saying they had a plan, and later admitted they didn’t.

    Also, the story is basically a Mormon indoctrination course masquerading as a soap opera masquerading as gritty sci-fi. But hey, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Personally I prescribe watching Babylon 5 as an antidote.

  • Gouka

    Oh, and giving a gold star for effort to Gaius…. I couldn’t stop laughing. :D

  • Rijacki

    I have greatly enjoyed your recaps. They’ve been my weekly “gotta read this” and the week’s you skipped (for 100% legit reasons) were disappointing, sad weeks. Thank you for entertaining us so well. I think I had blocked out all of the things about the show I disliked and just remembered more vividly the parts I liked. It was refreshing to go back through them all, bad and good. I kinda hope you’ll continue the review into the 1 season series Caprica after you finish the others.

  • Vic Horsham

    I’ve got no issue with religion getting into sci fi. It could be awesome! It could be full of fascinating questions and perspectives and open up whole new ways of looking at stuff!

    But that’s not what we got.

    It wasn’t the existence of the religious stuff that pissed me off. It was the use of that religious stuff as a cop-out to avoid answering any questions. Questions the show spent multiple seasons building up, tempting us with, making us want to solve, encouraging us to keep watching out of hope for answers.

    And then the answer was “god did it”. Not “God did it, and this is how” or “God did it, and this is why” or even “God did it, and by the way X, Y and Z happened because A, B and C, isn’t that interesting?”.

    Just “God did it”. There, we’re done. What, you wanted answers? Questioning truth is evil! Have faith! Why do you need to understand when “god did it” is all the truth you should need?

    That’s like a kick in the face at everything sci fi is supposed to be about.

  • Anonymous

    What answers did you want, specifically?

    And again, “God did it,” is not acceptable because nowhere did God “do it.”

    The characters did it. Seriously take a moment, and explain what answers do you want that the show didn’t supply.

    Now, before you do, I will allow, as RDM has, that no, not every set-up was given a final answer. But I would like to know, specifically, what answers did you want to know.

    I may be able to help. :-)

  • Dave

    You’re not wrong; a bunch of episodes had PreviousLIES, which were roundly mocked/reviled whenever they showed up.

  • Vic Horsham

    It’s been a while since I watched the show but, off the top of my head, here’s some things I’d have liked answers to.

    1- What actually happened to Starbucks when she died/disappeared/reappeared in a new plane? We see the crashed remains of her old plane on this new planet, and are told that means she really died there but. Well, how? Why? How did crashing in a vortex on another planet result in her death there? Is this crash how she became the angel/jesus/unspecified spirity thing, or was that something she always was? (I think this is also a big point in favour of people upset that “god did it” seems to be the ending – you say god didn’t do it, people did, but god clearly manually transported Starbucks’ crashing plane halfway across the galaxy in an instant, allowing her to die on the new earth, only for her clone/reincarnation/spirit/angelavatar/unspecified woowooself to reappear with the fleet later – kind of a big Hand of God moment right there)

    2- The wonderful little anachronistic Watchtower song. The notes of which were repeated by Hera, turning out to hide the coordinates to this new earth. Complete deus ex machina with no explanation. Because that song was supposed to have originally been written by Anders, back on Cylon Earth, who had no idea this new planet even existed because, when he wrote the song, he thought he was just a normal person like all the other cylons-who-reproduce on that planet. How and why did the notes from that song just happen to translate into coordinates for a perfect new earth for the cast to live on?

    3- The new earth. Here we have a planet seemingly made for them, completely absent from all their mythology. So we have the original earth, a fabled mythological home of the 13th colony, the land to which they are destined to travel to make their new home, and every hidden secret, every bit of information they find points them to that planet. So they find it, and it’s a smoking wreck. Cool, interesting, unexpected and ripe for plotification and exploration. And out of nowhere we have a completely different earth that has sentient human-like creatures on that are genetically compatible with the cast that popped up at the absolute last minute and was found through a song written by someone who had no way of knowing it even existed. Another deus ex machina, since those coordinates had to get embedded into the song somehow, and given the goddy godness of the ending and indeed the whole show, “coincidence” is not an acceptable answer. So does that mean this mysterious god made this planet for them? Hoped that they’d find it? Intended for them to find it all along and yet gave them only one – admittedly persistent but incredibly opaque – clue in a sea of dozens of clues leading them somewhere completely different?

    4- Where did the proto-humans on the new earth come from? So far, every human or cylon civilisation – past and present – we’ve encountered have been ancestors or peers of the cast. The thirteenth colony, part of the original thirteen from a single planet that, we now know, may itself have been a colony resulting from a similar disaster. All of this points to a very ancient original home for humans and cylons, far farther back than any of their mythology supposes. And somehow during all of that, we have these proto-humans either failing to evolve or develop in the millions of years that those repeats occurred over… or possibly were originally more advanced and somehow lost it all and reverted to their new, more primitive, state, or somehow evolved completely independently? Their existence opens so many questions.

    When I first watched the show I had loads more questions, but that’s all I could think of off the top of my head, :)

  • Dave

    I’m with you on the disappointing ending. Some thoughts:

    – Given that RDM worked on Star Trek for, like, forever, I cannot forgive him for literally invoking the question “What does God need with a starship?”

    – Much as I love Bob Dylan, I’m pretty sure his music is not actually divine.

    – I question any quality attempt at sci-fi sharing the same plot twists as Pumaman.

    – The fleet once rebelled because they didn’t have COFFEE. There is no way they’d give up all their science and technology!

    – One of the reasons I loved BSG so much when I first started watching was because everyone had such interesting and compelling relationships with everyone else. But according to the finale, the only ones that count are your romantic ones, so Adama is alone because he lost Roslin, Lee is alone because Starbuck disappeared, Helo has Athena and Hera so clearly he won’t mind that he doesn’t get to say goodbye to his best friend, the Chief is alone because Boomer and Cally are dead and Nicky isn’t actually his son so CLEARLY they can’t be a family because they’re not related, and Tigh and Ellen go off for a happily ever after because their relationship is ~so healthy~ and love will be enough to get them through, despite the fact that Ellen spent an entire episode shouting that Tigh’s soulmate was Adama. Ok, I understand why the Chief might want to be a Scottish hermit, BUT WHY THE HELL CAN’T EVERYONE ELSE BE NEIGHBORS? I GUESS THE BEST IDEA WHEN SETTLING A NEW PLANET IS TO ABANDON YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY IF YOU CAN’T MANAGE TO HOLD ON TO YOUR TWU WUV.

    …that got away from me a bit.

    – But really, my biggest problem is that, going by all of this, BSG contradicted and/or rendered moot what seemed to be its message: you have to take responsibility for your actions. Adama first stated it in the miniseries, and since then, it’s been the basis of the Fleet’s struggle to prove they are worthy for survival and maintain their humanity and the Cylons’ realization that they have to hold themselves to the same standards to which they held the humans, and it finally came out that the answer to “All this has happened before” CAN be “But it doesn’t have to happen again”: everyone has the power to learn from
    their mistakes and make different decisions. But the bad Cylons kill themselves rather than figure out a way to survive without resurrection, the rebel Cylons and humans just get rid of their tech so it’s some future generation’s problem, and it turns out God was directly interfering the entire time. Instead of keeping a message that’s applicable today and in the future, like the best sci fi, we’re
    presented, in the very last scene of Battlestar Galactica EVER, with the moral that you shouldn’t build killer robots or God will smite you.

    And that really sucks.

  • Grimmtooth

    I almost wept as I read your recaps early on, as you formulated one hopeful theory after another, knowing how thoroughly you were going to be betrayed. The end was bitter indeed, and I share your loathing of “God did it!” We were told, at the beginning, that THEY HAD A PLAN. Chekov’s gun, folks – don’t put the PLAN on the table without actually USING it. The end failed to live up to the beginning’s promise.

    Well. It’s over now. Get plastered, put a metaphorical gun to your head, and say OH, FRAK IT! Cavil had that part right. “Get me out of here!”

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Wow, that’s an extremely long and condescending way to say, “I disagree.”

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    Any plans to watch Caprica?

  • http://www.according2robyn.blogspot.com/ According2Robyn

    Seconded. I almost wanted to sneak a spoiler to Rebecca by parachute, like that activist in The Truman Show.

  • EleniRPG

    I wasn’t bothered by the fact that there were two Earths. The original Earth was the thirteenth colony, Cylon Earth that was ruined. When they found our planet, they named it “Earth” because that was the name of the planet they’d been searching for since the start of the series, so it had a nice symbolic meaning. I don’t think it was implied that the Cylon Earth had any relation to the planet they found at the end of the show…unless I missed something, and the continents were supposed to look the same. It was just another habitable planet, like New Caprica…but nicer :)

    And I wouldn’t say that it’s implied the higher being(s) planned the whole thing, including the Cylon attack on the 12 Colonies. Humanity and Cylon-ity had already set up the destruction, and the manipulations of the higher being were what gave humans (and Cylons) yet another chance to get it right on Earth 2.0. The higher being might have chosen a path that wasn’t so confusing and tortuous, but I guess he/she/they can make us work for it if he/she/they so desire(s). The opera house may not have been a guide so much as a prophesy…I don’t know if it was helpful to any of the characters involved, but it was “right.” I agree that they could have done a better job in finishing the show, but still I was satisfied. Unlike with Lost >:-(

    Thanks for all these recaps, they were fun to read! When I rewatched the series with my boyfriend, I got some vicarious pleasure as he watched it all for the first time. This was like that again. It was fun waiting for you to find out what happened to Ellen, but also sad as you continued to root for Gaeta. *Sob.* Looking forward to your last recap, but really this is where it all ended.

  • Supermorff

    Thank you so much for these newbie recaps. They have been fantastic.

  • http://www.according2robyn.blogspot.com/ According2Robyn

    YOU PEOPLE LACK THE VISION TO APPRECIATE TRUE ART. YOUR OPINIONS ARE WRONG.

    PLEASE CEASE HAVING THOSE OPINIONS IMMEDIATELY.

  • http://www.according2robyn.blogspot.com/ According2Robyn

    You’re just jealous because you’re not as sophisticated as Matt.

  • Besomyka

    Yup, this was pretty much my reaction. I think I was most disappointed with how they treated Kara Thrace. The way she died, the strange hybrid of head angel and real person, never made any sense to me and really seemed to do the character an injustice.

    I was offended mostly because the ending seems to be personal attack on the fans. One of the best parts is that the show was so interesting that we couldn’t help but speculate about what was ‘really’ going on. Everyone had their theories. I think we all expected that the truth, such that it would be, is probably none of it, or perhaps some part of this and that might be right.

    The last episode, however, just told us: you are all wrong, and you can never know because there *is no answer*.

    If this were a single 2 hour movie and that was the quasi-religious point… well, okay. I’d be disappointed because it seems like an intellectual cop-out to me, but whatever. This was, however, a several year endeavor in which the popularity was in large part based to there being a sort of internal coherence to the story.

    But that coherence isn’t anything that we can ever know, because it’s ineffable.

    *sigh*

    Thank you, though, for the reviews. It’s let me see the characters I loved for the first time again!

  • Nigel Bradley

    I loved BSG. I did, however, HATE the finale. They did better in the sequel series Caprica, in my opinion with mixing science and religion.

  • Guymelef

    Actually, the Gaeta/Hoshi and Gaeta/Sharon stuff were shown in the 10-part webisode series ‘The Face of the Enemy’ that was released online during the mid-season 4 break. I thought it was very good and really shed some light on Gaeta’s later actions, so it’s a pity that it was left out of the regular episode broadcasts.

  • Guymelef

    Actually, the Gaeta/Hoshi and Gaeta/Sharon stuff were shown in the 10-part webisode series ‘The Face of the Enemy’ that was released online during the mid-season 4 break. I thought it was very good and really shed some light on Gaeta’s later actions, so it’s a pity that it was left out of the regular episode broadcasts.

  • Guymelef

    Man, you must have been confused! Even with the ‘previously on…’. I’d have been like, ‘what the hell kind of place is this to start a TV show?’

  • Guymelef

    Man, you must have been confused! Even with the ‘previously on…’. I’d have been like, ‘what the hell kind of place is this to start a TV show?’

  • Troy Lenze

    I’ll be the voice in the wilderness and say I think the ending fits perfectly. One of the big mantras throughout the show is “This has all happened before. It will all happen again.” I completely expected the end of this show to be some kind of reboot.

    Also throughout the entire show, Head Six was telling Baltar she worked for God. (And he did too, for that matter.) Sometime in season 2, when things didn’t seem to be making sense to me, I decided to believe her. Then things started falling into place nicely from then on.

    I found it refreshing that a show wasn’t obfuscating or lying to me. It stated the shape of things from pretty much the beginning. Kara Thrace is dead. Head Six is an angel of God. This will happen again. (And it will keep happening until humanity can figure out how to use its technology responsibly instead of engineering their own downfall over and over.)

  • Pink Apocalypse

    Hey!

    I am a BSG virgin (but classic BSG watcher as a kid), who has been waiting, because my plan is to watch *everything* in chronological order – Caprica, the webisodes, the specials, everything.

    I’ve been avoiding these recaps (and it hasn’t been easy), but now that they’re over (and apparently the end wasn’t well-received for some reason I’m avoiding), I have to ask Jill – did you watch everything outside BSG also? Any vague viewing advice before I start this endeavor?

  • Mark Matson

    And now you have to newby-recap Caprica. GO!

  • Mark Matson

    I watched the series a second time. One thing I found cool was Head Caprica told Baltar she was an angel. I think it might even been the first explanation she gave.

    Although I liked the ending more than most, I would have liked some strong reference to the notion that God was real in a reality/sci-fi sort of way, like having the Head Two materializing before some giant computer or something and saying “it is done”.

    BTW, there were angels in the original BSG as well.

  • Mark Matson

    Actually, history is full of technology going back and forward. Depressing, but true. It is perfectly reasonable for farming to have existed 150,000 years ago but disappearing without notice of modern archaeologists. Depressing, perhaps, but reasonable.

    IQs wouldn’t be higher. Our intelligence hasn’t gone up biologically for quite some time. (Yes, we do better on IQ tests now than 100 years ago, but that is due to environment, not genetics.)

  • Stealthfire

    Fun bit: on the show’s TVTropes page, the first line is the title card from the show–”"The Cylons were created by man. They rebelled. They evolved. They look – and feel – human. Some are programmed to believe they are human. There are many copies. And they have a plan.” It tends to get reverted, but someone keeps linking “they have a plan” to the site’s “Blatant Lies” page.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t hate the ending and honestly wasn’t that bothered by it. One of the first things Head Six tells Baltar in the series proper is that she is an angel. Sure, a good chunk of the end comes complete the FRAK out of nowhere, but the religious aspect was there from the start.

    Now in regards to “THE PLAN”, it was Cavil’s and he explains it in good detail. He mind whipped the Final Five, placed them in the Twelve Colonies, then nuked the Colonies. His “plan” was for them to witness this, see that humanity was a vile, corrupt, and worthless thing and so come crawling back to him begging for forgiveness. In simple terms, he wants them to admit they were wrong and he sets up everything in the series to prove his point. He’s an angry child who’s acting out. He explains his motives to Ellen in detail. He is mad the Final Five “cursed” their children with “mortal” bodies instead of that of God-like AI robots.

    So yeah…it takes a bit of digging to find “The PLAN” and “THE PLAN(!!!)” is a bit petty, but there was one.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve hung back till now, but really? Way to demonstrate EXACTLY what you’re accusing Matt of. (also, please stop shouting, even to make your clever point.) How is explaining, quite clearly, his take on the show condescending? Is it because he put “*sigh*” in his comments a couple of times? I guess Rebecca is super-condescending then, because she made side comments (very funny ones, I thought) in EVERY recap.
    Short version of my comment: “Methinks the lady (sic) doth protest too much.”

  • Anonymous

    Real tears for Gaeta, man. Real tears! He was a gangsta with a capital G and even though it’s been like two years since I Netflixed the whole show like you, I’m still upset over how he went out.

    I was also majorly confused by the ending like everyone in the world. I spent a couple days analyzing it in my head and then reading others analyses (analysi?). My conspiracy theory now is that it’s not so much of a reliance upon ‘God did it!’ The ending of the show is literal deus ex machina. And when I think of it in terms of Greek drama and whatnot, it aligns perfectly with all the Greek themes, Greek names, Greek symbolism that we get over and over again in this show. PLUS – God literally descending upon the stage to save BSG from itself? C’mon, now. You can’t tell me that’s not a perfect ending when you think of all the ways the writers fucked up that excellent first season with an ending like this.

  • Vic Horsham

    True, but the notion of technology moving forward and backward being normal kind of just proves my point. What purpose, what difference did it make, for them to land on that planet? How is a failed, temporary advancement in technology so far back in history that it’s impact is non-existent in any way worthy of an engineered destiny that wiped out the entire civilisation of a dozen planets? What grand plan – that apparently remained relevant in the now if the very ending scene is to be believed – could possibly be impacted on by a brief spark that just gets snuffed out leaving nothing – not even cave paintings or seed evidence in soil layers – to suggest it ever existed?

    It all points to their impact on New Earth as being negligible, beyond the DNA contributed by Hera, and we saw nothing to indicate that this changed anything.

    Intelligence might not have increased biologically for some time, but we’re talking 100,000-200,000 years here. From what I recall, in the episode they talked about the pre-existing population of the planet as being proto-humans, which would suggest they were distinct from humans. Besides which, if Hera’s DNA didn’t contribute to an increase in intelligence, what did it do? Anything at all? Nothing that’s seen in the episode.

    The implication based on everything the characters said in the show is that we’re supposed to take their settlement of Earth as the dawn of civilisation, with Hera as a mitochondrial Eve and the adults around her as, essentially, the “ancient aliens” bringing knowledge and civilisation to the masses. But that only works if you assume the audience watching the show has no idea what a mitochondrial eve is, or has any concept of the scope of human history. It just reads like the writers picked a couple of archaeological terms that sounded good but didn’t even do so much as read the wikipedia entry for them before deciding they were good to go. Which is profoundly disappointing for an ending.

    ***

    How you coming along on those questions I asked above? :D Keen to hear your answers to them.

  • Temmere

    “Why did Hera survive when other Cylon babies and hybrid attempts did not?”

    And his answer is basically, “Psh, got me, man.” Good lord.

  • Temmere

    “And Hera’s big contribution to our future ended up being… well, living long enough to reproduce a whole bunch.”

    But not TOO long; the ending segment clearly states that the remains they discovered were of a “young” person. I guess maybe they were worried we wouldn’t make the connection to Hera without that, but that she lived only long enough to reproduce a few times and then died (quite possibly in childbirth) pisses all over the “happy ending” they supposedly crafted (in addition to the points you raise).

  • Michael Jude Peter Barnes

    Thanks so much for these recaps, they have helped me vicariously re-live the experience I had when I first watched the series. Your recaps were a highlight of my Internet reading each time.

    When you were recapping the hard breaking discovery of the destroyed earth, your anguish over Getta, our universal love of the magnificent bastard Col Thigh I was there.

    And I am one hundred percent with you on the ultimate suckage of the ending. I have bought every series of BSG but even a big a compeletist as I I have not bought the last season, couldn’t do it.

    For another excellent complaint about how the series ended might I direct you to http://ideas.4brad.com/battlestar/battlestars-daybreak-worst-ending-history-screen-science-fiction

  • Anonymous

    there were plenty of moments throughout the series where “god did it,” like baltar’s initial release from jail… seriously, it would be difficult to find a 10 minute stretch in this series where some character wasn’t telling you about what god wanted. there are so many examples of this throughout that that they probably just could have called this Deus Ex Machina: The Series.

  • Anonymous

    I think they may have bypassed the tru sci fi concept by actually making a god. This was still good entertainment, but I would have liked to see a series where humans create machines, they gain sentience, learn about god and take human’s belief and history with one to be literal. Kind of like robots enforcing sharia law but without any actual convictions. Only doing it because they mistake religion for truth since humans believed it and had an inability to interpret outside of a literal sense.

  • Sarah Eisenstein

    The ending pissed me off so much, for many reasons. Even putting aside the utter laziness of the “God did it” cop-out, the last episode was a thematic betrayal of the entire show: The entire theme of the show is survival–but survival doesn’t just mean not dying. As the show reminds us again and again, survival means staying yourself: Keeping your ideals and ideas even when you lose everything else and protecting the people who make survival worthwhile. That’s why we get as many episodes about politics and such as we do about scarce supplies and it’s why we spend so much time focusing on interpersonal relationships. Because that’s what the show’s about.
    So what happens in the last episode? The last chance the show has to enforce or interact with this theme?

    The characters abandon their technology and society entirely and the four main characters, the ones who, messed up as things have gotten, have ultimately been the family at the center of the show, are scattered to the wind.

    It’s not just space travel they give up; every indication is that they’re abandoning technology completely, which makes maintaining their previous way of life entirely. There is no way they’ll be able to keep or enforce their way of life or ideals. Their society is gone. Completely.

    Meanwhile, Laura is dead, but what about the others? If they needed a bit of time alone, fine. But we’re told that Lee never expects to see his father again: Bill has just abandoned the only family he has left, permanently. Then Kara blinks out of existence, without even an attempt at an explanation, and Lee is totally alone.

    And all of this, the characters do voluntarily.

    In short, we’ve spent four years watching as these characters refuse to allow the Cylons to destroy them, only to watch them destroy themselves.

    And maybe, /maybe/ I could accept it if that was the point, be the show presents this as a happy ending, or at least bittersweet, and I just can’t get behind that.

  • Anonymous

    I just want to say that these recaps have been the best thing on the internet and I will miss them *so* much. Also please do Caprica after The Plan and Blood and Chrome. Are there any other series you haven’t seen yet? :)

  • Patricia Frost

    When I saw the blurb on Tumblr I knew you felt the way I did when it was done.

  • Anonymous

    Okay the series finale was a mess. I remember the Starbuck disappearing scene happening and just staring in disbelief thinking “The frak…?”

    However, I’m also a little forgiving of the final season, because RDM had to deal with the writers strike. I’m not positive but I seem to recall a commentary podcast or something where finding Earth all nuked out was the end he envisioned for the series, but when the strike happened and he didn’t know if the second half of the season would actually get made, he put that ending mid-season and then they had to finish out the series after the strike. If you look at it, there is a very definite difference in quality and lucid storytelling between the first and second half. I think had he not had to deal with the strike the series would have ended not with a happy ending but with that slug to the belly. And while that would have pissed me off, it wouldn’t have pissed me off as much as disappearing Starbuck and her Amazing Angel Army of…ah frak it…

  • http://www.according2robyn.blogspot.com/ According2Robyn

    Is it because he put “*sigh*” in his comments a couple of times?

    No, it’s because it’s one long stream of self-importance and smug superiority twisted into the vague shape of artistic analysis. It’s poseurism at its very worst: an outright denial of the legitimacy of another viewer’s experience of a work of art, thinly justified by the poseur’s claim to understand the work on a deeper level than the Philistines around him. It’s answering, “I didn’t like this” with “You’re wrong,” stretched to a thousand words. It’s smarmy, irritating, and presented in a tone of antagonistic Manichaeism that robs it of whatever small value it might have otherwise had as part of a debate.

    And because he put *sigh* in his comments a couple of times.

  • Jesper

    Yeah, the God thing didn’t bother me much either. I honestly can’t imagine any other ending that would explain all the obvious “Acts of God” that have occurred throughout the show. Of course there was some kind of supernatural force behind that. Nothing else would have made sense considering the rest of the show. Of course a big plot twist would have been great, but I can’t see how it would work.

    So the God part is, if not a great, then a serviceable ending. It gets the job done. I do wish they’d been less hamfisted about it. Did we *really* need to hear Head Six go “you know it doesn’t like the name “God”?”

    And I would have liked to see how it fit in with the Lords of Kobol gods as well.

    Overall, the God thing could have been delivered better, but yeah, it got the job done, I thought.

  • Jesper

    Eh, I agree that the fact that God pulled the strings shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s seen the rest of the show. I disagree that there was anything particularly deep or “beautiful” about the ending. It got the job done IMO, but for the most part, it was a pretty muddled and forgettable ending.

    For my part, I didn’t hate the ending. I just didn’t think it was very good either. It was ok, in a kind of unimaginative way.

    On a side note, I hadn’t thought of the Starbuck/Jesus analogy before. I’ll admit, that is pretty cool. :)

  • Jesper

    In fairness, that is an extremely short and condescending way to say “I don’t care”. (Well, I guess it’s not extremely short, since “I don’t care” would actually have been shorter. But… Oh well)

    Can’t we all just be friends!? :)

  • Jesper

    I’ve thought the same about the whole “abandoning our technology” thing, but came to the exact opposite conclusion. Their technology was going to fall apart anyway. So the writers had a perfect explanation for why the BSG crew eventually “lost” their technology. They didn’t need to go with contrived “suddenly, everyone decided that it would be better in the future to eat their dinner raw and live in trees”. They could have gone for the obvious explanation, and still gotten the same long-term outcome: “they used what technology they had left until it fell apart, but were eventually forced to do without it”.

  • Mark Matson

    Because it is Cylon mtDNA!

    (Ok, I’ve got nothing.)

  • Jake Mertz

    There’s this thing called memory, and it can work in strange and mysterious ways. Like, for instance, while watching a TV show, one can love it while it is one, but, then one can hate it, because of the last episode, and how it sours the memories of the show as a whole. Which makes me glad I never much got into the new BSG, considering how it ended.

  • Matthew McLaughlin

    I too will stand up and say I liked the finale. Not only did I like it, but I found it fitting. The show had long been full of supernatural/religious/theological themes, which is one of the reasons I fell in love with it.

    I’ve often wondered if the majority of people who found God (or something like Him) to be a cheap way out for show are people who also find Him a cheap way out for explaining reality, while those who don’t (the spiritual or religious) make up the majority of people who liked it. Another possibility is people who are spiritual and religious are used to accepting unanswered questions when it comes to God, while those who are not are not used to it and wanted Him explained in greater detail.

    Thoughts?

  • Rebecca Pahle

    “I question any quality attempt at sci-fi sharing the same plot twists asPumaman.”

    And no one even had the power to rear project major cities. :(

    The thing with Nicky rubbed me the wrong way a bit too. Clearly Tyrol has his own emotional/mental shit going on, but… Nicky WAS his son. Not biologically, but he RAISED him. Cally clearly wanted Tyrol to be in his life as a father figure. And then it comes out that Hot Dog is the baby-daddy and the “father” part of Tyrol’s character completely disappears.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Thank you! I heard there might be a split second of young Tigh in Blood and Chrome, so I’m looking forward to that.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    I plan to watch eventually; I won’t be recapping here, but I might be on my personal site (cinefeels.com). But if that happens it’ll be a while. Frankly, recaps are intensive and I need a break.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Thank you! Haven’t decided what I’m gonna do with Caprica yet. I plan on watching it, definitely, but if I recap it’ll probably be at my personal site (cinefeels.com). If I do it i’ll be a while before it happen—frankly, I need a break from recapping. I need to find a show that I can watch without having to take notes!

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Re: Your religion/audience question… definitely possible. Personally, I’m an atheist, so when I’m told—by a person, church, TV show, whatever—that “God did it” my instinctual response, on some level, is “I don’t buy it.” I’m sure that influenced how I watched BSG. Individual preferences/beliefs absolutely impact how people appreciate things. I love it—it means there’s no one right way to watch something, because we’re all coming at it from different places.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Gaeta tried so hard! He thought he was doing the right thing! And the poor guy was just ALWAYS FUCKING UP! Never gonna get over it.

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    That’s cool. I’ll bookmark your site and look for it. :)

  • Matthew McLaughlin

    Thanks for the reply and for taking the time to write about your viewing experience!

  • Anonymous

    The finale also angered me. One of the reasons you didn’t already mentionned is the decision of every main character to go on an exile (with their significant other if they had one). The show seemed content to have a happy romantic ending for its characters and forgot that other types of relationships, like friendship or family (Adamas), were also important. As a result, many out of character moments for a series that had very few.

  • https://plus.google.com/108831586029632971053 Franck P. Rabeson

    Another thing I heard is that he actually meant Scotland. So he technically becomes a Scot. Scotty. Engineer. Subtle.

  • https://plus.google.com/108831586029632971053 Franck P. Rabeson

    Another thing I heard is that he actually meant Scotland. So he technically becomes a Scot. Scotty. Engineer. Subtle.

  • https://plus.google.com/108831586029632971053 Franck P. Rabeson

    I’m surprised you actually didn’t remark upon the Adama obsession with ramming enemies with giant phallic-looking ships. I mean, come on… ;-)

  • https://plus.google.com/108831586029632971053 Franck P. Rabeson

    I’m surprised you actually didn’t remark upon the Adama obsession with ramming enemies with giant phallic-looking ships. I mean, come on… ;-)

  • Fred Beukema

    For what it’s worth, regarding your “two Earths” question: the nuked Earth was never meant to be our Earth. We never see enough of it from space to identify continents. There’s the shot in the Season 3 finale that shows an identifiable Earth, but there’s no indication that *that* Earth was the nuked-out one they found.

    Doesn’t mitigate the larger issues of the finale…

  • Vic Horsham

    Oh yeah I forgot about that bit!

    I remember really loving the apparent reveal that our Earth is really a Cylon planet, with us (as we are now) being utterly wiped out at some point in the future. It was so brutal.

  • Vic Horsham

    Interesting question!

    I’m not an atheist, but my faith isn’t one of the big global ones either, and my religion is also largely gone, so a lot of work is required to research and read up on scholarly theories and surviving mythology to try and use logic and reason and your own inner heart to find your own possible version of stuff, rather than having a single holy book present a single Truth.

    So between that and my love of science in general, it’s possible my feelings there influence my reaction to the ending. But mostly, I just found it bad, lazy writing. Like I said below – it’s only a happy ending if you’ve never even googled the wikipedia page for “mitochondrial eve”, or have any idea of the scope of human history and development. Which made it clear to me that the writers ended it by throwing up science terms they hadn’t even bothered to do that little research into.

  • Anonymous

    Personally, I can’t stand the ending. It’s even more disappointing to me than the Lost ending, and that’s because it had further to fall.

    This (rather long) article basically says all my feels much better than I could, so I’m just gonna link to it! http://ideas.4brad.com/battlestar/battlestars-daybreak-worst-ending-history-screen-science-fiction

  • Matthew Jent

    Your recaps were a lot of fun — I found them in the fall after I decided to start my own BSG re-watch. I lurrrve the finale, even moreso seeing the series leading up to it and knowing how it all ends.

    “God did it” doesn’t even bother me in this case. Head Six says as early as season 2 that she’s an angel sent to Baltar, it’s just that a lot of folks watching the show didn’t *want* magic (essentially) to be the reason behind these mysterious events.

    And personally, I don’t need my TV shows to line up with the actual history/science/religion of the real world. BSG was a wonderful myth, with wonderful writing and characters, and the occasional clunker of an episode. It was fun to read your recaps as I went along.

  • Megan

    I’ve loved the recaps! It’s been fun to re-live the series (which I also watched for the first time recently) and I enjoy your analysis/GIFs. I agree about the lazy ending. The Fleet + Cylons as a human origin story makes very little sense. It made even less sense that they would split up the population like that – wouldn’t their chances of survival be better if they stayed together, at least until there were more of them? And you know, NOT give up their technology. You hit the nail on the head here:
    “But I can’t help imagining Doc Cottle being brought a pneumonia patient
    and saying ‘Well, ma’am, I wish I could help you, but some jackasses
    decided to fly a fleet filled with centuries of advancement in medical
    technology into the damn sun. Here, have some herbs.’”

  • Sherrie Ricketts

    I very much agree. I didn’t have a problem with it. I was still confused about a couple of minor points, but overall I felt that most of the series, including the ending, was well-written and satisfying to me.

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    I’d like to say that I liked the ending too, but I’m also an atheist. I guess for me, a religious bent really isn’t out of place in any work, as long as it’s established that there could be a god or gods as part of that work.

    For example, in DC Comics, there are many characters that are magic based, and some that are associated with god, or a “higher power” as they often say. That doesn’t bother me because all the activities that superheroes do are pretty fantastic and require me to suspend my disbelief while I read, so suspending my disbelief in Superman or God is pretty much equivalent. (no offense meant to those that believe – this is simply my opinion)

    BSG really didn’t lie to us about all the weird things that were happening, as was pointed out above, Head Six tells Baltar pretty early on that she’s an “angel.” Why not? So I was kind of expecting it, I guess. Also in the original BSG they met supernatural beings a few times so I was prepared for it.

    Also – Rebecca – you may have missed the significance of the Pigeon. Pigeons are a kind of dove, which is often used as a visual metaphor for the Holy Spirit aspect of God.

    Starbuck was a messiah, not an angel, and the pigeon was a retroactive act of foreshadowing. (Retroshadowing?) Using a pigeon instead of a more obvious dove may be intentionally showing us the character of this particular messiah as not being as pure as we might expect.

  • Anonymous

    On the whole, BSG was a good, entertaining show.
    The end, however? One word sums it all up: meh.

  • http://mordicaifeed.tumblr.com/ Mordicai

    I’m of the camp that I’d far rather the finale wrap up character arcs– as it did, & that moment between Baltar & Six where he’s like “I know about farming, you know,” or whatever, perfect– than answer all the plot ambiguities. I like arguing about plot ambiguity.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    “If you don’t want to buy any of what i’m saying above, you don’t have to, but at least take my word for it.”

    I know you mean well, but no. There is more than one way to watch, interpret, and appreciate a show. I didn’t like the finale, and that’s OK.

  • Bob Westphal

    I enjoyed reading your recaps. It was fun to watch you go through the ups and downs and pleasures and pains I experienced when BSG was originally broadcast.
    I think you might find it interesting to see the original series now that you’ve watched the reboot. You might find some interesting parallels between the two, despite the obvious gender/race changes in main characters and differences in overall tone.

  • It’sMyDelorean

    Wow, 105 comments. Gotta give the finale one thing, it sure
    generates discussion! As usual, an excellent recap, thanks for
    going through the series Rebecca.

    That said, I largely disagree with you about the finale, and it
    looked as if this comment section is going the way of most on the
    internet, pardoning the Santa Claus theory, so I present:

    Why I think the Battlestar Galactica finale DOESN’T suck in a
    possibly rambling, possibly grammatically incorrect manner.

    Please note that the following is all my perspective, and
    opinions, and are not me saying anyone is wrong, nor is it meant to
    be read as being condescending or judgmental.

    Now, I love this series (I even own all the soundtracks, the music
    is great) and I found the finale to be a worthy conclusion. There
    were things I did NOT like,.such as the unified abandonment of
    technology, which an off hand mention of a splinter group (Baltar’s
    Cult or those Sons of Ares guys) going off and forming a coastal city
    maybe called, oh I dunno, Atlantis.

    Complaints of Doc Cattle being unable o treat patients don’t make
    too much sense to me, as way back in Season Two we saw prescription
    drugs as a major part of the Black Market (horrible episode that it
    is) and that after a year on New Caprica in that Season’s
    finale, the fleet was nearly out of antibiotics. Even if the Cylons
    helped them out then with their supply problems, there is no Cylon
    fleet to offer medical aide at the time of Daybreak. Seems to me
    that, medically at least, the fleet was tapped out.

    As for there being two Earths, as someone said below, they’re
    completely different planets. If you were to go back and rewatch
    ‘Revelations’ and ‘Sometimes a Great Notion;’, you would see that the
    planet is either in shadow, or the landmasses are obscured in cloud
    cover. It’s easy to miss when you’re caught up in the moment and
    don’t go back to look for it.

    When it comes to missing scenes in the previouslies, they have
    offten used cut scenes or re-contextualized others for the upcomong
    episode. Some scenes though, are used in the extended cuts of
    episodes included in the DVD’s. ‘Pegasus’, ‘Unfinished Business’,
    ‘Razor’, ‘A Disquiet Follows My Soul’, ‘Islanded in a Stream of
    Stars’, and ‘Daybreak’ all have extended versions, Daybreak’s three
    parts being edited together into one single film. It also includes a
    flashback for Boomer, a whole flashback subplot for Baltar about the
    son of his neighbors, acting a sort of young protege of his, and a
    flashback of Cally talking to Tyrol about Boomer.

    When it comes to Cavil and his end, that was the actors idea, who
    felt his character would see the hopelessness of his situation and
    off himself, rather than go out fighting Tigh as Ron Moore originally
    intended.

    And so, we come to most people’s biggest complaint: God.”The
    use of God as an answer is a cop-out.”; “Invoking God
    negates every character’s choice in the series”: “That’s
    TOTALLY a Deus Ex Machina.” are the most common responses.

    Taking the last first, as a literal translation, yep it is God
    from a machine that is involved. But in reference to the literary
    device it is not, as the term means the appearance of such plot
    resolving figures appearing from nohere, with no past references to
    them. But as has been said by others, God’s been in this series
    nearly from the start. In fact, the first line of the fist episode of
    Season One is “God has a plan for everyone and everything,
    Gaius.” (Even if the writers didn’t) The only thing to be aware
    of is that every mention of God and faith aren’t just arbitrary on
    the part of the characters, but plays a part in the narrative.

    As for the use of God as an answer and how it is a non answer,
    yeah “God did it” isn’t much of an answer. It never really
    is. (Full disclosure here, I should say that I do believe in God). As
    Leoben told Kara, the first article of faith is “[T]hat this is
    not all that we are.” Note that he doesn’t say what ELSE we are,
    just that there is more. Faith is the admission that there are
    unknowns and that while science can answer many things, there will
    always be things unknown to us as we are. We may someday, somehow
    find answers, but by then that’s not the point. Miraculous things
    seemingly happen all the time, and perhaps there are mundane answers,
    but not everyone is aware of them.It’s a part of life that sometimes,
    there aren’t easy answers, and that’s part of the essence of
    Battlestar Galactica. An example of this is in ’33′, wherein Apollo
    must choose between the lives of those in the fleet, or those
    possible dead on the Olympic Carrier. There is not easy answer, he
    can’t save them all, and he ultimatly chooses. This sis something
    Battlestar does, makes you question aspects of life, including it’s
    mystery, but it doesn’t give you the answers to those questions.

    The third aspect of God’s involvement in the finaleis that it’s
    felt it cheapens the actions of the characters, that the things they
    do is not because of personal choice or free will, but due to
    destiny. To me, this seems backwards, or at the very least wrong. Why
    should the presence of God and the notion of Free Will be mutually
    exclusive? Just because God has a Plan or Fate does not mean that we
    aren’t able to make out own choices. When we make a choice, that
    leads to consequences which may lead to other choices. Perhaps it’s
    not the decisions to choices that are planned, but all the myriad
    choices we have to decide on or (depending on the previous choices)
    have passed us by. As such every choice, despite being accounted for
    in God’s destiny for Human and Cylon kind in the series, is still the
    choice of the character. Despite the thought that the Fleet would
    have found Earth anyway, the character’s decisions made for the show
    we watched. Take for example,this chain of events;

    Starbuck dates Zak, staying with him despite the attraction to
    Lee. Starbuck and Zak’s relationship leads to Zak’s death through his
    would be but for Kara, failure of basic flight. Kara chooses to hide
    this from everyone. This causes Lee to blame his father for his
    brothers death. As such, during Galactica’s decommissioning he opts
    not to stick around and leaves, escorting Laura Roslin home, putting
    him into position to save her life so that she can go on and make her
    (sometimes questionable) decisions and eventually influencing Adama
    to believe in Earth and a home for those he commands, ultimately
    leading to the finale. That string of events lead from a flashback in
    the finale, through the initial miniseries all the way to the events
    of the character’s present in the finale. This occurs several times
    in the series, to all the characters. Baltar’s election to President
    (chosen by the people) is another example. He opts to begin
    settlement on New Caprica, where they all remain for over a year,
    leading to the Humans and Cylons meeting within days of witnessing a
    sun going Nova, which is a pointer on the way to Earth through
    Starbuck. Starbuck in the meantime struggles with her supposed
    destiny, whether to accept that she has one or not. Though she sees
    Leoben who convinces her to face her mother’s death, it is ultimatly
    her choice to fly into that maelstrom and die, wherever that takes
    her, despite being brought back by God or ‘he doesn’t like that name’
    as an angel (something God has been suggested to do at other times)
    or a group vision, uber Cylon or whatever is is you think her to be.

    God is important to this series, the reason behind the mysteries,
    but the characters are just as if not more important to the show, and
    the finale showcases much of the heart of the series, while
    introducing new things and changing the perception others, something
    the series had done through out it’s run, along with trying to be
    more realistic than television’s usual fare. Part of life is
    disappointment, and answers to the important questions that don’t
    really satisfy all the time.

    As i said at the start, I love this series, and I do like the
    finale where others don’t, and I think that the series in general,
    and the finale especially benefit from re-watches as there are so
    many layers and subtext that is missed on the first watch. That said,
    there is nothing quite like the experience of seeing something the
    first time, so I thank you for allowing me to re-experiencing that
    through your wonderful re-caps. Oh, and though I’m sure you know by
    now, if you’re expecting significant answers to questions raised by
    this finale in ‘The Plan’, you won’t get them. But you will get more
    great music.

    And that is my view of the finale, and I hope if you’ve read this
    far, you enjoyed reading it at least, and at best appreciate it a bit
    more, or at worst don’t find me to be vehemently stupid and wrong.

  • Mainstreamer

    I just finished, and I agree with your take wholeheartedly (in fact, your recaps made me like this show more than I would have otherwise). But this deus ex machina hokum! After all the hours I watched Baltar have real-not-real sex-and-conversations with Head Six, I still don’t know what the deal was. Those space battles tho!

  • Steven J. Wangsness

    Well, I may be repeating what others have said, but I don’t want to read all the comments to check. (1) Tyrol does appear in the final bit of the finale — in fact, he talks to Tigh and Ellen just before they go off, so maybe you nipped into that bathroom at that time and missed him. (2) The original Earth (the Cylon home) does not have the same continents as what we know as Earth (our home) — or if it did, you can’t tell from the show, since you never really get that detailed a view of Cylon Earth. So you shouldn’t be confused by that; naming our planet “earth” after the original one is sort of an inside joke by the Colonials.
    I sort of like the ending, despite the many stupid elements you point out. It had a sort of quasi-spiritual quality to it, and even though I’m the least spiritual person on the planet, I liked that. I even was OK with Starbuck-is-an-angel, though I wish they’d gone a different way with that. Anyway, it was just nice that, as you said, they all wound up happy.