Jammer's Review

Battlestar Galactica

"Daybreak, Part 2"

***1/2

Air date: 3/20/2009
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by Michael Rymer

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I don't know what to say."
"Don't spoil your image. Just light a cigarette and go and grumble."

— President Laura Roslin and Doctor Sherman Cottle

Several weeks ago, when I posted my fake review for "Daybreak, Part 2," I said that I was going to simply bow out of the discussion and allow the much-debated ending of Battlestar Galactica to simply be left up to you. After all, what can I say that hasn't already been said? Not much, really. All I can do is say what I want to say the way I want to say it. And what I want to say is that, no, "Daybreak, Part 2" is not perfect. But it is for me a thoughtful and visceral and exciting and emotional and contemplative and satisfying ending to the BSG saga. Does it make perfect logical sense? In places, I must admit that it does not. But you know what? I don't really care.

I do know one thing: I will never again open up comments on something I have not reviewed if I intend to review it. In that direction lies only madness. I'm not saying it was a mistake allowing everyone to discuss the finale before I weighed in. On the contrary; I was happy to supply another place for your say where you could discuss among each other while I went AWOL for a month-plus. But it makes a mess of my task, because a temptation germinates to try to answer and reconcile the myriad of others' points — a futile endeavor.

No, a review must be a voice representing myself, and not the arguments in support of or against everyone else. So I've had to decompress and start again, and I went back and watched "Daybreak, Part 2" again a couple weeks ago. It's not the same experience as when I originally saw it, but it reminded me of that experience.

The plot itself is pretty simple: Galactica must rescue Hera from the Cylon colony and the clutches of villain Cavil and escape. The task is not simple; it is the uphill climb of all uphill climbs. In the miniseries, Adama made a speech about whether humanity deserved to survive, and talked about its inability to take responsibility for its creation and subsequent treatment of the Cylons. I think the question of whether humanity has earned the right to survive is answered by Adama's notion of this mission. At the possible cost of their lives, the crew will rescue Hera, which represents the ultimate act of humanity taking responsibility for what it has wrought.

We get great scenes of building anticipation. The foolhardy mission and its crazy odds are made clear. An epic battle is assured. Tigh goes "around the horn" and has all combat stations report their readiness, and Adama announces that, yes, this will be Galactica's final battle, no matter the outcome. The heartfelt goodbyes begin, the first of which is between Cottle and Roslin, and when Cottle gets choked up, Roslin stops him with a great line: "Don't spoil your image. Just light a cigarette and go and grumble." To protect the rest of the fleet, Hoshi is named admiral and Lampkin is named president. Now there's an executive team you would never have envisioned.

And Baltar finally, finally makes an 11th-hour selfless act. Given how this all plays out, it's interesting how Head Six basically manipulates him into it by telling him that it's his destiny to stay with the fleet and lead humanity to its end — prompting him to reject destiny and make up his own damn mind. Like in The Matrix, it's not so much that what the Oracle says is actually true; it's that she tells Baltar what he needs to hear when he needs to hear it.

The resulting battle action scenes are kick-ass on a scale that dwarfs pretty much anything of this series' prior production. When the battle plan was drawn up, they weren't kidding about how close the jump-in location really was: When Galactica jumped right in front of the colony — and I mean less than a half a ship's length — my reaction was, whoa, that's not good. And then when Galactica instantly started taking a barrage of gunfire and missile blasts from dozens of Cylon gun turrets, it was DOUBLE WHOA. ("Can't take much of this," Tigh remarks. Indeed. That's understatement of the year.)

Composer Bear McCreary pulls out the stops for the battle scenes, as does Gary Hutzel and the visual effects team. In terms of all-out action, this is a doozy for Galactica, which features countless impressive scenes including the use of Galactica as a battering ram, crewmen rappelling out of the ship and down into the colony, Raptors jumping out of a closed flight pod (destroying it in the process) and into the middle of an asteroid field, and a swarm of Centurions fighting on our side, striped with red paint so that we know they're friendly. Much chaos ensues. One shot that highlights the elevated level of chaos shows both Adama and Tigh on the phone simultaneously, relaying orders to wings of fighters and Raptors; has that happened before on this series? What I am sure that hasn't happened on this series: amusing and cool action scenes involving rock-em-sock-em toaster-on-toaster combat between old-school and new-school Centurions (including a gag where a Centurion shoots another point-blank in the face-mask).

All of this mayhem over one little girl. The ever-conflicted Boomer looks on as Simon begins running experiments on the child, and if you didn't think another of Boomer's double-reverses was all but guaranteed, then you haven't been paying attention. I like what they've done in the last few episodes with Boomer, and her final decision here highlights two things: (1) that perhaps the last thing you do is what you will be remembered for, and (2) that Boomer cannot maintain loyalty to anyone, because those loyalties are so hopelessly divided. Compare this to Athena, who made her decision back in season one and has lived by it ever since. Athena, knowing this, doesn't hesitate to put Boomer down once her daughter is returned to her. (Athena's machine-gunning of Boomer is one of this episode's two acts of satisfyingly fierce and personal violence.)

What also emerges is the point to the flashback sequences, which posits: What happened in the past directly points to the arrival of where everyone is now. In the case of Boomer, we see how Adama cut her a break when she was a rookie, and she promised to repay that debt when it really mattered. And she does that here. Neat.

As for the rest of the flashbacks, they effectively give us pieces about the characters' pasts that explain why they didn't end up in civilian life (something many of them were on track for, including Adama and Roslin) and instead ended up on Galactica. For Adama, it was a matter of principle — the distaste over being strapped to a lie detector for a job interview. For Roslin, it was a matter of realizing that she didn't want to start dating simply to get out of a rut; with her family destroyed, she realized she'd rather put herself to work, which led her back to government and, ultimately, Galactica.

The Lee/Kara flashbacks highlight their sexual tension and attraction, which was immediate. But we also see further insights into Lee's less-than-reverent philosophy on military life, which points to his abandoning it for civilian government in season four; and Kara's flirtation with death — and her confession of a fear of being forgotten outweighing a fear of death — something that would define her in terms of her larger destiny, which plays right into the final scenes here.

If there's a truly unifying element in all the flashbacks, it's alcohol, which flows freely through all of Caprica. Adama and Tigh discuss the merits of civilian life at a strip club — a sequence which ends with Adama puking on himself in the street. Kara and Lee get drunk and contemplate sex on the kitchen table while Zak, even more drunk, lies passed out on the couch in the living room. Roslin and her younger date sip champagne before having sex on the first date. I'm not sure if there's even a message here beyond "alcohol lends atmosphere to scenes and creates unpredictable volatility and potentially promising characterization." Or perhaps the notion that Caprica is a place of hedonistic excess — something that serves the dual purposes of juxtaposing the lives of these people on Caprica with their lives after the fall, and also as an aesthetic stage-setter for the upcoming Caprica prequel series.

At their very core, these flashbacks are illustrations of these characters and their choices. For all that these characters are maneuvered by Destiny, Fate, or God in "Daybreak's" late-breaking revelations, we see that Free Will led them to Galactica, and I love that as a storytelling concept. The end is the beginning. Structurally, the flashbacks are skillfully arranged and edited, offering bits of insight alongside the action in the present. It's ambitious in scope, and the execution is dead-on.

And as much as "Daybreak, Part 1" was so obviously cleaved from the rest of the finale, I'd like to point out that the structure of part two was cleverly edited and still feels like it could exist as its own two-hour finale. The opening of part two, with its shot of the Caprica City skyline at night (terrific FX, by the way), mirrors the opening of part one and its opening shot of the city during the day. Similarly, the beats of the story here make sense. Despite the fact that you can divide all of "Daybreak" into three distinct acts, you can also do that of "Daybreak, Part 2" on its own. Strange but true. (Not that it matters; getting too sidetracked by structural issues is kind of pointless.)

Eventually the combat spills onto the decks of Galactica, with a Cylon invasion party storming into the corridors. Baltar and Caprica Six end up fighting side by side. We see the relationship come full circle here when Six confesses that the thing that she always felt was missing between them was her sense of pride in him. They also reach an epiphany here when they both realize that the other can see their Head Selves. And is it just me, or is there something inherently hilarious in seeing Baltar in riot gear? Despite the very serious and tortured aspects of Baltar, I love that the writers can still see him clearly through comedy. Even in battle this guy is provided humor rather than heroism, as in the moment where he opens fire on a Centurion that has already been killed.

The final revelation of the meaning of the Opera House visions is a combination of utter brilliance and ever-so-mild insipidity. It's slightly insipid in that it doesn't really reveal anything new (the Opera House turns out to be CIC, where the Final Five await — but by this point we already know who the Five are and what they intend to do), but it's absolutely, positively brilliant in its cinematic and theatrical execution, even outmatching their similar employ in "Guess What's Coming to Dinner."

Hera goes wandering the corridors of the ship with gunfire all around her, and we have Roslin and Athena and Six and Baltar all trying to save her, and these shots are juxtaposed with the Opera House visions we've seen before. Cinematically this is great stuff — expertly executed and wonderfully edited, with musical callback cues that sell the epic sweep and the chilling anticipation as it unfolds. The action manages to fit everything together into something that's visually effective and tracks with the previous Opera House scenes. On the other hand, there's not much in terms of new ideas being sold here. You can sort of sense the scenario being manipulated to fit the already-existing pieces, and it ends more in serendipity than revelation. It's more a case of the appearance of meaning than actual meaning. Still, on balance, I'm okay with that, because it's cinematically effective.

And it also finally puts Baltar in the place and time to make exactly the speech he needs to make when he needs to make it. It comes in the middle of a showdown in CIC where Cavil holds Hera at gunpoint and intends to walk away with her. Baltar's admission that he "sees angels" and his speech about faith in the One True God are possible only because he is finally in the position, after having undergone his spiritual awakening, to truly believe in the assertions that he makes. Quite a journey it's been for him, from atheist to believer. This speech is his moment of destiny.

It's great, too, how the peace is so suddenly negotiated, and how unthinkably the battle goes from madness to calm in a mere matter of seconds. The Final Five agree to give Cavil the secret to resurrection in exchange for the Cylons ending their war against humanity. Just like that it seems like disaster is averted. But then...

The Final Five must share thoughts to unlock the secret of resurrection, and that means they will all briefly know what the other knows. (Funny line by Tigh to Ellen: "Looking forward to that.") This was a great moment of realization. I had figured by this point that the writers were going to let Cally's death remain one of those points of intentionally poetic injustice, and that only we in the audience would know the truth about what Tory did. But Ron Moore finally plays the card; we see here how Tory hems and haws and tries to stave off disaster by talking about possible sins that might come up that the others should all just agree to forgive in advance.

How hilariously, typically self-serving of this woman who decided, once she realized she was a Cylon, that she could do whatever she damn well pleased. Now she wants to write herself a last-minute pardon for her sins. No such luck. This is delicious character material that swiftly causes the truce to turn back to disaster. When Tyrol realizes what Tory has done, he strangles her to death (in example #2 of satisfying personal violence), which interrupts the upload of the resurrection secrets and upends the delicate cease-fire under way, and as fast as the truce was created, it is destroyed. The bullets start flying, and Cavil is so certain the game is over that he simply shouts "Frak!" and eats his gun. (It's strangely funny, although I'm not entirely sure that's what they were going for.) What does it say that the truce and future of two entire civilizations comes down to this moment, and it's all overruled by one man's base need for immediate revenge?

I enjoyed how the story lulled us into a false sense of security with this truce and before ripping the rug out from under us. (Would you expect anything less from BSG?) But I thought it was a bit much to have the Cylon colony destroyed more or less by accident (or divine will, or what have you) when Racetrack's dead hand launches all the nukes. There's a fine line between serendipity and silly, and this notion flirts with it perilously.

Speaking of the Hand of God, how about Kara's desperate jump of the ship out of certain doom? It's epic and revelatory and awesome. It reveals Kara's final destiny, where she ultimately will lead the human race. The mysterious "Watchtower" notes become the jump coordinates for Galactica's Final Jump. And those jump coordinates take us to...

The reveal of Earth-2 — which is actually "our" Earth 150,000 years ago — is a gasp-worthy Galactica-style twist, except that it offers a measure of hope rather than a bitter pill a la "Revelations." In retrospect it's really quite clever the way "Revelations" faked us out, having carefully never shown us the moon or continents when we approached that planet. (Many have prudently asked how the Zodiac map room in "Home, Part 2" could pass the plausibility test under this scenario when combined with Gaeta's "Constellations are a match" line in "Revelations." The only likely answer, I'm afraid, is that the writers changed their intentions between seasons two and four.)

And yet, this being BSG, I was still uneasy. This show has us so ready for the other shoe to drop that when we see open fields and blue skies and there's still nearly an hour to go, we figure this must be some sort of trick. (And look at the photography and those vistas! So lush, so beautiful! This can't be how it ends!)

But, for once, it's not a trick. Battlestar ends on several notes of bittersweet calm. It is not a "happy" ending. It is bittersweet. These people have survived, but they must start over on a parallel human world where the most advanced existing civilization still does not have the power of language.

Lee comes up with the idea of breaking the cycle by abandoning all technology and starting completely over as a civilization, dispersing the 39,000 Colonials and Cylon skinjobs into small groups across the planet to assimilate into the existing primitive civilizations (or possibly it's the primitives who are being assimilated; Lee says that perhaps the Colonials can give them the gift of language).

So Kara Thrace, with help from Lee, has indeed led them all to their end. But the end was inevitable. Colonial civilization is over. But the end is the beginning. Humanity must reboot.

I must say, the abandonment of technology was the one aspect of the finale that I couldn't abide. Sure, as a sci-fi concept I think it works marvelously, cleverly tying the Galactica mythos into our own world. But I don't buy it as something the Colonials would seem likely to do. For one, technology isn't their problem; human nature is the problem. And in terms of best chances for survival, wouldn't a city of 39,000 people with supplies be stronger than dropping people by the handful all over the globe?

It seems more likely to me that these people would band together and form New Caprica II — except, of course, that such a notion doesn't get us to where Ron Moore needs us to go, story-wise. This is where you can sort of see the story's gears straining a bit — where the motivations are molded to fit the desired end result rather than vice-versa. But I must also say that my doubts about the decisions these people make are assuaged by where it all takes us, narratively speaking, both emotionally and in the story's whimsical coda.

So then come the goodbyes. All the characters are awarded terrific final moments of reflection and farewell. The shot of Adama piloting the last Viper off Galactica allows for a poignant last look at the Grand Old Lady. Kara and Anders share a moving last moment in CIC, before he pilots the entire fleet into the sun to the tune of the original BSG theme — a particularly nice touch.

The final moments between Roslin and Adama play like a reminder to treasure the things in life that matter before they are gone. For this series, I will treasure these final scenes, just as Adama will treasure his last moments with Roslin. It's comforting that she — and so many others — made it all the way to Earth-2, but sad that she makes it no farther. Like Kara, she has completed the purpose of her journey. Their final flight in the Raptor is beautiful and devastating, and Roslin's final words marvel at the world's richness: "So much life." And then she's gone. In a nice touch, Adama puts his wedding ring on Roslin's finger after she passes, in a direct echo of "The Hub."

The story provides us with not one but a series of bittersweet pills to swallow: Roslin succumbs to her cancer, but she is able to do so with peace of mind. Adama and Lee have settled all the rifts that used to exist between them, but they separate here, for what apparently will be forever (which I must confess I just don't get, beyond the story's need to tear-jerk). And Adama finally gets the long-delayed retirement and the lovely view of the mountains, but without the woman he loves. (And how about that final shot of him on that hilltop? I'm getting choked up just thinking about it.)

Meanwhile, Tyrol realizes that he's sick of people, and decides he's going to go off into seclusion on a faraway continent, away from everyone and everything — which seems like a recipe for a lonely death. In a way, it's the most bitter end for any of the characters.

Perhaps the series' happiest ending is for Tigh and Ellen, who now have the rest of their lives to spend together; we see in the strip-club flashback conversation that life with Saul was honestly all Ellen ever wanted. Oh, and Sharon, Helo, and Hera; they also get a happy ending. And how about the strange and turbulent and touching journey of Baltar and Caprica Six, and their Head Angels? What a bumpy, complicated ride, and it's all brought home here with Baltar's emotional line that by virtue of the flashbacks explains so much about them and their new situation: "I know about farming."

And Kara Thrace. I'm of the opinion that Kara's vanishing act is just about pitch-perfect in its tone, and a terrific example of less being more. What was Kara Thrace? You'll have to answer that for yourself, but by simply having Kara vanish in an open field while in mid-conversation with Lee, using the absolute simplest of camera techniques — well, it works probably as well as any literal interpretation probably could've. The acting and directing in the scene is key. Watch how Kara says that she's "done here" and then, when Lee moves toward her for a possible embrace, she subtly recoils, as if she knows what's coming and wants to prevent Lee from reconnecting. And when Lee does turn around and sees that she's gone, his reaction is oddly muted. In real life, if someone vanished like that you'd freak out. But the message of the scene is one of acceptance, and I thought it really worked. Again, wholly bittersweet.

Let it also be said that for me Kara's vanishing was the single most unsettling and mind-racing aspect of the episode; it kept me up pondering the night I first watched it. It's so mysterious and emotionally complicated and somehow ... right. And while I don't know exactly what the pigeon in the flashbacks means — possibly nothing, in literal terms — it seems to fit the mystery of Kara, and the notion that her existence — like all of our existences — is fleeting. (As for all the red-herring speculation about how Kara tied into the Cylons and/or Daniel: While it might've led to fascinating conclusions of their own, it turned out to be a case of the material being so open to interpretation that the speculation outran the scope of the original simpler intent. I don't have a problem with that.)

And how about that Bear McCreary, anyway? You realize here, when all the characters' individual musical themes are such a part of the storytelling, how much identity this composer has brought to this series. The Adamas, Roslin, Kara, Sharon, Baltar, Head Six, the Final Five, the Opera House — they all have their own specific musical cues, all of which are employed in "Daybreak." Oh, and don't forget the Jump Forward Theme, which is played here not for a one-year jump forward (cf. "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2"), but for a 150,000-year jump forward to present-day New York City.

That final scene in present-day Manhattan is, as I said, a nice piece of whimsy, which alleges that not only are we are all descended from the Colonials and the Cylons, but that their "angels" (Head Six/Baltar) continue to observe us, offering up their commentary on whether we are marching ourselves toward destruction by our technology. With our robotics, are we approaching the point where we are on the verge of creating our own Cylons? Do we have the ability to avoid the fates of the human race that came from the Colonies, and the Cylons that came from Earth-1? Or are we doomed to repeat their cycle of destruction? How much of Them is in Us? Enough, it would seem. The last thing to play on the soundtrack is the Jimi Hendrix cover of "All Along the Watchtower." He was part Cylon, after all.

Looking back at BSG the series, I see a show that asked a lot of probing questions and usually did right by its characters. Because the whole arc wasn't planned out in advance and Moore preferred to make things up as he went along — or throw out ideas that didn't work — sometimes the ambition overreached what the writers were able to deliver. And you can sometimes see that in "Daybreak" (with the aforementioned Opera House revelation and the Colonials' abandonment of technology, for example). But overall I think the dynamic approach to storytelling served this series extremely well. It wasn't always perfect, but it was usually interesting. More to the point, this show was alive. Few series combined the visceral, the intellectual, the unexpected, and the emotional as well as Battlestar Galactica.

I've enjoyed watching and writing about this series, and I hope you've enjoyed reading about it on this site. BSG may be over, but my inability to shut up means that this site will go on, in one form or another. Whatever the future holds, I hope you'll stick around. I'll see you on the other side.

Note: I opened comments on this episode when it originally aired March 20. I moved all those pre-existing comments, which includes much interesting discussion, to the fake April 1 version of this review when I posted this review on May 9.

Previous episode: Daybreak, Part 1
Next episode: The Plan

Season Index

167 comments on this review

Jammer - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 2:16am (USA Central)
Hello everybody. As you can see, the review is finally posted. Sorry it took so long. Delays happen. I can now close out the BSG chapter of Jammer's Reviews (except for the down-the-road "The Plan," of course).

A few notes.

(1) I've moved the existing "Daybreak, Part 2" comments to the April 1 fake review. As of this writing there are nearly 400 comments over there, and some very worthwhile discussion. If you haven't already, I recommend you give them a read. I may move them back to this thread at some point, but for now I figured it might make sense to clear the slate.

(2) Please do not discuss the new "Star Trek" film on this page. There will be a place for that later. (Hint: That place will be at the bottom of a review page.)

(3) Stay tuned over the course of the next few weeks for further announcements about this site and its future. I've been doing some other work related to this web site, which I'll be rolling out soon.
Nolan - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 2:24am (USA Central)
Awesome to hear Jammer. We so appreciate all the work you put into the site. And thank you for sharing your opinions and insites on some great shows.
Nick - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 2:54am (USA Central)
Nice review, Jammer. BSG has easily been the best series I've watched- if I have more affection for the Star Trek franchise it must be because I like what Star Trek says about us more than what BSG does- but BSG was a challenge and if only there were more shows interested in doing that.
Greg M - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 3:06am (USA Central)
Nice work as usual Jammer. I really really hope you go back to TNG and get at least one episode written in the next month. I think I've been waiting 2 years for a new review. I know you're going to keep going (At least I hope) with it, but after the movie, I would love it if you finished.
Latex Zebra - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 4:00am (USA Central)
Thanks, enjoyed reading that.

Look forward to the future!
Mehman - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 8:35am (USA Central)
Nice review Jammer. I agree that, all and all, it was a satisfying finale.

The one thing I will strongly disagree with you on, however, is Kara Thrace. It is pointless, IMO, to spend one second pondering what she represented or what her nature exactly was or trying to explain anything that she went through. The reason? Because the people who wrote up this stuff themselves had no idea what it meant at the time they wrote it (nor, apparently, even long afterwards).

Moore et al's revelations that they didn't have everything all planned out from the beginning is certainly refreshing in its honesty. But it also leads me to believe that they had painted themselves into a corner when it came to Kara, that they had no idea how to explain everything that had come before, and so instead of attempting an explanation in the hour of screentime they had after the Cylon base was destroyed, they just gave up and said, "You decide." That strikes me as a cop out, particularly given the central role Kara played in the mythology of the show.
Toph in Blacksburg - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 10:03am (USA Central)
Excellent and spot-on review as always Jammer. Thank you for all your efforts over the years!

One area I thought I'd posit on is the issue of Earth-1 vs Earth-2 from your review. The way I see it is this: Earth-1 was the one known via the constellations and of course by the Final Five, hence the bit about "Visible constellations are a match" at the end of Revelations. Earth-2 was a previously unknown world that Kara led them to in Daybreak and since it was unknown it was not the world referenced in the Zodiac map room. As a result I don't really see a conflict between the Zodiac map room in 'Home Pt. 2' and Gaeta's "constellations match" bit. Earth-1 is the Earth that is referred to in the Zodiac, IMO.

Just some food for thought!

-Toph in Blacksburg
Jammer - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 10:22am (USA Central)
^ I see what you are saying here, but I think that ignores the original intent of the Zodiac map room, which is that the constellations are as seen from OUR Earth (Earth-2). They could've still done a map room as a story device that led them to Earth-1, but it logically could not involve the constellations as we know them. They would be different constellations entirely with different names that do not tie into the Earth-2 Zodiac. (Okay, the names could be anything, even the same names, but the star patterns could not be the same.)
Alex1939 - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 10:53am (USA Central)
I'm confused by something you wrote:

"But I thought it was a bit much to have the Cylon colony destroyed more or less by accident (or divine will, or what have you) when Racetrack's dead hand launches all the nukes."

Was Racetrack dead when she fired? I really thought she was barely holding on to life and fired the nukes as her last act. Perhaps I need to rewatch that scene.
Samuel Walters - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 11:08am (USA Central)
Maybe Moore & co. should go back and release a "Special Edition" of the Zodiac map room scene in which they use CGI to alter the constellations so as to avoid the inconsistency?

:-P
Anna - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 1:00pm (USA Central)
Is it maybe possible that two planets could have constelations tht are very similar, to the point that we wouldn't notice the difference with the naked eye? I think it is hypothetically possible, though extremely unlikely. Just a thought.
Nolan - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 1:04pm (USA Central)
It's been stated before that there was no way that a person could see all those constellations from the same spot on Earth. Our Earth. But Perhaps a person could see all the constelllations from old Earth. So perhaps the constellations were a match for old Earth, but for new Earth, they just looked up in the sky, found similar star patterns, and neamed them for they're lost homes. Simple.
James - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 2:58pm (USA Central)
Hi Jammer,

I've been reading your views since the early days of the site and generally find them to be spot-on. Thanks very much for all your hard work over the years, and I very much look forward to any upcoming work.

PS: I guess from your comments on the composer that you are a reader of "Bear's Battlestar Blog" as well :) What an awesome composer...
Evan Strauch - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 4:01pm (USA Central)
Great job on a really tough review.

To me, the negatives of the episode were:

1. No reason for Adama to permanently leave Lee. No rationalization will do it for me.

2. I would have preferred more starbuck explanation.

3. Starbuck was supposed to be the harbinger of DOOM. Not just bringing them to their "end." This was beyond false, and really did screw up a ton from season 4.

4. Dead person in raptor destroying the colony? Completely bogus.

The episode was a little below average for me because of these huge glaring errors, imo.
Brendan B - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 4:07pm (USA Central)
This episode more than any other had my head swimming with mixed feelings, utter awe and amazement contrasted with incredulity and disappointment, wrapped in a thrilling cinematic tortilla.... I hadn't quite been able to express my overall feelings properly.... you just did! I agree with just about everything you said.

I look forward to hearing your plans on the future of this site.
alex1939 - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 4:32pm (USA Central)
Wow, I'm about to head over to a friends house that still has the finale Dvr'd and watch the Racetrack scene. I really never picked up that she was dead when firing upon the cylons. I thought she was just dying.
Ryan Danekas - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 6:00pm (USA Central)
Great review. Well worth the wait.
Occuprice - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 6:01pm (USA Central)
I don't think Starbuck was ever said to be the Harbinger of Doom... it was always Harbinger of Death I think. And, well, she lead them to the death of the human race.
Antisocialmunky - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 7:23pm (USA Central)
@Evan:

The exact line was: "Thus will it come to pass. A dying leader will know the truth of the Opera House. The missing Three will give you the Five who come from the home of the Thirteenth. You are the harbinger of death, Kara Thrace. You will lead them all to their end. End of Line."

There is no context and the two lines in question could refer to anything, the same thing, different, etc.
Evan Strauch - Sat, May 9, 2009 - 8:11pm (USA Central)
Ah, thanks for the quote. If you ignore the harbinger of death thing, it works. I still think that harbinger of death requires a bit of stretching to work : ).

I am surprised at how many people missed racetrack being dead. She set weapons to hot and then was hit hard. Then it cut away from her. It was an obvious setup to me, at the time, that it was going to be used again... then an asteroid hit her and her hand hit the dash... she was not dieing. Both of my friends that watch the show didn't catch this somehow!

But yes, she is quite dead.
stallion - Sun, May 10, 2009 - 12:43am (USA Central)
Judging by this trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg9ooaozu-8 it look like humanity is going to repeat the cycle.

This was a great finale and a great series.For some reason I expected it to have a darker ending. Hopefully Battlestar Galatica will get the respect it deserve. In my book Battlestar Galatica is one of the science fiction series I've ever seen. I kind of wish he had a big audience like Lost, but I'm sure it will convert more people with word of mouth and DVD sales.
karatasiospa - Sun, May 10, 2009 - 4:50am (USA Central)
Great review jammer! When i first saw the finale i was raher dissapointed but after watching the new star trek movie i think that BSG's finale was magnificent!!!
alex1939 - Sun, May 10, 2009 - 8:52am (USA Central)
Wow! Racetrack was dead lol!

I guess her eyes being open fooled me in the shot, but you all are correct, the asteroid hit the side of her ship which moved her hand into hitting the launch button.

Way to pay attention to detail!
Josh - Sun, May 10, 2009 - 9:16am (USA Central)
You echo my thoughts completely. The Truth of the Opera House needed to be bigger to match up to its hype (my idea of Baltar and Caprica having to care for Hera after the death of Helo and Athena would have suited that), the de-industrialisation was abrupt (it wasn't unworkable but needed more setup to make it not feel forced and it also would have benefitted if it didn't just seem like a smug decision of Lee). However, in terms of shear execution, it was fantastic.

I didn't actually have a problem with the accidental destruction of the colonies. The Hand of God meme, the Flood meme, it has an appropriateness to it.

I can certainly say I'll be sticking around here if you keep giving us stuff to read. Do you have plans to follow Caprica? You still also have the NextGen reviews to complete.
Leirf - Sun, May 10, 2009 - 12:11pm (USA Central)
Nice review Jammer but Kara's disappearance even if mysterious, I didnt find it emotionally complicated or right...and I thought it as a bit of a cliche kind of like Touched by an Angel you know? I've seen that trick before where a character disappears just as a person turns around and the camera moves out of sight...kind of bland, I predicted it right before it happened and so it seemed almost intelligence insulting.. I think a more appropriate ending would've been Kara leaving just as she appeared in her mysterious pristine Raptor.. remember that (did the raptor disappear when she did too?--guess it was flown into the sun). I think Kara should've led the fleet into the Sun and disappeared just as she appeared--mysteriously into the heavens in her raptor-- just like when she appeared next to Lee in Crossroads part 2-- or maybe she saw a similar star go nova in a nearby solar system that reminded her of the Eye of Jupiter again and she flies into that as her "home" since her "journey is completed." I think this also would've tied into the pigeon in the flashback symbolism. I think the intention was that the pigeon represents her and just like Lee can't get her out of his life (when hes trying to swat the pigeon out with a broom) until her time is up and the pigeon flies out. Don't know if anyone thought about this think it might've been more original and neat and memorable..and provided more symmetry-- with the whole cycle and eye of jupiter image and her destiny ideas-- what do you think Jammer or anyone else?
halberstram - Sun, May 10, 2009 - 2:50pm (USA Central)
Jammer,

"the original intent of the Zodiac map room... is that the constellations are as seen from OUR Earth (Earth-2). They could've still done a map room as a story device that led them to Earth-1, but it logically could not involve the constellations as we know them."

The constellations are as seen from our Earth in the present day, but we find out in the last scene that those events took place 150,000 years in our past. Back then, relative positional shifts in the stars that make up each constellation would mean that the constellations would have looked completely different, seen from our Earth. Perhaps they DID look like that seen from Earth-1 150,000 years ago... although that would be a huge stretch, I'll admit. But then, with divine intervention, pretty much any plot twist is possible...

Great 4 seasons' worth of reviews, BTW... absolutely classic. Thank you!
Fraser - Sun, May 10, 2009 - 2:53pm (USA Central)
I started watching BSG last summer and quickly devoured all the episodes that I'd missed followed by all of Jammer's reviews. Jammer, I'd like to thank you for enhancing my appreciation of the series. Now it's over, I thought I'd post some thoughts.

I think that although BSG is not without its flaws it's still one of the best TV series I've seen, standing comparison with any other sci-fi series and any of the other series in the US that are currently attracting so much praise. I think its overall quality, and inevitably its imperfections, are in no small part due to Ron Moore's idiosyncratic and fearless approach to storytelling. That the finale reflected both the strengths and weaknesses of that approach is no surprise, but imo as with the series as a whole, the strengths far outweighed the weaknesses and I'm willing to bear those inconsitencies because I think that we gained much more than we lost through the writers' adaptability.

I don't ask that something be perfect just that it be great - ambitious, challenging, enlightening and significant - and that's a really tall order in itself. With excellent writers influenced by eclectic sources from literature, history, philosophy, political economy, sociology, theology, science and technology (and no doubt other ologies) who still managed to tell a thumping good story with multi-faceted characters and themes, BSG is a great series and Caprica notwithstanding I'll be lucky to see another of comparable scope and ambition. Most series don't even try and still fail. BSG tried for so much and imo rarely failed at all.

(I also think that Moore set a new benchmark in terms of his personal outreach to fans and although it's a smart move to nurture your audience when a TV series can be cancelled at short notice, that generosity and courage despite the ire sometimes attracted from fans and the risks in revealing his creative process, has been inspiring to me as a writer).

Just in case anyone thinks I'm carrying Moore's water (I'm writing from the UK so that would be tricky) there were some things about the finale that I wasn't entirely happy with. I agree with Jammer that it didn't seem very likely that so many people would simply renounce technology, especially in a potentially hostile environment. It does also seem to send an unintended message that the problem lies with the tools rather than the toolmaker. I am sufficiently interested by agrarian anarchism (and its rich tradition in US political philosophy) to be on balance intrigued rather than repelled by this twist however, as Jammer points out, does anyone believe that Tyrol (along with many others including potentially Bill Adama) is not heading for a lonely and miserable existence without technology to help him? It might have been more credible if Adama like Cortez in the New World had 'burned his boats' as a way of saying that 'this is where we are and this where we're staying' but that dictatorial move is clearly not the tone that the finale was aiming for.

And overall I'm happy with that tone because I think that the whole is stronger than the weaknesses in any of its parts. If the renunciation of technology is the downside of an opportunistic storytelling approach, manipulated to suit the desired end, then I actually think that Kara's disappearance is the upside and ultimately one of the things that raises the story to myth.

I don't really care whether the writers did it because they genuinely thought it was the best thing to do or whether it was because they'd written themselves into a corner. If you criticise it purely for that then where do you begin or end? A lot of the best twists or narrative arcs in the series, like Starbuck's death or the New Caprica episodes, were basically opportunistic. 'Harbinger of death' could simply mean 'messenger of death' - she has returned from death with a message. It's we who view that negatively because of the negative associations that we have with death. But in Eastern philosophies for example, death is just part of a cycle that leads to rebirth and so it would be fitting for a messenger of death to bring new life and if anything, BSG seems to say the two are inextricably bound.

A series that began with genocide must be about death and what survives it, if anything, if nothing else. The debates in the series surrounding resurrection technology vs. procreation, and finally (some of) the cylons renouncing resurrection technology, are perfectly complimented by Starbuck's metaphysical alternative, a literal resurrection from death that explores an idea common to many religions with the one character who chased death more than any other from the beginning.

It makes Kara one of the pivotal and profound figures in the series because she embodies the tension between life and death, materialism and idealism, optimism and pessimism, secular and religious thinking, and all these questions remain ambiguous. Her doubt is our own, her hope and despair profoundly true.

Kara represents a leap of faith on the part of the audience and the storytellers, and in jumping the ship to Earth 2 she gives us a literal leap of faith of the kind that she experienced before in Maelstrom. It's appropriate that the character who so recklessly pursued death from the beginning should be the one who returns from death to save her people from certain extinction and give them a chance of new life in a promised land.

I also think that it's correct for a series noted for its realism, which I distinguish from literalism (nothing in BSG is literally true and while it may be realistic 'reality' as a whole remains an open question), should essentially ask 'what is real?' in the same metaphysical way it asks 'what is human?' and 'what is cylon?'

This obviously also makes Baltar a very pivotal character. Although I feel that his religious arc in series 4 was not as interesting as it could have been and his ultimate destiny not quite as overwhelming as once seemed likely, I do think his arc is very significant. Religion and its debates with secularism have been at the heart of BSG from the beginning and Baltar's character arc has embodied those debates not to say his conflict with original sin - the blood on his hands that he can't escape from. Moore knows his history - we know that at bleak and desperate times cults like Baltar's do appear to offer the hope that can be self serving and also the most crucial thing for survival. Baltar's motives may be ambiguous but then so were Roslin's when she used the scrolls of Pythia to political ends (hence her hilarious conversation with Baltar in The Oath) and Adama's when he promised to find Earth. We see the consequences when those hopes and ideals are dashed in Sometimes A Great Notion and hopes fulfilled in Daybreak. Baltar's leap of faith, from the most materialistic and crassly self-interested character, makes explicit what Starbuck implies - that sometimes we have no reason but own belief.

I imagine that Moore knew roughly where he was going with Baltar but not exactly how he would arrive. With Daybreak imo the superficial action, despite inconsistencies, is sufficiently credible to sustain the larger myth that gives BSG such power taken as a whole. I think Moore's cameo is a sign of his rigor, he tries to work everything through and mostly succeeds. Why has he come up with this retelling of the story of our ancestors from the 12 colonies so many millenia before? Because Head Six and Baltar are there to influence him in Time Sq at the crucial time!

Finally (if anyone has got this far without falling asleep), I think the way that the flashbacks were used was the most emotional and beautiful aspect of the finale for me. I briefly thought that the flashbacks might turn out to be a kind of time loop caused by the black hole. So that everything that has happened will happen again in eternal recurrence, but that would probably be a step too far! We saw how the characters have changed and how they haven't, and the choices they made that brought them to where they are. It was poignant to see them before such seismic events changed their lives forever. Also because it showed that their lives weren't so great on Caprica (Lee -aimless, Baltar - empty, Roslin - family dead, Adama - being retired, Starbuck - Zack about to die) and that in many ways the attack on the colonies was both the worst and the best thing that ever happened to them. Death and rebirth tied together. As Roslin told Adama in Islanded in a Stream of Stars: her time with him, for all her suffering, was the best of her life. So the genocide was more ambivalent for the characters than we thought and the 'paradise' on Earth 2 is sorrow as well as joy, in fact it's an extremely bittersweet finale for most of the characters. There was and there will be no golden age.

And William and Lee Adama say goodbye to the women they love, while Baltar of all people comes full circle, and promise that they will remember, another way to transcend death.

So goodbye BSG... you won't be forgotten, and thanks Jammer for your reviews, until The Plan ..... and then Caprica?


Robo - Sun, May 10, 2009 - 3:00pm (USA Central)
Yes, although it is sad that Battlestar Galactica has ended, it was also time. Like all great stories, myths, and characters, there should be a proper beginning, middle, and ending to the journey. I was truly satisfied and moved by the finale, and it is clear to me that an extreme amount of love and effort went in to making it the best possible experience the cast and crew could deliver.

Interesting to note about the Opera House: I was thinking back throughout the series, to all of the "myth" stuff that usually involved visions or prophecies. You know what? They actually turned out to be pretty simple. For example, back in Home, opening the Tomb of Athena was to promise something "wonderful". But it turns out that it was a map of constellations.

Later, in season 4, Kara has visions of a "triple star, a ringed planet, and a comet" or some such. I thought it was going to be huge, or something different. Turns out, the answer was very practical, as it was simply the base ship in a certain location.

The opera house visions followed a similar direct line, heralding the climatic scene of the finale (and the series), where the right people were in the right place, at the right time. Simple, yes? I thought it was going to be a big huge thing. And it was, but in a simple way, and well done at that.

Regarding the decision to abandon the technology, I think it is a very brave narrative and character decision (as well as an interesting choice from a science-fiction perspective). While the finale was strained for time as it was, they presented the case as best as possible. For further satisfaction, you'd have to look back at the series to understand the underlying desperation, fear of technology, and disintegration of Colonial society that may have helped push this decision (as well as optimism and hope on Lee's part).

Perhaps it would have helped to have mentioned several times throughout the series of "starting over", especially after New Caprica, where they could have mentioned that most construction equipment, supplies, and materials needed to make a new city were left behind during the exodus. That would have helped set up a practical reason for not being able to build a city, as well as still allow Lee to use his choice to disperse the population.

In any case, I loved the finale, can't wait to rewatch the series when that complete set comes out, and I think you've done a fine job with your reviews, Jammer. Good work.

And yes, really bad idea putting up comments beforehand, especially reading them, lol. But you did the best you could, and you learn.

Robo
Nolan - Sun, May 10, 2009 - 3:36pm (USA Central)
I guess one of the reasons I accept the whole abandon technology aspect of the finale is that when the idea was put forward by Lee, it seemed, to me, like it was a, "Well, if this has been a cycle going on for millenia, then, let's try doing this, and see what happens." type of idea. So even if it doesn't work, that's just one more possiblity of ending the cycle to cross off.
Neil - Sun, May 10, 2009 - 10:10pm (USA Central)
I still cannot get over the abandonment of technology. Were there no sick or infirm people that needed medical technology? Were there no parents? I can't think that any parents would willingly revert to a time where child mortality was the accepted norm due to lack of technology.

I also can't help but to think that if there were never an Atlantis series on SciFi, that Moore [et al] could have written a different ending. The majority of colonials that didn't give up technology could have settled in a place called Atlantis only to be wiped out mysteriously some time later. The legend is gift wrapepd for this series.

Jason K - Sun, May 10, 2009 - 10:54pm (USA Central)
I don't have a problem with the technology aspect at all. Perhaps it was like Leoben said, they wanted to see what God or the gods had in store for them before they passed on into his hands. Faith is a powerful thing to many people, much more powerful than any technology.

I've known people that say the doctor's instrument is useless if the hand operating it is not guided by God. I'm sure there are many people out there who don't see that way, but you also have to know that there are. It's a tough question, and it will probably never be settled, by either camp.

I'm sure Doc Cottle and the other doctors there could use the vast natural resources to create some remedies. How effective they would be is anyone's guess, but they didn't have many meds on New Caprica either. Who knows?
Nolan - Sun, May 10, 2009 - 10:56pm (USA Central)
I can see why it's an implausible action to take, and all the logical problems with sch a plan. But I also see why it was suggested as a possible solution to the cycle.

And obviously, everything did work out, becuase, we're all here, decended from those people. =P
Matt L. - Mon, May 11, 2009 - 2:54am (USA Central)
"I still cannot get over the abandonment of technology. Were there no sick or infirm people that needed medical technology? Were there no parents? I can't think that any parents would willingly revert to a time where child mortality was the accepted norm due to lack of technology."

I get your point, but I guess the alternative point is that technology has done more to help hasten the death of children (how many died in the holocaust of the colonies?) than to save them.

Jammer is of course right to point out that it is really human nature that lies at the heart of things, but at least in part that is human nature's tendency to abuse technology.

These people have been trapped in space with nothing BUT technology for years and it has brought them nothing but misery.

Do I think they'll regret their decision? Almost certainly. But I think people are going out of their ways to ignore the state of mind these people are in when they find Earth. Instead we are judging them by what WE think they should do. But for us, when we think about technology, I think we are far more inclined to think of it for all the comforts it brings our lives. Odds are most of us are sitting cozily behind our computer screen, fridges humming, cars parked outside, relative peace surrounding us. If we were the survivors of a nuclear holocaust it may well be we'd have a different view of things.
Latex Zebra - Mon, May 11, 2009 - 7:14am (USA Central)
I'll probably be shot down for this. My theory on the whole Earth 1 and Earth 2 this is that they are the same Earths. Starbucks jump took them, dare I say it, back in time as well as back to the planet.
It's all just a big loop. The skin jobs will somehow appear on Earth and slowly make their way to the colonies after a massive war that destroys Earth and round we go again.
Jason K - Mon, May 11, 2009 - 10:48am (USA Central)
@ Latex Zebra

I toyed with that possibility to, thinking perhaps Kara jumped them through the singularity and back in time...however, Head Baltar clearly refers to earth in the coda as "Earth, the real Earth before this one..."

So who knows? Doesn't really matter much to me. I didn't spend too much time looking for continents and star formations in "Sometimes a Great Notion" so the revelation of a second Earth was not so jarring to me.
Ralph - Mon, May 11, 2009 - 11:47am (USA Central)
Wow, reading this review just choked me up. It was like I was watching the finale all over. Great job on the review.

Thanks for all the great work, Jammer. :)
William B - Mon, May 11, 2009 - 12:49pm (USA Central)
Good review, Jammer. I was disappointed in the finale, finding the negatives you mention--the incoherence of the Opera House metaphor, the "um, what?" decision to end all technology--personal deal-breakers, although I believe I enjoyed the rest of it less as well. (For one, I thought that the resolution to Tyrol and Tory was fairly cheap--I like the idea of a truce falling apart because of a single emotional act, but I think it's a serious flaw in the writing that Tory was never, post-Cally, written with sufficient empathy and sensitivity for anyone to care that she got offed, not to mention Tyrol's own sort of complicity in Cally's death--she was going to kill herself because of him before Tory killed her.) But your review was one of the best I read in defence and praise of the finale, and makes me want to revisit it (which I haven't yet done). Great job and it's been a great series of reviews.
William B - Mon, May 11, 2009 - 12:52pm (USA Central)
Oh, Rob: I don't mind that the answer to the Opera House was "simple," the way the Arrow of Apollo revealed constellations, because that at least did give new information, and information that could not really have come about a different way. There is no reason why Baltar and Six were needed to carry Hera, like, six feet, as opposed to Athena. (As has been pointed out elsewhere, if Helo and Athena had died, then maybe it would make sense for Baltar and Caprica to take over as Hera's parents, although why it would be those two is anyone's guess.)
Latex Zebra - Mon, May 11, 2009 - 1:33pm (USA Central)
@ Jason

Ahh yes, I have overlooked that small detail. I must confess to not having seen "Sometimes a Great Notion"
In fact there are probably about 10 episodes across the series I've missed. Who needs RDM, I can fill in the gaps myself. ;o)
Jamie - Mon, May 11, 2009 - 5:17pm (USA Central)
Excellent work, Jammer. Insightful and reflective as always. It's been a pleasure watching along side your thoughts.
Occuprice - Mon, May 11, 2009 - 7:41pm (USA Central)
Latex Zebra- watch Sometimes a Great Notion! As far as I'm concerned, it's the best episode in the entire series.
Eric - Tue, May 12, 2009 - 4:40am (USA Central)
I feel that Lee should have been labeled the "Harbinger of Death". His "lets abandon technology and start over" call to a group of people who don't know how to live without it is tantamount to saying "lets all commit mass suicide. You have 39,000 people who don't know how to live off the land on a planet that is full of predators that at that time still loved feeding off of hominids. Especially given that the people of the fleet scattered in small groups around the planet, I would be good money that half were dead within a year, and probably 90% within 5 years. There's a reason Hera was "Mitochondrial Eve", everyone else DIED!

On a side note, I wonder who "Y-chromosomal Adam" was.
Latex Zebra - Tue, May 12, 2009 - 6:16am (USA Central)
I will watch "Sometimes a Great Notion" as soon as I get the box set. It'll be the first one I watch on everyones recommendation.
Jason K - Tue, May 12, 2009 - 8:49am (USA Central)
@Eric

"You have 39,000 people who don't know how to live off the land...."

That's only if you are assuming all 39,000 people lived in Caprica City or some other major city in the colonies? Pretty big assumption. Who's to say there were no farmers in the group? We're all so hooked on technology nowadays and it's sad that we simply can not see a world beyond it.
Evan Strauch - Tue, May 12, 2009 - 9:20am (USA Central)
Leaving technology made sense to me. That were running out of supplies- medications, antibiotics, even toothpaste. Machines were starting to fail. It was inevitable that they were going to lose technology anyway.
Jason K - Tue, May 12, 2009 - 10:55am (USA Central)
Honestly it just drives me bonkers the more I think about it.

Who among us can say what they would or would not do having been put through what these people went through? Not one of us, not one, knows exactly how they would react given the same set of circumstances. Look at 9/11. People never could have prepared for how they would react to that, and that was one day. Imagine having 9/11 every day for four years.

Would I give up on technolgy having spent four years running from the cylons....I have no idea, and neither does anyone else.
Jcd - Tue, May 12, 2009 - 11:29am (USA Central)
With regards to the abandonment of technology etc. I think it makes sense (although could have been fleshed about a bit more in dialogue). As Evan said, they were pretty much out of supplies already (living on algae for gods knows how long)and everything was breaking apart. Without the established industry and skills to rebuild essential items. All that would have happened is people would have began infighting over what little remained (as fore-shadowed in *sigh* deadlocked). It was ultimately the right choice.

Otherwise this was in my opinion a majestic end to the show, and the emotional credibility of the script/acting overpowered any minor issues.

Considering other issues; the opera house section was technically marvelous. While its literal existence was not all that it had been hyped to be (perhaps Athena and Helo's deaths would have emphasised this), I think it stood more as the point of Baltar's final conversion, that, more than anything, his visions were coming true. This obviously propelled him to talk Cavill down, and allow the humans and cylons to make (albeit breif) peace, showing they were 'worthy of survival.

Finally I also like Kara vanishing, as far as I'm concerned she died in Maelstrom and returned as an 'angel' to help them complete the jounrey, although such completion had to be earned. That does however emphasise just how much god must have hated the mutineers she killed in Oath/BOTS, imagine being shot by an angel.

Finally just a note of thanks to Jammer for his continued, in depth, commentary which has far exceeded the work of most critics out there.

Cheers,

p.s. constellation matching: Maybe Kara's jump coordinates caused the ship to move through time as well as space and it was in fact the same planet and in fact they were re-starting the cycle about 160,000 years earlier? A joke, but who knows?
Cgal - Tue, May 12, 2009 - 1:26pm (USA Central)
I would like to comment on two subjects

a) Baltar. We must not forget that baltar was responsible for the destruction of the 12 colonies.
He was responsible for the new caprica and the near end of human civilization.
He handed over an atomic bomb! to an enemy agent....
He created a religious fanatic cast who remembers me the darkest days of holly inquisition....
And this men a scientist praise the farmers life a super scientist...
Baltar in every other civilization would have been at least imprisoned for crimes. Don t say about admiral Cain and his complicity on his murder...

B) When human tried to escape from new Caprica
adama made an address a spoke about defending the civilization from extinction. In the end betrays the all thing that defended. Civilization are not the humans only civilization is WAY OF LIVING worth DYING FOR. Culture, poetry cinema, art, painting books, all that things that leave traces
Adamas betray a whole civilization for religious nonsense. Did god wanted to kill 39000 people without technology in horrible deaths;
I dont believe so. When adama destroy his fleet
makes an act of treason. HE took an oath to defend the integrity of the fleet in any cost. i will say again to destroy a spaceship is like to burn a book. The religious cult the destroyed the book because of FEAR. Adama do the same thing destroy the fleet of o fear that technology corrupt people. That is fundamental mistake of all the last episode. The human traits are common rooted in human deeply. We can kill as easily with a knife as easily with a laser pistol. Before two days i saw the new Star Trek an amazing picture full of human characters with flaws and merits. A movie that respect the scientist fiction. The writers of the daybreak didnt. They didn't respect the civilization the men who died for that. They didn't respect our civilization either. Our society has been built from people who died for a better future. The writers view is a near antitechnological position without making any sense at all.I think that the notion of a science fiction series is to defend and protect the meaning of it its philosophy who is the exploration of new visions and the protection of his culture meaning the defense all of these that have obtained within thousand of generations. You cant destroy Coruscant because of the death star. We must choose well not to abstain, because this is the catastrophic decision which Adama took and ended in a very much pitiful way a great civilization.
James - Tue, May 12, 2009 - 4:32pm (USA Central)
Interesting that you felt that Tyrol's ending was the most bitter. If anything, I thought he may be one of the few that got exactly what he wanted--to escape the madness of humanity and civilization. I expect that he may join a tribe of natives if he gets lonely--and quite frankly, I think he'd be happier living with the "simple" natives than humans.

I actually thought Baltar's ending was the most bitter and appropriate. His entire life was spent trying to escape his roots, to become something "better" (by Baltar's definition) than his origins. In the end, he is forced to live the life he worked so hard to escape.

In the end, he is the one who will never be happy with their settlement of Earth 2... and perhaps it is a appropriate fate for someone who causes so much suffering.

I still think Baltar is the most "human" of the characters. Few of his actions were genuinely evil--more often than not, he makes an impulsive choice to survive and ends up in a worse situation.
Evan Strauch - Tue, May 12, 2009 - 6:43pm (USA Central)
Baltar's farmer ending was satisfying, but I still think that season 4 was waste of Callis's talent. They gave him a nonsense storyline that really didn't do anything for the amountof time they spent on it. Seasons 1-2 were awesome for him.. 3 was way worse.. and by 4 his character was really lackluster.
Mehman - Tue, May 12, 2009 - 9:57pm (USA Central)
I'll buy that some people within the fleet, after all they had been through, would be for abandoning technology.

What I don't buy is that all 39,000 of them would be on the same page to do it.....particularly when half (?more) of the fleet seem to hate the Adamas' guts. I doubt they would be particularly receptive from any directive from Lee or Bill Adama.

I also agree that this COULD have worked had the writers' done what they have done so well in the past with this show....planted seeds of an anti-technology movement early on in the season, only to have it pay off in the last episode. Maybe they could have had Baltar's cult adopt an anti-technology bent and had their cult gain increasing popularity over the season (at least that would have created some point to Baltar's cult, other than giving something for Baltar to do throughout the season).
Eric - Wed, May 13, 2009 - 5:04am (USA Central)
@Jason K

"Who's to say there were no farmers in the group? We're all so hooked on technology nowadays and it's sad that we simply can not see a world beyond it."

Have you ever seen James Burke's "Connections"? It talks about that very concept in the first episode.

Let me see if I can make my point more clearly.

First, your point about farmers in the fleet. There most certainly were farmers in the fleet. SOMEBODY was growing & harvesting food on the agro ships. However, that very much was technological farming at it's most advanced. Trying to transfer that knowledge to Earth 2 is problamatic at best. They are going to have try to grow plants that they brought with them (hopefully they unloaded the agro ships before they launched them into the sun). There was nothing domesticated on Earth 2 when thay landed, plant or animal. With a few very limited exceptions, all the fruits and veggies you find in you grocery store or farmer's market were created by selective breeding by man and did not exist 150,000 years ago.

Next there's the physical process of farming. They're going to have to build a plow from scratch. Lets say they get that done, and it's sturdy enough to actually till soil without falling apart. How are they going to pull it? As we have established, there are no domesticated animals. They are going to have to get other people to pull it while they push (I understand that this used to be common in the river deltas where heavy animals would sink into the mud). This will only work in light soils.

Ok, they have some form of seed crop that they can plant, they've come up with a plow, and they've figured out a way to pull it. Is the area of the planet they're trying to farm suitable for the crops they're trying to grow? What part of the growing season did they arrive in? That will vary depending on location, but can they plant right away or must they wait a few months before they can plant their crops?

Either way, while they're doing all this they're also going to have to hunt & gather to feed themselves while waiting for the crops to come in. What are they going to use to do that? They've sent our ships into the sun so they can't produce ammunition for their guns anymore. Once they run out of ammo the gun are just clubs. So they're going to need bows & spears. Assuming they make decent (i.e. respectively straight) weapons, how long is it going to take to learn how to use them effectivly? They're not just point & shoot. As for gathering, do they know what will feed them instead of poison them?

Speaking of poison, they've abandoned modern medicine. What if they get sick or injured? How are they going to treat themselves? What about child birth? We forget in the Western World just how challenging and daingerous child birth is for women due to modern medicine. What about child mortality? As little as 150 years ago if you had 8 children you would be lucky for 3 to live to adulthood. Old age was 35 to 40 years old.

You complain that we are hooked on technology, and it's true. Our lives depend on it. We can't just walk away from it and expect everyone to live happily ever after. Even if you are happy, ever after's going to be a very short time.
WakeMed - Wed, May 13, 2009 - 8:55am (USA Central)
Wow, someone has put a lot of thought into this, perhaps a bit too much. So because Eric doesn't think the colonials could build a plow, we muct all hate the finale. This whole argument is just stupid now.
Jason K - Wed, May 13, 2009 - 9:45am (USA Central)
@Eric

I really appreciate the amount of thought you put behind that statement. I truly do. In my own mind however, it's all irrelevant to me. I enjoyed the finale immensely, worked out what answers I felt needed to be worked out in my own mind and moved on. I can't sit up all night and worry about how the Colonials did once they reached earth.

Whether or not they can build a plow isn't going to help me pay my utility bills.

Whether or not they are going to be able to tame a horse isn't going to help me pay my car.

Whether or not they can plant a seed isn't go to pay for my house.

Whether or not they can use a bow and arrow isn't going to pay my medical bills.

And imagining Hera doing the deed with the natives has done NOTHING AT ALL for my sex life....Ok, bad joke.

I'm not trying to sound like a complainer. I pay my bills just fine. I'm just making the point that absolutely nothing in my life hinges on what the Colonials did. I could care less. I enjoyed the finale, I was happy, I didn't feel cheated. In my mind, they adapted, did what they had to do to survive and eventually died off. It's bittersweet, but in my mind they died happy and at peace, the way they wanted to. Regardless of whether or not it was 3 years, 5 years, 50 or 100. I've come to peace with it. It's been weeks now since the show ended, and for me it's time to move on and stop worrying about what fictional characters did or did not do.
Jason K - Wed, May 13, 2009 - 9:47am (USA Central)
Oh, also, forgot to ask.

WakeMed....are you actually associated with WakeMed in North Carolina, or is it just a coincidence? If so, what department are you in? I'm in the A/V conferencing department on the first floor.
Nolan - Wed, May 13, 2009 - 12:13pm (USA Central)
I should point out that all the arguments of whether the colonials survived or not is a moot point. According to the show /we/ are their decendents, so obviously, these fictional people from our past did survive long enough for us to come to fruition. And then /we/ invented all that good stuff Eric talked about.

There was a time when humans, didn't have all those tools, and somehow we survived. Then we had the industrial revolution.

In the end it doesn't matter if it's plausible or not, it's a minor arguement, when it comes to /anything/ really. The only reason I wrote to paragraphs about it was, well, I got nothing better to do, 'cause I still don't have a job. :p
John R - Wed, May 13, 2009 - 4:16pm (USA Central)
Hey Jammer,

It's been great following your reviews. I just wanted to add that the only thing I looked forward as much as an episode of BSG was reading your reviews afterwards. Bravo!

They've always been insightful, considered and show an intellect and understanding of the show that most of us mere mortals couldn't match up to.

So thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us all. You've enabled me to appreciate the show a great deal more that I would have done - so who needs a directors commentary?

What with ST and BSG it has been quite a few years. I hope that if you do follow another show to review it matches the calibre and respect of the reviews you give to them. And if it does - I'll be here reading about it.

Time to get some sunshine :)
Eric - Wed, May 13, 2009 - 4:20pm (USA Central)
@Jason K & WakeMed

You are both claiming that I have made a statement that I haven't, i.e. that I didn't enjoy the final and that others shouldn't either. Both could not be farther from the truth. I did in fact enjoy it very much. All I have stating is that:

1) Very few of the Colonists would have survived for very long. This is supported by the story itself in that we are all supposed to be decended from Hera Agathon and the male(s) she had children with, and the males that had children with her decentents.

2) If they had not followed Lee's adviced about abandoning technology far mor of the would have survived.

You are both also correct if that it is a work of fiction and none of it matters except that we, the viewers, enjoyed the show.

@Nolan

I hope you find a job soon. Unemployment sucks!
Samuel Walters - Wed, May 13, 2009 - 4:26pm (USA Central)
The problem with Lee's decision to abandon technology isn't necessarily in the concept, but in the execution -- as in, why wasn't there a more plausible and explicit build up to those sentiments in the series? (Yes, I get the whole deal of the Colonials being annihilated and hunted by their technology, but why weren't these sentiments given voice before Lee's sudden revelation?)

More importantly, however, when Lee says "technology" does he mean all tools, all science? If so, goodbye clubs, goodbye huts, goodbye domesticated animals, farming, and the like. Does Lee simply mean, "goodbye to anything electrical or nuclear powered"? Does he mean something else? He says no cities, but there can be small communities? How big is too big of a settlement? There's absolutely no mention of where Lee plans to draw the line on any of these issues beyond simply saying that they'll give the natives language. The line, as written, is simply too vague.

Clearly, from Baltar's words, farming will continue, so unless the Colonials plan to do all the planting and harvesting by hand, they will need *some* form of tools assist them. And they'll need some form of science to predict the best times to plant and harvest their crops, to irrigate the crops in times of drought, to determine the best times to go hunting and so forth.

Plus, if you plan on hunting, you'll also need tools, so what about blacksmiths? And tools lead to weapons -- whether its a gun or a scythe. That's the inherent paradox of technology (it is at once a method of production and at the same time method of destruction), one that was wholly ignored by Lee's decision.

If all of this works for some viewers (which, clearly it does) then that's cool. But no amount of "well, it worked for me" will provide a justification for the actions of the Colonials, Moore's decision to have the Colonials give up all technology to begin with, and his method of so suddenly and insufficiently portraying that decision on-screen.
Jason K - Wed, May 13, 2009 - 4:55pm (USA Central)
Hey Eric,

I can't speak for anyone else...but I didn't make any assumption that you hated the final...and if I did, I'm sorry. In fact, I complimented you on a well thought out response. Sorry if it came off that way.
Davidw - Wed, May 13, 2009 - 7:15pm (USA Central)

Overall comment - yes, BSG was great. No, beyond that, probably some of the best Science Fiction on Television (if you can make such comparisons) but I think all this about the final 5 or 6 and is you or is you aint a Sylon to be rather just too much. I think the Boomer subplot should have been it. Once you do this once, to do it again is really manipulation. If you want to do to a lot of people, confine it to one episode and then end it. But to start doing it to different people at different times to simply make a climax is insufferable. I would almost expect the characters to start saying 'guess what, I'm a Sylon too


I don't know why you guys can't handle that Kara is simply a angel (perhaps an arch angel or something different than the other two we saw) and it was her time to go somewhere else.

Maybe that is not consistent with Kara's remarks and her finding Earth(1), or her saying "I found Earth, It's all right" and then leading them to wrong place. OK, so maybe that is contradiction, but otherwise she is probably some type of angel - maybe she is half angel or whatever.

I am going to watch the whole

Nolan - Wed, May 13, 2009 - 7:27pm (USA Central)
Thank you for the support Eric, unemplyment does suck, not just for impending brokeness, but also, the boredom that ensues.

It doesn't help that I've been out of High school for awhile now, and still don't have any experiance.

Oh well, this is the comment section for BSG reveiws, not My personal problems discussing. =P
Jack Bauer - Thu, May 14, 2009 - 1:50pm (USA Central)
I was mostly unsatisified on the character level of the finale. The plot was an absolute joke, but like the new Star Trek movie, I can get around that. Its the complete lack of regard for the characters and their decisions that I hate.

Weve spent 5.5 years with this show, being invested in the lives of these characters, and the last hour is what were rewarded with? The Admiral flying off to god knows where to do whatever and never come back? Starbuck vanishing, Tyroll living on his own (for the rest of his life?) uh huh. How about Tigh and Bill Adama's goodbye? They built up how they both love the service, and the ship more than life itself and they dont even get an on screen send off?

It was just garbage.
Jason K - Thu, May 14, 2009 - 3:26pm (USA Central)
I would have liked to see Tigh and Adama say goodbye as well. However, the grin they share just before they jump into the Cylon Colony says it all for me. Just a classic moment.
Nolan - Thu, May 14, 2009 - 3:27pm (USA Central)
i believe you're wrong about one thing, Jack Bauer, Adama, did give the ship a send off. Remember, when he got into his viper and did a fly-by? I think that's the appropriate send off for Galactica.
Jason K - Thu, May 14, 2009 - 3:44pm (USA Central)
I think he's referring to Adama and Tigh over Adama and Galactica, Nolan. They really did deserve a goodbye scene....however, the silly thing is, had Lee not made that silly comment about Adama never coming back, this would all be a moot point.
Jammer - Thu, May 14, 2009 - 4:02pm (USA Central)
A goodbye between Adama and Tigh would've been fine, but I have no problem with its omission. In the finale they had to choose their moments given limited time, and the fact is that Adama and Tigh had plenty of scenes through season 4 that provided a sendoff to their relationship ... not to mention the flashback scenes in the nightclub on Caprica.

I would argue that their actual goodbye came in "Islanded in a Stream of Stars" when they sat on the couch after Adama announced his decision to abandon ship.

It's a minor point, in my mind. I think the sendoff of Galactica was more necessary in the final minutes of "Daybreak."
Jack Bauer - Thu, May 14, 2009 - 6:14pm (USA Central)
What about that nonsense in time square? Do you think the 5 minutes of screen time that got deserved to trump the 45 seconds of screen time a proper goodbye between the shows 2 main characters should have had?

"had Lee not made that silly comment about Adama never coming back, this would all be a moot point."

Thats a fantastic point. If Lee doesnt say that, then Adama is flying Roslin to her final resting place, I dont see how the emotion of the scene would be any less for it. Then we dont have this ridiculous argument of why Adama would leave Lee.

I really think we needed half of the final hour on them settling, and the other half on how they lived their lives. Wouldnt of it been so cool to see how these characters that we became attached to ended up after colonization. I can picture so much more value in that then what we got.
karatasiospa - Fri, May 15, 2009 - 12:31am (USA Central)
Jammer will you review Ronald Moore's "Virtuality" pilot which will air on Fox on July 4th?
Jammer - Fri, May 15, 2009 - 9:09am (USA Central)
^ I honestly see little point in reviewing a DOA series. Talk about a dump job. July 4? Why even air it?
Occuprice - Fri, May 15, 2009 - 4:29pm (USA Central)
Such a shame that it's not going anywhere. It sounded great.

But then again... this might mean RDM will be more involved in Caprica, which will be a boon to that show.
Josh - Fri, May 15, 2009 - 7:05pm (USA Central)
So Jammer, are you going to review Caprica? The masses must know!
karatasiospa - Sat, May 16, 2009 - 5:27am (USA Central)
Yes i was really looking forward to watch Virtuality but it seems it will never be a series. Fox for one more time cancells a good show. So caprica is all we have now let's hope that it will be good allthough i'm a little suspicious after the pilot, looks too soapoperish.
Brad - Sun, May 17, 2009 - 10:52pm (USA Central)
Yes, I'm surprised they are going to bother to air Virtuality. Why not put it up for download with a nominal fee? They might as well make some money off their investment. Further, those of us who won't be watching the tube on the Fourth might actually get to see it.
Craig - Mon, May 18, 2009 - 1:28pm (USA Central)
Hi Jammer,

I love your reviews. They are always thoughtful and incisive. And you are not afraid to call BS when Ronald E. Moore or the writers fail. Is it just me, or is the execution (acting, props, music, CGI) systematically sublime but sometimes hobbled by occasionally dubious plotlines and gratuitous retcons? (EG: Black Market, Hero..).

However, I have to basically disagree with you on this one. The finale, in terms of plot and believability, was catastrophically bad. The writers throughout the seasons raised expectations and mysteries: the Opera House, Starbuck's nature, the Music, and basically decided to give no justification whatsoever. There is absolutely no payoff for any of this.

There were just a lot of bad calls and bad writing, that either didn't work, lost my suspension of disbelief, or 'ruined' the BSG universe:
* Hoshi/Lampkin (what?)
* Dean Stockwell eating his gun (OK..)
* Technology (*catastrophic*, as you note)
* Starbuck (so our gritty, "naturalistic science fiction" show now has vanishing angels, lovely; they should have put her in a Viper for the final battle and have her go up in a blaze of glory; would have kept the mystery without being silly)
* Racetrack's nuke (serendipity (again) indeed)
* The Opera House (2.5 seasons of ominous visions playing "The Shape of Things to Come" just to have a particular route to CIC..)
* The Music (oh wait, God did it)
* Head Six/Baltar (more God..)
* Freeing the Centurions ("they deserve it"!)
* The Baltar/Caprica Outtro/ending (the BSG universe literally comes to an end)

Battlestar was an amazing experience partly because it created a plausible, compelling and even visceral universe for us to inhabit. It felt real. The finale undid that. It had half a dozen cop outs that went from dissatisfying to completely implausible.

I am inclined to agree with Josh Tyler's review "Why The Battlestar Galactica Finale Is A Huge Cop Out And It Doesn’t Matter". These problems are there, but there remains so many beautifully acted gems of scenes within the plot's incoherent edifice. So many times I was moved or blown away. Roslin's farewell and Baltar's "farming" (brought in quite late in the show, but was extremely effective) practically brought tears to my eyes. Boomer's dilemma, particularly after the imprisoned-Athena Helo-sex scene, had an awful tragedy to it. The action sequences are phenomenal.

These don't undo the travesties in the writing. Beautifully acted and executed scenes within a catastrophic plot that literally threatens the BSG universe's believability, Daybreak II was a diamond-encrusted turd.
karatasiospa - Tue, May 19, 2009 - 2:48am (USA Central)
Look people it all comes down to that: R.Moore wanted to bring these people to earth and make Hera our ancestor. I don't have any problem with that but if that is what he wanted he should somehow plan the story with that in mind perhaps not from the beginning but at least in the fourth season. But he didn't and the result was an episode full with inconsistencies sometimes even absurd. Take the opera house vision for example: for almost 2 seasons this scene seemed to hold the clue to the series's end but it didn;t. I believe that the writers just improvised and they made many promises that they couldn't keep in a satisfactory way (obvious examples are the opera house and starbuck's nature).but even then the whole matter of abandoning technology does not make any sense.
Josh - Tue, May 19, 2009 - 6:55am (USA Central)
Another thing, which could have helped the Opera House sequence, would be if it was more clearly signalled that Caprica and Baltar made a choice to go to CIC. The way it was editted, beautiful as it was, made it look like they were roaming around evasively and ended up at CIC by chance. It would have been more effective had they realised they needed to go to CIC and put themselves at risk to get there.
Occuprice - Tue, May 19, 2009 - 5:41pm (USA Central)
I disagree that it would have been more effective if it was clear that they knew they needed to go to CIC. They were drawn there without realizing it, pulled by the same greater force that has always pulled them, and once they are there... THAT is the moment of revelation.
alex1939 - Wed, May 20, 2009 - 9:15am (USA Central)
C.I.C. = where so much great drama of the show unfolded.

Opera House = a theater in which a dramatic performance is set to music.


Man, I think Ron Moore played it beautifully. I have no problems with the CIC being the opera house. It makes poetic sense, because so much of the show happened there. For some reason I think a lot of people overlook that or disregard its significance.
MP - Thu, May 21, 2009 - 11:17pm (USA Central)
Anyone else remember D'Anna dying a horrible, excruciating death either by starvation, thirst, or radiation poisoning?

All the while these people are still alive, at least for a little bit, on Earth?
Commander Tuvok - Mon, May 25, 2009 - 10:45pm (USA Central)
Great reveiw on the BSG finale. I thought the movie, Caprica, was outstanding.
V - Tue, May 26, 2009 - 10:06am (USA Central)
"my inability to shut up means that this site will go on, in one form or another. Whatever the future holds, I hope you'll stick around. I'll see you on the other side."

But the question is, where will you go now?

I got into BSG because Star Trek ended the same year it started in 1995. Now BSG ends, just as Star Trek returns...though in movie format.

I assume you'll review the JJ Abrams Trek movie soon.

Anyway, what's left? SYFYlis' Stargate Universe? The Caprica prequel? Caprica looks like a disaster, a shameless attempt to cash in on the BSG brand name a la "Star Trek: Enterprise"

my hope is taht Brian Fuller gets his wish, and within 3 years he gets to make another Star Trek series.

Until then the recession has destroyed most TV, to the point that the only good shows I watch are Fringe and Dollhouse.

Maybe the good BSG writers from seasons 1-2 like Toni Graphia, who worked on Terminator, will be back on other stuff. Follow your favorite writers to new shows.

Until then, step back and make sure its a good show before you get emotionally invested; I've only been watching since BSG season 3 because I was already emotionally invested.

No, it destroyed my belief in this series when they said "oh yeah, we're making it up as we go, and *there IS NO Cylon Plan*". After hyping it so much.

Because characters ARE based on continuity, not just a lot of tear-jerk moments.

Time will tell, sooner or later. Always does.
Occuprice - Tue, May 26, 2009 - 4:31pm (USA Central)
V... there is a Cylon Plan... and I'm sure you'll find out about it in, well, "The Plan" this fall... just thought I'd point that out.
Jason K - Tue, May 26, 2009 - 5:07pm (USA Central)
Ya so the Cylon's HAD a plan.

Even the best laid plans though.......

I planned once to be a Paleontologist, so how exactly did I wind up in Audio/Visual design?? LOL
dawg3294 - Tue, May 26, 2009 - 11:25pm (USA Central)
So did pigeons evolve on two separate planets? The odds are astronomical. Maybe they are an invasive species that stowed away on one of the ships?

karatasiospa - Wed, May 27, 2009 - 12:37am (USA Central)
There was a cylon plan but it failed. A great thing with BSG was that nothing was predetermined. As for caprica it is to early to judge.
Josh - Thu, May 28, 2009 - 9:22am (USA Central)
"Great reveiw on the BSG finale. I thought the movie, Caprica, was outstanding. "

Agreed. I was really impressed with it, but also for the courage of it. The series is a completely different genre to BSG. Unlike Star Trek spinoffs where they were essentially copying the previous form, it cannot depend on the existing franchise fanbase to sustain it, because there is no guarantee that their entertainment will translate. It must succeed in its own right.
Ryan B - Fri, May 29, 2009 - 2:01pm (USA Central)
@V

I encourage you to watch Caprica before you say too much more, lest the breadth of your pre-judgment make you look like an asshole. It has been widely available for purchase or download since April 21st.
WakeMed - Fri, May 29, 2009 - 2:18pm (USA Central)
I really just have to laugh at people like this guy, V, above, who think Jammer needs any advice on where and how to pick out shows which he chooses to review. Jammer's only been doing this for the better part of the decade now.
Occuprice - Fri, May 29, 2009 - 5:43pm (USA Central)
WakeMed- I know Jammer started doing reviews for DS9 around season 3 or 4... so It's been like 13 years at least I think. Congrats on that, Jammer, by the way.
Nolan - Sun, Jun 7, 2009 - 2:09am (USA Central)
I was re-watching 'Final Cut' today, and when it came to RaceTrack's interveiw, I had to laugh.

"The first thing they tell you is to assume your already dead [...] Dead men don't freeze up under fire. I'm just worried hell's a lonely place, and I'm gonna fill it up with every Toaster son-of-a-bitch I find."

This is too funny, considering it seems she took out /every single opposing Cylon./

This seems to help justify the deus ex machina of her releasing those nukes to me, at least a little bit.
karatasiospa - Sun, Jun 7, 2009 - 5:03am (USA Central)
Finally Virtuality will air on june 26 so perhaps there is a chance that it will be developed into a series and so jammer perhaps you can review it.
Occuprice - Sun, Jun 7, 2009 - 7:43pm (USA Central)
Yay for Virtuality airing the 26th! Now I can see it before I get out of town!

It sounds like such an awesome show.
KEITH - Sat, Jun 13, 2009 - 8:31pm (USA Central)

First course of business is to express my sincere appreciation to Jammer for his hard work and dedication, the fruits of which have provided me with a sense of belonging, after a fashion, even as they kept me entertained and engaged for many hours over many years. Thank you.

While my initial viewing of the finale was despoiled by a chattering, whispering physicist unable to get past the insurmountable problem of anything, let along a kilometers-wide organoghetto, existing alongside a singularity, a second viewing had me suspending my own misgivings and surrendering to the characters emotional experiences. I found myself thinking of those first moments in the miniseries when Mary McDonnell created an entire human being from a few lines of script and had me cheering for her as she instantly cemented (Jamie Bamber's fresh and smart) Apollo's loyalty and respect. Watching E.J.Olmos as Adama slipped his wedding ring on Roslin's finger, I felt my face contort with his pain (mirror neurons don't lie) and sighed with grief at losing her. I really felt like someone I'd known had just died. Not a close friend of course, but nevertheless someone I found myself mourning.

So for what it's worth, I agree with many of the comments made (the contrivance of surrendering the implements and techniques of intelligent progress in the name of "breaking the cycle" while ignoring the "human" nature from which the cycle arrises (and of which almost no one can dispense) was, at the risk of missing some breaking revelation, a pornographically unambitious mulefest. May forefend they built Atlantis and sank beneath the waves in 135,000 years, but scatter, then love into the natives? It was nails on the chalkboard.) on the negative. But on the whole, even overwhelmingly, I was swept away.

May I indulge, for a moment, in Baltar's defense? I don't mean to offend anyone for whom the character is an evil man deserving a mangled fate in the teeth of a sabertooth, but I only see a weak and small man, not an evil one. There are, forgive the banal courtroom analogy, 2 parts to typical "crime", the evil act, and the evil intent. Baltar was irresponsible and short-sighted in giving Caprica Six access to sensitive systems. But there was no collusion, no intention of betrayal, and not even a glimmer of who, or what, Six really was. Baltar had neither character nor quality but he was not evil. He was a pawn. Someone had to be.

And what did "angel" Baltar mean when he said, at the last, "You know he hates it when you call him that." Possibilities exploded in my head, one last time. Loved that!. Loved BSG.
Alex - Sun, Jun 14, 2009 - 10:12am (USA Central)
Nice review, Jammer.

I've held off on watching the finale for a while (and on reading any reviews). I'm one of those who likes to forego the ads and watch things back to back.

BSG stands out to me as a series that had no low points - from the miniseries to Daybreak, it was a wonderful piece of dramatic fiction.

There are things about the ending that I disliked, but oh-so-many that I loved. I always feel a bit emotionally drained when I come to the end of a series that I love. 'What you Leave Behind' was the same, even if it was blatantly going out of its way to tug on the heartstrings.
Daybreak left me happy, sad and pensive.

The culmination of the 'mysticism' angle was slightly disappointing, though it did have its moments of genius, such as when Kara sat playing the piano with the man in her imagination (was that 'God', perchance?), and the music blended oh-so perfectly into McReary's watchtower.

Even if some elements of the finale were disappointing, the resolutions for the characters saved it for me. Whilst Apollo felt a little abandoned throughout the last season (even his last farewell to his father felt underplayed), for Starbuck, the Admiral, and for Roslin, this was a great finish.

Of all the brilliantly carried moments that Adama has had, nothing defined him more perfectly for me than those last words: "It reminds me of you."
Occuprice - Thu, Jul 23, 2009 - 12:19pm (USA Central)
I just noticed on the Main Page that DS9 ran from 93-99 and BSG from 03-09 and yet DS9 had 7 seasons and about 170 episodes while BSG had 4 seasons and about 70 episodes. Made me smile, hoorah for the huge stretch out of BSG's final season!
Brownboyslim - Thu, Jul 23, 2009 - 11:33pm (USA Central)
The ending of this show instantly reminded me of the original Battlestar Galactica.

I believe at the start of that show the voice over mentioned something like "Some say that life here began out there"

How cool is that?

I also felt it was a bit of a cop out that everyone wanted to start afresh. I could have handled it if some of the colonials wanted to keep to their ships and maybe go their separate ways.

But I do like to think that by leaving their technology behind they couldn't help but pass down some of their knowledge to what would perhaps become the forerunners of the Aztecs, Egyptians etc and that all partial knowledge was used to help in the creation of some of the ancient wonders and engineering aspects of the earliest civilizations.

Or something like that. I try not to think to hard.

On a final note; I have recently watched the entire 4 seasons for the second time on DVD, and without the commercial interruptions and the ability to watch a few episodes side by side, I have really enjoyed and understood this series much better.
Josh - Sat, Aug 1, 2009 - 11:13am (USA Central)
"And you can sometimes see that in "Daybreak" (with the aforementioned Opera House revelation "

No. You've missed the point. The Opera House sequence wasn't the big revelation of The Truth of the Opera House. The dying leader had long since learnt its truth. The Truth of the Opera House was that through forgiveness and mercy, humanity finds salvation.

The act of forgiveness and mercy was way back in 'The Hub' when Roslin spared Baltar's life despite learning of his key role in the holocaust. Up til then, Roslin had been gunning for Baltar for New Caprica. The revelation of his crimes was almost too good for her. All her hate could now legitimately be channelled towards one man and the simple act of watching him bleed to death would be sweet, sweet justice served, just like the sweet, sweet justice that Cavil sought when he planned the holocaust.

But instead, with some encouragement from Kai Opaka, she spared him. Because she spared him, Baltar was able to talk down D'Anna in 'Revelations' just enough to allow her to consider Lee's offer of alliance. He was able to talk down Cavil here and of course, along with his co-conspirator, he was able to save Hera so that the future of humanity might be preserved.

How delicious an irony is that? Baltar and Caprica, the two most culpable for the destruction of the colonies are the ones who save the future of humanity. And it was all because of human mercy and forgiveness. Worthy of survival, indeed.

Yes, RDM was giving us the godsdamned Sermon on the Mount (he does look a bit like Jesus doesn't he?). Cue horrified reactions from those who hated the religious overtones of the series. They would rather believe RDM funked a decent payoff to the Opera House thing than believe it was in fact Biblical preaching. But there it is. The Opera House sequence here was the mere completion of the picture.

How simple minded were we for thinking that the Truth of the Opera House would only have been a lame plot point. How simple minded was I for my earlier assertions that Hera should have been adopted by Baltar and Caprica to pay off the suggestion from 'Home part 2' that she was their child all along? I'm embarassed to have even thought such a thing.
karatasiospa - Mon, Aug 3, 2009 - 5:13am (USA Central)
For the record R.Moore is an agnosticist as he said himself, he's not a religious man. As for the meaning of daybreak what Karen Meisner said in "strange horizons.com" and i absolutely agreee:
"Still, whether we view the seraphs as biological or theological creations, the upshot is that forces beyond our understanding are at work in the universe. Once a Godlike power is postulated as a player, the questions that arise are numerous and fascinating. For example, does our world proceed from a theistic reality, or did the power, or its seraphs, evolve from a human-like race? These possibilities are not necessarily contradictory. The evolution of sentience may lead to an enlightened state of something akin to grace, a notion many science-fictional stories explore through post-human singularities. But the most important question is probably: is our destiny in our own hands? The answer in Galactica is a complicated yes and no. On the micro level, it seems clear that individuals have free will. The Cylons are the model here: as individuals, we are all subject to our programming, and yet as, for example, Sharon Agathon has shown, we have the free will to override it. At the macro level, however, the argument seems to be that our species develops in predictable patterns, a cyclical progression which repeats itself so consistently that it is practically fate. The show posits a sort of long-term biological cycle: we periodically reach a point when our civilization outstrips its function and becomes destructive to us. If any god takes part in this destruction, it's a form of god that is tantamount to nature. In an impassioned speech to Cavil toward the end of "Daybreak," Baltar presents what may be the show's most definitive statement on this relationship: "God's not on any one side. God's a force of nature. Beyond good and evil. Good and evil: we created those. You want to break the cycle? . . . Well that's in our hands, and our hands only. Requires a leap of faith. Requires that we live in hope, not fear.",
"The glimpses we get are, I think, less an attempt to explain plot through magical systems than an acknowledgment that there are systems at work that we don't understand. Consider that the fleet has crossed galaxies for years without once encountering alien lifeforms: the entirety of the universe's strangeness is represented within the story's mysticism. Meanwhile, humans and Cylons, once so foreign to each other, begin to cross-breed, and when they discover life on the new Earth, it turns out to be just like them. Even angels in this universe may be evolved from shared genetic roots. What emerges from the writers' choices to portray the species and setting this way is a show that isn't really about exploring the infinite diversity of outer space, any more than it's a show about finding God. Ultimately, it is about exploring and discovering our own humanity and our search for meaning. We are plenty alien enough to ourselves, in all our variety, and our greatest epic struggle is to learn how to live with one another."
and again:"So I see it as a happy ending but also a cynical one: the characters have finally found a chance to begin anew, but their choice cannot be taken as prescriptive: we viewers are aware that their new beginning will ultimately end right back where they started. The decision to start fresh is not an answer to humanity's problems; it is a utopian urge both beautiful and foolhardy, naive and doomed. It is not antithetical to a forward-looking urge for knowledge and exploration; it is driven by the same capacity to dream that has always pushed people to explore new frontiers, to try and find better ways to live. Neither technology nor the refutation of it is a real solution to our problems, but what keeps us going, the show suggests, is the dream itself. The belief that we can choose to break from our patterns, that there must be some kind of way out of here, even though we are all jokers and thieves, flawed creatures carrying the seeds of our destruction within us. We also carry within us the hope of salvation."




Josh - Mon, Aug 3, 2009 - 7:47am (USA Central)
The Truth of the Opera House need not require RDM to be religious in the traditional sense. No where during in the exploration of faith throughout the series is there any suggestion that it involves taking communion, performing kiddush, or the myriad of other arcane rituals that the majority feel are an integral part of having faith.
karatasiospa - Wed, Aug 5, 2009 - 4:59am (USA Central)
When one says that he is agnosticist he's saying that he has not faith to some god allthoufg he may have faith in other things. I think that K.Meisner has expressed that very well in the pessages that i quoted.
raindog - Thu, Aug 6, 2009 - 12:22am (USA Central)
Ugh. Finally watched Season 4.5. What dreck.

Season 1: 4 stars
Season 2: 4 stars
Season 3: 2.5 or 3 stars
Season 4: 1 star

Really, there is not anything redeeming in Season 4. It's self-indulgent, poorly-written, confused garbage.
Nolan - Sun, Aug 9, 2009 - 3:37pm (USA Central)
I don't know if this has been said here yet but, it occured to me as I read the part of your review that "All Along the Watchtower" played over the scene of robots and the Six/Baltar angels, that perhaps in terms of the show, the joker and the thief/the two riders who were apporoaching, the song talks about could be, again, in terms of the show, the two angels. Or something.
Jason K - Sat, Aug 15, 2009 - 8:33am (USA Central)
Well, I've finished my 4.5 dvd and my opinion of the show as a classic still stands. I can see why people would not like it, but it really all depends on your personal and spiritual beliefs. For me, everything made sense, but it's clear to see how the other camps feel as well.

Personally, I think the problem with the final 10 episodes was bad editing. A lot of good stuff got cut from these episodes while strange bits were left in. A lot of the deleted scenes on the dvd added a lot to the story and I don't really understand the reason for cutting them.

It's also worth noting that if you watch the deleted scenes from when they found the first nuked Earth, Roslin is worried because Gaeta is only able to confirm a handful of the constellations match (I think only 4 if I remember correctly). I guess they felt that would make it too obvious that it wasn't our Earth, but at the same time, that is important info IMO.
Robo - Thu, Aug 20, 2009 - 12:23pm (USA Central)
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post, but anyways, I've been re watching the battlestar series on the complete series blu-ray set, and I have to say, it looks and sounds so awesome. I've never seen battlestar like this, and it is very cool. Looking forward to eventually getting to see the extended 4.5 episodes!
Josh - Fri, Aug 21, 2009 - 7:03am (USA Central)
Jason K,

Interesting thoughts on season 4.5. I would agree your assessment that BSG becomes slightly Marmite-ish. I think it was always like that what with the melodrama and all. There is no questioning the sheer quality of the production. It really boils down to whether you accept the themes. Since BSG was lauded for not being campy scifi, but more gritty realistic scifi, some fans really didn't like the move to the more religious plotting.

Of course, this theme was foreshadowed from the start, but was much more subtle. I actually think it is to the credit of the piece the way the religious themes gradually built up over the series.

Robo,

Sounds good. I bought a blu-ray drive especially for getting BSG on blu-ray. I can't wait to watch it when I get home.
Jammer - Fri, Aug 21, 2009 - 9:47am (USA Central)
BSG season 4.5 looks great on Blu-ray. I wish I had the entire series on Blu-ray, but I really can't justify buying it again when I have all the DVDs.
Robo - Fri, Aug 21, 2009 - 10:27am (USA Central)
Josh,

Yes, the battlestar purchase was what convinced me to buy a blu-ray player for the future, heh. It will be worth it.

Jammer,

That makes a lot of sense. I knew that they would eventually release the whole series together in some format, so I refrained from buying the individual seasons (and half seasons, haha). I had to be very, very patient, but I'm glad that it was worth it. I'm glad to hear that 4.5 looks so great.
Josh - Sat, Aug 22, 2009 - 7:18am (USA Central)
Unfortunately, Robo, you forgot that The Plan hasn't been released yet. So you didn't quite get it right. I probably won't get it right either, because I'm far too impatient to do things like waiting.

It's not quite as stupid as the way they keep releasing Harry Potter box sets. Years 1-3, Years 1-4, Years 1-5.
Robo - Sat, Aug 22, 2009 - 6:42pm (USA Central)
Josh,

Thanks for the heads-up, but I was already aware that the Plan was not in the complete series, however, and like you, I'm not going to wait around for more months just so they can put that in along with the rest of the set. I'll get The Plan on blu-ray when it comes out in October.

This is probably as complete a set as you're going to get (besides those face of the enemy webisodes) and any further releases such as the movie are probably going to be the same separately as they are boxed together.
MP - Sun, Aug 23, 2009 - 1:08pm (USA Central)
Did anyone else notice the Baseship's size?

In the past, a baseship has always been slightly bigger than Galactica; about the size of Pegasus as evidenced by Exodus Pt. 2.

But in the shot where Galactica pulls away from the fleet, the Baseship looks absolutely MASSIVE; like, at least 10 times bigger than Galactica.

And Galactica is closer to the camera, so it would look bigger than if they were side by side, implying that in that shot the Baseship was probably closer to 15 or 20 times it's size.

What happened? Did they feed it Steroids while it was regrowing?

I took a snapshot:
http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/9233/vlcsnap2009082313h06m38.png
karatasiospa - Wed, Aug 26, 2009 - 5:31am (USA Central)
I think that regarding the , supposed, religious themes you are missing the ambivalence the ambiguity that R.Moore placed in these themes. Was it god after all or a non human superbeing? or something else? Perhaps our own human nature symbolizes by the sherafs? hwat a god was this one which is beyond good and evil? god in all religions is allways good.Or perhaps it doesn't matter ? when we are talking for such creatures (even if it is our human nature) we are talking about the existence of powers in the universe which are beyond our understanding a classic theme in science fiction litterature. This ambiguity in Daybreak (and in all BSG) was brillant and reading it as straightforward religious it impoverises it.
karatasiospa - Wed, Aug 26, 2009 - 5:38am (USA Central)
One more element of this ambiguity: why god doesn't want to be called god?
Settor51 - Sat, Oct 10, 2009 - 10:08am (USA Central)
Only a millionth of the number of molecules in one cubic inch of air. ,
Nolan - Sun, Nov 29, 2009 - 3:50am (USA Central)
I've just realized a possible way to read sonething more into this finale, (like anybody is going to come back and read all the way down here.) after just re-reading the first few paragraphs of Jammer's review, the part about whether humanity deserves to survive.

I propose this possiblity, that, perhaps, even though a minority of the remaining fleet volunteered to go on this mission, to possibly sacrifice they're lives for one individual, that the BSG God, decided that yes, humanity did deserve to survive, as long as there were those willing to sacrifice, and through a series of manipulations, made it so that they could get to Earth.

Another point I see raised by many, is that the use of God as an answer to the series questions cheapens the choices our characters have had to make. Firstly, as God was mentioned through out the series, that to me, does not make it a dues ex machina, and second, just because God has been leading out characters down a path, doesn't mean that road doesn't have forks and crossroads.

In my veiw, God leads us to the parts of the road that split, branch and divide, and it's us, that has to choose which way to go.

At anypoint during the standoff in CIC, for example, anyone could have shot Hera dead. Adama could have done it. But, he probably wouldn't because the choices he's been faced with, and the paths he chose through life made him react the way he did.

On the other hand, Cavil, decided to go against his better judgement, and the pattern, that his past choices created. and chose to make that leap of faith.

Galen Tyrol, however, proved that even the best laid plans can go awry, by choosing to act out revenge. But God, being God, has a plan B. Which happened to be Racetrack. (Who, if you go back and re-watch Final Cut of season two, got her wish)

I wonder that if perhaps, Tyrol hadn't cause things to go south, Kara would have eventually worked out the 'Song' in her own time, but we'll never know, as freewill, got in the way. =P

P.S. Yay, for long-drawn out posts!
Occuprice - Sun, Dec 20, 2009 - 3:41am (USA Central)
Not to sound like a nag, but is a review of The Plan on its way? It's been long enough that I'm starting to doubt. If it's coming and it's just a delay, I'm sure you've got your reasons.
Jammer - Sun, Dec 20, 2009 - 12:10pm (USA Central)
It'll be posted when it's posted. I've put a fair amount of time into notes for it already, so it's not that I've ignored it. But I simply haven't had the time over the past few weeks to sit down and write it.
Alex - Tue, Jan 12, 2010 - 3:50pm (USA Central)
I think that you were far too kind to Battlestar in its final season and far too harsh when you were reviewing the ending of DS9. The last season devolved into utter nonsense--logic and character consistency were sacrificed for the sake of unpredictability, which usually translated into deus ex machina (literally) and soap opera antics. Were the Bajoran Prophets that different from somewhat empirically verifiable angels and God?
Neil - Sat, Jan 30, 2010 - 4:28am (USA Central)
Well, I've just finished watching this from start to finish over a ten day period. I've never seen it before but I had heard a lot of hype about it.

The original BSG was right in my formative years and was one of my weekly must-watch shows when I was 11 or 12 or so. I didn't really want to watch a new version, especially being so different in tone from the original, but eventually I relented.

And I'm glad I did. I don't watch much TV these days so I'm short on comparisons with shows like The Sopranos, The Shield, or The Wire. But this series is certainly cut above just about anything I've ever seen on TV.

If I had to pick one defining characteristic, it would be the commitment of RDM & co to taking risks and not always saving the good guys at the last second. Important characters can die on this show at any time, and just that simple fact makes watching it more interesting than anything else that I've seen in the last 20 years.

I will admit that season 4, overall, wasn't good enough to keep up the standards from earlier seasons. And the final wrap-up was pretty unsatisfying; for once there weren't any really shocking revelations and it was pretty predictable once we got to Daybreak. I guess if they went crazy and came up with an ending that turned the whole story upside down, it would probably come off as cheap and annoying, like the 'it was all a dream' trope, and nobody wants to close out 4 years on that kind of crap.

Still, RDM has really set a high bar for Sci Fi on TV now, I've watched Dollhouse, Firefly, Enterprise, Stargate etcetera and none of them can hold a candle to the storytelling and acting on display in BSG.

Torchwood is another contemporary show that takes a few risks, and Russell Davies has said many times that RDM and particularly BSG has been a real inspiration to him as he revived Dr Who and then created Torchwood.

I do love Dr Who and I enjoy Torchwood, and yet, despite obviously trying to foster the same kind of innovative approach as BSG, neither show really comes close in the sheer quality of the writing, acting, set design and FX.

I'm looking forward to Caprica, the pilot was pretty enjoyable even though it's clearly not BSG 2. But most of all I just hope that the BSG revival has made a long-term difference to the way one-hour Sci Fi dramas are done on TV from now on. If you go back now and watch TNG, VOY or DS9 they seem incredibly lightweight compared to this masterpiece.

So my hat is off to RDM and friends. And to Jammer as well for providing one of the most comprehensive review sites on the planet!
Ali - Fri, May 7, 2010 - 1:47pm (USA Central)
The thing that bothered me the most was the lack of exposure given to the Cylon allies. We were told the Centurions left on the Basestar but what of the 'skinjobs'? They can't resurrect and they can't make babies (with each other). And s for the rescue of Hera, I don't really see what that acheived beyond re-uniting her with her parents?
DeanGrr - Tue, Jun 29, 2010 - 6:06pm (USA Central)
I've just re-watched much of the BSG series, and wanted to share a few thoughts:

The best parts of this series, for me, were the deep connections/relationships between characters such as Adama and his son, Lee, and Adama and Tigh, the rich character landscape in developing supporting characters like Doc Cottle, Kat and Anders (who became a regular in Season 4), and the realistic potrayal of the military on an aircraft carrier/battlestar - the atmosphere of Adama commanding the CIC is classic.

This is Ron D. Moore and company's creation, so they ended the story as they saw fit, but there a few thoughts on why the series could not last longer, or parts that did not work for me in the end. First, BSG is famous for shocking revelations and there's only so much Shock and Awe an audience can accept before you become desensitized. The Dark tone of the series, feels at times like a "mind frak", with both Kara and Chief Tyrol descending into near madness, Kara as a result of Leoben's dollhouse in Season 3 and her search for Earth in Season 4, and Tyrol as a result of discovering he's a cylon, losing his sense of identity, then losing Cally. This dark tone is something that can only be sustained so long, then people need a positive balance: like the shock of 9/11, people want to recover from that loss, not wallow in darkness indefinitely.

Finally, Kara as a angel/supernatural being, and the fleet abandoning all technology broke my suspension of disbelief: deus ex machina by supernatural beings, especially the spiteful/amoral manipulations of Head Six on
Baltar, were a little too much.

As you can see, I am fan enough of the series to know and critique it. I suppose part of my wish fufillment in sci fi is seeing a ship like Galactica that can jump away from all the mess that we have on Earth, and imagine different possibilities.

Regards,
Dean

Brendan - Tue, Aug 31, 2010 - 4:04pm (USA Central)
This episode (or movie, as the case may be) benefits greatly from viewing the extended unaired version on the DVD. It's all strung together as one 2 hour 32 minute film, there's a lot more flashback material that was great, a few of which should have stayed in favour of a few action beats in the middle (as awesome as the battle was, it was really really long and it wouldn't be hard to find 2 mins out of that).

There was a whole Tyrol/Helo/Cally/Boomer flashback thing going on that was great and tied together nicely by the end after Tyrol kills Tory.

Also there was an odd beat where Baltar seems to have taken some neighbor kid under his wing, the implication appears to be that he was secretly his father, but it's a very vague implication and I could be wrong on that.
Jamie - Thu, Oct 7, 2010 - 2:20pm (USA Central)
The early post on here about Baltar and Caprica Six having to raise Hera after her parents get killed is really something the writers should have done. Not only would it have better fit the Opera House vision, but it would also have provided a better interpretation of Head Six's reference to Hera as "Our Child" back in season 2.
DeanGrr - Wed, Oct 20, 2010 - 7:07pm (USA Central)
I like to come back every now and then and re-read episode reviews after re-watching one, whether BSG or Star Trek, and rethinking my old comments or seeing new ones from others.

With my old comment above, I apologize, because I think I was trying to understand why I enjoy scifi so much,as compared to other genres, and despite my criticism of BSG, I enjoyed parts of it immensely. The dark tone of the series, and trying to understand BSG's hype and popularity with the media, are of interest to me because of my love for Star Trek's depiction of what humanity can become.

I'm concerned about the Environment and what we are doing to Earth, and scifi often depicts technology as a solution, as well as a maturity for the human species, in that we gain the wisdom to care for the Earth, and be more understanding, loving and tolerant of others: quite different from much in our societies and economies, our cultural and self awareness, we live in today.

Regards,

Dean
Vylora - Thu, Oct 21, 2010 - 12:54am (USA Central)
Rather belated comment on my part since I've finished this series sometime just before the release of The Plan. But oh well whatcanyado. All I wanted to say is "wow". Just f*cking wow. This is easily THE best series I have ever seen in my life. Ever. Period. Only thing that comes close is DS9 and Dexter (so far in its 5th season).

And as far as series finales go none are better tho I do agree that the "abandoning all technology and mating with the locals" thing is a bit far-fetched. I can understand how some of the rest of humanity may feel that's a good idea - I very highly doubt that all or even close to all do. I also found Kara's random disappearance rather disturbing but as drama/mystery aspect it was somehow fitting.

There's a lot of plot elements in Daybreak I'd like to analyze on here but with all the discussion on it already it would be redundant.

All in all though, like I said, it was an amazing series from start to finish. Never in my life has a series wrought such an emotional rollercoaster in me. Major kudos to the whole team involved (actors, directors, producers, writers, lighting, effects, sound, music, editors, the guy who brings the doughnuts) for keeping me and many others completely engaged and riveted through four glorious seasons.

Absolutely astonishing television.

Thank you.
Liza - Sat, Jan 15, 2011 - 6:27pm (USA Central)
After I watched Daybreak 2, I went to see the first scenes of the miniseries. And the first thing I noticed was the conversation between Starbuck and Adama when we first see her jogging on the hallways os Galactica. Adama asks her:"What do you hear?" "Nothing but the rain."
these were the very last words they spoke to eachother and it made me cry.
John - Tue, Feb 22, 2011 - 10:52am (USA Central)
The ending was poor. The decision to end all technology would have made more sense if the Cylons didn't have any either. But they did. Everyone forgets the Cylon race survived with the Centurions and the 12 Colony Humans ALL died, hence why Hera is the only surviving genes.

But it didn't really matter as it was about character and relationships.

Liza - Thu, Feb 24, 2011 - 3:20pm (USA Central)
I think that the ending was to happy. I mean, I liked it and all but it shouldn't have ended so happily for some of the people. For example, let's take the Agathon family. I think that Roslin's, Athena's and Caprica's dreams made it clear that something is going to happen and that eventually Hera was going to be looked after Baltar and Caprica. I think that something should have happened to Helo and Athena (they should have died or something). It's not like I have something against them, in fact I loved them (especially Helo because he always did the right thing), but it was meant to be like that.

Anyway, the end was focused on people's relationships and their goodbyes and I think taht those were deduced perfectly and I was satisfied. It was so full of emotions that I couldn't stop weeping (especially when Roslin died and Adama made his last speech).
Chip - Wed, May 18, 2011 - 9:40pm (USA Central)
The pigeon works on several levels:

a) It's clearly a stand-in for Kara, showing how she'll never be permanently with Lee and how you'll never be able to predict her movements (as she comes and goes as she is bidden)

b) It's a tip of the hat to Roy Batty's (Rutger Hauer's) death in Blade Runner, when he lets loose a dove into the sky

c) As in Blade Runner, it's a tip of the hat to the symbolism of the dove in Christianity

There's one other Blade Runner homage in "Daybreak Part 2": Adama's interrogation (i.e., job interview) deliberately echoes the opening scene in Blade Runner
Sanagi - Sun, May 22, 2011 - 6:45pm (USA Central)
Great finale, though I would have preferred a conversation like this:

Romo: All our ships, weapons, medicine etc. are running out of fuel, batteries, and whatever and there's nothing here that we can replace them with.

Lee: Well, maybe it's for the best that we have to start over. It breaks the cycle.

Romo: Your ideas are preposterous. But we're screwed anyway, so let's go with that.
Carbetarian - Tue, Jun 7, 2011 - 9:56am (USA Central)
Although this ending wasn't perfect, I still thought it was pretty good. I cried my eyes out for the entire last hour. I don't fully understand why exactly Adama needed to abandon Lee like that. But, the incredibly moving scenes with Roslin more than made up for my disappointment on that front.

I really enjoyed the ambitious scope of this series. Season one was just perfect. Seasons and two are three were also great, although not as amazing as the first season IMO. I thought the first half of season four really knocked it out of the park and got back to the level of awesomeness the first season had. The second half of season four was good, but didn't quite match up to the first half in terms of quality. Still, I have to give much respect and kudos to RDM and company for putting out such excellent TV for all four seasons. I don't think I've enjoyed any show as much since DS9! This show is definitely up there with my all time favorites.

Regarding the comparisons here between this episode and DS9's "What you leave behind", they were sort of reverse experiences for me. I think the end of the war arc is handled really well in WYLB. It felt satisfying and believable to me, and I still enjoy rewatching the last battle on DVD. I did not feel that way about the end of the cylon war here. For me, the end of Cavil and his fellow skinjobs felt very contrived and was kind of a let down.

However, the last half of Daybreak was much more satisfying to me than the last half of WYLB. In Daybreak, I felt all the characters got the ending they deserved, even if some of them were sad ones. Yes, I would have liked a goodbye between Tigh and Adama. I also would have liked at least a little bit of happiness for Tyrol. But, overall, I felt the characters went out with respect, and I felt resolved and even optimistic by the end of it all.

By contrast, I hate that the writers on DS9 decided to make Sisko a prophet. I wanted him to stay at the station and raise the baby with Kassidy. I understand why Odo left Kira to be with his people, but I didn't love that choice either. I liked what they did with Worf, but it bothers me that the TNG movies kind of crapped on his ending.

Don't get me wrong, I liked both finales a lot. But, I liked them for different reasons.

Jammer, thank you so much for your wonderful reviews! You've really enhanced my enjoyment of both BSG and Star Trek over the years. I truly appreciate all your hard work, and can't wait to see some more TNG reviews whenever you find the time.

Cheers!
gjdarizona - Tue, Jul 19, 2011 - 12:43pm (USA Central)
God must be Pol Pot.
Sam - Sat, Jul 23, 2011 - 4:21pm (USA Central)
Lol'd hard gjdarizona and I agree.

I was very much disappointed with this episode. The decision to abandon all technology and "start anew" makes no sense whatsoever. I understand the sentiment the show is trying to get across, but why couldn't the writers just find some way to have all the ships destroyed beyond repair in the final stand-off with the remaining cylons and thus FORCE the few surviving humans to start anew on earth without any technology rather than have them stupidly choose to do so? Would have definitely been more believable.

The other problem I have is obviously with Kara and the complete lack of an explanation. And there are so many other things left unexplained such as the shared vision of the opera house, Baltar and 6's hallucinated "guides," how the hell Hera mattered to begin with (what are the differences between humans and half humans/cylons and what material difference does it have? why could they survive and bring about the earth we know and love while the humans couldn't?), and the list goes on and on.

The only explanations available are religious, nonsensical but poetic, mysteriously left unanswered for fans to geek out over, or simply metaphorical. That's just lazy writing in my opinion. A show can be philosophical and thought-provoking while still providing tangible, sensible, coherent answers. Very disappointed. I expected more from this show.

That being said, I still enjoyed the series and going along for the ride. I was just BEGGING for the cylons to jump in and nuke everyone. This episode sincerely pissed me off.
jenjo - Fri, Dec 2, 2011 - 11:51am (USA Central)
Jammer,
Just finished watching BSG (via Netflix). Loved watching it, and couldn't wait to get to a computer to read your reviews after watching the episode. Very thought provoking. Thanks for all your efforts. It added alot to the experience.
Michael - Sun, Dec 4, 2011 - 10:26am (USA Central)

A thought or two--
Oh wow, Hoshiis appointed admiral (by Adama!), and LAMPKIN is appointed president. W-T-FFFFFFFF!?!?!?!?!

It was GREAT seeing centurions fighting side-by-side with the human landing party.

Baltar's staying behind was a REALLY positive development. To my mind, that one selfless act compensated for all his misdeeds, misdemeanors, legerdemain, cowardice, skulduggery, and countless other "sins" and flaws.

More importantly, this was--to the best of my recollection--the most well done finale of any series. Yes, there was the epic battle, won by the good guys, at some cost, but then there was an epilog: Where they settled, how they felt, and what it all turned into. Perhaps a tiny bit more of that would have been nice to see, but it DID get a fair share of attention and was not done perfunctorily. That is highly appreciated AFAIC.

I'll come out and say this was a four-star show. In every respect it is comparable to the best episodes, IMO, from Seasons 1 and 2.

What was the story with Kara? What about Dani'el? We never find out and--I concur with Jammer here--I don't feel incomplete because of it. There are some things that do not make sense but I got closure; I feel satiated and satisfied.

I've watched B.S.G. for exactly a month today; yet, having to say goodbye to it now is immensely sad... So much more I could say and write, good and bad, but overall: This was the best series of any genre I saw in years, possibly ever.

Again, Jammer: Thank you for introducing me to it.
Nick P. - Fri, Dec 9, 2011 - 5:03pm (USA Central)
Looking at Michaels review it really surprised me, I had to double-check, I did not write a review for this episode. I reviewed almost every episode of this series except the Finale.?!?!

I agree completely with Jammer and Michael, in that I was completely satisfied with this finale and I give it 4 stars. In retrospect, there were problems, and I can't consider myself 100% completely satisfied. But I am still 90% satisfied. I think the criticisms are valid, with the Kara plotline being the worst of the series as a whole. Moore actually came out and said they wrote Kara into a situation they were not clever enough to answer, so instead of trying to, they just ignored it. That bothers me. It also bothers me that they completely destroyed the entire fleet on a whim and "started over???". That is horsehit. And the opera house reveal WAS underwhelming.

All that being said, it could have been SO MUCH WORSE. And it usually is, on the conclusion of any long running series of any format. Yes, Moore jumped the shark on 2 or 3 things, but since he nailed it on about 25 others, I will give him a pass. It would have been nice ahd he never written Kara into a corner as he did, but so what, it FELT awesome as the last episode. i am sure every fan, like myself, shed tears at at least one point in this episode.

For awesome things,

The final battle-WOW

McDonell and Douglass acting-WOW, it got better throughout the series. I never always liked either character, but god cold they deliver in the acting department. Those 2 I thought were the best of a ridiculous good cast of actors.

Special Effects-Got better literrally every episode all the way to the finale.

Storytelling, what else is there to say about the storytelling that hasn't already been said?

Twists-goodness there were alot of them, but most of them were believeable and entertaining.

Moments, too many to mention, but some will stay with me forever..The moment Boomer shot Adama....The moment when Earth, the real earth was finally revealed at the very end.... the moment when Tyrol realized he had given boomer Hera to be kidnapped....When Tyrol and Helo accidentally murdered that guy raping Athena...Tigh dropping Ellens dead body...Adama mourning over roslin...

I am actually getting emotional just writing those, so i will stop, but lastly I must say that I fell in love with this show, and all the characters, even that pain in the ass Starbuck and crony Adama. Even with the minor flaws, this was the best done show I think TV has even done, and although STTNG was my first love, and will always have that place, BSG was more of an adult relationship, and I am and will have a very hard time trying to get into any other TV series after this one.

I try to watch Caprica, but I can never get past the 1st couple minutes it feels like going on a date when your wife just died, I can't do it.

Nic - Mon, Dec 19, 2011 - 8:27am (USA Central)
I could spend hours pointing out all the scientific, logical and even thematic reasons why this ending doesn’t make sense. But it’s already been done elsewhere (here’s a pretty thorough analysis: ideas.4brad.com/battlestar/battlestars-daybreak-worst-ending-history-screen -science-fiction), and truth be told, I probably wouldn’t care about it if I had found it satisfying. Suffice it to say, I didn’t. It’s hard to say why. There is no doubt that this was an exceptionally well-produced episode. As usual, the acting, music, directing and special effects were outstanding. And the show mostly did right by its characters, especially in the flashbacks (I have a few gripes though; see below).

But, come on, "God Did It"?. I must admit I did see it coming, but I still hoped that I was wrong, that something more profound and original would be revealed. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by those truly great endings where you’re kicking yourself in the face for not figuring it out, and on second viewing you see all the clues hidden in plain sight that pointed to that ending (see the Harry Potter saga, Veronica Mars Season 1, Matchstick Men). Now, not all endings need to be surprising if the story focuses on the characters. But that’s not what BSG has been doing lately. So much screen time has been devoted to setting up all these mysteries (the Opera House, Kara’s resurrection, the importance of Hera) and asking questions that, in retrospect, had answers that were too simple. These set-up scenes were good specifically because they were filled with promise of payoff. And now that I know the payoff, those scenes seem less interesting than they did before. The writers really painted themselves into corners. They did their best to get themselves out, but I don’t buy it.

OK, on to my character gripes:
1) Athena: I’m surprised no one has mentioned this yet. Athena shoots Boomer, and then we cut to another scene. Sure, it makes sense, but how does she FEEL about it? They ended her arc on action rather than character. This is a missed opportunity. Boomer’s flashback to making a promise to Adama was nice, but imagine how much more powerful it would have been if that scene had actually been shown in Season 1. That’s what I call great writing.
2) Baltar’s redemption. I don’t disagree with it completely, but why did his decision to finally do the right thing have to be linked with a new belief in ‘God’ (or whatever it DOES like to be called)? Atheists can be good people too.
3) The Fleet goes native. This is by far the biggest problem with the episode. It’s the clearest example of plot driving character rather than the other way around. But the worst part is that the plot doesn’t make much sense. Honestly, I would have preferred it if the series was set in a parallel universe where our Earth doesn’t exist, rather than shoehorning them into our history.

Overall, I don’t think I could give this one more than 2.5 stars. BSG is still a good series, but its ending keeps it shy of true greatness IMO.

Thanks for reading!
Nic - Mon, Dec 19, 2011 - 10:56am (USA Central)
P.S. A note about Head Six: personally, I've always preferred to believe that she was a projection of his subconscious that representeed the guilt he felt about accidentally assisting int he genocide of the human race. If that had been the case, it would have been fascinating. But at this point, I don't think any revelation could explain all her actions. If she's really an 'Angel of God' sent to help him, why did she talk him into getting a nuclear warhead from Adama ("Bastille Day"), which was eventually used by a Cylon to kill thousands of humans ("Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II")?
Tim S. - Thu, Jan 26, 2012 - 10:45pm (USA Central)
Satisfying is definitely the right word. Not perfect, but satisfying. Also agree with the 3.5 star rating.

Glad to see Michael and I both liked the finale!

Thanks again to Jammer for all the insight. I wouldn't have enjoyed the show as much without his reviews.
RG - Wed, Feb 8, 2012 - 4:09pm (USA Central)
The ending is such a cop-out, and the idea that everyone would agree to become neo-Luddites and abandon modern technology is completely preposterous. The mere concept of erasing centuries of scientific advancement to be hunter-gatherers is so stupid. I imagine most of them dying out in the coming winter, or from some disease they aren't accustomed to, and all their plans to integrate themselves into the human race failed utterly, and that they were very much regretting giving up their medicine and modern machines as they took their last breaths.

Giving up technology is something far easier said then done when you have a populace that has been accustomed to it their entire lives.
V - Wed, Feb 15, 2012 - 1:28am (USA Central)
Wow there's two "V"'s on this site!

Anyway loved the ending. I got it. Only point I want to make is the mistake about mitichondrial Eve being one person. In reality there are multiple mitochondrial Eves from what I understand. In this case, Hera will be the oldest. I guess the other Eves will come from more mixing of cylons and humans.
Tiera - Mon, Apr 9, 2012 - 7:01am (USA Central)
There are a few points I wish to make.

Firstly I have something to say about the following comment and rebuttal

"You have 39,000 people who don't know how to live off the land...."

That's only if you are assuming all 39,000 people lived in Caprica City or some other major city in the colonies? Pretty big assumption. Who's to say there were no farmers in the group? We're all so hooked on technology nowadays and it's sad that we simply can not see a world beyond it.

----------

Remember the episode about Tyrol revitalising the union movement in the fleet, and they commented that a farmer was someone who was used to working with heavy machinery. Therefore, I really think any farmers in the fleet would not have had the skills for pre-industrial farming.

----------

Also I am disapointed that we didn't see the 19yo that lost his hand in that episode again. He was just a casualty that prompted an emotional response and was quickly forgotten.

And that also brings up another point, why was Felix Gator the only cripple we ever saw? I would expect there to be a high incidence of injury and that just wasn't apparent. Everyone was fully healthy (except for a companion cancer patient for Roslin).

----------

I did like the lawyer becoming the interim president. He seemed a fitting man for the task.
Tiera - Tue, Apr 10, 2012 - 4:49am (USA Central)
I forgot one other point I wanted to add. With the flashbacks, showing that Roslin's family had been killed by a drunk driver, then cutting to flashbacks of Lee, Zak, and Kara getting drunk, I was sure that it was going to be one of them that was the drunk driver that took out Roslin's family.

I dont remember if we were told exactly how Zak died or not, but if not then having him dieing as the drunk driver killing Roslin's family on his way home from his the pissup where he introduced his brother to his girlfriend would be fitting.
JR - Wed, Jul 25, 2012 - 9:58pm (USA Central)
Thanks for your great reviews, Jammer. They made rewatching BSG even more enjoyable.

"Daybreak" was more good than bad - emotionally satisfying despite its plot holes. The moment that choked me up was when Baltar said, "I know about farming." What a remarkable story arc for his character.
Yasmin - Wed, Aug 22, 2012 - 6:00pm (USA Central)
Great reviews....thankssssss
Jason K - Thu, Oct 18, 2012 - 8:30am (USA Central)
The mere fact that re-watching Daybreak years after it originally aired still evokes strong emotions in me is a testament to how good this show was. Even knowing the outcome, the individual beats of the plot still choke me up. Roslin crossing the line, Kara saying goodbye to Sam, Roslin passing away and most of all, "I know about farming" and Baltar's reaction, gets me every time.
Nic - Sat, Dec 22, 2012 - 10:11pm (USA Central)
Interesting note, Tiera. On first viewing, I actually thought that the former student Roslin was dating (Sean Ellison I think his name was) would turn out to be the drunk driver that killed her sisters and father. It seemed like the 'darkest' possibility, which is usually what the writers of this show go for.
Patrick - Sat, Jan 12, 2013 - 5:56am (USA Central)
This finale was so close to perfect...I actually really liked the Kara ending. She mysteriously disappears just as she appeared, and she's an angel. It was simple and touching.

But two things REALLY bugged me. #1 is that the Opera House was way too small, as others have mentioned. I mean, Caprica Six and Baltar have been haunted by angels for 4 years, and nobody else in this world has. And for what? To carry Hera 5 feet, when Athena was right there, and to make one small speech? It would have made much more sense (and been much more poetic) for Six and Baltar to raise Hera. The two people who destroyed humanity must now raise the child who will bring about the new era of humanity.

Also, it would have been an additional way to redeem Baltar. Maybe when Baltar looks at Hera, he finally loves someone more than himself. And maybe she is the key to him finally becoming that selfless person.

Also, why them? Well, kill Helo first (which they almost did. He got shot!) And then have Athena get shot when she's near Six and Baltar. And have her look at Six and say "Take care of her. I know you're supposed to." After all, she's had visions of this! And she knows Six is best for her child. Bam, done. Then Baltar is the father because he is with Caprica Six. And you could even have a moment where Roslin and Adama look at Baltar and Six and Hera and say "Should we let this happen?" And then they see how happy Baltar is, and that he's crying, and then Roslin says "I think it's supposed to be this way. She's going to be alright. I can feel it." Roslin giving approval of Baltar would seal the deal.

Also, the abandoning of technology. Why not just have them settle on Earth, but because they're pretty much out of supplies and resources, their technology just kind of fades and is forgotten within a couple decades? That would make sense I think. They just kind of fade away and become more tribal. Also, it would make sense for Lee to be a leader figure on Earth, given his character arc, not some explorer. Give his dialogue about exploring to Tyrol.

Then you have a perfect finale. It's the one I like to imagine in my head.
Patrick - Fri, Jan 25, 2013 - 8:31pm (USA Central)
Nic,

All of Head Six's advice to Baltar aided in the Cylons and Humans coming together. That nuclear warhead is what lead the Cylons to discovering New Caprica. Also, she helped push Baltar to become the leader of the fleet, and only he could have kept the Cylons from wiping out mankind on New Caprica. Later he helps lead the Cylons on the path to Earth, and also learns their religion, which he spreads to the colonials which makes it much easier for the two races to merge.
Nebula Nox - Mon, Feb 4, 2013 - 10:15am (USA Central)
The man reading the magazine in Manhattan is Ronald D. Moore.
Jammer - Tue, Feb 5, 2013 - 6:08pm (USA Central)
Yes, and he overacted his 5-second cameo.
Nebula Nox - Tue, Jun 11, 2013 - 1:26pm (USA Central)
I agree Moore seemed really nervous in front of the camera. He's a talented writer and director; it's almost a relief that he can't act.
Clint - Thu, Jul 11, 2013 - 9:23am (USA Central)
Great reviews for a great series.

Looking back on BSG and this episode in particular, there is really only one thing that bothers me. (Well, other than the Starbuck-centric-ness of way too many of the stories.)

What I didn't like is that it was never really shown that the Centurions are intelligent. We are told they are. It's mentioned. But other than following generic orders and shooting their guns, they never seem to display any thought at all.

I would have LOVED to have seen the Centurions display some kind of personality - hell, ANY personality! But it was not to be.

Maybe that was a writers decision? Maybe at the start of the show, there was a conscious decision made to never have the Centurions speak, because hearing a "By your command" would have made them lose some of their menace. But I think that was an opportunity lost. Telling and not showing that the Centurions were intelligent was disappointing.

Heck, maybe Centurions don't speak audibly. Maybe they only communicate via wi-fi. That would be cool, but again, that was never established. You see lots of humanoids talking to Centurions, but they never say anything back.

Maybe this is remedied in Caprica. I have not seen any of that show yet. If not, I guess I can still get my talking Centurion fix by watching old episodes of original BSG!
Me - Wed, Aug 7, 2013 - 12:33pm (USA Central)
I Watched the Battlestar Galactica Series Finale and it made me Retarded
March 22, 2009

Thank you Ron Moore.

Five years of running a SciFi series into the ground ended with two hours. Watching the extended pile of flashbacks set to sentimental New Age music you call a series finale brought that to an end. At least until Caprica airs, and dies horribly, along with the minds of the last deluded fanboys who still think your remake was some staggering work of transcendent genius.

Well you sure showed them.

I watched Daybreak Part 2, and every 15 minutes of it made me more and more retarded. First Adama, the XO, both of the Fleet’s Presidents, and half the useful officers, including the original Final 5, go off on a suicide mission to rescue a little girl. Cute.

Sure it seems like Cylons and humans can have kids anyway, but Adama decides to take everyone down to rescue her, and leaves Gaeta’s boyfriend in command, and makes him Admiral on top of that. Because apparently everyone in the fleet loves and respects him, something that happened while we weren’t looking.

As startling as the sight of humans fighting Cylons is for the first time in many years on the show, this brief diversion from the usual BSG storyline of the characters getting drunk, remembering the good times and yelling at each other is only brief.

Instead we soon head for Earth, the real Earth, or Earth 2. There Adama Jr decides we should break the cycle of violence by giving up all technology and living in caves. Because you know technology is evil. First you invent spaceships, then you invent evil robots and it all goes to hell from here. A point driven home by the conclusion in modern day New York City that ominously plays Bear’s reworked Dylan while kids stare at useless Japanese toy robots.

Oh no! Can’t you foolish Japanese people see you’ve doomed the species all over again by building toy robots that fearsomely clap their hands!

Of course even though the Fleet constantly rebels against the Adamas, this time everyone embraces the plan, even though it means living without basic hygiene or elementary medicine. Because I guess everyone in the fleet is down with having lots of dead babies and a lifespan that ends at 40, in order to have a clean slate.

And technology is bad. That is unless you want to fly your girlfriend around to look at some flamingos while you propose to her. Otherwise it’s BAD. Real bad.

And you know what ends the cycle of violence? Going back to a stone age society and resource scarcities. Because it’s technology that kills people, not people.

BSG isn’t unique in its Luddite approach. It’s just an insult to call Luddite New Age crap like this Science Fiction. Science Fiction was about imagining the possibilities. BSG is about ignoring the possibilities and flying your starships into the sun, and looking cheerfully at stretches of grass that are somehow free of predators and diseases that will kill you the moment you try to drink some standing water. That kind of retarded luddism is what Hollywood producers who think their spa getaways are a return to nature bring to the party.

Oh look, let me go put up a cabin. No need to worry, I won’t drop a log on my foot, develop a gangrene infection and die because I’m miles from help and I flew all my raptors into the sun. No, because I’m from Hollywood.

Of course if all that retardation wasn’t enough, for years now Battlestar Galactica was busy promising to explain all its “mysteries”. And then comes the series finale and there are no revelations. Zippo. Unless you count the “revelation” that the whole opera house vision was nothing more than a metaphor for the time that Hera would run away, Baltar and Captica Six would find her, and then stumble into a standoff, that wouldn’t exist if not for them carrying her into it.

Who’s Starbuck? We’re never told. Instead she mouths some nonsense about how glad she is that her journey is over. Who are the Baltar and Captica that they see in their visions? No answer either, except that they apparently work for some powerful deity.

In between all the flashbacks, which take up half the finale, to such compelling moments as Rosyln deciding not to sleep with a younger man and Adama deciding not to retire, and my eyes deciding to glaze over… there’s one thing that is pretty clear. And it’s that Ron Moore saw Return of the King and decided that it would be really great to end the episode 5 or 6 times. Classy.

Tell you what Ron, forget Caprica. I want to see you follow up the rest of this magnificent finale. Damn it, I want Battlestar Galactica Season [5].

I want to see Adama Jr crapping his pants with dysentery. I want to see the Cylon skinjobs and humans uniting in throwing used coffee cans at him because the drought means they have no food and they’re starving to death. I want to see Adama Sr, get sunstruck and wander around preaching his own religion while swilling imaginary booze. I want to see Chief sexually assaulting goats because he decided to spend the rest of his life on an island with no people on it. I want to see Saul and his slutty girlfriend living in a tree and smacking the hell out of each other because she keeps cheating on him with the natives.

And most of all I want to see a giant pile of bones, the remains of the human race on Earth, eaten by lions, killed by disease and common accidents, hunger, and of course by the friendly natives whose spears couldn’t possibly be used for violence. And then I want to see the list of survivors standing at ZERO.

Oh and if you could clear up how Eve, an African woman, is really an Aryan blond robot with a glowing spine, that would be cool too.
Yanks - Wed, Aug 7, 2013 - 1:17pm (USA Central)
Ron Moore: "It's the Characters, Stupid"

Stupid... that's exactly what I thought after watching this finale.

There is only one finale that erks me more than this one, Enterprise's TATV.

I thought seasons one & two were some of the best sci-fi/tv I've ever seen. No kidding I was on the edge of my seat for each show. Just fantastic.

But season 3 onward I think they lost their way. I don't think they had a "plan" with the show at all. It was just one "moral" flogging after another.

Just a note on the "success" of the series. You hear time and time again it was "historic", "best ever" etc...

Really? Where were all the viewers?

The closer for BSG was sort of a "glass half full" experience for me. Great individual moments, but it never answered the question that was there the entire series run.

What was the plan?!?!?

Then they said there would be a made for TV movie called "The Plan" and I was happy, only to find out there frakin wasn't a plan.

The writers got so involved in character destruction "shock and awe" they forgot about where they were going and why. (if there ever was a why or a direction)

Precisely why Ron Moore couldn't figure out how to end the series and why it ended up just being a poorly thought out tribute to the characters.

Hell, by then, the only one I really had any feelings left for was President Roslin.

Too many unanswered questions. Honestly I thought this was a HUGE slap in the face to the BSG faithful.

What the frak was Starbuck? An Angel? ... did her new/old viper disappear as well? If she was just an angel, what did all the paintings etc mean when she "died"? Why doesn't she know who she is? - "If that's me lying there, then what am I? ". (she could have ended up being a Cylon and that could have been answered)

What was Baltar? Can anyone tell me he survived the intital bombing? Was he a cylon?

Can ANYONE explain what the frak the opera house thingy meant? I enjoyed seeing it in the finale, but WTF did it mean? When we first saw it during the series it was OK, because it left you wondering... something to be answered later, but no.

As you mentioned Jammer, technology wasn't the enemy, human nature was. For the finale to place the blame away from our human frailties is .... not sure what the word for that is.

I'm inclined to think the announce "The Plan" in the credits of the finale to calm the critics.

So, in summary, they put something together that would tug on the faithful's heartstrings, and hope their brains were numb. That pretty much summs up BSG from season 3 on.

Disappointing.

At least my mind hears "All Along the Watchtower" when I think about it.
Yanks - Wed, Aug 7, 2013 - 1:35pm (USA Central)
Oh, and why did they have to go back and get Hera?
Paul - Wed, Aug 7, 2013 - 2:37pm (USA Central)
OK, guys. Calm down. I'll try to answer your questions.

1) Why did they have to rescue Hera?

After the Colonials destroyed the Cylons' ability to resurrect, Hera held the key for their biological resurrection. So, the Colonials needed to keep her from Cavil. Meanwhile, Hera was also sort of a "blessed" child, whose existence was supposed to bridge the gap between man and machine in the "new beginning" and lead to a path where they wouldn't mutually destroy each other. A key line is at the very end by Head Six when she says "But it doesn't necessarily have to happen again."

2. What was Starbuck?

Admittedly, this was the show's most annoying conclusion. Kara was essentially an angel sent to help guide humanity to Earth 2 (and the music she played to jump them to the new Earth was part of her blessed abilities). That said, there was a lot of buildup without a lot of payoff with Starbuck and quite a few logical gaffes. In my eyes, RDM just liked the character too much and overwrote her to the point where nothing could really live up to the buildup.

3. What were Head Six and Head Baltar?

I thought this was pretty obvious. They're angels that guided Baltar and Caprica Six. For me, this was one part of the finale that really worked.

4. What was 'the plan'?

That all comes down to Cavil's anger toward his creators, the Final Five. Once the colonies were destroyed, Cavil wanted to make those people suffer -- basically, by not letting them die -- and tried to destroy the rest of humanity at the same time. His approach was kind of stupid. But it was a plan. After Cavil was discovered to be a Cylon on the Galactica, the plan part of the series ended.

5. Why did all the colonials accept a technology-free lifestyle?

This was the dumbest part of the finale. There needed to be some acrimony, at the very least, among the 30,000 remaining Colonials about giving up technology and starting over. BSG at the end really started acting like the people on Galactica and Colonial One were the entire fleet. Frankly, I can imagine some of the Colonials being OK going back to the land. But certainly not all of them.

6. What about the Opera House?

The opera house was CIC. Maybe that's a lame conclusion, but that's what RDM did with it.

Generally, you can argue that BSG bit off more than it could chew and either didn't answer some questions or didn't answer them adequately enough. "LOST" had the same problem, and deferred to the stupid explanation that "it's about the characters."

Of the two series, I'd say BSG did a better job of wrapping things up, because I thought the Head Six/Baltar thing worked and that the Hera thing worked. But I can understand why others disagree, certainly.
Jc - Thu, Aug 8, 2013 - 2:10am (USA Central)
Still not sure what would've been different if Hera wasn't around. Years of build up fizzle out. She had nothing to do with resurrection, btw, she wasn't involved in that process at all.

Daniel fizzled out as well.

And Tigh virtually disappeared after the truce was broken. Not even a goodbye scene with Adama. Years of these guys sticking together, fizzled out.

Up to the point where the camera zoomed out and showed the moon, the finale, nom the whole series, was incredible. Then it just kinda tripped and fell down the stairs, and that's that.

I invested way too much time into this series for it to just say "oh, never mind" like that.

Whatever.
Yamls - Thu, Aug 8, 2013 - 7:35am (USA Central)
OK, guys. Calm down. I'll try to answer your questions.

Thanks Paul, I appreciate the responses.

-----------------------------------------------

1) Why did they have to rescue Hera?

After the Colonials destroyed the Cylons' ability to resurrect, Hera held the key for their biological resurrection. So, the Colonials needed to keep her from Cavil. Meanwhile, Hera was also sort of a "blessed" child, whose existence was supposed to bridge the gap between man and machine in the "new beginning" and lead to a path where they wouldn't mutually destroy each other. A key line is at the very end by Head Six when she says "But it doesn't necessarily have to happen again."

I’m not buying the resurrection thing from the standpoint of Adama and the rescue. Cavil? ... sure - he thought he could find it in her. That’s why he stole her in the first place. Resurrection was “kept” in the “final five”, not Hera.

-----------------------------------------------

2. What was Starbuck?

Admittedly, this was the show's most annoying conclusion. Kara was essentially an angel sent to help guide humanity to Earth 2 (and the music she played to jump them to the new Earth was part of her blessed abilities). That said, there was a lot of buildup without a lot of payoff with Starbuck and quite a few logical gaffes. In my eyes, RDM just liked the character too much and overwrote her to the point where nothing could really live up to the buildup.

Something else not thought through. I didn’t realize angels came with space ships :-)

-----------------------------------------------

3. What were Head Six and Head Baltar?

I thought this was pretty obvious. They're angels that guided Baltar and Caprica Six. For me, this was one part of the finale that really worked.

Agree, but this does not answer the question about Baltar (prime?). What was he? I think he HAS to be a Cylon.

-----------------------------------------------

4. What was 'the plan'?

That all comes down to Cavil's anger toward his creators, the Final Five. Once the colonies were destroyed, Cavil wanted to make those people suffer -- basically, by not letting them die -- and tried to destroy the rest of humanity at the same time. His approach was kind of stupid. But it was a plan. After Cavil was discovered to be a Cylon on the Galactica, the plan part of the series ended.

So disappointing. A huge missed opportunity for the series to “say something” meaningful.

-----------------------------------------------

5. Why did all the colonials accept a technology-free lifestyle?

This was the dumbest part of the finale. There needed to be some acrimony, at the very least, among the 30,000 remaining Colonials about giving up technology and starting over. BSG at the end really started acting like the people on Galactica and Colonial One were the entire fleet. Frankly, I can imagine some of the Colonials being OK going back to the land. But certainly not all of them.

Agree.

-----------------------------------------------

6. What about the Opera House?

The opera house was CIC. Maybe that's a lame conclusion, but that's what RDM did with it.

I don’t understand this at all. Even when Roslin, Boomer & Six (I think I have this right) were chasing her in the finale, they weren’t in CIC.

Not sure how CIC plays here at all.

-----------------------------------------------

Generally, you can argue that BSG bit off more than it could chew and either didn't answer some questions or didn't answer them adequately enough. "LOST" had the same problem, and deferred to the stupid explanation that "it's about the characters."

Of the two series, I'd say BSG did a better job of wrapping things up, because I thought the Head Six/Baltar thing worked and that the Hera thing worked. But I can understand why others disagree, certainly.

Wow, I haven’t watched Lost, maybe I shouldn’t. :-)

I realize that wrapping up any series is a difficult task and whatever you put out there some will complain.

I just think BSG got so wrapped up in the “characters” that it had no idea really what they were trying to say and just said “screw it” when the finale came around.

Couple thoughts.

Hera, being half human, obviously aged and died.

What about the skin job Cylons that dispersed? Chief? Ty? Ellen? Boomer (or Sharon)? Six & Baltar?

We are to assume that "Earth 2" was really our Earth, right? Moon and all?

Again, thanks for the discussion Paul.
Yanks - Fri, Aug 9, 2013 - 9:07am (USA Central)
The above comment was by me "Yanks". Not sure how to fix that.
Teejay - Fri, Sep 6, 2013 - 11:54am (USA Central)
Well I don't know if Jammer or any of the intelligent people who have commented here still read this, but if you do, maybe you can answer a question for me.

I watched the entire series after it aired on Netflix. This has been my third watch through it on Netflix, but the first since discovering this site. In fact, this third watch was inspired by this site(I started coming here after wanting to find a review of an Enterprise episode I think and noticed you also had BSG reviews). My question is: is Netflix airing a different version of the finale than the one that originally aired? The one on netflix does NOT show Roslin's date, nor does it show Tyrol going off on his own or the Adama/boomer scene. Were these scenes only part of the DVD version, or is Netflix taking these out for some odd reason? I've never had such discrepancies between what i saw on Netflix compared to these reviews with any other episode.
William B - Fri, Sep 6, 2013 - 12:34pm (USA Central)
@Teejay, I have not rewatched the finale (on either DVD or Netflix) since it first aired, but I definitely saw those scenes mentioned.
Jammer - Fri, Sep 6, 2013 - 5:26pm (USA Central)
@Teejay: If Netflix is missing those scenes, they must be showing a different version than the one that originally aired and is on Blu-ray.

Additionally, the Blu-ray includes an extended version of "Daybreak" that is combined into a single piece and has even more scenes on top of what originally aired.
beej - Tue, Oct 15, 2013 - 12:37am (USA Central)
Netflix Instant is missing those scenes. Daybreak is split into 3 parts there and the Chief doesn't appear again after he kills Tory.
Janka - Fri, Oct 18, 2013 - 3:31pm (USA Central)
Hey Jammer,

thanks for all the insightful reviews, I have very much enjoyed reading them. Always been a huge Star Trek fan, and it took me a few episodes to get into BSG but then I was hooked!
I was reading today about Ron Moore's new show, Helix, coming out in 2014, and the thought crossed my mind that it would be so much more interesting if you decided to review it! I know you are very busy these days, just something to think about.
All the best, and thank you for your dedication.
TLoser - Sat, Nov 9, 2013 - 1:51pm (USA Central)
FRAK ME! THIS WAS THE MOST FRAKKIN' AWESOME SERIES OF TV I'VE EVER SEEN, AND THE FINALE WAS ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING, albeit not perfect. WOOOOOOOOT. Sorry about all the screaming, but I am so happy that I got hooked on this magnificent show. And many thanks to Jammer and the numerous other commentators that helped me to post-process every episode.

I am a bit surprised at how some people can't accept mythology, religion, science and sci-fi being together. I am an agnostic and a scientist. What I deal with day in and day out in many research projects is the lack of complete answers. This is due to many reasons like lack of data, poor data, data errors, plain old randomness, cost of research, difficulty in controlling for factors, me and my research assistants fouling up, deadlines, etc. Every single model, equation, simulation and theory that I've every developed has holes in it, usually "taken care of" via the error terms (fudge factors). In my humble opinion, it doesn't matter to me what I call the missing parts of the answers. Maybe god could answer them, maybe answers can be eventually explained from existing laws and theories, and maybe the existing laws and theories upon which I based my models were incorrect in the first place. My point is that to ascribe something to god is no more insipid than my frequent use of fudge factors. Either way, the answer is not clearly known. So I have no problems that there were "angels", prophecy or religion that were at work in the BSG universe, because the nature of those things are not clearly understood. I never took RDM as pushing any particular religious faith or pushing religion at all. Without naming any names, my sense is that some viewers would've enjoyed BSG a lot more if they were freed from their anti-religious and "science-only" baggage.

Just one quick comment about prophecies that seemed to be fouled up. My feeling is that prophecy, at least classical prophecy from the oracles, was extremely tricky and ambiguous. An oft-cited example was Pythia's words to King Croessus, which Croessus misinterpreted to his downfall. So I took the prophecy of Starbuck to be in the same vain as one uttered by some drugged out priestess: one shouldn't be so certain of one's own interpretation.
Kanyaraj - Thu, Jan 23, 2014 - 12:24pm (USA Central)
How many times did you jack of to BSG?

Submit a comment

Above, type the last name of the captain on Star Trek: TNG
Notify me about new comments on this page
Hide my e-mail on my post

Season Index

Copyright © 1994-2014, Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of any review or article on this site is prohibited. Star Trek (in all its myriad forms), Battlestar Galactica, and Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc., NBC Universal, and Tribune Entertainment, respectively. This site is in no way affiliated with or authorized by any of those companies. | Copyright & Disclaimer