Battlestar Galactica

"Daybreak, Part 2"

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

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Shut your FRAKKIN' mouth!" — Colonel Tigh, "Sometimes a Great Notion"

After four seasons (or five, or six, depending on how you want to count a "season" for a show that airs on average 15 episodes a year), Battlestar Galactica comes to a stunning and unexpectedly serene climax with "Daybreak," a finale that proves, if nothing else, that there are more opinions on how to end a sci-fi series than there are people in the world. Well, maybe not. But it's a close call.

It goes without saying that "Daybreak" is an exceptionally well-produced television finale for a show that we've come to expect as top-notch in almost every regard, from acting to directing to visual effects and action and editing and music and everything in between. But the question seems to be, in these final two hours of Battlestar — could Ron Moore's script possibly deliver, possibly tie up all the loose ends, and possibly live up to everything that came before?

If BSG has done nothing else in its run (and it has done a great many other things), it's shown that it knows how to deliver a plot twist (usually in the season finales and/or premieres) and keep the viewers on their toes. The cliffhanger concept, which had long become tired before BSG, was given new life by this series' frequent, utter unpredictability.

"Daybreak" also has a twist, one that I'm not going to discuss, because, well you've seen "Daybreak" and you know what happened in the story. And I'm also not going to discuss it because ... well, there's no point in discussing it. I'll get to that in a moment.

I typically make it a point to stick to the episode and my own personal thoughts when it comes to writing a review, ignoring much the chatter that happens apart from that, because why make my review about everyone else's opinion? But a week and a half ago, I took an unprecedented (for this site) action by opening up comments before posting my review for "Daybreak, Part 2." As I write this, there are over 250 comments on the finale. I've read most of them (except the most recent). I had originally planned not to, but I found that I just could not stay away; I had to stay on top of the community and see what all you folks had to say. And what the comments have demonstrated are that you, the readers, are a smart and perceptive and opinionated ... and hopelessly conflicted group without any semblance of consensus. There are a lot of great points out there, both for and against the finale. It proves that "Daybreak" is a controversial ending to the series, to the say the least.

And what I've found, to my dismay, is that I can't form a basis for what the "right" review to BSG's ending is. This review couldn't possibly satisfy everyone. Half the audience is going to be incredibly pissed about my take.

So here's what I'm gonna do. I'm going to offer up a twist bigger than any of BSG's over its four seasons. I'm going to go straight out of here by employing the Sopranos route for the finale for Jammer's Reviews. I'm going to do what Kara Thrace did. I'm going to wink out of existence — cut to black — and let all of you make up your own damned minds.

Because that's ultimately what this finale is about. Making up your own mind. No amount of my synopsis or opinion or recapping or praising/criticizing makes a difference. It's a work of fictional art, and it's up to you, the viewer, to render your verdict in the court of public opinion.

Which you've already done via the comments on this page. I'd like to thank you for writing the review for me, and I mean that sincerely. The quality of comments in here is amazing. It's been a hell of a ride. My only regret is that I didn't open up comments on this site years before I did.

If you had told me before "Daybreak, Part 2" that my review would come in under 750 words and have no star rating, I'd have called you crazy. But there it is. Battlestar Galactica's finale is about everyone's ability to interpret what they see (or don't see) in it. It's not about what I can tell you about it. So my review for "Daybreak, Part 2" is also going to be about you, and not me. I think that's the most fitting way that I can end Jammer's Reviews: By turning it over to all of you.

I'll just leave you with some final words as I close the book on Battlestar, which you must read aloud in the voice of Michael Hogan's Colonel Tigh:

April Frakkin' Fools Day.

Note: The real review for "Daybreak, Part 2" can be read here.

Previous episode: Daybreak, Part 1

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400 comments on this post

Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 1:17am (UTC -6)
Absolutely Beautiful. The final few minutes... I have no words.

Sure, Starbuck wasn't explained. But she doesn't have to be. That's the point. All these mystical things are happening, and it can't be denied that there is a God force at work.... but the man behind the curtain will never be revealed. And we traveled with Kara as far as that curtain. There are answers on the other side, but they're not for us to know. And that is how it should be.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 1:43am (UTC -6)
The first hour was the best hour of BSG ever. It's that simple. My heart was racing the whole time. I've never been so enthralled by television before.

The second hour, had some problems. While everything that was there was nice, it lacked alot. Namely, explanations for any of the significant big questions this series has been about for the last 4 years.

All Along the Watchtower... no explanation

Kara's ressurection.... no explanation

The head characters.... no explanation (this one is especially annoying because we were promised one by RDM)

Hera/God/Watchtower/Kara/Dad/Leoben/Earth connection.... no explanation

The opera house visions, somewhat... but the opera house itself.... no explanation

The hybrids connection to God, and how that worked with Anders.... no explanation

How Tyrol gained 50 pounds eating algae rations and working 16 hours a day... no explanation

Other than of course, "it was God's plan". Well, I'm not really satisfied with that explanation. Though I will say any attempt at a concrete explanation of all this may have been an epic failure and this may be the best they could do with what they gave themselves.

Now, despite these qualms, I would still call this an excellent finale and among the best episodes of the series.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 1:45am (UTC -6)
You know what? Forget the Galactica ramming the colony, forget the closure everyone got, forget them finding Earth, because Tyrol getting his revenge on Tory was, by far, the most satisfying moment of the show. Guy really deserved to have it his way for once.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 3:37am (UTC -6)
I assume when people wonder about "the Song" They aren't wondering about the fact that it was co-ordinates, but where it comes from.

I dounno, I buy into the higher power thing, whether in your opinion it be God, or God's or something else. I also buy that it wasn't explained, because, really no one can really define or explain God, or the gods ect. If you believe in them, then, they just exist.

As for the head characters, I also buy into them being messagers, or angles, or whatever.

Hera, well, she's the first Cylon/human hybrid, perhaps the only, she gave the notes of "The Song" to Kara, which ended up being the co-ordinates for Earth, and she's supposedly spread her Cylon Human DNA down to all of us.

RDM, has said that Kara and Daniel the 7th Cylon, were not related. Other than that, Kara having her visions of her father in "Someone..." is much like Laura's visions of Elosha, perhaps they are angles from the dead, or visions handed down by the divine power.

The opera house, is/was the Battlestar Galactica, and the visions that Six/Athena/Laura had, led them to the five, who themselves were used as instruments of the divine power.

As for Leoban, well, he only got one scene, so, that would be the only thing I think they dropped in the finale, personally. Perhaps he will have more in the extended ep. (of note, the episodes; "A Disquiet...", "Islanded...", and "Daybreak" will be extended on DVD.)

Really when it comes down to it, your acceptance or not of the higher power, or the divine will. or the ebb and flow of the universe, is going to determine if you accept the answers, or not. Some would say that that's a cop-out, but if you make the leap of faith, like Baltar says, it's going to make sense to you, and if not, well, you can feel free to come up with whatever Sci-fi explanations you want.

If I had to say anything about Kara's ressurection, I'd say, she really did die on 'old' Earth, and the Kara we've known since Season 4 started, was like Shelly Godfrey, whom I suspect, was the angle/head six, that took herself out of Baltar's Head, and into the real world, so she could interact with others, until whatever she had come to accomplish, namely building up Baltar by tearing him down, was completed. Shelly Godfrey had her mission, her journey to complete in the corporeal world, just as Starbuck had her mission, and journey to complete, and when it was, they dissapear.

In fact, I prefer the open-endedness of the finale. It gave us an end and laid ground-work, so that we the fans could have something to debate and ponder about, and not just how great, (or sucky) the show was.

Oh, Frak... I made a mini review, sorry Jammer. ;P

P.S. Jammer, thank you for all your reviews, they give wonderful clarity to these series, and I hope to read more of them someday.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 3:43am (UTC -6)
Oh, BTW, I loved the episode, just thought I'd make that clear. ;P

Also, my previous comment, was not directed solely at you Brendan, but more of a general responces to those wonder about the explinations.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 7:48am (UTC -6)
I find myself between Nolan and Brendan in attitude. I absolutely agree that not all of the series questions/mysteries needed to be tied up by the end.

However, I would have appreciated just a few more, particularly the ones that were given so much play throughout the season. The most notable one (at least for me) was Kara Thrace as the "Harbinger of Death" and the how/why her ship and her body ended up on Earf (the first "Earth").

Overall, though, I though it was great.

The idea that they would all just drop their technology was interesting, albeit perhaps a bit unrealistic....I do doubt that everyone would have been completely on board with the idea (nor just blindly accepted the unilateral decision from Adama). I also would have liked more explanation as to why they broke off into small groups....I would have thought most people would have wanted the safety in numbers, particularly in a potentially hostile wilderness.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 8:06am (UTC -6)
The things I loved about the finale:

The Opera House/Gallactica intercutting, Tyrol's revenge, Baltar's farming moment at the end, Adama and Roslin's final scenes, the entirety of the battle, the execution of Boomer.....lots of great moments.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 8:25am (UTC -6)
You know what I thought was the most annoying thing about 2? The thing that irked me more than the unexplained stuff, more than the tribal Earth thing, was Sci-Fi airing commercials during some of the most awesome and emotion scenes in the whole series.

-_-' It was like getting hit in the face every 10-15 minutes and ruined the quality of presentation for the last episode.
Jason K
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 8:32am (UTC -6)

Honestly, I can answer every one of those questions. I won't, because Jammer asked for no spoilers, but maybe you need to really think on those questions a bit.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 8:44am (UTC -6)
Jason K. Spoil away. Jammer just doesn't want spoilers for "The Plan" (the upcoming TV movie) if you have inside info on it. Otherwise, he said, "Spoilers are obviously not an issue at this point."
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 9:15am (UTC -6)

Just wow.

I justed watched the episode a few moments ago, so I only have a few things to say. I may come back later when I have my thoughts together.

This was the most riveting visual entertainment experience (I won't limit it to just television) that I have had. Possibly ever. I can't count the number of times I sat forward in my seat, then sat back thoughtfully, only to leap forward again. I broke into both tears and laughter innumerable times.

I think in the final analysis like Nolan above said: "...your acceptance or not of the higher power, or the divine will. or the ebb and flow of the universe, is going to determine if you accept the answers, or not."

I am not a religious person at all, and normally wouldn't describe myself as having faith. But I accepted those elements as presented here. They were consistent, and within the presented boundaries of the shows mythos, logical.

I did find myself pondering a few questions during the episode. The one I was wondering about most in my head was the "Harbinger of Death." I don't believe that was truly explained. I can accept what happened to Kara at the end. It makes sense that she died but wasn't quite finished her destiny yet. The allusion to Shelly Godfry by Nolan was interesting and makes sense.

Everything else was answered (or deliberately not!) to my satisfaction.

Props to Tyrol for finally getting one, and a small shout out to Racetrack! It was nice to see her back.

I'm sure I'll be back.

Just... wow.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 10:53am (UTC -6)
A great ending to a great show. I'm satisfied with the resolution of the story, but I have one lingering question on a minor point. Why didn't Galactica's crew have the rendezvous coordinates? Adama told Hoshi that if Galactica was not at the rendezvous in 12 hours, it wouldn't be there at all. This, of course, implies that Adama or someone in the crew was informed of the coordinates. Hard to make a rendezvous without knowing the location.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 11:05am (UTC -6)

I simply assumed Starbuck didn't know the co-ordinates (she wasn't a NAV officer), and things were blowing up enough and there was enough urgency that she wouldn't necessarily have been able to just look them up!
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 11:53am (UTC -6)
Two thumbs up from me.

A lot of it does come down to accepting the hand of God in events, which may annoy some people, but really they should have seen it coming. The seeds of a divine hand in guiding events was sown definitely in the first season and arguably in the mini-series itself.

I liked that Starbuck became an angel after crossing over. I suspected that was how it was going to be after Baltar's scene a few weeks ago. I certainly didn't want some lame mechanistic explanation (it was nanites wot dunnit) though I wouldn't have minded more contemplation of what was up with the homing beacon on old Earth than only the new Starbuck viper could pick up.

I liked the way it went out. It was a real moment of "and is it going to happen again?" A very appropriate way to go out. Brilliant even.

I loved the reveal of new Earth. It was one of the building moments because I instantly recognised the Moon and as the reveal was going on realised what was going on.

In some ways, it's a bit of a TV pat ending, but it'll do for me.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 12:37pm (UTC -6)
All i have to say is wow. A great ending to a great show. Hated how Starbuck just pulled a Houdini with no explanation but all in all , great stuff .
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 12:47pm (UTC -6)
I really expected them all to die in this. I didn't WANT that, but I expected it becase Olmos said in an interview that the writers were 'cruel' or some such. Maybe he was referring to the ship being destroyed.

However, the end was fairly uplifting considering the many ways it could have gone.

This is a show that deserves long study over the years, something which you see *very* rarely on TV.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 12:51pm (UTC -6)
The Starbuck thing was the weirdest, but it made as much sense as any.
Joe Doe
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 1:10pm (UTC -6)
For me, it was somewhat of a letdown. I think it was poorly executed, it had more endings than Return of the King ;)

I´m not against the general idea of Hera mother of the humanity, but the way it is presented, well... you didn´t have to spit it in a newspaper for us to understand :(

And the Opera House=Galactica... well, it didn´t make much sense, as the role of Gaius and Caprica being so important. Or even Roslin and Athena´s role in the vision, it was just a bit cheap explanation. At the same time they want us to buy all the divine part but they feel the need to show us every move in the Opera House vision corresponds to the final scenes... Very poor, IMHO.

Too many leaps of faith for me, sorry.

Anayways, I was expecting something like this, and I´ll continue to like the series as a whole. I´m just sorry that I don´t like the way they chose to drive it in the last season.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 1:13pm (UTC -6)
At the same time the BSG finale was airing, Siena was playing Ohio State in the NCAA tournament...where Siena guard Ronald Moore hit a 3-point shot to send the game to a 2nd overtime, and then hit another 3 point shot with 4 seconds left to win the game.

Just a great day for Ronald Moores everywhere.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 1:40pm (UTC -6)
Utter carp!
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 2:06pm (UTC -6)
Great, great stuff. You don't get to see a series wrap up this well too often.

Thanks for all the work on this as well, Jammer. Been lurking here since the DS9 days, but thought this was as good a moment to drop a line as any. Your insight is always appreciated.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 3:02pm (UTC -6)
yea Starbuck was too open-neded and vague like especially how her ship blew up over orbit of another planet in Maelstrom yet her crashed bird and body ended up in Earth who knows how many light years away??? any theories on that?? was that storm she flew into a wormhole or something? and the music that led her there.. yea Anders wrote it but what set it off and how did Hera know it... and how did starbuck magically appear back with the fleet at the end of crossroads..just so much build-up that it seems disappointing and unresolved.. and the opera house why they saw it as cic also unexplained.. but most everything else.. even Hera being our ancestor was clever and neat tie-in and explained Hera's special destiny.. and does that mean the first planet we reached in Revelations wasn't Earth? And I agree Galen killing Tory and setting the whole conflict in motion again was one of the most memorable moments
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 4:52pm (UTC -6)

The planet that they found in Revelations was Earth. The planet they found at the end of Daybreak did not have a name, and they named it after Earth, because Earth had been the dream they had been chasing all this time. So actually, it is our planet that is not the real Earth
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 4:56pm (UTC -6)
Just beautiful, really. It did have some problems--but I was more than able to overlook such moments in order to appreciate all the good going on around them. Unlike a lot of folk, I adored Kara's send off. It was poignant and unexpected, and had enough emotional backing to give it more than a lame "WOW! WEIRD!" punch. It was like Starbuck. In fact, that's what I enjoyed most about the sendoff-- the characters shone above all else and it was a powerful goodbye at that. I will miss it!
Alexey Bogatiryov
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 5:29pm (UTC -6)
Just watched the finale a second time. Must say that the first hour was rivetting and action packed, although I was not sure how they got to the real (our) Earth. Tyrol killing Tory was satisfying. But many questions remain. Was the singularity where the Cylon colony was located actually a wormhole that transported them there or did it allow them to trave back in time - WTF. Honestly, having our hearoes arrive on Earth seemed to cheaped the Revelations episode as we now know that there are 2 Earths in the galaxy. So the prophecy was true - but Roslin was not the dying leader? And how did the rest of the fleet find the Galactica?

Than-the second part really dragged on and I could not believe that people would ever be willing to give up technology (to be fair - they kept some). Starbuck disaapearing was neat but if she was an anglel -then how could she kill people and interact with someone other than Lee? After all, the dream Six and dream Baltar never interacted with anyone in reality. So did the show suggest that Hera mated with one of the human ancestors (Austrelopithecus) and produced the human race. That explains the fast evolution somewhat but would not the human race have evolved anyway? Some of the looses ends were tied up but it seemed that it was in an unecessary fashion. The Harbinger of death was never explained easer. Would be glad if anyone here including Jammer would mmed uhelp me understand it better-what did I miss?

The whole lie detector with Adama was neat and summed up my opinions on the method. Also, I liked how Ron Moore was reading the magazine about the mitochondrial Eve in the final scene - neat. But suggesting that our robots are going to become as advanced as Cylons seemed a stretch - but the dancing robots were cool.

Overall, I find the religious message inherent in the show a little off-putting, being an atheist. I will go on the record and say that "Sometimes a Great Notion" should have been the last episode as everything that happaned afterward was too sloppy, convoluted, and in the end required mystical beliefs to explain. Anyone here agree? 2 stars
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 5:43pm (UTC -6)
So...I won't be watching this until it comes out on DVD. But I have a question...who was the "final cylon"? Everyone's been talking about it for weeks, but reading the reviews, it seems there wasn't one.
Jason K
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 6:33pm (UTC -6)
@Mehman, ok took me long enough, had to spend the day with the wife, but here are my thoughts about the finale. You have to understand first, I'm a spiritual person, so I bought into the spirituality of a lot of this hook, line and sinker. There was no one way to end this that would have pleased everyone. I'm simply thinking the writers chose the lesser of all evils going the spiritual route, but anyway, here goes in regards to Brendan's questions earlier.

All Along the Watchtower... no explanation - Untrue. The song in the forefront provides the location to Earth. They could have used any song, but Moore likes this one, so why not use it. Though it is unlikely that a set of coordinates would actually translate to something listenable musically, I'm willing to give it a dramatic pass there. Also, at the end, we hear Hendrix's version of Watchtower, which is what I think (think, mind you, not know) prompted Baltar's "Silly Silly me" comment. However, in the grand scheme of things, AATWT is actually this entire show. Think about it. The miniseries starts us basically in the middle of an armistice between Human and Cylon. We go through the story for four seasons, only to wind up back at the beginning. The song is structured the same way. AATWT starts in the middle. The first line of the song SHOULD be "All along the watchtower, the princes....blah blah", but instead it drops us into the middle of a conversation between a joker and a thief. It's what is called a Mobeius strip (sp?). Again, the theme of "all this has happened before." So I think that is what truly makes the song significant.

Kara's ressurection.... no explanation - Untrue. Kara's character is the classic Hero returned from the dead on unfinished business. Leoben always said she had a destiny, but it was shielded from her because all she could see when she got in the cockpit was her own death. In Maelstrom, she faced death and was sent back (by God, Gods, whatever power you believe in - again can't please everyone - to fulfill her destiny. Once it was completed, she ascended to heaven, or the other side, or however you want to interpret it spiritually. Anders knew. Her status as "harbinger" was also brought into question. Now I also mistook the word harbinger for "bringer" of death, however a more obscure definition is "a person send ahead to provide lodgings" or "a person who initiates or pioneers a major change" (Merriam Webster dictionary). So in essence, Kara was sent back by Death to lead them all to their end (not their deaths, but the end of their journey). So again, I am satisfied.

The head characters.... no explanation (this one is especially annoying because we were promised one by RDM) - Again, wrong. I think it's quite clear these were representations of Angels and Demons. We know that they can be seen or unseen (I still believe Shelly Godfrey was Head Six in the flesh.) We know then can physically interact with the environment (Think about Head Six lifing Gaius off the floor over and over again and at other times shoving him against walls and even causing blood). Throughout religion, there are stories of corporeal beings taking on flesh and living among us. I think it's pretty clear we're dealing with the same thing here. There is even the remote possibility that Kara might have been one of these head people made flesh, or perhaps even a mix (what the bible refers to as a "Nephalim", a child of Angel and Man)

Hera/God/Watchtower/Kara/Dad/Leoben/Earth connection.... no explanation - I think I've covered a lot of this already. Leoben only knew Kara had a destiny. He was thrown off a bit by the discovery of the original Earth, but then again everyone was caught off guard by that. In the long run though, Leoben was right about Kara in every way. I'm am slightly fuzzy about Hera (OK, so I don't have all the answers, lol) however, she was really the only child around, so I can see how she "represents" the future. Even if the original colonials die off, both races live on in her DNA. Finally I believe that Kara's dad was another head person (angel or demon) sent to guide Kara.

The opera house visions, somewhat... but the opera house itself.... no explanation - I don't think the Opera House was truly significant. More like just a foreshadowing, a lot like the book of revelations. There is a lot of imagery and metaphor going on. I think the crosscutting onboard Galactica was beautifully done. All the while we though Gaius and Six were going to hurt Hera, when in reality they were saving her. Blew my mind. All I kept thinking was "Oh no! Don't let Gaius and Six find her" Hera however, has an uncanny, Neo like ability to dodge bullets.

The hybrids connection to God, and how that worked with Anders.... no explanation

Remember, only some of the Cylon's believed the Hybrid's communicated with God. Anders simply interfaced with the colony hybrids. It had already been established that Anders had the ability to control other technology when plugged into the datastream. I think it was poetic justice that Galactica was able to infiltrate the cylon network and shut down their defenses using their own hybrid...hellooooo.

How Tyrol gained 50 pounds eating algae rations and working 16 hours a day... no explanation - Got me there.

Well, that's officially my longest post ever. You don't have to agree, but I think it's a fair argument. As a reference, I also bought the ending of "Quantum Leap" when it was established that God, not technology was leaping Sam from place to place.

For me, I have no questions. My only true regret was not being able to see Tigh and Adama say goodbye to each other. I'll live however. I'm sure they would see each other again before long.
Matt L.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 6:34pm (UTC -6)
Overall a very well done episode. I'm mostly with those who accept the idea of there being some kind of divine will driving things. The only question I had at the end was the 'harbinger of death' line.

I can't quite figure out what the writers meant by this. I have a few vague explanations--one being that Kara's resurrection makes her a sort of harbinger of what lies on the other side. Another being that her actions, in a way, led to the end of the human the ending implies that everyone is a human/cylon cross.

Still I'm really curious what the rest of you think. Love to see some more theories or ideas.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 6:48pm (UTC -6)
The ending bit with the new Robot was amazing. I even saw that article last week, and was going to email to someone saying 'they have arrived'.

It seems like the show has its high and low points. The high points are when things hold together for valid reasons, and the low points are the 'come on, that's absurd' points.

Certainly, having problems because people behave like people and not like perfect people from Star Trek is refreshing and wonderful. I like them talking about torture, running out of supplies, politics, Democracy etc... But then the showed stalled a bit on this notion of not knowing your a Sylon or not. Then there was the great ending on the first earth. The show really ended there, in my and another's opinion.

The last show was really great, but the shows preceding it did not build up to well. There is one too many revolts. One too many turns of Baltar, too much nonsense. And Kara just sat around doing nothing. There was nothing really left to do with the show, in general. Perhaps they needed a 'let's get depressed show' and then the end.

And let me say, BSG was not great because of it's action. I didn't watch BSG because it had gunfire and things blowing up. I thought that part of it was rather weak. Would Adama really have launched such a rescue?
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 7:22pm (UTC -6)
The big controversy will always be over the use of "God" as the explanation for the weird and wonderful things that happened. I think everything chalked up to "God" makes sense based on established events.

It's whether you like all the higher power bullshit that will determine whether you like this direction. I'm an atheist, but I love a bit of higher power in fiction. In fact, looking upon BSG as a whole, it reminds me of classical Greco-Roman epics, all about humans with destinies controlled by the gods, a fitting theme for a story about a people whose religion is similar to the Ancient Greek pantheon.. This has just taken more of a Judeo-Christian spin on the matter. Hell, all it needed was for the dialogue to be written in dactylic hexameter and you'd think RDM just lifted the teleplays straight from Virgil.

And if you didn't see this coming, you really haven't been paying attention. The seeds were sown back in the mini-series if you think about it and by the end of season one, there was no doubt.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 7:28pm (UTC -6)
There's millions of angry militant internet athiests that get pissed off at any hint of spiritualism. It's a shame really.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 7:53pm (UTC -6)
Indeed. As I said, you'd think that after the first appearance of the angel, who confirmed her identity in 'Six Degrees of Separation', after Leoben's ravings in 'Flesh and Bone', after Head Six guided Baltar's hand to the thermal exhaust port in the Cylon tyllium facility in 'Hand of God', after Roslin's visions of Kobol in 'Kobol's Last Gleaming part 1', after Head Six showing Baltar the shape of things to come in 'Kobol's Last Gleaming part 2' - and that's just in season 1 - the moaners would have realised what they were in for. Now they act all shocked. I'm just glad they've finally caught up.

The real debate we need to have as intelligent people is whether we think the discarding of technology by the Colonials was realistic. That's the topic of a heated debate over at It's a good question. I don't have a problem with it, though I think the throwaway line about everyone in the fleet just accepting it was a little too pat.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 9:15pm (UTC -6)
I absolutely hated it. The first half was at least vaguely entertaining, albeit daft, but it totally jumped the shark. I don't even know what to think. It was really poorly done and none of it made any sense whatsoever.

I expected fan reaction to be similar to mine - I'm surprised to hear so much praise for it
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 9:16pm (UTC -6)
Josh, the fact that God has been discussed in the series for so long was a reason to expect something more, not to expect the "god" explanation. Because just saying yeah it was god, isn't really new information. I expected some sort of new persective on what this god/gods/destiny stuff was all about, and we didn't get anything. That's not to say I was expecting the notion of God in this series to be debunked as something concrete, but I thought there would be an exploration there.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 9:16pm (UTC -6)
@ Jerry

Boy.... that not-Earth planet sure has some special Africa-shaped continents....
Alexey Bogatiryov
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 10:00pm (UTC -6)
@ Occuprice

Defintely-, the Earth-shaped planet we saw ion Daybreak did have Africa. Do you think that the planet we saw at the end of Crossroads part II (when "All Along the Watchtower" played and it zoomed out from the Cylon and human fleets to Earth)and we saw North America - was that our Earth or the "nuked-out Earth" (I will refer to it as that from now on) of "Revelations" and Sometimes a Great Notion"? By definition - it had to have been our Earth (from "Daybreak") as it had the same geographical configuration! So clearly that was the same planet that we saw in "Crossroads!"

I wathced "Revelations" again. Gaeta said the constellations match the ones seen from the Temple of Athena or whaterver (was that in "Kobol's Last Gleaming?"). "Nuked Earth"
did not have any recognizable characteristics (from the episode "Revelations") similar to our Earth (it was too shrouded in clouds) but it was in precisely the same location! Consequently, this means Ronald Moore committed one of the biggest plot falacies on this side of the Enterprise Xindy attack on Earth (which violated the Trek timeline). He fooled us with the whole Constellationthing as we saw the 12 colonies as constellations from our Earth and the "nuked Earth." Granted - we never see the constellations from our Earth, but we know they are the same as the show takes us up to present time.

Irrelevant of whether the "nuked Earth" was geographically identical to our planet, the fact that they occupy the same exact location in space is simply sloppy writing. The only plausible explanations must be that they must be either in different dimensions or it was the same planet at different time periods (Galactica time travelled through the singularity?). Two Earths could not have existed in the same location! This just drives me nuts and takes away the credibility that "Revelations" and "Sometimes..." established. For shame Ron, for shame!
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 10:57pm (UTC -6)
I wasn't sure what to expect going in. I knew the episodes leading up to it were a little lacking for me but as with BSG finales it delivered.

The first hour mainly centered on the action part of the story. What can I say--Outstanding. It sported film quality effects. This epic battle was the kind of unique event that stands out among other battles because of the impressive flawless detailed visual effects sequences; the well thought tactics and game plan from the writers that lend a nice sense of realism to the events because it doesn't exist solely as just mindless action; the choregraphy among the ships and the soldiers; and the overall visceral impact that such high stakes life and death struggles generate. And you really can never go wrong when the writers decide to pull out all the stops and have the ship undergo a brutal attack. I also got a kick out of the Centurion waving on Lee's group after clearing the corridor.

Then we proceeded to the next phase of the story--the mythology. Well, I knew that any remaining elements not addressed and answered in "No Exit" would have to come out here and you know the funny thing...a lot of them still didn't.

Plot/Mythology was never really BSG's thing so I guess I should count myself lucky I didn't invest a lot in it even though what I saw I enjoyed and was certainly intrigued by. The meaning of the Opera House was disappointing overall. I expected something more. I will say that I did like the sequence when Caprica and Baltar entered the CIC and we have the Final Five on the upper deck looking down on them bathed in the white light just as they had in the vision. Now we know who was where from left to right.

We didn't learn what happened to Starbuck. We didn't learn about the reason for the exodus on Kobol or why the 13th tribe left. We didn't learn why those Final Five out of millions on Earth were chosen by the messengers to stop the First War. We didn't learn why the Four were activated at the nebula. We didn't learn
where the song came from. I guess Starbuck being the harbinger of death was the death of a purely human race. But what was Starbuck's dad's connection to the Opera House? Why send Starbuck to the first Earth? Why did she need to die to go there anyway? Was her dad a supernatural entity or what?

What did work beautifully were the character moments beginning with the discovery of Earth.--

I've not been too crazy about a lot of the BSG characters but one character that I've always been fascinated by was Laura Roslin. I mean all the crap she has been through to keep the fleet going all the while struggling with diginity in silence with her own personal battle with cancer--you simply have to admire and feel for the woman.
And even though you were pulling for her, for her to have survived would have really felt wrong.

Roslin's death was beautifully done and so well executed in how it so devastatingly portrayed a person's final moments. I really liked that they followed through on it and let her die with no miracle saves. It definitely stirred feelings in me. Not only because of Roslin being my favorite character but also because I witnessed my father's last moments and Moore really captured that experience between two people who love each other deeply as one must watch the other pass away.

Seeing Roslin just quietly pass and her arm go limp as Adama tells of what he plans--had me in tears. The cinematography and on location shots were beautiful and I thought it was quite effective to contrast this frail, withering being in her final minutes of the life cycle surrounded by all these signs of rejuvenation and renewal--the animal life, the lush green fields, the warm sunlight, the clear blue skies, the fresh start for mankind, our Earth in its early days.

In fact, More did pull off satisfying final moments among all the characters. Starbuck and Lee's final moment together and him turning around to see that she was gone. Perfect. Ellen and Tighe's moment felt right. Anders guiding the fleet into the sun was poignant.

I loved the twist-filled Coda. It was outstanding. Those last few minutes were packed with a wonderful series of really great and satisfying surprises. I loved the flash to 150,000 years in the future. It produced such a wnderful sense of melancholy knowing just a few moments ago we saw these characters alive and just beginning a new life and then boom we are in the distant future of our present day world. It really made me wistful. I also liked that it showed that this particular human civilization life cycle rise and fall forgotten in time. It adds a nice perspective I think.

I also loved the twist that our Earth was colonized by another group of humans from Kobol and the twelve colonies and that in yet fun twist that messes with our heads we learn we are all part Cylon because Hera was our Mitochrondial Eve--explaining her importance to the Head Figures/the third party--because in a really cool take by Moore, God sees humans as an experiment and never wanted us to totally die out because he wants to see if we can evetually get it right.

That also plays nicely back to the Final Five story in "No Exit". The entities might have told the Final Five that they wanted them to get to the twelve colonies in time to prevent the First Cylon War but obviously given these beings supernatural abilities they would have had to known they wouldn't make it in time. So obviously they wanted them to create the skinjobs including Cavil to see if they would break the cycle. And Cavil didn't. He broke the armistice which led to a four year continuous battle between both sides. And before that the powers that be guided the 13th Tribe to the first Earth and yet again another holocaust. It makes you wonder how many times has this scenario played out that we aren't even aware of.

I really like the idea that Moore onto
about this being throughout time observing humanity to see if it will start out the cycle yet again and even better he chose to leave the episode with a big "?" as the series closes on the latest news reports with regards to the advances in robotics and Jimi Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower rendering. Perfect!

This episode would have been "four stars" excellent had it just dealt with the mythology better than it did. Everything else was there-the vfx, the battles, the character moments, the cinematography, the scores/musical selections, a poignant sendoff for Roslin and the series. Some might say the series wasn't about the mythology. True it wasn't exclusively about it but it deserved a bit better than it got here with the investment that people put into it.

I'd rather the show never had a mythology than to resolve it this way because in the end it was a bit of a mess. It might be argued that life isn't always forthcoming with answers to its mysteries but at the end of the day the BSG is a tv show and the writers owed some answers and in some cases more interesting answers than the ones we got. It marred the episode. One other thing I didn't care for--Lampkin's appearance was unnecessary and pointless other than he must be a fan favorite or more likely Moore's favorite. Personally I never cared for him.

I'd give this sendoff 3.5 stars out of 4.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 10:57pm (UTC -6)
This was the greatest thing I've seen on television. Thank you Ronald Moore, you've ruined me for all other shows.
Joe H
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 11:09pm (UTC -6)
Absolutely loved the episode from beginning to end. As surprised as Niall was that people didn't hate it, I was shocked to watch the after show special in Canada show them hating it. Doesn't change my mind in any way, This is a top mark episode to me. Even the back-in-time jumps made total sense in the end, and made for a lovely 2:15 standalone show.

I knew Galactica had to jump close to the colony, but geez, that was insane!!! Loved slamming Galactica into the colony and blowing front hatches. Not an invasion technique I expected!!!

I always felt Boomer was in an internal battle. Nice to see her do one right thing. Figured she had to die after all that had happened.

Shocked me to see that Caprica 6 had a Gaius in her head!!! Loved it! And the fact that they were helping Hera get away and not stealing her away as I always assumed, nice!

On top of Galen's reaction, I loved that Ellen and Ty were as shocked that Tory had done that to Callie, and loved Tory getting what she deserved. Hated what had to happen to the "bad Cylons" in CIC, but I guess that was the only way to end it.

Watching the jump and then Galactica's back breaking and falling apart... as realistic as I'd think. Showing Galactica flying over the moon and then panning up to Earth gave me chills!!!

To answer an earlier question, I thought there was a mention of a Raptor jumping to give the fleet coordinates to Galactica. That's what had to have happened.

Loved the old school BSG music from the seventies when the fleet was piloted to the sun.

Roslin dying... had to happen, but crap...

Starbuck = Gandalf. I'm fine with keeping it at that.

Finally, I loved that there was no more mention of Daniel! I thought that the mention of his name was overblown by everybody trying to analyze his importance, and glad that it stayed that way!
Jason K
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 11:25pm (UTC -6)
When did Anders ever say he wrote the song?? He said he PLAYED the song for someone he loved once. Nobody ever said Anders wrote AATWT.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 1:47am (UTC -6)

I think a lot of people expected everyone to die. I bet a lot of fans expected the fleet to become our descendent, but were probably thrown off with episodes like something of a great notion.

Look like Baltha and Caprica Six are off the hook for playing a key part in reducing the human population to thousands.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 1:59am (UTC -6)
I usually post something tongue-in-cheek / goofy, but seriously... I don't know what to think about the last episode or the series as a whole.

It is clearly a character driven series. Does that make for good drama? Only if the characters are interesting and involving. We were fortunate enough to have that. I have nothing against plot driven episodes. I might actually prefer them. Maybe it's because it forces the writers to really think situations through on a macro scale, not just in the microcosms of the individual characters. What does this mean for the human race, the Cylons, the fleet, the Cylon rebellion, etc. I've read reviews and comments stating that they could care less if there isn't another space battle scene in the entire series. WTF?! That's what daytime soap operas are for! I don't want just another stupid drama with no plot. There's too much of it already on regular television. I watch Battlestar Galactica because it is a space action drama. It is space combat! It is not war or civil conflict based on earth, not in another dimension, not jumping through space portals, not fighting dinosaurs, zombies, vampires, dragons, or werewolves! It about a space conflict with humans and machines becoming humans. GRRRRR!

Okay, sorry about that rant.

I saw that show "The Last Frakking Whatever Special" and David Eick really torqued me off. It seems to me that he has had very little respect for the original series. Much less respect than Ron Moore, which actually surprised me. The more I heard David Eick speak about how he feels about the diehard original series fans, the more I believe the man should be barred from making any science fiction shows in the future.

I respect the direction they wanted to take the new series, and while I did enjoy it a great deal, for the most part, I did regret not having the opportunity to see what might have been, if they could have brought out the potential of the original premise.

All in all, the new series was way cooler, darker, more realistic, more emotional, more intense, more controversial, more sexy, and possibily had a wider appeal to a wider audience.

People tend to knock the original series as campy, family fare, etc. But, at the time, it also had some of praises and accolades that we shower on the new series. It also set the stage for what we have today.

I don't think the final episodes sufficiently answered all the questions, but then again, I didn't expect it to, or even believe that it needed to. It answered, just enough for most people. Poor writing, poor planning? I don't know. I can't say. There's always much more information, background, clues, revelations, relationships, and plot twists and not enough time or episodes to cram them all into.

It seems to me that they were so caught up with the "we appeal to women and other people who normally would not watch science fiction" aspect that they made their choices of what to include and leave out based almost soley on that.

So, if the series doesn't seem to be as coherent as something you would expect from Star Trek, Babylon 5, or whatever, maybe that's the reason.

I'm not saying that technobabble and lengthy exposition makes for better science fiction... but some of it is needed to make science fiction what it is. Character drama makes for... well... good drama, and good drama could be anything from CSI to ER. Okay, maybe not so much.

Running gun battles with CG Centurians... great. Kiss scene between Lee and Kara... great.
Bill Adama and Saul Tigh are drunk off their butts again... great.
Cavil argues metaphysically with Final Five... great.
Gaius Baltar has another round of sex with [insert character's name here]... great.
Bill Adama smashes model ship again... Yay!!! Great.

I love seeing Vipers - MkII and MkVII blow apart Cylon raiders and heavy raiders, and I can't get enough of that. I love watching space dogfights.

I love watching Battlestars duking it out with Baseships. By the way... where are all the frakking baseships that should have been defending the Cylon colony?!! Were they all out looking for the human / rebel Cylon fleet? No... Boomer knew where they were. Hole in the plot? One the size of a naked singularity? Maybe...

Don't know. Don't care. All I do know is that I am looking forward to "the Plan" and maybe, just maybe it will be science fiction and not just more character drama that just happens to take place in space on the "SyFy" network, and "Look lesbians!!!" brought to you by Quizno's and KFC.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 3:04am (UTC -6)
Jammer, long time fan of your Trek reviews. I find myself agreeing with you on most of your DS9 praises and your Voyager critiques.

My thoughts are that the finale was a bit of a mixed bag. As usual, the character interactions were the strong points, and the plot and subsequent logic took some serious hits.


+Roslin & Cottle: Very touching scene, especially from Cottle. "Go back to grumbling and smoking a cigarette" Priceless.

+Baltar on the verge of boarding the Raptor: You knew the heel face turn was coming judging from last episode, but here it was executed well. Caprica's subtle speech about being proud of him gave it some oomph as well. (Interesting though to note that she does not ever interact with Saul ever again. Talk about a complete throwaway and unbelievable storyline ).

+ Space action scenes: Watching Galactica take a beating was awesome and heartwrenching. What a ship. I also appreciated the continuity of raptors ripping the hell out of the flight deck with their jumps.

+Tyrol's Choke a B*tch Moment: Ahh, some comeuppance to a completely terrible and underutilized character that only did one thing of importance. Excellent, although this "Punish the Chief" deal is really taken on a whole other level, given that he sort of doomed the whole truce. (Although Racetrack's nuke probably would have killed EVERYBODY instead, so thank Tyrol instead! )

+Prehistoric Earth: I didn't mind the timeline and the idea that there were two "Earths". "Earth is a dream". (Another awesome Adama moment). More importantly, the story concluded with No Time Travel. Thank goodness for that.

+Baltar's farming line: Delivered perfectly by Callis.

+Edward James Olmos: The man pretty much owned every scene he was in. Every moment he has with all the main characters were completely awesome, especially the one with Roslin. The last shot of him talking to Roslin's grave... powerful stuff.


-Roslin's flashback. What the hell was the point of the date other than for awkward giggles? She could have come to the decision to run in the campaign to begin with. Completely extraneous and irrelevant.

-Boomer's flashback. That was terribly clumsy from a mechanics standpoint. You don't tell someone something, then flashback to the something, and beat the viewer down with it no less than THREE TIMES. The whole scene should have been done in the beginning in Season 1. Subtlety. Use it!

- Lee's flashback. Now the pigeon thing really pisses me off from Daybreak Part 1. Because it completely sucks. I think I understand what they're going for (pigeon is Kara) but that was terrible.

-Entire Opera Scene: I had a feeling it wasn't going to be that great, but this was below my already low expectations. So basically, the Opera House vision was really a ludicrously literal representation of how everyone would one day be unable to catch a child scampering slowly through hallways?! Even Caprica and Baltar were like, WTF THAT'S IT?

-The Humanoid Cylons: Yeah, they sucked it up. All of them, especially Cavil. Blowing himself up is completely out of character for a cynical survivor like him. And where the hell was Leoben!?

-Dead Racetrack Nuke: I am willing to shrug off some things, but asking me to swallow that 1.) a rock hits the raptor which 2.) causes Racetrack's dead hand to hit the button which 3.) happens to launch all the nukes at 4.) the precise and perfect moment to 5.) destroy all the baddies after Galactica was safely away? I think my brain turned to mush while I laughed. Not in an appreciative way.

-Every single aspect of the Song: Why does it contain coordinates to Earth?? Why and how does Hera know it? Why and how did it trigger the Final Five? Don’t say God.

- The Entire post death Kara Arc: I won’t go into it in detail, but suffice it to say I did not care for her disappearance act, her unresolved Viper reappearance (they needed more angels if they each come with a viper), and her whole connection with Daniel. I don't mind open-ended endings, but this was completely unsatisfying from all aspects while managing to violate the Galactica universe mythology when it comes to resurrection. Not so good.

After watching it twice, I think I would give the finale a 2.5 to 3 stars out of 4. I have a feeling that I will like it less with subsequent rewatches, as there are plenty of things that don’t hold up to scrutiny with closer examination. The finale provided overall closure and had its shining character moments, but reaffirmed the doubts I had when I read that interview with Moore about not giving a **** about plot (no, it’s not out of context). The fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writing is blatantly evident throughout. This last season of BSG has been a testament to the importance of pre-planning storylines and character arcs. Yes, I know the television world is a cruel mistress and cancellation is a constant looming threat, but there are serialized shows out there that have done it before. I think DS9 had a more satisfying ending and incorporated the theme of spirituality in a much better way. Just my thoughts.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 3:10am (UTC -6)

The opera house was the cultural hub of Kobol, the birthplace of both mankind and Cylon. The cycle of war that ended in Daybreak began on Kobol. This is how events proceeded:

- Kobol humans create robotic Cylons, which create humanoid Cylons. Civil strife ensues, and 12 human tribes part ways with one Cylon tribe.
- Cylon tribe lands on a planet and calls it Earth.
- As five scientists on Earth re-discover their original resurrection capabilities, lost to them for a thousand years, the Cylons create their own robotic servants only to have them turn against them. The surviving five travel to warn their 12 brothers about their fate.
- Before they can, the 12 tribes do the same thing and engage in war with their robotic Cylons.
- The final five create the humanoid models, which destroy the geographical and social structure of the old tribes, fusing humanity, and later Cylon, into one new "tribe" over the course of a 4 year war.
- The new tribe lands on a planet, fully re-formed 3000 years after the initial splintering on Kobol.

And where did this end occur? Where did human and cylon come together? Where was the final jump to their new home made? In the CIC. The CIC is connected to the opera house to the extent which it is a symbol of a point of origin.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 5:16am (UTC -6)
Hey Jammer - thanks for reviews over the years.

Personally, I haven't enjoyed BSG as much post New-Caprica as I did before it, but at least the ending was pretty good. I definitely hear all the negative comments that some people are making about it, but unlike TNG and DS9, I didn't have quite the same amount of emotion invested in it, so it wasn't so bad.

What's everyone watching next?
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 5:37am (UTC -6)
It seems a lot of viewers are in fact Arnold Rimmer.

"God? What a ridiculous concept! I believe in ALIENS, Lister!"

Starbuck returned as an angel. Why is that answer any less satisfying than her returning as a clone thanks to the help of the Asgard? Would revealing God as really being Little Grey Men actually have given more credibility to the series? Let it be just be an enigmatic higher power. I'm glad they didn't go there. God is a bunch of bullshit. Trying to cake it in layers of even more bullshit doesn't help any.
Jason K
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 8:26am (UTC -6)
Hey Ryan,

Thanks for clearing that up. You put into words what I could not get out of my brain, lol.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 9:11am (UTC -6)
Honestly, I thought it was abominable. I loved part 1 last week. I thought the use of flashbacks was inspired, shed a deeper light on some of the characters (particularly Roslin and Baltar), and set the stage beautifully. No complaints there. And I'll give the first half of part 2 its dues, although it certainly wasn't without problems. But the "new Earth" and everything afterwards? Abominable.

Reason why Kara is the "harbinger of death": none
Reason why Kara died, came back, and led everyone to the nuked earth: none. I mean, WTF? This completely undermines the mid-season two-parter, and in fact the whole season. If "the music" was the coordinates of the habitable new earth (a concept I'm also underwhelmed by), why didn't she just lead them there in the first place? Why was she instead programmed (by "God" or whoever) to take everyone to the nuked Earth, not the habitable one? While we're at it, who nuked it? And how did her viper, having exploded with her inside in "Maelstrom", get there, and why?
Reason for Cavil to kill himself: none
Significance of the opera house visions: none. It was well done at first, when it seemed to be actually building to something, but THAT is what all the build-up was for? A little stand-off in the CIC?
Role of the opera house: none
Actual significance of Hera: none. There are plenty of other humans and cylons who can breed with each other. And if no-one had survived at all, humans would have evolved on that planet independently anyway. The outcome would have been the same.
Follow-up on "Daniel": none
Follow-up on Kara's father: none
Revelation of Kara's nature: none
Revelation of how Leoben knows so much about Kara: none
Reason for Anders to become a hybrid: none. This is when I first started having real concerns about how the show would end. As a plot development, it stretched if not shattered credibility - but I gave the show the benefit of the doubt, as it had earned it. Not any more.
Reason Anders could control the other hybrids: none
Reason Anders could control the other ships in the fleet: none. Is he magic now?
Reason Galactica survived ramming the colony: none. We've been led to believe for weeks that the ship was about to fall apart at any minute - and yet suddenly it's strong enough to ram its way through the front of a Cylon fortress? If it was really as weak as we've been led to believe, there's no way it should have even survived the initial barrage - which should have been forestalled anyway if they'd had Anders plugged in to begin with and not waited
Reason for Ellen to be the final cylon: none. I mean, what did she bring to the story or the show?
Dignity of Racetrack's death: none
Reason Baltar would suddenly "turn good": none
Reason Caprica would fall back in love with Baltar: none
Reason for Caprica's pregnancy storyline: none. What was even the point in all of that?
Reason for Baltar's cult getting guns: none
Reason Kara would suddenly just "disappear": none
Reason for the significance of the Ionian nebula: none
Reason for "humans to have evolved independently" on the supposed new earth: none. "One in a million"? "Divine chance"? Gimme a break.
Reason for Kara to lead everyone to the nuked Earth first: NONE. Unless, that is, "God" wanted to see Dee blow her brains out. Fail.
Reason for Lampkin to become president: none. I mean, COME ON... Hoshi is stretching it, but is conceivable at a push. At least he's professional. But Lampkin?
Reason for the final five to "put their hands in the water": none. Yech. Sorry, did I accidentally lean on the remote and change channels to Stargate Atlantis?
Reason for Adama to go off and not come back: none. Surely his son, crew, and friends like Tigh matter more to him? What's he gonna do, just sit on a rock and wither away? Obviously they wanted to go for the tragic, romantic, symbolic ending, but instead it just turns out stupid because they didn't think it through in real terms. Awful, utterly wrong-headed. And there were no Adama/Tigh scenes either, apart from in flashbacks.
Reason for Tyrol to go and live on an island by himself: none. Ditto the above. Is he just gonna eat lichen and live in a cave?
Reason the fleet would abandon technology and choose to live in a tribal manner: none. See below.
Survival skills of the characters: next to none, presumably.

The whole thing was half-assed, retarded, and either undermined or at best ignored almost all the backstory. There has clearly been little overall planning since day 1. What it did attempt to tie up, it did in a really transparent, lacklustre "this'll do, we haven't thought this through, we haven't planned this from the beginning" sort of way. Seriously, why was Kara even "programmed" to take them to the nuked earth when the habitable earth was there all along?

I still haven't come to the biggest problem of all I have with it - the decision to "go native". It's beyond stupid. There's confusion here regarding the difference between technology and civilisation. They're not just abandoning all technology and their sole means of transport (bearing in mind the other ships apart from Galactica were still perfectly functional!), they're abandoning civilisation. They are living in the wild, in Africa, with next to no survival skills and no medicine. Really, how are they supposed to survive or even adapt?

I consider myself left-wing and environmentally conscious. That said, this ending stank of an very naive "technology is evil, let's go back to nature" mindset, which the writers clearly hadn't thought through at all. I'm looking forward to the follow-up series where they all get eaten by lions, attacked by other tribespeople, or die of the ebola virus. Then everyone will see what a great decision it was to maroon themselves in an unfamiliar and hostile environment, where they are prey for large mammals and may also be invaders on others' territory. Medically, it's also a foreign environment which will have its own germs and viruses to which they've never been exposed, and thus they'll have no resistance. All of that combined with their lack of survival skills and lack of technology to hunt (I'm assuming they've left their guns behind too) means that theoretically, they wouldn't last very long. Let's be realistic. But instead, the show treats it as a glorious "garden of Eden" happy ending, gifted to them by the divine. Which is so stupid I don't even know where to begin.

Seriously, I can't believe I'm writing this, I can't believe they actually ended the show like this. "Disappointed" isn't the word, I'm in shock and denial that they'd do something so wrongheaded. Any of the other much-discussed options would have been far better - a return to Kobol, an "everyone dies" ending, whatever - all of those would have worked much better and been truer to the spirit of the show.

I'm retroactively giving Gaeta and Zarek my full support. Smartest of all, though, was Dee. She was right to get out when she did.

The only thing that I really, really liked was the scene with Roslin and Doc Cottle. It was wonderful. Other than that: dead loss. Travesty.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 9:23am (UTC -6)
You know, I've been disappointed with shows I've considered my favourite before, but I've never found myself as angry as some people here or elsewhere on the interwebs. At the end of the day I just feel sorry for them; I got to watch an amazing episode of television, and they got so mad they need to - seriously? - talk about how smart Dee was to shoot herself.



Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 10:06am (UTC -6)
Ryan - watching any series is an investment, especially a really good one like BSG - although I couldn't call it my favourite. We don't just invest our time and money, we invest in the characters, sold by good performances and underpinned by good writing. We care about what happens to them.

So it's understandable that people can be shocked, disappointed, and even angry when things don't play true to character, take a turn "out of left field", or seem outright ridiculous or blatantly manipulated. I don't regret having watched this show for 4 years, and I don't regret having bought the DVDs (although I'm now selling them to a friend). "Maelstrom" is the finest episode of any television series I've ever seen, and this series has given us its fair share of gems - Crossroads, the Kobol arc, the Pegasus arc, New Caprica. Season 4 too, despite its plotting problems, has given us a number of brilliant episodes - like "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner", "Sometimes A Great Notion", "The Oath" and "Someone To Watch Over Me".

Back in the first couple of seasons, I had my doubts as to whether the writers would be able to resolve the show's mythology in a satisfactory manner. These doubts lessened with time - season 3 brought the mythology more to the forefront and handled it well, and "No Exit" did a great job of explaining the Cylon backstory. Generally, over the final two seasons, the show seemed to have a good handle on its own mythology - although all that time, everything was building towards the finale. Suspense, foreboding, the Opera House visions, the Watchtower music, the religious aspects - and it was a letdown. Most of it was left unanswered, and what was dealt with was pretty underwhelming and too obviously retroactive continuity. Retcon has worked well earlier this season, in "No Exit" and with Tyrol's son, but the retcon in the finale didn't come close to working for me.

Overall, I just feel that the mythology and long-term plotting got the better of the writers in the end. It's clear there was little plan.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 10:36am (UTC -6)
I agree with most of everyone here about the unexplained bits in the finale ("Harbinger of Death"...wha?), but I disagree that having Cavil shoot himself was a negative thing.

Frankly, I thought it was hillarious. Just, "FRACK" -> shoots self in mouth. Is it explained why he did it? Not really, but part of the humor was its unexpectedness. And I do find it to be in-character: Cavil saw that everything had just completely gone to hell, and he was "machine enough" to realize it and act accodingly. He knew he was probably going to be killed anyway, after all.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 10:51am (UTC -6)
That's Ron Moore for you, the poor man's George Lucas.

Coming up with great ideas, and ruining them before he's done.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 12:26pm (UTC -6)
So after 4 years of suffering the solution was for galactic people to go native in a wild planet. The whole thing is absurd and idiotic. In retrospective Gaeta and Zarek were right. The adama's family is at least emotional unstable at least. when admiral Cain died kara sai that the fleet was more secure with than without her. It was absolutely right. The Baltar who helped the murder of the most competent commander of the fleet became President and with adamas cooperation nearly destroyed the civilization in new caprica. And lee orders all the people to live technology which is guilty!!! of what? and abandon the fleet in order to die in few months in the wild earth. It remembers me some suicidal sects who commit massive suicide. and no one objected to that.... its so naive that destroys series reputation. Dee have had a honorable death and was of the moste 'aristorcratic' suicides in tv . He had the dignity to face things. and to make hard choices. Tm Zarek Gaeta nad even Admiral Cain with his last for revenge have my fully support. Zarek death was a death fitted to man dying for his convictions and not dying in misery in a wild planet as lee choose. Gaeta coup was the last chance for humanity. It lost and a paranoic cult left to destroy human race. The irony is that kara was the harbinger o death it led tha human race in a primitive wild barbaric world to self destruct. To the back to the nature message is so idiotic and so mediocre that astonished me. So solution was to go native to hunt gazelles and to fight barbarians. They have confused the technology and the human traits so utterly. And they needed 150000 years to reach our level?. And the two angels wondering if the cycle of violence begins again, the did not observe the history of 150000 years full of genocides, world wars and continious violence did the writers of the episode read some history?. Because they dont know basic things everybody knew. A great series with the weaker and the most unrealistic ending i have ever seen.And the divine land of edem was a wild planet full of dangers, to go without medicine weapons isolated in small groups! in order to do what; to die; from hunger, diseases, arrows! Even Admirals Cains resolution to go back to twelve colonies and to get rid off cylons was more realistic. Ans this is the greatest irony of all the four years the 'villains' Cain, Gaeta, Zarek were the more logigal of all in thinking. They see that the Adamas Roslins leadership was emotionaly imbalanced and dangerous for the human race. Admirals Cains question in resurection ship I ' is that what are you two doing the last 6 months debating the finer points of colonial law' were absolutely true . We have a president with visions! and a commander capable of commanding a ship but not a fleet. Dont say about the baltar who listen voices and see angels collaborates with enemies agents and make all the disastrous decisions about new caprica. Adama in new Caprica left the baltar to rule a didnt take the most realistic approach to depose him. Its a pitty that the finale was so weak and so anticlinactic. and what about hera? i dont understand his importance at all. and no one clarifies that point. And the most redicilous moment was the helo with the stick touring the fields of africa with athena like a tourist!!!! my points 4 out 10.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 1:36pm (UTC -6)
Here in Japan all I was able to scrape up was partial video on YouTube, and that may be all I get, but I must say:


A moving, resonant, beautiful conclusion to the Battlestar Galactica story that tied up more loose and mythological ends than I thought possible. I think they hit the magic balance between exposition, sense of wonder, plot, and character development.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 1:46pm (UTC -6)
Cgal: I had some difficulty reading that, but I agree wholeheartedly. Good post, and food for thought.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 2:15pm (UTC -6)
Whats happened in this thread?? Did someone link the previous review with the attack on the Scifi forum haters on that forum and they've all flooded in here?

Anyway, days after watching this, its still stuck in my head. It was the most epic and beautiful piece of TV I've ever ever seen. Absolutely perfect send off in my opinion, and in that same opinion, I completely overlook any and all negatives, because they're frankly not worth considering to me.

Also, as a bit of a militant atheist myself, I had absolutely no problem with the spirituality of the ending. As well as being all completely acceptable within the established continuity of the show, its not like there was a specific reference to a 'God' or 'Gods' or whatever, just like Baltar said. It goes whatever way you want it to, and if I was so inclined to want to completely rationalise it (which I'm not, I don't think theres any point, considering its a TV show and all) theres still the opportunity to mark it down to some sort of scify highly evolved entity. In fact thats the beauty of the ending, by not filling in the blanks, you're letting people put whatever spin in their own minds on it that they want to (and any will work) and you're also not going to provide some dopey technobabble explanation that would be completely out of character for this series and completely irrelevant anyway, because you shouldn't have to explain the scientific details of something thats fictional.

Obviously this episode is really going to annoy all those folks who watch this like they watch Lost, ie. to look for every single answer to every single mystery. For me though, I have to agree that its definitely time to break out that fifth star!
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 2:36pm (UTC -6)
@ occuprice and Alexey

It's very simple. The planet they encountered in Revelations was Earth. It was the planet the 13th tribe went to after they left Kobol. They went there and they called it Earth.

The planet from Daybreak is the planet we live on. It did not have a name, since there were no beings there that could speak (so nobody could have given it a name). The colonials called it Earth, since Earth was the dream they've been chasing since the beginning. In fact, they named it after the planet the 13th tribe went to.

We never saw the landmasses on the "real" Earth, but there is absolutely no reason to believe that planet looked anything like ours.

Or, as RDM said: We're not living on the original Earth. We're living on an hommage of the original Earth.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 3:00pm (UTC -6)

I have to disagree. Strongly.

I have my S3 disc loaded, episode "Crossroads Part 2", and I am looking at a freeze-frame right after the zoom-out from Lee and Kara's Vipers to the zoom-in of Earth. It is our Earth. I am looking at the North American continent. I see the Florida Peninsula, Baja California, Chesapeake Bay, Cuba, Yucatan Peninsula. I see the Great Lakes. I see the frakkin MISSISSIPPI RIVER! There is no question about it. Am I to believe that this is NOT the planet that Kara led the fleet to, where the locator beacon in her crashed Viper was?

This makes no sense.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 3:31pm (UTC -6)

It's not a question of opinion.

Yes, the planet at the end of Crossroads was our planet, and indeed the american continent. It is indeed the planet they arrive at in Daybreak. But it is not the planet in Revelations and Sometimes a Great Notion.

RDM says so himself. You can read it here:

More specifically, this is wat is being said:

MR: Talk to me about that whole second Earth thing. That kind of gave me pause me when I saw it.

RDM: It was built into the show when we decided to get to Earth. This was always the plan – the plan was to get to Earth, have it be a cinder, and then go, “God, where now?” And take the audience on this other journey and make them forget about that and not think about it. Because the concept of the show was to search for a place called Earth.

So we wanted to give that to you before you expected it and make it a downer and [have you go,] “Oh shoot, now what?” And now you’re really adrift. [The intention was] to put the audience with the characters, where they were really adrift and not hoping that anything better was going to happen.

And at the very last, at the very end, to then have a moment of hope, to have something to hang on to, and to give them the thing that they had quested for for so long, and to give that to the audience too.

MR: And so it’s as if this Earth is an homage to the other Earth, the first one.

RDM: I thought there was something interesting about that. This isn’t the original Earth. We’re actually [living on] an homage, as you said, to the original Earth. They come here and try to learn a lesson from the original Earth and make this Earth a better story.

MR: I went back and watched the closing moments of "Crossroads, Part 2" again, and the final image is of a planet that looks a lot like Earth. How does that fit in to what we see in "Daybreak"? Can you walk me through that?

RDM: That was all specifically thought out. The planet that you see at the end of "Crossroads" is this planet that we stand on. It has the North American continent and the South American [continent], it's very clear, we wanted it to be visually easy to identify for everybody.

Kara takes them to both Earths, as a matter of fact. She takes them to the original Earth, which, when we showed it in Revelations, we were careful to never quite be able to identify the land masses from orbit. We wanted you to accept it as Earth, and most people assumed it was this Earth, but we didn't want to flat out mislead you, so we didn't want to have it look like North America too.

MR: So Kara comes back in "Crossroads," she says, "I've been to Earth"…

RDM: She had been to that Earth. The original Earth.

MR: The crispy Earth.

RDM: She guided the fleet to get there. She takes us to that. That's part of her experience that she remembers. She remembers traveling there, seeing there, and comes back to the fleet saying, "I know how to get to that place."

In the finale, she makes an intuitive leap connecting the music as coordinates, enters the into the jump computer and those coordinates take us to the second Earth, this place.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 4:05pm (UTC -6)
I found BSG's ending to be ultimately bittersweet.

On one hand, I agree that it stayed true to the religious themes of the show (despite this being a 'naturalistic' science fiction program, the mystical element starts in the mini-series): they established a world of prophecy, bizarre coincidence, resurrection, etc., and they ended it by admitting that there is a higher power in the universe. BSG as a show is not as much military sci-fi as it is a modern retelling of myth (namely, the Bible and the Aeneid).

And I'm willing to accept that, but I think it was about as subtle as a bullet to the brain. The last hour was too long and the notion that the survivors of the 13 colonies came to OUR planet and have become our forefathers is, frankly, silly. The ending where the two angels discuss human beings as a species on a stroll through New York was unnecessary. I argue that from the mini-series--when the bombs first dropped on Caprica--the show made its point about the destructive nature of violence. We didn't need a diatribe at the last minute. Imagine if the last scene was preceded by the title card "The Future" and the camera followed Angel Gaius and Six walking unseen through a crowd of people. I think that would have been a stronger ending but would still have made their point.

P.S. The idea that the survivors would land, abandon their tech, and live with the natives ranks as Lee's worst decision ever.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 4:08pm (UTC -6)
Correction to my last post:

"destructive nature of violence" is an oxymoron. :P What I meant was the cyclic nature of human violence.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 5:31pm (UTC -6)

I've experienced similar situations of emotional closeness with a show, its progression and its characters many times and I know the feeling of a serious let down. I know exactly what you're describing. That still doesn't mean I felt the need to resort to the base vitriol that many BSG fans have in the last few days. Perhaps sci-fi fans simply tend to be frustrated and easily excitable people? I don't know. I can accept sensible difference of opinion, even extreme opinion, but when people start calling for Ron Moore's head, things are getting a little immature. Time to leave the basement.

Please note that I'm not directing these comments at anyone in particular here and that, in fact, I consider the people here to be much better than 90% of the fandom.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 5:35pm (UTC -6)
@Ryan - agree. I'm definitely not calling for his head - it's his show, his story to tell, he can do what he wants with it. It's his prerogative. You can't please all of the people all of the time ;)
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 6:14pm (UTC -6)
I think the Opera House stuff would have been improved had both Athena and Helo died. In fact, it would have been even better if Athena had died in a shower of bullets just as she reached the hatch Caprica and Baltar had just gone through with Hera. It would have been a cool irony because the vision was always seen as Baltar and Caprica being a threat to Hera, when in fact it was them saving her by taking her through the door. It would also fit in with what Angel Six has been saying about Hera being her and Baltar's child if they were then forced to take care of her following her parents death. The survival of both parents was too TV pat in retrospect.
Jason K
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 6:31pm (UTC -6)
Wow....can't believe how many people need shit spelled out for them....sad.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 6:39pm (UTC -6)
For anyone complaining about them not taking technology with them, think about these 2 things:

1) They didn't have the means to replenish the resources. How are they going to refuel, etc? How are they going to make new ammunition? How are they going to make new medicine?

2) If you were locked in a confined space for 4 years (spaceship), do you think your opinion might change? Might you decide, hey.. fresh air.. animals I can kill and cook.. I could make a house near water.. I think that's enough to say, forget the tech, lets just live.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 7:00pm (UTC -6)
I thought I'd also add, I said to a friend after the show, "I can now go throw my TV in the lake. My TV viewing experience can never be as great as this show. I can forsake TV, because anything else I watch will fail in comparison to BSG."

Yeah, I liked it.

The very end of the finale has made me scared that my computer will come to life in the middle of the night and kill me.

So say we all?
Jason K
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 7:04pm (UTC -6)
What pisses me off the most is all the so-called haters seem to think that those of us who followed and were able to understand the show have no right to love is as much as they loathe it. I for one, understood everything, was thoroughly satisfied and am very sad to see the show go away.

If you hated it, it's really not my problem. All these morons petitioning for a rewrite of the finale, get over yourselves. The sets are destroyed, it's not going to happen. Quit wasting your lives and go do something productive.

I have every right to have enjoyed my four years of BSG, same as you are allowed to hate it.
Matthew D.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 7:37pm (UTC -6)
The was the series finale I've ever seen that I found completely satisfying (okay, the final episode of The Shield was good).

I don't know why I didn't find the whole higher power thing annoying when, as an atheist, I should have. I mean, usually reject such stuff right off the bat. In this case, though, the narrative was so powerful that I just went with it.

Sure, there were a lot of things that were not explained (well, not completely), but who cares? Most sophisticated fiction takes place in the viewer's head, not on the screen - and, for me, clear-cut, pat resolutions are for the weak minded. This is a character-based drama, so the important thing is how the characters react to the unexplained.

If you want clear explanations, watch any dull-witted episode of Law and Order, for pete's sake. Procedural crime shows are great with resolutions and explanations - and boring as hell.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 8:09pm (UTC -6)

My sentiments exactly. I've had many respectful disagreements with several of my more intelligent TV watching friends over the course of the series, but with the finale the ridiculously green Hulk monster finally tore through the shirt of Bruce Banner to expose its truly, well, comic nature.

I really can't do anything but laugh at the haters who didn't really understand anything that went on, but I don't hate them, and as for those with intelligent disagreements, I leave them to their own; that is their prerogative.

Yet some of them feel the need to Cylonize those of us who dared to enjoy this "Travesty!"


It's getting ridiculous. Two people I know in person have called it a travesty.

Come on, people.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 8:12pm (UTC -6)
There's a petition?

Now that's just sad.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 9:04pm (UTC -6)
I have to agree that I wasn't really happy with the way the show ended. I think that abandoning technology with the idea that it is bad and leads to endless cycles of destruction is naive, and totally unbelievable that everyone in the fleet would go along with it. I could see a small minority of the population "going Amish," but not everyone.

Through the series I always had the sense that the writers were just creating too many plot "twists" in an attempt to keep things new and interesting, and that in the end they would not be able to tie them all up in a satisfactory manner. And that's what happened.

It seemed like the writers had their own robot Awesom-O (from South Park) giving them ideas. "Ok, how about this - Adam Sandler is deserted on a desert island and falls in love with a coconut or something".

But overall the show was great. I think the "Exodus" episodes were the most riveting two hours of TV I've ever seen. Looking forward to "The Plan" - maybe that will tie up some loose ends.
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 9:05pm (UTC -6)

I'm sure you're not trying to say that everyone who saw the finale had to like it; surely some people who say that they thought it was horrible aren't merely being hateful?

For my part, I love the show. I watched with my girlfriend, also a big fan. But when it was over, we were both agreed: the first hour was lots of fun and the second was disappointing.
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 12:53am (UTC -6)
I just watched parts 1-3 again with no commercial interruption (it was written as a 2 hour 20 minute movie, and should be viewed this way). And this time, I came in without the baggage of expecting detailed explanations of the shows mythos.

And you know what? It was 100% better. I liked it before, but this time through I was fully able to appreciate the layers, the beauty, the elegance, and intelligence of Daybreak. No expositional plot that tried to explain the mystery of this amazing little world we've come to love could ever compare.

Little touches that I missed the first time became more apparent. The full meal of the flashbacks and how they tie into the tapestry of the episode and the show as a whole... what a difference.

I recommend this approach to anyone who had some reservations.

Now, I still would hsve liked maybe a little more exploration into the nature of 'god', or the significance of Watchtower (Anders was supposed to have written it, but we never got more about that?) - however, too much could have actually been a detriment and I quite like how it ended up.

One thing I definately missed was a final scene between Leoben and Kara, though. That, I'm not budging on.
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 12:55am (UTC -6)
No of course not. I just find the boiling and hissing nerd rage in some of the internet's dark corners to be excessive and hilariously pitiful, and I find those with ignorant and baseless criticisms of the finale to be annoying. That's about it. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. My big issue is with the people who've gone overboard and started acting like Ron Moore broke into their houses at night and took their innocence. Again, I'll stress that this board has largely avoided occurrences of this phenomenon.
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 1:21am (UTC -6)
While I HATED the scapegoats they used which reaked of

"well, we didn't plan this from day one, so let's just say "god did it" (could you think of a more lame cop-out? I could rip this apart for hours, but what's the point? The only response will be "God did it because god did it and he works in mysterious ways")", which I found pathetic beyond belief, I still thought this was an amazing end and far better than I would have hoped.
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 1:58am (UTC -6)
Hey guys, long time lurker on this site, and I must say, I'm impressed with the level of discussion here as compared to other BSG sites (sry Sci-Fi forum people, but trolls have taken over that site imo, far too much witless hate for the show. Seriously, if you want mindless explosions, and extensive exposition, go watch Stargate)

Boy, there sure is a lot of hate/love for this finale. Personally, I echo many of the posters here. Loved Galen killing Tory, the look on his face was priceless.

That being said, I am a huge fan of the show, and I enjoyed the finale for the most part. Now that it is finally over I can safely say this show as a whole has been some of the best sci-fi I have seen in awhile imo, probably since the days of DS9/B5.

Now that my gushing is over, I can add my two cents to the discussion.

Thinking back on the show as a whole, I really feel like this show doesn't support character drama very well on its own. While I agree with many of the other posters that say that this is a character-based show, I can see the point that others have made here that there have simply been too many failed character plot lines. Examples:

Kat - Remember her?
Baltar's Cult - Not a completely failed plotline imo, but other than to show us the transformation of Baltar into a man of faith (and other members of the fleet), I never understood why so many episodes needed to be heavy on this storyline (i.e. Escape Velocity, Deadlock, etc.). I feel like this could have taken up less screen time and I would have still understood the point.

Adama's Paint Throwing - I know there are differing opinions on this, but here is where I am at:
I feel that grief/anguish/depression is better communicated by understatement than overstatement. Just compare the scenes where Adama is crying about Tigh being a Cylon and later throwing paint because his women are dying vs. the scene in Daybreak where Roslin actually dies in the Raptor, and he doesn't break anything, or even scream. Powerful stuff.

Caprica/Tigh's baby - bad example of doing something for shock value, and then trying to vaporize it with phaser and pretend it never happened.

I've always felt this show works best when blending action/plot with good character arcs. Like many have said, we ultimately care about the characters and not space battles (although they are fun). But many of my favorite episodes have expertly blended plot/action/character drama, and to paraphrase Jammer:
"successful action must grow from a point of emotion" Examples :

Kobol's Last Gleaming arc, Ressurection Ship/Pegasus arc, Exodus Parts 1 and 2, 33, the miniseries, Daybreak, Razor, No Exit, Revelations

I could list more, but overall, I feel Season 4, as a whole had too much character focus, and not enough of the other components that make this show great and balance it out. I'm not saying character drama alone can't succeed, but it is my opinion that this show has not done the best job with character drama (I think it veers too close to bad melodrama at times). I think it may have something to do with this being a Sci-Fi show, and not something like ER where I would expect less plot and more character focus.

I think this lack of balance in season 4 (especially the last few episodes before the finale) is what has motivated many of the negative comments here and I can sympathize with that point of view. However, I would question some of the people who call the finale "abominable" or "awful". Regardless of anyone's opinion on the content of the finale, I have seen many a series finale (as I am sure many have) and this is certainly far from the worst. And did I see someone actually compare this to the Enterprise finale (I'm looking at you Cataclysm, and I hope you are reading this)? Come on, that just isn't even right.
Joe Doe
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 4:32am (UTC -6)
@ Jim

I completely agree with you in the failure of the series as a character drama in the last season. The best moments of the series were that of human conflict, where the two sides had their own agendas and there were no clear bad guys.

In the last season everyone agendas went weird: you didn´t know what a character was going to do, as the strings that moved their actions became too clear: the characters and the plot didn´t come together very well, and it fell forced many times.

I can apreciate what they wanted to do with the finale, the just lacked, as someone else said up there, subtley. And some dramatic heavyness, by the way: I can´t believe in the suicidal run that was the final attack we loose no principal characters. I would have gone for a more active participation of Gaius and Caprica, being the sole survivors to take Hera to Earth, or something along that line. It would have given their divine mission a meaning, because right now they just took a girl during some meters to the CIC... Well, I digress.

Let´s try this not to became a flame war, people :)
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 7:28am (UTC -6)
Things did change a lot with season 4.5. They were in a state of destroyed shock after finding 'Earth'. The major failing to me was the Tigh/6 connection. The rest of Jim's complaints I can work through mostly.
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 7:46am (UTC -6)
Well, I have one gripe with this 'New Age Science Fiction' - This "god" (which I assume to be the writers of the show for the sake of simplicity) and his angels have far too much direct influence. I don't particularly like the notion of life as a board-game played by higher powers.

On the other hand, Sci-Fi as a genre always tried to transcend the limitations of (present day) technology and society. While Star Trek and most other genre shows went for the technobabble and loads of aliens, BSG introduced, well, some sort of given destiny. It's just another take on the subject, whether you like it or not. This religious angle is obviously not for everyone.

At the very least, BSG concluded in a way that gives you something to love, hate and/or ponder on for a while.

@Joe Doe: I guess the plot feeling forced was the whole point of it.
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 10:41am (UTC -6)
One blatant mistake in the finale that's been bugging me is the lack of consistency re: jumping causing damage to nearby objects.

Raptors rip stuff up when they jump nearby. This is established. So what should we expect to happen to nearby object when GALACTICA jumps?

Galactica was *embedded* in the Cylon colony when it jumped away. The colony wasn't so much as tickled by it. What the hell?

And wouldn't that be a better way to have the colony be destroyed, than randomly having a raptor's missiles misfire (and somehow have enough power to take out the entire colony, which is what, a couple of dozen times the size of a battlestar)?

Anyone else share these thoughts?
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 10:55am (UTC -6)
I really liked the finale. After investing four years and wondering where all the plot twists and turns would end up, I think the writers did a good job tying (most) of the loose ends together. Sure, it wasn't perfect, and yes, there were a few things I wanted clarified. But I liked the way it ended. I like little touches, too... like incorporating the original BSG theme music as the fleet sets course for the sun.

As for those who are so angry that they need to make an anguished laundry list about what was wrong: I swear, I read them with Dean Stockwell's voice in my head. It's like you're all channeling Cavil's petulant need for perfection, approval and answers to everything. Get a life! It's a TV show!

I'm just glad that RDM and company gave me four years of entertaining television, and I hope it raises the bar for future shows. I neither have time or energy to nitpick (sorry, I have a life.) I would just like to thank the BSG crew and Jammer for his great reviews and insights. It's been a fun, fun, fun ride.
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 12:01pm (UTC -6)

That touch with the music was nice, I also liked Baltar mentioning that he knew about farming, great continuity there.

I actually enjoyed the finale as I said in my post, I didn't really have many issues with it other than a few nitpicks that I can live with. Like others have done, I was simply stating my opinion on season 4 and the show as a whole, the examples where just some of the points that stuck out as I watched season 4. I don't think it is nitpicking for me or others here to take issue with the direction of the season as a whole. I didn't need everything to be tied up in the finale, and I appreciated the faith-based ending being a christian myself. It is rare to get clear-cut answers to life in general, and the finale echoed that nicely.


I think I missed it the first time I saw the finale too, but right before Racetrack's Raptor gets hit by the rock the first time, they mentioned that they had nukes. Six of those combined with the gravitational shearing of being near a black hole could certainly tear the colony apart.


I did watch the finale twice, and I did notice some things (like racetrack mentioning nukes) that I had missed the first time around. I completely agree that it was meant to be viewed as a whole, I for one can't wait for the DVD's so I can see the extended scenes (maybe even a leoben/kara scene, but I won't hold my breath).
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 12:21pm (UTC -6)
@Azdgari - yes. And as the battle begins, all the raptors jump from within Galactica's hangar bay, causing no damage, and reappear in space...
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 12:29pm (UTC -6)

I wouldn't say the Raptors caused no damage when they jumped out. It looked to me like they blew a massive hole in the side of the pod. You can see the hole again when Adama makes his final fly-by.

That is the one thing I really applaud BSG for doing: they have a host of great "Oh, frak! Are the characters really going to do that?" moments, especially with regard to the starships. Some of them seem unplausible, but all are cool, inventive, and loads of fun to watch.
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 12:32pm (UTC -6)
Bah. Again with the imprecise language. I apologize for not double-checking before I post.

"That is the one thing I really applaud BSG for doing..." I didn't mean to imply that that was the ONLY thing for which I applaud BSG. There are many other things I find admirable, too. :P
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 12:37pm (UTC -6)
Azdgari and Niall,

I had the same thought about the Raptors jumping from within Galactica's flight pod, so I went back and watched that sequence again. The jumps took place from the starboard pod that had been converted to a museum, not the port pod used for normal flight operations. It certainly looked to me like the jumps blew the side out of the pod, and did cause significant damage, thus the reason for using the inactive museum pod for the jumps.

We can analyze and nitpick the final ep to death but I think I am about done. I'll look forward to Jammer's review but I'm content to let it rest now. There were things I liked, things I thought were handled poorly and things (like the RDM cameo) that absolutely shouldn't have been there. One thing I will say.... on subsequent re-watching of the series in the future, I will pay more attention when Head Six starts nattering to Gaius about "God's plan".
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 12:41pm (UTC -6)
Niall, I thought when they jumped the starboard flight pod sustained heavy damage. That was what I perceived when I saw it anyway. Maybe I was wrong.

Chris, the cosmic board game theme does seem more fitting if you think of BSG along the lines of the classic epic poems. That's basically what they were.

Jim Doe, I agree that we expected more loss of principals and in fact, I had particular characters in mind as noted above: Athena and Helo. Their deaths just as Caprica and Baltar took Hera through the hatch would have made more significance to the Opera Visions. If Hera's care had then subsequently transferred to Caprica and Baltar following the death of her parents, it would have fit with what Angel Six said to Baltar about Hera being their child.

Brendan, I agree. While I was happy with the whole Starbuck being an angel thing and the way it was done, I did want more about what the frak Leoben had to do with any of it. On a similar note, why the Four were switched on at the Ionian Nebula was something that could have used more detail. I'm fine with buying it was God wot dunnit, but some more insightful into the timing would have given that more significance.
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 1:08pm (UTC -6)
Okay, time for the cheeky comment. =)

What we thought was missing from this final episode was the "Epiphany Moment", when everything finally made sense, or at least all the mysteries were revealed. The questions to everything - Kara "Harbinger of Death" resurrected, Baltar Angel and Six Angel, God's plan, Hera, the Opera House, the proto hybrid from Razor, the Ionian Nebula, Tory & Galen's previous love life, the woman Sam loved on "Earth", and what the frak happened to Boxey.

All of these things were revealed...

... to Cavil. And in knowing the whole truth, the entire plot, the complete story, caused him to say "Frak!" and blow his brains out. For knowning what goes on in the minds of Ron Moore and Dave Eick is to know madness.

Jack Bauer
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 1:54pm (UTC -6)
Some points I had now that ive had time to sit on this for a night.

1) The attack on the colony was just an amazing feat of CGI, scripting, acting, everything. Just heart pounding excitement. Watching Tigh and Adama command the attack in unison was incredible. I could have done without the "Boomer has a change of heart" deal and had Athena ransack the medical area killing everyone in her sight in an act of motherly rage.

2) Anybody else have an OMG moment the second you saw Galactica jump outside of the moon? I didnt need to see Earth to realize what had happened. Fantastic.

3) RDM cameo. Dude, your not J. Micheal Strazincki, you didnt need to be in the final scene. But on that note, was he rolling his eyes at the Head Six and Head Baltar babbling (implying of course that they were real)

4) I would have liked to see how our main character faired the rest of their lives instead of how the human race ended up. Did Lee grow old climbing mountains, or did he get married. Did the colonials keep in contact?

5) Why did Bill Adama leave and never come back.

6) What did they do to the ships that flew them to Earth?
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 2:17pm (UTC -6)
Two things:
1. It is necessary for an epic or any full-length story to have a long resolution. Like Return of the King, a full resolution feels very weird to us postmodern explosion-and-kiss-at-the-end fiends, but it is appropriate.
2. The scifi doesn't work on the evolution of language nor racial considerations. This is a very white show, y'all. Seeing the insane quantity of white faces populating Earth was the hardest for me to swallow.
Jack Bauer
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 2:25pm (UTC -6)
"It is necessary for an epic or any full-length story to have a long resolution."

I agree. I dont mind minor things that are left to the imagination, but major storylines that go left unexplained bother me. I shouldnt have to guess what the story is. It is the writers job to tell me the story, bot for me to figure it out.
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 2:59pm (UTC -6)
March 23, 2009 - 02:17 pm (USA Central Time)
Two things:
1. It is necessary for an epic or any full-length story to have a long resolution. Like Return of the King, a full resolution feels very weird to us postmodern explosion-and-kiss-at-the-end fiends, but it is appropriate.
2. The scifi doesn't work on the evolution of language nor racial considerations. This is a very white show, y'all. Seeing the insane quantity of white faces populating Earth was the hardest for me to swallow.

First point: Completely agree. I don't care if some people think it has multiple endings. Everyone has their particular character that they are interested in, and want to know what happened to them.

Second point: Evolution of lanquage, yeah. It doesn't work, but given the 150,000 years between when they arrived and the first evidence of known civilization that we know of dating back not much more than 5,000 years... how many languages could have been developed and lost in 145,000 years? Heck, in 2000 years people left Kobol and settled 13 colonies and had them all wiped out. I guess anything is possible.

As for the "whiteness" of the show. It doesn't bother me. There were less than 39,000 people from the colonies and possibly a few thosand Cylons - not all of them white. At this point in "Earth but not really Earth" history, race isn't an issue. Against all odds, humans on this planet have evolved completely independent from the people of Kobol, to the point that they could have a "get together". From what little we did see of the natives, they weren't white. They weren't black either. They weren't Asian, Hispanic, or Arabic either. My guess if it was up to the Colonials to "create" the "white race" they would have failed, their genetic information would have diluted into recessed traits over the course of 150,000 years, immediately following four or five generations. Besides, who are we to say that they didn't get together with the neanderthals as well? They were here up until 10,000 years ago.

Ooh... this hurst the head. Must... stop... too... much... Bob Dylan.
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 4:50pm (UTC -6)
My colleague at work made an excellent point today that I hadn't thought of: medically, the colonials would have brought a new set of diseases with them, to which the humans on Earth would have had no immunity. As such, they would have likely set off a pandemic which would largely or entirely wipe out the native population. This has happened many times in human history when areas have been colonised by people from a different continent.

The ending is indefensible.
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 5:05pm (UTC -6)

"the colonials would have brought a new set of diseases with them, to which the humans on Earth would have had no immunity."

True, but it could also work the other way. There's a disease that's already present on the planet that the Colonists have no defense for... and thanks to Lee who erased the slate, they don't have the technology to come up with a cure! Yay!!! =P
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 5:31pm (UTC -6)

You must be a republican.
Find the joy in life.
Relax, you'll live longer.
Produce your own sci-fi series, and then express an opinion.
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 5:54pm (UTC -6)
It's so exciting to have you here, FTL. Please tell us all about how you produced your first sci-fi series. Did its first episode directly coincide with the formation of your opinions?
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 5:58pm (UTC -6)
Oh, so now everyone has to make their own sci-fi series to have an opinion on one?

Very well...

A long time ago, in this galaxy lived a young knight named Binks Binks Jar, and his robot girlfriend "Buckstar". They left their home on "Not Really Caprica" to create a new race of lizards and colonize 13 planets the size of Uranus. After chopping off the tails of the lizards with his lightsaber his girlfriend told him that "It was all in God's plan" and they all lived happily ever after. THE END! 2 hour special episode from the Lizard's point of view coming soon!

Now, with that out of the way...

There's not need to be condescending just because you may not agree with his opinion. If he wants to critique the use of bad science in science fiction, that's his prerogative.

"Find the joy in life."

Maybe critiquing the use of bad science in science fiction does bring him joy. Just because you find no joy in it does mean he needs to change.

I don't agree with everything that Niall says, but he does have the freedom to say what he wants.

I believe that, because I believe in freedom for all individuals. That's what makes me a republican.

The perceived grumpiness is common to all humans... and Cylons alike. =)

Too much confusion... I can't get no relief...
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 5:59pm (UTC -6)
Jack Bauer wrote:
"[…] But on that note, was he rolling his eyes at the Head Six and Head Baltar babbling (implying of course that they were real)"

Well, to me it looked like the 'newspaper guy' just checked his wristwatch. But with RDM's outstanding acting, one can't be too sure ;-)

Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 6:45pm (UTC -6)
"3) RDM cameo. Dude, your not J. Micheal Strazincki, you didnt need to be in the final scene. But on that note, was he rolling his eyes at the Head Six and Head Baltar babbling (implying of course that they were real) "

Chill out. It's his show, if he wants one subtle cameo in its final episode, let him have it.
Samuel Walters
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 7:14pm (UTC -6)
Subtle? The cameo was many things, but I wouldn't call it subtle. ;-)

As for me, I thought this episode perfectly epitomizes the series -- regardless of how you view it.

In other words, if you're willing to concede the flaws of the series, you're more likely to see the flaws in this episode. If you're forgiving of the flaws (or do not see any real flaws) in the series, then you're more likely to laud the episode itself.

Personally, I tend to view BSG has having become riddled with critical errors, thus I see the episode as highly flawed.
Jack Bauer
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 7:18pm (UTC -6)
I dont know about that. I find lot of flaws in the overall story, but I was deeply moved by the finale. Sure I would have done the last half hour differently, but my opinion of what it should have been is not nessecarily the next persons opinion etc etc.
Jason K
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 10:38pm (UTC -6)
The arguments are tired now. Three days is enough.

Anyone else get a huge kick out of Tigh's giggle in the CIC when Adama was trying to move the connections to Anders??
Jack Mc
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 12:41am (UTC -6)

Rosalin was never the dying leader, it was Galactica. Rosalin was always a little too obvious, and you could tell it was a red herring the moment they showed Galactica suffering from structural failure.

-Jack Mc
Jack Bauer
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 12:56am (UTC -6)
I dont know about that. Im pretty sure it was always Roslin. But I can certainly see how you would interpret it that way.

I got a kick out of Tigh's giggle in CIC and on the planet when Adama cut down Baltar.

I just dont get why Admiral Adama left his son and everyone behind. I would have gotten it he wanted to goto the stars and live the rest of his life in space, but to move to some hill in the middle of nowhere? Give me a break.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 2:19am (UTC -6)
HA! Conroypaw! You've got it. Cavil was granted an unlimited epiphany and realizing that he would spend the rest of his long, long life explaining the details to lesser beings who were constantly looking for the slightest problems with the story decided to end himself right then and there.

I respect his decision.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 6:21am (UTC -6)
It's pretty clear on my post in the Part 1 of the finale that I was correct. The ending to "Enterprise" was even better than this.

I can't wait to watch Jammer, who correctly attacked Voyager episodes when they pulled out a "Deus Ex Machina", give this finale and series, which is totally a "Deus Ex Machina" ending, four stars (I write this post before this episode was reviewed). When he attacked previous Star Trek shows for inconsistencies or 'episode reboots', he now praises it in BSG. Within Jammer's reviews, there appears to be no consistent standards whatsoever. And out of all the shows on this website, with the exception of Andromeda, BSG has had to lowest ratings. Even Enterprise reruns were beating out new BSG episodes at one time (which is the bottom of low). It's clear that Jammer's ratings, especially for BSG, are not correlating with the audience reaction.

Only two reasons are for this:

Either Jammer is such an outlier from most people


He is intentionally carrying Ron Moore's water

The only reason why I give any credence to the second possibility is because of Jammer's refusal to do anything with Babylon 5 (which Paramount hates. Since Jammer has had personal dealings with Paramount, I do wonder).

But Jammer didn't seem to understand what my earlier post was driving at. My issue is the entirely inconsistency of standards Jammer is applying to his reviews.

But to answer what Jammer replied to me:

"Just because I like season 4.5 and some supposed "consensus" doesn't, that means I'm carrying Ron Moore's water? Screw that."

Nooooo. I said you either are an outlier to the masses OR you are intentionally carrying Ron Moore's water. In other words, if you think 4.5 is so awesome, that its episodes are on the same level as "Best of Both Words", "In the Pale Moonlight" and "Scorpion", then you very well are an outlier.

There is nothing wrong with being an outlier. But your site became popular because people thought you were a Trek fan like the rest of us except you are probing into more in depth into the episodes.

Be honest, Jammer, if you came to a website that reviewed Voyager's "Threshold" as FOUR STARS, you would rightfully question the reviewer's sanity. You would wonder if the reviewer is such an outlier or if the reviewer was carrying someone's water. You knew in your mind, as did most people who watched it, that "Threshold" was nonsense wrapped inside nonsense.

There was lots of 'hate' about "Threshold". But it wasn't because people hated Voyager, they simply hated what the writer of that episode did to the show.

This is what is generating these so-called 'haters' and why Moore is depressed. Just as anyone would stare, mouth agape, at someone reviewing "Threshold" at four stars, I am staring at how you can possibly CONSIDER giving these 4.5 epsides four stars.

BSG was never so much a good story as it was a good page turner. Unlike Star Trek episodes that were stand-alone, BSG is more serialized. People thought BSG was good because they wanted to see what happened next. With the concluding chapter, the finale, many have realized there was no real mythos and no real conclusion at all. It will be interesting to see if you have realized it after the finale.

"Regardless, I generally prefer to review what's on the screen, not what isn't on the screen. Sure, while a certain amount of the show can be judged based on what has been omitted, I think there's a tendency with many fans of mythology-based series to focus too heavily on the details of the mysteries and puzzles and how they personally feel such mysteries should've been solved. Monday morning quarterbacking, really."

Really, Jammer? You mean like the mystery of Starbuck? Do you like how that was 'answered'? It wasn't answered. Now, if you say, "The way how Moore lets the audience determine what Starbuck is was genius," I would, again, question your sanity or whether you were carrying Moore's water.

Or what about Hera? Apparently, she held no role at all. Not even the mitochondrial DNA part at the end is any explanation about Hera's "importance".

How about the Opera house? With all these Opera House scenes, is it not disapointing that it was all meant to be very literal? And that the entire purpose ("God's Plan") was to have Caprica Six just to pick up Hera and take her to CIC?

You implied that I was making snarky quips at things off screen or some fan-based obsession at 'details'. But these are THE major plots of the show. The entire series of BSG leads to nothing but a big "Deus Ex Machina".

You castigated Star Trek episodes for doing this. Yet, I suspect you'll contradict yourself and praise it here.

"I think BSG is a terrific work of fiction."

Remember that BSG is not Moore's creation. He is using someone else's major universe and doing what he wants with it. The universe of BSG was well established long before this new BSG show came around.

It would be wrong to praise this new BSG for its premise and certain plot points (like Pegasus, New Caprica, etc.) since they were uplifted from other people's material.

"Personally, I watch this series for the characters. Space battles and complicated plots and mythology are great, but I see them as a means to an end."

What characters? There are no characters in this show.

Just as Voyager had the 'episode reboot', BSG has invented the 'character reboot'. Every character has been rebooted into something else with no reason on how they got there.

The commanding Adama has turned into an alcoholic who cries while staring at walls and brushing his teeth. He ends his life as a hermit who stares at a grave with no wish to see his son again (despite a raptor nearby).

Roslin who became stronger due to her illness became nihilistic, decided to be 'president in name only' while shirking her duties, starts "dying" in the mini-series and finally kicks the bucket in one of the last scenes. We only see Roslin die on screen because the actress demanded Moore put it in. All along, Roslin wasn't a character but a puppet being manipulated by the plot. I've never seen a cancer patient live so long without treatment.

Lee Adama? What a joke. His character got 'rebooted' into a politician. There is no character development here, just that a writer hit the 'reset' button on his character and turned him into something else because the writers weren't interested in writing space battles anymore.

Starbuck? There is no character called 'Starbuck'. There is only a puppet. She is a focal point of the Deus Ex Machina, and it was never her character choice that resulted in anything since she got 'reserrected' (i.e. rebooted). Starbuck is undeniably a puppet of the plot who makes no character choices, only is pulled by divine strings. After all, she doesn't choose to 'disapear'. The puppet master decides to yank her away at that moment.

The 'Final Five' characters becoming cylons were another 'character reboot'. Tyrol has a kid. Oh wait, no he doesn't! That would ruin the plot point of Hera being special. So Tyrol got cuckolded by a "Hot Dog". Tyrol gets promoted in one episode and then in the next episode votes to leave the ship. Is this a character? No! It is a puppet. Even the actor had trouble explaining to annoyed fans why his character was acting that way. The real answer is that there was no character, just a sock.

Saul Tigh? Another puppet. Rebooted as a 'cylon', the new Tigh becomes cowardly and has secret meetings while boinking a jailed cylon. His child had to die not because of anything with the character but because the plot demanded it. In the same way, he has to stand at a certain point at a certain time so he will be a 'glowing figure'. Character choice? No.

Ellen Tigh was obnoxious but once rebooted in 4.5, she was given maternal qualities. Yet, the episode later, she goes back to being the old Ellen Tigh in great inconsistency. Was she acting as a character? No, she was a sock puppet acting that way because "Deadlock" needed some conflict in it. So it was manufactured.

Tory? The less said about her the better.

Anders? No character there. Once he gets 'rebooted', he starts giving us exposition dumps. Then, he becomes rebooted again as a 'hybrid' so he can carry out critical plot problems such as disabling guns and flying ships into the sun. What a joke.

Caprica Six? No character there. Rebooted several times, from evil cylon to enlightened cylon to saved hera cylon to frakking Tigh cylon to I-Love-Baltar-Again cylon. She is a tumbleweed tossed by the winds of the plot.

Baltar? Here was a promising character. He used to obey a different morality than the rest of the crew. After he got rebooted in the fourth season to 'priest', there has been no point to his ramblings or to the cult. He doesn't stay on Galactica because of a character choice but because an angel told him to. You cannot have a character without character choices, and this is what we are seeing with Baltar's choices being led by the hand by 'God' (i.e. the writers).

You say you watch this show for the 'characters'. But what characters are there? Show me the characters. There are none. When the writers got bored with one direction for a character, they just had a 'character reboot' and turned the character into something else. In the end, we discover it was all done by 'God' anyway.

You thought you were watching a show about characters. The finale proved that you were actually watching puppets whose strings were being pulled by 'God' (i.e. the writers).

"I think most of the major questions of this series were wrapped up in "No Exit," and many of the rest I suspect will be in "Daybreak, Part 2."

Nice try but No Exit didn't answer the questions. Daniel was only invented just to have a cylon #7. Daniel held no other part except to make "Don't Call Me John!" Cavil into a Cain like figure.

Daybreak Part 2 answered none of the questions people wanted to know. How is Starbuck the harbinger of death? What is Starbuck? Why is Hera important? How is Baltar the author of the Human race? No answers.

Now, the finale and BSG in generally was wonderfully produced with great acting. But so was "Threshold" (which won an emmy).

As a reader, is it too much to expect Jammer to use the same standards he applied for previous Star Trek episodes for BSG? How can Deus Ex Machina be the cause of one star reviews yet be praised as four star reviews for BSG?

It is not that I disagree with you, Jammer (though I think you are insane to think 4.5 good in any sense, especially since it has destroyed the characters of BSG). It is that I don't see any consistent review standards. I don't see why when a Star Trek episode does Y and is bad for doing Y, why does Y get praised in BSG? (deus ex machina for example or meaningless flashbacks) Why does a review that praises a Star Trek episode for X gets complaints when BSG does X? (such as glorification of the mythos?)

There is a reason why BSG is going off the air. And it isn't because the show is 'too sophisticated' for the audience. It is because people don't like what they see. The ratings for BSG have been in the toilet.

And frankly, so have these reviews.
Jason K
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 6:40am (UTC -6)
Sorry Cataclysm, but your supposed consensus over at the sci-fi forums...I look there and see almost 500 "10" ratings to only about 80 or so "1" ratings, with a few scattered in between. Not trying to start an argument, but your consensus seems wrong. Perhaps the people who hated it are just feeling louder, while the majority, myself inlcuded, are quietly satisfied.

I respect your opinions and all, but you don't need to come here and attack Jammer. Jammer's been writing on this site long before anyone ever heard of you. Millions of people respect his opinions (and that's all it is, an opinion.) I mean, are you going site by site attacking people, or have you just singled Jammer out.

Life is too short. The show's over, move on.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 7:23am (UTC -6)
In the same vain, we might also wonder whether someone has been too exposed to the white stuff when they start comparing this season of BSG to 'Threshold'.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 7:30am (UTC -6)
Cataclysm - don't get personal. You're a guest on this site, as are we all. I agree with many of your criticisms of the show, but to attack Jammer (your host) and criticise his reviews is beyond the pail. Particularly regarding a review which hasn't even been posted yet - I'm not even going to comment on how stupid that is.

Jammer's reviews are and continue to be excellent. I may have disliked the finale and have problems with aspects of the show in general, but it's still been excellent drama. This season, I've agreed with Jammer's reviews to within half a star throughout.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 7:51am (UTC -6)
So according to this guy Cataclysm, we have no right to enjoy the show because he says so. I swear, give a guy a keyboard and an opinion and suddenly he thinks he has power.

Had Cataclysm written the show, it would seem that every major character would have ended the series exactly where they started.

According to him, it's impossible to survive four years with cancer, impossible for a military man to become a politician, and so an and so forth.

Had Cataclysm written ER, John Carter would still be a first year med student as well.

Get over yourself man. Go find someone else to bother with your crackhead ideas.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 8:38am (UTC -6)
Ryan wrote:

"No of course not. I just find the boiling and hissing nerd rage in some of the internet's dark corners to be excessive and hilariously pitiful, and I find those with ignorant and baseless criticisms of the finale to be annoying. That's about it. Everyone's entitled to their opinion."

If everyone is entitled to their opinion, stop insulting those who do not agree with you.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 8:45am (UTC -6)
The finale was both good, and bad on some accounts. I found the supernatural "solution" to many of the mysteries to be completely deus ex machina, that is a convenient way for the screenwriters to wrap things up.

I would have liked to see more of what happened to the 40 thousand people upon Earth's surface. Hundreds of people crafting sheds, shelters, some of them hunting, interacting with the primitives. That at least would have sated our curiosity about the culture of the colonies in this new conundrum.

Instead they completely focused on Adama's illogical desire to go to an "elephant graveyard" with Roslin, and abandon his only son.

Baltar's decision, the joking on the African grass, the battles and consequences for past actions were all fine and enjoyable.

However the 150,000 years later part... oh god.

Moore just lost all credibility by spoon feeding us his own views on how humanity is self-destructive.

It's a shame really, Moore axed his entire dystopian setting with such a didactic final 4 minutes.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 8:56am (UTC -6)
New drinking game:

Every time Cataclysm said "carrying *such and such's* water", take a drink.

I'm already buzzed.

Oh, and humanity is self destructive, by the way. Next time you visit never never land, let me know, I'll pay you a visit myself.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 10:19am (UTC -6)
Cataclysm, you rock, man! Such passion, such conviction, such lofty standards! You showed him good! I mean, really, how can Jammer have the guts to express his opinions on his own website? What has this world come to when he can do that? (And, BTW, wasn't Jammer airlocked?)
Jason K
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 10:39am (UTC -6)
Holy frak! Paul's right about Jammer. Jammer's just going to up and disappear on us after this final review, isn't he.

OK, nobody let Jammer get on a hill or anything.

Jammer, nobody even knows what you are anymore!
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 11:29am (UTC -6)
I agree with Cataclysm.

Though the ex-trekkie, new-moorie fanboys out there would love to ignore it; the simple truth remains:

For the majority of viewers out there the finale was cheap, hurried and convoluted.

Get over your trite comments like:

"Best television I have watched anywhere oh god I'm having a mind orgasm, somebody kill me now for heaven cant top this"
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 11:34am (UTC -6)

On almost every board I visit, I've witnessed a pretty even split. Whether or not this reflects all fans in real life is unknown to both you and I, however. How foolish either of us would look if we attempted to proclaim what the majority actually feels.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to clean up from all these mind orgasms.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 11:49am (UTC -6)
Get over your trite comments like:

"Best television I have watched anywhere oh god I'm having a mind orgasm, somebody kill me now for heaven cant top this"

As opposed to

"Worst piece of shite I've ever seen, I have a limp dick now, somebody kill me, my life is over."
Jason K
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 12:09pm (UTC -6)

"For the majority of viewers out there the finale was cheap, hurried and convoluted"

While I respect the opinion of everyone, this statement just doesn't hold up. The primary source, being the sci-fi forums, again, holds roughly a 5:1 ratio of good to bad votes. So how can you justify that statement??

Not trying to argue, I just don't feel it holds any water at all.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 12:42pm (UTC -6)
Jeez... mind orgasm and limp members... what has the BSG universe come to?

I don't claim to know of any concensus, but it does seem that more than a handful of people, including some of the actors from Battlestar Galactica agree that the fourth season felt rushed and incoherent to various degrees.

After watching the "post Galactica" Katee Sackoff interview for TV Guide, I am more convinced that there probably should have been a season five.

I've heard that Moore wanted to finish on top, and I've also heard the opposite, that viewship was waning, in partly due to a number of bad episodes in season three.

I've also heard that Moore's team didn't have enough material to make a complete season five, and just wanted to tie it all together at the end of season four.

Whatever the case was, no matter how well or how badly it turned out, I can not say that I did not find any enjoyment from the series, the final season, or the final episodes. Only George Lucas has earned that "honor".

While not all bad and not all good, Battlestar Galactica left me with the following:

1) Likeable / Interesting characters. If this wasn't there, no one would even bother watching all four seasons. Even single episode characters like Bulldog are memorable. Are the characters true to themselves, develop and grow? Yes and no. But, maybe what's more important here is the question "Have we changed from watching the series?"

2) More realism than any science fiction series that came before it. Bad science, boundless mysticism, and deus ex machina moments and all, stranger things have happened in real life. The overall feel of the series is that of realism. Phone have cord, buttons go click, doors squeak, things dropped on a metal deck make a loud clang.

3) The bar on Special Effects has been raised. Too bad they were used so sparingly. I can count the number of space battles for all four seasons on my fingers.

4) I am no longer a sole geek with treasured memories of a one season sci-fi series that dates back to 1979. People are talking about Galactica, both old and new... and there are thousands out there.

There's no doubt in my mind that the series could have been better, but it's not going to rob my childhood or mentally scar me for life.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 12:57pm (UTC -6)
@conroypaw - agree completely.

Everyone just needs to take a step down and relax, wherever they stand on the issue. I reacted badly to the finale and took about a day and a half to deal with it, but this was partly because I watched it in the middle of the night at the end of a long tiring day flying back from holiday (and I only got 3 hours sleep afterwards).

Basically, this is all turning into far too big an argument, and turning fan against fan. Can't we just agree to disagree? I didn't like the ending, but I have no problem that other people did. Everyone has their own opinion, and the world would be a boring place if we all had the same tastes. Infinite diversity in infinite combinations, etc.

What I do have a problem with is people getting personal and attacking others because they either liked or disliked the finale. Each to his own - we all have the right to our own opinion, as long as we respect those of others. When people stop respecting these rights, and descend to the personal level and start attacking the "other side", instead of concentrating on expressing their own arguments, well, that's when an intelligent debate turns into a juvenile brawl. To paraphrase Lee in one of his best moments, are we a civilisation or a gang?

While I found the finale poor (again, I stress IMO), the series as a whole was extremely strong up to that point, and there was little wrong with it that couldn't have been solved by a better written finale. I really enjoyed the 4 years I spent with Kara, Roslin and co - brilliant writing, incredible (and often deeply moving) acting, and remarkable, nuanced characters. I have no regrets - it was a great journey.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 1:20pm (UTC -6)
This is a tough one. Overall, I really enjoyed this. The first two hours (1+2 of 3) were a true tour-de-force for me.

Yes, I will agree that character development is absolutely important, but I think in this case, the plot didn't quite keep up its end.

What I loved:

The entire Colony raid. Loved it. Boomer ready to die after fulfilling her favor to Adama felt right to me, and for her character.

Every word, look, and nuance when Laura Roslin was on the screen. When she looked out to Kara and Lee from the Raptor and smiled her good boy, I absolutely, completely, pathetically lost it. Total blubbering mess.

Even Baltar's redemption and reconciliation with Caprica Six was satisfying to me. The line about knowing about farming was so pitch perfect and Six's tenderness about that. I found that to be so beautiful, and that's amazing considering everything they've done.

Hera as our collective Mommy. It wasn't what I was expecting at all; quite a pleasant surprise.

Bill saying goodbye to Laura and burying her. Again, total and utter blubbering mess.

Kara's goodbye to Sam. She was finally at peace enough to just be loved and to love. It's so bittersweet that it took her to get there for it to happen.

CIC/Opera House and Tori's comeuppance. I actually bent forward and cheered.

What I didn't like:

Starbuck's departure. We will know the truth that there's no answer. This is probably my biggest issue.

Abandoning technology and splitting up. This was less about making sense to the Colonials and more being able to accommodate them into our own pre-history. If they had kept technology, they'd have been something gimmicky like Atlantis, which I could have lived with, but totally gimmicky. And then they would have had another tragedy when it sank.

I guess, on the whole, the finale FELT right, even if it didn't get all the details nailed down right, if that makes sense.

Laura/Bill 4eva.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 1:30pm (UTC -6)
The colonials certainly lived up to their name. 38,000 foreigners, predominantly white, show up in Africa and decide to teach the primitive natives their language and culture? An extremely unwise way to end the show.
Jack Bauer
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 1:43pm (UTC -6)
So there are no white people living in Africa? Your a fucking idiot if thats what you hang on.

Note from Jammer: This post constitutes flaming, and I am reminding everyone that this is not allowed here. Such posts will be subject to deletion. I like and encourage a lively debate with difference of opinion, but personal attacks are not okay. Thank you.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 2:03pm (UTC -6)
That's not what I'm saying. But as presented in the show, there were no white people in Africa 130,000 years ago. Just the primitive dark-skinned hominids we saw through the binoculars.

Please try to be respectful of other people's opinions. If you can't join in the debate without using foul language and personally attacking others, maybe you should be on a different forum.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 2:49pm (UTC -6)
So no-one gets me wrong. I'm a die hard fan of this show and season 4.5 was brilliant and dark and it was right so. Also I have no problems with unsolved mysteries or open ends.
But I didn't love the final. It had great moments, performances were excellent as always but parts were annoying (mostly NOT the parts people wrote above) and all in all it didn't satisfy me. First: it was not dark enough. To me it felt like Ron Moore got too sentimental over the end of his creation. Don't get me wrong, each of the characters deservered their bit of happiness in the end, but it would have been right if it all ended in desaster. That would have been great and unforgetable and quite daring. But instead we got a rather unbelievable final confrontation with a lot of chance (or god) playing in. So - quite absurdly - I didn't mind the happy ending on New Earth (Apollo's excited boy face during his last conversation with Starbuck lightened my heart more than anything else) but how it came about. The rescue mission was as unbelievable as any rescure from the Borg mission in Star Trek - I also didn't like the A->B logic from flashbacks to decisions in the present. We've got tons of episodes with Boomer but we need a flashback to explain her final decision? To me it was like BSG had grown out of this space battle stuff, at least the way it was done here. I'm realizing I can't yet put my thoughts down. Maybe I'll try again later.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 2:55pm (UTC -6)
I was very critical of the two hours finale and i would like to clarify some things.
1) BSG was an excellent study of human behaviour under pressure ans harsh conditions. A Study of characters complicated, full of fear, ambitions, passions. And here is my objection. When you have to deal with such perplexing characters and you build them in every episode you can not destroy them by simplifying all in the end. What is the conclusion of the series? that a god exist in some form and the technology is bad for us so lets go to the nature living in the huts and sowing the land as Baltar the top scientist did. The holy inquision said the same thing with different words. The human inclination to violent behavior it has not to do with technology. The tecnology simplified some means of mass destruction but war is 15000 year old thing at least. It has to do with complex socioleconomical factors demografics and life expectancy. The life of humna beings in the 95% of history was harsh, and very very small. And within those harsh conditions Adamas led their people. Lee says he wants to explore a mountain to see what is there. A man who travelled through the galaxies and had that opportunity with thousans years of evolution in his back to do so does not throw away this conquer. there is no Return . We have separated our self from nature we are making History. Neither is behaviour for a commander to leave alone in a hill wandering ib nature after destroying his fleet!!!. For what? for breaking a cycle of 3000 years of violence and starting another of 150000 years. Philosophically the end lacks cohesion. It is inconsistent with the history of the fleet. and remembers me dark old ages when human detsroyed books, to destroy a modern spacecraft is the same thing. The adama as all the captains with honor and self respect even the most incompetent ones should have died with his ship.Starbuck was god? an angel who kills destroys ruthelssy, was this a proper solution to such a complex character? i think not. The impression that remains is that the main characters are suffering of some kind of massive paranoia and behave like this.Picard in the star trek is on the opposite side . He accepts his place in history and is ready to die with his ship for his beliefs. A real character with metaphysical worries. If picard decided to destroy the enterprise in order ro leave ibn planet without technology what would be our reaction? we would say that man is mad one. So there is the problem of BSG finale, it makes religious factor imperative and dominant. and the result? One of the worst finale in the history of science fiction and a very bad example for the future. As the so called villains Zarek,Gaeta, Cain i will say it again all of their actions were more logical thn Adamas family. for example Admiral Cain would never have permitted the creation of the New Caprica colony neihter Baltar as president. Neither Gaeta and zarek should have accepted virually the dissolution of the human society and the end of civilization. separating his people to small groups with limites supplies with no weapons medicine friends completely vulnarable and isolated adama sealed their fate. Listening voices in the air destroyed a great race. Its a pitty that many of us who objected this ending have been accused of conservatism, republicanism. We just said the true that the final hour is nonsense and anti science fiction. To go primitive shows lack of imagination ,responsibilty and greatness. Agreat series myst have a great end.And this was not to hunt zebras in Africa with spears and arrows.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 3:15pm (UTC -6)
Wise words, Cgal.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 3:29pm (UTC -6)
@Chris - I agree. While watching the attack on the colony, I couldn't help thinking of some of the later Borg episodes on Voyager ("Dark Frontier" onwards), where the ship managed to infiltrate some huge Borg base and come through unscathed (apart from the usual camera-shaking, sparks flying, and shields down to 38%...)

I did half-expect BSG to end in disaster, as you say. Everything had been pointing that way - the "harbinger of death" material, introduced in "Razor" and reiterated by the Hybrid in "Faith" and by Anders-Hybrid a mere two episodes ago. That, and Head Six's comment about this being the final days of humanity - what are we supposed to make of that now?

I'm not saying they should have ended it like that (resettling Kobol or another habitable planet would have been another good option, for example), but it would certainly have fit the tone of the show very well, and would have been a brave choice.

As many others have said, based on the Opera House visions, I also expected Helo and Athena to perish, and Hera to be left in Baltar and Six's hands. Part of me also thought that Adama, having lost Roslin, would go down with the ship. And based on the show's notion that "for children to grow up, their parents have to die", I was also wondering whether the Final Five would meet their end. After all, they created Cavil and the other humanoid Cylons, and were thus responsible for the second Cylon war and the destruction of the colonies.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 3:31pm (UTC -6)
Maybe it was the writers' intention to show that the colonist's genetic and cultural identity would be lost over time.

If the Colonist were able to find a habital planet with no other humans, would 38,000+ be sufficient to sustain the human race, or is the infusion of new DNA necessary?

The plan was to divide into groups across several continents. If they split into 5 groups - North America, South America, Africa, Australia, and Euro-Asia, each group would roughly have 7,600 colonist - a serious genetic bottleneck indeed.

This would also contradict mainstream scientic models that humans came out of Africa and migrated over time.

Again... race isn't an issue in 150,000 BCE! White people in Africa... please. The issue, is "what kind of human are you?" not skin color.

Are you homo sapien (archaic / extinct) or homo sapien neanderthalensis (also extinct)?

The major identifying factor isn't what skin color you have, but if your rib cage is wider at the shoulders or wider above your stomach. Jeez.

And just to show what a fraking idiot I am... I don't believe they had SP30 in Africa back then - with or without the occasional ice age that might lead to melanin deficiency. =P
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 3:43pm (UTC -6)
That is one big block of text, Cgal, lol.

Good points in it though. Still, I enjoyed the finale and will miss the show, regardless of whether or not they hunted zebra.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 3:53pm (UTC -6)
While skin color isn't a main issue, and certainly not in the show's world, it has unfornate overtones, and parallels with real-life colonialism which weren't addressed. At worst, the ending could be seen as an endorsement of colonialism, and at best, it displays ignorance of the issue. I'm saying this as a British person who is all too aware of the damage caused in Africa by my country's colonialism. The BSG finale has overtones of this. Obviously these weren't intential, it just displays a lack of insight. That's all.

(Of course, it's not like the Colonials intend to rule the natives or even have the technology to do so. But it is implied that they'll mix in with the natives, possibly interbreed, and give them language. As the colonials are far more developed than the natives, they'll inevitably come to dominate their society, even if they are only "mixing in". That is, if they even manage to survive on Earth at all, which I highly doubt would be the case for most of the colonials.)

On a related note, a comment elsewhere noted that it also violates Star Trek's "prime directive" of non-interference in other societies. I know that's a different show, but I think the principle is generally applicable - that's another reason I find the ending of BSG concerning.
Mr. Blinky
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 3:57pm (UTC -6)
I've gotta' say, I really enjoyed this episode, with one issue:

The Opera House. So, the entire reason why these prophetic dreams have been happening for like three seasons now is...that Baltar and Caprica carry Hera like 50 ft to the CIC? That's it? I mean, I could have understood it if they saved her almost on the other end of the ship, and had to fight their way through the Cylons to do it. That would have been interesting as both a tension building tool and making it clear that they're guided by a divine power, as they somehow manage to break through a large number of Cylons by themselves, something they normally wouldn't be able to do. But the way it is in the episode just seems like Random Joe Crewman #3 could have walked over, picker her up, and just walked casually to the CIC. Kind of an anti-climatic explanation for one of the show's most important myths.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 4:00pm (UTC -6)
@Mr Blinky: agree entirely.
Jack Bauer
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 4:20pm (UTC -6)
RDM did say that the inital plan was for Athena and Helo to perish in the saving of their daughter. But RDM also said that he didnt have a clue what he was doing with the Opera House, and was thankful it kind of worked out in the end. But I agree that it would have been more effective had Six and Baltar ended up with Hera.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 5:04pm (UTC -6)
I can't believe so much of the whining has also spread here. It's sad.

Cgal: What is the conclusion of the series?

That humans and cylons are flawed, and forever move towards paths of destruction. But there is hope that WE (new earth) can rise above the cycle.

Starbuck: She was a human, and then she came back as an angel. She was the Harbinger of Death for humanity. As Hera is an ancestor to all of us (new earth), then technically we would all have some cylon in us.

The Opera House: It was forshadowing people! Geez, I thought it was well played. And to have the final 5 cylons, on a platform above there children!!!

NOT TO MENTION, So much of the BSG story was told on that SET. That is why it makes sense to be the opera house! Really beautiful considering the production, and that so much of the story comes from there!

Leaving the tech behind: How do you expect them to make new bullets? How do you expect them to make new fuel? How do you expect them to make new medicine? To me, I don't see how there was any other option. Take what provisions you can, and start a new life. A new life not confined in a 10X10 room, with community showers, shitty fuel, and alge alcohol.

Anyone here claiming "travesty" or will go down in history as "terrible" are ridiculous! The majority of votes everywhere are 80% or better in favor of the finale. I'd say it was an overwhelming success!

Failure was the Soprano's finale.

Masterpiece was BSG finale.

My guess: The people endlessly bitching about the finale quit enjoying the show long before the finale. I have no idea why they would expect to enjoy the finale if that wasn't the case. And I have no idea why the minority have become so crazy vocal about their displeasure.

FIND SOMETHING BETTER TO DO WITH YOUR TIME. If you didn't enjoy it, fine. What good is it doing to bitch about it continuously?
Jack Bauer
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 5:10pm (UTC -6)
What good is it to bitch about people bitching about people bitching etc. etc. etc?
Samuel Walters
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 5:17pm (UTC -6)
trav⋅es⋅ty –noun
1. a literary or artistic burlesque of a serious work or subject, characterized by grotesque or ludicrous incongruity of style, treatment, or subject matter.
2. a literary or artistic composition so inferior in quality as to be merely a grotesque imitation of its model.
3. any grotesque or debased likeness or imitation: a travesty of justice.

Actually, it's not unrealistic for some viewers to see the finale as a "ludicrous incongruity of" what BSG was at the beginning. ;-)

Besides, just because I think BSG became a "grotesque imitation" of what it once was (through inconsistent characterizations, weak plotting, lazy deus ex machina explanations, etc.), that doesn't mean anyone has to conform to my perspective. But why not share that opinion since, by their nature, comment forms solicit opinions?

Personally, I don't see how an objective assessment of the finale can explain away all of the issues I see with it -- from Starbuck's nature to the lack of resolution between Adama and Tigh to the way that "God" was used to explain nearly every major plot mystery -- but that's entirely the prerogative of Jammer and those who loved the finale. I'll simply agree to disagree with those who see no (or almost no) faults with the episode.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 5:43pm (UTC -6)
I think the Opera House works best as a metaphor. I would not write it off by saying that it only represents the Galactica.

I will try and be short and not expound too long!

In short: the opera house is performance. Battlestar Galactica as a tv show is a performance. The lives of the people on the ship are guided by their past choices/history, by their current choices, and perhaps by an unseen hand (I think that the show leaves the question of determinism fairly open). We as human beings are also guided by our past. There may not be a fate--like Kara says, even if we have one, we wouldn't know--but we can trace our path through the world.

The Opera House reflects BSG as a work of fiction, as a performance, and is a metaphor for reality (both for the characters and for us).
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 5:46pm (UTC -6)

"Leaving the tech behind: How do you expect them to make new bullets? How do you expect them to make new fuel? How do you expect them to make new medicine? To me, I don't see how there was any other option. Take what provisions you can, and start a new life. A new life not confined in a 10X10 room, with community showers, shitty fuel, and alge alcohol."

I don't understand your logic.

Uhm... so... why didn't they send Galactica, Pegasus and all the other ships of the fleet into the sun while they were at New Caprica?

Many of the ships could land on the planet, as seen on New Caprica. The refinery ship was still producing tylium for the fleet. You could still keep Raptors for planetary exploration. Other ships could have been used to find extra-planetary resources needed. Making bullets and medicine isn't magic. They had the technology. They just needed to settle down to make the equipment. Cottle had equipment that could scan DNA. You can't tell me they didn't have equipment that could chemically analyze plants and animal material for medicinal properties.

As for bullets - charcoal, sulfur, saltpeter (oh my gosh, all those things can be found in nature!) stuff into brass casing with primer (mercury fulminate) followed by lead projectile. Put into tube. Strike primer with hard object. BANG!

Okay, it's a little more complicated than that for their automatic weapons... but once they build the equipment and tools. There really isn't much more to it... and they have the capability. They could create fertilizers, pesticides, and really give themselves a huge headstart, instead of waiting 148,100 years for the technology to arrive.

I don't know much. But, I do know that having to live in a dirt hut with dirt floors, getting eaten alive by bugs, and having to make fires from flint and tender is not a better life than living in a 10 x 10 room with HOT SHOWERS, FOOD, and BOOZE (even if it was algae), medicines, and the protection of a civilization with law and order (even if it is a mere shadow of what it once was).

Weeee! Wildlife! Let's put ourselves back on the lower rungs of the food chain!
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 5:47pm (UTC -6)
Samuel Walters - you are the voice of sense.

I have to say the music and acting were both outstanding in the finale, as we've come to expect. And the direction was strong too. As a piece of visual art, the Opera House sequence did work very well, in fact it was beautiful - it was just a letdown in script terms, given all the build-up since "Crossroads". The effects, score and performances were top-notch as usual - it's just the writing that I felt was severely lacking.

Alex1939, no, I didn't quit enjoying the show before the finale. I've enjoyed each season more than the last (although I believe the show peaked with "Crossroads"), and have really enjoyed 4.5 in particular. Part I of "Daybreak" was outstanding - a clear **** in my book. Ditto "Sometimes A Great Notion". "The Oath" was also great on its own terms, and "Someone To Watch Over Me" is a gem which in many ways raised the show to a new level of art, thanks to Weddle and Thompson's writing, great acting all round, and the outstanding use of music. It was just the finale I felt was a surprising letdown given all we've been led to expect. I went into it with an open mind - both with great hopes and excitement, but also aware of how much there was to wrap up. I definitely didn't expect it to be perfect, and I'd give the first half somewhere between 2.5 and 3 stars - a number of issues but still watchable and enjoyable. The second half, after they jumped to "new Earth", I would give ** or less.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 6:01pm (UTC -6)
I can't even read half of these comments, because they are so clearly written by people living on a different plane of existence to me.

I loved the show, loved the finale, thought it was perfect. Just throwing in my two cents of honest opinion.
Jason K
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 7:10pm (UTC -6)
For starters, I adored every second of the finale. That's a given.

I don't mind that people disliked the show. What bugs me the most are the people panning it who, by their inane questions, prove that they've never even watched the show, or did watch it and just totally missed the point.

Two of my favorites so far: My comments in ( )

1) We never found out who planted the cylon device in CIC during the miniseries... (Ummm. Asked and answered to my knowledge, Doral)

2) Why would they ask Adama if he was a cylon during the lie detector test? Nobody knew about skinjobs. HUGE error. (Obviously never took a LDT or heard of a control/baseline question....are you sitting down right now?)

I could list the thousands of other "I never paid attention" questions floating around out there, but I get mad when I read them.
Mr. Blinky
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 7:44pm (UTC -6)
Okay now, I'll admit I haven't read all of the posts here as that would take forever, but from what I HAVE read, I see very few if any people claiming that the finale was "terrible" or a "travesty". What I do see are primarily people who are saying that they liked or even loved the episode, but had a few issues with it. I include myself in this group.

Personally, I'm irritated when people come into a discussion such as this and claim that anyone who didn't love the episode with blind and unquestioning loyalty are just bitching and whining and need to accept the finale as nothing less than perfect. I'm sorry, but that doesn't fly with me. I did like the episode, and I can certainly understand if people thought it was some of the most brilliant television they've ever seen, but it's this kind of reaction that gives a lot of fanbases bad names.

Offering valid criticism of a point a person found frustrating or unclear is not the same as petty whining. Such whining does certainly exist, but I'm seeing fairly little of it here, and far less from people who had problems with the episode than those claiming that it was perfect and everyone should be ashamed for finding any flaw with it. I maintain my opinion that while the Opera House was beautifully executed, it was still a letdown from a story perspective. If you disagree, that's your opinion, and you're just as entitled to it as I am to mine.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 7:51pm (UTC -6)
I find myself judging this finale versus finales of other shows. It was clearly better than the ending to Voyager, inferior to TNG ending, and the equal of DS9. But, BSG dealth with more weighty material than any of those other shows.

I think the finale succeeded because it wrapped up the producers hope on this matter, "That it doesn't have to end the way it always does" and "There is still time..." I don't know if the U.S = Colonies or terrorists = cylons, but it is clear that the show was a running commentary on how people deal with different people.

There are questions I would like answered, "Who left Adama the note in the miniseries"; "Why are there no corners on the paper" and "How the hell old was Saul Tigh when Cavil dropped him in?" But, it wrapped up as many questions as it could.

I enjoyed the finale. I don't think I'll enjoy Caprica, but I'll give it a try.
Unexpected Tiger
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 7:53pm (UTC -6)
Well, that was pretty epic, even if I kept thinking of Arthur Dent and the hairdressers. They nailed the tone, and the very last scene was perfect. I didn't mind either that they didn't answer questions like 'What is Kara/head Six/head Baltar?' in any exact, rational way...I felt like they did answer them narratively, and the supernatural thread has been pretty consistent.

I did have one major problem though. Baltar's journey has been the most interesting story of the series...head Six made him become Caprica's delegate, vice-president, president, then after he was disgraced made him leader of his own religion until it encompassed a sizeable portion of humanity, and then made him acquire weapons...and then his ultimate fate is completely unconnected with any of this? I suppose maybe the idea is that his followers will spread the love of God throughout humanity and break the cycle, but it it's not really clear.

Also the fulfillment opera house thing didn't really explain the sense we got that Baltar and Six were stealing Hera. I might have had Helo and Sharon gunned down by Centurions and Hera adopted by Six and Baltar. And yeah, other people have brought up the harbinger of death thing.

I still reckon they did a better job of tying up loose ends than certain series on TV ever will though (cough Lost, Heroes). I suppose I might give it 3 stars..
Mr. Blinky
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 8:08pm (UTC -6)
@David: The mentioned in a commentary during the season 1 DVDs that the cornerless paper was an in-joke. During the first season they were strapped for budget, and so found themselves cutting a lot of corners. This then became a crew in-joke of them cutting the corners off of all the paper.

As to who left the note for Adama in the mini-series, I always assumed it was Baltar. I will agree though that it would have been nice for some confirmation, as Baltar does seem a little unlikely. I just guessed him because he's the only non-Cylon who would know.
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 9:30pm (UTC -6)
I have to point out one example of really blatantly bad writing.

When Lee tells Kara that she won't be forgotten, it doesn't work.

It doesn't work in the context of the show, because her husband is flying into the sun, her surrogate father is heading off to be a hermit, Lee the explorer will probably get killed by a bear or a nasty mushroom, and civilization (who didn't really like Kara in the first place) is about to have huge issues with disease, starvation, and forgetting how to write. No she won't be remembered, because there's no one to remember her.

It also doesn't work outside the context of the show, because the audience knows that we don't remember Starbuck. There are no legends or major world religions based around her, and anything related to her or her story has been completely forgotten.

This could have maybe worked with Hera or Apollo. Or if only Helo, Athena and Hera had survived, then they could have solemnly declared that everyone else would be remembered, implying that they are the pantheon that lies at the heart of all our myths.

But throwing it out there for Kara is a huge thematic failure. It didn't need to be there. If she needed an ending they could have given her a real one, but instead they went for the cheap tug at the heartstrings. If it worked for you on an emotional level then that's great, but that's because of 5 years of goodwill and not because this was a good episode.

And that's how a lot of the episode felt for me. Kara's sendoff is the gun-on-mantle-that-doesn't-go-off moment that really sticks out, but a lot of the other stuff felt like a lot of laziness trying to hide behind fan affection too.

On that cheery note, thanks for all the great reviews, Jammer.
Jason K
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 9:57pm (UTC -6)
Erm...I was just re-watching the finale.

Starbuck: "Stopped for coffee"

ROFL, I just got that. G'dam I'm slow as molasses!!

My new favorite line of the entire series.

Oh, and grumble, I will never forget Kara Thrace :)
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 10:06pm (UTC -6)
Mr. Blinky:

The note to Adama confounds me. Given the amount of knowledge available, in hindsight, there are only a few possible candidates for the note:

1. An Angel/Avatar - since they would know it all - but why would they interact with Adama by a note?
2. A "Cavil" on the Galactica - but why would he want to help?
3. A different model, but would they even acknowledge the five.

I know this is over-analysis, but it bugs me. Why would someone tell him that? Why? I always assumed it was a Boomer, but now, in retrospect, it doesn't make any sense. I can live with Kara being an Angel, I can live with a few of the things in the finale and accept it an attempt to close out the characters - not the mythology of the show - but that is one question I wanted answered.
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 2:13am (UTC -6)

Only Baltar knew, as Caprica Six told him in house on Caprica just as the bombs were falling. It was Baltar.

Moore confirmed this.
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 8:18am (UTC -6)
I'll just add what I posted to the Scifi Bboard:

One thing that strikes me about the ending in particular was Lee's suggestion of 'abandoning the cycle' by reverting in technology. This seems to signify a Luddite perspective. That technology in and of itself - or the goal of gaining understanding and power over the environment is in and of itself corrupting to the human soul. I disagree with that perspective - we are perfectly capable of corrupting ourselves independent of high technology. What is unsettling is the idea that there really has been no actual learning from the experience the fleet has gone through. That the solution is not to evolve socially beyond simply accumulating power for its own sake, but instead to simply voluntarily throw away everything to limit the collateral damage. That mankind's hard-won actual acceptance of the Cylons as individuals amounts to simply a few more people walking around herding goats. That mankind's ultimate solution to its own hubris is not to learn actual wisdom, but to castrate itself in the hopes of delaying the inevitable catastrophe.

What I took the show as (before the finale) was an extended learning session. Painful, brutal lessons in making mistakes and learning to accept 'the other'. Throwing away technology is only part of the personal disgust I have with the ending, it's mostly due to the fact that they also threw away their knowledge, their records, and any possible way of affecting the future course of humanity. Any doubt we have about what they passed on is self-evident in the coda. Humanity has learned nothing, as no wisdom was left to them save pitiful myths and half-forgotten legends. The fleet's journey was to be a genetic UPS service, and even that fails the smell test. Hera valued as Eve, not for herself, her knowledge, her wisdom or culture, just her genetics. Breeding stock.
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 8:35am (UTC -6)
Another problem with the Luddite-ism is that it's directly undercut by the peoples' removal of photos from the memory wall.

You're either giving up the past, or you're not. And if we're supposed to accept that 38,000 people would willingly give up everything - not just technology, but all of colonial art, history, civilization and society - then don't make a big deal of them preserving their past a few scenes earlier. If we'd been shown that most (rather than a few) of the photos had been abandoned, and that people had moved on then that might have worked. But what we got was completely at odds.

Also, technology does not just equal spaceships, guns and medicine. Technology also equals beltbuckles and shoelace grommets. The real story of mitochondrial Eve isn't that she was the mother of us all - it's that she was found wearing Crocs.
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 10:22am (UTC -6)
Excellent points.
Latex Zebra
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 11:11am (UTC -6)
I've been somewhat of a casual viewer, not out of choice, but have relied upon these reviews to help fill in the gaps. There was no way I would miss the finale.
I wasn't dissapointed. A fantastic end to the mythos, I'm not worried about a few loose ends.
I loved the fact that it was actually Earth they arrived at in the end. It made me wonder what Earth they had visited before.. Or when perhaps.
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 11:35am (UTC -6)
I don't know if someone covered this before on another site, or during another season, but what I really liked about Battlestar Galactica was how they handled "extra terrestrial" life.

The Colonial humans didn't wonder if they were alone in the universe. They knew that they came from another planet where there was life, and there was a good chance that the planets they ended up colonizing already had life, and they brought some along with them from Kobol.

In the Battlestar Galactica universe, extra terrestrial life usually shows up as plants or algae. It is not filled with humanoid aliens like Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, the original Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, and countless other before it.

And when the do encounter other "aliens" they are human, and it is nothing short of an astronomical miracle. This maintains the uniqueness of humanity. It also makes the creation of the Cylon that much more poignant. Humanity decided that it do not want to be alone in the universe as it's sole sentient race, so they created another one, which became it's rival and ultimately, its nemesis. That to me, seem pretty orginal. I will miss it.
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 1:18pm (UTC -6)

I liked that about BSG as well. Sci-fi allegory tends to use alien races to effectively alienate (har har) and "other" foreign cultures. BSG's greatest thematic triumph may have been demonstrating how race is a conceptual myth that only does harm by constructing foreign cultures as alien races. In the end, the Cylons were more like us than we cared to admit. They could be our friends or our enemies; they were individuals all, not a "race."

As EJO said at a recent UN convention: "there is only one race. That is the human race."
Sam B.
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 3:20pm (UTC -6)

If you think BSG was original in that specific regard, you really need to read more Science Fiction.

Hint: Begin with Asimov -- Foundation.
Jack Bauer
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 3:29pm (UTC -6)
"And if we're supposed to accept that 38,000 people would willingly give up everything - not just technology, but all of colonial art, history, civilization and society - then don't make a big deal of them preserving their past a few scenes earlier."

There was no art left, the history was blown to bits on Caprica and the colonies, and society was a rag tag fleet in run down ships.

The point of the technological reset was for a "clean slate" because the humans created and caused their own destruction with the technology they abused.

But I dont disagree with you completely, I find it hard to believe all the people would abandon everything in favor of living like hermits.

Also I dont buy Hera being the mother of all of us UNLESS nobody else in the 38,000 reproduced. To claim she is mitochondrial eve is to say the other 37, 999 people did not reproduce, and she was the only one to have her genes passed down through the millenia.

The last half hour was a mess, filled with short sighted thinking and garbage character writing. I think this show needed 1 more epsiode to show us into the future of the colonials, much like Babylon 5 did.
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 3:39pm (UTC -6)
@Sam B.

Ignoring what I sense is a condescending tone, I'll happily point out for you that I praised that thematic direction in BSG, but did not laud it as being an original direction.

In the context of modern, filmed entertainment, however, I feel pretty safe to say it's leading the way by being the best told story with such a thematic direction.
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 4:19pm (UTC -6)
I'm sure Asimov has many interesting sci-fi premises. I'm also sure that plenty of popular sci-fi shows and movies has been inspired by him and had "borrowed" his ideas.

I also believe it would be difficult for any one to name a popular series on television (any television show or even movies) that has the same premise that BSG has.

It may not be THE orignal idea of "sole intelligent lifeform" in the galaxy, but that was never the popular premise for almost all the science fiction material from the 50s to the present day.

From Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Lost in Space, War of the Worlds, Star Trek, Star Wars, Alien, V, The Last Starfighter, Independence Day, Battlefield Earth, Starship Troopers, how many of those dealt with human beings as the sole sentient lifeform in the galaxy?

(hint: begins with ZERO and ends with NADA)

As far as popular sci-fi is concerned, I think it's safe to say that BSG is pretty original in that premise.

Now, creating something that will eventually destroy you? That's not original. The original series even used that. The Cylons were a lizard race that created robots that eventually destroyed them. Humans only got involved with the Cylons attack and wiped out an allied race.

The whole "something you build will be your undoing" goes back to Frankenstein's monster or even earlier than that, maybe even Greek mythology, but combining that with the first premise? That's seems pretty new to me.
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 4:37pm (UTC -6)
@Jack Bauer

Completely agree. It is silly to think they could get all 38,000 people to agree... on ANYTHING, let alone getting rid of their technology. You probably couldn't even get 3 people to agree that mixing with the natives is a good thing. Just look at how argumentative the Quorum was.

Maybe the writers were going on the premise that the whole crammed into spaceships for 4 years was a crucible that forged people's minds into thinking "Yeah, Lee... clean slate, technology bad, hunting, gathering, farming good... great idea." I don't know. Still very shakey to me.

"Also I dont buy Hera being the mother of all of us UNLESS nobody else in the 38,000 reproduced. To claim she is mitochondrial eve is to say the other 37, 999 people did not reproduce, and she was the only one to have her genes passed down through the millenia."

I'm not sure what they meant by that. But, I'm guessing they didn't mean it in a literal way.

I think they were trying to saying that she was the first, therefore "the mother" of all those with the same mitochondrial DNA make up.

If Caprica Six and Gaius Baltar had a child, that child would have the same Cylon / human mitochondrial DNA, as well. I'm also assuming that the skinjobs weren't counted among the 38,000 and they were also thrown into the mix with other colonists [It's pretty hard to resist those Sixes. =)], and earthling natives, thereby producing more of the same "Hera Mitochondrial DNA".

I'm just guessing here. It probably doesn't make much sense either. =P
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 4:47pm (UTC -6)

about Hera: I don't think that's how mitochondrial eve exactly works. Basically yes, everyone is a descendant of Hera.

But, for example, Baltar and Six could've had a son. And that son and Hera could've had children. Then those children could've had children with other crew member's children down the line.

In other words, just because we all descend from Hera, does NOT exclude descending from the other 38000.
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 6:00pm (UTC -6)

Thanks for responding. I guess my question then is "What makes Hera's DNA so special or different from another Cylon-Human hybrid?".

If Hera were to have siblings, wouldn't they also have the same DNA? If Helo got another Eight pregnant, wouldn't that child also have the same DNA?

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that logically, the Cylon half isn't as important as the human half. Helo is what makes the difference.

But, if Helo's DNA is an amalgamation of Colonial DNA from the past 2000 years dating back to Kobol, then what is the difference if Gaius Baltar, Lee Adama, or Hot Dog were the DNA donors?

Theoretically, Caprica Six's and Gaius Baltar's child would have the same hybrid characterists, and only traits like hair color, skin color, shape of eyes, height, etc. would be the difference.

Or... maybe "love" is the only difference and the fetus would terminate itself. Sorry... bad episode reference. =P
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 6:40pm (UTC -6)
Im just looking at an old epesode of Voyager and theres some alien guy with a dumb chin been preached to by Janeway. And it just makes me regret that Galactica is over, what-ever its faults (all tv sifi has faults)it was unique amungst the endless juvenile drivel on tv.
I beleive "daybreak" was superb entertainment and wraped up the important things,
ie.. the characters stories, really well.
Some of the flashbacks were unnessary and the abandonment of technology at the end makes for thought provoking debate rather than perfect sense, but thats what good si-fi is about.
Farewell Galactica,you wont be forgotten...
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 7:16pm (UTC -6)
BSG is an example of the more sophisticated television that Jammer has championed in his reviews for years, with long arcs and complicated character motivations. The finale for BSG (along with the finale to the Sopranos) to me points out that we haven't finished that transition yet -- the next step will be well-done television series that have complete stories mapped out in advance, in some detail, from the first episode to the last. (Yes, yes, Babylon 5, I know, but with the modern sensibility you see in BSG and the Wire.)
Jason K
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 8:30pm (UTC -6)

"Theoretically, Caprica Six's and Gaius Baltar's child would have the same hybrid characterists, and only traits like hair color, skin color, shape of eyes, height, etc. would be the difference."

You are right, however, Hera was the first, and therefore oldest. She would be the very first link. Others down the line would not hold that distinction. I dunno if it is anymore complicated than that. Hera was the first to carry Cylon/Human DNA.
Wed, Mar 25, 2009, 11:29pm (UTC -6)
"The point of the technological reset was for a "clean slate" because the humans created and caused their own destruction with the technology they abused.

But I dont disagree with you completely, I find it hard to believe all the people would abandon everything in favor of living like hermits."

Let's say the scene with Bill in the memorial hall didn't happen.

Instead we have Lee walking through the hallway, and seeing that the memorial is basically untouched, even though the rest of the ship has been packed up in boxes. Corporal Exposition wanders over and says "How about that sir. It hasn't been touched. It's almost like it belongs here, like people want to leave it all behind. Almost like it's move on."

The corporal walks away, and Lee sees Dee's picture. He moves to take it down from the wall, but then stops himself. He touches his fingers to his lips, and then presses them to the photo. He slowly walks away.

It no more cheesy or less expository than what we did get, but it sets up Lee's third-act realization that people are sick of this. And then when Sam heads off to the sun we could get a quick shot of the photographic funeral pyre. Whoo, resonance.

I'm still not sure I would have bought the Luddite-ism, but I wish the writers had tried a little harder, and not directly undercut themselves.
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 12:04am (UTC -6)
Grumble- that would actually have been a good scene. : D
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 4:40am (UTC -6)
An excellent idea, grumble. While I am not necessarily opposed to the idea of ditching all technology, it would be better if the writers foreshadowed that rather unexpected course of action in some way. Your scene would fit nicely. I would make only one thing different. Instead of having a head character say those lines, I'd have Lee and Bill Adama walk down the corridor and comment on the situation.

On another point, I am also a little sceptical about the whole Baltar&Six as the parents of humanity. The way it happened on screen, I don't really see why they were even necessary. If it weren't for them, Athena or Roslin would've caught Hera in the Galactica's corridors. The whole storyline would've made more sense if Helo and Athena had died trying to save her from Cavil. Gaius and Six could've then in some way heroicaly saved Hera and, when on Earth, taken over the responsibilty of rasing her. Since, as far as we know, they are the only human-Cylon couple, it would make sense if they adopted Hera, making sure that she remembered her dual heritage. In a way, they would be the guardians of the "best of both worlds".
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 7:11am (UTC -6)
Everyone stop stealing my idea about how the Opera House could have been improved. I posted it first, any one using it has to pay me royalties.
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 8:07am (UTC -6)
There are two shots I missed:

!. Front angle close up of Galactica, leading the fleet as she starts to burn up and vaporize in the heat of the sun- the final moments of the main character of the series.

2. All 38,000- odd Colonials, offloaded from their ships on the surface of Earth. We never really got to see all of remaining 'humanity' as one crowd.
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 8:48am (UTC -6)

Oh, I thought we collectively went through the black hole in Daybreak and ended up some 150 000 years in the future. Therefore, your royalties no longer have to be paid. So there.
Jason K
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 11:09am (UTC -6)

"The whole storyline would've made more sense if Helo and Athena had died trying to save her from Cavil."

I agree 100%. I often wonder how hard it is for a writer to kill of beloved characters, especially after four years. Maybe they just could not bring themselves to do it??
Jack Bauer
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 11:35am (UTC -6)
The more and more I think of the last half hour of this episode, the more and more pissed off im finding I am of it.
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 1:34pm (UTC -6)
I have to agree with cataclysm. In a micro sense we see the characters motivations making sense but when taken as a whole there have been far too many instances where characterization was sacrificed to advance plot in an effort to get the story resolved.

As a series, BSG started off incredibly but sunk under the weight of a poorly-thought out mythology. Most characters left the series bereft of free will with the exception of Dee, whose suicide felt like the last honest moment of the series in retrospect. Maybe another half season would have given the writers the space needed to wrap things up in a fashion respecting the characters and the mythology. I don't know.
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 2:03pm (UTC -6)
Jason and Jack,

I feel torn when thinking about the last half-hour. Emotionally, I loved it. Adama-Roslin scenes were just fantastic, Baltar's line about farming, almost breaking into tears, was great. I was impressed with Sam's Matrixy departure "into the sun", etc. As I said, emotionally, I was really moved by the ending. However, intelectually, there is something missing. Many of these moments, while great, are troubling when put into perspective. I just couldn't buy some character choices and plot resolutions.
Alexey Bogatiryov
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 2:43pm (UTC -6)
@1moreskinjob and others

The more I think about it the more I agree that the mythology was more of a liability to the overall BSG story while the gritty military aspects of survival was its strong side. The mythology was too convoluted to be resolved within a couple of episodes. Probably - another season was necessary to bring it to a satisfying conclusion.

However, in utilitarian terms - I would have made the mythology aspect be a moot point (simply a false profecy that was destroyed in "Revelations) rather than the whole angel and God's plan that seemed stapled to the plotline.
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 3:54pm (UTC -6)
I thought the mythology brought many of the show's finest moments and was a nice series-long thread the connected all the various arcs. I personally loved it.
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 4:18pm (UTC -6)
I dont know if anyone caught this, but a something in the final scene with Head Six and head Baltar intrigued me. Six made a reference to God, and Baltar responded with "it doesn't like to be called that.'
Any thoughts?
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 4:33pm (UTC -6)
I'm very divided on the mythology. I can understand a lot of the criticisms of it, but on balance, I also feel it brought many of the show's finest moments. And really, it held together until the finale. There was nothing wrong with the mythology that a better written finale couldn't have solved.

The online fan community could probably put their heads together and collectively write a better finale which satisfactorily answers all of the mythology. For instance: a lot of people, independently of each other, expected Helo and Athena to die, leaving Hera to be brought up by Baltar and Six, thus fulfilling the Opera House visions. Many also assumed that Daniel was Starbuck's father, and that Leoben was involved in her past too somehow. And quite a few people predicted that most of the main characters would die. Those are just a few examples of plot points that a superior finale to the one aired (in terms of internal logic, continuity, and faithfulness to characters, mythology and tone) could be structured around.

And I wouldn't put it past Weddle and Thompson to do it, had they been given chance to write the finale. Time and again, they've proven their ability to write great mythology episodes which also deeply respect the characters and move the plot forward.
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 8:47pm (UTC -6)
Actually, I just wanted to respond to an above statement made regarding no explanation with the whole "clean Viper" that Kara came back in... I honestly took that as a tip of the hat to the original 1978 episode "War of the Gods", wherein a race who turns out to be the Angels found in the doctrine of Christianity:

- turns everything their ship consumes spic-and-span white, and restores all equipment and personnel to a "born again" state. (that ship's noise still bothers me to this day, for those who have seen the ep.)

- programs the coordinates to Earth in the original casts' brains.
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 9:43pm (UTC -6)
I was lucky enough to get a response from Ron Moore in regards to some of the Luddite critiques that have been brought up on the Scifi Bboard.

Well, obviously I disagree with this interpretation.

If there's anything that should come through loud and clear from the very beginning of the series is that we are somehow connected to these people. Everything from our system of justice to our clothes to the phones on our walls to quite literally the music some of them hear can be seen all around us, so clearly their lives and their existence were not for naught. The show is making a direct connection between them and us and positing the idea that many of the things in our lives are somehow descended through the mists of time -- through the collective unconscious if you like -- down to us today. In addition, we are all blood relatives to both Colonial and Cylon-kind and therefore their existence is more than simply an ancient curiosity, it's family history. Lee's hope that the best part of themselves would be passed along to the people on their new world evidently came true somehow in some ways large and small and so we're watching the story of some of our own history.

You can dispute the historical evidence of that, can argue that it couldn't have happened that way logically, and that it's simply beyond belief that anything they left behind could have survived down to the modern age and directly impacted our lives, but that's a different argument than saying the show is essentially trying wipe away the contributions of these characters or conveying the idea that nothing they did or experienced mattered in the end. Quite the contrary, the show is asserting not only did the experiences of these characters matter, but that their impact was so significant that it shaped some of our contemporary world. Again, you can argue that's not realistic, but the life experience of the BSG characters is clearly meant to be (big-time) impactful.
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 10:18pm (UTC -6)
I really liked the finale. I thought it ended the series very well. I'm not as angry about the fact that they everyone gave up technology as everyone is.

In my opinion, I would have preferred an ending like this: Those who chose to keep technology band together and build a city together. As everyone else is starting from the ground up, this city keeps on evolving technologically speaking. But just before we cut to 150,000 years later, amongst the land and deserts that are shown, how about a scene showing a tidal wave enveloping the entire city, making it sink. Thus, the city of technology would be Atlantis.
Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 10:49pm (UTC -6)
I could have been down with a failed city (not Atlantis though- that's too wink wink nudge nudge), but I don't have a problem with people reaching the promise land and saying "ok, I'm down with a fresh start."
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 12:32am (UTC -6)
Can i just add in concerning Hera being the Mitochondrial Eve, everyone is assuming that Baltar and Caprica had children, or Athena and Helo had more - Hera was the only one with both Cylon and Human DNA, the surviving colonists probably continued having children but Hera's DNA was unique and it was her young remains (she didn't live to be an old woman) that were discovered and related to current humans of today.

Also Adama living as a hermit on a hill - he was dying, worn out and had had enough, there were glimpses in previous episodes that his health was failing.

In general, as a finale, i thought it did a good job in bringing a resolution to their journey, storywise and character wise and it was a good thing that some questions were not fully answered (just like life really).
Panagiotis Karatasios
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 2:38am (UTC -6)
Quote "As well as being all completely acceptable within the established continuity of the show, its not like there was a specific reference to a 'God' or 'Gods' or whatever, just like Baltar said. It goes whatever way you want it to, and if I was so inclined to want to completely rationalise it (which I'm not, I don't think theres any point, considering its a TV show and all) theres still the opportunity to mark it down to some sort of scify highly evolved entity."

that's all correct after all ther are many things in the universe that we can not explain or at least perceive for example who can perceive a naked singularity that means something with infinite mass and infinite ccurvature? but we must akgnowledge that the writers rather than leaveing the answer to the question of a higher power open they gave a more definite religious feeling to it and that is what annoyed many people And definitely it was not science fiction.The end whould be much better without such a hint to a religious direction
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 7:18am (UTC -6)
Today's the day Jammer gives his verdict. Any bets on what it'll be.

The difficulty with this episode is a real love it or hate it episode. If you accept the themes, you'll love it, if you don't, you'll hate it.

I'll bet on three stars. I'm betting he'll have gripes but will overall appreciate the package.

The Daily Mash remembers BSG too.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 7:59am (UTC -6)
Yeah, 3 stars sounds about right. It was a good, solid episode, but with some problems that are way too noticeable.

I said earlier that I am really conflicted about this episode. It had fantastic moments, and it had moments where I tried very hard to overlook some holes. I don't know. I don't think I'll be able to truly formulate my opinion about it until I've watched it again (together with the whole season or even series) at a later date. Nevertheless, BSG is THE best SF series I've ever watched, and among the finest of all the shows on TV, regardless of genre.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 9:31am (UTC -6)
At this point, I'd better confess that the review is not coming out today, and probably not over the weekend either. I think we're looking at next week, sorry to say.

I also have to confess that I've been reading all your comments. I'd originally planned not to, but that quickly turned out to be unrealistic. Great discussion, everybody. I'll be weighing in soon, but not as soon as I'd hoped.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 9:58am (UTC -6)
Good luck Jammer, it would be hard for me to write a non-biased review after so much backlash from the finale.

Since I completely enjoyed it, I feel in full defense mode.

To me, it's almost like people are looking for the answers to life, god, and the universe in the finale. While I'm willing to accept that "which we can't understand" as part of the answer to Starbuck, head-six, etc.

That's an exaggeration before all the bashers attack me =)
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 10:23am (UTC -6)
oh Jammer, why did you read the comments?! (I kid). But I sincerely hope that this does not impact your reasoning or review, hehe. I believe that reading the comments for an episode like this only further cemented my opinion about the episode, and indeed, the whole series, and as Alex1939 said, made me more defensive. No need to do that in your review.

Whatever review you give, glowing, middle of the road, or disappointing, will be sure to cause a firestorm on this forum (look how many comments have been made before you reviewed!).

Things seem to have stayed under control for now, but don't be afraid to shut the comments down after the review if things get out of hand.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 10:38am (UTC -6)
Oh, and I was just thinking, that any battlestar finale that causes as much of an uproar as this one, as well as controversy, is truly a finale made in the name of battlestar galactica, lol.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 10:46am (UTC -6)
It's the Opera House bit that gives me the most qualms, primarily because we've come up with a better version. The giving up technology bit doesn't really get to me, although I concede the problems with it, which I did notice when I first watched it.

Still, it's been almost a week since I last watched it and I remember loving it more the second time around so I have no intention of re-evaluating my verdict.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 11:05am (UTC -6)

"Can i just add in concerning Hera being the Mitochondrial Eve, everyone is assuming that Baltar and Caprica had children, or Athena and Helo had more - Hera was the only one with both Cylon and Human DNA, the surviving colonists probably continued having children but Hera's DNA was unique and it was her young remains (she didn't live to be an old woman) that were discovered and related to current humans of today."

I don't understand how this pertains to the discussion.

Are we assuming that the other Cylons - all the Leobens, the Sharons, and the Sixes did not attempt or succeed to have children with other Colonists?

They found Hera's remains. Does that mean there aren't any other remains of other early human-cylon children?

The question still stands. "What makes Hera's DNA unique?" (Other than the ability of her embryonic blood to temporarily cure cancer)

I get why they call her "mitochondrial Eve". Every living person on Earth has the same mitochondrial DNA as she does... and digging further back, other human remains do not. So, scientist assume she was the first. They just happen to be correct because they found Hera, who was the absolute first.

However... radio carbon dating isn't so precise that it can determine day or year. Therefore any Colonial-Cylon hybrid of Hera's generation could have also been mistaken for "Mytochondrial Eve or Adam" - assuming that Helo and Athena did have another child, or Baltar and Caprica, or Joe Blow and Hottie Six #451 decided to reproduce.

The way the show was going, it sounded like the Cylons and Colonists wanted a fresh beginning and put aside the old hatreds, and the same time give up all their technology. Unrealistic - given, but let's just say they did. They would probably settle down and start having families with mixed marriages between Colonist and Cylon. Therefore produce more Hera-like children.

For everyone to be decended from Hera, and Hera alone, making her a True Eve, not just a "Mitochondrial Eve" we must assume that no other Colonist and Cylon had offspring that survived and everyone else's offspring mated with Hera or Hera's children, despite being scatter across five continents, over the course of 150,000 years - 149,000 of them without any means of global transportation. No wonder she died young. She really had to get around!

Let us not forget that the earliest discovery of civilization on this Earth goes back not much more than 5000 years. Some will argue 10,000 years. That still leaves 140,000 years in which "humans" pretty much hunted and gathered in whatever habitable region they could find. Any traveling, migration, all had to done on foot. Domesticated animals and the wheel came with the dawn of civilization.

In the end, it seems to me that the Colonists either didn't have much to contribute, or it was all lost over the course of 150,000 years. If the story was true, I think it's pretty much safe to say that we did it on our own. The only thing we got from them is 38,000+ more bones, some funky DNA, and a T-shirt that says "I
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 11:42am (UTC -6)
Just a thought...

Ron Moore cameo: He reads about the idea that gives him the story of Battlestar which ends with him reading about his idea of creating Battlestar.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 11:46am (UTC -6)
Hi Conroypaw....
I wasn't saying that there were no other cylon / human cross, but that it was suggesting that it was her remains that were discovered and from what happened previously, that cylons could not conceive or at least reproduce naturally (up until hera of course) just basically saying that it was suggestive that she may have been the "missing link" in our development - the writers tying it in to our own evolution.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 2:05pm (UTC -6)
I want to refer back to the first comment. Occuprice, I agree completely with you. I was blown away by the choice to very specifically only tell us so much here. Our answer IS "God did it" to some degree, but not for everything, certainly. These people were led by their characters and their needs and their journeys, all of them, to the climactic moment. That they were in the right place at the right time, able to do the right things to save Hera and to get to the new Earth, was not up to God, but to their own character. And it was always a journey to a new home. The final moments were the expected (unending) ending to this epic... to some degree. I was still blown away by Ron Moore's going all the way to the present. That we are descended from these characters is no shock, but the nature of the final message and the final moments... ah... it really got to me. I am totally fine with not being told everything. I was told I needed. I especially love the mystery of "he doesn't like being called that". What's unexplained, like what happened to Daniel, what happened to Starbuck, what happened to our heroes after they get established on new Earth... is all mythology, for us to imagine for ourselves. We cannot know god. Any attempt to really explain the biggest mysteries here would have proven completely unsatisfying. That is for us to dream and consider, not for Ron Moore to tell.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 2:17pm (UTC -6)
Okay, fixing an error in my comment above: I was told what I needed. All I needed to know. A lot was still said about the nature of the universe and our potentials in the course of the series and this final season and this final episode. Starbuck during the 4th season was still our Starbuck, but something has changed her just the tiniest bit... something has brought her to our heroes. Something to do with why she had to go into the maelstrom. Her willingness to go all the way, to not be afraid of death, discussed here, was all about explaining why she did what she did in Maelstrom. What led to this ending, to being changed. It's a hard sci-fi classic formula. See Arthur C. Clarke's works for some of the best examples of this... especially Childhood's End, 2001, and Rendezvous with Rama. The amazing strange things happen. Our lives our changed. The nature of human existence is discussed beautifully and we end up getting very little information. Because we are still so much in the dark. We can't know God... There is always more.
Dave P.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 2:30pm (UTC -6)
My opinion: Loved the finale. I found it to be the most satysfying ending to a narrative that was being made up on the fly as I can think of. Babylon 5's finale benefitted from being a fully mapped out narrative, as do most novels. To all the haters, you'll have to console yourself with the joy that lies in the journey and not the destination.

And a further note to all the haters: Have you never heard of 'magic realism'?

Oh and to Jammer: Have really enjoyed reading your DS9 and B5 reviews, always well written.
Dave P.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 2:39pm (UTC -6)
Further to my last post: Just wanted to say, personally, if I had found out that Starbuck had been a clone or resurected by nano bots or some such sci-fi nonesense I would have spit bile. I find the notion of her being an angel/guide much more satisfying. As for the whole 'harbinger of death' thing, what's the problem with accepting that Starbuck was leading them to the end of their journey, to the end of their existence as pure 'colonial' humans, to the death of their existence as they have known it, and the death of the narrative?

And a further not to the haters: If you don't like the finale - write your own finale. That's the joy of text, both written and visual. Once a text is out there, it belongs to the reader/viewer, as Barthez said 'the author is dead' - it is yours to interpret as you wish, to do with as you wish.
David P.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 3:03pm (UTC -6)
And here I was only intending to post one quick comment!

I think the point I was trying to make in my last post was that I don't understand some people's needs to have every little detail and plot point explained. To do so, in my opinion, would have ruined the experience for me, to narrow the scope and imagination of my own understandings and conclusions. Ambiguity = textual mobility, which is more often then not my measure of quality.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 3:28pm (UTC -6)
I thought the Kara flashbacks stood in direct conflict with "Maelstrom". That episode centred on Kara's fear of death - her mother's and her own - and how she has spent her life dicing with death in order to try and get over this fear and come to peace with herself. As Jammer wrote at the time:

"Kara has flirted with death her entire life (hence her career), but she has always stepped away from the precipice after briefly staring over it."

The episode establishes that although Kara ostensibly walked out on her mother as a result of their final argument combined with Socrata's years of severe physical and mental abuse of her, the deeper reason was that Kara feared seeing her mother die - she feared death. "Maelstrom" is about Kara overcoming her fear of death. By reliving this moment from her past and seeing her mother pass on, she is finally able to accept mortality.

And yet now, in the finale, we have a flashback to Caprica where Kara tells Lee - very sincerely - that she's not afraid of death:

"I'm not scared...... It doesn't scare me, Lee, that's what you don't get...... I know fear, and I get scared - just not of dying."

How does that even begin to add up or pass for credible characterisation, given what has been previously established?

And an unrelated observation I also wanted to mention: why did the colony look completely different in the finale to in "Islanded"?
Alexey Bogatiryov
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 3:40pm (UTC -6)
Well, I am disappointed that Jammer's review won't be in for a while but I guess I don't mind prolonging the anticipation. I am glad our comments will have an impact on his review. After all - we do not really have much else to look forward to other than the Star Trek relaunch movie this year (and BSG the Plan). I believe that Jammer will be "touched" by some of the scenes - particularly that of Roslin's death and Tyrol's revenge but in the end he will see the countless flaws (abandonment of technology, Starbuck's disappearance, the poorly executed Opera scene, etc.) within the finale and essentially go middle of the road with 2 and a half stars.

This will produced the least backlash as it appears that the majority of us were mildly disappointed with those who praise it and the haters being in the vocal minorities.

Alas - those who loved it will slightly criticize Jammer and those who hated it or were middle road will tend to agree with his review. Those are my predictions for what will happen once the review is posted. It will be sad to read it as I will know that after reading the review and posting feedback - I will no longer visit this site as much as I have for the past 4 years.

Here is to hoping that Jammer becomes a Sci-Fi full-time movie reviewer at some point!
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 3:49pm (UTC -6)
Niall, I do think that the Kara journey of dicing with death does make sense in the whole series... Why? Because it is basically very consistent. She keeps confronting it. Saying she's not scared isn't the same as not being scared, but ties directly to the ability to transcend that fear. She breaks that barrier all the time. That's why she's awesome, I think. She faces such incredible obstacles, mind-shreddingly difficult dilemmas. Especially this season. And her willingness to do so, right from the get go (this scene being one of her first in continuity) makes perfect sense to me. It's much more complicated than you're making it seem. She's at odds with herself, her own fears. Part of her, as we all know, really is ready to go right into the jaws of death, and she always pulls herself out. EXCEPT in Maelstrom, when something gave her cause to go one step further than she'd let herself go, in, say, Scar... But, right from the beginning, she's been in line with that flashback moment, I think.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 4:48pm (UTC -6)
"I thought the Kara flashbacks stood in direct conflict with "Maelstrom". That episode centred on Kara's fear of death - her mother's and her own - and how she has spent her life dicing with death in order to try and get over this fear and come to peace with herself."

Dang it Niall... you nailed it again - better than I could ever put it.

I'm trying to work out this incongruity from a different angle.

I don't know if Kara doesn't "fear" death. She probably accepts that it will happen when it happens. When her number is up, that's that.

That's not to say she doesn't have a sense of self-preservation or she welcomes death. That's what makes us human. Maybe, that's the point? The writers were trying to subtly suggest that Kara is not just a little odd, but something else, other than just human.

I don't know about most people, but I'd rather be forgotten than dead. But, in a way, being remember for all time is a way of reaching for immortality. It seemed that Kara's choices were life or death, being remembered or forgotten.

Kara had died. Prior to the finale, she had finally come to grips with it. Maybe, she once thought that she had a destiny to fulfill before she died.

Then in "Maelstrom" she thought her destiny was to die. Then returning back to Galactica in the Ionian Nebula, she thought her destiny was to lead the fleet to Earth.

Next, the Cylon baseship hybrid told her that she was the "Harbringer of Death" and that meant another destiny. So, something was always leading her on, kept eating at her until she fulfilled her destiny... which was to enter some numbers into the Galactica's navigation computer and jump the ship to Earth Mk2.

She didn't get killed in the raid on the Cylon colony. She was fine with saying goodbye to Sam, so I thought she was going to live, instead of riding Galactica into the sun with Sam.

Then, after saying goodbye to her surrogate father, while talking with Lee... *** POOF! ***

Not a trace of Thrace.

Maybe that's why I hate her ending so much. Lee's words seem to come up hollow. - She obtains neither life nor rememberance.
Matt L.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 4:54pm (UTC -6)
I actually took a walk around the block to collect my thoughts before typing this up. Don't know what good it will do me, but hey--worth a shot, right?

First I want to touch on the whole Deus Ex Machina thing. There is a difference between a story that involves the presence/influence of god/gods and a Deus Ex Machina. A Deus Ex Machina should be an impossible situation solved BY the gods or any other inexplicable phenomenon.

This may sound like BSG, but BSG is almost always very careful to leave the actual solution/choice in the hands of the characters.

A good example of this is Starbuck. Yes, she only finds the first Earth thanks to God, BUT in order to do this she is given a choice. She could have chosen to not let go of her life. It was her choice that ultimately allowed them to get to Earth.

Another example, the coordinates to Earth were provided by God in the form of All Along the Watchtower, but it was ultimately up to Starbuck to figure it out.

Yeah, Baltar had been having visions of an angel leading him towards his choice to stay with Galactica. But he could have chosen not to go.

BSG has clear themes of destiny vs freewill and I think these moments are an important part of that theme.

I can't wait until all this bickering is over and people actually want to talk about the show for what it is and not for what they wanted it to be. I don't think anyone here would claim the show has been perfect, but so what? Nothing is. What the show has been is packed with ideas, concepts, themes, character. Even the flaws have a value when it comes to the discussion of a show like this.

I think there's an interesting conversation to be had about, say, colonialism and what the ending means for it. Rather than just--colonialism is bad therefore this show shouldn't feature it in the ending, I can't wait till it is simply accepted that colonialism is a part of the story and should thus be discussed as part of the story and not simply as a mistake. Won't that be more interesting?

So much of the stuff listed as 'wrong' by haters are really just problematic elements that demand analysis.

A good story is jam packed with this stuff. Consider Hamlet. The ghost of Hamlet's father appears and has Hamlet seek revenge on his uncle. Well, that's the simple line at least. However there's a LOT of speculation on things like whether the ghost is who he says he is. Never answered in the play, BTW. In some ways this is just as huge a question as what exactly Starbuck is but you never find out the answer. Was it his father? A demon? I mean, the implications for either answer on the story are huge. But the ambiguity is what makes it interesting and is why the story is still talked about today.

What I really see as I go through a lot of the complaints are people who wanted the story to go their way and refuse to accept it could have gone any other way. What I see are people who want everything answered and tied up with a neat bow at the end. They want the epiphany handed to them, but the show asks them to come to their own conclusions.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 5:10pm (UTC -6)
Curious... What would have happened had Kendra Shaw been able to contact the Pegasus with the message from the Cylon Proto-Hybrid in Razor?

Kara Thrace: "Follow me to Earth! I'm the 'Harbringer of Death'. I will lead humanity to its end. Hey! Where are you going?!!! YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!!!"
Sam B.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 5:52pm (UTC -6)
Well obviously she WAS the harbinger of death.

Just not a glorious, or meaningful death.

Rather, 38,000 colonists dying from alien bacteria, cannibalistic savages, starvation, and a slow lingering, fading out for their culture.

It's funny how some of the viewers think they saw an uplifting ending.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 6:28pm (UTC -6)
They probably survived on Earth just as well as they would have survived on any other planet, and at least there they had a new injection of DNA and new possibilities to breed to keep their race going.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 9:17pm (UTC -6)
I'm a little late to the party here, and it's fascinating to read many of these comments. If nothing else, people are certainly passionate about which side of the fence they're on.

I thought it was greatness. Greatness. I had a couple small issues the first time through (Moore's cameo was a little too prominent, but maybe that's because as a fan, you can't help but notice him; and I initially was a little put off by Kara's being an angel). But a couple more viewings made it grow on me immensely.

Overall, the character moments and ends to the characters' individual stories -- from the flashbacks to the final scenes -- were wonderful. I was a tearful mess several times. I think the flashbacks really helped ultimately inform us about who these people are, and watching it several more times, you just ... man, when you think about what's going to happen to these people over the course of four years ...

Also, I have recently gone back and watched the miniseries and a few other older episodes. I had wondered if knowing how all the mysteries and character arcs finally ended, would it be as much fun to watch now that we've seen the inside of Ron's head?

I found the older stuff resonates even MORE now. And a lot of that has as much to do with the flashbacks as well as the whole work.

I find the arguments re: "giving up technology" in favor of "welcoming disease" interesting, as those things did not occur to me when I was watching it real-time. They're valid arguments. But I just resigned myself to the fact that they wanted a clean slate and we evolved.

In the end, what I'm saying is, even with a few minor quibbles -- and I mean MINOR, because I truly stand by my belief that this was storytelling of the highest order -- I accepted that this is ultimately Moore's story. He told it, and for five to six years -- however long it's been -- I was consistently entertained and consistently challenged to think about the world we live in (sorry, Ron, should you ever see any of these comments here; I know "think about the world we live in" is your trademark, not mine).

It was his story to tell. It was a story I thoroughly enjoyed. It had a rather profound affect on me. I will miss it, and despite any issue I might've had, Moore EARNED the right to tell his story HIS way. Because of everything he and the staff gave me, he earns the right to end it the way he wants to.

Final thought echoed by a few others: It was like real life as far as the religion facet goes. People walk away from horrific car wrecks unscathed. Someone dies after getting hit by a bus just after they've learned their cancer has gone into remission. People live and die. No one ever asks for more concrete answers to why when it happens in real life. We simply talk about fate or a higher power, or God.

I'm not a huge "faith" guy in real life. But the way this series didn't spell everything out, right down to the tiniest detail and left it up to "sometimes you can't explain these things," man, I'm thankful for that. I think having "higher powers" utilized is very true to life.

The most important thing in all of this: It's a work of art. Interpret it how you want to. That's what art is for. Love it. Hate it. But don't be indifferent to it. Everyone's opinions count, but you don't have to subscribe to the ones you don't want to.

Couple small notes: Cottle and Roslin. Awesome.

Hendrix's "Watchtower." Inspired.

Roslin and Adama. Sniff.

Bravo, Ron, David and The Rest. And bravo to Jammer for creating this site.

James R. Chesna
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 2:24am (UTC -6)
Uh, she was lying... to Lee and to herself? That why she needed angel Leoben to spell it out for her.
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 5:04am (UTC -6)
Hi Josh - I also considered that option at first (that Kara is lying to Lee and herself in the flashback) - but as much as I'd like to believe it, it's not written or acted that way...
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 5:07am (UTC -6)
Oh, I'd also like to correct myself from before. The raptors do cause damage when they jump from within Galactica - thanks to those who pointed this out. I didn't notice it at first.

But this makes me question the wisdom of jumping multiple raptors out of a hanger bay, when you know they'll cause severe damage - even in a crunch situation like this. How did they know it wouldn't tear Galactica apart?
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 7:21am (UTC -6)
Seeing the sheer number of comments, it's a pity that Jammer hadn't opened the comment area for previous episodes after they had aired. I am sure we'd have had even more of such interesting discussions on this great site.

I wanna thank Jammer for all the great reviews during the years. His site introduced me to BSG. I was a big Trek fan and I liked reading his DS9 reviews. Not even having heard of Galactica, one day I stumbled upon this new reviewing section on the site. After reading a couple of them, I knew this was going to be a great series. I wasn't disappointed.

I hope that your reviewing days aren't over (except for TNG); perhaps Caprica is next in line?

Good luck and thanks.
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 8:15am (UTC -6)
Something else which struck me: the decision to show flashbacks of Roslin smoking - which a number have people have commented on and linked to her cancer.

Was this an attempt at an anti-smoking message? Was this Ron Moore saying "Look, Roslin got cancer because she SMOKED. So DON'T SMOKE"?

I don't know whether it was, but if so, it doesn't do the character much justice at this late stage. It's essentially saying her cancer is self-inflicted. Have we seen her smoking before (other than in "Islanded")?

Alternatively, it may not have been deliberate and I may be barking up the wrong tree - but I've read quite a few comments elsewhere from people who seem to think it was.
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 10:37am (UTC -6)
Is smoking linked to breast cancer?
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 10:46am (UTC -6)
There is a link (it does increase the risk), but it's much less significant than the link to lung cancer and other cancers of the mouth and airways.
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 11:45am (UTC -6)
I think the smoking played into the overall theme of Daybreak which concerns choice in a deterministic world.

All of this time we assumed cancer was something that happened to Roslin; it was part of her destiny. Then, right at the end, we got to go back and find out that for her destiny to even take shape, she had to make the pivotal choice herself. Even though the metaphysical-entity-formerly-known-as-God had a plan, she still had to carry it out without knowledge of that plan; even if there is a God, we still have to make our choices.
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 1:10pm (UTC -6)
A note about Roslin's smoking, in his podcast, RDM tells us that the decison for Laura to smoke, came from Mary McDonnell herself, so it wasn't originally part of the script. Just a heads up about that.
Samuel Walters
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 1:13pm (UTC -6)
I think the best way to look at the flashbacks -- Roslin's smoking, sleeping with a former student; death of her family by drunk driver; Tigh & Adama drunk at a strip club; Lee's and Kara's drunken near miss; Adama puking on himself; Baltar's rage against his father -- was, at least in part, to show the decadence of pre-Fall Caprica.

In and of itself, the "decadence" explanation is tenuous but otherwise, I really don't think those moments were revelatory enough about the characters themselves to really justify their presence in a finale.
Samuel Walters
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 1:18pm (UTC -6)
Samuel Walters - you have a point. Maybe that's what they were trying to indicate (as much as I disagree with it) - the "decadance" of pre-Fall Caprica, which could only be solved by abandoning technology.
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 1:19pm (UTC -6)
Sorry, that was me, not "Samuel Walters"! Mistyped.
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 10:35pm (UTC -6)
Hello everyone!

After reading this entire discussion, and I mean everything, I just can't help thinking that many people have missed the point of Battlestar Galactica.

This series is not about, and has never been about physics, medical science, space battles (even though they've been fun), etc.

This show is, quite simply, about identity and redemption.

We don't need to have every loose end tied up. I don't need to know what Starbuck was; I'd much rather have my own constructs defining her existence to suit my own ideology and interpretation of the series. This is not Star Trek, where (as enjoyable as Star Trek was), we were spoon fed Roddenbery's naive politically correct extreme humanism. This is not Star Trek, where we ponder the finer points of quantum physics. I don't need everything explained to me, I'd just rather be challenged to think and to explain a few things for myself.

In our own postmodern society, in which ideologies are individual constructs, leaving an unexplained element that for many is the key of interpreting the series as a whole, Starbuck's disappearance is a stroke of genius by RDM.

Furthermore, I disagree that the flashbacks represent decadence. In the end of each flashback, every character delivers a truly noble ans self-validating decision: Lee does not bang his brother's girl, Starbuck backs off, Roslin becomes a public servant, Adama refuses a comfy chair behind a conformist desk with a fat check to achieve selfactualization. These are the decisions that explain why THEY were chosen to survive.

And they survived because they deserved to.

Has anyone notices how the fleet's fortunes started to get better around the acquittal of Baltar? It was the defining moment of the series: humanity did not take the easy way out, they did not find a scapegoat for their faults. Instead they granted forgiveness, and found their own fair share of blame. And suddenly: Starbuck appears, saying she's found earth!

Talk about the grace of God!

There are many examples of this throughout the series (the soldiers of the mutiny turning against Gaeta, his itch disappearing as he repents and accepts his fate, the Galactica liberating New Caprica, in the wake of solidarity among the survivors etc. Sixes and people dying together trying to repair Galacitca, and Starbuck suddenly hears the song) To put it simply, humanity, though it's struggles, and the decisions those struggles influences, created a catharsis, a liberation from the past, a deliverance.

They simply did not deserve to survive in 33.

Now they do, because they've changed. They earned their second chance.

That's what this show is about.
Sun, Mar 29, 2009, 9:25am (UTC -6)
Ooh, nice thinking, particular the Crossroads bit.
Sun, Mar 29, 2009, 11:05am (UTC -6)
to Alex1939
when and where the cycle of violence broken? in the next 150000 years how many genocides and violence did we have? How do you explain that? how many wars? between humans? countless. So the cycle of violence has been always here. As to the confinement in small room when you have the capability to make interstellar travels do you have also the capability making everything you need find resources everywhere and not letting your own people to die from a simple flu listening voices in the air in order as lee did to explore a mountain or as adama did living as a hermit . Kara was an angel? with gun who kills mercillesly the other ? This is nonsense.
Sun, Mar 29, 2009, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
Bravo, H3llbent.
Jack G
Sun, Mar 29, 2009, 2:29pm (UTC -6)
There seems to be an ever growing habit of people online to question everything about anything created in our popular media that for me, only serves to detract from something that is very simple: enjoy the story for what it is, and leave it at that.

Over the last 25 years I've been online, I've seen this chorus of voices only get more and more critical of what was being discussed, that being their interest in a good quality show or movie or book. It's one thing to wonder how something in a show would be different if they'd done this, or to hypothesize what was meant by that, or give an opinion about the artistic qualities of a show... but the trend now seems to be "how I would have done it better."

JMS openly stated his dislike of this kind of thing over 10 years ago during the run of B5. He even stated that his openness to comments and discussions had perhaps negatively impacted his desire to produce any story let a lone a well-thought out and well-executed one. He nearly withdrew from any public discussions of his work because people were starting to only talk about what was wrong instead of actually enjoying his creation.

The reason I even bring this whole thing up is because not only have some of you fallen into this trap about the show in general, you have even started doing the same thing to Jammer, somebody who is REVIEWING the show. Jammer has being doing this for what, 15 years? I remember when I first came upon his reviews, I had been in sort of withdrawal over the exit of another excellent Star Trek reviewer, Timothy Lynch. Jammer was quite young, I believe he was in college at the time, and his reviews weren't the same quality as Tim Lynch's. But over the years, he's grown, he's matured, and there is a quality aspect to his insights that surpass people like Tim. Go back and read some of Jammer's early reviews and then read some of his recent ones. You'll see what I'm talking about. But what is amazing to me is his longevity and willingness to keep everything he's written available to anyone. The fact that he is willing to read these comments and still be positive about writing something HE HASN'T EVEN WRITTEN YET that has already had its credibility questioned shows a lot of dedication and a very thick skin. I would have told several of you to Frak off long ago.

Okay, just two cents on that subject. About the show as a whole, and especially the final episode, well done! The show wasn't perfect but it was incredibly enjoyable. I have started to rewatch it from the beginning. I'm currently in the first season and what is interesting is that I am enjoying it more than I did when I originally saw it. That's the power of a quality product.

But, in the end, like JMS suggested people do after the run of B5, I will put the book back on the shelf and perhaps look at it now and again, but I will move on. All good stories should be like that. I hope you all will do the same.
Sun, Mar 29, 2009, 2:50pm (UTC -6)
to cgal
when and where the cycle of violence broken? in the next 150000 years how many genocides and violence did we have? How do you explain that? how many wars? between humans? countless. So the cycle of violence has been always here. As to the confinement in small room when you have the capability to make interstellar travels do you have also the capability making everything you need find resources everywhere and not letting your own people to die from a simple flu listening voices in the air in order as lee did to explore a mountain or as adama did living as a hermit . Kara was an angel? with gun who kills mercillesly the other ? This is nonsense."

I think you kind of missed the point. 150,000 years later, the cycle of violence (in general) wasn't being debated. I thought this was made quite clear. There will always be conflict in the world. The cycle of violence that they were talking about at the end was, with the growing technology into robots, if humans would create Cylons all over again, causing them to rebel against their masters, thus restarting the cycle of violence again.
Sun, Mar 29, 2009, 3:25pm (UTC -6)
to Ryan
the Behaviour of a human being towards others person is indicative. I will give you an example if in earth like society pepeole kill each other why the should have better attitude toward robots? Lee adama sais in one scene yhat will give something to the native people of this planet somathing positive to his evolution. It is obvious thta this didnt happen. Dont forget that all human history revolves over whoms who question
to be more specific whom rules who. If there was an evolution 150000 is more than enough. It is clear that the writwrs of the episode chose an over simplified solution. look the two angels in the end they speak with such a contempt for our society dis regarding all the development of scinece, of medicine. people live in our todays world have advantages thabn any of ancestors. Why such a contept? the two'Angels' are jealous of our civilazion and they are proud of essentially killing 38000 people. Someone to explain me why our society as angels argue is more corrupted and decadent than the society in 1800s when men died randomly living a poor miserable life. I thing that the daybreak ii missed the essential point the development of a man has to do with his attitude toward his companions. If a man behaves violently and bad to others persons the same will happens towards robots. Its a simple equation. And you dont send 38000 highly developed people to live almost naked in caves in order to break a cycle because this isnt going to happend because simply is un feasipble and every body will be dead in agonizing death in a matter of months.
Greg M
Sun, Mar 29, 2009, 3:43pm (UTC -6)

Thank you for doing these reviews. I've enjoyed reading them, even though I kinda disagree with your rankings of the final ten episodes. I felt this series had a tendency to stall in areas where they needed to "get on with it" but it all ended up working out afterall. It's been a great ride, this series, and I'm looking forward to you returning to write the reviews for TNG (It will be a long time between now and November).

As for this episode, man I can't believe the comments are this popular. Goes to show how big this series was. Personally, I enjoyed it, but it was more for the fact that the series was finally over more than anything else. We've had long hiatus's, slow build up and it's finally great to know how it ended. I really liked it and was satisfied with how they tied everything up. There were still some lingering questions, such as Starbuck, but it all worked out. I'm going to miss some of these characters and this show some. I've been critical about it in the past, and in some instances still am, but overall I'm glad I saw it.
Sun, Mar 29, 2009, 4:07pm (UTC -6)
Jammer: If you are looking for another review project, and you want to keep with the sci-fi theme, I reccomend Whedon's Firefly. It's a phenomenal series, and I would love to hear your views on it.
Sun, Mar 29, 2009, 7:25pm (UTC -6)
What about Lost?
Sun, Mar 29, 2009, 9:47pm (UTC -6)
You guys can repeat as many times as necessary what BSG is about. Characters, faith, redemption, etc. etc. and there are still going to be people who like BSG for the space battles and the mythology. No matter what the human themes are of a show, there's always a portion of the audience that watches for the action and the science fiction.

It doesn't make them shallow, or stupid, or crass, or uncultured, or anything less than you and the rest of the people who comprehend the deeper themes of BSG. It also doesn't make their opinions worthless or their criticism invalid. It just means that different people like different aspects of the show, and that there always will be. Part of Moore's job is trying to satisfy them as well; it's impossible to please everybody, but if you're gonna run a genre show, you should expect to pick up genre junkies. Common sense.

There's a difference between leaving things open to interpretation and failing to resolve a mystery that LOOKED like it was supposed to have a tangible resolution. A corpse in a crashed ship squawking a locator signal...on Earth...right alongside a bunch of other mysteries that DID get solid answers...with a bunch of clues and information floating around that might tie into it...that's the sort of setup that looks like it's supposed to end in closure, not existential ambiguity.

If Moore wanted people to interpret Starbuck's resurrection for themselves, he should have made her return more abstract, less circumstantial, a la returning her to Lee's quarters a la the first draft of "Crossroads, Part II". Then you can swing with the wind if you want. But instead fans got what looked like a crossword puzzle without a solution, and all the clues floating around got left without much of a reason to be. If he just wanted it to be backstory and food for thought, that's his choice and that's fine, but he should have PRESENTED it that way from the beginning.

Don't get down on people because they want answers. They're just different from you, and they were certainly given expectations. I don't think that's too much to point out.
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 12:02am (UTC -6)

Somehow, I feel this comment is pointed towards me... :-)

My opinion is just that, it's MY opinion. I didn't force it on anyone, and I didn't mean to offend anyone, in fact, there was nothing offensive in my post. If anything, I wanted to contribute to the discussion.

I will not apologize to anyone for disagreeing with them. We're all grown ups, and we should be able to disagree without accusing each other of being disrespectful towards each others feelings.

I never said that people that watched the show exclusively for action were stupid; there's nothing wrong with enjoying the amazingly choreographed and directed action sequences, as well as the outstanding, movie level CGI that Battlestar have given us week after week. If people choose to watch the show for the action, that's their choice, and it's a good one: I think Battlestar has been second no none in this department. Enjoying BSG for action is rewarding to many, and that's OK.

But you mentioned that it's somehow RDM's job to cater to everyone.

It is not.

If you end up trying to pleasing everyone, you end up pleasing no one. True, this is a genre show, and attracts Sci-Fi aficionados among others (i.e, not exclusively, which is a great asset of this show). But you can not cater to them, cater to the Star Trek fans, cater to the space battle casual viewer, and to those seeking a deep storyline. If you do that you basically end up with a mess: you've compromised the plot, by throwing in action that doesn't advance the narrative, you've thrown in techno babble that doesn't do anything for the plot, and you've sacrificed valuable time to explain plot points and substories to amuse those that see the characters as cardboard cutouts.

And you're left with Andromeda or Voyager.

RDM's job was to produce and write a show the way he thought it should be done. And if, somehow, you think that he should've explained something to you at the expense of his own satisfaction with the show, then... Mate, you're not the only viewer out there.

Now, about the question of Kara Thrace....

Listen, if it seemed to you like certain things LOOKED like they needed a tangible solution, that doesn't mean that it LOOKED THAT WAY TO ME. Opinions are relative.

Just because you saw Kara Thrace this way, don't project your opinion on everyone else. You accuse me of being condescending ("Getting down on them") of the casual viewer, but at the same time you lay out a plan of what should have been done. By following you "plan", what would have been accomplished? We would know that she was dead, she was a apparition etc.

And then Battlestar would lose the very subtlety in storytelling that made it unique in Sci-Fi. It would become Voyager or Andromeda, spoon feeding us the reality of the situation as if we were idiots.

Also, any mystery surrounding Starbuck's existence would be distinguished. This mystery represented a vital plot device: it was this ambiguity that forced Starbuck to accept her fate, whatever the circumstances surrounding her existence may be. I, for one, enjoyed watching her struggle with this, week after week. Katee Sackhoff is a truly a phenomenal actress.

In concluding, I don't care if people want answers or not. I just think that, as much as we enjoy the show, we shouldn't be so heavily emotionally invested in it. Everyone had their own idea of the final episode, everyone had the final scenes play out in their heads many times. Even I did. And it didn't play out like we imagined it. So what? If it did, that means that the evil leprechauns that live in my head are selling my ideas to RDM.

Little green bastards!

So, please, we can agree to disagree, but don't feel called out if someone doesn't agree. According to the polls at Sci-Fi, and all the people I know that enjoy Battlestar (none of which enjoy Sci-Fi, in fact, most of them think of watching an episode of Star Trek unbearable), you don't represent the majority.

As for me, I represent me.

End of line.
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 3:08am (UTC -6)
I don't understand the sense of entitlement that so many TV viewers have. RDM was telling a story and we watched it for FREE! In the end, if he is any kind of artist he was telling the story because he wanted it to be told and we had the joy of taking part in it. He didn't try to divine what would make the viewers happy and he shouldn't have. It's not a democracy! It's art and it's entertainment. I'm glad I experienced it at all, even the parts that I'm not satisfied with.
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 5:16am (UTC -6)
I enjoyed it mostly and was reasonably satisfied but then again I had low expectations for what was to come and kinda treated it more like 'well better get this over with' than (my own) true series fulfillment that I've felt before (not meaning to sound negative, just stating the truth).
I liked the second earth reveal and didn't think all that much about it and kinda prefer not to, and liked the starbuck disappearing act since it just felt right. everything going to hell when tyrol found out the truth was awesome and i actually feared the worst for everyone. it seemed like it was following the same route as when lee and d'anna brokered their truce, all the way back when, but immediately 180 degrees-ed and then poor old racetrack nuked them all. frak! i can't help feeling sam got shafted a little, though can't fault the story, just my own displeasure since he was my favourite character. i wonder how trucco felt pruning in the tank spouting the gobbledygook all day. actually probably not that bad.
I'd downloaded this so parts of it I just fast forwarded through, which was mostly the flashbacks but some of the present stuff. Yeah it bored me and felt redundant and superfluous but true to the series (not a bad thing I'm saying, just not my thing). I can't fault ron moore since after listening to podcasts where he talks about how in the editing room he likes lingering on scenes and giving the character extra emphasis rather than plot. But I've never been completely enamoured by some of his choices.
while it looked gorgeous, had some great character bits, action, suspense, it felt a little weird and uneven and unfulfilling and i can't really figure out why. but at the end of the day to me, that was the ups and downs of galactica. not perfect but definitely thought provoking and for that i am thankful.
Joe Doe
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 5:37am (UTC -6)
Well, between all this coments I forgot to thank Jammer for his work in this site, and hope we´ll hear more from him in the future :)
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 9:31am (UTC -6)
I thought the finale tied everything up pretty well for the show. I didn't know if they were going to find a second Earth or not, but I'm glad the show didn't have a bleak ending, as we have had enough of that already.

However, there were a couple of things that bugged me. As for the Colonials abandoning technology, I'm all for it, but I wish it was just handled a little better. And as for Starbuck, I have no problem with her vanishing into thin air. It seems that she is a ghost or an angel sent to guide humanity to Earth. I didn't need a force-fed explanation of who she was.

With that said, the issue of Starbuck really bugged, not because of not being told what she was, but because several key details weren't explained. I never thought Starbuck was the Daniel Cylon, or that she was the daughter of Daniel. However, things like Starbuck painting the Eye of Jupiter years before ever hearing about it. Or her father teaching her the "All Along the Watchtower" song when she was a young girl.

Those were the things that I wanted explained, because since season one, Starbuck's destiny has been a big issue. So, she died and was resurrected as an angel to guide everyone to Earth. Fine! But I just wish things about her "destiny" were explained, especially how she came to know a song that was played by Anders on Earth several thousand years before she was even born.
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 9:34am (UTC -6)
A good example of respecting history is the Star Trek an good analogy. Picard a man of his age never would have to abandon his civilization because he knows that many generations died for his creation and his thriving. Adama on the opposite side betrayed the civilization and was his gravedigger. When you build something you must defend, to the last drop of blood. They made a 4 years trip defending it. An then total resignation, why? They succumb to fatigue of the travel i dont think show. I think the best answer to battlestars galactica finale is the last scene in the stars war movie episode iv in which we can see how marvelously, mysticism, humor, and proud are intermixed with a sense of history. Adama rejected the entire history of his tribe and like an afraid child drop it all in order to stare the mountains.Its a shame this, and not honorable.
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 12:40pm (UTC -6)
This is my first time on this forum, so please forgive me and bear with me as I flesh out my views of Daybreak 2.

I have followed BSG since the beginning. I appreciated its realism, its dark but true view of humanity, and its characters. It really fit the tone in light of 9/11.

However, I am not so much disappointed but really dismayed by how it ends, much less 4.5. I thought there would be more to it. There are some things that I thought were natural and right and some things that weren't.

Head-6 and Head-Baltar: they are RDM's "ship of light". No big deal. Accepted.

Starbuck: no big deal here.

Earth 2: what the frak? What was the point of Earth-1 and "the constellations are a match". Tiny point but I do pay attention. Also, there were primitive humans on Earth-2? I thought BSG's humanity was the ONLY humanity. Oh well. And they just willingly gave up technology. Don't buy it. And it takes 150,000 years for us to get to modern day.

However, I think the most disheartening point, and this may step on a few toes, was this: I've seen it before. I thought and thought and then it hit me: DS9! So much of BSG is just DS9 re-packaged. That's it!

Starbuck returning to Heaven...Sisko becoming a Prophet.

Aging battlestar...aging space station

Cylon skinjobs...Changelings

Athena being a rebel Cylon...Odo

Lee Adama going from fighter to political figure...Kira Nerys does the same thing

Attack on "The Colony"...end of the Dominion War

Alliance with Rebel Cylons...alliance with Rebel Cardassians

In academics they would throw out the charge of "self-plagiarism". I'm not making the accusation but it is treading VERY close to it. Please don't crucify me, but this is my opinion. I'm one of those who watched BSG to THINK and this is where it has led me to.

However, BSG is way above what else is on TV these days and I still love it. I appreciate it for what it is and what it still will be.
Ryan B
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 2:04pm (UTC -6)
I want to make it clear that I'm a different Ryan, though I was the first one here. The post by Ryan on March 29th, the one that began "to cgal" was not me, nor have any Ryan posts been since. Everything that preceded that message was me, Ryan B.

I hate having such a frakking common name.
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 2:10pm (UTC -6)
This post is originally attributed to 'Punchface' on the Sci-fi forum, but I think it sums up the best of the critiques that I've yet read:

The technology is the main point for obvious reasons.

We all die. Our lives are things of greatness and beauty, or they are things of pettiness and ugliness. Regardless, we die. We are not here for long....

...but our works. The works of our hearts and minds, our knowledge, our wisdom, our artifice, these are things that shape the universe and are passed on from generation to generation.

In the absence of the divine taking an active hand in the the management of things, we are alone. We are "forlorn" as the existentialists would say. Because of it, we are the "measure of all things" as Da Vinci said.

With no god to love us or guide us (or with only Ron Moore's capricious and amoral God), we crawl forward slowly but surely. God will not secure goodness and righteousness in this universe and so, for goodness' sake, we must do so. God will not save our souls and so for the sake our souls, we must do so. God will not grant us heaven because there is no heaven and so heaven's sake, for OUR sake, we must make a heaven of this universe.

It is with our knowledge that we move toward the goals. We can not shoot lightening bolts out of our arses nor bring new life to that which is dead but we CAN use the works of our minds, hands, and hearts to create, to invent, to extend our dominion over this universe. We bring ourselves physical comfort and free ourselves from material need and want that we might spend our time becoming wiser or at least more content. We gather in cities that our ideas and communication and commerce might flourish and so our children and our old and our sick are protected from harm by law and by numbers.

These are the ways that we the forlorn, we the sheep with no shepard, make meaning of all things. In this real world that we live in, it is all that we have.

In the world of Battlestar Galactica, it was all that the 13 tribes had as well...though Ron Moore might see other things as more important.

But the majority of his fans are forward-looking secular humanists (which is pretty much what all sci-fi fans are) and to them, the actions of the 13 upon arriving at their Deus Ex Machina planet are an unbearable tragedy on the one hand, and utterly and completely out of step with everything else that the story has ever said or done.

Mrs Ron, your man is so very good at creating moments with emotional resonance, it truly is his forte' such, Caprica will likely be full of these tempting moments where we are invited, we are coaxed with great skill and talent, into loving those people, those tribes of Kobol all over again, and, their works, shining tall and proud in the day while glittering like neon jewels at night. Caprica will pain such a picture of a people vibrant and powerful...

...but I'll not be able to love them or their lives and their cities and their art and their 12 worlds, I'll not be able to because there is no hope for them. Their ship is sinking and in the end, the survivors, will, as a group, simply abandon the life rafts to drown in the cold waters of ignorance and savagery. A fate worse than death for death is a punctuation mark on a life whereas ignorance is a punctuation mark for an entire way of life, an entire civilization.

The Cylon bombs did their jobs, the only irony in that is that in the end, those bombs had also obliterated the droppers as well as those who were dropped upon.
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 2:54pm (UTC -6)
I am a sci-fi fan, but I am NOT a secular humanist... and I don't see the two as inherently, diametrically opposed.

God, gods, "Higher Power" (tm), luck, fate, destiny, sychronicity, the Force, Deus Ex Machina, doesn't really bother me... much.

It's how they are used that counts. Perhaps, a good many of BSG fans are secular humanists. I don't think anyone would argue that for better or worse, "religious" beliefs is part of what defines us as humans. Whether or not we believe in something other than ourselves... we all believe something.

Now, if that "religious something" is used to add depth to a character, further a plot, lay the ground work parameters for future scenes and interactions - that's great!

If that "religious something" is used as an "easy out" or solution to a built up situation in which the characters can not overcome or find a solution for... then that's not so great.

Imagine how annoying, and weak the series would have been, if in every tight situation, President Roslin and Elosha just prayed the trouble away... and it went away?

For example: The fleet is running out of tylium. The cylons have a large base on the only source. Dear Lords of Kobol, please make the Cylons go away. So say we all. *** Poof! *** Yay! We have all the Tylium we'll ever need!

Versus: Gaius, you are God's hand. Lee, place your missiles here. That should destroy the base.
Starbuck, looks like you have been fated to sit this one out. I don't believe in luck or the gods, I believe in my son.

Beliefs, whether or not founded in hard science, statistics, gut instinct, or religious beliefs, all have their place, and they all disappoint us in one way or another or they completely surprise us. That's life. That's drama. That's BSG.

Now... about those awesome space battles...

Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 3:58pm (UTC -6)

I can't believe this is the end. After this review, what are you going to do next? Stargate Universe?! (I'm joking). I'm not sure what's out there at this time, so, heh, I don't have any concrete ideas for you for a new sci-fi show.

Caprica, perhaps, but I'm sure you'll think it over for a while before deciding. Looking forward to reading your review on the finale, hope it's a long one.

I'll hold back my comments until you post something, but I will say this: this finale made me feel happy, sad, hopeful, and everything in between. And that's something special.
Greg M
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 4:50pm (UTC -6)
I hope the next thing Jammer reviews is TNG. He still has Seasons 5-7 to work on. ;)
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 4:55pm (UTC -6)
First time poster, long time reader, ha! But seriously,

I will be brief, no need to cover the same grounds. I just wanted to throw my two cents worth in. BSG redeemed sci-fi for me. I have been a lifelong devotee to Star Trek, only to be betrayed by Enterprise, my joy in the star wars universe was greatly diminished by those awful movies. Stargate provides a happy medium, but with only occasional brilliance. Indeed, Firefly was probably the coolest sci-fi out there, until Fox pulled the plug.
I was done, I was over it. I was ready to walk away and not even give BSG a shot.
Then holy god, The mini-series came out. Followed by episodes like, “33.” The actions was real, it was believable, I felt like this universe could happen. For four seasons I feel like I have schlepped up the same war torn battlegrounds, shared in their triumphs and took the bitter solace of friends under tragedy. Pegasus smashing into those baseships was frakking awesome, and the most awesome visual display i had ever seen on TV, or really anywhere. When Earth was found I cheered, and when it was found dead, I felt crushed.
Because it made sense. Because Life isn’t pretty, prophecies aren’t perfect. The whole picture revealed as the thirteenth tribe’s secret was known. I bought it hook, line and sinker. The hallucinations could have been a dozen different things, I can even buy God’s divine will interceding. The signs to Kobol, the eye, the nebula were all based on ancient legend and thus, it made sense to follow it, and they got there, to Earth. Kara didn’t lead them to their deaths, she lead them to humanities graveyard. (at least that’s the best i can parce it out)
Roslin losing faith and burning the texts, mutinies, and shortages, the decrepit Galactica keening in the whorls, all of them were palpable and one hundred percent believable. God doesn’t do the burning bush thing to much anymore, and for me to buy Gods involvement is asking me to believe he was actually pushing buttons, and telling people to shoot here, and go there. that isn’t the big guys style.

It seems the technobabble button pushing, eleventh hour miracle bullhockey was all saved until the last moment. I wont even go into 40,00 people agreeing to live without water purifiers, basic medicine and emergency relief from natural disasters scattered across an unknown world with unknown species toxins contaminants and no methods of fabrication or mineral processing and sure lets ram our fleet into the sun to tidy up all the problems and send a ship of self-thinking robot terrors free to roam the galaxy and if this feels like a run-on sentence then you should know that’s how i feel about the resolution. Like one big “and they all lived happily ever after.”

So, my solution, and if you read this far, Hello!:
Is to not regard the second half of daybreak as the true ending. The colony attack happens, Galactica breaks down. The fleet is still without a home, but they are all alive and together. end it however your imagination suits you. Just remember, Cavil can have many copies left, so the enemy is still a threat. Personally, If Kara was an angel incarnate, I would have her die a natural death alone in the woods or something, the vanishing was just… troubling. The cylons in orbit would act as sentry against the still remaining cylon enemies out there. The fleet would remain in orbit and the ships used to construct housing and settlements with a rudimentary primitive society. Eventually the vessels would reach shut down points and be scrapped for resources. The fleet itself could remain and function just fine for all the people incapable of surviving out in the sticks, (of which there would be many). I didnt write the show, Ron Moore did, and he did a great job.
Like I said, I will keep this short.
I didn’t buy the ending, it wasn’t believable, and that’s my bit, thanks for reading.
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 5:28pm (UTC -6)
Aussie - I feel your pain. Those are good suggestions.

It beggars belief that once they finally found a home and were free of the Cylon threat, the colonials would choose to abandon the very civilisation they've spent the last 4 years fighting to preserve. All that was physically left of colonial civilisation was sent into the Sun. For 4 years these people desperately fought for survival, and yet now they put their survival at risk by choosing to live in the wild, with no technology, on a habited alien planet. Think of the huge rifts we've seen in the fleet before - most recently as a result of the Cylon alliance. And now a throwaway line of dialogue about the "desire for a clean slate" is supposed to convince us that everyone was happy about settling Earth with no technology? Based on the show's history and the way the fleet has reacted to other controversial decisions, there would have been another rebellion.

The fact that the piano from Joe's bar has now presumably been flown into the Sun, along with Anders and everything else, demonstrates what has been lost.

And then there's the matter of the rebel base star with the Centurions on board, left free to roam the galaxy. What if there's a difference of opinion on board between the Centurions, leading to a coup, and resentful Centurions with a different agenda take control, return, and wipe everyone out on Earth 2? Didn't anyone think of that?
Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 9:29pm (UTC -6)
Thanks for everyone's comments. I enjoyed reading them. I was surprisingly satisfied with the "it was God" explanation. It was really the only way to answer the mysteries, and I think the execution was pretty dramatic and entertaining. I guess my only problem with it was the same problem I have with most religious beliefs. Why would God go through all of those machinations? He must love to toy with his creations.
Tue, Mar 31, 2009, 3:16am (UTC -6)
Quote:" They simply did not deserve to survive in 33.
Now they do, because they've changed. They earned their second chance"
Did they really deserved a second chance? As someone else allready told in the 150000 years after their arrival on earth the wars and genocides are countless. And after 150000 years did they really changed anything in their society? no they have done the same things as in the 12 colonies! Perhaps the meaning was exactly that: that allthough we had a second chance we are doing the same mistakes all over again as it was stated in the final discussion between six and baltar and if we'll continue this way the end will be the same. So perhaps "Roddenbery's naive politically correct extreme humanism" is not so naive after all perhaps it is our only solution for the future. And if we 'll fail we allready know what our end will be
Tue, Mar 31, 2009, 3:32am (UTC -6)
And what exactly was the menaing of all these religious hints in the episode? I want to be clear on that : my problem is not if this power behind all the story was god or the universe or anything else.My problem was the indirect but nonetheless clear hints about a power that orchestrates our lifes. So there is no free will?
we don't have any power to influence our future? becouse if it is so the result is a rather ironic consequence: if our actions are the result of a power that lies beyond us then neither the humans nor the cylons were responsible for their actions!! someone said that allthough such a power that orhestrated everything exists we still have the responsibility of change. But that is absurd! if my action is orhestrated then it is not me the one who decides.It would be different if this power just gives us the choices and then let us decide. but that was not the case. And why this power after it has done all this in the end left humanity to decide what will do? Perhaps this power got bored!!??
i'm afraid that the end of BSG was just a mix of cheap social science and philosophy. It would be better if the series was ended in the destruction of both humans and cylons. even if the "revelations" was the end it would be better.
Tue, Mar 31, 2009, 3:36am (UTC -6)
Perhaps the only good thing in this ending was the final dscussion between six and baltar: all this happened before and most propably will hapen again but there is a (slim) chance that it will not.
Tue, Mar 31, 2009, 11:48am (UTC -6)
This is written off the top of my head. Honest feedback and elaboration are welcome.

I can't take credit for originating the theory below, I'm just running with it.

Having stewed over the finale for awhile I can say that BSG ran out of time before being able to wrap things up and the writers had no answers to the vast numbers of questions they faced at the end.

The clues are in Starbuck's paintings of the gas giant with the Ships of Light, like those in the original BSG.

I suspect that had we gotten a Season 5, the writers could have explained Starbuck's ressurection by having her reborn on a Ship of Light and facing "higher beings" who give her the coordinates to Earth via clues ["Watchtower"/colors]

Heck, once the Ship of Light visit is established, you've broken from deus ex machina because as original series fans know the Ship of Light mythology was based on a more evolved human- a human who had broken the cycle of karma through selflessness, as opposed to Count Iblis who used his evolved status to gather worshippers. I see some of the possibilities with Baltar's "cult", Kara Thrace as a harbringer and even the hybrids as avatars of this evolved intelligence who can tap into the higher-order thinking that involves the Ships of Light.

Along with these story arcs or themes fans could finally get into the meat of the mythology- a discussion of:

the unitary nature of God [are Cylons closer to God than Colonials?],

karma and breaking the cycle of karma through free will [is that the lesson that the Final Five were trying to impart before they moved on to the other side? Is that what Anders tapped into at the end?]

and ultimately questions of good vs. evil [were the Cylons evil for rebelling? were the Colonials evil for creating something they intended for slavery? Do good and evil even matter?]-

the big questions that were so abruptly spoken to at the very end of the Finale in a fashion that seemed to warn more about building dancing robots than breaking the cycle of violence and hate.

That's the missed opportunity I see and it's why I can still appreciate what the showrunners did while being disappointed.
Tue, Mar 31, 2009, 8:15pm (UTC -6)
I'll accept the ending RDM gave us using God and angels to answer the questions brought up through the years. I don't LIKE a lot of it, but I'll accept it. However, I doubt I would have tolerated a whole season of the mysticism you propose.

EJO is on record threatening to walk the moment aliens appeared in the story, and IMHO your "Ship of Light" and "higher beings" are perilously close. I probably would have walked at that point. That is just not the ride I signed on for back at the miniseries. I definitely would not be looking to make ties to those aspects of the mythology of the TV series.
Tue, Mar 31, 2009, 8:34pm (UTC -6)
Check this out (LOL) ...
Daniel Lebovic
Tue, Mar 31, 2009, 9:58pm (UTC -6)
Often a critic, trying to be kind to a movie or show he doesn't like, uses the phrase "The movie/show earns an A for effort, but ultimately comes up short." (Remember when all of those critics who savaged Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" made EXTRA sure, while trashing the movie, to say, "I defer to no one in my appreciation of Kubrick's brilliance, it's just that this effort didn't quite work."

I'm not going to employ this line of argumentation, firstly because 1) so many others, especially those on this site, have used the "A for effort" argument (many of the rest who were critical of the finale simply said what all would-be writers said, "The writing sucked." What was it that Shaw said about doing and teaching?), and 2) the argument is nonsense.

"Daybreak" - the whole three hours of it-was a terrific achievment (especially for a final episode of a series: quick - name five great shows that are indisputably considered to have had a great last episode? Ummm... M*A*S*H*, Newhart, maybe St. Elsewhere, maybe The Sopranos, maybe "Sex and the City"... you see my point): the episode, which had the dramatic and visual sweep of a movie, so I will refer to it as one, served the purpose of wrapping up revelations, resolutions, and of being a valedictory - an entertaining one at that.

The flashback sequences, which have been savaged by some folks here, were almost uniformly terrific. The attacks don't even rise to the levle of argument, really ("Why did they save the flashbacks to the end?" is like asking why Adama grew a mustache in "Lay Down Your Burdens Part II," but since we're on the point, the flashbacks, I think, were provided in a manner and timing aimed at making us think about all the characters had lost over four - or in some cases, many more - years; about what some characters (Lee and Kara) never truly had; and about providing resolutions to loose ends (now we finally know whom Baltar thought he was helping, and why he was helping that person, when he let her access the defense grid. The series' signature theme, "All of this has happened before...," was also given another iteration, this time a poignant one, as we see in the flashbacks that Ellen and Sol will never truly be happy, which makes the final scene with them all the more sad. The scenes involving Adama's interrogation remind us not only that he believes in his own moral code, but that he sticks to it, and simply asks of others: either follow me on board, or don't. No compromises.")

So, the movie wrapped up the giving of relevations - we now know the full dimensions of the walking tragedy that was Laura Roslin; that a single moment, frozen in time, doomed a Lee-Kara relationship, etc. Did we really learn how Kara Thrace would come to be the destruction of the human race? No, I suppose, but I find it odd that people who criticized that prophecy as silly storytelling now complain we did not receive a conventional payoff - i.e. Kara's role in a destruction of the human race wasn't diagrammed for us. She DID lead the Fleet to Earth, and before that, humans did not breed with Cylons (sans Helo and Athena); after she led the fleet to Earth, such breeding - and therefore destruction in a manner of speaking - occurred, as the relevation of "Mitochondrial Eve" implied (although I do have a question: how, over the course of 150,000 years, did humans not somehow leave behind traces of their Cylon genetic properties that later anthropologists could detect?)

As far as the entertainment/dramatic/aesthetic/kinesthetic properties of the movie, the episode was probably the best filmed along these lines; the dogfights were as entertaining and well-choreographed as any I've seen on this show; Bear McCreary's music, which could have gone all TOS on us at points (not that this is necessarily a bad thing) was eloquently restrained, and Michael Rymer's direction-his handling of mise en scene- especially in the sequences where the characters on Earth, as we say goodbye to them, project an almost ethereal presence, is quite impressive.

The plot itself? By this point in time, either you "bought into" (meaning either cared for and/or understoood the BSG mythology) or you did not; for those who bought into it, plot developments and dialogue made sense and were intriguing; for those who did not buy into it... Well, it must have been tough. Mythology matters aside, the episode was well-paced (if you like multple, LOTR:ROTK endings, you may very well have liked the last half-hour here, if not, well, it must have been tough) and moved.
About the last half hour: I am still haunted about it. Not because the final events depicted what could be seen as one more cruel twist of fate, but merely because the events were.... final. (Take the 3 LOTR episodes, for example. I've never been so sad to see a movie end, as I was with ROTK, for the simple fact that it....ended). The characters reached Earth, only to become part of its history, all in a matter of fifteen minutes (some, like Lee, presumably died alone, as did his father, whose final scenes with Laura were so beautifully played). The best compliment one can pay a visual entertainment is to say that its characters have become real people to the viewer. I actually thought, when the show was over, about how each character might have lived, and then died, after they all went their separate ways. The way they were all left to scatter - something that provided them with immense freedom - was something that may have provided some with immense loneliness at the same time. I can't shake the image of not knowing what the final images of these characters would end up being.

I suppose the one major relevation (certainly the one that's come in for the biggest criticism) is that Kara Thrace was.... well, I'm not sure what she was. The show has always been a little protean - it's never limited itself to being about JUST science fiction, JUST religion, JUST about faith versus science... Faith led the characters to a visualization of Earth, then to its nuclear-scarred remains.. In the context of the overarching plot lines and character arcs of the show, the notion of Kara as an angel made sense in that the notion did not violate the series' own internal logic, and made flesh what had often been thematically abstract previously.

Truly a great ending. It was hard enough for me even when the mediocre "Star Trek Voyager" and "Enterprise" met with their demise. "SyFy" has decided that yet another iteration of Stargate is a better way to engage our viewing needs than another year of one of the best series ever. It was great-truly great-while it lasted, and there will never be anything like it again.
Daniel Lebovic
Tue, Mar 31, 2009, 10:08pm (UTC -6)

Your comments about not catering to the viewer were quite well-stated. A writer/director/creator's job is to develop art, not to have the question of what art is decided by committee or popularity contest. Whatever flaws there were with RDM's storytelling, when a talented writer does things, with talent, in the Frank Sinatra way, I am never happier. The armchair critic will never go out of business as long as furniture stores exist, and, well, perhaps you are aware of the phrase "Opinions are like ______. Everyone's got one." Once in a blue moon, someone dissatisfied by a popular entertainment, instead of merely complaining, becomes inspired to be a writer to add something to the artistic process. Others, knowing (or perhaps not knowing enough to know) that they can never write for episodic television (myself included), can either sit back and criticize, or try to criticize something on its own terms, not on how close that something came to fulfilling one's own capricious (pun intended?) expectations. Dooing the latter is much harder, but much more rewarding.
Tue, Mar 31, 2009, 11:48pm (UTC -6)

I'm amazed that anyone can consider "the Soprano's" finale amazing. It's the worst all time for me. Newhart- that was genius!

I enjoyed your rather long post, otherwise.
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 12:26am (UTC -6)
i don't think that anyone here criticizes RM for not fullfiling everyone's "own capricious expectations". And personally i didn't critisized Daybreak as a work of art. As a work of art was great.But BSG was a tv series with a content and a message(es). And it is the final twist of this message(es) that i found problematic. That doesn't change the fact that it was a great series.
Alexey Bogatiryov
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 12:49am (UTC -6)
@Jammer Good April Fool's joke Jammer but I knew something was up when there were no stars on the page!

Don't worry about pissing anyone off, you can't possibly write anything that could upset me more than your Star Trek V review.

P.S: Onion is very funny:
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 12:55am (UTC -6)
My gods, this has got to be the best April Fools Day "plot twist" I've seen in recent years. After all the years (almost 30 in my case), you can usually see right through the attempted joke, but this one is so smartly done... I didn't know whether to curse Jammer or applaud his brave chice of ending the reviews Soprano-style.

Aaaah... You made my day.
Sarah Mae
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 1:41am (UTC -6)

Well played, Jammer. Well played. Part of me wants to advise you to just keep it like this. Let the comments stew. But the finale is, for better or worse, the sort of piece you can't NOT have an opinion about, so I admit I'm looking forward to reading your real one.

As for the finale itself: was it everything I wanted? No. Was it an entertaining three hours of TV? Yes. It was both artistically frustrating, provocative and - partially, not completely - satisfying, which isn't something one can say about most television programs.

I liked the "On the Watchtower" coda, but I'm a sucker for that sort of slyness (I'm one of *those* people that like it, and you'll never please both us and *those* people that don't go for that loathe those dramatic winks).

I hated the non-destiny of Starbuck, though I understand the dramatic point they were trying to make.

I'm going to need to watch it again to fully form my opinion of it. There was a lot to think about there. Again that, in itself, is an achievement in the TV landscape.

You were good, show. Well played.
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 2:06am (UTC -6)
3am and I've already fallen for an April Fools joke, something I've prided myself on never falling for in my 19 years on this planet.

Curse you Jammer! CURSE YOU I SAY
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 3:06am (UTC -6)
Jammer, you were sooooo close to being on everyone's shit list for eternity... glad you pulled out of that nosedive.
Ian Whitcombe
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 3:29am (UTC -6)
It seems like Jammer is perhaps upset with the open-ended nature of the finale, and used this April Fools as a meta-commentary on Moore's own stance about ambiguity.

Interesting food for thought.
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 3:31am (UTC -6)
I've only been awake for an hour and a half, and I've already been April-fooled twice.

Very good.
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 3:54am (UTC -6)
Pity there will be an actual review later, because this one is certainly unique and would have been a great exit for Jammer himself, too.

Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 3:57am (UTC -6)
Damn it Jammer, you fooled me frakkin' good with this one. The more I read of this entry, the more I was disappointed...but the ending was worth it. I can't wait for your REAL review, but you should know this was your best April Fools' prank ever. Now, don't do it again!
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 3:58am (UTC -6)
Holy shit! That was brilliantly conceived. I so totally fell for it. Not only that, but I actually kind of liked the notion of just leaving it at that.
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 5:52am (UTC -6)
I think your reading a bit too much into his joke. That being said, had Jammer been serious it hardly would have been a worthy ending to his years of reviewing this series- more like a grand act of last minute cowardice! We all know he has an opinion and it's no fair for him to try to weasel his way out of sharing it!
Ryan B
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 6:22am (UTC -6)
Evil, scary, evil, scary and EVIL!!!

You frakkin got me though....nicely done.
Latex Zebra
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 8:51am (UTC -6)
Very amusing. Jammer can't stop reviewing yet. He still has 3 series of TNG and a new Trek movie to review. ;o)
Jason K
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 9:31am (UTC -6)
Countless years reading this site (from the old days), from DS9 thru Voyager, Enterprise and BSG and I've been fooled every April first. I don't know if it's a credit to your writing ability, or I'm just that frakkin' dumb....

Like the finale, up to you to decide :)

Nice one, Jammer
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 10:15am (UTC -6)
You got me :)
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 10:15am (UTC -6)
well played, sir.
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 1:31pm (UTC -6)
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 1:55pm (UTC -6)
Wow. I'll go out on a limb here and say I wish your April Fool's joke was real. Not because I don't love your reviews (I do), but because what you wrote was...moving. It may be a joke, but I think you summed up the Battlestar experience better than any full, starred review could have.

"Last-minute cowardice"? Hardly. But then I share Moore's love of ambiguity.
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 2:00pm (UTC -6)
You have taken the coward's way out, Jammer.

"Leave it up to public opinion"? If everyone is right, no one is wrong....and we lose all meaning.

When you took command of these men you took responsibility for you're just going to walk away and tell them to make up their own...AFTER you PROMISED to provide leadership?

We need a new REvolution.

Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 2:47pm (UTC -6)
Lol, Jammer, you had me fooled all the way through your mock review. I had actually accepted what you said about choosing not to properly review the episode. I guess I'm a bigger fool than I realise.

Look forward to your actual review. For the record, I was satisified with the finale, and I'd give it 4 stars easily. It actually felt like an ending that requires no kind of continuation, though I realise there is 'The Plan' coming up, but that's a prequel.

I'm less enthusiastic about the 'Caprica' series now that I know where these Humans are in the context of history, but I guess it could be interesting to learn a little bit more about the 12 colonies before they were destroyed.
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 4:42pm (UTC -6)
I'll be writing my own review ( in due course, but allow me to toss off a couple of insider-esque observations.

1) If I was listening correctly, didn't Chief Tyrol in essence tell the Tighs that he was moving to Scotland? Might that not make him Montgomery Scott's 6008x great grandfather?

2) In the very last words of dialogue between the Six and Baltar angels (or whatever), Six speculates that our civilization might not repeat the mistakes of its predecessors. Baltar replies, "Since when did you become an optimist?" Six answers by citing the statistical inevitabilities of the "cycle" breaking eventually, and adds, "That, too, is God's plan."

Baltar snorts. "You KNOW he doesn't like to be called that."

My reaction: The Cylon "god" is....Ronald D. Moore. A subtle "world as myth" page taken from Robert Heinlein's last "Future History" novel, "To Sail Beyond The Sunset".

Kind of a nice, quiet, little self-satirical wave to all the BSG fans who came to take the show WAY too seriously over the course of its run as it, too, "sails beyond the sunset."
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 5:56pm (UTC -6)
You saucy son of a bitch. April fools, indeed. I fell for it, because it actually seemed a reasonable response! :D

Well played, sir.
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 5:58pm (UTC -6)
@anotherskinjob: Whoops, didn't mean to ape your verbiage there; wrote that before going over the responses. :D
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 8:12pm (UTC -6)

Now post a review.
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 9:56pm (UTC -6)
Ha Jammer - would have been very cool of you to bow out Thrace-esque as described... but as a joke it's even better!

The Finale- my two cents worth:
What really got me about the series was the intense focus on human relationships. Awesome space battles and atmosphere, but in the end it was the level of writing and direction and especially performance that made almost every episode like going through this wrenching, discombobulating wringer. It worked. I cared about what happened to the characters, and in the finale I wanted to see how those relationships ended up.
With some it worked: Adama/Roslin in particular.
But how about Adama and Tigh? I can't even recall if they had a final scene. All that investment in genius messed-up boozin', fightin' huggin' macho stuff and very little resolution.
As for Kara, over the years we got to know this complex, tragic, real, human character, but that was all a bit of trick, because she's an angel...or something.
Hey...just a personal opinion, it is what is now. Still wouldn't have missed it for the world.

...and need I say Jammer, you rock! Thanks!
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 11:40pm (UTC -6)

Thanks for your response. I guess I interpreted your post about "what BSG was about" as a criticism of those who didn't get the closure they wanted. Maybe you didn't intend it that way. There are going to be some who are more invested in others and don't feel that the Kara Thrace got proper closure, and they shouldn't be criticised for feeling empty. I wasn't saying everyone should feel like that, I'm simply explaining the viewpoint of those who do.

As far as RDM's role - I would accept the "can't please everyone" argument, except that I've seen far too many screenwriters and directors create something "the way they think it should be done" and the result is an unqualified mess that's an insult to fan and genre. Ronald D. Moore and most humble screenmaestros out there talk about their debt to fans and their desire to give them what they want. It's also part of RDM's job to know what fans want better than the fans themselves, and to be able to maybe not CATER to different groups of people but to respond to their viewing preferences. No, you can't successfully please everyone, but you can make a hell of a balanced effort to do so. RDM did, I think, and his show's quality stands as a result. That's what good showrunners do.
Thu, Apr 2, 2009, 12:11am (UTC -6)
Random aside: Was rewatching Disquiet follows my soul, and I realized that that episode is really good. I didn't appreciate it enough at the time, because I think I was so anxious to get the mutiny on.

Although I have loved season 4.5, I think I will enjoy it even more after I rewatch the whole series, because now that I can relax, knowing the show is over, I can appreciate all the great moments that made up all of these last episodes.

Anyways, I was reading on the website that the battlestar galactica: complete series dvd and blue-ray edition will be released on July 28, 2009. Hurray! It has been really hard not being able to watch this show on DVD, or even really on TV, so, having the entire show on DVD is going to be great fun.

Random aside ended.
Thu, Apr 2, 2009, 11:22am (UTC -6)
Kara Thrace - harbinger of death. She brought death to the skin jobs and the hybrids (even Anders, poor soul). Without resurrection, they are mortal. Prior to the destruction of the hub, they were immortal.

My recording device fraked up, I have the beginning of the episode, and the last 15 minutes, but I'm missing some key scenes. Hopefully the DVD will come out relatively quickly.

Any chance that the pigeon (dove?) in Lee's apartment symbolized Kara? Unfortunately, I didn't see her final moments, just a guess.

Cute joke, Jammer. I hate to see the end of the reviews, they were as important as the show itself.
Thu, Apr 2, 2009, 6:19pm (UTC -6)
First time poster...

I was really disappointed by this ending, and had to share.

I realized a little while ago that it boiled down to the very first impression of the series. When the cylons showed up and said, "God sent us to kill you all" it was really terrifying. When a human says "God sent me", while performing a terrible act, that's always scary. There was something even more transcendently terrifying that it was an AI that was saying this.

Then it turned out that all this god stuff was true? What?!

The last five minutes just compounded that overall feeling by showing the modern versions of robotics. It's like the authors might as well be saying, "GOD GOOOOD!!! TECHNOLOGY BAAAAD!!!" It just seemed so anti-intellectual, and anti-progress.

With the colonials giving up technology, that also just seemed anti-intellectual as well. It was epitomized when Baltar decides to becomes a farmer.

It just felt so antithetical to the overall notion of humanity striving against adversity, which seemed to be the theme of the series.

Just my .02 cents.
Gene Principie's Pubic Hair
Thu, Apr 2, 2009, 6:45pm (UTC -6)
"Anyways, I was reading on the website that the battlestar galactica: complete series dvd and blue-ray edition will be released on July 28, 2009. Hurray! It has been really hard not being able to watch this show on DVD, or even really on TV, so, having the entire show on DVD is going to be great fun."

Thats excellent. I will be picking that up
Fri, Apr 3, 2009, 8:58am (UTC -6)

I understand where you are coming from, but Baltar was from a farmer's family. He told his father in part one that he was nothing like him, but in the end, he had to use what his father taught him, so in essence, he was like his father. That was a beautiful moment. One of the most honest of the finale imo.
Fri, Apr 3, 2009, 10:05am (UTC -6)

Point taken on aliens and mysticism but really what the Ship of Light mythology is about is evolution of a sorts. People familiar with the B5 Vorlons and Shadows know what I'm talking about.

Are "angels" and an unknown, seemingly capricious God less mystical than the story showing a possible future for humanity if they can break the cycle of violence?

If the BSG story has meaning beyond survival [a question now very much in doubt, I suppose] then I don't think it's a shark jump to show a possible evolutionary path for humanity, especially when Daybreak shows evolution through breeding in both Cylon/Colonial and Colonial/Human contexts.

If BSG is only about survival, then the God/Angels mythology is tacked-on gibberish that does little than provide the writers a mechanism to advance the plot. Under that view, I completely see your standpoint and the show would have been better as a linear action drama. No harm, no foul.

I didn't bring mysticism or God into the proceedings; I was just imagining a way to resolve some pretty clear contradictions.
Fri, Apr 3, 2009, 12:36pm (UTC -6)
Just a thought, but anyone else thick that the remaining metal cylons roaming the galaxy, possibly, like Cavil hoping to become a perfect being... origin story of the Borg, perhaps. ;P
Fri, Apr 3, 2009, 4:21pm (UTC -6)
"It's like the authors might as well be saying, "GOD GOOOOD!!! TECHNOLOGY BAAAAD!!!" It just seemed so anti-intellectual, and anti-progress."

That's not at all the message. The message was "be careful with technology. Treat it well, and the world keeps spinning." That's what came across to me, and it's what RDM says his message was in writing the final scene. It's a caution, not a condemnation.
Alexey Bogatiryov
Fri, Apr 3, 2009, 5:24pm (UTC -6)
If anyone else is tired of waiting for the review like me, lets do something constructive. We can shape our collective comments into a collective review! So, anybody want to try to prove Jammer wrong by trying to build a consensus or is it too late?

Here is my futile attempt,
Can we agree on these 10 points:
1) Special effects and action were spectacular

2) Galactica's deterioration was misrepresented as it was still able to ram the colony

3) Tyrol killing Tory was the most feel good moment - which is a sad phenomenon as it illustrates how much we love revenge

4) Having the colonists find a new "Earth" cheapened the dramatic impact of "Sometimes a Great Notion" and was in essence cheating by the writers

5) The unilateral "Luddite" abandonment of technology by over 30,000 people (with no debate) was contrived and unrealistic as it was that technology which kept them alive the whole time. Lack of consensus in the quorum was illustrative of the inherent disagreements. This was sloppy writing at its worst!

6) Roslin's death with Adama alongside was the best dramatic moment of the finale

7) While not everything needs to be explained, having Kara simply disappear seemed disjointed from a narrative standpoint

8) Hera could not have been the mitochondrial eve unless all the other settlers and the human ancestors had perished. This begged the question of whether she bred with one of the human ancestors.

9) The "Head Characters" were abused as a plot device

10) "All Along the Watchtower" is an amazing song and was used perfectly for BSG as a motiff

Simply vote on each one of the points if you are for and against and feel free to substitute any point you disagree with (or all of them) with your own but lets keep it at 10!

Lets get the first ever internet comment consensus! Is this too ambitious - I think not!

So say we all?
Gene Principie's Pubic Hair
Fri, Apr 3, 2009, 7:46pm (UTC -6)
@ Alexey Bogatiryov
Fri, Apr 3, 2009, 9:12pm (UTC -6)
going to echo
Fri, Apr 3, 2009, 11:16pm (UTC -6)
Sat, Apr 4, 2009, 12:22am (UTC -6)
Mitochondrial Eve - mitochondria are passed exclusively from mother to child (to a first approximation) so mitochondrial DNA is used to trace maternal inheritance. (Contrary to what RDM said in the podcast, there is no mitochondrial Adam. The Y chromosome is used to trace paternal inheritance). DNA evolutionary theories use mathematical modeling (which is not my area of expertise) to draw conclusions about the relative relatedness of individuals, species, etc. I remember a paper that to examined the mitochondrial DNA of current lab mice and concluded that they all were the descendants of 4 founding females. (This makes sense, because wild mice are pretty aggressive and it is much easier to introduce a wild strain by mating a wild male with a tame female. Presumably, there was something about the fitness of the four founding females that gave a selective advantage to their offspring.)
The hypothesis of the mitochondrial Eve comes from mathematical modeling that predicts that all current humans could conceivably have derived their mitochondria from a single female. If Hera were that Eve, then something about her mitochondrial DNA would have given her offspring (at least in the female line) some sort of competitive advantage. At some point, there would have had to be an evolutionary bottleneck that allowed these descendants to reach a tipping point, presumably before the migrations occurred. (This would also require that all the other colonies died out at some point, which wouldn't be surprising, given how small the founding groups were.)
Sat, Apr 4, 2009, 12:37am (UTC -6)
1 Yes.

2 is wrong. The Galactica was rendered a useless husk by the jump away from the colony despite it being expecting it could make a couple more safely. The reason is that the ramming of the colony was the last straw.

3 That was a cool moment. A noticed how no-one seemed to give a damn afterwards. Poor Tory. She never was loved was she. I was glad it went that way because if the truce had held, it would have been awfully TV pat.

4 is grounds for lawsuit. That bit was planned. Some parts of the series were hindered because of lack of planning, but this wasn't one of them. Notice how we never saw proof in the visuals that old Earth was the Earth we all know and love. And the reveal was a spectacular moment.

5 is certainly arguable, but it's not sloppy writing as much as choppy writing. Although I didn't need to see the Quorum again (what an annoying bunch) the timeline from conception to execution was compressed to the detriment of the plot point.

6 Wonderful moment.

7 I will admit that from a simple editting point of view it did seem a bit choppy. I have no problem with the concept though.

8 Dunno. I'm guessing the point is that it was Hera's human-Cylon hybrid-ness that was a strong adapation for survival somehow (probably because she can write songs that other people hear in their heads).

9 I didn't think so.

10 Brilliant song. The best use of it was clearly in its first appearance in 'Crossroads' though.

I would add a point 11 though.

11 The Opera House moment would have been immeasurably improved had Athena and Helo died forcing Caprica and Baltar to raise Hera. It would have given more significance to the two saving her, being the twist since we had originally assumed the two of them were threatening her. It would also have been in line with what Angel Six said in the 'Kobol's Last Gleaming' and afterwards about Hera being their child, merely physically born of Athena. I'm glad they did involve Caprica and Baltar in rescuing Hera since it would at least gives some payoff to Angel Six's words. However, my idea would have really sealed the deal.
Sat, Apr 4, 2009, 12:38am (UTC -6)
knitpicker, disease resistance maybe?
Jason K
Sat, Apr 4, 2009, 7:17am (UTC -6)
Alexey Bogatiryov

You got a serious set of balls talking about being tired of waiting. It's not like you pay for this service, and Jammer owes you nothing.

Not to be a dick and all, but some of us have been reading this site for years and haven't just jumped on the Jammer bandwagon for the last few episodes of BSG, so maybe you should take that negativity elsewhere. There's no place for it here.
Sat, Apr 4, 2009, 11:40am (UTC -6)
josh - I don't really consider human evolutionary theories to be much more than science fantasy - the math may be good, but garbage in garbage out. One can speculate endlessly, and sound very authoritative, but there isn't really any way to know at such a remove what the critical selective factor(s) might have been. Less likely to eat poisonous plants? Less likely to die in childbirth? Without air travel, viruses were probably less of a problem than accidents and opportunistic infections - tetanus, gangrene, etc.

Jason K - the irresistible force meets the immovable object?
Jason K
Sat, Apr 4, 2009, 2:07pm (UTC -6)
No Knitpicker, what I'm trying to say is that Jammer is not obligated to write these reviews and has no deadline to do so. In the same way, I'm not obligated to respond to dumbass comments, but do so out of the kindness of my heart :)
Alexey Bogatiryov
Sat, Apr 4, 2009, 7:14pm (UTC -6)
@ Jason K

For your information, I have been on this site since the end of DS9 - before there even was a comments section. True, I came here rarely during BSG season 1 and 2 and was reluctant to get into discussions before, but I always recommended this site to anyone who liked Star Trek.

I am indeed tired of waiting, but saying that is nothing special. I know that Jammer owes me nothing but what is wrong with passing the time by trying to build a consensus?

Remember, you are not obligated to answer. Just wondering if there will be a blank slate for comments to the official review...
Sat, Apr 4, 2009, 11:40pm (UTC -6)

I had to take a break during April Fool's Day, from all the posting and responses, but it's good to be back.

I just wanted to say: Evil! Evil!! Evil!!! Well done, but EVIL!!!

Thanks again, I needed that... I think.
Eric Sipple
Sun, Apr 5, 2009, 11:38am (UTC -6)
Regarding Mitochondrial Eve, a bit of clarification.

Hera being Mitochondrial Eve does not mean the other colonists' lines died off. All it means is that everyone can trace our ancestry, from mother to mother, back to Hera. It doesn't mean we don't also share DNA with other colonists, just not that everyone does.

In other words, all it requires is that at some point in the intervening 150,000 years, any lines of descendants from the colonists that remain today at some point interbred with a female descendant of Hera, thereby passing Hera's mitochondrial DNA to that line.

Some of them probably died off, but all of them do not have to. It's just that none of the other female colonists passed their mitochondrial DNA on to every human remaining on the planet today.

Sun, Apr 5, 2009, 2:16pm (UTC -6)
Sorry - there's nothing better to do while waiting for Jammer's last review. (And no, that's not a criticism. Although, even if it were, I can't imagine that Jammer would be distressed. I would be surprised if he hasn't gotten his fair share of truly heinous posts.)


"Hera being Mitochondrial Eve does not mean the other colonists' lines died off. All it means is that everyone can trace our ancestry, from mother to mother, back to Hera. It doesn't mean we don't also share DNA with other colonists, just not that everyone does."

You are correct - all sorts of other DNA could have come in throuh the male line - either from other colonists, or from the extant humanoids. My scenario seemed most likely because of the scenario - no technology, subsistence level farming, hunting and gathering, and few people per colony would have severely limited the time and manpower for much contact between the colonies, especially considering the huge distances involved. The most likely contact between colonies wouldn't have occured until many, many generations later in the form of migrations. Under those circumstances, it seems statistically difficult for Hera's mitochondrial DNA to completely swamp out everyone else's, especially since any group migrating in would most likely be very small compared to the resident group.

All this nitpicking really is a natural consequence of the way the show was written. BSG is the antithesis of Babylon V. Since RDM et al. didn't have a detailed plan when they started, the prophesies, foreshadowings and weird plot twists came out of the moment without a specific final goal. At the end, the writers were faced with the herculean task of putting it into a coherent framework. In the final analysis, I prefer no explanations to lame explanations. For me, experiencing the creative process through the podcasts was worth all the lose ends.
Sun, Apr 5, 2009, 5:19pm (UTC -6)
My apologies for that incredibly incoherent paragraph.
Ryan B
Wed, Apr 8, 2009, 10:23am (UTC -6)
Reeeeeeeevieeeewwwwwwww :(
Wed, Apr 8, 2009, 11:17am (UTC -6)
It's pathetic that I don't have anything better to do with my time.
Thu, Apr 9, 2009, 1:30pm (UTC -6)
Cool thought opening up the comments before the review, Jammer.

I had to watch this episode the old fashioned way, live on television. I was stuck in a hospital room, with my wife by my side, waiting for the show to start. No video rewind, no DVR and the only potty breaks were during commercials (pulling my IV with me as I went).

Sure, a few nitpicks here and there, but I really enjoyed this episode.

I had been certain Baltar would go with Galactica during Daybreak, Part 1, after Lee took him to task for never doing anything that didn't benefit him in some way. I was glad he decided to do a selfless act that may have meant his death.

I was certain that at least some of the main characters would die during the assault. I mean, how lucky could those eight or ten people be? I was a little disappointed that they didn't end up with more that a few scratches, for the most part. Helo was shot, but survived.

I had a little bit of a problem figuring out which gun was shooting at which ship/base on the monitor at the hospital. Wasn't sure whether to cheer or groan when some of the big guns were firing, as I figured SOME of them had to be Galactica's.

"I've probably been in more battles than you have" (paraphrased). Caprica Six to Baltar. I liked that sequence. I thought James Callis had a perfect look of someone in way over his head while sitting there with his helmet on. When Head Six and Head Baltar showed up I remember saying "They were really there!". I thought it was cool they could both see them both. They, and we, realized they hadn't been a little nuts after all (for the most part).

I liked the older Cylons holding BIG guns and bracing for the recoil when firing. The new versions may have guns built in, but the older ones seemed able to use more firepower since they weren't locked into one sidearm (HA! sidearm :) ).

I wondered if EVERYONE was out of grenades. It seemed like there were some spots with people or machines in close quarters that they would have worked great in.

Roslin and Athena were running along those side corridors all that time just to get to a closed door? I felt something was lacking, at the time. But when Baltar and Six went through and I realized they seemed to have been the last line of defense for the CIC, I went "Wow". And I thought it was pretty cool when they started saying "I've been here before". CIC as the Opera House worked for me and I kept going "Oooo" as the pieces kept falling into place with the past visuals.

Did some of the enemy skinjobs seem to forget that they couldn't be reborn? One of the #5's walks out with a popgun (no cover) and starts firing at a much larger group of humans with bigger guns like he is a Terminator and cannot be injured. It looked sort of cool, but also sort of weird. Perhaps they weren't programmed for fighting, but at some point common sense and self preservation would take over, I'd think.

I really thought that things would end with a truce or something after the final five gave the information on resurrection and wondered what they would do with the final hour: go off to find a home or instead be attacked by Cavil again because he cannot keep his word about anything. Then Tory said something about how they might see things that were upsetting and to not be hasty after seeing them. And I noticed she was standing next to Tyrol, for some reason (I'd have moved). When the download was broken I wasn't certain why Cavil would see this as a trap or deception on the part of the humans/rebels/final 5, because he could see with his own eyes that one of them was attacking another, while everyone stood around watching. It was unexpected but I am skeptical that he would tell them to start shooting. I'd figure Cavil would have wounded Tyrol and then stuck them back into the tub to complete the transfer.

So Cavil tells them to start shooting, not realizing they are outnumbered so badly they cannot escape? He always struck me as a little smarter than that, but perhaps they weren't programmed for fighting, as I said. I didn't expect him to shoot himself, but I liked it. :)

The humans may have been saved by a floating, dead Raptor that just happens to launch its big missiles at just the right moment? Well, the hand of God was in the series all along, but while I thought it was cool, it also seemed contrived.

Kara is trying to figure out where to jump them and I looked at the wife and said "The musical notes that she converted to numbers!". Seconds later she was trying to remember what the sequence was and off they go. I personally loved it. The tune that kept smacking them in the face was in fact the key to their survival. That felt right to me. And then there was the moon. I was blown away because the writers had me thinking one thing and then pulled a switcheroo that took them from fighting to being at peace and harmony in one fell swoop. Almost made me feel like all the fighting had been a bad dream.

Even if they had the better Cylon FTL jump drives, they were only one jump away from where the Cylons were. If the base was destroyed, other Cylon base ships were still coming and going. I figured if they didn't hide the fleet, a random Cylon would find the ships and we have New Caprica all over again. Of course, I think they could have been hidden on the planet. But they were still pretty close to the Cylons and would have had to do something with the fleet to keep it from being discovered.

I liked the Centurions going off with the base ship. Obviously they didn't reveal the secret of the humans location. Might make an interesting novel or something to let us know what they did and where they went now that they could do anything they wanted.

Okay, did Lee really think the whole "Back to Nature" thing through? Starting over means going back to stone knives and bear skins? I doubt that all 38,000+ of them would agree to that. Hide/dismantle the ships and start over with the help of whatever technology they had left. No main city, perhaps, but I cannot see them throwing everything away. Sure, some would go and live completely off of the land, but others wouldn't. That's just the way I see it.

I really enjoyed this last episode. It was different than I expected it would be and while I had some small problem with parts of the ending, the unexpected was part of what made it great.

Take care everyone... Todd
Thu, Apr 9, 2009, 7:17pm (UTC -6)
Too all those upset with the finale:

Get over it. It ended the way it should have. I will gladly take Kara vanishing into thin air over some "ship of lights" nonsense. The abandonment of technology doesn't sound too far fetched, given what these people have been through. Besides, they did at least keep some of their raptors.

If you really hated the finale, then, to paraphrase Dr. Baltar "Be glad you found love in the first place."

I am a fan of many sci-fi series, be it BSG, Star Trek: The Next Generation, DS9, Doctor Who, whatever. Its hard to watch those other shows now, thanks to Galactica.

Future television writers of the sci-fi genre should take note. The bar for excellence has been raised. Considerably.
Thu, Apr 9, 2009, 10:43pm (UTC -6)

Would you kindly grant us those who have a differing opinion to yours the simple acknowledgment that interpretation of the finale is entirely up to the individual? It did not 'end the way it should have', it just ended. The 'Should Have' part is entirely up to each viewer to decide.

Personally, I found that the show's conclusion philosophically did not mesh at all with how I had interpreted the show before the finale. It was an utter disconnect. The writers seemed to focus so myopically on the 'Mitochondrial Eve' aspect of Hera that the final act collapsed around its ears. It shoehorned the characters into seemingly irrational decisions designed to serve that conclusion, stunting them, and ultimately destroying their validity.

Aside of that, this has been one of the best shows I have had the privilege to watch.

Of course, this is all just my opinion. Just don't ask me to 'get over it' and I won't ask you to get over yours.
Fri, Apr 10, 2009, 3:20am (UTC -6)
Colin - I really agree. Beautifully put.
Ryan B
Fri, Apr 10, 2009, 10:54pm (UTC -6)
While I agree with the finale love, Adrian, you've got no more right to tell anyone to enjoy the finale than Jammer does to tell them they had better enjoy banana cream pie.

See what I mean?

Beyond that, you lack any means by which to enforce your decrees. Banana Cream Legions on the other hand...
Alexey Bogatiryov
Sun, Apr 12, 2009, 12:56pm (UTC -6)
I am starting to think that the April Fool's joke was for real...
Mon, Apr 13, 2009, 11:59am (UTC -6)
@ Alexey Bogatiryov:

I'm starting to think the same thing... I mean, I know he has no obligation, and he I'm sure has a busy life, but it has been almost... what, two weeks now?
Mon, Apr 13, 2009, 12:35pm (UTC -6)
I had to build a web site for a small business the past couple weeks, and I've been generally busy on the weekends. My goal is to have the review this week. Even if that doesn't end up happening, you shouldn't assume I've given up because I've been gone a few weeks. It's not like my being behind schedule is a hugely unusual thing...
Alexey Bogatiryov
Mon, Apr 13, 2009, 5:22pm (UTC -6)
Apologies Jammer - we were just too full of anticipation.

Any chance you could give us links of the websites you made for businesses?
Alexey Bogatiryov
Mon, Apr 13, 2009, 5:22pm (UTC -6)
Would love to see your other work.
Mon, Apr 13, 2009, 5:24pm (UTC -6)
Ok perhaps it was a little blunt. A kneejerk reaction to what I've been hearing and reading for the past few weeks.

The problem with the whole "series finale" concept is that it builds up audience expectations that are rarely fulfilled. And whilst "All Good Things" was brilliant, "What You Leave Behind" I found to be a flawed end to an outstanding series. Let's not get started on The Sopranos......

Regarding a previous post about Galactica's condition, keep in mind the damage sustained by the initial barrage, the ramming of the colony, and the fact that Galactica jumped away without retracting the flight pods (if you go back and look, you can see things falling out of the flight pods when Galactica arrives from the jump!).

To Jammer: Take your time. I've been reading your reviews since DS9 was on the air and consider them to be one of the most intelligent discussions of these shows anywhere on the web. I wish you were able to review any and every show you mention watching, like 24, The Wire, The Shield, even old episodes on Homicide: Life on the Street (a criminally underrated show). Anyway, its been fun to read and I'm looking forward to future NextGen reviews too.

With thanks to Ryan B. and Colin for reigning me in.
Fri, Apr 17, 2009, 1:25am (UTC -6)
I saw the Caprica pilot, and I thought that it was really cool. I hope that you check it out, Jammer, in the future.
Fri, Apr 17, 2009, 7:17pm (UTC -6)
I guess Jammer really needs the vash from the banner adds...
Sat, Apr 18, 2009, 7:10am (UTC -6)
HURRY UP AND WRITE THE REVIEW. Also, I hate the phrase "it do what it do."

Good site.
Sun, Apr 19, 2009, 3:27am (UTC -6)
He does it to torment us. The most anticipated of all reviews and we are kept waiting.

On the other hand, maybe it's a form of kindness. He knows that if he posts the review, it'll all be over and we'll have to go out and get lives of our own. *shudder*
Sun, Apr 19, 2009, 8:06pm (UTC -6)
So, in the mean time: anyone snag anything at the BSG prop auctions?
Alexey Bogatiryov
Sun, Apr 19, 2009, 11:43pm (UTC -6)
Whatever the reason, the month of April has been cruel and unusual punishment for me. Please Jammer - could you post a link to other webwork you do so we can have something else to refresh every other day?
Tue, Apr 21, 2009, 10:44am (UTC -6)
The BSG finale review should be posted Friday (April 24). I'm not going to post links to my other work as they are really of little interest to this audience. Besides, I generally prefer to keep my personal and professional lives separate from my online reviewing realm.
Greg M
Tue, Apr 21, 2009, 3:24pm (UTC -6)

I was just curious about something. Will you modify your review to Part 1 and give it a rating now that you have part 2 down. I didn't really like part one very much (Even though it did get better after part 2) but it would be interesting to see the star rating in which you give.
Alexey Bogatiryov
Tue, Apr 21, 2009, 3:29pm (UTC -6)
Jammer, I sincerely apologize for myself and everyone else who bugged you throughout this month regarding the BGS finale. We all perfectly understand that you, like everyone else, have a professional life, bills to pay, and cannot be devoted 100% to this site. Look forward to reading your review regardless of when it comes out.
Tue, Apr 21, 2009, 7:46pm (UTC -6)
Gosh, I really hope Jammer reviews Caprica. I really loved it and thought it was almost as good as BSG's Miniseries (* * * 1/2 rating, definitely). The first hour was compelling, but the second... well, that was a fascinating, well-written and well-told depiction of dealing with grief in the long term once the initial depressed mourning period is over. I went into the show expecting to be disappointed, and I've come out excited. More Moore, please.
Tue, Apr 21, 2009, 8:52pm (UTC -6)
Before it happens: Do me a favor everyone, please, and don't turn this page into a discussion on "Caprica." I would love to give you all a forum for discussing it, but I honestly don't want to contend with comments on something I haven't yet seen and may not see for some time. Plus there are already 333 comments on this page as of me pressing "submit." Let's leave this page reserved for "Daybreak, Part 2."

Wed, Apr 22, 2009, 10:52pm (UTC -6)
Sorry, Jammer. That was supposed to be just "I hope you review Caprica," but... I got caught up in the excitement. Tried my best not to spoil anything, though.
Latex Zebra
Thu, Apr 23, 2009, 2:57am (UTC -6)
Is it Friday yet? ;o)
Ryan B
Thu, Apr 23, 2009, 3:52pm (UTC -6)
Another reason to be excited on Friday? Now that's a review in the BSG spirit.

Perhaps Jammer is an Angel of God (and therefore represents a concrete answer to a major mythological mystery. SUCK IT FINALE HATERS!)
Eric Dugdale
Thu, Apr 23, 2009, 4:47pm (UTC -6)
Come on, Ryan, Jammer has shown himself to be much more than an unenlightened plot device. ;)
Thu, Apr 23, 2009, 6:08pm (UTC -6)
If Jammer's review makes no logical sense and is filled with holes, then I guess we can just really call him an Angel of God, and that will tie it all up!
Fri, Apr 24, 2009, 2:10am (UTC -6)
"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end."


:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

I loved the finale!
Latex Zebra
Fri, Apr 24, 2009, 6:17am (UTC -6)
We should have asked what time he would post it up.
I imagine it's quite early for people in the USA.
I've been at work for 3 and half hours and I still don't have anything new to read.
Ryan UK
Fri, Apr 24, 2009, 7:12am (UTC -6)
So some people liked the ending, some didn't. No change there. However, I'm not sure I like the theory that "it's Ron Moore's show, it's his art, we should just accept his vision".

True, it's Ron's show, but he writes it for us, the viewer. He gets paid by sci-Fi to produce a show that gets viewers and advertising. Forget the art, everyone's in it to make money. The explosions and the drama are just there to appeal to as many demographic groups as possible.

No-one's saying that unresolved plot points are a bad thing. 'The X-files' was full of un-resolved questions, and 'The Prisoner' positively thrived on them. 'The Italian Job' is heralded as a classic film, and that ends on a (literal)cliffhanger.

So the problem is not unresolved plot-points per se, but how they are presented.
Fri, Apr 24, 2009, 6:08pm (UTC -6)
It's Saturday in the UK =
Jack Bauer
Fri, Apr 24, 2009, 6:48pm (UTC -6)
Its Ron D Moores job to write a show. Its his job to tell me his story in the way he sees it. Its not my job to interpret his story for me. This isnt art, its TV.
Fri, Apr 24, 2009, 11:16pm (UTC -6)
Hey all. I'm working on the review right now at this very minute, but it's not done and I'll be going to sleep pretty soon. So having it posted on Friday as I had planned earlier this week is not going to happen. My apologies for setting a deadline and missing it.

Also, because I'm busy with personal stuff pretty much the rest of the weekend, I can't promise it will even be posted this weekend at all.

It's just the way it goes, and I'm sorry. Stay tuned, however, because it's coming. Just a few more days...
Matt L.
Sat, Apr 25, 2009, 12:54am (UTC -6)
"Its not my job to interpret his story for me. This isnt art, its TV."

I don't get this line. I agree that it's RDM's job to tell his story, but don't you as a member of the audience have a job as well?

If you refuse to interpret the story for yourself then why are you bothering to watch it? Stories (be they art or not) are a form of communication. A story like BSG is trying to communicate an awful lot. Saying that you aren't going to bother to think about what the story is saying or what it means to's almost like ignoring your role in the conversation.

The interplay between audience and story is incredibly important in my opinion. It's why a writer chooses to make a living writing instead of just doing it as a hobby for himself.

Forgive me if I just misunderstood your point, it just jumped out at me is all and I had to say something.
Sat, Apr 25, 2009, 2:22am (UTC -6)
Matt L: Agree entirely.
Jack Bauer
Sat, Apr 25, 2009, 12:58pm (UTC -6)
"but don't you as a member of the audience have a job as well?"

My only job is to watch it. And its not that I dont want to think what the story is saying, its that I shouldnt be expected to guess on what the meaning is. For example, Starbuck disapearing into thin air is not something that should be left to interpretation. I shouldnt have to listen to podcasts to figure out some details. Im a big Lost fan, and I dont mind being made to think. But I cant stand being made to "leave it to my interpretation"
Eric Dugdale
Sat, Apr 25, 2009, 8:57pm (UTC -6)
Matt, I get what you're saying, but I'm inclined to agree with Jack in this context. The Starbuck example illustrates his point very well. A blank screen's interpretation is left entirely up to the audience, too. Lack of story isn't a positive thing. Exposition is only a problem when it's artistically awkward, or when it insults the audience's intelligence.
Sat, Apr 25, 2009, 9:07pm (UTC -6)
Not really a comment on the reveiw I just wanted to say (Okay Brag) that I met Edward James Olmos and Kandyse McClure today at the comic expo in Calgary. Didn't get any autographs (Didn't have much money on me) but I did say hi to them. they were really nice. Eddie told me to keep studying if I wanted to act, and Kandyse and I talked a bit about her death. She was as shocked as anyone. Apparently someone brought her a box of Premium Plus Crackers to sign. Anyone who watched the episode with her death in it on the Space channel in Canada will understand why.
Sun, Apr 26, 2009, 2:38am (UTC -6)
@ Alexy's 10 proposed points:

So say we all.
Nicolás Lichtmaier
Sun, Apr 26, 2009, 3:11am (UTC -6)
I've read this site for a long time, but never posted anything, but here I go with my (angry?) opinion =) (disclaimer: my English is not perfect)

I don't think the bad thing is not giving all the answers. Somebody have pointed at films that didn't resolve everything for the viewer. That's not a bad thing. But: It must be a planned thing. And the remaining bit, the explained part, must be somehow self contained. That didn't happen here. It's clear (and it's confirmed in the finale's podcast) that RDM didn't have a clue of what he was doing. In the podcast he even congratulates himself about how nice is to be inventing random prophecies and then cook some rough answer for that hollow profecy. When we learnt this series would have a known length we all thought: "Great! Then they will be planning ahead of time where this will go!" In the 4th season it felt as is it thre was a direction, we were heading for the end, there would be answers. And there was none!

Regarding what we saw here. RDM wanted to mix somehow these people with earth's history. He didn't know how, even with the show reaching its end. "Inserting" these people in the ancient Greece was one of his thoguhts (and it was reasonable given he had used all this ancient Greek mythology) (Of course, this wouldn't had explained why Hera was soo important...). RDM then read about this "mitochondrial Eve" thing, and, as a kid that had discovered a shiny object, twisted everything else to use that concept. Had he thought of having Galactica's people abandon all technology before, he could have done it differently. One way would be to have some anti-technology cult/faction (through a significant part of the show) then in a tragical end, this faction would win and force humanity to abandon everything (even Penicilin, or artificial lights).

But no, he had these highly advanced people (both technically and culturally) abandoning all known form of society, all knowledge. And he did that with a terrbile Lee Adama speech. A reactionary speech, in which he says "Our brains has always outraced our hearths. Our science charges ahead, our souls lag behind.". That's crap. Science has contributed to advance human philosophy (think of the Greek, Galileo), it's in modern times that we "discovered" human rights, that we realize that race doesn't exist, and that there are no gods worth killing for.

Should one watch Caprica? How could I? If I know from the start that there are no plan, there is big all-encompasing plot... Part of the attractiveness of the show was got by borrowing from the future, borrowing from the next seasons, from the finale. And we haven't been paid. Why would I give credit again?
Sun, Apr 26, 2009, 4:20am (UTC -6)
People keep saying we didn't receive answers, then arguing over whether or not that worked. Thing is, we did receive an answer: it's God's plan. We didn't find out the mechanics of how God's power works, but Galactica has never concerned itself with mechanics on any level.

The question becomes whether the answer we received is satisfying. I respond that it absolutely was not. If God's plan involved resurrecting Starbuck, why whisk her away again? Because it's God's plan. The answer feels empty and meaningless precisely because it is. Any arbitrary or outright nonsensical contradictions in the divine plan have their explanation in God's working in mysterious ways. It is not the only way that some sense could have been made of the series to this point, but it is the way Moore chose.

The first half of the finale satisfied thoroughly. The second half danced the characters on puppet strings to achieve a plot goal. Can we imagine the characters we know making these choices? Maybe, with a stretch. But would we arrive at this outcome by asking what choices these characters would mostly likely make? Really?

My complaint with the finale is not, as Moore portrayed it himself, that he focused on the characters and did not worry too much about the plot. On the contrary, he let a plot twist dictate character. And unfortunately, a lot of us didn't even find it all that compelling a twist.
Jack Bauer
Mon, Apr 27, 2009, 12:16pm (UTC -6)
"I don't think the bad thing is not giving all the answers. Somebody have pointed at films that didn't resolve everything for the viewer. That's not a bad thing."

I think its a terrible thing. Countless people spend countless hours creating a show or a movie, only to not answer all the storylines. Add to that the millions of people who watch it hour after hour only to not complete the story. Its one thing to create a complex show that requires you to think, its another to creat e acomplex show that requires you to think, and answer questions on your own.

Nicolas is correct that RDM and company had no idea what he was doing. They came up with the final 5 idea in the 3rd season. They changed the direction of the last 10 episodes during the writers strike. They essentially killed off characters for shock value only to not follow through in the overall scheme of the plot. (Ultimately what was the point of the insurrection? Ultimately what was the point of New Caprica?)
Mon, Apr 27, 2009, 12:24pm (UTC -6)
(Credit to J Michael Straczynski)

Dear Mr. Tolkien:

I just wanted to say that I think the way you ended THE LORD OF THE RINGS was crap. You didn't provide any closure. Instead of spending time with the hobbits clearing out the shire (come on, urban renwal in LoTR? give me a break) and lots of goodbyes, you SHOULD have shown me what happened to Tom Bombadil, he was an important part of the story, and you just left his story thread there unresolved.

You made a big deal out of the elves going to the west, but we never SAW it! We never found out what was there, or what Bilbo found when he got there, or what happened to the dwarves, or what happened to Merry and Pippin....

You betrayed your audience by not resolving every single plot thread you introduced in your book, and as a result, it is never going to be of value to anyone, ever, and will never go past its first printing.
Ian Whitcombe
Mon, Apr 27, 2009, 12:51pm (UTC -6)
It can be just as terrible a thing for an artists to submit themselves entirely to the demands of the audience members.

"Its one thing to create a complex show that requires you to think, its another to create a complex show that requires you to think, and answer questions on your own."

But so much of Science Fiction is about posing questions that can't be answered. Do you think Kubrick had a definitive idea of what all the meanings in '2001' had when he created it? Of course not. He, like many other great artists, give the audience something to think about when its over.
Dr. Schluss
Mon, Apr 27, 2009, 1:12pm (UTC -6)
I was happy with about 90% of the finale. The non-resolution of Starbuck didn't bug me too much, nor did the oblique higher power references. As an avid reader of science and anthropology, I actually kind of enjoyed the mitochondrial eve thing, although I would have placed their entry at the dawn of civilization about 7,000 years or so in the past. I consider author Graham Hancock mildly full of poo, but some of his lost civilization ideas would have mixed in nicely with the end of BSG. What did annoy me was that Gaius and Caprica did not end up with Hera. It was nice that Helo and Athena made it through to the end, but I feel like it was a cop-out and took away from the impact of the opera house. As for the rejection of technology, I didn't like that as it was in the broadcast version, and I hope the extended cuts reference the decrepit state of the ships and complete lack of resources. That would justify Apollo's proposal a bit more.

I do feel that BSG was Ron Moore's baby, and it's not our place to fault him for the completion of his final picture. Obviously, a fair amount of his personal philosophy is in the show, and I think the finale was a legitimate artistic expression of that. I (and it sounds like many of you) don't necessarily share the same views, but it doesn't keep me from appreciating the art.

As for he point of "New Caprica" or the inssurection; maybe that was captivating storytelling. At leas I enjoyed those episodes. Events in real history eventually lose their impact, but that doesn't mean they don't matter (has the Alamo affected you lately?).
Nicolás Lichtmaier
Mon, Apr 27, 2009, 1:13pm (UTC -6)
Jack Bauer: I agree with you in spirit. What I say is that if you will not provide an answer, it should be planned from the start. It should be understandable why you don't provide an answer. And this is not the case.

Sam proves my point. In LoTR, we never get to see what "going to the west" means. Because going to the West is really a metaphore of going to some kind of heaven (dying?). It's going to the sunset (Tolkien took that from real culture). And this misterious West is something external to the novel, it's at the edge of the plot, a terminal node. On the other side we get perfect closure of every character, of every thread.

Picture yourself rewatching some earlier episodes *knowing* that RDM had NO IDEA about what he was doing. Rewatch those moments in Kobol, about the Opera House, about Hera-Baltar-6 knowing that it had no meaning at that time.

I've been watching both Lost and BSG. I used to think "hey, BSG is the serious one, Lost is for fun". I realize now that Lost is the real serious thing, they were crticized for doing random stuff, but it seems they know what they are heading too.

And I can even start to compare this to B5. =)
Dr. Schluss
Mon, Apr 27, 2009, 1:13pm (UTC -6)
Yow! Sorry for all those typos up there. I'm typing quickly during my lunch break.
Jason K
Mon, Apr 27, 2009, 2:38pm (UTC -6)
"(Credit to J Michael Straczynski)

Dear Mr. Tolkien:

I just wanted to say that I think the way you ended THE LORD OF THE RINGS was crap. You didn't provide any closure. Instead of spending time with the hobbits clearing out the shire (come on, urban renwal in LoTR? give me a break) and lots of goodbyes, you SHOULD have shown me what happened to Tom Bombadil, he was an important part of the story, and you just left his story thread there unresolved.

You made a big deal out of the elves going to the west, but we never SAW it! We never found out what was there, or what Bilbo found when he got there, or what happened to the dwarves, or what happened to Merry and Pippin....

You betrayed your audience by not resolving every single plot thread you introduced in your book, and as a result, it is never going to be of value to anyone, ever, and will never go past its first printing."

Ryan UK
Mon, Apr 27, 2009, 4:27pm (UTC -6)
Agree with some of the above posts: Lord of the Rings was bad for hundreds of different reasons; the ending probably being one of the least of them. That Peter Jackson made it into such a watchable film series is nothing sort of a miracle.

But I digress...

When you write a TV show, you have to make it open-ended, you can't start with an end in sight. You look at B5, it tried hard, but the final season was terribly fudged, due to reasons outside the writer's control.

The point is, you don't know how long a show will last. You can plan for five years and then have the show cancelled after a single year (Odyssey 5 being a great example), or you can plan for just a few episodes and go on for forty-six years (Doctor Who). As such, you simply cannot have it both ways. Ron Moore's way, making it up as he went along, may have resulted in an unsatisfactory ending (for some, anyway), but in TV terms it was just about the only thing he could have done, under the circumstances.

The ending is just about the most difficult trick for a writer to pull off, tying up all loose ends into a satisfactory whole. DS9, The X-Files, you name it - many great shows have suffered for a lackluster finale.

Perhaps instead of moaning that there were some plot threads left dangling, perhaps instead we should celebrate the fact that it was as good as it turned out to be... face it, RDM did a great job with a near-impossible task.

It was flawed, sure, but it could have been a hell of a lot worse.
Mon, Apr 27, 2009, 5:34pm (UTC -6)
More than a month, now, after seeing the finale, and admittedly, I was one of the blissed out happy-happy people with this one, I see only one thing that bothers me. The thrill of the sudden and nearly perfect slide up into absolute mythology has faded a little bit, but the frustrating thing is really the question of how easy might it really have been to just break apart as a fleet and settle like hippies, free of coloonial history, totally anew. I dig that they spread out, I dig that Apollo's idea led to something that in the end made us, that made human civilization, that also was very reminiscent of the Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide colonization of Earth (though satirical there, mythic and serious here). But it just felt too easy. Though, that's such a minor annoyance that I brush it aside as the nothing that it is. This finale swept everything up in the movement of series mythology to prehistory. There is only myth from here on in. We get to answer for ourselves whether Daniel was Kara's father or if Starbuck would have anymore stories, or if Bill Adama would ever see Lee again. It's the end, but the moment was prepared for very well, and it wasn't without difficulty that this story became legend. Though, that is how epics work. I just started watching another sci-fi series that ended on an amazing, if controversial, ending: Blake's 7. Is everyone dead at the end of that series? Only if we want them to be. When Robin Hood was told orally in a thousand different ballads, the people who sang the songs didn't own the story, the listeners did. That's how epics work. That's mythology, and Ron Moore went all the way to tie the series to the stars, to our own idenity as humans, to what we may become. It was complete, and NOT a silly, messy ending as quite a few missing the forest for the trees critics on this forum seem to be suggesting.
Mon, Apr 27, 2009, 8:48pm (UTC -6)
Regarding the point of the New Caprica Arc, it defined the entire third season. Characters were not the same after that and it took the entire season up through crossroads to bring resolution to it. New Caprica more or less stands alone (though it does connect to the gradual shift in how the Cylons choose to see humans as well as confirming how desperate the humans are to settle down-- good stuff to know for the series finale-- and a number of smaller thread) as a story told throughout season three. Then again, the same can be said of all the show's arcs. New Caprica is my personal favorite (I don't count any arc in season 4 other than the mutiny as its own arc) period of the show and I think its resonation throughout season 3 kept the show from sinking a bit in quality during a season with generally lesser episodic qualities. It's a fascinating piece that stands on its own, and that in no way makes it pointless.
Brendan B
Tue, Apr 28, 2009, 12:56am (UTC -6)
Speaking of Caprica, any plans on reviewing it for the site? Will that depend on whether you like the pilot or judging from how busy you are lately maybe just not at all regardless?
Panagiotis Karatasios
Tue, Apr 28, 2009, 3:35am (UTC -6)
Personally i can't find anything interesting in Caprica. With Caprica science fiction is deteriorating in soap opera and i'm not interested in that.
Alexey Bogatiryov
Tue, Apr 28, 2009, 2:09pm (UTC -6)
Remember, we are not supposed to discuss Caprica here!
Jack Bauer
Tue, Apr 28, 2009, 2:23pm (UTC -6)
"I've been watching both Lost and BSG. I used to think "hey, BSG is the serious one, Lost is for fun". I realize now that Lost is the real serious thing, they were crticized for doing random stuff, but it seems they know what they are heading too.

And I can even start to compare this to B5."

Lost is a show that the writers have said since the beginning that they know where they wanted to start, and they know where they want to end. They had the outline of every season planned out. If youll notice when you watch Lost, every season has its own theme. The Others, The mercenary ship etc etc.

B5 is the perfect show in my mind. Season 5 was a bit lackluster in terms of story and acting, but ill forgive that because season 5 was never supposed to happen. In B5 JMS finished his story it in 4 seasons and filmed Sleeping in Light (the greatest season finale ever to be filmed) before TNT decided to pick up Season 5.

BSG never had that sense of direction. The cylons had a plan apparantly....oh really?? At least in Tolkiens books, they made reference to the people going to a final destination. They actually said it.

Heres some food for thought, was Starbuck a carbon copy rip off of Gandolf? Remember Gandolf died, came back to life, helped defeat the forces of evil then went on "to the west"
Eric Sipple
Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 8:10am (UTC -6)
I've always respected RDM for being so up-front about not having things planned out and changing directions off the cuff. He's never been anything but clear that this is is writing style. This is how he likes to work.

It's disheartening to see people knock him for it out of hand, as if the only measure of good storytelling is how tightly planned the plot was. I think it's fair to say you wished things had lined up better, but that's a problem of execution, not of style.

And I'd be skeptical of writers who say they have everything planned and know where their series is going and have the end planned out. With the exception of Babylon 5, I strongly believe this is rarely the case.

Most writers make lots of things up as they go, even if they had a plan at the start. In fact, following a plan can lead you down the same path of incoherency if you're not careful. Just because it made sense in outline does not mean it actually makes sense when played out.

And frankly a lot of writers lie at the outset of their shows to get fans to buy into their premises. RDM was always honest. More so, he was as up front as you could be about both the successes of his off the cuff approach and the failures.

I think people are confusing not liking the end of the series with it being some kind of flaw in RDM's approach. I disagree.

I love B5, but I could point to plot developments that were just as unsatisfying to me as things in BSG did to many here. The lameness of the meaning of the three prophecies Sheridan got, for instance, might as well have been unplanned for how little impact they had.
jack bauer
Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 6:02pm (UTC -6)
"The lameness of the meaning of the three prophecies Sheridan got, for instance, might as well have been unplanned for how little impact they had."

Which were these?
Eric Sipple
Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 6:36pm (UTC -6)
I remembered it as being 3 prophecies, but it was actually one big dream of foreshadowing. But there were three big things dropped that literally got explained in dialogue a season later. They were:

1) "The man in between is searching for you." - Which turned out to mean that there was a previously unseen human emissary of the Shadows who showed up for an episode, gave a weird-hand-gestured speech and then died (Z'Ha'Dum)

2) Sheridan is "the hand". This explanation was so poor that I actually had to look it up and it's still kind of crap. Basically it was that he was one half of two opposing forces. One hand of two.

3) Ivonova asks, in the dream, "Do you know who I am?" Which refers to her having latent psionic abilities.

At one point in the dream Sheridan is also wearing the Psi Corp uniform, which meant that he'd be working with them at some point. Sigh.

JMS clearly knew exactly where he was going with these, but they didn't add anything to the show and were - at least to me - massively disappointing when revealed.
Ryan B
Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 7:38pm (UTC -6)
@Eric Sipple

"It's disheartening to see people knock him for it out of hand, as if the only measure of good storytelling is how tightly planned the plot was. I think it's fair to say you wished things had lined up better, but that's a problem of execution, not of style."

I can't agree more.
jack bauer
Thu, Apr 30, 2009, 4:35pm (UTC -6)
If I ever decide to do a rewatch of the show I will have to keep a look out on those.

1) I got nothing. Maybe something that he thought of but couldnt get the actor or something.

2) Sounds like it means Sheridan is the leader of the human side which were sort of allies with the Vorlons who both opposed the Shadows. 1/2 humans, 1/2 vorlons vs. The Shadows.

3) regarding the psi corps. The psi corp was supposed to have a very very big influence in the overall arc of the show. That had to be cut short because they had to cram 5 years of material into 4 years due to not knowing if they were getting renewed. Consequently season 5 had a lot of psi corp material when it did get picked up. If I had to guess id say that Sheridan wearing a psi corp uniform implies he was to be a puppet of their grand scheme.
Thu, Apr 30, 2009, 10:47pm (UTC -6)
I just watched the finale again, expecting that this time I'd be more bothered by flaws... but I came out of it feeling even more satisfied. It's just beautiful. There are some qualms, some things that could have been done better... but nothing was wrong... and there was just SO MUCH right with it that the other things don't seem to matter.

Now for the decision to settle on Earth. It's a little shaky, yes. But I believe that it COULD happen. I'm sure there was some dissent, but, ultimately... I don't think they had a choice and the few people who were against it... well, they don't have a ship left to live on. There is stuff that probably happened off screen. But, really, I found myself just so in love with everything that happened as a result of that choice and the send offs the characters got that I'll grant the show that conceit. It might not be the most realistic, but it's certainly possible... and it just feels right. It's hard to villainize that choice when it brings such beauty and poignancy.
Fri, May 1, 2009, 12:28am (UTC -6)
That's basically what I was planning on posting after also rewatching it the other day, Occuprice. This is an easy 4-star episode in my book. An almost 4-star ep like "What You Leave Behind" had flaws that really detracted from the whole, but "Daybreak" is so emotionally moving and brilliantly done that any chips in the armor go unnoticed when I watch it. I'll understand if Jammer goes with a lower rating, but there's no way I could rank it below 4.
Fri, May 1, 2009, 4:11am (UTC -6)
Wasn't the review of the finale supposed to be put up like, a month ago? And then two weeks ago? And then last Friday? And then Monday? Not whining or griping, it's your website, you can do whatever the heck you please, it's just... *twitchy* need review *twitchy*.
Fri, May 1, 2009, 12:10pm (UTC -6)
The thing about the finale is that in terms of sheer execution is it beautiful. There are flaws in terms of narrative payoff, but the way they tell it cannot be faulted. Take the Opera House sequence. That payoff is the one bit that really does bug me, but the quality of production just makes it a triumph.

Now, we can play the BSG game properly, but watching it through. The game is to take a drink whenever either Starbuck, Apollo or Adama say "frak" or variation thereof.
Ryan B
Fri, May 1, 2009, 3:02pm (UTC -6)

We're all hungry for the review, but if Jammer does indeed do web development or something else related to that like it seems he does, then that's likely freelance/contract work. Your next job is your livelihood and therefore your life, so sometimes your extra-curriculars have to get shoved aside, however callously, so that you can keep bringin' home the bread.
Alexey Bogatiryov
Fri, May 1, 2009, 9:21pm (UTC -6)
Ryan and AMB, I think we should simply accept the unavoidable truth that there will never be a review of Daybreak.
Fri, May 1, 2009, 9:25pm (UTC -6)
All of this has happened before....
Panafiotis Karatasios
Sat, May 2, 2009, 5:47am (UTC -6)
quote "I think we should simply accept the unavoidable truth that there will never be a review of Daybreak.'
Well i still have some hope....
Joseph B
Sat, May 2, 2009, 12:48pm (UTC -6)
In case you guys somehow missed the "Comment" that Jammer posted here last week, he stated that he was working on the review and apologized for missing his self-imposed deadline of last Friday. So the review *will be* posted eventually! I'm sure that 'Ryan B's comment above regarding his freelance work is accurate.

Look: The guy doesn't owe us anything! I come here mainly for the TOS, TNG, DS9, and Voyager reviews since I'm currently going through the DVD sets of those series. (And it would be *real nice* if Jammer finds the time to finish the TNG reviews some day.) For the fans of those series (and now BSG), this site has become an invaluable resource. But it should be noted by everybody here that those reviews represent over a decade's worth of work! So give Jammer a break: He's earned it!
Sat, May 2, 2009, 2:07pm (UTC -6)
I take it no one remembers how long it took for the ENT S4 recap? It was, as always, well worth the wait. One of the best slogans on the front page is "Delays R Us," after all ;). I'm looking forward to the review whenever it lands, and there certainly isn't any sense in getting worked up about it. If Jammer gives it zero stars though, THEN we should start getting worked up!
Sarah Mae
Sat, May 2, 2009, 3:42pm (UTC -6)
So, aside from the forthcoming Daybreak review, can we look forward to a Star Trek movie review as well?

So many things for Jammer to review for his masses, so little time.
Sat, May 2, 2009, 7:57pm (UTC -6)
I don't actually mind the wait for the review. Just as with the delay in deliver season 4.5, I look it as just that much longer that I have a new episode or review to look forward to.
Ryan B
Sat, May 2, 2009, 8:22pm (UTC -6)
We love you Jammer! We just miss you. :(
Sat, May 2, 2009, 11:25pm (UTC -6)
The execution and successes of the finale were tremendous, yes. For that I give it due credit. But for some fans, like myself, the degree of closure was always going to make up a significant slice of the final grade.

I hope the math in the anti-bot question doesn't get much harder, I can't do addition very high. :)

Also looking forward to Jammer tearing up...err, I mean reviewing...the new Trek movie.
Sun, May 3, 2009, 12:28pm (UTC -6)
I hate to break it to you all, but Jammer was an In Head all along and has disappeared a la Kara Thrace. The review is never coming.
Mon, May 4, 2009, 7:37pm (UTC -6)
I was ok with them not explaining a lot of it, but I draw the line at Starbuck. They used her as bait for the season cliffhanger, and given the really long time in between seasons, we deserved an answer on her damnit! Not cool Ron Moore, not cool.
Mon, May 4, 2009, 8:54pm (UTC -6)
Starbuck, yeah, I dunno. Going back through the series, she's sorta, I dunno, not explained but there are like clues, I guess.

The way I interperet it is that, she /did/ have a special destiny, to lead humanity to both of the Earths, and lead to the destruction of Humanity through find a place for huamn and Cylon to merge.

I think she had to die though, in order to be able to I dunno, 'connect' with that higher guiding power, because, once she came back, she was able to feel the way to earth and she saw the Gas-giant and comet, which turned out to be the cylon baseship that the fleet allied with, which intern led to the discovery of the Five, which lead to Earth...and basically the convoluted series of events that led to the final episode.

As for what she actually /is/ I recall that Leoban told her that when he looked at her, he saw "an angle blazing with the light of God."
That leads me to think that maybe she's like that Shelly Godfrey from season one, who, after she finished her mission, just dissapeared, leaving only her glasses.

So, if it took me that long to say what /I/ thought Starbuck was, can you blame them for not trying. The show woulda been another half hour longer. :P I kid, I kid, but unless/until the plan tells me different, then that's what I speculate Starbuck is.
Wed, May 6, 2009, 1:01pm (UTC -6)
Jammer, I have a confession to make. I...I've...I've read a review on another website about the BSG finale. I'm sorry, I love your reviews, and I don't read Star Trek or BSG reviews on any other sites normally, but I...I... needed something more. I promise, I'll read your review as soon as it's out. :)
Alexey Bogatiryov
Wed, May 6, 2009, 6:19pm (UTC -6)
@ Poltargyst

Can you please give the rest of us BSG deprived fans the link to the other review?
Wed, May 6, 2009, 7:26pm (UTC -6)
"Can you please give the rest of us BSG deprived fans the link to the other review?" - Alexey Bogatiryov

Zounds! A muntiny! =P
Wed, May 6, 2009, 7:31pm (UTC -6)
Wow.. this review is taking a really long time... and as time passes, the more disappointed I feel about the finale. It was kind of, I don't know, weird, for a lack of a better word. In my opinion the show began to lack substance after the 2nd season. The story just wasn't as gripping.... something went missing.
BSG Fan 1917
Wed, May 6, 2009, 7:39pm (UTC -6)
Here is a link to a decent review!
BSG Fan 1917
Wed, May 6, 2009, 7:46pm (UTC -6)
Here is a decent early review of the Star Trek movie too:
Thu, May 7, 2009, 12:12pm (UTC -6)
I don't remember the site I read the review on. A quick Google will find you reviews for the BSG finale, which is all I did.
Fri, May 8, 2009, 7:52pm (UTC -6)
Not to jump the gun, or start a new thread, but....

Jammer, will you be reviewing the new Star Trek?
Sun, May 10, 2009, 4:47am (UTC -6)
I changed my mind. After watching the new star trek movie BSG's finale looks megnificent!!!!!
Jason K
Fri, Oct 19, 2012, 1:07pm (UTC -6)
BSG - Best Finale Ever!!
Tue, Mar 14, 2017, 8:53am (UTC -6)
Hmm, I'm reading this in 2017, but all comments are from 2009 ... I wonder if anyone else has been here in the past five plus years :)


"While everything that was there was nice, it lacked alot. Namely, explanations for any of the significant big questions this series has been about for the last 4 years."

Everything that needs to be explained, has been explained. Not everything has been explained in detail. That's good - it would take away from the wonder and detract from the viewer's imagination and interpretations.

"All Along the Watchtower... no explanation"

It is explained enough. It has to do with a warning or awareness that humanity is entering a dangerous era. I would speculate that it's meant to be humans glimpsing a part of God's plan and struggling to interpret it into something comprehensible.

"Kara's ressurection.... no explanation"

This is well-explained IMO. She died and came back for the primary purpose of being able to lead humanity to its end (our Earth). Once this mission was complete, she ascended. Incidentally, my pet theory (which I can't prove, and don't even believe the writers had in mind) is that each cycle, perhaps one person "ascends" in this way, and that is where the angels/head characters come from - ascended versions of past incarnations.

"The head characters.... no explanation (this one is especially annoying because we were promised one by RDM)"

It is plainly obvious that they are authentic agents of a higher power, ie angels, as Head Six has been telling Baltar for years. This is a mystery that's been hiding in plain sight.

"Hera/God/Watchtower/Kara/Dad/Leoben/Earth connection.... no explanation"

This is the same "question" as above regarding the song. See above explanation.

"The opera house visions, somewhat... but the opera house itself.... no explanation"

This is one of the weak points of the series IMO - the opera house simply represents the Galactica as a large physical place. This is a situation where the visions had the appearance of meaning but no real meaning. Had the visions simply shown Hera running through the Galactica, it would have been no less impactful. So, why didn't it? Maybe they weren't sure where they wanted to go with it, early on. Maybe they didn't want to attempt to match later shoots frame by frame, with a noticeably bigger child actress playing Hera and subtly older adult actors playing the main characters. I suspect this is an area where the writers wish they could tweak the series (along with the star map on Kobol and glowing Cylon spines during sex).

"The hybrids connection to God, and how that worked with Anders.... no explanation"

What would be the point of spelling this out? Their connection to Anders is not directly related to their connection with God, anyway - Anders essentially hacked their network and did the Cylon goo version of a denial of service attack to take the Hybrids offline temporarily.

"How Tyrol gained 50 pounds eating algae rations and working 16 hours a day... no explanation"

I'm sure the writers would prefer this hadn't happened :)

"Other than of course, "it was God's plan". Well, I'm not really satisfied with that explanation."

Sorry :/ Watch a different show, because for good or for bad, that is the overall answer in this series.

"Now, despite these qualms, I would still call this an excellent finale and among the best episodes of the series."

I am glad that despite hating every individual element of the show, you liked the overall show ...... :)
Tue, Feb 19, 2019, 12:31am (UTC -6)
Well @jack, you posted 2 years ago, and now here I am, having just finished another rewatch of the series (From Caprica on, no less) and thought I'd look in here on a whim. Once again I found myself struck by this finale, and this time it was by the finality off it. Sure it ends with the start of OUR chapter, but the chapter, the stories of the Battlestar Galactica and her characters are over. And it leaves you with an empty spot, knowing that its over. Like Kara said about the song, "It makes you happy and sad, all at the same time.", much like "the best ones do."

Though I do think this universe is ripe for so many more stories to be told. From Kobol, to the life on the Colonies, the initial Cylon uprising and even perhaps life after the finale, with the creation and then loss of Atlantis and the intergration of these three cultures.

But as a final note, this ain't that bad to me. (Even if others hate it)

[Also, woohoo! 400!]

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