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Battlestar Galactica series finale (spoilers)

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So who here watched it?

Despite the show's tragically mixed premises, I must admit I did not expect it to plunge headlong into irrationalism quite the way it did in the finale. It was a disgusting spectacle. Mysticism, collectivism, moral relativism, nihilism, determinism, environmentalism, it's all there. And all within less than two hours!

It begins with Adama taking Galactica, crewed with volunteers, on a final and likely suicidal mission

to attack the Cylon capital colony and rescue Hera, the Cylon-human hybrid daughter of Helo and Athena. Galactica has sustained so much battle damage over the years and her structural integrity is failing, so Adama and the rest of the crew know that the battleship will only make it another jump or two even if the mission succeeds.

The first hour was actually quite heroic and action-packed. Galactica jumps into point-blank range of the Cylon colony and a unleashes a relentless attack. Colonial marines and their Cylon rebel allies storm the colony and engage the Cylons in pitched running gun battles to rescue the little girl Hera. It was like the heroes of Galactica had finally rediscovered total war.

As the rescuers return to Galactica with Hera secured, Cylon forces board Galactica and the battle becomes one of survival for the humans and the rebel Cylons. And that is where the show goes off the rails. Hera becomes separated from her parents as firefights explode all around her. She begins to run through these firefights and President Roslyn (who is terminally ill and is only being kept alive by a potent cocktail of drugs) follows her through the bowels of Galactica. Roslyn is of course in a glowing mental haze from the drugs. Also following Hera is her mother as well as Gaius Baltar and the statuesque Cylon Caprica Six. Roslyn, Athena, Baltar and Caprica Six all get a shared sense of extreme deja vu as they follow Hera through corridors (dodging bullets the whole time, I might add). They all flash back to a shared dream where they are following Hera through a grand and elegant opera house.

I'll post more later, I am too exhausted to remain coherent describing a show that angered me greatly.

Edited by flatlander
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So who here watched it?

I watched the whole series, though I can't say I really liked it due to its rather morbid sense of life. There was just enough intrigue to keep me interested as to who the main players actually were -- who were the Cylons and why didn't they know they were Cylons, would they make it to salvation, would they survive, etc. But even the producers and the directors thought it was a very dark series, and on that, they were right. I definitely preferred the grandeur of the original series in that regard.

However, I definitely agree with your assessment of how it ended --

with each civilization, human and Cylon, just throwing away all of their accomplishments to "go native" under the directorship of something referred to as "God" who never made his meaning clear! After all of that struggle -- often heroic -- they just threw everything into the sun!

Yes, I was disgusted and even disturbed. I kept wondering if there was some meaning to it all, and the only meaning I can come up with is

anti-technology and anti-mind nihilism. I also have to wonder if this can be the series to best represent the book "Return of the Primitive".

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I've watched every episode of BSG since the beginning. I've given Ron Moore the benefit of the doubt up untill the end.

What I watched last night was an awful, digusting betrayal of all the time I and other fans have invested in the show. I hated every second of it. Fuck Battlestar Galactica and fuck Ron Moore. I'm done.

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Although I shared your disgust at the blatant insertion at the end of the mystical, and the anti-reason path that they chose at the end, the show *did* have some highlights.

I felt that Cavil's suicide at the end, for example, was the perfectly logical conclusion to his absolutely flawed premises. He wanted to live forever and be a perfect machine. Without resurrection tech, he could not achieve this. No reason to live. Bye bye.

And how Galen killed Tory was absolutely, 100% satisfying to me! I wanted to smoke a cigarette after that moment. ;)

The little tributes to the original series were also a nice touch.

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Although I shared your disgust at the blatant insertion at the end of the mystical, and the anti-reason path that they chose at the end, the show *did* have some highlights.

I felt that Cavil's suicide at the end, for example, was the perfectly logical conclusion to his absolutely flawed premises. He wanted to live forever and be a perfect machine. Without resurrection tech, he could not achieve this. No reason to live. Bye bye.

I did find Cavil's (sp?) suicide to rationally follow from his character development. It was certainly logical that he would kill himself when he realized he would not receive the resurrection technology as the Final Five had promised.

But what was truly infuriating to me was that when Cavil first grabbed Hera and held her hostage in the bridge standoff, there were several humans that had a bead on him and could have taken him out with a head shot. There was a Colonial marine not ten feet away. Adama had a clean shot. But the humans decided to negotiate with him instead. And Baltar even stated something like "We are beyond good and evil." I'd re-watch the scene on my DVR but that would mean re-inflicting this trash upon my mind. I was willing to look past the "shared dream" scene involving Athena, Roslyn, Baltar and Caprica Six but Baltar's moral relativism really sent this show off the rails for me.

And how Galen killed Tory was absolutely, 100% satisfying to me! I wanted to smoke a cigarette after that moment. ;)

Also good, it was great to see Galen further re-establish his individualism and act out of a sense of justice. It was like he finally reconciled his nature as a Cylon with his rational mind and his volition. Galen's character arc in the final several episodes made him one of the best characters in the series, IMO. I liked that he was willing to think outside the box and use Cylon tech to attempt to shore up Galactica's structural integrity.

The little tributes to the original series were also a nice touch.

I particularly liked the combat scenes where the rebel Centurions fought the old Mark I Centurions.

The few positive elements could not save this mystical and altruistic monstrosity.

Looking back at Baltar's character earlier in the series, it becomes evident that he is held up as an example of "selfishness." He was narcissistic, petty, devious, elitist, womanizing. He had betrayed the Colonies by allowing Caprica Six access to the defense grid. He's part Nietschean "superman", part lone wolf, part whim-worshiping hedonist and 100% second-hander. The first season was filled with his attempts to cover up his crimes while blanking out what he had done because of his obsession with Caprica Six. Fast forward to the fourth season, and he's a cult leader living in Galactica's lower decks with a harem of female followers who cater to his every whim. He mouths religious platitudes but treats everything and everyone with cynicism. Then, after the mutiny, he "discovers" altruism, giving away his group's stash of food to the needy civilians that also live in Galactica's lower decks. He gets onto a kick of "doing for others." When his altruistic attempts to feed the hungry are met with the depradations of a violent lower-decks gang of thugs, he successfully convinces Adama (who had successfully recaptured his ship and put down Gaida's mutiny) to give his cult a substantial arsenal of weapons. What the hell was Adama thinking, arming Baltar's cult????

Baltar joins Adama's volunteer mission to rescue Hera, not because he has become heroic and wants to save the child as an affirmation of life, but because he has become altruistic or at least thinks that's what he should be. One suspects the fact that Caprica Six is on the mission has a lot to do with Baltar's signing on. He may have become "admirable" by altruistic standards but he is still the big second-hander we know and despise. Add in a heavy dose of mysticism and no one on Galactica was more deserving of a slow, painful death. But of course, that didn't happen to him. He goes on to go native along with the rest of the humans and rebel Cylons.

But enough of Baltar. The most disgusting part of the finale was the decision made at the end to land everyone on the planet and send the fleet into the sun. Wanting to "break the cycle" of war between Cylons and humans, they decided that technology was the problem and the solution was to land on the planet and go native. What a horrifying capitulation to environmentalism.

When I thought it couldn't get any worse, they show Earth 150,000 years later, bringing the time frame to our present, and a montage of present-day video footage of developments in robotic technology. The implication: technology will lead to our destruction. At the very end, the Angel-Caprica and Angel-Baltar walk about on bustling city streets, condemning the rise of technology. Mysticism and environmentalism, together at last.

How vile.

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...

How vile.

Is it still mysticism when you can actually see the angels? hmmmm :P

I think everything they did in the wrap-up was dictated by the decision to set the arrival of the rag tag fleet 150,000 years ago in this Earth's timeline. The only thing they failed at was Kara Thrace/Starbuck. Her just disappearing is an admission of total failure by the writers that they had lost control of the continuity and arc of that character. That is what happens when you make stuff up as you go along.

And don't use spoiler tags if the thread title warns of spoilers, its redundant.

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Is it still mysticism when you can actually see the angels? hmmmm :P

I made an argument once that it is not mysticism if you can see the "mystical type" characters. It's more of imagination -- like seeing fairies or werewolves in fantasy art. In a sense, the artist is giving you evidence by showing the angels. In that sense, the only real mysticism is Baltar's and Caprica 6's "God" (who doesn't like to be called that), since He never showed up and we only got to "know Him and his purpose" via those who claimed to have an insight into his purpose. His purpose, evidently, was to have all of that destruction occur so that human-Cylon hybrid could make it to New Earth to produce a new race of humans; which is why the rest were permitted to die out without effecting her inheritance lineage. It was as if His purpose was to create and then destroy in order to improve the human race, so they wouldn't make the mistake of creating beings that would rise up against them. Or maybe so they would be more aware of His plan and act on it. In this sense, Baltar was the perfect vehicle for him since he had absolutely no purpose of his own.

I would say mysticism was perhaps the intent -- or claiming there is some sort of overall plan to existence -- without showing any real evidence to support that. You saw the human purpose and the Cylon purpose, but "God's" purpose was left intentionally vague, though one could know it via implication. But, after all, we can never really know His purpose, since man doesn't have the mental capacity to really know that, according to most all religions of (new) Earth. This is the element that makes it mystical.

Of course, the idea of giving up all of technology is evil and vile -- especially after all of that struggle to preserve their culture. And no one even argued against that decision!

Weren't most of the ships in the fleet private property? and by what right were they ordered to be destroyed?

Once they found New Earth and the war was over, they should no longer have gone along with the Admiral's decision, being free men once again. But, evidently, freedom and prosperity is not part of God's plan or the plan of the writers of Battlestar Galactica.

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Weren't most of the ships in the fleet private property? and by what right were they ordered to be destroyed?

If everyone agreed to "go back to nature" (*shudder*) then the people had every right to destroy the ships.

Once they found New Earth and the war was over, they should no longer have gone along with the Admiral's decision, being free men once again.

But again, if the ships were private property (and it was demonstrated throughout the series that they were not considered as such), then when the people chose to abandon reason (which they did), they had the right to destroy the ships. If the ships were *not* private property, then Adama had the right to destroy the ships.

But, evidently, freedom and prosperity is not part of God's plan or the plan of the writers of Battlestar Galactica.

Agreed, 100%

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I think everything they did in the wrap-up was dictated by the decision to set the arrival of the rag tag fleet 150,000 years ago in this Earth's timeline. The only thing they failed at was Kara Thrace/Starbuck. Her just disappearing is an admission of total failure by the writers that they had lost control of the continuity and arc of that character. That is what happens when you make stuff up as you go along.

And don't use spoiler tags if the thread title warns of spoilers, its redundant.

My bad about the spoiler tags, I was simply being cautious about throwing spoilers out into the forum.

Starbuck's vanishing was truly weak, but very much in keeping with this abysmal series finale.

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Starbuck disappearing brought me back to my childhood when my mom would watch 'Touched By An Angel' a title whose innuendo could literally apply to Kara Thrace's storyline. They could have VERY easily said that the man at the piano was 'Daniel' the 13th cylon and said that Kara was his daughter, and Kara and Lee could've gone off and had a loving relationship in their happy flower child 'we grow our own crops' land.

I find it very very VERY unlikely that the remnants of the human race would choose a life devoid of toilet paper.

Of course a possible explanation for why everyone was so willing to leave the ships was related to that. The stall doors in the head in Galactica didn't work, they were having contests to see who gets the last tube of toothpaste in the whole fleet, people were starving, I think they tried to make it obvious that it's not fun to be on the fleet anymore. Still, it all sounds very hippie-ish.

Roslin's death bugged me. Up until that point she had been angry and mean when close to dieing, she should've been telling Adama to shoot those gazelle, not wanting to see them up close. Perhaps she felt her 'journey' was at an end, but why? Her journey ended a few episodes ago when she gave up being president. After her role in quelling the mutiny she has essentially become pretty useless. Her job in that episode was to be a foil for Dr. Coddle's emotional side, and then to show compassion for dieing pilots and marines all around her. I think her death could've had much more emotional depth.

The only thing I liked about it was that I wasn't expecting a 'happy' ending. I expected for all the main characters to die, somehow because of Kara Thrace, and that to be the ending. I was happy to see all those characters I had followed for so long finally get a restful peaceful ending.

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Starbuck disappearing brought me back to my childhood when my mom would watch 'Touched By An Angel' a title whose innuendo could literally apply to Kara Thrace's storyline. They could have VERY easily said that the man at the piano was 'Daniel' the 13th cylon and said that Kara was his daughter, and Kara and Lee could've gone off and had a loving relationship in their happy flower child 'we grow our own crops' land.

Moore was stupid for even mentioning Daniel so close to the end of a heavily mythology-based series with many questions left still unanswered. I can't believe that someone in the writers' circle didn't say "um, these are science fiction fans - don't you think they'll kind of fixate on this?"

Regarding the finale, I don't have any complaints about it that don't apply to the rest of the show, but I'm with a number of others in this thread -- the show's moral ambiguity, contrived character flaws, and mysticism didn't sit well with me, but it wasn't so out of place given the culture of entertainment.

The part I didn't like was the very end, with the Baltar & Six angels discussing whether man was moral enough to prevent his own destruction, given the rampant excess and commercialism that surrounded them. It was cheesy (especially the Moore cameo), clunky in execution, and emptied me of any sentiment I experienced in the previous two hours. If someone had told me a year ago that Galactica would end with footage of Japanese toy robots dancing to "All Along the Watchtower," while Balter and Six talk about morality (!) I'd have believed them to be mad.

Kudos, though, to Bear McCreary for the wonderful soundtrack, and to the special effects and development teams for their technical expertise on the series. Galactica was feature film quality from beginning to end, and everything seemed like it was thoroughly noodled before committed to paper or film. And I also appreciate the Sci Fi Channel taking a chance on the series -- heavily flawed though it was, I was entertained and intrigued the whole time.

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I had entertained the theory that Cara Thrace herself was Daniel. That when Cavil altered Daniel's genetic makeup to destroy the model, he ended up making Daniel into Cara. She was artistic (those drawings and paintings of the supernova at Cobol) and sensitive (so sensitive she tried to suppress it with drinking, gambling, recreational sex and risky Viper-flying).

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The part I didn't like was the very end, with the Baltar & Six angels discussing whether man was moral enough to prevent his own destruction, given the rampant excess and commercialism that surrounded them. It was cheesy (especially the Moore cameo), clunky in execution, and emptied me of any sentiment I experienced in the previous two hours. If someone had told me a year ago that Galactica would end with footage of Japanese toy robots dancing to "All Along the Watchtower," while Balter and Six talk about morality (!) I'd have believed them to be mad.

You wouldn't have been alone in that. The Baltar and Six "Angels" talking about morality was pretty rich considering the moral equivalence and out and out nihilism they whispered into the ears of the living Baltar and Six over the course of the series. Obviously the "morality" to which they refer is the willingness to blame technology for all their problems and embrace environmentalism.

Kudos, though, to Bear McCreary for the wonderful soundtrack, and to the special effects and development teams for their technical expertise on the series. Galactica was feature film quality from beginning to end, and everything seemed like it was thoroughly noodled before committed to paper or film. And I also appreciate the Sci Fi Channel taking a chance on the series -- heavily flawed though it was, I was entertained and intrigued the whole time.

I agree with you on this. Except that I was entertained for most of the series, but sickened and repelled by the last 40 minutes of it. It was like 40 minutes of swimming in a sewer.

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I had entertained the theory that Cara Thrace herself was Daniel. That when Cavil altered Daniel's genetic makeup to destroy the model, he ended up making Daniel into Cara. She was artistic (those drawings and paintings of the supernova at Cobol) and sensitive (so sensitive she tried to suppress it with drinking, gambling, recreational sex and risky Viper-flying).

I read what turned out to be a completely incorrect spoiler, but it would have been an interesting development:

The false spoiler 'revealed' that Daniel was father to twins Kara Thrace and Gaius Baltar, and that Daniel's been guiding them to their destiny ("our" Earth) since the Fall of the Colonies using Cylon projection. It would have made sense given the projecting, Angel Six & Angel Baltar, and the whole destiny angle. It wouldn't have explained Kara's death and resurrection, though, and it would have invalidated Hera as being the first human/Cylon hybrid.

Flawed still, but it would have taken the wind out of the God sails with the "angels" actually being angels. I don't mind mysticism in science fiction if it's something that can be counted on as a vital part of the story, like the Force in Star Wars. Galactica treated religion like a set decoration, something background to the characters, which got put center stage in the last moment.

Greek tragedies do this - the gods drop into a convoluted plot and magically make everything okay - forgivable for them, but Ron Moore should have known better.

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