Regardless of whether you thought last night’s BATTLESTAR GALACTICA series finale was “Frakkin’ Fantastic!” or the biggest letdown since THE SOPRANOS faded-to-black, I think there is one thing all fans (be them human or Cylon) can agree upon. Ronald D. Moore Frakked us again by giving us the most unexpected ending of all: A relatively happy one.
So before we get into our very own post-finale-data-stream-of-consciousness, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Moore for not only delivering a thrilling and emotional ending that will be debated both online and off for years to come. But for providing fans with four seasons of remarkable stories, characters that we will never forget, and best of all, a spin-off (CAPRICA) that’s coming to DVD in less than a month (Seriously, thank the Gods!)
Our story begins back on Caprica before the attack. Or as we like to call it, our least favorite aspect of the entire three-part series finale. Because as much as we applaud Ronald D. Moore for caring enough to ensure fans have enough material to keep the BSG fan-fiction machine going for a good decade or so (Starbuck, Lee and Zak Adama have a little too much to drink… it practically writes itself!), we’re not exactly sure as to what these flashbacks added to the overall story. Especially since we’re already more than a little aware that Kara Thrace was destined for something more and that Adama and Tigh are, with apologies to J.D. and Turk, television’s most memorable bromance.
So we’ll move on to the crew prepping for what would most likely would be their final mission. Which oddly enough, started out on a very uncharacteristic lighter note: With Roslin telling Doc Coddle as he struggles to hold back the tears (in a much deserved final scene for actor Donnelly Rhodes) “Don’t spoil your image, just light a cigarette and go and grumble.” Adama informing his crew that after they run out of bullets they should, “start throwing rocks.” Helo commending his pilot’s dedication, “That’s my Raptor wranglers, always looking for new and interesting ways to get killed.” And Tigh as only Tigh can, letting Adama know that it’s, “still not to late to flush ‘em ['Cylons!] out of the airlock.” Add to that, surprise promotions for President Lampkin and Admiral Hoshi (WTF!?) and we’re fairly certain that BSG just set a record for the number of laughs in a single episode.
Of course, the laughter came to a screeching halt when Adama took a moment to do what he does best: Rally the troops for the very last time, “This is the Admiral. Just so there will be no misunderstandings later. Galactica has seen a lot of history, gone through a lot of battles. This will be her last. She will not fail us… if we do not fail her. If we succeed in our mission, Galactica will bring us home. If we don’t, it doesn’t matter anyways.” Needless to say, we’re not ashamed to admit that we totally mumbled “So Say We All” under our breath. Did you?
Cue ridiculously epic space battle that doesn’t really translate well into words. Suffice to say, we now know where 95% of the season’s special effects budget went to: The Hera Rescue Mission. Not only do the rarely-seen Cylon models of ‘Simon’ and ‘Doral’ get to make an appearance. But we were treated to big budget explosions! Toasters versus Toasters! Never-before-scene cannon fire! Raiders! Raptors! Balter in military fatigues! Did we mention Explosions?! And the Galactica itself serving as a battering ram to quite literally rip into the heart of the Cylon home world in an effort to rescue Hera. Holy Frak, It was awesome.
That is until the ‘Opera House.’ Which we’re just going to say, is where the show loses us. Because in our mind, mythical visions are a lazy plot device that completely remove us from the reality of the show. Are we seriously to believe that two seasons ago, when the Opera House was first introduced, Ronald D. Moore and Co. knew that everything Roslin, Caprica Six, Baltar and Sharon saw was all tied into rescuing Hera from the Cylons? Because we’re sorry, we’re not buying it. Even if it worked out perfectly so that Caprica Six and Baltar saved Hera… just in time for Cavil to kidnap her again. D’oh!
Which brings us Baltar’s big speech. Was anyone else waiting for Cavil to be capped in the head as Baltar endlessly blathered on? No. Okay then, moving on to the world’s shortest truce (which is agreed upon when the Final Five agree to give Cavil the key to Resurrection in exchange for Hera) and our favorite sequence of the entire finale. Yes, you know where we’re going with this. The one where Tyrol loses completely loses his mind, eye-popping and all, after ‘seeing’ Tory’s “little secret.” End Truce.
Not willing to risk a moment, Tyrol takes a page from Homer Simpson and strangles Tory to death. More fighting ensues, with Cavil taking the cowards way out by offing himself, while a dead Raptor pilot inexplicably blows up the Cylon home world forcing Adama to yells to Kara, “there must be some kind of way out of here.” Okay, not exactly, but get us out of here Kara does. With the now iconic “All Along the Watchtower” theme informing her to piece together the exact co-ordinates to Earth2 . Which by the way, is the type of plot thread coming together that we love.
And with that, the crew finally arrives at a place called home. The audience (at our BSG Frakkin’ Finale Party) went nuts. As it really was the perfect place to end the show. Or so we thought….
Because as it turned out, there were still forty minutes remaining in the episode. Which means we’re about to get BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: The Big Goodbye.
Let the backlash begin. Or at the very least the half-lash. Because if you’re anything like us, Earth2 (not to be confused with the short-lived NBC science fiction series of the same name) was a mixed bag of loved it or loathed it moments.
But let’s start off with the love shall we. Because who on earth would begrudge Adama and Roslin’s beautiful swan song? Their final flight, particularly when Adama removed Roslin’s ring and put it on his finger was emotionally poignant and absolutely heartbreaking. Especially after it became apparent that Adama was not going to pull a Cavil by setting a collision course directly for the nearest mountain,
Ellen got her wish, which was to simply be with Saul (again, thank the Gods the flashback made that clear). While Tyrol after being betrayed by seemingly everyone he had ever loved choose to take the road less traveled (literally) by going off and living by himself. Not exactly what we would have chosen, but hey, our girlfriend didn’t turn out to be a Cylon and our dearly-departed wife didn’t cheat on us and lie about her Baby-Daddy.
As for Hera, Athena and Helo, well they got to live happily-ever-after. Which we’re not going to lie, is quite the shocker considering we completely expected Ronald D. Moore would take a page from the Joss Whedon playbook and have Helo sacrifice himself to save his family.
Of course here are where things get complicated. Did Balter really redeem himself after years and years of only acting in his own self-interest, not to mention being partially responsible for the annihilation of an entire civilization? Not in our books.
And since we have absolutely no explanation for what the deal with Kara “Starbuck” Thrace was, we thought we’d turn it over to Ronald D. Moore himself, who had this to say in a post-finale interview with the Star-Ledger’s Alan Spinwall. “Kara, I think, is whatever you want her to be. It’s easy to put that label on her: Angel, or Messenger of God, or whatever. Kara Thrace died and was resurrected and came back and took the people to their final end. That was her role, her destiny on the show… We debated back and forth in the writers’ room for a while on giving it more definition, and saying, definitively, “This is what she is,” and we decided that the more you try to outline it and give voice to it and put a name on it, the less interesting it became. We just decided this was the most interesting way to go out, with her disappearing without trying to name what she was. ”
Which just about wraps it up.
Except that we quickly jump 150,00 years into the future where Head Baltar and Head Six debate (alongside a cameo by Ronald D. Moore himself) as to whether humanity (that’s us!) will once again be the architects of our own demise. Then, in case we didn’t already get the connection that “all of this will happen before, and all of this will happen again,” the camera camera pans over to a television screen showing an MSNBC report about the prevalence of artificial intelligence in Japan…. just so you know, we know whom to blame when all of this that happened before, happens again.
THE END (For Real)