The end of a televisions series always brings forth certain emotions, theories, disappointments, and, of course, opinions. While the journey should be the thing — and with Battlestar Galactica it has been four seasons of a wonderful trip — everyone wants a great end to a long journey. I’ll get it out front and say I liked the finale. It isn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever seen and I did have problems with parts of it, but overall it worked for me.
The biggest problem with the entire episode was flying the fleet into the sun. True, you can write it off as another bad decision in a series that shows how often we all make bad decisions, but all 38,000 people and everyone wanted to go retro and live off of the land? No one would miss their radios, computers, and everything else that the human’s had evolved into? I believe if they’d had more time to investigate the “breaking the cycle” notion, given it a little debate, then it might have worked a little better as written. Give us a hint that the fuel is now finite, they’re out of medication, that everything they do have is temporary anyway (which it would have been). But why even go through all of that explanation that still doesn’t cover everything? This is such an easy fix: a new-born hybrid should be able to see the foibles of the human and Cylon races, their inability to learn, how the cycle will continue. Anders could come to that realization and simply go rogue, take the fleet into the sun of only his own volition. The result is a great “what the frak just happened?” moment, stranded survivors with new seemingly insurmountable odds, and a truly a clean slate.
Secondly, I guess if there is a higher power, some hand pulling the strings, then the whole coincidence of the Raptor’s dead pilot nuking the Colony shouldn’t bother me so much. But it does.
At first I was put off by the notion that “angels” were driving everything, but then I realized that this entire series has been about that. Caprica 6 has been continually spouting religious rhetoric to Baltar the entire series. The Colonials used religious texts to search for Earth. The Cylons and their resurrection tech and One True God. While I don’t like the “religion is the answer” angle, with the setup we were given, how could it be anything but? It made sense, although that last bit in Times Square was too much.
Everything else, though, worked for me. I’m a bit confused that Adama Sr. and Tyrol wanted to go off and die alone, but it’s their decision and I can live with it. There are a few other things here and there, but nothing that stopped me or detracted from enjoying the episode.
Yes, I loved the resolution to Starbuck’s character. Mainly because I don’t think the writers could have given us anything to explain her, possibly because they don’t know themselves. There are hints Starbuck was an angel, but there are also hints that she was not – I personally think she was not. She works better as an unknown.
The flashbacks were amazing. My favorite part. Tigh and Adama getting drunk in a strip club is one of the truest scenes of the entire series. Those flashback sequences highlighted the character-based story telling that has always been the strongest part of this series. It’s exactly the sort of thing that the sci-fi world as a whole needs more of.
Galactica’s final jump out of danger and the ensuing snapping of her keel was fantastic and heart breaking at the same time. A fitting final outing for the old girl.
The finale was not perfect, but what is. The more I think about it, the more I like it. I like the fact that they arrive at least 100,000 years before sustained agriculture was successful on this planet. I guess Baltar wasn’t that good of a farmer after all. I like that the survivor’s descendants have to go through an ice age. I like the possibility that if I was one of the 1% who survived Armageddon and spent several years crammed into a cigar tube in space, running for my life, that at the end of it all, if given a chance, maybe I’d say screw it all and just walk off into the forest, build a cabin, and take it easy for the rest of my days. Maybe.
Darker and at a higher price would have been better. Anders stealing the fleet for the “sun run” would have fixed 99.9% of the issues I had with this episode. But, after the four years of pure hell and hopelessness that the people of the fleet endured and the price already paid, I’ll grant them this almost happy ending.