Battlestar Galactica -- Final Episode

| 38 Comments

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Battlestar Galactica is one of those sci-fi shows that deals with and addresses “big issues” in the guise of a science fiction action drama. Religion, war, human rights, man’s purpose, and Bob Dylan have all been major undercurrents of a show that ostensibly is about a bunch of humans being chased through space by a bunch of robots. Now after 100 plus hours watching the chase, Friday night’s two hour series conclusion promises to tie up all the loose ends.

I am hoping through this blog I can generate a little discussion over the next day or so about BSG, it’s meaning, and how it will end. There are a number of open questions that will be dealt with on Friday and definitely some of what has happened can only be described as confusing. Maybe we can help clarify for all.

A couple of thoughts. First I am a little disappointed how the whole final five cylons thing has played out. Now, except for Anders, there appears to be little role left for the Final Five. They were built up so much and now that we know who they are (and what they are) there’s nothing left for them to do. Do others agree? Am I missing something?

Also I am a little disappointed that the religious aspect has gone been downplayed as well. It was a stroke of genius to have the humans be polytheists and the Cylons be monotheists. Those ideas could have gone a lot further than they ended up going.

Although Season 4.5 has been a little rough, I think I like it. Let’s face it after 4 years of being chased through space and finding Earth as a smoldering heap, people would start to go a little bat shit insane. I thought the show has captured the fracturing of people’s nerves quite nicely. Having said that, last week’s episode was lame. The last 15 minutes should have been the first 15 minutes and gone on from there.

So with Friday’s final episode soon upon us here are some questions:

What/Who is Kara Thrace? (remember last Friday Baltar said she had human blood)
What role does Hera play? Baltar?
After Earth was discovered as inhabitable, why didn’t they go back to New Caprica?
It seems that humans and Cylons are becoming more integrated? Will that continue?
Are the characters on the show our ancestors or our future?
Favorite/Least Favorite Character?

Use the comments section to discuss…

38 Comments

Sorry I can't partake as I've never watched the show. But from the photo, I might be willing to follow its Jesus.

Actually George the woman in red doesn't really exist except for in the head of the guy looking up at her. Leads to another question: What is the purpose of "in-head #6?"

I'm just going to quickly defend last week's episode right now (I'll have a lot more to say about every question you posed later)...I think the blame for Daybreak, Part I being the way it is lies with Sci Fi and not RDM or the rest of the writers. Daybreak was meant to be one two-hour episode, and when RDM realized he wanted to lengthen it to three, the network insisted on showing the first third separate from the back part. I'm holding out hope that Daybreak will be a lot more coherent as a full episode when all three hours are watched together.

Anyway, like I said, I'll have a lot more to say later.

I hope you are right about Daybreak part 1. Character development is all fine and good and a hallmark of why people like BSG, but with 3 hours left in a 100+ hour series, I already know these characters. I want to see what happens to them, not what makes them tick.

Ah Christ, George beat me to the Last Supper reference...

When that photo came out I looked for clues to the story. Why is Head 6 Christ and D'Anna Judas? I don't think it added up to anything except that they wanted to goof on The Last Supper.

D'Anna isn't in the picture. From left to right, it's Roslin, Natalie (the original leader of the rebel Cylons), Tigh, Lee, Baltar, Head-Six, Kara, Anders, Tyrol, Athena, Helo, and Adama.

I'm not well-versed on the original Leonardo and the positions of the apostles, so I don't know who is standing in for Judas in this picture.

The woman in red never really exists, does she. But what does that say about Jesus?

I think Daybreak was a way to tie-up any lose ends regarding the characters past. I'm sure this will tie-in to tonight’s finale (as already mentioned).
I have no idea what to expect tonight. I hope it's (frakkin') satisfying. I think the show has had its ups and downs all along but over all has been great scifi story.
Things to ponder…
Will the cylon “bio-paint" help Galactica (and crew) when it when it jumps to the singularity?
Will it start singing A Hard Rains Gonna Fall…err All Along the watchtower?
Will red #6 reveal herself to all?
What’s the real deal with Starbuck!

The flashbacks were important in that they showed us the time in point the main characters decided to embark on the path that led them to what we saw in the series. As a whole it worked, but having it take up 3/4 of the penultimate episode was frustrating.

So now it's over what do you think?

Like I said, don't look at Daybreak Part I as the "penultimate episode", look at it as the first third of the final episode.

I thought it was excellent, a satisfying ending that stayed true to the show's real themes and didn't compromise.

Who is Kara Thrace? She died, was resurrected, saved humanity, and then ascended after she fulfilled her destiny. (You said you were missing the religion?)

I also caught the Thrace as Christ angle, you missed the part that she was born of man and God/Cylon.

I also thought it was a great ending. My mouth was agape, sitting at the edge of my seat during the battle at the Colony.

Born of man and God/Cylon? No, she was born of a hardass military human mother and a deadbeat piano player human father. RDM has said repeatedly in the last couple weeks that her father was not a Cylon/Daniel; that was a misinterpretation by a lot of fans, apparently.

Oh jeez, you're right. Forget my last comment.

A couple of other questions. What do you think about the BSG survivors throwing all their technology away and starting over on earth? You'd think Adama would want some of his books at least? What about blankets, penicillin? ways to start fire? spices?

Also Adama and Galen going off to be by themselves, while making some sense based on all they went through is basically suicide. There is a reason we organized into tribes, one was basic survival.

Finally any thoughts on the demise of Caville (sp?). I liked it, totally within character.

I could understand how starting over tech-less would be attractive to at least some people considering what they'd been through over the last four years. It had also been established that they were running out of a lot of supplies/comforts anyway (toothpaste, drugs, etc). so that makes it easier to see too. I didn't really buy how everyone seemed to go along with that choice so quickly, though. I would've thought there would be more dissent among the people.

I did buy into those choices by Adama and Tyrol individually. With all Tyrol's been though and all the betrayal he's faced from humans and Cylons alike, I could see him wanting to be done with everyone. I also thought that Adama was pretty much ready to be finished after losing Roslin and Galactica; I might have though him piloting the Raptor into the sun with the rest of the fleet after Roslin died could've been a more poignant choice.

I've seen a lot of people on the 'net were pretty flabbergasted about Cavil's suicide. I thought it made sense for him to want to keep control of how his life ended since everything else had slipped from his grasp.

Good point about most creature comforts were in short supply, I think you're right, that there would be more dissent. Let's face it, this group couldn't agree on a whole lot. But there's only so much time on the show.

Having Adama fly into the sun, while poignant, would be controversial. I don't have a problem with Adama going off by himself but he did leave his son and best friend behind.

That was definitely another thing I wished would have been there: a final scene for the Adama/Tigh bromance.

Moore, the executive producer of Battlestar Gallactica says that Starbuck is some sort of super-angel who people can touch and see. I don't know about that... Personally, I liked the show a lot; too bad they turned it into a lame supernatural crap. First the Matrix, now Battlestar Gallactica...

While I wouldn't throw it into the same box as that disappointing and lame ending to the Matrix I can see how Starbuck being an angel can cause some consternation among fans.

In the end there wasn't a whole lot RDM could have done with Starbuck. Make her a Hybrid and she detracts from the importance of Hera. Cylon? How would she have fit in with the story of the other skinjobs?

Anybody want to do a little favorite episodes listing/discussion?

My two favorites were probably "Pegasus" and "33". If I think about it longer I can probably put together a top ten with a little reasoning behind the choices.

I don't know the episodes by name that well but I can tell you that 33 was pretty damn good. I assume pagasus was when we discovered Pagasus. That was good too. I'd love to hear fave episodes and discuss. That final at New Caprica was intense where it went a year ahead and Baltar was a hopped up dictator with a harem and the Cylons come. That was intense.

Interesting comments. One of my personal big probs with the finale (aside from the lack of emotional closure with everyone going of by themselves and breaking all their bonds!) was Hera being the "Eve" of our now. Maybe someone can help me out. The conclusion was based on mitochondrial DNA. Based on that all humans today would have to have to be Hera's offspring. So was Hera the only woman on the new "Earth" to have children? What about the indigenous folk and everyone else from the fleet and the potential of more human/cylon progeny. And since she was a cylon/human does that mean we all have a little bit of cylon in us. And if everything keeps repeating doesn't the amount of cylon DNA grow with each repeat? Obviously I have many questions. Anyone have any thoughts?

Good questions, I hope DK sees this and weighs in because I think he has good thoughts on this.

I think Hera's offspring are homo sapiens, thus "humans." And yes, we all have some Cylon DNA in us. Off-spring from the Galactica fleet and the indegionous could not compete with the Hera-based offspring and eventually died off and are now considered a pre-homo sapien species.

I'm not much of an expert in biology/anthropology, but having discussed the concept with some friends who know more about those things and are fans of the show, here's how I understand it: the idea of "mitochondrial Eve" is that all homo sapiens today possess this single individual's mitochondrial DNA; therefore, Eve was the most recent matrilineal common ancestor of all humanity. We can all trace our mDNA through our mothers to this single woman.

Now, people have told me that the way the show presented Hera as this individual is something that probably isn't biologically feasible. For one thing, there's no reason we shouldn't be considering Athena, and not Hera, as mEve since mDNA is passed through mothers; beyond that, the individual defined as "mEve" changes throughout anthropological history.

On the other hand, since mDNA is only traced through females, the concept of Hera-as-Eve doesn't necessarily limit the rest of the Colonists to having completely died out; what must have happened instead is that their lines of descent all eventually ended in male progeny who mated with female descendants of Hera. Obviously trying to conceive of those lines of descent branching out is hard (at least, it is for me) but the point is that we could definitely be descendants of more Colonists than just Hera, but we definitely do have Hera's mDNA (and therefore, human-Cylon DNA) in all of us.

Anyway, my sense is that RDM and the writers had the idea to try to make Hera the real forebear of homo sapiens, and used the mitochondrial Eve concept to try to make that scientifically feasible. I'm not sure they succeeded in their execution, but I do like the idea that that's why Hera was special.

Great. Now i can say thank you!

Interesting post. I've never actually seen BSG but I've always thought that Star Wars was something of a product of the cold war. Maybe I'll pick up a copy of BSG on DVD and see what I think so I can join in the discussion

I have to disagree with sal4Tu775 and hope everyone reads those comments

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