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Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, Part 2 – Spoiler (I guess)

I’m glad I didn’t spend four years watching the show (only the last year).  I think this has to go down as the worst finale of a series in the history of television.

I remember how angry people were at the end of Babylon 5, but this was so much dumber.  The only character I really cared about was Starbuck, and that’s what they did to her character?  Right.

Oh well.

Update: okay, maybe calling it the worst finale in history was a bit harsh.  Keeping it spoiler free, these are the things that really bug me:

  • The meaning of the Opera House vision: um, really? 
  • Baltar's big speech: wasn't remotely convincing (though it had a brilliant line "I may be crazy, that doesn't mean I'm wrong").  And had no real effect.  It reminded me of Sheridan's "Get the hell out of our galaxy" speech that ended the Shadow War in Bablyon 5.  Thematically, I know how it fits in, but it just didn't work for me.
  • Cavil's action: was required to move the plot where it needed to go, but no.
  • Lee Adama's decision: also required to move the plot where it needed to go, but totally unbelievable.
  • Fate of Starbuck: Ron Moore admits this is the one he knows some people will hate.  Count me in on that.

So much of Season 4 seemed rushed (the mutiny and its aftermath should have been a 5-10 episode arc at least), and I think the finale suffered from it.  Maybe in time, I'll grow to like it.

 

Update again: though it probably isn’t necessary at this point, some spoiler space:

 

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I should probably state up front something obvious.  When dealing with even really good science fiction/fantasy, you have to suspend just a little bit of belief.  I mean, a major plot point of Season 4 of BG is that the final five lived two thousand years ago on ‘bad Earth’ and travelled back to Caprica only to just miss the conflict (I’m reminded of the Monty Python ‘The Bishop’ sketch, where the Bishop always shows up too late to stop a disaster, but I digress), and so you already have to buy into some plot points.

Having said that, having watched this episode about 8 times now, though I don’t hate it as much as on the first viewing, some things still stand out, and not in a good way:

  • Sam can turn off the defenses of the Colony but can’t stop the Cylon fighters from launching.  Doesn’t anyone at the Colony understand ‘su root’ to turn the defenses back on?  Just wondering.
  • Galactica rams the Colony.  And doesn’t get damaged.  Right.
  • Cavil decides to launch an offensive with what should be a couple of million of centurions, but none of them make it to the command center.
  • What’s her name is proud of Baltar because…he shoots a dead Cylon a couple hundred times?  Wish women that hot had standards that low.  Then again, I lived on South Beach for a few years, so maybe that tracks.
  • The Opera House vision: okay, so they played this out as being so frickin’ important, and it turns out that it involves a whole bunch of people trying to get a little girl into the command center.  That was the entire point of the attack on the Colony, yes?  So, where’s the conflict?  Athena and Roz and what’s her name and Baltar are all trying to do the same thing, get the little twerp to stop running away long enough to carry her to where she needed to be anyway.  As if Baltar was not going to take the little twerp into the command center if it didn’t match the vision.
  • And once they carry the little twerp into the command center, she is immediately taken by Cavil.  Who has no centurions with him.
  • And then Baltar gives his little speech, which accomplishes….nothing.  Nothing he says means anything, until resurrection is offered.  So, what’s the point?  Besides the brilliance of the “I may be crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m not right” line, there is nothing about his speech that impacts anything. 
  • Since Cavil doesn’t have his thousands of centurions with him, he eats his gun.  Nice plot reset there.
  • Not to mention the whole ‘dead pilot hitting the nuke missile launch’ thing.  Nice.
  • But here we get to the biggest problem: the entire fleet agrees to let their ships slip into the sun so they can inhabit happy Earth.  No fucking way.  You couldn’t get a kid to drop their IPod, you think the entire fleet gives up all their technology (well, except the tech that lets Adama fly to where ever)?  Totally unreal.  First time a cougar attacks them, think they want that lazer gunny thing?  Entirely unbelievable.
  • Not to mention, you don’t think people are worried about the ‘we let the Centurions take the BaseStar’ thing, knowing their own past, to give up every possible defense if they came back?
  • And they give all this up to hump people who have no culture?  Right.

 

I still like the show, but the ending is still pretty pathetic.

posted on Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:32 PM Print
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# re: Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, Part 2
Russell Garner
3/21/2009 12:52 PM
Well, thanks for the spoiler alert in a tiny article which just flew by in Google Reader. Doesn't show here till Tuesday night, and now I can't be bothered.

</grumpy>
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# re: Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, Part 2 – Spoiler (I guess)
jdn
3/21/2009 1:00 PM
Why are you surfing the internet about this show and this episode, the day after it was shown in the US, if you don't want to be spoiled? Pretty stupid.

Anyway, you still have to get there. Nothing is really spoiled for you.

Changed post title for others.
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# re: Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, Part 2 – Spoiler (I guess)
Wookie
3/22/2009 1:30 AM
I have been watching the show for the last 4 seasons (which actually means 6 years, there were 2 long hiatuses in-between seasons), and I enjoyed the finale very much. The overall feeling at the BSG forum I am part of (Galactica Watercooler) is also mostly positive, which was surprising to me, usually passionate fans hate season finales no matter what, it's just a difficult bunch to satisfy.

For me the key to enjoy this finale was to know (as I long knew) that BSG is not about being sci-fi (where everything has to match and be rationally explained in Aspergic way) but more of a human drama, a drama about the human condition that happens to be in space and have robots.
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# re: Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, Part 2 – Spoiler (I guess)
jdn
3/22/2009 11:30 AM
Yeah, most of the reviews I've seen have been positive. I thought certain things were done well, but at least two things were so...unbelieveable (to be polite) that it just doesn't work for me.

I think it suffered the same fate as Babylon 5 (which was great but had its issues), in that it had no where to go but over the top, given how everything was set up.
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# re: Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, Part 2 – Spoiler (I guess)
Russell Garner
3/23/2009 3:58 PM
I wasn't "surfing the internet about this show and this episode", I was going through my Google Reader feeds (you're in a category titled "coding", not one titled "Battlestar rants", and were sandwiched between posts about, well, code). I read it before any alarm bells went off in my head. If that makes me stupid (as opposed to a little groggy after just waking up) then so be it. Thanks for the title change, but I confess to being slightly miffed you felt the need to take a swipe.
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# re: Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, Part 2 – Spoiler (I guess)
jdn
3/23/2009 4:18 PM
@Russell

Sorry if the one sentence constitued a major spoiler for you. You still have to get there.

Knowing that nerds might like BSG, and knowing there was a time gap (which I wasn't at all aware of) between its initial showing and when you could see it, I would have avoided going online pretty much altogether except to get email.

YMMV. BTW, iff you are recording it, it runs 2 hours and 11 minutes, so watch out for the extra time.

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# re: Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, Part 2 – Spoiler (I guess)
Russell Garner
3/23/2009 4:41 PM
Nah, not really *major* as such. I just read it and thought "Oh god, it's The Sopranos all over again, I can't be ar*ed this time" :)
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# re: Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, Part 2 – Spoiler (I guess)
jdn
3/23/2009 4:57 PM
Ah. It's different from that.
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# re: Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, Part 2 – Spoiler (I guess)
Russell Garner
3/24/2009 5:21 PM
Yeah, it really *was* different from that, and a good toaster fight is what this series had been sadly missing (human drama is great, and all, but the portentous prophesizing had to come to something). Best bit: probably Chief's inability to forgive Cally's killing and the consequent restart of the cycle of violence.

I agree about Starbuck, really, but it's just one moment in a well above average (for this series) couple of hours. Lazy writing, though - you can't even really derive your own (non-religious) meaning. Good performances from most other leads make up for it, and (whisper it) *I never actually liked her character that much anyway* ;)

Incidentally, my first comment needed a wink rather than the </grumpy>. I'd be calling me names too.
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# re: Battlestar Galactica, Daybreak, Part 2 – Spoiler (I guess)
jdn
3/24/2009 10:12 PM
@Russell

No worries about the comment. For future reference, I will think about that sort of thing. When Babylon 5 was at its best, it was shown in Europe before the US and I actively searched for the plot summaries ahead of time, but that was my preference.

I've seen other people remark about the toaster fight, and it really didn't do that much for me. I get stuck on thinking Cavil should have had 10 times the forces when he got to the CIC and not taken his last step when Chief freaked out.

As I mentioned in my update to the post, I think that the writers had to be 'lazy' to a certain extent. There was no other way out other than to wrap things up by brute force. Thematically, I can see why they did certain things the way they did. Dramatically, I had the negative reaction I had.

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