It is nearly a week I finished watching the last episode in Battlestar Galactica series. After reading the long interview to authors about the finale (thank you Jok), I decided to watch it again.As I wrote some time ago the show is damn good and I really enjoyed it from episode 1. A number of interesting topics and dilemmas are tackled during the 4 seasons of the show and the outcomes are never simple as black or white, or idealistic.
How does the finale work for me? (Spoiler warning, you may want to read below only after you seen season 4.5, finale included).
Well I am not sure, but it is mostly good, even if it didn’t fully convinced me. First there are basically two finales. The first is the rescue of Hera featuring the last battle of Galactica. This finale is epic, action-packed, 100% space opera. This finale explains the visions about the Opera House, provides the closure of the story of Gaius Baltar with a very satisfying full redemption and features the defeat of the evil Cylons (and the salvation of the good Cylons).
The second finale is the arrival on Earth and the decision of start anew, letting go technology, knowledge and science. This finale is poetic, romantic and aching. I have been nearly in emotional overload a couple of times.
There are two more closings, the first set today in NY featuring those I learned to be called Head Characters (i.e. Head Six and Head Baltar) chatting in N.Y. This finale is about hope, the head characters (angels or entities, no explanation is given) grow the confidence that this time the history won’t repeat because the loop has been broken.
Eventually there is a brief footage of nowadays robots. This is quite useless, and worse is completely dissonant with BSG, you can stand it only because it is preceded by the N.Y. scene.
Thinking on the finale I found that there are a number of quite evident “plot devices”, i.e. cheap ways for authors to solve complex situation. More precisely they employ the mystery. For example the Earth is found by Kara Thrace, setting as jump coordinates the notes of a melody her father taught her and the little Hera drew. Fine, but… the underlying explanation is totally missing from who/what is Kara Thrace (she just resurrect along with her Viper), what the melody is, who the Kara’s father was and so on. The best explanation is given by Gaius during his speech – there is an unknown Power at work. Head Characters are unexplained as well. Also the question why on this Earth there are humans compatible with those on Galactica, is left unanswered.
Also what I feel somewhat cheap was the total consensus about the decision of everyone to restart from blank. We are talking of about 40k people. A fleet that never agrees even about the most straightforward matters, now votes at unanimity to sink ships in the sun, to forget everything about science, medicine, technology, literature and, just to restart anew, to go toward suffering and die for something as stupid as a cold.
Not to talk about the choice of letting Kara Thrace just disappearing. Sounds like the authors: “Hum, what we have to do with Kara?” “Don’t know” “So let her just disappear!”
But don’t get me wrong, I really liked the finale, I found it quite balanced in the emotions that inspires and a good closing for the series. Being quite rational I would have liked some more explaining… (I have a question since episode 1 – how did Baltar survive to the nuclear blast? Just by hiding himself behind Six?)
Anyhow, authors promise some new revelations in the tv movie “The Plan” that I promptly pre-ordered 🙂