Tuesday, April 7, 2009
NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE
It has been a couple of weeks since the series finale of Battlestar Galactica, and I think I'm ready to talk about it now. I've watched it 4 times, and with each viewing I have stronger and stronger opinions. But I will state this, right off the bat: I was 100% satisfied by the finale. I am left with no burning questions, and I'm certainly not complaining. It's very difficult to give a buzzworthy series a proper send-off, and even more difficult when said series is leaving at the top of its game. Ronald D. Moore & Company deserve tremendous and eternal amounts of praise for this, above all.
A lot of people have had very mixed reactions regarding the 2-hour final episode, and this honestly surprised me a great deal. I went in with complete faith that there was no way it could be screwed up, and I left without feeling disappointed. I'm in no way trying to "call out" people who disagree with me, but I feel that there are some "arguments" that need to be intelligently addressed...and here seems as good a place as any. Storylines were concluded in very natural, organic ways. Was there room for speculation? Of course. Was it all-consuming speculation? No way. More like 'interpretive speculation'. And from all that I've read since the finale aired, this is exactly how RDM wanted it.
Ambiguity isn't always the enemy, folks. True, it was the last episode ever. But to suggest that we need the show-runners to hold our hands and explain to us exactly what's happening...to me, that feels as though we're selling ourselves short, intellectually speaking. If that's what you're looking for, I recommend that you watch the series finale of Friends. There you go. They all lived happily ever after with marriages and babies and sunshine and rainbows. And although BSG actually ended on a much more upbeat note than the 74 episodes that came before it, it's always been a show with high stakes and morally grey outcomes.
"Daybreak, Part 2" is action-packed for the first hour and a half, and a lot of it had to do with the Cylon-On-Cylon Action. These were the moments that had me slowly squirming in excitement. Operation: Hera is well underway, and this means jumping to the edge of the black hole, jamming the Galactica literally into the Cylon Colony, and boarding with an assault team. Completely worth noting? The aforementioned assualt team includes now-good-guy Centurions who are designated with a red stripe across their robo-torsos. Something about seeing these Centurions fight alongside - and protecting - the Colonials made their alliance seem much more real to me. These aren't the SkinJobs, these are the ChromeJobs. My love for these guys knows no bounds. And then they go and make it even more awesome by having the modern Centurions engage in hand to hand / gun to gun combat with the retro Guardian Centurions. I swear I almost had a stroke.
Ah, Kara Thrace and her Special Destiny. I was surprised to find so much outcry over the conclusion of Starbuck's story. Ronald D. Moore has stated that Kara is not the same kind of 'angel' that Head Six/Gaius are, but that she was connected to "...this other power". She did die, and she did come back. She was the harbinger of death...for the Cylons on the Colony. She did lead the human race to their end...only in this instance the "end" was the end of their journey, not death. The Hybrids even make this distinction between her two 'roles'. For all intents and purposes, she committed suicide in Season 3's "Maelstrom" - but the universe wasn't done with her yet. She had a more important purpose that even she didn't understand...until the very end. In her last moments on (2nd) Earth, she's talking to Lee about the future...but you can almost tell that she seems to know her time is up. I was heartbroken for Lee - who didn't even get to say goodbye - but I felt very much at peace following her departure. She wished she could stay, but knew that she couldn't. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace fulfilled her destiny.
Remember when we thought Red Dress Six was a chip in Baltar's head? Oh, the early days. It All Comes To A 'Head' in the finale. HeadSix and HeadGaius at long last give some answers to their corporeal counterparts - just not all the answers. Along with the Opera House dreams, it was always about ensuring the survival of Hera. Some argue that this one purpose over-simplifies these two 'entities', but chalk it up to "God works in mysterious ways". And you know what else it did? It brought Caprica Six and Gaius Baltar back together. From their beginnings glimpsed in flashbacks to their tumultuous relationship throughout the series, it would seem that these two star-crossed lovers were meant to be together at the end of humanity's journey. And before they could ask any more questions of their 'angels' or even say goodbye...they were gone. These beings, who had pulled the strings of the universe through two seemingly randomly chosen individuals, had completed their task as well.
And what becomes of the grown-up love between The Officer & The Schoolteacher? I think they handled it very well. Throughout the last 10 episodes, everyone was basically just waiting for Madame Airlock to keel over and die - even if they weren't looking forward to it. But she made it all the way to the last hour, and went out not with a bang, but with some quiet dignity. Bill's love has always been understated, but never NOT genuine. They shared what would become a different kind of 'twilight years', and when Adama slips his ring on Laura's finger...well, it's waterworks for me everytime. And even though it's never shown - I know in my heart of hearts that Bill definitely built that cabin for his lost love. Did he have to leave everyone else he cared about to do so? Probably not. But we're talking about one very complicated man, here. I'll forgive it.
As I wrap up, I'd like to give two shout-outs. Firstly, to my Cylon Husband Doral - you acted like a total prick the whole time, and you always looked damn good while you were doing it. Thanks RDM & Company for giving the Number Fives something fun to do in the end, even if it was just getting shot at a lot. Secondly, thanks to whoever it was that decided that Tory Foster had to get killed in the most violent way possible. I owe you one, universe.
I intentionally didn't really make mention of the "150,000 Years Later..." epilogue, which you may find strange considering all of the controversy surrounding it in the nerdverse. To me, it wasn't that big a deal. It was interesting, it was minor, and it didn't really add or take away anything for me. There are more theories and arguments about this one part than almost anything else...so I'll spare you my in-depth thoughts (this time). And now, I guess that's...it. Well, The Plan is coming in November. So that's something. But until then (and after that), I am BSG-less. I'll give Caprica a try, but I'm not looking for a replacement. Nothing will ever replace this show in my heart. My utmost appreciation to everyone involved. Thanks for proving to me that I could get hooked on a television show again. Until we meet again...So Say We All.