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'Battlestar Galactica': The end

Bsg6_hoxhtckf At the moment, I can't think of a show that has gone off the air recently with more pleas from viewers to continue and reverence from its creators, critics and backers than "Battlestar Galactica."

Ron Moore was right about seeing all three hours of the finale together.  Like a long-distance runner, it seemed to take the first hour to hit its stride.  Once it did though, it broke out into an Usain Bolt-like gallop, stretching its neck out at the finish line before taking its time to cool down for the last 20 minutes or so.

We talked last week about how we already knew who the characters were after so many seasons, and how flashbacks were possibly unnecessary.  I still stand by that in terms of when we got to see their backstories, but viewing everything in its entirety, you can appreciate the relationships and understand the decisions made throughout the series with much more clarity.  Anders' quest for perfection, Adama's battle against retirement, Lee's and Kara's immediate and forbidden attraction, and Laura's loss and eventual resurgence all played into who they became later. Mary McDonnell said that watching the finale made her want to go back and watch the whole series now because it created an awareness that may not have been previously there.  True.

SPOILER ALERT for those who don't get that this is a recap and commentary on the finale!

So, picking up from last week's episode, now is when the running begins. After giving the presidency to lawyer Romo Lampkin, and giving the fleet to new Admiral Hoshi, the battle for Hera and humanity unfolds on three dramatic fronts.  Adama, Tigh and the Galactica crew jump right into point-blank view of the Cylon base star, and each begin to fire.  The space fight, with all of the damage that seemed to have been inflicted by both sides, was spectacular to say the least.  The effects people went above and beyond with a cinematic quality worthy of the "Star Treks" and "Star Warses" on the big screen.

After Anders, who was hooked up in the CIC, successfully got the other hybrid controlling the Cylon base star to stop firing, Cylon raiders and vipers went at it as well.  All the while navigating through an astroid belt and mindful of a black hole nearby.  That's just ... wow.

Galactica used itself as a weapon, ramming into the base ship.  Awesome. Lee Adama and Starbuck led separate physical assault teams onto the base star with Helo and Athena and friendly Cylon centurions.  The battles between the different types of Cylons were pretty comical.  And, along the way, Boomer came through.  She killed a No. 4 Cylon (Simon) and helped give Hera back to Helo and Athena.  Noble. Then Athena shot her, and she deserved to be shot, and she knew it.

The visions.  Finally, the Opera House is revealed.  As the boarding party is ambushed, a scared Hera flees after Helo is shot.  I wondered if this was the end for Helo as he pushed Athena away and told her to go get Hera.  Laura Roslin, who had given herself massive amounts of drugs to stay effective during the battle, got a vision of Hera being lost, so she ran after her.  As she and Athena searched for Hera, images of the little girl and Roslin and Athena cut between the base star and the opera house.  Laura thinks she has her, but again, Hera runs.

Sixbaltar5_jfdnxhnc

In steps Six and Baltar -- yes, he stayed behind and they fought side by side.  They finally recognize that each of them sees a mental image of the other, but don't have time to dwell. Both are astonished to see Hera just standing in front of them.  As Six, Athena and Roslin converge, Six is first to grab Hera, and she and Baltar retreat with her.

I got a bit lost here, but it's probably a mystical lost.  The duo stepped through an airlock, and suddenly they were on the CIC.  Won't try to explain it, but it happened, and when they arrived, they looked up to see the final five standing there in glowing glory. Yay, it's over! D'oh! In steps Cavil as he grabs Hera.

Now, two things happen that were out of character, but fit perfectly.  Not so much out of character, but against what we've known.  Baltar, through his gift of flowery speech, manages to say the right things about the Cylons and humans needing each other, sharing, or ultimately dying off.  The question of who God favors most is brought up, and Baltar says He doesn't have any favorites.  Cavil buys it all, and a final truce is born.

Cylons

Though it soon shatters.  The final five agree to give the Cylons resurrection, but they have to mind-meld through Cylon goo in order to share the data.  Two minds who shouldn't mix, Galen and Tory, do.  When Galen finds out Tory killed Cally, he severs the connection, and kills Tory.  Galen Tyrol was always, to me, the steady heart of the ship, and to see him go straight instinctual -- wow, but ultimately understandable.

This causes panic, and shots ring out once more.  The truce is ended, but because of a slip of Racetrack's hand aboard a Raptor with nukes, the Cylon base ship is destroyed. Galactica needs to go quickly as asteroids batter them.  Starbuck has to jump the ship, but to where?  To the coordinates provided by the mysterious song.

Which turns out to be Earth, or a planet with Africa- and Australia-shaped continents.  Make of it what you will.

After all that action, a slower, drawn-out ending plays out.  Those under Adama decide to forsake technology, and allow Anders to pilot the ships into the sun.  The group seeds the planet, setting up small civilizations in different parts of the world, eventually agreeing to help the tribal natives already on the planet. Starbuck disappears (literally).  Lee wants to explore. Galen wants solitude. Helo and Athena want to teach Hera to hunt and other things.  Ellen and Tigh just want to be together. Six and Baltar will be farmers. Laura Roslin finally dies as she and Adama sightsee on the new world, and Adama buries her next to where he decides to build a house.  The 150,000-year jump (and Ron Moore cameo) didn't really help us know exactly what 'head Baltar' and 'head Six' are (keepers of fate? angels?), but it at least ended with a notion that what the "BSG" characters did affected future change probably for the better.

Notion4_kdj5bzncSorry for the length, but it was a two-hour special, and it was the end of an epic series whose scope went far beyond the Sci Fi Channel audience.  I watched it at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with a few hundred "BSG" fans, media, cast and crew.  Mary McDonnell spoke and was eloquent.  Edward James Olmos spoke and was inspirational. Ron Moore spoke and was emotional.  Eloquent, inspirational and emotional are not words generally associated with science fiction programs, and I watch and love a lot of them.  The other elements of action, space travel and advanced technology etc. are present, but it's the eloquence of the storytelling, the inspirational tone of the show, and the contemporary emotional range of the characters and situations that will, like Olmos said in a speech preceding the screening, probably never be matched by anything those associated with the show ever produce.  Lots remained unanswered ... but I didn't care. There were standing ovations for the cast, writers, crew and even network executives by a crowd that could've been jaded by having seen every nook and cranny of the show.  I haven't felt a sense of loss like this (not only from TV but from society) since "Buffy" ended, so here's another ovation from me.

-- Jevon Phillips

P.S.  Among the crowd in the after-mingling, I spied Magda Apanowicz, a Canadian actress who will play Lacy Rand in the new "Caprica" series.  Her enthusiasm and reverence toward writer Jane Espenson, and later toward Grace Park, were fun to see.  Hopefully that show can stay afloat, and not sink in the wake of "BSG" expectations.  Good luck!

Cylon_2-- Presenting the president: Mary McDonnell
-- Katee Sackhoff on the final days of 'Battlestar Galactica'
-- Review: 'Battlestar Galactica' finale
-- Edward James Olmos: Send UN troops to Mexico!
-- Poll: Does 'Battlestar Galactica' deserve the Emmy for best drama series?
-- James Callis on 'Battlestar Galactica' finale: 'You can't be disappointed'
-- What's next for the cast? | Ron Moore speaks ... and speaks

Photos: Sci Fi Channel

 
Comments () | Archives (32)

What was this, your book report for 6th grade English?

Thanks for the spoiler warnings.

Moron.

It's been a long time but now that it's over I think I finally found another series as good as Babylon 5, and that would be BSG of course. Too bad it's over. We'll watch the spin offs and movies.
Many thanks to all those involved, you will be remembered....

I've been a huge fan of the new BSG, literally not missing an episode. I wish I'd never watched the finale last night as now I'm stuck with my final memory of the series being a negative one. I've been trying to put my finger on what exactly it was about the show that turned me off so badly but I can't. I think it's a combination of many things that add up to create a very negative emotional response. Things like - Seeing Laura die on screen (really could have done without that!); Bill flying off never to return to Lee; 6 & Baltar appearing 150,000 years in the future; Kara just disappearing after all the build up about her origins; The preaching & preaching & preaching about "god" and "angels" - YUCK!; Flying the fleet into the Sun, and on and on. It was a real downer.

It's gone ... about 10 years too late! Won't miss it.

Kudos to TPTB for giving a tip of the hat to the original 'BSG' by incorporating not only the 'old' Centurions, during the battle on the Colony, but also Stu Phillips original theme music as Anders sailed the fleet literally into the sun.

Great series. Great ending. What more can you hope for in the otherwise wasteland of television?

hey why hate so much on one of the best shows in the past years that come to mind you should be ashamed

Wonderful ending to an exciting series.. Kinda makes you wonder about the ending of it was the beginning of something new, and the record keeps on spinning... PACE NOI VOM FACE.. ( Romanian for ONLY WE CAN MAKE PEACE...

I think Ronald Moore's Galactica was one of the most spectacular TV series in the past 40 years. (Of course, what else would you expect from GenX, the generation of artists, poets, prophets and all around Children of the Revolution!) I am glad it has ended in a natural way though (no life without death) and very pleased that they not only 'found their way off the island', but did so in an epic proportions (especially in High Definition!) Looking forward to Moore's Caprica series but can't possibly see how he could top what he's done with Galactica.

Good Job ..... Thank you

Awsome ending, but was that Simon the Cylon Doctor in the crowd as Six and Baltaar walk away in the final scene?

As a devout follower of BSG, I couldn't wait to see last night's last episodes. I think Moore did a fantastic job piecing everything together for the final conclusion. Being the eternal optimist, I was hoping that Laura would somehow have been miraculously cured on the base ship. It was sad to see her die, but reassuring to know that she actually made it to earth achieving her greatest dream for her people. I thought it was very sad that Lee and his father didn't stay together. I found that very unrealistic and odd. I was also sorry to see Kara just vanish at the end. But, more that anything, I am sad to see it end. I have seen a lot of science fiction in my 52 years, and nothing comes close to being as good as this series is. It really was like watching a movie rather than a television series. I hope this series sets the bench mark for science fiction shows to come. I hope something equally good comes along, or I'll be watching reruns on dvd which could get a little old.

@foo

Oh grow up. You're reading an article titled "'Battlestar Galactica': The end". What did you expect to see?

I thought it was a wonderful and beautiful ending, and life in general has certain mysteries. Where do we come from? are we really evolved from monkeys and fish?Is there really a higher power? These types of question have existed for many years. All we can do is have faith in whatever we believe in. Art is an interpreter of life after all.

I have to agree with foo here - I didn't need written synopsis of the final episode, I assume people would rather watch the action than read it. But since you were lucky enough to watch the final episode at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, you could have included some specific references to the eloquent, emotional, and inspirational speeches that were given - instead of just mentioning that it was eloquent, emotional, and inspirational. It was great show posing spiritual, political and scientific questions during its run - it would have been nice to read a more thoughtful analysis of the show and it's context rather than a point by point description of the 2 hour finale. Jevon Phillips, no apologies are necessary for long articles if it's worthy of the reader's time - but you should apologize for phoning this one in.

I don't understand why Cavil shot himself in the mouth with a gun as all hell broke loose. That didnt make sense to me. He just didnt seem like the type to do that. Any explanations?

Too many things in this finale felt like a cheap cop-out from a plot point of view. Cavil shooting himself? The fleet mindlessly accepting to abandond all ships and tech to lead a sedentary life on Earth 2 (aft all the politicking and bickering they did for any other thing in the series)? KAra and "head six/baltar" explained away as "agents fo god"? IT jsut felt all too cheap, particularly that tack bit at the end 150k eyars later, with Head Six and Baltar waxing philosophical about the nature of mankind:

The cycle is repeating itself... OR IS IT?

*stares into camera*

DUNDUNDUUUUN!

Cure modern day robot fottage montage.

Give me a freaking break, it was all way too preachy, tis a finale that treated the fans like idiots and cheapened what has been otherwise an amazing show. BSG has always been about letting the spectator decide wether characters were acting wrong or right, letting spectators mull over the ethical impliations of everything that went on. To be TOLD at the very end whats right and wrong, and to ahve msot plot hols explaiend away as "acts of god" is cheap and undeserving for a show this good.

I guess Babylon 5 will remain the best scifi show on TV, too bad, BSG got close, but screwed it all up in the end.

Cavil shot himself because it was the end of his life, his civilization. It's rather fitting with his character that his last act was one of self determination.

Battlestar Galactica surpassed my hopes of what was possible on television. The ending was absolutely brilliant. I really couldn't be happier with what they were able to accomplish.

It's a wonderful thought that at the end of their long journey through space, after all they had endured and survived, that their reward was the absolute majesty that is the good, green Earth right beneath our feet. That which we all take for granted.

Finally this crappy series is overwith. One of the worse ending I have ever seen, leaving so many open areas that they will have to make another whole series on answering just them. Love the Nike Shoe episode and love the Made in USA epiosde what writing....but what do you expect from Star Trek writiers crap crap crap.

Well, I for one will be very sad to see this show end. I too am one of the sci fi geeks from the late 70's and early 80's. I enjoyed the sci fi shows of the day, such as Space 1999, Buck Rogers, Star Trek, and of course, Battle Star Galactica. As corny as they could tend to be, I loved them. I've been longing for a show to come along that would re-ignite that sense of anticipation for the next episode. This show definitely did just that. I tried to jump into it after it had been on for a few seasons, and it was so complex that I had no idea what the hell was going on, or who was what. Luckily, the Sci Fi Channel played a marathon, and with the use of my DVR, I was able to get caught up on what exactly was going on. I had no idea this show would be so captivating to me. I absolutely loved this show! I'm kinda torn on how the show ended, the sadness that I felt about the fates of some of the characters. But hey, that's what a great show does! It draws you in, gets you involved, and sparks your emotions. It certainly left a good deal of questions unanswered - what was Kara Thrace at the end, and what was the deal with the Six and Baltar that no one else could see ? Best guess ... they were all angels, orchestrating man's destiny according to God's plan? Heavy! At any rate, I will be sad to see it all end. I loved the characters, the plot twists, even the theme music. I certainly didn't expect the show to insinuate all that it did, as far as the religious implications. I especially thought it was cool how they incorporated the old Cylon Centurions in the last episode, and the orginal BSG theme music as the fleet went off into the sun! I'm being pesimistic and expecting that the Caprica series won't hold a candle to BSG. I've seen the previews, and it looks less like sci fi and more like a futuristic drama. And what's with the fall premiere of the BSG - The Plan ?! Can't wait! For now, I'll wait with great anticipation for the final episodes of Terminator - The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Another one I can't get enough of, and it's looking like the finale will be another cliff hanger!

 
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