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Review: 'Battlestar Galactica' finale

After five seasons, all is revealed, and it turns out to be worth the trip.


From "MASH" to "St. Elsewhere" to "The Sopranos" to "Seinfeld," all long-running television shows become myths at some point or another, reflecting, within the confines of their own universes, the disparate nature of human experience.

Yes, they're entertaining, but to keep an audience committed year after year, a show must offer enlightenment, even if it's just the recognition that the corruptible nature of power extends to the Soup Nazi.

"Battlestar Galactica" which comes to an end tonight after five seasons, was always upfront about its relationship to myth -- it's science fiction, for one thing, which of all the narrative genres is the most unapologetic about its use of symbolism and archetype, journey and transcendence.

In science fiction, anything is possible, which is in itself a metaphor for the human spirit. So it was natural, when watching the trials and triumphs of this scrappy band of humans attempting to survive in a world overtaken by their technology, to wonder if the residents of the Galactica were our past or our future.

Tonight, praise the gods, we have our answer. All this has happened before, and it will happen again ...

Read the entire review

-- Mary McNamara

Photo: Cylon Six (Tricia Helfer) and Gaius Baltar (James Callis). Sci Fi Channel

Interview with show creator Ron Moore
The Tighs toast a final goodbye
Celebrity fans of 'Battlestar Galactica'
'Battlestar Galactica': What's next for the crew?

Comments () | Archives (57)

There have been four seasons. In traditional sci-fi show fashion, some of the seasons are broken into a first-part and a second-part. Do you people even watch the show, or is this just another attempt to belatedly latch onto a cultural phenomenon to attempt to appear relevant? That's a hard thing to do when you make such amateurish mistakes.

A hit and a miss. Action-packed story with a plot, but lacking explanations, such as what the hell the deal was with Starbuck. Her character was a buildup for nothing. Other things weren't explained either. What a letdown.
This is what happens when a story is written as they go along... There isn't a vision for an ending, and then they just try and tie up loose ends as best they can.
It was decent and disappointing simultaneously.

The final episode really stunk. Having seen all the episodes, I cannot help but feel that they never could figure out a direction to go with the story and just gave us alot of boring story lines that ended tonight with me not caring if I ever watch an episode again.

Yeah, four seasons! Pay attention.

By the way, in episode 1 of the first season, 33, what was the combination of the Commander's wall safe? And, come to think of it, were the Cylon Centurions made out of steel, titanium, or some kind of opaque transparent aluminum?

BSG FraKKin FanBot

P.S. Final Show ROKKD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That finale was the worst piece of shlock I have ever seen. Dozens of unanswered questions, the ones that -were- answered were answered horribly. The only good moment of the night was watching the two writers get run over and cursed with "Frakkin' Hippies" as they died, which is really the response that I and everyone I watched the show with had to that banal mess. I seriouisly want the 100+ hours back that I spent watching these writers completely making things up as they went along (which they admitted to in that last special) until we were left with that utterly incoherent soap opera about that crew of utterly contemptible dysfunctional wastes of skin.

Seriously, didn't Edward James Olmos -once- say to himself, hey, I have to have spent at least 10 episodes by now drunk and blubbering and crying on a floor, maybe that's played out, can I at least not end the series drunk and blubbering and puking on myself?

/decline of western civilization


It was four seasons, not five.

UNFORGIVABLE! What were guys thinking? You wove a beautiful tapestry of myth,hope,love tragedy and imagination only to leave it to unravel. What are you guys the A.I.G. of story telling? Patting yourselves on the backs and looking forward to the bonus of “Caprica” ?
YOU Failed us. We invested in these charterers, enjoyed their evolution, Only to have your pull a “Ponzi” maneuver with your plot?
Its like you have a Baseball team, playing a great season, getting to the world series winning 3 games out of seven and , then not show up to play….Oh God did it all.
Lets just throw out the character driven plot, drop them on a planet and have them say… aww shucks….
Where is the reactions to their whole shift of paradigm?
Whose God/Gods did all these wonders?
Too many instances of Why? Oh God did it….
So survival , self determination, relevancy to ones self, culture and faith is abandoned?
The foundation of their whole journey and sacrifice wasted for some heavy handed commentary on ” look where we are now”. Do you really think your fan base is that imbecilic? That We didn’t get it from day one?

BETRAYAL! “We wanted to make the most realistic, gritty Sci-Fi show” Years of hard work on everyone’s part nullified in the second half of the last episode. “Kara is whatever you want her to be”….What a coup out, sleazy, slight of hand theatrical masturbation ploy.
She wasn’t worthy of the time to treat her story right? We will just turn the camera and she will be gone…
To have It all come down to “Subjective Reality. ”
Wow, the disappointment is staggering.

I spent the next hour and half picking it all apart with my friend. All of witch the fans have previously described. All the flaws and highlights. Deciding to tell our friends who have not yet witnessed the great story lines, wonderful acting, magnificent special effects, good musical scores, deep thought provoking drama…; that it was truly great till They Failed us and ended it with a Hole laden whimper.
Someone should have told the Cylon Emperor writers about their new clothes. This ending is like painting the Mona Lisa and signing it in finger paint!

At the end of the credits this time should be both Ron Morre and David Eick hung by their disappointed loyal fans{ teasing of course, like their cartoons}

In a word, the finale was LAME. A pastiche of new age mumbo-jumbo, platitudes and tired old homilies (Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life? Come on) it had just enough quantum physics thrown in to qualify as science fiction and not soap opera. And what about Starbuck one of the central characters, who simply vanishes. Boo

I thought the finale was great and that they answered a ton of questions. The show for me has always been about the characters and not about porn in space or spacebattles and so what if they made stuff up as they went along, no one said they had to have the entire thing set in stone from day one. Battlestar Galactica from start to finish is still the best peice of writing I have ever seen.

I few people are confused as to what planet was inhabitated in Friday's season finale.
In my opinion, it was not our Earth but a planet like ours. It evolved 150,000 later very similarly including the commercial names like Footlocker and cities (Washington) which are mere copies of the real Earth (ours). This could be due to the similar DNA being an intricate part woven throughout the universe. If you listen to the dialog from the Baltar and Six God as they walked thru the streets at the end it went like this: Six God "all of this happened, commercialism, decadence, technology run amok....remind you of anything?" Baltar God responds "take your pick, Cobol, Earth, the real Earth before this one, Caprica...before the fall"

Aside from all the hollywood let's break this down scene by scene people here, insert (actors, want to be writers) who liked the ending? I'm sick of hearing this technical caca that people are spewing here. It is as hilarious as seeing the Quorum trying to work...

I liked it with all of its faults and I am extremely happy that a project like this got done. Congrats to the whole BSG team, you really choked my chain at times and somehow was able to make, as another commenter on EW say, an unsatisfactory ending satisfying.

I loved the finale up until the last few scenes on earth. There was a definite disconnect! The writers had a lot of loose ends to tie up, and should have broken up the finale into a "to-be-continued", two part finale; with each being two hours. This would have given the writers more time to reveal the truth, while also allowing for more time to resolve the characters conflicts and new beginnings. I feel like the writers rushed through the end and repeated the "this has happened before and it will happen again" unneccessarily. Obviously! I think we got that, but why the preachy ending instead of the more emotionally connected one we've come to expect from Battlestar? I think a beautiful alternative ending would have been as we're watching Hera walk through the field...she encounters an Earth child playing....and seeing them become friends. I would have loved to see Starbuck and Sam reunited...the way they made Starbuck just disappear was ridiculous. After the manner in which Adama said goodbye to Apollo and Starbuck, I fully expected him to end his life with Rosylin's. As for Gaius and Number 6, I liked how they ended with them finding a spot to settle and "cultivate", thus making the connection to his father; why do the fast forward 150,000 years and turn an emotionally relevant moment into cliche? It won't be enough for us to look into the mirror of ourselves and change if we aren't given answers more deeply connected to our emotions, rather than it's just a law of averages. Something Grander will have to bring about this change....I think the appreciation Apollo discovered for being back on Earth and choosing to do away with machines could have been a better way to leave off the finale...while still conveying the same message.

The season finale answered enough questions to make it very enjoyable. Did it answer all questions? No it did not. Was it meant to answer some of the more complex questions brought up by mythic stories concerning ideas of metempsychosis, destiny vs free will, beyond good and evil, etc? Absolutely not! It is a science fiction show on cable TV not some religious text meant to give one some remarkable insight. And yet, where this show succeeded was to get us to ask questions about the aforementioned topics all within a very dystopian sci fi TV show. What more can you ask of a television show and have it be entertaining at the same time?
As for Apollo's disappearance at the end of the finale, viewed through the prism of say reincarnation, she made it very clear that she had 'completed her journey'. From the view of those who think in terms of non-physical beings able to move through planes of reality, she was perhaps an angel or a messenger. All of these devices were explored throughout the series. What is the answer? Who knows, but that is the beauty of this show and the beauty of life as well. Two thumbs up for the finale and the courage of the producers to re-introduce mythic story telling against the backdrop of garbage like 'Rock of Love' and 'Tool Academy'

I'm sure if everything was neatly packaged everyone would complain that the ending left no margin for speculation. That we're even discussing a remake of a 70's sci-fi drama in 2009 is a pretty amazing feat. What Ron Moore, the actors and the entire team have accomplished is visceral, moving, thought provoking drama. It is hard to imagine another sci-fi show reaching this level of gritty realism and originality. Were there things left unanswered in the final episode? Sure. But they could have kept on milking the story, it's not like we wanted the show to end. I applaud them for all they have accomplished. Great work! -Jodie, Elmira NY

Whoa, this finale was an embarrassment. During the 'special' (so named because it showed the writers ride a short bus to work and all wear helmets) we learned there was no overall plan to the story, and they were making it up as they went along. Never mind details, inconsistencies, or being painted into a corner . . . "we'll leave that sort of art to good writers". Instead, we get the sort of ending worthy of "The Prisoner"- make it vague, leave it open, and let's do things that make no sense. A cross between Asimov and Dr. Suess, with Bert and Ernie writing the plot.

So, let's count all the people who now want to watch any more Gallactica spinoffs or buy the DVD/Blu-Ray collections . . . one . . . two . . . Great. Two.

I cannot decide which is worse--the actual episode itself or this inane review. How did this episode get produced? How did this reviewer ever get a job as a TV critic at the Los Angeles Times?

Are there no standards any more?

Enjoyed the finale until the last couple of minutes in New York. Thought that was cheesy and excessive moralizing.

Overall it ended almost exactly as I expected it to from the very first episode. They are in effect the lost tribe that establishes our civilization. Adama as Adam and on and on. This said I did enjoy it and thought it ended exactly as it should have.

This show and its finale deserved a standing ovation.

I have to address the post by "Tony." The "Earth" of the last episode is ours. Two big clues- Galactica flies over the moon and we immediately see Africa in the Earthrise above the moon. But a bigger clue comes from the title sequence of the original show. A narrator speculates on how "life here began, out there." The fathers of the Incas and aztecs no less. This new galactica series completes that vision. On a sidenote, It was nice seeing the old series' cylons taking part in the last battle too. It further helps close out the original series along with this one.

I liked too that this show converges sci-fi with metaphysical. And why not? It further underscores the specialness of humanity. Or rather the human/cylons hybrids that we as children of the surviors of those two civilizations are. We as individuals feel special why cant a show address that. A transcended power (who doesnt like to be called God--unless angel-Baltar is being silly) is making itself known at least to the cylons then humans and has as yet unknown interests in our little blue world 150,000 years on. Not unlike the situation we may find ourselves in. I am a religious person and partake in bible study and have to wonder why does God even bother? Why did he do it? Why does he care, why does he choose to speak through a chosen poeple? Why does he choose to sometimes act historically? My faith has no answers but rather speculations on those questions.

So, why shouldn't a sci-fi show that is already a metaphor for the human conditiion also weigh in on the transcendent; and, only reflect on what we preceieve. We dont know all the answers--its only right for a mirror to reflect without explaintion and that is what made Battlestar Galactica great for me.

Fracking Bravo!

It thought it was great. I haven't stopped thinking about it and have been discussing it with my wife and son throughout the day. Isn't that what you want a show to do?

I loved that Starbuck was an "angel" of some sort. God putting pieces in place to get the job done.

I loved that the Centurions were given their own lives.

I didn't like that Adama left to end up alone. What joy some grandkids would've brought to his life? I also don't understand how all the descendants were form the girl. Did none of the other colonial families make it to have descendants too?

Thanks so much you guys!

For those of us who are not interested in the questions Jeff refers to, the finale was a frakkin joke!
Four years to say "God moves in mysterious ways." ?!? All the suffering and misery that the characters endured, not to mention 12,000,000,000 dead all for nothing? Thanks RDM. Thanks a lot!

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