Grab Your Gun and Bring in the Cat
It’s been a couple of weeks now since Battlestar Galactica left the airwaves and since it’s been off I’ve thought a lot about that last episode. After all of the buildup and anticipation for some sort of mind-blowing ending you’ve got to wonder – Was it good or was it just okay? Did they answer enough questions to the lingering plot points that were mysteries? Was it a good mix of action (which it was) and exposition (the jury is still out on that one)?
Our ragtag band of survivors killed off (or had their enemies kill themselves) their enemies, specifically Dean Stockwell’s wily Brother Cavil, who opted, instead of resurrection, to end it all with a bullet in the head. With his death I’m assuming that the Cylon threat is gone, but aren’t there more Cylons out there? And come on, that was a cheap way out. Cavil had a sweeping master plan to bring the Cylons back on top and take resurrection back to his people and he ended his life with a bullet? In the mouth? Sure, I know that Tyrol had just killed Torie and that the secret of resurrection would never be his after that, but suicide? He had the human race where he wanted it and it’s not like the guy can naturally die. Suicide seems like a lame way out for him.
But there were other things. The Opera House vision was all about the Galactica CIC? Really? What writer thought that up and how rushed to deadline were they before they thought that lame idea up? If Baltar and Six were supposed to take Hera why would Roslin and Sharon be so scared?
A huge problem with the episode? A lot of the loose ends seemed to get tied up rather loosely.
We never find out why Kara came back or or why or what she was. And you kind of knew she was going to be it but Roslin was the dying leader? 1She seemed to give up about half way through the season. If anyone led them to Earth it was Bill, or Starbuck, or…somebody else. Did she really lead them to Earth or did she just lead them in space? What happened to the relationship between Tigh and Six? He’d gotten her pregnant. 2Or maybe I’m just a stickler for details. And Head Six and Head Baltar? What was that? Are they angels? Cylons? No explanation given. Or not worth giving.
Another problem is that Ron Moore gives explanation of many of these hints on his show commentary podcasts, which is also how you would have found out that everyone who took part in Zarak and Gaeta’s failed coup d’état was put on board the prison ship. You never would have heard a single character just mention in passing, “Everyone who took part in Zarak and Gaeta’s failed coup d’état was put on board the prison ship.” I guess those 3 seconds of airtime would have eaten up too much story time.
Probably my biggest problem with the show was that way too much time was given to the battle at the Cylon colony and not enough given to the time on Earth. Several parts of the final battle seemed to drag as Colonials would walk through the Cylon hallways, guns drawn, staring straight ahead like they were…waiting for something to appear…like Bad Sharon. Or Simon. Or that PR guy. Or a battle between CG Cylons.
And too much time spent on the characters’ pasts on Caprica. Time was wasted so we could see that Roslin slept with a former student, Bill had a job interview, Anders talk about “perfection”, Tigh and Ellen drink 3Wait…they drink? Do they ever really stop drinking? and Lee almost sleeps with his brother’s fiance Kara. Probably collectively 45 minutes was wasted on flashbacks. Sure, it showed why some of these people survived the war, but still needless and pointless.
And because of the time crunch Earth seemed to be hurried through. We had a lot of territory to cover there and a lot of stories to wrap up, we couldn’t take a few minutes out of the pointless Lee/Kara flashback and show more of what happened to Lee on Earth?
There he was, talking to Kara, then she just upped and “disappeared” and he was alone. And that was that.
Nothing else about Lee? He’s just left alone in Africa? Alone? Without Kara? What a waste of time that was.
I think of all of the Earthbound storylines that was served the best was the Baltar/Six one. You learned that Baltar grew up on a farm and knew how to cultivate crops, so now that he has no more science equipment he’s at least going to survive. And after all they’ve been through, tall Six is going to be with short Baltar. But I don’t get Head Baltar and Head Six. I’m guessing they’re angels? I don’t know. If they’re Cylons those clothes they’ve been wearing for 150,000 years still look good.
And a logical fallacy – If the notes of “All Along the Watchtower” are given numerical values, and those numerical values, when punched into an FTL computer, take that ship to Earth, wouldn’t Jimi Hendrix’s version of the song at the end of the show technically lead whoever figured out the numerical code right back to a bombed out nuclear Earth in the future? As I’m assuming by the end of the show that the writers are hinting that our current Earth is heading down the same path as our “forefathers” did on Kobol. Maybe the next coordinates could have been put to “Dancing Queen” or “How Much is that Doggy in the Window” or “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.
My last problem with the show was that the series was so great and well written that it felt like most of the mysteries from early on were just given short shrift because some sort of answer had to be given as an explanation for them. The final five plotline was alright but ultimately silly in the end. Kara returning from the dead was never adequately explained, the conceiving of Hera, and lots more. It was great TV but I think that the show creators owed it to their fan base to elaborate better and figure out better answers to the mysteries, even if they were convenient plotlines from seasons ago that helped propel the story along. A good example that they could have looked to was “Lost” which just seems to get better the longer it goes. The creators of it may not know where it’s going to go from season to season, but they think up new and interesting situations for the Losties to get involved in, and it’s not like the two shows have little in common. The Losties are stuck on the island (sort of) and the Colonials are stuck on the Galactica. Both sets are trying to get home and only one so far has succeeded. Let’s hope that “Lost”, with all of the expectations it has built up for itself, can pull of an ending better than “Galactica” did.