I held out as long as I could
--two days--but I watched the Battlestar Galactica
finale last night. If you haven't seen it yet, steer clear.
Overall, I'd say it was a success. It tied up everything, answered most of the questions, and gave us a clear ending. I admit the show, taken as a whole, doesn't hang together as well as it might--I bet if you looked at the first season now, you'd see a lot that's hard to explain. But we already knew they were making it up as they went along, so you gotta roll with the punches.
One of the exciting things about the series is you really didn't know how it would end. These days, you can usually guess the ending of a movie or a show, since the good guys always win. Even assuming you know who the good guys are in Galactica
, there was no guarantee the human race would survive, or the"bad" cylons would be destroyed.
The show also had a lengthy denouement. While I don't like this for a short, unified work, epics, going back to Homer, have earned them. You've been following the story for a long time, and after the climax, you need some time to ease out.
The action, which took up most of the final two hours, was exciting but confusing. I wasn't clear on their precise plan (or even the general one). I knew they wanted to get back Hera, but how they were gonna do it without getting destroyed I'm not sure. And even then, it seems like it couldn't have worked without Boomer having a change of Cylon heart--and that's something you can't plan on. (I thought they might sacrifice the Galactica to make headway, since it was doomed anyway, but they had other plans.)
Speaking of Boomer, she finally bought it. It was a long time coming, and she got to redeem herself first, but it made sense. She did get killed by her own model, and that seems only right.
Speaking of finally doing the right thing, it took the ENTIRE series, but Baltar did something selfless (apparently) and stayed behind to fight. This was part of a Plan, and it was finally fulfilled. All the characters had an arc, but none more than Baltar.
This ties into the "Hera, Hera, Who's Got The Hera" game. Once the Galactica forces had Hera in their hands, I'm shocked how easily she got away. I understand Helo was shot, but Hera's the whole ball of wax--shouldn't at least someone be there to grab her? This did allow for some nice intercutting with the opera house, where everything promised was clarified and fulfilled.
The big confrontation at the CIC was the heart of the show, and everyone had their moment. Maybe the biggest was Baltar's speech. (He really stepped up this show.) It was a bit surprising how everything quieted down enough so he could make it, but it was a turning point. Then after Tigh promised to help Cavil, a truce was made. (This was the first time Cavil met a self-aware Final Five, but they didn't play it up--they had that moment with Ellen.)
Ironically, Cavil screwed up by trusting them. Not that they didn't have good intentions. It's just that all the Final Five had to work together to bring back resurrection technology, which meant they had to share their thoughts. Tigh (making another promise he couldn't keep) told Tory no one would mind what she'd done. I guess Tigh figured no one could beat him in the ugly department. But none of them guessed that Tory airlocked Cally. Tyrol got so mad he killed Tory. Is this any way for one of the Final Five to act to another? I mean Tigh killed Ellen and she forgave him, so what's up with Galen? Okay, he's pissed, but what the Final Five are doing now is saving all humanity, and all Cylonity while we're at it--they should be above petty recrimination. Not to mention just a little while ago, because of Tyrol's screw-up, Boomer kidnaped Hera which is why they're in such a mess to begin with. Chief used to be the most even-keeled character on the show, but he was acting pretty flaky in the final few episodes, and didn't finish honorably. Yet Tigh told him later on Earth he'd have done the same thing. Yeah, we know, you already did. But doesn't that mean Ellen has every right to kill you
Luckily, Tyrol being a complete jerk ends up destroying the Cylons' hopes (Cavil can't take it and blows his brains out) and now it's up to Starbuck to save humanity. (See, they all get their moment.) All those piano lessons paid off, and she used the Dylan song to find some way out of there. Here's what I don't get, and I'm assuming it's my fault. I thought the Galactica had a rendezvous with the rest of the fleet. Kara was the one who finally figured out the formula and was able to get Galactica to Earth on its final jump. So how could this be the rendezvous point? How is it the fleet later showed up? Are they just automatically honed in to Galactica's signal and so they FTL it to wherever the Battlestar is at the assigned time? If that's so, where'd they have gone in the very likely event Galactica was destroyed? (Soon after I wrote this I read that Galactica sent a raptor to the rendezvous to tell them where to jump. Never mind.)
This new planet turns out to be beautiful. And inhabited by humans. Huh? What next, rectangular paper? It turns out Earth 2 is our
Earth, answering the most basic question of the series: it's our past, not our future. Looks like the technologically modern humans (and Cylons) are gonna hang out with the primitives, and be our ancestors. This, by the way, is the ending of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy
We also get the other biggest question answered, sorta. It turns out that ghost Six, not to mention ghost Baltar, and even, I guess, undead Kara--whom everyone can see and interact with--are angels, or gods, or Lords of Kobol. I was surprised, but it does make sense in a way. You can call it a deus ex machina, but it's not like they hadn't prepared us for it. Ron Moore (who appeared in a cameo at the end) leaves thing ambiguous enough so that they fit in with quite a few religious traditions.
They all go down to Earth, the final 38,000. (They let the toaster Cylons free--big mistake, I'd have destroyed them.) Lee decides to keep it simple, forswearing their technology, most of which will be flown into the sun by Anders. (Note how after two or three seasons, they finally get Anders out of the way so the real couple, Starbuck and Lee, can have their moment.) This is just stupid. You're on a big, new, unknown planet, and you're spread out. Perhaps you'd like to visit each other, or just talk to each other. Maybe you'd like to have good medicine. Is Baltar not gonna, say, pass on any of his knowledge just so he can go back to farming? Lee says he wants to explore, climb mountains, cross oceans. Now aren't you sorry you got rid of the stuff that would help you do that? And just who made Lee emperor? Shouldn't they vote on this? Sure, if you want to be like Tyrol and go live your life by yourself, fine, but why force it on everyone? The Old Man tells Romo (yep, he's still around--almost became President (ugh!)) that everyone was willing to give it all up because they want a clean slate. I don't buy it. How did they decide so quickly? Bet it was a voice vote with no debate. I'm sure there's a sizable minority who at least want iPods so they can listen to "All Along The Watchtower." This is madness.
So the 38,000 (due to budget constraints, we see about 20) walk to their final homes. Two questions. 1) There's plenty of room, why walk in single file? 2) Why walk anywhere? Why not keep a few ships around for a while, find where you want to live, and have someone drop you off?
Kara, her mission done, disappears, so Lee can go climb a mountain. After a long separation, Baltar (free of his cult--for now, anyway) and the real Six (does she still have her skimpy outfit and heels?--I hope so) walk off into the sunset. Galen, who's seen his loves killed, goes off on his own, never to return, unless he goes on another murderous rampage, I guess. Sharon and Helo get to raise Hera, who's the mother of us all. (She was necessary--so human/human marriages just weren't good enough?) Saul and Ellen go off together--they can't create resurrection technology any more, but the question for them is can they build a still. Adama and Roslin have some sweet final moments together before she kicks the bucket. (No one tries to slice up Hera to save her.)
Cut ahead 150,000 years, and it's our present. Robots are on the rise. Quick, toss all those iPods before they revolt.