Episode Reviews (19)
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Daybreak, Part 1
Daybreak, Part 1 was a perfect episode of Battlestar Galactica and I really enjoyed watching because the flashbacks to the characters before the attacks was very revealing, the Admiral wrestles with tough decisions, and a plan to check out the Cylon Colony is under way. In the flashbacks it was interesting to see Roslin sort of baptize herself in the fountain after her family members were killed in an accident. There was a lot of character and plot development. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
Filler, flashbacks, "acting"...get ON with it.
First review I've put here. I've started to keep the laptop open on Friday nights so I can surf the web when BSG slows down. Lately it's open most of the time. This episode continues with the same filler, flashbacks, "acting" and other crap that we've seen since the Earth encounter. In the effects department, we did get a long shot of Caprica city, but it looked likes an effect to be reused a dozen times in the new Caprica spin-off. (Anyone looking forward to that? Anyone?) We also got a black hole...which looked suspiciously like the one we saw around the end of season three. I even tried to get my near-teenage son to watch a few episodes this season - he said it was too boring. I couldn't disagree.moreless
The beginning of the end
The series finale will encompass a total of three hours. One would think this is more than enough time to wrap up the vast majority of the plot and character threads and give the series proper closure. The previous episode was a slow but steady prelude, which logically should have set the stage well enough for the finale to move things along. That's not quite the case.
The pace of the finale is surprisingly slow and methodical. A good portion of the episode is devoted to the message that we are coming full circle, and the characters are as well. Some have changed, some haven't. But the real question, at least to the viewer, is why it pertains at all to the series finale. Is this important information? Or is this an attempt to be lyrical at the end? This is but the introductory hour of the final tale, so it's hard to know what the purpose is.
What is surprising is how much is still left to be resolved. Has there been any progress since "Someone to Watch Over Me"? We're still no closer to the truth about Kara, her connection to the Final Five and Hera, and the meaning of "All Along the Watchtower". There's still an enormous suicide mission to conduct as well. One would think that this sets the stage for the end of Galactica itself (rather symbolic), but also for the end of the threat of Cavil's faction of the Cylons.
Yet it's premature to say that this hour is somehow wasted. It's the beginning of a process, and there's still two more hours to go before the picture is complete. It could be that the preliminaries are slow-paced to maximize the effect of the final events. Still, this is the endgame, so anything that hampers the ability to wrap things up is going to make fans nervous.
One major aspect of the episode was Baltar's bid for political power. In an interesting change of pace, he's not necessarily asking out of self-interest, even if he does stand to gain if his people want him to represent their desires. As it stands, Baltar could end up with power as a default, if he does in fact stay behind. After all, if Galactica and her volunteer crew fall at the Cylon colony, Adama, Roslin, and Lee would all be there. The resulting power vacuum, and the size of Baltar's following, would place him in a powerful position.
But Baltar seemed to be wavering in his decision, and if the colony turns out to be the Opera House, he'll be going with them to fulfill his role. If the Opera House dream is prophetic, then Caprica and Baltar will end up escaping with Hera to bring back the future to those left behind. This also aligns with Baltar's vision at the end of the first season, and if anyone else dies trying to get to Hera, it would certainly fulfill the prophecy regarding Roslin.
That still leaves open the question of Kara's resurrection, and how that might intersect with the Opera House theory. If there is going to be a last-minute intervention by some greater power, a look back at the series puts the easy money on the Cylon God. It would be very easy to use the Cylon God, or the personification thereof, to resolve a number of outstanding mysteries. For example, as it stands, the revelation of the Final Five doesn't quite match what was mentioned in "Rapture", but there was an apparent reference to the Cylon God at the time. If the writers realized that a "deus ex machina" solution was a necessary evil, then why not deliver an actual "God"?
All of which amounts to the fact that Ron Moore and company could still stick the landing for this series, if they pull together the bulk of the dangling plot threads. (With the exception, of course, of what will be covered in "The Plan".) But after the past two episodes, which did little to move the story forward, there's still potential for disappointment.moreless
We approach the end of the line, but beware the rose-tinted glasses
Daybreak 1 was good. Make no mistake. Once again, BSG delivers strong drama and very, very, powerful portrayals. On its own, it is what brings BSG up to the level of that other (for the most part) magnificent space operas, Babylon 5. We're in the home stretch now, and Daybreak Part one is pivotal in moving us to the final confrontation and revelations. We see a simmering build-up as Adama comes to realise that rescuing Hera *is* important; and quite possibly not only because of her potential significance. His walk along the corridor of remembrance was possibly the most evocative moment of this episode. Not only did it serve to bring his focus down onto the girl - it served, without the need for dialogue, to remind us - to remind him - of a long standing promise he had made: to save and protect the people thrust into his care. Standing among the photographs of those lost, we saw through his eyes everything he'd sworn and fought to uphold: not just the right for humanity to survive, but for *people* to continue to live and grow. And "people" includes one solitary little girl, every bit as important to him as Kara Thrace, once stranded on an alien world after a dogfight with a raider. In coming to that realisation, Adama not only saw the importance of going after the girl, he rediscovered his centre; and from that came the dedication and determination that have previously marked him as a natural leader. Not everyone might be convinced of his goal - but this discovery of the inner man was strong enough to demonstrate to enough of the crew that he really is still a man worth following - even to death itself. And the revelations aren't just confined to Adama; in confronting Lee Adama, Baltar is forced to contend with his own nature. His lack of substance. All that has gone before not only has brought him to this point, it has left him without any real convinction. For all his postured - and quite possibly genuine - belief in the "one true God", he can no longer avoid the fact that he himself is, in the final analysis, an empty vessel. And, as anyone with an once of religious reading will know, it is only once that point has been reached, can true redemption begin. It is no coincidence that his Head Six informs him it is time for him to lead humanity in its final chapter shortly before he meets Lee Adama. At the time he couldn't understand her words - even from her expression - but now, confronted by the naked truth, he can no-longer hide. "Daybreak 1" is a dramatic episode. Even the flashbacks are beautifully drawn and executed. They provide something of a further depth to the characters they touch, and they are far from being misplaced or "out of character" as some reviewers here suggest. But - and there is a "but" here - nor are they as fulfilling or as fabulous as those heaping praise upon praise for this episode imply. Yes, the flashbacks do fit with the rest of the story but do they actually contribute anything we really need to know about the characters concerned?. Sorry, but the answer here is no; at least, not at this point in time. True, if the flashbacks continue and lead to a final moment of understand and/or revelation, then they will have worked and worked well. But if they don't....well, when one puts aside the rose-tinted glasses, it will be apparent that in terms of the *story* and the *characters* they actually reveal very little that we didn't already know - other than perhaps Baltar, where his realtionship with his father points to much of the reason as to why his became the man he is. One only hopes these new threads, woven in the form of flashbacks do have meaning and resolution in the final double episode, because then the 10s awarded this segment would be justified. But with so much to still to be played out, one feels that Daybreak 2 runs equal risk of pleasing and frustrating the audience by equal measure.moreless
The beginning of the end..
At first I agreed with the posts that BSG didn't need an episode like this but then I changed me mind. Yes we don't know the full reason why Moore needs to tell us about some of the characters back story, some of it makes sense and connects with the main story (Baltar's father and being an overall empty vessel) and some of it doesn't...yet. What this episode was trying to do was make the viewer get to know a side of the characters that we hadn;t seen before so when the story eventually plays out, we feel an emotional loss. Its clear that these characters play a pivotal role in the final episode but Daybreak part 1 was a good episode and as others point out, its part 1 of 3, not a standalone.
How I think things will play out.
The Black hole which is defending the cyclon colony is the same black hole that Starbuck dissappeared into back at the end of season 3, this black hole also connects to Earth. Throughout the series, Starbuck has been referred to by the hybrids (and now her husband) as the Harbinger of Death and will lead Humanity to its doom. Starbuck will lead a portion of the galactica army to the cyclon colony which will eventually lead to both sides destruction. To complete the cycle, some of the characters will survive the 'end' and go through the black hole to earth, the earth of the past, ie 2000 years ago. The survivors will most likely be in a raptor around Orbit and will warn the Earth cyclons of what has occured. These 'Angels' will warn the Final Five of Earths past and set things in motion. One of the 'Angels' will be Baltar, he has done nothing selfless his entire life, this will be his reincarnation, ironically as the one true god he has been pilgrimming since exhile.
All this has happenned before, and will happen again.moreless
Part one: chessboard manoeuvres. (Review is of all three instalments of the finale).
Well. That was a turn up for the books, wasn't it? While these episodes were broadcast separately (well, 419 was at any rate), Ronald D. Moore penned the three instalments as one script, one movie if you will, so I feel it best to treat them as such in this review. And in so doing, it becomes very clear that there is an intentional concentric structure to the piece. The story essentially moves from chessboard manoeuvring in its first hour to action/emotional apex in its second and then to introspection and finally, rest in its third. There's a distinctly poignant beauty in this most novel-esque narratology, anchored in the one element common to all aspects: the pre-Fall flashbacks. These mire the action in the trope that has always been at the core of the 21st Century Battlestar Galactica: the human character and all its inherent quirks and faults. Moore is wise to incorporate these moments into the finale, despite the inevitable complaints that will arise from many corners that they take up time that could be 'better spent' giving us more coherent answers to whatever minutiae that have been left dangling over the years. And while I will concede that certain aspects of the flashbacks could perhaps have done with a little more treatment (Roslin's in particular lacks any particular oomph and falls a little flat), 'Daybreak' was never obliged to neatly tie up every question, no matter how irrelevant, that has arisen over the years. In fact, if it had, it would arguably have been a disappointment, feeling more like a laundry list than a believable, engaging and satisfying goodbye to the characters that we've come to know and love. The answers we DO get, and the action that they are tied up in, are generally excellent: they make up a significant proportion of the dramatically intense second hour which, unquestionably, is the best aspect of the entire finale. There's tension and suspense galore here, not to mention some stellar special effects, a whole hell of a lot of blood and some damn fine confrontational scenes, culminating in Baltar and Six's brilliant encounter at the 'Opera House'. There are kinks, unfortunately, and they begin to show in the third act as some highly illogical plot manoeuvring jeopardises the believability of the plot. So the Galacticans find what we know as Earth, a planet populated with primitives, and they... decide to abandon everything and start again? You're telling me that 37,000 people would blindly agree to fly all of their technology into the Sun and live, not just without creature comforts, but without basic things like medical science?! Oh yeah, we'll just get rid of all of our advances in childbirth and let what, like, 30% of women die before the sprog pops out? Great idea! Transportation, communication, INSULATION? Oh shucks, who needs 'em, eh? I have a really hard time buying any of this; it smells pungently of a quick fix, driven by a misguided need to tie the events of the Galactica world into our own. The somewhat conservative allegory - that our predilections for technological advancement will only lead to our downfall - functioned as metaphor up to this point, but now it's just blatant finger-pointing, especially when one takes the rather patronising closing scene into consideration. Moore, you really needn't have. Meaning arguably works better when it is not tied around a 70 tonne anvil, towering over your head. The last two or three minutes are a huge let-down as a result of this: they come across as preachy, gratuitous and unnecessary rather than thought-provoking and poignant. It's a shame really as there's a great deal to enjoy in the 'new Earth' scenes: yes, they're rather pedestrian at times but just check out the acting skills on display and the beautiful dialogue they're all given... Adama and Roslin, in particular, even if his decision to bugger off and build that cabin away from everyone is just plain ludicrous. And what exactly was Starbuck, anyway? An angel? Meh. I'd rather hoped Moore wouldn't take the obvious religious route out but alas, never mind. Still, when considered collectively, the three parts of 'Daybreak' make for a generally engaging and satisfying finale. They take that most important of facets as their dramatic core - character - and run with it, giving closure and finality to our favourite players while also delivering some of the finest, and most explosive, dramatic moments the show has ever seen. It's a pity that the 'comedown', if you will, contains a number of very prominent flaws that serve to distract the viewer's attention from the good and leave a slightly bitter after-taste. 'Daybreak' is not the perfect crescendo we had come to expect from this oh-so-wonderful of shows, but perhaps our expectations shouldn't have been so high. It's enjoyable nonetheless and at the end of the day, that'll do for me.moreless
Whats the point why oh why did we have to live through a flash back.
We only had 2 weekends of BSG and they give us a flashback. Just to give us the story behind each member of the crew my god that's not what we signed up for. I want to see what's going to happen not what's happened where nothing can be changed. Role on next week. Now that parts of Daybreak 1 that made it bearable to watch was the present they made since and I would have loved if they had clipped them all together and let us watch that instead but oh no we had to watch the cr++ that was the filler.
One thing I do hope is that next week we get to see the end of baltar that lee or one of the other. I live to see that day.moreless
11 out of 10
For the love of the gods, this is why we should be aloud to rank episodes as eleven!
Now I hafta go back and reduce all the episodes I ranked as 10, back to 9.
This was an insanely good setup to the final conclusion. I beg the gods the conclusion doesn't disappoint.
I was moved deeply as we played thru each character's story line, and suckin back tears for Madame President as she crossed the line.
BSG2K3 has had its ups and downs, and entire storylines were ultimately worthless. Characters have come and gone, or changed direction, or left the base character, or even manifested to tripe. Some episodes should never have been allowed to air. But thru it all I have cared about these characters... and now the setup for their conclusion is has me riveted.moreless
With Galactica on the verge of falling apart, Admiral Adama readies the ship for what could be its final mission, as Baltar's Six warns that humanity's final chapter is near.
Perhaps a tad generous with the score of 8, but I think several factors have to be considered. Yes, as a stand alone episode, I would have scored this lower. It is, however, the first of a three-part episode and as a first act, I believe it did what needed to be done. I did initially dislike the strong emphasis on flashbacks. But I have come to agree with my wife (a miracle!) that they are setting up a review of the lives of the characters who are about to die. They also seem to give a decent motivation for the final actions these characters will commit. There were two crucial elements to the episode. First of course was the discovery of the Colony's location and the set-up for the final showdown. Somewhat less obvious perhaps was the foreshadowing of Baltar's destiny. The conversation between Baltar and Apollo about Baltar never having committed a selfless act is a major set-up for the finale. It seems to me that Baltar is going to sacrifice himself for the others and become a saviour. This is a crucial plot point and an interesting closure for perhapst the most intriguing characters on the show. I've always considered Baltar a sniveling coward wanted him to get his just desserts, but to have him undergo a true metamorphosis to altruism (that was also well thought out) would say a lot about what this series is about.moreless
A good episode. Went back to the beginning and answered some minor character questions and set up the big battle next week.
Some people on here were confused by the flashbacks to new caprica. It was a bookend to the final as they showed the main humans lives on Caprica. Although the answers the flashbacks revealed were not the BIG ones, it answered why Laura got into politics and why it took her so long to love Adama. (losing your whole family would make one fear commitment after all), it also explained how Six wormed her way into Baltar's heart. She was another conquest to him, and that's all, before she gleaned the way to Baltar was through helping his father, who was obviously a pain for him. It also showed how lee met kara. (nothing big in this reveal, I believe it was a treat for the fans and brought back Zac, if only briefly.) It showed Adama doing something in the past, but this episode didn't get to it, maybe next week.
In the present, Baltar also had a large role, as he is confronted again by people's lack of trust and his selfish attitude. Lee brushed off his request for representation by saying it was another one of his ploys for power. And six looked longingly at him when the time came for volunteers. If he stepped over the line, six might have believed he did indeed change. (of course he didn't) Posters on here think he will have a change of heart, but I'm not so sure. We will have to see next week. I believe he may be the only character that survives because he stayed, and he will become leader again, but a better one than the last time as he cares for his people and will realize the sacrifice everyone else made. Just my thought, can't wait for the finale!moreless