Episode Reviews (62)
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Daybreak, Part 2 (3)
Daybreak, Part 2 (3) was amazingly awesome and a perfect finish to one of the greatest series of all time! I really enjoyed watching the finale of Battlestar Galactica because the fleet and Galactica are reunited after Starbuck finds a new Earth. It was awesome how this storyline kind of resembled stories of Ancient Aliens and interbreeding with early humans. I also liked how the "Angels" who appeared to Baltar and Caprica Six appeared one last time to them, and then again in this new Earth's future which was really cool. Admiral Adama takes Roslin on a flight to see the beautiful animals and lands and to build that Cabin, but this dream isn't fully realized but the related scenes were touching. The people all finally got their new home, which every one truly deserved. The ending was spectacular as the "Angels" discussed Hera being our original physical "Eve" as well as "God" and his plans, along with showing how history may be an inevitable cycle. I was satisfied with the ending and will definitely watch the series again in marathon from time to time!!!!!!!!!moreless
Have to say I found the ending disappointing. The whole idea that we evolved from both native, Colonial and Cylon forefathers felt wrong and to unbelievable. Secondly as a non religious person all the religious 'God' clap trap was boring, stupid and offensive to me. I wanted to know how Starbuck susrvived the implosion not rubbish about 'God's Will'.
They put too much emphasis on this Watchtower song! I have never heard of it and so all the hints/clues/meanings were lost on me. It meant that I had no idea what they were going on about at times (still don't).
The idea they were pushing that Hera was somehow the ancestor of the human race as a "Mitochondrial Eve" was based on completely wrong science so made no sense whatsoever.moreless
Part three: Rest (review is all of all three episodes 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
Battlestar Galactica comes to a close after four seasons of frakkin intensity I have never seen in another show.
This is my first and only BSG review as I recently finished watching the entire series for the first time. I have to say that, while I may not have been along for the ride as a lot of other fans were, I have come to know and admire these characters and this has become one of my all-time favorite shows. I just wish I had discovered it sooner. As with other reviewers, I am going to review the entire three-part finale in one go, so bear with me.
While the first part of the finale lacked some firepower, it was necessary to establish exactly what was going to happen in the remaining parts. Boomer revealed her true colors once and for all and betrayed everyone by kidnapping Hera and taking her to the Cylon Colony, a massive ship which took my breath away. The Cylons and humans choose their sides and prepare for the battle. While this may not seem like much, it got my heart pumping and ready to go in to the final episode. I was not disappointed.
The final battle with the Cylons was epic and extreme. I watched in shock as the Galactica took the beating of its life while Cylon Raiders streamed everywhere while the troops entered the Colony to save Hera. While I expected Boomer to finally get what was coming to her (she was getting very annoying at this point), I didn't expect her to go out by Athena's hand. I thought she would die while helping the troops escape, but there was some measure of poetic justice in Athena killing Boomer that I can respect. I have to say that I also expected a LOT more bloodshed and at least several main characters to die. This was, after all, a very dangerous mission, as Admiral Adama put it, and the liklihood of every one of the main characters making it out of there alive was highly improbable, but in the end I'm glad everyone made it out alive. I was a little sad that Racetrack and Skulls died, but they unintentionally saved everyone by going in with their nukes ready. The opera house scene was very well done and I had almost forgotten that no one knew that Cally was killed by Tory. She definitely got what was coming to her when Tyrol snapped her neck. The deaths of the remaining bad Cylons was also awesome, especially with the cowardice of Cavill revealed as he killed himself rather than be killed by the crew of Galactica.
The third part (it might not be the technical third part, I know) began with Starbuck putting the coordinates for the real Earth. I was surprised to discover that this was NOT the Earth that they had previously discovered, but was instead an untouched planet which would be the final resting place of the remnants of the human race. While it is a little hard to believe that all 37,000 of them would give up their advances in technology without so much as a fuss, I can accept that because look at where technology had gotten them. They might as well start over.
The resolutions of the characters we had come to know were very bittersweet, as is the case in most shows' finales. I was most moved by the death of Roslin and I admit that I cried in every scene she was in on Earth until she died. I have never been so moved by a character before but her strength and determination touched me and I hated the fact that she had to die, but how they did it was beautiful and very sad at the same time. Gaius and Caprica 6 finally got together and their respective angels left them to their own devices, which was a nice touch because they got back together in the end, despite everything that had happened between then and the Fall. The one ending that I wasn't completely satisfied with, however, was Starbuck and Lee's. I, along with many other people I'm sure, fully expected them to get together in the end, as the show had been suggesting for some time. But Starbuck vanished without a trace, leaving Lee to explore the world and do what he wanted without so much as a full explanation. Was Starbuck an angel? I guess we will never fully understand what she was.
All in all, my thoughts and feelings about the finale are summed up in my tears shed over Roslin's death. Though I am a relatively new BSG fan, the show has moved and shocked me in ways that I have rarely felt before. Battlestar Galactica set a new bar for television and I know that this show will be sorely missed. So say we all.moreless
In the end, just another Frankenstein misinterpretation.
Over decades of film and television, the Frankenstein myth has been reinterpreted a number of times to fit better with the conservative, religious anti-intellectual ideology american society has often been burdened with. Battlestar Galactica somewhat successfuly navigated its own take on the issue so far, thanks to added depth an intelligence in the writing. But, sadly, that is all gone by the time it wraps up.
It doesn't help that this last 45 minutes of the show are all about wrapping up each character (some of them more than once) while trying desperately to avoid pointing out the inconsistencies in the plot. But the biggest offender has to be the final modern day coda, which literally includes the words "technology running amok" and seems to make a pretty straightforward case that God doesn't want us to have dancing robots because they will kill us all.
The "good" Galactica ends with Tyroll losing it after finding out what happened to Callie. That is clever plotting, the product of a good plant set up a while ago that comes back to haunt everybody involved. It is tragedy, something remarkably hard to pull off without being terribly cheesy that still works here. After that, it's all pseudoreligious babble mixed up with some very, very loose science, specifically anthropology.
As it is, I could have done without part three. The series would probably be more enjoyable without it.moreless
I feel sorry for people who didn't 'get it' or think it didn't wrap up right.
After re-watching the entire 4 seasons in a 3 week period, i understood the show so much more. The big gap they had when the 4th season originally aired actually was detrimental to the series. So many months pass, and you forget little things. But when I re-watched the series, I picked up so many little details that I might have dismissed as irrelevant before.
This episode was incredibly dramatic. I just love the music they use through the 3rd and 4th season and when the final 5 figure out who they are. And after watching the series again , every episode so close to the last one, I understood the whole story more, and I was completely enthralled! The magnitude and depth of the story, the acting and emotion people played, was AMAZING!moreless
The bottom line: the viewers are not idiots, why do you try to treat them like idiots?
While the space opera stuff was as good as ever, the ending was extremely unsatisfactory due to some poor artistic decisions, most notably about what was previously one the series' strengths: having left the mystical aspects for the viewer to decide on throughout the 4 seasons, in the last few minutes we get a literal "deus ex machina" rammed down our throats in such a way as to leave a major bad taste in the mouth. I was looking forward to buying the complete series on DVD when it comes out and working through the episodes again, looking for more hints of the bigger picture, but now I know it will be pointless because it has all been explained in the dullest possible way. Spoiled by a few seconds of bad editing decisions! Think how much more intelligent it would have been if the mystery of Starbuck had been left hanging, with her walking off into the sunset or just panning away from her and Apollo (instead of "yeah, actually she was an angel or the messiah or whatever, her work is done so now she'll vanish in the blink of an eye"). And I would rather not know for certain whether the visions of Baltar and Caprica 6 were hallucinations or visions of angels or something else entirely: but no, it's more frakking angels. Great. I guess the one good thing is that it was only spoiled by some eminently disposable scenes, so it will be easy enough to do a "phantom edit", or should I say a "phantomless edit"? And while we're busy keeping up the suspense and creative tension: with a little bit more editing, we could have them land on the planet, wrap things up without the cheesy stuff, and only then - in the last shot of the series - pan out to show the familiar continents of our Earth... Oh well, it was nearly great.moreless
Boy, I'm gonna miss this show!
I didn't give it a 10 because I think the writers could've done a better job wrapping up the Starbuck story.
I also didn't like how so many things were explained through a higher power, I understand them explaining some things this way as religion and mystery have been part of this show from day one, but they overdid it in my opinion.
Finally I would've liked it better if they found Earth 10.000 years ago (neolithic revolution) so they would've had at least some impact on our civilization. Now they did give us mitochondrial Eve but there monotheism and Greek references (names and religion) are supposed to be mere coincidental.
On the plus side it had some great action scenes, beautiful scenes of live on Caprica before the fall and it did a proper job saying goodbey to all the characters (some people may have found the ending to long but I believe the characters deserved it.)
The epsisode gave us pretty much all the answers, no matter how vague some of them were and it's a hell of a lot better than most series finales I've seen.
Among some of the most emotional scenes I've ever seen on the screen were the dead of Roslin, the fleet heading into the sun and the general realization that this show, which is definitely my favorite show of all time, is over.
At the end of the episode I knew I was gonna miss these characters and I even felt sad about the great colonial civilization and the fleet's journey being forever lost and forgotten, boy I'm gonna miss this show!moreless
So say we all. With those simple words a new hope sprung forth. Angels, reincarnation, faith and the almighty gave the people renewed hope, renewed life and a new order.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Who knew? That something so ancient held the wisdom of generations to come. Simply breathtaking and soul altering. With the finest and most eloquent ending in television history. The message was clear all along. The message that even now is ignored. Touching, haunting and superior production gave this episode it's most riveting moments. Not so far sci-fi as our own possible future reality. Learn from our mistakes don't repeat them. Hope and faith do spring eternal, I think it's just part of human nature. So say we all.moreless
Ronald Moore hits the ball out of the park with his script for the series finale. A masterful combination of action, philosophy, religion and poetry all wrapped up in a satisfying conclusion to one of the greatest achievements in television history.
I refuse to call this "Daybreak". Instead, I will refer to it as "Ronald Moore's Masterpiece". What an achievement! We had the action on a fantastic scale in the first half of the two-parter and exquisite poetry in the second half. I'm glad that they didn't come to another truce with Cavil and his horde. That would have seemed too tidy.
As that scene was going on, I kind of thought it was a bit too cute, to have another alliance with the Cylons and everyone would go walking down the forest path arm in arm. But then Galen found out about Tory and Cally and the airlock. That was Ronald Moore toying with us, giving us a taste of a typical trite resolution and then blowing everything up in our faces. Awesome way to tie in Tory's murder of Cally into the overall story. I didn't really understand why Tory was so central in the Tyrol-Cally story but in hindsight, it was a masterstroke to weave those two threads together like that.
The Cylon Colony was absolutely surreal. The design concepts and the special visual effects were astounding. Can we say Emmy nomination here? If the visual effects team doesn't get an Emmy award for this episode, then there is something truly wrong. And if Ronald Moore doesn't get another writing nomination, then there is even more injustice in Hollywood.
As for the significance of Hera's drawing and the FTL coordinates, it actually makes literal sense. As someone who spent a lot of time in school studying music theory, I immediately recognized that the numbers correspond to the notes of the secondary theme from Bear McCreary's version of "All Along the Watchtower". It's the part that Kara played on the piano with Slick a couple episodes ago. It's in a minor key. If you number the notes in the scale beginning with 1 and continuing up to 7, then you have the format used in the translation. Each number corresponds to the note used in the theme. For those familiar with music notation, suppose the theme was played in the key of C minor (to make it easier to explain). 1 corresponds to the note of C. 2 equals D. 3 equals E-flat and so on. Thus, if you transcribe the theme using these numbers, you get the 1123.6536.5321 code that Kara punched into the FTL computer (leaving out the trill in the theme). It's kind of nifty that they did this. I'm guessing that they consulted Bear on this since I don't think either Ronald Moore or David Eick has a formal music background.
The second part was so peaceful to watch. The pacing and tone of the episode matched that of the characters. They were weary of the turmoil, the flight from the Cylons, the civil strife and internal political conflicts so it makes sense that they wanted to leave everything behind and start over. BSG is a very demanding series to watch in the sense that it evokes a lot of political, philosophical and religious themes. It gives your heart and mind a workout. After 5 1/2 years, it was comforting to see that the characters finally found peace, even if there was the cautionary ending about events on our "Earth" 150,000 years later.
The series finale also confirmed what I have long suspected -- that Battlestar Galactica is at its heart a religious show. Not necessarily a Christian or Buddhist or whatever show, but one that examines religion and philosophy with an earnest approach. It's kind of strange, that a show that includes so much violence, sex, drug use and conflict can be so religious. But it's refreshing. It makes the exploration of religion more realistic. Sanitized parables may be good to explain key principles and morals but something like BSG shows how these principles can apply (or not) in real-life situations, and very harsh ones at that. Though the characters are often flawed, many of the key figures try to think their way through difficult situations. They don't just pick up a grenade launcher or press the button to launch missiles like a mindless action-movie character would.
From a visual perspective, I was very impressed with the outdoor shots in the last scenes. In previous episodes, it was usually apparent that any outdoor scenes were shot at the same locations that other Vancouver-based productions used. Planets on Stargate SG-1, for example, had vegetation and foliage that was awfully similar to what we saw on BSG. But I'm guessing that there aren't any large herds of antelopes in the exurbs of Vancouver. While I'm on this point, this episode needs to get another Emmy nomination in the category of cinematography, if there is such a category. Very impressive camera and location work!
But what really made this series finale shine is Ronald Moore's script and the way he resolved all of the mysteries and story threads of the series. The flashbacks to the Opera House visions was effective. We got answers about Kara's identity and even about Head Six and Head Baltar. How many fans have been wondering about Head Six since the Miniseries? I'm guessing most of us. And even with all of the intellectual philosophy and religious exploration, Ronald Moore managed to create a thrilling finale and an emotionally powerful one. I can't imagine how he could have ended the series more effectively. And I can't think of many single episodes in any series that worked as well as "Daybreak" did. Er, oops, I meant to say "Ronald Moore's Masterpiece", because I am not going to call it "Daybreak" any more.
Truly a monumental accomplishment in science-fiction history and a remarkable achievement for dramatic storytelling in general, whether in television, movie or book format. Sad as I am to see the series wrap up, I'm satisfied that it ended with all creative guns blazing. Thanks to the producers, writers, actors, visual effects teams, composer, musicians and crew for making such an enjoyable adult work of fiction, one that is far more satisfying than the typical escapist television fare.moreless