Battlestar Galactica

Season 4 Episode 21

Daybreak, Part 2 (3)

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Mar 20, 2009 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (63)

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out of 10
732 votes
  • The End...

    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.
  • 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.
  • Painful to Watch- Literally, what have they (writers) done, how could they?

    So after 4 seasons of watching for answers, all our questioned are answered by one thing "god", R U F*CKIN kidding me, i really expect that next Friday the producers will say "we got you, it was all a big joke", and show us the real series finale

    So let me get this, there were three angels on the show from the start, Kara, Caprica Vision, Baltars me if i'd known this was the answer when i first watched the mini series, that would've been it for the show!!!

    BSG was never about Theologies, "just a small part maybe", but the writer after the finale make it seem like "its the only part"
  • Poor show

    1.0 it all ended not with a bang but a whimper.

    If i were to really express the way i feel about this episode the chances are the review will be removed from this site for unclean language.I'll just say that Mr R.Moore and his team of writers got seriously lazy and lost the plot after season 2.Its a pattern i have seen in many series.You make a couple of good seasons,create a loyal fanbase,make your money and then run.Perhaps one day someone with enough foresight and courage will remake this series and this time do it properly.However i won't hold my breath
  • felt rushed and incomplete, months of watching the show and to have it end like this was a real let down. Makes me never wanna watch another episode of this show again. A real waste of time.

    This episode just felt like it was rushed, like they knew the end was coming and they had to wrap up years of story in a two hour time slot. I almost felt like the ending went over my head. I didn't get the starbuck story line at all. At one point during the show's run she was my favorite person on the show but by the end I really didn't care one way or the other about her. I really felt that this episode ruined the whole show, all that watching and investing myself in the people of this show and it was all for nothing. A real slap in the face.
  • What a joke.

    So in the end Hera was no more significant then any other main character, There was no dieing leader, Starbuck was not the harbinger of death, in fact there was not much of anything. Except god. "God did it" is the explanation, stretched from three little words do a near two hours of absurdity, that we are supposed to swallow. In the end none of the characters actions mattered because "God did it".

    Just to add to the absurdity, our faveourit band of humans on the run decide to abandon all technology and get busy with the natives in order to break the cycle that inevitably leads tp the development of technology and then AI. Right. This is grades school storytelling.
  • Verry poor writing, actors where awesome. Some how in season 4 people where expecting more of Battlestar Galactica and see a grand finally but it was getting less and less interesting to watch.

    I watch this serie from day one and it's laugh how this last episode is filmed. The serie started very good in the first season lots of action and verry intressting stuff happening. Was pleased to see the writers come up with something good. Season 2 and 3 where not so good as season 1 because somehow religion was a part of the season. Some how in season 4 people where expecting more of Battlestar Galactica and see a grand finally but it was getting less and less interesting to watch. But the outcome of Battlestar Galactica was suprising but the build up that it was a divine intervention was comming a long way. The writers should have keep out the religion stuff in this serie, they should have been fired with the people who said they should write it like this. The serie could have been better then original one, the writers toke some stuff from that serie but raped it with this out come.
  • Horrible finish to an amazing series.

    Continuing from my review of Daybreak 2, things begin to go even further downhill as the fleet discovers Earth. While Daybreak 2 lacked purpose, Daybreak 3 lacked believability. In this episode, we were expected to believe that the humans would willingly throw away all their technology and advancement to leave themselves with a "clean slate", bringing on shorter life spans, complete loss of access to medical care, higher death rate, etc. Apparently we were expected to swallow that the fleet would willingly spread themselves out in isolation and sail their ships away into the sun to "break the cycle" which they really weren't breaking at all. It seems that the writers just gave up and said "s**, I don't know to end all these plot lines we've been developing, let's throw in some deus ex machinae and some spiritual nonsense, then close with some snappy modern day 'message' and pictures of...get this...DANCING ROBOTS!". Again, I won't go into specifics because there are simply too many. Most of the explanations to the shows many mysteries turned out to be absolute garbage (and the poor writing of this episode was highlighted with such plot devices as angels and "God"). Ultimately, it became evident that the writers at some point were simply making things up as they went along with no bigger picture of over-reaching arc conclusion to finish it off with. They did amazing work through the series, only to back themselves into a corner and resolve it all rather poorly. This ending could have been amazing, but instead it was pure hippie trash. Unfortunately it seems that the viewers of the show are willing to swallow anything Ron Moore throws at them, hence all the undeserved 10 ratings. In the end, an amazing show with an amazingly disappointing finale.
  • Baltar is a Cylon,,,

    Well, I watched the whole season on netflix. Loved the whole series except for this last episode. It just threw a lot of stuff out of the window. Were gonna give up all technology and medical benefits even though some or all of us are machines anyways. I really had to fast forward a lot of the last second buildup of life before the nukes(which was very slow). A lot of characters do a 180 in the episode. The Priest Cylon would never ever take his own life. Not to mention when the 5 share all memories, chief sees his wife get killed and yet does not see his previous life with his old wife (new wife's killer). Supposedly they were madly in love, leaving the Chief completely fracked. The only thing that would make any sense is if Baltar and #6 are the original cylons from a thousand, maybe millions of years ago.
  • Just awful, awful writing...

    Ever since the start of Season 4 I had growing doubts about the direction of the show. BSG had always had its flaws here and there, but with this season the exception was becoming the rule. Numerous 'cop-outs' with plot and tiresome character developments, with the omnipotent presence becoming more and more apparent with every episode.

    Of course a lot of the story was becoming far fetched in Season 3, the supernova being a prime example, but in my mind they could get away with it because when all was said and done I still cared about well rounded characters in a story that, well, made sense.

    And so, when it came to the series finale, admittedly I wasn't expecting much by that point. However it still managed shock me with its grossly horrific use of deus ex machina to explain away four seasons worth of story in a single conclusion:

    None of it mattered. God did it all.

    I thought the rescue sequence was just plain stupid; at least in the Exodus episodes they had a strategic plan... Now what do they do? Jump the ship into the direct line of fire, assuming there won't be more than a couple of dozen cylons on-board or an entire fleet hanging about, assuming Anders can mystically work his magic and shut down all the other hybrids (wow, one bullet can certainly do a lot), and wait guys, how are we gonna get in? Hell, lets crash our already falling apart ship head first into the damn thing.

    The conclusion of the opera house vision was incredibly disappointing; almost seemed like it had been made up on the spot, since it was ultimately pointless. Just another excuse for Gaius to ramble on about a higher being orchestrating everything for this one moment blah blah blah...

    I could go on and on, but I think its starting to get a bit personal. All I'll say is, I loved the show, I loved the characters. By the end, it came to a point where, for example, when Roslin died all I could think was, "About bloody time!"

    Using God, angels, a divine plan, etc. was an insult to a story that had so much potential. It turned its characters into empty plot devices and made for a tiresome and unintelligent ending.
  • Terrible ending to a Great Series!!! There is so much nonsense in this episode that it is hard to list them all, oh well...

    Wow, this was very bad. It's a pity really, this was a great series. I can't count the amount of important plot points that were conveniently explained by "Its Gods Plan!!"... Well, we do know the writers had no plan... So, no explanation of Starbucks disappearance ?? She was just an angel???? Ok..

    We are going to let all of the cylons go find themselves, and none of them are coming back?? Ok…

    We go to all of the trouble to find Hera. Making a daring rescue that stretches credulity. They were able to rescue her because she is so important to both races and has The Secret. Then we find out, Just Kidding No Secret, She's Just a Kid!!! Ok..

    All the human settlers are going to forgo all of their technology, just because… Ok..

    We are going to fly all of our ships into the sun, just because… Ok...

    The two phantom angels of God (sorry he doesn't like being called that) serve no real purpose at the end Ok..

    They find Hera's bones alongside her parents 150000 years in the future but Nobody finds any space ships or tech… Ok..

    Well Ok, this was an awful ending to a great series so all I can say is …. Ok… oh well
  • Terrible ending, spoiled the show for me!*SPOILERS*

    Angels, seriously? Starbuck is an ANGEL? I especially hated how she disappears right as Apollo is answering her question about what he'll do with his life, right after the devastating loss of his father. She now abandons him w/out any of his loved ones!

    This show started so brilliantly. It explored issues of survival of the species, the usual tropes about technology "artificial life", and humanity.
    Then there was the 'not knowing' who was a cylon (thought that got a little old when there turned out to be tons of them).
    There was also great exploration of ruling during a "war", military vs. civilian, torture of prisoners, abuse of power, corruption, etc. All fascinating.

    But then the hokey prophecies and religion "destiny" crap started growing stronger. I tried to ignore it and watch for the parts I liked.

    All to get this last episode where they chickened out of having to wrap up anything and just used God(s) as a deux en machina to wrap up everything.

    It was all just part of gods plan, Kara's an angel, Baltar's hallucinations was god. This was all a plan by god/devil. Oh and did we mention it's all just part of some inescapable pattern that just gets repeated over & over again. Meaning there's no free will, no chance of change and that mankind is ultimately doomed to drive itself to extinction.

    I know there were angels in teh first series, but they were LAME then too! This series took the BEST of the original and ran with it, they didn't need to take all the crappy parts too!

    I should have known this was going to be bad when I show I respected for being intelligent, mature, deep and interesting decided to GRATUTIOIUSLY feature STRIPPERS & puking!!!!! Seriously? This sort of endless objectification is why I avoid most other tv... thanks for throwing some in just to REALLY spoil this last episode!!!

    I'm soo disappointed. I'm trying to think about whether this is the WORST ending to a show I've ever seen or the 2nd worst (I thought the Will & Grace ending where the ending a decades-long friendship by being too lazy to go across town to visit each other over the years - violated the entire premise of the first 10 years of the show!)
  • What a way to go.

    This was by far one of the most disappointing series endings I've ever seen. They left far to many story lines untold. We'll know the truth? Right, we know nothing. This was a disappointing ending to what should have been a powerhouse close for the series. This series evidently hit its peak in season two and has been struggling ever since. Pity they couldn't have given it the send off it deserved. I guess the writers ran out of ideas and it all crashed and burned. So much for this series. And they expect success from the prequel thing Caprica? Right, I won't be watching it.
  • Not Science Fiction. Those who give the last two seasons 10 will love it. Those who thought only the first 2 seasons were great will continue in disappointment. It has none of what made the first 2 great, everything that made the last 2 disappoint.

    I have big problems with the finale on a number of levels. I am not going to recap the episode but address in point form. But overall I felt like I was getting the M Knight Shamalan effect all over again.

    Soap Opera filler: This was the finale. I didn't care about the pointless melodramatic filler at this point. What importance is it that Lee almost slept with Starbuck while they were drunk and she was dating his brother, or that Roslin slept with a former student. I guess this some of the wonder that awaits in the new series.

    Completely nonsensical behavior to service the plot: This is where BSG went from my favorite show in seasons one and two, to completely losing it on the New Caprica storyline and never recovered. More of that continues here, where the remnants of the human race take all their technology and fling it into the sun and start over as primitives. There is no sane reason for this. It is merely because the ending plot device requires it. They are on our earth, so we can't have the sticky wicket of all that advanced technology changing things, so into the sun it goes. Regardless of the fact that this is completely insane.

    I also don't buy anyone with a shred of humanity (Galen/Adama), permanently isolating themselves alone away from other people. Remember there is no technology. They will never see they only friends and family they know again. They are condemming themslelves to solitary confinement.

    I don't buy a massive chunk of Galactica crew volunteering to go a on suicide mission to rescue one half cylon little girl. A few days before they had a massive mutiny over the thought of just working with the cylons. Again the show ignores sane characterizations in service of the plot.

    Cop out ending turns back on Science Fiction: The plot it turns out is a joke, it is what happens when lazy writers make it up as they go along. The ending isn't Science Fiction, it isn't even good Fantasy. It is Religious Fantasy. They don't so much as answer anything but instead wrap a bow on it and say "God did it". The ultimate cop out.

    Head Six: Gods Agent.
    Head Baltar: Gods Agent.
    Starbuck: Gods Agent.
    Hera: Touched by God implanted with info.
    Visions given to everyone by God.
    Music in the Heads of Final 5: God did it.
    Cylon Colony nuked: Hand of god fires nukes.
    Everything: God did it.

    Science fiction as written by the masters of the Genre is carefully plotted/constructed and logically coherent story lines with character behaving in believable fashion in their reaction to a novel situation. There is none of that here. We have inconsistent character, unplanned story, unbelievable reactions and cop out religious ending. This doesn't deserve to be called Science Fiction.
  • God? Are you there? apparently so!

    God? God? WTF! What a cop out! what poor writing! I know there was always a lean towards destiny/fate but God and angels, seriously? I have invested my time for God? I feel like I have been preached to and converted without even knowing it, I was brain washed, I feel dirty, I must go scrub myself clean now! Very dissatisfied with the final ending, and no, I didn't see it coming. I honestly thought that the final Cylon was....... ready...... everyone! That humanity had died out long ago and the cylons had convinced themselves, or were programmed to think they were humans, I thought the 13 tribe on the original earth was the hint there, it explained why everyone was able to share dreams and project, as for Kara, I thought that what had built the final five, had rebuilt Kara, like there was some lost station, undetectable or something, that perfectly cloned Kara and her ship, then jumped her back to galactica, or some remaining intelligence from when the final five were destroyed 2000 years previously! There were so many good alternatives to the one they used, which has been done to death and frankly, humans in general use god as an answer to everything far too easily for my liking. Scifi fans don't get into Scifi for god, in space, like in star trek, there are so many alternatives, possibilities, different types of entities, space time causality influences. It is very easy to explain the events of this show, had they just chosen to use their time off during the strike to actually think about the storyline and develop it better, opposed to spending their squillions of dollars on lavish houses and parties, they would not have ended up writing, what was for me, complete and utter drivel! someone had mentioned previously about how they should have left some technology behind to tell the story, otherwise we are doomed to repeat it, are they saying god wants us to obliterate each other, suffer, they lived through hell, people are living through absolute hell, in fact I think hell would be a holiday for some people in this world! If I was leaving my spaceship to go back to basics, i would have kept some technology, don't you think? Like medicines and biochemistry testing equipment, I mean what's the point in colonising, if you all end up dead and die out of plague or small pox, 'damn, wish doc cottle kept his med equipment and lab???? Derrr! And if they did keep some technology, then I am sure, it would not have taken 150,000 years to develop space travel technology and AI again. However, I gave some points for leaving no real loose ends, you pretty much know what happened to everyone and when there was a battlescene, which was far too short, was quite impressive, the galactica copping its final barrage of unfriendly fire at point blank range, very cool!

    I will watch Caprica, I hope god stays where he belongs for this series, K'Plah!
  • Admiral Adama leads a group of volunteers aboard the Galactica into a dangerous mission to rescue Hera.

    You know, watching the finale I really couldn't help but come to an epiphany: I stopped liking this show a long time ago.

    The first season of Battlestar was a blast, the humans were on the run, surviving by their wits. But the beginning of the end was when Sharon started having visions of babies in opera houses. That's when the shows Achilles heel began to show itself: New Age "Spiritual" Bullcrap. Oh this virus spread slowly at first, I got to enjoy plenty of neat space battles and that wicked Pegasus storyline and other cool stuff. The show hit its peak early in season three with the New Caprica storyline. After that, the show quit using political allegory to stretch its intellect and leaned entirely on this crazy fate/religion/spirits stuff. From then on the show started trotting out nonsense like the final five, the spirit of Space Dylan (which for the life of me still doesn't make any sense), and a absolute obsession with babies and reproduction. That's not to say the show completely jumped the shark, there were enough cool storylines to keep me hoping that the show would get back on track, but in the end the "spiritual" mumbo jumbo won over and took over. Somewhere around the time they decided to go on a suicide mission over some freaking kid. If anyone can explain why this kid is so important I'd be happy to hear it. It seems like Ronald D. Moore just assumed if he said the kid was important enough times we'd all just accept it. Well you know what… I don't fraking accept it Ron, and I can't exactly get too involved in the shows climactic suicide mission when its objective seems to be little more than a symbol. Also I never liked the "Gaius Baltar seeing things" storyline from the very beginning, and it never got better. I would have shot the guy in the head in season one if I was writing it and it would have been for the best.

    I don't want to be too hard on the show. It remained the most hardcore sci-fi show since Babylon 5 all the way through. The effects were great, the acting was good, and there were enough good moments to keep me watching; but it was brought down by self-indulgent writing and massive pretension. It's the kind of show you really desperately want to like, but eventually realize has just been jerking you around for years.
  • A terrible ending to the show. Why even bother searching for Earth when they were just going to throw it all away? I simply can't believe that two advanced races, human and Cylon, were willing to send their ships into the sun and lose everything.

    This was a terrible way to wrap up the show, a situation that seems to be getting all to common these days. Ever since the mutiny failed, all they really seemed to be doing was waiting for the Galactica to fall apart or explode. How many times did we have to see the great Admiral Adama break down and cry like a little baby? Get over it, already.

    The final few episodes made far too much use of the hated "flashback" and there simply was no real action between the failed mutiny until the attack on the Cylon research colony. The first ten episodes of season four were so much better than the final episodes, it is like they fired all the good writers and hired a room full of typing monkeys.

    I found the neverending flashbacks in part 1 of the series finale pointless this late in the show. Part 2 with the all out invasion against the Cylon research base was all a person could hope for, but the final hour when they basically were delivered to "Earth 2" by Kara's jump co-ordinates became ridiculous.

    Not one but two advanced civilizations (human and humanoid cylons) abandon their technology, the ability to travel through space, weapons, all their medical knowledge, literature, and simply send all of their ships flying into the sun? Get real. Instead of salvaging the Galactica for raw materials to build a small city, they go live like cavemen, and nobody even argues with Apollo's idiotic suggestion to do this. What a pathetic ending to such a drawn out and brutal struggle for survival over four seasons.

    These people still had a lot to learn. They should have stayed together, or formed a couple colonies to increase their odds of survival. Cancer was still devestating to them. How many other diseases did they lack cures for? They still smoked and drank themselves stupid. Someone gets shot in the leg? Don't give them a cybernetic leg, just hack it off, hand them a prostetic limb and a crutch, and suffer through it.

    These people should have fought tooth and nail to keep the technology they had, and built upon it. With the help of the Cylon synthetic humans, they probably could have made huge leaps in their knowledge. Did no one even think to ask the Cylons if they could cure cancer like Laura had? They could grow synthetic humans, after all.

    But no, Laura Rosalin dies from cancer, Adama becomes a hermit, Starbuck simply vanishes, apparently satisfied that her work as the harbinger of death is complete seeing as 150,000 years later, no one knows a thing about the survivors of the colonies.

    And what was Kara Thrace? An angel, a demon, a time traveler? How did she return from the dead? Who gave her a new Viper to return in? How did her old viper and her body end up on the first Earth? Did God do it, the Lords of Kobol, maybe Obi-Wan Kenobi? We never learn. She just vanishes.

    Truthfully, the Cylon Centurions were the only ones with an ounce of common sense. They gratefully accepted the Cylon baseship and flew off into the unknown, probably laughing their circuit boards off at the primitives they finally left behind while they went off to locate some advanced civilization that had enough intelligence to give them the ability to speak out loud.

    This was a poor ending to a show that, while it had some bad qualities, it also had remarkable potential. Too bad that potential wasn't used in the final hour of the series. It's almost as though everything they had done throughout the series was for nothing. The only thing I can really say is that the Cylons must have regretted ever coming back and attacking Caprica and the colonies, because everyone on both sides ended up dying off and being forgotten. Kara Thrace truly was the Harbinger of Death.
  • Uninspiring Cop out!

    And so one of the greatest series ever comes to an end and it isnt what you want!

    The first part of the finale and the epic fight against Cavil was ver imperssive(ill write a review for that soon), I see that the author had a good reason for him to commit sucide-he lost nothing he could do, he has no future. But what bugs me is that the finale was too rushed. I wanted to give this ep a 10 out of 10 but only could give it a 5 which means-Asian fail through its passable. Many critics call this ending a cop out as it wasnt logical and I agree.

    Im athiest and I hate endings that give god a direct role. The story of the humans ordeals was suspensful with them trying to escape their fate by finding this place called Earth but only found what the Capitol wastelands looks like in Fallout 3 so they had to leave. But when they get to new earth everything falls apart. The rebel Cylons free their armies and allow them to roam the cosmos forever searching for their own destiny while the Rebels stay on Earth. Well good but guess what the humans have in mind.

    Lee says that the humans have abused technology and that they are not ready for the responsibility of the technology they've developed, and suggests they start over by teaching the planet's humans about language and culture, but not teaching them about technology or weapons. Everyone agrees. The survivors move to the planet and take basic supplies with them, but they have Anders pilot the ships into the sun, destroying the ships. Now while I understand that they've learned their lesson I felt that this is stupid! They just remove all traces of their pasts and expect the primitive humans to not "fall over the edge" WRONG! They should have taught the primitive humans some sort of fable or story telling them not to stray from their path. Just destroying their past and "expecting" our ancestors not to follow their fate is not "learning from their mistakes"!

    Then my next thing is Kara being an Angel and so is head six and head Baltar! Impossible! You're saying Moore that god helped us to Earth DIRECTLY! This is wrong I may be an athiest but I think that your god wants us to choose our paths! Give me a more logical reason that Starbuck came back then Starbuck/Kara=Jesus! A lot of things that has logical anwsers were dropped for religion. This is not fantasy this isnt deus ex mechina this is BSG!

    Roslin's death wasnt sad she had been dying the whole series and now it didnt feel depressing anymore. Try writing a more depressing way for her to die.

    Finally the end. We are decended from humans interbreeding with our ancestors but only Hera's fossils could be found and Head Six and Head Baltar were still alive and wondering if humans can change their ways. But it is decided that all humans do is programmed by god and then we get a annoying parade of robots.

    So youre saying that the reasons we have these wars, the reason we have abused our powers, the reason for a lot of evils in society was programmed by god? Damn even christians will be offended! Youre saying we're puppets to a higher power and that all has happened before all of this will happen again. If so than humankind is doomed to extinction and this cant be the history of the Human race we are smart we can go against nature not be pawns to a higher entinity!

    This is the worst copout ever it only gets a fight cause the fight was epic! Im still hopeful bout Caprica and your cylon movie but dont do this again! It was disappointing!
  • So in the end, nothing matter before and will not matter again.

    I am pretty much just covering what everyone else seems to have written. The people writing reviews here seems to have been split into 2 camps, those that love the religious/political "human thinking" stuff and those that are more logical/fact "machine thinking" based stories who look for all these stories to make sense.

    Can't we all just agree and get a long? The future of mankind may rely on that. Of course, it wont matter in the end.

    The ending was frankly no better than Someone coming out of a coma or a dream. I was half expecting Roslyn to wake up from a cancer drug induced dream in a hospital in Caprica and nothing had really happened only to see the first nukes land, or something equally as silly.

    It just doesn't make any sense. Despite all the contrived "evidence" put before them of the last remaining humans decide to go native, after years on the run? Seriously? They think that will break the cycle? Even though everything they have done, no matter what, led them to exactly where they needed to be and to do exactly what they needed to do.

    Have they not learnt their lesson? Whatever they do it will happen again, so frak it, why not have a good time whilst your doing it? Keep the tech and make your lives A LOT easier and more enjoyable.

    If anything it would make more sense if they had kept the tech as there would be some recorded history of what happened with the Cylons and the mistakes made in the past/lessons learned from which the human/human Cylons of the future could learn from. If you do not study history, you are doomed to repeat it. The humans final act of ditching their tech pretty much resigns humanity to repeats their mistakes, rather obviously.

    What was with that last 2 minute sequence too? Is the writer's opinion of us so low that they have to spell it out? Also, isn't that "Lucy" skeleton really only a few feet tall? Are the offspring of Cylons and Humans dwarves? And why was 6 suddenly speaking in a completely different accent?

    Yes, I am in the group that feels slightly cheated.

    So many silly things happened. Why did Anders need to turn off the Cylon colony's gun batteries? They weren't doing anything anyway. The colony is really quite small too, a kind of anti TARDIS where it looks much bigger on the outside than it is on the inside.

    What was the Opera house stuff all about too? Pointless. Yes yes, it showed that right from the first vision by Boomer (I think it was) of the Opera house the pieces were all in place and set in motion to lead exactly where a rather odd God with pretty weird motivations wanted humanity and Cylons to go.

    This is always the problem I have with these God stories. What is the point? Is all of this for God's entertainment? Oh the meaning of life and futility of man's existence, I know, I know.

    It started off being entertaining for me too, but by the time they reached New Caprica and the blatant Iraq occupation metaphors it started to lose it's appeal and after they found the destroyed "Earth" it had just got out of hand.

    Since then, the last however many episodes of the final half season could have been covered in about half the number episodes, if not less. I know that most shows have filler but not such blatant filer as we saw in the final episodes of Battlestar and they usually have the decency to reduce or eliminate the filler from the final crucial episodes. For some reason Battlestar's writers decided to increase the filler? Why??? Non of it mattered one jot, the dancing girls, the puking Adama, the cradle snatching Roslyn, the "they almost did it :-o" Lee and Starbuck "story" all made absolutely no difference to anything what so ever.

    Did they not learn from Lost? One of the reason why Battlestar was so good was that it lacked the filler and nonsense that Lost was full of. The viewing figures for Lost dipped and writers learned their lesson, vowing to keep the filler to a minimum and keep the story going. For some reason the Battlestar writers decided to do the exact opposite?

    So what did we learn? Life as a human or Cylon in the Battlestar world is pointless, which pretty much sums up my feelings as a Battlestar viewer.

    The one good point was that there was finally a bit of action again. I felt an almost giddy high as the attack on the colony started but in the end it was over rather quickly, like when you smoke a cigarette again after giving them up for a few months. Short, heady but of no real benefit. It just reminds you of better times before fading away as quickly as it came.

    The Angel's nonsense has been done to death in other reviews/comments too, but my 2p, the Starbuck unknowing real living and breathing angel bit was just beyond stupid.

    All I can say is that it the ending wasn't quite as bad as I feared, but that isn't saying much. At least the writers had the sense to end it. I won't be looking out for any spin offs from this show, that's for sure.
  • Sigh...

    A series that started so well, had us gnawing at our nails from episode one and gripping our seats by through '33' - we knew it was going to be something special. And that it was. And then Season 4 arrived, and then Season 4.5 arrived. Battlestar Galactica did not end with this episode, it ended months ago.

    In The Last Frakkin Special, Ron Moore talks about how the team struggled to figure out how they were going to move with 4.5, how the plot was going to develop. He had an epiphany in the show that 'its about the characters, stupid'. This gross misjudgment meant Battlestar would never be the same.

    Battlestar's biggest hook and biggest area of success was always, always the plot - we grew to care about the characters BECAUSE of the plot, BECAUSE they were inside this plot, BECAUSE they were in constant danger. Our emotional investment was born from the high stakes plot - humanity, the whole of humanity, on the brink of extinction, not just a dozen or so lead characters. And then the show became a soap opera with no stakes and little tension. Random chess pieces were added to an already finely balanced board that we had grown with and understood felt a part of... the show became confused, a scatterbrained plot with numerous unresolved (or worse, ignored) threads that had seemed so important before, but now dropped on a whim. Talk about severing emotional investment in the show. As tension was built and dropped haphazardly and regularly, momentum stagnated and the show with it.

    So we get to the final few hours and we have a chess board so crowded and chaotic that we do not know where to look or what plot lines to trust any more. It's one thing being excited at not knowing how a show/movie is going to end, it's another having lost too much faith in the writing to be able to accept the outcome.

    Problems with the episode:

    - Galactica, apparently almost dead anyway, somehow survives a full-on barrage from the colony. And then manages to jump away. Give me a break.

    - One barrage from one ship destroys the colony. Even worse, it's an absolute fluke, a dead pilot's hand just happens to fall on some button at what just happens to be the right angle at what just happens to be at the time when it's aimed at the colony. And to top it all off, there is a big hole in the ship's window meaning there would be no pressure and gravity inside meaning that the ship being hit by an asteroid would not cause the arm to 'fall' how it did. Contrived nonsense.

    - Hera, miraculously saved after throwing half of humanity on the line (and miraculously being found easily amidst this huge colony), is then lost THREE TIMES in about as many minutes on Galactica. The last one when she's grabbed on the bridge was one of the most contrived scenes in Battlestar history.

    - 30,000 people are landing on this new home, are we to believe that they all wandered solo to random locations, no large settlements were constructed and that they all renounced technology? Give us some credit here!

    - Starbuck... she was an angel all along :) An angel that doesn't know she's an angel, that everyone can see and that can fire guns and fly ships. Which brings me to...

    - the "Erm, it was God, fill in the missing pieces as you see fit, we're off to the pub", finale, which belongs down there with "It was all a dreaaammm" as far as plot completions goes.

    Season 4.5 should have been an outstanding, tense, high stakes, dramatic finale to an amazing show, and we would have cared for the characters no less than we do now.

    Thanks for the good times, Moore! Pity you bottled it at the end!
  • Disappointed by the end....

    I am sad that the show has ended. The last show was good but there are way too many unresolved plotholes that are still nagging me...

    like who was Kara? really?

    Why was Hera that important and how did she come up with the FTL solution? where did she get it?

    Why was Kara playing the song on the piano...

    Some stuff like that going unanswered leaves me unfullfilled...

    The end was too convenient in some way and it feels you end up nowhere and wonder why you even watched the i said you are left unfufilled because of too many unanswered question.

    Of course agree to diasgree with me.
  • 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.
  • I don't know whether to love it or hate it...

    While the darkness of the last two seasons sometimes got a little bit too much for me (to the extent that I haven't watched consistently) I still consider this one of my favorite series. Still, I found the finale somewhat disappointing. It felt like everything happened in a rush. The conclusions didn't feel satisfying. And the end...? There was something compelling about it and I'm not really sure whether to love it or hate it. I liked the general idea of it but it was not executed in a truly satisfying way. From the other reviews I can see that most people either loved or hated this one. I guess I'm somewhere in the middle..
  • One of the greatest TV series in history bows out. While it most certainly wasn't close to the Seinfled disaster, it wasn't quite the fittting sendoff this wonderful show deserved.

    And so the series that gave us 3 seasons of the greatest television ever aired, sputters, shudders, kicks, spits and finally impotently glides to a stop, like a old car finally running out of gas.

    The performers closed out with their usual brilliance above and beyond, ensuring that we will share in their separation anxiety from these amazing multi-layered characters. However, one can't escape the feeling that this wonderful series closed out with barely a whimper.

    Perhaps it's simply impossible to resolve all the great mysteries of existentialism in a fashion that satisfies all. Perhaps it's the tumultuous turmoil a creative team deals with as it comes thundering down the home stretch, the finish line drawing inexorably closer as if to throttle creativity by constantly screaming, "Hurry Up - you're almost done!!!"

    Whatever the reason, this almost euthanistic episode gratefully brings down the final curtain. Not counting the new prequel, various spinoff TV movies and similarly titled if unrelated feature films, of course.

    And while we most certainly do "KNOW THE TRUTH" (as SciFi has been virtually shrieking at us for weeks) we can't help but saying, "All that for THIS?"

    Bye-bye BSG - you will be missed. It's been a blast...
  • 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.
  • "You will know the Truth"... my arse !

    Oh boy, what a lie this commercial was !

    All the mission preparations, the splitting of the fleet, the first flashbacks on Caprica, and then the final and frakkin' epic battle against the Cylon colony, all of this was pure televisioned genius !
    Great pacing, great acting, great action, great everything !
    I really enjoyed the opera twist, where we find out it was the Galactica, the vision comes true, Tyrol killing Tori... I was so excited, I kept repeating myself "Oh my god, we're gonna know the Truth !!"

    Then, they find Earth... our actual Earth, with all the prehistoric tribes, and send Anders and all the ships to the sun and start a new life.
    Then, again, while Sam was heading to his certain death, I repeated myself "Oh my god, we're gonna know the Truth !!"

    Then, a bit later on, we see Hera walking in the fields, the camera focuses on her and I keep, faithfully, repeating myself "Oh my god, we're gonna know the Truth !!"

    And... nothing.
    Nothing about Hera and her mental connection with "God"s plan.
    Nothing about Kara and her "harbinger of death" thing, how did she came back ?
    What was the point of this "dying leader" knowing the truth about the opera house ? When Athena, Baltar and Caprica discover it too..

    Nothing about the Bob Dylan song (so what, our Dylan is supposed to be another cylon-human hybrid in the end ? Maybe God ? sigh...)

    And above all, what WAS this higher power who manipulated everyone ?
    Damnit, ending the series by not explaining the most important mystery of it was the easiest and laziest way.
    Come on, even Asimov explained the mystery of Second Foundation and the Robots, and that was brilliant !
    So, why not here ? Well, because Asimov didn't write this script...
    How moron am I !

    The last quarter of this long and fantastic Daybreak is utter disappointment. I like ambiguous endings, like in Quantum Leap for instance, but here, there are too many plotholes left unfulfilled to be a satisfying finale.
  • I wasn't blown away by the finale, but the irony of the review posts is palpable.

    This finale let the series down, no doubt. I thought there were much better directions the writers could have taken the questions they raised about what it means to be human or machine. The prophetic storyline became overbearing and left golden opportunities unexplored (my not give Gata a cylon leg and explore the more modern dilemma of man/machine? - how many artificial organs and limbs does it take before a person is more machine than human?) Anyway, the main point of this review is to point out the hilarious irony of all the low-scored reviews that hinged on the outrage that the colonies would leave their technology behind. Especially those suggesting that "this is not Sci-Fi". Sci-Fi is first and foremost a commentary on the present or near future situations that humanity finds itself in. The present situation, as those reviewers so clearly reveal, is that we are a generation that thinks technology is our God. Technology will eventually solve everything, technology is sacred, it must never be disposed of. You are, hilariously, missing the point of the writer. The fact that you feel so betrayed by the fleet sailing into the sun, that you are so flabbergasted that humans would leave technology behind, that you are so stunned at the stupidity of humanity not working together with Cylons to build even better technology so that the human race would have "hope"... is the WHOLE point. You are the people that the writer is giving a scathing commentary on. You are hooked on technology like a zealot is hooked on religion. Everyone mocking the religious spin on this story is missing the big laughs aimed at them because they can't see they are exactly the same, simply inserting technology for God.

    The point is that technology is NOT God or even a god. Technology is the problem, but your reviews reveal your blindness to the fact. Hypnotized by the delusion that eventually, technology will solve everything, when in reality, it simply keeps killing you, over and over again, in a thousand little ways.

    The colonists sent technology into the sun, because its not the answer. The writer is trying to say something about where we put our hopes today. That's what Sci-Fi does. It comments on the present. Your pro-tech reviews just add a delicious meta-narrative to the series that completely proves his point.
  • A few misfires left this an unsatisfying end.

    Battelstar Galactica was wonderful because it fits the bill of an epic story so perfectly. Just as in the Aeneid or Odyssey, our heroes are on a long and trying quest home, living a journey that without question is divinely inspired. The sense of things being as they were destined to been how such an unlikely sci-fi story has managed to seem gritty, real, and not at all far-fetched.

    Where the show played to these strengths, the finale was wonderful. The plot surrounding Baltar and Caprica Six and their hallucinations really came full circle, and there was an undeniable beauty in having the shared vision of the Opera House, such a large and strange driving force, turned out to be the slightest of cogs in God's great plan. The death of Roslyn on reaching the promised land is no less fitting. As with the final sequence, everything comes full circle.

    When we get down to reality, things take a slightly worse turn. We're to believe that one raider with a salvo of relatively small missiles destroyed the Cylon Colony where the dozen others like it made no dent. Alright. Perhaps the others were recalled during the truth. Cavil masterminding the split of the Cylon race, only to eat his gun when things get slightly hairy? A little out of character and anticlimactic, but fine. Kara's song working as jump coordinates to a habitable planet? Wonderful. But a little less so when you wonder how that managed to be the deliberately chosen rendevouz with nobody realizing there was a planet out there.

    In complaining, I'll ignore the obvious issues with whatever happened to Kara and exactly how someone discovering a habitable planet makes them the harbinger of death, and focus on the greater problem: the ending was not really happy. When you watch a show this long you care for the characters. We watched the estranged Adamas become a tight-knit family, and with Bill's desire to show his girlfriend some animals a few hundred yards away, flies off into the sunset with the most cursory of goodbyes. Gaelen Tyrol sets off to conquer Scotland all by his lonesome, and Lee is left to explore the wilderness without the woman he loves or the father he finally found. Or anybody else.

    Have the producers not Fraking seen "Castaway?" A life of complete isolation from other human beings is neither constructive, nor peaceful, nor happy. It's a tortured existence, one that normally leads to insanity. Knowing that the fate of these people - who have thought so hard and prayed for so long, and earned our empathy and care in the process - is to live what will surely be a tortured existence once the novelty wears off, leaves a disquiet in my sole, an emptiness in my heart, and a bitter taste in my mouth. What the frak were they thinking?!?!
  • Journey's end

    By the time this series finale come to close, I was torn. On the one hand, I could see what the writers were trying to achieve with their decisions for plot and character resolution. I understood the notion of tying together the loose ends with a spiritual connection rather than a deterministic laundry list. But despite the understanding, I was disappointed. I couldn't quite give up on my desire for discrete answers. For quite some time, I sat back, thought about what I had seen, and tried to put my whirling thoughts and objections into coherent words.

    And then I sat down to write this review.

    Perhaps this is the kind of resolution that needs time to seep its way into a person's subconscious. Maybe a little bit of time provided perspective. It could simply be my tendency to reconcile as much as possible, out of a personal desire to put the best face on it for my own comfort. Whatever it is, it doesn't matter. Because the more I thought about the series, its underlying mysteries, and how it all come together in the end, it started to make sense.

    I'll be the first to acknowledge that this will not work for everyone. A lot of people are going to reject what appears to be, on the surface, the use of "God" as a catch-all excuse for the dangling plot threads that always come with making the story up as you go along. That was my initial reaction as well. But looking back, I'm not so sure.

    Spirituality has always been a critical element of "Battlestar Galactica". From the beginning, the Cylons were acting out of their understanding of "God's plan". They had come to believe that the survival of the Cylons required the blending of Human and Cylon, something that for them required "God's true love". It was this endless pursuit of what they felt God wanted for them that drove them forward.

    The first season saw Roslin and Starbuck acting out of a genuine spiritual calling. Humans had visions and inspirations and invoked religious teachings from generations past. The writers constantly reminded the audience that "all this has happened before, and all this will happen again". That alone was evidence of a higher order connection, something ephemeral yet pervasive in the lives of Human and Cylon alike.

    Over the course of the series, there were those who sought to reduce that element into the familiar. When Kara died and returned to life, how much speculation was there regarding the "Ship of Lights", as seen in the original series? How many times did someone equate the Cylon God to the original series' Count Iblis? Even I wondered if the guiding hand behind all these events pertained to the oft-mentioned but mysterious Lords of Kobol or, just as obliquely, the Cylon God.

    But it's all just labels plastered on the same thing. The only difference is that the architect of this grand design is never seen or revealed; its presence is known only by effect. Someone had a plan for Human and Cylon alike, and it meant bringing them together into one species. To do that, this higher power decided that it was necessary to push and pull them in various directions, sometimes contradictory, to push them so far and so long that only mergence was a viable option.

    Regardless of the label slapped on this higher power ("God", "Lucifer", the Lords of Kobol, aliens beyond our understanding, etc.), the net effect would have been the same. And that is, at its heart, a kind of agnostic metaphor for the modern world. Some agnostics hold that there may be a higher power, but the jury is still out on what that power is, if it truly exists at all. Those agnostics would say, "something is happening, the effect is undeniable, but the cause is so remote, so ephemeral, that we cannot yet define it".

    It's hard to argue that the Cylons, due to their own issues, took what was given to them in terms of "divine inspiration" and turned it into a cause for violence. One might even say that this higher power knew this would happen. The Humans did the same thing, though much earlier, with the Phythian prophecies: partial information that was designed to lead them down a certain path, when the time came.

    This was a grand design that required, at the critical juncture, near-constant adjustment on both sides. Thus the intervention of what Baltar ultimately termed "angels", though this is no more definitive than calling the higher power "God". These "angels", whether it be Head Six or Head Baltar or something within the Cylon "projections", were there to see that the end result was achieved. If they seemed at cross-purposes from one moment to the next, well, that's part of the equation because that's what happened. That wouldn't have changed had something more concrete been identified as the guiding hand.

    Of course, the visions, dreams, and "angels" are all relatively easy to assign to this higher power; the real mystery is Kara Thrace. She was material, far more than even Head Six appeared to be on occasion. By my best estimation, Kara Thrace was assigned to play a unique role, as evidenced by her introduction to the music (representative of the guiding influence of this higher power). Was her suicide part of the plan? Looking back on "Maelstrom", it certainly could have been. Her restoration, and her quest to find answers, seemed to be part and parcel of the process of preparing both the Humans and Cylons for their eventual mergence.

    Hera was equally important, because in a way, she was the desired end product of the mergence and the grand design. It wasn't to bring Colonials and Cylons together to propagate a new civilization together; it was to produce Hera and then ensure that she arrived on the new Earth in such a way that "seeding" the natives would spread her unique genetic code to a multitude of descendants.

    One might say, in very loose terms, that certain Colonial and Cylon traits might not have been strong enough, genetically, to dominate in the cross-breeding with the natives of Earth. But Hera's genetic code, being the product of Human/Cylon genetic mergence, would resolve that problem. So the end of the episode suggests, even if the "mitochondrial Eve" concept was ultimately debunked: Hera, as the one true Human/Cylon hybrid, was necessary in some way to the viability of the native Earth population.

    Of course, the treatment of this is far from perfect. It would have been more fitting if the Colonials and Cylons had landed in a time much closer to the modern era, perhaps around 15,000 years ago (as opposed to 150,000). This would have matched up with the vague timetable given by alternative history theorists like von Daniken and Graham Hancock. Hancock in particular likes to point out possible connections between different emerging civilizations and a potential "lost civilization". Linking that to the arrival of Colonials and Cylons, and their Earthbound distribution, would have been more elegant and would have tied into the original series in a somewhat more satisfying way.

    Along similar lines, it might have been better if there hadn't been natives at all. The presence of native Humans is a nagging loose end, unnecessary to the story. It would have been equally possible for the surviving Colonials and Cylons to form small communities around the world, eventually losing what technology they had to time and wear. Hera still would have been the first of the true hybrids.

    In terms of the music, while some might have wanted a more specific explanation for "All Along the Watchtower", I was fine with the explanation that was given. It reminded me, in a way, of how the higher-order communication with the Vorlons took place on "Babylon 5". Hearing the song had nothing to do with being a Cylon, other than the fact that the Final Five had to come together at a certain time to facilitate what Kara was meant to do. And the fact that the music was also the key to finding the new Earth, where the Colonials and Cylons needed to go once the conflict was over and done, was just icing on the universal language cake. Given the nature of the hybrids, it certainly seems that they were attuned to this celestial musical connection as well. (Many call mathematics the "universal language", and music is ultimately mathematics.)

    Perhaps more importantly, by giving the resolution of the various mysteries a more incorporeal source, the emphasis was pushed (and rightfully so) to the characters and their acceptance of the end of their journey. Those resolutions were, for the most part, satisfying. Looking back on the past few episodes, not only do the more spiritual aspects of the resolution make more sense, but the emphasis on character is justified.

    I can only imagine how much of the post-landing material was left on the cutting room floor. I imagine a great deal will end up on the DVD version. If you add up all the extra time that was given to the final 10 episodes, you've got several episodes worth of story, just on screen! Evidence, in my opinion, that Ron Moore could have produced a fifth season, had he been more confident that the SciFi Channel was going to keep it on the air.

    But certain scenes never materialized. The final farewell between Adama and Tigh is probably the most obvious, but there were so many moments that still could or should have happened. I certainly don't begrudge them the time they took with the epilogue; the series finale for "Babylon 5" is nothing but epilogue, and it's one of the finest hours of television I've ever seen. I'm just not sure there was enough time to explore the ideas fully. (Also, if the finale all aired on the same night, instead of the first hour and the rest being split, it would have worked a lot better.)

    The one point that needed clarification was Lee's pronouncement that they were abandoning the vast majority of their technology. The reason is simple: if they want to avoid the sins of the Colonial and Cylon way of life, they can't perpetuate that way of life. It has to start fresh. Also, the technology would wear down soon enough anyway, so why be reliant on it at all? It's not so much where they arrived, so much as the abrupt nature of the decision.

    Unlike many, I liked the final scene, because it was not as obvious as it seems. Head Six and Head Baltar have some degree of optimism as they look upon the modern human race, but the montage at the end was a little less hopeful. Not the presence of the emerging robot population, but the connection to something Lee said. Lee noted that it can be a problem when our technology outstrips our ability to implement it wisely. The episode ends by lingering on a homeless man in Times Square, surrounded by the images of shiny new robot toys. Technology outpacing the heart of humanity? Perhaps, and if that was the intent, it brings the series full circle.

    One might notice I haven't said a word about the rescue operation, the resolution of the Opera House, the final moments between Adama and Roslin, Boomer's attempt at redemption, or any number of other scenes worth discussion. Most of those scenes speak for themselves, particularly the final battle. It was one of the most intense of the series, even if it was remarkably straightforward. I also think it was obvious that the truce was never going to work, because they had to eliminate Cavil's forces. Sending the colony into the singularity certainly did the trick!

    (One caveat: Watching the finale twice now, I think it's safe to say that the Cylon slugfest was a bit more than the effects crew could comfortably chew. In many scenes, the Cylons didn't blend into the background at all. In one case, one of the "old style" Centurions looked like he was standing in mid-air over the floor. Great idea, but it didn't quite pan out as they had intended.)

    I'm not going to pretend that this finale was perfect. Far from it. As much as I can reconcile large portions of the series is it ended, other portions don't fit at all. (One glaring problem is "Home", and the constellation projection on Kobol. It doesn't fit the timeline or the explanations given this season at all.) This can be laid down at the feet of Ron Moore's preferred writing style. He doesn't plan things out; he sets up situations and lets them evolve based on character exploration. While he's often quite inventive, it doesn't allow for a strong finish. Contrast this to the style of JMS on "Babylon 5", where there was always a clear set of end conditions in mind before pen touched paper.

    The ideal, perfect finale would have given a bit more resolution to certain mysteries, and would have been planned out in more detail ahead of the game. For that reason, while this gets a much better ratings than my first impression would have indicated, it's not a knock out of the park. But it did accomplish one thing very well: it has left me with a sincere desire to rewatch the series from the beginning.
  • The Deconstruction of Falling Stars

    And so we reach the end. A mini-series and four seasons later, we get to have the final revelations. (Note: I refer to the finale simply as "Daybreak 2", as I'm not constrained by the needs of iTunes and the double-header was listed as a single-span "feature length" episode when aired on the UK's Sky 1 channel.)

    It was patently obvious that the final episodes would split the ranks of fans that have followed Adama, Thrace, Boomer, Cavil, Tigh and Tyrol et al. Let's be perfectly honest here: BSG climbed some marvellous heights through its time on air – but it has also plumbed some depths we could probably have done without. There can be no mistaking the magnificent consistency of the show was only maintained through the mini series and the first two seasons; and even then, by season two – as fabulous as much of it was - cracks were beginning to appear (take "Scar" as an example). Certainly, by season 3 it was pretty evident the writers were scrabbling around to try and keep things moving forward while not entirely clear on where they actually wanted to go, and season 4 has been, it's very fair to say, patchy. Episodes have either been enjoyed or loathed, with little half-measure between. So the finale was always going to be between a rock and hard place. No matter what Moore et al did, it was inevitable that they'd pee-off someone or other in the process. And given this, they opted to go in the direction I think it fair to say few of us anticipated given the series' overall dark tones: a happy ending. What's more, it's a happy ending that only really addresses two key issues that have marked the show throughout: religion and technology, using both to frame the closure to the arcs of the principal characters. Technology, and its ability to impact our lives, to affect our perceptions of the future – to influence and even control our everyday actions – and whether it is necessarily a "good" thing has very much been at the centre of BSG. Face it: the Cylon wars were about this very fact when you strip them of the whys and wherefores, all neatly encapsulated in the strap line originally used for the mini series: "never create what you can't control". Religion also has been at the centre of BSG right from the get-go. This is so fundamental that anyone feeling betrayed by the notion of "angels" in the finale, or that Moore et al went for a "cop-out" really need to go back and watch and listen to the preceding 4 seasons very carefully. Given what has gone before, no-one should be at all surprised that the writers were so finally decisive on the idea that humanity is being watched over by higher powers that uses angels of divine intervention to influence and guide us. True, elements of this revelation were not well handled – something I'll return to later – but to dismiss the episode because of this is really to miss the point entirely. And there was absolutely nothing wrong in selecting these themes as the frame to the final episodes. Indeed, had they not been addressed then there would be a massive hole sitting at the end of the Galactica mythos.

    Now, we could have had a much darker ending: while saving Hera, some, at least of our lead characters could have met their ends. Galactica herself could have been lost in the assault. We could have been faced with the collapse of hope, the destruction of dreams in a maelstrom of hurt, death and despair which fulfil the mantra first uttered by Leoben: "All this has happened before, all this will happen again." As we witness the cycle starting once more. But we didn't. Does that lessen the outcome at all? Well, on the whole no, it doesn't – although I do admittedly say that with one or two reservations. In the majority of respects, the finale was good – in places very good. But I would stop short of calling it "great" as some have over-enthusiastically cheered. "Great" for a science-fiction series finale comes in the form of Babylon 5's "Sleeping In Light", and while I'm going to get a lot of thumbs-down for this next statement: "Daybreak" was not as well-written or structured as "Sleeping In Light" – and the disappointing fact of the matter is that it could have been. In saying this, I would point out that the fault is not solely with the finale itself; its roots lie some way back in Season 3 and were nurtured through some of the many faltering steps witnessed during the latter half of season 4. Given this, I really don't think it is unreasonable to sum up the experience of watching the final 2 hours of BSG as "satisfying". Where criticism is warranted, it is not at the idea of "divine intervention" seemingly coming out of nowhere; nor is it in Cavil's action in blowing his own head off – he'd lost the tactical advantage and he'd lost the strategic end-game: that went as soon as he handed over Hera. Similarly, and in difference to the howls from those who are comfortable with the story, Tyrol's action towards Tori IS utterly in keeping with his character. If anyone is really in doubt as to what he felt for Cally (his love for Boomer notwithstanding) – then I suggest you go back and examine his reaction to Cally's death and the grief he suffered thereafter. Add to this his recent gutting by Boomer – the way she manipulated and used him to get to Hera – and it is pretty obvious there is a wellspring of anger within him that is just waiting to be released. So really, it is simply NO surprise that he throttles Tori when the revelation of her crime finally emerges. And as for Baltar's "Head Six" and Caprica's "Head Baltar" – both are absolutely logical and fit the frame perfectly. Never mind that many of us (myself included) wanted something different from this, the fit is absolutely perfect. Not only is it in keeping with all of "head Six's" commentary about God and there being a plan and higher purpose – it also explains exactly how Baltar survived the nuclear strike that razed his home in the mini series: he was touched by God; rescued to fulfil his destiny. No all these threads fit the weave of the BSG tapestry perfectly. Yes, the realisation is a little rushed, but that's down to so much time being wasted elsewhere. Again, while the flashback sequences in "Daybreak 1" and "Daybreak 2" were nice vignettes, the majority of them didn't actually add anything of significance to any of the characters that we didn't already know. So what if Adama has been on the verge of retiring prior to getting the Galactica assignment? Did that really reflect on his actions throughout the series? Did those moments (the gratuitous vomiting shot or the polygraph test) really tell us anything insightful about him that we didn't already know? And Roslin losing her father and sisters – did that really give added understanding about who she is? No. Right from the mini series we were given enough back-story to her character that we could understand her early motivations ("we have to stop fighting and start making babies"….) and witness her transition without feeling in any way distanced from her. Similarly, her one-night stand did little to reveal her early political motivations….

    The only two vignettes that made any real sense were those of Thrace and Baltar – and even then they are tissue-thin. To take Baltar's first: this had two functions. The first was to establish that really, deep down, after all is said and done, it wasn't just sex with Six/Caprica – it was LOVE; now, had we seen something of this prior to the episode, then the flashbacks wouldn't have seemed so clunky. Better still, they wouldn't have been needed, thus given time to expand other elements within the finale. And both Caprica and Baltar have been aboard the Galactica for some overtures to have been made between them. Left to a matter of flashbacks to establish this apparent deep-seated love jars with much of what we actually saw in the mini series and the early episodes of BSG. And the second reason for Baltar's flashback is also weak in that it is really only there to support one of his final lines, "I do know how to farm," something that would not have made the slightest sense, but for the "Daybreak 1" revelation that his father had been a farmer…. Finally, there is Thrace's flashback. While it plumbed the background of her relationship(s) with Lee and Zak, coming at this stage in the story, it wasn't really needed, as nothing was shown on screen that we did not already know. Rather than give depth, the flashback rather seemed a contrivance in order to give credence to the notion that Thrace was pre-ordained to fulfil a destiny – but again, we already knew that, so there was nothing intrinsic in her flashbacks that contributed to the arc of the finale. Take out the 10+ minutes devoted to these flashbacks in "Daybreak 1" and you have 10 minutes to better establish what needs to be portrayed now.
    And one cannot mention Starbuck's flashback without considering her part in the finale. Again, many have cried "foul!" here, or have tried to plumb the "meaning" a little too deeply. While her disappearance was just a little too pat, too romantic, in execution – the revelations around her were most certainly not; not were they out-of-character. Throughout the show, it has been obvious that Kara Thrace has a unique destiny; not just because Leoben rabbited on about it as long ago as Season 1, but because time and again, Thrace found herself at the epicentre of key events in the survivors' journey. And she died and was resurrected so – like Baltar – she could fully complete her role in the unfolding events. But where Baltar had a "guardian" in the form of "Head Six" to occasionally prod him in the right direction (probably because he'd otherwise be unable to see past his own ego), Thrace was left to muddle things through for herself. She didn't need a guardian to prod or reveal what needed to be done, because at the end of the day, her innate abilities would compel her to do what was required, so "God", somewhat capriciously, left her to get on with it. So there was nothing foul or wrong or stupid in her exit from the show. She had fulfilled her purpose and done so in such a way that she would not be forgotten – Lee would see to that; what's more, she was already dead – there can be no doubt of that. Ergo, there simply was no reason for her to remain. And for those of you hung up on the "Thrace is an angel?!" bit: forget it! She isn't and wasn't. She was human through-and-through. Even after her resurrection, she was STILL human. She had not "transcended" or anything else. She had simply be brought back from the dead, together with all her angst, foibles, fears and wants. There is no betrayal in her character whatsoever in the finale. Rather the reverse: there is a perfect continuance. Even at the end, she is still unsure about many things; she simply knows that whatever else, she has fulfilled the greater part of her destiny and it is now time to let go….

    If there is any criticism at all in the way her part was handled, it was in the intimations given that she was somehow "angelic" in nature – particularly the selected flashback dialogue from her first meeting with Leoben. This was a mistake on Moore's part, and has unnecessarily muddied the waters. No, all the "religious" angles in "Daybreak 2" are actually present and correct; they are justifiable on many levels and are entirely in keeping with the broader "arc" of the show. As such, they offer a very satisfying conclusion, primarily framed against some of the most action-driven scenes witnessed throughout BSG's run.

    For me, the culmination of these threads was most perfectly exemplified as the meaning of the opera house was finally revealed. I say this not only because it was, as I'd always suspected, a metaphor for the Galactica itself, but because the flow of the two scenes - protecting Hera on the ship and the flashbacks to the opera house, perfectly set-up Baltar's monologue that occurs in CIC: realisation dawns on him and we seen vision / dreams come mesh perfectly with reality, right down to the Five up on the gallery, gives us perfect closure to that particular arc while pointing the way to the final resolutions.

    If only the final 30 minutes had been so beautifully and believably framed; for it is within these that the episode demonstrates hubris and ultimately does cheapen itself in its overall convenience. In saying this, I'm not critiquing the individual closures we see: the aforementioned departure of Thrace; Roslin's death; the goodbyes and splitting of the survivors. No, all these elements work and are fitting for the characters and the story. When "Daybreak 2" was in pre-production, Moore allegedly wrote on a whiteboard "It's about the characters, stupid" in order to emphasize the heart of the story, and these little vignettes, the farewells, underline this perfectly.

    What is at fault is the background against which they are set – and the missed opportunity. While technology may well have been at the root of all humanity's woes, discarding it so readily is, I'm afraid, just a little too trite and speaks more of Moore's own views on things than it does of the BSG story. It's also hard to believe that 38,000 people – people previously shown to be unwilling to let go of creature comforts to the extent of participating in black market enterprises; who were unwilling to let go of outmoded (from day 1 following the Cylon attack) modes of government, who rarely looked beyond their own immediate needs, would all to a man, woman (and child) give unanimous support to Lee Adama's "vision". And even if it was necessary to get rid of the ships (questionable at this point in time, even given the fact Galactica was crippled), it's hard to see that they'd do so with such ready acceptance that it is the right thing to do. If nothing else, the medical facilities on board just one of the larger vessels could prove invaluable. So what if their DNA is compatible with Earth human DNA? The fact remains they were entering an entirely new biosphere, exposing themselves to any number of diseases and illnesses unknown to their bodies and from which their immune systems may not provide sufficient protection; similarly, who is to say the "common Colonial cold" might not be a fatal epidemic if caught by the natives?

    No, the "let's leave technology and start over" was all a little too pat. Supplies run out; equipment breaks; machines break down. Nothing lasts forever. As such, there was no reason they could not utilise the technology they could carry / take with them. Even if it broke down / ran out / wore out after a few months / years, its very presence with them might better help them establish themselves on this raw and wild planet.

    Moore has frequently pointed out that certain types of TV science-fiction are a little too sanitised, too perfect, too clean….too utopian. The irony in this ending for BSG is that he has pushed it into its own utopian conclusion: the evil technology is gone, everyone is free from their burdens and free to build a wonderful new life on Earth, free from the mistakes of the past! Sorry, Ron. That's just a little too pat, too easy. And it is the major reason why the finale is satisfying rather than outstanding. What, then, of the 150,000 year fast-forward to the "present day"? Well, despite my critique above, I have little in the way of a problem with it; in most respects it was the perfect bookend. The "heads" are there, contemplating all that has happened and cogitating on all that may yet happen. The dialogue is perhaps a little too sappy compared to what we'd expect from BSG, but it works. And while we do get the over-arching note of optimism from Six that the cycle may have been broken – for now – the underlying hint, visually and verbally, is that the break may only be temporary. Even as Hendrix plays, the camera pans across destitute people beneath glowing plasma screens showing glossy robots and human-like androids; and as it does, one cannot help but hear those words once more: "all this has happened before….all this will happen again…" in the back of one's head as the picture fades to back.

    Fitting. Completely and utterly fitting; hope tinged with warning.
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