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.
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.
I have loved BSG ever since i saw the first episode. BSG has it all. This episode is the final episode of the series. And it, for me, did what it should. It brought it back full circle. Especially the last 5 minutes were great. I loved them. Ronald Moore almost made a perfect series with the new BSG (and i loved his cameo in the last 5 minutes). Though there were things i did not like in the series: like when they put sucide-bombings and other Iraq-parallels in season 3. They should never have gone that way. But season 4 made up for it. I understand why many do not like the ending - we all have different takes on it. And when you are ending something people will always cry up about it. If the series had just ended after seasin 1, like the original 1978-sreies, then the same people that hate this ending would have cried up about that the series had not ended. So who cares about them. The series ended in a way that was logical to the kind of universe the series potrayed.
I love this final episode and the ending of the series. I love BSG, except the sucide-bombing homage of season 3. A great series. A great ending that deserves a 10 out of 10 for the whole series.
In this day and age, shows come and go without a true ending. In my opinion, this is the best series finale since MASH. I am sure there will be people who will disect the show and realize that there are a few things, for lack of a better term, unanswered. To those people I say, the show is/was shrouded in mythology. Some things just cannot be answered. As far as the big questions go, I feel they were all answered. As I watched this episode, I found myself constantly looking at the clock and thinking, "Holy frack, there is still so much time left." As much as I wish this show would continue, I respect the fact that they decided to end the series on their own terms and not the network's. I feel that I am a part of TV history when I say I have seen a true and complete story that will withstand the test of time.
On a side note, I kind of felt like I was watching the Superbowl with the commercials. I am very excited about the new Stargate and the Battlestar miniseries or movie, I am not sure what it will be, about the Cylon "Plan." I cannot wait.
I will miss this show however, I am beyond happy that it actually had a true beginning and ending.
I just read the first posted review and it talks about unresolved questions, and who Kara Thrace really is?; from the perspective of a dissapointed viewer. I think you need time to digest the 'closure' of this show.
My feeling about this, despite what may have been suggested by the writers, that in some way it will all be wrapped up, revealed... Is that Ronald D. Moore created such a complex story, with such complex characters... and most significantlty, as was the case with ST DS9, a mythical undertone to all that was happening, in parrelel to the dark tones of the show. I wonder if you could have ever truly have wrapped up a show, with these undertones. It made me think, in a strange way of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kuberick created a masterpiece, without ever wrapping up the storyline, mostly because he meddled with the meaning of life itself, that in our quest of discovery, to explore outer space, to travel on a journey, ultimately it took us to our very beginings. It did have closure in some aspects, but much was left unanswered and I think its testament to how deeply he took the storylines, the characters and the underlying mythology.
I have to say that Battlestar Galactica for me has been the best piece of television in years, I have absolutely loved every twist, every turn and It's a testament to the greatness of the show that it couldent be wrapped up so perfectly. I will miss it!!
I see so much critics yelling out that the God explanation was a cop-out for the show. No - it was not a cop-out. It may have actually been brilliance in the fact that it ties so many of BSG's themes together in such a profound way. BSG is not a story where you read from front to end, close the book, and trash it. You're going to probably need to brainstorm an essay afterwards. The ending result is based on the viewer's interpretation. To simply think that the explanation was "Oh, it's God..." is just asinine. And this is not a surprise. From the mini-series Head Six mentions that God has a plan and that he's going to execute it. As Adama says in the retirement speech of the miniseries: "You cannot play God and wash your hands of the things you've done." Introducing an actual god was smart for the show. It is not unsolvable, it is just that if you interpret and analyze the explanation in a different way, you won't like it. He made a plan and sent Head Six and Baltar to carry out the plan. The plan was to restart life. He loves his creation, and he does so so much that when his (imperfect) creation becomes its own cancer (war and such), he doesn't just wipe out existence and go BAH! He had his creation start over. Again and again. He watches over his creation, always hopeful that this time his creation will only hold the good and not the bad. Even this God needs his own leap of faith and hopeful sentiment. And this is a real theme in the show. Trusting and making leaps of faith, living hopeful lives. It's about the responsibility of being all powerful. There are so many varying degrees of playing god. Humans played god on the cylons. the final five played god on their skinjobs. Cylons playing god on their own centurions. a higher being playing god on his humans and cylons!
A good analogy for why this God did what he did is such that Ellen created Cavil. As much as Cavil emulated the bad characteristics of life, Ellen continued to love him. Even after all that he's done, she believes that he could change. God didn't just get rid of his creation. "God is love." He loved his creation and he believed we could change, also. This ending creates so much discussion on philosophy in spirituality, morals in humanity, and the nature of mankind. What we need to do is not just close the book after the last page, but to really analyze the themes of BSG. Like Olmos says, 25 years from now this show is going to be a fine wine. Acting was great. Cinematography was great. Pew pew! was awesome. And Bear McCreary does his finest work. Well played.
I rarely give any show or episode a rating of 10, but this is a rare exception. Rather than concluding the series with a hokey truce with the Cavil Cylons or some douchy time travel cure-all, they elegantly tied up all of the loose threads while still leaving enough to the imagination that each viewer can interpret some of the elements according to his or her own perspective. I'd go into greater detail, but I don't like posting spoilers and I would certainly have to if I were to discuss Starbuck, Hera, Baltar's vision of Caprica Six and Caprica Six's vision of Baltar. The revelation of what "All this has happened before and will happen again" meant in the end was very nicely done. It had leant to the misconception that some form of time travel would have been involved. I'm so glad that was not the case. One thing that Ron Moore had desperately tried to stay away from throughout the series was what he called "Star Trek solutions" in which some super-advanced bit of technology is used to save the day.
The performances by the principle cast were awe-inspiring. Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos delivered Emmy-worthy performances. I would be genuinely shocked if they were not both nominated.
The part that I loved the most was the theological questions they deliberately left somewhat vague. Since the human race in the real world has been struggling with the concepts of religion for millennia, why should BSG wrap it up neatly with a cute little bow on top?
Too many series use the storytelling technique of force-feeding the morals of the story to the audience. This show was much more subtle. I'm sorry it's over, but I'll be forever grateful that it was made.
Fantastic end to a fantastic series.
Funny to see how people on this site are split between hating and loving this episode - but suppose it's always like that with series endings.
I, for one, loved this episode!...
These last few episodes were thought-provoking, emotional, well-acted and the action sequences kept me on the edge of my seat.
The series finale to Battlestar Galactica was packed with high-quality writing and delivered an ending that the producers should be proud of. I was afraid I would be unsatisfied when the final credits rolled, but I wasn't.
"All of this has happened before"... but never like Ronald D. Moore envisioned it! This is the great space opera at it's very best...and a show packed with a prudent message for all of humanity. The series should be required viewing for anyone who doesn't think humankind can be their own undoing.
I for one, was not disappointed with "Daybreak".
Not since Six Feet Under has as television show been given such a proper (and complete) send-off.
This was truly a wonderful (and staggeringly misunderstood) finale to an amazing television series. The metaphysical elements to the story may have put off those who haven't been paying attention to them these last four years, but for me there was no other way to address them but then to... address them as the obvious supernatural elements they were. The ending was mysterious, marvelous, and came off as though the universe breathed a great sigh of relief.
I laughed, I was excited, and I was in tears. I cannot believe the hateful and horrible things I've read from people about this episode. It was a perfect wrap up - probably one of the best series finales in TV history.
It was a beautiful finale. It was that kind of a finale that made me happy and sad at the same time. There were many parts that made me bawl like a baby and other parts that made me smile.
I was saddened to see the bucket go away, I suppose that would have been the best way to avoid any contamination of the people on earth (Non-colonials and their offspring).
Seeing Laura die absolutely killed me, and then seeing Bill get upset and him putting his wedding band on her really pushed me over the edge. I knew that Laura would die. We all knew it because it was inevitable but when she did the pain hit me like a freight train. It was beautiful that she died with Bill right next to her while looking at Africa from the air, one couldn't ask for a more beautiful way to pass away but it seriously killed me. My heart was shattered into little pieces. Bill now building a cabin in memory of Laura ( their dream on New Caprica) and to live out the remainder of his life in peace until the day comes that he can be with Laura again was bittersweet and perfect ending for their story. I just cried and cried.
"The view up here is heavenly...just like you were"
The Battle between Galactica and the colony was absolutely stellar, the CGI was up there. It was funny seeing the Centurions (old and new) duke it out like it was a giant version of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. I was really happy about that I was surprised to see Adama order Galactica to be rammed into the colony, and I am really surprised with all her structural damage that she didn't just blow apart when that happened.
The whole mystery surrounding the opera has been finally solved and in a most beautiful way. I was really blown away by that and shouted out loud: HOLY FRAK! Perfect.
One sentence regarding Tory: She got what she deserved.
Same thing goes for Boomer. It was in a way tragic but she had made her bed and now had to sleep in it. To see Athena kill Boomer was weird but fitting. In the beginning I wondered what she meant when she said to Athena, Helo, Kara and the rest "Tell the old man I owed him one" and then it made all perfectly sense (in a sad way) when we got this flashback in which Boomer says to Bill "I owe you one and I will pay you back when it means the most."
Kara, an angel. Must be the horns that keep the halo straight ;-) then again everything suddenly made perfect sense with that revelation. The pianist who helped Starbuck remember how to play the "All Along the Watchtower" song in "Someone to Watch Over Me" DISAPPEARS as soon as the Final Five approach the piano. The Final Five don't seem to see the pianist guy as they ask Starbuck how she knows the song, which implies that Starbuck was the only one who could see/hear him. Is this "God" appearing to the angel Kara to teach her the secret way to the second Earth? The Hybrid once told Kara: "You are the harbinger of death, Kara Thrace. You will lead them all to their end." This was realized. When Kara first returns as an angel, her Raptor leads them to the first nuked Earth--hence, she is the "harbinger" of the potential death and destruction that inevitably ensues if humans and cylons persist along the vicious cycle of violence. This is essentially a warning from God, showing Galactica inhabitants the potential result of continuing the cycle. Later, Kara "[leads] them all to their end" in the sense that she leads humans and cylons to the end of their journey--new Earth.
What confused me was Head 6 and Head Baltar. I figured out head 6 and head Baltar were angels/demons early on in the series. But when Head Baltar said "You know he doesn't like being called that". Makes me wonder, who the higher power was.... Was Head 6 an angel and Head Baltar a demon? Was this a Faustian bet between the devil and G*d. That is one question I would like an answer for.
Small bits and pieces I loved:
Romo being the new president (poetic justice indeed)
Lee "I want to EXPLORE" Lee travelling around the world and being an adventurer
The fact that Helo didn't die and to see Helo, Athena and Hera happily starting their life together on Earth
Gaius and Six being together and Gaius becoming a farmer =)
On last word also in regards of the music. Bear outdid himself. We got a final movement of his little BSG symphony that combined "Passacaglia" and "Allegro" (not sure about "Violence and Variations" but I am sure it was also there). The love theme of Bill and Laura made a final return in a most beautiful way and the music during the fight was glorious and furious in equal measures. I am so looking forward to the final soundtrack.
The message I got during the last 15 minutes of the show was.
1. Keep Klenex close by..
2. Cherish the ones you love
3. Don't take life for granted
4. Keep technology on a tight leash
5. Human life is the most precious of all gifts.
6. Family is the most important thing next to life.
Oh also two additional things I learned from the series.
RDM is one hell of a producer, director and writer and Frak is part of my vocabulary
I felt this was the greatest ending in television history. Leaving the audience to be inspired to take care of humanity and its planet. The show is brilliant with All Along the Watchtower and the resting of the characters.
Two comments I pulled off of Bear McCreary's blog (www.BearMcCreary.com) that I feel put words with what I feel about the wrapping of the series:
1) The ending was the logical way for it to end. I wasn't surprised, and that's a good thing. Anything else would have been disappointing. And to say I wasn't surprised would not be to say that it wasn't awesome. It was, very moving, very touching.
And the music was just, well, during one of the final scenes, as I was trying unsuccessfully to hold back tears, I said "Bear outdid himself here."
2) It was transcendent. I'm tempted to throw around words like "brave" or "courageous," but I think that's kind of hyperbolic. Maybe "ballsy" is the better description. Over the years the writers painted themselves into a few corners here and there, and rather than sweating it, they just decided to hop off the edge of the page and keep writing.
The best thing I can say is that the various endings felt inevitable. Now that I've seen how it all wrapped up, I can't really imagine it ever happening any other way.
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.
Best story ever told - not only among sci-fi. Epic, full, completed - making you crying at the end. Nothing to loose, nothing to add. High class music is fulfilling the story. There will be NOTHING like this any more. Crew is outstanding - I will remember them as Galactica characters. The ending was accurate and at the right moment - other series are exploited till last frakking penny - this story ended at its very high point. Damn sad it's not available in Poland (officially). It's must to see for my son - as soon it will be on DVD in Poland - I'll acquire full story as soon as possible.
And Moses showed them the way. There was a deep Moses undertone in this story. It was very Biblical in nature. You could see the mountains and the grass and the swords and lasers turned into plowshares so that they could start farming in peace. Laura like Moses saw the promised land and than never really got to enjoy the land of milk and honey so to speak.
You know it is very hard to close out a great show like this one. There are going to be some good things and some bad things. I felt for the most part there were a lot more good things than bad and even some of the things I may not have liked completely I still am willing to give them an A for effort and the willingness to at least try to be different.
First the excellent. I love what they did with Baltar and Six. They did the full circle thing they were meant to be together. Baltar just needed to be a better person. And I believe my interpretation of the hallucinations were that they were in fact guardian angels sent by you know who. And fast forward into the future they were still there watching over the Earth to see if they would be needed again to save it. I thought this was interesting. I mean the writers didn't really want to spell out heavy handedly the God connection, but I believe that is exactly what they did.
That Galon scene with the murderer of Cala by his side was the show stopper. It was the best scene in this episode bar none.
I thought a lot of the jumping back in time worked descent even if it was a little bit klunky. I will say early Laura Roslin was utterly worthless and added nothing to the episode. I would rather have had more Apollo and Starbuck than those worthless nothing added to the episode scenes, but they were short and mostly harmless so I'll give them a pass.
Just some random stuff. Anybody catch Ronald Moore in the end of the episode? I also think there was a slight shoutout to Star Trek First Contact in this one. Even if there wasn't any actual filmed contact.
I don't know if these things are bad or good but I'll comment on them. Hera in my opinion is a copy of the Starchild in an older series named V. She was the hope of both races and than. Well in this case she did lead the way to Earth, didn't she? Anyone notice the walking stick Moses shoutout! I don't know if she really lived up to the hype with the writing like she should have, but it wasn't too bad either. V just got cancelled before that Star Child could actually do something. Like I said cut out some of that useless Laura Roslin spring fling stuff and maybe there would have been better closure there, but it still wasn't too bad.
And finally Starbuck and Apollo. Well first of all I think the way the writers perceived them was kind of a hardcore Princess Leia and Luke relationship. She was his sister. Not, by blood, but that is the way they treated them in the series. They were related they just ignored it until they had to say goodbye in the end. Now, her dissapearance? I refuse to accept her as an Angel. I'd rather interpret it to Lee's imagination of a goodbye long ago. I don't think they really satisfactorily answered the Kara question maybe Caprica the series is supposed to answer that one. I don't know. But I think sometimes when you have a great series like this one. And they entertained you season after season. And they came up with a decent ending right down to the making robots repetition of history. You have to cut them a little slack and accept that some mysteries are never going to be completely answered on TV or in life. Now, where did Amelia Earhart go again? I think Starbuck is right there beside her! Great show, I hate to see her go!
SG1 episode 200 said: "Science fiction is an existential metaphor that allows us to tell stories about a human condition. Isaac Asimov once said: Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinded critics and philosophers of today, but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation, if we are to be saved at all." And this does, without a doubt, apply to the BSG series. And it all came together in these two last episodes. The series didn't take the easy road by just telling stories about a group of humans travelling through space, but tried to tie in questions we all face during our lifetime. The questions that define who we are, questions like "why are we here?", "what is our purpose?" and "how do I fit in the grand skeem of things?". Whether you like it or not the human condition has always been influenced by the notion or believe in a higher power, a designer, a God. What makes the BSG series epic is that it tried to tell a Science fiction story which includes the notion of a God. This has never happened before and, after BSG, it will happen again! Because they tied in a believe system, the stories BSG tells are more realistic and closer to our core, our feelings, our essence, then ever before. We do, and always will, need a "leap of faith" during our lifetimes. We need to believe in something; our religion, our nation, our relations; our purpose. Those are the things that form us as a species, and those are the themes of the stories told by BSG. I guess that those people who have rejected the notion of a higher power during there lifetime, will look a pone this conclusion of the BSG series as a disappointment because the scenario of a "God" does not fit into their realm of possibilities. Funny because the existence of spaceships and Cylons apparently does.
These last two episode do bring us full circle. The fraises: "All this has happened before, and all this will happen again" has been the ongoing theme throughout the series. Giving us two possibilities the series either takes place in the future or in the past. Naturally we would have initially believed the series would taken place in the future, but this last episode blows that out of the water by implying that BSG crew are our ancestors, bringing us full circle, and leaves us with the question "will this happen again?", or "has the circle been broken?". Everything is possible. The centurions' are still out there, the humanlike Cylons are still out there and they were betrayed by the final 5, especially Galen Tyrol (who stops the transfer of the resurrection data). Has the circle been broken? It's nice to know that these questions can and might be answered in a BSG spin off in the future. The new "Caprica" BSG series is supposed to be a prequel but if time is circular it doesn't make a difference. These thought make it a unique series. More specific about these last two episodes: what did happen. - The spaceship that gives the series it's name is destroyed (we don't see it though!). - We see that this time around the "opera house" is the BSG bridge.
- We see Hara, as promised as THE ancestor "Eve" of a new world race.
- We see the fantastic President Roselyn peacefully die after bringing her people to "earth".
- We see Kara Thrace entering the music into the FTL bringing BSG to "earth".
- We suddenly don't see Kara Thrace when Lee Adama turns around after asking "where are you going?"
- We see a clash between the new (free) centurion and the classic 1978/1980 centurion (also bringing us full-circle).
- We see Gaius Baltar (or Daniel #7?) making a unselfish choice and joining "his" Six which is out-of-character.
- We see Eight Boomer coming full-circle with her choice "when it means something".
- We see "the two destiny (of Cylons & Human) entwined in divine force" and "God isn't on any ONE side". - ..and much more. This must be one of the best conclusions of a series without closing to many doors while answering so many questions. We get so much close sure on so many topics while leaving us with enough questions to desire for more. It's Brilliant! It's always hard so say goodbye to something good, as it is for me for BSG, but the manor of it's departure is gratifying. Great job! I would like to add one more thing: The connections between the overall storyline of BSG and the Biblical story of the 13 tribes of Israel, who flee Egypt to wander the desert for 40 years following a prophecy to the promised land, is mind gobbling. As is the prophecy that the One would rise from the dead to lead us to the promised land. As is the notion of a reset-button on civilisations, in the Bible via a flood and a ship, in BSG via a war and a (number of) spaceSHIP(s). Even the pigeon is present in both stories (after Lee Adama meets Kara Thrace)! There is even a correlation with the 13 apostles (13th being Matthias) of Jesus. Overall My conclusion would is: great series, great conclusion, what a great experience the BSG series has been! Let's hope future initiatives can top this level of entertainment.
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!
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.
There are a lot of people here that probably are still looking for a Star Trek type of ending...there will probably be a similiar endings in shows like SG1, terminator etc. A few points for all you critics: - The whole god issue in the ending. It's really hard for me to understand why scifi fans will accept ships that are jumping from place to place in space and by doing so can travel a milion light years in 4 years more or less, cyborgs that look like humans and a race of cyborgs that is reballing against its masters and not the god idea...I mean even if just half (or even 10%)of this people belive in god...isn't it easier to belive in devine intervantion in a sci fi show, then all of the above mentioned ideas? or maybe you are looking for a complete sci-fi show with things that can never exist (star trek? anybody...and I'm a star trek fan BTW). The whole BSG idea was that it was very similiar to our world which is whay a lot of the things they used looked like our own equipment.That was what;s so special about it and that's why any Star Trek or Babylon 5 type of ending would have been nothing less then a disappointment to the fans. - Kara- If you remember in Star trek, ensign Wessly Crusher became a Q like being...is that more logical then god...?
The point is, if you are looking for a regular Sci-Fi, space battles type of show then this is not for you. SG 1 has plenty of that.
BSG had a lot of action but it was always about each person's journy and that's the whole point! The whole show is no less then a masterpieace and it gives sci fi fans a lot more to excpect then the ususall space battles, red alert tyoe of shows. In short, if you didn't like BSG you probably didn't get it!
After the Miniseries, 75 episodes (two of which were Razor), 3 webseries, and a lot of speculation, the amazing series known as Battlestar Galactica ends with a bang.
We were treated to some of the greatest action scenes we could ever see. The space battle itself was incredible, visually speaking. They knew that this was the end, and they made sure we wouldn't forget it. I could not believe that Adama would be so brazen as to ram his ship into the Colony, but it was probably the biggest "holy s**t" moment of the finale. Acutally, the discovery of 'our' Earth would be in first place. I'm sure that the fanboys were especially giddy at seeing the old-school Centurions fighting with the latest models. In terms of unanswered questions, Gaius Baltar and Caprica-Six finally figured out what their virtual beings are: angels of God. One of my favorite moments (one which I thought would happen) was Baltar and Caprica realizing that the other could see these beings. They also realized their ultimate purpose: to protect Hera, by extension fulfilling the Opera House vision and ensuring the future of the human race. Speaking of Baltar, he has truly grown since the Miniseries, going from ego-driven narcissist to a man willing to selflessly risk his life. It got to me when I saw him crying when he talked about farming. At one point he admitted that he was ashamed of his heritage, but now, after everything that's transpired, Baltar proved something to us. It was a given that Laura Roslin was going to bite it in the finale, but that didn't make it any easier to swallow. William Adama has been through so much, but I don't think anything could've prepared him for losing the woman he loved. I was confused at first when he chose to say goodbye to his son Lee Adama and the one he loves as a daughter, Kara Thrace. Perhaps he simply had enough. A part of me doesn't blame him.
Even though I was pissed at her for her part in the mutiny, seeing Racetrack dead was hard to bear. I didn't have any illusions about Boomer living through the finale, but another big moment came when Tory's biggest sin came to light. I just knew that Galen Tyrol would fly into a rage after learning the truth. It was perhaps this revelation that caused him to want to live in isolation from that point on.
There are many possibilities for the return of Kara Thrace. Was she really was an angel who came back from the dead to lead humanity to salvation? Maybe, but in any event I do think that they should've clarified further on her true nature. The First Hybrid, as well as the Baseship Hybrid and Anders all said she would lead them all to their end. The statement was most likely symbolic. The human race and the remaining Cylons settling on Earth could be seen as an end, the end of their journey, or the end of both of them as they are. Yet, why did the First Hybrid warn Kendra Shaw that "they must not follow her?" I'm hoping The Plan will answer these questions.
I was surprised that Lee Adama suggested abandoning their technology and their ships in favor of starting over from stratch. From my perspective it seems very impractical, but if you put yourself inside that universe, it might seem logical. The remnants of the Twelve Colonies have been through hell and back, and after all they've been through, a clean slate wouldn't seem so bad to them. Besides, I doubt the Centurions will return and destroy them. There's no reason to hold a grudge anymore, and perhaps the cycle has been broken.
The flashback scenes made perfect sense. We needed to see these characters as how they were, so we could understand how they got here, and so we could see what makes them who they are.
Overall, the finale was not perfect, but it was satisfying. There is still one more story to tell, and I hope more questions will be answered.
"So let us not talk falsely now
The hour is getting late"
I never would have dreamed of this, but the inevitable has happened. I'm in loss for words. This has easily been the best television show of all time and I am proud to be a witness of it's beauty. Poetry in motion, I am in awe and a fan forever. I want to thank the incredible writers, cast and crew for giving me this wonderful gift.
To the already legendary, instant classic; epidome of a story, picture and musical score!
Taken a piece of my heart!
ps. To all you disaproving, action hungry, supervisual peoples: Leave the hatered and unconscious criticism at home, no one believes you, no one cares. pps. So say we all! Cheers to my fellow bsg heads!
This is by far the best ending i've seen for a sci-fi show in a long time the only bad thing about it is that know BSG is over. Thanks for an awesome ridde over the years. since the first mini serius came you i knew this show was going to be kick ass and it has not disappointed me so when this final episode came i had already got my soda and snak ready + skittlers for some quality bad ass show which like i said before did not disapoint, I just wanna think Ron moore, the cast and everyone that ever worked on BSG for a fantastick work over the years and i'm just said that this is the last time we see BSG ( maybe not one can hope) .
When part 2 was mostly about end of the story, the end of the fight, then this, part 3, was the culmination and end for chars. It felt like very, very long and painful goodbye and at least I found myself crying quite much.
It had everything - it had beautiful scenery, it had great story, many char moments, tears, philosophy, hope, some answers but not all. The only thing I was not sure about was the idea of the ending.. finding the our Earth, trying to break the cycle and leave everything. I get it was important for story, to wrap it up but somehow.. it felt weird. But that's just one thing.. other than that.. and even with that, it was amazing.
Loved the way Kara just disappeared, the final journey to the sun, Roslin and Adama..
It has been one amazing serie.. and that was stunning ending for it.
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.
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!
Amazing battle scenes in part 2 led to the calming and inevitable wrapping up of the major characters.
I think it was suitable, dignified and just to a series that has been challenging and sometimes akward, brutal and mind-boggling.
Let them be and stop your harsh criticism, you are only showing your personal inadequacies to the world by demanding more than necessary. Not all your needs or insecurities can be fulfilled(those that have complained) by science-action-drama, you may take solace from the fact that BSG has happened and is over. If so, shout your stupid mouths off about something else. I suggest Dollhouse should be your next target, Gods have mercy on them.
Grown men shouldn't make other grown men weep. And boy did I blubber.
There aren't many words in existence to describe my feelings at the moment, so I will try to sum it up fast.
That this is the best sci-fi show ever made has never been in question after the first episode. But I put to you that this is one of the very best dramas ever played. Period. 0Such a mature and nuanced finale is truly fitting tribute to this behemoth. I know that I will be mulling over the subtleties for a long time to come.
The truce was a truly wondrous religio-political masterpiece. And how base human reactions tore it up again underlined how fragile peace really is. And I say this on behalf of all fans: good to see Tori finally get what was long overdue.
My heart crushed with every shuddering groan as Galactica broke her back. Yet she held firm as those in her held on for their dear lives. And Anders' final act was a beautiful touch.
But let's stop faffing around. The dagger that was driven into my broken heart and turned was the scene with Adama, Roslin and the ring. Grown men should not be made to weep thus.
The very last scene did send shivers down my spine, and asked some rather pertinent questions. It really is time to find our souls once again. Technology can never be a substitute.
It does shatter me to finally say goodbye to such a dear friend, and this show has given me so much at a time when TV dared not treat us like adults who wanted substance before style (not that either was ever in doubt here). It had to end one day, and I am mighty pleased to see it given the send off it deserved.
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.
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!!!!!!!!!
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.
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