We’ve had lots of debate about the big stuff coming in the ending, such as whether they come to a new planet, and whether it’s real Earth in the future or in the past. While I’ve written plenty on that, and will write more later, today let’s consider the endings that must come for the characters. They don’t have a lot of time to do it all in.
The general ending was painted out by the first Hybrid like this:
At last, they’ve come for me. I feel their lives, their destinies spilling out before me. The denial of the one true path, played out on a world not their own, will end soon enough. Soon there will be four, glorious in awakening, struggling with the knowledge of their true selves. The pain of revelation bringing new clarity and in the midst of confusion, he will find her. Enemies brought together by impossible longing. Enemies now joined as one. The way forward at once unthinkable, yet inevitable. And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering. I can see them all. The seven, now six, self-described machines who believe themselves without sin. But in time, it is sin that will consume them. They will know enmity, bitterness, the wrenching agony of the one splintering into many. And then, they will join at the promised land, gathered on the wings of an angel. Not an end, but a beginning.
The one I’m most concerned for is Baltar. Baltar was the star of the show in the first two seasons, certainly if combined with head six. But he’s really faded in season 4. There have been episodes where he has not even appeared, and where he has, it’s been as this insincere cult leader half unsure if his religious conversion is fake.
Baltar begins terrified of the others finding out he let Six into the network. But you can’t really blame him for that, who would suspect that she was a Cylon? His real sins come in the coverup and the way he lets head six manipulate him. As he falls down, it always seemed that at some point he would get a chance at redemption. Sure, Roslin forgave him for the thing that wasn’t truly his fault. So now, in the ending, he should find real redemption or alternately death. Death would not be that satisfying at this point. The guns he collected 2 weeks ago make it look like a violent confrontation is coming. But I still want a proper ending for Baltar, because of the older Season 1-2 Baltar.
She’s been dying for 2 seasons. No shortage of coverage for her fate. Instead it will be part of one of the remaining big reveals “the truth of the opera house.”
Sam and Galactica
I now think Sam’s fate is tied not to Kara or the Five, but to Galactica. Hera projected a scene of her playing with models in the CIC, crashing Galactica into a few base ships. But who will be at the helm? I suspect Sam, not Adama. Adama has said goodbye to the ship, is ready to give it a sendoff, using it as a weapon. All this Cylon organic goop plot has to end somewhere, and this is where, I suspect.
Bill’s the most admirable human on the show (in spite of his mutinies, insurrections and more) and while he might well survive, I think his story is pretty much already over when he leaves Galactica. Somebody else will lead the fleet by the end of the show, even if Bill’s still alive.
Frankly, I don’t care much about Lee now. He’s never made sense in this political role. Even before, he just wasn’t a character I cared about the fate of. Too pompous in his way.
So her finale is another of the big finales — the revelation of her destiny. The sides all come together joined on the wings of an angel. She’s the new leader, perhaps. But how does her personal story end? Her husband dies, if I am right. I am not thrilled if that means she ends up with Lee. I hope to see more to her story than just the story of her destiny. “I’ve had it up to here with destiny,” as Bill says. Making your own destiny is more interesting.
Head Six is, in a way, one of the most interesting characters. Sexy, smart, manipulative, and extremely mysterious. You had me at those xylophone notes. Is she just a mouthpiece for the one true god, or does she have her own mind? Or will she be the personification of the one true god, if the OTG actually enters the story as a speaking character?
She’s become a plot device of late, her baby created and killed at writer’s whims. She is in the Opera House, so she plays a role, but about her, I don’t care a lot.
Boomer & Athena
Boomer also used to be interesting. She’s also been a plot device, until she cried giving over Hera. So expect both redemption and death for her. As for Athena, I never saw her as more than a different way to get Grace Park on screen. Her journey took place in Season 1-2 and has been uninteresting for some time. As mother of Hera, expect a plot finale for her, if not a personal one.
I think Saul is everybody’s favourite character now. He’s the real marriage of human and Cylon. If he gets his memory back, I hope he stays the same, with memories of his Cylon days but fully devoted to humanity, much more so than Athena. But Saul also said that the five are responsible for the genocide, and have to pay. That doesn’t bode well. Though I think it bodes less well for…
Aside from Sam, I suspect Ellen might be the other of the five to pay the price for how their efforts turned out. She hungers for redemption that will only come in the pain of terrible suffering, we’re told. But something else in me wonders if it isn’t death she’s due for. A lot of her millions of children will die in the battle that’s coming.
I expected Galen to be a leader of the reconciliation that’s coming between all Cylons and the humans. Yes, the Simons and Dorals at least will join with the Rebels, or so the first Hybrid predicted. Don’t know about the Cavils. While his strange willingness to leave the fleet still bothers me, he’s the member of the F5 that you can identify with. Boomer may betray Cavil for him before she dies.
Another character who I’ve ceased to care a lot about. His role will be father of Hera.
I don’t care. Probably death.
Has Leoben just left the radar screen after deciding he was wrong about Starbuck? Cavil appears headed for death, but if they can pull a redemption for him it would be impressive. They now have no character more in need of it.
I have to say I don’t think the fourth season, as much as people say it’s been about character, has done well by the characters. I care about many of them much less than I did before. The new Baltar, the new Lee, bleh. The 5 who were revealed as Cylons became less interesting as characters when we learned their memories were all faked. Only Sam became more interesting because he has his real memories and has become a pathetic figure with his shooting.
But who knows, in 3 hours we might see some more to impress us. We have to get all these character stories, and resolve the big questions of the OTG, Starbuck, Galactica, Hera & the Opera House, the head characters and the fate of humanity at the promised land (possibly including real Earth.)
- That jovian planet that Boomer passed mid-way looked a lot like Jupiter to many people, and in fact Orion is in the background (but it’s been everywhere.) For the true geek, however, the gas giant is bigger than Orion, filling 30 degrees of sky. Jupiter’s only that big when much closer to it than any of its spherical, cratered moons. I think the graphics dept. just wanted to paint a pretty picture.
- In addition, the fleet also had Earth stars behind it, which means that several jumps later (Hera is undrugged and uncrated) they should not be present. And it’s 12 more jumps to the Colony from there. In reality, an interstellar course would have zero probability of getting close to a star system, let alone a planet. Space is really, really, really empty.
- For some reason the Colony which is a movable ship, is on a frozen sea under a purple sky on some planet. Not sure why. There are two other Cylon base ship type structures behind the mountains too. This may be the Cylon homeworld.
From the Battlestar Galactica Analysis Blog