The good, the bad, the horrible

Readers of this blog won’t have to guess my disappointment with the 2nd half of the finale. And yes, I will tear apart how silly, and pointless the way Moore wanted to end it was.

But first, there were some good parts. The space battle fans were looking for. They last Betrayal by boomer and her flashback. And for one moment, I was impressed that they were able to completely surprise me by making it look like they would have a negotiated settlement with Cavil. That would have been bold TV, for it is actually how many wars end. But Tory’s secret made it not to happen, and Tyrol’s emotions once more muck everything up. They didn’t show it, but this could have been made more complex if he could have restored some memories of his happy life with Tory when they were shacked up and engaged, overwhelmed by the murder. But he is forgiven again.

I felt the Colony should have been, as Simon said, vastly superior militarily. They did much better against it than you would think, and the few nukes in that raptor should not have been able to do that much damage. However, fortunately the singularity, in spite of all our speculations, played no part in the result. Cavil’s suicide was surprising but quickly cast aside in the story. His other copies may or may not have died if the colony was truly destroyed. Since it had many base ships which could jump away, one should presume many of them survived.

The song did turn out to be coordinates for real Earth, as many expected. And of course, this is where the show hurt itself, undid so much of the good it had done to this point.

Now, of course, readers will know I am particularly bothered by it being set in the past. Moore said long ago he knew man evolved on Earth, and he kept that — sort of. But first I’ll start with the criticisms that have nothing to do with when they set the story, for literally up to the last 2 minutes they could have fixed the story so easily by zooming to a broken Statue of Liberty on the beach. And that is the great shame, for there was so little story need to ruin everything. It’s often been written by fans that they don’t care about the science, that the writers will have a story to tell, and if the science has to bend to tell a good story, they can. But they could have told 99% of the story they wanted without screwing up the science very much. The great shame is they took what could have been greatness and dashed it on the rocks for one little hook.

Leaving out the science…

I simply could never find it credible that they would fly their fleet into the sun. (Nor, for that matter, did it make sense that Sam should die to do so, because he was certainly not a lost cause at that point, and in fact one imagines the remaining 4 might have knowledge together to help him. Or the 5 if Galen had not been so rash.) A computer could easily have flown the fleet into the sun. (Though I did smile at the re-use of the original music at this point. I didn’t like a lot from the old show but I did like that theme.)

Yes, they wanted a new start, a clean slate. But throw their hospitals into the sun? Most of their planes? It boggled my mind. Those who had any health problems would not be so ready to destroy their technology. Yes, the virgin Earth is full of game and fruit, and life there could be idyllic — with medicine — but this was brushed over completely. There should have at least been factions opposed. And those factions would have won, of course, because they would soon have been militarily dominant.

Laura did see the promised land. That doesn’t bother me, the cycle was broken, at least for a while.

Minor issue — Adama says they came a million light years. There is no other galaxy a million light years from Earth. . We will presume he’s just using it as a big number, though. (In fact, on further reflection, this must be the case as they are able to jump Raptors back to collect the fleet. So they are actually quite close to the other scenes of the show.)

I was surprised to see that Baltar knew that Six had nefarious “Employers.” This makes him way more evil than he ever ways shown to be at the start. I had always presumed he was duped, just letting a hot, bright assistant get more access than she should, not assisting a known spy in exchange for sex. This somehow hurt his redemption in my eyes.

And Kara’s resolution just didn’t work for me. Fine, she’s been an angel ever since she crossed into the maelstrom. That whole plot seems to provide so little now. She had physical form, her DNA could be tested, but “poof” she disappears when she feels her task is done.

And why all the fakeouts about sadness and death? Laura dies, as everybody expected for 3 years. Sam dies, to no real purpose. Boomer dies, because Athena is vindictive and forgets she has valuable intel. Starbuck doesn’t die, not really. Tory dies — who cares? And yes, Galactica dies, but because they drive her into the Sun.

The horrible, horrible science

Now some will say, all of this can be accepted because it’s the sudden will of God. That there would be humans, DNA compatible humans from another galaxy is so impossible it could only happen by divine intervention. Which I find highly unsatisfactory in a show of this type. Once you start solving your problems with sudden divine intervention, literally God in the Machine in this case, you make your story much less meaningful. Everything is as it is not because of the characters and their strengths and their story, but because God set it up.

God also had to do something rather un-godlike. If the colonials are the same species as our ancestors, then the diseases of Earth would have wiped out the colonials pretty quickly, and the diseases of the colonials would have done serious horror to the Africans too. The colonials came with dogs, cats and other animals, and God must have made them be exactly the same as the dogs and cats of Earth, who of course have been here for many millions of years. And their diseases too. God has to do a lot to make this story work. And God can indeed do anything. But I’ve already read that book, and didn’t much care for it.

Strangely, though it is 150,000 years ago, Adama plans to spread people all over the place. This actually makes little sense, and doesn’t match the pattern of human migration. Humans spread out from Africa in several waves, but only the last one (about 80,000 years ago) stuck. The expeditions Adama sent died off, leaving nothing. No faction decided to build cities or technology. In fact, all the people pretty quickly collapsed to primitive states, without technology and without writing, which didn’t come to us until quite recently.

It would have made more sense if they had timed this to the “Great leap forward” when human culture suddenly accelerated, which was 50,000 years ago. Once you accept God doing all this magic stuff to make this plot work, at least that could have had some consistency with history. But instead, the colonials quickly came to the life of our ancestors, nasty, brutish and short, with a lifespan of 30. No happy ending there.

New York

All of this plot could have been saved if in a final pan, they had come to a modern ruined artifact, changing the date — and of course removing that final scene of the Angels in New York. Of course a Statue of Liberty would have been very cute, but anything would have done.

Suddenly all of it can make sense. No need for god to be creating DNA miracles — of course they are the same species. They are just the remnants of humanity on a war-destroyed planet, reduced to primitive life. Perhaps even by choice, just like the colonials. Write that story and you could have told this very same episode without bogus science. You just could not have put the Angels in New York to make a few snide comments and melodramatic warnings about the dangers of robots.

Was that short scene worth it? Not at all. Because the truth is, a logically consistent, realistic ending would have done far more for the show’s message. Made it far more respected and remembered. By doing it well, the whole show’s overall message about the dangers of robotics would have been far stronger, far more lasting. It would have been saying, “We just told you a story of how misuse of AI did bring this world to ruin” rather than “This story of danger comes from a distant and fantastical past which makes no sense, and is not really our past.”

What a great waste. While I do crave more realism and less mumbo-jumbo, even those who don’t have that taste can realize that the fault here is not simply a lack of attention to science. It’s a lack of attention to meaning. What could have been one of the greatest SF shows of all time, with a lasting message, cuts off its own legs in the last 3 minutes for highly unimportant reasons. I suspect that for years to come, people will say BSG was “Great, except for the stupid ending.”

And if Starbuck was going to be an angel who can just vanish, could they not have let her have a scene in New York with Baltar and Six? Yes, the Ron Moore cameo was cute. The mitochondrial Eve story, which is where they got the 150,000 years from, is widely misunderstood. This woman is not “Eve” like in the Bible, she is just the most recent of a million common ancestors we all have. They mucked it up just for that?

Loose ends

  • Baltar’s women and their weapons
  • The reason for Starbuck’s long strange fate and journey, if she’s really a non-corporeal being of sorts.
  • Just who is this God and why does he work in these strange and mysterious ways? Why does he not like being called God by his minions? Who are they anyway, and where did they come from? Is this just some strange new theology thrown in at end without explanation, to roughly parallel our notions of angels?
  • Why did the 12 tribes take their flags from the sky of the 13th colony?
  • Why did D’Anna say “You were right” to Baltar?
  • What was the Ionian nebula about? Why the strange power shutdown? Why did Roslin faint? How were the Cylons waiting?
  • Who wrote All along the Watchtower? (Looks like it’s God.)

Broken promises

No time travel? That opera house scene was indeed a vision of the future, very concrete. It goes beyond simply being made to happen by the beings who planted it, or so it seems. Ditto some other prophecies like that of the First Hybrid.

It's all a farce

I agree the final ep of BSG was weak. First, BSG characters are motivated by selfish goals (sex, power, revenge, etc.)I find it hard to believe that they would purposely lower their standard of living, and not try to recreate it once on "new-earth." Abandon all technology, quit exploring and just go native depending solely on farming for survival. Moreover, the survivors fail to create any indications of their passing and history so that their offspring would not fall into the same trap as they and recreate the conditions of their exodus. Further, the progenitors didn't pass along any mathematics, medicine anything of value for future generations, how selfish. How can one learn a lesson if one doesn't know the story to learn the lesson? All the while the ethical values of the 12 colonies were lacking. How did they change that part of the cycle? Wasn't the failure to learn ethical values ultimately the downfall of their society? Creating a slave race of conscious machines without values and ethics, and how that would reasonably lead to the diminished ability of that machine race to have sympathy or respect for the creator and indeed for all life itself. Asimov thought up the three laws of robotics to protect humanity from its robotic creations, why didn't the colonies find the same solution? People having sex with one another willy-nilly without regard to the possible outcomes strikes me as short-sighted, at best. Ethically challenged characters, acting irrationally, only acting in their marginal best interests. This is not a recipe for an "advanced" civilization hoping to escape the mistakes of its past, only a retrenchment to repeat the same mistakes for its progeny. BSG was a failure in form and function B5 was a more coherent storyline/arc.

I agree, this wasn't

I agree, this wasn't producing something better but taking the best bits and regressing to infantile handwaving. Perhaps, it was a Freudian slip on the part of the writers? I just don't see how the back to nature thing would work. People would still be people and a whole slew of them would die like flies, or within a very short space of time people would be making life's comforts, creating universities to pass on the knowledge, and be back to where they started.

One of the BSG comics has a poorly drafted story that weakly tells how the orginal Cylon's subverted their don't harm humans programming. It's almost a complete rip from the Terminator stories that flesh out how Skynet subverted its protocols. While humans have strong taboos these get overriden in extreme situations or by people with personalities at the extremes of the bellcurve. Law, like any other protocol may be a good idea but...

The other alternative people often forget is the AI presented in the Alien movies. We all know about the first one who went rogue but he was reprogrammed. The later depictions of AI were clearly more moral beings and in the last movie almost saintlike. It's possible that genetics may accidently or deliberately modify human DNA but like cell growth where do we cross that line between us and them, or life and death? Does it matter?

the end

I'm with you B5 had a far more coherent arc than BSG ever did. It still remains the best SF show, better than this pretender to the throne. B5 had myths and legends and religious input but it kept it in perspective and made it far more open to looking at it from different perspectives.

Without a direct authoritarian influence on the survivors there was nothing to stop their idealised notions returning to technology and ill and good ways to use it. The ending was childishly simplistic and laughable. The show has fallen on its face.

Not farming

It’s hard to see that they could start farming, unless they brought large seed stocks for crops with them before they destroyed the ships. (A risky thing bringing introduced alien species in any event.)

There are no crops for them on Earth back then, not as we know them. The primitive ancestors of our crops are out there, but there is thousands of years of selective breeding needed to make crops similar to what we see today, as well as domesticated animals to work the farms. Wild fruits and roots are the best bet. It’s a hunter/gatherer life for many generations.

So the show has been filled

So the show has been filled with spiritual and likely supernatural events since the first season, and even going into the last episode, you expected them to yank the rug out and say: "No, there's a rational explanation to all this."? You're dreaming. It's not a sudden revelation- from a TV Guide.com interview with Ron Moore:

TVGuide.com: Hera is a fascinating character because of her power. She saved Roslin for a while by giving her blood, but was the connection between the two more than blood- deep?
Moore: Yep, it was definitely a spiritual connection. And, the spiritual component of the show was just there from the beginning. It was always a part of the show. There's a certainly a section of science fiction fandom that has always had a problem with that. They resolutely didn't want supernatural, mystical or divine presence in the show whatsoever, and were sort of put off by that, or at least had trouble accepting that. But I just thought that was part and parcel of what we did. It was our take on this part of this particular universe, and to me, it was as important in the end as it was in the beginning. It would have been strange to make it all scientifically rational at the end and that it had no other purpose or meaning, because that was sort of the premise from which we began."

You wanted the show to be something it's not, ignoring the evidence onscreen. WHEN has Hollywood ever been kind to skeptics? Most of the time in movies the general message is to open your minds to what you can't prove. In a movie, someone who claims to be abducted by aliens is always shown to be right and the skeptic who doubts this story is a buffoon who won't see what's right in front of him despite the overwhelming evidence we don't get in real life.

I predicted this. I even went so far as to say that we're the descendants of the RTF, but at one point, I said "Maybe it's parallel evolution," thinking that was a good compromise. But I've been saying they'd colonize the real Earth in the distant past since the mid-season opener, though I would throw out a bone once in awhile detailing: "If it's in the future, here's how they did it."

Even early on in the show, I realized "This is a time and place in human history where God involves Himself in human affairs in a way He did in the time period of the Bible, if you believe that (which I don't)." And there wasn't anything as overt as a burning bush or a parting sea, or even the sun being out for a whole day.

Really, your perception of the show is more about what you wanted it to be than what the evidence points it to- look at me. I wanted it to be set in the future like you and for there to be nothing more overt than prophetic visions in terms of hinting at a higher power. But I figured out very quickly that this was unlikely to be correct, and I had it largely figured out by the end of "Sometimes a Great Notion."

Entertainment is not kind to atheists and skeptics, painting us as irrational ignorants with an ax to bear and little imagination. No, my wife didn't die Mr. Shyamalan. That's not what made me lose my faith- after all, people lose loved ones all the time, so I'm not going to walk off and say "It happened to me, there clearly is no God." I just think all the stories in the Bible are ridiculous and often immoral. No, Chris Carter, I do have a big imagination and an open mind, I just can't help but notice that most "alien abductees" are rednecks and that I myself have experienced sleep paralysis and can't help but notice how similar it is to abduction stories. What the heck were you thinking watching this show up to this point and expecting it to be the exception?

That said, it's fiction, so I don't mind if they depict God as real. They didn't have any message saying I'm ignorant(and by extension, other atheists in the audience)for not believing.

All your talk about how the show could have been so great and had so much meaning had they set it in the future- you're letting your desires bleed over into your perception of the show so much that removing a scene and inserting a known monument somewhere via CGI would save it for you? That's absurd. there WAS a message about man vs. AI, the ending being clear- "Man's future is up to him."

One question- you've been so steadfastly against the show being set in the past to the point where you refused to consider it. At what point in the finale did you start to worry? Did you really think they were going to show something that revealed the show being set in the future until the very moment the khyron came on screen saying "150,000 years later?" How did you feel? What was your thought process throughout the entire finale- did you start to worry when you saw the primitives Did you say anything aloud?

But in the end, you can post all the science facts you want. RDM is likely very aware of them, and like I said from the beginning, the choices he made in the show have very little to do with science- story and character comes first. In fact, I think the only reason they had the primitives on Earth was to appease people like me. If they didn't think it was necessary, they'd have the entire fleet become the human population on Earth, fossil record be damned.

I was very pleased with the ending, myself. When you have a character flat out say "The Head People are messengers of God and are very real. Starbuck was brought back from the dead by God to lead the people to their new home and she has returned to Heaven because her job is done" would sound silly, no matter how you phrase it. They explained both of those mysteries enough for me in "Islanded."

RDM made mistakes and as the

RDM made mistakes and as the show came off the rails some people have clung more and more tightly to rationalising that. Heck, Ron's even admitted making those mistakes and some people just don't want to hear it. This wasn't the show Ron planned at the beginning and the Deus Ex Machina at the end is just him blowing a kiss while he scoots out of the door with the pay cheque. Seriously, I'd lay money on Ron knowing this. Heck, he might even admit in private that Brad is 100% right but it would be career over if that leaked. I know from being around and seeing enough of this stuff to know that's true but people who aren't professionals or working in the industry don't get it. They'll sell you pink candyfloos and if that doesn't work they'll sell your blue candyfloss but your'e still buying candyfloss. Anyway, people never listen. They always have to find out the hard way.

Because the show was billed

Because the show was billed as science-fiction I, for one, did think there would be something other than a supernatural explanation for all that happened. Yes, I feel foolish now for ignoring what was made blatantly obvious over & over - the entire universe is being manipulated by a higher power that is playing a cosmic joke on pathetic humans so they can endure a continuous cycle of misery from which there is little or no chance of escape. I'll say this for RDM, he wanted to make a "dark" show and, in that, he was successful.

Wanting and hoping

Yes, I did hope for that, though you are right, over the last several weeks my hopes had been fading. I was not shocked by a religious ending, just got dashed hopes. I did let those hopes get the best of me. That was for a couple of reasons. First of all, when I started thinking of what the backstory for the show might be, the things I considered turned out to do well predictively. In particular, when I said, “Ok, if this is SF, then Earth is in the past, and the Final Five must come from there, and there must have been other repeats of the cycle including back on Earth.” And with this theory I successfully predicted many important things in the show that other fans were not seeing at all. When a theory works like that, it becomes more attractive.

Of course as you know the Final Five were from “Earth” but not Earth. (Though as the Baltar-demon points out, the other one is real Earth, this is Earth 2 we live on.)

Secondly, while considering the possibility of a supernatural god, many things pointed other ways. This god was way more interventionist than we take gods to be these days, very capricious as well. And their legends said that they lived on Kobol with the gods, that these were real beings, and that there was not just one. The Cylons of course believed in there being just one true god, but this wasn’t confirmed until the end. (Some wonder if it really was confirmed.)

Once you have a pantheon of competing gods, it does indeed become tempting to believe that they are not supernatural, at least in western culture. So I hoped for the best and did not get it.

Then there’s a matter of taste. I want SF not “Touched (improperly) by an angel.”

I found your backstory more

I found your backstory more compelling and credible than what we got. Plus, I'm with you on the gods and not being improperly touched thing. I've got a plot outline for a later (maybe never) project on file that does SF and gods. I haven't thought it through but don't see how both science and religion can't both be respectably treated. Arguably, science and religion are the same thing just with different labels, tilts, and ignorances. Mostly, I just have an issue with ill-thought through crap. Writing and drama skills are great if you have them but some prepertion and skill can raise mass market drivel to a better and more fulfilling standard.

Mormonism

Well folks, go out and pick up a book on Mormonism. That is your show. I didn't expect them to wrap it up like that, I expected religion, just not Mormonism, given they were moving away from the original series, but I guess they decided that was an important tie in.

more anti-religious in my view.

I thought the scenes where head six and baltar talked to each other were very illuminating about who and what they were. Everyone has got very caught up trying to fit them into our religious mythos, and by that I mean christianity, whereas I thought that this showed that the beings were not angels or demons as some think of them and God is not a god as some think of it. They are beings on another level or plane of existence who's motives for their actions are not good or evil, they are not here to sheperd or guide lower beings for their benefit. They do what they do for their own reasons which could be completely incomprehensible to us or as simple as they find it entertaining. I often thought that head six seem very condescending and amused by everything happening around her and the same with head Baltar, very smug and superior. As Baltar said(I think) 'God' is not good or evil it is simply a force of nature. Good and Evil are concepts and attributes of mankind alone. It's why I find making up a complicated inconsistent fairytale and devoting your life to it and slaughtering anyone who disagrees so reprehensible.
As for the compatible human beings on a distant planet it may be as simple as this cycle repeating over and over again on many worlds, not just the ones we saw on the show, with large and small gaps to enable myths to be lost and preserved. There could be more than one cycle happening on more than one planet at more than one time, Perhaps the head beings are the only cycle to have successfully evolved past it and that's why they are so smug and superior all the time amd feel they have the right to amuse themselves toying with the fates of lower beings.
I'm not sure The Plan and Caprica will be all that illuminating or entertaining now that we know it was all the work of highly advanced beings. That will be in the back of my mind throughout the new shows when I watch them.
A little sad that it's ended, that it ended like that, and that it didn't carry on as well as it started.

I thought it was a great ending

Just a couple of points of what I think based on the threads.

What happened to Baltars women - Who cares? It was just a diversion. When they landed on Earth as part of the fleet, they probably kept their gun stash and became the Amazon Women of legend.

Leoben's fear of Kara - Before he saw the cockpit, he thought Kara was the predeath Kara. In that scene, he realized that she was some sort of angel, ghost or supernatural being. He beat the tar out of Kara, held her against her will, etc. If I was him and realized what Kara was, I'd run like hell to because I would think she would take revenge.

Hera's destiny was to be Mitochondrial Eve. Mother of the new human race and the link to keeping humanity, from the 12 Colony perspective of humanity, alive.

Here's something that I didn't quite understand. Kara goes into the Maelstrom and blows up. Her cockpit appears on Earth 1. Doesn't that mean that the Maelstrom somehow transported the cockpit to Earth 1? A wormhole? The raider she saw transported the Viper remains?

I do like the notion that the Head Baltar and Six gave Ron Moore the inspiration to reimage Battlestar Galactica.

In my opinion, the series is over and Caprica will be just some other show set on another planet. What is the real premise? Show how humanity enslaved the Cylons? The 40 year war? I think the same with Battlestar Galactica - The Plan. THese show seem line AfterMASH to me.

The Plan

I'm holding out a shred of hope, no matter how futile, that the Plan will give us more answers. Maybe RDM was chatting after the finale wrapped and thought 'shit, I've got more ideas that would be better than what we did in 'Daybreak!'

caprica and the plan

Don't think i'll be watching any more............

I agree with Brad. Could

I agree with Brad. Could have been better.

Also, Baltar lives because of STEVE when the nuclear blast goes off on Caprica? Must be so because Caprica certainly dies.

The way I see it is that Baltar is the chosen one by the bad "god" who controls the head characters. The other gods have Kara as their chosen one. These are the old Kobol gods who have ascended (ship of light style characters). The "one true god" is the one directly responsible for the cycle (Count Iblis style character). He wanted to be elevated above the other Kobol gods. G was a physical being on Kobol back then. He created the Kobol humanoid cylons and believes his race to be superior to the one created by the other Kobol gods. Then war started and the colonies went one way and the pure cylons went to Earth with resurrection tech. We know that the F5 saw head characters. I say that G (one true god) gave the Earth robots sentient abilities. When the colonies created cylons, again G gave them sentient abilities. And this time, we know that they believed in the one true god BEFORE the F5 arrived. This is why I make my claim that G gave the cylons sentient abilities.

If the cycle was to continue, what would happen is that cylons would go one way and humans would go another. But we didn't get to see that. What happened is that Kara is going to lead humanity to their new home (this is what changed). But the colonials would all die out on the promised land (price to be paid in blood) and a new race would evolve breaking the cycle forever. Wouldn't even be the same race anymore, but it would be the will of the old Kobol gods which is unacceptable. So G had to think of a plan to get around this. G wants the complete destruction of humanity (or any other race created by the old gods) because he is jealous that his own race killed themselves off on Earth. Enter Hera. Hera must be saved. This will give the humans and cylons a common goal and a reason to stay together. Mutiny episodes become much more important now because the cylons almost jumped away. Upon arriving to the promised land, cylons are there and so Earth will be made up of part humans, part cylon and part primitive humanoid. This ensures that the human and cylon qualities remain within the population so that this new civilisation will one day create robots. Took 150,000 years. Close call. Might have never happened at all (if Neanderthals had won for example). But their day is finally here. Humanity is about the create robots. The head characters start their plan anew to ensure the destruction of humanity.

Hera was a means to and end. She is NOT the future of the human and cylon races, but rather their end. She is the tool used to stain the new population's genes so that the cycle may one day continue.

If that's the REAL story, I'm happy. If not, then it's a colossal fail. I'll wait and see what RDM says.

The first thought that

The first thought that struck me after someone mentioned "God" and Count Ibilis was that BSG had a door opportunistically left hanging open for more series if they wanted to. I'm not sure they could do it on that Earth (Earth Mark III if you're counting) but someone would find a way if enough money was dangled. I hope not...

I'm finding that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has a way better plot and characterisation. Unlike BSG it got to its feet after the writers strike and is addressing questions about humanity and artifical life in a much more credible and consistent way. I'm enjoying and recommending it in a way that I gave up with BSG ages ago.

Makes more sense this way

Makes more sense this way but what is the point????

An Evil God

Yes, this idea has also been percolating in my head, though I didn’t want to answer it out of hope that we could come to understand this god’s motivations as a material super-smart-AI and not as a supernatural God. Viewed as a supernatural god, he’s not very benevolent at all, no wonder he doesn’t like that name.

But the two angels are debating “will it repeat?” Six says maybe not this time, that someday it has to break and this is also part of God’s plan. But there is no sign it was intended to break this time.

The colonials committed suicide

Erased from history. Everything that they were, everything that they built. Gone. Ended. All that remained was Helo's and Athena's genetic contribution. Really, is this anymore pleasing than if the entire fleet had been nuked by Cavil?

Nope. It's just prettier.

Really, is this anymore pleasing than if the entire fleet had been nuked by Cavil?

My thoughts exactly. Add to that the sheer brutality of early human existence 150,000 years ago -- to which our surviving characters would have rapidly descended -- and this strikes me a dark and even cruel ending that is supposed to make people feel "happy," so long as they don't actually think about it too much.

So you would have been happy

So you would have been happy with a restorative happy ending instead of the transformative ending we got?

Maybe a different kind of transformative

That is a fair question. The problem with this transformation-via-primitivism is that EVERYTHING was lost over 150,000 years -- most painfully, all the lessons they just learned. It was a complete do-over and a very risky one at that. I would have also seen as transformative a new civilization built on the best of the human and cylon cultures and technology, not to mention a newfound respect of sentient life from both sides. Hera would have been just as important as a symbol of the possibilities, and proof that humans and cylons CAN reproduce.

But unfortunately, with the producers locking themselves into a distant-past scenario, they couldn't possibly have done that. Too bad, I think it could have been beautiful.

A true connection to the Colonials is upended

I was thinking a little more after reading the various comments, and Ron Moore's interview, about what specifically it was that was emotionally unsatisfying about the non-scientific explanation of modern human origins in the finale.

It's not just the fact of it being scientifically incorrect. It's that I want to feel that the people on this program are connected to me in a way that is meaningful. For me, that would be accomplished in a much more powerful way if the BSG story was rooted in the experience of our ancestors, instead of creating an alternate story of origins that I know is not true. The alternate history undermines the authenticity of the FEELING of connection.

I would have been blown away to be left with a story that consistently informed us that what we are doing today could lead up to the events of BSG, and that our space-based descendants could actually come back to Earth and find our traces in their new lives. Instead, Moore inverted it - we are their descendants of an alternate universe fable that isn't true. And it just feels off.

If the BSG people were our descendants, it leaves open to the imagination that the story this could be more than just a fantasy, a dream.

Having said all this, the emotional voyage of the characters is familiar and powerful and meaningful. I don't criticize Moore on that, he's created something amazing. I just disagree with his alternate approach to human history that has us having non-Earth origins.

It's possible

It's possible that RDM knew that a majority of viewers saw this as taking place in Earth's future, so he chose to go the other way to surprise them. I dunno, i'd be inverted to read his memoirs regarding the show.

Re: It's possible

Alvin, that is certainly a possibility. RDM was constantly taking big risks on this show, he said that was part of the show. Having it take place in Earth's past is certainly different from classic sci-fi, like Blade Runner or Planet of the Apes, which follow the "future Earth" approach. The "feeling of authenticity" that I described in my earlier post just gets sacrificed by creating an alternate earth history - at least for me.

I meant

Woops, I meant 'interested' not 'inverted.' Oh the mind and the fingers don't always line up.

As for an alternate earth history, I don't see how he's creating one. He's trying to say that this was a part of our real history. Nothing really to refute it-- the only thing they brought were their clothes which would have decayed rather quickly if they were biodegradable.

Maybe alternate earth

Maybe alternate earth "history" is not the best way to put it. What I meant was RDM created an alternate story of human origins, by adding in the Hera, cylon, humans from Kobol DNA into the human genetic code.

I don't think so

I think that the majority of viewers were (correctly, it turns out) expecting the past, based on the queries I have done. Simply because that was the plot of the old show. This may have changed after Revelations, though. I think the future would have been the surprise.

In fact, SF with alternate explanations of history is a fairly common genre. “Alternate Adam an Eve” stories were quite common in the 40s and 50s, until pubic sensibility became more aware of evolution and less religious. That was almost a sub-genre, but it faded both because it had been done many times and people were more aware that it is not consistent with a world with fossils in the ground.

More recently it has been common to have “secret history” stories where something interesting (and high tech) happened in the past but it is explained why we never saw it. This is an attempt at that, in a way.

But...but you said...

Didn't you go on and on about how a BSG in the past story was utterly impossible? Didn't I try to explain how a writer could do it? You said no, they can't, it's impossible, nobody would accept it. That seems to me like you thought that nobody believed it was in the past.

My point was that, while you might not like or believe logically a past story, they could pull it off if they wanted to. Turns out I was right. Whoulda thunk? I didn't. I was just debating that it was possible.

By the way, there's a large segment of fans that enjoyed it thoroughly. This board, and probly aicn seem to be the most critical. Mass viewers, even online, seem to think it was a perfect ending.

What I wrote was

That indeed, it is not possible within the constraints of good SF and the parameters of this show. And it remains that way. The ending they wrote is not possible, and happens only through divine intervention, which I don’t consider appropriate in SF, not in this way. I never said that a writer could not write it (they can put anything to paper, and I have seen them put far worse) and nor did I say that some of the audience would not accept it (as the fact that people kept suggesting it made it clear that some would.)

In addition, I outlined a few major methods by which it could be put in the past, all silly or not fitting the parameters of the show.

  1. Alien abduction (which fits fine, but we had been promised there would not be aliens.)
  2. Ancient advanced civilization which colonizes Kobol then vanishes from Earth (fits the parameters but generaly silly)
  3. Giant conspiracy to plant a fake historical and fossil record on Earth
  4. It’s all a virtual reality or a dream

I can’t recall if I included “It’s just god’s will” as one of the answers. To me that is akin to answer #3. And it’s epic fail. And is being rejected by most, but not all, of the online reviews I am seeing. Where are the mass viewers who are finding it perfect? I’m tracking 3 other areas beyond this one, and not seeing that at all.

What remains impossible is that aliens are our ancestors, other than through miraculous intervention. I suppose I could have told you that I agree you can write anything if you add “And god made it so” at the end, but this is both obvious and I would have thought entirely uninteresting as a story. I was wrong about that, Moore was obviously interested in it.

Mythological stories of

Mythological stories of human origins we know to be unscientific - for example, Adam and Eve - can work at the allegorical level (for non-believers, or believers who don't take the stories literally). And alternate histories can work - for example, Philip K. Dick's "The Man in the High Castle", in which Japan and Germany win WWII and take over North America. And then there are good stories that have no connection with Earth, except that the characters are meant to reflect humanity as we know it (e.g. Star Wars). There's plenty of storytelling in the annals of world story-telling where being unscientific and changing history works, and we feel deeply connected to the humanity of those stories.

So why does the unscientific story of human origins, or the "secret history" story of BSG, disappoint some of us?

I think the problem is structural, in that the narrative at the end mixed up different genres - science fiction, fantasy, and religious mythology - in a schizophrenic way. What is BSG at the end? Is it sci-fi, is it fantasy, is it religious mythology? A story, could in principal, mix all three of those, but to be successful the story should resolve in a way that is satisfying on all the levels. As Brad points out, the science-fiction genre did not resolve satisfactorily.

To me, the human, artistic underpinning of BSG - why this show is meaningful - is that we humans, here on Earth, are connected to the characters - they are us indeed. BSG made the connection in the end - it just did it in a total fantasy way, not in a way true to science fiction, because it did a total punt on the science part. That's all.

Staying within bounds

Understand that there are bounds that leave expectations. When Star Wars begins, “a long time ago in a galaxy, far, far away” you are prepared to not think these characters are related to us, and thus you focus on their story and drama and relate it to yours as allegory.

When a movie begins, “New York, 2009” you say, “this is meant to relate directly to our lives.”

When a story is fantasy, you learn the rules of the fantasy world, and you understand the story within that context. If the rules suddenly change, you’re lost and don’t feel satisfied.

If a show starts as SF, particularly as more realistic SF than has been shown in a TV series, you expect that sort of meaning. When it talks about Earth, you expect it to mean Earth. You may not know where or when, but you expect it to somehow be connected.

If, when the connection is delivered, it makes no sense, it can ruin it. The story says, “See, this is relevant to your own story because these fictional characters are written to be your ancestors.” But then you step back and say, “but they aren’t, they can’t be.” So the problem is that not just the characters are fictional (which is fine) but the relevance to your life is fictional. I want fictional characters, but real connections to them.

When a made up god wraps the plot up in a bow, how can I see a connection to the issues that matter to us today?

A good story reveals itself to the writer - unless blocked!

The irony of the final episode is that the overall storyline of the series was so well conceived that it's rather simple to come up with a few plot lines that could have allowed the scientifically consistent and more satisfying ending that leaves us feeling connected in a real way to the characters.

I can't read Ronald Moore's mind, but I am speculating (why not?) that he became wedded, for whatever reason, to making the point that Hera is not just the mother of a future humanity, but the mother of present humanity. My view is that the insistence on maintaining this in the plot blocked what the story itself was calling for. By doing that, one ends up with inconsistencies in the story - like how did the Earth visible constellations get to the tomb of Athena - and the requirement of contrived divine intervention, to make the final point about Hera being our "mother". The structural bounds and consistency of the story that enable its aesthetic meaning are broken by having to make that point, which is not necessary from the story itself.

So in contrast to what Moore himself has said - that the ending was all about characters and not plot - I think it's possible he messed up the ending for what was basically a plot point: that Hera is the mother of present humanity. Maybe he didn't view it as a plot point; maybe he thought the message and meaning of his creation were all contained in that ending. But I don't agree with that. I point in the previous paragraph to the structural inconsistencies in the ending that derive from the story itself - aside from the bogus science - to indicate that that ending is not necessary.

If you read things that writers say about their creative process, it's not uncommon for them to say that,as the writing unfolds, their characters' true natures inform the author of where the story should go. This is often different from what the initial conception might have been. And a good writer will listen to what his or her characters are saying. Even Moore has spoken of this sort of process multiple times.

I think a story where Hera is the mother of a future humanity, where human and technology are integrated and reconciled in a spiritual-religious context, is pretty powerful, more powerful than Hera as the "mother" of us, in the present.

That decision was made a long time ago

RDM has said in interviews this week that they never seriously considered setting this in the future because they didn't think any such scenario could be compelling.

Taking a Dive

As oppose to wasting air time on drunken wall slides and blowing people off? I read what RDM is saying as HE couldn't think of anything so took a dive.

The good and the stupid

I'm not as upset about the bad science as Brad, but I agree its pretty frakking stupid for them to choose to scatter themselves across the planet without tech. I didn't mind the "let's not build a city" idea, but their implementation was stupid. Let's not build a city; we have enough land, let's spread out. Let's become an farming society; everyone's is tired of algae anyway. I wouldn’t mind an advanced but one-with-nature society on the planet. But they can't really relate to the ancient humans with no language and presumably no capacity for language. Why would they want to interbreed; it would just be sex with no capacity for real human relationships. At the very least they'd want to keep their medicine to help prolong their lives and keep women from dying in childbirth and people from dying from easily cure illnesses and diseases? I certainly don't believe that most of the fleet would agree to throwing all the tech away.

BSG has a history of stupid decisions though. Camp Oil Slick/Dogville - civilians on a military vessel. Allowing citizens of Dogville to roam a military ship with weapons. Allowing Cylons to roam the ship freely after the truce.

The opera house vision was pretty pointless. It didn't seem to affect the outcome at all. Caprica and Baltar grabbed the lost child and ran to the CIC which was possibly the most heavily defended location. That was a smart move. They didn't need a vision to tell them what to do. It was just a premonition. Why was this premonition so important that they kept having? Not a clue.

Kara disappearing. Dumb. So she was an angel made flesh until her mission was complete? Yeah, not buying it at all.

Never explained the Kara Thrace as the harbinger of death plot point. Loose thread unexplained.

Also no Kara/Lee relationship resolution. They didn't need to end up together, but a discussion or acknowledgement of it before she vanished would have been nice. Especially in light of the flashback which showed that they had some sort of romantic/sexual connection from the moment they met. Maybe Lee could have asked Kara to go exploring with him and she could have refused because she knew she was about to vanish.

This wasn't the episode for it, but what about the Tigh/Caprica Six relationship/love plot. The baby miscarried, and it is never acknowledged/resolved. I never believed that they loved each other, but the characters seemed to believe that for a while.

The good.

It was a surprisingly happy ending. I expected darker. I really expected a lot of the major characters to die attacking the colony. I thought even that Galactica might not survive, and it would have ended up being a suicide mission instead of a victory. In the end though, they won the war they have been fighting for the last 4 years.

Roslin made it to earth and died next to Adama.

Caprica and Baltar together again was weirdly nice. (Except it needed more a build up and a tying up of the Tigh/Caprica loose ends first.)

Tigh and Ellen. Despite their insanely frakked up relationship, they have always loved each other. Maybe with no alcohol they have a chance to get it right.

Boomer's flashback was awesome and explained the origin of her close relationship with Adama. "Tell the old man I owed him one."

On another note, Baltar did know that Six had employers when he gave her the codes. He assumed industrial espionage though. He knew what he did was illegal and violated security policy, but he certainly did not expect any kind of attack to result.

Minor quibble

I agree with most of your points but:

"it would just be sex with no capacity for real human relationships. "

Just because they have no language does not mean they have no emotions. It's been shown that many lower life forms, and some higher ones, engage in emotional relationships for purposes other than reproduction. Not to mention that they would probably have children that could be taught language, and many of the adult primitives could probably pick up their language as well. I could see a pretty normal speaking society emerging within two or three generations

Agree with Ray above - the ending is quite tragic

The moment this story waltzed in on real human history, it opens itself up to all kinds of badness that otherwise would never have been dragged up. Just leaving out all the outright plot holes, these are all the "bad" ending points I can think of:

  • The well-commented degeneration of Colonial society, likely leaving them with caveman life expectancies and intelligence after a few generations (as attested by a lack of historical and archaeological documentation)

  • Annihilation of non-African colonies as attested by lack of archaeological documentation
  • Starbuck's greatest fear (being forgotten) was of course realized, just like the rest of Colonial civilization was forgotten - Hera's remains don't count as "discovering" them!
  • The death of Anders for no particularly great reason
  • The implicit death without issue of all the other Cylon rebels besides Athena - insofar as they also landed with the humans but we don't really see them being mentioned otherwise (right?)
  • Given the confusion over MRCA vs archaeological remains on the show, they might also be implying that all the other colonial family trees also die out, since Hera's importance is stressed so much
  • The ultimate realization that Baltar held ridiculously more complicity in the whole defense mainframe mess than had been let on, insofar as he willingly gave access to Six - no duplicity on her part needed
  • Last, and most important of all: The assertion of a capricious and ultimately amoral god(s) (not "good or evil" in Baltar's words) interfering in humanity to serve its own purposes, which may only peripherally have to do with humanity's interests

And for all that, the survivors get... happiness? Peace? A chance at a new and better life? At least until they run out of meds and doctors and fuel. Then they're, in any rational sense, f*cked.

Folks, I would almost go so far as to say that, far from the ending being some kind of joke or poorly thought out conclusion, it really has two contradictory layers of meaning. It's fundamentally a tragic ending, but just wrapped in a pretty bow to make it seem like a happy ending for the plebs and the network execs. The happy ending is extremely confusing for those of us who see all the plot holes, but if you reread the ending as a tragedy it kind of makes sense.

In the context of the ending being some kind of twisted deus-ex-machina - and in the context that the original dei-ex-machinae in Greek plays were used in the tragedies - this interpretation is strangely compelling to me.

That was a good read. It

That was a good read. It made more sense and was more enjoyable than BSG. To be honest, it's ridiculous that you should have to write that to make up for the roadcrash professional writers made out of the final series and, especially, the final episode. (Assuming it is the final series and we don't get a Final Final Series. Fool me once, etcetera.)

Rich and Ray Have It Right

So many of us, I think, enjoy SF because it often speaks to a fascinating future or alternative world made possible by technology and scientific understanding far beyond ours. To see a society that could create artificial intelligence and faster than light travel abandon it all for barbarism, not even taking the basic tools (as far as I could see) to build homes and to farm, but pretty much just the clothes on their back and a few supplies, was shocking. I would have even been more satisfied if in New York, 2009, they had shown a startling archeological discovery of advanced tools and other items from 150,000 years before.

I have read one long post-finale interview of Moore on The Watcher (Chicago Tribune) and he pretty much admits they focused on the characters and played it by ear (no pun intended) on the details, scientific, historical and otherwise. However, even focusing on the characters, to know that these Colonials will fall victim to disease, natives, and the elements, is profoundly disappointing and sad. I cannot think of a less hopeful ending. I am thinking that all those who died on Caprica or were left to contend with Cylons and radiation poisioning didn't fare so badly. And what happened to those raptors and all the equipment that was necessarily left on Earth? God, so much illogic, so many loose ends.

Anyway, perhaps the writers thought that it made sense that the logical reaction to the techonology that created the Cylons was to retreat to a simpler life. However, that simpler life would have left behind ruins and tools that our archeologists have dug up today, after all, we find skeletons millions of years old. If they found Hera's skeleton, wouldn't they have found other items?

I know there are many who loved this story. The ending had superb special effects and a production quality equal to most high budget sci-fi movies. However, if this was the best they could do, I would rather they had left them just arriving at Earth and wait for a sequel. I invested some time in these characters, and I am unhappy with how things turned out. Many deserved an unhappy fate, but certainly Adama and the many loyal people in his crew deserved better.

Promises kept

Hey, RDM delivered on the dark ending he promised us. Nothing wrong with that, in and of itself.

We assume a lot about how

We assume a lot about how horrible life would be without all the technology around us, but I am not convinced this would actually be the case. I think one could make an argument that technology hasn't actually made us any happier, in fact in might have many negative effects on our lives.

Ludite Lifestyle

I think you're right. The biggest difference really would be medicine. The impression that life would be horrible without technology likely stems from the idea that without it, we're cavemen. But cavemen lacked our intelligence, knowledge and most of all, civility. We wouldn't revert to savages without technology.

Even medicine. We think it

Even medicine. We think it is great to live as long as we do, but we also suffer horribly for it. Do you think the average person, if told ahead of time, they would live a life of hard manual labor, just to scrape by and their children will, statistically speaking, not be able to advance past that station in life, would they chose our long lived life? I highly doubt it. Truth is, most of our planet is that person.

I bet it would be

@Alvin: I bet it would be great until you got a tooth infection from a cavity and died of blood poisoning. I think we should always be evaluating how we use technology and it's effects on us as individuals and as a society, but there's some pretty basic medicine that the Colonials gave up. How long do you think Helo is going to live with an open wound in his leg and no antibiotics?

I have seen so many comments

I have seen so many comments regarding how terrible a hunter-gatherer lifestyle would be, and how stupid and alien the human natives would be compared to the colonials. I don't think the ending as written was the best choice, but on those points, I cannot criticize it.

1) I could go into the whole hunter-gatherer thing but it'd be much faster for anyone interested to just read this article by Jared Diamond. Suffice it to say, life as a hunter-gatherer might not be as nasty, brutish, and short as we sometimes suppose.

2) Even Homo erectus living 2 million years ago show evidence of taking care of their wounded compatriots. Some creative artifacts (the Venus of Tan-Tan, simple designs carved into bones from Shoningen (IIRC) in Germany, pieces of ochre used apparently for decorating bodies and/or other things, etc) point to certain "advanced" behaviors starting to develop long before modern humans came onto the scene.

As it happens, by 150,000 years ago, modern humans were on the scene. Those people the Galactica survivors saw were not proto-humans, they were members of our species, anatomically modern Homo sapiens. In reality I suspect that by the time depicted in the show, our ancestors had some form of language. But even if we assume they didn't have what we call language, they certainly had some form of vocal and physical communication - all primates, to say nothing of other animals, use those communicative methods. Even vervet monkeys use their own "words," and primates more closely related to us, namely the great apes (orangutans, gorillas, chimps, and bonobos) can learn rudimentary sign language and symbol-use. Our ancestors diverged evolutionarily from gorillas probably 8 million years ago, chimps and bonobos around 2 million. If they can begin to learn to communicate with us, I guarantee that (postulated somehow language-less) anatomically modern Homo sapiens living 150,000 years ago could pick up at least some basic form of communication with the colonials.

I think we as people living in contemporary technological society sometimes overestimate the primitive-ness of our forebears, or underestimate the ways our own primitive instincts shape the way we behave even today. Like I said, I do not think the ending of BSG was the best choice, and getting rid of their medicines was likely a bad decision. But while the life they chose would be vastly different from anything they had experienced, it wouldn't necessarily be living in squalor.

Just to note, I would have preferred an ending that had Galactica arriving at Earth like it did, everything playing out pretty much as it did, except at the end we get a hint (some ancient landmark or something) that says that the Earth they landed on is ours, but many millennia after some industrial collapse (i.e. in our far future). It'd keep the meaning they tried to convey, and would be much easier to reconcile with they own fictive history and our own real history as well.

I want some time refunded

I feel like most others. The loose ends should have been wrapped up. I have been waiting for months now to find out why Kara exploded, then reappeared, and then found her own body. In the original series BSG the incredibly more advanced alien (Devon Miles) used Starbuck as a tool. I really enjoyed that far more than the explanation we have for the new series. I'm fine with the idea that god did everything, but why did she have to disappear for a few months then come back in a new viper? Why not just have her dradis find the new earth without all the nonsense? At least it was better than BSG1980.

To me it appears the cycle is not broken. With all of the robots being built they are on the way to creating cylons again.

I wished I could get a refund on all the time I spent watching this over the years. I will watch The Plan, but Caprica does not look interesting to me. I have to pin my hopes on SGU for my scifi addiction I guess.

Bitter, any?

Angry enough to demand a refund, but still willing to invest two more hours on the Plan?

Figured you would be upset over this

And I can't entirely blame you. I've said it many times, Moore sees it as a writer, in terms of character first, story second, science and logic somewhat lower. For those like you, who expected everything making logical sense, I imagine this would be a crushing betrayal.

I certainly would have preferred it that way. Agnostic science teacher and science geek that I am, and with the way the show was structured with hints and clues, it gives the idea that the show is a puzzle that is meant to be solved, not a mystery to be revealed. But again I know Moore well enough to put those aside.

In the end, I can accept this ending. It's not what I expected and certainly not what I wanted. There are thin threads here that needed more time to be fleshed out - especially dropping the whole God-bomb on us, which simply demands further exploration (and we may well get it in Caprica)- but given their constraints, it was effective and well executed, with some very touching moments. True to Galactica, it defied conventional expectations - not a virtue in and of itself, but one must applaud the balls behind the decisions if not the resulting product- and I did find enough thematic resonance to make it credible and moving.

Probably the biggest thing to bug me is the (inadvertant, I expect) endorsement of Intelligent Design, though on the flip side I'd say that if there ever was evidence for ID, finding pockets of the same life forms sprinkled through the galaxy would be it.

Puzzle vs. Mystery

...the show was structured with hints and clues, it gives the idea that the show is a puzzle that is meant to be solved, not a mystery to be revealed.

This is an interesting observation that helps me articulate my own reaction to the finale. The show was indeed structured as a puzzle, and the assumption that it actually was a puzzle is a common reaction to science fiction stories. In science fiction the expectations are that if a "God" plotline or motif is introduced it will be dealt with as an allegory or some other mundane entity. However, in hindsight, there are elements that point to BSG being instead a mystery, such as "you will know the truth" and Cylons being "revealed," not to mention actors like Katie Sackhoff claiming the show was not science fiction but a "drama in space."

I would have preferred a puzzle, but I can still find enjoyment in the ending overall. However, I do think that Moore did not make the case that this as a mystery strong enough and foiled expectations because of it.

Remember the question that started the series

"Are we worth saving?"

Look at everything that had happened in the series, the lies, betrayals, paranoia... there were good and noble people, but as a whole, Colonial humanity and Cylon humanity... the answer seems to be "no", but then the show moves us to today, and the question still lingers, waiting for the answer to present itself.

Another way to look at it...

We have seen that Watchtower and HumVees and ties all developed on Kobol and Cylon Earth and the Colonies and, eventually, Finale Earth.

Who says that Kobol actually started it?

I didn't see any animals on Finale Earth that were alive 150,000 years ago, and then became extinct.

Could it not still be that 20,000 years or so before the show, it all began on Finale Earth, and then moved to the stars, Kobol, etc. And while the bulk of humanity was away, Finale Earth reverted to a "pristine" state (20,000 years can hide a lot of human relics), and humanity reverted to a primitive form ala Planet of the Apes. And the cycle began all over again, on Finale Earth, for a second time, culminating in the same society that we have seen repeatedly develop independently elsewhere.

Just frustrating

The more time I spend thinking about the finale, the more annoyed with it I get, and there are a couple things that bug me in particular.

1) The conversion of the religious elements to background influence to primary plot. Though I'm personally agnostic, I have no issue whatsoever with supernatural and divine elements in fiction, whether it be a new legendarium like Tolkien's or a story based (strictly or loosely) on actual religion like the movie Constantine. My problem here is that the god of the show was, up until the last hour, an extremely ambiguous god, acting only through hallucinations and coincidences; then suddenly the "angels" and "will of god" were no longer nebulous or metaphors for the force of the universe but actual angels talking to each other and Sixth-Sense-like ghosts like Starbuck. The divine aspect of the show could have worked if kept the remaining ambiguity, but religion here was used like a broom to sweep away inconvenient obstacles between the previous plot of the show and their idea of landing on primitive Earth.

2) The missed potential of looping time. The repeating cycle of time went from a very literal (and very interesting) repetition expressed by Leoben in Flesh and Bone, where the _exact same_ scenarios occur infinitely, to a simple "those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it" cautionary tale. A looping universe could have changed prophecies of the future into records of the past, and it seemed like that was the case until the looped wars were revealed to just be a serious of similar but hardly identical conflicts between masters and robotic slaves.
The story would still support a literal loop explanation, but it simply wasn't in the show, and so I'm disappointed by its loss.

3) The whole story of the characters and their journey became null. One big overarching question was whether or not the Colonials and Cylons would break the cycle of conflict and death, but it turned out that they really did neither. They broke it for themselves by abandoning their technology, but it just arose thousands of years later, and the angels in New York even said that it was essentially random chance whether or not there would be another conflict. So what was the point of their journey? Either option would have been satisfying - they actually break the cycle or it turns out that, despite their efforts, they themselves continue it - but instead their influence on the future was removed entirely.

4) The robot montage at the end was simply cheesy. They may as well have had angel Six and Baltar in an apartment musing about whether humanity would repeat the mistakes of the past, only to have the camera pan down to a Roomba on the floor, zoom in, and play "DUN DUN DUN" or high-pitched string notes before fading to black.

5) I'm probably spoiled by Asimov, but I can't stand when robots in sci-fi boil back down to a simple Frakenstein story. One of the great accomplishments of the show was to take a robot race that began by almost obliterating humanity and make of them compelling characters and sometimes even the heroes of the story. It's so incongruous to build up sympathetic robots like Athena or the various Sixes over the course of several seasons, only to end the story by pretty much saying "watch out, humanity! Robots are BAD!"

6) The abandonment of technology. I don't need to go far into this, but, if nothing else, didn't they JUST have a climactic battle where the sickbay was overflowing with the dead and dying, the same day they then decided to launch all their medical equipment into the sun?

There are plenty of other small annoyances (so "the truth about the opera house" was only that they dreamt about chasing Hera, then chased her in real life?), and, believe it or not, some things like I liked (can't go wrong with a space battle), but overall "letdown" is too light a word for my opinion of this episode. They may later pull the storyline out of this tailspin with "The Plan" or "Caprica", but I don't see how they'd make this finale alright.

Opera House

so "the truth about the opera house" was only that they dreamt about chasing Hera, then chased her in real life?

I actually very much enjoyed this portion, right up until... it didn't amount to anything (as you said). Had Athena and Helo died, it would have been more profound, as Baltar and Six would have taken custody (presumably) and the vision would have turned out to be a portent of their deaths and humanities rebirth through Hera.

The truth about the opera house

I’m with you. We have this metaphorical dream-like scene where, as is common in our own dreams, you can’t get somewhere, can’t quite catch up with something. Roslin is locked away while Hera is taken. She is helpless.

It’s just a hatch closing, and a minute later she is there, in the CIC anyway.

And the dream was the place we saw the highly mysterious final five. The Opera house was their dream home, in the vision of the temple, on the balcony in all those visions. And they really play no part of it at all, they are just up on the Balcony working on maintaining Anders’ control systems of the ship.

I indeed liked how it was shot, how it all came together to form the vision. But the resulting vision itself? boring.

Care Bears go back to nature

I agree, it was technically well done but I was expecting a bigger payoff. I'd trade half the budget they blew in the final episode for something more compelling in the second half. It's a wild guess but they could've gone with something more grander and in line with well commented expectations but Tyrol had to throw a snit. From that point on we were heading into Care Bears go back to nature territory.

hera as mitochondrial yadayada

Have about 8 billion things to say about how the ending of the story works perfectly fine, and how the god thing really isn't a deus ex-machina, but the one point I will mention now about how the interpretation of hera etc by the 'angels' is wrong...

all hera being 'mitochondrial eve' shows is that the 'us' humans of the story are *all* caprican/cyclon hybrids (using caprica to mean the colonial humans, as colonial sounds dull, and caprica was the capital anyhoo wasn't it?) and she is the earliest example of a caprican/cylon DNA model...the fact that we are all c/c hybrids too is what gives it the match. (Its also what makes Hera important, and indeed shows her as what she has always been labelled as...the future of the c and c races)

No earth-human prior to her would have had that DNA set-up...its not bad science per se, in fact its very good science IMO, as the 'mirochondrial eve' theory always seemed too smalla number, and didn't explain the vast amount of diffferences between different races within the human species..BSG's version, whilst fiction of course, actually has a more 'real' feeling that actual scientific theory. This is of course all opinion. :) Apart from the explanation of Hera, thats obvious from following the story...hera as 'eve' is good science, as sheis first of her kind...we may not all be descended from her in the shows story, but we *are* all descended from cylon human genes due to interbreeding that would have occurred *after* the landing...it also makes symbolistic sense, hera is after all mother to the gods, and we as makers of the AI (cylons) are gods much as the final five were, and even the humans were...take into account the 'madein his image' stuff common to a few religions, and bingo, you get a repeating pattern again, which is of course a theme in the show also, and is summed up in Caprica-Angels end sppech about reiteration leading to evolution through the odd random hiccup...which of course ties abrahamic tradition religion straight into karmic wheel religion...buddhism, ancestral worship etc..and you then get the paganistic god/goddess shown by the science and logic of GaiusAngel balanced by the emotion and random causal nature of the SixAngel...nicely ties all traditions, even pantheonistic, into one, and explainins ethnic diversity without either confirming or breaking the faith-in-science explanation of evolution. (a theroy that will be great when its finished....) It is a story, so how much you care about stories is all that matters after that...saying that, cut out the nearly frakking on the table, that was shoddy. Go galen for founding scotland, and in my head Romo took the others to found wales and ireland, with caprica and gaius founding Southeeast england. I just like it that way ;)only the galen/scotland thing seems explicit. :)

I should write this up properlike somewhereinit.

No, that's not what the mitochondrial eve is

MTC Eve is simply one of our many ancestors, the most recent person to be ancestor of everybody. Lots of other people are also ancestors of everybody (such as all of Helo’s ancestors, which after time are probably all the people on Kobol.) In addition, many of the native humans will also be ancestors of everybody.

As you know, after 10,000 generations, you have in theory, 2^10000 ancestors, which is of course a vastly huge number, vastly more than all the people who will ever live. So almost everybody from the past (whose line did not die out) is your ancestor billions of times over. And likewise, almost everybody in the distant past whose line had any success is the ancestor of everybody. They are all Eves and Adams. However, one person is the most recent person to be ancestor of everybody, and in the case of females, that’s the MTC Eve.

So we are not all Cylons in this story, but we all do have at least one Cylon among our hundreds of thousands of ancestors from that period. It is just that your line of ancestry to the others goes through a man in all other cases. MTC eve is the one for whom your line of ancestry goes exclusively through women.

It got people excited though, and that seems to have gotten Moore excited that he bent his story to make it happen. Sad.

the mitochondrial eve is..

..just a fossil they (err we) found, there is no DNA after 150000 years, there is no bones, only fossilized rock..they assume she is an ancestor because she was found on the same planet. anyone with any degree of knowledge about human evolution knows that 90% of the colonists would have died out as the human species only successfully left Africa about 80000 years ago (so only colonists who settled in Africa could possibly have passed on genes)...

they really didn't think the story through, i kept waiting for cylons to land on earth (2.0) after the got rid of their only form of defense, in the early seasons it was implied that there were many more base ships out there, but i guess the threat was taken care of by god. i hate it when characters do things out of character to satisfy the story, if they were so willing to burn their knowledge and tech, why didn't they do it back on new caprica?

MT Eve

Isn’t somebody who was sequenced, though they can do some sequencing of very old DNA with difficulty. She’s something entirely different, explained above and in other links in the main review.

3 to Baltar - "You were right"

I took it to mean that she knew that Baltar had arrived at a positive result for the Cylon Detector test he did on Ellen back in season one.

Didn't Baltar know Ellen was a Cylon the whole time?

bad science. bad fiction.

Not only does the ending fall down from a scientific perspective, but it fails basic rules of fiction. You don't end a mystery with another mystery (which is what saying "god did it" does). You resolve a mystery with actual answers.

For those of us who invested a lot of energy trying to figure out what possible solutions might be, as I did in my Zak Adama is a Cylon blog, this is an insult, it rewards the fan's investment of time with a result that indicates the writers (or at least Ron Moore) cared more about making some garbled point about "Eve" and robots, than about serving the needs of the story and the fans who were following it. Once he'd decided on Eve, he had to push the whole story back to 150,000 years ago, but then that makes the past four years meaningless, because we KNOW that the Colonials had no lasting impact on our world.

The only way I could deal with this was to reimagine the context of the entire finale, and write my own alternate ending, as well as many other postings in my blog under the "battlestar galactica" tag about the flaws in the conclusion.

so what ending

Well, as far as I am concerned they could have stopped 10 episodes ago or at the end of series 3 and it would have been better.

If only they had the fleet arrive in Earth's far future it would have worked out far more satisfactorily. Most, if not all, of the mysteries could have been ironed out.

The writers simply got lost. Whether it was something to do with the strike or not i do not know. But they had enough time to sort most of the mysteries out. The last 10 episodes seem to be filled with such unimportant rubbish. Even in terms of character development most of the content of the last 10 episodes seems rather unimportant. Simply put, in my view the writers lost their way. The characters were already very well developed and they could have spent all those 10 episodes resolving the show week by week until the big show down with the cylons and the finding of real Earth.

At the end of series 3 the writers had on their hands one more series to complete the hottest sci-fi show since Babylon 5, and if they got it right they would have had one of the best sci-fi shows ever. They blew it.

Babylon 5 had a similar problem - series 5 was a waste. So when I watch B5 i generally stop at the end of series 4 (switching the last episode of series 5 back to its original series 4 place). I view BSG series 4 as a waste. its direction was poorer than the rest of the series. Its character development largely failed, and the ending was boring and totally unable to fit into most of what came before in the past 3 series.

Yes Brad... Some parts are completely horrible

The Colony was a big let down for being a space base instead of a planet.

It was the the first issue bugging many people A LOT, but not the last one.

If we think about the numbers of the copies of 7 models ((MILLIONS)) there must be at least HUNDREDS OF BASESTARS out there, right ??

Of course during the Cylon civil war, we can assume that almost half of them must be destroyed.

I mean 1s + 4s + 5s destroyed the entire 2s + 6s + 8s fleets except the damaged basestar.

Even so, there must still be at least DOZENS of Basestars of 1s-4s-5s. They were the victorious side of the war.

BUT there were no basestars in the Colony battle !!

Where the frak were they, when their home, The Colony was under attack of the Colonials !!!

Don't tell me they were busy with God knows what missions...

What on earth could be more important than this battle for Cavills faction!!

MAJOR let down I have to say.

These two issues has swept away the brilliance of the finale for me. and I know for many too.

I was always expecting that Cavills faction would be in the battlefield with FULL OF THEIR FORCES in the final battle.

A Whole Impenetrable line of Basestars, Raiders and Heavy raiders spread all over the side, surrounds the colonials...

I mean this is the Series Finale for God's sake !! If they don't appear now, when will they !!

No... I totally disappointed with The Colony Battle.

And finally The Suiciding Cavil...

Oh please... The most pragmatist, rational, genius and cold blooded man of the show killing himself.

It couldn't be more unrealistic.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

His name is Brad Templeton. You figure it out.
Please make up a name if you do not wish to give your real one.
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Personal home pages only. Posts with biz home pages get deleted and search engines ignore all links
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options