Sunday, March 22, 2009

BSG Finale Could Have Been Better

I have now entered into 30 days of mourning as Battlestar Galactica has come to an end. The finale was broadcasted this past Friday. If you haven’t seen it, I warn you now this post contains spoilers! I believe that this series has been one of the best written and executed shows I have ever seen. Maybe the bar was set too high but I found the finale to be, on the whole, disappointing.

The way I saw it, the ending of the series came down to these possibilities:

They get to Earth.
-Where they establish/contribute to our civilization by integrating with the 13th Tribe.
-Where they find Earth (and our civilization) destroyed.

They don’t get to Earth.
-They die out.
-They find another habitable planet to settle on.
-The series ends open ended.

What ultimately happened was that that they do make it to Earth where they find primitive humans. They also marvel how improbable that a separate species of human (that were reproductively compatible with them) had evolved on an alien planet. Instead of landing on Earth and rebuilding their civilization, it was decided that the survivors were going to spread themselves across the globe, integrate with the existing populations and perhaps give them the seeds to create new civilizations. A flash forward by 150,000 years to our present day suggests that the human/cylon hybrid child, Hera, is the “Eve” of all humans on Earth based on tracing common mutant markers in our genetics back to a common marker.

The episode suggests to me that colonials all died out save the descendants of Hera. I’ve come to this conclusion because any humans that were deposited on places like Australia or the Americas didn’t survive. They were deposited there 150,000 years in the past but the archeological evidence shows that humans wouldn’t leave Africa until 100,000 years later. Places like Australia and the Americas don’t show humans there before that time.

This explanation does not satisfy me because the Greco pantheon of gods somehow lives on? The show establishes that there is a connection between us viewers and the colonials through a shared history. That is most evident in the Greco pantheon of Gods. Somehow, the show has to reveal the nature of that connection. Did we get our pantheon directly from them, or was it from our common ancestors (the Kobolians)? This finale shows that we get it from them, or rather Hera, but it seems implausible that this would have survived that long only to show up in a little area of the Aegean.

A few other gripes:

How improbable is it that Earth1 had the same constellations that Earth2 does 150,000 years later? Remember, the Tomb of Athena established that Earth1 had the signs of the zodiac visible in their skies—the same constellations we’re familiar with. These constellations were confirmed as navigational makers when the fleet arrived there. At that point in time, Earth2 would not have those constellations visible. Yet, 150,000 years later we do.

The importance of Hera really wasn’t that important. Although all present-day humans were suggested to be descended from her, the finale also suggests that the colonials could have successfully intermingled with the locals and continued on that way.

I don’t get Starbuck. Who is she? How did she get to Earth1? How did she come back? What was she exactly? Where did she go?

Redemption in the Last Moments
I did find some redemption in the last few moments when two angels, in the form of Caprica Six and Dr. Baltar, muse on the cyclical nature of human history—the rise and fall of human civilization, and wonder if, this time, the cycle will be broken. Apparently the real Dr. Baltar and Caprica Six were, in reality, talking to angels. It was a surprise because the answer was in front our noses all along but I’m willing to bet that most viewers didn’t see it that way until the very end.

1 comment:

TardisGirl said...

I thought the landing and scattering on Earth went on a little too long. It was anticlamatic after all that fighting.

I also disliked that all the characters had nice neat little closures. I actually perfer to have some things left unresolved.

I agree that last scene really saved the episode. It was rather profound and I loved Ron Moore's cameo.

BSG is dead. Long live BSG!