BattleStar Galactica #20:Daybreak (2) Season 4--2009/Finale

El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
I hope you fell better. Well done on the summary, I am sure others will add one or two minor things but you've covered a lot of details I had even forgotten. :)

Thanks man. Yeah, I'm sure there's things I've forgotten too. It's been a wild ride. A lot happened in those 4 seasons, plus the mini-series, plus the extra series like Razor. (I didn't even touch on Razor.)

I don't think there's been a coupling of Sci-Fi and Drama like this since the 2001/2010 Space Odyssey movies. Not only is it some of the best Sci-Fi ever, I'd say it's one of the best dramatic series ever. Sci-Fi channel (or "SyFy" Channel:p) is going to be hard pressed to ever top this. We'll have to see how Caprica and The Plan turn out.
 

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Grymar

Explorer
Wonderful series that redefines SciFi and I'm sorry to see it go. Absolutely some of the best acting I've seen on TV.

As far as the ending...it was always a show that did it their own way, beholden to nothing. I like that not everything was answered and I love that there is still some mystical question.

The characters in BSG were so very human...deeply flawed, which angered many viewers who couldn't find themselves rooting for such imperfect people. Yet they continued on without apology, doing things their way.

Guess what? The end of Battlestar Galatica was the same: doing it there way to tell their (Moore's?) story and you can love it or leave it, but you can't argue that it was ballsy.

Just like life, you can't always get a perfect, clean ending. And just like life, the line between seemingly opposite things is actually very blurred. Humanity versus Computer. Technology versus Faith.

I loved Tyrol going to become a Celt. I loved that the true love interest of the story was never Starbuck and Apollo, but Baltar and Caprica. I loved that the opera house worked so fraking well with the story.

And I don't know that I'll ever forget the swelling score of the original Battlestar Galactica theme as the old lady led the rag tag fleet into the Sun.

I never knew I was such a fanboy until this moment. :)
 

mrtauntaun

First Post
I thought the first half of the finale was excellent. Tense, exciting and a visual feast. Great FX. I was really hoping for a 'By your Command', but whatcha gonna do.

The second half, meh. So many problems. Boomer paying back Adama was contrived. The opera house vision was rather lame, chasing her around the ship? That's it? I waited YEARS to see that? Why did Cavil shoot himself? I would have thought he would go down fighting, at least.

And then they just decide to blow up the fleet? Burn your bridges just like that? Did New Caprica teach them nothing? Big reach there. There could still be other Cylons out there.

I did like the redemption of Baltar. He was always one of my favorite characters. I also though the scene betwen the Doc and the President was touching. Cottle was always a very essential, yet underrated character. It was also good to see Lee back where he belonged, in uniform.

All in all, the greatness of the first half still outweighs the problems I had with the second. I still love the show, but I can't help but feel a little disappointed with the ending. It didn't feel worthy of the years it took to get here. I do look forward to seeing 'The Plan', maybe that will have some more answers.
 

I loved it.

I wish, upon landing on Earth, that they had said something like, "Some folks are trying to settle down with the old tech, but that'll only last a few generations at best before they can't fix it anymore. We're going to have to settle in and start over."

I'm a little miffed that the only character who survived who is a minority was Athena. *shrug*

The fight scenes were amazing.

I did feel a bit disappointed that the opera house vision scene ended up with 6 and Baltar being so benign. I felt like that scene needed some sort of tragedy, but really all that happened was that Laura and Athena had to go find a different door.

But, um, aside from that, it was amazing.

I'm so glad there wasn't actual time travel. :D
 


Fast Learner

First Post
I did feel a bit disappointed that the opera house vision scene ended up with 6 and Baltar being so benign. I felt like that scene needed some sort of tragedy, but really all that happened was that Laura and Athena had to go find a different door.

A few people have noted this, but I thought it was a pretty big deal. Hera, who ends up being key to future humanity, brings together Baltar, Caprica Six, and Cavil, all of whom have to be together in the same place in order to set in motion the events that bring an end to the war, including the interference of the angels. Roslyn and Boomer discover that, despite the feeling that they're key to Hera, they're really out of the loop, that they were part of the journey but not part of the finale, just as they foresaw in their visions.
 

Krug

Newshound
I thought it was ok. Hated the angle thing and i don't buy 50k people agreeing to ditch all known technology and live in the wilderness.

I guess they hadn't developed the Internet yet.

As others have pointed out, I don't see how a society will just abandon medicine, chemistry, books and so on. For a SF show, it was just too anti-science.

While I think the acting in the series has been great, most of the characters never really felt that three-dimensional to me, and frankly they killed off two of the best characters in the mutiny double-bill. Their development also seemed to be sporadic; lurching and lunging around, like Baltar's desire to play soldier.

I can't say I'm a huge fan of the series but glad it ended decently. Not great, but satisfactorily.
 
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Joker

First Post
I thought the first half of the finale was excellent. Tense, exciting and a visual feast. Great FX. I was really hoping for a 'By your Command', but whatcha gonna do.

The second half, meh. So many problems. Boomer paying back Adama was contrived. The opera house vision was rather lame, chasing her around the ship? That's it? I waited YEARS to see that? Why did Cavil shoot himself? I would have thought he would go down fighting, at least.

And then they just decide to blow up the fleet? Burn your bridges just like that? Did New Caprica teach them nothing? Big reach there. There could still be other Cylons out there.

I did like the redemption of Baltar. He was always one of my favorite characters. I also though the scene betwen the Doc and the President was touching. Cottle was always a very essential, yet underrated character. It was also good to see Lee back where he belonged, in uniform.

All in all, the greatness of the first half still outweighs the problems I had with the second. I still love the show, but I can't help but feel a little disappointed with the ending. It didn't feel worthy of the years it took to get here. I do look forward to seeing 'The Plan', maybe that will have some more answers.

My sentiments exactly. People often say how they would have wanted to see something done differently and I'm gonna say the same. They should have ended it after the shot with Adama.

The convoluted explanation and the ham-fisted social commentary after that shot ticked me off to no end.

I was so totally engrossed while watching this episode, I thought to myself: "Wow, this is great television." Up until the last five minutes it absolutely riveting.

Still one of the best episodes of BSG and I am saddened that so many great characters like Boomer and Felix didn't make it.
 

A "nitpick", the timeframe regarding planet discoveries:
Kobol leads to New Caprica leads to Algae planet (with nova-going star) leads to Earth/13th tribe leads to Earth/second take.

[sblock=trying to get timeline and planet lineup correctly]
Near Kobol, Adama starts a military coup after Roslin follows her vision and sends Starbuck in a Cylon Raider to retrieve the Arrow of Apollo (god, not Lee ;) ). Adama is shot by Boomer (Cylon sleeper). Tigh takes over command, screws up big time, Roslin escapes custody and convinces part of the fleet to jump to Kobol.
Starbuck meets up Helo and Boomer 2 (later called Athena) on Caprica, shortly after he learns she is a Cylon and pregnant. They also learn that some resistance fighters survived, lead by Anders, former sports star. They find some attempts of the Cylons to create cylon "babies" (we learn they can't naturally have children so far) and stop it, and Helo, Athena and Starbuck take a Heavy Raider to the fleet/Kobol, Starbuck promises to Anders she will come back.
Once Adama gets back on his feets, he sorts through the mess and reunites the fleet, and shortly thereafter, they enter the Tomb of Athena (goddess, not Boomer ;) ), where they see a kind of map (amazing "tech" so to speak - think holodeck, matrix - or divine revelation) that can help them find the way to Earth, the place where the 13th colony moved to.
Later, Galactica meets Pegasus, and Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes) and Adama get into some trouble after one of her man decided that raping Boomer is cool to get more information, her boyfriend Helo and her kinda-ex-friend kill him, and she wants to punish them (by death.) They finally come to their senses for a moment when Starbuck shows them Pics of the resurrection ship she scouted out, a ship the Cylons use to resurrect their human models and Raiders. They unite to destroy it and hope to end the chase, while at the same time Adama and Cain plotting to have each other killed. After the battle is won, they decide not to kill each other, but the imprisoned Model 6 Cylon (that was repeatedly raped and abused by the crew) gets set loose by Baltar and kills Cain. Over the course of the events, eventually it is Apollo that takes command of Pegasus. (Yes, she is not immediately destroyed after the episode!)
Finally Starbuck convinces Adama and Roslin to mount a rescue operation for the Resistance cell on Caprica. During that mission (where they use the better FTL navigation from the Cylons), one Raptor gets off course (and another jumps into a mountain) and finds a habitable planet in a nebula.
They rescue Anders, and reunited on the ship they figure out that they suddenly have two priests withthe same face, revealing a new Cylon - Cavill.
It is time to vote who gets to be the next president, and eventually Baltar becomes the second candidate, supported by Zarek. The election is won (and a manipulation attempt by the presidents aide averted) by Baltar when he makes the deciding topic colonization of the newly found planet - New Caprica. They believe it to be safe, since it is protected by a nebula. That would have all been working out nicely (well, not catastrophic, despite Baltars failings) if it wasn't for a nuke set of by the Pegasus-Six Cylon on Cloud 9. The radiation burst from that explosion is caught up by Cylons a year or so after the explosion (penetrating the nebula), leading to a Cylon occupation, Pegasus and Galactica jumping away. They later manage to get their Colonists out, thanks to the resistance on the ground and some clever tactics - but also sacrifcing (against original plan) the Pegasus. (So now it's finally gone. Took them at least half a season ;) )
President Baltar remains with the Cylons, later giving us (as viewer) some insights into Cylon abilities and structures.
Next stop is the Algae planet - food supplies prove contaminated and they need some plants to be able to eat again. They must make some crazy jumps through a highly irradiated nebula (birth place of stars). On that planet, Tyrol finds "The Temple of the Five", another goalpost towards Eath, that reveals to everyone that there are 5 cylon models that are "special" and even unidentified by the other Cylon models. Only one Cylon learns the truth, and is "boxed" (deactivated and put to permanent sleep) for it by Cavil and the rest.
At this point, Baltar gets back to the fleet and is eventually found innocent on the New Caprica occupation. They also bring back the daughter of Helo and Boomer, the first hybrid.
At some further mysterious point, they find a gas planet that Starbuck is strangely attracted to, and in an attempt to follow a seemingly appearing Cylon Heavy Raider, her Viper and she are lost.
The fleet finally jumps to an important Nebula (one they have basically been searching for since Kobol), and Tigh, the President Aid (by the way: that's not Billy, he dies after Kobol and before the election), Tyrol and Anders learn that they are actually Cylons (yes, that raises all kinds of questions), but conceal it for the moment.
At that nebula, Starbuck mysteriously reappears, not aware that she was gone for months and supposedly death. Her Viper and she are in perfect shape.

The Cylons split up on the issue of whether to go on hunting humans or stopping the war, leading to a civil war between them. One of the "Boomer" models (the original one from the mini that shot Adama) sides against the others, and stays with Cavils anti-human side.
Starbuck feeling she knows the route to earth, but people doubting her, goes on a small mission to follow her "feelings" and inspirations, but finds nothing (but after all the frustration, a small mutinity leads to Gaeta losing a leg), except a surviving Cylon basestar on the "pro-human" side.
The next big goal is the destruction of the Resourrection Hub - because the first ship they destroyed was just one of many, but the destruction of the hub kills all cylon resurrection. But before that, they want to resurrect the boxed cylon to learn more about the Final Five. Everthing succeeds, and they find out the 4 Final Five on Galatica. The 5th remains unknown.
The next stop is Earth. They learn that it was destroyed a long time ago, and the Final Four figure out the 5th - Tighs wife, who he killed on New Caprica after she betrayed the Resistance.

The frustration of finding a uninhabitable and dead Earth leads to suicides and conflicts in the fleet. The human/cylon alliance is questioned, and this leads to a mutiny lead by Gaeta and Zarek, that eventually repelled.
During this, they also find out that Galactica is seriously damaged due to the stress of the fights and repeated FTL jumps, and Cylon tech is used to fix her up, but the results aren't pretty.
Anders is seriously injured during the mutinity, but he reveals some important information: The Final Five are Cylons from Earth (also explaining why the "humans" on Earth show all Cylon DNA). Earth was destroyed in a human/centurion conflict, and these final five figured out the key to the resurrection technology (but it apparantly already existed before, but was lost) that wanted to warn the 12 Colonies about the Centurions, arriving there at the end of he first Cylon War, and convincing the Cylons to stop there own evolution attempts and instead rely on resurrection. Among the Cylon fleet, we learn that Ellen Tigh - the last missing of the Final Five - was resurrected and she tells other parts of the story. After the destruction of the hub, Cavill (who has manipulated most Cylons as the first of them, and that had the "Final Five" banished into their human bodies and human lives, so that they were unaware of the truth until recently) wants to recover the tech, and hopes that torture or dissection of Ellen might help. Boomer (the only one of her models still on the anti-human side) helps her escape - which later turns out just to be a pretext to get Hera back, because she holds the key to cylon reproduction.

It turns out the Galactica can't be saved. Her case is just hopeless. So they decide to abandon ship, but ... Hera is still gone. So they assemble a group of volunteers that go find the Cylon Homeworld (a space ship in orbit of a Black Hole, in the accretion disc where all the matter that gets slowly sucked in resides), attack it, invade it, get Hera out, and get out.
They actually manage to do all that, not without losses but with destroying that damn Cylon Homeworld. On their emergency jump, they don't have the right coordinates yet, and Starbuck punches in those that have revealed to her by a visions and notes written down by Hera. The jump lands them to another habitable planet. They call in the fleet, and decide to settle down there. This planet is the Earth as we know it, a few hundreds of thousands or million years ago. It has all the life the Colonials know, and, even more amazing, humans on it, genetically compatible with Humans and Cylons. They decide to call this planet Earth, and mingle with the natives (that haven't yet developed language), hoping to end the cycle of human vs cylon destruction.
[/sblock]

EDIT:
Aside from all this general "history" stuff, here are some highlights I'd like to mention that made Galactica worth watching
Keeping stuff mysterious, but still giving a sense of accomplishment and telling us new stuff.

Introducing secondary or tertiary characters and making them familiar to us - and then sometimes, unexpectedly, brutally, killing them off. or otherwise using them in interesting positions. While the main cast was still pretty much safe (even if going through hardships, losing eyes, getting shot in the guts, dying and resurrecting), this always kept a certain... atmosphere. Startrek has Redshirts, Galactica has Oliveshirts, and oliveshirts are way cooler, deeper, complex and likeable than any one else. There was the crewman that helped Boomer and Tyrol during the witch hunt on cylons, and ended in prison for it. He died on Kobol, Tyrol giving him a lethal injection of morphine after he was critically shot and beyond hope. The priestess Elosha, that guided Roslin and interpreted her visions. She died on Kobol, on a cylon mine. Kat, the Starbuck friend/rival hotshot pilot, that got hooked up on stims, later found out to be lying on her identity, and dying when jumping through the Algae planet. The trusty female Marine that accompanied us for so long, and got killed when Leobons heavily injured Heavy Raider exploded during Starbucks mission to find Earth. Specialist Laird, the tech/chief that took over Tyrols post, whose family was murdered by Cain to get him aboard her ship as a tech, that was killed by Zarek.
But there were also other, "smaller" stories. The specialist that ended her career as tech and became a Raptor pilot. Racetrack, the hot Raptor pilot that sided with the mutineers. You cared enough that you almost wanted to screem "No, Racetrack, why are you on the wrong side?!" Her black co-pilot, that died during the assault on the Cylon homeworld... Dr.Cottle, just with his quirky attitude of smoking cigarrettes in the sickbay, grumpy, with a heart of gold.

Awesome space battles, of course. Best SFX and most compelling "physics" I've seen in all Sci-Fi so far.
Galactica jumping away just before dozens of cylon missiles and nukes hit her. Vipers turning and continuing their path due to interatia, shooting Raiders down. Raiders that "bleed" when injured. Spaceships showing visible sign of damage for a long time. Galactica getting scars from the various battles.

Fascinating characters, conflicted, difficult, with unique personalities, going through difficult times and sometimes managing, sometimes failing.

--------

I liked the ending. I am not sure if I could have come up with a better, though there are obviously many ways to end it.

There was decent space combat action porn, and a bittersweet ending.
I agree that it is a little contrived to think of the humans leaving behind every tech, but ... I don't really care. If I wanted, I could fanwank around it, but I think it is the only solution that makes sense. And let's face it, if they really want to mingle with the human population, the little tech they have left is a drop in the ocean.

Roslins death was sad. Incredibly... And it's made even more sadder by the idea of Adama surviving her, and talking to her grave all the time. I "like" that, in a romantic sense...
But before her death, before the big battle - the scene with Cottle was also awesome. Finally he got the thanks he deserved, and he showed real emotion. Heart-Breaking, all in all.

Starbuck being an angel makes sense to me. I like that, too. That was, too, bittersweet - she just disappearing.

I am more an atheist, but I still find the idea of a superpowerful/supernatural being in the "Galacticaverse" guiding the events to be interesting and a good way to end the story, and tie up loose ends. Head Baltar and Head Six as Angels works for me.

I also liked the idea of the Centurions somewhere out there. Maybe we'll meet again? ;)
 
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I feel that Adama was certainly right, at the beginning of the series when he said that all of those who died in the holocaust were the lucky ones. Because I think it would be hard for many of those who survived the entire series, to live as cavemen coming from where they came from.

But in the end, a bunch of characters may have broken their own cycle, but many didn't. Baltar didn't as he ended up as a farmer again. Tyrol probably had the worst fate out of all of them.
 

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