It’s been almost a week since fav-of-this-blog Battlestar Galactica’s season finale and I gotta admit that I still don’t know whether to be more impressed with the episode itself or the media bamboozle that preceded it. (If you haven’t geared up your TiVo’d episode and don’t want to be spoiled, read no further.)
What am I talking about? Oiy, where do I begin?
Plot-wise, the finale not only revealed (to the edgy strumming of Bob Dylan’s Bible-referencing All Along the Watchtower) who four of the Final Five Cylons are (and yes, they really are Cylons) but it also saw the return of an un-phased and totally relaxed Kara Thrace (a.k.a. Starbuck), who tells a jaw-dropped Lee Adama (a.ka. Apollo, whose expression probably matched mine) that she’s been to Earth and will show them the way.
Also, Lee Adama gives one heck of a court-room speech in defense of Gaius Baltar (who is being charged with treason and, incidentally, starting to resemble those Sunday school paintings of Jesus) that elicits a ton of God-talk regarding sin, redemption and human efforts to work that out. Wikipedia summarizes the speech like this:
. . . . [Lee] believes Baltar is innocent because the evidence is insufficient to prove otherwise. Lee asks everyone what they would have done if they were in Baltar's shoes the day the Cylons arrived. Lee says that everyone has made mistakes and everyone has been forgiven, but it seems no one can forgive Gaius Baltar. He mentions Roslin's blanket amnesty for all Cylon collaborators. He lists a great many questionable incidents that have been forgiven, pardoned or ignored, such as Tigh and Tyrol's attempt to murder Gaeta for collaborating with Baltar, Roslin's decision to forgive his father's coup against her over the argument regarding the Arrow of Apollo and his own actions in drawing a gun on Tigh. He points out that he himself was forgiven when he chose to run when the Cylons arrived at New Caprica and suggested they never come back. He believes Baltar is a scapegoat, and just someone to blame for all the shame and guilt that everyone has for being beaten by the Cylons.Indeed, we all yearn for someone to dig out, forgive and remove our shame and guilt—for what we have done as well as what we should have but didn’t. Jesus’ death and resurrection does that, not only freeing us from our guilt and shame but giving us a brand new life that is guided by a love for God, who fills us with His love which spills out to others—which leads us to forgive others as we have been forgiven. But without that—either we’re ignorant of it or we don’t trust it—relationships and communities get even more messy and broken and wrong. This scene in BG’s finale strongly echoes that.
In addition to good stuff like this, the finale also moves everything forward. It not only answers several big questions and advances the storyline (for example, resolving the outcome of Baltar’s trial, revealing who most of those Final Five are, getting the fleet to a nebula that holds the next clue towards Earth, and even developing the relationship between the Admiral and the President) but also introduces more huge questions (like just what kind of Cylons are those Final Five? and how are they going to live with their new identities? how did Starbuck survive the explosion—and is she a Cylon, too? what’s this nebula got to do with Earth? why are the Cylons in the nebula too? and who were those women that whisked Baltar away?).
Then, of course, there’s that killer final shot, which pulls out from the nebula where the fleet and the Cylons are to reveal that they are in none other than our very own Milky Way—and then zooms back into another part of the galaxy to settle on Earth and the Sun.
But let’s not neglect the media bamboozle. Several weeks ago, I lamented the (apparent) loss of Starbuck and the media interviews she was giving insinuating that she was unhappy with her character’s development and demise. It left a lot of fans fearing BG writers were pulling a Lost and terminating a character due to something else other than storyline. Turns out, however, it was planned all along (and Katee Sackhoff, who portrays Starbuck, was in on it)—which I’ve no doubt was aimed at pulling one over on over-confident fans like me. Heh, it worked. Really well. Really, really well.
Truly, it was one of the best of finales; you know the ones: those that leave you satisfied yet hungering for more. Well done, BG. Ack, 2008 now seems quite a ways away.
(Images: copyrighted by Sci-Fi Channel, via Wikipedia and Sci-Fi Channel) bsgctgy