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Old 03-29-2009, 10:06 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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[This is a repost of something I put up on the Excelsior forums]

Wow. Didn't realize so many of us were Galactica fans and viewers. I just sat down with my On Demand button and mainlined the final five hours (get it?) directly into my bloodstream. Which, let me tell you, is pretty intense.

I'll kick off by just saying what my biggest let-down was: Earth. Back at the outset of the series--the day I saw the miniseries for the first time--I made three predictions: (1) they reach Earth, and it's the present (Galactica 1980-style; very unlikely because BSG is not a comic book and doesn't act like it is), (2) they reach Earth, and it's the future, where the advanced Thirteenth Colony is able to play its role in saving the future of mankind (reasonably likely), (3) they reach Earth and, surprise, they get there in the deep past and you and I and everybody else are actually human-Cylon hybrids descended from the Galacticans.

I always knew (3) was the most likely option, even before the idea of hybrids appeared on the show. The very fact that it seemed so obvious made me expect something more from R.D. Moore--I had an expectation that he was leading me down the garden path and WHAM! POW! he actually had some made twist on those three fairly cliche possibilities. When they reached "Earth" and found it a nuclear wasteland, I thought that was exactly what had happened. But that turned out to actually be just a trick--a pretty cheap one, at that--and it served merely to confuse for about fifteen minutes (and apparently Paco remains confused). There was no surprise here, and, after four years of watching that overall arc unfold, I expected more.

Well, that's not true. Those of you who know me know I've always taken a fairly dim view of Galactica, and I prefer a good hour of SG-1 to any of BSG's first two seasons. So I went into this expecting not too much in the cleverness department. But I hoped for more.

What else can I whine about? The trite Cavil bargaining debate that sucked all the tension out of the room faster than the Rol-Lorhrok debate in the Oracle Jefferies Tubes in audio drama #104 (I wrote that debate, by the way, so its suck is on my head)? The fact that the show's much-vaunted metaphysical complexity (God, gods, fate, prophecy, so forth) turned out to be rooted in nothing more than decades-old canards rehased from that peculiar pseudo-religion Americans equate with faith? The fact that the episode titled "Someone To Watch Over Me" never featured the actual song, one of my favorite Gershwin tunes, and should have been called "All Along The Watchtower" if RDM weren't still cannibalizing old Star Trek episode titles?

All good complaints (except that last one). But, if it largely failed on a larger mythical level, "Daybreak" did a lot else right. For one, it satisfactorially wrapped up all those loose ends that nobody seriously expected to get wrapped up at this point. At first, I thought the payoff of the opera house was a pretty big stretch--what, all Baltar and Six had to do was carry Hera to the CIC? Anyone could have done that!--but I was satisfied when Head-Baltar and Head-Six arrived and specifically said, "Pretty much, yeah, that was it. And, guess what: that's more or less how the universe works." I may have chuckled a little.

More importantly, Daybreak did wonderfully at tying up all the character arcs. For the first time ever, they dared show some of our characters being genuinely, freely happy... and they went all in and showed all the characters happy. Every arc was brought full-circle. Starbuck may never have found out who she was, but she did what she needed to do and was happy with that. Tigh and Ellen, finally together. Six and Baltar--how much they've changed since the miniseries! The best moment of the episode for me was when Baltar said, "I know about farming," and started crying. I never thought he could change. I certainly never thought it would be a simple a thing as one single, selfless act and a bit of pride from the woman he's always kinda sorta mostly loved. Adama and Roslin... never could have ended another way. And I'm glad Adama got the last shot of the series... except for that overlong, overly cute "150,000 Years Later" epilogue (which was nice in that it dealt with "All this has happened before," etc., but did you really have to beat our heads in with the robot montage? All we needed was the dialogue, a clear riff of "All Along The Watchtower," zoom out, shot of Earth, shot of Galaxy, blackout. Like in "Crossroads II", but in reverse.)

In short--and I was surprised by this, because RDM has always deliberately sought to create the antithesis of it--"Daybreak" gave all its characters a Graceful End. There were a lot of characters, not all were great (I'm thinking mainly of Sam here), but it was the principle of the thing. And the execution was pretty darned good, too.

Speaking of graceful ends... during the attack on the Colony, did the mind-boggling complexity, hopeless odds, ship-ruining damage, and extreme dramatic manipulation of events remind anyone of the BDJP? Because I'm feeling like RDM read bits of it. 'Specially that bit where they used Brahms--I mean, Hyrbid!Anders--to shut down the enemy defenses using telepathy.

And did anyone else fall over on the couch laughing when Lee revealed Mr. Lampkin as President of the Colonies? I thought Admiral Hoshi was adorable (even though I was scratching my head trying to remember his name for most of the scene), but Romo Lampkin? That had to be a joke. And a good one at that.

Anyhow, that's my basic rant/rundown. I liked it. Wasn't Earth-shattering (no pun intended), but I never expected it to be. It provided a very satisfying ending to a show that was, ultimately (and always has been), all about the ending. Serials don't often manage even that. Farewell, Galactica.
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