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Battlestar Galactica: Season finale. Shark. Jumped?

March 26, 2007

I thought the series made some strides this season, living up to the accolades that have been laid on thick this season. Focusing on the characters portrayed by the strongest actors (Tighe, Baltar) was a smart move. Smarter still was the move away from the sad little love triangles (even though those triangles may prove relevant to the show’s plot moves next season) towards some stories with teeth, addressing issues around how the society they’ve built on the fly actually functions, or doesn’t function.

Seems every Sci-Fi show, if it lasts long enough, will use a trial as a plot device (countless times in the Star Trek franchise, for example). The BSG trial barely avoided hokum, saved by Apollo’s speech at the end, containing the great line (possibly paraphrased from Perry Farrell) “We aren’t a civilization anymore, we’re a gang.” Of all the attempts by the show to be relevant to current events, that’s the piece that works right there.

Moore’s use of “All Along the Watchtower” as a siren song to the four citizens of the fleet is to leave us with questions, of course. The most obvious answer to one question is, no, they aren’t Cylons, they’re receiving a message from Earth. Why these four? Who knows or cares. More questions, though: Are these four, plus Starbuck, “the five?” Did the 13th Tribe make this signal a part of the Cylon programming? Is there a relationship between BSG humans and the Cylons vis-à-vis finding Earth? Most of us are assuming “the five” are Cylons. Who said they are? Did any Cylon character ever say that? Have they always been right?
Tyrol already exhibited signs of being “touched.” The rest?
Oh, one more thing about the song, again, another series with Star Trek connections focuses on some artifact from 1960’s era Western culture. Tiresome.

Until last night I was pretty sure that the Cylon that has a thing for Starbuck is actually her father. We don’t know anything about her father, do we? Now, I’m not 99% sure, only about 85%. Her reappearance at the end of the show (references to the old series episode “Ship of Lights”) suggests she’s a Cylon, haunting Apollo the way Six haunts Baltar. That’s a tad obvious, isn’t it? No less obvious than her return, I’m afraid.

Though I’m now too invested in the plot machinations to abandon the show, I want to see how it all unravels, Much of the season has been weak. Even when they’ve done well, “Heroes,” “The Woman King,” they’ve fumbled on the goal line.

Well, better than Heroes.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2007 12:15 pm

    I have had mixed feelings about this season myself. I thought that the lack of action made it seem kind slow paced. Also it seemed as though there were a few too many cliches this time around.
    However, I thought the show stayed true to form of pushing the envelope on what scifi is. I found the tilium (sp) strike episode particularly interesting.
    I think I will reserve judgment on “jumping the shark” until next season.

    -T

  2. March 26, 2007 3:09 pm

    I don’t think she’s a cylon, I think she is a sort of Goddess, or something like that. Remember, the religion on BSG is based on Greek mythology, which has many examples of human/god hybrids.

    I’m still trying to figure out the whole Bob Dylan angle though…

  3. March 26, 2007 10:13 pm

    Look around the net some; there are answers to some of your questions. Ron Moore said in one interview today that the four are definitely Cylons. And he also pointed out that we don’t yet know if Starbuck is real or in Apollo’s head, a la Baltar and Caprica Six. The “Watchtower” song isn’t literally Dylan’s song beamed across space somehow. He instructed BSG’s composer to think of it as if some musician in the Colonies had been in touch with the same Muse who gave the song to Dylan, but to make it in a “Caprican pop song” style.

    I had similar thoughts as yours, re: “Ship of Lights.” Maybe she has been “ascended.”

  4. March 26, 2007 11:39 pm

    I’ve seen the Moore quote elsewhere and I don’t buy it (nor do the people who quoted him).
    How many times has Moore lied to protect his plots twists? How many? And if that stuff about the song is true, then Moore is far dumber than I think. The problem with doing that is us. We are in a culture extremely familiar with the song, a song loved by many, including Moore. By using that song, we know that it means something, and have relevance to us. There were likely better choices of a song if he wanted to give us the impression of Caprica, better lesser known choices. It would just stretch the believability quotient far too much to use such a well known and loved song. On this point Moore’s probably just playing P.I. Staker.

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