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Saturday, March 11, 2006
Thoughts on the BSG Season Finale
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 11:41 am

Since there are spoilers, comments are below the fold.

First off: I didn’t see that coming (except that I figured that the nuke would go off at some point). I certainly didn’t see them settling on New Caprica and then a year elapsing. I certainly would not have predicted what amounts to a substantial demobilization of the military. They have set up a substantially different narrative structure for next season. There will be, at least for a while, no more progress towards earth.

I have read that Lucy Lawless has signed one for a ten-episode story arc. One wonders if the New Caprica business will take up the first half of the third season before they get back to fleeing.

Some observations:

  • On the one hand, it was quite bold, and not what one would expect from episodic television, as they actually went through with the radical consequence of a plot point: i.e?., not only did Baltar win the election, but his plan to settle on the planet was carried through. Usually when such a narrative-changing situation is threatened, it is never carried through with.
  • Speaking of Baltar, he has screwed them all yet again (or should I say “frakked”?) not only was he directly responsible for the death of another roughly 10k colonials via the nuclear blast, but the blast, of course, was what alerted the New Improved Paternalistic Cylons to find them in the nebula. And all of that doesn’t even take into account his hideous choice to colonize for political gain and the way he has run the government over the past year. That he isn’t wholly mad at this point is remarkable (although perhaps he is). Clearly he is perhaps the most egotistical man in the universe and perhaps that utter narcissism has kept him from totally losing it.
  • More Baltar: it will be most fascinating to see what happens with Caprica Six. Will he be able to pursue an active relationship with her? One guesses yes, as she clearly in in love with him, and he is desperately in love with her-how else does one explain him giving the nuke to Cloud Nine Six (a.k.a., Gina)? I suspect he will find himself wholly entangled with the Cylons from here on out-especially since Roslin already believe that he is a collaborator, and this situation will only confirm that fact.
  • I remain a bit confused as to Gina’s motivation for setting off the nuke. Perhaps she knew she could not hide amongst the humans under the new conditions on New Caprica, despite Baltar’s assurances that they could be together. Another theory is that she still was essentially a pre-reformation Cylon who saw her ultimate duty as killing humans. Of course, her demeanor was one of despair when she set off the bomb.
  • I think that it is clear that the Six in his head isn’t a Cylon. It is looking more like psychosis than anything else. The theories about a third force were intriguing, but the show seems to have veered away from the metaphysical, as Cavell seemed to renounce the notion of the Cylon God.
  • The idea that the reformed Cylons would decide that they should take care of, and shepherd mankind makes a lot of sense.
  • I am guessing that we are going to get Starbuck, Tyrol, Anders and such playing the insurgency game. Still, with such a small population in which to hide, that should be a trick.
  • While this finale left me quite intrigued, it lacks the dramatic kick that the season one finale had, or even the mid-second season cliff hanger.

Some critiques.

  • The timing of the Cylon Exodus from the colonies was a bit too deus ex machina-I mean, the Reformartion took place right in the middle of an attack? I guess that’s machines for you, but still…
  • I was quite disappointed by elements of the character post-settlement. While Tyrol and Roslin seemed to be in character, I had a hard time with the way Lee, Dualla, and to a degree, Starbuck were portrayed. Lee and Dualla came across as hardcore, detached jerks. Indeed, in any other show (especially Trek) one would have expected some sort of time-travel solution to show us that none of this had really happened. However, I find the probability of such a scenario as being nil on this show.
  • Adama has to loose the mustache-it ain’t working.
  • A major problem that I will be curious to see how they deal with it: it was hard enough trying to have a full fighting force post-destruction of the colonies, but at least they had a full crew on Galactica and ay least a sufficient crew on Pegasus. It looks now like a fully skeleton crew that would make any kind of fighting impossible. How they deal with that will be tricky and I look forward to seeing how they do it. But being a remnant of a remnant is quite a problem, especially the way that the situation was portrayed at the end of the episode.
  • Very minor point: if Caprica was only one of the twelve colonies, how did they get away with naming the planet “New Caprica”?

Questions:

  • Where are Sharon and the two Cavells? I assume still in the brig. I hope that we do see more of Cavell.
  • Who are manning the other ships? Given the obvious desire to be on the planet, how did they convince so many to stay up in space?

More later, perhaps.

Other commenting:

Filed under: SciFi, BSG | |Send TrackBack

9 Comments »

  1. New Caprica was all Baltar, I think. Seeing as how HE lived on Caprica, any planet he had ANY say in naming would be New Caprica. That man is clearly so self absorbed that . . . . man, he’s just not likeable.

    The mustache on Adama - couldn’t agree more. Ugh. MUST go.

    I was intrigued about the direction they went . . . VERY intrigued. Its going to be very interesting to see what happens now. I love the reaction of the Galatica Cavel when he sees his brother. “I am NOT a Cylon . . . oh. Well, this changes things.” I hope to see more of him as well, since he seems to be the athiestic Cylon, and his perspective is different than all the others we have seen so far.

    Comment by B. Minich, PI — Saturday, March 11, 2006 @ 12:37 pm

  2. Good point on Baltar and “New Caprica”

    And yup-the Galactica Cavell reaction was great.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, March 11, 2006 @ 1:01 pm

  3. I expect the next season will explain how affairs ended up the way they did.

    What I am curious about is the Cylon baby’s role in the story. The baby’s adoptive mother is Roslin’s teaching assistant, no doubt because Roslin wanted to keep an eye over her.

    I’m sure there are plenty of people in the fleet who were accustomed to being in ships as opposed to on the ground, so there would have been enough people to stay on the ships.

    Comment by ATM — Saturday, March 11, 2006 @ 10:38 pm

  4. I think you are missing what Baltar is going through. It’s all there in MACBETH, recall “OUT, OUT, Damn spot.”

    IT’S GUILT. And for our post-modern, post-Christian society, it’s a fascinating story line. We’ve been told that good and evil doesn’t exist, it’s nothing but narrative and construct.

    But here we see a fella who is as sophisticated and as worldly as could be, BUT HE IS HAUNTED BY GUILT.

    And notice too, in the recent episode where we went to occupied Caprica. AND GUESS WHO WAS HAUNTED BY GUILT THERE, the ravishing # 6, long legs and all.

    The show certainly throws curves at its audience, in more ways than one.

    Comment by Dan — Sunday, March 12, 2006 @ 2:24 am

  5. I too was surprised by the “leap” in both time and story line to the New Caprica story. Baltar is acting like his name would suggest, a tragic Roman “Ceasar”. Consumed by power and guilt. I thought the Baltar election and the move to the plant was glossed over a bit too much. It was too big a point in the story to have been left to this “leap” in the story line.
    I think the Cylons are on the hunt for the “baby Jesus” child. I think that is why they backed off from their attack on both Old Caprica and sent Cavell and this “brother”. I think that Sharon is a “Virgin Mary” figure in this story line.
    I don’t understand why it is that after a year on the New Caprica they are all still living in tents?? No trees on this plant or what?? And how is it that the military crews where allowed to just leave their posts?? They are military aren’t they??? How did Adm. Adama loose control of the military troops under his command??
    I truly think this is the best show on TV, but this seasons ender, although interesting and opens up a whole new set of plot possibilities, was confusing at best.

    Comment by Lennie Martin — Sunday, March 12, 2006 @ 8:13 am

  6. Several thoughts:

    I thought Six blew up the bomb because she wasn’t really ready to start up relations again with Baltar after the Pegasus? A stretch, but that’s what I was thinking.

    Also, I seem to recall someone mentioning that most of the survivors were from Caprica for some reason? In which case I guess most of the people would want it to be “New Caprica”, though you’d think they’d choose a different name altogether.

    Comment by Alpha Chen — Sunday, March 12, 2006 @ 9:49 pm

  7. Caprica was the capital, so it makes sense for the settlement to be named New Caprica. I don’t remember if there was ever a per colony survivor count given.

    As for Baltar, did anyone get the impression of Baltar being a Confederate leader during the first scene showing him in his office on New Caprica.

    Comment by ATM — Sunday, March 12, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

  8. The producers of the show like to remind us every episode that the Cylons “have a plan…”

    How does this season’s ending fit in with the plan? (or at least what we believed the plan to be). Was this the original plan, to essentially have a social coup on Caprica, find the Humans by accident, and decide to occupy the Human’s new home? How could it have been? Will the next season’s episodes begin with the Cylons “have a new plan….”

    I concur with everyone’s comments and questions about how did the BSG crew and others end up doing what they were doing after a year of settlement (such as Gaida being the President’s aide). In season 2.5, the producers were very fond of using the flash back in several episodes, often starting episodes at the end of the story and then explaining how they got there. I have a feeling that Season 3.0 will be much like that, spent entirely explaining what has happened over the last year, and then the second half of the season will get back to moving the story forward.

    And of course, one teaser at the end of the episode of interest: Who was the dude looking for Kara when the Cylons reached New Caprica? Didn’t one of the #6’s know Kara on sight? How is it that Kara understood how to fly a Cylon Raider? It was more than just her pilot skills, Sharon also identified with the raider. What role does Kara have yet to play, and how does it affect “the plan?”

    Comment by bg — Monday, March 13, 2006 @ 1:59 pm

  9. The Plan element is a good point, and one that occurred to me the other day-do they still have A Plan? Is it a New Plan?

    Inquiring minds don’t want to wait until October!

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Monday, March 13, 2006 @ 3:24 pm

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