If you haven’t seen the 2004-2009 television show Battlestar Galactica (BSG) I recommend that you stop reading and get on that right now. Despite the name, this show is about a lot more than space battles. It’s about politics, religion, humanity, creation, science, love, friendship, loyalty and so much more. If I had to rank it, BSG would only fall behind Gilmore Girls (my all time favorite show because let’s face it, I AM Rory) and Friday Night Lights. That’s how good it is.
People love BSG. It is known as one of the best science fiction shows out there and I had to constantly keep reminding myself that just because the show had great space battles, strong females, and shots with characters bathed in pools of light that it did not mean it was made by Joss Whedon. (Which makes me glad seeing as a lot more characters I loved probably would’ve died.) However, despite its critical acclaim, a lot of people seem to hate the series finale. I can understand that. But here’s the thing: I didn’t hate the ending. In fact I rather liked it.
I think a lot of the reason why I didn’t mind the ending of BSG is because I spent this summer watching rather than 4 years and a writer’s strike. I had less time to contemplate each character’s fate and never had to wait to see the second part of a 2 part episode. I took BSG as it was presented to me and only questioned it later, when I was done and no longer afraid to look things up online. But I also genuinely liked the ending because I felt like it had been coming all along.
Stop reading if you haven’t watched this show. I’m serious.
Because a part of me did see the ending coming. Not the finding Earth 2.0 and deciding to live there sans technology bit, but the very very end where we are taken to what appears to be current day New York City.
“All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again.”
If history has taught us anything it is that we humans do not learn from our mistakes. Same with the humans in BSG. They created the cylons, went to war, and then tried to make amends, but kept frakking it up every time. Kobol, Caprica, Earth it was all the same. When we saw flashbacks from Earth 1.0 there was a war that destroyed the planet and killed everything. The cylons and the humans both kept having a desire to start over but in doing so they kept repeating the same mistakes from the past. Ending with the great version of “All Along the Watchtower” and commercials of robots in Times Square just made the entire show that much more chilling. Times may have changed, but we are heading down the same course as our predecessors.
Now I know that is one of the big things most people have trouble believing. That scientifically we, current day humans, are descendants from the former members of the 12 colonies because the timing isn’t right and certain things don’t match up. But let’s disregard science for one minute. What if Hera is “mitochondrial Eve,” however scientifically wrong that may be? Wouldn’t we all have a little bit of cylon in us? If all the sixes and eights and other cylons that survived procreated and then their ancestors eventually procreated with the primitive Earth people wouldn’t that also be true? About half way through the series I started wondering if the big reveal at the end was going to be that everyone was a cylon so it didn’t actually matter who was a cylon. So in a future where everyone is a descendant from a half cylon my theory wouldn’t be too far off. It just goes with theme of what makes one human/what is humanity that the show has developed so well.
Another reason why I liked the ending of BSG is because it just (barely) answered all of the lingering questions I had. We discovered the secret of the opera house, the importance of Hera, the destiny of Kara (barely), and the meaning of the strange Baltar/Six projections. While the answers weren’t the greatest at least I didn’t have those questions any more. Instead I had new ones. But what show has ever wrapped anything up in a neat package? I like loose ends; I like having things to write and discuss and think about long after the show is over. So is Kara an angel? Maybe. But I like to think that she was a soldier and once her mission was complete she could leave to go where she truly belonged-which (like it or not) was with Sam. And I like the freedom to think whatever I want.
BSG is one of those shows that I will talk about and recommend to people long after I’m done watching. I have been enjoying reading all the old message boards with things about the show I would never think of on my own (like how Hera being Mitochondrial Eve is scientifically inaccurate and how harbinger actually means, “a person sent ahead to provide lodgings” which gives the prophesy about Kara a whole new meaning. BSG may be over, but my time in this ‘Verse is just beginning. I still have Caprica, Blood and Chrome, and The Plan to watch.
- Gaius Baltar: One of the most complex characters ever invented. I don’t know if I should love, loathe, or pity him
- Boomer: Her reveal as a cylon was the moment I stopped trusting Moore
- Helo: My favorite character by far; He never wavered in his desire to stand up for what was right-even if that was loving a cylon
- Roslin and Adama: One of the cutest doomed old people love stories since The Notebook
- Dooming Kara and Anders’ relationship from the start: We hardly got to root for them before it was too late or before Kara was sleeping around/confused about whatever it is that she was
- The Chief: Went from being one of my favorite characters to saying he didn’t love Cally to being a cylon to being a weird Gaius worshiping skinhead
- Still confused by Dee’s suicide
- Ellen Tigh as the final of the Final 5, the most powerful cylon?