Friday, February 06, 2009

Battlestar Galactica: Lost in Space

I think the last 10 episodes could be collectively titled "What To Do When You Find Earth... and It Totally Sucks." The first three eps back after a very long hiatus have been a rollercoaster.

**Warning: Spoilers ahead for the first three of the final ten episodes. Please turn back if you haven't watched them.**

In the first episode, Starbuck finds her corpse, which confirms to her that she's the last of the Final Five, and then Tigh wanders into the water, has a flash of memory and realizes that Ellen was actually the last of the Final Five. Who is correct? Are they both Cylons? Are neither of them Cylons? Or is it all leading up to a big reveal that we're all Cylons, something some fans have been anticipating right from the beginning?

I loved the first episode back. The flashes that the Cylons had when they were on Earth, the devastation in their faces at realizing they'd been chasing a pipe dream, it was all amazing. But then the second episode wasn't. Starbuck and Gaeta have it out in the lunchroom and it was SO hard to watch. Gaeta has every right to be upset about his leg, and Starbuck is completely unfair. But Starbuck's always been one of my faves, and so I'm torn. And in the end, she's loyal to her fleet, and Gaeta certainly isn't. We had Roslin curled up in a fetal position on the floor, Adama angry that Tigh had betrayed him, Tigh angry that he'd upset Adama, and everyone just plain confused about where their position in all of this was. Tyrrol finds out his kid isn't his kid, Hot Dog is forced to step up and be a daddy, and talk about confusion for the poor child. Tigh and Six are expectant parents, the chain-smoking Dr. Cottle is giving Cylons preferential treatment and forcing Gaeta to sit for an eternity...

It was all a perfect buildup to the eventual mutiny, but it was all so... dark and depressing. I thought the series would build up to finding Earth and it would all be wonderful, and now to have them all just floating around not knowing what the heck is going on is rather sad.

But last week's episode made up for it. With Zarek out of prison and Gaeta the frontrunner of the mass mutiny; with Apollo and Starbuck racing around packing heat below the decks; with the captain spewing threats at Gaeta through clenched teeth, it was SO much fun to watch. Roslin escapes, declares her undying love to Adama, and there's a shootout that ended with a "to be continued" screen. Of course, in the preview for this week's episode it was clear Adama wasn't going down in a hail of bullets (duh) but it looks like he's in for a dire situation this week.

So what do you think? Is the beginning of the final episodes depressing for you? Are you still as happy as you ever were with BSG? What do you think about the Cylon issue?


Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying BSG. I hate that there are only a few episodes left!

With that said, I'd like to see them get back to the story line of the Cylon. I do love the tension between the government and military though.

Benny said...

I think it is quite dark and I'll be right up front about this: I think it'll stay mostly that way and it's a good thing.

It definitely puts it aside from most shows in that the anticipated climactic end was actually earlier and now we have no idea what is going on. The idea of the human race being the Cylon 13th tribe is old, but now there's so much to be done in so little time. The first three episodes were what I would classify as the introduction to the finale.

During the first seasons we were all anticipating battles between the humans and cylons while following the entire mythology of Earth and the 13th tribe. Within all of that, the mystery of the cylon-humans was introduced with the final five and eventually the fifth. Now that we've reached Earth and there is no resurrection ship, we've not only had but a tiny answer we expected, we are shown that there are more questions we hadn't even considered. Sometimes we don't even know what to ask.

There is a brilliance here in that the easy prediction for the end of the series was not the end! A similar theme approached with Lost, the end being a rescue. This creates a new dimension where the viewer will become clueless and ups the ante on the writers to keep fans clinging to the show.

As for the whole dark theme, I don't expect the saddest series finale in TV history, but I'm not expecting the something on the happy side. I feel this is a "what comes around, comes around" or "history repeats itself" type of ending. We'll definitely have the answers by the end of everything it'll actually be a good ending. The mystery that finding Earth was not the end is what actually keeps me going here.

Anonymous said...

I've only been watching since December, so I have no quibbles.

The Gaeta story makes more sense when you watch Jane Espenson's webisodes.

To think, when I started watching I wasn't particularly fond of Edward James Olmos or Mary McDonnell. Silly, silly me.

I love watching all the Canadian actors who pop up. Not to mention Cylon Al and Cylon Xena. While other fans may be getting burned out by the bleakness, for me it's a bright shiny new world. :)

Stamford Talk said...

Redeem, you're right; EJO is so perfect for the role.

I was surprised there was not more info on what happened to Earth (or was it obvious?) Maybe that will play a role later, or maybe Earth will be tossed by the wayside and they'll find somewhere else to live.

Do we think they'll eventually find a planet? Or... um... realize that they are all cylons? Nah, that's a copout!

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge fan of this show. These writers are not flinching away from the implications of their past storylines.

The Cylons waged a genocidal war on humanity. They murdered billions of people and took their homes, hounded the survivors with the intent to finish the job, and (in a poorly-conceived attempt at "ripped-from-the-headlines" relevance) imposed an oppressive occupation on their temporary New Caprica home. Let us consider this before we jump all over Gaeta and his compatriotes for not being "okay" with the whole Cylons-are-our-friends-now thing.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Does anyone else think Gaeta's getting airlocked? I think Gaeta's getting airlocked. You don't take away the Grumpy Old Men's fleet and then just get away with it.

Nikki Stafford said...

JJ: I agree with you completely about Gaeta's feelings, which is why I said I disliked the scene with Starbuck so much -- I was actually on his side throughout, and didn't like being on the side opposite Starbuck, but I thought she was really unfair.

On the flip side of that, the other side of what the show is trying to say is that not all Cylons are alike. Hitler is responsible for mass genocide... does that mean the entire human race should be wiped out for what a segment of them did?

What is so fascinating about the last 10 episodes is that four of the final five are outed, and everyone looks at them differently. Before they were loyal members of the fleet. Now everyone looks at them like traitors, when they actually didn't DO anything.

Anonymous said...

It's a great metaphor on the post 9/11 mentality.

Anonymous said...

Apparently this dang thing won't let me log on...

Bear in mind, this is a show that started with a freaking Nuclear apocalypse: I think a little depression here and there is fine. And I havn't the SLIGHTEST idea what is going to happen next, so bring it on BSG!

SenexMacdonald said...

Stamford Talk said...
I was surprised there was not more info on what happened to Earth (or was it obvious?).

I think the Earth flashbacks by the Chief/Tigh and Anders' reflection on his 'previous life' hinted what happened on Earth. It was the home of the Cylons (the ones looking like the 12+5 models). I believe it points a lot to the Cylons being the 13th tribe ... not that I had thought about it before. I think that the human and Cylon races lived quite close to each other at some point way back in history. I believe they mentioned that Earth they found had been destroyed about 2000 years ago. The other tribes (how LOST) had left long before that.

So what if the so-called newer versions of the Cylons were the original inhabitants of Earth? What if they, in turn, created their 'own' versions of the Cylons we were originally familiar with. We did see an 'older-looking' Cylon helmet unburied after all.

I am wondering if what happened to Earth is reflective of what happened on Caprica and the other home worlds for the 12 tribes? It might be possible that those Cylons - and there were MANY models at that time - created the thing that brought about their own demise. If the older type Cylons became as the Centurians we have seen recently have been - self-aware - they could be the ones who destroyed the Earth and those Cylons.

So how then did any of the Cylons survive? We are led to believe at the beginning of the series that the original Cylons that we knew were the creators of the 'updated' more human models. Since we know we saw children in the Chief's flashback on Earth, the Cylons were able to procreate.

In order for the models (and maybe we need a new name instead of this) Chief, Anders, etc. to survive, the human type Cylons must have been already preparing Resurrection ships. Not necessarily because they knew someone would blow the Earth up - but how about so they could ensure they would at some point join their fellow tribes out in space? I am going to assume that they also had their own mythology as have the humans. If they have a belief in God, why not?

A lot of time had passed. Maybe some felt it was time to rejoin the other tribes. As we know multi-generational space ships are not going to be great. The toll on the human body in space would be very great and things could affect major changes to what the humans would look like by the end of the trip (watch Wall-e for some hints LOL) over many generations - and let's not talk about going into stasis!

But a device that could recreate/download someone's memories/mind inside an exact duplicate of their own body would mean that the original person would survive long periods in space.

Copies of oneself would also ensure that someone would be there to operate the ship as needed. Did I hear someone say clones?

Okay, enough said. Just wanted to stir the pot - so everyone dive in!


SenexMacdonald said...

JJ said...
The Cylons waged a genocidal war on humanity. They murdered billions of people and took their homes, hounded the survivors with the intent to finish the job, and (in a poorly-conceived attempt at "ripped-from-the-headlines" relevance) imposed an oppressive occupation on their temporary New Caprica home. Let us consider this before we jump all over Gaeta and his compatriotes for not being "okay" with the whole Cylons-are-our-friends-now thing.

I totally agree. Gaeta is correct in his own right and in his feelings - but it is important to remember this also - no one has forgotten what transpired. Even if Gaeta thinks they have.

I felt so bad for him in the confrontation with Starbuck. But I think regardless of his feelings, he needs to see the big picture. Has he forgotten that Tom is a convicted felon? Has he decided that sleeping with the devil is the lesser of two evils?

If Gaeta has total control over everything, then I can agree with his feelings and I can totally understand why he is doing what he is doing. If he has not, then he has opened himself up to things which he might not be prepared for. And then what?

I would hate to lose Gaeta - I love the character. But I love that the show has taken us into new and uncharted territory - where even those wearing the white hats can be black and those wearing the black hats can be heroes. I will be watching with baited breathe until the show comes to whatever conclusion awaits us.

Anonymous said...

I only started watching this show a few weeks ago, and it is awesome! Will be sad to see it go!

In complete contrast...

Just watched last weeks Heroes episode, with the hope that some changes might save this dying show. Alas - the show is pure doggy poo-poo. So much potential with this show, and all gone to waste.

It's really sad that the writers can't get it together. Everything that involves Claire just makes me cringe. She is useless, and it is so boring and annoying to watch as the writers try to fit her in where she clearly does not belong.

I started to watch this weeks episode, and then just stopped, and switched to something else (30 Rock - last weeks ep with the Spanish Alec Baldwin). Awesome!