Friday, March 20, 2009

Battlestar Galactica Superb Series Finale: Not Goodbye But See You Around

Well, the two-hour series of finale of Battlestar Galactica was in most respects wonderful, profound, satisfying, and spectacular, and just what I want in the best of science fiction. I'm especially pleased to review it here in what is my 1001st post in Infinite Regress.

As many viewers suspected for years now, the people and Cylons we have been following are 150,000 years in our past, and one of them - Hera - is our mitochondrial Eve, or the ancestor of all of human viewers of Battlestar Galactica, include me, and, presumably, you.

But what of the Earth that was in post-atomic ruins, that we and our heroes were gazing upon earlier in the story? Apparently that was an earlier version of our Earth, after which our Earth was named, by the humans and Cylons in tonight's finale. That works ok - but I thought the previous Earth was in the same place in the galaxy as ours? Maybe not - maybe it was just a third planet from a sun in some sector completely different from ours. This could have been made a tiny bit more clear, but ok.

Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" is heard again - on our Earth at the end of the finale. So this means ... our Bob Dylan somehow tuned into this cosmic song which was heard 150,000 years ago, and Kara and the Cylons who did not know they were Cylons for most of the story were also keyed to. Ok, that makes some sense, too.

But Kara's resolution is the least complete and the most complex. She vanishes on our Earth, 150,000 years ago, right in the middle of a conversation with Lee. Which means ... she's an angel, like the angelic Six and Baltar, who also vanish in and out? But the angelic Six and Baltar have no impact on real, tangible objects - only indirectly by influencing each other's minds - so how can Kara be an angel? She also is seen by everyone, not just Lee ... but that's less of a hurdle to her angelic essence than flying vipers and all the other crashing, slashing things that Kara did.

So leave Kara a somewhat unanswered question. But the series wrapped up beautifully in many and most other ways, including Laura and Bill (beautifully if sadly), Helo and Sharon, Six and Baltar, and much more. We were treated to some spectacular battles in this finale - I thought the Cylon on Cylon action was especially cool - and then we and our heroes were treated to some soft, green Earth. It felt good.

This series brought science fiction on television to new levels of philosophy, ethics, and metaphysics. And it's not really over, either. April showers will bring a DVD with a Caprica movie, and next Fall we'll have a special on how the Cylons emerged - from the Cylon perspective.

I have a feeling we're seeing the beginning of something much bigger, and eternal, in this Battlestar Galactica finale - something a lot like Star Trek. After all, it's happened all before...

More Battlestar Galactica - see: Battlestar Galactica, Final 1: Dee, Ellen, and Starbuck ... Final 2: Baby and Mutiny Make Three ... Final 3: Galactica Alamo! ... Final 4: Shout-Outs to Lampkin, Lee, Tyrol ... Final 5: (Almost) All Explained ... Final 6. The Necessity of Hyrbrid ... Final 7. 'Since I Died in Your Arms' ... Final 8. Father of a Million ... Final 9. 'Every Man and Woman Over the Age of 15'

5-min podcast review of BSG finale

The Plot to Save Socrates

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