Another season of Battlestar Galactica is now in the books, and for better or worse it had a lot of people talking. The finale threw us a surprise that I don’t believe very many people saw coming, and really changed the nature of the series. In my view, I think it changed for the better, because it has made possible so many more scenarios that should keep BSG on for as long as the ratings say it is worth it. Some wondered how such a big change could happen, but it shouldn’t come as a shock. We’ve been told the Cylons have a plan, and we now have an idea of just how that plan is going to affect us.The finale was 90 minutes long, and although it rambled around a bit in the middle, it ended with something that should be worth at least three more seasons worth of conflict. First, we should tidy up some of the minor details from last episode like that whole thing with Cally and Tyrel. I have always thought that the two of them should get together; you could see how much she loved him, even if he didn’t return the favor. After speaking with the Chaplain, Tyrel got up the courage to come and apologize to Cally while she was still in the hospital. He is almost embarrassed at how easily Cally forgives him. And even though her face is smashed and you can barely hear the words, she says that she has always cared about him, and always will. I know this was supposed to be a touching moment, but it was a little too battered wife syndrome for me. I happen to agree with Cally when she says that she knew that the Chief wasn’t himself at the time, but I would think she would have been at least semi-hesitant at the reunion.
In the grand scheme of things, that little moment was incidental. What we really wanted to know was how Starbuck’s little landing party was doing. Let’s be honest, it looked pretty grim. They were cut off from their Raptors, and mortars were landing all around them. They were able to find some high ground and a place that provided some cover, but Sharon warned them that they would come back, save some prisoners for interrogation, and then send the rest back to the Farm. If you don’t remember, the Farm was that hospital Starbuck “visited” last year. The real purpose of the farm is that the Cylons want to try and breed humans. Starbuck didn’t want to go back there, so she made Anders promise that if they were overrun, they would both kill each other.
As it turns out, the centurions never came. After waiting a day, it seemed as if the Cylons were never going to come, and after sending out a small recon party, it looked as if the Cylons just up and left. Everybody was so happy, including the Dean Stockwell character, who appeared out of nowhere saying, “Praise the Gods!” and led everybody in prayer. As soon as we saw Dean Stockwell, we all knew there would be trouble. There was a Dean Stockwell on Galactica as the Chaplain, so if there is a Dean Stockwell on Caprica, that means that he is a Cylon, and the disappearance of the enemy at this critical time should cause some suspicion. I would have thought that these people would have noticed when some random old guy comes out of nowhere and starts praying. If he had already infiltrated the resistance base camp, you would think that their guerilla attacks would be less successful. But I guess since Sharon didn’t tell Helo that he was a Cylon, things must have seemed OK.
Returning to Galactica, it seemed like things couldn’t be going any better. Starbuck was back from an impossible mission with actual survivors. Sure there was an election coming up that held the fate of civilization in the balance, but the fact that they were able to come back from Caprica alive and that the Cylons basically capitulated despite overwhelming odds that they would be victorious was quite the morale booster. That was until Tyrel saw Dean Stockwell, jumped on him, and accused him of being a Cylon. Most people thought that the Chief had just gone crazy again, but when the Dean Stockwell said, “Well, actually, I am a Cylon and I have message. Uh, take me to your leader”, the mood changed. Dean Stockwell was thrown in the brig, and so was Sharon.
Starbuck didn’t let the news that she brought back a Cylon damper her mood, though. She immediately got down to doing what she does best – drinking. Again, I made fun of her and Anders, and I wonder how they fell in love so easily, but it’s not like they would sit back and wonder “well, there are billions of people out there, maybe one of them is right for me”. When there are only 25,000 other possible choices for you to make, any connection you have is going to make you a little more certain. Anders and Starbuck could barely keep their hands off each other, which sort of annoyed Apollo when he came to visit. Lee and Kara used to be pretty close, but they have been growing apart for a long time. Still, I thought that Lee would be happy for her, if for no other reason than she would stop bothering him. He had Dualla, and although Kara made fun of him for shacking up with the first young thing that gave it up to him, he is going to try and make it work. There is no reason to hate on Starbuck for getting a piece herself.
As pouty as Apollo may have been, it was nothing like poor Helo. He really wants to make his relationship with Sharon work, but she has pretty much given up on humanity since the death of her baby. She still doesn’t believe the death is an accident, and she said that she could care less about whether the Adama or Helo trust her. Although Helo says that he isn’t going to give up on her that easily, it looks like we are going to have to look to another couple if we are looking at any human-Cylon mutant babies.
Sharon is not the most important Cylon in the Fleet, that is Dean Stockwell, which I guess I should call Cavil, because that is the name he uses when he is trying to “blend”. Anyway, Caprica-Cavil says that he has a message for President Roslin and Galactica-Cavil is still trying to convince people that he is a human, until he sees Caprica-Cavil and understands that the jig is up. So, what is this important message that Cavil has for the fleet? Well, it looks like the Cylons have had a change of heart. The war heroes, Caprica-Six and Galactica-Sharon, have spoken out on how the Cylons have been on the wrong path. They aren’t interested in destroying the human race anymore, and have actually left the areas that they have previously occupied. Unlike humans, the Cylons said they were willing to admit their mistakes, and they admitted occupation was a mistake.
As Cavil put it, the Cylons used to think that they were like the children of humans, and like many children, believed that their destiny was to live the lives of their parents. They were trying to be better human and so they wanted to destroy the current human existence because it was so flawed. Now their plan as changed. Instead of trying to better humans, they want to be better machines. They are going to go about their own destiny trying to become better machines. Humans and Cylons will now go their separate ways, no harm, no foul. Well, if there were about 12 billion more humans out in existence, this explanation may make sense, but at this time, I don’t think anybody was going to simply return to the 12 colonies and be finished. What good would it do to return to a wasteland *and* have to be paranoid about Cylon attacks all the time? When asked where the Cylons went, Cavil said he rather not say, so I think it is safe to be a little skeptical of the whole deal.
Before any big decisions could be made about the future of the fleet, there was still the little problem of the election. As worried as all of us were for humanity’s future with Roslin at the helm, I think we were all terrified to think that Baltar would be elected, but this latter scenario looked like it was going to be a distinct possibility. The idea of permanent settlement appealed to a lot of people, and he was leading in the polls. Roslin had basically given up, but her new right hand, Tori, has been able to do a lot of things, and so Roslin asks her about any super secret backup plan for victory. Tori gives a coy smile, says there is always a backup plan, and looks like she is really ready to use it.
Roslin knew how serious the situation was, so she visited Baltar just before the election. She wants to win, but she also knows that settling on “New Caprica” as the world has become known, would be disaster. The President proposes that she and Baltar agree to a statement that the decision to settle won’t be made until after the election. More importantly the President says the decision should be made after careful deliberation. Baltar knows that he can’t give up the one issue that he is using to beat Roslin, and says that there is no way he’ll make any agreement. Desperate, Roslin tries one last thing to get his attention, asking him if he was with a copy of the tall blonde Cylon on Caprica just before the attack. Baltar nearly shits himself when he realizes that she is right, but is able to compose himself to deny any involvement.
If that was the President’s secret backup plan, I have to say that she brought some of the weakest shit I have ever seen. She has this memory of the blonde Cylon, wouldn’t that be enough to start a rumor about him? Couldn’t she have thrown together a Willie Horton ad or something? Maybe she has no proof, but she can’t just go down without a fight can she? Luckily, she has Tori, who is willing to take the gloves off. Like the Cylons, Tori has a plan.
The elections are being run by the military, with civilian oversight. There were some complaints from a lot of different places, but a fair system was put in place that took accuracy and security into account. Overseeing the operations? Tigh, Gaeta, and Dualla. When the results start pouring in, and it looks like Roslin is going to get thumped, Tori makes a phone call. Tigh gives a signal to Dualla, and when the next round of ballots comes in, Dualla stops it before it gets to the counting room. Two other people pick up the ballot box and go into a side room where we can only imagine what is happening. A new box comes to the counting room, and by the end of the counting, she had pulled out a very improbably victory. Zarek knew that something was fixed, likely because he fixed a few elections in his day, but Baltar said that he doesn’t believe that Roslin is corrupt and would do such a thing.
President Roslin might have gotten away with it all, but something happened. As Gaeta was checking over some of the ballots, he noticed that there was an irregularity. On one of the ships, it was discovered that Baltar’s name was spelled incorrectly. Since there wasn’t enough time to print new ballots, Gaeta authorized use of the incorrectly spelled ones to go through, but when he saw the ballots from the same ship, there were no errors. Tigh has an “oh shit” look on his face, and says he will take care of it, but Gaeta doesn’t believe him and reports this directly to Admiral Adama. Adama confronts Roslin, who says that she authorized Tori to do whatever it takes to win, but didn’t know that whatever it takes would include voter fraud.
As you know, I thought they spent too much time on this election, and I think the whole voter fraud part was really worthless. Roslin tries to make it clear to Adama that Baltar can’t become President, and he agrees, but doesn’t think they are doing it in the right way. When Roslin says she saw Baltar with a Cylon in some of her cancer-induced dreams, it doesn’t make it any more believable, and Adama says that she has no proof. What she has done is illegal, but Adama still leaves the choice up to Roslin, but warns that if she makes the choice to let the fixed election results stand “the cancer will move to her heart” and she will die inside. That line was so awful; I thought I was going pass out from nausea. Seriously, is that the best they could do?
Roslin decides to concede victory to Baltar, and Adama informs him that after review, they discovered a few oversights that would give him victory. Although Gaius talks about an investigation and such, he knows that if he pushes too much, Roslin could push back with her Caprica hallucinations. He’s going to be sworn in as President, but he wants to visit Gina one last time. He was already high profile, but with his new position, he will hardly be able to move freely. He tells Gina that he hopes to see her when they settle the planet, but she tells him that she is not going to New Caprica. Gaius can’t really understand what is going on, but why bother thinking about that? Gina is ready to consummate their relationship, and so she gets naked, which gets Gaius naked, which gives us some more of that side-boob and naked silhouette Gina that we always love.
As Baltar is sworn in, we get flashbacks to the sex scene. At one point, Gina cries, and I am thinking that the moment is so emotional because she was finally able to be close to a person after everything that happened to her. She had been raped and although Gaius loved her, she was never able to be with him physically and express how much she loved him. Little did I know how wrong I was. Gina was crying because she was never going to see Gaius again. She decided to make use of a gift that Baltar had given her. That’s right, just as Baltar was being sworn in, she decided to use the nuclear warhead. It destroyed Cloud Nine and several ships that were nearby.
I thought that this would be enough to demonstrate to Baltar the error of his ways, but I was also very wrong. Even though the investigation of the accident showed the warhead came from Baltar’s lab, I guess it wasn’t enough to stop him from becoming the President. And even though he knew that it was a Cylon that set off the warhead, he decided to go forward with the plan to colonize New Caprica. Again, I thought that he would have learned that his instincts might not be as sharp as previously believed. Indeed, he cried at the thought that the person he loved more than anybody else in the world had betrayed him, but the colonization continued.
After the nuclear explosion, I was kind of in shock. I do remember thinking that I was happy they didn’t star the episode off with the explosion, and then do a “72 hours earlier” stunt. By the way, if the writers read what people are saying about them, I hope somebody finds there way to TVgasm and reads how I promise to find them and gouge their eyes out if they use that shit more than once a season from now on. Anyway, I thought that would be enough to end the season, but we were in for a bigger tease. Fast-forward one year. Gaius is now the President. He became President because he wanted to help Gina, but she is gone, and replaced by a whore. Gaeta is now his advisor, and now has grey hair, just in case you forgot a year has passed. There have been no Cylon attacks, but it seems the people aren’t happy. Life is hard, and the union is restless. What union? Who knows, but it is the union.
Galactica and Pegasus are now on orbital defense patrol, but the ships are nearly empty. Adama has grown a mustache, once again to demonstrate that a year has passed. You know, saying “one year later” was probably enough, and this out of work porn star thing that Adama is going with doesn’t really add to the overall look. And Apollo? He used to be trim, but now he’s looking more like his father, at least around the waist, but at least he’s got Dualla.
On the surface, New Caprica city is a bustling metropolis of almost forty thousand. Starbuck is now married to Anders, who has pneumonia but can’t find meds. There are no more antibiotics, so Anders may die if she can’t find anybody to help. She begs Lee to help because she hears that he has backup meds for flight crews, but he denies her. I was really surprised that these people couldn’t figure out how to grow some mold, considering how advanced civilization is supposed to be. My first guess is that they spent too much time making tobacco because EVERYBODY is smoking.
So, how about everybody else? Adama convinced Tigh that there was nothing for him to do on Galactica, so Tigh decided to live with Ellen on the surface. They decided to attend a rally of the union, led by none other than Chief Tyrel. Cally is now pregnant, and the chief has turned into a communist, which I guess explains why he stopped shaving. Roslin is doing what she does best, which is teaching, and the young woman who adopted Sharon’s baby is in the classroom with her.
Life kind of sucks, but at least it is living. There are no Cylons, so now we can turn this show into Caprica 2, call up the Noxema Girl, and, huh? What is that? Oh shit! After a year of nothing happening, an entire Cylon fleet jumps into orbit around New Caprica. Galactica and Pegasus are in no condition to fight, so the two ships jump out of the system with a few other ships, leaving New Caprica to the Cylon mercy.
The Cylons came, but there were no nukes. It looks like they were trying to keep the people alive, but for what reason? Well, Baltar was about to find out. The Cylons came, and asked for his surrender. Among them was Caprica-Six, the one he originally fell in love with so many years ago (OK, only two, but it’s felt like a long time). Baltar surrenders human society without a fuss, but does have a question. How did they find the colony? Well, it was a complete accident. They were flying by and saw the signature of what appeared to be a nuclear explosion. Gina knew exactly what she was doing that whole time. She is one cold bitch, and I have to say, I love her for it.
Now, there is going to be a lot of people out there who don’t like the direction this takes BSG, because it is a huge departure from the original series. As I have said many times, the biggest difference between the new series and the old series is how the Cylons have changed, so I think it is great that we will see another facet of the Cylon mindset. Let’s face it, Baltar has been “in bed” with the Cylons for a long time, now he’s just making it official. Pretty much the rest of the planet hates Baltar though, and it was clear that we have set up something where there will be a resistance to the “official government”. We’ll call it Battlestar Vichy. Just what the two Battlestars are going to do when it comes to fighting is anybody’s guess, especially when it looked like there were barely enough people to fly the things, let alone pull off an assault. The possibilities are endless, and I think this breathes new life into the series. Hopefully the writers will use this opportunity to explore the stories with a flair for the original instead of the melodramatic.
What did you think of the episode? Is human civilization done for? What can Galactica and Pegasus do? What happens when Sharon find out the baby is alive?