Well, BSG is over. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the finale. It tied up a lot of loose ends and answered most questions. I really am sad to see the show go. BSG has a lot of sentimental value for me. It was one of the first shows that my wife (then girlfriend) and I watched together. I caught a couple of the miniseries episodes, but then forgot about the show for awhile. That changed when the dorm where I worked night security had a copy of the miniseries and season one that was left in the cabinet by the security guard who worked there during the week. Laura would come and sit with me while I was on night security and that is how we started watching BSG together. We have both enjoyed the series for the most part and it’s a little sad to see something that we have watched since we first knew each other come to an end.
Now, on to the show…
Thoughts on the series as a whole:
1. I always liked the realistic way human relationships were shown. The heroes were real people with real fallibilities. The relationships were often ugly, regularly stressed, and sometimes broken. Still, there were relationships that slogged through the human turmoil. Those relationships also evolved over the course of the series as the characters changed. I think my favorite one was the dynamic between Admiral Adama and his son, Lee. There were times in the series where they disagreed vehemently, but ultimately they respected and loved each other and could trust each other.
2. I understand that a big part of human relationships is sexuality, but I think BSG pushed the envelope here just because they could. I really don’t think it was necessary to show nearly as much sex as they did.
3. The technology mix was perfect. The series did a great job of making advanced technology feel familiar. One of the reasons the show worked so well was that the technology fit so seamlessly with the stories, characters, and sets that you don’t really notice it unless you pay attention to it.
4. Favorite Characters through the entire series: Chief Tyrol, Lee Adama (Apollo), Admiral Adama, Kat, Billy (Rosland’s aid), Dualla, Karl Agathon (Helo), Laura Roslin
As to the finale…
1. I’m a sucker for seeing the good guys win, so I liked it that Galactica survived the final engagement. For me, the ship was a charater in and of itself and I was glad to see her lift her crew safety one last time and come to a noble ending.
2. The death of Cavil was perfect. I have long thought of Cavil as a sort of Nitzche -esque figure. One thing that stands out to me is before he was revealed to by a cylon he was offering “counsel” that seemed very consistent with a nihilistic worldview. While I don’t claim to be a philosopher, to my reasoning, the only truly logical outcome for a nihilist is suicide. Nihilism basically says that life has no meaning beyond what we give it. Cavil saw everything he thought he could control about life fall through his fingers. There was no future, nothing mattered, so he shot himself.
3. They never really explained Kara’s return from death. I’m not sure, but I think the implication is that the deity(s) of the show brought her back.
4. The ending of the show leaves it open for theists and atheists to debate evolution and the population of earth. The show implies that the deity put things in motion and ultimately brought them safely to Earth. The show could also let one argue, like some atheists, that life on earth came from outer space or aliens. I think that their finding Earth justifies and lends credence to the holy books and prophecies referenced throughout the series and ultimately the stronger argument is that it was indeed a higher power that brought them safely to earth.
5. The “common ancestor” thing with Hera was interesting. I’m still not sure what to think about that. Does that mean no other humans survived except those who descended from her?
6. The death of Roslin fit with her role through the entire series of a Moses-like figure leading an often obstinate and rebellious people to the promised land. I thought that was one of the best over-arching stories in the series and her death soon after reaching Earth only solidified the Moses analogy in my mind.
Overall, I’m happy with how the series ended. It will be interesting to see if the prequel series is any good, but I’m not crossing my fingers. BSG was a great example of what a television series can be. It explored the full range of human emotion, from the brutal killing of a mother in an airlock to the selfless sacrifice of a Raptor pilot by repeatedly exposing herself to lethal doses of radition for the good of the fleet, the series showed the good and the bad. I can’t say for certain, but I think this is a series that will live on and remain relevant because ultimately it tells a story that never gets old, the human story.