Sunday, August 31, 2014

31 Day Battlestar Galactica Challenge, Day 31: The Ending - What Did I Think of It?

Oh. My. God. I did it. And I did it within my time table. I think this calls for a little victory gif parade.









Alrighty, then, now that we have that out of the way.

The ending.


Over at Brad Ideas, you can read a fairly long, yet well written, piece on what he felt was wrong with the finale. You know what? He makes a lot of valid points, none of which I'm going to summarize here, because you really should go read his analysis of the last three episodes. Instead, I'm going to give you what really chapped my ass about the finale.

Okay, I didn't hate it. I mean, it wasn't what I hoped for, but it didn't fill me with this rabid ire that threatened to eat my soul. I actually really like ambiguous endings, for the most part; it keeps me actively engaged in a movie for hours, sometimes years, after I've watched whatever it was, so Season 4's Starbuck not fully being explained didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. Her role in the dawn of the new mankind was completed and she was free to return from whence she came, a whole being who was at peace with herself. As I've stated before, I wish that Starbuck had instead been one of the only surviving bodies of the presumed-destroyed Daniel (Danielle) model, revived by Ellen in secret (although how she would do this is kind of up in the air, but whatever, this is my fantasy canon) and sent back to the fleet. This would explain her knowledge of the song that the four of the Final Five aboard the Galactica heard. But see? This is where the mutability of interpretation can really be a beautiful thing. The viewer can own the story in a way that no one else can, and connections are made that the creators of the narrative could not have predicted.

Here's the thing. If they had stopped as the remnants of humanity and Cylon went to colonize the world, I would have been fine. Not 100% satisfied, sure, but I would have just rolled my eyes and moved onto watching reruns of Deep Space Nine. But noooooooo, they just had to continue and give us this bullshit, "Look at us humans, descendants of these people who abandoned their technology to make a better world*, going down the same road!" in present day, with Head-Six and Head-Baltar walking around NYC (I think) and commenting about how it all happened before. I almost didn't watch that part when I did this challenge, like how (Friends) Phoebe's mom used to do with sad or scary movies: nope, didn't happen, Yeller really did live happily with his boy until he died of old dog age. It was just so fucking preachy that I remember nearly losing it the first time it aired. The show had never been about that before, at least not as overtly as it presented itself here. Good storytelling makes you examine parts of yourself, starts a conversation about the real-world applications are of the lessons it can teach. Battlestar Galactica had turned itself, after four seasons, into a very annoying Aesop's fable, an allegory, a way of scolding us like some overly pious parent (kind of like Lee Adama!) who'd just spoken with a priest. They figured we were too stupid to understand, similar to Harvey Weinstein's assertion that middle America wouldn't "get" Snowpiercer, so they had to dumb it down for us.

No, thanks, Ronald Moore and Company. I want to watch Snowpiercer in its uncut glory, in the same way I wanted to examine BSG after it was complete, to see the threads, as obviously not-planned as they were, and come up with my own version of a tapestry, not this !surprise! religious iconography you shoved down my throat. Oh, well, there's always Season Two (minus "Black Market").

* This is kind of nitpicky and since it didn't really fit into the above, I figured I'd make this a footnote. Okay, so just a few episodes before "Daybreak 1 - 3," the fleet was on the brink of a civil war, right? Hell, Baltar was inspiring people to pick up guns so they could protect themselves against those who would steal their food. And when the Galactica was finally being decommissioned, everybody was fighting over who would get what pieces of the ship, correct? And the writers were trying to tell me that, only a short time later, not only were they, as a whole unit, willing to give up this technology, by which they'd been surrounded their entire existences, to live as farmers, and that they all collectively were like, "Yeah, sure?" Part of what made BSG great was that it was always showing that not everyone agreed on things and that some were willing to resort to violence to get themselves heard. That was just thrown out the window with the throwaway, "Well, they all want a clean slate," spoken by none other than Admiral Adama. I just don't buy it.

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