And beware of spoilers ahead.
Hmmm. Watched the final season (or half season) of the new BSG not long ago, a show that I loved the first couple of seasons of, but had mixed feelings about the third. So did they pull it all together in the final episodes? Well … not really.
There was still much too much of the religious and cylon-related blather, joined now by much incomprehensible waffle regarding the cycle of human/cylon violence and the role of the key final five cylons in everything. And nothing. I guess they’d painted themselves into a corner where they had to try and make it all make sense and, well, they didn’t really. Not for me, anyway. One can’t escape the feeling that they picked as the final five – and especially the much-touted fifth – a rather random mixed bag of mostly second string characters, which didn’t produce much of a “frak me! It was them all along?” reaction, at least from this viewer. More of a – “what, her? Oh.”
The result was that the show then focused on these characters a lot more than it really should have, at the expense of the characters the show originally focused on and who were actually a lot better on the whole. Starbuck was sidelined. Admiral Adama did a lot of tortured gurning but not much glorious implacability. Apollo barely showed up in the last few episodes, and when he did his ludicrous hair was really stretching my suspension of disbelief. Baltar was literally treading water for two whole seasons so he could then show up for a much touted final moment that proved to be relatively insignificant. They laid some good action sequences on at the end, but for a show that weighed in heavily with the prophecy and portent the payoff was rather lame, and buried under an awful lot of philosophical mumbo jumbo, and made one think that they weren’t really ever thinking much more than a season in advance, and just couldn’t pull all the strands together when they needed to.
A lot of things were rushed, and a lot just didn’t make much sense once you thought about them. Didn’t really believe they’d give up all their technology to live as primitives. Oh, but building a log cabin’s apparently alright. Why would Adama snr. abandon his son and friends for no apparent reason, rather than living just down the valley, or whatever? And, for that matter, would the hardboiled political and military pragmatists who’d led the fleet through its first couple of seasons really have gone on a suicidal rescue mission for the sake of one little girl? The subplot about galactica falling apart seemed pretty unnecesary really, but took up an inordinate amount of time with many, many similar shots of people welding.
At times, when it focused more on the human issues – the politics, and violence, and treachery, it was firing on something like all cylinders again, but unfortunately that only served to remind me how frakking great it was when the cylons were just the unknowable other, the enemy within and without against which the human response was measured and assessed, and every episode was full of launch tubes, sweat, doubt, fear, and the endless threat of nuclear annihilation. Bad hair was a constant throughout but, you know, it seemed to denote drama in the earlier episodes, and gritty reality. Here it just made me think of a disco…