31 Day Challenge: Battlestar Galactica, Day 30: What Did I Think of the Ending?

In the light of recent TV show finales that were awful (sorry, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, I love you and the actors did a great job, but …), I decided to pull out my DVD collection of Battlestar Galactica and rewatch the finale to see if any of my opinions changed since the last time I did this challenge. And well … it hasn’t.

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

Like, I didn’t hate it? It obviously wasn’t what I hoped for, but it didn’t fill me with this rabid ire that threatened to eat my soul, like the Game of Thrones ending did. They found “Earth,” which was really the goal of the entire series, the Cylons weren’t really so much defeated as they were assimilated, and most of the characters I loved had at least somewhat satisfying endings. But that doesn’t mean the ending was good.

If they had stopped right as the remnants of humanity and Cylon began to colonize the world, intermingling with the humans already on this new planet, 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 then, like the many endings of Lord of the Rings, the writers hamfistedly roped in that “what has happened will happen again” thing that everybody repeated seemingly ad nauseum throughout the series and turned Battlestar Galactica into a freaking allegory. And I get that the original series was based on Mormon doctrine, but … I mean, they changed a lot of the original series, so why did they feel this was the thing they needed to keep? Honestly, I really felt like they were taking a page out of Harvey Weinstein’s (ugh, I hate that I am mentioning this asshole here, but he did say it) Snowpiercer playbook, like we couldn’t get what they were trying to say unless they dumbed it down for us, with Head-Six and Head-Baltar ambling around a city and showing us that we were just following down the same path as “our ancestors.”

I just don’t like preachy shit like that. And the show had never been that way before, at least not as overtly as it acted here. Good storytelling has you examining parts of yourself, starts a conversation about the real-world applications it presents. But the writers turned BSG into a very annoying, poorly-planned Aesop’s fable, scolding us like an overly pious parent (kind of like Lee Adama). That’s not why I showed up every week, Ronald Moore and Company.

Art Credit: Wikipedia

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