Battlestar: A Lack of Stuff
I am a big fan of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.
Certainly one of the best things to hit television in decades.
Artistic excellence, exciting storytelling, depth of character.
Socially relevant in a way that only the best of art can be.
Which is why it is a bummer that the finale was so lame.
Television without Pity posits the questions and gaping holes left by the episode. I’ll leave most of it to them. (Besides, they do their analysis with pretty pictures.)
My biggest disappoints were setups without payoffs.
The existence of Daniel. The boxing of Xena Warrior Princess (we were told repeatedly that she was only boxed, and could come back – and of course she doesn’t come back). The identity question of Starbuck.
And the biggest waste of space: the Opera House. After leading us on with visions for years, the importance of the Opera House turns out to be:
Nada. Zilch. Zingo a bingo. If Gaius and Six were not there, it wouldn’t have changed a thing. Athena and Madame President lost a lot of sleep over nothing.
Okay, now let me defend the finale, followed by the reason that my defense of the finale doesn’t hold water.
Sure, the last hour was a snooze fest, but the battle sequence was pretty exciting, right?
Yes. And no.
Yes, in real time. The battle sequence while watching the battle sequence was very exciting.
But like the Opera House teaser, the battle sequence becomes less and less exciting the more one thinks about it. And here’s why:
Lack of stakes.
Only one significant character died (or was even injured) in a significant way.
In retrospect, it is clear that no one was in any real danger. The writers weren’t willing to risk anything in the finale.
And if they aren’t willing to take risks, well, it just isn’t that exciting.
(I think of Wash in SERENITY: “I’m a leaf on the wind…”)
Let’s add it up:
Cost of Galactica’s final mission: nada. (Even the death of the ship doesn’t count, as she only had one more jump or so left in her.)
Gained from her final mission: nada. Unless you believe that 30,000 humans and cylons would forget to breed, leaving only a rescued hybrid to create the new human race.
Me? I’m thinking that sitting on a primitive planet without any technology to provide entertainment, someone somewhere at some point is going to think, “Hey, I’m bored. Wanna contribute to the creation of the new human race?”
Just my thoughts,