bsgIt’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed some event television.  There can be no doubt that the final episode of fan-favorite series Battlestar Galactica was a big frakkin’ deal to the fans.   Starting out with a heavy dose of angst, the show began four seasons, a movie, and a mini-series ago.   Many were concerned over the transformations from the saintly characters we knew in the 1978 series to the desperately flawed humans of the Sci-Fi Channel’s hit show.  Really, can there be a bigger difference between Lorne Greene’s Adama and Edward James Olmos’?  Despite the paradigm shift for all interested parties, the show worked and grew a huge fanbase.  So, it’s end was a pretty big deal.

The end of beloved TV shows is always bittersweet.  It’s sad to see your favorite stories draw to a close, but it is satisfying when storytellers can end the story on their own terms.  Angel had a terrific ending to its story as did Star Trek: The Next Generation. Some shows never get the chance to say goodbye (i.e. Threshold, Journeyman, etc.) Yet even with the opportunity to wrap things up, there is the fear that the end will get completely screwed up souring you on the entire series.  As much as I loved Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, I can’t watch the series ender.  >shudder<

Friday night’s Battlestar Galactica series finale certainly qualified for a ration of angst on the part of its fans.  All over the interwebs, BSGers closed out their web-browsers and logged out of Twitter to avoid distracting chatter for Eastern and Central viewers, while folks further west feared the spoilers.  Internet blackout.

So?  How was it?  Worth the hype, anticipation, fear, and spontaneous erections?

Never fear, no spoilers here… unless you click to continue reading, that is.

I thought the two-hour series finale was awesome.  Truly and wonderfully terrific.  I cannot think of a show in which so many loose ends were intelligently tied up.

edward_james_olmosI could enumerate them here, but I will stick to one thing that had been hinted and heralded on numerous occasions throughout the series: Starbuck’s visions.  We have seen that she is an artists drawn to painting one image in particular, a swirling mass of color.  She had that irritating tune running through her head.  She assigned numbers to the notes.  And when everything hit the fan and destruction was imminent, she used those numbers to jump Galactica to safety… to a new and shining place they would call Earth.

The reveal was expertly timed.

For a long time we have been provided glimpses of the Opera House visions shared by President Roslin, Baltar, Athena, and Six.  Those visions were cut in and out of in the climactic scenses tying the real to the visionary in an artful, tension building, explosive manner.  Really and truly awesome.

starbuckBattlestar Galactica did what few other mainstream science fiction shows have dared do: acknowledge and delve into human religion.  We have often seen religion addressed in terms of alien cultures or crazed human cults in SF.  But I can’t think of a show where the focus has been so continuous.  In the finale, we learned that Starbuck is a Moses-figure in the story.  She led her people to the Promised Land.  Like Moses, she was not allowed to dwell there and is sucked up to Heaven once her work was done.

Inspired story-telling.

I gush, I know.

And it’s fair to say there are a lot of folks who disagree with me on this.

“Whoring and killing and alcoholism – oh look It’s God and angels. BS. They forced everything into a box and it ruined it,” Said Zeus Comics owner Richard Neal in a Twit-off we had Saturday. I loved the finale. He hated it. “They forced the opera house vision into it then went right back to status quo.”

He went on to argue, “God mythos has been a part of the series, true. However there was nothing redeeming in these characters from beginning to end.”

Their flawed nature and their mistakes was what made the show wonderful.  It was marvelous that at several points in the series I found myself wondering whether I was rooting for the right side or not.  And the answer presented itself in the final episode.  Neither side is right, but together they are.  Maybe.  Well, we’ll see.

I thought it was a marvelous send-off to a ground-breaking show.  I am looking forward to both Caprica and the movie this fall.  Can’t wait.

Richard, on the other hand?  “I will not be watching Caprica or the movie from the Cylons perspective. I will also not be recommending the series to anyone.”