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Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak, Part 1

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 14th 2009 12:45AM
Battlestar Galactica(S04E19) You can tell that this show is approaching the end. Tonight's episode had the credits and chanting immediately after the "previously" montage and didn't even show scenes from tonight's episode during the final part of the opening. Plus, it was written by the same guy who wrote the original mini-series way back when. That's a telling sign.

Caprica City looks like a high-tech New York City. That was probably intentional.

I'm a little fuzzy on the purpose of the flashbacks. Don't get me wrong. I thought it was great storytelling by giving a comparison of the past and present lives of the main cast. I'm just not sure what Mr. Moore was trying to say. Were there analogies between the situations then and now? Was it to highlight the differences in their lives? Is there a clue that I'm missing?

I'm also a little confused about the revelations of Hera's song. It was a mathematical formula with the location of the Cylons? Even for a series such as this, that's reaching a bit.

The past was a pretty bright place. I thought that was an interesting use of lighting to show how bright and relatively optimistic the past was, even in the worst of times. It was also interesting to see Zac Adama again. I wonder if that was foreshadowing. We even got to see Baltar's house again before it got all blown up.

I enjoyed the quick conversation between Admiral Adama and Hot Dog in the Galactica corridor. It's rare to see a true-life father and son share a scene together.

Make-up did a good job with the flashbacks, particularly with Apollo who looked significantly younger. However, Mary McDonnell, while being a terrific actress, struck me as looking old for someone with such young-looking sisters. Perhaps her father took a long break?

Obviously, I missed the deleted scene from last week and was suprised to see Tyrol suddenly in prison for helping Boomer escape.

Virtually all the Cylon models were accounted for in tonight's episode (Lucy Lawless was missing. I think Callum was missing, as well). I wonder if all twelve will be together in the last episode. Granted that D'anna's still on Earth, but stranger things have happened in this series.

The Cylon ship/colony reminds me of the alien squid at the end of the comic book Watchmen. It's a very imposing image.

Despite it being in character, Baltar staying on the side of the tape for those who wished to stay behind somewhat surprised me. However, given his glances at Six during Adama's speech and the subsequent people-shuffling, I'm guessing he'll find his way onto the Galactica before the series ends. I'm still waiting for the long-term effects of giving Baltar's acolytes those military weapons.

There were some marvelous performances by the whole crew overall. Given the relatively little CGI we've seen in the past few episodes, I'm guessing this series will go out with the biggest space battle of them all.

Tune in next week for the end of the series and the end of the human race. Okay, I don't know that last part for certain, but that's my guess.

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Phish

the SONG is a formula to find their new home, NOT the cylons, they got that info from anders the hybrid.

March 17 2009 at 12:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
donkey23

As I understand it, tonight, Monday, is the night that some industry insiders get a look at the finale of BSG, so before any spoilers get revealed on the net (none here), I wanted to take my one last shot at how I think this is going to turn out. That way, I'm not bitching about the past but looking forward to the future.

First, I think its obvious that something catastrophic will be averted by young Hera. Looking at the last episode from a writer's perspective, two things stand out. First, Hera was drawing a lot of dots, dots, dots. If you glance at the page, it looks an awful lot like...not musical notes...but genetic markers like the kinds you see on CSI Miami. Second, the dramatic overtones of impending danger were too severe (Simon and the drill), and it makes all the sense in the world that someone, (probably Boomer) will look at the drawing at the last moment and say, "Wait! Wait! She's already given you the genetic information--right here in her drawing."

See, Hera has a way of supplying just what you are looking for (e.g. the musical notes supplied to Kara Thrace). I wouldn't be surprised, with all the red herrings, what with Starbuck trying to substitute numbers for notes, if the whole thing hinges on genetics in the way the notes (to 'all along the watchtower') triggered genetically coded information in the final five. Clearly these notes triggered them, but I'm talking about specific frequencies resonating on a genetic level. (There exist varied pseudoscientific examples of this in the real world). I like this idea in conjunction with what people like Ian said back around #27, where he talked about the individualism that is emerging in the cylons, and how almost everyone has noted that this show is about a "coming together" of human and cylon. Its been ongoing, but needs to be completed.

I won't be surprised if this genetic information provided by Hera doesn't reveal that everyone is related "more than anyone could have ever guessed" whether it be evolutionary on a macro or micro scale. AND, I think it also provides the obvious solution to Starbuck, who will in fact turn out to be a clone of herself in this final episode. Who is responsible? I was always hoping for a Ship of Lights/Beings of Light solution, and we may still get one (but I wish they had been setting that one up better), but I'm afraid a supernatural solution like that is going to feel too neat and tidy in the eleventh hour. Plus, it brings into play issues surrounding genetic memory, one true god, lords of kobol, etc., that I THINK are just too much to tackle in a 2-hour finale. (Now, if they only had 6 or 7 episodes to develop all that--oh wait--they did. But I digress...)

Speaking of supernatural solutions, I hold out hope that they keep Hera's significance down to her miraculous revelations of information, and nothing more. Not like what happened at the end of "V: The Return," when young Elizabeth grabbed the wheel of the Visitor mothership and saved humanity with her dazzling little light show. That prospect SCARES ME TO DEATH...but, you know, Pretanama!

(Actually, anyone familiar with the whole "V" storyarc has to be a little scared, and quite aware that these two shows share an awful lot of DNA when it comes to the whole "uniting of two waring species through a miraculous mixed hybrid.")

So we know Galactica is doomed, and I'm sad to see her go (though its kind of derivative too--I mean, how many Enterprises has Paramount killed off in its day?) But the previews leave little doubt that Galactica gets blown to bits. The question is who will survive? I think, in part because this show has been so dark, that the Galactica, the Cylon colony, and everyone with her get swallowed up in that giant black hole. And I don't care how fictionalized your world is, they don't get transported to a new universe or a new dimension, because BLACK HOLES CRUSH AND SPAGETTIFY EVERYTHING THAT ENTERS THEM. If the were somehow transported through the singularity--I'm sorry, they jump the shark. If they live happily ever after, that just does not jive with "all this has happened before and will happen again." In that vain, I think everyone dies in the black hole, whether they learn the true lessons about themselves or not, and the remaining fleet, let by Gaius Baltar settle down and start the whole process all over again.

That also means that Kara Thrace is the harbinger of death, and Gaius Baltar is the leader at the end that Head Six always told him he would be.

Unfortunately, I think this means we get the ending suggested by Vaspiri around #40--they settle a planet and sentimentally call it Earth--and it turns out to be OUR earth.

Don't be surprised if this show goes out with a montage of world history as we know it, rising up from the ashes of this

March 16 2009 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jose

ok, I feel vidicated that people feel the same way about the last episodes of BSG. It seems it is limply, aimlessly moving from 1 episode to the other lately. I am very disappointed with how the series is moving to the end. I had such high hopes. Reminds me of the last episode of the first season of Heroes. It was so good up to that point and one felt cheated. It's been downhill since. I do not mind the flashbacks but this episode could've had some meat in the storyline. I want them to finds Earth and I feel that is all abandoned. I used to watch this show when it aired live but now I just DVR it. LOST was getting ridiculous last year but the writers managed to turn it around so I watch that religiously. I think Ron Moore tripped over this last season. There's no wonder and fantasy and I do not mean the sci-fi type. This show always made feel for the characters now i think they lost their way...it's shame - I'm not whining Pumpkinhead..

March 16 2009 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Annie B

Just had a thought. Could Lee's bird whacking scene have been after he learned about Zack's death?

March 16 2009 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Annie B

The theme of this show seemed obvious to me: family -- Ohana. The flashbacks (except for Adama's scene) were all about people's past families while the current-day scenes were building towards Adama and everyone else realizing and choosing their new family.
Personally, I loved the episode. The pacing had the quality of the calm before the storm that we (and they) know is coming.

March 16 2009 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hobbesnblue

TV Squad's BSG comment section should become the new textbook definition of the phrase, "everyone's a critic." This show has built its fanbase, I'd wager, from many disparate groups of TV viewers, and I'm sure not everyone can be satisfied by whatever finale they've got heading our way.

But I still stand by the "best show on television" moniker, and probably the best show I have ever followed from beginning to end. The more closely I look at it, the more I am impressed, and the more emotionally invested I become in it, especially so soon before the end.

I dunno, I guess I'd rather "send the old girl off" with a fond farewell, rather than a nitpick at everything that didn't fulfill my fantasy to-do list if I became Ron Moore.

March 16 2009 at 3:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vaspiri

I still truly believe that the survivors (human, Cylon and hybrid) of the battle with Cavil will alight upon a nondescript habitable planet, 3rd from it's sun, and call it Earth. Remember, the Cylon "Earth" was never shown in full detail with it's continents.

March 15 2009 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Vaspiri's comment
donkey23

As someone who spent years caring about these characters, I kind of want good things to happen to them in the end--a happy ending. And I suspect that your scenario has a very good chance of coming to fruition. But if they do as you say, I think its one of the biggest cop-outs in television history since Bobby Ewing's shower.

March 15 2009 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Benjh

What if these weren't flashbacks but... FLASH FORWARDS!!! Like LOST!!!!

Ok, just kidding. It's dark in here...

March 15 2009 at 1:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
donkey23

In that case, let me whine a little more, and tell you everything I hated about this episode, which is more aptly titled 'Daybroken':

(1) The "assigning numbers to the notes" with the sheet music is so cliché. ONE example: They used the same gimmick (which has no doubt been done before countless times and ways) on "Lost," when Charlie, the musician, was the only one who could stop the jamming of the transmission at the Looking Glass by entering the correct code, which happens to be the tune of the Beach Boy's "Good Vibrations". But even there they didn't hinge the whole series on it like BSG. Feel free to come up with other examples on your own.

(2) Adama says, "I thought that a rescue mission was impractical. Well I was wrong," only moments before he announces, "Let there be no illusions. This is likely to be a one way trip!" Um, I know I'm just a deckhand, but isn't a suicide mission a little impractical as a rescue mission?

But to make matters worse, they put in a little exposition montage (hey!, they're mixin' it up!), where they cut back and forth to characters saying things like, "I guess before he thought it was impractical because he didn't know where she was, but now he knows, so its not impractical anymore." Ah...no. Not knowing where Hera was made it IMPOSSIBLE to go get her, not impractical. Sneaking in with a special forces unit to the enemy stronghold, situated in the accretion disk of a massive black hole--that's impractical. Jumping in with a creaky old battleship into certain death and destruction--that's the plot of the BSG grand finale. But the writers, probably knowing it was preposterous, just decided to give a few characters some lines that make it seem to make senese. Brilliant!

(3) Why is Adama always backtracking? Sure, you can say he's true to his character, but he's always making a decision, fighting people on it all gruff and tough, then having a change of heart, and then doing the opposite. He's done it like, at least a half a dozen MAJOR times.

(4) Why are all the final five so enthralled of themselves to point out in every single conversation that they are 2000 years old? And why are Chief Tyrol and the rest of them always talking about how we (the final 5) made them (the rest of the cylons) and that's why they are what they are, like they have some insight? They don't remember hardly anything from before, right? It took a bullet in the back of the head to Anders to get him jabbering!

(5) Cavil states that this little girl "holds the key to our continuing existence somewhere in her genetic code." Then out comes Simon (a #4) with the drill. Question: If the secret lies in her genes, why would they need to slice her and dice her? Just doesn't make sense. Couldn't they just...swab her?

(6) Speaking of Cavil, he once said the Hybrids were supposed to keep the ship running, not spout metaphysics. I wonder how he would feel about bad poetry:

"Slip the surly bonds of earth and touch the face of perfection,
a perfect face, perfect lace,
Find a perfect world for the end of Kara Thrace."

I think we all know where this is going.

(7) Is this rescue mission really a fitting endgame to this show? We've already had raids on a resurrection ship (done wonderfully), a resurrection hub (done well), and a planet (done extraordinarily well). This feels an awful lot like going to the death star to rescue the princess. Admittedly, they have been setting up Hera's importance all along, but it just feels like this is the storyline they should have been starting 3 or 4 episodes ago, resolved, and then they could have gone on to a real satisfying climax. Instead they are going to have to wrap up everything that's left in a two-hour show? After they wasted, WASTED, what 4 or 5 ? They can't possibly accomplish it all. Maybe we get an open-ended series finale that is going to allow for movies to be made. If so, just be prepared, I don't think we are going to get any resolution here. Season 4.5 is turning out to be one ineptly done tease.

Refute these gaffs if you think you can, or just attack me personally when you can't, and call me just another long-winded whiner. I say its only fitting this show is going to end spiraling into a black hole.

March 14 2009 at 10:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
5 replies to donkey23's comment
Rich

I used to find these comments really enlightening and insightful, but the recent proliferation of incessant whining has gotten just as tiresome as the whiners say the show has gotten.

I personally still sit transfixed to each episode and find the focus on the people compelling.

I understand and agree that they seem to be treading water at times while simultaneously rushing towards the conclusion, but I still consider this a minor irritation compared to the great hour of entertainment I get from BSG each week.

March 14 2009 at 9:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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