Major spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.
''Whaddya hear, Starbuck?''
''Nothing but the rain.''
''Well grab your gun and bring in the cat.''
Here's the truth about series finales. You never know what to expect, so there will always be some trepidation, high expectations, maybe even a bit of frustration as it ends up being not quite what you expected. Series finales have a knack for doing just that. Does Battlestar Galactica raise the bar and deliver one fantastic finale?
I think it does.
Daybreak, Part 2 begins much like its other half, with flashbacks. Roslin meets the mysterious Shaun who ends up being a former student. Kara and Lee get to know each other better with the assistance of a little alcohol. Bill, Ellen, and Tigh are celebrating retirement as the former contemplates going through that interview and taking a desk job. Then the scene shifts to the present and we're back on Galactica with Baltar who sits alone and is being told by Head Six that he's following God's plan. He finds no comfort in this.
Back in sickbay, Cottle gives Roslin enough medication to last her 48 hours. They say farewell, and she thanks him for keeping her alive. Cottle says he's only doing his job, but it's obviously more than that. It's a truly beautiful scene.
Preparations continue around the ship. Adama makes Hoshi the new Admiral of the Fleet. Lee names Lampkin the President who apparently can't let go of his dog. Are dogs angels too? The two new leaders board the last raptor as well as Baltar's followers. At the last minute Baltar decides to stay on Galactica. Lee hands him a gun.
Before Galactica jumps, a roll call is made around the ship to make sure everyone is ready. Station by station, each person in charge answers Tigh with a "ready." It ends with Anders who has been plugged into CIC. Then Galactica jumps to the Colony.
And it's met with a barrage of gunfire. Anders contacts the Colony's hybrids, commanding them to stop. This gives Adama enough time to have the Vipers launched, and then he rams the battlestar into the Colony! By this time the Raptor Wranglers have arrived and landed on the Colony too, but Racetrack and Skulls have perished at the hands of space debris. Lee then arrives, leading a squad of humans and red-marked Centurions, and they run into older model Centurions. It soon becomes a Centurion-Centurion smackdown.
Meanwhile, Boomer kills the Simon who has been experimenting on Hera and takes her. They run into Helo, Athena, and Starbuck, and after handing the child over she says she's making one last choice. She then asks Athena to tell the Old Man she owed him one, and then Athena kills her. In a flashback, Adama gave Boomer one last chance to be a pilot, and she promised she would pay him back.
Back on Galactica, Baltar and Caprica hide behind some crates guarding the hallway. Caprica tells Gaius that she's proud of him, and because of this she loves him. They kiss and Head Six and Head Baltar suddenly appear to both of them. The former realize they can see these "angels." Then Gaius gets to shoot a dead Centurion, and he almost shoots Lee too, but Caprica stops him in time.
Helo and Athena have Hera and they're on Galactica, running from the Centurions who have invaded Galactica. A Doral model comes from behind and shoots at them, gravely injuring Helo. Hera runs away, and the vision of the Opera House takes over. Roslin gets drawn into the vision and realizes Hera is in trouble. She runs into the little girl and pulls her away just in time. They hide behind some crates as Cavil and his Centurions storm past. Then Hera runs away before Roslin can notice. Baltar and Caprica find her and carry her as they are drawn into the vision. They go through a doorway, the latch closing behind them, locking out Roslin and Athena. The Opera House becomes the CIC and the Final Five stand on the bridge of the deck, their faces aglow. Chaos surrounds them and Cavil takes Hera at gunpoint.
Yet here Baltar makes a wonderful speech about the angels and how they and god have been guiding the two races. The signs are there. The only thing missing is a tiny leap of faith. When Cavil questions this, Tigh offers up resurrection. Cavil agrees and releases Hera, countering that the colonials will have to trust him by taking their own leap of faith.
The Final Four join with Anders and share their memories of the resurrection technology; however, Tory isn't too keen on this, especially when she realizes that certain secrets might be revealed. When Tyrol sees that she killed Cally, he chokes Tory, snapping her neck. The Cylons fearing a trap turn on Galactica's crew and start firing. Cavil says "Frak!" Then he kills himself. Adama orders Starbuck to jump the fleet anywhere. In the distance, debris hits Racetrack's Raptor, causing her hand to fire nukes at the Colony. Starbuck realizes the Dylan music are jump coordinates, so she types those in, and Galactica jumps.
And Galactica breaks her back and can't jump again. Except as she flies, she goes over our moon and arrives at our Earth. The fleet has found its home.
The fleet decides to colonize on different parts of the planet and discard technology while granting the Centurions their freedom. Being as such, Anders will take the fleet into the sun. Before he does Starbuck kisses him goodbye, and a tear escapes his eye as he says that he'll see her on the other side. Adama takes one last look at Galactica as well, then he takes off in his reconstructed Viper. The original Battlestar Galactica theme plays as the fleet goes into the sun.
Back on Earth, the crew say goodbye and go their separate ways. Tyrol decides to live alone and go North, while Ellen and Tigh stay together. Roslin and Adama sit together watching animals graze. As her health fades, Bill decides to take her up in a raptor and give her a better view. He says goodbye to Lee and Kara telling them that he's not coming back. After he leaves, Kara tells Lee that her journey is over, and it's time for her to go. We flashback to when they first met, and now these two are somewhat drunk. Kara dares Lee to make out with her. He accepts, but when Zak wakes briefly after hearing a wine glass fall, they both realize what they're doing. It's a relationship that's not meant to be. The flashback ends and Lee talks about what he plans to do with his life. As he talks Kara disappears. He promises that she'll never be forgotten.
In the raptor, Roslin says a few words and then passes. When Adama notices, he takes her hand and puts his wedding ring on her finger. Then he says that he's found the place for their cabin. He buries her there.
Helo survives and between Athena and he they promise to show Hera how to hunt. Baltar and Caprica meet up with their angel dopplegangers, and are told that their lives will be less eventful. Then in a flashback Baltar is meeting Caprica and he tells her that he can get her a peek into the defense mainframe. He said then that it was because he loved her, and the flashback ends. Now he points out some terrain and mentions he knows something about farming as tears overcome him. Caprica kisses him realizing that he's content.
"The Shape of Things to Come" plays as the camera pans over Adama and Hera. Is this end?
Try 150,000 years later.
Angel and Demon, Head Baltar and Head Six, read over Ron Moore's shoulder and the announcement of Mitochondrial Eve. They talk about the decadence of the age and the return of technology.
"All this has happened before."
"But will it happen again?"
Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower plays as we see image after image of robots, more human and realistic than those that came before it.
I am perfectly content with this ending. I don't need to know what happens to Tigh, or Ellen, or Helo anymore, and I think in part that's what makes this finale a success. It gave them an ending. And though some of the characters end up alone, and some were left open-ended, like Starbuck's, it didn't leave me feeling like I had just spent five years invested in a show with no payoff.
Having said this, what an amazing finale!
First, the parts that I have always enjoyed the most were the smaller character moments, so one of my favorite scenes was Cottle's farewell to Roslin. It was beautifully acted and so touching. And I also loved the part in CIC where they're getting ready to jump the ship and Adama has to move some of the cables brought in by the Cylons. Tigh offers to blow the Cylons out of the airlock. That is such a Tigh thing to do, and it is so funny. The actor has such a twinkle in his eye. His one eye that manages to convey so much. This scene of course leads into the roll call, that I found as an interesting way to introduce you one last time to Galactica. It built up the tension and made you realize it really was going to be the end.
Then there is Roslin and Adama. This was their year. They finally found love together, and when they did, it became a beautiful love story. When she died it was devastating to see on the screen. It was beautifully acted and filmed, and I admit I cried for a good ten minutes during the finale. However, I'm glad Adama lived. Does it mean he's accepted her death? Maybe. Maybe not. But after all the Old Man has been through his life is not among those who have perished. He is living the rest of his life next to his posthumous wife, a lonely existence.
And when we last see Adama sitting on the hilltop with the lovely "The Shape of Things to Come" playing, signaling hope, Battlestar Galactica could have ended there. But it didn't. Instead modern day New York showed up, and it was jarring and weird, and I didn't like it at all on the first viewing. I had to think about it. So we're the descendants of the fleet? Of Hera maybe? And technology is back in our lives, and robots are looking more and more human everyday. Japan would definitely get a kick out of this show.
In a way I get Moore's message It's a brilliant message, and it works as an ending. Frankly, I just like my first ending better.
Was Starbuck an Angel or something else?
What happened to D'Anna?
What happened to the Centurions once they were released and given the baseship?
Watchlist nvbsg for more BSG goodies.