In the final part of the Battlestar Galactica miniseries, the remaining human survivors attempt to escape the Cylon force and rebuild their lives. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Battlestar Galactica.
Well, it was certainly inevitable that President Roslin and Commander Adama would have to confront one another, wasn’t it? It’s not like my prediction about them meeting was all that impressive anyway, as the survivors would have to band together at some point in time. The same conflict arises when they meet: Roslin wants them to flee, Adama wants to stay and fight. As Roslin wears her heart on her sleeve, Adama cannot let go of his pride. I imagine that’s what got him in trouble with his son Lee in the first place. He couldn’t ignore his pride and admit that perhaps he did play a part in Zak’s death. (To be fair, given Starbuck’s revelation in the past part, he may not have been that responsible at all, but Adama’s guilt suggests, at the very least, that he does feel accountable for his son’s death.) Adama’s problem stares him in the face this time: humans have lost the war. You can see so obviously on his face during this scene that he knows Roslin is right, but he refuses to concede to her. It’s not in his nature to concede and give up.
But it becomes obvious to him just moments later that this woman is absolutely correct in her assertion that trying to fight the entire Cylon force with little food, water, supplies, or munitions is foolish. I like that he uses the sight of Billy, Roslin’s aide, and Dualla to come to this conclusion, and makes a statement that is utterly absurd to everyone else standing with him. “We’d better start having babies,” he says, repeating what Roslin had just told him. I don’t know if the sight of the two flirting jarred his brain into realizing the path he was on was going to destroy anything, but he makes an abrupt change. Hell, this might be the quickest character turnaround I’ve ever seen. That took…minutes? But maybe that’s what’s different about these characters and the writing, or maybe it was a desire to keep the miniseries a lot more contained as a work in itself. Whatever the reason might be, I like the result. That’s not to say that plot lines can’t be dragged out too long once I get to the actual television episodes, but this isn’t what I expected from all this.
So now everyone must concern themselves with escape. How are forty-some ships going to get past hundreds of Cylon fighters? And even if they get past them, where can they go to ensure that they’re not followed again? It’s hard to forget that this show has such a military base to it, and it’s great that it never feels confusing to me, but a lot of what happens in this final part of the miniseries is distinctly military in nature. Commander Adama maps out the plan to escape: the Galactica will provide cover, while the other ships jump to some point beyond the “red line.” It’s the first real confirmation for me about where these people are. They are leaving a galaxy entirely, outside the location of the Twelve Colonies. That is exciting! We will get to explore new worlds!
I don’t know that I have anything particularly insightful or meaningful in regards to the battle between the Cylons and the Galactica at Ragnar. That’s perfectly fine. I don’t need to theorize or analyze everything that I watch. Sometimes, it’s perfectly fine to say just this: HOLY SHIT, THAT IS SO AWESOME. On Tuesday’s review, quite a few folks pointed out the fact that the same FX company who worked on Firefly did the CGI and animation for this miniseries. And they certainly do a fantastic job of giving this fight a sense of detail that’s both realistic and over-the-top. The urgency of the fight is tangible, and it’s never overwhelming to the point of being confusing. If anything, I’m impressed mostly by how sharp everything looked. Also: holy shit THIS BATTLE IS SO AWESOME. Maybe it’s because I grew up with Star Wars, but I love a good space fight. And now I’m wondering if there are Battlestar Galactica LEGO sets so I can recreate battles in my apartment. CAN THIS HAPPEN.
I didn’t believe that Starbuck and Lee would die. I mean, that’s just a cardinal rule of serialized television! You can’t kill off two of your main characters in the pilot! Yet, even knowing this, I can’t deny just how stressful the end of this battle is. All of the ships have made the jump to this unnamed point outside the galaxy, and only the Galactica remains. I know that this is designed to make me squirm, but I couldn’t help it! The bay doors were slowly closing! Starbuck had rammed into Lee’s Viper and stuck them together and she’s coming in too hot and WHY DO I FALL FOR THIS STUFF EVERY TIME. I mean, statistically speaking, when main characters are involved in a thrilling escape or chase, when do they ever fail? Like once out of a million times? I suppose that’s a compliment, then, that this show can pull me into its world, immerse me so fully into what is going and who I am watching, that I forget that this very technique ends the same way every single time.
Successfully escaping the Cylon fleet, the remaining survivors of the human race (approximately 50,000, I believe) must concern themselves with survival. First, though, they mourn the dead. I’ve heard that the funeral scene at the end of this miniseries was actually filmed first. Which…holy god, this is what they started with? It’s wonderfully acted by everyone involved and solves to answer a huge question I was waiting to ask: Where is this all going? Knowing that this was going to become a television show, I wondered if they’d introduce some sort of concept to draw the show towards an ending, to give it a reason for lasting. While I don’t want to take away from the emotional power of the speech that Commander Adama gives to his survivors, I was ecstatic to learn the direction of Battlestar Galactica. They are going to try to find the Thirteen Colony: Earth.
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WHAT!!!! Ok, I don’t know why I assumed Earth was one of the Twelve Colonies, but it puts the whole miniseries into a new light. Clearly, this is far, far into the future, first of all, but it also doesn’t exclude the existence of our world either. What happened to Earth? ARE THERE STILL PEOPLE ON IT?
I’m jumping way ahead of myself, though, because we learn just after this that Adama himself doesn’t actually believe the myth of the Thirteenth Colony. When Roslin confronts him about this, he admits he did what he had to do in order to give the survivors hope. If this is indeed true, that Earth does not exist, then Roslin is probably right, that this will backfire against Commander Adama at some point into the future. But to be honest, I don’t particularly blame Adama for coming up with this. It was a practical decision on his part, necessary to keep the survivors believing in anything but pure nihilism. Roslin–bless her forever–uses this opportunity as a bit of a power grab, splitting things fairly evenly with Adama. She’ll run the civil government that remains, while he controls the military force. Oh, and all of this will be while they float in space. I don’t imagine we’ll see a planet for a long time. I can already see a few things that will cause conflict, such as claustrophobia and exhaustion. Unless they find other planets? Oh god, I literally have no idea where this could go.
I also have a guess (through the process of elimination) for who left the note for Commander Odama about their being twelve models of Cylons. It has to be Baltar, right? He’s the only one who knows. My confusion over what that actually means is actually cleared up by the final scene of the miniseries. Surprisingly, I was completely wrong about Baltar’s actions. Even if he was lying, it turns out that Aaron Doral was a Cylon, and models that resemble Six, Doral, and Conoy all come to rescue this version. So there aren’t twelve Cylons in total. There are twelve humanoid versions that exist, three of them being Doral, Conoy, and Six.
Oh, and the last one who arrives. Boomer.
IS BOOMER A CYLON WHO DOESN’T EVEN KNOW SHE IS A CYLON???? Six had told Baltar that this was possible, so….OH GOD, COULD THIS NOT BE TRUE. I love Boomer. OH MY GOD WHY.
I’ll move right along to the first episode of season one tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ll continue to throw my head to the heavens and scream, “WHHHHHYYYYYYYY?” dramatically due to this final revelation. Excuse me.