Just two hours ago my friend Dave and I found ourselves wondering if Ron Moore could actually do it. After the jaw-droppingly good mini series, and the stupendously awesome first season, the last few years had seen Ron Moore… slip a little. We were propelled through seasons 2 and 3, lifted up upon the fluttering wings of promise; the promise that we’d see more epic story arcs like those in the mini series and season 1. It wasn’t to be. Truth be told, we all thought Ron had run out of steam. But then, with season 4, and the news that it was the last season, things got a little better. We knew that they would finally stop gallivanting across the universe in search of Earth. We might finally get a little resolution on the multitude of plots that he’d begun, but not come close to finishing.
Then that damn USA Writers Guild strike hit us! After 3 years of building a beautiful myth and spinning a legendary yarn, Ron said ‘Frack it, let’s just send them some Cylon ship that’ll take them to Earth.’ Quick, and totally brute-force. I don’t know if I should blame the WGA, or Ron Moore for that clumsy, shoe-horned plot device.
Anyway, there we were on Earth. Woop. 3 years down the drain. Earth was post-apocalyptic. What an anti-climax.
What followed were 6 cold, miserable, Adama-less months (caused by that damn writer’s strike); 6 months spent wondering if there could be any possible resolution. Could there be any chance of redemption, and an apt wrapping-up of the outstanding mysteries? Would we find out what happened in the Opera House? Is Starbuck a Cylon, or a Cylon child? What on earth has Baltar been doing for the past 3 seasons? Is Bob Dylan actually God, or should Tigh just grow a longer beard?
Those were just a few of the questions going through our minds as we turned up the volume, pressed play, sat back and had a moment of quiet contemplation and prayer.
‘I bet Ron Moore said to himself as he wrote this last episode: Don’t frack it up Ron, just 2 hours to go… don’t frack it up.’
Those were the fateful words spoken by Dave as we watched the ‘previously…’ sequence.
2 hours later, I blinked, cogitating, churning over what I’d just experienced. All doubts were dispelled: Ron Moore had sharpened his pencil, poured a fresh mug of coffee and scribed a monster of a script. In fact, I think after that little golden nugget, Ron probably put his pencil down and punched the air triumphantly, a broad grin on his face: ‘I did it, I frackin’ did it!’
2 hours later, I’m sitting here, still slightly awed by the finale of Battlestar Galactica. It was — possibly — better than the mini series. We were promised some kind of character-driven finale, and that’s certainly what we got! That’s not to say we didn’t get some action though; we probably got the finest action sequence I’ve seen in BSG.
From the moment Adama picks up that handset and delivers yet another one of his charismatic, through-the-fire-and-flames speeches, we were chained to an adrenaline-fueled roller coaster. I don’t think I stopped to catch more than a paper-thin breath until Kara Thrace stumbles around the CIC, blood everywhere, tubing dangling, fires breaking out everywhere, and tries to jump them to safety…
… anyway, I don’t want to give away too much, for those of you that haven’t seen it yet!
I’ll just stick to spoiling it with some screen captures!
For those of you that have seen it: I think you’ll agree that the Opera House plot was beautifully resolved. I was already on the edge of my chair from the violent, visceral, end-of-humanity-as-we-know-it action, and THEN they threw in the Baltar/Six Sharon/Roslin sequence. The Opera House scene, beautifully mirrored and montaged onto the final, dying throes of the Battlestar Galactica — and then, rather than the doors shutting us out, like they did so many years ago, we were offered a glimpse of salvation — we were offered a resolution. Thank God, er, Ron, er… Dylan! A resolution!
It’s safe to say that Ron Moore has successfully tied up the best sci-fi space-opera ever made. Every question has been answered, and storyline concluded. Well, except for just a tiny stickling point with Starbuck… but I guess we’ll have to live with that one. Ron’s allowed a bit of creative wibble, I guess; damn you, Ron, damn you. Maybe that one will be answered in a post-season mini-series, or that Caprica spin-off that has been rumoured.
Considering it is a space opera, I should probably save a few words for the people that actually executed Ron Moore’s script so deftly and turned it into a show: the characters; the cast! Despite some rather poor scripting and plot development in parts, the acting has certainly never been a weakness of BSG, and it definitely went from strength to strength in season 1, while the plot was still airtight and super-strong. It was their acting and characterisation that brought us the depth and understanding that we so desperately craved; with such a complex web of character interactions, nothing less would do!
But really, when it gets right down to it, the other actors were nothing compared to the power and on-screen presence of the ‘three wise men’ — Adama, Tigh and Doc Cottle. Tigh’s hoarse, derisive chuckle. Adama’s haunting, rousing and reverberating pre-battle speeches. Cottle’s cigarette smoking. All three will be the memories that first pop into my mind when I think of what a great show Battlestar Galactica has been over the past 4 years.