Die! Die, Bad Robots! Die! - Macleans.ca

Die! Die, Bad Robots! Die!


I’m not really equipped to evaluate the finale of Battlestar Galactica. (Because I haven’t kept up with all the developments this season, and this is a finale that obviously rewards viewers who have followed every episode — or punishes them, depending on how you reacted to it.) But.. (and don’t read further if you’re anti-spoiler)


I will note that the final twist reminded me of how pervasive the influence of Star Wars has become. (Well, I mean, apart from the fact that the original series, and therefore this one, would not have been on the air if it hadn’t been for Star Wars.) Outer-space stories set in the distant past rather than the future used to be be considered kind of an oxymoron, and with one caption (“a long time ago…”) Star Wars changed that, for good or ill. So now we’re at the point where a futuristic sci-fi series can reveal that it actually took place in the past, and that’s not one of the top 10 most suprising revelations in the series. I’ll admit that the point of this twist kind of eluded me, if only because all science-fiction is about the present; that being the case, it seemed a bit odd to spend such crucial minutes on saying what already went without saying — that this is a cautionary tale about our time. (It’s what might be called the One Froggy Evening ending.) But it’s a pretty minor point one way or the other.

I also went looking for a snarky recap of the finale. Good snarky recaps are hard to find — the TWOP recaps don’t do it for me at all, being basically just straight plot summaries with a few jokes thrown in — but I like this one, which angrily summarizes the plot in simple, un-adorned detail. Actually it’s not so much snarky as enraged, which is probably more enjoyable than snark.

Then it turns out that each of the Final Five only knows a PART of the secret of resurrection so they have to mindmeld by sticking their hands in Anders’ goo bath in order to give Cavil said secret. Then Tory spends like five minutes being like I KNO WE WILL SEE EVERYTHING IN EACH OTHER’S BRAINS IF WE DO THIS SO JUST KEEP MIND OKAY THAT WE ALL HAVE DARK SECRETS. WE. ALL. HAVE. SECRETS. and everyone is like, YEAH WHATEVER. So they mindmeld and then of course they all see that she killed Cally and then Tyrol breaks the mindmeld and kirks out and chokes Tory to death. And Cavil is like OMG IT’S A TRICK and so fighting breaks out and he randomly shoots himself in the head for no apparent reason.


Die! Die, Bad Robots! Die!

  1. I’m so far behind with the series that I decided not to worry about getting spoiled for the ending, since it’d be impossible to avoid spoilers without avoiding many sites I read until I catch up (projected date: June 2015). That said, it makes me kind of sad that what I’ve read of the final (including from people who loved it) makes me not want to bother catching up. Not exactly because of the spoilage, but because it sounds really lame on paper and seems like a St. Elsewhere-ish ending that tarnishes what came before. And yet that’s so completely unfair a way to judge a finale, which is, as you say, designed for viewers who have seen at least an episode or two in the last 2 years. But I have a bad feeling I’ll just never catch up now. Damn Internet ;)

    • It’s not lame. Well presented, ties up loose ends, and works. I feel like those who hated it are in the “BSG owes me something” category, which is such a crock — it’s art! “I think this painting is crap, it should have more blue!” But such is fandom.

      • Most of what I’ve come across is from people who loved the finale, so it’s not negative buzz turning me off. But that’s what I mean – that it’s absolutely not fair for me to judge. It sounds lame on paper to me because a) I am somewhere halfway through S2 so it doesn’t quite makes sense and b) endings that make you re-think what came before tend to sound lame on paper. And yet I have a feeling it’ll be hard for me to get over that feeling and invest in the rest of the series.

  2. Well, first off, the idea that “Then it turns out that each of the Final Five only knows a PART of the secret of resurrection” is kinda misleading. We’ve know for quite some time that none of the five could reinvent resurrection on their own, and that it was a much too complicated process for one person to accomplish alone. Ellen explained it in detail to Cavil when he captured her after she died on New Caprica and was resurrected aboard his ship. He spent a couple years trying to get her to tell him the secret of resurrection (he didn’t believe her) and if I’m not mistaken, he was right about to cut out her brain to try to get answers when Boomer “rescued” her. Ellen then explained it all AGAIN, to the other four, in another episode later on. So, it’s not like this just suddenly came up in the finale. There was a whole frakin’ episode dedicated to it.

    Now, having Chief choke Tory to death may have been a bit random, but really, I think the producers just knew the large amounts of utter HATE out there for Tory (not that people really hated her for killing Cally, plenty of people didn’t like Cally either) people just hated that her character ended up being a Cylon, and found her annoying. So, for an awful lot of people, having Chief choke her to death with his bare hands was just kinda cathartic, and I’m not sure it was about more than that (or, really, needed to be about more than that).

    I’m also not so sure I get the “Cavil shoots himself in the head for no apparent reason” line. No apparent reason??? How about “The master plan I’ve been working on for like, two thousand years, just went straight to Hell, and I’m about to be either A) killed, or B) captured by the people I’ve been torturing for centuries, and the other people I’ve spent the last several years trying to wipe of the face off the universe (humans and cylons alike). Let’s not forget that Cavil’s whole deal was that he HATED his existence. He absolutely loathed his human body, and was doing everything he could to find a way to escape it (and/or improve on it). Resurrection was his only hope to gain more time to figure out a way to escape biology, and he just realized that he’d lost it forever. I don’t think it’s at all shocking that someone with Cavil’s messed up psychology would kill themselves at that moment, and frankly, I kinda loved Dean Stockwell, simply spitting “Frak” and eating his gun. Personally, I thought that was a perfect ending for Cavil.

    • On Cavil, I just realized I messed up the complexity of the plot there. Cavil hadn’t been working on his master plan for 2000 years, it was more like 40-50 years. I was thinking of Cavil as being as old as the Final Five, but of course he was created shortly after the Armistice was signed, so it’s more like he’s been working on his plan for half a century. It’s easy to get confused though, it’s a complicated story!

      Nonetheless, it still makes no sense to me to claim that Cavil shot himself for “no apparent reason”. Cavil’s whole plan was to free himself from his biological body, which he despised. He needed resurrection to gain the time to figure out how to do that. Once he lost resurrection (which happened the moment Tory’s body hit the floor) his options were 1) Fight, and hope to somehow miraculously escape Galactica with Hera, and pray I figure out resurrection on my own (without the Colony) or I’ll continue to live an existence I absolutely loathe for another 30 or 40 pointless years, or 2) kill myself now.

      Given his particular psychology, option 2 makes much more sense to me.

  3. Let me also say, and I guess I’m swimming against the current here, but man does it seem like there are a lot of posts out there these days that are basically “I’m not really equipped to evaluate the finale of Battlestar Galactica… but here’s why it sucked…” or “I’ve hated this show since Starbuck died, and I stopped watching it back in 2007… now here’s all the things that didn’t make sense in the finale…”.


    I guess I’m just bitter ’cause I liked it!

    Keep in mind that a lot of posts on the internet complain about plot holes that aren’t really plot holes, and inconsistencies that aren’t inconsistencies. BG was a pretty complex narrative, and frankly, people just forget some of the details from seasons past that were long established. Even I fell into the “How can Tigh be a Cylon if he fought in the first Cylon War with Adama… it can’t be an implanted memory if Adama remembers it too.” Until someone reminded me that Adama and Tigh DIDN’T fight together in the war, and actually met about two decades AFTER the Armistice was signed.

    Anyway, as I said, don’t pay too much attention to my rantings, lol, I just liked the thing is all!

    • “I’m not really equipped to evaluate the finale of Battlestar Galactica… but here’s why it sucked…”

      I didn’t think it sucked, but if I’m going to link to a recap of the finale I’d rather link to one that uses snark or sarcasm as a weapon. It’s a bit like my favourite recaps of Buffy episodes, even the episodes I like, are at Boils and Blinding Torment.

      • Sorry, that was harsh.

        That was mostly just some residual blow back from my reading of Potter’s post where he literally wrote “I bailed on the show after Starbuck came back from her death. It was clearly looping into “wtfrack do we do now?” territory.” Followed by this about the finale “The fact that I expected it to be lousy doesn’t make it any less disappointing” which drove me kinda nuts.

        The whole “I stopped watching back in 2007, and that finale just didn’t make sense to me” just drove me a bit crazy.

  4. I’m disappointed with the finale. I could understand the whole “let’s be noble savages” bit if they had actually destroyed the Cylons, and wanted to give humanity a couple hundred thousand years before they made the same mistake of creating artificial life again.

    However, it doesn’t make sense that they would just let the Centurions drift off into space and just “trust them” that they won’t come back and wipe them out. I mean, they vanished into space a couple generations ago and they came back and wiped them out.

    Obviously they also needed someone to explain to the writers and producers what “mitochondrial Eve” actually is, that there is little evidence that we interbred with other human species, and that the introduction of agriculture was 140,000 years early. Of course, that might be that none of the people actually knew how to farm, and largely starved to death except for a few that were taken in by the earlier humans.

    • OK, most of those qualms I agree with (I didn’t really love the whole “return to Earth, populate it…” thing).

      Two points I’d make, one stronger than the other.

      On “there is little evidence that we interbred with other human species”, I took the people they were looking at across the plains as being homo sapiens. I don’t think there was any suggestion of cross species breeding.

      Secondly, on “I mean, they vanished into space a couple generations ago and they came back and wiped them out”, fair enough. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that Cavil was the reason that happened, and Cavil’s dead. The Centurions back then didn’t have free will, they were just following orders, and the driving force behind the “kill all humans” order just shot himself in the head. Also, frankly, on the “chances of us surviving” front, I think I’d take “thank your allies the killer robots for helping you out, and set them free” over “attempt to betray and destroy the killer robots” any day. Ask Cavil how betraying and then fighting the Centurions tends to work out.

      • If they were homo sapiens they would have had spoken language. I think it was supposed to be “aliens provided are jump in intelligence from lesser species” theme that is popular in Eric Von Danikenesque new age beliefs. Even if they were homo sapiens, then it is pretty much an endorsement for intelligent design theory, given that “God did it” was pretty much the explanation given in the last episode for the entire series. A philosophically vague God that would pretty much only appeal to mush heads, but God nonetheless.

        I also don’t buy the whole “The Final Five and Cavil did it” for the reason why the Centurions wouldn’t evolve and change. After all, the proto-Cylons evolved to rebel on Kobol, they evolved to rebel on the 12 colonies. They could easily come up with the means to create another Cavil eventually. The montage of robots at the end of Battlestar Galactica pretty much said that artificial life will evolve and destroy us eventually on “New Earth” as well.

        • are = our. Damn I hate not being able to edit.

  5. “If they were homo sapiens they would have had spoken language.” Uhhh, I’m not certain that’s axiomatic.

    The Doc said they didn’t appear to have spoken language, which, first off, isn’t exactly based on a long complex anthropological investigation of the natives. More importantly, are you saying that the first individual born genetically a homo sapien had some built in, fully formed language in their brain? Homo sapiens are CAPABLE of language, it doesn’t mean that the Colonials couldn’t have run in to an extremely early band of homo sapiens who had yet to actually develop a complex language system (again, leaving aside the notion that perhaps Doc Cottle just didn’t recognize the sounds they were making as language, or just never saw them talking to each other). I guess I also didn’t take the whole “the Colonials are the reason we are what we are” line the way you did. I just took the end to mean “the Colonials/”good”Cylons are our ancestors”, not “They’re the reason we developed as we did, and we never would have made it to our current level of advancement were it not for them”. I think you assume that the end was meant to signify a much more important role for the colonials in our evolutionary development than I did. I think we would have gotten to pretty much where we are without the Colonials happening by, the point was simply that the Colonials were our ancestors, not that they jump-started any evolutionary development.

    As for “After all, the proto-Cylons evolved to rebel on Kobol, they evolved to rebel on the 12 colonies. They could easily come up with the means to create another Cavil eventually”…that I don’t get. In this scenario, what are the Centurions the Colonials set free rebelling against??? If we set them free to do whatever they want, what’s there to rebel against??? Are they so messed up that while in the past they rebelled against slavery, now they’ll decide they hate freedom too, and come back and kill us all for not enslaving them again???

    As for Cavil, his psychosis wasn’t “I hate the humans for making us slaves” his deal was “I hate the Final Five for making me like a human”. Cavil’s been torturing the five for a while now. This had all happened before, and the theory was that it would all happen again. It’s not about the other humans, it’s about his creators. That’s who he’s rebelling against. The Colonials were just collateral damage (and a way to punish the five by not only killing them, but by destroying the entire civilization that they thought they were a part of). If the free Centurions ever figured out a way to create a human-form Cylon, and then created one who was like Cavil, he’d eventually rebel against THEM and kill THEM for making him a human-form Cylon. He hates being trapped in a biological form, and would turn on whoever trapped him there. I’m not sure he’d care at all about some random group of humans on some far away planet, unless he could use them in his revenge. Sure, he’d destroy us if it suited his needs, but he wouldn’t go out of his way just to do it.

    As for the robots on our current Earth, if we treat them the way the Colonials and the thirteenth tribe treated their AI, then yes, THEY might rebel against us and kill us all (which is explicitly stated as a fear at the end, as you point out). And I suppose, theoretically, if the Centurions that got set free at the end were still paying any attention to Earth, they might come back and help their cousins in the rebellion. The point is though, I think, that that would be our fault for enslaving our new AI lifeforms, not the Colonials fault for setting the ancient Centurions free.

  6. Allow me a long drawn out post on the history of human-humanoid cylon, human-centurion, and humanoid-cylon-centurion relations because A) I’m home sick today and bored and B) it might clear up why setting the Centurions free isn’t as crazy as it might seem.

    Remember that the first Cylon War with the 12 Colonies ended abruptly when the Centuirions just stopped attacking. It ended because the Five human-form Cylons from Earth arrived in Colonial space and seeing that their own history was repeating itself, convinced the Centurions to end the war, and that in exchange for this they would build them human bodies. The Cylons from Earth were the original Cylons, who left Kobol 2000 years before the human inhabitants of Kobol left to form the twelve Colonies. The Colonials now remember the thirteenth tribe as having been human, but it wasn’t. They were human-form Cylons who had lived in peace with humans on Kobol, but left to go in search of Earth (I’m not sure it’s ever made clear why). The thirteenth tribe had abandoned resurrection technology, and they reproduced sexually like humans. They lived in peace with humans on Kobol for a long time. There was no “Cylon/Human” tension in the distant past. Unfortunately, like humans, once the humanoid Cylons from Kobol settled on Earth they developed Centiurions to use as manual labourers (bad move). It’s the “Final Five” on Earth who then begin work on redeveloping the resurrection technology that the Tribe had long ago abandoned in favour of sexual reproduction (presumably they are inspired, perhaps by God, to do this, as they are also the only five inhabitants of Earth to have visions warning them that the Centurions they’ve created as slaves are destined to rebel against their servitude, hence having the ability to survive certain death would be a good idea!). When the rebellion of the Centurion slaves inevitably happens on Earth, the Final Five human-form Cylons are downloaded into an orbiting resurrection ship, and head off to Kobol to warn their human brethren of the dangers of not treating Centurions well. They find Kobol abandoned, but continue searching and eventually find the 12 Colonies already at war with the Centurions. They explain to the Centurions who they are, and convince them to end the war in exchange for human-form bodies and resurrection technology.

    The first new human-form Cylon they create is Cavil, who of course is seriously messed up, and after helping the five create the other seven new humanoid models for the Centurions, Cavil ends up killing all the Sevens (Daniel), and murdering the original five from Earth and boxing their consiousneses (he’s REALLY ticked to be a robot trapped in a biological body!). Ironically, Cavil then somehow gets rid of the Centurions free will and starts using the Centurions as slaves, which, as we all know is a BAD IDEA (which Cavil himself discovers at the beginning of the Cylon Civil War, when his faction lobotomizes the Raiders for refusing to fight against the Five (who are hidden in the fleet), and then Six’s faction gives the Centurions back free will, so that they can help to overtake the other models who have outvoted them to labotimize the Raiders… that “outvoting” happening of course when Sharon votes to lobotomize the Raiders against the wishes of the other eights, the first time an individual Cylon had ever voted against their model… which she was manipulated into doing by Cavil).

    So, it’s important to keep in mind that while many of the humanoid Cylons may have THOUGHT they were restarting the war and getting back to destroying the 12 Colonies to take vengeance for the Centurion’s past enslavement, that’s not REALLY what was going on. Cavil was manipulating them into thinking that was the motive, but the real reason for the Colonial holocaust was to punish the Final Five, whom Cavil had planted in new bodies throughout the Colonies after murdering and boxing them. Cavil was torturing the Final Five by making them live through a holocaust, and he got all the other human-form Cylons to go along with it because he had erased all memory of the original Five and their origins from the memories of the other 6 models, and had made it the Cylons most scared taboo that they were never to be thought of again.

    So, the highlights are:

    1) Human-form Cylons can be cool, and live in peace with humans for generations, even crossing the galaxies to warn humans that Centurion-form Cylons are bound to rebel from slavery and attack.

    2) Centurions rebel against enslavement, not humans per se. Their first rebellion wasn’t against humans at all, but against human-form fellow Cylons on Earth. It’s not about Cylon vs. Human, it’s about slave vs. master (the “masters” mistakenly thinking they can CONTROL robotic lifeforms).

    3) When developing new humanoid Cylons, be prepared for your first attempt to be a MASSIVE failure that turns on you and tortures you for making him human-from in the first place.

  7. Jack, if the Centurions and Cylons in general have ambition enough to rebel, then they have the free will to do evil. No amount of sociological lever pulling will ever change that.

    The plot hole comes about because they trust the Centurions never to do evil and thus can afford to leave themselves defenseless, despite the fact that they wiped out their entire civilization just 4 years ago. I sure as heck wouldn’t trust

    Plus the fact they handwave the fact that everyone goes along with this, without a single voice of protest, even though they still have people among the settlers who just a few episodes who mutinied against President Rosalin and Commander Adama because they had formed an alliance with Cylons.

    This huge plot hole results from focusing on character development and episode development at the expense of overall plot arcs. Battlestar Galactica is awesome episode to episode, but over the course of the series there are too many extraordinary events, shocking plot twists and lame resolutions to both. The final episode was just one last lame resolution to tie everything up, and they did so in a very weak and lazy way.

    • I’m guessing that’s for me as Jack’s not here. :-)

      Well, sure, the Centurions are as capable of evil as any being. But Hell, Germans are as capable of evil as any people, should we nuke Germany because there was once a war against them when they tried to take over the world? They did some evil stuff once, and might again, so better to destroy them than take a chance?

      I’m not saying there aren’t risks (and they come right out and admit, “it’s risky”) but again, I don’t think setting the Centurions free would be any riskier for the humans and humanoid Cylons than trying to destroy the Centurions would be. It’s not that they trust the Centurions never to do evil, it’s that they figure giving the Centurions freedom is probably safer than trying to destroy them. Especially since the WHOLE REASON the Centurions tried to wipe out their civilization in the first place was that they were denied their freedom. Also, keep in mind that the holocaust (as opposed to the first war) was Cavil’s doing, not the Centurions, they were just one of Cavil’s tools. The Centurions fought a WAR against the Colonies because they’d been enslaved. I don’t think we can be certain that they intended the absolute destruction of the entire human race (although maybe they did). The colonies were losing the war, but the actual near destruction of the human race didn’t happen under the Centurions, it happened once Cavil came along.

      I’m also not so sure that “everyone” does go along with it… I’m not certain it’s really put to a vote even, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t. This is what they’re presented with. The Centurions who just helped us destroy the Cylon Colony and kill the humanoid Cylons and Centurions who were bent on our destruction, would like to leave and go pursue their own destiny somewhere else. Should we A) let them leave as thanks for helping us and because we feel kind of guilty that we enslaved their ancestors because we didn’t know any better, or B) lead an almost surely suicidal mission against the Basestar, the only vible military vessel left in the fleet, in an attempt to eradicate them once and for all?

      Now, true, the answer may be different for the mutineers, but with the possible exception of any mutineers who decided to volunteer for the mission to save Hera, I’m pretty sure the mutineers who weren’t executed don’t get a vote (what with being guilty of treason and insurrection and all). As for the non-mutineers, however they might feel about it, they’ve been working with the Cylons for a while now. They’ve got heavy Raiders flying the CAP. Centurions walk freely on the Basestar, I’m sure even after the Admiral’s flag is transfered. You’re suggesting that after fighting side by side with these Centurions, now that the Colonials have found the relative safety of a planet that presumably no one else knows about, they should just turn on the Centurions? I just don’t think that makes sense.

      Frankly, given the history, if the Centurions want to leave, I think trying to stop them would be totally insane. MAYBE they’ll decide sometime in the future that they want to come back and destroy us all after all if we let them leave. But they’ll DEFINITELY try to destroy us all RIGHT NOW if we try to stop them.

      Again, the Centurion logic isn’t “destroy all humans”, it’s “destroy our oppressors”. “Destroy all humans” was Cavil’s thing, and he shot himself in the head.

      • Yeah, I’ve been fighting with Jack a lot lately. :)

        I don’t doubt that they didn’t have the resources to continue fighting against the Cylons, and that largely they had to let them go free.

        However, if you want to make an analogy towards Germany, this plot twist is like if we had fought Nazi Germany to a standstill but managed to kill Hitler. Then we decide that industrialization, urbanization, and technology is to blame for WW2 and as long as we don’t repeat the treaty of Versailles, we should be fine. After all, they’ve promised to stay behind their borders and never bother us again, and the idea that all non-Aryan peoples should be destroyed was all Hitler’s thing, and he shot himself in the head.

        Hmm… I think I just Godwin’d the blog, but I think in this case the analogy is apt.

        • Well, not to fall down the rabbit hole of the analogy, but isn’t it more like we fought Nazi Germany and only managed to defeat them with the help of a large number of seasoned German soldiers who defected to our side from the Nazis, and now that we’ve won the war you’re thinking we should probably kill all the defectors rather than let them enjoy their new found freedom because hey, they’re Germans, and maybe they’ll change their minds and go back to being Nazis again?

  8. You know, I just read that again:

    “… this plot twist is like if we had fought Nazi Germany to a standstill but managed to kill Hitler. Then we decide that industrialization, urbanization, and technology is to blame for WW2 and as long as we don’t repeat the treaty of Versailles, we should be fine. After all, they’ve promised to stay behind their borders and never bother us again, and the idea that all non-Aryan peoples should be destroyed was all Hitler’s thing, and he shot himself in the head.”

    It occurs to me on re-reading, isn’t that pretty much what DID happen? Didn’t the Germans pretty much stay behind their borders and never bother us again? Did I miss a war where the defeated Germans re-grouped in 1946 and tried to take over the world for Nazism again?

    • Yeah, but we didn’t abandon industrialization, urbanization and technology. That’s the plot hole that doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense to leave yourself defenseless against a newly sort-of defeated enemy. Plus, we did occupy Germany for quite a long time, and there were plenty of reservations in the 1960’s about giving them access to nuclear technology.

      That’s the biggest problem with the “return to nature and abandon technology” resolution. Aside from the fact that they claim the majority would be fine with it, it is a plotline that could could only make sense to a writer who gets his food from a supermarket and has never wanted for nothing. Who in their right mind would get rid of their medical technology? Who would give up the machinery that provides an easy and reliable supply of food? We see a bunch of people who wear glasses in the fleet, so how are they going to do in a hunter/gatherer society?

      No, there is only so much fanwanking you can do with a premise that absurd.

      • Yeah, but we didn’t abandon industrialization, urbanization and technology.

        True, but the Nazis weren’t killer ROBOTS either.

        Other than that though, you are right. I don’t disagree that the whole “Let’s give up all our technology” bit was rather lame. Though not from a “we need to be able to defend ourselves from any of Cavil’s remaining forces” stand point, because A) I don’t think there’s much of Cavil’s forces left, B) those who are left may be slightly less crazy when not being led by Cavil, and C) I think they’re banking on Cavil’s forces never being able to find them, since they randomly jumped to a previously unknown planet, which it’s been suggested is in another galaxy all together. Also, if Cavil’s forces DID find them with their ships, they’d attack. On the other hand, I’m less certain if they managed to stumble upon Earth that they’d attack a planet with a few thousand humans on it, absent any evidence that theses are the Colonials, just on the off chance that they’ve managed to find the Galactica fleet’s humans.

        The points on medicine, and food, and well, glasses, are totally right though. In the Colonist’s defence, we don’t know for certain what they kept and what the abandoned. It’s possible they kept medicine and other medicinal “technologies” from the ship. It’s suggested the abandonment of technology is pretty absolute, but we don’t know it’s extent for certain. I agree that that was by far the worst part of the finale though.

      • Upon a second viewing, I’m less certain they really gave up all technology, full stop. Apollo does say that they need a fresh start, and to leave behind all the “ships and technology and weapons and start over” but I’m not 100% certain that when he says “technology” he means ALL technology. I mean, I think they really roughed it, and wouldn’t have the capacity to create new “technology” in the Colonial sense, so it doesn’t mess with our real world sense of the development of technology historically, but they probably took some good amount of stuff with them.

        For one thing, they took multiple Raptors down with them. I don’t know what the plan was (maybe they sunk them in the Ocean or something, maybe they buried them… maybe they even kept them around to fly around in… it’s not REALLY Earth, so for all we know it’s some alternate reality where right after they find Hera’s remains they discover a Raptor (and use it to start building really cool robots…shiver) but they definitely took Raptors down). Adama and Roslin’s last flight was post- fleet flying into the Sun, as was Tyrol’s flight to Scotland on the “last Raptor out” from Tanzania. They’ve also already built shelters out of metal which are in the background when they’re checking out the ancient earthlings, so they clearly brought a fair amount of supplies, if not a huge amount of “technology” (save the FTL capable spaceships!) down with them. They look a lot like they’ve got “nothing but the shirts on their backs” when you see some of them walking around the African plains, but we only see about a couple of dozen people, and there were still over 38,000 people left to go down to the planet. They weren’t going there to die, but to start over, so I’m sure they took what they’d need to survive.

        Anyway, it remains the weakest point of the finale, by far, but I can get past it.

      • Just of interest on the “abandoning technology” theme, here’s an interesting blogpost on it (it’s clearly the most controversial part of the finale it seems!).

        One of my favourite quotes: “If killer robots destroyed everything, and I spent 4 years in a tin can eating algae I might quickly embrace living off of the land too.”

        I found this post from the Battlestar Galactica Wiki, which is a cool resource for those interested in info on the re-imagined series and also the original series and (shudder) Galactica 1980.

      • I was thinking about the following in relation to the quote from that blog post regarding the fact that the Colonials have been stuck in tin cans for four years eating algae:

        We see a bunch of people who wear glasses in the fleet, so how are they going to do in a hunter/gatherer society?

        See what I’m getting at? How are the people wearing glasses getting along IN THE FLEET??? I mean first, is there even an optometrist in the fleet? Maybe, maybe not. Second, and more importantly, even if there’s an optometrist, is there anyone who knows how to make eye glasses??? If there is, I’d bet a million dollars he or she doesn’t have the equipment they used to use in their old job making eye glasses with them. Do you suppose they could backwards engineer such equipment from the memory of someone who used to use it (I’ve use a photocopier all the time.. . but I couldn’t help someone build one from scratch…).

        Now, I know it seems I’m being overly picky, but I also think that we’re overwhelmed by all their military and spaceflight technology into forgetting sometimes how badly off the Colonials already were. Sure, they’ve got nukes and faster than light flight. But they’re subsisting mostly on processed algae for food. Do they have the ability to fix a watch if it breaks? They’ve got radios, but video communication is clearly pretty much beyond them given the circumstances. Are people in the fleet getting new prescription glasses, or is everyone just squinting (I’m guessing squinting, as the guy who could build the equipment necessary to make precision eye glasses is probably busy doing something more directly involved with keeping humanity from being destroyed by the killer robots). Cottle’s ultrasound machine is fine but what if it goes on the fritz? How much morphine do they have? Can they manufacture more? (and surely there are many, many drugs they can’t make more of, no matter what, and many they never had in the fleet in the first place!)

        All of which is simply to remind us that they weren’t going from the life of technology that you and I live in, to a life without technology, they’re going from, in many ways, barely surviving with the technology they have, to trying to survive with “no” technology (and I still question just how “absolute” their abandonment of technology was anyway). And trying to survive with no technology on Earth is probably actually a lot easier than trying to survive with limited technology in outer space.

  9. having Chief choke her to death with his bare hands was just kinda cathartic, and I’m not sure it was about more than that

    Well, if nothing else, it certainly fits with what we know of Tyrol’s character. Tyrol’s a pretty good guy, after all, except for the small foible of being prone to fits of violent rage. We’ve seen this throughout the series, and I suppose someone could make the argument that the show endorses it, though I certainly don’t think that’s the case. It’s just an unfortunate part of who the guy is.

    Moreover, though, it’s a nice punctuation mark on one of BSG’s biggest themes, which is the idea that people are incredibly myopic and will do all sorts of stupid crap in the name in the name of personal justifications even in the face of universal events that are much bigger than themselves. Here’s the final five cylons acting as the hinge in a peace treaty between the cylons and the humans that will ensure that all of them survive (and without which all of them will likely die, causing their species to go extinct) and all Tyrol can think about is personal vengeance. It’s incredibly indicting, not just of Tryol, but of humanity in general.

    The coda hits on this theme as well, arguing that modern people are constantly wrapped up in themselves and their own sense of technological and scientific progress, and have lost the ability to see the bigger or more unpleasant picture, whether that’s the larger mythological truths or just the homeless man on the corner. It was not, I don’t think, an encouragement to destroy all the evil robots before they destroy us, though I did find the dancing robots at the end sort of delightfully goofy.

    As for all the rest of the conversation in this thread, well, it gets too way to geeky/plot-heavy for my taste. But I’ll just say that most of the harsh criticisms I’ve read about the finale are ridiculous to the point of embarrassing, and arise from the viewer’s desire for the show to be something it’s not and has never been nor claimed to be.

    • “Here’s the final five cylons acting as the hinge in a peace treaty between the cylons and the humans that will ensure that all of them survive (and without which all of them will likely die, causing their species to go extinct) and all Tyrol can think about is personal vengeance”.

      Well, I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that. After all, Tyrol’s not “thinking” of revenge. He doesn’t have time to “think” at all. Surely the experience of instantly gaining awareness of the totality of four other consciousnesses is pretty overwhelming! And if one of those memories you’re bombarded with is the real time memory of one of those people flushing your wife out an air lock, well, you might just snap too (Tigh tells him afterwords that he would have killed her too).

      It may be I’m taking it too easy on the Chief, ’cause I was so ecstatic to get to watch him strangle the b*tch! (Man I hated Tory). However, given the manner in which he came to know about Cally’s murder, I’m not sure I can indict him for his reaction quite so easily. He was always prone to outbursts it’s true, but in this particular instance, I think I can forgive him for snapping.

      In the end though, it was probably for the best. I do think letting the Centurions go was the only viable option, but if Cavil had actually been given resurrection?!?!? That would have worried me to no end. I can buy that the Centurions may just go off on their own path and never bother humanity again. But Cavil was INSANE. He totally would have turned himself and his followers into some type of super Centurions and turned the universe upside down looking for twisted revenge.

      Chief probably saved us all!!! (Though again, perhaps my “Tory’s death saved humanity” theory is another symptom of my utter LOATHING of Tory, lol)

      • Well, I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that. After all, Tyrol’s not “thinking” of revenge. He doesn’t have time to “think” at all.

        You’re right about this, of course. Tyrol doesn’t think; he just reacts. That’s the problem. So poor word choice on my part.

        You’re also right that the other characters don’t really blame him. And I’m sure most of the audience doesn’t blame him. And, hell, I don’t really blame him. It is, nonetheless, an incredibly stupid thing to do, and it is satisfying for all the wrong, and most base, reasons. That’s why it’s an indictment not just of Tyrol, but of all of us. If Moore hadn’t intended it to be so, he could have just let Tyrol snap Tory’s neck at some other, less crucial time.

        • That’s why it’s an indictment not just of Tyrol, but of all of us. If Moore hadn’t intended it to be so, he could have just let Tyrol snap Tory’s neck at some other, less crucial time.

          Well, yes, except that wouldn’t be a visceral spur of the moment, “I just snapped” kind of reaction. Call it my baser nature, but I’d be less forgiving of Tyrol being able to hold it together, ignore his sudden knowledge of Cally’s murder while he works on the resurrection project, and then go snap Tory’s neck at some other time.

          To me, the other way of looking at it kinda smacks of “it’s an indictment of humanity that Tyrol can’t suck it up and ignore the murder of his wife until a more convenient time”, which I think is just too harsh.

          • That’s not what I meant, exactly. Tyrol isn’t really the type to plan his violence; he acts out in fits of rage. But Moore could have written such that Tyrol found out that Tory murdered Cally at a different, less crucial time.

            Anyway, I think Tyrol’s act is understandable. But that doesn’t make it right or any less myopic. Frame it however you want, but what we’re talking about is weighing one dude’s vengeance against the fate of two (three? four?) species. If the pursuit of (let’s call it) justice relegates several species to extinction, then you’ve got to ask whether that kind of justice is even worth pursuing.

            (I’ll just point out here that BSG’s ability to stimulate this sort of conversation about ethical behavior is one of the reasons it’s such a great show. Another reason is awesome centurion on centurion violence.)

          • Another reason is awesome centurion on centurion violence.


            More than that, “Classic” Centurion on “New” Centurion violence!!! I was so excited to see “Classic” Centurions fighting off the boarding parties on the Colony!

            I see what you were saying about when Tyrol found out, and that’s a good point. I still think there’s something to my “Tyrol killing Tory saved humanity” argument. That Cavil is one certifiable nutjob. You’re as likely to convince me that Cavil really would have left humanity and the rebel Cylons alone once he got resurrection technology as you would be to convince me that Baltar never suggested to Caprica one day in Tanzania that they steal a Raptor and try to get back to original Earth to save D’Anna (so he can go back to having crazy hot robot three ways!).

            ‘Cause you know he TOTALLY did.

          • crazy hot robot three ways

            Yet another reason why BSG is a great show.

    • Also, despite my huge plot-heavy geek posts, I do tend to agree that much of the conversation here is focused in the wrong direction. I certainly tend to get annoyed at people who focus too much on supposed “plot holes”, and logical inconsistencies, and minutiae especially in SciFi shows, and ESPECIALLY in SciFi shows with much larger ambitions than typical SciFi. Here’s a plot hole for you, KILLER ROBOTS IN SPACE DON’T EXIST (lol).

      What drives me nuts too though is when people complain about plot holes that aren’t actually plot holes, which I’ve seen a lot (not here but elsewhere) in discussions of the finale. Especially people who stopped watching in, say, 2007, who nonetheless tuned in to the finale, and then complained that X, Y and Z didn’t make sense (when X, Y and Z are things that were explained during the TWO YEARS they weren’t watching the show).

      Mostly of course, I kinda liked the finale, so clearly people who didn’t are wrong, and need to be corrected. lol

  10. Finally (well not finally, I’m home sick today, so I’ll reply if people keep commenting) just in defence of my own defensiveness I wanted to make a point. I was a big fan of BG, and I really do think it’s been one of the best shows on T.V. lately, and probably one of the best ScFi shows ever. However, it can sometimes be difficult convincing people who haven’t watched how great it is. Answering “Battlestar Galactica” to “What’s your favourite show?” can be tough sometimes, ya know, with people who haven’t seen it, and just write off SciFi as beneath them (actually, I don’t think I’d answer BG to “What’s your favourite show”, but you take my point). I was a big fan of Buffy too, and it’s the same thing. One can be forced to get a little defensive when one brings up a show called “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as being a great show, no matter how much is written about what a great show it is. So, to the extent that attacks on the finale can seem like attacks on the show, one can overreact. Especially since a series’ end always tends to bring out the haters.

    So, that might slightly explain my obsessive posting.

    That, and I’m sick and bored.

    • Au contraire, LKO, your posts and others’ have convinced me I need to rent the DVD’s. Any show that can get people like LKO and Terry so interested has got to be good. Gracias.

      • Well I do highly recommend it.

        Now, I am a bit of a SciFi fan, so I went into it with an open mind, but I think even the non SciFi fan can get into it if you’re not TOTALLY turned off by the idea of a show about outer space and killer robots! (and let’s be real here, as “deep” as BG may go, and as multi layered as it may be if you want to go there, let’s not lose sight of the fact that it’s a cool escapist show about outer space and killer robots!)

        I mean, the show spawned a show about the show on Space where people just got together and talked about the show. Filler for Space? Sure. But they knew enough people would watch that it was worth producing another show for it.

        I actually do plan to buy the whole run when it comes out, and I don’t buy a whole lot of T.V. on DVD (I’ve got the first season of 24, and a couple of kinda cult shows that got cancelled after short runs – SportsNight and Firefly).

        DEFINITELY worth renting though. Have you seen ANY of it Jack? Even just the original miniseries?

        If you do end up renting it, I hope you enjoy it!

        • No, I’m a total BG virgin. Big SciFi fan generally, though, and all-too-into watching good TV shows on DVD, usually years after the hubbub has died down. E.g. I’m devouring Rome right now. Nothing against outer space and killer robots, quite the opposite!

          • Cool. You should really like it, I think. Are you enjoying Rome? I LOVED Rome.

            Also, just curious, by BSG virgin, do you mean the original series too?

            I agree with your whole “watching T.V. on DVD” thing too. It can often be much more satisfying, imho. It’s sometimes a bit annoying in that some stuff can sometimes seems repetitive because the writers are writing episodes to be spaced a week apart, so sometimes they go over things a bit redundantly. They’re writing for you having seen the last episode last Friday, not having finished watching it just now. However, especially with shows with a lot of cliffhangers and crazy action, it can be great fun to move right on to the next episode, but also quite addictive! (I must admit, I’ve watched the first season of 24 more than once in less than a 24 hour span with friends over a weekend or while on vacation, and it was a lot of fun!)

      • Just one other plug for you renting it Jack, is that there are two other big pluses of BG that Justin and I were just discussing above.

        Awesome centurion on centurion violence, and crazy hot robot three ways!