BSG: "Daybreak" Part II (The Last Battlestar Recap EVER!)

This post recaps, with pictures, the series finale.  Dude, if you have not seen it yet, a) what are you waiting for?  and b) do not read this, and c) DO NOT EVEN SCROLL DOWN because you will see some REVEALING SHIT HERE, okay? Okay.

First of all let me just say that this entire season of Battlestar Galactica has been incredible, and the series finale is no exception.  I’m glad they aired Part I of “Daybreak” before the finale last night, because I really appreciated getting to watch all three hours of it together.  That first hour seemed so much more purposeful and cohesive in close connection with hours two and three.  The things we learned about the past actually turned out to carry some weight here, as I was worried they might not.  WHEW.

Moving on then: I got pretty snap-happy, as you can imagine, when I was gathering the screen shots for this recap.  Hence there are forty-some photos here.  I’ve divided them into sections and I will provide some thoughts for each section, but otherwise the captions will have to suffice.  Let’s go then, shall we?

Things That Happened in the Past:

In the final two hours of “Daybreak,” the scenes from the past began to take on deeper significance.  While last week they seemed largely irrelevant, this week they seemed more tightly woven into the show.  I appreciated, but did not really love this aspect.

Adama puked all over himself this one time outside a strip club.
Adama puked all over himself this one time outside a strip club.
Boomer was a bad pilot and owed Adama a favor.
Boomer was a bad pilot and owed Adama a favor.
Kara double-dog-dared Lee to do her; said she didn't fear death and didn't want to be forgotten
Kara double-dog-dared Lee to do her; said she didn't fear death and didn't want to be forgotten
Laura had a blind date with a former student and slept with him; kicked him out of bed; joined a presidential campaign.
Laura had a blind date with a former student and slept with him; kicked him out of bed; joined a presidential campaign.

Shit Gets Difficult for Our Guys for a While:

During the battle, the temporary detente, and the ensuing mayhem, I was once again on the edge of my seat every single second.  I even made an effort to pay attention to the usually inscrutable-to-me SPACEBATTLES so I could observe what was happening to which ship at what time.  Among the highlights for me was seeing Six, Baltar, Imagination Six, and Imagination Baltar all together in the same scene.  While I’m kind of grumpy about the direction the show has decided to take with the Imagination Team (angels, higher powers, “divine hands” at work – gag me please), I still loved this moment.  I also found myself excitedly jumping around and screaming at the TV during the scene when Starbuck has to jump the ship but she doesn’t have the rendez-vous coordinates.  Holy frak that was an incredible moment.

It's Admiral Hoshi and President Crazy-Ass Romo Lampkin - This doesn't bode well.
It's Admiral Hoshi and President Crazy-Ass Romo Lampkin - This doesn't bode well.
Even Caprica Six and Baltar have to fight to protect the ship. Baltar looks mighty ridiculous in that get up.
Even Caprica Six and Baltar have to fight to protect the ship. Baltar looks mighty ridiculous in that get up.
Galactica jumps right into the metaphorical crotch of the Colony and faces attack immediately, a.k.a. SPACEBATTLE.
Galactica jumps right into the metaphorical crotch of the Colony and faces attack immediately, a.k.a. SPACEBATTLE.
Lee leads the team into the Colony.
Lee leads the team into the Colony.
Starbuck has a gun and she's not afraid to use it!
Starbuck has a gun and she's not afraid to use it!
In the meanwhile, Simon is poking a tube into Hera's ear. OH WOE.
In the meanwhile, Simon is poking a tube into Hera's ear. OH WOE. Oh, no, wait, I don't care.
Centurion against Centurion - this toaster battle was clangy and frakking intense!
Centurion against Centurion - this toaster battle was clangy and frakking intense!
Six and Baltar see Imagination Six and Imagination Baltar, and each ne learns that the other one can see the Imagination Angels. One of my favorite scenes!
Six and Baltar see Imagination Six and Imagination Baltar, and each one learns that the other one can see the Imagination Angel Team. One of my favorite scenes!
Boomer pays back that favor, gets all shot up.  RIP, Boomer, you inscrutable Cylon Lady.
Boomer pays back that favor, gets all shot up. RIP, Boomer, you inscrutable Cylon Lady.
OH NOES, MY BOYFRIEND HELO IS HURT!!!
OH NOES, MY BOYFRIEND HELO IS HURT!!!
Baltar, Athena, Six, and Roslin collectively hallucinate that whole Opera House thing again, leading them to the CIC with Hera.
Baltar, Athena, Six, and Roslin collectively hallucinate that whole Opera House thing again, leading them to the CIC with Hera.
In case we forgot, here are the faceless final five as imagined in the past.
In case we forgot, here are the faceless final five as imagined in the past.
And here are the final five, revealed and arranged around and in the Bathtub of Mystery.
And here are the final five, revealed and arranged around and in the Bathtub of Mystery.
Baltar pontificates annoyingly, yet poignantly, about a higher power.  I grumble.
Baltar pontificates annoyingly, yet poignantly, about a higher power. I grumble.
HOT DOG!
HOT DOG!
Bathtime is for sharing - sharing information about Cylon resurrection, that is.  At least until something goes horribly wrong.
Bathtime is for sharing - sharing information about Cylon resurrection, that is. At least until something goes horribly wrong.
Well, Frak. Something went horribly wrong and now Galactica is under sustained fire again.
Well, Frak. Something went horribly wrong and now Galactica is under sustained fire again.
"There must be some kind of way out of here," said the pilot to the FTL drive.
"There must be some kind of way out of here," said the pilot to the FTL drive.
In the most frakking awesome scene ever on BSG, Starbuck uses her crazy music math to jump the ship to Bob Dylan's magical coordinates. HOLY FRAK.
In the most frakking awesome scene ever on BSG, Starbuck uses her crazy music math to jump the ship to Bob Dylan's magical coordinates. HOLY FRAK.
Galactica survives the jump, but is so broken apart she'll never jump again.  It's a good thing they made it to ... wait, where are they exactly?
Galactica survives the jump, but is so broken apart she'll never jump again. It's a good thing they made it to ... wait, where are they exactly?

Holy Frak, It’s Motherfrakking EARTH:

I really, really did not think this was going to happen.  Really.

HOLY FRAK. IT'S MOTHERFRAKKING EARTH.
HOLY FRAK. IT'S MOTHERFRAKKING EARTH.

But What Does this Mean?

For one thing, we find out that Earth is a frakking breathtakingly gorgeous place.  In almost every scene on the planet, the camera pulls back to give us rich, majestic views of the landscape.  The beauty of these scenes is almost a bit hard to take.  We learn what will become of the fleet, the Centurions, and the other Cylons, and shit starts to feel all poignant and ending-like here, but the goodbyes will continue for a nice long while even after the fleet flies into the sun.

The guys investigate an existing civilization they found on the planet.
The guys investigate an existing civilization they found on the planet.
They may be pre-verbal but Baltar has some plans for them already. No verbalizing necessary.
They may be pre-verbal but Baltar has some plans for them already. No verbalizing necessary.
The Centurions will finally be free.
The Centurions will finally be free.
Adama pilots the last viper out of Galactica, like we knew he would. Flight suit looks good on you, dude.
Adama pilots the last viper out of Galactica, like we knew he would. Flight suit looks good on you, dude.
Sam Anders pilots the rest of the fleet into the sun, in a moment pf physical perfection. I sniffle.
Sam Anders pilots the rest of the fleet into the sun, in a moment pf physical perfection. I sniffle.

Goodbyes, Try Not to Cries:

More wide shots of velvety grassland, rugged hills and mountains, and a perfectly blue sky. In so many of these scenes, though, it seems as  if everyone is destined to be utterly alone.  Tyrol, Lee Adama, Bill Adama – they all wind up facing the future completely alone.  Just as I was feeling a little despair over that, we saw groups of settlers heading off into the future together.  Anonymous civilians, the Tighs, the Agathons – they all walk off toward their futures together.  That’s nice. If you watched these scenes and didn’t find need of a tissue, I don’t know who you are.

Tyrol says goodbye to Tigh and Ellen before jetting off to Scotland, Iceland, Labrador, or some other cold island.
Tyrol says goodbye to Tigh and Ellen before jetting off to Scotland, Iceland, Labrador, or some other cold island. Alone.
Lee and Kara wave goodbye as Adama and Roslin take flight.
Lee and Kara wave goodbye as Adama and Roslin take flight.
Lee and Kara discuss their plans for the future, except SOMEBODY doesn't seem to have any.
Lee and Kara discuss their plans for the future, except SOMEBODY doesn't seem to have any.
And now Lee is alone.
And now Lee is alone.
Adama takes Roslin flying over the continent looking for a place to build that cabin.
Adama takes Roslin flying over the continent looking for a place to build that cabin, only he'll have to do all the building ALONE because she frakking dies in the Raptor. Sheesh.
Tigh and Ellen walk off toward their future.
Tigh and Ellen walk off toward their future.
Karl, Sharon, and Hera walk off toward their future.
Karl, Sharon, and Hera walk off toward their future.
Oh hey, it's the Imagination Team come to say goodbye to the real SIx and Baltar.
Oh hey, it's the Imagination Team come to say goodbye to the real Six and Baltar.
Baltar knows a lot about farming.
Baltar knows a lot about farming.
Six and Baltar walk off toward their future.
Six and Baltar walk off toward their future.
And now Adama is alone.
And now Adama is alone.
Hera. Still anoying.
Hera. Still annoying.

The Part I Would Happily Pretend Never Happened:

All right.  Now we have come to the last five minutes of the show, a.k.a. the part I wish my DVR had failed to record.  Let me say that I do think the implications and the ideas behind this ending are solid.  After all, the notion that this has all happened before and will all happen again has been emphasized so strongly all season (and throughout the show).  We know this.  There was also always the thought that our Galacticans would possibly find their way to Earth — our Earth — and somehow connect with our society here.  Nothing really came out of the blue with this ending.  What I didn’t like about it was the quality I always call “too explainy.” I just don’t like it when movies and television take ideas that should best remain in the realm of implications and shared understandings and instead of implying them they spell them out directly in BOLD ALL CAPS BLINKING NEON. Give the viewer a little credit, please!

So while it was mainly the element of blatant explainyness that turned me off about the last five minutes here, I was also (only mildly) disgruntled with the whole worlds-colliding quality that occurs when characters from a fictional television show appear in the non-fictional world we viewers inhabit.  It renders everything that was acceptable in the Reality-of-the-Show Fictional Realm into something that is, for me, unacceptable in the Reality-of-Life Nonfictional Realm.  I can accept all the angels and higher power bullshit in the realm of fiction, but I find the assertion (and it really was an assertion) that there is a higher power designing our universe to be pretty distasteful. Well, mildly.  I loved the show too much to get all het up about it.

Honestly, I would have been fine with this being the last shot of the series. But, sigh, it wasn't.
Honestly, I would have been fine with this being the last shot of the series. But, sigh, it wasn't.
Oh look, it's Ron Moore.  How frakking clever.
Oh look, it's Ron Moore. How frakking clever.

On the whole, though, I really, really loved this series finale.  It certainly cemented Battlestar Galactica‘s place in my all-time top-five list of television shows.  I have now begun collecting the DVDs (as some of you know I am obsessed with waiting until I can buy them at a low, low price from Amazon Used) and I plan to start re-watching the entire series sometime soon.  And oh yeah! We have both Caprica and BSG: The Plan to look forward to as well.  So I suppose it isn’t really truly over, yet.

What did you think? Favorite moments? What about the last five minutes? Am I crazy here?

7 thoughts on “BSG: "Daybreak" Part II (The Last Battlestar Recap EVER!)

  1. Katie March 21, 2009 / 12:22 pm

    Such an amazing finale. I didn’t expect to have any tears, but I certainly did, even when Baltar said he knew about farming. The scene with Kara typing the coordinates for the jump was incredible, and overall I thought that they did a great job of tying up most loose ends. (But still! Nothing about Daniel?)

    I agree that the very end was very “explainy,” though. The robot footage? Really? Was that necessary?

  2. Alfina the Vague March 21, 2009 / 3:04 pm

    Ah, right, Daniel! I guess that was just a red herring or something. Geez. At least Starbuck didn’t turn out to be a Cylon, though!

    And re the robot footage, I completely agree. I think it might have been the robots dancing to “Watchtower” that sent me over the edge.

  3. clarabella March 21, 2009 / 3:15 pm

    It was SO FRAKKING GOOD! I can’t get over it! I totally agree with you about the last five minutes. When I rewatch it, I will not watch those last 5. So stupid and preachy. Please, give me some credit. I can infer that shit myself.
    I loved the war-paint on the human-friendly centurions. I loved that they fought the old-school BSG centurions. I loved that they played the original BSG theme song as Sam flew the fleet into the sun (so did Chuck). I loved Sam, mute as he was, in the whole finale! I, too, sniffed a little thinking about his “physical perfection” speech.
    I loved when Chief strangled that bitch Tory. She totally had it coming. I loved when they rammed the Galactica into the Colony. All 4 of us at my house were yelling at the TV about how awesome that was.
    I totally figured out the opera house thing 20 minutes before it happened. When Caprica and Gaius saw their imaginary counterparts (also favorite moments) and had that convo, a light bulb went off in my head, and I knew they were going to save her instead of kidnap her. Sean called the Galactica being the Opera House a long time ago. Good job, Sean.
    What the frak is up with Starbuck just disappearing? She was an angel? What? The? Frak?
    I’m going to watch it again very soon, and I’ll probably have more to say about it after a second viewing, but all in all, I was just giddy over this finale and can’t wait until Caprica and The Plan.
    So say we all.

  4. Alfina the Vague March 21, 2009 / 4:34 pm

    C – Yeah, I am going to have to watch it again, too. I kind of already re-watched it when I downloaded it and gathered the screencaps, and I cried a little even just doing that! Sheesh! Also, Yeah, I guess Starbuck was supposed to be an angel or something. I prefer to think of it as her finally learning “what [her] special purpose is for,” à la Navin R. Johnson. HA.

    SC – Excellente, my good man!

  5. Brandon March 22, 2009 / 4:24 pm

    I enjoyed the finale immensely and I’m willing to suspend all sorts of disbelief. Ok, fine, the crew managed to steer a creaky spaceship into the bosom of a heavily fortified Cylon base and get away with the kid. Ok, fine, they found an identical planet Earth in the deep reaches of the cosmos. Ok, fine, Chief decided to retire and become the Nomadic Sex God Overlord of England or Iceland. Ok, fine, the “imaginary” Six and Gaius are angels. But Starbuck magically disappearing? No way. I ain’t buying that one, Mormons.

  6. Sho April 6, 2009 / 12:11 pm

    Basically, I agree with what everyone else is saying here. The last five minutes were pretty unnecessary as the audience can infer that the surviving humans and cylons and the CY-LON BAYBEE are our ancestors, and so on and so forth.

    But I liked the finale overall. I think there were enough loose ends that were tied up, but with a few things left open so that there are a few unresolved questions. Definitely going to need to watch it again soon!

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