Battlestar Galactica

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: C | 17 USERS: B
YOU GRADE IT
When Will The Work Be Done?

It would be better if it were a bluff. Because you can't have it both ways. You can't say that the story tells itself, pat your back egregiously for the "artistic" details you've chucked in for no clear artistic reason, while also reassuring the fans -- whose opinions don't really matter anyway, because all you owe them is a story, including me, which is why I feel comfortable writing about this -- that there's an endpoint, a reason for it all, a final mystery. That all will be revealed.

Trust the story, and it will be. I think what I reacted so violently to, this finale and the last one, was the exceedingly inorganic, forced nature of the revelations, at the last second. Not organically developing out of the story told over the preceding nineteen episodes, and the threads of deeper meaning and juxtaposition that they afford, but a determined weeding out of tools and images that didn't fit the finale, when it was time to write the finale. That's distinctly irreverent, toward the material, toward the story itself, and to your writers. I think what happened here was less a issue of forethought and planning, and more a loss of nutsack at a crucial moment. A dedication to reaching ideas long plotted out, working against the grain of the story itself, to arrive at treasured endpoints that no longer signify.

Not that the finale wasn't intuitively written. Which is the second issue, because while it's a fine story, it turns against the preceding flow of the narrative in some pretty stark ways that, assembled, seem pretty revealing.

Let's start with Tory, not because I love her so much or anything, because what is there to love beyond the gifted Rekha Sharma? Not a lot. She was the mystery ingredient in the Final Four, the "most exciting" open-ended character, who in the end got the least interesting, most cardboard-villainous story of all. Thinking back to the balance of the Final Five, above, let's think about her for a second. Tory Foster is not Slytherin, she's Ravenclaw -- Ellen's Slytherin -- Tory is Air, Mind, the Invisible Girl, Thinking, taunted and haunted by dark emotions she can't see directly or ever explain, shooting out dark roots into Intuition and Sensation in order to stabilize herself against these shadow emotions and fears. (Compare Buffy's Willow Rosenberg, for an easy example.) The Final Five have lost their Thinker; it's no surprise that soon after, they give up even the touchstone of transcendence, shooting Sam into the sun as an artifact of technology, and become the Final Three.

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Battlestar Galactica

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