Battlestar Galactica

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

What's troubling is that these Final Three, eventually, will agree that this is okay, even appropriate. Laudable, even. The show claps Galen on the back for severing the group's ties with the infinite, breaking a peace accord through murder, and eventually damning all but three Cylon models to death. Which, whatever, that's fine.

Only at the same time, Lee is warning us about our science outstripping our souls. Just after sending Simon the doctor and Cavil the atheist genius into a black hole, and a little while before the Smartest Man in the Twelve Colonies decides to become a farmer. Because courage, not intelligence, is what earns you love, and the right to exist. And right about this time the Fleet is giving up all intellectual progress they've ever made, and lying down in the grass and praising themselves for it, because technology and intellect and progress and mental strength are not "the best part of ourselves," any more than Tory Foster deserved to live. Human progress is typified in the glorious decadence of Caprica City, where if they're not fucking they're puking on themselves: "Commercialism, decadence, technology run amok" are inscribed as natural human endpoints, and the Hybrid and Lee agree, at different points, that cities and civilization are the root cause of all evil. And even though I personally found the characters' resolutions -- yes, including Kara's, and the angels' -- completely satisfying, that can go on the list too. The story steps up to the brink spiritually on at least three fronts, and then tosses up its hands, saying those lynchpins of the series no longer signify. Not for the lack of answers, but for suggesting that the questions themselves aren't worth asking.

I submit to you that coincidental or not -- and that's a pretty long list, to be a coincidence -- this is not only offensive and misguided, but vile. You have to look in the darkest, sweatiest ugliest places to find God, and the story here tells us that you're better off just pretending those places don't exist. Wrap your hands around the shadow's throat, or your enemy's throat, or around the blow-up dolls that Cylons are after all, and submerge the holiest part of yourself in forced amnesia and bitter denial, tell yourself that development forward leads inexorably to bisexual strip clubs and casual intercourse outside the bonds of marriage, and killer robots? All the cool kids are going agrarian? That's an old man's game, afraid and lost and tired, and the show is worthy of better than that.

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Battlestar Galactica

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