Why The Battlestar Galactica Finale Is A Huge Cop Out And It Doesn’t Matter

Tonight one of the best science fiction programs in history finished its run on television (for a detailed recap of the finale go here and, in theory answered all the big questions which have been knocking around in our brains for four seasons. The answer? Oh it’s God.

Showrunner Ron Moore finally got to douse us in his pro-god, anti-society, anti-technology philosophy. His heavy religion agenda has always sort of hung around in the series’ background, as the show reveled in mysticism and unexplained weirdness. Tonight though he abandoned all pretense and used the series finale as his platform to deliver a big warning: Holy shit the robots are coming!

Getting weirdly preachy would have been just fine, if only he’d really come up with legitimate answers to the questions that have been hanging over fans' heads for years now. Why the frak does Baltar have an imaginary friend? Answer: It’s God! Why isn’t Starbuck dead and what the frak is she? Answer: Oh it’s God! Why did the cylons destroy the colonies? Oh it’s God! How are the humans going to find a home? Oh it’s God! Every remaining question was answered tonight and the answer to every question was: Oh it’s God.

Look I’m alright with Ron Moore working his own superstitious religious mumbo jumbo into his show if it’s going to deliver the kinds of thoughtful programming and incredibly deep, well developed characters Battlestar Galactica gave us. I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is substituting random, unsupported theology for actual story closure. What I do have a problem with is reducing everything to one big, Deus ex machina. Sure theology has always been an important part of the show, but in the end it seems Moore’s answer is that it’s the only part of the show. We’ve hung around all this time, don’t we deserve better answers than that?

Frak that. So we got screwed on the answer department. I’m a little disappointed and maybe you are too. I’m here to tell you that in the end, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because Battlestar Galactica’s final moments will always be remembered for that brilliant, closing shot of William Adama sitting alone on a hill, promising the ghost of Laura Roslinn that he’ll build her that cabin. Battlestar’s final moments will be remembered as Apollo looking off into the endless sky and imagining a life of exploration and adventure. BSG’s final moments will be remembered as the Galactica sailing off into the sun.

Tonight’s Battlestar Galactica finale was a cop out, but it was also the perfect goodbye. Ron Moore dropped the ball on plot but as always, the show delivered where it really mattered: Characters. Ignore the superstitious mumbo jumbo. No one is going to remember all the awful stock footage of robots or the ridiculous, anti-technology plot device in which the entire fleet decides for no particular reason to abandon all technology and start using spears. Scratch that, they had a reason. Their souls weren’t ready for science. Funny no one mentioned that notion until five minutes before the credits. Frak all of that. We’ll remember the people, their faces, and the lives they’ve touched. Goodbye Battlestar Galactica. I don’t care about the answers, you’ve been a good ship.

Josh Tyler