I just finished re-watching the entire BSG series. My thinking was that maybe watching it a second time would give me a new appreciation for the ending, which I hated the first time around, given that I now had the opportunity to look for details I may have previously missed.
Well, that was a fit of optimism that didn’t pan out. But I think I know why I will never like the end of BSG. Warning, there are some mild spoilers ahead (but seriously it started 7 frakking years ago, just watch it already).
The finale has a lot of character-driven story that is very moving (for example, Laura, Helo et al, Apollo’s self-actualization, etc), but they failed by making the only plot a philosophical message. In doing that, they ensured that they would displease anyone who didn’t agree with their post-modern, anti-technology drivel. Almost the entire story arc before the last 2 minutes was fine (save the needless determinism and some minor points about how the humans arranged themselves at the end, but those are other cans of worms).
They could have gone with a neutral character-driven (like they intended – assuming they were telling the truth in their obnoxiously self-serving, navel gazing “Last Frakkin’ Special”) ending and probably not pissed anyone off. I mean, of course you can’t please everyone, but when you get preachy you’re taking a huge risk with a potentially lifelong loyal fan base. Though judging from that special, they practically thought they were as gods. Seriously. Watch it. It’s just ridiculous.
Holy shit, I just figured out the ending. The divine force controlling the universe is the writers!
Seriously though, the one thing that kills me every single time is Six saying the phrase “technology run amok” and then cut to that frakking montage. The writers don’t defend that position at all. They imply that technology is bad, that humans are inherently irresponsible, and that the cycle of destruction might begin again – oh but they’re hopeful that it won’t. Except that “hope” is just the writers going “See what we did there? If you do, then you won’t own robots or something, I guess.”
No, I lied. The other thing that kills me is the mitochondrial Eve pseudoscience they perplexingly tacked on with an almost throw-away line. A simple phone call to an evolutionary scientist may have resulted in a much more plausible way to quickly get across the same idea that the entire 4th season was already sledgehammering into our faces.
Well, there’s no sense whining about it now I suppose, it’s not like we go back and change it. Though perhaps a fan edit with the bullshit philosophy edited out would elicit some nerdy squees. I guess if I watch it again I’ll either stop at episode 11 or so (if I’m feeling bleak), or just don’t watch the last 2 minutes (if I’m feeling less bleak and able to ignore “all technology is bad” nonsense).
I only hope that one day science fiction and fantasy programming can break the cycle of sucky, preachy endings (sigh, Lost).
All of this has happened before, and will happen again…