Now It’s Lonely Round These Fields: Final Galactica Thread


The sound startles a pigeon awake, on the floor of his apartment; it
begins to walk and he blunders toward it, begging it to leave. He grabs
a broom as it soars into the rafters, terrified. A bird in the house
means death is coming; his brother has something he wants. He’ll be
dead soon. And Lee will feel so much guiltier about it than he knows,
because this morning her face is a bird, fluttering against the glass.

He swings wildly and knocks something else off a table; he begins to
curse the bird. She’s caught, against the sky; she fights something she
can’t see because she is afraid. She fights because she doesn’t know
how to do anything else. Lee Adama loves Kara Thrace.

So say we frakking all.

Last one ever, guys. Boom boom boom.

The humans touched the picture, remember? They all touched the
picture of the pilot and they put up pictures in the hallway and they
walked down it to remember: Here is the ground. We walk in the sky but
here is where we came from. They laid down trails of breadcrumbs to get
back to where they were, strings from one soup can to another so that
the vibrations of sound carry the echoes of their past back to the
beginning, so that anytime they want to, they can hear it, who they are.

the wind blows the breadcrumbs away, or they’re eaten by birds. And
eventually you run out of cans and string. It’s too far to hear the
echoes anymore. You rely on the pictures in your head, of where you
came from and what it meant, and sometimes those pictures are just shit
you made up because it’s been too long to remember and you’re scared to
tell anybody your past is just a blank sheet of black. So now it’s lies
upon lies, and you’ve left all your old ties behind, and you’re relying
on memory, which is faulty at best. You might as well rely on fairy
tales. I mean it, you’d be better off. Where are you then? What do you
go back to, when you need a place to rest?

Here, that’s where.
Your stories. You tell them around the campfire and they might not be
entirely real but they’re not entirely false, even if they’re about hot
chicks in space blowing up killer robots who believe in a unitary
deity. The stories that switch you on, that light you up, that make you
want to be more than you are, those stories come from anywhere and
everywhere, they’re written by anyone, everyone, and they come out of
nowhere and slam into you, hard. Where were you, when you heard the
thing that made you what you are? Who said it to you, said it out loud,
into your ear?

(Confession: I was sitting on a couch in a
basement, and two boys in chairs were facing me, their feet up on the
couch cushions beside me. And I made some point in the argument we were
having and they laughed, loud and unrestrained. We were poor,
all three of us, and sick, and miserable. That’s where I was. I still
talk to both of them almost every single day.)

(Addendum to
confession: I’m kind of drunk. The end of Babylon 5 β€” the last show I
loved this much and identified with this strongly β€” wrecked me for like
three weeks. To this day I still can’t watch Sleeping in Light, the
finale, without feeling like something slammed into me. So I’ve been
worried about this, because this show grabbed me in a way even B5 never
did, and since about 6 p.m. I’ve been pre-emptively dulling the pain
with wine, and I’m blaming any ensuing typos and nonsensicality on
that. Just so you know.)

Quick takes, not just on this ep but on the whole frakkin’ deal:

I will never ever be able to watch in anything else ever again without
thinking of their characters in this show: Olmos, McDonnell, Sackhoff,
Lucy Lawless, the dude who plays Doral, and man, every time I see
Tricia Helfer on Burn Notice bitching about not being able to break
into somebody’s office to steal something I yell at the TV, “You’re a
killer robot, for frak’s sake, just bust the damn door down and
drop-kick some bitches!” It’s true. You can ask Mr. A, it drives him

I really think Kara Thrace and Laura Roslin might be my favorite fictional women ever. It’s hard to beat outMary Russell andAnne Edwards
for my affections but Mary doesn’t get drunk and get into fights with
superior assholes and Anne doesn’t chuck people out of airlocks because
they piss her off. I don’t know what it is about sci-fi but there’s a
serious glut of kickass chicks bailing their dopey boyfriends out of
interstellar jams and I fucking love it.

Cally, fucking things up from beyond the airlock. Cottle, continuing
the awesome all the way to the end. Lee’s new hair, which was a full-on
mullet by the time the credits rolled. PRESIDENT ROMO LAMPKIN. ADMIRAL
HOSHI. SHOOTING GALACTICA INTO THE SUN. I started shaking when Husker
tore the lie detector strips off and when he picked up Laura … oh,
forget it, it was the alcohol crying, not me. And I don’t think there’s
anything as beautiful on the planet as Galactica ramming her old, broken
fist straight into Cavil’s Colony and burning beneath his guns. Take
that, saggy motherfucker, take that and eat it for breakfast.
Boomer, “tell the old man I owed him one.” Tigh and Adama at the strip
club, which will NEVER STOP BEING FUNNY.

I could have lived without the cutesy-clever addendum at the end,
could have lived with an ending as beautiful and mournful and hopeful
and true as was given us before that. Mr. A disagreed, found it the
perfect coda, we argued about it for ten minutes before I realized I
don’t care that much. Four years of gorgeousness, I’m not gonna get
hung up on five minutes.

So the people who were standing beside you when you became who you
are, when Ron Moore’s God wants to get a message past the firing line,
that’s who He sends.This God doesn’t fuck around, he knows you’re only going to listen to somebody who gets you that deep.

He sends Starbuck Leoben, the first person who ever knew about her mother.
He sends Kara her father, too, angels to angels, gods speaking with
gods. He sends Gaius the first person who ever showed him completely
unselfish kindness. He sends Caprica the first person who showed her
love. He sends the men and women of the fleet, he sends Lee and Bill, the girl who walked
between the stars and cheated death a thousand times. He sends them an angel. He sends them Kara Thrace to show them the way home.

The way home that goes through a nuclear holocaust and a tomb,
through desert moons and algae planets and 33 minutes of hell, through
water riots and coffee riots and Admiral Helena Cain, through Kobol and
New Caprica and Earth, through terrorism, betrayal and mutiny, through
politics and ritual and death and pain. All the while long she was
talking them through, with her heroics and her fuckups and her
victories and her defeats. She took hold of them however she could and
shoved them forward, and every step she took backward she screamed in
frustration because she could see it, it was so clear to her, always,
every step:

Kill some toasters. Fly CAP. Kick some ass. Whip the nuggets into
shape. Gut a Raider like a trout and fit yourself inside and make your
escape. Force the Admiral to admit Earth is a lie, then force him to
make it true. Fight until you can’t. Become the Arrow of Athena, save
the world a thousand times, drag your stupid jock boyfriend out of his
pinned-down stupidity and make him a man. What are you all waiting for?
COME ON. Let’s go, people, move it.

And in extremity, when her ship’s body was dying all around her, she
punched in the numbers and she turned the key and the music sang, the
notes assigned to the numbers of her days, her hands in the doorway and
her hands on the keys, her destiny to lead them all to their end.

friend wrote a story once, contained the line, “the world is ever
ending.” All of this has happened before. We pick ourselves up, sometimes with our angels’ help, and we decide who we’re going to be.

All of this will happen again. We take our enemies’ hands, hold our breath, and jump.



30 thoughts on “Now It’s Lonely Round These Fields: Final Galactica Thread

  1. I asked a fellow scientist if Armageddon is inevitable despite our best efforts to avoid it. If it is in our nature to explore, discover and push our boundaries, are we not going to tinker with the nature of being and have that hurt us? All of this will happen again.
    Not to mention that Olmos started with Bladerunner and came to BSG.

  2. I will, as usual, need to think about it and watch again. I was completely surprised by the amount of time devoted to the post-battle parts-I really though it would end like the alamo or the African Queen, ramming the colony, grabbing the kid and then some giant explosion.
    The part I found most moving (and this surprised me) was the exposition of the importance of the Opera House dreams. It felt right and true- we all overthink our destiny, our purpose, our plans and goals. Who are we to assume we know our most important purpose, our “destiny?”
    Maybe it was that expectation of a giant kaboom or something else, but the last part felt a little too long. Who knows? Why does it even matter? In general, I was quite happy with the emphasis on the character arcs and the return to the central “it’s all happened before and it will happen again.”
    Watching it, I thought of this poem, and reading your post, A, I thought of it again. Of course, by Sharon Olds, “Summer Solstice, New York City,” about someone almost committing suicide and about the aftermath, after the worst is averted, cops and the potential jumper together in the afterward:

    then they all lit cigarettes, and the
    red, glowing ends burned like the
    tiny campfires we lit at night
    back at the beginning of the world.

  3. I loved the finale and I’m inclined to agree with Mr. A about the coda/epilogue whatever the hell you wanna call it. The thing about BSG and me is that it affects me viscerally. It lends itself to intrepretation but I just wanna say frak it and enjoy it.

  4. I loved it, so very much. I agree with you, A, about not needing the coda. Perfection for me was with Bill, thinking of Laura and his heaven. But I loved them all, every last shining moment of it.
    So say we all.

  5. For me too, it could have ended with Bill sitting on that hill talking to Laura, wherever she was. Especially since my dvr was programmed for a little over two hours and the damn show went long. It shut off during the coda, so I missed some of it, frantically trying to turn it back on.
    Since all of this was set 150,000 years ago, does that mean Jimmy Hendrix was picking up those cylon musical vibes, and not the other way around? πŸ˜‰
    Galen went to the highlands, to be the father of the Scots and Irish. That’s perfect.

  6. Random question, where did Romo get a dog? (A, you weren’t the only one drinking wine this evening.)

  7. Ah…uh..mmmm…
    I like all the boom-boom?
    (The religious stuff was nice, too.)

  8. I was simply speechless when it ended. And beforehand, well, I did plenty of sobbing. I think the show ended exactly the way it had to.
    Just loved it.
    And I’ll have to watch it again.

  9. BSG went out as well as it came in. Simply one of the. best. shows. EVER.
    Now, all I need is the last set of DVDs and a few months distance before watching the entire story and marveling again at all that slips by you.

  10. TheOtherWA, the dog is Jake, from New Caprica. Lee gave Jake to Romo after Baltar’s trial and the dead cat in a bag incident, so Romo would have a friend.

  11. I’ve never seen Mr. BuggyQ cry at anything, and this show made him do it multiple times, including last night. Me, I was just a puddle of saltwater and alcohol on the couch by the end.
    The post-apocalypse ending: it’s the ending of Lord of the Rings. After all the shouting, you have to know that there are people who will never get to enjoy the peace, they’ll leave still not whole. And yes, dramatically speaking, it’s a bit long, but *emotionally* you have to have it. I’d have killed Peter Jackson if he left out, “Well, I’m home.” So this, this was fine by me.
    33: I’m wondering if 33 was the number they picked because of RPMs on an LP. Were they thinking All Along The Watchtower that early?
    Cavil offing himself: Beautiful. Right. Perfect. Exactly what I’d have expected from this guy.
    Ditto Tori getting her comeuppance, and her fears of it going in. But note this–she stuck her hands in anyway.
    HeadBaltar and HeadSix: So, let me get this straight–Baltar is Joan of Arc? And yes, Virgotex, I loved the Opera House exposition. It was perfect. And Baltar and Six at the almost-end–“This is IT?” This is leading humans to their end? HEEEE! That was great.
    Earth: Best. Headfake. Ever. When Starbuck was typing in the numbers, I knew where she was going. And when I saw the craters on the Moon, I immediately thought, “We never saw the continents on the destroyed Earth. We never really knew it *was* our Earth.” And then, “God, I wish Dee could have held it together a few days more.”
    The most advanced civilization on Earth: I was so relieved to see early Homo Erectus and not the Great Pyramid.
    Laura’s death: Thank you, Moore and Eick and Doc Cottle. Two days was just enough. (And CrazySpaceMom’s thank you to him–that scene was right in so many ways. I love this show.)
    Starbuck’s rapture: Perfect. Unanswered questions are what God’s all about.
    The next three years are going to be punctuated by Mr. BuggyQ and I watching every episode again, on Friday nights, one a week. This time with no frakking hiati. Mmmmmmm…

  12. Oh, my page expired. Sorry folks.
    Some of the biggest criticisms have been 1) Starbuck, 2) Two Earths, 3) the length of the epilogue.
    1) Why not if HeadSix and HeadBaltar have been present for the entire series and throwing occasionally Baltar around like a ragdoll? And its a good touchback to the original series with it’s ‘angels’. Thank god the writers checked the 2nd Grade theology of the original at the door.
    2) Multiple Universe theory for idiots: see RadioLab’sThe MultiUniverses episode. And this ain’t even new – Star Trek in 1960-something used this very same theory to justify some pretty bad TV.
    3) Kwitcherwhinin. You probably whined about Return of The King, Revenge of The Sith, and will whine about the end of The Deathly Hollows in 2011. If it wasn’t for you, you can cut the last 11 minutes off.
    Speaking of running long – I blame it all on SciFi’s obscene number of commercial breaks. Some of the advertisements were tolerable and okay, but the last hour was awful with replays and frequent breaks.

  13. Id, as far as 2 Earths was concerned, I don’t even have a problem if it WAS a totally different planet they just called Earth because they frakkin’ felt like it. We are what we decide to be. They decided to be home. It tracks.

  14. Anyone else catch the Ron Moore cameo at the end? He was the guy reading the magazine about Mitochondrial Eve that Six and Baltar were looking at in the coda.

  15. they HAD to go to the first earth- otherwise they wouldn’t have found Ellen and the other pieces to the Cylon puzzle. It was the earth in the constellation that was revealed to them earlier which is fine because it was a necessary part of the steps they had to take. I’d have to rewatch that episode but I don’t think it said “this is your only final destination” – it just said it was “Earth” and to that point it was the only Earth to that point.
    Then Bill called their final destination Earth. He also called Laura’s burial mound a cabin.

  16. I liked the first hour, but my cable provider somehow substituted “Highway to Heaven” for the second. Must have been a glitch.

  17. First hour: awesome, right through the point Starbucks jumps to paleo Earth using co-ordinates from Dylan’s “Watchtower”.
    Then, an incredibly disappointing last hour.
    WTF? I’m with you, TJ.
    As I’ve said elsewhere just for the record, the G-d of the Cylons that was happy when the remnant of the human race wanted to revert to paleolithic simplicity isnot a benevolent being.
    Sign me up for the opposition. So say you all.

  18. After watching it last night my first reaction was conflicted but after letting it digest overnight and then watching it again (without the barrage of ads towards the end) I’m of the opinion that it was the near-perfect ending.
    As a side note, looking at the previews and checking IMDB it appears that Katee won’t be in “The Plan. Rats.

  19. My vote; the ending was near perfect.
    I actually liked the “Highway to Heaven” second hour. Being an atheist myself, still found it very satisfying. It worked in the context of the show and that’s what counts. Some people forget that the original show also had god metaphors, paradigms, what have you. The god theme was a major part of this version too, actually way more so than the original.
    So i don’t see why anyone would be surprised that it played a major role in the ending. Maybe a lot of people were expecting the god thing to be some big bait and switch. That it would be left obscured so we’d never really know for sure. That’s what i was expecting. I guess the surprise was that it was so fully revealed, curtains completely drawn back. In this alternate reality, YES, there is a god and he had a direct hand in everything that happened. THE END.
    Is it a deus ex machina ending? Debatable for sure, since the ending literally involved god. But I’d say no only because the possibility has always been a part of the shows internal logic. Maybe the fact that it just tied up all loose ends too neatly left people unsatisfied. I can totally understand that.
    On a related side note, I found it particularly delicious that the HeadSix and HeadBaltar turned out to be these sort of Angels of Armageddon or something to that effect, tracking humanities progress (and regress you could say). As the series progressed, it wouldn’t have been as satisfying if they were to be say, a cylon chip or some kind of special cylon projection. I wanted the explanation of HeadSix/Baltar to be a surprise, and it definitely was that.
    Okay, need to stop writing. Ciao everyone.

  20. Some people forget that the original show also had god metaphors, paradigms, what have you. The god theme was a major part of this version too, actually way more so than the original.
    If I have to be stuck with most of the elements of the original series, I want Jane Seymour, Patrick MacNee and the robot dog as compensation.

  21. Enjoyed the finale but had to let it soak in a bit, reflect on it and think some more.
    The show has always been about the characters, and we’ve welcomed them into our lives, made them real inside of us. The finale had to finish the arc of those characters and did so admirably. But the story, the story goes on as all good stories do. The story has been handed to us now. What will we take away, what will we learn, how do we move on from here?
    After a day or two I started pondering the significance of the survivors’ choice to send technology packing and rough it on the new Earth. Understandable I suppose, given what they’d been through and the oppressively overriding lesson of technology unleashed. But here’s the rub: What level of technology is “appropriate?” Baltar talks of farming a piece of land he’s spotted (with no plough or draft animal to pull it?). Helo talks of hunting (with guns? Steel knives? Stone implements?) Lee wants to go exploring (What technology will he bring with him?) What would Doc Cottle choose to bring to the planet (what medicines, tools and medical data?) and what to send packing to a fiery end?
    As I thought about it, I began to feel that it was a central parting question for the finale to present to us in this time and place, our here and now. Part of the adaptability of humans is that they will utilize whatever tools and knowledge they have at hand or can devise in making a life (survive and thrive). But here are these humans voluntarily sending the bulk of their technology hurtling into the sun (not just the Galactica but the whole fleet!) – not buried underground against the chance it might ever be needed again, but where it also could tempt access whenever things got a little tough. Could you do it? Would you choose to?
    This might be the bravest thing they’ve ever done.
    We, in this here and now, are facing the collapse and decline of our industrial civilization as we hit up against the limits of cheap energy and exceed the environmental carrying capacity of the Earth. We don’t have a fresh world for just a few of us to live in, full of untapped resources and vast unsullied expanses of land and sea and sky, rich with a diversity and life in balance with the world. But we will be faced with some of the same questions about how we live here and what is to be our impact. While we still have some choice, what technologies will we choose to take with us into our future and what excesses are we willing to send away into the oblivion of the sun?
    And in our personal lives, don’t we choose everyday how we go forward – what to take with us (memories, relationships, careers, habits) and what to leave behind? History reveals patterns within patterns within patterns. But our souls tell us we are not chained to destiny; we can choose, every day, to break a cycle and find a new direction, define our own dharma, to whatever end.
    What say we all?

  22. A, I will miss your writing on the show almost as much as I will miss the show itself.

  23. Perhaps I am biased as an atheist, but I found the season finale and the resolution of the opera house plotline particularly unsatisfying. I do not enjoy reading about/watching a series that ends with the cop-out: “God is all.”
    To address idiosynchronic’s post: I not only had no problem with the length of RotS, I absolutely love RotK. However, I do feel that the “ending” of the season finale would have been more powerful without the 150,000 years later bit. I think it would have been more appropriate if it were added after the credits, like X-Men: The Last Stand and Ironman. I also believe that the flashbacks hurt the finale, overall; rather than displaying a marked difference in the characters and their circumstances (or whatever it was they were trying to show), for me they merely served to break up the flow of events and development that was established throughout the series. Nothing in the flashbacks was so necessary that I would have put it in the finale that way. Instead, I may have added it as a footnote for the actors to mention on the DVD specials.
    I can usually predict my level of enjoyment with regard to a film or show based on its level of predictability, and the finale greatly disappointed me. *Spoilers* Not only did I expect Tory to be killed once Galen discovered her treachery, I guessed that they would find “Earth” before they even showed our moon.
    The last of my complaints: On any given day, if someone approaches me and asks if I believe a child can be replaced by the parents having another, I will answer with an emphatic, “No!” However, after seeing Hera run away THREE TIMES, I think this child is the exception that proves the rule. Had Helo and Athena simply had another child, that child could have been called the mother or father of civilization in place of Hera. Seriously, how can we have such a stupid child be the founder of all humanity and at the same time posit natural selcetion? *End spoilers*
    The finale did certainly have its moments. I may be a sucker, but *spoilers* I bawled my eyes out when it was revealed that Sam would be navigating the fleet into our sun. I guess the ultimate self-sacrifice gets me that way–that and his final whispered, “See you on the other side.” The same with Adama taking Roslin out on her last flight. I think everyone hoped they would get a brief part of their happy ending, and instead they mostly experienced the pain of death.
    Finally, the one area where I believe my understanding to be completely lacking: WTF was the meaning of Kara? She came back from the dead? She was a figment of everyone’s imagination, and was actually an ethereal being? Seriously??? *End spoilers*

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