“All this has happened before and will happen again…”
Viewed as three-hour finale, “Daybreak” is a nice coda to one of the great series in TV history. Was it perfect? No, not so much. But it did give us answers to a lot of questions and attempted to do a lot of resolution on the many on-going storylines that have unfolded for the past six years (or four season if you count it that way). It’s interesting that in a three-hour finale, only about an hour of it was devoted to the action and space battles while the other two were all about the characters.
Last week, we saw Adama realize that Galactica has one last mission left–to save Hera from the Cylons. A lot of last week was a set-up for this week and it will be interesting to sit back and watch this entire storyline as one long, epic episode (it seems Ron Moore sees it this way since he stated he will do one long podcast commentary for Daybreak). From the standpoint of the effects and the drama, “Galactica” rarely gets better than Hera’s rescue. A superbly put together piece of action television that really drew me in, had me on the edge of my seat and just enjoying the viseral thrill of it all. Seeing old school Centurions battling our heroes and the new school Centurions helping our heroes was a nice touch. I do wish we’d had one instance of a “By your command” in there just for so we could get giddy with geek glee.
Ron Moore did the virtually impossible with his script–he not only brought closure to a lot of long term arcs but he also pulled in all the pieces of the puzzle from the last ten or so episodes. In the course of two hours, we find out what the visions of the Opera House mean (the Opera House is Galactica…nice touch), character revlations that have been a long time coming are revealed, we find out why the music heard by the final Five is so important, we find out what Starbuck is and we find out that the Earth visited in the mid-season cliffhanger wasn’t really our Earth after all. I’m sure if I really sat down and thought about it, there’d be some plot thread left dangling, but I am not going to do that. I was satisfied by what we got.
And I liked that the death of Cally came back to play a pivotal role. Cally turns out to be the turning point between peace and war. Tyrol discovers that Cally was killed, just as a peace and cease-fire has been brokered. The Cylons get what they want, our heroes get what they want and it seems that all is headed toward a happy ending. I will admit I was duped by this. I almost forget what show I was watching. Once Tyrol sees the vision of Cally’s death, he reacts, killing Tory and throwing the entire situation into chaos. I did find it interesting that Ron Moore had promised a lot of characters wouldn’t make it to the final scenes of the show, but in the end a lot of the deaths were Cylon.
I felt sure he was going to kill Helo, but it looks like he survived. I guess Moore decided that the Colonial fleet had enough losses and it would just be too cruel to save Hera only to force Athena to become a single mother.
Also, an accident sends nukes out, destroying what’s left of the Cylons–or so we presume. I also imagine have Galactica jump while that close to the station couldn’t help things. I am going to presume that balance talked about last week of being so near a black hole was thrown off, thus dooming what was left of Cavil’s group. Or are they still out there?
Then, we finally find a home for the rag-tag fleet. And it’s our earth, only 150,000 years ago. The fleet sets down, abandons their technology and decides to break the cycle. I find it an intersting choice, but am a bit surprised there was no dissenting vote on this one. But the Earth part isn’t about that, it’s about finding the long-promised home and giving the journey its closure. Earth is found, the story is over. Roslin gets to fulfill her place in prophecy and dies there. For all the deaths, this was one of the most moving in the hour, watching as Bill Adama grieves and then still continues to talk to Laura after she’s gone.
So, in the end, “Galactica” wrapped itself up well and brought closure to a lot of the story. I will admit I was satisfied by the episode but wasn’t quite as jaw droppingly thrilled as I was by the series finale of “The Shield” back in November. But they’re two very different types of shows and both went out on top. You can’t ask for more than that….