Sign Up for the Daily TV Fodder Newsletter       
buy prednisone online no prescription buy zithromax buy strattera online no prescription payday loans buy clomid buy valtrex online buy buspar no prescription buy atarax online buy diflucan buy buspar no prescription

Battlestar Fodder

Battlestar Galactica: Key Points from "Daybreak" (Parts 1 - 3)

So here we are folks. It's just you and me here on the page, alone together at the end of a wild ride. Personally, I had been dreading this moment for weeks, where I would come to a Friday night at 10 PM and instead of a new episode of BSG, or even the longing of waiting for an upcoming season to begin, I would be presented with a huge void the likes of which may never return again. Let's tip one back together, and push back that emptiness for just a little while, shall we? *Clink*

Over the course of 4 seasons, we've seen our beloved characters go through so many trials, wondering if they would ever come out on the other side. We've cheered for them, yelled at them, felt sorrow for them, and yes, even cried for them. I can't begin to tell you how deeply this show has affected me on multiple levels. I forgave it in its missteps for the larger glory that the creators were blessing us with on a weekly basis. There were moments where I would lay back in exhaustion after certain episodes and marvel that I was watching what amounted to a miniaturized blockbuster movie on the frakkin Scifi Channel. Pardon me, Syfy Channel (Ahem. They can call it whatever they want now, 'cause I'm not going to be around that often until "Caprica" airs). Having this thing end is like watching a dear friend go off to some remote country where you'll never see or hear from them again. "Caprica" may placate us, but it will never fill the hole that has been left behind.

So it was with a heavy heart that I sat down with RDM-approved liquor several weeks ago and began the walk that would eventually lead to this sad farewell. It's with a heavy heart that I write this after the finale has aired, knowing that I'll never write another regular season recap for Battlestar Galactica ever again.

Daybreak - Part 1

It's a shame that this episode was aired by its lonesome. Ronald D. Moore intended for the final 3 acts to be seen as a cohesive whole. Breaking this first section off is the equivalent of ripping out the first 40 minutes of The Matrix and showing it to everyone before the actual release of the movie. It's no wonder the fan-base was thoroughly confused, or couldn't put into context what they were seeing.

Which leads to the opener. In a Lost-style twist, we flash back to Caprica before the Fall. Bill Adama is talking about his military career with someone we don't know, and he's hesitant to go through with something. We don't learn what that something is until much later.

Next we cut to Baltar and Caprica-6 flirting in the back of a limo in the pre-betray-the-human-race days, when Baltar receives a mysterious phone call.

Laura Roslin is seen after hosting a baby shower for her sister.

Kara Thrace is cooking when her doorbell rings and Lee Adama is at the door with flowers. She invites him in, and when Zak appears we suddenly realize that this is during the time that Kara and Zack dated, and that this is her first introduction to Lee. Man, the bittersweetness this induces!

Cut back to Baltar, and we see that he's at his father's house who is old and has been under supervision, and he's now running off the third worker after stabbing her. Baltar lays into his father, and we are reminded (by something Baltar's father says about his fake accent) that Baltar is embarrassed by his actual origin as a dairy farmer's son on Aerelon.

When we return to Roslin, police officers arrive at her home and inform her that her father and two sisters were killed by a drunk driver the night before. She wades out into a local fountain and lets the water rush over her body in a sort of baptism.

I have to say, it was shocking to see these back-stories, not so much because of what happened, but because, at first, it reminded me of the stark contrast between the world of pre-Fall Caprica and the dark claustrophobia-inducing hallways of Galactica that these characters had to endure. Of course, things are never as rosy as they appear, and as we see more flashbacks we come to understand the choices that are made that propelled our favorite characters to where they are today.

Back in the "present" on Galactica, we move from the dripping water in the fountain to Laura's IV drip in sick bay (how fitting). On the hangar deck, Lee is overseeing the dispersal of Galactica's guts to other ships on the fleet. Admiral Adama is packing. The Galactica is looking more and more barren. Helo confronts Tyrol in the brig over his betrayal in allowing Boomer to escape with Hera. Tyrol tries to remind Helo that the Eights are nothing more than machines - he knows, he was one of their creators.

Flashing back to the past, Baltar arrives home with a woman we've never seen before, obviously a lover, to find Caprica-6 in his home. Interestingly, as he is escorting her out, Caprica-6 informs Baltar that she has moved his father to a full-time care facility, where his father "seems happy."

Back in the present aboard The Colony, Cavil and Simon discuss what they're going to do with Hera. Boomer tries to argue for the girl's comfort, but Cavil insists she is nothing more than a hybrid machine to be studied for clues on how to enable the survival of their race.

Adama runs into Hotdog in the Memorial Hallway, where Hotdog is taking away some of the pilot photos so they're not left behind. There are a bunch of photos still left in the hall, and Adama takes the one of Athena and Hera that he notices still stuck to the wall.

Adama later converses with Starbuck in the newly created hybrid room for Anders. She's puzzled as to what the notes mean, and informs Adama that she still hasn't found an answer. With his prompting, she goes on to tell him that she had found her own charred remains on "Earth," and doesn't know who she is. In a fatherly moment, Adama tells her that she is daughter (he has always considered her to be essentially his daughter). He asks to speak to Anders, but when Anders is plugged in he speaks a bunch of nonsense in the tradition of hybrids.

Apparently this causes a flashback for Anders, for now we're back on pre-Fall Caprica, with Anders in a hot tub surrounded by reporters. You'll remember that Anders was a hotshot Pyramid player during his days on "Earth." In a surprisingly revealing moment, he informs the reporter that he is much more interested in the pursuit of perfection than any single component of his career.

In the first step of a Baltar transformation, Baltar confronts Lee over giving his people a part in the new government that will surely arise soon. When Lee admits that he doesn't trust any request from Baltar as anything more than a way to get something for himself, Baltar seems genuinely taken aback, and admits that he wouldn't trust himself either. It's as if it took these extreme circumstances to cause Baltar to finally realize the games he has been playing all this time.

In the closing moments of this first section we get one of those incredibly sentimental moments that this show plays so well on the small screen - Adama draws a line in the sand, quite literally, and asks for volunteers to stay behind on Galactica for one final mission. He has decided to rescue Hera after all, but he's not going to force anyone into what he considers a suicide mission. Everyone takes their sides (was it a surprise to anyone that Baltar and his followers were apparently staying behind?), with Adama having to reject Cottle since the fleet would need all the doctors they can get. The crowning moment, however, occurred when Roslin shuffled across the line, barely able to make it without the aide of Adama. I was already weepy from the beginning, but this sent me over the edge. And did it touch anyone else that Adama would still call her Madame President in that situation?

Before Part 1 is over, we witness a few more pre-Fall Caprica scenes. Lee Adama returns home rather inebriated and ends up trying to chase a pigeon out of his room. Roslin has apparently been a recluse for months after her family's deaths. Speaking on the phone to an unknown caller, she promises to go out with a man named "Shawn" if they will stop trying to convince her to join Adar's campaign.

In the closing moments, a Raptor piloted by Racetrack and Skulls happens upon the The Colony nestled in a singularity. Once Adama gets the data he calls a briefing, where they discuss how narrow a margin they have to jump near The Colony. Adama tells them, "Let's get to work."

Daybreak - Parts 2 and 3

When we next flash back to pre-Fall Caprica, we join Adama and Tigh in a strip club, discussing over booze whether Adama should take the civilian job or command an old Battlestar. He eventually decides on the former, even though Tigh never answers his question on whether Tigh would take a civilian job. Later, outside the club, Adama vomits on himself in the street, and then gazes longingly into the stars.

Over dinner with Kara and Zak, we get a glimpse of how much Lee despised his father through a revelation from Zak. As the night wears on, they all get staggeringly drunk, eventually having to drag Zak to the couch where he passes out. Kara teases Lee with an offer of shots.

We also jump forward in Roslin's life to the point where she is greeting the man she promised to go out with, who turns out to be a former student. What's interesting is that Laura doesn't shun him when she finds out this news.

Back in present day Galactica, everything is winding down towards the mission. Baltar sits alone in his once-harem, pondering his fate. Head-6 tells him to trust in God's plan for him.

In the sick bay, Cottle doles out enough medicine to Roslin to last her 48 hours. Finally we get to see Cottle's rough exterior break down when Roslin tells him how much she's appreciated his care. The performances delivered by these incredible actors broke me down. In this moment, I think I finally realized that we as viewers were not going to have much time left with Laura Roslin.

Elsewhere aboard Galactica, everyone is getting ready for the mission. I can't tell you how much my blood was beginning to simmer, knowing that this was to be the last space battle I'd see from BSG, as well as the last mission for Galactica, along with worrying about who might die. After all, the show has never pulled any punches in regards to killing characters off. Now that the end was nigh (and after hearing the actors talk about how dark the end of the show was), my nerves were on edge as to who would survive this seemingly impossible mission.

When the Final 5 decide to bring Anders onto the bridge to use him to disrupt the enemy hybrids, the scene aboard CIC is almost one straight out of the Cylon base ship. I felt at this point that the merging of the humans and Cylons was complete. Although a scene did get cut out of the finale where Adama goes off when he sees Anders installed in CIC, I felt the way the final version played out, with merely his irritation over the circumstance, served his character better at this point in time when he had pretty much succumbed to the fact of human / Cylon cooperation anyway.

With the Admiralty handed over to Yoshi, and the Presidency handed over to Lampkin, the stage is set for Galactica's jump into the unknown. Before that occurs, however, Baltar makes a stunning reversal - he decides to stay behind with the fleet. Apparently Lee's admonishment conjoined with Head-6's encouragement has done him in. This is yet another step toward the final transformation of his character.

And this leads into one of the most epic scenes ever shown on television - the penultimate space battle to end all space battles. You can harp on the pacing of the last few episodes all you want (I won't be one of those people), but the space sequences presented here are not only the most dazzling I've ever seen on TV, but I'd contend that they are among the best on any medium, including movies. When Adama tells Tigh to go around the horn, I was literally (and I'm not exaggerating) sitting on the edge of my seat, leaning forward, bristling with excitement and fear all at once - and I stayed that way through the entire sequence. If this show has taught us anything, it's that no one is safe. And the Galactica was about to jump into the impossible.

I won't go into the attack blow-by-blow, but here are some of the highlights for me at least:

- Raptors jumping from inside the starboard launch pod into a flanking position to the Colony? One of those OH MY GOD moments akin to Galactica jumping straight to the planet's surface during the New Caprica rescue.

- Seeing the opposing Centurion models fighting each other was classic!

- It's unfortunate that the Boomer flashback scene got so pared down (RDM mentioned that the scene was longer before time cuts had to be made), because the brevity of the scene made it feel semi-tacked on. It sure would have played better if the flashback scene had actually happened earlier in the series.

- When Lee asked Starbuck what took her so long, her line, "Stopped for coffee," almost made me do a spit take.

- Baltar re-connecting with Caprica 6 was perfectly played by James Callis, who managed to work in the typical Baltar questioning himself on his own motives while beginning to redeem himself as a person.

Once Hera is rescued and enters the ship, the culmination of many plot strands from the entire series occurs. Roslin's Opera House vision returns, and instantly she knows that Hera is aboard and leaves sick bay to find her. The vision itself - of Roslin and Athena chasing Hera through the halls of the Opera House - coincides with the same scenario aboard Galactica, with Hera running into the arms of Baltar and Caprica 6, who are also experiencing their own visions, which is leading them somewhere unknown. They make their way to CIC, and the spiritual underpinnings of the show reach their apex - there are the Final 5, standing on the "stage" in the same pose as the Opera House. CIC has just been invaded by Cavil, but Adama and the rest of the crew appear to have repelled the assault. Cavil is being held at gunpoint, but when an explosion turns CIC into chaos, Cavil uses the opportunity to escape, grab Hera, and hold her as a hostage at gunpoint.

Baltar steps forward and, in a defining moment for his character, begs for the release of Hera because she is humanity's hope as well. The visions he has been seeing - Head 6, the Opera House, the Final 5 - leading him to this exact moment in time, has finally broken through the wall Baltar has constructed around his own life. He now understands that something larger than all of them is at work here, and what he calls "angels" are further evidence of it. From the bridge, Tigh offers to teach Cavil resurrection tech as a peace offering. Even though Cavil entertains the idea of a "God," I believe he ultimately agrees to the truce because of the resurrection technology more than anything else. Both sides order a cease-fire.

Since each of the Final 5 have pieces of the knowledge about resurrection tech, they have to combine their knowledge by reaching into the Cylon data "stream" of liquid surrounding Anders. And here is where Ron Moore pulls a plot card out to play that I thought would never see the light of day again (in fact, I had actually forgotten about it a little) - Chief is about to find out about Tory's murder of Cally! After Tory nervously warns them that when they enter the stream they may see things the others did in the past, and to let bygones be bygones, the Final 5 put their hands into the liquid around Anders and immediately their memories become collective knowledge. The revelation of Cally's murder disturbs Tyrol so much that he forcibly ejects himself from the stream to choke Tory, eventually snapping her neck.

This sets off a sequence of events that I never fathomed would happen. When Tyrol breaks the bond, the resurrection knowledge being uploaded to Cavil's hybrids is severed, and Cavil's band immediately thinks they've been set up. Chaos erupts in CIC as the Cylons open fire, with the crew of Galactica finally taking out everyone but Cavil. Realizing the gig is up, Cavil puts the barrel of his gun into his mouth and commits suicide.

The enemy Raiders from The Colony begin their assault on Galactica anew. In nearby space we see Racetrack's damaged Raptor get hit by a hurtling space rock, which causes her lifeless hand to hit the firing button for the nukes. The missiles impact The Colony and severely damage it, sending it toward the singularity (where it will presumably be eaten by the black hole).

Back in CIC, Adama instructs Starbuck to jump the ship anywhere since they're taking heavy damage. In a half-prophetic state, all of the puzzle pieces we'd been given as to Starbuck's father, his composition, the "song", Hera's drawing - all merge in Starbuck's mind to cause her to realize their meaning - she has been given jump coordinates by the higher power that has been orchestrating all of the events. She enters them into the console and Galactica jumps into the unknown.

When she arrives, Galactica is in rough shape, and in fact barely appears to be holding together. It is obvious this is her last jump.

As Galactica floats through space, what is it that we see in the distance? Yep, that's a very Earth-like planet isn't it? They've found a lush planet to live on! Holy frak!

Twelve hours later the rest of the fleet arrives, and we jump to the planet's surface as Adama, Tigh, Cottle, Baltar, and Hoshi lie on a hill and look through binoculars into the distance - where they see a group of primitives traversing the landscape! They've arrived in this Earth's distant past!

Later, as they try to determine how to lay out a future city, Lee has a moment of revelation - in order to break the cycle of war, he believes they need to do away with their technology, keep only the basic supplies and start anew. After convincing his father to at least ask the rest of the fleet, most of the Colonials agree that they need to put aside their old ways to avert disaster in the future. Adama communicates the plan - they will spread out across the globe to the various continents and split the supplies evenly. As for the Cylons, the 2's, 6's, and 8's decide to remain on Earth. They will give the baseship to the Centurions whom they feel have earned their freedom. Once everyone is off the fleet and supplies have been distributed, Anders will lead the fleet into the sun.

One final time in the Galactica hangar, we see Adama saying a silent farewell to his old ship. He climbs into the Viper that Tyrol and company rebuilt for him as a retirement gift back in the mini-series. As he launches for his final flight around Galactica, he flashes back to his pre-holocaust days, when he goes in for the interview for his civilian position. During the interview they hook him to a lie detector and subject him to a series of offensive questions such as "Are you a Cylon" and "Have you ever stolen money?" Adama storms out of the interview, making clear his military choice, and thus setting him on the path that led to the mini-series.

The fleet, led by Anders, navigates for the sun. Anders, in his hybrid state, flashes back to his sports interview, where he talks about touching the mathematical perfection that he is now connected to as a hybrid.

On the planet, which Adama decrees will be called "Earth" in honor of the ruined one they initially found, we see that Roslin is in the final stage of her life. Adama wants to show her something, and picks her up and carries her to a Viper Raptor. Lee and Starbuck see them off, and Adama takes off to show Roslin where he plans to build their cabin they talked about back on New Caprica.

Back at the launch point, Lee realizes that his father is not coming back. Starbuck tells him she's not coming back either, that her journey is complete.

Flash back to the pre-Fall days again, this time continuing their dinner night with Zack passed out on the couch. Both Lee and Starbuck are incredibly drunk, and with both of their inhibitions down, it naturally leads them to sex on the dinner table. But before things can go too far, Starbuck knocks a wine glass off the table, waking Zack up momentarily who says, "Something's broken." Something is broken indeed! Lee decides to leave, and he and Starbuck shake hands like two people having woken up to what they were about to do.

Back in present day, as Lee talks he turns away, and when he turns back Starbuck has disappeared. Referencing the flashback where Starbuck had voiced her greatest fear of being forgotten, Lee says to the air, "Goodbye Kara, you won't be forgotten." In a flashback, we see Lee in his apartment. The dove pigeon from one of the earlier flashbacks, when we saw Lee chasing it with a broom, looks at him and then flies out of his window. Ron Moore has said he had this image of a man chasing a dove pigeon from a room and wanted to work it in somehow, but didn't really know what it meant. I'll take it to represent the elusive nature of Lee and Kara's relationship, with her flying away without him in the end.

In a Roslin flashback, we see her make the decision to send her date home, telling him essentially that they will not be seeing each other again. When he leaves, she smokes a cigarette (cancer, anyone?), and then calls someone on the phone and tells them that she would indeed be joining Mayor Adar's campaign, a decision that sets her down the road to eventually becoming President of the Colonies.

Back on "Earth," Adama is flying out to the spot where he plans to build the cabin. During the journey, Roslin passes, and Adama sweetly takes her hand and places his wedding ring on her finger, barely holding back his anguish. As for me, I was utterly devastated, drenched in tears, during this scene.

Later we see people on the planet going their separate ways. Perhaps the most poignant was Baltar and Caprica-6, who run into their "angels" one last time. Caprica-6 wonders if saving Hera was all that God wanted from them, and Head-6 tells them that God's plan is never complete. Head-Baltar, however, quips that their lives should be less eventful now.

When Baltar tells Caprica-6 that he knows a bit about farming, we finally witness the last piece of his transformation clicking into place - he has now come around to accepting who he really is and his place in the world.

Flash 150,000 years into the future...

Head-6 and Head-Baltar, who we now know as some form of agents of God, are discussing mankind in the middle of a bustling city. Head-6 is reading National Geographic over Ron Moore's shoulder, where the alleged discovery of mitochondrial Eve's bones has been reported. The 2 "angels" reveal that the bones are Hera's.

As they walk among the people, they discuss whether mankind will make the same mistakes again. Head-6 says she believes this time they will be the anomaly, and that it is God's plan for them to break the cycle this time around.

We end with a montage of modern-day robots (and might I add, ones that actually exist), played off by the actual Hendrix version of "All Along the Watchtower," firmly cementing the setting as "our" Earth.


When the credits rolled, I sat back in my seat, utterly floored. I was mentally exhausted. Ron Moore and company delivered everything we could ever want as fans, and managed not to really screw us over like, say, the Sopranos did. We got our epic space battle. We got our character resolutions. Somehow we managed to get out with minimal death of our beloveds. And in the end, we got an actual uplifting ending to a series that looked like it was just going to continue down the depression path until the very end.

We also got a very real warning. If you haven't been paying attention to tech news lately, soon we are going to be faced with these very decisions. Development in robotics and computer AI is moving along at a brisk pace - will we meet the same kind of fate? Hopefully we can keep our intellects about us as we create these things, and not engineer a doomsday scenario (or a Matrix - yikes!).

All said, to say I was satisfied with this finale is a gross understatement. I was moved. I was on pins and needles. I cried. I was affected to the point where I went in my son's room and kissed him on the head in his sleep, wishing him a hopeful future.

And now, I'm ready to see how it all began in "Caprica."

Thank you all for being with me through this, for reading my simple (but hopefully impassioned) thoughts, my hyperbolic twitters, and for just being a great community.

God bless, and I'll see you on the Caprica-side.

Posted by Perrin on April 17, 2009 1:53 PM
Permalink | Email to a Friend | Add to | Digg This

"Adama wants to show her something, and picks her up and carries her to the Viper."

It is actually a Raptor.

and if only it were a dove in Lee's apartment. It was a pigeon. Dove makes more since but even RDM said it was a pigeon.

-- Posted by: Anonymous at April 17, 2009 4:39 PM

Yeah I even said "pigeon" earlier, and knew it was a pigeon (and a Raptor too!). Guess I should lay off the whiskey next time.

Fixed both, thanks!

-- Posted by: bsgfodder at April 17, 2009 4:53 PM

I thought the ending was great, save one point. I realize that Moore was trying to make all of us part Cylon with M-Eve, yet people did not leave Africa for parts unknown before 50,000 BCE. It would be another 40,000 years before farming shows up. I think it would have been better and made more logical sense had it been 8-10,000 ya. This would tie back to the original series that the Toltecs, Aztecs, Egyptians, etc came from "out there". Plus farming is only 10,000 years old. so we are to believe that the colonials descendants dumbed down for 140,000 years. had this one point been different, it would also tie into many current fantasies (hypothosies of alien intervention) that we humans could not have built the higher ancient cultures without help.

Anyway, thats my only pet peave, except its over. Guess if thats all I've got to gripe about, I am doing pretty good.

-- Posted by: J.C. Thompson at April 18, 2009 1:26 PM

I loved everything about the finale but one thing. It was absolutely perfect in so many ways. And then you find out it was all "God did it." I was on a high, buzzing in geek ecstacy and then I crashed. Deus ex machina is a crap way to end such a brilliant series and leaves me really frustrated after 4 amazing seasons.

-- Posted by: regoR at April 21, 2009 12:55 PM

Well written review. Emailed to my brother directly after watching the last season to let him know that BSG was one of the best and most satisfying series I have ever watched. Before hitting send, I deleted "one of".

Great job. NBC's Lost should hirer BSG's writers.

-- Posted by: Mike at August 4, 2009 12:18 PM

Deus Ex Machina is a great way for this show to end. Here we exist and place all these expectations on a GOD. Yet, all our expectations are so human that they cannot apply adequately. If God truly directs what happens and when, I doubt we would ever blatantly know it. Largely because the simplest things in our lives can cause us to take such a route where we end up where we are.

Gaius Baltar said something at the end, or near the end, that really struck a chord in me. Something to the effect of "God is not interested in good or evil. That is only us."

I was also intrigued by the use of the opera house as the dream world meeting ground of the humans and cylons. Opera has been said to be the "Divine theatre" in the past. Not sure if the writers of BSG thought of that or not, but it made a hell of a lot of sense when Gaius and Caprica-Six decide to enter the "Opera House" which is the CIC and inside is cylons and humans all working together, in concert, to fight for their survival. That part truly gave me chills.

-- Posted by: Elyam at January 5, 2010 9:39 AM

My interpretation of the opera house was slightly different - The ship/CIC itself was in fact the opera house - and we were watching a space opera - I guess that is what made this show so great - It was not spoon fed to it's viewers but left a lot of things open to the viewers own interpretation and imagination, that in itself is refreshing - it was perfect and I still miss it.

-- Posted by: Phil at July 5, 2010 7:53 PM

More Recent Stories:
Battlestar Galactica: Key Points from "Daybreak" (Parts 1 - 3)
Battlestar Galactica: Key Points from "Islanded in a Stream of Stars"
Battlestar Galactica: Key Points from "Someone to Watch Over Me"
Battlestar Galactica: Key Points from "Deadlock"
Battlestar Galactica: Key Points from "No Exit"
Battlestar Galactica: Key Points from "Blood on the Scales"
Battlestar Galactica: Key Points from "The Oath"
Battlestar Galactica: Key Points from "A Disquiet Follows My Soul"
Battlestar Galactica: Key Points from "Sometimes a Great Notion"
Battlestar Galactica: Key Points from "The Face of the Enemy" Webisodes