Battlestar Galactica - 3.20 - "Crossroads, Part 2"
The explosive finale of its third season, revealing some of the main questions concerning the plotlines of the season and throughout the series in general. The verdict of Gaius Baltar's trial, the revelation of the Final Five Cylons amongst the fleet, and the pathway to finding Earth and who'll lead them there. All this wrapped up, or at least dealt with in some manner, in the two-parter finale, leaving yet again a cliffhanger and one whole frakking year until the fourth season to get more information to answer our many questions surrounding these particular revelations.
Let me start off with the trial of Gaius Baltar. Originally it was about his crimes against humanity that placed him underneath extreme conditions aboard the Galactica, that being his total alliance and collaboration with the Cylons as they infiltrated New Caprica. Though I found this charge completely unfair because really, exactly how would Gaius fight against them? He couldn't, nor could anyone else if they were placed in that exact same position. Sure, his leadership and reign during his presidency was incredibly poor and I think anyone can agree while a genius, he doesn't have the skill of controlling or having the authority over an entire fleet. Everyone loathed him, and once the Cylons occupied New Caprica they needed someone to blame. Who better than Gaius Baltar, the one who was supposedly representing humanity? He's made mistakes, but so have other people and while he's a fumbling, bumbling idiot what he did certainly wasn't an act against humanity; it was an act of survival, a brash decision but nonetheless he was, indeed, forced into cooperating with the Cylons or else he'd be dead and the Cylons would have free reign.
Having Lee on the stand was a nice touch, and the Adama versus Adama was quite indirect but a powerful scene when Lee was sitting there and explaining himself and his thoughts about the trial and the convinction in general. His speech was incredibly inspirational, and very true. They aren't a civilization anymore, and they have to make difficult decisions for whatever is right for the survival of humanity. Desperate times call for desperate measures, Gaius might not be the greatest person in the world but actually wanting to collaborate with the Cylons under his own willpower? Doubtful, and as said anyone else in his position might not have had a choice either way. There was nothing he could've done. Adama said to Roslin after the verdict had been read ("not guilty" quite naturally) that being found not guilty isn't the same as innocent, and I guess in context of Lee's speech none of them are innocent.
I found the parallels between that and our current political situation here today to be ironic, as well. And that's precisely why I love this show, as it gives a realistic viewpoint of human ethics and morality. But that's a given, right?
The Final Five Cylons. Granted, only four had been revealed but that doesn't make it less interesting or even awe-striking. I was pretty much spoiled about who they were, and this not only has questions rising up but theories as to why they are Cylons aboard the fleet and why they are suddenly coming to this revelation now. Having Sam, Tigh, Chief Tyrol and Tory as Cylons surely shocked some people, especially about Chief since I know he's a favorite with many fans. But having this be finally revealed, does it necessarily have to be a bad thing that they're Cylons? I don't think so. As a matter of fact, I think it adds more intrigue to their character backgrounds and storylines and puts question to why they're part of the Final Five and why exactly is their purpose amongst the fleet. I have my own theories, but I'll save that until I get there. I liked the fact that even though the lightbulb went on, they refused to betray humankind and wanted to return to the lives they had lived, fighting side-by-side with the people on Galactica. What is to become of them, now that they know the truth? What happens when suddenly a channel or wave-network calls upon their Cylon programming (assuming they have one like the other Cylons do)? They aren't like the others, since the other known existing Cylons didn't even recognize them as their own kind, if they, indeed, have knowledge of what the Final Five looked like.
Nevertheless, liked how they all heard the same tune in their head ("All Along The Watchtower") and began humming/singing it. Particuarly with the scene of them wandering aimlessly to where they're being called to. Some people I know were perplexed about having a modern-day song in BSG, though there's a theory about this too, and how it connects with their mission on finding Earth.
The final scenes were simply amazing. Right where Lee takes off in the Viper, as Tigh and Tory return to the sides of Adama and Roslin, giving each other that knowing-look, right as the cover of "All Along The Watchtower" is playing, and right as Lee and Kara reunited...it was a perfect ending of a finale episode. With the cover song omniously foreshadowing what's possibly to come for the future. And that last shot with the zooming in-and-out of the stars and galaxy, focusing on the vision of Earth that Kara says she's been to, chilling and awesome. Of course, every BSG finale has to end with a Cylon attack.
Season Three Overview
I quite liked and enjoyed this season. Admittingly it didn't have as much action in the middle as I would've liked, and others have complained about that, but I felt it was necessary to have the episodic character studies and developments. This is primarily what this show does, the study of humanity and what distinguishes us from machines or from each other and our morals, and having a firefight with Good Versus Evil in every episodes isn't what a good show makes. There are questions over what is right and wrong, and the battles each of us face and not necessarily with a "good versus evil" complex as to the enemy, but with ourselves and those around us. For example, the episode with Helo and him questioning the curing methods of the ailing Sagittarons, people thought he wasn't in the right (both in the show and within the fandom, which I'm still confused as why there's people in fandom who dislike him). Along with Chief and his questioning over the labor workers along the fleet, and what can be called as injustice to those who have worked and worked, day in and day out, ever since the Cylon attacks and yet haven't been fully rewarded for their duties. Same with Kat and her backstory, and her way of proving herself and going out with a bang. These episodes weren't quite as action-packed, but were highly in the emotional and thought process that allows the audience to think intelligently about what's happening. Not to mention make connections to the ethical reasoning and ways that the situations are being treated.
There was one thing I didn't really like, which was the ongoing fling between Lee and Kara, especially when they're both married but are denying themselves of how they truly feel about each other. The episode "Unfinished Business" did give light to what happened between them, but they continued to circle around each other anyway. In a way I can understand focusing on their relationship, though I liked their playful flirtatious interaction they once had in the previous seasons; inconspicuous yet the chemistry is so perfectly obvious that there's a spark between them. But I felt that the marital difficulties, while an interesting factor, was a little too much and should've been spaced out more throughout.
Aside from that, I did enjoy the beginning bits of the season, primarily with the Cylon-occupation on New Caprica. And pretty much everyone agrees those were, by far, the best episodes to start off the third season with. I also liked that they didn't waste time on rescuing the people on New Caprica either, and it was an explosive start (with an incredible atmosphere-jump by Galactica, which will forever go down in history as AWESOME), and mirrors the finale. An explosive start to an explosive finish, leading more questions to be answered. The Cylon-focus for that half of the season was nice, and I especially liked how we see inside one of their baseships and how sophisicated and stylish they are. The virus that infected the Cylons was something some would consider a filler, but it does place a fault in their design that they can be killed without any possibility of resurrecting, lowering their potential threat to humanity. Now there's nothing indicating that something like this could happen again, meaning the same kind of virus, but it opens the door to how another similar disease can infect the entire Cylon race completely. I wish there could've been more exploration even after Gaius and Caprica-Six left the baseship, but that'll probably be saved for next season. I especially want to hear what Boomer has to say about Six snapping her neck and taking Hera away from them, and whether the Cylons will view her differently now than before.
Overall, I really did enjoy this season. Some episodes were better than others, but I thought it was a great season and cannot wait for what's to come in the fourth season. Which we won't be getting until 2008! Them bastards for making us wait that frakking long.
As anyone could've guessed, I have theories and speculations about certain storylines and plots that have been explored and revealed throughout this season and what might happen as the questions BSG fans have are (hopefully) to be answered when the new season comes around. At first I originally thought about having it written here along with the review and overview, but decided to keep them separate, so I will have my thoughts in another entry that'll arrive soonish.