Posted by: da_nibbler | March 21, 2009

150 000 Years Ago (BSG ep 4.20)

By the Gods. This is it. This is the end. The very last episode of Battlestar Galactica ever. The second part of the two-parter finale. To make it really special we are treated to a 95-minute long final episode. So get the popcorn and tissues ready. Settle in. Here goes.

After a quick two minute recap (you can read my recap of the previous episode here) we are right smack in the middle of it.

Before the fall. Tigh is paying a stripper to give Adama a lapdance. He doesn’t want it and sends the girl away, telling her she can “keep the forty. [Tigh] deserves it”. She seems to agree.

They are talking about the job offer from the previous episode. Adama is still reluctant to take it. Ellen walks over with more drinks and cheers Adama “to retirement”.

retirement

Lee is having drinks as well. With Kara Thrace. And all he does is talk politics. Thank the Gods that Zack comes back in, bringing in the next bottle of wine. What is it with the spouses coming in later, bringing in the booze? Do I see a pattern here.

Anyways, as soon as Zack enters the conversation shifts to the Adama family and its drama. We finally find out why Lee entered the service to begin with given he is such a politician.

Zach: “If you hate him so much, why do you follow in his footsteps?”
Lee: “The service gave me four years of college, I gave the service four years in return. Simple as that.”

lee

Soon-to-be-President Roslin welcomes her date, Sean. She finally realizes where she knows him from. He used to be one of her students. Awkward in capital letters.

roslin1

Adama is still having a hard time making up his mind. The only one distracted by the dancers and strippers is Tigh.

tigh1

Lee and Kara are dragging Zack to bed. He clearly had too much to drink. How can this guy not hold his liquor? He is dating Kara Thrace!

zach

Lee sticks around for shots.

shots

Not being able to hold their liquor seems to be a family trait with Lee being the only exception. Adama is outside the strip club vomiting all over his nice suit.

adama2

Staring at the stars he smiles and we are back with the fleet, the last ships and shuttles leaving Galactica. Meanwhile Baltar is having another Angel-Six-moment.

Angel Six: “Just trust in God’s plan for you.”
Baltar: “What is God’s plan for me?”
Angel Six: “You are following it right now…. By taking charge of mankind’s remnants, guiding them to their end.”
Baltar: “End of what?”

He never gets his answer.

baltar1

Roslin is getting ready for the suicide mission, getting some last injections from Cottle. Thanking him for everything he has done for her over the past few years he is at a loss for words.

Cottle: “I don’t know what to say.”
Roslin: “Oh no, don’t, don’t. Don’t spoil your image. Just light a cigarette and go and grumble.”

Everyone laughs. Cottle kisses Roslin’s hand.

cottle1

Helo is in charge of the Raptor briefing. He points out the tricky nature of the operation ahead (“threading a needle on a rollercoaster”) and that this is a volunteer assignment. Immediately everyone raises their hands. Way to go guys and girls. I’m proud of ya.

volunteers

Helo: “That’s my Raptor wranglers. Always looking for new and interesting ways to get killed.”

Lee is heading up the marines briefing. Adama instructs everyone at CIC.

Adama: “We’ll be in too close for nukes. Same thing goes for missiles. Now this is gonna be strictly a gun battle. Two ships on the line, slugging it out at point blank range. I want the gun captains to do their job and start firing immediately and to continue to fire until they run out of ammo. Then – I want them to start throwing rocks.”

adama21

The Fab Five minus Tigh are trying to convince Kara to let them use Anders in the battle. He could communicate with the Cylon hybrids and slow them down. Kara is okay with that, but they have to move him to the CIC to access all systems.

fab5

Adama gives over command of the fleet including the Cylon Base Ship to Hoshi. Interesting that Adama points him out as someone he can trust. He was a big player in the recent rebellion, that his now deceased ex spearheaded. Adama salutes now Admiral Hoshi. That made me laugh out loud since Tigh pointed out to Hoshi he will never make Admiral cos he had just spilled coffee all over his workplace.

hoshi

Adama walks back into CIC where Anders is getting plugged in. Not too happy with all the gooey tubes and wires all over his CIC, he and Tigh joke about flushing them all out an airlock if only there was time.

With Roslin and Lee about to go off on the suicide mission Lee installs the dude with the dog and sunnies as President. I still can’t remember his name. Hence the screencap.

departing

Then it’s time for the last call.

Lee: “Last Raptor out, people. Last Raptor out. Anyone left behind – your ass belongs to us.”

Cue Gaius Baltar. That made me laugh out loud again. But of course this wouldn’t be the end of the series if his character wouldn’t finally have his epiphany and climax. He stays behind. Lee jumps to the chance and throws him a rifle.

baltar21

Cylon warriors are marched onto the hangar deck by a Six. No words needed. Only a screencap.

cylons

Thank the Gods our heroes are clever enough to mark their Cylons will red paint. Otherwise who knows which is which.

Let it begin!

Galactica is flying out, transferring CAP duties to the Cylon Base Ship. Tigh is on the horn, getting all stations to report readiness. Sick bay is preparing for the onslaught of wounded. Roslin is there helping out. The dreaded “marker” is handed to her. An “x” marks the ones too badly hurt. Now this is officially a war med bay.

Let’s get an overview where everyone is. Lee is in ground group “assault one”. Kara, Athena and Helo are part of the Raptor group “assault two”. Baltar is in “reserve force”. As is Caprica Six. Baltar is second-guessing his decision to stay behind.

baltar31

All stations have reported in. The Admiral (is he still?) makes his speech.

Adama: “This is the Admiral. Just so there’ll be no misunderstandings later. Galactica’s seen a lot of history. Gone through a lot of battles. This will be her last. She will not fail us, if we do not fail her. If we succeed in our mission Galactica will bring us home. If we don’t it doesn’t matter anyway. Action stations!”

And so it begins…

As soon as Galactica jumps into its “parking spot” (see previous episode for reference) the Cylon Colony opens fire. Galactica is taking a heavy beating until Anders finally manages to get through to the Cylon Hybrids and shuts down the canons.

galactica1

Now the Colony will launch their Raiders so Galactica does the same. As soon as they are safely away Galactica goes into ramming speed, plowing through the Colony’s outer hull. Dradis doesn’t look very promising.

dradis

The assault teams enter the Colony with the rebel Cylon Centurions leading the wave.

good

Why our good guys always have to take off their helmets in situations like these is beyond my comprehension. There could be a hull breach or plenty of other scenarios where I would want my suit intact and sealed so I won’t suffocate. But I guess having an unobstructed view of my gorgeous face is more important. I gotta learn to set my priorities straight.

bad

The Raptor crews have arrived at their target and infiltrate the Colony. Somewhere in the Colony Simon is conducting tests on Hera, assuring Boomer that the human’s attack is futile.

Simon: “I believe you overestimate their chances. They may have confused our Hybrids temporarily but we have superior firepower and superior numbers and in the end it’s all about mathematics.”

That’s when his neck breaks thanks to Boomer twisting it, proving his just uttered theory wrong. It’s not about mathematics, my dear Simon. It’s always about individuals and their choices.

Cylons fighting and killing other Cylons. Now even the Centurions are truly human. What other species kills each other over trivialities? Not that this one is a triviality, but you catch my drift.

cylons2

There are a lot of old model Centurions aboard the Colony. But the fight is not just between the old and new models, it is more a fight between outdated and evolved thinking.

Caprica Six is proud of Baltar for staying behind. She has always wanted to be proud of him and now she finally can be. “Guess I always felt that was the only thing missing.” And Baltar doesn’t let a chance pass by to kiss one of the gorgeous Sixes.

baltar41

Caprica Six and Baltar hear Baltar’s Angel Six speak. Angel Six is joined by Angel Baltar this time. They both can’t believe they are seeing the same imaginary thing.

angels1

BAM! The Cylons just blew a new door into Galactica, advancing fast through the decks. Meanwhile on the Colony Starbucks team runs into Boomer and Hera.

key

Boomer: “Tell the old man, I owed him one.”
Athena: “Doesn’t change anything you did though.”
Boomer: “No. We all make our choices. Today I made a choice. I think it’s my last one.”

Boomer tells them their Raptor has been destroyed. Athena points out that it was never their plan to go back to it and then shoots Boomer.

Flashback to pre-Cylon Boomer getting admonished by Adama and Tigh for not being able to land properly. He lets her off the hook and she tells him she owes him one, but he points out that very few people ever pay you back.

boomer

More and more fatally wounded show up in med bay and Roslin witnesses the cold, matter of fact wielding of the “marker” firsthand.

On the Colony the two assault teams meet and are trying to make their way back to Galactica. Outside the space battle is still going on. Inside the reserve forces are trying to hold off the Cylon infiltrators.

Baltar is shooting at whatever comes his way. Friend or foe. Thank the Gods he has Caprica Six with him who diverts his fire into the ceiling.

baltar5

As soon as the assault team is in more Cylons come rushing in.

Roslin has another vision of Hera. One of the human Cylons attacks the Hera escort, wounding Helo. Hera runs away. Athena goes after her.

Now we have the vision come to life. Roslin is running through corridors after Hera, as is Athena. Roslin finally finds Hera, who comes rushing towards her. As soon as she thinks she is safe Hera is gone again.

Baltar and Caprica Six are fleeing from the onslaught of Cylons cursing through Galactica. Down to two rounds of ammo they see Hera. Caprica Six picks her up just as Athena and Roslin round a corner and witness it. The door seals shut behind Caprica Six and Baltar, shutting out Athena and Roslin just like in the vision.

Baltar and Caprica Six see the vision now too.

Baltar: “We’re supposed to…”
Caprica Six: “… go into the Opera House.”

vision

The Opera House turns out to be CIC, where a major battle has just taken place. The final five Cylons are waiting for them just as in the vision/prophecy.

5cylons

All the vision mumbo jumbo is put on hold as Cavil gets his hands on Hera, holding a gun to her head. As Cavil points out the importance of the child for his race’s survival Baltar chimes in saying she is just as important for the survival of the human race.

Cavil: “And how do you know that?”
Baltar: “I see Angels. Angels in this very room. Now I may be mad but that doesn’t mean that I’m not right. Because there is another force at work here. There always has been. It’s undeniable. We’ve all experienced it. Everyone in this room has witnessed events that they can’t fathom let alone explain away by rational means. … Our loved ones. Dead. Risen. Whether we wana call that God or Gods or some sublime inspiration or a divine force that we can’t know or understand it doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter. It’s here. It exists and our two destinies are entwined in its force.
Cavil: “If that were true and that’s a big if how do I know that force has our best interest in mind. How do you know God is on your side doctor.”
Baltar: “I don’t. God’s not on anyone’s side. God’s a force of nature. Beyond good and evil. Good and evil, we created those. Wana break the cycle? Break the cycle of birth, death, rebirth, destruction, escape, death. That’s in our hands. In our hands only. Requires a leap of faith. Requires that we live in hope. Not fear.”

Cavil wants to know how the destruction of his race will fit into the picture Baltar is trying to paint. Tigh jumps in offering resurrection to everyone’s surprise.

Tigh: “You give us Hera and we will give you resurrection. But the war ends here. You leave humanity in peace and give up the pursuit now and for all time.”

Cavil agrees, Adama has a hard time believing him but Cavil points out “you have to make a leap of faith”. Way to go and throw their words right back at them. Tigh leaves the big decision in Adama’s hands. It’s a go as soon as Cavil orders his forces to stand down. Hera goes back into Caprica Six’s arms.

capricasix

This whole thing reminds me of the end of the previous war where the Cylons just left as soon as they had what they wanted. Now they have resurrection back. What will stop them from coming after the humans again? Maybe I have to make that leap of faith too.

Sitreps are coming in as everyone is waiting for the Fab Five to do their thing. Seems like they will turn over their knowledge of resurrection this time. Not just build the damn thing. In order to do so they all have to connect to the data stream Anders is on, thereby knowing everything there is to know about one another. Understandably that makes the whole thing a bit tougher to do. Especially for Tori considering she spaced Tyrol’s wife.

fab52

Cavil breaks the awkwardness.

Cavil: “Hey I don’t mean to rush you, but you are keeping two civilizations waiting.”

We see flashes from everyone, but linger on the more interesting one of Tori. Tyrol and the others can see that too now. Tyrol loses it and tries to kill Tori. The Cylons assume it’s a trap and open fire.

The Fab Five are now the Fab Four. So I guess the knowledge or resurrection just died with Tori and the truce with the Cylons is gone. Way to go Fab Five. Cavil’s had enough and shoots himself.

cavil1

Galactica is immediately under attack from the Cylons again. Somewhere out on the periphery a dead Raptor comes back to life thanks to a rock crashing into it slightly and the dead pilot’s hand falling onto the missile console, setting off the missiles. Guess there was still some gravity intact in the dead ship or how does that work in a ship exposed to the vacuum of space?

Every time I see a total shot of the Colony it reminds me of a Shadowship from my most fav tv series of all time, Babylon 5.

ships

The missiles tear the Colony apart, Galactica has to make an emergency jump. That falls to Starbuck whose purpose is finally revealed. She uses the melody she composed to push in numbers into the FTL drive. JUMP!

And we are back on Caprica before the fall with Lee and Kara doing the shots. They talk about Kara always thinking of dying when she gets into the cockpit and how it doesn’t scare her. The only thing that scares her is being forgotten.

That last jump was too much for Galactica. She is starting to break apart.

lastjump

Tigh: “She’s broke her back. She’ll never jump again.”

Galactica is flying over a cratered planet that turns out to be the moon. 12 hours later the fleet jumps into orbit around Earth. The real Earth this time.

earth

Landing they find a ritualistic tribal species with rudimentary tools that is compatible with us (they stumbled upon the Aborigines in Australia). Hoshi is happy to return the Admiral stars to Adama.

natives

Adama: “How is that possible. Human beings. Naturally evolved. On a planet one million light years away. The odds against that are…”
Baltar: “… astronomical. One might even say there was a divine hand at work.”
Adama: “Well, whoever is responsible. We’re here. And here is where we’re gonna stay.”

The new President is already making plans on building a city and cultivating the land when Lee stops him in his tracks.

Lee: “No city. Not this time…. We break the cycle. We leave it all behind and start over…. We can give them the – the best part of ourselves. And not the baggage, not the ships, the equipment, the technology, the weapons. If there is one thing we should have learned it’s that – you know our brains have always outraced our hearts. Our science charges ahead. Our souls lag behind. Let’s start anew.”

So the plan is to have a couple of groups of civilians set all over Earth, including the Human Cylons remaining. The Centurion Cylons have been given the Base Ship and were set free. As Ellen points out that should be enough to break the cycle of violence. Adama points out that “it’s a risk worth taking”.

As for the rest of the plan.

Adama: “Now once the civilians have been offloaded the fleet will leave the orbit and rendezvous with Galactica. The course of the fleet will be plotted into the nav computer ahead of time, but the actual piloting will be done by Mr. Anders. He’ll guide the entire fleet directly into the sun.”

solong

Kara is saying good-bye to her husband. Ripping her dog-tags off her neck she places them in his hand. She kisses him, whispering “I love you” in his ear. He manages to say “I’ll see you on the other side” but she is already out of earshot.

anders1

Adama, in his pilot uniform, walks the hangar decks of Galactica one last time. As was stated in a previous episode he is the last one off the ship. As his Viper zooms out of the launch tube we flashback to Caprica before the fall. Adama is questioned and hooked up to a lie-detector. Being asked “Are you a Cylon?” is hilarious given they don’t yet know that Cylons can look like humans now. One of the questions sends him over the edge.

Adama: “No job is worth this. No matter how fat the paycheck is. I’d rather spend the rest of my career or what’s left of it on a broken-down old ship than have someone sit here and question my word.”

One last honorary pass around Galactica and then towards the new home.

husker

An Anders flashback reminds us of what’s important to him. Of what his goal in life was. As he pilots the fleet into the sun we hear his old self saying:

“Perfection. That’s what it’s about. It’s those moments. When you can feel the perfection of creation. The beauty of physics, the wonder of mathematics, the elation of action and reaction and that is the kind of perfection that I wana be connected to.”

The theme from the old Battlestar Galactica series is playing as Anders is getting what he wants and the fleet finds its final resting place.

fleet

Tyrol is bidding good-bye to the remainder of the Fab Five. He wants to be alone so he is going to an island off one of the northern continents. Tigh tells him he would have done the same thing if what happened to Callie would have happened to Ellen. Tyrol leaves and Tigh and Ellen hug.

fab2

That dissolves into them hugging back on Caprica in the strip club they took Adama to. Here Ellen tells Tigh that all she ever wanted was to be with him. Not just on the weekends or vacation. Guess she now got what she wanted.

Roslin and Adama are watching the wildlife. When Roslin asks him whether he has a name for the new planet he tells her “Earth”. She laughs but he points out Earth was a dream they have been chasing for a long time and they have earned it. She agrees.

wildlife

Roslin is having trouble breathing. Adama asks her whether she would like to take a closer look at the wildlife and carries her into the Raptor. Saying a quick good-bye to Lee and Starbuck he is off.

starbuck

Lee: “You know my very earliest memory of my father was him flying away in a big plane.”

bye

But he wasn’t the last to leave Lee. Now it’s Starbuck’s turn.

Starbuck: “I don’t know. I just know that I am done here. I have completed my journey and it feels good.”

Flashback to them drinking together back on Caprica. They are both drunk and Kara dares Lee to have her right then and there on the table. As they are climbing on the table a glass shatters to the ground, waking up Zach who only manages to say:

Zach: “Oops. Something’s broken.”

broken

Not a difficult analogy to see through. Their lust immediately screeches to a halt and Lee is going to leave.

Kara: “It was nice to meet you, Lee Adama.”
Lee: “Likewise, Kara Thrace.”

Back on New Earth Kara asks Lee what he wants to do now. As he goes on about his exhausting plan to explore she vanishes into thin air. Not exactly sure how she did that. But quick exits seem to be the pattern here. And that was one helluva quick one. All that was missing was a Poof! sound.

forgotten

Back on Caprica the dove Lee was chasing in his house in the previous episode is flying out the door. Symbolism is chased by metaphor and analogy. We get it.

Still on Caprica Roslin is walking into her bedroom to a waiting Sean. Looking smashingly sexy in her nightgown she asks Sean to leave.

roslin21

She goes to the bathroom, lights a cigarette and waits for him to leave. As soon as he’s gone she calls to let Mayor Adar know that she will be joining his campaign.

roslin3

Roslin: “All the way to the end. No matter what. All the way to the end.”

Adama and Roslin are flying over the land, admiring the vast wildlife. “There is so much life” are the last words the former President utters before she goes to sleep forever. Adama lets go of the controls, reaches for her hand and kisses and holds it. He puts his wedding ring on her finger. I do hope there is no mountain range nearby or he will shatter into it in mere seconds. You’re not in space, cowboy. Watch where you’re flying unless you have a death wish now.

adama3

You have held out until the very last, seen the new home of mankind. Now RIP Laura Roslin.

Thank God not everyone seems to be wanting to live on their own like our heroes Adama, Starbuck, Lee and Tyrol. Groups of colonists walk towards their new home including Tigh and Ellen and a bit further in the back we see Hera with her parents Athena and Helo. So he made it after all.

family1

Watching the whole procession are Caprica Six and Baltar.

prophets

Where they are the angels aren’t far behind.

angels21

Baltar: “Hera. Will she be alright?”
Angel Six: “She survived. Thanks to you.”
Angel Baltar: “Both of you.”
Caprica Six: “And that’s it? That’s all God wants of us?”
Angel Six: “God’s plan is never complete.”
Baltar: “Great.”
Angel Baltar: “But I think it’s safe to say that from now on your lives will be less eventful.”

And then, again without the Poof! sound, the angels are gone. Just like Starbuck earlier.

Flashback to Caprica before the fall. Baltar and Caprica Six meet. He is willing to help her have a peek at the defense mainframe. She tells him her employers will be very grateful. He doesn’t care. He is doing it for her, not her employers. She tells him she’d be very grateful.

love

Back on New Earth Baltar points out a good spot for cultivation and that he does know about farming. Remember his farmer dad he was ashamed of in the previous episode?! Baltar loses it a little and Caprica Six kisses him and tells him “I love you. I know you do”. That would make me feel better immediately too. The kiss wouldn’t hurt either.

Adama talks about the cabin he is going to build and how beautiful the sun looks coming up behind the mountains. “Reminds me of you” he says to Roslin’s grave.

adama4

150 000 years later.

“At a scientific conference this week at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington the startling announcement was made that archeologists believe they have found fossilized remains of a young woman who may actually be Mitochondrial Eve. Mitochondrial Eve is the name scientists have given to the most recent common ancestor for all human beings now living on Earth. She lived in what is now Tanzania. Over 150 000 years ago.”

Angel Six was reading that from a National Geographic magazine,

article

being held by none other than Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore.

moore

Angel Baltar: “Along with her Cylon mother and human father.”
Angel Six: “Commercialism. Decadence. Technology run amuck. Remind you of anything?”
Angel Baltar: “Take your pick. Kobol. Earth. The real Earth before this one. Caprica before the fall.”
Angel Six: “All of this has happened before.”
Angel Baltar: “But the question remains – does all of this have to happen again?”
Angel Six: “This time I bet no.”
Angel Baltar: “You know, I have never known you to play the optimist. Why the change of heart?”
Angel Six: “Mathematics. Law of averages. Let a complex system repeat itself long enough eventually something surprising might occur. That too is in God’s plan.”
Angel Baltar: “You know it doesn’t like that name. (Six gives him a look) Silly me. Silly. Silly me. “

Pan to a news feature on robotics. See our angels walk away into the anonymity of the crowd. The angels walk among us and everything is in our hands. The choice is ours.

angels31

What a great finale. Nicely wrapping up storylines while still leaving a few things uncertain or unanswered. But that is life. Not everything comes to a close unless everything and everyone dies. Life continues. Questions and answers and more questions continue.

Tying the series into our own history, or pre-history to be more exact, was a nice way of making the pointing finger even more obvious than it already was throughout the series. Yes, this is a science fiction series, but that doesn’t make its content irrelevant to our everyday lives. In case you hadn’t caught onto that before I sure hope the point was driven home by its ending.

It took close to 10 years after the last brilliant and poignant science fiction series Babylon 5 for another series to come to life. The epic scope, the amazing characters, the ginormos story arc, great writing and acting make Babylon 5 and now the reinvention of Battlestar Galactica my two fav series of all time. I hope I don’t have to wait another 10 years for another great science fiction series to grace my screen.

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Responses

  1. Wow….Nice recap
    I hope I don’t have to wait that long either!

  2. Thank You. Let’s keep our fingers crossed 😉


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