This “half-season” of “Battlestar Galactica” ended last Friday with an episode called “Revelations.” I don’t really have much to say worth a spoiler warning, but if you want to know nothing about the episode, you might want to skip this post.
Maybe the series has always been like this, and I just couldn’t tell because I was watching the episodes out of order, but it seems like the show has been wildly uneven in quality. Two episodes ago was a muddled, directionless mess of an hour, immediately followed by one of the best episodes of the entire series (“Hub”). The finale was more of the same: there were story moments and individual scenes that were just fantastic, but I just wasn’t that impressed with the episode as a whole.
I liked pretty much everything they did, plot-wise, but I wish they had stretched it all out over the last 8 or 9 episodes instead of trying to cram everything significant that will happen to the human race into 45 minutes. Everything was rushed and muddled. Lately my biggest gripe about TV shows is that the characters’ motivations get lost; it doesn’t seem like they do stuff because the characters want to, but just because the writers need them to get from here to there. In this episode, it seemed like characters did stuff just because they were afraid they wouldn’t have time to before the scene ended and we cut to somewhere else.
But a few of the moments were great. It got so tense that I actually had to pause it and get up to pace around the apartment, which I’m guessing is the kind of reaction they were hoping for. But I was anxious only partly because of the tension the episode had built up, and mostly because I kept saying, “Don’t screw up the whole series, don’t screw up the whole series…”
I don’t know, maybe that’s an intentional dramatic device — they’ll show you an episode so bad, or a plot development so ridiculous, that you have to be a little scared of them. They’ve got a gun to the series’ head and are holding it hostage, “Keep watching, or we’ll blow it to hell! We’re crazy enough to do it!”
The ending was fine, but it was more “oh, so that’s the option they picked” than “holy cow, I didn’t see that coming!” I guess the last 10 or so episodes are going to be all about the Final Fifth and what happens next. I’m not so upset anymore that it’s going to be 2009 before any new episodes air. I’m curious to see how it all ends, but I think BSG and I could use some time apart.