It’s the epic series finale of Battlestar Galactica. Everything has led up to this. All of this has happened before, but it won’t happen again, because this is the end of the line. Except for the TV movie The Plan. And the new Caprica series. But for the actual series, it comes to a close. Welcome to the Battlestar Galactica series finale.
The finale starts off in a strip club. It’s another flashback to before the fall, and a two-eyed Saul Tigh is getting his best buddy William Adama drunk and offering to buy him a lap dance to celebrate the offer of retirement. Tigh repeatedly screams out for the strippers, making me fall in love with the man Saul Tigh used to be.
Adama doesn’t want to retire and the two get into a drunken argument. If you’re wondering how Ellen Tigh feels about her husband’s love of strip clubs, she’s there too, egging him on.
At Kara Thrace’s apartment, she, Lee and Zak have a debate about politics that leads to a brotherly fight over Lee’s severe daddy issues. He thinks that his dad doesn’t approve of anyone who doesn’t follow his narrow viewpoint. Zak passes out from the alcohol, but Lee and Kara stay up for some more.
Laura Roslin finally meets Shawn Ellison, her blind date. Then she remembers how she recognizes him: he used to be her student. Well here’s to you, Mrs. Roslin-son. She still agrees to go on the date.
After the strip club, William Adama goes outside and throws up on himself. It’s disgusting, but he looks up at the stars and gets this bright twinkle in his eye as he thinks about how much he loves commanding a battlestar.
This takes us back to the present, where Baltar talks to Head Six about whether or not he should go with the Galactica. Meanwhile, Laura Roslin says farewell to Doc Cottle with an emotional speech as he gives her enough medicine to last for two more days.
The plan for the attack spreads across the entire ship. Helo talks to the Raptor pilots about how dangerous it will be while Lee goes back to leading the Viper pilots. Adama orders everyone in the CIC to shoot at the Cylons until they run out of bullets, then to start throwing rocks. Finally, the Cylons and Starbuck gather around Hybrid Anders to discuss their plan, which involves using him to disrupt the Cylons’ attacks.
The only problem is that the best way to do this is to hook him up in the CIC, so Hybrid Anders and all of his Cylon wires and goo are installed in the CIC. The other Cylon component for the battle is to bring on a bunch of Centurions to help them in the fight.
Finally, before the Galactica goes out on its mission, it has to give the rest of the fleet a new crop of leaders. Lt. Hoshi gets the huge promotion to admiral of the fleet. Wow, first he gets a boyfriend in Gaeta and now this. As for the presidency, that honor goes to none other than Romo Lampkin. I would love to watch that show, with a gay military leader and a con artist lawyer as president.
At the last minute, Baltar decides that he’s going to stay behind. He’s given a gun and sets up in position. Caprica Six joins him on the fighting lines, and after all this time, those two crazy kids have found one another again. While the others take up their military positions, Laura Roslin has become a nurse.
Admiral Adama does one last check with every and then he jumps the Galactica to the Cylon Colony for its final mission. It certainly looks final, as the Cylons immediately fire on the ship and light it up like a Christmas tree. It’s astonishing how much of a pounding the Galactica takes, but that comes to an end when Hybrid Anders does his job and shuts down all the other Cylon Hybrids so the assault stops.
It won’t be long until the Cylons send out their Raiders, so Adama puts into motion the next step. Since the Cylons aren’t just going to let them dock with the Colony, Adama rams the Galactica into the Colony to create his own door. That’s what we like to call an :outside the box” idea.
While Lee and Starbuck enter with their teams of Centurions to find Hera, the Vipers and Raptors fight off the Cylon Raiders in another of Battlestar Galactica’s epic and beautiful space fight sequences. If this episode doesn’t win the show another Visual Effects Emmy, there is something seriously wrong with the world.
Baltar and Caprica Six talk about their lives and wind up making out once again. Their moment is interrupted when Head Six and Head Baltar arrive to talk about how they’ve finally come back together to fulfill their joint destiny as parents to the next generation of God’s Children. But who is seeing who? It turns out both Baltar and Caprica Six each see both of their Head counterparts. What the frak is going on?
Simon still performs his tests on Hera, even as the attack surrounds them. He’s confident the Cylons will prevail, but what he didn’t count on was Boomer snapping his neck and taking Hera away. When Brother Cavil finds this, he vows to go on the offense.
Boomer finds Starbuck, Helo and Athena and offers to give them Hera. She says she owes one to the Old Man. While you might assume she’s talking about shooting him, she’s actually referring to a scene we seen in a flashback where Adama and Tigh gave Boomer one last chance to become a pilot on the Galactica when she was about to fail. However, none of this matters to Athena, who kills Boomer anyway.
They meet up with Lee and make their way back to the Galactica. A copy of Aaron Doral pops up and shoots at them, hitting Helo in the leg. As Athena applies pressure to his wound, Hera runs away. An amazing sequence ensues as Laura Roslin and Athena chase after Hera on the Galactica in the exact same way that they did in the opera house dream.
It even ends the same way, with Caprica Six getting her, picking her up, and taking her into a locked room with Baltar. They both remember the dream and realize they must walk with Hera onto the stage of the opera house. Only in this real life interpretation, the stage is the CIC. It’s magnificent because the glowing images of the Final Five are there too as they’re on the catwalks of the CIC.
The actual CIC is less pristine than the opera house as it’s been severely damaged. Brother Cavil sneaks in and takes Hera, threatening her with a gun. Baltar steps forward and gives a long-winded speech about all of the shared dreams and unexplained phenomena that can only be God or some other divine intervention, and that Brother Cavil must accept this and let Hera go. However, it’s Saul Tigh’s promise to give Cavil the resurrection technology that gets him to release Hera.
In order to give them the secret to resurrection, the Final Five must all place their hands into the special Cylon water to share what they know. Unfortunately this will also reveal all of their innermost secrets to one another, which gives Tory some concern. They do it, and midway through the download Tyrol sees Tory’s memory of killing Cally.
This doesn’t go well, as he immediately takes his hand out of the water and chokes Tory to death. It’s satisfying, but at the same time, Brother Cavil thinks he’s been betrayed because the download for resurrection technology is severed, so he orders his men to attack. However, they’re outnumbered and Cavil takes the coward’s way out, eating his own gun.
An injured Raptor carrying Racetrack and Skulls accidentally fires its nuclear weapons into the Colony, causing mass chaos. Adama orders Starbuck to jump the Galactica, but she doesn’t know the coordinates for the rest of the fleet. Suddenly it comes to her, and she enters the numbers she got from the musical notes of “All Along he Watchtower.”
They jump, which takes us back to the time before the fall, where Kara and Lee drunkenly discuss fate. She tells him that she’s scared to die because she doesn’t want to be forgotten.
On the other side of the jump, the Galactica bends and creaks and is all but dead. Tigh states that it will never be able to jump again, so they’re stuck where they are. That’s when we see a moon that looks like our moon and a planet that looks like Earth. But it’s not Earth, or at least not the same Earth from before, because this one is full of life and green grass.
Twelve hours later, the fleet is reunited thanks to a Raptor that found the fleet. Admiral Hoshi is very happy to go back to being a lieutenant, but Romo Lampkin has taken to the presidency like a duck to water. Down on the New Earth, a recon mission finds that there are people living on it who are genetically similar enough to humans so that reproduction is a possibility to continue the survival of the species. However, the natives of New Earth are an early tribal people with no language and rudimentary tools.
However, everyone agrees that settling on New Earth is a good idea, so the Cylons agree to let the Centurions fly off on the basestar while Hybrid Anders will control the entire fleet and fly all the ships into the sun, leaving the humans scattered on the planet. Lampkin wants to build cities, but Lee wants to stop the cycle, so instead they all agree to live simple lives.
As Adama takes the last Viper flight off the Galactica, he remembers turning down the high-paying job offer that he received before the fall, instead sticking with his military gig. He and a dying Laura Roslin look out at the wildlife of this new planet and Adama says they’re going to call it Earth, because even though it’s not the same place as before, “Earth” is more of an idea. She wants to go, so he packs up a Raptor to fly off, but first he says goodbye to Lee and Starbuck.
On their Raptor flight, Adama talks about the log cabin they’ll build together while Laura remembers her blind date that ended with sex before she kicked him out. Then she called up Adar and agreed to join his campaign, so I guess this one last fling was her last hurrah before entering the world of politics that led her to where she is now. After the flashback, Roslin quietly passes away. When Adama notices, he cries, slips his wedding ring onto her, and finds a place where he promises to build their cabin.
Meanwhile, Starbuck decides to leave Lee and start her own life after remembering their night before the fall where she double dog dared him to have sex with her on the table with Zak passed out on the couch. A broken glass interrupted it, but still, she thinks it’s best to go away.
Lee starts to think about things, but when he turns around, Starbuck is suddenly gone. Wait, was she a ghost the whole time? Probably not, but that made no sense.
Tyrol decides to go off on his own afer all the misery he’s been through while the Tighs once again get to live happily ever after. Helo is still alive, and he, Athena and Hera skip happily along on their new home.
Baltar and Caprica Six watch on and wonder if their only fate was to save Hera’s life. Just then Head Six and Head Baltar reappear to tell them they’ll lead ordinary lives. Finally, Adama buries Roslin and talks about how beautiful the cabin will be.
Then the screen cuts to black. Then it comes back and Hera skips around. We see all the terrains of the planet, and then…
150,000 Years Later.
It’s modern New York City, our New York City. A magazine talks about how archaeologist’s have discovered Mitochondrial Eve, the original mother to all of humanity. Ronald D. Moore makes a cameo as a guy reading the magazine.
Then we see Head Six and Head Baltar are there, talking about how this Eve is actually Hera, and the same thing has happened on Kobol, Caprica, the original Earth and now this Earth, and they wonder whether all this will happen again.
Head Six seems to think that God allows for the possibility of cycles to be broken. Then the two walk off into the streets as “All Along the Watchtower” plays and we see MSNBC newsreel clips of the various breakthroughs in robotics.
And that’s how Battlestar Galactica ends. I’m going to have to spend the weekend thinking about how I feel about this, but my immediate reaction is a strong desire to drink and forget everything that happened after Starbuck jumped the Galactica.
The first half was one of the best hours the show has ever produced, but I really have to think about that second part, because I don’t want to hate it like my gut is telling me to do.