(SPOILER ALERT: You probably got the jist of where I'm going with this post; it's impossible to explain why Part 2 of "Daybreak" was so embarrassingly bad without spoiling the ending. So if you haven't seen it, yes, I do think you should, if only to remind you of what happens when writers write themselves into a corner and don't have faith - irony! - in the strength of their original material and themes).
What the frak was that?
Nutshell: Ron Moore gives us perhaps the most intense hour of BSG since the show's best episode "33", and promptly proceeds to shit all over the fans with that slapped together, deus ex machina bullshit ending. Angels and God saved humanity! Caprica and Baltar become Clarence and Mr. Jordan! And we're treated to a montage of Japanese toy robots, presumably to remind us that we need to be nice to our mechanical friends lest they rise up to slaughter us! And because we're idiots, and lack the capability to pick up on this subtle ending, this friggin' anvil, Caprica and Baltar literally tell us this!
What the FUCK.
I loved the idea of the fleet arriving at the real Earth, thousands of years ago. It's a nice wink at the old series, and in and of itself dovetails nicely with the series and "Daybreak"'s theme of redemption, of the notion that there are no absolute moral choices, that even with the best of us, the notion of "Good and Evil" becomes irrelevant when life and death are on the line. (Exhibit A: Athena coldly guns down Boomer in front of Hera after Boomer returns Hera to the assault team.) I love the idea that these people, who've been the victims and prisoners of their own technology, would turn their backs on all of that, for no other reason than they've exhausted everything, even hope itself. It's not a stretch to think that: the scenes with the Galacticans roaming around an Eden-like Africa reminded me of the final scene in The Shawshank Redemption; after years of living in a tin can and eating algae, I'd be ready for a permanent life in a hammock, eating spit-roasted rabbit and watching the grass grow. It's a logical way to end things, and there was some real emotion there; the show's always been about the characters, and most of them got a lovely sendoff. (Except for Starbuck. What a joke.)
What I find appalling is the idea that humanity doesn't really save itself. That we're left with no explanation of Starbuck, of Caprica Six, of all of this, save Baltar's: "It's God, and He's mysterious." (Oh, wait - according to Angel Baltar, He doesn't like to be called that. Oh I want to throw something.) It was a sad copout. A cheap way to end a series that constantly challenged its viewers with tough questions, about love, loyalty, crime and punishment, morality, and whether or not humanity is worth saving. Some questions don't have answers, and perhaps they shouldn't, lest we stop asking them of ourselves. One of the things that I loved about the show (apart from the badassness of the new model Centurions, and how cool was that, watching them taking point with the Galactica assault team?) was that it rarely insulted the viewer's intelligence, that it strove to be much more than a mere space opera, that it was ABOUT something and that it wasn't going to be some goofy weird Star Trek (actually, Space:1999 would be a better analogy; that show made no sense) shit. The "science" aspect of the show seemed earned; that within the universe it created, BSG conformed to a certain set of rules and logic, a realism within its own confines (at least until the fourth season). Would it have been such a stretch, I wonder, to have made the Final Five much more involved with humanity's destiny? What if The Plan was theirs? What if they and not "God" had planted the coordinates in Hera, had arranged for Starbuck to be resurrected, knew where Earth was but couldn't show their hand for fear of Cavil's Cylon's finding it? The Final Five, themselves flawed, showing the trait that separates humanity from animals and machines: compassion. No. Instead, we get a non-answer, in the form of one of the cheapest cliched endings in sci-fi; the writer can't explain things, so he doesn't. Instead, we get some Mysterious Omnipotence calling the shots. (See "The Matrix" and pretty much anything written by Arthur C. Clarke.) Fuck, even the whole "high midichlorian count" deal was a better explanation than what Moore gave us.
What a disappointment. Well, I'm gonna drown my bitterness in ambrosia, and seek comfort in the idea that all of this has happened before, and will happen again. Maybe when they remake the show in 2035 they'll get the ending right.