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Battlestar Disappointmica?

By Seth Freilich | Industry | March 20, 2009 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | March 20, 2009 |

(*Mother fucking spoiler warning, for the whole column, for those of you not caught up and ready for tonight’s “Battlestar Galactica” season finale*)

So yeah, tonight is the series finale of “Battlestar Galactica.” I’m excited as hell, even though I’m not sure when I’ll get to actually watch it (there’s baskteball to watch and beers to be drunk until Sunday night, doncha know?). However, even though I’ve enjoyed the second half of this final season, even though I think it contains the second-best episode the show’s ever had,* and even though I’ve generally given Ron Moore and the other writers considerable leeway, I’ve suddenly been hit with a terrible fear that the finale may be a disappointment.

IO9 posted a brief interview with Ron Moore, and check out this discussion about Daniel (there are no spoilers here for tonight’s episode):

You know, the Daniel thing is going to be one of the great fiascos of the show, in terms of what fans thought and what the truth was. Because Daniel was not intended to be anything more than an interesting bit of backstory in that episode. And that’s how we approached it. It was just a story that Cavil and Ellen tell each other, that sort of goes to the idea of who Cavil was and how deep his resentments were, and his jealous nature - and [we wanted to] do a Cain and Abel allegory. That was all it was.
And then after the show aired. I started picking up all this stuff about how fans were obsessing about Daniel and how [people thought] Daniel was Kara’s father, and he was the big surprise. I started thinking, “Oh shit, slow down people, I don’t want you to really get invested.”
I usually don’t like to go out there and say, “Oh, that’s a bad theory,” because part of the enjoyment of watching the show is coming up with ideas. But this was gathering such momentum, I didn’t want people to be going into the finale and really be waiting for the Daniel shoe to drop, when there’s no shoe. It’s one of those things where you’re inside the show, [and] you look at it, and go one way. And then it’s broadcast, and an audience sees it, and then they seize on this piece that you never really anticipated, and then you’re sort of amazed. And you’re saying, “Slow down, no - come back.”

Really? I thought they were all but telling us that Daniel was Starbuck’s father, particularly as he’s tied to the “All Along the Watchtower” tune. In fact, how could you watch the episode with her piano player halucitions (Head Father, if you will) without thinking anything but that? And yet, Ron Moore and company apprently never even contemplated that Daniel would be perceived as Kara’s father? Don’t get me wrong — I’m fine with them intending Daniel to be nothing more than a throway, and until the piano episode, I kinda thought he was going to be a throway. But such obliviousness on their part, in terms of how viewers would see things, has me a ever-so-slightly worried about tonight.

I hope I’m wrong and that this is an amazing finale. But between this comment and last week’s episode (which I thought was a bit weak, although I realize that it’s to be taken as a part of tonight’s two-hour wrap-up and accept that it may only work when viewed as an entire three-hour piece), I’m bringing my expectations a little more down to radiated Earth.

But here’s hoping they frakking blow me away.

*In my opinion, the show’s best episode was the first, “33,” and the second best was “The Oath,” the recent episode about Zarek and Gaeta’s mutiny.

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.