So far season 4 has been very uneven, with the episodes Faith and Guess What's Coming to Dinner the high-points. The choices of Tigh, Tyrol, Tory and Anders (or TTTA as I like to call them) as 4 of the 5 were somewhat arbitrary according to some of the writers' own accounts of what went on in plotting for future episodes and actor Michael Hogan was open with displeasure at the choice for his character. But as Moore & Co. tie up the loose threads of BSG's epic story, one hopes they won't go for the boring (Adama, Helo or Lee), the obvious (Kara), the contrived (Ellen, Dualla, Zarek), the reaching for it (Callie, Zak Adama, Doc Cottle, Seelix) and do something daring (or rather did, as it's been like 2 years since they decided) ... something like making Head-Six the Final Cylon, or the rebel Hybrid, or the Galactica vessel itself. It would be nice to be pleasantly surprised, but the story arc they've set up points toward Roslin or Gaeta.
Battlestar Galactica has transitioned from a sleek, chic, sophisticated cerebral science fiction television show to a gritty, action-oriented war story. The miniseries and early episodes' spare evocative music and modern architecture, the adult and matter-of-fact dialog, the sense of danger and menace of an 'enemy within,' Head-Six, the scene of the little girl abandoned on the agro-ship and Dualla and Billie on the observation deck, Roslin's evolution into a leader on Colonial One ... these early high-points bespoke of a more refined, elegant type of science fiction drama. But now, closing in on the final episodes, it feels more like a military war movie - gray, worn, and weary. If the early part of Battlestar was the Ridley Scott brilliance and elegance of Alien, the latter half of the series is James Cameron's Aliens. Both excellent, but entirely different in their artistic presentation. If the end is the beginning, hopefully not only the story, but the look and feel of Battlestar Galactica will return to the look and feel of the miniseries.
This is the slo-mo clip from Sci-Fi, showing the faces they tease as the possible Final Cylon: Helo, Zarek, Dualla, Gaeta, Baltar, Kara, Lee, Roslin, Adama. The points of intersection (with SyFyPortal's list - see next post) are Gaeta, Roslin and Lee. My original choices, going back to the early seasons (once we learned of the Final Five) were Roslin and Baltar. Secondary choices were Gaeta, Dualla, Ellen and Zak Adama. Since Sci-Fi always gives away the store in their teasers, the faces they've shown must be considered legit. As portrayed by Ron Moore and company, Lee is the stalwart human, the light Yang to Baltar's dark Yin, so both of them seem to be knocked out of the running. Sci-Fi doesn't show Ellen or Callie, as SyFyPortal does, so that leaves Gaeta and Roslin. Gaeta was foreshadowed in Guess What's Coming to Dinner and Roslin has been foreshadowed at least twice. So it's Roslin or Gaeta. I hope for Roslin, but I expect Gaeta.
Now, you may have noticed that for the first time the teaser trailer begins, transitions and ends with a white background, whereas black has been the constant until now. Perhaps the Ship of Lights subplot from the original series will be worked in?
If we take Ron Moore at his word that the Fifth and Final Cylon is not shown in the Last Supper image, then out of these five that means it must be Gaeta, Ellen, or Callie. It's certainly a relief that it won't be Zak Adama, Seelix, or someone who loaded ammunition on a Viper once. Sing us that song again, Gaeta, you know - the unstruck music.
Well, it looks as though calculated bleakness awaits for the final episodes of Battlestar Galactica based upon the above trailer broadcast on Canada's Space channel. Here is the gist of what was in the trailer in case you missed it:
Anders hears something on the beach and turns ... Tory finds a living plant ... Tyrol "remembers" something while sitting next to a building foundation (a temple?) ... Tigh is in a dark place and says "There must be some kind of a way out of here" ... Adama crawls through a sub-floor or a tunnel with pipes in it ... We see the number 39,651 ... Roslin stands alone in a Raptor as the door closes ... Adama carries a gun and is looking for something or someone ... Galactica crew sit in a corridor smoking below graffiti that reads "Frak Earth" ... Lee and Kara kiss and the Sharons seem to be groping Athena ... Roslin says to Adama "If you're a Cylon, I'd like to know," and Adama replies, "If I'm a Cylon, you're really screwed" ... Quick flashes of the Cylons we know, lots of brandishing of guns, the Zarek coup subplot (to Adama) "If you try shoving an alliance with the Cylons down our throat there will be consequences" ... Caprica Six, Athena and Anders are in the brig and worried they'll be killed ... Gaeta tells Zarek, "I never agreed to this," "Yes you did," Zarek replies, to which Gaeta answers, "No, this is murder!" ... Kara and Leoben tromp through a wooded area and she reminds him that the Hybrid told her she would lead humanity to its end ... On the Base Star Tory says, "Fate has been all but decided" ... Then we see Adama accompanied by Marines with Lee carrying weapons down a corridor ... Anders (Lee?) says, "Shoot me now" ... Adama and Roslin kiss but it's not romantic ... Lee and Kara aim guns ... More of the Baltar religious guru stuff, "What have you done to deserve this punishment?" he asks his followers ... We see a burning book of Pythia, probably Kara at her funural pyre ... Kara says to Adama, "They're the enemy" ... Laura shouts (with spooky echo) "I'm coming for all of you" ... Final shot of Adama, tied and blindfolded with a note pinned to his chest.
I'm sure it will be very entertaining, but it looks like the fleet fractures, despair takes hold, and the dazzling promise of the miniseries and early episodes gives way to thematic darkness and cynicism. It's going to be a dirge of drum-and-bass for our crescendo - with very few soaring strings, horns, or woodwinds. And, Roslin, is that a resurrection tank reflected in your glasses? (And is that cider I smell on your breath dear?)