Galactica Season 2 Ender

Okay, finally got a chance to finish watching Battlestar Galactica Season 2 this evening… I still haven’t watched any of season 3 yet, so if you comment please don’t spoil the newest episodes for me:

Part of it was probably the build-up of hype from friends… part of it I can definitely explain… anyways, I really did NOT like the Season 2 ending.

It didn’t feel dramatic, interesting or appropriate, it came across to me as quite lame.

My biggest beef was with the pacing. Up until now the show has built tension quite specifically by having things move slowly. A couple days pass at most between episodes, sometimes it’s a matter of minutes or hours. These characters are interesting and their lives are constantly in jeopardy. I as a viewer care about them because they’ve shown the struggles they’ve endured as well as their victories and defeats. Then – without warning – they fast forward the plot by OVER A YEAR.

What the fuck?

It didn’t feel cool in the slightest. It didn’t put me on the edge of my seat. It detached me utterly from the cast and their individual stories. Characters I’ve cheered for became strange and docile, the core of the story and humanity’s mission got crapped on and dramatic tensions I wanted to see evolve were tossed for insta-shock value. It felt like the head writers had a great story jam session for the future and couldn’t wait to get it going. Instead of carefully cooking up plot threads like they have up to this point, they flash fried the whole thing and charred the heck out of it.

Are you telling me there was NOTHING worth showing after a nuke destroyed a bunch of ships? No one’s reactions were worth pursuing?

Are you telling me that the colonization of New Caprica, again, wasn’t worth showing AT ALL? There was a season worth of material there they ignored in an instant because they wanted to surprise the viewers.

People’s whole careers and families changed, their motivations shifted – this was the cast they carefully tinkered with specifically to keep us involved with the story. Dumping them a year ahead like a Bad Bizarro World scenario where everything’s changed betrays my trust as a viewer. Don’t get the wrong idea – I liked that the characters changed, people died and things evolved in Season 1 and 2. That was great. But yanking me ahead like that and switching it up so drastically, especially after building a specific storytelling style that I enjoyed, was ridiculous.

Beyond that, doing all of it in the last 15 minutes of the episode made it even more uneven and unbalanced. How is that good storytelling?!

Up until now Both Admiral Adama and President Rosalin have done just about ANYTHING if it was for the good of humanity. They’ve spied, lied, broken rules and laws, killed, planned assassinations… you name it…. but when Rosalin rigs the election and they both know Baltar’s presidency is going to be a disaster for the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE Adama tells her that she has to give up the election or it’ll corrupt her. Wha-huh? I liked that those two would make hard moral decisions in the face of terrible choices. I liked that they sometimes did clandestine things because the public didn’t understand what was at stake. But here Adama gives it all up with a crappy speech about ‘losing the battle but winning the war’. It felt like the whole thing happened because the writers wanted to play with a new toy called ‘One Year Later’. Worst of all, the fallout of the election and evolution of those characters gets the shaft.

Hell, in an earlier episode the core cast had a genuine supernatural experience, thus proving a HIGHER POWER EXISTS. They saw humanity’s future in a map to Earth! Up until that point the show had purposefully avoided siding on the faith or science thing. Doesn’t that proof count for anything? Shouldn’t that take absolute presidence? They saw evidence of GOD or GODS, for crying out loud… why wasn’t that now at the forefront, rigged election morals be damned?

When the Cylons showed up again in the sped up ‘One Year Later’ thingee – I didn’t even have time to adjust, build up any new bond with anyone or care about their plight – I kind of just wanted them to carpet bomb the whole fucking city and be done with it. These aren’t the characters I give a damn about anyways, these are their moustache-wearing, fatter, longer-haired stunt doubles playing a joke on me.

I’m torn. I want to watch Season 3 and see if it gets any better, but I’m irritated and feel yanked around for no reason as a viewer. I don’t want New Caprica crap and wasting episodes as people come together as a group of rebels and we see how they’ve evolved through throw away comments or how they’ve changed their clothes and hair. I wanted more immediacy, pay off of tension built up from plotlines that were previously in play and characters I give a damn about. Putting a couple key people on the Pegasus already bothered me a bit as we seemed to be diluting the whole concept of a show called Battlestar Galactica. It’s about that ship and those people. Call me close-minded but I liked them on the ship doing their thing and interacting with each other – military responsibilities mixed with human fears and desires chased by an enemy they don’t understand.

Now, I don’t really know what the show is. There’s no clarity of theme or character for me. I’m also less inclined to care.

If the same material would’ve played out over multiple episodes bit by bit I probably would’ve been disturbed by the changes but still on board and ready for what came next. Now I don’t feel like I can trust the writers to give it all a fair shake. Everything can turn 180 degrees for shock value instead of logical (but still surprising) story and character evolution. Why should I now care?


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