Tuned In

BSGwatch: The Road to the Final Five

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SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched Battlestar Galactica yet, stop. I will not talk falsely now; the hour is getting late.

SCI FI Channel Photo: Carole Segal

So that was kind of a big one, yes? The makers of BSG had promised that the end of this season would be shocking and would entirely change the direction of the show, which on the one hand is true and on the other hand not at all so. Certainly turning four characters into Cylons and bringing Earth into our sights is a big deal. On the other hand–a change in direction? Most of the season has focused on getting ever closer to Earth and to the revelation of the Final Five, so maybe the bigger shock would have been if none of it had happened. And didn’t you start suspecting the Cylon reveal once Tigh, Anders, Tyrol and Foster started picking up those signals from what, apparently, was Bob Dylan’s XM show? (Also, seriously: who thought Kara was dead, like totally, never-appearing-on-the-show-again dead? Did you think Grey’s Anatomy was going to kill off Meredith, too?)

I have to give the producers credit for going for the bold ending, in a way that courted risibility, and often got it. I mean, I’m sorry, when you have a character look at herself in the mirror and seriously intone “I can’t get no relief,” that’s going to be hilarious even if the destruction of the human race is at stake. But I’ll still be eagerly looking forward to season 4, and I’m sure plenty of BSG fans will spend the rest of the year anxiously parsing “All Along the Watchtower”‘s lyrics.

Does the use of the Dylan song mean, incidentally, that if the fleet locates Earth, it will definitely be in the modern era? I still have hopes of them landing during the Dark Ages, or finding some future postapocalyptic planet ruled by the cockroaches. I have a hard time seeing how the characters of BSG encountering, real, identifiable, modern-day Earth won’t be unbelievably silly, but the writers are tied to this course, and good for them for sticking with it. If they want to go entirely old-school, it’ll be 1980 when the fleet arrives. And how many Cylons will they bring with them?

Of course it’s worth noting that while Tigh, Anders, Foster and Tyrol all assumed that they must be Cylons, we don’t actually know that as fact. If they are, though, there remains one member of the Cylon Final Five unaccounted for.

Which leaves–Bob Dylan! So that’s why he was always so hard to understand.