Friday, August 8, 2008

Season in Review: Battlestar Galactica S4

Wow, that was... kinda bad, actually.

The most recent (abortive) season of "Battlestar Galactica" pretty much ends the duality I've complained about in the past, that tension between naturalistic science fiction and metaphysical theology. Unfortunately, the schism is resolved by sending the entire show into amorphous religious babble. It's as if the entire cast of characters has gone stark-raving mad, following prophecies and being moved by spirits or higher powers. In the past, these events always had a plausible alternate reason, but we've long since left that behind: so many events in S4 literally can't be explained outside divine intervention or something similarly mystical. And that's... really not what I'm looking for.

What's worse, character arcs either went nowhere or took some truly bizarre turns: Roslin goes on an extended power trip, Baltar turns into Jesus for no reason that I can determine, Starbuck turns into a shrieking, whining madwoman, Cally... well, the only thing I can think of is that Nicki Clyne pissed off someone rather powerful, because in the space of a single episode Cally goes from devoted mom and loving wife to suicidal pill-popper with paranoid (or not-so-paranoid) delusions. And don't even ask me to explain Tory. In fact, the whole Final Four (or Five, or Four, or Five...) arc was pretty much a waste because they don't do much of anything - we already had the "what it means to be a Cylon who wants to be human" scenario with Boomer/Athena (and, to a lesser extent, Caprica-Six). The Four didn't bring anything new to the table besides their "magical" connection to Earth. What-ever, show.

BSG's just about done at this point, so I'll probably see the last ten episodes through... but my expectations have fallen a great deal from where they were after the first season. Big disappointment overall.