How well that title applies, not only to Battlestar Galactica’s characters, but also its creators, here able to put two season's worth of festering interpersonal issues through a brief period of respite.
There were moments throughout season two where I thought that moving from 13 episodes to 20 had put a real strain on quality control. There were a couple of episodes that were not as strong as they ought to have been, and one that was utter shite.
I think the reason for the lack of focus is that the second half of the season was too heavily loaded with stories. Every single second and third tier character seemed to have their own crises demanding screentime, and the show wasn’t always very efficient at doling it out. There have been too many notes, as it were, and not enough time to play them all - hence the two part Resurrection Ship (which at least saved us from a clip show), important developments taking place off-screen, large time-spans between episodes, cut scenes playing in the previouslies, apparently dropped storylines, and extra long finale.
However, the last three weeks have been BSG at its best, and Friday's audacious final act reminded me exactly why I watch this show. Its creators are fearless. Sometimes they over-extend, but when they hit the mark, it is thrilling.
The direction taken at the end of Lay Down Your Burdens pt 2 was bold, economical, and absolutely necessary to close certain arcs, move characters out of the ruts the show had put them in (and dig them some new ones), and provide new opportunities for season three. It wasn’t an out-of-the-blue, jump the shark moment; the way was paved thoroughly and logically. In a sense it was almost inevitable. I haven’t been so thrilled by a development since Crichton got cloned. Maybe when The Wire opened its second season with a completely different cast, or Angel got the keys to Wolfram and Hart. Whatever, it’s a bravura move.
But it's pushed fans out of their safety zone, and god bless 'em, but they don't like it. Dicks. Any and all shows have a duty to keep bringing in new viewers. Battlestar Galactica has been developing a hell of a rep, and if it's going to have a chance of "breaking out," it has to be able to rest up and refresh, to offer a jumping on point for newbies. Despite all their whining, the "betrayed" fans will be tuning in come October, but hopefully so will viewers of The Sopranos, The Shield and The Wire, wanting to know what the fuss is about. And that’ll be a pretty major triumph for a remake of a tacky seventies sci-fi series.
Category: Movies and TV