After another long hiatus, Battlestar Galactica will be returning to TV for its last half-season on January 16th. 10 episodes (of varying length) remain, as well as a TV-movie called The Plan, which is set immediately following the Cylon attacks on the 12 colonies.
In this remaining narrative space, there are a lot of loose ends to tie up. The first section of Season 4 had already adopted an elegiac tone, trying together threads, ‘resolving’ character arcs (of course, resolution in Battlestar often comes at the end of a barrel or at the opening of a airlock).
We’ve still got one last Cylon to reveal, a Cylon civil war to finish up, and in my viewing, the most important task is to create an ending which will cause the series to resonate with one of its catch-phrases — All of this has happened before, all of this will happen again. The show’s coda needs to suggest a teleology that will either lead to a re-playing of its story, or prove itself as the repetition that breaks the cycle.
Just as at the end of Season Three we got to see Earth, at the end of Season 4.0 we got to see the home of the 13th tribe from the ground level, ruins and all. The Season 4.0 finale seems to make the Flying Motorcycle ending less likely, but we shall see. The truce between Humans and Cylons is an uneasy one, and I’m sure things will get much worse before they get better, if they do. I’d feel cheated if the show didn’t end with some kind of equilibrium for the humans, whose entire arc has been about finding Earth and completing their Exodus. New Caprica was an interruption,
The progress of Ron Moore’s prequel project Caprica means that the Battlestarverse may continue on past the series proper, but I’ll be much happier with the series if it has its own proper ending.
I feel comfortable in calling Battlestar Galactica the iconic Bush Era Science Fiction series (at least, of those produced during his presidency). It’s fitting that Battlestar will be ending before we get too far into Obama’s tenure as president, as the show is very distinctly a response to the 9/11 political landscape and the Bush administration. Obama will still of course be dealing with a post-9/11 world, but it makes me wonder what the great Science Fiction epic of his presidency will be.