First off, thanks to the many people who joined our post-"Battlestar Galactica" finale chat last night. (And please come back Tuesday at 1 p.m. to chat with "BSG" writer Jane Espenson!) The lines of the night were:
"The show sent a clear message to me...I'm hugging my Roomba right now." - Dave
"The Sixes went off and populated what we now know as Sweden." - Kate
If you don't know what they were talking about, go back and watch the finale (and the series, please, if you haven't.) If you do, go past the jump for more thoughts, now that I've had a chance to sleep on the episode...
1) So I went to bed last night mulling over the concept of Hera as Mitochondrial Eve. She is the most recent common ancestor of all humans on the matrilineal side - not the only woman alive at her time.
but the only woman whose bloodline survived. There was some speculation in the chat about how long the 38,000 humans survived, and on the blog ALOTT5MA, one poster theorized that the Colonists and the natives might well have wiped each other out with disease - the same thing that nearly happened to British colonists and Native Americans. But I think it's more likely that the humans survived, planted the seeds of culture (did Tyrol invent golf?), and simply interbred. As one chatter pointed out,
"Hera is not the missing link. She happens to be the oldest half breed. We don't think the 38,000 people died. It's just that they and their descendants eventually bred with everyone else. Hera just happened to be the oldest being with mixed cylon/human DNA."
Someone with a better handle on genetics should step up and correct me if necessary, but this sounds reasonable to me. The point is that we all have a little Cylon in us, which is probably why we're so good at Wii.
2) Which brings us to Kara Thrace's role in bringing humanity "to its end." If we discount the disease-theory, the end could mean the end of its journey - a final destination. Or, possibly, the end of the cycle of violence, which was still left open-ended, given the dancing-robot montage in the end. As for her being a "harbinger of death," perhaps it was the death of pure Cylon society, as one of the chatters pointed out...
3) One of the chatters referenced an old post --linked to a blog by the Boston-writer-slash-political-communications-guy Seth Gitell --about a theory of the Final Five that was supposedly relayed to a serious fan by a drunken Ron Moore at a bar. I looked back and found it. Needless to say, it's wrong.
4) A lot of chatters demanded to know the story of Daniel, the missing Cylon, and the definitive answer to whether he's Starbuck's father. I was all for that theory until I saw that Alan Sepinwall, the TV critic at the Star-Ledger, posted the transcript of an interview with Ron Moore, in which Moore stated that he'd never intended Daniel to be Starbuck's daddy, and was surprised to see that viewers were tossing that theory around. I believe him, but I find it odd that the writers would toss out a concept as cataclysmic-sounding as a missing Cylon model and not expect viewers to consider that significant.
5) We didn't get a chance to chat much about the amazing CGI effects in the first-half of the finale, or the beautiful shots of Galactica buckling and breaking after her final jump. Or the fact that Michael Hogan finally got to do some acting with two eyes again. Or the poignancy of Boomer's last stand. There was a lot to love about this finale, especially before it turned into a National Geographic special. My biggest quibble -- and a lot of other peoples', I suspect -- was that religion seemed to be used as a crutch, a way to explain every plot point that seemed hard to reconcile. (In the same way, I thought Anders, in his bathtub state, represented a similar easy way out. Any logistical difficulty with the rescue plan could be taken care of if Sam just talked to the hybrids, whatever that meant.)
Still, this was two hours of television that focused on the characters we've come to love, and in that sense, "Battlestar Galactica" was quite true to itself. Flaws and all, I'm truly going to miss this show.