Battlestar Galactica Season 3
I was a massive fan of Battlestar when I first started following it. As you may recall, I was down and out for about a week due to a serious infection in one of my molars and the following rootcanal work, and during that week, in between squirming from the pain, I managed to take in the mini-series and most of first season. And I was hooked. Bad.
Generally speaking, season 2 also had me glued to the tube every week, and while not every episode was the next coming, it was still very very enjoyable. The mid-season cliffhanger with the Pegasus had me clawing at the walls for months; only to have the entire crisis blow over in the first five minutes of the follow-up episode.
Man. I was bummed.
And if I have to peg it, which I do, then that would be the point where BSG slowly started deteriorating for me. I loved seeing the Pegasus with the fleet, and the season finale for season 2 just blew me away in its balls-to-the-walls let’s-fuck-with-them’ness.
For a moment there, I figured the series had hit a new high.
Season 3 rolled around, and I thought it was pretty good, although everything seemed so damned rushed. Here they were, having pulled one hell of a stunt in settling the majority of the fleet on a new planet and then occupying it with cylon’s, and it was all over in 4 episodes! Sure, the repercussions of the occupation and the ensuing partisan fights and what not, would be felt for a while. But consider the places the series could be taken if we had followed their struggle on New Caprica for months. The distrust, paranoia, sacrifice and anguish!
I would have loved to see that. But, to be fair, we did get to see a capital ship ‘droppin’ like a rock’ in atmosphere, and that was worth several stand-alone episodes in my book. In fact, I’ll go so far as to call it one of the best moments on TV, ever.
But as season 3 unfolded, it slowly became more and more bleh. In fact, I’m having trouble recollecting a single episode since the beginning of the season; and I’ve seen them all… All those episodes onboard the Cylon baseships… Ehm… What were they about? I don’t know; I just don’t know.
And while it slowly started picking up near the end, it still suffers from a feeling of it not having been thought through from beginning till end. Ironic, since Lost is the series most often accused of being on a wild goose hunt.
Now Ron Moore admits as much in an excellent interview over at Salon, and I can only hope that it will drive their decisions in planning out season 4.
According to Moore, season 4 might very well be their last season, which honestly would be perfect in my book. If only they can pick up the tightness of the first season and start asking some serious questions of themselves. I mean; if you’ve seen the last episode, you’ll remember Lee’s speech in the courtroom. Now, was it just me, or did it seem like they had not asked those questions all season, just so they could ask them in the final episode?
I had personally been screaming questions at the screen. Why isn’t Baltar brought to the stand? Why aren’t they asking the Six about Baltar? Why does Rosalind think the cross-breed baby is ‘the future’? What does she base that rather vague sound bite on? Why isn’t Baltar eager to build another cylon-detector he can use on himself? And on and on.
In reality, BSG leaves behind more questions than Lost, which is quite a feat.
The finale though, of season 3, was pretty good overall. As with most other mini-arcs, its parts came into being a bit too fast for them to be believable (let me see, we need an unknown mysterious lawyer whom nobody bothers doing a background check on. We need to figure out whom of the fleet are cylons (if that is the case; in which case I’m disappointed). For optimal conflict and cliffhanger’ness, we need to turn Lee, Rosalind and Admiral Adama against each other. And we need to honor or promise of Starbuck being ‘special’ in some manner, so she ‘unexpectedly’ returns from the dead).
It was played out well enough; but it was predictable and a tad boring compared to, say, landing on New Caprica…
Now I’m no expert in writing and executing TV shows, having done… ehm… none; but if season 4 is to be the last, I hope they pull all their resources together and really knock it out of the park. Plan out the entire season, find the highs and lows, and leave stand-alone episodes on the cutting room floor.
The cast is amazing, the premise is fantastic and even with the low of season 3, it would still leave a serious dent in TV series for years to come.
I’ll be holding my breath for January, 2008.
PS: “And they have a plan”... Maybe season 4 could be about that? Because so far the cylons seem as lost as, if not more than, everyone else.