SPOILER ALERT -- I'll be discussing the plot twists of the season finale so stop reading if you haven't watched yet. This was a very problematic season of BG for me. A show that just got better and better from its miniseries through seasons one and two suddenly hit a wall in season three. Many episodes felt like simply treading water. The massive upheaval in the plot -- having them colonize a planet they thought was safe and then being taken over by the Cylons -- was dismissed in just a handful of episodes. That situation was ripe with parallels to Iraq, not to mention fascinating and involving. I hate it when shows change EVERYTHING and then dump it all after a few shows and go back to where they were before. Sure, there have been repercussions throughout the season, but not enough to justify throwing such a big changeup and then dropping it just as quickly. I will always regret they didn't spend the entire season on that planet with a resistance and collaborators, etc. It was fertile material. Even worse, suddenly everyone was in a relationship we KNEW wouldn't last (especially Starbuck and Apollo's marriages) that were annoying and a waste of time. I felt like I was watching a soap instead of the smart sci-fi series I had been. Then Starbuck was "killed off" with just a few episodes to go in a manner that made clear she would be back one way or another. Everyone I'm sure expected the final moment of the season to be something like a shot of Starbuck coming out of the birthing goo and realizing she was a Cylon. Instead, in a really enjoyable twist, they outed FOUR main characters as Cylons. (The Dylan song was a truly bizarre touch worthy of "St. Elsewhere." And while the lyrics are wildly impressionistic and vague, they don't seem to relate to being a Cylon in any way shape or form. So why THAT song?) And when Starbuck did return it was in a vaguely uncertain manner that left us not sure what to think. So from a show that was at its best the finest show on TV, I'd have to seriously downgrade this season. But if they explore the many possibilities opened up by the four new Cylons (and it doesn't help that Roslin's asst is simply not a good actress, albeit quite pretty), there's hope they can turn things around. One thing to watch for (in 2008, no less) is how quickly they get Apollo back in uniform. I'm really bored by Adama either yelling at his son or blubbering at him in a sentimental outburst. Their relationship isn't growing; it's just switching back and forth at random. Interestingly, SciFi suddenly re-upped the show for an entire season of 22 episodes after first ordering only 13 episodes. If that means SciFi wants to tout Season Four as the final one, then I hope they do so soon so the writers can prepare a fitting conclusion.
NOTE: In my bid to not blog so much, I haven't been reading so much online. I see that John Aravosis at Americablog was also deeply disappointed in this season.
NOTE: And here's a good post-season finale chat with Roslin, Adama and creator Ron Moore.