March 21, 2009: Hope Redeemed

This probably won’t be the last Battlestar Galactica-related post I’ll ever write, but it is the last one I’ll write in response to a new episode. My sister and I broke down and watched the series finale last night, instead of waiting for tonight, the traditional Saturday night.

My initial, exhausted response that it was perfect. Heart-bruising, but perfect. I’ve calmed down and slept and talked a bit, and now my reaction is a bit more tempered. I don’t think it was perfect. But I don’t think it could have been better. My fears were groundless; my wildest, unspoken, unacknowledged hopes were transcended. Most, but not all, of the questions were answered, and it seems right and fitting to me that this should be so. This was a show grounded — if that’s possible — in ambiguity and uncertainty, so how could it end with all the questions answered? Not all the mostly good (because no one was entirely good) were rewarded, but enough were; not all the bad (because no one was wholly bad) were punished, but enough were.

I think I’m going to be processing this story for a long time. For once in my life, the storytelling part of my brain glommed onto a story while it was being told and set out to learn from it. I’ve said before that I can feel BSG impacting my choices and possibilities; it seems to me as I continue to work on Dragonfly that this is only accelerating. I find myself thinking of ways to pull the rug out from under my characters, instead of trying to protect them from pain and travail.

That’s a huge change for me, and one that I think will make my job easier. Like Ronald Moore, David Eick and the rest of the people connected with BSG, I will strive not to do anything cheaply or for mere gimmickry, but to allow my characters to find out what they’re made of, and to fulfill their potential. By protecting my characters, I’ve deprived them of the opportunity to grow, but that stops now. Because of BSG.

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