Very big spoilers here for the last three episodes of season 2 of Battlestar Galactica. Non-spoiler summary: I loved them, and I've regained my faith in the show and the writers.
(I wrote most of this last week, staying up 'til 3 a.m. one night, but didn't quite manage to finish it that night, and didn't get a chance to come back to it 'til now.)
I admire (and very much appreciate) y'all's strength of will in not responding to my previous BSG entry by telling me all about the final episodes. And I hope I (inadvertently) provided you with some amusement by making the specific complaints I made.
Which is to say, Kam and I just watched the rest of the season. Zowie.
It was clear from "Downloaded" (the first episode we watched that night) that the writers were back on top of their game. All sorts of cool stuff, and I was totally flabbergasted (in a good way) by imaginary!Baltar. (Am I using descriptive !s correctly? Now I feel self-conscious about it. I think I'll switch to hyphens, which is what Galactica fandom seems to be using.) I loved the moment of Galactica-Sharon telling Caprica-Six that Baltar was still alive. (Though I'm skeptical about the idea that the point was to make her go crazy; that doesn't really make sense to me. In fact, I thought imaginary-Baltar was wrong or lying when he said the plan was to box Galactica-Sharon.)
I continued to feel that the writers were mistreating Roslin by making her come up with dumb and unmotivated plans; why would it be a danger to anyone for Caprica-Sharon to raise the kid? Wouldn't that give our heroes leverage on Caprica-Sharon? And wouldn't the baby be safer (and less of a potential threat) in military custody than being raised by a normal human who doesn't know what she is? And isn't it obvious that making her think her baby is dead is going to really upset Caprica-Sharon, and that upsetting the only Cylon who's ever helped them is a bad idea?
But the details of the plan turned out to be not quite as bad as I originally thought, and I was willing to forgive the flaws.
So then we have "Lay Down Your Burdens." Part 1 addressed my complaint about Starbuck not going back for Anders et alia as well as my complaint about nobody talking about looking for Earth any more. I thought things went a little astray during the sequence on Caprica (especially the part where they wait for 18 hours behind a wall and can't come up with any better plan than killing each other), but overall I liked this episode quite a bit.
And then along came part 2, which once again demonstrated the writers' ability to totally surprise me by taking the show in entirely unexpected directions, along with their ability to undergo extremely rapid changes of pacing/chronology. (If I had a transcript of a certain earlier episode handy, I would quote the line about Vipers experiencing heavy G-forces during combat. The audience has to be prepared for sudden massive acceleration on this show.)
I was briefly worried that Adama was going to agree to go along with the rigged election; I thought that decision would have been just barely justified, but I didn't see any way they could keep it secret, and my respect for the characters would've dropped considerably. So I was very glad they took the other path, even knowing that it probably led to disaster of some sort.
And the nuclear destruction of Cloud 9 was quite an opening salvo in that disaster. Yikes. I'm unclear on why exactly Gina did it; I thought, based on stuff at the end of the episode, that she was intentionally signalling the Cylons, but Kam suggests that Gina was just killing herself (as she'd previously said she wanted to do) in a particularly messy and destructive way.
And then: wow. As Abigail Nussbaum wrote in her "The Excitement Wears Off" entry at the end of March, the jump forward a year "was also a moment of incomparable neatness, the kind of gosh-wow-I-can't-fucking-believe-they-did-that twist that used to be a hallmark of the show's writing but seems, in the second season, to have faded away." Yeah. I disagree with a fair number of the specifics of her post, but there's a lot of good analysis there. Thanks much for the link, Ted! Even though reading that entry and others it links to were why I was up until 3 that night. :)
Another particularly interesting comment, from an earlier entry in that journal: "What distinguishes a human-form Cylon from a human? And why have none of the human characters asked any of these questions?" Yes yes yes. I have been wondering that a lot, every time someone refers to a skin job as being a "machine." In what sense, exactly, are they machines? That's an honest question; I don't know the answer. Caprica-Sharon has a data port embedded in her wrist, but presumably it's organic and undetectable. They appear to have blood and bones and internal organs. Starbuck claimed that they can shut off their pain receptors if they want to, but I don't know that we've seen any evidence of that. At least some of them are stronger than normal humans, but I don't know if all of them are. There's the nifty-but-creepy glowy-spine effect at (presumably) orgasm (which suggests a fun way for Baltar to create a Cylon detection system), but again that effect is presumably achieved without detectable mechanical parts. Anyway, I suspect this doesn't bear a lot of analysis, 'cause I suspect the writers haven't thought it through carefully, but I'd love to be wrong about that.
Okay, enough. Very much looking forward to season 3.