There are only two categories of people who should read this entry: those who have already seen the season finale of Battlestar Galactica, and those who never plan to do so. If you're thinking that maybe someday you might watch this series that critics everywhere have been lauding to the skies even though it's based on a campy 70's science fiction show, read no further.
As for the rest of you... Baltar's acquittal was inevitable, but the manner in which it happened, with a grandstanding play by the defense that should never have been allowed, felt like a cop out despite the drama it created. But that's not what anyone's going to be talking about.
They telegraphed Tigh and Anders last week, so that was no surprise. But when Tyrol started hearing the music, I actually cried out, "Oh no, not him too!" Tory is pretty much a non-entity-- she's a minor character who's obviously getting elevated to the big leagues next season. But it is rather interesting that together they comprise the former leadership of the Resistance on New Caprica.
The revelations open up a mountain of questions. Do Cylons grow and age? Tigh and Adama have known each other forever, so just how long have the skin-jobs been around? The other Cylons-- the models we've known about all along-- don't know who the final five are (and, for that matter, the fifth is still a mystery even to us), so who created them? Why have they been living as humans all this time, unaware they were Cylons? How will the other Cylons react when they're revealed? And hey, doesn't that make Cally and Tyrol's child a hybrid like Hera? How has THAT not been detected?
As for Roslin, either she's the last Cylon-- which would be both too pat and too inconsistent-- or the transfusion of Hera's blood created a connection to the Cylon subconscious. That creates some interesting implications, and I hope the writers have the characters realize this and act on it (specifically, inject some more people with Hera's blood and try to gain further insights into what the Cylons are about).
In a way, I was disappointed to see Starbuck show up at the end. I never truly believed she was gone-- all that talk about a destiny made that improbable-- but because it seemed so obvious, I hoped I was wrong. Her Deus Ex Machina return feels neither clever nor unexpected, and I hoped for better. And they'd best have one hell of an explanation for how she survived the explosion of her viper (or did she? Her ship wasn't playing well with Draedus, and she had a kind of glow about her). I don't buy the notion that she's the fifth Cylon-- not after they spent an entire episode on flashbacks of her childhood.
I will give the writers props, however, for violating one of the cardinal rules of series television. When you have a show whose premise is "Survivors of a spacefaring human civilization search for Earth," you're not supposed to have them actually find it. It looks like they're reinventing the show next season, and that raises all sorts of interesting questions. How would a modern Earth react to the arrival of a) an advanced, spacefaring culture? b) an advanced, spacefaring culture that desperately seeks asylum and help, and c) an advanced, spacefaring culture that desperately seeks asylum and help and leads a bloodthirsty, lethal race of artifical life forms bent on humanity's destruction to their doorstep? How will the Cylons react to finding Earth? What's Hera's and Baltar's role in all of this? Is the show leading to a conclusion where Cylons and humans coexist in peace? Will the final Cylon turn out to be someone on Earth (in which case the writers have some 'splainin' to do), Baltar (thus explaining his visions of Six, and hers of him), or a minor flying-under-the-radar character like Doc Cottle?
Alin Sepinwall has a nice blog entry about the finale, including a delightful theory about how everyone in the series is really a Cylon. He also raises an interesting question about how four characters could all know "All Along the Watchtower" as a song from their childhood. Is everything really inverted? Instead of Earth being the lost thirteen colony, a splinter group broken off from this spacefaring civilization long ago, were the twelve colonies really a diaspora of our descendants? Is the show actually set far in the future? Are they coming to Earth to discover a planet destroyed by an ancient human/AI conflict? The Cylons have been saying that everything that's happening has happened before...
Whatever Ron Moore's planning, it will undoubtedly bear as little resemblance to Galactica 1980 as this show does to its forebear. Which can only be a good thing. But... 2008? Frak!