Spoilers ho for the series finale of Battlestar Galactica.
It's hard to know where to begin. There were so many disappointing reveals and moments of lazy writing in the finale, it was as if the producers, much like the ragtag fleet itself, was just exhausted and wanted the long journey to be over.
- Anders can just be put in a water bath and "plugged in", and suddenly he's a hybrid, and can "confuse the hybrids" and get them to shut down the defenses? How very Locutus of Borg. "Sleep... Data..." What the hell are the hybrids, anyway?
- We never really found out what Starbuck was. A ghost? A spirit? Makes no sense-- they ran tests on her when she got back, so she was flesh and blood. And yet, when her "journey" was over, she just vanishes. Gone. And Lee doesn't blink.
- Baltar and Caprica have been seeing ANGELS all this time? Angels that manipulate them in petty ways, with no obvious goal? Angels that did whatever the writers wanted them to do because they didn't have an endgame in mind at the time? Bah.
- The dream of the opera house was about various people protecting Hera during the battle on the Galactica? Why did that need to foreshadowed to those people years in advance? It made no sense.
- Speaking of no sense... Cavil agrees to give up Hera in exchange for Resurrection. I buy that. But when things go a little weird during the transfer of data, the Cylons freak out and start shooting everyone without being provoked. And then, in the midst of all this... Cavil kills himself. What?!
- They'd already established that Ellen knew the secret to Resurrection, back when Cavil held her captive. So the Final Five needing to join minds in order to transfer that data made no sense. On top of that, it was just a deus ex machina for a) finally revealing to Galen that Tory had killed Cally, and b) getting the Cylons to freak out and essentially self-destruct.
- Speaking of deus ex machina-- with a pilot actively navigating, a rock still flies through the canopy of a raptor and kills everyone. Yet that raptor-- now without a pilot to dodge incoming rocks or missiles-- manages to remain intact within that same debris field during a space battle, only to get nudged by a random impact so that it's facing the station when the dead pilot's arm falls on the exposed, unprotected, glowing FIRE button. Completely unnecessary and breaking credulity.
- No surprise that the mysterious notes deliver the fleet to our Earth, but what a cheat that the "Earth" we saw earlier wasn't the one we're living on. They more or less telegraphed it earlier in the season by never showing an establishing shot of the planet where our continents were visible, but it still felt cheap.
- We STILL don't know why Hera matters. They wound up on a planet full of primitive humans-- plenty of breeding stock. What's the big deal about Hera?
I wish more television writers would look to J. Michael Straczynski as a model for how to do long-form television with a roadmap. He planned Babylon 5 as a 5-year story, knowing the broad strokes of where all the characters and plotlines were headed before the first episode was written. The result was a series that thundered to a satisfying close with payoffs that made sense and felt natural. I suppose there's little incentive for television writers to go that route. It doesn't matter if the conclusion fails to satisfy, as long as they brought enough eyeballs along for the ride. TV writers are snake-oil salesmen, and we keep buying.