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Apr. 5th, 2009 (UTC)

I have to disagree a little here. The ending to BSG is not an example of deus ex machine. Far from it, actually.

While I do totally understand why people would've been disappointed by the BSG finale, from what people are saying, you'd think the idea that "God" - or whatever "it" was that was manipulating events - came out of nowhere just for this last episode, which is certainly not the case.

Like it or hate it, BSG had been building towards this ending for a long time. "Head Six" called herself an "angel of God" years ago. Both humans and Cylons happening to be in a star system at the exact moment it went supernova was long-discussed as very much being an "act of God" or a "miracle".

What I love about the ending is that "God" can be whatever you want it to be. It can be God as described in Christian mythology, it can be some personification of the universe itself, or it could even be an extraordinarily advanced alien race whose abilities appear "God-like" - sort of the reimagined versions of the Beings of Light from the original series.

One can certainly argue that they didn't like for BSG to go in this direction, but I believe it's somewhat disenginuis to have been at-all surprised by the "God did it" tone of the finale. At this point, it was, in many ways, the only logical answer. What other answer could there be for:

1. The previously mentioned Nova incident
2. How Starbuck - and even more importantly a DIRECT COPY of her ship - come back unscathed
3. The Head-Six and Head-Baltar characters
4. Hera knowing the things she knows
5. Starbuck knowing the things she knows
6. Human and Cylon characters sharing the same visions of the future

etc.

"Deus ex machina" to me has always implied something previously un-mentioned that shows up at the end of the day to save everyone, and I don't think you can claim the "God did it" answer to many of the big BSG questions came out of nowhere. The entire second-half of the series we were essentially being told "God is doing it." People may've held off hope that it was somethng else - something more "plausible" or "real" - but it certainly did not come out of nowhere.

There really is no solid "aliens did it" sort of answer that could've tied all these loose ends together and done so without ACTUALLY being a deus ex machina. If anyone can think of one, please let me know, because you have a far more creative mind than I do.

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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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