Battlestar Galactica, which will begin its fourth season in March, has long been one of my wife and my favorite shows. I absolutely loved the first season (see here for why), and the second was also excellent, but I was not so sure about the third season. Like the first two, it continued to force its characters into uncomfortable moral quandaries and beg its viewers to decide for themselves whether the right choices have been made. It also continued to weave together intriguing storylines, leading up to a fantastic season finale (e.g. I loved the whole music-Cylons subplot; if you’ve seen the show, you know what I mean). Even so, at times the episodes weren’t as exciting as I had come to expect, and I felt like some of the theological undercurrents had disappeared.
In an excellent pair of posts at Church of the Masses, here and here (spoiler warning!), Catholic screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi provides some engaging discussion of these issues. She admits that she also found herself disappointed with the third season, but upon second viewing she realized that the problem wasn’t the show itself, which was as brilliant as ever. Rather, she had allowed herself to look for a Cinderella/soap-opera kind of story, in a show that admirably refuses to provide one. Looking deeper, Nicolosi points out an impressive theological trajectory to the season’s central plot-line (centering on Kara and Lee). Perhaps I’m not as bright as she is, but the “obvious bunch of connections” she describes were anything but obvious to me. Fascinating!