It's hard to believe that the theme of religion was not originally planned to be an anchoring thread in Battlestar Galactica's plot. It was a tangent that proved to be fruitful, evolved and eventually became the core of the show.
At a time when there's so little hope in the world and people seem more divided, more insular than ever, it's hard to remember there was a time not so long ago when two major television shows - LOST and BSG - both were grounded in the idea of a unifying force that subtly pushes us in the direction of finding each other.
Both LOST and BSG took pains to make their characters human - wounds were felt, actions had consequences and the choices made weren't always the right ones. These individuals carried deep wounds with them as they became estranged from where they began. Pursued by Others, they were forced into interdependence.
It's been six days and we're still waiting. Waiting for someone to come. But what if they don't? We have to stop waiting. We need to start figuring things out.
They'll never forgive you, Roslin warned Adama. Jacob was killed for the distance he kept.
Neither show gave easy answers, nor ended with narrative finality. Despite the presence felt by "God" or "gods" or some sublime inspiration or a divine force we can't know or understand in both cases, no One ever came to lead the people to the promise land.
What leadership there was emerged from within.
These leaders, folk like Jack and Kate, Adama and even Baltar faltered, stumbled and even fell - but they learned to rise again. Experience and hardship tested them, chiseled their resolve and transformed them from broken souls into conduits for their people in pursuit of something far beyond what they would be capable of on their own.
Both shows were about journeys - individual trajectories that became aligned and through that alignment, a bigger picture materializes.
Both shows were about cycles; what has happened before will happen again, but doesn't have to.
Most importantly, both shows carried a message as profound as it is ancient, as though it's hard-wired into our genome - evil is found where individuals stand opposed; grace is found when they come together. With time, all sides crossed the divide and became The Other, as one.
Brother Cavil: If that were true, and that's a big "if", how do I know this force has our best interests in Mind? How do you know that God is on your side, Doctor?
Baltar: I don't. God's not on anyone's side. God is a force of nature, beyond good and evil. Good and evil, we created those. You wanna break the cycle? Break the cycle of birth? Death? Rebirth? Destruction? Escape? Death?
So say we all.