Writing a host of reviews of bad shows you don’t like requires a certain amount of creativity. How do you moan, complain, and whine without sounding like you’re moaning, complaining, and whining?
With GINO, the simplest way to do that was to highlight the absurdity of the series’ central claim, reiterated at the beginning of the first two seasons’ spate of episodes:
They have a plan…
Over at the SciFi.com bulletin board, my avatar has a graphic that reads, “The Cylon Plan Explained: 1. Blow everything up. 2. Breed with the radioactive leftovers. 3. Make them love you and/or steal their ovaries. 4. Admit you made a mistake. 5. Find Earth. Repeat.”
It was such an easy target. With each episode, it became clear that there was no plan, either for the Cylons or the series. The sense of betrayal among hardcore GINOids is widespread, due to the fact that many still believed until the final turd floated across their screens earlier this year. But many held out hope that The Plan, Jane Espensen’s attempt to retcon coherence onto the manifestly slipshod series, would somehow redeem the abject failure of the finale, whose smell still lingers.
You be the judge.
Here’s the Cylon plan explained:
Step 1. Kill everybody.
That’s it. One stop shop. Kill, kill, kill. My plan is far more complex – and interesting, too. Why didn’t they hire me? Jerks.
Everyone who enjoyed this show – and even those of us who didn’t – expected much, much more. We all imagined wild, Machiavellian behind-the-scenes schemes that would make sense out of nonsense. Because if The Plan of the GINO Cylons was identical to that of the TOS Cylons – KILL EVERYONE! – then you have to account for the Cylons’ complete incompetence in fulfilling the plan.
And that’s what this show is about – Cylon incompetence.
Two separate Quantum Leap Cylons spend two hours showing up between clips of old episodes whining about how inept their footsoldiers are. The goal was to kill all humans, and the footage showing the destruction of the Colonies showed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of basestars in a truly eye-popping effects sequence showing the assault on the colonies. Apparently, only a couple of those bastestars could ever be bothered to be deployed against the fleet at any given time. But not to worry: a handful of slutty, conflicted Cylons are in the fleet, and each botches their jobs worse than the one before.
The Plan is a retcon, all right: it retcons the Cylons as unmasked Imperial Stormtroopers incapable of shooting in a straight line.
The Plan also answers questions that no one was asking. How did the Cylon 6/Shelley Godfry get off Galactica in Season 1? Well, in the original episode, it was mysterious and evocative that she disappeared just as Baltar’s in-head #6 reappeared. The two seemed mystically linked, and it implied there was a grand scheme at work.
With The Plan, we already know that Shelley Godfry had nothing to do with the in-head Six, so we discover that she escaped by being shoved out of an airlock by Quantum Leap Guy while a different Six ran up ahead in a bleached wig.
Neat. (Is this a revelation to anyone?)
We learn nothing of substance, and close to 50% of this show is old footage. We do see some topless waitresses, though. THAT’S something they clearly wanted to show on broadcast television but couldn’t. I’d rather have had consistency instead of porn, but I’m just an old prude that way.
I didn’t think it possible, but this movie actually makes GINO even less appealing, less interesting, and less lamented.
Rest in peace, GINO. Or not. Just rest. Rest forever.