Big, big, big "Battlestar Galactica" spoilers coming right up. (And a note to folks who haven't seen the episode already and are looking at this on their RSS readers and therefore see the whole entry at once, just stop reading right now. Seriously. You'll be much happier that way. I promise. Look away now. Please. Got that?)
Whoa. I'm not sure which is more stunning: that they killed her, or that they did it in what seems like a completely pointless way.
She didn't go down buying time for some civilian ship trying to get its jump drive on-line to escape the Cylons, wasn't executed for going past insubordination and right into treason, didn't stand on the edge of an erupting volcano with her hands wrapped around Leoben's throat (or Tigh's) and his hands around hers. She died because she had a religious vision at the wrong place and the wrong time. Hell, Kat had a better death. With a lot of characters, I would be fine with the notion of an unglamorous, stupid demise, but they've built Kara up for so much more than that.
Maybe it has more weight if you care about the mystical/spiritual side of the show, and therefore you assume that Non-Leoben is going to take her on some great voyage of discovery with much cosmic significance. (Even so, this really doesn't feel like it lived up to Leoben's boasts about Kara's great destiny.) I'll grant that there's been enough evidence over the seasons that there are forces at work beyond human understanding, but that's not what I watch "Galactica" for. I watch for the politics, and the military drama, and the character studies, and all of the ways in which the show goes against the skiffy grain, so to have the final fate of one of the show's most fascinating characters tied into one of my least favorite parts of the show is damned frustrating.
After her great arc as Leoben's prisoner/plaything on New Caprica, the show pretty much forgot about Kara (the quadrangle aside, and the less said about that, the better). When I saw the previews for "Maelstrom," I was excited that Moore and company had realized how much they were wasting one of their best assets. Instead, it feels like they ran out of ideas for her and decided having her blow up mid-hallucination would solve everything.
Now, I write all this having not watched the season's final three episodes (though I have a screener of them), without having listened to Moore's podcast, without having checked spoiler boards or anything else. So for all I know, Kara's going to turn up alive and well as the season-ending cliffhanger, or Baltar's trial is going to be intercut with Kara hanging around a ghost version of Galactica with Kat, Duck, Jammer and Socinus, "Grey's Anatomy"-style, or Tigh's going to wake up in the next episode acting strangely like Starbuck (would anyone notice the difference?), or Moore has something else brilliant up his sleeve, in which case I'm more than willing to revise my opinion.
But based solely on "Malestrom," I'm puzzled and not that pleased right now.
What did everybody else think?