deus ex machina

(IPA[ˈdeɪʌs ɛks ˈmakʰɪna] literally "god from the machine") A plot device in which a surprising or unexpected event occurs in a story's plot, often to resolve flaws or tie up loose ends in the narrative. Neoclassical literary criticism, from Corneille and John Dennis on, took it as a given that one mark of a bad play was the sudden invocation of extraordinary circumstance. Thus, the term "deus ex machina" has come to mean any inferior plot device that expeditiously solves the conflict of a narrative. See Battlestar Galactica.

Correct definition, but incorrectly applied! In BSG, the finale ending was telegraphed from the very beginning -- in fact, from the very first series in 1978! While the details were definitely new and surprising, overall it was a very expected ending, I believe. And an excellent one! I especially like the ambiguous definition of "God" (he doesn't like being called that!) at the very end...

Posted by david on 2009-03-22

Also see Dodgeball :-)

Posted by chris on 2009-03-27