A while back, I came across this quote from Ron Moore in an io9 spoiler roundup:
[The revelation of the identity of the final Cylon] will never be as powerful as the build-up. I resigned myself to that a long time ago. The "Who Shot JR" of it all is an instructive lesson: No matter who it is, it's still going to be a bit of a letdown.I considered saying something about this here at the time, but then decided that I'd already said my piece on the topic of the final Cylon. Having watched the premiere of season 4.2 (or whatever the hell we're calling it) and having had that identity revealed to me, I feel that my reaction at the time bears repeating. And it is: fuck you, asshole. How dare you make such pathetic excuses for your own incompetence? That's the kind of bullshit I expect from the writers of Lost, and even they've had the common decency to realize that that won't fly, and (by all accounts) to fix their show. Disappointment of the kind you're talking about isn't inevitable. It isn't a law of nature. It's a consequence of bad writing, and there's a very simple guideline to avoiding it: don't build up what you can't pay off. Either come up with a revelation that's worthy of the frenzy you've aroused in expectation of it, or don't orient your entire show towards it.
The ending of "Sometimes a Great Notion" wasn't disappointing because no ending could have satisfied viewers who have been waiting for months to find out who the final Cylon is. It was disappointing because it was badly done--not just the identity of the final Cylon, but the manner in which that identity was revealed, which was so muddled and confusing it actually took me a few seconds to realize what I was seeing. The word 'revelation' doesn't even seem appropriate to that mess of a scene, which is probably why the episode ended with a character literally standing up on screen to say 'look! X is the final Cylon!'
As for the rest of the episode? Eh. Like too many Battlestar Galactica episodes it was about twice as long as it needed to be and relied too heavily on histrionics to make its point. I'm also even further convinced in my pet theory that there are two kinds of women on Battlestar Galactica: the glamour girls, who are beautiful and messed up and allowed to get away with just about anything, and the ordinary girls, who are plain (well, TV plain) and competent and do boringly domestic things like be wives and mothers on top of doing their job, and somehow manage to handle all of these responsibilities with class, if only because they know that they're expected to act like adults, and that if they throw a tantrum there will actually negative consequences down the line. It's the second kind who keep dying, and not in grandly tragic ways that are ultimately rolled back, but in mundane, often grotesque or humiliating ways from which there is no return. Still, maybe this has nothing to do with men and women. The arc of Galactica's character work from day one has been to either get rid of or debase any character who tries to behave in a mature, responsible manner. It's a show full of emotional teenagers. Talk about your post-apocalyptic horror.