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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

‘Battlestar Galactica’ blogging: “Six of One”

(lots of spoilers! assumes you’ve seen the episode!)

(previous: “He That Believeth in Me”)

So I’m watching Battlestar Galactica last night, and my Sci Fi Friday pal Bonnie asks me, about halfway through the episode, how I think it’s all gonna end: who’s the other secret Cylon, what’s the deal with Earth, etc.

And all I could say was, “I have no frakkin’ idea.” Every episode of this show just leaves me further flummoxed… and, it must be said, further intrigued. All this mystical mumbo jumbo about Earth from Starbuck? All the mystical mumbo jumbo about transformation from the Cylon hybrid in the tank? The president’s aim being deflected when she shot at Starbuck? A “divine plan” in the Cylons’ design? I’m with Admiral Atheist on all this: I don’t think I can say the word miracle.
And geez, if anything’s gonna put ya off religion, it’s gotta be Gaius Baltar, right? Ugh, he’s so unctuous and oily with his “disciples” — how can they not see that? Poor Tory, having to endure him oozing all over her. Gross. (It would be enough to make ya feel bad for a Cylon, if the Cylons weren’t already frequently more sympathetic than the humans.) James Callis is hilarious, though, and even more so now that he’s seeing an imaginary, superfastidious and even more supercilious Gaius — imaginary Six in disguise? the beginnings of his sleeper-Cylon programming turning itself on? holy crap: what?! And just what kind of insanity would make him say something like “Oh my giddy aunt” anyway?

So: Civil war among the Cylons. Interesting. They’re arguing over whether they’re even allowed to argue over the Final Five. They’re lobotomizing Raiders. They’re no longer even sticking together with their own models — if one of them can defect, who’s to say others won’t do the same in the future? (Boomer dancing? Oddly enough, that reminded me of the Terminator Cameron doing ballet in The Sarah Connor Chronicles.) I bet half of the models don’t even make it to Earth. Oh, hey, I just realized that there’s something I think will happen in the end: at least some of the Cylons will arrive at Earth with the humans, and will have to come to some sort of way to coexist. Unless whichever Cylons are left after their civil war destroy all the humans and, what? Six and Leoben turn out to be Adam and Eve? Wouldn’t that be interesting…

No, I doubt that will happen. I think the differences between Cylon and human will be erased — it’s already happening with the hybrid children. Maybe we won’t ever learn who the final secret Cylon is because it won’t matter. Being a Cylon will be a matter of philosophy, not biology. Ich bein ein Cylon.

Or maybe Starbuck is the final Cylon, not matter that the Four don’t think she is because she hasn’t sought them out the way they sought out one another. Maybe there was a divine — or at least a very, very old — plan involved in the Cylons’ creation. Because if Kara is a Cylon, and she feels as if she’s “been there [to Earth] before,” if she feels “like I’d never left”… well. Maybe we, the people of Earth in the here and now, are the Cylons, and we seeded the Twelve Colonies with created humans, who in turn re-created their masters when they made the Cylons.

It’s so crazy, and so pseudoreligious, that it might actually be true.

(next: “The Ties That Bind”)

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  • Great episode last night. Let’s hope they just keep getting better and better.

    Kara’s feeling that seeing Earth was “like I’d never left” has me about 99% convinced that this story is taking place in the far future. Despite whatever time humans might spend out among the stars, even after hundreds or thousands of generations, it’s a fact that we evolved here, and our genotype and phenotype both reflect this. Seeing, or stepping onto, Earth after a long absence, the human body would understand at a genetic level that “This is where I am from, where I belong.”

    Assuming this is true, then the question for me becomes: What, if anything, is there to be found on Earth? Humans evolved to near-godhood? Humans who have found a way to become immortal by moving their minds into mechanical constructs? A note for Our Heroes saying “We’ve left for higher dimensions. Feel free to take over the place.”?

    And assuming that Starbuck and company actually map the route to Earth, will they be able to make it back to the Fleet and convince them that it’s not a trap? What if they find Earth and realize that the Cylons cannot possibly be allowed to find it, and that the Fleet must be allowed to keep fleeing away from Earth until it finally succumbs to the harshness of space and the Cylons?

    Right now I really hate that this story isn’t actually going to get finished until 2009.

  • I have to start watching this show, I have heard nothing but great things.

  • Oh, almost forgot: The second half of that title would be “Half a Dozen of the Other”.

    And if I found myself looking at myself and that self talking to me, I think I might say “Oh, my giddy aunt”, too.

  • MaryAnn

    What, if anything, is there to be found on Earth? Humans evolved to near-godhood?

    I think that if they get to Earth and it’s in our future, then they will not find any humans left, and not because they’ve all downloaded their brains into computers or ascended like Daniel Jackson or anything. I think — speaking from the perspective of a dramatically satisfying story — they’d have to find the ruins of our civilization (perhaps the original colonists were escaping whatever global disaster eventually took us out), and, at best, any descendants of survivors having reverted to preindustrial (maybe waaay preindustrial, like Bronze Age) culture.

    On the other hand, Earth humans could have ascended to godhood, and perhaps they are who appear to be guiding the colonials to Earth. But I still don’t think the Earth humans would do that if they were actually occupying Earth. Maybe the god-humans want to repopulate the planet with still-corporeal humans…

  • Rosalind

    I keep wondering about Anders. If the cylon “plan” involves having the final five activated within the human fleet -perhaps that is why Starbuck was so attracted to Anders that she had to return to Caprica to rescue him. (That would also make Starbuck the fifth sleeper cylon.)

  • Ryan

    I do believe the colonists will find a ‘future earth’ but I also believe that human society will be fractured/post-apocalyptic/etc. HOWEVER I think it’s important to ask ourselves about the societal development of the colonies…why do they worship the old Greek/Roman religion? What’s the deal with the very striking differences between the separate colonies? It sounds like the Earth these people left is quite dissimilar to the one we know.

    (Another, obvious, metaphor is the original 13 colonies that formed America fleeing the British Empire–could there have been a huge human empire persecuting certain people, forcing the colonists to flee? That would explain at least the religious emphasis.)

    As far as chip-Baltar/chip-six…I’m now feeling fairly confident that those avatars are the responsibility of a final cylon, who has some unfathomable powers. Will be curious to see how they play that out. (We know some Cylons have prognostication type abilities…see the base-star ‘pilots’)

    I’m looking forward to seeing what Lee Adama and Zarek get up to.

  • Ryan, I think it’s pretty likely that Lee will end up succeeding Roslin as President when she pulls a Moses-at-Canaan and succumbs to her cancer right when the Fleet reaches Earth… she will see Earth but never reach it herself. Lee’s got that whole JFK thing (war hero, savior of the Fleet, came to Baltar’s rescue so you know he’s centrist) working for him, and you could really say that he’s the perfect “hybrid” of military and civilian government.

  • Ryan

    Perhaps, certainly Lee has the resources to deal with both the military and the civilian aspects of the fleet, although I’d pay good money to see the first time he has to give his father an order as president.

    His character is often portrayed as somewhat naieve and idealistic, however, and Zarek is one of the most manipulative and unscrupulous characters in the fleet. I would guess that there are some who may be unwilling to let Roslin be the Moses figure…especially if she turns out, as I suspect, not to be the ‘dying leader.’ Certainly her claim to the presidency feels tenuous to me, and her first aide being an unstable Cylon doesn’t fill me with confidence…

  • Laura

    Wow!!! Lots of interesting theories here! I have some questions and theories as well. OK, Who is number 7? If Sharon/Boomer/Athena is number 8, then who’s number 7 and why are the numbers out of order??? Also, I think Lee may just be the final Cylon. The 4 newest, and most of the others(at least the higher numbers) seem to be very “humane” if you will. Very concerned with the fate of the humans, and very emotional as well. Much more than the humans are. Lee is poised to take on a high position in Government, and they seem all to be in relatively high positions of authority in their respective fields. XO of Galactica, righthand to the Pres., Chief of the knuckledraggers, and the leader of the resistance. Why not the new president of the colonies to round out the group? Plus, Kara is obviously attracted to cylons, and she’s really attracted to Lee. Maybe she has to breed w/a cylon. Maybe she’s done it before. Oh, and his name is ADAMa. Maybe he’s Adam???? Oh gosh, they really mess with my head. I love this show. I do not want to wait until 2009 either. I hate having to wish my own life away just to get closure on the best show ever. You know they are going to leave us OH SO hanging too. Dirty dogs!!!!!

  • Ryan

    Well, we know the Cylons are monotheists, as opposed to the colonists…and in most monotheistic religions, the number 7 has a special significance…the number of days it supposedly took God to create the world for example. That’s my only theory on that. My guess is the Cylons we know right now are 1-6 (not with the fleet, except Roslin’s prisoner) and 8-12 (with the fleet, except the majority of the 8s)

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