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since 1997 | by maryann johanson

‘Battlestar Galactica’ blogging: “Guess What’s Coming…”

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

(previous: “Faith”)

Wow. Just wow. This is the kind of episode that reminds you — as if you needed a reminder — why this is one of the best shows on TV, and why it’s must-viewing every week. How everyone is at crosspurposes and misunderstands everyone else even as they’re trying to find common ground: fantastic.
The Six talking to the Quorum has got to be one of the most thrilling scenes the show has ever come up with. I’ve been talking in comments about what the real differences are between humans and Cylons, and here’s Six seemingly echoing what I’ve been suggesting, that the only meaningful differences are matters of technology and philosophy — it’s not “organic” versus “machine.” It’s “one god” and the ability to resurrect that makes a skinjob a Cylon, and rejecting that — as, say, Athena, seems to have done — makes her pretty much indistinguishable from a human. And theoretically, a human could get implanted with the technology that allows for resurrection — and we see, with Baltar and his followers, that adopting the Cylon religion isn’t all that difficult. Now, here’s Six suggesting that the rebel Cylons have chosen to be a great deal more human by giving up the ability to resurrect. A human could become Cylonish, and a Cylon could become humanish, and plenty of people on both sides are already in the process of doing that.

But still, the Six is worried about the Final Five in a way that says she doesn’t realize any of this — she clearly thinks there must be something inherently Cylonish in the Five, because she thinks they could be holding back on revealing themselves while they judge whether the rebels are “worthy” enough. Six assumes the Final Five are simply aching to reveal themselves to the other Cylons — as if, how could they not be? — when we see, in scenes that are darkly funny, how terrified the Secret Four are of being outed. Even they know they’re Cylons, they still feel human. Even Tigh assumes it must have been one of the rebels Cylons who shot Gaeta: Tigh still automatically sides with the humans against the Cylons. (And how ironic is it, then, that it was one of the Secret Four, Sam, who shot Gaeta? Was that Sam being a Cylon, or Sam being a human and siding with Starbuck, whom he loves unreservedly? I think it’s the latter, of course, but it highlights how difficult it can be to unravel the motives of the Secret Four.)

“We’ve changed but the humans haven’t,” Six says to the other rebels, but the rebel Cylons have changed to become more human. Does she really expect the humans to change to become more Cylon? Maybe she does…

And then who kills the Six? Athena. A Cylon. Wow.

Random thoughts on “Guess What’s Coming…”:

• I love the score under this episode, toward the end, when Roslin and Baltar go to visit the hybrid on the base ship: it’s more plaintive and almost melancholy than the score usually is, the drums and the strings and the wordless vocalizing. Really beautiful.

• Tory has a “glow,” Roslin notices. From fucking Baltar? Ick.

• If Hera is drawing Six and saying bye-bye to Mommy, then she’s obviously sharing the opera house visions… which suggests that everyone who’s in those visions is having them. Including Baltar?

(next: “Sine Qua Non”)

(Watch full episodes and get recaps at Sci Fi’s official site for the show.)



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  • boz

    I should be getting credit :) here

    on a side note, colonials have technology to build cylons. And there is a shaky alliance with cylons. Gaeta would have a seemingly perfect artificial limb.

  • Jack

    All the Cylon stuff in this episode got me thinking… how were these new Cylons made? Did the Centurions group themselves up based on point of view and download themselves into new bodies, or are they completely separate?

    But two weeks from now looks good, Galactica leaving the fleet, Romo Lampkin returning…

  • Freevo

    You must be kidding with the artificial leg. First of all, this is not Star Trek or Star Wars, second, they could have done something to Tigh’s eye if they had any kind of technology like that. And as I recall, those kickass technologies which led to the creation of the cylons have been entirely banned after the first war.

  • Ryan

    I’m raising my concern level about Gaeta being the final Cylon.

    Also, we know at least four of the final five are with the fleet (and probably all five) but how could rebel six know this? They could assume SOME of the final five are with the fleet, due to the Raiders turning back…but anything more than that would seem to be a stretch.

    I know I was in the minority disliking her character in the first place; but this was the show where my faith in Roslin was finally restored. Her interaction with the Cylon visions seems to have restored her ability to listen to others (something did, anyway) so she is finally able to listen to Lee and distill his optimism into the first smart thing she’s done since season 2. Then, of course, she got together with Starbuck and got herself kidnapped by the Cylons…but hey, that’s about par for Starbuck originated ideas =)

  • boz

    @Freevo, If limb in question would be an arm or hand I would agree but we’re talking about a leg here and Gaeta still has his knee. Even our present technology is enough.

    @Ryan
    I am not sure if I can express this correctly but, cylons think 5 as a group not individual 5 cylons. Pretty much like first seven.

    On that account, now I have a nagging question in my mind. Who governs cylons? Do they have elections? Do they need elections? What we saw so far there are Old Centruions(now obsolete), Centruions, Raiders, Transporters, Hybrids, 7 of 12, 4 of 12. If skinjobs are produced after the first war, who controlled cylons then?

  • Every time they showed Gaeta and the camera lingered lovingly over his missing foot, I kept thinking “First, you show the gun on the mantle…”

    Might be a red herring of course, too, but it got me wondering if Cylons can regenerate lost limbs. Could you imagine the look of HORROR on Tigh’s face if he woke up one morning, and his eye was back? Hee. He might very well rip it out himself in the ten seconds following that look of horror. ;-)

  • Jason

    Jester, have you ever seen the show “Invasion”? There’s an episode that involves an amputee, a rebirth … and a chainsaw. It is unbelievable, in the best and worst ways.

    I don’t think that Cylons can regenerate, only download into fresh bodies. But that begs the question: is there a resurrection ship for the Final Five? If one of them were to “die,” how would we see it return?

    I hope hope hope that Natalie is not dead, not yet. She is the sexiest robot ever. (Why is it that the Six model in particular has so many disparate identities? We’ve seen a Shelly, a Gina, a “Caprica,” and now a Natalie, who is total badass. The Dorals, the Simons, the Cavils all have one name and personality.) Could Natalie be the dying leader? It’s Caprica, not Natalie in the visions, but in death, she may learn the truth of what it all means.

    There’s been plenty of “Oh, shit” moments already this season, but the captured BaseStar jumping into the fleet, and then jumping OUT of the fleet, with Roslin on board? Oh, shit.

  • MaryAnn

    If limb in question would be an arm or hand I would agree but we’re talking about a leg here and Gaeta still has his knee. Even our present technology is enough.

    Well, his leg would have to heal first, before there could be any thought of giving him an artificial limb.

    That said, the scene in which Gaeta’s leg is amputated made me think that their medical technology doesn’t even seem on a par with ours. Maybe it isn’t…

  • I suspect Baltar is sharing the visions as well — but he’s doing a hell of a job keeping it a secret.

  • greg

    Re: artificial prosthetic for Gaeta. I’m sure the humans had the technology and most certainly did back on original Caprica and other colonies, but I wouldn’t suspect they have various artificial limbs just stockpiled on Galactica, and even if they had some, they’d have to be constructed based on the situation. That sort of thing is outsourced to a medical device/prosthetics lab that uses detailed information about the particular injury and constructs one for that particular individual. I’m sure Galactica doesn’t have that ability considering their circumstance. Galactica probably has enough medical technology for some diseases, internal surgeries and healing limbs lost through battle, not actually replacement of limbs.

  • Ryan

    If the colonists were tech-savvy enough to create the original Centurions, one imagines they would have a fairly sophisticated prosthetics technology.

    However, I see no indication that the fleet would share that capability. I see crutches in Gaeta’s future. (Unless he is a Cylon)

  • StrangeAgent

    One question: Doesn’t really amount to a quibble (yet); just something that’s been niggling at the back of my brain. Why don’t the Cylons just “box” the rebels’ lines if they want them out of the way? Or is it that possibly if a Cylon is out of range of a resurrection ship, not only can they not be resurrected, they also can’t be boxed? And, really, it wouldn’t have bothered me terribly if Gaeta had just bled to death.

  • Spencer

    Wonderful episode; I’m trying now to just enjoy the series and not obsess/speculate as much on where it’s going (as fun as that is). I’ll still have some comments from time to time.

    My mind is just too frakked right now to think straight.

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