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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

‘Battlestar Galactica’ blogging: “Revelations”

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

(previous: “The Hub”)

So. Earth.

I’m sure it wasn’t only me who said to herself, If they see the head of the Statue of Liberty on that beach, I’m gonna lose it.

So, they did it, Ron Moore and David Eick. They finally did it. Damn them all to hell: they got us to Earth, and it’s not what we were thinking. Or maybe it was. Past, or future? We still can’t tell. Surely that is the ruins of the temple they were all wandering around in — the temple that Lee was looking at in the old book early in the episode. Which means the people of Earth, of the 13th colony, were of the same culture and civilization as the other 12 colonies. But we know there’s no temple like that on Earth, and we don’t have folks out on other planets. But still: the Earth the fleet and the Cylons just arrived at could be in our distant future, where none of that has happened yet. Or it could be in the distant past, so distant in the past that we’ve forgotten it, or mythologized it in the names of old gods.
And I’m thinking it may well be the distant past, and that we humans of today are meant to be the descendents of those 39,665 human and 12 Cylon models. Listen to what Starbuck said to Lee in the same scene with the old book: “For children to reach their full potential, their parents have to die.” That just smacks of all kinds of foreshadowing to me: clearly, Bill Adama may not be long for this mortal plane — certainly Roslin’s warning to Lee that he’s not off the hook yet, that great things will be expected of him in the future, suggests that he has yet to reach his full potential, which he won’t be able to do his father’s shadow. But does that also mean that all those humans and all those Cylons have to die, too, before the children who are the offspring of both — kids like Hera Agathon and Nicholas Tyrol for starters, though they are likely to have many cousins soon — can find their place in the universe? Because those children, if my theory is right, are us. Should we, Moore and Eick could be saying, be reaching for a new potential?

Oh, and another thing: Colonies are, you know, colonies. If Earth isn’t the original home but merely another offshoot of home, where is home?

And now we wait for the revelation of the fifth and final secret Cylon. Can we say for sure now that the fifth is not on the Galactica? Because then wouldn’t D’Anna have demanded that all five come to the base ship, not just the four? She knows who the fifth is, and didn’t ask for him/her… so what does that mean? (It means, perhaps, for one, that it’s not, as many have speculated, poor Felix, back at work and hobbling around on one leg.) Could the fifth be on Earth? (Just because there’s ruins in one place doesn’t mean there’s no one at all living on the planet.) Could the final five not only have been to Earth, as we keep getting reminded, but could they be from Earth? That would suggest a much longer and deeper involvement and communication with Earth and whoever may be there than had previously been hinted at, but isn’t that already the case? Because we know that Tyrol and Tigh certainly have not been to Earth during the events of the last few years since the Cylons nuked humanity (or do we know that…?) — which means they would have had to go to Earth before the events of the series anyway. Right?

It’s gonna be a long summer, and fall…

(next: “Sometimes a Great Notion”)

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



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  • Frentzen

    Well, it’s certainly a lot of valid questions, and I’m surprised that the writers did put us on Earth so soon, but once it is all destroyed, everything gets a new dimension of questions: What did happened, when and who did all that? The Earth humans destroyed themselves? The Cylons destroyed the humans?

    About the home of the Colonies, this was already answered during the series, Kobol is the home of the 13 colonies.

    About the final Cylon, actually D’Anna said that there’re four on the fleet, not just Galactica. This could mean the fifth being on Earth, like you’ve said it, or the fifth being already on the baseship, which make us wonder if D’Anna was in fact telling Roslin the truth when say that Roslin was one of the Cylons.. Or Baltar?

    That will be a hell of a waiting…

  • Awesome episode. To me the answer is now obvious: This is Earth of the Future.

    If I had to guess, my History of the Future would go something like this:

    At some point in our future, humanity spread to the stars, perhaps founding its first interstellar colony on Kobol. (Yes, I know it’s a long way from Earth. But perhaps it was the closest planet to Earth that was Earthlike enough not to require massive terraforming.) Then, just as in The Martian Chronicles, the civilization back on Earth had itself a big ole war and wiped itself out completely, leaving the colony (Mars, Kobol) on its own. The leaders on Kobol, determined not to let the same thing happen to them, started their own colonization/migration program and formed the Twelve Colonies… and in doing so, they transformed Earth from the source of humanity to just another colony.

    Knowledge of Earth, and of its location, may have still been available to those who sought it; hence the discovery of Earth by the first models of skinjob Cylons. But there may have been some pre-programmed imperative, perhaps implanted in the first Cylons by their human designers, never to seek out Earth… and this may have resulted in those models of Cylons being discarded or even left on Earth, lest their knowledge “infect” everyone else.

    If the final Cylon model is on Earth, then I’m thinking that they might have induced the Cylons to attack the Twelve Colonies in an effort to get everyone, both human and Cylon, to “return home”.

    Just spitballin’ here. No doubt Moore has some ending in mind that makes sense.

  • PaulW

    Guys. GUYS! OMG I think I figured it out.

    EARTH is the final Cylon.

    I mean, just hear me out. Cylons can be organic. Cylons also can’t entirely be humanoid (just look at the Raider ships). What if, you know, what if the Cylons tried creating a massive organic computer that evolved into a planet?

    This means it’s not entirely the Earth of human myth, but it could be a Cylon superlifeform that came to believe it was Earth, and is adapting accordingly.

  • Paul, in the bit at the very end of the show where they were talking about “next” season, we heard someone (one of the current characters, Tyrol maybe?) say to someone “You’re the final Cylon.” So I think we can rule out that it’s the planet.

  • Nathan

    also, Xena Warrior Princess saw five humanoids in her vision.

    i’m betting that Leoben was telling the truth earlier in the season and one of the Adamas is the final Cylon. the Final Five don’t seem to be manufactured — an aging, balding Tigh, for example — but probably carry some kind of genetic virus passed down through generations and activated by bad Bob Dylan covers.

  • brendan

    Maybe the viper is the final cylon.

  • Adam S.

    It makes sense, all of us being dead. Because Pithia wrote about the “death and rebirth of mankind”. In order for that statement to be valid, everyone on Earth would have to be dead as well.

    Looking at the last scene again I sorta saw a defunct version of the Brooklyn Bridge (I think).

    It’s an Earth of the future and Ron Moore has made a strong statement about us as a species; we never get along, yet the Cylons and the humans in the fleet are just now learning to get on just fine. Maybe that was God’s intention the entire time?

  • JoshDM

    I also picked up that Xena Warrior Princess wanted only 4 cylons delivered; meaning that either the final Cylon is not among them, or that one of the humans on the base star was the final Cylon.

    Which, going by that logic, means it’s either Baltar, Roslyn, or one of the unnamed Viper pilots. My money is with Baltar, as it would explain a lot; Roslyn’s connection can be explained by her exposure to Cylon biology through Hera’s blood transfusion. Baltar’s connection cannot be explained.

    The other theory I have is that the Centurions will “evolve” into the final Cylon model. I’m not exactly sure who says voice-modulation-disguised declaration in the preview, so who can tell at this point.

    I also think that the Earth they landed on is either the pre-historic Earth of Atlantis / Lemuria / Mu, or (from the girders and the ever-presence of existing Earth culture in the fleet) the near future. I’ll take the safer bet of the near future.

    Now, who wiped out Earth? Did we do it ourselves? Did the cylons do it? Who the heck knows. All I know is that Lucy Lawless is a heck of a lot more attractive in this show than she ever was during her Xena years.

  • MaryAnn

    About the home of the Colonies, this was already answered during the series, Kobol is the home of the 13 colonies.

    Right, but *where* is Kobol? What happened to it? Why aren’t they looking for Kobol? Maybe they *will* start looking for Kobol now that they’re disappointed in Earth…

  • Melissa

    Isn’t Kobol the place they found the temple that lead them to Earth? I think it is…and that’s where the Priestess died, because any visit to Kobol demands a sacrifice. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen season 2, though.

  • Adam S.

    Hmm. The final Cylon could have been on the Basestar. She/he might not have been activated yet, and Three could know that and might be waiting for the right time.

    I don’t think it’s Rosilyn or Baltar; I think it’s Sileex(sp). Did she survive the attack on the resurrection hub? And she had a huge crush on Anders, but then it turns out he was frakkin Tori. Also, Tori was just a minor character for a season, and then look what happened. No one knew she would turn out to be a Cylon… could be the same deal with Sileex.

  • JoshDM

    Correct.

    They did visit Kobol and that is where they used the Arrow of Apollo to locate the map to Earth.

    Since Earth seemingly cannot be colonized, the only thing standing in the way of the Fleet colonizing Kobol would be the other half of the Cylon civilization occupying said planet.

    We have 12 more hours of this show, not counting the prequel miniseries / series / movie / whatever.

    Questions I need answers to are:

    How did Starbuck “come back” with a clean and reprogrammed Viper (did she go to an alternate timeline or universe or planet altogether? Is it possible this simply is NOT Earth?)

    Where does the fleet go from here?

    Who is the final cylon?

    Why does Baltar see visions of Six and Himself?

    Where did the Cylons get the notion of a single God?

    If skin jobs have been around for 30 years, how long have Cylons been around for?

    Will there be a purpose for Hera and/or Nicholas?

    Where is Boxy?

  • Frentzen

    How did Starbuck “come back” with a clean and reprogrammed Viper? Since D’Anna just said to us that Starbuck is not a Cylon (the whole 4 Cylons stuff), I’d ask WHAT the frak is Starbuck! An angel?

    I don’t think they’re gonna leave Earth now that they have a lot of unanswered questions and Earth was supposed to be the final stop.. And I’m also interested to see how they gonna deal with the profecies since *apparently* some of them didn’t realized, for example: if Roslin is in fact the dying leader, she should be death before reach Earth; instead, she’s pretty much alive standing on a very devastated Earth. Of course we have in that episode (The Hub) some kind of “Death and rebirth” of Roslin’s soul, but I’m not convinced.

    About the final Cylon, we forgot a couple of people here: considering D’Anna is telling the truth, the final could be one of the people in the baseship at that time, or could be one already dead in the series and resurrected before the hub’s destruction; there’s probably some baseship around full of those new models, including the fifth. Could be a lot of people, like Billy or Ellen.

    And I’m pretty sure that if there’s a baseship full of Torys, the hell will certainly break loose…

    Just more two cents..

  • jkp

    FYI — “home” is Kobol. They represent the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. Earth is the Thirteenth Colony of Kobol.

  • MaryAnn

    Okay, so I obviously forgot about Kobol.

    Since Earth seemingly cannot be colonized

    Why do you say that? Why can’t Earth be colonized?

  • dfg

    “Why do you say that? Why can’t Earth be colonized?”

    It looks like it is a nuclear wasteland. I’m pretty sure that was a Geiger counter (or whatever they use to measure radiation) they where pointing at the ground.

  • Frentzen

    Because there was some huge nuke’s party… That’s why they’ve never considered come back to the 12 colonies..

  • Adam S.

    Watching the episode over again I now believe that Sileex is the final Cylon. D’Anna said “Let’s see if he wants to play hardball,” while the whole “nuke showdown” took place. Hardball is Sileex’s call sign, and she was on the Baseship, which is why D’Anna only wanted the four; she’s obviously holding something back about the final one and that final one is Sileex.

  • FYI — “home” is Kobol. They represent the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. Earth is the Thirteenth Colony of Kobol.

    That’s what the “current” history says, yes. But what if the real history was that humanity started on Earth, spread to Kobol, and then spread to the Twelve Colonies, and that at some point history was rewritten to make Earth a colony of Kobol and not the other way around? The question then becomes, Why would anyone go to the trouble to disguise the true nature of Earth as the true origin of humanity?

  • Spencer

    Lots of good stuff to chat about. And a hell of a lot of time to do it in.

    It’s blatantly obvious to me that the Earth we saw is future Earth (from our perspective). That was a Geiger counter at the beginning, and it would be completely stretching credulity to have a nuclear war in our past go unnoticed by us.

    I really like the “final Cylon is on Earth” theory. Let’s see where that goes…

    Whatever happens, we are owed an explanation for Starbuck’s reappearance. There are probably story reasons for this, but it seems like all that furor has died down recently. I want answers, dammit!

    I’m just glad I got at least one prediction right: that Earth would be reached mid-season. That makes me, what, 1 for 100? :) Gotta love being a fanboy.

  • JoshDM

    MaryAnn, DFG answered your question to me accurately.

  • Lindsay

    Isn’t anyone interested in the fact that the final five (or at least the four we know) are “aging” Cylons? I thought the conversation between Adama and Tigh was totally fascinating- the idea that they are possibly a different kind of cylon. A version that ages like humans that has been around longer (maybe?) than the carbon copied sixes, etc. And is there only one of each?? Do they resurrect? To think cylons have been living among the humans for the past 30 years (at least for Tigh). If they age and are possibly mortal, how are they different from humans? I’ve always assumed the final five were an earlier and revered version of Cylons. Why then are there only five? Were they discontinued to be replaced by the practically superior carbon copies with their endless lifespans? Too many cylon questions for me to even be wondering about the whole Earth conundrum yet.

  • MaryAnn

    If they age and are possibly mortal, how are they different from humans?

    That’s what I’ve been wondering for a while now…

  • Will

    The 5th Cylon is Saul Tigh’s wife Ellen. Go back to the 1st season, when they find her in the fleet. Baltars cylon detector worked, it found Boomer. Ellen was tested but, Baltar said of the results “I’ll never tell” when the 6 in his head asked him if she was a Cylon. Also think about it, Ellen seemed to sleep around with everybody, but not in a “loving” relationship and never became pregnant. Also sence she died on New Caprica she obvoisly wouldn’t be in the fleet.
    Wouldn’t it be a big twist of fate that Tigh killed his wife, because she was helping the Cylons, only to have him be one and to later be reunited with his wife, who is a Cylon on Earth.
    Also as far as Cylons having kids didn’t even Cylons think that the missing ingredient was “Love” thats why the captive 6 on Galactica asked Saul if he loved her. Also the Chief obviously loved his wife Cally.

  • AJP

    “If they age and are possibly mortal, how are they different from humans?”

    Cylons get glowy red spines when they have sex.

    Cylons can interface with basestars by touching pools of water.

    Cylons can control computers by inserting fiber optics into their veins.

    The final five hear music in the walls of Galactica that no one else can detect.

    When humans exhibit those characterstics then they and the humans will cease to be different.

  • The fact that the last 4 of 5 Cylons were brought together by hearing a ghostly version of “All Along the Watchtower” shows conclusively that it must be a post contemporary earth that they have found… unless Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix are some kind of immortal or time lord toasters, or if it is really earth they have found?
    ;)

  • Sandy

    My vote for the 5th Cylon: Caprica (6)’s and Saul’s baby, if she is able to come to term. That was kind of a big honking bombshell that nobody has paid attention to – pure Cylon reproduction.

    The fact that Three said the 5th wasn’t in the fleet may play against my vote, but now I’m more convinced because of what Tigh said in the previews for next year (WHAAAAAA!) “You’re the 5th”.

  • Lindsay

    [“If they age and are possibly mortal, how are they different from humans?”

    Cylons get glowy red spines when they have sex.

    Cylons can interface with basestars by touching pools of water.

    Cylons can control computers by inserting fiber optics into their veins.

    The final five hear music in the walls of Galactica that no one else can detect.

    When humans exhibit those characterstics then they and the humans will cease to be different. ]

    AJP, I was referring to the final 4 possibly aging, human-sleeper cylons not the carbon copies. I’ve never seen any of the Battlestar 4 exhibit any of those cylon behaviors you listed with the exception of the signal music that no one else can hear.

  • dg

    I said the same thing!

    “If they see the head of the Statue of Liberty on that beach, I’m gonna lose it.”

    I’m not surprised Earth was toast when the Cylons and humans arrived. It was kind of predictable. I was expecting that or they’d arrive in some earlier era like the the Middle Ages or something where humans would be clueless about life on other worlds.

    Nuked Earth makes more sense story wise. Happily, they won’t be doing a new version of Galactica 1980. :) That would just kill the mood created by the new series.

  • UnarmedOracle

    One theory I’ve read that I’m actually quite fond of is that the final five aren’t skinjobs, evolved or otherwise — they’re the final five Terrans. They’re the last survivors of Earth’s nuclear/environmental holocaust, and they’re trying to lead their cousins back home.

    …Only they’re broken, somehow. The four have forgotten everything. Maybe they’re transhuman somehow, and maybe the original cylons found them and modeled the skinjobs after them.

    I honestly believe that the fifth is on Earth, and it’s someone we haven’t met yet. Revealing the fifth to be Gaeta or Seelix could work, but it doesn’t feel right in the context of the show’s spiritual plot arc. Someone would have been left behind to tend to the garden, and I’m going to guess that the fifth is as different from the four as the four are different from the seven.

    If that makes the fifth God then all the better, at least Admiral Adama’s atheism is vindicated :)

  • Paul

    “EARTH is the final Cylon.”

    This is actually a plausible theory. It has precedence in sci-fi, too, if anyone has read Orson Scott Card’s “The Memory of Earth” series. Those stories also is about a group of humans who travel from a planet called Harmony to find earth. In that story, human beings have been living on for 40 million years, but a master, telepathic sentient computer that was designed to prevent human beings from destroying themselves is breaking down and the only way the computer (called the Oversoul) can fix itself is to convince a group of humans to travel back to earth to find the Keeper of Earth, which it believes is an even more powerful sentient AI that was left behind to tend to an Earth that was destroyed by nuclear war.

    As it turns out, when the human successfully manage to make it to Earth, things are very different from what their myths had told them about Earth. There is a Keeper of Earth there, but it’s not a computer, but a Gaia-like intelligence that is the lifeforce of the entire planet….

    So in BSG, if Earth IS a Cylon, it would make perfect sense that someone could have a direct conversation with it.

    It’d be the perfect twist, too. When BSG started, the characters couldn’t accept the idea that Cylons were like human beings. The completely REJECTED the idea that the Cylons were anything more than machines – machines with no souls, no love, no humanity. Look at how their perception of Cylons has changed in a few short years. Yet we as an audience could accept humanoid Cylons because we have seen them before – as Replicants in Blade Runner, for example.

    Now we’re getting thrown a curveball to make us feel what the BSG humans must have felt when they discovered Cylons were humanoid – The Final Cylon is actually the planet!

    It could explain the 12 Colonies, too. I mean, the odds that you have 12 Earth-like habitable planets in a single star systems are, well, there’s no way it could happen naturally. Just look at how cold Mars is and how hot Venus is, and those two planets are just outside our habitable zone of our solar system. We’re to believe that the solar system of the 12 Colonies has 12 different, naturally formed planets all with habitable atmosphere and temperature ranges despite all of them having different orbits? The only explanation is that the planets of the 12 colonies were made and put into place sometime in the past….

  • Kenny

    Ok.. first of all. It takes a bit of digging, but there is evidence to show that it is Earth, not Kobol which was the original homeworld of Humanity. Aside from sharing most our DNA with all life on this planet, and the fact that our civilisation is at least 10’000 years old, and and fossil and archaeological records go back far farther than that.. there is the simple point that the objects the fleet encounters which lead them to Earth get progressively OLDER the closer to Earth they get.

    The ruins on Kobol are explicitely stated to be 2000 years old.

    The beacon in the Lionhead Nebula was described as being 3000 years old.

    Finally the temple of five in which D’Anna sees the faces of 4 of the final 5 is, again explicitely stated to be, 4000 years old.

    Why would the evidence be getting older as you travel from Kobol towards Earth, unless the original journey was actually the other way round?

    One final point is that the 12 colonies are never described as orbiting a single star… for starters that’s a physical impossibility, as Human habitable worlds need to be in that special Goldilocks zone..

  • Kenny

    Oh.. apparently there was a blog post about them being in a single star system… but as that’s so blatantly idiotic, I’m just going to put my fingers in my ears (or over my eyes) and say “lalalalalala”

  • OK, this is weird. I’m at the beach right now with family, and there are a number of small kids here, so we’re constantly deluged with Disney videos. They just started playing Peter Pan, and the first line spoken in the movie was basically, “All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.”

    Surely I can’t be the first person to have noticed that the BSG prophecy came from Peter Pan?

  • MaryAnn

    Tinkerbell is the fifth Cylon!

  • I was thinking maybe Peter himself would be the final Cylon.

    Referencing Kenny’s point, above:

    “One final point is that the 12 colonies are never described as orbiting a single star… for starters that’s a physical impossibility, as Human habitable worlds need to be in that special Goldilocks zone.”

    This is not necessarily true, Kenny. Jupiter-class gas giants can have “life zones” of their own in which Earthlike worlds could exist… so you could have multiple habitable worlds within the right solar system. 12 might be a stretch, so I’d agree that the probability is that the 12 colonies were spread across a number of systems. Caprica certainly seems to have been the top dog among them, and probably was the most Earthlike of the 12.

  • celticdragon

    Bit late posting here, but doesn’t that ruined bridge look an awful lot like the Brooklyn Bridge they are standing near?

    I noticed many of the folks/reviewers/industry types at the Los Angeles screening seemed to think so as well. That would put them in a near future Earth, I would infer.

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