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cultural vandal | 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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