In the fifteenth episode of the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica, we learn where the final Cylon has been, and Anders suddenly receives visions of the whole of Cylon history. Saying that shit gets real is instantly an understatement. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Battlestar Galactica.
Look, okay….I have a lot to work through. I have a lot of questions. I have a lot of thoughts. Never has such a massive info-dump been given to me by writers who refuse to make such a thing easy to decipher. So, here is what I am going to do:
THESE ARE MY THOUGHTS
1) Did Edward James Olmos’s eyebrows win an award or anything? I think I would be perfectly content if, for the remainder of season four, he never spoke a single word. Instead, all his dialogue has been converted to facial expressions. I guarantee that not only will it work beautifully, it will improve the quality of every episode.
2) As far as I’m concerned, Adama accepting Tyrol back as his Chief satisfies (at least partially) my desire to see the people on this show just get along. It’s a scene of puppy dogs and hugs and unicorns and rainbows, and I’ll be damned if you take that away from me.
3) There’s further evidence of that in the scene where Tigh and Caprica Six bond over their child. Oh, and when Roslin and Lee are on board Colonial One and she insists that he’s the right person to pick the new Quorum based on ships in the fleet, not delegates from the destroyed colonies. These are hugs. These are puppy dogs. I will fight for them, gods damn it.
4) Hi, I’m Michael Trucco and I just acted the fuck out of this story, pulling off something that by all rights could have been a disaster if handled by anyone else.
5) Hi, I’m Dean Stockwell, and I just proved that I can mop the floor with other people who think they can “act,” because I just made John/Cavil both utterly horrifying and entirely sympathetic. At the same time. Can you deliver a monologue like I can? No, fuck you, you can’t.
6) Hi, I’m Kate Vernon and I act circles around both Michael Trucco and Dean Stockwell by giving a performance that provides a world-shattering transformation to the character of Ellen Tigh and I just improved the quality of this show my 464% in just a single episode.
7) No, I am not sorry, Kate Vernon for president or something, y’all. I am still in awe of what I’ve seen.
8) I will get to it in great detail, but this episode has just given me the most perfectly executed bout of exposition I’ve yet to experience. It was natural. It was woven so beautifully into the dialogue. There was a reason for it to exist. This goddamn show, I swear.
9) Hi, I’m Ryan Mottesheard, and I wrote this episode and I’m basically perfect because I found yet another way to “humanize” the Cylons, dump tons of information on you, and blow your goddamn mind. In forty-five minutes.
10) Okay, the John Hodgman thing is fucking weird as hell, but if you can attempt to remove your idea of who he is in your head (AND THAT’S REALLY HARD, I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT), he’s actually kind of perfect as the fascinated-by-this-all-to-the-point-of-being-almost-offensive surgeon.
11) Hi, I’m Grace Park, and I can play multiple versions of the same character and make it clear who that is I’m playing, and Fringe needs to hire me soon, thanks.
12) Hell is other people.
HERE ARE MY QUESTIONS
So, I debated posting the forty million questions this episode spawned, but I worried that would be increasingly annoying as I tempted all of you to answer them when you know you couldn’t. That’s just me being cruel. Plus, it’s almost an act of absurdity; I don’t even know that I could actually do it, mostly because the “answers” we are provided do more than just give us additional questions. They fundamentally change our entire understanding of the Cylons, re-contextualizing nearly every single moment of every episode before this one. That is one damn ambitious thing for a show to do, and I gotta say: Battlestar Galactica executed it extremely well.
Instead, here’s what I am going to attempt: I have watched this episode twice. The first time it was for merely experiencing it. The second time was to attempt to piece together some sort of timeline for Cylon existence, and this is what I’ve come up with.
I know it may seem silly saying this, since it’s just expected around here, but PLEASE DO NOT CORRECT THIS IN ANY WAY. Obviously I do not have all the answers, and obviously my scope of knowledge is extremely poor. Think of this as me purposely making a fool of myself for your amusement and nothing else. Also, do you remember those logic puzzles you had to figure out? They were always like AMANDA IS TALLER THAN THREE PEOPLE BUT HAS FOUR EYES AND ONE PERSON CAN ONLY EAT TWO OTHERS AND HOW MANY ARE BORN IN JUNE. Those one? That’s what this is like. Trying to put together this information is FUCKING DIFFICULT.
Mark’s Attempt At Reconstructing The Cylon Timeline
– The Thirteenth Tribe/those of Kobol go to Earth and create Cylons.
– Somewhere along the way, the humans are exterminated?
– The Cylons on Earth did not use resurrection after it fell out of use once they were able to reproduce biologically.
– The Final Five, primarily Tyrol and Ellen, reinvented resurrection, which was a concept taken from the technology developed by the Thirteenth Tribe on Kobol. (So Centurions could always resurrect? OH GOD I PROMISED NOT TO ASK QUESTIONS.)
– Earth is nuked and destroyed 2,000 years in the past, and the Final Five were downloaded to a research ship; they were possibly warned?
– After Earth was destroyed, the Final Five headed back to the Twelve Tribes to warn them not to repeat the exact same history–creating Cylons and mistreating them so that they would revolt–but arrive too late due to relativistic time travel
– There, they meet the Centurions we are familiar with, and in an attempt to end the war, they agree to help the Centurions develop “organic” Cylons if they stop attacking humans.
– In exchange for peace, the Earth Cylons help develop eight original models.
– These humanoid models were programmed with the belief in a singular God in Ellen’s hope that it would end the “cycle of violence” the Cylons seemed to repeat over and over again.
– Ellen Tigh and the other four Cylons that comprise the “Final Five” create John/Cavil.
– The Final Five create the other seven models of humanoid Cylons.
– The model known as Seven/Daniel is destroyed/boxed/sacrificed for some unknown reason.
– Cavil becomes increasingly upset at his human body, the idea of god, and the limitations his “creators” gave him by constructing him in the way they did.
– Cavil boxes the Final Five after murdering them and erases their memories of Earth, choosing to later “awaken” them and insert false memories into them to force them to “experience” humanity in the hopes that they would agree with One/Cavil/John that humanity will always be inherently flawed, and humanoid bodies are an awful idea.
THINGS THAT DON’T FIT OR SEEM TO MAKE ANY SENSE
– So, the Temple of the Five: Ellen or any of the Final Five did not purposely rig the place to reveal the identities of the Final Five. So…how does that fit in?
– So were there humans on Kobol who created Cylons? Tory makes a reference to that AND I UNDERSTAND NOTHING. I think I might just be confused about terms. FYI please don’t actually answer that.
GODS HELP ME I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THIS AND SO CONFUSED AT THE SAME TIME
jfc this show