When I do another rewatch, I’m going to have to play closer attention to the arcs of certain characters, such as Boomer. She knew of Ellen’s existence for twelve months. Without an indication of what pivotal event was happening, I’m not sure at what point in the series she gained this knowledge. While I hazard to guess this revelation was retconned in, I think it will help to explain her choices. Looking for guidance, she had turned to Cavil, who knew she was torn by conflicting emotions and inability to fit in either world. He encouraged her to embrace the machine in her and shed her humanity and took the opportunity to use her misguided devotion to poison her mind, not just against her line, but the belief in the importance of the Final Five.
I see now why she voted against her model line. She was privy to information they did not have. The information was twisted by Cavil to strengthen his argument and her willingness to believe the worst of both races, since she felt like an outsider in both worlds, swayed her opinion, but at least we now can see why she made the choice she did.
There were two moments that solidified why she would switch allegiances, again. Cavil and Ellen argue about what Cavil sees as human limitations. Cavil is frustrated by them; Ellen believes they are a gift. The humanoid Cylons have free will, the ability to think creatively, and to reach out with compassion and love. The last part struck me because while Leoben, a two, professes to love Kara, I don’t think he truly grasps the concept. The Sixes and Eights, however, do. (And they are the only two models to show a hint of regret for their roles in the apocalypse.) The missing Seven, the artist, and quite possibly Kara’s father, I believe would also. The last models created, the ones seen as flawed by Cavil and others are, in fact, closest to human.
And Boomer questions who she is suppose to love. Who would she want to love? Immediately, we cut to Tyrol. Not a subtle edit, but effective. Boomer has always loved Tyrol and, until her ‘death’, she believed he loved her. Ellen tells Cavil that while he has done awful things, he’s not a mistake. He should be accepted for what he is. He can be good, he can be anything, and he is still loved. That had to be a huge moment for Boomer. Boomer didn’t think there was anyway she could be forgiven, to go back to the life, and man, she loved. But one of the five, a believer in the strengths of humanity, is saying it’s OK, you can be welcomed back. Boomer now believes there is a chance to return to the fleet and reclaim her life. To, maybe, be happy again. I very much doubt things will go as well as she hopes, but can her dream become a reality? Possibly. Reuniting the five will garner her good will. The fleet is on a path to integrate the Cylons into their society. And it seems one of the themes in the final episodes is second chances and that maybe they can get it right this time.
Lee and Laura
I appreciated that, in a quiet way, Laura acknowledged her role in the deaths of the Quorum members. Lee asks if she’s sure she wants to be here and she responds, “Yes, I definitely want to be here.” She really doesn’t want to be there. She doesn’t want to face the significance of those empty chairs and deal with more people she was close to being taken from her and another tie to their civilization and former lives taken from all of them. Now, it’s just her and Lee and Adama. Her world has become even smaller and she must face she is not without responsibility in that. I’ll assume it’s she who places those photos on the memorial wall.
It’s been only a day or two (I presume) since the mutiny, but Lee’s already thinking about their future and what needs to be done. That was Laura right after the bombs dropped. Everyone around her was lost, not knowing what to do, and she took charge and gave them hope, a future. It’s now Lee’s turn. The old planets gone, it’s not who they are anymore. They’re a fleet (or one could say a “gang” as Lee pointed out in ‘Crossroads’) and their lives are defined by the ships the live on. With rare exceptions, such as ‘The Woman King’, do these people identify themselves by what colony they were from or what ship they now reside?
I’m not upset that Laura didn’t resign the presidency. There has been too much upheaval for her to resign right now. There isn’t a government left, but the fleet still has their president. If she were just to resign and turn the office over to Lee before a new government is formed and before they some sort of selection process for representation can take place, the last artifice of democracy would be gone and it would only lead to more confusion, anger, and dissonance within the fleet. Let Lee show them that he can lead them, and then she can turn over the reigns to him.
I love how both are trying so desperately to keep their emotions in check. Lee can see how weak she is. He knows she doesn’t have much time left and that’s why she’s entrusting him with humanities future. And expressing a faith in him that, until recently, he didn’t have himself, “You were always the one.” Lee’s willing the tears not to flow; Laura can’t stop from shedding one. And there was the laugh, I moment of relief, a moment reminiscent of ‘Bastille Day’. But the hope that she’d be OK remained then. Laura begins to cough and the reality of the situation hits Lee again.
I wish I had held back on making my new icon. I didn’t give the show enough credit to give us that final image of the two. It’s a mirror image of the two sitting across from each other in the mini series. Their positions the same, but the roles now reversed this time. It’s Lee realizing he’s the one in charge; the responsibility of the fleet is in his hands. When Laura was alone and completely overwhelmed by the new burden of her office, he was there for her. Now, she is there for him.
Now, lets try to condense 3,000 year of history into 44 minutes.
When Ellen woke up, she was terrified. It took her a moment to remember. It would seem a severe trauma is needed to unlock all the memories of the past. For Ellen, it was death and resurrection. For Sam, it was a bullet to the brain.
I’m not entirely sure I have all of this straight, but this is the best sense I could make out of it:
3,000 years ago there was the exodus from Kobol. The Thirteenth Tribe (Cylons) settled on earth, the twelve (human) tribes settled on the colonies. On the way to earth, the Cylons made a stop on the Algae Plant. Apparently, it was a long stop since they had time to build the Temple of Hopes and they preyed to God to show them the way to their new home. This reveal poses several interesting questions. The Temple of Hopes would become The Temple of Five in human scripture. How did the humans know of the temple’s existence? Was there still contact between the races after the exodus? And were the Cylons looked at as gods prior to the exodus? Did they abandon their children (humanity)? Or did the truth evolve into myth and myth into a religion over the course of 3,000 years?
On earth, it seems the Cylons made some of the same mistakes as the humans. Their Centurions rebelled and nuked their world. The five had been warned about the attacks (by who or what is not known), arranged to have a ship in orbit, and downloaded following the attacks. But in order to download they needed to reinvent resurrection technology (they must have had a hell of a lot of warning because this couldn’t have been done on short notice). Organic memory transfer came from Kobol and their ancestors, the Thirteenth Tribe. Why it took the humans thousands of years to develop technology is unknown. My guess is that a combination of what happened on Kobol and a belief in the gods being responsible for human life made them turn their back on the technology. But, ultimately, ingenuity and creativity could not stop humankind from exploring artificial intelligence.
The five wanted to go to the colonies to find the other tribes and warn them. They knew they would continue to create artificial life and wanted to help humanity by telling them they needed to treat their creations well and keep them close. But it was too late! The humans were at war with the Centurions. It all happened again. Conveniently, the Cylons could create mechanical life, yet couldn’t build an FTL drive to get them to their destination quickly. It took them thousands of year to get to earth, leaving markers, for some reason, along the way. (I wish they would clarify if the flu carrying satellite was a piece of their space junk.)
Once they arrive at the colonies, they find the Centurions trying to make flesh bodies. They managed to create the hybrid, but failed to produce anything that could live on it’s own. The five made a deal, stop the war and we’ll help you. They thus helped develop the eight humanoid models.
Cavil was the first made and he helped them build the others. They didn’t think this was a very bad idea after having lived through the first cycle. Why? Because the Centurions believed in a single, loving god. (Again, no explanation as to why the Centurions believed in God.) Ellen believed their belief would change everything. If the Cylons embraced love and mercy then cycle of violence could end. (Well, if Ellen is consistent in one aspect, it’s making a bad situation worse. ;)
It turns out Cavil, the first, may have been the flawed model in the line. He rejected mercy and had a twisted view of morality so he turned on them. He killed them and as they downloaded into new bodies, he blocked their access to their real memories, and implanted them with false ones.
But here’s a question, how did these five survive the initial attacks when billions died? Who triggered Tigh, Tory, Sam, and Tyrol to remember what they were with music? Who brought Kara back from the dead? Is their really a higher power at work here? Even Ellen suggests that the one true god must have orchestrated certain events because they had no hand in them. Or does Seven have something to do with it all? Ellen said the amniotic fluid was corrupted with his model and all copies were destroyed? What happened to the original?
And does Baltar play a role in all this beyond giving Six the codes to the defense system? Sam mentions warning signs back on earth looked different to each one of them. Sam saw a woman and Tory saw a man that no one else could see them. Tyrol thought he had a chip in his head. Did they have their own head characters? Does that mean Baltar could be the Seven? But that seems too obvious to me. And Sam’s last words are that a miracle is coming, a gift from the angels. Is it Ellen (who I suspect will be able to restore Sam’s brain function) or something or someone bigger?
And the usual random thoughts…
That was an interesting way of doing the previouslies. I’d like to see more of that as the series wraps up.
The human race started with 50,298 survivors. Last week they had 39,603. This week they are at 39,556. I actually thought there would have been a bigger decrease.
Not only is Cavil a sadistic bastard, so is Ron Moore. I can’t believe he put Michael Trucco through all that, again.
The Frak Chart in the BSG Cast and Crew Yearbook had Tyrol and Tory as a couple. Now it makes sense!
Ellen is even better than she thought. Athena and Caprica’s pregnancies shouldn’t have been possible.
It’s nice to know the colonies got screwed over by their government contractors too.
Adama tells Tyrol to, “Do whatever you have to do to save our girl.” That had a double meaning. Adama is losing Laura; he can’t lose his ship too. Of course, with the drinking and pill popping, the ship may out survive him.
Interesting bit of trivia, Kate’s father is actor John Vernon, who I would assume Cavil was named after.