Our new knowledge of the backstory leaves me with some questions to ask as we await another episode in 4 hours.
The Temple of Five
The chronology on this temple now gets very confusing. We have learned it was built as a “Temple of Hopes” by the 13th tribe, who stopped and prayed (to the Lords of Kobol, not the One-True-God) for guidance on their journey to their new home. Ellen says that was “3,000 years ago” and Tyrol says the temple was built 4,000 years ago, matching the date of the exodus of the 13th tribe. This should not be Ellen losing 1,000 years of time dilation. She’s lost 2,000 years on her trip from “Earth” and the 13th tribe lost some number of centuries on their trip to “Earth.” Ellen is presumably just wrong, though as the more recent number, that’s odd.
We are told that the colonials have a legend of a Temple dedicated to the five priests of the god whose name cannot be (spoken). This legend, it appears dates to Kobolian times. Hard to see how it could have arisen on the colonies, but it obviously isn’t a legend of the 13th tribe either. As a Kobolian legend, it comes from before the final five were born.
We also learn that Ellen and the other 4 visited the Temple on their trip back, retracing the path. It’s a bit odd that her civilization fell so much that it didn’t just lose the downloading technology she rebuilt, it lost the very location of Kobol! I mean that’s a lot to lose, you have to lose all star maps, all records of astronomy and of course all plain old coordinates.
When they visit it, however, it’s long after their world has fallen, and thus long after the tribes left Kobol, which is about the same time. So at this point, the legend of the temple of the five priests has already left Kobol with the tribes. Ellen is not aware the temple has a new name or legend (if it does.) Cavil accuses her of having modified it to show the faces of the final five, and of arranging a star to go nova; the latter is an incredible power. She says she didn’t do it. We must presume that happened much later. She thinks the OTG must have done it.
Indeed it must happen later, as at this point, the final five aren’t anybody special. They are five refugees in a low-tech ship. The only thing special about them is that they got visitations from virtual beings, “messengers” in RDM-speak, back before their war. But at this point they have no significance to anybody. They are not even followers of the OTG. They are polytheists, like everybody else at this time. They don’t convert to monotheism until they learn that from the Centurions.
They become significant after they create the 7 (or 8) Cylons of the show. Only at that point does it make sense for somebody to have the temple show their faces.
So who are the five preists, who predate the final five? Who is their god? And why does Tyrol, whose childhood was a set of memories invented by John, remember his parents’ fascination with that temple, and his own sneaking in to learn about it? Why would John put a memory like that in his head?
One option: Perhaps the Temple of Hopes, on that Algae planet, is not the Temple of Five. Perhaps that’s just a mistake Tyrol makes. Though it does have the mandala.
The Opera House
The chronology here is rather odd, too. The Opera House is in total ruins when we see it. It seems that it fell with Kobol, around 2,000 years ago. A vision of the intact opera house is where we see the 5 white robed figures of the final five. We see them in D’Anna’s vision, and we see similar figures on a balcony in many other visions, including that of Roslin, Six, Eight and Hera. Baltar’s there too but he perhaps doesn’t see them.
Why are they shown in this opera house? They were born just before the fall of Kobol, and at sub-light speeds never get to Kobol except well after that fall. So they have never been in this opera house in their lives, except as ruins. Perhaps they saw old pictures on “Earth.”
The raiders have programming to recognize the final five, in particular they notice Anders and call off an attack on the fleet. Cavil is livid and starts lobotomizing them, leading to his civil war (and his eventual undoing, we suspect.)
But why do they recognize them? The 7 Cylons don’t — they had those memories removed. The Centurions don’t — they shoot at Anders and Tyrol on the Algae planet and on Caprica too.
What’s odd is that surely the final five, on a mission of peace, to convince the cylons not to kill humanity, would not have constructed semi-slave war machines like the raiders. They had to be built later, without their participation. So why the recognition? John certainly didn’t want it.
Leoben has been all about Starbuck’s destiny from the start. He seems to know what will be in the crashed viper, that is not what surprises him. What surprises him is Starbuck repeating the Hybrid’s words that she is the harbinger of death. He flees in fear, says “I was wrong.” About what?
One quick thought before we watch tonight, on Anders going flatline. A Cylon mind would be designed to download if it detected so much damage that it was not worth repairing the current body, rather than waiting for total death. One wonders if this is what Anders has done. The next question, did he have somewhere to download to? (Update: Or does his return indicate what happens if download doesn’t work?)
The One True God
As we get more references to the OTG, the secret string puller, and we learn what Cavil did and what the final five didn’t do, we now can make a list of things that may be the doing of the OTG, or other secret string pullers like the Lords of Kobol
- Leading the 13th colony to their planet.
- Sending “messengers” to the final five on the 13th colony, and assuring their ship’s escape.
- Modifying the Temple of Hopes to show the faces of the final five.
- The legend of the five priests.
- Baltar’s Head Six, and many other head characters (Baltar, Leoben, Elosha and more.)
- Shelley Godfrey, perhaps.
- The secret messages to the Hybrid and the First Hybrid
- Prophecies of the Oracles, and perhaps much of the sacred scrolls and book of Pythia
- The strange power loss at the Ionian Nebula
- The wakeup of the final five at the Ionian Nebula
- Starbuck’s compulsions/destiny, and her events in the maelstrom.
- Starbuck’s return, and visions and photos of Earth and things around it. Her compulsions to find it
- Crashed viper with burned body near the death site of the Final Five. New viper with locater pointing to it. Final Five compulsion to go to viper.
- Final Five memory restoration at their death site
- Roslin’s visions,and her fainting spell during the Ionian Nebula power outage
- The improbable meeting at the Algae Planet at just the right time.
- The nova of the Algae Planet.
- Hera. Which head-six insists is really the child of Baltar and her.
- The angels and miracles Anders yells about before going under the knife.
- The cycle of time.
That’s a lot, even for a god.
From the Battlestar Galactica Analysis Blog