The bones are all Cylon? Or are they?

Well, I have lots to think about that episode. I was pleased (mostly) that my second choice, Ellen Tigh was correct. And in particular that it seems my reason for picking Ellen may be correct — that the two of them have had a multi-thousand year, on-again, off-again romance. My other pick, the Virtual Being, seems to be what she says she is — an emissary of the Cylon God. But more on that later.

One thing that needs a lot of analysis is the dates. This war was 2,000 years ago, but the sacred scrolls tell of the 13th tribe and the exile and rebirth of humanity 3,600 years ago. So this isn’t the first war. And thus probably not the first Saul and Ellen. Plus it seems that others (Six, Dee) have some history on Earth too, not just the five.

But I want to put forward a speculation about the declaration that the bones found in the digs were “not human” but “Cylon.” We must leave aside the fact that in the past they have not been able to tell them apart on X-ray so it is not clear what this difference should be. (Updated thought: they told the difference using Cylon tech, so that makes it more real.)

But being that the bones are found on Earth, does it not perhaps make more sense that the bones are in fact human. And thus it is the colonials who are not human?

Now, if the war was 4,000 years ago I would firmly declare this to be true. However, dating it only 2,000 years opens the chance that the people in the ground are indeed artificial humans (Cylons) but of a different type from the colonials. With Starbuck’s duplication, it is more and more clear that at least she is not a natural human, since they don’t explode and get recreated. And if she isn’t, and she’s not the fifth, the evidence is strong that the colonials are all artificial.

More to come as I let the episode sink in. Many mysteries, including why Saul needs to be told of his immortality, why Dee cried to find those jacks and then offed herself and more.

Cylon Skeletons

I have no problem with them identifying them as Cylon, since the Cylons are actually with the humans now. We know the Cylons have technology well in advance of the Colonials, and presumably have the ability to detect the differences between human and Cylon.

Reasonable

But the Five are special, and they have the ability to download, as Ellen tells (or reminds) Saul before their deaths.

If everybody on that planet is Cylon, then the ability to download is not going to be news, nor special. Unless this is the first time it has ever been done, which does not make sense based on the dates.

And besides, what happened to all those “cylons” killed in that war? Where did they download to?

While it is arguable that

While it is arguable that the Cylons wouldn't be able to identify the bones of the "special" Cylons, it is only arguable - not definite. Equally good arguments could be made the other way. Given the fact that we have just been told they are Cylons, and that we have only 9 more episodes to go, I think we need to abide by Occam's Razor and assume that things are mostly what they are. The thirteenth colony is a cylon colony. The twelfth Cylon is Ellen (something I held open last night, but am firmly rejecting now). The planet is called Earth.

To dick around at this point, when we are expecting more answers than questions, would be a disservice to both story and fans - adding twists just to add more twists.

The only juke I see here is the planet itself. I don't believe it to be our Earth. Earth is a name. We have not seen this planet's continents clearly. We have not seen its moon. The Cylons could have called it Planet Hendrix, but they didn't. But the name is just a name. It is not our Earth. It is not the final destination.

As for the Cylons in the war, downloading does not appear to be inherent to all Cylons. The colonists didn't know of it until after the surprise attack, which is odd given that they built the Cylons. Similarly, the way it is preented by Ellen here, downloading is something new to the Olde Cylons.

My guess is that the Final Five are the first to download. This gives them the ability to survive the cycle, and carry lessons forward in order to finally break it. The F5 find the Colonies and the Cylons, and after the peace set up the Cylons with the "Significant Seven" and ressurection technology, making it available, for the first time, to all Cylons.

So many questions

Kudos on the Ellen reveal. I still maintain it's a mediocre choice that lacks the emotional resonance preferred with this kind of plot development. The writers strike hiatus probably added such an artificial gravitas to this reveal that was never intended. It seems that Starbuck's true nature is the big story problem to solve and what the writers want us to keep wondering about until the end, not the 5th. The best part was seeing Tigh with both eyes again.

I have residual questions about Dualla, though. Details about her death were perhaps put there to up the emotional stakes, but I still wonder what's with the photos in her locker? The photo of the man in the locket? What's the significance of the jacks? The Four each found an artifact that triggered their memories, this seemed to be the case with Dee, but we just weren't shown what she was experiencing. It does seem that more people are involved in this than just the Five, so I have to wonder if Dee was a child when the planet was nuked. IMDB lists Khandyse McClure as a player in all of the upcoming episodes, BTW. A recent SciFi Wire interview, tho, seems to confirm that she's really dead and didn't even get to attend the wrap party. Harsh, Moore, really harsh. However, we've been told a character was truly dead before, so who knows?

I agree, it makes more sense that we're the humans and the Colonials are all some form of Cylon than the other way around. Where is the Earth resurrection hub? On some kind of "alpha site" like Terra Prime from TOS? Kobol? Is that where Ellen is? Was the same resurrection hub used to recreate Starbuck? If the Colonials are descended from Earth humans, then why are they biologically different?

Anders was a musician (I'm not even going to contemplate the Dylan thing) and Starbuck's dad was a musician -- plus there's an ep coming up where Starbuck confesses all to some piano player. That connection seems kind of significant.

My Comment Was Eated

My comment was eaten in your queue, Brad. Not sure what's up with that?

Not lost

Sadly, due to all the comment spam, posts with multiple links like yours go into a queue for approval before they show up. I guess it is not smart enough to pre-approve links to well known sites.

Links

Good to know. I'll keep the links to a minimum in the future.

The Final Retcon

Well, I see it's possible that people emigrated from Earth to Kobol, and that the Kobolians who made up the 13th tribe resettled on Earth which had destroyed itself prior to their arrival, they assimilated the existing population, or some of both. It's unclear but nothing to tear clothes over.

I've seen a lot of fanwank which is worryingly irrational. The bones are Cylon. They've been verified by tests as being Cylon. This cannot be ducked. It's almost as bad as how one online conversation I read swapped Athena for Natalie 6, and people continued on that basis.

When there's a lot of confusion and pent up desire, folks can rationalise or enthuse for all manner of ridiculous and off the wall crud. But, the evidence isn't there. It's just people letting their mouths and feelings run away. When that happens it's usually best to have a rest.

On Saul and Dee. My first impression is that Saul's Cylon nature was a surprise to him. Ellen tookout somesort of insurance policy without telling him, and this unknowing stuck. Dee looks like she regressed into childhood and wanted to experience her perfect moment before ending things. This is understandable.

This is speculation but it looks like some reincanation mechanism is still operating as evidenced by Starbuck. Also,I speculate, the Caprica angle may explain the Final Five and their having no memory of the missing time which Tyrol referred to. I guess, the Caprica tech tapped into the previous 'resurrection net' somehow.

Baltar seemed a bit too obvious and there were issuesaround him being the Final Cylon. Ellen was also my favourite for the role as the others seemed too big or too small. Lisa made a good call on Dee. I'd never warmed to her as a candidate but her character changed things rolled on and she got more exposure. She would've been a good backup choice if Kate Vernon had fallen under a truck.

I felt a bit abused by the schedulers stretching out the Final Cylon reveal and a bit let down in how it was handled but that's water under the bridge. 'The Plan' and finale has a similar smack about it. I know why it's done but that sort of marketing and story led approach wears thin after a while and starts getting in the way. Keep it up long enough and I hit the off button and never look back.

Dee not a backup

She might have been in the broad sense, but the “four in your fleet” clue was too solid to be a fakeout or lie. Once she said it, it knocked out most of the fan choices, and the only question was whether you wanted to disregard Last Supper (and thus go for Baltar, Roslin, or Adama) or accept it, leaving the dead characters and the virtual being plus a few very minor pilots.

Baltar was obvious, of course. I felt that while many clues pointed to him, the only way to do his story was to fill in some backstory about him being a special 5th Cylon. Ellen may be a special 5th — she talks like she is the one who has set up the download ability, but that’s still fairly unclear. But I don’t think this was done as a surprise to Saul. I suspect instead that this copy of Saul, like our copy, doesn’t know everything about his true nature. Though that’s a bit more odd on a whole planet of Cylons. Perhaps they don’t know either.

I'm not in the best of moods

I'm not in the best of moods to think straight or discuss this but I'll take a crack.

Ron could write what he likes, and there's been times he's made stuff up and had to deal with it later. While I buy the "four in your fleet" line as hard at the time of broadcast I'm looking at it as soft from a pre-shooting point of view. If Kate Vernan had fallen under a truck before that line was delivered Dee could've worked. It's just my personal view but as good as the Saul-Ellen story is, it's got the whiff of Deus-Ex Machina about it.

I agree, Baltar was obvious. The guy was a clue factory but it was so obvious I always felt that he'd ruled himself out, and that his ending would be different and not so obvious.

I also agree with your comment about the lack of clarity around Ellen. Did she create ressurection scheme, was it a scheme she discovered and used, or was she a willing guinea pig or customer of such a criminal or exclusive scheme? The possibilities are endless, and gets wrapped up in questions about whether the 13th tribe abandoned or lost resurrection technology, wiped their collective memory of history out, and so on.

But, I'm finding myself to angry at the moment. I feel deceived and not a happy bunny about buying into giving BSG any more attention. I feel, they fueled that and pulled the rug. It's one thing doing it in a TV show as part of the plot. It's another thing when you do it to the audience. I'm not taking that very well at the moment. It's one thing to be fooled. It's another thing to be made a fool of. Plus, not inviting the actress who played Dee to the end of show party looked a bit mean. I'm not going to forget this in a hurry.

Anyway,I'm going to have to take a break from this. I don't want to turn your blog into a forum for bitching about things.

Well hell, if Eddie Olmos

Well hell, if Eddie Olmos fell under a truck they'd need a backup plan too. Show writers simply don't have the time to spend thinking up contingencies to disasters. I think we can all agree that if a tagedy like that happened to Kate Vernon, we'd cut RDM a little slack in figuring out an alternative Cylon.

I don't know why you're feeling so unhappy about this. The reveal was as logical as we were going to get (really, there was no way to surprise us unless they did something totally bizaare, illogical, or simply lied about the clues).

Final Five -- Hybrids?

I just came across this interview with Kate Vernon where she says of Ellen and Tigh:

"These are two people who are deeply in love and deeply dysfunctional. I mean, hey, we're like half--- hybrids. We're missing a few synapses...we're half and half."

When asked is Six was modeled after Ellen, Vernon replied "no," but did mention that when they morphed their faces together did find bone structure similarities between the two actresses and played that up.

So, the Final Five are half-human, half-Cylon maybe?

Uploads

My original theory was that the final 5 were the very first Cylons — uploads of real human beings, made into AI form. This was bolstered by the news that Caprica, the series, has the first Cylons there be quasi-uploads.

That would explain Vernon’s remarks.

However, now I am not so sure we get to see the real Earth or real humans.

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