Someone to walk all over me

I wasn’t planning to post on this episode right away, but readers need a place to put comments, so I will start with some thoughts. The episode was a good one but wasn’t tremendously surprising to some. Many were of the opinion that Boomer was still working for Cavil and they were right. And we’ve always known that Starbuck was under the influence of the mysterious string-puller who showed her a vision of Leoben and gave her a destiny. Now that we know the Final Five wake-up wasn’t part of their own plan or Cavil’s, it has to have come from the string-puller, who likes All Along the Watchtower (whether Anders wrote it or not.) And Hera’s been involved in the visions of the Opera House, which are also clearly the work of the string-puller/One-true-god.

Still, the depth of the betrayal was good and shocking. The kidnapping in a box. The sex. The building of a complete fantasy world, complete with kid, to seduce Tyrol. When she leaves him, she tells him she truly felt all that.

Perhaps she did. This is the Boomer who, along with Caprica Six, seemingly saved the human race by convincing the Cylons not to kill them on New Caprica. She betrayed Adama and shot him, but due to programming. Now she’s ready to betray those she loved, as she betrayed her own model line.

Is it possible that she has been programmed by Cavil? This would disappoint me, I want my characters to be acting of their own will, make their own choices for their own reasons, but it is not out of the question here. The other, nice alternative is that she and Tyrol had a plan ready to betray Cavil (“I’m not sure I can do this on my own”) though it is clear that Tyrol didn’t realize a Hera kidnapping was part of what was going on. Where did he think he was sending her? To wander the stars in a Raptor until she runs out of air? Why did she ask him to come with her?

And I liked the stronger use of piano music. Though I kept expecting them to break out into “Someone to watch over me” at some point, not the All Along the Watchtower bass line.

A few other notes:

A Stream of Stars

Michael Hall, who has been diligent in finding Earth star patterns in recent episodes, has now found them in too many places, including the Ionian Nebula from the start of season 4 and after jumps from there. In spite of what seemed like a strong message with:

  • The most well known constellations being presented blatantly over the Cylon battle location and other locations
  • The use of random constellations over the 13th colony

May be just poor work on the part of the graphics dept. Clearly they have two modules for doing their backgrounds in post, one for the real solar system stars, another for random stars. They never used the real system stars until season 4, which seemed like a signal, but they’ve used them willy-nilly. While they would not expect most fans to have fancy star pattern matching software, the use of Orion and the Big Dipper did not require this to match.

So we have to seriously reduce the confidence we can make in predictions based on those star patterns.

Anders’ last words

Anders’ memories caused him to shout out “stay with the fleet. It’s coming. The miracle.” to the others. Doesn’t Ellen have these memories? It sure seems she would be asked about them, but we still learn no more.

That Seven

While we are told to not expect much more of Daniel in this show (though those saying he is Starbuck’s dad got a boost) we should pay attention to the exact wording of what they said about him. When Ellen talks of Daniel, Cavil says, “that seven was…” This suggests there were, at that time, multiple sevens. And Anders, though mumbling words, calls him “the Daniel.” So Daniel might not have been the original #7, though Cavil does seem to have shut down the further duplication of that line.

Poor Galactica

It will be sad when she breaks up. Just a few more jumps. We at least learn that jumping inside a ship is bad news. And it was so nice to see the cliche space opera scene of the ship racing for the closing doors of the launch bay — and this time actually hit the wall. Of course the bad guys always do hit the wall in that scene after the good guys sneak through, and Boomer is now fully bad guy. Curious that the Tylium ship was able to jump away while vipers were trying to land on it to board it, and they were not hurt.

Kara's father

Just to put this somewhere in the open. I liked the episode. The use of music was beautiful, and the betrayal was neatly done - even if it might have been expected.

It seems more and more possible that Kara's father figure is in fact Anders. If Kara is a version of Daniel, corrupted or changed in some way, it seems likely she has gotten implanted memories of some kind. Learning Watchtower definitely jives with this being Anders. Of course, the show has already shown us some Oedipus complex thoughts, what with Ellen and Cavil. Anders and Kara might be another one.

Daniel

I loved last night's episode. Every minute of it. And I didn't mind that some things were predictable or obvious, there were in sync with the characters and the story.
And I had goose bumps all over when I recognized the tune as "All Along The Watchtower"!

Daniel

The music in this episode was exceptionally good (I enjoyed the homage to the opening chords of TOS's theme) and the transition into AATW was beautiful.

I don't love the "Daniel is Kara's father" theory, because at this point it would just be really lame. Why waste all these years promoting Hera as important only to reveal that she's not the first Cybrid after all? They deliberated de-Cylonized Nicky Tyrol and it sure seems as if Liam has been swept under the rug as well to clear up stray plot lines.
There's not enough yet for me to try and make any kind of coherent picture out of this. Starbukc, the FF, Roslin, Caprica, Baltar, and the Virtual Beings are all connected to the frakking Opera House, but I tried linking them all together in a chart and ended up with a messy bird's nest. We're still too much in the dark; hopefully that will change with "Daybreak."

Hera and Starbuck

Why waste all these years promoting Hera as important only to reveal that she's not the first Cybrid after all? They deliberated de-Cylonized Nicky Tyrol and it sure seems as if Liam has been swept under the rug as well to clear up stray plot lines.

If Cavil does kill Hera, then Starbuck would be the only one "Cybrid" left.

Michael Hall has missed a

Michael Hall has missed a lot of star patterns from previous seasons. Either that, or he omitted his findings at in the past to further a point. There are highly recognizable star patterns to any midrange astronomy buff from season's 1 through 4. Not sure why Michael Hall doesn't see them, or doesn't want to.

Do you have some episodes or scenes?

Would be worth checking. I recall no mention of fans noticing obvious constellations until the Orion of season 4, but let us know. Pretty sloppy post-processing dept. if so.

Not really

I don't consider it sloppy post-production. Do you consider it sloppy post-production that the book Tyrol/Boomer's fake kid was holding was from Earth? Last I checked you were calling that minutia of detail that you wouldn't even notice on except the image was magnified to such a degree and still. I think it is the same with the stars. I am no expert, but I recognize star patterns fairly well and with an HD rig, unless I were to pause the show and not actually be paying attention to the story, only then, would I notice most of the star patterns Hall points out on his science site. I don't consider that bad post, I chalk that up to the same problem with the book, unless you are actually specifically looking for it, you wouldn't notice it on glance while watching the show, unless you weren't paying attention to the story.

No, the Orions were really obvious

Some of the star patterns are obscure and would not be detected without something like astrometry.net. However, some of them were really direct and obvious. You may not have seen them, but a lot of fans did, and thanks to message boards it spread pretty quickly.

And yes, it is sloppy post production today if you don’t think fans will freeze frame. This is 2009. A lot of fans have freeze frame.

The book is something people could never see even in freeze frame. That’s not sloppy props. They had several shots where Orion was not just visible, it was framed and emphasized — in the Base star’s wings, the vipers flying right into it. With the base star, my girlfriend said, “OK, even I can’t avoid seeing that one.” We understand the difference between a quick pattern and a pattern designed to tease. If it doesn’t mean what it should, that’s sloppy post.

Like a lot of things you

Like a lot of things you have this firmly in your head so you won't be dissuaded, or at least you will never admit it, but the idea that it is framed a certain way can only be true if they were actually trying to frame it that way. Otherwise it is happenstance. Unless things start aligning, I am chalking it up to happenstance and overzealous fans trying to make something out of nothing. I have seen way too much speculation based on wacky logic with this show. The idea that they are framing stars for hardcore geeks to gain a better understanding of the show is as bad as the wacky theories people have had based on [insert religion here].

Zen Buddhism is wacky by

Zen Buddhism is wacky by design.

This is a feature not a bug.

Why are you here, then?

We "overzealous" fans come here because we ENJOY how Brad takes speculation and theories to the extreme. My life isn't ruined when he or others here are wrong. It's just our way of enjoying the show more. If you don't like it, fine. Nobody's forcing you to hang out here, and believe it or not, slinging mud doesn't change anyone's mind. It just makes you look petty.

Taking it to extremes.

I'm here because I don't know anyone who could sit and talk for hours about the show. While I scrutinize the show a fair amount, I do not enjoy 'taking it to extremes.' It hampers the discussion of the show, frankly, because often times it defies conventional wisdom and, dare I say it, common sense.

you mean...

...sitting for hours talking about the show isn't taking it to extremes? :-) Actually "extremes" isn't really what I meant. More like "taking ideas and theories to their full conclusion, because we like to sit and talk about the show for hours." Whether it's "extreme" kind of depends on where you stop having fun doing that.

Gotcha

I thought you meant the high level of scrutiny. See why we can't take producer comments so literally? The English language, as Cavil pointed out, is so imprecise.

The Taste of Chocolate

Zen Buddhism is big on how things are, and cause and effect. This is simple to understand but a lot of people have a hard time grasping this. One of the simple questions it poses is how do you explain the taste of choclate to someone who's never had it? Thinking can get in the way of thinking, and feeling can get in the way of feeling. The roadcrash between what different people thought of Hera being packed in the Stay Fresh (TM) box helps illustrate this.

You've lost me

Here I am saying that new evidence suggests we can’t draw much from the star patterns in spite of past hopes, and somehow this is evidence that my opinion is fixed? There’s no pleasing some people.

The frame of Orion remains odd, and anybody with astronomical knowledge would conclude it looks deliberate. However, something can look deliberate and still be an accident.

Star Patterns

I am sure you realize that even a show like Galactica, which assumes a great deal of its audience (such as understanding special relativity), is written with the average viewer in mind. The simplest explanation for the familiar star pattern is this - they want the audience to realize the fleet is nearing Earth. How do they do that? They frame a shot showing a constellation that is clearly familiar (Orion, Ursa Major). They likely do NOT expect the audience to freeze frame every space shot and run star patterns through astronomy programs in order to triangulate the fleet's position in the Milky Way.

Really, how many viewers would take into account the slight shift in stellar arrangement based on location, or change in position due to the (likely) many thousands of years separating our time from Galactica's?

This is the same sort of science distortion that's needed simply for simple communication - like the way they compress the distance between ships, so they can all fit in the camera frame.

Ask your science advisor

When doing your space scenes, it is good to consult your science advisor. He would have told them what to do, but it appears they did not consult him.

What remains odd is that after fans started commenting on the appearance of Orion in season 4.0, the science advisor didn’t mention something to them for 4.5

One more time...

The science advisor would also tell them the spaceships should be faster and further apart. My point isn't that they got the science wrong due to negligence, but because they were more concerned will communicating information to the audience than they were in appealing to science geeks. Even if the advisor caught it and corrected them, they likely would have said "we don't care."

Bad fu

It's fair to make a clear distinction between random star patterns and something locally recognisable, and skewing the science perspective to fit the frame needed to tell a story. There's a saying in typography that good typography is invisible. Indeed, many people would agree that good design is invisible. The problem with BSG is that the science and narrative are dropping clangers all over the place as the end is being forced. This is bad fu.

And where they don't care

It is suitable subject for criticism, since this is not so hard to get right.

As I said, if a show makes a mistake for a reason, such as clustering ships together in order to get a dramatic shot and give viewers a sense of the fleet, this is fine, and we understand it. If it makes a mistake just because they don’t care, or worse, as you propose where they get told about the mistake and it’s trivial to fix and they still don’t care, then that is to be critcised.

I still think you're missing my point

The reason they got Orion and the Dipper "wrong" was mostly likely the same reason they get the ships wrong - for dramatic purposes. If one deliberate error is acceptable, so is the other. If they were to do accurate star charts, they would inform maybe 1% (being generous) of their audience that they were close to Earth. By using the "wrong" ones (ie a recognizable Orion and Dipper, even though the ships are not in our solar system), they are conveying that information to the entire audience (or at least that fraction paying attention).

What is the purpose

What would be the dramatic purpose for showing the most recognizable constellations prominently? These constellations either say nothing, to a user not versed in astronomy, or “You are in the solar system” to one who is.

So I don’t get what you mean when you say that they are conveying something to the audience by using “wrong ones.” They want to tell the audience they are at Earth, when they are not?

As I said already

To show those NOT versed in astronomy that the Galactica is in Earth's neighborhood - ie the goal is getting closer, NOT simply that it is HERE (in which case the constellations would be correct).

That would be a poor choice of method.

Today, all TV producers are fully aware that a large portion of the audience has digital recorders, and that a large portion talks on the internet. So a few percent of viewers will spot some constellations. They’ll talk about it on the net. But a much smaller fraction will say, “Cool, but those stars appear in only one star system, this one.” Some of the people on the net might be as people are and argue some falsehoods, but the people who actually know would win out.

I just don’t see this as a way to send this vague message. It’s a message best seen in freeze frame, directed mostly at the nerds who talk about things on the net. You want to send a message to the uneducated by confirming their misunderstandings?

So which is it?

You don't think they would use a familiar constellation to send a vague message, but in the past you've insisted that Orion and Dipper were to prominantly featured to be an accident. And somehow showing the familiar constellation would be vague, but showing an altered, astronomically correct constellation that a very small handful of people would recognize would not be vague.

Either the constellation was meant to convey a message, or it wasn't. I've tended to lean on the "it wasn't" explanation for a while (more likely an easter egg planted by an overeager FX artist), but if we have to insist on it meaning something, I don't see why a technically innaccurate symbol more readily interpreted by a large segment of the audience is somehow less acceptable than a technically accurate symbol that a handful of audience members would see, and relying upon them to get the word out via the internets.

While I still don't understand the logic of what you say

The evidence is pointing up that their use is not consistent, and so little can be drawn from it. As to why put in inconsistent and incorrect star patterns, I can’t think of a good reason. Screwing around with people seems a strange reason. I can see them doing it because they don’t know any better (ie. by accident) and I can see them doing it deliberately but correctly, but doing it deliberately incorrectly makes little sense.

The particular patterns chosen are red flags to those who know any astronomy. It is quite odd, but not impossible, that they would be just thrown in by accident. At this point, however, we may have one of those things that is quite odd, but not impossible. The patterns show up in too many places, and more to the point, though the patterns show them as having been in the solar system for the last month, along with Cavil, sending out week-long raptor patrols to find any habitable rock, if they were in the system, they would have seen Earth.

The only remaining explanation is rather strained — that, like the water that Boomer’s brain could not see in “Water” (episode 2) on her recon mission, the fleet can’t see Earth because it’s being hidden somehow.

Or Earth is in the distant

Or Earth is in the distant past and uninhabitable.

No, it's recent

As you know, one of the 3 big whammo surprises at the end of season 3 was the zoom to Earth. It was a near-present day, habitable Earth, not an ancient one. In fact, to get strict, it was today’s Earth, habited and close to the year 2,000, but I’ll give them that mistake. However, if they meant it to be Earth a billion years ago, it would not have the same continents, nor colour. In fact, grasses, which greened much of the Earth, arose only in the last 50 million years.

Define "near-present day" and "ancient".

I think you need a better qualifier for Earth's age. The shot we saw of Earth didn't highlight any manmade features, so all we can go by is geography, which puts us, at most, a few million years off the year 2000. I don't know how detailed a map anyone made off the globe we saw in BSG, but the continents have had, basically, their familiar shapes for the last 10m years or so, and presumably will remain mostly recognizable for much of the next 10. If the map was very accurate to today's, then we can likely narrow that window down to plus or minus 1m years, disregarding the ice ages. Hell, even if its within the last 100,000 years, its still far off from present day, and, depending on the person, eligible for "ancient" consideration.

No, it's present day.

While I think the graphics dept. just pulled down an image of present day Earth, and wasn’t really trying to mean anything by it except, “Look, Earth as we know it is out there,” that is an image of present day Earth, and no other era.

It has a giant man-made object in it. It’s called the Balize lobe of the Mississippi delta, which sometime in the 19th century we started shaping with river diversions and levees, controlling where the silt was laid down. The delta looked very different just a few hundred years ago, and will look very different in the future unless we take deliberate action to keep it looking like it does. Which would not be done on a deserted Earth, nor an environmentally conscious Earth, and not a “water levels raised to cover buildings in cities” Earth as seen in Revelations.

Easy Solution

Post that image (the one without the lines connecting the stars) on a random discussion website and say, what do you see. Wait and see how long it takes someone to point out Orion. If a novice should be able to point it out, the first person should give you the answer you want. If it takes more than 3 people, it is not truly noticeable. And even that is system is flawed, but unless you live in the same city and can go out together to ask random people on the street it is the best I got.

Depends what you mean by a novice

If you mean a random American, then no, only some of them would spot any star pattern.

If you mean a random SF geek, the chances are pretty good.

If you mean a person with a novice level interest in astronomy, then yes, most of them would spot Orion from the prominent uses in the show. And that’s all it takes, in this interconnected world.

Astronomy

I consider myself more than a random SF geek. I'm a pretty big Sci-fi geek. I'd call my father an even bigger sci-fi geek: he's EXTREMELY well versed in classic and modern sci-fi literature, television and movies. I myself am more versed in modern, and some classic, sci-fi. I do a good amount of scrutinizing and intense analysis of my favorite fiction.

Neither of us, and no one I know who watches the show noticed any constellations.

Why? Because while we may be sci-fi buffs, nerds and geeks alike, none of us at all familiar with astronomy, and none of us were even looking at the stars. I never look THAT closely at a show. Never. Now, i'll admit, the fact that they're as 'front and center' as you've shown us in hindsight is a bit more than a coincidence, but I wouldn't say that they're as noticeable as you seem to think. If you asked a hundred random viewers if they'd recognized any constellations, 99 would say no.

99% might be high

While I agree most wouldn't notice and most would want proof these anomalies didn't exist in previous seasons (other than someone saying 'because') I don't think it would be 99%. I think if they used the Big Dipper in a shot with no ships 45% of the viewers would notice that in a still. In this case, Orion, I dunno, maybe 25%.

Not a still.

In a still, sure a good more would notice, but in the episode? Most of the time the shots are so fleeting, and the viewer is so into the episode, that people wouldn't take notice. Seriously, take 100 random fans, and maybe one will say he noticed while watching. It's not a knock on anyone, those who do or do not pick up on those things, it just is what it is. Again, based on what Brad and Mr. Hall have pointed out, it can't all be coincidence, but I think it was included more for future viewings or for those like Mr. Hall. It may not even have been something the producers asked for. A lot of time FX artists act on their own, and the producers watch things and say 'hey, good job, look what they threw in there!'

Makes me wonder if RDM even noticed...

The Final Retcon

First, there was the Final Final Final *gasp* Final Cylon.

Now, we have the retcon retcon retcon, er, retcon.

It's the Fiiiiiinal Retcon. Da-de-dah. Dee Dee dah daaaah.

But, hey. That's showbiz.

Michael Hall has missed a....

Maybe Michael Hall is programed not to recognize star patterns before a certain point in time.

Possibly

Do you have some cites of shows from seasons 1-3 with the Earth stars, aside from the map in Torn, which I think was a production mistake by the props dept.

No clue if he omits stuff,

No clue if he omits stuff, or not, but the program he uses is in BETA stages and I have found a few of the findings he has posted to be in the maybe category more often than not. I can see where the program chose those constellations, but I can also look at the originals and say it is filling in stars that aren't actually in the shot (or there are extra unaccounted for stars) making it more coincidence that the backgrounds share common characteristics without being perfect matches. Maybe it is there, but sometimes it seems like there are similarities, but without the lines drawn in by the program, you get the feeling the program will find a match for anything it just assumes certain stars are present when not visible and sometimes ignores stars that are there. I get the feeling it never comes up with no result, it just works on a best possible match scenario, meaning it just has to be close, not 100%.

No, I trust the research

Star patterns are highly improbable to match by accident if your precision is high.

The question is, are the graphics team just being careless or stupid and did not consult the science advisor, or were they told to use Earth patterns in these places and not at the 13th colony.

You can choose to trust it,

You can choose to trust it, but from what I have seen there are places where it seems to be looking for things that aren't there. It is like shows that try to pinpoint where Noah's Ark was. Well, you have to assume a lot before coming to the conclusions. I think the star program assumes there is an answer when sometimes there isn't.

It's pretty easy to calculate the odds of that

I haven’t done that because I don’t know the tolerances they are using, but if they are high, the odds of that mistake are insignificant. It just depends how much slop it allows. Write them and ask ‘em?

They use 4-star patterns. With 4 stars, I think you get what, 5 degrees of freedom? If each is to 2 decimal places that’s 100^5 (10 billion) possible quadrangles. The odds of 2 matching quadrangles with appropriate distance is, well, astronomical. I don’t know if they have 2 decimal places requirement. But even with just one decimal place you don’t need to match too many quadrangles before the odds of doing it by chance are nonexistent.

That’s with 4 stars. With the larger patterns (like the Orion etc. we have seen) it’s even less likely.

But write them and ask them what level of confidence their tool has over the chance of a random false positive.

Liam

" They deliberated de-Cylonized Nicky Tyrol and it sure seems as if Liam has been swept under the rug as well to clear up stray plot lines."

This was from another thread, but I wanted to respond here. I'm not sure if Liam's death is as clear cut as it may seem. Not to say he's coming back, but remember: Six was impregnated AFTER Tigh was revealed as a cylon. Nicky I understand, but why get Six pregnant just to kill it off a few episodes later? There has to be a point to the pregnancy and miscarriage. It may just be to illustrate that Cylons CAN NOT breed amongst themselves, even with the five. Either way, it had a purpose, I believe.

Tyrol-Boomer and forced projection??

Did anyone else have their mind blown when Boomer 'forced' her mental projection of the house on Picon on Tyrol? It was the first time that we've ever been shown a cylon 'sharing' visions with anyone... And if cylons can mentally project with another Cylon (We've never seen Helo and Sharon doing this, even with out permission... Is that a possible clue as to how Baltar is seeing 'Virtual Six'?

Meaning that Baltar may well be a Cylon? Of course that leads to the question is it Caprica Six or another Six model projecting to him?

Forced projection

There's nothing that says a cylon can't force a projection on a non cylon, I suppose, which could mean that Baltar is NOT a cylon. Clearly he hasn't been projecting of his own free will. Same with Starbuck, Roslin and Adama, for that matter. Could the string puller be forcing projections on non-humans? Would it be possible?

By the way, the idea that Baltar is a cylon based on his ability to project was first proposed in the season 3. It was the reason Baltar began asking about the final five, a term that he himself coined. He thought he might be one of them.

I'm not sure Adama was

I'm not sure Adama was projecting. I'm putting that down to a daydream and a fuck up by the producers. They were probably trying to illustrate a point or be "clever". It was ham fisted and people are reading things in that aren't there, and because Ron likes the attention he's being a tool and not explaining it.

He wasn't as evidenced by

He wasn't as evidenced by the recent podcast for Someone to Watch Over Me. Not even the Head characters are projections in any way. Projection was pretty much abandoned after it's first use and now here. Moore says in the podcast directly that they had established it, but hadn't used it since Baltar on the Basestar. That means the Head characters and daydreams were Head characters and daydreams, not projection.

Dragging it out

I'm don't know about anyone else but I'm getting a bit tired of the way it's being glaringly dragged out. I mean Ellen remembers EVERYTHING and yet is saying very little that Anders did not reveal in his fragmented ramblings. This can only be to prolong the series and I for one will be glad to see it finished. Not that I haven't enjoyed the show in it's entirety but now I just want it to be done and the end to be known even if it is a bit dark and unexpected. I will watch Caprica, and I have read as few spoilers as possible so as not to ruin the show when it does air, but I think that this story has run it's course and needs to be brought to a close. These tiny snippets of new info in amongst lots of filler are just annoying. I mean how many times did we need to see Adama going into the bowels of the ship looking anguished to get the fact that he cares about his ship. HE'S IT'S COMMANDER, OF COURSE HE'S UPSET. Get on with it.

Phew , I feel better nbow.

LOL

I think you're right.

"Ellen remembers EVERYTHING and yet is saying very little that Anders did not reveal in his fragmented ramblings."

Perhaps that is because she doesn't know any more than what we've heard. It may be that what Anders revealed is essentially all there is for the final five to tell us.

BSG and Deus Ex

I feel your pain.

Once the immersion bubble popped for me I've just wanted the show to finish. I don't want to hear about "The best show on television" or listen to some marketing driven producer comment anymore. The latest episode was a rewarmed meal not the amazing epsiode some people are saying it was. I just think people are relieved it wasn't as bad as the Espensen episode and their hunger is clouding their vision. I've seen worse but it's a close run thing with those 1970's late night made for TV movies we used to suffer.

The trailers make a play of Battlestar Galactica coming apart. I get the feeling this is going to be another cock tease episode. They'll have the main thread dragging this one out as the Final Five sit around a table scaring themselves with a weegee board, a few token "revelations" that resolve nothing and pose more questions, and have Adama jumping for pills like dog treats. After a few big bangs and a flashes to "Ooh" the audience Galactica will make it through to the remaining episodes.

I'm left wondering how they've spent the money for the hard and fast ending Ron has hyped up. BSG has pretty much destroyed its orginal premise and the story we believed we saw unfolding before the retcon. Like Deus Ex the aimed high, had to cut interesting and much anticipated content (the Centurian rebellion versus a scene set in the White House), and the last stretch is flagging as people run out of direction and begin to execute poorly. If 'The Thing' flops Ron D Moore's reputation could be ruined as badly as Warren Spector's.

It has happened before. It will happen again.

That's a really ignorant

That's a really ignorant post without any nuances actually. Based on the premiss that the show is only about revealing mysteries to a bunch of stupid and ignorant scifi-nerds, who then want to nitpick the mysteries and their explanations as a bunch of hungry vultures. In case you haven't noticed it, BSG is mostly about its characters, not about its mysteries, and the episodes "deadlock", "someone to watch" has served the purpose of elaborating on the characters (such as the jealousy between Ellen and Tigh, which could be interpreted as an allegory of the jealousy between Zeus and Hera), or Starbuck's childhood.

Everyone has the right to say what they think, and so do I: The ending isn't only about answering the mysteries (and I still claim that the only outstanding mysteries are the head figures, Hera, Opera house and Starbuck), it's also about closure for the characters, and that is what we're seeing right now, and I frankly am quite offended by this sort of impatient critique without any nuances or sensitiveness.

Helice Opera House

and I still claim that the only outstanding mysteries are the head figures, Hera, Opera house and Starbuck

So, about the Opera House. I hope you saw that the recording Starbuck had of her dad's was "Live from the Helice Opera House."

Only to speculate here, but

Only to speculate here, but a couple of things here: ´
The helice opera house - helice was what the ursa major was called in ancient greece, ursa major=BIG BEAR. Since the piano playing father is supposed to have been loosely based on Bear McCreary, I suspect it's only a nod to the show's composer.

The kobol opera house - hm, this is interesting...and puuuure speculation
1. The opera house resided on kobol
2. The opera house is visible for C6, Athena, Roslin, Baltar(perhaps someone more).
3. It appears to be related to the resurrection process, there are hints that D'Anna could glimpse the opera house during her suicide rush in the episodes leading up to Rapture. And we are also told that the vision she had in the temple of 5/hopes wasn't a hologram orchestrated by the 5(according to Ellen in No Exit, instead she claimed that the one true god must have been behind it). So this could mean that the vision of the 5 in the opera house was dormant within D'Anna and awakened by the events in the temple/supernova. And C6 says in the beginning of s4: "They 5 are close, I can feel them." So apparently the s7 can sense the 5 as some kind of collective presence, during resurrection, but also once they have been awakened. Why can they do that? Because they use the same resurrection technology, and the resurrection technology was reinvented by the F5, originating from Kobol. And we have been told that the 13th tribe stole the ability to create life from the gods and was expelled. They probably stole resurrection from the Lords Of Kobol and was expelled or fled. So the vision of the opera house probably is an ancient mumbojumbo used by the LoK to transfer their minds into physical bodies and by this be able to live in harmony with humans. And the LoK probably manifests themselves through head figures (for example manipulating Baltar into declaring war against polytheism) and through cultural triggers, such as All Along the Watchtower and certain especially gifted and unique individuals, such as Starbuck who had the vision of the cylon civil war, and Hera, with her magical drawings etc.

So in short, I don't think the show will be tied together by technical or factual explanations, rather by cultural and mythological.

Ellen's deep dark secrets

First of all--killer episode in my opinion, makes up for the possibly-necessary-but-still-stagnant transitions of "Deadlock". I'd name this one the best since the season break.

I hear a lot of complaints about the illogical focus on Anders' suppressed memories when resurrected Ellen should have 'em all anyway.
It's difficult to dispute that she should have all the answers regarding Daniel, AATW etc. but that's not to say she doesn't have a reason to keep them secret. If she/the whole Five did something shameful and/or something that weighs heavily on another character's life (the answer to Kara's mysteries, or Baltar's, or both), it's certainly plausible that she would be hiding it. Fits with her persona, although in that case, it would be hard to explain why she was advocating asking Anders for answers.

Anyway--if Kara's a Cybrid via Daniel, would that really grant her resurrection abilities? She'd have to have whatever FTL connection that allows for the process implanted. I suppose that's possible, Daniel could have taken care of that. But then, she'd need another body to have transferred into. How likely is that?

Ellen knows a great deal more

Than Anders told in 10 minutes. Ellen had a whole lifetime on Earth, she’s been a Cylon longer than anybody left alive who remembers. She discovered the final key to restoring download tech. She built the Cylons, raised them, worked with her team to construct their giant resurrection network and all their biotech. Of course she knows a great deal more.

That actually make’s Cottle’s line about her being a quack very strange. What does he know of Cylon brain operation? Very little. She knows more than anybody around, except perhaps Tyrol when he gets his memory back.

How much more do you think she knows?

We've seen no clue that she's keeping secrets.
When she arrived on Galactica, we cut away and came back to the end of her debriefing with Adama, Roslin, etc. I think we are meant to assume she filled them in on all the relevant information. She can shed light on the origins of the skinjobs and the fate of the 13th colony, but that's about all.
She may know how to download memories, but that's programming, not necessarily hardware. Again, we have been led to believe that Earth-Cylons were born, not built. The potential to project their memories is then likely still a part of their physical architecture (a vestigial structure, if you will - which also helps explain Starbuck's ressurection). We have no idea what methods were used to create the cylon bodies - it may have more to do with (essentially) genetic manipulation than actual manufacturing, which means there is little or no reason to believe that Ellen would have the medical skills necessary to repair a damaged brain, especially since she didn't bother to volunteer her aid.

Both perspectives look fine

Both perspectives look fine to me. I agree with Brad that Cottles remark jarred a bit but Ellen may be more theory than hands on. The whole thing comes over as a badly fumbled short cut. I put this down as a side effect to bad planning and rushing the last few episodes.

Ellen the "quack"

I think one thing that everyone continues to assume is that Ellen's discovery was scientific in nature. Why does the important discovery related to a MEMORY transfer system have to be scientific? Maybe there is an emotional trigger, too. Why do we assume she wasn't a shrink? She knows a great deal about the way people think and process memories, but she is no scientist. Maybe Anders was the actual scientist. Tyrol did great work we know, but no clue what he did. Maybe it was in manufacturing. Maybe he fabricated the machinery needed based on the specs. Saul could have been management, Tory could have been an assistant. Wow, it manages to fit with their personalities too.

I am not saying this is true, in fact, I just made that up as I went along based on the premise, Ellen is no scientist. She had an idea. It was important. It could have been the recipe for turkey sandwiches that fueled the late night science research. Don't assume Ellen has any knowledge of how to deal with someone who has been shot in the head. For all you know brains were Anders' specialty which is why he knew what the neurosurgeon was talking about, but couldn't properly express it because of the word salad.

Ellen's skills

She was on a special research team. We know Tyrol was important, but so must some of the others have been.

And we know that John thinks that Ellen knows how to rebuild their resurrection system. Ellen tells him that “all 5” are needed to do that, so I think all 5 of them have technical knowledge. If all Ellen did was think up an emotional trigger and Tory was an assistant and Saul was a manager, that’s not true, and it’s not even a credible lie.

Now yes, John may only be pretending that he thinks Ellen knows how to rebuild it on her own. He is only planning to scare her. But the lie must be credible. Ellen’s response is not, “Don’t be silly John, you know I wasn’t involved in the technical details” which is what she would say if your supposition were true.

Or John doesn't know who did

Or John doesn't know who did what and just assumes they all have equal knowledge. The possibilities are endless as to why John wouldn't know the truth. I think that was the point of the post. I mean the guy did say they made it up on the spot. Ellen came up with something, and it was important. The guy is right it could mean anything.

The issue probably is that

The issue probably is that even if she did know more, it isn't necessary for us viewers to know more. I.e they probably have talked a lot, but we aren't allowed to see it, because it's not considered critical for the story.

So Brad - do you think this

So Brad - do you think this episode will allow them to pull *it* off; that is, an ending that will satisfy you?

This episode

This episode didn’t change much. Just about all that took place was commonly proposed in fan discussion. What will please me is something well written and dramatically satisfying that is consistent as practical with reality, with the past of the show and ideally which offers us a new exploration of the issues explored in the show.

This episode doesn’t change that. The only thing about it which is bad is that very little was resolved in this episode, and in fact a new plot element was introduced — Cavil’s capture of Hera. Adding this means yet more to resolve in 5 hours. They have a lot to get out of the way (including Hera) so the more they resolve now, the more time they can devote to finishing the other things right.

Tyrol’s sending Boomer off suggests there is somewhere for her to go.

Two types of mysteries

There are two ways to construct mystery stories.

The first is like Lost or X-Files. Keep the viewer completely in the dark, offer few if any clues, and keep them guessing as to what's going on, so that each revelation comes as a shock.

The other is the murder mystery approach - offer up hints and clues as to the answer, and see if the audience can figure it out. In such a story, the revelations are less like a surprise and more like pieces of a puzzle clicking together. It may be a surprise to some, but rarely a shock. That's why few of us were blown away by Ellen as the final Cylon (really, there were very few candidates that made sense within the show, and few that fit the clues, and less than five that fit both). It's why few of us were surprised that Starbuck's dad was Daniel (that she is a hybrid was proposed a long, long time ago), and likley few of us will be surprised if/when they reveal that Cylon Earth isn't Our Earth, or that We Are All Cylons. So I fully expect these final episodes to be more about the final pieces of the puzzle falling into place, than being completely blown away.
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Really, there isn't nearly so much left as many people think. There will be a final confrontation with Cavil, they will find Earth, and they will meet the Grand String Puller. The last two will likley happen together, and pretty much all our remaining questions will be answered in that moment.

And in a mystery

One of the rules is that when you meet the grand string puller, it turns out to be somebody who was right in front of you all the time, not some brand new character.

And so it was with Cavil, who turns out to be the explanation for why the final 5 had fake memories and the 7 can’t think of them. He fits that rule.

It’s hard to see who in the cast could be the secret god. I mean Head-Six says she is an angel sent by that god, and she probably is, but the string puller himself? Or herself?

I think that only counts

When the identity of the string puller is a question. That was certainly the case for Ellen and the Final Four (but not D'Ana, Cavil, or Simon, as it was reasonable for some of the skinjobs to be unknown to us).

Here, it's less their identity than their nature - God? Human? Cylon? Alien? No one I know has been wondering WHO the Cylon's One God is (and I am assuming it is the string puller). Given the nature of this show (ie science fiction) I would have a hard time with it being supernatural, and almost as hard a time with it being alien (given the lack of aliens on the show to date), though I know many OS fans would cream themselves if we found the Beings of Light. I still think this is set in the far future, and God will be either a highly evolved/advanced human or AI from Our Earth, but will be open to other options, so long as they make some sense in the grand scheme.

This is also what I have been expecting

Some highly evolved AI being, super-cylon or Earth AI. The problem is that you can’t reveal a god at the end of a show, that is the classic deus ex machina. Since they are not developing this god more (though showing more influences, like Hera and Starbuck knowing the music) we will never see this god, and thus never really get a good explanation of it.

i've always thought that

i've always thought that there was a Data type machine, or a literary character that is more of a string puller would be Daneel Oliva from Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Robots universe....and Ellen as was noted earlier has stated the obvious, there is someone else out there.

Of course there is somebody out there

But the question is how this being, and his/her agenda, is revealed to us to make a satisfying ending. If the being has an actual personage, it can be a major cheat if it’s nobody we’ve ever seen before, even if it’s Dirk Benedict.

One possible scenario is that this character will be presented as a Head Six, visible to all, or perhaps as a Head character which looks different to everybody but to the audience mostly looks like a Head Six, as this is the primary character to be the voice of the OTG.

God's Name is Anders

I do think we're in for a big reveal of the cylon god. I believe the blank look on Anders' face and the crazy brain activity are signs of the god downloading into Anders, something that may have had to do with Liam's death. I expect downloading god will take a while, hence it occurring over 2 - 3 episodes, or Anders' brain needs to be fixed as well, slowing the download process. I expect this will create a "being of light", a being of pure goodness with access to advanced technology beyond anything that already exists. This could seriously help to even the odds as the "alliance" has to fight against Cavil's formidable forces for the return of Hera.

You may be on to something.

I felt that Liam's death made very little narrative sense. It could very well be that his death is tied into Anders re-awakening. Perhaps the cylon god, or some dead cylon (daniel?) would have been resurrected through liam, but with him dead, Anders was re-programmed. It could be a number of things, but you may be on to something.

Brad, while you say they would not introduce the string puller as a new character this late (and I agree with you), could it be that WE are the string pullers? Technically it's a new set of characters, but think about it: who is more familiar to the audience then themselves, humans on our Earth?

Road to nowhere

So it began with Baltar's cock being teased and it ends with the audiences cock being teased?

Great.

The String Puller

This is where the head characters come in. Revealing "God" as the force behind Head Six (and Head Baltar) will allow for a familiar face to be put on the old deus ex. Hopefully that will allow for emotional closure as well as intellectual.

If there really is a god

If there really is a god behind this and the Head characters it means that whatever Baltar is, Kara is the same. Is Dreilide his father too? I highly doubt that. I also doubt more than one of the 7 line could have escaped death, just because it is too much James Bond Villain Syndrome if more get away. Not to mention I don't want to contemplate any further that idea simply because Baltar and Kara had sex and although there is some Oedipus logic going on so far no direct contact has occurred, so to speak, and I am hoping it stays that way. So does this mean Baltar is Jesus again? Or is he another Cylon model of unknown origin?

Connection to Our Earth

I just hope that when the String Puller is revealed, it has SOME kind of connection with *our* Earth, not the Cylon Planet Called Earth; any connection would satisfy me.

RDM has suggested we won't get a hard answer on this

I really want closure on the identity of the string puller, but I'm keeping in mind these RDM's answer when Alan Sepinwall asked him if we'd find out who, if anyone, was orchestrating all this. Ron said: "Basically, yeah. I don't know if it's going to be wrapped up in a neat bow. The show has an answer for it, whether it's a satisfying answer, I don't know." (interview here)

So I think the answer to the string-puller will not be a complete one. That may make for a better story - a Wizard of Oz reveal can be mighty cheesy and unsatisfying. It could also be really frustrating.

I see that statement

I see that statement completely differently. I see it as there is a definitive answer in the show and based on notions he hears from fans some will like the answer and some won't. If there is a deity in all this I am sure it would annoy a lot of science minded people, whereas I am sure no deity behind it would probably annoy the religious minded (and yes there are websites with polar opposite views to this one that take the religious angle very seriously). Maybe you are right, I just never thought of it that way.

The Colony?

Tyrol’s sending Boomer off suggests there is somewhere for her to go.

Really good point. I can't see Tyrol thinking she should go back to Cavil. From Tyrol's perspective, all of the Cylons hate Boomer at this point. So where did Tyrol think she was going?

He was sending Boomer to

He was sending Boomer to find a habitable planet. As in Boomer finds a home and all is forgotten. Little did Tyrol know Boomer was lying the whole time. If RDM is to be believed the final projection scene with their "child" gone was to symbolize it was a complete lie on Boomer's part. I would rather Boomer did truly love Tyrol, but thought he was on the wrong side, but according to RDM, not so much, and really, Cavil will probably kill her before she has a chance to meet Tyrol again, so it won't come up again to deal with.

Correct

This is accurate. That was what all the Raptor's were being sent out on missions for during the episode. That is why they were going to be alone for 6 days on Raptors. That is why they were loading those boxes of scanners (or Hera in Boomer's case, haha bad pun) during the episode when you saw Raptors on the hangar deck.

Other ancient Cylons

i've been wondering if there are other ancient cylons that left with the colonies to go to Caprica instead of Earth the 13th Tribe. they might be as old as the FF?

I think the tylium ship not

I think the tylium ship not hurting the Raptors when it jumped away can be ascribed to the smaller size of the raptors- the backlash kind of washed over them and pushed them back, while Galactica is a huge ship and took it full on because of its weight that is presumably given in space by its artificial gravity.

Last week I jokingly said that Brad's reaction to the finale would be very funny if it went the way I think it will. Bad said I should post my theory for posterity's sake. Brad is very good at answering posts, and he didn't reply so with the finale approaching, I thought it best to make sure it is seen before then. The following is a cut and paste from that post, but I wanted to add to it. MY theory is that they will not have Earth as the homeworld of the BSG humans because the finale will be too busy to deal with a revelation that big- well I believe that even more after watching this episode. Here is the paste

OK, here's my theory. I am a night watchman, and I am allowed to use my computer at work, so I have plenty of time to extrapolate and not leave out a single detail. And please note, this is from in-show evidence, and guessing how RDM and his writers work. To start with, I decided that when they find real Earth, there probably won't be any humans to greet them, as it is too late, I feel, to introduce a new faction of characters into the show. My theory is not what I want, but what I feel (worry?) might happen.

My theory is this: The show is not set in the present or future, and may well go with the colonials and Cylons colonizing a new planet that is our Earth, this making us their descendants. There are SPOILERS in my explanation, as I point out several clues I have seen here and there.
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The list of scientific errors/non-explanations are a mile long in this show: There is no explanation as to how FTL works or what exactly tylium is, how they get artificial gravity, how Cylon resurrection works, how a Cylon can manipulate Colonial technology by sticking a plug in their wrists, how an injection can stave off the harmful effects of radiation, how twelve habitable planets can exist in a single star system, how the ruins of Earth could be far more intact than the ones on Kobol despite the fact that they date from the same time, why they need to find ice on a moon to get water rather than mining one of the trillions of comets in any solar system's Oort Cloud, how Starbuck could fly a raider by futzing with the internal organs, why the planet around a star about to go Supernova could possibly be habitable despite the short lifespans of massive stars that die young, how the fighters can bank in space without being torn to pieces.

This is not hard science fiction. Arthur C. Clarke writes hard science fiction. "Naturalistic" science fiction is different- the subtitle of RDM's essay was, I believe, "Taking the opera out of space opera."

Insisting that naturalistic science fiction means Earth has to be the homeworld is likely to be wrong- for one thing, the essay was several paragraphs long and only dealt with science for a very small part, and the fact that it says that initially there wasn't going to be sound in space shows that it evolved. And the essay was written for the studio to show what RDM was trying to do and was written before a studio honcho asked RDM to expand on the religious aspect of the show (namely, Number Six's line "God is love."). Reading that essay, would you have ever guessed that the eventual show would feature religious visions, magic baby blood, etc? Even the blog post you have quoted that gives you hope makes me uneasy:

"I don't have a direct answer for this question yet. There are a couple of notions rolling around in my head as to how we reconcile the very real fact of evolution with the Galactica mythos, but I haven't decided which approach to take. However, it was a fundamental element of the orginal Galactica mythos that "Life here began out there..." and I decided early on that it was crucial to maintain it."

IT seems like nitpicking to think that when he said the notion of "Life here began out there" was crucial to just assume he thought it was important for it to apply to SOMEBODY.

Despite the murky phrasing in the funeral scene in the mini regarding Kobol, later episodes establish it as the homeworld of humanity, and I don't think the showrunners have yet planted evidence that would contradict this to the characters- else they would make them look stupid.

One thing you need to know about me is that I like the idea of mistakes regarding the ancient past, because it adds a bit of realism to the situation, making it seem like knowledge has been lost and dates and such have been mixed up. At this point, I don't think they'll touch on the Tomb of Athena again, so here are my theories about it, since this is your biggest point of contention about Earth being the homeworld

"And they looked into the heavens and saw their Twelve Brothers." I always assumed the constellations were named after the Tribes, and not vice-versa. Keep in mind so much of the Sacred Scrolls were written by Pythia, who presumably had precognitive powers. Maybe we can just write off the Tomb as being made by Kobolians before the Exodus to the colonies, who perhaps had no idea what they were really making, just that the compulsion was so strong.

Here is my collection of SPOILER evidence as to why I think what I do:

1. A photo of Roslin and Adama sitting side by side in a Raptor, Adama in the pilot's seat.

2. Footage from the wrap videos (which used to be on the Science of Galactica website) of long lines of people seemingly carrying all of their belongings in a long line marching through a field. This bit was seen through the director's camera, so it wasn't crystal clear if there was anything else going on.

3. Cavil in CIC flanked by Marines in behind the scenes footage.

4. Tigh and Adama barking orders in CIC; someone tells them there are Centurions all over the ship. There is an explosion and a panel falls loose from the ceiling. The same video shows a LOT of cardboard Centurion stand-ins in the halls of Galactica.

5. The Galactica being dead in the water.

6. A casting call for athletic extras comfortable with wearing dreadlocks and being shot in a bathing suit for the finale.

7. Many of the cast wearing flak jackets in photos from the shooting of the finale.

8. A bloody Doral holding a gun on Galactica.

9. A website revealed that they had reliable information that the final scene of the series was No. 6 walking through Times Square, and they had this information long before the photo I posted of 6. standing in front of a newsstand with a magazine that says "NY Intelligencer."

10. This quote from Jamie Bamber from TV Guide: "Who's to say that the cinder planet we saw is a look into Earth's future? It could be the far, far past. It could be prehuman. These questions will stand until the finale."

1 strongly hints that Galactica is destroyed. Certainly they're going that way, and I can't imagine Adama or even Roslin would abandon the ship unless they had to. 2 shows that the Colonials find a new planet to settle on, and the fact that they shoot out in the country hints that if the new planet is our Earth, there is no technological civilization to help them (yes, it's possible that there is one on Earth, but my view is to keep it simple- doing that seems to produce the correct guesses for this show more often than not).

10 speaks for itself- why would Jamie Bamber say that? It's not his job to throw people off, and I don't know if he has ever shown any history of that before. I think it is entirely possible that the show is in the past if they think it will serve the story, and it might be entirely possible that the show will have parallel evolution- there will be primitive humans on Earth, perhaps(according to clue 6. Clue 6 could also be a look into the Colonial/Cylon alliance a few generations down the road after being reduced to a primitive existence as well. Maybe they simply said "bathing suit" because "loincloth" would be too revealing- no pun intended). Add to the fact that the Colonies have dogs, cats, foxes, chickens, etc. I always thought adding Jake was odd, as in the mini commentary, RDM said that in laying down the rules of the show they decided there WOULDN'T be dogs and cats in the colonies, even as he was laughing at a chicken pie reference. And save the science lectures. I'm fully aware of the unlikelihood of all that, but in a show where God is very likely to be real and directly manipulating things... who knows?

5 means that there is no huge obstacle to finding the new Earth- the fleet is simply waiting for Galactica to get running again. Occam's Razor would suggest to me that the real Earth is a lush and habitable planet but otherwise unworthy of Cavil's notice- now that "No Exit" established his motives and what he wants, I think his desire to rebuild Resurrection technology will drive the show to its end- so it's unlikely that he knows about the real Earth or if he does, if he's even concerned about it. And the post-show interview with Jane Espenson revealed that "the Colony" wasn't anything special.

9 is interesting. If No. 6 in NYC is the last shot, what does it mean? Is it a flashback to the past of the show showing our Earth on the verge of destruction and the beginning of the first cycle? I can't see why they would end the episode in a flashback to the show's VERY distant past.

3, 4, 7, and 8 show that a large scale battle will erupt on Galactica with the human/Cylon alliance battling Cavil's Cylons aboard Galactica. I'm guessing that "Daybreak, part 1" will set up the final conflict, and the conflict will escalate and conclude in the two-hour "Daybreak, Part 2." With all the storylines and character arcs to wrap up in the finale, do they even have time to find a new planet and find out: "Oh, my Gods, this is the real homeworld of humanity!"? I'm thinking they don't- Earth being the homeworld is a BIG DEAL in the series; it would upend everything the characters thought they believed about their origins. But here's the thing- they've already shattered Roslin's faith, and she was the face of religious faith and the belief in the Sacred Scrolls in the show. Right now, the most I hope for is parallel evolution. This weeks episode will deal with Starbuck and presumably what she is and her resurrection, and after that, there is one episode left before "Daybreak, part 1 and 2." If anything is left hanging in this week's episode, that means it has to be resolved next week before leading into the two part finale.

The problem is that Daybreak is going to be flashback-heavy- many dead characters come back, including Zak, Prosna, Cally, and Kat, and we see a flashback to Roslin on Caprica the day of the attacks (jumping into a fountain, of all things), although it could easily be a vision. Lots of action + lots of flashbacks indeed leave little time for a discovery as big as the true homeworld of humanity and doing it justice.

Things they have to wrap up:

-the final battle between the Colonials and their Cylon allies versus Cavil's faction.
-the fleet needs to find a new home.
-Roslin's illness has to resolve itself.
-why Hera is important.
-all of the other character arcs.
-what all of the flashbacks are for.
-who are the dreadlocked extras?
-what Starbuck is, if that isn't taken care of already.
-who or what the guiding force is.

so to sum up: due to how busy the finale will be, I don't think they'd have time for the big reveal of our Earth as the human homeworld, so they might not be going that way. RDM said in the frak party podcast that "AATW" is indeed a clue that BSG is tied to our reality.

My theory is constantly shaping, I admit there might be a puzzle piece missing that would discredit my theory.

I used to firmly believe the show is in the future; the introduction of JAke is what did it. At the time of the mini RDM said he didn't know what Earth would be in the show, but according to a podcast, he said he started to get an idea around the time of "Flesh and Bone." After that, there came references to Earth animals.

I think the finale will play out as I described. There's a ray of hope that maybe there will be a flyby by a Raptor in the final minutes before it uses up the last of its fuel- and it flies by Mt. Rushmore (which I've heard could concievably last over 100,000 years). Maybe if they do a reveal like that it'll be for us, not the characters.

The main reasons why this ending would bother me wouldn't even be scientific, though that would be on the list- it would mean two things- the destroyed civilizations will be completely forgotten, and the last shot of No.Six likely means "All of this will happen again." Even if the show ends on a hopeful note for the Colonials, for us as their distant descendants it means we're going to be attacked by our AI and have to run like the Final Five, and the Twelves Colonies did in the two Exoduses. And the Colonies and Cylons being forgotten is just tragic.

You know what this reminds me of? In 2002, JJ Abrams wrote a Superman screenplay. It's backstory was radically different, and the film was about an invasion of evil Kryptonians led by Superman's evil uncle. At one point, before the invasion, a Kryptonian ship is found. Superman confirms that the one he came to Earth in is still where he hid it. The script reviewer who first talked about it noted at this point that he got an uneasy feeling. They introduce Lex Luthor, who is neither an amoral billionaire or a mad scientist, but a creepy CIA agent. The film ends with a huge battle with a Kryptonian army, and at the very end, Lex Luthor returns, and confronts Superman, and the reviewer noted here that he really started to get uneasy as Lex began a long monologue, and by the time Lex says "That wasn't your ship they found...it was MINE!" he attacks Superman, revealing himself to be another Kryptonian, the reviewer said he was mentally screaming at the script "DON'T DO IT! DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!" before that last line. In case you're not familiar with Superman comics, making Lex an alien goes against everything that makes him Superman's greatest adversary, as he is a match for Superman because of his mind.

I'm the guy who reads the script except for the last ten pages and hands it to you and says, "Hey, I think they made Lex Luthor a Kryptonian. Just thought I'd warn you."

Occam's Razor

The Raptors weren't affected because their structural integrity was turning to mush, or did you miss this theme that has been running for 3-4 episodes now?

Did you mean to say "wasn't"

Did you mean to say "wasn't" when you said "Was?"

Yeah, I know that. But Brad commented on it. And I kind of think even a weakened Galactica is still a lot stronger than a cared for Raptor. It's just that the Galactica goes through a great deal more stress.

I did mean that. Galactica

I did mean that. Galactica is also obviously in much worse shape than the Raptors structurally since, they can jump and Galactica cannot because it is too risky to waste jumps. I think it is pretty clear this is a Galactica issue not a general issue. I think it is nothing more than a bad assumption to bring this argument to a structurally sound ship. I will also note that the Raptors and Vipers are flung back with force by the tillium ship jumping. So the same scientific principles were applied both times. Galactica has two things against it: it is weak and it is huge. Raptor can't push Galactica away when it jumps, it can't generate enough power to push the ship, so unless the structure can hold (oh look it can't) it will buckle.

Lots to cover

  • Pythia didn’t write the scrolls, she wrote one book of them.
  • The naming is indeed no evidence, as everybody always agreed. It’s the flags that are the killer. Our Zodiac is on their flags — that doesn’t match life here beginning out there. It’s like if the 12 European flags were corn, a turkey, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Mayan calendars, totem poles, tobacco etc. Which place would you conclude was the colony of the other?
  • Spoilers (and logic) certainly do suggest a confrontation with the Cavil function, and arrival at a planet are in their future. What of it?
  • Why cut to a scene showing the past as the ending? Planet of the Apes did. Their big reveal, done in 20 seconds was, “This is the distant future, on Earth.”
  • 6 in NYC can be explained either way, if it’s true. Either that her body came from somebody long ago (in particular the Cylon god) or that she lives into the far future. Only one makes logical sense of course.

Could he be writing it in the past of this Earth? You can write anything. If he does, it doesn’t make any sense, but you can still write it. I and others would be critical of it if it comes out this way. Some fans may well like it.

Finding a planet with primitive inhabitants certainly meshes with a far future real Earth. In that case, Six in New York, if real, I think requires that six’s body is that of the Cylon god (an old Earth AI, pulling the strings.)

Past Sense

"Could he be writing it in the past of this Earth? You can write anything. If he does, it doesn’t make any sense"

As the writer of the show, he can MAKE it make sense. Don't speak in such absolutes before we know the ending. There may very well be able to write a logical ending where it takes place in our past, we just haven't seen it yet.

That's not true

It is simply not true that you can make anything make sense, not if you are trying to follow the rules of reason or the facts of reality. Put in terms of physics, entropy increases in a closed system.

Here’s an example. Write me a story which is set in the real world of today, but in the past, the Nazis won World War II and they and the axis conquered and ruled the world for 50 years. No magic, no mysterious rewriting of people’s memories, just the rules and technologies the world has to offer.

Can you do it? Sure, if you want to “cheat” and say this is all a virtual reality, and the VR did a reset in 1995 and suddenly nobody remembered the past 50 years of Nazi rule, and suddenly everybody remembers the history in our history books. But that’s not a story that people would consider well constructed or fairly written.

So how does your story have the Nazis ruling the world but everybody on Earth remembers an allied victory, and a reconstructed Japan that became a completely different, American-loving consumer powerhouse? The answer is, that within the constraints of an acceptable story, you can’t make this make sense.

A writer can put any words on paper, but they have to make sense to the audience, the progression of plot and facts must be reasonable, and not ridiculously stretched. Just as the allied victory is well established, so is the fact that we did not all arrive here on an alien ark. You can write an alternate history with Nazi victory, but the Earth you have is not this Earth. You can write an alternate history with an alien Ark, but the Earth you get is not this Earth.

If you put the alien Ark 3 billion years in the past, and all that survives is a single celled organism, you can have this Earth, but the connection is pretty tenuous.

And anyway, since “Crossroads” showed us not a 3 billion year old Earth, that is not the story BSG is going to present to us, at least as far as we can see. I mean, I’m sure that Earth is not accurate, but the Earth of the far past and far future doesn’t look much like our Earth. Go back 100 million years (or forward) and the continents are in entirely different places.

A better way of explaining what a writer can make sense of

I thought of a better way to explain it. Forget the Nazis in WW2.

Let’s say a writer came to you with a story where the Earth was colonized by an alien fleet yesterday. Prior to yesterday, the Earth was vacant. Then the fleet arrived, and now it’s our Earth, including this thread on this blog which goes back before yesterday. Can the writer make such a story make sense? I would say not. They can write it, and they can come up with a storyline that we’re in something like the Matrix, and all is an illusion. But you would not consider that a satisfactory story line. You can explain any plot with “it’s all a dream” or “it’s a virtual reality like the Matrix.”

How about ten years ago? But you were alive 10 years ago, you remember it. A story where the Earth was vacant 10 years ago can’t be made to make sense to you as the real story of Earth, because you know it to be wrong, from your own memories. The only way for it to be right would be for your memories to be false — a cop-out. (I mean it’s been done — but thus it is not very original.)

What about 100 years ago? It no longer contradicts your own life, but all of history has to be invented in some giant elaborate plot. Does this make sense? Is it satisfying? Would you classify it as good science fiction? Would you think it worked as an ending for BSG, in particular?

So the challenge I make is this: How far back in the past would this alien colonization have to be for it to make sense as a plot that we, today are the result of it?

Well, in the 70s, writers like Glen Larson and others thought they could make it be 4,000 years ago. And creationists still claim it could be 4,000 years ago. They claim not so much that all of history and geology are lies, but that scientists are idiots and have misinterpreted them. But you and I know better, I hope, and realize such a story, while a writer could write it, could not be made to make sense without ridiculous stretches.

So how far back to you have to go?

Well, I put it to you that the answer is very, very, very far. Before the origin of multicellular life, or your story just is silly in light of what we know today.

So this is what I mean when I say the author can’t make a good story that makes sense based on a recent alien colonization. However, if you would like to make a case that this can be done with the colonization much closer to today, have at it — but I hope you understand there are some dates at which it can’t make sense, and others were it can, and we’re just arguing about when they are.

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