Virtual Six/Baltar as the Final Cylon

A suggestion in a comment by a reader led me to an interesting hypothesis, which eerily fits the facts.

There is a being — I have generally believed it to be the Cylon god and/or master programmer — who appears to several characters as a virtual or “head” character. Baltar sees this being as his Six, but has also seen it in Baltar form. Caprica Six sees this being as a Baltar, because Baltar was her lover. Starbuck saw this being as a Leoben. It’s possible that Tigh is seeing it as Ellen, on top of Caprica Six. Roslin may have seen it as Elosha. There might be more than one mysterious being behind these visions, but let’s posit there’s just one for now.

Let’s imagine this being is the Final Cylon. When D’Anna stepped into the Temple of Five, she saw 5 figures, one of whom led her to beg forgiveness. If the Final Cylon is the entity behind these virtual beings, in what form did she see it? It could be any form, of course, but it might well be the form of her lover, Baltar. (After all, that’s how Caprica Six sees the being, also as her lover.) And she would apologize to him, and then tell Cavil that “there are five other Cylons” which she would not do if she saw a Six or Leoben or Eight.

She thinks it’s Baltar, but it’s not. It’s virtual Baltar she saw. But she tells real Baltar “you were right” about his claim that he’s a Cylon. But he’s wrong — though he is still the chosen one. Virtual Six has told him that she and Baltar will be parents of the new race.

When she awakes, she shows the most concern for Baltar. Of course, that could be because they were lovers, but it seems like more. And then she tells Roslin “There are Four in your Fleet.” She knows this because she thinks it’s Baltar. She is right, though, there are only four in the fleet.

Now this also jibes with a lot of clues

  • Virtual Being has been around since the miniseries.
  • Virtual Being is almost always played by a regular, not a guest star. Moore ruled out Guest Stars
  • In a sense, Virtual Being is a regular, and one of the most popular characters on the show thanks to being mostly played by Helfer and Callis.
  • Fits very well with the “You have heard my voice many times but don’t know my name” clue.
  • Virtual Being is potentially not in the “Last Supper” photo, if you take the central Six there to be Caprica Six. She does look like Virtual Six, particularly in how Baltar looks at her and her dress, but this would be a clever trick. Virtual Six and original Caprica six are identical in appearance, of course.
  • It’s a shocker. But it explains things. Virtual Being is “The one who programmed us” that D’Anna talks about before being boxed. The one pulling the strings. The one who took Starbuck to Earth and triggered the four Cylons to awaken.
  • Virtual Baltar can be (a form of) the final Cylon while Baltar is still human or has another role.
  • Virtual Being has physical powers, possibly becoming Shelley Godfrey, and picking up Baltar when he’s down.
  • Virtual Being is not asleep however, so Gaeta’s song does not jibe.
  • Of all the regulars — indeed of all the significant characters, Virtual Being is the only one fans don’t suspect of being the final Cylon. We keep being told by series insiders that “nobody” is guessing right.
  • We’re also told that the ending makes it all make sense, that though they admit they wrote the ending later, it seems like it’s been planned from the start. Virtual Being has been a central show mystery from the start.
  • It does not mesh well with the First Hybrid’s line about the “fifth, still in shadow” clawing for the light and seeking redemption.
  • In a deleted scene, we see Virtual Six saying goodbye to Baltar. He won’t be seeing her any more. Would this highly popular character vanish from the series conclusion? Or does she move on to a more interesting role? She does say “other angels will light your path.”

Why don’t fans suspect it? Because they already thought of Virtual Being as a Cylon from the start, because for so long it was in the form of Six. But Virtual Being clearly is not one of the 7 Cylons in any way, but has been using Baltar for its own agenda. Virtual Being’s status as a Cylon is hidden in plain sight.

Food for thought, considering how slim the other choices, are, with Ellen Tigh currently in the lead.

Brain Fart

I put this one in brain fart territory. The "It's so crazy it's got to work" line is funny but went out with the other cheese, so I can't see this one happening. Maybe it's a lack of imagination on my part but I didn't indulge that one for more than a few clock ticks. Actually, it could be suggested that V6 & VB is a mountain sized clue that Baltar isn't the Final Cylon. I'd rate Jake the dog higher. I like Jake. Maybe, he should get his own spin-off series. Yeah, I know... it's brain fart.

Yeah, this is really

Yeah, this is really reaching. Convoluted and sloppy. And I don't buy that it's a dead character. Too much of a cop-out. It's Cottle. I bet you a coke.

Not Cottle

Cottle is certainly in the day player category. And “Four are in your fleet.” And there hasn’t been a single clue pointing to Cottle that I can think of. A real clue, not just a “I have a feeling” intuition.

IS Cottle

Well, I really want that coke so…

As we know the final five have all been retconed to be cylon’s by the writers. So any one “clue” taken from the first few seasons is as good as any other until we know what they and RDM decided on. And prophecies are always open to interpretation. So, yeah, it’s all fun and games, speculation, and yes, intuition.

Ellen Tigh. A drunk. Flirt’s with the admiral’s son. Has slept with half the fleet. 4,000 year old god and Cylon mastermind. Okay… Given, her survival of the attack was suspect which could certainly be retconed to fit a final cylon theory. Could it be said she is in shadow and in need of redemption? Sure, why not. Other than that she seems more of a bumbling lady Macbeth, trying to reach a position of power in her own little world through manipulation of her husband. Unless the FC is something like Heath Ledger’s Joker; an anarchist lunatic who just wants to see the galaxy burn. Then, ya, I could see it maybe being Ellen. But I don’t. She’s just a plain old dead human who certainly never appeared aware of being a cylon.

There is no evidence, but my intuition tells me the final cylon is aware of their nature, and is manipulating events to some extent. More of a “weakly godlike being” or the “vile offspring” of Charles Stross’ fiction. I know many others have a similar feeling. So let’s examine Doc Cottle. First, I’m not sold on the “4 in the fleet” as gospel. Second, if D’anna IS speaking truthfully about only 4 being in the fleet, and she does know who the 5th is, there is no evidence that Cottle was with the fleet when she made this statement. He doesn’t appear in the last episode. Other Clues:
1. Cottle is CMO on the only Battlestar that will definitely not be affected during the attack on the colonies, ensuring his survival in a way that would not arouse suspicion.
2. Cottle examines Baltar at Baltar’s request and determines there’s no “cylon chip” in his head. If there was some kind of cylon technology present, he is uniquely positioned to hide this fact.
3. While on New Caprica, Cottle works as a neutral doctor, treating both human and cylon equally.
4. Personality: he is not impressed by positions of power, he does not favour species. Despite being a doctor, he smokes like a chimney so is clearly unconcerned about the health of his body.
5. SOMETHING happened to Starbuck when she and her viper were destroyed in the gas giant (I have a whole other theory on that one). She returned in a brand new viper. Doc Cottle determined she was not a cylon. But if she was (or her consciousness was uploaded into a new, manufactured “cylon” body) he would again be positioned to hide this fact.
6. RDM has respect for Donnelly Rhodes as an actor. He was one of the three finalists up for the role of Saul Tigh.
7. If the final cylon is seeking to end the cycles of time and bring human and cylon together, a healer would be ideal to personify this being. Certainly it would fit the prophecy as the FC is still hidden (“still in shadow”) and as an original cylon, trying to atone for an earlier, if not the original cycle. (“hungering for redemption”). But the 12 colonies must be destroyed to trigger the journey (“that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering”).

As for RDM’s comment “I can tell you it’s someone you’ve seen. It won’t be a guest-star.” I think the only way to correctly interpret that is that it won’t be a new guest-star brought in to play the final cylon. Eliminating all guest stars eliminates everybody.

I do like the idea of the final cylon being a virtual being, AI, “ghost in the machine”, or what-have-you. It’s a very post-singularity, hard sci-fi kind of idea, but I’m not sure it would play in the internal story logic of the BSG universe that the writers have created. At the very least, such a being would have to have one concrete physical form to be consistent. SOMEONE has to embody the final cylon, even if this being is visiting others minds in various virtual incarnations. Even RDM said it’s SOMEONE we’ve seen.

I like my coke frosty cold.

Drunk masterminds

Don’t forget, Tigh’s a drunk too. Tyrol beat Cally. They are clearly born unaware, to live their lives as humans, and wake up only at a later date. My theory is that this is how the ancient beings retain their humanity, through incarnation.

So Ellen’s flaws don’t lock her out.

The understanding is that one character, the final character, was penciled in as a Cylon in season one. They didn’t know what they would do with him or her back then, but they knew they would have more hidden Cylons in the fleet and so tagged this one.

The other four, they picked in season 3, though I wonder if Tyrol wasn’t picked late in season 2, since he had that whole episode where he wondered if he was a Cylon.

Ellen is the only one with a season one clue, a miniseries clue in fact (picture with giant red glowing eye burnt into it, as well as strange arrival and curiousity about earth-quest.)

I’m not fond of her as a choice but she’s got more clues than Cottle, and more to the point, she’s not in the fleet.

D’Anna takes a hard look at all 5 of the figures, and then is particularly shocked by one and goes up to apologize. I figure that’s gotta be either Anders (whom she beat the crap out of) or the final Cylon. Sure, the Cylons took out Tigh’s eye, but that wasn’t her as far as we know, and the Cylons hurt everybody as a group. Tigh doesn’t merit a special apology. Nor do Tyrol or Foster.

i hope it's cottle

RDM's "clues" about the final cylon make it (a) virtually impossible to figure out who the last cylon is and (b) leaves the audience with few, if any, satisfying options.

So far, the final cylon is: someone we've seen before, who's been around since season one, who wasn't with the fleet in the most recent episode, who did not appear in the Last Supper photo, and who wants to be forgiven (don't we all).

It's possible that Deanna lied about only four being with the fleet, just as it's possible that Leoben lied with his "Adama is a cylon" line. So I think we can dismiss this one, if only because with it the options are very uninspiring.

Even so, we still are left with few choices befitting the identity of the final cylon and the huge piece of the "plan" likely to be revealed along with it.

Frankly, I'll be annoyed and let down if it ends of being Ellen Tigh. She's not a very good actress. Her character is probably the most stereotypical and unimaginative and in most scenes it's as if she strayed in from the set of Desperate Housewives. If they bring her back as some all-knowing being... The only thing worse would be to have it be Dirk Benedict (the original Starbuck, and Face from the A-Team).

This is where Cottle comes in. As the ship's doctor, he has been involved throughout the show with nearly all of the major characters and in many of the major plot lines, the most significant being the birth of Sharon and Helo's child.

There's also something very... 20th Century about him. I see the Final Five as the five original programmers of a vast computer system (ala Skynet) on earth, in the early 21st century. The story goes something like this: the computer system becomes self-aware. The five figure out how to download themselves onto the system. The humans don't like what's going on and try to shut the system down, provoking a war... Humans and the earth are destroyed, but the system (with the five) flee to Kobol and bio-engineer a new human race.

If the Final Five really are the original five programmers, you can imagine Cottle being part of their group, if not the head. And if they were all programmers, it makes sense that they're mostly guys (just ask anyone who's ever been to a computer programming conference).

Cottle is a terrific actor, and you could see his character, once revealed, being able to dish out some of the major pieces of the puzzle to the rest in a way that gives the show's endgame the right amount of gravitas and drama. It'd be a shame to waste his talents and let Ellen Tigh slur her way through a brief monologue (in between items on QVC).

So, basically, this is my subjective, somewhat irrational conclusion: I hope it's Cottle, since the other known options stink.

My main cottle issues

My main problem with Cottle is that he’s too minor a character. Yes, he’s a character you like, unlike Ellen, but he really is just not that important to the scheme of things. Ellen presents at least an interesting dramatic story:

  • Two ancient human lovers are part of a team of 5 who created the Cylon race and uploaded themselves to become advanced AI beings
  • To retain their humanity, they incarnate themselves as ordinary humans, unaware of who they are
  • In spite of this lack of awareness, the lovers find themselves and marry, but continue a centuries long on-again, off-again fight
  • Part of this fight has Ellen screwing Cavil and betraying the resistance.
  • For this, Tigh, in great pain, has to kill her.
  • Ellen wakes up in a tank, merged with her old self, suddenly aware of all this history, and the horrible thing she has done, and Tigh has done to her.
  • Angry, she plans to put Tigh through some more pain before they reconcile.

That’s a plot I could support. Much more than I can see in a plot for Cottle. Cottle, to me, is a 2 dimensional character. He’s the crusty old doctor. We know nothing of his personal life, really nothing non-medical about him. He seems an odd choice to me. Moore likes giving us characters that have more depth, and the final Cylon should be one of them.

Brain Fart with a Vengeance

I liked Cottle. The actor played that character very well for me. You're right that Cottle doesn't have much of a fleshed out story within BSG but the character had presence. That's not me finding excuses to make Cottle the Final Cylon, just an observation. As much as the plot could be twisted and the character fleshed out to make Cottle the Final Cylon, I can't see a case that stacks up.

It could be a brain fart but

It could be a brain fart but then again the fact that viewers have such a strong attachment to a physical being that we know about is precisely the reason why a virtual character works as a major curveball. It's the virtual characters that are driving the agenda for cylons and humans. I think there are two sets of virutal characters in conflict with each other (all of this has happened before); those being the cylon god (breakaway Lord of Kobol) and Zeus and the Lords of Kobol. I think the virtual Leoben that Kara sees just before her death is not the same character that Baltar sees. I think this is Zeus and Kara in her final moments is a child looking at her father? If the virutal characters are forms of the original AI then it stands to reason that they all have the capability of projecting in one form or another. The final 4 cylons are servants of the LOK charged with protecting the clone counterparts of the LOK in their current physical existence as Kara, Baltar, Roslyn, Adama? Kara is a cylon in the sense that the original technology from Version 1 of the cycle is the most advanced. I know... tortured logic. But not more so than a lot of other speculation. I just don't see Ellen as the final cylon. The projected images are a form of emotional manipulation on the part of the cylon god. Brain Fart.... well there are still a lot of questions to be answered and not just about the final cylon.

Nice idea. I like it quite a

Nice idea. I like it quite a lot, actually. The one large problem I see with it is the whole bit about "clawing towards the light", seeking redemption and so on. Of course, that could be true for the virtual being, but it really doesn't jive with anything we've seen of them/it.

True

I was going to mention that. However, I think that the Final Cylon, whoever it turns out to be, is probably “the one who programmed us” that D’Anna refers to, the original creator of AI technology on Earth, now in AI uploaded form.

This being has changed the course of the human race, and engendered a multi-cycle 4,000 year long saga of wars and genocide and exodus. I think they’re trying to bring that to a close. That’s a pretty good call for redemption, no matter who it is.

“Still in shadow” could refer to just appearing in virtual form. But I agree this does not jibe very well.

I see the final cylon as an

I see the final cylon as an uploaded personna from the original AI as well. I have been trying to fit my ideas into the backstory that you created. But I tend to overthink it and end up going down a rabbit hole. LOL. I think this character has to been seen in the context of the overall story now. What exactly is going to happen now that they have reached earth? What are the unanswered questions about the plot? There are a couple of things that are vexing me: What is the nature of a cylon and a statement from someone related to the show (which I wish I could cite but can't remember who it was now); who said that there are 5 gods not 1. this is the reason I think the entities in the opera house visions and the temple of 5 are the 5 gods and not the final 5 cylons. With one exception. So I will go out on the plank now at the risk of being called sloppy and inelegant....

I think the 5 gods are Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Artemis and Aphrodite. They are original creators of the technology from earth and reside intact in the AI interface. One of them is the progenitor jealous god who begins the whole conflict. I think they are all capable of downloading to a cloaned body of themselves in order to operate in the real world. They also decide what information and background, triggers or progamming are included in these cloned versions of themselves. They can also communicate subconsiously, via dreams, visions etc with their clone counterparts and oracles who partake of chamala. They can also communicate and influence other types of cylons.

I think there are 5 cloned counterparts of the gods existing in the fleet who are unaware of their nature. Those being Zeus/Bill Adama, Apollo/Lee Adama, Hera/Laura Roslyn, Artemis/Starbuck (daughter of Zeus) and Aprhodite/Caprica 6. Starbuck prays to both Artemis and Aphrodite. We know that Starbuck is not one of the final 5 but never the less; she has died and come back in a new body. I think this is resurrection using clones instead of the constructed cyborg version of the 7. I also think the jealous god/programmer is Aphrodite "goddess of love" in many versions of Caprica 6. Virtual 6 says, god is love, I want you to love me; I want you and I to have a child together. If V6 is the cylon god, then I think it is female ruling out Baltar. She also says that out of all of humanity, it flatters Baltar's ego to be chosen (for god's purpose). It also strikes me that RDM would reverse the gender for this role since he has a penchant for going against type. It's an "unholy" twist on the holy trinity.

It also now strikes me that the final 5 cylons are also a cloned versons of cylons since we are led to believe that they are "one offs". Since Caprica 6 is preggers with Tigh's child. I wonder about the cylon god's motivation for manipulating Saul in this relationship.

I also think the cylon god is narcissistic enough to make a s7 cylon model of herself in the form of Caprica 6 and it's the 6's who show jealousy and independent thinking. I suspect that there is a cloned version of 6 lurking around somewhere pulling the puppet strings or as in Gaeta's song "sleeping".

Why does this god need redemption? Not sure. So you may be right. It could be Baltar after all!!!!

What D'Anna Saw and Baltar's Redemption

One more thing and I will stop boring people:

What D’Anna saw at the Temple.

Again, in my view, Temple’s are places to worship the god’s and it’s logical to me that the entities represented by the 5 “beings of light” are the gods and not the final 5 cylons with one exception. The exception being the Aphrodite/Caprica entity.

D’Anna believes she is the “chosen one” but Virtual 6 tells Baltar somewhat scornfully, that “She isn’t the chosen one, you are” ; just before D’Anna steps into the beam of light.

We don’t know that D’Anna could identify or see all the entities clearly enough to identify them or that they would all allow her to identify them. All we know for a fact is that she could identify 1 of them. So it stands to reason that she would later say there are only 4 in the fleet, because she knows the identity of 1. I thought her statement on the flight deck was more of a bluff than anything else, designed to scare out any of the remaining 4. Tory (the hedonist) decides to throw her lot in with the cylons and its not a stretch to assume that she then identified the remaining 3.

It also stands to reason that she sees the Caprica entity (the one who programmed us; we know from the mini-series that Caprica 6 is a programming genius and rewrote most of Baltar‘s algorithms) and realizing that she has committed sins against this entity’s “chosen one” as well as her dopplegangers; she asks for forgiveness. It also stands to reason that D’Anna would be a lot more solicitous of the entity’s “chosen one” after this revelation.

Baltar’s Redemption.

Baltar’s purpose in my view is to provide a “divine child” with one of the Caprica entities and proselytize the new religion bringing ever more converts to worship and love the cylon god. I would speculate that he may also be sacrificed at some point in the future that he will “die for his sins” and the sins of humanity?

I think that Baltar has already been redeemed in his own mind. He asks for Tyrol’s forgiveness, he confesses his sins, he is ever more humble (but still hedonistic); he accepts the cylon god’s divine love and this allows him to continue loving life in spite of his admitted sins against humanity which he feels a great deal of remorse and accepts responsibility.

But is he really responsible? He seems more of a dupe or Judas figure to me. The real guilt lies with the cylon god who has orchestrated successive genocides.

D'Anna saw them all

I rewatched the scene. She takes a good solid look at each face in the circle, then gets all squishy and apologizes to one. She’s a cylon, her memory is good, so I think she knows them all. And from a dramatic viewpoint, we are shown clear eye contact in the hanger on Galactica. She knows ‘em.

It is just a leap on my part to say she saw a figure looking like Baltar. She could have seen anybody. But Baltar makes sense, explaining all those lines of hers.

Well... OK then. Going off

Well... OK then. Going off memory definately has its drawback when you reach the mid-century mark. If there is one thing I've learned during this final cylon thinking exercise; it's that you can't be too attached to your own ideas. LOL. I guess the way I remember the scene; D'Anna does scan the crowd and I thought she was bluffing and looking for reaction. Which I believe she got in spades from Torie. I still think head Baltar/Caprica are strong possilities for the final cylon. The side trip I took on the Lords of Kobol notwithstanding.

Brain Fart 2: Fart Harder

I don't think Baltar can be the Final Cylon and The Chosen One at the same time. Plus, he was in the shared vision with the other characters looking up to the balcony in the opera house. Now, you could argue the Final Cylon is subconciously or whatever connecting with other characters and producing visions but, I think, that's a bit of a stretch. I remember one of Ron's comments where he suggested Baltar and Starbuck mirrored each other. Shooting into the dark, Baltar's the Cylon wannabe who finally accepts his humanity, and Starbuck's the Cylon hater who accepts the fact she's been remade as a Cylon. If that's right, it's another reason to rule out Baltar.

Given that Tigh is heard saying "You're the Final Cylon?" in a trailer for the next unshown episode kinda rules out a virtual character for me if nothing else does. I just can't imagine Tigh saying that to a virtual character. For dramatic reasons and visualising the image of the Five Cylons we've seen, I can't see it working. Ron did comment that he was strongly tempted to make the Prototype-Cylon into the Final Cylon but there were so many ways that wouldn't work he just gave up. I figure, that's another reason to rule out a virtual character. Mind you, that line of reasoning makes me ask a few more questions about the nature of the visions people have of the five.

Is it possible the visions of the Final Five at the temple are just a legacy, and the new bunch are modelled on that mythology? That would give validity to the old myths and mean the new five could just be Grayson skunkworks Cylons that had a moment of madness and disappeared into the woodwork. We can make a fair guess that Caprica doesn't end well for some characters. Of course, if they have been to Earth you'd have to factor how they knew about it, a journey there and back, and some of the reasons and motives for them being in the fleet. Dunno. There's too many improbables in there for me to make it work.

I don't mean Baltar

I mean the Virtual Being, who appears to both Baltar and Six in the form of a Baltar.

When revealed, this character would take a solid form that Tigh could talk to, who could look like anybody, but would presumably be Baltar or Six in appearance, so as to be played by a regular actor.

Yes, there is that teaser to

Yes, there is that teaser to consider. The problem I have with teasers is that there is no time, place or context around them and can mean a lot of things. I have been misled by teasers before. I think this teaser is meant to point us to someone close to Adama since there is a sense of deep personal loss, confusion and disbelief in his reaction. So this could be Apollo as in "Adama is a cylon" or even perhaps Starbuck since everyone has suspicions about her cylon status. All the players will be on the lookout for the final cylon. And so will the viewers who for the most part do not consider a virtual character and are still invested one of the main players. I also supsect that since we are promised a "dark" ending that we will see the deaths of at least some of the major characters. I suspect strongly that its a red herring.

On a separate note concerning the final cylon's ability to manifest physically; I suspsect this entity is responsibile for Ellen's rescue. Going off Brad's framework, this entity knows the identify of the other 4 and is pulling the strings. So Ellen's presence is a necessity for manipulating Tigh and furthering the cylon god's agenda. Another reason I don't think Ellen is the final cylon.

There is something that I

There is something that I noticed in the episode "Water" that I find very curious. I'm wondering if anyone else noticed it and what you think of it. In the scene where Lee is putting on his dress uniform and opens his locker and sees himself in the mirror; if you look at this scene from this point frame by frame, you will see something quite strange. In the first few frames he sees himself and reacts in shock, then flashback to the point where he is in the viper and pulling the trigger on the Olympic Carrier.... he actually has a smirk on his face and a look of satisfaction. This is as far as I can tell the only "look" inside Lee's head that we have had.

When I go back to the actual scene where this occurs in "33"; we don't get to see these frames. But the scene is also curious to me because Baltar, afraid of being exposed complains to Virtual 6 that Roslyn is not going to give the command. V6 tells him its not up to her that it's god choice and HE wants Baltar to repent. (More evidence that the cylon god is male). As soon as Baltar repents, Laura who appears to be on hold, gives the command to fire. And then we get this little flashback later about Lee. I have to ask if they cylon god can influence humans to that degree as well and is it Lee we are looking at it the flashback? Did anyone else notice this?

Inside Lee's Head

There's another episode where we get a peak into Lee Adama's head. I can't remember the name of the episode, but its the one where his bird gets blown up and he has to eject from the cockpit. For hours he floats in space as his oxygen level drops due to a tear in his suit. And at the very beginning of this episode, in a bit of foreshadowing, we see Lee floating in a large pool of water, most likely a lake. He is obviously hallucinating here, but the image in his head is very striking, in that it is eerily similar to the state cylons find themselves in when reborn: semi-conscious, naked (well nearly in Lee's case), and of course submerged in a tub of liquid. As an insight into his mental framework, it is telling. Not that I think it proves Lee's a cylon (despite the apparent "projection" ability), but it does lend credibility to the argument that this cylon God has the ability to project visions into the psyches of "humans" and cylons alike.

Yes, that's right! I did go

Yes, that's right! I did go back and watch "33" with the commentary and the specific scene with Lee is slightly different but the image of him smirking is there and more pronounced. There are some very psychadelic looking frames. Playing with the light indeed! What is odd about the commentary is that when they get to this scene; they spend a lot of time talking about filming actors in helmets, playing with the light, how this makes their faces look different, makes them look like they have gone to another place. At the end of the scene, the director says "I never saw that" and Ron Moore quickly moves the converstion elsewhere. Ron Moore says "Danny came up with a little slow-mo at the end." I'm always curious about flashbacks, because they represent an editing choice. So I tend to look at them in slow-mo to see what the filmaker is pushing into the subconcious. Ron Moore also says at the end of the episode that when he wrote the 5 season storyline arc that "it" all started here (I assume meaning the episode). There is also a very odd comment that the director concerning Jaimie's portrayal of the character "that he (Lee) is haunted by the event and not by Grampa Joe and the twins." I wonder if the final cylon has to be a tie in to inform the new Caprica series in some way.

I also watched Razor with the commentary again because they talk about the writing process and RDM also reiterated that writing in the beginning is more constructed and thought out and the process becomes more organic and flexible as you go along.

I'm not sure about Ellen at this point but I think the final cylon was decided right from the get go and I think the commentary on "33" was a little giddy. Like the cat with the canary.

Something else on Lee... in

Something else on Lee... in the commentary for Razor, Ron Moore talks about deleted scenes being important for informing the actors choices about the character even if the scenes don't make it into the final cut. Razor only has 2 deleted scenes and one of them is Lee and Kara watching video of the destruction of the Olympic Carrier. Lee is clearly obsessed with the idea that he may have killed one person who's shadow he thinks he sees. This scene takes place on the Galactica 12 hours after the event. This scene is so out of context for the movie Razor, I wonder why it's even included. Why are we being pointed to episode "33" and that specific scene?

If I throw everything out about the final cylon and just ask the question, which character would have the most emotional resonance as the final cylon; it would have to be Lee. Because he is our knight in shining armour, Dudley Do-Right and for Lee to discover that he's responsible for the genocide, would cause a howl of terrible suffering. He is also standing in his father's shadow until he leaves the military.

But Lee is so out

He’s in the Last Supper picture.

He’s in the fleet, running it, when D’Anna declares there are “four in your fleet.”

People doubt either of these clues, but both of them being wrong?

If “Four in your fleet” is wrong, then I guess Gaeta is my backup choice. If the Last Supper is wrong I go with Baltar. Nothing gets us Lee.

Yep, Lee is out by all

Yep, Lee is out by all accounts. All I'm saying is have a look at this scene in "33" in slow-mo and the scene in "water" where Lee has the flashback in slo-mo and perhaps listen to the commentary on "33" for that specific scene. When I saw this myself, I was disbelieving of what I saw. It's an anomoly. I wonder if Lee was written as the final cylon in the early stages and that plan changed later.

Not just this

If Lee were the final Cylon, would D’Anna have played that game of brinksmanship and hostages with him over the final five? Would she not have come to him and greeted him when she arrived on Galactica?

Oh my god! I just realized

Oh my god! I just realized something... in this scene, V6 tells Baltar that it's god's choice to shoot down the Olympic Carrier and HE wants Baltar to repent. Who's choice is it to pull the trigger? It's Lee's choice and he says as much to Adama at the end of the scene. Now I am begging you to look at this and throw out everything you know or think you know about the final cylon. Lee's flashback in Water is edited differently. But both scenes provide information.

When he sees his reflection in the mirror, he has an expression of shock and horror. This triggers the flashback. I'm giving up at this point. Lee has an evil
twin. Cause if it's Ellen, and everything seems to point to Ellen; I have to say that I find this choice extremely boring and uninspiring and I'm not sure even want to watch anymore.

Blah! - There are 13 places

Blah! - There are 13 places in the Last Supper. What if the final cylon and the cylon god are two different entities? What is Lee looking at? The holy grail:

From Wikipedia:

According to Christian mythology, the Holy Grail was the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, said to possess miraculous powers. The connection of Joseph of Arimathea with the Grail legend dates from Robert de Boron's Joseph d'Arimathie (late 12th century) in which Joseph receives the Grail from an apparition of Jesus and sends it with his followers to Great Britain; building upon this theme, later writers recounted how Joseph used the Grail to catch Christ's blood while interring him and that in Britain he founded a line of guardians to keep it safe.

Live Free or Brain Fart

I can't stretch to Apollo being the Final Cylon because that messes too much with Adama's history and baby swapping.

Baby swapping

While baby-swapping is the simplest low-tech way to have a Cylon be raised by a human family that thinks its their own, the final 5 have very advanced biotech, and could possibly arrange for their minds to be transmitted into a baby in a number of other ways, especially if everybody is a Cylon at the core.

While I agree this is not particularly likely, if it’s likely for anybody it’s Lee, since the as co-creator of the new generation Cylons, the Adama family is clearly of strong interest to the Final Five. Others of the F5 got very close to him, too many to be an accident.

four in your fleet

Lee can not be counted out from D'Anna's comment. D'Anna says there are "four in YOUR fleet." Which of course there were. Lee is the leader of the fleet and also the one being spoken to so he does not have to be included in the group we are counting from. If we consider Lee as the 5th that comment can still be truthful. Her reference to 'YOUR fleet' could be a sarcastic jab at Lee and his continued humanity. Just a thought.....

Not Lee's fleet

She says to to Roslyn, not Lee, and unless Bill Adama revealed important intelligence, she would not even know that Lee was running the council.

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