With the shocking confirmation that the final Cylon is not anybody in the Last Supper photo our choices are far more limited, short of this being an out and out lie. While I don’t put it past the producer of a show to lie (or certainly to equivocate) on a show’s central mystery when asked a direct question, this is fairly direct. It’s either a lie or a bizarre equivocation where “people” is taken to literally mean “non-Cylon” so that he’s saying “The final Cylon isn’t any of the non-Cylons in the picture” — a tautology.
Let’s examine the choices left to us. It’s made more narrow by the declaration by D’Anna that the Final Cylon is not with the fleet. But there are no minor characters of note that are not with the fleet when she says this, other than dead characters. Worse, there are some dead characters she should not yet know to be dead. The one exception is Seelix, who is only marginally a character of note.
I’ve said for some time that the unmasking of the final Cylon, as a major climax of the series, must be dramatic. It has to be shocking and unexpected to most. While Baltar, who was my choice up to this point, would not have been shocking, I expected the “why” to be the real source of surprise, rather than the person. This may have to go doubly for the dead character.
Popular minor character choices Gaeta, Dee, Zarkek, Lampkin and Cottle are clearly with the fleet. And they’re also quite uninteresting choices. Revealing it is one of them will elicit a “ho-hum” rather than a “Holy Shit” the way Tigh’s unmasking shocked most of the audience (though of course not yours truly.) So even though some feel that D’Anna could be playing tricks by saying there are only 4 with the fleet, I see no reason for her to know that one is special, unless that one is on the base ship or dead. In fact, nobody on the fleet except the 4 themselves knows that one is special. And indeed, no reason for it to be any minor character on the fleet.
Other limiting clues include the following:
- A report that the final Cylon was chosen during the first season. Other reports suggest it was a person from the miniseries but this is less confirmed.
- Confirmed reports that there are clues in the show about this person
- The prophecy of the first Hybrid about final Cylon: “And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering.”
- The famous line that “Adama is a Cylon” given by Leoben, while in captivity.
- While far from certain, there are a lot of dramatic reasons to suggest D’Anna’s “You, forgive me, I had no idea” is to the final Cylon, somebody singled out for special recognition in the circle.
While it’s not confirmed, it is my belief that the “Final Five” plot, with a whole new class of ancient Cylons, was not fully fleshed out until the 3rd season. However, many of these choices require this plot to have been worked out in the first season when the Cylon was picked. My intuition could be wrong here.
It should be noted, that by and large there are no actual clues that point towards any of these characters (or any other characters not eliminated by the photo.) In fact, truth be known only a few of the eliminated characters (Baltar, Roslin, Starbuck and perhaps the Adamas) had actual clues, clues on the order of Tyrol’s compulsion to find the Temple or his superior response to vacuum.
My former favourite was recently eliminated by a declaration by Moore that it will not be somebody the audience has not seen, not a guest star.
Note that Lampkin tells Lee Adama that he looks just like his grandfather. It would be an interesting twist if Lee were a new incarnation of Joseph, however since Lee is in the last supper photo, that doesn’t work out.
There is a theory that went around after the picture came out. What if that’s not Baltar and his head-Six in the photo, but real-Six and the Baltar that appears in her head (and Baltar’s). Admittedly the clothes are not right for this, and the clues RDM stated say she’s the head-six, but it’s a cute trick by RDM if so. In that case, Baltar’s not in the photo, and as I have indicated before he has the most clues for being the final Cylon.
Well, it certainly would create some ironies to have two Final Five be married, and to make their story of betrayal and punishment a Cylon story. And her arrival was always suspect. The idea of a 4,000 year old couple, finding each other even in unaware incarnations is romantic. And he’s seeing visions of her. But for her to be the final Cylon mastermind? I just don’t see it. But she is indeed in shadow, and does need redemption. In fact, with all the eliminations she’s percolated to the top.
In the miniseries, Tigh is seen burning a hole in a picture of Ellen with a cigar, giving her a giant red glowing eye. Many think this is a clue that she was always intended to be a Cylon, even if this was written long before the final five concept was developed.
Cally also generates an interesting story of two starcrossed lovers. Except they didn’t like each other very much. It certainly adds some lovely ironies to Tory’s murder of Cally. It doesn’t explain why she was so badly affected by the vacuum when Tyrol the Cylon wasn’t. It doesn’t explain official declarations that Nicholas, their child, is half-human, half-cylon.
And D’Anna should really have no idea that she’s dead. I can find a few circuitous routes but it’s a stretch. What redemption does she need; for killing Boomer, who downloaded? Again, I don’t see much here.
She meets several of the requirements — the quest for redemption among them. And it is a nice irony that the Hybrid would delivery his prophecy to her. (That Hybrid said he would download, I wonder where he is?) But a character created for one self-contained episode is an odd choice, especially given the various disclosures that this character was picked long ago, and clues have been scattered.
Since it’s not an unseen guest star, it’s not him.
Seelix and Hot Dog
These characters, plus one or two even more minor characters, are not with the fleet. But they have such a limited presence in the show it is hard to imagine them being the long planned final Cylon. The only thing they have going for them right now is they’re the only not dead, not eliminated characters. They don’t fit the redemption clue or any other clues. If they get major development in coming episodes, this could change. But the declaration that it’s not a guest star rules them out.
Elosha’s been dead for most of the series, but her recent return as a spirit guide has people wondering. She was responsible for leading Roslin on the steps that took her to Kobol. But she doesn’t match the Hybrid’s prediction at all. As a character killed by Cylons, it makes sense that D’Anna would apologize to her so profusely.
In a major dash to this idea, however, IO9 reports that the script for The Hub was originally written with the dead Billy, but the actor was not available, and they did a search and replace on the name. This seems to rule out a grand plan to bring her back as a Cylon — and him, too.
A Metal Cylon
Based on the visuals of the white robed figures, it’s not one of the tall Centurions, but what if D’Anna saw a metal robot face as the fifth? She would indeed have reason to apologize profusely for having re-enslaved the metal Cylons. Their slavery, and its removal, has become a sub-theme of this season.
The Final Five come from the previous cycles of the “All this has happened before” cycle. Those prior cycles presumably had both metal robots and biological beings. Perhaps one of the final five retains an Earth-made robot body? She would certainly know he was not with the fleet.
Similarly, the Hybrids are enslaved in their way. Learning that they are the fifth Cylon would also elicit the apology. And she would know the Hybrid is not with the fleet. The hybrids have a direct link to the Cylon God, we’re told, as do the Final Five, who were his priests. But D’Anna shows no special deference to the Hybrid on her ship.
Cain was not present in the first season, but as a character from the original series, she was surely planned from the start and thus qualifies. She certainly needs redemption. She’s kick ass. And being the only other commander to escape the war is suspicious. But I think her story is told already. I think her return would be a disappointment, though so would many of these other choices.
Kat, Billy, Socrata Thrace, Carolanne Adama
These, and other minor dead characters, would be boring. Remember how you felt learning Tory was a Cylon? You didn’t feel a lot. Tigh and Tyrol were the shockers. These would be the same as Tory. And some are post-season-one characters with no real clues, or limited guest stars.
Another unseen character who is disqualified.
A brand new character
Other choices I have seen put forward include one of the 7 Cylons (Leoben, Cavil or D’Anna) — even though we’ve been told there are 12 models. This is pretty much ruled out by D’Anna’s line to Cavil that “There are five other Cylons Brother, and one day you will see them. One day.” I don’t put much credit in theories that the Final Cylon is the viper, or is Earth, or is some new character never before seen from Earth. Or that it is the first Hybrid. They can be conceived of but they just don’t work. And Boxey, the most hated character from the original BSG, removed from the new one for good reason? Give us a break.
This is not a great field. I don’t like it, and I don’t find anything very satisfying. As I have indicated, I think it’s the “why” that will have to provide the shock. I see the Final Cylon as the Original Cylon — the being on Earth back in the 21st century who started it all. And I still see Baltar as having a Cylon role, if not as a member of the Final Five, then as an incarnation of the God they created.
From the Battlestar Galactica Analysis Blog