I must admit I’ve been somewhat disappointed with how sparse the clues have been this season on the show’s central mysteries. Several episodes in, and we don’t know a great deal more than the little we learned in the first episode. However, something shown in the “scenes from next week” bodes for more interesting times.
If you don’t watch that preview, you might want to hold on this post until Friday.
We are shown that Starbuck does, no big surprise, make it to the Cylon base ship and talk to the Hybrid. The Hybrid tells her the same line about her destiny, the one that the First Hybrid said to Kendra Shaw. These Hybrids, we are told a few different ways, have a channel to the Cylon god.
Our first encounter with this prophecy was just for the audience, as RDM said. Shaw hears it, then her signal is jammed (by the very being who told it to her, or Guardians working for him) so that the characters can’t know it.
Kara Thrace will lead the human race to its end. She is the herald of the apocalypse. The harbinger of death. They must not follow her.
Now, however, Starbuck will learn this message, as will others. What intention is there in letting her learn this message? Are there competing powers, some of which wanted it hidden from her, and others who want to reveal it so as to sew doubt in her mind or the minds of others?
And it seems more and more likely this promised land is Earth, where colonial “human” and Cylon unite somehow. Which suggests it is a deserted Earth, left empty due to war or transcendence of those on it. As I’ve noted before this is a delightfully ambiguous warning:
- “its end” — its doom, or its destination: Earth
- “human race” — are the colonials humans or Cylons programmed to think they are humans?
- “herald” — announces the apocalypse, doesn’t cause it.
- “apocalypse” — the real meaning of this word is “revelation,” not the end of days as is commonly thought. However podcasts suggest Moore was using it in the mistaken populist sense, but who knows?
- “harbinger of death” — omen of death, not cause of it.
- “They” — who must not follow her? Cylons? Colonials? Some faction of the Cylons?
The latter becomes even more interesting when we add a second prophecy of the First Hybrid:
The seven, now six, self-described machines who believe themselves without sin. But in time, it is sin that will consume them. They will know enmity, bitterness, the wrenching agony of one splintering into many. And then, they will join the promised land, gathered on the wings of an angel. Not an end, but a beginning.
Several clues suggest that Starbuck is this “angel.” Leoben calls her that. She is tied to the winged goddess of the dawn, Aurora, by an Oracle. The Cylons are splintering, as predicted. Note that they are “self-described machines,” a clue that the man/machine boundary isn’t really there.
But the question of the week remains: To what purpose is Starbuck informed of this scary sounding prophecy? Powers are at work again. Space is too vast for Leoben to just “find” her. And he knows about her trip and transformation with no way to know it, other than contact with those powers.
From the Battlestar Galactica Analysis Blog