Starbuck comes back from Earth and declares it has a “yellow moon and star” which “matches the description in Pythia.” And we also see a a photo of Earth she took where we see a slightly yellowish moon over a gray Earth. Even more curiously, if you have an astronomical background, you will notice that the image of the moon comes from a partial lunar eclipse, which would make the moon yellow-orange but would only be temporary.
Of course, this makes no sense. Why would Pythia (who wrote the mythologized story of Earth) have described the moon as yellow? Some suggest this is just a flub of a line, and Starbuck or Sackhoff meant to say “yellow star and moon.” Our star is not really yellow to the naked or neutrally filtered eye, that is its colour in the stellar spectrum. And why the eclipse? These happen from time to time but are very short. It would be no accident to encounter one.
Starbuck then recounts a “ringed gas giant, a flashing triple star and a comet.” From Earth her naked eye would not see the rings of Saturn, though a hypothetical viper telescope could. Nothing would see a “flashing triple star.” While Alpha Centauri is a triple, it is not flashing, and the 3rd component is so dim that even people living near the primary would not see it naked eye. These read to me as “signposts” she was shown by the beings who took her on her Earth junket. I suspect the fleet will eventually see this flashing triple and take it as a sign they are on Starbuck’s course. Whether they trust that course is another matter.
However the ringed planet and comet are not good signs. Those will be found everywhere. And the photos she took of the Zodiac are far better tools and finding Earth. They would tell you that you were near to Earth ages before you could get close enough to see Saturn. In fact, since we were shown they are within about 10,000 light years of Earth, they actually should be getting a handle on the Zodiac by now, given they also know the location of the Lagoon Nebula within it. The writers may be missing their astronomy on this one, or will have to explain why they don’t already have enough info.
My suspicion that Baltar represents a Cylon Christ also is given a very overt boost in “He that believeth in me” though the signals are confusing. Can he be a Cylon Christ (ie. limited incarnation of Cylon God) and the last of the Final Five at the same time? The six drapes in the vision of the final 5, with one drape empty, always suggested to me that there is a sixth figure (representing the cylon God or Christ) distinct from the last Cylon.
Interesting line of the episode: Caprica-6 says “we’re programmed not to think of them.” This is a further confirmation that the 7 Cylons are pawns in some way of the Final 5. The fact that they back off their attack after identifying Anders adds to this. Oddly (and this is probably a retcon) Cylons have shot at Anders several times before, even injuring him, and #3 beat the crap out of him in a Caprica parking garage. While this will be explained as relating to their wake-up call, truth is Anders wasn’t chosen by the writers as a Cylon back then. It’s odd that the F5 would take the risk that they would be killed by Cylons before their activation, since they are obviously placed in the colonies as part of “a plan.”
One thing I found surprising — the Cylons attacked the colonial fleet. While it’s perhaps not obvious to the casual viewer, the Cylons have not attacked civilians since the 2nd season. When they found them on New Caprica they declared they no longer wanted to wipe out humanity. And since then there were only military skirmishes, though admittedly jump capability can make it hard to tell. So there’s a sudden change of heart, and then a sudden reversal on signal from Anders’ eye. Also worth noting is that the ship that was destroyed was destroyed not by a missle, but an out of control raider that was shot by colonials.
We’re in for a long ride this final season. We probably won’t learn the answers to big mysteries until the last few episodes, which will air in 2009. And new information about the background to the Caprica prequel series has just come out that ads major new elements. I’ll discuss this in another post as some might view them as big spoilers about BSG, even though they are things presumably revealed in the 1st episode of Caprica.