Cavil's Evil Plan rewrites the whole show

The newly revealed plot, with Cavil as the cause of so many of the events in the show, but some other hidden being (the sender of the Messengers) with a secret agenda, rewrites a lot of the show. In some cases it does so retroactively, as they had not written the Final Five plot until the end of season two. But let's consider:

The Ancestry

One question needs a bigger answer. Do the new humanoid Cylons have the uploaded memories of Centurions? Clues are contradictory. We are told the Centurions negotiated peace in exchange for biotech. Surely they didn't just want these new alien Cylons to create their own children and call them successors to the Centurions? Yet we see no sign of memory of metal form, other than Cavil's claim that "the humans enslaved us." In the other direction, we are told that Ellen raised John like a young boy, and so were all of them raised, though in a short period of time. So was he a baby or already a thinking mind?

John hates all things human. He hates it because he feels trapped in a human body, when he would prefer a metal one. He hates his creators for putting him in one. But if he was the first, and he was once metal, wasn't he the one begging for the humanoid body? Is this all his regret over this?

The Centurions invented monotheism and a loving god, and converted Ellen. Why is the first new Cylon an atheist?

We need the answer to this question because it tells us a lot about motives, and John's motives are now the driver of most of the story. His hatred for the human form that was forced upon him leads him to drive the genocide, it leads him to torture his creators.

The War

The Cylons wipe out humanity because they believe it is God's will, and that they must kill their parents before they can thrive, and in retaliation for years of slavery. Or so they believe. But in fact, the humans are not their parents. Their memories of their parents have been wiped by John. Their views of god, presumably given them by the converted Final Five, are perverted. They don't have any reason to wipe out humanity, John invents one for them. They do it with aplomb, so they are perhaps not entirely innocent, but it seems that there is now just one being to be blamed for the genocide.

The Escape

John wanted to give his creators "a front row seat to a holocaust." But, in spite of many opportunities to kill them, he clearly doesn't want to do that. He wants to show them how bad humanity is. He makes them bad humans, gives them flaws they may not had previously had.

This means the escape of Galactica, with Tigh and Tyrol on board, and Foster nearby in Colonial One, is Cavil's plan. Further, he goes and picks up Ellen on the planet and dumps her with the fleet. Anders gets to run a resistance but later gets to the fleet in spite of impossible odds.

(According to the writers, this orchestrated escape scenario was not in their plans but makes sense in the current context.)

The Chase

There is no chase. Cavil always knows where the fleet is. His resurrection equipment is getting regular updates from the Final Five and others on board. The "find" the fleet when they feel like it, but in spite of overwhelming military superiority, never really hurt it. But they can find it when they need to. When D'Anna wants to deliver a documentary, a raider "finds" the fleet to pick up the transmission. When Bulldog needs to be chased to the fleet, he finds it. (Though there is an off-screen explanation for that.) When the fleet is going to the Ionian Nebula, they keep following it. Six suggests it's a ship with a radiation leak, which they send out on a decoy mission, and they still find the fleet anyway. In 33, the first episode, they keep finding the fleet and stop when the Olympic Carrier is missing and then destroyed, but is this really how they did it?

They must always be close, so that Cylons on board can download, and so that the Final Five can download when they finally are killed Cavil won't miss that, this is all about proving something to his creators.

Cavil seems to be the one gunning to destroy the fleet at times. But if he destroys humanity, he can't show his creators how bad it is any more. His real agenda is not to do this.

The secret

Only one thing takes priority over teaching a lesson to his creators. His fellow Cylons must not discover what he has done. He has enslaved the Centurions, he has hidden the Final Five. The idea of #3 seeking the Final Five makes him take drastic steps. The freeing of the Centurions makes him kill half of his fellows.


This is new, of course, but just what was it about Daniel that drove John to want to wipe him out? Can it simply be that as a "sensitive artist" he was too human, among the Cylons, and thus had to die? Or is it something more than that? For example, many peg Daniel as Starbuck's father. If Daniel could easily breed, this might make Cavil fear him, because he has heard the story of his creator's planet, where Cylons decided to live as breeders and even gave up their resurrection technology because of it. This would be a nightmare to him, worth stamping out. If that's the case he should have been wanting rid of the Cylon breeding projects and Hera most of all.

The Evil

You may think I'm getting overly critical about scientific accuracy, but here I will criticise the basic story of good and evil inside this show. I think it's wrong to concentrate all the evil in one character. I liked the idea that the Final Five had a hidden agenda, and some responsibility for things going wrong, resulting in genocide. I felt they had to at least know the war was coming, accepting it as part of the cycle. But no, they were just prisoners. Their only error was making John and not realizing how dangerous he was. The other Cylons had all the good upbringing they had from the well-intended Five removed, and became machines ready for genocide.

Evil isn't that simple. Evil should not be concentrated into one super-evil character. I find that plot inferior to other stories of evil, that try to explain how people come to make evil decisions. "Not liking being stuck in a human body so destroying humanity" is not an evil plot I can identify with.

The Temple of Five, and other things

Ellen says they visited the Temple of Hopes but did not modify it to show their faces. Their visit would have been around 300 to 500 years prior to the show's events, based on my guess as to the distance from Kobol to the colonies. At any point, it's long after the 12 tribes fled Kobol.

But the 12 tribes have scrolls talking about a famous lost "Temple of the five priests who worshiped a God whose name cannot be...(spoken)" This legend comes from before the Final Five were even born. So they are not those five priests at all.

In fact, the Final Five were not special until 40 years ago, when they birthed the other 8. Their role in galactic history was minor. They were five survivors of a war on a slow boat to Caprica. The only thing special about them was that they had received "Messengers" (what RDM now calls virtual beings) to warn about the war. And they might be the last 5 Cylons at the time, though we can't really be sure. Point is there is no reason to make an elaborate temple to show their faces until there are 8 Cylons who might find this important.

So it seems that the other string-puller, this god, modified the temple quite recently. And it may also be the case that the Tomb of Athena, while it exists in ancient legends (just like the Temple of Five) is also a recent modification. What else is a recent modification?


Why does he unbox D'Anna? He already knows what she knows. He tells her it is so that she can negotiate peace. But how can he do that? He can't let her tell the others what she knows, have them find the Final Five, for then his game could be up and he will be destroyed. Since this unboxing was written after they had worked out the Cavil plot, this remains curious.


Never posted here before, but I noticed some points thought worthwhile to raise.

Galactica has basically hinged on the mantra "all of this has happened before and will happen again." But the real question remains: where are we in the cycle? This most recent episode has seemingly confused the question. The five chalk it up to the cycle of destruction, but I don't see this as the case.

The 'broken' cycle. According to Ellen, the five were quickly able to identify the cycle of death that comes of the creation of artificial life. This is the reason for them leaving Earth at sub-luminal speeds to find the 12 Colonies, an act that took them 2000 years. Their subsequent interference with the Cylon War and creation of the humanoids presents a distinct break in the cycle. Kobol and Earth were destroyed by similar holocausts, which insinuates that the colonies were fated for the same. The five however, broke the cycle, making a deal which spared the colonies in exchange for another artificial being. Therefore, this isn't the retribution sought out by the Centurions, as we see on Earth, its a retribution brought about by the Humanoid Models on the Five Creators. We've skipped a holocaust.

According to their own reasoning, the Five's idea of the cycle is inadequate. It was made so the moment they interfered with it, proving their shared beliefs quite faulty. So lets assume that the mantra "all of this has happened before..." doesn't reference the cycle of violence but rather has broader implications.
That would mean that holocausts are bridging points with another monumental event which signals the passing of the cycle. Therefore, it is to be reasoned, that we are approaching the time of Kobol, or an age to mirror it, before the cylon tribe leave their colonial counterparts in the exodus of the 13th tribe. Given another 2000 years, the Cylon may return to their rejuvinated homeland (making our Earth only a step in a vastly longer cycle then we are currently observing, and one in which Earth has been a colony many, many, many times)

And in this way, anyone of the planets could be the homeworld: Earth, Kobol, Colonies....Furthermore, in this cycle, it would be logical for the 13th tribe to creating the imaging mechanism in the temple of five, dedicated to the final five which helped to found Kobol, and brought them to peace with their 12 colony neighbors (ala the last episode of the new show). Thus the temple wasn't prophetic, it was historical.

I’m probably stating the obvious but if it wasn’t for the virtual beings the Colonies probably wouldn’t have been wiped out in the mini-series. It seems to me it’s the Virtual beings who are the cause of all the trouble. If they hadn’t warned the Final Five about the thirteenth tribe’s impending destruction the Eight Colonial Flesh Job Cylons would not have been made. The First Colonial Vs Metal Cylon war would not have ended and the fight would have continued. It seemed like a pretty even fight and if not for the interference of the FF the war would have ended bloody but I doubt the Colonies would have been wiped out. Unlike the Thirteenth Tribe that had all its eggs in one basket, that their AI could wipe out with one blow, the Twelve Colonies were spread out so the intended warning from the 5 survivors of the thirteenth tribe did more harm than good. It’s hard to wipe out an enemy that’s fully engaged like the Colonials were in the first war. Its easier to take out an enemy with its guard down than an enemy that’s fully engaged as shown in the mini series. So it’s the virtual beings that are orchestrating everything for thousands of years for some reason. Did the Virtual beings give Danial Greystone enough hints to start the ball rolling on creating AI in time for the FF to arrive and mess everything up? The big reveal is, and always has been, what or who are the virtual beings? I guess that’s always been the big question, the audience probably knows it but there is less speculation about them than other issues that turn out to be trivial, like the Colonial wipe out was mostly Cavil’s revenge. Are the pictures of the Six in New York from the last episodes a virtual being planning trouble for us or is that the person who becomes a virtual being who’s causing all the trouble? The fact that Six looks like she does could be as simple as vanity and a virtual being likes to look at what she use to be. We have seen the virtual beings engaged a lot through the first three seasons but haven’t seen much of them in season four. Are they sitting back and enjoying the drama it’s taken them thousands of years to put in place? Is the reason everyone gets close to “our” Earth but never sees it because that’s where the virtual beings live or the super computer is stashed. The virtual beings like to see the drama on their doorstep but don’t want it to close. I liked the idea that the Cycle was the result of choices by physical entities, Colonial or Cylon. Is it going to turn out the whole thing is a play to amuse bored ‘our’ Earth computer geeks who made themselves immortal? These virtual beings came from some place, did they manage to download to the Space Between Life and Death (or a super computer as the case may be) and are playing god? Will the Colonials and Cylons find them, figure out what’s been happening and how they have all been puppets on a string for the amusement of the virtual beings? Will the physical beings get really ticked off and use hard ordinance to take them out ending all the manipulation that has been the real cause of the cycles over time. I can imagine Adama and Cavil coming to an epiphany together and decide to stop fighting each other and deal with the real problem. I really don’t have a clue what’s going one. These are just some ideas that probably mean nothing or someone else has already brought forth and then have since been debunked.

Re: The ancestry

When dealing with a race of aritificial intelligences, things that don't exist in the real world (yet), it's hard to know how they would behave "genetically." However, I got the impression that whatever kind of "heredity" the Cylons might have to pass on to future versions is their "software," and the bodies -- be they toasters or skinjobs -- are the hardware into which the Cylon software is installed. Perhaps each new version retains some kind of memory (in the electronic sense) from previous versions that establishes a continuity regardless of the hardware it currently inhabits.

So, the Centurions adopted their monotheistic religion (apparently borrowed from the human monotheists) that held humanity as the children of God and featured plenty of commandments (like "Be fruitful and multiply") that can only be fulfilled in organic bodies. The drive to create organic software for themselves was motivated by the desire to fulfill God's commandments -- the same as the Farms, the hybrid experiment with Helo, and such.

Cavil would then be first of the new version of Cylon software installed in organic hardware. He would have whatever electronic "memory" he inherited from the previous line of Centurions that would be added to and conditioned by his new interface. I did not gather that he personally remembered what it was like to be a Centurion, but he could make inferences from his software and from observation.

As for rejection of the Cylon religion as adopted by his "mother," the rejection of parental values and beliefs is an age old tradition.

The continuity of software (and the ocntinued production of upgraded Centurions) preserves the link between the skinjobs and the Centurions that were created by man. They then evolved. The FF took advantage of but did not alter their religious beliefs -- with the exception of giving them a way to put off confronting the Cloud of Unknowing. They still believed in God and His commandments and still believed that humanity was sinful and needed to be punished. Comapre with Bible: God grants the Land of Israel to the Israrlites because the Canaanites have sinned exceedingly and deserve annihilation. That's why they agreed to an armistice and not a peace. They never intended to abort the genocide; they were just buying time.

From the moment that four central characters were revealed as the Final Five, it was clear that the survival of Galactica was not an accident. Whether that was Cavil's doing or if Cavil was simply the instrument of an as-yet-to-be-revealed influence is not clear.

I don't believe that the other skinjobs had a "good upbringing" that Cavil removed. I don't think he removed anything other than the knowledge about the FF. I think the FF made the mistake in overestimating or misinterpreting the significance of the Cylon religion. Monotheism on Earth has not traditionally gotten along well with dissenting opinions. That's how I understand Tyrol's question, "You mean, like a one true god?" Having a One True God generally means everyone else who worships other gods is wrong, bad, evil, and must be destroyed. Ellen, however, seemed to believe that a God of Love meant the Cylons would be nice to humans once the war was over. She apparently wasn't aware of what has been done on Earth in the name of the Love of God.

The Cylons were predisposed for genocide before the FF and remained so afterward. Cavil inherited that software and added his own personal Oedipal issues. And as far as one character's "evil" influencing so many others, look how quickly the Cylons accepted the opinion of Caprica and Boomer. If something makes sense according to the Cylon programming, it doesn't take much to convince them, apparently.

He must erase or block all memory of their upbringing. They were "raised" like children, Ellen said. Yes, I can imagine a specialized TV amnesia where you forget mom but you remember all she taught you, but it has to block things.

But consider the story here. The Final Five come to the colonies on a mission to prevent the genocide they saw on their own planet. They stop the first war, and embrace the Centurion's religion. They raise new Cylons as their children, instill them with both the religion of a loving god and to love humanity (for their goal again, is to stop a genocide.)

Yet somehow Cavil, on whom they fail, twists it to convince all of them to engage in his revenge, an act of unspeakable evil by all they were brought up to believe. Yes, the colonials brought it on themselves by having slaves, but most of these colonials weren't even born during the slaver period.

I'm not convinced that all the skinjobs had an "upbringing" like Cavil's. His being a "little boy" may be unique to him, or unique to the prototypes of each line, or whatever. We haven't seen any indication one way or the other to make a judgment.

I don't recall anyone specifically saying that the new line of Cylons were raised to love humanity. Ellen says they the capacity to love, but Boomer (I think) scoffs, who are they supposed to love? Humans? I did not pick up anything to say that the new Cylons were specificall bred/trained/programmed to love humans. Ellen seemed to think the religion the Centurions had already developed would be enough.

I also do not see that the holocaust was entirely dependent on Cavil. The Cylons had already fought one war against the humans, a war -- like the Korean War -- that was never specifically concluded. The Cylon religion is perfectly compatible with the holocaust; no perversion by Cavil is necessary. Cavil had his own personal reasons for hating humans, but his brothers and sisters had a predisposition and a religious justification. Look at all that has been done by religions of "love" in our history.

As for the Colonials and slavery, it doesn't make any difference that the generation exterminated in the holocaust was not largely guilty for enslaving the Cylon's ancestors. To a Nazi, or a Crusading Christian, a Jew is Jew. The same deal is going on here.

I'm not convinced that all the skinjobs had an "upbringing" like Cavil's. His being a "little boy" may be unique to him, or unique to the prototypes of each line, or whatever.

I've been wondering about what is the "base age" for the Five? When Ellen resurrected she was the same age as when she died, but clearly she had been living -- and aging -- for about 20 years. While Saul's memories are false, he did meet Adama about 20 years before the Fall of the Colonies on a commercial freighter. So, do the Five resurrect at the age of their previous death or does it start over somehow? It does make some sense that the Seven might have initially grown up from children and then at some point their memories were backed up so that they could resurrect.

The Cylons had already fought one war against the humans, a war -- like the Korean War -- that was never specifically concluded.

Yes, it was. It was concluded by the Cimtar Peace Accord, which was some kind of non-agression treaty.

OK. But it's universally referred to an "armistice," which implies an uneasy cessation of hostilities and not a formal conclusion of war. Oh well.

Don't forget. The mission of the final five, for which they flew for 2,000 years of planet-time, was to stop another genocide. It was their whole purpose.

It seems totally at odds with that to say that the Cylons they created would have been pre-disposed to genocide. They would have done everything in their power to teach them the opposite of that. In particular, their mission started with the goal of convincing the humans not to enslave the Cylons, but they were too late for that. But they would know all about the resentment of the slavery.

Now they failed, of course. The either failed just with John, and he programmed the others to become predisposed to genocide, or they failed with all of them. Perhaps they failed with all of them except Daniel.

In that case, they suck at parenting and creating, I guess.

But they definitely would have done everything in their power to try to create and raise beings not predisposed to genocide, so how did they fail that badly?

Didn't Ellen say that like humans, they were given free will. It was her belief that if they chose to believe in the one god, who represented love, they would chose a path that would end the cycle. However, being like humans means having the same flaws, like jealousy, anger, hatred, and the one that I think John feels the most based on his desire to improve as a machine, feelings of inadequacy.

Yes, Ellen did say that the skinjobs had free will. They were not programmed to love humanity. Ellen and the others misunderstood the implications of the Cylon religion of "love," and that in monotheistic religions sometimes you have to express your love for people by killing them all to save them from themselves.

Monotheism also leads to absolutes. It was one of the fundamentals RDM built the show on, in terms of the religions. There is a video of part of a lecture RDM gave at a university that explains it.

I finally see why so many people around here are upset. You must look at the human element of the whole show as well as the scientific minutia. John's reason for destroying humanity is because the human's once enslaved the Centurions and he wants revenge for that. All this talk about hardware has nothing to do with it. He never talks about himself being enslaved his direct quote is, "My forebearers on the Centurion side of the family were the slaves of humanity and I want justice for that." You don't need to understand the programming and how it works to understand the human emotion of revenge. He also isn't putting himself in the role of slave. He puts his ancestors in the role of slaves. He wants revenge for his ancestors. The idea that this contradicts the peace the Centurions is just plain nonsense. He wants revenge, how hard is that to understand. He doesn't just want revenge against the humans though, he obviously also wants revenge against his creators, for making him in the image of humans, and for taking their side in the man vs machine war. You aren't going to find the answer to the simple concept of revenge by learning about the physical bio-tech construction of the Significant Seven (well, Eight).

I've always assumed that Cavil was trying for a long shot that he could persuade D'Anna to abandon her F5 quest for the sake of the greater good -- and that he was ready to promptly kill and rebox her if she didn't go along, then resume his civil war. In fact that is more or less what he told her after she was unboxed. If that is the case, we can perhaps assume he at least somewhat values the lives of the other (rebel) Cylons...if only up to the point of threatening his big secret.

"Surely they didn’t just want these new alien Cylons to create their own children and call them successors to the Centurions?"

You forget that the F5's goal was to HELP them develop flesh bodies. It's possible that the Centurions, who has already created the Hybrids, were involved in some level with the creation of the 8. Maybe a minimal role, but a role nonetheless. Even if we assume they had NO role, there's no reason to think they didn't want the F5 to simply create their children. People adopt children, after all.

"If Daniel could easily breed, this might make Cavil fear him"

I believe ALL of the cylons can breed. But only with humans. It seems to me that the F5, in an effort to end the cycle of violence, removed from the 8 the ability to procreate with one-another, thus forcing the Cylons to reconcile with humanity if they wanted to breed.

"I think it’s wrong to concentrate all the evil in one character."

I agree with you here, but I am reserving judgement until we know everything. At the end of the day, though, the show is still enjoyable, and a simplification of evil is not worth destroying my enjoyment.

"So they are not those five priests at all."

Is it possible that they are not the first set of Final 5's? Perhaps the visions they are seeing are remnants of a previous cycle, and the priests are the older Final 5 (or original 5, or just another set of 5 cylons/humans/etc).

The final 5 were born in a society of sexually reproducing Cylons, so their bodies would not match people of a previous cycle as far as I can see. Their faces had to be added to the temple much later. The temple, as built, was not dedicated to them or to 5 priests.

Truth is, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Ellen says it was just a temple to pray for a path to a new home, and it seems it was the same when she visited it on the way to the colonies. Yet the colonies have a legend of a "Temple of Five" and 5 priests, and a certain god.

One option: Perhaps the Temple of Hopes is not the Temple of Five. Perhaps Tyrol just concluded, mistakenly that it was. It may just be the Temple of Hopes, modified recently to show the faces of the Final Five, as part of the unseen string-puller's plan to do whatever that plan is.

Otherwise we need these steps

  1. 13th tribe builds temple of hopes.
  2. 5 priests of a god whose name must not be (spoken) convert Temple to be dedicated to them. This enters Kobolian legend and is taken to the 12 colonies.
  3. Later, on their way to the 12 colonies, the final 5 visit and do not notice this change.
  4. Much later, after the final 5 create the 8 and are boxed, somebody modifies the Temple to show their faces and arranges a nova!

That somebody is pretty damn powerful.

Well the five faces are clearly our 5, but what if the PRIESTS that the humans revere were 5 older cylons? What if the Lords of Kobol were cylons? A lot of theories rolling around in my head.

What if there is a different 5 every cycle? This cycle it is Tigh, Ellen, Tory, Galen and Sam.

If true, the only commonality between generations I can see is the appearance of virtual beings, which clearly not everybody can see.

That means this generations' "F5" are Baltar, Cap Six, Starbuck, Leoben and..... somebody else. Take your pick of Roslin, Adama, Jake the Dog, etc.

Roslin saw the most obvious virtual being, in the form of Elosha during FTL jumps.

Adama had an arm reach out of an empty resurrection tank and grab him at the end of the first war.

Leoben? What did Leoben see a vision of?

Athena saw the vision of the opera house.

Tigh saw Ellen in place of six.

Adama saw his dead ex-wife, but that probably does not count.

I always took Roslin's visions as side effects of the drug she used. In fact, i'm watching old episodes, and they say just that. I guess it could still be something that makes her special, regardless.

That was beyond a vision. That was taking place in the zero-time that a jump is supposed to be. At it knew Adama was waiting.

And when you use the phrase "zero-time" to describe a jump it makes a lot of sense. During a jump she was temporarily released from the Eternal Return and from a linear perception of time. The head characters, possibly synonymous with The One, seem to exist out of time; out of the pull of the Eternal Return. This might also explain Starbuck's differing perception of time when she disappeared into the maelstrom.

BTW, The One Whose Name Cannot Be (Spoken)? Hilarious!

I've been confused on exactly how Leoben relates to the mythology of the show. I had always sort of thought that Leoben's strange "support" of Starbuck related to his own personal, perhaps twisted religious awakening. But then I read him up on the BSG Wiki and it pretty clearly fingers him as just a guy who really digs Kara and otherwise has generally continued his history of manipulation. I will say that the thought of him revealed to have a mirror virtual being experience to Starbuck sounds like a deep and rewarding plot device that the writers almost certainly won't use.

Soo, wild-ass assertion time. The virtual beings are what most of this revolves around, so figuring out more about them will be a key to understanding the rest of the plot. Based on Baltar's and Six's head entities, would it be reasonable to state that their virtual beings (and by extension, all virtual beings) are attempting to unify the human and cylon races? Look at how virtual Baltar persuaded Cap Six to sue for peace, at how virtual Six tormented Baltar into acting as a conduit for Cylon religion, prodding him into supporting New Caprica, staying around with the fleet just long enough for them to be on more peaceful terms with Cylons at which point she disappears, etc. It was really unclear what V6 was doing all this time, but adding VB plus all the seasons together and it seems blindingly obvious.

That assertion might help ID specifically who might be receiving visions that we don't know yet: people who have shown unusual courtesy for the other side, or have contributed to the astronomical coincidences on the trip. Those people would be the new "final" people, whatever that means. Besides Starbuck, and leaving Leoben and Roslin aside for a moment, the strongest people I'm thinking of here are Cottle and Helo, but there's absolutely no evidence otherwise to suggest they are special. But Cottle has the rare gift of never having an introspective moment on the show. Gina (great timing on the nuke) and Natalie would make great candidates too, except they're dead, and so presumably not so "final". However combined with the 21st century Helfer shots there are some interesting avenues to consider with the Six perhaps being from an earlier cycle? We're already inside Adama's head and there isn't a whole lot virtual in there.

Look at how virtual Baltar persuaded Cap Six to sue for peace, at how virtual Six tormented Baltar into acting as a conduit for Cylon religion, prodding him into supporting New Caprica, staying around with the fleet just long enough for them to be on more peaceful terms with Cylons at which point she disappears, etc. It was really unclear what V6 was doing all this time, but adding VB plus all the seasons together and it seems blindingly obvious.

I wish I had the time to re-watch a bunch of episodes, but I don't. My general thought on headSix has been that she prodded Baltar to (1) be even more self-serving, but with an eye toward (2) promoting the popularity of the One True God. The problem with this "plan" of the One True God is that like the character from TOS, Baltar is not a very good puppet because his own self-absorption wins out every time. He only does good things for people when it ultimately serves him. Sometimes he feels guilty about it, but self-preservation is his primary motivation. Case in point, despite preaching about the One True God to his harem, when it seems that god has deserted them he's very quick to turn his back on it all. How lucky he is that getting him off the Galactica during the mutiny was what would keep his followers safe -- it also kept him safe. It was a perfect synchronicity of what was best for everyone was best for Baltar. This was a rare instance where he felt guilty afterward and even Lida's comforting couldn't erase that.

The One True God is trying to manipulate Baltar for his own purposes, but in the end I don't think Baltar will play along if it means his own destruction. His sense of empathy is fleeting and feigned at best, while his need for self-preservation rules him. That's a kind of evil, which means that John Cavil is not the only Big Bad.

All of Baltar's and V6's actions make perfect sense if V6's ultimate goal is a reappraisal of the Cylon race. Once rapproachment is virtually guaranteed to occur (mutiny and pun notwithstanding), V6 more or less doesn't have to be around anymore. Which is exactly what happened.

Similarly the F5 were aided by their virtual beings in order to support a rapproachment of the ancient human/cylon races. While the invasion might never have occurred if the virtual beings had never intervened, as others pointed out, the Cylon War would then have been fought to its ultimate conclusion, with one side exterminating the other. So the intervention of the beings, at least in the short term, is in line with this idea of virtual being motivations.

And the Baltar in Baltar's head? Come on. There are only so many reasons to persuade Balter to get in Foster's panties.

I do have the time (and I have been). It seems to me that Head Six is evil, though i'm guessing there's more to her actions than what we see a first glance. She was the one who told Baltar to request a nuclear warhead that was later used to destroy a ship by one of her duplicates (Natalie). Sounds evil, but it may have been in fact to help him build the cylon detector that ferretted out Boomer (though she also persuaded him not to reveal her identity). She also told Baltar to 'keep an eye on this one' about Ellen Tigh in her first episode, and not because she was flirting with Baltar.

Head Six has done a lot of things to force Baltar's hand in orchestrating key events. This wasn't very subtle and it's a shame that we've forgotten now how integral Head Six was in the evolution of their journey.

The temple, as built, was not dedicated to them or to 5 priests.

Right, but the Temple of Five was supposedly built by the Five to honor The One Whose Name Cannot Be (Spoken). It wasn't a temple the Five built in honor of themselves. I assume that the Five found the Temple before meeting the Colonial Centurions and converting to monotheism? It makes a kind of sense for them to switch the purpose of the temple after they converted, especially if the One True God = The One Whose Name Cannot Be (Spoken). This god whose name is so hard to pronounce reminds me of the Hebrew tradition of not uttering God's name. Instead it's spelled "G-d" or saying "Adonai" ("the Lord") whenever reading Torah or praying. Yahweh isn't the only deity with an epithet or title rather than a name, many Pagan gods are treated similarly. In many Pagan traditions to know someone's true name is to have power over them.

No, that was what some people thought, but it turns out no one knows the original purpose for the temple. Well, my theory is the head characters do, but we don't know that yet. The Temple is currently a complete mystery with the knowledge learned in "No Exit".

In "No Exit," Ellen clearly believes that the 13th Tribe built the temple as the Temple of Hopes on their way to "Earth." Ellen also says that the F5 found the temple on their return to Kobol and has no memory of it being anything but the Temple of Hopes. John Cavil seems to think the F5 converted the temple to the Temple of Five, and Pythian Prophecy says the temple was built by the F5 in honor of the One True God.

So, yeah, someone is lying or has had their memory tampered with.

You are proving my point. They can't all be right, so we have no clue who built the temple and no one on the show is a credible enough source...yet.

Michael Hall has a great new post up on time dilation.

I asked him some questions and I'll repeat them here:

What if the Temple is some kind of jump-gate that either causes or coincides with the nova? Could this temple jump-gate be using the nova as a power source? Does the nova occur every 2,000 years? What if the temple jump-gate firing up happens on a regular cycle, like every 2,000 years when the nova occurs?

If the 13th Tribe/F5 didn’t know how such a gate worked, it could be easily misunderstood as “God showing them the way.” They might not even realize what was happening. Also, this could be how Starbuck traveled to Earth. Maybe whatever programming she's got compelled her to fly into the maelstrom because deep down she knew it was a jump-gate.

Isn't a nova a one-time event - the death of a star?

In this show, jumping is easy and requires very little power. A raptor or Cylon raider can do it. A Cylon raider can go from Kobol to Caprica in one jump.

So no need for a nova to power a jump gate. And yes, our string-puller/OTG has FTL technology, but that's nothing fancy. So does everybody else except the 13th colony and ancient Kobol.

I believe ALL of the cylons can breed. But only with humans. It seems to me that the F5, in an effort to end the cycle of violence, removed from the 8 the ability to procreate with one-another, thus forcing the Cylons to reconcile with humanity if they wanted to breed.

You're saying that the S7 can't breed with each other, but they can breed with the Five or with humans, right? Because technically both Six and Saul are both Cylons.

"I think it’s wrong to concentrate all the evil in one character."

Right now it seems that John Cavil is the Big Bad, but there's the resolution of Baltar's story yet as well as Kara's "dark and sickening" resurrection that someone had to facilitate. I'm hoping they'll spread the Big Badness out a bit over the remaining episodes.

Of course the cylons can breed with the F5 because the F5 have the ability to reproduce. What I mean is that when they created the F8, they removed the ability to procreate with othe F8's, and they could only reproduce by mating with non-F8's (their intention being humans, of course).

It is possible they can't breed with each other because the Earth Cylons are actually hybrids of Kobol Humans and Kobol Cylons. This would allow both the Hera story arc and the cycle story arc to meet head on.

I'm watching Season 1's 'Flesh & Bone.' Clearly as early as this the writers knew Starbuck was different-- that she had a special destiny. Now, I don't know if that destiny has changed since newer developments, but i'm betting it has. I wonder-- if Daniel is somehow related to Starbuck, whether literal or otherwise-- is it possible that Daniel passed on this knowledge to brother Leoben before he was destroyed? Knowledge he may only remember (after Cavil's memory tampering) on a subconscious level?

She seems under 30. But Tigh was planted 30 years ago, Adama knew him for that long. So that puts the betrayal over 30 years ago, before Starbuck is born. However, the proto-Dan may still have been around, we don't know his fate, and probably don't learn it until The Plan.

Katie Sackhoff is about 28. I was just speculating when each of the F5 might have been inserted, and I used the actors' real ages as a starting point. For instance, we know that Tyrol joined the military when he was 18 and served on several battlestars. That kind of record would be difficult for John Cavil to fake since if anyone ever checked it would be easily discovered that the records might show Tyrol was part of a particular crew, but no one remembers him being there. So, I went with the simplest assumption that if Aaron Douglas is about 37 then his character is of a similar age, which means that Tyrol might have been inserted 19 years prior to the current day in the story, which is approximately 15 years before the Fall of the 12 Colonies. I can't remember how much story time has past since the Fall, does anyone know that? I couldn't find a specific article about that on Battlestar Wiki and don't have the time to research it.

I speculated that Saul was inserted about 20 years before the Fall of the 12 Colonies. If Kara is also about 28 that might all fit together.

And Tigh had a complete faked war and service record, and made it to colonel on it. So no problem with inserting Tyrol etc.

We don't know what a memory implant is supposed to do. If the core personality is retained, you can't implant in a child, they would have an adult personality and that would not make sense to the foster parents. So I think you have to wait until about 18 to implant, probably later.

I have been wondering for awhile about Starbuck's origins. Her flashbacks with her mother made me think she could have been the first Hybrid. More recently I have wondered about her antagonism towards Tigh, and whether this hinted at some hidden connection between the two. In the last episode, "Deadlock", she has a line in the bar which could very well just be a throw away line, but if not, could be interesting. It was something to the effect that seeing Tigh and Ellen kiss was like seeing her parents kiss.

The writers did have a sense of the overall story arc for the series when they started. They just didn't have all the details figured out, like the F5. That's why I think the F5 really isn't the main story mystery to be solved. It just seems so because of the way this last season has played out due to the writers strike etc.

I think they've known what Starbuck is from the very beginning.

Ron Moore said that the Final Five was never meant to be a huge mystery. I know people who started the show during the break in season 4 and they think the only reason we care about who the 5th of the Final Five was is because of the long break between season 3 and 4 and then again the season 4 break. Remember, we learn about the Final Five almost halfway into season 3 and by midway through season 4 the all 5 are out. That is one season worth of time played out over what 3-4 actual years of our lives. I can't go back and start BSG during the season 4 break, so I have to take the people who didn't suffer through years of not knowing (for them it was probably a week tops, even watching the DVDs slowly) who say that the mystery was more us than the the show. And that isn't RDMs doing. Strikes and season breaks aren't his fault, that is the business.

He set the narrative up that way and pimped it hard in off-screen comment. If he's saying anything else that's him not realising what he did, or trying to get out of it. It's crap like that which makes people hate politicians.

In fact, we learn about the 5 halfway through season 3, and 8 episodes later 4 of the 5 are revealed. He 'pimped' the 5 as you say to gather a greater audience. It was something fans latched onto, so he played it up. It's part of show-business.

Pass over whatever you are smoking because without the extra gap in season 4 RDM never makes the off-screen comments that lead to making the Final Five part of the mystery of the show. Remember the strike started before season 4 began airing. The final reveal was dragged out to 2+ years instead of less than a year. Selective memory syndrome doesn't make something fact.

I would bet that BSG wraps up with an out-of-nowhere end that will probably not make a lot of sense or be very satisfying, at least to the folks here.

Just check out Ron Moore's blog entry on the final episode of the Sopranos on the SciFi website. He loved the way that show ended, and while this does not mean he would duplicate it (in fact, he's too driven to be original to steal something so obvious), it does mean he's likely to cook up a way to end the show with a WTF-bang.

The fact that they've put together this after-series movie called The Plan and will release a comic book on the Final Five only further support that Moore and Co. went for drama and character over plot and logic in the endgame.

After all, why would they decide to do The Plan following the show if the final 10 episodes explain everything?

I would guess that they knew they left a lot of loose ends, and that a follow up movie to explain the details would be necessary, particularly for hard core Sci Fi fans who like things like plot, back story, logic, and common sense.

Your average American viewer, however, does not give a crap about those things, and is generally satisfied with big explosions, a little skin, some corny one-liners, and the male and female leads hooking up at the end. In other words: they are still adjusting to the fact that Starbuck is a woman in this version of BSG, but will be fine so long as the bad guy is killed, Six strips, Adama says hasta la vista baby, and Lee and Kara get it on.

I think we're going to be let down by the end, but only because the show provided such a fertile ground for speculation and potentially innovative/rare SciFi. But in the end, the Lords of Television, and not the Lords of Kobol, will rule the day and we'll have to settle for post-production Silmarillion-like fodder.

Thus far, the show has not tracked with what would be technically or logically correct, clearly always choosing character over plot. No reason now to think that it will, is there?

And let me be clear: I don't have a problem with this. It's their show. Ron Moore and all those frakkers at SciFi Channel can do whatever they want. I am going to enjoy it for what it is. The speculation thus far, even if left out of the show, has already enriched the experience for me.

While my reviews of late have seemed negative, the reason is that this is not just your average TV show. I put a high bar on it because it set a high bar. It was, and is, trying to be more realistic. Ron's "naturalistic SF" is exactly what I want to see from TV SF. I don't want Greg Egan style SF on TV, that should stay in books.

So my criticism is friendly. Be the best that you can be, at least in my view. So I still have hopes.

I couldn't agree more.

You're right that the bar for this show is (and should be) set very high.

And that, for whatever reason, the writers have squandered some of its potential.

I remember watching the mini series when it debuted, which in the fall of 2003 was still only two years removed from 9/11, and the combination of a dark, fast-paced Sci Fi show that looked unlike anything that had come before it with it's clear connection to 9/11 and, in particular, post-9/11 US was just brilliant.

Some of the internet chatter at that time was from hard core fans of the original series who thought Richard Hatch should have been allowed to do his "continuation" version of the show. They were nothing short of furious that Starbuck and Boomer were women. Of course, when you view the original show today, it's campy and cliche-ridden, not to mention poorly produced. Not as bad as those unwatchable Sci Fi Channel movies like "Insect" or whatever they're called, although 50% of the original series' value is due to Sheba. I'm glad Richard Hatch never got to make his version and instead was executed in a launch bay for high treason and for still sporting that same dopey 70s haircut 35 years later.

But this current series... Other than the West Wing (while Sorkin was there), there really hasn't been anything on the air that's been as good. And as someone who wasted a good bit of time these last three years watching Heroes (until swearing off said show forever two weeks ago, because it sucks), I can say this with great confidence. I think...

And I think BSG's evolution over the last few years, even if it suffered from the lack of a grand design and uncoordinated marketing, still provided a very important cultural space in which to explore and attempt to understand what is proving to be a tense and tumultuous period in American history.

But it would have been great to see a more compelling exploration of the hard sci fi that's been discussed here. I honestly don't think any of the deviations would have hurt the character-driven parts of the story. Right?

And in fact, I think this blog has shown it would have enhanced the character drama, perhaps significantly.

Their loss. Or maybe ours. Or both. In any event, I think the fun is about to begin.

I absolutely love BSG, and I don't see the squandered potential you talk about.

As an aside. If you are just looking for fantastic TV, the greatest and most important TV show ever made is complete and you can pick up all the DVDs now. It is The Wire. I recommend it to anyone with blood.

The Wire is, without a doubt, from beginning to end, the most perfect TV show ever produced.

Good comment from Brad and Josiah, but the 9/11 thing can be a delusion to some degree, and the American history bit gets irritating to foreign viewers. Thinking in bullet points and being self-absorbed has its downside.

It might come as a bit of a suprise but when people were banging on about BSG's connection with 9/11 I was just thinking "So what?" Stuff happens. It's just one more thing. Also, I had to make an effort to tune out Americanisms while watching it, especially during the first two series.

Ron Moore made the naturalistic Sci-Fi mission statement for the show BEFORE the mini was shown to the execs who asked for him to expand the religious part of the show. RDM agreed to follow that path. He explains this in a lecture on youtube. I am pretty sure his original mission statement changed after he had to expand the religious element of the show. Not to mention the fact that there is obvious magic that has taken place since the first season shows that. You are holding RDM to a mission statement that didn't make it past the mini and you call that friendly criticism, that is funny stuff.

Perhaps, but he could have retracted it. He didn't. Plus, it doesn't explain the WTF drive, the WTF narrative, and the WTF producer comment. The issue isn't "nauturalistic science fiction" but the fact that the standard has slipped. That's just a fact and trying to redefine things or cake them in sentiment doesn't make it go away.

Actually the entire blog lately has turned into "ZOMG TEH NATURILISTICS WAS STOLEN FROM US!!!" It also isn't a retraction when you make the change from naturalistic to mystic at the very beginning. But hey maybe English isn't your proper language.

Science and mysticism aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. Mostly, it's an implementation issue. The fact that Ron opened his mouth and latched onto something without thinking it through has led to a contradiction. This isn't a failure of science fiction or mysticism but his own lack of skill. He set and promoted a standard, achieved that in some measure, but the rest is damage of his own making.

Not to get in the way, but I think part of it is a misinterpretation as to what Mr. Moore meant by "Naturalistic Science Fiction". Now although the mission statement does speak to trying to maintain a scientific reality within the parameters of the show itself, but it also makes very clear that the "naturalistic" is mostly about drama. He says it a few times in his mission statement.

"Our show is first and foremost a drama. It is about people."

"Our characters are living, breathing people with all the emotional complexity and contradictions present in quality dramas like "The West Wing" or "The Sopranos."

"They are everyday people caught up in a enormous cataclysm and trying to survive it as best they can. They are you and me."

The truth is Mr. Moore spends more time talking about the film-making techniques in his "Naturalistic Science Fiction" than he does this debate you seem to be having about science, or mysticism. It is a character play, with allegories to our world, set in a science fiction setting, as told through the lens of a documentary film-maker. I really don't understand the need to get all worked up about such a minor facet of the show. The characters are the important part.

Are there holes? Sure, but the show isn't even over yet, so instead of complaining about them I am curious about how they will be resolved. I would think if you spent this much time arguing coming up with ideas of what you think will happen you could have blogs like this one too.

Nobody wants to assert that any TV show is not a drama, or should not be a drama first and foremost. That it should not focus on, and have good characters.

However, having a focus on drama and characters is not, in my view, an excuse for not making what's underneath realistic and logically consistent. I want both, and it should not be so hard to get both. Not that writers will be experts in science. But they can hire science (and SF) advisors for what should be a pittance by Hollywood standards. And some do. BSG has a decent science advisor, one of the things that makes the show good.

Now, a well used science advisor will look at a script and say, "this part here is wrong" or "that doesn't make sense." And the writers can either fix it or say, "We need to do this wrong in order to tell our story." Obviously it is better if they can find a way to fix it. In fact, I think it makes a story better when writers are constrained by logic and reality and they have to work to tell their story under those constraints. But it's also acceptable to make a decision to do something wrong to tell the story, as long as it's a conscious decision and not just sloppiness.

A lot of folks say, "come on, it's just a TV show, stop picking nits about being sloppy." But a TV show has a vastly greater budget than any book, and a movie has even more.

Hollywood usually sucks at this. I see $100M movies with plain old stupid mistakes that don't actually advance the story and which could have easily been fixed by any qualified SF writer or science-aware person with a basic knowledge of drama and fiction. Such people are not expensive. BSG has been well above average here, but we are still allowed to wail about where it falls down.

This is how I view Moore's naturalistic SF dedication. Not to say that science is paramount. Far from it. Not to say that character and drama are not the first concerns. Far from it. But that he would work to get the background right.

After all, why do SF? There are some producers who do SF just to be big, with lots of special effects, to draw in a particular audience. They don't care about the SF at all. They tend to make crappy SF. They don't even make good fantasy most of the time. Others do SF for what I say is the right reason -- to explore human issues related to science, technology and the future. Which means the issues should be real, and the background consistent. If it isn't, it distracts from the story.

I think that it's absolutely great -- one of the best parts of the show -- that the Cylons are religious. In fact it's one of the best things done in SF about AIs on TV. Most people in broad audiences come in with a prejudice, that AIs are "just" machines. They don't really think, they just pretend to. They don't really feel, they are just programmed to. Many of the characters in the show express this prejudice. The word "toaster" shows this well, though it is also part of the important need of people in war to dehumanize the enemy.

By giving the Cylons a religion, and in fact making them religiously closer to the audience than the humans are, Moore accomplished a lot. Much more of the audience accepts the Cylons as beings on our level because of that, and these questions can be explored.

On the other hand, I would not want to see the Lords of Kobol be real, supernatural gods. They are standard issue pagan gods. If a story says, "And this is how it is because the mysterious gods decreed it thus" is uninteresting to me.

So please, explore the spiritual nature of the Cylons. But all the gods should either be non-supernatural (in which case we might understand their origins or motives a little) or if they are supernatural, let them be the distant, non-interfering (often non-existing) gods of the real world.

They decided to do the Plan because sci-fi begged them to do more. I'll bet we get most if not all of the answers within the show, and the Plan will reveal other secrets that broaden the scope and enhance our enjoyment. I don't think they're going to hold out anything integral for Caprica or The Plan.

I think Tory might end up having a role in why John is so screwed up. She is off in every way. She, like John, loves her machine side. She seems to have no problem with the idea of letting the humans die. She is constantly trying to prove the humans brought this on themselves. She wasn't tortured by John. I think she has a hand in the programming that caused John to be so evil.

That's a very good point! I had noticed that Tory was the only one that we hadn't explicitly seen Cavil screw with (figuratively or otherwise).

Where was she and what was she doing before Billy died?

I have been assuming Tory's character has simply been less developed than the other F5, but your theory might actually make some sense of it. She's clearly more of a Cylon separatist than even some of the rebel two, six and eight models. It's like she's tried to be a Cylon's cylon ever since she found out she was one -- always calling a vote, always agitating to leave the fleet (as she will do again in Deadlock, the previews indicate), and a good deal less charitable to humans.

Or, she could just be an underdeveloped character that the writers never knew quite what to do with since Billy's death.

Though I don't think this is why they selected her. As the most minor character of the 4, she was the easiest one to write as going over to the Cylon side.

However, I wonder about something in the opposite direction. Perhaps she gets her memories back and her old personality takes over. That old personality is in love with Galen (not just lust), and was part of a team that dedicated itself to stopping man-machine war and getting cylons to embrace humanity.

How will this person look at the actions of her John-implanted personality? Will it be her natural one, or will she look on it with horror, realize how much she hurt Galen and the rest? She might even pull a Dualla.

Or it could be as you say, that her inner, more rebel personality is coming out. That she killed Cally from a jealousy driven by repressed memories and always thought the rest of the team was a bit batty.

But her mission was the same as the others. Her life was a lie, her memories were a lie. Keep in mind that she also knew full well that everyone she knew and was friends with were gonna resent her, distrust her, and wanna airlock her, she knew she'd never be accepted by the fleet, she was fully aware of how Sharon was being treated, in spite of the fact that she helped the fleet get where they were. She still doesn't know all the details. Look at Ellen, talk about a night and day personality. What she did to Cally was an act of self preservation, it wasn't like she went around the ship secretly killing humans, Cally threatened to expose them all, if the others were there at THAT moment it's hard to argue that they'd have let her walk away from that airlock.

Those are very fair observations, especially about Cally. But still, unlike the other 4, Tory swiftly canceled her loyalty to the fleet at the first opportunity. Of course, this behavior could simply be a function of her particular false memories implanted by Cavil and not her true nature, so we won't know for sure until she recovers them - if she ever does.

I am wondering what Tory remembers. Maybe she is a plant and has all of her original memories. Perhaps she was involved in Cavill's plan for the F5.

I am guessing all of these things will happen as the series unfolds.

- Daniel, Starbuck and Baltar are all related. Don't know how, but they are.

- Starbuck crashing on Earth caused her to download into a new body somewhere near Earth.

- The exodus from Kobol and nuking of Earth both happened 2000 years ago because the trigger was the same source.

- When Anders was singing the song to his "love", he was singing to a "head person".

I don't know how it all works, but I am almost positive these things will happen as the show ends.

I don't think that resurrection technology was able to resurrect Vipers, Tattoos, clothes, jewelry...

And the 5 resurrected to a ship in Earth orbit, we'd have to assume that the ship they resurrected onto was the same ship they used to travel to the colonies, so there would have been no resurrection ship.

Tory said she remembered Anders playing the song for all of them, he didn't play it for his virtual being.

The hybrid on the basestar specifically wanted Baltar to see the faces of the Five.

1. What would Baltar have done with the knowledge that D'Anna didn't? Why was he 'the chosen' one to receive the knowledge, in other words?

2. What exactly did D'Anna see in her vision? Was it just the faces of the F5, or was it also a message like "We came from Earth in order to stop the humans and Centurions from destroying each other"? I can't imagine D'Anna saying "sorry" just because she saw their faces, they might have left a message as well.

3. If the hybrids know this, then they must also know Cavil/John's plan? Are the S7's attitudes to the hybrids ("they don't make any sense", "they don't get a vote") also part of John's additional programming into their subroutines?

4. What part do hybrids really play in the BSG scheme of things?

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