Islanded in a Stream of Stars

This episode doesn't inspire to many thoughts right away, but I need a comment thread. :-)

Some good dramatic moments of course. With only a single (3 hour, split into 2 parts) episode to go, some minor characters are getting their final scenes. It had not occurred to me that Baltar and Caprica Six had not seen one another since he was captured on the algae planet. Some emotion about others was a rare show for Baltar, but the old asshole Baltar made his way back to the surface quickly. I can't say I've been pleased with Baltar's 4th season arc. In fact, the main thing interesting about him now is the Six in his head, for her mystery is one of the big mysteries we're about to see unfolded. It was good to see a strong contrast between head Six and Caprica Six, as many people have been under the mistaken impression that they are connected. But Baltar tells us that the Angels take the form of those close to you.

Strong intimations that Galactica will make a valiant last attack, possibly on the Cylon base. Cavil seems to have a highly operational and large facility there, and it was cool to get a glimpse of it, but it's too much for the Galactica and crippled base ship to take on ordinarily -- but this is the climax of a story. (One way that works would be to free the Centurions.)

Boomer's tears remain a mystery. We now see that had Boomer had success at convincing Tyrol to "come with her" she would have had to chain him up or drug him for the long many-jump flight. A tall order as he has Cylon strength, too. But it seems a betrayal of Cavil (no doubt with Boomer's death) is in order. There are so many characters who might be a suitable killer of Cavil, though, including of course the Centurions.

Is Galen hiding? He has reason to hide, but they didn't use him at all this episode, in spite of having a few confabs of the other three. Of course he is to blame for the over 60 deaths and the destruction in Galactica. You would think he might be hiding out on the base ship. Update: He's apparently in the brig, via deleted scene.

The quick abandonment of the switch for Hera seems odd, and of course false as they are surely going after her next week. In particular, that Cylon base looks like it's a fairly permanent establishment, in which case, unlike the vacated Colony, the rebel Cylons know where it is, or at least some places to look. (Update: It apparently is the Colony, so we can't be sure how they find it. Perhaps it comes to them.)

Simon and Doral

We have seen little of them, of course. But while they are on Cavil's side, they are his dupes as well, unaware of the Final Five, sticking to the programming he gave them not to think of their makers.

But Ellen tells us that all these millions of Cylons are her children. Even John, but certainly Simon and Doral. Can she participate in an attack to kill them permanently. They are also the future of their race.

Hera though, isn't the whole future of the race. She shows that breeding is possible, if difficult. And there's no sign that Tory, Saul and Galen can't have kids with humans (or other Cylons.) Even Anders could be a sperm donor to a human woman, I suspect. (The "love" theory is, according to Espenson, not really true.)


There's lots of hope for the species without Hera, but the OTG (One true god/string-puller) is of course quite interested in her, so her story will be told in the finale.

But there does not seem to be time to tell a lot of other stories. I had hoped we might see more exploration of the Lords of Kobol, but if we do, it will be brief, and related to the OTG's story.

The notes, it seems, are going to get another role. Will they turn into jump coordinates? A programming backdoor? A real star map (with colours) as Starbuck first thought they were?

Many leaks have shown this final episode (pair) will have a number of flashback scenes, closing out some personal mysteries but leaving less time for the larger plot mysteries.

A Real Earth or no?

Hope dwindles for a real Earth of any kind, past or future. It's too big a thing to truly cover, so if it appears it will be as something short at the end, akin to the Taylor on the beach with the Statue of Liberty scene. Of course there are many rumours and a photo circulating relating to this. We'll see what they mean. It was already pretty clear we would not return to the 13th colony Earth in the show (since they left an expensive guest star who we know does not reappear there) and that has to make you wonder. Fans will be rightly upset if that's "all the Earth" they get in the show. But they might end up upset. Certainly Espenson's comments about human origins being on Kobol suggests we will get no more. But Ron Moore's comments about why he used All Along the Watchtower certainly declared a stronger connection.

The local star patterns that Michael Hall tracked so diligently look more and more like mistakes by the post-production department. They have shown up in the Ionian Nebula, and on long jumps away from it. That can't be -- there's no Nova/Supernova remnant here, nor will there be in the foreseeable future, and besides, stars won't remain the same after any sort of major jump.

One of the great flaws of the 1978 show was its complete ignorance of the geometry of space. This was one of the things that Moore really said he wanted to fix in his reimagining, and they generally did, up to season 4. It's a shame that the post-production dept. many have just been casually inserting local stars without rhyme or reason -- everywhere but on the 13th colony "Earth."

Other questions

  • Will the others get their memories back? The hybrid tank might work. But this would rewrite their characters and there isn't enough time for that.
  • What is the truth of the opera house?
  • Will Baltar get a satisfactory ending? What's going to happen with all the guns he was given? Will it be meaningful that a Hybrid called him the chosen one?
  • What was the reason for the Ionian Nebula detour with power outage, Cylon awakening, Raider ID of Anders etc.? Why did the OTG drag them 13,000 light years away to do that?
  • Will we, in general, find a satisfying reason for the convoluted course they have taken? Other than, "to make the trip longer."

On some of these, we may not know the truth. The main things we seem sure to learn about are Hera, the OTG and head beings, and Starbuck.


Considering the tag line that all will be revealed, very little indeed was revealed in this episode. It is frustrating that the other final five don't have their memories back - if they could be acting with knowledge and purpose it would add a great deal to the plot at this point.

With Adama hitting the booze (by the way, where do they get this unlimited supply?)and now smoking pot (or the BSG equivalent) with Roslin, instead of the feeling that our show's characters are facing the end with bravery and resolve, it instead has a "oh, what the hell" feeling to it.

So many pieces of this show make no sense. For example, we know that the Colonials are aware that there are at least two perfectly good planets, Kobol and (I think) New Caprica, waiting for colonization. However, we also know from New Caprica that life on the planet would be pretty primitive and perhaps involve a loss of all technology and even culture over time. That would lead me to the speculation that the show ends in space, maybe with a glimpse of a possible home planet.

Or maybe they defeat Calvin and end up on the Cylon homeworld. It has been disappointing, at the end of the show, that we never got to see the Cylon homeworld, or the depth of exploration of Cylon society that RDM promised in early interviews. Presumably the Cylons live on a world somewhere, they have an infrastructure that builds their spaceships and produces food and products. The food on the baseships seems to be pretty good.

Also, am I the only one who sees Roslin with the Opera House dream and thinks, maybe everyone is a Cylon in this show? Will Galactica travel back in time and colonize our Earth or Kobol?

I am getting that sinking feeling. Remember that cast members commented (I believe, I saw) that if the writer's strike continued, that the arrival on a devastated earth would have been an apt ending for the show. I am sorry, I doubt that all will be revealed. We may just have to wait for the sequel.

There might not be one. There was "The Colony" where they grew up but that was blocked from their minds. Cavil's big base might be it. It's very big. Presumably part of the reason to wipe out the humans was to take the colonies. Head Six said that Kobol was bad news and Cylons would not want to go there. This was never explained.

The Colony isn't a planet. Can't be. The comment was made that Cavil moved it when they can't find it in the "original" location. No evidence has been shown by the Cylons of the ability to move a planet.

My first reaction to The Colony was "Whoa, looks just like V'ger." Then I saw elements of the Alien ship from Alien, and the main alien ship from Independence Day.

I predict that Adam and crew will take the Galactica on a one-way Death Ride to destroy Cavil and company. Baltar will lead the remainder of Humans and Cylons to the promised land. Whatever and wherever that is.

Sorry, what made you think I was suggesting that the Colony was a planet? I suspect it was on a planet. We're told that when John was in boy-form, Ellen took him to the beach. (Correction. I guess I didn't hear that.) It's possible this was in the 12 colonies, but sounds more like another planet. "The colony" would refer to their small installation on some planet somewhere. Anyway, doesn't look like we will see more of it.

We are not told Ellen took John to the beach. We learn that Ellen loved the beach in Anders' word salad. That could mean that she loved the beach on Earth where Saul had his reveal moment and a few steps from where Tyrol became a smear on the wall.

Cavil's big huge base is The Colony. It used to be somewhere else, but he moved it at the start of the civil war according to Sonja.

Uh, Brad, Caprica Six lived with Baltar on New Caprica and they lived together on the Base Ship until Baltar was captured at the Algae planet, and Athena brought her to Galactica when Caprica helped Athena return Hera to the fleet. (When Hera was taken from New Caprica.)

New Caprica is not an option for colonization, as Cavil would easily find them there. (He probably has a recon unit there, as he would have at Kobol.)

I wonder if Cavil visited the nuked earth? But, that place remains uninhabitable for some time probably.

More interesting question: Did Boomer pass by Jupiter on her way to the colony?

That ship is the colony, might even be the ship that the final five pushed to relatavistic velocities to get from 'Earth' to the Colonies...

And it seems to be built in a style entirely unlike anything else seen so far. It really is almost alien in appearance. And it also looks very, very old.

So I find it really unlikely that the F5 built it, at any time - before, during or after their exodus from the 13th tribe or after contact with the Cylons. One would imagine that modern Cylon architecture is in some part influenced by the F5, but I really got the impression there was none of that on that ship.

My best guess is that it's the original colonization ship of the 13th tribe, which would certainly have had some kind of resurrection technology (insofar as the F5 "rediscovered" it), and would have been acceptably ancient so as to have a substantially different architecture. Hell, if Kobol was colonized (from Earth?), maybe it even dates back that far.

It's hard to explain how Cavil can hide it though. The ship needs FTL for that, but it certainly didn't start off with it - so when was it retrofitted and by whom? The only explanation that makes sense to me is that a) the F5 took off for Kobol and the colonies in a smaller ship that did not have all the equipment needed to aid the Cylons; and b) they flew back to the big ship with FTL, got the supplies they needed to build a Resurrection Ship, and retrofitted the big ship for FTL while they were there.

That's kinda thin - but the alternatives are even thinner. If they used the big ship to get to Kobol, why would they fly it all the way back home? If they didn't retrofit it, the only other person who would is Cavil, and why would Ellen still think she knows where it is in that case?

The ship was already near their 'Earth'. They figured out how it worked. In answer to the next question you have, I dunno, maybe it was hidden somewhere, near is a relative term. Compared to Caprica, Pluto is "near".

Maybe the ship is the original that brought the cylons to their earth after leaving Kobol and, like you said, was waiting in orbit for the FF to figure out how to work it.

Yes, I already had realized that about their last time together and edited it, but I see you commented on the old text so this note doesn't make you look strange.

It certainly did look like Jupiter, didn't it? It was surprising that it was a lot of jumps to this base. Now in reality you would never pass by a planet on an interstellar trip, certainly not on a jump trip, space is, to all intents and purposes, completely empty.

If the stars match ours, I am sure Michael Hall will report it shortly. The only reason to imagine that you would jump by a planet is if you had to pick up something left for you there, or perhaps jumps were pre-computed for you but we have always gotten the impression that jump computations are a real time thing, you have to keep updating them.

Cavil might or might not know where the ruined Earth is. He knows if, as it seems, he was tracking the fleet all along. Or he knows if the Final 5 told him and he erased that from the others. (It does seem to me that, if I had just done a 2,000 year journey, and now had command of FTL ships, I might want to go back for sentimental reasons if nothing else.)

If that base is the whole colony, where is the beach, I wonder?

Generally, that's too large to be a relativistic ship. The energy to move mass to near lightspeed is absolutely immense, so you would want your ship to be as small as possible. The smaller you make it the more you can slow your time down with the same amount of energy and fuel.

The energy to move that ship to near lightspeed is far greater a level of technology than anything we've seen the Cylons have. Nuclear bombs would be nothing compared to that.

I thought the beach was on earth and that Anders was the one that said Ellen loved the beach. I don't think there is good evidence that Ellen took Cavil to the beach as a boy.

It was on Earth.

Except that was never said. The only time a beach is referenced is in regard to Earth and John is not being discussed at the time. It just didn't happen.

That episode is available to watch at in the US and in Canada. Don't take my word for it. Watch yourself.

I really thought I had heard them talk about taking young John to the beach. I seem to have mis-heard.

I remember originally posting 'I didn't hear that'. I'm glad i wasn't going crazy... and that you are! lol.

That's what I thought. What's said and other associations can create a meaning that isn't intended. That's a responsibility of the writer. I'm sure they have their reasons but I'd rather not have to deal with that.

Hate to be a nitpicker, but Baltar saw Six in the last episode, 'Deadlock.' How did you forget the big scene at the end where she leads him to ask for guns from Adama?

That was Head Six...

I know-- I thought that's what Brad was talking about. Didn't realize he said 'Caprica Six.' Oops.

It seems odd that Anders would revert to being identical to a hybrid. Only because the five did not invent the hybrids, the Centurions did (without any help) and the five are 'fundamentally different' not to mention thousand years old models of cylons, and not cybernetic hybrids like the baseship hybrids. Perhaps I was right also about the hybrids babbling due to an overload of information.

For whatever it's worth, that other poster (not sure who it was, and I don't care to read through 200 comments to find it) might be right that Anders could jump the ship to our Earth, or anywhere for that matter. As soon as they showed him in the tub I instantly thought back to my response 'well he's not hooked into the ftl'... then I remembered 'shit, the cylon tech could do it.' And then the 8 said just that. Funny when our theories bear out, isn't it?

Also, did anyone get the sense that Starbuck's title of Harbinger of Death took on a new meaning? A more literal one, because she is dead? Starbuck is a harbinger, and she is dead.

Just a guess, but you could probably stick a monkey in the hybrid bath, attached to the, whatever they attach in with, and the monkey would say that crap. Anders is essentially a mouthpiece for the electronics. Not even the cylons knew what would happen. They were hoping it would go the other way where Anders would control the technology and use it to allow him to express his thoughts, instead we got, machine transmission. However, Kara is obviously about to get drastic, so I think a piece of Anders will emerge. He will probably say one or two lines and then be gone forever. Those lines will direct Kara until the end. Those lines will also tell us if Kara will survive the show.

No he will probably have a speech that will get cut out because Sci-Fi doesn't understand this is their flagship show and so if they need an extra 30-60 mins a week you give it to them and cash the ad revenue. Could you imagine FOX going to American Idol and saying, "No you can't have an extra hour this week," it is absurd. In 4.5 there have are 4 episodes that are going to be extended cut on the DVD because Sci-Fi are a bunch of morons.

Don't knock sci-fi TOO much. They allowed the last episode, Daybreak Pt. II, airing March 20th, an expanded to 2 hour run-time (90 minutes without commercials). In fact, Ron Moore has stated there was one specific episode in fact that ran something like 70 minutes, so sci-fi asked him to add another 10 so they could air it as a 90 minute special, but he refused to simply write extra scenes if they didn't add anything to the story, so nearly half an hour got cut (I think it was the boxing episode).

Ugh. Daybreak is the perfect example of the failure of Sci-Fi. It was not intended to be played over 2 weeks. It was intended as a single episode. It is Sci-Fi that forced them to break it up. On top of that we know the DVD version will be close to 45min longer than what we get on TV. No, Sci-Fi has a lot to answer for, including the horrid choice to air the first half of season 4 without the last half ready to go.

Fault them all you like, but they're still a network, they're funded by advertisers and have requirements they need to meet. They need to fill 20 weeks of programming, after all. Also, most of season 4 was in the bag when it began airing, the only reason it wasn't completed was because of the writer's strike.

Also, most shows on tv have multi-part stories that are shown over multiple weeks. Nothing new, no crime here.

The only thing I fault Sci-fi for is the ridiculous, unnecessary lengths between seasons. As I said, season 4.5 was done filming almost 8 months ago.

Exactly, they have advertisers that they are beholden to and I guaran-frackin-tee you that they would rather pay for time during BSG than pay for time during anything else on the network. Do what they do on every other station when they want odd time frames, put in a movie. You can make that end whenever you want with commercial breaks. If you think this is a smart move from a selling ad space perspective you are dead wrong. It is like the Super Bowl going into overtime from an advertising perspective, and don't kid yourself they sell that time just in case.

Well the point is, BSG is likely the most desirable program to advertise in. Of course Sci-Fi channel is going to want to milk BSG for all they can. What else do you expect them to do? Without the advertising revenue, after all, there would be no BSG. It's like jimmy james said: Advertising pays our bills, advertising pays your salary. Without advertising, there would be no Sesame Street.

Personally, I thank Sci-Fi for giving us this wonderful show. No one else would have.

I don't know if there wouldn't be TV without advertising. Marketers would like us to think that way but it's only one of other alternatives including, tax, subscription, pay per view, and other media options.

Yeah, I was more dropping a newsradio reference than anything else. But my point was that it would be VERY different, and, let's face it: if sci-fi had not greenlit BSG, no one else would have, not without MAJOR restrictions and caveats.

RDM has said that the network has given him more freedom than he anticipated, staying out of his way, for the most part. Especially after season 1 when they instructed him to liven the mood by forcing him to write birthday party. So he did, and proceeded to kill of 13 pilots during the celebration (Act of Contrition). After that, RDM said, the network learned not to interfere. Love that story.

It's easy to be judgemental about these things but we all have problems and realities to deal with. That's why I've been trying to take a balanced view. Without the green light and picking up on key areas of audience interest this show might not have generated as much payoff as it did. And, hey. the writers were the ones whose union leaders called a strike and if Ron wants to get precious over 10 minutes of filler when the last 10 episodes have fired blanks it looks a bit dumb.

One thing I like about American TV is it does series with a proper length with the risk of immediate cancellation. You can really get into something big with 20 episodes plus, and using writing teams can generate some seriously good material. British TV has tended to go for shorter series that go the full run and tend to give franchises time to work, lean on individual talent more. Ron's been talking politics with Jamie Bamber and had a similar sort of exhcange at that level. I've found that sort of conversation produces a better end result in the long run.

That planet Boomer jumped to looked like Jupiter to me as well. Either they were showing us the side without the Great Red Spot, or they showed some actual scientific knowledge and let us assume this is before it formed or after it dissolved.

MY two theories for how real Earth comes into play:

1. They settle a new planet. Camera zooms out- and its Earth! We're the descendants of the RTF (Yeah, yeah, I know)

2. They settle this new planet, and we see something that has survived from our current civilization- maybe the pyramids, teh SPhinx, or Mt Rushmore. Maybe the characters don't even see it. My theory that there's no time to deal with such a huge revelation of "This new planet that was called Earth before the Cylon Earth is the true homeworld" is that it upends their beliefs in a way even finding Cylon Earth did not(like it or not, the scrolls were accurate- just out of date). It needs time. So I think they might settle on a new planet and a clue will be given to us that this is our Earth in the future that the characters do not recognize.

OK, Brad- percentage wise, what are the chances they will do #1?

If it happens, it will have to be a symbolic thing like you say, a shot of the Pyramids etc.

And yes, at this point, they could do #1. I think I've already explained why that would be very disappointing.

Now they can do either choice reasonably quickly, with a single shot. Though in the case of #1 since we know that Moore knows better, knows its wrong, we would hope for some small bone to be thrown to explain it (Atlantis plot, abduction by lords of Kobol etc.)

In addition, if it's #2, I think they also need to leave the audience with thoughts about the cycle. If Hera is the key to breaking the cycle, if you then place them on ancient Earth, the message seems to be one of failure. We're working on building AI again, with no knowledge of the dangers of the cycle. (Except this TV show, but that's a bit too meta, isn't it?)

If it's a ruined future Earth, the story of the Cycle will be told already during the episode, along the lines of the first hybrid's prophecy, the two joined as one on the wings of an angel.

If it's a past Earth, it effectively means they failed, their civilization fell to stone age, and no lessons were learned.

I still like the failure story the best. I like the idea that here we are now and we get to make the choices for the next cycle, so let's all essentially be hippies and smoke fleet wheat and love each other. I dunno. I like the message that would send.

...then the supposed "No. 6 in New York" doesn't mean they failed- it sounds like a more "open to interpretation" ending. Maybe we learned to live in peace with their AI and it evolved to the point where they are fully integrated with society. The Final Five were concerned with how AI is treated maybe even more so than its creation.

The big difference between us and the Colonials is that we have a ton of sci-fi movies warning us to be careful in this regard. :}

It would be funny to imagine that Glen A. Larson tapped into the same cosmic stream that Anders and Bob Dylan did for songwriting, and created a TV show about Earth's ancient history in 1978 called "Battlestar Galactica." But he got alot of the details wrong and he's such a terrible writer he frakked up the rest!

It has already been done, or not done, therefore the percentage chance is either 100% or 0%.

Did anyone catch Hera crashing the toy Galactica into the toy basestar?

Also, didn't the planet that Cavil's ship was orbiting look like Jupiter? If it is, could it play out that after destroying Cavil's forces, with no battlestar for protection and resources depleted from the battle, the fleet finds a habitable planet and name it Earth to "pave over" the bitterness associated with the barren earth.

All the arguing, bickering, selfishness, and chaos of the new fleet council could lead to the crews of the ships going their separate ways and forming small tribes or nations in different regions on this new world.

Yes I caught that. I think another poster was right about Adama using the ship on a suicide mission into Cavil's ship in the end (much like pegasus). This scene with hera was a portent of things to come.

It's an old trick and can mean something or nothing. Is it a signpost or a red herring? Given the way BSG is swinging all over the place I wouldn't lay money on either. BSG has certainly been teasing cocks for a while to get people to tune in for the next episode but there's a heck of a lot of stuff that's been done because it was cool at the time nut it never went anywhere.

When I saw Hera playing with the tactical models I thought it played into the doom and gloom thread they were trying to develop but it could just be another sucker punch. People have already anticipated Galactica going down in flames or glory but the reality is it's just a scene in itself and can go either way. The deal looks too good to be true so I'm going to ride that one out.

That is what I thought too. When they mentioned moving the flag to the Baseship I was sure that is what they meant. I didn't even think about them crashing until I read it here.

The base is not at the Jovian planet. Boomer says, "you think I'm going to put up with your whining for another dozen jumps, guess again."

But yes, the scene with the toys sure looks like a foreshadow.

The ship being used as a battering ram was given away by Saul at the end of the episode. He and Adama don't need to come right out and say what they mean all the time. If you wanna give a battle ship a send off, that doesn't have her failing, it means you are about to use the ship as a weapon, not that you are gonna scuttle it.

Note that Hera is not really playing on the table in a deserted CIC either, she is already projecting, interspersed with the images coming from the OTG of the opera house chase.

It was interesting to see Raiders from the original series on Cavil's ship as Boomer was landing.

that was interesting, i wonder y they keep them around...
Maybe Cavil knew where the original hybrid was the whole time.... you think Cavil still has old school Centurions walking around?

Now that we see that the Colony is such a huge ship, it obviously was a major construction project done by the early centurions and raiders, but its existence was wiped from the memory of the other 7 models. Perhaps from other centurions and raiders too that weren't under Cavil control. So he has the older gear, programmed to be loyal to him, staffing it.

We haven't seen him anywhere since Earth. And the big question is why and how did he think Kara had a destiny? That it didn't quite seem to turn out the way he expected... huge unresolved thread there, methinks...

We saw him on the baseship. He just refuses to go anywhere near Kara. He is scared of her. He had no problem helping Roslin get the radio signal out.

I think at this point in the series anyone who has been a fan of the show must now salute Bear McCreary. From the start of that last episode to the end he weaved every single major character theme from the show and transported it into the scene that almost perfectly mimicked the transformation every character has taken on this journey we call BSG. Even more perfect was the song choice at the end. On this show we are given very few moments of actual hope and in a scene that could have been weighed down with the knowledge that they were preparing Galactica for her *send off*, it is the song that actually carries you through it helping you feel at peace with the decision the same way Adama is. It is time for us, as an audience to tip our hats to the composer. I also feel it is appropriate to do this before the final episode because it would just be lost in the noise at that point.

Long ago, the Hybrid's prediction:

At last, they’ve come for me. I feel their lives, their destinies spilling out before me. The denial of the one true path, played out on a world not their own, will end soon enough. Soon there will be four, glorious in awakening, struggling with the knowledge of their true selves. The pain of revelation bringing new clarity and in the midst of confusion, he will find her. Enemies brought together by impossible longing. Enemies now joined as one. The way forward at once unthinkable, yet inevitable. And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering. I can see them all. 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 the one splintering into many. And then, they will join at the promised land, gathered on the wings of an angel. Not an end, but a beginning.

Has told us that a big joining is coming. Not just human and Cylon (in Hera, and Galactica) but the 6 Cylons coming together as well, possibly even John.

NOTE: I saw the ep after coming back from a late viewing of Watchmen. I was very tired, and my memory of the episode may not be spot on. I hold the right to retract any and every thing I say below:

As one of those who is more often than not a BSG apologist, I have to say I found this episode the most disappointing for this half season. It's not as bad as Deadlock, but at least Deadlock was a failure to properly juggle a half dozen interesting ideas. This episode, while better executed, had far less going on, and far less to tell us. The whole thing could have been collapsed into a half hour.

Really bad that they ignore the chief - if he is in jail, one quick scene would have been enough.

Starbuck confesses to BALTAR? Really? GAIUS of all people? And then is surprised when he spills her secret? I know she' lost and confused but... why not Lee? Why not Crazy Anders?

I do still think there is time to tie this all up. Once it became clear that the fleet was going to go to the Cylon homeworld/Colony (conveniently not mentioned until the last few eps, even though I know the showrunners have talked about it much longer), I think that confirms the idea that the Cylons have found Our Earth, but may not realize it. Whether this is in the Far Past or Distant Future is still a crap shoot. Far Past will allow them to get out with less explanation, but be scientifically rediculous. Distant Future would be scientifically and logically more plausible, but would require far more explanation.

As to the Starbuck/Baltar plot, I am 100% sure that the point was that she was seeing "invisible" people, like Baltar is essentially confessing, and that she thinks she shouldn't be there if she is dead, meaning she is something there that shouldn't be. She is more reacting to what he is saying in his sermons. I think the reason she didn't shoot him and only slapped him was because she knew he would expose her and depp down she wanted to be exposed. If Dee didn't kill herself she would have exposed herself a while back.

I really like this episode. I thought it was one of the best of the series.

They can get away with no explanation in both directions. If it's distant future, and we get a scene like Planet of the Apes, just 20 seconds explains it all to the audience. If it's distant past, it gets no explanation because none is really possible anyway. Why spend time to make something make sense if you can't make it make sense?

Now I can agree that perhaps they need to clear up for the audience, if it's far future, what the other Earth was. That doesn't take long. Ellen just has to say, "Oh, we named our planet Earth after the name of the legendary homeworld. This planet must be the original."

Another way to explain it quickly is a caption, like "Earth: 12,000 AD" and a scene of a decaying landmark like the pyramids.

Rumour has it from casting sheets that there is a primitive tribe on the planet they do land on. Of course that is also nonsense in past Earth, but unaware audiences will decide, "ah, parallel evolution" or "previous colony of Kobol" (which makes just slightly less nonsense.) It makes more sense in a future Earth, and can be established with a ruined Manhattan (show distinctive shape of island from above) or similar.

As for the use of Baltar. The show has a set of contracted regulars (The Adamas, Roslin, Starbuck, Six, Eight, Baltar) who get paid every episode. They haven't been using Baltar much this season and they need reasons to write him into the script.

We already know it isn't distant future. To continue to act like it is possible is to set yourself up for disappointment and you know that already.

None of the clues are conclusive enough to make a 100% conclusion. Oddly, in the past the clues for the future were very close to 100% sure, until counter statements from Espenson and Moore started opening up the possibility of other intentions.

Right now the most likely scenario seems to be that it is in neither the future nor the past, but in simply another reality.

I'm not sure it's possible to say for certain that it isn't the far future. If it's the past I can't see that working as it fails to be scientifically correct or meaningful to the audience. It can only be the far future.

The Earth they found can't be the real Earth even if they wrote it that way or state it emphatically in producer comment because the writing is too bad or just wrong.

I don't think Katee Sackhoff or Jamie Bamber's last comments helped much. Saying the audience is too dumb to get Starbuck being human, or sharply worded (mis)direction is bad showbiz and bad politics.

Because of what has been leaked?

No the production stills of present day NYC.

It has head-six standing in front of a modern magazine/variety shop. People think it is NYC because there is a logo that says "NY Intelligencer." While New York magazine has a section with that name, the logo looks nothing like this. The other magazines on the rack are not magazines from our world. Though they do have square corners.

I have heard talk of a scene in Times Square, but I have yet to see a photo of such. Has anybody seen it?

There are explanations both ways. One, of course, is "Cylons are still among us in modern Earth." Another is "The Cylon god likes to take this form, and Six was based on this template." Another is, "The inventors of original AI on Earth are alive today, and their bodies formed the basis of the DNA that was used to make the 13th tribe and later the 8 Cylons."

Or it may be nothing but a promotional tour.

I am pretty sure there is another character in the NYC production stills, but I won't comment any further unless that is not common knowledge yet.

But again, does anybody have a link to these stills? Or is it just a case of rumours floating around that somebody saw such a still and it showed such and such? That's pretty flimsy.

Oh yeah, and if the other character you refer to is who I think it is, he is not a Cylon by currently revealed information, and so makes no sense in New York in any of the interpretations. I'm pretty confident they don't land on present-day Earth, ie. Galactica 1980.

We also thought it was flimsy when Kara told us she was 100% not a cylon and now it is confirmed.

Who confirmed it? Last I heard K.S. said that she is not a Cylon, though at the end of the show some fans will still insist she is. Are you being one of those fans or did you read something else?

Baltar just proved she isn't a cylon, what are you talking about?

Language is imprecise and people can cling to impressions. They may have good reasons for that if, say, the narrative drift indicated she was a Cylon and Baltar's tests weren't clear enough.

Katee Sackhoff forgets that she's got an inside track to production and isn't seeing the show from the outside. I've seen people make that mistake before. It never ends well.

Baltar said there were "necrotic" Starbuck cells on the dog tags. That actually doesn't make a lot of sense, but let's assume what he was trying to say was that there were long-dead Starbuck cells on the tags, and forget that those could just be cells that came off the long-hair Starbuck.

Interpreted the way I think they mean you to interpret it, it means the dead body in the viper was indeed Starbuck, presumably short-hair Starbuck.

Which to me would be a lot of evidence that Starbuck is a Cylon. Since most sources say she is not, one could look to other explanations, but on the surface it seems to imply she is, rather than she isn't.

Or do you refer to Baltar's ranting that she must be an angel because she is not a Cylon but "returned" from the dead? I don't know what he bases that on. The type of resurrection here -- almost the same body, and the same memories, is most like Cylon style resurrection (notably Ellen's) of anything. It does not match at all most religious resurrections and reincarnations. Take the biblical Lazarus or Jesus, there was not an extra body hanging around to be burned.

First of all I think I was the only one on here that ever asked why there was no #7 cylon. It was silly to think they just skipped a number without something to explain it. I thought that if Baltar wasn't one of the final five that he would be a #7. I think that it would be interesting if Starbuck was actually a copy of the #7 model but female instead of the male Daniels. After all she is artistic like they are supposed to be. Remember all of her painting as a child. And it would be cool to have her father a #7 raising her a #7. I thought another possibility was going to be that Gaeta was going to be a #7 model that was originally female models but somehow crossed up at a resurrection and became a male explaining why he liked men in the internet episodes. Something like this would add an unexpected twist to the story. I am getting ready for a big let down.

Pretending to be me? Why?

not pretending to be you. i used this name a few months ago. we just both chose the same name i guess. it happens

oh that was me #7

Say that really doesn't quite look like Helfer. Same dress of course. New York like, but not necessarily New York. Possibly not even real.

I can tell you right now that is most definitely NOT Tricia Helfter. In the first pic it looks a lot like her, but in the others it's more clear that it's just a similar type of actress. It could be an extra who is playing Head Six, but is in the same scene as Caprica Six, so they needed a look-alike.

And being someone who works in Times Square i'll say that doesn't look anything like an authentic NY newsstand. But just like Ms. Helfer, it's possible that it was not meant to be seen in close up and is supposed to be NYC.

While I have heard people talk about this being NYC, there is nothing in it that actually confirms NYC. The magazines are made up. The "NY Intelligencer" suggests NY, but the real New York magazine has no logo like that.

For all we know this could be a flashback scene to "Earth" of 2,000 years ago (13th colony.) Now that we know that Cavil was based on Ellen's dad, it is possible the other 7 were also based on beings from that planet, and so somebody who looks like Six probably walked that planet. Admittedly the dress is a different question. We'll learn soon enough.

The "obvious" explanations aren't very good ones. They are either

  • Ignoring reality, the fleet lands on Earth long ago, and their civilization falters back to the stone age. Yet somehow, Cylon resurrection is restored or retained and Six models live through all this to walk the Earth today.
  • They arrive on Earth today, and Kobol is the result of colonization by ancient Atlantis or alien abduction. They get out their flying motorcycles and land in New York.

I am starting to get the feeling there is a Matrix-like ending in the works. I think this will all be some game going on somewhere on our Earth. I think in some way Six and Baltar are playing the game, maybe Leoben, Kara and Kara's father are in the game as well. I think that is why they have VR people.

This show has got so bad for me that I'm getting a bigger hit from Brad's analysis and reading some of the comment in the BSG newsgroup. Both Space: 1999 and Blake's 7 have dated in their own way but both had moments of resonance that left an impression. I'm pretty much finding those moments in the early series of BSG have been overshadowed by the final two series, and the post-Matrix handwave the end is turning into look to me like peoples way of dealing with that. It will be interesting to see how people recall BSG in 10-20 years time.

You can almost see in Baltar's last conversation with Adama that he was giving him a stark choice between two options and the next episodes wall-slide just triggered the image in my mind of Adama choosing between stuffing his head into a sack of red pills or a sack of blue pills. The mham acting, script made from the bits that were thrown away earlier, and self-referential cliche brings me full circle to the beginning in a way that I'm sure Ron didn't intend: the scene of tired steroid fueled machismo when Adama whacked Leoban with a pipe.

I'm not holding out much hope for the final couple of episodes. I'll mostly be watching it to see where they spent the money and make sure this kitten has been properly strangled. The promise of character development and proper story arcs has slowly crumbled to the old fall backs. Hey, look how much money we spent of the shiny! Hey, look at the cardboard cut out evil villain get his just deserts! This smacks of aiming too high, not having enough time to do it justice, and a Microsoft style ragged end to development.

I didn't want to be that negative but that's how this post turned out.

Since of course at this point it would be too similar to an "and it was all a dream" ending. Such endings have been done too many times before and would seriously bother the audience.

So much that I would entirely discount it if we had not seen the clips from Caprica which take place in a virtual reality play parlour. But even with those clips I don't count this as particularly likely.

Which some readers may think is an odd view. "It's all a VR" is one of the few answers that can turn almost any show, no matter how bad the science, into a fully science-accurate show. In a VR, you have explanations for FTL, Cylon downloading, gods and the whole ball of wax.

But in fact, it is because it is so easy to offer those explanations that it is unsatisfying. As I have said, constraints on a writer make a story better.

And you can still muck it up. The Matrix starts in a big VR, but once you get out, you get the absolutely ludicrous "battery" story from Morpheus.


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