You are here

The Final Five from Earth and the Watchtower

The big confirmation in Faith was the line from the Hybrid: "The missing 3 will give you the 5 from the home of the 13th." While there is still some potential in the minds of some viewers that the 13th will turn out to be something other than the "13th tribe" this seems to confirm what other clues have been saying for quite some time in the show: The Final Five are from Earth.

While this was not news to readers of this blog, I did find it a bit interesting that she referred to the "home of the 13th" because it remains my contention that there never was a 13th tribe. That "the 13th tribe" is really a mythologized name for the people of the homeworld, who never were a tribe, per se. But since the scrolls wish to hide the true story and the origin of the Kobolians, the authors gave them the name of a tribe and a story. And indeed, since the 12 tribes all have names from the Earth zodiac, and the supposed 13th tribe "left" for Earth 2,000 years before the exodus from Kobol, this makes a lot of sense. If the 13th tribe existed and had a name, it is not from the zodiac (No, Ophiuchus doesn't count) and it's really the first tribe. But you can't call them that without leaking the truth.

However, the Hybrid's use of "the 13th" suggests perhaps more reality for this tribe. It's possible there was a tribe of Kobolians who did a return expedition to Earth, though I am not quite sure what that explains in the plot. We could have the Final Five being from Earth in several ways. They could have originated in a repopulated Earth, for example.

However, the plot that makes the most sense has the Final Five originating on the real Earth, some time in the not too distant future, and playing a part in the 3 cycles of human/AI war, exodus and resettlement.

In fact, while I did not suggest it seriously at first, I considered it a cute plot point to suggest the Final Five were in fact once ordinary humans who came of age in the late 20th century and then uploaded into machine form some time in the 21st. And as 20th century humans, they could have found that "All Along the Watchtower" was a favourite song of the group, and thus programmed it to be the "wakeup song" used when it is time to make sleeper copies of themselves, planted among the regular humans, become aware of what they are. When Bear McCreary, music director for BSG was asked about this, he said that no, the song was not supposed to be the "real" AATW from Earth, it was just a song used in the show, which of course like all other songs in the show is from our real world. However, Ron Moore took a different take, saying the song is indeed intended to demonstrate a connection between the characters and the real Earth. If so, then my explanation of 20th century uploaded humans makes an interesting sort of sense.

We've also seen Starbuck was in an exploding viper, then taken to Earth in a new one, where she took pictures, and then returned to Galactica after receiving visions that turned out to be of the scene of the Cylon civil war. (I was pleased that the gas giant and triple star did not turn out to be Jupiter/Saturn and Alpha Centauri, because such choices made little scientific sense.)

With the Final Five being from Earth, and Starbuck taken to Earth, it implies that the Final Five, or their boss the Cylon god, are the ones who took Starbuck to Earth. (Not the Final 5 copies on board the fleet, of course, but other copies aware of who they are.)

And we have also learned how the 7 Cylons have programming about the Final Five -- to not think of them -- and that the raiders have programming to obey a command from the Final Five (Anders) to call off the attack. (Or possibly, but less likely, to call of the attack on any detection of any signal from a final five member.)

In other words, more and more confirmation that the Final Five, or their God, were the ones who programmed the 7 Cylons. The programming is so strong that the attempt to bypass it after the Raiders reported on the presence of an F5 member resulted in a massive and costly civil war. It's serious stuff.

This clarifies a darker vision of the Final Five (and or their God) in playing out the cycle of history. They helped make and program the 7 Cylons. They built a temple 4,000 years ago that would trigger with a nova, and knew that long ago that the fleet would be doing an exodus through the area around that time.

This means that while they did not directly participate in the war, it came as no surprise to them. They were expecting it, depending on it in fact. They could have stopped it but wanted the master plan and cycle to go on as it has before. Indeed, it is hard now not to argue that when they/He provided programming to the 7 Cylons that this didn't play some role in the attitudes they have that led to genocide. The F5 needed this to happen to complete the cycle. They seemed to put a bit of extra programming into Leoben as well, giving him his prophecies. And it seems they are the ones who put programming into Starbuck too.

Does that make Starbuck the final Cylon? I don't think so, because I think all the colonial humans can receive some level of visions and programming from the Final Five. Roslin gets visions, Oracles get visions, Baltar gets visions and Starbuck gets visions -- they can't all be the final Cylon. Starbuck's vision borders on a compulsion, and the only other compulsions we have seen (Tyroll to find the Temple, Boomer to shoot Adama, Baltar to hand over a nuke, somebody to poison the food supply) have applied only to Cylons (which I think Baltar is) but you can see the flaw here...

The Afterlife

The other curious and disturbing element from Faith was Roslin's dream about a Styxian ferryboat to the afterlife. This is troublesome because Baltar is preaching of this river, and she gets the dream coincident with Kowalksi's actual death, suggesting that it is, like many other dreams of hers, more than a dream.

On one hand, if the colonials are all artificial beings programmed to think they are human, as I do suspect, it makes perfect sense that those who created them would have set them to upload and live in a virtual-reality afterlife. It would be the only humane thing to do in creating such a race if you have that technology, and they clearly do. But having such an afterlife is just too sappy. It sucks all the dramatic darkness from the show. Many shows have characters who are certain of an afterlife, even provide dramatic evidence of it, but to actually show it? That would not be good. Talk about it is fine. But I am concerned that they show it with any hints of reality associated with it. We'll see where this goes.

One other disturbing clue here. Starbuck's viper explodes, and she's back. If she's the final Cylon, that's easy. If she's not, it means that indeed, anybody's mind can be downloaded on death, not just Cylons. Or, at the outside, the powers that took her to Earth (Final 5) have some sort of transporter, which would correlate with the bright light that covered her before the explosion.


My first impression of Starbuck's Viper exploding was it may have been an visual artefact from her slipping through a wormhole and she's be back. I'm more used to British TV so seeing a major character killed off only to return later isn't a novelty. Returning in a squeaky clean Viper and the fact that Ron Moore and Jamie Bamber seem to have a few cross-cultural conversations in their private time looks worth noting.

It's looking pretty strongly like Kara's mind was scooped up at the moment of death and placed ina replica body, and a later episode on earth has something to say about this. Some of the comics point to the Cylons scooping peoples minds to study and embed in prototype bodies, so the general idea looks ballpark. In fact, in one comic this is exactly what happens to Zak.

It's hard to seen how much Ron had planned or how much evolved but we are where we are. One theme that seems to have developed is the idea that humans and Cylons are essentially the same. The biological versus technical implementations are merely different ways of expressing it. My Buddhist take on this is that transcendence, enlightenment, or the evolution of mind is a key theme.

Ron seems to like his symmetry. It's interesting to note that as the Cylons are having to struggle with the issue of permanent death so a door to resurrection opens for the humans. The background static of Baltar commenting on the one god, and a comment from the patient Roslin talks to that 'unless a god was everyone's god it wasn't much of a god' are another interesting hand wave.

I'm calling the Final Fifth:
The producers of BSG have said that the final fifth cylon will not be a character that has been central to the show. So before this, we were strongly considering Baltar, perhaps Roslin, adn ow more recently with the singing Gaeta. However, we have to remember one event in particular. Season 3 Episode 8. In this episode we learn that Bill Adama is responsible for starting the cylon war. We also come to learn of a rather insignificant character seems to be created for a filler episode - Bulldog. Bulldog, who conveniently escapes from a baseship and has raiders on him that miss firing on him (Hmm . . . where else have I seen a Cylon miss or not shoot at point blank range? Season 4 opener perhaps?). Furthermore, when we remember that Diana apologizes says "I'm sorry . . . I had not idea" we believe she might be apologizing to Baltar who she had recently tortured, but it may in fact be Bulldog, whom she toyed with the most.

The Unknown Sixth
Also, going on the whole definition of revelations and apocalypse. (See Wiki: We see that something will be revealed to human and Cylon. Furthermore, we can then introduce the idea of the antichrist.
"Beast" - Endtime Ruler; also known as Antichrist
In the Old and New Testaments, a particular individual is singled out as the particular focus of God's wrath. This individual is known in biblical scripture by many titles such as the "beast", the "little horn"[17][18], the "prince that will come" and other titles. One ancient prince was singled out in scripture, the Prince of Tyrus, who may be considered a 'type' of antichrist. [19]

After the judgment of the Prince of Tyrus, God directs the prophet Ezekiel to write a judgment about the King of Tyrus, and from the scripture is learned that this individual is not a human being, but "the anointed cherub that covereth". [20] From further reading of the text it is learned that the cherub being addressed here is Lucifer (or Satan), as this was his former position before the throne of God before his fall. Satan is also viewed as a 'prince'[21] [22][23] that will eventually be judged.


This points to Baltar. So who do you know that the Cylon God has machinations, can apparently "project" like other seraphim/cherubs (cylons), and essentially can do whatever he wants in the fleet?

Furthermore, in the Opera House, we see that there are 6 banners, when for the FInal 5. I used to think this banner was reserved Hera ("The First of God's new generation") but since there are two such children Atehna's and Tyrol's child (a proverbial Adam and Eve, of course that's if Cali didn't cheat), there should be seven banners. Instead, since Baltar has a hand in all of this, acting as the neccessary evil left hand of God, we can give Baltar this special honour.

One more thing!!! The Six Delusion and Baltar Delusion both appear To Gauis. The Baltar Delusion is also known to appear to Caprica Six. Furthermore, Hera starts drawing about Caprica Six, an allusion to the Opera House and the next step that is coming where Hera is the child of Both Baltar and Six Delusion (Angel of God/God). Six. Six. Six. Although there are a Final Five set of cylon, we can see that the sixth banner points to Baltar.

Other questions for considerations:
On a seperate note, if Hera is the next of God's new generation, then what about Tyroll's son. He hasn't really been given any significance, and I don't even think I know his name. What is the role of "God's new generation" when considering the theory that "humans", the Final 5, and the Significant 7 are all humanoid AIs based on the originals humans of earth?

Like other Scifi, Ghost in the Shell, the Matrix, Neuromancer (River Styx oddly familiar to beach seen), we see this idea of "1 is not enough, 2 is too many." Meaning, there is a fusion between man and machine to make a new life. And it is this new life that is endeared with evolution. In all these films, we see that machine based beings cannot reproduce sexually and are copies, therefore they cannot evolve, BUT we also see humans are struggling with the limitations of their being are willing to go to some measures to "beat the meat." As a result, both consciousness tend to meld, and are able to gain a more holistic insight into the universe.

So, in order to keep this scifi/cyborg themes consistent, then the "new generation of God's children" represent something fundamentally different and new. And therefore, if everyone is some kind of cylon, or an advanced cylon breeding with an F5 or inferior S7 cylon, then the the "new generation" is not new or novel at all, nor holds new evolutionary relevance. They're an evolutionary dead end, or unintended accidents. But given their significance, which has been building since season 1 episode 3, to the end of season 1, through 2, unto the Opera House scene in Season 3, there must be some other reason attached to their existance and creation. And I believe discovering this holds the key to understanding what the FRAK is going on in the BSG universe.

Just out of interest, Brad, I thought I'd mention the controversy over a missing 13th Zodiac sign. I have no idea if it has anything to do with the creative inspiration behind BSG or the re-imagined series but it might stimulate some interesting discussion.

I know the colonial fleet is referred to as being human, but now that we have some evidence that Earth is very much our Earth, we have to consider which race of people is our people.

It seems there are at least three (possible four) races of "people": the "humans", the 7 cylons, the Four, and the One. Which of these makes up humanity as we know it? The human mind seems accessible to the cylons, so perhaps the humans are in fact part cylon. If the Earth people (assuming we find some - I think we will) are actual people, then the fleet is most likely something else.

I do not think that the Four are Earth-humans, but I think the One might be. Prior to seeing Razor, I theorized that the human-cylons did not evolve from the centurians at all but rather re-enslaved them. Although that no longer seems possible, I'm open to the truth containing similar components, such as that the cylons themselves are collaborated race.

As for the song, I think that the lyrics are definitely significant:
"There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I we've been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now
The hours getting late"

This seems to indicate that the final cylons do in fact die, and will die soon.

Yup, that everybody is artificial (which is to say, a form of Cylon) is my favourite backstory here. There is as yet no direct evidence for it. My main point of indirect evidence is

  • They can't tell the difference between themselves and the Cylons, not even with a microscope. Makes no sense -- unless they are programmed not to see it
  • The "humans" still can receive visions, projections etc. At least Roslin, the Oracles, Baltar and Starbuck do. They are not all the final Cylon.

Six explained projecting to Baltar once and it was the Cylons ability to create any view of their surroundings they wanted. They showed Baltar walking through halls of a Baseship when Six said she was walking through a forest because she wanted to. They snapped the camera back and forth between these perspectives. It was clear to me at the time that Cylons can do this at will and its been shown many times that the Colonials can do it under stress, unconsciously or under specific circumstances. Baltar did this from the Mini-Series with Head Six but you mentioned him. Apollo did it also after he was shot down in the Blackbird. He was flouting in space but from his perspective it looked to me (when I watched it later on DVD a few times) like he was projecting that he was flouting in a quarry on a summer day on Caprica. Adama projects every weeding anniversary that he is talking to his deceased wife. People might call this daydreaming but I don’t think so. I think Apollo and Adama have the ability to project and don’t think its anything more than daydreaming. I didn’t think much of Apollo’s episode until Adama’s conversations (then I went back to the DVDs and watched both episodes a few times) with his wife but that hit me like a ton of bricks, slap my face, OH YA, moment. He was not remembering past conversations, he was projecting new ones with his wife. Adama can project at will, one day a year and doesn’t think its more than a daydream and doesn’t know what he’s doing is different than what real humans experience because he has never met one. I think all Colonials can project, they don’t know its different than what we do because there none of us left to see the difference. The Colonials are Cylons, just different S7 and programmed to think they are Humans. I think the FF are probably enhanced copies of earth humans. The chief was shown dreaming once and that looked more like a dream to me than projecting, I’m not sure if the FF can project.

Well, Tigh sees his dead wife and Tyrol heard and saw Adama say a strange line about Cally, so the final 5 do this too.

And they've got super strength and signaling devices in their eyes, so they aren't true Earth humans, though I admit that would be a nice irony, to have them be the only real humans living among the colonies.

However, the vision in the Temple of Five was of them. If it was recorded 4,000 years ago when they built the temple, that means they are artificial and constantly recreate the same bodies. It is also possible the temple vision was "live", in which case it was of other copies of the same bodies. Or that it was a recently updated recording.

I forgot about the scene with Tyrol and Adama at the bar when Tyrol got himself demoted. Anders eyes (forgot that also) clinch it to so the five are more like the other Cylons than human. Everyone can project then.

Add new comment

Subscribe to Comments for "The Final Five from Earth and the Watchtower"