Gaeta's Transsexual Lament (and Guess What's Coming)
The most recent episode, Guess What's Coming to Dinner reveals what keeps the fans coming back. While one cliffhanger would be enough for any show, BSG once again gives us several at the same time at the close of the episode. Where has the hybrid jumped to? Is Natalie dead and what happens to Sharon, what happens to the alliance. And what is Gaeta's song about?
This episode did fall short a bit on plot consistency. There was no reason for the Cylon base ship to jump with the Demetrius. The D should have jumped in first, cleared the situation and then had the Cylon ship appear a bit away from the fleet. No drama of course, but this, combined with the bad radio (every radio's bad, even on the raptor?) was too much plot device. The other annoying plot device is the universal resurrection hub. It makes no sense -- though it does prove the Cylons have FTL radio -- other than as a plot device. Something so valuable, I would certainly have a backup.
But more to the point, attacking this hub has only modest military value, though great revenge value. Why? The fleet never plans to engage the Cylons again. And there's no sign that the loss of this hub (until they can rebuild it) would mean they can't make more Cylons, just that they can't make more Cylons with downloaded minds of killed Cylons. The main military value is that perhaps it would make raiders more timid if they have to fight them. But they don't plan to. The only reason they fought them recently was because the Cylons, for unexplained reasons were able to set an ambush at the Ionian nebula, and some unexplained pulse shut down fleet FTL. This still doesn't make much sense, but otherwise the fleet plan is to get far away from Cylons, and emergency jump if they show up.
Not to make them really, really angry.
Now onto Gaeta's song. They play it so much in this episode it is hard to imagine it doesn't mean something. The composer has a lot about the song on his blog including the lyrics:
Alone she sleeps in the shirt of man With my three wishes clutched in her hand The first that she be spared the pain That comes from a dark and laughing rain When she finds love may it always stay true This I beg for the second wish I made too But wish no more My life you can take To have her please just one day wake
Now, right now I am still in the Baltar camp, but boy, this song sure does sound like it's talking about a female final cylon. Sleeping "in the shirt of man?" Sounds like a sleeper final 5 member, still in shadow. Being spared the pain? Sounds like the redemption that only comes "in the howl of terrible suffering." And wishing that she will wake up? That he is willing to die for her to awake?
Now, if the final Cylon is a woman, how could Gaeta be the final Cylon? And if he's not the final Cylon, would would have put a song about her into his head?
No simple answers here, but one to consider: Gaeta is or was a woman. He's always been viewed as a somewhat effeminate character, and indeed Jamie Bamber declared Gaeta as being gay in an interview. Could he be a transsexual of some sort? This would explain why her awakening would end his life, in a way.
- He does have a dark secret, one Baltar whispered to him that made him try to kill Baltar (Podcast notes suggest this was a fragment of a deleted plotline, however.)
- Surely his military doctors would know this, and thus his commander?
- Perhaps they do know, and in the fleet this is no big whoop. (But then it can't be a dark secret.)
- He really, really didn't want to be unconscious for the amputation.
Another alternative: He is the final Cylon, who is at heart female. I noted earlier that we don't know who the Final Five were in previous incarnations. That perhaps they don't always have the same body each time, perhaps they are sometimes of different sexes?
This idea has its own problem: D'Anna saw the "opera house" final five, and she recognized them. So those copies of the final 5 (who are not unaware of their nature) have the same bodies as the current ones. This makes it harder, especially if the final Cylon was the object of her apology, for Gaeta to have a different body.
As I've noted, my current rationale for the sleeper agents is that the Final Five were once humans from Earth, from our very century. They transformed (uploaded) into machine form, but don't want to lose touch with their humanity. To preserve this, they regularly make copies of themselves who live fully as humans, and then merge their minds and memories to keep themselves more human. Under this theory, they might well live as different humans, and different sexes.
Now while some choose Gaeta as the final Cylon because they take the "Last Supper" clue (that the last Cylon is not in the photo, leaving just a few candidates) at face value, I still don't like it. Mostly because I don't think Gaeta would make the proper "holy shit" moment that the unmasking of the final Cylon must be by dramatic rules. And because he shows no sign of being "in the shadow, hoping for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering." Baltar is still the top candidate for this clue.
There is another clue about a woman. The First Hybrid said:
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.
This pertains to the awakening of the four, not the one, at least in the context in which it is said. In that case the "her" seems to be Foster, and the "he" could be Tyrol or Baltar. But it's pretty vague and could mean anything, or it could indeed refer to the final Cylon in some way, as a her.