Battlestar Galactica 4×11 — Sometimes a Great Notion

Battlestar is back, and the WTF? factor is high.  Here’s my breakdown of the episode, Spoilers Galore.

Big things:

  1. Starbuck finds her own wreckage, with her fin #, and a corpse with her dog tags.
  2. The Final Four all have memories of living on Earth.
  3. Dee breaks down and commits suicide after one last happy memory with Lee.
  4. Tigh flashes back to Earth and sees Ellen, leading him to identify her as the Fifth Cylon.
  5. Earth is uninhabitable, and the remains discovered there are all genetically Cylon, accompanied by Centurion-style Cylons unlike those made by the humans of the 12 colonies or the Cylons they made.

Analysis:

1. This fits in with the fact that the Raptor that Starbuck arrived with after her dissapearance was fresh-off-the-line clean.  This leads us to believe that Starbuck is a Cylon, or that she was somehow cloned by the Cylons, based off of the tissue samples they could have taken during the time she was held at the farm during “The Farm.”  This is of course all interpolation.  Leoban is shocked by the revelation, as it disproves/disagrees with his visions.  His religious certainty is shaken, and the connection between him and Starbuck is now in question again.

2.  From Tyroll walking the marketplace to Anders remembering playing “All Along the Watchtower,” this fits in line with my reading that that the humans of Earth are descended from the intermarriage of Cylons and humans who settle on Kobol and then leave for the thirteen colonies, as a part of the cycle (hence “all of this has happened before, all of this will happen again”) — This would allow for our civilization as is now to be a part of this cycle, between when the 13th tribe reaches Earth and when nuclear war destroys civilization on the planet.

The Final Five would then be the people who remember their previous incarnations elsewhen in the cycle, who are ‘Cylons’ in that they are the descendents of the re-connected species.

3. Dee’s suicide is used as the personalization of the collective despair expressed by the fleet after being let down by Earth.  The people had held up hope for years and years, thinking ‘if we make it to Earth, it will all be ok.’ — and now that Earth has been removed as the great hope, people’s defenses are down and they’re crashing.  Everyone of the survivors have PTSD, first from the destruction of the colonies, likely again from the events on New Caprica, and many things in between and after.

Dee had already lost her connection to Lee, before that she lost Billy, on top of the destruction of the colonies.  She showed signs of breaking down throughout the episode, from the return trip from Earth to speaking to Hera to the musing about the picture from when she was five.  And then, after one more happy moment with Lee, she takes her own life.  This is the personalized version of the despair rampant throughout the fleet that we can see on Galactica with people breaking down in the hallways and from the graffiti.

4.  Ellen was originally suspected as being a Cylon because of her mysterious appearance in the fleet, then discounted because she was too human-ly screwed up.  And by the time she let Saul kill her as they departerd New Caprica, she had achieved a measure of redeption.  And now by revealing her as the fifth Cylon (confirmed in the ‘next episode’ preview), they open up the question of another instance of her being alive or able to be activated.  It also makes for more of a reason to stay on Earth for archaeological excavation to uncover more information and/or unlock more memories of the Four that remain.

5.  This supports my ideas from 2, positing that once humans and Cylons intermingle, they will just distinct enough from humans now so as to register as ‘Cylon’ (ie. ‘Other’) — But I imagine that Hera and Nicholas, our two known human-Cylon crossbreeds would register as ‘Cylon’ under the same analyses.

Next episode — Vice President Zarek makes another power play, looking to divide the fleet.  Meanwhile, people try to figure out what the hell to do now that Earth is no longer the safe End Point.  Cavill’s fleet is still out there, meaning that there will be more chances for explosions and dogfights and such.

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