Friday, June 13, 2008

Battlestar Galactica, "Revelations": No sleep till Brooklyn

Spoilers for "Revelations," the "Battlestar Galactica" '08 finale, coming up just as soon as I roll a hard six...

Frak me.

Okay, hands up, everybody who immediately flashed on Charlton Heston screaming, "You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you! Goddamn you all to hell!" at the end of "Planet of the Apes" when you got a look at the wreckage of the Brooklyn Bridge?

In many ways, that amazing final sequence -- tracking from Adama's hand holding the irradiated fistful of dirt, past every major character surveying the reality of their "salvation" (including little character grace notes like Caprica Six reaching out a hand to comfort new lover Tigh), and then to that iconic frame of the Bridge as evidence that this is, in fact, Earth -- could have been the end of the series. Sure, it would be a nihilistic as hell ending, and one that left many, many questions still to be resolved, but so much of the amazing "Revelations" (one of the best episodes in the history of the series) had such an air of finality to it that I would almost be okay with all the loose ends. The humans and Cylons finally had something resembling an actual peace (signaled by the amnesty for the Final Four, as well as the freedom of the previously-incarcerated Caprica Six), Roslin and Adama have found each other for however much time she has left, Lee finally and unequivocally became a man, and the rag-tag fleet (now half-Cylon) had finally made its way to a place called Earth... only to find it in even worse shape than old Caprica (where at least the buildings were still standing and Helo could occasionally whip up a nice breakfast).

And yet I doubt anyone can complain that there won't be enough to deal with over the course of season 4.5 (wahhhh... I want it nowwwwwww!), given that we still have to deal with:
  • The identity of the final Cylon
  • The origin and nature of the entire Final Five
  • The origin of the rest of the skinjobs
  • The fate of the 13th colony, and what role (if any) they played in the destruction of Earth
  • The identity of the person/persons/entities that have been orchestrating all this, and what it means that "All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again"
  • The opera house vision and the fate of Hera
  • What exactly happened to Kara when she went into the maelstrom, and what she's really the harbinger of
  • Roslin's health
  • The true nature of Head Six, Head Baltar, Head Leoben, and all the other "angels"
  • Tigh and Caprica Six's baby
  • The whereabouts of Boomer and whether any of the 1, 4, or 5 models are still out there
And, oh yeah, what the hell does the rag-tag fleet do now? The algae planet blew up in the nova, New Caprica got nuked, and all the original Colonial planets are irradiated (and possibly occupied by Cavil and company, if they didn't all die in the attack on the Hub). Does everybody go back to the cursed planet of Kobol? Do they give up? Start mass-producing anti-radiation meds and figure out a way to terraform the remnants of Earth?

I don't know, but we obviously have until early '09 (sigh...) to speculate on that, just as we all freaked out about the Final Four revelation at the end of season three. Right now, I want to sing the praises of "Revelations" as an episode, and not as a launching point for what's still to come.

Because, again... frak me. I watched this on one of's hourly streams, on a small screen, with a whirlwind of activity going on around me and I could not have been more riveted. Bradley Thompson, David Weddle, Michael Rymer and company outdid themselves on this, one of the busiest and yet most emotional hours of "Galactica" ever.

And I wrestled for a while with my feelings about it being only an hour. On the one hand, the condensed running time meant that a lot of major events had to be glossed over or outright skipped -- Athena getting sprung from jail to help plot the suicide mission against D'Anna, the reactions of most of the characters to learning the identities of the Final Four, etc. -- in favor of squeezing in the story and hitting the real emotional high points. But much as I wanted to see, say, Gaeta learn that two of the men who nearly airlocked him were Cylons, or Caprica Six finally understanding Tigh's motivation for his special private visits to the brig, the finished product was like a gourmet five-course meal where every course was the entree. Everything we needed to see was there, immaculately written, directed and played.

Take Bill Adama's reaction to learning that his best, oldest friend -- the man he had trusted over the decades despite everyone else in the universe telling him he was naive at best, insane at worst for doing so -- was a Cylon. After having Adama's reaction start off the way every fanboy's did -- first confusion, then denial, followed by asking how Saul could be a Cylon if he got old and went bald? -- we quickly proceeded to watch our fearless, stoic leader lose his s--t on an epic scale. Remember what I said last week about Mary McDonnell finding new, terrifying levels of brilliance every time I thought she couldn't be any better? Take that, double it, and you've got Edward James Olmos in the raw here.

What made Adama's breakdown especially painful wasn't just Olmos letting it all rip (though I know my soul ached when I heard that first guttural yell), or even the knowledge of how well Adama usually carried himself in a crisis (though that didn't help), but rather that pre-credits scene, seemingly unnecessary at the time, where Lee talks to Kara about being afraid of his father, and Kara quotes Leoben's philosophy that the only way for children to reach their full potential is for their parents to die. Leoben is, of course, an ass, and so a large chunk of this episode was spent proving him wrong. Bill didn't die, didn't even injure anything worse than his knuckles (not physically, anyway), and yet Lee Adama managed to become a man -- not the scared, confused kid who could occasionally playact a man in seasons past -- in his father's moment of crisis. There will come a terrible point in the lives of many people, if one of their parents happens to live long enough, where the roles will reverse and the child will have to play father to the man. The moment on the floor of Bill's quarters, when Lee held his crying father in his arms and told him that everything would be okay -- that Lee would make sure it would be okay -- was that moment for the Adama clan, and while Bill eventually pulled himself together and the old dynamic re-asserted itself, I don't think there's any more backsliding for young master Lee. This is who he is now, and it was touching and scary and absolutely well-earned to witness.

(As an aside: I've always admired Jamie Bamber's work on this show but never felt the writers quite knew what to do with Apollo, which is one of the reasons his rank and role has changed so often. I'm glad that, in the end, they found the right one for both actor and character to play, because he was outstanding.)

And let's not forget the behavior of the man on the other side of the Cylon revelation: Saul Mother-Frakkin' Tigh, as played by Michael Mother-Frakkin' Hogan and his amazing acting eye. Of course Saul would out himself under these circumstances. It's the ideal scenario for him, really: he gets to unburden himself of his horrible secret, potentially save the fleet, and then die before he has to deal with being around all his comrades who have discovered his shameful true identity. And so he walks, resolute, into his oldest friend's office and sets himself up to die -- wants to die, really -- and then stands, just as resolute and ramrod straight, in the airlock as he waits for the gambit by Lee (a kid he once had little use for, and here comes to respect) to play out, one way or the other. It's like the "Galactica" production team is testing Hogan to see how much he can give by taking away as much as possible -- "Okay, Mike, try acting after we cover up one of your eyes for the rest of the series!" "Okay, Mike, now you're going to stand perfectly motionless for half an episode where you're the emotional fulcrum!" -- and he keeps passing their tests with flying colors.

And then, of course, there's Mary McDonnell herself, so brilliant in playing a completely different Laura from the one we saw for most of "Hub." This is a Laura at peace with everything, because she knows she could die soon but has the love of Bill Adama, who is able to be around Gaius Baltar without the old homicidal impulses resurfacing, who even respects the selfish twit enough to recognize that he has a better chance than she does of getting through to D'Anna. For a half-second, I thought Laura's "Take him. That's good" comment to Baltar's offer was just her keeping herself out of the line of fire and making sure he'd be the first one executed if D'Anna lost it, but I quickly realized that she and Baltar moved past all of that when she saved his life last week.

And that in turn led to James Callis getting his own wonderful turn at bat, as Baltar tried to talk D'Anna off the ledge of mutually-assured destruction. Again, we shouldn't believe a scintilla of Baltar's transformation into man of God, given all we know of him over the years, but Callis has sold me on it, and therefore I buy into how even hardcore D'Anna might be inclined to listen to him when he explains how brute force never worked in forging peace with humanity in the past. Baltar believes his own spiel about how we're all perfect creations of God's plan and therefore should be forgiven all their sins -- as his mortal enemy Laura forgave him in his moment of greatest vulnerability last week -- and therefore he believes that D'Anna can be forgiven by humanity, and vice versa.

If there was a frustrating part of "Revelations," it was one more of design than execution, and that was Tory throwing in with her Cylon brothers and sisters and telling humanity to talk to the hand. They've been taking Tory down this path all season, and Rekha Sharma did a fine job playing every step along the way. It's just that, in an episode where every other character, human and Cylon, were almost unfailingly wise and noble and self-sacrificing (even D'Anna, scary as she is, was convinced this was the only way to save her people), seeing Tory ditch her old crowd to go hang with the cool kids stuck out. It wasn't a false note, but it still didn't fit with the rest of the piece, especially since Anders and Tyrol got relatively short shrift during the hour. I liked how Tyrol seemed so calm at the moment of discovery, how he shrugged and told Sam to fess up to the missus, and I loved how Katee Sackhoff played Kara's reaction to this news (betrayed and yet full of resolve to fix this crisis, her lying toaster husband be damned), but I feel much more attached to those two than to Tory and would have rather spent more time with them somehow than with her totally overestimating her underestimation of Lee.

But again, everyone and everything else was so perfect here that I can forgive Tory her moment of false superiority. From Adama getting his uniform back on through the shot of the Raptors entering the atmosphere was just pure, concentrated happiness for almost every character on the show (save Tigh and Tyrol) -- and so of course all that happiness had to be dashed, in as devastating a manner as possible.

And of course the show that uses robots and space ships with FTL drives to tell stories about a post-9/11 world would eventually wind up with all of its characters wandering around a ruined version of lower Manhattan.

Some other thoughts on "Revelations":
  • I loved how the celebration montage paid so much respect to the history of the series. We had the smooch between the two longtime deckhands whose names I'm forgetting, a brief glimpse of the mining ship (who have always had it the worst of anybody in the rag-tag fleet), and of course Kara standing at the memorial wall, thanking Kat for her role in getting them there ("We made it, kid").
  • At one point in his speech, Adama refers to them being on the run for three years. Does that make sense? We know at least a year passed before they got to New Caprica, another year spent there before the Cylons showed up, several more months before the Exodus, then a very long stretch of time covering the voyage to the algae planet, the build-up to Baltar's trial, and all the shenanigans of season 4.0.Seems like it should be closer to four than three, no?
  • Another nice nod to continuity to have poor family-less Laird as the deck chief now that Tyrol got himself demoted.
  • Since there's all this talk of doing multiple TV-movies after the series is finished, I could imagine them devoting an entire one to all the things that happened off-camera in this episode -- again, much of it revolving around everybody responding to knowing the names of the Final Four. As I've said, there needs to be a scene at some point where Tyrol and a Sharon (preferably Boomer, but Athena will do) sit down and talk about how life could've been very different.
  • Now, why do you suppose D'Anna said that only four of the Five were in the fleet? We know she saw all five of them on the algae planet, and if she didn't recognize the fifth, she would just assume he or she was a random person in the fleet, so what? Was the fifth Cylon aready on the baseship (Helo? Laura? Baltar? Hot Dog?) and D'Anna didn't feel like spilling that news at that point? Is the fifth somewhere in the fleet but in a position where D'Anna knows he or she would never surface? Regardless of her reasons for (presumably) lying, I did like the way she cleverly informed Lee and Tigh that she was already in contact with the Four, implying that she was somehow communicating through secret Cylon means when she was just speaking loudly in the presence of all four of them.
I could probably go on for a few more thousand words -- including the usual raves for the work of Gary Hutzel's FX team and Bear McCreary on the score -- but it's nearly 11 o'clock and I want to get this posted the second the finale's done airing. What did everybody else think? And how do you intend to fill the gap between now and '09?


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Ben said...

Absolutely, frakkin' amazing analysis! My wife and I just finished watching, and I'm glad your post came up first on the Google Blog search results, because your insight has left me hungry for the rest of the series, and the answers to many questions I hadn't even thought to ask myself during the episode.

Brilliant writing!

Anonymous said...

Definitely the best ep of the season for me. I don't mind when the show occasionally slows down to give us character moments, but it felt like this season was all character moments.

Probably Jamie Bamber's finest performance of the series.

As if the Sci-Fi channel didn't screw us enough with the previews that give everything away and the beating drum thingy that gives everything this week away, it takes REALLY brass balls to say the final 10 eps are "Coming Soon".

David J. Loehr said...

[H]ow do you intend to fill the gap between now and '09?

Trying to figure out how to make time speed up...

Great episode, and a great breakdown. (Both your post and Edward James Olmos.)

R.A. Porter said...

I kept looking for the Statue of Liberty and some damn dirty apes as well.

Holy Frak.

I'll answer your question right up front: I intend to spend the time until '09 sobbing on the bathroom floor like Bill Adama. I'm man enough to admit that I'm not man enough to keep my shit together until this show comes back.

Perfection. That's the only word to describe it.

I disagree with your assessment of Tory in this episode, Alan. I thought it was only fitting that she'd make that play and get screwed for it. She doesn't have a noble or empathetic bone in her manufactured body.

I also thought it was interesting for her to stand up (if briefly) to Laura considering it was just a few episodes back that Laura commented on her 'Galactica Glow'. She's as stubborn as Laura and turned out to be more wrong in the end.

Done commenting. Time to watch again.

Anonymous said...


i'm on the west coast and haven't watched the ep yet, but i've got to tip my hat to you for providing such a meaty analysis. i'm sure i'll read it again tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I agree with almost everything you said about this episode in terms of how great it was, but I guess on first viewing I'm just having a little trouble getting past the uhm..."homage" to "Planet of the Apes". Up until that point, I was absolutely riveted, the Tigh-Adama scenes and the Adama breakdown were amazing. And am I the only one who thought Laura might be a Chip Laura when she first sat down with Adama and son? Seemed a deliberate thing, with Adama the Younger not looking at or speaking to her until after Bill go up and left. If she was a Chip Laura, THAT would have been very interesting...

When they were foolishly pre-celebrating that they found Earth before they actually set foot on it -- which rang false for me, with the amount of times these guys have been burned in the past 3 years, I'm supposed to buy they celebrate it without even sending a scouting party down? Highly unlikely. Anyhoo, when they were pre-celebrating and there were still 10 minutes left, I think every viewer knew a massive UH OH was coming and it flashed through my mind "God I hope it's not a "Planet of the Apes" type thing.". Disappointed!

I wouldn't have known that was the Brooklyn Bridge unless you pointed out Alan, so I guess we'll thank gods for small favors that even though they wound up in the same destroyed city as Charlton Heston, they didn't use the same damn landmark to signify it.

"Coming soon" for the next batch of episodes was quite obnoxious.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I disagree with your assessment of Tory in this episode, Alan. I thought it was only fitting that she'd make that play and get screwed for it. She doesn't have a noble or empathetic bone in her manufactured body.

Let me clarify: I found it completely fitting for where Tory's been. I just really disliked her as she was doing it, in an episode where I loved everybody else, you know?

R.A. Porter said...

@Alan, that makes more sense. I misinterpreted your original comments. It is odd that only one character was intentionally unredeemed.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't as impressed. It really seemed like they were rushing to get all that in, so we got the perfunctory "Let's forget about that whole genocide deal and be friends" scene and then the melty bridge. Wait, what? There was some great stuff (Tyrol's bemused fatalism, holy frak!), and the acting was top-notch as usual, but I wish Sci-Fi had given them at least another half-hour to get there.

Vivi Anna said...

The second the episode was done I jumped on the computer to find someone talking about it. I'm glad I came to your blog.

Fabulously well versed.

I'm still in total frakking shock at that episode. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I kept pulling my chair closer and closer to the screen.

I LOVED this episode. God, when Tigh told Adama about being a cyclon I nearly wet my pants. There is no better writing or acting anywhere on TV or on big screen.

This show is brilliance incarnate.

Anonymous said...

As others have said, great episode, great post!

(including little character grace notes like Caprica Six reaching out a hand to comfort new lover Tigh)

Speaking of Caprica Six and Tigh, does anyone else find it weird that she's (we're told) pregnant with his child... even though they're both Cylons, and as far as we know, Cylons can't interbreed?

Now, why do you suppose D'Anna said that only four of the Five were in the fleet?

Okay, not to get all self-promotional in your comments, but I've got a theory on this (detailed here and here): the final Cylon is Starbuck's mother, who not only isn't on the fleet, but is dead. I haven't seen this theory widely discussed, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Excellent episode, excellent post. One question that I think will get examined in the next season when we see more of Galen is what will Galen do when he discovers the true nature of Cally's death. I thought that the revelation of their true nature would bring Tory to admitting, bragging, about what she had done, but even with Galen's possible relief with being outed I think that Cally's demise is not complete and will be brought forth when Galen talks about cylon stuff with an 8.

Bobcat said...

I assumed that Starbuck's viper was the final cylon.

R.A. Porter said...

@bobcat, my friend and I IM'd after the show and laughed when we both said the same thing.

Mrglass said...

Perfect episode, in my mind the best of the series, and one of the finest hour of television I have ever seen. Absolutely amazing.

Again I must praise the work of Michael Hogan, but also Aaron Douglas. I don't think Saul MF Tigh wants to die; Tyrol does.

Douglas in a nearly silent role this episode makes us understand that his character is clearly relieved to be found, and actually eager to get airlocked. He has accomplished his mission and nothing is left for him (except his strange son). His despair will soon be shared by the rest of the fleet. That is why he is laughing on Earth.

Also, it is the first time I noticed how good the music was in Galactica. From the second 'Hendrix' moment to the last 'Everyone happy' montage, the action was even more rivetting thanks to the musical score. Kudos all around.

Where will the writers go from here? I really don't have a clue. Now excuse me, I have to go get drunk and drool in my bathroom Adama-style instead of thinking about the long wait before SciFi decides to show us the final 10 episodes.

Where is a good Internet leak when you need one?

Anonymous said...

"even though they're both Cylons, and as far as we know, Cylons can't interbreed?"

I've thought about this too ... and then I return to the conversation between Harry Wu and Dr. Ian Malcolm in "Jurassic Park":

Henry Wu: "You're implying that a group composed entirely of female animals will... breed?"

Dr. Ian Malcolm: "No, I'm simply saying that life, uh... finds a way."

Mac said...

Can D'Anna really know everyone in the fleet? I assumed that either the fifth was someone already onboard, or someone she knows is dead. Which presumably leaves out my theory (Adama's wife, Lee's mother.)

Byron Hauck said...

I'm with Mr. Treacher on the episode. It felt rushed. I was reminded of the Angel episode with the 10-minute fakeout. The acting did stand out though.

And I agree with everyone else that this is a great post.

Michael said...

When I saw that the dark part of Earth was dark - normally from space you can see the lights of the cities - I wasn't sure if they were going to come out pre-history on Earth or post-history. But the Geiger counter as soon as Adama picked up the handful of soil was the clincher.

Wouldn't everyone have just crapped their pants if they found out that Galactica came to Earth, circa 1980? I was half-expecting sky-cycles.

Mo Ryan said...

I intend to spend the time until '09 sobbing on the bathroom floor like Bill Adama. I'm man enough to admit that I'm not man enough to keep my shit together until this show comes back.

So say we all. This lady is man enough to admit the same.

I loved, loved all the little grace notes in the episode. Of course I thought it was terrific in the big picture, but the happy montage, followed by that tracking shot on Earth -- which for some reason I think will be a very important harbinger of the future.

I think the fifth Cylon is somebody we haven't thought of (though Starbuck's mother is a very cool guess). Ron Moore and the writers have already found a way to mindfrak us with the choice of the final Cylon, I'm sure.

all this has happened before, and will happen again. That's what I kept thinking throughout the episode.

"Kara Thrace will lead the human race to its end. She is the herald of the apocalypse, the harbinger of death. They must not follow her."

They did follow her, and they found that the human race (on Earth) had ended. Looked pretty apocalyptic to me. So the Hybrid in Razor was right, but only in one narrow sense. Following her didn't lead the fleet to destruction, it led the fleet to a destroyed earth, one that the humans and cylons must inhabit together.

And since the Cylons can no longer download, what exactly is the difference between Cylons and humans? Is there one? Have they all be Cylons after all?


But back to Saul MF Tigh. Frakkin hell. Double that for Adama's breakdown. I get what you're saying about wishing there'd been other scenes with Tyrol and other characters, but when you've got Hogan and Olmost throwing down like that, how can anyone else compete?

And actually, I found it funny and fitting that Tory immediately migrated to the mean girl posse. So like her. She'd obviously been waiting for months to tell Roslin to get frakked. In fact that might have been her whole motivation in going over to the dark side. Ever since Laura called her out as being part of Baltar's Nymph Squad (a term I just endlessly love), she's been itching to get her revenge on her old boss. And if humanity had to die in the process, oh well!

Speaking of things happening again, I have to watch it again to grasp the full awesomeness of it. I'm so pleased that they just once again went all out and got us to Earth now, rather than 2 minutes before the end of the series finale. Nice one.

And how awesome was McCreary's score? Again?

Nicole said...

I was yelling at the screen for Lee not to airlock Tigh. The last 9 episodes would miss so much without him. Can't Hogan just get the Emmy now? And EJO too? Those two were spectacular.

I also suspected something wrong with Earth when there was still time left. I'm glad they didn't go with the fallen Statue of Liberty, but it was an obvious echo. I would love to hear what RDM's reasons are for this in the podcast, but they are incredibly behind on them.

Baltar was brilliant as well, as I think Laura sensed that Baltar's desire for self-preservation would make him the best one to get D'Anna down from the crazy tree.

Reading James Callis's interview at the Onion AV Club also gives a bit more depth to Baltar and people should check it out.

Hopefully, some of the first few episodes back delve into reactions about the revelations and the new relationships.

The "Starbuck as harbinger of death" prophecy may also mean that she messed up Earth when she first got there.

Seriously, do we really have to wait until 2009?

Mo Ryan said...

This should have said: Have they all been Cylons after all?


I also gotta show some love for Lucy Lawless. Love how she brought the tart comedy last week but slid effortlessly into Iron Lady mode this week.

I also didn't realize that was the Brooklyn Bridge.

I think them landing there, in lower manhattan, was perfect. Moore has always said that this was a post 9/11 piece, and he wasn't kidding.

The happy montage worked for me, btw, because there was just such massive relief that they'd actually completed this goal that had seemed so out of reach for so long. If nothing else, they got there. So the pent up tension over that just spilled out and for a moment or two, overrode any cynicism or doubts they may have had. Just for a few moments. They're not machines, after all ;)

I also think Tyrol is gonna find out what Tory did, and she better not be standing near an airlock when he does.

R.A. Porter said...

Alright. I'm only 78% convinced that's the B'klyn Bridge. Sure, sure. I've seen the side-by-side and it certainly *looks* like the tip of Manhattan over there. But what about that dome-like structure amidst the ruins?

The dome-like structure that looks very much like the dome on the Temple of Aurora from Pythia's drawings?

I'll grant I haven't been up close to that bridge in a long time. Most of the time when I go back east I prefer the Manhattan bridge for its proximity to Junior's. But I just don't remember anything that looks like a dome.

Myles said...

I'm in love with this episode for a lot of reasons (Amongst them my discovery that Adama and I own similar hats), but first and foremost is the decision to find Earth now and not later.

It's a decision that is perfect for providing more questions (About its fate, its existence, its history, etc.) but also one that exasperates all of the fleet's problems.

In particular, it's a huge open door for Baltar: the scriptures have been proven wrong, or at the very least sidetracked indefinitely by destruction, and the words of the Hybrid (Which he can discover all too easily if Starbuck ends up a believer) have at the very least partially come true with at least more accuracy than the Gods' books.

Really, the search for Earth was always a dead end: frak, Adama made the thing up mostly just to give people hope and survival. Now, that hope is gone, the great hope that people hung onto in their final moments. Now we have a fleet more desperate, more confused, and more complicated than ever before.

And as far as the quick alliance between these two sides, and the "How can we forget the Genocide" argument, I think it's valid but ultimately unnecessary - as I think Ms. Ryan pointed out earlier in the comments, the question of what makes Cylons Cylon is now a bit of a mystery, and personally I believe that the desperation of humanity and the intense curiosity of Cylons would be enough for both sides to find at least cooperation if not peace in a tense situation. Plus, the Cylons in question have always been the most human-friendly and least objectionably evil, so that's not too great a stretch in my eyes.

Regardless, way too much to get excited about here - I need to sleep at some point. Great review, Alan!

arrabbiata said...

I can't top the superlatives in the post and comments, so I'll just agree with them all.

I'm not happy about the wait until 2009 to see where this all ends, but I'm dealing with it a little better than last season. They gave us that brilliant finale (final four Cylons and other developments known to everyone here) and told us to come back in a year, Sopranos style. I called a midwestern friend who is fan to get her opinion on the episode, and the first thing out of her mouth was a string of curses regarding the long wait... So far this season has been worth that long delay, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt about the wait until the last 10 episodes. But I won't like it.

Nicole said...

I know people think that it's the Brooklyn Bridge, but after I didn't see the Statue of Liberty, I thought it might be a really busted up Golden Gate bridge.

Didn't RDM go to Berkley?

(or it's just a generic post apocalyptic setting made to look familiar to many places so we have something to speculate about until 2009)

Mo Ryan said...

RDM went to Cornell...

Karen said...

Yeah, I didn't get the Brooklyn Bridge vibe from those ruins, either, and I'm a New Yorker. I watched the episode, dashed straight over here, and when I read Alan's post I sais, "WTF?" So I went back and watched the end again, and I still don't see it. If you're going to evoke the Brooklyn Bridge, you have to include part of the iconic Gothic arches; otherwise it's just a bridge.

Heartbreaking that when Roslin got to watch Bill pick up that first handful of earth, it was radioactive. I confess I didn't see that coming. I was wondering what their reception would be--I kept thinking, what would we on earth do today if suddenly our skies filled with spaceships and a bunch of people landed who said they'd come to live here?--but post-nuclear devastation wasn't on my radar.

Seconds to all who highlight the amazing work of all the amazing actors--so many heartbreaking moments, but the one that got me was Tyrol, grim in his bunk with Nicky, in the midst of the celebration montage--and you have to wonder why these actors aren't being lifted up on the shoulders of the entire Emmy-voting academy and their paths strewn with rose petals. Sheesh. I would add to the notes that have been mentioned here, the haggard disbelief on D'Anna's face as she walked up to join Adama and Roslin on earth. (I also loved that Roslin had the only line there, and it was "Earth." Her goal since the beginning, and here's what she got.)

About Tory's play, and her diss of Roslin: I thought it was an interesting choice. Tory has a complex history with Roslin, not least in having helped steal an election for her. Her budding Cylon personality has cast aside so much of the old Tory, it makes sense that she would particularly resent what her "human" devotion to Roslin had led her to do, and then turn that resentment on Roslin. But she backed the wrong horse. Tory has a gift for doing the wrong thing.

As to what I'll do between now and early '09? Re-watch this episode about 100 times, I'm guessing.

Ray said...

If this is a post-apocalyptic earth, then I say.. what of the satellites.. shouldn't the Dradis have picked up satellites in space around the planet.

Excellent blog Alan, I look forward to reading more from you.


Ray said...

Okay, extrapolate what we know about space travel at the beginning of the 21st Century. We have mastered the construction of Nuclear Weapons, but we are decades if not centuries away from producing spacecraft that have FTL capability.

If they found earth, then the origins of the colonials are unlikely to have come from Earth. It appears earth or whatever planet is represented was destroyed before the advent of sophisticated space transportation due to the lack of dradis contacts.

It will be very interesting to see where the imagination of Eick and Moore take us for the final episodes.

Prepare for an unreal ride!!!!


Bill Swears said...

Now, why do you suppose D'Anna said that only four of the Five were in the fleet?

My wife suggests that D'Anna was aware that the final cylon was among the hostages.

Bill Swears said...

Has Starbuck lead them all to the grave, and fulfilled the Hybrid's prophecy?

Filipe Furtado said...

"At one point in his speech, Adama refers to them being on the run for three years"

Sounds about right to me.

The first two seasons take place in a little over 9 months span (we know that thanks to Sharon's pregnancy). Then there's the year jump in Lay Down Your Burdens, which is followed by another 4 months jump between seasons, so by the end of Exodus we should be somewhere arouns 25 or 26 months after the Cylon attack. Timeline gets less clear after that, but we know that between Starbuck's death in Maelstrom and the end of Faith there should be a little over four months (she was
"dead" for two months and her mission run for another two), given that the last 4 episodes need to take place in a short time span, that would mean that as long as most of the third season had happened during something closer to six months the 3 year time sounds right. Its certainly closer to three than four.

Anonymous said...

I took it from D'anna's discussion with Baltar that he was the final one.

Anonymous said...

And it looked like the ruins of London to me.

Anonymous said...

"No sleep till Brooklyn."


Anonymous said...

An observation: the sacred scrolls stated that a dying leader would guide them to a new land, but would not live to enter the land. But Laura Roslin does make it to Earth...

Perhaps Earth is not the promised land after all? Or at least, not the Earth that they found...

Anonymous said...

I saw one person above (and some people on other blogs) talking about the Viper being the final Cylon. On the algae planet, D'Anna saw five people standing in robes, though right, so it would have to be a humanoid?

Anonymous said...

Wow. That was lovely. And yeah, between last week's episode and this one, it did feel like a sort of finale, especially since the ending wasn't the usual WTF cliffhanger we've come to expect but a more contemplative one.

I wonder if this is how the allegory continues: the war is over and here we all are standing around on a pile of radioactive rubble and now what? Too literal? Well, Moore and Eick have much better imaginations than I, and I can't wait to see what happens.

Mo, I've been thinking for awhile about how the 5 (or the 4 we know) are the natural conclusion to how it seemed like the Cylons and humans were becoming more and more alike (and I really thought we'd get a Cylon class war and the skinjobs vs toasters would be like the human vs toaster war before - everything that happened before happens again) but after reading Jacob at TWoP's recap of last weeks ep... Well he paid some attention to that bit of business with the 8 that had downloaded Athena's backrub technique and how that was wierd for Helo but not for her until he made it wierd and that got me thinking about how my perception of humans and cylons being more alike is really cylons being more human and is that fair. Blerg, it's late and I don't think I can articulate this very well, but I guess I have 10 frakking months (!) to ponder it and try to articulate it better.

I know this goes against the gravitas of that final lovely scene, but a little Whedonesque part of me was thinking someone (Deanna maybe) should say, "Earth, huh, I thought it would be nicer."

Thanks for all the posts, Alan. You are a trooper for getting them up so fast!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, amazing episode, even though it did feel a bit rushed. Tyrol's rueful chuckle and shake of the head at the end capped it off beautifully.

When I saw some of the wreckage on Earth, I thought "Brooklyn Bridge" but then realized the arches were way too small. I didn't get the connection with the final image until I looked at the side-by-side that R.A. Porter linked to.

A final thought: In Asimov's "Foundation and Earth," some humans thousands of years in the future look all over space for Earth. When they find it, it's radioactive and uninhabitable. But they find what they're looking for on "the next planet" - our moon.

Could something similar be in store for our band of wanderers? Because, y'know, the BSG folks haven't given us enough to think about already.

Anonymous said...

this is the only blog i have read that seems to have understood fully what is happening with the story!

mainly the acknowlegement of 'all this has happened before, and will happen again'. bearing this in mind this was tho only logical state of earth, anyone expecting a magical paradise is sorely naive and hasnt picked up on anything this series has been saying!

however there were a couple of other small factors i think worth considering. most importantly the cylon human children, during the celebration scenes we see tirrol's child holding two marbles and a stone, fixated by them, significant? maybe considering when the shot reaches hera if focuses on her fixed gaze away from her parents celebrations, could one of the children be the fifth?

another small touch was on earth, in the background you see anders reject tory as she tries to comfort him, while tirrol laughs like he knew this was the case all along.

in my opinion a brilliant ending and a great set up for the final run of the season

Anonymous said...

I just have to add that all the contrivance of getting Lee to be President was forgiven when he was so frakking awesome tonight. You're right , Alan, the father/son becoming a man stuff was great, but also this has all happened before "but it doesn't have to happen again." Yay Lee!

Adam Whitehead said...

Great review, although I have nitpick that New Caprica wasn't nuked: D'Anna threatened to do it but got sidetracked by Hera, and Six said she wouldn't let D'Anna nuke the planet afterwards :-)

Alan Sepinwall said...

But what about that dome-like structure amidst the ruins?

Erica at Galactica Sitrep told me she's already seen speculation that everybody's standing on the wreckage of Ellis Island, which has a building with a partially domed roof as its centerpiece. That makes sense thematically -- the rag-tag fleet are the ultimate New York immigrants -- but I'm not sure if the angle's right for how the Brooklyn Bridge would look from there.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'm just having a little trouble getting past the uhm..."homage" to "Planet of the Apes".

I would say it was just an homage and not a complete rip-off. After all, the point of the Statue of Liberty in "Apes" is to tell Heston and the audience that he's been on Earth all along, just far into the future, which completely changes how we perceive the movie. Here, we already knew that they had made it to Earth, so the wreckage of another New York icon was just there to put an exclamation point on how badly the place got destroyed before the fleet got there.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I also gotta show some love for Lucy Lawless. Love how she brought the tart comedy last week but slid effortlessly into Iron Lady mode this week.

Absolutely. And she may have looked more devastated than anybody in the Earth landing party.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I know people think that it's the Brooklyn Bridge, but after I didn't see the Statue of Liberty, I thought it might be a really busted up Golden Gate bridge.

Geography's all wrong for the Golden Gate, which comes off a mountain on one side. Take a look.

Alan Sepinwall said...

You're right , Alan, the father/son becoming a man stuff was great, but also this has all happened before "but it doesn't have to happen again."

I forgot to quote that line, but it was great. I just wonder if Lee will be able to make it come true -- did making an alliance with the Cylons break the cycle? -- or if humanity is doomed to relive the same story over and over and over.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Great review, although I have nitpick that New Caprica wasn't nuked: D'Anna threatened to do it but got sidetracked by Hera, and Six said she wouldn't let D'Anna nuke the planet afterwards

Hmmm... I remember that too now. So, what, now everybody begins the long trip back to New Caprica in search of Saul's missing eye?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Bear McCreary provides his thoughts on writing the "Revelations" score.

Anonymous said...

I saw one person above (and some people on other blogs) talking about the Viper being the final Cylon. On the algae planet, D'Anna saw five people standing in robes, though right, so it would have to be a humanoid?

These, ah say, these are the jokes, son.

You know, it's too bad Tigh and Adama had their big donnybrook a few weeks ago. They used it up already!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Earth. Who wants to go back to Caprica? After all, the Cylons were cleaning it up back in Downloaded.

This episode had a lot of plot, but didn't answer any of the questions about the mythology of the universe. Which, in many ways, reminded me a lot of the end of season 3, by showing big frakking developments without getting a chance to delve into the characters reactions to those events. (The beginning of season 4, with those reactions was great). So I'm looking forward to those character moments and answers to some of the big questions.

Hey, Sci-Fi Channel, I'll give you a shiny nickel to cut the hiatus down by a couple of months!

Why is Kara's shiny new Viper all possesed and communicating with the final 4? Why did the final 4 cylons hear "All Along the Watchtower" on Galactica and what is their nature as Cylons?

Is it correct that Tigh was unquestionably among the Colonials 10 years after the first Cylon war (Adam mentions knowing him for 30 years)?

And aren't there some Cavils, Simons and Dorals still out there?

So what is the migratory pattern? Earth (boom!)-> Kobol (death!)-> 12 Colonies (big boom!) -> Earth?

RDM says that the podcasts will be coming, with more writers and editors discussing, too.

And can we think about the maniacs who blew it up without also now singing? "Oh my gods, I was wrong. It was Earth all along!" -Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off

K J Gillenwater said...

First, I did love this episode, but I have to agree with Jim Treacher. It felt rushed and it should have been a 2-hour finale, so that we could get all the reactions from everyone about the final four reveals, plus more on 'getting to earth,' rather than just one little ol' jump.

Oh, and why does EVERY show or film have to show NY destruction? How nice that they managed to land right where there was a nice view of the destroyed city. Why not San Francisco? or London? or even Sydney?

Sort of glad that I didn't recognize the Brooklyn Bridge either. I thought it was just a random city, which actually would have been cooler, because you could still wonder if this wasn't the pre-civilization destruction that took out the dinosaurs or something...

BUT, loved Saul Tigh in this one. BRILLIANT. That actor is amazing. Adm. Adama breaking down was also fantastic...but they really stole away some of it from the audience with the weird editing...suddenly Lee is there in the room? I wanted to see a bit more of him coming across his father and having him explain what just happened.

Kara's shock was also marvelous. I really wanted MORE of that kind of reaction.

I'm hoping the last 10 episodes give us some of that. And NOW what do they do??? That fifth and final cylon's got a lot of 'splainin' to do! And if s/he is not in the fleet, where is this person?????????? ARGH!

Unless an earlier comment was right and CALLIE was one of the final five...maybe she'll just appear somewhere...wouldn't THAT be a killer? If Kara can come 'back from the dead' with an undamaged ship, why can't Callie??? Hmm....

K J Gillenwater said...

In the side-by-side bridge comparison, the one from the show doesn't seem to have a wide enough pillar thingie to make it the Brooklyn Bridge. I'm still not convinced....?

Mo Ryan said...

Erica at Galactica Sitrep told me she's already seen speculation that everybody's standing on the wreckage of Ellis Island, which has a building with a partially domed roof as its centerpiece.

That's so, so interesting. I wonder if that's indeed what it is. Even if they played a bit fast and loose with the layout of everything, it sounds like a very interesting and resonant place for them to be standing.

Then again, I guess we keep expecting this to be *our* earth. Could be something totally different. And I do wonder if Kara's arrival at earth set off its destruction (again tying into the Hybrid's prophecy). She got some 'splainin to do, I'd say, about those missing months.

Anonymous said...

Just watched that last shot again, and although it seems like they rushed things so that the humans and Cylons could be in it together, it really is a great shot. Pretty much a status report of all the main characters. Tyrol's grim little smile... damn, man.

One thing I didn't notice at first glance: Tori reaching out for Sam's hand. Who else do they have to comfort each other?

Anonymous said...

Way back up at 3:20am, Bill Swears pointed out that D'Anna might know that only four of the Final Five are in the fleet because the very last, unrevealed cylon might be on the rebel baseship with her. That makes Roslyn, Baltar, and Helo the likeliest candidates (sorry Hotdog). The other possibility, as others have pointed out, is that the last cylon is dead, or presumed dead.

If D'Anna's telling the truth, and let's assume for argument's sake that she is, this means that we can eliminate quite a few characters as potential cylons: both Adamas, Dualla, Gaeta, Cottle, and even Starbuck. That's a revelation in itself, but only if we believe D'Anna. (I certainly hope some are joking about the possibility Starbuck's viper....)

As Mo Ryan points out, though, RDM & Co. love mindfrakking us, so who the heck knows.

As for that last scene as a devastated Manhattan viewed from Brooklyn and/or Ellis Island: maybe. If it's Ellis Island, we'd be able to see the Brooklyn Bridge only quite far away, if at all. If it's Brooklyn looking toward lower Manhattan, then what is that circular, "Temple of Aurora" (the dawn) structure doing in the foreground?

Perhaps the "Earth" of this series isn't our Earth at all. Although last season ended with a very clear image of North America and a familiar Earth, in this episode I couldn't make out any definite forms of continents, islands, or oceans in the scenes of the fleet floating about the planet.

Perhaps RDM could help us by clarifying two things--just as he clarified that the four cylons revealed at the end of last season actually were cylons and not part of a larger Battlestar mindfrak.

One: was D'Anna lying about the final cylon's whereabouts, or not?

Two: is this radioactive planet the same one seen from space at the end of last season?

Or I could just lose my mind as I wait until 2009 for such answers. Mo or Alan, can't you pry any info. out of the Battlestar people? Please?

ProgGrrl said...

*waves at Alan & Mo*

OK Alan, I see this whole Brooklyn Bridge interpretation now. But if anyone is interested, here is where the Ellis Island discussion is happening: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5.

Great review, I agree so much...except I am loving Evil Tory to death this season. So when she jumps ship to hang with Iron Lady D'Anna, it is for me, DOUBLE THE FUN.

...much as I wanted to see Caprica Six finally understanding Tigh's motivation for his special private visits to the brig...

Cap Six knew right away that Tigh was a cylon. All those scenes early in S4 when he was in the brig with her? Six totally knew, as soon as he started acting a bit wonky and seeing Ellen's face on Six's body. She said as much. But she's a she likes secrets.

Mrglass said...

Ron Moore probably wouldn't answer the question about D'Anna, and he doesn't need to tell us that this planet is indeed Earth: he spells it out in the episode, via Gaeta. So yes, this is Earth in our (grim) future.

I don't find all those geographical speculations (whether the city is NYC or SF, or if they landed on Ellis Island or in Broolyn) very interesting. Obviously it doesn't matter to the characters, the point was to show them a (post-)modern city in ruins (and add another reference to 9/11). Besides, NYC is destroyed every season in 'Heroes' already.

What seems more interesting to me is when did the nuclear holocaust take place on Earth? The radiation doesn't seem too bad, but there is very little vegetation. Shouldn't those ruins be covered by plants now, since the planet looks green from space? Or were Earth cities destroyed very recently, perhaps by Kara?

ProgGrrl said...

Yeah, I will also add, for the record, that I agree with mrglass per above: it doesn't matter if this is supposed to be Our Real Earth, or just some planet called Earth. The point is what happened to the 13th colony...did Kara have something to do with it...and of course: WHAT NOW?

ames said...

I'd say you're taking Leoben's statement that parents must die for children to reach their full potential far too literally. Another interpretation is a metaphoric death - we can't become who we are until we shed who others tell us we are. And as long as we turn to our parents, child-like, to solve all of our problems and direct our lives because we believe they are always right, we can never thrive. That idealized vision of what a parent has to die; we have to see our parents as people, complete with flaws and emotions, before we can move on. To take it to the Adamas, I'd say Lee had to see that his father isn't always the strong military voice of right, but that he depended on someone as well, that he needs people, that he needs taking care of just as much as anyone else does. It's the death of Lee's view of his father that was necessary for Lee to fully step up and claim leadership (which I suspect is what will ultimately happen with his character. He's a born leader. I'd follow him).

As for Brooklyn Bridge, etc. - sigh. There *are* other cities in the world, just as recognizable to the viewing audience. I'm so tired of "omg new york has been bombed OUT". But honestly, that is a minor quibble in an overall excellent episode, one of my all-time BSG favorites.

Unknown said...

Leoben is, of course, an ass

Indeed. And was that really the most sensitive thing Kara could have said to Lee as he was wondering if his father was, indeed, dead? That combined with Kara going to talk to Kat's picture when finding Earth (to lift a line from Arrested Development: "Her?") were the only false notes for me tonight.

Aside from that I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis. The Adama men in particular, along with our noble Cylon Tigh, were spectacular.

And I wonder if that was really Caprica Six with him at the end, or a generic Six. If it was Caprica, talk about yet another character moment we've been deprived of: Gaius finding out about that particular relationship! It hurts my heart a little that Caprica was standing with Tigh instead of Gaius.

So it goes said...

Has Starbuck lead them all to the grave, and fulfilled the Hybrid's prophecy?

The Hybrid prophecies from Razor and from earlier this season have been fulfilled.

She was the harbinger of death in that she brought humans and cylons together to destroy the resurrection ship which brought real death to the cylons (there was even a flashback to the prophecy as the hub plan was coming together to drive that point home.)

In Razor the hybrid warned Kendra that Kara will lead humanity to its own destruction and thats exactly what we were left with in the final scene of this episode after Kara found the beacon that led them to post nuclear apocalypse Earth.

Victor said...

Great analysis, but I'm afraid I have to be a voice of whining dissent.

This episode SHOULD have been the greatest of the series. It brought to a head many storylines we've been following since the miniseries. All of the things that happened were varying degrees of excellent.


It was all WAY TOO FAST. As you said, so much stuff got cut out of this episode (or just completely glossed over) that there could be a whole movie showing those scenes. And for me, those scenes needed to be in THIS episode.

We jump from Tigh being taken away to Lee coming in to attempt to console his dad, who's already in full grief mode. It happened so fast, and Will's breakdown was SO pronounced, that the abruptness of it made me uncomfortable in a I'm-trying-not-to-laugh sense.

All the stuff with Athena and Helo should have had more time to breathe. Starbuck's investigation of the viper should have had more time. Where was the Quorum? Why weren't they involved in this momentous decision-making? Baltar was only given short shrift this episode. On and on. Everything should have had more time.

And one thing that really bugged me about this episode was the confusing nature of the 'stand-off'. Maybe repeat viewings will make it more clear, but help me out here: D'Anna was ordering executions of humans every quarter hour until all four of the Final Four Cylons were turned over to her? But since D'Anna knew that she was the only one that knew the identities of the Final Four, how was she expecting the humans to find the Final Four, much less turn them over? Unless her plan all along was to make the Final Four turn themselves in? But that's a big leap, considering that until recently the Final Four didn't even know they were Cylons. It was all just very illogical.

And what made this episode even more frustrating is that we had that stupid filler episode a few weeks ago where Lee and Romo Lampkin and a dead cat spend the whole episode attempting to figure out that Lee should be president. We COULD have had a great two-hour or two-part finale that allowed everything to have the impact it needed.

You know what this felt like? It felt like the whole episode was a "Previously on Battlestar Galactica". Just enough of the info to make sense, not enough to really feel the impact.

Okay... I'm done griping. It was a MOMENTOUS episode, but I can't call it a good episode...

Anonymous said...

This is a great analysis and great discussion....I have been wondering...if (and I say IF) they are on Earth which has suffered some sort of nuke it an earth of our future or an earth of our past?

After seeing that documentary about "life after humans" and how it would not take long after humans left earth for virtually no trace to be left here of us (something like 10,000 years) its all possible. I doubt it but...

Also I seem to remember Athena able to navigate through that radioactive cloud a while back a bit easier than humans. Maybe Hera ("13), Nicky ("14") and Tigh-Six ("15) are the shape of things to come as they'll be some of the few that can live on Earth?

Just sayin....

Alan Sepinwall said...

While I've certainly spent a decent amount of space here arguing for the Brooklyn Bridge and specific locations within the five boroughs, I don't think it matters if it's supposed to literally be the Bridge, or Ellis Island, or whatever. But it's definitely supposed to evoke a ruined New York, and the reason for that is more important than the generic "every apocalyptic movie shows New York destroyed."

It's because, as I said at the end of the original post, this is a show about 9/11, and so the moment when humanity finally finds its way to Earth and discovers that it's destroyed has to resemble the place that was the biggest target on that day.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter if it's the Brooklyn Bridge or the London Bridge or the bridge over the River Kwai or Jeff Bridges. The point is the one Tyrol has obviously learned: The universe is a big, sick joke.

Anonymous said...

Just because the writers say it's a "post-9/11 show" does that mean we have to take the New York reference literally? In the BSG universe, the ruined city is not literally New York, but a metaphor, just as Earth itself is a metaphor. Frakk, who's to say that this "earth" is even OUR Earth? Let it go, already, people...On another note, with the show not returning until 2009, why not stretch out this mid-season finale to two hours? I loved it but everything felt rushed which was out of step with the way the season has developed to this point.

Mo Ryan said...

I got chills reading Bear's account of writing the score for this episode. Seriously.

Just reading what he had to say about how the music came together was ... intense.

To say nothing of the actual music! This show, and this episode, would have been great if the soundtrack had just been Ok. But that episode, that acting, that directing --- put together with THAT score?

Frakking art, man. Amazing, amazing ART.

Anonymous said...

Great episode all around, but someone explain this...Doesn't it seem odd for the writers to not show a scene where Adama, Roslin and Co. even consider WHO are these people on Earth, HOW or IF they'll be received, or what to expect. They don't even bother to pick up the darn phone and say "Hello." I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Head six was conspicuously absent from this episode... as a character that has been deeply involved in getting Baltar to where he is now, shouldn't she have been at his shoulder, telling him what to say to D'anna?

Also I loved the way Tory told the president "I'm done taking orders from you"... the trailer for the episode made it seem like a cliched defiant moment, but in the actual scene it came across as almost remorseful.

K J Gillenwater said...

Kai, after reading all these comments, I am coming to the decision that the viewers assumed getting to earth was the ultimate end and point to this show. That once they humans found earth, it would be one of the final scenes we would ever see.

Clearly, this was never the intention of the BSG people. There is something more we are supposed to find out, something more we are going to be told. And that will be the final point.

It is the only explanation I can grab onto now as to why this episode was so rushed and why some obvious what you mentioned...did not come into play.

The final ending for these people/cylons was not finding earth, but something else. And until we see those last 10 episodes, I guess we won't know what that is.

They fooled me good, if that's what they meant to do!

And, by the way, to me it *is* important what the shot of that ruined city it New York? is it not? Because that can change the whole meaning of their arrival at earth.

I think it would be a little less than stellar if it turned out to be super-future earth. That just seems to simple to me for some reason. I want it to be something more complex...either earth well before 'man' comes into the picture, a parallel earth, or something else entirely.

Something that would end up being just as shocking as the Planet of the Apes ending. But maybe that is not meant to be.

Aaron Overfield said...

great post and subsequent comments.

i think thrace being the harbringer of death meant she brought mortality to the cylons, not and end to humanity.

this was the first episode where lee's voice didn't get on my nerves - and you're right, i think it's because they had him in a role more fitting of a regular man, not a hodgepodge warrior/meathead. lee's voice has always been so high-pitched and whiney for me that it was hard to take him seriously as some kind of hardened, masculine soldier. not saying one can't be a man and have a high-pitched whiney voice, but his voice seemed entirely out of place for his character and i often wondered if they cast the wrong person for the role. i no longer wonder that.

i also thought the last shot was of the golden gate bridge. i think others are right and we're meant to be believe it is new york, if it actually is.

i think the final cylon might be Billy. long shot, but neat idea. he is no longer technically in the fleet and they really played up his humanity and innocence throughout his role.

there is so much to consider in terms of when this is all taking place and what that might mean for the nature of what we consider present day humanity. if we go with the "this has all happpened before" idea and this takes place in our past, that could imply that there was an original exodus from earth following a human/cylon war - which could mean that the fleet is actually comprised of cylons and the skinjob/cylons are really second-generation cylons. taking this to present day, it would imply that we are actually cylons, which i find to be an interesting idea, even if not the plot which unfolds.

also, there might be a difference between their earth and our earth. the earth they found might have been the planet to which original earth inhabitants migrated during some kind of prior exodus.

i was not expecting such an unfolding for this episode, and it was rushed but did not seem overwrought.

i aslo thought tory was just acting out her hurt toward roslin's prior repudiation of her and that this will be resolved in time as tory actually has great affection for roslin.

great episode, one of the best. like yourself, i hope to see more of the backstory to the episode fleshed out...

Chris H. said...

2009...Noooooooooo! :)

I have made it my personal mission to get everyone I know that can appreciate the depth of this series, from the first episode to the last, to watch it.

Victor said...

Yeah, the whole arrival at Earth felt more rushed than anything else in the episode. Starbuck had supposedly been there and "smelled the air". Shouldn't they have had some sort of meeting where they show the preparations for what they might find?

What if it's populated? Do they send a delegation to the government of Earth?

What if they are seen as enemies and attacked?

What if it's a pre-technological society they find?

And once they got there, what about "Mr. Gaeta, are there any signs of civilization?"

What about sending a scouting mission? Wouldn't they have seen signs of destroyed civilization prior to landing? It's like the ruins were invisible to them until they had touched down in a spot that allowed them to see the ruins.

And for that matter, what makes them think this is the case for the entire world? I know if I find ruins, I keep flying around until I find signs of life.

I know these are all nit-picky sorts of things, but after spending ALL THIS TIME (as viewers) making our way to Earth, only to have it so rushed and to abandon logic once we get there, it just seems lazy.

I've listened to enough Ron Moore podcasts to know how often they just say "screw it, let's just move on", rather than attempting to write a logical story. It's the one thing that drops this show down a notch from the pantheon of all-time great shows.

Organizer said...

First, thank you for hosting a BSG blog that isn't dominated by the idiots, haters and egotists who have ruined Ain't It Cool. I only wish I had discovered it earlier. I hope the conversations continue through this way too frakkin' long intermission until 2009.

A few thoughts on where the show goes from here...

I think it's possible that the show might take another time jump when it returns. Another 6 months to a year or even more time may have passed. I say that because if we just move to the next days or weeks, both the humans and cylons would have to return to their ships and the anger, depression and bitterness would likely lead to disintegration and chaos on both sides, including civil wars.

So I think they need to jump ahead to another point in time after the survivors have gotten past that initial psychological crash.

Also, I read a blog some time ago in which Moore said that the real subject of the show is faith. So we now have 2 religious dogmas that have been utterly blown apart. Really, the question is how do you go on when all your beliefs and reasons for living have been destroyed - not to mention your world and civilization?

Which brings me to the Fifth. I think s/he may be one of the human/cylon children (either currently born or still unborn) who may manifest some aspect of salvation, redemption or unexpected leadership when he/she reaches adolescence. Not a messiah so much as a person of wisdom and character who can help both sides understand their failings and move beyond them.

Also, it's hard to imagine that anyone who has experienced the genocide or the continuing war between humans and cylons could be the one who can offer a new path for the survivors. So only someone born after the destruction of the colonies would be able to rise above the inevitable bitterness.

I think except for some flashbacks we may have seen the last of the great Mary McDonnell. If I’m right, Lee would increasingly be the central figure – along with Starbuck. (And by the way, I bet Kara and Lee end up together again; that's something we all want to see, right?)

Keep in mind we've already seen Roslin's death in her vision, and we've seen Bill Adama's reaction to it, so the character arc has already been fulfilled. And the reality of the woman is she is now an incredibly tragic figure - the vision of earth that has sustained her has been revealed as delusion.

To me the question now is how the hell do the writers move from this point of utter desolation to a conclusion that at least allows a new beginning while resolving all the character and plot lines? I just don't see how they can do it without a time jump - unless of course they pull some deus ex machina out of their asses, which I think they are way too creative and responsible to do. (Although I think an explanation of Starbuck’s mystery will go a long way toward the final resolution.)

One last religious/spiritual point. Whatever takes the place of the two religions will have love as as its central tenet.

I look forward to reading every- one's theories and ruminations over the next 6 or 7 months. I love this frakkin' show, and, as I said, it's a joy to find a forum in which a bunch of intelligent and thoughtful people share my BSG obsession!

Anonymous said...

I'm no feminist and of course we're far from the end of the show, but I'm wondering what to make of the fact that the fleet has put all of their faith in the visions, intuitions, and hunches of woman president and a woman pilot who both eventually lead them to...hell...a place worse off than the planets they left. What's going on here?

Anonymous said...

What Kristin said. Finding Earth is kind of like getting off the island on Lost. Be careful what you wish for...

Anonymous said...


I am a feminist (and a guy). But that's irrelevant.

There's been a lot written over the past few years about how Battlestar Galactica alters gender roles. The women are the strong, decisive, ass-kickers and the men are often more into talking things out and understanding their feelings. A good example is how Dee and Apollo reacted during the New Caprica occupation--Dee demanding action and Apollo "eating his feelings," as Mean Girls would say. Similarly, Starbuck assumes the traditionally male role in her relationships with both Apollo and Anders.

I see your point about the hunches and visions of women, but at the same time, Bill Adama kowtowed to them both every step of the way. Further, Earth would still be a postapocalyptic wasteland whether the survivors got there or not, and if they hadn't, the survivors would be in as dire a predicament, assuming the cylon peace accord never took place. I highly doubt RDM and company were tacitly reversing their feminist position.

Mo Ryan said...

No sleep til January. Or until Ron's podcast comes out. At least regarding the bridge question.

At 2 in the morning last night, I had a million questions for the writers of last night's ep, David Weddle and Bradley Thompson. But I only put one question in my email to them -- I asked if the bridge was in fact the Brooklyn Bridge.

Here's Bradley's answer: "You're going to have to continue wondering about the bridge. Check Ron's podcast when it comes out."

More generally, he said, "People seem to be asking the right questions."

By the way, welcome, organizer.

Anonymous said...

Alan, sorry, but Charlton Heston saw the Statue of Liberty, not the Brooklyn Bridge at the end of Planet of the Apes. Also, that's not the Brooklyn Bridge, that's not Manhattan Island, and by the way, it is not at all clear the Fleet is on Earth. The beautiful tracking shot of a blue and white planet was noticeably long on clouds and short on geography. Contrast this to the episode that closed out last "season" where we had a brilliant, kinetic shot that went from Apollo's Viper to what was absolutely, positively, Earth. If anyone out there saw any of our seven continents on the "Revelations" planet, then they are seeing something I did not. Also, the original "BSG" found an earth like planet, but not the real thing. Moore has his own brilliant interpretation of the "BSG" concept, but that does not mean he did not get any inspiration from the old show. I think we have been brilliantly set up for the final episodes of what may be the greatest televison drama of all times. If "BSG" is not given multiple Emmy nominations, it will be a crime against the culture. This show has gotten stronger in its later seasons, which is amazing.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the human-cylon hybrid children are the only ones who will be able to survive on the nuclear-devastated Earth, but will still age and have human frailty. That's why they are "the future" or whatever they've been cryptically referred to in past episodes.

The fifth cylon is probably on Earth or out on the Moon or someplace with some human surviviors from whatever happened there.

By the way Tori, Tigh, Tyrol...all names with "T"...hmmm

Anonymous said...

I'd agree with mrglass that much of the debate about where they have landed on Earth is irrelevant. It was important that it looked enough like one of our cities that we would recognise it as our own, albeit destroyed Earth. The reason NY is a good pick is that it's iconic, rather than. I think the real question beyond where they are, is where are they going to go, and what the frak is going to hold the fleet and the alliance together now all they'd hoped for is gone. Can they prevent it all happening again.
As a native, I want to point out London would be a rubbish post-nuclear city. You might recognise it from the air, but on the ground it has no features, man-made or geographical, that are large enough to remain distinctive after an apocalypse. More importantly, any panorama over a ruined London would inevitably end of focusing on a miraculously unscathed blue Police Box, and then everything would get seriously bizarre.

Steve B said...

I assumed that Earth was destroyed by the final five. We know of six people that have been there, right? the final five and Starbuck. We also know that Starbuck claims to have seen something akin to a vibrant Earth. She mentions nothing of war or destruction so I think we were meant to believe she was at Earth prior to its destruction.

We also know there was something funky in the timeline of her trip, which makes me think she traveled in time. This opens the possibility that the final five destroyed Earth after her visit, had their memories wiped, and then joined the humans.

This opens possibilities for other movies as well, as they might show how and why the final five destroyed Earth.

I'm probably way off, but I thought I'd share my theory.

Anonymous said...

Alan wrote:
"Was the fifth Cylon aready on the baseship (Helo? Laura? Baltar? Hot Dog?) and D'Anna didn't feel like spilling that news at that point?"

Bill was also there on the baseship, so he could be the fifth, but then I don't see why Deanna would take him back to the fleet if she knew he was one of the five.

The problem with any of those characters being cylons is: why weren't they switched on at the same time as Tigh, Tyrol, Tory and Anders? Wouldn't all cylons in the fleet hear "Watchtower" and turn on at the same time?

Maybe the final cylon wasn't in the fleet at that time (Starbuck?), will be a surprise resurrected character (Ellen? Kendra? Callie? Cat?) or someone entirely new that we haven't been introduced to yet (a survivor on the nuked-out Earth?)

Looking forward to next season. Will Galactica find another rag-tag fleet that left Earth just before or after it was destroyed?


xyz said...

I'm one of those people who has had problems with this season due to it's glacial pace and what I consider to be useless filler. But this episode was amazing. There was not a single wasted moment, there was a lot of plot movement, tons of action and it was not sagged by an irrelevant storyline. I was totally satisfied by this finale. If the rest of the season had half as much tension and plot movement as this episode did it would have been a mind blowing season.

My hope for next season is that writers get rid of some of the irrelevant storylines that took so much screentime this year (like Baltar's cult storyline on which they spent a lot of time but in the grand scheme of things it had little to no relevance other then giving the actor who play baltar some screentime). There are only 11 episodes left and they can focus on the mythology, there is so much good stuff that they have yet to explore, there are so many mysteries yet to be answered for ex we don't know what really happened to Kara when she disappeared, the meaning of the opera house visions, the whole Cylon mythology... how the 12 cylons were created... who created them? There is enough good stuff they can explore next season without touching Baltar's cult.

Pandyora said...

I had always assumed that Earth would be some pre-historic paradise. Think Saul Tigh in a loin cloth.

It now appears that Saul and the Final Five fled Earth at or around its destruction. In fact, I think the image of a young Saul Tigh cradling Baby Anders, Tori and Tyrol in his arms as Earth immolates in a nuclear holocaust is a powerful one.

One idea my wife and I came up with is what if the Final Five are not pure blood Cylons but Human-Cylon hybrids. This might explain why they age, lose their hair, are able to inseminate the newer Cylons etc. It might also explain why they would be exiled from paradise by the thirteenth tribe around the time of Earth's destruction.

Good thing SciFi is not making us wait to learn the origin story...oh wait...motherfrakers!

Anonymous said...

After not finding anything useful on Sci-Fi I found your page; happily. The one thing I come away with after reading your wonderful recap is that 2009 is a long way away.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the identity of the final cylon. I agree with whomever said above that since D'Anna saw five humanoid forms in the temple, the fifth must be humanoid.

I also think that based on the preview that of next season that was shown right after the show (do not read further if you chose not to watch the preview because of spoilers) the fifth must be someone who is still alive (we heard Tigh speaking to someone and saying "You're the fifth") and therefore cannot be Starbuck's mother or Apollo's mother.

This is also substantiated by the note Adama got during the mini-series which said there are twelve new models of cylons. IMO a reference to the humanoid cylons and an idication that all twelve were alive at that time.

I would love for the fifth cylon to be someone who will come back from the dead -- especially if it's Billy, since he was one of my favorite characters and I was very saddened when his character was killed off. But I don't think that will be the case.

I lean toward the theory that the fifth cylon was on board the base ship when D'Anna said that only four were in the fleet.

And now a question: Had Adama left yet when D'Annna made that statement, or was he still on board the base ship at that time?

If he was still on the base ship, then the fifth cylon could be Adama, as well as Roslin, Baltar or Helo.

At the link to posted above, Moore is quoted avoiding the question of whether or not Hera is the first half-human half-cylon child. That makes me wonder if Adama is the fifth cylon, and Apollo the first of the half-human, half-cylon children.

Anonymous said...

So, what, now everybody begins the long trip back to New Caprica in search of Saul's missing eye?

I think they'd be better off to go back to Kobol. It was lush and green.

Anonymous said...

And of course, Kobol was the original home of humanity. Could it be the first home of hybrid cylon/humanity? And didn't the original inhabitants leave after an environmental catastrophe (which looked like it had healed up quite nicely).
What's that phrase about everything happening before on this show?

Anonymous said...

This is fraked up.. waiting till 09????? scifi should be ashamed of themselves for breaking up the finale with 7 or 8 months in between. I feel violated and have lost all appreciation for the network.

seamusberen said...

Thought this was one of the best hours on TV in a long time. Excellent ep! Despite the cliffhanger there was some closure here and enough questions were answered to keep me sane till the next episodes air. Kudos to the actors for rising to the occasion and thanks to Bear for the great music--I especially liked the haunting melody of "Wander my Friends" that played in the background of Father and Son Adama's interaction. And of course, the Roslin/Adama relationship makes this whole sci-fi universe human, not cylon. Thanks too for all the comments above--great discussion.

R.A. Porter said...

@xyz, I disagree whole-heartedly. This is a show about faith in its many forms. Skipping "filler" like Baltar and his burgeoning religion would make this a show about what?

Anonymous said...

Great recap, great ep...

Anonymous said...

"I had always assumed that Earth would be some pre-historic paradise. Think Saul Tigh in a loin cloth."

Please, no, I don't want to think about that and no, that is certainly not paradise.

Kara Thrace in a loin cloth, in a place that included running water and perhaps a nice pool and a spa and four or five good restaurants and absolutely no cell phone reception - that's paradise.

So the Earth suffered a nuclear war. The Cylons dropped nukes on Caprica, but there were still survivors in outlying areas (Anders and his merry band of insurgents). Couldn't the same thing be true on Earth?

That number of survivors could take a jump up. Instead of the fleet finding a home, they'd become home to the lost branch of humanity.

The idea that only the human cylon hybrids can survive the radiation is highly amusing, since the logical end point of that logic would have the government ordering all humans to start having children with as many Cylons as possible. I can imagine the stampede to fill Tori's dance card.

Anonymous said...

With the way that Cylons and humans are seemingly planning on living together either by cleaning up Earth or joining the fleet, why do we even give a frak who the fifth is?

It doesn't matter at all.

Adam Whitehead said...

I've seen a lot of people asking why they landed in NYC? I assumed they were homing in on the precise origin point of the Colonial signal in Starbuck's Viper. I assumed it was coming from the Temple of Aurora, which appears to be what the domed building is.

Of course, how a temple dedicated to a Colonial god ended up in near-future NYC is a good question. And if this is near-future (say in the next 200-300 years) does that mean the 13th Tribe arrived on Earth in 2000 BC? When there were already people here. Well done, Team RDM, you actually have managed to out-mindfrak the S3 finale!

Mo Ryan said...

I feel like the Final Five were involved in Earth's destruction. And that Starbuck was too.

Don't know how those things fit together, but ... dunno, I hear this weird music and I am drawn to that idea.

What if Starbuck programmed her own Viper to bring the fleet to Earth, in some sort of effort at reconciliation?

I also like the theory above that the Final Five are the first hybrids.... interesting.

Rewatching the ep, I also think the collapsed dome structure is the temple of Aurora. That was in the very first scene of the ep -- an image of that was in the book Lee was looking at. Last image -- that same place, blown to smithereens.

as for the show's grand themes, well said, doctor zee.

That's always what I've gotten from the show -- that there is no "Other." There are only base impulses and noble impulses. As for the latter, they crop up in the oddest places. As for the former, we fight em til we can't.

Anonymous said...

I think the fifth cylon is the "person/thing/being" that as Kara put it is orchestrating all of this. It would make sense that a cylon who has already been to earth is responsible for sending the signals that set into motion the chain of events since the end of season three. Considering that D'Anna rounded up all the humans to airlock out (except for Roslin and Baltar), it stands to reason that she did not mean that the fifth cylon is on the baseship. On the other hand, (and to contradict my own self), if the fifth cylon is absent altogether, setting things in motion, how would D'Anna know all of this since presumably all she realized was the identity of the final five.

Anonymous said...

I've no detailed records of past dialogues, so perhaps I'm wrong in various speculations, or maybe I'm old news, too, but Starbuck being the harbinger of death never said whose death, did it? We might have been led to erroneously assume it's humanity's, but could they have meant the cylons' demise? They followed her to earth, too.

The way things have set up in this series, of course, I'd find it hard to accept anything other than some temporal loop or time travel explanation, so they may end up going back in time and saving earth from its apparent fate. The cylons may die in the process, or they may head back to Kobol in the past, too, or since we're so close to one another, we may essentially have become one species now, or finally, in the past. Human/Cylon are we.

Of course, then Sharon (Athena) may be Athena herself (the legendary goddess and one of the lords of Kobol) who, in a moment of despair (maybe she loses Hera) throws herself off the cliff (and is the actual person in Athena's tomb - that she found so easily - her own tomb). Does anybody else wonder why there are 12 cylon models and 12 zodiac signs? It's things like this which can explain how information from earth, constellations, information on the 13th tribe, the exact moment of a nova, etc. can have found its way back to Kobol or the 12 colonies through legend and "prophecy" in the first place. It will explain the line, "it's all happened before and will happen again," mantra, since going back to the past gives one terrific insight into what will happen again - foresight is 20/20 too, in cases of time travel.

Many possibilities remain, so I'm keen to watch it unfold in the end, even if I must wait for it.

Anonymous said...

An awesome episode leaving me wanting more! There are so many things going, the final half will fly by! The fifth cyclon could be deceased and is doing the orchestrating. Someone killed or already deceased prior to the the attack? Someone said Starbuck's mom...any ideas? Maybe Billy is the final cyclon! We only have seven months to discuss :

Mrglass said...

What's with all the incredibly far-fetched theories? Starships from/to Earth 5000 years ago? Time travel? God showing up at the last minute?

This kind of things could easily belong to another show, but not to BSG. Given the realistic nature of the series, we know for sure that 'Humans' (whatever they really are) of the Colonies come from Earth first in our far future, then Kobol.

Then, and given the "All happened before" mantra, it was easy to predict that Earth itself was ravaged a long time ago. What was so amazing in this episode isn't the post-apocalyptic city, but how fast it all happened, and how quickly the fleet went from pure happiness to despair.

When Ron Moore says that faith is at the center of BSG, I don't take it as a sign that all the final explanations will be super-natural with some Beings of Light or other deus ex machina; but that the show is about what you can cling to and keep your sanity when you have lost everything.

Mo Ryan said...

I think the fifth cylon is the "person/thing/being" that as Kara put it is orchestrating all of this.

I am leaning toward this too. She's always had a special fate.

The time travel thing makes sense too, not sure how it fits in, since time travel plots generally give me a migraine, but it might go some way toward explaining her shiny new Viper, at least.

At the risk of repeating myself, that Oratorio during the celebration scene is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for one of the most rational and articulate discussions I've seen online in many a moon.

Just watched it on the DVR; it was powerful, brilliant and maddening as always. I agree with the posters who say we're not meant to know for sure that that was the Brooklyn Bridge/Manhattan, or even if they're on the 'real' Earth. To wit: Clouds obscruring continents from orbit, lack of POV from the landing craft, lack of any definitive geography or landmarks. (Though why didn't Starbuck speak up if something didn't look/feel right?) The acceptance that the coordinates in the viper "had" to be right seemed like rushed rationalization to me. I need to watch it again.

I also agree there are too many coincidences to ignore: 12 cylon models, 12 colonies and so forth. 'This has all happened before, and will happen again.' I even had the crazy thought (feel free to laugh me out of here) that Caprica City in the opening montage has skyscapers & is on the edge of a body of water. Argh. Let me not think on that--for that way madness lies.

Please, gods, just don't let the final scene be Adama waking up & saying to Roslin: "Oh, what a terrible dream." Or anything remotely close. Somehow, I don't think we have much reason to fear.

R.A. Porter said...

Please, gods, just don't let the final scene be Adama waking up & saying to Roslin: "Oh, what a terrible dream." Or anything remotely close. Somehow, I don't think we have much reason to fear.

But what if Adama wakes up, hears someone in the shower, and then Don Johnson comes out?

Wait, wut? said...

I'm man enough to say that I sobbed like a little girl after the last 10 minutes of the episode.

Finally, FINALLY we have a truly happy moment in this series when they reach Earth, and then a minute later, it's pulled away. Great bait and switch by the writers.

This is up there with 33 and Exodus II as the best episode of this series.

And Olmos. Damn.

Anonymous said...

I know how much many of you loved THE SOPRANOS finale, so I'm gonna throw out that the "viewer" is the final cylon.


Anonymous said...

the only way for children to reach their full potential is for their parents to die

That was obviously a metaphor. (Not surprising coming from the character who describes spiritual clarity as "standing in the stream.") It's very Freudian in this regard.

Lee finding his father on the bathroom floor, weak, destroyed and completely unlike the man as he knows him was actually the metaphor in action. Bill as Lee knows him ceased to exist.

Pandyora said...

@ La G: I think the implication was that the tribes dispersed from Kobol not because of environmental collapse, but because of some act of political violence - remember the piles of skulls, the dark words of Chip Six, etc.

@ Mrglass: This goes to the chronology you indicate. My understanding was that humanity first developed on Kobol and then scattered following that traumatic event. The twelve tribes went to the twelve colonies, the missing thirteenth tribe went to Earth. So Earth was actually settled more recently than Kobol.

My best guess is that there have been cycles of Human on Cylon genocides throughout the histories of these two peoples - first on Kobol, then perhaps on Earth, now most recently on Caprica and the other colonies. All those genocides that happened before will happen again.

This is also why I think the human-cylon children are so important. They could either represent a way out of the constant cycles of violence. Or more darkly, perhaps they are a cause of the violence. Think of Baltar's hallucination of Admiral Adama drowning the hybrid baby on Cobol. The competition over who has custody of Hera.

Mrglass said...

My understanding was that humanity first developed on Kobol and then scattered following that traumatic event.

But those people talk about "Earth", know about our Zodiac constellations and worship Greek gods. Unless BSG takes place in some kind of alternate universe, which would be a rather unimpressive and disappointing twist, we know those Colonial myths are wrong and it happened the other way around.

Mrglass said...

They could either represent a way out of the constant cycles of violence. Or more darkly, perhaps they are a cause of the violence.

More likely the latter. After all, "it will all happen again", and I expect the seeds of violence for the next generation to be planted before the end of the show.

Anonymous said...

OK, something that is stuck in my mind: When D'Anna sees five humanoid forms in the temple, doesn't she speak to one, and say something about how if she had "known it was you"? How does that play into the identity of the 5th?

Anna said...

I agree with Mrglass (though I do believe that God-in-whatever-form-it-takes is, will be, and always has been a part of the show). It's always been my belief that the show takes place so many thousands of years into our own future that our entire human history has become mythologized.

Anonymous said...

The year:
5,000 to 6,000 years in the future (remember the probe and the age of all of the breadcrumbs)

All of this has happened before:
We invent cylons; cylons evolve; conflict ensues; bad things happen; we destroy Earth in the process; most survivors flee; human/cylon bloodlines merge.

The final five:
Descendants of cylons that were developed on Earth before the last exodus with required genetic coding.

Role of Kara:
Had enough hybrid code to tune into automated signal from Earth/moon and resurrect; given new Viper built from her memory; comes to as Viper is taking her back.

The fifth:
Refereeing events; was on the fleet; now on rebel base star.

How it ends:
They learn that they are all cylons; the chase ends as they settle together on a nearby planet.

Craig Ranapia said...

I wasn't as impressed. It really seemed like they were rushing to get all that in, so we got the perfunctory "Let's forget about that whole genocide deal and be friends" scene and then the melty bridge.

Jim Treacher: Call me naive, but I don't think D'Anna and President Leland are going to end up as Bill and Laura: The Next Generation. AFAIK, nobody's forgotten or forgiven a damn thing. But as Kara said, something has manipulated them all to this point -- and they're meant to go to Earth together or not at all.

For me, one of the great moments of this episode was when D'Anna says "All this has happened before..." and Lee just fires back, "...but it doesn't have to happen again, unless we want it to." I enjoy geeking out on the visions, prophecies etc. but, for me, the heart of the show has always been the idea that we're not all just puppets on a cosmic string. We are flawed being, but our great power is CHOICE, and that the coices we make have lasting CONSEQUENCES whether we intend them to or not.

Speaking of Caprica Six and Tigh, does anyone else find it weird that she's (we're told) pregnant with his child... even though they're both Cylons, and as far as we know, Cylons can't interbreed?

Ellen: At this point, I'm putting away the assumptions about the natures of both the Penultimate Four and the Significant Seven. RDM has said repeatedly that we're going to see ways in which the Final Five are fundamentally different from the Seven. And here's a real mind frak -- what if the Cylon were right from the start. The barrier to their procreation isn't biological but metaphysical -- without 'love' it just isn't possible. And it seems to me that Caprica-Six's journey through the whole series really is about her grappling with the notion that God really is love -- and love really does hurt all the fraking time. She really loved Gaius Baltar, so much that in 'Downloaded' it brought her to the realisation that the genocide of the human race was not only wrong but a SIN. (And I don't think Cap-Six is someone who throws around the S-word casually.) She turned away from her own people, handed herself over to the humans, to save Hera and Athena. Again, I don't think Caprica-Six is bs-ing when she says she'd die to protect Hera, that she believes the future of both races depend on that child.
And Saul Tigh? I really believe she's not playing out some S&M mind-frak sex game on him. Even though she was unaware he's a Cylon, every one of those visits to her in the brig the stench of shame, guilt (for killing Ellen) and confusion has rolled off his like stale booze.

If LOVE -- true, unselfish love -- is the pre-condition for Cylon reproduction, Caprica-Six has too much for any one man. Damn, she could light up the whole universe if she tried.

Anonymous said...

Think of Baltar's hallucination of Admiral Adama drowning the hybrid baby on Cobol.

I feel that prophecy is bourne out already and Baltar stepped up to the plate and resolved it. By offering the presidents miracle cure.

What I really want is to get back to basics in the last ten episodes:

a) Who or what is responsible for Baltars visions and his ridiculous luck in so many matters. Starting from the miniseries onwards As baltar states recently its his cylon god as his personal 6 alluded to all along.
b) What is the secret of the opera house?
c) 'They have a plan' banner in series 1. What is that all about? 'They' is this the collective cylon? Because I have no idea what cylons want collectively or planned for collectively. Prior to the confused group of seperated cylons that exist throughout the series. 'We are not supposed to know the final 5' business its like the the seven have never been in control of their destiny from the beginning.

There is a some sort of control behind everything possibly 2 since the final five transmissions don't appear to affect the original 7 or the Baltars internal 6 or any of the Roslin chamala projections.

We see all the puppets running around the stage but the puppeteers are yet to be exposed.

Perhaps final cylon is the puppeteer?

The best episode of season 4 so far I have watched it 7 times (4 of which where sequential) acting and soundtrack was just unbelievable this episode will win awards.

R.A. Porter said...

The best episode of season 4 so far I have watched it 7 times (4 of which where sequential) acting and soundtrack was just unbelievable this episode will win awards.

I agree with the first part. Sadly disagree with the latter. BSG isn't winning any of the awards it deserves (never has) because the academy is blind, deaf, and stupid. Maybe if they called it "magic realism" they'd have a shot; otherwise, it's just "silly sci-fi for kids."

And that's going to make my blood boil for a few hours. If Katherine Heigl hadn't insulted her writers by requesting she not be in the Emmy running, she'd get a nom. But MM won't, despite giving an acting masters class every week with some of the best writing on TV.

Not to mention *every* other actor on this show. And EFX, and Bear's remarkable scores, and set design, and costume design, doesn't end.

BSG's yearly exclusion from the major awards is all he evidence one needs to know the academy is worthless.

Antid Oto said...

I must have been one of the few who didn't love the episode. I loved the first half, but thought everything after Starbuck stopped Lee from airlocking Tigh was not only rushed, but clunky. I couldn't stand a single line of dialogue from that point on; it was all, as has been a persistent complaint about BSG, too "on the nose." The actors did what they could with it, but.

The ending, however, was great.

Craig Ranapia said...

And actually, I found it funny and fitting that Tory immediately migrated to the mean girl posse. So like her. She'd obviously been waiting for months to tell Roslin to get frakked. In fact that might have been her whole motivation in going over to the dark side. Ever since Laura called her out as being part of Baltar's Nymph Squad (a term I just endlessly love), she's been itching to get her revenge on her old boss. And if humanity had to die in the process, oh well!

Well, I find this comment rather interesting -- you know, it's funny that when Tory is a stone cold bitch she's loathed. When Laura Roslin is a stone cold bitch -- hearts melt. :) Serious question: Is that because of the writing, the performances or do fans still feel that Cylons are ultimately unforgivably evil?

And with all due respect to Mo, I don't exactly blame Tory for no taking kindly to (in effect) being called a traitorous whore, but any intel she cares to bring back to Colonial One would be thankfully received.

Anna said...


I believe it's because Roslin has an altruistic intent behind her stone cold bitchiness. As misguided as it may be, she does everything she does out of a desire to protect the human race. Tory is just a bitch because she's self-absorbed, period. And any opinion about Tory should not reflect on the whole of the cylon race.

Anonymous said...

AFAIK, nobody's forgotten or forgiven a damn thing. But as Kara said, something has manipulated them all to this point -- and they're meant to go to Earth together or not at all.

I can buy that in theory, but throwing it at us in the last 10 minutes just seemed too rushed. As Vic pointed out, a few weeks ago they did a whole episode with Romo Lampkin being useless, and now they try to pack all this stuff into the last episode before a long break. Ron Moore must not have been a Boy Scout.

Mo Ryan said...

Craig, I don't hate Tory. I enjoy the character, though I must say she's pretty flawed (as are all BSG's characters). I find her opportunism and calculation kind of interesting to watch, and they've done a good job of making her a real person, not just some stereotypical soapy villainess. Watching her embrace the powers she thinks she has as a Cylon has been interesting. Tigh's response was "I deserve to die for being a frakkin' Cylon," Tory's response was, "Hmmm, I seem to have a lot more going for me! Yay for me." She had every right to have issues with Laura, and when she said, "I'm done taking orders from you," well, that was just a fun "Oh snap!" moment.

I don't hate anyone in the BSG universe, except Romo's desiccated cat.

Love being the secret ingredient to the procreation of the Cylon race -- very interesting stuff.

Anonymous said...

i think that the final cylon is the Galactica itself. and that all the events that have seemingly been orchestrated by someone, as starbuck put it, have been orchestrated by the Galactica. Which may perhaps be some sort of 'imperious leader' although we'v never heard talk of that. somewhere in the guts of Galactica is a cylon based living ship apparatus.

extension on this theory, somehow they can use the Galactica to rejuvenate earth by destroying it.

or also I think Adama may be the final cylon.

bjswift said...

I read the "harbinger of death" thing as Starbuck brought "death" to the Cylons through blowing up the Resurrection Ship.

Anonymous said...

Dear Alan and Maureen:

When, in your capacities as interviewers, get the opportunity to talk to Bear McCreary, would you please ask him to set aside his lucrative TV and film career for a few years, to write operas?

I know he can't be everywhere, but dammit wouldn't be loverly to get his polyglot stylee into a big-ass opera house, and have him save a couple of opera company seasons by getting the youth of all ages into to hear him do that voodoo that he do so well?

I am too practical to ask for a BG opera (even though it would be organic and timely and ROCK harder than any proposed Trek opera (which was, yes, proposed for the NYCO a decade back)), but it is nice to dream.... a bunch of actors with transparent Cylon masks, singing in swirling harmonies... telling the tale of what happened just before the pilot, then jump to just before the civil war.

it could happen....

Anonymous said...

Excellent episode.

My theory for the final cylon is that it is the newly conceived child of Six and Saul--the first offspring of two cylons. One cylon from the "old" bunch and one cylon from the "new." Why was it so important that these two groups be either kept apart or that they find each other?

The final cylon will be the first complete cylon produced via sexual reproduction. Remember the words of the hybrid: "And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering."

Anonymous said...

I just realized this, after seeing it again tonight: STARBUCK HAS FRAKKED UP *AGAIN*.

Either something happened after she left Earth, or something she did made Earth go BOOM. Either way, that window of slack she earned by first trusting the rebel Cylons, then finding the signal? Gone, baby, gone.

Po' Starbuck.

Can she go back to risky bidness, dirty sex and drinking now? Cause she glows when she's bad....

Anonymous said...

Too many theories to wrap my frakkin' mind around.

All I know is that they'll have to re-write the copy in the open now.

At least the series finale won't seem rushed. Didn't Mo report it was going to be THREE HOURS long?

Mo Ryan said...

The final cylon will be the first complete cylon produced via sexual reproduction. Remember the words of the hybrid: "And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering."

Anonymous 12:59, FTW.

I think that's it. Got to be, right? Very interesting theory.

Is it 2009 yet? arrrrrgh...

A Bear McCreary opera! Now that's something I'd break out my tiara for.

Yep, the series finale is 3 hours long.

Jeudy Blanco said...

Great episode! Just loved it!

I was afraid that they were going to find Earth at the very end of the series! but now that they found it at the mid of the season I'm very excited!

When they arrived and the dradis didn't show any contacts, I knew something was wrong. Also, when I did not see any lights on Earth's dark side.

Now, there are some things here to be considered. Remember when they found a probe that was some kind of beacon left by the 13th tribe? It was a clue to find Earth, but it was infected with some kind of virus that affected only the Cylons. That must mean that whoever left the probe, didn't want the Cylons to arrive to Earth ... right?

So what is the migratory pattern? Earth (boom!)-> Kobol (death!)-> 12 Colonies (big boom!) -> Earth?

I have a crazy theory about that ... maybe the "gods" of Kobol are some kind of alien race that rescued the survivors from Earth's nuclear holocaust, brought them to Kobol to live with them ... and the rest is history ... (although it seems unlikely that the writers are going to introduce aliens at this point). I just wish they explain everything about the gods of Kobol, the "jealous" god and how all went wrong there.

The time travel theories make sense to me too.

The waiting will be HARD :-( I would put myself on hybernation for the next months if I could :S

Mo Ryan said...

OK, well, I had to do this now, thanks to anonymous' interesting take on the Hybrid's prophecy. According to the Battlestar Wiki, here's his entire speech (the one just before his "Kara-harbinger of death" line):

"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 the many, and then they will join the promised land, gathered on the wings of an angel.

"Not an end, but a beginning."

A pretty clear description, all things considered, of the final four discovering what they are.

"He will find her" = Adama and Roslin? Lee finding Starbuck?

Enemies joined as one = human-Cylon truce.

The fifth cylon -- bringing forth suffering as its mother dies giving birth to it/him/her (speculation on my part, building on what anon 12:59 theorized). Or is the fifth Cylon Starbuck?

He also describes the civil war between the unboxed, original flava Cylons.

Then them in the promised land, on the wings of an Angel (on Earth, something to do with No. 6?)

Food for thought, no doubt.

Boy it's going to be a long month til Mad Men begins.

Mrglass said...

@Mo Ryan:
Interesting, but the Hybrid seems to talk only about Cylons. So

"Enemies brought together by impossible longing, enemies now joined as one. The way forward at once unthinkable, yet inevitable."

probably refers to Tigh and Caprica6, and their baby. Or, if Starbuck is a Cylon, Starbuck/Leoben and the way to Earth.

In any case the "wings of an angel" may be Starbuck and her Viper.

Michael said...

"And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering.

Howling and clawing... the fifth Cylon is Muffit the daggit?

Anonymous said...

Simply A-mazing

Unknown said...

Hey, it was a great episode; love it, love it, love it ... but somebody has to be the naysayer ...

Is NOBODY else going to bring up the utterly contrived nature of the ending on Earth??

1. Wouldn't the military crew of BSG, from Adama on down, plus every Gods-worshipping "religious" colony member, be expecting to find a vital thirteenth colony - the sort of thing that Galactica could easily detect from a great distance beyond orbit (man-made electromagnetic radiation, and air and space traffic for starters ...)

2. LACKING the aforementioned, the only question is how far away they could detect planet-wide higher-than-ambient levels of radiation?? Ought to be pretty far!

(Even during Adama's little victory speech, I'm imagining cynical colonists wondering to themselves ... "Hey, Adama, before you strike up the band, did you have a chat with Earth Central yet ???")

It just doesn't ring true for things to happen they way they were presented - apparently they just HAD to find a way to rd-do the dramatic "POTA" scene...

Wouldn't it have been just as effective, and MORE believeable, if they had shown the Galactica discovering a devastated Earth and complete lack of air traffic or ground communications ... then followed up with a small landing party (Adama, Roslin, Lee, crew) to hear the Geiger counter and view the destruction...


On a totally separate note, for me the "thirteenth colony of Earth" has always been a kind of abstraction, meaning, a place similar to the home of the BSG viewers' humanity. However, if the destruction DOES represent lower Manhattan (IF - I certainly don't know), then I think RDM and company have taken the BSG symbolism to a new, shockingly concrete level - he is talking about OUR planet - and an irrevocable TERRACIDE that COULD happen in our time if we don't reverse course on some of our worst behaviors. Ultimate relevant political commentary.

Anonymous said...

RE: I've always admired Jamie Bamber's work on this show but never felt the writers quite knew what to do with Apollo, which is one of the reasons his rank and role has changed so often.

I used to think that. Then I realised during the lead-up to Baltar's trial that the writers knew exactly what they were doing - writing a character who didn't know what to do with himself. He joined the military because that's what his father did and from then on he just reacted to what life threw at him; all the while unhappy with what he was doing, yearning for a purpose in the very limited world of the fleet, falling back to flying vipers and being a CAG whenever a crisis appeared.

He has a purpose now, whether he likes it or not. Now we get to see what Bamber and the writers can really do with Apollo.

It also seems likely, following the pattern of previous seasons, that the DVD might well contain an extended cut of the episode which might cure the rushed feeling of the last act.

Craig Ranapia said...


Thanks for the reply @ 11.28pm, and we're pretty much on the same page. There are point where you can hate everyone, for the very good reason that everyone -- even Laura Roslin -- can be pretty hateful. (And just to screw with your head, one of my favourite scenes in the whole series is in Pegasus where Cain is tearing Adama a new a-hole. Part of me wanted the Old Man to pop up and smack her in the mouth; while the rest was saying '...but she's absolutely right." :) )

My point (and one I didn't make very well, admittedly) is that it's rather interesting to see how the reactions out there in fandom differ to one character or another who've behaved in similar ways (both Tory and Laura have use asphyxiation as a conflict resolution tool, for example). I'm sure part of it is in the performance (and no dis on Rehka Sharma intended), and a lot has to do with the writing and the time we get to spend with some characters other others. But I just wonder if there's something else going on -- because the visceral (and at worse fairly creepy) hostility characters like Cally and Dee attract seems to be coming from somewhere else to me.

Part of me loved that 'Nymph Squad" line, but precisely because it was downright bitchy. And I love the utter lack of physical and emotional ego in Mary that she's willing to embrace the ugly side of Laura. Not every actress would. Easy to forget that last week, she almost committed cold blooded murder until Head Elosha came along to give her a metaphysical slap in the head.

Howling and clawing... the fifth Cylon is Muffit the daggit?

Hey, am I the only person who's fearful for Jake The Dog. Don't know if I'd let Romo Lampkin feed my fish, let alone give him what may be the last dog in the universe.

Anonymous said...

And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering.

Baltar perhaps? His confessing( redemption) to Laura whilst in serious injured state. His transformation from darkness ( self-serving ) to light ( self- sacrifice).

Anonymous said...

I want to weigh in on love being the secret ingredient to cylon reproduction. I don't think that's it — I think it's mortality. They made a point tonight of talking about children replacing their parents. As long as one of the parents is mortal, conception can take place. If not — no deal. So I think the big difference between the final five and the others is that the final five embraced their mortality. Which is also why I think the final final is either dead ... or dying.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it have been just as effective, and MORE believeable, if they had shown the Galactica discovering a devastated Earth and complete lack of air traffic or ground communications ... then followed up with a small landing party (Adama, Roslin, Lee, crew) to hear the Geiger counter and view the destruction...

I'm guessing that's what actually happened - we were just shown the last part to have that killer tracking shot at the end.

Anonymous said...

Producers and writers often fail to give their audiences credit for being able to create 2 from 1+1. But we, the audience, tend to overlook most of those failings if the outcome is suitably entertaining or engaging.

Taken individually, I think each episode this season has been good. Some have been absolutely genius… I would have paid to see them on the big screen. Other eps have been sugar water. Taken together, this season – though it has gotten us to the place we need to be and it has answered questions -- amounts to a vast patchwork of uneven storytelling that has needlessly created more questions and holes.

This season, the producers and writers have shown the audience surprising disrespect in how they have delivered both dropped storyline after dropped storyline and how they have used characterization for expediency’s sake rather than as a method for allowing us to consistently know and understand the nuances and motivations of the individual.

The arrogance of George Lucas is not far off I think (in terms of his implying that Star Wars belongs to him exclusively and that the thoughts of the fans who made the franchise the juggernaut that it is today… are meaningless to him). Or even to the W. Brothers for making a near SciFi masterpiece of storytelling driven by a balance of thought, science, social commentary and philosophy in The Matrix… and then following it up with the FX driven schlock of its two sequels.

The producers and writers have counted on our intelligence in giving us a very good re-imagining of BSG. And in so many ways, they have delivered on the goal. They have given us thoughtful, relevant, current, even painful morality plays to remind us of what it means:
- to be human…
- to have and make responsible choices…
- to live in worlds where the issues of life and death are experienced in shades of grey and brown rather then black or white…
- to rise above our genetics or programming…
- to truly love…
- to apply justice and law and mercy with and without malice in the face of extreme external AND internal forces….
- to be different or the same and to live in harmony with that understanding.

Really great stuff they have done from pilot through Season three.

However, this season they have willfully sacrificed absolutely critical plot points and exposition simply to get to an altogether arbitrary deadline to conclude the story at a quicker pace.

This episode, while somewhat entertaining, left so much to be desired because so much was callously breezed through. To do it justice, it should have been a two hour episode. These are just a few thoughts...

- What writer who is serious about his or her craft would not add some heft to the issue of Tigh being welcomed into the Cylon community that he actively sought to terminate on by any means on New Cap?

-Where is the shock and awe and debate from the cylons about actually proving the Cylon-ness of the new brethren (and Sisteren)?

-Where is the debate within the cylon community about whether they can really trust the new kin?

-Tyrol… Are you kidding me?!?! My heart goes out to the actor. Tyrol, who has gone round the bend and come back unlobotomized psychologically, has been given maybe three words of dialogue since Athena asked him in the hall if he had seen Hera. In this episode, he (the actor) clearly looks like “Why did I show up for work? I could have phoned this in.” Sure he gave some good reaction shots when the camera was on him, but all he does is stand there in each scene. He has been poorly used, and basically dropped for an unacceptable number of episodes.

-Because D’Anna knows who the four are, she is able to wake up from unboxing and immediately take over Cylon rebel operations without so much as vote or argument from at least one 6?

-The arguments that the assassinated 6 had for finally not attempting a doublecross are now overthrown without debate just because D’anna is back on the scene? I recognize that it was done so that Lee and D’anna could get the handshake / “let’s be friends” / Kumbaya moment, but expediency at the expense of logical story telling and character is not storytelling.

-Since the couple of scenes some weeks algo that showed the “cylon civil war”, where are the rest of the cylon base stars and why has there been no recon detail assigned to keep an eye out for them? The rest of the Base stars should have been far more of a “below radar” shadow and a threat than has been portrayed.

There are so many other large holes. The producers are counting on our intelligence to either fill in the gaps, or just accept that the gaps/gaffes have not been sacrificed in vain and to trust that the denouement will provide a sufficient level of satisfaction

Had the producers given the show at least another season to expound and play with these issues, the fans would have been so much better served. And so would Season 4.

Anonymous said...

You asked what Kara was the harbinger of in your post, she already was the harbinger of death to the cylons. It was her finding the rebel cylons and leading them all in the attack on the Hub which made cylons all mortal. Therefore, she brought death to all the cylons (i.e. the harbinger of death).

R.A. Porter said...

@anon-11:44am: Yeah, I'm not with you at all. And you completely lost me when you said about Aaron Douglas's amazing performance:
he (the actor) clearly looks like "Why did I show up for work? I could have phoned this in."

I find the holes the writers have left have been of both appropriate size, and frequency. Neither do I think that four seasons is an "arbitrary deadline". It was a deadline chosen by RDM because he believed it would provide the best emotional impact for the story without unnecessary filler.

I'm content to go along for the final 11 hours and let him tell the story he wants to tell.

Katie Fiorino said...

"And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering."

It can't be a baby. Unless the Cylons believe in Original Sin, which I doubt (though their fun act of genocide might warrant it). The fifth cylon, whoever he or she is, must be a sinner if they need to be redeemed.

I like the idea of Starbuck's mom as the last cylon - but then Starbuck is a half-cylon, and that kind of takes away the specialness of Hera. Yes, I know, the final five are fundamentally different blah, blah, blah... still, some of the specialness of Hera would be diminished.

I'm much more curious about the Opera house at this point. And the Head-Gaius/Six's of the universe. Which, by the way, where have they been? I miss them.

R.A. Porter said...

@greyfable, maybe the Head/Chip characters really are angels, guiding the survivors on their journey. In that case, on this leg of the trip, they had little to do. I suspect we'll see them all in the days (months from now) ahead when the survivors are dealing with the fallout of their discoveries.

For those who haven't seen it yet, Jane Espenson sent a letter in response to a TV Squad interview in which she says,
I wish we could bring you the next episode right away. In my mind the two fit together so closely so as to almost be a two-parter, and I have that awful sense of having had a phone call cut off mid-sentence with so much left unsaid.

Anonymous said...

Mr. or Ms. Porter,

You are free to disagree with me. And I thank you for your reply.

I am of the Tolkien school... no critical hole is left unfilled with sufficient detail. The readers are always better off for it, though a bit tired after the lengthy discourse and discovery.

We have 10 more eps to learn quite a lot. So I look forward to more answers and fewer consistently large sized holes. All will be revealed soon enough as to whether the term short shrift applies.

Different issue.... Little attention has been given to little Nikky: the Rag Tag Fleet's second child born to a cylon and human. I can't help but wonder about the reason for this. The attention and wonder has been given to Hera, and now Tigh/6's child. But I am guessing that - because of the warm embrace scene with Tyrol and Nikky - there will be an appropriate return to focus on those two, and perhaps Cally as well (I still think she is #5 for some reason).

Beyond that, D'Anna said that the 5th is not in the fleet. She could have been lying of course. But let's say she is not. Many have said that her statement means that the 5th is on the base star and not with the Humans.


But let me knitpick. Technically, the base star was parked right there with (or in) the fleet as D'Anna said those word's on the flight deck of the Galactica. One might interpret her statement as meaning that the 5th is literally well beyond the reach of any of them including #6's Rebel base star and those on it.

The person may have been airlocked at some point prior (which gets me back to Cally). Could be someone who died some time ago (Ellen, Adama's eldest, etc.). It could be a hybrid on some other base star.

Just some thoughts.

R.A. Porter said...

@anon, I think we're all missing something with the fifth. Unless D'Anna really can sense the final five (which I doubt,) she was either lying or knows for a fact that the fifth is not in the fleet. I agree with your sentiment that the Basestar was technically "in the fleet", so if she's being truthful, the fifth is somewhere else.

She wouldn't know about Cally, or anyone else who's died since New Caprica. That leads me to think the fifth either died on New Caprica, or much earlier. So Ellen's a great choice. The Oracle is also a choice, though I don't think she would have much resonance to the rest of us.

But Ellen...clearly suffered for her husband on New Caprica. And what if she *didn't* die? What if her Cylon physiology (which is either radically different or not different at all, depending on the writers' needs at any moment) was able to ward off the poison? She would then need to "claw toward the light".

Anonymous said...

Great review.

Leoben's comment on a parent dying in order for their chilrdern to grow was played out very well by Bill's emotional breakdown. The death of Bill Adama wasn't a physical death but an mental or emotional death. The man we knew as Bill Adama cease to exist kind of like Ben Kenobi's take on Anakin becoming Darth Vader. Sorry for the Star Wars reference.

Karen said...

I second @r.a. porter's encouragement to read the Espenson letter at TV Squad, which is chock full of goodness and fangirlism. And, because I am a person who Cannot Let It Go, I will point out this sentence in particular: And -- oh -- that haunting devastated city there, with the massive ruined temple and our people trying to find their footing in a strange dead city I did not recognize... that image just kills me.

I'm sticking to my story--no WAY was that the Brooklyn Bridge.

R.A. Porter said...

@karen, definitely a clue that it wasn't B'klyn, I thought.

I keep thinking to post this, and then forget it because I figure everyone else noticed, but maybe it was just me. In the scene with Lee and Starbuck in the Old Man's quarters, it's not just Grown-up Lee we see, but Grown-up Kara. That scene, for me, shows that Lee and Kara are the spiritual children of Adama and Roslin (biological child as well, in Lee's case.)

They are the next generation who have to make the difficult choices going ahead. Choices like Kara's, convincing Lee to join with the Cylons to go to Earth. And choices like Lee's, when he accepted that challenge and offered a new way between Human and Cylon.

Anonymous said...

That could have been the last episode and I would not have complained in the least. In fact it felt like the last episode and I'm not sure what more emotion they can add with another 12 to come in '09.

Few episodes of any SciFi show have ever been that emotional.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant episode!

Jane Eperson, BSG co-producer, said in that interview :
that haunting devastated city there, with the massive ruined temple and our people trying to find their footing in a strange dead city I did not recognize

So clearly the ruins are the Temple of Aurora. Also if you look at the map of the temple which Lee has open earlier in the episode, you see it is a series of domed buildings next to a river spanned by bridges.
What this means, I have no idea! Though I remember Kara gave Admiral Adama a statuette of Aurora for his model ship.
I get the feeling the 5th Cylon is somewhere on Earth and will reveal what happened, and why the final 4 sent to the Colonies have no memories of their time on Earth and what happend to the planet.
Perhaps after the robot Cylons were exiled from the 12 Colonies 50 or so years before, they found their way to Earth . . .

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I did not really like the episode.... First, as a lot of people have said, it was very rushed. Second, a lot of things just did not make sense. For example, what happened to the whole Athena killing Natalie thing? Natalie WAS the Cylon leader who was killed on Gallactica, and they made a big deal of it in prior episodes, but now it's like nothing ever happened. Second, the whole stand-off thing was kind of ridiculous. As someone above pointed out, D'Anna deciding to execute a bunch of people all of a sudden does not really make sense. Neither is the threat to airlock the 3 Cylons on the Gallactica. These "people" are supposed to be god-like to the Cylons as a whole, so, why not let one of the three go over to the Baseship and talk some sense? I understand that such a solution would eliminate the "oh my God, will they really do it?" part of the episode, but it would make a whole lot more sense. And of course, it would have made a lot more sense do do some recon missions, but again, not really as dramatic.

Here's a thought about them finding Earth - through out the season we have been led to believe that we needed all 5 Cylons to really find it. So, only three of the five showed up to the viper, as Tory was on the Baseship and the fifth is still "missing". So, maybe where they end up is not really the right place....... Even though, I mean really, what did you expect? That they were going to find Earth with all the Greek mythology temples and all the life back here and it would all be happy?

Anonymous said...

Mark wrote:
Wouldn't it have been just as effective, and MORE believeable, if they had shown the Galactica discovering a devastated Earth and complete lack of air traffic or ground communications ... then followed up with a small landing party (Adama, Roslin, Lee, crew) to hear the Geiger counter and view the destruction...

No, not as effective. It wasn't supposed to be believable -- it was supposed to be dramatic, to stomach-punch the viewer. BSG is a fictional TV show, not a documentary, so some things are a little less logical in order to make a better, more gripping story.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it have been just as effective, and MORE believeable, if they had shown the Galactica discovering a devastated Earth and complete lack of air traffic or ground communications ...

What would that scene add? The emotional moment is the contrast between Earth the idea and Earth the reality. Cutting directly from celebration to discovery is the most visceral way to show this emotional shift. You can fanwank the procedures and surveys and such that happened between Adama's anouncement and the landing, but as the audience, what do we gain from seeing those scenes?

12 Lords of Kobol, 12 Colonies, 12 Cylon models. What's the connection?

R.A. Porter said...

12 Lords of Kobol, 12 Colonies, 12 Cylon models. What's the connection?

Not to mention the twelve signs of the zodiac. I'd say the connection is obvious. Our ancestors had six-fingered hands.

That, or they really, really, REALLY like eggs.

Anonymous said...

I see nothing to be gained by simply acceding to the rumors that SciFi will hold out until 2009. If the blogoshpere has any power in the real world at all, it should start here:

Obviously, we, the BSG fanbase, will wait until 2009 if we must. But:
1. We do not have to be happy about it.
2. We will neither forget nor forgive what SciFi chooses to do here.

1a: Holding out on the final eps past September 2008 is sheer executive-floor extortion. The failure of SciFi's A&R dept to find one other piece of grown-up quality content is reason for NBC Universal to fire and replace its show shoppers, not reason to punish the audience for SciFi's incompetence. Cross-over demographic targets for conversion to allies in a blog-o-war attack here include BSG fans who also own shares of GE and Vivendi. Stall for a year all you want on your only bona-fide hit, but when its over, its over. Nothing in the SciFi universe even comes close to replacing BSG. Some infantile bald guy bumping into furniture in the dark and saying "something pushed me!"? How about a reality show about some TV execs buying quality programming. You can film it in night-vision green and call it "Show Hunters."

1b. Nor does lying outright ("Coming Soon") or playing coy with the 2nd 1/2 schedule encourage repeat audience loyalty. Brass balls may sell real estate, but what they sell in television is a quick flick of the thumb. Which brings me to

2a. Once BSG is over, SciFi joins the Bush Administration, Enron, your state's BMV, your municipal zoning code enforcement bureau, and automated phone answering systems (Dial 1 to get more jacked around) in the vast, vaulted demontheon of Things Everyone Agrees Are Evil.

Listen up SciFi:

You keep us waiting until 2009 and we will tune out your insipid reruns of Ghost Hunters so fast the lifespan of your brief flirtation with mainstream ratings won't even compare as a rounding error with the lifespan of the United States Football League.

Anonymous said...

"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."

Did the Hybrid mean that one of the seven no longer exists? "The seven, now six" seems to allude to one of the final five no longer being alive. Some of you feel that it could be Cally or Ellen Tigh. Some have also chimed in with thoughts about Zack Adama and Starbuck's mom being the 5th Cylon. I read somewhere recently that Aaron Douglas (Tyrol) reads a lot of the fans' comments about who the "big reveal" will be, and said that we're all "not even close". Seems that RDM will definitely keep us all guessing and speculating right up til the very end.

Michael said...

"The seven, now six" seems to allude to one of the final five no longer being alive.

No, that was a reference to the seven who weren't of the final five. There were seven, but then the D'anna line was boxed, leaving six.

Craig Ranapia said...

I want to weigh in on love being the secret ingredient to cylon reproduction. I don't think that's it — I think it's mortality.

Mary: Really interesting comment, and you know something -- you could be 110% percent right, and I'm 110% wrong. Or, as seems to happen so often, RDM is standing in the wings aiming a big fat curveball at our heads. :)

The producers are counting on our intelligence to either fill in the gaps...

Anon @ 11.44: Or to put it another way, this a show where the folks on both sides of the camera assume that the viewers don't need every plot point and character beat spelled out in flashing neon. And personally, I think the speed and urgency of this season is dramatically appropriate and well-done rather than 'callously hasty'.

If you want to read my litany of bitches about SciFi, clear some time because I could write a book. Being unsupportive of BSG, not so much. To pour the cold water of reality on my raging fanboy tendencies, the simple reality is that RDM and DE were commissioned to produce twenty episodes of episodic television to an agreed budget, and to length. I'm really pleased by reports that we're going to see an extended series finale, but I don't think that's a well Ron goes to too often.

And perhaps we should just be thankful, as Ron says, that BSG came to a conclusion on his timetable, and with the ability to bring eveything to a resolution. Just look at the sudden cancellation of Stargate: SG1 and Farscape (on a massive cliffhanger).

Craig Ranapia said...

No, that was a reference to the seven who weren't of the final five. There were seven, but then the D'anna line was boxed, leaving six.

And am I the only person who thinks that D'Anna -- the last Three in the universe -- should not be making any long-term commitments? As far as I'm aware (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong), Lucy is only signed for one, maybe two, more episodes. Somehow, I think she's taken Gaius Baltar's title of Most Hated Sentient Biped in The Universe.

dan110 said...

I have an altogether different theory. Your all leaving one big thing out. What happened to Kara Thrace when her ship exploded and just reappeared in the middle of a Cylon/Human battle? Space is a very very big place. Someone had to have known those coordinates for her to get there and to get there at that very moment.

I think she is the "Harbinger of Death" but for the Earth Humans not the Fleet! I think she went through space/time to the future a la worm hole to Earth and some how instigated a nuclear holocaust. Imagine if an alien showed up and told us our ancestors were Aliens and Killer Cyborgs and we're their children! No Adam and Eve. No whatever. Its all false. Maybe to have a lasting peace between Humans and Cylons they all had to forget the past and only those in power knew the truth. This would cause more than a drop in the New York Stock Exchange.

At any rate, to escape the impending conflict between warring factions, she gets back into her "pristine" repaired Raptor and makes it back to the Fleet with limited conscious memories of her trip to Earth. Knowing she may lose some memories during her travel she probably tried to memorize a lot of data into her long-term subconscious memory for her to help the fleet find Earth. This may explain why she knew they were going the wrong way. Again this may explain why she was drawing the nebulae as a child. Maybe time travel messes with your memories throughout the timeline... even before you actually time traveled.

Remember the signal the Viper was picking up in the hanger? It was a "weak" COLONIAL signal. Nothing from SETI, NASA, or etc.

In addition, I think the Cylon skin jobs were derived from future technology. Remember in Razor Adama finds them researching biological Cylon integration. They were trying to reverse engineer the future technology. They ultimately did ... forming some or all of the twelve models.

Think about the song "All Along the Watch Tower" is a very specific song being played at specific moments. Whoever sent Kara back to the past is probably sending the radio message to specific coordinates to arrive at the fleet at a specific time in order to make sure that certain events follow through as history dictates it. The Final Four are temporal guide posts to make sure that certain events happen. Tyrol was there to build the stealth viper that saved the fleet in a past season, he was also there at the Super Nova Temple. Saul was there to watch over Adama give him purpose and to be his biggest cheerleader. Anders to get Kara off of post nuclear Caprica. Tory to do the political thing with Roslin. Then all of them working together to rebel on New Caprica!

So you have one future faction wanting them to find Earth and another trying to stop them by upgrading the Cylons and sending them on a holy jihad against the 12 colonies.

Finally, I think the last Final Five member was either Admiral Cain or Kendra Shaw! She was there to get the extra Capital Class Battlestar to the human fleet.

These are my theories and I'm sticking to it :-)

Earth (Third Planet from Sol) circa 2008

Anonymous said...

Great post, better episode.

Kara caused the war that resulted in the apocalyptic landscape. The earth did not look like that when she was there previously.

dan110 said...

That's correct. The Earth was not destroyed when she was there. Again as I stated in my theory, she left before the impending apocalypse.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is crazy, but I think that the final cylon will be someone on Earth who served as a catalyst for what has happened. Maybe someone we all recognize like GWB...

Anonymous said...

We're Going The Wrong Way ......

Hello Kara Thrace, you are the Herald of the Apocalypse,

Let us all bid a warm welcome to the "Ghost of Galactica Yet to Come."

She is the herald of the Apocalypse. They must not follow her. She will lead them to their end.

and lead them to their end she did. this is a future earth. this is what happens when you let the children play with matches. this is what happens when third graders play around with nukes. This is the end result of Hatred on Hatred and brother against brother.

Starbuck saw a Comet and painted it. It turned out to be a BaseStar with a cloud of smoke trailing it. And she saw it long before it happened. This should be our first clue that something else is happening here outside the normal parameters of the "Arrow Of Time" It matters not if there appear to be two different time lines in effect here. We've all seen lots of things that seem outside the normal human experiences.

This is the same thing, except this time they are all of them seeing their future. How will they reconcile this.? Let's not forget that the Cavel Group is still out there. They may no longer have the ability to resurrect but they also have more than enough BaseStars and numbers to give this shaky alliance the once-over once again.

paraphrasing Leoben/Lee:

Remember, Last time we were the ones to be nuked.
The roles change but the players remain the same.
Only this time,

this time maybe we can change our "destiny" but first we have to change ourselves.



Anonymous said...

I am curious about one thing: D'Anna saw the faces of the Final Five on the algae planet, but we know they can age, so... in your opinion, at which age were they represented on those images?

Anonymous said...

They have posted up a UHQ Ultra High Resolution panorama of the bridge scene over at the BS section here

I am not so sure what it is supposed to be.

Anonymous said...

Can't really add anything to the praise that's been given to this outstanding piece of television. The layers of carefully chosen detail in that last shot was breathtaking. And the score too for the minutes preceding that. I hope that, as has been done in past seasons for episode 9/10 in the DVD set that we get an extended version of this, although the editing did a superb job of capturing all the necessary points. As Alan has already pointed out!

One thing that bothered me, although it's probably not that important (and every little thing is overly scrutinised on this show) - the drawing Starbuck notes is the Temple of Aurora looks almost identical to the drawing of the 'City of the Gods' on Kobol that was shown in episodes past. It is slightly different if one compares the images directly they are slightly different.

Whilst they could've recycled the image, knowing the care for details this show takes, could this be some manifestation of the idea of 'all this has happened before and will happen again'- city design being repeated?

Anonymous said...

So, I ended up watching part of this episode last night, and here's another thing that did not really make sense to me. When Lee tells D'anna that they have the three Cylons in custody, her reaction is "they found them". Isn't that what she was hoping for? I mean she did not think the humans would endanger the Cylons, but wouldn't the humans have to find the Cylons to be able to turn them over?
A comment on the discussion re: where did they land on Earth; I'm with the group that says it does not really matter. In a way, I don't even think it's important if it's "our" Earth or not. The show is about the colonists, not Earth. I think that if the show creators wanted the viewers to know exactly where they landed, they would have made it more obvious. My first thought was NYC as well, but that's more because that's the city that's usually shown destroyed (I mean do you ever see Cleveland being blown up in movies?). I do think that they were meant to have landed on the site of the Temple of Athena that's discussed in the beginning of the episode (how convenient, land on a planet without any recon, and end up right next to landmark you would really hope to see). Both of the points above lead me to believe that they are definitely not on present day or near-present day Earth.

Anonymous said...

D'Anna hoped the four Cylons would turn themselves over voluntarily, she said something about the colonials not interfering with shuttle traffic, allowing those Cylons to join her.

Anonymous said...

Roslin said "He's good, take him" not "That's good." It changes the context of her intention, eh? I like.

Excellent analysis.

sigfpe said...

My wife's awesome, but probably wrong idea: The viper is the fifth.

Anonymous said...

"(how convenient, land on a planet without any recon, and end up right next to landmark you would really hope to see). "

Not convenient -- the result of following the colonial tracking signal, which presumably led right to the temple.

Given Jane Espensen's memo over on TV Squad, I'm now inclined to believe that this is not our Earth. But who knows?

Unknown said...

I just want to say, I also thought that the hybrid, when said: human should not follow Kara Thrace...she will lead them to their end...meant human on earth. Maybe they tried to follow her back somehow and as a result, something devastating happened to earth.
Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, one of the greatest lines ever uttered on television was in the midseason finale by Baltar:

"I love living."

In all my 40-ish years of television viewing I don't think there has been a single, simple line of dialogue that so perfectly summed up a character and simultaneously explained their motivation of their every action. Had Baltar uttered the predictable and trite "I love life" or somesuch, the cliche would have overwhelmed the meaning.

But "I love living" is such an active, breathing, self-involved yet life affirming statement that it gets to the heart why someone would do anything, say anything, and even BE anything TO live.

It is through this statement that we can understand Baltar's numerous betrayals, switching of allegiances, power grabs, and transformations. We can understand exactly why he was so absolutely terrified every time his number was almost up and his rapturous relief when spared the sting of death.

"I love living." In an episode filled with momentous revelations and stunning performances (McDonnell and Olmos have been riveting), not to mention some of the best special effects BSG has ever done, this line was the crown jewel of them all.

Just breathtaking!

Anonymous said...

One thing that I have found interestingly unmentioned in the comments I have read so far, as well as the analysis, is the amazing character beat during the 'Holy Frack Earth's A Shit Hole' pan. Anders is shown staring dejectedly at the ground with Tory nearby. As the camera continues to pan right, Tory can be seen moving to comfort him by placing her hand on his arm. In response, Sam gives her the "I'm going to airlock you if you touch me again' glance and moves away. For whatever reason, that little beat is one of my favorite moments in this episode. Hell, all of the moments in this episode could be considered my favorites!

As to what I'll be doing until 4.5 rolls around, I'm going to have to go with my fellow girly men, it's booze-induced-breakdown time! So say we all!

Anonymous said...

Seems obvious to me that Starbuck is the 5th. I only know of one human who ever came back to life, at he's not in this show.

Anonymous said...

great episode, and great post.
A theory to share with you, it is based on what I call "the rules of science fiction". This theory accurately predicted that Tigh would be a Cylon. The rules of science fiction dictate that a character who loses a body part will always somehow get that body part back. This has as much to do with reassuring an actor that his/her suffering (ie. acting through an eye patch, pretending to not have a leg) will eventually pay off in dramatic effect, as it does with the creation of the effect itself. According to this theory, Gaeta is the final Cylon, as at some point he will be reborn with a full leg, as will Tigh eventually be reborn with his missing eye. Gaeta as final Cylon fits well with the theme of the resistance, and there are clues throughout earlier seasons that he might have been involved in technical problems that plagued the ship's navigational systems. anyway, some food for thought as we begin another long wait.

Anonymous said...

I am kind of new to this blog thing, so i cut to the chase.... DAMMN I hate this show...for being so addictive that it hurts. After an episode like "Revelations", I always feel a "couple" of veins in my head burst. There have been some eps. during the series but this.... I hate those writers for being so...good at what they do. But I digress... so we are talking fifth cylon et cetera... but what about Karas missing "eggs"?? Anyone still remember those??? Or her, oh so convieniently absent father, who seemed to be a rather talented pianist,also close to karas heart( at least his music) and not around for some unknown reason. ( season 2, Kara and Helo in her flat on caprica)ARRGH it bugs me... maybe her "eggs" were used to give birth to the next final five? I am just putting a fracking idea on "paper". As we have heard a couple of thousand times, All this has happened before and will happen again! blah,blah... So to say, that this "cycle" we are currently witnessing, will end with kara and begin a new one with her as well? Maybe "daddy" felt compelled to give Kara a brand new viper, to make up for all that fraking violence she had to endure. ( i am trying to keep the sarcasm obvious here!) Or is it in fact so, that he is the final one, and Kara is actually for this cycle, what Hera is supposed to be for the coming "one". Hope you can follow me here, I am still trying to put sense into this, while I am writing, but it sounds like a lot of tosh, even to me.:-) Would it not be quite astonishing ( though really disturbing)if Helo is turning to, what Karas mother was and athena not being around. ( now with the hub destroyed..... Hey it is mental but I still remember what Leoben said during season 1, when he was tortured by Kara. I will not bother to quote this:-) Like I said, a lot of confusion, I am still gobsmacked. But this is something i have not read a lot about on blogs, so i wanna hear some opinions. I, for one have to join the endless number of "Galacticans" who are on cold turkey now...thank god for dvds...watching all the other seasons and razor, maybe i get another idea,mostly i just try to enjoy the best show i have seen in my almost 25 years on "our" earth! So say we all!

Anonymous said...

Micheal Trucco has to stop making me cry, seriously the look on his face when Kara asked what was going on tuggged at my heartstrings and then watching Kara react to the news ripped my heart right out. I will remember how small Kara looked after everyone walked away for a long time. I also supect these two will have me crying several more times before the show is over. The rest of the episode could have sucked and that scene would have saved the epidsode for me.

However the rest of the episode rocked. Even Lee didn't annoy me and he hasn't been able to go an episode without doing that since sometime in season 2. He not back in my good books, yet but I think the real test of his maturity is how he reacts to Sam and Kara being on the outs. If the first thing he does is try to put the moves on Kara then he still has some growing up to do.

EJO went a little over the top for me but Ithink its just that I'm used to him holding back , that was the kind of reaction I was expecting from Kara not the Admiral. Having re-watched an read many coments and veiws on the scene I have to agree that some kind of breakdown was neccesary I just don't think there needed to be drool involved.

I am loving watching Anders and Tyrol together though they have been through a lot together and clearly have bonded over there experiences. Its fun just to watch them interact and help each other. Although watching Ander's blow off Tory at the end had me laughing out loud.

Crash said...

Alan, you nailed the whole series to the wall. Nice work.

I'm a little annoyed though... how come in just about every science fiction series involving long lost cultures or great lengths of time spearating humanity, does everyone seem to find each other in New York, more specifically, in Brooklyn.

I mean seriously? I'm from Minneapolis, could Galactica have landed in mepples? Or hey, why not Chicago? A charred burnt out Sears Tower would have worked!? I mean, maybe New York isn't the worst choice, they could have landed in Wisconsin.

R.A. Porter said...

@crash, various commenters have noted the many arguments against this being NY, so it probably is somewhere else. That said, a bombed out shell of NY has more resonance for a show that so adroitly and specifically tackles issues in a post-9/11 world.

And if you want a husk of Chicago, you can always watch Buck Rogers. Bidi bidi bidi!

Mad Chef said...

Just wanted to say, fantastic job on the writeup. I was already raising my hand after reading the first paragraph =)

Michael said...

Comment #187 and counting.

It has been brought to my attention that the San Diego Comic Con will have some special BSG items for sale at the NBC Universal store, including (apparently not a joke) a BSG-branded toaster that burns an image of a Cylon onto your piece of bread. No, really, a toaster

Also, a Dwight Schrute bobblehead convention exclusive, where he's wearing a "Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica" t-shirt.

Katie Fiorino said...

Chicago would be a great place to land. There's a nice freshwater supply (lake Michigan!) and a river for transportation. Winters are a bit harsh, though.

Also, since the entire planet is radioactive, that freshwater aint so good anymore. :-)

I love Chicago.

Anonymous said...

No one's ever accused me of overthinking anything, so I saw the bridge simply as symbolism: a bridge to nowhere. Kinda like what Earth may turn out to be.

Lisa said...

Great recap and analysis of Revelations. I don't think the planet they found at the end was Earth, though. In the Original Series, the Beings of Light lead Apollo and Starbuck to an Earth-like planet called Terra Prime. In that version they avert a nuclear war. I think that (1) maybe this is the real Earth, but they will find clues to Terra Prime and settle there, or (2) this is Terra Prime and they will find clues there to Earth.

When we saw Earth in Crossroads at the end of Season 3, we could clearly make our North America. In the planet shot for Revelations, no such continent was visible.

They made a point to show us a depiction of the City of the Gods in this last episode, and I think the rubble is over that city on a colony founded by the 13th Tribe on their way back to Earth. See my whole theory here.

Jeudy Blanco said...

The theory that the fleet found "Terra Prime" (as in the original series) instead of Earth is interesting (specially since we could not see any identifiable continent as in the end of Season 3).

However, when the fleet completed the jump, Gaeta verified the constellations, and they matched with the map the saw on the Kobol temple.

This would mean either that:

1-They indeed found our Earth
2-The map lead to "Terra Prime" and not Earth.

Either way, very interesting!

Lisa said...

Jeudy-- That's an interesting thought, that the map led them to Terra and not to Earth. However, if we're going to accept that the Colonists found 12 habitable planets in close proximity to each other, then I don't think it's a stretch to believe that there are 2 such planets in the Orion neighborhood.

Robb Smith said...

My guess is that Earth is not the 13th colony. Earth is the origin of humanity. Humans left Earth at some point - maybe to flee a nuclear holocaust, or for some other reason - settled briefly on Kobol, and then settled on the 12 colonies. It would explain the various Earth-based references throughout the show (most memorably, the use of All Along the Watchtower as the Four's awake signal). (It would also explain how the builders of the temple knew what the constellations looked like from Earth.)

Anonymous said...

Great blog Alan, and an excellent summation of 'Revelations'.

Stunning episode, emotional, well scored, and the total immersion in character by the best ensemble of actors currently on TV, together wiht the most shocking hook since Jean-Luc Picard being assimilated by the Borg (ST-TNG -Final Ep, Series 3).

Is it Earth? Of course it is. Felix confirms the constellations. I tried freeze framing the Earth as the fleet are about to enter the atmospshere. There is some coast line visible to the top right of the Earths limb but nothing i can identify. (Any New Yorkers out there wanna check it out)

I dont think it really matters whether the final scene was NYC, Sydney, or wherever. The producers have no doubt wanted to 'hook' us until February and are tantalising us with a 'vision' of Earth. And who cant identify with NYC!

I dont think its a 'Planet of the Apes' cop out. There was no way the Fleet would arrive at a normal Earth....look what that did to the original series!!!!

That said, there are more questions than answers....and to add to your own:

1. Was Earth nuked at the same time as the 12 Colonies? That geiger counter was recording radioactivity, but only at a low level which you would expect long after a war. If so by who/whom.

Did anyone notice the vegetation growing on the remains of the Brooklyn Bridge? So the Earth aint totally dead (I agree with the earlier post re the side by side, and the BSG version which is missing a support pillar)

2. Has Kara already fulfilled her role as the Herald of the Apocalypse?

3. How can the 5 have come from Earth and when. Yes, Saul is in his 60's and been with Adama for a good stretch of that time, but what about Tori, Anders, and Chief? Mid 30's at most.

4. Why has the population/state of the 13th Colony never been discussed at length (if at all) during the series. Surely the military/executive will have had contingency plans regarding any encounters/first contact with the population of Earth.

5. As to the 5th cylon - hmmm - when Gina nukes Cloud Nine (Lay Down Your Burdens - PtII), whose is the eye seen in close up in the debris field? (which also matches the eye on the cover of the TV movie DVD) Looks awfully like Starbuck to me! Who I hope it isnt...

6. What is the link to the contaminated probe that took out the base-ships crew at the Lions head nebula?

I agree that the episode WAS rushed, but I also feel strangely satisfied by it, and I'm sure that we will get the backstory of the crews reaction to the revelation of the four as cylons. We gotta trust the writers because the characters have always been so well drawn that i dont think they would get away with robbing us of the backstory. The intimation is already there that the humans have forgiven/understand that the four are still essentially the same people. (look at Anders walking up to Starbuck at the picture wall, Saul back on the bottle, and the Chief back with his child. That wouldnt happen if they were a threat, and my personal view is that they are as accepted as much as Athena is).

BTW: Did you notice Anders turning his back on a more contrite looking Tori as they stood on Earth. Nice to see Leoben stuck for words for a change!!!

HOGAN for an Emmy or there is no justice.

Regards from across the Pond.

Anonymous said...

So, I (of course) have been thinking about the 5th Cylon, and I think that the theory of it being someone on the basestar during the stand-off in this episode is not correct. D'Anna actually tells Laura that there are only four Cylons in the fleet at the end of "Hub". Technically, at that point D'Anna would not really have had time to take inventory of who was where. Of course, that's just "technically", but to me the theory of the 5th Cylon being on the basestar just feels wrong. Also, in a logical universe, if he/she was there, it would make sense for D'Anna to reveal the identity, at least to the Cylons sometime during the stand-off. I mean that was supposed to be all-or-nothing kind of thing. Now, I don't actually have any theories as to who it could be, but I don't think it's someone in or around the fleet at "present". Could be Boomer, I guess, it's supposed to be someone who's been around since season one, but not a major character..... but I don't know. Only six-to-nine more months of speculations.

Mo Ryan said...

Come on people, we can get to 200 comments. A little effort here and we can do it!

Anonymous said...


Before speculating on the 5th Cylon, perhaps it would be better to first establish if the 'final four' are physically 'human', or mere replicants like the 1's, 6's etc. Baltars cylon detector is still there, albeit no-one trusts our hero to use it properly! But Doc Cottles a clever guy.....

If Tigh, Anders, Tyrol, and Tori have all been to Earth, isnt there the real possibility that they are the ones who have engineered the human models, and deployed them against the 12 Colonies. After all, the apparently subservient centurions hardly seem motivated to transform themselves, and I cant see any other evidence of a mechanical heirarchy.

Lets also not forget that some type of as yet unexplained armageddon incident destroyed the population of Kobol. Are the four linked with this ever expanding pattern of destruction and ruin?

Not wishing to roll a hand grenade onto a closet, but has anyone considered the possibility that although the Colonials are the 'titular' heroes, is it not beyond the realm of possibility that they are the real 'bad guys' hence their destruction. (Just look at the juxtaposition of roles/morality, by example: Starbuck/Leoben - Flesh & Blood)- What a mind frak that would be - more devastating to the long term fan than a nuked Earth!

Lets face it, this series has not been afraid to slap us in the face by turning things on their head, and I think there are more shocks and mind frakking to come. You are complacent about this Series at your peril.

I dont want it to end........but I cant wait for February. I LOVE THIS SHOW.

Craig Ranapia said...

The Final One? I wonder if Connor Widdows is free, because I'd just love to see Boxey wander in and say, "Bet you fraking jerks wish you'd paid me a little more attention." :)

R.A. Porter said...

@craig, I wouldn't think it possible at 198 comments deep on this thread, but I think you might have won. Boxey!

Mrglass said...

200 comments! I did it!

It would be completely disappointing and take a lot out of this perfect episode if it was not the real Earth in our future, so I don't think the writers will go in that direction. Keeping it ambiguous is just a way to keep the buzz going.

Anonymous said...

I loved this episode.

Just to clarify, I don't think anyone should assume that they didn't know what to expect as they were getting ready to land on the planet. Obviously, after the elation of arriving at there destination, they would have realized that their sensors weren't picking up much signs of life on the planet below. However, from a drama point of view, it is way more effective to to show the people on the ground picking up the radioactive dirt rather than a bunch of sad looking people standing around the CIC wondering why they were detecting radioactivity and not detecting signs of life.

One thing that makes BSG so good for me is that their editing almost always makes the right call about what to show and what to leave unseen.

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