Be sure to also read my other Battlestar Galactica posts.
I’m just now posting my thoughts on the last couple Battlestar Galactica episodes, specifically “No Exit,” because I’ve still been processing the new information and what it means. In the past I’ve combined my BSG posts with my Thursday Thirteen posts, but since the Thursday Thirteen site seems to be gone for good I’m switching my list posts to a “Tuesday Ten” format. Beware of spoilers in this article.
(1) FAMILY REUNION AND KARA’S SPECIAL DESTINY
We now know who all of the thirteen (yes, THIRTEEN) Cylons are:
1- John Cavil
2- Leoben Conoy
3- D’Anna Biers
5- Aaron Doral
7- Daniel the Artist
8- Sharon Valerii Agathon Boomer/Athena
9-13 Galen Tyrol, Samuel Anders, Ellen Tigh, Saul Tigh, and Tory Foster
Lingering questions: Who is Daniel? Was he modeled after Daniel Graystone? Why is it important that we know he was an artist? Is it significant that Starbuck has been painting in secret her whole life? Also, what is Starbuck’s true nature? When Sam started talking about the eighth model, Daniel, everyone standing around his bed — which included the rest of the Five AND Starbuck — began to glow and the music queued up. Interestingly, BSG musical composer Bear McCreary ditched his usual episode musical analysis because “the unusual amount of fast-paced and essential dialog in these two shows left little room for big musical statements.” It would have been interesting to see what he might have said about this musical cue.
(2) SAM’S HYBRID-SPEAK
Due to aphasia brought on by his head injury, Sam often spoke in gibberish in this episode. Because this injury opened the flood gates into his hidden memories, I wonder if this gibberish might be valuable because it sounds so similar to hybrid-speak. Here are a few choice lines from Sam:
Among bright stars I’m lost.
There is a new tide, and all the forgotten faces, all the forgotten children; we seek the great forgotten language.
[inaudible] but the colony never forgets.
The mind is its own place [inaudible] the hell of heaven.
He whose guile (screen shows Cavil) stirred with revenge. . .conceived [inaudible] under mankind.
And all the forgotten faces we seek—we’ve been to that beach too. Yes, we’ve been to that beach. [clips of beach on "Earth"] Sometimes Ellen would be there too because she loved the water. She loved the water.
UPDATE: It turns out that some of what Sam says comes from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”:
Th’ infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile
Stird up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv’d [ 35 ]
The Mother of Mankind…
The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.
UPDATE: Some of Ander’s word salad come from Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel:
“A stone, a leaf, an unfound door; of a stone, a leaf, a door. And of all the forgotten faces. Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb we did not know our mother’s face; from the prison of her flesh we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth. Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father’s heart? Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone? O waste of loss, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this most weary unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When? O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.”
The last bit about a “lost lane-end into heaven…an unfound door” makes me think of Starbuck’s trip to Earth via the maelstrom and back via the Ionian Nebula. That combined with the 13th Tribe finding the way to Earth from the Temple of Hopes/Eye of Jupiter still makes me think that maybe there’s a wormhole or some sort of jump-gate somewhere.
Source: SciFi Forums
Beaches are so far seeming to be important — the Five’s memories started to return on a beach on the cinder planet, that same beach sent Dualla over the edge, there were photos of a beach in Dualla’s locker, John Cavil and Ellen used to walk on a beach with Daniel…
(3) KOBOLIANS, ANGELS, AND HEAD CHARACTERS OH MY
We still don’t know what the Kobolians were/are. Numerous episodes have made reference to “angels” and TOS series had the Beings of Light who were also called Seraphs in scripts. These beings were aliens, but Ron Moore has said that there will be no aliens in the re-imagined series. What if the head characters are these “angels” — headSix did refer to herself as an “angel of God” — and both are synonymous with either the Kobolians or The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken. In keeping with the theme of “All this has happened before and will happen again,” it seems likely that the Kobolians are in fact some version of Cylon who either created humans or who were trying to stop the cycle that keeps repeating by living in peace with humans. At some point, someone, possibly The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken, violated the taboo against creating new lifeforms and the peace was broken. The humans formed the 12 Colonies and the “13th Tribe” comprised of these new Cylon lifeforms left to find “Earth” since they were unwelcome anywhere else.
(4) COOLEST. QUOTE. EVEH.
John Cavil says: “I don’t want to be human. I want to see gamma rays. I want hear x-rays. I want to smell dark matter. . . I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws and feel the solar wind flowing over me.”
(5) RESURRECTION TECHNOLOGY
The 13th Tribe settled on what is now the “cinder planet” and called it “Earth.” Since we’ve seen no evidence that this planet is in fact the planet we currently live on, I’m still not convinced it’s the real Earth. While living there they began to procreate and forgot or eschewed resurrection. The Final Five, with some kind of intuitive leap by Ellen Tigh, re-invented resurrection technology after being warned of the impending apocalypse by head characters: Sam saw a woman, Tory saw a man, and Galen thought there was a chip in his head. I think these head characters, including headSix and headBaltar, are Kobolian messengers warning them of the actions of The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken, a figure who may be synonymous with the Centurions’ One True God. Also, what happened to the Cylons who destroyed the the 13th Colony? Did all of them perish on the planet?
When John Cavil tells Ellen that the resurrection technology has been destroyed and that he fears their extinction, Ellen doesn’t seem particularly frightened. Does she know that there is still the original resurrection facility on the ship the Final Five traveled on from the 13th Colony? Also, John Cavil says that the humans “destroyed the hub, but they don’t even know about the colony. All of your equipment is still there.”
I assume this “colony” Cavil refers to is the “13th Colony” on the cinder planet (but I’m not ruling out some other colony somewhere else) as this part of the story occurs some months before the humans find the cinder planet.
UPDATE: If John Cavil is indeed referring to some lab of Ellen’s on the cinder planet, it now makes sense that her old Viper and previous body would be found there in that it’s likely this facility is where Starbuck resurrected.
(6) THESE ACHING BONES
If John Cavil is so unhappy with being in a humanoid body and has the ability to hack his subroutines even, why can’t he refuse to download into a new body and exist only as an AI, or perhaps download into a Centurion or Raider? Why is he stuck in this one humanoid form?
(7) STARBUCK’S TRUE NATURE
What if Daniel or The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken figured out a way to procreate and simultaneously preserve resurrection? What if this is how Starbuck was born and/or resurrected? We know that Kara is something fundamentally different.
(8) TOASTER TECH
How did the Colonials and the 13th Colony create nearly identical Centurion model Cylons more than 2,000 years apart and with no communication between the two groups? Before “No Exit,” I figured the Five must have had some part in the development of Centurions, but now we know they did not arrive until after they were created. Did The One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken communicate with the 13th Tribe and also Daniel Graystone? Did Centurion monotheism come from Daniel recreating his daughter Zoe who was involved with a monotheistic group?
(9) ALONG THE WATCHTOWER
In “Sometimes A Great Notion” Sam says that he played “Along the Watchtower” for the woman he loved and looks at Tory as he says this implying that she was the woman that he loved. In “No Exit” we learn that Tory and Galen were an item and were in fact planning to marry. This doesn’t mean that Tory and Sam weren’t involved, but it does seem odd to me that the Five are comprised of two couples and an odd person out. Was Tory indeed the woman Sam loved and who he played “Watchtower” for, or was that another woman? If it does refer to another woman then who is she and why was she not included in their resurrection plans? Sam has a steadfast loyalty to Kara despite her not deserving it on a number of occasions. In the Bear McCreary interview, Michael Trucco has said that:
The Cylon reveal changed almost everything in terms of my approach to the character. I say ‘almost everything’. Sam’s love for Kara is unwavering. That hasn’t changed. There are certain truths in the humanity (or cylonity in this case) of your character that help ground you as the actor portraying that character. For me, when it comes to playing Anders, it is that love and loyalty to Kara that drives his intentions and passions.
Does this loyalty come from Trucco’s portrayal of Sam or was it purposely included by the writers? If it’s on purpose, why is Sam so loyal? Like the thousands of years long relationships of Ellen-Saul and Tory-Galen, is there also a Kara-Sam pairing? If so, what does this mean for Kara and Lee?
(10) YEAH, WHAT ABOUT “THE SWIRL?”
In “No Exit,” Ellen turns to Boomer and asks: “What about the swirl? Has he [John Cavil] told you about the swirl?” The exchange seems so random and nonsensical, so I have to wonder if it means something or why include it?