BSG spoilers abound. Don’t clicky if you’re not caught up.
I was a little conflicted on how I felt about last week’s episode. Not that I minded having all kinds of questions answered, but that it felt a bit rushed, a little too close to infodump, but done well enough that I didn’t start foaming at the mouth and shouting “SHOW, DON’T TELL” like I did most of the way through Babylon 5 when Greg and I watched it over the last few months. (“As you know, Ivanova, these are the things we’ve been doing for the last six episodes.” / “Yes, Captain Sheridan. And in case you forgot during that long-winded recap, here’s what you’ve been doing for the last half hour.”)
The scenes themselves overcame it, and I’d say that’s the strength of the actors. Again, they weren’t bad scenes. I spent most of the night going, “Wait, WHAT?” in a very good way.
The Powers That Be did say all would be revealed. There was so much revelation last week, that I spent the better part of a work afternoon piecing it back together. Here’s my feeble attempt at a timeline. Holler if I have any glaring errors:
4000+ years ago
- The human tribes on Kobol create the Cylons, making them the 13th tribe.
- 13th tribe leaves Kobol. The reason is (as far as I can find) unspecified. I believe all the present-day humans know is they were seeking Earth.
- On the way, they stop on the Algae Planet and build the Temple of Hopes/Temple of the Five.
4000-2000 years ago
- Somewhere in there, the 13th Tribe learn how to reproduce sexually and forget how to resurrect.
- They also make their own Centurions
2000 years ago
- Back on Kobol, something happens, and the 12 tribes leave the planet in the Great Exodus. Athena kills herself in despair over the Exodus
- The Final Five rediscover resurrection technology
- The Earth-Centurions rebel and destroy Earth
- Final Five wake up on their resurrection ship orbiting the planet and think “Oh shit, we’d better go tell the Colonies that building robots is a BAD IDEA.” Only, since they haven’t discovered FTL technology yet, it takes them a really long time to get there.
40-50 years ago
- 12 Colonies discover FTL (good!) Discover how to make Cylons (bad!)
- Centurions decide they want in on the having-skin action, start trying to make bodies of their own. The Hybrids are born
- Cylons rebel. First Cylon War begins
40 years ago
- The Final Five finally show up. They make a deal with the Centurions: end the war, we’ll teach you how to make skinjobs. Cenurions go “‘kay,” armistice signed.
- Eight humanoid Cylon models are created.
- Cavil sabotages the Sevens
- Cavil suffocates the Five, boxes them for a while, then sprinkles them among the Colonies with false memories
That’s what I’ve got, anyway. Now for questions, comments, and loony theories!
The Oedipus/Jocasta comparison has already been made for Cavil and Ellen. But no one’s really mentioned that there’s also a bit of an Electra complex going on her own part — she’s the one who not only named him “John” after her father, but also made him in her father’s image. Granted, she didn’t remember this during their encounters on New Caprica, but I still think it’s pretty significant.
We know that the Cavils killed the Final Five and repressed their memories. We know that the Cylons were programmed not to even think about the Five, until D’Anna said “Fuck that” and started going after the memories. So, how did the Cavils get the other seven (six, minus Daniel) models to forget? Did he kill all the other existing models and then fuck with their programming between death and downloading?
My two Daniel theories — first, is that somehow the Daniel is Saul and Caprica’s baby. I say this mostly because Ellen mentioned the tainted amniotic fluid when she was talking to Cavil. Granted, that’s probably also the goo in the resurrection tubs, but it seems like such a significant word, when you have a pregnant Cylon on the Galactica. I’m not sure if that mention was followed by a cut to a Tigh/Caprica scene or not, the way they followed Boomer’s “Who would love me?” with a cut to Galen. Bears re-watching to see.
Second Daniel theory, and one I really like: Kara is Daniel after all. Ellen said he was creative; Kara paints. And the cigar-smoking, hard drinking woman who likes to frak whoever the hell she pleases, well… Safe to say, a lot of her behaviors are more associated with men than with women. (Understand, I kind of hate making that statement. My inner-feminist is looking at me like I’m something someone left in the fridge and forgot. I love Starbuck. I love that she’s a strong female character and can challenge gender-based sterotypes. But goddamit, this fits.) I can’t account for why there’d be a spare Kara-body on or near Earth. I can’t account for the rebuilt Viper. But she died on that planet, and came back alive and whole. Cavil told Ellen her tools are still on some Colony somewhere. What if that’s where Kara downloaded to, after she crashed on Earth?
I know, I know. HUGE holes in that one. And I also really like the idea of Kara as an angel, and Kara as goddess, and Kara as something else equally wonderful. But there you go.
Last but not least, I am starting to very much buy into the idea that Galactica herself is the Dying Leader of Pythia’s foretelling. I’d like to say it gives me hope for Roslin making it to the new land (wherever that may be), but I’d be lying. I think it’s both of them, harkening back to the ancient idea that the king and the land are one.
So. There ’tis. Have at it.