Spoiler: DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN BATTLESTAR GALACTICA SEASON 4 EPISODE “NO EXIT”
After several weeks of having my “Kara’s Dad is the final Cylon” largely proven incorrect by the reveal of Ellen, we discover that there is indeed an additional missing cylon, a long-boxed model #7 named Daniel, who was an artist… SHAZAM! The as yet unrevealed final non-Final Five Cylon is therefore likely the father of Kara Thrace as I previously suggested, explaining Kara as a Cylon-Human hybrid with the ability of resurrection.
Next Ellen and John (!) Cavil mention an unknown colony, suggesting that there indeed a surviving 13th colony somewhere, perhaps the true Earth – perhaps the place where Kara was resurrected, using the technology that the Ellen suggests the Lords of Kobol possessed and that was lost at the time of the Exodus of the 13th Colony but rediscovered. There now appears to be somewhere to go, though the Final Five may have their own agenda, now that they’re regaining their memories, and Ellen is on her way to join the four.
Quite a mind-frak really, but that’s what happens when a show crams this much never before heard back story into a single episode, and swiftly kicks the series in an interesting direction towards an as yet unseen destination. After all, at the end of the last episode, there was nowhere to go, nothing to live for, no rhyme or reason for anything that had taken place except Humanity’s great hubris. Upon reaching Earth, humanity fell apart, and now we see the mighty Battlestar itself is falling apart.
The episode delivers an incredible amount of exposition in such a short space of time that I’ll probably have to re-watch it to get all the details of the Final Five and their relationship to the seven/eight production line models, but I’m pretty satisfied by the explanation so far. I’m still betting on Kara’s half-Cylon nature. As to what that means for everyone, I have no idea. Still the opera house visions are unexplained, the role of Hera (and her relationship with the Six and Baltar) and who or what the Six in Baltar’s head is.
So it seems there’s a ticking clock, and an unknown destination, and five more episodes. Quite frankly, I’m excited.
So here’s what I can piece together in terms of a timeline:
Thousands of yahrens ago on Kobol, the Gods made man. Humans were the servant, the Lords of Kobol were the masters. Man was envious of the Gods abilities and immortality and so 3000 years ago they(possibly with the guidance of one renegade Lord of Kobol known as the One True God) made the “Cylons” ie. the humans. The Lords of Kobol saw this, took the resurrection technology away and cast the Cylons out of Kobol, where they travelled to a world they named Earth and settled. Before reaching Earth, they stopped on the Algae Planet and built a shrine to the One True God and asked for him to guide them. Apparently he guided them to Earth.
Skipping forward to 2000 years ago, the Cylons on Earth have created a cybernetic organism of their own, mirroring the centurians that would later appear on the 12 Colonies. Possibly these robotic Cylons turned on their masters (I’ll get to the other possibility shortly). The “Final Five” have been working on regaining their lost resurrection abilities, and prepared themselves for an escape from the coming apocalypse as the robotic Cylons rose up against their masters.
At the same time, an unknown calamity befell Kobol, and the 12 colonies left for their worlds. Kobol was not devestated like Earth was, suggesting it was not in fact a nuclear holocaust that led to their exodus, but some other reason.
Back on Earth, The Final Five die in the holocaust, are resurrected in new identical bodies in an orbiting ship, and they head off in search of their lost brothers at what Anders termed Subluminal speed, i.e. slower than the speed of light, i.e. no FTL jump drives. Their intent is to warn the colonies of the dangers of Artificial Intelligence, or rather of mistreating the life they create, essentially of playing God. They arrive at the colonies about 40 years prior to the present day (of the Galactica Universe) to discover, irony of ironies, that the 12 colonies have not only already built their own robots (that they now also call Cylons) and they have been mistreated and rebelled.
The Five go to the “leaders” of the robotic Cylons, and discover that the Cylons believe in God and have been trying to become closer to God’s ideal by engineering humanoid Cylons. Their experiments got as far as the Hybrids, and apparently the organic control systems of their vessels. The Five offer to help the Cylons achieve their goal, if they will stop their war. The Cylons agree, sign an armistice, and promptly bugger off for forty years.
The humans get on with their wonderful lives on Caprica, Tauron, Picon, etc and keep a watchful eye for any Cylon activities. The colonial Cylons, hand in hand with the Five remainders of the 13th colony of Earth, head off to a world of their own, and start work on the eight numbered humanoid Cylon models. Ellen believes that they should be made in the image of humans, just as the original Cylons were on Kobol. Apparently they decide eight models cover the full spectrum of human experience and worthwhile personalities. Unfortunately model #1 turns out a bit fucked-up and bitter about the whole deal he’s been saddled with and wishes he was more like a robot. Models #2-#8 turn out better, and have greater depth of feeling than #1. The Centurions and raiders are also upgraded to semi organic technology. Then #1 aka John, sees Ellen favouring Daniel, #7, and spitefully destroys the entire Daniel line, and turns on the Five, killing them. All of which apparently occurs within the first twenty years after the first Cylon War.
So John, now calling himself Brother Cavil, takes it upon himself to destroy all knowledge of the Five, and begins to adapt the new technology to the Cylons, to make them into the ultimate killing machines. Over the remainder of this period, he focuses on the re-armament of the Cylons in preparation for the slaughter of mankind. With me so far?
He then releases the Five one by one into the colonies, in order to torture them and hopefully teach them the errors of their ways before they finally die and return to him. Ellen is the first to do so. Blah blah blah, and here we are.
There are several small issues with this telling that seem to point to yet another force at work. Ellen, in the episode refers to the One True God, and to have not been involved in the creation of the Temple of the Five. This implies that the One True God was not a creation of the Colonial Cylons as Anders states, but in fact goes back further, perhaps to the time of the Lords of Kobol, to the 13th colony. It also suggests even more intriguingly that the Five are actually themselves a part of a larger scheme. Potentially one that includes the Lords of Kobol themselves. That they were not in fact born on Earth as they believe, but date back beyond Earth. Ellen says they were warned about what was coming in advance, but by whom? Anders claims the warning signs on Earth were delivered by messengers no-one else could see, for him a woman, for Tory a man, Galen thought he had a chip in his head… WAIT… Like Baltar?
The Final Five “Cylons” may in fact be something more on a subconscious level, in a way that they cannot articulate, and perhaps some of the players this time round are the same? Baltar sees his angelic Six, believing at one point that he has a Cylon chip in his brain. Kara saw Leoben guide her to the Mandala, and has been guided her whole life by some unseen force, by her Mother, possibly her Father, all eading eventually to her death and rebirth. Perhaps Kara and Baltar are two of the metaphysical Five this time round. Maybe Hera too, with inarticulate visions of the Six manifesting as childish scribbles in her drawing pad surrounded by the number 6 over and over. And the Opera House? Roslin too? Something links these characters somehow.
John Cavil mentions another colony that they don’t know about with “Ellen’s equipment”. Presumably this means the Cylons can regain resurrection with help of the Final Five, and Cavil is desperate to do so for obvious reasons. However, Anders warns Tigh that something is about to happen, “a gift from the angels”, and that he must stay with the fleet. If Ellen returns and the Cylons want to leave to the old Colony, perhaps that is where history begins to repeat itself? Perhaps this time round, if the Cylons stay with the fleet, and make it all the way to wherever the fuck it is that they’re going in the end, then it’ll all be worthwhile.
Anyway, I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Just over a month left to go.