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Okay, I can handle the revelation from last night’s episode of Battlestar Galactica, and, actually, based on the last few episodes and some of the commentary online, it’s not really that surprising, but making us wait a whole year for the next part? Yeah, that’s not fair.

If you haven’t seen the episode yet and don’t want to know the end, now would be the time to go away. If you’ve seen the episode or just don’t care, read on.

Starbuck, Tigh, Tyrol, Anders, and the President’s assistant (I forget her name, I know, I suck) all being Cylons could either be a really good move or it could make the show royally suck donkey balls (that is a technical term). Generally, I tend to side with this sort of thing being a bad move. Revealing that a character you’ve come to love and trust as one of the intrepid heroes is actually a villain, or more closely associated with the villains than previously thought, is generally betraying your viewers/readers/listeners/consumers. All of the characters who were just revealed as Cylons have acted as a disruptive member of the fleet in some capacity or another for much of the series.

Tyrol was screwing around with Boomer and helping her out when she was grappling with her own realization that she’s a robot. In this past season he organized a work stoppage.

Tigh’s a drunk whose relationship with his wife was pretty disruptive from the start. The fleet was also in pretty bad shape when he had command of Galactica at the beginning of Season 2. Then, in the beginning of this season he was undermining morale.

Starbuck’s tendency to do her own thing was always causing trouble. She was also stirring up trouble with Tigh at the beginning of the season.

Anders caused a bit of trouble between Apollo and Starbuck as well as being part of the reason that Starbuck drags everyone back to Caprica (arguably pretty disruptive and not necessarily the wisest thing to do, on the surface).

The President’s Assistant, well she wasn’t really around long enough to cause that much trouble was she? Still, as I recall she had a tendency towards being reactionary and a bit disruptive.

So, is that why they’re the final 5 Cylons? To explain away their erratic behavior? I’m expecting not, but you can see where I’m coming from. Going that way could be very bad, it could undermine a lot of the interesting stories that have been told in the past 3 seasons. Part of what was great about the show is everyone was a normal human being. They were fucked up and they did good and they did bad and they made a whole lot of mistakes and people didn’t always get along. Having this kind of revelation undercuts a bit of that. Were these 5 programmed to disrupt the fleet from the beginning? Is all their behavior based on that? Can all of the shitty things any of these people did be explained away by that they were Cylons and just following their programming? Is that 3 of the 5 were the heads of the resistance on New Caprica a coincidence or all part of some bizarre Cylon experiment? Both Tyrol and Starbuck were aware of the Eye of Jupiter from their childhoods, why? Did they even really have childhoods? Starbuck had a mother, supposedly. Was that all a construct? Was her mother a Cylon or somehow associated with the Cylons?

Depending how this gets addressed, the show has either jumped the shark (as some seem pretty well convinced) or they’ll explore the ramifications of this revelation in a way that allows the story to continue to evolve in new and interesting ways. I’m hoping for the latter, to a certain degree I think it’s reasonable to expect the latter, the show is, generally, pretty well handled. Still, I have to wait a damn year to find out how this is all going to pan out … that’s a bit frustrating.

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One Comment

  1. I come down on the “good idea” side. This is more about the blurring between hero/villain, and us/them. This show has ALWAYS been about that blurring. Are the cylons truly “evil?” I think the answer is no. They are beings, like us. I think RM is a visionary writer who has taken this show way beyond my wildest expectations. I’ll be glad to admit if it sucks royal donkey sac, but I think it’s gonna work out JUST fine. 🙂

    But yeah, BOO on the damn 2008 thing. Grr.


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