S. Spielbergo mentioned his hope (well, expectation) earlier today that I would slap together a post at some point regarding last night's Galactica episode, as I did with the last two. The problem is, The Oath and Blood On The Scales were both very, very heavily built around the classic idea of taking well-defined characters, placing them on opposite sides of a question without an obvious answer, and charting the tragedy that then inevitably unfolds.
No Exit, in contrast, was about sitting the fans down and starting to fill in the quite staggering number of blanks the show has accumulated. If the last fortnight has played out as a Greek tragedy, last night took the form of a historical lecture. Which isn't to say I didn't have my share of OMG!!1! moments as the revelations began pouring into my head, it just means that ruminating on the various characters' reactions would essentially boil down to whether each individual seemed too shocked, insufficiently shocked, or just shocked enough.
That's not something that interests me. What I thought I'd do instead is return to the two posts I wrote a little under a year ago, before Season 4 had started, and consider a) how close I came, and b) how much more (or less) impressive the various aspects to the "truth" are than what I managed to put together. I've been pretty vague up to this point, but spoilers will follow, and even by the usual standards, they're pretty massive ones.
Question: How can Tigh be a Cylon?
SS says: Possibly a sleeper agent, but alternatively deliberately had their memories wiped and inserted themselves into Colonial society as an objection to the planned war.
RDM says: Had his memory wiped by Cavil in order to plan a war without his interference, was then inserted into colonial society.
Verdict: Small victory in predicting the split was over the war (and the Five may not have known about the second war, but they did in fact stop the first), but the idea that Cavil betrayed them is a lot more fun than my idea.
Question: Why are the final four different ages?
SS says: Perhaps they entered colonial society at different times.
RDM says: They entered colonial society at different times.
Verdict: Score! Not really a tough one, though.
Question: How did the Final Five escape death in the attack?
SS says: Perhaps they have access to resurrection technology, and/or inserted themselves after the attack. Perhaps all four were replaced by the Cylons at various points during the show, since all four are in important positions.
RDM says: It's still not clear, but Ellen's resurrection certainly demonstrates that both Tori and Anders could well have died in the attack, have been resurrected, and then re-wiped. Tori could then have been placed on the fleet (much as Ellen apparently was), and Anders put on Caprica (along with a Cavil, as we know). Using this theory, only Tigh was actually lucky enough to survive, and had he not, he would likely simply have been resurrected and placed on a colony just as Anders was.
Verdict: Unknown for now, though the fact all four ended up in important positions at least seems like it might well be coincidence.
Question: Who is the Final Cylon?
SS says: Possibly Baltar, but more likely someone we have yet to see, pulling the strings
RDM says: Ellen Tigh, alive and well aboard a base ship, and totally unable to pull the strings anymore.
Verdict: Sort of right in a very oblique way, but I was way off base in pretty much all the specifics, particularly the idea that the Final One had planned to activate the other four so that they could take over the fleet. I actually prefer that idea to it being Ellen, in a lot of ways, but I'll confess that the overall arc is better served by the Five being benevolent, even if the short term WOW factor is somewhat reduced.
All told, I feel I got close over the objections to war with humanity, and the subsequent memory wiping (even if those responsible was something I got wrong). I was a little further off with how they survived (there may be more on this to come of course), and totally struck out on the Final Cylon question. And, as said, having One/Cavil/John as the vile betrayer, quite apart from fitting well into the Biblical themes of the show, adds far more to the show than the suggestion that Tigh and Co. did all this to themselves.
We still have some way to go, of course. There's still someone out there stealing pilots, sending them to nuked worlds, killing them, and then recreating them along with their Viper. There's also the matter of the Sevens, and Starbuck's father. You know, the artist...