Have you ever considered a nice rouge? It would really bring out your eye.
So, here we are at last. Human and Cylon pilots are working together. One Cylon group is trying to destroy another Cylon group. A viewer must at least ask “Which Cylons are you talking about?” The closer we get to the end of the tale, the more we are dealing with individuals. Remember the beginning of this saga when it was Humans vs. Cylons? Ape has long since killed ape. By the end of the episode, CylonFaction#2 will have destroyed CylonFaction#1's own resurrection hub. If their life spans are now finite, and mortal, are they unique?
FakeAthena embodies that question, as presented to Helo. She's got all the memories of our Athena, but is she the same person? She thinks so. But does she have the same soul? BSG likes to remind us Cylons are not the same as humans even as it continues to move them closer to a thing we want to call human. I believe the episode subtly hints that an individual is more than just memories. FakeAthena naively says, after the resurrection hub is destroyed, “It's a good thing. Now there's no difference. Now we can start trusting each other.” (The KKK and National Socialism have likewise felt unity was best achieved via homogeneity) I just can't see our Athena, with all of her experiences thus far, saying something so blithely stupid. Personally, I’m not so interested in answers as I am excited that the show keeps raising these questions. There are some quirky corners to BSG’s universe and I love the exploration of all its weird permutations.
The main thrust of the episode is Roslin's metaphysical consultations with GhostElosha. With Roslin finally being turned back from the brink of nihilism by recognizing there is at least one part of humanity she cannot cut herself off from: Bill Adama. But preceding her insight is a scene that is very difficult to watch. The cold calculation of Roslin ripping off Baltar's bandages is unsettling in the extreme. Roslin's been distasteful before, but this was a new level. Baltar quietly pleads in the background “Don't do this to me. Don't do this to me,” as Roslin kneels and folds her hands in prayer. Her mind seemly divorced from the horrible action she’s just taken. I’ve grown so used to hating her lately: remember when she was a naive school teacher, trying to altruistically govern the fleet?
Baltar's morpha-induced confession of guilt that unleashed Roslin’s homicidal side got me wondering: While he’s done wrong, how culpable is he? Is it conceivable it’s all been a manifestation of his over-developed ego? Surely the Cylons didn't rely exclusively upon Baltar. The show has never examined the facts of Baltar's betrayal, only his resultant guilt. As it became clear what Roslin was contemplating I found myself thinking “Wait, maybe he's not guilty! Just because he believes he was singularly responsible for the destruction of the colonies doesn't mean it's true.” All right, perhaps the facts don't support my gut-reaction, but there it is all the same. And Roslin has even less facts than I do. Was this her idea of justice, personal hatred, or does she even know the difference?
Roslin went from praying to penance in the span of a hyperspace jump. GhostElosha somehow connects for her, in one crazy ass turn of events: the attempted murder of Baltar; her detachment from the people she serves; and her love of Papadama. But damn if it doesn’t work. If Bill Adama is what tethers her to humanity then she’s just reached the furthest point away from the woman she was and she is about to be pulled violently back. The franticness in Roslin’s eyes as she tries to save Baltar is the realization of how wrong everything about her has become. She’s struggling equally to save herself. It’s impossible to say who the new Roslin might be but clearly it’s in the direction of Bill Adama. GhostElosha, you are quite the oracle.
And, well… if you're not doing anything later…
Speaking of oracles, I noticed a subtle undercurrent of them in this episode. In addition to consulting GhostElosha, Roslin teams with Baltar in trying to divine the Hybrid’s babbling. Alternating between humorous and pathetic they spend their time searching for meaning in the face of the perceived divine. Brother Cavil (and by his admission, all Cylons) are meanwhile seeking the wisdom of D'Anna “I know the final five” Biers. But is either side interested in her, or is her status of oracle the reason for it all. When D'Anna asks Cavil: “I could just shout out the names of the final five, why do you risk it?” he responds: “Are you going to end the war or are you useless?” It's a holy war with D'Anna as the profit and D'Anna knows it. But profits aren’t always desired for their wisdom. Even Baltar hilariously gets into the act as he attempts to minister to a mute centurion, apparently out of boredom. I suppose I could throw in Baltar’s morpha-ramblings about God too, where he uses his idea of God as a tool to mean “whatever makes my life fit together how I want it to.” Remember the beginning of the saga, when God and religion were barely hinted at? Oh Battlestar Galactica, how you’ve changed.
So if that was the last resurrection hub, how far out and resource strapped is CylonFaction#1? Are the 12-Colony-Cylons watching this all on CylonCNN, criticizing Cavil like we ragged on U.S. Prez. Bush? Is it even remotely possible that I can keep up with these reviews once the last ten episodes begin airing?