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Battlestar Fodder

Battlestar Galactica: Key Points from "No Exit"

Imagine that - I've been watching BSG all these years, writing episode recaps for the last few seasons, calling all the Cylons by number at times - 1, 6, 8, and so on - and never in all this time did my mind go, "You know what? There is a missing number they've never shown: Cylon #7. I wonder why that is?" Call me daft, but for some reason it never dawned on me.

I have to hand it to the writers (yeah, that's He of The Velvety Mane over to the right) - plot lines are beginning to tie together in very interesting - and in my opinion, pretty brilliant - ways. The more research and pondering I do over the reveals that this episode brings, the more I am wowed.

Amidst an episode that played out like a royal info-dump, we learn a brain-numbing amount of information. Rather than try to write it all out in prose, I think the best thing I can do for all of us is to bullet point the reveals given to us in Anders' section, and then cover Ellen's section separately. At the end, I'll post some references for further reading that analyze these revelations and paint a more coherent picture of the whole.

For now, I'll avoid the whole Tyrol / Adama plotline that discovers Galactica's crumbling "skeleton," since I think that is going to play out in interesting ways further down the line.

To kick things off, they delivered upon us a new intro sequence:

- This has all happened before, and it will happen again
- The Cylons were created by man
- They rebelled
- Then they vanished
- Forty years later they came back
- They evolved
- 50,298 human survivors, hunted by the Cylons
- Eleven models are known
- One was sacrificed

With that, here is a list of all the things we learn, broken down by the person delivering, also broken down by order of reveal:

The bullet to Anders' head triggers his suppressed memories

During his surgery, Anders babbles the following:

  • "Among the bright stars I'm lost" and "There's a new tide. All the forgotten faces, all the forgotten children, we seek the forgotten language..."
  • "The colony never forgets."
  • "The mind is its own place."
  • "...and a Hell of Heaven."
  • "He whose guile (with a flash of Cavil), stirred with revenge, deceived the mother of mankind."
  • "And all the forgotten faces, we seek..."
  • "We'd been to that beach too. Yes, we'd been to that beach. Sometimes Ellen would be there too, because she loved the water. She loved the water."

When he's more coherent, he tells the others:

  • They all worked in the same research facility on Earth
  • Tigh and Ellen were married then
  • Tyrol and Tory lived together, were madly in love, and planned on getting married
  • When Tigh pulled Ellen out of the rubble (from his vision on Earth), Ellen said they would be reborn
  • They were reborn on a ship they placed in orbit around the planet
  • They knew the end was coming, for they had been warned
  • Cylons on Earth could have children
  • They didn't invent resurrection, they re-invented it
  • Organic memory transfer came from Kobol, along with the 13th tribe
  • It fell out of use after the Earth Cylons learned how to procreate
  • They worked night and day to rebuild it
  • Tyrol's work on it was "amazing"
  • Ellen was the one that made the intuitive leap to bring the system back online
  • The Final 5 went to the 12 colonies to warn them
  • They knew the colonies would continue to create artificial life
  • They needed to tell the colonies to treat the artificial life well, keep them close.
  • By the time the 5 got to the colonies they were already at war with the Centurions
  • The Holocaust on Earth happened thousands of years before
  • The 5 had not developed jump drives
  • They traveled at relativistic but subluminal speed
  • Time slowed down for them, but thousands of years had passed
  • Anders doesn't know anything about Kara
  • The Centurions were already trying to make flesh bodies
  • They created the hybrids, but nothing that lived on its own
  • The 5 made a deal with the Centurions - stop the war and they would help them
  • The 5 developed 8 humanoid models and gave them resurrection
  • Tigh wonders if they will be blamed for showing the Centurions how to build skin jobs and then give them resurrection, and thus causing the destruction of the 12 colonies
  • Tyrol says they ended the First Cylon War, buying time for humanity
  • Tory points out that the humans on Kobol made them, so if you go back far enough it's always "them" (the humans)
  • Anders reveals that Cavil (John) was the first one the Final 5 created
  • John helped build the others
  • Tyrol questions why they didn't see that as a bad idea, creating Cylons after they'd already seen the cycle
  • Anders says the Centurions had a single loving God, and that Ellen said it changed everything.
  • Ellen said if the Cylons embraced love and mercy then the cycle of violence could end (so this makes me wonder if the show's remaining humans and Cylons will continue the cycle at the end of the show, or stop it by embracing love and mercy...)
  • Cavil / John rejected mercy; he had a twisted idea of morality
  • John turned on the Final 5, and trapped them in a "compartment", cutting out the oxygen, and killed them.
  • When the Final 5 downloaded into new bodies, John blocked access to their memories and then implanted them with false ones.
  • John boxed the Final 5 for a while, and then introduced Saul Tigh first not long after the war, and then Ellen.
  • Back on Earth, the warning signs the Final 5 received looked different to each of them.
  • Anders saw a woman, Tory a man - no one else could see them
  • Anders says, "Galen, you thought you had a chip in your head."
  • Cylon #7, named Daniel, died.
  • Anders tells Tigh to stay with the fleet, that it's "all about to happen," that it's "the miracle," and that it's "a gift from the angels."

Anders then goes under the knife, so we'll likely get no more from him if he recovers.

Ellen's Resurrection

  • Ellen resurrected immediately after Saul killed her.
  • She speaks to the Centurion attending her tank as if she knows its programming.
  • Ellen calls Cavil "John," her original name for him when she created him, a name which Cavil hates.
  • We learn that she made "John" in her father's image
  • John (Cavil) deleted his own "sleep" programming 20 years ago
  • John wants justice for the Centurions being slaves of humanity
  • When Boomer-8 arrives, Ellen wonders if there is a ship full of her children out beyond "the guards"
  • John reveals that Ellen made the 8's as well (and as we know from Anders the Final 5 created all 8 humanoid models that were given to the Centurions)
  • Ellen calls the Temple of the Final 5 "The Temple of Hopes"
  • The Temple of Hopes was built by the 13th tribe 3,000 years ago when they left Kobol
  • The 13th tribe stopped and prayed for guidance there and then God showed them the way to Earth.
  • John says it is now a temple to their vanity, The Temple of the Final 5
  • Boxing a line of Cylons isn't permanent (as we've seen)
  • John says the Final 5 planted a "carnival trick" to reveal their faces in the Temple
  • Ellen says they didn't plant anything - they backtracked the path of their ancestors and found their temple, and the "one true God" must have orchestrated those events
  • John's pissed that they were created to emulate humans
  • The 5 designed them to be as human as possible
  • Ellen tells Boomer that she feels no remorse because they didn't limit the 8 humanoid models in their creation - they gave them the wonderful gifts of free will, creativity, compassion, and love
  • Boomer ponders who she could possibly love
  • John worries about extinction once the Resurrection hub is destroyed
  • John says they can't procreate biologically, so they need to find a way to rebuild resurrection
  • John says - "They destroyed the Hub, but they don't even know about "The Colony."
  • John reminds Ellen that all of her "equipment" is still at The Colony
  • Ellen says she only knows part of the system and it would take all 5 to rebuild
  • John threatens to cut open Ellen's head to look for the resurrection data
  • John sent The Final 5 among the 12 colonies so they would see what they're like "up close and personal."
  • John hoped they would be killed in the holocaust, but they didn't.
  • Ellen recounts all the things John did on New Caprica to the Final 5.
  • Ellen believes that John was waiting for them to be killed so that when they downloaded they'd admit to John that they were wrong and thank him for the suffering.
  • Daniel, the #7 Cylon, was an artist
  • John felt that Ellen was playing favorites toward Daniel
  • Someone (i.e. John) contaminated the amniotic fluid in which they were maturing all the Daniel copies, and then corrupted the genetic formula.
  • When Boomer comes to take her to surgery, Ellen says, "You should have brought a tumbrel." Watching it live, I didn't know exactly what she said, but figured it to be some throwaway tech line. Luckily, the BSG Wiki did some digging, and now I don't know if it was such a throwaway line after all:
"A tumbrel is a two-wheeled cart used to carry various loads, particularly on a farm. For the viewing audience, this is a cultural reference to the French Revolution in the 1780's, when many condemned prisoners were carried to the guillotine in tumbrels. In the show's universe, she may be referring to parallel events on Kobol and/or the Thirteen Colonies." - BSG Wiki
Now I may be reading too much into this, but could she be making a reference to our Earth timeline here? Or did things happen on Earth similarly to our own events, like some sort of parallel universe theory? There are a lot of references throughout the history of the show that are inspired by our version of Earthly culture, but I guess only time will tell if they are direct references or some sort of cultural bleed-over between parallel universes.

Anyway, now that you have all the pieces (and good lord there were a crap-ton), below are a few links to articles on the BSG Wiki that do an amazing job of summarizing events or analysis:

- The Thirteen Cylon Models - This article over at the BSG Wiki is part of a larger article about humanoid Cylons. This particular section is great in that it puts everything we've learned in context.

- Episode Analysis for "No Exit" - BSG Wiki also has an incredible analysis of this episode, which manages to relate some of the facts we hear to the giant canvas the BSG writers are painting for the entire series. Reading some of this made me reflect on previous seasons and come to the realization that Ron Moore and company are doing some pretty brilliant things beyond just a "cool" scifi show.

UPDATE: - BSG WIKI's Timeline: This is also an excellent read that tries to encapsulate all the events that have been revealed so far.

Needless to say, i can't wait for Friday night!

To whet your appetite, here is the preview for "Deadlock":

Info-dump your thoughts into the comments below!

Posted by Perrin on February 19, 2009 10:18 PM
Permalink | Email to a Friend | Add to | Digg This

There's a lot of information being thrown at us and I thought the writers handled it better than expected. What I didn't expect was to like Ellen so much - Kate Vernon is really showing us a different side of this character.

I find it interesting that Anders word spew is similar to that of the hybrids - could he become one? Especially now that Galactica will be getting the biomechanical resin from the basestar...

-- Posted by: Vix at February 19, 2009 11:46 PM

Yes, and Ellen's previous personality makes sense given what we learn as well. Leave it to the bitter John to give her a false personality of being an idiotic bimbo, when she was obviously one of the most intelligent and compassionate of the Final 5.

And Anders as a hybrid for Galactica? Now that's interesting.....

-- Posted by: Perrin at February 20, 2009 12:09 AM

Anyone find it interesting that Cavil's name is John? "John Calvin" ring a bell? The founder of Calvinism?

-- Posted by: Zach at February 20, 2009 1:28 AM

Hmmmm, my history is rusty. Does John Calvin's beliefs relate to Cavil's somehow?

-- Posted by: Perrin at February 20, 2009 10:30 AM

Wow! So much information in this episode, and after reading this review, clearly I missed various parts!

Gonna have to re-watch, and keep much of this in mind.

I wonder how #7 - Daniel is going to fit into things. Is he really a goner, or will we find out that there is one still around?

With this info of what John/Cavil has done, what does this mean in reference to the alterations he made to the Cyclon ships?

Ellen was great in this episode!

-- Posted by: shikotee at February 23, 2009 1:22 PM

"Daniel, the #7 Cylon, was an artist
John felt that Ellen was playing favorites toward Daniel
Someone (i.e. John) contaminated the amniotic fluid in which they were maturing all the Daniel copies, and then corrupted the genetic formula. "

Daniel has to be Starbuck.
Starbuck's painting, the fact that she came back to life etc etc...
Everything points to this.

Plus Starbuck was a dude in the old series.

-- Posted by: AC at February 25, 2009 9:54 AM

nice recap points.

I was especially intrigued by Ellen Tigh's comments/revelations about Daniel #7 -- she said he was an artist, sensitve and beautiful something like that.

the suggestion about Starbucks really blew my mind -- we find out she did play the piano and her father was a composer.

but it also made me think of Baltar and wonder if he was #7 originally. he is sensitive to the extreme point of narcissism and schizophrenia -- and maybe that chip in his head IS real and that's where the Sexy Six ports into.

glad we'll also have Caprica. and of course DVDs

really looking forward to (and yet not looking forward to) the BSG Finale tonight

Next week, a new BSG comic book will be released!!!

-- Posted by: New BSG Comics Coming! at March 20, 2009 6:56 PM

check and check coupon code available for more

-- Posted by: Poiserochelle at December 26, 2011 3:33 AM

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