Last night’s fantastic mid-season finale of Battlestar Galactica was entitled “Revelations” for good reason. We had been waiting all season, if not longer, for some of the major developments that took place in 2008’s final episode. While the outing of the four Galactica Cylons was a huge development, it was the long-awaited discovery of Earth that will truly be a game changer for both the characters and the series itself. When Admiral Adama (Edward James Olmos) stepped foot on the planet and picked up the soil in his hands, it wasn’t the beautiful happy ending it was meant to be. Earth was supposed to be the utopia that saved the human race, but instead the crew found the remnants of a bombed out civilization. It was the perfect example of a theme that ran throughout the episode: be careful what you wish for.
Before I touch on the discovery of Earth, let’s talk about the reveal of the hidden Cylons. Many of the Galactica crew members have been obsessed with discovering the undercover toasters since the beginning of the series, but they never seriously considered that their most trusted allies could be working against them. Adama’s reaction to the news that his friend of 30 years had been deceiving him was absolutely heartbreaking. We’ve seen the Admiral broken up before, but no other event ripped him apart like Tigh’s confession. The elder Adama descended into a crying, drunken heap, and probably would have stayed there had it not been for the help of Lee (Jamie Bamber) and Laura.
Roslin, Starbuck and Baltar had different reactions when they learned of the secret Cylons. Roslin (Mary McDonnell) was definitely shocked, but quickly regained her calm demeanor and prepared to get down to business. Baltar (James Callis) claimed he always sensed something strange in Tory, which was either a lie or a hint that he has a deeper connection to the Cylons than we realize. While Roslin and Baltar were noticeably shocked, Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) internalized her disbelief at her husband’s true identity. While this repression of emotion is certainly fitting for her character, it’s obvious the reveal will slowly eat away at her.
The outing of the four Cylons was intriguing, but we’re still no closer to knowing the identity of the fifth and final toaster. D’Anna (Lucy Lawless) hinted that the fifth isn’t even in the fleet, which is an unexpected twist. Though we’ve all had thoughts on the identity of the final Cylon, I honestly have no idea what the writers have planned for that reveal. It looks like we’ll have to wait until 2009 for that question to be answered.
Just as the Cylon Hybrid predicted, the final four Cylons (or at least the three that were present) helped point the way to Earth. The toasters received a static-filled message encouraging them to investigate Starbuck’s miraculously regenerating Viper. For some unknown reason, her ship received an emergency message that laid out the path to Earth. Considering that the Earth we saw at the end of the episode was desolate, we have to wonder who is sending these messages. I assume the version of “All Along the Watchtower” that activated the Cylons last season also came from the same source. Is it Battlestar Galactica‘s version of Lost‘s Danielle Rousseau who is sending out these signals? Is it one lone person in a bombed out, irradiated civilization? Or are there more humans on Earth that we’ve yet to see? Again, these questions will all have to wait until 2009.
The reveal of the destruction present on Earth immediately reminded me of BSG‘s mantra: “All of this has happened before, and will happen again.” Though Lee told D’Anna just moments earlier that the old saying needn’t be true, it does seem as though the humans are right back where they started. They’ve left one burnt out piece of the galaxy for another. Heck, they even brought the Cylons with them, which could lead to the same problems they faced before.
This is where I have to pose a question: what if the humans really are right back where they started? It’s possible that the human race originated on Earth, then fled to the stars after the planet’s destruction. They set up shop in a new universe, found a religion based on Greek mythology, and were eventually led back to the planet they once populated. Can they rebuild humanity on the rock that they escaped millennia ago? We’ll have to wait and see.
The final ten episodes of Battlestar Galactica are set to air in the first quarter of 2009, and though the crew has arrived on Earth there’s still plenty of story to tell. We still don’t know what happened to Starbuck, what’s up with the opera house dreams, why Baltar has Cylon visions, or who the final toaster is. “Revelations” offered up plenty of answers, but it also left us with numerous questions to ponder. It’s going to be a long wait, but if BSG keeps up this phenomenal level of quality it’ll be well worth it.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of the Sci Fi Channel)