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Talk Back: "Battlestar Galactica" Season Four Opener

Whew. It's been difficult NOT talking about those plot twists in Battlestar Galactica's stunning fourth season premiere ("He That Believeth In Me"), thanks to that pesky non-disclosure agreement I signed with Sci Fi.

Now that the episode aired on Friday (and, if you didn't watch it, shame on you for missing one of the most intelligent and thought-provoking series on television), we can talk specifics, so I am curious to see what some of your theories are about Starbuck's seemingly apparent return from the dead.

While Kara herself discusses all of the possible theories about her resurrection (clone, Cylon, brainwashed), there are a number of interesting clues that point to a larger conspiracy here. Her Viper isn't the one that she flew out into the maelstrom with in the first place; the part numbers are correct but the Viper doesn't have a single scratch on it and looks like it just came right off of the factory floor.

Which means someone went through a hell of a lot of trouble to set up Kara's return to the fleet, reconstruct her Viper down to the part numbers (who other than the flight crew had access to those facts), and then set her back among them after showing her Earth. It's that Earth bit that worries me as well; Kara says that she's seen the blue planet and knows how to get them there. Every jump further away from Earth is making her head hurt. But in BSG: Razor, the Hybrid is very clear about the prophecy: that Kara Thrace is a harbinger of doom for the human race. Hmmm. So what if getting to Earth isn't such a good thing after all, then? What if it's exactly what the Cylons want?

I'm also concerned that there are some space/time continuum elements at work here as well; last season showed the possibility that the avatar posing as Leoben, whom Kara was speaking with back in the episode "Maelstrom," had the ability to fold time onto itself, granting Kara the ability to reach closure with her dead mother by sending her back into the past for one final dialogue. (Either that, or they were able to make use of the Cylons' projection technology.)

"All this has happened before, and will happen again."

It's that oft-spoken line that makes me question whether Kara was plucked from her Viper moments before it exploded in the maelstrom and seeded into a later point in the timeline. For Starbuck, only a few hours have passed since she entered the maelstrom, while for the rest of the crew, several months have passed since her death. So is this the real Starbuck, just pulled out of the current timeline, shown Earth, and then sent back to a later point? If so, why send her back now? Why fake her death? What was gained by this little act of smoke and mirrors? And what has changed since then?

As for that last question, it's no coincidence to me that Kara's return happens at nearly the exact same time as the awakening of four of the final five Cylons, each sleeper agents within the Colonial Fleet. While I think she's a red herring for the crucial final model, I do think she's connected to these Cylon agents and her return was planned for specifically this key moment. And for what happens next, that's anyone's guess.

How great was it to see Lee's reaction to Starbuck being alive? And the notion that, no matter what she ends up being, Kara is back in his life and that's what matters. Pity the same can't be said about Anders; I was chilled by Kara's comment that if she found out that Anders was actually a Cylon she'd blow his head off. Telling words coming from her and a sign that Anders isn't very likely to confess these Cylon feelings he's feeling inside to her anytime soon...

So what are your thoughts about Kara's return? And your predictions about the dark days to come? Talk back here.

Next on Battlestar Galactica ("Six of One"), Starbuck desperately wants to convince the others that they are going the wrong way, but is the answer really pulling a gun on your cancer-ridden president? Meanwhile, the Cylons learn that the Final Five are in the Colonial fleet and there's conflict brewing among the Cylons, some of whom want Cavil to stop lobotomizing the Raider ships. Just what does this signify? Find out Friday night.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad (NBC); Gossip Girl (CW); Dancing With the Stars (ABC; 8-9:30 pm); House (FOX)

9 pm: Deal or No Deal (NBC); One Tree Hill (CW); Samantha Who? (ABC; 9:30-10 pm); New Amsterdam (FOX);

10 pm: CSI Miami (CBS); Medium (NBC); The Bachelor: London Calling (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Gossip Girl.

It's another chance to catch up on the teen soap. On tonight's repeat episode ("School Lies"): the kids break into the school swimming pool and someone nearly drowns; Dan and Serena find themselves at odds over the gang's pact to protect the mastermind behind the party a secret; Vanessa's documentary project captures proof of Blair of Chuck's tryst; Lily debates whether or not to tell Rufus how she feels about him.

Comments

Anonymous said…
The great thing about the storyline at the moment is that it leaves so much open to interpretation, leaves so many avenues open and keeps us truly guessing.

The temptation is to think the Cylons are behind Starbuck's disappearance, journey to Earth and back, and that it it all part of their grand scheme. But that presupposes that they know the location of Earth themselves, that they have the ability and technology to whisk Kara out of her viper just before it explodes and recreate a perfect facsimile, and if they are so clever, how come not clever enough to make it look aged and damaged? I've always liked to think of the cylons as adapting to events rather than being completely in control of them, and being responsible for Kara's mission doesn't sit well with that.

There has always been a strong spiritual element to the story, and when you talk of red herrings, Jace, my guess (my current guess, it could of course change next week!) is that Baltar as a phoney messiah is to throw us off the scent that there is a genuine talismanic spiritual figure who has a role in mankind's destiny. Her journey to Earth is reminiscent (very) of Jodie Foster's journey in Contact.

A simplistic reading of the Cylon's motives would be that they want to reunite the surviving humans with those on Earth and destroy them all at the same time, but if they already know the location of Earth, why did they pull back in the attack on the fleet when it seems they could have eliminated the whole of the survivors of the colony at a stroke and then gone on to do as they will with Earth. Either they don't know where Earth is and need the fleet to guide them, or perhaps the idea is that the missing hidden Cylon is someone that can infiltrate Earth when it is found to facilitate its destruction too? I dunno!
Unknown said…
First, I love BSG, really I do. However, one thought kept nagging me throughout this entire episode: What's with all the mysticism? When did BSG become a religious telethon? Why does it seem like everything is a sign, a miracle, or a prophecy? Please stop. I'd like some science in my science fiction, please.

Moving on.

We've heard over and over how the Cylons don't know where Earth is, so I expect they want BSG to guide them. Given the afore-mentioned mysticism, I have no idea what pulled Kara from her timestream, dropped her near Earth, and then brought her back. It's not Cylons though.

Why doesn't anyone admit that it looks as if Kara took some pictures while she was out and about? Won't their timestamps match her story?

The Fab Four were triggered at a specific time by the song, but what caused it? Proximity to the nebula? How could the programmers have known about the nebula? Did the Twelfth model trigger them manually? Is it aware it's a Cylon? Probably--I think that'd be more interesting.

Who's the final model? Roslin? Not Kara, Lee, Adama, or Helo. Gaeta? Dee? Cottle? It has to be someone significant but who won't offend the viewers' beliefs (too much). I still think it could be Baltar. At least that'd explain how Crazy Six can tell him things he couldn't know--some low-level communication between Cylons perhaps.

What about the second human/Cylon hybrid from Cally+Tyrol?
Anonymous said…
"So is this the real Starbuck, just pulled out of the current timeline, shown Earth, and then sent back to a later point? If so, why send her back now? Why fake her death? What was gained by this little act of smoke and mirrors? And what has changed since then?"

All I could think while reading this was "I'm having a Twin Peaks experience!" (And I mean that in a good way.)
Anonymous said…
Moore and Eick have taken many threads from the original series and brought them into the new series in better (and often more logical) forms. One thread that hasn't obviously shown up yet in the new series is the whole "Count Iblis" and the "ship of lights" thing – a race of beings so technologically advanced that they appear to be god-like (See "War of the Gods" parts 1 and 2 from the original series). In those stories, Apollo dies and is brought back to life by these beings and in the process returns knowing the path to Earth. Sound familiar?

I have been wondering since Starbuck's death if this was going to lead into the re-imagined version of that story. Perhaps there's a third, technologically advanced player working here behind the scenes manipulating both the humans and cylons. An interesting twist would be if this third player turns out to be the humans from Earth who have evolved technologically (there have been rumors that when they find Earth, it will at some point in our far future).

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