The 5th!

I had sort of wondered about her because of what they did to make her a) survive in the fleet b) survive on New Caprica, and then b) resemble the 6.

But.. there it is!

Is this misdirection?   A head feint?

Are you convinced?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Steve K. says:

    Well my guess was way wrong, but it was not Adama either.

    But tonight’s episode raises a huge question: just who or what is Starbuck, really? Any, it was a great episode.

    And maybe next week Zarek finally gets his, heh heh.

  2. Jenny Z says:

    Indeed, if Ellen is the 5th, then what is Starbuck?

    Great episode. Man, I really feel for Laura Roslin. And Duala really surprised me. But it was a great way to show the helplessness and hopelessness that they must be feeling, after spending so long searching for the “promised land”, for the promised land to be a hunk of nuked dirt.

    Wow. Can’t wait for next week.

  3. DavidJ says:

    Personally? I’m not so sure that Six and Ellen aren’t really the same.

  4. Jenny Z says:

    Also, the toaster they found on Earth… nice homage to the old toaster models from the old show :)

  5. MikeG says:

    I didn’t want it to be Ellen, but I’m sure there will be some great backstory.

    For most of the episode, I thought it was going to be Dualla.

  6. David: Right! Exactly! That means that there is another Cylon and it could be… who? Starbuck?

  7. We know the older model metal cylons are still out there too.

  8. Paul says:

    If Starbuck isn’t a Cylon, then what is she? A clone? More importantly, what brought her back? I’m convinced that there’s a third agency at work, neither colonial or Cylon – something behind all the visions and HeadSix and HeadBaltar. (I may be setting myself up for a fall by clinging to the theory that it’s an actual spiritual entity/entities, not some six thousand year old AI, but I still cling to the theory nonetheless)

  9. Paul: could be. It’s a puzzle, alright.

  10. Thomas Grant says:

    This is why I love this show. I’ve always loved scifi but the suspense, acting and the drama are first rate!

  11. Andy Lucy says:

    Well… Ellen could quite simply be the 5th.

    Ron Moore has spoken numerous times about the old “Ship of Light” storyline from the original series. There was a nod to it when Kara did her painting of the comet/exploding baseship onboard the Demetrius… but Moore has spoken of more than a passing nod to the plotline.

    If you don’t remember the story (or weren’t born when it first aired), Apollo, Starbuck and Sheba were on a mission where Apollo got killed. As they were bringing his body back to the fleet, a brilliantly white ship overtook them. Starbuck and Sheba were given coordinates to help find Earth. Apollo was brought back to life, to help them on their journey.

    I can’t help but wonder if that is the type of thing Moore has in mind for the new series.

    I know of a few people who said that Ellen was the 5th… but I wasn’t one of them. I personally thought the irony of Adama being a Cylon would have been primo. Oh well.

  12. Bev says:

    Well, I personally loved the revelation that the 13th tribe were the cylons but I’m very irritated with the Starbuck/Ellen Tigh issue.

    I didn’t have any stock in Starbuck being the cylon, and I wasn’t particularly swayed by Jimmy Akin’s argument that it was Adama. I did agree with his point that it needed to be a major character though. I guess I was leaning towards Roslin, because of her visions/prophesies/whatever connection to the mystical element – similar to the way Baltar connects with the one God both cylons and humans (theoretically) share. I also sort of thought of Roslin and Baltar as opposites and his huge role in how the series progressed kind of led me to think hers would escalate as well.

    As I debated this with hubby tonight after the show, he Googled this LA Times article where Kate Vernon herself articulates that she is in fact the fifth – so this isn’t misdirection, it just means Starbuck is connected in a different way.

    As soon as Dualla was returning home from Earth to Galactica I knew what she was going to do. It is well studied that people who’ve decided to commit suicide actually feel better in their last hours/days believing the end of their suffering to be near. She did several classic “tie up loose ends” activities as well.

  13. PaulJason says:

    I guess I can Ellen and the six being one and same.

    Is it possible that Starbuck is a hybrid?

    Is it possible that the humans came from the cylons and not the other way around?

  14. Denis says:

    Starbuck is a Cylon, Ellen is the original Six.

    Gonna be a great last series of episodes!

  15. Paul says:

    I’m wondering who people think is behind Starbuck’s cloning/whatever actually happened – were there Cylon survivors of Earth? (one of the preview ads has a – to me unfamiliar – voice saying “Go back where you came from! – hmm…)

    Was it the Ship of Lights? God? The gods? Whoever “planned” the Final Five’s resurrection? (And what was so special about those five that they were saved while all the other Earth Cylons remained dead?)

  16. Patrick Macnee (of the original Avengers fame) was the infamous Count Iblis (allegedly the Prince of Darkness) who was being pursued by the Ship of Light and he was the voice of the Imperious Leader in the original BG series.

    My only disappointment with the new series is the subtle slam on religion contrary to the treatment on the original.

  17. Eric says:

    I thought you were talking about María la Bailadora.

    I don’t have a TV.

  18. Fr. Trigilio wrote:

    My only disappointment with the new series is the subtle slam on religion contrary to the treatment on the original.

    I agree that occasionally the new show has treated religion as something bad. Both the human polytheists and the Cylon monotheists have shown bad religious traits. But I must respectfully disagree that this characterizes the treatment of religion in the show.

    The old show was indeed very religious. Specifically, it was completely in line with Mormon doctrines. Thus when the humans met the gods in the episode with the Ship of Light (War of the Gods, Part II) the gods told them, “As you are now, we once were; as we are now, you may become.” This is almost a literal quote from the LDS prophet Lorenzo Snow, who stated that “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.” This doctrine was first taught by Joseph Smith in his famous King Follett Discourse.

    Also, in the original BSG, the humans are led by the Quorum of Twelve (analogous to the LDS’ “Council of the Twelve Apostles”), and humans originated on the planet Kobol (an anagram of the star Kolob, where Joseph Smith claimed the throne of God the Father is, who he claimed has a physical body).

    Glen Larson, the creator of the original BSG, was himself a Mormon. Since Mormons have specific beliefs about life on other planets, it makes sense for a Mormon science fiction author to incorporate his beliefs into his work.

    Ron Moore, on the other hand, isn’t a Mormon. Not surprisingly, then, the only Mormon elements in the new show are the bits that were preserved from the old show; no new “Mormonisms” have been added. In an interview, Moore explained the role of religion in the new BSG thusly:

    I was aware that Glen [Larson] had used Mormon influences and how he had created the cosmology [in the first show], but I’m not that familiar with Mormon belief or practice…. At the beginning, I sort of assumed that the Colonials — the human beings — would have a belief system, probably polytheistic. In the original, the “Lords of Kobol” were referred to several times. But it wasn’t until the development of the miniseries when I sort of randomly gave the Cylons a belief system. I was creating the characters and working on some lines for Number 6 and I thought it was interesting if she professed a belief in a single God. I had really given her a belief in a singular God almost by accident. I compared that with the polytheistic religion of the colonials, I started to realize that an interesting pattern was developing–the Cylons believing in the one true God and the Colonials having an older, multifaceted system of deities that was obviously patterned on the Romans. As the series went on, I started to believe that the Cylon belief was going to be a guiding principal.

    The most important difference between the two shows is that in the old BSG, it was revealed that the gods were in fact real. But the new show, so far, has not yet divulged whether the Cylons or the humans are actually correct in their religious beliefs. I think that that revelation (if it occurs) will clarify whether it’s fair to see the show as religious, anti-religious, or neither!

  19. Melody says:

    Fr. John, the original was heavily based on Mormon eschatology, so I’m not sure how positive it really is.

    PaulJason: I might agree with that except that Moore has confirmed Ellen is the 5th. Also, one assumes Tigh knew her when they were younger. If she was Six, he would have recognized her as Ellen.

    I’m with you folks in saying the Ship of Light has got to have something to do with it. In the original, they not only brought Apollo back from the dead, but also made the ships factory new.

  20. I know its just fiction and in comparison to the pantheism Star Wars and Star Trek, BSG is far superior (yet I am still a die-hard Whovian for what its worth), nevertheless, my only gripe with the new BSG is the subtle undertone of religion as total myth.

    Recall the burning of the sacred text by Madame President. I do see the parallels of the polytheism of the human Colonials and LDS Mormonism. The Cylons, though, should have been patterened after the paga Roman Empire, being Imperial and polytheistic, with the Colonials being more like the ancient Christians and therefore should be monotheistic. That aside, and I may be totally off, it just seems to me that most sci-fi movies and series since (and including) Star Trek and Star Wars tend to demythologize religion in general and make it appear as a PRIMITIVE characteristic since SCIENCE is now the new religion and technology is the one and only sacrament.

    I remember attending a seminar on CS Lewis and Tolkien in which the professor speculated on the theological consequences of finding intelligent life on other planets. If not humanoid, but still intelligent, would that not be evidence of a rational intellect? If we communicated with this extraterrestrial race and determined they have a free will in addition to a rational intellect, would that not be evidence of a human SOUL? Did Jesus redeem only humanoid human nature or all human nature (mortal body + rational soul)? Just as His maculine gender did not prevent Him from redeeming female human beings, perhaps a humanoid body would not prevent Christ from redeeming all creatures who possessed a rational intellect and free will united to a mortal body. Then missionaries from earth could be sent to other solar systems. Now that is really SPECULATIVE theology ;-)

  21. Johnny Domer says:

    I was pretty bummed to figure out that, since the thirteenth colony on earth was all humanoid cylons, it means that I’m a cylon. Doggonit! Now I know how Tigh must feel…

  22. Fr. Trigilio: Did you ever read the SiFi book dealing with that very thing? It is titled The SparrowIt’s a little strange and the author is ex-Catholic I think.  But Jesuits are sent to another planet to evangelize.

  23. PaulJason says:

    Adama is the dying leader

  24. PaulJason: You know… you may be right. After that last episode… hmmmm

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