Battlestar Galactica is the show of a thousand openers. Or, at least, four. Working backwards from the main part of the episode, there’s the opening credits and blipvert glimpses into the episode ahead. There the opening scenes, setting the stage for the episode to follow. There’s the “Previously on Battlestar Galactica” snippits, and then, of course, there’s the descendant of “The Cylons Were Created By Man” montage of words, music and images that started with the mini-series. And it’s this that I’d like to focus on.
This household has a bit of a love-hate relationship with the little words and music montage that starts every episode of Battlestar Galactica. On one hand, the creepy Cylon music does well to put the viewer in the right frame of mind for what’s to come. On the other hand, the mysteriously ominous set of phrases usually have not lived up to their first use in opening of the mini-series. Worse, repeated over and over, they become something to be parodied.
“The Cylons Were Created by Man”
“And They Have a Plan.”
“It Involves Stan, and a can… of Pam!”
But if this opener is used for anything at all, other than opening atmosphere, I suspect it’s designed to point the direction the season is going to go. For the first couple of seasons, the Cylons had a plan (what was it? Darned if I know, even now at the opening of season four), but it changed after the occupation as the show’s focus changed. Now, after Ron Moore and company have revealed four of the final five models of Cylons, the new opener focuses on this point, with the promise that “THE ONE WILL BE REVEALED.”
Well, it had better be.
Truth to tell, I’m less curious about this than I am about how the Cylons will resolve their civil war, and if the humans can make it to Earth, but I’ll give the storyline the time of day. It helps that the final four Cylons — Tigh, Tori, Anders and Tyroll — aren’t feeling any sort of automatic loyalty to the Cylon cause and instead just want to know what makes them tick. What impact they’ll have when the other Cylons realize who they are should be interesting television, and the last Cylon to be revealed should have a tremendous impact on the final resolution of what’s supposed to be the final season.
So, who is the final Cylon? The fan base is abuzz with speculation that Ron Moore has been more than happy to feed. The obvious contenders, he promises, won’t be. It won’t be Adama or Roslyn. It won’t be Lee or Starbuck. It won’t be Baltar (they’ve teased that already in any event). But it will be big. It will blow us away. They promise.
The problem with that, of course, is that if it isn’t any of the prime movers and shakers on this series, there won’t be any impact. Dee? Shrug. Gaeta? Double Shrug. The list of candidates who would blow us away has been dropping steadily as the show moves along to its inevitable conclusion, and the list got a lot thinner when Tigh himself was taken off it for the big four.
I was mulling this over, as I do while washing dishes, and was hit with a minor revelation. What if the final Cylon isn’t human?
What if the final Cylon is Galactica itself?
Is there precedent for this? We already know that the Cylon raiders have flesh inside, making them as complicated a set of creatures as the “skin jobs” themselves. We’ve been told that the resurrect just like the “skin jobs” do. In Six of One, Dean Stockwell’s Cylon admits that the sentience of the Cylon Centurians was being deliberately suppressed to prevent a rebellion, and when Six removes that suppression, rebellion is the first thing that occurs.
So, clearly, though the Centurians and the raiders are not among the Cylon models 1 through 12, that’s only because Cylon models 1 through 12 say so. That isn’t to say that the remaining Cylon model has to look human.
Now, of course, I’ve no compelling evidence to prove that Galactica has skin hidden somewhere inside, like a raider, but circumstantial evidence did pop into my head when this possibility came to me. For instance, in Six of One, in the scene where Tigh, Tori, Anders and Tyroll wonder about the music that brought them together and the fact that the fifth and final Cylon appears to have ignored it, it’s worth noting that Tigh first identified the music as coming from “inside the ship” itself. Remember, these little details count in Galactica. Remember when Deanna found out who the final five were, recognized one of them and apologized as she “had no idea”? More than likely, she was apologizing to Tigh, for poking out his eye.
So, how do the Cylons manage to slip a Cylon Battlestar behind human lines without anybody noticing? Well, how did Tigh manage to fight the entire first Cylon war alongside Adama without anybody realizing he was a Cylon? Indeed, the fact that Tigh could be a Cylon at all would likely have to be tied up with how the Cylon war came about in the first place, and possibly even why the Cylons rebelled. The “Cylons Were Created by Man” prelude to the mini-series was originally going to be a lot longer, after all, and described the Cylons’ use as war machines in the humans’ own wars. Perhaps Tigh’s creation as a Cylon has something to do with that. Perhaps he and the other of the four refused to fight the humans and shut off knowledge of their own Cylon heritage, and this is why the remaining seven refuse to talk about them. If Galactica is a cylon, perhaps it has something to do with that.
I’m not Ron Moore. He’s been paid a lot of money to keep me guessing for several seasons, now, and he’s very good at his job. I can only imagine how Adama would react to the revelation that, not only was his best friend a Cylon, so’s his favourite ship. I certainly can’t imagine what contribution an awakened Cylon Galactica would have to the finale.
This likely won’t come to pass. In fact, I’ll go further and say almost certainly won’t come to pass. However, it fits the criteria that Ron Moore set out for the revelation of the final Cylon model: it will shock us, and it isn’t any of the obvious candidates. You can’t get less obvious and more shocking than the very ship which has anchored this entire series since the show began.