Battlestar Galactica #65: Downloaded

"Life is short, but the next one's not."
SO SAY WE ALL: Whatever happened to Baltar's Six and Boomer after they were killed? And Sharon has her baby.

REVIEW: A game changer. By tracking back to the attack on Caprica and seeing Baltar's Six be reborn, and then 10 weeks later, Boomer's own resurrection, and eventually teaming them up, a whole other avenue of story-telling is opened. From this point on, the show is ALSO about the Cylons. Not a couple Cylons in the cast, not the Cylons as recurring enemies, but as a people forging their own destiny side by side with the human story. I bet Grace Park was happy to get out of that cell, eh? This is the first time we see resurrections at all, so let's not bury the lede. It's major. We find out it's traumatic, especially for sleeper agents (Boomer's existential scream when she sees herself is shocking). This is our first sight of the gel bath, which shows it to be a slow process that requires attendants and re-integration, at least for complex human models.

And then there's Head Baltar. In an amazing twist, the same way Baltar is haunted by Six, Six is haunted by Baltar. Did their souls get co-mingled when her first body was destroyed? Is this shade of Baltar, who plays the same role (guide, avatar of confidence, and yet seeder of doubts) an external force? Is he an "angel" sent to Six as a messenger of God? Note how he pushes her to a better understanding of God's wishes, while on Galactica, the Six rescued from Pegasus has no idea what Blatar is talking about when he mentions God's plan or the importance of Sharon's child. Head Six knows things Caprica Six never knew, and the same seems true of Head Baltar. We'll wait a long time for a confirmation (the very end, in fact), but even in the finale, this truth will remain ambiguous. Faulty models might well get "boxed", the consciousnesses dumped in a database, so the stakes for our two malfunctioning Cylon "heroes", both in love with humans, are high. D'Anna/Three is very creepy as the den mother on the surface trying to pair them up so they can help each other re-integrate, but really trying to make them go crazy so they will be boxed. As Head Baltar intimates, the Cylon leadership thinks the two heroes - the first Cylon celebrities - are dangerous. Their words have weight. Their perspective goes against the plan. But perhaps not God's plan. D'Anna's contention that God loves her, and that the genocide of humanity was just and not a grievious sin in His eyes, they're the words of a zealot. Just how far does this conspiracy go, and can the two human sympathizers create a strong enough movement within the Cylon hegemony? It will be fascinating to follow.

(It's also a little difficult to ascertain just when this takes place, because Starbuck was on Caprica "two weeks ago". Could be a mistake or a turn of phrase, but it might be months since Six and Boomer started on their endeavor and we haven't seen a change in the Cylons. By the time we see them again, the movement may have advanced sufficiently to be a problem for the Cylons. It also would mean we shouldn't feel too comforted by Anders' healthy appearance here. Months later, he might be working with these Cylons tough. So much to think about!)

In a way, all of this overshadows the Big Event of the episode - the birth of Sharon and Helo's child (Hera, now there's a strong monotheistic Cylon name). Premature, breach birth, baby on a respirator, and the President ruthlessly denying Sharon the raising of her child, because what's good for the Cylons is probably bad for humanity. It gets dark, with an actual dead baby put in Hera's place while the mother secretly adopts her. Doc Cottle isn't happy about it, but goes along, manufacturing a story about complications and the child's death. Helo and Tyrol releasing the ashes into space is poignant, but of course, it's not really her. Even Baltar believes it, and so Head Six does too, promising divine retribution on the entire human race. Emotions run high. It's all very intense. That kind of wallpapers over the very contrivance of this plot point. A woman coincidentally loses a premature female baby that is indistinguishable from Hera to her new parents' eyes? The show features divine providence, sure, but when we don't see the puppets' strings, it just feels forced.

The Waterfall Building makes another appearance, acting as the Cylon café. It also contains Sharon's apartment (which is the same location as Kara's). The parking garage was under the BC Cancer Agency, on West 10 Avenue, but that building has since been torn down.

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: Anders refers to human Cylons as Skinjobs, which is what Replicants are called in Blade Runner (the film co-stars Edward James Olmos, so it's a nice nod).

HUMAN DEATH TOLL: The headcount starts at 49,579. It presumably doesn't go up 1 to include Sharon's child, as Maya's baby seems to have died in the same time frame.

VERSIONS: The deleted scenes include Roslin vising Sharon's baby and thanking it for saving her life; Baltar asking the Six he's got hidden in the fleet to organize the kidnapping of Sharon's baby, but she's really not into it and doesn't know about Head-6's plan and would rather talk about the coming election; -3 wanting access to Sharon's baby to get exclusive footage of it and trying to convince Roslin it would help her in the polls; D'Anna3 and 6 preparing to mount a kidnapping mission (and calling her 13), and then being told by Helo that she died.

REWATCHABILITY: High - Hey, it won a Hugo Award. Who am I to argue with that?



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