Battlestar Galactica

Season 4 Episode 15

No Exit

3
Aired Friday 10:00 PM Feb 13, 2009 on Syfy
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (19)

9.3
out of 10
Average
446 votes
  • No Exit

    10
    No Exit was a perfect and very awesome episode of Battlestar Galactica and I really enjoyed watching this episode because there was a lot of revelations about the Cylons, how and why they were created, and why they took the path they did. Meanwhile the Admiral is dealing with a Battlestar on it's last leg and has a dilemma to deal with in repairing it. I think it was great to watch the back story from the Cylon point of view. This was definitely one of the best episodes of the season. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • We will know the truth

    9.0
    Sooner or later, the writers were going to have to buckle down and make sense out of the Cylons. It's something that should have been done much earlier in the series, to be honest, but the explanation includes a certain rationale for why this was not done. Some will come to the conclusion that the writers had much of this in mind all along, but Ron Moore and the rest of the gang have never hidden the fact that they were making up a lot of it as they were going along.

    The result is an explanation that somehow manages to work far better than it has any right to do so. By all rights, there should be numerous continuity violations throughout the tale. Somehow, only one major question threatens to tear the explanation apart, and even that could be reconciled with a little more willing suspension of disbelief. Unlike some shows that are practically ruined by the failure of the writers to bring it all together at the end (like, for instance, "Alias"), this cements "Battlestar Galactica" as a triumph.

    Essentially, the story fits together as predicted, just with specifics where the vague hand-waving would have been. Back on Kobol, thousands of years ago, Humans created artificial life, against the warnings and prohibitions of their gods. Initially there were centurions, but eventually there were the "skinjobs". These Cylons rebelled, and in the ensuing war, Kobol was destroyed. The Humans went on to create the 12 Colonies; the Cylons fled. (At this point, they also had the technology for resurrection.)

    The Cylons ultimately wound up on the path that the ragtag fleet followed, from the algae planet to Earth. At some point, they gained the ability to procreate on their own. With the need to resurrect no longer present for survival, the technology was "lost" and the Cylons spent much time in peace.

    However, as that peace was coming to an end (either through self-destruction or incursion), five of the Earth Cylons read the signs and portents and began research into "resurrection". This enabled them to survive the holocaust on Earth. Their resurrection ship (either in orbit or at another colony) was the launching point of an effort by these "Final Five" to return to the Colonies and warn them not to create artificial life.

    Unfortunately, the Final Five arrives too late, and the First Cylon War was already underway. The rebelling Centurions (the product of the events to be seen on "Caprica") were attempting to create their own "skinjobs", and were failing (as seen in "Razor", for example). The Final Five convinced the Cylons to end the war by appealing to the Centurion notions of an all-loving God and their desire for evolution. With the knowledge of resurrection in hand, the Final Five were in the perfect position to lead these new Cylons towards eventual peace.

    The first new "skinjob" was John Cavil, created by the Final Five (specifically Ellen). With Cavil's help, seven more "models" were built. At some point in the process, however, Cavil came to disagree strongly with the notion of making the Cylons more like their oppressive creators, and sought to undermine the Final Five. At one point, this meant tampering with the replication process for the Sevens; no copies could be made, as the genetic template was destroyed. (This could have meant that the original Seven survived, however.)

    Ultimately, Cavil betrayed the Final Five by killing them and tampering with the resurrection process, erasing their memories. The Final Five were reprogrammed with false memories of their lives as Colonials, and they were seeded into Colonial society. Since they were the evolved Cylons of Earth, they were just like Humans, right down to the ability to age over time. This was done shortly after the armistice (as marked by the first verifiable appearance of Saul Tigh).

    In the roughly forty years that followed, Cavil concocted a plan for revenge against the Humans and the means to reproduce. He prohibited knowledge and discussion of the Final Five, and placed inhibitions on the free will of the centurions. Using the same means he used to "plant" the Final Five, Cavil sent copies of the new "skinjobs" into Colonial society to prepare for the destruction of the Human race. The plan, apparently, was to use the survivors in experiments designed to help the Cylons find a means to procreate ("The Farm").

    It's not clear if the Cylons were determined to track down the ragtag fleet because they wanted to wipe out the last of the Human survivors, or because Cavil specifically wanted to eliminate the Final Five before they could find Earth and discover the truth. What does matter is that Cavil's unbalanced psychology explains almost everything that the Cylons have done since the beginning. (And one would presume that the upcoming film "The Plan" will fill in some of the blanks.) Certainly the events on New Caprica are a lot more disturbing!

    Whatever the case, this is precisely why the Colonials and the rebel Cylons must forge an alliance. Ellen has given Cavil a pressing reason to hunt down the fleet. Once this information gets out (and it will start to spread), the Adamas and Roslin will have a solid reason to exonerate the rebel Cylons. Cavil will become the mastermind behind the destruction of the Colonies.

    This all makes a great deal of sense, especially since it fits the notion that this is a cycle that always seems to repeat itself, with only minor variations along the way. One could even speculate, based on the 13 known models of humaniform Cylons, that the Lords of Kobol were "skinjobs" from an even earlier cycle!

    More importantly in terms of the current mysteries, this could explain Starbuck's "special destiny". Seven, the "artist", might not have been destroyed. Instead, Cavil might have treated "Daniel" in the same way he treated the Final Five. Starbuck's father was described as an artist as well, and if the only Seven turned out to be Kara's father, it would explain why she was a little different and why she would have known, instinctively, about the mandala that was associated with the Final Five.

    It would also explain her resurrection. If the current version of Cylon resurrection was encoded based on the knowledge of the Final Five, then it would have been based on the technology they used as the basis of their own resurrection thousands of years earlier. If Kara had the genetic markers of the current Cylons within her DNA, and if the original resurrection ship of the Final Five still existed, then it could have activated as a result.

    That leaves a couple of mysteries still left to explain. First, how did Starbuck and her viper get from the maelstrom planet to Earth in the first place? That may never be answered. Second, exactly where was the resurrection ship of the Final Five? It couldn't have been in orbit of Earth; the fleet would have detected it. One simple answer could be buried in the episode, where it is suggested that there was a colony where the resurrection ship/technology might have been kept. If this is the case, Ellen might hold the key to a new home for both Cylons and Humans.

    And the fleet will need a new home. Galactica isn't going to last forever, even with the Cylon technology helping to affect repairs. The entire season has been a slow and methodical process of bringing Cylon and Human together, and this is just another symbolic example. Roslin is unlikely to survive much longer, either. With the execution of the Quorum during the mutiny, Lee's suggestion marks the passing of the old way of identifying with colonies of origin. (In a way, this is symbolized by the defeat of Zarek's revolution, which was at least partially built around old Colonial rivalries.)

    While most of the information fits, one major question stands out: the matter of Saul Tigh. The rest of the Final Five could have easily been introduced to Colonial society in the wake of the First Cylon War. But Tigh was supposed to have been a decorated officer during that war, which doesn't fit at all. It works to the benefit of the writers that Adama didn't know Tigh until after the war, and Tigh's recollection of the war could have been implanted memories. The only problem is that Tigh's military career, specifically his decorated past, would have been reviewed at some point.

    If Cavil was able to pull off everything else, then it was possible for him to slip falsified information into Colonial records. Considering how much else Cavil was supposed to have done, I suppose it's just one more thing to add to the list. But since we know that the Cylon backstory was conceived after the fact, Tigh's war record is the kind of thing that stands out as a reminder. All things being equal, it's less satisfying when the final revelations require some massaging.

    The other drawback to this episode is the sheer amount of exposition. The writers pull out a few simple techniques to keep up some tension and prevent the episode from becoming the fictional equivalent of a college lecture. It does work, but the bottom line is that this is a textbook violation of the "show, don't tell" principle. I'm not sure, given the time constraints, that it could have been avoided; further detail was even shunted into "The Plan", after all. It cannot be denied, however, that this episode was an instant brain-frack for devoted fans, especially those who have been wanting some explanation for the Cylons and their actions since the very beginning. It's clearly meant to set the stage for the remainder of the series, and it even clarifies "Caprica" to a certain extent. There's not much more that fans could ask for at this point.
  • Almost works

    8.0
    "No Exit" brings the Big Reveal. After four seasons of waiting, we start to get answers. This is good - to a point. I've already been slammed in the forums for my views that "No Exit" seemed to be something of a cop-out; at the time I made those comments I admitted I hadn't seen the episode, only read a scene-by-scene synopsis. At the time I wrote in the forums, I also indicated I'd willingly retract my concerns were the episode to prove me wrong.

    Well, I retract them. To a point. Like the episodes before it, "No Exit" is undoubtedly good drama. It's also good BSG in many elements - and it certainly closes the circle on a lot of very subtle points, and opens the door just a crack on potential reveals that might come in the last 5 (or six, depending upon how you look at the second installment of Deadlock) segements yet to air. I certainly enjoyed the episode far more than I was anticipating - bad sadly, not so much for the Big Reveal as I'd hoped. OK... so the good points:

    1. The reference back to the algae planet and the Temple of The Five. This, for me was one of the most delightful and subtle closures of what appeared to be a minor story element. Back at the time of the temple's discovery, it very much appeared as if it was down to some kind of religious epiphany on Galen Tyorl's part - an echo of his "mother's" strong religious background leading him forward. But that was before we knew him to be a Cylon. Now we find - in a scene so beautifully crafted I wonder how many people actually spotted it - that Tyrol was not lead to the temple by any "religious" heritage, but rather because his presence on the algae world re-awakened something of his "original" memories that Cavil / John had tried to erase in ending the "final five" into humanity. As Ellen reveals, she, Tyrol and the rest passed the temple as they traced the "exodus" route back from Earth to Kobol....so in returning to in aboard Galactica, Tyrol opened the door to long-suppessed memories. Could this actually have been the start of his "Cylon reawakening" - indeed, could it have been the trigger for all of them? A memory so strong, Cavil / John couldn't totally destroy it?

    2. The Galactica and Adama. Despite the Treknobbable inherent in Tyrol's plans to save the ship, the scenes in which he reveals the extent of the ship's poor condition coupled with Adama's belated recognition of the damage (in the head in his cabin) beautifully underplays the degree to which the Admiral and his ship are inexorably joined together. His fate is indesputably bound to hers. Not only is this demonstrated in his reactions to the damage (again marvellous played by Olmos with facial expressions that reveal more than words could tell) - but also in the way the ship's deterioration reflects Adama's growing habit of pill-popping and alcohol-taking. How long, one wonders, can the ship survive - and how long can Adama's system take the pills and the booze before something in it breaks down....

    3. Lee Adama. FINALLY!! Someone has come to realise that clinging to the idea that they are / can be "12 colonies" rather than a spacefaring collection of humanity - and while it has taken them four years of storytelling (and so two years or so of "ships time") to come to the conclusion - HOORAH!!!

    Sorry, but the whole clinging-to-the-ideals-of-government-as-they-used-to-be was perhaps one of the weakest elements of the show - although conversely, out of it sprang some surprising stories. It was obviously from the start that there was no way the fleet - with the peoples of the 12 worlds all so thoroughly mixed up on all the diferent vessels, etc, - simply couldn't resume "business as usual" in respect of the political system, therefore the entire idea of the Quorum has been bogus from the outset. Which is propably why, one or two good standalones aside, this side of BSG has failed to genuinely work (other than a machine through which Zarek can weave and plot). Where it did shine was when it held up a mirror to the war on terror and things like civil liberties, and in asking the question of how far an apparently "democratic" society can go before the underlying dictatorship is revealed - and conversely, how far can one go in the name of the "democratic process" before tumbling into the realm of terrorism....

    I'm glad this loop has apparently closed now. Lee's recognition that the "old ways" don't work come at a fitting moment, and open the door to a new thread of the story....but at the same time, it really could have come a lot sooner and resulted in some strong dramatic situations that could have easily towered over what we've had.

    4. The whole question of downloading and resurrection as it affects HUMANS. We now know that there is a resurrection facility operating in Earth orbit (which is actually another flaw in the story - something I'll return to later). The implication now seems to be that it may have interceded with Thrace and "rescued" her afte her crash on Earth (OK...so this doesn't explain her nice, shiny Viper....). IF this is the case, then has the door been opened to explain one of the most fundamental questions I've had from the mini series - which is, Just how DID Gaius Baltar survive the nuclear shockwave that struck his house?

    Again, I've been involved in heated (and quite funny) debates on this matter in the forums. One person went so far as to suggest the shockwave did little more than "blow dust and paper" around Gaius' house to justify his seemingly miraculous survival. When that failed (and the blast clearly did WAY more than that, as we saw both in the mini series AND the opening titles of virtually every episode, including this one), they progressive move the epicentre of the blast further and further and furth away from Baltar's house to "explain" his survival, and even distored the everys as portrayed to justify their contentions.

    Now it seems, the answer is much more obivous as to how he survived with just a few scratches in a blasted that killed "Six": he was downloaded and resurrected, just like Thrace appears to have been. After all, the technology was "rediscovered" on Earth by Ellen et al, and we know form her conversation with Cavil/John that only she and the other Four can recreated it now - ergo, it stands to reason that if the technology could resurrect Thrace, it could also resurrect Baltar. And what a fitting revelation that would be for him - and what a stunning revelation for humanity as a whole. Just when the Cylons are seeking procreation and the human cycle of birth and death....the humans may yet discover the road to immortality. Such a pity there are only 5 episodes to tie this up IF it happens...

    On the flipside, I'm going to go out on a limb here and stay the whole Cylon reveal thing really does suck on a number of fronts.

    1. The idea that there is suddenly a "13th" humanoid Cylon just doesn't ride. Again, some fans have put a lot of contorted reasoning into justifting this, such as "Well, there were only 12 models, because that's all the seven knew about, they'd never been told about Daniel". Well, sorry, but that's hogwash. The fact remains that the writers have maintained to US, the viewers, that there are TWELVE Cylon models. Not 11, not 8, not 56....TWELVE. Now all of a sudden we're expected to accept a 13th. I really don't care about how this "explains" the "missing number 7" (which it actually doesn't, as Ellen indicates that "Daniel" was likely No 2 off the production line behind Cavil/John, hence the latter's hatred of him). The fact remains that as a viewer, I am left feeling not a little cheated by this "stunning revelation". Let's face it the choice of the name "Daniel" comes WAAAYY to close to that of "Daniel Greystone" - one of the characters in the upcoming Caprica series. Thus, to me, this "revelation" smacks more as a set-up for Caprica than it does anything else. And that is where I have my biggest problem with this episode: 2. The entire "Final Five" reveal smacks not so much as bringing the story to a structured close but more a case of desperately trying to get everything to apparently look like "this is the way it was palnned" (remembering Ronald Moore's promises of 4 years ago that BSG was "a story with a very definite beginning, middle and end", all of which he asserted were "known"). At the same time elements of the episode smelled strongly of set-up frames for Caprica...

    And I'm afraid to say the whole "flashback" thing didn't work for me either. Flashbacks in TV and film drama work one of two ways. When they are done well, they link back to hints and clues seeded earlier on in the show / film, allowing the viewer to recognise the inherent logic and the continuity of the story. Again, "No Exit" DOES achieve this in part - and I refer you to my comments on Tyrol and his "epiphany" on the algae world as a practical demonstration of this. BUT....where a "flashback" is used badly, it tends to be where something happens that has never previously been alluded to or hinted at. Suddenly, mid-story you're confronted with a rewind that doesn't so much put the "evidence" you're seen all in perspective - it simply drops an entire new thrust and pace of the story right into your lap like a spilt mug of hot coffee. The raction in evokes is not so much one of "Ahhh! Of course!" as it is "AARRRGGHHH!!"

    Sadly, "No Exit" falls into this latter category. The Ellen story, the "Anders remembers everthing because of a bullet in his head, but ends up a cabbage before he can reveal all" both come across as contrived. And just don't get me started on Cavil/John's actions. For one thing, the whole Odepus thing with him and Ellen has been talked to death and IS somewhat unpleasant. But...more than that, it is simply so totally heavy-handed. And, like Zarek's fall from Machiavellian political manipulator to basic thug (whalloping someone with a spanner, ordering the Quorum shot), Cavil/John's fall regression to hateful, jealous, foot-stomping little boy is very disappointing. OK, so the writers needed to encourage us to distance ourselves from both of these characters - but it's nothing short of heavy-handed in the way it is handled in both cases.

    3. Resurrection on Earth. "we built facility in Earth orbit" explains Anders. Really? And it survived the war there (after all, it DID resurrect the Five). It also seems to still be functioning - unless some other unforseen event is going to be used to explain Thrace. OK....

    ....So how the hell did the Galactica et al totally fail to find ANY evidence of the facility on their arrival in Earth orbit...? Adama forget to order a complete reconnaissance of the planet and the space around it? Seems unlikely. And if it turns out to be cloaked or something, I'm going to be very, very, disappointed, given cloaking technology has never ever played a part in this BSG universe up until now. But all that said, it could have been worse - a lot worse; as such, I will keep to my promise and retract some of my negativity towards the episode, if not my feelings that things could have been handled a lot more smartly if the writers had really known where the story was going, if not from the outset, then from at least the outlining of Season 4. Certainly, now the bulk of the exposition is out of the way, even with it being somewhat hard to swallow in one sitting like this, I hope the remaining episodes actually work to draw the remaining strings together cohesively, rather than threatening to expand on some of the "new" story elements this episode has suddenly introduced.
  • This week's instalment of the greatest science fiction show on television comes to you, dear viewer, in mind-addling mythological technicolor, throwing revelation after explanation after revelation into your face until you just can't take it any more.

    9.0
    Huh. Talk about your fangeek fests. Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, this is fun. This week's instalment of the greatest science fiction show on television comes to you, dear viewer, in mind-addling mythological technicolor, throwing revelation after explanation after revelation into your face until you just can't take it any more. And then it carries on, laughing its bolshy, brash, overly confident face off with guiltless, unadulterated glee. Want to know how the Centurions became Cylons? Done: experiments in advanced technology. Want an explanation for resurrection? Gotcha: the Final Five invented it together. Fancy a comprehensive history of Sol, Galan, Anders, Tory and Ellen and their activities prior to becoming 'human'? Say no more. How about an explanation for the Five's lack of knowledge regarding who they are? Well, you only needed to ask, silly! The original number 1, named John, did it to the poor buggers as payback for his creator, Ellen, 'trapping' him in a human body. Oh, and what about the elusive 'number 7'? Need to know about him? You got it - named Daniel, effectively murdered by John out of jealousy regarding Ellen's affections. We don't actually get to see him, regrettably, but I don't doubt it will happen some time over the course of the remaining four episodes.

    Phew. You'd be forgiven for feeling, well, a little overwhelmed by it all. The unravelling comes thick and fast and it only pauses to catch breath by interjecting a C storyline into the mix about Galactica's significantly run down status and how Cylon technology is going to have to be used to fix the ship (oh and Tyrol becomes Chief again)... which, obviously, is a nice metaphor for the situation on the character side of things. There's a nice little scene in which Lee effectively becomes President too but you needn't worry too much about that. By the end of the episode, a global collective of science fiction fans find themselves picking themselves up off the floor, dusting their windswept, battered and bruised selves down and trying to take stock of what they've just witnessed: to reconcile it, file it away and work towards the realisation that, yeah, Battlestar Galactica pretty much just gave us all about 80% of the answers we've been craving for four years. Next week: Starbuck, rationalised, piece by narratalogical piece. We can hope.

    Frankly, I'm still recovering from this one. I'm not sure I've managed to process it all yet. I will say that it's a delightfully structured episode and that, in particular, the strand involving Ellen is wonderful: it's somewhat appealing to the fangeeks in the audience to see her activities in the last eighteen months predicated on the major events in the Galactica calendar. The only criticism I can really muster is that perhaps this is just too much for one episode and that the exposition is rather talky. A better storytelling decision may have been to narrate the Final Five's history through flashback in order to put it into context but then, really, we shouldn't grumble when the show is finally giving us what we all want. A bit of a whirlwind... but a very enjoyable one.
  • Flitting back and forth between Galactica present day and the Cylon Fleet, this episode adds a great deal to our knowledge of the origin of the human Cylons.

    9.5
    Once again the writers of Galactica show us how they can use Science Fiction as a vehicle for dissection of the human condition; they know us well.

    We see the relationship between the final Cylon "Ellen" model and Tavill. Ellen is the creator of the human form Cylons, the final five, this episode reveals, are the original Cylons pre-dating the modern human models. We learn of an additional model that was destroyed maliciously by Cavill. We learn the source of Cavill's bile and determination to wipe out the humans; he resents being made in the image of those he considers inferior.

    The writers brilliantly sculpt the scene where this becomes apparent to tell an eternal story of humanity through Cavills disavowal of that very thing; a child's longing for approval by his parents all the while ostensibly rejecting their wishes. They propose a formula for the eradication of racism - live among them. I previously heard this theory espoused by Dawkins in "The God Delusion", he postulated that to rid Northern Ireland of sectarianism they need only have Catholic and Protestant children go to school together. To finally end the cycle of Slavery, Revolt and Genocide between human and Cylon Ellen and the final Cylons sought to do the same. Have evolved post-revolt Centurians take human form and live with the humans, live AS humans and let this allow them to put aside their hate and resentment. This plan may fall flat if Cavill continues to be the dominant voice in the Cylon Fleet.
  • Chief Tyrol gets approval from Admiral Adama to do whatever is necessary to fix Galactica.

    8.5
    Kind of a slow episode, but that is OK once in a while. Anders is having visions of the events from ancient earth. All of the Cylons aboard the Galactica are gathered around him to here what he has to say. After having a seizure the doctors say the bullet has to come out of his right away so that he doesn't die. The surgery appears successful until they hook a machine up to him and there are no brain waves.

    The final Cylon, Ellen is dealing with John who is determined to get revenge for being made into the image of a human. Before John can carry out his plan and cut her brain open get the information he wants, Boomer sets her free on a ship and she immediately jumps.

    The Galactica is falling apart and Admiral Adama apoints Tyrol Chief once again. After turning down a few of the Chief's ideas on how to repair the Galactica, Admiral Adama sees the damage that has been done and tells Chief Tyrol to do whatever is necessary to fix the Galactica.
  • least satisfying reveal since who shot J.R.

    5.0
    Ellen is back, but even though it has been established the final five aged on Caprica (remeber the line Adama gave Tigh.."I remember when you had hair") Ellen comes back the same age she was when she died. Makes no sense. Cavil is the one who wiped the final five's memories and sent them to the colonies. It doesn't make much sense to go through all te trouble of creating brand new identities for them. Why not just kill them? This also strongly implies they knew all along who the final five were, which is in my opinion inconsistent with the prior episodes, which the show NEVER does. Cavil tortured Tigh and faught Anders, slept with Ellen, and he knew who they were the whole time..eh I don't buy it. More importantly, it implies all the other models knew too (how could they not since ellen said she raised them), which is VERY inconsistent with the entire series. Athena interacted with Tyrol (not to mention Boomer) and Tigh and they just pretended they weren't the final five? eh.. That's just two examples off the top of my head.

    The plus side is that the story (especially with the dialog between Ellen and Cavil) tried to explain some of this this,which at least implies the writer knew some inconsistancies needed to be explained which I appreciate, but I still don't like the explanation. The story was well acted as usual and Anders and Ellen probably had the most speaking of any episode they were in yet.

    Finally, I did not like the techno-babble of the episode. The chief knowing of a "special organic resin" reminded me (very bad) of Star Trek Voyager. Alot of what Ander's said was also hard to fathom. It was very suprising because Ronald Moore hates that sort of thing.

    Everyone will hate this review, and I know the writers tried, but I did not like the reveal at all. It seems like that in all good stories The journey is sometime better than the explanation.
  • big pieces of the puzzle fall into place

    10
    Anders and Ellen reveal many of the reasons why things are as they are - who the final five originally were, where they came from, what they have been up to and why their memories have been blocked. Ellen now seems very different from the annoying scheming wife of Saul as we formerly knew her - her memories were blocked before, and when she is downloaded into a new body, everything comes back to her, and we see her as a fine and noble, intelligent, maybe heroic (albeit Cylon) woman in her own right. Anders meanwhile remembers the past because of the way the bullet affects his brain. He tells the other three cylons about their origins and history, as well as he can with the brain damage making his words come out funny. When he mentions Ellen, and how she loved the water, you can see that he revered her. I had a hard time with Ellen being the fifth cylon before but not any more - now that I see that she's someone different from who she was before. A good reminder that things and people are not always what they seem!

    On the cylon ship a lot is revealed through Ellen and John Cavil's interactions. Cavil is a very bad cylon. Bad! Bad cylon! There are still many things still to be explained though - like what Kara is, and why 'all of this has happened before and all of it will happen again', and of course how it will all turn out. Also in this episode, the Chief and Admiral survey the damage to Galactica the ship. It has sustained extensive hairline fractures beneath the surface and it might just take one more jump or big impact to crush it into smithereens. The damage and vulnerability seem a wonderfully disconcerting metaphor for condition of what's left of humanity as well.
  • Makes you re-assess many events that have happened over the entire series and an episode that does that is no mean feat.

    9.0
    I actually want to go watch the entire series again after this episode. That's how much it makes you re-evaluate past events. They make an episode that might have turned out only to be an info dump, mean something.

    Key to this is Kate Vernon's re-appearance as Ellen Tigh. As a Cylon she seems more confident, sure of herself and in control. It's a nice touch to test a Centurian's intelligence by asking to be helped out of the soup like the lady she is. Her relationship with John a.k.a Cavill is also more frakked up than ever before. Turns out he was the orchestrator of the entire holocaust. Bstard son and original flesh Cylon creation that he is. Having Boomer there also raises questions that make you want to go back and watch previous episodes.

    Now, I thought Sam and Tory were the couple and not Galen with Tory. Sam's bulletbrain visions really cleared and set-up a lot. I liked it even if it felt like too much information sometimes. Question is still on Kara though. Now I don't want her to be Cylon but with the only dead forever Cylon now known to be Daniel (the no.7 who's ectoplasm was poisoned by John) you can't help but think, is Starbuck a conduit or a re-incarnation for him. I have a feeling it has more to do with the one true god though as does head-six (still very absent). Speaking of the One True God, it turns out that the final 5 did not know or believe of him till they met the new Cylon Centurions half a century ago. That is interesting as we assumed it was always that way with all Cylons.

    The ship falling apart is something you wouldn't see in other tv series and I like the fact that when building they cut corners like many a builder may do. It makes you feel that the old bird is dieing along with it's dieing leader.

    Lastly loved the little bit with Tigh and Caprica's baby. Seeing as there is no indication him and Ellen had kids (well they couldn't I suppose) this must be elating for him. It's nice to see the guy just a little happy. What will Ellen think when she returns (next week) though?
  • The last of the Final Five returns, Anders knows the truth behind the creation of the Humanoid Cylons, and Boomer does something right.

    9.0
    We all wondered how it happened. How did the Cylons evolve into human form? We knew that they created the Hybrids in an attempt to do so, but that attempt was unsuccessful. Now we know.

    This episode was the reveal of the big mystery that the Miniseries, Seasons 1-3, Razor, and Season 4 have all been leading towards. The Final Five are the reason why the Cylons were able to take human form, and Cavil was the first, hence the numbering of the Significant Seven models.

    Let's take a moment with Cavil, shall we? He helped the Final Five create the other six models we are all familiar with. Among all the Cylons, he is steadfast in his belief that they are nothing more than machines, although his expressions betray his words. Cavil has been the most sadistic and cruel towards the human race, and his conversations with Ellen Tigh reveal his reasons for that. One of which is his own self-loathing towards the fact that he feels like a machine trapped in a man's body. Just picture the Smith-possessed Bane in The Matrix Revolutions and you'll see what I mean. The other is jealousy towards the Number Seven model we never knew about, and the reason for the Final Five not knowing their true nature.

    Cavil was created by Ellen Tigh in the image of her father, and his original name was John. When I heard that I started to think, were the other Cylons also created in similar fashions? Something to think about.

    Why do I get the feeling that Tyrol's idea to repair Galactica's damaged hull is just gonna lead to disaster? He's talking about using Cylon organic material to keep the old battlestar from coming apart at the seams, and while I don't think the rebel Cylons are gonna try to destroy them given the recent events, I'm getting this nagging feeling that it's gonna come back to bite them in the ass.

    What really got my attention was Boomer. For the first time since New Caprica, she really did something right. For a time I thought she was just another version of Cavil, motivated by a self-loathing and a desire to rid herself of her past sins. What is gonna happen when she and Ellen reach Galactica, and what are they gonna do to her given that she shot Adama?

    This ep was revealing to say the least, and while not emotionally charged like the previous two episodes, it served to further the storyline along and give us some answers. The end is coming and we know it, and Ron Moore and David Eick are gonna make sure that it goes out with a bang.
  • Wow the truth is being revealed and it's damn good...

    9.5
    Now you couldn't ask for more information in 45 min. could you. Know we we know the why the final five were different from the other 7 or 8 if indeed "daniel" is really dead. As the galactica looks to reaching it's end and roslin givin lee the nod, we now know why cavil/john hates humanity so much. With five episodes remaining more and more will be revealed and I cant wait. Though was hoping to learn the fate of the other mutineers (racetrack, seelix...etc.) and it was a very fast change of pace following the brilliant "The Oath", and "BOTS".
  • Sam is remembering the real past of the final five, Ellen returns and Adama must face the question of how to save the Galactica.

    9.5
    WOW and FINALLY come to mind. The strength of these episodes continues to build as we near the end. The amazing quality is going to make me miss it more than before, and I didn't think that was possible!

    We are getting answers to questions about the final five we've been waiting for. Cavil is the most vengeful and evil of all the "skinjob" cylons. He had Ellen since New Caprica and hid her from all but Boomer. It will completely change how you look at his actions in past episodes. If this is how Ellen is going to be going forward I will actually like the character, she was far too shallow and manipulative before.

    The five set out to keep the cycle from occurring again and were thwarted by Cavil. Despite his messing with their memories on a subconcious level they were mostly drawn to things that would allow them to help humanity-an XO in the fleet, Chief of the Deck on a battlestar, leader of the resistance movement and aid to the President. Ellen was the exception but she always stayed close to those in power.

    Adama's choice about saving Galactica will have long term consequences, the question is for good or ill?

    Everyone hang on-it's going to be a wild ride!
  • Many nagging unanswered questions get addressed here.

    9.5
    Finally the ship is starting to go. As a student of material science, I wondered when metal fatigue would occur. I hope Adama gets Baltar or another human scientist to review this organic compound before Chief applies it. Remember how Cylons would jam networks during a fight or inject a virus in the operating system? We don't need the organic compound eating the metal during a battle!

    We still don't know why Baltar had visions about 5. We still don't know why Kara was able to view her own dead body. We still don't know why Rosalyn had visions that clearly matched prophecy. We still don't know why the fleet was led to Earth. Everyone feels like puppets in a play, performing their parts, not understanding why and living in dread about the final outcome. But finally, we get some history. We have known for 4 seasons that the Cylons rebelled which implies they were created. Now we know by whom. It was not a mad dictator or fanatic but a team of scientists. Exactly why remains muddled. Sure we need robots to handle jobs too dangerous for humans or to handle jobs beyond our abilities. But neither the skin jobs nor the tin cans seem designed for this purpose. I have often wondered if Darwin is correct why humans are so limited in senses compared to other species. It was nice to hear my thoughts echoed by John. Scientists and engineers never rest on their laurels but continue to learn more and design new improvements so why did they stop? What happened to their work? Did they compete against anybody else? Did their prior work inspire students that continued in the same line? Maybe this too will be answered soon. At a minimum, I'm curious to see who Ellen calls her boy that helped create John.
  • Ellen returns among the Cavil and the other Cylons while Anders begings to remember and explain the "true" history of the Cylons.

    6.0
    I have always thought that the "Final Five" plotline was at best uninteresting and possibly dangerous. When the FF were finally revealed in season 3, it became clear to me that particular storyline was indeed a bit damaging to the quality of the story. (That was re-inforced when watching some of the special features in the DVD during which one of the producers explained that they really had no plan about who the FF were which explains a lot) My first issue with this episode is simply the amount of expository speech. I tend to prefer a lot of talk and character development but this was too much even for me. Secondly, all of my worst fears were confirmed about the FF plot. No need to go into all the details already covered so much in detail on the forum, let's just say that the "revelations" are quite inconsistent and unbelievable when put in the original context of the show. I can't help but think that it would have been so much better to leave the human-Cylon conflict in simpler terms. Man created Cylons, they rebelled. Plot twists are great when they make sense and spark the imagination, not when they challenge the basic foundation of everything that has come before. That said, I am glad so much was revealed in such a short span. Perhaps now the show can get back to focusing what really makes it great: character interactions with realistic implications for the characters that can also mirror things we as the audience might face in our own lives.
  • About as revealing as you can get in 45 minutes! I hope it carries and strenghtens on.

    9.5
    If you're into Cylons, the most revealing episode of the series. I believe this was the shortest 60 minutes of BSG in a long time due to the amount of info pouring in. Actually, I do believe that if this wasn't the last season, the episode would span at least two episodes, but as it is - we get it all in one spell-binding, tell-all hour.
    It's a great set-up for the "Cylon Maker" Elen coming to Galactica presumably next episode, when I do believe the final conflict may ensue. Whether she is a demi-god to Cylons or merely a Dr. Frankenstein will be up to debate, but we may not have time for it. Still, the temperature can go only up - and her new personality is fantastic! I imensely enjoyed Sam's half-dizzy tirade... Even if it may be a short way out for offering so much info in such a short time, it's was still well acted and sufficiently advances the final storyline. The addition to Cylon material into Galactica is a good way to bind the races in the most core way.
    All in all, I'd say this was a huge script to swallow in one offering and therefore may not have had the emotional far-reaching impact it should have (remember 7 and Baltar in the temple? Now that was revelation in all its glory), but as a final documentary prelude to the last glorious push, it's a fine base. Let the end begin!
  • I'm puzzled

    6.5
    I was not convinced by the writers' choice to put Cavil as the ultimate evil guy who manipulates everyone, even the Final Five !

    Everything in the show led us to feel it was the other way round : that the FF new all about the plan, that they lived in secret, even from the other models, that they were maybe orchestrating everyone in order to repeat the same old story with the humans again and again (the visions of the opera in season 3), trying to breed a new generation of cylon/human hybrids... etc...
    You know some Matrix-like storyline where everyone would be imprisoned in a neverending cycle of war and peace.

    Why I believe the revelations of 'No exit' don't fit for now (maybe the writers will make everything coherent in the final episode) :
    - Helen ressurects as old as she was when she died. So what about Saul and this Cylon aging thing in 'Revelations' ?

    - Cavil knows of the FF existence, and doesn't seem to make such a big secret of it. He introduces Boomer to Helen, and even asks in the end the Simon models to operate surgery on a FF !!
    So, what was that big sacred and forbidden secret not to unravel about ?
    Why did he had to box D'Anna's line in that case ?

    - Helen's resurrection brings out another problem : The FF seem to share the other 7 models' baseships, which would mean there would be spare bodies of the FF on board.
    So, the other models would have already saw the face of the FF.

    I'm puzzled.
    Now, we have a 13th model destroyed by Really-Meanie-Cavil called Daniel.
    My guess is that this aborted model is still alive and maybe be 'head Baltar/Six'. He has no human form but is orchestrating the Cylon plan.
    But, what about Starbuck ? If she's not a cylon, what is she ?

    I just hope the writers know where they're going.
    For the first time in the whole series, I'm puzzled, but not in a positive way.
  • While "Blood on the Scales" will likely end up with higher ratings, this episode is worth far more.

    9.5
    Strongly written and acted episode. It reveals Cadvil as the real villain of the story (only BSG can make the chief villain and even worse one). It is a single model's jealously and sadism which answers much in the storyline. He alone knew the full truth (at least from his twisted perspective) and played his hand accordingly.

    You have to feel for Adama now. Now that his XO and Chief are a Cylon and he had to execute his other senior officer for treason - he really doesn't have anyone else in uniform to turn to on military matters. It's lonely at the top.

    Like the Hybrid on the baseships, this episode makes me want to re-watch with closed captioning turned on to capture every comment Anders made.

    I wonder how Helen is going to react to Saul having a baby with a Six....

    These last episodes are really good and the momentum builds.

    Until Next Week,

    BlueKnight13
  • Every answer leads to new questions

    9.3
    That was a brilliant episodw. First it had some slower moments but after those action packed episodes they needed some time off the major things not that those answers Anders gave were really major. So yes.. mostly it was about cylons and the whole truth about them.. where those skinjobs came and where the final five came. But most shocking is that there should be more cylons than thought. So the question remains? What is Kara Thrace and who are the other cylons?

    And I did like the whole segment of Ellen.. the way we saw trough time how she ended up in that ship.. what she did and how that Calvin had his own vision of all.

    Major episode in matter of answers... but the questions the rose and the way Anders ended.. will we get more answers?
  • Well we wanted answers...we got them. Unfortunately we also got more questions.

    10
    Intense is probably the best word to describe that.

    Daniel?? Wait, Bulldog?? Was his name not Daniel...or there is Daniel Greystone from "Caprica" At least they explain number 7 though. And Kara WANTED to be a cylon? That is a huge change of heart. And Cavil knew who the final 5 were all along...

    Okay so the humans on Kobol created the cylons, but then they all went their separate ways. The humans to the 12 colonies, and the cylons to earth. They created earth, and ditched resurrection. Then Ellen, Tigh, Tory, Chief and Anders recreated resurrection, resurrected themselves when...AI they built rebelled I guess?? Then they flew off to Earth at relativistic speeds to warn the Colonials not to build AI. Then they found out they were too late, talked to the centurions, and realized that they believed in God, so this made everything better. They then created children, to go into the colonies, and what? Learn to make peace? But then their children rebelled and stuck them on Earth, and warned them all about the holocaust just enough so they would all survive to suffer?? And I guess Ellen really was planned from the start. It's interesting how the episode when she first appears is all about finding out whether or not she's a cylon. Turns out Adama was right.

    Of course Lee is following his destiny. Rebuilding the fleet. Fixing it. Fixing the government. It's been said for ages; they are not Colonies anymore. They are a ragtag fleet of ships. Their ships are their homes. Quorum meeting will get much louder though with, what is it, 35 representatives??

    As for the ship, looks like Galactica will be getting a makeover cylon style. She really is a metaphor for the whole fleet. As long as she holds together, so the fleet does. As soon as the fleet loses hope, and direction - starts to fall apart - so does she. Maybe as she gets integrated with cylons, the fleet will begin to accept them.

    Go Boomer! Always knew she would be back. It'll be interesting when she shows up with Ellen, which is what I assume will happen. Maybe they'll swing by Earth and pick up Three as well. Also wondering how the Chief (so glad I can say that again) and Boomer thing will turn out. As well as Chief Tory. So if Anders played All Along the Watchtower for the girl he loved, and that girl WASN'T Tory (unless it was some unrequited type love) then who was it? Kara somehow?? We still have no clue how she fits into this.
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