Thursday, April 10, 2008

I am a Sad Pathetic Man

I dreamed last night that I kept hitting on Katee Sackhoff, and she kept turning me down. That's right: Starbuck, the antiMikey of sexual cereals, wouldn't even give me the time of day in my dreams.

But I'm not going to go with the obvious subtext here, because I am desperate to give my imagination credit for more subtlety. What it's really telling me to do, I think, is to start collecting Return-of-Starbuck theories, and to do it soon before IO9 ruins all the speculation with one of their spoiler strafing runs.

So. Starbuck theories. Place them here.



Blogger razorsmile said...



Starbuck ... is a Cylon!

April 10, 2008 11:54 AM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

She is not.

And if you can't handle it with the proper gravitas, I swear I'll turn this thread around right now...

April 10, 2008 12:17 PM  
Blogger Aerten said...

Here's my favorite theory (this week): she got sucked into one of those space/time vortex things that pop up all the time in other sci fi shows and found a pretty inhabited planet that she decided to call Earth. Because, you know, Earth is pretty... and we don't need Caprica Release 3.

Starbuck can't be a Cylon because then she and Six would have to fight it out over who's the hottest Cylon. And wouldn't that be distracting.

April 10, 2008 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a huge BSG fan, seems to me like there's 3 options:

1. They didn't have it completely figured out and just threw it at the wall to see if it would stick. It have a certain air of randomness to it.

2. They've painted themselves into a situation where she can only be the final Cylon model. But if she is, then why do the Cylons not know where Earth is, either? Are the final five in a different organization from the main Cylon fleet and not talking to them? Seems kind of odd. It would be interesting if there was a whole angle of hidden Cylons - hidden from the main Cylon society. You could set up cool parallels to the Shiite idea of the hidden Mehdi - but they haven't really been doing the groundwork so far to follow this through, and how it would make sense in the larger Cylon timeline.

3. They're bringing over the Ships Of Light plot thread from the original series - the white Viper, the jump to Earth, etc.

Or she could be god. This could actually be really interesting if they handled it in the right way.

Of course, that leads to the big unanswered question - who is Baltar's invisible Number Six?

April 10, 2008 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to double post.

More options:


Super advanced humans from Earth reaching out to Starbuck and the fleet.

Always thought a good end to the series would be an alien race coming across the human and cylon fleets - and deciding to side with the cylons.

April 10, 2008 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You scared me for a second. I have not seen this series and I had this image of you and Dirk Benedict. I have just lost my appetite.

April 10, 2008 12:43 PM  
Blogger Keith David It's-a-Taylor-Series! Smeltz said...

Starbuck (under the influence of ChipSix, which is why she went nutty) ejected and was rescued by the Heavy Raider and given the really good drugs that Doc Cottle doesn't share. The Cylons replaced her Viper with one captured during the war. They're really really good with computers, which is how they faked her Colonial Friend-or-Foe ID codes (which are as of now completely worthless, by the way).

Starbuck is *so* not a Cylon, because if she was she would be final five. And we know what Cylons do when they see final fives. They crap their pants and flee.

April 10, 2008 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the final five / who is a cylon lately theme is getting rough around the edges, in general.

if we assume - and yes it is an assumption, but i think the show's heading that way - that Anders, Tigh, etc are final fives - then plenty of cylons have seen them throughout the series without having a hissy fit. except one raider.

and if they are not final fives - again we have to understand how no cylons recognized them. they would have seen hundreds of copies of them strolling around the base stars.

so - if Tigh and co are Cylons, but not regular Cylons, and not final five - what are they? early skin job experiments? but how did they get back to colonies? someone would have had to shuttle them there from the cylon fleet...

i love the show, but i think the whole final five / cylon of the week thing is starting to break.

April 10, 2008 3:04 PM  
Anonymous Richard York said...

Is it possible that the Final Five are really Human/Cylon hybrids (Turing Test for Cylons anyone?)who are to lead the last humans to Earth?

If Starbuck is a Cylon (I'm not saying she is.) she is one of the Godesses of Cobol? And they were all Cylons!

I could go on, but I'll spare you.

April 10, 2008 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that hybrid idea is really interesting. Could fit in well with the arc. Anybody else notice that the season finale grandfathered in a new human / cylon baby? If the crew chief is a cylon, and he just had a kid with Cally, then that makes that kid a hybrid just like the other girl.

April 10, 2008 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone in skiffy circles made a comment about lacking gravitas and there hasn't been at least one Culture GSV name tossed in?

"Gravitas? I thought they were handing out gravy, and I didn't want any of that."

April 10, 2008 6:00 PM  
Blogger Alehkhs said...

Well... I don't know where I'm going with this, but:

I don't believe Kara to be the Final Cylon (she is present at the "supper ,"and there is still a "lone goblet"

I'm not entirely convinced that she is a god/Lord of Kobol either, because (typically) a "god" doesn't need an "angel" to guide it... (Remember this:

"You're not Leoben."

"Never said I was. I'm here to prepare you to pass through the next door; to discover what hovers in the space between life and death."

So is there a third "angel" next to imaginary Caprica Six and imaginary Baltar?)

However, whose to say that an angel might not help one of its own?

Remember the Hybrid's Prophecy?
"They will know enmity, bitterness, the wrenching agony of the one splintering into the many and then they will join the promised land, gathered on the wings of an angel"

April 10, 2008 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Chang said...

Roslyn's the 5th.

April 11, 2008 9:54 AM  
Blogger razorsmile said...

Okay then. All the characters are Cylons. The human race died out years upon years ago. Everything we've been watching has been a case of species-wide schizophrenia.

The Cylon "Plan" is the latest attempt at a cure.

April 11, 2008 11:43 AM  
Blogger Keith David It's-a-Taylor-Series! Smeltz said...

It occurs to me that there are three supernatural messengers in this show... Baltar's ChipSix, CapricaSix's ChipBaltar, Starbuck's NotLeoben, but Roslin also gets messages, she just doesn't have an angel.

Of course that could just be drugs.

April 11, 2008 1:23 PM  
Blogger John Henning said...

Dreams are interesting things. Probably the most insightful thing I've ever heard about dreams was in Jose Luis Borges' short story "Ragnarok" where he writes something to the effect that, in nightmares, we don't feel fear because we are confronted by a monster, but our dreaming minds places us in the claws of the monster to justify the fear we already feel in waking life.

So what are you feeling that your subconscious needs to bring on Starbuck to give you the brush-off? Why not Cylon Number Six (the obvious brush off)?

Oh, wait a minute, you want theories about the show, not your dreams...

April 11, 2008 3:22 PM  
OpenID Branko Collin said...

I stopped downl^H^H^H^H^Hwatching BSG somewhere halfway through the second season. It's bad enough if the first two episodes of a show (Water and 33) are the best, but at some point I also lost interest in the story.

So tell me, do things pick up at some point, or does the show slide further and further into the swamp of Americans trying to deal with their present? Would you recommend I start d^Hwatching again?

And what's an antimikey?

April 12, 2008 12:08 PM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

Okay, here's some widely-disseminated background that not everybody here seems to know, just so we're all speculating from the same sheet music. Some of what follows might be spoilery, depending on your definition, but it generally comes from Moore or Eich themselves, and has obviously been deliberately released to tantalize rather than outright inform.

First, as one anonymous poster grumbled, yes: to a significant extent they're making this up as they go along, X-files style (although we can hope/pray/assume they won't go as tragically off-the-rails as Carter did). I remember that during the podcast for "Downloaded", Moore mentioned that they didn't show any Cylons other than the seven that had already been revealed simply because they didn't want to tip the viewers off as to who the remaining models might be. There was no hint of any special "Final Five" thread, they just wanted to keep their options open. Then, once they did settle on the Final Five subplot, they sat down and retroactively decided who was going to be counted in that number. This whole series climax thing was not something anyone envisioned up front; it just kind of occurred to them sometime in Season Three. Likewise, when Head-Baltar appeared to the resurrected Six, the writers had no idea what that meant— they just thought it would be a cool kind of dramatic symmetry.

Incidentally, the whole glowing-spine-during-orgasm thing had exactly the same origin: "Wouldn't it be cool/don't know what the frak it means". And for me, that's symptomatic of the greatest weakness in the show. The skin jobs manifest all these wild traits: LED-spines, superhuman strength, presumably some kind of transmitter and a very fat wireless pipe reaching back to the Resurrection Ship — hell, they've even got fiber-optics sockets in their forearms, for Chrissakes — and the only way anyone can tell Cylon from Human is a blood test that takes twelve hours to run? That is sloppiness on an absolutely epic scale.

That said, though, we have been assured that whatever the writers came up with will be consistent with established canon. So, here are some of the clues and assurances we've received from reliable sources:

Kara Thrace is not a Cylon. None of those shown in the Last Supper promo shot is the Fifth.

The Final Five are completely unlike the other skin jobs: They do not resurrect, for one thing. (Which is kind of a drag; I was hoping that maybe the One Yet To Be Revealed might actually be one of the Group of Seven on Sleeper mode, and that just like that, a switch might go off in Brother Cavil's head and he realizes "Holy Shit— I'm the Final Cylon!" But no.)

The ragtag fleet's working language is, literally, English: we're not supposed to assume that they're all really talking Caprican or Kobolese or something, translated magically for Earthly viewers. Moore has explicitly said that there's a reason everyone is speaking English on this show, and even why they're wearing such conventional earthly clothing as suits and ties. (A reason beyond the artistic let's-minimize-the-skiffy-factor sentiment that underlies the series in general.)

They had the option of using the original Hendrix/Dylan version of "All Along the Watchtower" at the end of Season 3: they deliberately chose a new cover instead and Moore has stated, somewhat cryptically, that he wanted to convey that this universe is not one in which Dylan necessarily exists, but one in which the idea of Dylan does.

The most comprehensive links-cache to nuggets, innuendo, leaks, and cryptic pronouncements on all things BSG is probably at Galactica Sitrep, although most of you probably know that already. Be warned, though; their love of embedded video clips (sometimes including entire episodes) means that your browser will slow to a fucking crawl during the load.

I will refrain from commenting on recent doublereversemindfucky things that happened in last night's ep, for the benefit of those who haven't seen it yet. I will say, however, that they are spending so much time on elements which— by Moore's own admission— they originally just threw against the wall to see if they'd stick, that they must be very confident in their ability to pull all the threads together. They are not ignoring past inconsistencies and ambiguities, they are emphasizing them. This gives me hope.

Gonna end now with a question, inspired by a theory put forth by one Dave Nickle during a recent morning run: any chance that the final Cylon is actually a hybrid who passed through the Singularity, became the One True God, and is now waiting somewhere around Earth for the others to catch up? And would that betray the entire philosophy of the show, which is to eschew all overtly skiffy rayguns/transhumans/aliens elements in favor of more conventional human drama?

April 12, 2008 3:31 PM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

Branko Collin said...

I stopped stealing BSG somewhere halfway through the second season. It's bad enough if the first two episodes of a show (Water and 33) are the best, but at some point I also lost interest in the story.... do things pick up at some point, or does the show slide further and further into the swamp of Americans trying to deal with their present? Would you recommend I start watching again?

Probably not. If you watched up to the middle of the second season and remained unimpressed, I doubt you'll like what they've done since. If the Pegasus/Resurrection Ship arc didn't blow you away, then BSG is just not your show and never will be. (On the other hand, if you were liking it up until the "Black Market" episode and then ran screaming from the room, well, nobody would blame you. Moore has already publicly apologized for that crappy episode). The second season had some loser eps in the back half, and the third season foisted onto us some stand-alone eps (at network insistence) that made the show lose its way for a while -- but IMO the series recovered nicely from both of those wobbly interludes.

And what's an antimikey?

Mikey was this finicky little kid on a cereal commercial back in the seventies who achieved legendary status by "hating everything", only to start hoovering Quaker Life-brand as soon as his older brothers tried to poison him with it. An AntiMikey would embody the opposite qualities. Which I guess is a smarmy way of calling Kara Thrace a slut. Which she's not, really. Well, she is sometimes, kind of, but she's got her reasons. Actually, pretty much every woman I've ever watched this series with has remarked upon Starbuck's sexually predatory nature (the men, not so much), but when you run the numbers she really hasn't fucked that many people. Lee, Anders, Zach. Baltar that one time. And you can't even count Zach, really, since that predated the series. So we're talking two serious-albeit-self-destructive relationships and a single one-night stand. That we know of. In three seasons.

Come to think of it, the woman's practically a nun.

April 12, 2008 3:50 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Adama = last of the final five = God. Everyone knows that. I knew it last season. Starbuck is not a Cylon because they want us to believe she is therefore she isn't. Her fighter isn't in mint condition because the Cylons repaired it or made a new one for her. They know nothing of her trip to Earth. Rather it's because Starbuck passed through "the space between life and death". Her fighter is the Platonic ideal, the pure form of Starbuck's fighter.

Baltar is just a human of course and I don't believe he has a chip. If I recall they only hinted he has one. He is being redeemed and will come to truly believe in the one true God. When they do find Earth I expect him to break off from the rest and form a small tribe.

The Avatars that appear to Baltar and others are not visible to them because they are "chipped" but are true supernatural entities. They are emissaries of the one true God.

Or I could be wrong.

April 13, 2008 2:55 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I hate to say it, but I think I concur with Brenda (the reason I hate to say it is that I generally shy away from bludgeonly symbology). Well, torn on the idea of Adama being the final Cylon, but by this point it pretty much feels that it HAS to be him or Roslin, and Roslin's on the way to dead barring a second fake-out.

This is, of course, without going into my fantastically improbable mythology geek theory about the proper identity of the One True God.

Lastly, that Last Supper image KICKS ASS.

April 13, 2008 9:14 AM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

You know, I'm starting to get the queasy feeling that you guys might be right. Because Adama is not shown in the Last Supper pic, which seems like a really major oversight. And that chalice to the left— which explicitly suggests belongs to the Final Fifth— occupies an empty spot at the table bracketed by Adama's son on one side and Adama's closest friend on the other. If Bill was in the picture, he would be nowhere else.

I have no idea how they're gonna sell that, but... shit...

April 13, 2008 10:18 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Another thing. I don't remember where I read it (maybe here?) but they say that the Cylon plan is a reaction to Mankind's grief or something like that. When I heard that the first thing I thought of was Jacques Vallee and his theory that the UFO mythology was an expression of our collective grief.

The same idea is often used to critique religion. That we feel alone and frighten in a big, empty, hostile universe. So out of that psychological need we create a generalized "Father Object". It gives us a gloss of sanity so that humanity doesn't slit it's wrists every morning.

You could explain the popularity of SciFi along those same lines. By reading SF or watching a SF movie you briefly feel no longer alone.

I expect the writers will want to make a big statement on mankind and our place in the universe. I think they'll also veer away from hard SF towards a psychological or mystical understanding of what has been happening.

Bill is in the Last Supper pic Peter, you need to scroll all the way to the right. So maybe the final fifth isn't Adama after all. And it's kind of odd that the virtual number six takes the place of Christ (Baltar occupies the Judas seat). Perhaps she is God?

Roslin will lead the humans to Earth but she will die before actually setting foot there. In fact, I kind of wonder if the fleet will survive at all. Maybe the final five will betray humanity and only Lee "Apollo" Adama (Adam, first man) will survive and.... someone else, Eve? Probably not Starbuck. Once she has revealed the way to Earth she'll return to where ever it is she came from.

April 13, 2008 3:59 PM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

As brenda pointed out...

Bill is in the Last Supper pic Peter, you need to scroll all the way to the right.

Arrrgh. You're right. I didn't scroll.

Well, so much for that theory.

April 13, 2008 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BSG has been a love affair of mine but also crushingly frustrating. I love the asthetic of the show, science fiction without the rayguns bullshit but i feel that the religious/visions aspect of the show has really detracted from the utterly fucking desperate feel of the first half of the first series. I would have prefered a slowly unravelling colonial fleet diving core-ward fleeing united and unrelenting pursuers until an abrupt final episode and final FTL jump drops the few insane survivors and their broken galactica into the centre of a protostar at the galactic core leaving the cylons to shrug and go home. A pessimetic variant of Tau Zero.

but in lieu of that:

could the final fifth be some super intellect/ collective mind generated by the skin jobs upon identification and capture of the galactica four?

could it be billy returning from the grave?

could it be that shit viral enceph kid from the ridiculous baltar story arc?

will they ever apologise for making razor?

maybe its going to be one of the characters from babylon 5?

i bet they make it so deliberatly obtuse that no speculation will be worth shit, but i'll lap it up like my cat laps up nutella.

my dream for the conclusion:

upon locating sol the colonial fleet is told in no in certain terms to fuck off by the inhabitants of earth for bringing the cylons down on their heads. Edward James Olmoss adopts gnarly determination expression #1 and drives a colonial fleet whipped into derranged zealot fury by roslin/thrace/baltar into a final suicidal CGI orgy with the cylons and grossly xenophobic earthlings.
the final fifth is revealed mid battle and promptly destroyed runing everyones plans for unification/transcendance/building a nice shack by a mountain stream.


at which point i will shed a single tear for the completion of the best sci-fi tv series and probably have to have a cold shower before beginning the long wait for unavoidably disappointing prequel series.


April 14, 2008 9:01 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I really can't shake the feeling that the most recent ep (SPOILERS ABOUND) is hideously important.


Seriously. A CYLON MILITARY COUP (and I won't even go into how gleeful I am about Centurion and maybe Raider free will) orchestrated by the Sixes and supported by the Eights and Leobens?

Yes, please.

They're also the most spiritual and least pragmatic of the bunch. (Heck, the head...s... of the other faction, the Cavils, are more pragmatic and less spiritual than the other Original Seven put together.) There's a trend somewhere here, but I'm not the most eloquent of folks.

Maybe one of you lot can shed some further light on the subject. I don't think I have that much more to add without straying into my Personal Crackpot Theory. (But if Uranus ends up being the One True God, I told you so, okay?)

April 17, 2008 9:25 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Tom Zarek is the final cylon.

He's been gone for how many episodes and suddenly he just re-appears? It would make sense why he wasn't called by the music, because he wouldn't have been on Galactica at the time of the reveal.

I think Lee Adama is going to get a bullet in the brain as well, at either the hands or orders of Roslyn.

In Razer, Kara's meeting with the hybrid left her with the gem: "You will lead them all to their end." Yet, the hybrid does not refer to anyone in particular when she says "them". Personally, I think Kara is the means of destruction for the entire Cylon fleet.

I also think something is going to happen next week where the Cabals are going to be destroyed and it will be at the hands of Boomer.

April 22, 2008 8:53 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Dammit, Brother Cavil (Not cabal).


April 22, 2008 8:54 PM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

Kate, I think you're onto something. Andrew Fergusen made the same call about a week ago, and it makes sense: Zarek has been a staple on the show since the third episode, but he's kept mainly in the background and he pulls a lot of strings. We still don't really know what his agenda is. And really, what other possibilities are there? A minor character like Seelix would come from right out of left field, and seem arbitrary and undeserved. Even Romo was introduced too late in the series to have any dramatic resonance as the Fifth. But Zarek...

Yeah, I think you guys are right. Or at least, if it ain't Zarek, maybe it's someone we haven't met yet, some godlike entity waiting on Earth or something.

Speaking of which, anybody following that astronomical analysis concluding that the fleet is about 20 lightyears from earth, and that it's approaching from the direction of Ophiuchus? And what's really cool is, out along that bearing there are things the Galactica has encountered in their journeys — including a big nebula, massive star clusters, and a star poised to to go supernova...

April 22, 2008 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, she appears in the nice shiny white viper, like the old series (only I don't know what happens after that), and that seems to have a vaguely religiousy overtone to it. Actually, that's one of my pet theories-that the Cylons are often yakking about the one true god, so there is some dialogue about the old creation story going on. Anyways, Starbuck will either turn out to be some sort of 'saviour figure' that is neither Cylon nor quite human, but not a hybrid, or she'll be full on Cylon, perhaps the final one. Because Adama there, the old guy would be to easy to peg as the main dude (which would still makle for an interesting sort of civil war scenario, cylons fighting cylons).

My pet theory about the show overall, is that so much of what the humans do has been pre-planned by the cylons-a possible idea is that the Cylons have intiated some sort of survival of the fittest program (weakness in the theory: why?)of which Starbuck is an exemplary example of. Basically, I amthinking that, currently, as they've never really gone all out against the humans, and in particular, there was the episode where they attacked on a rigorus shcedule that didn't allow for luxuries such as sleep and such. And many other instances where they selectively kill, they push boundaries, but never really shut down the system.

Mythologically, it's a bit of a mish mash-there's the whole adam and eve thing, there's a bunch of different gods thrown in,there's polytheism versus monotheism, a variety of mythical origin stories, and so on. Considering the brilliance of the series, even if it is a hack job, it'll be great. I was totally surprised to here the pop tune, which in any other hands, would have been laughable, but here, was great! Made me think of sirens, but also of the idea that the earth they might actually find, might well be modern day earth, which would be, well, kinda messy. But cool.

My favorite starbuck theory is that she's just damn sexy.

April 29, 2008 2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmn-after reading all the other theories, mine kinda sucks. Except for the Starbuck sexy part.

Starbuck will turn out to be God? Which would be way cool. and sexy.

The main thing I feel is, if the writers end this puppy on a high note, with the usual song and dance number, and the Cylons arm in arm with the humans, and everyone tripping like a daisy through toontown, towards Oz, that would suck. It's got to be a pyrrhic victory, at best. Most likely, a really mixed bag, where some benefit, but only some.

And the Cylon reveal thing is getting kinda tired-might as well just say "We're all Cylons", or something like that.

April 29, 2008 3:09 PM  

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