BSG – Crossroads, Part 2 (Season Finale)

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“There must be some way out of here,”
Said the joker to the thief.
“There’s too much confusion — I can’t get no relief.”

So go the opening lines to “All Along the Watchtower”, a song written by Bob Dylan in 1967, popularized by Jimi Hendrix a year later, and recently performed by Prince at the Superbowl. It’s a poem set to music, really, which expresses dissatisfaction with the status quo and portends a coming apocalypse. I’ll reprint the rest of the lyrics at the end of this post, for those who have never read them.

But for purposes of our discussion today, the most important thing to note about this song is that IT’S A FRAKKING EARTH SONG. So why the frak are Tigh, Tyrol, Anders, and Tory hearing it? For me, the implications are even more profound than the fact that these four are Cylons. Which is huge in and of itself. But more on that in a moment. The fact that we’re being exposed to an Earth song not only means that the Fleet is getting closer to Earth, which we already knew, but that either A) there’s somehow a flow of communication from Earth to this point in space, or B) these four “sleeper” Cylons somehow have this Earth song hard-coded into them, and proximity to Earth has triggered it. If it’s A, then who or what is pushing things like Hendrix songs out from Earth as a trigger for the Semifinal Four, and if it’s B, then how did the song get into their programming in the first place? Any theories?

As for the Semifinal Four … how about that, huh? We’ve got the President’s chief aid, the Admiral’s XO, the highest ranking NCO on Galactica, and … you know, whatever Sam is these days, now that he isn’t a star athlete or a rebel leader. It’s clear that somebody or something intended these four to “awaken” at this specific point in space, presumably because of the proximity to Earth. But who or what? And why? Did the Cylons, or whoever created the Cylons, always know that they’d reach Earth someday? If so, how? Is this more prophecy playing out? Or is it all part of my “time loop” theory? Is reaching Earth perhaps the beginning of the story, and everything we’ve seen so far just “Version 2? (or 3 or 4) of what has already happened before?

What is somewhat sad is that the events in the last fifteen minutes of the episode overshadow Baltar’s trial and verdict. Lee’s speech alone was worth the price of admission. It worked both as excellent drama and as an outstanding summary of the complex morality portrayed by this show. Add to this Adama’s unspoken humility at having been taught a lesson by his son, Roslin’s barely contained contempt for Adama when she learns about this reversal, Romo and Apollo’s almost homoerotic moment of mutual admiration in the hallway, and Baltar’s dread at realizing that gaining his freedom only creates a new set of problems. With writing like that, you almost don’t need Cylons.

But we have them. So what’s up with the vision-bonding that Roslin, Sharon, Six, and Hera are experiencing? I’m guessing that Roslin has somehow tapped into the Cylon “party line” because of the infusion of Hera’s blood that she received way back when to cure (albeit temporarily) her cancer? And perhaps proximity to Earth is boosting that signal? At first, I thought it meant that Roslin must be the fifth of the Final Five … but that seems too easy. My guess is that the writers are going to hold off on revealing who the Final One is as long as possible. Maybe until they actually reach Earth.

Okay, now let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Starbuck. Who was relieved and who was pissed to see her? I wasn’t quite surprised, and was actually a bit gratified. You could sort of smell it coming when Apollo started to pursue a bogey that didn’t seem to actually be there. As for what Starbuck is now, we haven’t really been given enough information yet. She said, “It’s really me,” but that doesn’t necessarily equate to, “I’m actually flesh and blood, and I am actually in a ship flying next to you.” My theory is that she’s in Apollo’s head, in the same way that Baltar has a Six in his head (and vice versa).

If you think back a couple of seasons ago, we were told that the prophecy says something like, “The arrow of Apollo will lead the way to the 13th colony.” This was taken literally at the time, and resulted in Starbuck retrieving the arrow from a museum on Caprica, which helped them find that map of the constellations. But I always assumed that it had something to do with Apollo the character as well. So … what if Starbuck is in Apollo’s head, telling him how to find Earth? Couldn’t we then consider her the “Arrow of Apollo”? Just a thought.

Okay, I’m all out of theories and questions now. So I’ll leave you with the full lyrics to “All Along the Watchtower,” and you can decide for yourself if it has any relevance to events in the show …

“There must be some way out of here,”
Said the joker to the thief.
“There’s too much confusion — I can’t get no relief.
“Businessmen they drink my wine, plowman dig my earth.
“None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.”

“No need to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke.
“There are many here among us who think that life is but a joke.
“But you and I, we’ve been through that, and that is not our fate,
“So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view,
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.
Outside in the distance, a wildcat did growl,
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.