BSG – Razor

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So did all the die-hard Battlestar Galactica fans out there catch the special two-hour episode this weekend? If you missed it, don’t worry, it’s being released on DVD next week. It’s basically one big flashback, as well as a flashback within a flashback, and in one case, an even flashier flashback. Good stuff!

Mostly, we bounce back and forth between Admiral Cain’s first weeks as commander of the stranded post-attack Pegasus and Apollo’s first weeks as commander of the shamed post-Cain Pegasus. Through the eyes of a new character, Kendra Shaw, we see the vengeful monster that we already knew Cain became, one morally questionable action after another. And we learn that Cain and Gina-Six were lovers … back before the torture and rape, that is.

Meanwhile, in the “present,” through the device of a search and rescue mission that Adama hands off to Apollo, we learn a bit more about Cylon history that will most likely be relevant in the final season. Namely that many decades ago, back when some robotic Old-School Centurions called “The Guardians” were about to be retired, they escaped, and attempted to evolve by experimenting on and mutilating live human subjects — their goal to create Cylon-Human hybrids. Papa Adama himself saw gruesome evidence of this on the final day of the First Cylon War, 41 years earlier.

The Old Centurions apparently succeeded in creating at least one viable Hybrid, a creepy old dude in a tub who speaks cryptically (thus proving that he must be at least part Cylon) and somewhat spiritually. He refers to the Old Centurions as his “children,” claims they consider him God, and offers Kendra Shaw absolution for the sins she committed under Cain’s command. The Old Hybrid also tells her that Kara Thrace will be the “herald of the apocalypse” and a “harbinger of death” — that she will “lead the human race to its end” and that she should NOT be followed.

“All of this has happened before. And will happen again.” This is the phrase the Old Hybrid repeats over and over during the final minutes before Kendra blows them both up with a nuke. But even though he seems to know that this will happen, he doesn’t seem concerned, and seems confident that he (like a Cylon) will be born again at some important time. To me, this is reminiscent of the speeches that Cylon Leoben has given Starbuck in the past (future?). So much so that I dug up the bit of dialogue from when Starbuck was interrogating a copy of Leoben back in Season 1:

Leoben: “Each of us plays a role; each time a different role. Maybe the last time I was the interrogator and you were the prisoner. The players change, the story remains the same. And this time — this time — your role is to deliver my soul unto God. Do it for me. It’s your destiny. And mine. And I told you I had a surprise for you. Are you ready? You are going to find Kobol, birthplace of us all. Kobol will lead you to Earth. This is my gift to you, Kara.”

So there you have it. At this point, I’m still comfortable sticking to my ongoing theories that: A) there’s some kind of closed time loop in play here; and B) that Starbuck herself is a hybrid, which is why she didn’t die last season. And that there’s some strange connection between the Old Hybrid, Leobon, and Starbuck. What’s interesting is that if Kendra had followed orders, then Starbuck would have stayed behind, and she would have met the Old Hybrid — and then what would have happened? One detail changes everything.

Anyway, overall I enjoyed this episode, or movie, or whatever it was. The time passed too quickly, and it was nice to be tortured by these writers again. Even if we won’t get any new answers till March.

Reprinted from Too Much Free Time (head over there to comment)