Renée (rogueslayer452) wrote,

  • Mood:
  • Music:

BSG: "No Exit" Episode Review + Meta

Battlestar Galactica 4.15 "No Exit"

More revelations unfold as we're taken back in time during Ellen's death to her resurrection on a Cylon baseship, as the events starting from New Caprica's exodus to now begin the revealing process about Ellen, how she'd returned and what she'd been doing all those months in between. We're revealed much about who she is, her relationship with Cavil, whose real name is "John" as it turns out, and that she amongst the others in the Final Five are the original creators of these seven other models. From their conflicting ideological beliefs and ideas regarding their entire existence, whether they are what they've been created to be or something much more than that, Cavil has had enough and wants her knowledge to help create another resurrection device from the one that had been destroyed. However, due to observing and mental conflictions of her own, Boomer decides to take Ellen and escape back to Galactica.

Meanwhile, as Sam is prepping for surgery because of the bullet lodged into his brain from the mutiny in the previous episode, he's starting to recall everything from their past lives, to who they were and how they came to arrive at the Colonies and their ultimate goal between humanity and the machines. Many things are revealed here too, however he has little time before the bullet needs to be taken out, and post-surgery it appears he's gone comatose and braindead.

Also Tyrol discovers that the Galactica has hairline fractures everywhere within its walls, threatening to break apart given another jump. He asks the Admiral permission to use some of the Cylon bio-technology to patch up the weakened parts, and after some time Adama grants his wish, realizing that their time may be up without it.

Only five more episodes until we finally come to know how everything'll come to pass....

Clashing of Ideologies: Ellen Tigh and "John" Cavil

If there's one thing I love is backstories, especially when done right and it connects the circles of everything we've learned overtime, and boy did this episode deliver in that department. We get these startling and newfound revelations about the origins of the Cylons, answering the questions we've had for quite some time, but still having more questions to have that circle complete.

First we have the resurrection of Ellen Tigh, who immediately downloaded after her death on New Caprica and miraculously regained her memories from her past life. Odd really, how once recovering from the initial shock she knew automatically what had happened and why she was there, which either means Cavil purposefully placed back those memories or she was destined to regain them once she died and returned to her Cylon roots. Needless to say, I really enjoyed seeing this side of Ellen; a calmer, more maternal version of herself than how we've come to know her. Honestly she was fun and entertaining as the hyperactive and aloof person she had been, but this makes a whole lot of sense given the information about what Cavil did to the Five, especially to Ellen. They played off each other extraordinarily well. They have this very strange mother-son kind of relationship and it's clear from what's been revealed that their ideological views are like water and oil, they do not mesh and it's evident that Ellen feels pity for Cavil, but not remorse and obviously does not want to give into his way of thinking or surrendering. She knows what's about to come and she understands, but feels pity upon him for behaving and acting in such a way, like a son begging to be seen as who he thinks he is and not something special or above anything as Ellen (and the rest) seem to believe.

Just watching them interact, how Cavil's overly realistic perception of their entire existence seems pretty practical, which I can understand, however with the incidents and the events that have happened and still are happening beg to differ with his notions of being simple machines. What I loved most of all though? His rant about wanting to be more than simply a humanoid model, that he wants to live like a machine, bigger and larger than the humans. It just makes sense given his entire personality and ways of thinking that he would want more than that human skin, and him changing and altering how they've been programmed and created from the beginning. Taking away sleep and dreams, wanting to lobotomize the Raiders, betraying the Final Five, everything.

I find Cavil intriguing, and Ellen more intriguing, and together? It makes for an interesting combination of that push and pull between two characters with different ideas, and both seem so right in their explanations that you understand both of what they're saying. However I think it's fair to say we side with Ellen, because we know and understand and believe in her side than Cavil's sadist and pessimistic ideas.

The Cylon Backstory: The Final Five, Earth and the Thirteenth Tribe

More with the revelations regarding the Cylons and their origins, their beginnings, and the beginning of the end for them, unless something can change to stop it all.

Though it's heartbreaking about Sam getting shot and then becoming braindead in the very end post-surgery, the upside to this was having him starting to remember everything from their past lives. So together, between the scenes with Ellen and Cavil to Sam recalling everything in between, this caused for one hell of an informative episode. In fact my mind's still whirling from it all, it's so much to compile in a single episode yet so ultimately clever to keep us guessing and on our toes for the next mystery to be uncloaked.

Let's backtrack the timeline of what we've learned in this episode: Kobol, the birthplace of all mankind, created the Cylons, or at least versions of themselves so they could resurrect when they died, and kept as slaves; there was a war between those Cylons and humans and when the exodus happened, the humans went to the Twelve Colonies and those Cylons found Earth. The ability to download and resurrect wasn't needed as the discovery of natural procreation amongst the Cylons took place, however because the Five had been given clues about an upcoming war they decided to reinvent the resurrection process, thus once Earth had been nuked they downloaded and settled off to the Twelve Colonies to warn the people there about what would come to pass. Unfortunately without FTL drives and jumping capabilities it took them longer to get to the Colonies, only to find that those humans and their created Centurions were at war. They made a deal with those Centurions about stopping the war in return of helping them gain the ability of resurrection, along with the created eight humanoid models (the ones we know, sans No.7, Daniel). Over the next Forty Years the evolution of Cylon began once again in those humanoid models, however at some point the No.1 model known as Cavil turned against the Five, having them suffocated and boxed, reprogrammed them to think of themselves as human and placed onto the Colonies -- as to teach them a "lesson" of humanity, so to speak -- as well out of spite as voiced above, which is when he reprogrammed all the other Cylons and decided to attack the Twelve Colonies, and that's where we started from the beginning of the series.

Got all of that? Good. See, this was certainly a mindfrak of an episode for an information overload.

Interestingly enough, even though I've read people's comments thinking that RDM made all of this up once they decided it was Ellen to be the Fifth, I have to disagree that it was all made up. I'm sure RDM and Co. had a plan to get to this point eventually, they just had to find the right character in order to connect those dots. And honestly? It works. It really does work, and in hindsight it makes complete and total sense especially with this history and backstory, connecting all the events from then to now.

There are many startling revelations regarding this history lesson of the Cylons. The notion that it was the Centurions that introduced the belief in the One True God, that if all the Cylons embraced love and mercy that this cycle of violence and war between these two races can cease and they can both co-habitate together, without reprogramming and without any one side being a slave to the other. I found that very interesting.

However there was something else that Sam mentioned during his frantic limited time of telling them what he remembered, something that stood out that's making me flail like a fangirling loony:
"Back on Earth, the warning signs we got? It looked different to each one of us -- I saw a woman, Tory you saw a man -- funny, no one else could see them. Galen, you thought you had a chip in your head..."
Oh holy motherfrakking Cylon God, he's referring to the head!versions that we've known in the series. Head!Six and head!Gaius, only perhaps different people to them or something, but this kind of reveal, even in the midst of everything he's telling us, how lucid he seems in recalling all these memories despite the bullet in his brain, it's clear that this revelation about these virtual beings inside character's heads means something more. Could they be angels? Holographic images sent for a specific purpose for these chosen individuals, whether Cylon or human? Could this be a connection to the prophecy regarding the Opera House, especially knowing that there's a head!Gaius and a head!Six and even though they have gone different paths it all traces back to them?

Man, after all this info dump in this episode there's still loads more unveil and reveal, more questions that need answering and just, holy crap. This is the problem with Battlestar Galactica, I tend to crave more while still recovering from an episode.

The 7th Cylon Named Daniel

I remember not too long ago someone had complained about the numerology regarding the Cylons and how RDM and Co. screwed things up, that there's loopholes in that particular area of their creation, etc. This episode proved that it wasn't a screwup, but more of a necessity of knowing when the right time came. Besides, given the information it's clear that only Twelve would be known and not Thirteen (although I still question why Cavil insisted on keeping that number known when he deliberately erased the memories of the Five and had the other Cylons not talk about those Final Five, or perhaps he knew they would eventually die and be resurrected for his own entertainment, idk).

Numberology is very important in regards to religion, so having the numbers of seven and twelve and thirteen being vital in the show wasn't coincidental or even accidental, given the nature of the show's mythology. Also the fact that Earth was the Thirteenth Colony, why wouldn't there be a thirteenth Cylon model? It would make sense because everything has a pair, and adds to the mystery.

As for my theories about the identity of who Daniel could've been, my guesses include what everyone else is speculating at this point. Kara's father. We know that he was an artist, rather a pianist, based off what little we were revealed about him in "Valley of Darkness" when Kara started playing a musical piece by her father in her apartment back on Caprica. It would add things up to Kara's special destiny and her role at this point, however we would also need a timeline for that as well, because we know that her father had died when she was really young. But Ellen said that Daniel was more sensitive to the world around him, and it makes me wonder why he would shack up with someone like Kara's mother, who seemed rather hard and bitter. Or perhaps that was after his death. Again, I don't know, we need more information about this.

But it's out there, and as if speculating about who the Final Cylon wasn't bad enough during the hiatus we now have to speculate the identity of this Seventh Cylon, Daniel, as well.

Memorable Moments from the Episode:

++ EPIC INTERLUDE OPENING IS EPIC! That was a pleasant surprise to see, in fact we haven't seen an extra-long interlude to an episode since the miniseries have we? Which I'm guessing it's for the point of this episode, giving us a clue to what we'll be subjected to regarding the Cylons, but I still think it was frakking amazing nonetheless.

++ Ellen's freakout for that moment after waking up was well-played. It's that traumatic experience after dying and then being reborn, which is why when every Cylon that resurrects there's the other Cylon "midwives" to help the rebirthing process go smoother. Though the less compassionate Cylons are all on those baseships plus nobody is supposed to know about the Final Five at that point in time so, there you go. But at least that Centurion was helpful enough which, okay, I think my heart swelled at that. IDK why, this was before Natalie had whatever was restricting them from freewill was removed so, this says something?

++ Cavil's real name being "John", lol. Although what made him choose Cavil?

++ I'll say again, the interaction between Ellen and Cavil were incredibly and outstanding by both actors. It's interesting seeing them act like this, with that kind of chemistry you wouldn't think they'd have, but the situation has switched and we know the truth, so it's understandable and fascinating to watch.

++ Boomer. Oh Boomer, you already know whom you love, you just have to forgive and accept and trust your instincts that are ultimately human, the way Ellen and the others created you to be.

++ OMG SAM! :( I know that he's not dead, but being braindead kind of is like the same thing, unless being a Cylon can alter that kind of fate? Please, I hope?

++ Anyone else notice when he was babbling in the beginning like a crazyperson that he nearly resembled the Hybrid? Like it's all nonsense to some people but hearing him speak, some of the words he's saying are cryptic like in a code, like he knows what he's saying and seeing but can't really articulate it properly because of the damage to his brain. But once he started getting coherent speech again I loved how happy and excited he was. It's like awwww, Sammy's back. Well, sorta. And all that technological babble made little sense while watching it the first go-around, but now that I've seen the episodes several times I understand what he's saying, which is how I could make a clear picture of the timeline above. God, I love this show.

++ Cavil is such a pimp, but not the fun kind like Baltar. Oh Boomer, why did you go with him again? Why not go with a Leoben model or something? Hell, go with a Six! is not secretly shipping Six/Sharon, nope

++ However, I am glad that Ellen's words got through to her ("watch Boomer, make up your own mind") It's easy to tell that Cavil was controlling Boomer, not only teaching her to be a "machine" but also to obey, to do as she's told and not ask questions; speak when to be spoken to, etc. Kind of anti-feminist if you want to look deeper into that situation. Like, she's going through some identity crisis over the course of the seasons, which I get, it's the same with Tyrol actually. And that is why when she and Ellen escaped to Galactica in the end makes me really hopeful that she and Tyrol meet up and make-up, and possibly reunite together again like before.

++ Speaking of Tyrol, I love him so much. He seems to have embraced his Cylon nature, which is nice to see he isn't struggling anymore with guilt and whatnot.

++ O HAI LEE AND ROSLIN! BYE LEE AND ROSLIN! But good noting about Lee being right for the position, as he always has been. Most are disappointed he's no longer a pilot, but this is his path he's chosen for himself and I like that he's doing what he wants to do. I could see this Lee from way back in S1, all about democracy and for the people and all that. And Roslin's right, sometimes the right thing isn't always the smart thing, but also sometimes the smart thing isn't always the right thing. Welcome to the role of leadership, it's all about tough decisions.

++ Awww, poor Galactica, she's definitely falling apart. Nicely done with the discovering of the hairline fractures, but it makes my heart break knowing that her bones are weakening and breaking down, on the verge of falling apart at any given time. I'm the same with Adama, patch up the old girl!

++ Okay, it needs to be said: this is totes the week for Katee in scrubs, a hairnet and face mask, huh? But there was to tryannosaurus peen this time, sry Sam bb. *g*


++ Tyrol and Tory were madly in love back on Earth? Ahaha! I'm on board with Kara and Tyrol, just loling at that. But I'm guessing that because without Boomer, because she hadn't been created yet, he would need to be with someone during that time. But yeah, the thought of that occurring now is just lulzy.

++ So Caprica-Six is living with Tigh now? I do admit seeing Tigh getting all giddy over his baby son (!!!) is kinda sweet, although I'm still thinking of Tigh as the one that said "thank the Gods I didn't have kids" Heh. All I'm thinking is WHERE THE FRAK IS GAIUS AND WHEN IS THE OPERA HOUSE STUFF GONNA TAKE PLACE! Also, how will Ellen react to this sudden development?

++ That said, I LOVE ELLEN TIGH!

Overall: This was a very informative and information dump kind of episode, and I really really enjoyed it. Like, really, y'all know my fascination and love for anything Cylon-related. So much revealed and so much to process in such a short amount of time when first watching the episode, in fact I was trying to piece all that information together while the episode was bringing up more revealing stuff. I'm guessing they really like mindfrakking with us, especially when we're in the final episodes. No skimping around, they mean to set us up for something huge and it shows. Plus, with the preview for next week and about what Sam mentioned about keeping "them in the fleet"? Oh man, oh holy shit. Yeah, shit's gonna go down and something is either going to happen or a decision will be made that'll cause something else to stir, or Cavil's baseships will arrive before all that happens, wanting Ellen and the others.

Only five more episodes left, you guys. The Final Five Episodes. I've been so pumped about these last episodes that it's just sad seeing it written out like that, especially since the last three will be connected to each other in a grand finale of the series. Gah! I don't know what I'll do without BSG, it's seriously the most epic television show ever and nothing else can compare to it. Okay, I'm going to get all depressed now...
Tags: meta: battlestar galactica, show reviews: battlestar galactica
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded