Cable for One: Battlestar Galactica – 4-02

Wow, there’s a lot to talk about with this one. “Six of One” was a rather fitting title for this week’s episode. It seemed like for almost everything that was awesome about the episode, there was something not so awesome.

Starbuck perhaps showcased this dichotomy better than anyone. Whenever Starbuck was having trouble dealing with the fact that her friends, her family, the people she thought she could always depend on, no longer trusted her, her scenes worked really well. Starbuck’s pain felt genuine and Katee Sackhoff was shining. Whenever Starbuck switched to her “we’re going the wrong way!” ranting though, the scene, and the acting, became laughably bad. It just didn’t work.

I’m quite curious to learn more about Starbuck’s mission. If they are giving her an entire ship, presumably it will be more than just Starbuck and Helo making the journey. Will any other notable cast members be along for the ride? Or will it just be those two and some random extras? I suspect the length of their mission will depend on the number of cast members on said mission. If it’s just Starbuck and Helo, it’ll probably only be a few episodes at most. But if there’s a handful of regular cast members along for the journey, it can last longer.

Last week, when nobody was sure they could trust Starbuck or if she was leading them into an ambush, I wondered why they didn’t just send out a ship to check things out. Now that they have done that though, it occurs to me that this plan isn’t really any safer than taking the entire fleet along. Starbuck and Helo will obviously have to meet up with the fleet when their mission is over. To do that, they’ll need to either have Galactica’s flight plan or set up a specific rendezvous time and location. In either case, if Starbuck really was working for, or being used by, the Cylons, they could easily move the ambush to that new location. There are some precautions that could be taken (like giving Helo the rendezvous information) but nothing that could really ensure the safety of the fleet. I’m hoping we’ll see that issue addressed next week.

The Cylon arc was the hands-down strong point of “Six of One.” And yet, I’ve got all kinds of questions about their political system now.

Before we get to that though, I thought I’d point out that we now know the model numbers of all seven of the “regular” Cylon models. We already knew three, six and eight, of course, but to the best of the recollection this is the first time the other four numbers have been mentioned. The seven regular models are One through Six and Eight. This is potentially notable for two reasons, the seven and the eight.

We know four of the final five Cylons. They all seem to be more or less in the same boat so it seems like that they are part of the same ‘series’ of Cylons. So, while we don’t know the individual numbers, it’s quite probable that the Chief, Anders, Tory and Tigh represent the ninth through twelfth models. This leaves number Seven as the mystery Cylon.

Regardless of whether Seven is the final Cylon model or not, it seems quite possible that the Eights were either created at a later time than the Ones through Sixes or else they contain some quantity that makes them unique.

We have seen examples of the Cylon voting system before, but this week Boomer, by going against the other Eights, was able to break a three to three deadlock. There are a couple of possible reasons why Boomer’s vote was able to have such an effect. The first possibility is that each and every human model Cylon gets to cast a one vote. For that method to lead to a three to three tie when all models vote the same way, there are a number of conditions that must be met. Firstly, there must be an identical number of each model active amongst the Cylons. Second, the Clyons must have created one extra Six (to make up for the one imprisoned on Galactica) and one extra Eight (to make up for Athena’s defection). In the event that one or both these models returned to the fold, the Cylons would then have to deactivate a model to keep the numbers this same. The logistics are far too messy for this to be a reasonable method of voting.

The second possible voting method is that each number gets one vote, but that each model must have unanimous consent in order for that vote to count. This definitely seems like the more plausible of the two scenarios but from the way everyone reacted to Boomer’s vote it seemed like they had no rules for dealing with a lack of consent within a model number because it had never happened before. I do have to wonder why it was so terribly surprising that someone would vote against their model number, after all, there’s currently an Eight serving on board Galactica. You’d think after that defection they would have been a little more used to the idea of dissent.

During Six’s coup at the end of the episode, Boomer was conspicuous by her absence. I imagine we will find out soon enough, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Boomer was in cahoots with the others (the Sixes at the very least). By siding with the Ones, Fours and Fives, Boomer allowed the lobotomizing of the Raiders to begin. This action provided the perfect pretext for the coup.

Aside from my questions about just how Cylon democracy operates, I thought the coup plot arc was executed brilliantly. All throughout the episode, we are empathizing with the position of the Sixes. We want them to prevail in their struggle to convince the others of the right course of action. It really helped up the impact of the coup/heel turn by the Sixes. Not lobotomizing the raiders is a good thing, rearranging the Cylon leadership, not so good.

I have a feeling that the Sixes, the other models and humanity are going to come to regret the coup. Not so much because the new leaders are obsessed with “God’s plan” but because they decided to give free will to the centurions. It’s only a matter of time before the centurions turn on their former masters.

As awesome as the sequence was, I do have qualms about the way in which the centurions were given free will. Apparently, they were designed to be far more intelligent and effective, but also with a chip that limits that effectiveness. That seems like a pretty stupid way to design something. It’s like building a laptop with 3 gigs of RAM and then telling your OS it can only use 128 MB of that RAM. If you only needed/wanted 128 MB of RAM, why put the 3 gigs in there? The same is true of the centurions. If it was never intended that they have free will, why give them that capacity in the first place?

The Cylons also provided an answer to one of the questions I had last week. Not a definitive answer, but some additional information. I was wondering why the Cylons suddenly seemed capable of detecting one of the hidden Cylons. It turns out that it wasn’t all Cylons that had that ability, just the Cylon raiders. Of course we don’t know if they can only do so now because the hidden models are aware of their nature, or because the raiders themselves have evolved, or if they have always possessed the ability to detect a human model Cylon. While the raiders have certainly gone up against the fleet on numerous occasions, this is the first time that one of those models was ever in a viper (and thus in far more direct contact with the raiders).

As with last week, the other major plot was Gaius’ life as a cult leader. This is getting pretty long as it is, so I won’t go into the stuff with Gaius and Tory, but I feel I should at least mention the whole situation with Baltar’s new hallucination. I assume halluco-Baltar is the same one that we saw talking we saw talking with Caprica Six in the past. Of course, we still have no idea who or what is behind these hallucinations, nor why Baltar is seeing halluco-Baltar now (halluco-Six has proven quite willing to help Baltar bed the ladies in the past so it’s not like we can chalk it up to jealousy). If this is the same Baltar that Caprica Six has been seeing that pretty much dispels any lingering possibility that the hallucinations are simply hallucinations.

In the end, we got an episode that had a lot of little problems but also a ton of intriguing developments that give the viewers more to talk about. I’d say that’s a win in my book.

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