Monday, February 2

'Battlestar Galactica's Final Cylon


Life is full of great mysteries. Is there a God, is there life after death and does Jordan really love Peter Andre? All of these will be debated long after we've turned to dust. Fortunately, one such conundrum has recently been solved - we now know who the Final Cylon is! Not even Nostradamus could have foreseen Ellen Tigh filling that role, but a bit of exploration into her past reveals that the clues were there all along...

The wife of Saul Tigh, who makes Russell Brand look sexually restrained, was unveiled in the first episode of Battlestar Galactica since the resumption of its final season this year. Saul's flashback to a pre-nuked Earth featured Ellen informing him that they will be reborn together in the future. So one can only deduce that she, unlike the Final Four Cylons on board Galactica, knew of her true identity all along.

Ellen's initial appearance on the fleet was a shock to her husband, as he was convinced that she died during the Cylon attacks on Caprica. Her tale of survival against all odds was certainly flimsy, as it contained baffling elements such as an unknown hero plucking her unconscious body from the ruins of an airport and bunging her on board a fleeing ship called the Rising Star.

There she stayed for several weeks until Adama found her. Interestingly, no-one on board the vessel claimed to have any knowledge of her presence prior to Adama's discovery. Of course, in hindsight she has clearly taken a bit of a detour via a Cylon Resurrection Ship. Her subsequent very human behaviour, including sexual and material greed, along with a desire for status, helped to mask her identity. It was all too easy for the audience to brush her aside as a devious Lady Macbeth type with psychological issues rather than something far more sinister.

Upon her marital reunion, she quickly drove Saul back to drink and flirted with other men in positions of power (particularly Tom Zarek) and extracted some important information about future Colonial plans. This aroused Adama's suspicions (but fortunately not his libido) and he cleverly ordered Baltar to use his Cylon detection machine on her, without Saul knowing. Interestingly, the tests came back negative.

However, given Baltar's treachery and collaboration with the Cylon Number Six in the attacks on Caprica, it's highly plausible that he would never have revealed Ellen's Cylon status if he knew. The most likely explanation is that he deliberately failed to test her properly, as he would have surely used this knowledge of the Final Cylon as a bargaining chip in the future if he knew.

When the occupation of New Caprica was soured by the Cylon colonisation, Ellen appeared to show a previously unseen characteristic of fierce loyalty. For she copulated repeatedly with Cylon Cavil in return for the safety of her one-eyed hubby, who had been tortured and in captivity. Little did Cavil know that he was unwittingly bagging the prized Final Cylon! Crucially though, Ellen was forced into leaking the plans of the anti-Cylon resistance to Cavil in order to protect Saul's life, which ultimately led to her own supposed death when her husband poisoned her drink. Could this have been part of her plan, and where has she been since?

Nonetheless, the 'murder' hugely affected Saul's temperament and led to visions of Ellen, in the guise of Number Six, while interrogating (and ultimately impregnating) the real Number Six. This can be seen as a visual portent of what was to follow, given that Ellen had momentarily assumed a Cylon identity in Saul's mind. Perhaps this was the first hint of his suppressed memories that would eventually resurface upon Earth.

So, the clues were there all along and the Final Cylon neatly fits into the show's mythology. It just remains to be seen when Ellen will next reappear - and then we'll finally discover her masterplan. We hope...


Strider said...

Nice reflection about Ellen. Thanks.

Though some have expressed disappointment about the identification of Ellen as the Final Cylon, I am not disappointed. As you point out, it fits well into the narrative and mythology of BSG and opens up many possibilities. How wonderful that Sol and Ellen have been coupled in life, death, and life. That touches something deep in all of us--or at least it has the potential to do so. We shall see

sandall said...

Red says....... balls to this malarky...... the writers never came back did they? The crappy camera work makes me nauseous and I wonder what it is the cameraman is doing to cause the camera "shake". Ellen Tigh was the worst choice EVER. Nuff Said..