Who is the Last Cylon?“Four.” With that word, the Cylon named D’Anna gave viewers probably their best clue as to who the final Cylon actually is. After all, there were only three major characters on the Cylon BaseStar when she said that.
Of course, there are other possibilities, and the writers of the show have certainly fooled the viewers before. It’s been several months since the last episode, and with the new one on tonight, we thought we’d give you a brief catchup on the story so far. Needless to say, this is one SPOILER HEAVY article. We’ll keep the early stuff short and easy, and go to a little more length on episode 4.10.
The second Cylon War started when they suddenly reappeared during the decommissioning of the Battlestar Galactica. The 12 colonies of humans were virtually annihilated, leaving just under 50,000 humans alive, roaming the universe. The primary mission of these survivors has been to find a new home in the form of Earth, the fabled 13th colony. The Cylons are chasing them, and can now look like humans (well, 12 specific human-looking ones exist, though “there are many copies”).
Some of these Cylons already infiltrated the fleet. Some revealed themselves (or were slowly revealed). After a stint of peace (then horrendous torture under Cylon overlords) on a borderline habitable planet, the fleet continued their search for Earth. Gaius Baltar developed a massive Messiah complex (ironic, as he was a big part of how the Cylons killed billions of humans, by giving them the security codes). D’Anna, the “lead” number 3 Cylon, saw the faces of the final five hidden Cylons. The writers have revealed that these 5 (who are hidden to both the humans AND Cylons) are in fact the progenitors of all the “skinjob” Cylons. Four of the five were revealed to themselves and viewers at the end of Season 3 (with a little help from “All Along the Watchtower”), with two being very significant longtime members of the Galactica’s crew (Tyrol and Tigh), one being the aide to President Roslin (Tory), and one being the husband of Starbuck (Anders).
That brings us pretty much up into Season 4. Kara dies (and gets better), saying she’s been to Earth. Baltar was tried and acquitted for crimes against humanity, the Cylons broke into two factions and began a civil war with half allying with the humans, and D’Anna was finally found. The Cylon Resurrection Hub was destroyed, instantly making all Cylons mortal.
D’Anna took over the Cylon Basestar that was used by the joint Human/Cylon contingent to save her, as she found out Roslin was betraying her metal allies instantly. Taking her (along with Helo, Baltar, and some marines) hostage, D’Anna contacted interim president Lee Adama for a little quid pro quo. She’ll release the humans as soon as she gets the Cylons that are in the colonial fleet; all four of them. Wait, four? That’s right, only four of the final five are with the Fleet. Tory immediately defects, going to join her Cylon brothers and sisters. At this point, the standoff is simply whether or not the other three decide to join the Cylons; if they do, the Basestar will be shot down to preserve Earth. When D’Anna gets impatient and decides to start killing people, Col. Tigh offers Admiral Adama another way, by revealing his true nature as a Cylon to his decades-long friend. Adama flips out, completely losing his mind in grief over the revelation. Tigh volunteers to stand in an airlock, and allow Lee to threaten that he’ll kill Tigh if D’Anna doesn’t release her hostages. Tigh then reveals to Lee the identities of Tyrol and Anders, just as they’re with Starbuck. Her mysteriously repaired Viper that came back with her from Earth is playing some new Cylon tunes, which drew the remaining secret Cylons to it. After they’re arrested and put in the airlock, Starbuck decides to check out the Viper. Turns out they were telling the truth, and it’s receiving a colonial distress transmission, presumably from Earth. Just as Lee is about to send Tigh, Tyrol, and Anders flying, Kara stops him with the new news.
In the most joyous series of moments from the entire story so far, we see several things happen. The remaining Cylons form a real truce with the humans, as they decide to go to Earth together. Roslin finally tells Admiral Adama she loves him. The whole fleet celebrates as they follow the signal and jump into Earth orbit.
The anticipation and excitement is palpable as a contingent (basically all the main characters) heads down to Earth’s surface. Once landed, viewers and characters alike immediately see something is not right. As Adama lifts up the first fistful of dirt, a geiger counter indicates radioactivity. Panning out, hearts are broken as we see the ruins of a civilization, including a city and a Temple, apparently wiped out by nuclear war.
And that’s where things left off last summer. Tonight’s the night we get to see the next step. There have also been ten webisodes written by Jane Espenson that bridge the gap a bit, and prove why the Sharon model is jokingly called “Love Bot” by my wife and I (everyone falls in love with her!) (for the record, the Sixes are Sex Bot). If you haven’t watched those, don’t worry, they’re not essential, but they are a good quick fix to tide you over until tonight. We’ll be watching, will you?