If you've been like me, wondering where the hell Battlestar Galactica has been going, the return of the show this weekend has (will) probably answer(ed), and with some excitement and a few huge revelations.
Yes, I'm going to talk about them here. That's why the spoiler warning above.
The planet (presumably Earth, though we have seen no real objective proof -- no half-buried Statue of Liberty....
..."Earth" was nuked some 2,000 years ago.
Personally, I think the show would have been better served if they had left us on the cliffhanger last year just arriving at Earth. Then there would have been a lot of anticipation.
--Then, with this revelation of the nuked planet, we would have been rocked and in more emotional tune with the characters (which turns out to be very important with the suicide-themed plot points in the episode).
Still, this starts to fill in the metastory about what happened to put into motion the events we've been following in this series.
They find Cylon Centurions.
But they aren't any model known by any of the Cylons we know. Similar, but different.
That's huge in itself, but then we learn....
All of the human remains they find all over the planet are in fact not human: they are Cylon.
I'm still trying to digest just what that might mean. How are Cylons and humans different? (That's been a running question throughout the show.) Are the current seven Cylons of the Cylon civilization (if you could call it that) really from this "Earth" and not developed by the Colonial Cylons themselves?
How does this fit with the first Colony-Cylon war, when young Adama found the proto-hybrid project?
The other Four Cylons are from this "Earth".
Chief flashes back to before. He's walking through a kind of farmers' market when there's a bright flash – a nuke. As the blast wave hits, we flash back to present. Chief is rocked. On the wall next to him is a charred silhouette (which will resonate with any dedicated Ray Bradbury fans): his own remains.
They ask the question themselves: How did they die 2,000 years ago and find themselves living light-years away in the Colonies? Why don't they remember? What does this mean?
But this isn't even the topper.
Starbuck finds her crashed Viper ... with her charred corpse. Dog tags seem to confirm it's her.
And it totally freaks out Leoben, who throughout the series has seemed pretty un-freak-out-able. Why does Leoben run away?
It was a bit too easy how Starbuck ends up not telling Apollo what happened. It might have worked had the series left us hanging with hope in Earth's orbit, and then kicked off this half-season with the then-would-be-truly-shocking revelation that Earth was a charred wasteland. Then Duella's suicide and Adama's near-attempt would fit; we would feel the acute disappointment along with the characters.
But as it is, we had months to digest the wasted Earth, and that left us fairly removed emotionally from that shock.
But overall this episode was jam-packed with revelations. And it left us with even more questions.
Only a handful of episodes left. I eagerly await them.
Laura Scott is a designer, tech geek, fiction editor, and author.