We just finished our marathon run through the whole Galactica canon — just in time for tonight’s premiere! — and this time around I was really struck by the appearance of Baltar in “Caprica Six’s” head. I suppose the first time around I was so overwhelmed by the humanity’s surrender that I missed some really important concepts.
Specifically, how exactly are Caprica Six and Baltar connected? There seem to be three major schools of thought on this subject: 1) Baltar and Caprica Six are just plain crazy,2) Baltar and Caprica Six “cracked” under pressure and are expressing this through psychosis, and 3) Baltar and “Caprica Six” really are joined in some physical way.
I tend to rule out the first possibility simply because it doesn’t seem like good storytelling. It smacks of “it just happened,” and I suspect that very little happens “accidentally” in BSG — certainly at this level of importance.
We’ve received some great comments, calls, and posts about this, and most of them seem to center on the second concept: the idea that Baltar and Six have mental stress issues from their respective roles and are expressing them through some speciifc psychosis. Michael from Charlotte, NC offers up one such (well expressed) example:
“I think that the fact of what [Baltar] did — the guilt of it –cracked him on a fundamental level. I think that someone like Baltar — who is used to being the smartest guy in the room, if not the planet –just snapped at realizing that, not only had he betrayed the human race, but he had been outsmarted by someone.
“That is why Six manifests in his mind. She is the only person that has ever bested him — the only person that he KNOWS is smarter than he is. When Six appears to him, it’s really just his “old, in-control self” from before — the “non-crazy” part of his mind that is talking to him and trying to breakthrough to him in the guise of the one person that he can’t believe tricked him.
“I also think the reverse is true with Six and the Baltar in her mind. She fell in love with the man. He was a mission, but she fell in love with him, and through him made a connection on some deep level with humanity –a deep level that the Cylon are not ready to handle — and it has made her feel something LIKE guilt. Not quite, but close. She loves him so much, and (she thinks) is responsible for his death, and through that feels guilt. That’s why the Baltar in her mind is everything she (a Cylon) is supposed to be cold, efficient, clever, and cunning — all the things that this new emotion, LOVE, has made it impossible for her to access. Thus they come out in the form of the man she (thinks) she killed and loved: Baltar.”
This seems quite reasonable, but I do have one major concern: I’ve always assumed that the Six and Sharon that accepted Baltar’s surrender at the end of season 2.5 were indeed the “war heroes.” If that’s the case and theory #2 above is true, wouldn’t the Baltar in Six’s mind have “disappeared” once her “guilt” was resolved? Then again, it wouldn’t be that tough to argue that her psychosis remained after the “resolution,” but with her guilt freed it set her in a different direction against humanity.
I have to admit that I tend to sympathize most with the third concept — that Baltar and Caprica Six are connected somehow physically. As “far-out” as this concept might seem, I keep coming back to it. Maybe something happened when the nuclear blast killed Caprica Six that caused the two of them to become fused. Could Baltar have died as well, having been “reincarnated” (as a Cylon?) before he magically appeared to be saved — by a Raptor piloted by a Cylon?
Or could they have been fused by a more hard-core-Sci-Fi means? The Cylon have developed the means to transfer memories and experiences from one body to the next; Is it that much of a stretch to imagine them transferring the memories/experiences/thought processes of another — maybe even a human — on purposes or by accident?
I still stand by my podcast comment that discovering the origin and function of the Six in Baltar’s head is a key to understanding to BSG storyline. And I can’t wait to see season three in which we have Baltar (with a Six in his head) and Caprica Six (with a Baltar in her head) interacting together. Awesome!
PS: Thanks so much for all your comments and calls. Sometimes we mention them in the podcast, and sometimes we post about them here — but we read them all and greatly appreciate you taking the time to share your insights like the one above.