Baltar’s Six/Six’s Baltar

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.

6 Responses to "Baltar’s Six/Six’s Baltar"
  1. Jon Davis says:

    Very well thought out, but I’m with Chuck in that I don’t entirely buy it. There are too many instances where the ‘Six in the box’ (as Sean puts it) seems to have supernatural knowledge that Gaius simply wouldn’t think of (even the rational super-intelligent psyche).

    For instance…
    How would Gaius have thought up or have prior knowledge of the child that would be born (Hera/Isis)?

    I just don’t think this is simply some form of psychosis. There has to be some sort of connection that has been and will likely continue to be unexplained.

    Could it be that the ‘Six in a box’ is more of Gaius’s guardian angel? Angels are supposed to be messengers/warriors from God so this fits with the role that both the Gaius in Caprica Six’s head plays and the one that Six in Gaius’s head plays. They both just become manifest in the form of the person/cylon that they feel cares about them the most. I would liken both experiences (Gaius in a box and Six in a box) closer to prophetic vision the likes that Pythia had more than coincidental psychosis of both individuals.

    That’s my take anyways.

  2. Juwan Dickerson says:

    I agree with Jon, I think there is something more behind the Baltar and Six thing than the writers are willing to reveal, in fact they’re not revealing anything and it could be for very good reason because it could be the key to everything all the answers.

    Way back in Season One Six knew things explicit things that guided Baltar to help out the fleet that can’t be brushed off and Baltar is just insane, he’s clearly insane but not in that regard. How did she know there was going to be a baby, how did she know where to strike the cylon refinery, etc.

    Plus on top of that we see Six actually manipulate objects in Baltar’s lab small things like paper and test tubes. But she could still just be his “Tyler Durden”

    But one that really really bothered me about the whole Baltar/Six thing was Season One Episode Six: Six Degrees of Separation. When Baltar pissed her off and she appeared to everyone in the fleet as Shelly Godfrey and accused him of being a traitor. Then dissapeard What the hell was that? That was never explained. And that has always upset me. You could write it off as a hallucination but Adama at the end of the episode was willing to tear the fleet apart to find out who she was and I’m sure Baltar didn’t hallucinate that.

    So by that point alone that means there is something more to that whole “Six in a box” thing.

  3. Chip says:

    Forgive the double-posting. I just posted this to the Podcast #8 discussion, but I just saw this positng and thought it more appropriate here.


    On the subject of the visions that Gaius and Six are having of one another you discussed in this latest cast:

    What if when Six downloaded after the nuclear blast that destroyed Baltar’s house, she left a piece of herself (her wetware) in Gaius, and in turn took a piece of him in an even exchange. The best metaphor I can think of this would be two computers on a wireless network. One broadcasts through the other and leaves/takes data. Since the Cylon are virtually identical to humans, then any consciousness the Cylon have could be functional in our brain (i.e., Windows running on an HP or Dell PC). Since we aleggedly only use 10% of our brains (well, maybe 20% for Dr. Baltar), then Six should have plenty of room to run her wetware virus in his mind.

    Just a theory…


  4. Audra says:

    Juwan, I had totally forgotten that Six-in-Gaius’ head moved objects around. I know she’s choked Gaius before and threatened him physically, and it seems like she could really hurt him if she wanted to. I wonder if her telekenesis is real, or if that was Baltar’s imagination. No one else sees Six in his head; maybe Gaius is the only one who perceived things moving around. If they really were moving around…that could be bad.

  5. james says:

    the thing that gets me about the whole Baltar/six thing is the fact that the projections are NOTHING like the actual person (arguable in six’s case) but especially comparing the real Baltar to the “projected” one. i think that these two beings are a yin & yang of sorts when they fell in love with eachother maby they imprinted on the eachother the character traits that they noticed most, in sixes case the self preservation skill that Baltar exibits, in Baltars its the extreme belief in a god and belief that you will be taken care of. now back to my original point comparing “projection” Baltar to real real: decietfull, usually a nervious wreck, doesnt usually have a plan untill six “plants” the idea in his head, and projection: allways appears to know how to get out of any situation, and stay calm & collected throughout the whole process. “projection” six to real six: real six: pretty rational when compared to “projection” six in that she is not constanty babbiling about god, and also real six frequently, after ressurection, questiones what has been taught to her from the doctorines of cylon relighion. so to sum up, i think that when these two beings professed their love for eachother they might have adopted the “strongest” traits that that person exibits.

  6. BoxytheBoxed says:

    if you think nobody saw Caprica 6 before the attack. What if 6 was always in Baltars head. 6 could have been operating from afar. If the cylons joined them, they could have implanted something before the attacks. 6 concus could ahve been with baltar, but her concusnis was in baltars head. the new 6 we see is the concusness in a body

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