Some Thoughts on the Rewatch

While veiwing the rewatch with everyone, I witnessed a scene in “33” where Athena shoots Six in the back and then drags Helo off with her into the forest.

The first time I saw this episode I didn’t think much of this act– just that Athena was trying to defy her fellow Cylons and save poor Helo from a fate worse than death. Looking back now it seems very rehearsed. Athena was supposed to defend Helo against Six. This acts as a bond between them and gets Helo digging Sharon.

Looking forward we know that Helo and Sharon have the first Hylon child. If this outcome was foretold by the Cylon “plan” then I take my hat off to its complete ability to navigate the unexpected and somewhat round-about manner in which events unfold.

This is some excellent planning to be sure. From the second episode to the present -over three years -Athena is a truly huge fulcrum of the story. She has had so many different events happen to and around her that we might forget that she and her child have been a big chunk of “the plan” the whole time. The Cylonhave tried to pair Sharon off with both the Chief and Helo, leading me to think that her child is more important than current screen time might suggest.

27 Responses to "Some Thoughts on the Rewatch"
  1. Dainin says:

    One of things that I enjoy about RDM’s writing and planning is his long view. He knows where he is going and plants the seeds early. (See Carnivale ~ and if you have not seen it DO IT NOW! It’s HBO seroes that lasted 2 seasons, on DVD and luckily planned in 2 yr cycles so most major plots get resolved)

    RDM really layers things, so when we do go back and re-watch we say “Doh!” why didn’t I see that then.

  2. fuzzyelf says:

    I have *never* completely trusted Athena. I keep waiting for her to turn on everyone. She says she’s not “wired in”, but how did she know that Adama asked dead Boomer “Why?” ETC… ETC… How does she have Boomer’s memories – not the implanted ones, but the ones where they were both “alive” at the same time. These are the things that haunt me. I would love an explanation.

  3. StevieSpin says:

    I always assumed that Athena shooting Six was pre=planned as a manipulation of Helo, especially the way a new six, dressed the same, casually walks out from the bushes and watches them leave. If it was really an act of murderous rebellion then I think Athena would have been in trouble much earlier on with the rest of the Cylons.

  4. Pike says:

    I’ve always assumed that the Eight on Six violence was planned as well. It’s not mentioned later when the Cylon/s/z are bitching about how they’re killing each other now. It was probably considered necessary to ‘prove’ that Athena was Boomer, since they didn’t know if Helo had figured out that ‘they look like us now’ (naturally, he hadn’t.)

    I don’t think Athena got rebellious until she fell in love/got pregnant.

  5. Mike P says:

    Like Sean, StevieSpin and Pike, I assumed that this shooting was the first step in the Cylons’ much-vaunted plan. That’s why it shocked me so much to hear RDM say on the commentary that the scene came at the last moment, on his last pass on the script, I think. Which is not to say, I guess, that it didn’t become an integral part of the plan — indeed, RDM says as much — but it is really striking that something so, in retrospect, fundamental didn’t come into play until so late in the game.

    I recently tried “Carnivale,” by the way, and watched 5 episodes (okay, 5 1/2) — but it doesn’t grab me as BSG does. Perhaps because it is, I think, even grittier than BSG and I can personally only handle so much grit in my entertainment… At any rate, it is clearly a well-acted, -written and -executed show.

  6. ShinyFab says:

    Sharon shooting Six seemed obviously planned to me. I think its interesting though, that there is a lot of violence over the three seasons between Eight and Six. Notably culminating in this year’s Six/Boomer smack down. It just seems odd to me: Boomer and Caprica are the Cylon heroes, but Caprica & Sharon seem to be the closer relationship. I do question Sharon though. There are points where I really have to wonder if she’s not just waiting for the right moment . . . . I think Sharon, Hera, and Caprica are extremely important. There’s something itching at the edge of my thoughts about this. I may have more to say later, just have to go find it . . .

  7. BamBam says:

    I agree with ShinyFab about Hera, Caprica and Athena being very important; they seem to be the most integral to the Galactica story lines. What I mean by that, is that they all seem to be closely connected to the things that happen actually on the ship and the close-knit character arcs that occur there. For example they seem to be the only three cylons that have spent a prolonged period of time aboard, captive or otherwise, creating this connection between them and the ship.

    The Sharon/Caprica relationship is something I find very intriguing, they seem to be the cylons who really interact well together, aside from D’Anna, they seem the most human; they have both fallen in love and have a certain amount of respect for one another, at least that is the impression I get, I mean Six did help Sharon get her baby back after all. It is just a very perplexing relationship that has so many possibilities…

  8. Dainin says:

    We start with …and they have a plan

    So what is the plan, as we all have wondered.

    One of the elements seems to be getting aound the infertility of the Cylons, thus the Farm side of things. Sharon was pretty obviously set up to go with Helo and get preggers imho. However, we have seen that extended and intimate contact with Humans is not healthy to Cylon machine view. Sharon/Athena, De’anna and Caprica/Gina have all been fundementally changed by their interaction with humanity. We have tended to assume that the Cylons want to use humans to advance Cylon self interest, but what if that interest is not exclusively Cylon, but fcr the greater good of both races?

    Caprica (esp. in her Head 6 mode) provides the relgious imperative. God wants procreation, and impliedly that his creation come into balance. Perhaps the intent of the Cylon is to integrate the races, create hylons and eradicate the difference between races. Caprica said in another context, Humanity’s children have come home, perhaps the ultimate goal is not to replace humans with cylons, but eliminate the difference.

    So what about the wholesale destruction of humanity? Initially, without human contact or understanding they hit on the simplistic answer to their delimena of how to make this integration possible. Too many humans spread out all over known space…so cull them down to manageable numbers. A straight forward, albeit a little to simplistic perhaps!

    After all a race who can download would not understand the concept of death and the effect it has on the humans, the fear and implications of genocide (much like a child not understanding that death is permanent for humans). To them it may not have been ‘evil’. As the show has gone on, we have seen the Cylons less focused on killing and eradicatiing humanity, to extent the New Caprica experiment was tried, and even the involvement of individuals to associate with humans, a la Athena.

    They seem to be refining and learning that to remove differences, both sides need to voluntarily choose, rather than have it forced on an unwilling party. Athena and Caprica have learned (and I guess Chief will learn as well) that the future is determined by our children and the lives they live. Perhaps the Cylon plan is to follow their creators ~ God’s plan (hmmm, what if the Cylon God is their orginal human creator, now mythic and deified in their culture) and ‘be human. Realizing that they cannot truly become their parents, they realize that thier children can accomplish God’s plan.

  9. Nick says:

    I had always assumed Athena shooting Six was pre-planned to manipulate Helo, just like when Six lays the smackdown to Athena later to make it look like she was captured by centurions. I’m still not convinced that Athena is loyal to humans.

  10. Eyeless says:

    Why does Three refer to Six’s murder of a Three in Downloaded as the first act of Cylon-on-Cylon violence? >_> Eight on Six was the first.

  11. Tanu says:

    When I first watched 33, I automatically assumed that it was planned since back then we had not been exposed to the cylong factions. As for some of the other Cylon-on-Cylon violence, i’m not sure how much of it was planned. I don’t think that Six killing Eight in “Downloaded” was planned; nor Six killing Boomer in i forget the name of the episode.

    my last word…butterfingers.

  12. 13th Cylon says:

    I’m not so sure that there is a Cylon plan anymore. Sometimes I wonder what fool put that in the intro!

  13. Mike P says:

    13th — Yeah, I can share your frustration sometimes. Once the Eight and the Six decided, in “Downloaded,” to change the plan — seems like the intro should have been changed. Although, “And They Have a Plan — Which Is Subject to Change” doesn’t have quite the menacing tone, I guess. 🙂

    Maybe this is the part of me speaking that doesn’t like ambiguity, but I think I mostly want the Cylons to remain humanity’s enemy in the scheme of things. All the theories about hylons bringing peace, or us all being Cylons, *do* appeal to some extent because they could hint at peace and harmony in the end of all things… but I also think, “Don’t let the Cylons turn out to be like the Borg.”

    I had to check — it was *not* RDM who wrote “I, Borg” on ST-TNG, as I might have suspected. But that episode, as great as it was, had the irrevocable effect of making the Borg basically just like us: sure, they’re mindless drones in the collective, but now we know they can be individualized (a process taken ad absurdum with 7 of 9 in Voyager — but that’s another story!). The dramatic point and mora lesson is a good one — your enemies are no more monolithic than your clan/tribe/people happens to be — but it changes the dynamic in a new way, and the enemy can never again have the same menace it once had.

    I think that’s all well and good in real life — but, frak it all, I like the bad guys in my sci-fi to, at some level, stay the bad guys! The Cylons are a lot more menacing and ominous and enimgatic in season 1 than they have been ever since “Downloaded,” and while I think I understand and appreciate what BSG is trying to do with that, I still feel as though something has been lost. To wit: *so what?* if Tigh, Tyrol, Anders and Tory are Cylons? What does that mean anymore? RDM says, and several here have agreed, that the examination of what it means to be human and what it means to be Cylon is a fundamental question of the series — and it is, now. It wasn’t originally.

    The original question of the series, as I read it, was solely concerned with humanity. As Cmdr. Adama posed it at the retirement ceremony was, “What makes us as a species worth saving?” I think BSG is no longer really interested in that question.

    Am I way off base, or just missing something — or making any sense at all? If we’re building up to some Pogo-esque realization that “We have met the Cylons, and they is us” — doesn’t that leave the original question unresolved?

  14. Timbuck says:

    It’s Cylons..with an “s”!!!!!!!

    The shooting of 6 by Boomer was part of their plan. They are like the Russians (if you saw Red October) they dont take a dump without a plan. Just because we dont see it, and RDM changes stuff, doesnt mean it isnt there. Lucas changed his mind and people didnt complain (re: the real films 1977-1983). Remember Leia kissing Luke? Very W Virginia.

    They have a plan–we just havent seen it.

  15. Hybrid Master says:

    I am already going through SERIOUS withdrawal! I’ve already watched WATER and the new podcast isn’t out for 3 more days…..

    I think Athena could be “activated” or redirected at any moment. And another thing! The Cylons seemed so childlike in how they expereinced emotions and thought about love, and all of a sudden we have Athena go from that to a “woman in love” who is able to process deep emotions, make individual choices. I’m not saying that there isn’t depth and richness to the Cylon experience, I’m just saying that they aren’t all on the same level of development AND don’t evolve like humans….

  16. Dainin says:

    Hybrid sez “I am already going through SERIOUS withdrawal! I’ve already watched WATER and the new podcast isn’t out for 3 more days…..”

    I so feel your pain! I finished ‘Water’ last night, It feels like I am being pulled to sit down with a gallon of Hagen Daaz and I know if I do, I’ll eat the whole thing at once 🙂

    Is this what nicotine withdrawal is like? Pacing, pacing, keeping my hand away from popping in another (disk). I just know I will probably put 20 lbs on waiting for the next season!

  17. Browncoat Bryan says:

    It was part of the plan. In a later episode (the one where Athena/Sharon was supposedly captured) we see Helo looking for Sharon and Doral, Six, and Sharon are watching from a rooftop. This is when Six punches Sharon to make it look like Sharon was tortured and escaped.

    In the next episode (or probably in the same episode) Doral and Six talk about love and how love would be necessary for anyone to have children (since they tried everything else). Also, Sharon says as much when Helo finds out that Sharon is a Cylon. Or would all of this be considered a Season One spoiler?

    I have a friend who is going through BSG and hasn’t seen Season 3 yet. She’s saying “Man, Starbuck is my favorite character. I love Tigh too. I hope neither of them are part of the Final Five Cylons!!!”


  18. Mike P says:

    Speaking of the demystification of the Cylons and their plan — if you haven’t listened to the “Galactica Roundtable” podcast at, I highly recommend it. It is super long (three hours or so), but very interesting — a discussion with RDM, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, and the actors who play Helo and Romo Lampkin (and Mrs. Moore, too!). Jamie Bamber says that the one thing he might change about the show at present (the discussion was recorded as they were finishing up filming “Crossroads”) is regretting that the Cylons have been somewhat demystified. The participants weigh in with very intelligent pros and cons.

    I also think, by the way, that now is the right time to listen to that podcast, because there is much discussion in the first hour of the miniseries and “33,” which we have just, of course, finished in our re-watch. 🙂

  19. Eyeless says:

    Yeah Mike, I wish that 3 hour podcast had included spoilers. They could have waited till now to release it, and it would be more in-depth.

  20. The 13th Cylon says:

    Mike- I always thought that was the most interesting part of the roundtable podcast. While I do agree that the Cyl0nZ (this is now the cool way to spell it out as of now) aren’t so scary anymore, I think it’s part of the natural progression of this show (If I recall correctly, this is pretty much what RDM felt as well). I don’t they could really move the story forward without doing it. If we had no demystification, then we wouldn’t have so many of the wonderful storylines of the past season (I think we really learned more about Cylons ever since “Downloaded”) like Xena searching for the F5, much of the New Caprica stuff, and even the F5 themselves. It’s the Darth Vader factor- big, bad, and scary until we learn he’s a crusty old white guy.

  21. Max says:

    Will we ever figure out what Head Six is?

  22. Eyeless says:

    Off-topic – A new interview with Richard Hatch – over an hour and a half! – here:

  23. Pike says:

    Eyeless, nice. There’s a year-old one of him on SciFi Talk here:

  24. The 13th Cylon says:

    Max- I don’t know if we’ll ever find out what she is and in a way, I hope we don’t find out (at least not completely). Sometimes it’s best to leave a few questions unanswered. Heck, we really don’t even know her name. She claims to be an angel sent by God to protect Baltar, but who knows.

    And a very off topic, but I finally got around to ordering Series 1 of the BSG Minimates. They’re these bizarre little 3 inch action figures that are great little stylized versions of the characters of BSG.

  25. Pike says:

    Good one, 13th. I came across those those earlier this season—I can’t remember if I mentioned it here—but I hadn’t kept up on them.

    Nice to see they have the Centurions now. Hey, Sean! Not quite the full meal deal, but it’s a start…

  26. The 13th Cylon says:

    Yeah, I got a 12 pack of the modern Cylons when they first came out and they’re awesome little guys. There’s some burned ones, bloody ones, shot ones, and a chrome one. I was also able to get the NY Toy Fair Starbuck with her cigar. Series 2 is going to be great with a VP Baltar and later on a super awesome “Tigh Me Up…” Baltar (in his labcoat with test tubes of blood samples lol).

  27. L33tG33k says:

    I think I have to agree w/ just about everyone here that the “8 on 6” shoot was part of the Cylon plan,w/ a caveat. If RDM stated that it was a late addition to the script it doesn’t put him in the “perjury Zone”.And I don’t think It counts as “Cylon on Cylon Violence”. If RDM did , in fact, add this last minute,or had omitted it, it wouldn’t have impacted the story in any meaningful way.8’s job was to seduce Helo and procreate.It was just a matter of gaining his trust RIGHT NOW.Having “Sharron” show up might have seemed “not right “if the immediacy were not pounded into Helo’s forebrain. As for Cylon on Cylon Violence,The “8 on 6” shoot was part of the plan, not a reactional act like the “Caprica on Xena” bash. That little bit’o ugly was a small rebellion,and what is murder but just a rebelling against the rules of civilization. As for Caprica and Sharrons “New Plan? well who’s to say the the plan wasn’t penned buy the F5? Maybe, as it was passed down thru the other models it was misunderstood and corrupted.

    Oh and by the by, I really regret NOT finding this site/podcast earlier. All of you (the creators especially) totally rock.

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