Friday, January 26, 2007

What did D'Anna see?

(Listening to the BSG Season 2 soundtrack CD as I write this, of course. Package from Amazon arrived yesterday, woot).

Might as well dedicate another post to BSG... I'll admit it feels a bit strange to discuss a plot of a television series here (actually, it feels strange for me to be this enthusiastic about any TV show) but the thing is that this particular damn show actually provokes thoughts, touching with very good sense upon questions ranging from politics to religion to ability of nonhuman beings (I'm avoiding the term "artificial intelligence") to have what unsettingly resembles human minds - sentient, free willed, emotional, even religious.

Anyway, if you didn't see the last BSG episode, "Rapture", you might as well stop reading now, because it won't make any sense to you then.

In the last episode, D'Anna supposedly saw the faces of the last five cylon models in the temple of the Jupiter during the supernova breakout before she died her current body terminally malfunctioned. But did she really see them?

I have a suspicion that as much as it seems so on the surface of it, she actually didn't. If you remember, the Leoben instance that Adama encountered at the weapon storage station in the series pilot mentioned that his nervous system is negatively affected by the electromagnetic activity in the cloud that surrounds the station. I can only imagine how can an ongoing supernova breakout affect the nervous system of a humanoid cylon exposed to it standing on the surface of a nearby planet. So, yes, it might as well be that D'Anna hallucinated as a mental malfunction (and later physical too) caused by the supernova burst and just saw what her subconscious (assuming they have an analogous layer in their psyche) wanted her to see.

Further supporting this claim is that the other cylons don't think much about D'Anna's messiastic fixation and pragmatically only see it as a danger to their common goals. Also, thinking outside of the story, I see that the series writers don't stack unsolved mystery upon unsolved mystery as a means of driving the plot forward (fortunately, unlike Lost's writers, who pretty much seem to be lost in the plot, and definitely lost me as a viewer - pun fully intended), and in accordance to this, nothing else even hints that her mystical beliefs could be true. Well, except that the location where she saw the last five in her vision was the same location Baltar saw in his vision on Kobol at the end of season one. This could be explained if the location is something buried in minds of all cylons, and either Baltar is a cylon himself or the Six in his head is more than just a hallucination that suppresses his sense of guilt. Neither of these assumptions are provable based on currently available information though, but I believe latter is vastly much more probable than the former.

Oh, and there's some wonderful yin-yang contrast in how it's Cavil, the only atheist model among cylons who informs the religious, messisatically predisposed D'Anna that the rest of the community has sentenced her to being boxed in cold storage. I also don't have a moment's doubt that in the future of the series, Baltar will somehow get in a situation where he can restore her from cold storage into a body, and won't hesitate for a moment, as he believes she has the answer to his burning identity-crisis question.

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