Saturday, April 19, 2008
Chauncey's World of Ghetto Nerds: Chauncey DeVega is the Fifth Cylon
It has been a while since we had any ghetto nerd related information to share. This weekend, I am going to make up for the lack of ghettonerdness as of late with both a Saturday and Sunday post.
Damn, can I say it again, damn, Battlestar Galactica is great television! As disappointed as I was that this indeed will be the last season of my beloved show, I am consistently impressed with how Ronald Moore and company are moving the story forward and are not afraid to make difficult choices regarding the plot and characters. Some thoughts and questions:
1. One of my friends has a theory that the humans and the Cylons are the same race and the differences are just artificial--we believe we are different species, so therefore we are. This theory would also give further support for the nonsense science underlying Baltar's "Cylon Detector" and the fact that it didn't work to begin with (his detecting a Number 5 was just blind luck). And do yourself a favor by reading this weekly column, hosted by the New Jersey Star Ledger newspaper, which analyzes the Battlestar Galactica television series.
2. If the humans and the Cylons are basically the same species (with some minor differences in terms of evolution) then the show speaks nicely to claims made by some observers that this show's narrative is deeply centered on questions of race, racial difference and racial passing (check out the new book Cylons in America for that argument, and congrats to the editors and contributors to the volume on their winning the Ray and Pat Browne Award for Best Edited Collection from the American Culture and Popular Culture Association). Again, if race is a social construction, then the animosity between, and belief that, we (humans) and they (Cylons) are different is based on an illusory sense of difference. Relevant and prescient.
3. Lee Adama and Zarek working together. "New" Apollo and "classic" Apollo face to face. I just love their dynamic. Zarek is one of my favorite characters and has been underutilized as of late. Zarek tells the truth (more often than not) and his radical politics only speak to the problematic leadership offered by Admiral Adama and President Roselyn. Hmmm....is Lee Adama going to lead a coup? In his commitment to "truth," will Lee further undermine Roselyn and lead the human fleet further astray from Earth?
4. I love Tory. I love Tory. I love Tory. One more time...I love Tory. In my fantasies, me, Tory, Six, and Dualla pursue my Mormonesque fantasies of a debauched, plural marriage. More seriously, if each Cylon embodies and/or channels a different aspect of our humanity, then what part of our humanity does Tory represent? One could perhaps argue that Tory, with her murder of Tyrol's wife has now been "activated." I would disagree. Tory is now free to be herself and to make the difficult choices necessary for her survival.
5. Related thought, so we have Sharon's half-human/half-Cylon baby, and ostensibly Tyrol's half-human/half-Cylon child as well. There have been critiques made that Tyrol's child is an after thought, i.e. why isn't this child also the focus of the Cylon's obsession? Narratively, why isn't this plot hole addressed? As an alternative, I would suggest that Tyrol is not the father of Cally's child and that at some point she was sleeping around. We shall see.
6. The Cylon Civil War has begun (and ended?) Some thoughts: You have to love the mechanical Cylons and their obvious disgust and anger at being ordered around by the "human" Cylons; Cavil's observations about the failures of democracy were priceless; Which Cylon models will be eliminated? And how will this impact their relationship to the human fleet? Think for a moment, there have been many moments where it was "check and mate" for the human fleet, and their salvation came not because of their smarts or heroism per se, but because the Cylons chose to keep the humans alive. Humanity is a laboratory. Humanity is the key to the Cylons' quest to understand their origins and destiny. Looking forward, if certain models are permanently "boxed" then how will the Cylon's decision-making towards the human fleet be changed?
7. Colonel Tigh now has visions and premonitions a la Baltar. Can we get this man some help? He is a one-eyed, alcoholic that now sees folks who (apparently) aren't really there? Random thought: I like the symbolism embodied by Colonel Tigh--the one eyed man who may very well be a visionary--nice touch in my opinion. In addition, I am very curious to see how Ronald Moore explains Tigh's relationship with Adama and the fact that Tigh seems to break all the rules governing who can or cannot be a Cylon (he ages, he has known Adama for years, and has many long standing relationships with people throughout the fleet). Perhaps, Tigh was replaced during the occupation on New Caprica? Maybe Tigh is the first of the Cylons, a progenitor model that combines all of the flaws and traits embodied by the other models?
8. Who is the final Cylon? My smart money is still on Gaeta. Why? We know little about him. Gaeta is either consistently involved in, or in close proximity to, major decisions and characters, respectively. Now, he is with Starbuck as she searches for Earth. All too convenient for me. Your thoughts?