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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Remember That Thing?: All the forgotten Battlestar Galactica factoids you need to enjoy the finale, maybe

Illustration for article titled Remember That Thing?: All the forgotten emBattlestar Galactica/em factoids you need to enjoy the finale, maybe

[Yeah, this is going to be pretty heavy-handed with Battlestar Galactica spoilers, so read at your own risk!]

It's been six years since Battlestar Galactica aired its miniseries pilot, and four since the series proper started its first season. But because the show took constant breaks—including literally a year between seasons three and four—it feels like it's been a frak-load longer, and those early episode details are feelin' a bit fuzzy. (Hell, things have changed so much that now the humans and cylons are friends! Whoda thunk?) So, because I've been anticipating tonight's series finale for, oh, a while, and to appease a nagging feeling deep inside my core, I spent the better part of this week reading Wikipedia's recaps of every episode.

This initially proved to be an ill-advised endeavor; Wikipedia uses the same, stilted verbiage to describe everything from Mussolini to pre-cum, and the tone was building the opposite of anticipation. But failing going back and watching every episode again—or, for that matter, reading slightly longer recaps—this was the best way to get a quick-and-dirty primer on what I've forgotten about over the years. And believe you me, there was a lot:

The cylons have light-up spines
Recall, if you will, the first time we see Six and Baltar going at it in the pilot; her spine glows at the exact moment when, uh, the good stuff happens. I'd be willing to dismiss it as a novelty of the pilot—some effect that was later removed—but it happens again in "Six Degrees Of Separation" to Sharon, when she's all hot and heavy with Helo. There's some speculation on the Internet that it's a sign that the cylon has become pregnant, which is certainly true in the Sharon-Helo case. But for my money, it was something the writers probably didn't feel like explaining.

Speaking of, Helo's kind of a bastard
When Helo ran into Sharon on Caprica, he totally thought she was Boomer—you know, from Galactica. Who was dating the Chief. And he still made a pass at her.

Starbuck has done it all
There was the time she cut open a Cylon raider in "You Can't Go Home Again," and felt around inside its fleshy core until she learned how it could be piloted. She had her eggs harvested in "The Farm," one of the creepist episodes to date (recall the sight of those women hooked up to the tubey machines, with one begging for death). She even stooped so low as to, in a moment of pure self-hatred, sleep with Gaius Baltar in "Kobol's Last Gleaming," calling out Lee's name mid-coitus. Not to mention she died, sort of, maybe, we'll find out. Right up to the finale, still an amazing character.

Oh yeah, the cylon detector
In "Flesh And Bone," when the cylon paranoia was at its peak—who is a cylon? Are you a cylon? Am I a cylon? What's the deal with all the cylons? I'm saying the word cylon a lot—there was much speculation that Admiral Adama was, in fact, a cylon. It got to the point where Roslin even demanded he take Baltar's cylon test prototype. Remember that thing? To this day, I'm not sure if he completed it, or if it's acccurate, but Baltar went so far as to test Ellen with it in "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down," claiming that he'd never reveal the results. I had completely forgotten that anyone in the fleet had ever questioned her humanness, and this was long before the writers had decided to make her the final cylon. It's incredible how it all came together.

Tigh laid the smack-down
In "Fragged," while Adama was in sick bay after being shot by Boomer, Colonel Tigh needed to control the fleet, so he declared martial law (which, consequently, is the name of my favorite Tekken character). And it was all because of Ellen's pushing! Gods, she is something else.

The 13th colony: Them's tricksters
They may have mapped out the way to Earth, but the planet's former residents weren't taking any chances. The episode "Torn" focused on a mysterious Cylon baseship stranded in the middle of deep space, which Baltar investigates. Turns out, the ship came across a mysterious beacon/canister, which infected the cylons with a disease to which humans were immune. Pregnant Sharon-Athena even caught the bug, but her hybrid daughter's blood saved her life. The disease later became a major plot point, when Galactica decided to jump near a resurrection ship, kill the sick cylons they had on board, and let their sick selves download into the network. Helo, though, thwarted the plan by covertly finishing them off before they were within range of the resurrection ship. He plays by his own rules, that Helo.

Sometimes, even the most minor characters aid big reveals
Let's all go back to the episode "Hero": Novacek, a pilot that served with Adama in the colonial fleet, is discovered in space, maneuvering his ship away from a handful of cylon raiders. Adama rescues him, and learns that he's been tortured for three years by the cylons, and only now narrowly escaped. But what's more interesting is that we learn Adama was sent on a covert mission back in the day, to spy on the cylons across the Armistice Line—it was feared they were using the temporary peace to rebuild forces. Novacek was discovered during the mission, and Adama was forced to shoot him down to avoid being captured. The mission failed, and Adama firmly believes that by crossing the boundary, he is solely responsible for the destruction of the colonies; additionally, Novacek was allowed to escape by the cylons, and now wants Adama dead. All is resolved, and Novacek disappears into the fleet. What could have been a great episode, though, was squandered by another reveal: This was one of those one-off, "it's already season three, and we need to attract new viewers who feel overwhelmed by starting at the begininng" self-contained deals, like the abhorrent "Black Market." Sigh. All that drama, for nought.

Fat Lee, mustachioed Adama
Never forget.

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