The last season of Battlestar Galactica is upon us, and the big question is: Who is the final Cylon? You probably don’t know, and I sure don’t, but I have some excellent guesses.
(OK, yes—way, way back, back when George W. Bush was still the president, I confessed to giving up on BSG after only a season and a half. And no, nothing has changed since then. So why, given my admittedly limited knowledge, should you even want to listen to my guesses?
For one thing, as Sir Francis Bacon said—and I think the guy who invented bacon knew what he was talking about—knowledge is power. And we all know that power corrupts. In fact, what sort of person is best suited to wield power? The person who doesn’t want it. Because you can trust them. Ergo, because I lack knowledge of BSG, and don’t really want it, you can trust me. Wow, why am I not a billionaire yet?)
Ahem. On to the guessing.
Excellent Guess #1: The final Cylon is my wife. What do we know about the final Cylon, you guys from actually watching the show and me from looking at the Internet? We know he or she isn’t in the Colonial fleet (probably). And my wife is definitely not in the fleet! I’m pretty sure I would notice if she ever traveled light-years away. Further, all of the lady Cylons so far have proven to be very attractive women, and my wife is a very attractive woman. Furtherer, why would she brush off my persistent attempts to consummate our marriage if not to hide the fact that her back glows red during lovemaking? And furtherest of all, why have I repeatedly come home to find Ramón, the Venezuelan repairman from downstairs, in our apartment, if he isn’t there to perform covert maintenance on her robot body? So, honey, Ramón—I’m on to you guys! Guess I’m a little sharper than you thought!
On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that Ramón is simply helping my wife plan the grandest surprise party ever for my birthday in August. In that case, it’s quite likely that the final Cylon is my wife’s best friend. She, too, is not in the fleet. More important, back in season one, Leoben Conoy, or Number Two, tells President Roslin that “Adama is a Cylon.” Well, most folks agree that if that wasn’t an outright lie, then it’s still misleading in some way, like maybe he meant an Adama other than the commander. Or maybe (and I think you’ll agree that this makes a lot more sense) he meant that the Cylon was “Ada ma”—in other words, the mother of Ada. And my wife’s best friend’s daughter is indeed named Ada. Ada is a baby, and what do Cylons love to do? Have babies. Q.E.D.
But oh, you brainos whine, Number Two wouldn’t have known who any of the Final Five were. Nyeeeeah. Nyeeeeah. That’s what you sound like, and it hurts my ears. You probably want Barack Obama to be the last Cylon! Well, sorry—he’s in this picture, right smack-dab in the middle:
...and the last thing we know about the final Cylon is that she or he isn’t in that picture, according to series creator Ron Moore. Sorry, hopefaces!
But I think you’re close. Because Battlestar Galactica has aimed since its inception to be more than a boilerplate spaceship show about lasers and robots. It wants to tell us something about who we are; it wants to show us there are no easy answers, no black-and-white divisions of right and wrong, no heroes who are wholly good and no villains who are wholly despicable.
And so I am confident that when the final Cylon is revealed, a hush will fall over the characters who are present, somber music will play, and the camera will pan slowly across the gathered faces, until it comes to rest on...
A mirror. Yes, because you are the final Cylon. (Time’s Person of the Year for 2006, not 2008.) You are the final Cylon, and I am the final Cylon, and my wife is the final Cylon, and her best friend is the final Cylon, and Ramón is the final Cylon. We are all the final Cylon. Except for Barack Obama and the other people in that picture with him.
Commenter Moff’s real name is Josh Wimmer, and he can usually be found at scribblescribblescribble.com/blog.