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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Todd VanDerWoff at the House Next Door writes in defense of Cally, Battlestar Galactica fandom's favorite whipping girl. (Just for example, check out the last line of this post at io9. Beware spoilers for last Friday's episode.)

The rest of this post is about who I think the last Cylon is, and it gets a lot geekier than I like this blog to get—so I'm hiding it behind a [+/-]...

Ranked Candidates for the Final Cylon

Preliminary assumptions: I'm hoping that Ron Moore and the rest of the writers are smart enough not to try and lamely shock us with any of the four main characters (Adama, Roslin, Starbuck, Lee), so I'm leaving them out. I also think they're good enough at what they do to realize how badly it screws up the Baltar character if you make him a Cylon.

I'm also assuming, just because of the buildup, that the revelation has to have some sort of impact—it can't just be Random Pilot #5—and further that because of the constraints of the medium this has to be a visual impact. That is, it's got to be someone we've seen before and can be trusted to recognize, especially since the revelation is presumably going to happen on a cliffhanger.

I also make no assumptions as to whether the last Cylon was on Galactica or not when the "Watchtower" music was first heard, or whether they've only just been triggered or if they've known all along. I think on those questions it could go either way.

So, given that, here's my ranked list:

1. Billy: My longtime favorite, still number one, though the new number 2 is rapidly closing. Billy as a character was handled so poorly that if I were a writer on the show I'd make him a Cylon just so I could have another crack at it.
Cons: Diminishing amount of impact, given that he hasn't been on the show in a few years...

2. Cally: This actually seems rather likely to me after the last episode, which seemed to be dropping a few hints towards this. (I'm mostly keying into the word-for-word repeat of "since the Nebula," first to describe how long Cally has been having trouble sleeping and then how long the Dylan Four have known they were Cylons.) I think she'd also be a really interesting choice on a number of different levels if the actress could pull it off, which I'm not convinced she could.

3. Either Kendra or Admiral Cain: I think both of these are likely candidates simply because they went out of their way to make a Pegasus prequel movie a season and a half after it would have been interesting, after the Pegasus itself had already been destroyed on-screen. For this reason, I'm also least happy with these choices, as I think the Pegasus movie was a rare mistake already for the franchise (with the second half of season three being the other big one), and it's two-times a mistake if they only made Razor because they needed to staple in the final Cylon at the last minute.

4. Gaeta, Dualla, Doc Cottle, Zarek: The classic choices, and the most important characters left after you've ruled out the four leads and Baltar. Of these, Dualla is probably the favorite, insofar as she's one of the last chances for Leoben's claim that "Adama's a Cylon" to turn out to be true.

4a. Though it's slightly possible they'll bring back Lee's often-spoken-of dead brother for that instead.

5. Racetrack: She's my dark horse simply because she's been present for just about every major chance discovery the fleet has made, most notably New Caprica.
Cons: Only the most hardcore fans of the show could pick her out of a lineup.
So, those are my best guesses. But, hell, they'll probably just make Adama or Roslin the last Cylon and be done with it....