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Battlestar Galactica 4.12 (4.10) “Revelations” Summary and Analysis SPOILERS

Posted by Mister Random on June 13, 2008

Please be aware that this article contains spoilers for episode 10 (4.12) of the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica so dont read on if you have not seen the episode and do not want to be spoiled

One Sentence Review

A very good episode in its own right but merely adequate when used as the episode to end the season on

Plot Summary 

The episode opens on Galactica with Lee and Starbuck talking about how he misses his father and mentions the Temple of Aurora on Earth. It then jumps to the baseship and D’anna says their are only four of the final five cylons in the fleet. She then announces she is holding the colonials on the ship hostage until the final 4 are safe on the baseship. D’anna also says that Adama will accompany her to Galactica when they arrive and Roslin when hugging Adama whispers to him to destroy the baseship if he has to. The baseship then arrives back at the colonial fleet

We then get the preview scene where D’anna announces to everyone what she has done and Lee and Adama agree to her terms that no shuttle traffic will be interfered with. Tori then asks to take Roslins medication to her, to which Tigh objects but Adama allows her to go. When Adama mentions to Lee what Roslin told them to do to which Lee agrees. We then get a planning session led by Athena in which she warns them the cylons will be expecting her to help them and that they will be prepared.

We then have a scene between Baltar and Roslin where Baltar thanks Rolsin for not killing him, Tori arrives and after giving Roslin her medication, admits she is a cylon, to which Baltar exclaims “I knew it” before backing down slightly. Tori then breaks her ties with Roslin but seems reluctant as she does it however. D’anna then spaces a hostage and tells the fleet she will space another one every 15 minutes until the rest of the final four are handed over. Lee responds by authorising the rescue mission and the destruction of the baseship if necessary. The final four then start hearing the music again which leads them (except Tori) to the Viper Starbuck arrived in, they then go get Starbuck to look it over while Tigh heads off to talk to Adama

Tigh then admits to Adama and had known since the Nebula. Adama at first refuses to believe it as he had known Tigh for over 30 years and Tigh had visibly aged, that perhaps the cylons did something to him on New Caprica but he is finally forced to see that Tigh is a cylon. Tigh tells Adama to airlock him if necesary to save the hostages and Tigh is excorted to an Airlock. Adama then has a breakdown and Lee tries to comfort him but fails. Lee then goes to the airlock and punches Tigh, as the situation escalates Tigh gives up Tyrol and Anders who are arrested in front of Starbuck while investigating her Viper.

On the baseship Leoben goes to Roslin and Baltar and tells them what is going on, Baltar goes with Leoben to try to convince D’anna to stand down. As the situation escalates Lee (with Dee) gets ready to space Tigh and the cylons lock nukes on the civilian fleet. Tori tells D’anna that Lee will back down but Baltar arrives and says he will not as he is too much like his father, he ultimately fails to change D’anna’s mind. Fortunately Starbuck finds a homing signal being received by her viper and manages to bring the situation to a peaceful resolution with the promise of Earth. She and Lee also have a brief discussion about whether a higher power is orchestrating things

Roslin tries to restore Adama’s confidence and she has a reconcilliation with Lee, Adama then has some of his confidence restored and decides to jump the whole fleet to Earth to ensure the alliance holds. The fleet jumps to Earth and finds it leading to celebrations throughout the fleet. A large party then land on Earth but they find it a radioactive ruin and they seem to have landed near the ruins of the temple of Aurora and everyone looks around in despair

My Thoughts and Speculation 

I am again left with mixed feelings about this weeks episode, it is a very good episode but I am not sure it works as an effective season ending as it will be 2009 before new episodes shown. On the developments side of things there are quite alot, as we have the identities of the penultimate four made public, we find out that Tigh has been around for at least 30 years, we find out that the final cylon is not in the fleet, Adama seems to have a crisis of confidence, Roslin has reconcilliations with Lee and perhaps Baltar, they find Earth and find that it is a wasteland.

This has opened up a lot of new questions, firstly why is D’anna so sure that the final cylon is not in the fleet, I can think of four possibilites firstly the final cylon is someone she knows to be dead, secondly the final cylon is allready in the cylon fleet, in this case it is unlikely to be any of the humans as she would have said who they were (unless in her vision they told her not to), or my theory that the final cylon is a specific member of an existing cylon model, the third possibility is that the final cylon is on Earth and D’anna knows the identities of all living humans from her time in the fleet and on New Caprica or finally that she did not see the final cylon but does not want to admit it. I will post revised thoughts on the possible identity on the final cylon next week 

The second big question is what happened to Earth, how did it become a radioactive wasteland. There is also the related question of is the planet actually Earth or at least our Earth and when in history is this (past or future). There is the mention of the Temple of Aurora (goddess linked to Starbuck) early on and it appears to me that that is where they land though I will need to see screen captures to be certain. This development should not be a total surprise as in Kobals last gleaming back the first season Elosha tells Roslin that the dying leader did not enter their new homeland, now the colonials have been assuming Earth will be their new homeland, but perhaps they are wrong perhaps their new homeland is somewhere else a “New Kobal” where any survivors of the disaster on Earth fled and Roslin will die before they reach this new home as she landed on Earth seemingly in defiance of this prophecy. I will specualte more on this in a dedicated post in the coming weeks once I have watched the series again

We then come onto the penultimate four fallout, Adama seemed to be hit really hard by this and given all the personal hardships and betrayals in the recent years above and beyond the fall of the 12 colonies it is surprising he hasn’t had a breakdown earlier, and while he seemed to have had a partial recovery given what they found on Earth I wouldnot be surprised if he had a relapse. Roslin also seemed to have a day of reconcilliations as she seemed to have made a peace of sorts with Baltar though I doubt it will last and she made peace with Lee after their division due to Baltars trial. It was also good to see that even if not mentioned her betrayal of the cylons was paid back with no objection to D’anna taking over and betraying the colonials, while D’anna has only just been revived, her taking over and giving orders fitted with the cylon heirarchy seen in the past as she had a similar role with the 6’s and 8’s obeying her in the past. It was interesting to note that it was Leoben who went to Baltar and Roslin to tell them what was happening and did not object to Baltar trting to change D’annas mind. If Roslin and Helo had kept their word and not tricked the Athena substitute last week I suspect that D’anna would not have been able to usurp power so easily.  

There was also a welcome acknowledgement by starbuck that some higher power is driving things forward. This adds support to the theory that the head entities are more than mere subconscious manifestations. Also in the episodes ending, in as well as it looking like they landed in the temple of Aurora a six can be seen comforting Tigh, was this Caprica 6?. Speaking of Caprica 6 what was her reaction to finding out that she was (a) preganant and (b) that a cylon is the father there is also the question of what is her status now. 

This leads me onto the main problem with the episode and that I am not sure it works well as the season ending which is what this is, or rather in its current form it is too short and there are too many little details like the Caprica 6 thing missing. Another missing detail is that there is practically nothing on what the original humanoid cylons think of the final five (especially Tori), and lack of information on Tori on the baseship. I think the writers chose the wrong episode to make a two parter as Sine Qua Non and the Hub IMO would have made a tense fast paced single episode while this episode could have been done as a two parter with more missing details and having the midpoint be the standoff between Lee and D’anna.

I also didnt find the wasteland Earth a good cliffhanger, a depressing ending and a convincing ending if there was going to be a break of a few months but as the break is 6 months IMO it would have been better if it had been a true cliffhanger though I do understand that the writers strike is partly responsible for this situation. Like I said earlier the episode is very good in of itself but it just doesnt work for me as the way to end the season. If the episode had been a two parter or a 60 minute extended episode I think it could have worked, but in its current state it works really well as an episode shown during a season with episodes either side, but there are too many details missing for it to work as an effective season ending.


  • Adamas Breakdown
  • One Leg Gaeta
  • Tighs Turmoil
  • Roslins reconcilliations
  • D’anna going back to her old ways
  • Baltar pointing out to D’anna that her old ways dont work
  • The emotional rollercoaster from celebration to despair in a few minutes
  • The Landing site being the Temple of Aurora
  • Roslin paying the price for earlier betrayals


  • The episode being used as the last episode of the season 
  • The missed details (e.g. Caprica 6)

Episode Rating

7/10 – As a Season Ending

9/10 – As an individual episode

Update: The BSGCAST page for Revelations is up  and if you want somewhere to debate the episode I recommend checking it out, if you put in a good comment then the site mods are giving away alienware goddies to their favourite comment (comment by Monday 16th)


9 Responses to “Battlestar Galactica 4.12 (4.10) “Revelations” Summary and Analysis SPOILERS”

  1. EEM said

    ‘Revelations’ made it pretty likely that the final Cylon was with D’Anna on the basestar. Otherwise, she couldn’t have been so sure that there were only four of the final five with the fleet. So it could be Adama, Baltar, Helo, or Roslin if it’s not some minor character. My money is on Adama. He broke down when Tigh told him how he found out about being a Cylon. Perhaps Adama collapsed not so much out of a sense of betrayal but because he realised what the music he also had heard in the Nebula was all about.

    I also thought that the landing team stood in the ruins of the temple of Aurora. The destruction of Earth doesn’t really come as a surprise. “All this has happened before and will happen again” is the mantra of the show. Earth was destroyed in a conflict between men and machines. So was Kobol, and so were the 12 colonies. I wonder how all of this will be resolved. Too bad that it will be at least 6 months. This was not really much of a cliffhanger but more of a down ending. There are many open questions but there is really no suspense.

  2. Random Remarks said

    Thanks for the comment EEM

    My problem with the ending is similar to yours in that I think an episode that ends a season should either have a sense of resolution or suspense and this had neither it was just down, ironically the final scene could have worked as an ending to the series proper if the episode(s) leading up to the scene had set it up right

    I must disagree with you about the cylon being a human allready on the basestar as I think D’anna would have revealed the cylons identity. I do agree with your choices (with the possible exception of Adama as D’anna let him leave) for the only humans it could be as she was willing to kill all the others. I therefore suspect it to be a character D’anna knows to be dead and I will do a post next week updating my thoughts on final cylon candidates

    As for the ending its good to know someone else thinks it was the temple of Aurora any ideas on what city on Earth it is meant to be or if there allready is a temple of Aurora on Earth? I wont be surprised if some one makes a youtube video combining the BSG ending with the ending of the original planet of the apes though as I was just waiting for the statue of liberty reveal!!!

  3. Cardinal Light said

    I watched ‘Rapture’ a few weeks back before ‘The Hub’ and I noticed that, if you count carefully during the scene in the Opera House, D’Anna only saw four faces since she had to pause and apologize to the fourth Cylon. I recommend going back and seeing this for yourself. In short, D’Anna’s incomplete knowledge precipitated a Civil War based on the expectation that she knew all the faces. This is true irony. After watching the last two episodes (‘The Hub’ and ‘Revelations’) it is my opinion that she is purposely being vague on the fifth because her knowledge has propelled her into a power position and perception of knowledge is the only thing she has going for her at this point.

    Also, after watching this episode I’m starting to suspect that Colonial scripture is being told in reverse. Maybe the exodus of the 13th tribe was really an exodus from a nuclear devastated Earth. Pythia chronicled this exodus when the 13th tribe arrived on Kobol. The 13th tribe split to form the 12 Tribes of Kobol before a similar catastrophe befell Kobol and forced their departure from Kobol. Over time Pythia’s account somehow became reversed and later writers ‘modernized’ the account until it turned into the version that Roslin knows and loves. Ancient myths can evolve and change over time because of mistranslations, embellishments, or sloppy editing by subsequent scribes.

  4. Random Remarks said


    I just checked the scene and I see what you mean, as the camera only pans round 3 cylons and we have a cut and see her from a different angle walking up to one of the five. Given that it looked like D’anna was checking from side to side physically and with her eyes I still believe she recognised all of them.

    Even if she only recognised 4 it still doesnt answer the question of why wasnt the fifth activated, and the hybrid prophecy says the three will give you the five, if D’anna was only going to give them four of the five surely the prophecy would say the missing three will give you four…. Even if D’anna could only give them four that is still four more than they could without her. I also viewed D’anna as being a minor factor in starting the war, as problems between the 2, 6 and 8’s and the 1,4 and 5s were coming to a boiling point and the war would have come to pass even if D’anna had been boxed for a different reason.

    As for your Pythia prediction it is possible but I favour them having made an incorrect assumption about Earth being the promised land especially with Roslin living to enter it.

  5. sageb1 said

    IMHO I think the Final Cylon is still on board on the Galactica but D’anna knows it cannot join her fellow Cylons.

    Remember that the music previously brought Tighe and the three sleeper Cylons to the hangar bay holding Starbuck’s “new” Viper – which appears to be a “mockup” of the original Viper from the old series around the time they awoke to the realization they were Cylons.

    Then this happened again, and Tighe and the two remaining Cylon sleepers appeared by the Viper in the hangar bay again. Tori heard the music, but only reported it because she was first returned to the basestar earlier in the episode “to give the President her medication” over Tighe’s objections.

    This same Viper has information pointing to Earth on its data bank.

    I propose that this Viper has a Cylon AI in the Viper’s mainframe.

    Yes, Starbuck’s Viper is the Final Cylon!

  6. Random Remarks said

    While I doubt that Starbucks Viper is the final cylon in of itself I like the idea that it may be containing a copy of the final cylons programming or some sort of cylon AI. I suspect more will be revealed about starbucks viper in the second half of the season

  7. I think the final model is either Starbuck or Baltar. The is why D’anna was sp shocked in her vision and made the statement she made – something to the fact like “oh it is you…”

    Starbuck, because we saw that heifa got charred up and explode to pieces earlier in the season, then all of a sudden she reappears wearing a smile and her crazy face…(i think the chica is fraking bi-polar, she needs some of Roslin’s Commolla aka marijuana…lol)…who comes back from the dead on BSG except for Cylons?

    Baltar, because he was with 6 in the first episode when their planet was destroyed by that explosion. He was standing with 6 having a converstation when the glass and everything shattered and exploded all over the place. Any normal “human” IF they made it out of that alive, would have been badly scarred, injured or maimed up, with some missing limbs…hence the fact that he was alive without any scratched leads me to believe he is a cylon and downloaded a new version of himself on some hub somewhere…also the whole show he has been the most mentally challenged of the characters – always in constant contact with 6..talking and fraking her all the time (in his mind) i mean WHO human or otherwise has sexual relations with an imaginary person and lets this imaginary person jack them up and beat them up? Only a skin job – nutty half human/cylon such as Baltar is…

    WHAT is a SKIN jOb?…lol

  8. Charles said

    The problem with Starbuck is that she “died” AFTER D’anna got boxed and saw the final five, she may have wanted to apologise to her for Leobens treatment of her but as Starbuck is in the fleet that excludes her from this, she would also know from Leoben that Starbuck is alive

    As for Baltar while I concede that there is still a chance that he is the final cylon, I think something else is going on with him, thanks for reminding me of the dubiousness of his survival though I need to add that to the unanswered questions part of my retrospective

  9. Strauss said

    I believe D’anna was apologizing to Tigh (when she saw the faces of the final 5) for what happened on New Caprica… being tortured, loosing an eye… not realizing what he was.

    The final is not Starbuck. She is just a human with a role to play, just as Laura and Baltar. She are ‘messengers of god’.

    I have a concern about Caprica 6 being pregnant, however. Two cylons cannot have a child. So far only a cylon and human can and they must be in love. (Athena/Helo, Tyrol/Cally). So it could mean Tigh is not really the father. (Or he is the original?)

    If Tigh is a cylon then Ellen (his dead wife) could also be a cylon since they had no children. She would not have downloaded to a new body since they were not part of the Cylon fleet.

    But what significance would that bring?

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