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Battlestar Galactica 4.13 (4.11) “Sometimes a Great Notion” SPOILERS

Posted by Mister Random on January 17, 2009

Please be aware that this article contains spoilers for episode 11 (4.13) of the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica so do not read on if you have not seen the episode and do not want to be spoiled

One Sentence Review

A depressing epsiode that reveals the final cylon at last


Plot Summary 

The episode opens with everyone looking around the ruined planet. Helo and D’anna report that the planet was nuked around 2000 years ago and there is no humans left on the planet. Baltar confirms that any food and water is still contaminated and not safe to eat. On the way back to Galactica Dee appears on the verge of a breakdown. When they get back, neither Adama or Roslin can say anything to the crowd of people waiting for them.


On Earth Starbuck and Leoben are following the transponder signal and find wreckage that appears to be from Starbucks Viper. Later on they find the Viper and the dead pilot inside is Starbuck and has her dogtags. She then tells Leoben what the Hybrid said to her, Leoben is shaken by this and runs away after saying he was wrong. Later on she burns the body and does not tell anyone what she really found.


In a meeting of senior cylon and human figures on Galactica, the cylons report they have found cylon centurians of an unknown design indicating that the humans on Earth built their own cylons. Baltar then drops another bombshell that according to his analysis of human remains, all of the humans on Earth were in fact Cylon and so the 13th Tribe where in fact a tribe of cylons.


On Earth, Tyrol, Tory and Anders are having flashes of their life on Earth 2000 years ago, they do not understand how they got to the colonies or why they thought they were human.


On Galactica, Adama goes to see Roslin to tell her to speak to everyone given the collapse in morale and to tell her to get treatment for her cancer. He finds her burning the pythian prophecies and refusing to do anything and he is unable to convince her to do anything.   


Dee seems to have recovered and is babysitting Hera, she later encourages a despondent Lee in the pilots room and agrees to have drinks with him later. After drinks she seems happy when she goes back to the Pilots Quarters and exchanges pleasantries with Gaeta who is leaving. As she puts items in her locker, she opens a locket, then her demeanor changes, she takes off her wedding ring, pulls her gun out of her locker and commits suicide with it.


When Adama meets Lee viewing the body, it turns out that Adama is drunk and does not comfort Lee in anyway and offers him a drink. Adama then goes to Tigh’s quarters with a gun in his hand and starts insulting him and degrades his relationship with Ellen, to the point where Tigh draws a gun on him. Adama then tells him to shoot and puts the gun to his head. Tigh then realises that Adama went to him, with the intention of getting Tigh to kill him as he couldn’t bring himself to kill himself and refuses to shoot Adama. Tigh then reminds Adama of his duty to lead to which Adama responds “Lead them where?”


Adama then goes to the bridge and tells them to find the nearest G, F or K class star system, then in an attempt to build moral reminds people of the 13 tribes needing a new home and not knowing where to go and that they were normal people and says that they can find a new home as well.


On Earth Tigh speaks to D’anna and she says she is remaining on Earth as she cant go on, and it is better than being out there with Cavil. Tigh then walks out into the sea and picks up a piece of wreckage which starts a vision. Tigh then sees the attack which caused the nuclear wasteland, in it he finds himself rescuing Ellen who tells him they will be reborn together. He then realises that Ellen is/was the fifth cylon.


My Thoughts and Speculation

It has to be said that this was one depressing episode with the exception of the last couple of minutes, and first off the reveal of Ellen Tigh as the final cylon, I am happy that one of my suggestions was correct and that I was thinking along the right lines when I was thinking of a character who has been killed.  I will go into detail on my thoughts of Ellen Tigh as the final cylon in a separate post on Monday. I also think that this episode would have worked better to end the first half of the season on than Revelations given that while alot is wrapped up there are also several new questions raised regarding “what the frak is going on”

Are they right in assuming that Earth is the promised land of the Pythian Prophecies?

This is the main question that needs to be answered in the coming season especially given the revelation that this Earth was populated by cylons both human form and robotic. All of the despair in the fleet is coming from the thought that this is Earth and Earth is the promised land. No one has mentioned the fact that according to the prophecies the dying leader does not live to reach the promised land and last time we checked Laura Roslin was still alive when they set foot on Earth. I am just waiting for someone to mention this in the show and I predict this point will come up before the series ends. There is also the question of is this our Earth which I suspect it will not be.

What led to the destruction on Earth?

While we see bits of the attack, from what we see it appears to be a surprise attack like that on the Colonies. As there were no mechanical cylons seen in the visions on Earth was it a similar scenario to the attack on the colonies with mechanical cylons attacking their humanoid cylon creators? This then leads to the question could the 12 tribes be descended from humanoid cylons from an Earlier cycle.

What is going on with Starbuck? 

In a classic bit of misdirection most of the episode leads you to suspect that Starbuck will be revealed as the final cylon, especially with her and Leoben finding her body and original ship on Earth. However with the final scene showing that Ellen is the final cylon this possibility is ruled out. There is also the question of while she apparantly died on Earth, how did she get there in the first place? Where she was thought to die originally was no where near Earth and as Vipers do not have hyperdrives she cant have jumped there and back.

How did the final five get to the colonies and get resurrected there?

This may be answered when we find out how the final five resurrect assuming that they do resurrect multiple times and I think the Opera House visions may also be linked to it. Given Caprica 6 is now at least in Tighs eyes channeling Ellen it is possible these visions are linked to how they resurrect. We also have to learn why it was only those 5 cylons on Earth who were resurrected

I suspect that these 3 questions and other related ones will all tie together in the coming episodes, there are still however dangling plot lines drom the first half of season 4 yet to be answered including

What do the cylons think of Caprica 6 being pregnant via one of the final five?

This has not been touched on or even mentioned, yet given the importance placed on Hera the first Human Cylon child, the question becomes why has there been no reaction to the first Cylon-Cylon pregnancy? 

Moving on , one dissapointment for me in the way the show was edited was that it was clear something significant would happen to Dee when they recapped her key moments at the beginning of the episode, and given the depressing nature of the Episode her suicide was a virtual given. I also think that given the long gap since the previous episode, this episode lost some of its impact and so I did not enjoy it as much as I would have done normally.


Episode Rating

7/10 – A vital episode but depressing to watch


One Response to “Battlestar Galactica 4.13 (4.11) “Sometimes a Great Notion” SPOILERS”

  1. Dube said

    Good point about the ‘previously on Battlestar’ giving away that something was going to happen to Dee. I’m wondering about the method of resurrection too. I hadn’t thought about Six channeling Ellen. I just thought Tigh was projecting Ellen onto Six, like the other cylons can project.

    Fascinating episode!

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