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Battlestar Galactica 4.17 (4.15): “No Exit” Summary and Analysis

Posted by Mister Random on February 14, 2009

Be aware that this article contains spoilers for episode 15 (4.17) “No Exit” 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

New Introduction and Answers to Old Questions with more to come next week

Plot Summary

The episode opens with a new introduction text:








We then have a flashback to Ellen’s murder by Tigh on New Caprica and see her resurrection on a baseship. After she is helped out of the “resurrection vat” by a centurion we see Cavil greeting Ellen who calls him John and we find out that Cavil was named after Ellens father and based on him. It is clear that Cavil is fully aware of who the final five cylons are, and he is fairly antagonistic towards them.

We then move back to Galactica in the present day and Anders getting operated on and commenting on his memorys in a hybrid like fashion, he later tells Starbuck he remembers everything and to get the others (final five cylons).In the ships superstructure we then see Tyrol showing Adama the structural damage (cracks from last week), and Adama gives Tyrol his old job back and tells him to fix galactica.

In a later discussion we find out that Cavil resents being made human, and also deleted the sub-routine for sleep. We learn from Ellen that the final five designed all the other cylons and that belief in the one true God comes from the centurions along with other values. We then see Ellen meeting Boomer for the first time, after Cavil leaves Ellen alone with Boomer, she tells Boomer that Cavil is just using her as an audience.

In sickbay Anders tells Tigh that he and Ellen were a couple back on Earth as where Tyrol and Tory. They survived by downloading to a ship in orbit as they (the Earth cylons) knew the end was coming. Anders tells them that they reinvented resurrection technology that had come from Kobol with the 13th tribe, but was no longer used when they started to procreate.

On Colonial One we see Lee and Roslin speaking and Roslin tells Lee that she wants him to effectively act as President though she would keep the title and his first task is to assemble a new Quorum and tells him that his only fault is that sometimes he does the right thing rather than the smart thing.

In sickbay Anders tells them that the final five went to the 12 colonies to warn them of the dangers of creating artificial intelligence and not treating them well. They were too late and arrived during the war. The final five then made a deal with the centurions who were at that time experimenting with creating human bodies (hybrids), the final five in exchange for creating humanoid cylons for them wanted them to end the war, they agreed and the final five created 8 cylons for them.

On the baseship at the time of the Algae planet and the temple of the five incident. We learn that it was created by the 13th tribe  3000 years ago on the way from Kobol to Earth and was originally called the Temple of Hopes.  Ellen also denies having anything to do with the revealing of the final fives faces to D’anna claiming it must have been the one true God. It is also implied that number 7 was permanently deleted by Cavil.

After the battle of the Resurrection Hub, we see Cavil and Boomer asking Ellen to rebuild resurrection technology saying that she should be able to due to the equipment and research still being on the colony. As Ellen says she cant without the others, Cavil responds by saying he will do brain surgery on her to get it from her that way.

In sickbay it is confirmed that Cavil was the first cylon and the belief in the one true God came from the centurions. We also find out that Cavil betrayed the final five and left them on the 12 colonies with false memories starting with Tigh. We also find out that on Earth the final five were contacted by figures male and female that no one else could see. Anders then tells them the final cylon Daniel was killed by Cavil. In sickbay Anders surgery has been completed successfully, however it turns out there is almost no brain activity suggesting he may be brain dead.

Two days prior to current events on the baseship we find out that Cavil saved Ellen on the 12 colonies and Ellen implies Cavil has not killed them (final five) so that eventually they will tell him that he was right. Later Boomer takes Ellen for her surgery, however it turns out Boomer lied and instead helps her escape in a Raptor which jumps away from Cavils ship.

Back in the superstructure of Galactica Tyrol shows Adama the full extent of the damage and it can be seen the whole ship is riddled with cracks. Tyrol says the only thing that can save them is cylon technology. Adama initially refuses but later in his quarters finds a large crack and after drinking for a while contacts Tyrol and tells him to fix the ship using whatever means he has to.

My Thoughts and Speculation

Alot of talking in this episode and alot of answers and new questions about the final five cylons. One of the most intriguing new questions came from Anders saying that the final five were seeing head beings and they were being warned about the disaster to come. We still do not know what the war was about though and who did the destroying, hopefully we will get answers to that soon. This discovery also indicates that the head Baltar and Six are real and have been around for a long time. Hopefully we will find out if they appeared the same back then. I am now waiting for a scene were one of them works out that Baltar has been getting visions as well.

Linked to this is the appearance of the final five in the Temple of Five and Ellen’s apparently honest denial of the final five having anything to do with it. Given that the centurions were responsible for the belief in the one true God and not the final five,  and the apparent confirmation of the validity of the head beings it looks like we may get some answers about what is going on with them before the series ends.

Another question is, why didn’t the 13th tribe have jump technology, as I would have thought they would have needed it to get to Earth from Kobol originally, though the lack of the technology neatly explains why they did not arrive on the colonies sooner.

It also appears that Cavil is largely to blame for the 2nd cylon war out of a sense of self hatred for his humanoid form and as vengeance on his creators. I suspect that he is responsible for introducing the block on learning about the final five into the other humanoid models, or at least the ones that did not agree with him. It looks likely that he will have a bad end in the final episode if it mirrors the pilot in that “People have to face up to what they have done”

Still no answers about Starbuck though for a few brief minutes it looked like she could be Number 7, given that Earth has its own resurrection technology it is possible that she was reborn through that, though I personally suspect higher powers at play.

We also hear mention of a colony from Cavil where Ellen and the others did their initial work presumambly for the Centurions on resurrection technology, as Ellen seems to have all her memories it seems likely that she will continue were Anders left off and perhaps mention this colony as a place to live.

Finally while after last weeks episode I was thinking that Galactica would fall apart in the final episode, now I am thinking it is a metaphor for the entire fleet in that it can only be held together by the cylons.

Episode Rating

8/10 – Lots of necesary exposition cleverly intercut together


One Response to “Battlestar Galactica 4.17 (4.15): “No Exit” Summary and Analysis”

  1. Angela said

    great analysis….lots of info in this episode; lots to take in. am not certain about the whole kara/daniel connection…have thought maybe baltar/daniel-maybe: maybe not. love the idea of the ship being a metaphor for the entire fleet.

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