What Sam and Ellen told us

I just rewatched "No Exit" and took about 10 pages of notes to try and sort out everything that Ellen and Sam Anders, and Cavil, told us. The following is a chronological (as it happened in the episode) list of what we learned from them. This is practically a transcript of the episode, minus the parts with Tyrol and Adama trying to get the ship fixed and the little bit with Roslin and Lee planning to rebuild the government, so it's a little long:

First, I thought it seemed important to note what the pre-opening screen text was telling us...

"This has all happened before, and it will all happen again - The Cylons were created by man - (View of old school Cylons, one of them a goldie - Was this from Razor?) - They rebelled - Then they vanished - 40 years later they came back - They evolved - 50,298 human survivors - Hunted by the Cylons - 11 models are known - One was sacrificed"

- The last two parts are a little strange. Was Ellen sacrificed? I don't think they're talking about Daniel, since that would be a total of 13.

- We are shown Ellen downloading/resurrecting on what seems to be a special resurrection pod on a Basestar, directly after she is murdered (sacrificed?) by Tigh on New Caprica.

- In the present day, Anders is getting ready to have a bullet removed from his head, and is rambling about "all the forgotten faces, all the forgotten children. We seek the great forgotten light which...". The scene cuts to Cavil in the forest on Caprica as Anders says "He whose guile stirred with revenge". Anders continues to ramble as he flashes on memories, and mentions having been on that Earth beach before.

- Cut to 18 months ago, and we're back on the Basestar with Ellen talking to Cavil about how "he" named Cavil "John" after "my" father. Cavil is remorseful that "he made me in his image". Does this mean Cavil looks exactly like whoever made him, or exactly like Ellen's father, or just that it's in the image of a human man? The conversation moves to Ellen telling Cavil "You're the same petulant little boy boy I loved so dearly all those years ago". Does Ellen mean "little boy" metaphorically? I'm under the impression, due to later conversations, that Cavil was always in the physical state he was. Was he named John after Ellen's father, yet physically modeled after a different person? Were Ellen and John the daughter and son of the humans who created the Cylons?

- Back to Anders, and he realizes the memories are rushing in. He asks Kara to gather the others for him - The five. She reminds him that Ellen is dead, and he seems to be pretending to have forgotten that only momentarily (meaning, he seems to know that she is still alive, or alive again somewhere, yet hides it from Kara).

- Back to Ellen on the Basestar with Cavil, yet now we're 12 months ago (Slowly getting closer to present day). The conversation is about Ellen's "mortal experience" among the humans, and Cavil says how "you" wrote sleep into our software. Ellen responds with a "we", so Ellen and company (presumably the final 5 at this point) created the Cylons (presumably the skin-jobs). Boomer shows up with lunch - a plate of fruit so pristine, you have to wonder if that apple is poisoned. Ellen assumes there's "a whole ship full of my children beyond the guards". Is Ellen a prisoner, or is her identity necessarily being protected? Seems to be a combo, but only necessary to Cavil's larger plan. Cavil leaves Boomer and Ellen, and Ellen tells Boomer more of what she thinks about John. Ellen tells Boomer to watch and make up her own mind (about how to be the perfect machine, and/or what the right thing to do is).

- Back to Anders who is now speaking to Galen, Tigh, and Tory. We find out that: They all worked in the same research facility (presumably on Earth), Ellen and Tigh were married then too, Tory and Galen were engaged, they had their own resurrection ship in place in the planet's orbit, they knew the end was coming, they did download, the Earth Cylons could procreate, they reinvented resurrection, and Organic Memory Transfer originally came from Kobol along with the 13th Tribe but fell out of use after their people started to procreate. They (The five) worked night and day to rebuild it, and although Galen's work was brilliant, it was Ellen who made (the intuitive leap? - I didn't quite hear this right) that brought the system back online. Tigh asks "What was the plan?" before a ruckus about Sam's health detracts from the question.

- Tigh asks why they went to the 12 Colonies. Anders says because they needed to find the other tribes and warn them to treat the artificial life they are inevitably creating well, and keep them close, but once they got there the humans were already at war with the Centurions... "again". This "again" kind of confused me, because it seems like Anders had to be talking about the first Cylon War, unless he means again as in - the cycle continues. Tory asks how this is possible since the holocaust on Earth took place thousands of years before. Anders says they hadn't developed jump-drives - "We traveled at relativistic but sub-luminal speed. Time slowed down for us for thousands of years". So, it seems like they went into some sort of hibernation/real-time space travel to reach the 12 Colonies to warn them.

- After telling Kara that he doesn't know if he will remember anything about her place in all this, he goes on to talk about how the Centurions were already trying to make flesh bodies (presumably when they got there and the war had started in the 12 Colonies). "They had created the hybrids, but nothing that lived on it's own, so we made them a deal - Stop the war and we'll help you. We developed the 8 humanoid models and gave them resurrection." Just as everyone freaks out about the 8, Sam crashes.

- Cut to now 10 months ago, with Ellen watching some sort of "slide show" on the Basestar. She says "The Temple of Hopes. Built by the 13th Tribe 3,000 years ago when they left Kobol. They stopped and prayed for guidance during their exodus, and then god showed them the way to Earth". Cavil suggests that it was all a plot on the part of the five to reveal themselves. He goes on to tell Ellen that when the star went nova, one of the 3s saw their faces, so he boxed their entire line. Ellen says that boxing isn't permanent, "Not like number 7", and she goes on to deny that it was a plot - "We backtracked the path of our ancestors and found their temple. The one true god must have orchestrated these events." The rest of the conversation revolves around Cavil complaining about the inadequacies of the human body, Boomer asking Ellen if she has remorse, and Ellen explaining the gift of free will and love to Boomer, who in turn questions who she would want to love (and the scene cuts to Galen on Galactica).

- Back in present day, Tigh, Galen and Tory discuss who is the most guilty - The humans or the Cylons they created. Galen says it was they who ended the first Cylon War and bought time for humanity. This verifies when they came back, but what were they doing for the 40 years until the second Cylon War?

- Now 4 months ago, back on the Basestar, Cavil reports to Ellen that they've destroyed the Resurrection Hub and starts demanding that Ellen help her children rebuild it. He mentions "They've destroyed the hub, but they don't even know about the colony. All your equipment is still there." I'm guessing that this colony and equipment is on Kobol, or perhaps it's on Earth? Is it even on a planet? After Ellen insists she can't do anything with out the other 4 of the 5, Cavil threatens to physically extract the information from Ellen's brain.

- On present day Galactica, Anders has come to again, and verifies that Cavil "was the first one we made". John was treasured by them, and he helped them build the others. When Galen questions whether they thought that building more Cylons was a bad idea, Anders replies that Ellen convinced them that the Centurions had a single loving god which changed everything, and the Cylons embracing love and mercy would end the cycle of violence. Anders goes on to reveal that Cavil rejected mercy, had a twisted idea of morality, turned on them, trapped them in a compartment, and suffocated them. When they downloaded into new bodies, Cavil blocked access to their memories and implanted them with new, fake ones - just like Boomer. After boxing them for awhile, Cavil introduced Tigh first, not long after the war, then Ellen. "Back on Earth, the warning signs we got looked different to each one of us. I saw a woman, Tory saw a man. Funny, no one else could see them. Galen, you thought you had a chip in your head." Anders states with certainty that "The 7 was the... Daniel. Daniel died. He was 7." He then tells Tigh to stay in the fleet, and that the miracle, a gift from the angels, is starting to happen, as he is dragged into surgery. The scene cuts to a pregnant 6 as Tigh walks into the room. The baby just started moving tonight. Seems to me they're trying to make us think the 6's baby is part of the miracle. I first thought the baby had to be Daniel, but perhaps that's too obvious. It also seems unlikely now that we know the five resurrect the same way the regular skin-jobs do. Also, looking back to Ellen's conversations with Cavil, it certainly seems like she is trying to remind Cavil about the "one true loving god" to try and convert him to goodness.

- 2 days ago now on the Basestar, and Ellen is asking Cavil why he didn't just kill them instead of sending them to live among the humans. Cavil says he wanted them to experience humanity up close at the point of the holocaust. Ellen points out that that they never died, but instead were made to suffer by Cavil due to his petty human emotions of rage and jealousy. She claims Cavil has always been looking for approval and that she knows what he did to Daniel. Cavil proclaims that the 7 didn't thrive, then Ellen begins to describe Daniel to Boomer, and how his line was destroyed by Cavil as an act of jealousy toward Ellen's close relationship with Daniel. Cavil blames Ellen for creating him in the first place, and Ellen tries to tell Cavil that he wasn't a mistake and that he could be good if he could accept himself for what he is.

- Cutting to another scene, and Boomer is retrieving Ellen to bring her to surgery. Ellen tells Boomer she should have brought something, then tells her to never mind. I totally couldn't make out what that something was. Anybody else know? It seemed relevant!

- Assuming we are now in the present with Ellen, Boomer takes Ellen into a Raptor, and flees the Basestar, rescuing Ellen. I don't think this is part of Cavil's master plan. I really think Ellen showed Boomer the light of her own free will.

The end! There are quite a few more questions in there now, and it's really hard to put all these pieces together in a timeline. Listing it all here was at least helpful for me. Hopefully it was for others out there. What new questions do you all have? What is answered for you? My biggest left over questions from this episode are about that colony where the equipment is that Cavil spoke about, what the five were doing between the first and second Cylon War (if they really did first show up during the first one), how is Daniel relevant to all this (if you have listened to RDM's commentary or read interviews, please don't spoil here!), I have no idea what to think about Ellen's comment about Cavil as a little boy, and I'm generally a little confused about whether the five went to Kobol on their way to Earth, or it was the 13th Tribe before them they are talking about. Are the five the 13th Tribe? The original 13th Tribe? And what are we supposed to think about Baltar's head Six (and the head Baltars) now that the five had similar experiences? Of course there are still other questions from the series as well. *brain explodes*


James Jacob said...

Great synopsis, I have to say I'm exhausted reading it!

I'm really interested in this other colony more than Ellen coming back and all.

Have to say though that there are lots of unanswered questions - and only a few episodes left.

Head 6
What will happen to Galactica?
This other colony
Kara's rebirth?

I'm going to guess that they all go searching for the final 5's mystery colony / lab, lots of answers revealed and then Galactica breaks down - making people choose between living on the planet or go wandering off forever....

starthunder said...

Thanks JJ. It was exhausting to write, but I was more exhausted trying to simply remember everything that was revealed in No Exit.

Interesting thought about going to search for the five's colony. I hadn't really thought about where exactly Boomer and Ellen might be rushing off to at the end of the episode either. My first guess would be that Ellen would want to rejoin the other four, but do they even know where the fleet is? On further thought, it seems that the only way anything will work is if Boomer and Ellen go to "the colony" (even though Cavil knows where it is too, so that would be dangerous), and perhaps the other four will figure out how to get to the colony (I'm thinking via Ander's flashes of memory if he comes back, or maybe one of the others will get flashes, or they will somehow be hailed and remember).

The question of Kara is probably the biggest question for me right now though, and it seems to be the biggest hole in the show right now.

Opine said...

Thank you for posting this. I definitely caught something I hadn’t gotten from just watching the scene.

In the part where you say, "Back on Earth, the warning signs we got looked different to each one of us.” – I'm guessing this is in reference to the way that they were warned to flee because life on Earth would be obliterated?

The description of the warning is obviously identical to what Gaius went through. “I saw a woman, Tory saw a man. Funny, no one else could see them. Galen, you thought you had a chip in your head.”

These “angels” appeared to warn the five who escaped Earth the same way that “angel”-Six warned Gaius and “angel”-Baltar warned Caprica. I completely missed that part when I watched it!

Anonymous said...

"You should have brought a tumbrel." - Ellen to Boomer.

Tumbrel: A crude cart used to carry condemned prisoners to their place of execution, as in, "Bring out your dead!"