All This Has Happened Before

With The Sopranos and The Wire ascended to TV heaven, I think it’s pretty clear that Battlestar Galactica is the best show on television. In the first half of the fourth season (which, really, ought to count as a complete season in light of Sci-Fi’s decision not to run the final 10 episodes until 2009), showrunner Ron Moore has continued to up the ante, especially with his increasingly complex layering of both big ideas about the human condition and small character motifs. The series keeps becoming bolder and more ambitious, and if it doesn’t always tie up its various storylines as neatly as everyone might like, it’s remarkably good at fleshing out big, often unsettling themes. Its spiritual overtones and its ongoing exploration of death and the dreamlife, in particular, remain fascinating. It’s true that sometimes Moore is too ambitious — this season, in particular — feels cluttered and overstuffed at times, both narratively and thematically. But in the main, the abundance of ideas works in the show’s favor; few TV series — hell, few popular narratives of any kind — have this sort of sweep or epic, particular vision. If you’re not watching this show, you should be.

For those who are, however, a bit of speculation in light of last night’s revelations (that means spoilers ahead).

At this point, I think it’s pretty clear how everything will end up. When the series returns, we’ll find out that the 13 colonies are Cylon-like creations of the original humans on Earth. There was a line in last night’s episode about how children have to destroy their parents, actress Tricia Helfer recently said that the series finale will make us look back at the show’s beginning, and there’s been a recurring idea that, as the Leoben model said, “all this has happened before” — so I’m pretty sure we’ll learn that Earth’s humans created the people who became the 13 colonies; they rebelled, nuked Earth, and then went off and settled new planets. That doesn’t answer every question, of course, but it does suggest an explanation for Head Six, and it would, I think, provide a suitably dark finish to the show and wrap up a lot of its themes quite nicely.