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Difference between revisions of "Six Degrees of Separation"

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
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*UK Airdate:  29 November 2004 (Sky One)
 
*UK Airdate:  29 November 2004 (Sky One)
 
*US Airdate:  (Sci-Fi Channel)
 
*US Airdate:  (Sci-Fi Channel)
*DVD Release: N/A
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*DVD Release: 28 March 2005 (UK)
  
 
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[[Category: A to Z]]
 
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Revision as of 11:27, 8 February 2005

"Six Degrees of Separation" (credit: Sci-Fi Channel)

Overview

Six physically arrives on the Galactica and accuses Baltar of treachery

Summary

  • Gaius Baltar is taking the mickey out of Six's belief in God, which quickly escalates into an explosion of anger on his part - and Six vanishes from his head
  • Called to CIC, Baltar "finds" her there, and is confronted by Adama, who claims that "Miss Godfrey" has made some disturbing claims against Baltar
  • With a shock, Baltar comes to realise that "Miss Godfrey" is in fact Six, and everyone can see her
  • "Miss Godfrey" then produces photographic evidence she claims will show Baltar planting a bomb in the main defence computers on Caprica - a claim he strenuously denies
  • The image itself requires several hours of processing to reveal whether it does in fact show Baltar as "Godfrey" claims. Until that time, Adama suspends all work on Baltar's Cylon detector & places an embargo on Baltar leaving the ship - something even Roslin is unwilling to override
  • But Roslin herself is far from well - during her call with Baltar, she collapses, causing a fleet-wide scare when Billy orders the flight deck to make a fleet-wide broadcast requesting medical assistance. It transpires that Roslin has been overdoing her cancer medication - but the truth is hidden by a a story that she has the 'flu
  • As Gaeta works on enhancing the image, so Baltar becomes more and more desperate for news - even following Gaeta into the Head (lavatory) for news on his progress
  • Elsewhere, "Miss Godfrey" meets with Adama in private, and behaves in typical Six fashion - coming on to him
  • "Godfrey's" behaviour prompts Adama to order a watch be kept on her movements on the ship
  • Elsewhere on the Galactica, Tyrol and Cally are investigating the captured Cylon Raider, using Starbuck's notes, but not making much progress, despite comments to the contrary to Colonel Tigh, who isn't fooled
  • Tigh visits Starbuck in sickbay, and despite her efforts not to fall for his reverse psychology, he goads her into getting out of her cot and going to help Tyrol and his crew
  • Boomer arrives at the Raider, and after an awkward moment with Tyrol, suggests that they might make better progress if they treated the Raider more like and animal – a hunter – than a machine. He beahaviour with the Raider, stroking it as she speaks, spooks Tyrol
  • During a meeting with Adama, at which he protests his innocence and tries to get Adama to make "Shelly Godrey" to submit to a test with his Cylon detector, Baltar learns that Adama plans to have the detector dismantled if the photographic evidence points to Baltar's guilt
  • During his conversation with Adama, he continues to search the house in his mind, trying to find "his" Six
  • Driven to extreme measures as the time required to enhance the image draws to a close, Baltar sets off a fire alarm as a distraction, breaks into the lab where Gaeta has been working and tries to destroy the evidence as it does indeed reveal his face - only to be stopped by Adama and arrested
  • Down on the hanger deck, Starbuck joins Lee Adama, Tyrol and Cally in their investigations of the Raider - even to the extent of climbing inside the craft despite her leg injury (You Can't Go Home Again)
  • In the brig, Baltar is visited by Roslin, whom he believes has come to oversee his release. Instead, she is uncharacteristically vindictive, stating she [i]knew[/i] he was a traitor
  • As a result of Roslin's visit, Baltar finally sees his only way out is to do what Six has been urging him to do: give himself over to God's will. He gets down on his knees and starts praying
  • He repeats his prayer several times, and suddenly "Six" is beside him once more, telling him everything well be all right
  • Gaeta enters the brig and throws Baltar into a widl panic: his is convinced he is about to be summarily executed
  • Claiming Baltar, Gaeta tells Baltar he is a free man - the photographs delivered by "Sheely Godfrey" have proven to be fakes
  • As Baltar is released, Adama learns that "Shelly Godfrey" has literally vanished, her watchers reporting she turned a corner in a corridor, and when they got to it, she had -gone-
  • On Colonial One, Roslin holds a press conference publicly exhonorating Baltar
  • While acknowledging the act, Baltar meets with Six in his fantasy world, and she points out that he is now next to invincible: he's been through a trial by fire, and no-one would dare accuse him of acting against the fleet again. She then starts stripping as she climbs the stairs to the bedroom
  • Following her, Baltar can't help asking her one question: was "Shelly Godfrey" ever really "here"? Her response is a coy smile

--Colonial Archivist 18:34, 27 Jan 2005 (EST)

On Caprica:

  • Helo and Valerii are on the run from Cylon warriors
  • As they camp out for the night, Helo confesses he couldn't bear to see anything happen to her
  • Hiding a smile of victory, Valerii silences Helo's words with a kiss, and as a thunderstorm threatens, they make love

Questions

  • Is Baltar's Six in communication with her "sisters" in the fleet?
  • Where did "Shelly Godfrey" go after her "disappearance"?
  • If she is still on the Galactica, is Boomer unwittingly helping her?
  • Will Baltar forgive Roslin for her condemnation of him?
  • Even if he completes his Cylon detector, will any results it gives be trustworthy?

Analysis

This is potentially the most powerful story yet to come out of the BSG fold, and James Callis – with due respect to Edward James Olmos – establishes himself as one of the prime reasons to watch the show. This is his episode, and he proves that he is not only every inch Olmos’ equal – albeit through vastly different means – but that his long shadow very much leaves the rest of the cast in darkness.

From start to finish, even knowing that ultimately, Baltar’s ego and sexual moirés did lead to the downfall of Colonial civilisation - that he is essentially a traitor, however unwittingly, one cannot help but root for his safe passage through the episode. Confidence, arrogance, pathos, fear, desperation, relief, confusion, hope, anger, disbelief – such is the range of emotions demonstrated by Baltar in this segment; some of them occurring so rapidly one after the other, that Callis seems to express them simultaneously.

As Six states during the epilogue, this is Baltar’s trial by fire – and the repercussions could be felt for some time to come. Who would dare accuse him of treason now? Even if her doubt – her gut instinct – is genuine, Roslin is going to have a hard time assailing Baltar’s new-found confidence and belief in himself. Adama is also caught between a rock and a hard place; any denial of resources for Baltar’s research could easily lead to he who was once branded traitor to make that claim of others in the name of protecting them all. In making his situation a matter of public debate, Roslin has potentially saddled herself with a new hero – as the standing ovation Baltar received from the press corps tends to demonstrate – and a potentially new political power. With elections only a few months off, and Tom Zarek’s return to the public stage mere weeks away (real time, in “Colonial Day”), Roslin may yet rue the day she made her uncharacteristic – and unwarranted, in some respects – personal attack on Baltar while he was in the brig.

"Shelly Godfrey" herself is the clearest indication yet that Baltar's Six is not only an implant in Baltar's head - but that "she" is in direct contact with other Cylons scattered within the fleet, and they are working in concert with one another in order to fully subvert Baltar to their will. Why?

The idea that "Shelly Godfrey" is a humano-Cylon working to genuinely trying prevent Baltar finalising his Cylon detector would make her arrival on the Galactica at the precise moment Six vanishes from Baltar’s head pushes coincidence to the limits of credibility.

Plus – if “Shelly Godfrey” was an attempt to stop the Cylon detector being completed, why was her evidence so clearly falsified? As Gaeta himself states: “Once the photos were fully resolved, it was almost too easy, like she wanted to be found out.” If “photographic evidence” can be manufactured by the Cylons, why not go for something that would genuinely condemn Baltar and which would be next to impossible for him to honestly deny: evidence that he allowed his Command Navigation Program to be tampered with?

No, the entire aim of "Shelly Godfrey's" arrival on the Galactica is to bring Baltar to that point in his life where his only salvation is to seek God's forgiveness and allow "Him" into his life. This is why her arrival is preceded by Six "vanishing" from Baltar's mind - thus leaving him without any form of inner support; and why "Shelly Godfrey" apparently "disappears" from the Galactica almost as soon as Baltar begs for God's forgiveness.

Taken together, these events all point to the fact that Six and her corporeal "sister" ("Godfrey") are in contact with one another. The Cylons within the fleet know that they cannot prevent Baltar from developing his detector indefinitely. Doing so would cause him to lose far too much credibility with Adama and Roslin - and possibly result in them assigning the work to someone else to complete. Better to have the device in the hands of a man they can influence.

This is why Six reacted with such anger when Baltar attempted to withdraw from the work when pressed by Adama (Bastille Day) - and gave him just enough clues for him to realise how his detector might work. Now, with the detector nearing completion, the Cylons must control its use - and the best way to control its use is to control the man responsible for it.

Thus, the entire episode is engineered to achieve the two goals they desire: Baltar is moved closer to their influence through his acceptance of "God", and they ensure he can be manipulated and managed where the detector itself is concerned.

So, if this is the case - and Baltar's Six is indeed in contact with her corporeal "sister" (and possibly other humano-Cylons in the fleet) what does it mean for the the series? The most obvious answer to this question is that the Cylons are clearly in control of events, whether or not they are precisely aware of the fleet's location. They are in a position to manipulate individuals and events within the fleet, and thus move things towards the ultimate goal of their plan.

Thus, Six Degrees of Separation - as in the "game" upon which it is based - begins to map the lines that interconnect the various elements of the story. And the idea of interconnectedness is exemplified elsewhere in the segment – most noticeably around Valerii / Boomer. And on Caprica, the interconnectedness is entirely physical as she and Helo pretty much get it on – thus passing another milestone in the Cylon’s plan - pointing the finger ever more clearly towards the subjects of procreation and love.

On Galactica, Boomer’s interconnectedness with other Cylons is palpably demonstrated in her reactions to the captured Raider. Watching the sensual response she exhibits as she touches and describes the Raider, one cannot help but wonder how much longer she can be treated without considerable suspicion. The events of Water, her involvement in events surrounding Litmus - Tyrol at the very least must be more than a little concerned at what she might actually be; indeed, going on the spooked look he gives her as she comes close to foreplay with the Raider, he must be questioning her sanity, if nothing else.

What is interesting in these two story elements is they way they mesh together while effectively moving in opposite directions: as Valerii on Caprica moves towards fulfilment of her mission with Helo, possibly achieving more than her original creation / formation could have aspired to – a human / Cylon relationship born of love and respect, rather than of lust and ego, as was the case with Baltar / Six; Boomer on Galactica is beginning to spiral out of control: she has had at least one “black out” that she knows of, in which Galactica’s water supply was crippled; she’s almost blown herself up; she’s been accused of collusion with the Cylons; she’s broken up with her lover, come close to a near-orgasmic experience with a Cylon device – and now someone is accusing her directly of being a Cylon. Contrast the way in which Valerii’s coupling with Helo on Caprica played out against Boomer’s desperation in her bunk room – a very powerful counterpoint.

One other character is worthy of mention in this episode – Alessandro Juliani (Lieutenant Gaeta). So far he’s had little chance to shine, but in this episode, shine he does, providing exactly the right amount of emotional support for Baltar – while also providing us with one of the most subtle moments of humour witnessed in television. The scene in the lavatory must be watched to be appreciated – especially Gaeta’s feet, which speak more clearly than any of the whispered conversation shared with Baltar, and the results are a joy to watch – as is the continued conversation with the camera peeking into each of the cubicles.

Overall, a cleverly-constructed episode that is as entertaining as it is intriguing, thanks to the aforementioned lavatory scene between Baltar and Gaeta, which loses none of its power with repeated watching.

Notes

  • A week has passed since “Litmus”
  • Boomer is accidentally revealing more and more of her Cylon nature
  • Helo has passed another test on Caprica; he’s now sexually active with Valerii
  • Gaeta admires Baltar and may be his one true friend on the Galactica
  • Baltar appears very close to completing his Cylon detector
  • Cylon Raiders may well be purpose-bred, semi-intelligent bio-machines
  • The Colonials use QWERTY keyboards

Noteworthy Dialogue

Baltar to Adama, confronting the accusation that he may be a traitor

Baltar: And I don’t like being accused of participating in the genocide of the human race based solely on the word of a woman whom I have already indicated to you may well be a Cylon agent...I did not conspire with the Cylons. I’m an innocent man who is being convicted in the court of public opinion without trial.

Kara's Recovery in the Sick Bay

Kara Thrace is about to start walking after recovering from her knee injury, sustained in "You Can't Go Home Again". Doctor Cottle and Lee Adama are present.

Lee: C'mon Starbuck, you can do it.
(Kara gets out of bed, using it as a support.)
Lee (mockingly): Ah, that smarts. (walks over to Kara on crutches) That smarts. But I. Don't. Care.
Kara: You don't care?
Lee: I don't care. Because your pain is my entertainment. (hands crutches over to Kara) Your Crutches of Death, sir. Use them wisely.
Kara: Shut up.
Doctor Cottle: It's going to hurt like hell, but it's supposed to.
Kara: (wryly) Thanks doc.
(Kara starts out, slowly)
Lee: No pain, no gain. No cliche left unturned as, as Kara Thrace returns to the world of the walking. Can she do it or will she fall on her ass?
Kara: I swear to the Gods that I'm going to beat the crap out of both of you as soon as I get better... (pauses, retreats) No, I can't.
Lee: Yes you can. You did it.
Kara: No I can't. I can't. I can't.
Cottle: You're not going to get better lying on your back.
Kara: (getting on the bed) Oh, frak off.
Lee: We'll just take a break for five minutes.
Kara: I don't want to do it again. I want a pill. Now. Please.
Cottle: Sorry, but we're weaning you off the magic pills starting today. Besides, I need them for myself. (ambles off)

Official Statements

Statistics

Guest Stars

Writing & Direction


Production Notes

  • Series 1 (2004 / 2005)
  • Production Number: 1.07
  • Airdate Order: 7 (of 13)

First Run Air Dates & Releases

  • UK Airdate: 29 November 2004 (Sky One)
  • US Airdate: (Sci-Fi Channel)
  • DVD Release: 28 March 2005 (UK)