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This `Battlestar' is just crawling with Cylons

The space opera's season ends with familiar faces finding their inner robot.

March 26, 2007|Denise Martin | Special to The Times

Starbuck is alive. She could be a Cylon. But wait, there's more! Four other Cylons have awakened aboard "Battlestar Galactica," and the humans look stunned in more ways than one.

Among the now-aware robots, a mechanical race that appears human but is actually set on destroying the species, are presidential aide Tory (Rekha Sharma) and Galactica's second-in-command, Saul Tigh (Michael Hogan). Then again, the four could be the key to peace between the toasters and the humans.

The possibilities are endless. But something tells me the writers for the most part know where the show is heading, a rare reward for followers of any serialized drama.

In wrapping up the trial of Gaius Baltar (James Callis), the scientist who appeared to have betrayed the humans in siding with the Cylons, Lee "Apollo" Adama (Jamie Bamber) delivered a lengthy speech about the hypocrisy of the humans, who have been looking to pin the blame for their plight on a single enemy. The monologue in Sunday's season finale was both topical and a compelling narrative in and of the show's world.

To prove his point -- that Baltar was no guiltier than judge or jury -- the speech tapped into seemingly minor moments from all three seasons in a display of meticulous storytelling. Coupled with the eleventh-hour revelations, it may have even topped Starbuck's emotional and explosive episode three weeks ago.

This time, however, the fireworks were quiet.

In perhaps the most gripping finale of the space opera to date, Starbuck's husband, Sam Anders (Michael Trucco), and Galen "Chief" Tyrol (Aaron Douglas) were also exposed -- to the audience and themselves -- as Cylons.

The revelation was a slow boil: Over the course of the two-part finale, each of them began tuning in and out a piece of static-laden music that no one else could hear. At the end of the episode, the tune's growing volume led them all to the same room, where they realized, with varying degrees of disbelief, that they were not human after all.

The episode was directed and orchestrated with the same kind of musical crescendo, culminating in another potential battle between the Cylon and human space fleets, rock music blaring in the background.

And then the music went away and Starbuck appeared alone to Lee.

In the last minute of the finale, with Lee in a Viper ready to defend Galactica from an impending Cylon attack, a serene-looking Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) emerged in a Viper of her own and told Lee she knew the way to Earth and would lead him there.

Die-hard fans will have to wait until 2008 for new episodes, but they'll get some relief later this year when the Sci Fi Channel airs a special stand-alone, continuing the story between seasons.

For all the speculation that Starbuck, an indispensable bombshell of a protagonist, will wind up as a Cylon baddie, she also might not. It wouldn't be the end of the world. It would be just another twist in the complex, but never convoluted, drama.

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