Battlestar Galactica: Six Degrees of Separation

Number Six appears on board the Galactica– and she’s not a hallucination (or implant, or whatever Baltar has been seeing).


Title: “Six Degrees of Separation”

Cast and Crew:

Edward James Olmos as Commander Adama
Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin
Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar
Grace Park as Sharon “Boomer” Valerii
Aaron Douglas as Chief Petty Officer Tyrol
Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama
Bodie Olmos as Hot Dog
Michael Hogan as Col. Tigh
Tahmoh Penikett Helo
Tricia Helfer as Number 6

Kandyse Mclure as Dualla

Writer: Michael Angeli

Director: Robert Young

Plot:

Number Six arrives on board the Galactica to accuse Baltar of being a traitor and explain some points of Cylon theology. The evidence appears to be rigged– but Baltar also knows he’s guilty. Boomer, meanwhile, finds “Cylon” written in her locker.

On Caprica, the relationship between Helo and another Boomer heats up.

High Points:

Baltar realizes that Number Six isn’t only in his mind anymore.

Low Points:

While Baltar can be annoying, his emotional instability proves an interesting plot point, especially as the others become more aware of it. He is, however, an emotionally unstable genius. Would he really act as guiltily as he does? His actions in the washroom and the lab are not merely the sign of an unstable man; they’re stupid.

(Aside: Six, of course, also behaves suspiciously. Perhaps she doesn’t really understand human nature– but the episode hints that perhaps she wanted to be discovered, for reasons as yet unknown).

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6. The show heads in interesting and unpredictable directions.

Effects: 5/6.

Story: 4/6 I’m willing to overlook the incompleteness, because the series tells a larger story than any episode can contain. The episode, however, contains bigger problems. Its pacing drags in places. And, only one episode after the Galactica has realized the need for tighter security, Gaius is able to wander into a lab which should be secured because someone leaves the door unlocked. Furthermore, his plan rests on the assumption that the door would be left unlocked.

Acting: 4/6 While the acting generally remains strong, Tricia Helfer doesn’t do nearly so well as the rest. She works fine as a Cylon seductress, but this script requires her to do more, and she doesn’t quite deliver. Some of the other performances in this ep seem rushed.

Emotional Response: 4/6.

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 4/6

In total, “Six Degrees of Separation” receives 31/42

Additional Comments and Points for Discussion:

1. Why do the interviews with the President look so much like a contemporary White House press scrum? The surviving human population equals that of a smallish city. Why would they need so many reporters? Even if every ship forms a mini-community that wants its own source of news, could they really each afford the unnecessary loss of personnel every time the President speaks?

2. The humans believe in a pantheon, while the Cylons worship one God. Furthermore (according to Number Six), they believe their God is the God of everyone, that all beings must develop a relationship with God or lose their immortal souls. The Cylons are on a crusade.

These theological concerns cover a wide territory, and one which could be discussed from many perspectives. I don’t believe that this show should be interpreted allegorically. Still, you have these specific concerns being expressed in a 2004/2005 tv season. You add to them a man accused of terrible crimes. He is, in fact, guilty of a terrible crime, though the evidence against him is manufactured and the reality differs from the accuser’s claim.

We also have a reference to a “No Fly” list.

I find it difficult to ignore certain loose parallels with a certain contemporary situation.

31 replies on “Battlestar Galactica: Six Degrees of Separation”

  1. Espy says:

    Six’s Indiscretion
    It took me a few watches to decide that Six’s indiscretion with Cmdr. Adama was most likely a calculated move to cast suspicion on herself and get them to start tailing her. Something similar happened last episode, when Doral successfully made the appearance of trying to blow up Dr. Baltar’s lab.

    Apparently, the Cylons are social engineers as well as mechatronics engineers.

    As to the reporters, I would bet a lot of them had been sent to cover Galactica’s retirement. People do what they’re comfortable (and skilled at) doing, regardless of whether or not it’s immediately worthwhile.

    SP

  2. y42 says:

    personally
    I’ve been calling her “the woman in the red dress” : )

    • joe__gee says:

      Which makes me think of the Gene Wilder movie …

      I’ve been calling her “the woman in the red dress” : )

      And the scene where Gilda Radner’s hair is puffed up in the air by the steam grate. :)

      -Joe

      • y42 says:

        Re: Which makes me think of the Gene Wilder movie …

        I’ve been calling her “the woman in the red dress” : )

        And the scene where Gilda Radner’s hair is puffed up in the air by the steam grate. :)

        -Joe

        I’m not sure what you’re rambling on about, but I meant because of her : )

        Different universes, but: Same look, same origin, same occupation, same lack of a name…

        • joe__gee says:

          Re: Which makes me think of the Gene Wilder movie …

          And the scene where Gilda Radner’s hair is puffed up in the air by the steam grate. :)

          -Joe

          I’m not sure what you’re rambling on about, but I meant because of her : )

          Different universes, but: Same look, same origin, same occupation, same lack of a name…

          Me ramble? Well sometimes, there was this time a while back … :P This movie, Kelly Le Brock, Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner. It’s a mindless kind of slapstick romantic comedy. I thought it was funny at the time, but it has been a few years, and it IS way out of genre … :)

          You know, I had completely forgotten about the trainer/woman in red from the Matrix. D’oh! Early onset Alzheimer’s? :)

          -Joe

          • y42 says:

            I don’t think of myself as a lion… you might as well though: I have a mighty roar!

            her : )

            Different universes, but: Same look, same origin, same occupation, same lack of a name…

            You know, I had completely forgotten about the trainer/woman in red from the Matrix. D’oh! Early onset Alzheimer’s? :)

            Well, I thought of it as soon as I saw her in a red dress. Blond bombshell AI hallucinated by a guy with evil, genocidal, anti-human machine technology in his brain… running from their killer drones in a futuristic, run-down ship…

            There’s a slight similarity ;-)

  3. rafaelbn says:

    Cylons and Religious Genocide
    Has this not been the case in the real world? That most of the most henious genocides have been committed in the name of religion? This drives me to think that the Cylons are displaying the same traits as the humans they have decided to annihilate. I wonder if this is by design, or maybe I’m philosophizing too much.
    On another note, maybe we can come up with a running list of the things that the Cylons had made the human fleet do, that they wouldn’t have done otherwise.

  4. joe__gee says:

    I think Six is playing human nature …
    In this episode she’s playing Adama. Every humanoid Cylon we have ever seen has a role, to sow doubt, mistrust, deceit, misinformation. They are picking at the remaining humans both from the outside, and from the inside.

    The interesting question to me is how Six eluded the people tailing her. There’s much more to her than meets the eye. How did she “disappear”? Perhaps she never left Gaius, not only in his mind, but in person. Remember how she disappeared in the miniseries. One second Gaius sees her in the crowd, the next second she is gone. She’s special, I suspect, and I don’t think his personal “vision” is a figment of his imagination. I think Six has been a part of the gleet since Gaius first came on board Colonial One.

    As for her behavior, Six’s character in this episode was trying to fit in with humans, so she’s not a smooth, not as polished as she was when she was only trying to relate to Baltar. She was wearing a different hat. I agree, Baltar was an idiot in the rest room approaching Six the way he did, but then again he *is* a little haphazardly mad. :)

    I guess I’m not as nit-picky. I’d make a lousy reviewer. :) I empathize with those whose job it is to dissect these things. It’s got to be rough to crank these things out on a deadline. To me, only a fan, this was just another great episode for a great series. :)

    Peace,

    -Joe G.

    • vanyel says:

      Re: I think Six is playing human nature …

      I agree, Baltar was an idiot in the rest room approaching Six the way he did, but then again he *is* a little haphazardly mad. :)

      I have to agree, but even so, my high point for this episode was his last line in the bathroom: No more Mr. Nice Gaius!. Well, I thought it was pretty clever ;-)

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: I think Six is playing human nature …

        I agree, Baltar was an idiot in the rest room approaching Six the way he did, but then again he *is* a little haphazardly mad. :)

        I have to agree, but even so, my high point for this episode was his last line in the bathroom: No more Mr. Nice Gaius!. Well, I thought it was pretty clever ;-)

        Thats the best line of the series so far. I almost fell out ouf my chair!!

      • joe__gee says:

        Re: I think Six is playing human nature …

        I have to agree, but even so, my high point for this episode was his last line in the bathroom: No more Mr. Nice Gaius!. Well, I thought it was pretty clever ;-)

        Yup. :) The writers seem to have the occasional urge to insert a groan-worthy pun or quote. It’s their style. I enjoy it myself. :)

        -Joe

    • zonk3r says:

      Re: I think Six is playing human nature …
      i’m starting to think that she is an implant in baltar’s head and is able to project herself into others minds. as long as baltar is around others can see her. the glasses that she left for instance may not even be real. the entire thing could be a case of mass delusion.

      btw on a probably unrelated note, i don’t remember if this was ever dealt with, but isn’t there still a tracking doohicky inside the control room on the galactica?

      • Kaki says:

        Re: I think Six is playing human nature …

        btw on a probably unrelated note, i don’t remember if this was ever dealt with, but isn’t there still a tracking doohicky inside the control room on the galactica?

        You mean the one seen in the mini-series? They ditched that when Baltar found a patsy to blame for how he found it. Strangely, his patsy turned out to really be a Cylon. This was one of the times we have seen Six act in a not-so-nice way toward her fellow robots.

        • nkuzmik says:

          Re: I think Six is playing human nature …

          btw on a probably unrelated note, i don’t remember if this was ever dealt with, but isn’t there still a tracking doohicky inside the control room on the galactica?

          You mean the one seen in the mini-series? They ditched that when Baltar found a patsy to blame for how he found it. Strangely, his patsy turned out to really be a Cylon. This was one of the times we have seen Six act in a not-so-nice way toward her fellow robots.

          Combine #6’s behavior with what we have seen to with Boomer… I’m thinkin the human-type Cylons may be getting a recall notice some time soon. Back when they were looking for water, Boomer-G(Galactica)’s human facade was actually able to override her mole programing. Her Cylon part even made plans to kill itself to prevent the discovery of a new water source, but she was able to override it.

          • joe__gee says:

            Re: I think Six is playing human nature …

            Combine #6’s behavior with what we have seen to with Boomer… I’m thinkin the human-type Cylons may be getting a recall notice some time soon. Back when they were looking for water, Boomer-G(Galactica)’s human facade was actually able to override her mole programing. Her Cylon part even made plans to kill itself to prevent the discovery of a new water source, but she was able to override it.

            That’s an interesting idea. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some Cylon sympathizers. This series’ writers love to paint in shades of grey, instead of black and white. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few good Cylons countering the known bad human(s) in an upcoming season. :)

            You know, in the miniseries I noticed for the first time a debate within the humanoid Cylons about what to do with the surviving humans. Some suggested leaving them alone. Others suggested pursuing the humans, because in twenty years or so they would come back seeking vengeance. I think if it could be guaranteed that the humans would leave the Cylons alone, it might be possible for the survivors to finally settle somewhere, unharrassed (end of series.)

            -Joe

            P.S. I couldn’t hold my tongue, these discussions are too much fun. I guess I’ll just keep gleeting along. Hey B42 higher-ups, is there a chat channel anywhere? :P

        • zonk3r says:

          Re: I think Six is playing human nature …
          right, yes. thanks. i haven’t watched the mini series since it first aired so some of my memory of it is hazy.

      • CdtDelta says:

        Re: I think Six is playing human nature …

        i’m starting to think that she is an implant in baltar’s head and is able to project herself into others minds. as long as baltar is around others can see her. the glasses that she left for instance may not even be real. the entire thing could be a case of mass delusion.

        It seems like they’re playing up the Farscape sub plot with Scorpius in John’s head. Even after the implant was removed, “Harvey” kept giving John advice in the same way. You never quite knew what his intentions were.

    • joe__gee says:

      “A part of the GLEET”???

      I think Six has been a part of the gleet since Gaius first came on board Colonial One.

      Honestly, I’m not “on” anything.

      Time for me to shut the hell up and lurk for a while.

      -Joe

  5. nidx says:

    re: # of reporters
    As far as I can remember the cylon attack in the miniseries was durring a press confrence for the retirement of the galactica. That is why there are SO many reporters around.

    • Trekkie says:

      Re: re: # of reporters

      As far as I can remember the cylon attack in the miniseries was durring a press confrence for the retirement of the galactica. That is why there are SO many reporters around.

      Yeah and they were all on colonial one heading back to Caprica when the attacked happened.

      • joe__gee says:

        Re: re: # of reporters

        As far as I can remember the cylon attack in the miniseries was durring a press confrence for the retirement of the galactica. That is why there are SO many reporters around.

        Yeah and they were all on colonial one heading back to Caprica when the attacked happened.

        Assuming their agencies were on the twelve colonies, I wonder who they’re working for now? United Refugee Press? Or maybe the President just tolerates them because she feels they need a purpose?

        -Joe

        P.S. You know, I just rewatched the miniseries. BTW, Serenity cameos in the first half, just before Roslyn gets the bad news from her doc. Anyways, the incredible accuracy of these characters’ emotions, they’re so *real*, struck me again. To paraphrase her: “I have cancer. The world is coming to an end, humanity is being wiped out, and all I can think about is I have cancer. Isn’t that selfish?” God these writers know, and love, their characters.

        • Trekkie says:

          Re: re: # of reporters

          • Trekkie says:

            Re: re: # of reporters
            That was odd.

            What I tried to say was that I’ve found that this attention to detail has started to build that early feelings I had about Firefly, and Babylon 5. That this is a great, kick ass show that I’ll follow fanatically and be crushed and morose when they finally cancel it, if they handle it as badly as they did with Farscape.

        • Omeganon says:

          Re: re: # of reporters

          As far as I can remember the cylon attack in the miniseries was durring a press confrence for the retirement of the galactica. That is why there are SO many reporters around.

          Yeah and they were all on colonial one heading back to Caprica when the attacked happened.

          Assuming their agencies were on the twelve colonies, I wonder who they’re working for now? United Refugee Press? Or maybe the President just tolerates them because she feels they need a purpose?

          If I were a reporter in the same situation I would feel that it was my utmost duty to record and preserve everything that was occurring at such a historic period for future generations (if there will be any) and not because it was ‘work’ or had immediate use. After it’s all done historians will want to look back and see the very decisions that either guaranteed or destroyed the future of the species.


          Omeganon

          • Trekkie says:

            Re: re: # of reporters
            I guess the other point on that is what the hell else is there to do? Sit around on a ship and watch the last of your race unfold unquestioned? I mean not everyone is considered a prisoner on the ship.

          • coyote says:

            Re: re: # of reporters

            If I were a reporter in the same situation I would feel that it was my utmost duty to record and preserve everything that was occurring at such a historic period for future generations (if there will be any) and not because it was ‘work’ or had immediate use. After it’s all done historians will want to look back and see the very decisions that either guaranteed or destroyed the future of the species.

            There won’t be many historians to read the record if the species is destoyed.

            • GrimSean says:

              Re: re: # of reporters

              There won’t be many historians to read the record if the species is destoyed.

              What about Xenohistorians?

              • Omeganon says:

                Re: re: # of reporters

                There won’t be many historians to read the record if the species is destoyed.

                What about Xenohistorians?

                Yup. Or the Cylons. That was my thinking at least. I would hope that if the human race destroyed itself or was destroyed that some species would eventually discover our leftovers, know that we existed and what we were like.


                Omeganon

                • y42 says:

                  Re: re: # of reporters

                  There won’t be many historians to read the record if the species is destoyed.

                  What about Xenohistorians?

                  Yup. Or the Cylons. That was my thinking at least. I would hope that if the human race destroyed itself or was destroyed that some species would eventually discover our leftovers, know that we existed and what we were like.


                  Omeganon

                  It’d be nice to be remembered, but I’d rather they didn’t know what we were really like : (

              • roseblood says:

                Re: re: # of reporters

                There won’t be many historians to read the record if the species is destoyed.

                What about Xenohistorians?

                How about Speakers for the Dead?

  6. ElKabong says:

    Right from the Carl Rove playbook
    I couldn’t help but think the writers may be making a political statement. Consider a Cylon strategy to keep Baltar in place:

    1) B has a dirty secret that could ruin him.
    2) You hand over “tainted” evidence that could implicate him.
    3) The evidence is discovered to be tainted.
    4) B is exonerated, and is better protected against future attacks, especially legitimate ones.

    Simple.
    Kabong

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