Author Topic: BSG 4x12 "Revelations" - Review and Discussion thread ($$$Spoilers$$$)  (Read 22887 times)

Offline bmitchell64

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One little side questions; has anyone heard any rumor about NBC and ITUNES making up?  I am hoping that one way or another BSG Season 4 will end up on ITUNES.  I have all the other seasons on ITUNES (and have been doing the rewatch of seasons via my IPOD).  The only way I have been able to watch this season, while stationed overseas, has been through internet sharing (thank you Graboid).  I hope things get worked out before the final 12 hours are aired next year.

cya

Offline Bond, James Bond

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The more I think about this episode, the more I think that they're not on the Earth we live on, but another planet called Earth or one mistaken as Earth by its original inhabitants, the 13th Tribe.

Why conceal any landmasses on the planet so you can't see any recognizable shapes? Why not show the Moon? Why show a city that's vaguely Manhattan-like enough to confuse you but actually has significant differences? The obfuscation regarding anything that could conclusively prove this to be Earth is intriguing.

In 'Crossroads,' they show a clear view of the North American continent, complete with large patches of greenery in the southeast to northeast as would be expected. This isn't some desolate irradiated wasteland with no life (granted, other parts of the planet they landed on wouldn't be as irradiated as a city since it would be a priority nuclear target):




In 'Revelations,' unless they're approaching the southern hemisphere and are upside down relative to Earth (entirely possible), shouldn't there be some landmasses visible in the northern hemisphere there? The Arctic is pretty much almost entirely ringed with land.






Starbuck's reconnaissance images of what she believed to be Earth are consistent with the planet above in that it shows a featureless world due to dense cloud cover. Starbuck described "Earth" as having "blue seas and white clouds, with a yellow moon and star" matching the descriptions by Pythia. Notice in her recon photo below, that the lunar maria don't match up with those of our Moon as seen from Earth. It's kind of close if you rotate the Moon around at an odd angle, but not exact. It's just close enough to look like it could be our Moon:





David Eick made a cryptic comment regarding the fleet finding Earth:

"At the end of season three, we showed you a glimpse of Earth. You actually saw it and I think you will see more of it. We will get to a place that we're going to call Earth, by the end of the series. And yeah, you'll get to see it."

Not we'll get to Earth, but we'll get to a place "we're going to call Earth." Why the odd phrasing?


The "Dying Leader" was never supposed to reach Earth according to the scrolls, yet Laura Roslin is right there standing on the surface. Even if the Dying Leader is actually someone else, all the significant leads made it to the planet and were standing on the surface alive and (mostly) well.


The constellations matching up to the ones in the Temple of Artemis on Kobol that supposedly depicted a view from Earth may simply be a result of this planet being confused for Earth by the 13th Tribe when they left Kobol 4,000 years before the series. The grassy fields, the Temple of Aurora, etc. were probably still around at the time Pythia made the scrolls, before the nuclear attack.




In TOS Galactica, there was a two-hour episode called 'Greetings from Earth' that depicted a colony of the 13th Tribe called Perradeen that was destroyed in a nuclear and biological attack by the Western faction's enemy, the Eastern Alliance. The Galactica crew lands and wanders the ruined city.

The 13th Tribe in that and a later episode called 'Experiment in Terra' also had another planet called Terra (Earth in Latin) that was also frequently just called Earth. The Galactica mistakes this planet for Earth and arrives just in time to prevent a full-scale nuclear war between the Eastern and Western factions of the 13th Tribe.



Perhaps they're simply tweaking the story a bit and saying that Galactica didn't arrive in time to stop the war now, since it was long in the past. Or a version of the Cylons destroyed it at some point, since "All this has happened before, and it will happen again."


Pointing them in the direction of an already devastated decoy "Earth" might be useful in either tricking the Cylons into leaving the humans alone or to give them another planet to destroy instead of the real Earth. It could also help unify them before being lead to the real Earth, depending on the motives of the person leading them. Someone; obviously the Fifth Cylon (since he or she is not in the fleet), has to still be on the planet and has to have repaired and altered Kara's Viper and input the coordinates.


Finally, that's not Manhattan, but we're meant to think it is with a cursory glance:





The Brooklyn Bridge is not on a narrow peninsula with panoramic ocean/river views 300 degrees around. There's a lot of land and islands nearby that obstruct the view:



It also has two stone pass through arches per support tower instead of the one shown in the picture.

Manhattan Island is not covered in water where Central Park would be, yet it is in the pictures above (look at the top middle of the photos and there's water everywhere there should be land if it was Manhattan. If there was post-global warming flooding, then the support tower for the Brooklyn Bridge would be at least half sunken underwater, yet this is fully exposed.

Plus, the shape of the islands shown in the photos are not consistent with Manhattan, nor are the many debris and rock islands all over the place in the pics. Also, there should be many more skyscrapers and buildings in Manhattan and even Brooklyn should have far more structures than the single one shown. Nuclear attacks don't wipe the ground clear of heavy structures.




In conclusion, they want us to think it's Earth, but it's not the Earth we know. The only way the whole 13th Tribe leaving 4,000 years ago to colonize Earth nonsense makes sense is if they didn't actually reach the real Earth, but only a planet they thought was Earth.

But we know that they are originally from our Earth judging by the countless Earth relics that the Colonials possess from cars to antique guns to a Reader's Digest in Adama's quarters (not talking about the Humvee and the real guns used by the characters as a matter of convenience, but weapons in display cases like Lugers and Thompson SMGs). Moore has said that those references are not accidental. And we know from Adama's personnel file that it's the Colonial year 20,000 and something, so maybe it's been about 18,000 years since they left the real Earth and they've completely forgotten or been deceived about their real history, perhaps to conceal it from the Cylons until the day they finally make peace with each other, when the true Earth can be revealed.

BSG is so damn bleak that you have to wonder where the curveball is in giving us a devastated Earth? I mean, who didn't think that was by far the most likely scenario given the atmosphere or the show, the "All this has happened before..." phrase, and the many references to BSG being in our distant future? Wouldn't the real (possibly upcoming) twist be in eventually showing us an Earth that isn't completely destroyed, Humans and Cylons arriving together in true peace, and not leaving the show on a complete downer of an ending?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008, 08:29:41 AM by Bond, James Bond »

Offline Stoo

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I wish I had more to offer than "yeah sounds plausible"! The lack of a moon or recognisable landmasses is definitely a bit fishy.

Offline Da Vinci

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Question now is, how would the Colonials know this is not Earth? (Assuming that for the moment)
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Offline Bond, James Bond

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They wouldn't.

I'm assuming at some point we're going to meet up with the Fifth Cylon in some secure advanced bunker on the planet or something like that, and he'll fill them in on the truth. Maybe he stayed behind while the other four went forth to their new home with the humans so that he could judge whether those that returned had made peace and deserved to return to the real Earth.

Offline Razor

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Well stated Bond.  Pretty much my thoughts on this whole thing as well.  I dont even thin k what we're seeing in that one picture is a ruined bridge.  To me it looks like a chunk of wall as opposed to any support tower.  Ive viewed the Trekbbs' analog topic to this one and am amazed at how many people are dead set that this is our Earth. 
“The boat dipped and swayed and sometimes took on water, but it did not sink; the two brothers had waterproofed it well. I do not know where it finally fetched up, if it ever did; perhaps it reached the sea and sails there forever, like a magic boat in a fairytale. All I know is that it was still afloat and still running on the breast of the flood when it passed the incorporated town limits of Derry, Maine, and there it passes out of this tale forever.” ― Stephen King, It"
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Offline Jon

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Could it be possible that the solar/stellar system they've jumped in is the a colonized Alpha/Proxima Centauri system? Or some other system that is relatively close to the Sol System/Earth?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008, 01:39:02 PM by Jon »

Offline Razor

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^^^My own particular thoughts are that its a terraformed Venus of Mars.
“The boat dipped and swayed and sometimes took on water, but it did not sink; the two brothers had waterproofed it well. I do not know where it finally fetched up, if it ever did; perhaps it reached the sea and sails there forever, like a magic boat in a fairytale. All I know is that it was still afloat and still running on the breast of the flood when it passed the incorporated town limits of Derry, Maine, and there it passes out of this tale forever.” ― Stephen King, It"
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Offline Xero

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Or it could be our Earth, and it's either a city that hasn't been built yet, or the future version of a current small town/city.
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Offline Ozzymandeus

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Would we know if it was a Binary/Trinary Star system, or at least be able to tell by the various light patterns
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Offline The Daft Punk

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Would we know if it was a Binary/Trinary Star system, or at least be able to tell by the various light patterns


I seriously doubt it. The only star we saw was a single main-sequence looking one, just prior to the jump to "Earth".
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Offline Alexzandyr

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Besides Starbuck told them that there was only one star, so they probably would have checked for that the moment they arrived.

Offline Stoo

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The only star we saw was a single main-sequence looking one, just prior to the jump to "Earth".

By the way that was a beautiful shot of Galactica + Fleet.

Offline The Daft Punk

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Indeed. If I can't get the Galactica and Fleet over Africa or Europe, I'll take that.
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"Until a man is 25, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial arts monastery in China and studied real hard for 10 years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad."
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Offline bmitchell64

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Anyone seen any other graphics of the large three-engine shuttle-like ship descending with the Raptors to Earth (or the Earth-like planet)?  I have only seen it in one other graphic I found on another site (see attached) and was hoping to get one with more views and information on it.

Offline Jimi James

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One little side questions; has anyone heard any rumor about NBC and ITUNES making up?  I am hoping that one way or another BSG Season 4 will end up on ITUNES.  I have all the other seasons on ITUNES (and have been doing the rewatch of seasons via my IPOD).  The only way I have been able to watch this season, while stationed overseas, has been through internet sharing (thank you Graboid).  I hope things get worked out before the final 12 hours are aired next year.

cya

You can watch BSG for free on Hulu.  Granted, you won't be able to save them or watch them on your Ipod, but they are free at least.
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Offline Jimi James

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So after spending several days reading what others have to say and thinking about it on my own, I have to say that this episode is a lot like Crossroads, in that it gives us something to do until the show comes back.  We're left with so much...uncertainty about what everything means, that we can't help but scrutinize every little detail for some glimmer of meaning.

Obviously this episode was great.

Earth...is it Earth?  Maybe, then again maybe not.  Someone mentioned over on the wiki that the landing site seemed to resemble the picture of whatever it was Lee was looking at in that book at the beginning of the episode, where Starbuck told him they'd walk those halls together.

My first thought was that it sort of resembled the ruins from the hallucinations that Baltar had on Kobol.  Then I thought that maybe it could have been the Opera House, though both of those thoughts faded as they revealed more.

I really liked the scene between Lee and Starbuck, when they were talking about Adama, and his chair and the desk.  That lingering shot on the chair just caught me as cool, for some reason, plus Lee's line, that Tigh won't even look at it.

The shot of the Fleet entering Earths orbit; perhaps the best CGI shot of the entire series.  Maybe even better then the shot of the Galactica jumping into the atmosphere of New Caprica.  I really hope we can get some sort of hq version of that shot.

Olmos...what can be said that hasn't been said already.  I expect BSG to get the shaft again this year at the Emmy's but damn if half the cast doesn't deserve one, none perhaps more then Olmos and Hogan.  But if EJO doesn't get nominated for this episode, then there is no justice in the world.


A few not so great things.

The standoff seemed sort of awkward.  One of the 'revered' final five was right there with D'ana but they never once asked Tory for advice or how she felt about nuking the colonial fleet.  Granted, at this point Torry has become a total bitch and probably wouldn't have cared, but still, it's like she wasn't even there.

The reveal of the final four Cylons was undercut by the speed with which the episode had to end.  One minute they're revealed, and the next Lee is granting them amnesty and they're all taking a ride down to the planet, without so much as a second thought. 

You might can explain this away due to the excitement of the moment, but I think it's a tough sell.  If anything, it even weakens the entire showdown between Adama and Tigh that there is no residue there afterwards.  Not even a look of distrust...as far as I can remember.

Other thoughts.

There was a part of me that really wanted to see something recognizable when the landing party was heading in.  Seeing them just take off towards the surface, I was thinking that it was strange that they were just going to land out of the blue like that.  So for a second there, I was hoping for something like a squad of modern fighter jets to roll up on them to escort them in.
I loved the montage from all the different ships of the people celebrating after Adama's message that they had finally reached earth.  I have to admit, I threw my hands up and was celebrating to.

And I couldn't help but compare this homecoming of sorts to the end of Voyager, even going so far as to say to myself, “now that's how you pay off an ending.”


Ok, so at some point in the last half of the season, there has to be a conversation between Tyrol and Boomer/Sharon...I'm talking about the original Boomer/Sharon that he was frakkin back in season one. 
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Offline Jimi James

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Anyone seen any other graphics of the large three-engine shuttle-like ship descending with the Raptors to Earth (or the Earth-like planet)?  I have only seen it in one other graphic I found on another site (see attached) and was hoping to get one with more views and information on it.

That would be the Gemenon Traveler or possibly the Kimba Huta.  Both are of the same design though.

I couldn't find many good pics of the Traveller, though here are a few of the better ones.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:BSG-GeminonTrav.jpg
http://forum.zealot.com/t151556/

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Offline caisson2delta

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I had this thought after watching this episode. Perhaps the originators of the 12 colonies left earth, in our current time frame. Some sort of war or whatever happened, and it is now thousands of years later when they return. Besides just being bombed out looking, the ruins in the show appeared to be quite ancient. This may be a stretch in thinking, but I don't ever remember there being any sort of time reference during the course of the show.

Someone mentioned previously, in another post, the use of the phonetical military alphabet during one of the episodes. This could be explained by my theory of them leaving from earth originally, during our time or sometime close to it. It could also help to explain much of the similiarities in equipment, vehicles, weapons, etc.

Offline Bond, James Bond

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Earth...is it Earth?  Maybe, then again maybe not.  Someone mentioned over on the wiki that the landing site seemed to resemble the picture of whatever it was Lee was looking at in that book at the beginning of the episode, where Starbuck told him they'd walk those halls together.

It was the Temple of Aurora from the scrolls of Pythia. There was a shot of it that strongly resembles the dome wreckage seen on the ground.





Interestingly though, despite Aurora being the Roman goddess of the dawn, there was a Christian cross in the ruins as well:



Perhaps an early attempt at integrating the polytheist Greek/Roman Human religion with the monotheist Cylon Christian-like religion?

Also, it's probably not accidental that Helo and Athena, parents of the new Cylon/Human hybrid Hera that will supposedly bring them closer to "God," are the ones standing in front of the cross.

Here's a low quality shot of the complex surrounding the Temple of Aurora. Definitely not New York, seeing as how there are mountains around it.



Unfortunately SciFi pulled their HD full episode of 'Revelations' or I could get a screenshot from that.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2008, 06:52:58 AM by Bond, James Bond »

Offline Bond, James Bond

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As far as the episode goes, it was great and I only have a few complaints:

- It was too rushed. They did way too many filler episodes in a row and then tried to cram a bunch of major developments into one episode. They should have spread it out a bit. I thought it was kind of a cop-out to go from discovering who the four Cylons in the fleet were to granting them amnesty in the space of 15 minutes.

- The whole fake drama created by having Kara run from the Viper up to the airlock instead of just using the phones they have all over the damn ship was ridiculous.

- I felt that D'anna killing the hostage without warning and the fact that Leoben or anyone else didn't stand up to her took things back a step in order to create drama. Her position was untenable. She can't destroy the fleet despite her threats, because she doesn't want to kill the remaining three. By breaking her agreement with Admiral Adama, she made it impossible to trust anything else she did (fortunately Lee is one forgiving motherfrakker and no one seemed to care about Lt. Redshirt getting flushed out the airlock). By trying to force the remaining three to come over to her ship, she was exposing them to danger anyway (exactly what she said she was trying to avoid) since they would have to either give themselves up or explain why they wanted to go to the baseship, and she was angering the remaining three who she had previously apologized to for wronging one of them when she saw them in the opera house. It was a stupid plan in the first place. She should have just cooperated with the Humans and held out the information on the fifth Cylon like she was doing anyway.

- The "Revelations" were mostly revelations to the Galactica crew and the Cylons, not to the audience. We already knew who the four were, and having "Earth" being in our future and destroyed was by far the most common fan theory. They should have thrown in a reveal about the Fifth Cylon. However, having them reach "Earth" came as a total surprise for me since I avoided spoilers, so that was cool.

- I really hate how they've made Tory into such an unrepentant bitch and traitor. She's suddenly more of a hardliner than even most of the rebel Cylons? What's with that shit?

Offline CX

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The ruins actually reminded me a little bit of Osciliath from LotR because of all the ruined domed buildings in the background and the collapsed bridge.

As for a cross being in a pagan temple, it's certainly not without precedence, because the Pantheon was converted into a Christian church (something that actually kind of bothers me), and a lot of the old temples were converted into Christian churches when Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Empire.  Based on that and the information posted earlier about TOS BSG episodes, I wouldn't be surprised if this is Terra rather than the Earth we know and saw a glimpse of in the S3 finale.  That's probably why they avoided showing any continents as they orbited the planet and entered its atmosphere.

I kind of figured they'd do something like this since they still had half a season to go.  They simply set it up so that it could have been Earth had the last half of the season been canceled if the writer's strike had gone on too long.
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Offline The Daft Punk

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I'm not sure that the cross displayed on the wreckage of the temple was specifically a Christian one. The edges look a little too rough, and it might just be a decoration that happens to look like a cross.
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Offline mark

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Looks more like a crossbeam to me, or some other architectural feature (notice the slight curvature). It could still be an iconograph, but the cross shape doesn't automatically make it so.
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Offline Bond, James Bond

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^^^ True, but it does seem odd that they would display a cross shaped artifact so prominently on a constructed on-location set.

They were very careful with everything they had going on in the background, like Anders rejecting Tory when she walked up to him, Six putting her hand on Tigh's shoulder, and Tyrol once again giving his resigned laugh at the situation. It really was an amazingly well-orchestrated scene with all kinds of subtle things to notice in the background.

That's probably why they avoided showing any continents as they orbited the planet and entered its atmosphere.

Looking at it again, there is a coastline visible that's clearly meant to vaguely resemble the Northeastern US with just a quick glance, with a storm conveniently covering where the easily recognizable Long Island would be. There's a hook shaped peninsula near the top right that's reminiscent of Cape Cod. But the shape and angle of the coastline is all wrong.

I think they were just trying to make it confusing enough that people would assume it was the East Coast & New York and it would hold up to some examination, but could be easily be an entirely new continent/planet.

There's just no reason to deliberately obscure things this much if they were truly landing on Earth.



Here's the ending of the episode on YouTube in case anyone wants to see it again:
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=7c6Leg7MGQE
« Last Edit: June 18, 2008, 03:05:10 AM by Bond, James Bond »