'Battlestar Galactica': The fifth Cylon is revealed

Aarondouglas_battlestargalactica_24 It's been a centon more than seven months since last we Battlestar Galactica and I have to confess, the break hasn't been kind to my memory of the myriad twists and turns during the quest for Earth. (Need a refresher like me? Read our Battlestar Galactica episode guide for this season.)

In the aftermath of this beginning of the end, let me just say: What. The. Frak.

[This has all been spoiled before, and it will all be spoiled again.]

When last we saw our heroes (last June!), the Galactica's human-Cylon alliance reached Earth. Not a pretty blue marble, but a radioactive, muddy, ruined Earth. Expressions of utter shock and despair all around. Roslin picks a living plant -- and let me say there's no shortage of plant life around -- while Helo confirms no sign of human life anywhere on the planet. Sensors indicate the planetary nuking happened a couple of millennia earlier. That's no comfort to Dualla, who pulls a pocketwatch and some jacks from the mud.

Roslin, Adama and Apollo head back to Galactica where, when greeted by the crowd, Roslin can only shake her head. That's a pretty good sign something's wrong, and Roslin is hustled away before the crowd, now shouting questions, can turn violent.

Starbuck and Leoben track the Colonial distress signal detected by her all-new Viper. When dug out of the dirt, the transponder does turn out to be from a Colonial ship... and Leoben finds wreckage nearby with the markings "757NC." Starbuck's freaked: Her Viper's registration is G757NC.

The remaining human-Cylon away team finds a mass grave containing bones and a Centurion head. Though the head resembles the old-school (by which I mean, the '70s series) Centurions, a Six claims it's like nothing they've ever seen. Even weirder, Baltar and the science team say the bones in the grave are not human but skinjob.

Seriously, these are the comparatively small potatoes. Things just get weirder.

Chief Tyrol finds a standing wall with a human-shaped shadow, a la Hiroshima. He touches it as "All Along the Watchtower" plays, and flashes back to himself shopping at a farmer's market that is in turn quickly vaporized by a nuclear strike.

Back on Galactica, Dualla finds Apollo in the pilots' briefing room. Roslin has gone recluse, so he's going to meet with the Quorum. He's trying to pick the best lie, but Dualla urges him to tell the truth. They share a really nice, tender moment. He asks her to accompany him for a drink.

Kateesackhoff_battlestargalactica_2 Starbuck, meanwhile, has found the wrecked ship's cockpit -- and it still has a corpse inside. A corpse with long, blonde hair and dogtags marked "K. Thrace." Holy frak. Could Starbuck be a Cylon? She's understandably disturbed, but not more than Leoben, who runs away with fear in his eyes.

At the dig site, Anders finds a guitar neck and sings a bit of "All Along the Watchtower." He finds Tyrol, who talks about the shadow, and then Tori arrives to say she remembers Anders singing to them all.

Get ready for symmetry! Roslin burns her copy of the Pythian Prophecies, telling a confused Adama that she led humanity to this end, one she considers inescapable. Roslin has given up, even stopping her cancer treatment. Starbuck, back on Earth, wraps her corpse and burns it on a pyre.

Apollo and Dualla laugh and stumble along a corridor, dressed to the nines. Did they get that drink? They're talking about his report to the Quorum and how suddenly humanity is free to do whatever it wants: There is no longer any plan or goal. They kiss passionately, and Dee gives Apollo a coy look before slipping into the pilots' quarters. Gaeta is there, having lost his leg, and the two talk about how they never expected this. Gaeta leaves; Dee hangs up her dogtags and her wedding ring, humming softly, then puts a gun to her head and kills herself.

Just typing that after already having seen it... the trauma is no less. The pain is no less.

Apollo and Adama meet in the morgue. Apollo holds it together, but barely. After he leaves, though, the Old Man breaks down and echoes Roslin: "What did you do? I let you down. I let everybody down."

Next time we see him, he's commandeered a pilot's pistol and stalks into Tigh's quarters, sloppy drunk. He insults Tigh's non-humanity, then reminds the colonel of Ellen's philandering. Tigh eventually has had enough and pulls a pistol, whereupon Adama points his own pistol at his temple. He wants to die, he wants to be free of the responsibility and the guilt, but he doesn't even have the resolve (or utter lack of hope) Dualla had.

Once tempers have settled and guns have been unloaded, Adama explains that his uncle had a farm and hunted foxes. Some foxes fought; some ran; and some swam halfway out into a river and let the current sweep them out to sea, and death, because they were just tired of being hunted. The bad Cylons are hunting the humans and rebels, but now that Earth is a dead end, the prey want to just be swept away to their end.

Starbuck finds Apollo on Colonial One and almost tells him about the corpse, but is surprised by news of Dualla. She shuts up.

Adama comes up with a new plan: Like the Thirteenth Colony, he's sure humanity can find a new home. Tigh heads planetside to recall the away team, but Three is tired of the circle and wants to be left behind and die on Earth. Tigh makes the connection to Adama's story -- the rebel Cylons are all out of fight too -- and wades into the sea. But wait! He flashes back to the Earth war, where he finds his wife... Ellen.

Ellen. Ellen is the fifth of the Final Five.

She dies, but as she does, she promises, "Everything is in place. We'll be reborn again together."

Well, frak. What does that make Starbuck?