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14 May 2008 @ 02:53 pm
BSG: The Opera House and the Five  
First, "Faith" is awesome with awesomesauce. Everybody's already said what I might, so moving on.

I've been involved in an awesomely fascinating discussion on the meaning of the Opera House over at TWOP. Well, I think it's fascinating (YMMV), and it sparked several ideas which I'm dragging back over here so others might see them.

Four (of the Five) are alive and walking around, and yet they are also in the Opera House.

So in addition to the question "WTF are the Final Five?" is the question, "WTF is the Opera House?"

The Opera House on Kobol fell to ruins thousands of years ago - and yet it's got some very peculiar and strong place in Cylon spirituality. I would guess that imagery was given to them by the Cylon God - so what happened there? Why is an OPERA HOUSE of all things the imagery that Cylons see on their way to resurrection? Not a temple, not a bookstore, not a mountain... an opera house. A place where people used to go and sing stories -- about the gods? about what happened the LAST iteration? A place where the first cylon was born or died?

Faith gave us two snippets from the Hybrid (of course):
"The Dying Leader will learn the truth of the Opera House."

"The Three will give you the Five, who come from the home of the Thirteenth."

The reason Three knows the Five is because she saw them in the Opera House, a "place" the Cylons pass through between uploading their consciousness at physical death and downloading to the next one. It's not a physical place - it's more like a virtual construct like The Matrix inside their network.

Which makes the Five within there not real either. Which, yeah, duh, because Anders, et al are walking around, right? And yet, they DON'T KNOW ANYTHING. This could be because all that would give them their knowledge, all that would make them Cylons in more but physical shells is locked inside the Opera House. Their Cylon templates are there, looming over everything, yet those figures don't interact with anybody. They don't do anything. They're in stasis - not in use - locked out of the program.

All of which people other than me came up with, but I think is totally cool, and works. Which brings us to my contribution of the day.

We've all been assuming there's an existing copy of the Fifth somewhere, whoever it is, and that even if the Fifth is dead, a physical body is going to show up. What if there is no physical body? What if when we finally learn the truth of the Opera House we see the Fifth is someone like Cain, who's dead but NOT resurrected? Perhaps the only thing that's left of the Fifth Cylon is that core program stuck in the Opera House... Then what? Can that template resurrect into someone else (assuming there are no new bodies for the Five anywhere)? Is this where Hera comes in?

Or different tack, what if Three tells them the Fifth is Laura, and she has to choose whether to die permanently, or to unlock those templates and be able resurrect herself into a healthy, younger body? Would she do it? I don't think so...

But what if that was the ONLY way to learn the way to Earth? Because what if that's the only way.... all FIVE have to die and then resurrect again, with their Cylon knowledge/programming now unlocked and included inside them?

I think that could be totally awesome. Though I have no idea how they would resurrect without bodies - there must be other bodies. And, erm, I don't think there are other bodies.

Unless! they would resurrect into other humans (shades of the Five-are-Spirits Theory). And that's just a horrible idea, because then Sam and Tyrol and Tigh and Tory would have to sacrifice themselves so that their knowledge could get reborn into other people. Which, knowing this show, is probably closer to the truth.

*is sad*

Back to my fic, where there is at least HOPE my favorite woobie isn't going to die.

ETA: As much as I want to know what would've happened if Sam stuck his hand in the goo, I really REALLY now want to know what would happen if he got inside the Opera House.... Would he see himself? Would he merge with that being and come out with the knowledge of Earth? Would he be able to leave?

All spec, no spoilers beyond "Faith".
Tags: ,
entertaining in a disturbing waylyssie on May 15th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
hrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm. *contemplates* (like I don't have ten thousand other things to contemplate)
Signal to Noise: Battlestar Helo Momentun4scene on May 15th, 2008 03:10 am (UTC)
I was so happily surprised by the quality of Faith. And now you have me worrying about Sam, who has really grown on me after that episode. Dear Sam.
lizardbeth: Anders - no shirtlizardbeth_j on May 15th, 2008 05:08 am (UTC)

At least Helo will probably end up the commander of Galactica. Since I think he'll make it out alive.
Allison: k/a come backfrolicndetour on May 15th, 2008 05:37 am (UTC)
Or maybe the knowledge is going to be "activated," the way the knowledge that they're Cylons was? Because they must be acting on some subconscious impulses as is. Otherwise, how could all four of them just happen to be among the 40,000 or so survivors? How could Sam just have happened to run into Kara? (And Ron even said they were so drawn to each other because of her destiny.) So they have a lot of knowledge already that they don't know they have.

Just an idea that lets them not die. ;) So are you saying that they would kill themselves, and suddenly Hera's walking around one day telling Mom and Dad to "shut their frakking mouths" and swilling ambrosia? IE, Tigh's spirit would download into her body?

And hey, why would they all have to do it? I say they draw straws. ;)
lizardbeth: Anders - love slavelizardbeth_j on May 15th, 2008 06:19 am (UTC)
But how would those impulses have changed anything? 40,000 other people survived who weren't cylons, after all. Anders survived because he happened to be training in the mountains with his team, not because he drove himself into the mountains on an impulse or something like that. He stayed behind when Kara left with the arrow - mysterious drawing power or not.

I'm not really arguing, since I think I've even said it before. It's just... not quite as satisfactory to me that all that knowledge is there, but none of them got access even though they were 'switched on' in a sense. Seems to me there has to be some other trigger yet to come or some/most/all of that knowledge is just not there (like the theory where they're different because they're not programmed at all).

Oh and Hera was really only because I was thinking she might be the link to get them inside the Opera House, either to 'merge' with the beings there in some fashion or she'd be the conduit to get the Fifth OUT of the Opera House and into a body. She's got something to do with all this.

Although having Tigh be in Hera's body would be utterly cracktastic! Fortunately we're saved by a lack of three year olds who are THAT precocious. :)
Allisonfrolicndetour on May 15th, 2008 06:27 am (UTC)
40,000 other people survived who weren't cylons, after all.

Well, true, but when you go from 20 billion to 40,000, the odds of any four particular people surviving are, uh, *fails at math* - really really small, right? And then ending up close to people in positions of power and influence in the Fleet? To me that would be too much to swallow even for a tv show.

I sort of assume that Sam's letting Kara leave with the Arrow was because he knew it was part of her destiny. If she'd stayed behind, they'd never find Earth. And his reason d'etre is to help her find Earth. Hence, poor Gaeta. *sniff*

Oh, I know you didn't really mean Hera.I just liked that image. ;) But is the idea that when they die, their spirit will enter the body of an already existing person? Or they'll be reborn as infants?
selmak on May 15th, 2008 11:09 am (UTC)
it's better than HEra having a desire to shave her head or frak Baltar :P
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on May 15th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
But would she have to wear an eye patch? ;)
Allisonfrolicndetour on May 15th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC)
cujoy got this screencap off of Faith: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cujoy/2488369052/

Laura's boat had the model numbers for four of the F5 - our four? Which makes me think: if the F5 are the "priests of the one who must not be named," that the humans built the Temple of Five to, which it seems pretty clear that they are, is the one who must not be named the same Lord of Kobol that wanted to raise himself above the other gods? Because then it looks like the F5 are priests of the Cylon God. But then the boat is missing a number - perhaps one of the Five defected, and that's why he/she wasn't activated? And that's why s/he's "yearning for redemption;" because s/he supported the Ev0l God? Maybe s/he can warn the others! :) *puts down the crack-pipe*
lizardbeth: Anders - cross outlizardbeth_j on May 15th, 2008 06:09 am (UTC)
yeah, someone pointed that out, and it's the Four's numbers, I'm pretty sure. The priests/Final Five thing has been hanging out there for awhile. I just don't know (well, obviously nobody does save the staff I guess, but), whether that Kobol and prehistory is part of THIS iteration or the previous "all this has happened before." If it's the previous, then it's no more than metaphor, because like Leoben says, the roles change in each go-round.

It's just so hard to judge how supernatural/spiritual Ron is going to take it, y'know? That's what makes the spec so fun and yet so hard, because you can take it all the way up to angels, or down to pretty solid sci-fi, or some combo of both but we can't figure out the balance, since we don't have the pieces. Which is as it should be, I guess, if I didn't want to know NOW! /whiny 8 year old. :)
My way of staying sane: Thinkingmamaboolj on May 15th, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC)
I used to poo poo the idea that Hera could be the 12th. However, the idea that the five are in some sort of stasis until they can be resurrected in another body could leave open this possibility. I personally like her more as some sort of spiritual guide to the five, or a key or something, but I am warming to the idea of her as the 12th (or even the 13th?). All in the "this has happened before and will happen again" frame of mind too.

Interesting stuff all around! Thanks for posting.
lizardbeth: Tahmoh - Truccolizardbeth_j on May 15th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
yeah, like I said to Allie above I tend to think of her more as a key too. And possibly the 13th that'll be the end of this cycle and the beginning of the next. *throws up hands* I don't know!

But at least she's back tomorrow! YAY!
(and possibly just as creepy-strange as I thought she might be....)
Chloris: Karachloris on May 16th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...interesting meta. I haven't thought too critically about the meaning of the opera house before. Perhaps I should go back to swinging by TWOP occasionally.

What if when we finally learn the truth of the Opera House we see the Fifth is someone like Cain, who's dead but NOT resurrected?

Will they actually download the final cylon it that's the case? The 2, 6, and 8's I assume would want to, but would the fleet? I could see a power struggle in that case.

what if Three tells them the Fifth is Laura, and she has to choose whether to die permanently, or to unlock those templates and be able resurrect herself into a healthy, younger body? Would she do it?

I think she would so long as her knowledge of cylonness came from within. Think of the final four, it someone had come to them with absolute proof that they were cylons, but they had no inner knowledge, what would they have done? I'd say they would've shot the person telling them they were cylons. However, with inner knowledge made manifest, they accepted it even though they have struggled against it.

I'm personally of the opinion that the final cylon is someone currently alive and that they are more aware of their cylonnness than the final four.

I really hope that the final four don't have to download into some other form! The hole in the show would be immense.