BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE PLAN reveals that yes, there was a Plan – to kill all the humans — but it went wrong, and then the humanoid cylons frakked up. Because to err is human. No one was supposed to be alive — humans or cylons. The skinjobs were supposed to be pre-positioned to cause destruction, not forced to mop up afterward. But as the skinjobs lived among the humans, they began to fall in love, and as Six told Cavil, “You can’t declare war on love.”
It’s great to see new scenes with our old friends. The story fills in blanks left in the regular series; THE PLAN doesn’t so much fill in gaps as expand on what was hinted at happening offscreen. We saw things from the other side, including how Cavil (Dean Stockwell) controlled Sharon (Grace Park) — using a carving of an elephant that activated post-hypnotic suggestions — why Ellen Tigh (Kate Vernon) did not show up immediately, and exactly how the Shelly version of Six (Tricia Helfer) disappeared so completely after trying to discredit Baltar and his cylon-detecting machine. The Simons (Rick Worthy) were the least-developed model in the series, but here the 4s get major attention. Cavil spent the entirety of the series trying to get the cylons in the fleet to pick up the pieces.
In a lot of ways, BSG: TP is the story of the two Cavils used as the framing device. The Cavil who went to Caprica began to understand the humans, while the Cavil on Galactica stayed with the plan. But even though Galactica-Cavil was thoroughly disgusted by Simon’s marriage to a human, he indulged in the pleasure of the flesh with a Six and an Eight. But he never let having a human shell change him. Witness the way he bonded with little John (ironically One’s “name”) and then casually killed him. The Cavils were firmly established as the leader of the cylons, pulling strings and manipulating events from behind the scenes (and just around the corner, out of sight). Cavil was the devil on everyone’s shoulder, urging them to do bad things.
And, speaking of doing bad things, BSG: TP once again plays with our expectations/fears of terrorism by shifting our perspective. Just as we are cheering Anders and his crew for staging a tiny, defiant strike against the alien invaders, Cavil hands Doral a suicide belt and we are appalled by his orders to wreak havoc. We are reminded of the “New Caprica” story arc, which blurred the line between “freedom fighter” and “terrorist.”
THE PLAN brings new meaning to the refrain, “This has happened before” Because it has, in the miniseries and the series. We are experiencing it again from a different perspective, which was a theme of the entire series.
As directed by Admiral Adama himself, Edward James Olmos, THE PLAN once again reinforces the idea of the power of love — though in this case, not redemptive love. Caprica-Cavil put it best when he noted, “We had a temper tantrum in the form of a cataclysm.” The cylons did it all for jealousy. They wanted the Five to love them more than humans. In keeping with the biblical references scattered throughout BSG, wasn’t that kind of pride the sin that caused Lucifer to fall?