Battlestar Galactica

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The Girl On The Pale Horse

The Eight coughs, and Sam drops to his knees, touching her face. Imagine the eyes of something infinitely merciful. Imagine his exhaustion, watching yet another death on a day meant for celebration and reconciliation. "It's okay," he says. "I'm with you." He looks into her eyes as Athena looks on, bested in compassion. And when the Eight passes on, he closes her eyes tenderly, and holds her hand. He's wearing a silver bracelet that goes round and round, like the shining waters of the Styx.

"...She will lead us to the end," Leoben says softly. "We will now know the truth of the Opera House." Natalie looks up: "The home of the Thirteenth..." Kara, who hasn't the practice of these two with the Hybrid, is confused. She doesn't speak their language. "The Hybrid said, 'The missing Three will get you the Five, who have come from the home of the Thirteenth.' The home of the Thirteenth Tribe of humans..." Kara stares. "And the Five is ... your Final Five Cylon models." Sam stares down at the innocent Eight.

"If they've come from the home of the Thirteenth Tribe, then they must know the way back," says Natalie, and Kara completes the thought: "They know how to get to Earth." Athena and Leoben know about the missing Three; Kara realizes her sister in prophecy can be unboxed, and identify the Five. A grand version of the Final Five music begins to play; Sam doesn't look up at all. Natalie looks at Kara, and she nods. "Let's go. Demetrius is waiting for us." Sam looks at the Eight a while longer: at the beauty and the innocence in his people. His people.

Death isn't a metaphor. The end of line, of humanity, isn't a party. Even when the Cylon hop back and forth across the line, they don't stay there more than just a moment. They come back to life; they're resurrected, and then they are alive again. Sam watched Jean Barolay fall, and the Six in her sickness, and felt their deaths inside him: those viewpoints getting burnt off, so that the show could move along into its own redemption. The horrors of war should shame us all, and they are not metaphor but truth: ugly and brutal. We ride that pale horse when we ride to war. But looking down at this fragile Eight, who did nothing but try to save her people from slavery, and died for it, on the run, no food and no fuel, when they were so close to finding an answer. This episode is as much about life, about things being born, as it is about death. Something is alive in him. That's not a metaphor either.

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Battlestar Galactica

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