Immediate cut to the humans, on either side of a street through the settlement, as Centurions march down, in unending numbers, moving slowly and terribly, just silver and clanking all the way back. Saul and Ellen watch them progress, her hand over her mouth. Roslin stares, barren and full of rage. The Raiders continue overhead, lacing a contrail grid over the city. Cally and Chief stand with Kara: "What do you want to do now, Captain?" And we close up, drums going crazy, on a different Caprica, but the same Starbuck: "The same thing we always do. Fight them until we can't."
THE END. Immediately as the credits start to roll, a SciFi promo hits the screen; a woman's voice over shots of the cast, and all the Cylons we know, set to poundy drums, breathtaking in its enormity:
"Humanity has surrendered, the war is finally over. We must now fulfill our true destiny -- so we will love them, and take care of them. Show them the glory of peace. And, like God, our infinite mercy will be matched only by our power. And complete control."
Whoa. I get kind of choky just looking at that. It's a big deal. Too big. I don't necessarily see a distinction, or a contradiction, between the end of "Downloaded" and what we just saw happen. The only line that sticks out is the "go our separate ways" one from the Cavils, and even that was immediately contradicted by the "we have new plans" stuff. I think we're getting a new beginning, all right, one without jealousy, or murder, or vengeance. I think the Cylon are making up for their apocalyptic mistake the best way they can: by doing what they were built for. By serving mankind, by showing them the way, by giving us all a way to live in God's love, without hate or lies. What it said on the tin, basically. You can crush a people with love just as easily as with hate, if that "love" is a blunt instrument you don't truly understand. Or, as with Baltar, or even Cally, if that "love" is more about establishing who you are, if you haven't figured that out yet.