Balthar: Insane or Cylon Chip? (New Galactica Series)

I’ll go first.

Although the coincidences of events in Balthar’s head and those in the real world are hard to deny, I think that no such chip exists. It’s hard to say why I think this. Partly, I hope that it doesn’t. It’s hard for me to reconcile the “Cylons are directly manipulating the colonials” theory with the earnestness of the cylon attacks as depicted in “33” and the miniseries. If the cylons are manipulating the colonials to their nefarious ends, then the chip would indeed play a major roll in that.

I hope this is not the case and therefore I think/hope Balthar is nuts and not under cylon control.

They are being ambiguous about it on purpose, as they are with a lot of things. I feel the purpose of this is to keep the audience in the same shoes as the characters on many things. If the characters never find out the “why” about something, we aren’t likely to. For example, why did the Cylons attack every 33 minutes in the first episode? (Yes I’ve read the writer’s blog on the subject.)

Disagree? No problem, lets discuss it. :smiley:

I’m on the other side–I hope/think that Baltar is not nuts and that there is a chip or something in his head that is creating his visions of Six.

The episode Six Degrees of Separation is what makes me think this is the case. It has, as you mentioned, coincidences between the actions of the Six in Baltar’s head and one of the Sixes in the real world.

As to why the motivations of Baltar’s Six don’t seem to necessarily match up with the Cylons’ actions to destroy the fleet, well we’ve already seen Caprica Boomer take a different path than the other Cylons. Maybe that’s what is at work here.

I have to admit that part of the reason I hope Baltar’s not nuts is that I think that even though he’s got many, many marks against him, he’s still a likable character. He seems to me to be the most “real” of any of the characters.

Whichever way it turns out, I have faith (heh) that it will be handled well and that it will make sense in retrospect.

In the miniseries, Six told Baltar directly that her consciousness had been transferred into a chip in his head.

Yes. And, given the lack of surgical facilities available following the Cylon assault, that sounds crazy.

There may be a Cylon model with those Borg fingers that sticks stuff inside you.

Where did the Six that accused Baltar dome from? I think it’s a chip since a “real” Six showed up.

I do remember the conversation, but IIRC it took place with imaginary six after Balthar had escaped into space, and the way he responded left the ambiguity intact.

An alternate explanation is, again, a coincidence. She may have been a different copy of six whose mission was to discredit Balthar and try to get close to Adama. As I recall, the “real life” six in that episode never copped to being at all related to Balthar’s visions. These event happened at an (in)opportune time in Balthar’s internal discourse. Just as he was about to come to terms with his inner demons and reject the inner six (signified by her leaving his “house”) this copy of six shows up with her own mission which prompts his “repentance” or re-entry into madness.

I think the point of showing Balthar’s madness in such realistic and convincing terms is that to a person truly going through mental illness, hallucinations can and do seem real.

An interesting point, and well taken.

Yeah, but if she’s a hallucination, that doesn’t mean much, does it? It sounds plasuible enough, but balter knows that and thus, hallucinations formed from his brain would know that as well.

Whatever the answer turns out to be, it is the ambiguity that is intriguing to me. It seems to be very consistently maintained in a number of aspects of this season. The writers have us experiencing much of the confusion of the characters: paranoia over whether (insert name here) might be a cylon; what is Galactica Boomer’s mission and will she go through with it; Is (insert event here) quite the lucky break it seems, or part of God’s/cylon’s plan?

Can’t wait for the next 2 weeks! :slight_smile:

The operation could have been done long before, with the chip left inactive until needed. Remember too that in Cylon theology their consciousness is always ported over to another body upon the “death” of the one they’re using - including the #6 body that got nuked in Caprica City.

cp, I don’t think “Shelly Godfrey” was corporeal, since the Marines tailing her said “she just turned a corner and disappeared”. Something like a holographic projection from that mysterious electronics box? One was removed from the Galactica bridge (and she told Baltar she knew it was Cylon but not what it did), but another just like it fell out of her handbag.

npc, everyone else on Galactica could see “Shelly” too. If Baltar is hallucinating, so is everyone, and identically. I ain’t buyin’ it.

I’ve been waiting for for Six to give Balthar some information that he wouldn’t already have access to. So far, the writers have been very careful to avoid this. For example, when 6 asks Balthar if he’s read the prophesy books, he says that he read them in 6th grade, so when she quotes them shes just reminding him of something he already knew. I was watching closely to see if the Cylons would fall for the human trap during the attack on the fuel refinery since Balthar knew of the trap and if his mental #6 could still communicate with the other Cylons, then they would know it to. Again the writers kept it ambiguous by having the Cylons “sort of” take the bait and by having Adama not tell Balthar the full plan.

My guess is that it’s a delusion. Balthar seems to be legitimately going insane with his recent delusions of being a messanger of god, and having hallucinations would fit into this.

I think she proposed it as a hypothetical. Regardless though, as already stated, if she’s a delusion, then what she says doesn’t mean much.

The cylons know about the detector, recall the bomb wielding cylon was headed towards Balthars part of the ship, presumably to destroy the detector and him, when Adama stopped him. It’s possible the real 6 accused Balthar to prevent him from finishing his device, and was unaware of his visions.

You don’t count telling him how to design the defense networking software so it had a trapdoor the Cylons knew about? Okay, maybe not, that revision of Six had a body.

Oh yes - the Cylons did know about the detector project. But how? Only Baltar, Adama, Roslin, and Gaeta knew about it. If there’s no chip in any of their heads, and no other hidden listening devices on board, then one of those is a Cylon, and it would have to be Gaeta.

In the same episode, Starbuck guesses what the Dr. is working on. If she can figure it out, then presumably most of the higherups also had enough info to do so, including Boomer, so the Cylons might have known it through her.

She left her eyeglasses behind.

malodorous: True dat.

carnivorousplant: The glasses? Just Moore messing with our heads. Where did she go? Anyway, I do think “Shelly” proves Six isn’t just a manifestation of Baltar’s subconscious, but a real Cylon.

Please, can we have some more SF shows that aren’t just about killing the bad guys and spouting technobabble?

This discussion reminds me of something else I have been wondering. Do cylon’s actually transfer their consciousness when they die, or do they merely believe that this happens?

Whether or not it actually happens, it is the belief that drives the cylons to do suicidal things to promote the greater agenda.

As I recall, Shelley came onboard from another ship in the fleet. Her mission might very well have been to wait until the suicide bomb had succeeded/failed and act further to hinder the cylon detector as necessary.


Her mission may have been to monitor the six-on-a-chip implant and how well it was controlling Balthar and act to drive him to god. This is almost certainly how Balthar sees things, IMO.

Either way, she would have had a pretty easy time concealing her presence since only Balthar had ever seen that she was a cylon. She likewise would have had no difficulty escaping, as it has been established that cylons are stronger and faster than we are when they choose to be. All she would have to do is turn the corner and run, or hop into one of those infamous access ducts (whatever they were called).

Regardless I am convinced that she was not a hologram or some-such because:
• The glasses thing at the end
• The disk she hands off to somebody with the doctored images
• The scene where she is trying to get close to Adama (I think she touches him, and regardless, she is trying to get close to him. If he goes for it and falls right through, she’s exposed then and there.)
• Holograms don’t need to use the Loo :slight_smile:
• Trek-style holography has not been established in this “universe” as existing anywhere

Everybody could see her because she was a physical copy of the six cylon model. As I recall, that version of six never said anything admitting to or hinting at the knowledge of the six in Balthar’s head or anything they had discussed, even when she and Balthar were alone. (Correct me if I’m missing something.)

If the ST holodeck could have tactile feedback, so could the Cylon version (what, you’re buying FTL jump travel but not that?). If she’s broadcasting mind-control rays, she doesn’t need tactile feedback anyway.

While Shelly was onboard (and nobody remembered seeing her on the shuttle, IIRC), we saw nothing of the V-chip version. If she was corporeal, she could have ported from the chip over to the body and then back when her work of establishing Baltar’s street cred was done.

Re the wireless thing, there may not have been ship-to-ship video communications capability due to bandwidth restrictions or somewhat. Some jury-rigged audio-only wireless system like the one shown may be all that most of the fleet has. But in that case, why bother with the fancy setting for “The Colonial Gang” talk show? Publicity stills?

I think the fact there may be Cylon bugs has been sadly ignored. 20th century tech can make bugs that are very small and hard to see, so why can’t cylon tech? It doesn’t need to be as large and bulky as that big object they found above the bridge in the miniseries.

The star trek holodeck is also a specilized room equiped to create those holograms and uses replicator technology to make them “real” so as to give them tacticle feedback.

In the BSG universe, there is no indication that there are holograms. There is no inidication that there are replicators that would make the holograms “Solid” and there is no indication of mind-control rays.

And there is certinarly no indication that a hologram could be broadcasting mind control rays.

Hell, the only thing that would make some sense is something like the “Hard Light” bee from Red Dwarf, and we have no evidence they are anywhere near that advanced.