In my humble opinion of course. There will always be some who don't agree, some who think some other Sci Fi show like Fringe is better (which I do have to say is my favourite currently running Sci Fi TV show or at least tied with Doctor Who) but what makes it hard is that all of these shows Sci Fi fans love are all so different that it's hard to compare much less state an honest preference. Both Star Trek and BSG are shows where humanity are in ships in space, but one reflects a hope of what our civilization could one day be, while the other reflects what our civilization is like today. Where another occurs on a moving island with all kinds of weird things going on (Lost) another takes place in our current time and is more closely realistic to contemporary times (Fringe, X Files) so we are all free to claim which we like best, for our own reasons... and that's okay too.
In order to save time, space, I'm going to be a bit more selective discussing well developed characters, simply because they're all very well constructed, but we'll take a look at those who most impacted the story line, namely, those who discover they are actually Cylon sleepers, so... SPOILER ALERT!!!
In the 2003 mini series, there's no official opening for the show which would have been a spoiler for the fact Sharon "Boomer" Valerii was a Cylon "sleeper" agent serving as a Raptor Pilot aboard the Battlestar Galactica under Commander Adama. She believes she is human because she has been implanted with false memories of being raised on Troy by her parents Katherine and Abraham Valerii, who supposedly died in an accident killing all the family members on the mining colony.
Boomer and "Chief of the Deck" Galen Tyrol are secretly involved in a relationship which is against military protocol as she is an officer and he's enlisted (though the fact doesn't seem to be a well kept secret amongst the crew) Unbeknownst to her, she unconsciously performs a number of sabotage actions (including bombing the Galactica's water tanks) Tyrol trusts her and hides evidence implicating her in the water bombing but later suspicious events cause him to break off his relationship with her.
In time, she begins to suspect something may be wrong with her and asks Gaius Baltar to administer a blood test to determine whether or not she is a Cylon (a fact Head Six immediately alluded to) Although his test demonstrates she is in fact a Cylon, he decides to not inform anyone out of fear she will kill him. For a while she is relieved but gradually her suspicions return and she attempts suicide but is prevented from killing herself by her programming.
Unaware of her true plight, Adama sends Boomer on a mission to destroy the basestar (living ship) orbiting Kobol. On the basestar, she encounters numerous Number Eight copies identical to herself but she refuses to accept she is a Cylon and personally sets the bomb. After her triumphant return to Galactica, her hidden programming kicks in and she unconsciously shoots Adama twice in the chest, putting him in a coma.
She is put in the brig and violently interrogated by Colonel Tigh, now in command of Galactica during Adama's incapacity. Tyrol is also suspected of being a Cylon because of his relationship with her, and is thrown in her cell. He tells her not to speak to him or even touch him; he insists she is a machine and nothing like him (lol)
Boomer's consciousness is then downloaded into a new body and she tries to live on Caprica like in her old life as a human and resists being identified with the Cylon cause, despite their view her and Caprica Six as heroes. Over time, she begins to open up to Caprica Six, who like her has been transformed by their love for a human. They decide to try to persuade the Cylons some of their actions against mankind are wrong prompting Number Three to threaten to have them "boxed" (placing their consciousness into "cold storage)
Sharon "Athena" Agathon, another copy of Sharon who is fully aware of her true nature, first appears when she joins then-Lieutenant Karl 'Helo' Agathon after he is stranded on the Cylon-occupied planet Caprica after giving up his seat on the evacuating Raptor for Baltar because he is an important man. Pretending to be the "original" Sharon who had returned to help him, she was in fact working with the other Cylons on an experiment to have him fall in love with her. While her intentions at the beginning of the experiment are strictly part of the Cylon plan, she eventually falls genuinely in love with Helo, and tries to help him escape from the other Cylons.
While on Caprica, Sharon and Helo encounter Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace, who realises that Sharon is a Cylon "copy" and attempts to shoot her, but is stopped by Helo. Sharon flees in Starbuck's captured Cylon Raider, casting doubt on her intentions. She returns later to aid Helo and a human resistance movement rescue Starbuck from a Cylon facility. Though only Helo trusts her, the group allows Sharon to accompany them as they rejoin President Laura Roslin's portion of the Colonial fleet, separated from Galactica and she adopts the name Athena and eventually gains the trust of Adama and the the crew, convincing Helo at one point to shoot and kill her so she can resurect on the Cylon baseship Adama refused to let her return to attempt a rescue of their daughter (kidnapped by Boomer while on a diplomatic mission on the Cylon's behalf)
Following Athena's resurrection, Caprica Six brings Athena to the room on the Base Ship where Boomer is caring for the child. Athena insists that Hera's illness could be cured by the human doctors on Galactica, a possibility that neither wishes to consider. After a heated discussion regarding the fate of the child, Boomer becomes emotionally unstable suggesting that the experiment be abandoned and Hera killed. Caprica promptly kills Boomer for considering the death of the child and before their actions can be discovered, Caprica gets them to a Raptor, and the trio escape to Galactica.
The final five
The Thirteenth Tribe was a race identified as Cylon. Between 3,000 and 4,000 years prior to the events of the Miniseries, they left Kobol and settled on a planet they dubbed Earth. It is implied that the humans and Cylons of Kobol had a destructive war between them as would happen in the 12 Colonies but the nature of the possible conflict wasn't explored. Eventually, these Cylons developed the ability to sexually reproduce and resurrection technology fell into disuse and was lost. 2,000 years prior to the miniseries, the "Final Five" began work to redevelop resurrection, having been warned by mysterious "angels" that a disaster possibly similar to the one on Kobol was coming. When life on Earth was destroyed in a nuclear war between the thirteenth tribe of humanoid Cylons and their mechanical Cylon creations (caused by maltreatment of the mechanical Cylons at the hands of the humanoids), the Final Five managed to download into a vessel they had in orbit.
The Final Five wanted to warn the humans of the Twelve Colonies to treat their Cylon workers well in order to prevent another catastrophe. However, not having yet developed FTL travel, the Five necessarily traveled at sub-lightspeed taking approximately 2,000 years (relative to Earth and other planets outside of the ship while only a few years passed inside the ship due to Special Relativity). When they arrived, the Twelve Colonies of Kobol, descendants of the original 12 tribes, had already created Cylon Centurions which had revolted from mistreatment and a war was raging as happened on Earth.
The Colonies counter-attacked with military force and the first Cylon War commenced, lasting roughly twelve and a half years. The Final Five also learned that the Centurions were trying to develop organic bodies through experiments on humans, resulting in the first Hybrid. In order to end the war against the humans, the Final Five agreed to assist the Centurions producing model numbers One to Seven and resurrection technology. The war ended with an armistice and an attempt by the Colonies to establish diplomatic relations between the parties.
The Cylons disappeared and were not seen by the Colonies for another forty years, despite the annual dispatching of a Colonial representative to a space station that had been built to serve as neutral territory for diplomatic meetings. The first of the Colonial humanoid Cylons, John Cavil, refused to let their creators', the five Kobolian Humanoid Cylons, care for humanity blind them. He suffocated the Final Five and boxed their memories before they were resurrected. He then periodically sent them to the Colonies so that they would see how terrible humanity was.
Tyrol has served in the Colonial Fleet since he was 18 years old, working at various points on Battlestars Pegasus, Columbia, Atlantia, and Galactica. Adama's states Tyrol has served under his command for over five years, possibly Tyrol als on the Valkyrie as well. His experience appears to extends beyond mechanical knowledge when he is stranded on the surface of Kobol - with actions that suggest a strong grasp of tactical and other military knowledge, as well as an extremely high level of competence overall.
Adama is known to hold him in very high esteem with Colonel Tigh's acknowledgement "the old man has a soft spot" for him. Tyrol even modeled his own style of leadership on Adama's, and generally keeps a professional demeanor - although Tyrol tends to become overly protective, sometimes even irrational, when anyone under his command is injured or killed.
Going into season three, Tyrol entertains thoughts of committing suicide when he begins to believe he may be a Cylon sleeper agent viciously attacking Cally when she wakes him from a nightmare, prompting him to seek religious counsel. Brother Cavil's guidance convinces Tyrol that he isn't a Cylon, and makes him aware of Cally's feelings towards him. However, the meeting with Brother Cavil later allows Tyrol to expose the priest as a humanoid Cylon when a duplicate copy returns from the Caprica rescue mission.
During the Cylon occupation, Tyrol served as an active member of the resistance, bombing strategic targets and recruiting new members. After the colonists escape Cylon occupied New Caprica, Tyrol is appointed by then President Tom Zarek to be a member of "The Circle," (a six person jury charged with trying and executing humans suspected of collaborating with the Cylons) When Felix Gaeta is tried, Tyrol reveals Gaeta was the "inside source" the resistance relied upon, effectively exonerating him. Soon after, The Circle disbands. Tyrol and Cally return to duty aboard Galactica.
After the fleet makes its way to the algae planet, Tyrol is one of those assigned to the base camp on the planet during the algae harvesting process. He feels compelled to walk into the hills above the camp where he discovers the Temple of Five, a place which his parents revered. He tries to find the location of the Eye of Jupiter within the temple but the Cylons make their move forcing them to abandon the temple. Tyrol cannot bring himself to activate the explosives he placed there, and by the time then-Major Lee Adama presses the detonator it is too late, the devices have been disconnected by the Cylons. Afterward, Tyrol finds Gaius Baltar within the temple and knocks him unconscious before he and the rest of the humans on the planet's surface return to Galactica as the local star goes supernova.
one of President Laura Roslin's chief aides and advisors) become aware that they are Cylons, based on hallucinatory music (which turns out to be a cover of "All Along The Watchtower" written by Bob Dylan) that only they can hear because of a "switch" Tyrol believes has gone off within them.
When Tyrol and the other three Final Five Cylons begin meeting in secret, Tyrol's wife Cally becomes suspicious of him being away from her all the time. After seeing him meeting in the bar with Tory, she believes he is having an affair, but she later listens in on a meeting between Galen, Tory and Tigh and finds out her husband is a Cylon.
After he returns to their quarters she knocks him out with a wrench and takes their child to commit suicide in an airlock. However, Tory comes and attacks her, takes the baby and then opens the air lock killing Cally. Tyrol gives a eulogy for his wife and is obviously deeply affected by it when it affects his work. Later, while Admiral Adama comes and meets him in the bar telling him he can take time off or have more work, Tyrol imagines Adama saying it was his fault Cally died and he goes ballistic, ranting and raving about how he settled for Cally because Boomer turned out to be a Cylon. Adama demotes him after he refuses to calm down, removing him from duty on the hangar deck and orders him to report to Petty Officer Basim for reassignment.
When Tigh reveals himself, Sam Anders and Tyrol to be Cylons, Lee Adama gives a full pardon to the final four (before going down to Earth) When on Earth, Tyrol explores the area and is drawn to the remains of a wall that has a silhouette burned into it matching his shadow exactly. Upon touching it, Tyrol experiences a flashback of his life on Earth 2000 years ago. He is strolling down a crowded market street when he is suddenly engulfed by a nuclear explosion. Tyrol then realizes he and the rest of the Final Five Cylons had previously lived past lives on Earth, (and remembered being in a relationship with Tory)
During the series finale, Tyrol is among the volunteers who join Adama's mission to rescue Hera Agathon. While he and the rest of the Final Five are downloading the secrets of resurrection to the Cylons, their minds temporarily combine and Tyrol discovers Tory Foster was responsible for Cally's death. He breaks the download and kills Tory in anger, but is later forgiven, as Tigh remarks if Tory had killed Ellen, he would have done exactly the same thing.
Before the Destruction of the Twelve Colonies, Tory was a precinct captain for the Federalist Party in Delphi on Caprica for five years. During the nuclear attack on the Colonies she was driving down a road on Caprica and got hit by the force of a nuclear shock wave Although her car was destroyed and she was injured, she managed to survive the shock wave and was presumably picked up by a Raptor that landed nearby looking for survivors.
Following the death of Billy Keikeya, Tory Foster became one of President Laura Roslin's chief aides and advisors, taking a particular responsibility for managing Roslin's election campaign. One of her first moves is to take an opinion poll (of which she is an expert) the results of which clearly show Roslin leading her presumptive opponent, Tom Zarek. She plays a part in finding a human foster mother for the half-Cylon child Hera Agathon and is one of the few people who know the child is alive. She counsels Roslin during the Rya Kibby case, as she weighs up the consequences of appeasing the pro-life beliefs of the Gemenese and the need to repopulate the human race versus the individual rights and freedoms guaranteed under Colonial law before the attack.
During the Cylon occupation of New Caprica, Foster joined the human resistance movement, serving again as Laura Roslin's aide working to compile a list of known Cylon collaborators among the human population. She helped to organize the swift and orderly evacuation of the civilian population to their assigned vessels, and is one of the last people to see Maya (adopted mother of Hera/Isis) as the evacuation takes place. Despite having two bodyguards, Maya does not make it off New Caprica and Hera is captured by Number Three.
After her realization she is on of the final five, Tory Foster participates in clandestine final-four Cylon meetings (Anders, Foster, Tigh, Tyrol). Tigh suggests Gaius Baltar as a potential source of information, citing Baltar's previous time spent among the Cylons; Foster attempts to gain Gaius' confidence via professed admiration and seduction. Despite her initial objection to actual sexual relations, she succums to Baltar's charm during which she weeps. When Baltar asks why she is crying, she says it's just something she does, and things could be worse: she could be a Cylon. Baltar tells her he believes Cylons can feel, and, touched, she stops crying and kisses him in earnest.
When she discovers Cally has overheard one of the clandestine meetings, she follows her to a Viper launch tube, dissuades Cally from killing herself and secures the infant, but then ejects the mother out the tube herself. After which Tory seems to embrace her Cylon-self more than the other three of the final five (the other three are attempting to maintain their human selves the same way that Boomer did)
Under the pretence of bringing Laura Roslin her medication, she flies to the Cylon basestar, where she is introduced to her fellow Cylons and tells Roslin and Baltar about her true nature. During the ensuing stand off between Three and Galactica over the remaining three Cylons, she helps Three's cause by informing her of Lee Adama's perceived weaknesses. When the fleet arrives at Earth and discovers it is a barren world destroyed by a nuclear catastrophe and once populated by Cylons, Foster and her fellow Final Five Cylons begin remembering details about their past lives on the planet.
Since being publicly identified as a member of the Final Five Cylons, Foster has taken up full time residence on board the rebel basestar, living with the Twos, Sixes (less Caprica-Six), and Eights (less Sharon Agathon & Sharon Valerii). Her fellow Cylons appear to have also given her equal status in their command hierarchy, as evident by her behaviour during Gaeta's Mutiny.
Tory reluctantly volunteers for the mission to rescue Hera, partially due to the insistence of Tyrol and assists Ellen in maintaining the link between Anders and Galactica during the battle (Anders was shot in the neck he linked to the basestar) After agreeing to share resurrection technology with the Cylons in exchange for a truce, Tory becomes nervous the sharing process will involve a pooling of her memories with the rest of the Five, (which will reveal the truth about the murder of Cally) Tory asks the others to pledge that no matter what they find out about each other, they will forgive each other for it. Tigh agrees and the Five start the process, but when Tyrol sees her memory of murdering Cally he breaks the download to strangle Tory, snapping her neck in retribution.
Sammuel T. Anders
Becoming a star player in the popular Colonial sport of Pyramid for the Caprica Buccaneers, Anders and his team were undergoing high altitude training in the mountains and thus escaped the initial devastation. Anders rounded up other survivors, supplies and weapons, the team, with Anders as their leader, became the nucleus of a functioning resistance group against the Cylon occupation, operating from a wilderness base in the vicinity of the city of Delphi.
Anders wasn't aware that he ended up with two Cylons in his resistance movement: a Simon (who he found out about when he rescued Starbuck) and a Cavil who grew sympathetic towards humanity due to his time in the Resistance. It was in the area of their base that they encountered Lieutenant Kara Thrace (Starbuck) and Karl Agathon (Helo) when Thrace returned to Caprica to retrieve the Arrow of Apollo on the orders of President Laura Roslin.
When Thrace and Anders swiftly formed a relationship and she had to return to the Fleet, she promised him that she will return to Caprica and rescue his group, securing this promise by giving Anders her fleet dogtags. However, President Roslin and Commander Adama deny Starbuck's request to lead a search and rescue mission back to Caprica, stating the situation is too dangerous. Meanwhile, Anders's team struggle to survive and continue their attacks on the Cylons.
During a sabotage mission, Anders is caught in the rubble of a parking structure where he encounters the Cylons Caprica Six, Sharon "Boomer" Valerii along with a Number Three copy who attempts to kill Anders, but is turned on by sympathetic Caprica Six and Valerii (Number Eight) allowing Anders to escape. Once Thrace is finally given the go-ahead to lead a group of Raptors to Caprica and gather the survivors, Anders's team comes under attack by Cylon Centurions who discover their encampment and drive them out, forcing the heavily outnumbered resistance group deep into the wilderness. After an unsettling 18-hour standoff, the team discovers the Cylons have completely withdrawn from the area. A mysterious survivor among the group (later discovered to be a copy of the Cylon John Cavil), announces the Cylons have left the planet.
Anders and Thrace begin a proper relationship which causes torn feelings for Lee Adama. During the year that passes after settling on New Caprica, Thrace and Anders marry and the two live in a tent in the ramshackle "New Caprica City" under the neglectful authority of President Gaius Baltar. Anders becomes seriously ill with pneumonia at one point, but makes a full recovery. After the Cylons invade New Caprica at the end of the second season, and Starbuck is taken into custody by the Cylon Leoben Conoy, Anders once again finds himself as one of the leaders of the resistance against a Cylon occupation as seen at the beginning of the third season.
Following the escape from Cylon occupied New Caprica, Anders becomes one of the six members of the Circle but quits after thirteen excutions having lost his taste for revenge, and is immediately replaced by his wife as a new member. Anders and Thrace subsequently quarrel, which exposes numerous deep rifts that had emerged in their marriage and the two separate.
Anders and Thrace try to reconcile their marriage, but Thrace's growing love for Lee Adama makes things difficult.
Anders asks her to go with him to another ship for some much needed rest and relaxation to which she replies she would think about it. The two never fully resolve their soured relationship before Starbuck's apparent death leading Anders to start drinking heavily.
Anders, signed up for flight training (becoming one of the boys in Starbucks absence) then along with his fellow hidden Cylons, Foster, Tyrol and Saul Tigh, begins to hear strange music coming from a radio in Joe's Bar. He is initially appalled by the discovery but after Saul Tigh declares his loyalty to the Fleet, regardless of who he might be, Anders follows his lead and reports for duty to prepare for battle against the Cylon fleet.
Anders flies his first battle mission but cannot fire upon his targeted Cylon ship due to the weapons being jammed. The Cylon raider scans his eye and recognizes him as a Cylon, and the Cylon fighters retreat to their baseships and jump away. After being reunited with the newly returned Thrace, who is thought by many to be a Cylon, Anders tells her he will still love her even if she is. Kara replies if he were a Cylon, she would kill him with no qualms. He and the other three Cylons meet in secret and he is later assigned as a member of Thrace's crew on the Demetrius, on a secret mission to find Earth.
While aboard the Demetrius, Anders tries to reconnect with his wife and reassure the rest of the crew of the ship who are lacking confidence in Thrace's ability and purpose (especially when she begins to take advice from the captured Cylon, Leoben Conoy). When the crew eventually mutiny against Thrace, Anders is one of the few who comes to his wife's aid even going so far as to shoot Felix Gaeta in the leg to prevent him jumping the Demetrius back to the human fleet against Thrace's wishes. Anders continues to show his loyalty to his wife by accompanying her to the damaged Cylon basestar and assisting her with her plans.
Thrace is shocked when it is revealed that her husband is a Cylon, but near the end of the episode they are seen together in the corridor paying respect to a photo of deceased comrade Louanne Katraine. On the destroyed Earth, Anders finds the remains of a guitar and begins to subconsciously play the song All Along the Watchtower on it, and remembers he had once played the song for the woman he loved. He then realizes that he, along with the other members of the Final Five, had lived their past lives on Earth.
During the mutiny led by Felix Gaeta and Tom Zarek, Anders is badly beaten and thrown into the brig with the other prisoners loyal to Admiral Adama. They are eventually freed by Thrace and Lee Adama, but Anders is shot in the neck during their escape. Romo Lampkin (appointed by Roslin and Adama as Baltar's Public Defender after Baltar's previous attorney was assassinated in a bombing) helps Kara take her husband to Dr. Cottle.
Anders experiences a reawakening of his Cylon memories due to the brain damage caused by the bullet wound. He attempts to educate his fellow 'Final Five' crew members regarding their purpose and destiny, but eventually succumbs to his wounds. He remains comatose after the bullet is removed, but begins to show unusual brain activity is not indicative of conscious thought, and a Number Eight suggests linking him to the datastream aboard the Baseship
Once connected, he begins mimicking the mannerisms of the baseship Hybrids, down to the incoherent but prophetic ramblings. Thrace visits and requests to be alone with him. Saying her goodbyes she attempts to kill him by gunshot to the head, but Anders, acting on reflex, catches and almost crushes Thrace's forearm, telling her, just as another Basestar Hybrid did, that she is the Harbinger of Death while power fluctuations, which have been going on for sometime on Galactica grow much worse, including surging power levels of the main engines. Anders releases Thrace and the power fluctuations subside but do not end.
It is determined Anders is directly (though inadvertently) interacting with Galactica’s power grid via the Cylon organic resin applied to her superstructure for repair purposes, in effect, Anders has become Galactica’s own Hybrid. Disturbed by this development, Colonel Tigh orders that Anders be disconnected. Removed from the datastream, Anders reverts to his comatose state. Thrace once again visits her husband because she believes there is a pattern in a drawing given to her by Hera Agathon, which turned out to be a representation of musical notes for a song Thrace's father played for her as a child. She is determined to get answers from Anders and reconnects him to talk to him. When he is plugged back in, the power surges briefly return but then subside as he vocalizes the line of code "New command". By the point, Thrace has apparently accepted the permanence of Anders’ condition.
Anders plays a pivotal role in the Battle of the Colony, as, acting in the role of Galactica's Hybrid, he is able to remotely access the Cylon colony's Hybrids and take both them and the weapons that they control offline, preventing Galactica's destruction.
Ellen Tigh is the wife of Colonel Saul Tigh. At the beginning of the series, he believes she has been killed during the Cylon attack of the Colonies while he was on Galactica (her only appearance until midway through the first season was in a picture seen being burned by Saul) Ellen, according to Adama, "slept with half the fleet while Saul was in space."
With a show as great as BSG, we are lead to believe Ellen's continuous infidelity is the reason behind Col. Saul Tigh's alcoholism, but as the series progresses, we discover more and more about the characters with the twists and turns rounding every corner of the frame of each episode (like the fact he's actually a Cylon, priceless)
When Ellen Tigh returns, she claims to have been rescued by an unknown hero and brought on the last flight off of Picon after she was knocked unconscious when Cylons attacked the airport. In the weeks after the exodus of the refugee fleet, she is on board the Rising Star, but until a week before her reunion with her husband, the crew do not remember seeing or administering medical care to her. Thus, William Adama has her blood tested by Gaius Baltar, who tells Adama and Laura Roslin she is human, but in a conversation with Six, he indicates he may have lied.
Ellen enjoys flirting with various men and working to enhance her and Saul's personal position. During the first Quorum of Twelve assembly, she shaook hands with terrorist-turned-politician Tom Zarek immediately after her husband refused to, explaining it was to get their picture in the media.
When Adama was hospitalized after his attempted assassination, it was Ellen who convinced Saul to take control of the fleet and declare martial law. When Saul's brief reign proved a disaster, Ellen scolded her husband heavily for not having the will to take control. Saul blamed Ellen for manipulating him, though she countered by saying she did what she did for the both of them.
On Cylon occupied New Caprica, in an attempt to gain information for the Human insurgency as well as trying to secure the release of her husband, Ellen Tigh had several sexual encounters with Cavil (who also uses Colonel Tigh as leverage against her to gain information about the insurgency, leading to the Cylon ambush on Lt. Sharon Agathon's marine landing on New Caprica) Her treachery is revealed when a dead Cylon is found with directions to the landing site written in the hand of Samuel Anders. Ellen had offered to burn these instructions, but instead swapped them with other papers.
While her husband knows she has done this out of love for him, he also knows any betrayal of the Resistance is punishable only by death, and with Anders warning the other members of the Resistance will kill Ellen themselves if Saul does not, he holds her, telling her he loves her and he gives her a poisoned drink killing her softly.
It is later revealed Ellen is the twelfth Cylon and, like the other four of the Final Five, she had a life on Earth 2,000 years prior. It is revealed Ellen and the other Final Five Cylons were working on Earth to recreate resurrection technology, which had been lost to the thirteenth tribe after they left Kobol and learned to sexually reproduce.
To end the Cylon war with the humans, Ellen offered to build humanoid models for the Cylons and give them resurrection technology. Her first creation, Cavil became sadistic and believed Ellen favored a later model, Daniel, over him (Cavil poisoned the genetic code of the Daniel model, effectively ending his line, and killed the Final Five Cylons) Upon their resurrection, Cavil blocked access to their original memories and placed them in the twelve colonies to witness firsthand the evils of humanity while thinking themselves to be human.
Ellen resurrects aboard a Cylon ship, where John Cavil holds her prisoner. (her appearance seems to suggest a relationship between her and the Sixes) But by downloading into a new body, she regained the memories that Cavil had blocked decades earlier, and the newly regained knowledge and wisdom gained over many lifetimes at first seems to alter her personal character born of a wider view of the universe than that granted by a single lifetime as a human.
After the Resurrection Hub is destroyed, Cavil attempts to acquire Ellen's knowledge of resurrection technology. Ellen in the absence of the other four is unable to help Cavil, and rebukes his assertion the bodies she had designed for the humanoid Cylons were imperfect. Unlike Cavil who despises his human traits as weaknesses, Ellen argues humans, for all their imperfections, have something real and precious: Love, compassion, creativity, emotion.
I'm not sure if any character suffered more widely than Col. Tigh. After the Cylon occupation of New Caprica, Tigh was the highest-ranking officer left on the planet, leading a human resistance movement, with Chief Galen Tyrol and Samuel Anders as his right-hand men. Once jailed and tortured several times by the Cylons for acts of resistance against them, his right eye is violently ripped out. Now even more embittered, Tigh allows volunteers to carry out suicide bombings against the Cylons, despite qualms from others within the Human community.
Tigh reluctantly kills his wife by poisoning after she betrays the resistance to the Cylons (having an ongoing sexual relationship with Cavil to get Tigh out of jail) despite being threatened with his death if she did not provide information on the resistance, Saul is left little choice to take action the resistance would insist upon.
Following the rescue from New Caprica and a deep rift between the fleet personnel and those who survived the occupation, Tigh expresses bitterness and resentment over Captain Karl "Helo" Agathon's continued occupation of his former position as XO of Galactica, stemming from rage toward anyone he considers a Cylon collaborator. Adama confronts Tigh, accusing him of spreading discontent and lowering morale. Adama tells Tigh he is to stay in his quarters until he can return to being the man Adama has come to know after 30 years of service together. Tigh replies, "that man doesn't exist anymore, Bill, and you won't be seeing me again," and returns to his quarters, drinking heavily from any bottle he can find.
When Lieutenant Daniel "Bulldog" Novacek is picked up by the Galactica after three years in Cylon captivity, driven by his depression and anger, Tigh reveals Adama's role in Bulldog's capture, saying bitterly "Sometimes surviving can be its own death sentence." Nevertheless, this incident ultimately provides the stimulus for him to break out of his downward spiral: when Bulldog attacks Adama, it is Tigh who comes to the rescue, saving his old friend's life and making Bulldog see how he was acting as an unwitting pawn of the Cylons.
After Adama is awarded a long-service medal by President Roslin, Tigh visits Adama in his quarters. Although still not sure of himself, he shares a drink with Adama and the two begin to talk and repair their friendship. Tigh, discovers he is one of the final five when a mental "switch" is activated giving he and the other three the revelation. As the four come to terms with this knowledge and its consequences, the Cylon fleet attacks. Tigh orders the others to report to their stations and defiantly declares, "My name is Saul Tigh. I'm an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Whatever else I am, whatever else it means, that's the man I want to be. And if I die today, that's the man I'll be."
Tigh eventually reveals his Cylon status to Adama, stating, "If I had the guts to airlock myself when I first found out, we wouldn't be in this mess" showing that despite his true nature, he still identifies himself with the human fleet. Tigh offers to let himself be jettisoned from an airlock in order to provide the Colonial Fleet with leverage against the Cylons, who do not want him harmed. Ultimately, Tigh and the remaining Final Five Cylons are given general amnesty by Acting President Lee Adama.
Upon finding Earth to have been devastated by a nuclear attack, Tigh has a vision that reveals his wife, Ellen, was actually the final Cylon.When Ellen rejoins the fleet she is angry with Saul for the relationship he has had with Caprica Six and votes that the Cylons leave the fleet. Saul refuses to leave and tells Caprica Six to go with the rest of the Cylons. Ellen, upset with Saul, attempts to put herself on an even keel with Caprica and claims Saul loves the ship and Adama more than both of them. Caprica becomes upset and collapses, eventually losing the child she and Saul had intended to name Liam.
When Adama calls for volunteers for a rescue mission for Hera Agathon, Tigh volunteers immediately alongside Ellen. During the Battle of The Colony, Tigh coordinates the battle with Adama in CIC. When a fire breaks out near Anders, he goes up with Tyrol to put it out and stays on the balcony afterwards. During the attempt to get Cavil to stop all of this and release Hera who he has taken hostage in CIC, Tigh offers him resurrection technology if he agrees to let Hera go and stop chasing humanity.
After he agrees, the Five combine together to send the plans for resurrection to The Colony and Tigh tells a nervous Tory they forgive her sins when she gets worried about everyone seeing everyone else's memories. Tigh is shocked to discover Tory murdered Cally and can only watch as Tyrol kills Tory in revenge, sparking a firefight that results in the demise of the attacking Cylon forces led by Cavil. After Galactica jumps away, Tigh resumes his duties as XO and reports that Galactica suffered critical structural failures, "broke her back" and can't jump anymore. After landing on their new home planet which they name Earth, Tigh and Ellen say goodbye to Tyrol who plans to go off and live as a hermit. Tigh forgives him for killing Tory, saying he'd have done the same thing if someone had done that to Ellen. Tigh and Ellen rekindle their relationship and go off to spend the rest of their lives together.
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