Six Degrees of Separation is the seventh episode of the 2004 TV series Battlestar Galactica and aired during the show's first season.
It is twenty-four days after the Fall of the Twelve Colonies. Dr. Gaius Baltar observes a tissue sample in a microscope to dismiss Messenger Six's claim of them being made by God. Believing her to be a sophisticated computer program playing in his head through a chip, he jokes that her attempts to form a personal relationship between himself and God are the result of a computer glitch and she needs to be rebooted. Finally dismissing religion as proof that Cylons' lack the intelligence, he notices she has completely disappeared from the recreation of his Caprican home. He asks out loud for her to bed him, but causes confusion when Petty Officer Second Class Anastasia Dualla opens the hatch, thinking it is addressed to her. He apologises for thinking out aloud and is taken to CIC to meet with Commander William Adama. The Commander is standing with a Number Six, under the name of Shelly Godfrey. Ms. Godfrey claims to have information proving Dr. Balter's involvement in sabotaging the defense manframe.
Accused of being an imposer who Dr. Baltar has never seen before, Godfrey claims to be a systems analyst with the Defense Ministry, and a close associate of Dr. Amarak, who she says had photographic evidence linking Dr. Baltar to the networking failure that destroyed the Colonial Fleet three weeks ago. He tries to break down the argument due to Dr. Amorak's recent death, preventing him corroborating her story. Godfrey hands over a security recording of the defense mainframe building, which she claims to show Dr. Baltar carrying a briefcase containing explosives into the building, which exploded just before the attack. The image is blurry, so Commander Adama assigns Lt. Felix Gaeta to enhance the photograph - particularly the man's reflection in the window. Work on the Cylon Detector is halted and plans for its disassembly are put in place should be be identified.
At the same time that Dr. Baltar is being investigated, Chief Tyrol struggles to figure out how to operate the Raptor captured by Lt. Kara Thrace, as her description of stimulating its organs is too vague. Lt. Thrace is let out of sickbay by Major Cottle to begin physical therapy for her injured knee.
Dr. Baltar is given a chance to phone President Roslin, and he asks to allowed onto Colonial One. However, he has been put on the no fly list for security reasons. He informs her he suspects Godfrey is a Cylon, but gets no answer. Billy Keikeya finds her collapsed on her desk and urges Dr. Baltar to get Major Cottle over. The reports of the President's lapse makes it through the fleet, but it is quietly covered-up as a flu virus. Major Cottle berates the President when he gets onboard, finding it was because she overdosed on her medication.
Commander Adama meets with Shelly Godfrey to get more information. She drink with him at his quarters, where she tells him how Dr. Amarak became paranoid the Olympic Carrier had been infiltrated by Cylons and that he sent her off-ship with the crucial data just before the ship disappeared. She tries to seduce him after confessing her love for the doctor in the hopes of further convincing him. The Commander becomes suspicious of her, and orders that a Marine team discretely follow her around the ship, and for her not to be allowed to leave.
On Cylon-occupied Caprica, Lt. Karl Agathon and the Number Eight posing as Lt. Sharon Valerii are pursued by Centurions through a wooded area, but they make it under a bridge.
When Lt. Gaeta stops his work to go to the restroom, Dr. Baltar quietly follows him to discretely ask about the investigation. He offers to show him ways around security that would allow a faked disc to appear real, but Lt. Gaeta refuses to let him into the lab to do so, and quickly leaves to avoid further talk. Dr. Baltar finds Godfrey has entered the room, and corners her in a cubical, where declares her to be a Cylon copy, realising she is not Messenger Six at all. He is kicked out of the cubical and causes a scene when he starts shouting. Embarrassed, he leaves.
Lt. Valerii approaches Chief Tyrol while he services the Raider, where he has been having problems getting it to operate. She suggests it be treated as a pet - her descriptions disturb him. Col. Tigh returns to the sick bay finding Lt. Thrace has given up on the therapy and returned to her bed. She eventually goes down to check, and climbs inside the Raider. Rather than treat it like a Viper, Chief Tyrol suggests she treat it like an animal, which works.
Dr. Balter discusses the current matters with Commander Adama, where he voices his concern Godfrey is a Cylon agent. The Cylon Detector is close to completion, and all he needs is a tissue sample to prove her identity. However, he is warned that the detector will be dismantled if he is found guilty, and Lt. Gaeta will not be able to perform a test on Godfrey. In a desperate attempt to exonerate himself, Baltar distracts Gaeta with a fire alarm on C deck and attempts to destroy the damning photograph which Gaeta has managed to clean up, revealing his face. Dr. Baltar fails and is arrested and finds no help even from President Roslin who, in a situation where someone's human identity is in doubt, has a gut feeling he is guilty.
Stopping for the night, Lt. Agathon admits his love for the Number Eight, telling her that he had always respected her relationship with Chief Tyrol but had wanted to be the one with her. The two subsequently have sex during a thunderstorm with Lt. Agathon not noticing her spine glowing red. While they do so, the real Lt. Valerii is losing her grip on reality after seeing the world 'CYLON' written into a mirror.
Out of options, Dr. Baltar prays to God for his freedom, and pledges to carry out his teachings. Messenger Six returns to his side. Shortly afterwards, Lt. Gaeta returns with proof that the photograph was a fake and Dr. Baltar is exonerated. Gaeta notes that it was almost too easy to find the forgery, as if Godfrey wanted to be found out. Her arrest is ordered, but the two Marine guards report back to Col. Tigh that she has disappeared around a corner. Petty Officer Dualla similarly notes that ships in the fleet have reported in no one resembling her disembarked.
In the end, Roslin, who had a brief health scare due to overdosing on her cancer medication, publicly exonerates Dr. Baltar while exposing Godfrey as a Cylon agent to the fleet. Dr. Baltar is left wondering if Godfrey actually ever existed or if she was just a manifestation of his internal Six meant to bolster his reputation. However, Six doesn't clarify the matter.
- Story By:
- Teleplay By: Michael Angeli
- Directed by: Robert Young
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