SPOILER ALERT again. Just watch series three, alright?
It’s the conflicted characters that have all the fun, and few had more fun than Ellen Tigh. Never without a drink in her hand and a playful foot halfway up someone else’s leg, she’s a drunken schemer with a fine range of nightwear-cum-dresses (strange that she has a full wardrobe while the president has worn the same suit for three series…) In her brief appearances she cracked onto everything on the screen, normally with her husband sat right next to her. Apollo, Baltar, Cylons – she completed an impressive ABC of space hittings-on.
But however much playing away goes on, she and the good Colonel still love each other in a touching kinda way. When we see Saul on the verge of suicide in flashbacks at the beginning of series two, she’s still by his side. When he’s being held prisoner by the Cylons, she will sleep with Al off of Quantum Leap. And all of that grand political scheming to get him to rule the fleet was done, you suspect, not entirely out of selfish motives.
The obvious comparison – and the one that is alluded to more and more heavily as the programme goes on – is Lady Macbeth. She never stops trying to push her husband into a more important position, and you can always see the cogs turning through everything she does. Look at ‘Resistance’, when Adama wakes up from the coma he has been in for several episodes. When she sees that what she has been carefully scheming at for so long isn’t going to work, the camera follows her leave the room and almost wrench the doorframe off as she holds on to what she almost had.
It’s poignant that her ultimate demise didn’t come from her scheming, though, but instead for loving her husband too much. Watching Tigh have to poison for working with the Cylons to keep him free, even though they still love each other, is the saddest scene out of the whole of the last three seasons. The Colonel has been a more hollow character without her.
Personally, I’ve got my fingers crossed that she is going to turn out to be the last Cylon, just so she can make a grand comeback. The clues are there – it was never established how exactly she survived the initial attacks. And every other member of the Final Five has had another Cylon to love (Anders and Tory, the Chief and Sharon), so it makes sense. So hitch up your skirt, fill your glass and cross your fingers – there’s hope for the dead girl yet.