For all the hand-wringing, Hammer believes the Cylon plotline enriches the provocative question at the center of season 3's stories: ''How do you know which side you should root for?'' She hopes Galactica's audience can grow this season; if it doesn't, its current ratings and network-enhancing reputation combined with ancillary revenues from DVD sales and the hugely popular original webisodes that have netted 1.8 million downloads since launching earlier this month still make it a very valuable asset. Sackhoff puts it in perspective: ''The show is good because we're on a smaller network that allows us the freedom to take chances. I don't know if this show could go mainstream, and if we'll get any bigger than we already are. Let them have their Grey's Anatomy, you know? We'll keep our secret to ourselves until it's time to give it up and move along.''
Like the original Galactica, this version has an implicit conclusion: the eventual discovery of Earth. Moore and Eick say they have an ending in mind, but won't say if it involves the Galactica and its fleet actually reaching our fair planet. Ask the cast, and they'll tell you (after insisting that Galactica is really about the journey, not the end...blah blah blah) about a popular joke on the set: The series' climactic scene will find the fleet being blown to bits by America's president. ''You know it's never going to end happy,'' teases Park. ''They think Earth is this magical Eden, but we all know how we treat each other here. Then again, you know the Cylons are just going to follow them to Earth and bring their little war to our backyard. So maybe it would be better all around if [the American president] ordered a nuclear strike on Galactica. That would be like the biggest 'F--- you.''' Or frak you, as it were.