Re: Garibaldi in the flash-forward scene...no, it wasn't any kind of
"homage" to Aliens. (And for the most part, I try and stay clear of any
kind of homage unless it's primarily a throwaway; I want my story to be MY
story, not a bunch of homages.)
The single most moving kind of story for me is the "last man on the
bridge"...the last defender who has to hold the line while others get
away, knowing he will probably not survive it. This has great power for
me, and for many others, which is why it shows up again and again in
films, literature, TV and other venues. The Garibaldi scene has NOTHING
to do with Aliens, and everything to do with that figure.
Re: *why* it is that humans are special...has nothing to do with
sacrifice, or dedication (well, that's not quite true, it has something
to do with it), but that's not the totality of it. There's one more
element you don't know about yet, that won't be revealed until season two,
episode one, "Points of Departure." Once you see that episode, you'll
fully understand that there is one very particular thing about humans that
is very special indeed.
And yes, we did see the Grey Council guy in "Squared" who also showed
up in "Sky."