The final season of Battlestar Galactica has begun and the teaser commercials have posed the question: who is the 5th secret Cylon? While this will be the focus of the final ten BSG episodes, there are a number of other questions the series has presented that may not be resolved by the final curtain.
1. Why do Cylons’ spines glow red when they make love?
It would seem that such an obvious sexual tell would be counterproductive for a cadre of seductive simulacrums. In all the years of sexual subversion, did no human ever wonder why their incredibly attractive partners insisted on the missionary position?
We do know that Cylons like sex as much as the next automaton and that they are genetically compatible with humans. They claim to experience “love,” and they purport, at times, to having free will. One can only conclude that the glowing red spine was a feature meant to be included only in Christmas Cylons, but someone slipped in production.
2. How did Cylons develop monotheism?
BSG humans are portrayed as generally secular and polytheistic. Neither Greek nor Hebrew, but rather both and more, human BSG characters sport names or appellations like "Adama," "Apollo," "D'Anna" and for the coffee worshippers amongst us "Starbuck." Their twelve colonial worlds correspond to the twelve signs of the zodiac. They say things like "Thank the Gods" and "Gods help us."
The robotic Cylons are monotheistic, fanatical, and proselytizing. Despite their claim that their one god is “love,” or perhaps because of it, they bring about the destruction of the twelve human colonies, killing billions of people, and then zealously pursue the few survivors. There is one chilling scene from the first season when the Cylon attack is imminent and Number Six bends over a carriage to kill an infant. It is unclear whether this is an act of mercy or a preemptive strike.
The odd thing is that the Cylons, being robots, have already achieved eternal life. They literally cannot be killed. Or rather, we see them continually dying and then being reborn. Their reincarnation factory vessels are called “resurrection ships.” A reborn Cylon is not just of the same type or a clone, it is a recreation of the dead individual Cylon, downloaded from the original with memories and emotions intact. In other words, one of the core motivators of many of Earth’s religions is already an integral part of Cylon existence. The only exception to the rule is if a Cylon dies out of range of a resurrection ship. Then they truly die.