It’s been over a year since four assumed-humans were revealed as cylons, but Battlestar Galactica has finally returned. This fourth and final season of the show seems poised to answer more questions, while also creating more mysteries. The focus of the season premiere was divided among a few storylines. Let’s take a quick look at each one:
- Starbuck: The Real Deal or a Cheap Imitation? – The crew of Galactica put their heads together to determine whether or not the actual Starbuck had returned. However, so far they are still mystified. On the one hand, this Starbuck has the same feisty spirit as the one who everyone knew before her raptor exploded two months ago. On the other, her raptor is confirmed to not be her raptor – it’s an exact replica. So, some of the questions that the crew (and the audience) have are: who built this new raptor, why did two months seem like only two hours to Starbuck, and how is she back if they all saw her raptor explode? These are questions that I am sure will be explored throughout the season. Based on Starbuck’s headache every time the ship jumps, I also guess that we will see her get more and more agitated that no one is listening to her. I’d like to believe that this really is her, and that she is, indeed, a part of the grand prophecy foretold by the gods of Kobol.
- Baltar and his Band of Crazy Women – The latest development in Baltar’s struggle for self-preservation almost seemed like comic relief – with his desperate improvisation as he tried to tell the cult of crazies what they wanted to hear. But it quickly turned more serious as the dying little boy was introduced, and then Baltar started to actually believe (with a little convincing from Number 6) that God has chosen him to carry out his will. I am seeing a theme here of spirituality: the humans’ gods vs. the Cylons’ one true God. This is somewhat a continuation of previous seasons, but I’d imagine it will be even more crucial this season. It is hard to watch Baltar be so conniving and selfish, but that’s how he has been for the entire run of the show. So, that begs the question: has he genuinely had a change of heart, or is his new role as spiritual leader simply his latest attempt at survival?
- It’s Hard to Be a Cylon – Imagine you’ve just found out that everything you thought you knew about your life as a human was a fabrication, and that you are actually a Cylon, one of the enemy that you have hated. What would you do? This is the most interesting question posed by the show so far this season. In the premiere, we saw the newly revealed Cylons, particularly Colonel Tigh and Anders, struggle to suppress their Cylon nature and hold on to their human loyalty. The Colonel was horrified by the vision he had of him shooting Adama, but he shook it off and continued his duties in the latest Cylon attack. And after being scanned by one of the attacking Cylon ships, Anders fished for a reaction from Kara about what she would do if she found out someone close to her was a Cylon (to which he received the undesired response that she would not hesitate to shoot him). It will be very interesting to see how this “Cylons Anonymous” club will band together to hold each other accountable and to try to maintain their human cover. That will become more difficult now that Six has told President Roslin that the unknown Cylons are on the ship. I foresee much paranoia and second guessing in the coming episodes.
I’m not yet prepared to theorize about who the final Cylon is. At this point, it could be anyone. I will just continue to enjoy this excellent show until the writers give us some more fodder for this most enticing question.