With the caveat that I think Battlestar Galactica is brilliant, that it is doing great things for SF television - and for SF in general - and that it has raised the bar for all time in terms of production quality and viewer expectations for what is possible...
Here's what bothers me about the Cylons. When they spoke of God in season one, with their talk of being God's Chosen People and God's Plan, etc..., they very clearly seemed to be doing so out of some form of direct experience. You don't, after all, just decide to commit genocide on a dozen planets on a hunch or a feeling. Their rhetoric very clearly implied that they were acting on what was - or what they interpreted as - Special Revelation, i.e. "that burning bush told me to do it."
But at the end of season two, and particularly in the "occupation" portion of season three, when we learned more about the Cylons and their religion, we don't see any signs of any special revelation. They bicker among themselves, they have doubts, they change their plan completely, some of them even have doubts that God exists. No indication of special revelation at all.
Okay, that's realistic and in keeping with our own world. Only, Battlestar Galactica exists in a universe where special revelation of some sort definitely exists. I mean, Roslyn's visions have lead them directly to Kobol, the Arrow of Apollo and the path for earth, and a Human Priestess, with knowledge of her dream, fortold that D'anna would find the child. This is a show where the ground rules establish pretty clearly that some sort of supernatural is operating from the sidelines, at least where the humans are concerned.
Ergo, it's a fair assumption the when they talked of knowing God's will and being his children, the Cylons had some concrete interaction with divinity - or something they perceived as divinity - before formulating their great plan. And I, for one, have been eagerly anticipating seeing what that would be when the writers revealed it.
Only they didn't. And it's painfully obvious sometimes how the writers are making it up as they go along. Which is okay, and is how most television, even good television works - and these writers are great writers - but man, don't hammer it in one way then shift gears. It's really thrown me for a loop.
Then, a couple of episodes ago, I saw a way out. After all, between "yes" and "no" the universe always contains a "maybe."
The Hybrids, folks!
Cylons who plug themselves into baseships, and in so doing experience the universe more completely or from a different altered state, who may go mad as a result but who, in the opinion of other Cylons, may be touching the face of God.
A-ha! This is how you can have special revelation and yet get the details fuzzy - so you think God's really telling you to wipe out all the humans one week and make nicey-nice with them the next. They have oracles - and oracles aren't always clear even if what they say seems divine.
That satisfies my problems, rationalizes the shift in their agendas, fixes everything perfectly. Problem solved!
Except for the fact that the writers themselves don't seem to have realized the potential of what they've introduced. We haven't seen the hybrids again, and now D'anna is shooting herself repeatedly to try and conjure her own Special Revelation between death and resurrection. Which makes me worried that even when they get it right, Ron Moore and company don't know they've got it right.
I don't watch Lost, but I hear it's starting to wear out its welcome with some viewers who are upset that the show isn't working to more of a plan. I'd hate to see BSG go that route as well. I don't think it will. For my money, it's still the best damn SF series ever in terms of the execution of its individual episodes and its character development, but how it all comes together in the end - and it does need to come together one day and it does need to end- will determine whether it's a show you watch over and over again when it's all said and done, or just something you enjoy in real time while its unfolding, but don't go back to with the same level of enthusiasm. Meanwhile, I continue to be impressed with Heroes, which clearly does have a plan, and while few individual episodes ever rose to the level of a good DS9 or BSG, its still Babylon 5 - for all the unanticipated plot and casting twists and turns Straczynski was forced to take out of necessity & network interference - that ranks as the best series ever when it comes to having a clear story to tell from the beginning and then telling it. And thank God Rome is based on, well, Rome. I'd hate for them to run out of material and have to do a boxing episode. Didn't Moore promise us none of the usual cliches? We've seen that on Oz, the short lived Untouchables series, maybe even Gilligan's Island. Talk about being lost....