One of the professional hazards of being an English professor is the problem of suspense. It is very, very hard for me to be surprised in a story. When you deal with narrative enough, the details almost don't matter; the pattern is clear.
My wife and daughter hate to watch Monk with me, because I always know whodunit before the second commercial break, and often even before the first. They find it especially frustrating because I know even before there are any clues presented, primarily because the "clues" I notice are narrative clues. Even though I don't tell them whodunit, I will either stop paying attention or simply leave the room, which really frustrates them. It is equally frustrating to me, though, since mysteries hold little excitement for me.
When I went to see The Sixth Sense with a friend, I remember seeing Bruce Willis gutshot, then sitting on a park bench. I leaned over to my friend, already a little angry that the film was falling into place for me, and muttered, "If it turns out that he's dead through this whole thing, I'm gonna be peeved" [OK, I didn't say "peeved," but you get the point]. You can guess how I felt at the end of it.
Stargate: SG1 will always dwell in a good place in my heart because of one particular episode. A major character has apparently been killed, but this is an obvious red herring for a less drastic change to the plotline. The narrative clues all lined up to suggest that we were to think Character A had died, when in fact it was Character B who died. I almost turned it off, and probably only watch the episode through to the end because the remote control was out of reach. Then, LO! In fact, the entire Character A and Character B plotline had turned out to be a red herring atop a red herring (a whole school of herring), and Character C was dead! Hooray! Someone managed to fool me!
But this Stargate episode is a real rarity. I always know, as do most other English professors. So, when I received a reply on an old post about Battlestar Galactica, I found myself unable to respond. The commenter asked:
And replacement or homemade, why is a junior lieutenant a cylon under your argument?
The truth is that I can't explain it, except to say that it fits the narrative mold. Narratives move in predictable ways because, if they don't, they stink (archetypal critics have an explanation for this). I'm not arguing that all the clues point in that direction; I'm arguing, I suppose, that it would be a better narrative if he were. Since the writers have so far avoided bad science fiction writing, I expect them to produce good narrative before tricky or efficient narrative. D'Anna Biers, for example, did not simply have the possibility of being a cylon -- either she (or her cameraman) had to be a cylon for the narrative to work.
So here's the deal: I can't argue for it without putting you through years of study as an English major. But even if I could do so, I wouldn't ruin it for you. As a saavy consumer of culture, you already know how predictable (and dull) romantic comedies can be (Guess what? They get together at the end!) or action adventure films (Oooh, the hero survived! What a surprise!) or horror films (The monster wasn't really destroyed, and could now return for a sequel? Shocking!). Really understanding how narrative works is like already knowing all the spoilers for every story you will ever encounter. You should enjoy the experience, instead.