I must begin this episode recap by letting you know that this was the first episode of Battlestar Galactica I ever saw, and the only one I saw on its original air date. While I remember liking it, I also decided that there was way too much back story to just dive in from there – I had no idea what was happening, most of the time. But now! I know all!
So, for far from the first time, let’s see what happens this episode, shall we?
Previously on Battlestar Galactica, we start with my most favorite moment ever – Lee Adama Loves Kara Thrace. (Whoa. Was this, then the first second of BSG I ever watched? Deep.) Anders and Starbuck got married, Starbuck and Lee are friends again, HERA! Where you been, baby?! We go through Hera’s faked death, the pass off to Mya, and the Cylons rescuing her from New Caprica. Baltar wants to know if he’s one of the final five Cylons. There’s a major food shortage in the colonial fleet, but they’ve found an algae-rich planet, only accessible through a star cluster.
Currently, we’re on the algae planet, and it seems its been a little while – they’ll be done collecting algae in a few days. Sam and Tyrol are working on the planet, along with a bunch of civvies we don’t know, and Lee and Dee. A Viper shows up, Lee says it’s Starbuck, and Dee comments that it’s the third time in a week that Starbuck’s come to visit – needling Lee a bit, but not majorly. Lee makes some excuse, and goes over to see Starbuck. Dee’s not pleased. Lee enters the viper, and within five seconds, Lee and Starbuck are making out.
The Chief keeps glaring at a mountain.
Lee tells Starbuck he wants to divorce Dee, he feels guilty. Starbuck comes back with religion?! Marriage is a sacrament, you don’t get do overs, divorce is breaking the rules – making out with someone else, apparently, is just bending them. Lee can’t live like this, so they’re frakked – Starbuck won’t divorce, Lee won’t cheat. (Starbuck, for the record, is CLEARLY IN THE WRONG HERE, and that’s pretty much the only time you’ll ever hear me say that.)
On the Cylon baseship, HERA! More importantly, Baltar could be a Cylon. He hears a child’s cries, and leaves his incongruous love bed to go investigate. Hera’s sick, Baltar tries to comfort her.
Tyrol is still obsessed with a mountain, and pretty much drops his work and starts walking towards it. Dude, there are a lot of people on this planet who are most likely answering to you, organizer of people. Why are you going all Close Encounters on us? Tyrol will not answer me, and just keeps walking. And finds a doorway into the mountain! Complete with stairs and right angles, this is certainly not nature-made. WHOA. Tyrol finds himself in a giantâ€¦ room? Temple? Sanctuary? Church? Complete with carvingsâ€¦ and electricity? Okay, Tyrol, your mountain obsession is justified.
Credits, ELEVEN MINUTES IN. RIDICULOUS.
So Tyrol has invited a lot of people into the gigantic room, and it seems they’ve carbon dated it. Tyrol’s on the phone with President Roslin, and we learn that Tyrol has found â€œthe temple of fiveâ€ as per the descriptions in his parents’ (who were priests!) books. Tyrol doesn’t know if this is related to the Eye of Jupiter or not. Roslin explains that the Eye of Jupiter is supposed to point the way to Earth.
Oh, shit! Four Cylon baseships have just jumped into orbit. The fleet jumps away, but Galactica needs to stay until everyone gets off the planet. Also, the baseships aren’t sending out raiders, they’re staying just out of weapons range. There’s a new dude on the helm, who seems to be in charge of communications when both Dee and Gaeta are doing other things, and he informs Adama that the baseship is callingâ€¦ They want to talk to Adama.
And it’s Baltar on the phone! DUN DUN DUN!
Roslin and Adama are heading to meet Baltar and some Cylons. Presumably, it’s Boomer, D’Anna, and Cavil. Hey, Head Six! It seems Baltar misses Galactica. It feels like home. Athena shows up, informs Tigh that the Eight is, indeed, Boomer, so she’s held back, and there’s an awkward moment between those two. They’re all ushered into a room, and Baltar, on the brink of tears, tells Roslin its good to see her. D’Anna tells them the Cylons want the Eye of Jupiter and the pathway to Earth. Cavil says that the only reason the humans haven’t already jumped away must be because they’ve found â€œthe artifactâ€ but havent’ figured out how to bring it aboard. Roslin responds with the truth – they have people on the ground.
Baltar wants to broker some sort of compromise, and Roslin says the less that man speaks, the better this goes. He then asks how many times he’s saved Roslin’s life at this point, which, actually, is an amusing question.
D’Anna says in exchange for safe passage, the Colonials should surrender the Eye of Jupiter. Cavil adds that if they do so, they can have Baltar – something that wasn’t cleared by Baltar, apparently, Adama and Tigh find this interesting.
Boomer and Athena scene! Boomer tells Athena that Hera’s still alive, and that Athena’s been lied to – but not by her. Boomer also says that Hera’s sick, and they don’t know what’s wrong. Also, Baltar found Hera in the ruins of New Caprica, at Roslin’s school, so this was probably Roslin’s idea the entire time, which is not how you treat a person.
Apparently, something from the planet needs to be brought up to Galactica to find the way to Earth. D’Anna says that if they try and bring anything up, the Cylons will attack. Adama says that if the Cylons try anything, they’ll nuke the hell out of the planet – and then kicks them off of the ship.
Roslin and Lee are on the phone, trying to figure out what the Eye might be and where it is. Adama orders Lee and Starbuck to blow up the temple if it looks like the Cylons are going to get in. Speaking of Cylons, they’re jamming the radio frequencies, so no more talking with Adama Sr. and Roslin. Lee and Starbuck devise a plan: defend the temple while allowing Tyrol to search for the Eye. Because there’s limited crew on the planet, Starbuck suggests that Sam lead the civilians. (This makes sense, as Sam was the leader of the resistance on Caprica.)
Awkward meeting time! Lee tells Sam that he needs him to lead the civilians. EVERYONE IS SWEATY AND GREASY AND HOT. Sam responds with pointing out that there’s a huge difference between guerilla warfare and military maneuvers. Lee and Sam get in each other’s faces, clearly angry about more than the current issue, and Starbuck literally stands between them, trying to defuse the situation. It doesn’t go well.
Ooh, Tyrol and Callie in the temple! Callie misses Nicky, Tyrol’s freaked out by what he feels and his relationship with religion – and, oh, they’re setting charges to blow the temple before the Cylons get here. Also, there’s this weird symbol – concentric colored circles – that the camera keeps focusing on.
Hey, Gaeta, got any boring vaguely-sciency plot exposition? YUP! The star for this solar system is about to go supernova, and obliterate everything. This seems like quite the coincidence to Gaeta.
On the baseship, they’re debating next steps. Cavil is still pushing for the execution of the human race, as a higher priority than finding Earth. D’Anna, apparently, has put a heavy raider on the planet as soon as the Cylons jumped into orbit. So Centurion Cylons can go and retrieve the Eye of Jupiter, and then Cavil can take out Galactica. Frak.
Awwww Anders. You are a hero. He is, of course, organizing the civilians and doing a fantastic job, with Adama-quality speeches. Lee tells Anders he’d make a good officer, Anders responds by referencing Starbuck’s affair with Lee – apparently Lee isn’t the first person she’s cheated on him with? The Thrace-Anders marriage seems complicated, obviously and possibly open?
D’Anna is so close to seeing the faces of the final five! She goes to talk to the Hybrid, who talks about things being revealed to The Chosen One, who enters the temple. And then Caprica shows up, and wants to know what the hell is going on with D’Anna and Baltar, because they’re supposed to be a special group, those three. D’Anna says no, they’re finished – Baltar and D’Anna have to go to the temple on their own, without Caprica, to see the final five. Almost-Beethoven music again.
Dee is leading communications – mostly Marines and Starbuck, and Starbuck isn’t taking orders from her easily. Starbuck goes out on recon, finds the Cylons, gets hit, and – oh dear. Unknown.
On Galactica, Roslin’s reading scrolls. There are five pillars in the temple, fashioned after five priests. Adama comes in with news: Boomer told Athena that Hera’s alive on a baseship, and had been seen on New Caprica in Roslin’s school. Roslin’s thrilled that Hera’s alive – OH WAIT. I THOUGHT ADAMA WAS IN ON THE WHOLE â€œHERA IS ALIVEâ€ THING. HE APPARENTLY WAS NOT. He literally walks out on Roslin and immediately goes to Helo and Athena and tells them what’s happened. Athena wants to see her baby, NOW.
On the planet, Lee tells Anders that Starbuck went down, and Anders is having a hard time not going out and rescuing her. Tigh on Galactica tells us that six raiders, presumably full of Centurions (the metal Cylons), are headed down to the planet. Start the drama drums! Adama, PISSED at Roslin, gives the order to prepare the nukes for launch; Roslin thought he was bluffing about destroying the planet, it seems he wasn’t. Hundreds of miles away, Anders is still yelling at Lee. Lee says that he’s known and cared about Starbuck way longer than Anders has, Anders yells he’s going after his wife, Tyrol’s staring at things in the temple, and Adama’s giving orders to launch nukes. Lee’s given a Marine the order to shoot Anders, forcing him to go back to his job. Adama authorizes the use of nukes. DRUMS DRUM DRUMS TO BE CONTINUED!
Screencaps courtesy of monchichi, who is the best.