Thursday, March 26, 2009

What This Blog is All About

Obviously, I am a big fan of Ronald D. Moore’sBattlestar Galactica.” But in watching the series' 3-hour finale, “Daybreak (Part II),” I was left with a gnawing feeling of dissatisfaction. It’s not that I thought the finale was bad – quite the contrary. It was that it left me wanting more; more drama, more sacrifice, more consequences for past actions by the main characters, and above all more meaning. More emotional resonance from the experience.

In the end, Daybreak for me was an experience that didn’t quite live up to the standards that the show had set during the course of its 5-year (4 season) run on the Sci-Fi channel. Of course, this is Ron Moore’s creation and he has every right to end it in a way he sees fit. I just wanted more, and felt there could be more, from the last episode. While I agreed with the basic structure of the episode – including the use of flashbacks to fill in the gaps of certain character arcs, I felt that in the end, Moore didn’t take enough chances. He either didn’t trust himself or his audience enough to take the show boldly where it deserved to go. He punted.

The more I expressed these sentiments to various friends who were also fans of the show, the more they pressed me to put down on paper (or at least in cyber-bytes) what I would have done differently. I knew if I was going to do so, it would have to be now, while the feelings and frustrations were still fresh in my mind. So this blog was born. It is not intended as a critique of Moore, the show or any of the creative decisions that were made. It is just meant to be my personal statement on what might have been.

Adieu, Galactica. You have served us well …

Mike Bara - 3/26/2009

Note - Certain Portions of this synopsis were lifted from the episode synopsis at the Battlestar Wiki.

Act - 1

“How it Should Have Ended”

Battlestar Galactica “Daybreak - Part II”

Mike Bara

Aboard the Battlestar Galactica, final preparations are made for the mission...

Gaius Baltar sits alone in the empty bay aboard Galactica that formerly housed him and his flock. Paulla tells him the last Raptor is leaving and he needs to come now. He tells her to go to the hangar deck and that he will be along shortly. Head-Six appears to him, telling him to trust in God's plan for him. Barely containing his anger and frustration, he asks what that plan is. She tells him that he already following it. This evasive answer infuriates Baltar, who is already questioning his own worth after deciding to stay with the fleet instead of joining the mission to rescue Hera Agathon. He lashes out at Head-Six, telling her he is sick to death of “God’s plan,” and that all it has brought him and the human race is death, destruction and misery. During his tirade, Caprica-Six passes Paulla in the hall; Paulla gives Six a dirty look but leaves as instructed. When Six enters the bay, she sees Baltar in spirited conversation with Head-Baltar, instead of Head-Six, which is who he sees. She listens intently to his conversation, in which Baltar declares that he is responsible for all that has happened, not “God’s plan,” and that he is a complete failure has an instrument of God and more importantly, as a human being. Head-Six watches and listens with some amusement, and turns her attention to Caprica-Six. From Baltar’s perspective, he sees Head-Six turn and look up to the entranceway. From her perspective, Caprica-Six sees Head-Baltar turn and look at her. Realizing how this must look, Baltar tries to reassure Caprica-Six that he is not insane, that he sees angels. She comes down the stairs and walks up to him, faces Head-Baltar, and tells Gaius that it’s OK, she can see them too. Head-Baltar smiles at her, while simultaneously Baltar sees Head-Six smiling at him. They are the same entity.

In sickbay, Doc Cottle leaves assistant Layne Ishay two injections of heavy medication to allow Laura Roslin enough lucidity and mobility for 48 hours. She thanks him sincerely, causing Cottle to be something he'd rarely been: speechless.

In the pilot ready room, Karl Agathon briefs the Raptor teams on the special nature of their rescue mission. Despite the odds, all volunteer. Athena, still hurt and angry, watches her husband and sees that he is a leader of men. For the first time since Hera was taken, the slightest hint of a smile creases her face. Despite it all, her love for him is deep and genuine.

Lee Adama briefs the marines on where little Hera would likely be: deep inside the Cylon Colony. He gives them one more chance to back out. None do.

In the CIC, Admiral Adama works out the tactics of the battle against the Colony; Close-range combat - no nuclear weapons and missiles. He orders the gun batteries to fire until all ammo is exhausted, and after that, to "start throwing rocks." With that, he dismisses his assembled officers and they scatter to assume their duty stations.

Act - 2

The Final Five plan to use Samuel Anders, now effectively a Hybrid on Galactica, to interface with the Colony and its Hybrids to interrupt their commands and slow the Colony's weapon systems. The catch is that Anders will need to be connected to the DRADIS, fire control and C-3 systems. They plan to take Anders and connect him inside the CIC.

Kara Thrace presents this plan to Admiral Adama, who will have none of it. Networking a Cylon directly into the brain of Galactica is the last straw for him. Kara argues with him furiously, and points out that everyone else has sacrificed something, their lives, their comfort, their loved ones, their principles, except him. This plan is their only chance, and he has to accept that his old world is gone, his old way of thinking and his old way of doing things is obsolete. “Then maybe I’m obsolete too,” he says in a moment of insight. Reluctantly, he agrees to the plan. [Note – according to the podcast, a scene similar to this one was actually shot, but was cut for time and will be in the extended DVD version].

In CIC, Colonel Saul Tigh jokes with his old friend at the bizarre sight of a Cylon interfaced to his battlestar. Adama looks seriously at Tigh and asks how they became so desperate. “Personally, I blame Ellen,” Tigh quips. Adama smiles. Gooey wires and conduit that extend over Adama's command console are everywhere, even hooked into the DRADIS console. There is no going back now. “Still not too late to flush them all out of the airlock,” Tigh quips. “Take too much time,” Adama answers.

Admiral Adama and Lee Adama hand over the command of the fleet and the presidency of the colonies to Hoshi and Romo Lampkin, respectively. Adama tells Hoshi that if they aren't back from the mission in 12 hours, they will never come back. Together, Lee and Admiral Adama salute Hoshi and Romo as they board the last Raptor to leave Galactica for the rebel Cylon base ship, the Fleet's new flagship.

Baltar's followers also board the Raptor. Baltar enters, but then tells Paulla that he must stay on the Galactica. Paulla and Tracey-Anne plead with him, and tell him that the flock needs him, but Baltar tells them that he needs to do this more than they need him. He puts the flock in Paulla’s hands and kisses them both gently goodbye. As he turns from the Raptor, he sees Caprica-Six on the hangar deck watching and approving. Lee, still not convinced of Baltar’s sincerity, tosses him a weapon and suggests that maybe Caprica can teach him how to use it.

A Number Six leads a large number of Cylon Centurions through the hangar deck. Bill Adama watches from the railing above with Saul Tigh. Starbuck is busy readying the Raptor assault teams, but looks up from below. She sees the Cylons and realizes how difficult this must be for Bill. The Six comes up to Starbuck and tells her they have a problem; how will they tell the “good” centurions from the bad ones? Starbuck suggests they get a bucket of paint and mark their centurions with a stripe. Adama watches this exchange as Starbuck fetches a bucket of red paint. He orders her to stop, then descends the stairwell and crosses to them. He is seething as he looks first to Starbuck, then to the Six and finally to the Centurions, who all watch him curiously. Adama addresses the Six, and asks her how the Centurions were selected for this mission. She is intimidated by his presence but shakily tells him that “they volunteered.” He takes this in, then moves to stand face to face with the first Centurion. It cocks its head slightly, and there is a brief standoff as Adama faces his old enemy, his mortal enemy, and considers how they came to this place. Wordlessly, he bends down and picks up the brush, slapping the red paint across the centurion in a long stripe. One by one, the other Centurions line up to painted with the red slash by the Admiral.

Act - 3

A shot of the Fleet shows that the rebel base ship has fully regenerated from the damage it sustained in the Cylon civil war. It is ready to lead the civilians to safety while Galactica goes hunting. The base ship and the fleet jump away as Galactica retracts her landing pods to prep for the FTL jump.

Adama calls for a ship-wide readiness report. All of the various departments respond. When Laura gives the ready signal for the sickbay, Adama is moved at the sound of her voice.

Meanwhile, in sickbay, Ishay preps the facility for the wounded. Laura Roslin assists as best she can. Ishay tells her that when a casualty is too far gone, she needs to mark their forehead with a red “X” and move them to a separate area of the sickbay. They must concentrate their efforts on saving those that have a chance. Laura asks how she will know which ones have a chance and which ones don’t. Ishay tells her that head wounds, chest wounds near the heart or on the right side near the liver are always fatal.

Vipers are in the launch tubes at the ready. The entire Raptor squadron, armed with missiles, has been placed inside the starboard flight pod, amidst the remnants of the old Galactica museum.

Gaius Baltar is dressed as a soldier, assigned to help defend the corridors leading to the CIC against Cylon borders. He is surprised to find Caprica-Six by his side. They begin to talk. He is shaking and tells her he is a coward; that he is scared to die but that he’s more afraid of living, of going on with all of the guilt and shame for what he’s done. Baltar apologizes to her and says that this is all his fault. If he hadn’t been weak none of this would have happened. Caprica reminds him that it was she who did the actual sabotaging of the Colonial defenses, that he would have never given her access if she hadn’t tempted him. She is the one ultimately responsible. He tells her he’s not just talking about the attack on the Colonies, but “everything.” She understands and tells him that at the end, his father was happy. He was as happy as he could be when the end came. “Thanks to you,” he reminds her, “not to me.” She tells him that if anyone deserves to die for their sins, it is her. She tells him how she snapped the neck of the baby on the Riverwalk in Caprica City. She didn’t mean to, it just happened. She’s spent the last several years telling herself that she spared the baby a hellish fiery death in the nuclear holocaust. But it wasn’t until she lost her own baby, before it was even born, before she even had a chance to see her son, that she realized what she had done to the mother of the baby, the anguish she had put her through in those last few hours before the attack. “I made her last hours of life a living hell. I should have known God would never let me keep my own child after what I’d done.” Tears streaming down his face as he listens to her, Baltar takes her face in his hands and kisses her, with a gentleness and sincere love we’ve never seen from him before.

In CIC, Ellen Tigh signals that Anders is ready to be hooked up.

Adama gives a final speech, a final message and a call to arms. He tells them that this will be Galactica’s final battle, and that if they do not fail her, she will not fail them.

The battlestar jumps away from the fleet, and the Battle of the Colony begins.

Galactica jumps in only a few hundred yards from the edge of the Colony--and is immediately besieged by the Cylon batteries.

With little time, Sam Anders attempts to make contact with the Colony Hybrids—successful, he takes them offline, apparently by causing them to go into a state of ecstasy. Ellen warns that Cylon Raiders will appear any minute.

Galactica responds by launching its fighter wings. The Vipers launch into the melee and the Raptors jump directly from within the starboard pod--causing incredible damage to the pod as it vents open and the support struts start to crack. But the gamble pays off as the Raptors have placed themselves on the opposite side of the Colony in a flanking position.

Adama orders Galactica’s engines to flank speed. He rams the alligator head of the battlestar into the Colony. Galactica's crew takes a beating, but so does the Colony. The Colonials have breeched it, forming an entrance. Lee Adama blows a hatch at the front of the battlestar, rappels down and leads his marines and a unit of the rebel Cylon Centurions inside the Colony.

Sharon Agathon and Helo's Raptor make their way to the Colony's interior.
Racetrack and Skulls arm their nuclear missiles, presumably to strike the colony after the rescue. But suddenly a piece of debris strikes their Raptor, killing all aboard and leaving the Raptor adrift.

The Raptors breech another section of the Colony, and their teams enter.

Deep inside the Colony, a Simon works on young Hera as Boomer looks on in disgust. When she questions why he continues to work on Hera, the Simon explains that they have a superior force and numbers, so the attack is unlikely to succeed. When his attention is focused elsewhere, Boomer suddenly assaults the Simon, snapping his neck. She takes Hera out of the room.

Act - 4

The Colony's halls are filled with gunfire. Cylon Centurions, including older Model 0005's, fight each other as the Colonial fire teams push through.

John Cavil, a Doral and another Simon decide to go on the offensive, attacking the battlestar with another contingent of Centurions.

In a corridor in Galactica, ready to repel boarders, Caprica-Six and Baltar wait. Baltar is shaking. He asks Caprica if she believes that their guides are really angels, and if she thinks that if he somehow becomes a hero on this day if it will redeem him in God’s eyes.

With a shudder, the battlestar hull is breeched as waves of enemy Centurions, both old-model and modern, pour into the ship.

Hearing the sounds of gun fire in the distance, Caprica-Six tells Baltar that she doesn’t even know what being a hero means. She was a “Hero of the Cylon” for seducing him and assisting in the extermination of the 12 colonies of Kobol. She tells him that what she did isn’t heroism in any sense. To her, a hero is someone who sees a wrong, and against all odds and in spite of the danger to themselves, decides to stand up against that wrong and do what he knows is right. As the sounds of the shooting get closer, we focus in on Baltar, still shaking and scared out of his wits, gripping his gun even more tightly.

Ishay has her hands full in sickbay, trying to triage and treat as many people as she can. The experience is taxing physically and mentally for Roslin, as she comforts more dying than not. A Marine is brought in on a gurney, and Laura examines him. He has a wound on his right middle torso. Laura tries to comfort him but Ishay comes up and tells her the wound is to his liver. She hands Laura a shot of morpha and Laura, trembling, gives the screaming man his shot and marks his forehead with an “X.” Orderly’s come and take him away as Laura stares blankly into space.

Galactica’s gun batteries are being targeted by Cylon Raiders. She is losing what little defensive ability she has left. Enemy forces have broken through to the reserve lines--where Baltar waits.

Act - 5

Caprica-Six and Baltar hold off the enemy Centurions. Baltar is firing but not hitting much, while Six is blasting Centurions right and left. As more enemies appear, threatening to overwhelm the defenses, more Marines arrive to reinforce them and Caprica and Baltar fall back.

In sickbay, Laura Roslin experiences another vision of the Opera House and little Hera. Simultaneously, Caprica-Six also has the vision as does Athena. Struggling to walk, driven by something she doesn’t fully understand, Roslin gets up to find Hera. A soldier on a stretcher calls out to her and reaches out, smearing her clothes with blood, but Laura walks past him in a zombie-like state.

Lee and his team are under heavy fire from the enemy Centurions, surrounded, pinned down and running out of ammo. He calls on the wireless for Starbuck, but her Raptor team, like he and his Marines, are trapped and doing all they can to defend themselves. Lee gets on the radio and calls back to the CIC, telling him the advance has stalled and that they need reinforcements. Admiral Adama attempts to tell him that they have no men to spare as they have been boarded by the Cylons, but the connection is full of static and breaking up. Adama looks at Tigh, who knows, and he gives command of Galactica to him, telling him to “complete the mission, no matter what, COMMANDER Tigh.” Tigh starts to protest, but Adama grabs a gun and leads the CIC contingent of marines away.

Starbuck, Helo and Athena are fighting off the Centurions as best they can. The hallways are littered with piled up mechanical bodies from both sides, some of them still trying to claw and fight with half their bodies torn apart. A new group of Centurions emerges from another direction, and Kara and Helo fire at them, but soon their ammo is out. Athena fires a few more rounds but now she is out too. Cautiously at first, the Centurions, led by a Simon, advance on the Colonial position. With one grenade left, Starbuck tells them to wait until they can see “the red in their eye” and then to cover her by throwing their weapons and equipment at the Cylons. With that distraction, she will jump the barrier they are hiding behind and run into the midst of the enemy, detonating the grenade. Helo protests, but Starbuck says that there’s no point; the Cylons aren’t taking any prisoners today. Just as all is ready and Kara has her grip on the pin, a wall behind the advancing Cylon forces blows out and half of the Centurions are destroyed in the explosion. Through the breech, Bill Adama and his team of Marines take the Cylons out from behind, with Bill personally capping the Simon as it begs for its life. Starbuck rushes up to Adama. As the Marines re-arm Helo, Athena and the rest of the team with ammo, Kara says simply “Lee,” and Adama orders them to mount up and follow him.

They wander the corridors aimlessly, following the sound of gunfire and destroying the odd Centurion they encounter along the way. Finally coming upon Lee’s position, they blast the Cylons and free his team up. Lee is happy to see his father, who pops open his uniform pocket and shows him his father’s cigarette lighter. “Now let’s go find that little girl,” he says to Helo and Athena.

Act - 6

The goo in the Colony has started to attach itself to Galactica, creating a seal so that pressure suits are no longer necessary to enter the Colony from the airlock at the front of the alligator head of Galactica.

Driven by the opera house vision, Baltar and Caprica-Six have left the Galactica and are now walking the hallways of the Colony. There are sporadic sounds of firing, but it is far off. They turn a corner and see Boomer, carrying Hera. Before they can react, Cavil shows up with a team of Centurions and Boomer is captured and whisked away. Caprica-Six and Baltar run after them, but lose them in the maze-like hallways.

Roslin, who by now has entered the Colony as well, sees Cavil, Boomer and Hera walk past her and begins to follow them. She too loses them in the halls.

In another part of the Colony, Adama, Lee and Kara’s team are trying to navigate the halls. Suspecting that Hera will be held deep in the innards of the Colony they chart a path and begin to move out. Along the way, Athena begins to have visions and sees the hallways of the opera house in the distance. Unnoticed, she slips away from the assault team and begins to follow where the visions are leading her.

Inside a chamber in the Colony, Cavil takes Hera, holds a gun to her head and orders the Centurions to hunt down the human assault teams and exterminate them. Turning to Boomer, he says that her line is completely predictable, and even more flawed than the 3’s. If he could, he’d box the lot of them, and tells her that when this is all over, which will be soon, he’ll take special pleasure in making Hera his “pet 14.” For fear he will kill Hera if she makes a move, Boomer can do nothing but watch and wait.

Back in the hallways of the Colony, Caprica-Six, Baltar, Roslin and Athena keep having visions of Hera. As they try to find her, they are drawn closer and closer together. Suddenly, they all see Hera, as well as each other--all grouped together as in the Opera House vision. As the scene shifts between visions of the opera house and the corridors, they all realize what they must do: follow their vision into the opera house--which turns out to be Cavil’s lair. “Well, well, well,” Cavil says disdainfully. “Isn’t this an interesting set of circumstances?” Cavil orders them to drop their weapons, threatening to kill Hera. Baltar pleads for the child's freedom, telling Cavil that Hera is the key to humanity's survival as well as the Cylons. He reasons with Cavil that there are higher forces at work that have led them all to this place for a reason. Baltar also reveals that he has been visited by angels - the agents of God. “Ellen Tigh is my God,” Cavil tells him. “I don’t know the one you’re talking about.” Just then, Adama, Lee, Kara and the assault team arrive on the scene. Cavil retreats further as Baltar warns them all to stay back. Tensions mount and it becomes obvious that Cavil’s hatred for humanity is so deep and abiding that he will never surrender Hera. Just as it seems Cavil is about to give up hope and kill Hera and himself, Boomer calls out his first name, “John.” He turns to her and she reaches out and kisses him passionately on the mouth. Distracted just for an instant, Cavil pulls away but is knocked unconscious by Baltar with the butt of his rifle. Caprica-Six, Laura and Helo all lunge for Hera, with Caprica scooping her up as in the vision, and hands Hera to Helo. Without a word, Athena pulls her gun on Boomer. Boomer tells Admiral Adama that she "owed him one." A flashback scene shows what Boomer meant: a time back in her days on Galactica, as Adama and Tigh redress her but give her another chance to be a better pilot. With the child safe, Athena shoots Boomer. Helo, clutching his child, takes one last look at Boomer, a scowl of disgust crossing his face before he follows them all out of the lair.

Act - 7

Back on Galactica, the strain is starting to get to Sam. His heart rate is shooting up, and he can’t hold the Colony’s guns much longer. Ellen warns Saul that the guns are coming back online, and Tigh orders the Vipers to concentrate their fire on the Colony’s gun turrets. One by one, the turrets come back on line and begin to fire on Galactica.

The assault team is making their way back to Galactica through the labyrinthian corridors of the Colony, fighting off the occasional lone Cylon attack as they go. Hera and Roslin are slowing their progress, and an exhausted Roslin begs Adama to leave her behind. Refusing, Bill and Lee lift her up and start to carry her between them. Ahead of them, they can see the exit and Galactica beyond, perhaps a hundred yards ahead.

On Galactica, Ellen tells the other Four that Sam will die if they don’t help him. As his body overheats, his body temperature now over 107 degrees, she pleads with Saul to join them up above. He tells her he can’t leave his post for anything. She responds that the assault team won’t have a ship to return to if he doesn’t help. Cursing a blue streak, he joins Ellen, Tory and Galen Tyrol on the platform. He complains that he doesn’t even know what to do.

Ellen tells him that the Five each have a role to play, and they can combine their strength with Anders by connecting themselves through the water in Ander's tank. Ellen Tigh tells the others that the process will also share their memories.

But before they begin, Tory Foster, visibly anxious, warns the others that they will see "certain things" they have done. She tries to prepare the others for what they will see of her, who she truly is. An impatient Saul Tigh screams at her to “Get your frakkin’ hands in the god’s damn water!”

The Five dip their hands and make the connection. As their strength flows to Anders, his heartbeat slows, his body temperature drops and the gun turrets begin to shut down again. Foster's visions of murdering Cally Tyrol in an effort to protect her secret of being a Cylon comes to the forefront, surprising the other members of the Five, and angering Galen Tyrol immediately. Tyrol pulls his hands from the pool and wraps them tightly around Tory’s neck in a death-grip, eventually snapping her neck. Ellen and Saul try desperately to help Anders, who goes back into distress but manages to keep the guns silent - for now.

Back on the Colony, the assault team has reached the opening, and Lee orders Helo and Athena to get Hera back into the ship. Lee and Bill, now all but dragging Laura, are just reaching the end of the long corridor when Laura stops them and tells them she can walk the rest of the way on her own. They let her back on her own two feet, and as they do, Bill smiles down at her and bends down to put her chin in his hand. As he does so, his chest explodes from a gunshot.

Laura’s face is spattered in Bill’s blood, and Lee screams “No!” as he turns to see Cavil, who has caught up with them, holding the smoking gun. Protected by Centurions, he looks at them with a self satisfied expression, and then takes aim at Laura. As Lee fumbles with his sidearm, we focus in on Baltar, who turns and sees Adama lying on the ground. When he does, his expression hardens, and in a fit of fury, he turns and rushes the Cylons. Caprica tries to stop him, but he brushes her off. Lifting his rifle and running past Lee and the fallen Bill, he screams and fires wildly, blindly. He has reached his limit, and this is where he will make his stand, this is the line that will not be crossed. Amazingly, each shot finds its mark, as one by one the Centurions are felled by perfect head shots. Soon, all 12 of Cavil’s body guards are down, and he turns his pistol on the charging Baltar, aiming right in the center of his chest. Now out of ammo, Baltar keeps trying to fire but he eventually stops, just a few feet from Cavil, staring death in the face. We pull back to see Head-Six by his side, helping him hold his gun and with a broad grin on her face. She has guided his every shot. Cavil laughs at Baltar once he sees he is out of ammunition. Caprica-Six has run up to scene now, and screams “Gaius!” as Baltar stares down the barrel of Cavil’s gun. At peace with himself finally, Baltar closes his eyes and waits. Cavil fires, but unbelievably, he misses. Caprica looks up to see Head-Baltar holding Cavil’s arm, having pulled the gun off target. Baltar, seizing the moment, dives at Cavil and slams into him at a dead run and knocks him to the ground. A vicious struggle ensues, and Caprica tries to intervene, but Lee holds her back. Baltar beats Cavil savagely, pounding his face to a bloody pulp. Throwing him off, they both lunge for the gun, but Baltar gets there first and holds it in his bloody, carved up hands. Cavil drops to his knees, puts his hands up, as if to God, looks at Baltar and says one word: “Please.” It is unclear if he is asking Baltar for mercy, or asking him to pull the trigger and finally take all the pain away. Baltar doesn’t hesitate; he pulls the trigger and blows Cavil’s head off.

Caprica-Six breaks away from Lee and runs to embrace Baltar while Lee calls back to Galactica; send a medic. The Admiral is down.

Act - 8

Back on Galactica, Tigh hears the call for a medic and yells down to the CIC to get a medic down to Admiral Adama. He is told that there are none available. Tigh tells Ellen he can’t help her anymore. She understands and tells Saul to go to him. She will try to help Sam as much as she can on her own. Saul runs down to the CIC and grabs the medical kit off the wall, heading to the front airlock at a dead run. Tyrol is curled up in a ball, but Ellen begins to yell at him, she needs his help. He continues to stare blankly and doesn’t respond. Sam begins to weaken again and Ellen is crumbling under the strain.

In the airlock, Tigh encounters Helo, Athena and Hera. The little girl is remarkably peaceful amidst the chaos. Tigh stops just long enough to put a hand to her cheek, then tells Helo to recall all the planes; they’re getting the hell out of there!

Down in the Colony, Laura is bent over Bill, he is conscious but mortally wounded. She looks down and sees that the wound is in his liver, and knows that he will die. She lifts his head in her hands, and he tries to smile at her, his face covered in blood. “I never thought I’d be the one to go first,” he tells her through the pain. “I always was a selfish bastard.” She smiles down at him through the tears; there are no words. Tigh arrives with the medical kit, but Lee holds him back, shaking his head. Kara returns from helping get Hera aboard and tells them the planes have been recalled and they are bugging out. Tigh refuses to accept what he is seeing and demands they get Bill back to the ship, but Bill tells him no, he has to get Hera to safety. Saul protests again, but in the distance, we can hear the sounds of more Centurions approaching. “Take care of my ship Colonel!” Adama tells him. “That’s an order!” Tigh doesn’t want to go, but he stands at attention and salutes his friend one last time. “Yes sir!” are the last words he will ever speak to him.

Laura wants to stay and Bill sees this, but he tells her to go. He begs her not to make him watch her die. Lee insists they go as the Centurions are getting closer. Gently, Laura reaches out and touches his forehead, drawing the shape of an “X” on it. She knows it is his time. Lee takes one last look at his dad and helps Laura away. Adama calls to Starbuck, who has tears streaming down her face. He looks at her, his affectionate, knowing smile crossing his face, and says “What do ‘ya hear Starbuck?” She bursts into her bright, glowing Kara smile, even through the tears, and says “Nothing but the rain sir.” “Then grab your gun and bring in the cat,” he responds. Bleeding badly, he reaches up and takes the last grenade from her belt. “Get out of here now Starbuck. I’ll cover you.” Smiling at him, she knows what this means, and runs off to catch up with the others.

Propping himself up, Bill pulls the pin on the Grenade and holds the firing pin down. In the distance, the others are struggling to get back on board the Galactica. Down the hallway, a team of Centurions led by a Doral and a Simon arrive upon the scene. Seeing the others trying to board the ship, the Doral waves the Centurions forward with orders to kill them all and find the girl. He reaches down to grab a nearly unconscious Bill Adama and demands to know where they’ve taken Hera, sticking his hand in Bill’s wound to torture him. Adama looks up, pulls his hand out with the grenade in it, and releases the pin as Doral looks down. “Frak you!” he spits. The grenade detonates in a huge explosion, blowing them all to hell and enveloping the Centurions in it as well. Lee, Kara, Saul, Roslin and the others get back into the ship safely.

Back in the CIC, Saul Tigh orders a full retreat and throws the ships engines in reverse. As Galactica pulls away, the Cylon goo is torn like strips of flesh and both ships strain and groan under the stress. On the platform above, Tyrol has joined Ellen but she can’t take it anymore and collapses, unconscious. Saul sees this but he has a ship to command and a promise to keep, and he won’t leave his post again. Released, the Colony guns begin blasting Galactica again and the Raiders swarm her as she tries to lumber away.

High above, Racetrack's damaged Raptor drifts, its crew lifeless. Bumped by an out of control Raider, a rock strikes the ship, causing Racetrack's dead hand to strike the firing button to the Raptor's tactical nuclear missiles, launching them all straight at the Colony. The force of the explosions severely damages the Colony, pushing it towards the black hole and threatening to take Galactica with it.

Tigh orders Kara to make a blind jump as the CIC crashes down around their heads. Kara then remembers the music her father played, the music that Hera wrote to her. Recalling the mathematical associations she tried to discern from the music, Kara realizes the music works as a series of FTL coordinates.

She punches in the coordinates into the navigation computer and jumps the ship.
Galactica completes the jump--but the strain of the last battle causes the battlestar's structure to ripple and twist as structural members tear and break. The ship will never jump again. Engines and life support are still online, but Galactica's back is broken.

"Where have you taken us, Kara?" Roslin asks, as the scene changes to an exterior shot to show the battlestar flying over a gray, rocky moon.
But is not just a moon...Galactica has arrived at the moon of Earth...another Earth, this one with the continent of Africa in prominent view.

Act - 9

A crippled Galactica is seen passing over Earth’s Moon. Inside the CIC, the ship is still creaking and crumbling, and rocking back and forth. Tyrol has left Sam and informs Tigh that the tidal stresses from the large Moon are tearing Galactica apart. As Galactica begins to fall to Earth at high speed, the starboard landing bay pod, previously damaged when the Raptor team jumped from inside the bay itself, tears along the cracks that had previously formed and breaks off. As Galactica rocks and rolls, spinning out of control towards Earth, the starboard landing bay is captured by the gravity of the Moon and falls away.

Galactica continues to spiral downward, and Tigh calls for all hands to abandon ship. He tells Lee to oversee the lifeboats and orders the Raptors to launch. As the CIC clears out, Tigh goes to Ellen’s side. Tyrol offers to help her off the ship and carries her away. Tigh then turns to Starbuck, who is cradling Sam in her arms. “Please,” she asks him, “Help me save him.” Tigh looks around and sees they are the only 2 people left in the CIC, and helps her disconnect Sam and lift him from the tub. Struggling, they carry him through the disintegrating ship to one of the last life boats, and strap into the small escape pod. “Sure hope somebody’s inspected these frakkin’ things in the last 5 years,” he says aloud as they break away. “I never thought you’d be the one to come through for me, Colonel,” Starbuck tells him. As the life boat tumbles away and begins to re-enter, they see Galactica below them, spinning, tumbling and breaking apart. She splits into many pieces, the port side pod breaking away and streaking toward what we recognize as modern day Turkey.

The rest of the life boats parachute down to a rough landing near each other.

The Fleet jumps into Earth orbit. A Raptor has found Hoshi and guided them to Earth.

On a green, rich savannah in Africa, Lee Adama, Cottle, Saul Tigh, Hoshi, and Baltar look on, lying prone on their stomachs with binoculars at a small village of humans, who are living in primitive-teepee like tents. Cottle confirms that the native humans are compatible with the Colonials genetically.

At a camp, as President Lampkin considers the building of a new city, Baltar asks him to let humanity start all over again and leave their technology behind. Let the Colonials enter Earth with just their basic possessions. Lee joins him in making this case, arguing that the use of technology is the cause of all their problems. Lampkin points out that it is the misuse of technology, technology applied without regard for the ethical and spiritual principles upon which their civilization was founded, which led to their downfall. The idea is put to a vote, and most of the humans elect to keep their technology, but agree to scrap the ships.

Lee Adama maps out a plan to populate various continents and land masses, spreading out humanity and Cylon far and wide, distributing supplies to give all a good chance of survival.

A Leoben tells Lampkin that the remaining Twos, Sixes, and Eights will stay on Earth as well, handing over the base ship to the Centurions, to give them their freedom. When Lee Adama questions if setting the Centurions free won't cause another holocaust hundreds of years from now, Ellen Tigh, who has recovered, agrees it's a risk, but believes the cycle of death has been ended. Lee agrees.

Lee tells them that after everyone is offloaded from the ships, the Fleet will reunite with Colonial One a final time. Piloted by Samuel Anders, who will be hooked up to a hybrid tank on board, he will fly all the ships on a final voyage into the Sun.

Kara Thrace, eyes filled with tears, meets with Lee and tells him that she is going with Anders. Lee protests, asking her what suicide will accomplish, other than to leave him alone for the rest of his life. “I just got another chance with you Kara. I just got you back,” he tells her. “No,” she responds, “You never had me.” He starts to cry, but she reminds him she’s been dead once already, she has served whatever purpose she was allowed to come back for, and she doesn’t even know what she is anymore. “But I want to find out,” she tells him. As a last act, she puts her dog tags around his neck, hands him the picture of her, him and Zak from her locker, and kisses him goodbye. “Don’t forget me, she whispers. “I'll see you on the other side.”

A flashback scene shows the pigeon that was trapped in Lee's apartment after his first dinner with Kara and Zak. It looks at Lee and flies out of the window and away.
As Starbuck is about to board Colonial One, Leoben approaches her and asks her to stay. He tells her he is sorry for all he put her through, but he knows now it was for the benefit of them all. Kara is unforgiving, and tells him if he wants absolution for what he has done he’ll have to find it from someone else.

Samuel Anders' voice from the past talks of his days in sports, dreaming of perfection, and being linked to it, to perfect creation. Anders guides the Fleet, with Kara at his side, now entwined in the mathematical perfection he once spoke of through his function as a Hybrid.

As the Colonial Anthem--a version of the original series main theme--plays, the scene shows Colonial One and the Fleet gathered a final time, heading away from Earth and towards the sun to their demise.

Back on the savannah, night has fallen, and Lee watches the fleet slowly move out of Earth’s orbit. “Goodbye Kara Thrace,” he says aloud. “You won’t be forgotten.”

Act - 10

Walking across the savannah, Saul and Ellen speak with Galen Tyrol a final time. He has decided to go to the northern highlands of Earth (likely Scotland) and live alone.

On the plains, Lee Adama sits with Laura Roslin, fulfilling what he knows is his father’s dying wish and comforting her in her final moments. They watch as herds of gazelle drink from the shallow ponds. Her vision weakening, she tries to use her glasses with the binoculars. "A very beautiful world," she says. When she asks what the name of the planet is, Lee tells her it's Earth. He adds, "Earth is a dream," believing that their new home, a long-sought destination, deserves the name.

Roslin's breathing becomes labored and shallow. Lee offers to give her a better look at the wildlife. He picks her up and carries her to a nearby Raptor. “One last ride with Captain Apollo,” she teases him, still playful to the end. Adama's Raptor flies over a pack of flamingos. "So much… life," Laura says, her final words as she closes her eyes and quietly passes.

Moments go by before Lee realizes that she is gone. In tears, Lee takes his father’s wedding ring out of his pocket and places it on Laura's hand.

Laura is riding on a boat now, in a gauzy dream-like place, crossing the lake to the other side. Just as in her visions before, on the shore she sees her parents, her sisters, Elosha and … Bill Adama. He smiles warmly at her, and as she steps off the boat he holds out his hand. As she steps down, she sees a small boy next to Bill, his other hand on the boys shoulder. No words are said, but she knows who it is “Liam…” she mouths the name. Yes, the Cylons do have immortal souls after all.

Then she turns to Bill and takes his hand, and in the next instant they are in a cabin by the river – her cabin, the one in her dreams. He hugs her and they kiss. This is the place they will spend eternity together.

A line of people walk into the wilderness, calm and ready to take on the world. Baltar is leading his flock to a new land. They have renounced technology and will find a separate place to make their new world. Helo, Hera and Athena are with them. Saul and Ellen Tigh bring up the rear. They come upon Lee Adama, and Baltar tells him that he more than welcome to join them. Tracey-Anne and Paulla seem to like this idea, but Lee says he is restless and he wants to explore. As they part, Lee offers Baltar his hand and thanks him. Baltar is confused. “For what?” he asks. “Everything,” Lee tells him.

Baltar and Caprica-Six look on at Hera playing as the Head-Six and Head-Baltar reappear. When Caprica-Six questions if the protection of Hera was all that God wanted of them, Head-Six replies, “Do you love this man?” “Yes,” Caprica tells her. “And do you love this woman?” Head Baltar asks Gaius. He looks at her. “With all of the heart that she has given me,” he says. “Then there will be more,” Head-Six tells them, looking at Hera. They will have children.

The scene turns to show Hera playing and looking upward. Scenes of wood and desert and sea pass by in a geologic montage to reveal an Earth city--New York City. The screen reads “12,500 years later.”

A group of people are gathered around a store front. They are all watching something on television. They are dressed oddly and watching the first moonwalk on the TV’s. It is 1969.

As a man (RDM) watches the screen intently, Head-Six and Head-Baltar look over his shoulder. No other people on the street appear to notice them. “All of this has happened before,” Head-Baltar says. “But will it all happen again?” Head-Six wonders.

We cut to a scene on the Moon, two astronauts explore the lunar surface. One of them is excited by some orange soil he sees in a crater. The other astronaut comes over, and as he does he looks into the crater to see it littered with machinery. He taps the other astronaut on the shoulder, and then points the TV camera away from the scene. Next, we see one of the astronauts descend into the crater. He bends down and digs something out of the dirt. It is the shiny chrome head of the old-school Cylon Centurion from the starboard landing bay museum.

A team of mountain climbers ascends the last few feet over a ridge. As they stand up, they stop and look down into a crevasse. There, high atop a mountain, is the wreckage of the port landing pod of the Battlestar Galactica, broken into 2 pieces. We scan up close and see the name plate, where it has always read “Galactica,” but the letters are oddly different, looking much like ancient Aramaic.

The scene cuts to modern day New York, and Head-Six and Head Baltar are once again strolling the streets unnoticed. Once again they come upon a store with TV’s in the window, and they look over the shoulder of the same man from 1969, now much older. We hear a female reporter’s voice-over as the screen shows film of the wrecked Galactica side pod. “The team, led by former Apollo astronauts Bill Adams and his son Lee, say that they have in fact found the wreckage of Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat.” As the shot pulls back, we see that the reporter is a dead ringer for a Number Six. Head Baltar laughs. “Well, I guess that settles that argument,” he tells Head-Six. “I wouldn’t be so sure,” she responds.

The episode concludes with scenes of robots, from toys to advanced automatons growing and evolving, as Jimi Hendrix's--Earth's popular version--of "All Along the Watchtower" plays, ending with an image of an attractive-looking female automaton gazing out over Times Square from a giant outdoor television screen.

-- END