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Revisiting Battlestar Galactica: ‘Scattered’ And ‘Valley of Darkness’


This is the ninth in a series of “Battlestar Galactica” recaps. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the franchise. Read the last piece, “Revisiting Battlestar Galactica: ‘Kobol’s Last Gleaming’ here.

Spoilers ahead.

Season 2 kicks off with an action packed two-parter that series co-creator Ron Moore says resulted from adding a Cylon invasion to an initial episode that was too long for an hour.

With Cdr. Adama shot, these episodes provide a look into Col. Tigh’s past as he struggles in a command role he never wanted. Again, the parallel to Otto Preminger’s “In Harm’s Way” is a fairly apt comparison when viewing Tigh’s dissolution in Adama’s absence. Nevertheless, the crusty Tigh rises to the occasion in dealing with Lt. Gaeta and in anticipating the Cylon invaders’ plan.

There are also character moments from Gaeta, deck chief Tyrol, and Starbuck. Even amid chaos, the series never forgets that character is where it lives.


As Adama is rushed to the sick bay, Tigh flashes back over the course of his relationship with Adama, while ordering the mutinous Apollo and the assassin Boomer to the brig. When Cylon forces appear, Tigh orders the fleet to jump to their emergency coordinates, preventing Dr. Cottle from traveling to treat Adama and stranding Galactica’s survey team on Kobol.

Following its FTL jump, Galactica finds itself alone. In all of the confusion, Galactica’s most recent emergency coordinates were not transmitted to the rest of the rag-tag fleet. (Tigh later tells his wife he also failed to check that the updated information had been sent.)

Tigh visits the sick bay. With Dr. Cottle unavailable and Adama’s vital signs deteriorating, Tigh orders the medic to operate. He then visits the brig, where he interrogates and beats Boomer, but fails to gain any information.

Lt. Gaeta proposes Galactica return to its prior location to calculate the estimated position of the fleet. Making this calculation in the time the ship can defend against the Cylons will require networking the ship’s computers – something Adama always opposed. Gaeta claims he can code a series of firewalls to forestall Cylon cyberwarfare (of the sort that disabled other Battlestars during the mini-series).

Tigh puts Apollo on parole to lead the Vipers needed to defend Galactica under Gaeta’s plan. As expected, after the FTL jump, the Cylons attack in both space and cyberspace.

During the attack, the corporal guarding Pres. Roslin in the brig asks her to pray with him. The medic operates on Adama, removing the bullets but leaving him in critical condition. A Cylon Heavy Raider crashes into Galactica, but without causing a fire aboard ship.

Gaeta calculates the fleet’s position as the Cylons are breaking through his final firewall. He disconnects the ship’s computers from each other. The Vipers are recalled to Galactica, which makes its FTL jump and rejoins the fleet. Tigh orders Dr. Cottle to Galactica.

Meanwhile, Cylons from the crashed Heavy Raider board Galactica.

On Kobol, the stranded survey team prepares to move to the treeline to avoid detection by Cylons. Tyrol, Cally, and Spc. Tarn (Warren Christie) are forced to return to the crash site to recover a missing medical pack for the injured Sosinus (apparently sprung from the brig, where he was jailed in ‘Litmus’). Tarn is shot and killed on the way back to the others (a classic Star Trek-style redshirt death, albeit realistically executed).

On Caprica, Helo stops Starbuck from killing the copy of Boomer. But during the fight, the Boomer copy steals Starbuck’s Raider, leaving Helo and Starbuck stranded.

‘Valley of Darkness’

The power goes out on Galactica. Gaeta surmises a Cylon computer virus managed to penetrate some of the ship’s systems. Shortly thereafter, the CIC receives a report sighting Cylon Centurions within the ship.

Apollo, one of the last pilots leaving a darkened hangar in the aftermath of last episode’s dogfight, is almost shot by a Centurion. Instead, the “toaster” is destroyed by one of Galactica’s marines, who are searching for the invaders. Apollo and rookie pilot Kat (Lucianna Carro) join the marine squad.

Apollo’s team goes to the brig, where the corporal on guard was about to release Roslin and Billy (without orders). Apollo directs those three to proceed to a shelter near the sick bay, then continues the hunt for Cylons.

Based on reports and his experience in the first Cylon war, Tigh concludes the invaders are headed for the aft damage control stations. Gaining control of those positions would allow the Cylons to decompress the ship, vent the crew into space, and train the ship’s guns on the fleet.

Apollo’s team reaches a small arms locker, but finds only six of the explosive rounds needed to destroy Centurions. He contacts Tigh, who directs him to aft damage control. Coincidentally, the fighting requires the corporal escorting Roslin and Billy to take an alternate route that leads them to aft damage control.

When the two groups rejoin, the inexperienced Billy is provided a firearm before the groups take up different positions in a corridor. Billy accidentally fires while removing his safety. The remaining Cylons converge and fire upon Billy and Roslin, but this allows Apollo and the others to attack from behind and destroy the Centurions with limited ammunition.

Tigh, Apollo, and Roslin meet later in the sick bay. Adama remains unconscious and in critical condition. Dr. Cottle has yet to arrive, as all ships were diverted when the invasion was discovered. After Roslin is ordered back to the brig, Tigh snarls that Apollo is unfit to wear the uniform. Apollo agrees, adding that neither is Tigh.

On Kobol, Baltar has a vision of Adama rescuing him, but drowning his as yet unborn child. Six shows Baltar evidence that human sacrifice was practiced on Kobol, leading him to conclude the colonial scriptures are a lie. Tyrol and Cally return with the medical pack, but not in time to save Socinus. Tyrol euthanizes Socinus with drugs from the pack.

On Caprica, Starbuck leads Helo to her old apartment, filled with strange paintings she once made as a hobby. Starbuck finds her cigar stash. Enjoying a smoke, she muses that everyone is fighting for their old lives while she fights because she knows nothing else. She later discovers the keys to her truck, which she and Helo drive away from the building.