This is the 20th in a series of “Battlestar Galactica” recaps. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the franchise. Read the last piece, “Revisiting Battlestar Galactica: ‘Occupation’ And ‘Precipice’” here.
The Biblically-titled two-parter concluding the New Caprica storyline drew some of the lowest ratings of the series. This was more likely a reaction some of the audience had to the Iraq invasion allegory woven into the prior two episodes than their quality.
In particular, the acting in both episodes is stellar. In “Part 1,” Lucy Lawless plays D’anna’s religious fervor and doubt with subtlety, while Amanda Plummer is suitably weird as the Oracle D’anna consults. In “Part 2,” Katee Sackhoff and Michael Hogan are absorbing as those who leave the planet with scars of all types. And credit Jamie Bamber, who convincingly wrestles with every plot twist in these early episodes in addition to putting on weight to convey his laxity.
Also note that Roslin calling the Cylon-Human child possibly “the shape of things to come” is a vintage H.G. Wells reference that survives in our modern vernacular.
An hour before the conclusion of “Precipice,” Tyrol bursts in on Tigh and Ellen with a list of those scheduled for execution, including his wife Cally. Tigh remains level-headed and observes Tyrol can locate the execution site using intelligence they already have. Tyrol is frantic, but decodes the coordinates and leads a team of insurgents to Pergamus Flats ahead of the Cylon convoy.
When the Cylon Centurion firing squad appears, the insurgents’ line of fire is blocked by the escaping Cally (set free by policeman Jammer). Tyrol orders them to fire on a five-count, then runs and tackles Cally, allowing the insurgents to destroy the Centurions. Jammer escapes, while the Cavil leading the mission lies bleeding in the road.
Meanwhile, it is revealed that Sharon sent part of Galactica’s team to cover vulnerable spots of her meeting with Anders. Accordingly, a Cylon ambush is defeated by a rocket-propelled grenade. Searching the remains of the battle, Anders discovers the map Ellen gave the Cylons – with Ellen’s handwriting on it.
D’anna, the lead Three, dreams of a crying baby amid an empty New Caprica City. She visits a human Oracle (Amanda Plummer) who already knows of the dream. The Oracle tells D’anna that God says: Hera (the chid born to Sharon and Helo) lives, D’Anna will hold the child, experience true love, and lose everything for which she has worked.
On Galactica, Adama orders Apollo to take the Pegasus and the remainder of the civilian fleet to a rendezvous point. If Galactica does not join them in 18 hours, they are to proceed on the search for Earth.
Sharon and Anders plot to recover the launch keys to the spaceships on New Caprica. Anders then meets with Roslin to plan evacuating Hera and Maya (her adoptive mother). Roslin tells Anders only that Hera may be “the shape of things to come.”
The insurgents plan to sow chaos in the city, timed to Galactica’s arrival. During the meeting, Ellen is brought in, having been seized for collaborating with the Cylons. She confesses and explains Tigh would have been killed had she refused to cooperate.
On Colonial One, Cavil complains about reincarnating painfully from his slow death on the road. The Cylons consider nuking the city, but reach no decision.
Sharon infiltrates a Cylon facility and obtains the launch keys. She is recognized and confronted by D’anna, who tells Sharon her child still lives. Sharon shoots D’anna’s legs to prevent her from reincarnating. Although Sharon tells D’anna that Adama would not lie to her, she begins to harbor doubts.
Adama learns that Sharon has obtained the launch keys and sets the rescue in motion.
Apollo has difficulty accepting his orders, believing the rescue mission cannot succeed as planned. Dualla reminds him their duty is to survive.
Tigh sits with Ellen, who confesses she also slept with a Cavil to spring Tigh from detention. He comforts her. When Ellen says she could use a drink, he hands her a mug. She drinks the contents, loses consciousness, and dies. Tigh sets her down gently and weeps.
The insurgents launch their coordinated attacks on Cylon facilities. Tory has two guards accompany Hera and Maya to an evacuation point, while Anders leads others to a weapons cache. Zarek assigns Jammer to help protect Roslin, not knowing Jammer was a collaborator.
Raptors from Galactica arrive near New Caprica and launch drones that read like two Battlestars on the Cylons’ DRADIS system. Cylon Basestars jump into space near the planet. By the time the Cylons discover the ruse, Galactica has jumped into New Caprica’s atmosphere, launched Vipers, and jumped away. The Vipers provide air cover to insurgent assaults.
Anders finds Starbuck, who was knocked unconscious by Leoben. When Starbuck awakens, she runs back to rescue Kacey. Upon reaching her apartment/cell, she kills Leoben and retrieves the girl.
Galactica’s systems are damaged in the atmospheric jump and the ensuing Cylon attack, preventing the ship’s escape. When all seems lost, Pegasus appears and trains heavy fire on the Cylon forces. Apollo orders that they take Pegasus into the center of the battle.
The Cylons prepare to evacuate New Caprica. Gaeta wants to shoot Baltar, but Baltar and Caprica Six volunteer to follow D’anna into the city and prevent her from detonating the nuclear device hidden there. In the deserted city, Baltar finds Hera crying alone. He gives the child to D’anna. Six and Baltar escape, realizing D’anna will now decide against staying to destroy the city.
Galactica repairs its FTL drive, recovers its Vipers, and escapes. Apollo gives the order to abandon Pegasus; the crew flees in Raptors as the mighty ship crashes into a Cylon Basestar and explodes.
There are many happy reunions aboard Galactica – including Kacey with her real mother. Kacey was abducted by the Cylons; the realization leaves Starbuck shocked on the hangar deck. Adama congratulates Tigh, saying, “You brought them home, Saul,” to which Tigh replies, “Not all of them.”
On Colonial One, Tory informs Roslin that Hera did not make it off New Caprica. Roslin takes the news with resignation. In contrast to the beginning of the season, Adama shaves off his mustache and now walks the very crowded corridors of Galactica.