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Revisiting Battlestar Galactica: ‘No Exit’ And ‘Deadlock’


This is the 36th in a series of “Battlestar Galactica” recaps. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the franchise. Read the last piece, “Revisiting Battlestar Galactica: ‘The Oath’ And ‘Blood On The Scales’” here.

Spoilers ahead.

After two action-packed episodes, “No Exit” and “Deadlock” are filled with exposition, particularly the history of the Cylons. Fortunately, the writing, editing, and acting saves the exposition from becoming clunky or boring.

In “No Exit,” testy exchanges between Cavil and Ellen sustain the drama; Kate Vernon gets to play a more elevated version of Ellen. But in “Deadlock,” Ellen’s core character flaws emerge again. Her triangle with Tigh and Caprica Six give Michael Hogan and Tricia Helfer a chance to match Vernon’s acting chops.

Meanwhile, Galactica is falling apart, literally and figuratively. The ship’s damage can be repaired by Cylons, which Adama initially resists. But following the failed coup, the crew is too short-handed for other options. Security is stretched so thin in the lower decks that even an idea like arming Baltar and his followers seems appealing.

‘No Exit’

Tyrol brings Adama into the bowels of Galactica to show him large cracks in the hull, warning the ship may not survive FTL jumps without repairs. The damage is a combination of age, battle, and corners cut during construction.

Adama reinstates Tyrol as deck chief, ordering repairs by human crews. Tyrol later discovers the hull is riddled with micro-fractures which can only be filled with an organic Cylon resin. Adama refuses, but upon noticing cracks in his own quarters tells Tyrol to repair Galactica by “whatever” means necessary.

On Colonial One, Apollo proposes to Roslin that the Quorum be reconstituted, with representation by ship instead of colonial labels. Roslin gives him the job, stating she will remain president in title while delegating her duties to Apollo.

In the sickbay, Starbuck, Tory, Tigh, and Tyrol gather around Anders, who has a bullet lodged in his brain. Anders is semi-lucid, having visions of Cylon history.

According to Anders, the Cylons were the 13th tribe of Kobol. Over time, they began reproducing naturally and discarded resurrection technology. The Final Five worked at a research institute seeking to reinvent resurrection.

The Five successfully placed a resurrection ship in Earth orbit. When nuclear war wiped out the population, the Five resurrected and journeyed to warn the colonies about the danger of warring with the Centurions.

Lacking FTL technology, the Five arrived thousands of years later, during the first Cylon War. They gave the Centurions resurrection technology in return for abandoning the war. They also provided eight humanoid models. Starbuck nervously asks about the missing model, but Anders reveals it was a male named Daniel, not her.

The pressure on Anders’s brain builds. Starbuck consents to an operation. As Anders is wheeled into surgery, he tells Tigh to remain with the fleet. The bullet is successfully removed, but Anders has almost no brain activity after surgery.

Meanwhile, it is revealed that when Ellen was killed by Tigh on New Caprica, she resurrected aboard a Basestar. She is met by Cavil, whom she addresses as “John” (after Ellen’s father). Ellen tries to convince Cavil to stop attacking humanity, but he seeks justice for the original enslavement of the Cylons. Cavil hides Ellen from all but Boomer.

Shortly after the confrontation with humanity on the algae planet, Cavil shows Ellen photos of the temple and the supernova. Cavil rages that the human form Ellen gave him limited his ability to experience the supernova. Ellen disclaims any responsibility for D’Anna’s vision of the Final Five in the temple, suggesting it was an act of the one true god.

Ellen also reveals that Cavil destroyed the Daniel models out of jealousy. She further debates with Boomer the nature of love and free will.

When the Resurrection Hub is destroyed, Cavil asks Ellen to recreate the technology, remarking: “They don’t know about ‘The Colony,’ your equipment is still there.” Ellen claims she needs the other members of the Five. Cavil decides he will subject Ellen to painful brain surgery to recover the memories needed to reinvent resurrection. However, Boomer decides to escape with Ellen in a previously captured Raptor.


While getting food in Dogsville, Caprica Six is attacked by a polytheistic gang named the Sons of Ares. A sonogram indicates that her baby Liam is fine. Roslin apologizes for the attack.

Boomer and Ellen find Galactica, much to the crew’s shock, particularly Tigh. Adama imprisons Boomer (who previously shot him).

Ellen informs Adama, Roslin, Apollo, and Tigh of Cavil’s plan to reacquire resurrection technology. Afterward, Ellen and Tigh have a sexual reunion in the conference room. Tigh tells Ellen that Caprica Six is pregnant by him, which Ellen finds a bit incestuous (and aggravating, given their childless marriage).

The Final Five vote on whether to leave the fleet. Tigh votes to stay, based on Anders’s expressed wish. Tory and Tyrol vote to leave. Ellen, the deciding vote, says she needs time to think.

Ellen visits Caprica Six and not-so-accidentally reveals she had sex with Tigh. Nevertheless, Ellen suggests Tigh loves Six more than her. Adama and Tigh drink while discussing the ship repairs. Adama complains Galactica won’t know who she is with Cylon “goo” in her hull.

The Five meet again; Caprica Six also attends. Tigh tries to sway Ellen’s vote, but she votes to leave. Tigh rebels against the majority vote. Caprica Six begins to miscarry. Ellen and Tigh bicker in the sickbay. Ellen implores Tigh to confess his love for Six, which Tigh believes is cheapened by words. Ellen promises to leave and let Tigh stay with Caprica Six. Yet Caprica Six loses the baby.

Meanwhile, Baltar rejoins his flock, finding his former bodyguard Paula has assumed leadership after an attack on their food supply by the Sons of Ares. Baltar decides his group should help feed the poor in Dogsville – partly to dislodge Paula, partly over lust for a Dogsville woman, even partly from the love of giving.

When Baltar’s efforts are thwarted by the Sons of Ares, he proposes to Adama that his group be sufficiently armed to help maintain order as perhaps the last human bulwark against more revolutionary forces. Adama agrees. Anders shows signs of intense brain activity.

Adama and Roslin walk past the memorial wall, noting that Cylons working aboard Galactica are posting photographs of their un-resurrected dead alongside the humans.