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Recap / Battlestar Galactica 1978 Experiment In Terra

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A patrol led by Apollo and Starbuck follows the escaping Eastern Alliance craft to determine the exact location of their outpost on Lunar Seven. Apollo is overtaken by the Ship of Lights and awakens once again inside dressed in white, though he has no memory of his last visit. A being calling himself John informs Apollo that he must go to Terra to stop a war. Apollo is given the identity of a lost Terran solider, so that he may fit in.

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Apollo awakens in his Viper but realizes that what he just experienced was not a dream. While wondering around Terra, he meets Brenda Maxwell, who calls him Charlie. Charlie and Brenda had previously been in a relationship. Believing Apollo delirious and suffering from amnesia, Brenda secretly informs the authorities, who then arrest Apollo.

The Nationalist president, who has secretly negotiated a peace treaty with the Eastern Alliance, is worried that Charlie Watts has reappeared. On board the Galactica, Adama informs the fleet that the Battlestar must temporarily leave the fleet for Terra, traveling at light speed, to rendezvous with the Viper patrol. Starbuck, meanwhile, also arrives on Terra and finds Apollo's Viper. In Brenda's apartment, her father General Maxwell, informs her that the president has already turned over all the satellite planets to the Eastern Alliance. They are taken to Apollo's detention facility. When Starbuck arrives there he meets John. Who grants Starbuck the ability to communicate with him. Against John's advise, Starbuck blasts his way through the facility to rescue Apollo.

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General Maxwell plans to challenge the president with proof of an Eastern Alliance caused holocaust, using Apollo as a witness. John appears again and warns Apollo and Starbuck of an impending strike by the Alliance. Meanwhile, the Eastern Alliance commanders meet to discuss the next phase of their attack plan. The Nationalist president reveals his plans for appeasement to the Presidium, and General Maxwell counters him by introducing Apollo, who relates the story of the Twelve Colonies and advocates peace through strength. Simultaneously, the Eastern Alliance launches a missile strike.

The general informs a disbelieving president that mutual assured destruction is inevitable. Starbuck is able to launch his Viper, and upon John's suggestion he informs the Galactica of the situation. The Galactica destroys all the missiles before any can hit there targets. Believing the missiles to have been destroyed by secret technology of the Nationalists, the Eastern Alliance sues for peace on the Nationalists' terms.

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Apollo slips away and prepares to return to the fleet. In appreciation of his services, John informs Apollo that Terra is not in fact Earth, but his people should have faith that they will reach it some day.


Tropes:

  • Big Damn Heroes: Galactica gets to successfully rescue a planet in the nick of time. Unlike Caprica.
  • The Bus Came Back: The "Angel" aliens return.
  • Everybody Lives: Not even the villains die in this episode.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: John choose his form to communicate with Apollo, in order to help him on his mission.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Alliance is forced into one after Apollo and Starbuck's gambit.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Alliance try this against Nationalists, but the Galactica blows up every missile before impact.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Only Apollo (and later Starbuck) can see John, which is really just his chosen form of the moment.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Alliance officers reaction when all of their missiles are destroyed, seemingly by previously unknown enemy weapons.
  • Only Sane Employee: General Maxwell. Of course, with the President having turned into a complete wimp and the Alliance on the verge of kicking down the door, he has enough problems on his plate.
  • Present Absence: John.
  • Properly Paranoid: General Maxwell.
  • Running Gag:
    • People mistaking Apollo and Starbuck for being a couple of crazy guys talking to thin air.
  • War Is Hell: The President uses this to justify his rolling over for the Alliance.
  • Wham Episode: We learn here that Terra and Earth are not the same.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: General Maxwell is not pleased when he finds the President still plans on going through with the treaty despite the mounting evidence proving the Alliance duplicity.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child/A Million Is a Statistic: Subverted; one of the Alliance officers reveals to the audience that the Alliance has no compunctions against attacking civilian populations.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Apollo tries to apply this to the people of Terra in a speech, to buy Starbuck time enough to reach the Galactica.

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