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Recap / Battlestar Galactica 1978 Murder On The Rising Star

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Apollo and Starbuck are playing the game of Triad against Flight Sergeants Ortega and Barton. Ortega's rough play angers Starbuck. Cassiopeia, Athena and Sheba watch the game. Cassiopeia and Athena explain to Sheba about Starbuck's bitter rivalry with Ortega. It isn't long before Starbuck and Ortega get into an all-out brawl, causing both players to be ejected from the game. Cassiopeia informs Starbuck that he has ten centons to get in the shuttle if he hopes to continue seeing her. Starbuck rushes to the shuttle to meet Cassie's deadline. Soon after, a Pyramid dealer named Chella discovers Ortega's dead body lying on the floor.


Chella is questioned and tells Commander Adama that he had seen Starbuck rushing past him right before he discovered Ortega's body. Apollo and Boomer find Starbuck and let him know of Ortega's murder. In an attempt to clear him, a test is performed which results in a perfect match between Starbuck's weapon and the weapon that killed Ortega. Starbuck is charged with murder and risks the tribunal, believing it is not right to plea self-defense for a crime he did not commit. Apollo and Boomer, the only warriors who believe Starbuck, step up to act as protectors but have only ten centars to gather and present their evidence.

The two warriors first question Barton and he reveals that Ortega often gambled at a gambling Table 3 on the Rising Star and that Ortega often feared of being killed by a man named Karibdis. The protectors head to the personnel computer to run a query on the name but find no entries to anything related to "Karibdis".


Back in the brig, Starbuck tricks the guards into to coming into the cell, and makes his escape. He is about to fly off in a Viper, when Apollo confronts him and convinces him to stay.

Apollo and Boomer tell Adama that they need to find Karibdis, whose name Adama recognizes as being Baltar's pilot who had sabotaged a colonial defense grid that preceded the Cylon ambush. Baltar is questioned by Apollo and Boomer aboard the Prison Barge, but he refuses to talk as the two cannot offer him anything in exchange. Instead he gleefully points out that Starbuck has many enemies on board the barge.

The pair go back to the Rising Star where they question Chella again. Chella reveals that his real name is Riftis, and had bribed Ortega into letting him onto one of the ships fleeing from the Colonies. Since then, Ortega had been blackmailing him to expose his secret. Elias and Pallon were also victims of the blackmail, and had boarded a ship in the Fleet the same way Riftis did. The three are taken back to the Galactica to testify in Starbuck's tribunal. As Apollo and Boomer shuttle the men, Apollo comes up with a plan to flush out Karibdis by announcing to the three suspects that the real killer has been identified. Having informed Boomer to keep an open channel to the shuttle, Apollo drops the suspects off at the Galactica and picks up Baltar. Pallon, who has secretly re-boarded the shuttle and grabbed a laser, soon reveals himself to Apollo and Baltar as Karibdis.


In the tribunal, Boomer manages to break the tribunal procedure by turning on the channel to the shuttle for the whole tribunal to hear, which reveals a chilling but triumphant confession of Karibdis's murder of Ortega. A scuffle between Apollo, Baltar, and Karibdis ensues and Karibdis is eventually caught, and Starbuck is finally acquitted.


  • Asshole Victim: Ortega's portrayed as a terrible man, who accepted bribes the night his race was being exterminated. So there isn't much sympathy when he's murdered beyond the fact that he was the victim.
  • Batman Gambit: Starbuck could be acquitted from murdering Ortega was to have Baltar positively identify Karybdis, the latter's fellow collaborator and the real killer. Apollo purposely lets Karybdis aboard the shuttle before picking up Baltar from the Prison Barge. Apollo knows he and Baltar would both likely be killed as Karybdis turns out to be Pallon, who works as a waiter aboard the Rising Star.
  • The Butler Did It: Pallon is Karibdis.
  • Courtroom Episode: Though very little of the episode actually takes place in a courtroom.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the series itself isn't all sugary and sweet. This is definitely one of the darker episodes.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: Anyone of the later three (Riftis, Elias and Pallon) could have been the killer, due to each of them having a good motive for it.
  • I Won't Say I'm Guilty: What Starbuck says (essentially) when it's recommended that he plead self-defense.
  • Off on a Technicality: Apollo uses rather unorthodox methods during his time as legal council.
  • One Degree of Separation: The people involved are all closely connected.
  • Tempting Fate: Cassiopeia mentions during a Triad game that Starbuck and his rival Ortega are gonna kill each other if their fierce rivalry keeps up. Ortega is killed, alright, but it wasn't Starbuck that did it. It was Karybdis, who went by an alias Pallon during his time in the fleet.


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