The Council of Twelve celebrate the soon to be ratified peace accord with their longtime enemies, the machine civilization who call themselves Cylons. But one of the Council is still suspicious of the machines, Commander Adama. But his concerns fall on deaf ears. Meanwhile his sons Apollo and Zack make ready to take one last patrol before the unit is to be disbanded. While on Patrol, Apollo and Zac learn that the peace talks are nothing more than a Cylon trap.
Soon Adama and the rest of the fleet learn the Human-Cylon peace accords are nothing but a ruse by the Cylons to exterminate all humanity. Only the battlestar Galactica and a ragtag Fleet survive, journeying across the galaxy in search of a long-lost sister civilization, Earth.
On the first leg of their journey, the Fleet is lured to the planet Carillon for fuel and relaxation. However this all turns out to be a trap set by the Ovions, an underground, insectoid species in league with the Cylons. Adama comes up with a plan to fool the Cylons into thinking all of the Viper pilots are on Carillon. The plan succeeds, in large part to Apollo and his wingman Starbuck, who pursue and destroy the Cylon baseship along with planet Carillon itself.
- Bee People: The Ovions appear to be somewhat bee-like.
- Big Damn Heroes: Subverted, without Vipers the Galactica can do nothing but watch as the colony planets are attacked by the Cylon raiders.
- In the battle over Carillon, however, Starbuck, Apollo, and Boomer trade places doing this for each other.
- Coming in Hot: After the battle with the Cylons, Starbuck crashes his Viper in the Galactica's landing bay.
- Dragon Ascendant: Baltar, due to being spared from a quick death by Executive Meddling.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The fate of Carillon, thanks to the tylium set on fire by Apollo and Starbuck.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:Colonel Tigh: Why operate this far from Cylon without base ships when it isn't necessary? They would've been well out of our range at the old moon.Commander Adama: ... Unless it was necessary for them to be somewhere else. Get me the president!
- Famous Last Words:
- "Patrol to fleet! Patrol to fleet, I need help!" Zac
- "How could I have been so completely wrong? I have led the entire human race to ruin." President Adar
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: President Adar is extremely guilty of this.
- Homeworld Evacuation: What Adama calls for after the initial massacre. Knowing that no colony world would be safe anymore.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The Ovians feed on anyone unfortunate enough to wind up on the lower levels.
- It's All My Fault: President Adar falls into this after realizing it was through his gullibility that the Cylons were able to ambush the fleet.
- Kick the Dog: Amongst the many civilian casualties on Caprica, Boxeys dog is crushed by a falling obelisk.
- Killed Off for Real: Poor Zac.
- Man on Fire:
- There's a shot of Zac bursting into flames just before his fighter explodes.
- Theres a news report of people running around on fire.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Zac when he looks at his scanner and sees the mass formations of Cylon Raiders.
- Starbuck when he shoots between two Cylons as he, Apollo, Boomer, Cassiopeia, Boxey and Muffit reach the elevator. He even says it out loud.
- Reality Ensues: The evacuation was rushed enough that not all the tests to ensure the food was safe were used.
- Sacrificial Lion: Zac
- Sitting Duck: All the ships in the fleet, save the Galactica due to having its pilots and Vipers, on standby.
- Stuff Blowing Up: The entire fleet of Battlestars, save the Galactica. Though all except the Atlantia are offscreen.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Adama when he hears that none of the other Battlestars were able to launch their fighters.Adama: Lord help us.
- Watching Troy Burn: The destruction of Caprica.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Zac is quickly and unceremoniously killed off barely twenty minutes in.
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: "Well, it's a peace envoy, what possible trouble could there be?"
- While Rome Burns: Captain Apollo discovers Sire Uri of the Council gorging on food while others in the refugee fleet are starving; the young warrior instantly confiscates the party munchies for the needy.
- Woman Scorned: When Athena catches Starbuck making out with Cassiopeia in the Viper launch bay, she vents steam from the catapults on him.
- Borders into What the Hell, Hero? territory when you take into account the fact that Starbuck was going on a dangerous mission the next day that would determine whether or not every man, woman, and child in the fleet will die from hunger.
- Would Hurt a Child: A cylon tries to decapitate Boxey when the boy arrives on the lower levels.
- The fact that he wound up on the lower levels in the first place counts too, since this is where the Ovions are taking people and putting them in boxes where their young eat the people.