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Recap / Battlestar Galactica 1978 The Man With Nine Lives

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An old Con Man, Chameleon, works his way into Starbuck's life to avoid being tracked down by the bloodthirsty Borellian Nomen.

Chameleon manages to escape the Nomen upon meeting Starbuck and spinning a tale about coming from the same colony and losing a son. Chameleon finds his chance for protection, portraying himself as a genetic tracer and stating that Galactica's equipment would be just the thing needed to do testing to determine if he and Starbuck were father and son.

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To play up the father/son relationship, Chameleon tells Starbuck that Cassiopeia reminds him much of his late wife. Starbuck admits that Cassiopeia was the only one he ever considered getting married to. Later on, Apollo and Boomer start to grow suspicious of Chameleon when the learn the Nomen maybe after him. Just as their fears are seemingly put to rest, Starbuck learns of their investigation and angrily states that they are no longer friends.

Upon learning of this and the fact that Starbuck wishes drop out of the service in order to spend more time with him, Chameleon attempts to tell Starbuck the truth when in the launch bay when given a guided tour. But two of the Nomen, Maga and Bora attack Starbuck while attempting to discern where "Captain Dmitri" is hiding.

Chameleon manages to save Starbuck from the Nomen by firing the Viper's lasers into the launch tube, throwing Starbuck clear of the tube. Miraculously the Nomen survive and are apprehended.

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Starbuck relates to Adama, how during one of his many occupations Chameleon discovered that the Nomen were hoarding supplies. Chameleon posed as Captain Dmitri of the livestock ship, and the Nomen paid him to slip them enough livestock to live on for yahrens. When the Nomen discovered they had been conned they went on a blood hunt. Chameleon used Starbuck to get off of the Rising Star. Starbuck then apologies to Apollo and Boomer for his behavior.

Chameleon later learns from Cassiopeia that he really is Starbuck's father, however he manages to convince her not to reveal the results to Starbuck, stating that while he'd make a terrible father, he might be a decent friend. As Chameleon is then remanded to the custody of Siress Blassie, who will be responsible for his rehabilitation into society for his actions, he and Starbuck remain friends.

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Tropes:

  • Badass Baritone: Both elder Nomen have very deep voices.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: All male Borellian Nomen appear to sport them.
  • Blood Knight: Seems to be a common trait among the Nomen.
  • Heel Realization: Chameleon does this after Starbuck explains that he plans on dropping out of the service to try and reconnect. Realizing that his lie could literally endanger the fleet, as well as harming Starbuck.
  • Honor Before Reason: Once a Borellian Nomen sets out on a "blood trail". Nothing will ever dissuade him from his "hunt".
  • Lovable Rogue: Chameleon
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The look on Chameleon's face as Starbuck tells him he's quitting the service to spend more time with him just screams this.
  • Properly Paranoid: Yes, Apollo. Chameleon really is conning Starbuck into protecting him. But then again, Chameleon eventually turns genuinely familial towards his target of choice. Plus, Apollo really wants to believe that the old con really is Starbuck's father.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy's: The Borellian Nomen.
  • The Reveal: In the end it turns out Chameleon really is Starbuck's father.
  • So Proud of You: Chameleon, when he explains to Starbuck that his risking his life to protect the fleet is important.
  • Un-Confession: Just as Chameleon is about to come clean with Starbuck about his lies, the Nomen show up.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Starbuck gets angry at Apollo and Boomer and calls them out for investigating Chameleon. He later forgives them when he finds out for himself that Chameleon has conned him into protecting him from the Nomen who put him on their blood trail.

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