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Recap / Battlestar Galactica 2003 S 01 E 10 The Hand Of God

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Season 1, Episode 10:

The Hand of God

A fuel shortage has left the Colonial Fleet nearly crippled, and a group of Raptors are sent out to scout for suitable tylium ore deposits.

Boomer and Crashdown are surveying an asteroid when they discover a rich cache of the ore—except that it's being defended by the Cylons, who have established a refinery nearby. They report back to Bill and tell about their find. Faced with few options, Bill tells them that they will have to take the asteroid and the refinery by force.

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Lee and Tigh begin to draw up a battle plan to retake the asteroid, while Bill asks Kara for her help to provide unconventional tactics to counter the Cylon's programming.

Elsewhere, on Colonial One, a priestess named Elosha arrives onboard and consults Roslin, who tells her about the dreams she had about Leoben Conoy. She also mentions a dream about snakes, prompting Elosha to reference a prophecy about a dying leader who will lead humanity to Earth.

As the fleet prepares for the attack, Baltar's interest is piqued. He agrees to help after seeing photos of the refinery, and suggests that the only way to destroy it is to strike at the fuel containers. However, he has no idea what the containers look like. With some prompting from HeadSix (who tells him that God will help him point out the correct location), Baltar points to a random spot in the base.

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On Caprica, Helo and Sharon stop to rest at a farm on their way to Delphi. As Helo makes dinner, Sharon begins to vomit, leading Helo to ask her what's wrong. She replies she's fine, but later, as they sleep, the sound of an incoming group of Centurions, flanked by a copy of Six, sputs Sharon into action. Helo asks how the woman he shot can still be alive, while Sharon forces him out of the farm as they begin running.

Back on Galactica, Kara offers to take part in the mission, but Bill tells her to stay on the ship after seeing that her leg isn't fully healed. He then visits Lee, who has been harboring doubts that he's capable of leading the mission. Bill gives his son his lucky lighter, and tells him he has confidence that he will pull it off.

The attack begins, with Bill, Gaeta, Roslin, Baltar and Kara watching as a freighter ship jumps in and a squadron of Cylon Raiders move to attack it. Galactica's Vipers are launched, and engage the Cylons. As they fight, Bill tells them to return to Galactica, which causes the Raiders to give chase and ignore the freighter.

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As the Raiders head towards Galactica, Baltar asks when the reserve fighters are going to be launched. Bill says that everything has already been launched, before giving Kara the go-ahead to start the next phase of the attack. Kara relays a message to Lee that the "back door is open".

On the freighter ship, one of the cargo containers ejects, revealing the reserve Viper squadron hiding underneath it. The Vipers head towards the planet, but are faced with significant anti-air defenses, which result in Chuckles's and Stepchild's deaths. As Lee tries to avoid the gunfire, he notices a chasm and moves to take a look. Once there, he discovers a tunnel leading to the refinery and, despite Kat's concerns, travels through the tunnel on his own.

Lee's Viper emerges on the other side, and he deploys the bombs needed to destroy the fuel containers. After an uncertain moment, the bombs go off and the refinery goes up in a series of explosions while the crew cheers. Roslin assures Kara that the fleet will have enough fuel for years before giving her a hug. Soon after, the surviving Raiders are destroyed, and everyone celebrates on Galactica's hangar deck.

Meanwhile, Baltar is speaking to HeadSix about how amazed he is that his random guess was the correct one. He comes to the realization that the only explanation is that God pointed him to the right location, and that he is an instrument of God…

Tropes

  • Ace Pilot: Lee. Subverted with Kara, who wants to take part in the battle and knows she can do it, but is sidelined when Bill demonstrates how she won't be able to handle the pressure on her leg.
  • Asteroid Miners: The Cylons using the refinery.
  • Batman Gambit: Kara pulls a version of this by using unconventional thinking to draw the Cylons into attacking Galactica, while leaving the refinery exposed and open to attack by a reserve squadron of Vipers.
  • Big Budget Beef-Up: Nearly half the episode is spent on the attack on the refinery, which includes a horde of Raiders being effortlessly destroyed after the Viper squadrons draw them out.
  • Call-Back: The trainees from "Act of Contrition" take part in the refinery attack.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Lee improvises an alternate route into the refinery during the battle, leading his co-pilot to call him out on how insane it is, and his own responses when he realizes it's more dangerous than he thought.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title not only refers to Baltar randomly pointing out where the best place to hit the refinery is at the behest of HeadSix, but also his realization at the end of the episode that he himself is an instrument of God.
  • Foreshadowing: Gaeta indicates to Baltar that the Colonials know the location of the Cylon homeworld.
  • Glasses Pull: Bill, after the mission has been accomplished.
  • Heel Realization: Baltar realizes this after HeadSix explains that he is an agent of her God. Unlike most examples of this trope, though, he revels in it.
  • Hold Onto My Hat: Before the mission, Bill entrust to Lee his own father’s lucky lighter, intending to get it back afterwards.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: Apollo manages to pilot his Viper through an incredibly-narrow mining tunnel with next-to-no preparation, in a bid to sneak up on the refinery and destroy it.
  • Lighter and Softer: In his commentary, Ron Moore describes the episode as "a Big Mac," just a fun action piece to keep the show from getting too depressing. Though Chuckles' death still keeps up his rule that any victory over the Cylons would have a price, to keep them a viable threat.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Old habits die hard."
  • Mauve Shirt: Chuckles and Stepchild, who both die during the approach to the refinery.
  • Mission Control: Kara, during the attack on the refinery.
  • Morning Sickness: Sharon.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: Discussed.
    Bill: I need some serious "out-of-the-box" thinking.
    Kara: "Out-of-the-box" is where I live.
    • Ironic, considering where the reserve Vipers were hidden.
  • Reaction Shot: Done constantly by Gaius, who is watching the battle unfold in the situation room.
  • The Reveal: The freighter ship ejecting one of its cargo containers, where the reserve Viper squadron is hidden underneath.
  • So Proud of You: Bill to his son before the mission, after the latter explains that he thinks everyone else doubts him.
  • Thinking Out Loud: Lee during the refinery attack, as he tries to calm down as he makes the tunnel run.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Bill and Kara only explain half the plan to Laura, keeping the critical detail about the hidden Vipers a secret until they have to reveal it.
  • Wham Line:
    Kara: Mr. Gaeta, will you please tell Dee to get on the scrambler and inform Apollo the back door is open?
  • You're Insane!: Kat tells Lee that he's "out of his frakkin' mind" when he decides to fly through the tunnel.

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