Season 2, Episode 09:
Flight of the Phoenix
The events of the past few weeks have caught up with the crew, who are being stressed to the breaking point. As crewmen snap at each other, Roslin goes for a doctor's appointment with Cottle, and is informed that her cancer has spread, only giving her a month at most to live.
On the flight deck, Cally is finally released from the brig after killing Boomer a month earlier, and Tyrol and the others give her a welcome-back party. However, Tyrol is still burned out angered, especially when he provokes Helo into a fight after confronting him over Sharon. Tyrol eventually comes up with an idea to make a new fighter from scratch, although the rest of the flight deck crew isn't really convinced.
Elsewhere, Lee, Hot Dog and Kara are nearly killed when the life support systems malfunction on Galactica's firing range, leading the command crew to discover that the Cylons have infected the Battlestar with a virus that causes systems to go haywire. After some questioning, Sharon reveals to them that the infection is a prelude to a large Raider attack.
Helo, who is being treated as an outsider by many of the pilots due to his relationship with Sharon, offers suggestions to Tyrol on how to improve his unfinished ship's design, including using a different type of material for the plating. This has the unintended effect of making the ship have stealth capabilities. Tyrol also finds help from some unlikely sources, including Tigh, who secures the fighter's engines for him. Eventually, the crew rallies around Tyrol as finishes the fighter, which he christens the "Blackbird", and congratulates Helo on his suggestion.
As Baltar and Tyrol try to figure out a way to disable the Cylon virus, Sharon suggests that she be hooked up to the ship's systems and buy the crew time to shut down and purge the infection from the ship's computers. However, Sharon also surprises everyone by re-routing the virus to an assembled fleet of over 200 Raiders that have come to attack the fleet, leaving the latter force sitting ducks in the middle of space. The full complement of Galactica's Vipers cheer as they take down the now-helpless Cylons, giving them a major morale boost.
Lee and Kara test the new fighter, and it is nicknamed "Laura" after Roslin, giving the crew renewed hope and optimism in their search for Earth.
- The Alcoholic: Tigh, who procures a bottle of homemade liquor from Tyrol in exchange for help securing the Blackbird's engines.
- Continuity Nod: Roslin gives back the book Bill lent to her in the second episode of the series.
- Day in the Limelight: For Tyrol, who manages to boost the fleet's morale by building a stealth fighter from scratch with the help of the command and flight crews on Galactica.
- Eye Lights Out: The Raiders after their plan to upload the logic bomb is turned against them by Sharon.
- Infinite Supplies: Averted; Tyrol has to beg several people for help building the Blackbird, as well as trade favors to people like Tigh to get the parts he needs. He ends up using carbon composite plating for the fighter due to a lack of other plating material, which has the unintended benefit of making the ship impossible to spot on DRADIS.
- Logic Bomb: An in-universe examplethe Cylons try to deploy an actual "logic bomb" that messes with the ship's systems and tries to kill the command crew. It ends up backfiring on the Cylons when Sharon interfaces directly with Galactica's computers and redirects it to the attacking Raiders.
- Macross Missile Massacre: The Colonial fleet pulls it off against the Cylons after the latter's attempt to upload a logic bomb backfires and 200-plus Raiders are left floating lifeless in space. The Vipers waste no time launching everything they have against the Raiders.
- Maligned Mixed Marriage: A large part of the episode's conflict comes from the Galactica crew, who shun Helo for having a relationship with a Cylon.
- Military Moonshiner: Tyrol, who has been using a still to make alcohol so he can keep the flight deck crew's morale up.
- Oh, Crap!: Sharon's reaction when she realises what the Cylon virus currently infecting the Galactica's systems is doing.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Doc Cottle abandons his usual Dr. Jerk attitude when informing Laura of her new diagnosis and the fact that she has weeks left to live.
- Shiny-Looking Spaceships: The Blackbird.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: During the Blackbird's initial test, Kara uses this method to fly behind Lee and surprise him.
- Stealth in Space: The Blackbird has stealth capabilities due to being fitted with carbon composite plating.
- Whole Plot Reference: To the film of the same name. The episode also has many similarities to the episode of Star Trek: Voyager where the Delta Flyer is built.