Season 3, Episode 8:
In Galactica's CIC, the crew is going about their routines when they see a trio of contacts appear on DRADIS. Kat and Kara are dispatched to intercept the vessels, which turn out to be a pair of Raiders chasing a third Raider that is damaged and flying erratically. Kara and Kat destroy the pursuing Raiders and move to engage the damaged one, but they are stopped when Bill hears a familiar voice over the comm channel, identifying himself as "Bulldog" and requesting clearance to come aboard. He orders Kat and Kara to escort the Raider in.
On the hangar deck, the command crew watches as a haggard man stumbles out of the Raider and salutes Bill, who salutes him in return. The man acknowledges himself as Daniel Novacek, a.k.a. "Bulldog", and tells him that he escaped the Cylons and discovered the fleet.
After his DNA records are cleared by Cottle, Bill and Bulldog catch up on old times. Bill asks him how he escaped, and Bulldog relates that he was able to overpower a copy of D'anna after a disease began to ravage the Basestar he was imprisoned on. They then meet with Roslin, who asks how Bulldog got captured in the first place. Bill says that it involved a mining operation that took place too close to the Cylon/Colonial Armistice Line, but Roslin suspects he isn't telling the whole truth. After Bulldog leaves, Roslin confronts him, but he tells her that he can handle it himself.
On the Basestar, D'anna is having a dream where she is running away from Marines on Galactica and gets cornered, then asks them to shoot her. She wakes up with a start, and is revealed to be in bed with Baltar and Caprica-Six. She gets dressed and leaves.
Bulldog visits Tigh's quarters and they share a drink. They also relate their experiences serving on the Battlestar Valkyrie with Bill several years earlier. Bulldog asks what really happened during his mission, and Tigh says that Bill ordered his craft to be destroyed after he strayed past the Armistice Line to spy on the Cylons.
Bill also summons Lee to his quarters, and tells his son that he feels immense guilt for his actions during the failed mission. He then says that he may have been responsible for the attack on the Colonies because his authorization of the mission may have caused the Cylons to believe the Colonials were becoming too aggressive. Lee tells him not to be too hard on himself.
On the Basestar, D'anna (still troubled over her dreams) goes to a Centurion and asks it to shoot, then to delete its log of the incident. The Cylon does so and she is downloaded, though not before experiencing flashbacks of several past incidents and a new memory of seeing five beings in white robes standing in an opera house. She awakens in a birthing tank, and tells a copy of herself who's come to help her that she's seen something amazing.
Kara is reviewing her gun camera footage from the engagement with the pursuing Raiders, and discovers that they were deliberately missing the Raider Bulldog was escaping on. She reports her findings to Tigh, who goes to Bill's cabin with the information.
When he arrives, he discovers Bulldog trying to beat Bill to death, and grabs the pilot off his friend. Tigh tells Bulldog that he was played by the Cylons, and that he has to let go of his anger towards Bill. Bulldog finally breaks down and realizes that his escape was all a set-up to have him attack and murder Bill.
Afterwards, a guilt-stricken Bill tries to present his resignation letter to Roslin, noting that he's let down the fleet. She tells him that he's being silly, and says the admirals of the Colonial Fleet were likely using him as a scapegoat to try and goad a war with the Cylons. She tells him that it's not his fault, and awards him with a medal for his years of service.
Bulldog decides to take a Raptor to a civilian ship, but not before Bill gives him a new officer's uniform. After, Bill and Tigh share a drink in the latter's quarters, and the latter finally opens up to him about Ellen's death.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Bulldog, who is discovered to have been tortured and mentally conditioned to want to kill Bill for the latter authorizing the mission that got him captured in the first place.
- Deadpan Snarker: At the end of the episode.Tigh: I hear you got a medal.Bill: Yeah. They're handing them out for anything these days: "good behavior", "attendance", plays well with others".
- Death Seeker: D'anna.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Tigh is still hitting the bottle heavily in the wake of Ellen's death, and later uses alcohol as an analogy while talking to Bulldog in Bill's cabin.
- Eyepatch of Power: Tigh finally gets one at the end of the episode.
- It's All My Fault: Bill blames himself for the mission that led to Bulldog's capture, and conversely, believes he caused the attack on the Colonies. It takes a lecture from both his son and Roslin to make him realize it wasn't his fault.
- Is That What He Told You?: Bulldog to Tigh in the ending.
- Modesty Bedsheet: D'anna after waking up next to Baltar and Caprica-Six after their tryst.
- He Will Come for Me: SubvertedBulldog: All those years You know what I kept telling myself? What stupid, frakked-up dream I held onto? I kept thinking: Just hang in there, Bulldog. Bill Adama's coming. He won't leave you to rot in here, not him. He won't leave a man behind. Just hold on. But you weren't coming. You didn't think I was alive. You weren't even hoping I was alive!
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Bulldog against Bill.
- Series Continuity Error: The flashbacks to Bill's tour on the Valkyrie apparently take place a year before the miniseries. This is despite numerous characters referring to having worked for Bill for multiple years on Galactica leading up to the miniseries, including several statements that Boomer worked as a pilot for Bill on Galactica for the two years leading up to the attack. Despite various statements by producer David Eick that the timeline is correct, most fans disregard his claims and place the flashbacks at many years before the start of the series.
- 10-Minute Retirement: Subverted; Bill tries to give his resignation to Roslin over his guilt for what happened with Bulldog, but she refuses to accept it, and tells him that he's being silly.
- Three-Way Sex: D'anna has a threesome with Baltar and Caprica-Six on the Basestar.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Bulldog disappears after this episode, and was intended to come back later in the series, but failed contract negotiations with actor Carl Lumbly scuttled the plan.
- Whole Plot Reference: For the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Defector", which involves a similar setup (and was also written by Ron Moore).