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Recap / Battlestar Galactica 2003 S 04 E 04 Escape Velocity

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Season 4, Episode 4:

Escape Velocity

In the wake of Cally's death, Galen is holding a prayer service for her which is attended by most of the command crew.

Afterwards, Tigh and Tory confront Tyrol and discuss his wife's death. Tory asks the chief if Cally killed herself because of him, and Tyrol questions his memories and his wife's misplaced thought that they were having an affair. Tigh assures Tyrol that his feelings towards Cally were real, and it had nothing to do with being a Cylon.


Tigh then visits the brig to see Caprica-Six, and tells her that her request to see Hera has been denied. Caprica-Six thinks there's another reason he keeps visiting her, and it is revealed to the audience that Tigh sees Ellen's face whenever he looks at her.

Tory in turn visits the commune to see Baltar, and seduces him while they discuss the concepts of pain and pleasure. The mood is ruined when a fundamentalist group, the Sons of Ares, attacks the commune. Baltar hides behind a pillar as they attack the cultists and trash the commune before leaving a short while later. Baltar discovers the identity of his attackers when he sees graffiti they've painted on the walls, and HeadSix tells him that the gods are fighting back.

Baltar tells the cultists that they have been targeted for what they believe in, and calls on them to renounce the gods. He then heads to a temple and disrupts a prayer service, which eventually results in the temple being vandalized by the cultists, while Baltar is taken away by Marines in response.


In the hangar bay, Tyrol has finished completing repairs for Racetrack's Raptor, but mistakenly forgets to replace a critical fuse. When the Raptor goes out on patrol, the thrusters fail and the ship crashes into the portside landing deck.

Afterwards, he is confronted by Racetrack and Skulls and admits that it was his fault for not being focused during the repairs. He eventually becomes fed up with the situation and walks off the job.

Bill visits Roslin in sickbay as she undergoes another round of cancer treatment. Her hair has fallen out, and she is wearing a wig. After Bill reads her another passage from one of his favorite books, she tells him that Baltar has been placed in the brig once again. They both agree that they can't have a religious battle happening on Galactica, but Roslin has an idea to resolve the situation. She goes to Baltar in the brig and reveals that she has cancer and is near-death, and that she doesn't have the patience or drive to listen to his ramblings anymore. She urges him to stop his crusade, and frees him from the brig.


Tigh once again goes to visit Caprica-Six after seeing her earlier in the day. When questioned why he keeps visiting, the Colonel tells her that he wants to know how it feels to have so much human blood on her hands, under threat of being executed by Marines. When she tells him that she is still finding a way to deal with the pain, he orders the Marines to leave and stays behind to watch her.

Bill goes to Tyrol, who is drinking in Joe's Bar, and asks him why he left. Tyrol goes off on a rant about Cally's character flaws, and reveals that he still has feelings for Sharon. Despite his best attempts, Bill sees that Tyrol is unwilling to listen to him, and subsequently demotes him because he is a danger to others.

A Quorum meeting is convened aboard Colonial One. Lee argues with Roslin over Baltar's commune, and suggests that she's too concerned with her focus on him. When she tries to counter, he argues that they can override her position because a resolution she passed barring the size of his group cannot stand.

Baltar makes his way to the commune, but is stopped by a Marine who tells him of Roslin's resolution, and is repeatedly beaten back by the Marine to the point of spitting blood. HeadSix urges him to continue, and he repeatedly tries to enter the Marine while being beaten. Eventually, Lee arrives and orders the Marine to leave, then tells Baltar that the provision has been rescinded. Baltar thanks him, saying that his God compelled him to do it.

Caprica-Six wakes up in the brig to find Tigh watching her, and they have a conversation about learning from pain. He eventually turns off the surveillance cameras for her cell and enters, and she tells him that she can give him clarity. When he refuses, she beats him and asks if he understands the clarity that comes from pain. She continues punching him, as he envisions that Ellen is the one hitting him. Eventually, she realizes that beating him is not what she needs, and they begin to kiss...

Later, in sickbay, Bill is finishing his book while Roslin has her treatment. They talk about Lee, and she admits that he was right in rescinding her provision and supporting Baltar, but that his actions could have dangerous consequences. He finishes reading the book to her as she falls asleep.

Baltar delivers a speech to his commune imploring them to love others once they love themselves. Lee watches and sees Tory smiling, then leaves the commune…


  • All Love Is Unrequited: Tyrol reveals to Bill that he still has feelings for Boomer, despite the latter being in a relationship when he reveals this.
  • The Bus Came Back: Redwing (Hot Dog's wingman in "Exodus, Part 2") returns and takes part in the Raptor mission that ends in a crash, after being absent for most of the third season.
  • The Cameo: Kate Vernon as Ellen, who Tigh envisions Caprica-Six as.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The Sons of Ares, who attack with military precision and know the exact amount they have to assault the commune before Marine response units arrive.
  • Due to the Dead: The episode begins with Tyrol holding a memorial ceremony for his wife.
  • The Fundamentalist: The Sons of Ares, which attack Baltar's commune.
  • Groin Attack: Tory does this to Baltar while seducing him.
  • Hallucinations: Both Tigh (seeing his dead wife) and Tyrol (seeing Bill chastizing him for being a Cylon) get this over the course of the episode.
  • It's All My Fault: Tyrol after the Raptor crash, as a result of his negligence and distraction in the wake of his wife's death.
  • Motifs: The episode focuses on the concepts of pain and pleasure.
  • Must Make Amends: Roslin releases Baltar from the brig after enacting the provision against him, says that she's too tired to keep going up against him, and asks that he drop his crusade.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Caprica-Six beats the hell out of Tigh after asking if he wants to understand the clarity that comes from pain.
  • Not So Different: Caprica-Six to Tigh while beating him.
  • Prematurely Bald: Roslin loses her hair as a result of the cancer treatments, and decides to wear a wig instead.
  • Punishment Detail: Tyrol is demoted to a petty deckhand and told to report for reassignment after arguing with Bill in Joe's Bar.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Caprica-Six and Tigh.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Tyrol starts having hallucinations in the wake of his wife's death, and is demoted by Bill for being a danger to others.
    • Tigh begins to imagine that Caprica-Six is his wife, as he sees Ellen's face on the former every time he visits the brig.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Lee supports Baltar and his commune, despite Roslin warning him that doing so could have dangerous consequences for the fleet.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Caprica-Six beats up Tigh before kissing him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Bill after Tyrol insults his own wife, the ship and his life.
  • Word of God: According to the producers in the commentary for a later episode, Bill is not reading the book after Roslin falls asleep, but is actually giving an Anguished Declaration of Love.


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