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Recap / Battlestar Galactica 2003 S 04 E 05 The Road Less Traveled

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Season 4, Episode 5:

The Road Less Traveled

On Galactica, Tyrol is exercising while listening to a wireless broadcast from Baltar talking about how the Lords of Kobol don't exist. He goes to the launch tube where Cally died and contemplates his situation, and is joined by Tory, who tells him that he can't beat himself up over it.

Tyrol goes down to Baltar's commune and listens to one of his speeches, but is later scolded by Tigh for not getting over her death. Tyrol counters that he is aware that Tigh has been spending time with Caprica-Six in the brig.

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After the sermon, Baltar attempts to apologize for Tyrol's loss. He is nearly strangled to death by Tyrol in response, who leaves afterwards yelling at him.

On the Demetrius, a patrol has discovered a heavily-damaged Heavy Raider. Kara, who is flying with the air group, is hailed by a copy of Leoben. He asks to come aboard and offers her a chance to complete her journey and create a truce between Cylons and humans. The Heavy Raider docks on the Demetrius and Conoy is taken into custody. He tells Kara and the others that there is a Hybrid and other Cylons who need their help on the rebel Basestar.

Kara tries to interrogate Conoy, but Anders intervenes and begins beating the Cylon himself. Conoy says that he only wants to help Kara understand her destiny, and says they can find Earth together.

With the clock running down on their mission before Galactica declares them lost, Kara tries to convince the rest of the crew that they should visit the rebel Basestar. She is interrupted by a crew member named Pike who incites everyone to rise up against her. Pike is pistol-whipped by Helo in response, but the damage is done - the crew refuses to make the jump, and Helo reluctantly relieves her of command…

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Back on Galactica, Tyrol is contemplating suicide when he is visited by Baltar, who apologizes for his actions and convinces Tyrol to become a man of religion in order to atone for his sins...

Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: Neither Edward James Olmos (Bill) or Mary McDonnell (Roslin) appear in the episode. In the case of the former, it is the only episode of the series in which Olmos doesn't appear.
  • Back for the Dead: Erin Mathias (the head of Galactica's Marines) shows up just so she can be killed off.
  • Berserk Button: Tyrol nearly strangles Baltar to death after the latter tells him he's sorry over what happened to Cally.
  • Call-Back:
    • Leoben quotes the first article of faith just after Anders beats him, echoing what he said when Kara did the same thing to him in "Flesh and Bone".
    • Tyrol's suicidal thoughts and actions during the episode heavily evoke that of Boomer during "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 1", right down to similar camera angles and motivations.
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  • Despair Event Horizon: Tyrol is so broken up over Cally's death that he shaves his head, lashes out at everyone around him and contemplates suicide before Baltar convinces him to atone for his sins.
  • Important Haircut: Tyrol shaves his head bald in his depression over Cally's death.
  • Literary Allusion Title: Of Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Less Traveled". It is meant to reference the tough journey Kara and the others have voluntarily taken to find Earth.
  • Mauve Shirt: Erin Mathias gets blown up when she checks the reactor on her ship.
  • The Mutiny: Kara's crew (including Helo) rebels against her and attempts to return to the fleet before the ship jumps to the Basestar.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Baltar convinces Tyrol to put away his gun and become a religious follower.
  • The Woobie: Tyrol gets flak from nearly everyone, including other Cylons, which nearly leads him to commit suicide in his despair.

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