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Recap / Battlestar Galactica 2003 S 04 E 13 The Oath

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Season 4, Episode 13:

The Oath

Tigh walks into Bill's cabin to deliver his report on the ships in the fleet that are still refusing the Cylon jump drive upgrades. He is interrupted by Roslin emerging from the shower wearing a robe, and realizes that the Admiral and President have begun a relationship. A flustered Tigh continues his report, noting that solving the problem is going to be tough.

In Galactica's brig, Gaeta arrives with a contingent of Marines and crewmen. They release Zarek from his cell and head to the hangar bay, where Racetrack (who has decided to support them) clears out the area with a fake fuel leak scare. Racetrack reports to them that she has secured a Raptor for their use. However, Laird sees what is happening and refuses to authorize the departure, which prompts Zarek to pick up a wrench and strike him in the head, killing him.


Hoshi reports to Bill in the CIC that an unauthorized launch has occurred. Gaeta stalls them for time while a group of mutineers, including Seelix, Charlie Connor and Narcho begin to march to a small arms locker to secure weapons. Kara sees what is happening and trails them, then flees when she realizes what is happening.

Zarek also appears on Colonial One as Lee and the Quorum are conducting a meeting. He tells Lee that he was released from custody because Bill believed he was no longer a threat, but the latter refuses to believe it and heads back to Galactica.

Gaeta institutes a shipwide communications failure, while Lee is caught by the mutineers when the Raptor lands on Galactica's hangar deck. When Lee is in danger of being executed by a Marine, Kara kills the assailant and shoots Skulls in the shoulder. She threatens the other mutineers before leaving with Lee, guns drawn all the while.


Many of the command crew and pilots are taken hostage, including Anders, Sharon and Helo. Kara and Lee hole up in a locker and try to contact the CIC to no avail. She admits to him that this is the first time she's felt alive in weeks, and they make their way towards the command center, passing firefights, loyal crewmen who acknowledge them and corpses along the way.

In the CIC, Gaeta orders a group of Marines to enter and surround the astonished command staff. When one threatens to shoot Bill, a Marine named Jaffee throws himself in the way and takes the bullet. Gaeta orders his men to stand down and place them in the brig. Bill threatens that there will be no coming back if they continue their takeover just before he's hauled away.

Lee and Kara find Roslin in Bill's quarters and tell her about the mutiny, and the latter tells them that there is a way to get a message to the fleet. They head to Baltar's commune and ask for his wireless radio transmitter. Tyrol arrives soon after and tells them that Bill is in custody, and that they can get him out through an airlock he's secured. Roslin relays a message to the fleet telling them of the mutiny before Gaeta jams it.


Lee and Kara find Bill and Tigh in the brig with one guard and release him, then shoot at the mutinous guard before he flees. Together with Roslin and Baltar, they make their way towards the airlock to escape, and Baltar calls Gaeta on his transmitter and tries to reason with him to no avail.

A Raptor (piloted by a copy of Eight) arrives at the airlock, and Lee, Kara and Tyrol head back to their secure area. Bill kisses Roslin before she and Baltar leave, and says he will hold off any attacking forces with Tigh while the Raptor escapes.

As DRADIS picks up the fleeing Raptor, Gaeta orders it to be destroyed. At the same time, a group of Marines begins using torches to cut their way through the airlock door, and Bill and Tigh reaffirm their loyalty to each other before a flash grenade is thrown in…


  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Galactica, once the mutiny gets going.
  • Back for the Dead: Laird shows up just long enough to have one scene in the opening before he's beaten to death by Zarek.
  • Badass Boast:
    • After Jaffee is killed, Bill addresses the people in the CIC who have just started The Mutiny:
      Bill: I WANT YOU ALL to understand this! If you do this...there will be no forgiveness. No amnesty. ...This boy...died honoring his uniform. You...You'll die with nothing.
    • Kara dares the mutineers to follow her and Lee when she rescues him from them.
      Follow me. Please.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Bill and Tigh facing off against a large squad of Marines busting their way in through a hatch, and Gaeta ordering the Raptor with Baltar and Roslin onboard to be destroyed.
  • The Bus Came Back: Many of the supporting pilots and deckhands (including Narcho, Gage and Jaffee) return to prominence just as the mutiny begins. Some of them don't survive this episode.
  • Cassandra Gambit: Gaeta tells Adama that all the mysterious problems they're experiencing may be the result of sabotage.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Baltar's pirate transmitter comes in handy when the resistance movement needs to communicate with the rest of the fleet.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Seelix, Narcho, Racetrack, Skulls, Connor, Aaron Kelly, Redwing, Gage and many others support Gaeta's mutiny.
  • Communications Officer: Gaeta expertly uses his position to his advantage.
  • Continuity Nod: Bill once again tells someone else that It Has Been an Honor while involved in a no-hope scenario (the Basestars bombarding them in "Exodus, Part II" and the mutineers breaking through in this episode).
  • "Die Hard" on an X: The mutiny is centralized on Galactica, forcing a lot of characters to confront or evade their former fellow crew members.
  • Distressed Dude: Lee gets captured by the mutineers, but is saved by Kara before they can execute him.
  • Dual Wielding: Done by Kara while rescuing Lee and threatening the mutineers.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Many of the supporting Marines and pilots (including Racetrack, Skulls and Narcho) turn on the rest of the crew and begin following Zarek's orders, although Racetrack clearly didn't expect that the Marines would try to kill Lee.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jaffee sacrifices himself to protect Bill from the mutinous Marines' gunfire during the initial takeover.
  • Honey Trap: Seelix flirts with Anders and makes him think she's trying to seduce him before he's beaten by the mutineers.
  • Human Shield: Jaffee acts as this to protect Bill from the mutineers' crossfire, and dies in the process.
  • Insult Backfire: Kara tries to insult Hot Dog for his indiscretions with Cally, only for him to comment that she's "frakked half the Fleet" and has nothing to show for it.
  • Irony:
    • Gaeta refuses to allow the Cylons to network the Fleet's ships, whereas he was more than happy in "Scattered" to do the exact same thing with Galactica's systems (despite it being a risk).
    • Baltar had previously asked his followers whether the fleet could ever have a leader besides Bill or Roslin, then sides with them immediately out of self-preservation.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Said verbatim by Bill to Tigh at the end of the episode, when the Marines are breaking through the door.
  • Jumped at the Call: Kara admits to Lee that the mutiny has made her feel alive for the first time in weeks, and she is the first to organize a resistance movement onboard Galactica.
  • Mauve Shirt:
    • Laird, who gets killed off before the opening credits when he tries to stop Zarek.
    • Jaffee had little characterization (he was essentially Bill's coffee boy), but his death spurs Bill into action.
  • Rape as Drama: Gage threatens to rape Sharon when they're captured by the mutineers, although he never follows through on his threat.
  • Really Gets Around: Hot Dog insinuates this about Kara during their conversation in the mess hall.
  • La Résistance: Kara, Lee, Tyrol and Roslin organize one in order to take back the ship.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The "loyalists" find Marines and civilians massacred in Galactica's halls as a result of ongoing firefights and dissent, while Gage threatens to rape Sharon and an angry mob beats several people into unconsciousness.
  • Sorry to Interrupt: Tigh walks in on Bill in bed and Roslin coming out of the shower in a robe, and hastily beats a retreat after delivering his report.
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • Kara is the first one to figure out what is happening when she sees Marines and civilians walking together in formation.
    • Jaffee also figures out that something is amiss when he goes to investigate the supposedly-damaged communications array, but it's too late to do anything as he's killed a short while later in the CIC.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Baltar tries to talk Gaeta out of his actions. Gaeta is so bemused that he actually takes the call, but Baltar's words fail to sway him.
  • Wham Episode: Gaeta and Zarek's machinations explode into full-blown warfare on Galactica, with many civilians and Marines caught in the crossfire.


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