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Recap / Battlestar Galactica 2003 S 04 E 14 Blood On The Scales

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Season 4, Episode 14:

Blood on the Scales

Bill and Tigh are captured and brought to the CIC after a group of Marines (led by Aaron Kelly) storm the airlock they were holed up in.

Meanwhile, Hot Dog is ordered to destroy the fleeing Raptor, but hesitates because he isn't told who is aboard the craft. Roslin transmits a message to him ordering him to hold fire. However, Narcho fires missiles towards the Raptor, which miss and hit the rebel Basestar instead. The Raptor docks, and Roslin tells the confused Cylons that there has been a mutiny aboard Galactica. She tells them to move the Basestar into the middle of the fleet, so it won't be fired upon.


Tigh is placed in the brig by Gaeta, while Bill is ordered to call Roslin and order her to surrender. He refuses to do so, instead handing his Admiral's pins Gaeta and telling him to do it. The Basestar moves into the center of the fleet, forcing a stalemate between the two sides.

From the docking bay, Lee and Kara watch as Zarek and the Quorum are ferried to Galactica from the Colonial One. The two mutiny leaders meet and discuss putting Bill on trial for crimes against the fleet. When Gaeta asks why Zarek brought the Quorum, the latter replies that he wanted to keep an eye on them.

Tyrol is sneaking through the ship when he comes upon Kelly and other Marines leading Romo Lampkin to Bill's office. Inside the office, Zarek tells Lampkin that he wants him to handle Bill's defense in an improvised court-martial. Tyrol climbs into a service tunnel and begins crawling through the ship to avoid detection.


In a conference room, Zarek is addressing the Quorum. They are outraged by the mutiny and refuse to support "Mister Vice President". In response, Zarem walks out of the room and orders a pair of Marines to shoot them. As the delegates scream inside the closed room, Zarek orders a visibly-disturbed Kelly to bring Gaeta. Afterwards, Gaeta arrives and is aghast at the aftermath before arguing with Zarek about the loss of life.

Tyrol exits the tunnels and is soon confronted by Kelly. Tyrol calls Kelly a dumbass for supporting the mutiny, and they both laugh in response. They joke about happier times, and Kelly tells him to move on, clearly bothered with the situation and himself.

As Bill is forced to sign a statement condemning his own actions, Lee and Kara assault the holding cell where the command crew is being held. Lee doesn't find his father among the prisoners, and tells Tigh and Kara that they are running out of time. On their way out of the cell, Anders is shot in the neck by a mutineer while providing cover fire, who is shot in turn by Kara.


Kara moves Anders to sickbay while Lee, Tigh and the others go to rescue Bill. The court-martial is held and Bill is found guilty. Before they can do anything else, Roslin uses the Basestar's wireless to contact the fleet and explain the situation. Gaeta has the comms jammed, but again is too late: Several ships in the fleet power down their FTL drives and protect the Basestar in solidarity.

Romo is escorted out of Bill's office by a Marine to be executed, but they find Kara as she's moving Anders to sickbay. Kara distracts the Marine, and Lampkin stabs him multiple times with his pen. With that issue resolved, Lampkin reluctantly joins Kara with helping Anders

Gaeta orders Bill to be taken down to a launch tube and executed, and for the mutineer-loyal ships to jump away once their FTL drives are ready. As Bill is being moved, Kelly (who is escorting him) leaves and cries to himself in a side corridor. Lee and Tigh find him in the hall, realize what's happening, and run in to stop the execution. Kelly determinedly follows, indicating that he will help the loyalists.

Roslin uses the Basestar's wireless to contact Galactica and orders them to release Bill. Gaeta radios Narcho and tells him to proceed with the execution, but before the pilot can do anything, Tigh appears behind him with a gun placed to his head, forcing him to lie to Gaeta. Bill is freed, Narcho is tied up, and the loyalists begin to move their way through the ship.

In the CIC, Zarek contacts Roslin and lies that Bill and Tigh were both executed. She angrily responds that she will do everything in her power to destroy them, and has the Basestar arm its weapons. At the same time, Tyrol runs towards Galactica's engine room.

Zarek and Gaeta order all of the mutinous ships to get ready to jump away, but Tyrol enters the engine room and sees the drive activating. Realizing what's about to happen, he opens up the casing and pulls out a key component, which stops the ship from jumping. Afterward, Tyrol notices that the ship is suffering from serious structural damage.

As Zarek and Gaeta reel from their ruined plans, Bill, Tigh and an ever-increasing group of loyalists march towards the CIC. Before there is any further bloodshed, Gaeta orders everyone to hold weapons, both in CIC and outside against the Basestar. Adama and the loyalists storm the command center, and the mutineers surrender without a fight. Bill then calls Roslin and relays that the ship is back under their control, much to her relief.

Afterwards, Roslin arrives back in Galactica and embraces Bill, while Gaeta is confined to quarters. Baltar visits him and they talk about their respective pasts, while Gaeta assures the doctor that he's fine with the way things turned out.

Zarek and Gaeta are taken to a firing line in a launch tube, with the command crew present. Just before the Marines execute them, Gaeta realizes that his leg isn't itching anymore. The Marines fire, killing both of them.


  • Air-Vent Passageway: Tyrol spends most of the episode crawling through ducts and service tunnels to avoid the mutineers and reach Galactica's engine room.
  • All There in the Manual: The name of the Six who sleeps with Baltar on the Basestar, Lida, was only given in an interview the director of the episode gave to the Chicago Tribune.
  • Badass Boast: From Roslin, of all people:
    No. Not now. Not ever. Do you hear me? I will use every cannon, every bomb, every bullet, every weapon I have down to my own eyeteeth to end you! I swear it! I'm coming for all of you!
  • *Click* Hello: When Tigh points his gun at Narcho after the latter has just received the order to execute Bill.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: Romo reeeally didn't want to help Kara heft Anders to the medbay.
  • Death Glare: Carrying over from last episode, Bill gives one to Gaeta several times once the mutiny begins.
  • Defiant Captive: Bill spends most of his time as Gaeta's captive mocking him, refusing his demand to order Roslin and his other supporters in the fleet to stand down, and calling out Gaeta's "Court Martial" for being nothing but a Kangaroo Court, all while giving him the famous Adama Death Glare.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe, after Lee throws a grenade with the pin still in to freak out a group of mutineers that he and Kara gun down.
    Kara: OK, that is not funny.
    Lee: It would have been if you had thought of it.
    Kara: No, still not funny.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Say what you will about them, Zarek and Gaeta face their firing squad with their heads held high, even exchanging a respectful nod right before the order is given.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Just before he's executed, Gaeta comments that his leg doesn't hurt anymore.
    It's stopped...
  • Fake in the Hole: Lee uses a variant of this to freak out a group of mutineers and gun them down.
  • Foreshadowing: Tyrol discovers that the ship has suffered significant structural damage after he's disabled the FTL drive.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • The execution of the Quorum members occurs offscreen, with screams and gunfire heard as Kelly walks away. The end result is seen later by Gaeta (a Deleted Scene averts the trope).
    • Likewise, Gaeta and Zarek's execution occurs just as the show cuts to black.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Captain Kelly, who becomes disheartened with the violence Zarek and Gaeta are carrying out (especially when Zarek executes the Quorum) and decides to help Bill and the others retake CIC instead.
  • Human Shield: Roslin uses a large-scale variant of this, by using the entire Colonial Fleet as a shield for the rebel Basestar.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Subverted. Shortly before he's executed, Gaeta tells Baltar about all the careers he could have majored in, but concludes that he's okay with the way things turned out.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • For the second time in five episodes, a senior member of the command crew (Tigh in "Revelation", Bill in this episode) is nearly killed while kneeling inside a launch tube.
    • Gaeta's (and Bill's) comments about a "day of reckoning" in previous episodes come back to bite him when the mutiny is quashed.
  • It's Personal: Subtly present during the Quorum meeting. The delegate that tells Zarek that his coup is not legitimate is the representative of Sagittaron, the same planet Zarek is from and dedicated his life to fighting for. There is an implication that Zarek's decision to kill the Quorum was a result of a mild Despair Event Horizon borne from being rejected by his own people.
  • Hypocrite: The entire mutiny kicked off because Gaeta and Zarek thought that Adama was subverting democracy by overruling the Quorum when they vote against him. Zarek then has the entire Quorum murdered when they refuse to support him.
  • Just in Time: Tyrol disables the FTL drive just before Galactica jumps away, while Bill radios Roslin just before she uses the Basestar's weapons to fire on Galactica.
  • Kick the Dog: Zarek's massacre of the Quorum because they refused to support him. The character has been engaged in Offscreen Villainy for so long, it's a necessary reminder of his ruthlessness.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Quorum of Twelve (save for Lee and two other delegates), Zarek and Gaeta.
  • Nothing Personal: Zarek and Gaeta exchange a smile before their Firing Squad, with no recriminations over how or why things went wrong.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Gaeta, once he survives the bodies of the slain Quorum members and realizes that they've crossed a line they can't come back from.
    • Zarek and Gaeta get this when Galactica's FTL drive is shut down by Tyrol.
  • The Pen Is Mightier / Bond One-Liner: Romo's "pen pal".
  • Put on a Bus: All of the mutineers are shipped off to the Astral Queen to serve time as prisoners.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Gaeta, clearly bothered by the loss of life on both sides, decides to prevent further bloodshed from happening by ordering the mutineers to hold weapons. Even knowing that Adama will not show him forgiveness or amnesty for starting this in the first place, Gaeta admits to a tearful Baltar that he is at peace with the way things have turned out, just before his is called in for execution.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Gaeta and Zarek are executed via firing line for instigating the mutiny. The rest of the surviving mutineers are shipped off to the Astral Queen for confinement.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Gaeta's leg stops hurting just before he's executed, indicating that he is finally at peace with who he is and what he did.
  • Ruling Family Massacre: When the Quorum refuses to sanction his coup, Zarek elects to Kill 'Em All.
  • Scheherezade Gambit: Aware they've both going to be executed, Romo urges Adama to play for time by going along with his "trial". He refuses, such is his contempt for Gaeta for betraying him.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Gaeta as opposed to the pragmatic Zarek.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Lampkin stabs one of the mutineering guards to death after Starbuck provides him with a distraction.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Gaeta and Zarek freak out once Tyrol sabotages the FTL drive, and realizes that their plans have failed.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: While the Quorum of Twelve were massacred, two of the delegates were replaced by stand-ins (including the Gemenon delegate) and don't appear for the rest of the series.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The Kangaroo Court is basically Gaeta trying to force Adama to acknowledge what he put Gaeta through. Adama contemptuously refuses to play along.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Zarek's philosophy — they've already crossed the Moral Event Horizon with The Mutiny, so they need to be as ruthless as possible until they've seized power. He is unable to convince Gaeta of this, so they waste valuable time on Adama's Kangaroo Court.
  • You Are in Command Now: Sarcastically said by Adama to Gaeta when the latter keeps addressing him as "Admiral" and ordering him to tell Roslin to stand down, culminating in Adama taking off his insignia pips and tossing them to Gaeta.
    "You're the admiral now! So you call up Roslin! Make her laugh!"


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