Season 4, Episode 19:
Daybreak, Part I
Galactica's command staff are making final preparations to abandon the ship and remove key components for transfer to other vessels in the fleet. Lee has a conversation with a deckhand about taking out the magnetic accelerators last, while Bill is packing his belongings and sees the ceiling rumble above him.
In a series of flashbacks, the main characters' lives are glimpsed before the attack on the Colonies. Baltar and Caprica-Six are in the back of a limousine kissing when they are interrupted by a nurse, who tells him that his father is becoming unruly and she wants to leave. Roslin learns of the death of her father and sisters in a car accident, and after some soul-searching, agrees to an offer to join Richard Adar's presidential campaign. Anders is giving an interview to a sports reporter where he stresses discovering the "perfection" of important moments. Lee visits Kara and Zak Adama at her apartment and has dinner with them.
In the present, Baltar and Paulla are discussing the commune's prominence throughout the fleet, and he agrees to go to Lee to ask for official representation and voting power. HeadSix appears to him and says that "humanity's final chapter is about to be written".
Roslin is also resting in Galactica's sickbay. Kara sits with Anders nearby and pores over the notes and drawings she had previously received from Hera.
Baltar visits Lee and asks for official representation in political matters, but Lee refuses to listen because the former violated Kara's trust at the funeral. Baltar says that the latter's feelings for her are clouding his judgement, and Lee agrees to give him five minutes to make his case. Although he makes an impassioned plea, Lee declines Baltar's request and leaves.
In the Colony, Hera continues to draw musical notes. Boomer argues with Cavil that Hera misses her mother, but the latter refuses to listen and says that the only thing he's interested in is learning how the Cylons can achieve human life.
In the memorial hallway, Bill passes Hot Dog and Nicholas hanging up some photographs. Bill sees a photo of Athena kissing Hera on the head and walks off. A few moments later, he pauses, walks back and takes the photo with him in determination.
Bill and Kara meet with Anders and plug him into the Hybrid machines. Anders wakes up, while Kara tells Bill that she's been going over the drawings and notes for patterns and thinks she might have an answer, and goes to ask Anders a question.
Soon after, Bill assembles the crew on the hangar deck and announces that he is going to undertake a Suicide Mission to rescue Hera from the Colony. He tells them that he thought a rescue would be impossible, but realizes that it's something he has to do because of her importance to humanity's survival. All throughout the ship, the pilots, deckhands and staff begin talking about what is happening and whether they should support it.
Ellen is discussing the mission with Tory, who is against the idea. They pass Lee, who is relaying instructions to other people that the mission is voluntary. Hot Dog tells the other pilots that he guessed that Bill learned about the Colony's whereabouts from Anders and Kara. Roslin finds out about the mission in sickbay, while Cottle and Nurse Ishay pledge to lend their support. In their quarters, Helo tells Sharon that they're going to get Hera back no matter what before leaving.
A large number of crew and civilians assemble in the hangar bay for another speech from Bill. He tells the crew that if enough people don't join the effort, they will enact a Raptor assault led by him instead of using Galactica. He asks for any volunteers to move to the other side of a taped line on the floor if they wish to assist. Helo and Sharon, Lee, Kara, Hot Dog, the Final Five, Caprica-Six, Nowart and Roslin all pledge to join the effort along with many others. Baltar doesn't step forward, but feels conflicted over the situation. Bill is happy to see the number of volunteers.
In orbit near the Colony, Racetrack and Skulls arrive in a Raptor. They talk about being released after supporting the mutiny and pick up a DRADIS contact soon after. They realize that Anders' intel was correct.
The command staff assemble for a final mission briefing. Bill explains that the Colony is sitting in orbit of a black hole, and that there is only one entry point to access the station. He tells the group that there is going to be a large number of Cylon defenses waiting for them, and orders everyone to "get to work"
- Back for the Finale: All of the "Significant Seven" Cylons return, including Simon and Doral (who were last seen in "The Hub").
- Call-Forward: Caprica-Six catches another woman in Baltar's house in the flashbacks, just like she did in the miniseries (which chronologically take place afterwards).
- The Call Knows Where You Live: A variation - the death of Roslin's sisters and father convinces her to support Adar's presidential campaign for a change of pace.
- Continuity Nod:
- Lee's first flashback (where he visits Kara and Lee at her apartment) shows the Eye of Jupiter being visible when she opens the door.
- When Roslin appears during the scene where the fleet chooses whether to support the mission, the music playing is "Roslin and Adama" (used prominently in "Resurrection Ship, Part 2". More noticeably, Roslin is unsteady and supports herself on Bill's arm, just as she did at the end of that episode.
- Dramatic Irony: The main characters are shown in flashbacks to highlight how far they've come over the course of the series.
- Going Down with the Ship: Tigh explains that one Viper launch tube is to remain intact, so that Bill can be the last one to leave the ship.
- HeelFace Turn: Nowart (one of the Marines who took part in the mutiny and was called out by Bill for supporting it) is one of the first to sign up for the mission to board the Colony and rescue Hera.
- Infant Immortality: Averted - Roslin's sister (who's pregnant) is killed in a drunk driving accident.
- Interrupted Intimacy: Baltar and Caprica-Six try to get busy in the back of a limo, but are interrupted by his father's nurse calling.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: The entire supporting cast (including deckhands, nurses and everyone who supported the mutiny) decide to stay on Galactica and help take part in the mission.
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Machine Empathy: A deckhand remarks that if Galactica's magnetic accelerators are torn out, it will be like "tearing the old girl's heart out".
- The Main Characters Do Everything: Lampshaded. Skulls points out during the recon mission that he and Racetrack are always the ones picked to carry out important missions.
- Noodle Incident: Lee references a "dare" Zak and Kara made him do when he arrives back home after visiting them, although the exact details are never mentioned.
- No One Gets Left Behind: Bill makes the decision to save Hera after Hot Dog tells him about saving all the photos from the memorial wall so that the fallen won't be left behind.
- Rousing Speech: Bill gives one to the assembled crew when he discusses the mission and asks for volunteers.
- Rule of Symbolism: Almost all of the characters' flashbacks involve visual images (Roslin resting in a fountain as it cuts to her IV line, Anders sitting in a bathtub talking about the "perfection of the moment" before cutting to him in the Hybrid tank) that tie in with their current circumstances.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Bill admits that he previously thought there was no way they could rescue Hera, but decides to attack the Colony out of guilt for her kidnapping.
- Suicide Mission: Bill explains the attack on the Colony this way to the fleet.
- Your Cheating Heart: Caprica-Six finds another woman in Baltar's lakefront house when she visits after putting his father in a retirement home.