Season 4, Episode 20:
Daybreak, Part II & III
Baltar is sitting in the commune quarters, which are now empty. HeadSix appears once more and tells him to trust in God's plan, and that he will be the author of the events that will be unfolding soon.
The crew make final preparations for the mission. Helo briefs the pilots on their mission and asks if anyone wants to back out. No one does, and Lee explains that Hera is likely being held deep within the Colony.
In the CIC, Bill and the Final Four (including Tyrol, who was released from the brig) are explaining to the staff that Anders will be hooked up to the ship's computer systems, and will use them to interface with the Colony's Hybrid and disable its defenses. Wiring and tubes are strewn throughout the CIC as Anders is placed in a Hybrid tank.
Bill transfers command of the fleet to Hoshi, and tells him that Galactica should be considered lost if it doesn't report back in 12 hours. At the same time, Lee transfers presidential authority to Romo Lampkin and orders him to take care of the fleet in his absence.
As the last staff members leave the ship, Baltar decides to stay behind over the wishes of his fellow commune members. An impressed Lee gives Baltar a weapon, while a copy of Six leads several friendly Centurions (marked by red sashes) to defensive points throughout the ship.
A final round of checks are done throughout the ship. Lee, Nowart and a group of Marines get in position to board to board the Colony. Baltar is in a hallway when Caprica-Six joins him to defend the corridor. Roslin and Nurse Ishay are gathering supplies for the imminent arrival of wounded people, and Ellen tells Bill that Anders is plugged in and ready to work. Bill gives a final Rousing Speech to the crew and orders them to jump.
Galactica jumps into the area just a short distance from the walls of the Colony, and is immediately onset with numerous Cylon gun batteries firing on them. As Viper squadrons launch and defend the ship from waves of Raiders that are emerging, Racetrack and Skulls arm their nuclear devices to fire after Galactica gets clear of the station. The Raptor is suddenly hit by debris, killing both occupants and leaving it adrift.
Bill orders full forward thrust, and Galactica smashes through the Colony's wall. Anders connects with the Colony's Hybrid and forces her to take the gun batteries offline, allowing the other Raptors to launch and dock onboard the station.
Inside, Cavil and Boomer see what is happening. A copy of Simon doubts Galactica's chances, but Boomer (in a fit of rage after seeing him trying to work on Hera) snaps his neck and takes Hera with her. Cavil and a copy of Doral and Simon elect to attack the Battlestar head-on.
The Marines board the Colony and begin making their way through the halls while taking down Centurions. Soon after, Sharon and Helo's team finds Boomer, who is carrying Hera. Boomer hands the child back to her mother and tells the group that she knows it doesn't excuse what she did, but she is at peace with what she has done. After a brief pause, Sharon unloads half a clip into Boomer, who falls dead to the floor. Sharon and Kara's team meet up and they head back to Galactica.
In Galactica's hallways, Baltar makes amends with Caprica-Six for his behavior before and they rekindle their old relationship. The moment is short-lived, as they realize enemy Centurions have broken through Galactica's defenses and are coming onboard. Together, they fend off the invaders until Lee's group arrives and gives backup. Lee stays behind with Baltar to Hold the Line while the others head towards the CIC.
As Kara's group moves through the halls, enemy Centurions appear and attack. In the skirmish, Helo is injured and Hera gets scared and runs away. Sharon runs after her, while Roslin has a vision of Hera running in sickbay and goes to find her.
Cavil's group marches through Galactica's corridors and attempts to assault the CIC, but the Simon and Doral copies are killed and Cavil is placed under guard. At the same time, Baltar and Caprica-Six have retreated through the corridors and find Hera, who they take along with them. They both realize that it is exactly like a vision they had, and elect to bring her to the CIC.
Baltar, Six and Hera arrive in CIC to witness the aftermath of the attempted attack. When an explosion rocks the ship from the fighting outside, Cavil grabs a gun and takes Hera hostage in a bid for freedom.
Baltar gives an impassioned speech to Cavil, explaining to him that Hera is key to both the Cylons' and humanity's survival. He tells him that God is not on anyone's side, and asks him to take a leap of faith so that both groups can work out their differences. Tigh also tells Cavil that the Five will teach the Cylons the secret of immortality. At this, Cavil releases Hera. He and Bill both order their forces to stand down.
Roslin and Kara arrive at the CIC, while the Vipers and Raiders dock with Galactica. As everyone watches, the Final Four get ready to access the information by dipping their hands into Anders' tank. Ellen tells the group that they will all be sharing knowledge at the same time. A nervous Tory tells the others that they're fallible and that they should be forgiven for their sins. They all put their hands in and begin to share information.
Tory's memory of killing Cally surfaces and everyone is shocked. An outraged Tyrol pulls his hands out of the tank and snaps Tory's neck in response.
At this, Anders screams and loses connection with the Colony's Hybrid, while the powered-down enemy Raiders reactivate and start attacking Galactica again in response. A firefight breaks out in the CIC, and several enemy Cylons are killed. Cavil swears in frustration and turns the gun on himself before pulling the trigger.
In space, Racetrack's disabled Raptor is floating lifelessly when a piece of debris strikes it. This causes the dead Racetrack's hand to slip and hit the release button, causing a payload of nuclear missiles to fire and strike the Colony.
Explosions are occuring throughout the station, which is being pulled towards the black hole. Onboard Galactica, a frantic Bill orders Kara to jump the ship. She responds that she doesn't have the fleet's rendezvous coordinates, and he tells her to make a blind jump.
Remembering Hera's drawings and the piano lessons with her father, Kara realizes that the musical notes correspond to jump coordinates. She enters them into the nav computer and jumps the ship out before the Colony is destroyed.
Galactica finishes the jump, and its superstructure buckles and wobbles in response before the engines finally reactivate. Bill asks for a status report, and Saul tells him that the ship will never be able to jump again. When Bill asks where Kara has taken them, she stands in stunned surprise. Galactica passes over a moon to reveal Earth, this time without the darkness that covered most of the planet.
The fleet arrives at Galactica's position twelve hours later, and landing ships are immediately dispatched to the planet's surface.
Bill, Saul, Cottle, Hoshi and Baltar arrive at a savannah and use binoculars to scope out a tribe of native humans. Cottle tells the group that the natives are genetically compatible with them, and Bill reacts in shock to the news.
As the command crew plan out their next moves, Lampkin asks to start building a city using parts from the fleet. Lee tells the group he has a better idea: to let humanity start over again by rejecting technology and hopefully breaking the cycle of warfare between humans and technology. A copy of Leoben tells the group that his line, as well as the Sixes and Eights, will also remain on the planet to help humanity repopulate, and that they have given control of the Basestar to the Centurions to find a new home for themselves and have their own freedom.
Bill gives everyone their orders to repopulate various parts of the world and spread humanity out as far as they can. He also elects to have Anders remote-pilot Galactica and all of the fleet's ships into the sun to destroy any advanced technology.
Onboard Galactica, Kara says her final goodbyes to Anders and leaves her dog tags with him. He replies that he will see her on the other side as she leaves.
Bill walks onto the hangar deck one last time in a flight suit with his call sign. He takes one more look around and climbs into the Viper that was restored for him just before the fall of the Colonies, and launches from the ship. He takes a flyby before leaving, and Anders guides the fleetand Galacticainto the sun.
At the savannah, Saul and Ellen have one last conversation with Tyrol. Saul tells him that he would have done the same thing to Tory if it had happened to him, and Tyrol tells them that he has decided to head to Scotland.
Bill and Roslin also have a final conversation with Lee and Kara. Bill expresses happiness for their help and support over the years, and hugs his son. After they leave, Kara tells Lee that she won't be coming back either, and tells him that she's completed her mission and feels happy. As Lee goes on about his plans to explore, he turns back and finds that Kara has disappeared. Realizing what she meant, Lee says goodbye and promises Kara that she won't be forgotten.
Roslin is happy to see how lush Earth is, but her vision is failing her. Bill carries her to a Raptor and flies over the plains. As they do, she expresses how full of life it is, and passes away while Bill is pointing out wildlife. He realizes that she's gone, and cries. He takes his wedding ring off and puts it on her hand, and tells her that he now knows where to build the cabin he wanted for both of them. The Raptor sets down near a set of hills.
Elsewhere in the world, Lampkin, Helo, Sharon, Hera, Saul, Ellen, Baltar and Caprica-Six are walking along to find a suitable location for a new settlement. Baltar stops and looks on in admiration. Suddenly, both he and Six are surprised by the appearance of their respective hallucinations, who tell them that while their role in God's plan isn't complete, their lives will be much less eventful. They disappear for good, leaving both of them at a momentary loss for words. Baltar points out that he has some skill with farming, and breaks down upon realizing the gravity of what has happened. Caprica-Six kisses him, and they continue on with the group.
Bill sits by a funeral cairn he built for Roslin. He tells about the cabin he's building, and how it frames the sunrise perfectly
Society has progressed to the modern age. In New York City, HeadSix is reading a magazine article about the discovery of the remains of "mitochondrial Eve", who is implied to be Hera.
HeadBaltar appears and talks with her about the discovery and mankind's development of technology. They muse to themselves whether this Earth is doomed to repeat the mistakes of its predecessors, but Six tells him she doesn't think it will be the case. She contends that it is part of God's plan, and that the cycle has been broken.
He tells her that "God" doesn't like that name, and she slyly looks at him. They both walk off as Jimi Hendrix's Cover Version of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower" plays over a series of images detailing robotic advancement.
- Ate His Gun: Cavil. Whether it was simple suicide as his plans crashed down around him, or a reflexive escape attempt forgetting he couldn't resurrect anymore, will never be known.
- The Atoner: Baltar decides to stay behind and help during the mission out of guilt for thinking of himself instead of others, and because of his need to rescue Hera.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Baltar and Caprica-Six (and later, Baltar and Lee) repelling Cavil's Centurions in Galactica's halls.
- Berserk Button: Tyrol loses it after discovering Tory killed Cally, and strangles her to death just before a firefight erupts in the CIC.
- Best Served Cold: Athena passively shoots Boomer with half a clip from her assault rifle after the latter delivers her daughter back to her.
- Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts: A longer timeframe than usual, but Kara Thrace died, turned up again and hitched a lift, gave mystical prophecies and information and finally vanished into thin air when her "task" was done.
- Big Applesauce: The final scene takes place in modern Times Square.
- Big Budget Beef-Up: The assault on the Colony.
- Big Red Button: The nukes in Racetrack's Raptor are fired by pressing a red button in the center of the console (and, inexplicably, with no safety-guard). They are triggered when Racetrack's hand falls on the button after her death.
- Brick Joke: During her final moments, Boomer has a flashback where Bill once again chastises her for her terrible Raptor landings.
- Captain Obvious: After Hera is rescued.Cavil: Time for us to go on the offensive.Simon: We must be cautious. Too much force could risk killing the child.Cavil: Really? You think? Please continue stating the perfectly obvious. It fills me with confidence.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Kara's dreams of the piano player (and Hera's drawings) pay off when it gives her the information she needs to enter the jump coordinates to Earth during the final battle.
- Racetrack's nukes, which are inadvertantly set off after her death and cause the colony to be pulled into a black hole.
- One that sat there a long time: Early in the miniseries, the Galactica crew announce that they managed to find Bill's old Viper, restored it to its original condition and have it on the hangar deck. The first time we see Bill fly it is when he disembarks Galactica for the last time.
- In "The Hand of God", HeadSix explained that she is "an angel of God". The last thirty seconds of the series pays this off, when it's revealed that she wasn't lying. It's literally true.
- Continuity Nod:
- Creator Cameo: Ronald D Moore appears as the bystander whose magazine HeadSix and HeadGaius are reading about "mitochondrial Eve" from.
- Dead All Along: Kara.
- Death Glare: Once Tyrol realizes that Tory killed Cally.
- Deus ex Machina: Kara simply puffing out of sight just after confirming her journey was over and feeling good. And that is just after she figured out the coordinates of the real Earth from a Cylon-song. She turns out be some sort of instrument for God's mysterious ways.
- Distant Finale: 150,000 years later
- Distracted from Death: Twice in quick succession. Roslin dies while Adama is momentarily paying attention to flying the Raptor they're in, and soon after, Starbuck disappears when Lee momentarily looks away from her.
- Dramatic Irony:
- Tigh's flashback of him and his wife getting ready to enjoy his retirement before the fall of the Colonies.
- Baltar puts his life on the line to save Hera (Helo's daughter) after Helo sacrificed his shot at safety to save Baltar's life in the miniseries. Likewise, the series began with Baltar making a selfish decision (giving Caprica-Six access to the Colonial defense systems because he wanted a relationship) and ends with him making a selfless decision (to save Hera by convincing Cavil to stand down).
- Roslin dies just before setting foot on Earth, and after Bill talked about building a cabin with her.
- Driven to Suicide: Cavil after the final Cylon attack in the CIC goes south. Though some think that, in the heat of the moment, he forgot he didn't have resurrection anymore, and simply tried to take his usual easy way out.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Bill.
- Easily Forgiven: Subverted with Boomer who is killed for everything she has done despite saving Hera. Downplayed for Gaius Baltar and Caprica Six, whose actions were what enabled the initial Cylon invasion to begin with, though Roslin did attempt to murder Gaius for this when she first found out in an earlier episode, and Caprica Six had to be imprisoned for an extended period of time before the human-Cylon alliance secured her freedom.
- Evil Overlord List: After Boomer brings Hera to the rescue team and tells them their Raptor has been destroyed, Athena starts to say something about the Raptor not being the "exit strategy"; Starbuck cuts her off with, "Can we not tell her the plan?" She's then Killed Off for Real immediately afterwards.
- Face Death with Dignity: Realizing that she's going to be executed, Boomer asks Athena to apologize on her behalf to Bill for shooting him.Sharon Valerii: We all make our choices. Today, I made a choice. I think it's my last one.
- Field Promotion: Hoshi gets promoted to admiral of the fleet by Bill just before Galactica heads out on its mission.
- Fighter-Launching Sequence: Notably, Bill's final Viper departure out of the museum flight pod with his old Viper, which was restored and given to him back in the miniseries. It follows him as he boards, launches and flies around the ship one last time.
- Flashback: LOADS of them from the pasts of the principal characters back on Caprica before the Fall:
- Adama walks out of a polygraph test for a post-military job when he feels his trust is being questioned too much
- Saul and Ellen preparing for retirement before Adama decides to return to the fleet
- Several of Lee and Kara after a party, where they ultimately almost have sex, but are jarred away from it when Kara's boyfriend stirs in his sleep
- Tyrol emerging from a fling with Sharon Valerii, and Cally (at that point only a friend) warning him to be careful who he trusts.
- Laura Roslin finishing an evening fling and dismissing them before calling to throw her support behind a presidential candidate, which ultimately led to her becoming president by succession after the Fall
- And Baltar agreeing to give Caprica Six a peek at the defense mainframe because of his feelings for her.
- Gainax Ending: The angels seen by Baltar and Six reveal that Hera is Mitochondrial Eve, and speculate on whether it's all going to happen again. After Head Baltar reminds Head Six that God doesn't like the name "God", she looks at him sternly and he cryptically says, "Silly me". They walk away unseen through the streets of modern New York while "All Along The Watchtower" plays over a montage of robot advances on television.
- Going Down with the Ship: True to his word, Adama is the last man to leave the ship. Anders does steer Galactica into the sun, though he was more part of the ship than part of the crew.
- Grand Finale
- Heroic BSoD: Tyrol goes near-comatose after strangling Tory to death.
- Hostage Situation: Cavil takes Hera hostage at gunpoint in Galactica's CIC, just before Baltar talks him down.
- Ironic Echo: Before Anders pilots Galactica and the rest of the fleet ships into the sun, he tells Kara, "See you on the other side."
- Killed Off for Real: Anders, Boomer, Cavil, Racetrack, Skulls, Tory, Roslin, and technically Kara. Naturally, the Distant Finale does this for everyone else.
- Last Episode Theme Reprise: A variation; one of the main themes from the pilot episode of the classic series plays when the fleet goes into the sun.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: All of the main/supporting characters, as well as all of the named Cylon models, appear during the episode.
- Love Makes You Dumb: Baltar's flashbacks reveal that he gave Caprica-Six access to the Colonial defense mainframe because he was having feelings for her, despite knowing that it was a highly unethical and illegal thing to do.
- Ludd Was Right: Upon recognizing an existing tribe with genes compatible to those of humans, Lee Adama's idea for a more minimalistic civilization has shades of this, as he does not want to burden them with their old baggage. Romo himself lampshades this, wondering how people can be so quick to give up their creature comforts, though thanks to their desire for a clean slate, most, but not all the technology is forsaken when the fleet dissolves into the sun. Subverted in the Distant Finale, which shows that 150,000 years later, modern technology has made a resurgence, including robotics...
- Macross Missile Massacre: Racetrack's nukes, which destroy the Cylon base.
- Manly Tears: Bill, when Roslin dies.
- Multiple Reference Pun: Starbuck and Apollo's assault/rescue teams meet up in the Cylon base after getting separated. When Apollo asks where Starbuck was, she says, "Stopped for coffee."
- Mythology Gag: In Baltar's final flashback, he mentions that if anyone catches him committing treason he'll have his head cut off. This was the original fate of Baltar in the original 1978 pilot, before he was resurrected for the original series.
- Neck Snap: How Tory is killed.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Tyrol kills Tory on the spot after learning that she killed Cally, losing the deal with Cavil's faction and causing a shootout in the CIC in the process.
- Nuke 'em: Galactica's plan involves Racetrack firing off a payload of nuclear missiles after Hera has been rescued.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Tory nervously trying to dissuade Tyrol from taking any aggressive action when she realizes that she's going to share her memories (including Cally's death) with him in the datastream.
- Ramming Always Works: Galactica does it to punch a hole in the Cylon base and allow the assault teams to board.
- Real World Episode: The final scenes are very clearly meant to invoke this.
- Redemption Equals Death: Boomer.
- Rule of Symbolism: The pigeon that was in Lee's apartment (and that he couldn't get rid of) and looks at him before flying away is meant to symbolize Kara's role in his life.
- Settling the Frontier: The colonization of Earth.
- During the assault on the Colony, one of the Fours inspecting Hera says "I think you overestimate their chances" when Boomer is worried about the colonials succeeding. Grand Moff Tarkin said the exact same thing during the Rebel attack on the Death Star in A New Hope.
- Cavil's suicide closely mimics the suicide of politician Budd [sic] Dwyer in 1987.
- The GDI's Kodiak flagship from Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun can be seen during one of the establishing shots of the fleet.
- When Bill and Roslin are flying in the Raptor on Earth, they pass over a group of flamingos which scatter in response.
- Snap Back: Oddly, despite Galactica's rundown condition just before it's flown into the sun, the flight pod that was turned into a museum (in the pilot) is left untouched. This is despite it being trashed in the second-season episode "Scattered".
- Tempting Fate: A copy of Simon contends that the Colonials won't be able to attack the Colony because the Cylons have superior numbers. He's proven a wrong a few minutes later when Galactica jumps in and uses Anders to disable their front-line defenses.
- Together in Death: The Distant Finale shows that researchers discovered Sharon, Helo and Hera's bodies, who had apparently died together.
- Took a Level in Badass: Baltar, when he decides to stay behind and help defend Galactica from Cavil's Centurions.
- Trash the Set: Galactica, both during the attack and after jumping for the final time. The superstructure of the vessel finally breaks, while sparks and exploding consoles go off throughout the CIC.
- Unflinching Walk: As Cavil and a pair of Centurions stride through Galactica's hallways while Marines are attacking.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When Bill vomits on the sidewalk during the flashback in the teaser.
- A Wizard Did It: God was behind it all. Yes, that God.
- Head Six: Even that is God's plan.
Head Baltar: You know it doesn't like that name.
Head Six: (gives Head Baltar a look)
Head Baltar: Silly me. Silly, silly me.