Previously, the Galactica found a planet that had yummy algae, but also the mystical "Temple of Five." Before anyone could blow it up, the planet's sun supernova'd. But the supernova, and various symbols inside the temple, looked a lot like a painting that Starbuck drew on her apartment back home on Nuked Caprica. Which prompted her to dive her Viper into a pretty, swirly cloud mass resembling said "mandala," getting herself blowds up in the process. Or, not, because she came back in the last five minutes of the Season Three finale.
Also during the last few minutes of the finale: The fleet jumps to the Ionian Nebula, and gets attacked by a bunch of Cylon Basestars.
Oh, and, Tyrol, Tigh, Sam Anders, and Tory the Aide are Cylons.
Plus, Gaius Balter is not guilty of treason. Wheee!
The opening shot is pretty much where we left off, with Starbuck riding side by side with Apollo, not dead, and Apollo shitting his pants. She's telling him all about Earth, while Adama and Roslin listen in on the Galactica. They're understandably confused and suspicious that it's a Cylon trick, like most of the viewing audience this past year.
Space battle! The Cylon Raiders are out in full force. Starbuck and the other Vipers are attacking as best they can. Adama orders Tigh to get "everything that can fly up there immediately," which just makes me think there's a BSG-equivalent of someone with a flying riding lawnmower that's going to wallop on the attacking spaceships with a space rake. "Get off mah nebula!"
Tigh responds by taking out his sidearm and shooting Adama right through the fucking eye. This is supposed to be shocking or whatever but you know it's totally going to end up being a dream sequence. And, it is. Adama snaps Tigh out of his little Cylon shocked dreamworld, and Tigh orders every Viper and Raptor out into the fight, via the space intercom.
On the hangar deck, Sam is also freaking out about being a Cylon. The Chief tries to snap him out of it. Tyrol is being extremely aggressive here in ordering the nuggets and the other knuckledraggers around -- at any moment I expected him to yell "YEAH! GET SOME!" and pump his fist in the air. Anyway, during his private pep talk to Sam,
Boomer #2 Athena walks up to them and jokes around about how dumb they're both acting. Then she gives Sam a little pep talk about not being a nervous rookie. Sam takes it as a sign that if Athena the Robot can't tell that they're both Cylons, then maybe the Raiders won't, either.
...wouldn't you want the other robots to know you're also a robot? You know, so they don't kill you?
Hold that thought.
The three women from last season that put a blanket over Baltar's head to sneak him through the Galactica hallways are still leading him around by the hand. Somehow, on this ship that should be utilizing every available space possible, there is a "hidden compartment" that the women are using as Baltar Worship Headquarters. You know those women who write love letters to imprisoned serial killers? That's what Baltar's got now. A bunch of young, freaky fangirls. They creep me the hell out -- but then I guess most obsessive fangirls do. Anyway, they've tricked out their hideout with candles and Christmas lights and a shrine to Baltar.
I should mention that in the background there are a few token men in the group. But they don't get any lines. And you'd think they'd be on security detail, but most of them skulk around without their shirts on, so I don't see them being a big help later on down the line. By the way, "compartment" doesn't even begin to describe the size of the room that the Freaky Baltar Fangirls have acquired. It's bigger than my house. It even has a bar.
Back to the battle -- a Cylon Raider that's been hit spins out of control and hits one of the civilian ships, the Pyxsis. The Pyxsis promptly explodes. Roslin puts a little "-600" on the whiteboard in her head. Then the Cylon Basestars fire 50 or so missiles at the Galactica and the fleet. A couple of missiles hit the coolest-looking ship, the Space Park (the one with the big round spinning tube on the back), but it doesn't blow up. (See, that's what you get for having a boring looking spaceship, Pyxsis.)
Sam is still freaking out while in his Viper, unfortunately with his space intercom on. Seelix tells him to shut it. When he tries to fire his guns he doesn't realize the safety is on. A Raider does a 360 turn to face Sam directly. Closeup on the Raider's "face," with the giant red scanner lights. Closeup on Sam's eye. Closeup on the Raider again, which pauses while it's scanning. Closeup on Sam's eye. His iris does a little red "blip," which introduces us to the humanoid model version of a red scanner light. The Cylon Raider backs off. I check to see if I've wet my pants.
And then, the entire Cylon strike force retreats, and the Basestars pull out. This confuses everyone who is not Sam. Tory, who is hanging out in CIC to morally support Roslin, I guess, says "Maybe something's changed" in Ominous Scary Voice, which of course attracts the attention of Roslin. Tigh attempts to smooth things over by saying he has no idea what's going on, and by the way he's totally not a robot.
Starbuck lands her Viper and climbs out issuing requests like she didn't die a couple episodes ago. Everyone just gathers around to stare. Her Viper is so bright, the closeup shots on Starbuck have a halo effect. Apollo and Sam run up to hug her, and Starbuck is confused about Sam being in a Viper Pilot jumpsuit. Then she announces to the room that she's found Earth, so Adama has her arrested. Well, not "arrested," but led by gunpoint to Sick Bay. She's got no idea what's going on because she thinks she's only been gone a few hours.
Meanwhile, in Baltar Fangirl Heaven, Baltar is ready to leave now. I don't blame you, buddy. The fangirls tell him that he can't leave because no one else wants to hang out with him (and they're certainly not building creepy shrines for him.) Then all the fangirls but one leave. It takes like five minutes for the remaining fangirl to get Baltar to take his pants off. During those five minutes, Imaginary Six appears to him and wants to know why he's wearing a sad face. Apparently the fangirls creep him out as much as the rest of us, and he'd rather be hated openly than worshiped by horny teenagers. Boy, jail time and a trial have really changed a guy.
Cottle has checked out Starbuck and has said she doesn't appear to be a Cylon. Starbuck's in a meeting with Roslin, Tory, Apollo, and Adama, and she's pretty pissed off by the way she's being treated. She has pictures of Earth and is hoppin' mad that no one seems to care. Since she can't remember how she got to Earth, or, more importantly, how she got back to the Galactica, Roslin and Adama are not buying any of it.
On the hangar deck, Tyrol has had Starbuck's Viper cleaned up, and it's in perfect working order. Like it's just "rolled off the showroom floor." Aside from the markings that identify it as Starbuck's ship, there can't be any way it's really Starbuck's ship. Plus, the navigation computers have absolutely nothing on them. No record of any flights at all. Tigh, Tory, and Roslin are ready to have Starbuck thrown into the brig. This pisses off Apollo.
Tigh points out that Baltar's Cylon Detector obviously doesn't work, but he doesn't say "because I'm a Cylon and it totally didn't catch that." Instead he uses Boomer #1 as an example of undetected Cylons. Roslin wants to know why all the Cylons gave up their fight as soon as Starbuck re-appeared. Apollo thinks Starbuck is the next road sign to Earth, but Roslin's having none of it. Adama is worried that Cylons could still be among them in the fleet. Tory, Tyrol, and Tigh all exchange "Oh shit oh shit oh shit" looks during this scene.
Back in Baltar Fangirl Lovenest, Jeanne, the head fangirl, has brought her sick son into the hideout to interrupt Baltar's Post-Coital Fangirl Cuddle. The kid has viral encephalitis, and instead of Baltar calling Jeanne a fucking moron for putting a sweaty sick kid in his bed in order to best ensure they all get encephalitis, he tells her that he really can't do much -- not being that kind of doctor, and all. They all decide to pray for little Derrick because obviously God hates him.
In what looks like Tigh's personal quarters, there's a secret Cylon meeting going on. Tigh, Tory, Tyrol, and Sam all talk about how the Cylons ran away after scanning Sam. They're all concerned they could have secret programming turned on now that they know what they are. To calm everyone down, Tigh slams a pistol down on the table and tells everyone to shut it. Thanks, Saul!
Roslin visits Caprica Six in the brig and wants to know if she has any idea about the Final Five. Apparently the humanoid models are programmed "not to think about the Final Five." Wow, that programming totally sucks, am I right? I mean, otherwise what was D'Anna doing all last season. Caprica Six says that the Final Five "are close" because "she can feel them." See? Bad programming. It's like they all forgot to upgrade to Do Not Think About This version 2.0.
In the CIC, Gaeta and Starbuck are going over star charts, looking for Earth, and they're both acting like little brats. I mean, she did want to flush him out of an airlock, but take a pill, Felix. Helo tells Felix as much, and Gaeta scrams while Helo tries to comfort Starbuck. When the Cylons get to Earth, Helo should totally be their leader. He loooooooves robots.
Starbuck says that navigating to Earth doesn't rely so much on calculations and algorithms as it does her personal Earthdar. Adama walks in and overhears this, and is unimpressed. As the fleet jumps to the next set of coordinates, Starbuck has a hissy fit that involves grabbing her head. Apparently every time they jump farther away from the way she wants to go, she gets an ice cream headache. Adama scolds Starbuck and tells her he's not going to listen to her "feelings" over Roslin's original plans based on Pythia and the Eye of Jupiter.
So, it's either trust your sort-of daughter whom you almost got the entire fleet killed to save, or trust your pseudo-girlfriend -- who's using her own brand of navigational voodoo -- to find a planet you only kind of half-believe exists, anyway. Sometimes you gotta roll the hard six and go with the woman who's living with you. (As Apollo reveals in the next scene.)
While Apollo and Adama are watching the film of Starbuck blowing up (I thought the gun cameras only record while the guns are firing?) Adama says it's a hard choice for him to pick Roslin over Starbuck. Apollo points out that Roslin is living with Adama, and Adama says it's just till she finds her own place on the Galactica. (Might I suggest a certain abandoned cargo hold that's being used as a cult compound?) Adama then thanks Apollo for flying a Viper during the big opening space battle, and tries to give him back his flight wings. Apollo doesn't want them, he's planning on taking some vague government job. Then Apollo wants to know what would happen if Zak was an undead Cylon. We don't get to see Adama's answer.
Baltar wakes up and prays over little sick Derrick. He'd rather God kill him than kill Derrick, who's done nothing wrong. The fangirls overhear this and are moved. They make plans to enlarge the shrine. (Okay, maybe not that last part.) (But seriously, look at the size of this shrine!)
One of the fangirls leads Baltar to the bathroom (how do you get Bathroom Escort Duty? Is there a lottery?) where she decides to shave off his beard and cut his hair.
Charlie, the guy that was all too happy to flush Jammer out the airlock in order to get vengeance for the death of his son, enters the bathroom and tries to slit Baltar's throat. Baltar begs Charlie to kill him. As Charlie hesitates, Bathroom Escort Fangirl clocks him over the head with a mop handle. Then she keeps on beating Charlie until Gaius stops her, which is sort of disturbing, but that's fangirls for you. When they get back to the hideout, the good news is that Derrick is alive and well. He gives Baltar a "who farted?" look. All the fangirls are beside themselves with joy over this miracle. I think they should be happy that they didn't all catch viral encephalitis.
In the hallway with the photo memorial, Starbuck is staring at her own photo and bitches to Sam that no one bothered to take it down. Then she gets paranoid that she's either a Cylon clone of herself or that she's been brainwashed by the Cylons. Sam tries to empathize with her, and reassure her that it'll all be okay, and she says if she finds out that Sam is a robot, she'll shoot him right between the eyes.
Well, okay then.
After another jump in the "wrong direction," Starbuck freaks out. She decides to assault the two marines that are standing guard over her. When Sam tries to stop her from hunting down Roslin, she pistol whips him. In Adama's quarters, Roslin is resting with a cloth over her eyes. Starbuck enters (by way of smoke bomb.) With her glasses off, Roslin is unsure at first what this ghostly figure is entering the cabin, so she smiles. Until Starbuck points her gun right in Roslin's face.