Written by: Mark Verheiden
Directed by: Michael Rymer
Starring: Michael Trucco, Lucy Lawless, Dean Stockwell
The One Where: Two sides race for the prize.
Starbuck is making regular “conjugal visits” to Apollo on the algae planet’s surface. When Apollo suggests they get divorces, Starbuck refuses, claiming it would be a sin in the eyes of the gods.
Chief Tyrol is drawn to a mountain on the planet’s surface. Inside he finds the Temple of the Five, which, scripture says, is linked to the Eye of Jupiter – a marker pointing the way to Earth.
Four Cylon baseships jump into orbit. Baltar, D’anna and Cavil meet Adama and Roslin to explain they’ll let the human fleet go if they give them the Eye. Adama says he’d rather nuke the entire continent than show the Cylons the way to Earth. Boomer tells Athena that her baby is alive, but unwell.
Back on the baseship, Cavil suggests that the Cylons should take this opportunity to wipe out the “human pestilence”. He says it doesn’t really matter whether they obtain the Eye or not as, being machines, they’re in no rush to find Earth. D’anna surprises the others when she announces she sent a party of Centurions to the planet when they first arrived. Thinking she’s on the verge of finding the final five (and maybe God), she decides to go down to the surface with Baltar. They tell Caprica Six that her destiny lies elsewhere and leave her behind.
Gaeta notices that a nearby star could go supernova any time. Even the more sceptical members of the Galactica crew are starting to believe that the fleet, the Cylons and a supernova being in the same place at the same time can’t be a coincidence.
On the surface, the Centurions are on the move. Apollo has to defend the temple with just a few marines and some civilians, led by Anders. When Starbuck, flying the group’s lone Raptor, is shot down, Anders wants to mount a rescue. Guns are drawn as Lee tries to stop him leaving his post.
Adama confronts Roslin about Athena’s baby, and storms off without giving her a chance to defend her actions. The Cylons send more ships towards the planet, leading Adama to authorise the launch of nuclear weapons. Stalemate.
A BSG first, as the Cylons open hailing frequencies. With two sides desperate to get their hands on the Eye, an uneasy truce soon escalates into an epic standoff, setting up one of the series’ finest cliffhangers.
The episode thrives on tensions between the characters: love rivals Apollo and Anders finally come to blows, a wedge is driven between Adama and Roslin by the news about Athena’s baby, and even the usually harmonious Cylon hierarchy suffers as a result of D’anna’s increasingly obsessive hunt for God.
One slight gripe, though – does every single planet have to look the same?
Adama: “If this is the work of a higher power then they have one hell of a sense of humour.”