Previously on Battlestar Galactica: The four humanoid Cylons led Starbuck to a Colonial signal on her Viper that led the fleet to Earth. The humans and Cylons joined forces for the journey, but the celebration was short-lived when they discovered Earth is a desolate wasteland.
This episode picks up right where we left off, with the crew wandering aimlessly around Earth, staring at the ocean. Get used to it, because this whole episode is about despair. President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) picks up a flower from the ground while reports come in that there’s no human life on the planet.
Baltar (James Callis) reports that the water is full of low-level radiation, proving Earth was nuked about 2,000 years ago. Dualla (Kandyse McClure) is busy digging some jacks out of the sand. She starts crying and becomes incredibly depressed for the trip back to Galactica, muttering to herself to keep it together.
Back on Galactica, Roslin is bombarded by the crew wanting to know about Earth, but she’s too sad to talk. Lee (Jamie Bamber) takes on crowd control duties. Back on Earth, D’Anna (Lucy Lawless) and Number Six (Tricia Helfer) are digging in a pit of human bones and they find…a Centurion head! They bring it back to Galactica, but it’s not one of theirs, it’s a different model.
Roslin surmises that the 13th tribe created their own Cylons and the robots rose up and destroyed them. Baltar disagrees, because the bones they found weren’t human, they were all Cylon. The 13th was all Cylon! Roslin’s face drops even more and she lets Lee to handle toe Quorum.
To calm herself, Roslin hides in her room and burns the Pythian prophecy. She’s in a very bad place, not showing up for her cancer treatment, and even Admiral Adama (Edward James Olmos) can’t cheer her up.
To pick up her spirits, Dee offers to babysit Hera. Then she talks to Lee and cheers him up about taking over for Roslin and leading the fleet by telling them the truth. They have a sweet moment followed by Lee asking her out on a date, which she accepts. After their date, Dee is giddy over how strong and funny her man is. She kisses him good night after having the most fun she’s had in a long, long time.
Dee goes into the lockers to chat with Gaeta. She’s on cloud nine, humming a little tune and looking back on a photo of herself from childhood she can barely remember. Felix is still depressed about Earth, but Dualla wants to hold on to the great memory of her date with Lee.
Then she takes off her wedding ring, picks up her gun, and shoots herself in the head. Dead. I’ve now seen this scene three times, and it still sends shivers down my spine.
Gaeta rushes back in calling for a medic, but she’s already dead. Lee mourns Dualla in the morgue while his father stumbles in, drunk, offering little consolation. Lee moves on to Colonial One and changes the survivor tally from 39, 651 to 39,650.
Admiral Adama takes another approach, picking up a gun and barging in on Tigh, agreeing to have that long overdue conversation about him being a Cylon. Adama is drunk and trying to provoke a fight, talking about how Ellen was a whore who used to flirt with him. Still, Tigh refuses to fight back because he knows it’s what Adama wants and that Adama won’t actually kill himself.
After their confrontation, Adama returns to the CIC, asks Hoshi to take over for Dualla, then plots a trip to leave Earth. Admiral gets on the horn and tells the truth: they can’t stay on Earth so, like the 13th tribe, he vows to leave and find a new home. He fails to inform the fleet that the 13th tribe wasn’t human but Cylon.
Starbuck’s Colonial signal is weak, but she and Leoben go looking for it. In the woods, they find some pieces of a Viper, including a panel that contains the same number as Starbuck’s Viper. Leoben is getting a bad feeling about all of this, and he’s acting very uncomfortable. It’s weird seeing him uneasy.
The walk out to a field and Starbuck sees viper cockpit, but Leoben tries to stop her from going over to it. He seems to know exactly what she’s going to find: a dead body sitting in the Viper. Starbuck lifts up the helmet to see a tuft of blonde hair. She rips off the dog tags from the body and they feature the name “K. Thrace.”
What the frak?!?! Starbuck just found herself, dead, in the same Viper she flew back to Galactica on. As soon as Leoben sees it, he backs away quickly. She asks about the Hybrid who called her the “”harbinger of death,” wondering if it’s true. “If that’s me lying there, then what am I?” she asks. That’s a good question, and one that Leoben avoids by walking away.
While most people would be put into a catatonic state after seeing themselves dead, Starbuck rolls her dead body up and burns it on a funeral pyre. Later she tries to tell Lee about what she found, but because of Dualla’s suicide, the moment isn’t quite right.
Tyrol roams the Earth and finds a wall with a shadow on it. He leans over and touches it, which leads to some sort of flashback where Tyrol is walking through a crowded produce market. As he picks up a piece of fruit, a nuclear blast is set off.
Sam Anders gets his own experience, finding part of a guitar in the sand. He picks it up and plays a few bars of “All Along the Watchtower.” Wait, is Anders a reincarnated version of Bob Dylan? He finds Tyrol to bond over the fact that they used to live on Earth 2,000 years ago, and so was Tory.
Anders then asks all the questions fans are currently asking. How did they live on Earth 2,000 years ago and die in a nuclear holocaust? How did they come to be in the colonies? Why did they think they were human?
Finally, Tigh returns to Earth to get everyone to pack up so the fleet can move on. He sits down for a chat with D’Anna, who has no interest in leaving with everyone else. She doesn’t want to run again, have Cavil catch up with them and engage in another battle. She just wants to settle on Earth and live out her years where her ancestors died.
Finally, Saul walks out into the water and has a memory of his life on Earth, when he was in the middle of a bank robbery with his wife, Ellen! As she dies right before the nuclear blast, she promises they will be reborn together. Ellen Tigh is the final frakking Cylon! That is very cool and unexpected.